Friday, January 6, 2012

Christmas Catch Up....In No Particular Order

I started this season off with a resolution that I was going to take my camera everywhere and document all the fun we have during our trips to Utah.  Then, about a day or two in I lost the camera and didn't find it until a day before we came home.  Luckily other people had their cameras and have filled in for my mistake.
 One of the traditions that we always do in Ogden is tour Christmas Village with my family.  There are a lot of things said about Ogden, but it is my home town and it makes me feel proud that it is doing so well.  When I was little I loved peeking in all the little houses to see the Christmas displays, and now I enjoy trying to get a look while keeping up with Rocky.

 I didn't take many photos of the gifts we did this year.  Brandon made these terrariums so that all our family would be able to enjoy a little bit of Oregon.

 And although I didn't take photos I do want to write down what everyone made for the sake of posterity.  If you aren't interested, skip this part.
For the ladies in my family I made a letter picture.  The ones for Kristin and Jill were made out of old jewelry, my mom's was made of bottle caps and buttons for the little girls.  We made a hidden book for Jared and Brandon made an awesome Legend of Zelda perpetual calendar for Ethan and a mini skeeball game that sort of worked out for Caleb.  Everyone else got terrariums and jam. 
We received a bunch of nice homemade things too.  Kristin made bags for my girls and they also gave us a great picture of the 80's ABCs and an Anastasia music box that was a great find.  Jill made the guys skinny ties and the girls nest jewelry that totally rocks.  She also made soda bottle soap dispensers and a completely unbelievable one-of-a-kind pop-up-book for Ethan that floored us all.  Aynna made me a great pair of fingerless gloves, Indee and Debbie made pot-holders, and Hayden made a University of Oregon duct tape wallet.  It was awesome.
At the very beginning of December when we were still at home we went to the light parade in Salem.  It was super fun because Brandon was done with all his tests and we just were able to kick back and enjoy being together.  It really wasn't a big thing but I just want to remember it forever.

 The Howard ladies got all gussied up to go see the Nutcracker Ballet at the Egyptian Theater.
It was a lot of fun and the Rocky especially liked the beautiful ballerinas.  The only hitch was a little before the intermission when she said in a very loud voice, "This is too long...Do you have any snacks?"  The people around us all got a pretty good chuckle, and I especially think that the dude on the end of our row agreed.  It was perfect though because afterwards we had specialty cupcakes to calm her hungry stomach.
We bonded with Grandma and Grandpa Howard and he read us the book that Jill gave him. The book was one he had loved in his younger days and it was the best Christmas gift period.  We wanted to get a photo with the grandkids and great-grandkids but as always it is impossible to get one in which everyone is looking.  Oma finally told the little kids that if they didn't cooperate for the picture that there would be no Christmas for any of them.  We got the shot but there are some pretty concerned little faces.

The pinata for the year was a protester, of course.  It makes me wonder if any of them will still be out there camping next year.  If they do we'll just have to lengthen the beard next time.
Jill really outdid herself this year with the special touches being the ponytail and the hat that Kristin crocheted.
Rocky felt a special kinship this year with Santa.  When she sat on his lap she told him that she wanted him to give her a bicycle.  But, then, when he gave her pom-poms instead she said, "Well, maybe next year on the bike."
Daisy was having nothing to do with good ol' St. Nick.  Maybe she had heard bad stuff about him from Krampus, who remains a pretty constant houseguest this year.  She tried to sneak up behind him and steal a present, but I was mean and tried to put her on his lap.  Hopefully these fun Christmas traditions only leave minor emotional scars on my kids.

Speaking of scars...check out Rocky in the background of this picture.  She's obviously terrified.  It is also pretty cool that Jared is wearing pom-pom hair.
During the nativity pageant Rocky really wanted to play the part of Baby Jesus but they gave it to a doll instead.  What a ripoff.  Instead she opted to be a shepherd.
Daisy agreed to be a shepherd too and wore the traditional blue bath robe, but she wouldn't do it unless she could bring her fruit snacks with her.
I still need to get the pictures of the Rigby nativity play because Rocky was upgraded to the role of Mary.  She rode in on a bigger cousin dressed as a cow.  In that one Daisy was a sheep and her crowning moment came when she stole the baby Jesus and stood on the edge of the stage proudly waving her prize.

And what is a Christmas without the Grinch?
The only bad thing about our trip this year was that everyone was sick.  But, with a few days in bed and some antibiotics we came through it no worse for the wear.
These girls were lovin' on Caleb and Becky the whole trip.

No wonder I feel completely exhausted.  We had a ton of fun this Christmas spending time with family and good friends.  Although it is always a whirlwind of craziness to pack up and spend a few weeks away from home it is always worth it because it reminds us how lucky we are to have such special people in our lives.


Laurie said...

So, I just read through all your Christmas vacation posts but will just comment here. Looks like you guys had a lot of fun as usual. Sorry to hear you were all sick though, that's the worst.

Your girls are absolutely adorable... and you and Brandon aren't so bad yourselves. Cute, cute family.

Also, I'm still loving my terrarium. :)

Jill said...

I think it's so cool that you guys do homemade gifts with your family. I look forward to seeing/reading what everybody did each year. And as usual, your girls are hilarious and adorable. On an unrelated side note, we talked about Nephi zapping his brothers in Gospel Doctrine and every time I hear that story it reminds me of you and me and Kira doing the "bzzt!" to each other forever after that lesson. It makes me giggle and miss you!