Thursday, December 27, 2007

Santa Claus Came to Town!!

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas! Ours was so much fun! I love all of our family traditions! I love the anticipation! I love the food! And I LOVE watching my kids' faces (well, Payson's really, since Jack doesn't quite understand yet) as they discover what Santa left them.

Anyway, here's a little peek into our Christmas holiday!!

This is a picture that Payson actually took Christmas morning. She grabbed the digital camera and was getting up close to her favorite ornaments on Grandma's tree and just snapping away. I thought this one actually turned out to be pretty cool. Buzz Lightyear to the rescue!!

Here's Grandma's tree with presents overflowing beneath before they were torn into on Christmas morning!

This is the traditional formal Christmas Eve dinner in the formal dining room with the formal China and everything. We all wear our "formal" jammies. ;)

Santa brought lots of great presents for the kids! Apparently he thought they'd been good this year!

Everyone comes up the stairs in age order: Payson, Maren, Madison, Brennan, and Devin...except for Jack who was carried by Madison.

Payson discovering her new kitchen.

Payson opening books.

Playing with her new baby doll and doctor kit.

Jack enjoying his new excersaucer. Happy little guy! Payson had just as much fun opening his presents as her own!

In an attempt to make Christmas last all day long, after the kids open presents from Santa, we take a break! We have our huge traditional Christmas breakfast (although I have no pictures of it. Bummer, I know). Anyway, we have eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits, hash browns with cheese, juice and assorted jams and jellies. We all eat more than we should and enjoy every minute of it!

After breakfast is all cleaned up we move to the family room where presents are handed out and then we take turns, in age order, opening one present at a time until everything is unwrapped. At this point, Payson got sick of waiting around. She wanted to just play with her toys. So Jason and I opened most of her presents for her.

My brothers and sisters got Guitar Hero 3 for Christmas so a good deal of the day was spent taking turns pretending we were rock stars.

Even Grandma and Grandpa joined in! Jason and I got booed off the stage every time we tried. But eight year old Maren was so surprisingly good at it! Maren rocks!

Jason spoiled me with a gift certificate for a day at the spa (which I have been subtly hinting at for, well, forever!) and my parents bought me a Cricut machine!! (For those of you who don't know, it's a machine that cuts out letters and images for scrapbooking). I'm so excited to play with it more!! So fun!

Anyway, to sum it up, Christmas was so fun! I can't believe it's over already. Oh well! On to New Year's and a month full of birthdays! Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Something Fun

While snooping into some stranger's blog the other day I saw the cutest idea! This friend of a friend of a friend had a list of "Quotables" from her kids listed on her blog. I thought that was such a cute idea! What a great place to store the silly memories of their childhood!! Anyway, I'm totally stealing the idea! I think Payson says some of the funniest things! So check out our "Favorite Phrases" (below the slide shows to the left) every now and then!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

One week to go!!

Myspace Graphics
Myspace Graphics at

I am getting so excited! Only one week to go! This time next week I'll be watching my kids rip into their presents! Well, I'll be watching Payson rip into her presents and opening Jack's for him. Actually, if I'm going to be technical, this time next week I'll be done watching Payson rip into her presents and opening Jack's for him and I'll be helping make our traditional HUGE Christmas breakfast!! Anyway, the point is I love Christmas and I can't believe it is coming so quickly! I'd better wrap those last few presents before time runs out!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I love Uncle Dick

Today my mom called with some scary news. Uncle Dick had a heart attack and his heart stopped. I won't go into all the details, mostly because I was receiving them third-hand most of the time, and also because I'm sure a lot of you readers are family and heard them already from someone else. And because I haven't actually seen him yet and I don't want to get anything wrong and send anyone into a panic.

Anyway, so many things have been happening around me lately. So many friends, or friends of friends, or whatever have had tragedy hit their families and I've just been thinking about how grateful I am that our family is happy and healthy. And then the tragedy started to move in a little at a time.

I'm so glad that (from what I understand for now) he's okay. It sounds like the surgery went well and with some time he could be good as new. I just love that big, bald guy! I can't imagine not being able to laugh at his ridiculous jokes. I don't want to think about Teri alone. I don't want to see her or the any of kids missing him so much. I don't want to know what it would be like at the Astles' not having "naughty" words whispered into my ear at the most unexpected moment. I would hate to not be able to see him looking so not like the women you see at church but playing just as beautifully on the organ. I can't imagine him not being with us to walk around and see the Temple Square lights and always stopping at the old Tabernacle to listen to the music. I can't imagine watching the guys all ride off on their bikes for another motorcycle trip without him. There's just a lot I would miss terribly.

Anyway, I'm just glad you decided to stick around long enough for me to tell you that I love you, Uncle Dick.

Love, Your Niece