Saturday, December 31, 2016

Holiday Merry Making

This photo deserves to be featured first (obviously):

We Wash you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, friends!!

As I sit down to begin this post, we are two hours away from 2017! Andrew will be ringing in the New Year with his Dad down at our family cabin. With my babes in bed, I figure that it would be a good time to see how much blogging I can sneak in before the new year arrives! It would be great to resolve that next year I will blog more often so that I can share what is on my mind and in my heart when I sit down to write; rather than play "catch-up." If my fingers truly had their way, I would be reflecting on the happenings of our 2016 and expressing gratitude for God's goodness in our lives. However, memories were made that need a spot here first before time darts ahead too far forward. Time is a giant stinker. It's gaining momentum and I wish I could get a better handle on it! 

The early weeks of December were dotted with illness. Each of my Fleglets had a version of the same thing. It began with Henry and then slowly swept through each child. It hit Lottie and Forrest the hardest. It was a virus, nothing serious, but it lingered with my two youngest. School was missed and other activities were placed on hold. My nerves and maternal anxiety didn't escalate terribly because we no longer have a tiny baby in the house (... we can cry about that fact in another post, okay?!). Even so, sickness is never fun. 

I am grateful that it arrived early. We were well before Christmas and were able to create some great memories in between those fever spells and coughing fits. 

The Sunday before Christmas we were at my Mom's for dinner. The kids participated in the Nativity. It was nice because the older girls helped get the younger kids ready. Papa read from the script and the kid's took their roles seriously-ish. My favorite part was when a pregnant Lottie who was playing the role of Mary danced into the room saying, "Daddy! Look, I am pregnant!" I mean no disrespect to the Mother of our Savior, I promise. We honor and revere her. But that sweet little pretend belly combined with Lottie's darling mannerisms was a sight! I loved it. 

The Monday before Christmas, Forrest participated in his preschool's Christmas program. It was combined with an older class and boy, was it a full house at the library! I thought there was about a 50% chance that Forrest would participate. He told me in the car that he was not interested at all in sitting up on the stage. However, when he got there he went right to his chair and sat quietly until it began. He is growing up and it is the most bittersweet experience of my life. This sweet baby of mine, who is QUICK to remind that he is not a baby, is becoming like the big kids and it makes my heart so, so sad.
 I will be honest... he didn't sing much. But he did do some of the actions. I was still very proud of him for doing his best and for being brave enough to sit up there with his friends. He was likely one of the youngest kids on the stage. After his performance, I said, "Forrest! You did such a good job! Mama is so proud of you." His reply, "I know!" He is so enthusiastic about life these days. His reaction to good news is always big and so rewarding. He isn't shy about telling people that he loves them. There is a good chance that his love language is "words of affirmation" like his Mama. Whatever the case may be, he does a great job of articulating his love for us and it makes my heart soar.

When of the first outings this year was to Christmas Village. Forrest was feeling under the weather that night so he mostly sat in his stroller.
 We went with our good friends the Barretts! It was fun enjoying the night with them! Watching the kids on the train was a highlight for me.

Random (and sad), but Henry slipped on ice and hit his face on the blacktop at recess. It was a big surprise to me that his glasses didn't break! I sure hope we can avoid accidents like this in the future! Ouch!

One of the BEST memories from this season was taking the kids to ride the Polar Express and meet Santa! It cost an arm and a leg to do it, but I am already mustering the courage to ask Andrew if we can do this again in 2017! What a night it was! We had a small window between Forrest's sickness and Lottie's. I am really grateful it worked out and that our kids were well enough to enjoy the experience.
 I went back and forth on whether or not to buy these jammies. When I found them on sale for seven dollars, I went ahead and got them. It was a good call because I sure thought they looked cute, cozy and cuddly in them!

Memories from that night that I want to remember include Lottie singing along to Frozen's "Do you want to build a snowman"... Her expression and dance moves were too cute. When I imagined how that night would go, I had anticipated that it would be magical primarily for Forrest. I was wrong. Henry was ecstatic when he spotted Santa on the train car just behind ours! "It's Santa!" he hollered! Eliza let her guard down and danced in the aisle with the other kids to Christmas music. Also, they asked her to figure out how long the railroad had been open in Heber. After providing her with a few dates, she burst out, "117 years!" in record time! She is so smart. Forrest LOVED the magic bells that were gifted to the children. As we sang Jingle Bells, his hands and legs both kicked in time to the music. Lottie's fever arrived in the early hours the following morning. I was so happy that we were able to enjoy our trip to the Polar Express before that happened.
Eliza had a Christmas piano recital. She did such a wonderful job.  She played two songs: "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" and a duet with her teacher, "Silver Bells." It was neat that my parent's were able to come and support her. After her recital, they came by and gifted my kids with a new ornament. My Mom does this every year. They also like to come "oooh" and "awww" over our decorated homes (my siblings and mine). It is something I look forward to every year.
A quick Forrest funny: Andrew was tucking him in bed the other night and reached his arms under his pillow to pull him up for a hug.When he did that, Andrew discovered the key to our four wheeler there. Who knows how long Forrest had been sleeping with it. He sure loves riding that four wheeler. It still makes me laugh as I imagine him sneaking that key up into his room and quietly hiding it under his pillow!
I was able to sneak away and have dinner with some of my favorite gals this past month. I look up to each one of these ladies and feel so grateful to have these friendships in my life.
 My "power of Mom" friends...
We meet monthly and to discuss a different article pertaining to Motherhood
(and eat delicious treats and laugh and cry...depending on the night)

 My junior high and high school friends...
I wish I saw these ladies more often. 
Because MAN! I love them!

Here are a few pictures from the ward Christmas party! It was so well done this year. I love our ward family and hope to be apart of it for many, many years. 

 And finally, here are a few videos that tie into this post.

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