Lexi

Dance 2020

I think this was the last year for dance, for awhile. You just were not into it and never wanted to go. You did have fun while you were there, but it was a contact battle to get you to actually go.

It was your third year in the kindergarten/1st grade program and I’m not sure if you were bored or if you just don’t like the structure of it because you LOVE to dance at home and I regularly find you dancing in your room in front of the mirror—especially to The Decendents. You say you love Jazz but not ballet and tap so much…so we’ll see. I would not be surprised if it is something you come back to in a few years.

Here are a few pictures from your Halloween celebration and your Christmas performance.

Similar to everything stopping in March, dance went virtual. You had a Zoom call once a week and they tried, but it just wasn’t the same. Surprisingly, the recital turned out adorable.

They had each dancer come in one at a time and recorded you performing your dance as if you were on stage. The room was dark and they had the spotlights on you and you were able to follow Mrs. Gina since nobody knew the dances very well. Considering the circumstances it was very cute and made you feel like a star. There was a little red carpet and you got a little prize goodie bag. Then the production company is going to produce a recital video Brady Bunch style of your class dancing together.

Lexi, I have loved watching you dance and am excited to watch and cheer for you in the next activity you embark on.

Love,

Mom

Covid-19, Kate, Lexi, William

Covid-19 Week 9

Munchkins,

I’m not sure if it was the sunshine and the 70 degree temperature today but this week was a pretty good week. Pushing the school work to the evening has really helped my mental sanity and Lexi is a lot more cooperative about completing it in the evening. Next week will be the last week any assignments are given with the last official ‘day’ being May 29th!!

You three have been really really good about cleaning up your toys. All toys have been picked up every single night since last Monday so you didn’t lose any additional ones and even earned back all the ones you lost–which are all still sitting in a bin untouched, so it shows how much you really ‘missed’ those toys.

The whining, complaining and attitude was maybe a tinch better–but still needs some work. Lexi lost TV & iPad for two days because she turned on YouTube without asking and then lost playing with Luke for the week for lying to us three times in a row. William also lied and lost playing with Luke for two days.

Yesterday, we did a good-bye parade for William’s preschool. We were able to give teacher gifts and pick up all of William’s things and then headed out to the Vossen’s to wish Avery a Happy Birthday. It was nice to get out of the house and also see some friends, even if it was only 20 minutes.

Daddy did a great job of keeping you out of my hair this week so I could work. Last night, I worked from 9:30 until 2:30am (and have done that about once a week). As hard as it is to work late into the night like that, is one of the few times I can actually focus and dig into some stuff without being interrupted or distracted every 30 minutes by one of you kids, have a meeting or be IM’d by someone. It also does help reduce some of my anxiety.

As a result, Daddy works in the evening from 6-11:30 or so while I do dinner, dishes, clean-up, baths and bedtime. It makes for some long days, for both of us. It isn’t ideal, but is manageable and better than you three running rampant.

The governor also lifted the stay at home order and ‘allowed’ people to start gathering in groups of 10 or less with retail stores able to open to a 50% capacity. Salons, restaurants, bars etc… are still closed with the hope of opening June 1st.

Today the weather was beautiful–sunny and 70 all day. You guys literally played outside from about 10 am until 7. You three plus Luke and Anna played in the sandbox, rode scooters, played hide and seek, played on the swing set, played Star Wars and Decendants and there was almost no tattling or crying. Daddy even was able to golf with Uncle Joe this afternoon. It was a good day. Daddy

Here’s to more days like today!!

Love,

Mama

Covid-19, Kate, Lexi, William

Covid-19 Week 4

Lexi, William and Kate,

Technically, this week was spring break, but your mean-old mom made you do school work all week. It is easier to keep you on a schedule and you already missed a lot of school from vacation.

I was much more relaxed with things though. Your school days started later than we had been and I let you play a lot more. I also didn’t prep on Wednesday night, so you guys just had Thursday off.

Lexi, you are starting to push back more on doing assignments and showing some pretty big attitude. We took away you watching Decendents as there is a bit of lip in that show and it seemed to help a little. This week we worked on short and long vowels–specifically long vowels that have words that end in ‘e’. (Cub, Cube, Sam, Same, pin, pine) In math we reviewed some addition and subtraction and worked on key-words like ‘sum’ ‘difference’ ‘total’ ‘in-addition to’ and practiced telling time on a digital and analog clock as well as learned ‘quarter-after’ and ‘quarter-to’. You wrote letters to Grammy and Ivy and the Easter bunny.

William, you were busy re-creating your Big Book of Dinosaurs book all week for your journal and then were working on the letter ‘N’. For math, you’re working on identifying your tricky teens and memorizing daddy’s phone number.

The weather was pretty nice this week so we got some good outside hours logged. Bonus Grammy came over for another drive-way activity and did some Easter activities with you outside, painting rocks, decorating rocks as bunnies, eating some treats, reading books and making some foam bunnies.

Supplies in stores started to regulate a bit. Still no signs of toilet paper, cleaning wipes or hand sanitizer but milk, eggs, bread and canned goods are more accessible.

This Sunday is Easter so we dyed some Eggs this week and are looking forward to seeing Grammy and Papa tomorrow for a little visit and Great Grandma might come over for dinner on Easter (even though it is technically not allowed. She hasn’t been able to see anyone and don’t want her to be alone on Easter.)

Love,

Mommy

 

DisneyWorld, Kate, Lexi, William

DisneyWorld—Epcot (Day 4)

Lexi, Badgie and Katie,

You went to 3 DisneyParks in 1 Day. Not to shabby for three kids under 7. We started our last Disney day at Epcot, spent an hour or so in Animal Kingdom before wrapping the night up at Magic Kingdom for extra magic hours.

One of the reasons we made the switch to the Wilderness Lodge hotel was of how convenient it was supposed to be with transportation. Well it didn’t work out so well for us.

Similar to the other days, the plan was to get up early and get to the park just as it was opening. Since Epcot has tiered FastPasses, I had a FastPass to Frozen, but not TestTrack, so I was planning to go straight to TestTrack and ride before the line got too long.

We left around 8:15, about 15 min later than I was hoping. First, we took a boat from the lodge to the Magic Kingdom area, where we then took a monarail to the transportation center, making a pit stop at the Contemporary as the express wasn’t running. Once we were at the Transportation center, our plan was to jump on another monarail to go to Epcot. Well that monarail wasn’t running either, so we had to get on a bus. All this took much longer than expected so instead of getting there at 9, when it opened, it was closer to 10, which meant the line for Test Track was much longer.

Additionally, when we arrived we discovered we had a broken stroller, Test Track, was down and Frozen was down so we went to stand in the hour line to meet Anna and Elsa. It was by far the longest time we waited for anything, close to an hour. But the girls were thrilled to meet the princesses. Daddy and Wiliam worked on fixing the stroller and William even scored some fast passes for being such a good helper to Daddy.

By the time we got through the line to meet Anna and Elsa, the Frozen ride was back up and running and we used our 11:00 FastPass to jump through the lines. This ride is super cute and low key and I loved that our whole family could sit in one row of the boat. When we were done with the frozen ride at about 11:30, and the world showcase was starting to open so we began our journey to very quickly skim the world. You kids did not have the patience for mom and dad to fully enjoy it. It also happened to be the first day of the Flower and Garden Festival so we spent time looking at all the amazing topiaries, which I adored. They smelled amazing and it was fascinating to see how they created characters from different kinds of flowers.

About half-way around, we stopped to meet Jasmine, which was a princess we hadn’t met before. Similar to meeting Daisy, these pictures are brought to you by a dum-dum sucker bribe for Kate.

By the time we were done seeing the showcase, the crowds were really starting to build and our fast pass for mission space was about to run out so Daddy took William and Lexi on that. You guys went on the Orange mission space ride, which Daddy said was pretty scary for both him and Lexi–but William seemed to think it was pretty cool. Go figure? In the meantime, I took Kate over to check out the aquarium and the Finding Nemo ride. Of course Kate feel asleep on the way over there so I explored the aquarium, the Journey to Imagination and ImageWorks by myself with a sleeping baby.

Test Track was back up and running by the time you were done with Mission Space, so Daddy, Lexi and William headed over to ride it. Unfortunately, the ride broke which extended the wait time, but they got it up and running again quickly. You guys went all the way through building your car and were about to test your car and it broke and they shut it down again for the 3rd time that day. We did get some extra fastpasses out of the deal to use at any park on any ride (with the exception of the big rides–Flight of passage, Slinky Dog, StarWars, Seven Dwarfs).

It was about 2:00 at this point, everyone was hungry and the heat was starting to take a toll. We decided to head back to the hotel for a swim instead of exploring any more of Epcot. We stopped at the gift shop on our way out and you each picked out your souvenir. Lexi and Kate picked out Anna and Elsa doll toys and William got a real Buz Lightyear. 

One the way back to the Wilderness, we debated our next steps and the roller coaster junkie was begging to ride Everest at Animal Kingdom. So we booked a FastPass for 7:00 and one for the Dinosaur ride at 6:10 and were going to use our bonus FastPass and the Navi’s River, which always has a long line and one we didn’t get to ride last year.

It was about 4:00 by the time we arrived back at Wilderness. We quickly ate some food and Mom and the kids went swimming while Daddy napped. They had a super cute mini waterpark for little kids with a few slides and then had a bigger waterslide in the big pool. Lexi and William loved the big-kid slide and just kept going down it over and over again while Kate enjoyed watching them and kicking and splashing in the pool with me. After a quick 45 minute swim, we headed back up to get changed and head over to Animal Kingdom,

We waited over 45 min for a bus so instead of getting to the park at 6:00 like we thought, we got there at 7:15, 45 min before it was supposed to close. We took a quick family pic in front of the tree of life, lite up at night and then high-tailed it to Everest.

We got to Everest just as River of Lights was ending. Daddy and Lexi used their FastPass and then Mommy and Lexi went. Lexi was just beaming and loves this ride so much. She was so proud to have ridden it at night in the dark.

We had to skip the dinosaur ride since it took so long to get there and Bill thought we should skip the Navai’i River as there was no way we could make it from Everest to Pandora in 9 minutes. Challenge accepted. I turned on my good old speed walking pace and we arrived there at 7:55. We were the second to last people they let on the ride. The Navi’s River is a super mellow ride through a little river–what makes it cools is the entire ride is dark but glows with black lights. The whole land of Pandora is just amazing. I wish we hadn’t been in such a rush and could have enjoyed it a bit more–especially at night. They have black lights everywhere and the sidewalks and trees are lite up to create this super cool environment.

By 8:30, we were on a bus to Magic Kingdom to soak up our last few hours with Extra Magic hours.You kids were starting to get tired, so I gave you a few suckers to give you a little sugar kick and keep you awake.

Daddy and Lexi headed over to Space Mountain while Mommy, Kate and William went on Winnie the Pooh–another favorite ride. After the ride was over, I knew we had pushed as far as we could with the two littles. They were tired and crabby. We grabbed some ice cream as we walked over to space mountain to wait for Daddy and Lexi. We did a quick rider switch and Lexi got to go on Space Mountain again with Mommy. Although the ride was pretty fun. I was fairly nervous for my Lexi. We were going pretty fast, couldn’t see anything and I was worried about her head bobbling around to much and getting some whip lash.

At was just about 11:00 as we walked off the ride. Lexi climbed into the stroller and was sleeping in less than 5 minutes.

What a day! What a trip! What an experience. Daddy and I took our time walking down main street and just enjoying the beautiful way everything is lit up, listening to the chatter of people reminiscing their days and the smell of the home-made chocolate as we walked down Main Street.

Although we only had 3 days in the parks, we filled them to the brim. We are exhausted and looking forward to the second part of our trip, which should be much more relaxing. But our hearts and our memories are so full. It really was the experience of a lifetime. We have every intention of going back when Kate is older and can go on almost all of the rides and it will be magical then too. There is just this different level of magic, to watch your kids experience this for the first time, the awe from giving characters a hug or having them go on their first roller coaster. It is something I hope to never forget and am so grateful to be able to experience this.

Love,

Mama

Kate, Lexi, William

Halloween 2019

Lexi, William & Kate,

I lobbied incredibly hard (really hard) to have coordinating costumes for you three, and there was zero interest. I threw out three little pigs, grinch, disney characters and idea after idea was rejected. Sigh. I don’t think I will ever win this battle again.

Costumes this year:

Lexi: Hatchimal unicorn–because now we are at the stage where you combine two different things into one costume.

William: Dinosaur (same costume as last year, which barely fit–but was perfect as he loves green and dinosaurs)

Kate: Was supposed to be Minnie Mouse–but refused to even try on any part of any kind of Minnie Mouse costume, so we resorted to being a duck because her rain jacket–which I know she loves to wear has a duck on the hood and it was the only thing I was confident she would wear.

Halloween activities:

Per the use’ we had a slew of activities to help us celebrate.

Lexi had her Halloween celebration at Dance where they do a few different Halloween themed dances and then share some snacks.

William & Lexi both had Halloween party’s at school (sorry no pictures to share)

Then, Lexi also had a spooky lunch where the school decorates the cafeteria in spooky decor and has a spooky themed food. All the lights are turned off, black lights are on and Halloween decor is hanging. The meal had things like grapes in whip cream as googlly eyeballs and chicken fingers as grave stones. Parents are invited to join their kids for lunch and everyone gets a good kick out of it.

Following lunch is a parade for the kindergarten- through second graders in their costumes. It is short and sweet around the little loop in the school–but all the kids and teachers are dressed up and is a fun little way to celebrate. I am so grateful for the extra steps St. Vincent takes to celebrate Holidays like this and really make memories for the kids, and something they look forward to each year.

Then that evening, it was fairly chilly for trick or treating so the kids piled their layers of clothes on and headed out to get some candy. Kenzie joined us as a little strawberry and although she was only 1, she totally got the idea of trick or treating and had a death grip on her candy bin.

We made it around the block and halfway around the new neighborhood before Kate started to get tired. We headed back home and Lexi and William wanted to keep going so we went up and down Hampshire, the other side of the Georgia cauld-e-sac and then into the townhome neighborhood. It was starting to get late and William was getting tired so we headed home to do the annual candy count. Lexi and William each had about 100 pieces of candy and were pretty proud of their haul.

Pumpkins this year were

William: top left Transformer logo

Lexi: top right Unicorn that she drew

Kate: bottom: Kitty

Love,

Mama

Lexi

Lexi’s First Day of 1st Grade

Lexi,

It is amazing how different one can feel about relatively the same experience a year apart. This time last year, everyone was a ball of emotions: excited, nervous, emotional. This year, it felt like we have been through this a bazillion times already.

We tried to keep plans on Sunday and Monday pretty minimal so we could get the house back in order and start the year off on a good and organized note. My to-do list is always longer than what is reasonable but we did get many things done.

On Monday evening, we continued our tradition of ‘last day of summer ice cream’ at the ice cream factory. Over the summer you have branched out a bit and explored some new flavors: Lexi–Birthday Cake, William–After Dinner Mint, Kate–Watermelon Sherbet.

last day of summer ice cream

We took baths, read books and were all in bed by 8:30, which is pretty remarkable considering your summer bedtime was often 10:00. Daddy made you a super awesome sign describing all things Lexi 🙂

The morning went fairly smooth. Lexi requested cinnamon rolls for breakfast and ate 3 and was requesting more!

After a few quick pics, we hopped into the Van, headed over to school to get there just as the bell was ringing.

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Lexi, you are going to have an amazing year. I’m so excited to watch your grow, learn and continue to mature into a smart 7-year-old/2nd grader over these next few years.

Love,

Mom

Kate, Lexi, William

Summer Dreams

Tonight was one of those nights that will be impressed into my memory forever. I would call it a top 10 weather day. It was sunny and about 80 degrees with no humidity or wind. It was perfect. Daddy grilled while you three kiddos rode bikes up and down the sidewalk and played on the swing set. There were lots of squeals and giggles and almost no arguing, whining or tattling.

Lexi optimistically suggested going to the Ice Cream Factory for dessert and requested we ride bikes. Initially, the plan was to have William ride in the trailer with Kate, but he insisted on riding his green bike. We gave it a go, but figured he would get tired and need to ride in the trailer and throw his bike on it.

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Oats, you rocked it. Your little legs were petaling a million times a minute but you rode all the way there AND back!

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You each enjoyed your ice cream and even switched it up from the usual:

  • Lexi: Birthday Cake
  • William: Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Kate: Watermelon Sherbet

So grateful for this weather, these memories and most importantly these sweet peeps that make us a family

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Love,

Mama

Lexi

Dance 2018-2019

Dear Lexi,

Year 3 of dance was a total blast. You were in the Kindergarten/First Grad recreation class, had fabulous Mrs. Gina, Sophia your dance friend and learned you had two friends from school; Ruby and Natalie in your class.

You did all of the fun things like the Halloween party, the Christmas recital

And of course the year-end recital. You danced three dances. Ballet was to, When you wish upon a star, and wore a beautiful Cinderella-like costume.

Then for Jazz, you wore a Jungle/zebra-ish costume and danced to Tarzan and Jane. I think this was your favorite dance you’ve done. For Tap, you wore the same costume and danced to Jungle Rhythm.

You broke your arm about a month prior to your recital so you had your cast on, but it really didn’t slow you down a beat.

Love,

Mama

Chirstmas, Kate, Lexi, William

Christmas 2018

Merry Christmas Lexi William and Kate!

We were busy, but in an enjoyable sort of way throughout the entire Christmas season. This year, Christmas feel on a Tuesday. I took the Monday, Christmas Eve off from work and we started the morning with homemade buttermilk pancakes, homemade whipped cream and bacon. They were the best pancakes I have ever made and this will be a tradition moving forward.

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Most of the morning was pretty low key. Lexi and William were giddy-excited that Santa was coming tonight. Lexi exclaimed,’Ahh tomorrow is the day I get my Barbie Dreamhouse!’ I had to remind her that just because you ask for something doesn’t mean you get it. You two were so excited, you were pretending it was Christmas morning and opening gifts and acting surprised. William goes, ‘I got a Mickey!!! Lexi shrieks ‘I got a tablet!!’ LOL!! I died! Where do you come up with these crazy ideas?!?!

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I started getting ready at like 10:30, because it takes a long time to get myself and 3 other kiddos ready 🙂

Kate took an early nap and we were out the door around 2:45 to head to Church. We met Grammy & Papa, Grandma Terri, Grandpa Bill, Great Grandma and Auntie T there.

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After, we headed over to Uncle Pats for Christmas Eve with the Tansey’s. It was a fun celebration as all of the cousins were there, so you kids had a blast running around with all the other kids. Santa made a surprise appearance and brought each of you an early gift. William and Lexi were in disbelief and Kate was terrified. Santa brought William a Paw Patrol set, Lexi a LOL surprise Pearl set and Kate a Minnie Mouse purse and cell phone.

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We headed home around 9:30 and since Pat’s is so close to home, nobody fell asleep. Both Lexi and Kate went right up to bed and were out in a couple of minutes. William helped set out cookies and milk for santa and some carrots for the reindeer. Daddy was also outside flooding the ice rink and William wanted to make sure he had the Grinch dust (green glitter). He says, ‘Dad, the grinch isn’t real–he’s just a character.’ Dad responds, ‘I know, but we’ll spread it around just in case’. William yells through the crack in the door, ‘Ok, Don’t forget to get the roof! You are so sweet buddy!

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Christmas morning, I was Shocked that you all slept in past 8:30, especially considering how excited you were. You came into our room and Daddy got the camera set up before we headed downstairs! William b-lined for his Heatwave and transformer trailer for Santa and Lexi was excited about her new table and desk chair and her Barbie’s and Hatchamals that Santa brought her. Lexi bounced around she was so excited and wanted to just rip through everything that had her name on it. However, she was very pumped to give everyone the gifts that she had picked out for them. She searched through the piles to find the items for her and requested that everyone open the gifts from her first. William was much more methodical and wanted to open and play with everything before moving onto the next. Kate was in the kitchen most of the morning eating, while everyone else was opening gifts. Girls gotta eat! She did come in every once in a while and loved her new Minnie Mouse doll, stroller and Unicorn Fingerling. Lexi’s was over-the-moon excited about the Lego hospital kit she received.

IMG_2570-COLLAGEWe spent a good 2 hours opening gifts before eating breakfast, cinnamon rolls and fresh fruit. Then we spent the next several hours putting together Lego kits (Lego hospital and the fire truck) cleaning up and getting ready before heading over to Grammy and Papa’s house around 4.

There we visited, ate some meat pies and enjoyed the next round of gifts.

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Then, on the 26th we were hosting the Sampson’s at our house for our Christmas celebration so we started cleaning the house and getting ready for Christmas celebration #4!

All-in-all it was a jam-packed couple of days, but filled with so much love, gratitude and so much to be thankful for.

Love,

Mama

Chirstmas, Kate, Lexi, William

Christmas Activities 2018

Dear Kiddos,

Christmas was no shortage of magic. The anticipation of the season is so exciting to me and I love everything about it. I love the lights on the houses, I love the decorations, (and actually decorating) the baking, the shopping, the music, the process of thinking about gifts and finding good deals, going to church, coordinating adorable outfits, wrapping gifts–everything about it is magic and I hope that you feel the magic and enjoy it as much as I do.

This year, we hosted Thanksgiving so I resisted and didn’t put the Christmas tree up until after Lexi’s birthday party, but the rest of the decorations came out on the evening of Black Friday.

I didn’t haul all the bins out until you were sleeping but then popped my earbuds in and listened to Christmas music (Jim Brinkman’s Piano Instrumental–my fav) and had the house twinkling in delight when you woke up the next morning.

The following Sunday, we headed over to Ivy and Claire’s house to do some cooking baking. We made sugar cookies and some peppermint cookies. You all had a great time, but honestly probably had more fun just playing with your cousins.

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IMG_2187-COLLAGEThe following weekend, the whole family went over to Grammy and Papa’s house for breakfast and Christmas Jammies. Grammy created a scavenger hunt for each of the kids that took them around the house and ultimately led them to their Christmas Jammies.

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The following weekend, we set up the Christmas tree. I usually like to do this by myself as it is a process to put the lights on and then the ribbon and then the ornaments, but figured I would give it a go with you awake and let you enjoy some of the fun too. Lexi was into it for about 5 minutes, but William helped the entire time and loved every moment of picking up the ornaments and finding a spot for it on the tree.

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In the past our elf, Sparkle Minnie has arrived on December 1st, but this year she was sick and didn’t arrive until about December 10th, and she brought a friend, Sparkle Mickey, to keep an eye out on you guys. She also brought you a book, the Giving Tree and asked for your to do a Good Deed everyday as a reminder that the Christmas season is about more than getting gifts, but being thoughtful and considerate towards other people. Lexi definitely understood the concept and we would talk each night about what good deed she did throughout the day. Some days it was sharing her magenta marker with a friend at school or playing with someone who was feeling sad. Other days it was doing William’s chore of unloading the dishwasher, or throwing away Kate’s diapers for mommy and daddy. It was so encouraging to hear how you were being intentional each day about how you can be thoughtful towards others.

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December 8th, we went to Breakfast with Santa at Lexi’s school. Uncle Dustin, Kenzie and Grammy and Papa joined us for some pancakes and crafts. Kate hated Santa, but William asked for a Heat Wave transformer and Lexi asked for a Barbie Dreamhouse.

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We also baked cookies a couple of times and decorated a gingerbread house. We made pretzel hugs, spritz and molasses cookies.

IMG_2380-COLLAGELexi and William both helped pick out gifts to give each other and loved helping wrap them up. Lexi picked up a green lego car kit for William and William picked out a Barbie car for Lexi. We also listened to a lot of Christmas music and would sing Silent Night and Away in a Manger each night before bed.

William had his first Christmas program at Preschool. You looked so handsome and I was proud you actually sang a little bit.

IMG_2396-COLLAGELexi had her annual Dance program. So fun to watch you dance–this is the first time that I’ve seen you smile while you were dancing. In the past, you have always been very focused on the moves and the teacher, you haven’t been able to smile so it was fun to see you ‘perform’

IMG_2453-COLLAGEThen, Lexi had two program’s at school. The first one was just for kindergarteners and you had a little saying you had to memorize and say during the program, ‘B is for Bethlehem, crowded and old, birthplace for Jesus, prophet foretold. Then, there was another one in the afternoon with the entire school where you sang a couple of songs. You also had an advent party in your class and I was able to volunteer for it. There were 4 stations that groups traveled to and I ran a game: pin the nose on the snowman.

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Whew! Lot’s of activities, but so much fun! I’ll create another post for Christmas itself.

Love,

Mama