It snowed yesterday and school was cancelled. It was also cancelled today, but today was bitterly cold and so we played Just Dance and Exploding Kittens. Yesterday, however, it was only just cold enough to snow and so we played in that snow. And here are what about five seconds of that fun looked like.
Saturday night, Lucy stood behind the Tuscarawas Philharmonic Orchestra with the Children’s Chorus and performed. She sang beautifully and with her whole heart. (And I could not help but remember this.)
The Children’s Chorus was an incredible experience for Lucy. The Orchestra Music Director and Conductor, Eric Benjamin, rehearsed with the chorus for six weeks to prepare for the annual Yuletide Celebration and he was amazing. He was exuberant and fun and knew how to connect with the kids. Lucy was scared the first day. She cried and we nearly left, but one of the assistants invited her to just stay and watch. So we stayed and she stood next to me watching rather than join the rest of the chorus. About halfway through that rehearsal, she started to participate. And when it was done, Mr. Eric gave her some encouragement to come back and bring a friend. She did.
The next week was better and the third week, they kicked the parents out of the room and it was even better yet. She was inspired. She sang all the time and we all got to know her songs. But there was nothing like seeing them performed. This is her favorite song from the performance. Night of Silence.
I cried. It was just so beautiful.
When I picked her up after the show, the rehearsal room was electric. The kids were so enlivened. They all knew they’d done something very special. It was amazing. I was grateful that she could be a part of it.
Julia sat next to me at Lucy’s performance. She was excited to see the orchestra perform. She joined the band this year and has just begun to feel what it’s like to play with a group. She’s playing drums and had her first concert on Sunday.
This is her favorite song from her performance. Jolly Old Saint Nicholas. She played the bass drum for this one.
She told me she’d liked to learn to play an instrument from every instrument family.
She’s on her way.
We made our gingerbread houses with graham crackers this year and I think we’ll be doing it this way from now on. We’d always used a kit before, but everyone loved designing their own home. And no one ran out of icing or decorations.
Dave was gone for work when we put them together, so we sent him a photo of each house and asked him to guess the builder for each one.
Maybe next time we’ll make a giant house!
This year marks our tenth Grimmett Family Christmas Countdown. We did our first one in 2006. We had just moved into our house, Julia was two and a half and the only child. Our countdown has evolved over the years. Lucy, Phoebe, and Jack have never known Christmas without it. Since last year’s was pretty great, we didn’t change anything, we just added to it.
Here’s our Countdown Corner.
I picked up a $1 advent calendar at Aldi for each of the kids. We’d done them a few years ago and they missed them last year, so they’re back because we cannot get enough chocolate in our lives.
The Santa sack is filled with wrapped books. We open one and read it each night.
Then, we put a cotton ball on Santa’s beard. (This is where you can find Santa’s Beard Christmas Countdown Advent Calendar Free Printable we’re using.)
And – this is new for us – we add pieces to the Lego Christmas Tree we’re building.
Lego has some amazing advent calendar building kits, but I wanted each of the kids to be able to do it and we all weren’t up for a big kit just yet. So I bought this little LEGO Christmas Tree and divided the instructions into 24 steps. Each day we open an envelope with one step of the instructions and the corresponding pieces and add them on.
Finally, we open a packet containing a piece of candy for each of the kids and a slip of paper with an activity on it, like “wear whipped cream Santa beards and drink hot cocoa.”
Or “visit the Christmas store and buy an ornament for the tree.”
Or “Elf Yourself.”
And on it goes until Christmas. CHRISTMAS!
I made Phoebe mad recently. She took my phone and recorded herself crying and gave it to me as a memento of her sadness, and also my meanness because “look what you did, Mom.”
I asked her if I could share it with you and she was delighted for you to witness her suffering. Somehow I think we’ll be recalling this video one day when she’s accepting an Oscar or getting arrested for her performance art.
The kid loves to put on a show. Last night, she stood on a chair at the dinner table and asked for our attention so she could sing a song that she gleefully introduced as, “Mom’s gonna hate this!”
Her favorite thing right now is dance class. She got to be a Nutcracker Bon Bon in our studio’s Holiday Show.
Julia performed as well – her last in tumbling as she’s now moved to jazz.
Lucy tumbled, too.
Phoebe also chose to ride in a Christmas parade with her friends from dance last Friday.
Saturday, Lucy rode and sang in another Christmas parade with the Tuscarawas Philharmonic Children’s Chorus.
She has a Christmas concert this Saturday. Julia will be playing drums in her first school band concert on Sunday. And this is a typical scene at our house (including the banana peel on the coffee table).
All the shows. All for me, their ever-loving and enduring audience.
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