Saturday, December 27, 2008

2008 Christmas Memories

Holiday stories of 2008:

JEANA came home the other day from school, she had been counting down the days 'til they got to make a 'real' gingerbread man.  She was so excited to show me her work of art and tell us all about how the gingerbread men escaped their classroom, leaving only crumbs, while the children were at school.  They were finally able to track them down and bring them home.  She kept telling me how she thought at first it was fake, but soon realized it wasn't.  She kept saying, 'It was real mom, it really happened at school, it wasn't just pretend.  Mom, it was just like magic.'  I know she had fun with idea, so I decided not to reply one way or another.  She had fun and maybe it will be a memory she will cherish, I'm sure all too soon she will out grow the 'magical' stage.

ABIGAIL who was a little nervous going to bed on Christmas Eve for fear she wouldn't wake up early enough, asked her older sister several times to make sure to wake her up too.  Finally, we convinced her she would wake up early too, so she fell asleep.  The next morning she ran downstairs and then ran back upstairs, came into our room and yelled, "Mom, I went downstairs (after looking under the tree) and I was like, Holy Cow!"

JEANA "I wonder if Santa has 'aten' my cookies."  To her surprise, he even left a note to tell her how yummy they were...

ABIGAIL pointed to all the wrapped gifts and started naming them off.  'Oh, Jeana you can open that one, it is the diamond castle.'  Oh, the faith of little children and their requests.

JEANA after looking at her stocking with Abby replied, 'Wow, these are really good stockings!'

JEANA was super tired on New Year's Eve, but after an earlier discussion about the ball dropping on Time Square, she didn't want to miss it.  So, she came downstairs every few minutes to ask if it was time for the 'New Year's revolution' yet, so after a good laugh we corrected her with 'New Year's celebration.'  ( We had talked earlier about resolutions, so I think she got a little confused.)  

JEANA's New Year's Resolution is to run her first race.  Her school teacher asked them to come up with one and so we talked about setting goals etc... She then told me she wanted to run a race because she likes running.  There are several small races all year for little kids here in town and another friend of hers has been in a few and introduced her to the idea.

ABIGIAL's New Year's Resolution is to 'eat.'  Plain and simple.  Here I thought I was encouraged high minded goals and good interactive family discussion and that is what she gives me.  Well, I guess that is always a good one... especially if the food is tasty!

JEANA was asking about people who don't have food to eat and a home to live in and we were discussing how blessed we were.  Then, she turns to me and says, 'I wish I knew someone who didn't have anywhere to live."  And of course in my mind I am thinking, "ah, my sweet Jeana is going to say she wants to offer our home to someone who doesn't have one."   Instead I get a, "b/c then I would tell them to live under a tree.  That way they can be protected from things, but not rain b/c the rain can still get through the trees, right mom?" Wow... profound, but maybe not as generous as I was hoping!

ABIGAIL was asked by us what her favorite part of Christmas was and she replied cuddling with mom... even over the presents?  I really am loved!

Thanksgiving at our House

Most people who know me, know fall is my favorite season, the rain, the smell, the yummy (calorie loaded) food and of course family and good friends.  This Thanksgiving I heard of several families who have struggled with jobs and mortgages and other personal problems and it made me so grateful for what I have.  I often get caught whining about my husband's forever long program, but this fall, made me appreciate him and his efforts even more.  I am so blessed to have a beautiful home (most of which he had built, repaired or updated for our family), he is able to go to school and get an education (which is a pretty secure income in this economy.)  And though we don't make a lot of money, we have the gospel, cars that work, our kids go to great schools, we LOVE our neighborhood, and our extended families help us out in so many ways that I would say I am a very WEALTHY woman.  I am grateful that we plan a holiday every year to spend with family and reflect on the many blessings we receive.  

Jeana really wanted to help make food for thanksgiving so we decided to make an apple ie together.  She was such a good helper, instead of putting slits in the middle, we put a 'J' for Jeana the cook.

Nathan and Melinda joined us for a very yummy Thanksgiving feast on my new(er) dining table. (We are so grateful to still have some family close by!)  Jeana made some party favors and Melinda's potatoes were so good, Jeana and Abby requested the same ones for Christmas (though we didn't get them quite right!) However, my girls said the highlight of the meal was a chocolate raspberry pie (a recipe given to us by the Runyans.) Of course Melinda and I spent most of the day creating a plan of action for Black Friday shopping, we were a little disappointed with the deals, but managed to still spend money and get the items we were after.  ( if you look closely in the background you can see a Halloween bowl and a Christmas bowl in the picture too...guess I just can't make up my mind!)

Over Thanksgiving weekend we took our kids down to the train display at the museum and of course we got to see Santa.  The museum always does a great job with creating a fun, learning environment for kids.  We got to see several train displays and the kids even got to ride on a small train together.

If you look closely at the writing on the picture, it reads, 'Idaho Springs.'  Even when we are far away from home there are still subtle reminders of it over the holidays!

We have recently adopted the tradition (I say tradition because David doesn't like the word) of watching the Polar Express and drinking hot Chocolate, and since it was on TV and Noakes were still here, we shared the tradition with them over Thanksgiving weekend.  This is also a cute thing that most schools do and the kids all seem to love it.