Monday, December 27, 2010

Greatest Gifts

The first day of our countdown we made a box to put pictures and notes about what our greatest gifts are.  Christmas morning we opened the box and it was FILLED with notes and pictures.  Some of my favorites were-

Garret-  A picture of a game and a person next to it and the word "prey" (aka pray).  He said one morning I lost a piece to a game.  I looked and looked and couldn't find it.  I said a prayer and found it right away.  One of my greatest gifts is prayer.

Garret- A picture of me that says "Mom".  In my tummy is a picture of a baby.  He says he didn't write it's name because he didn't know it.

Spencer- A picture of him and his brother or his "buddy" as he called him.

Spencer- A painting of the nativity. 

It was nice be reminded of what is most important.  We truly have blessed lives.

A Quick Christmas Trip

Christmas afternoon we headed to my parents.  My grandparents were throwing their annual Christmas party on Sunday the 26th.  Living in Buffalo we were not able to make it to very many of them.  Even though we couldn't go for very long it was well worth the trip. 

We spent Sunday evening with my parents.  Here is my Mom all decked out!  Her chemo makes her extra sensitive to the cold.  She received several cold weather presents.  I hear she went to the movies like this!
 My little sister Leah came later that night and we had a great time talking and being together.  Sunday morning everyone played with the kids and relaxed.
 After church we headed to the party. Every year there is a white elephant gift exchange.  It is not your typical bring something funny (although there are some funny things), most of the gifts are nice and get exchanged a bunch of times.   There were homemade wood projects (a chess board, a bowl, a stool), there were nice gifts from the store (mag-lites, books etc) and there was a blanket made by Grandma.

 We had the blanket in our possession for a little while.  It was getting traded a lot so I told Spencer to lay on it and pretend to be asleep.  Who would steal from that cute little guy?!  Well, Harrison was brave enough to give it a try.  He tried prying it from under him that didn't work, then he picked Spencer up to get him off the top (He stayed attached to it and didn't let go).  I finally told Spencer to just let go.  We were all laughing but Spencer was taking it very seriously and suddenly broke into tears.  Grandma couldn't handle someone crying over one of her beautiful blankets.  She disappeared to her room and return with a small blanket it wrapped it around him and told him to keep it.  He held on tight just in case!  In the end we won the other blanket as well.  And a handmade bowl filled with pistachios!  It was a great game. 

One other classic moment in the game was when Mom pulled the sick card. Mom isn't really one to take advantage of the sick card.  She had one of the coveted presents and someone came over to steal it.  She looks them right in the eye and says "You would take that from me, I have cancer" (or something along those lines).  She was busting up the whole time- if only she had kept a straight face she probably could have taken any gifts she wanted!
 After the game Rachel and BJ showed us their musical talents.  I was impressed (I only wish I were musical).
 Uncle Brent surprised us all with one of his card games.  He made his own card game (who does that?!)  I thought it was so cool.  It's called Grandpa Beck's Golf and you can actually buy from amazon and stores. 
 My Grandpa Beck always comes up with games for the kids to play.  The kids think the games are so fun.  We always look forward to the games- what will Grandpa come up with next year?!
The party was  worth the drive it was so good seeing relatives and sharing part of the holiday with them.  Spencer asked when we could  have a party there again.  We left around seven and headed back to Yakima and the Christmas mess we left behind!!!

Christmas Morning!

I could hardly sleep last night I was so excited. The kids FINALLY woke up at 6:15.  They did wake up excited and they stayed excited all morning.  They loved everything.

 Everyone got a lot of nice presents this year.  It was so fun watching them open things and get so excited.  They were SO excited to give some of the things they made and bought.  Garret made me a wooden heart and then decorated it.  They made Tyler a spear and an airplane. There were lots of hand drawn pictures and other treasures under the tree. 
 The boys got a lot of dress-ups this year.  Tyler made a big box for them to go in.  I am sure they will have hours of fun pretending.
 Tyler helped the boys make me a book.  It is really fun.  It is stories they wrote with their own art work. 
 Any time anyone pulled our any candy Adele went running.  This girl loved the Christmas candy best of all. 

 Tyler framed his picture that was originally going to go on the box.  (one of these days I will write that whole story). 
 Garret specifically asked if I would put up a picture of him holding up his picture of Captain Moroni.  He said "he is my favorite hero".
I am not even going to attempt to list all of the fun presents this year.  We loved it all and especially the joy and laughter that filled our house all morning. 

Christmas Eve

We always eat our big dinner on Christmas Eve.  Everyone worked together to make the food.  The kids were great helpers.  They helped with the food and each had some of their own jobs.  One of Garret's was to pick something for a center piece.  He put the nativity on the table and then spent a while organizing the pieces so they were just right.  Spencer picked out the music for the night.  We were all so full after our yummy dinner.

 Especially our Deli-girl.  She went to town on the potatoes!
 I made them all matching pajamas again this year.  I had a lot of fabric left so I made the boys each a pillow case that matched their jammies.  I think they thought they were jumping around in!
 They all looked so cute in their new jammies.

The kids were so excited all day I thought they might have a little trouble sleeping- they didn't!  They all crashed and slept soundly all night.


With 2 days to go we put together a Christmas package for a cousin on a mission.  The boys had lots of fun drawing pictures and picking out a few things to put in.  It is going to get there a little late but who doesn't love having Christmas last extra long!

 To wrap up our countdown activities we acted out the nativity.  The first rendition featured Spencer as Joseph, me as Mary, Garret as a wise man and an in keeper, and Tyler as a Shepard and Adele was sort of an angel.  Once she saw the baby Jesus doll that was all she wanted.  If you look closely at the picture of Spencer and I you can see her little hand about to snatch him!
 We all had so much fun that we switched rolls a couple times so we could all play different parts.
The countdown was so fun this year.  I love that by organizing it a little we fit in so many fun things and the kids were just so excited about finding out what we were going to do every day.  It was just the best few days.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


It's getting so close now!  With 4 days to go we did Christmas mad libs, then we each picked one of our favorite Christmas stories to read.  Spencer picked Mr. Willoughby's Christmas tree, Garret picked The Miracle of Jonathon Toomey, Adele picked I Spy, I picked How the Grinch stole Christmas and Tyler picked The Christmas Oranges.  It was fun reading some of our favorites again.

 With only 3 days to go we watch a Christmas movie together.  We watched a Mickey Mouse that had a bunch of different Christmas cartoons.  One of them was Mickey's A Christmas Carol.  After just a couple minutes of Scrooge Spencer said "He doesn't know what Christmas is all about".  AAaaahhh they are just so cute!
 Here they are helping me scrub potatoes for our Christmas eve dinner. They are just so much fun.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


On Sunday with 6 days to go we colored nativity pictures and then each of us shared our testimony of the Savior.  Garret was very cute and pretty lengthy with what he had to say.  Spencer was short and sweet "I know Jesus loves me".  It was a nice morning to share together.

 With 5 days to go we drove around looking at Christmas lights.  When we saw this house Adele heard the boys say "wow" and she copied and kept saying "wow, wow, wow".  I think she liked it.  After the lights we came home and drank hot cocoa!

Monday, December 20, 2010

More Christmas Fun

We have done a few other Christmas things beside the countdown.  The boys went with Tyler to see Santa and decorate cookies.

 We tried to get some cute picture on the Sunday before Christmas.  Poor Adele still has a sicky red nose.