Janie did an awesome job as a pirate in an original school play.
Eliza spied Santa Claus sitting in the front row.
During the intermission, he stood for a stretch break, pulled out his phone, surveyed the crowd, punched a thing or two on his keypad and made a whispered comment in the ear of his cute wife with white braided hair sitting next to him.
We told Eliza we were pretty sure he was plugging in the "naughty and nice" list. That Santa ... he's really getting on with modern technology ;)
After the show, Eliza (who has always been deathly afraid of Santa Claus) skeptically wanted to ask him if he really was the real deal.
Hand in hand, we approached and said we had a question for him. Timidly, she asked if he was Santa and he bent down with a smile and whispered close, "Of course!" Then put his finger by his nose and winked.
What an awesome fellow.
Later that night while putting on pjs, Eliza was bouncing up and down singing. We told her how proud we were of her bravery after years of fear.
"I can't believe I met Santa Claus!" she beamed breathlessly, "And you know what?!? He wasn't wearing mittens and I could see he doesn't have CLAWS at all!!"
Wow. And yikes.
Christmas season took us unexpectedly, much like the above photo bomb. Our month changed over so quickly, we're calling it No-cember ... or De-vember.
Only one school Thanksgiving dinner. That's a far cry from the days when I used to camp out for the entire block, slowly making one meal last through four kids' break.
Little folks loved it and Grant loved all the attention.
There's been ssssooooo much of this lately.
One day I'll once again write something stimulating but until then, everything stops for a book and a cuddle.
I'm okay with that.
I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with her refusal to sleep ... ever.
Up at 5am, resistance of naps, non-compliant bedtime, wakefulness in the night.
Even driving in the car, she will. not. let. go ... the party is that good.
Lunch date with my current driver.
Janie was honored in a middle school ceremony for her academic achievements.
She spends hours upon hours working on homework. That face says she's proud of herself and she should to be.
Maybe it has something to do with her mad skills with diorama construction.
Not to mention, her attention to detail. Let's get a closer look at that baby:
Grant and Christian worked and work on Grant's last pinewood derby car. We didn't even realize it was his last until the event was over and were headed home in the car.
We aren't sure how they placed dead last in every single race but one ... The one in which they set the track record. But they sure were proud of that thing.
I just loved how all of Christian's teenage friends followed Grant around that night cheering him on.
A sweet friend from church gave us a flannel board she had made years ago when her children were little. It was the dearest gift.
You bet we have put that thing to good use with our family home evenings.
For month's, I've been wearing Invisalign braces. This commemorates getting those puppies off my teeth and back to normal. Happy day.
The high school theater asked me to take head shots of the theater kids and crew for their program playbills.
Remember the insecurities of high school?
I couldn't have loved more, taking each of those 33 kids with all of their self doubts and turning out portraits that made them feel on top of the world. Such a great group.
Charlotte misses summer. So much so, she puts on her bathing suit first thing most days and begs for the pool.
Me too, gal ... me too.
Grant's class did an in depth study of the Revolutionary War. That kid has fallen in love with history and a teacher that makes it come alive.
Can't get more alive than an in-character re-enactment of an actual battle.
Little children weren't allowed to attend so I was unable to go, but thank you, thank you to the class mom who sent me these pictures!
Our HAPPINESS PROJECT came down to make way for Christmas cards before I could get a picture of the entire thing.
I found one "happiness" that fell under the fridge and had to snap shot it just for the beauty of the carefully written penmanship.
And nowadays, I'm finding wishful pictures like these on my phone to assist me with Christmas gift giving.
And those are the day to day facts.