Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008

This snowman was once tall, tall, tall, but he very slowly started leaning to the right and eventually morphed into a dinosaur.  I couldn't believe when I saw how close to the ground it had melted without breaking. The picture doesn't do it justice, but it looked really cool.  The blue stuff is Jentzen's spider man web.

I wanted to get a shot of the falling snow, but was fortunate enough to also get Spiderman/Jentz out spinning webs.

Christmas came and went quicker than lightning!  All the magic, work, preparation, stress, anticipation, worry, excitement, hustle & bustle, MONEY, sneaking around, and just sheer fun, is all over just like that!! What a special day though. We woke up to 3 inches of snow, which might not sound like much, but add that to our already fallen 4 inches from days earlier, it was truly a splendid, white Christmas.  It snowed all day which added to the fun.  My parents and little brother Larry came down and watched the kids open gifts and we enjoyed our traditional breakfast casserole and caramel sticky buns w/o.j. and chocolate milk for breakfast.  They stayed and played with us the whole day.  The kids loved EVERY minute of having their best Uncle "hang out" with them, along with their fun Grandparents.  We ate ourselves silly. My Mom threw a turkey in the oven and we ate cheesy potatoes and every imaginable snack your mind can conjure up. There was minimal fighting amongst the young 'ens, however it was frustrating to say the least, at how much time it took to retrieve each item out of the ridiculous, overly extreme packaging tactics the manufacturers use to keep their products free of theft!! Did anyone's daughters get a Little Mommy Gotta Go doll?  It took Shaun 15 minutes (no lie) to clip all the wires and unscrew this little doll and her few little accessories from the box.  We couldn't believe it. I guess it teaches us all, (including parents) patience. Aside from that, everyone seemed happy most of the day, we had stock piled batteries weeks in advance. Everyone's gifts were in great working condition.  No broken/defective toys this year. (Poor Logan, EVERY year something of his gets broken or is defective)  We lucked out though this year. There was a wonderful feeling in our home all day and it was a quick reminder of why I love Christmas so much.  The spirit of giving, the feelings of love, the tolerance of one another's imperfections, the joy and gratitude.  I wish I knew how to make it last everyday in our home and always feel like this. It was a perfect day. EERRRGGGSSSSTT!!! That's the sound of a record being scratched and the sound of brakes as our peaceful day is coming to a screeching halt, because it doesn't feel like that in our home anymore!  Like I said before, Christmas is over and life is back to normal.  The kids are fighting over each other's toys, nobody will pick up the mess they made, and so and so keeps touching my stuff without asking etc!!! You get the picture. BUT I want to end this post on a positive note, SO aside from a few cranky children, messy house, and dark circles under my eyes (from lack of sleep) I realize just how truly blessed I am.  We had a very Merry Christmas, I have the best husband, parents, and brother and the best in-laws anyone could ask for, and I'm grateful for my wonderful kids who create very fulfilling and exciting days and bring so much joy into our lives.  I can't imagine my life without them, or any of my wonderful friends.  I'm the luckiest lady in the whole world!

Patiently waiting to see what Santa brought them, while I'm putting breakfast in the oven. (I'm so mean, I totally took my time, they waited on those steps for 5 long minutes)

What great sports Grandpa & Grandma were to have their hair done by "Mal Extraordinaire"

Look at his smile!

It actually looked pretty cute when she was finished.

Gage LOVES anything to do with cars, and I just HAD to post this picture!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Excitement

I feel like breaking out into song, "It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year".... We put up our Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving and the kids did a great job decorating the tree. I used to be VERY particular about how our tree was decorated, but as the kids got older and voiced their desire to "help" decorate I came to the realization that this was THEIR tree too. Ever since Carston was about 8 years old the kids have decorated our tree. My job is to throw a few ribbons in the "blank" spots on the branches after they decorate and then I drape the garland, (oh by the way, I've learned over the years that it's easier to put the garland on first, then decorate with the ornaments), but that's my only part. I'm usually busy sorting through all the Christmas bins reminiscing over each little heirloom/keepsake ornament and trying to remember where it came from.  I love looking through all the "stuff" we've collected over the years.  Some of it's pretty hideous and I can't believe I ever decorated with it. This year however, we tried out a new theme; silver and crystal.  Not our traditional decorations, but I was inspired while shopping one day back in July, when they first started setting out Christmas decorations. hehehe just kidding it was really October, but I swear they set them out earlier every year.  Anyways my eyes were drawn to these pretty little crystal prisms, with pearls and silver, and they were $2.00 each.  So began my hunt/collection of silver and crystal ornaments. After visits to several different stores, our ornament collection was complete.  Silver ribbon, crystal garland, stars, springs, glittery shatter resistant finial ornaments, we even found a charming little lighted star tree topper and sparkly tree skirt and finally my favorite are these very simple looking but fragile blown crystal orbs.  I insisted on placing those orbs on the branches because I'm not sure how I would replace them if they broke, because the store I bought them from (Interior Elements) just went out of business. (drat).  We had fun, jamming out  to Christmas tunes while we decked our halls.
We're almost finished with our Christmas shopping, just a couple more things to pick up.  I've made 2 batches of yummy caramels(my fave) and this week I will be making english toffee yum. Next week will be sugar cookies (Shaun's favorite, but I can't make them as good as his Mom) and then I think I might get to relax for the holidays, yah whatever!!  I'm so stinkin excited for Christmas.  I can hardly stand it!  I'm 40 1/2 years old and I love it just as much today as I did clear back when I was a little girl, if not more!!  We've been watching Christmas movies every night and I love when everyone is home together.  The spirit and magic that's in the air makes my heart skip.  Too bad everyone can't be this nice all year long. (I was kind of gushy there for a minute, but that's what this time of year does to you)!!
The anticipation and excitement CONSUMES me.  Christmas Eve is the hardest and funnest!! We got a brilliant idea from my friend Kathy who does a Christmas Eve box for her family.  We let the kids open it after their beds are made and the house is tidied and clean for Santa and other visitors. We fill it with a new game, a new movie, snacks, drinks (this year we bought pomegranite 7-up to try and peppermint filled Oreo's), some years we put new pj's in there for them to unwrap, (this year they do get new pj's because I was able to grab those $3.99 pj's at Wal*Mart on Black Friday.  *SCORE*!!  Then I wrap all of it, even the bag of dorito's, licorice, pistachios etc.... then we open it and it helps curve some of the anxiety and energy the kids exhibit.  Oh who am I trying to kid, I'm just as anxious as they are. :D We try to have a nice dinner, nothing too fancy since we've gorged ourselves on snacks all day and sometimes we set up a table and eat in the front room with all the lights out except for the tree.  It's harder now because there's so many of us, we squish around our fold out table.  But we'll give it a try again this year since this will be our last Christmas with Carston for 2 years, and he has fond memories of doing that.  After clean up we try not to have any plans set in stone, it's fun to just let the night carry itself out.
Then we have prayers and tuck-ins.  Unlike my kids who usually fall right to sleep, (HOW do they do it???)  I lay awake all night long and every hour on the hour I ask Shaun if we can wake up yet. I can't contain my excitement!! He's very tolerant of me.   Today there is only 15 more days of Christmas!!  WOO-HOO!!  Best wishes to you all, we love you!!  Feel free to post your memories or traditions.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Our "Twilight" experience!!


Here's our tickets!!

We're right out front of Cinemark in American Fork.
  Diet Cokes, licorice, blankets, good company, what more could we ask for????

Some of the people inside were there since 10:00am!!  Weirdo's!

Here we are finally in our seats!!  Worth the wait????
YES absolutely!!!

Who knew that a bad case of stomach flu, causing me to be bedridden for days AND a very persistent teenage daughter could send me spiraling into a distorted world of teenage infatuations, vampires and werewolves? Yes it's true, I did succumb to Kaymin's multiple plea's to read her Twilight books. She's talked non stop about them for over a year, but I've had NO desire whatsoever to read them.  I love to read but these books sounded very juvenile.  She plain and simply wanted me to read Twilight. That was it!! It wasn't like I was being asked to pose nude for an art class or anything, however, the shame of my addiction to these well written "teenagery" books rendered the same feelings in comparison. Once I read the first page, of the first book of four, there was no turning back, I was hooked!!
I devoured the first book, "Twilight" in 3 days!  The second book, "New Moon" took me a whopping 5-6 days to read.(not my favorite) Book #3, "Eclipse" (my favorite) I read in a day and a half and the 4th book, "Breaking Dawn" took me 3 days. Two weeks of my life gone forever, never to be retrieved again.  But I could NOT stop.  My poor family! The laundry was stacked to the ceiling, who knows what homework didn't get signed or turned in, I even skipped going in to help in Jentzen's kindergarten class.  The kids knew not to disturb me and if they needed an answer to a question, my reply would be a quiet mumble or something like that.  They survived on a diet of cold cereal and sandwiches while their pathetic excuse for a Mother had her nose stuck in a book, reading, reading, reading!!  (My cheeks are a little stingish as I'm writing this because I'm embarrassed that I became so addicted to these books)!! I'm certain they are what "cured" my illness, because by the end of the two weeks I was completely well again!! hehehe
Well that was back in September. My life is somewhat back to normal.  My laundry is caught up, dishes are washed, my kids have fresh clean sheets, (seriously I'm addicted to clean sheets on ALL our beds, and I didn't even change them for those 2 weeks, but that's a whole other entry for another day) and my family is back to eating fairly decent dinners again.  I finally had put Twilight up on the shelf never to be thought of again, but then the Twilight movie tickets went on sale and I just had to see the movie. We bought our tickets a week in advance and were able to go to the first midnight showing Nov. 21st. We stood in line outside in the cold for 3 hours.  It was a fast 3 hours. We got there at 7:30p and they let us go in and sit down at 10:30p. We were in line next to the funnest girls and Yes!! I was the oldest girl in line.  Wait, I did see a Grandma looking lady several yards ahead of me, but I was definitely the "next" oldest person. Kaymin and I had fun visiting and drinking hot chocolate and we got really good seats.  I couldn't believe some people had been in line since 10:00am that morning for the midnight showing and they sat right next to us.  So they stood in line all day and their seats were the same as ours and we got in line 9 1/2 hours later.  Funny people!  I'll admit that I was very nervous that I would hate the movie because there was no way it could even come close to the books, but to my surprise, I ended up really liking the movie.  In fact we went and saw it again the very next night!  Well there's my belated post about my Twilight experience.  Thank You Kaymin!!