December Festivities and Randoms

December has been a whirlwind month.  It was filled with lots of fun and festivities and also more work than normal for me, hence my lack of blog posts :)  Trying to catch up and finish up the year on my blog here...

It was Marlene's turn to host the annual Van Laar Christmas.  A lot of the family came down here from Ripon.  We did it in the church fellowship hall so that we could fit everyone.  Here are all of the kiddos who were there (these are all kids of Matt's cousins).

This little ray of sunshine.... I love slowing down to appreciate the simple things :)

"Mom take a picture of us on this pretty seat".

I had an engagement session in Oak Glen the day after it snowed a little.  It was cold but sunny and beautiful.

Ethan started taking piano lessons in September.  He had his first piano recital and did great.  We are so proud of him.  So far he seems to be enjoying git and we hope he will stick with it because I think he could get really good.

This guy learned how to blow his own bubbles :)

We didn't get out of school until the 21st.  I am the head room mom for Ethan's class, and I was proud of the craft I did for their party.  They made snowman ornaments (acrylic so they won't break) with their fingerprints and put sparkle snow in them.

I got to pop over to Alayna's party for a bit as well.

Ethan learned how to make circuits at school using a strand of cut Christmas lights and a battery, so he was having fun doing this at home on his own.

 Alayna doing what she loves... :) 

Everett hasn't been a fan of getting dressed lately, and most mornings that is a pain since we have to get to school.  On this morning I didn't care, since we weren't in a hurry, lol. 

On our first day of Christmas break we drove down to Oceanside to see the Oates, who were down there staying in their timeshare for the week.  We hadn't seen their kids for a year and a half, so it was fun to see everyone.  The Mercers and the Odenbaughs came down for dinner as well, so we got to have the "Core Four" together for a few hours.

I had been telling Matt for a while that all I really wanted for Christmas was our kitchen finished (which we had yet to do since moving here SIX years ago).  So, being the good hubby that he is, he spent one Saturday fixing all the drywall that needed fixing, and then the day before Christmas Eve we spent the whole day painting.  It looks SO nice to finally have it all finished and I am so happy :)

Alayna and Everett playing in her closet

The kids all dressed up for their school Christmas program.

Decorating sugar cookies.  Everett was excited to get in on the action this year.


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