Sunday, December 26, 2010

School Holidays

Oliver's school does a great job of celebrating diversity. One day of Chanukah his teacher invited me to come teach a Chanukah lesson (mostly a fun game of dreidel!). They also hosted a parade of holidays. Each classroom represented a different winter holiday and the parents stayed while the children paraded around the playground.

Oliver's classroom drew Christmas and the kids were adorable in their tree hats singing Jingle Bells every few paces.
Oliver, A Very Happy Tree

The School Representing...

Oh Chanukah, Oh Chanukah...

I was thrilled this year that Chanukah for Oliver and Ava was not all about the gifts (come next year, we'll see if this is still true). Oliver absolutely loved "lighting" his wooden menorah with the wooden candle flames every night and singing the prayers. He also enjoyed giving gifts to others!

We were lucky to spend several of the nights among friends as well as a few cozy nights at home exploring the new toys. We spent the first night with friends at our house.

Easily the Biggest Hit of Chanukah - Gammy and Paw-Paw Gave the Kids a Bouncy House

Oliver is a Big Fan of Ava's Chew-Chew Train Plate Set

A Little Help....Believe it or Not Oliver Asked Ava for Help Opening his Gift. Very Sweet!

Chanukah Party at Anat and Rotem's

Ah, the sign of a good Chanukah!

Kids Giving to Kids

The Saturday after Thanksgiving there is an annual parade in town for operation Blue Santa. The idea is that all the kids who come bring a toy for other children in need during the holiday season. It was a very fun parade and touching to see the huge trucks and floats full of gifts for children who would otherwise go without. Jon and I have decided to make it an annual tradition to attend when we stay in town for Thanksgiving.

The kids enjoyed the event thoroughly....maybe next year :)

Back to School

In November, one of Jon's buddies from college got married. We went to the wedding which was in Lafayette, IN - the sister city to West Lafayette where Purdue University is located.

We flew in and out of the Windy City.
Jon Sampling a Taste of His Town

We got to see some friends and family there as well as visit some tourist destinations like Navy Pier, Shed Aquarium and the Children's Museum.

Gammy and Paw-Paw met us in Lafayette to visit during the short weekend. They watched the kids during the wedding ceremony and picked them up from the reception so Mommy and Daddy could enjoy some late night dancing. It was wonderful!

At the Wedding

We are all Wimpy at Heart

Cousin Maddie loves the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. So when we found out Jeff Kinney and the purple bus were coming to Austin to sign his new book, we thought we would get Maddie a copy.

There was a cool release party too! We got to hear Mr. Kinney speak as well as the actors from the Wimpy Kid movies. Zoowee was a fun time.

Recovery Trip

Paw-Paw had his second knee replaced in September and decided to spend some time here "recovering". Aunt Jen and cousin Chase accompanied him on the trip and we did our best to pack in the schedule hindering most chances of R and R...but we had fun!

We went to the library, the gym, Gymboree class, out to eat several name it. One weekend day, we happened upon an opening of Panda Express with free food and give-aways. Then we went on to the Kookie Cookie Festival where we made aprons, playdough, watched a magician and sampled/judged 15 different cookies.

Ava Approved of the Day's Activities

The cousins had a great time playing together. We got used to hanging out together, playing, bathing and doing bedtime routines. By the end of the trip they were all best buddies:

Holding Hands in the Car

Halloween parts 3-7....

And then...

Oliver decided he wanted to be a wagon. I have no idea where he got the idea but he was pretty insistent. Since going to the store and buying a wagon costume seemed a little out of the question, we improvised a little and made a costume.

Oliver Showing Off his Costume

We took the contraption to the Princess and Trolls Tea Party at the library the day before Halloween:

Ava switched it up too - A Rams Cheerleader

Then, we hit the fall festival in our neighborhood:

Ava and Daddy Napped this one Out...But Ollie and Mommy had a Blast!

Later that night, we went to the Round Rock Halloween Party where we entered the costume contest.
I still think we were robbed of a prize!

The next day was Halloween. We hit the Malloween event before tackling the neighborhood:
Wagon and Spider

Then wrapped up the super busy weekend with neighborhood trick-or-treating and a stash of candy that is still going strong as we approach the new year.