I hope everyone had a great Christmas! If you care, here's what we did to enjoy the week of Christmas!
Monday the kids had no school so Timo and I headed up to the DMV to get his license. It was pretty fast. We had enough time to drive to the thrift store (DI) to get some white elephant gifts for parties coming up. Then Timo went to a group presentation meeting. He was bummed he couldn't drive on his own there yet since insurance coverage had not begun. It really started snowing after we got back so I am glad we left early for the DMV. I was able to run errands to drop off dry cleaning, scout stuff, grocery shopping after dropping him off. That night we went to our neighbor's the Evans who had invited anyone in the neighborhood to dress up and come to act out the Nativity together. So we borrowed my mom's Nativity clothes and went. We were one of the only ones dressed up so my kids were mad at me—too bad! Everyone else thought it was great. It was a great night and we were done by 7:30 PM! (see Izak, Zane and Gwen the wise guys!)
Tuesday we woke up to a huge snowstorm, we had more than a foot. Taran had been asked to come into work by 7 AM and luckily he made it safe. I ran to get milk in Tim's car and got stuck at our local Walmart not because of the snow although I did slide around here and there because the snow plows had not made it there yet. So hopefully the car will get fixed this week. Tim picked me up and after snow blowing everything, he went to work. I made sugar cookie dough that morning. I watched my neighbor's twins since she got called into work last minute (nurse) and her kids had a half day of school still (they go to a charter school). We got them all outfitted and they joined in the sledding fun all morning! After the twins left and Taran got back we were able to go to Tim's sister's Amy to make Christmas paint cookies. It's a Pew tradition that I love! You use food coloring and egg yolks with a little water and paint it on the raw cookies and then bake it. The kids had fun and got to play with cousins and I enjoyed visiting with Amy. Taran came and got us around 4PM. And we got ready for Timo's white elephant party with his friends that night. I think he had 17 friends, boys and girls. They brought treats to share, we provided some as well. They played games, did the white elephant then watched Trapped in Paradise on Clearplay. They had a lot of fun but it didn't get over until 11:30 PM!
Wednesday was Tim's last day at work for the year—YIPEE. He took the van since I didn't need one and we had Taran's if we needed one. Timo actually ended up driving himself to his study group and had a little mishap with the emergency brake. I went visiting teaching that morning to one lady. We had a nice visit. Then my sister Teresa picked me up at 12:30 PM. We went shopping all over...she had my name for Christmas and she goes big whatever she does! She also had gotten in touch with United Way to see if they needed anymore help with sub for Santa. They had 35 more families (over 2,000 families had been helped in Utah County alone) in need so she volunteered. It was fun to shop for the family, I ended up buying a couple of extra things for them. Anyway, we went all over then Tim picked me up at Target and we went to Costco for some things and ended up eating dinner there. Then we went to the lights at Thanksgiving Point. Teresa had gone out there to look in some shops there so we picked her up and she saw the lights with us.
That is always fun. Then Tim took the kids (minus Taran and Timo who had Iron Chef for YM) to his parents' to watch the Boise St. vs Utah bowl game. Teresa and I continued shopping but made our way to the sub for Santa family to drop of the stuff. They seemed very appreciative and it was nice to help. We stopped by my parents' for a little bit then on to the mall. I know some of you would faint to shop so long but I actually enjoyed it because no one was asking me if we were almost done, blah, blah... Of course I also enjoyed spending that time with my sister too! We got home late but it was fun. I actually had very little actual shopping to do mostly stocking things and some practical things that we needed. Taran had a Christmas party after the Iron Chef competition so he got home late!
Thursday I took the little boys around to deliver to friends who live outside our neighborhood some small Christmas treat. I also had stuff for my scouts as well and other random things like picking up dry cleaning and doing the Christmas Eve food shopping etc. I also went to Smiths because I thought I might have left my cell phone there but no luck! WHERE IS IT??? At 12:30 PM we left for the BYU Art Museum. They have a Carl Bloch exhibit, it's free but you have to get tickets because they only allow so many patrons at a time. Carl Bloch was a Danish artist who painted quite a lot of religious paintings many that our church uses that depict Christ. We spent about 45 minutes there and we saw some other exhibit as well. Yes we took everyone, I am really trying to give them some culture! Towards the end the younger boys were a little nuts but we let them run all the way to the BYU Bookstore. That was fun, I haven't been there in years! I got some things and then we left—the others looked for things for each other but didn't have much luck. So we headed to my mom's, she was hosting our annual Joseph Smith Birthday Party combined with my niece Holly's 3rd birthday. Since we were early I borrowed her car and took Taran shopping for Micah and Tim took our can with Micah who was buying for Timo and Izak who was buying for Taran—you can see why Tim couldn't just take them all. We also got some balloons and stuff that my mom wasn't going to have time to get. So it worked out. We got back in time for the party. It was great, Holly was so cute about her presents she liked them, we had our white elephant gift exchange and the fake log with glowing eyes was the big hit and then we shared our feelings/testimony about Joseph Smith. If you are not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (some have nicknamed us Mormons) you may not understand how Joseph Smith revealed many important truths about Jesus Christ. Many think we worship him but that is so untrue but more revere because we have greater knowledge of the divinity of Jesus Christ and his mission. It is so real, and you can know for yourself which is the beauty of it by praying and asking God. He will answer all sincere prayers. So it was a really great evening and we left a little later than we should have but family is always a blessing.
Friday I found myself at Walmart—again! HOW? Oh, forgot about this and Tim can't find that in the store so I better ...so I went and got the last of what I needed! Then he went and got stuff for me. We did laundry and Saturday chores. I helped clean up the playroom and got 2 bags of toys to donate, one for the nursery at church and the other for charity. That was a relief! I really wanted my room cleaned up for Christmas so I worked on that, it was such an organization nightmare with all the Christmas stuff piled up and lack of time to get laundry sorted and given out—our little kids put their laundry away I just wash it. So all the baskets were full in my room! Taran went sledding with his friends up the canyon. He had a lot of fun. The kids played football in the backyard since most of the snow had melted and it was a pleasant day! That evening my parents and sister Teresa came over for dinner and a little Christmas experience...not sure what to call it! Tim and I set up candles coming down to the family room and in the family room and we turned off the lights.
Then everyone came down and we sat on blankets on the floor eating simple cheeses, summer sausage, Prosciutto, crackers, artisan bread, blanched almonds, cashews, craisins, dried mangoes, red grapes, Clementines, cheese ball, wheat thin sticks, onion dip, grape juice and Martinelli's Sparkling Cider. After our yummy feast the kids each shared a song or two most chose Christmas songs—Taran made up an arrangement of Jingle Bells on his bass guitar. After that we watched a couple of Christmas Nativity things—really short in length. Then we sang Christmas Carols and were done. My parents and Teresa left after we opened our annual pj present opening. We did some other things that were anonymous so I don't want to get into it anymore than that but it's been a nice tradition we've done the last 2 years! All the little kids and Emily slept in the little boys' room. Emily read to them. I think it helped. Then it was work getting everything wrapped and set up. Thank goodness Taran and Timo helped us out! We got bed after 1 AM even with their help. We watched While You Were Sleeping while we worked.
Christmas morning the kids got up just before 8 AM, probably the latest ever! We stalled them so Taran and Timo could sleep longer. By 8:30 AM we had the video camera set up and ready to roll! Everyone enjoyed their presents. It's the up side of not having a lot of money is that you are limited in choices you have. So we are careful and try to make them count. I also am against having so much they can't appreciate. That's why we have them only buy for one sibling, so they get one Santa gift, one sibling gift and 2 grandparent gifts. This year I made them photo books from our reunion to Yellowstone since we used some of our Christmas money to pay for it—hence no present from us except clothes (which most of them needed anyway). I am thinking they get a lot especially when you times it by 7! My sister surprised us with a fusball table on our porch!
Tim's parents came by that morning to have us open their presents. It was nice to spend that time with them. Then they went to Tim's sisters who live in Utah as well. Then we went to my parents' and had brunch, opened presents and visited. Some went outside and tried out their new football, then we went to a nearby school and the little kids played on the playground and the older kids shot hoops or played football. The kids also watched Despicable Me which our kids gave Tim. We'll have to watch it some day! We went home just before 7 PM so Tim and I could hang a Welcome Home sign on our neighbor's house—they were bringing their daughter home from England and had spent the week there and came home Christmas. The mother had asked me to do it and I was glad to. Then we went back to at 10 PM with an assortment of awesome neighbors who came to sing Silent Night to them. It was really sweet and Lizzie hugged us all after, she is just a doll. It was truly a great way to end the evening! Although I did move laundry and finish up my lesson for Sunday—somewhat anti-climatic!
Today was church and very inspiring talks and music in Sacrament Meeting. I taught my class but it was just a review of the whole year of the Old Testament. We played a game to review but my whole point was to testify and remind them the purpose of the Old Testament was to prepare the people for the coming of Jesus Christ. RS was good especially since the lesson was based on President Uchtdorf's talk The Things That Matter Most (?) now I can't remember! Anyway, with a new year ahead it's a good time to think through am I rejoicing in my life or do I need a change of focus? He gives 4 relationships that will help us have joy and fulfillment: God, family, mankind and ourselves. Love it! Read it!
After lunch I read to Gwen until I couldn't stay awake anymore then I had a slight nap. I got to visit on the phone with my friend Melissa who is down from Boise we are trying to hook up this week! Tim, Timo and Taran all had hometeaching this week. We had our devotional and dinner. We wrote down our gift for Jesus during our devotional. After things were settled down after baths, Tim and I went to his parents to pick up a roast that I am suppose to cook for our family dinner at their house tomorrow night. We had a nice visit. The kids played games and watched Veggie Tales and were in bed when we returned. I love that they have time to do that since they don't have school this week!
Have a great week! Enjoy your last week of 2010! Remember all you've learned and all your blessings and may your new year be even better!