Wednesday, December 23, 2015

December 2015 in a Nutcracker

I don't want to have to include Christmas with all the stuff I still need to post here, so I'm going to unload a little bit. I'm just now realizing I haven't put Thanksgiving photos here either. So, even more unloading.
Once again Kyle and Diana hosted for us. They live right next to Utah Lake, so it's nice to have a pretty view while we're eating great food.
One of the kid tables included these handsome gentlemen.
Kyle had carving duties.
Such a pretty table.
Grandma with all her granddaughters minus Janessa, on a mission in Peru. 
This makes me smile. 

Next! We had the Festival of Trees with Bridget's grade school choir. Denise took Emil and Colin (and saved them and me from destruction) while I drove Bridget and Clara to the Festival of Trees. I haven't been to that in YEARS. Still pretty cool.
These two were huge goofballs all afternoon. 
They talk and laugh constantly. Pretty adorable.
I thought the boys would have liked this tree.
There she is! I spotted her.

The boys celebrated their birthday at preschool TOGETHER this year, because I'm winning that game. I made sugar cookies (with their help) and let them decorate them for their big birthday treat at school.
Emil went CRAZY with the sprinkles. Especially on the cookie he decorated for Daddy. Bridget: "Dad doesn't like sprinkles." (She is correct, but it was very cute. Emil watched Daddy eat every bite of that cookie.)
Mysterious frosting all over Colin's face.
Bridget was home sick because she's always home sick during the weeks that they are doing NOTHING at school. I don't think party days should count against her record. I also think Bridget should stop getting sick or injured every Christmas.

On December 19th we celebrated Emil and Colin's 5th birthday AND had the big family Christmas party. Doesn't get any bigger than that.
They got new bikes! We didn't tell them which one went with which boy. (I know what you're thinking, and yes, Emil does need new pajamas. He's grown 4 inches since March! I can't keep up.)
They knew which bike to go to. Daddy had to get the pesky training wheels off before they went for a ride. They don't need no stinkin' training wheels!
We ate breakfast with Grandma and Grandpa Lee before they had to leave for home and we had to leave for Heber for the North Pole Train.
Last year it was all new and magical and this year the kids knew what to expect. Also, Bridget and I (mostly Bridget) have been fighting multiple diseases over the last couple of weeks. When we boarded the train this time they were just finishing cleaning up a kid's puke right by where we sat. All to explain why this time was not as amazing as last year. It was still fun and the snow covered views were much prettier this year, but it really wasn't the same.
Bridget's big break and she had no voice to sing.
Colin had no fear. I love Bridget's face in this one.
We had to wait a little longer to see Santa this time since we were in coach with the peasants and the pukers, but Colin gave him a warm welcome anyway.
The kids got jingle bells from the big guy again.
We couldn't linger very long after our ride because we had to race home so Daddy could watch the BYU vs UofU game. That is the most important thing.

After I got all the presents wrapped, picked up the food, and shopped for a few last-minute things and Brian got the first half of the game watched, we were off to the family Christmas party.
Cousins with phones. This was after Kalvin played "Why are you hitting yourself?" with Emil. I love it when Emil gets The Business from his older cousins!
Harold had a funny video to show us on his Kindle. He collects them. :)
We did the fishing pond again this year. You can see Emil making quick work of that Slinky in the background. Sigh. But, they love the fishing pond! I do too.
We gave Bridget the option of doing the Dice Game with the adults and big kids or doing the fishing pond for one more year. She finally chose the fishing pond because there was no way she'd end up with a toilet brush doing the fishing pond.
After the Dice Game, Santa came! We saw two Santas in one day! Emil told this Santa that he wants a motorcycle and a remote control monster truck. 
Colin said he wants a Machine. What for? What is going to happen?!! Santa said he'll see what he can do, but I'm putting the Mom Veto on this one. "Machine" indeed.
Bridget asked for a karaoke machine. She's got to practice her skills for the next time someone shoves a microphone in her face!
All the grandkids and great grandkids with Santa. Tradition!

The next day, Sunday, Bridget and I were on our death beds with fever and coughing and sore throats. I went to church anyway because I was accompanying a string ensemble, but I came home right after that and went to Instacare with Bridget. They were convinced she and I have strep (no swab test - Bridget's throat was covered in pustules), so we got on anti-biotics right away. We rested up during the afternoon so we would be ready for my big birthday plan. We stayed at the (or I should say "a") Marriott in downtown Salt Lake City so we could walk over to Temple Square to see the lights and then walk back to our hotel for the night. No traffic, no parking headaches. It was a perfect plan.
If Emil wasn't making a weird face this would be one of my all-time favorite photos. We didn't get there in time to see the lights come on, but it wasn't super-busy yet and that was nice.
That's Colin contemplating the Nativity. Just kidding, he was pouting because he wanted to go back to the hotel every minute that we were at Temple Square, he just happened to be by the Nativity.
A lady inside the Tabernacle came up to Brian and Emil and made an Alabama noise that we don't understand because Brian got that hat at an airport while he was on a business trip many years ago. I felt bad we weren't that lady's people. She seemed nice.

We came back to our hotel after seeing all the lights and hearing all the complaints. I'd brought "Elf" to watch on a DVD player that didn't exist in our room, but as fate would have it, "Elf" came on TV! It was a birthday miracle. With commercials. Colin and I played his new Disney I Spy card game during the commercials. And we ate treats and popcorn. It was delightful. During the night I couldn't sleep for all the coughing I was doing. Bridget's fever came back, so I got her some medicine. And I kept Emil from falling out of the double bed he was sharing with Bridget several times. I didn't even know they made double beds anymore. What a ridiculous size. So, not a great night's sleep. The next morning we ate breakfast at the hotel, then took the train to City Creek to window shop.
"Oh, oh, the Wells Fargo Wagon is a-comin' down the street..."
Mostly we went up and down escalators a lot.

We were wandering around waiting for noon so that we could go ice skating at the Gallivan Center. Bridget was so excited to try ice skating that she got me excited to go. She dressed up her American Girl doll in the ice-skating outfit and everything!
Noon finally came and we were almost the first ones in line to put on skates.
Notice what side of the rink Colin is on. This was after his one and only lap on the ice. I gotta hand it to Emil, he fell down a lot, but he tried and he did it with a smile. We've always got to have one stinker at every activity and Colin's number was up. Bridget and I did several laps together - I think we got the hang of it. Every once in a while Emil would make his way over to us and grab both my hands as if he expected me to whisk him into a turn with me. Um, I was just barely not falling down myself. :) Emil thinks I can do anything. Pretty soon, though, Colin got his way (after lots of running away from Daddy and following me around the outside of the rink yelling at me to get my skates off and put my shoes back on) and we headed home.

The rest of my birthday was one failure after another. We got a correct diagnosis for Bridget, though, after waiting at the doctor's office (AGAIN) for over an hour. That girl was SICK, y'all. (Ear infections, tonsillitis, AND influenza B.) My Christmas wish is to stop coughing. On Tuesday I got to go see Star Wars with Brian for FREE and FREE of children, which made up for most of the birthday failures. So! That's December 2015 so far. 

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