We stayed home again this year.
It's a bit different than what we are used to, but fun all the same.
Christmas Eve day we went sledding.
It was a great way to use up all that energy!
We have found a perfect hill for us. I think we went sledding here 3 times over the break.
Navasard's Perfect Hill = not too busy, all the kids can walk up the hill unassisted, the hill is long and not too steep, we have yet to see anyone else there, and close to home.
We then decorated sugar cookies and had our, now traditional, ham and cheese soup for dinner. Once kids were in pjs, we drove around and looked at Christmas lights.
Thanks to sledding for hours, the kids didn't go to bed too horribly. But, they of course couldn't find it in their hearts to give me a decent Christmas Eve picture.
Notice the lack of ornaments and presents under the tree? That would be due to Ruby. I have never had a child as destructive and curious as this one.
Paul and I were pretty excited when it started snowing late that night as we were getting Christmas ready. We've lucked out and got perfect Christmas Snow 2 years in a row now.
The kids obeyed orders and didn't come up until 7:30.
Things were pretty typical after that.
Everyone got exactly what they asked for from Santa.
Macey: Giant Beanie Boo Giraffe
Miles: Robot Spider
Crew: Chewbacca Mask with Button
Ruby: pink scooter
Lucky for Santa they were easy requests to meet.
Usually we open presents at a leisurely pace, taking time to eat and play in between.
This year though, we had Ruby. The moment she sees a present she must unwrap it. There is no stopping her. It doesn't matter if someone else is already unwrapping it, she will rip it out of your hands to finish the job.
Needless to say, we had to open presents pretty fast.
We did take a break to refuel.
And then when Ruby crashed, the five of us went to play in the Christmas snow. Which is obviously the best kind of snow.
Don't worry, we let Ruby outside to play when she woke up.
The Everett's invited all of us over for "Orphan Christmas" later in the afternoon.
We ate good food, chatted, played games, made a mess, and by the end of the night the kids were spread out in between all of our houses. I love these neighbors of mine.
It was a great day.
An Actual Vacation
Before January gets away from me, I have to record the rest of our awesome Christmas Vacation with Paul.
Paul's office was closed for the break, so it was pretty much his first real vacation where he didn't work at all. T
here was no one else at the office to call him with issues or questions...it was amazing. Plus, not traveling and being on our own schedule, made for a very restful break.
Paul took advantage of being home and got a lot of projects
down around the house. The main one being finishing the closet under the stairs in the basement, that my dad and him started last year. Or "The Hideout", as the kids refer to it.
All 3 are in love with The Hideout and have already spent many hours playing in it.
And I am happy to have gained an extra 30 square feet to help us get through winter in our tiny (but loved) house.
- After Paul finished his work around the house, we had lots of time left over to play
. We went swimming, to the Bean Museum, SLC, byu basketball games, sledding, lots of playing out front, braved public restaurants, and ran lots of errands.
One particular snowy day we took the kids down to Rock Canyon
to sled on some bigger hills. It was snowing hard, so there was lots of powder. I took Crew down after Paul and M&M had made a track, thinking he wouldn't get too much snow in his face.
We ended up covered in snow, he was completely white from head to toe and screaming about how a big snowball
got him. I could not stop laughing and screaming (due to all the snow that went down my clothes).
Crew and Miles spent 75% of the time crying and pouting. Paul, Macey, and I spent 100% of our time laughing at them and having a blast in the crazy snow storm. I was just glad we had dropped Ruby off at Holly's.
While Crew was crying in the car afterward we asked him if he'd want to go sledding again and he answered between sobs, "Maybe Later". We were rolling. :)
-We had New Year's Eve
with The Browns and the kids all behaved exceptionally well...meaning they played in the basement and left us alone. :) We even had time to learn and play a new card game while the 6 big kids entertained themselves downstairs.
Crew and Liam were pretty hilarious all night playing together. They only got in "trouble" one time, when they locked themselves in Michelle's cold storage to build and then knock over towers of soup cans.
We put on a fake countdown just after 9:00 and then had all our kids tucked in bed and fast asleep by 10:00. It was a perfect evening.
-There were also lots of movie nights
. The favorite being the introduction to The Princess Bride. All the kids loved it. Crew would hop up and sword fight right along with them.
We were sick with the flu the Sunday before Christmas, so I tried to take a picture of the kids in their Sunday Christmas Clothes the next week.
This is all I could get. Typical.
We also got babysitters, a lot.
We are back to real life now and I am actually ready to face it.
So, Christmas was pretty much the best this year. But, I suppose that's how it should be with 4 kids 7 and under.
The kids enjoyed their Christmas Eve cheese soup fireside, courtesy of Netflix.
They were given explicit directions not to come upstairs until 8:00am.
As you can see from the pictures above, I was slightly worried about the whole going to bed thing.
But, they did surprisingly well, and we had to go get them at 8:00 as we were the ones up and ready to go.
Did I mention it snowed?! As in our first real snow fall of the winter? The kids went to bed with little hope of snow that night and woke up to lots. Yes, it made for a pretty magical Christmas Morning.
And after we did stockings, we just had to go out for a min. to enjoy it before breakfast.
We opened presents in many shifts and just enjoyed the morning, as we had no where to be until 2:00. And even then, we only had to trek 2 doors down.
Miles' efforts to be good paid off and he was thrilled Santa brought him exactly what he asked for...Zoomer Dino.
Santa put Gerber Puffs in Ruby's stocking and all the kids had to take turns to giving her one. She was not a fan at first. :)
The first thing Crew said when he came upstairs was "Where my Buzz?". Luckily Santa delivered and we had one happy 2 year old.
Another popular present of the day was when all the boys (paul included), got new swords. "Fight" is a popular activity around here, and we now have plenty of weapons so everyone can be adequately armed.
In between present opening we pulled out the snow clothes and went and played for a little bit.
Then it was off to The Everett's for Christmas Dunch and games.
While we were eating we all decided we couldn't pass up a perfect Christmas snow and decided we had to go sledding.
There was no crying and complaining about being cold...it was an actual Christmas Miracle.
Ruby even loved it.
It really was a perfect Christmas where we got to just enjoy each other and the spirit of the day.
The Most wonderful time of the year
December has been a good month, other than the flu, but we are recovered now, so all is forgotten.
I cannot remember a December where we spent so much time outside.
The boys ate an entire box of popsicles this month too...unheard of around here.
Michelle and I were planning to take the kids to the Dinosaur Museum, but we just couldn't pass up on one of our last Farm Country outings until next spring.
My current level of saneness can be attributed to an extra month of getting to walk barefoot in the grass. It is good for the soul.
Miles has had a rough time in primary the last little while, so we baked and decorated sugar cookies to take around to his teachers. You know, to remind them that there is a sweet boy hiding behind all the craziness.
And he pretty much has the perfect bike for delivering cookies anyways.
We also decorated a prebuilt gingerbread house, it was awesome.
Paul took M&M to Lowe's to build Christmas Trains. Despite their faces in this picture, they loved it and can't wait to go again.
Like every year, the kids favorite Christmas thing we did was the the lights at Thanksgiving Point. It's one of my favorites too, since they just can't contain their excitement.
Miles made some Gingerbread Men. Which of course turned into "fighting men". Typical.
The one child who I wasn't worried about bugging the tree and presents, was the only one who could not resist the temptation.
While we are on the topic of Ruby...She turned 7 Months!!
She's been pretty close to perfect this month. Just happy and content to sit, play, roll around, and put everything in her mouth. She has finally mastered the sit too and loves the new vantage point.
Crew now refers to Ruby as his best friend and it makes me happy.
Our favorite Mexican Restaurant just opened a few blocks away and we have already been multiple times, as I have yet to find my motivation to cook dinner. Plus, our kids have shockingly been somewhat manageable out in public as of late.
Here's a typical morning scene...Paul ready to go to work, but having a hard time actually getting out the door.
Best part of Christmas Break though has been having Macey home!
She has taken to reading Miles stories and entries from her diary. It's hilarious and I love listening in.
Mrs. Claus came to Talking Time and read about each kid from her Magic Book. It was awesome and Miles ate it up.
There has also been lots of singing and dancing to Christmas Songs around here. Crew actually does a pretty good rendition of Jingle Bells and I will miss it.
And once a year Paul and I get dressed up and go to his fancy work parties. While it's fun to get all dolled up, it reminds me why I don't get dressed up more often...it takes way too much time. :)
Pretty sad December is almost behind us.
If you have not flown with kids recently, let me tell you, the new rule of being able to use small electronics the entire
flight is wonderful.
This is what they looked like the entire flight. Macey is pretty much ready to fly by herself now too, this was her 3rd flight to sit in her very own row and she didn't need any assistance from me. She even ordered her own drink, took care of her trash without prompting from me, and would take her headphones off when she heard the pilot talking over the loud speaker. You can tell she's a seasoned flier.
We got to Bellingham late on the 23rd, so Christmas Eve was packed with prep for the next day, tons of wrapping, and the much anticipated Gender Reveal Party.
First on the agenda was making sugar cookies while we tried to pass the anxious hours waiting for Kaylin and Lauren to come.
Here they are taking up their post when we said it'd be less than hour until the other cousins arrived.
I was dying to know if this baby was a boy or girl. Macey, Miles and I all guessed it was a boy. Paul guessed girl, along with the majority of others. I was pretty happy (ecstatic) Paul was right. Macey and Miles on the other hand both cried and refused to eat cake.
Miles kept talking about how the cake was "freaking" him out and would make us turn it so he couldn't see the pink inside. I later figured out he thought the baby was actually in there and that was the real reason he kept saying "that cake just freakin me out!". Poor kid. We promptly disposed of it after that. :)
Christmas was crazy, fun, and busy.
Nana read the girls a Christmas story. Miles of course could not be bothered with things like that and instead made Paul read him a book about a missing dinosaur bone.
Miles LOVED being the present passer outer and I was just happy he had something to keep him busy.
After Christmas there was lots of cousin time.
Lots of dancing and performing to the Frozen Soundtrack.
Lots of enjoyment of the fresh air and Bellingham's amazing parks.
The highlight of Miles' trip was our visit to the Touch Tank.
He was constantly running from tank to tank, yelling, asking the worker questions, and could be heard saying "Gigi, come see this!", "Gigi, over here!" and "Gigi, follow me!".
He could of stayed all day if it wasn't for the rest of us being cold and a whiney Crew.
And of course there was lots of time hanging out at the house with Nana and Pop-Pop.
It was a great trip and the company couldn't of been better. Plus, I was grateful every day I was over 20 weeks pregnant, there is no way I could of survived this trip any sooner. Although, it was nice to have a new toilet to puke in. ;)