Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is always full of anticipation for me. I love getting excited for Christmas morning and everyone opening their perfect present and being happy and excited. We set up a camera in the Christmas Tree so we could record all the excitement that the kids had when they woke up and ran into the living room without us, but no dice. We woke up first... around 6:30. We heard whispering in the girls bedroom so I peaked in and London was laying there awake, I think she was a little nervous to get up. I told her Santa came and she should come check out her gifts. She was pretty excited.

 The other kids joined us pretty shortly. Macy got a scooter from Santa, London got a Kitty Surprise, and Bentley got a football. They had some small stuff in their stockings but all they really cared about was the chocolate. We called Marie and let her know the kids were awake so she could come over and then started breakfast. We had pancakes, bacon, and eggs. After breakfast we all went into the living room and started opening the presents we got each other. Bentley was really confused about all of this- for a month he's been told NOT to open the presents and now he can?! He sat out of the gift wrapping for a few presents.

The biggest excitement/shocker was Macy opening her Elsa for our Disney Infinity game. She was pretty excited, it was all she asked for.

After all the presents were over I jumped in the shower and awesome Marie did the dishes so we could head off to the valley. We planned on leaving our house around 10am and we headed out closer to 9:30- yay for us! It was a very smooth drive, not a lot of travelers on Christmas Day. 

We got to my parents house in just about 3.5hours- one of our quicker trips. It was nice and cloudy outside so we hurried and took Derek and Alison's engagement pictures. Kyle got a new lens for his camera for Christmas so he was super excited to use it. We got some really good ones- Kyle will have to share  his favorites :) I knew it would probably be too tricky to grab the kiddos away from their toys and cousins so Kyle and I got our own picture this Christmas.

 Then we got the WHOLE family outside. Our first Christmas together in a while!

The next day we really just hung out around the house and didn't do much of anything. By dinner time everyone (including my parents) we gone, so we ventured out to let the kids spend some Christmas money and to get something to eat. They each got $5 from Aunt Steph (Thank you!!) and they each found their very favorite toy with it. London got a Dora backpack thad came with a charm bracelet and a little Dora doll, Macy got a little vet scooter that came with a kiddie, and we supplemented Bentleys a little got him a tool box. Then we ran over to Texas Roadhouse, quite possibly my favorite restaurant in the valley. It's loud, they have great food, and the put all the families with kids in one area. The kids didn't have to be silent and I didn't have to worry so much about them bothering anyone else. It was great. This picture rally portrays how I feel most of the time. :)

The next morning we packed everything up and headed out to Phoenix to watch Kyle's kids perform in the Fiesta Bowl Parade. It's such a fun parade! It's about 2 hours long but full of a lot of fun stuff. Bentley was halarious- he wanted to hug all the costume people. He even got a clown nose!

 These are pictures Kyle got as he was running by...

And that closes out our 2014 year! We came home, enjoyed a whole week off of school, and really didn't do anything that was too exciting. This year really didn't have any big events (well- expect for that one time we drove across the country on the Race Across America) and it was really just a growing year for our family. We are looking forward to what 2015 has in store for us.
Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Eve

We attended the Gardner's annual Christmas Eve party and just like every year we had a ton of fun. We had our normal Mexican dinner with tamales, green chili, nachos, and lots of other yummy stuff. After all the food we went down to the basement for a small nativity read by Brian and the kids enjoyed being all dressed up. Bentley on the other hand was just tired.

 Here's the oldest and youngest party goers. Grandma Gardner with Casey and Cassie's new baby.
 We played some love your neighbor, pin the button/nose on the snowman, the pinata, and we had some fun leg  wrestling.

 Macy got wacked in the face...

 Kyle didn't want to leg wrestle so he challenged Jared to a spinning contest. Funny boys.
It was about 9:00pm already so we loaded them kids up in the car and went and looked at some Christmas lights and dropped Marie off at home. The kids were exhausted and London had fallen asleep in the car but we still needed to open their Christmas jammies.

Merry Christmas!

Our December

At the beginning of December our town had their annual Parade of Lights and Festival with Santa is tow for photo ops. We stopped by the Old Courthouse to go check him out. At first the girls said they didn't want to go sit on his lap. I've learned to just say "okay" and not another word about it. The more I try to coax them the more they just say no. Bentley on the other hand ran right up to Santa and hopped on his lap. He told him all kinds of stories and had everyone's attention. They are pals.

The girls both decided that if Bentley had that much fun they wanted to try it too. So they did. 

We actually got good pictures of the kids on Santa's lap!! I was shocked!! That night we all bundled up and went to the Parada of lights. It was a really good parade this year with lots of floats- it was well worth it! and it really wasn't even that cold outside.

The next week Macy's school had a Polar Express Night. They had 5 rooms and in each room was a different Christmas activity. They had a coloring dice game, make a reindeer, the Polar Express story, a hide and go seek type game, and Milk and Cookies with Santa. Bentley wasn't too into the Polar Express so Kyle took him to find Santa. He was totally into Santa again and Kyle had about a minute worth of video of him talking his ear off.

Next up was our Ward Christmas Party. The Christmas Parties here in Holbrook usually are just a small program and dinner. Some wards have Santa and some don't. My Moms ward always goes ALL out for their Christmas Parties and I told Kyle we needed to try and do something a little more fun this year. We decided on a Christmas Village theme and had each auxillary have their own "shop" within the village. We had dinner, a hot cocoa bar, cookie decorating, cards for inactives or people that couldn't make it, a shop that you could make an ornament, a photo booth, the toy shop, and the North Pole where Santa was. They all did a fabulous job with their shops and the party turned out really well.

The North Pole was set up under an easy  up with walls with Santa inside. I thought this was a fabulous idea. Santa was still present, but he wasn't so out in the open and the center of attention.

The primary put together a small program at the end and we sang some Christmas carols. Macy was a little angel.

 Smooshed in December was also a couple craft plays day, a band concert the day before all the lights in the auditorium went down, a choir concert, a wedding Kyle DJed, and lots of cookie making. The last weekend before Christmas we went over to Kyle's Mom's house to do tamales and man was it memorable. We totally burned a whole through a pot AND killed a burner on the stove. Oops! Guess we now know what happens when you forget to put water in with the tamales when they are supposed to be cooking.