Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Wrap-Up

My how time flies when you're having fun. I'm trying to get around to visit blogs, but please be patient with me.

I think this is the longest I have gone without posting in a long, long time.

First of all--I'M HAVING A BALL with my family. We've been carolling

and then we had soup and rolls when we got back.

We had the missionaries over for dinner Christmas Eve. What a special evening it was--we had a blast. We moved furniture and had plenty of room. They enjoyed being together so much.

Of course, we had fun with the Christmas crackers

And the gift exchange. The Canada scarves and hats were the big hits--I guess reminders of Canada are something all the missionaries love. It was fun to watch the little missionary who got the fruitcake try so hard to get someone to take it from him--no one wanted it ; )

I think doing our dinner with the missionaries on Christmas Eve is so wonderful. I loved seeing the missionaries having such a great time together. Many of them commented on how nice it was to be together in a home--which is why we do it. I use real plates because I want it to be special for them. I appreciate their service and their examples so much. Thanks to those of you who have had missionaries serve--THEY ARE GREAT and we love them. We ended up with 44 instead of 46.

After the missionaries left, we got some of the mess cleaned up and waited for Santa. We all got new pajamas--sadly the nightshirts are GONE. I know Allan will really miss his ; )

Heidi got home the day after Christmas in the afternoon. It is wonderful to have her here.

We waited until she arrived to open our stockings.

We have gone to a couple of movies--Avatar and Sherlock Holmes. We still need to ride the train.

And, I received wonderful news that I'M GONNA BE A GRANDMA AGAIN!!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Memories--Part IV

The final Christmas memories will be THE WINNIPEG YEARS. One of the fun things is there always seems to be lots of deer in the backyard--almost looks like they were having a meeting and one guy was left out ; (

We moved here in February 96, so our first Christmas here was 96. In actuality a couple of Christmases since 96 were not here--we had 99 in Reno right after Allan's father passed away. 2008 was held in Utah--amazingly enough Allan's moms last Christmas.

I won't separate the pictures according to years--I'll just post them with an explanation.

We are all about traditions--we have several. The pajamas have been a tradition FOREVER--we did it when I was a kid, although we didn't take pictures in ours. So, keep in mind, if you ever plan on visiting us at Christmas, there will be pajamas and there will be pictures.

Christmas morning we always have waffles and strawberries and nice thick bacon. Quite often the kids call while we're having our breakfast. They all know what we're eating. Here we are 2002 Christmas morning.

2005 and 2006 were my first Christmases with a son on a mission. A whole new experience, but I SURVIVED (and so did he). We'll face that again next year when Kyle is gone. Here's a pic of Brent at Christmas while on his mission--probably the only snowman he would find in Arizona. How I loved getting those phone calls on Christmas Day.

For the last few years, I have done the majority of the decorating of the trees and whenever the kids came home they put their ornaments on the tree. 2005 Heidi and Kyle putting on their ornaments.

We always enjoy when visitors come at Christmas (this year besides Heidi, Brent, and Kyle coming home, Allan's sister, Bev, came yesterday. In 1997 Chris, Amanda and Neal came. The kids enjoyed playing outside--not sure they would do that today.

The next year, Wendy and Tony came. We had a ball.

2003 Neal came for Christmas.

We were thrilled in 2004 because Neal brought Macy--they got engaged a month later.

We have enjoyed so much the Nativity Pageants--and a highlight was the year we participated. Kyle and I had a ball. I won't include the picture of me as a bearded shepherd--it's been included too many times. But I will include my little angel ; )

For a couple of years we went to the "Lights of the Wild". Our Zoo had a light display and it was always so fun to go--it seemed to be the coldest day of the year. I remember laughing with Wendy and Tony when we went to the zoo--we were so cold.

We also have a fun little train that we ride. Here's the group waiting to ride the train in 2002.

After poor Macy riding the train and freezing her cookies I don't know if she'll ever be game to come back to Winnipeg; ) This year we'll wait for Heidi to get home--I know she would be soooooooooo disappointed if she wasn't able to ride the little train ; )

We also go carolling--usually have friends, and sometimes the missionaries, come for soup either before or after we go. Again we will go the Sunday after Heidi gets home--that will be after Christmas, but that's okay.

Christmas Eve means homemade soup and rolls. (I have to admit, but shhhh don't tell anyone, when we first started I opened a can of soup--I have progressed to homemade ; ) In 1997, I got special Christmas bowls. I guess Heidi, Brent, and Kyle were tired of having mom take pictures ; )


2001 with Grandma and Gerry.

One of the funnest things that we have done at Christmas while we have been here in Winnipeg has been to feed all the missionaries. This year we will have 46--working on figuring out how to get them all at tables. I think we have it all figured out--wish me luck ; ) We do a little gift exchange for them--I love going out and buying all the gifts--I buy gloves, hats, scarfs, mosquito spray (very necessary in the Summer). They are all wrapped and under the tree. I feel for the missionary who gets the fruitcake--he or she will have it until the end.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Santa May Be Jolly, But Still

Over the years we've taken many trips to see Santa--we would usually go early enough that we didn't have to wait in line too long. Some of the experiences were good, some not so good. You never knew what it was going to be like, but it was always interesting when they were little and the tears would flow. I guess you just never know until you put them on his lap.

It almost looks like Heidi is enjoying the whole thing. (I really don't think I have one of her crying on Santa's lap--she just always liked him ; )

A few years later, Kyle wasn't very happy to be sitting there either.

I always love when you find a Santa who looks like Santa--not like it's a part time after school job. Here are a few Santa pictures.

Chris and Amanda 1990.

One of the last pictures of the 3 kids sitting with Santa--1993 right after we moved to Reno.

However Kyle did continue to visit Santa--this was one of the last times.

Many years ago, before this guy had 5 kids he loved going and sitting on Santa's lap.

Jason and Kiah sitting with Santa in 1992. (I know I have one of her crying the year before ; )

Brandon with Santa--love the picture--not sure what year.

And here's Stephen and Daphne's gang. When I was visiting them over Thanksgiving, they gave me this pic of the family from last Christmas. Better late than never.

One of my favorite pictures from Christmas--even though it doesn't involve Santa is this picture of Kyle with his Grandpa. It was taken in 1992 when they came to visit us in Toronto. I wish you could see Kyle's little outfit--he had the cutest little knickers, cap and bow tie.

I never got a picture of our little G-man sitting on Santa's lap, but one of my favorites has to be this pic of him when he was a shepherd in Macy's families' nativity pageant. Is he not the cutest little shepherd.

SIDENOTE: The boys are home--life is good. We had a lovely afternoon and are now headed to a Missionary Farewell.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Memories--Part III

I'm loving doing this. I have a Christmas scrapbook which is way behind--this is going to help me get it all caught up. Firstoff, one of my favorite pictures--Christmas 1993. We went up to Boreal after we moved back to Reno. Still hard for me to believe these kids are all grown up.

I'm going to cover Christmas 1989 - 1995

1989 we moved to Charlotte--the first time I ever lived outside of California. It was our first experience with luminaries, but I never got a picture. Although we were in the Ward only a year, we met some great people. It was our first "breakfast with Santa" experience. We invited a young couple who was away from their family to join us for Christmas dinner.

As always, Santa brought pajamas for the kids.

1990- 1992 we were in the Toronto area. That first Christmas there was so fun--Allan's sisters, Gerry and Bev and Bev's husband, Homer, came to visit. We had a ball. I remember we thought it was so cold--hah!!!! I can't figure out why the garland just stops on the railing--maybe I'll just blame it on my being pregnant ; )

Heidi and Brent looked so cute.

I look like I'm quite pregnant, but I'm only about 5 months.

Kyle joined us in April, so Christmas 91 included a baby again. Don't you just love Kyle's little cap ; )

Want you to have a better look.

We were all so excited when Neal, Chris and Amanda came to visit. They arrived right after Christmas We had a blast. We had a conservation area right behind our backyard and the kids had a ball sledding.

1992 we brought all the kids to Disneyworld. We drove and spent some time in Charlotte on our way down. We had a scary experience with Brent at our hotel. We were in the parking garage and as we were getting ready to put the cart with the luggage in the elevator, Brent had gotten into the elevator without us and the door closed. He went to a different floor, but we found him. Christmas Eve in our hotel in Charlotte..

The kids all arrived the day after Christmas. All of them flew in, except Nancy and her gang--they drove. As always, we had to have a picture with all of us in our pajamas.

I love this pic of Nancy and Kyle.

1993--we were back in the USA. We left Toronto and visited the kids on the way to Reno. Had a couple of not very fun experiences. The first was outside of Nauvoo. My tooth was bothering me and when I woke up one morning the whole side of my face was swollen. Went to the dentist who referred me to an oral surgeon to have the tooth pulled--nothing like having a total stranger do surgery. I had to have a general anesthetic--before he gave me the anesthetic he asked me if I had any questions or wanted to say anything, I just said, "Please don't kill me." Not my most favorite memory. And the trip got even better--at the hotel in Denver, Kyle fell against a coffee table, and split his head open right above his eye. Allan had to call for a taxi to take he and Kyle to the emergency room to have stitches. We were so glad when we finally got to Reno.

Our stuff arrived in Reno and my FABULOUS sister in law, Bev, had a lot of stuff put away by the time we arrived. Even our Christmas tree was decorated.

New pajamas arrived. The biggest challenge for the kids was waiting for everyone to arrive before they opened their presents--but they didn't have to wait for anyone when their pajamas arrived.

1994-1995--we were in Auburn. We left Reno right after Thanksgiving. I loved our house. Wendy and Tony came down from Reno and spent Christmas with us.

After Wendy and Tony headed for home, we left for my sister, Carols, for Christmas dinner. It was having Christmas dinner with my family again.

Neal and the kids came up right after Christmas.

We exchanged gifts.

A little too cold to get in the pool, but the kids loved being in the hot tub.

1995--we knew we would be moving to Winnipeg in February, so this would be our last Christmas in Auburn. Neal came up on Saturday and we were able to go to Church together on Sunday and then we had soup together. They left before it got too late.

After opening gifts, we decided to head up to Reno to spend Christmas with Allan's folks.

Neal and the kids came back up after Christmas. As always, everyone had a ball together.

These kids have spent a lot of time together--this is a pic I love.

Daphne and Stephen had gone down to the Beay Area to spend time with Daphne's mom. We did spend New Years together. Kyle and Kiah are 6 months apart and I love seeing them together.