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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Las Noches de las Luminarias

One of Christy and Brandon's holiday traditions is to visit the Desert Botanical Garden's Las Noches de las Luminarias and this year they invited us to attend it with them.  It has been many years since Josh and I have attended and I am so glad that we did.  It was a beautiful event full of art, luminarias and festive music.  We thoroughly enjoyed just walking the grounds of the gardens with a glass of wine in hand listening to the holiday music admiring the lighted pathways.  One of my favorite moments in the evening was listening to the strings duo -- Simply Three.  They were amazing and so entertaining.  I really hope to make this one of our holiday must do's each holiday season.  I enjoyed it *that* much.

Sculptures by Japanese American Artist Jun Kaneko 
Selfie with the Sculpture
Christy and Brandon
Josh and I
Christy and Brandon
Pictures in front of the poinsettia tree
Fifth night of Hanukkah
Luminarias

Head Lice!

In my forty-two years, I have never experienced lice.  However, in the past three months, I have had to deal with them twice!  It seems likes BASIS Phoenix Central is a breeding ground for these little nuisances.  And each time, both of my kids were sent home due to lice or nits found on their heads.  Yuck!  Let me just say that we are getting really good at getting rid of these insects from our kids' heads.  

Here are some facts about lice that we have learned:
  • One of the top three reasons kids miss school.
  • They are extremely common!  Between 6-12 million U.S. kids 3-11 years old get head lice each year.
  • Not dangerous, but are contagious (and annoying).
  • They are NOT a sign of unwashed or unclean hair.  In fact, they thrive better in clean hair!
  • They are unable to live on pets.
  • Head lice are very small — about the size of a sesame seed.

Lice found on Madi's head
Making the most of not being allowed to re-enter school
Breakfast with Mommy
Saturday, December 30, 2017

Winter Wonderland for the Kids

While Josh and I visited Laguna Woods for Selma's birthday party, the kids enjoyed a fun-packed weekend.  We are so fortunate to have amazing family and friends who could assist with the kids so that we could spontaneously travel to California.  We are also really lucky that we have such great kids who adapt to our crazy schemes and are willing to just go with flow while enjoying the fun ride.  Their weekend of fun included time with their grandparents, Maelyn's birthday party, APS's Electric Light Parade, and an afternoon of ice skating and ice cream with Christy and Brandon.  What a weekend!

Decorating sugar cookies at Maelyn's birthday party
Watching Polar Express by starlight
Enjoying the APS Electric Light Parade
CitySkate Holiday Rink
Bravery has kicked in...
Skating with new friends
Michelle, Madi, Christy, Aiden and Brandon
Snap Chatting
Uncle B in the middle seat
Michelle making the kids a special treat

Happy 90th Birthday, GG!

Grandma (GG) Selma turned ninety years old on Sunday, December 3rd.  For her birthday, her daughter, Lori, threw her a grand birthday party the Saturday before her birthday.  At the last minute, literally three days before, Josh and I decided to join the fun.  We decided not to take the kids, so we figured out coverage for the couple of days we were gone.  We booked airlines tickets.  We booked a hotel room.  We were all ready to go.

We arrived at the airport early Saturday morning and retrieved our boarding passes.  We then enjoyed a little coffee, breakfast and walked to our gate to board the plane.  However, when we arrived that the gates, we couldn't find our destination on the above the gates anywhere.  Josh inquired with one of the gate agents about our flight and he informed us that our flight departed from his gate in twelve hours.  I booked the flight for 8:30pm, not 8:30am.  Ugh!  So, we went to the Southwest passenger assistance booth and they placed us on the next available flight to Orange County, which we later found out, actually had a layover in San Bernadino and then arrive in Orange County.  That would not work for us.  Josh found an American Airlines flight that departed at 8:45am, so we ran to the American Airlines passenger assistance booth and tried to purchased tickets for that flight.  Their response was that they had tickets available, but we couldn't purchase them because the flight was less than hour away from departing.  With that, we chose to drive directly from the airport to Laguna Woods.  We were not missing Selma's party!

We arrived in Laguna Woods around 12:30pm.  Just in time to join everyone for lunch at Selma and Stan's.  Selma's brother (Harold) and sister-in-law (Fran) flew in from New Jersey for the party.  Selma's nephews also came into town for the big day.  Dione and Yehudah both surprised Selma by flying in from Israel.  And the Reismans and the Vorobiofs were also in attendance.  We were so excited to finally meet those relatives we have heard so much about and the others that we hadn't seen in a while.  Officially, the party had began.

After lunch and chatting with family for a bit, Josh and I checked into the hotel and ready ourselves for the party.  The party was at Clubhouse 19.  We enjoyed appetizers and drinks for an hour.  Then, we all enjoyed some entertainment followed by a buffet dinner.  And then, Selma finished the evening with a brief speech and blowing out her candles.  It was so much fun!

The Mason Women
 Stan, me, Josh and Selma
 The Vorobiofs and the Reismans
 Selma and her duaghters
 Stan and Selma
 Hayley, Jenna, and Judah
 Me and Josh
 Yehudah and Josh
 Selma and her brother's family
 Stan and Josh
 Selma with her birthday cake
Happy Birthday, GG!
Happy Birthday, GG!
Friday, December 29, 2017

Gingerbread House Decorating

The kids were given a Gingerbread decorating kit for Thanksgiving.  They couldn't wait to decorate it.  Although, it could be argued that they really just wanted to eat it.  Either way, they had fun, enjoyed an annual tradition, and decorated it completely themselves without any adult assistance this year.  So adorable!

Their blank canvas
Look at that concentration
Having fun
Silly!!!
Eating the decorations
Masterpiece completed