Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Week Before Christmas

I felt sorry for the teachers who taught my children the week before Christmas break.  The holiday excitement had definitely gotten to both Allie and Zach...and...well...they were pretty much wild.  When Allie mentioned they had watched some insane number of movies, 5 I think, the week before Christmas at school, instead of being irritated that she was spending so much school time in front of a screen, I was instead thankful the teachers had a few moments of peace in between attempting to teach the crazies. 

I imagine that my kids weren't the only ones unable to concentrate or sit still in anticipation of all the impending Christmas festivities.  In addition to our nightly advent calendar and advent wreath activities as a family, there were a whole slew of events the kids couldn't wait for. 

Zach had PJ day and a Christmas party to look forward to at preschool, complete with treats and a Christmas movie. 

Both kids couldn't wait to participate in the AWANA birthday party for Jesus (complete with birthday games and birthday cake!).  Even though Zach had to miss his Christmas preschool program because it conflicted with Jesus' birthday party, Olivia and I were still able to hear him sing "Feliz Navidad" (and many more Christmas songs) at his dress rehearsal the morning before. 

Allie was eagerly anticipating dressing up as a favorite holiday character on her last day of school.  She chose to go as Fancy Nancy (from the Fancy Nancy Christmas book) and I thought we did a pretty good job of pulling off a festive look that would make Fancy Nancy proud.

Allie had also made special cards for each of her teachers and couldn't wait to give them out with our teacher gifts of homemade cocoa (that the kids helped prepare earlier in the month) the last week of school. 

Following Allie's lead, Olivia was also excited to give out hot cocoa presents to her ECFE and BSF teachers, but when she asked for the presents back at the end of the class, I realized I may not have explained the concept of giving Christmas gifts well enough. 

All three kids had been practicing the Casting Crowns version of "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" to sing at church the Sunday before Christmas (every single day in the car to and from school all December...over and over and over again...).  By the time it came for them to sing, all three had mastered the "Peace on Earth" chorus.  Unfortunately, stage fright got the best of Olivia and I was told she just stood on stage with her eyes wide and mouth motionless.  (I was playing flute that morning too and could only catch a glimpse of Allie out of the corner of my eye from where I was positioned).  When it came time for Zach and Olivia's class to sing "Away in a Manger," we were shocked to see Zach fully participating:  words and hand motions in all!

In addition to all the above, the kids were thrilled to participate in our church's toy drive.  They loved going to Target and picking out a toy that they left under our church foyer's Christmas tree to donate to families in need. 

We also saw our fair share of Christmas our neighborhood and we even went to the special display at Lake Phalen in St. Paul. 

So, as you can well see, the excitement level was high in our family in anticipation of celebrating Jesus' special day.  Yes, it was busy.  Yes, at some times it was crazy.  And yes, most of it was spent a tad bit sleep deprived (especially since our oven broke a week before Christmas and Ben and I decided to get some quotes for a kitchen renovation...long story...probably another post to come). 

But, all in all, it was a fabulous way to anticipate a birthday.  And, everyone knows I LOVE to celebrate birthdays!  And, so do my three favorite crazies....

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