Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Christmas with Lito and Lita

 We went to celebrate Christmas with Lito and Lita today. Lita had gingerbread houses ready for decorating fun. The kids worked in teams. The boys' team had the most trouble with assembly but finally got it all working with some help from their sweet sisters. ;)

Mariana teamed up with Cecilia
Anastasia and I worked together on these mini houses. I made the church. :)
Gloria and Anastasia helping out the brothers.
Gift opening fun!
The next morning I came downstairs to find the kids enjoying their gifts.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Down time

 We are enjoying our family down time for the break. Today we took advantage of nice weather before the next cold front and met some friends at research park (Where we took our family photos this year). The younger kids kept running off to feed/observe the ducks.

And I keep finding this sweet girl playing with the various nativity sets around the house. So sweet.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Merry Christmas!

 We usually go to early evening mass with my parents and celebrate afterwards, but our older girls were signed up to sing at the 8pm mass this year. So my parents went to mass, then we had dinner and opened gifts with them, then we went to mass. The little ones were so good, and the mass was so beautiful!

I received an Instapot! Now to learn how to use it...

Then Christmas morning we opened family gifts, had Austin's yummy smoked brisket for dinner and decorated ginger cookies.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Happy 11th Birthday, Stephen!

He started the day opening gifts from Lito and Lita and then the rest of the family. Then we had pumpkin bread for breakfast.

He was happy to have a gift from his buddy Caleb in Japan, too!

We actually had his birthday dinner with Pawpaw and Manah last night. He requested meatball subs (and I served normal subs since not everyone eats those) with guacamole. Anastasia and I made chocolate meringue and lemon meringue pies for dessert. Yummy!

We were so happy to celebrate our Stephen. He has matured a lot this last year but still has such a tender, generous heart. We love you, buddy!

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Early Christmas

We had an early Christmas celebration with Uncle James and Aunt Karen. We usually try our best to avoid celebrating before Christmas mass. But we made an exception since they were passing through town. They are expecting their first grand baby (who lives right behind them) right around Christmas and will be sticking close for a while to help out after his arrival. :) The kids were so excited to see them and to be allowed to open gifts early!


Friday, December 18, 2020

Stephen's birthay party

 We had a hard time figuring out what to do for Stephen's birthday party this year. There are so many limitations, and it is such a tricky time of year to be taking any risks. So we ended up having the neighbor friends over to the driveway for birthday cookies. Then Austin took a group of the older boys to a wooded area several blocks away for an airsoft battle (for which Stephen received a new, big airsoft gun) and then pizza in the driveway afterwards. He had such a great time!

 We will probably do a driveway brunch with a good friend of his that couldn't make it, but scheduling that is tricky with Momma's busy schedule and the holidays coming up!

Monday, December 14, 2020

Other weekend happenings

 This past weekend we also had a lunch visit from Lito Saturday and our Godson's confirmation for which Austin was a sponsor.

Lito and Lita gave Cecilia this stamp set for her birthday, and it was enjoyed by many

Sponsor and the Confirmed

Christmas Show on Ice

 Mariana performed in her annual figure skating Christmas show this past weekend. She did a beautiful job. Although she had fewer fans that usual, she did have at least one fan at each of the 3 shows.

Friday night her voice teacher cheered her on

Saturday our family went (except Allia and Cecilia) as well as her math teacher

Her duet performance

The finale in her group costume. I didn't get a photo of that performance
Daddy gave her flowers, of course.

For the Sunday performance, Allia and a friend were in attendance since Allia was at a retreat all day Saturday (after a negative covid test result. Yay!).

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

PGM Christmas Concert

 Mariana joined a local Christian homeschool choir last spring at the recommendation of her amazing voice teacher. It turned out to be a wonderful idea, and we had plans to have all the kids join this fall. But thanks to COVID, there was no spring concert and only the older kids and hand bells were allowed this fall. We are thankful at least for that!

But...Allia was possibly exposed at a study group last week and therefore in quarantine. So she had to miss the concert (singing AND hand bells) along with another friend at the same study group and 5 singers from another family we know who have COVID. So we thought we would see lots of familiar faces, but we ended up just going to watch Mariana (and just a few other faces we know). It was a beautiful concert, and I think some of the younger kids were inspired for next year. Cecilia even enjoyed it and behaved wonderfully!

Monday, December 7, 2020

Happy 18th Anniversary!

Austin and I celebrate 18 years of marriage today. We are so thankful for the gift of the sacrament. We had a nice brunch together yesterday since it's a lot easier to celebrate on Sunday than Monday. But we still splurged on our favorite Keto burgers from Mooyah for today's lunch!

Sunday, December 6, 2020

St. Nicholas Day!

 The excitement leading up to Christmas is building. The kids were especially thankful for St. Nicholas day this year. We finally succeeded in doing all but just a tiny bit of Christmas shopping before advent started, but it just makes the wait for Christmas even longer. So it was fun to have some small gifts and treats together.