Monday, December 23, 2013

Still Preparing...Advent Week 3

We have been feeling better this week (huzzah!), and have had a busy week continuing to get ready for Christmas. It has been a week full of fun and foibles.

Day 15: A Christmas Carol at the local playhouse
Every year my favorite local playhouse puts on A Christmas Carol for the community. This year I enjoyed being in the audience as much as I enjoyed being on the stage 9(!) years ago.
The boys were great. A little fear of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come from 2 out of 3, but who can blame them?
N was very excited at the prospect of getting his picture taken with a ghost during "Linger Longer" after the show, and he marched straight down the aisle to the stage, repeating "I'm going to take a picture with a ghost" the whole way. Clomp, clomp, clomp up the steps. He was a man with a mission. Suddenly he came face to face with the robes of the Ghost of Christmas Present, looked up, up, up into the face of the spirit...and backed up. All the way to the wall, where he melted into a little pool of fear.
We had to settle for this picture, rather than a picture with a ghost:

God Bless Us, Everyone!

Day 16: Cookie Day!

We spent the day baking. And making a mess. In the end we had dozens and dozens of cookies to give away, and dozens and dozens for us to eat!

decorating and trying not to eat everything in front of us!


We went knocking on the doors of our neighbors, wishing them a Merry Christmas and forcing our baked goods upon them.
Here we are, ready to share the love with those on our block.
I am always intrigued by the different reactions from the neighbors. This year we had everything from someone thinking we were selling our goodies to one man coming all the way down the street a day later to shake the boys' hands and heartily thank them again.
We have also taken to wearing elastic waists in our pants to make room for the leftovers.

Day 17: The Nutcracker book & ballet

We have become fascinated with the story of the Nutcracker, and have read a few versions of the classic story. We like the music, too. I thought this would be the perfect year to introduce a little culture into our household.
However, I didn't think taking the boys to a live ballet performance would be advisable.
So we acquired the 1977 Mikhail Baryshnikov movie that I remember watching on PBS every year as a little girl.
They did fabulously. For awhile.
They enjoyed pretty much all of Act I
And the battle with the Rat King is always exciting.
But Act 2...there was a little too much of this:
And this:
And this for my very boyish boys:
In the end, they thought there might be too much dancing and not enough fighting in the second act.

Day 18: The Museum of Transportation Christmas Trains
What a day this was!

We started off across the river to see the Christmas train exhibit after lunch. The drive isn't a short one. We arrive. I realize that I have left my wallet in a different bag. Fantastic. I call the hubby who says he will gladly give his card number over the phone if they will accept it. We unbuckle and trek across the lot only to discover that the museum is closed on Wednesdays. Heads hanging, we trudge back to the car, buckle back in, and prepare to leave. I take a look at the gas gauge. The low fuel light is on. This wasn't a problem when we left, as I thought I had my wallet and gas is cheaper on that side of the river anyway. However, as I said earlier, it is not a short drive between home and the museum. I call the hubby again.

Let me just take a moment to tell you how awesome he is.

He is awesome.

He totally came to my rescue.

Two days later we tried the museum again. It was completely worth it.
choosing their favorite trains
fascinated by the exhibit
learning about industrial and commercial grade motors from this gentleman
 Did I mention that the boys didn't even complain about having to wait? Yeah, they are pretty awesome, too.

Day 19: The Way of Lights
We love this lights display that takes you on a Journey to Bethlehem with the story it tells as you drive through the display.

There are also camel, pony, and donkey rides. Just for fun we decided to do one. The Twinkies chose to ride Donald the Donkey. W said it was because the donkey was a boy (as opposed to the camels and the ponies?). N said he was too afraid of heights to ride a camel. L just watched with me.

Day 20: Story of Jesus' Birth and Nativity Craft
We decided to make finger puppets of Mary, Joseph, Jesus, a shepherd, an angel, the 3 wise men, and a cow. These are cute, fun, and help us learn the Christmas story.
hard at work with our glue and felt pieces
the finished product!
ready to retell the story of Jesus' birth
  Luke chapter 2 is a good place to read it for yourself.

Day 21: Botanical Gardens

We love trains. And we love plants.
Naturally the Gardenland Express is a perfect stop for us in our Christmas activities.


This year the gardens also put on a beautiful lights display called Garden Glow. It was a cold and rainy evening, but it was thoroughly enjoyable.

magnetic snowmen to decorate

posing for silly pictures

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