December 11th: We got to tour the Nutcracker stage as a Preschool, a tour with demonstrations of the growing tree, fire place, Mother Ginger and a look at the back stage areas & costumes. Miss Michelle read the Nutcracker story and Clara came and danced with us. It was magical.
After the movie we went to Red Robin for our free birthday burgers. Red Robin is another place that has gluten free options & a dedicated french fry frier (no risk of cross-contamination) Then once we were sufficiently stuffed, we went home and got all dressed up to go to the Nutcracker.
We went to the Nutcracker at Richland High school, it was put on by Mid-Columbia Ballet and Mid-Columbia Symphony. I had the opportunity/ challenge of "cutting" the score for the director, prior to the symphony rehearsals, using the recordings I marked the cuts and order of songs, tempo changes and curtain openings etc. Previous to this, I was only mildly acquainted with the Nutcracker music. For a couple of afternoons I locked myself away in my studio, cranked up the boom box, and really listened and read the musical score. It was an amazing and fun musical exercise and experience for me...anyway it was beautiful & we enjoyed our long day together.
The week before Christmas Santa & Mrs Claus came to TCAB. It was awesome & fun to see all the kids excitement when they saw them. The 3-day Preschool was lucky enough to meet Santa & I snapped pictures which we were able to print and send home with the kids.
My little preschool class and their Santa craft. When they lined up for the picture they all started saying "Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas!" spontaneously.
December 21st: Cable Bridge Run 2013, a family tradition for the last few years. It was FREEZING and a little icy at the start of the race!!!!!!! I bundled up with lots of layers, Joseph rocked it especially in the ultralight wheelchair. The race organizers made special accommodations for us so we could park at the start, instead of getting bused from the fair grounds, we really appreciated that! They also added a wheelchair category for the 1st time, Joseph was 1 of 2 people participating in that category. Looking forward to next year, I'm going to have to train to keep up with Joseph, he's really fast & strong!
December 22nd: On Sunday we thought it would be fun to go out looking at Christmas lights. So we picked up Grandma Swanger & took her with us, so we had Mom, Dad, Val, Gma, Joseph, Rylee & I packed into the car. We had too much fun, but the best was the Senske Lawn Care light show.
Rylee watching the lights.
December 24th: In keeping with our tradition, we went to a movie, we saw Frozen with Mom, Val, Michelle kids & friend. We go to the movies on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day each year, this was the 5th year in a row for us, it started when Joseph was diagnosed legally blind & we've continued it each year since - no matter where we've been for Christmas. Later that evening we went to Grandma Swanger's for dinner and games. Santa made a visit while we were there!
Swanger Cousins (some of us)
A little snuggle with Santa, before he went out to deliver presents of course.
December 25th: It was a fairly calm & quiet Christmas. Dustin & his friend stayed overnight. We enjoyed breakfast & opened presents, then prepared lunch, and Grandma & Grandpa Wiberg joined us for lunch.
It looked and tasted like Christmas!
All dressed up for Christmas (on Sunday, the 23rd)
Rylee really got into the presents.
Our furry babies decided to get along on Christmas, how sweet.
We framed our snowflakes that were handmade by my Great Grandma.
Rylee was pooped after all the Christmas excitement!
December 26th: We watched the Hobbit again, Joseph didn't really get to watch it the 1st time. This time we got to enjoy it together & I understood it better too - I haven't read the book. Later this evening Kim, Shane and kids made it to Grandma's house & we were there to see them and to meet Easton- our youngest cousin.
Look how Easton is signing "I Love you"
December 28th: Paige was baptized and Easton was blessed. It was special because it was only family & so many family members were able to come. After the baptism/ blessing we went to Aunt Jodi's house for pizza & present exchange.
Paige & Easton
December 31st: We went to Aunt Diana & Matt's for a new years eve bonfire, it was so fun to just sit around the fire and visit with the Swanger side of the family. We left early so we could spend some time with the Wiberg side too, Joseph & I enjoyed sitting around chatting and getting our snuggle on with Easton again.