Tuesday, December 30, 2008

December Dizziness....

My hope was to finish getting December blogged before the month (and year) ended. Looks like I'm just making it! I wanted to record some of our Christmas memories now that the madness has calmed down and I can actually look back at the pictures and smile and think...maybe I can do this again next year. I know these things mean a lot to my children, so that makes it all worthwhile for Steve and I.

A family in our ward invited us to go on a caroling hayride with them for Family Home Evening a couple of weeks ago. It was a chilly evening -- raining somewhat, but hard to tell until we would shake off the umbrella and see all of this water come off of it. But since we have no snow here, it made it feel all the more festive.

Another Sunday prior to Christmas was spent decorating gingerbread houses....one for the girls, one for the boys. We also had fun decorating some gingerbread people also. I think Josh had the most fun - mainly eating all of that candy.

Now look at these 2 matching smiles....see why we call him "chompers"?

Painting Christmas cookies is another tradition my family WILL NOT allow us to do without. Steve's mom did this activity with he and his siblings growing up, so now my kids are sharing the same kind of fun. This is so smart -- you put egg yokes in individual bowls and then add food coloring...this is the paint used to paint the sugar cookies once they are cut out. We also use sprinkles for extra embellishment. Then bake and DONE! Each child then picks out their most beautiful painted cookie to leave for Santa on Christmas Eve.

Steve's sister, Terri, and her family hold an annual Christmas Eve Party that my family looks forward to attending every year. We all bring a favorite appetizer to share for dinner and then we break a pinata - the Christmas Eve pinata tradition was started by Steve when he was in H.S. Then we proceed to the all-so-popular white elephant present game. And finish the evening with a reading of the Christmas story in Luke and cherry cheese pie. Most of the time, we're done by 8pm so we can get the kiddies home and ready for bed before Santa arrives.

Terri was tired of the pinatas breaking so quickly so she decided to make her own this year. Her pride and joy!

Waiting for the white elephant game to begin!

Actually, on Christmas Eve, we had a slumber party at my house consisting of my sister, Katie, and my newlywed brother Bryce and new bride, Heidi. None of them wanted to make the early drive in the morning (my brother lives in Maricopa) - wanting to be up to see my kids first wake up. My parents are also snow birds in Mesa and drove over early in the morning to arrive before the kids were up (this is their 10th year with us). So this made 12 of us Christmas morning -- let me tell you, that's ALOT of stockings for poor Santa to fill. We love the large group, even though it takes up a couple of hours to open presents. And a larger living room or family room would be nice to accommodate this crowd, but we made due! The more the merrier!

The kids all have to come down together Christmas morning....

I would say the theme this year would be bikes and ripstiks...

Then on to opening stockings and then a breakfast of Christmas breakfast casserole, cinnamon rolls, and hot chocolate.

Steve loved his new BON JOVI shirt and hat.....

And Joseph LOVED his ORANGE bike. Actually, all of the kids were happy with what Santa gave them.

So then, I guess it's Merry Christmas to all....and to all a good night! Until next year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Well, Christmas cards just did not go out this year -- for the first time in .... I don't know... a LONG time. Truth be told, I'm just not feeling it this year -- but hopefully most of those near and dear to my hear read my blog....hopefully. This month has just flown by so quickly -- and I've been having a hard time feeling that "Christmas Spirit"...but it's my own fault -- more service is on the list for next year, that always helps. That and a reminder to myself to START EARLIER AND DO LESS. I seem to forget that every year. So to all of our friends and family members, we wish you great peace and comfort in the message of this season of Christmas and thank all of you for your love and friendship.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Season Finally Over!

Well, after spending the past few months coaching Jeff's basketball team, Steve gets his life back again. Their last game was Saturday night -- we don't want to talk about how many games they won or LOST for that matter....do we? Believe me, we don't want to go there. Steve says the important thing is that the boys had fun and continued to learn the fundamentals of the game. Jeff had a great season and we saw a lot of progress - okay, so Steve saw alot of progress, I'd have an opinion if I actually went to more than one game. But who feels like chasing around 4 other kids. Way to go guys!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ward Christmas Party...

I know, I'm quick. We just returned home from our Ward Christmas Party where the theme was a Country-Western Christmas. My kids are finally in bed, and I've never uploaded a video before, so I was anxious to give it a try.

Starr and several girls her age in the ward are in a clogging class together -- they performed at the party tonight and did such a terrific job.

Steve played a duet with another ward member (Bro. Hulsoff). He also did a great a job playing "The Little Drummer Boy" so well and respectfully, even through we know the rocker in him wanted to just jam out.

And of course, no Christmas party is complete without a visit from Santa (again) --- Josh wanted NOTHING to do with him this time. No candy cane in the world was worth it in his opinion.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Visits with Santa

With an afternoon available on Saturday and beautiful warm weather - we decided to spend some family time at our Christmas HOA fair just a few blocks away from our house...and perfect for my budget since so much of it was FREE. An extra bonus was having pictures with Santa overwith...not that we don't enjoy it, but one less thing to have to worry about this season. My little ones were so excited....

Josh wasn't quite sure what to think. Actually, we're suprised he would even sit on Santa's lap. Don't ya just love that look on his face??

Sorry, no pictures of Jeff. He said we couldn't pay him enough money to pose with Santa.

They had a few drawings, and his is what we won. A Home Depot bucket full of an assortment of tools. Steve was thrilled. I kinda liked the wind-up flash light with built-in radio. My kids thought it was the
worst prize ever! :)