Saturday, December 26, 2009

N week, Christmas, and Preschool Angst

Wow, I didn't realize how behind I was until I started loading pics--I guess we've been busy! For my own convenience I am just going to go in chronological order rather than doing our alphabet fun first.
A couple of weekends ago after the big snow storm, the boys and I went up to Lowell's school to help Daddy move snow. Here are the boys in Lowell's big snow plow/tractor. He is so excited this year to have decent equipment to work with and the covered cab is an added bonus. The boys think it is ever so cool to drive around with him. I helped with some of the shoveling and have a greater appreciation of all the hard work Lowell puts in to support our family. We love you honey!

I spent a fair amount of time the next few days working on gingerbread houses for our twin club activity. Davis helped:

He helped to stir, add ingredients, and of course to lick the beaters.
We ended up with 12 houses all together and I think all the kids had a pretty good time assembling.

Here's Davis with his completed project

Carter too. I have to say making your own gingerbread is SO much better than the kits. Those really aren't meant to be eaten in my opinion. But our gingerbread was yummy! :)
The next weekend Lowell and I took the boys for some cold fun at the zoo. I do love winter at the zoo and it was our cheater way to do zoo lights this year. I had to work the free for members night and it is so busy that night anyway, but I didn't really want to spend $16 to see the lights when we can go to the zoo free (with our membership) any time so we just looked at them during the day--and the boys didn't mind a bit. Plus it is great to actually see the animals because they stay inside--the orangutans were especially fun (and amazing to me) and the baby tigers.
C man with one of the holiday displays.

How many shots do I have with these tigers--I don't know, but it is fun to look at them all!
Tuesday this week we recreated our own Polar Express. I found the Heber Creeper version far too expensive so we took Front Runner up to Christmas Village in Ogden and brought our own bells, saving $90 or so in the process.

Waiting for the train in our jammies

Carter on the train
Big D too

Checking out the window displays at the "North Pole"--yep there's a N word for you.

Another visit with Santa

Chillin' (literally) with cousin Dylan

Goofing off on the train ride home

Flurbiting (making farting noises) each other's faces

Tired tired boys on the way home. We left our hhouse about 4:30 and got home after 10--it was quite the process. And not all perfect, it was hard to contain the kids on the train on the way there with other commuters expecting quiet (we had the car to ourselves on the return trip) and the walk to Christmas Village took us past some questionable shops but I think all in all it worked out and the kids will remember it fondly.
Christmas Eve Lowell was anxious to give the boys his gift so we said Elf on the Shelf had left these as a parting gift to them.

They are kept inflated by a little fan, so fun!
I got to keep my tradition of going to Temple Square Christmas Eve to see the lights and the Nativities (see the N!). This year we even wrangled my family in on it.

Lowell and his boys. Yes, they look like him not me.

Our family

Everyone (except for my mom who opted out of the shot).

Lowell, Davis and the temple--I love the mood it sets to go to see the temple on Christmas Eve, the birth of our Savior and the temple connects everything for me, He prepared the way so we can live together forever as families through the temple.

Cyndel, Carter, and the nativity on the reflecting pool.
After the lights we headed to Lowell's family's Christmas event with a turkey dinner and opening of presents.

Here was tree #1 this year. It was fun, though the boys struggled because they were so tired already. Still good times with the fam.

Then there was our tree, after I finished up late that night--even though I have been wrapping since November there was still a lot to finish up including food prep for the next day.
Waking up to see if Santa had come was magical of course. The boys wanted to dive right in. Spoiled monkeys scored bikes, video Mp3 players, mini camcorders, and zhu zhu pets. Carter told me he must have been good because Santa brought him so much good stuff. I hope he didn't really think he was being good--they were stinkers all month. Of course I can never follow through on threats--blast it all.

Carter videotaping his zhu zhu pet racing around (he named him Wink--I was impressed it wasn't hamster, they are branching out. Davis's is named Rice).

And yet another tree, do you think a few people love these kids? We headed over to my family's house after opening our gifts for Christmas lunch and more present opening.

Davis in his much loved helmet opening a gift from my grandma. Everyone did pretty well--I got a new robe and a beautiful painting from my fam and a bunch of massage gift certificates (yeah!), some kitchen stuff I wanted, and Wii Fit Plus from Lowell. Lowell got a GPS, cologne, some Wii games, and a treadmill. We all scored--such spoiled and very blessed people we are.

My flash needs help but here's Carter talking to Jonny under the tree.
Mmmm and we had ham, how I love ham.
I guess you can decide what toys they liked best by what they took to bed with them, here is Davis with zhu zhu pet village in his bed (plus his camera and Leapster with new games).
And Carter had his Leapster and mp3 player. Close to midnight Lowell took it all away since they were still up and haven't napped in days. Just too excited and too much new fun things to play with.
The final N was neighbors, as in neighbor gifts we passed out. I didn't get a picture of it but the boys did help.
It has been a busy full couple of weeks and we look forward to New Year's and everything the new year will hold coming up soon.
Well, almost everything. The start of the year is typically when people start opening registration for the next fall for preschool. So my search begins again and I am very conflicted. The situation from this fall has left me quite burned. I just don't know what to think. If I put them in school again will they just get kicked out again? Or would they do fine if someone gave them more than a week to settle into it? Since they are older now will that make a difference? They behave better in separate classes at church so should I split them for preschool? And how am I to do that, same school different times (ugg, isn't part of the joy having time to shop sans kids?) or different schools same time? Or is it wrong of me to really want them to stay together because they are happier that way even if it is harder on the teacher? I'm sure we'll separate them in kindergarten but there's still so young to me and Carter especially is anxious without his brother. I would feel better leaving them if they were together. But who will even take them? I think a larger facility based school may be better at not kicking them out but some are SO expensive. Think of the prices times 2 and it gets ridiculous. And then I think about what they are even teaching and how I am already doing that successfully at home and I wonder why I would even pay for high priced babysitters that will put me through such stress. But the kids need to learn to behave in a classroom setting before school right? Or should I just homeschool them in kindergarten too? They are doing so well with reading and everything, but I can't keep them forever, they need to socialize and branch out. But I will miss them deeply and there's always the threat of rejection, looping back to my feeling from this fall. I know I should have let it go long ago but it still hurts that feeling of rejection. And so I muddle through my thoughts, stressed out about something that won't even happen for 9 months so unsure of how to proceed. Sigh.


Tara said...

We didn't go to Temple Square on Christmas Eve this year with my family because we thought it would be too cold for our little guy. You guys looked cold but still having fun! Good luck with the preschool thing...I've got some contacts for preschools in Orem if you want them.

Queen Mother said...

Looks like a super fun Christmas!

Regarding preschool...

I am pro-preschool. I believe it is so much more than just learning your ABCs and other education items that you can learn at home. Children need the social necessities that a preschool will offer them. All children need to learn to wait their turn, function in a classroom setting, etc...things that they really cannot learn at home, I hate to say it - not truly, anyway. As you know, my mom is teacher and she has told me so many times how Kindergarten teachers can instantly tell which children have been to a preschool and which have not - regardless of their educational abilities.

I do not know how Kindergarten is in Utah, but here in CO it is pretty intense. They learn to read and basic math. It's not Kindergarten like I attended when I was a kid, that's for's much more educational. If a child doesn't know how to function in the classroom, they're going to miss out on the learning..and frankly it is not fair to the other children in the classroom if the teacher has to focus all of his/her time on one or two kids because they are disrupting the class.

I would definitely send them to preschool, but that's just me. (Nate is definitely attending next year, he'll be 4.) I would also put them in different classes. I think part of their problem last year was that they were together. My children aren't twins, but I know that my kindergartener, for instance, would be pretty distracted in his classroom if one of his brothers were present. And that's only natural - they want to be together, as such close knit siblings always do. But they also need to learn to branch out and learn to socialize with other children. Which they probably would not do if they were together - they'd stick together.

Just my 2 cents, for whatever it's worth!

Love ya!