Tuesday, December 6, 2016

St. Nicholas Day 2016

Well, the boots were filled this morning!  You can see the St. Nicholas in there, along with Jingle Bells and Snowflake, and a Tsum-Tsum of Rey from "The Force Awakens."  Lots of candy too, but Madison can't touch any of it until tomorrow.  One of the big rules in life (outside of not whacking the ballet soloist with a parasol) is do not touch the elf.

Today, Madison had a bit of Christmas shopping to do at school.  It's a tradition of the school to have a Penguin Shop in December, so the students can buy presents for Mommy and Daddy at a shop there at the school.  This is fun.  Mommy gives Madison some money, and she spends a little bit of it getting things she thinks that her parents would like.  Daddy still has the "Super Dad" keychain with his keys right now.  Currently, there are a few presents from Madison under the tree.  We'll just have to wait until Christmas to see what they are, and what Madison has gotten us this year.

We had a recital rehearsal today after school, where Madison and the other students performed for Mrs. Pam one more time.  Madison is doing well with her piano recital, but we'll keep practicing through the week.  The recital is coming up this weekend, and we'll post pictures here of course.  She did well, Mrs. Pam said, and if she does it like she did today, she should be fine.  The thing is, Madison can probably do this song with her eyes closed at this point.  We'll just keep practicing.  Nana and Ye-Ye are supposed to be coming to see her this weekend as well, so it'll be nice to have more of the family there.  Madison isn't even nervous.

There was homework today.  There was also grocery shopping, and a bit of shopping for Christmas cards.  Daddy found Amy Grant's latest Christmas CD, and was thrilled to see she had another one out this year.  It's a little more mellow with less of the sweeping orchestrations, and a quieter sound.  Still, it's nice.  All four of these Christmas CDs are great.  There is a fifth one, a project she worked on with Hallmark... but that one isn't one of our favorites.  How great to have another new Christmas CD this year.  We'll see about picking up one of two more before the season ends, but we just love listening to all these Christmas songs each year.  A few years ago, we saw Amy Grant with Michael W. Smith, the Katinas and Point of Grace - all doing a Christmas concert with a large orchestra.  It was a really special night.  We love the Point of Grace Christmas CDs, and all three of the Michael W. Smith ones.  These are our favorites, actually.  Anyway, this is the soundtrack of Christmas for us.  As we travel to and fro, these are the songs Madison is listening to, along with other Christmas songs too of course.  When we were young ourselves, Daddy remembers listening to the records of Perry Como and Nat King Cole, which we love. To this day, these songs bring back such special memories.  It'll be neat to hear which songs harken back the dearest memories for Madison as she grows up.  Christmas songs are always the best.

More Christmas movies tonight:  "The Santa Clause 3" and "Shrek the Halls."  We had another fire in the fireplace, and more popcorn, and more snuggling.

Afterwards, we continued reading the book we started last night:  "A Christmas Carol."  It is unabridged, and the words - though really familiar - are bigger than Madison's vocabulary currently is.  So there's a bit of translating and special sound effects.  Example:  Mommy was wailing tonight when Jacob Marley's ghost enters the picture.  But Madison is enjoying it, and requested that we continue reading it tonight, along with her "Lone Star Christmas" devotional as well.  We said our prayers and thanked God for the Christmas season, the events and the fun.  We thanked Him for the rain too - it's been so solid the last three or four days.  Nonstop rain, really, just soaking everything without any significant breaks.  We've certainly needed that rain, and we're grateful for it.  It's cold and wet out there, but where we'd usually be tempted to complain about the yucky weather outside, we're all zipping our lips and remembering how hard we were all praying for rain just a few short weeks ago.

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