And then there were 4...

And then there were 4...

Friday, December 15, 2017

Festival of Lights

Last night was Dominik's schools Festival of Lights. The celebration was a way for the school to get together prior to Christmas break without actually having to call it a "Holiday" party of any kind. The kids have spent the month leading up to the festival making all sorts of lanterns to display. They did a clay lantern, a paper mache lantern, a stained glass (painted 2 liter bottle of soda), a decorated paper bag lantern, and a metal can with nail punches lantern (not sure of the technical name). The evening started with a power point display that Dominik had made with a 5th grade buddy and was actually quite impressive. He chose to do the power point on Hannakuah and each slide had a little snippet of info on the holiday. He was very pleased with his work and sharing his knowledge of Hannakuah with us. After the slide presentations we watched a video slide show that Dominiks teacher put together. It had a short video clip of each student stating what their favorite Christmas tradition is. A few of them said Chinese New Years, and the other 30 of them said their favorite family tradition is Christmas. They all gave a reason why it was their favorite tradition and most of them said because of the presents. Dominik said "my favorite family tradition is Christmas because we get to celebrate the birth of Jesus." It was definitely one of those "pat yourself of the back" parent moment. While I'm 100% certain that Dominik's favorite part of Christmas is in fact the presents...it's also nice to know that he recognizes the real reason for the holiday and traditions!
After the presentations we were guided into the gym by the paper lanterns made by all the students. In the gym there were display tables set up with all the the students lanterns lit up. The gym almost felt like a secret society meeting. Once the parents were settled around the perimeter the kids walked in holding their paper mache lanterns while singing "This little light of mine." They must have sang it 15 times while all the students made their way to the stage. They sang a few more songs while they held up their lanterns and then it was time for pictures. The whole event lasted about 45 minutes and was the perfect way to Politically Correctly celebrate Christmas! I love Dominik's school and am so bummed that we won't be going here next year!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Trim the Tree

I think decorating the Christmas Tree is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. I love doing it as a family...being super creative...and looking at the beautiful tree after it's all done. Whether we decorate a real tree from the pacific NW, a palm tree, a pallet tree, or even the year of the fake tree from Target...I just love decorating the tree. This year we have a beautiful noble fir from the deep forest of Home Depot. While yes, it was super convenient to get it from Home Depot...we still did it as a family and that's what counts in my book! This was actually one of the first years that our tree hasn't fallen over (knock on wood). We turned on some Christmas music and then put on the ornaments. Dominik was really good at it this year with having a bit of a decorative eye...Parker knocked off more ornaments than he put on, and Maylee was just content to suck on the ornaments.
The tree aftermath was just spectacular. Maybe not catalog worthy, but we did it and we all agree that it's one of our best trees yet!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Night in Bethlehem

I have heard from lots of people that their ward has done "A Night in Bethlehem," and I always thought it would be cool to go to one. Needless to say, be careful what you wish for! Because, not only did I get to go to one, I got to help put one on! I recently was called into YW and just prior to my sustaining, the YW auxilary agreed to put on the ward Christmas party...which was themed "A Night in Bethlehem." This was going to be a HUGE undertaking, but had the potential to be a phenomenal evening and definitely one that will be remembered forever. I headed up the food committee and was super excited to stretch my catering skills as I planned, prepped, and decorated the food. I had a small committee made up of a few YW, a few YW parents, mom, the sister missionaries, and Brother Modjeski (super useful restaurant background). The menu started with a few roasted turkeys, and produce and then slowly evolved to kebabs, homemade hummus with taziki sauce, Jerusalem bread, falafels, and then a spread of nuts, olives, and fresh cut produce. I felt super overwhelmed and under-qualified at first, but the saying "many hands make light work," rang so true in this situation. Everyone came together, worked so hard, and we ended up pulling the night off.
We all came in costume and the whole church was decorated to the hilt. The program was the perfect assortment of narration, reverent acting, and beautiful songs that paid homage to the reason for the season. We gathered out food like it was from a market in Bethlehem, and then sat on the floor on blankets with our families while we ate with our hands. We drank water from "the well" and then watched the program. I loved looking around "Bethlehem" and seeing the families interact, laugh, share stories, and have fun together. I'm so blessed to be a member of the church, to fellowship with other saints, and to rejoice with others in the birth of our Savior.