Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tradition # 4,5,6,7, and 8

Obviously, the bulk of our family's traditions fall between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Starting with Christmas Eve...
Before bed the kids get to open up one present. Mmmm??? What could be inside? Yes, you're right...pajamas. They get excited even though they know what they're getting and I have fun seeing them in their cute new jammies. Even little Kiana got in on the unwrapping...
Check out the new pj's!!!

The cookies for Santa....we had great intentions of making cute little gingerbread boys, but for some ODD reason the dough was weird and we couldn't. So, poor Santa had to have some strange cookies this year. I'm SURE he enjoyed them, though. Right, Santa? Sorry, they were too ugly to photograph!!

Right before bed we say our prayers and read The Night Before Christmas in front of the Christmas tree. This story is one that Tiare made in 2nd grade and I make her read it every year to the other kids. Although we have the actual book, I prefer to read her rendition...I love it because it reminds me of her! She, obviously, did not want to be photographed for this one.

This is what Kiana was doing during the story...isn't that cute???

Finally....Christmas Day!!!
The wait...we tend to torture the children in the morning. Before they come downstairs they have to brush their teeth, wait until everyone is ready and pose for pictures, pictures, pictures...they get REALLY annoyed waiting. This year, I thought Malia was going to have a heart attack if she had to wait one minute more!! we come!!!

For breakfast we have some sort of sweet roll, hashbrown casserole and a fruit salad of pomegranates, kiwis and clementines that Santa puts in our stockings...

And there you have it...our simple traditions that we look forward to each year. Merry Christmas to all...notice how we're still in our pajamas all day long (a tradition I'm not so proud to post pictures of)....

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Tradition #3

Secret Siblings...

The kids have fun doing this one!!! Each of them take turns drawing someone's name out of a bowl. 12 days befoe Christmas they might leave a little note, treat or small gift on their "secret sibling's" bed. It's fun to watch them look forward to a little something each night. Then on Christmas morning they find out who their "secret sibling" is and get to open up a gift from them!!!

And here they are with Santa...some are a little more excited than others to be sitting on dear old Santa's lap!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

But You Can't Even See Me...

So here's a Mother of the Year Award moment for you!!! When you want to feel better about yourself as a Mother, read this post!
So, last Sunday our friend, Adam Martinson, took our pictures for our family Christmas card. He got some really cute shots and I was really excited about one certain one. After reviewing each family picture, Adam and I both agreed that this was THE ONE. It's original and we all looked great in it. I was at his house, ready to purchase 100 Christmas cards online when I realized that I needed to pick Malia up from Kindergarten. I told him to hold that thought and ran to get her. We promptly came back and began ordering the cards. I told Malia to look at the cute picture of our family that we were going to put on the card. She looked strangely at the card, looked at me and loudly said, "But Mom, you can't even see me!" Confused, I looked at the picture and this is what I saw...
NO MALIA!!! I was about to order 100 Christmas cards from Costco without Malia in the picture. Better yet, Adam agreed it was the the best picture and his wife, Tiffany, thought it was perfect too! We all neglected to see that one of my children were missing. Now, I can understand Adam and Tiff not noticing this missing detail, but her own Mother????? So here's to you...Malia!! I'll NEVER forget you again!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tradition #2

The Ornaments...

Every year each of one our kids gets a new ornament to put on the Christmas tree. Tiare collects angels, Tai collects snowmen, Malia collects Santa Claus' and Kiana is going to collect teddy bears. We have 13 angels, 9 snowmen, 6 santas and 1 teddy I always buy a new ornament for myself! :) When the kids leave the house and are ready to decorate their own tree, they will get to take their ornaments with them as well as memories from their childhood! are the new ornaments from this year!!
Tiare with her new "hula angel" ornament that we got on vacation in Hawaii in January

Tai with his basketball snowman...of course!!

Malia with her Surfin' Santa, again, from Hawaii!

And finally, Kiana with her first teddy bear ornament!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tradition #1

I thought it would be fun to post some of our family's little Christmas traditions. I don't have any original, exciting traditions, but I look forward to the ones we do have. Most of them are the normal, "traditional" ones that everyone has, but oh well. is our first tradition, and one of Malia's personal favorites!!

The Advent Calendars... we usually have two advent calendars. For the first one, everyone gets their own chocolate calendar where we are rewarded each day with a piece of chocolate...the closer it gets to Christmas the closer we get to eating the biggest piece! YUM YUM!!

The second advent calendar we have is my personal favorite. Each day a small little two page booklet is pulled from the calendar. Each little book contains a small part of the story leading up to the birth of Christ. As we read the events everyday that lead up to His birth, a small piece of the true meaning of Christmas is felt in our home. Most of the time it is Malia and me reading the little booklet, but we love it. There is a little hook connected to each booklet that allows us to hang it on our tree. When we have hung each one on the tree, the story of how our Savior came to this earth is spread all over our tree. It is wonderful.
Here is the calendar where we pick a little booklet each day...

Malia, hanging today's booklet titled "The Oasis". This tells the story of Mary and Joseph traveling through the hot, dry oasis on their way to Bethlehem.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

For Future Use...

Can you say blackmail? Hee Hee

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Friday, December 5, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas!!

From the red lights and candy canes outside, the nativity and garland strewn on the banister, to the tree with the train making it's rounds to the small little village, the handmade awesome, incredible stockings hanging on the mantle (thanks, Mom), to the the other decorations that dot our home...Christmas has taken over and we ARE LOVING IT!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Give Thanks...

Thanksgiving. I think it is my favorite holiday when it comes to the whole family. I love sitting around my table looking at the ones I love the most. Smiling. Thankful. Happy. Full. The past couple of weeks, as we drive to school, the kids and I have been coming up with at least 3 or 4 things we are thankful for. It's so sweet to hear what is in their hearts (even if it's the wii and skateboards). As they get out of the car and I watch them trot along to school, my heart is full. I am truly blessed. The same goes for my I watch him rock my baby to sleep I realize that there is nothing in the world that can take those precious moments away. I am thankful. This past Fall was one of the most beautiful Fall's I can recall. I am thankful for the beauty of this world. I am thankful for health, small fingers wrapped around mine, a kiss goodbye, a shoulder to lean on, knowledge of the plan that is waiting for me when I pass from this life to the next, parents who love and care, a smile on a not-so-good day, friends stopping by to talk "just because", the words I love you, warmth, comfort, extended family that cares and loves my own little family, kind words, the way the sun shines through the clouds, my life. I am lucky, I am blessed, I am thankful.
Now...onto the DAY OF FEASTING...
A little pre-feast ride around the block...are we REALLY letting her drive that??

Watching the game...

Let the FEASTING begin...

Love around the table...

Which pie to choose??? No need...just have a slice of each!!! Thanks for making the delicious desserts, Mom. belly is full!!!

But never too full for Grammy's homemade pumpkin pie!! tummy is full of pumpkin and sweet potatoes...YUM!!

But I could still go for a carrot...Hey, Frost, how about you share your nose??

Cheers!!! By the look on Tiare's face we wonder what was in that bottle!!! Don't worry it was sparkling cider!

The official "cleaner upper" who wouldn't be thankful for that...or for that cute guy there as their husband!!!

Until next year...Happy Thanksgiving!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Must Be Love...

Nothing like a Dad and his baby girl!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Once upon a time there was a little boy named Tai. And even though his Mom told him not to, he grew. He grew and grew and grew until it was November 17, 2008 and he turned 9 years old. Well, his Mom showered him with hugs and kisses on the morning of this special day, as he begged her to stop, and she even smiled and enjoyed seeing the happiness surrounding him throughout the day. She enjoyed bringing him pizza and a Jamba Juice to school for lunch, picking up the Baskin Robbins birthday cake he requested, buying him balloons and Krispy Kreme doughnuts for breakfast, wrapping his new Ripstik and University of Utah attire, taking him out to dinner at Bonsai with his family, and singing Happy Birthday to him. BUT, as she tucked him in at night, she got a lump in her throat as she remembered how these 9 years have flown by and in 9 more years he will be 18 and ready to make his way in this big, wide world. So, she hugged him tightly and kissed his little cheek, and prayed to remember every moment she spends with him. Happy Birthday, Tai!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

In the Still of the Night...

As we slept in our warm cozy beds last night, a familiar (friend?) paid us a visit. During the quiet of the night, it snowed. This picture shows what I woke up to as I begrudgingly dragged myself out of bed at 5:45 am to get our day rolling. I truly do NOT like the snow. Well...I guess I like it up until about January 2nd, and then I am SO ready for it to go. Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas for me unless it was a white one, and watching the kids turn into white marshmallows as they become covered in snow in their snow-suit clad bodies brings me such joy. And then there is the peace and quiet. There is NOTHING so peaceful as sitting in my home, fire place aglow, surrounded by family as a snow dumps from the sky. it comes, the shoveling (okay, well, watching Kione shovel), the slushy roads, the dirty cars, the wet floors as kids tromp across the house in snow boots, cold fingertips, red noses, and trying to find a place for our dog to go "potty" without getting buried. However, we also get, cozy nights by the fire place, snowball fights, skiing in the beautiful Utah mountains, cuddling up in a blanket with hot chocolate or hot apple cider, Christmas lights on the house shining through a blanket of white, and homes that look like little gingerbread houses covered in sugar. Aaahh...enjoy.