December 31, 2008

Christmas Vacation

We love Christmas time. We love decorating the house, cutting down the tree, drinking hot chocolate, eating goodies, wrapping presents, listening to Christmas music...the list goes on and on.
We spent Christmas in Utah amongst family and friends. We planned on leaving Friday the 19th. We had 100mph winds the night before and at 6:30 am we get a call from the elementary school saying that 'School has been canceled because there is no power in the building.' The kids were so sad. No school Christmas Parties. I was sad for them. Brandon and I took the car into Big O before our trip and came home to pack. After lunch and packing everything we could think of...we were off. 10 hours later we were in snowy Utah.
Saturday was spent getting my hair done, shopping, attending the Salt Lake Temple, and dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory. And after waiting for an hour and a half...we were seated and eating yummy salad and sour dough bread.
Sunday was Lyn's 60th birthday. We went to sacrament and enjoyed Christmas music by Rachel and Lyn's choir, took family pictures at the city building, and came home to a party that evening.
Monday was more shopping and dinner with Che and Jessica. You girls crack me up and it was soooo good to see you both. I love you.
Tuesday was snowboarding! Oh I had so much fun. I managed to pull a muscle but it was worth it. I can't wait to go again next Friday!

Wednesday was Christmas Eve Cookies with Grandma Creswell.

Christmas Eve Family Program complete with the Nativity acted out by the kids.
Kathryn's majoring in Recreational Management and taught us some really fun games. 'Picky, Fisty, Flatty, Cutty, Claws' was a favorite for everyone. We also learned 'The Name Game' (aka the Blanket Game) where you have 2 chair facing eachother and a blanket hanging in front of them. With each team behind their pick who is going to sit in the chair. Without the other team seeing who it is the blanket drops and each team names the person sitting in the chair. Talk about delayed reaction! SO fun. We also played a game where each player takes a piece of Tape about 4 inches long and forming a circle with the sticky side out placing it on their nose. Then they pick a partner and put their heads together, literally, and see who walks away with the other persons tape. You continue until only one person is left with EVERYONES tape. Hilarious game! Next was a Sock game. Everyone sits in a circle and when the leader says 'Go' everyone tries to take off eachothers socks. The object of the game is to keep your socks on. Wrestling is involved. And the last...which is by far the most frustrating and entertaining...was a game involving a chef's hat, apron, oven mitts, 2 butter knives, a set of dice, and a candy bar. The object of the game is to roll the dice and get a double. Where upon you quickly get dressed in the hat, apron, mitts, and knives in hand, and cut the candy bar (with the wrapper still on it) into bite size pieces and eat them. The frustration comes by other players rolling doubles after you've gotten just the hat on...or hat, apron, and mitts on. Everyone's in a circle and rolling the dice as quickly as they can so they can eat the candy bar. So funny to watch!
Thursday was Christmas! The kids woke early, Grandpa Creswell took his traditional Christmas morning shower, the men moved Grandma Creswell's grand piano, and Brandon handed out presents one at a time. Some of us were hopeful that the opening of presents wouldn't last too long because of the number under the tree...but by Christmas Eve there was no such hope. The tree was bombarded with presents. The kids got tons of presents but my favorite were the homemade ones. They were really special. Brandon made K pajama bottoms. I made A a Lego Star Wars Wall Art. K made M and baby blanket, F a water bottle action figure, and A a Volcano fact book. A made Brandon a t-shirt that says 'My Favorite Dad'. M painted me some Christmas Ornaments. And F made M a beautiful bracelet. Brandon got me a new ring! I love it. And I got him a Blue Ray DVD Player. Santa got the kids a Wii with an Indiana Jones Lego game and Mario Cart.
One of the fun things about his Christmas was having a baby in the family. Joseph and Kathryn had baby Shad in November and he was so much fun to play with and hold. M couldn't get enough of him. She was seriously holding him 10 hours a day. She loves him so much. Joseph and Kathryn were really tired one day and so we took Shad so they could sleep. We remember not sleeping with a new baby in the house. We had so much fun with him.
Friday was shopping and out to Emilie's work to hang out. The treats we pigged out on last year...were not FREE this year. We had to pay for them. Good thing we ate lunch before we came. Kathryn taught us a fun game on the pool table and I felt pretty good about myself as I beat her in Ping Pong. This isn't saying much because neither of us are very good. But I still had fun. Leah, Brandon, and I tried to hit a movie late Friday night but no one was home to watch the kids. Guess we'll have to head home Sunday. So we planned to go to the movies Saturday night. We got to the Gateway and they only had one seat left. Bummer. Guess we'll have to head home Monday afternoon.
Saturday was...can't remember...lunch at Panda Express with Tatianna and Asher then bowling with Rachel's brother's family. Fun time. The kids beat all the adults except Aunt Arlene. Next time I'm using the bumpers!
Sunday was church. I saw Sally Alley and chatted for a bit. Leah sang a beautiful 'O Divine Redeemer' that brought me to tears. Movies, treats, and a yummy dinner by Emilie. Complete with her homemade rolls. Thanks, Em!
Monday Leah and I went early to play racquette ball. So fun. I love you, Leah. Thanks for making me workout! And then it was time for a quick shower and head home. We were going to stay for the movie but Brandon and I hate to drive in the dark. It was about 6:30 by the time we got home. We ate dinner, opened presents, and went to bed.
This was a really great holiday. We got so many letters and pictures from friends and family in the of our favorite things during the season... Thank you Grandma and Grandpa Sanchez for all the wonderful gifts you sent us. We are so blessed to have you as part of our family. And thanks to Lyn and Rachel for letting us come for Christmas. We had so much fun with everyone.

December 18, 2008

The Gift Box

This story is from the New Era Magazine, December 2008. Check it out. Looking for a new way to keep Christ in Christmas? This story does it. We will be adopting this tradition in our house. I loved it and had a good cry. So touching and simple.

Christmas Craft

I have to boast. There are 2 projects that I completed for my kids this year that I am especially proud of and I have to share them. Both my boys are into Star Wars/ Indiana Jones Legos and I wanted to make them something that would be special...and fun.

For F...I made this Indiana Jones I Spy Bag. I love it! I loved it sooo much that I made 2 more for my nephews. I really had a lot of fun making these bags and I really like that I had a theme. That made it both harder and easier to put it together. Thanks to all those cool moms who made these before me and shared their ideas and how-tos on the internet.

For A...I am especially proud. He can't really play with his but this is what I came up with. Star Wars Lego Art for his bedroom. I used my Silhouette for the vinyl lettering 'May the Force be with you' and the lego people are cut out from cardstock. I had so much fun making the headdress for Queen Amidala. I am so happy with how it turned out. And I already know that A will love it...because he found it already. I was hiding it in the corner of our bedroom between the wall and our dresser. It was covered up with the curtain. I don't know how he found it but F said A showed it to him one day. That little stinker. Oh well. He doesn't know it's for him...but really who else could it be for? I'm still proud of it. And am glad A thought it was cool.

December 11, 2008

Out of the Mouth of Babes

F: Mom, do you know Santa's phone number?

M: Why do you needs Santa's phone number?

F: To tell him to bring me that Star Wars toy I want. Do you have his phone number?

M: Sorry, F. I don't know his phone number.

F: Darn it!

December 07, 2008

Christmas Programs

A and M had their Christmas Concerts last Thursday. They sang so beautifully. A was peeking over at us to make sure we were watching and did a really good job. And M was so excited and 'nervous', she says, about singing. I got really excited when she told me she was singing 'I Saw Three Ship'...I don't even know if that's the correct title...but...while I was doing her hair she started singing it for me. Super cute.

All this week we have been getting ready for our RS Christmas Program today. We put the finishing touches on the gifts we gave the women in the ward...CD's with inspirational music...and our program brought the spirit and tears of joy for our Savior, Jesus Christ. Music always have a way of doing that. I love to be around women in the gospel...they have such a strong spirit about them. It was wonderful.

Now that these programs are done...I can focus on more projects to complete and stocking stuffers. I fail every year with the stockings. If anyone has any great ideas...please let me know.

December 06, 2008


December brings...lots of projects to start and finish. That is what I have been doing this week. I have so many and still don't have our Christmas letters done. Everything always works out in the end but it's the chaos that surrounds me now. Gifts, projects, decorations, christmas concerts, work parties, church parties, mtgs., emails, blogs...and that's on top of our daily routines. Oooh! Does anyone else feel overwhelmed?
Don't get me wrong, I love December...I just wish I would have done all my projects earlier in the year. I'll make that my goal for next years holiday season. Get all Christmas done by December 1st. Then I can just worry about stockings. Oh that sounds nice.