Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas 2009

Well, Santa found us, and we must have had some good kids, because he brought us some cool stuff. :) I must have been really good, too, because I got my cricut!!!! But besides that, we had a wonderful celebration with family and friends, and we had a WHITE Christmas, and I seriously cannot tell you the last time that happened. We had a blizzard Christmas eve, and woke to a beautiful white Christmas day. We had 17 people for Christmas eve, including my parents, my sister and her family and lots of friends. We are so grateful for this time of year and the chances it gives us to celebrate together and remember our Savior, His birth, life, sacrifice, and amazing love for us. We are so blessed!

Having Uncle Mike and cousins for Christmas was extra special! This was Christmas Eve at our house.

Aunt Jamie and Uncle Mike were Mary and Joseph our Christmas Eve Nativity play.

Miss O and the missionaries from our church were the Shepards

Mr J, Miss A and Miss E were our wise men/women

We have the Christmas Eve tradition that the kids get to open one present that night, and it is always new PJ's. All the cousins show off their new PJ's.
Christmas morning, this is Miss E after the girls opened their electric keyboard that Santa brought them. I think she was a little excited :)

Miss A was excited about her Harry Potter movie. We are all big HP fans here.

Of course, Mr J got some trains. I think this is Daisy.

The kids exchange names and get a gift for each other. Mr J had Miss O's name, so he got her a game she wanted. She was excited.

Miss E shows off her MP3 player to Miss A.

Santa brought Mr J a new train set. Mr J said "I LOVE Santa!!"

Miss O shows off some of her Christmas gifts. It was the year of games for Miss O. She got lots of games.
The kids got up at 6:15 a.m. to open presents. By 8 a.m. Miss E wanted to go outside to play in the snow. It was windy and really cold, but she went out anyway. She stayed out about 10 minutes then came back in. She said "It isn't as great as it looks."

Our front porch drift Christmas Day.
The last night my sister and her family were here the adults went out to dinner. We had a great time, and we will miss them tons!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy 12th Birthday Miss A!!

We had a wonderful Christmas, and I will post pictures of that soon, but right before Christmas we had a birthday at our house. My oldest turned 12!!! For some reason the even numbered years seem the hardest, I didn't have a problem with 3,5,7,9, or 11, but 2,4,6,8, 10, and (gulp) 12 seem really hard! Why is that? Anyway, she is such a good girl, and she had a great birthday, and it was extra special to have an aunt, uncle and 2 cousins here to help celebrate. Miss A is such a blessing in my life--she is a straight A 6th grader in the middle school, she is an awesome babysitter, and she tries so hard to choose the right. She is an example to me as she reads her scriptures every night and trys to be like Jesus. I am so blessed to have a daughter like her! Happy Birthday Miss A! I love you!

On their birthdays the kids get to pick where they want to eat for dinner. Miss A picked Pizza Hut. Yum!

Miss A's birthday is the 23rd, and we have the tradition that on that night everyone can sleep down by the Christmas tree.

Ben always does the birthday cakes with the kids. He and Miss A designed this one. Pretty cool, huh? That's my girl.

Everyone eating at Pizza Hut for Miss A's 12th birthday.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


December is a busy month--yes I know, probably the understatement of the decade, but very true. Traditions are a major part of our December and Christmas celebration. They are the things the kids all look forward to each year, and they remind us if we aren't doing them right or if we forget something. Good thing we have them to remind us of things. Lots of pictures to share some of our traditions, and just some different activities from this busy month. Hope yours is going well. We have a birthday tomorrow. My oldest Miss A will be 12! When did that happen? How did she get that old? Oh, my, I can't be getting old yet. . .

Mr J is the shepard in the pink robe and blue headdress. Can you tell his sisters helped him get ready? Miss A is the shepard standing (the tallest one :) We have the tradition of doing the Nativity play at our Church Christmas party.
Miss E is Mary. Mr J the pink shepard, and Miss A the tallest one thinking "I am almost 12 why do I have to be up here with all these little kids????"

Miss O as a wise woman with 2 other wise men bearing their gifts

Mary and Joseph

That's my monkey man. . . :)

Miss A at her middle school Christmas Choir concert. They did an awesome job, and this was the first year we had 2 different Christmas programs with kids in 2 different schools.

We have the tradition that the weekend before Christmas we head to the city--no shopping, just having fun, seeing the lights, going to the museums, and swimming at the indoor pool at the hotel. Fun stuff! And the kids reminded us we had to get a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts as part of our tradition. We didn't argue too much. They had an amazing train display at Union Station with hundreds of little trains which we spent a lot of time watching.

Miss E and Mr J digging up dinosaur bones at the museum.

We have the tradition of eating at the "Train restaurant" or Fritz's where you order your food by phone at your booth, and then trains carry the orders along the top of the wall and when yours comes it slides down on a lift type thing. Very scientific explanation, I know, you have to see it to get it. It is just an awesome kid loving fun place to eat for train lovers, which we happen to have in our family.
Mr J watches the train drop off our order and sees it lower down to our table. He LOVES that place!

Our family enjoying the lights.

Of course, if there is a train anywhere in sight, we have to go see it.

The kids made puzzles at Hallmark's Kaleidoscope. That place is just awesome. Like walking into a Dr. Seuss book. Love it!

Mr J and Miss A make their puzzles.

We wore them out! On the way home from the weekend in the city. The city proves too much for the country kids. . . .

Our cousins are here for Christmas!!! My sister, her husband, and boys are home for the holidays. She has 2 adorable boys. Miss O and Miss A love their little cousin!

Making gingerbread houses has been a tradition in my family since I was a kid. My mom is amazing at making them. My sister and her family were very excited that Nana had gingerbread houses ready for us to do this week. Mr J and his cousin decorated a house together. They were so cute! They did a good job.

Ben helps Miss A do her house. Those are wheat chex on the roof with a candy cane heart in the middle.
Miss E shows off her house she did with Nana and her little cousin.

Mr J and the house he did with his cousin. Lots of candy there. We left the house at Nana's for the cousins to enjoy, and Mr J got into the car, and said, "Where is my gingerbread house? I want to eat it!" Oh, major stomach ache!

Miss O and her house. Love the red gum on the roof.

Miss A and her house. That is gum and red licorice strips on the front. Hope you all are enjoying traditions at your homes, or starting some new ones. They are one sweet thing in life!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Beard makes all the difference

Santa is just awesome. We love him at our house, but let me tell you the beard makes all the difference! We have a town square, and during the month of December they bring in a cute little red, white, and green house onto the square. It is Santa's house, and Santa is there every Thursday night in December. You can come visit him in his house, then they have free hot chocolate, cookies, and free kid train and trolley rides. It is fun, but Miss O was not very impressed with Santa's beard. We got out of the Santa house, and one of her school friends was waiting in line to see Mr. C. Miss O whispered to him "His beard is fake!" Obviously. . .

Miss O with Santa in the Santa house and his fake beard.
Then we went to the Library's special Christmas storyhour. They had carolers and then Santa was in the back room. Let me tell you this Santa was awesome! Can you see the difference?

Mr J and Mr C

Miss E and Mr C

Miss O and Mr C. He told her she could pull on his beard to see if it was real. She did, not too hard, and she was so impressed! We saw Nana right after and Miss O was so excited to tell her we saw the Real Santa with a real beard! Let me tell you the beard makes all the difference!

Even Miss A loved him! Who wouldn't with that Beard? Gotta Love Santa--he is so sweet!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Enjoying the season--sights, sounds and smells. . .is something burning???

Miss A and Miss O were making cookies this afternoon. They put the last batch in the oven, and then disappeared. No one was around to hear the timer go off, then I was making pizza and turned the oven up from 350 to 475. Slowly each member of the family in the house says, "Um, what's that smell? Is something burning?" I opened the oven and found the girls' last batch of cookies, nice and crisp. . .yes, something was burning

Our outside lights. Ben did an awesome job.

Ben and Mr J inspect some lights that have gone out.

Our tree--I think this is its last year. I want a taller one.

This is what I am using my fishing line for this month. These replaced the pumpkins from Thanksgiving/Halloween. I have yet to find snowflakes for January. . .

Love that fishing line. . . .

It wouldn't be Christmas without the Grinch! What a classic!

Some of my amazing GNO (girls night out) group for our Christmas progressive dinner. Friends make life so sweet! I don't know what I'd do without them!

Mr J hangin' out with Grandpa.

Miss O plays her recorder in the school Christmas program. It sounded beautiful.

Miss E sings her heart out in her school Christmas program--like heavenly angels singing. Love the sights, sounds, and most of the smells of this time of year!