GEARING UP FOR THE BIG DAY
One fun "eatable art project" I did with our neighborhood preschool coop was making sugar cone Christmas trees. It was a big enough hit that we repeated it with the family.
What would Christmas be without sugar cookies and LOTS of really BIG MESSES!
For Josh and I it wouldn't be Christmas without the Low Christmas Party. We love dressing up and enjoying a nice evening laughing, inspiring and creating memories with our friends.
One highlight of this years party is that for the very first time we left our children at home with each other. Caleb and Cara are turning into good little baby sitters. We could see them from the party on our webcam. They were happily dancing around the Christmas tree for what seemed like hours. By the time we got home they were all peacefully sleeping. What a beautiful site!!
THE TABERNACLE CHIOR CHRISTMAS CONCERT
We were lucky enough to get to go with Merle to the Christmas Concert with the Tabernacle Chior and their guests this year were THE MUPPETS! It was amazing!! Really my mind was blown especially by the organist playing the 12 Days of Christmas along with The Count (from the muppets.) What a special experience!
My mom always makes Christmas Eve special. This year she planned a "Minute To Win It" game every 30 minutes of Christmas Day. We are had a great time playing silly games! This one started out with a contest to empty tissue boxes as quickly as possible and ended with tissue being thrown all over the room.
This one was not my favorite to play, but it was my favorite to watch. The object of the game was to shake your booty to be the first to get all of the ping-pong balls out of the tissue box tied to your waist. Prizes for kids division and adult division for every game! What more could we ask for!!?
THE EPIC CATCH
Josh and I thought we heard something around midnight on Christmas Eve. We had the unbelievable experience of catching Santa on the web cam as well as in video. It was really quite amazing!
This year Christmas Day was unique because we didn't get together with the Kirks. We had a quite day playing as a family. In November Caleb made the mistake, in a very sassy moment, of saying, "Mom, it's your fault the basement is a mess. You have given us too many toys." Upon further evaluation we worked with Santa to give "memory" type gifts this year. We got Season Tickets to Lagoon. We got a day pass to Boondocks. We got a New Years vacation. The kids each received something fun to play with as well, but most of their gifts will be something we can enjoy all year!
Cara has asked for an Easy Bake Oven for the past two years. Grandma made her dreams all come true with her very own oven. Santa went the more practical route by giving her boxes of "real" treats that she can make in the "real" oven.
Merle worked hard this Fall to clean and paint my childhood Barbie House to leave for the girls on Christmas Morning.
Johnny loved his car set, but maybe not as much as he loved the Elsa Doll that Ali got from Grandma. It was true love!!
The boys received some nice gifts as well. No pictures of Caleb as his gift was a couple of video games which he promptly put to use. Andy received Nerf Guns and targets. They also got street hockey sticks. Ali and Andy put their new helmets and goggles right to use.
November and December had extremely warm weather and NO SNOW. People were sad and wishing for a white Christmas. It really was a Christmas miracle. We went to bed on Christmas Eve to NO SNOW and on Christmas day it snowed all day long. By afternoon there was enough snow for the kids to test out their new gear.
I grew up sledding behind my dad's truck so I LOVED seeing the kids sledding behind my mom's 4-Wheeler. They went twice a day for the three days that the storm lasted.
THE NEW YEARS TRIP
We started our New Years Trip at the Natural History Museum. We enjoyed the special horse exhibit.
Our next stop with the Discovery Gateway Children's Museum. (You can tell which children are always asking me to take pictures of them. It isn't favoritism it is simply the posing and reminding.)
We discovered the secret to having a wonderful EVE SLC experience. Go to the celebration at the Salt Palace on the FIRST night of the event, the 29th instead of the 31st. We had the place to ourselves. My children had unlimited bounce houses and as much time as they wanted on the equipment.
I couldn't resist joining in and inflicting a little playful revenge on Caleb!
The Ballroom was literally filled with Balls! The kids loved it! We spent a few hours at the Salt Palace on New Years Eve as well, but it was super crowded and crazy. Not nearly as fun as going two days early!
The highlight of Day two was going to the Jazz Game. The whole family went and we were joined by our dear friends. We had amazing seats and the boys even got a few autographs pre-game.
It was a really close game and the Jazz won so the energy and excitement was awesome. Caleb and his best friend Isaac made a big enough ruckus (and we had good enough seats) that they got on the jumbo-tron twice.
Staying in a hotel with a large family and a lot of small children is always an adventure. Apparently the more pillows you have the more comfortable you are. These pictures were take after I removed one pillow from each child. Yes, count them, Cara started out with five.
I was a little concerned about Andy suffocating before I removed his extra pillow.
Caleb would have liked to have had more than his three pillows but as always he was the last one to bed.
We have created the tradition of spending New Years Eve on Temple Square. We enjoyed the lights, Luke 2 video and Joseph Smith Movie without the Christmas crowds. Temple square also has a great line up of concerts on New Years Eve. I highly recommend it.
We attempted to make New Years Eve dinner special by eating at the Garden in the Joseph Smith building. Another thing we did right was making a 4:30 dinner reservation, before it got packed and supper busy. Hopefully it will be a fun memory for the kids.
One of the ironies in all of this is that one of the highlights is always the short ride on Trax! It is the simple things!
2014 has been an amazing year!! We are so excited for 2015!! Happy New Year!!