Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Around the World

Even though we recently visited the Museum of Science and Industry, I wanted to go back before the end of the year to check out the Trees from Around the World. We had free passes from Sam's radio appearance that expired 12/31, so that was a motivating factor, as well. I think this is the Polish tree~
Of course, we had to stop at the fabulous You! The Experience exhibit. The kids loved this video game~
But what really thrilled them this time was the Live Science Experience, "Bangs, Flashes and Fire!"~
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We saw this exhibit back in January, but like moths to a flame we were mesmerized once again~
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Charlie really wants to do the pickle experiment (above) as his Greenhouse science experiment this year. We'll see. This is fun, too~
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Mary loved the little chicks. Brings back memories~
Three in a wheel~
This is another new exhibit. One can never go wrong with giant displays of LEGOs~
And Mary, contemplating her strange self~
Some of my favorite pictures are of the backs of my children~
Sam turns every place we go into a jungle gym~
And Mary figures, if Sam can do it, so can she~
We had a fun trip today, but I think I'll avoid the holiday break in the future - it was very crowded. I was worried about losing someone constantly, and it was difficult to really see some of the exhibits. The kids didn't seem to mind, though, and it was a nice little get away.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Joyeux Noel

Of course, Sam was the first one up this morning! Scott made some coffee, and then we allowed the boys to start with their stockings (from Santa). Check out Sam's Notre Dame earmuffs~
Charlie with his annual nutcracker - he's a rock star~
And here comes sleepy-head, usually the first one up~
Charlie gave Sam some much coveted Bakugan~
Inside this bag is some candy Sam gave to his brother - I love his hand writing~
Pretty happy with their score - Charlie put on his "Something to Wear" immediately~
Mary gets into the action with her "Something to Read" ~
Opening together the much anticipated "family game" ~
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They are all thrilled with the set~
Mary with her "Something You Need" - recycled puzzles (from both Charlie and Sam's toddlerhood)~
Before we headed off to church, Mary helped me with the pineapple upside down cake~
After church Grandpa joined us for our "southern" Christmas feast~
And then he stayed for some rounds of poker~
The card shark~
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Raking it in~
All in all it was a pretty great Christmas!

A Christmas Carol

by G.K.Chesterton
The Christ-child lay on Mary's lap,
His hair was like a light.
(O weary, weary were the world,
But here is all aright.)
The Christ-child lay on Mary's breast
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the kings,
But here the true hearts are.)
The Christ-child lay on Mary's heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O weary, weary is the world,
But here the world's desire.)
The Christ-child stood on Mary's knee,
His hair was like a crown,
And all the flowers looked up at Him,
And all the stars looked down

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

by Christina Rossetti
Christmas hath a darkness
Brighter than the blazing noon,
Christmas hath a chillness
Warmer than the heat of June,
Christmas hath a beauty
Lovelier than the world can show:
For Christmas bringeth Jesus,
Brought for us so low.

Earth, strike up your music,
Birds that sing and bells that ring;
Heaven hath answring music
For all Angels soon to sing:
Earth, put on your whitest
Bridal robe of spotless snow:
For Christmas bringeth Jesus,
Brought for us so low.
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Over the River and Through the Woods

We barely got our tree up in time for Christmas Eve - I have given up on the idea of sending Christmas cards this year, and am instead aiming for Valentine's Day. Here's Miss Claus and her elves before leaving for Grandma's house~
The cousins (aged 2 - 17)- it's really difficult to get 8 children to look at the camera at the same time~

Monday, December 21, 2009

Waiting

Several years ago, I saw the author of this book, speak at my local M.O.P.S. group. I purchased a copy of The Advent Book, and it really helped to jumpstart our advent traditions. We've tweaked it a bit over the years, as time/interest/circumstances required, but Advent is something we all look forward to~
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5

Friday, December 18, 2009

Construction Zone

We had a very good day making our gingerbread house, after a productive morning academically :)
This year we had a lot more candy, a lot more frosting, and a lot more sticky fingers~
And Charlie, has the patience of a saint! He is always so gentle and loving with Mary~



Charlie fashioned a jelly bean pond with a tiny little frog on top~
You can see how Sam put "holiday lights" on the roof~
We'll see how long it lasts with Mary around. I have a grown up gengerbread party tonight - it should be fun!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Nutcracker

We saw a performance of the Nutcracker at North Central College this morning. I saw it a couple of times as a child, but it was the first time for the boys. Mary could barely make it through the first half, and I had to leave with her at intermission (and drive around Naperville while she fell asleep), which kind of stunk because the second half is when all the good dances are :( The boys stayed 'til the finish, though, and really enjoyed it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas!

Sam's Christmas concert was this morning. He has been practicing hard on all the new songs. He played "Jingle Bells", "Jolly Old St. Nick", "Joy to the World", and "O Come Little Children". That was a lot to learn in just a couple of weeks! I caught his eye for this picture~
Here he is concentrating~
A clip of Jingle Bells~
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And walking back to the car, we caught a few smiles~
Christmas is on it's way!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Snowball Fight!

We had a full house today. Charlie's friend Isaac, Sam's friend Aiden, and Jaiden and Julian were all here at some point. That many kids, plus freshly fallen snow, equals a perfect opportunity~


Isaac with the wind-up~
Sam dodging a hit~










Hot chocolate time~



Even after all that time outside, they still have plenty of energy~