Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Very Merry Christmas!

Christmas morning is always crazy chaos.  We make the kids all wait to go into the room and open presents together. Morgan really liked what Santa brought Mia and kept riding around on her new bike instead of checking out her new scooter.

Hadley is always so thoughtful and makes sure to get everyone a gift.  She spent lots of time knitting these hats for Griffin and Mia.  She also framed a subway art that she made just for Griffin.

Morgan got a scooter and Lalaloopsy doll from Santa and LOTS of Disney stuff from us.  She loves the movies Brave and Tangled right now.  She was excited about her new horse, Maximus, from Tangled and gave it a test ride.

Ryan got BYU gear and skull candy headphones.  Jack got the newest iPad.  He has been working and saving up for it and paid $500 towards it.  Hadley got a scooter and a new iPod so she can now take pictures and upload them to Instagram.  Mia got lots of Lalaloopsy dolls and a bike.  Griffin got the Lord of the Rings lego set he wanted and games, toys and lots of books.

We also got another Christmas surprise from Nan and Papa . . . A Christmas book with their voices recorded on it, reading the story to the kids.  We all loved it.  Such a treasure.

Gavin made his specialty overnight french toast with yummy syrup for breakfast.

Then it was time to meet up at my parents home for a late brunch and more gift giving.  

The kids were all excited with their gifts from Grandma and Grandpa.  Jack and Ryan got loaded up with BYU and UofU gear.  Ryan got the NBA jersey he was hoping for and disappointed because it wasn’t under our tree.  That’s the risk I take when Grandma asks for ideas of what the kids would like for Christmas.  Morgan loved the new roller skates and leash for her Build-A-Bear dog.  Griffin got his first pair of roller skates and a helmet and knee pads.  Mia got Lalaloopsy bus and ferris wheel.  And Hadley got to open the clothes that she had picked out when she went Christmas shopping with Grandma.  We gave Grandma and Grandpa season tickets to Hale Center Theater since that seems to be a favorite gift for them.

My parents with all of the grandkids in town for Christmas.  

We ended the night at home, playing games together and just relaxing.  This Christmas stuff is exhausting.  I am always ready for it be over by the time it rolls around.  Online shopping was the only thing that saved me this year.  So nice to be able to shop in your pajamas and have it delivered to your doorstep.

Merry Christmas to All!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

We celebrated Christmas Eve with Gavin’s family at Uncle Trevor and Aunt Anne’s house.  We got hit with a huge snowstorm on Christmas Eve and slid our way over to their home.  Unfortunately some last minute gifts also didn’t make it in time because of the storm.  The kids spent time doing some last minute Christmas knitting to finish up their projects in time for Christmas.

We ran out of time for the Nativity Play last Christmas Eve and Mia and Morgan asked about it for several days after and were so sad that they didn’t get to dress up so I made sure we had time to do it this year.  

These 6 years olds make the cutest wisemen!

The Innkeepers.  Jack and Ryan spent most of the play trying to do something creative with their costumes.

Mia asked right away if she could be the angel. 
Hadley was happy to co-narrate the play with her cousin, Avery.

The cast (Morgan went back to playing at the train table as soon as the play was over)

Then it was time for the “Wise Man Gifts”.  Rae read the story of the fourth wise man while the kids opened their three gifts.  Red gift = spiritual/gift from the heart.  Green gift = necessity.  Gold gift = worldly gift.

Griffin got Mario jammies, book light and  “I am a child of God” picture frame.  
Mia got snowman jammies, Horton Hears a Who DVD and a Jesus puzzle.  
Hadley got rudolph pj bottoms, red jeggings and a picture frame with a picture from her trip to San Francisco last year.  
Morgan got snowman jammies, Annie DVD and Articles of Faith flashcards.  
Jack got UofU pj bottoms, Lord of The Rings Trilogy and Scripture stickers.  
Ryan (not pictured) got BYU pj bottoms, Bourne Identity Trilogy and a digital scrapbook.  Only his scrapbook didn’t make it in time because of the huge snowstorm on Christmas Eve.  I spent most of December finishing it so he could have it for his wise man gift so we were both really disappointed.  Gavin surprised me with my first pair of adult sized (XL) footed pajamas.

Ryan’s scrapbook arrived the day after Christmas.  Here’s the link if you’d like to peek inside.  

We got home in time to set out some cookies for Santa, cookies that our neighbors had brought over earlier in the day.  Griffin and Mia (Hadley was Mia’s scribe) left a note for Santa and then it was off to bed.

A sneak peek of what Santa left for the family.  

Advent Activities

Every year we try to keep up with our tradition of doing an Advent Activity each day in December.  It’s another way of counting down the days until Christmas.  It also helps us make the most out of the season since December always seems to be so busy and over before we know it.  The ideal set up would be to have the activity in the Advent Calendar in the morning so the kids can read it when they wake up but this year was so busy and crazy with all of these teenagers' schedules that many days we just had to wing it as the day went on.

Day 1 {Festival of Trees}

Gavin had this great idea of taking the stroller to see if Morgan would sit in it.  We haven’t tried her in a stroller for a few years.  She loved it.  Not sitting in it, but pushing it. It’s always so crowded at this event and Morgan kept pushing the stroller into strangers who were walking slowly in front of us.  We will remember next year-- no stroller!

The kids stopped to see this darling “Tangled” tree and then I saw Heather Probst’s picture and realized it was a tree for my sweet friend’s daughter who passed away this fall.  She had Down syndrome and Leukemia and loved Tangled!
 We waited and waited and waited in line to see Santa.  After almost an hour, and not really moving anywhere closer in the line, we decided we’d see him another time.  Mia didn’t want to get out of line but luckily we saw Santa's elf on our way out and he was nice enough to give Mia a candy cane and pose for a picture.  Happy as can be.

 Day 2 {Seal Family Christmas Party}
We had our party early this year but the kids loved having their gifts early and getting to play with them for the entire month.  We hosted this year and had pizza and salads for dinner and then the gift exchanges:  cousins, grandkids and white elephant gifts.  Somehow several people left their white elephant gifts at our house which makes hosting this event even that much better.  Who wouldn't want  self-help cassette tapes and car gas tank covers?  I accidentally opened up a bottle of cold duck that was left from the gift exchange. I didn’t know it was vintage and fermented.  As always, it was a fun night with Gavin’s family.  Sparkly, green jackets and all.

Day 3 {FHE with missionaries}
 A Very Brady Christmas and Family Home Evening lesson with the missionaries

Day 4 {Ware’s Christmas Party}
Dinner and “Minute To Win It” games

Day 5 {Peppermint Sugar Cookies}
Had to have something quick and easy for this night since I had a fun MNO dinner with my Down syndrome group of moms.

Day 6 {Movie Night}
We all went to see Rise of The Guardian together.  Fun movie.

Day 7 {Build A Bear}

Day 8 {Ward Christmas Dinner and CHS friends}

Day 9 {Gingerbread Cookies with Grandma}

Day 10 {Christmas Shopping for Siblings}
The kids all drew names and then we headed to Hobby Lobby to find that perfect gift.  I think they all actually had fun looking for a gift that one of their siblings would like.  We left with some fun stuff and then they got to go home and wrap the gifts and put the first presents for the Christmas season under the tree.

and we ended the night with more peppermint treats . . . Fat Boy Peppermint Ice cream Sandwiches.

Day 11 {Jack Frost}

Day 12 {Mia’s Preschool Program}
Mia loves to sing and was so excited for her very first preschool program.  She sang every word and was so cute doing all of the actions.  She is having so much fun in her preschool class this year.  She goes three afternoons a week but asks every day if she has preschool that day.  It’s fun that she gets to go with her cousin, Abi and two of her friends, Lily and Hallie.

Day 13 {The Hobbit}
We took the oldest three kids with some of their cousins to the opening premiere of The Hobbit

Day 14 {Sandy Hollow Elementary}
I spent most of this day glued to my TV and computer.  Waiting to hear more details about the tragic shooting at Sandy Hollow Elementary school in Newtown Connecticut.  It was nice to get a break from all of the news and get Morgan back in her cheer uniform for her dress rehearsal.

The kids wore green and white, the school colors of Sandy Hollow Elementary, in memory of the students who died in this tragic shooting.

Day 15 {UDSF Christmas Dinner}

Day 16 {Stewart Christmas Party}

Day 17 {William Joseph Piano Concert}
We went to a benefit concert with The Wares.  The pianist was very talented and it was a fun night.  We finished the night with pictures with William Joseph and buying his piano music and CD.

Day 18 {Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt}
We had fun doing a scavenger hunt with Christmas lights and decorations with the Debrys.  After lights, we went to our house for hot chocolates and games.

Day 19 {The Nutcracker}
This is one of my favorite traditions of the season.  Seeing The Nutcracker with Hadley.  We got great seats this year, in the cheap section, and enjoyed watching the show together.  We went to dinner at PF Changs with all the girls -- Savanna and Matisse, then ran in the cold to the theater.

We warmed up after the show with some hot chocolates at Little America’s coffee shop

And while we were out enjoying our night out on the town, Gavin took the little ones to Macy’s to write their letters to Santa.

Day 20 {Morgan’s Cheer Recital}
Morgan had her first performance of the season.  She looked so cute out there even if she still needed a little more time to warm up and learn the routine.  She even attempted a cartwheel which isn’t part of her cheer.

Day 21 {Let It Snow}
We saw a light show set to Christmas music in the dome theater at the Clark Planetarium.

Day 22 {Christmas Pictures}

Day 23 {Make Gingerbread Houses}

Day 24 {Christmas Eve}