We came home from LA in the wee hours of the morning on Friday, the 19th. We were up bright and early to make it just in time for the annual Jingle Jog at school. We've been going since our 6th grader was in kindergarten and it's always a fun thing for the kids. They dance to silly songs, take a lap around the soccer fields, and then go inside for lunch in the cafeteria that the students have decorated for the holidays. Since we had both still been asleep when the big kids left for school, it was the first time we had seen them since Monday night and there were happy reunions between Raya and her big kids!
|*sniff sniff* Last Jingle Jog with my big 6th grader! *sniff sniff*|
Friday evening, the big girls had their first piano recital. They've been working really hard on their recital pieces and both had them memorized and did a great job!
And this child doesn't seem to understand lately that not everything is about her. She insisted on having her picture taken at the piano too.
After the recital, we had a Christmas party to go to so the kiddos stayed home and we went out by ourselves. This is what it looks like when a kid takes our picture:
The Sunday before Christmas, we got everyone dressed up in their Christmas clothes and did the annual family picture in front of the tree. But first, this girl had to get her picture taken by herself.
This is as good as it gets with a tripod and remote!
My baby is growing up way too fast. :( She is such a sweetheart!
We spent Christmas Eve with family about an hour away. We always look forward to our Christmas Eve get-together! This was my 13th Christmas in Arizona, and it turned out to be the year that my tastebuds decided that tamales are tasty. I have tried one every year and had not found one that I liked yet. The ones my in-laws bought this year were out of this world and I wish we had more of them!
|Decorating "safe" cookies for Santa|
|We were a little short on boys for the Nativity so Raya got to be Joseph. With a sparkly headband.|
|She is such a ham!!|
|Sometimes you take 10 pictures and this is as good as it gets.|
|Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus|
|The whole cast|
|Family picture with Grandma & Grandpa (oh, Raya...)|
|The annual picture in front of the tree before bed with the plate of cookies for Santa.|
Christmas morning was fabulous. The kids were all excited and grateful, and watching them made us happy. It doesn't get much better than that.
|Baby's first Christmas!|
|Fruit snacks for breakfast|
|All I really wanted for Christmas was for this little stinker to snuggle with me|
|Santa brought Raya a new bike with training wheels. It was a tad too big for her.|
|She went right over into a bush the first time she tried to go around the corner. Oops. We adjusted her training wheels and she's done great with it ever since.|
December was incredibly stressful for me for many reasons. I did the best I could to focus on the spirit of Christmas but it was still hard to feel the peace & joy that I wanted to feel. All of the anticipation and stress started to subside when we left for the Christmas Eve get-together. I think the best gift I received was finally being able to relax and enjoy the time with my family. We had such a nice Christmas break and I truly enjoyed having the kids home with me for 2 weeks. (I can't always say that...)