Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Morning!

I always love Christmas morning. What a totally fun time even with all the chaos. The kids were all excited about everything they got. We tryed to stay away from too many toys this year and went more for "activities." The kids didn't come get us until just after 7 am and I was very grateful about that. We even had to wake Brandon up! He's usually the first one up every other morning. He must have been really tired. Carli was so fun this year because she understood what was going on. She loved opening the presents (very carefully and small pieces at a time) and then she wanted to play with each thing before moving on to the enxt thing. The rest of the kids wanted to tear through the gifts and then step back to play.

Then we had our traditional abelskiver breakfast (little round puff pancakes--YUMM!). We all settled in and played games, watched movies, and just relaxed and enjoyed each other and all the new stuff.

Megan with her Easy Bake Oven (activity, right?)
I made each of the kids new fleece blankets. Here's Megan with hers.
I got this beautiful diaper bag and I'm so excited about it. A friend who moved away sevearl months ago makes them and sells them on (you can find her stuff with the username carolbonnett). It is so well made and gorgeous. I can't wait to use it!
Kate and her sewing machine. I don't think she was very excited about!
The kids were excited to get money from Nana and Papa. She's also listening to her mp3 player she got in her stocking. The 3 older kids all got them and have been listening to them almost non-stop for the last 2 days. They don't realized they are yelling when they are listening and trying to talk to someone. Too funny!
Here's Carli concentrating really hard opening her gift. Too cute!
She got so excited about each gift. It was so adorable.
Here she is getting ready to put a diaper on her doll. She also got little doll beds for the dolls she got last year for Christmas. She didn't need a new blanket as I gave one to her last year so she got little blankets for her dolls.

Brandon loves his mp3!He was also excited about the money!
Ben got this cool Colts jersey. Doesn't he look great in that blue?
All in all it was a very merry Christmas. We were sad we couldnt' be together with any family, but we have my mom, dad, and youngest brother, Brett, coming this weekend. We can't wait to spend time with them! We were able to talk to a lot of family on the phone and even had a white elephant-type movie exchange over the phone with my family in Utah. That was fun!
Later we had a really delicious Christmas dinner. It was a really special day with the kids and just being together as a family. What a blessing it is to have the gospel in our lives and be able to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. May we keep the Christmas spirit all year long!

Baking cookies

At the beginning of this week I finally got around to making sugar cookies with the kids--the girls, anyway (Brandon is not so into this stuff anymore, but he enjoyed frosting them later! Too bad I didn't get a picture of that). It always ends up ok, but I don't look forward to the work and the mess that comes with it. Call me a bad mom. :) The girls had fun, though--and I did, too! They had fun rolling the dough, cutting them out and placing them on the pans. They turned out perfectly. We didn't get around the frosting them until later.

Carli rolling the dough.Kate and Carli. I think Kate has a mouth full of dough. :)
Megan with the finished product. Aren't they pretty?

Christmas Eve

We had an absolutely fabulous Christmas Eve with some friends. What a blast! We did a progressive dinner and started with appetizers and one house, moved on to dinner, and then to dessert at the third. We also had the kids act out the Nativity after dessert so we ended the evening on a spiritual, yet somewhat comical not. :)

Dinner. Lindy made these chicken burritos and we added all the toppings. They were super yum!Megan and her best pal, Sydney.Carli is ready for cookie decorating! Megan goin' to town on the sprinkles. See the finished result below.
The boys were not interested in the cookies--too busy bouncing.The finished product left for Santa. Don't they look colorful?! LOL! Here's our nativity. Kate was Joseph (the boys were the 3 wise men). Megan and Sydney were our angels (notice Megan playing the singing part quite dramatically). Carli wasn't too interested so she wandered around the house a little. Brandon is hiding behind Ryley. He was not interested in any pictures.
Here's Carli not in the nativity, but playing with baby.
Daddy and his girls.

In Christmas pjs before heading to bed. Lovely face, Brandon. He's so not into pjs right now so he got to open something else--notice the Nerf gun...

Then it was off to bed!!! Christmas morning in the next post.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!


Luke 2:1-16
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

Caesar Augustus, the Roman emperor, sent out a decree (law) that everyone in his empire had to be taxed. Each man was to pay taxes in the city of his ancestors, so Joseph and Mary had to travel from their home in Nazareth to Bethlehem. It was a difficult trip for Mary because her baby was about to be born. (See Luke 2:15.)

When Mary and Joseph reached Bethlehem, the city was crowded with people who had come to pay taxes. There was no room for Joseph and Mary in the inns, but they were finally allowed to stay where Mary "brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger" (Luke 2:7).

That night there were also shepherds in the field watching over their flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared and the shepherds were frightened, but the angel said:

"Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

"And ... ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger" (Luke 2:10-12).

Suddenly there appeared a multitude of angels praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:14; see also Luke 2:13).

When the angels had gone, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go ... unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us" (Luke 2:15). Hurrying to Bethlehem, the shepherds found Mary and Joseph, and the baby Jesus lying in a manger (see Luke 2:16).

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Other December Musical Happenings

Brandon and Kate are both on the chimes team at school. This is a very fun group who play these chimes that make the most beautiful and heavenly music. I just love to listen to them play! This year the 4th graders had their own music night at the school and then the 3rd graders had their music night the week after. Then all the chimes teams (3rd grade team and 2 4th grade teams) went on tour together. They visited two retirement homes in the area and played Christmas carols for them. Carli and I were able to go along and it is so neat to see all the faces light up when these kids come in the room and play their music. They especially love seeing the little ones, like Carli and a small baby who was with our group as well. It was a neat day.
Megan's grade has a little "sing" at the beginning of school one more last week. It only lasted 5 minutes, but the kids love to dress up in their Christmas clothes and sing these sweet songs to their parents and the rest of the school. Megan donned her bright red Christmas dress and sang her heart out. :)
Here are some pictures from all of these happenings.
Megan singing with all the other 1st graders. We couldn't get very close because the rest of the students in the school were sitting in the main part of the gym. Megan off to class

Kate playing on the tour.
Kate playing her chimes at the 3rd grade music night
After the chimes tour they all went out to Cici's Pizza for lunch. Everyone enjoyed that!
Sorry about the open mouth (Brandon!!!). Here he is with his buddy, Ryley, who is on the 3rd grade team.
Carli sure enjoyed the pizza and pasta! Yum!
Carli has to walk the curbs wherever we go. This was outside one of the retirement homes.
Brandon got right up to the camera lens and this was the result. Silly guy!
Brandon (center boy) playing on the chimes tour. His team played Hark, the Herald Angels Sing. They did an awesome job and it was really beautiful to listen to.

Piano Recital

Brandon and Kate both take piano lessons and a couple weeks ago was their Christmas recital. They played these songs ALL the time at home and got very good at them. Kate was even the only one to show up without her music because she knew how well she could play them and had them completely memorized. She played Joy to the World and The First Noel and played them beautifully. She had a smile on her face the whole time.Brandon, on the other hand, played his songs, Deck the Halls and Here Comes Santa Claus, very well, but the look on his face was quite terrified. Silly! He is so good and doesn't want to keep playing. I don't want him to quit! How sad would that be?! I've told him he can quit if he really has to at the end of the school year. I don't want to let him quit, but I don't want him to hate playing, either.

Here they are after the recital...couldn't even get him to crack a smile after it was over!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Class Christmas Parties!

Friday was spent mostly at the school going from one class party to the next. The 4th graders make gingerbread houses every year so Brandon got to experience that and he had a blast. I think his house turned out so great! I am totally loving it! It's totally symmetrical, same candies on both sides, and patterned (notice the M&Ms and the gumdrop path)--so like his mathematical mind.

Carli and I ran home and grabbed some lunch and what we needed for the other 2 parties and headed back to school! Carli loves when we "get to go in" the school so she had a blast--especially with all the yummy treats she was getting! She's such a fun little girl.

Kate's party was next. When we came in they were busy coloring little wooden ornaments. Kate kindly let Carli color one of hers and shared her treats with her. Kate wanted Carli to stay in her classroom while I went to Megan's party (which I was in charge of), but I was mean and said no. :)

We didn't get to stay long there and headed down to Megan's class to get her party started. It was pretty fun and casual--eat treats, color some activity pages, and do their little book exchange.

It as a fun day, but it's nice to be done with it and enjoy these next 2 weeks off! We were up late watching the BYU game last night and everyone slept in nice and late. Now we've got to hurry off to church!