Sunday, December 31, 2017

A Fun and Festive December

This December has definitely been a fun and festive one for our family! Normally we don't get too crazy over the holidays, but this year we did a few things that we normally don't do. I have probably mentioned that Faith is in a homeschooling group called Inspire Collective. She has been having so much fun hanging out with other kids and becoming friends with some of the girls in her class. Four of these girls are involved in Northern Plains Dance and this year we were invited by one of the moms to come and check out their performance of the Nutcracker.

We had never actually seen the Nutcracker before and the three of us absolutely loved it! The music, the dancing, the acting, and the costumes all made it a really good production. I'm so thankful we were able to experience it. Who knows, it just might be a new tradition for us!

Faith waiting for the Nutcracker to begin
Having a fun time at the ballet!
The next weekend we had to get ready for the Inspire Christmas program. The kids did a rendition of a play called "The Reluctant Innkeeper" and the music teacher was kind enough to add in a part and a few lines just for Faith. She played the angel who said, "Fear not for I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. For unto is born this day in Bethlehem, a savior who is Christ the Lord." Faith put a lot of time and energy into memorizing all the songs and not only her lines, but the lines of everyone else as well! One time after practicing at home, she yelled, "I am the greatest actress in the universe!"

In the days leading up to the program, she kept asking me if I was going to be on stage with her and I kept telling her no. Thankfully, one of her friends got to stand right next to her during the production so she was chosen to get Faith on the stage and make sure she was in the right place for her lines. Faith actually seemed very comfortable on stage and didn't seem nervous or anxious at all. She was mostly excited and had a lot of fun.

Faith was glad that her grandma and grandpa, along with her great aunt came to the program. Her grandparents and aunt from Canada were able to watch it online. Her grandmother said she watched it with "happy tears."

Some of the Inspire kids on stage
Faith in her angel costume
Faith was so glad Grandma and Grandpa came to her program!
 During our time at Inspire this year, I have loved watching Faith grow, mature, and become a little bit more independent. She has made some good friends and looks forward to going each and every week, even when she's really tired or not feeling the best.

After the program, Faith started a 3-week break from Inspire, which she was pretty sad about. She can't wait to get back to it. I for one am glad for the break however, especially in light of the below zero temperatures and all the windchill warnings that have been in effect. It's a good thing we have had some visitors that have helped to pass the time. One of her favorite visitors was the newest addition to our family!

Faith meeting her newest cousin, Malachi Daniel

Rob and Marla hanging out - she thought our remote was a phone!
Thankfully, it wasn't so cold on Christmas Eve, which is when we went to Grandma and Grandpa's. Three out of four of my siblings were there, along with most of Faith's cousins, and her three baby cousins. We didn't stay long but it was nice to see everyone, even if just for a little bit and to get some fun photos.

When we got home, Faith was excited to play with one of her Christmas gifts - the latest and greatest version of Wheel of Fortune on the PS4.

The 3 of us at Grandma and Grandpa's on Christmas Eve
Me with my parents and three of my siblings
Faith with her little cousins
My niece Justine and great niece GracieLynn
Christmas Day was extremely cold so we stayed in and opened presents and had a nice dinner, which included a turkey breast, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans w/ feta and walnuts, and stuffing. We also had a nice conversation with our family in Canada.

Having fun with Faith

It just wouldn't be Christmas without a new Tim Horton's mug from Canada!

Last week, I got the chance to hang out with my sisters when we went out for lunch, and even though it was freezing cold outside, we braved the weather to make it to my niece's baby shower. It was a fun time of games, food, and lots of gifts for my great nephew who will be born any day now!

Sister time!
My sister and niece at the baby shower
Faith, Rob, and Malachi
Tonight as I type type this, it is New Year's Eve and once again we are experiencing frigid temperatures. Right now it is -16 degrees with a windchill of -31. Rob braved the temperatures to pick up Applebee's for our dinner and for the rest of the night we're going to be watching our new favorite TV show, Heartland along with Spider-man Homecoming.

It has certainly been a fun and festive December! We pray that everyone has a warm and safe New Year's as we say goodbye to one year and transition into the next.

Happy 2018!

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