Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Party Week

This was Keira's last week of school before Winter Break.  The big events of this week were attending Keira's "winter party" at school and our Church Christmas Party.  It also marked the start of my official Boston Marathon training plan.  It is in 18 weeks!

On Monday, as part of my Boston training, I redeemed a free personal training session once I got Keira off to school.  It was a fun and challenging workout. 

Keira also had  her last ballet class until the new year.  Parents were allowed to view this class.

On Tuesday, I got Keira off to school, and then took Soren to the gym, and then Storytime. 

He did not want to leave the gym today, because he became quite attached to a very old F350 toy truck that had apparently been there as long as everyone could remember.  He did enjoy the Christmas storytime.

On Wednesday, while Keira was at school, we went to the gym again.  Now that I am in my official plan, we will pretty much be going everyday for something.  I took Soren's picture with his favorite truck.  It is at least making it easier for him to go since he can look forward to playing with it.

Keira came home from school wearing this cute wreath with "candles" on her head.  They are learning about how Christmas (and other holidays) around the world are being celebrated.  I think this is Swedish?

On Thursday, I was able to attend Keira's "winter" party while my VT Cara, watched Soren.  She had an appointment at 11, so I left a few minutes early.  It also meant I could get to the gym by 11.  Keira insisted that she wear a "party" dress since it was a party, and wore her sparkly dress that she wore on rock star day.  I was amazed when I got to school and several girls had on either sequined or glittered dresses.  She was not alone with the request to wear a party dress to school apparently!  Her school has a policy where they do not allow food to be part of any celebrations, so they did lots of crafts.  Keira made a cute frame of her class picture as well as an ornament.  They played several games, including hot potato with a snowman and BINGO.  She had a  great time, I was really glad that I was able to attend.

Soren had fun at the gym, and I took him to Chick Fil A afterwards so that we could have a fun activity together too today.

On Friday, I got Keira to school and Soren ready for the day. 

I needed to make cheesy potatoes during the day for the ward Christmas party. I got them in the oven in the nick of time, and then everyone got changed for the party.  There would be an ugly sweater contest, and I happen to love Nordic sweaters.  Ryan does not share my affinity for them, so I wore my busiest sweater, but not really a "bad" sweater.  The kids wore typical children's Christmas sweaters, and Ryan wore a nice sweater.  None of us planned to enter the contest, and the winners were really awful!  It was a really fun party, with good musical entertainment.  Keira and Soren were so excited when two of the youth sang one of the songs from Polar Express.  We also had lots of our own cheesy potatoes to bring home too as leftovers!

Saturday was a rather typical Saturday for Ryan and I.  I started the day with a long run, and when I got back, Ryan did a training DVD in the "pain cave". 

The kids enjoyed relaxing around the house a bit, and we did some errands.  Ryan and I are considering new phones, so we shopped around for those.  We also ate dinner at Smashburger, which is a great burger place.  They are a sponsor for cycling, which makes us like them more, and they have chicken and veggie burgers, as well as sweet potato fries.  It was great.  Once the kids were in bed, Ryan and I worked on wrapping presents.

On Sunday, the kids woke up and were so excited about all the wrapped presents.  They were also very excited about the new playmobil set that our elf set up for them.

We had a decent day at church. 

Soren brought home this ornament, where is very grumpy!  It was such a well made ornament, with a high quality photo, it was a bummer that he made such a strange face.   

We also had a visit from our home teachers.  It was a busy day!

Monday, December 12, 2011

ChristKindle Market in Chicago

This week was sort of crazy.  We had a lot going on, primarily for the weekend.  The week was calm, as usual, but Keira had a lot of friends over.  With Ryan being in a "build" at work, he has been working later, so keeping the kids occupied has been easier with friends over.

On Monday, we had our usual groggy wakeup from Keira.  She got to school fine, and it is finally starting to feel pretty cold outside.  The kids have also really enjoyed finding our elf, Buddy.

On Tuesday, I got Keira up and off to school.  Soren and I went to the gym (which we did every day this week, due to the busy weekend planned).  We also went to storytime, and then did some errands.

On Wednesday, it was pretty cold.  Keira headed out to school.  There was a little tiny bit of snow, and Soren was thrilled.  It did not stick, and amazingly, it did not cause any traffic problems getting to the gym. 

When we got back, we received a Cheryl's cookie package from my aunt. Soren was so confused that I was able to open a present that came, and he was not. Thankfully, he was pacified by a cookie.

Keira got hot, and wanted to practice some ballet at home.

On Thursday, I got Keira to school, and then took Soren to the gym.  I did a swim, and about halfway through, I completely lost the ability to do a flip turn.  I must have just been tired, and then practiced them again at the end. We got home, and Keira had a friend come over.  Soren was a bit crazy, terrorizing the girls, but everyone had fun.  I baked some cookies for the Festival of Nativities that our church was hosting tomorrow and Saturday.

On Friday, while Keira was at school, I did my long run at the gym, so that I could get it done before the weekend.  We had a busy afternoon, Keira had a friend from church over, and her mom and siblings ended up staying and playing for a bit.  The kids had fun.  Once Ryan got home, we attended the Festival of Nativities.  It was really beautiful, and there were a lot of cool nativities set up.  We did not volunteer any of ours this year, since we knew we would be gone when it was time to collect them.

Soren slept in really really late today!

The Festival of Nativities was really fun.

On Saturday, we woke up early and drove to Chicago.  We got in during the early afternoon, checked our luggage at the hotel, and then walked the "Magnificent Mile".  There was this cool silver bean that we walked around and took some pictures.  We stopped into a few stores, and Keira really enjoyed the American Girl Store.  Soren like the Lego store.  We were able to take Keira and Soren's picture with Santa in the Water Tower Place, and it was free!  They didn't have an official photographer, so you took your pictures yourselves.

We did a bit more walking, and then headed back to the hotel to warm up.  We got the kids some hot chocolate, put on their snow pants, and then headed to the Christkindlmarket.  This was our main reason for the trip.  Ryan was impressed by the market.  It was pretty large, and had a lot of fun booths.  We wanted a licht haus, and found a cute train station.  We also got a ski lodge smoker, and more candles.  The food there was great.  Keira and Soren split a brat, and ate more than I expected.  It seemed very authentic.  We also had some great pretzels.  Soren and Keira had cinnamon, I had a pumpkin cheesecake, and Ryan had a traditional.  They were all tasty.  It was pretty cold, so we headed back to the hotel and called it a day.

On Sunday, we got up and had breakfast at the hotel before heading out. 

We had an uneventful drive, and the kids played at home.  We got out our new items, and lit our smokers, as well as our pyramids.  The kids love them!  They always get so excited, and are one of my favorite parts of Christmas.  Perhaps next year we can display the large one at the Festival of Nativities.

Up for next week, we have Keira's last week of school before the winter break!