My parents have a big outdoor furnace that heats their house. Needless to say it needs wood. This is my dad, Bill and Will getting ready to split wood. They used the chain saw to cut the big log up, then used mauls to split the wood. This picture was taken 3 1/2 weeks after my dad had double knee replacement surgery. He’s getting around pretty good.
So Will learned to split wood over Christmas vacation.
Justin tried splitting wood also. He wasn’t as successful as Will.
Bill also had an allergic reaction to saw dust flying around after they ran the chain saw. He was wearing gloves and his hands still swelled up real bad along with the back of his neck. He spent the next day on benedryl, claritan, and zertec.
You go to Wisconsin and wait for it there. The storm never snowed in WI as much as it was supposed to, it rained about an inch on Christmas day instead. We canceled our plans to go see my grandmother since they said it was going to start snowing at any time. We also had some freezing rain.
There was still 2 inches of fresh snow after we got to WI and there was 10-12″ of snow from a storm the middle of Dec.
This snow pile is still in the same location that it was when I was a kid. As soon as it snowed enough to plow snow, this pile would appear in late fall, or early winter and it lasted until late spring. Depending on the snow fall each year, determined how high and full the pile would get.
This is Will throwing snowballs from the top of the pile.
The kids are digging in the pile. I remember doing my share of digging in the pile. My siblings and I would make elaborate forts.
Here’s Justin getting ready to slide down the pile. (Sorry for the picture not turning.)
Three years ago, all three of my kids were in The Academy of Ballet and Theatre Arts performance of The Nutcracker.
Jemma was taking lessons in pre-ballet and the director (who we go to church with) asked if the boys would like to be in it. They thought it would be fun to be in it.
The boys got to play trouble makers at the party.
Will played Fritz, Clara’s brother.
They are trying to be inconspicuous while they sneak off to try and find out what is inside the presents.
Will is fighting with Clara over the Nutcracker. I made the dress that Clara is wearing. I also made pantiletes and a petticoat to go with the dress.
Jemma was a Polichinelles or a clown.
Here’s the official portrait the kids had taken.
One of the things the boys did to get in trouble was ride stick horses. They also chased the girls with mice and tried to open presents.
There is 16 young girls that attend the party. A few are in the picture above. I made all 16 dresses, petticoats and pantiletes. I made many other costumes for this performance of the Nutcracker. I think I made or did something with 35 different costumes.
The Christmas season wouldn’t be complete without a couple of Christmas programs.
Will’s concert was first.
Here he is with the third hour chorus.
Jemma also had a Christmas program.
She had a solo during her show and a speaking part.
Justin’s honor choir performed at the mall on afternoon, but I didn’t get to go because I was working.
I don’t know how long he’s been trying to do this, but when he finally got the spoon to stay he was so excited, I just had to take a picture. A mother couldn’t be prouder.
This weekend was our weekend for all the Christmas parties. Friday night was my work party at the Red Pin in Bricktown.
It was fun, but it’s a lot harder to bowl in real life than on the Wii.
Bill had the top score of everyone, but he told me not to post his actual score. (Sorry, about the pictures being sideways. I’ve been messing around for 30 min. trying to get them the right way and it’s not working.)
We bowled for about an hour, ate a pizza buffet and then played a little game for door prizes. Bill won a stocking full of candy and a gift card.
This is Wendy and her husband Rick, she works parttime with me. They went with us to see the movie Blindside after the party. Blindside is one of the best movies, I’ve seen lately. I highly recommend it.
This is Ruthie and her husband Kirk, she is our assistant principal. A few parents and a lot of students think we look alike.
Saturday night we hosted a bunch of our friends at our house. Here is the gift exchange we had with the kids.
They had a $5 gift card exchange. We played Jingle Bells and everytime jingle bells was said they had to pass their gift.
Here’s the girls eating.
Here’s the boys eating and Merideth.
Then the adults had a dirty santa gift exchange and I got the most wanted present.
Now, I know how jealous you all are that you don’t have a purse like mine. I hope you don’t try and steal it from me when I’m out in public with it.
This purse has been around for several dirty santa exchanges. I think I am the third person to get it. We don’t do dirty santa every year we get together, so it has been saved for just the right time.
Tonight was our bible class Christmas party. I didn’t take my camera tonight since I was juggling a salad and Bill’s dessert. The men have a dessert contest. About three years ago, Bill won with his mom’s apple crumb pie recipe. He didn’t win this year, even though he made the same pie with apples and cranberries. He enjoys participating.
Here’s my Christmas quilts I have hanging in my house.
Some of them I keep up through January and February.
Here’s the stockings.
As we were putting up Christmas lights,
I told the boys they were doing such a good job of putting up lights that next year I was going to sit in my lawn chair with my hot chocolate and watch them. Justin got a little frustrated with that statement. A few minutes later he said “Hey, I can do that when I’m a parent.” He was very proud of himself for thinking that statement. I told him when he had kids that was his right.
I don’t know if you can see them, but I have battery operated candles in every window. This is in honor of Bill’s mom. She said that if she every had a house she would burn a candle in every window to remember all her loved ones at Christmas.
Some of these pictures aren’t so good. I can’t remember what settings I had my camera set at when I took pictures of fireworks.
One of our family traditions is to go to the Sorghum Mill Christmas Tree farm and cut our Christmas tree down.
We usually wander around the tree farm for an hour waiting for a light from heaven to shine on our tree just like in Christmas Vacation. Jemma actually said something about where is the light, before we found the tallest, flat on one side, cheapest tree. It only took us 30 minutes this year.
This tradition of cutting down our tree started when Will was a little over 2 years old. We went and cut our first tree down and the next year we talked about going to a tree lot. Will kept saying something about see saw, see saw. He’d remembered cutting down the tree and wanted to do it again. We’ve gone to the tree farm ever since. The first tree farm we went to was in Tuttle. The next year we found one closer to home.
As I’m writing this post I am sharing it out loud with Bill and Will is embarrased that I am sharing this memory on my blog. I remind him that his friends don’t read my blog and he is quite relieved to hear that.
Of course there’s always the fight about who’s going to get to ride with the tree. This year Justin and Jemma won.
We cut our tree down last Sat. It is up in the house, but it is still naked.