Thursday, December 29, 2011

Debbie Downer Meets Christmas Spirit

 For any of you who know me well or have been following for at least a year, know of my open dislike for Christmas.  I have spent the last 7-8 years whining about how annoying Christmas is.  We all spend too much money, stress ourselves out, and gain weight.  Don't get me wrong I love the Christmas spirit, just not all the worldly Christmas hullabaloo. This year as the season approached I listened to my children express excitement to one another about the upcoming events, I knew I only had a few short years with them and I had to change.  It was probably mid November when I decided to quit being the Grinch and allow my heart to grow.  I quickly got to thinking of how I could help myself enjoy the things about the season that I couldn't change.  I decided that the more organized I was, the less stressed I would be.  I had my Christmas cards printed and in hand a few days before Thanksgiving, (check that stressor off my list) Truthfully Christmas cards is my very most favorite part of the season.

Next I made a list of all the gifts I needed to buy or make and really tried to stick to it.  I made our neighbor gifts and delivered them nearly the first week of December. I did almost all my shopping online, and scaled back from years past.  I had teachers gifts and other small things completed ahead of time.  I put the tree upstairs so that the kids could enjoy it and I wouldn't get so annoyed by the "mess" of it.  I even let the kids decorate it completely by themselves and left it the way they did it. I only put up about half of my decor so that I wouldn't be so overwhelmed putting it up and taking it down later. I played Christmas music throughout the house incessantly for weeks, and spent my few minutes before I crashed at night studying the birth of our Savior in the bible.  For family home evenings we watched the church videos of the first Christmas and I even read a few Christmas stories to the kids before bed.  I really put forth every effort to enjoy the season, and for the most part I did. There were a few stressful days with sick kids and self inflicted worry about whether or not the kids were getting "enough" for Christmas. 

When Christmas Eve arrived Weston and the kids helped me clean the house and Wes even went to the grocery store for me (a story in and of itself:)) Christmas Eve was delightful and Christmas Day was perfect.  Kallie came downstairs around 4 am and was upset because Cole wouldn't wake up.  I tried to get her to cuddle me and go back to sleep. No doing, she finally watched T.V. until about 6 when I heard her crying.  We got up and it took all of us to wake up Cole! Both kids were full of excitement and that doubled when Hagen woke up.  The kids were way more excited about what they gave then what they got.  I was so proud of them.  My mom and dad came for about an hour that morning and we were thrilled to have them.  Church was awesome, the spirit there was so strong and I felt so content.  We had Christmas breakfast at G&G Crapo's house and then went to my mom and dad's to skype with Elder Angell in South Carolina.  What a great gift to get to see his face and know that he is okay. I miss him like crazy and can't wait for him to return!

Around five we headed to Island Park to stay with Braxton at the condo.  The very best part of Christmas for me was this; Kallie got a journal and in it she wrote, "I love Christmas, do you want to know why? Because it is Jesus's birthday!"  All the pre-Christmas preparation helped me to enjoy the holidays, but the private thoughts of a six year old taught Debbie Downer the true meaning of Christmas!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pre Christmas Festivities

 We started our crazy week of Christmas off with the Angell family party on Monday.  This is always a lot of fun for me to see my cousins that I really only see once or twice a year.  Every family is expected to perform some sort of talent for the program.  I am overjoyed that our kids are now old enough to take our place in this area.  Kallie played a song on the piano and did a fantastic job.  We ended the evening in style when we checked out early because Cole got sick:(
 Wednesday was the school program which was awesome.  The kids all did so good and have been practicing for a long time.  This is most of Kallie's 1st grade class, they are a great group of kids and I am happy that she has so many great friends.
 Thursday night was our ward party, I was surprised to see Cole in the program as King Benjamin.  He did a great job looking stoic, and they all sang their little hearts out!
Christmas Eve was hosted by the Jensen's, it was fabulous as always. They are the best hostess's ever. We were surprised when right before the prayer over dinner was about to be said, some extremely loud hip hop music started blaring over the surround sound and all the grandkids came strolling out from all different rooms doing a mob dance.  They were pretty good too and had it choreographed really cute.  It was pretty impressive.  After dinner each family was required to perform some sort of musical performance. Weston rocked an awesome solo accompanied by none other than Kallie Jo and Cole accented with the symbols! After the movie of the first Christmas and a family sing a long of Silent Night; Grandma busted out the gifts.  Each kid opened their pajamas and quickly put them on.  (Some a little more modestly than others) We snapped a few pix and did a little cleaning up and then headed home to bed so the big guy could come. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wild Animals

 We no longer have an infant and we don't quite have a toddler at our house, we are in the wild animal stage.  You know what I mean right? Hagen is just mobile enough to crawl around and destroy and chew on everything but not walking or talking yet.  Sometimes it feels like I literally opened the door and let a wild animal in.  Hagen thinks he is super cool now that he can crawl and pull himself up to things.  We had to turn his crib around backwards to keep him from falling out until we have time to lower it.  He is also adding his own teeth marks to the sides of the crib to match what the two older kids left.  I can't bring myself to paint over them, I think it is a little cute! How is it that time goes so fast? He was just barely a newborn I swear it. 
As much as I hate to see him grow and become mobile I have to admit that I am pretty happy to see him developmentally right on track.  We were told to expect delays and I have yet to see them!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Weekend Getaway

 We have been planning a little trip to SLC since August when I purposely scheduled Hagen's eye appointment for December.  (Weston really doesn't enjoy traveling to the "big city" much but I was dying for my kids to experience Temple Square at Christmastime) Thanks to Hagen's eye condition we will get to go see the lights every December and to Hogle Zoo every June for at least five more years!!
We cruised down Friday morning and met up with some friends for lunch and then we were off to Temple Square.  It was gorgeous as always, and the giant nativity really caught the kids attention.  They have really scaled back on the lights, there just doesn't seem to be as many as there used to be but they are still breathtaking. It was pretty much freezing cold so we didn't spend too much time there.  Back at the hotel I was mom of the year and swam with my kiddos! Hagen loved it and Kallie and Cole were regular little fishies!

 Saturday we went to the Children's Discovery Museum at the Gateway.  I strongly suggest going, it was really a lot of fun.  We spent a few hours there and it wasn't enough.  My kids could've spent all day! Everything was from a "Kids Eye View" and it really was a lot of fun.  Even Brand and Weston seemed to enjoy themselves!

 This part was our favorite. I really want to build a replica of this construction zone in my toy room!

**As for Hagen's eye appointment, it actually got cancelled.  The receptionist that called said the doctor had a medical emergency and would be out until the end of January.  I really hope everything is okay. I was a little disappointed not to have Hagen's eyes looked at. I am really curious what they are going to tell us.  He is doing really well and I think he seems to see actually quite good.  Truth is though a post-Christmas shopping trip the end of January might be pretty fun!:)