Sunday, January 9, 2011

Happy Holidays!

This holiday season was filled with a lot of fun and peace. For some reason, I really enjoyed this Christmas Season--stress free. I was busy with projects and things, but I enjoyed it. I didn't get caught up in the hustle and bustle. I enjoyed listening to my Christmas music, being with my family and friends and truly feeling the Spirit of the season.

We start off the season by seeing the Christmas Lights at the Mesa, Arizona LDS Temple. There is such a special feeling there and it really gets me in the Christmas Spirit.

Kohler and Alyssa sang in a Christmas concert at their school.

All ready to sing.

It's hard to see, but Kohler is in there somewhere.

Kohler with his teacher Ms. Sermeno

Alyssa and her teacher, Mrs. Nordoff

Each year we celebrate Advent, which is the 4 Sundays before Christmas. We try to do something fun every Advent.

Here is our Advent wreath on 3rd Advent (we light a candle each Advent Sunday)

One of our favorite Advent activities is making gingerbread houses.

Kamary's house even came with a big dog in the backyard, just like Minnie. The green specks are grass and I'll leave it to your imagination as to what the brown spots are. :)

The kids had fun sculpting with Starburst candies. Here are some characters from Homestar Runner.

The finished products. Hanna's house fell down before we got a picture.

Over Christmas break we had a baking day with our friends Amanda Konrad, The Tukes and The Becksteads. It was so much fun and really got us in the Holiday Spirit.

Making Stained Glass Cookies

We also made Candy Cane cookies and Peanut Butter Blossoms

We decorated Snowmen cupcakes

Ready for the oven

The aftermath

Decorating our Candy Wreaths

Ashley Tuke and Kamary had fun making volcanoes with vinegar and baking soda
Something new we did this year was Christmas Caroling to our neighbors on our street. It's really pathetic that we've lived here over 2 years and only know a few of our neighbors. So we went out and sang a Christmas song at each house and gave them some frozen cookie dough. We were warmly recieved and some even said that we helped them feel the Christmas Spirit. We truly felt the Spirit as well. I think it was the highlight of the season. The Spirit of giving and sharing continued when we found large gift baskets on our door from our neighbors, giving back to us. We felt connected to them and now wave or talk to them when we see them. It's a good thing.

The 4th Advent is our spiritual Sunday. We talk about the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ and focus on the true meaning of Christmas. This year we acted out the Christmas Story. It was pretty chaotic. The baby angel (Brynlie) kept stealing the baby Jesus from the manger and the donkey (Minnie) just wouldn't hold still. Our Shepherd (Hanna) looked like Darth Maul with her lightsaber staff and black cape. But hey, that's how we make memories!

On Christmas Eve we have a buffet dinner of appetizers and watch a Christmas movie together. This year we watched Miracle on 49th street.

Here's our yummy buffet.

Here is everyone tracking Santa on the Internet. We had to make sure we were in bed when he got close to Arizona.

Of course one of our Christmas Eve traditions includes new jammies.

Here we are in our new Christmas jammies, even Jason and I got some.

One tradition that we didn't really mean to start, is that after the kids go to bed, Jason and I wrap presents while watching It's a Wonderful Life. It is one my favorite parts of Christmas Eve.

Here's the tree. We never put presents under the tree before Christmas, mostly because we know kiddos or the pooch will open them early. I don't know how other families get their kids to leave the presents alone, but we can't. It is fun though to go from no presents to all of this. :)

We had some blessings this Christmas. Jason and I got done with everything about 2:30 am. About that time, Brynlie started throwing up. Also, earlier in the evening, Lauren had a fever and didn't feel well. Jason gave both girls priesthood blessings. After that they were able to sleep and enjoy Christmas, not getting sick again. I know that it's because of the priesthood blessings that they felt better. I am very grateful for the priesthood and for my husband who keeps himself worthy to give blessings on the spur of the moment, even at 2:30 am.

Minnie (aka Pooch) got a nice pillow for Christmas. Jason actually got the fabric and sewed it himself on my machine. He didn't even have to ask me how to do it. I have to say I'm impressed. I asked him how he learned to sew and he said just from watching his mom and me. Hmmm. Who'd of thunk.

Minnie thinks her set up is pretty nice. At times she actually prefers sleeping in her "den" than being inside with us.

I think it's safe to say that Brynlie likes her new Pillow Pet.

Santa brought Hanna an aquarium so we went to the pet store to pick out a fish. She chose a fat goldfish and named him Chubby. When he first came home he got quite a shock. Hanna had barely brought Chubby home, when Brynlie got the bag and dropped it on the floor. The bag broke open and Chubby ended up flopping all over the carpet. Then Hanna grabbed him and threw him in the bathtub with warm water. I told her that he needed to be in colder water so we put him in a new baggie. By that time he was floating on his side, struggling to breathe. We threw him in the tank and hoped that he wouldn't go belly up. He did float upside down for about 5 minutes, but then recovered. Whew! Now Chubby is doing great!

For New Years we went to the zoo with some friends, The Tukes. It was fun but FREEZING! The wind was blowing and it cut right through us. But we made some memories and had a great time.

This is the closest we've ever been to the Giraffes.

Kohler, feeding the birds.

Again the Giraffes (Alyssa and I)

Here we are, waiting for the train ride.

Kamary, listening to her mp3 player.

There was a peacock roaming around. It followed us for a bit.

On New Year's Eve we had the missionaries over for dinner. Then we played games. In the end, Kamary was the only kid that made it until midnight. We lit a few fireworks and made some noise. We did the rest of the fireworks the next day so the other kids could take part.

This is our New Years Day Brunch. Yummy! We ate and watched the parade. A great tradition!

Watching a movie in Mom & Dad's room.

We had a great Holiday Season! I've really felt at peace this year and am grateful for all my blessings-- they are many.

1 comment:

waterwheelers said...

You are making precious memories. We miss being closer so that we could have been part of it.