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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

It Is Better to Give

Baby Sister - and all of us - hope you receive the greatest of gifts this season and always.

Here's to opening presents in the pre dawn darkness. To tutus, pink boots, games and all sorts of Legos.

For goalie kits and playing football with the Mister in Hyde Park while the rest of us watch from the window in our jammies late, late into the afternoon.

To Little Professor for our little professor, for a nurse's costume that was declared a "doctor's" without a second glance, and all sorts of good books. For even more music in our household.

For dollies so realistic I struggled to nap while a toy baby fussed in my arms. And in thanksgiving for a precious letter from Santa tucked into Biggest Brother's stocking that brought two parents to tears. And for children worn out from a wonderful day.  For each other. Our greatest gift.

Monday, December 24, 2012

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

The last Christmas nativity cracker has been opened and a fancy dinner enjoyed. We went to Mass, saw friends, tracked Santa on NORAD and read "Twas the Night Before Christmas." Cookies and carrots have been left out for Santa and his reindeer.

This year he's also getting a long list of queries from the boys.

Yesterday we had a delightfully noisy online gathering with all the cousins in Virginia. Big Sister and I were especially sad to see that end.  But it is quiet here now. In the predawn darkness, the smalls will wake us so we can all see the tree together. The Mister will read from Luke and then gifts will be opened. We'll spend most of our day in pajamas playing. Eventually we'll make a yummy brunch and deliver a big platter to our porters. I absolutely love our Christmas Days at home.

On this lovely Christmas Eve in London, the smalls are tucked away in their little nests. Every day should end so sweetly and with such anticipation of what tomorrow holds.

We wish you a very happy Christmas.

Also, consider this your Christmas card. Sent with much love.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Star of Wonder

The world is holding six year olds closer than ever this week. It is surely why the Mister and I were especially touched to find this artwork from our resident six year old around the house.

"this is the brth of jeus. I love jeus so much."

"this is the staible. Baby Jeus is going to be born there."

I looks like Big Sister drew herself there, smiling at Baby Jesus in the manger. Either that or she imagines Mary wore two pigtails. How sweetly simple. Maybe enviably so. But also just what she should be thinking about a week before Christmas. A tiny girl, the guiding star and Baby Jesus. 

Our six year old is walking slowly toward Christmas, as my mother and grandmother would say. As it should be, Big Sister, as it should be.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Star Is Born

The festivities are upon us! I'm off momentarily to see the boys in their Nativity celebration at church. The whole school will walk down the street together. It may take Baby Sister's class most of the afternoon to get around the corner. But it will be well worth the trip to hear Biggest Brother and Big Brother sing and play their instruments with all their lovely friends.

We've hosted lots of pajama movie nights. A lot of Rankin Bass film festivals. One afternoon I surprised the smalls with movie "tickets" and brand new jammies. It is dark early and we're glad for an excuse to head home and get comfy after a hard day at school.

Baby Sister was a star in her class nativity last week. Indeed. Her siblings were so proud. There's lots of celebrating already. The tree is up, gifts are wrapped, and there's even a seasonal nip in the air!

How happy is Big Sister watching her sissie shine?

And this guy and his big brother sung so beautifully when they busked for charity last week.

It is the most wonderful time of the year to be sure!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Just Because

I can't stop looking at this deliciousness. 

Here's full length shot to show tiny white tights and mary janes, which are two of the best parts about having little girls:

These are pictures I'll send them in college and frame even when they beg me not to. Because one day they won't be Londoners, they won't all go to the same school, they won't let me put giant bows on their heads, and we'll want to remember that all. Also that we were ready - even once - early enough on a school morning to take a photo or two. Although in truth I was probably behind the camera in pajamas announcing I was about to take a shower.

They'll remember this was the year that Big Brother learned to tie his own tie and Big Sister lost her first tooth. When Biggest Brother really learned to play guitar and Baby Sister sang "Blah Blah Black Sheep."

These are the days.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

On Top of the World

Looking down on creation. I so hope you are now singing that Carpenter's song.

Anyhow, on Bonfire Night Biggest Brother and I snuck out (and completely ignored how exhausted we were from the late night return from Italy) to enjoy about twenty fireworks displays from atop the London Eye.

Biggest Brother, who'd missed touring the London Eye when his cousins visited the first summer we were Londoners (poor guy was at school!) had just asked me if he and I could have a "date" together. I am never one to let a date request go unanswered. And what a date it was!  It put most other dates to shame.

Starting with the London Eye on Bonfire Night. I've been known to tell visitors that they can surely skip the London Eye. Even if it begins with a 4D movie, for which I'm a big sucker. But if you insist on going, I'm going to insist you go at night, and time your ride for the 8pm start of most Bonfire Night fireworks displays. You will be treated to dozens of them from high, high above London. But even before the fireworks, the lights of London were brilliant.

We browsed through Foyles, one of our favorite bookshops, enjoyed buskers, and even stumbled upon a coffee festival!

Then we rode a carousel. I'm telling you, this date will be tricky to top!  And long beyond when his siblings were surely in bed making zzzs, Biggest Brother and I were sitting down to sushi.

The whole evening was wonderful! The very best part was the company.

Biggest Brother is so deserving of all these treats and more. He makes the Mister and me very proud. He is an exceedingly nice little guy and is hugely responsible and endlessly entertaining, helpful and kind with his siblings. He is the quintessential big brother and earns every bit of the fanfare he and I enjoyed. It is a date I'll remember always. Here's hoping he does, too!