Sunday, December 28, 2008

Finishing Out '08 Strong!

As I write, we are in La Quinta enjoying a nice family getaway for a few days with extended family. I'll back up though and tell you about our Christmas first. It was another very fun-filled Christmas. The kids woke me up with their giggling (my favourite way to be woke up) at 5am. Since I didn't get to bed until 2ish I made them go back to bed for a while. They ended up falling back asleep and then came tiptoeing in to get me at about 715am.

We opened our gifts. Everyone was excited about what they got and very thankful. I even got knocked down with grattitude a few times. The big family gift came last which was the 'wii'. The kids were ecstatic about it to say the least. A special gift the kids made for Larry and I was a dvd. It had photos playing to music and was very sweet and thoughtful. I've been enjoying my Christmas gift for the last month which is my new camera. I just wanted to give myself time to get used to it before the holidays.

After opening our gifts, a little clean up and our traditional 'cinnabon cinnamon rolls' we had Myke and Dara over. We exchanged gifts, ate food (almost McD's which wasn't open... don't ask) and really enjoyed their company. They spoiled the kids with 'Rock Band' for the Wii which the kids LOVED!!!! They left and then we had Donna, Ed and the girls over for some more fun. More presents, more food, a very LOUD Lakers game and some good times.

Having family around is a precious blessing I do not take lightly. If you know me you know that my family is in Canada with the exception of my brother Myke and his wife Dara. It has been such an incredible blessing to have them out here the past 2.5 years or so. They just told us about a week ago that they are moving back to Toronto, Canada. Very sad news for us, but exciting for them! It's definitely hard at times having my family so far away and seeing them few and far between but I know that I am especially blessed to have married into such a great family. I have my older (doesn't look it though) sister I always wanted, great brother in law, awesome nieced that I adore. I also didn't expect to come to love Lar's Gram as much as I do. I love her as much as if she were my very own. The whole rest of Lar's family is a huge blessing to that I could go on and on about. Besides actual family I have been hugely blessed with a group of dear friends that are like family to me too! I know they would do anything for me and be here whenever I need them. How blessed am I! Richly for sure!

Okay enough sappiness. We enjoyed a quiet restful boxing day which I love! Lar had to work a bit and so I ended up taking the kiddos to see Marley & Me. The lines were long and tickets went fast so we hung out at the plaza for a bit. Grabbed dinner, enjoyed some yummy warm Starbucks and waited in line all huttled together. Saw the movie which I thought was cute. Had to have the two little ones cover their eyes a couple of times. Thankfully those moments were few and short.

The next day, Saturday I think? Yes Saturday we left for the desert to hang out with the Saltis for a few days. The cousins are playing and colouring and having a blast. We're eating delicious food and just relaxing as much as possible with 7 kids under 12. We're planning on spending our New Years Eve here. Ending the year together and starting a new year together. The way it should be. Right now they're yodeling and I can't quite concentrate anymore..... Happy New years to you, may it be a blessed year for you and your loved ones!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Countdown

I have to say I'm pretty excited. Only a few more days until Christmas. I'm so looking forward to the kids waking up all excited, opening their gifts and just enjoying more time together. This year Emma is definitely excited, probably the most I've seen her yet. She has been singing non-stop (mostly 'Deck The Halls') since mid- November. It seems the kids and I just put up our advent calendar and now we're almost finished with it.

I enjoy our usual traditions that we have such as decorating Thanksgiving weekend, looking at Christmas lights, decorating gingerbread houses, having a Happy Birthday Jesus party and the ol' pickle ornament (whoever finds the pickle ornament gets to open the family gift). It's interesting to me though how those traditions are changing or shifting I guess you'd say a bit. For instance, I have kids who are very excited about wrapping which is something I take great joy in but now need to share which is fine. This is the second year that I've let the kids help decorate the big tree. They still decorated the 4 ft one too though. They were quite thoughtful in their ornament placement which was sweet.

A friend of mine had a good idea that I decided to incorporate which is having the kids draw names. They were very excited to do it and very precious in picking out their gifts for each other. Emma insisted on buying her Dad a 'handsome' gift. She just couldn't believe how handsome her item was and insisted we get him one. Besides the gifts I so love how the kids enjoy giving. Whether it's making special pictures and/or cards for each other, sharing their Christmas treats they got from school/ friends it's quite sweet. The last few days the kids have been pairing up and taking turns making funny faces on iphoto which you just can't help but cry you end up laughing so hard.

Anyways, if this is scattered I'm sorry I need to get back to more wrapping in my rather chilly garage. But how I do love listening to the rains pitter pattering on the roof. I'll post back soon with some photos of the holidays. Hope your holidays are merry and bright with warm memories and loved ones close by.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tis' The Season 2008

Well gosh it's been a while. I think with Thanksgiving being later this year this Christmas season sure has seemed to pop up on me rather fast. I'm trying really hard to enjoy this season and not overcommit or spread myself out too thin.

This last half of the year has really been full with four kids playing soccer and Larry being coach for Christians team. Don't get me wrong, it's been a blast! We have so enjoyed watching the kids games, cheering them on and all the time being outdoors. It just gets tiring and there has not been much downtime at all. So, this will be our first (besides THanksgiving weekend) weekend with no soccer games since the beginning of August. All the kids did great this year. Larry coached Christians team all the way to 1st place! Hannahs team came out on top too! Hannah and Christian both made it to the all stars (the best of the best) and both of their teams finished first place. Last weekend between Hannah and Chrish they played 6 games and won every one. You can't tell I'm competitive can you? I'm honestly just very proud of them and happy for them. They will be playing more soccer in January sometime but I'm not sure when.

Caley and Hannah had a holiday concert choir performance that went very well. I was impressed with what they've learned in only 3 months. Chrish and Emma's holiday program has been going on this week. I'll get to see them on Thursday and am looking forward to seeing them. Emmabear has a speaking part that she is quite excited about and I'm already looking forward to Christians concentrated cute face.

I'm SO excited about the kids getting out of school on Friday :D Some of the things that we're planning on in this next week are: driving around looking at all the Christmas lights, seeing a live nativity, decorating gingerbread houses, making a few homemade gifts and definitely making time for some holiday drinks and serious cuddling while watching some Christmas flicks. Well, I'll try and post more later but for now Happy Holidays!