Sunday, January 7, 2018

Happy New Year 2018

We celebrated the new year at our home with a couple of friends: the Whitney's and the Davis family.

The adults played a board game while the kids played with each other in their rooms. Every hour the nine kids came back to open a surprise bag with small toys.

The most popular entertainment was the game Rock Band. Kids and grownups alike got excited about singing and playing the various instruments.

The time really flew by and since the kids were behaving so well, we decided to celebrate the new year at midnight local time, instead of 10 pm.

After the countdown in the theater room, we moved to the playroom for the balloon dropped and confetti. At midnight the last treat bag contained glow sticks. So, after the countdown was over we turned off all of the lights and let them dance in the dark among the confetti and balloonswith their glowsticks for light. They thought it was really cool.

We had a ton of happy faces balloons around the room. Todd commented on the fact it looked like walking through Walmart surrounded by rollback smiley faces.

Jordan brought his camera and light equipment so we were able to take some fun shots of the group and our family.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Christmas 2017

The kids were super excited to see what Santa had brought them. Todd told them they couldn't get up any earlier than they get up for school so they waited until 7 am to come into our room. We could hear them whispering through the house since 6 o' clock in the morning.

First, they read Santa's reply note, then we opened stockings. Lastly, we opened the gifts under the tree.

Emilia received a 3D pen, a razor 360 scooter, several books and an Eco Dot.  Stella got a new watch, a hatchimal, a makeup kit, lots of gel pens, a new sleeping bag and jewelry.

Carson received an MP3 player from santa, several books, clothing, a codemaster game and a Pokemon game for the Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo switch is a new game console the whole family got for Christmas.

Santa brought Andrew a play kitchen. He also received several sound puzzles, blocks, and a coloring set.

This year my Christmas was all about the kitchen. I got a new skillet, a crepe maker, and new set of kitchen pots. I also received an August Smart Lock and keypad for the back door. Now I can open the door with my cell phone or by entering a code on the keypad.

Todd received a smart picture frame that links to the internet to receive new photos. He also received a car jump starter power bank and a new set of gaming headphones.

After opening presents, we spoke with Eva and then the rest of my family in Georgia. Todd's parents also stopped by to see what everyone had received.

We finished up the day by going over to their house for Christmas dinner and exchanging gifts with the family there. Avery also got a 3D printing pen so the girls came back to our house afterward to check out their new toys.

Every year I struggle remembering how I have decorated the house in years past and end up having to do it all over again. This year I have taken picture so that I won't have to rely on my memory.

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is filled with as much tradition as Christmas day. We began the day by attending church. Emilia and Todd both sang during the service. It was wonderful to set a spiritual tone for the holiday and to visit with friends and neighbors.

During the evening we spend some time reading the account of Christ's birth in the Bible and in the Book of Mormon. We also watch the video of Christ's birth so that the kids will visualize what they have just read.

Afterward, the kids set up cookies for Santa and sparkling deer food in the backyard so that Santa's reindeer will know where to land when they stop at our home.

Christmas in Color

The Witneys invited us to join them to see Christmas in Color a drive-through light show synchronized to holiday music, held at the South Jordan Equestrian Park.  The kids enjoyed watching the horses as we queued up in line to enter the light display.

Even though each ticket is assigned a time, there were a lot of cars at the park waiting to enter the show. We waited for close to 20 minutes for our group to be let in.

After entering, we tuned our radio to their locally broadcasted station and enjoyed listening to fun Christmas music as we watch the lights. The car moved at walking speed (less than 5mph) so we allowed the kids to stick their heads out of the sunroof and out of the side of the car. They thought that was a lot of fun.

The most fun was driving through the several tunnels in the park. The last one was made out of arches of LED lights. Each light is independently controlled and can be illuminated to any color. The tunnel's display included animated Santas, the Grinch and Ho Ho Ho.

It was a fun way to see Christmas lights, while in the warmth and comfort of our car.

Todd's birthday

This year we celebrated Todd's birthday with his side of the family a few days before the actual date.  Carson also got to blow out a birthday candle.

Andrew has figured out that gift-wrapped boxes mean we are celebrating someone's birthday so he sings happy birthday a lot lately, even when we set gift under the Christmas tree.

Todd received some fun gifts from the family. A really nice illuminated keyboard, some gardening shears, a mini keyboard to control the media center PC, some shirts, and a cell phone case.

We made a mint chocolate cake. It was really rich and delicious. I have been getting a lot of practice baking layered cakes in the past couple of weeks. This was my third one.

On Todd's birthday, he awoke to a dozen colorful balloons with love notes taped to the ribbon.  He took the day off of work and we went to Cafe Rio for lunch and had donuts for dessert. Donuts are a tradition for Todd's birthday. We rarely eat them otherwise.

Probably the best gift he received this year has been the Ecobee 4 smart thermostat. It looks and functions exactly like the one we already had, except for having Amazon Alexa built into it. The kids have had so much fun playing with that feature.

We've listened to a lot of Christmas music, weather updates, name and trivia game and bed-time stories. After a week, it is still as popular as ever.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas gingerbread houses

One of our annual Christmas traditions is decorating gingerbread houses with the kids.  This year I came across a nativity scene. I was excited to be able to focus on Jesus Christ and not just the regular winter scene and holiday train.

Andrew was our quality control specialist, taste testing all of the candy, sprinkles, and frosting for best quality. Fortunately, they all passed :)

Stella's train was leaning a bit to the side and had to be reconstructed a couple of times, but the frosting is as good as cement. Once it dried it was unbreakable. 

Emilia and Carson both had new scenes this year. Emilia selected the nativity scene and did an amazing job at decorating it with the rudimentary tools given for the activity. 

Carson had the most varied selection of candy of all three packages. He enjoyed building all different types of little houses and even designed a frozen pond in the middle of the subdivision.

Nonna's visit

My mom traveled to SLC to be a part of Carson's baptism. We were so delighted to have her. My kids love seeing her whenever she is in town. Andrew especially asks for Nonna often. He has even learned to recognized her icon on my phone and will dial her number to 'speak' with her whenever he gets a chance.

We've already planned her next visit in the spring. Can't wait!