Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Lights!

Last night we all jumped in my truck and drove to the 3000 block of Quincannon Lane to see some Christmas lights.  We went just after dark, around 6:00 p.m. and the traffic was very light.  

Unlike Candycane Lane in Edmonton (http://candycanelane.trav-graphics.com), the Quincannon Christmas lights are on a single block, just a few houses.  You are not permitted to walk (see the photo of the sign) and there are no food bank donation boxes.  I find it funny that in Edmonton people will brave temperatures of -20 degrees Celsius and lower to walk Candycane lane but here you can't walk even in very warm temperatures.  They also had a security officer (you can see him in the first photo on the left) watching over the homes.

The street as a whole.
No walking!
Baby Boy loved the candy canes!
Candy tree.


Mmmmm....Hershey's Kisses.


Quality Street lights.


Chippy climbed into our wall ornament!















Saturday, December 20, 2014

Holiday Baking

Last week I had so much baking to do!  I had committed to bringing a bunch of stuff to the boys' schools and a party for Big Boy's karate school.

I baked a cookie tree for each boy's classroom party.  Below are photos of what a cookie tree looks like, and the second photo of the cookie tree with the beer can is to give the tree perspective.  Big Boy had silver candy balls on his and the other two had gold.  I forgot to take a picture of the other two trees before I wrapped them for transport.


Gold balls.
I would not ingest these at the same time! 
Transporting the cookie trees.
Cookie tree prep.
Cookie trees are not difficult to make but they are time consuming and you need a lot of space!  It takes three days - on the first day you bake the cookies, the second day you ice them, and on the third day you assemble the tree and put on the candy balls.  I tried to put the candy balls on with the first coat of icing but although the tree was easier to assemble, the candy balls dyed the surrounding icing.  All of the cookies need to dry in a single layer between each step.

Packed up for transportation.
I also agreed to bring desserts to the end party at Big Boy's karate school.  We are sad that the karate school is closed, it was one of our favourite parts of Houston, and one of the few communities that we belonged to.  I think the news was upsetting to many of the families with the school. I brought a tray of cupcakes and a cinnamon twist to the karate party....the cinnamon twist was very popular.  

I used up the leftover sugar balls....


We forgot to move Chippy last night (gasp!) so I will catch you up on his antics tomorrow.







Thursday, December 18, 2014

New Badge

Hello Readers, 

You may have noticed a new badge on the right hand side of my blog.  This badge links to the "Top Mommy Blogs" page and I would like to become a member of that mommy blog group.

If you have the time, please click on the badge....each time you click (but only once each 24 hours) counts as a "vote" for my blog and will help me to become a member of the group.

Thanks!

Another Christmas Concert

Last night Baby Boy had a Christmas concert.  I have to admit I either didn't know about it or I forgot about it until I got the reminder email.  The concert was a service at the school's church dedicated to the Christmas story.

Before the concert we dropped the children off in the church library so that the teachers could dress them in their costumes.  Unfortunately Baby Boy was crying and his teacher could not calm him down so he didn't participate in the concert, instead he sat with us in a pew.  He sang along and did the actions with the songs.   

Chippy was trying to climb into the attic this morning!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Batman P.J. Pants

I made the younger boys each a pair of Batman pyjama pants.  Baby Boy chose the fabric (thank goodness it was on sale) and I made up a pair for each of them.  They love them!  I like the fact that they actually fit....I customized each pair.

If you check out the photo you'll see that I added labels in the back of the waistband.  They say "Made with love by Mom".  The labels aren't there so much to give me credit as to help them determine which way to wear the pants.  The pants that I sewed for Baby Boy and Little Boy earlier do not have tags and it's difficult to tell which side is the front until he puts them on and they don't feel right.


Spelling Bee

Yesterday morning I had the pleasure of watching Big Boy in his school spelling bee.  You may recall that I was nervous about him participating in a spelling bee a few months ago (http://janiceljlj.blogspot.com/2014/10/spelling-bee.html).  He participated in his class bee and moved on to the school bee as one of the top six.  That was worrisome...due to the structure of the spelling bee he only had to spell a single word ("window") to place in the school spelling bee.  I was worried that this would make him over-confident for the school bee.

The school spelling bee had the top 6 spellers from each class from grades 2-5.  Big Boy is in grade 2 and I knew it was unlikely he would place well in the spelling bee.  My only hope was that he would get at least one word correct so that he would not be devastated.

Parents were invited to attend the spelling bee but only about 10 were there.  All of the classes from grades 1-5 watched as well.  I was surprised that it was exciting.  I was nervous with anticipation for Big Boy and relieved when he got through a word.  Other children were very dramatic when they won and lost.

Big Boy made it through 2 rounds.  In the first round, only a handful of kids were eliminated (about 5).  The second round was a blood bath.  The words were much more difficult and a whole crowd of kids left the stage (about 20).  I was so proud of Big Boy for making it through the second round!  He was eliminated on his third word, along with approximately 15 more children.  I left after that round, but it's my understanding that the handful of kids that remained went another 4 rounds.

The winner of the spelling bee will move on to the city championship and the winner of that will go to a national spelling bee in Washington, D.C.

Big Boy was not happy with his performance.  He was crushed that he spelled a word wrong.  I explained how proud we are of him and he's coming around.  I think he has developed a taste for the competition though....he is saying that next year he wants to study more and win.  


Chippy is hanging out near the baby pictures today.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Madeline's Christmas (and some Elfing)

On Sunday I took the two older boys to see Madeline's Christmas by Main Street Theatre.  Main Street Theatre has temporarily moved to Talento Biling├╝e de Houston and I love this location.  There is ample parking and it's closer to our house.  Also the stage and theatre arrangement is traditional making it easier for the kids to see the stage.  Too bad it isn't permanent.

The show is really good.  It's a musical that elaborates on the story in the book "Madeline's Christmas" and the cast is large and enthusiastic.  They actually have all 12 girls in 2 straight lines!  The performers are all adults.  There are a couple of long-winded songs but for the most part it's an interesting and entertaining show and both of my boys enjoyed it.  Little Boy was worried that the show was over each time the curtain closed to allow for a set change.

Elfing

I thought this was funny so I'm sharing it.  I'm on Google+ but I never quite figured out what to do with it.  I don't have many "circles" and I don't have the time or inclination to develop another online social network.  That being said,  it's there in the background when I use other Google programs.

Yesterday when I was sending out some photos Google+ invited me to use their facial recognition software to automatically recognize faces to help with labelling pictures.  I thought the program would want me to register faces of my kids, but it had picked up Chippy's cheeky grin and wanted to register his face!

Anyways, here is what Chippy was up to today....