Monday, December 14, 2015

December 13, 2015

We started December off by decorating the house.  Daddy played carols on the piano while the kids and I trimmed the tree.  It was a fun way to spend family night.  I love the way each child decides to decorate.  We ended up with a lot of ornaments skimming the floor this year.
All she wants for Christmas is her two front teeth!  Lily lost her second front tooth at school.  She was so excited to come home and show Mommy.  While playing a game in class, Lily bumped her mouth and knocked the tooth out. Her teacher provided a cute little tooth box so Lily could safely bring her tooth home.
Our town did a small scale Festival of Trees to benefit the library.  Organizations and businesses donated trees and the public came in to view them and bid on them.  Our favorite was the Sheriff's Office blue and turquoise tree done by my friend Audrey Wolfensburger.  We thought the Idaho potato tree was funny.  It actually looked pretty cute in red and burlap but those potato ornaments were a little strange. There were 12 trees in all.  Hopefully the festival will get bigger and better as the years go by.
Annie's preschool teacher has been ill so we didn't have preschool for a week and a half.  For one of the cancelled days Annie asked to make gingerbread men after reading the gingerbread man story.  We got lucky.  Tommy took a nap and Joey was asleep so we had some great uninterrupted Mommy-Daughter time.  Annie enjoyed learning about the ingredients in the cookies.  She thought the molasses smelled terrible - and she was wary of some of the spices too.  Once the cookies were baked, she wouldn't even try them.  She was missing out.  They were delicious.
Christmastime means Christmas dishes!  Grammy gave us this set a few years ago.  We love eating with them all month long.  Our family favorite are the giant mugs.  They make great bowls or cups.  Thank you for the fun dishes Grammy.  It's a tradition the kids always look forward to.
After working hard to bake all those gingerbread men we decided to have a cookie decorating night.  Daddy had a meeting for church so he missed the fun, but he enjoyed snacking on a few the next day.  Tommy really got creative with his cookies.  Lily or Mommy would put frosting on his cookies and he would stick his candies on all by himself.  Lily made a couple of cookies for her teacher.  The rest of the cookies we donated to a community Christmas celebration.
Can you guess who did which cookies?

Friday night our town did a Christmas light parade down Main Street.  It was a fun, but freezing experience.  The winds were pretty high that night which made everything feel colder. We snagged some free hot cocoa and stopped in a few stores to try and thaw out. Lily was thrilled to bump into her buddy Kaytlyn from school.
Tommy got a train whistle from the prize drawing at the police station.  He was delighted beyond words.  We're just glad it's a fairly quiet whistle.
It was a cute small-town experience.  Next year we will wear our snow pants too.  The kids were so cold.  But getting free candy and seeing Santa Claus helped their moods a little bit.
The next day was a community Christmas celebration sponsored by the town Lutheran church.  From 9:00 am-9:00 pm there were performers doing Christmas music in the chapel of the church.  Down in the basement over 100 nativities were on display.  Guests could come in and have cocoa and cookies while they listened to the music and looked at the nativities.  Mommy was involved with the event.  We lent our four nativity sets, made six dozen cookies, and Mommy did a 15 minute set of singing and playing the piano.  It was a great way to spend the day.
At night the veterinarian next to the church put on a live nativity with animals the public could come and pet.  We had learned our lesson the previous night at the parade; we came in snow pants, boots, double jackets, and all our snow accessories.  We were toasty warm and had a wonderful experience. Don't you love Annie's outfit?  Purple zebra pants, a wild floral print coat, frozen hat, pink gloves, she was dressed to the nines!
Lily's favorite animal was the donkey.  Tommy wouldn't touch any of the animals until Mommy found a small quiet bunny.  Tommy fell in love with the bunny and then was brave enough to pet all the other animals too.  Annie wanted to stay with the bunny for a long time.  We can't blame her.  It was a sweet little thing.
After the live nativity, we went back to the Lutheran church to have more hot cocoa, see the nativities, and listen to some of the performers.
It was a great opportunity to show our kids how others not of our faith celebrate our Savior.  Annie was impressed with a wall of beautiful crosses that was near the entry of the church.  We hope they learned that the people who serve in that church love Jesus in the same way we do and that they are striving to be good people just like we are.  We also hope they felt the Spirit while listening to the songs and scriptures that night.  It was a wonderful way to begin the Christmas season.
We love having the tree up.  The decorations get moved daily (sometimes hourly) by the kids.  Joey loves to rest under the tree and swat at the ornaments while watching the lights.  He has fallen asleep under the tree a few times.
Speaking of Joey.....he turned four months old on the 10th.  He is a pretty awesome baby.  We just wish he wouldn't spit up so much.  The amount of laundry we go through is ridiculous.
I had a long day of errands last week.  To keep the kids happy we grabbed a quick lunch at McDonald's.
Joey is getting stronger and starting to grab things.  He even tries to hold his own bottle.

Jeremy' great-aunt Myrt passed away last week. We got to have one night with Grammy and Grampy who traveled over for the funeral.  They didn't get to stay long because they were in charge of the ward Christmas party.  Grammy brought each child an ornament with their name on it for the tree and some fun games too.  We are happy they came and we're glad to spend a little extra time with them after Christmas at the cabin.
We got hit suddenly with illness.  Lily was doing great all day Thursday but woke in the middle of the night with a fever and tummy problems.  She never actually threw up but she did have a fever at 101-102 for almost 24 hours.  It went just as fast as it came and she was feeling better by Saturday.  Which is a good thing because our ward put on an amazing Christmas party that day.

We entered the building and "purchased" our tickets for a ride on the Polar Express.  We were met at the door by the bishopric who were dressed as conductors.
They punched our tickets and helped us find a seat on the "train".
Daddy went early that morning before the sun was up to help cook pancakes, sausage, ham, eggs, hashbrowns, and hot chocolate.  All the food was wonderful. And the decorations were cute.  It was a lot of work for all the people involved.
After everyone got a chance to eat breakfast, we sat down to hear the story of the Polar Express.
Then we had to leave because Lily had a dance performance in Rexburg.  After hearing the story of the Polar Express, Santa came to wish all the children a Merry Christmas and talk to them about our Savior.  The three conductors changed into the three Wise Men and spoke about following the Savior.  I wish we could have stayed for the program, so the kids could have seen it.

Lily's performance went well.  It was hard for them to tap on the carpet.  It made their shoes slick.  But they still did pretty well.  The residents of the retirement home were very appreciative.  As part of Lily's dance, they passed out leis to the patients.  After all the classes danced, they handed out Christmas cards to the patients and spent a little time visiting with them.  I was so proud of Lily for bravely taking time to talk with a woman.  Last year she was too shy to actually talk to anyone.  This year she smiled and held hands with a sweet old grandma who wanted to talk about her red hair and missing front teeth.

We can't believe Christmas is so close!  There seems to be so much to do.  Tis the season!