Nana and Pop-Pop came to spend Christmas with us and it was their first Christmas away from home! We felt very privileged they choose to spend it with us.
Sadly, my mom actually came down with pneumonia while she was here. So, she ended up spending most of her time on the couch observing. :(
Other than the pneumonia, Christmas was quite perfect.
Plus, we were in bed before midnight, Christmas miracle.
And we were on time for 9:00 am church Christmas Morning!!! Turns out getting to go to church on Christmas makes for a pretty great day.
I feel like this picture sums up the kids perfectly. :)
Miles- in constant motion
Macey- wondering how she got stuck with all these crazies
Ruby- screaming and jumping
Crew- distracted by the small object in his hand
Before we left for church we did stockings and santa presents.
I didn't get many pictures due to the chaos and constant movement of hyped up kids. But trust me, it was magical.
Nothing beats getting a real smile out of this girl. The long wished for Lea doll did it.
Ruby didn't put this baby down or take off her stethoscope. Cutest 2 year old ever.
Crew's favorite present was this pirate chest from Granny and Granddad.
You'll notice I got no pictures of Miles. It is because he was so entertaining opening presents, I only got video. :) #momfail
And it once again snowed on Christmas Eve!!! We are getting spoiled around here.
Magical Christmas snow with some of our favorite neighbors to end an amazing Christmas. Perfection. Day after Christmas
was just as it should be.
eating leftovers, putting legos together, playing with toys, sledding, and staying in pjs all day AGAIN.
And this girl sledding was kind of my favorite.
Pop-Pop got lots of runs in too.
And these 2 never got off this sled and I don't think they ever stopped smiling either.
We did get Nana out of the house to sit and watch us bowl later in the week
This girl allowed no one to help her while bowling. It lead to a few pinched fingers, but Miss Independent was quite the proficient bowler.
It was actually much more fun than I anticipated and Crew kind of made my entire day with his sweet bowling moves and glasses.
And then we left Nana with Ruby while the rest of us went snow shoeing
And then we got in some good sledding at the end.
Pop-Pop ended up getting to sleep in the hideout due to Nana being sick. We are pretty amazing hosts with top of the line accommodations.
It was a bit of a different visit, with my mom being so sick, but we so glad they were able to survive the traveling to be with us and that no one else got sick.
After my parents left Paul and I got to go snow shoeing
up Lambs Canyon.
It was beautiful and we didn't see a single sole on the trail. The only downside was the road was closed, so we had to hike 2 miles up the road to get to the trailhead.
This is me being annoyed about it. :) And yes, I have my sled on my pack. We like to be prepared for all conditions.
Utah is the best sometimes.
We couldn't find a babysitter for New Year's Eve
and it turned out to be the best thing ever.
We texted our neighbors to come over for a kid party from 7:30-8:30. :)
We had no food. But we did have a giant saran wrap ball with goodies, glow sticks, music, and noise makers. It was one of my better parties.
We did a count down, had a little dance party and our kids were fast asleep by 9:30. It was a great start to the New Year.
We ended break with a trip to Chuck-E-Cheese and the Puppy Barn.
Love Christmas Break!
Since we are almost to February, I figure I need to document our December before it is too distant a memory.
December was a happy blur of parties, playing, concerts, christmas prep, basketball games, and endless traditions.
Macey performed 2 songs in the Scera Christmas Concert. She even had a solo. I was too busy actually watching the show to get any pictures, but here's a post performance shot with the boys.
And the best part about taking classes at the local theatre is the $2 kid snack packs. Helped them make it through about half the acts.
She also had her first Elementary choir concert.
Crew also rocked his first Preschool concert.
doesn't get much cuter than a bunch of 4 year olds trying to sing songs together.
We got to cheer on BYU at lots of games.
Ringing the victory bell with Cosmo in his Santa Costume. Dream come true.
We lucked out and got 4 of Paul's bosses courtside seats.
dinner, unlimited snacks, amazing view. These kids are getting spoiled.
Paul took a Friday off and we did a quick snow shoe trip while Crew was at Preschool.
turns out Ruby is a bit too heavy for the carrier, but too small for small shoes.
Then Crew happily got to help Paul put up our lights and blow ups. It will be a sad day when this takes more than an hour. :)
Kids favorite tradition was once again getting their new ornaments for the tree.
Crew: North Pole
Ruby: Sweet treats
My favorite tradition is always torturing them with a trip to see Santa.
Ruby was not pleased and for the first time in her entire life clung to her stroller and did not want to get out. Being the good mom I am, I pried those fingers off and handed her over to the stranger with the big beard.
The boys were super into Santa this year and waited in line for 30 min to talk to him again
at the Riverwoods.
We love visiting the Riverwoods during Christmas.
lots of "baking".
We of course went to the Domo Christmas Party. AKA, the only time we get dressed up all year.
School seemed to go FOREVER this year, the 4th grade teachers were smart and took the kids on a field trip to the dinosaur museum.
I love getting to go on field trips and getting to know their friends better and seeing them in their element.
Paul and I took advantage of our babysitters being out of school by going to a morning showing of Rogue One. Can't beat the heaters on those recliners. and it was the best breakfast I have had in a long time. :)
We of course had our lazy moments too.
and I throughly enjoyed Sodalicious' chocolate cookie with peppermint frosting. Tasted just like Christmas.
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.