Saturday, January 18, 2014

Tis the Season of Christmas

Getting ready for Christmas

We were late getting ready for Christmas this year.  Originally, I made reservations to go on the Polar Express that first Saturday in December.  On that trip up to Williams we were also going to go cut down our own Christmas tree.  I called the ranger station to the national forest that is right in Williams and talked with them about all the details.  I guess when I talked with them I forgot the most important question... Will you be open on a Saturday?  Because they were not, so although we had a great time on the Polar Express, we did not get to cut down our own Christmas tree:-(  Since, we did not get our tree that weekend, we did not get to go buy our tree until the following weekend.  Which, in my opinion, is way to late to decorate for Christmas.  I am the weekend after Thanksgiving type of girl, but since this year was our first year to get a real tree, I wanted to be special instead of going to Home Depot to buy it (which is where we ended up going).  But we got it and we had a blast decorating.  Arlo was in charge of getting all the lights out of the boxes and Cohen was helping me put the lights on the tree.

Halfway through, Cohen and I got tired of hanging lights and let Tim finish the job.

Here are the pictures we got on our Polar Express trip.  We stopped at the reindeer farm on the way and the boys had a great time.  I did not get out of the car... It was a snowing and the wind was blowing so hard that the cold air felt like it was 40 degrees below zero, instead of the 14 degrees that it was.

Here is us on the train.

It was a fun activity.  The boys had a blast riding on the train and seeing the north pole.  And the next few pictures really summed up the trip for me...

Here we are waiting for Santa to bring us our sleigh bell...

And just look at Arlo's face!!!!  He was SOOOOO excited to finally meet the REAL Santa!!!

And I am disappointed in this next picture!  It was a blizzard outside and it looks like it was barely snowing!
Overall, the trip was a success for the kids!  I would do it again and again just to see that same look of pure joy on Arlo's face.  But when we go again, it will be the night train during a weekday (so we can get out tree) and I will pray that it does not snow/blizzard on us again!!

Christmas Eve was next on our holiday list.  We had Grandma and Grandpa GG there...

We had my entire family there which has been a first in a very long time.  My mom, D, my Dad, Niki, me and my family, Levie and his family, and Bryce were all there!!!  It was wonderful!!!

Let's not forget Jeanie:-)  As well as my cousin Amber and her son.

Grandpa played his harmonica and we all sang Christmas Carols, we read the story of Jesus's Birth, ate lots of great food, and...

Opened our Christmas Jammies...

And had one of Santa's Helpers come and pass out Christmas Eve presents!!!!

Finally, we have Christmas Morning!!!!!
I love to watch the boys open their stockings!!  I don't know about you, but Santa Claus SPOILS our family in their stockings!  I always feel that we could begin and end with stocking and it would still be a great day!!!

But then we had Grammy, D, Niki and Bryce all come over for Christmas morning as well and as you can see, they brought lots of presents with them as well!!!

So, before I continue with the opening present pictures, here are pictures of their letters they wrote to Santa including their Christmas wish lists...

And here is an I'm sorry letter to Rudy our elf who Cohen accidentally hit with his sword!  Rudy had to go beck to the North Pole for a few days while he was recovering, so we wrote him a get better soon/ I'm sorry card.

Back to the opening of the presents....
I had to show the Santa letters because my wonderful 2nd child had more than enough attitude Christmas morning and decided to let everybody know when he got a Christmas Present that was not on his list.  He would say "I don't like/want it, it was not on my list!!!!!"  Needless to say, by the end of the day he loved all his presents but he had a hard time accepting them if they were not on his list.

This present was from Grammy and D!  Yes, I know my boys are spoiled!!!

This present was from Santa Claus!  THANK YOU SANTA!!!!

I had to post a picture of this present... This year I made an effort to include the kids in the giving part af Christmas.  I made sure that both Arlo and Cohen helped pick out and wrap presents to everyone else in the family.  They got to put them under the tree and had to promise not to tell the people what they got them.  I really want Christmas to be a fun time, but I hope to teach my boys that giving is just as fun (if not more) than receiving presents.  But after all I did, I opened a present that I did not know about that Arlo had made for me in preschool!  It is a snowman light and it is by far my most favorite present of all!!!!

And Cohen finally received his man blanket that his dad made him...

Here is Bryce and his random present!!!

This present was a a gift from Grampy!!!

Overall this Christmas season was wonderful!!!  I love spending time with my family, I love teaching my kids about the true reason for the season!  Although, I will not deny that my kids get spoiled, I hope they are also learning to love and appreciate their Savior and all that he did for us!  To close, here is a picture of the beautiful new sculpture that they put out at the Mesa, Arizona temple during their Christmas Light display.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!!

Also, just a side note... I am sorry to all those who read my blog who did not get a Christmas card this year.  You did not get one because we did not send them!  Time got away from me this year!  So, I was planning on sending out New Year cards instead and then that came and went, so... next year:-)