Monday, December 29, 2008

I got this in my email from a friend. Wouldn't I love it to be true!? It brought a smile to my face just watching it :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Creche Exhibit

We have made it a yearly tradition to go to the community creche exhibit. We enjoy looking at all the creches from around the world, and we like to get our family picture taken. We had to take the picture without Alan this year, so Benjamin took over as Joseph and Elisabeth took my place as Mary. The kids were excited to have new roles.
Grandma took a picture with the grandkids since Grandpa couldn't come. The girls were all angels and Travis was a cute baby Jesus.
I took a few of my own pictures too.
Emily's choir performed at the creche this year. She auditioned during the summer and was selected for the Oregon Children's Choir this year. People warned me that the choir had a lot of Sunday commitments, but out of 6 concerts, only one is on Sunday, which is a better ratio than Kidsports. She has been really enjoying it. They did a pretty good job.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Ward Christmas Party

We went to the ward Christmas party without Alan this year. It was a "best dress" party, so it was fun to dress nice (my kids wore washable clothes, however!).
We ate a yummy meal with the family and sang lots of Christmas songs. We also read the nativity story.
The only part of the party that my kids had a problem with was when Santa came. Santa was wearing a Victorian outfit this year, and I could not convince my younger kids that this was really Santa. I don't think my kids were the only ones with this problem, because usually when Santa walks in the room there is a lot of excitement and this time it was dead silent. Benjamin kept saying, "I don't know that guy. Who is that?" When I tried to tell him it was Santa, he would say, "those aren't Santa's clothes." (In fact, a few days later when we were driving down the street we saw a Santa on a corner trying to get people to come into a Christmas tree lot. Benjamin looked at him and yelled, "There's Santa! Why didn't he come to our Christmas party?!")
The kids did sit on Santa's lap, though, without any problem.
They enjoyed the candy canes and they were good sports about letting us take pictures. The activity commitee did a good job, and we had lots of fun that evening. I just hope that next year Santa can find his traditional suit for the kids :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gingerbread Houses

We spent one of our snow days making gingerbread houses.
Kim and I actually made REAL gingerbread and cut out all our house pieces. (we learned that you should get the pieces off the cookie sheet pretty fast and not wait for them to cool) Kim was SHOCKED that I actually had molasses in my pantry.
The kids used graham crackers for their houses.
I think the kids ate more candy than they put on their houses.

The houses turned out really cute. Emily made hers like a present. (That is Ben's collapsed house in the foreground)
This is mine, but I didn't have anyone to take my picture with it ( I finished it after the kids went to bed)
Kim's was a work of art as usual.
Leilani built a traditional house. We had a lot of fun, but it was more work than we imagined.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Helping Dad With The Christmas Decorations

Traditionally it has been Alan's job to put up the Christmas tree, so we made sure that we did it while he was home for Thanksgiving.
The kids love to help. They sort the branches into piles.
And then they put the branches on the trunk - under the direction of Dad of course! (We have had real trees before, and although it is really fun to go pick them out and cut them down, we generally prefer our fake one)

This year the kids pretty much put it together themselves.
They were very proud of themselves, and of course wanted to play under the tree when it was done. (What is it about a tree that just makes you want to climb under, around and in it?)
Emily was the only one who stuck around to help her Dad put the lights on the Christmas tree.
Benjamin decided that he was going to help put the lights on the house.
He was very excited to help Dad,
and we only had a few lights get dropped and broken.
They did a great job, and I was glad that Alan got all of that done while he was home, because I didn't want to add any of that to my list of things to get done! :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

All Together Again!

For those of you who don't know, our prayers have been answered and we are going to be a family living together in the same state again. Alan starts a new job, here in Eugene, on December 29. Hurray! What a great Christmas present we are getting.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fall Leaves

While Alan was home for Thanksgiving, I asked him to rake the leaves in the yard. After we got past the male argument that the leaves hadn't all fallen off the trees yet, so it made no sense to rake the leaves because it would just have to be done again, he went out and raked the leaves into nice piles. Benjamin helped rake the leaves for a while, but then decided they were more fun to play in.
So, I decided to do some fun pictures in the leaves.

I was trying to take a pictures of all the kids lying in the leaves, but Ben wasn't cooperating.

Instead, he got big armfuls of leaves and threw them on his sisters as they posed for my pictures.

But eventually I prevailed!

When I was done, the kids decided to have an all out war with the leaves. You can see Alan in the background just watching all his work being destroyed. But he was a good sport and let them have their fun. When they were finished, he got the leaves in the garbage, with very little help.

The kids were just making me laugh. I watched this video and decided they were having just as much fun with the leaves as they were with any of the toys they have. Boxes and leaves for Christmas?! Am I on to something?

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Cranberry Tradition

At some point during my childhood, my mom got the book "Cranberry Thanksgiving" and decided that we should make the recipe for cranberry bread off the back. It has been a family tradition since then, although rumor has it that my sisters never enjoyed making it the years that I was gone. I thought it was fun, and we have continued the tradition in my family. Every year we borrow the book from Mom (I have yet to find a copy of my own).

We read it to the kids...
and then we make the bread.

Each of the kids has to have a turn mixing, dumping, sifting, and chopping.

We've even drafted Alan to help out with the chopping.

We cut the butter into the dough,

we chop the cranberries (by hand until this year - I got a chopper last year for Christmas!)

We really have a good time together making the bread. None of my kids will even try eating it, though. We take it over to Grandma's house for dinner, and Aunt Alli, Grandma and I pretty much eat the whole loaf ourselves. Yummy!