The Christmas pageant was on Sunday and it went beautifully! Not a big crowd, but the kids (and participating adults) did wonderfully, the music (especially "Greensleeves" on hammered dulcimer and guitar) was lovely, and the refreshments afterwards were first rate!
Here is Travis-the-shepherd and his trusty sheep. He laid aside his teenage angst on Sunday (and we haven't seen it since!) and played his part (shepherd pointing out star) with great feeling. It was very moving.
And here Katie is holding one side of the Red Sea. At the appropriate moment, the other little "sea-holder" let go and Katie gathered up the waters (blue tablecloth) and let the Children of Israel through. It got the idea across and fit our pageant budget.
There was singing. For some reason the sound here is a little crackly, but you can see Travis's singing sheep!
Travis is not normally much of a public singer, but with his lamb sidekick for moral support he did okay!
Katie makes up for anything that Travis lacks in the drama department. Here she serenades a bear on the balcony of a log castle.
And here are Travis and friends at co-op. They were each to dress as a leader of an Axis or Allied power and give a short speech about themselves. The first time they did this they actually made an effort to look like "their" person, but this time, what with holiday excitement and school weariness, they didn't do so well. You can probably guess which one is Hitler, and if one might be Churchill wearing Abraham Lincoln's hat and after a rough night out with the boys, I won't say which one that might be.
And here is Emma. Laying claim to (and probably lying on top of) the presents. But at least she hasn't tried to climb the tree, so I am not complaining.
We went to see The Hobbit this afternoon. Definitely a mixed bag. And not the Hobbit that I know and love. It was certainly Very exciting, and Gollum was fabulous. The biggest disappointments for me were the Unexpected Party, where Bilbo was too inhospitable and the dwarves were too rude and didn't bring their instruments (or party cloaks), and, much worse, Rivendell, all of which was awful, and the whole business of the elves turning their backs on the dwarves when Smaug was attacking. The "white orc" thing and Thorin as the new Aragorn were both surprising, but I could see the need, given the decision to extend the book over three movies. Turning what was supposed to be a treasure hunt into an epic quest of great significance to all the major powers of Middle Earth seems very iffy and hard to support, to me, and I wish they hadn't, but those three hours certainly did fly by. Really, much of it was wonderful! The scenery, of course, was amazing, and I thought all the characters (except maybe Balin, who was older than I expected) were well done. Bilbo, particularly, is wonderful, and the scene where he has the chance to kill Gollum and doesn't was perfect. The goblin king was fantastic -- much better than I ever imagined. And Radagast's bunny sled, while very surprising, was awfully funny! Ed thought the ending was abrupt, but it was about what I expected, and we are looking forward to the next installment!