I'm so far behind in my blogging that the whole task is starting to haunt me. It's kind of depressing how often I think about blogging without actually doing it.
I wanted to give a recount of our Christmas adventures, but thought a chronological travel log would be a bit boring. So, I'm mixing it up and just sharing a few favorites by person. Here we go!
Neil is at that wonderful age where he really doesn't care what is going on, as long as I'm holding him. Actually, he's gotten better over the past couple of weeks-- he's walking! It's so cute, and I love the freedom his new skill is giving him (and me!).
Neil's favorite part of Christmas was the breakfast we had-- particularly the strawberries. He is becoming quite the independent eater.
What else to say about Neiler? He wasn't interested in the presents, although he did like to rip the paper. He grinned during the caroling, and loved eating the little mandarin oranges. Neil whined in the cold weather, but cheered up quickly when offered hot chocolate. He's a pretty easy-going little boy.
Gordon was disappointed to learn that despite the two pages of elf costumes in his favorite catalog (Oriental Trading Co.), we would not be dressing up for Christmas. He reminded me several times that his favorite holiday is Halloween and what he really wants is candy.
A couple of Gordonisms from the Christmas season:
When asked what he wants for Christmas: "Some fake smoke and some fake fire." On another occasion, "A dog I can stand on."
"We wish you a merry Neil-Na, we wish you a merry Neil-Na, and a Happy Neil-NA!"
When we went to see the lights in Salt Lake City, Gordon was beyond thrilled to ride on the Trax train. Just look at that smug satisfaction!
Actually, there was a little bit of dressing up for Gord-- he and his pre-school classmates got to wear reindeer antlers for their program. I love pre-school programs-- they are SO cute! Gord and his class acted out the Gingerbread Man story and Gordon was the gingerbread man himself! I think we have a little actor-in-training-- he sure loved being the center of attention!
Gordon enjoyed Christmas morning and probably liked the act of opening the presents even more than the presents themselves. He does love his camo-print jammies.
Overall, I think Gordon was pretty satisfied with his gifts, especially the candy in his stocking. Maybe next year I'll honor his wishes and let him dress up like an elf and go knock on peoples' doors. They'd probably get a kick out of it.
Thomas had a really fun month. He spent nearly every free minute playing with friends and cousins, eating the treats people brought over, and begging me for a Nintendo DS. My answer was, "nope," every time, but as you will see, I'm a pushover.
Tom is still young enough to gladly accept his role as "Joseph" in our nativity reenactment, but too old to smile like a happy little kid when asked. I'm already saving money for braces.
Another cute Christmas jammies picture... at least I think it's cute...
Ah, Christmas morning. Well, we didn't just present him the DS right away, which I think was very smart. After all of the other presents were opened, Chris told Tom to look behind the chair for one more present "we forgot about." He was so thrilled to open the DS-- and I definitely appreciated the very sincere thanks. It turned out to be the gift of the year as he has been pretty much glued to it ever since. Don't worry-- I'm not just letting him sit and vegitate-- he has to have all sorts of chores and practicing done before he can play!
Elise-- don't worry, I'm not going to talk about myself in the 3rd person.
I love Christmastime. I love the decoration, the food, the merry-making. It's such a fun time of year. This year was a little bit hard for me, mostly because I'm not in my own space. I didn't get my own ornaments out, and only some of my own decorations. Don't get me wrong-- my mom has really cute stuff, and much more than I have. But I missed my little things and the traditions that I've started with my own nuclear family, and I'm excited to get back to those next year.
I did make my traditional caramels, though, and they were fabulous. Mmm, I wish I had some right now.
I love being close enough to Salt Lake City to visit and see the lights on Temple Square. It was freezing, but there is nothing like lots and lots of little lights to get you in the spirit of Christmas.
My in-laws, Gary and Marilyn had Chris and me as their give-to couple this year. When Marilyn asked what we wanted, a thought immediately came to mind: a Nativity. We did have a teeny (as in less than 1" high) Nativity that we bought our first year of marriage, but it didn't survive our last move and I have been ready for my own large one for a while now. Marilyn asked what kind I wanted and my only specification was something unique.
The Nativity that showed up at our house (beautifully wrapped, of course) is absolutely perfect-- in fact, I don't think I could have picked a better one myself. My very favorite thing about this beautiful scene is the faces on the people-- so sweet, so pure... they remind me of my favorite Christmas hymn, O Come, All Ye Faithful. Don't they look adoring?
I love my sweet little scene and I know I'll love getting it out every year.
Speaking of in-laws, while visiting them in the early part of the month, Marilyn and I made these sweet felty trees she saw in a Garnet Hill catalog. Hers turned out pretty darn amazing, while mine is a bit Dr. Seuss-y, but I love it. Even more, I love that we crafted together-- it was so fun and festive. And now I have a cute new decoration!
Christmas itself was all sorts of fun this year. We ate tasty foods, drank hot chocolate, and enjoyed being with my whole family. Kristie made me some pretty bracelets-- aren't we cute?
I complained a while ago that I always stuff everyone else's stocking but no one ever stuffs mine, so Chris made up for his earlier lacking tenfold. Not only was my stocking full of my favorite things, he also had a half gallon of hand-packed Baskin Robbins' Peanut Butter and Chocolate ice cream sitting on the front porch just for me. Heaven.
My very favorite part of the holiday season was getting to spend time with my fun family. The kids always have such a great time together and we all enjoyed games and food and just being together.
Chris had a lovely holiday month, due in great part to the fact that for the first time in five years, he was able to take Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years day off. I have to say, I really don't miss the newspaper business! Chris also had a great time in December because he got to hang out a lot with my dad, my brother, his dad and his brother. He's a guys' guy, what can I say?
On a snowy Saturday in early December, Chris and my dad drove up to the Island Park area and picked out a lovely tree right out of the forest. The height limit was something like 12 feet... oops. After some adjustment, they put the tree in the living room, where it was just perfect. It's still there, actually, and still as green as can be.
It was just before Christmas when the Utes won their bowl game (Hooray!), but Chris was rooting for them long before that. He even made sure our gingerbread house was decorated for the right team.
On Christmas Eve, Chris spent a good hour putting Neil's little push toy together. I really do appreciate that he did it instead of me-- little plastic parts tend to frustrate me. Luckily, on Christmas morning, all of the boys were thrilled with their gifts and Chris was able to relax and joke around with Jake.
A few years ago, I bought Chris an atomic clock for his bedside. The boys thought it was pretty great and, after quite a bit of roughhousing, the LED nightlight stopped working. This year, I bought a new atomic clock and it's pretty cool. I like the fact that this one tells the inside and outside temperature, but the coolest feature is the projection of the time onto our wall or ceiling. Right now, Chris has the time positioned between us on the ceiling, and I love just opening my eyes for a minute to see it in the middle of the night.
Chris deals with a lot of confidential information with his job, so when he is done with it, he is supposed to shred it. Well, he doesn't shred-- he goes out to the fire pit and burns (insert Beavis giggle here). After all of the presents were opened on Christmas day, rather than fill the garbage can, Chris shared his burning habit with the brothers. Another Beavis giggle. Heh heh heh... Fire.
Here is the story of why I don't have any awesome photos from New Year's weekend at the Hansen's: the kids were in the car and Chris was anxious to get going to Salt Lake City on New Year's Eve. I was frantically looking for my camera-- I have a bad habit of putting it in strange places. Chris, finder that he is, finally located it and hooray! we were off. Ten minutes later, when we were on the freeway, my sister called to say that I had left the camera on the couch. "I thought you had it!" Hence, no pictures, but luckily, some very, very fun memories!