Sunday, January 4, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! In the car the other day, J said that he wished Christmas were at the end of January so we could get 2 months of the spirit and magic that accompanies it. While I agree with his wish to prolong the season a bit, I'm also very glad that the New Year comes after Christmas. It seems fitting to celebrate the birth of the Savior and then focus on renewal. I love the hope that accompanies the thought of new goals and the goodness of things to come. And, of course, I have to remember this great advice:
This year for New Years', we headed up to my parents for my family Christmas party. We went a day early so we could ring in the New Year with cousins. Here they are watching the countdown:

 We also exchanged gifts. Here Zelly and I take a few selfies while we wait for the gift exchange:

 And the boys play with Uncle Mark:

Merry Christmas!

We took Christmas down yesterday and it was bittersweet. I was ready to declutter, clean, and simplify, but this Christmas season passed so quickly, and today (while Henry and I are home from church, thanks to pink eye), I was watching the videos on my phone and was engrossed again in the magic of the season. It doesn't seem that long ago that Mister and Sweetie were the ones singing Frosty while turning the pages of the book or pounding the piano while singing Jingle Bells. By the time we have another Christmas, the kids will be older and different. My Cindy-Lou Who might not even look like Cindy-Lou any longer:

This Christmas was really nice. It was the first in a while in which I felt like I was prepared in good enough time and not too stressed over little things. 

Right before the Christmas break, Sweetie had her tumbling performance:

And she and I went to see A Christmas Carol at the Hale Center Theater. Sweetie wanted to see it instead of going to the Nutcracker or Christmas Around the World or another holiday music concert because her class had put the play on earlier. I was fine with that but prior to the play, I secretly wished she had chosen a musical concert. I was so glad she didn't. The play was amazing and I think we'll keep doing that from now on. It really brought the Christmas spirit to my heart--"mankind is my business." 
During Christmas break, we made lots of tasty treats, including sugar cookies and the gingerbread house.

And the kids did a lot of this:

We read Frosty the Snowman and Santa Clause is coming to town at least once every naptime and bedtime:

On Christmas Eve, we had our traditional candlelight dinner with tri-tip, twice-baked potatoes, rolls, Christmas jello, green beans, and sparkling apple juice.

And acted out the Nativity, with Zelly as Mary this year.
Christmas morning we follow J's family tradition--the kids can't come down until we come get them. We say a prayer together first before descending to the magic!

 We set up displays with all of the kids' presents after, including gifts from Santa, each other, us, and grandparents. I was really proud of the kids this year. They put a lot of thought into each others' gifts and used all of the money they had. For Mister, he spent his hard-earned $80 on gifts for others. H unloaded the dishwasher every day to earn money for sibling gifts.

 A close-up of Sweetie because she looks so grown-up in this pic!
Christmas day was spent relaxing, playing with the Legos and games we got, and heading to Grandma and Grandpa's for dinner.
 Zelly wore her new pink boots everywhere:
 After Christmas, I took the kids to the Leonardo museum to see Body Worlds, which they thought was interesting and gross!