Saturday, December 8, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Things have been really busy lately, so I apologize for the posts that are slow in coming… there are parent/teacher conferences this week at Noah’s school, so he has been coming home at noon every day, and Michael’s office lost a doctor, so he and other physicians have been working late each day this week to keep up with the patient load. Noah also will be finishing his first quarter of school (he is in a year-round program) and is coming up on a long winter break. So, not a lot of time for blog writing, and I imagine that will continue through December.

Things are good for us, though. Noah did great on his first report card (in which they have switched the whole grading system… no more A-F, but “proficient”, “basic”, “advanced” and so forth). He got all proficient grades, one “advanced” for the creativeness of the stories he writes, and one “basic” in something the whole class received “basic” in. I guess “basic” equals a “C”.

Noah has been playing his new game of Mousetrap a lot lately and so I told him about Rube Goldberg and his wonderful machines. He wanted to see one and so I showed him a video on youtube. Now, he sits for hours at the computer watching a list of Rube Goldberg videos I set up for him. He wants to build one with Daddy, now. Daddy is not too keen on the idea, so Noah bides his time making mini-rube-goldberg-machines with pieces of his toys.

I plug away at Christmas shopping. Ethan is starting to blossom with his speech and has been putting two words together finally and even three occasionally. Luka has really responded well to more teaching in sign language and is so proud to show off what he knows even though he hardly speaks at all. I am planning on buying more sign language videos if he doesn’t get the ones on his wish list for Christmas. (hint hint!)

Even though things have been hectic, we decided to take the kids out to a Christmas Festival last night in La Mesa.

There is a sweet little old-style Main Street which has been kept up with cool little cafes, coffee houses (Java Mama is there) booksellers, antique stores, bead shops, etc. They closed off the streets and had a great little festival.

It wasn’t one of those carnivals that is set up to suck you dry of all your spare cash, though. It was low key and sweet. It was a neighborhood festival put on by neighbors, not some big corporation. Such a comfy hometown feel.

There were wandering carolers dressed up in Victorian costumes, bonfires at every street crossing with chairs set up around them for people to warm their hands by the fire. The Salvation Army band played nearby. In fact there were lots of different types of singing groups and bands scattered around playing Christmas carols. Noah was very taken by the barbershop quartet and watched them sing about five songs.

There was free popcorn and crafts for the kids, puppet shows and wandering minstrels. The shop windows had all their windows decorated with Christmas scenes: nutcrackers and the Grinch getting ready for his downhill sledride into Whoville. So much ambiance to soak in. The only thing that really cost money was coffee, pizza and rides.

We were beginning to get hungry and so popped into an empty shop that was set up to sell pizza slices to the masses. They came from a pizza restaurant next door and dare I say they were selling like hotcakes?? They had set up their paper plates in what looked like a beautiful huge blooming white lotus instead of just the usual utilitarian stack.

Noah got to sit on Santa Claus’ lap and tell him what he wants for Christmas, and ride on a flying elephant ride. We enjoyed the music and petting the big horses that pulled a Christmas wagon, and tried to get a picture of me with the llamas that were giving rides to children, but they never stopped long enough to manage that.

We gorged ourselves on free popcorn, saw all the sights and headed home sleepy, and more in the Christmas Spirit.

A good time was had by all.

And all had a good night.


tonya said...

Oooh, it sounds wonderful! The high school I attended is out in La Mesa. We spent 6 years living out there, brings back memories for me. I bet it has all changed so much!

And I was wondering, how is your monkey's nose healing up?

Shama-Lama Mama said...

Oh, my Monkey's nose just loves to bleed! I am not sure it ever heals! Have you seen his chipped teeth??

Cindy said...

Thanks for the link to the Goldberg clips. My 3 year is addicted to them! He has even figured out how to pause it so he can take a potty break. I swear I'm going to find him blogging any day now. ;)