Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas with the Wood Clan

19 of us. Only one was missing. We gathered at my sister's house for great food, a lot of laughs, and time together. Both new babies were here, and we all enjoyed watching the little ones together.

Christmas Morning

Christmas jammies. Raspberry breakfast braid. Nerf wars. Family. It was a fabulous Christmas morning, even if my parents weren't expecting us!

Christmas Surprise

First we told Annie about a big Christmas adventure.

Then we got in a car and drove through mountains and snow for three days.

And then we pulled off the "mother" of all Christmas surprises for my parents.

A Visit with Santa

Power of the King

Another highlight of fifth grade is getting a drama role in the Sunday School program. This year, the theme was a 70's radio station without power on Christmas Eve. Dayna got the role of Jan Brody, a church choir director.

Annie got into the fun as well with the preschoolers. What she was doing, exactly, with her fingers is another story.

Fifth Grade Band and Choir Concert

Fifth grade already! Dayna was ready to go with her very first band concert. Her choir teacher also asked her to accompany one of their songs on the cello. It was truly an afternoon for Dayna to shine!




So heartwarming to see Annie so at ease with her new friend Bill at church today. She doesn't do well with strangers, and Bill is a very special man who is exceptionally outgoing. He is one of many friendly faces in our church's special needs ministry. Exuberance like Bill's often causes great anxiety in Annie. I expected her to be uncomfortable, and instead, she followed him for a good fifteen minutes around the foyer. One of our church elders was able to catch this picture for us.

Elf Dinner

We admit...we're a little crazy about the movie "Elf". It's quite possibly at the top of our list of favorite funny movies, Christmas or not. And we felt it only proper to watch the movie this year with a well-balanced elf meal consisting of the four food groups: candy, candy corn, fancy canes, and syrup!

Missing Our "Little Hamster Dude"

We had a sweet, unexpected snow day right after Thanksgiving. You may recall I posted a picture of Dayna showing the snow to our hamsters. That week, Humphrey was a little more affectionate than usual. He climbed right into our hands instead of waiting for us to pick him up. He ran up and down our arms and was his usual sweet self. 

On Friday of that week, he curled into a little ball, fell asleep to sweet hamster dreams, and never woke up. 

It was pretty heartbreaking for Dayna. We had no idea his days were getting short, and there really wasn't a goodbye. She did make a sweet resting box for him as we laid him to rest. Funny how a little rodent can work his way into your heart.

School Board Honors

Dayna was one of a small handful of students at her school asked to make a presentation for the Nebraska Association of a School Boards. She was super excited to talk about her class and their use of Chromebooks...but I think the stop at McDonalds on the way back to school for a hot chocolate may have been the highlight! The school's technology coordinator was kind no enough to send me a quick shot of Dayna in action.