If we would have sent out Christmas cards....which we did not....this probably would have been our best option for a picture. Aviana is not a fan of posing for pictures the way her siblings are and she loves getting them to laugh and be crazy. And I'm just not great at getting good natural shots of the kids, so I attempt the pose.
Here are a few of the next best shots...seriously...and you wonder why I skip the chaos of Christmas cards. Well, plus working at UPS during Christmas seasons and hearing my dad's post office stories makes me feel like lifting the burden what little I can and sending just one less thing in the mail in December.
That doesn't really give me an excuse for not sending thank you cards for all of the gifts that were sent our way. I'm just lazy and disorganized a little bit when it comes to that stuff. I did intend too and maybe it's not too late. But either way we did really appreciate the thoughtful gifts that came our way. It was nice for the kids to look forward to new packages arriving, it helped them not to think about the fact that we weren't going for our annual rounds of family meals and gatherings and fun that usually occur on Christmas.
On New Year's we went downtown to look at the lights one more time from inside Jeremy's building. There was a party thing going on downtown so the bank was open and handing out noisemakers and glo-sticks and the most amazing chocolate eclairs I have ever eaten in my life. I ate 2 (or maybe 3) and I don't usually like eclairs. Anyway, this is the crew heading up the elevator to the 17th floor. This is after pizza and Shirley Temples at home and before the basement slumber party with Buzzy and a pile of movies while mom and dad went to foolishly freeze in the New Year's run.
Now we're back into routine. Which is so nice and even the kids seem to appreciate the monotony of school days and calmness and normal.
Aviana is taking off with her reading, it's been hard for her to be patient because she really wants to read books way beyond where she's at. But it's all finally clicking now and she's doing great! She loves math, although she's not a fan of what she deems silly activities that try to reinforce the subjects. She'd much rather face a page of straightforward problems than flowery examples and stories.
Quite the opposite of Cole, who thrives on the stories and pictures. He just started multiplication and if you give him 2x2 just like that he falls off his chair in agony. But if you give him 6x7 and some intricate story to go with it he eats it up. He's discovered the Henry Huggins books by Beverly Cleary and she is his new favorite author of the week. Although the girls love them too, so those are are newest favorite bedtime story books. He's also eager to learn how to write in cursive, so most of what he writes on his own lately has connected letters and lots of unnecessary loops and curls.
Alidia is getting frustrated with her lack of school work, so I need to start thinking about what next year will look like for her. She definitely is ready for more than the dollar store workbooks I pick up for her, so I'm trying to be creative in integrating her into similar things as the other two. She is also suffering the most from the dry weather. Her little skin hates it and she's got constant chapped cheeks.
Finally today after about 3 weeks we can once again see green grass. It's gorgeous! W had some rain and it was lovely. I am itching to start planning the garden and to get the chicken coop built. I know there are still many months of winter left here, but the green grass is only encouraging me more.