Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Can't.... catch.... up.....


Christmas card photo rejects....

Look at that snaggle tooth mouth? So cute...

All pictures of N were either with her hands on her face or her eyes were going in different directions. I couldn't get them both to focus on me for love OR money, and I offered both.

Cubby was giving me the stink eye the whole time.

...and N is finished. No more pictures.

Whew. We have been busy.

We have been ticking off our Christmas list. This year we made a list (as a family) of all the things we wanted to do this season. I really didn't think that we would do so well, but D has been really good about making sure we schedule in the time. So far we have managed to do the following:

--Attend the Nutcracker (a dance school production, very good and SHORT...)

--Decorate the house. I let Lu do it this year and it looks awesome. Mostly because I didn't have to do it.

--Get a tree. We even got the lights put on it. We haven't managed to get any ornaments on it yet. This week. Maybe.


--Decorate candy houses. I copied an idea that I saw on a craft blog (I am too lazy to do the link). I bought unfinished bird houses at the craft store. I painted them white and then varnished them. No more putting houses together. I can just wash them off and use them again next year. We also used leftover Halloween candy. I discovered the best things to use are Nerds (they make a cool cobblestone effect)and pixie sticks (to "color" the snow). We used no chocolate and it was just fine.

--Took the kids for "their" shopping trip. I am trying really hard to make Christmas about giving. We don't go overboard on the gifts really. Just a few for each person. I wanted each kid (the big ones anyway) to see what it is like to REALLY think about giving someone what they want/need. I had each of them think about what the other members of the family would like, then we went to the dollar store and they could choose whatever they wanted. They will wrap them all by themselves too.

--Make Christmas cards. I have not sent them yet. Not even close....

--Lauren requested to "have a dinner". I wasn't sure what that involved but it was really simple. Invite some friends to dinner. I kind of cheated and did this on the same night as the candy houses. We had

--See the creche exhibit at the church. Every year our stake puts on an amazing exhibit with hundreds of creches. I have been involved with it in years past, but this year it was nice to just go and see it. They have a kids room where the kids can try on costumes from the Nativity story, make a craft, watch a puppet show. Fun for about 10 minutes.

There are still several things we have to do. Things like putting ornaments on the tree and having a Family Movie Night where we get our jammies (thanks for the idea ~J). We go to the beach on the morning of Christmas Eve. We are also going to try and see the lights at the Oakland Temple. This one might not get accomplished this year. I also need to wrap the Christmas books so the kids can open one each day and read a new story. My mom gives us a Christmas story book each year, so we have a good collection. I am also looking for a good service project that would be meaningful for Lu to do. We do try and work in service all year long, but this is a good time to find projects.

I am working on the DS thing...blah. Meanwhile, is there anything you do that is special for Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate)? All my best traditions are ones I have borrowed from other people.....

19 comments:

Lyle said...

What do you mean Christmas Card Rejects. Those were great. Those are the kind that spawn great memories.

Bek said...

That is kind of true..one year we will do a card like that..but we send the (mostly) to my husbands business people... maybe we can do two versions this year...

Julie said...

Snaggle-toothed and flyaway hair...absolutely classic! N's peek-a-boo hands are adorable, and Cubbie's stink eye was hilarious. Your kids are darling! Good pics for the family album, but I agree--not good ones for the business associates' Christmas card.

compulsive writer said...

Those photos are priceless.

As for traditions, I'm a blatant tradition ripper-off (rip-offer?). My newest favorite that my kids are eating up is one I stole from another blogger--and now I can't remember who. Every time we eat dinner at the table (and that takes effort mind you) in December we eat by candlelight.

I like to think of it as ambiance, but I think the kids are thinking pyromania.

Oh well.

Betina said...

We set up the nativity set and read the Christmas story before we do other Christmas decorations, to "start the season off right".

I would send those pictures, they are great!

I keep checking for the DS post.

citymama1 said...

I love the Christmas card photos and I love your list. I've made a list this year too. My goal was to buy an advent calendar and have something to do each day, but I got cheap.

Somethings that aren't traditions, yet, but are on my list are...

drive around looking at lights (not very original)

make doughnuts and give away to neighbors (family tradition)

Make real hot chocolate and marshmallows (I stole this from another blog)

Write a letter to Santa.

Make ginger bread cookies.

I really loved your idea of getting a new Christmas book each year. I'm 3 years late, but I think I might start!

cynthia said...

Christmas Eve fondue...
(We'll think of you this year when you are missing out, and also when there is no one around to make that ham and brie thing you do!)

Lindsey said...

Bek--

I love the idea for the reusable houses!!! That is awesome. As soon as my kids are a little older, we are totally doing that.

Anonymous said...

The pics are AWESOME! And I love the candy house idea--I'm ready to leave work and run to Michaels right now, actually. I read on another blog that a family gets (or makes) donuts, then drives around in jammies and eats them while looking at the lights. I thought that was a cute idea. My favorite tradition is to go after-Christmas shopping at the Neiman Marcus outlet and buy ridiculous evening gowns for really cheap, and then try to figure out where to wear them the rest of the year. But I guess that doesn't involve the kids :)

Danielle

Bek said...

All good traditions.. ;-)

I forgot about the fondue, cyn. We are doing that this year (why? because we will be with our very own family...NO TRAVELING)

Betina..I love that you do the spiritual thing.... also, Betina this year will start a tradition of bringing home her next child on Christmas DAY!!!! Congrats!

City Mamma...I have a really good (easy) recipe for homemade marshmallows...I try and dig it up. It is pretty fun to let the kids cut them out...

Monica B. said...

Oh I love good Christmas traditions. We are real big on the service side of Christmas, so every year we do some kind of service project with our kids. For years we would "Ding Dong Ditch" people (leave a treat and knock and run) We always chose a family that was in need. Some years we went big, and some years we just left cookies. Last year my kids collected coats, hats, gloves, and scarves and went to a down town area and passed them out to homeless people. We have made sack lunches for homeless people in the past, and now I'm looking for a soup kitchen so my kids can serve Christmas dinner. We also put on a Christmas carnival at a women's domestic violence shelter and brought Santa to see the kids. Most of all we never ask our kids to write a Christmas wish list, we ask them instead to write a list of what they want to give to each member of the family.

Oh one more I just remembered (sorry about the long novel) every year we invite people over who are not members of our church on Monday nights for a family night with fun Christmas activities. It started because my dads family are not members, and this was our way of sharing with them the true meaning of Christmas.

Geo said...

I'll take the non-posed pix any day! Your babes are adorable no matter what. Even stink-eye can't disguise the cuteness.

mak said...

Bek-

I know of a couple of service projects Lu can do- Both I think are connected with the church humanitarian center so check there for more details.

We did this for a church service thing- Can cut old magazine pictures of things like flowers, animals, kids and etc. and glue them on to cardstock in "themes" (i.e. all fish, all kids, all dogs). Then you can take them into the humanitarian center and they put them together in plastic sleeves and make little "books" to give to kids in other countries that don't have any. It was fun and easy (and a good way to recycle those old magazines)

Another project I heard of in AZ is apparently at the humanitarian center they have dolls that they need people to "clean up" so they can give them to kids. They usually need a bath and their hair combed and "fixed" and people even make clothes (although you don't have to). You can just pick them up, bring them home, and take them back when they are done.

Just a couple of ideas...

Bek said...

Great ideas Mak.... i think that the magazine one is a good idea... I'll check w/ the CHS offices...

good one...

~j. said...

I love that you go to the beach.

One of my favorite cards that we ever received was a family photo where EVERYONE (parents, too) was making a funny/silly face (or the kids were crying). It was awesome.

Suzie Petunia said...

I love the gingerbread house idea! I'm definitely going to do that one. My kids will LOVE decorating them. Thanks for the good ideas!

more caffeine, please said...

Such cute pictures! One tradition I started that CJ loved this year was getting out the ornaments that are framed pictures of him. I have an ornament framed picture of him taken every Christmas morning so that when my kids are grown up and gone away, I'll have a tree filled with their Christmases growing up. He thought it was so fun to put those on a tree.

Also, we let him decorate his own 3-foot tree for his bedroom and he loves turning on the lights every night.

Can't wait to do the gingerbread houses. Great idea!

wendy said...

I *LOVE* your Christmas card rejects! Especially Norah's.

We don't even have a tree yet; nor have I done any decorating or Christmas shopping--you are way ahead of me.

Wendy from Flippin' Sweet

Anonymous said...

The kindest service to give and receive is an unexpected compliment.
(This is a project done with my 4th grade class) Create handmade compliment cards and present them to unsuspecting recipients. (My card today was a "thank you for always being so cheerful in the early am" to the lady at McDonalds Drive thru.

It would be so fun to think of all of the people that you meet each day that you could compliment and then deliver them. Keep some to hand out on the spot.
jk