Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas 2016

Whew-wee.  The speed at which December flies by.  We had so many things going on, but it was a wonderful Christmas season overall! Corey had a nice chunk of time off, making our break seem more like a staycation.  I loved it!  We decorated a gingerbread house and put out a big hot air balloon puzzle (3rd year running) for everyone to work on as they wanted to.  I love this tradition.  Sadly, when we were about 3/4 of the way thru it, we found it on the floor in exactly 500 pieces.  Dawson must've been eyeing it for a couple of days and wanted in on the action!  It was ok, I knew we'd get 'er done eventually.  Our advent calendar was in full swing this year as we participated in the 'Light the World' program that our church put out.  It was a great way to keep Christ in our hearts and minds each day.  The kids still took turns opening the box each day but in addition to candy, they had an assignment to work on an attribute that Christ showed.  It was good for all of us!  Dawson quickly realized that the box equaled candy, so each morning he asked to "openthebox."  It was so fun, and on his turns to open it he very graciously passed out candy to his brothers before taking one for himself.  Mornings were a treat in more ways than one.

We made a maiden voyage to the Unser Racing museum and had a great time and an amazing surprise run in with Big Al himself.  Totally awesome!  This guy won 4 Indy 500 races (the car behind us in the pic was his racing car for the 4th win) and is a racing legend. He had a fun chat with kids, asking them what they wanted to do when they grow up.  Ash said an MLS player, Beck said an MLB player...Al told them no matter what it was they did, they had to try to be #1, because there isn't any better feeling in the world than being #1.  He was very nice...he told the boys when they were famous they could come back and he could get their autographs in exchange for one of his cars!

 We hit the zoo (me and the boys...so fun), played some wiffle ball, hit the aquarium and botanical gardens too.  At the gardens we totally lucked out and were there right before they closed so all the Christmas lights for River of Lights were on.  We practically had the whole place to ourselves and it was amazing.  It was a perfectly chilly, dusky skied, peaceful winter evening with magical lights everywhere. Loved it! 

Christmas Eve was at home.  While the boys were filling up luminaria bags with sand, the Elders showed up spreading Christmas Cheer.  They helped us set up, then were on their way.  We made (and ate) cookies, had a nice dinner, and celebrated the evening with scriptures, video and talk of Christ.

On Christmas morning (or was it still night?), Beckett came in just after midnight asking if he could go down and open presents.  Um, nope, and back to bed!  After a few more hours of sleep, the kids were ready for the big reveal.  The big boys came down to laser gun sets and stockings full of fun, and we let Dawson sleep in a little before bringing him down to his new ride on tractor, which he was initially scared of but warmed up to it after 15 minutes or so. The laser guns were a HUGE hit, and so much fun (Cor and I loved 'em too). After a morning of thoughtful presents and fun surprises, we had cinnamon rolls, dressed up and headed off to a very nice Christmas service at church.  Worshiping at church on Christmas morning was wonderful, and I am just so thankful to have my family to spend it with. Asher and Beckett sang a verse of a song together as part of the meeting and it brought me to tears.  It was so beautiful.  They really did a great job and I was very proud of them. These boys are growing up fast, and I love Christmas time and the memories we get to make so I can keep pieces of these special moments alive.  Merry Christmas! 

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