When things got busy and overwhelming, I fell off the blogging wagon. So here’s a barrage of what we’ve been up to and a lot of random pictures.
Last Tuesday, when I stopped blogging, was the evening of the Relief Society Christmas Dinner. This ward really knows how to throw a party. It was at Carol Peck’s 6000 square foot house, and boy does she have good taste. The whole place was remodeled and decorated and gorgeous. We had a nice dinner, ham and sides. I am on the committee that plans stuff like this, and put myself in charge of the music program, which was fully in my comfort zone. And then I mostly delegated that. I was supposed to bring some food, and a program, but the chair of the committee called me the day before and said I didn’t need to worry about food, and she would print copies of the program for me. It was a huge relief. So I just showed up and enjoyed myself, mainly. We ate and chatted for a long time, then everyone went around the room and told their favorite Christmas tradition. There were a few creative ones I want to remember. My favorite was my friend Laura. In her family, they write little notes to each other all December and put them in stockings, then read them Christmas morning. She has four kids, a girl and three boys, and they are almost all the same age as my kids. Her #2, Cameron, is only one day younger than Gavin.
After we told our traditions (there were about 50 women there so it took half an hour or so), I lead our short music program. Two other friends sang a duet called “Little One”, then the pianist played some background music while I read “Christmas Thoughts for All the Year”, a letter from the editor of McCall’s magazine in 1959. If you haven’t read it yet, google it. It’s a fantastic passage. Then, I led everyone in singing “With Wondering Awe”. It only took about 10 minutes and everyone said it was the perfect length because everyone wanted to get back to chatting. It was a really fun night.
Wednesday and Thursday were a blur. The days have gotten so short. It’s dark by four, when Megan and Gavin get home from school. They don’t seem to mind, but it’s hard on Ben, and therefore me. One of those dark afternoons Megan and Gavin were both reading by the fire. It was adorable. Ben was bouncing off the walls. Living in Seattle is near perfect unless you have a kid in that 2-4 age range. Logan doesn’t mind the short days, neither do Megan and Gavin. Just poor Ben.
Friday was the Arkyd Christmas dinner. Although kids were invited, we hired Ashley to babysit Ben and Logan so we could actually enjoy ourselves. The dinner was in a private room in a fancy steakhouse in Bellevue (the Buckhead of Seattle), and we probably would have lasted 10 minutes if the little boys had been there. There were a handful of other kids there, but they were angels. Even Chris Vorhees’ little girl, who is a month younger than Ben, sat across from me for hours without a peep. There were about 40 people in attendance, probably 10 employees and 30 family members. All four of us (Christopher, me, Megan and Gavin) ordered the filet mignon. It was fabulous. Megan and Gavin were wondefully behaved, and several people commented how good they were. Chris Lewicki (the president of the company) also handed out gifts to all the kids. We took Ben’s home with us. Megan got a American Girl craft set, Gavin got a K’Nect set, and Ben got a play tool box with tools. They were all thrilled.
Saturday was our ward Christmas dinner. Santa was there at the beginning, and we took a few pictures. Dinner was ham and sides again, and it went fast. I don’t know what it is with Mormons and food, but everyone swarms around the buffet tables like they haven’t eaten in days. It didn’t help that our ward is chock full of teenagers, who tended to stand next to the tables and load up their plates every time a new casserole dish came out of the kitchen. I love all these teenagers, though. Most of our wards have had very few, so I’m glad to be back in a ward with lots of babysitters.
The church youth also put on a nativity program after dinner. Logan was recruited to play baby Jesus, and I think he was the cutest and probably fattest baby Jesus ever. I think poor Mary’s arms were about to fall off by the end of the program.
Sunday was sweet Megan’s 9th birthday! We started the day with a special breakfast prepared by the Breakfast King–Christopher. He made Megan her request: bacon, sausage, and two over easy eggs. He surprised her with a dozen Krispy Kremes, and gave her half a raspberry-filled and half a lemon-filled. Finally, he squeezed her a cup of fresh OJ. The rest of us got to partake of the feast, as well, except for the orange juice. After breakfast she opened her presents: the Anne of Green Gables collection from Grandma and Grandpa, a hoodie from Grammy and Poppy (the gift included a dress, which I ended up having her open Friday night for the Arkyd dinner–she has outgrown all her dresses from last year!). She also opened a customizable purse from us (mainly from Christopher, he had found it at Target the day before). Finally, she opened the big gift, a hot pink mp3 player. She loved all the gifts, but was especially thrilled about the mp3 player.