Saturday, January 15, 2011

Keeping the happy through it all...

December was filled with tons of medical yucka in our house, but I was determined to keep some of the joy of the season too. Last year (2009) the holidays were very hard with daddy choosing addiction over family, and the final stakes in the loss of many of my dreams. There were bright moments, like dear friends crashing with us, sharing our home and love with friends and family and blessing from above, but for the most part the holidays had a dark cast over them. I was determined to make that different this year!

We were blessed with many fun Christmas activities, unfortunately most of them were crammed into one weekend! But we had a blast anyways :)

First on Thursday we went to a Christmas party for the agency that provides the in home support for Nathaniel. Both kids were totally jazzed about going.... check out the HUGE smiles!
While there, Nathaniel played lots of Foose Ball with the teenage boys, and held his own very well. Audrey on the other hand had to make sure she got to EVERY craft station, and had this cool butterfly painted on her face for FREE! I got to snack on some yummy foods and visit... crazy I know, but we actually had an in home with us, so I felt safe letting the kids cut loose :)

They had an AMAZING couple that did Santa and Mrs Claus and I loved the pictures I got... too bad my camera died and I had to use my blackberry for these pictures, but they were better than nothing!

Telling deep secrets with Santa!

Beaming happy children... love it!
I actually think that this is the best Santa picture I have ever gotten of either of my kids!

This fun party ended with a super cool trash can band that both kids adored. Overall, much fun to be had there!

Our next adventure that week was Friday night, when at the last possible minute I scored tickets to the Nutcracker for free for the kids and I.

 What a complete blessing this was! And we had so much fun!! BOTH kids sat still through the whole production, and they both enjoyed the show. I did as well. I thought that the production was put together very well and enjoyed that the dancer's personalities shined thorough on stage. What a delight to watch and share with my children!

After the show we were able to meet and greet with the characters and take pictures. It had been a long day, and Nat's meds were starting to wear off, but we did hang out for a few minutes. It was nice to see old friends and catch up for a minute or two.

The next morning was our home town Christmas parade.
First we enjoyed a pancake breakfast with Grammie prepared by the local Kiwanas club (which Papa is a part of), then we sat at our table and watched the parade. Audrey was very into the candy, but Nat was ready to go home from the get go. I gave him my camera in hopes of engaging him, but he took one lone picture.....

That is it.
The only thing in the parade that caught his attention enough to take a picture of it!

After the parade and a small rest we were off to the SibShop Christmas party, where NONE of the pictures that I took turned out! Again we took support staff, and I am beginning to think that this is the ONLY way to go anywhere! Audrey played with her friends and did crafts, Nat and Jenn watched the football game and hung out, and I got to visit with big people... .crazy, but enjoyable!

That took us to our final day of the whirl wind holiday weekend. On Sunday we we blessed to be gifted with tickets to the local Melodrama Christmas production.

We received two adult tickets and two children tickets, so I took Brianna with the kids and I. We had the BEST time. The kids were all three so well behaved, they enjoyed the show and we had ZERO behavioral issues. This was seriously the most fun I had on an outing with the kids in so long!

After the Melodrama we traded Brianna for Grammie Sharon and headed up to the Polar Express reading. This was held at a local winery in Paso Robles.
They have antique train cars there that they decorate all up and the adults are dressed in costume.
The kids get their tickets, get on the train, then get their tickets punched before listening to a reading of the Polar Express Story.

After the story the kids get to see Santa and Mrs. Clause

Where they received their very own bell,

And a small gift,

Then they got to have yummy hot chocolate while listening to a wonderful trio sing Christmas songs.

It was a completely delightful evening and outing!

And after THAT weekend I had to sleep all day Monday to recover from it!