Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Week

Doroty and Toto
Tin Man looking for oil
We had quite a busy week leading up to Christmas...decorating, visiting friends, crafts, special shows, cookie baking....what a great way to lead into a beautiful time of year.
The weekend before Christmas we were invited to Tsukuihama to watch a group of sweet Japanese children perform The Wizard of Oz, all in English.  A friend of mine teaches English during the week and asked us to come and enjoy the show!  Yay!  We were so excited to watch the show and spend the evening with such amazing people!  All the children spoke pretty clear English.  We were able to understand each and every word.  When the show was over, then we shared Christmas treats with our Japanese friends.  My fruit tree was a hit....the chocolates went first, then the strawberries, and the grapes and blueberries were last.

 Following the snacks we helped the kids with crafts and then had a great game of Bingo.
Matcha Christmas tree

Christmas crafts
 We played Bingo until all the kids much fun!  Garytt won a pair of awesome socks (socks that he wore for three days straight, until I forced him to take them off so they could be washed).  Mackenzie won a cute little Santa plush (which, anyone who knows this girl, knows she lllooooovvvveeeesssss stuffed toys) and she also won an awesome roll of Santa toilet paper!  I think that was my favorite gift of the night.  :)  After the party, we headed to a pizza joint just down the road with our dear friends, Nina, Dan, Benjamin, and Henry.  The pizza was delicious!  Potato pizza, Margherita pizza, and I think the third was gorgonzola.

The very next day, Mackenzie was on a crafting mission.  She made cute little snowmen for the tree (supplies courtesy of Grandma) and decided to give one to Junkosan (our friend from Tsukuihama) as a thank you for inviting her to the play.  --that's the Santa she won at the party watching the magic happen.  She also made snowflakes, a nativity scene and other ornaments for the tree.

After our final football game that Saturday morning (cheer was canceled because of rain, none of us were disappointed in that) we went to Garytt's football party and then went to our building Christmas party.  The kids were able to see a very uninterested Santa Claus, one which I had to explain to the kids was a (poor) stand in for the real deal, because the true Mr. Claus was too busy to visit every party this time of year.  --Picture to the right is Boy in his new favorite monster socks, holding his new, and old, football trophies.

A few days later we spent the morning with our cute little friend Alyssa and her mom, Leanna, baking and decorating (very sugary decorated) cookies.

The final result:  about 10 dozen cookies to share with friends, Sugihara Sensei, Ayakosan, and the hardworking men and women at the 911 center.  (picture below was taken after we had eaten several and also handed out a few boxes to friends)

We are one of those families that has good times with our Elf on the Shelf, Jibee Hoban.  This year he seemed to have a little more fun than last year, though not as much fun as some other elves I've seen on Facebook.  But, I just can't bring myself to allow that elf to make a huge mess that I then have to clean up.  Plus, I was afraid if he was too tricky, Boy would try to emulate some of his maneuvers.  Here are a few of Jibee's adventures this year:

Practicing ballet with a few friends

Hiding in the ceiling pot light

Hanging out with his favorite ballerina

Hiding in the fridge with sugar cookies to bake

He got in a little trouble for making snowflakes and then not cleaning up his mess, so a few friends tried to teach him about cleaning up after arrow point.

Chilling with the angel

He delivered a new coloring book and even colored a few pages for the kids.

 On Christmas Eve, while the pies were baking, we headed out to the street corner and waited for the Yokosuka Fire Department to drive by with a special guest!  It was a lot of fun hanging out with all of our friends, climbing trees, chasing each other, and then finally, squealing with delight as Santa came riding past.

Kaylee and Garytt were so excited that they had each other by the shoulders shaking each other back and forth and squealing.

Blurry picture, sorry, but the driver kind of took off quick, maybe Santa realized he was out too late before delivering toys.

When we got back upstairs, ate dinner, and then had baths, the kids watched Santa riding over the Pacific on his way to deliver his first presents.

For some reason I didn't get a picture of Jibee with his Christmas Eve delivery...he left us a new book to read and a chocolate cake with candles so we could have our traditional "Happy Birthday, Jesus" party.

After cupcakes and teeth brushing, the kids settled in on the couch with one of the best books we have ever received....Twas the Night Before Christmas, read (electronically) by Pop Pop, even though he was home in bed asleep.  :)  My kids (as well as Kris and I) cherish this new tradition.

After reading the story of Jesus' birth to the kids it was time to hop in bed.  But, not before one last look out the window to see if we could see the sleigh...WAIT...HE SEES A BLINKING LIGHT!!!!  Oh, it's just an airplane. to bed....

One last craft for the week....a new nativity scene.  It was a lot of fun to make, the kids didn't help much, other than argue about which figure belonged to which kid.  Mackenzie set it up once we finished all the people and animals.  Garytt used a few leftover pieces to make a place to harness the donkey (on the left of the picture).

Christmas Day was started a little more unusual than others....Garytt came running in our room at 0830 and yelled, "The tree fell over!"

Me: Ugh, Kris...the tree fell over.

We get up and head out to the family room.  The tree didn't fall over...Boy just thought that was the fastest way to get us up and out of bed.  Sneaky little Boy!

After cinnamon rolls were in the oven and sausage was sizzling on the stove, the chaos began.

A big Olaf!

A box!

Rainbow loom

Handmade scarf and hat, made by Aunt Tisha.

Lots of Lego toys this day.  We had a quiet afternoon as the kids spent time building.  Finally, Garytt is old enough that he could build his toys all by himself.  Well, other than just one creature that he put together backwards, so I had to reverse a few things for him to carry on.

The Havens' had a wonderful Christmas this year and we hope yours was just as magical!  

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