Sunday, December 30, 2012

In the Days Since Christmas

Since Christmas, we've had all sorts of fun and done our best to avoid anything that might be considered work.  It's been positively wonderful.  Lazy, relaxing and wonderful.

It took me three days to complete this puzzle:

I'm pretty good at puzzles--maybe even better than the average person--but this puzzle was hard!  But like all puzzles, it sucked me in and I could accomplish little else until it was completed.  Jon helped me some and I always love placing pieces side by side.  He's just fun to be with.

We've played lots of games.  Games like Apples to Apples:

And Quelf:

A silly game that requires you do to things like wear neckties and helmets.  Fun!

I've curled up next to my new space heater (heaven!) in my cozy new pajamas and read a most interesting and enlightening book about a man with Asperger Syndrome.

The girls have done lots of art projects:

And when it's time to force ourselves out of our pajamas, we've loved putting on new shoes, coats and beloved BYU t-shirts.

We've watched lots and lots of movies.  Alyssa's on her third viewing of Hunger Games and Caleb and Jon are finishing up the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Jon and I have also had our fill of theatre popcorn as we've been to Les Miserables and Lincoln.  Two fabulous shows!

We stay up way later than we should and then fall into bed atop new pillowcases and heated mattress pads.

Could Christmas break be any more wonderful?  You know that line in the popular Christmas song that goes, "and Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again?"  Well that couldn't be further from my truth.  I'm trying to remind myself to enjoy these last few days of vacation instead of going into mourning that they are almost over.

I wish it could be Christmas break forever.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Traditions--Christmas Day

Isn't it so much fun anticipating Santa's arrival?  Caleb--our google maps-obsessed boy--loved tracking his travels around the world last night.  

Santa doesn't wrap his gifts.  He just leaves them near the stuffed stockings.

Look what he left this year:

He usually leaves a few small gifts in the stockings.  Like headlamps and A-1 sauce.

He always leaves books for everyone.  And lots of candy.

After our Christmas breakfast--french toast made with egg nog, sausage, bacon and eggs--it's time to distribute the gifts from under the tree.

My mom's gifts were so cute.  She did all of them with a monogram.

Natalie couldn't wait for Caleb to open her gift to him: a whoopee cushion.

We spend most of the day lounging around, playing with new gifts and watching movies.  We usually stay in our pajamas for most of the day.

Evening always brings a nice Christmas dinner.  We get out the goblets and toast with our Martinelli's.

And that's how we do Christmas.  

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Monday, December 24, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Traditions--Candles

The tradition of candles on Christmas Eve comes from the Hatch family.  When we do our Christmas Eve program, we do it by candlelight.

The angel chimes are the piece de resistance.

Alyssa was the narrator this year and Natalie did some conducting.  Can you see her up on her stand?

Something about the Christmas story by candlelight makes it feel even more special.  We just couldn't do it any other way.

Christmas Eve 2012

We decided to head into the city for some Christmas Eve fun.

 First, a holiday movie, Rise of the Guardians.

Next, some games in the arcade.

Then a walk across the street to the Gingerbread Lane display.


And then home for the regular Christmas Eve spread.

It wouldn't be Christmas Eve without watching The Little Drummer Boy.

Or opening Christmas jammies.

We had a most wonderful Christmas Eve program filled with scripture and song.  Then the kids opened a new game and we played it together.

The children are now snug in their beds.  I'm not sure about any visions of sugarplums, but I am absolutely certain that Santa Claus comes tonight!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

12 Days of Christmas Traditions--Pajama Party

The girlfriends' Christmas party tradition was really started by a friend of mine who moved to another state about 8 years ago.  When she moved, my friend, Stephanie, approached me with the idea that we should carry on the tradition.  About five years ago, we decided to make wearing pajamas to the party part of the tradition since our fun always lasts into the wee hours of the morning every year.

It's such a fun tradition!  So much fun, in fact, that even though some of our friends have moved, they come back for the party.  It's so great to have everyone together.

Tracy and Nannette--both have moved away but came back for the fun.  

Holly has also moved and though she came back this year, she may decide that I've gone too far with my party games.  And then there's Carrie.  She had so many gifts stolen in the gift exchange, she may decide not to come back as well.  She didn't get to hold that blanket for long.  It was the first of three gifts taken from her.

But it's OK.  Those who stole from her had to pay a price.  Tracy had to dress herself up like a tree and sing, "O Christmas Tree."  Jackie had to play her air guitar to "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" when she took the spice rack from Carrie.

Nannette performed a ballet to the Nutcracker March and Camille had to give us a hearty "Ho-Ho-Ho" in order to earn the gifts they wanted.  

Unfortunately, my pictures of Stephanie donning a sombrero and shaking her maracas to "Feliz Navidad" didn't turn out.

Kathi didn't steal anyone's gift but was such a good sport that she played Rudolph just for fun, much to our amusement.

These are great friends that I have.  It's always a blast when we get together.  It's a party to look forward to all year long!