For our first Christmas family home evening we made Christmas shirts. I like to just let the kids go loose, blast the Christmas music, dance around, and have a lot of fun!!
Then my parents came that next weekend, and my dad read the kids Christmas stories before bed (he would always read to us every night in December).
Then the next morning the rest of my family came down and my parents surprised all the grand kids and kids with tickets to the North Pole Express in Heber City!!!
It was so much fun, we made so many great memories! We did a lot of singing, dancing, seeing Santa, riding a train (for the first time for lots of us), eating yummy baked cookies and delicious hot cocoa. Travis made the best video montage for this trip.
The man who made this all happen!
I honestly don't know why these guys were dressed up all silly teaching seminary but I found the pictures on Trav's phone and had to add them.
The guys went to an arcade, stopped by the shoe store for Kesler, and went out to eat.
Ward Christmas Party
This weekend did not go as planned. It was Kaydence's tumbling performance, which Monte, Kim, Kassidy, and Bridger, were going to drive down for. Kaydence was working so hard on getting her round off triple back handspring for it and nailed it just a couple weeks before. After her performance we were going to have a little birthday party for Kassidy and Monte. Then that night was the ward Christmas party.
BUT... Friday Kaydence called from the school sick. She hadn't been sick one day in the last school year or this school year so far but she happened to get sick on this weekend. Four kids came home from school that same day and her best friend Mckenzie was one of them as well. Kaydence came home and literally slept that whole day, she was hoping she could sleep it off and feel better in time for her performance and for family to come down. Travis woke up Kaydence and had her get up to see if she could eat and to see how she was feeling so we could tell Monte and Kim if they should drive down that morning. Kaydence was feeling alright and was able to eat a little but called grandpa and talked to him to get his advice on what she should do. He suggested she move around, maybe do some tricks to see how she feels. So she got off the phone and said some fervent prayers on what she should do (she REALLY wanted to do this performance). She did a couple tricks and felt a little uneasy and after praying again her eyes filled with tears and she said she didn't think she should do the performance. So she went back to bed and slept the rest of the day. When I went into her room late that afternoon she had a very high fever and was getting worse. Andrea, McKenzies mom, texted me and told me Kenzie went to the doctors and had strep throat. So right then I took Kaydence into urgent care to get her tested for strep and sure enough she had it. So I went to get her prescription filled and Travis said he wanted to stay home with Kaydence and Grant so I could go to the ward Christmas party with Marley and Kesler (Travis knows I love to go out but I felt bad going because he's the bishop but he said he thought I should go). So I quickly got Kaydence inside and Kesler and Marley ran into the van and we arrived late to the ward party, it was a little crazy. We had a great time though, I really love our ward and it was such a great program, great dinner, and great company.
Kesler asked for a remote control car :)
We get so many yummy treats in December but Joan always goes above and beyond for us, with little toys for the kids, a DVD and tons of her yummy baked goods!
I wanted to do something for Abi and got a couple pictures with her right before church one morning. I made a plague from these pictures for her. We love Abi, we always tell her if she's sick of her parents we will adopt her anytime ;) She is so busy with the One Voice choir, her online classes on top of her honor and online classes, and other extracircular activities that I'm amazed she has time to babysit for us. She will just text me and tell me whenever she has an opening in her schedule and asks to watch our kids while we go to the temple or go on a date. She's amazing!
Abi's little brother and sister (Chole and Jack) wanted to get in on the picture.
We have started making a tradition of going to my grandparents house and having a wonderful dinner and our nativity FHE there, my grandparents are so sweet with our kids.
Grandma never lets me bring anything but sets out a full table every time we come, she is the queen of hostesses.
Always have to hit up the ice cream parlor
Our shepherds/inkeeper (Kesler), Joseph(dad), and one wise man(Grant).
Joseph and Mary as were singing a hymn.
Bubbles when the angel says her lines
Grandpa, grant, and I were wise men.
About half way through the month Kaitlin and Travis saw a neonatal specialists and got some hard news and a week later they lost their little boy. We were heartbroken, we got everything together and went down to Idaho the day after Kaitlin passed their little Everett. I like the account that Kaitlin posted on Facebook so this is in her own words:
This month has been a difficult one for our family. I hesitate to share this so publicly but it seems to be the easiest way.. On December 11, Travis and I had an ultrasound and found out that our sweet little boy had several problems. We were told that with his combination of health issues he would likely die within the womb and if I was to make it to my due date my sweet little boy wouldn’t live long after. This news was heart breaking and incredibly devastating. We spent the next week wondering what if and questioning each scenario. On the following Monday, December 18th I was 25 weeks along and we went in to see our doctor. He was unable to hear a heart beat and we learned that our little one had passed away. Our heartache grew exponentially. We went to the hospital that evening and I delivered our little boy the following afternoon. He was precious beyond words and we are so grateful for the short time that we were able to spend with him. The following day, we had a short service with our family and we buried our little Everett. Through this process, Travis and I have been overwhelmed by the kindness of others. We have been blessed and comforted by so many. Our friends, family, and ward have been so supportive. I feel blessed to have carried Everett’s special spirit and even more blessed to know that I will get to raise him someday. Our eternal family brings me peace and comfort. I read a quote that touched my heart and I don’t think I can put how I feel into words any better than this... “Because of Mary’s baby boy, we will have our baby boy again- it’s as simple- and as beautiful as that” during this Christmas and all that follow I will be grateful an extra measure to my Savior. He lived perfectly and died selflessly so that one day We can raise our little Everett. For that gift, during this Christmas season, we are eternally grateful.
We stayed in Idaho for four days spending that time with family over our Christmas break. We haven't had snow in Utah, at least not really (it melts before it sticks or melts quickly after) so the kids had a blast playing in the snow. They were crazy, especially Kaydence and Grant. They wanted to stay out all day, even though I swear Grant was going to get frost bite he was so cold!
Taking a break for hot chocolate!
Grandpa was teaching Kaydence how to play a couple songs on the ukulele, she has been wanting to learn and picked it up really quick!
The kids were having a great time running and playing around, Marley even learned some of the ukulele chords.
Grandpa's Swedish pancakes
My mom got out with the kids and made a snow man! The snow wasn't packing so they couldn't do it at first but Kaydence and my mom got creative and got out a water bottle so they could make it work!
Grant fell asleep under the Christmas tree
Our Christmas Feast
Guys being goofy in the photo booth
The following morning was Christmas morning with grandma and grandpa (it was actually the day before Christmas Eve). The kids were so excited to wake up and open the gifts from grandma and grandpa, it was so much fun!!!
My kids were wanting Flip Pets so bad and were so thrilled!
Jonathan was hunting but we were so glad Jessica and Taysom came over that morning to celebrate with us!
Kesler got a sweet remote control car
Kaydence got the first three books to The Land of Stories series, her favorite!
Grant got these cute wood puzzles that he plays with every day
Then my dad made his biscuits and gravy for breakfast, it was such a wonderful way to celebrate!
Then we drove back home to Utah.
The following day was Sunday, Christmas Eve. I love having Christmas and Christmas Eve on Sunday, such a perfect way to invite the spirit and focus on the true meaning of Christmas. Then we had our Candle lit Christmas feast. We all made new goals or gifts to give to the Savior for this following year.
We went out and saw the Christmas lights, got our Root Deers, and set up a fort for the kids to sleep in.
The kids opening the gifts they each got each other. Kesler got Kaydence a nail polish set and Marley a microphone to sing into. Marley got Kesler a hot wheels jump into a shark and Kaydence a fuzzy journal with a lock. Kaydence got both Kelser and Marley remote control puppies.
This year I made the kids each their own little teepee's, they can read in or play in as forts.
Kaydence got some stuff for cross stitching, ukulele, the rest of the Land of Stories books, a spy kit, and clothes.
Kesler got three new Wii games, another remote control car, board games to play together and clothes.
Grant was wanting in on the action when Kaydence was doing her nails.
Marley really has such a great voice but is too shy to sing infront of others. She and dad were playing and singing a song together.
Grant likes to come into bed with me after Travis gets up for work in the mornings and falls asleep like this next to me.
Had to take one more picture of the tree before taking it down, I love Christmas trees and Christmas lights.
We had our own New Years Party with all kinds of treats, games, and the Beastmaster (the kids get so into it, it's fun to watch together. Our kids are training to be in it someday ;).
We had relay races, this was our three legged races.
We had our New Years toast at 10 pm (midnight on the east coast right?)
2017 was another fabulous year, we're excited for 2018 as well!