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!

7 comments:

Urie's said...

I loved the picture on the stairs.

Urie's said...

you have been a busy blogger!
I love to see all your pictures, except the one with me and the piniata. Im also glad you are home safely.

Stacey said...

It's so good to see your parents and family. Looks like you had so much fun! Happy New Year!

Ann said...

Wow. . .what a month. That was fun to read about. I want to go on a hay ride withour FREEZING! I love little Joshies cheeks. Steve looks like he is concentrating way to hard painting cookies. And how long did it take you to get everything READY on Christmas Eve. Wow, that is a huge group to prepare for. But what fun. Being in the cold tundra, we don't get a lot of family to visit on Christmas. . . imagine that.

mpal said...

Love your family picture on the blog, you have some fun traditions! Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

KC Mom said...

I'm so glad the "dizzy" month is passed, I'm ready for the New.
Your family photo is so darling on your header.
Looks like you had a great Christmas!!

Kreanna said...

Looks like you guys had a busy but fun month! Wish we were there for most of it! Ah...maybe in the future, huh? Love all the pictures. Thanks for sharing!