Monday, February 16, 2015

November and December


In November I was really bad about taking pictures.  I only took any pictures with my good camera on 2 separate days.  It was an uneventful month, I guess.  Thanksgiving was like any other day here, Jon worked and the kids had school.  I do think I started decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving but that was about it.

I think this is the third year for this shirt.  It won't make it a fourth year.  The sleeves are getting a liiittle short.  

Playing Mario Cart.

Angola is in the southern hemisphere, so the seasons are opposite from the States.  Which means while all our family and friends back home are wearing sweatshirts and sitting by fires, we are playing at the pool.

Having a snack while he watches some big boys play soccer.

Too cool, and he knows it.

 Doing some 'lessons'.

Connor is a big TMNT fan, as you can see.

 Watching cartoons with Daddy.


Christmas time!!  December is a busy month.  Jon and I both have birthdays, we have our wedding anniversary, and of course Christmas and New Years Eve.  We spent the holidays in Luanda this year, but with the high temperatures outside it didn't exactly feel like Christmas time.  I played Christmas music as often as I could, we did Christmas crafts, baked Christmas cookies, and had lots of talks about why we celebrate Christmas.

Our Elf, Thaddeus, brought the kids ornaments when he returned this year.  Connor's, a Leonardo Turtle, never made it to the 'tree', but became another toy to play with.  Oh well.

 Connor doing some painting while Colson is at school.

This year, Colson was able to join Rainbows, the youngest level of the British version of Girl Scouts, basically.  She does it with a bunch of other girls her age from school and they have a blast.

 Of course she has to pose.

For the last two years, for Jon's Birthday, I've 'interviewed' the kids (well, just Colson last year), asking them questions about their Daddy.  It is both funny and sweet, the answers they give.  Hopefully it's a tradition I can continue for a long time.

 Reading the interviews.

 Birthday Hugs.

 Birthday Silly Faces.

  Colson loves to play with dolls and stuffed animals.  On this morning, she brought a bunch downstairs so she could watch TV with them.  If only she was as good at taking them back upstairs as she is at dragging them down....

 Connor was in dire need of a haircut, so I convinced him to let me cut it.  It might have taken some bribery involving chocolate and a new toy, but hey, whatever it takes.  I think I did pretty good for my first time! 

This year, Jon and I chatted some about what holiday traditions we wanted to have with our family, since the kids are getting old enough to participate/enjoy/understand them now.  This was the third year we did the (dreaded and often forgotten about until 5 minutes before the kids are awake) Elf on the Shelf, and it was really fun to see how excited the kids got about finding him every morning.  By the 24th it was really difficult to find new places to put him though!  He might have thought a few places were really comfortable and chose to sit in those spots more than once...  Some traditions will be easier once we leave Luanda, like driving around looking at Christmas lights or going to church on Christmas Eve, but we were able to do some fun things here.  This year was the first year that the kids got to wake up in their own beds and go downstairs to see what Santa brought and open presents, a tradition we plan to continue.  A tradition that I enjoyed growing up was decorating Christmas cookies with the family.  So this year I baked up a bunch of sugar cookies and let the kids have at it.  They made a huge mess but it was worth it!  Thaddeus brought them each an apron to help keep their pj's clean, but of course they didn't really want to wear them.....

Connor makes the best faces when he is opening up gifts, before he even knows what it is.

 Connor doesn't so much enjoy the cookie near as much as he just wants to eat the 
frosting and sprinkles.

Colson wore her apron for the eating part.

Giving Daddy some loves.

 On the 23rd the kids got to open matching Olaf pj's.  Again, Connor has the best faces.

Notice our 'Christmas Tree' in the background?  We didn't think we would spend an actual Christmas here, so we didn't bring our tree.  But during our trip to the Bangkok Ikea in October we saw these fabric trees they had hanging from the ceiling.  They sold decorations for them and everything.  It was actually pretty cool.  And better than nothing!  And it gave us a place to hang the homemade ornaments we made during our attempt at Truth in the Tinsel (another tradition I hope to do for the next few years, although this year it didn't go so well).  

 Connor finally looks at the camera and gives a good smile, and Colson has to be goofy.

On Christmas Eve the kids opened another set of pj's.  Fortunately, they think that whatever they open is fun, even if it is just clothes.

 Clearly something behind me is hysterical.

Christmas Morning!  Connor was up super early, as usual, and Colson slept in, as is normal for her as well.  We sent Connor in to wake up Colson so we could get the day started!  

 Concentrating hard at figuring out his new Hot Wheels track.

 Tuk Tuk!


Super excited about his glove and ball.

 We watched this movie a hundred times during December.  Probably my favorite Christmas movie.

Enjoying Reece's Puffs while the cars go 'round and 'round.  I offered to make homemade cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning breakfast, or we could open a box of Reece's Puffs we've been saving - the kids chose the cereal.  I wasn't disappointed - do you know how time consuming it is to make homemade cinnamon rolls?!  The special Christmas morning breakfast tradition can start when we live somewhere else!

 Christmas evening the kids opened stockings, which is one of Jon's family traditions.  

Pretending to brush his teeth.

Playing outside with the bubbles Santa brought.

I have no pictures from New Years Eve.  But, we did a pot luck by the pool with friends until the kids got tired and we went home.  Someone even fried a turkey!  I'm pretty sure I was asleep when the clock struck 2015 though.  

Happy New Year!


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