Saturday, December 31, 2016

We All Made the Nice List

We left our heroes as they were careening toward home on fairly clear roads. The hum of Christmas was in the air as carols were belted from the back seat...and the front seat as well. Little did our heroes know that Santa had indeed come to their house while they were away in Idaho. Even without milk and cookies, he left each resident a small gift. It looks like everyone had avoided the naughty list for one more year...

I requested that we leave the thermostat on, so we came home to a comfortable home and could jump right into present opening. Nothing was going to delay these kids. Plus, the stockings were sitting there just begging to be noticed.

I liked the Emoji paper that Santa used this year. H😃, H😁, H😀!

Stockings are usually full of useful items. Everyone seemed to like what they got. Some people had to try out everything at once.

Tyler built our traditional fire. It wouldn't be Christmas without it.

Santa was very generous. Daisy was thrilled with her fancy lipgloss.

Ivory was sure she was going to get a scooter. I don't think she was planning on the helmet.

Pearl's request for a Pokemon movie was answered.

Robyn will be busy with her Extreme Dot to Dot.

One girl never got her request in. So she was surprised with chocolates and a violin necklace. I don't think she minded one bit.

Even Dad was good and got some tech gifts.

My gift from Santa was so interesting that you couldn't get a picture because of the crowds.

I looked all over for what they call mermaid fabric. It is sequins that will flip back and forth so you can make designs in the fabric. I never found what I was looking for, but Santa did. Here is June's design.

Everyone worked hard to get gifts for their people. June and Daisy spent a lot of time sewing a special pillowcase for Pearl.

Robyn, Ivory, and I spent an hour trying to decide on a personal message to put on June's tote bag. We finally settled on Coccinella. Don't know what that means? Neither did June. She had to go look it up.

But she was pleased to find it means 'Ladybug' in Italian. Very fitting for her. Here are some other peeks at our Christmas.

Grandma Dargan sent fun blankets. The girls loved them.

I was inspired and did my own design on the pillow.

It was a really great Christmas, with lots of smiles and thank yous and thoughtful gifts. I have to give two awards this year. We get lots of surprised, excited faces when we take pictures, but this is the best this year.

June opened the sheet music to The Devil Went Down to Georgia. (Can't wait to hear her play that one.)

One final award to the best unwrapping job. With one slice, Robyn knew what was in this one.

Over dinner we all said which gift we thought we would use the most and what we enjoyed most about the season, and almost everyone mentioned getting to go to Idaho and help Grandma. That was probably the best part of Christmas, although I think everyone liked the presents as well.

Merry Christmas to all my blog readers! I hope you have had a wonderful year with your families and enjoying the memories with ours. Here's to a great new year. Are you ready for us 2017??

Friday, December 30, 2016

Snowed Inn

Plans have a way of falling through. I am a natural born planner, but I am also able to change plans at the last minute. (It is necessary not to go crazy.) I feel like I am a good blend of organization and spontaneity.

We have done Christmas at our house for a long time. We try to go visit family sometime in the season, because we love them, but it usually isn't on Christmas Day. Instead, Grandma Cazier often makes it down here to Utah on Christmas Day some time. That was also her plan for this year.

Instead, she slipped on the ice and broke her ankle in quite a nasty way. No traveling for her. (Yes, if you have been following this blog, she has been in the emergency room at least three times in the past year and a half. The good news is that she knows all the doctors now.)

Tyler had time off from work, sort of. Meaning, he should have had the time, but with other designers gone, he was slated to remain here in town and be the guy who was in the office. With not a lot of wiggle room, we decided that we would go up to Idaho for Christmas and come back to be here the following week. The weather told us that we would be wise to travel on Friday  before a BIG storm hit for Christmas.

And so we did. Roads were fine up to Idaho and the snow started to fall as we arrived. And it didn't stop until Monday morning. There was already a fair amount of snow in Idaho, and with the added storm, it was a super white Christmas.

Because of Grandma's condition, there were some new toys around the house, namely crutches. Grandma didn't like the crutches as well as the walker, so she allowed the kids to go to town with them. (Not literally, don't worry.) Ivory found some more crutches in the attic, so all three littles were hobbling around. Good times.

Robyn had the important job of dog manager. She takes these things very seriously. (Although most of the time, Pip was snuggled with Grandma.)

Grandma spent most of  her time in a chair with her leg up. (That is exactly where she was supposed to be.)

Christmas Eve was a lovely day. In the morning it wasn't really snowing yet. (So I guess I lied before.) The kids went out and played. They made up a fun game where everyone made snowballs. Then June and Robyn built mini snowmen and hid them around the yard. I believe there were ten total. Then Pearl and Ivory went searching for them. The kids took pictures of the event. (Yeah, I didn't go outside. It was cold!)

In the afternoon/evening, everyone came over and we all exchanged and opened gifts. Grandma usually celebrates with the 'K' Cazier's on Christmas Eve, so it made sense to do it all together. That included Christmas Eve pjs, which were the only gifts I brought from Utah. The rest were waiting for us at home. It was great to get together. I took some pictures and got some from Kathryn. Enjoy little snippets from our lovely Christmas Eve together.

Looks like we are all tuckered out.

Sunday was a very blustery day. The storm was going full force. Both J.R.'s and Grandma's church was canceled. Kolby's ward was too righteous and didn't get the message. They met anyway, and we went out in the weather to join them. It was a great meeting. Even Grandma came, walker and all. (It is no small task to move a walker through a storm.) It was really neat because Hinckley blessed the sacrament for the first time since his diagnosis. He is such an amazing example to all of us.

Our Christmas day didn't involve any gifts, but we surely enjoyed our time with family. It was a great day. In the evening, the kids talked me into making some fudge. Grandma had almost everything on hand. We did have to scavenge for some chocolate chips, but the neighbors were accommodating. It looked delicious when it was finished and there were some very sad girls who learned they couldn't eat it until the next day.

But fudge was happily devoured (and shared with generous neighbors) in the morning. We spent a good part of Monday making sure that Grandma's house was livable and clean. (I will be the first to admit that we bring noise, love, company, and disorder when we visit, all of which are graciously accepted.) Since Grandma wasn't going to be getting up to vacuum or do dishes any time soon, we tried to pitch in. Luckily, she has great sons and daughters that stop by often to help out. We were on our way in the afternoon, back to Utah and with perfect timing. The storm was officially over and the roads had been cleared. We didn't have any trouble on the way back. There was quite a bit of fog hovering in places. I took a picture of the sun through the cloud cover.

And some of my passengers. (Not through cloud cover.)

During the last 20 minutes of our drive, we sang Christmas carols as we got closer to our abode. The girls were super excited. They knew they still had presents waiting for them, including stockings and gifts from Santa.

But you will all have to wait another day for our other Christmas capers. (No fun to wait huh? I was impressed with how well the kids did.)