Sunday, December 24, 2006

CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE

Ross was a shepherd.

Nate was Joseph and his friend, Anna, was Mary.



MORE CHRISTMAS FUN

Kenzie is pictured below in one of her many Christmas outfits. She told everyone that her name was Mrs. Claus today. Usually, she says her name is Big Girl.


Decorating cookies is so much fun!




We hope Santa likes a lot of milk with his cookie!


Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Craft

These were very hard to photograph at night, but I think you will get the idea. Our little snowglobes were made from clear plastic drinking cups. Each contains a piece of greenery made into a tree or branch, a small animal or bird, and some glitter. I made these with the entire school on the last day before break and with the grandchildren today. They are just so cute and easy.



Cornerstone's Christmas Program


Anybody want to know how long it took to curl Tessa's hair? Too long!!!

Merry Christmas!



THE POLAR EXPRESS

We took the kids to Bryson City, North Carolina on Wednesday to board the Polar Express--the train that takes you to the North Pole! Just like the children in the book, most children and a lot of adults--not us, of course--donned their pajamas for the exciting ride.

After leaving the station, we were served hot chocolate and a snack while The Polar Express was read. There were lights to enjoy along the way and the kids enjoyed the train ride.


After reaching the North Pole--about 45 minutes outside of Bryson City--the train stopped to let Santa board with his elf.


He autographed books and spoke to each child. Most requested snow for Christmas but didn't think it odd that there was none at the North Pole. Go figure!

Each child was given a bell to signify the first gift of Christmas like in the book.

The ride back to the station was spent singing Christmas carols. The most memorable song was "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Each section was given one day and we sang it from one end of the car to the other. It was hilarious. The kids hope to make this trip an annual tradition, but the adults aren't so sure. I think the car ride over the mountains to get there about did us in! It was very curvy, and if it snowed we never would have made it. I overheard one mother saying that her child threw up on the way. Ross felt sick, and we had to pull over on the way home, but he never did throw up. Thank the Lord!

WE'VE BEEN FRAMED!


When I saw this frame on the back porch--Don't ask why it was on the back porch!--I couldn't resist taking a picture of Nate, Ross, Kenzie, and Tessa before we headed off to the Polar Express train ride. They had fun wearing their pajamas and didn't look strange at all since the majority of folks were dressed the same!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Our Resident Artist



Nate (5 years old) saw a cardinal flying by and decided to draw it.
I'm impressed!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Finally!

Today's postings went so smoothly that I wonder why I don't do it more often. Maybe this site has improved?? Or maybe I'm actually getting better at this stuff?? Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the visit. I recently lost all of my email addresses, so if you happen to check in here and realize that you haven't heard from me in awhile, please email me at dmvoccola@hotmail.com. Thanks.

Our Christmas Visit to Dollywood

Waiting for the tram. It was so crowded!
The new haircut. What do you think?



We have to get the yearly photos on the carousel!


We sure liked the new decorations this year!
Kenzie loved the reindeer!

How Life Has Changed!

Life sure has a way of surprising you. Who would have thought last Christmas that this year I'd be working fulltime and not homeschooling? There are a lot of things to get used to when things change so dramatically. For instance, this is the first year it literally took me days to decorate the tree. What's with that???? I used to be the efficiency queen. On the first day of decorating, I managed to get the tree up from the basement and fluff the branches. I was okay with that. On the second day of decorating--or was it the third day???--I actually got the lights put on. Seemed like a major accomplishment to me. Then the ornaments took a couple of days--with Tessa's help. (Thank goodness I put two trees away completely decorated or they'd never have been put up this year.) Now if I could only remember to plug the tree in so the people driving by could appreciate all my efforts!


I did manage to do one creative thing in the decorating department this year. I actually cut branches from our magnolia tree, our pine tree, and the neighbor's holly bush to make window and mantle decorations. I was quite impressed with how they looked----until 50 mph winds blew them all away two days later. Fortunately, Tessa was able to locate them, and Ryan was kind enough to drag the ladder out to hang them again. I am pretty impressed that the zip ties held them together.

Tessa and Friends


This is the photo I took for the school's Christmas card. It's not easy getting 57 kids to look in the right direction and smile! Only one was absent that day, so it's almost the whole school!


Tessa's class (3rd and 4th grade) showing off their coats of many colors.


Tessa and her fourth grade friends.

RYAN'S GRADUATION


You know you're getting too old for this stuff when you actually forget the graduate in the program. Yep, the program was over and tons of people had shared before someone mentioned that Ryan had never made his way to the stage. Much to his delight, I forgot the part where he was supposed to thank his mother for putting up with him for twelve long years. He was supposed to say how wonderful his education was and how he'd never forget the paper mache armor we made in the second grade. Talk about an untraditional graduation! There was no Pomp and Circumstance. There was no cap and gown. There was no anything that looked like a graduation. Well, the food was great and the square dance a blast.


My boss, Dan, did a great job of charging Ryan. I'm so glad I didn't forget him. He really encouraged Ryan to live life for the Lord and to always honor his parents! I didn't even have to pay him for that one!