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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas is coming

This year I tried a new tradition.  I made 24 envelopes to stick into our advent calendar to open every day that says a Christmas activity to do that day.  Sunday we hung up ornaments on the tree.  Monday we bundled up and walked our streets for our neighborhood turning on our Christmas light parade with treats afterwards with our neighbors.  Tuesday kids unwrapped their new tree ornaments.  Wednesday they opened new Christmas socks except for Allison who received earrings.  Thursday we read Christmas stories.  But Friday took the cake...we went to the Alpine live nativity.

We went from fall to winter Monday night.  In fact I let Taylor stay cuddled up by the fire while we went on our neighborhood light parade.  We have been hit by snow all week especially on Saturday where we got 10 inches.  So Friday our friend Gabe sat with Taylor while we (with the exception of always warm Jeremy and Spencer who wear only a coat no matter the temperature), bundled into as many layers as we could find.  Every kid picked one friend to come with.

It was 7 degrees in the Alpine parking lot where we piled into horse trailers.  The girls informed me that I should pick my words more carefully as a I had told them a horse drawn wagon.  I thought horse trailer or horse wagon its not that big of a difference.  Robyn begged to differ - loudly.

The trailers took us up onto a hillside where volunteers dressed up as shepherds, centurions and a whole barn full of people acting as Jerusalem and explaining the different activities they were engaged in such as pottery, baking, games etc.  Then we met the wise men and then entered a second barn where Mary, Joseph and Jesus were.  At the end they passed out hot chocolate which helped stave off the chills.  I didn't feel warm until the next morning and refused to take off my long johns until then.  Girls all came home and jumped in the hot tub with their friends.  I chose to go the pizza and movie route with the boys.  It was a great night.

Saturday, snow came down with a vengence.  Our activity that day was going to the Festival of Trees.  Jeremy stayed home with Taylor as I worried about pushing his chair through snow drifts and Jeremy doesn't like the crowds plus kids combination.  I don't think kids will remember me taking them, or white knuckling the steering wheel as we crept through the storm watching accidents all around us.  What they will remember is that I forgot to bring cash to buy scones.  They had a great time checking out the gingerbread houses:

And then Spencer learned that for the first time ever we wouldn't be getting scones:

Luckily I had Robyn chattering along, holding my hand and saying that is OK mom.  Of course she also told me that since the snow wasn't that bad in SLC, that I was pretty wimpy for not bringing Taylor.

But then we made it home and Jeremy came out to save the day, taking kids for sled rides and playing crack the whip with Spencer on the quad:

Wet, cold clothes filled our hallways and kids were high on hot chocolate.  And Spencer even went down to shovel snow for the lady he home teaches.

The power of Christmas was evident this morning.  Spencer and Allison set their alarms and spent the morning shoveling our sidewalks again and scraping off ice.  Allison came in to make Spencer and omelet for breakfast because she wasn't able to help him with the icy spots.  Robyn not to be left out made Jeremy and me breakfast.  We even made fudge today.  So all is definitely right with the world.  Don't worry though life is still real around here. 

Robyn is our score keeper who is getting quite good at doing push ups for tattling.  Allison came home from a fireside a week ago just bursting to finally say, "I know its tattling and I will do push-ups, but Spencer took TWO doughnuts tonight and I had to tell you because I don't think its fair and its worth tattling on him."  Spencer is learning how to circumnavigate tattling like "robyn really likes to sneak candy doesn't she?" - we are getting pretty wise to that technique.

This week I got to go with Allison's class to a performance of The Christmas Carol.  One of my favorite stories.  We are embracing the Christmas season around here. 

Taylor is doing well, laughing a lot.  There are a lot of stories in our family that require a rather sick sense of humor to appreciate.  This week I took Taylor out to his beanbag after dinner.  A few minutes Jeremy walked through the kitchen, paused and yelled that he thought he just stepped in poop.  Somehow it had just rolled out of Taylor's diaper, down his leg to the floor and none of us noticed.  We use a lot of Chlorox cleaner in our house.  That and candles, lots of candles.