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    Archive for December 2011

    The most wonderful time of the year

    Thursday, December 29, 2011

    Christmas was wonderful. We still have one more celebration left. On Christmas Eve Mike made our traditional mussels, which were delicious as always. The kids enjoyed their Mac and Cheese and before bed we put out some cookies, milk and carrots for Santa and Rudolph. I probably say this every single year, but I don't know who was more excited - us or Benjamin (Lucy is pretty much totally oblivious to the whole thing). I barely slept that night just from the sheer excitement of seeing their faces light up and hearing Benjamin exclaim "Santa came! Santa came!" And Christmas morning delivered. It was just as magical as I'd imagined. First we opened up our stockings:

    Benjamin and our stockings Opening stockings
    and then we all traveled downstairs to see the tree: 
    Only shot of the two kids I could get
    Lucy was feeling it:
      Santa is ready! 
     We opened our presents and tried them out: 
    Lucy and her shopping cart from Benjamin "Cooooool!"Harry Potter/Benjamin Lucy and her gift from Uncle Mark and Aunt Debbie Benjamin and Daddy's Mommy-Made Race Bib Holders Mommy's iPad! 
    (I got an iPad!!) 
     And then we packed up the car and headed up to the Schmitt celebration:
      AJ and BenjaminLucyPackers Popcorn for Grandpa! Jennifer and Albert Benjamin and Uncle Andy Lucy hanging out with her godparents Grandma and her calendar
    It was a busy, but great day.  Benjamin and Lucy had so much fun playing with their cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents.  Now we are looking forward to (we even restarted our Christmas countdowns) our next celebration with my parents...

    Twas the Week Before Christmas

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011

    Christmas anticipation is at an all time high in the Schmitt household this week. Benjamin keeps busy with changing the days on the advent calendars and with scouting out our elf every morning. His mischief making has increased and so has the fun. Here are some of his latest antics: 
    Elf on the Shelf - Day 8 Elf on the Shelf - Day 10 Elf on the Shelf - Day 12 Elf on the Shelf - Day 13 Elf on the Shelf - Day 14
    We only have a few more days left with Ormint and then he'll be flying off to the North Pole to help Santa for the rest of the year.  It will be sad to see him go.

    Benjamin's acting class session came to an end last Saturday with a special performance of Twas the Night Before Christmas.  Basically it was just a short little improv skit where the kids each had roles in the story as one of the teachers read it aloud on stage.  It lasted for 5 minutes, but Benjamin was so pleased to finally have a chance to perform a "play" on a real stage instead of our living room.  He regularly writes up scripts for Mike and I to perform with him, complete with costumes.  I signed him up for the next session of acting classes that begins in February.  He's very excited to do it again.  Here is a video of some of his performance (I apologize for the quality.  Somehow I forgot to grab my camera on the way out the door and all we had were our cell phones.  The sound is horrible so you'll have to turn the volume way up to hear anything...sorry!):

    Five more days.  It is hard to believe.  I only hope the next few days go by quickly!

    It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

    Monday, December 12, 2011

    We've all been working hard on our holiday preparations lately. Saint Nicholas Day is over, we are dabbling in a new family tradition with our Elf on the Shelf, the kids had breakfast with Santa, my shopping is nearly done and the Christmas cards should arrive later this week for so I can mail them to everyone. This time of year always seems to move much more quickly than any other. Maybe that is because it is filled with excitement, anticipation and even a little dread. After all, busy schedules, work and school, the weather, and gift buying stress can really take a toll on everyone. But we are looking forward to a wonderful Christmas and New Year and will enjoy every fun and stressful time along the way! As I mentioned, we have started a new tradition with our Elf on the Shelf that St. Nick brought for the kids. If you aren't familiar with this, check out the website. Benjamin named our elf Ormint because "he looks like an ornament!" Mike and I have been having so much fun with hiding the little guy and making up mischievous things for him to do in the night. Here are some of the hiding spots/mischief:

      Elf on a Shelf - Day 6 Elf on a Shelf - Day 3 Elf on a Shelf - Day 2

    As far as we can tell, Benjamin believes the elf is magic.  It has been a good way to reinforce good behavior this time of year!

    This past weekend we made our yearly trip to Macy's for Breakfast with Santa along with my parents. I think this photo sums it up:
    Breakfast with Santa

    Lucy is changing so much every single day. She is an old pro at walking now and is picking up new words all of the time. She can now say "There you go!" and "Thank you!" She also now shakes her head yes or no if you ask her a question. Benjamin has a lot of fun asking her questions that she doesn't understand like "Lucy, do you want to eat some cockroaches?" She always shakes her head yes.  It is very exciting seeing her take in all this season has to offer.

    Benjamin is so excited for Christmas.  Every day after he wakes up he changes the Christmas countdowns we have throughout the house.  We've been keeping him busy with some new activities including acting class and "Little Hoopsters," a basketball class.  The acting class is done by the Rochester Civic Theatre.  He has been learning stage directions, touring the different rooms at the theatre and preparing for a very short (and unexpected - we only found out this weekend!) performance that will be his last class.  I think we have another actor in the family!  He loves it!!  We are a family of actors, but not athletes - at least not in team sports - so he's not exactly at the top of his basketball class.  However, he has such an enthusiasm for learning and is having a great time making new friends.  Plus, Lucy and I have been having fun exploring the community education center during his class.  We can't be in the gym with him because Lucy seems to think she is a 6 year old and tries at every chance to make a break for it so she can join in on the action.

    Christmas will be here before we know it.  We can't wait!