Once Upon a December

How did people post to their blogs in December? I just don’t get it! As Christmas day drew near, the last thing in the world I thought of at the end of the day was, “Gee, I think I’ll neglect the baking and cooking dinner and laundry and cleaning I need to get done this evening and sit and down at the computer for a spell.”

I think there are others out there who are just a little more organized than me. Or are more diligent in using the short amount of time we are alloted every day. Once I get on the computer, it can be really hard for me to stop using it, so I chose to stay away from it a lot in December.

BUT, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t do stuff, because I did!

Like I wrote this little poem one morning before my chiropractor appointment:

T’was two weeks before Christmas,
And all through the house
I could smell stinky sewage
And perhaps a dead mouse.
The kiddos were ready
To start their big day
But all I kept thinking was,
“Why do boys stink this way?”
When what to my wondering eyes should appear?
But a tub of grey water
Nasty stuff, as I feared!
So a call to the Septic man
Was Momma’s next step
And as you can see,
Our yard’s quite a wreck!

Diggin' Holes
Dirt clods are fun to throw...till Momma catches you!
Gila Man helping out, trying to lower the fee (it didn't work)!

We’ve been here for 5 years this month, so it was time to have the septic pumped, and luckily there were no other issues with it, so we are done for another 5 years (hopefully!).

Later that day and the afternoon of the next, I HAD to make strawberry jam before my pathetic bunch of strawberries went bad. Turns out that I didn’t have enough strawberries for the jars I had, so I grabbed the peaches I canned this summer (thanks for the canning lesson, Camille!) and decided to make a batch of peach jam – it turned out so so so so yummy! I’ll definitely do it again next year!

When my boys found out how yummy it was to eat the jam, they both wanted to take part in making it, which was great with Mr B (7), but not so easy with Oli (2), so I came up with some chores for him to do while we made jam:

Wash that cup!
Scrub That Sink!

As you can see, child labor is a popular pastime in this household. He LOVED being in the sink, and he felt like he was a part of the “crew”, so it all worked out perfectly!

We had some friends from church who got some cut Christmas trees from Oregon and offered us one for FREE! Since my artificial tree is in sad shape, we ran over and picked it up. It smelled soooooo good and we had a fun time decorating it. It was hard to get used to not folding the ends of the branches over the most breakable ornaments, but we only lost three this year, so I consider that a decent rate of loss.

GrinsReaching way up!

 

Way up high!

 

We went to see Santa this year, even though it’s been a few years since we’ve told Mr B the truth about the man who sneaks into people’s houses at night. Oli thought he was creepy until he saw the candy cane he was holding, then he ran right up and sat in his lap! (funny side note: the candy bags the boys got had mostly Halloween candy in them with a candy cane thrown in for good measure!)

Big Kid with Santa

 

Little Guy with Santa

 

Candy Bags!!

In the next few days, we got to visit friends and family, and after visiting Aunt Dee Dee, Uncle Mel, and Grammie in The Big City, the boys got to take home a gingerbread house. We decorated and ate it in the same afternoon. Let’s face it; it’s hard for a kid to look at a cookie covered in frosting and candy and not take a bite/pinch/poke/prod/lick.

Excited Much?
Decorating!
Finally, all that work for EATING!
All grins when he finds out that he really gets to eat it!

 

Christmas Eve brought a little surprise; our neighbors invited us over for a small get-together and Nativity scene. It was the CUTEST thing I had ever seen. The kids acted out the scenes while the adults read the parts and every child had a part. Mr. B was one of the Three Kings and did a great job for no practice. :o)

One of the Kings

 

Little King

Finally, (yes, FINALLY), Christmas morning was upon us, and my parents spent the night on Christmas Eve so they could be there when the kids opened up their gifts. It was a super fun morning, but I’ll admit that it was hard to get the ball rolling and get breakfast ready AND be to church by 10am. Honestly, I really wanted to skip it, but I had already told Rachel that we would sing in the choir and I didn’t want to back out. It turned out to be a wonderful meeting and only lasted one hour, and at the end, I was so VERY glad we had gone. It was a perfect way to focus on what the day was TRULY about, and the rest of the afternoon was fun and relaxed.

Christmas morning photos:

One of Oli's favorite things! (he's asking me, "Momma, you-a open dis, pease?")
Looks like you CAN send a gift to a family member in another country and have it get there in time...who knew?
Mom's New Fossil Purse (I may or may not be jealous of this)
PJ's made by Nana (aren't they cute?!?) and a dart gun from Uncle Mikey.
Hat from Momma and markers from the grandparents

We finished up the year by having a fake and totally tweaked New Year’s party. I was NOT about to let my kids stay up ’till midnight and then attempt to keep them from having meltdowns for three hours in church the next morning. I have to draw the line somewhere!

So, Sunday night (New Year’s Day) at 6 pm, we set the clocks ahead three hours and started the festivities. We popped popcorn, drank hot cocoa (or hot tea for me), started watching New Year’s movies and had a great time until “midnight”, when we looked up the 2012 dropping of the ball (thank you YouTube) in Times Square and counted down to the new year in our own little home. Then we shouted, “Happy New Year”, jumped around a little, and put the kiddos to bed.

It was 9:15 when they fell asleep.

I think we’ll do this every year until the kids leave the house…..think it’ll work?

What a wonderful month to reflect on family and The  Savior and realize how truly blessed and lucky (and sneaky) we are! Here’s to another great year of learning and growing (literally) and living!

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