We've had a wonderful month or so. First, we headed down to St. George for a little pre-holiday chill out time. The kids got to play with their cousins who happened to be down there at the same time, and they particularly enjoyed a little red-rock hike together. Emerson did a four-mile bike ride with dad, I did some good running, and we visited our wonderful friends the Moores.
When we came home, Tad's siblings got in town from California and Washington state. Emerson and Ethan discovered hours of mutual lego-building bliss and went to a Jazz game, Stella got her fill of Sullivan and Karina, and Karina got to play with both of the babies almost as much as she wanted. Afton is truly an amazingly cute little girl and it was so fun to see more of her. Of course it goes without saying that we had an absolutely delicious Thanksgiving dinner at Cheryll's, followed by some great pie at my mom's house. We had some darling family pictures taken, thanks to Cheryll's thoughtful gift of matching sweaters and dresses for all the grandkids and to her neighbor, Roseanne's skills with a camera.
The following week, Stella had her first preschool program. I showed up to watch and noticed a peculiar pinkish tint to her hands as the kids all waved during their first song. Then as Stella took the mic (completely unabashedly as the first kid up), I realized that her face and hair were purplish. My darling little girl had decided on the program day to smear her face and hair with paint during class and despite the teachers' best efforts at scrubbing, she remained pigmented. What more fitting way to capture this stage of her life than to show her covered in paint, singing her heart out and eagerly jabbering into the microphone?
Earlier this week we got our largest Christmas tree yet -- too bad our front room doesn't grow with our trees. After we'd trekked to the lot in sub-freezing temperatures, dragged the tree inside and gotten it standing, we decorated it as a family. For the first time ever, our kids (the older two, anyway) were actually more of a help than a hindrance. They loved decorating and seeing the ornaments they hadn't since last year. And today we got to see Emerson's kindergarten Christmas program. It was one of the most adorable things I've ever seen, all those kids singing, reciting poems, and playing instruments in unison while wearing hats they'd personally made. Emerson really enjoyed it and was so proud of himself.
Atticus has decided crawling isn't really his thing, except for very short distances. He's more of a walking man and he's decided to work on it for hours each day, much to my back's detriment. He has two little teeth and loves to make this little scrunched smile face to show them off. When I scratch his back or tickle his neck, he goes completely mellow and just soaks it up.
We hope you all enjoy this Christmas season and want you to know that we know He is our savior and redeemer. We are so grateful for his life and his sacrifice for us and enjoy this time of year when we can reflect on our blessings. Merry Christmas!