Sunday, January 1, 2017

Christmas morning started at the end of this post, where you can see in the pictures that it is still dark. So all of these are in reverse order. We had a great Christmas! It was extra fun to have Pat's sister Kathryne visiting.

Charlie's favorite toy was this marble set (or maybe his Bumblebee transformer). I love this set because all the kids have spent a lot of time building different tracks with it.
Dallas with his loot.  He's looking through his Lord of the Rings piano book!
Cute Kathryne!
Christmas morning mess!
D's lego Capitol building.  Over a thousand pieces.  Thought it would take a while.  He was done in an hour.  I think this is the last Lego thing we'll buy him; but he liked it!
Sam loved his Lego thing.
Evan got a transformer!
Leia's baby doll.  Quote from Leia at Christmas dinner: I see that this stuffing has a lot of different things in it.  And that's why they call it stuffing; because it has a lot of stuff in it."
 Aunt Amanda made Leia this flower crown.  Daisy got daisies!

Charlie got books!  We realized that the 'small child' books we used to have for the older kids were mostly missing or practically destroyed.  Now we have books to read at night just for him.  I had gotten into the habit of reading bigger books each night to the older kids, and was neglecting him!
Pat got lots of games for the family and loves games so much.  I hate these difficult games!  I guess we don't have to agree on everything, but it drives me crazy when he spends half a day playing just one game. 
We got a darling puzzle from my sister and did it over the Christmas break with everyone helping.  Also, more books.
Dot markers he has loved!
I loved how my kids gave each other gifts and gave gifts to Kathryne and always hugged!  Sam gave Dallas a 1st place brother ribbon and some secret gifts were given out too that we don't know where they came from.  Anonymous.

Pat got Evan several old books from a mystery kids series he used to like to read.  We got a lot of books that were out of print this year for family!
Steph is the best sister and a great Aunt!  Goody boxes!
Game from Bren'mama!  We played this with Kathryne and it is super fun!
Dallas's gift to me.  I love this mug and hung the glass "cutting board" on the wall!
Dallas's gift to Sam and Evan.  Everyone was so excited!  He also got Kathryne a massager, and Leia and Dad a huge game set.  Isn't he the best?!  I mean, he already got us all those kitchen tools!  I told him, from now on, I wanted him to focus on saving for mission and college!
More games.
More books!

It's hard to see, but Charlie is showing everyone his church shoes that came from Aunt Steph and Uncle T.  They got each of my kids beautiful, nice, new shoes.  These were not Walmart shoes people. Leia got boots, and the boys all got Nikes.  Incredible!  They all had holes in their old shoes and barely made it to Christmas break, so it was perfect timing!
Kathryne with a lotion set from her mommy!
Kathryne with her blanket from her mommy.  Brenda makes the best blankets!

Below is a picture of the Christmas kitties: George and Martha

Charlie with his light saber from Evan.  Evan also got Dallas a light saber, Leia a wand, and Sam a few things too.  Such thoughtful kids! 
 Leia reading one of our favorite books for beginning readers: Kitten in the Well (it's kind of a weird Mennonite book, but it is so interesting!)

I was excited to read the Betsy-Tacy books with this girl, and that they're in print again!  They are so creative and fun!

Here's a WONDERFUL book that is out of print, Papa Married a Mormon, but we found one for us and one for my mom.  We're reading it out loud right now.  It's one of my favorite books!
Dallas being very excited about getting socks!
Evan jeans

and Sam about a new tie.  He just got a hand-me-down suit from someone at church and looked really nice on Sunday.  I just wish I knew how to hem pants.  Actually, I wish I had a hemmer? hemmist? on hand to do it for me!
Leia with her glass tea set I found at the thrift store!  She loves it!
Stocking stuffers!

I didn't get everything in this post.  I hate taking pictures during events.  But we had a great Christmas!  I am so thankful to my mom who always sends money to help.  We all got plenty of candy, cookies, and ice-cream, etc (not that that's great- I've gained back all my weight and have felt slow and achy eating bad again).  We had thought about not having Christmas gifts and instead doing a trip to Disneyland or something, but it would still cost so much more than gifts, that we gave up on it.  Maybe we'll do a trip next time, but I think it will have to be to someplace mostly free.  It's not worth going to Disneyland unless we can spend 2-3 days there since it takes us 3-4 days to drive.  But once you pay for all those admissions, and hotels, and meals, and gas for 7 people?! Fogettaboutit.

I was glad that I got out cards and gifts to friends, neighbors, teachers, and ward family members, but always wish I could think of someone who grew up without much like I did and could really use some help with groceries at Christmas. I will always remember the person (probably from our ward at church) who doorbell dinged us and when we opened the door, we found two bags of groceries out on the driveway.  In it were marvelous foods we never had.  I think I remember a ham, and I definitely remember the green and red mint M&M's.  Such simple things, but it was amazing to us then.

We ended the year with a really fun party over at the Tuckers house with the Haslers playing games and guitar, and then did the 5 remaining fireworks we found lying around.  I am excited for the New Year!

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