We are the music makers and we are the dreamers of dreams . . .
yet we are the movers and shakers of the world forever, it seems

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas Traditions

I thought I would share some of our Christmas traditions this year, just in case the kids forget someday!!! We start with a progressive Christmas Eve dinner with Mike's family. The order can change, but the idea is the same: appetizer and presents at one family's house, then main course and presents at another, and dessert and presents at another. The kids love it because they get to open more than just one present of Christmas Eve (which was my tradition!!). Mike says his tradition was to go to midnight mass, and come home to the tree set up, and Santa's gifts all under the tree. Lucky boy got Christmas a little earlier than the rest of us!!
So, this year we started at Jason and Kristine's house for appetizers. Lucy got all dolled up in her Christmas dress and LIPSTICK!! You know it's a special occasion when I let her wear lipstick :)
Then we all opened our presents from the "other Hynes" family.

 Then it was on to our house for the main course, and Harmony and Had Abogi's for dessert and more gifts. No pictures. I guess I just got too caught up in the excitement and forgot to snap any!!

After all that fun, we head home, have a little (I mean like 2 minute, we're ready for BED!!) devotional or Christmas story, set up a plate of white-fudge Oreo cookies, and send the kids up to bed. I would tell you what happens after that, but it has to stay a mystery: Kids sleeping, magic happening…. it's the good stuff :)
Christmas morning, Mike and I come get the kids; NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND, we like our sleep around here. This year, Mike woke us all up at 6:30!! We must have been worn out. Then, keeping with my Christmas morning tradition, the kids line up from youngest to oldest, and they sing a Christmas song as they descend the stairs. They sang The Nativity. 

 Santa doesn't wrap presents around here, so once this kids round the corner, they see their haul. Elliott got a basketball standard and some board games, and Archie got a scooter and a Leap Pad (like a toddler's iPad),
 And Lucy got a longboard and karaoke machine.

After we've all gone through our Santa stuff and stockings, the kids have to put all their goodies away in their room (another inherited tradition from me). We then, one at a time, take turns giving our presents to each other. Here are all the gift piles waiting to be given.

 I love doing this because it focuses on giving (thanks Papa and Gramma), and it lets us see each person open and get excited about giving and getting a thoughtful present.

 These are some of the kids' favorites this year:
Elliott: to get, basketball hoop; to give, Mom's S&P shaker
Archie: to get, candy canes
Lucy: to get, longboard; to give, Mom's penguin cookie jar
Mike: Barbecue
Bonnie: to get, kitchen knives; seeing the kids see their Santa stuff

We have had such a Winter Wonderland this December, and Christmas morning didn't disappoint either. In rolls the fog. But, it burned off in time for the kids to get out there and play with their new stuff.

 After Christmas morning, we have a brunch with my side of the family and open MORE PRESENTS!!! Again, no pictures, it was just too much fun to tear myself away and take a few :)

 Christmas has been so beautiful this year. We all agreed that the Spirit of Christ was so strong the whole season. There was so much joy, service and love. We watched beautiful, touching videos on the Mormon Channel throughout the season, listened to Christmas songs constantly, and gave and received so much love. I have to say, I am sad to see it go.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A December to Remember

We're trying to find things for Archie to do that don't involve "Puppy!! Joe!!" He's crazy about the tv show Blue's Clues!! So, we busted out the old Hungry-Hippos game, and it was a hit!! It is so fun that he's getting to be the age where he actually plays with things, not just destroys them!

 Once Thanksgiving was over, we had to hurry in to the Christmas season!! Only 3 weeks to Christmas!! We piked out our cute little tree, and decorated it right away!!
 We also got busy making holiday treats. This little candy bar reindeer is Lucy's specialty. So cute, and she can  make them all by herself.
 I don't want to tell you this, it might make you sad. It might make you feel old. But, I have to let you know that Elliott is now a DEPUTY BELT!!!! What?!?!? What happened to my little, 6 year old white-belt-boy!!!! So crazy that this time next year, he'll have his blackbelt!!!

We had our first snow!!! It was a good one too, but it was a Saturday, so there was no snow day for the kids: BUMMER!!
 My kids are such good examples to me. When they went to bed to the snow falling, they were so hopeful that they would be able to wake-up the next morning to…..shovel our widow-neighbor's driveway!!! Whenever it snows, that is their first thought, and they get so excited to do it. The spirit of service is a gift they both have A LOT of!!

Archie is too little to shovel snow, but he had other ideas on how to enjoy himself:
Did I mention holiday goodies? MAN-OH-MAN!!! there have been a lot of goodies. But, it's not a problem to make them when you've got such a cute little helper!
 We made gingerbread houses too!! I had to throw together an Archie-safe option real quick, and he loved making and eating it.

 We surprised the kids by grabbing them from school an hour early and headed to the new ice-rink in town to skate and  meet Santa. SO MUCH FUN!!!
 Elliott and I stayed pretty close to the wall, although Elliott did venture out a few times. I stayed glued to that wall!!!
 Lucy was a skating fool!!! She credits it to all her rollerblading. She has wanted to ice-skate for a long time, and she was so happy. Great picture. Look at that smile!!

 We wrapped up basketball season. Look at those handsome boys. That's, from the left, Elliott, Phoenix, Asher, Carson, Ben, Nelson, and Lucas.
 MORE HOLIDAY GOODIES!!! This time though, we had the Wilsons over to help us decorate. It wasn't all sugar though, Heather, Emily and I made salsas to hand out to our neighbors.

Ok, are you ready for some CRAZY, WONDERFUL NEWS!?!?!! Archie has been approved to start trying dairy and eggs!!!! We went to see his GI doctor last week. Archie loves doctors; it's the craziest thing, especially for a boy that's been through what he has! But, he watched a Blue's Clues cartoon about it, and he just kept signing, "doctor" and asking when we were going :) The GI doctor said his growth is great, and he is old enough to begin to outgrow some allergies!!! He told us to slowly start introducing milk and egg products.  This was more exciting until I remembered how hard it is to get him to try new foods. It took weeks of trying before he would eat peanut butter and jelly, and now it's several new foods EVERY DAY!!! We're going to power through though!! So far so good; no adverse reactions yet!! The GI doctor says that if by April, his 3rd birthday, he's still gaining weight, we can say goodbye to GI doctors forever!!! 

He wasn't too excited about nachos, but we'll keep trying.
 WHAT!?!! Another snow, and the first snow hasn't melted yet!! What is happening to Boise! You know what they say, "when life gives you snow, make a cute, little snowman!!!"
 Christmas is getting closer now!!!! Here is Lilly, Lucy and Elliott snuggling up under the lights of the Christmas tree.
 On Christmas Adam (the night before Christmas EVE), we had the Wilsons over for a little talent show; something my family used to do every year when I was growing up. It was so fun to do. I'm hoping it becomes a tradition!! 
I played Jingle Bells while Lucy accompanied and everyone sang along...
 Elliott did some sweet Taekwondo moves…
Lucy read a story she wrote called, "The Time I Saw Santa"...
 and Archie showed us how he an count to 10!!
Not pictured was Kimo's talent of making beautiful children (Lilly and Joy), Heather's near-talent of trying to whistle while smiling, and Mike's talent of filming my talent :)