Sunday, December 21, 2014

Our Family: Week of 12/15-12/21

On Monday these guys were very happily surprised by letters from Santa's elves!

We wrote letters to Santa's station in Santa Claus, Indiana and those kind elves wrote back.  I hope they know what a kind service that is to kiddos.

That evening, Josh went to another swim class.  His last one is on Wednesday, where he will be tested.  I don't think he will pass (it IS his first class), but I think he will come pretty close!

I love these two cute boys together.  Josh is so heartbroken his best bud is leaving (me, too), but I'm so grateful for the time they had together.


On Tuesday we packaged up our homemade gifts.  I didn't have time/energy/resources to do neighbor and friend gifts.  But, we made homemade hot fudge for the kids' teachers and Mike's co-workers (they all give each other gifts).  I also gave a bottle of nail polish to my cute Activity Day girls.


I am not sure if I ever mentioned this, but months ago Grace auditioned for the school play and was cast as Reporter #1 in "The Santa Claus Chronicles."  She had dress rehearsals today, and is so excited for her play tomorrow!

And... the fact that Grammy and Papa are coming up to watch it!


On Thursday Grammy and Papa came up for a Christmas visit.

We were so excited to have them here!

During the school day the kids' all had class parties and handed out their gifts to their teachers.  They all came home with tummies full of cookies, hot cocoa, and candy canes.

That evening we headed out (with my Activity Day girls) to watch Grace's play.

She did soooo awesome!

She worked really hard to learn her lines, enunciate, and learn where she had to stand and move.  We are so proud of her!

After the play we came home to open and enjoy the Christmas gifts they worked so hard to make!

Each year, I give my dad a crazy idea of a gift he can make the kiddos.

And each year he patiently listens to my crazy ideas and creates something even better than I had imagined.

This year they (my dad cut, my mom sanded) made beautiful, big building blocks.  These things have been used to make SO many things so far... the kids LOVE them!

In addition to the blocks, he made a gorgeous see-saw.

It's been Adam's lifelong dream to ride on a see-saw, but they took those out of parks and schools for some reason.

Not only do these guys love that thing and play on it daily (it's also very popular with friends), but I make the kids pile on one end while I go on the other and do squats every day.

Free workouts, people!

And, seriously, you don't KNOW leg soreness until you've tried this thing.

Thanks Grammy and Papa for the AWESOME Christmas gifts!

They are very, very loved.


On Friday Mike had to go to work, but we got to stay home and play.

Papa helped Adam learn how to use the electric jig saw he brought up.

And taught Josh how to hit acorns with a tennis racket.

We played in the morning, and then crossed another item off of our Christmas list by making gingerbread houses.

My Dad got in on the fun, too.

Sam's house:

I channeled my inner Cake Boss with the piping to help Sam out on it and felt very cool.

Josh's house:

Grace's house:

Adam's gingerbread Boy Scout tent:

After we made those darling houses, we walked down to the park to wear off all that sugar!

That evening we got to enjoy my favorite food in the world: my Dad's Chinese food.

It's amazing.

I have the best childhood memories of us cooking together making that stuff.  When I remember cooking together, I just remember laughing while we peeled garlic and snitched tastes.

I'm sure there was some fighting, but I don't really remember that.

I remember having fun with my family.

Which makes me hope that my kids will look past the fighting and teasing and remember the fun times that we have together, too.


On Saturday my parents left early in the morning.

We had the best time with them, and are so grateful that they came up!

After they left, the C* family kids came over for one last playdate before they left for Washington.

We are going to miss that sweet family so much.

The past few years I've baby-sat them, we've played a lot of homemade holiday games together.  Josh and I made them copies of the games as a Christmas gift.

We wanted them to be able to enjoy them without us (and it helped Josh to feel better about the move).

That evening we went over to Sam's Town for the Christmas laser light show.

It's always awesome, and never disappoints.



On Sunday evening, after a good day of church and family time, we drove around and looked at Christmas lights.

Mike takes this extremely seriously each year, researching the coolest houses in Vegas, and mapping out a map to see them all.

He does an awesome job finding the best houses.

We had such a fun week finishing up Christmas parties, visiting with family, and doing last minute Christmas prep.  We can't wait for Christmas to get here soon!

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