Elliott's birthday - he is 11 now, and this boy is growing up before my eyes.
Some of the special holiday activities this month included what felt like a billion movie nights and Christmas movies. Pajama Day at co-op included a story and a special preview of the local dance school's "Christmas in Narnia" program, hot chocolate, cookies, pizza and making ornaments. We made Christmas cookies and Chex Mix and we went to see the Winter Wonderland lights.
School was pretty standard - We kept up with our AO readings, math and independent reading, but when they had birthday lunches or dentist appointments or other activities going on, I did let some of their minor subjects go.
We didn't do any special "Christmas school" other than reading some Christmas books and they made some Christmas crafts/cards on their own initiative. We did trade out our monthly hymn, folk song, and our recitations for their Christmas songs and speaking parts for the children's program.
Both the boys were shepherds, and they did well with their speaking parts. Eleanor was Mary, but requested not to have a speaking part. She was so cute though, and even though she was "that kid" singing louder than everyone during practices, she was very calm and serious during the actual program. This picture was taken after the program - hence the tired expressions, goofy smile and/or partially removed costumes. (Eloise was a very cute cow!)
Christmas was great. We had fun celebrating with my husband's family on Christmas Eve. My brother-in-law read the Christmas story and we exchanged gifts, though it's mostly for the grandkids. They had a blast playing with the cousins, and they were exhausted and fell asleep in no time.
Christmas morning was spent relaxing at home with the kids. We've been pretty intentional about the gifts we give the kids, and what we suggest to the grandparents, so everything is appreciated and enjoyed. Two of the favorites for the girls has been the play food and the wicker picnic basket from my mom and husband's parents that Eloise received. Eleanor has also loved her art set from my mom and her board games.
Between the four kids, they received a LOT of games this year - partially because we buy each of them a game for Christmas (and the boys got card games in their stockings), and partially because they're really into board games and received them from other relatives too. It's great though, because as cold weather keeps us indoors more in the winter, it will give us plenty of "new" stuff to enjoy and more variety to our game nights.
We followed Christmas with illness, but we're mostly over it now. We have no big plans for New Year's Eve. I have a feeling that movies and games with the boys are in store.
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