Monday, December 21, 2009

Tis the season...Parte Dos

The season for Santa sightings...
This sighting was at the mall. The line wasn't that bad so we went for it. Yes we were sandwiched between kids dressed to the nines and parents who paid a fortune for the mall photographer to snap their shot. We didn't care that our kids looked like rag-a-muffins and that I got annoying looks for taking my own picture. (Nice outfit Eeds, seriously pink and blue..?)

This year we went on a cruise to the North Pole to see Santa.
This is Santa reading the names of the kids on the good list. Maya was sweating it because her name was towards the end of the list.

Who let these crazies on the boat!

We went with our "BFF's" the Sampsons.
Speaking of see Amy looking like a crazy stalker in between Mike and Aidan?...
Clearly she wanted to get in the picture ;)
We had a great time and the cold only made it better.

The season of letters to Santa...
This is Eden's letter...
This is Maya's letter...

The season of gift giving...
About four years ago I was trying to find a more meaningful way for my primary kids  to serve at Christmas time. (I was the  president of the kids organization in my congregation) So I found a local women's shelter to serve. As a congregation we adopt several families, we provide them their gifts and then I take the kids with me to deliver them. While we are there, we play with the children and sometimes do light cleaning.
It is a WHOLE lot of work but SO worth it. This is only some of the loot that we took. There were over a hundred gifts donated! I should have taken a picture before they were put into bags. It took me about ten hours to sort through them all. During those long hours, I had moments that I truly was overwhelmed by the generosity of the people in my church. I felt so humbled to be an instrument in the Lord's hand.
This year I took the young women that I work with to drop off the gifts and hang out with the kids at the shelter.

More gift giving...
Every year we try to do the 12 days of Christmas for someone.  This year we are doing a piece of the nativity each night. We are doing it with some other friends so we only go every other night. The girls love ditching and running...

A few years ago we started a gift giving tradition with those BFF's mentioned above.
Aric and I go to great lengths to find something ridiculous...This year we found a picture book for Aidan and Jack called "When Mommy Gets Angry". It made for some good laughs.
I know this is getting long...just hang on people. I only have  two more left to share...
The season of Gingerbread House Making...
I have no idea what Eden is doing to me in this picture...

Here is Little Missy sneaking candy while I frost...
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Ignore the mess in the background...focus on the cute kids.

Ta da!

Now last but not least...
The season of family Christmas picture taking...
Making sure the self timer is working...

I had to fix Eden's skirt...dang I wasn't fast enough! And thanks Maya for showing off my booty...

YAY! This time I made it. It only took six shots...
I love Christmas, I love everything about it. I really, really do. It amazes me what we can pack into four weeks. Even though it gets crazy busy, I wouldn't have it any other way. In only ten short days, I will have to take the tree down and all of this festiveness will be gone...gone until next year. When I look back on the past month I will not be sad, I will be happy that we lived it up and enjoyed (almost) every minute of it.
Happy Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tis the season...Parte Uno

The season of tutu making and dance recitals:

Eden's class was adorable, and hands down had the best costumes...if I do say so myself...

Camden loved the music, he was clapping and talking through the whole thing...

You would never know it by these pictures...but Maya  absolutely loves her dance class. Oh and FYI, I was not responsible for the costumes in Maya's class. But I am for the next session.
Especially because she gets to do it with two of her best friends, Holland and Elsa.

We had three performances last weekend. I knew it was going to be a crazy weekend and I was DREADING it! But my bad attitude quickly melted away as soon as I saw this little dancer.
(I am trying to post a video, but I have really bad luck with video posting...they are mainly for grandparents and tias so if I actually get it posted, please don't feel obligated to watch...)
Well that isn't working, so go here to watch Eden and here to watch Maya.

The season of party going...
Aric and I go to my friend Penny's house each year for an ornament exchange party. Here we are, all gussied up. Aric doesn't like his sweater, he says he looks like "Where's Waldo" I say, Waldo has good taste.
I think they regret inviting us, because the first year everyone brought nice ornaments except us. We bought the craziest one we could find. I named her ShuhNeeQuah. She made another appearance this year and the Romney's got to take her home.
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And now it has become the ugly ornament party. Sorry Penny.

Eden's Class Party....of course I was in charge of it. That's what room mom's do! They should really try and be there at least fifteen minutes before the party instead of five but oh well...
We played pictionary, we had a snowball race and made snowmen, it was fabulous!

The season of Fourth Grade Christmas Concerts...
There are over a hundred fourth graders in Maya's school, which is why this is the only picture I could get of her in the crowd of have to look real close.
Maya was so excited to be picked to play an instrument. She was so nervous that she couldn't play and sing at the same time.
Here she is with her buddies after the show...

There is more "Tis the season..." to come so be sure to stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Corners of Shame...

Seriously I have some issues. These corners of my house are haunting me.
First, the hall corner.
About a week and a half ago I decided to go through this Rubbermaid. It was full of the most random things ever and I was sick of seeing it in the corner of my bedroom so I decided to tackle it. For some reason I chose the hall corner to deal with it. Every time I go up the stairs I see it and in my mind I curse at it. I am a start to finish kind of gal and for the life of me I cannot finish it! I'm hoping that by posting about it, I will be more motivated to finish it once and for all.
Second, the kitchen corner.
This corner hates me. I have tried and tried to keep it clutter free but it is a magnet for random papers. Anytime I have people over, I go to great lengths to keep them from the side of the kitchen where they could see it.
And third, the laundry room corner.
I have lost count how many times I have cleaned this counter/corner. It's supposed to be a place for me to fold or put laundry but nope, it's really for junk.
Just for fun here is some "I Spy" for you...
In the hall corner, can you find a pair of tinkerbell flip flops?
In the kitchen corner, can you find a box top from a cereal box?
In the laundry room, can you find tube of chapstick?
So there you have it. My dirty little secrets. I'm hoping that by exposing them to the blog world, I might actually take care of them once and for all.
Please tell me I'm not the only one who has corners of shame...please.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Camden's Birthday/Thanksgiving '09

Sorry pals, this post is for grandparents and tias who couldn't be there. So be prepare for some bad singing...lots of pictures...and a couple of very short videos.
First of all we celebrated Camden's birthday with my mom and Joe the weekend before Thanksgiving. My niece Olivia's eleventh birthday was on the 22nd so we had a combined party.
Olivia was a good sport to help Camden with his presents.

Camden decided that he would be the first grandchild of  my mom's nine grandchildren to prefer her over Papa Joe. She is eating her newfound celebrity status for all it's worth. Camden seriously would not let her go home!
On Thanksgiving morning, after my uneventful Turkey Trot and Aric's football game, we celebrated Lil' C's birthday.
Notice his birthday boy onesie? That is courtesy of my mom. It's one of those things I will probably do when I'm a grandma. If I raised my girl's right, they will be as cheap as I am and they would not splurge for something so ridiculous as a shirt that can only be worn for one day.
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Camo only got one wrapped present. Here's my reasoning...first of all he is one and won't care, and two, I had way too much to do besides wrapping presents that day.
C loved his piano...and so did his big sisters.
I had to remind both of them that they needed to back off and let Camden have a turn with his toy. He also loved his new (unwrapped) scootie scoot.
I couldn't decide which picture was cuter so I included them both.

After Camo's present opening it was time to get the feast started. Aric worked diligently on the turkey, as he does every year. I love that I don't ever have to think about it, which is why I didn't go ballistic on him when he told me at 9pm the night before that he had forgotten to get the peanut oil! So I went to FOUR-ish stores to find some...apparently we are not the only people who fry turkeys around here...
Our tradition is to invite the LDS missionaries serving in our area for our Thanksgiving meal. We love these two sisters who are serving in our ward, Sister Bruner and Sister Bailey.
(I make people wear these hats if they have the great pleasure of eating with us.)
We also had my friend Sarah and her girls join us. Her husband is a police officer who had to work so we invited them to party with us.
Here are the little people tables...
After we had our feast (I made mashed potatoes for the first time ever thank you very much!) We sang to Camden, and he got to have his birthday pie...pumpkin of course!
He liked us singing to him. I have two video clips, and there are only about 50-ish seconds combined. You can thank me later for not making you watch them. I tried to post them but youtube wouldn't let me....too bad.
The best part, of course, is the mess and he worked it!
We had a great Thanksgiving. This holiday will always be extra special for me and my family. My cup runneth joy is heart is whole. What more can I say?