Monday, December 26, 2011


This Christmas season I accomplished all that I wanted to. It was a Christmas that left no regrets, no "I wish I would have done or had time for that" and plenty of family memories that I'll cherish forever!! We had a good mix of fun, learning and serving others.

Our advent calendar that contained activities to be completed. Not all of the things we did are represented in these photos. And, my nice camera has completely stopped working. I've been using K's Sorry for the terrible photos.

We started off with a night away in Boise for some Christmas shopping. We treated it as "celebrating Jeff's 33rd birthday." We had a lot of fun. The kids especially loved spending a decent amount of time in the pool. Love this shot of Sullivan flying from one bed to another. DISCLAIMER...London had accident on the drive to Boise (we left promptly after they got out of school) and I only packed her 1 outfit. So we HAD to go buy the kids a new outfit (when buying for one, we usually end up buying for all). All of these photos were taken on different days but the kids seemed to wear these new outfits A LOT!! My apologies!

The BEST breakfast.

We started the Elf on a Shelf tradition. Our Elf is named Buddy, original hu ;) Buddy was quite naughty most of the time. Here he painted Sullivan's nose while he was asleep.

Window markers for Christmas decor...what a mess!!

We read all the snowmen books we own followed by making our own puffy paint snowmen.

I think we own EVERY Christmas movie. Practically every night was a movie night at our home!

We made a long paper chain.

Today we wrote Grandma and Grandpa letters and made them these cute little foam Snowmen.

Today we did a photo scavenger hunt. If they completed they'd get a prize (the cheap medal).

Most things were found around the house...

For the items that we didn't have around the house they just drew pictures.

Then they just resorted to looking up items on google and taking a picture of it, pretty smart if you ask me...well lazy, but smart!

We've heard a lot about this place that has a ton of Christmas lights so we took the kids to see it. Wow! It was incredible! So many lights, so many people and even a camel to feed carrots too, those pictures didn't turn out though.

The ward Christmas party.
K was an angel, London was a star and my cute little sunbeam class were donkeys.

After the presentation, a group of toddlers gathered round Jesus.

Sullivan asked Santa for a "motor-Physch-Err." It was way cute. Santa happened to be really impressed that he wanted one.

Assembled this nativity set using toilet paper rolls, can't get a more "$FREE$" activity than that!

Built a foam gingerbread house.

We made snowflakes out of craft sticks to decorate our house with. Leave it to my creative London to create a doll with the left over craft sticks.

Tavaci concert. Buddy was completely right when he said "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear." I love watching my girls perform in the Christmas Tavaci concert. They are adorable. And, it was so nice to have Jeff's parents, sister, sis-in-law and her kids come to watch as well.

We read Christmas books galore.

I was trying to avoid making real gingerbread houses this year, but they weren't very satisfied with the foam gingerbread house that we made so I broke down and did the real thing for an activity.

K's school Christmas concert

London's school Christmas concert.

We spent a few days assembling and delivering goodie plates, teacher gifts and rootbeer reindeer similar to these. Wow...every year our list gets bigger. We definitely didn't give out as many as I would have liked though.

For the last 7 days of our advent we took each individual piece of the nativity and studied them and talked about them. Then we did an activity according to that person. For example, we talked about Mary and how her heart was so pure and faithful and we made these heart ornaments afterwards.

When we talked about Joseph, we learned that he was such a faithful servant and was the one that was not in the spotlight as much, but still a major part in the birth of Jesus. We went and did some secret service after this. And, we ended with the baby Jesus. We basically did everything that was suggested in this book...(definitely worthy of your purchase!).

This last week before Christmas spent studying each individual person/animal/angel that played a part in the Christmas story definitely made for a great experience with my children. I got the opportunity to share with them my testimony which usually ended with me getting teary eyed. I hope they know how much the Savior means to me.

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day

Santa pancakes for breakfast.

All children go through this phase and it is a phase that has made Jeff create the rule "NO MARKERS in the house." It doesn't matter though, no matter what, a marker will be found and drawing on furniture and walls happens to be an activity all 3 of my kids have participated in. Sullivan happened to find a marker and drew EVERYWHERE right before Grandma and Grandpa were to arrive.

Decorating sugar cookies for Santa. Obviously more ended up in Sullivan's stomach than on his cookies.

While waiting for Grandma and Grandpa to arrive, we had a dunk contest in Sullivan's room. He was being such a ham.

After we ate dinner er, a bunch of appetizers for dinner with Grandma and Grandpa, we played Minute to Win It, Christmas style. Basically everything they did here

The reading of Luke 2, combined threats to the kids that we wouldn't do the gift exchange if they didn't behave...luckily they were angels!

We exchanged little gifts with each other that night. My Dad had my name and tried to pull a gag gift on me, unfortunately I lost my sense of humor and thought that it was an awesome and thoughtful gift...I'm too nice sometimes. Then he pulled out my real gift and gave it to me. So, if you want to be funny and get a laugh, do it to someone else because chances are I won't get it and the joke will be on you ;) Sorry I'm so lame Dad!

We ended the evening by watching Sullivan's favorite movie, The Polar Express. He ended up falling asleep during the first 20 minutes though.

Bright and early on Christmas morning (5 am), wearing their PJ's that they opened on Christmas Eve.

Sullivan got a train table. He did the same thing as he did the year before...he played with the table and didn't care much about the other presents under the tree. He loved everything, but the train table kept his attention for quite a long time.

London's new doll. I think she gets a new one every year. I wonder when her love of dolls will be a thing of the past??

Jeff LOVES his new Ipad 2. He makes Christmas shopping so easy for me!

Kamryn modeling her new scarf, thanks Ash!!

What does a guy get a girl who has everything she has ever wanted and couldn't even think of anything to ask for Christmas??? Oh yeah!! My man knows me well! I can't wait to put my new Soda Stream to use.

Off to church, there is no better place to be on Christmas day! I kinda wish Christmas fell on a Sunday every year.