Sunday, December 21, 2014

Holly Jolly Christmas Round 1

As the year winds down - many of the kids' activities take a holiday hiatus. We were busy this week with lots of holiday programs before break.
Hadley and her friend MacKenna at her holiday dance program.
All the little girls got to show off their moves. Check out my FB page for an adorable video of Hadley in action.
Miles completed a track and field rec program this week. He LOVED it - track is his favorite sport so far. He ran, did relays, hurdles, javelin, discus, and the long jump.
Miles in action.
Hadleyand Miles both had their preschool Christmas programs on Thursday. Hadley's class sang 3 songs, we ate a snack, they gave their parents gifts (a mitten ornament with her picture and hand print on it), and looked around her classroom. Hadley did such a great job for her first year!
We got to eat Feliz Navidad nachos with our little lady.
Daddy and mommy both loved spending time with Hadley at school.
Ms. G., Hadley's awesome teacher.
In the afternoon we enjoyed Miles' program (same agenda as Hadley's). 
This is Miles' 3rd year at this school and he's doing so well - learning a lot and playing with many friends.
Mrs. R. and Ms. G - his teachers.
So proud of our pre-k little man!
The Christmas festivities officially kicked off Saturday morning with an all day party with my family. We began with stockings, Christmas carols, and gingerbread house making at my parents' house. These three are just getting warmed up.
Singing and jingling bells.

Miles' creation

Opening stockings
Then the party moved to our house for the afternoon and evening. We started with a salad bar lunch and drinks.
We had quite the spread.
After lunch it was quiet rest time - so some people napped, others chatted quietly, and most of the kids watched Rudolf. Our cute three-year olds were snuggling inside one sleeping bag for awhile.
For better or worse each year I make everyone take a group photo...
This is more like it.
These two are very happy and not only celebrating Christmas but also the sale of their house - yeah! We had a champagne toast to honor the occasion.
Our annual girl picture
After quiet time the kiddos opened presents. Miles and Hadley both got kids e-readers. Miles also received clothes, a remote control Planes plane, and a snow castle builder. Hadley got a dance leotard, hair bows, a puzzle and a Mickey Mouse book.

We then asked grandpa to serenade us with the accordion. Everyone listened, played, and danced.
Mama and paparazzi captured all of these moments on film.
Miles trying the accordion.
Hadley taking her turn.
The afternoon flew by and soon we ate a dinner of (way too many) appetizers.
The kiddos all put on their Christmas jammies and our two girls just happened to have matching ones.
So snuggly and cute!
All the grandkids
After the kids went to bed - the adults opened presents. Hmmm - I wonder what the guys got?
Annual guy photo.
We ended the evening with gifts and games and many of the adults actually made it awake until 10 pm (a new record lately).
In the morning we had breakfast together and went to church before heading to New Prague for the big Nickolay Christmas party. Here we're sitting down to each lunch.
Here's Grandpa Nickolay with most of his great grandkids
Then he took a picture with the "old" kids - (most of) his grandkids
Grandpa is always a good party host
After lunch we sang Christmas carols and all of the little kids jingled bells. This was Hadley's year to shine - she entertained everyone with extra exuberant dancing and bell ringing this year - those dance lessons are sure paying off! We also did a white elephant gift exchange and came home with some lovely (cough, cough) presents, and also played BINGO.
Amy's not only our cousin but also our amazing nanny. We're so thankful she's here when we're not.
After a really fun weekend full of festivities, we're ready for round 2!

Merry Christmas everyone! Thank you so much for following the day-to-day adventures of our little family. I hope everyone stays healthy and has safe travels this holiday season. I'll be back with more in 2015!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Baking and a Christmas Musical

Saturday we baked kolacky's and made enough for this morning's breakfast, kept some in the freezer, and froze three more dozen to bring to the Grays in Arizona for Christmas.

Homemade sweet bread dough rising
Two bakers ready to go
Cutting and making the dough into squares
Adding the fillings - apricot, prune, and poppy seed
My mom, the expert kolacky baker helped - showing us how to fold them into neat, little packages 
One of four pans ready for the oven
Done! They are so good. The ones I left out for breakfast this morning were gone very quickly
Every Christmas season we see a show - it's one of the family traditions we started when Miles was little. This year we brought my Godson Daren to see Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer at Stages Children's Theater.
In our seats, eagerly anticipating the show. We're in the holiday spirit!
Meeting Rudolf and all of the characters. The kiddos all proclaimed the show "awesome!"
Dinner at Pizza Luce after
Three buddies eating sundaes on a Sunday