Monday, January 4

Holiday Favorites

An effort to document some of our holiday happenings . . .

Easton turned 6! True to the Bare within me, we didn't get to have his ice cream cake on his birthday - just a couple days late although it was made on his birthday! More on this in another post soon hopefully!

To help our kids get and share the Christmas spirit, I baked like a mad woman one day to pull together cookie plates for a FHE. We sure enjoyed singing and chatting with our friends!!! We may have to add more night of this next year it was sooo fun! With all us Americans and a British family so far from home, it just felt that much better to be out spreading Christmas cheer!

I gathered some new ward friends for a Christmas Eve party to enjoy food, chatting, a small-kid-friendly nativity play, and a fun game. What's Christmas without a gathering?! The fun Palmers hosted the whole crowd and the kids loved Staci's classic toys! Hurray for a yummy wassail recipe!

I got such a kick out of Ryan waking up early on Christmas morning to create a dreamy ambiance in the living room - lit up the tree, started the soft Christmas music, and lit candles. Every day he comes home, he lights up the tree and I love that about him!

Watching the kids handle the nativity set while Ryan read the story was real special to me. Baby Jesus definitely got some lovin' from Morgan's slobbery teething lips!

Easton opened DS games and tried to patiently find the elusive DS which Ryan had hid. All morning we captured his search with the camera but I won't post the whole thing! After the tree was emptied, he was so sure it was in his stocking and there were hints of waterworks when it wasn't there! Easton sure was in HEAVEN and Ryan loved orchestrating the run around!!!

(I'm still torn on the DS, but ordered a parenting book to salve my conscience and teach me how to set healthy age appropriate gaming limits. We'll see if it lives up to its good reviews! Easton will forego meals and all else to continue playing video games but he's also intuitively good at them. Striving for a healthy balance.)

McKay's waterworks were for real. New Leapster games paled in comparison to Easton's DS, unfortunately. Good thing Easton was such a good sport sharing and he knows how to work McKay by offering to help him get through rough spots!

Morgan burnt her finger on a candle Christmas morning. More waterworks, poor gal. Guilty parents! I think she likes her new pink bedding. She's been sleeping on the boys' old sheets her whole life so we were overdue! I'm sure she doesn't care, but I get a kick out of them!

I got the printer I really wanted and the Serenity pass which produced only internal waterworks that I kept in check. PHEW! That was close! Thanks Santa!!! I wish I was better at surprising Ryan although his Amazon wish list was such a blessing! Once again I vow to begin our shopping earlier especially now that shipping plays a key role!

McKay loved all the candy in the Christmas stockings. Yes, that's plural for a reason! I could do an entire post on what treats I find in his bed from his early morning kitchen raids! I don't even hear him up anymore!?

That weekend we enjoyed watching the Dicken's Little Dorrit mini-series, White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life, and A Christmas Carol (Richard Scott version's the best but we also did the audio book, great new tradition). The boys sure love all the old and new Christmas movies played on TV during the holidays - especially the old Rudolf, Frosty, and Santa ones but also even Barbie Nutcracker! Shhh, don't tell!

And what about the four-way Skype family call with my brother Matt serving his mission in Brazil?! Fresh out of the MTC in Brazil - that was AWESOME! Two US coasts and two foreign countries. Not bad, not bad at all! Love you, Matt!!!

At Home . . .

Easton using his new reading light to read stories each night to McKay. Oh how I love this!!! And with the rouland shades down during the day making it pitch black in their room, they can play with it during the day too! BONUS!

Having everyone home reinstated my belief in our need for a family responsibility chart! Maid is not spelled m-o-m!

Morgan decided she likes sleeping in! Her own rouland-down-black-out room, a growth spurt, hearty appetite, and new teeth made for even a couple 15 hour stints! But it also means she's unwilling to take any naps during the day.

Many musings over how to manage a large frisky Primary class this year. Help!!!

Happy New Year!
At least 45 minutes spent watching fireworks in cousin's Munich neighborhood! In addition to the big orchestrated shows, anyone in Germany can shoot off whatever they can afford and it's simply WILD and lasts forever! We also had lots of fun playing new and old favorite board games with cousins! Move the cheese ball dip away from me, I have NO self control!

New Year's Day I saw my first 3D movie - Avatar. Pretty cool, but I'm still just as happy at home watching shows in my pjs! Love that pause button and popcorn the way I like it! I'll leave it to the guys to be wow'd by all the new tech stuff.

Inspired once again by my sister-in-law's memory books for each person in her family! Oh she rocks this in such a manageable way that I again resolve to do better . . . once I get my house recovered from the holidays and school starting . . .

One of our favorite lines from that cute movie "Dan in Real Life" is when Steve Carrel's character is yelled at by his daughter for not understanding love as he sends her boyfriend packing. Oh it's tooooo classic! When our sister-in-law took down her Christmas tree Jan 2, Ryan playfully hollered a doctored version of the line at her: "YOU are a murderer of Christmas!" My cute boy loves Christmas trees, yes he does!

Now back to the school routine and soaking up what time I get with my little brew! Today it meant missing preschool for errands, playing in the snow instead of cartoons and naps, "Crabby Patties" for dinner (aka Sloppy Joes, but Easton often descends into a puddle of tears if he doesn't recognize what's being served), and playing with a new used doll house! Inspired by my family watching all our old family movies over the break and making me homesick to hear it, I took a lot of my kids tonight just being themselves. That was time well spent! Fun times, lots of pics and maybe I'll get around to sharing soon!