Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's Christmas!!

The Living room, pre-invasion:
The kids, eager to invade:
Snow! Perfect for Christmas! East Tennessee doesn't see many white Christmases. Annette says she prayed for snow. So that's one Christmas present enjoyed before we even begin! First, before the gifts and the stockings, we listened to the Christmas story. Steve read to all of us and then Irina read the same story in Russian. Pretty cool:

Happy faces!
The aftermath:

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve at our house is a light supper of crackers and cheese type finger foods, followed by cookies, a Christmas movie, a couple of gifts being opened and bedtime.

Here are the kids at dinner time. The "extra" girl is Irina. She was our guest over the summer for four weeks and now is back for a three-week visit. Notice pouting Vitali in the corner of the table. He had been scolded for something. Before the next photo, Steve said, "Vitali, you'd better not be pouting in the next picture!"
So here is his attempt to look cheerful. Hannah seems to have thought the instruction applied to her as well. Over-kill.
After dinner we opened some gifts, and had some cookies. Then...Movie time! One last cookie in hand, we headed to the family room. This year we didn't watch a Christmas movie, we watched one of the gifts, Prince Caspian.
And now..
Good night everyone! Excited kids ran off to bed. Dad and mom got ready for the next morning.
What?! I am always surprised, seems that when I was a kid, Christmas just arrived. When did it start requiring so much WORK!?! Just the same, Steve and I were in bed around eleven. That is thanks to my mom, who took all the kids each Wednesday in December so I could get things done. What an awesome gift to me. When you homeschool, it is hard to find kid-free time to shop and wrap. Let alone get any other pre-Christmas stuff done. Thanks, Mom!

Merry Almost Christmas, Everyone! See you in the morning!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The anual Christmas tree hunt.

This year's tree hunt almost didn't happen! So much going on that by the time Steve would get off of work, it would be closing time for the tree farm. Finally, though we had a day with an extra 40 minutes between working and closing time. Let's go! But we got lost. We do every year. Unbelievable. After all, we always go to the same place. We called and the guy said he'd stay a little late for us. They closed at 5 and we pulled up at 5ish. We looked high ; Misha looked especially high. Too high, it turned out.We looked low....Hannah loved the fluffy looking trees.

Ivy...not so much.Annette kept picking out "cute" trees. "Isn't this tree adorable?!!"
Yes, Annette, darling.
Ivy, easily distracted had fun finding pine cones.
But at long last, the tree we could all agree on (it wasn't fluffy, but we wore Hannah down with our indecision. It was cold, and like any invincible eleven-year-old, she had under-dressed, putting fashion ahead of heat. Silly girl...)Cut it down, Vitali!
Steve told Vitali that he could drag the tree out. Vitali was happy to do so, but we thought the man who was waiting for us might appreciate it if we moved along. Vita made it a few feet, though.
Now, home to warm up! Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Thanksgiving at Mom and Dad's

This is my only 'preparing' photo and it is of
Bethany just sitting around while we worked. ;-)




Friday, December 3, 2010

Mom's Birthday

My mom recently celebrated her 60th birthday. She surely looks great still, doesn't she? I'm hoping I have inherited the 'ageless' gene...
Before she blew out all 60 candles on her birthday cheesecake, Grandma cheated a bit by asking for help from all the kids gathered around.
Who says cheaters never prosper?
Happy Birthday, Mom!