December 31, 2013


Every year on Christmas Eve with Adam's family we gather at his Aunt's house and have dinner with all the extended family that can make it.  We put on the nativity play and read the scriptures.  We also put up our ornament.  Grandma Cole has an ornament for everyone that they got when they joined the family, either by birth or marriage.  We go down the list from oldest to youngest and everyone puts their ornament on the tree and gets their picture taken.  Grandma Cole has picture books filled with them and you can see all the children growing up every year as they put their ornament on.  Its a fun tradition.

One of my little shepherds.

Joseph and Mary (Porter and Esther) going to Bethlehem to have their baby.

 The shepherds in the fields.  Grandpa Sampson narrating in the background.

An angel of the Lord came down.  They were in awe, obviously. :)

 What a cute angel Michelle made.  Her halo even looks like it is glowing.

They wrapped the babe in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger.

The necklaces are gold, frankincense, and myrrh from the wisemen.

 Most of the cast.

Another of my shepherds holding Jesus.

All three of these cousins were born in the same year.  I can't wait to see them together as they get older.

Opening their Christmas Eve 'surprise'

Christmas morning.  They couldn't come to the living room until Michelle was up too, so they anxiously waited at the end of the hall for her to come out. Charlotte had developed a fever in the night, but she was still up and ready to go with everyone else, just a little subdued.

I don't think she realized she had a stocking too.  She was content to check out all that the boy's got.

Gabe and Porter both got handwritten notes from Santa.  Last year Gabe got a Buzz Lightyear from Santa that got a short in the wiring not long after. It would go off randomly in the playroom and try to recruit toys to fight Emperor Zurg. Creepy   The batteries came out pretty quickly.  He was very sad about his Buzz and Adam tried to fix it, but couldn't.  All the parts were sealed up in the plastic so even when he took it apart he couldn't get to it.  But for Christmas Gabe took it with him Hoping Santa could fix it.  Santa drilled into it and was able to fix it and glue it back together again, so he left him a note telling him he brought and elf with him who was able to fix it and he was sorry it had broken.

 Porter kept trying to take Gabe's stocking because he liked it better.  It had a snowman on the front and Porter's had a Reindeer that he had decided he didn't like.  So Santa left a new stocking for Porter that had a snowman on it and a note saying Santa hoped he like it better.

Gabe had asked for an Ironman costume for months.  He was so happy to get it and didn't take it off for about three days.

Dad trying it on.

Charlotte finally got around to looking in her own stocking.

Her favorite from the day, a stroller.  She even got a super cute mini cabbage patch doll to go in it from her Grandpa Sampson.

Daddy reading her a story.
 Opening her baby.

Cuz he's such a good "Pop" :)

Family Pictures

My SIL Ann took some amazing family photos for us this year.  She did a fantastic job.  They are all so good, it was really hard narrowing down the choices to just one of each of the kids for our parents.  If anyone needs a great photographer in northern Utah, Ann Sampson is the best!


Christmas Traditions

We cut down on a lot of out decorations this year and kept our plans simple. Because of that, we had room and time for a new tradition.  I have looked for years for the perfect tree topper.  Nothing was ever quite right.  Around Thanksgiving, I found this little Snowman tree topper and loved it.  It perfectly fit out kid friendly tree and went well with my snowman village collection.  I have never liked the Elf on the Shelf idea.  I don't like that it has become all about how mischievous he can be, despite supposedly being there to check on kids behavior.  I didn't like all the work it entailed with moving him and cleaning up messes, etc.  It just didn't jive.  But, this little guy, or girl, since the boys decided it was a snow-girl, became a great alternative.  We put her on the top of the tree and the boys named her Sparkle.  Each morning the boys would look for a note she would leave around the house.  She noticed kind things they did the day before or suggested kind things they could do to show other love and caring.  The boys loved it.  She even took a ride on a snowflake once or twice to see them doing things outside the home, like when Porter sang at the Bank or High school.  She doesn't move around, she doesn't do tricks.  She just encourages our kids to be kind and remember the real meaning of Christmas.  I can see this being a yearly tradition for a while.

This year, we decided to go with very kid friendly ornaments.  We have some plastic ones, but I was worried about Charlotte and the hooks.  So we got some pipe cleaners and tri-cornered beads and made candy canes and wreaths.  Porter liked making the patterns and did several.  Gabe did one and then got bored.  We also made some icicles with beads.
 I was really glad we did as Charlotte never got bored of taking them off the tree and either bringing them to us or hiding a pile of them somewhere.  It didn't matter how many times we said no, she just kept going back, all the way 'til Christmas.

Porter's class got to sing at the tree lighting for Zion's bank.  They donate to the school for every ornament made by the kids, so the tree is decorated by Ellis.  They had a really fun time and Porter was excited to see a note from Sparkle the next day that she had come to hear him sing.

He also got to sing in the Christmas program at Logan High.  I stayed home with a sick Charlotte and Gabe while Adam took him.  Adam said he did a great job. 

 The semester ended with my getting a 4.0 for the first time ever.  It was stressful and hard, but I am loving being back in school.  t was a great relief to be done for the holidays, but I also got bored.  I decided to try my hand at zipper flowers.  This is the result.  It is a zipper/ribbon flower.  A bit big for Charlotte now, but when she gets bigger, I will probably put in on a barrette for her.

Sunday morning.  Gabe looks pretty dapper in his bow tie.

Sunday morning best for Porter.