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Monday, January 2, 2012

Catching up at last

Dear Friends and Family,

With Christmas and New Years happening on Sundays this year my usual blog time disappeared and I wasn't able to find it again these last two weeks.  Some of my favorite parts of these week  was just all the family time.  While some of my least favorite parts of these last two weeks were also family times.  But as Spencer said Christmas morning with a big smile on his face, "this Christmas is just awesome.  It really is".

Our kids had school the Monday and Tuesday before Christmas which were filled with their school parties for the younger set and tests and projects for Spencer.  He was feeling a little gypped about junior high not having class parties.  We had a few friends over to make Christmas cookies one day.  We went with some friends in tow to help in the deciding process, to petsmart so each kids could pick out a toy for an animal in our house.  We had several friends over and just enjoyed the season.

Our or really I should say my Christmas present arrived Monday evening.  We got a new L-shaped couch with an ottoman for our family room.  It has already been WELL tested out and has been a hit.

Spencer had a little bit of a rough beginning to the vacation.  We met with his new psychiatrist which was interesting as he has a very different approach and expects Spencer to manage his own care more.  Which is good but it is sort of a sit up and pay attention expereience.  Then on Thursday Spencer had an 8 am appointment (I just want to point out that 8 am means we ALL leave at 7:30, during Christmas vacation!) to get two of his back baby molars pulled.  One had become infected and one was stuck in the bone but both needed to come out so the permanent teeth coming in sideways underneath could straighten out.  It was not a pleasant experience for him.  And the next few days were spent with him crying as he tried to eat and complaining about everything hurting.  On Friday night Spencer, Allison, Jeremy and I went to a improv rendition of A Christmas Carol.  I realized that Spencer was having a really tough time as this is how the night looked from 5 minutes on:
Keep in mind that it was a huge theater and very noisy.  He slept like a baby through it all.  Christmas Eve he was a bit better but said everything hurt to much to ice skate so he spent the afternoon watching us while he read his book.  I realized he wasn't just complaining about his mouth but also his thighs and hips and elbows.  So we measured him and realized he had grown an inch that month.  He is now 5'7" and we explained what growing pains and suffering in silence meant.  But by Christmas morning he was back to eating most foods and being cheerful again.

Christmas Eve we met up with Jason, Kelly and their extended family for our traditional ice skating afternoon.  Taylor loved being pushed around on the ice and his wheelchair made a great support for unsteady skaters.  Then it was back to our house for nacho night, girls splashing in the hot tub, watching Elf and visiting.  Robyn sprinkled her reindeer glitter (glitter and oatmeal) all over our porch so Rudolph would find our house.  Allison wrote out a letter to Santa.  We read Twas the night before Christmas in front of the fire with everyone leaning on mom.  It was one of those perfect moments.  Then we read the Nativity story for our scriptures and the moment was gone.  (This year we wrote letters to Christ of what we would do for him this year as a gift and put it in a treasure box under the tree to be opened up next year. Thought it would be such a spiritual moment.  Maybe it was for a minute but then again it disappeared.  Seems like if I try to stage a really good FHE, it doesn't work.  It has to be more spontaneous.)  But everyone went to bed after the poking and teasing died down, eager to go to sleep.  The girls slept cuddled together in Allison's bed so they could listen for Santa.  Jeremy and I got to hang out till the house was quiet watching MoneyBall and the peace and quiet of a happy house.

Christmas morning our kids know they can't get up before 7:30 but right on the dot you can hear all the alarms going off and knocking on our door. Christmas photos are coming via Jeremy as I don't think I broke out my camera once.  We opened presents all morning, ate french toast and sausages and just enjoyed our day together.  Then it was off to an hour of sacrament and singing hymns which just really made the day.  I think Christmas should be on a Sunday every year.  Then we bundled up and were off to Jason and Kelly's for dinner.  It felt strange and so much less stress to just show up with our dish at someone else's house on Christmas Day.  We had fun eating and visiting with kids showing off their new toys.

Spencer got all the stuff he needs for his bearded dragon.  Now he just has to save up and go buy one.  I am curious how long it will take him.  Allison got new stuff for her bed.  At first it looked like this:
But then she decided her room needed a make-over to match her cool new bed.  So:
Our inspiration was a room with pastel stripes.  This turned out a little brighter than I thought.  But it looks cute and Allison loves it.  She feels so grown-up.  So I spent a lot of my time working on this.  The girls would hang out and talk to me and help paint the occasional stripe.  My favorite moment is when they were lying on Allison's bed playing a game.  Allison was trying to get Robyn to kiss her feet and Robyn was trying to kiss her cheek.  It involved lots of tickling and giggling and moments of "Robyn Ann Hall you cannot tickle me there!"

Jeremy technically had Monday after Christmas off.  Instead he spent the morning repairing our garbage disposal which had gone caput Christmas Eve.  Then having to buy a new one and install it.  He had a good friend come help him out.  The difference is night and day.  I seriously thought the new disposal was broken when he turned it on, our cabinets don't shake anymore.  Then because he forgot to punch through the hole connecting the tube to the dishwasher he spent the next evening cleaning out a disgusting dish washer - with a smile.  That guy just is racking up the points, I tell you.  Did I mention he also spent his day off cleaning the office and standing in a crowded noisy line for an hour to get our family pass printed for 7 peaks/trafalga?
Nothing huge happened the rest of the week, just enjoying vacation days.  We were a bad influence on Jeremy as none of us wanted to get up early.  Played with friends, read new books, had some late nights, Jeremy and I got to go on TWO dates.  One of which was to go to dinner and see Sherlock Holmes with some friends.  Lately I feel like my time with kids is getting shorter and shorter so I try to bring them everywhere with me.  And then I am always tearing my hair at moments, going why, why did I do this to myself?  So some adult outings bring my sanity back.

The kids and I did get to go check out a very cool new museum in SLC which was all about technology and art.  I am not sure which they were most impressed with, the museum or the city library next door that we walked through.  But they still say its one of the coolest places they have ever seen.  Good thing as we got a year pass so we will have to go back!

Saturday we celebrated New Year's Eve by having cousins come for a sleepover.  We played in the hot tub:
 We played on the  computer:
And broke out the fondue and cheeseball:
We watched movies, did sparklers and pop-it fireworks and at midnight ran around in our PJs banging pots and pans, screaming Happy New Years and watching our neighbor's firework show.  Great night and everyone slept in and was reasonably happy for the next day.  Jason and Kelly joined us that night for dinner and to take some tired kids home.  A great way to see in the New Year's.

Today I have been trying to catch up on our house and my to-do's.  Kids go back to school tomorrow about which they are not excited.  We have quickly fallen back into the vacation mode and coming out of it will take some effort.  I am not excited to run in the pitch black again.  And we are doing the sugar free January again.  Or at least till my brother's family arrives.  I was surprised at how willing our kids were to jump on board this time.  Maybe they sugared themselves out during the break or since we cleaned rooms today and I found plenty of stashes of loot, they just think they will get enough on the sly.  I will try to load Allison's first attempts at making videos below and the dance recitals.  Allison in the dance recital is the short one on the right and Robyn is the one who can't stop looking at her teacher off stage to make sure she is doing it right.   Love and hope all had a very Merry Christmas,



The Skeehan Family said...

Thank you for fixing the blog!! The girls and I have so enjoyed watching the videos this morning... the phrase, "I want to watch it again" keeps being said over and over by a certain 4 year old. :)

I've loved reading about your Christmas. I cannot believe Spencer is 5'7"!!! That is amazing. We were in awe that he grew an inch in a MONTH!!! That poor boy!

And Allison's room is utterly fantastic. I cannot believe you painted all those stripes by hand! You are a good good good mom.

Tell Robyn that was always me - looking at the teacher to make sure I was doing it right - but you can tell she knows it, it just seems like it's a security thing. But I will say, I was never as confident as Miss Allison - holy cow she knows he moves and she moves SO well!!

Thank you for such a wonderful post, we've enjoyed every moment this morning.