Sunday, December 30, 2018

Christmas Day

At our house the stockings are laid on the sofa with care. In hopes that 3 ladies set out the presents Santa brought.

Ally needed some help from Aunt Beth to open up the largest present ever!

A giant fur bean bag! I love the smile on her face above. Ally then proceeded to sit in the bean bag for the rest of the morning to open gifts. 

eating chocolate and showing off her candy cane putty

Cloey always gets a treat too.

Dave and Debbie

Cloey & Ally

Beth & Ally got winter stocking caps with fur pom poms.

Cloey and Dave

The beautiful and happy 12 year old. The only thing she asked for was some wireless ear buds.
When pressed she said "stuff" she does like to open trinkets. Ally was as usual blessed with lots of stuff:
Athleta Gift Card - thank you Gruncle & Suzie
Athleta sweatshirt, a set of books for her age, Jenga and other fun things from Dave and Debbie
Pillows for her hangout room handmade by Aunt Beth
A lap desk and money from Great Aunt Martha & Uncle Phil
Ear buds, some clothes, the bean bag and a picture for her room from Mommy and Mama

Ally gave some great gifts this year as well. We made a photo book mark for Grandma Debbie, Poppy and Aunt Beth - and Ally selected a book she had read that she thought might be of interest to each person. Then she agreed to talk with them each about the book.
Dave received the 2 book collection of The War that Saved My Life - he has now read them both and we are working on scheduling a video chat for Ally and him.
Debbie received The Hate You Give - Ally read that this Fall. It is also a movie and we hope to watch it with Grandma Debbie when we see her next.
Beth received Life is Short, Don't Wait to Dance, by Valerie Kondos Field the coach of UCLA gymnastics. Ally wants to read this too - so after Beth is finished with it Ally will read it and they will schedule a lunch date to chat.

Ally as usual really wanted to give gifts she made. She had no time to actually make gifts this year and  I was glad we were able to come up with gifts that I think are just as nice as homemade ones - books and conversation with her grandparents and Aunt Beth. They are all 3 readers and I hope they enjoy reading these books that Ally has read, and learning a bit about Ally's interests in the process.

Opening up the amazing velvet pillows that Aunt Beth made for the 3rd floor hang out room.

After the gifts were opened Ally had to get her gifts upstairs to her room. I loved how Cloey was trying to sneak up under the bean bag. I was a little worried Cloey would get smushed. But she didn't. She curled right up in the middle of it. Ally tried on her new team gymnastics athletic slides. They even have her name on them!


Portrait of a tween.

Opening up Day 25 on her Advent calendar. Ally was not as into it this year, and we agreed next year we will do something different to count down the days to Christmas.

Becky and I made Christmas dinner - roast turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, carrots. Yummy.

I think Ally ate a half can of cranberry sauce! She did eat a lot of turkey and some carrot sticks as well.

Lounging with her kitten in her new bean bag.

I snapped up these two pictures of my family when I went to bed. Christmas is fun, but exhausting.

Friday, December 28, 2018

December 23 & 24 - Christmas Fun Continues

We all went to church on December 23 - it was our church "un-pageant" which we love. Beth and Christy joined us for church and brunch out in Harvard Sq after church.

Dave, Christy and I were Kings. Ally was an angel - there is a tiny halo on her head. Becky, Beth and Debbie were Shepards.

Bloody Marys with brunch!  And Becky below with finally a beer. Everything she asked for the restaurant was out of. Finally she got the last of the keg of a beer that a friend of ours is part owner of. (Maya's dad, Peter.)

Later in the day Ally wrapped gifts for every one. And her kitten camped out on the couch in her room looking out the window.

I thought the picture above was great - Christmas relaxing.

Ally's friend Else was dancing in a local production of The Nutcracker again this year, so we got tickets for Ally, Becky, Debbie and me to attend on Sunday evening. It was as usual a wonderful performance. It was nice to have some things planned to do. I was missing my mom most of the day- December 23 is her birthday.

Christmas in our family is not complete without a Becky-made ornament for Ally. It was down to the wire. Becky was designing and sewing this up over the weekend. But she got it done and Ally was thrilled. This year's ornament is our new house! We figured that was pretty appropriate and a memory for 2018.

December 24 was spent with lots of games, more wrapping, delicious food, Christmas Eve service and then a viewing at Elf back at our house after church with popcorn and lots of giggling. It was a pretty great day.

Ally beat them all at Rudolphopoly.

Traditional Guatemalan tamales with rice and beans for dinner before church.

All snuggled in to watch the movie.

Ally in her Christmas PJs  - super excited for Christmas morning. She kept saying how hard it would be to go to sleep. But in the end I think she was so tired she fell asleep quickly.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

December 22 - Christmas cookies

Sorry to be so behind in blogging again. I got sick right after Christmas, and then Becky got sick and then Ally got sick. We all seem to be doing better now.

Debbie and Dave arrived Friday evening December 21. Ally had practice as usual that night and early on Saturday morning. She was pretty tired and fighting a cold and spent most of the weekend in her room. But we did manage to coax her out for some cookie decorating, dinner at home with Beth's boyfriend Christy and a rousing Spoons tournament. For the record Poppy Dave lost at Spoons.

Beth had casually mentioned that she was in the mood to decorate cookies. So we whipped up some sugar cookie batter. The challenge was that we had not yet unpacked our rolling pin and had no idea where it was - we did manage to locate an assortment of cookie cutters. I ended up rolling out the dough with a length of metal pipe we had leftover from a project. No pictures of that I'm not sorry to say. 

Grandma Debbie and Ally waiting for cookies to decorate. While Becky and Poppy Dave prepped frosting.

Showing off our creations. It was some serious decorating.

Dave used a Santa cut out - turned it upside down and decorated it to look like an ornament. Not to be outdone Becky made a pun cookie. The circle cookie decorated to be Joy to the World.

Beth and Christy - he was a good sport playing games and hanging out with us all.

the 12 year old - in some Holiday pajamas with her kitten before bed.