I don't think I can really call it Christmas Vacation or Christmas Brake. It was a whole lot of work having the kids out of school for Christmas, but we had a great time. I look at these pictures and consider the year that we've had and recognize how very blessed we are.
We are trying to turn Christmas into the holiday of giving, not just receiving. The kids have participated in some giving with us the past couple of years at Christmas time and I am proud of them for the way that they respond to giving up what may have been theirs to give to others. They may not get as much as others but they do get plenty.
Christmas Eve at my moms was a hard day missing my dad and recognizing it will probably be the last time to have Christmas at the house I have known as home for almost 30 years. I was especially emotional missing my dad. Christmas Eve was such a special day to him. My mom goes all out to make it fun for everyone.
We had a wonderful Christmas morning with our children at our home. I love the excitement and joy of children on Christmas. We experienced a Christmas miracle at the Kirks when there was enough cooperation to get everyone happily into a picture. I wish the rest of the day could have gone as well, but not every family gathering is all smiles and laughing.
We took advantage of beautiful weather and the skis and board the kids got for Christmas and took them to Snow Basin. It was AMAZING how well Andy caught on to skiing. I wish I had pictures, but a picture couldn't capture how he just skied. No crying, no fear, no falling. He just took right off. Caleb on the other hand was a little slow, but he talks a lot of smack about doing jumps etc. Sara took John and Ali, and Josh and I really enjoyed skiing with the other three. Caleb likes to put his helmet and goggles on Johnny. Johnny likes it too because he gets tons of attention as we all laugh while he runs around the house like a little bobble head.
We would like to create New Years traditions around the family to keep our kids out of trouble as they grow up. This year we got a room in SLC (at the same hotel as the Lows) and used a couple days of our connect pass. The kids (and Josh) loved the freeze animation cameras at the Leonardo.
We spent some time at Temple Square too. We ran into Elder Oaks at the Lion House when we were having dinner. Josh felt him before he saw him. I was with someone in the bathroom, but his wife walked by after I got back to the table. I noticed her and that it was almost weird how she radiated with the light of christ. Then Josh told me who she was and that he had just shook hands with Elder Oaks. Temple Square was beautiful, and it was fun to be with the Lows. With 11 kids under 10 we were even a scene at Temple Square although everyone was very nice.
Christmas is cleaned up and the kids started school today. (Well, Caleb did. Cara had some teeth pulled and was out for the day, but she will start tomorrow.) This pictures is funny because every time I ask the kids to vacuum or clean up, if anyone moves at all, Ali goes running for her toy vacuum. They should make those things real!
I'm ready to get back to work and get back into a routine. Even with all of the family excitement of December I achieved some awesome advancements in my business, getting my $1500 bonus for the first time and hitting a new rank of Gold. My income has reached a level that it is really supplementing our family. I have big goals for this year. I love what I share and teach. I love the people I work with, and I love what I'm creating.