Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Christmas and a trip to Utah!

Oh, I am woefully behind on this blog.  So much to write about!  This year we spent Christmas Eve up at my parents' house in North Dakota and on Christmas Day we began the looooong drive out to Utah for James and Miranda's wedding.  Eeeeek!

It was a little stressful in the couple of days before leaving for North Dakota, what with finishing up Christmas presents, packing the van for a 3 day car trip, and making sure we had everything for the wedding.  We had planned to leave around 4 PM or so.  My parents had been in town, and they left around 3 or 3:30.  They blew a tire around 7:45 and called to see if we were anywhere close enough to help.  We were still in our living room.  It was a long night, but we finally rolled in around 2:30 AM on Christms Eve day.  Whew!

The kids slept pretty well and we got enough sleep to function the next day, so that was nice!  It was a lovely Christmas Eve day spent with my parents!  Mom took the kids to buy food for the local food shelf, and then they went to drop it off.  That really made an impression on them.  Sophie still regularly talks about doing that with Grandma, and about how she thinks we need to do that again soon.  It was a lovely addition to the day!

Other than that, the kids played around, I finished working on James and Miranda's wedding video, and Mom made a delicious roast for dinner with all the fixings.  And Michael and I watched Elf with my parents while the kids napped.  It was just so nice to spend time all together.  And in the evening we got to do a Google hangout with Benjamin!!!!! In Russia!!!!!!  It was so nice to see his face and hear his voice and hear all about his mission so far.  He is doing so well, and we are all so proud of him!  And it was fun to have most of the family join in from all over.  It was so wonderful!

By Christmas Eve, the kids were getting so, so excited!  I always love that magical feeling.  So we let them open their Christmas pajamas, read the Christmas story from the book of Luke, read some Christmas children's' stories we always read when I was a kid, left out a treat and some milk and a note for Santa, and sent them off to bed. 

This year was a big year for Ryan.  A couple of months ago, he asked me THE QUESTION.  And so I answered him honestly.  He was a little sad, and so I told him that the fun part about knowing the secret, is that you get to help be santa!  So after the younger ones were asleep, I let Ryan come out and eat the treats and drink the milk.  He felt very grown up.  And then I sent him off to bed as well!

Christmas morning didn't start as early as I expected, which was an added bonus!  My kids have a knack for waking up extremely early, especially at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  But on Christmas we rolled out of bed at about 7, which was nice!

We did it the good old-fashioned Walton way--in our pajamas, just the way we rolled out of bed, checked out our stockings, and then took turns opening presents, rotating from youngest to oldest.  The kids were so excited to see what Santa had brought them!  I feel like we really got the right things and the right amount of things this year.  It's a nice feeling! 

One of my favorite things I got was an awesome ratchet percussion instrument that Michael MADE for me.  He is amazing!  Michael got lots of tools he wanted, Ryan got a digital camera AND an r/c Bugatti Veyron (both from Grandma and Grandpa--way to go, guys!), Calvin was super excited about the hamster cage and impending hamster ownership that came along with it (more on that in another post!) and Sophie LOOOOOVED her Dora dominos from Aunt Danica.  And Hannah loved her baby yogurt bites :)  It was a fun morning!

And after we had cleaned up, we loaded up the car and headed out on our way!  The kids actually did such a great job on the trip there.  They were happy and listened well and everything, even Hannah!  We stayed the night in Spearfish, SD, and then arrived at my Uncle David and Aunt Joanne's house at about 10 PM on the 26th.  Not too shabby!

So, I suppose I'll leave it at that for this post, and talk all about our exciting time in Utah in the next one!  And now, for some pictures!

The kids is their Christmas jammies, with Grandma and Grandpa:

Happy Hannah with her Grandpa!

Calvin hard at work on his note to Santa:

Upside down Hannah:

Calvin and Grandma:

Calvin and Sophie setting out the stockings:

Sophie arranging treats:

Ryan putting out the reindeer treats:

Calvin being excited:

Talking to Benjamin!

And here we are, Chrsitmas morning!  The kids all slept in my parents' room on the floor, and here I am telling them it's time to come out and see:

Hannah and Michael!

Calvin literally jumping for joy!  I can't remember exactly what he was so excited about:

A very happy Ryan:

A very happy Michael:

Some boys were very impressed with the wall track from Aunt Danica:

Calvin sure loves his Grandma!

Hannah loving her squishy pink toy from Danica:

Ryan and his Bugatti Veyron.  Now that's a happy Ryan face!


And a very happy Sophie girl:

 We hope you all had a very merry Christmas, too!


Abbey said...

I love all the pictures! Those are some happy kids!

AnnaMarie said...

So cute! I love all of the happy, happy kid pictures!