Friday, January 20, 2017

We Three Kings. A Birthday for Daddy. Flashlights.

Man did we swim through the holiday season...fast! 

Ella had her Christmas piano recital and after switching gears a few times, decided on We Three Kings as her power piece. We were so proud of our girl! She wore another incredible creation by her Grandma.
Roz performed as well and she wore one of my mom's hand-made creations too and GAH!! they looked adorable.
This was their 'relief and all smiles' pose.
Miss Gail has been such an incredible presence in their lives for the last year and a half. We are so grateful to her.

Bright and early on the morning of Larry's birthday, we treated him to breakfast in bed. We all ended up eating breakfast in bed. Belgian waffles never tasted so good.

We were invited to visit our foster baby, Kevin now Rocky. I worried that Ella might be sad to leave him but when she saw how happy he made his new humans she did amazingly well. He is as crazy in his new home as he was with us.

My little chef did some superb baking this year. Her rolling-out sugar cookie dough skills parallel mine! I enjoy baking and cooking with her under foot. She has become quite fluent in following a recipe. Best part? It gives me someone to talk to because I talk to myself way too much when I'm cooking/baking.

Little Leonard now Felix returned 'home' for about 36 hours just before Christmas for a slumber party while his humans were out of town. We were elated to help out and he was pretty darn happy to be back too. He got to sleep in Ella's room, much to Mavis's dismay.

Because we have an incredibly cool cousin in Dawn, we got the royal treatment during our first few days on winter break. We packed up Sara's car and headed north to hang out with her at the police station.

 This better be the closest any of them EVER come to sitting in a jail cell...

 We walked across the street to hang out with the firefighters for a bit too. They were super with our girls.

 We let them blow off some steam at the Hands On Museum before we headed back home. These four girls have such a great time together. The grown ups do a pretty good job of having fun too.

The men-folk were still working when we hit the zoo lights this year. We get there late afternoon, secure rock star parking and miss the madness of everyone arriving after it gets dark. Our zoo lights are first class stuff.

We spent a lot of time celebrating in church pews on Christmas Eve. Gail (Ella's piano teacher) is also the musical director at the church in our neighborhood. She needed a drummer and called on Larry. That day went something like this: eat. church. eat. church. It was perfect.

We got the house all ready for Santa's arrival. Ella was up at 5:15 on Christmas morning. The photo below is the only shot I got that morning because...TIRED.
We hosted the family for dinner that night and invited neighbors who would have been spending the evening alone. It was the cherry on top of a fantastic holiday.

While the rest of Winter Break flew by, we enjoyed our very first flashlight tour at our art museum. We can't wait to do that again!

Ella got to chill out with her classmate, Lillian for a whole day.

And we took in a movie with this crew, too!

New Year's Eve was spent just a few blocks away with some of our beautiful little and big friends.

We rang in the new year at 8pm for the kids' sake but who are we kidding - all of us were concerned we wouldn't be up at midnight to give kisses!

In recent news, the household has been sick for what seems like a month but really has only been a solid week. Ella got her grade card and received straight A's in everything, made the Principal's List, and is reading a full year above her grade. Super proud of our little GPA Bulldog!

Next week, I'll be teaching in Ella's class as the kids and I spend our third year together learning about Chinese New Year traditions. (Her class moves up as a group from grade to grade.) We will have big fun again. I wonder how long she is going to want me to do this, and if this will be my last year. Fingers crossed I've got a few more left!


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