Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Years Eve 2017

New Years Eve was a little bit different this year because it fell on a Sunday. You really don't want to go out and celebrate or Party too much on the Sabbath…so we kept things pretty low key and just invited the fam over. Some of them already had plans so it was just Mom and Dad, Jake, and Jordan and Kristee and us…pretty sure that's who we had last year too:) It was a pretty fun night. We played lots of games: heads-up, family feud, Sound it out, Twister, and the name game. It's pretty fun that the older kids can play and keep up with us now. The younger kids just ran around and hung by us..until about 15 minutes before midnight when Tate tuckered out. We got him back up right in time though. Lots of food, family, and fun. Great way to Ring in the New Year. We spent a good amount of time after church with the kids going over our resolutions and goals for 2018. Toby bought them all "Goal Journals" and we had them go over some of the things they are hoping to improve in 2017. It's fun to start fresh. Sometimes quite overwhelming but I'm trying to remind myself change doesn't have to be. I can start small and celebrate the little victories. I have much I want to improve, but so much to be grateful for. I love this little family of mine so much. Here is to another year with them doing our best to help them be the best little people they can be!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Christmas Break

This really has been such a nice Christmas break. Pretty low key. Lots of time together watching movies at night, having big breakfasts' in the mornings, playing with our new Christmas Toys. I hosted a party Thursday night with a bunch of my Highschool Friends that was pretty fun. A favorites party to be exact. That was a great night catching up with friends I don't get to see all the time. I went to lunch one day with Errin. One day Toby took Elle and Cash to Jumanji and one day I took the two of them to the movie "Wonder." What an incredible show. Pretty sure I cried most of the way through it. Beautiful message and one I'll be showing my kids often to remind them of how important it is to be kind. I love these lazy but memorable time just hanging with the ones I love being with the most.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Fondue Night, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day!

So with Christmas Eve falling on a Sunday this year it made things a little bit different as far as seeing both sides of the family and fitting everything in. Truth is I wish Christmas or at least Christmas Eve would always fall on a Sunday. It really is the best day for it and sets the tone for what Christmas should be all about. Since we had plans to be with both families Christmas Eve we decided to do our fondue night the night before Christmas Eve. I LOVE this new tradition. The kids love it too. We bought steak, shrimp, chicken, apples, carrots, breads, strawberries, marshmallows, chips, rice crispy treats, pretzels, all sorts of different food. It's so good and just a really fun thing to do together. One of my all time favorite traditions is this night sleeping underneath the tree. I used to love doing that with my siblings so much. I feel like my kids already do it throughout the year it probably doesn't feel as special to them…they literally sleep by each other all the time…but I hope that night feels a little bit different to them. Christmas Eve morning we woke up and I made a big breakfast for them then we all got ready for Church. They only held one hour of Sacrament. Then we came home and I started right away getting ready to host all the Christensen's. We had a "Feliz Navidad" party with tons of delicious Mexican food. Kathy had a sweet little lesson for the kids and so did Toby. Best party of this gathering was the Grandma June got to be there with us. What a blessing that was! I was worried it was too loud for her but she told me she loved every second of it and she cried when she expressed she felt like Grandpa Ned was there with her too. So very sweet. After they left and we cleaned up we headed over to my parents. We had a lesson there too from my Dad and did our traditional nativity and opening of ornaments and pajamas. The night over there didn't go quite as we were hoping. For some reason the kids were really quite hyper and hard to control and it just didn't feel as "spiritual" as it should have. We need to make some changes because our family is just growing so much and there are so many kids…it's just getting harder to "control" in a sense. Still a fun night but just a little more crazy than usual. We gathered up the kids and headed home to get ready to Santa! We spread out the reindeer food, set out the cookies and grinch milk and carrots, set up all the sleeping bags upstairs, and started 'tracking' Santa on the iPad! Tate was so worried that he was close and wasn't fall asleep and was kind of a mess. Funny kid. We put on Polar Express and they were all out within minutes. Christmas Eve is truly magical.

The kids started texting us bright and early Christmas morning. Tob and dragged ourselves out of bed, headed up the stairs, and assured the kids that Santa had indeed come;) When I told Tate that he yelled "Yes! That means we were good this year!" Guess he was pretty concerned that he might not have been and therefor would have woken up to no presents. I love him. We had our prayers, our discussion on what Christmas is truly about, and then….headed on down to the presents! I love watching each of their faces as they see what Santa has laid out for them! We opened gifts, set up presents, opened stockings, laughed, got excited, the kids ate their breakfast boxes, and just savored the joys of Christmas Morning. It's just the best. We then spent time going to both Kathy's and my Parents. We ate waffles and breakfast food at Kath's and had a big meal set out at my parents. Kath gave us the coolest music machine to keep outsides, and a foosball table. My Parents gave us all adults Yellowstone pi's, echo dots, and lots of Raider stuff. The cousins all exchanged gifts too! My all time favorite part of Christmas Day Night is the movie that Josh always puts together. It's so fun watching the collaboration of all of our pictures and reminiscing on all the memories of the year. It's truly priceless. Christmas was a success this year. I tried really hard to fulfill all of our traditions, add new ones, spend quality time as a family, and teach the kids above service and CHRIST. HE is the reason we have Christmas. It's hard to have a balance but I never want my children to be confused about what's most important during this season. It's been a wonderful time of year for my Family.