Tuesday, January 18, 2011

December to the New Year!

We filled our Christmas month with a lot of fun family activities, plus all the normal stuff like scouts, school, church, etc.

We went swimming at the indoor pool. It was a lot colder than we would have liked and we only stayed for an hour. The kids got to talk to Santa there. Then we drove across the parking lot to the fairgrounds and watched the Swing Dancers and looked at the Christmas trees there. We all picked our favorites. Would you be surprised that Sarah liked the pink one and Ben picked the Blue one from his school?

We went to the High School to watch Ben's Christmas music program. They only do the 1st-3rd grade that night, but it's still too much. We got there 1/2 an hour early and the seats were all filled! There wasn't even much standing room. I found a seat for my mom, with Sarah on her lap. One seat for me in the next row. And Kannon chose to stand in the back with Joshua. We waited through the 1st graders and then enjoyed Ben's class and all the other 2nd graders as they sang "I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" and a couple other songs.

On Saturday, the 11th, Kannon left early to help the Elder's quorum cut wood. While there our Bishop had a large part of a tree fall on him. He broke his back in 2 places, broke ribs, punctured a lung (I think) and lost his spleen. Miracles have occurred. He is doing so well. He's still at the hospital, in rehab. He's able to sit and is working on standing and I walking (I believe.) Sorry to anyone that knows more about all this than I do, I apologize if I've gotten any facts wrong. But, I do know that the prayers and fasting of his family and friends and our ward have helped in his recovery and we can't wait to have him back!

We left later that morning to find our Christmas tree. We drove east of here to pick out a pinon pine. The weather was nice, only partly cloudy, not too cold. No snow. But the dirt road was so muddy! When we got to the first big puddle and the burb started sliding I got nervous. I'm so glad that Kannon can maneuver through that kind of stuff. I finally calmed down. It was smoother driving back - less stressful for me. Maybe I just trusted him more by then. We found a good spot to start looking. We found one for our friends right away. They wanted a bigger one than us and it was easy to find. But, because we have such a small space for the tree we needed to find a smaller one. We found too small ones and ones that were missing chunks out of their sides. We found a few good ones and finally agreed on one.

Ben loved exploring. He was wishing we had a backyard like that. Even wondered if we could move out there. After we cut the trees we set up for a small picnic. I'd brought salami, cheese and crackers, clementine oranges and hot chocolate. Yum! and we were really hungry, too.

We kicked off our mud and headed back. We saw our last view of the shoe tree as somebody, in the last month, cut it down. =(

When we got home we set up our tree and got ready for our ward Christmas party. It was all it should be with children singing, good eats and Santa Claus.

For a few months I spent every Sunday evening at choir practice. We worked on a Christmas cantata that we performed as a fireside. We had small numbers so I felt like I had to be there. I really enjoyed the music (except the one song that felt very sing-songy - during practice we'd even sway back and forth!) and I got to sing a very small solo part.

After the cantata with my new friends Amy and Michelle.

We went to Reno on one Monday night for family home evening. We went up to watch the movie "Tangled". We all loved it. My favorite part was that I was able to watch the whole movie even with Joshua there! There were about 6 other people in the room. We sat at the top/back. Joshua spent the movie walking down the stairs across the front and back up the other side. He was quiet and wasn't a bother. Hurray! The kids had each saved up their tickets (earned for doing chores) to be able to go to the movie.

We got Ben signed up for basketball and he did the skills test to be placed on a team. I spent an evening learning about the new charter school scheduled to open this next school year. I'm so excited about it and am prayerful that the kids will get in (it's first come first served on the sign-ups in April).

It snowed a few times, not a lot but enough to play a bit in. We went out after one snowfall to build a large snowman. That snow didn't last the day and Ben and Sarah knocked down our snowman, so it didn't last much longer!

I'm not sure why this picture is so dark it was about 11a.m. and sunny! My favorite part is that our snowmen always have leaves stuck to them!

I took the kids to see the Nutcracker that afternoon. They've watched "Barbie in the Nutcracker" and liked it. When I offered to take them to the ballet they were both excited. By the time we got half through, they were ready to go home. Sarah really liked seeing her ballet teacher - he's the only male around to do the parts! Both kids had friends in the ballet, too. And we got to sit with our friends Kiersten, Ezra and Eliza. That made it all bearable for them. It might be a few years before I take them again. We'll see how they feel next year.

We did a large service project for a friend. She'd had someone tear out her carpets and throw the old ones in the backyard. She also had some couches, chairs and mattresses out there. We put on our boots and gloves and hauled it all out to the alley for her. Then, as we were leaving the city guy that picks up that kind of garbage came by and we helped him load it on his truck. It was hard work, but worth the effort. It felt good knowing she now had that out of her yard. And I think Ben enjoyed serving someone else, too.

We enjoyed singing songs and hearing stories at my Uncle John's house for our annual Christmas Home Evening. We ate some goodies and then left early because the kids were ready for bed. Joshua gets wild and crazy when he's tired and that's extra hard to deal with when we aren't at home. Kannon had already left to play basketball that night.

My parents went to visit some of my siblings for Christmas, so it was just us. Our friends invited us over for Christmas Eve dinner. It was nice, good food, good friends. Looking back I think I would have been okay just staying home. I'd been concerned about being alone. This was the first time without anyone! Just our little family. I really wanted to do things with others. I wouldn't change the way things went this year, but I also wouldn't mind being just us either.

Kannon worked on our bathroom. Our floor is still open like this!
He's got all the plumbing done now. It's taken awhile. He decided that while he was down there he should just run the copper for all the plumbing in the house. He says it will be done by the end of January - the inspection part of it. Then we can put down the flooring and insulate and sheet rock the walls. That should improve the cold issues we've been having in our room!
Christmas Day was nice. We got the kids up about 7. Ben was already awake but we made them wait for us. I wanted it to be that way, that's how we did it growing up. Kannon's family, and others I've talked to, let their kids get up and see their Santa stuff and then open presents together. But, I like to see the initial reaction to the Santa stuff. That's important to me.

Joshua was more excited about opening presents this time. He had fun, and still had plenty of help from lil sis.

They all got things they asked for. It's always a bit of a let down for me. That they don't seem to appreciate or enjoy their gifts as much as I think they should. Ben even lost one of his already!
Joshua and Daddy playing with the Whoppair gloves that Kannon got for Christmas.

We had a super enjoyable weekend for New Years. We spent it in Elko with Kannon's family. We got 3 days there. Lots of playing with cousins, eating really good food, playing games and a little shopping. The kids got out Uncle Kreg's fighting gear and had a few turns pushing each other around. Sarah was funny. She and Gaby were playing and as soon as Gaby hit her she came to me crying that Gaby had hit her! I thought she understood that that was what they'd be doing. AND that came after Sarah had hit her a few times already. I know, some of you have your jaws dropped right now. Nobody was hitting hard. It wasn't really fighting. It was all fun. And no, I don't think they will turn out to be bully's from this one experience, or even ultimate fighters or mania wrestlers. We don't allow hitting in anger. Anyway, I don't judge you and the way you parent, so don't judge me either! Thanks!
We grabbed a few photo opps and got a good family one. I took this one of my "boys"!
Look at Kannon! He'd grown his beard for a little over 2 months. I hated it! I hate facial hair. He was doing it with a bunch of guys from work. They were supposed to go til New Years but they ended it a few weeks early. I was one happy wife!