Saturday, December 15, 2007

Our First Nutcracker

Today I took Madeline to the Prado Theater in Balboa Park to see our first Nutcracker ballet. We went with one of my friends, Jackie, and her two girls. Since Mady started ballet this year I wanted her to see what real ballerinas look like and to see a live ballet performance. I actually had never seen the Nutcracker myself, growing up overseas I had missed that experience, so it was a treat for the both of us. Mady really wanted to wear her ballet shoes so I let her, they didn't really match her outfit but I am actually glad she wore them, it added to our whole experience. We explained to Mady before it started that there was no talking in the ballet, just music and dancing. To which she promptly replied "I know my teacher says no talking too so I know to be quiet, but sometimes I like to talk anyway:)" We took our seats and settled in to watch the show. I loved watching Mady's face as the curtain rose, she was excited and trying to figure out what she was seeing all at the same time. I think Mady might have been a little scared when she first saw the Nutcracker but she said she really liked the pretend toys. There was of course Clara, the main part, played by an adorable girl around fourteen. The snowflake dance at the end of the first act was glorious, with snow falling down and the dancers all in white flowing this way and that, it looked like a shaken snow globe and jewelery box all in one. After the first act Mady thought it was over but we told her there was one more act to go. Then she spotted Clara who had come out into the audience during intermission. It might as well have been one of the Disney princesses, she was enthralled. I love how bold Mady is, she just walked over to her and hugged her and asked if she could take her picture with her. Then after admiring her some more she asked if she could go over and tell her that her dress was beautiful. Let's see after that there was the orchestra area down front that some of the little girls were practicing being ballerina's. Mady went down and twirled and practiced her moves and told me when she was done that she was going to be in the Nutcracker next year and that when she grew up she is going to be Clara. The second act was dazzling, the Sugar Plum Fairy radiant and all of the dancers in their toe shoes made my feet ache just watching them. I keep saying to Mady, that is really hard to do as they went up and down on their toes and spun around in circles. She seemed pretty confident that she could do the same when she was big. She didn't even laugh when the Sugar Plum Prince came out in his "tights"/ muscle leotard that when directly up his crack. She must be too young to understand modesty, I and the older girls giggled a little watching him prance around. All was seemingly going well until Mady got tired. She announced very loudly towards the middle of the second act, "Mom I am ready for this to be over now I am tired" I held in the laughter as we happened to be sitting next to Clara's grandmother. It was a great performance and I hope to add it to one of the traditions that we can do every year. Here are some photos of Mady dancing down front and of her and Clara and one of us. Thank you Lord for such a wonderful day with my sweet daughter, she is such a joy to be with.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Traditions

We have a few traditions in our family, the first is that Jim reads the Christmas story from Luke to our family on Christmas Eve night. The second is that on that same night we gather the Christmas cards that have been sent to us and put them into a basket and we draw three cards and then we pray for those families/people. This year I am especially excited to share our traditions because my mom and dad are coming on Christmas Eve. Mady knows that Christmas will be here when Big Daddy and Big Mommy get here. This year I am so thankful for all that God has blessed us with but most of all for my family. The kids are so young and at times it can be so hard but it doesn't matter because God has given more than I ever deserved. So what are your Christmas traditions? I would like to hear from all of you.

Monday, December 3, 2007

It's Christmas Time

Last night we went and got our tree, we got it home and unpacked the decorations and then forgot that we threw out our tree stand last year. SO I had to make an emergency run to Target, by the time I got back Aslan was too tired to help decorate(sorry buddy maybe next year). So Mady and I decorated the tree and Jim watched for a little while and then fell asleep on the couch. Then Mady and I snuggled under the tree and read a book and we both fell asleep. She is so excited for Christmas to be here. I can't really put presents for her or Aslan under the tree until right before Christmas because the temptation is too much. We started our Advent Calender it has little prayers in each box so we get to pray with her everynight, most of the prayer are about being grateful. I still haven't finished my Christmas cards need to get that going this week. Lots to do and fun to have this is one of my favorite times of the year.