Our 4-H Christmas party was last night. For some reason it was decided we would meet to sing carols at the Nampa Care Center at 5:30. Meeting this early meant I had to take the little kids with us (darn it!). Most families with little kids skipped the caroling and just went to the party. We weren't that cowardly. We went caroling.
I got lost trying to find the Care Center. In fact we drove most of the way to the lake before I turned around (purely because I realized the NAMPA Care Center would not be found in Caldwell- which is where we were heading). Arriving 15 minutes late was awkward enough. When we entered the room where the rest of the kids were singing an elderly lady saw my small children and shouted, "I want some of that!" There's nothing like making an entrance.
Our club is very large (around 70 members) so it was suprising that there were only about 15 people singing last night. Of those 15 about 5 were grown-ups. My children were by far the youngest there. Of course this did make it much easier to keep track of them- since the teen girls really like to pair up with small boys. One of the mom's brought great big jingle bells and offered the boys each a bell. They walked up and down the halls with the carolers singing (caterwauling) and shaking those bells. If you have any friends or relatives at the Nampa Care Center I offer my sincere apologies.
For the first time ever we were the first people to arrive at the school for our 4-H meeting. It should be recorded somewhere in the history books because it will not likely occur again. I'm not sure how we made it there so quickly- except that we did live by the Care Center once upon a time and perhaps we were aware of a more direct route to the school (although that kinda makes getting lost earlier in the evening even more embarrasing).
There was a brief business meeting before we get to the true business of the evening (namely opening presents and ingesting large quantities of cookies and milk). During the meeting I had to take the balls Sam and Jake were playing with because they kept running around throwing them. It wouldn't have been so bad except the gym floor has a nice hollow sound and the room echoes. It really helped the noise level when I regained custody of the balls and Jake started shouting, "My ball! My Ball!" I gently (and quietly) told him it was too noisy and he'd have to wait until after the meeting to get it back. He understood and quit trying to take the ball back or explain why it was his. Instead he sat between the other Cloverbud leader and me repeating (for at least 3 minutes), "I can't win. I just can't win. I can't win. I can't win. I just can't win..." He kept going until K'Anne finally looked at him and said, "I know just how you feel, some days I can't win either."
After our last cake decorating meeting I sent cake home with one family on some of our kitchen plates. That mom very nicely brought the clean plates to the meeting for me to bring home. While Jake and I were dealing with the ball situation Sam decided he should put his cookie on a plate. Of course the lovely Correlle plate shattered when it hit the gym floor. And of course it shattered while Tass was right in the middle of her gift exchange story (whenever the story says "left" pass left, "right" pass right).
People wonder why we're always squeaking in the door just as the meeting begins. This morning they've probably figured out it's because I don't mind being late if just Chris and I can go to the meeting. Alone.
On a bright note- there were extra gifts available for the gift exchange- so Claudia made sure my little ones got to participate. All (yes, every one) of my children managed somehow to end up with big (stockings full) bags of candy. We are blessed. Next year I'm going to finagle it so that someone else's small child goes home with a bag full of chocolate. Oh yes I am. Because it's the season for giving.