Wednesday, December 15, 2010

And more singing!

Gabe's 5th grade also put together a Christmas show this year, giving us a glimpse into what Christmas was like as our nation began. It was wonderful to see...well, I couldn't always see (our cafeteria doesn't have stadium seating ;) ), but it was beautiful to hear. Gabe danced the waltz, sang a rap, gave a line full of personality, and sang, and sang, and sang! I love to see the funny expressions on his face as he sings. He is quite a kid that Gabe! The 5th graders closed out the night with my personal favorite, "Silent Night". It was even more special as the children used sign language as well as words to sing the song. Great work Gabe!

Ah...the singing!

Timothy's 2nd grade class was part of a Christmas Program this year at his school. The kids sang songs from around the world. Some of my favorites were "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth", "Feliz Navidad", "Mele Kelikimaka", and my all time favorite, "Silent Night".
The hit of the night was watching the kids dance with partners to
"Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"!

Timothy and his many faces...

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Let the games BEGIN!

Day 8 of the Piper's Countdown to Christmas...GaMe NiGhT!!!
Yatzee was the game of choice. Brennen and Mommy led off with YATZEE'S, but the winner is still undetermined, due to Brennen's scout activity.


Our Gingerbread Village...

...has now been devoured!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Piper Gingerbread Village

For the second year running, we Pipers countdown to Christmas by drawing a piece of paper out of a jar. Each paper is labeled with a number and has something fun to do on it. Some are very exciting for the kids, and a few are more exciting for mom and dad (the Community Christmas Concert earned one or two groans this year). Day 7 was a delight, GINGERBREAD HOUSES! Brennen helped me pick out a kit that contained five small houses and after Family Home Evening, we got to decorate!

Jeffrey helps Lizzy with her A-Frame house, while she concentrates on the candy.

I was happy to pipe the frosting wherever Tim needed it (mostly to avoid the mess that I knew would come if a 7 year old wielded a pastry bag!).

And here are the finished products...

I was so glad to have one all to myself to decorate :)

And there they least until tomorrow when I've promised the kids that they can devour their creations!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Trimming the Tree

Some of my best memories are of Christmastime in Utah as a child. The snow. The music. The pretty lights twinkling on our tree. The staying up all night long with my sister waiting for Santa to bring us a present. Ahhh....memories. One of the things that I loved about Christmas was decorating the tree. My mom let us kids do it all! From the assembly of our fine fake evergreen, to the last touch of tinsel. Many of our ornaments were homemade, so it didn't look much like the trees you would find in ZCMI, but we LOVED our tree!
So, this year when the tree was standing nice and tall in the corner of our living room, I began to reflect on the joy I had as a child decorating that old tree. And I realized that I have worried more as an adult about what my tree looked like, than about how much fun it would be for my kids to make the tree their own. I stepped back this year and let the children have at it...well...within reason. I still can't abide a clump of the same glass balls in one spot, so I may have moved a thing or two around. What can I say? I'm still a work in progress.

The lovely face of Gabe.

Timothy trimming the tree with care. You know, he actually thanked me a number of times for letting him decorate. He had such a good time!

Lizzy and her very favorite ornament, courtesy of Grandpa Piper. Thank you sooooo much Grandpa! I did have to insist, because of the sheer size of the thing, that Snow White find a home toward the rear. And Lizzy keeps it down low for better access.

Lovely my little princess...

Brennen was feeling icky, so he missed out this year. He didn't even complain, so he must not have been faking it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Annual Christmas Tree Hunt!

It's a Piper family tradition. Every year we, along with family and friends, make a trek up into the mountains to find that perfect Christmas tree. It is something the whole family looks forward to...but not for the reasons you might think... Lizzy loves to run around the hill...
Timothy is hiding from his brothers in the annual Piper Boy game of Hide and Go Seek (the real reason the Piper Boys like to go on a Christmas Tree Hunt!)
And spending time with family makes this day so special!

Oh, and of course I actually like looking for a Christmas Tree. Jeff does too. Although after about 10 minutes, the trees look pretty much the same...

And this was our pick for 2010!
(Can't you hear the Hallelujah Chorus singing in the background?)

We needed Brennen's approval before the final "cut". His face says it all...this one is a winner!
The tree is cut. Jeffrey and his dad carry it back to the van to load it on the roof...
...but not without Lizzy's help!

And now it is wrapped up nice and snug for the journey to the Piper living room!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Pipers at Game 1...well, almost!

San Francisco Giants vs. Texas Rangers for the 2010 World Series~A big deal in the Piper house! On Saturday I came home from dropping Gabe off to find the rest of the family glued to the TV, awaiting the outcome of the division playoffs. I was greeted by Lizzy (who is 3) with a high 5 and the phrase "Good Defense!" So when the Giants won the division, Jeffrey and I wanted to do something special for the World Series...but at $400 a pop for standing room only tickets, getting inside the park was a tad out of our reach.

Instead we headed up to the city to be a part of the game, without actually going to the game. We had a blast!

The boys and I outside AT&T Park

Notice the sign above Jeffrey and the kids
"Watch out for all flying objects not limited to baseballs and bats"

This is the flag used on the field for the national anthem...HUGE! We also got to see the jets flying overhead signaling the start of the game. I say jets because when I asked Tim if he saw the airplanes, he said, "NO mom! They're JETS!" Awesome.

Lizzy and her daddy




We walked around a bit, got each of the kids a souvenier, and then looked for someplace to eat. On our walk, we found a Blush frozen yogurt with a big screen TV. People were camped out inside at the tables and pulled up chairs to watch the game outside as well. The Giants were up to bat, so we stopped to watch. We were not quite 1/2 a mile from the stadium. Jeff had mentioned that there was a delay when the games were broadcast. Well he was definitely right about that! We could hear cheering at the stadium before we could see why. It was super cool! During our stop here the Giants tied the game 2-2!

Jeffrey and Lizzy on the way back to the car. We left around the 4th inning. I think it was a perfect time to go, before the true craziness began. We started for home, stopped off in Redwood City, and had dinner at Applebee's where we watched most of the rest of the game. Oh, and the Giants won 11-7...Go Giants!!!

I love an adventure!