Tuesday, December 29, 2015

REJOICE The Lord is King

December 20 -26, 2015

We still did our daily acts of Christmas service and study of a name of Christ - I just don't want to take the brain power to remember what it was and write it down.

Sunday, 12.20.15
This week we are ponderizing:

I stayed up way too late finished the Primary gifts, FHE in a jar. They are cool, hope the families will use them.

The little girls dresses didn't arrive in time so I only got individual pictures of the oldest two. The boys did get new ties. I think this might be the first time I didn't get a picture of them all together in front of the Christmas tree on the Christmas program Sunday. Hope I'm not slipping!

It was Christmas program Sunday. We went to Nyssa 2 sacrament meeting because they had asked the primary to sing 2 songs in their Christmas program. It was enjoyable to be included. Definite flash backs of the primary program going on. We had rearranged the times for the Spanish branch so that the Primary could come sing in our sacrament meeting. It meant I wasn't able to do singing time but its ok because we did lots of singing. When the Primary kids came filing into the chapel with their arms all folded it was so precious. They did such a great job singing "Noche de Luz." They were loud and sweet & it is one of my favorite Christmas memories. Emma's class of 4 girls sang the 2nd verse and Spencer sang the last verse.

The live nativity was that evening at 5:30 and 7. It was cold. So the kids and I only stayed for the first one. Kurt was in and out in between tithing settlements and interviews. The live nativity was 30 minutes long and the youth did a great job. I'm so glad Austin had the chance to participate, especially when he told me on the way home that he is glad he did it because it felt the spirit. There was hot chocolate and donuts afterwards.

Monday, 12.21.15
First things first, we slept in. And it was glorious. I don't care what else happens the rest of the week. Just kidding, I still care. But it felt so good.

We got busy on our Santa's workshop {making our hand-made gifts for each other. We also put together going away presents for Tio.} We turned on some Christmas music and got it done.
 Emma is working on a calendar for Miss Amber - it is a big undertaking. It looks amazing. 

 working on Jane's present - entire alphabet out of modeling clay.

The older girls were still making lots of cool designs with their spin-o-graphs. They are getting good.

That afternoon we all went to Ontario to run errands. Austin had a list put together of items he needed to buy to make various robots from the book he got from the cousin's gift exchange. Clearly a good fit book for him. We also got items to put together hygiene kit and delivered them to our local women's shelter. We all agree that it was an enjoyable Christmas daily service.

We also went to Bi-Mart to pick out our Christmas presents for Kurt. They had each earned money from doing extra chores. It was good for them to stay on a budget. Jane picked out some candy for him. "This is for me." We are buying present for dad. "Ok. This is for ME and dad. I will share with dad."

We had just enough time to wrap up the presents before dad and Tio came home. We had dinner, NDH and then he opened up the presents.
The minute we got home Emma had the brilliant idea to draw a picture of Tio {especially since he had just given Ruth and Emma portraits. She pulled up a picture and 10 minutes later had it framed and wrapped. Now that is thoughtful and efficient gift giving at its finest.
 card & ornament from Ruth {as clear evidence she loves creating with pom pom currently.} 

We had also put together a calendar for him. I'm thankful that I take so many pictures because it was very easy to put together a years worth a memories together to make the calendar. It was well received. He is also sporting the OREGON hat the kids picked out for him. We are going to miss him! He instantly was family and has a special place in our hearts.

After FHE Austin puts together one of the robots. It spins. Super fun. Good book Kelli!

The oldest 3 slept out in the living room. YAY for Christmas break!!

Tuesday, 12.22.15
Lucy had smart gym that morning. I honestly wouldn't have gone except they were having a Christmas party and of course Lucy really wanted to go. Austin had open gym basket ball practice at 11 so he came with. I brought Ruth so we could go on a mommy date. Anna let everyone play at gym. Austin and Ruth thought they had hit the jackpot! I got in on the fun too.

After dropping Austin off at the school. Ruth and I ran to one store for a Christmas present and then for lunch at Pizza Hut. She told me to eat at the salad bar so I could stay healthy. I'm glad she's looking out for me. Glad for this sweet girl and some one-on-one time with her even though she was hiding from the camera.

When we got home we got ready to have the Drapers over to make gingerbread houses. I was so glad that so many took my suggestion to make nativity scenes instead this year. I love the way they turned out and seeing each person's creativity. We will not discuss the overload of candy that is always consumed, its part of the creative process I'm sure!

Halle never actually built one. But she did use a glue stick to try to glue her fingers to her graham cracker. She was so patient about it too.

By the time Jane woke up there was just a few cracker pieces left and so we put together the manger bed for baby Jesus {and 3 chickens.} It was the perfect size for her.

 Emma had extensive detail in hers. Including 3 chickens roosting in the rafters, an impressive star and various livestock with the wisemen and shepherds.

This might come as a shock but Spencer built Hogwarts, the school of witchcraft and wizardry. 
Lots of details and lots of students {tootsie rolls.}

Lucy and Ruth joined the sleeping party under the tree that night. Still loving Christmas break!

Wednesday, 12.23.15
We had plans to make cookies in West Fall with Julie and kids. Again I struggled to get out the door on time. It always seems like I have 5 errands to run before I can actually leave. 10 minutes to Vale Ruth tells me that she doesn't fell well and that she is going to throw up. Unfortunately I didn't take any action from that warning an a minute later she is throwing up {a lot} in the car. Since Jane is potty trained the car is less equipped and I had nada. We drove to RPM and Kurt grabbed some supplies and helped me get the mess under control. Quite honestly I would love to drive that car off a cliff. But realistically I need to pray it'll last until our houses sell. Anyhow I got side tracker. Kurt had to go to Nyssa for a job so Austin agreed to go home and babysit Ruth so the rest of us could keep our plans.

It all worked out and I'm glad because we had a really good time. I had brought up my cookie dough {double batch} and the kids and I got to work cutting out the cookie shapes and baking. It was wonderful to talk to Julie with minimal distractions and let the cousins play.

 But finally the decorating part & most importantly sampling!

 We made a lot of cookies.

 A total of 14 plates when were were done {not counting all the ones eaten in production!} Cookies to give away and cookies for Santa. I hope to make this a yearly tradition.

Ahhh Luke is such a cutie. He really likes to smile for me {ok fine. everyone.}

 a snow covered tramp is still fun!

There was no mutual that evening so Kurt and I went on a date making visits to branch members {we gave away all the cookies I brought home plus the frame living Christ in Spanish.} Service is always my favorite date night {especially midweek.}

Thursday, 12.24.15
We woke up Christmas Eve morning to snow. Ahhh so magical and perfect for Christmas Eve. The anticipation of Christmas Eve is almost JUST as exciting as Christmas day. I kinda love it!

The little girls and I cuddled with blankets and Christmas stories.
 The boys wrestled because you know, nothing says Christmas like a good wrestle fest.

Kurt went to work until about 1. In the meantime Spence and I went Grocery Outlet so we could pick up food items to deliver with our caroling that afternoon. Spence makes a good {cute} elf.

Kurt took the oldest kids to carol to our neighbors while I finished the putting together the food baskets. Then we loaded up the food baskets for branch members and set out to deliver them. This is a perfect Christmas Eve activity and I love it. I want my kids to love it, love the joy of giving and helping others. I'm glad my husband gets it and doesn't mind that I make our lives a bit crazy with all the things I want to do. He is my perfect partner in crime. 

The girls made these beautiful cards to pass out with our deliveries. 

We did 3 in Nyssa and 3 in Vale and finished just in time to head to Grandma Romans Christmas party at the Grange Hall in Vale. It worked out perfectly. The food was good, the company was good and of course the kids would tell you the presents from grandma were GREAT. It was a nice evening. We were done by 7 because others were anxious to go and we didn't do the talent show this year. 

 Singing songs in hopes that Santa will come.

 Notice that Austin was too old to sit on Santa's lap. But not too big to get a present from Grandma! We really appreciate your kind generosity Grandma!

Grandma and all the great grands

We went home to finish the night with our traditions. First up the nativity. We had a very happy, lively and excited angel. She was perfect for the job in proclaiming the Savior's birth!

 Poor little shepherd in training was not feeling well at this point. 

Afterwards we had a testimony share and that was another favorite Christmas memory for me. Grateful for these sweet spirits and that we can grow in the gospel together.

The kids opened their new Christmas jammies & we attempted to get a picture of it.

The girls got treats ready for Santa while the others moved mattress and blankets and pillows to our bedroom for our yearly sleepover in mom & dad's room {by FAR Kurt's favorite Christmas tradition. hahaha} With the younger 3 girls sick it in not make for the best sleep over. And for some reason I had very few presents wrapped and so again I had to stay up way too late to get everything wrapped. I don't want to repeat that again. Santa came and left before I was done. Jane woke up at 5:30 coughing and since we were all together EVERYONE was up. There was no holding them back at that point. We were upstairs in full Christmas swing by 5:45 am.

 I love this shot of all the kids creeping upstairs to see Christmas 

Ruth was SOO excited that Santa had filled Marie-Grace's stocking with a candy cane and a chalkboard. She checked her stocking before her own presents.
 Yoga Flashlight

 Santa brought LEGOS this year. 4 out of the 6 kids asked for Legos. Emma got Lego Friends tour  bus, Spencer Lego Star Wars, Austin Lego Ninajo and Jane a tub of girl real lego bricks!

Austin was already building before I got over to get a picture of him! He doesn't waste time. He was right behind him. I love the quiet concentration of happy builders. Emma took her time and built over the next day or so enjoying her other presents as well.

Ruth got a Calico Critter school house and a beaver family. 
 Lucy got her American Girl doll - Mary Ellen Larkin!!
 I was nervous at first that she wasn't excited about it because she didn't immediately start playing with her. But as the morning wore on she acted just as I had anticipated. That afternoon they went for a walk together together, she her a tour of our house and changed her clothes 5 million times.

The real excitement started when she got matching dresses.

The hot chocolate bar was a success!

 Sadly this was a real part of Christmas too. 

I love watching the sibling exchange.

 Necklace Lucy made for Emma 

When Jane looked into the bag of letters that Spencer had molded out of clay she pulled one out and immediately swished it. We all looked at each other - uuuhhhh - we explained to her that he made the ABC's so she could learn her letters. Her response in a deep scratchy voice was, "I'm squishing the letters!!"

LOVE the hamburger pillowcase Ruth made. She did such a good job sewing.

Lucy gave Ruth this frame she made in smart gym. 

 Can never have too much lego love.

 Spencer picked out Nacho Libre for Kurt. Of course! I don't want to count how many times they've watched it!!

I got Kurt a selfie stick for our trip to Hawaii. Emma went to town! 50 selfies later throughout the house. hahaha There were some fun pictures to it was best to just create a project life page. ;)

 Austin's set completely built.
 The boys both got some coal in their stocking
Kurt surprised me with this statue of Christ. I've seen it in Deseret Book but never dreamed about it because it is too expensive. It is beautiful and I love it. Good job Kurt keeping a good surprise!

Kurt and I gave the kids Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh gifts this year {just like we gave the Savior.} Myrrh was something for their body {socks}, Frankinsense was something to increase our worship. I made a Sunday box {activities to help us keep the Sabbath day holy} and everyone got something to put inside it {games, puzzles, magnets, etc...} Gold was the big gift. All the kids got the gift of TIME, the best gift we can give. There was a small present to represent the large gift of time. Jane got a trip to the zoo {barn with animals.} Lucy got a trip to the Bibbi Bobbi Boutque when we go to Disney Land {a princess Belle hat with long beautiful hair.} Ruth got a trip to the American Girl store {a mini doll of Rebecca.} Spencer got a trip to the Harry Potter Wizarding World in Universal Studios {HP trival pursuit game.} Emma got a build-your-own-entertainment package. She gets to choose 4 ballets, plays or musicals for us to attend together {purse, necklace and earrings to wear to the show.} Austin's gift was a little different. He got the gift of TRUST. And his very own Kindle Fire. He was shocked. I loved watching his face as he opened it. Complete disbelief, shock and then excitement. It came with a list of rules and expectations and I'm excited for him. Here we go into another stage of parenthood.

                                                               Frankincense gifts

 We had a traditional Mexican Christmas lunch of tamales. 
 Found this one passed out late in the afternoon. I too had to take a nap - too many late nights

This monkey kept sneaking mini chocolate chips from the hot chocolate bar:
 "My Christmas needs chocolate!"

Showing Mary Ellen her new home. 

Bill and Cindy came over for dinner on their stops to see everyone on Christmas day. The kids loved showing them about their presents.

We used my new candle sticks from Israel {thanks mom}for our "fancy" dinner.

Ruth let Lucy borrow her travel doll bed for Mary Ellen.

The boys playing Star Wars Risk into the late hours.

I really loved having my own tree this year. Thank you Kurt!

I also enjoyed talking to family. It was a perfect, quiet, at home with the ones I love Christmas.

Saturday, 12.26.15 
A lot of the same laid back goodness from Christmas. Kurt and I worked on projects in the afternoon. This is how I found Jane when I woke up. Just sitting on the couch with presents around her in a daze. Poor girl. Ready for her to be feeling better.

 Emma finished her Lego bus and got out all her Legos and set them up. 
 Jane likes to line up her toys too. 
 Chocolate candy land game from Santa {Spencer won!}
All of the pictures from Grandma Karen lined up in the little girls room. We thought it was hilarious.
 Our diva princess. 

My projects consisted of taking down the Christmas trees. It seemed depressing to do it so soon but Hawaii is calling.

Kurt tackled fixing our bed and I organizing the craft room {both things I told myself had to be done for us to go to Hawaii.}

Kurt took the boys to see the new Star Wars movie that afternoon. We are doing group dates before we leave to Hawaii. The boys loved it and spent an hour at Jack in the Box discussing it over milkshakes. Kurt said it is exactly like all the other movies. At least it is consistent right.

~~~Romans Reflections~~~
- Austin came home with this treasure he made in school.

- Spencer comes in, "I'm Mexican Santa." Our cultrual confusion continues. 
 - One night I grabbed Spencer's pillow and was amazed at what I found under neath it! Apparently Ruth isn't the only one would hides her treasures.

Home Again

June 3 - 9, 2018 Sunday, 06.03 Monday, 06.04   Tuesday, 06.05 Wednesday, 06.06 Happy 2nd Birthday to sweet Eleanor!! ...