Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Summer, Happy Christmas!

It truly is the best time of the year. Summer vacation and Christmas break together as one. I had a hard time last year because it just didn't feel like Christmas, or summer for that matter. This year we've alternated between cold wet days that keep us inside baking and singing along to a Chipmunk Christmas, and hot summer days spent running in the sprinklers and eating popsicles. We've had the best of both worlds. Laying in bed with the sun peaking through the drapes, the sound of distant lawnmowers and a warm heaviness in the summer air while I recount the story of baby Jesus' birth to Ryder. The stable smelling like poop was his favorite part. I still do miss the coziness of Christmas and it's hard finding my loyalites, like I feel like I'm cheating on Christmas if I'm excited for summer and vice versa. They really do both deserve their time to shine, but we're finding the good in what we have. So here's our last day of school recap, starting with your typical 7th grade class selfies. Kylie really has had such a fun year and made some really great friends.

She received an award at the end of year assembly for her sense of humor and fun that she brings to the class. She really does have some enviable comedic timing. I've loved watching her personality develop from this shy little kindergartener who sat in the corner digging holes in the dirt to this girl who shines as the center of attention.

The next day we were heading to the boy's end of year assembly when I had to stop at the pharmacy. While we were at the register checking out we heard the loudest crash and ran outside to see an elderly woman behind the wheel still pushing on the gas after plowing into this car, flipping it over then crashing into the store. Thankfully the woman was okay and no one else was hurt, but it was kind of an intense moment. What shook me up the most was that not only was I planning on parking there and flipped around when I saw a spot in front of the school instead, but that a minute later we would have been standing right there as we walked next door to get some tomatoes. Kylie and Ryder were with me and the thought of them being in that spot made me physically ill. Just so grateful.

We made it to the assembly and I loved hearing them sing Christmas songs, especially religious ones like, "Away in a Manger". So different from the politically correct schools in the states.

Just like last year, it was cold and rainy on their last day of school before summer break.  We walked to the dairy next door for ice cream cones to celebrate, but they were too cold for ice cream so we settled on whistle pops and gummies instead.

We celebrated summer and Christmas break that evening with all our favorite holiday finger foods. The homemade crock pot hot chocolate sounded so good when it was cold and rainy earlier, but then the sun came out. It was beautiful outside and we loved it, but we also had sweat dripping down as we sipped our cocoa. There I go again talking about the weather...

I usually get a little nervous before the start of summer or school holidays. It seems like there is always so much bickering that goes on in the few hours that they're together after school and I worry what will happen when they're together all day long. For some reason they seem to get along so much better when they're out of school. They really are fun kids to hang out with. I used to always want to be on the go, get up, get dressed and get out of the house. Lately I'm finding the appeal in staying in pajamas until noon. I'd like to say I'm learning to find joy in the simple pleasures, but mostly I think I'm just growing lazy. After slow lazy mornings we've tried to get out and enjoy the sun when it's out.

Our pre-Christmas eve was spent having a picnic in the park, climbing trees, running through sprinklers and a Santa scavenger hunt in the museum. Best of both worlds, I tell ya.

For part of our Christmas present Judy bought us a day pass to the Willowbank Wildlife Preserve, so that's where we spent Christmas eve. Not too traditional, but definitely enjoyable. It was just a pleasant and relaxing day. Pleasant sounds like such an old person word, but it really does describe it perfectly. I think the highlight for the kids was eating lunch at the cafe. And also when I used the men's bathroom. They really should label their doors more clearly. So far this summer and Christmas are shaping up to be pretty good.

Of all the animals we saw, this little monkey was the cutest. Cheesy much? Come on, you know I can't help it.


Jodee said...

If I didn't know better it would look like you are 8 months behind like me ;) But alas, you are a rockstar just living on the other side of the world :(
So glad you parked where you parked and all was safe that day. Phew! Love you guys

Janessa said...

I'm glad you're finding harmony in meshing both Christmas and Summer. I guess after a run through last year you're an old pro now! Yay for some sun and warm enough weather to feel hot when drinking your hot cocoa. That wildlife preserve looks like a fun place. I think that bird's got your number though. Watch your back ;-) I agree, Ryder is definitely the cutest little monkey!