Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Day to Day Adventures in December (2015)

December is always a pretty fun, busy, and sometimes stressful month leading up to the holidays.  It is also one of my favorite months, though, as there are always so many exciting things taking place.
Last December started with a few goodbyes, some temporary and some more permanent.  I got together with Jeni for a girls night out to say goodbye to her for a few weeks as she traveled for the holidays and visiting family.  We went out to eat at Rocco's Tacos in Fort Lauderdale and had a blast late into the night laughing and talking.  The following day a group of us met up at the local park to say goodbye to the Trockel and Bean families.  It was super sad to say goodbye to Whitney and her girls.  Daxton kept asking for Brooke and Macey for weeks after.  That is one of the hardest things about living in this area; it's very transient with lots of students.  One of our friends brought his new BB gun to the park so we all took turns shooting pop cans...probably not the safest activity, but it was fun :)

Other highlights for December included wrestling with buddies while babysitting, napping on mommy, and finding the perfect hiding place to watch shows on the iPad.

We also had the incredible opportunity to attend the event "Bethlehem Revisited" put on at a local church in Coral Springs.  The detail and work that went into the event was astounding.  There were hundreds of volunteers, all dressed in authentic period appropriate clothing, to depict the city of Bethlehem during Christ's birth.  It was so incredible to visit each of the shops, learn about ancient Bethlehem, and to envision what it would have been like back when Christ was born.

After learning about different types of food, childcare, candle and basket making, etc we were led to a humble stable where there was a live nativity.  It was the perfect way to help celebrate Christ's birth during the holiday season.

Other highlights in December were teaching one the last weeks of preschool before our holiday break.  We learned about the letter O and I planned lots of different snow related activities.  The kids loved using their whiteboards to practice writing the letter O and they also loved reading our new book, Snowmen at Night.

We made Snowmen out of marshmallows, perfect to practice the letter O, and a yummy treat for the kids who snacked on them as they created their projects.  As they were waiting for their glue to dry on their snowmen, they also got to write their name in marshmallows.  Both projects turned out so cute!

We also did another art project of painting with marbles, because the kids were begging to use marbles again.  This time I kept it simple with plain rectangle white paper in cake pans, lots of green sparkly paint, and several marbles.  We let them dry over night and then used them for an art project the following day.

For our science project we made snow and the kids about lost their mind.  It's so strange to me that most of these little florida babies have never felt snow before.  I combined baking soda with shaving cream and had the kids mix it all together.  The shaving cream naturally created a cold substance that had a very similar feel to packed snow.  I also poured in a little blue glitter to make it extra sparkly.  I then let the kids play in their snow for awhile, some of them even made little snowmen which was pretty cute.  
Then we talked about chemical reactions.
I put a little bit of vinegar in a dropper and then slowly dropped it into Daxton's pan.  The kids about lost it when they saw everything start to bubble.  After that, they each got their own droppers and started to pour in their own vinegar into their pans.  It was such a fun activity and I didn't even mind the massive mess left behind, thanks to tile floors.

The next day, we played Roll a reindeer, finished up our marshmallow snowmen and christmas tree art projects, played christmas bingo, and had a little christmas party.
I sure love these crazy kiddos!

Other highlights from December included...
Finishing another round of swim lessons with his buddy Jack and Coach Brandon, displaying all his fun artwork from preschool, and going out on another awesome girls night with my buddy Jessica.  Jessica and I had a blast eating at the Cheesecake Factory and talking late into the night.  The very next day she went into early labor with her twins...so crazy!  They spent a couple months in the NICU and are doing incredibly and are super yummy and cute.

In December, we also threw a little Christmas party for our preschool families.  It was a pretty casual potluck where we got to hang out, eat yummy food, and let the kids run around crazy.

We also convinced all the kids to put on a live nativity, which was pretty cute.  Daxton was pretty upset that he was chosen to be Joseph, though, so daddy had to walk and sit next to him for most of the reading.

These are some pretty cute kids for sure!

After successfully making it through the live nativity with a bunch of crazy kids, we rewarded them with sugar cookie decorating.  The kids had a blast decorating and eating a bunch of cookies and surprisingly, there wasn't too much of a mess to clean up!

All our sweet little preschool boys
(L to R) Dean, Joey, Daxton, Levi, and Julian

These families have truly become family!
(L to R) Derek and Kimberly Flack, Danny and Alex Salano, Thom and Arianne Chambers, Dallas and I, Carlos and Emily Pesoa

Our last big adventure in December before the Christmas holidays, was attending the Polar Express down in Miami with the Shumate family.  It was awesome!
The entire train station was gorgeously decorated with thousands of twinkling lights and all sorts of decorations.
Daxton and Jack both went in cute little pajamas and were glued at the hip the whole night.

About to board the Polar Express!

So many beautiful lights!

Each of the cars were decorated beautifully with lights, garland, stockings, and presents.

They gave each of us chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate, the boys were so excited!

We also all got golden tickets which were punched during the train ride.

When we reached the north pole Santa boarded the train and gave each of us a bell, just like the story book.  I love the picture below of Daxton seeing Santa for the first time.

After the train ride, we let the boys explore all the different decorated trains and gift shop.  The kids had a blast climbing on all the different trains and looking at all the colorful lights.

Jack and Daxton could not have been cuter!
They're such sweet little buddies and get along so well.  It was such a fun night with them.

This picture below is absolutely magical.
I love how Daxton is looking up in awe at all the colorful lights on the train.  What an exciting time of year!

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