Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Christmas - part 2 "CHRISTMAS DAY!"

Our Christmas was so wonderful! I had spent weeks prior worrying if we would be able to move into our new home by Christmas and then wondering if we would be able to be "settled enough" for it to feel like "home" for Christmas. When Christmas Day did come around all my dreams had come true... our family was happy, healthy, and together, we were in our new home and it truly did feel like "home", and we even had time enough to decorate for Christmas and set out all my Nativities! I counted this year and I have 43 different depictions of the Nativity (Creches, artist prints, puzzles, wall hangings, etc.) but that does not include the ornaments I have. I know, some of you may think I am crazy. But I am just fascinated with how different artist use different media to depict that Holy Night. I love my Savior and His birth is so sacred. I do not want our children to ever mistake what Christmas is all about. Santa is a very small part of our Christmas. We keep it real, we keep it about Jesus.

Our Christmas day was a wonderful and fun day. About as perfect as a Norman Rockwell painting you can get. I was so content and full of joy that I even stopped at one point and thought to myself, "I am so content and full of joy today!" Anyway, here are a few tidbits of our day...

The children playing happily together with Andrew's new "Mouse Trap" game. Too fun!

The tradition of putting together a puzzle. Everyone worked on it at some point during the day, yes even Ben and Andrew did! Andrew would find pieces with a certain color requested and Ben actually put together several! So smart! This is a tradition brought from Nathan's side. Nathan's parents brought this puzzle and put together most of it.

I am including this photo not only to show how big Nick is getting (just look at that kid, he's a young man!) but also to show the fireplace. I think this is the only photo I have that shows the fire in the fireplace. Christmas Day was the first day that Nathan built a fire in our new home. How sweet...and comfy!

Our adopted auntie, "Trishie", came over too! She couldn't get home to Hawaii for the holidays so we had her over. We are the next best thing to family because no one besides her actual family could love her as much as my kids do! Actually it might be a pretty close competition!

Her birthday was a couple weeks ago and we never got her gifts to her (the move and everything messed us up), so we gave her one of her birthday gifts on Christmas day. I didn't have any birthday paper so we turned Christmas paper inside out and decorated it with words. It was a nativity set. She didn't have one of her own. I think she liked it.

A big hit this year on the toy front was the "HEX-Bugs". They are little robotic bugs and the kids are just fascinated with how they move. It is pretty cool. Both Nick and Tatiana recieved some of those. Santa was pretty kind to everyone this year as well. Andrew received a PIXAR CARS Race Track, a nice, simple, collapsible and carry-able one. Ben received some STAR WARS LEGO sets. He was in HEAVEN! Tatiana and Nick both received ipod Touches. Very cool. They not only play games and music on them, but they are good at keeping up with the calendars and they read their scriptures on there. I think their favorite thing to do is take pictures.

And Santa also brought everyone breakfast in their stockings like he does every year. Yum!

I love this picture! Andrew received a penguin hat and Ben received a polar bear hat. Too stinkin' cute!!! Andrew has worn his all around town, he loves it!

Oh, and check out our SUNRISE on Christmas morning! WOW! And, no, this was not altered in any way. It really truly looked that gorgeous!!!

Checking out what Santa brought. Notice it is still dark outside. So much fun!

We had a little buffet of food out all day to snack on. Everyone was happy.

What an amazing day! MERRY CHRISTMAS! May the spirit of Christmas and the spirit of the season be with all of us all year long!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Christmas - part 1

We really enjoyed our first Christmas in our new home!

Decorating the tree in front of an amazing view out our living room windows!

Making a candy train with Grandma.

Eating a delicious ham dinner with the family.

Opening our Christmas Eve presents of new pajamas!

And setting our Christmas goodies in anticipation of Santa's arrival. We watched "NORAD Santa Tracker" on the internet and when Santa was getting close we all hurried and went to bed!

Not a creature was stirring.......

Keeping busy during the Holiday

Just a few pictures of my adorable children!

Playing on Grandma's ipad...

playing games with grandpa...

baking Christmas goodies...well, Tatiana is baking, the boys are licking the bowls! (Don't worry, it is just the frosting.)

Being silly and adorable! THe way the hat is pushing his ears down, he really does look like an elf!

And reading... Yes, Ben is really reading that, at least trying his best. I was so proud of his choice in books that I had to take a picture. Too sweet!

Decorating the "kid tree"

We have a Christmas tradition in our family that revolves around this little 5 foot artificial Christmas tree. You see, it was Nathan's and my first tree as a married couple and it was our Christmas tree for the first 6 years of our marriage. That is until we moved into our last house which had vaulted ceilings and was screaming for a taller tree. Se we bought our 9 foot tree, but didn't have the heart to get rid of this perfectly good tree with so many memories scattered through her branches. So it became the "kid tree" and every year the children decorate this tree all by themselves with their own ornaments. It is a tradition they cherish and they do a wonderful job every year!

Our funny Santa's!

Our funny and adorable children! Check out these Santa imposters! Ha! Ha! Ha! or should I be saying "Ho! Ho! Ho!"?

Our helpers...lifesavers!

We had so many friends come and help us with our move. I was really bad about taking pictures...I was kinda busy...but I wanted to take a moment to recognize those who helped us. I am sure I will be missing someone. If I do, please leave a comment so I can edit this post and included them! The most amazing part is all of this help was voluntarily! These friends offered to help and were so kind.

Several friends helped with childcare so I could pack and clean the old house. Our friends; Jennifer, Christine, Kim, Jaimie and Michelle were all so kind to have our kids over. Mostly Ben and Andrew. Nick and Tatiana were either in school or helping me!

I had a few friends help get us boxes; thank you to Carla, Jaimie, and Christine!

I had some friends come over and help clean the old house too. Thank you Mary, Edith, and Katrina. Katrina's husband, Max, came at that time too and help take apart the trampoline and loaded up the back of the Dodge with boxes along with other "manly" tasks. ;-)

Several men came and helped too with the moving and heavy work. Max and his sons and Bruce and his sons. So nice!

I have to say that the Montgomerys; Max, Katrina, and their boys, were there for us every step of the way and worked their tails off! I don't think we can ever repay them. Max even helped Nathan take a u-haul load over to the new house one evening and they didn't get back until midnight! They waited and left after the boys' school band concert and were there late. Nathan was pretty tired the next day, I am sure Max was too.

I think it was really nice that they were able to stay for the band concert. It was Nick's last concert at NAMS. Max's son, one of Nick's best friends, is also in the band. Nick is having friend withdrawals pretty serious!

Nathan's parents were also a HUGE help in our move! The arrived on the "main" moving day. We had moved a few loads over during the days before, but they were here for a lot of it. Those two work so hard! I was starting to feel guilty because of all the hard work they were doing!

I had friends help at the new house too! My friend, Angie, came and helped clean and unpack my kitchen. That was number one priority so it was so kind of her to do that. She even took the day off of work to help me! Wow! And my friend, Michelle, brought her kids over to hang out (they are some of my children's best friends) and she helped me unpack too. So kind!

We are truly blessed with such amazing friends! Like I said in a previous post, it was really really hard to leave our Albany friends. They are so good to us and have been there for us through the years in so many ways. I just LOVE MY FRIENDS!!!

Here is Michelle helping me unpack...

Nathan's parents putting together our dining room table...what work ethic!

Grandpa and Nick putting together our bed. I also have to give a shout out to Nick and Tatiana. They were extremely helpful throughout the whole move, both during the packing and selling of our old house, the moving process, and unpacking and putting together the new house. They helped with the boys and with the actually moving tasks. I am so proud of them!

Here are "the men" sitting down to some hot soup for lunch after working on moving us in. Perry, Max, and two of Max's sons are there along with Nathan and two of our boys. Now this is a hard working bunch!



We have the most AMAZING sunsets out here in the country! We face the east so every morning it is fun to see what God has painted for us. It is like receiving a special gift from Him each new day. I never was a morning person... but I am learning to be!

Our farewell...

Well, I feel funny calling it a farewell because we were not saying any final good bye's, just a lot of "see you soon!" But I have to post about this because it meant so much to us and it was a lot of fun. Plus I think it is a good way to start our new blog about living in our new home.

Our friends, the Bergs, offered to throw us an open house so we could see everyone before we left. I never did count how many people came, but it was a lot. We pretty well filled their home. They were very gracious and kind to take time out of their very busy holiday schedule to do this for us. It was a great night and good times were had by all. See you later Albany!

The kids were pretty crazy. No one got hurt and nothing got broken, that's always a good thing!

Andrew was pretty overwhelmed so he spent some time in daddy's arms. You see him in this photo. Tatiana and her little girl friends were upstairs the whole night so I actually do not have a picture of her at the party. How terrible.

My mother-in-law had the idea to take a picture of the pile of shoes by the front door. This was only some of them.

During the party we were visited by carolers! How nice! They were led by Micheal Potter, a friend and our bishop.

It was a memorable and wonderful evening. We have so many amazing friends in Albany and it was really hard to leave them. Luckily we are not too far away.