Tuesday, December 29, 2009

secret santa and scrapbooking

Sunday evening, after the matinee, the kids had a cast Christmas party to attend. This was a big one as it was the night that their Secret Santas would be revealed. They were beside themselves with excitement. Alex's Secret Santa hadn't given him anything yet so he was excited to get his present. Clara's Secret Santa had been giving her little gifts along the way so she wasn't expecting much, but was excited to find out who her Santa was.

Alex's Secret Santa gave him a box of Lego kits which he was absolutely thrilled about! Clara's Santa totally shocked us. He gave her these...
... pointe shoes that had been worn and autographed by a Joffrey Ballet dancer! She was totally in awe!

Given that this was a story I wanted to record, I decided to breakout the digital scrapbooking supplies and scrap a page...
(Kit - all i need collab kit - paislee press and amy wolff @oscraps or the lily pad)

After that I got on a bit of a roll!

Here's a page about Clara's role as Sally...
(Kit - Mistletoe Magic by Dani Mogstad @sweet shoppe)

And finally, a project I'm thinking about taking on... mini 4x6 layouts to document the different ornaments on our tree...
(kit - all aglow by Traci Reed @sweet shoppe)

I'm going to really try to scrap more this next year... I have missed documenting so many stories during this little break I took.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Cookies

Okay... I'm trying to catch up with some of my unposted photos from the past week or so. Just be prepared for random posts over the next few days... nothing will be in chronological order, at least for a little while.

While Grandpa and Grandma Michigan were in last week, Grandma and the kids made cookies.

Alex apparently thought that wiping your hands on an actual towel was overrated, so he used the backside of his jeans instead...
The most ambitious project of the day was making gingerbread.

Here's Alex with some of his gingerbread people and shapes...
and Clara and Grandma with theirs....
Clara worked hard cutting out gingerbread shapes...
After the gingerbread was baked and cooled, it was time to decorate.

Hmmm.... I wonder which ones Clara decorated....

This was a new recipe that we tried this year.... it had a box of butterscotch pudding in it which I thought sounded a little odd but they tasted very good.

The kids really love to bake... I should let them do it more often!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

daddy daughter date night

Tonight Clara and Jeff went out for a daddy daughter date night.

I took a quick pic before they left...
They went out to dinner before going off to see the Joffrey's Nutcracker. Clara was very excited to see it as she has several friends from dance class in tonight's cast.

I can't wait to hear the full report when she gets home!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Nutcracker Recital

Clara lives and breathes Nutcracker during the holiday season (okay... truthfully, it's all year long) but this year she wasn't able to participate in any of the local Nutcracker productions due to her role in the play. Thankfully, one of the places she takes dance has started having a Nutcracker Holiday Recital each December. She loves the music and just loves being a part of it.... especially when she gets to dance with her friends.

Here she is as a snowflake...
That dance was her favorite of the two she performed. This is the second year that she has been in class with almost the exact same group of girls and they have such a good time together. It's amazing to see a group of 6 or 7 girls who all take their class seriously but are still able to have fun together at the same time.

Her second dance was the clown dance...

She didn't enjoy this one as much as it was more acrobatics than dance (in her opinion)... I thought it was fun (but of course I was just watching versus being the one lifting my leg over my head and doing the splits).

It was a really fun evening of dance and cookies. The only glitch in the party was that apparently we left half of our belongings there (thanks for alerting us to this fact Tracy!).

I have some photos to edit from the kids' day of cookie making with grandma.... hopefully I'll have those up soon!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

21 down, 6 to go

The kids had their last pre-Christmas show today! It was a pretty exciting weekend... not only were they showered with gifts from the other cast members (they have been spoiled rotten by them) but Grandpa and Grandma Michigan came in and saw the show....

It was fun for the kids to have family in the crowd. After the show, we took a few photos with "Santa" (aka Jim). Also since we've been so busy and not been able to go see Santa this year, Clara and Alex shared their Christmas wishes with Jim since he's acting as Santa's helper this year.

Here's Jim reacting to Clara's request for an iPod...
and Jim listening to Alex's overly detailed description of Lego Mindstorms...
See.... I did take some photos!! Although my December photo total is only up to 5 I think now. Well, it's at least five more than I had taken on Friday!

It's late and I'm tired, so I'm heading to bed! Hopefully there will be more photos to come this week!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

and then there's clara...

video

I seriously have no words.... she's an odd little bird and was really on a roll that day.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

leaving on a jet plane...

not really.... but that's the song Alex played and sang at his recital tonight....



honestly, we haven't gone anywhere nor do we plan to any time soon.... no jet planes in our immediate futures (well... maybe Jeff's future, but not ours as a family).

The play is going really, really well but it is monopolizing most of our free time. We're now 17 shows in with just 10 left to go. As excited as I am to have some free time back, we're going to miss this group when it's over. They are such an incredibly fun group of people to hang out with.

Other than the play we haven't done much else. I haven't even taken a single photo yet in December... that's just unheard of for me. I took my camera to Alex's recital tonight but was so tired that I decided to just sit and enjoy his performance instead of mess with my camera. Photo ops will pick up over the next couple of weeks so I hope I get in the mood to get out my camera again.

So, the video is taking forever to upload so I feel compelled to ramble while I wait... otherwise I might fall asleep on my keyboard.

Oh... perhaps I should ramble on with a disclaimer about Alex's recital piece. Alex took guitar all last year but he took a group class. He really enjoyed it and loved his teacher but group class wasn't really for him. So, this year he started private lessons with a new teacher in September. He is really doing well with his private lessons! The one on one attention was just what he needed to work out some of his trouble spots and now he's able to move on. His current teacher also does some voice work with him, so it's fun to see him do some more singing along with his playing.

Okay... still uploading but I think I will spare you any more of my ramblings :-)

Good night!

*** I never got this to upload last night... I think I figured it out this morning! Please forgive the ramblings.

**** Not sure why it's shifted to the right so far.... sigh.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Here Comes Santa Claus...

At 6:45 am on Thanksgiving morning, while many of you were still in bed. We were out in the dark, in the rain.... doing this...


So, they could do this (ignore the title of the clip... they're really on there)...




at 8:11am.

Yep... that's Alex and Clara in their maroon Santa shirt outfits!!

Pre-performance group shot...
I only had my 85mm 1.8 lens with me so I couldn't get the group shot... hopefully someone will share their photo with me.

The Tin Soldier getting ready to start things off...
Clara bouncing... ready to run out there...

The little girls run out to join the cast...
Alex goes out now...





They had a fabulous time. I have to say that the cast of this show is incredible! So much fun to work with and so great with the kids. They're having a blast.

Okay.... I came down with some kind of crud after the parade yesterday so I'm going to go drink my OJ and blow my nose :-)

Monday, November 23, 2009

catching up a bit...

wow.... it has been a whirlwind of activity around here. I'm so glad both kids are in the production so at least we were only going one direction!

Thursday night was the final dress rehearsal and I managed to sneak in a couple of photos before I went backstage to help with the kids and their costume changes.

Here are the kids from the opening scene (the pole is now a banner)....
Alex as "Jake" in the department store scene....
(he now has knee socks and a hat to keep his red hair a surprise)

Clara as "Sally" asking for her skates...
After the end of the department store scene Clara is done until curtain call.

So that night the kids played hangman on the white board...
Friday night was the first preview and I was backstage for that. The kids thought it went well and had fun. Saturday was a tough day... two previews with some rehearsals in between. Jeff and I were able to watch the matinee and it didn't go as smoothly as it could, but thankfully it was a preview. From what little I saw (and what I heard from others), the evening show went really well. I was backstage again, but I get to see bits and pieces as I take the kids in and out for their scenes.

Sunday was the big press opening. I was pretty worked up about it, but the kids were totally calm about the whole thing. It was so exciting for them backstage before the show... several of the cast members had gotten them little gifts or cards.

The mother of the little girl with the lead role insisted that Jeff and I go in and see the show since "your kids will only have one first opening night". That was so incredibly kind of her to volunteer to handle the kids backstage so we could go in.

The show went fabulously! Even after seeing it so many times in rehearsals, it amazed me like I was seeing it for the first time.

After the show, there was a little reception in the theatre's lobby.

Here are the kids with the artistic director and the girl who played the main role...
The kids from the cast...
Either I need a different point and shoot camera or I just have no clue how to work the one I have... I had other photos from last night but they were so incredibly bad that they are beyond fixing. I had one cute one of Alex with his stage dad... but alas, it was one of the unfixable ones. I will have to get another photo of the red heads soon.

Okay... I've got to keep going if we're going to make it through today... our weekend wore us out!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

are you ready for this?

I will admit that I wasn't sure I ready... but we went for it anyway.

What is it that I am talking about?

Well... yesterday my boy became a RED HEAD!

One last shot of my shaggy blond son...



He wasn't so sure about the whole thing when he first saw himself in the mirror...
But he's beginning to get used to it...
It's going to take me a while to get used to having a red headed son....
I'm afraid that I might lose him in a crowd because this sure isn't the head of hair I would recognize...
Honestly... it looks really good and natural. He was a HUGE HIT last night at rehearsal. The hair color matches that of his "dad" perfectly.

Speaking of rehearsal, I took a couple of pics.

Here's one of them rehearsing the opening....
I hope to take a lot more tonight!