Part of me feels guilty putting so many things into one post, but the other option, of posting each thing individually, sounds more exhausting, and fatigue wins over guilt most days. (It's a parent thing.)
This season has been a wondrous one. We have had so many fun things to do, and possibilities for traditions that we will carry on in the future. You never know what might strike your fancy...so we try new things often.
First up, we did Grandma's fun gift exchange. We added another family (the Hulse's) in for variety. The kids seemed to have a really good time. There were a LOT of gifts out there, but all fairly simple things. The bonus was that I hid five dollars in one of the gifts. I didn't take pictures before, but at the end, here we are opening gifts.
I don't think Tyler ended up with the headbands, but he sure looks good in one.
The funniest part was June trying to trade a pair of black gloves. No one would take them. I finally whispered that maybe she should look closer at the gloves and she would like them more. (You guessed it...the five dollar bill was inside.)
Naturally, there are many Christmas concerts around this time of year. We attended June's orchestra concert and enjoyed it very much.
June is getting very good and I'm excited to see whether she makes advanced orchestra next year.
I do feel bad that we didn't see the entire concert. I am not one to leave early, but we had our one rehearsal for the song for the ward Christmas party and there was nowhere else to squeeze it in. (This season sure gets busy.)
Possibly my favorite part of the year is the Scoresby party. It is my night to kick back, be silly, and hopefully come home with a good prize. This year, the request was ugly sweaters. We tried our best. We accept that we didn't walk away with any awards for our attire. (Yes, the kids drew pictures and Tyler pinned them to his sweater.)
Gotta have a good selfie before leaving the babysitter for the evening. And what would we do without June and Robyn. The holidays are so much more fun when you aren't shelling out extra cash for sitters. (Just saying.)
At the party we were supposed to take a picture, put it on FB, and see how many 'likes' we could get by the end of the party. Unfortunately, I don't even have FB on my phone. (Well, that's not really unfortunate.) But we will share our photo with you and you can 'like' it now. (And by like, I hope it makes you smile.)
As for gifts, we came out winners. They played a game where each couple blindfolded one person. Then Steve hung a gift card from the ceiling. The person who was not blindfolded had to yell directions to their blindfolded partner. You wanted them to eventually reach up and grab the gift card. You can imagine the chaos. There were so many voices, Tyler couldn't really distinguish mine from the others. There were so many people yelling right and left that he was constantly turning away from the goal. Ingeniously, he finally held up different fingers -- one finger to his right and two fingers to his left. Suddenly, my voice yelling, "TWO, TWO!!" was easier to find amidst the "lefts" and "rights." We won...eventually. And I think we deserved it. (Made me feel better about my hoarse throat the next day.)
Tree of Life
We heard about a phenomenal willow tree in Draper that has 40,000 white lights on it. They nicknamed it the 'Tree of Life' like the one in Lehi's dream. I thought it would be really neat to take the kids to see it. We went out on a snowy evening and sang Christmas carols all the way there. Upon arrival, it didn't take long to see that the tree was not lit, but we had come so far, we had to let the kids get out and explore. There was so much snow and it was nice and deep. Check out Ivory playing.
There was a sign saying the tree sometimes didn't work depending on weather conditions. It had snowed all day and was still snowing while we read the sign, but it didn't seem too bad to me. Oh well. Maybe next year. We did take a picture on the lighted bridge we crossed.
Another concert,but this time June wasn't in it -- none of my kids were. June has to report on a concert each term, so she chose choir.
It helped that we went to see Hannah. She is practically family.
Work Christmas Party
Went to Tyler's work party. It was fun and a little different this year. They held it at a huge events center. I think it went well. The food is always yummy, although I like the salad the most. Each year, the salad gets bigger on my plate and other items disappear. Next year, I believe it will be all salad. Might as well eat the stuff you like. Oddly, there was another ugly sweater contest, but we didn't hear about it and were happy to ignore it. I just enjoyed a night out where I didn't have to cook.
At the ward Christmas party, there were poinsettias for sale. Every year they sell them for $5 and use them for center pieces. They are pretty, but I have to admit that a yellow poinsettia just doesn't seem very festive to me. Neither do the washed-out pink ones. (Yes, I seem to be suffering from poinsettia discrimination.) I wanted a red one if I was going to spend five bucks. I'm guessing many people felt the same way because by the time I was able to focus on flowers, there were a whole bunch of yellow and pink ones left. There was however, one interesting mixed one in the batch. Terrie and I both had our eye on it. So we did the fair thing and played rock, paper, scissors. She said 2 out of 3 and I agreed. She beat me the first round and immediately wished she hadn't offered the extra two rounds. I sure she wished it even more when I beat her the next two. And let me tell you, I have really enjoyed my poinsettia. It is really pretty and brings me warm fuzzies whenever I look at it. Thanks Terrie for making it that much sweeter. (Yes, I am a tad too competitive, but she also brings out the best in me.)
It is a good thing there wasn't a baking competition, because I would have gone home with a green ribbon this season. Green for gross. I wasn't sure where my go-to sugar cookie recipe ended up so I tried a new one. TOTAL FAIL. The dough was strange, but it seemed to roll out okay in the end. However the cookies came out with a strange bumpy surface. (That has never happened before.) I wish I could say that the taste made up for the texture, but it was a fail in both departments. I threw out dozens of cookies and all the leftover dough. We stuck to fudge and toffee this year.
We made the goodies to go caroling and once again I didn't think to take one picture. Typical. We still had a great time.
Puzzling it Up
Don't forget our Christmas puzzle. I found a puzzle and it wasn't too Christmasy, but it needed to come home with us. It actually ended up being a really fun puzzle to do, although entirely too easy for my crew. I'm glad I started it early, because it was finished in less than 24 hours once the troops were on to me.
We really like slug-bugs around here. We aren't allowed to call them anymore, because Dad was fed up with the competition in the car, but I'm pretty sure many of us still call them in our heads. June and I agreed this one was our favorite. Classy.
Well, there you go. Lots and LOTS of fun festive activities. And guess what...I'm not even finished. There are still a couple that will get their own post. (I told you we have been busy.)
I'm looking forward to a week of nothing on my list besides blogging, reading, and checking my monsters. (Yes, it is still the current addiction.)