Last year ended well, and the new one has started off nicely. We’ve been enjoying some quiet family time and I’m loving it!
School wrapped up with a winter concert. The kids had to sing a bunch of songs we’d never heard of before. It was cute to watch them practice, following along with the music on the school website, but I have to say that I was tired of all the emails reminding us about it. It was great to finally attend the concert! Honor’s grade sang several songs, and Brian’s grade performed either songs with the band, or piano. Brian played a couple of simple songs on the piano. I didn’t get any good photos at the concert as the lighting was bad, but the kids looked awesome in their dressy clothes.
I was relieved to find that we had dressy clothes to fit them, as they’ve been working so hard to out-grow everything! Fortunately, we’d picked up a few larger sized things over the summer that still fit. Brian wore a pair of my boots (laced unisex short boots, desert boots or something) as he didn’t have any dress shoes. I offered to get him some, and he looked at a few websites, but he said that he’d never wear them again, so why not just use mine?
Later, Brian practiced his oral report on the conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Honor helped by reading along with his notes. We thought he might want to take her to class on his report day as his official assistant.
This was a big project for his class. They had several weeks of work to do on it, with research, setting up a time line, writing up a narrative, cue cards, making a poster, and finally giving an oral presentation. Brian worked hard on his and his grade showed it. He had nearly prefect marks throughout his whole score chart, as well as wonderful comments from his teacher. We were very proud of him… and he was very proud of his work too!
Anyway, after a last, half day, of partying, school finally closed for the winter. We’ve been having fun, hanging out, playing games, watching marathon sessions of our favorite shows, etc.
A few days before Christmas, the kids tested in taekwondo again.
Honor earned her yellow belt
and Brian earned the next belt up, yellow belt with a green stripe.
They were thrilled to have been so successful, and rather than leaving after their test, they put on their belts and did another half hour of class!
Finally, Christmas morning arrived. I was amazed that the cats did not tear up the packages, but they’ve been very good this year. Only minor damage to the tree, and they left the presents alone. They loved the excitement of box opening time!
Ninja was quite interested in the treasure Brian found in his stocking.
Brian got the nerf machine gun rifle he’s been begging for. We’ve discovered that the cats like this toy too… the kids shoot the nerf darts, the cats fetch the nerf darts!
The cats also scored a number of their favorite ‘toys’… rolled up balls of wrapping paper and boxes!
They, I mean we, also received lovely flowers from our gardener. Amazingly enough, the flowers lasted a good length of time, despite being nibbled. I could always tell when they’d been at the vase too, because the cats would have flower-breath!
We brought the year to a close with friends at an early New Year’s Eve dinner party. It was very nice to hang out with families that we like, but do not see enough of, and to meet new folks too. I’m going to need to find a recipe for beef and chicken empanados, as the kids have discovered they love them. Our hostess offered to let them fill their pockets, and I’m surprised that they didn’t do just that! They did grab a couple of handfuls each.
We headed home before the crazies got out on the roads (well, before most of the crazies came out… they were starting to make an appearance). Then, the guys spent the last couple hours before midnight playing StarCraft while Honor and I watched “The Corpse Bride”. As midnight approached – yes, they both managed to stay up this year – we poured the champagne and made our toasts. The kids don’t like wine, so after clinking glasses, they poured their token sips into our cups. We set off virtual fireworks and other party props on my Facebook apps (is there nothing FB can’t do?) and then we went outside in our pj’s to scan the skies for any streak or flash of light that might be the baby new year flying in. It was cloudy and raining though, so all we saw was grey sky, but even after the guys went back in to finish their game, Honor and I stayed out and continued the search. We stayed out until we were freezing and had fun looking at the night sky. We didn’t see anything but grey, but we listened to the festive fireworks and horns honking.
I hope your holidays have been as cozy and pleasant as ours have been. We’ve been blessed with some wonderful family togetherness time. Happy New Year to all, and may the coming months be full of happiness and blessings for you and your loved ones.