Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Favorites 2010

My Favorite Christmas Outfit

I wore this to my friends annual ornament party. It is actually a shirt Aric got for my sister. The best part was the patent pleather kitty or was it the I can't decide.

This was the ornament we brought this year.

This is the ornament we brought four years ago...she still shows up every year.

My Favorite Family Home Evening

This year I had a special FHE where I showed this video and we all made tags that told what we were giving Jesus for Christmas. We put the tags on the tree. We also wrote our gift on pieces of paper that we put in a decorated gift box under the tree. I loved seeing that there was actually a gift for Jesus under the tree.

My Favorite Christmas Food

Christmas Eve Stroganoff...this year my mother in law was here to make it. It is her tradition and her recipe and it is so yummy.

My Favorite Siblings

My brothers all came this year. It was so fun to have everyone here. It has been 10+ years since we have all been together for Christmas. I didn't get any pictures of the nerf gun fight but it was just like old times!

My Favorite Traditions

Evelynne and Aric's special gift exchange...

The cousin gift exchange...

My Favorite Thing About My Tree

I love the ornament Camden got this year. It's the marshmellow snowman in the cocoa cup. Eden found it.

I love how every ornament has a story.

My Favorite Christmas Visitor

Why, Batman of course! What!? You mean you don't have Batman visit you on Christmas? Well, let me tell ya, you are missing out!

Only my brother Ben would have a Batman costume on hand to add to the festivities.

My Favorite Christmas Note

Maya has been a stinker lately, even on Christmas Eve she had reason to pause and think about how deserving she was of the gifts that Santa had on the way.

My Favorite Christmas Moments

Actually, I had a few but these are the ones I was actually able to capture...

Camden getting his first pair of big boy undies.

Eden and Maya hugging without me having to prompt them to. 

Now, this was the best moment of all...Camden yelling at me because I kept asking him to turn around so I could take pictures of him...

My Least Favorite Thing

I am the unofficial/official cruise director in my family, which means that I have to organize/coordinate major family functions. I did not campaign for this job, but I recognize that it is just the way it is. So every holiday/function I juggle all the personalities and try my hardest to put together a memorable experience for all. The problem is that I usually get some grief from someone and I have to compromise some of the things that I want to do for the greater good. One of those things was to have a nice family portrait taken. Since it is very rare that we are all together, these opportunities are few and far between. In fact the last picture we had taken, Max and Camden weren't even born! Most people were cooperative for this photo op. but in the end it still isn't exactly what I wanted. This one is decent enough so I will be happy with it, it is not a blow up and put on your mantle but at least it documented the moment.

My Favorite Gift

I have to confess that I picked out and bought my own Christmas gifts...a black hooded Old Navy men's sweatshirt and necklace.

Much to Aric's dismay I am not a surprise kind of girl. I don't like having money spent on me and if it is, I want to pick it out so that it isn't a waste of money. Because of this, I hate it when someone asks what I got for Christmas from Aric. I don't think my answer gives him enough credit. 

This year I told Aric that my gift from him this Christmas and every Christmas, is going to work everyday so that I can provide the kind of Christmas that I want for my family and friends. He shouldn't ever feel bad because he actually gives me lots of presents...

I get to buy silly ornaments and tree skirts (on sale of course). 

I get to buy lots of sparkling cider and deliver it to my friends. 

I get to make Christmas cards to send to my dear ones.

I get to download every Christmas song my heart desires and then he lets me listen to them over and over again without saying a word. 

I get to take my kids shopping for items they picked off the tree of sharing for kids less fortunate. 

I get to buy my kids ornaments every year that is meaningful to them. 

I get to buy fabric and beads to make gifts for some of my loved ones.
(These are three of the necklaces I made. I made three other ones but I forgot to take pictures of them.)

I made this one for me and three other similar ones for my marathon training buddies...

I made this one for my mother in law to wear when she has to do her chemo.

This last one I made for my friend Kerry for her birthday. She would never let me give up hope during my years of infertility and adoption drama.

I get to buy special, thoughtful gifts for teachers, family and friends.

I also get to buy cute wrapping paper, gift bags and bows that all coordinate with my tree.

Seriously, it actually pretty embarrassing when I write it down. I truly feel so blessed and happy. I have everything I could ever want. All I want for Christmas is to give my love and the spirit of Christ to others. So as I've been writing this I just figured out how I'm going to answer that question..."What did Aric give you for Christmas?" I will say..."Everything I wanted."

So there you have it, just a few of my favorite Christmas things.

**After reading this post I'm feeling like I sound a little self righteous. You should know that I can be totally selfish and I can have a very sharp tongue. Thank heavens I have a filter but if I didn't, things could be ugly. Okay now I feel better.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Another year, another visit to Santa.

We always try to go on a Monday night, it is usually less crowded. It is something that I look forward to and enjoy. This year I was not so excited. Kids were being naughty and undeserving but we still went anyway. As we walked up to the line I was digging deep so that I could enjoy the experience. I was happy to see a short line, things were looking up...until I realized that there were FIVE DOGS in front of us. Yes, I said dogs, as in non-humans.

Seriously, I DO NOT GET THIS!!!! I understand that people love their dogs and want a picture with Santa, but doesn't PetCo have a picture with Santa night? This is a mall, a mall is for people, not for dogs. The owners were worse than parents. They wouldn't go until they got the perfect picture. I can't even begin to tell you the frustration I had watching these owners take and retake pictures. 

NEWS FLASH: These are dogs!!! They do not smile for the camera!!!

So in the meantime I had to chase my human two year old around in circles while waiting for our turn.

Finally it was our turn. I have to admit we had the best Santa ever. I'm pretty sure that if he had a say, he would not have been posing with dogs. When our turn came he was attentive and did not rush us one little bit. He chatted with the kids and he was so, so sweet.

Maya and Eden asked for American Girl dolls and Camden asked for a computer.

I am very aware of how my ten year old Maya, is not my little girl anymore. It is breaking my heart. I am holding onto the magic of Christmas with her for dear life. This Santa helped keep the magic alive. 

(Realizing how desperately our kids needed a good dose of Christmas spirit we got ourselves and Elf on the Shelf that night. I wish we would have discovered him sooner. We love our elf, his name is Paxton and he is magic.)

Despite the loud barking and dog fights, we were able to accomplish our goal without a meltdown from me. Although Aric did almost push me over the edge...look at this picture and see if you can figure out why...


Aric put TWO different shoes on Camden! Not on he says...but I didn't realize it until Camden was showing the people in line behind us his shoes. Funny Guy.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Happenings...

Christmas Piano Recital

Eden just started piano lessons in September, so this was her first recital. She did an AMAZING job. I was so proud of her!

Maya's sheet music wouldn't stay on the piano so she set it aside and played by memory! She struggled a little through it but even though she was completely stressed out she got through to it.

I am really impressed with their new piano teacher, both girls love it and are playing up a storm.

Camden was not the most supportive little brother. In fact he was so loud we had to take him out numerous times. It didn't help that we sat right next to the refreshment table, so he had to stare at the goodies during the whole recital. Typical two stuff...gotta love it.

Maya's 5th Grade Christmas Program

Maya was sandwiched between these darling boys, Braunsen and Beaudry. They are my awesome friend, Cami's, twins. Aric was out of town that night so I sat with Cami and her husband Mark. Thank heaven I had them to sit with because Camden would have never sat still with me the way did for them.

He loved the music and loved clapping at the end of each song.

Baby Shower Hosting

Just so happened I planned this shower the same night as Maya's program. Not smart. Then Aric found out he had to go out of town at the last minute. The night was on track to be a disaster, but Mark took all three of my kids after the program and saved the night.

The shower was a success and Jessica R. and I were twinners and we didn't even plan it! 
(By the walls are not florescent green)

Elder Sieb 

Five years ago Sieb was a missionary in our ward and we loved him. The girls loved him. He came back to visit a family he had baptized five years ago and we got to see fun!

Maya's Dance Recital

Maya started lyrical ballet back in September. She has been loving it. When I saw her performance I was   overjoyed watching her dance. I was giddy. I love to dance and had there been lyrical ballet when I was growing up I would have been all over it. I am so happy that she found a dance that she loves.

Eden was a super supportive sister. Even though she wanted to be the one performing she love watching Maya perform.

We had a lovely visit with Santa too but that deserves it's own separate post.