Wednesday after school, I was a timekeeper and scorekeeper for our school's first basketball game. My school and other schools around us have this after school program called ACE. I think it's "Active Character Education". Teachers can recommend students in the 4th and 5th grade who are on the borderline when it comes to behavior and character. Basically, the bad kids who need some self esteem help and teamwork. So they form this team of these kids and ever Wednesday after school, their coach (our PE teacher) does some activities with them for a few hours. They have character education lessons, do activities to build self esteem, and then have basketball practice and apply the character traits they talked about into their basketball team. Well, they actually play other schools occasionally and Wednesday was their first game. We lost terribly, but the kids were cute. Most of them were excited to even have a chance to be on a real sports team, and others were nervous because it was their first game ever. Then, our PE teacher bought them all pizza and we talked and ate pizza until the bus came and got them. It was really fun.
My first Holiday program at my new school was scheduled for Thursday evening. The whole first grade was going to perform four different selections, all about stars. Then the orchestra would do some Holiday songs ,then the band would play. Believe it or not, we have about 65-70 kids in our 5th grade band. Pretty impressive, huh? It's their first year playing and they actually sound really good. Well, when we woke up Thursday morning, we learned that it was also the first Winter Weather Advisory of the year. It was supposed to snow about ONE inch. So they canceled the program and we got a 2-hour-early dismissal. I was confused, so I went to the principal. I asked why all this was happening for one inch of snow that might even pass over us. He replied, "Maria, this isn't West Virginia. We don't treat the roads here. When it snows, we all go home and wait until it goes away." (ME): But why can't we just put chains on the bus tires? (Principal): HAHAHAHA. Chains! You're funny.
And sure enough, it snowed one inch and there was one inch of ice and snow on the roads. It was crazy. And don't you know, school was closed on Friday, too! So we watched Home Alone on Thursday night and laughed our heads off. It truly is the most hilarious movie ever!
So, Friday, I woke up late, drank coffee and watched Regis & Kelly, made cookies, went shopping, went to the gym, and made chicken noodle soup for dinner. It was delicious! And it's sooo easy. Let me share with you:
In the crock pot, put:
A bunch of chicken broth, sliced carrots and celery, pieces of cooked chicken, and some oregano and parsley. Let it cook on high for about 4 hours. Put some egg noodles in and let it cook on high for about another 45 minutes. Voila. Delicious.
I made sugar cookies on Friday. I still don't have a rolling pin so I used a PAM spray bottle and pressed really hard. I tried making royal icing and "flooding" the cookies. It's pretty much the only way to make the icing on the cookies look smooth, according to Martha Stewart. So you make two kinds of royal icing--stiff and wet. Then you outline the cookie with the stiff icing, like so:
(not my cookies, just a photo from the internet)
Then you add water to the stiff icing to make wet, really thin icing and use a pastry bag to fill the inside. When it dries, it will be nice and smooth. My only set-back: I don't have pastry bags or tips. So I resorted to the old "fill-a-sandwich-bag-and-cut-a-hole-in-the-tip" method. The outlines are terrible, but they turned out okay for my first time:
I finished all of my Christmas shopping on my day off. While I was at the gym, Josh finished his Christmas shopping as well and wrapped all of my gifts. Something you should know about Josh: He is an excellent gift-giver. He is thoughtful and always buys me things I love. The problem is: He likes it so much that he usually goes overboard and then cannot contain his excitement. So the second I got home from the gym, I immediately had to open some of the gifts that he had just wrapped before he exploded. So, I opened two gifts. One was a rolling pin. He saw me using the stinking PAM bottle and immediately got dressed, went out, and bought me a nice rolling pin. See, I told you he is thoughtful! The other is our first Christmas tree ornament. We actually got a beautiful "First Christmas" ornament from a friend as a wedding gift. It is gold and beautiful (it has always been my dream to have an all-gold Christmas tree). The problem? The date says 2006!!! It's definitely 2010. So Josh bought me another gold "first Christmas" ornament with the correct date and we have both on the tree. It's even a Willow Tree ornament (my favorite)!!!
|The rolling pin and ornament.|
|The ornament on the tree!|
That night, we watched one of our other favorite Christmas movies, Elf!!!! And drank gin & tonics. They are our favorite drinks, especially around Xmas time because they taste like our tree! The movie was soooo funny. If you haven't seen it yet, go buy it right now! It's on sale at Target for $9.
Saturday, we decided to make it our Christmas together. We are going to be at Josh's parents house on Christmas day, and Josh couldn't wait any longer before I opened the rest of my gifts. Plus, we had our Christmas last year on the Saturday before the real Christmas, so we may as well make it a tradition. Here is what our tree looked like in the morning:
Josh got me a beautiful sweater I have been wanting from Macy's, lots of chocolate, some beautiful champagne flutes I have been wanting to match our set of wine glasses and the. best. gift. ever. Are you ready for this?
A set of 25 colorful Sharpies!!!!
You better bet I got my best card stock, went straight to the computer, printed off a bunch of coloring pages and got right to work. And I did that for about 9 hours that day! I love Sharpies!
Josh also opened his gifts. I got his two sweaters from Gap that he had been wanting and what I would call an overpriced ugly tie. Every time we go to Macy's, he stops and looks at these certain ties. I think they are terrible. He loves them. They are super expensive and probably won't match anything, so I always tell him "NO WAY!" Well, they went on sale right before Christmas and I had a coupon, so I bought it for him, even though I hate it. He was pleasantly surprised and very excited. Now he's probably going to wear it every day. I also booked us two tickets for a DogFish Head Brewery Tour in January. It's about 45 minutes away in Delaware, but I am super psyched about going and he is too! The tickets are usually sold out months in advance, so I really had to be on the ball to get this one. I got online right at the time they were posted for this particular date and snagged two. We are excited to try lots of beers!
After gift giving and eating left-over chicken noodle soup, we went to a church down the road from us to watch one of Josh's students in the Christmas piano recital. We brought her a bag of cookies, and for some reason I had a feeling that I should bring more than one bag, so I did. And guess what? One of my students was in the recital, too! It was adorable. Josh's student was 9 and mine was 6. They each played 5 pieces, including a duet with their teacher. Each song was only about 30 seconds long, but it was so cute. So we gave them both bags of cookies and their moms were really happy to see us there.
We stopped at the Shoe Dept, which is ALWAYS a mistake because I always buy something. Which I promptly did. I bought a beautiful pair of peep-toe nude colored wedge shoes on clearance for $9.99 and I am SO excited to wear them.
Josh had promised me a long time ago that for Christmas, we could have Chinese food. We have lived here for about 5 months and still haven't tried a Chinese restaurant. So we ordered it and it was so-so. I liked it better than he did. But I was mainly just happy to have gotten it in the first place! Then we watched another favorite movie: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.
Have you ever seen this movie? If not, you're crazy and you need to go watch it right now. I laugh non-stop when I see this movie. It's one of my all-time faves.
While we watched our favorite past-time movie, we enjoyed our favorite past-time drink. Super cheap champagne mixed with pomegranate juice. And we enjoyed them in our new champagne glasses!
This morning, we woke up super late and watched yet another movie. Yes, we were super lazy bums this weekend. Deep Impact was on TV and I hadn't seen it in a long time. It's pretty intense and a good way to spend two hours. It's about an asteroid that is supposed to hit earth and kill everything on the planet. It's kind of like Armageddon.
And that's how we spent our weekend. Pretty exciting, huh?
My program is rescheduled for tomorrow evening (Monday). I am kind of concerned that most kids won't show up now. Many of our students couldn't come in the first place because their parents don't have transportation or just plain aren't involved in their child's life or education. And now I'm afraid that the people who were going to come already have plans tomorrow. Oh well. We will have to wait and see. I will say that the program is going to be super cute. My 6-year-olds practically created the whole thing themselves. They made up the lyrics to the songs and made up their own movements, too! I will take pictures! Wish us luck!