Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas Highlights

I love the Holiday season. It just goes so fast! I am trying to enjoy every moment with my little ones as I am often told that the time with small children is gone so quickly. I do fall short in taking pictures, but I wanted to take a moment to record a few of the fun things we did to celebrate the holidays this year.

We kicked off Christmas the day after Thanksgiving with a trip to Salt Lake (after shopping of course) to see my cousins who were in town from as far as Japan. I love my extended family and have a closeness to them that many people don't enjoy with their cousins. We spent the evening at Temple Square. I think taking the kids to Temple Square is a wonderful tradition.

Our ward did a "Polar Express" Christmas party. It was a breakfast and the 150 kids in the ward were invited to come in their pajamas. Josh was asked to narrate the "Polar Express" book. After breakfast Josh got on the stage in his robe and sweats and started yelling "all aboard." I was choked up as the children darted through the room. They were rushing to their tables to get their tickets to get on the Polar Express. The excitement in the room was awesome, and I felt the spirit of Christmas. Josh also read stories at the elementary school. I am grateful to have a husband that is willing to be actively involved in the lives of his children. At the school he read The Night Before Christmas in his many many voices. I understand he was a real hit although Caleb says he was a little embarrassed.

One of the highlights of each December is the formal Christmas Gala that our friends host. It is a wonderful party. We feel fortunate to be surrounded by so many fantastic friends that influence our lives for good in so many ways. We also went caroling with neighbors and enjoyed other parties and get-togethers with friends. Somehow I thought that friends wouldn't be such a part of my life as an adult. Now I realize, how would I ever survive without my wonderful friends.

On the 23rd we took the kids to Salt Lake to see Christina and Ross who couldn't come home for Christmas. We love seeing them. Sara came all the way from Plentywood Montana and we met up with her in SLC too. It is nice to be with family. Each year we express gratitude that we don't have to spend all of our vacation time and money to go to family at Christmas. It is a blessing that we live near both sets of parents and that our siblings usually come to us. While we were in SLC we took the kids to Zoo Lights at Hogal Zoo. I didn't know what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised. The lights were great, and we got to see many of the indoor animals.

Christmas Eve is always spent with my family. It was fantastic as always! What more can I say. I love to be with my family. This was the first time that Cathie and her kids haven't come home for Christmas and we REALLY missed them.

Christmas morning was awesome. The kids were so excited. Fortunatly they slept in until about 6:45 and we were able to hold them off while Andy and Ali slept a little longer, but by 7:30 we were opening presents. Caleb had the great idea to take turns. (Yes, we will just give him all of the credit so that the tradition can continue.) The kids were excited, but they took their time and took turns. They were very interested in each others gifts.

Caleb got a remote control helicopter, which he loves, and a giant nerf gun.

Cara got an American Girl Doll look-alike and matching cloths for her and her doll.

Andy got a remote control truck, which everyone enjoyed playing with. He got two packs of 10 match box cars and he was so excited when he opened them. He was yelling, "open them! open them!"

Ali got a Stand and Sit Giraffe Ball thing. Andy really likes it. Ali was just happy to be a part of the excitement.

Between Christmas and New Years we spent a few nights with the Lows at their Condo in Bear Lake. It was nice to get snowed in with friends to whom we are so close that they are practically family. We were literally stuck at the condo with our two wheel drive but luckily the Lows suburban could take us skiing at Beaver during a big snow storm. Caleb and Cara both seem to be getting the hang of skiing. It has been a long time coming with Caleb. He was finally starting to catch on when he had a bad fall and twisted his knee. He has been quite gimpy this week.

We celebrated New Years with our dear friends and neighbors - the Campbells. We played games and ate way to much junk food. Life is good!!!

One final journal item before I "close the book" on 2010. Caleb played his first season of Basket Ball this November and December. I can see how having kids involved in sports can fill up the lives of parents. It was fun to watch the first graders as they are learning to dribble, pass and shoot. I wouldn’t say that Caleb was awesome by any means, but it was fun for him. I enjoy having an excuse to get out too.


Cathie said...

What fun! I love to read and catch up on my nieces and nephews. Keep the posts coming - between crocheting beards! Love you!

Diane said...

What a fun idea to have a formal Christmas gala with friends. I'm with you on the friends thing too. Who knew they'd be so essential in adulthood?

neil said...

Those are sure cute kids... Luv Ya'

Karlenn said...

Dang, I want to teach my kids how to ski sooooo badly. It's just too spendy for us for now. Maybe someday. So, with the American Girls, did they stop doing the, like, olden-times kinds?? Just curious. My sisters have some olden-times American Girls things stored in my parents' house. I'll bet they'll fetch a pretty penny.