Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It's been fun...

Thanks for following our blog. With the close of 2013, we're going to close out this blog. We look forward to keeping in touch with you over email and in person! 

Happy New Year! May 2014 be your best  year yet! 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

After Christmas Fun

The day after Christmas, Lucy came over and played with the kids. Marc walked them to the park, where everyone had so much fun despite the cold weather.

Abigail shared her new cardboard castle with Lucy. Aren't they sweet cousin-friends?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day

The kids opened their gifts from Grandma Charlotte and Grandpa Bill first thing Christmas morning. The magic of Christmas was not lost on our little ones. Abigail exclaimed, "They sent me a princess! Oh my gosh!" when she opened the Rapunzel doll. And later in the day she said, "I'm so happy to have a princess doll." She was so absolutely thrilled. Joseph opened his pair of remote control corvettes and said, "YESSSS!" "Daddy, you and me can race!" That is the best present EVER!"

We continued the tradition of stockings filled with little art projects slipped in through the month of December. Joseph was working early on these gifts, and was anxious to see if anyone made anything for him so I helped Abigail make something for him. They are sweet together.

They were also excited about books and games and Harry Potter wands. My mom did a good job of the perfect balance of presents this year so it was magical and fun without being overwhelming. We skyped with Grandma and Grandapa--and Andrew, Hannah, Aunt Catherine and Uncle John who were all at my parents' having a kid-free Christmas this year! When we skyped with them, they hadn't even opened presents yet!  Abigail loved making faces at Uncle Andrew over Skype and Joseph entertained them all with jokes from his new joke book.

Aunt Rachel then came over to give the children presents.  Then Grandma Donna and Grandpa Lincoln. We tried to spread the gifts out, as well as help the kids focus on the people rather than just mounds of gifts. I think it was a good approach.

I'm not sure Abigail has gone a day since without wearing the tutu Grandma Donna gave her

Grandma Donna gave Anna the cadillac of carseats. No more baby bucket seat for our baby girl! Anna wasn't that happy on Christmas (she's been having a rough few weeks), but when the car seat was opened, she immediately crawled over to it and climbed in and was a happy baby!  The huge box the carseat came in was also a great treasure. Joseph used it to make a castle for Abigail, which has turned out to be the most used present of all of Christmas.

That afternoon, we head to Marc's parents' house for a formal Christmas dinner and family time. All of Marc's immediate family was there again for Christmas, plus Marc's cousin David and Fatima and Lila.Cousin Lucy, Joseph and Abigail had a great time with the costumes from Aunt Rachel's special dress-up box. Anna slept much of the time, which was a relief because she was pretty grumpy otherwise. I'm not sure John and Gwen got to see her smile once.
Photo courtesy of Gwen's blog
Photo courtesy of Gwen's blog

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve

We're still a young family and still trying on different traditions for size. This year, we let the kid open their present from us on the morning of Christmas Eve (before Marc left for work). It was a great idea because it let the kids focus on and enjoy that one gift all day long, instead of just getting lost in all the presents on Christmas day. We gave Abigail a Fisher Price princess castle with two "little people" princesses. Both of the girls love it--and especially playing with it together. We gave Joseph a little truck and trailer that Marc found at the farm store when we were in Elon, North Carolina in November.

While Marc was at work, the children and I visited Sister Lee to say "Merry Christmas" and take a little treat. Then, Marc got home early and we all walked over in the cold together to the home of another man to spread a little Christmas cheer. 

For dinner on Christmas Eve we had a "Bethlehem" dinner with falafel, babaganoush, clementines, hummus, pita, cucumbers tomatoes, olives, tabbouleah, and  baclava for dessert. We ate by candlelight and then acted out the nativity story.  Abigail also loved pretending to be Mary. After acting out the nativity story, she took the doll "Baby Jesus" up to bed with her in his little green rectangle toy bin we had used as a manger. She brought him down the next morning too.

After the nativity, we sang gathered around while I played the piano. I really enjoyed it, and was simply amazed at the lyrics Abigail knows.  She sang right along with the words to almost every Christmas hymn we sang. Very sweet.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Season Fun

Christmas magic is such a fun part of having children. Abigail learned to love Christmas music this year. We listened to Bing Crosby on a cassette tape in the car or the constant Wash FM Christmas tunes. I alternated with Pandora and my Christmas CD collection at home. Abigail particularly liked Josh Groban, whom she informed us sounds "like a prince" and would excitedly announce every time he came on the radio.

I'm writing this at the end of January, and the girls and I still listen to Bing Crosby every single day in the car!
We enjoyed looking at Christmas lights, made and decorated sugar cookies, and watched the classic Rudolph movie!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Winter School Days

When it gets cold outside, our walks to school get a little chillier. The kids love to be out in the weather, as long as they are bundled. Anna, particularly, seems to love being outside in the cold.

Some days, Abigail likes to walk and Anna rides in the "home on the range stroller." We have no idea why Abigail has dubbed the single walker this name, but so it is. Other days, both of the girls ride in the double.

Jammie Time


Anna sitting on the couch like a big girl

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Night in Bethlehem

Our ward hosted a Christmas party with "A Night in Bethlehem" theme.  The church cultural hall had been transformed to look like the Old City and the lights were all dimmed. Many people were wearing costumes to look like they lived at the time of the Savior's birth. There was middle eastern music playing while we ate dinner seated on blankets on the floor. We concluded with a beautiful musical program and viewing of a short nativity video.

The food was fabulous--pita and roasted chicken, hummus and tahini sauce and baba ghanoush, tabbouleh salad and tomato & cucumber salad, nuts and fruit and olives, and baklava. A true feast! I need to upgrade our Time of Jesus dinner menu at Easter, or else make this my family's new Christmas dinner tradition--what do you say, Mom, do you think the Moore-traditionalists would allow it? We could have it catered!

There also was some folk dance lessons for the kids in an adjoining room for part of the time (when kids were getting antsy). Abigail loved it! She was shimmying her shoulders and clapping and kicking in and out with the circle. It was a traditional dance I remember learning when I was studying abroad in Jerusalem; I'm certain Abigail performed it with more flair.


Right before we left the house, Marc snapped this photo of us all dressed up. Abigail was thrilled to be "Mary." Joseph, as always, planned his costume in great detail. I had fun wearing the dress I bought at a Palestinian market more than 15 years ago when I was an undergrad student in Jerusalem.

It was a special night that really put me in the Christmas spirit.
December 14, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

Botanic Garden Tradition

Each year when Joseph has his early release day in December, we take our (at least once a year) trip to the Botanic Gardens to see the Christmas display of trains and natural fairy houses. This year, we spent a little more time exploring the the other habitat areas of the gardens as well. 

 I tried to get a picture of the girls while we were waiting (and timing) Joseph who wanted to race around the entire reflecting pool.
 Abigail was enchanted with the fairy houses.

Well, here's a picture of all three kids, just not all three looking at me!

Joseph chooses spots where he would like to be photographed

I do have cute kids and the tourists were taking pictures of my darling little Anna!

December 11, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Snow Day #2

It got even better! Dad stayed home with us the next day. Building snow men and snow forts with the neighbors. Visits from Aunt Rachel and Aunt Elizabeth. Life is good.

December 10, 201

Monday, December 09, 2013

First Snow of the Season

On Sunday, it snowed. Not much, but enough. There was actually some sleet and icy roads so they cancelled church after the first meeting. Joseph gave me a snow report throughout sacrament meeting ("Mom, it is still snowing; Mom it has stopped but I think it will start back up; Mom it is snowing again"). I think there may be nothing quite as sweet as the joy in his face when he is anticipating snow. The hope of school cancellations, of sledding and hot cocoa.  The stuff this boy's dreams are made of. 

We made it home from church safely, and Marc took Abigail and Joseph out to play.  He is a fun dad like that. I stayed in cozy by the fire "with Anna." Marc said Abigail and Joseph both loved it--they only came in when darkness began to settle in. He got some good pictures, but he said he wished he'd been able to get one of Joseph riding down the street on his bike with his mouth wide open--trying to catch snow flakes.

When they came in, they were soaked through. After everyone changed, we had some dinner, hot chocolate, and then watched the first part of White Christmas by the fire.

Monday, his dreams came true as school was cancelled. He spent most of the day sledding at the park with a little boy on our street. Pure happiness.

December 8, 2013