Sunday, December 29, 2013

ho, ho, ho- Christmas Day

This year I did the 4 gift idea I heard about a few months ago- “Something to wear, something to read, something you want, something you need.”  A new tradition for sure, sweet and simple and we can focus on giving more then getting, keeping Christ in Christmas.  The kids were actually good with it.


Journals, Harry Potter DVD’s (fun find on black Friday).  Below is their want, Flying Helicopters.  The girls fly them every chance they get, and although Trevor’s a little old for one, it’s cool to fly with his sisters.


Something to wear…  I could do a whole post on my girls style and taste in clothes.   They were happy to get these and the Avalanche jackets Sophie really wanted (official Puma jacket for their team, getting their name and number on them right now) and skinny jeans w/ cute T-shirts was what Sage wanted.  They know me well at Justice and show me all kinds of soccer gear and clothes my girls would like as soon as I walk in the door.  A little dangerous for me to walk in there, but they have cute bright clothes that my girls like, and we always shop there for their friends birthdays.  Sophie likes anything athletic, and Sage prefers a cute T-shirt and skinny jeans, neither of them like leggings.  On Sundays I get a say, they dress up and will even wear ruffles and/or lace, but they prefer skirts over dresses.  I have to say, their style is growing on me, it’s totally them.


The older boys got their want and need, a Craftsman Tool Kit and Auto Safety Kit for their cars.  Equipped w/ jumper cables, flashlight, gloves, expandable shovel, etc.  Makes this mama feel good they’re prepared!


Nick and Josh gave such thoughtful gifts, especially for poor college students- Nick works at a guitar/ music store and got Josh & Trev a nice guitar stand, the girls cool music bracelets, and Paul and I some yummy Godiva chocolates (mine dark choc).  Josh got Nick a harmonica set (just what he wanted), Trevor a pocketknife, the girls those cute Asian jewelry boxes, Paul a nice shirt and tie, and me a beautiful scarf.  Very nice gifts, thanks N & J! 


Something to read… The older boys were happy to get “Ender’s Game” book, Trevor- “Maze Runner” & “Sound Bender” and the girls a Judy Blume book set and some national geographic books on animals, which they LOVE!


It was a pleasant morning, Sophie our morning police, even let us sleep in until 8:30.  I made ham and cheese omelets to balance all the chocolate, then off to see Grandma’s, Grandpa, and cousins.  Nice scarf Josh!


One blessed mom! how’d they get so big?


Paul and the fam


M & D liked their gifts… Sweater and jewelry for mom, Flashlight, thermal socks, and Clint Eastwood DVD for D.  Plus the fun “Five Crowns” rummy game.


They got T an Under Armour Basketball since he’s started Jr. Jazz this month.


Cuties, Sage and her little cousin.  She enjoyed hanging out with the older girls, so they taught her some soccer skills.


Thanks Grandma and Grandpa D, you always make it special, food and all!

Then some nice visits with Grandma B. and Uncle Mike…  Such blessings to have our family close!


Do we still have Santa believers in the house?  One more Christmas wrrap-up post.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas!

It’s been a wonderful Christmas with my family.  I’m sure I gained a few extra pounds, was busier then I wanted to be, but really tried to keep Christ in Christmas.  I love this time of year!
Our highlight of Christmas was this cold night...  Before seeing the lights at Temple Square, we prepared a bunch of hot cocoa and Christmas cookies for the homeless downtown . Such a neat and humbling opportunity to reach out to those in need, one we’ll never forget.  Seeing my kids interact and show a deep love and empathy towards strangers was heartwarming.  We had many special moments, seeing Josh help wherever needed, helping a lady fill her plastic cup to the rim with cake to take with her, meeting “Lois the Most”, as he said we are safe around him at his post and he will protect us there in “the mix”, seeing Paul listen to a man for a good 20-25 minutes as he told him about his family and asked about ours, and seeing Trevor and the girls make sure everyone had marshmallows in their hot cocoa, serving so cheerfully and visiting those around them.  I was touched when a lady came to me saying some very special things.  My kids loved it and want to do it every year now. I normally don’t post about service experiences, but wanted my family to never forget this night.
Beautiful night!
Took these cuties to see Frozen.  Our new favorite Disney show.  They quoted the show all evening over dinner.
Even Ellie the Elf liked it
December wouldn’t be the same without spending some time here… a peaceful morning with my sweetie away from the hustle and bustle.  don’t mind the steeple coming out of Paul’s head.
With many hands, a few of us met at my place to put together these nice homemade bread and freezer jam gifts for the singles, over 30 were delivered by the youth. 
Since Josh had to head back to school the day after Christmas (he starts his new mgr. job), we gave them an early Christmas present, a ski / snow board package for the day. 
They were thrilled!  S & S love going with their brothers, they show them the ropes.  They take them on some pretty advanced runs, but the girls try hard and keep up.  The girls love to ski and the boys snowboarding.
While they were gone, Paul and I got some wrapping in, then actually had time for a real date.  What?  An enjoyable dinner and movie, “Saving Mr. Banks”
Yummy crepes for Christmas Eve breakfast, full of bananas, strawberries, and Nutella,
Christmas Eve was magical- enjoying homemade Chicken Noodle soup and rolls, writing some special letters, reading “A Family Christmas Eve” with Luke 2, and singing Christmas songs.  Josh playing the chords on guitar was a nice addition.
I may have exceeded my 4 gift limit / person, but not by much, we have a decent size family.  It was nice to be in bed by midnight for a change on Christmas Eve!
Merry Christmas to all!
 Christmas Cards 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas happenings

I’ve always wanted a big Christmas tree, but couldn’t justify buying a new one since we had a fine 7 1/2’ tree.  But this year, with some of the lights broken, it was time for new.  Paul and I had fun finding the right tree for our home, it fit perfectly!  #ThumbsupSam’sClub


I helped with the ribbon, then our designer girls decorated the rest (Trevor was at a Christmas party, he said to go ahead, so we left the star for him).  Paul got out two ladders so the girls can fill the tree, enjoying the memory and story behind each ornament we got out.  The Little Drummer Boy was Paul’s when he was a boy, the crocheted angels a friend would make us each year, the different nativity scenes, and the many special homemade ones the kids have made growing up.  We have quite a collection now for a beautiful eclectic tree.













Getting ready for Paul’s work party (ha, ha, my first selfie, nice and blurry).  Showing Paul my new Christmas sweater.  Bummed I didn’t get a picture of him and I together this evening.

20131202_163831 It’s always an enjoyable evening at Little America with my babe, catching up with Paul’s nice co-workers, tasty banquet, and entertaining music show (this guy did impressions, very funny and talented).  We’re so thankful for the great company he works for!


Look who’s back!  So… the girls have been questioning if Santa is real or not for the last few years, but I think they’ve wanted to hold on to that belief.  This year (age 10 1/2), they found out the truth.  It’s a bit sad not having little believers in the family anymore, but it’s refreshing seeing them grow up and mature, and now I don’t have to be so sneaky.  We will still see Santa and of course enjoy Eli the Elf. He brought the book “Christmas for a Dollar” (a highlight are the great Christmas stories we like to read each night in Dec), and after we read it together, he’ll surprise them with the movie! 


This year we asked the kids what their favorite Christmas event/tradition is.  Instead of trying to do it all in the short month of December, we wanted more snuggle, fireplace, and hot cocoa time at home with the family while fitting in a few special events and focusing on service opportunities.  The Live Nativity is one of my favorite traditions.  We went to a different one this year in a neighboring town, in honor of a dear mother who died of cancer.  All donations go to The Huntsman Cancer Institute. 


The girls loved the awesome animals, hay ride (look how huge that camel is), seeing the live baby Jesus, and hot cocoa at the end.  Such a special night.


It was so cold, but look at the smiles from the 3 Kings/ the Wisemen.


This Sunday, after enjoying the First Presidency Christmas devotional, we made gingerbread houses.  This is Sophie’s favorite Christmas tradition.  They are quite the decorators!



Christmas card outtake.  Sophie’s nerd picture, our kids keep us laughing!  After getting some good ones (a little tricky without a photographer), we did a silly shot to keep it fun and real.  Happy to have this done, I didn’t have a dressy picture that I wanted for our cards, so we took some after church on Sunday and I picked them up yesterday, yahoo!  I love getting Christmas cards & pictures from friends!

Nerdy Sophie

Hope everyone is enjoying His great season!