We’re only two weeks into January, but December already feels so far away. I’ll admit, December was a bit wearisome for me. There was a lot going on, and most of it was honestly great, but the sum total of it wore me out.
The month started off with the Grove Gallery at the Elementary school. Cooper choose to enter his Jedi Starfighter pointillism piece.
Ellen also entered a pointillism piece, hers of a mountain landscape.
The Grove Gallery is always a fun event. The kids are all so proud of the pieces they’ve created.
On nice days, I try to at least pick the kids up on the electric bike. The mornings are usually a bit chilly, but afternoons are doable. One afternoon, the ebike got a flat tire due to a goathead. I had to push it all the way home and it was HEAVY. Talk about an unusual arm workout.
Cooper was invited to a friend’s house to decorate Christmas cookies and Ellen was jealous, so I let her invite a friend over to do the same. They had a great time.
Our church was asked to sing Christmas hymns in the Golden Parade again this year. Our family has enjoyed doing this. It’s a lot of fun and a unique way to share a piece of our faith.
A week into December we got our Christmas tree. It was killing the kids that it took us so long to get around to it.
Before Noel’s birthday, he sent me an article about people that dread their birthday. One of the people interviewed said they told everyone to refrain from wishing him a happy birthday, but instead to tell him they hoped he had a tolerable day. I couldn’t help myself.
A couple of weeks before his birthday, I was watching an episode of the Great British Baking Show where they made cakes covered in chocolate domes that melted when you poured warm syrup over them. We drooled and Noel said, “I want to go t there.” I noted that and made this chocolate raspberry confection. It was well received.
Months before December, we bought tickets to go to the Colorado Symphony’s family Christmas performance. Noel’s dad ended up being in town so we brought him along with us. (Mike recently moved down to the lower 48 which makes it easier to see him.)
The performance was so much fun, we’re going to make it a family tradition.
Ellen also had her ballet recital while Grandpa Mike was in town. While I would love to have a little ballerina daughter, ballet wasn’t exactly Ellen’s thing. She promised she’d stick with it through the recital though. We’re trying to figure out what to try next.
Still, she did really well during the performance. She was a little nervous beforehand, but did an excellent job remembering her steps.
That night, we had our church Christmas party. Santa made an appearance at the end. The kids walked right past him and headed for the car. (You may recall, we have never made Santa a part of our Christmas celebrations.) We asked if they wanted to talk to him and get a sucker. They both looked at us with annoyance and grumped as they stood in line. Two kids have never been more apathetic about talking to Santa. The whole thing was hilarious.
Two weeks before Christmas break, Ellen’s teacher let us all know she wouldn’t be returning after winter break. Her fiance lives in a different state and she was moving to be with him and his daughter. I was a little heartbroken when I read her letter because she’s been one of my favorite teachers for both of my kids, but I know it’s not a decision she made lightly. They haven’t taken class photos yet, so one of the parents made sure we captured a class photo with her “fabulous firsties” as she calls them. Their new teacher (on the right) just finished her student teaching at the school and got to sit in on the last couple of weeks.
Ellen on her last day with her teacher.
Just a few days later, Christmas was upon us. Ellen’s big gift was a bike. Noel was so proud of this Craigslist find that he spruced up. Ellen was also pretty excited to have a bike with gears and handle brakes.
Danielle, Noel’s sister, visited us for Christmas. She brought her dog, Bassie. Bassie and Charlie learned to tolerate each other by the end of the week, but never really warmed up to each other.
That evening, we went and saw the lights in downtown Golden. This has become a fun tradition over the last several years. The kids burned off steam running around which was much needed.
We were going to take the kids skiing for the first time, but we had a bit of a cold spell where the high at the ski resorts was going to be 5º. We tried our hand at sledding instead at a slightly lower elevation. It was still pretty cold, so we didn’t last long, but it was fun.
For New Year’s, we decided to have a “Fancy Nancy Party.” Ellen thought that was a great idea and helped pick out our outfits. (In one of the books, Fancy Nancy gives her family lessons in being fancy and dresses them up.) It was incredibly silly, but I think that only made it more fun.
We played games, had a fancy dinner, and had an outrageous dance party (including break dancing from various people). It was a lot of fun. At 9:30 we put on a countdown from Netflix and put the kids to bed. Then Noel and watched a movie and rang in 2019. Here’s to another year!