December in a Nutshell (part of it anyway)

Things are starting to green up in the greenbelt, makes our walks there so pretty.  We are in a severe drought though, so we are all praying that we get some big rains this winter/spring.  We need our lakes to fill up!!

*I realize I skipped November entirely.  I have been searching all day for my other memory card, but can not find it!!  I'm starting to get nervous about it.  It has all of Grant's birthday and our trip to Cambria (Thanksgiving) on it.  When it reappears, I will post those pictures.
 Child labor at its finest.  The kids stuffed all the Christmas cards.  I think Ava examined the pictures on every card she stuffed.
Sorry bad pictures (I just took a picture of the actual card with my phone), because I deleted the original off my computer. We FINALLY got family pictures taken a few months ago, so I decided it was time to send out Christmas cards.  I made them on Photoshop, and printed them through a printing shop that I use. 
The back of the card.
December 7th
We went to our ward Christmas party the night before this, and everyone was talking about how it was supposed to snow here that night. Supposedly it's only snowed in Roseville 2 time in the last 25 years.  We were all anxious and excited to wake up to some snow, but it was a no-go.  Not even a dusting. 
 We were headed up to get a tree, and knew there was probably going to be some snow there.  Sure enough, they got dumped on that night. 
 We have NO snow gear, so we packed our rain boots and rain coats in hopes that we wouldn't freeze while hunting down our Christmas tree.
 The kids were ecstatic to see and play in the snow.  They lasted about 20 minutes before they were sopping wet and frozen.
 We went for a narrow tree this year.  I really liked it, much shorter than last years. 

 Noah loved just plopping down wherever.  Look how wet his pants are. :) 

 Adam didn't realize until he already starting sawing, that this tree had 2 bases had to saw through.
 Trying to warm up by the fire. 
 The kids and I ended up in the car while we waited for our tree. Ava and Grant were getting really creative and crazy with Nala's leash they found in the car.  They kept swinging on it and using it as a pulley.
 Decorating the tree.  
Noah is my holiday boy.  He LOVES holidays, and can't wait to get out the decorations for whatever holiday is coming.  He pesters me for days to get stuff down from the rafters.  This year I really struggled to get out the decorations.  Because there was only 3 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas (and I got sick right after Thanksgiving), I really didn't want to get everything out for just a couple weeks.  Anyway, we finally got everything put up by the middle of December. :) 

Our church hosts a non-denominational nativity which is really amazing.  They have hundreds of different nativities displayed in all the rooms at one of our church buildings.  Sorry no pictures of it, they don't allow it.  In one of the rooms, they have a ton of nativity dress-ups for the kids. 
Lots of roll playing during December.  Anything and everything was turned into a sleigh/reindeer.  Ava makes the best reindeer. 
There are quite a few 'Christmas streets' around here.  One street in-particular is a holiday tradition for most families, which was obvious, by the insane amount of people there.  Of course, we were a few of the insane ones. 
This is in one of the garages on this street. It's crazy!! 
This one is for my dad.  The kid from 'The Christmas Story' in his bunny suit, is in the window along with "THE MAJOR AWARD".
Santa circles all the neighborhoods during December and hands out candy canes.  Not sure what the kids like more: seeing Santa or the fire trucks that accompany him.
Some friends invited us over to make gingerbread houses.  It was a bit chaotic with so many kids, but we all had a good time. 
2012                                                     2013
I know Ava grows, but just not much.  She has worn this dress for three Christmas' now.  Of course, it gets shorter every year, but it's still amazing that she is wearing some of the same clothes she wore when she was 18 months.  This dress is size 18 months!  I know I have a picture of her in this dress in 2011, but I just can't find it. She looks like a ragga-muffin in this years pictures, because every time I pick her up from her primary class, she has taken out her hair clips/elastics, taken off her sweater, and sometimes her shoes are off.  This girl is going to have a hard time staying fully dressed in kindergarten. 
 Noah has an amazing teacher again this year.  She starts teaching the kids Christmas poems, songs, and skits from Halloween until the program.  Noah's been singing Christmas songs all day since Halloween.  
Noah is below the clock and to the left (on the right wall).
 Doug and Linda, our neighbors that my kids love, came to watch Noah. They are so nice.

A few clips from Noah's Christmas Program.  He said he wasn't nervous, but he gets really quiet when he's performing, and he rarely sings loud in public.  Funny boy.
 Adam introduced Noah to NORAD, so he watched the screen for Santa as often as he could.  After a few minutes Noah told us, "This just proves that Santa must be real".  Phew, we're back on board (see story below).
Stop reading if you are below the age of 21.
We about blew the whole Santa thing this year with Noah.  After the kids write their letters, we stick them in a little 'Letters to Santa' ornament that is on our tree, and *Edwin (our elf), comes to pick them up and takes them to Santa.  Adam is really good at playing up Edwin and even wrote a note to the kids thanking them for their letters.  

*Side note:  Edwin is our families elf.  When Adam was little, his dad used to call Edwin the elf, and report on how the kids were doing.  Adam has carried on that tradition, and every December he gets on the phone, right after the kids are in bed, but obviously still awake, and talks to Edwin (loud enough so the kids can hear). 

Anyway, Adam Edwin put the letters in my temple bag (which is at the top of my closet).  Great spot to put them, since we didn't have any plans to go to the temple in the next couple weeks.  Well, our bishops wife offered to watch our kids for us one night so we could go to the temple (they are such a great family), so I got down our temple bags right before we left.  I put them on the table and was gathering up everything before heading out the door.  In those 2 minutes I was away, Noah and Grant were rummaging through my bag.  When I came over to get them I saw this look on Noah's face like he had just seen a ghost, and saw the Santa letters on the table.  He looked at me and said, "You and dad are Santa!".  My stomach dropped.  Of course, I immediately said, "No we aren't, don't be ridiculous".  Then he started with a whole bunch of explanations as to why we could be Santa, all the while I was sweating trying to come back with explanations as to why we couldn't be.  

I had to drop the kids off right then, and I was meeting Adam at the temple, so I didn't have much time to talk to him about it.  Anyway, I told Adam we had some explaining to do when we got home.  Of course, Adam immediately knew what to tell him.  Obviously, he is much better at lying than me. :)  When we got home, Adam simply, and calmly, told Noah that he asked Edwin to return the letters, so he could save them for when Noah was a dad he could show his kids.  Noah bought it, but he still would say a few comments here and there that I knew he was really questioning this year.  

I know he's going to find out soon, but I'm hoping we can hold off a few more years.  So, long story, but NORAD really sealed the deal this year that there is a Santa.

 Christmas Eve
Adam reading Luke 2.
 Kelli and Jesse
 Scott, Ava, Lindsey and Bobby
Kyle: See those big boxes in the background? Those were your presents.  The kids used them as a chalkboard.
 The kids singing Christmas carols to us.
I was a SUPER big procrastinator this year at arranging Christmas Eve plans.  By the time we invited anyone over (the day before, I think) most people had plans.  We did have Bro. Graves, the Wutkee's, and the Martinez's over for dinner and some playing.
 Opening our Christmas P.J.'s.  We've been warning Noah for a couple weeks that we open pajamas on Christmas, so there were no tears on Christmas Eve this year (he cries every year after he opens pajamas, because he thinks all presents should be toys). :)

 Aunt April made their Christmas pajamas again this year.  Isn't she awesome!  The kids loved them, and I think they are really cute. The boys shirts are from Landsend, and glow in the dark.
We all got new slippers this year too. 
 On Christmas Eve, they each get a new book. Noah got an I Spy book.
As per tradition, Adam reads them their books before going to bed.

 Three VERY excited kids!!  
All of them were so excited this year for Christmas.  It was so fun!  I think being a parent is just as much fun, or more so, than being a kid at Christmas. 


Mary said...

You have three very lucky kids! What fun traditions--I agree that it's probably better creating Christmas for kids than even being a kid. I love the April jammies!

bethany said...

Loved this post Thanks, punjab. Your kids are wonderful and Adam is lovely for lying so effectively to Noah. Great stories, great pics, sure do love you weasels.

mammasweet said...

Adam can honestly say, as I did, that there is a Santa Claus and he has helpers all over. Thanks for sharing everything from December. Sorry you were sick, Punjab. The weird thing is, I always thought you were allergic to live trees and that's why I stopped getting them.

Summer said...

I used to be allergic to trees when I was little (I got horribly sick every December for almost the entire month, so the doctors assumed it was the tree). A few years ago we decided to try a live tree again, and so far I haven't been affected by them at all. I'll admit I have loved having the fresh trees these last few years. Many of the allergies I used to struggle with in my youth, have improved dramatically or are completely gone!

The Yoder's Four said...

Lol, Noah. Presents should only be toys--not clothes--that is EXACTLY how my husband is, too.

My kids are crazy about the Pigeon books and also Calvin and Hobbes. I think we finally have the whole collection now. A childhood must!