Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009

The kids dragged us out of bed at 8am. I would've slept past noon, but that was not to be. They were so excited. :)

This year should be dubbed the clothing and electronics year.. with a few toys thrown in for Jackson.

Santa brought a popcorn popper machine for the whole family to share so of course we had to try it out later that day.
Greg got the Perfect Brownie pan so we had to try that too you know. :)
I was quite surprised by the gift Greg got me... He bought us dance lessons! (Look out. We should be dancing like the stars before you know it.) He also wants the two of us to take a trip to NYC for dinner and dancing after we have mastered the dancing part. :)

Christmas day was spent opening packaging, picking up packaging, (taking out loads of trash), putting gifts together, playing with gifts, Skype-ing and calling family members, watching the traditional Lakers game, eating, and resting.
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009

Christmas Eve was a happy evening. Since traveling to see family at Christmas time is pretty difficult, we make our own family for the holiday. The Lewis family and the Chambers family joined us for dinner and festivities. Because of our Disney World trip on Thanksgiving Day, it seemed like a good idea to make sure we still had that Thanksgiving food before the year was out. Turkey, potatoes, veggies, rolls...

... and plenty of desserts. The Chambers had received many goody plates from the neighbors and they brought them all to share with us. In fact, I don't know that they left with any of it, leaving the left overs to us and the Lewis'.
I had to get a Witman's Sampler this year, because it reminds me of Christmas at home. I felt a little guilty getting to eat the little messenger boy chocolate, since my Uncle Randy always snuck that one out before anyone else could get it.This evening was mostly about the kids as Christmas is.
There was some playing together
and there were planned activities run by my girls. They made reindeer food,
played holiday bingo,
and pin the nose on the snowman. We also turned a baseball pinata into an ornament pinata,
and a few other games and activities while the parents visited.Of course all the fun was building up to the grand finale...
All of the kids in their new Christmas Eve jammies
Kirk is a Buffalo Bills football player, and since the season is almost over, they are headed to their (real) home in Utah soon. They will be very missed and we sure hope they are back again next season!!
After the party wrapped up, our own Christmas Eve preparations got going. Kobe and Reagan left notes and treats for Santa.
(His pen grip drives me nuts! How does he write with his hand like that?)

Jackson is in love with this rug that the Lewis' got him. I joked with Angie that he would probably end up sleeping with it. He did pull it into bed with him tonight!
Once everyone was tucked in bed, my present wrapping procrastination problem surfaced... again. I wrapped all night in the basement and finally got to bed at 6am.
in about 2 hours the festivities started up again...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

December fun

December is always a busy, but fun filled month. This year, because of our Disney trip, we missed out on the church activities. I heard great things about the ward Christmas breakfast that Wendy planned and the Relief Society Christmas activity that Marilyn organized. There were plenty of other festivities to enjoy thanks to the kids' schools though.

I went caroling with Jackson and his preschool class. We walked to local businesses and caroled for the employees and the customers. He was so proud of himself and had so much fun!
The 3rd graders at Kobe's school sang a few international Christmas songs at the holiday concert. The kids were asked to dress in some sort of attire from a foreign land. Kobe chose Hawaii. He LOVES a chance to wear his surfing themed shirt under his Hawaiian shirt. He knows he looks good! They sounded really good too and he looked like he was having a great time.

The girls had multiple concerts... all excellent. Here's a sampling.

Reagan: (white shirt bottom row)

Jillie: (black shirt, pony tail)

The Sunday before Christmas means the first gifts of Christmas. New outfits for church. :)

This year we got Kobe his first suit. I think he likes it. He doesn't love it, but I think he likes it. Had to get a father son picture! (Kobe was actually not feeling well so I stayed home from church with him. I made him put the suit on for pictures when everyone got home though!)
Everyone in their new holiday attire

Reagan all in gold from the headband to the shoes.
Jillie in a cute Banana Republic outfit that I wished fit me. (She's kind of swimming in this size 2. Guess she's still a zero! What's up with that? I was never a size zero, or a 2 for that matter!)
Jackson is calling this corduroy sports coat his "Michael Jackson jacket". What ever gets him to wear it!Jackson wanted a "Boys are Back" pose for his brothers picture. He likes it when he and Kobe recreate the pose from the High School Musical 3 movie.
I think they are quite cute. :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Another Christmas FHE

In the 5 days after returning from Disney World we scrambled to get kids caught up in school, decorate 2 Christmas trees,
get the rest of the Christmas decorations up, and prepare for our annual Garrick Family Christmas FHE*/Party. (*Family Home Evening). This year we had the Lewis', the Christensen's, the Manzanares', the Chambers', and the Burnard's. This was a grand total of 12 adults and 21 kids!! As usual I was so much in running the show mode, I didn't take a lot of pictures, and the ones I took weren't great. I had a nice time though- and hope our friends did too despite my extreme lack of hostessing skills.

Dinner consisted of soups and chilis. (Molly's white chili was the biggest hit, but it was all so good!) We also had rolls, salad, veggie tray, and desserts. Everyone was SO nice to bring food to share.

Because of our numbers we had the kids eat at the big table in the basement. Reagan, Sydney and Mya opted for the teeny table in the basement.
After dinner we had Family Home Evening. Jackson (and Jillie) led our opening song.

I taught a lesson reviewing the Christmas story, the importance of Christ's birth, and watched the 5 minute church film, The Nativity.
Following the spiritual portion of our FHE, the white elephant gift exchange.

The anticipation of what surprise lies under the wrapping...

the bargaining and persuading and stealing and begging...
and the wonderful gift that Greg thought would be so funny.... that Kobe ended up "winning"... that I got to look at sitting on my counter for days until they started dying...
Lovely crickets. :(

The gift exchange went on for an hour, due to the number of people. I hope the grown ups didn't mind that it was a late night. The kids didn't seem to care... and I sure didn't. I love having so many wonderful friends here!

FYI: Jillie did a post this weekend on her blog- feel free to take a look.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Getting in the mood

The main reason we chose to go to Disney World in November/December was to be there during the Christmas time festivities. We have been to Disneyland during in the month prior to Christmas and it was a really nice to get us in the mood for Christmas. Everything was all decorated to the nines, Christmas music playing every where, and Christmas themed rides and attractions. That was Disneyland. Disney World was a little disappointing in comparison. Maybe it is because it is so much bigger than Disneyland that they couldn't possibly decorate it all. Maybe it isn't politically correct to go all Christmas-y anymore. Maybe it's the economy. (That's the excuse for everything these days isn't it.)

We couldn't get in the mood for Christmas at the pool... absolutely no decorations! ;) OK, we didn't expect it there...

The parks were nice though, just not as much Christmas as we expected. Main Street at Magic Kingdom was decorated beautifully for Christmas.

Animal Kingdom had this very tall animal themed tree.
At Epcot we were greeted by Mickey and friends topiary.
We also attended the Candlelight Processional at Epcot featuring Isabella Rossellini as the narrator. We had to use an extra table service at our dinner to get the priority seating. Not really worth it. I think we could have still gotten a fine seat without it. It was a nice Christmas concert... the Christmas story read from the Bible with songs interspersed between the verses. A little long for the kids and they liked the end better than the beginning. They also didn't like Isabella Rossellini pronounced words with her strong accent. I'm sure they would've enjoyed Whoppi Goldberg better who was doing it later in December. (They have a different actor reading each week.)

Hollywood Studios had a movie themed tree out front and an amazing light show in the Streets of America.

We spent some extra cash to attend Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. They closed Magic Kingdom early and then have this party with Christmas themed shows, a parade, fireworks, and snacks. Snack stations dotted the park with complimentary hot chocolate and sugar cookies. They also had apples and juice for mean parents who don't let their kids have sugar... and for Holly and other lactose intolerant guests. :)
These cast members posed while I was taking pictures of the sign above them, so of course I had to take their picture too... especially because of those crazy uber-Christmasy uniforms!

Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade was special. All the characters were there decked out in holiday attire. Some of the floats smelled so good. They gave off the scent of candy and cookies and other yummy Christmas cooking smells.
We really enjoyed this show in Tomorrowland featuring Mike Wazowski, Buzz Lightyear, and Stitch. Cute story, fun songs to dance to and sing along with, and snow falling of course.

It was a wonderful trip and it did get us in the mood. We needed it too because as soon as we got home we had to hit the Christmas train running! Party at our house 5 days after our return home!