Since Thanksgiving, we've stayed busy enjoying the end of fall and beginning of winter together.
The first weekend in December, we went to Great Wolf Lodge with Sarah and Sean, Miriam and Davis, and Garrison and Clarinda.
The kids had a fantastic time. Helen wasn't thrilled about being splashed (somewhat inevitable) in the water park, so spent most of the time napping on me while I chatted with Sarah.
There were wolf-themed story hours with real "fake" snow, lots of fun in the arcade (fishing games were a particular hit), and a visit with Santa.
While I was somewhere else with Robert, Miriam took Clarinda to see Santa in the hotel lobby. Clarinda returned to the craft table, where Samantha and Sarah were hard at work, with a lollipop and a paper Santa hat. "I want to go take a picture with Santa too," Samantha told Sarah, who brought her over. Samantha stood next to him and posed for the picture. "Do you want to sit on my lap?" he asked. "No," she said. "What's your name?" he asked. "Samantha," she whispered. "What would you like me to bring you, Samantha?" he asked. Clearly confused why she would need to specify, she nevertheless complied. "A lollipop and a hat," she said. Boom. Mission accomplished.
Great Wolf Lodge was bracketed with some fun excursions in the city. On Saturday before we left, Marcus and I and Helen went to the brand-new, just five-day-old Eataly in the Prudential Mall, stocking up on bread with provolone and prosciutto baked in, rabbit pate, great salami, robiola cheese, kumquats and mandarinquats, and festive drinks for a feast in the car on the way over.
Then, on Sunday night after we arrived home, Robert and Samantha went with Sarah and Sean to make Christmas cards and stuff backpacks for the homeless ministry Sarah is a part of out on the Boston Common.
The second weekend in December, Samantha had her first piano recital, complete with a bouquet. She played very proudly, and she adores the personalized folder Miss Alyssa gave her for her music afterwards.
Then that same afternoon, we had an open house/housewarming party with sixty-odd people in and out.
Samantha had fortuitously made a pinata at school the Friday before, so she donated it to the party effort, I hastily filled it with random lollipops/stickers/bracelets/leftover Halloween candy I had around the house, and Robert led twenty enthusiastic kids in opening it in the garage at the end of our party.
Then we had cupcakes and sang "Happy Birthday" to Samantha, and exchanged Christmas presents with Sarah and Sean at the very end of the evening.
On Samantha's actual birthday, the kids had their first school orchestra concert of the year, Samantha's first ever. She is currently in the "paper orchestra"--they learned about all the stringed instruments, and then built them out of cardboard and papier-mache, and then practiced instrument care and fingering and positioning while singing their notes instead of playing. In January, she "graduates" to her actual instrument.
It was a cold day, but we had fun celebrating her birthday again, morning and night, and celebrating both kids' musical growth.
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Created: 12/15/16. Last Modified: 12/15/16.