Adventures I Should Have Blogged
No posts in nearly two months means that LOTS of life here at the Woody Hacienda and Wonderwood Academy has not been documented. There have been way too many adventures between then and now to attempt to even highlight them. I have to be satisfied with a list. Here it is, in chronological order:
October 12, 19, and 26 Angel Choir rehearsals - We're loving the experience!
October 17-19 Trip to San Diego to celebrate Woody's birthday. Of course, it was also an "extended field trip." We had a great time adventuring at Balboa Park, Old Town, the trolley tour, missions, the Point Loma lighthouse, and the Wild Animal Park.
October 23 The girls had their last piano lesson until after the holidays. Life is already starting to get crazy!!
October 25 Aunt Debby hung out with us and then joined us for the annual Trunk or Treat party at church. Jelly and the Doodle dressed as Renaissance witches. (Possibly influenced by our current Middle Ages/Renaissance studies, and the fact that Jelly wanted something a bit more "Halloweenish, but not scary." When Doodle saw the pretty costume, SHE wanted one JUST LIKE IT! To Jelly's credit, rather than being annoyed, she immediately responded that, "No, I don't mind. We can be twins!" I just pray that their close relationship endures the teen years.
October 29 Liahona Field Trip to Griffith Park Observatory - We're studying astronomy and this was our first trip to the observatory since it reopened after a HUGE renovation. It is amazing!
October 31 Our new family Halloween tradition is to let the girls dress up and then we have a family adventure. This year we utilized our membership to the Aquarium of the Pacific and hung out with our aquatic friends. Pumpkin pancakes at IHOP were a tasty treat to top off the holiday. (The girls definitely didn't need more candy - more than sufficient was obtained at the church Trunk or Treat.)
November 1 Woody began rehearsals (as the tenor soloist) for the 5th Annual Messiah Sing-Along, sponsored by the Yorba Linda Arts Alliance. It's a tradition that opens our Christmas season the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
November 4 Civics Field Trip - We voted and then watched the returns come in. You win some, you lose some. Enough said.
November 5 Liahona had our first quilting class at Heritage Park. We got a fabulous intro and mini history of quilting, a hands-on opportunity for kids and grown-ups to use a rotary cutter, and made decisions on what kind of quilts we want to make. We'll get supplies over the holidays, and begin in earnest after the first of the year. Cool.
November 8 and 13 Woody auditioned, was called back, and got the part of Zacharias in the Savior of the World presentation. Our enthusiasm continues to build as we share this experience as a family. His beard is really coming in and it's going to be a busy winter and spring!
November 9, 23, and 30 Angel Choir rehearsals continue as we prepare for a concert in December. Everyone is still enjoying the experience and the girls are getting an awesome musical education. It's a little daunting, but they're loving it!
November 12 Liahona takes a free field trip to Albertson's - with a focus on learning to be "Healthy Eaters". We weren't sure what to expect, but a great time was had by all, and we gots LOTS of free stuff!
November 14 The Primary kids had a special practice for their Sacrament Meeting presentation, "I Am a Child of God." This was Jelly's last. Next year at this time she will have been in the Young Women program for several months already. She is truly growing into a wonderful young lady.
November 15 The Freeway Complex fire burned closer than any we've experienced before. Our bishop's family, as well as two other families in our ward, lost their home. Half the ward was evacuated. Jelly was packed and ready to go. Doodle handled her fears by escaping into one of her favorite movies. Though it's been amazing to see the strength and love of our ward family as people step in to serve each other, I hope we never have that experience again.
November 16-19 Though the smoke was still in the air, we knew we were safe. After a unique Sacrament Meeting (folks were still evacutated from many areas) Woody traveled to San Francisco on business.
November 23 The Primary Sacrament Meeting Program, having been postponed a week due to the fire, was a resounding success. Both Jelly and Doodle put their whole hearts into singing and their speaking parts. Looking back on past programs, my mama heart was prilled (proud and thrilled) to see the way they have progressed each year to overcome their shyness and fears. Yes, the shyness and fears are still there, but did NOT stop them from sharing their growing testimonies through music and words.
November 27 We have SO much to be thankful for!!!
November 30 5th Annual Messiah Sing-Along. Aunt Debby spent the Thanksgiving holiday with us and joined us for the first seating of the sing-along. The girls and I are Woody's best fans, so we were there for BOTH seatings. We love supporting Daddy and we also love the way this experience helps to usher in the Christmas season with a jubilant spirit.
December The entire Woody family is busy rehearsing for special Christmas concerts, but none is busier than Woody himself!
December 1 Christmas School is in session at Wonderwood Academy. We are participating (along with God daughter, SwimChick) in a special HOAC Co-Op on the Twelve Days of Christmas. More on this later.
December 2 Our baby, the Doodlebug, is nine years old!! This was a year for a family celebration, so she got to plan the entire day's menus. She developed a love for hand sewing when she was tiny, watching her Grandma Joy, and still talks about how she used to "help" put in some of the stitches. Watching Aunt Debby work on her current project revived Doodle's desires for a project that she can do "by herself." So, her special birthday gift was to select a printed cross stitch project. She's making a pillow case with a princess design. So far, she's stitched two of the butterflies and is VERY happy.
December 5 For at least the third year (I need to check on this) we attended the Orange Stake's Creche and Christmas Concert. It was especially fun this year to look for nativities from the countries we have been and will be studying in our Christmas unit at Wonderwood. We'll be adding some of the pictures we took to the girls lap/notebook projects. The concert, featuring the Anaheim Mormon Chorale (where Woody sings tenor), brought even more of a truly tangible spirit to our holiday season.
December 6 In a new joint effort, the Chorale joined with the Yorba Linda Orchestra for a combined concert. We weren't sure just what to expect, and so were VERY pleasantly surprised at the quality of the orchestra's sound. Conditions were less than ideal for the chorale members, but in spite of staging challenges we thoroughly enjoyed yet another wonderful holiday musical experience.
December 7 An amazing testimony meeting set the tone for a special Sabbath. We then basked in the spirit of a quiet afternoon at home, followed by an earlier-than-usual Angel Choir rehearsal. Only one week left before we sing in our stake's Christmas Concert. The day was capped by the First Presidency Christmas Devotional broadcast from Salt Lake. We normally watch it at home, on BYU TV, but since we were already at church, we stayed to share the experience.
There is a place in our family traditions for the secular side of Christmas, but I've been really pleased with the out-of-balance emphasis that we've been able to maintain with the sacred, spiritual, "real reason for the season" so far this year.
Not to worry - the girls have had and will continue to have opportunities for the just-plain-fun parts of the holiday, too. Our tree is up and has lights on it, so far, and our family tradition of holiday movie watching has also begun. (A little later than usual this year, but finally begun.) We're decorating a bit at a time, so there are red and green boxes stacked in a couple of corners. Shopping is almost done, and crafting and baking are on the horizon.
Stay tuned for updates. :o)