Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Dicks

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Let It Snow

YAY! We got our first "real" snow of the season. There was a tiny little snow sprinkling the week before Thanksgiving, but this is the first snow that is actually piling up (we've probably gotten 3 inches so far). I was really hoping to get a good storm before Christmas, and even though it will probably melt by next weekend, it sure is fun to look out the window and see snow falling (and it has been going all day). The kids are loving it (well, until Nathan's hands get too cold - then he's not such a fan). We tried to make a snowman, but it's just too powdery...but we did make snow cones and eat them. YUM! Caelan went out and sledded down the steps on our deck a few times. We'll have to find a good hill somewhere nearby to get some good sledding in.

And even Bruno is liking it.

It's feeling SO Christmasy!!

Christmas Concerts

Caelan and Ben each had Christmas music performances at their school this week. I love their music teacher (plus I just love the fact that they get to have a music class every week). The Kindergarten program was so cute, and they sang quite a lot of songs ("Up on the Housetop," "Jolly Old St. Nicholas," "Jingle Bells," "Away in a Manger," "We are Santa's Elves," a Hannukah song, another folk-like Christmas song and probably a couple that I am forgetting). I think it's so great that they performed songs not only about the fun stuff about Christmas, but also about Jesus well as a song about Hannukah. Then the program that Caelan was in was for grades 1-3. She sang three songs: "A December to Remember," "Jammin' in our Jammies," and "Go Tell it on the Mountain." The other grades did some really cute numbers too (dancing the Hora, a little piano duet with a student and the music teacher, "Twas the Night Before Christmas (piano chopsticks- style). It was very cute. Megan and Nathan came with me, and sat really well through Ben's, but Nathan had pretty much had it by the time Caelan's program came around. So, I was pretty much holding him and taking him out in the hall throughout that part, which means I didn't get any videos of her, and I only got one picture. At least I got to be there to see it. Very cute.

River of Lights

The Albuquerque Botanical Gardens has an event every December called "River of Lights." Not only are there lights in the trees and bushes, but there are all sorts of other light figurines all over the place (bugs, animals, trains, dinosaurs, flowers, etc). Plus there was a big glass enclosed snowman village. We attempted to go last Saturday night, but the traffic was horrendous, so we knew that the gardens would be super crowded as well. We decided to wait until Monday, and it was perfect. The kids LOVED it.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

We are fully into the Christmas season. Sean was out of town again last week (in Texas doing some training on how to be a trainer). The kids and I pulled out the Christmas decorations for the inside of the house (except the tree). We also made some homemade Christmas card to send to servicemen who won't be able to home for Christmas, and we've been reading a Christmas story every night. Then the weekend hit...and we had Christmas activities galore. This is how our weekend went:

Friday night: I went to a Relief Society Cookie Exchange (you take a couple dozen cookies and then get to take a little of what everyone else brought....YUM). I got a babysitter (a girl from our ward)...who the kids LOVED. They had a blast with her. Sean got home later that night.

Saturday: I took Caelan and Ben and Nathan to the church for a primary service activity (we tied quilts and made rice bags for a local senior center and the kids made more Christmas cards to send away). While we were there Sean took Megan to the community "Breakfast with Santa" because her little preschool group was performing there.

We all got home around noon. Sean and I then put up the Christmas lights on the outside of the house (which look fantastic, by the way.....not very many people will see them because of where our house is located, but they look great to us - simple, but nice).

That evening we headed into Albuquerque to a Stake Center that had over 400 nativities set up around the building (anything from snowmen nativities to crocheted blanket nativities to nativity sets from all around the world).

After that we drove downtown and found a great seat on the curb to watch the light parade, which was fun. The kids especially loved when people handed out candy (we're seriously going to have a sugar fast after the holidays...).

Sunday: We watched the First Presidency Christmas devotional online while we did a Christmas puzzle (which is a pretty big thing for me...I'm not a big puzzle do-er, but I worked and worked until we finished the whole thing that night). I was going to get a picture of it, but Megan and Nathan got their hands on it before I could.

It must be Christmas Time. I love all the activities and such. It really is the most wonderful time of year.


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We went down to Casa Grande to spend it with Sean's family. All of Sean's aunts and uncles on the Dick side of the family were down for the holiday. We had dinner at Grandma Dicks house complete with all the trimmings: turkey (SO MOIST), stuffing (YUM-O), mashed potatoes and gravy, green salad, brussel sprouts, roasted sweet potatoes (this is one of my favorite dishes at Thanksgiving), homemade rolls, peas, pumpkin pie, Sean's apple pie and a pumpkin ice cream dessert. I successfully ate myself to the brim...and loved it. Then we visited and took pictures and had a most enjoyable night.

I went with Sean's sister, Lindsay, and braved the madness of Black Friday (which is getting so early, it's going to have to be called "Black Thursday Night" pretty soon). We went to Walmart at midnight (absolute insanity), and then we went home and fell asleep on the couch for a couple of hours. Then we headed back out to Target at 4AM and then Best Buy and Kohls. We got some pretty great deals. I know the craziness is a little too much for people, but I actually have fun every time I go (as long as I don't have little kiddos to take along), and I think most people have a pretty good attitude about the whole thing. There is a lot of laughing about all the madness, which is fun.

We spent the next couple of days hanging out and enjoying the Arizona sun. We even got to hear Grandma Dick (Sean's mom) speak in church on Sunday (she is so GREAT). We headed home right after church. We hit some snow in Payson and Heber (both in AZ), and then we ran into some nasty ice in Gallup, NM. We saw all sorts of semi's that had slid off the side of the freeway. We were inchin' along there for a while, but we finally made our way out of it and got home safe and sound.

I LOVE Thankgiving. There's not tons of stress and events and craziness surrounding's just a day to enjoy being with family and giving thanks. And honestly, we have so very much to be grateful for, it's good to really be able to reflect on those blessings.