Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Merry Little Chrristmas

Our Christmas was very calm and simple this year. We actually got hit with a nasty stomach flu starting on about the 20th. It swept through our house on a rampage hitting 7 out of 8 of us within 3-4 days (and then there were a couple of flair ups again a few days later). Luckily no one was throwing up Christmas Day, but we still weren't all back to normal. Even with that plus the busyness of December we still managed to get in all our Christmas traditions: baking and delivering goodies to friends, Christmas caroling, 12 Days of Christmas, reading Christmas stories, listening to lots of Christmas music, donating gifts/stocking to kids in need, seeing Christmas lights (we did this while we were on our trip at the end of November). We went to our ward Christmas party. This year the theme was A Night in Bethlehem. We all dressed up for that time period. Sean was one of the Wisemen for the nativity. They sang "We Three Kings", which many people mentioned was the highlight of the program. The whole gym was set up like a city marketplace. There were stations where we got our food (cheese, bread, olives, fruit, vegetables and treats of course), there was a clothing station, there were stations for kids to do games and make crafts. All of the stations required money (we got a bag of coins at the beginning of the night). It was great. We sang in our Sacrament Christmas program. I am the choir director, so I was leading the music. It turned out beautiful. We sang "Sing a Glad Noel," "Stars were Gleaming" (with a children's choir singing the first verse), "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," and "Peace, Peace, Peace" (where the congregation comes in to sing Silent Night at the end). The youth speaker (who was doing a great job) got sick right there at the podium. He actually told his mom earlier that day he wasn't feeling well. She said exactly what I would have said, "It's probably just your nerves".....whoops. But it was wonderful to sing and listen and feel the true meaning of Christmas. We did our regular Christmas Eve things: Ham dinner with fancy dishes, reading the account of the Savior's Birth, reading "Jabeez Dawz," getting in matching pajamas and taking a family picture, watching "The Muppet Christmas Carol" and then heading off to bed. The kids actually forgot to leave anything out for Santa. Luckily he helped himself to peppermint ice cream and left them a note about it :) The next morning we could hear the kids awake at just before 7. No one is allowed in the living room until the music comes on. Sean and I came down and got the music going which was immediately followed by the pounding of feet running down the stairs. Santa left Megan her very own pet kitty ("a dream come true" she said), Ben got his own tablet, Caelan got a desk, Nathan got a sled, Austin got trike. We opened presents (the kids all got gifts for each other throughout the month of December...with their own, earned money). Caelan got some jewelry kits, a gift certificate to get her ears pierced, a journal.... Ben got his Journal book (the book I put together for the Christmas after they turn 8 - a bound copy of their online journal), Legos, books... Nothing could top the kitten for Meg, but she also got a vanity set, a barbie, hair things, Littlest Pet Shop home.....Nathan got cars and a retractable raceway, his own real tools (he asked almost everyone we saw for the next week if they thought they were "real tools or fake." He was quite thrilled with these real tools). Austin got a car track too and a velcro ball game. Sean and I got a VitaMix (actually Sean got me one and his parents got one for both of us). We love it! Sean got a welding blanket for his smoker. We spent the rest of the day hanging around in our jammies playing with our new toys, watching movies, playing games, doing puzzles, etc. A perfect family celebration.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sunday Best for Christmas

I wanted to get a picture of the whole family before church on the Sunday before Christmas, but I didn't quite have my act together enough to do it. I ended up bringing Ian and Austin home from church early (Ian had had a fever for two days). They both fell asleep on the ride home, so I sat in the car for about 45 minutes listening to Christmas music. Ian woke up first so we took a quick shot together. By the time the kids got home, Austin was in NO MOOD to take a picture, so I got a separate shot of him later when he was in a better mood. Sean had to take the youth around to deliver Christmas baskets immediately after dropping the kids off at home, so I didn't get a picture of him at all. Just know - he was looking sharp too:)