What a magical time! The spirit around the Christmas season is such a beautiful thing. We've been having a wonderful month. Anna and I attempted a ginger bread (actually graham cracker) house. Geesh, those are a lot harder than I realized. I've made them when I was younger, but I think I was never on the construction end of it. Our house turned out looking more like a ginger bread trailer, but we had fun. Anna LOVED this activity. It was so funny, she kept talking about how unhealthy it was...we must be teaching her well. He he. (Not that we ate the whole thing...just a few tastes here and there.) Oh, and much of the candy we used was left over from Halloween; we're not huge candy eaters in our house. Well, I'm sure the kids would be if we let them. Anyway, a little off topic there, we had so much fun constructing, and decorating the house. It was a sweet bonding experience for Anna and I during Ben-Ben's nap.
Here is the finished product with our little table top tree in the background. Anna and I are both wearing Christmas aprons, which added some "specialness" to the activity. The apron Anna is wearing is mine from when I was little, and the one I am wearing was a favor from a Relief Society activity at church. After we made the house, we were going to leave it out for display, but it Drove. Ben. Crazy! He just couldn't stand it. He kept pointing and crying, "Tee-de-tee!" (That's what Benjamin has called candy ever since Halloween: 'trick-or-treat'.) So we put the candy house in the oven, but then Ben-Ben figured out how to open the oven. For the love! That kid...
We went to the Spring Break Family Fun Center with our play group. It is a huge room full of different bounce houses and mazes. Anna was in heaven! She loves this kind of stuff. If it wasn't so price-y, it'd be the perfect place to go during the winter months. (It was free today because we were with the S.K.I.P group...nice!) A fun thing Ethan thought of was to use my cell phone to time Anna, and she had tons of fun trying to beat her best time.
Benjamin, on the other hand, was terrified of the bounce houses. I don't know what it was - maybe the noise of the air machines, maybe the size. He loves parks, and is quite the dare-devil there, but not today. For the first 45 minutes, he wouldn't even touch them, and would try to stay as far away as possible. If Ethan or I would pick Ben up to show him what Anna was doing, and explain that he didn't need to be scared, he would get sad and panicky. Once Ethan set him in a bounce house, and went to the end to try and encourage him to walk through. Benjamin just laid down and cried. Poor little man. Luckily, there were other fun things and friends for Ben-Ben to play with. And by the end, he was touching them. Not going in, but touching them. Progress.
Finally, Anna had a little Christmas celebration today at her pre-school. Families were invited, but there weren't too many that could make it. Anna was SO excited that I was there. And I was so excited to be there. I was relieved Ethan's finals schedule worked out so he could be home studying while Benjamin had his nap. At Anna's school, there were crafts, treats, songs, games, etc. It was so awesome watching Anna with her friends and teachers, doing school stuff, in her element. She thought it was so special that I was there. Such a sweet day. The picture above is Anna with her teacher, Miss Rita. Miss Rita is amazing...so full of energy, so happy, so wonderful with the kids. I know you don't need a degree in education to tell if a teacher is doing a great job, but it can't hurt. And I think that Miss Rita is simply outstanding at what she does. Anna is so lucky to have Miss Rita as her first teacher in her scholastic career.
Well, Ethan finished his last final exam today at 4:30. He is now officially half way done with the program, one and a half years in. That may not sound that great, but it's all down hill from here. And his whole last year consists of various internships, as opposed to classes and studying, so hopefully that will fly by. It was such a busy semester, and we are both so excited for this 2 1/2 weeks of winter break. We are anxious to head up north and spend time with family and friends, hopefully work in some kid free time - something that is pretty much non-existant these days, do all the fun Christmas/winter traditions as a family, and just relax a little. If I don't post anything in the next few weeks, I hope you all have a beautiful Christmas holiday filled with love, peace, joy, and laughter!