Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Making Christmas cookies with Dakota 
Lyndsey is overseeing the action
Making a movie with Lyndsey and Dakota 
A "Talk Back" after the show with 6th graders 
Thanks Secret Santa... how'd you know I love Starbucks? 
A very MARY Christmas Party 
The Banks Brats 
Making Gingerbread stars! 
Hours later...still making Gingerbread stars!! 
Seven Fishes for Christmas Eve Dinner 
Dakota and I building our gifts from Julie, our awesome wrangler 
Santa was here! 
Christmas morning!  Opening presents from my stocking 
Lego Game 
Ahhhh! It's a MacBook Air! 
Skyping with my Dad and Grandparents
I unwrapped a clue that leads to a PRESENT! 
Lyndsey and Dakota get clues too!  
The scavenger hunt leads us to the lobby 
Doing some math calculations to find the next clue 
Hmmmm...this is HARD! 
FINALLY! Our clues led us to our big suprise.... 
A New Years Eve Party at Great Wolf Lodge! 
Dakota couldn't resist...he gave me my Bday present a few days early! 
It's a puppet like his! I named him Chef Luigi. 
Playing "Love Thy Neighbor" 

I had a terrific Christmas this year! It's hard to be away from my family and friends during the holidays but that didn't stop me from having a terrific time.  I love to bake, so  we made a LOT of cookies and gave everyone in the cast some.  We made gingerbread stars, just like in the show!  I didn't think I liked gingerbread, but I do now.  Our cast played "Secret Santa" and we got to buy a few little gifts and one big gift to the person whos name we pulled out of a stocking.  I pulled Neka's name!  I had fun shopping for her and buying her gifts.  I got her some chocolate, fuzzy socks, gummy candy, tea, Hunger Games books, and "I Love Lucy" DVD's.  She never guessed it was me!  My secret Santa was JOSH!  I didn't guess it was him either.  He bought me all kinds of cool stuff like a bunch of candy, a little lego kit, a starbucks giftcard, an awesome pink tie, and a Pharoh's Quest Lego set.  I loved all of my gifts!
On Christmas Eve, we had a traditional Italian "7 Fishes" dinner.  It was a lot of fun but we all ate way too much!  I was so excited for the next day that I wanted to go to bed early but I couldn't fall asleep!  Finally I did and I woke up at 5am to open my gifts. My mom told me I had to go back to bed until it was light outside so I did.  When I woke up again I finally got to open my presents.  I got some great gifts but my favorite thing by far was a MacBook Air!  It's really light and it's super cool.  I even got a Darth Vader sticker to put on it.  Later on I Skyped with my dad, Grandma, Lolo, Neal, Nina, and Lina. It was good to see them, even if it was just on a computer screen. I told them about my presents and  they told me about theirs.  I'm going home for a week in a couple weeks so I get to see them all soon.  I also Skyped and talked on the phone with my Texas Family, my Nana and Pop Pop, and some friends from PA.  It seems like everyone had a terrific Christmas too!
Just when I thought all my gifts were opened, my mom handed me one more gift. It had a clue in it that led me to Dakota and Lyndseys room. They got a clue too.  Before we knew it, we were on a scavenger hunt to find our secret present.  It took about an hour and it was really fun to figure out the clues.  At the end of the scavenger hunt we discovered our suprise....we were all going to Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls for New Years Eve.  I've never been there so I was very excited.
Later that afternoon, we had a big Christmas dinner with turkey, ham, and all kinds of food. After dinner, we played card games and watched Christmas movies.  I am very thankful for all of my great family and friends, in the United States and here in Canada this Christmas!
Stay tuned for one last Toronto post before we move on to Mexico City....

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Visit to Toronto's Casa Loma

Dakota, Lyndsey, Me, and our moms went to Casa Loma on a SUPER cold day in Toronto.  We wore audio devices that explained the history of the castle and told us interesting facts about each room we went in.  Here's some history about the castle:

Casa Loma, the House on the Hill, arose from the imagination and ambition of Sir Henry Mill Pellatt, who was a financier, royalist and passionate military officer. Following in the footsteps of plutocrats in America, he built this 98-room structure, with decorated suites, secret passages, an 800-foot tunnel, towers, stables, and beautiful 5-acre estate gardens to advertise his wealth and standing and to provide a fitting site for visiting royalty. He and his architect drew on the architecture and decor of European castles in designing the structure and outfitting the rooms but he ran out of interest and money before it could be completed. Nevertheless he spent almost ten years as the unannointed king of Casa Loma and when he was forced to leave his critics called the castle a folly and Sir Henry a fool. But few can look at the structure today without feeling a touch of admiration and be thankful that it wasn't, in fact, torn down, as it had come close to being.

Dakota, Lyndsey, and I came up with a really cool idea to shoot a movie while we were at the castle.  We're still working on editing it, but when it's done I'll share it here!  The last few weeks have been very busy so we're a bit behind on the blog. Hopefully over the next couple of days, we'll get caught up! Stay tuned for more from Toronto....

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday decorating, Science Centre, and Annie's birthday...

Movie Night!  We saw "The Muppets".
Decorating our Christmas Tree
I don't have my special ornaments from home, so these will have to do
The star finishes it up!
Our stockings are hung by the 'chimney' with care
Antz, our director, gave all the kids a one-of-a-kind tote bag
They are made with recycled Mary Poppins banners!
           On my way to tap class             Goofing around with a chimney sweep wig
Ontario Science Centre field trip
Paper airplanes and music with Camden
"Electric chair"
                                ZAP!                                          Annie made a puppet
Trying out the space car...it's hard to control
Dakota's turn
Cam and I go for a spin
Lyndsey, Miss Kim,
Annie, Camden, Dakota, and I after dinner
Annie's birthday cake
Intermission celebration
Michael and Jane Banks
Decorating the boys dressing room
Calamari with my mom at Jack Astors

On our day off this week, we went to see the Muppet Movie.   It was really good and we all laughed a lot.  My favorite was the song "Am I a Man, or am I a Muppet".  If you haven't seen it yet, you should!  I love the Muppets and watching the movie really made me miss my dad because we always watch the Muppets together.  I will get to see him in just a few short weeks, I can't wait.
We were able to buy a small Christmas tree and some decorations for our apartment.  It looks very festive now.  We even got stockings to hang, but we don't have a chimney in our apartment, so we hung them on the wall.  Dakota and I also decorated our dressing room at the theatre.  We have a Christmas countdown line and everyday, we remove a ribbon. I also have an Advent calendar and everyday I get a piece of chocolate!
This week, we took a field trip to the Ontario Science Centre.  We explored an exhibit all about Leonardo DiVinci, did some hands on activities to learn about outer space, saw a show at the planetarium, explored a human body exhibit, and more.  Miss Kim bought us all catapult models that we later put together at the theatre.  I also bought some Lego figures from the gift shop.
On Sunday, during intermission, we celebrated Annie's birthday.  She had a giant mango cheesecake flavored cake. She got some awesome gifts and we all sang "Happy Birthday" to her. Annie also got some amazing news for her birthday.  In February, she will be joining the Broadway cast of Mary Poppins as Jane Banks.  She is very excited and we are all very happy for her!
Stay tuned for another blog post soon...