The reason I do my birthday/Christmas shopping so early in the Fall is because December is always SUCH a busy month!
I love having the majority of my presents purchased, my Christmas cards and my decorating done by the end of November so I can truly enjoy the spirit of the Christmas season.
It didn't quite happen this month, but I'm not that far behind, thank goodness!
We have to find time to enjoy the season as a family, while attending all the fun stuff in the month!
This past weekend was no exception.
In addition to our Pastor retiring, and my involvement with hiring an Interim Pastor, we have a fun month at church in progress.
First up, Thomas completed the semester-long Confirmation program.
The 19 junior high youth attended weekly classes, and attended a retreat where they made their stoles and wrote their statements of faith - describing their beliefs and their desire to join the church.
This Sunday, with their mentors by their side, the youth read their Statements of Faith in front of the Elders, their parents, and a majority of the congregation! It was so touching. I had lots of tears for all the kids. Their statements were obviously from the heart and were all unique. I was so proud of the kids!
Thomas reading his Statement of Faith with his mentor and our youth pastor.
I never took my Nikon off the previous night's nighttime settings, grrr.
Charlie and Thomas
All the kids, getting ready to present their Statements of Faith
Last month they attended an overnight retreat where Thomas made his stole and wrote his Statement with his mentor's support.
I was grateful for all the photos the mentors shared with me!
Dad and Thomas after Confirmation
So proud of this kid!
And, speaking of Thomas, he had a pretty big Saturday as well.
He took the SAT! I know, I know, he's 12.
But he's in a program through Northwestern University where he had the opportunity to take it early and possibly continue in other parts of the program.
We got great help from Hawaii teacher friends, and Thomas took a couple of practice tests this Fall.
He was ready.
He was the only junior high kid at this test site on this day, so I'm sure it was rather intimidating.
But he did it and we're anxious to see how he did.
Note: if he does better than me as a 7th grader than I did as a junior, I will not be surprised!
AND... Thomas marched with the two middle schools in the Christmas parade!
He's been in the parade, years ago, with his Cub Scout pack, but this was pretty awesome.
He's started marching practice through band at school, and they did a great job!
I got a few photos of the event.
All the city wide Junior High band members.
Thomas is in a green sweater with a red scarf, playing a trumpet.
Can you see him? We couldn't.
SAT, Christmas Parade, Confirmation - a very busy weekend for Thomas!
And speaking of busy fun, this guy had a pretty full time as well.
David took the boys to Macbeth at the High School on Friday night. I thought Thomas wasn't going, but he really really wanted to.
Brennan was game - "Shakespeare, a tragedy, and high school kids possibly missing their lines? What's not to love?"
Umm, OK, I think I like your enthusiasm.
In addition, we had a blast at the parade, watching from the new parking garage. He got a lit light saber sword type thing, and he cheered on EACH and EVERY float. Although we couldn't see Thomas, he kept cheering "you're doing great Thomas!" as the junior high bands marched by us.
He also spent quite a bit of time Sunday in practice for the church Christmas Musical next weekend.
And his biggest choir concert to date. Brennan's elementary school's choir (5th and 6th graders) were invited to sing with the Symphony! They were so great, singing three songs - It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, O Tannenbaum, and Do You See What I See.
I'm hesitant to put the videos on the Internet (since there are other kids involved), but I'll share them with family when we're in Mississippi this Christmas. They're a very talented group and we're so proud of Brennan for getting through the early morning rehearsals each week, the evening rehearsal with the symphony, and spending the majority of his Sunday in practice and in concert too. It's a lot to take on, and he's doing it beautifully!
Soooo happy to see us in the audience!
No one had more impressive moves - Brennan really gets into the dancing and singing.
I got to see my friend Jeanne in Louisville on Friday, for a fun day of dining and movie watching.
(Lincoln was great - Oscars are inevitable)
Phew, fun weekend! I love this time of year!