Monday, December 5, 2011

Thanksgiving (and a few updates):

Our Thanksgiving always starts the Saturday before Thanksgiving at my parent's house, and with a visit from Santa Clause .....

Grama always helps get everyone settled while the kids' expressions and smiles set the tone for our time together ....


There's always lots of laughing (and lots of good red wine) ....

.... and Santa always reads 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' ....


Each grandkid gets to sit on Santa's lap, have a little talk with him ....

.... and pose for a few photos.

Then we have group Santa pictures ....

.... before the kids open their special 'start-of-the-season' gifts from Santa (this year, McLain University tshirts!!), and we take our annual family photo .....

And there's always special time visiting with Grampa too.



Our actual Thanksgiving Day was a little more low-key, which was SO nice.  We stayed home, stayed in our pajamas until late afternoon, missed the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade by an hour (caught the tail-end of it -- much to the girls' disappointment) and had a lot of nice time just hanging out together.  That evening Zoe asked when Thanksgiving was and when I told her it had been that day both she and Ella were disappointed we didn't eat turkey for dinner : )  I reminded them of the wonderful meal Grama made for us but they still thought we should have had our own too.  Grama later agreed when I told her, so next year I guess I need to make sure that happens.

The day after Thanksgiving we went downtown and saw the first Hollidazzle Parade of the season (and our first as a family of four).  We've watched it on tv each year but being there was really awesome.  We started out in a skyway where the view was great but you couldn't hear the music or feel the energy of the crowds, so we made our way down to the street which really was the best place to be.  My photos didn't turn out, so thanks Jane for letting me use your photos  : )



We had hoped to also see the Macy's 'A Day in the Life of an Elf' walk-through display too but the line was three floors long so we passed on that, maybe another time -- it sure looked cute.


Towards the end of October we changed our after school care plan for the girls.  They love going to Friendship but it's such a long day and a long week, so after some discussions and figuring things out, we hired Karin (the sweetest and kindest teaching assistant from the girls' old preschool) to pick Zoe and Ella up from Kindergarten two days a week.  She brings them home (sometimes they'll play on the playground before coming home), have snack, go to the library, go for walks in the woods, and just have time to play at home, in our house, in our backyard -- and it's a shorter drive for me (which gives me a little more time to finish things up at school before I head home).  I honestly don't have the words to express what a wonderful change this has been for both the girls and me.  Knowing they are with Karin and in our own home makes not being with them during that time so much easier.  Plus, she's pregnant with her first baby (due late spring), so the girls get to be a part of that amazing experience too -- what a bonus!!

And though this school year has been so challenging in many different ways (new curriculum, very detailed curriculum, added hour to the school day, lots of very needy students that aren't quite ready for the curriculum or the long day) I am starting to feel some progress with our daily routine, the learning that's taking place and some of the behaviors.  It is an enormous amount of work and each day I feel like I'm not doing enough for my class or for my daughters (or for my husband, or my house, or for me .....) but I love teaching, the times I smile and laugh during the school day is increasing, I have the most amazing daughters, I have a husband who is patient and understanding and an amazing dad, and even though our house is a mess I love our little house.  I have so much to be thankful for .....

With that, the latest funnies from the girls:
*The girls were coloring and Zoe told me she looooooved 're-play' during computer class.  Ella gave me the funniest look and then told Zoe it was 'FREE play, not replay'.  Then she added if it was re-play they would do it over and over and over again (which they both agreed sounded like a great idea, to have free play over and over and over and over during computer time ....).
*Before ballet last week the girls were changing into their outfits when Ella said 'Oh!  I put on TWO pairs of underpants this morning!'.  Sure enough, she had layered undies on : )  We had a good laugh about it, then later, on the drive home Zoe (who can't be outdone by her sister) told me 10 days ago she put two pairs of underpants on.  I am still laughing.

Finally, the reason I'm posting in the middle of the afternoon on a school day is because I am home with the girls -- Ella got sick last Thursday and is still recuperating .... more on that later, and the field trip I went on with Zoe and Ella (and their class) to 'The Wizard of Oz' play at the children' theatre ..... 

6 comments:

CityHouseStudio said...

Love the update, Jeremi. And I hope Ella is feeling better. I can't get over how REAL that Santa looks -- how cool!

Annie said...

I like family traditions. Is amazing the great time we had with family.

Hope Ella feels better soon.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I think your Thanksgiving sounds wonderful! :-)

Glad you found a happy solution for the school situation - Karin sounds great!

Mama Hen said...

Oh how wonderful! Santa always makes everything so special! I love that big snowman! What wonderful! I hope you are doing well! Have a great week!

Mama Hen

Joe and Jane said...

I'm happy your new after school plan is working well for you!

We really wanted to go see Oz there too but the tix were SO spendy!

Glad the Holidazzle pics came in handy!

Hopefully see you soon!

Mama Hen said...

Just stopped by to say hi. Hope you are doing well my friend! Have a great night!

Mama Hen