Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Fun

What a great week this has been. We had such a wonderful Christmas! Just a quick summary of all our festivities-

The boys went to Auntie Ronna's for a cousin get-together that she has every year. She has them over to make birthday cakes for Jesus so they remember the true reason for the season and they also had fun playing hide and seek outside.

Then on Christmas Eve day we joined Adam at work for a holiday party which is actually kind of lame but we enjoy seeing everyone in the office and enjoy being at work with Dad. Every year the boys get their picture with Santa at the party but the line was way too long and we wanted to flee the party so Adam had them just stand off to the side and catch Santa in the was pretty funny!

See...there's Santa in the background! ha haThe boys with Adam in his office

After the work party that ended at 11am we went and enjoyed lunch at the Olive Garden. The soup was absolutely delicious. It was great on such a cold, wet day. Then we went home and got some last minute stuff done before the Christmas Eve festivities began. Adam's family all came over for Christmas Eve (which was the first time we have hosted it) and I loved it! We ate yummy food, we had a program focusing on the birth of Christ, we opened gifts and played games. It was wonderful! After everyone left, the kids were put to bed and Adam and I were up very late wrapping gifts, making up cinnamon rolls for breakfast and getting things ready for Christmas morning.
The boys actually didn't get up 'till 8am. It was great! They are wearing the pajamas that their Grammie gave them on Christmas Eve. She gives them pajamas every is a tradition. Zack wore the Santa hat because his hair was sticking up and he knew that I would be taking alot of pictures.

All of us were delighted with the gifts that we received. Some of the top favorites were: Zack got a cell phone and bongo drums, Matthew got a new phone and a mixer/speaker/microphone system, Adam got a new laptop and Pam was so surprised with a new sewing machine and really surprised with a new Nikon camera with an extra lens. Love it! We were all spoiled this year but most of all me and the boys were...thanks Adam-we love you! We enjoyed the rainy Christmas day just hanging out and playing with all of our new stuff. It was truly a wonderful Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Busyness

No matter how much you think that you are ready for Christmas, and you think that you have everything done early so that you can relax over the holidays, you fool yourself because you seem to be busier than ever. I really thought that I was on top of things this year and for the most part, I was, but I seemed to fill any spare time up with what I call Christmas 'busy'ness. Time just fills up with shopping, baking, filling out Christmas cards, post office, cleaning, wrapping and shopping again. I can't complain because I have fit in time for plenty of fun, lunches and movies with friends and hanging with my family and let's face it, isn't that what Christmas is all about:) It has been a packed month so far but I wouldn't have it any other way, I do consider myself kind of a party girl so it is great that a month is set aside to do just that.

We did get to go to Zack's first band concert at school this last week. He is playing percussion and so far is enjoying it. They actually sounded pretty good for their first year. He even played a solo at the concert on the xylophone. He played "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay and he did a great job. I was so proud of him.
(Once again, Zack with a serious pose)

This last week has also been a very cold one here in CA. I am sure that it is alot colder other places but for us here it was freezing!! Which I really don't mind because it is a nice change but I am glad that it only lasts for a little bit here. We even had snow on our Simi it!! I do need to mention how grateful I am though, that I get to park in the garage especially on cold mornings when I am taking Matthew to seminary. I would see Adam's car (which is parked in the driveway) and it would be frozen over and it looked so cold. I think the doors even stuck a bit when he tried to open them. And yet I could just climb into my warmer car, still cold but warmer, and back out of the garage without even having to defrost the windows. I am so thankful for the garage and that I have the privilege of parking in it. Thank you Adam!
But also in this colder weather I love to have hot chocolate. A couple of years ago I had purchased this hot water thermos at Walmart for cheap and it was one of the best purchases I have made. I fill it with hot water in the morning and it keeps it hot practically all day long. So whenever you are wanting hot chocolate in my house, just go to the counter and you will find the cocoa, marshamallows and hot water waiting for you and without too much effort, voila, you have your hot cocoa. Love it!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Parties

This last week the Christmas festivities have begun! Last Thursday night we had our Ward's RS Christmas Progressive Dinner. It was such a great time, chatting it up and laughing with the girls all night. My cheeks and my stomach muscles hurt from laughing too much! The RS put together a nice meal for us and a nice slide show and all in all it was a great night. Good food, good entertainment and great friends! Who could ask for more? (Sorry no pictures, I forgot my camera:(

Then last Friday night we had our Ward Christmas Party. The primary kids put on the nativity scene and Zack was able to play Joseph, which will probably be his last time playing it for Primary because he moves up to YM's next year. I remember many times being in the Nativity. I believe I always played an angel (or an animal), I never got to be Mary. Whats up with that? Anyways the nativity was quite enjoyable, really not in a spiritual way but an entertaining way. Can we just say that it was WWF meets the Christmas Story? It was enjoyed by all, at least our table:) Then Santa came and of course I had to get pictures of my boys with Santa, even though they are saying they are too old, as long as they live in my house a picture with Santa is a must. The Christmas season is the best!!
Zack as Joseph

Matthew and Zack with Santa

Blast from the past
Me as an angel and my brother as a shepherd

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What were you thinking?

My Dad loves knights, the kind in suits of armor. In fact, he has a cool suit of armor that stands about 5 feet tall. Well to go along with his knight collection he has started to collect swords and he ended up having alot of them. I do not understand the fascination with knives, swords and such. In fact everytime we go to the Oaks mall, Adam and the boys love to go to the knife store. Whatever! I have been going to that mall for years and I never even knew it was there. Boys and their weapons?!? Anyways, when we went up for Thanksgiving my Dad tells the boys that he would love to have them pick out one of his swords that they could have but he needed to get our permission first. So me being the silly and non-thinking Mom that I am, I said "Sure, you can have one of PaTa's swords." I was thinking that it will be special to them because it is from their Grandpa but it will not be just sitting in their room so that they can "play" with it just anytime. In fact, I will be in charge of it. All I need is sword fights going on with "real" swords. I believe that someone would end up missing a limb.

Then not only did my Dad give the boys each a sword but he ended up giving Adam a sword also. What? I am the only girl in our house and now he has armed all the males in the house with sharp swords? I think that I am the one who needs a weapon. Thanks Dad!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pet Peeve

I have come to realize that I have a lot of pet peeves but this is one that really bugs me and I just happened to catch it on film. I don't know if this happens in your house but it always happens in ours. I can't stand going into the refrigerator or pantry and pulling out something that is empty or basically gone. Finding a milk carton with not even a swig of milk in it, left in the fridge, drives me crazy! Are they really just too lazy to throw the milk carton away or what? The worse is when I look in the pantry and see that there are still Lucky Charms left that I can have for breakfast and I reach for the box and find that there are only a few crumbs left at the bottom. Urghh! I won't mention names but someone (Matthew, Zack and Adam) never finish anything completely off and then throw it away. I find cereal boxes, cracker boxes, milk cartons, etc, with barely anything left in them. Just finish it off already and throw the box or carton away! Is that really too much to ask? Yeah it drives me crazy.


Come on! You can't just eat the rest of that!

All Important Christmas List

Yeah I know that my boys are getting older but I still require them to make a Christmas wish list or what was formerly called their letter to Santa. They know that if they do not write out a list that they take the chance of getting nothing for Christmas or better yet, socks and underwear. Now I have been saving these lists for years and they have become priceless. (Of course I made copies because the originals were sent to Santa;) It is interesting reading the lists through the years and to see how they have changed. Gone are the days of asking and wishing for toys...simple toys. Toys that were fun to shop for and that did not cost very much and yet would bring the biggest smile to their faces. Gone are the days of waiting in line at Toys R Us the day after Thanksgiving walking out with a cart full of toys and not breaking the bank to do so. One of my favorite years was when Matthew had on his list: weapons and vending machine. That is when I realized that times were changing and also that I was dwelling in a definite "boy" house....I think that Adam asked for the same things that year:)
I love also the differences in Zacks and Matthews lists. Matthews are scrawled out on a piece of paper, barely legible, with many crossed out words and messy. Zacks are written very neatly in cursive writing, very legible, adorned with his artwork of Christmas symbols and the word "please" written on the bottom. Gotta love it!
Now their lists are full of very expensive items and ones that are not fun to shop for. In fact I pretty much let Adam take care of the shopping now. He knows this stuff better than me. I do miss the days of the many toys and them having alot of presents to open on Christmas morning instead of now only having maybe one or two because of the cost of each item. I still hope that whatever they may get that I will still see that joy in their face on Christmas morning. I know that Christmas is not all about gifts but I do get that excitement of seeing my kids excited as they open their gifts. It brings joy to my heart!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas!

I love the Christmas season! But then again who doesn't:) Finally, the house is starting to look like Christmas and smell like it too, with goodies baking and candles burning. No tree smell because our tree is fake (and I love it) but I will be picking up a real wreath at Costco so the smell will be here. We haven't put the ornaments on the tree yet but I kind of like it plain because by the time we put all the different ornaments on, it looks kind of messy. No uniform, pretty tree for me. The tree will be filled with homemade, special meaning, kids picked out and vacation spot ornaments. None of the ornaments match but they all have special meaning even the really goofy ones. It is like going through a memory box when we start hanging them. Good times, good times.....I love Christmas!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

So much to be thankful for......

Thanksgiving was the best!! We were able to go to Utah to spend Thanksgiving with all of my family...all 46 of us now and soon to be 49 with 3 babies being born this next year. It is amazing how it keeps on growing. It was great to see everyone and spend time catching up with one another. My Dad is doing amazing and it looks as though we will have him longer than the 6 months that they gave him to live. His cancer has shrunk and we have definitely witnessed the power of prayer and fasting. We are thankful for every extra day we have him here on earth:)

We had Thanksgiving dinner at a beautiful lodge in Zion's, (courtesy of my parents), that was absolutely delicious! That night we all got together down at the clubhouse in their neighborhood and were able to enjoy dessert and games. All in all the weekend was great. We enjoyed football, bowling, golfing, movies and most importantly spending time with one another. I sure do love my family and feel so blessed to be a part of it. There are too many pictures to post so I am only posting a few-
Look alike cousins

Driving Range

All the return missionaries in the family singing "Called to Serve"


Cool bowling shoes----flourescent!

The boys with their grandparents

Our little family
Thanksgiving dinner
Huge table and this wasn't even all of us!