Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Break 2011

I was a little bummed to see that instead of my kids getting the full 2 weeks off like most school districts give for Christmas Break we only get 1 week and 2 days. Having the kids home has been a lot of fun. I am so glad that school is half way over. I'm looking forward to summer vacation already without all the homework, spelling words, getting up so so early to catch the bus, etc.

We are taking advantage of our Christmas Break this year.

On monday of this week Kory and Hunter got up early and drove to Panguitch. Kory with 2 of his brothers and a few of there kids went ice fishing on Panguitch Lake. The girls and I decided to stay home because quite frankly I wasn't going to go stand on ice and freeze my tushy off for a few hours to fish. That is not fun for me! However we have been having exceptionally warm weather of late. All week our outside thermostat has hit over 65 degrees. By afternoon we're almost to 70. I am not complaining about our Spring like weather we are currently having. Kory and Hunter had a wonderful time fishing in this warmer weather even though they got skunked!

Tuesday afternoon the Young Women had an incentive trip. They planned to go ice skating. Being no one had school and all the leaders had plenty of room in there cars all of us leaders took our kids. This was the 1st time my kids have gone ice skating. We all had so much fun! Madelyn started off with a little help. After about 30 minutes she ventured off on her own.
Hunter was a natural. The leaders kept asking me if this was really his 1st time on ice skates.Not long after we got there he and some cousins started playing tag. I was pretty impressed with his new found skill!

After some coaxing even Emily went out on the ice. She's sure glad she decided to be brave. She was the last one off the ice when it was time to go home and kept asking if she could do it just one more time.

Brayden and I stayed off the ice and watched everyone else have fun. We brought books and puzzles to keep us occupied together. Before heading for home we splurged and bought 2 hot chocolates to share. It was pretty good. When we 1st got there and I went to pay for all the kids I was told it was going to be $2 kids and $3 for adults. However, despite the hour drive we had to get there they considered us "locals" so it was only $1 for the kids. That included there ice skate rental too. They let Emily skate for free and the hot chocolate was $1.50 each. I spent a total of $5 for a great afternoon spent! For such cheap and fun entertainment we've got to do this again.

Tuesday night Hunter asked if I'd play Monopoly with him and his sisters.

I LOVED Monopoly growing up.

So after dinner was cleaned up we opened our new family christmas gift and started playing. We didn't start the game until 7 and didn't finish until almost 11 o' clock that night. WOW! I had forgotten how long this game can go on for. The kids had fun, I had fun and we've played it once more since.

Yesterday, wednesday, Uncle Dustin invited us to go quad sledding with his family. We don't have a snow to do it the right way so we did it a little different. Uncle Dustin has a big field behind his back yard that is quite often than not in shade. I think this field has the most snow than anywhere else in town. Which really isn't saying a lot.

Uncle Dustin tied a sled to a long piece of rope and tied it to the back of his quad.

Here's cousing Esther taking Brayden for a ride. Brayden was dressed very warm but decided he was to hot and took off his coat. I guess that just goes to show how warm it was...

Here's Emily and Madelyn. Madelyn fell off and decided she wanted to be dragged instead of getting back on the sled.

Hunter was pretty thrilled when Uncle Dustin asked him if he wanted a turn to drive it. There was no hesitation from him of course. Uncle Dustin did sit behind him during his driving "just in case".

We stayed up late again last night not getting to bed until after 10pm. This is so not like us. I'm a pretty stickler about getting my kids to bed at 8 each night. It's been fun staying up with the kids and enjoying their company. No one seems to roll out of bed until after 8. Breakfast hasn't been until almost 10am. As I said we our taking advantage of this mini break from school and are throughly enjoying ourselves and the little adventures we've done each day.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Heaton Christmas Party 2011

This year being we are the new family to town Kory and I decided to host Christmas Dinner for the Heaton Family. We invited his 4 siblings and their families that live here in town along with 2 other siblings that live within 2 hours from town. In then end only 5 of his siblings and their families came. His older sister Holly decided not to make it because her oldest is on a mission in Texas and for some reason wasn't able to call home until that evening. Can't blame her for not coming. However, they were missed.

We had lots and lots and lots of food to eat. Being the host of this grand event I missed out on taking pictures during our grand turkey and ham dinner. After dinner some of the adults stayed on the couches visiting while other sat around the table playing games. Here are the 4 oldest grandkids that were present.
The boys kept themselves enteratained with the WII, nerf guns and lego's.

After I kicked the boys off the WII, the girls took their opportunity to play Just Dance Kids.

I think they had fun.

The little girls and boys had fun playing in the girls room and loft.

Our house was FULL, it was little LOUD and CRAZY at times but I hope we all had fun.

It was good to have everyone that could come, come. It's nice to know that my house could hold 40+ people all at the same time and survive. I have the best sister-in-laws ever. Before everyone left they ALL helped clean up bedrooms that suprisingly weren't bad and helped wash, dry and put away all the dirty dishes. Even though my dishes were done and my sink was empty before everyone arrived it was astounding to see how many dishes we had piled up after our big meal. I was very thankful for all the help in the clean up.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Christmas Morning 2011

Twas' the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring NOT even a mouse. The children were nestled all snug in there beds with strick instructions from Daddy not to get out of bed until 7 the next morning. Daddy however working nights for almost a year now REALLY struggles sleeping like the rest of the family on the weekends. Saturday night was no exception. The kids were all in bed by 9:30 and at 10:30 when I went to bed they were sleeping. Kory came to bed about midnight and I KNOW he struggled with sleep. With all his tossing and turning I felt like he kept me up all night too. We were both lying awake at 5 am sunday morning when Kory suddenly said, "I can't sleep let's go wake up the kids". I said, "Heck no! With all your threats from the night before you are not waking anyone up till 7." After another 30 minutes listening to him toss and turn, knowing I wasn't going to get much more sleep I threw in the towel. Kory jumped out of bed, ran upstairs and woke the kids up. Despite the picture Brayden wasn't crying just yawning and stretching. Can't imagine why?????Santa definetly found us...
Santa brought Hunter a Star Wars Lego set. He also filled his stocking with a box of Mike and Ike's, a star wars watch that came with a figure and Indiana Jones 2 WII game.
Mom and Dad gave him some real cow boy boots, a nerf gun and a Lego Star Wars set. The rest of the goodies came from Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles and Cousins. This year we had the kids exchange gifts that could go in our food storage or just storage in general. They had so much fun with this. Hunter was given several deodorants and a bottle of white gas for his bbq.

Santa found Madelyn too.

Santa brought her a Hello Kitty Camera. Her stocking was filled with a new watch, Just Dance Kids WII game and a box of Sugar Babie candies.

For several weeks now Madelyn and I have been talking about giving her Barbie house a make- over. So mom and dad gave her a box with 4 different Barbie house furniture rooms, a pair of boots and a box of Horses that her barbies can ride. For her food storage gift she received several boxes of cake mixes and brownie mixes. The rest of her goodies came from friends at school and extended family members.

Santa brought Emily a horse for her baby doll's along with a new doll. Her new doll is dressed up as a Horse Jockey. She loves it! Her stocking had a new watch, a Pet Rescue WII game and a box of Gobstopers.

Mom and Dad gave her a doll house with a ton of family members and so much furniture it won't all fit that I bought months ago off of Craigslist. We also gave her a new Memory game. She like the rest of the kids recieved many gifts from fellow classmates, her preschool teacher and extended family members. Her food storage gift was a case of Top Ramen (her favorite) and 2 cases of Mac N' Cheese (her 2nd all time favorite).

Brayden was so much fun to watch this year.

Santa brought him a Fire Station that has a fire truck, 2 firemen and a dog. His stocking had a box of Skittles and Diego movie. Mom and Dad gave him Diego puzzles a Diego book and a game. I think he was more thrilled with the play dough his Nursery Teacher gave him and the crocheted ball Grandpa Bob (other nursery teacher) gave him. His food storage gift that didn't make it into the picture was several boxes of Life Cereal, his favorite. He too recieved a few extra gifts from cousins.

After pictures and the floor was picked up Mom and Dad went back to bed while the kids played with their new toys. Hunter kept himself busy with his new lego's.

After a great Musical Sacrament Meeting only we came home and started to get ready for the Heaton Family Christmas Party we hosted this year. Brayden kept himself entertained on the stairs playing with his new playdough.

We had a great Christmas this year.

Kory and I enjoyed just sitting and listening to our children playing and talking together. It was a great spent day! We recieved some fun Family Christmas Presents this year. My brother gave us a sled. Now all we need is the snow! Kory's sister gave the kids 2 of those blow up balls that kids sit and jump acorss the room on. On top of the ball came a fabric horse, so that it looks like the kids are galloping. My parents gave the kids a teepee to play in. I'll have to post pictures of these soon.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Christmas Eve 2011

We did some things a little different this year with the kiddo's on Christmas Eve. The past couple of years our tradition has been to take the kids to a movie (something we do only once or twice a year) or bowling with friends. Not wanting to do this with the 4 hour commute to go along with it we opted out and did some things different.

My kids have a few favorite treats that they like to help make. In stead of making them earlier in the week I purposely put these off until today.

One of Hunter's favorite treats is dipping pretzels in melted chocolate. Right after breakfast was cleaned up he and I started making these treats. Of course it wasn't too long before the girls came in to investigate. We weren't going to exclude them by any means but more often than not one of the girls is always helping me in the kitchen. It was nice to have a little alone time with just Hunter and I doing something together.
When Hunter's treats were finished we moved on to Madelyn's favorite treat. I have heard several different names for these but we call them turtles.

She placed a rolo candy on top of a pretzel, put the pan in the oven for about 2 minutes. We pulled the pan out and then smashed a m&m or pecan on top. Way yummy! All the kiddo's helped make her treats too.

While I was cleaning up the mess of the treat making Madelyn got a little silly and creative.

Can you guess who she is?
In no time at all it became lunch time. Wanting to do something a little different than the norm we ALL made homemade pizza.

Madelyn LOVES working at the stove. She quickly volunteered to get the sausage ready while the little ones helped me roll out the dough. Due to sticky fingers I didn't get any pictures of my little helpers!

Hunter put our pizza together.

Boy did it turn out yummy!

After lunch our plan was to play some games together but..... a phone call from an Uncle took my big kids away. They were invited to go sledding! Who can blame them for ditching the family?

I didn't get any pictures but was told over and over how much fun they had.

Come Christmas Eve each year it seems that Kory and I have the same converstation. We wonder if we taught our kids the "true meaning" of Christmas or did we let the wordly view get in the way?Over the past few years we've tried many things but I don't know if any of them have been the right way for our family. At the same time I've wondered if it's becuase of their young age that I feel like we "loose" the true meaning. It seems like with all the shopping and seeing Santa at stores, the tv commercials about the newest and latest toy and all the hype at school for Santa among there piers I feel like our views of Christmas is a little outweighted. I sometimes would ask myself if we even have a chance with all the outside world influence?

This year I spent hours on the internet reading up on other's idea's of keeping the "true meaning" of Christmas in there home. I took a few idea's and combined them together. It was such a hit that this will become our newest tradition during the Christmas Season. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures so I'll just have to tell you what we did....

Before Dec. 1 the kids and I for a FHE made a paper chain leading up to Christmas Day. Pretty ordinary right? What we did different this year was put a scripture about Christ on the inside of each paper chain. Each night before bed we turned off ALL lights, sat around the kitchen table and read the scripture by candle light. Each child had a "day". On there day they got to change the Christmas countdown block, offer all the prayers that day, pull off the chain, light the candle, help read the scripure and then blow out the candle. Blowing out that candle was the biggest event of the day! At the beginning of the month our scriptures were stories of miracles that Christ performed or parables that he taught. It was interesting to hear what our young children thought what the parable might mean. It was GREAT to hear the wonder in their voice when they would ask Christ really did that? Some of the stories they had heard before but lots of them were new to them. Of course the closer we got to Christmas Day the scriptures were leading up to Christ's birth. It was such a simple thing for our family to do. I was REALLY suprised at how well the kids took this new tradtion. They looked forward to our night reading and WANTED to do it despite that late hour we had some nights. It was awsome.

So back to our Christmas Eve.... come about 7 o'clock we read our last scripture chain by candle light. We then went to my bedroom and watched the Living Scriptures animated movie The King Is Born. The movie was less than 20 minutes long and almost followed this past weeks scripture reading. It was great to hear the kids say "hey, I read that part". Watching the movie was a great way to finish off our Christmas Eve. I went to bed asking myself that same question "Did we teach our children the "true meaning" of Christmas? This year I had no hesitation. I know we did a good job!

After the movie we followed it up with our last tradition of the season. The kiddo's got to open up one gift.

Of course that gift was there new pair of pajama's.

Emily was the most excited about her pajama's. I think it had something to do with the matching pajama for her baby doll.

For some reason I didn't get a picture of all the kids together in there new pajama's.

I don't know what I was thinking!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Ward Christmas Party!

After many, many discussion's with my Young Women it was decided that they wanted to make watch bands for their Christmas Present. Each girl chose to make 3 of them. My kids then decided that they wanted to make the same thing for their teachers this year. This has become a tradition as this is our 3rd year in a row making them for school teachers. Between tue and wed of this week I helped make 14 watch bands. Here's just a few of them. Can I say I'm all beaded out?Yesterday being the last day of school for the year the kids and I celebrated by making sugar cookies!
So much fun...

Somehow I forgot to take a picture of all the yummy cookies made!

Today someone dropped off a Christmas Plate for us. I loved it and had to share.

It's several paper plates with plastic cups stuffed with plastic forks, knives and spoons. Sitting on top of the 1st plate was several pieces of candy along with gummy bears.

Here's a close up of the poem.

Isn't that great!

Tonight was our ward Christmas Party!

Santa made his entrance in a way I've never seen before.

On a fire truck with lights and siren's blazing.

I didn't get pictures of Santa with all my kids but my brother-in-law did. I'll have to post them another time. I was suprised that Santa was able to bribe Brayden on to his lap with NO tears!

After Santa left the building we ate a light dinner. Here's Hunter with all his boy cousins.

Miss Madelyn... Oops! Caught her with her mouth full.

Miss Emily....

and Brayden.....

One of the events during the night was a edible table center piece contest. This is what I submitted....

Everything is edible.

The figures are made out of cake and their heads are a sugar cookie.

It was fun to make. It took a lot of time and effort and I'll probably never do it again. There was so much detail with so many different colors and in 2 different types of frosting. This definetly ended up being a bigger project that what I thought it would be. But... It was still fun and I won 1st place.


After dinner the Primary kids sang Christmas Songs dressed up.

Madelyn is standing right in front of the mike with the grey robe and blue head piece (a shepard). Emily is right behind her wearing a white angel robe.

Hunter was also a shepard. Middle row far left.

Wish Kory could have been with us.

I hate how many activities he misses due to the night shift. We were really hoping he'd get tonight off but instead gets Monday. Oh well... The kids and I still had fun visiting with our new friends and family.