We drove to Utah this year to have Christmas with our families.  We had to drive the truck to fit all our stuff in it.  We had 4 kid's entire Christmas, plus the gifts for our families, and everything we needed for a week (including a stuffed animal or two for each kid to sleep with, our pillows, all our snow gear, and the 'essential' kid and allergen free food we would need since I didn't know when/if I'd make it to a health food store.  We also pretty much have to pack a medicine cabinet with us whenever we go anywhere overnight.  A-man is on 4 daily meds to help with his allergies/asthma and we always have to bring extra antihistamines, epi pen, hydrocortisone in case of an allergic reaction).  But the drive was pretty pleasant, and it was good to be home.  I love Utah in the winter; the snow covered mountains are breath-taking.  It makes me feel at home. 

I love the tradition of new Christmas matching church clothes.  I had to use my flash and apparently Ella didn't want to smile but I love this picture anyway.  I really love how Ella and Austin have their arms around each other and Isaac is snuggling into Landon.  How can I say this without being cheesy? I can't. My heart beats in this picture ;)  I love these four little people, more than they can ever know.   

Oh, Uncle Jared, how we love you.  Between Jared, Steph, and Alina the kids were entertained pretty effortlessly.  I love this picture - it's blurry but I don't care.  Jared is the funnest, from the dog-piles to the burping contests, he knows how to make my boys happy.

So, the Rudolph nose suckers at Grandma Meier's house looked more like tongues in the pictures, BUT it was an awesome party anyway! :)  It's tradition to go there on Christmas Eve.  The kids LOVED it.  They were thrilled with all the treasures they got.  Isaac thinks his $5 gift card is a credit card that he can use whenever he wants.  I can't convince him it's a one time deal.  The big boys have been entertained by their extreme dot to dot books for hours and Ella loves her polly pocket - she calls it her little girl.  

Christmas morning was so fun.  Grandma, Grandpa, Alina, and Jared and Steph made it feel like a magical party, not just present time.

I was surprised to wake up at 7:30 and see that the kids were still asleep.  I thought I must be blessed by heaven - turns out Austin and Landon had woken up at 3:00 and sat and stared and shook and laughed at all the presents.  They said they finally looked at the clock at 4:30 or so and went back to bed. I thought they must be exaggerating about the time but the story was confirmed by Steph and Jared, who had to listen to their delighted squeals.  (sorry guys)

Before we left for Utah we let the kids open their BIG present from us.  They each got a Mickey shirt, an autograph book, and a countdown to a trip to DISNEYLAND!!  It was so exciting.  Landon was speechless with a HUGE grin on his face.  But when Austin said, "What?! You said it wasn't going to be pajamas!" Landon shook him and said, "We're GOING TO DISNEY LAND!!!!"  They hugged each other and danced around.  Isaac hadn't quite got his open yet, but once he did he was dancing around too - and then asking a million and one questions.  "are the power rangers going to be there?" "so we're going in 3 weeks?  how long is 3 weeks?" "what about this, what about that..... and on and on and on...." :)  {that's my Isaac boy - very detail oriented!}  Ella was just happy to have a princess pen and drawing book.

Christmas morning this girl was hilarious.  She opened slow and careful.  She inspected each gift.  When she saw that it didn't walk like her new Barbie horse, she tossed it to the side and opened the next.

Grandma Smedley gave her the favorite gift of the year.  (As I type this) That thing is on it's third set of batteries.  She loves it.

Landon got a very very VERY long awaited gift - Ipod Touch.  Oh, how we have had mixed feelings with this.  We don't want him "plugged in".  We don't want him making electronics a bigger priority than, say, talking to people, homework, family time.  There's so many years to have a phone on your hip, why start so young?  But we caved - and then added a password.  And Landon has followed every rule we've given him.  He's a good boy.  He's learning young that everything has a place and proper order.  He's learning to balance.

Isaac-Boy got exactly what he asked Santa for.  I love how excited he is for everything.  He stacked up his loot and found a corner and dug right in. He played and played and we didn't hear a sound from him for quite a while.

Austin had to mourn for the Ipod that he wanted and didn't receive.  That was a small rough patch in our morning.  BUT the air hog helicopter that he did get was pretty awesome.  He and Landon played with it all morning.  I think it took some time, but {I HOPE}, he understands why we feel like he's just a little too young still.  He needs to be a little boy as long as he can.  We want the most important things in his life to be playing and running and being with his family and finding entertainment in things that don't require electricity (or batteries).  I feel like too much technology really robs kids of finding joy in the little things, like riding bikes, and, I don't know - digging a hole just to see what's there.  I got a kindle fire from Cameron (which I LOVE); putting Mine Craft on it to "share" with him really helped smooth his sad feelings.  Landon shares his Ipod too. [ Don't worry Austin  - you'll get one.  I just need to see you have a little more experience with the Internet and know I can trust you to get the important things done before you turn to your game...]

See - he's having fun with his helicopter - which, by the way, came with a tank that can shoot it down... just sayin'

The day after Christmas was spent with the PERIGO clan.  It's always fun when everyone is together.  I love that Marcene videos our Christmas parties from year to year.  I can't believe how much the kids have changed in a year (or FOUR! I saw a clip of Austin at 4 snuggled up with me - a tear came to my eye).  We ate Sharlene's traditional pork roast, always great.  Ella got a pair of  "princess barbie" dress up shoes that she wears daily.  She also got a "magical" (wand that lights up) from her cousin, Kinley that she LOVES.  One of Isaac's favorite Christmas presents is the little remote car he got from his cousin Tolkien.  He plays with that thing all the time and I can't believe it's not broken yet.  He loves it.

I snapped the above picture of all the boys huddled together.  I kind of love this picture.  They way they all look up to each other makes me grateful to be close to family, even if it's only a few times a year.


1 comment:

Becky said...

Sounds like a great Christmas! We traveled this year too, and it is a lot of work to get Christmas to someone else's house. It is worth it though.