Saturday, December 31, 2011

dancing again?

I know, how many dancing-related posts can I put in one blog? What can I say, the girls still love it, it's something they do that takes a lot of time and thus a lot of mine, at performances I always have my camera because those outfits are so darn photo-worthy.
There are no competitions at this time of year, but there are plenty of extra performances. Kate and Erin didn't even sign up for all of them because some conflicted with my work schedule, but the St. Andrew's performance and this evening outdoor performance right before Christmas were the biggest ones and they were really looking forward to both of them. On a campy stage downtown the kids danced a shorter version of their extravaganza show that they did in November. The stage is located right in the center of a large downtown park where there are Christmas events every night and they had a really large audience for the show.
I worried about them being too cold in their outfits but they got to stay in a relatively warm tent before going on stage and again back in the tent in between dances. Since the lighting was far less than ideal for action shots I didn't get any good photos of the dancing, but you've all seen plenty before.

After the show the emcee and one of the dance teachers posed with the night's dance group. Erin and Kate are both seated in the front row.
Competition season 2012 will be underway very shortly, with Kate and Erin signed up for their first one in January. Now that Kate is a beginner, she'll be competing against Erin. Several other siblings we know have to do the same. I hope that little wrinkle won't cause either of them to enjoy dancing any less than they do now.

it wouldn't be christmas

Grandma was going to be heading up to the Seattle area to spend xmas with Sue's family, but before she left she kindly scheduled a cookie making and decorating day with the girls. It turned into quite a task with 3 varieties of cookies, including the absolutely mandatory and legendary "green tree" cookies. This are the one Christmas food tradition in John's family, and even a very large batch doesn't last much more than a day around here.
After many trees and some other cookies were done Grandma got out a project I hadn't seen before. She melted marshmallows and poured them over Kix cereal, then they stuffed the mix into butter-coated paper cones, which they could then remove and roll in sprinkles to decorate.

The result, very cute and definitely tasty, much like a rice krispies treat. We'll have to do this one again.

at st. andrew's

A few days before Christmas a very large Scottish church holds a big Christmas concert every year. The girls missed this performance last year because of our Hawaii trip, but they were eager to participate this time. The church is gigantic and was absolutely packed full while a large pipe band, Scottish string orchestra, and the dancers from our dance school performed. There was also some singing and reading of Scottish folk tales. The whole event lasted more than 2 hours. John skipped it, Allison joined me in the audience, though it went on for so long that she lost interest about half-way through.

After the pipe band entered, the dancers came in and took their place down the very long center aisle of the church.

Kate and Erin were right near each other, Kate has her new red and black national outfit.

Despite Allison's boredom, it was actually a really good performance overall, I mean, if you're into this kind of thing, which has definitely grown on me. The crowd was really appreciative and afterwards we saw some friends who had been in the audience. At the tea reception following, several audience members stopped Erin and Kate to compliment them on their dancing.

christmas crafts

Before Christmas we attended a large girl scout event for the whole county, held in a gigantic building at the fairgrounds. The place was filled with booths staffed by various troops and they were either selling holiday crafts they'd made, or hosting a booth where you could make your own crafts.

We learned from others that the making crafts booths were the most fun so we spent most of our time there. This is exactly the sort of event I'd love to avoid in the future. It was so loud in there, with hundreds of people, no where to sit, and we had to stay right together the whole time because the place was such a zoo and without any obvious landmarks, so I thought I'd lose any one of them in no time. Their troops had been there earlier in the day but we had German school and couldn't go until the afternoon, which meant I had to take them myself.
Despite my being not so impressed, the girls were happy with the crafts they made and had a great time overall and want to come back next year, when they suggested their troops run a booth, so that they can be there ALL day long instead of only a few hours.


I promised myself I'd blog about Thanksgiving before Christmas, but I didn't make it. I think I've learned my lesson, I should quit promising myself to blog on a deadline. Who needs the extra disappointment? Just as I started the blog to be able to share photos with family without having to worry about the size of email attachments, I now often feel kind of silly writing about what we do since our families are on facebook and I tend to briefly write about a lot of what we're doing at the time we're doing it.
John invited his entire extended family to Thanksgiving this year, thinking we'd be moved into our new house by then. It was a fair assumption, given that by November we will have owned the house for more than a year, and we know it's a big project, but c'mon. Fourteen months?
Anyway, back to Thanksgiving. Plan B: dinner at Grandma's house. Everyone was here: Sue's family from Washington, Terri's family from Oregon, Laura from Colorado (below), Sydney from New York.

We had two large turkeys.
And thanks to Laura and her idea to have her and Allison, future professional innovative baker in training, make pies the day before, we had many desserts.

And we had a lot of togetherness. I think our girls really like being in the middle age-wise. They are the oldest of the young cousins and they like spending time with Sue's younger 3 girls frm Washington, but they also like getting attention from their 5 big cousins, whom they look up to quite a bit.

The usual gathering in Grandma's yard for photos. We were last all together a year ago in Hawaii for Christmas. We were a big, loud group and I'm sure Grandma won't object to dinner being at our new house next year.