It has been raining like crazy for the past several days. The rain is much needed and welcome. It does get hard when you try to go grocery shopping or when you dash from the car to the house or when you don't get any outside recess for several days in a row. BUT it can bring some fun surprises as well. Yesterday we had a chilly treat fall from the sky. No, that is not snow... it's HAIL! WOW. Check out that parking lot! They could've made snowballs out of all that hail and had a royal fight! The hail fell only in a small section of the city, but it really came down in this one spot. Do those boys look happy to be outside or what? They haven't played outside for so long, but it was so enjoyable for them even if it was just for a few freezing cold moments.
We took the kids to the movie for a final hurrah on this winter break and headed out to see Alvin and the Chipmunks: the Squeakquel.
My favorite tidbit was the fact that Zachary Levi had a substantial role in the movie. One of our favorite shows on TV is Chuck and he's the main character from that program. So it was fun to see him in something else. Lizzie was enamored with the Chipettes. They were so cute and sparkly - perfect for our Lizzie. Trevor, Logan, Jackson and Jeremy were all over the bathroom humor - swirlies, "dutch oven", and toilet jokes kept the boys rolling!
The music was fun too - if you don't mind the traditional chipmunk sound. It felt like they sang several 80's songs remixed for today's crowd. Because that's when the Chipmunks first appeared right? in the 80's. They also sang my favorite song - the Single Ladies - which was very enjoyable.
The kids loved it. The humor was right up their alley. I, on the other hand, was indifferent. It was fun to go out as a family, but the movie was nothing special.
If I were you, I'd wait to see it in the $3 theater or just wait and get it from Netflix.
Christmas morning is always the best - especially when there are children involved. The magic is almost tangible! They didn't wake until after 7AM which was a beautiful thing. And the night before they were all given strict instructions that NO ONE was allowed to go downstairs until EVERYONE was awake. So, just after 7AM we hear the pitter patter of little feet running back and forth and back and forth from the loft to the bedrooms. They were so excited to steal a peek! Finally, everyone was up - even Jackson was excited to join us.
A quick pose at the top of the stairs... And then... PRESENTS!
Checking out Santa's plate - he and the reindeer ate all their goodies!
The morning was spent enjoying all the new treasures, eating food, and being together. Grandma Elizabeth, Grandpa Louie, Mica, Thomas, Amy and Bella all stopped by for a visit too.
In the evening, we headed over to Jeremy's parent's house for Christmas dinner. Before we ate, we sang some Christmas carols, acted out the Nativity, and opened presents. The caroling was my personal favorite. When there are so many people joining together in song it just melts my heart. Especially when none of us knows the 2nd verse to Joy to the World and we sing alternate words (Joy to the World Bill is dead. We bar-be-qued his head!!) Yeah, it was awesome.
The Nativity was equally entertaining - as it always is when Ms. Meghan is in charge. Mary (Lizzie) was great with child... nice profile shot.
Jacob rocked the part of the angel.
And here were some more of the cast members...
It was a lovely day of family and memories. Merry Christmas 2009!
Christmas Eve was a rollercoaster of fun family time. We spent most of the afternoon/evening doing a progressive dinner with my side of the family. It was fun to see everyone and their Christmas decorations at each house.
Marcos and Melody (left) started us off with some yummy appetizers at their place. They made those pinwheel sandwich things - you know, the ones you eat at weddings. They were so tasty! And apparently they're easy to assemble - never tried to make them myself. I'm going to need a recipe for those.
We made our way back to our house for the main course - Jeremy was craving some tacos so we decided to roll with it. I liked calling them "Christmas tacos" even though they were just regular tacos - it made them seem more festive that way. A little red tomato and green lettuce on top = some Christmas colors anyway, right? My family thought it was great. They commented that Mexican food tastes like Christmas because that's what we always had when we were kids growing up. So maybe we'll have Christmas tacos again next year?
We finished off our evening at Thomas & Amy's house for dessert. Amy made her fabulous old family recipe for chocolate fondue. Mmmm! It was delicious. They had all kinds of chopped fruit and angel food cake for us to dip. Although, we did not dip our fondue in the traditional dipping fashion. You see, we are all slightly paranoid of germs. Especially with children around, yes, even my OWN children! So, we each served our plate and then poured a scoop of fondue over the top of our goodies and everyone was happy.
These are the babies of the year. Ms. Bella and Mr. Mason (being held by Uncle Jordan). Aren't they cute?! And check out their blue BLUE eyes!
My favorite part of the evening, besides the food, was singing with my family. We haven't done that for a long time and it felt great to get us all singing together. We practiced a song to sing for Dad's YSA ward the following Sunday and it turned out so nice.
Here's a small taste of the enthusiasm that flowed through our car on the way home. It was 8PM. The kids knew Santa was already on his way (Norad Santa tracker said that Santa had already finished in NYC by this time). Check out those faces. Were they excited or what?!
We raced home to open our Christmas Eve gifts - new jammies! Then ran next door to take a quick pic with all the Ward family cousins. Sang a quick song
And then finally headed home eager for visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads.
We checked the Norad Santa Tracker one last time before heading up the stairs. Santa was still in Wisconson at 9PM so we'd have to wait a little bit longer, but knew he'd be there soon.