Friday, December 30, 2011

Morning with Mrs. Claus

A couple of weeks ago, we were so happy to participate in our library's "Read with Mrs. Claus" morning. The kids have enjoyed this activity several years in a row now--and this year, Lola was able to really participate too!

The kids got to spend a little bit of time in free play....

...and in writing their letters to Santa before the reading began.
Cameron was very careful about what he put on his list.  He included a football and a football helmet. He 'wrote' the letter himself, and the biggest thing he asked for was not even for him--it was a new guitar for his Daddy! (Mrs. Claus seemed to really like that. *grin*)

(Mommy helping Cameron with his letter--picture captured by Mrs. Claus' elf)

Such a proud little guy--Cameron loves writing and practicing his letters, 
so this was a very exciting activity for him.

Colin and his friend Sam enjoyed making a paper chain for the library tree.

And Ethan had just one thing on his list:

{CARS 2 cars, to be specific.}

Lola, meanwhile, had found her favorite library toy--the PHONE! Typical girl.

Working hard on those letters

After letters, it was time for Mrs. Claus to read. She begins every year with a story of the nativity--and explains to all the children about the TRUE meaning of Christmas. Love that.

But there were lots of fun and silly stories too! 
The pop-up books were especially attention grabbing.

(Mommy shooting Mrs. Claus--and that elf was shooting ME!)

Lola lost interest at about book number do what you have to do to keep
little ones entertained, and the activity of choice was fiddling with Mommy's camera. 

Then, it was on to ornament making and decorating.

Lola was even able to do her own! She didn't much care for the glue on her fingers, 
but she got some glittery things on the ornament to jazz it up.

{And yes....I do know what Colin's looks like. *sigh* This will be funny for years to come....}

Then, it was time to tell Mrs. Claus what they were hoping to get on the big day.

While sitting with Mrs. Claus, Cameron disclosed the fact that he wanted his Daddy to get a guitar.
Mrs. Claus told Cameron that he should learn to play too--so, right there, they added
'a guitar for me, too' to the list! How funny.

Mrs. Claus was a bit surprised at Ethan's list--there was practically nothing on it!
But he assured her that CARS 2 cars was exactly what he wanted.

Lola didn't want to sit at first....but the candy bag helped coax her into it!

Mrs. Claus got a BIG kick out of Lola. She just loved her!

And, she got to give her her very first taste of a candy cane.

My favorite thing our library does (that I think is just SO special) is this:

After the children sit with Mrs. Claus and tell her their list, the library workers collect the letters.  And, a few days before Christmas, each child who wrote a list receives a very personalized letter back from Santa himself. This is not your average form letter, as you can see! And this Mommy loves that attention to detail.

(You can tell that we visit the library often if you read through the letters.
Notice the reference about his ravine-tumbling incident....)

(Love this one....)

And Ethan's....

I've said many times how special our little village is...our library and this event in particular is just one of many reasons why I think so!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Thanksgiving, 2011, part one: The Chicago pizza tradition

Every year, when these three brothers

get together at Thanksgiving,

there is one thing our family is never short on:

Exhibits (above) one, two, three, and (below) four.

It appears as if,


those three brothers 

have passed on

their contagious ability

to bond over Chicago pizza,

to be very, very silly


to laugh 

at just about anything

to their 10 {beautiful} children.