Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Huntington

It was a beautiful day and fun to walk around one of our favorite places. We especially enjoyed the cactus garden and the lily pond!

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Squeakquel!!

Today we took the girls to see the movie they've been dying to see for weeks-- Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. They LOVED it and I have to admit, I really didn't mind it myself! We had a lot of fun and they even got to hug them after the movie! Leave it to my kids to go behind the rope like that (and me to photograph it!)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Day after Christmas

We had an awesome day after Christmas. Craig and I asked Grandma if she would watch the kids for us so that we could go to the Temple. It was a beautiful thing to be in the Temple as a part of Christmas. We then got to have lunch at probably the best Jewish deli in L.A. Yum!

We had fun driving around trying to find the house my dad grew up in, but didn't find it. :)

When we got home, we took Grandma and the girls on a Christmas lights drive. It was awesome! We started by going up Christmas tree lane. Then we went to the Balian Mansion which is crazy! On the way home we found a couple houses off Allen that were pretty amazing. It was a really fun night!

Christmas Day!

We had a wonderful Christmas. We were happy to find that Santa indeed visited our home. He ate the cookies we left and filled the girls' stockings with wonderful treasures. He also left them a Kinderkram Witch and a Prince Charming! They go with the toys he brought last year-- the mushroom house and Snow White and the seven dwarves.

The girls were soooooo excited and happy! But Ceci was still sound asleep when Bella and Olivia got up and so they decided to wait for her so she could be a part of the action. Luckily, Santa had brought some little Dover activity books that were right on the top of the stockings-- sticker books, and magic invisible picture books that when you rub a pencil over it, the picture shows up! Olivia LOVED that! So the older girls played with their books while waiting for Ceci.

Soon little Ceci woke up and the girls were able to take down their stockings and enjoy the wonderful things Santa had brought them. The stocking is one of my favorite parts of Christmas, so I REALLY enjoyed the cute tiny things Santa had brought--rainbow crayons, peacock stones, angel earrings, a butterfly necklace for Ceci, polished gems, an amethyst crystal for Ceci, giant apples and oranges from the North Pole, and of course, chocolate! The highlight of the stockings were the tiny capsules of colored pencils and the tiny blank book to color in. The pencils are two inches tall! The girls LOVED them!

They played with everything very happily until Grandma and Grandpa woke up and joined us. We then did lots of present exchanging. Craig and I gave them piggy banks, because somehow they all decided they REALLY wanted them. (Olivia BEGGED and CRIED for one at Cost Plus the other night.) They LOVED them! We also gave them some tiny dolls that I made little necklace pouches for. Grandma opened all her presents from the girls and she LOVED them! Then came time for them to open what Grandma got for the girls-- she got them Peanuts coloring books which they truly loved and then ADORABLE fairy furniture and a little bridge and pond for their mushroom house! This led to bringing in the mushroom house and then hours and hours of play for the rest of the day. It was fantastic! We did take time to give Grandpa his presents-- I had gotten him a book about Olvera Street and Olivia had made him a pin of a baseball, mit and bat. It was so creative, and so cute. She totally made it all herself. Then Grandpa gave the girls an Alvin doll that sings the Christmas song! They went crazy for it! (My girls are crazy about the Chipmunks.) He also gave them a coupon good for going to see "The Squeakquel." They were thrilled!

We made a yummy egg casserole for a late breakfast and then later we had a roast, mashed potatoes, salad, and creamed corn for dinner. My favorite part of the day was probably great nap I got in the middle of the day! After dinner we read the Christmas story while Bella acted it out with our wooden Nativity. We also sang lots of carols which was so nice. We had a wonderful Christmas Day! We hope you all did too!

Christmas Eve

We had a great Christmas eve. We spent the morning making presents for each other with some awesome craft kits that came in just in time! (We had ordered them through our Charter School.) Craig helped Ceci make a snowman pin for Grandma, a necklace with felted balls for Bella, she made a beaded bracelet for Olivia and a flower pin for me. Olivia made tons of stuff, a bracelet for me, a hair clip for Ceci, earrings for Bella, a pin for Grandma. She also made bracelets for Ceci and Bella. Bella made me some red felted ball earrings, she sewed beads on them. She then made purple ones for Olivia and a flower hair clip for Bella. We tried not to say what was for who to keep it a surprise, but it was a little easy to guess! :) By the way, Lala does NOT have a punch mustache, she has chapped lips :(

We literally crafted for hours!

We discovered that somehow Ceci had taken door #24 off of our Advent Calendar to reveal the baby Jesus without us doing it with her! I thought this nativity picture was soooooo adorable.

Later, we went out and delivered some Christmas treats to some of our friends and the people that Craig home teaches. We had a blast leaving some things on peoples doorsteps and then visiting others. It just felt good to share with others and be able to see our various friends on Christmas eve. A huge highlight for me was visiting my friends, Gary (left) and David Ross (right), friends from my early childhood. I've been in touch with Gary recently, which has been very special, we went to primary together 30 plus years ago! I am now friends with his wife and Bella is good friends with their daughter at church. But tonight was my first time seeing David!! He was one of my very first crushes (I was 9) and it was so great to see him again! I was sad that we couldn't stay longer.

We came home to have a wonderful dinner of pasta and meatballs that Craig and his mom had worked on before we left. We lit our advent wreath and the candle in the middle as well which was so pretty.

Afterwards, we decorated our tree with dried apples and oranges we had made along with our popcorn chain, paper chain, and other ornaments we have made over the past couple years. We finished by putting the angel Olivia made last year on the top!

We were all so tired, we did not do the Nativity story. Instead, we read "The Night before Christmas," put out cookies and went to bed! I hoped that the girls had visions of sugar plum fairies dancing in their heads!