Good Stuff: last odds and ends of the year

Azia always loves a reason to dress up. She came home after school and got all ready for her Christmas concert.

It was at 7:00pm.

I had no time to even look at most of the photos I was taking in December, so the last couple days I've been switching back and forth between cleaning and organizing and my house and my computer. I have much work still to do on both, but it's almost back to work.

Anyway, as  I work backwards posting things from different activities from the last month, I've been collecting a few things it seems I've skipped over.

outside the assisted living center

I ended up doing quite a lot of hayriding/ Christmas caroling this year. All sort of by accident. It's nice we have all sorts of groups in town that like this business of spreading Christmas cheer.

singing to residents
Ahni was very into naughty and nice lists this year. Not sure if she has an in with Santa or not, but luckily I was always on her nice lists.

Lex the baker

Lex loves baking. Cooking or any kind really, but when we do baking things he can add all sorts of ingredients, so I think that's his favorite.
We did tons of baking this month– something every couple days. (This is a lot for me, because some months I only get real dinner made about that often.

 And of course we always seem to do this right after he's taken a bath.

My timing isn't so great.


Zoran's class

I've been going in and helping out in Zoran's class a few mornings a week since my teaching schedule this last quarter has been pretty flexible and because I needed to do something positive with the school since I've been completely angry and disappointed with every dealing I've had there this year. Zoran's class seemed like a good place to start.  I love his teacher and I love this group of kids! Of course four of them are his cousins, so I might be a little biased to begin with, but he has always had such a fun class. I've know most of the kids since Headstart and am friends with most of the parents of those who didn't go to Headstart.  

the whole group reading on their walk down to the computer lab
It's fun to watch them all grow up together.


Azia's Art Museum Field Trip

Azia's fourth grade TEA group (which used to be TAG–talented and gifted–though I have no idea what TEA stands for?) joined one of the fifth grade classes for a field trip to the Missoula Art Museum to see the Ansel Adams exhibit. The fourth graders had been reading about Ansel Adams and looking at his work for a few weeks leading up to the trip.

Breeze checking out the photographs

They had a collection of docents who gave the kids tours of all the different work on display at the museum and then had an Adams-inspired art project for the kids to work on.

This group of kids really impressed me. They were smart. They were knowledgeable about the art and all sorts of related issues. They were also interested in learning more and asked great questions, and were very respectful of the speakers and the building. It's always nice when that's the case.

Azia working on the print-making step in her project.

All the kids art hanging, ready for their critique

After lunch at the museum, they took the kids to check out the University on the way back. We mainly did a little mini-tour of the UC.

I think my favorite part of the UofM stop was watching the kids on the elevator.

I forgot how new and exciting small things like this can be. (Especially when you live in a town that might not even have one elevator? There must be one somewhere, though I honestly can't think of any buildings that have one.)


Ornament Making

We made three or four different sorts of ornaments this year. These were going to all be gingerbread looking ones, but then I left the kitchen while Azia and Zoran were painting.

They turned out a lot more colorful.


School Christmas Concerts

I think the school was seeing if they could create the most awful lighting situation possible at the Christmas concerts. Low light + harsh spotlights on some random  kids + strange colored lights on others? Photography was a bit hopeless.

Israel is in there somewhere (Santa hat directly above Santa himself) though nearly hidden by the combination of pretty girls and bad light.

The high school choir always does a great job with their performances.

Azia and Zoran on the way to their concert a few days later:

my little drummer boy (okay so maybe it's xylophone or something)
Making music with his buddies: Lanie, Rodney, Zoran and Bryce
Lettie and Ahni: stylish sisters

Beautiful Winter
I love Christmas lights in the house, late at night when everyone else is sleeping and the whole house is clean and calm. One of my favorite things ever.

And also, I love beautiful winter skies and light. 


Entertaining himself with the old computer.
He also really liked the new one, though he hasn't quite figured out how to use it. Yesterday I came in and he was watching this Spanish YouTube tutorial on how to make leather slippers. (As close as I could tell. . . also I'm sure it had something to do with a grandmother, but I'm not sure what. My Spanish is not so stellar.)

Or maybe he has figured it out. I never really know what's going on with this guy.

He also really loves the ipad: movies, recording studio apps, drawing...

Also math.

But we still have a little work to do in that area.


Rain. Panning for Gold

Israel got a gold pan for Christmas. Any day now we will certainly strike it rich.

He's doing all the actual panning, but I say "we" because I've told him he has my support, so it's only right that he share his fortune once he finds it.

Duke in his jail. He stands on the doghouse and puts his front paws over the top edge when he sees us coming down the driveway. I'm just waiting for him to just jump out one of these days rather than wait for someone to let him out. I'm pretty sure he could do it. He is growing so fast. He's only 7 months old and a monster.
A monster who likes to hug (even though he isn't supposed to) and who is just about exactly the same size as 9-year-old Azia.

Rain, shorts. . . hardly seems like December.

So, we're taking down Christmas. . . on to the new year.

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