Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas Day 2013

It's so magical! So fun! The joy of giving to children is just too much to handle! It was wonderful just like every year! Of course they got too much "stuff", but I'm really okay with a little spoiling on Christmas morning.

Our stockings. Each year, Santa puts beef jerky in Mike's stocking. Last year, Claire ran to Bud and said, "DADDY! You got MEAT in your stocking!" It's been a cute joke ever since. Beef jerky is now just meat at our house. Stockings are just fun...
 Pretty fun! I love that Santa leaves their one big main gift unwrapped for the kids...
 Santa and the reindeer couldn't quite eat all that we left out for them...
 Caleb just excited about his new scooter...
 Claire looks dang cute in her new hat!...
 Shoes are Janie's favorite thing. I love how she says shoes with a lisp...
 I love that my kids love legos. Bud and Claire put this toy together and she plays with it every day...
 It was his year of monster trucks!...
 Janie got her very own phone too. Such a girl! A car, shoes and a phone at just one year old!
 These two are very very cute together...
 Opening their winter gloves...
 Binoculars! WAHOO!
 Don't interrupt her...
 Let's get rich, babe!...
 Her excited face saying "WOAH!"
 This was the best Christmas gift I've ever been given! Bud got me a trip to Las Vegas with him to see Faith Hill and Tim McGraw in concert. We leave in a couple of weeks. I teared up a bit. I am SOOOO excited to spend a few days away with him before baby #4 gets here. I wish it was tomorrow! I cannot wait!... His binoculars, books and shoes weren't that awesome after I opened this gift. Haha! OOPS!
 Just happy...
 He knows me well. Or does he know himself well? His favorite treats in MY stocking. :) I do the same thing to him! HA!
 Claire has been talking about this American Girl Doll for MONTHS! She finally got one. These dolls aren't cheap and I was worried she wouldn't play with her, but boy was I wrong! She is constantly changing her outfit and doing her hair and driving her around in the jeep from Gma and Gpa Bennion. She also made a little bed for her right next to her bed. Pretty cute...
 Caleb lined up his trucks...
 We spent most of our day at Gma and Gpa Bennions!  Can you say SPOILED!?!?! These kids have no idea how lucky they are. I hope someday they do. How do I teach them that? Caleb got an awesome tool set just like Grandpas!...
 These two make my kids so happy and do so much for them and us! Caleb definitely has a crush on Grandma Julia! He always says, "Thank you for letting us go to Grandma Julia's" in his prayers even when we didn't go over to Grandma Julia's. Pretty cute...
 Awwww... Clairey got this and some fun things for her American Girl doll...
 I am REALLY lucky to have such great in-laws!...

 Sorry Janie...
 30 weeks pregnant on Christmas...
 Of course we went to Dodo and Bobby's house for more spoilage. Caitlin, Matt AND Kristin all got the kids the nicest gifts too! I mean, it was RIDICULOUS what we came home with, but we were so thankful and the kids were overjoyed! It's fun and humbles me to know how much my kids are loved. They are so lucky to be the first and only grandkids on the Bennion side!

Caitlin outdid herself with this remote control car. I think it was Caleb's favorite gift of all...
 More...
 And Matt threw us a MAJOR curve ball by getting the kids gifts! He's really maturing into a nice young man. :) He gave them both Nerf guns and now I have bullets all over my house. He's so good with my kids. They love being around him!...
 Janie helping Gma and Gpa with the garbage. Look how cute Dody is looking down at her...
 Bobby told me the other day that he thinks Janie is going to be a movie star. What do you think? And what do you think of those darling boots that Aunt Krissie gave to Janie for Christmas?! So dang cute!
 Krissie being nice and letting Janie play with her phone. Just don't let her delete all of your contacts like she did to me!...
 Score...
 Norwex! They haven't left my sink since!...
 And they couldn't have got them a better gift with these sleds! Dodo and Bobby really know how to make us all feel so special and welcome and they truly would do anything for us.
 We are so blessed and thankful this season for our families and children and loved ones that surround us. So much of what we have would never be possible without them and especially without the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our families are stronger because of it. Our trials seem easier because of it and the comfort and peace that we get from it lift us in ways that would never be possible without it.

I really felt especially touched by Jesus' father, Joseph this Christmas. I read THIS talk by Elder Holland and was in tears thinking of how he must have felt at the time of Christ's birth. I imagined myself in Mary's shoes and Buddy in Joseph's shoes and it really touched my heart to imagine him stressing about making his wife comfortable and trying to get her to a safe and warm place to give birth. I thought of how he must have felt knowing that she had to do it in a stable surrounded by animals and the smells and everything that comes along with them. I thought how he may have felt defeated or sad knowing he was bringing the Savior into the world in the most humble of circumstances. But he wasn't. And Mary wasn't either. They never complained, but just did the best with what they could and they were happy because of the knowledge that they had. Even with all of these "things" that we all got and enjoyed for Christmas, the true joy comes from each other and relationships and the love of our Savior and Father in Heaven that love us so much and the knowledge of that. We had such a lovely Christmas! Thank you to all that helped make it so!

Christmas Eve

It's ALMOST better than Christmas itself! So relaxed and fun and the anticipation of Christmas morning is so exciting! Our little family went to a lovely lunch at Longhorn Steakhouse to start and ended the night at Grandma and Grandpa Peterson's.

The girls...
 The boys...
 My family is so "special"...
 Claire ADORES Ellie! She talks about her and Lily all of the time. She really looks up to her big cousins!...
 Jamie and Chris...
 Grandma and the babies...
 Jane Jane and me. She has the most beautiful blue eyes!...
 My poor dad reads the story of Christ's birth each year while we sing Christmas songs between versus. He cries every time and most of us laugh at him every time. It's mean, but my mom is usually laughing the hardest, so we can blame her. Here is Sam laughing and holding a flashlight so Dad can see better...
 Caleb, Lily, Jens and Josh...
 After opening pajamas... Janie is such a little ham!...
 Gosh I love em...
 Cute, eh?
 Ready to go home and get some sleep before the big day!...
Merry Christmas Eve!

Christmastime...

The days leading up to Christmas were jam packed! Here are a few of the fun things that we did...

Played in the snow lots and lots...

My siblings and I treated my parents to 12 Days of Christmas gifts. I had days 3 and 8. The Third Day of Christmas was 3 date movie nights with the Bourne Trilogy...

The 8th Day of Christmas was 8 Mikes-a-Milking. Hahaha! Who wouldn't want to drink something with that face on it?...
 We also went to a Bennion Christmas party. We didn't know a soul, but it was so much fun and hilarious! Santa came with all kinds of entertainment and songs. My favorite was "Suzy Snowflake." This is so far out of Buddy's comfort zone. It was hysterical!...
 As soon as he got the hang of it, he was a star!...
 Clairey had a fun time at Elf Day at school...
 Christmas just isn't the same without an ugly sweater party. The highlight: Getting rid of Buddy's MASSIVE marshmallow coat as a white elephant. The best part was that he thought I wrapped up a stuffed animal. I've been trying to get rid of that thing for YEARS! He beat me with a pillow when it got opened. It was awesome. We love hanging out with our friends! Thanks Olsons! (30 weeks pregnant here)
 We also went to Grandpa Bennion's for a pizza night and Home Alone...

 We didn't forget about Temple Square. Although... I will NEVER again go on December 23rd. Temple Square was shoulder to shoulder full of people, but it was still beautiful and a great time!



The crew that went...


Now on to Christmas! Busy Busy BUSY!