Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas in a Nutshell

There were presents needing wrapping

and a meal to be had,Santa had been checking, who'd been good and who'd been bad.
We tell the story of the babe
born in Bethlehemwhere shepherds and the wisemen saw the great "I Am"
And even though we were not there
when that star was in the sky
We know that Jesus Christ the Lord
came for you and I.

Our Christmas Tree was found so bright
The stockings had been stuffed
Christmas day was surely here
Now, haven't we waited long enough?!And it was a very, Merry Christmas.
(Lucy was SO excited to get Bullseye from Toy Story for Christmas, which was a Christmas miracle in many ways. They aren't found in stores, and I feel very fortunate to have found one like I did, when I did. Christmas Eve, as she was getting ready for bed, she told us, "I will know which stocking is mine, because I will feel all of them and when I feel Bullseye, that one will be mine." Needless to say it didn't dawn on her Christmas morning that maybe Bullseye was too big to fit in a stocking! She was incredibly sad until we pointed this out to her, at which point she made a mad dash for the tree and knew just which box should be opened first. Obviously, the one with HER name on it! Wohoo!)

Frost'n Cookies

The day it finally decides to DUMP some snow on us happened to be the day we had plans to have a cookie baking and decorating fest at my mom's house. My mom makes delicious Christmas cookies: sandies, thumbprints, spritz, raisin cookies, fudge, mmmm.... so many more and all SO delicious! I was excited.Well, because of the snow we spent our morning shoveling a foot of snow off our driveway (which seems like 3 driveways long in the winter) and our cookie time was cut very short. We made the most of it though, and the kids decorated the sugar cookies. We thought we'd be able to stick the decorations on a little table and the girls would decorate while we worked on the other cookies. It turned into an hour project for EVERYONE! Including Matthew. He refused to be left out of such a yummy activity. He decorated, and tasted his one cookie over, and over, and over. It was a very cute Matthew moment.

My cute little cookies!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas is FULL of Performances

Okay, this is the last I'll post of my adorable girls performing this month. It was a busy month (no, let me say WEEKEND) of group performances. Amelia's school had a singing open house where each grade was able to sing for their parents. The kindergartners were so amazingly cute! I know I've said it before, but this is seriously my favorite age so far!

Lucy has been enrolled in a "Let's Get Ready Music" class done by Miss Raya Leavitt. It's been a lot of fun to go with Lucy (and Matthew) every week to learn songs and sing with Raya. The "Let's Get Ready" is an introduction to the "Lets Play Music" classes. It's a group approach to making music fun and educational at the same time. I believe the hope in this approach is to make the entire music experience about fun and play, not power struggles and tantrums. It's a good idea, and the younger ages were fun to watch in the performance (and make a LOT of sense!), but my 5 year old was doing more than a lot of the much older students were in this recital. It seemed a little "babied". Being a professional musician, I must say, music is a lot of WORK! There isn't a soft way around it. I like what Raya does with the younger children though. Lucy is learning solfege, she is learning rhythm, a sense of pitch, and much more. But I think beyond maybe age 7, this program takes things a bit too slow. This was my opinion after watching students ranging from age 2 to 16 take the stage.

Anyway, that is solely my own opinion, and we will continue one more semester with Raya -- and with that said, enjoy the adorable group of 2 & 3 year olds performance.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Some more Simpers on Stage

We had a busy, busy Saturday. After Lucy's dance performance, we had a piano recital to attend. (neither of these events made the grandparents very happy due to the scheduling conflict with BYU football, but they do love their grandchildren more and very willingly attended both events! Thanks mom and dad, for being such devoted grandparents!)

Amelia first played "The Brahms" as she learned to call it. However, it is a little arrangement of part of the Hungarian Dance. Then she played Jingle Bells. This recital was quite the accomplishment for this girl. December was busy and the recitals seemed to sneak up on us. Well, lets just say she practiced, and Practiced, and PRACTICED the week of this performance so that she could complete her teachers Christmas challenge, that if they could get 20 chain links together, one link for every time a piece was played perfectly, she would give them a candy bar at the recital. WHEW! It was a LOT of work, for everyone involved, to earn that girl her desired candy bar. But earn it she did! And I think she felt very proud of her great accomplishment. I LOVE doing music with my girls! It makes me happy.

"Shirley" Simper Presents

Lucy's first dance recital
December 18th, 2010
Dance to Shirley Temple's "Animal Crackers"
Choreographed by Miss Molly Mcallister

Friday, December 17, 2010

Temple Square

One of the best things about Christmas: all the beautiful lights! Especially those that go up around the temple. We loved the lights at the Mesa Temple every year we lived in Arizona, and I really missed it last year when we were unable to go see temple lights. So we braved the crowds, on a Monday night, so that we could go on a night when the weather was decent (41 degrees). The kids all napped on the way there, and we had a MARVELOUS time at the Temple.
Do you like our "double" stroller. Yeah, it's a good thing our children like to snuggle up!
We realized AFTER the guy was nice enough to stop and take our picture that the stroller was right in the middle of it all, but once we moved the stroller, the picture quality seemed to diminish (of course). So, a stroller in the family it is then!
Baby, it's cold outside! And we're lovin' every minute of it!

Gingerbread Houses

Our neighbor invited us over to decorate these AMAZING homemade gingerbread houses. I was shocked when I saw how big the houses turned out (I think she might have been too!). It was such a fun activity to do with the girls (okay - I'll take that back, it was fun to do, period) The girls were more interested in playing in the giant rice bucket that our neighbors had in their kitchen to dig in, so I did a lot of the decorating by myself. We started before Amelia was out of school, and I thought I had made it clear that morning that she was to come across the street to our friends house when she got dropped off. Well, she forgot. It became a sort of traumatic experience for her when her carpool dropped her off and left, and she couldn't get into the house. She was very good at logical deduction, and checked the garage to see the car was there -- which led her to the conclusion we hadn't gone far. She came over with tears in her eyes, I felt horrible, but the candy decorating quickly erased the sad and scared feelings. Amelia helped quite a bit after she got there. I think Lucy put on a couple pieces of candy - maybe.
And in our house, we believe in eating our house upon completion. It's delicious!

This is the Season

Well, we got lucky this year and Santa came to us. We didn't have to brave the mall lines to sit on his lap, instead he happened to show up at our Ward's Christmas Breakfast. Not surprised, but Lucy was our only brave soul. Amelia needed a hand holder and didn't say much, Matthew wanted nothing to do with him, and Lucy was right to the point. "I want a bullseye." she told him. He looked at her with the look from "Christmas Story" the movie, YOU'LL SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT! Different bullseye. I love how she knows how to get things done.

The primary children did a nativity presentation while the group and children sang "The Nativity Song". Lucy chose to be an angel, and Amelia was one of 12 Mary's. The one boy who chose to be Joseph was one lucky fellow!
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Birthday Boy

We all know that all babies must grow up. Oh how I wish it didn't have to be so quickly though! A year has completely flown by, and I am looking back on it wishing I had a way to slow down time, or record every second of it in a rational way. I absolutely LOVED the infant Matthew. And I love and ADORE the new one year old Matthew. He is a delightful little boy. Every day I smile because of him. And if all babies could be guaranteed to be as calm, loving, easy going, (great at sleeping) as he is, I think I could have 20! Okay, maybe not 20, but you get my picture. He is wonderful, and I am grateful every day to be his mom.
My babies are growing up!
Swedish pancake breakfast to start the day, which I must say he either wasn't in the mood for, or wasn't a fan. He mostly played with his breakfast.
And of course we had a party.
There were gifts. (Thank you sisters, I'm sure he wouldn't have been able to open them without you!) ; )
AND CAKE! (It was supposed to look like a hat. We had a "hat" party because it is his absolute favorite word to sign. He loves to spot people in hats, or make things into hats. You name it, it can probably be called a hat!)
And he is already good at sharing.
Okay, now lets get serious.
This IS his happy face. Say "cake"!
What a great birthday for a great little guy!
Love you bunches, Matthew.