Saturday, December 19, 2009

Jaiden, the Christmas Pianist

Jaiden has been taking piano lessons for a few months now and recently had her very first opportunity to play in front of a crowd -- at the Wynfrey, no less!

A few fellow students and her piano teacher had a little mini Christmas concert at the grand piano in the foyer.

Jaiden played "Frosty the Snowman," with her teacher playing the accompaniment. She did an OUTSTANDING job! We are so proud and so thrilled that she loves piano!

(You can "pause" the music on the left so you can play the video!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Cookie Swap -- #5

The fifth annual Christmas cookie swap party took place at our house recently, despite a lack of vim and vigor for the Christmas decorating this year... being 9 months pregnant and all! ;)
BUT, we all know, the cookie swap is about THE COOKIES! And there were a LOT of delicious ones, as usual!

There were also fun games, story swapping and munching on goodies.

Cookie swap "newbie," Susan, won for most festive display, with a gorgeous, decorative basket filled with wrapped cookies and Christmas ornaments; and The Alcazars -- again! -- won for most creative display, with their miniature Christmas tree decorated in Spritz cookie ornaments.

All in all, it was a Christmas cookie exchange success! (And we are STILL enjoying the benefits and rewards!)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas ornament swap

Friday, December 4, brought together a very merry bunch of my neighbors (tacky Christmas wear and all!) for a first-ever Christmas ornament exchange party!

We "oooohed" and "ahhhed" over the gorgeous Christmas decorations at our hostess' home while sharing stories, listening to Christmas music and munching on a variety of home-baked goodies. (And most of us, including me, decided that we should all rethink our own Christmas decorations.... since Brandi makes everything look designer-magazine perfect!)

The atmosphere was nothing less than festive, creating a warm, lively tone for the ornament swap that took place a little after 8:00. Done in the "Dirty Santa" style, we swap participants picked numbers at random and selected a wrapped Christmas ornament, one at a time.

All was calm and mild as happy present openers discovered beautiful ornaments for their trees... until the "Dirty Santa" part kicked in, and suddenly, people were snatching ornaments from one another and quickly unwrapping replacements, only to get those picked up by someone else moments later! (Ah, yes, don't you just LOVE Dirty Santa?!?! *sigh)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Jaiden's 2nd grade Christmas program

Ah, yes...the yearly tradition continues.... the ridiculously crowded lunch room, standing room only, with bored, antsy toddlers and pre-schoolers running amok and parents straining to catch a glimpse of their children and snap a few decent photos without capturing someone else's head, arms or video equipment in the shot....

I'm talking about Jaiden's Christmas program at school. As usual, we weren't in the best location for pictures. (I'm not sure Jaiden even spotted us this year.) But it was cute, nonetheless, and I do have a few random shots of weird expressions and open mouths as the kiddies sang their arrangement of holiday songs.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Talented Balloon Artist

No, I have not fallen off the face of the planet.... and no, the baby is not quite here yet! So, what's my excuse for being absent from blog world? Nothing really..... (Can I blame it on pregnancy in general!?!)
At any rate, just give me a chance to play a little catch up with some random thoughts, pictures and more.... starting with THIS shot of a unique creation that a balloon artist made for me at a craft fair. Is that not amazing?!!?! Who would have thought you could make such a CUTE little stork (carrying the baby boy bundle and all) from some balloons!?!?