Something So Big

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Christmas Day at County B Funpark

The kids got up EARLIER than usual this year.  We thought maybe now that they're older, they'd sleep in (like they do on most days), but NO....I think we held them off for an hour or so...finally gave in and went out to see this: 
 Kids happily waiting to see the reactions of their siblings to the gifts they picked out for them.  Look at this nifty gymnastics leotard from Ally to Wynne!
 And see the "Custom-made Clown Lego Head" from Wynne to Cy? Complete with "literature"
 Cy asked for Star Wars and he got it.  Star Wars trivia game (from Shae), Star Wars PJ pants (as seen) from Godfather Uncle Brian, Star Wars Legos, Pez, and cereal from Santa, Star Wars t-shirt from Mom and Dad, Star Wars waterbottle and more from friends, on and on and on and on.  Not to mention we went to the OPENING NIGHT (PRE-OPENING NIGHT) of "The Force Awakens" on December 17!! just a little exciting.
 The teenagers in the house spend a quiet moment of bonding.  :) When they're not picking on each other!! Merry Christmas!!
 Shae was so proud of the gifts she picked out for Ally.........the smiles are just precious!  Gift-giving is the best feeling!!!
 Santa brought Wynne and Melissa (her doll) a few gymnastics apparati!! (is that a word? I need the plural of apparatus...apparati, right?)
 It didn't take long for our baby girl to put on her (and her doll's) new leotards and do some flips...
 Then before we went to see Great-Grandma, we just had to get some more flips in.......

 ...and BONUS! Grandma Jan AND Great-Grandma!  Merry Christmas to you lovely ladies!!
 Grandma Joan had a wonderful candy dish of her own collection wrapped up for each of her grandchildren.  Thank you for everything!
 One last stop before going home to watch Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House) Christmas movies....
who's driving???
 Reflections in the Park!  It seems to have become a Christmas night tradition.
 Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

Early December (looking back)

Happy New Year!
Merry Christmas!
Happy Holidays!
Now that it's almost Valentine's Day, I guess I better re-cap our holiday season.......
Early December brings the football awards banquet.  Mark puts hours and hours into the season, and the post-season banquet is no exception.  This time around, we got to see our very own CYRUS make it up to the podium for a few plaques!  He works very hard in the weight room, and it doesn't go unnoticed by his teammates and coaches.
What a neat way to get into the holiday spirit:  go watch "A Christmas Carol" performed by a local high school with your nephew starring as Scrooge's nephew!  (does that mean I'm Scrooge?  my kids would probably say so sometimes;) Way to go, Payton--it was a really good show!

cousins Catherine, Gabe, Claire, Payton, Ally, Shae, Wynne 
 Another fun way to get into the holiday mood....take your little girl to the Mother-Daughter NativiTEA at Sinsinawa Mound!  Sure to delight every little girl and her doll :)  Sinsinawa Mound is beautiful all times of the year, but especially at Christmas with its worldwide collection of nativity scenes and peaceful atmosphere.  The tea service, cookies, and sandwiches were delicious, too!
 Next up: the children's Christmas concert!  Wynne and her 4th grade class sang with gusto.....
 This song was something about the boys and the girls arguing over something.  Couldn't hear the words, but it was cute. Believe me:)
 Grades 4-5 recorder choir Extravaganza........
 ...which brings us to the Middle-High School Christmas Concert!
Ally & a friend in a trumpet duet
 The middle school band waits patiently for their turn (with Shae peeking over her stand and Paige smirking up front.......)....

 ...and another treat: Cypes on the trap set!  Serious in concentration.........
 ....with Ally in the high school band (in their ugly sweater attire).  It was another great performance, as was the Community Band concert 2 days later in the beautiful downtown St. Andrew's Church!  Ally and I were a part of the huge trumpet section, and despite my efforts, it sounded fantastic.  We're very fortunate to have a passionate, talented band teacher/goat farmer.  Go MR. COOLEY!!!
 Sad that we had to take a family picture for a Christmas card picture after a concert? Why not? It's our home-away-from-home 10 months out of the year.
Unfortunately, we didn't take our camera to the annual Sunday School Christmas Program.  The 4 older kids played in a band ensemble with other kids from church, and Wynne was our lone participant in the kids' program.  We did Buck Denver's "Why Do We Call It Christmas?" ; Wynne did an awesome job with Kate playing the Australian explorers Clive and Ian!  It was funny and sweet. 
 This is perhaps my favorite picture of the holiday season.  A clandestine shot of our kids, peering at the presents that they've purchased or made for one another.  THIS is what Christmas is all about!!!
 Twas the night before Christmas, and after worship we traveled to Belmont....
 to see how much soup and candy we can eat in 90 minutes or less, before we have to pack up and head home for Christmas morning!!
Crazy Cousin Picture #912-9879387491234.....Christopher, Paige, Catherine "Janet", Shae, Garrison, & Wynne
 What would an Engelke gathering be without a little wrestling match?  This time CO-ED!!!
Garrison and Wynne, age 9 and still unabashed.  Love it so much!!
 Grandma's basement is a great place to practice your wrestling/karate/gymnastics.  (Shhhh...don't tell Grandma!;)
 Meanwhile, upstairs, the littlest cousins are all ready in their PJs..........
Elsie, Joey, Addie, & Mae
 ...while the cool high school kids take a break from their phones for a picture. :) :)
Sweet 17's Ally & Claire
 Looks like the adults are on their phones, too;) Busted!!  Just checking the Santa Tracker, right?
Stay tuned for the next post:  Christmas Morn!!
A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
    the way for the Lord;
make straight in the desert
    a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up,
    every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
    the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”  Isaiah 40:3-5