Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas Day

My little munchkins Christmas morning. I was very glad that they slept in until 8:30!
All four of them were excited to get this Ariel vanity from Grandma and Grandpa Bevans.
Leilani's big gift was a horse for her 18" dolls.
Benjamin loved his dump truck
Elisabeth and Benjamin loved the lion rocker that Santa left for Ben.
The kids had fun using the puppet theater I made. Unfortunately, I did not finish it until 2 am Christmas morningLeilani made her dad a golf club out of cardboard and paper.
We received cool matching aprons from Aunt Megan and Uncle Glen's family.
We went to Grandma and Grandpa's house later that morning. Someday I will do a blog article on the history of matching pajamas in our family.
It is tight and cozy at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Just wait until everyone is together next Christmas! Last year we ended up sitting out in the hall by the front door.
Benjamin had a lot of fun playing in a box that Grandpa's coat came in. We hope everyone had a special day. Love ya!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Eve Nativity

On Christmas Eve, we always get together at Grandma's house with whatever family is in town and reinact the story of the nativity.

Dad always narrates the story from the scriptures. This year we split the part of Mary. Sophie was Mary riding the Uncle Kelly donkey with her dad, Todd as Joseph.

Next are the shepherds. Kim and her daughter, Haylie, along with Leilani and her sheep (one stuffed animal and one Elisabeth).

We added the little drummer boy to accomodate Benjamin, even though that is not in the scriptures.

Janelle, Emily and Brooke were the angels heralding the news of baby Jesus to the shepherds.

Alli, Sophie and I were the wisemen (or women in this case).

Alan and Leilani were one Mary and Joseph set and Todd and Sophie were the other (we accomodated both girls in their desire to be Mary, since no one had any little babies to be Jesus this year. There are already two babies on the way for next year, however, so those moms will have to duke it out for the part of Mary next year.)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

All Gifts Are Finished!

Well, it came down to the Christmas Eve deadline, but all the gifts got finished this year! (no IOU's) Leilani finished her Daisy Duck puppet for Elisabeth,

I finished my puppet theater for the kids, and Emily finished her hat and scarf she made for Leilani.
It turns out that the kids also made me presents with Grandma. Leilani made me a photo cube with pictures of the kids in it, Elisabeth made me salt and pepper shakers and Emily made me a photo frame.

Making gifts was very time consuming, yet we all were proud of our projects, and it was great to see how much people liked them.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Santa Came To Grandma's House!

Last night, while we were at Grandma's house for Sunday dinner, Santa came to visit! There was a knock on the door, and when the kids opened it, Santa was standing there. He came in and visited with each one of the kids. He also gave them a small gift for being such good kids. Wow! The kids were so excited to get a personal visit from Santa. It is a good thing that Grandma knows him so well.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Minnie Mouse Puppet

Emily finished her puppet for Elisabeth. She made Minnie Mouse to go with Benjamin's Mickey Mouse puppet that Leilani made. I think it turned out really cute. Emily really has an eye for detail. She envisioned long eyelashes, and she made them. Now, the count down is on for her to finish Leilani's hat and scarf. At this rate, she is going to sew better than I am!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Storytime With Mrs. Santa Claus

We went to Barnes and Noble last night with my mom and my niece, Isabella, for storytime with Mrs. Santa Claus. She read a couple of Christmas stories to the kids and then everyone could get their picture taken with her. They had a Polaroid camera that they took the pictures with, and the kids thought they were magic. They even served yummy cookies afterward. I really love all the free activities our community has.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Family Creche Pictures

We have made it a family tradition to go to the Community Creche Exhibit each year at the beginning of December. The past three years they have taken pictures of families dressed up. My kids really like this, and it makes for a neat family picture. You can see how our family has grown in these pictures.

Above, I was pregnant with Benjamin, although a lot of people thought the doll was him in the picture.

Above, we had Benjamin as baby Jesus,but since he was almost a year old he wanted to sit up and slide out of the manger instead of cooperate and lie down.

After watching his cousin, Haylie, cry and fight being baby Jesus, there was no way Benjamin was going to cooperate and be baby Jesus this year. So, we dressed him like a king and he was perfectly happy.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Leilani's Puppet For Benjamin

Well, Leilani finished her first Christmas present today. She made a Mickey Mouse puppet for Benjamin. It took her (and Grandma and Aunt Kim) a lot of time, but I think it turned out really cute!

Putting up the Christmas tree

I know there are die hard lovers of real Christmas trees out there, but I am not one of them. We have had a real tree a few times, but it isn't worth the cost to me. In fact the last one we cut ourselves a few years ago ended up dropping sap on my floor and infesting bugs in my dining room (maybe they were hibernating on the tree or something?). So, we use a fake tree. My parents gave us our first one when we got married, and we bought a bigger one when we moved into this house because the old one looked so small in our bay window. The kids love helping Alan put together the tree. They sort the branches and help put them on (actually, this year Ben was pulling them off) and of course fight over who gets to put the top on. I just get to capture the event on film, and then decorating it is my job. However, it looks like I am going to have to convince Benjamin that this is not his new fort before the ornaments get on!

Friday, December 14, 2007

My Maytag Ordeal

I am so happy today, because my dishwasher is finally working. Dishpan hands and I are not a happy pair. I am crossing my fingers and hoping that my five month ordeal has ended.

It all started the beginning of July, when we got a recall notice in the mail for our dishwasher. Some models were causing fires because of a defect in the door where the rinse aid is added. We called and sure enough, our model was one of the ones that were involved in the recall. They would mail the parts needed to fix it and send us a list of companies to call that could repair it for us. So, please don't use the dishwasher until it is fixed. When we hadn't received anything by August, we called again. Oops, they had forgotten to send the stuff. Don't use your dishwasher, we will get it right out.

Fast forward to September. We finally get our parts in the mail. We call down the list of companies. Some are not doing the recall fix. Everyone else is too busy. The soonest we could get someone to come is the beginning of October. Needless to say, I am using my dishwasher all this time. It works perfectly, and I don't use a rinse aid so I figure the chance of us having a fire is minimal. When the guy finally comes, it takes him a long time and he is having problems, but he finally says everything is perfect. So, we run the dishwasher that night and wake up to cracked dishes because the water in the dishwasher is not working. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. So we call the company back and explain that the dishwasher worked perfectly until they "fixed" it and now the water doesn't work. Could they come back and fix it? No! They are much too busy. But they could come back in about three weeks. You've got to be joking? No. So, I angrily work the phones trying to get Maytag to fix my dishwasher. Finally I get an authorization code to call another company and see if they can come fix the problem sooner. I found a nice man who said he could come in two days. Great! He came, fixed the problem and left. We are so happy for almost three weeks, but the week before Thanksgiving the water is not working again (more cracked dishes). AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAhhhhhhhh

So we call the man back, but he is closed until the week after Thanksgiving, so we endure. When we finally get hold of him, he says he won't come back because Maytag hasn't paid him for the first trip out. So, it is back to the phones, arguing with Maytag. What about this great reputation they are supposed to have? Quality products? Repairmen who have nothing to do because their products don't need repairs? (is it all a lie...?) They have to discuss it and get back to us. A week later they call and say we can have the guy come back and they will pay him. Yes, they will call him and work everything out. When we call him, however, he hasn't heard from them. Wait, wait, wait. Call Maytag again. Oh yeah, they need to get that authorized by upper management. They'll get back to us. Needless to say, they are really testing the patience I do not have. Washing all these dishes and pans on a daily basis is cruel and unusual punishment.

Finally we get the call back from them. Finally we get an appointment with the man to come and fix our dishwasher. Finally, I can fill it up with dirty dishes and have it wash them for me! Hurray!!!!! So, I am crossing my fingers (please work for more than three weeks), and promising myself that I will never buy a Maytag again. (Grrrrr, are all companies as frustrating as this?) Really, am I being unreasonable? I do not think so. If I followed their instructions, I would have been without a dishwasher for five months. As it is, two months was frustrating enough. I guess one unsatisfied customer won't hurt them, but at least I can voice my frustration.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Emily's dalmation puppet

Emily is the first one to finish one of her gifts. She made this dalmation puppet for Benjamin for Christmas. I think it turned out really cute. Notice the attention to details - the cute collar with a bell...

and the cute little tail.

Benjamin is sure to love it. Now on to Elisabeth's present.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Putting the Angel on the Tree

Leilani put the angel on Grandma Bevans' Christmas tree Sunday night. That monuental event marks the completion of the Christmas tree decorating at Grandma's house. The task used to be Kim's. She sat on Dad's shoulders and put that angel on for years. In fact, I think she did it up until the year she got pregnant with Haylie. Then she decided she was too heavy for Dad's shoulders, and passed the torch on to Leilani (who pulled rank as the oldest grandchild). Leilani has very proudly taken over the task, and so far no one has argued with her right to do it...they just all watch in reverent awe as the angel goes on Grandma's tree.