Sunday, December 26, 2010

Cookies for Santa, Pajama Elves, the "Big Day"....and even a "White Christmas"

The shopping is done, the festivities are pretty much ready, and it is time to start the Christmas traditions.  We always make cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve.  Some we give to neighbors, some we eat, and the kids usually pick 2 cookies that they really like to give to Santa.  I think the kids did a great job.
These are the chosen ones.  Just for Santa.  I hope he comes hungry. 
After dinner, it is time to talk about what Christmas really means and how important the Savior is and what he has done for us.  Sometimes we watch a movie, sometimes we go through a box of symbols of Christmas, this year we read the story of "The Three Trees".  After we talk about the Savior, the kids get to open one present.  ( They try so hard to convince us to open a second one, but of course we just stick to the one,)  Now I don't know if the Pajama Elves come to your house, but every year they come to our house.  Every year the kids think they are going to catch the sneaky little elves, but they never do.  This year they came during dinner.  Hunter must have heard something, 'cause he decided to look out the door after dinner, and what do you know?? Three boxes and in each box a pair of pajamas.  Sneaky little elves.  Right before the kids go to bed, I always like to read " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas".  The kids then looked on Jeremy's phone to see an update of where Santa was at that time and then off to bed they went and dreamt of Sugar Plums dancing in their heads.
This year the kids woke us up really early.  5 AM.  I couldn't believe it.  We tried to stall until about 5:45 and then we couldn't stall anymore.  We had to get up and join the kids down stairs.  Now, I don't know if you know much about Alabama, but usually it doesn't snow too much.  Every once in awhile some flurries, but nothing big.  Who would have ever thought we would wake up to a "White Christmas".  Growing up in Las Vegas, I remember I use to wish for that and my parents would say it is nice to wish, but it probably won't happen.  How lucky the kids were to wake up to all this snow.  It snowed all day, more in the night, and even more the next day.  (Now that Christmas is over though, I think it should go away,  I know longer wish for snow)  The kids had so much fun in it.  They haven't played in the snow since we left Virginia, so it was a real treat for them.
That is pretty much Christmas in a nutshell!
The kids had a great Christmas.  They got things they asked Santa for and maybe a few things they never thought to ask Santa for.  They played, played, played all day long.  By the end, we were all exhausted and grateful for all the things we had and for being with each other.  We even had "Roast Beast" with the neighbors.  Oh, what a day!

I wanted to add this picture.  Hunter got this Paper Jam Electric Guitar from Santa.  He has played for 2 days straight.  Jeremy finally got tired of  hearing it and gave him some earphones to plug into it.  Hunter has been asking for a guitar for awhile.  Since the real thing is a little pricey right now, Santa gave him this for now.  He sometimes wears his sunglasses, sometimes jumps in the air while playing it, sometimes he even might sing a little.  He is so funny. He is our little Rock Star. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Festival

Every year our stake has a big Christmas festival.  This festival is enjoyed by all around Huntsville and other areas near by.  It is enjoyed by members and non-members.  The community looks forward to it every year.  Prior to the festival, they collect nativity sets from all who will let the stake borrow them.  There are hundreds and they are all unique.  Some are from other cultures, some are very childlike, and some are very elegant.  They have very big ones and very small ones.  They even have a set that is distributed throughout the sets where the children can look for each piece like a scavenger hunt.  They display these through out the cultural hall along with Christmas quilts that many have sewn and Christmas trees decorated.  They even have a live nativity where you go from room to room watching as the story plays out.  They transform the rooms and hallway and it really looks as much as you can in a church, like being there.  It is very quiet going through this live nativity and very reverent.  The whole church is decorated with decorated fireplaces throughout and foyers decorated very home like.  They have a choir that sings at different times (which you should acquire tickets earlier because it is reserved seating).  They also take a family picture, if you would like.  This is ours.  Not too bad.  It was a very nice night.  The choir sounded beautiful and amazing with many added orchestra instruments involved as well.  What a great way to start the Christmas festivities.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Santa Claus

Every year, as with most of you, we take our kids to see Santa.  This is a most necessary event.  It is very important that the kids put in their order to Santa personally.  Sometimes their list is long, but I try to tell them to pick just a couple of things and to remember that even though Santa is listening, he doesn't always get what you most desire, but to be grateful for what you do get.  Here is what they ordered from Santa:

Megan asked for Legos, a puppet, and a ZuZu Pet,

 Emilee asked for a MP3 player and a doll (14 in. that you can dress),

 and Hunter asked for a Spider-Man Web Shooter.

Well, I hope they get what they wish for and that all of you have a very
 Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving is a great time of year to be with your family and friends.  Like many, we do not live near my family.  For so long, we did and I have many wonderful memories of Thanksgiving Day.  It is so fun to visit all day long, play games, and just hang out.  The food itself is overwhelming and there is so much and so many favorites that you look forward to all year long.  Because of all this food is the reason why I didn't cook Thanksgiving in my own home this year.  I am sorry to say, but it is way too much for just us, especially when your kids eat like little tiny birds.  Last year, my dad was in town, so it was worth cooking a great meal and smelling the turkey all day long.  This year it was just us, so we decided to head up to Nashville and eat at the Golden Corral.  Now, you laugh, but we were together, no cooking, and best of all no clean up. 
 There is a park that we like to go to in Nashville.  It has lots of fun things to do, wide open spaces to run, and some trails to hike through.  After we ate, we went to the park and played for the rest of the day.  It was fun.  We had a good time and even though we couldn't be with my extended family, at least we had a great dinner and time to spend with one another and that is something to be grateful for.