Monday, December 26, 2011

Catching Up and Christmas...

 I have been meaning to post for a week or two but just haven't found the time so I am going to catch up on all that has been going on with us.

Here is Haley with her good friend, Lily. We have Lily over to play about twice a month. Haley and Lily love to play together and make a horrible mess of the playroom in the basement. You can't really tell but Lily gave Haley eyeshadow for Christmas and this is a photo of them after they made up their faces.

For Christmas this year, Haley learned/relearned about 20 Christmas carols to play for various events. Her classical teacher asked her to play for a senior luncheon at her church and then she and Dylan also played Christmas set for our church's Christmas Eve Candlelight service which is one of our holiday traditions and one of the ones I enjoy the most. I love the way the church looks full of people singing Joy to the World in the glow of candlelight!

 This is Haley with her good friend and fellow Irish music enthusiast, Alex. They were attending a workshop given by Irish fiddler Oisin MacDiarmada and this is Haley thanking Alex for a beautiful and thoughtful Christmas gift. She had given him a friendship bracelet months ago at the Fleadh in Parsippany and a couple months later it broke so she gave him another. To thank Haley for the friendship bracelets, Alex picked her out a beautiful Pandora bracelet (he knew she liked his mother's Pandora bracelet) with a charm for friendship.
Oisin teaching at the workshop.

 Nothing is better at Christmas time than spending time with friends and listening to Irish music. On Friday night we attended a Christmas party hosted by a couple of Haley's "adult friends" who we know through Irish music. Many of those in attendance were musicians so the evening was full of music, both instrumental and singing. It was a lovely evening.

The hosting couple also asked for donations for the local food bank and animal shelter so the party served a number of purposes.

I really like this photo with Paraic through the harp.

 Christmas morning at our house. Lucky for us, our kids are getting older and sleep on Christmas morning. Tinks was actually the one who got me up around 7am because she had to go out. Haley was up soon after and we had to wake the boys. Ritch and I cooked breakfast which we ate as soon as Grammy and Poppop came over.

After breakfast we sat and opened presents. Dylan had already gotten his "big" gift...the bouzouki with a wonderful mic/pickup system. On the left is Newt with one of his "big" gifts. The other was a new pair of old wrestling shoes but he has already been wearing these. We are thinking if college and wrestling don't work out for Newt, he can always join the circus!

Haley's last gift was not under the tree. Instead there was a wrapped box containing a clue which sent her on a scavenger hunt. After following the clues, she ended up in the "man cave" out back and unwrapped a bike helmet with a clue to "Look Up!" Attached to the beams of the roof was this......

She is so glad she will not have to look like a muppet on a tiny bike pedaling 4X as much as her friends on bike rides in Central Park from now on.

After we were finished having fun at our house, we headed to Grammy and Poppop's. Here are a few pics of the kids unwrapping gifts...or waiting to unwrap gifts.

Newt waiting...

Dylan waiting.

Haley's surprise from Grammy and Poppop!

Oops! One more of Haley waiting.

Just to let you know how serious Haley is about her music...she even practiced on Christmas Day.  Not her usual hours of practice but she did do a run-through of her piece for her upcoming concert and worked to fix a couple spots. Ha!

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