It’s all of the usual Holiday stuff…parties, concerts, visitors, presents. But it was good. Last December I was struggling with some real depression and it was an awful month. This year, I just kept reflecting on how much better I felt this time around. Yay for getting through a hard thing and learning from it!
On to the family stuff:
4 kids in school means LOTS of holiday concerts. I only got a few pictures, though, because really, my child’s head in a crowd of other kids is kind of pointless. Emma played in the middle school orchestra, Gabe played with the middle school band (SUPER impressed with that program!), and Jane and Seth sang with their grades at their music programs. Here’s Jane at hers:
We did lots of partying, too. Also: barely photo-documented. But we were busy with the ward Christmas party (neat, neat experience: our ward put on a party for the local women’s shelter. Such a great idea.), neighborhood cookie exchange, Rowell’s ornament party, book club (where we put together bags to give to those down-on-their-luck people you see off the Division exit in Spokane), Ryan’s work party (we were in a fight the whole time. Lame.), and our progressive New Years party (pictures are of some of the games we played:)
Lots of fun. Exhausting, weight gaining fun.
I figured out that if I was going to make these holidays fun for the Mother, too, I needed to have the kids DO THE WORK WITH ME. Here are pictures of them stuffing Christmas card envelopes, unwrapping candies for cookie ingredients and delivering the goodie plates. It made my month SO much more fun.
Poor Gabe got braces on the first day of Christmas break. He had a sore mouth. And turned into a Older Looking Kid in 2 hours—it was weird.
Christmas Break had almost NO snow (I will NEVER complain about that. White Christmas, Schmite Christmas.) but was still cold so we did lots of indoor things:
Cookie decorating playdates:
Game playing (here, with Quirkle, a TOTAL hit because it’s a game 6 and up can easily play but adults enjoy):
jump rope/games inside the church gym:
and trips to the children’s museum with Grandma and Bekah:
Also, you’ve got to love the kid who demands you be a good mom to him. Seth came up to me last month one night and said “Mom. You have to take me on an alone date. I really really want to do that with you.” And how could you say no to that? Here we are eating frozen yogurt and playing Go Fish:
I have been debating starting a new post dedicated to Christmas, but I’m just going to forge ahead here. Stop reading, I’ll never know.
For Christmas Eve, Grandma Dorrie and Bekah joined us (yay!) and we did the usual:
Lunch at a restaurant (a local Brazillian place)
and a movie (Muppets. eh.)
Then we headed to the Daines for the annual Bethlehem dinner and nativity play, where we were completely shocked by the surprise visit of the Romney Grandma and Grandpa!
And opened the Christmas Eve PJs. This was the point at which, sick of fighting kids to take decent pictures, I launched the Guilt Trip: “If you guys had any idea how much time I have spent this month getting Christmas ready for you all, you would BE THRILLED to sit still for 3 minutes to let me get a picture of it!!” It Worked…sorta.
After, we came home and left donuts and hot chocolate for Santa.
And Christmas Fancy Clothes for Church (which, by the way, is just the most lovely way to spend Christmas day: singing and listening to talks/testimonies praising Jesus Christ. So perfect.)
I made (if I do say so myself) the BEST MEAL EVER and actually planned ahead (so I wasn’t angrily peeling potatoes while everyone else played) and decorated and everything.
It was very gratifying.
Really I would give this December a solid A. Yay for figuring out how to run our family holiday a little better this year.