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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Dear Santa

We continued what has become tradition of dinner and Santa at the Riverwoods with Cory and Calvin.  I wondered how Luke would react - he talks about Santa constantly, but is pretty withdrawn around strangers.  As soon as we arrived at Santa's house it was like a reunion with an old friend.  He waited at the front of the line and as soon as it was his turn, ran up and put his arms up for Santa to lift him up.  He told Santa that he wanted toys, and appeared to be content to sit there as long as possible. Poor Ruby...I thought she would give him her shy response and look down quietly.  Not quite, the poor girl was terrified and screamed as soon as Tim sat her on Santa's lap.  Santa did his best to comfort her but this was clearly not her year for bonding with the Jolly one.

We invite Cory, of course because we love him, but we especially love his skills with a camera.  Once we left Santa's house, the kids ran around enjoying the magic.  They loved the lights and were super cute to watch dancing to the live music that was in the pavilion.  This was one of those sweet moments as a parent - I just loved being there with Tim and the kids, nothing better than watching your kids have such a great time discovering the world.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

December - Part I

We have really made an effort this December to embrace the season and enjoy the magic as seen through the eyes of little ones.   I actually have to remind myself of this almost daily because it is so easy to get caught up in the business of life.  Lucky I have the kids to keep me focused.  As soon as I started putting up Christmas decorations Luke started talking about Santa, telling me that he is his friend and that Santa brings us toys and presents.  Even Ruby seems to recognize the big guy, every time she sees something with Santa she says "Ho, Ho, Ho" - except for when she actually sees Santa, then she is terrified.

Last year we brought the Little People Nativity for Luke and he absolutely loved it - Sheepie was his favorite and has been with us all year.  Luke was pretty excited to have the whole gang back together. It's been cute to watch him play with it, he knows who everyone is and likes to name each one.  He keeps all of the figures in a large Ziploc bag in his crib most of the time to keep Ruby from playing with them.

Tim has been looking for a long time and finally found the car of his dreams in California.  After a quick flight, almost getting mugged, sleeping all night on the floor in the airport, and more than a few revisions of the plan he and his dream car finally met and headed home.  It's been fun to see him so excited about this car. 

One of our favorite traditions is dinner at The Pizza Factory and then the Spanish Fork Festival of Lights.  In years past we have all crammed into Jarin and Jami's van which was quite the adventure. This year we had several more people and decided that there was no way the van would work.  The weather has been pretty mild for December so we decided to take Cory's truck.  Grandma and Grandpa and the babies rode in the cab to stay warm and the rest of us piled in the bed.  We forgot that it is always windy in Spanish Fork which made it pretty chilly, but with Jami's hot chocolate, and some loud caroling (mostly to embarrass Ada), we all stayed warm and toasty.

Jessica and I headed out early Saturday morning mid December to do her last long run before her New Years Eve marathon.  It was cold and rainy and I had been feeling sick, so I told her that I was only willing to run 10 out of her 20 miles.  As always, we loved the chance to spend a few hours together - a lot of chatting with a little running on the side.  I made it 11.5 miles then Jess had to finish the rest on her own.  

My parents were in charge of their ward Christmas party and decided on the the theme of "Do You Want to Build a Snowman".  For weeks we heard about all of the plans and the work that they (along with the unofficial committee members, Jarin and Jami) were doing so we decided to go to be supportive and see the finished product.  We all had such a good time: ham dinner, photo booth, snowman building, and lots of cousin time.  It was great to see the party be such a success.  

My mom had energy left over to help the grandkids paint Christmas ornaments on Sunday afternoon. Too bad Luke wasn't willing to take off his shirt too, I'm not sure the paint will ever come out completely.

Tim and the kids surprised me at work with these beautiful flowers.  

I have never really gotten into building gingerbread houses.  I never feel like I know what I'm doing, this is another area where my lack of creativity keeps me from trying. I saw this kit at the store a few weeks ago and decided that the kids wouldn't care how the house turned out - they would just love to build it.  Friday morning Luke and I, with a little cheerleading from Ruby, built what he refers to as "Santa's House".  He is so proud of it and made sure that we put it front and center for everyone to see.

We have had a great month so far, and I can hardly wait to see what the rest of the holiday season brings.