Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lovely, Active Day!

Dad had to go back to work, and we're taking the week off of school so we decided to do something fun.  I woke up before the kids and spent a lovely hour on my beloved reformer.  When the kids woke up, we got our warm clothes on, bundled up, packed some snacks, and piled in the car.  Simeon got some snowshoes for Christmas so now we all have a pair.  We drove up American Fork Canyon and started our hike.

Olivia and Jayda were such troopers!

This little fella, on the other hand, was a bit of a pill.  He first complained that he was too hot, so we stripped him down, then he started crying that he was too cold, so we bundled him back up.  His gloves filled up with snow one of the many times he biffed it, so I gave him my enormous gloves.

Kids and dog are having a great time!

I was so glad I thought to bring the sled.  Simeon got tired so he needed a little ride.

It was so beautiful up there.  It was snowing gently and seemed so peaceful.

The dog was in absolute heaven and probably doubled what we walked.

My happy feet on a happy day.
When we got home, I played the dance game with the girls for longer than I'd like to admit.  Luckily no one showed up for yoga in the evening so I could take a little break.  I love busy, active days like this, good for the body and rejuvenating for the soul.

Christmas Day!

Christmas morning came quickly and the kids were thrilled to see what Santa brought them.  They all got amazing things and if Santa didn't bring exactly what they wanted, they got it from grandparents.  
After the kids saw what Santa delivered, we got dressed and ready to head out for the day.  First we went to my parents for brunch.
Simeon was sooooo happy to get some more super hero jammies (a kid can't have too many)

My dad gave my brothers and Petter some exercise clothes, which of course, they made into a joke.  It was like watching some creepy Saturday Night Live skit.

Andy freaked everyone out by his ability to make himself look pregnant.

We brought our new Just Dance game for the Wii.  It was so fun to watch everyone try it.  Dan and Jayda had a great time dancing till they dropped.

From there we went over to Petter's parents house for more presents and dinner.

My little cook got a new cook book.

A quiet moment where father and son spend some time on the couch.

Christmas was wonderful!  I feel so blessed to have my family so close by that I can see them all in one day.  It was a great day made even better by grateful, happy kids and moments of fun throughout the day.  I heard my two oldest say more than once "this is the best Christmas ever!"

First Christmas Eve at Home

This year we decided to simplify a bit.  Instead of the usual Christmas Eve where we go to my parents or my in-laws and come home too late with the kids falling asleep in the car and feeling like there's not enough time for the little traditions.  So we decided to do our own Christmas Eve dinner and start our own traditions and spend time together with our little family.  I woke up in the morning and started my preparations: making praline nuts for the bread pudding, cleaning the house, ironing the linens, and the most exciting part- unwrapping our china.  We received a large set of beautiful china for our wedding and have never opened in until now- it was all still in the original boxes.  Ten years and we've never used it or our silver.  The kids loved unwrapping it and washing it and getting it all ready.  Setting the table was so exciting! We felt so fancy.

In the whole set only one mug was broken.  We've moved that china around so many times, I was surprised that only one piece was damaged.

For dinner we had rack of lamb with veggies, jello jigglers (the kids favorite part of the meal) browned lemon butter brussels sprouts (which I forgot to put on the table until we were all finished eating)

The lamb turned out amazing and delicious and very simple to make- we loved it!

We had a little program with songs and stories and scriptures.  Livi had been practicing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and played it beautifully.

It was so nice to sit and hang out and relax, enjoying each others company.  We went on a night walk with candles to light our way.  It was so quiet and peaceful, I think we will make that a tradition.  We talked about the Shepherds and how they must have felt, we looked at the lights off in the distance and decided that's probably a lot like how Bethlehem looked on that special night.

We came home and had THE MOST AMAZING bread pudding EVER! It was maple bread pudding with a maple glaze on top, served with vanilla ice-cream and the praline nuts I made in the morning.  It was absolutely DELISH!

New jammies and pictures by the tree...

one little difficult child refusing to sit by the tree- we decided this was better anyway- so cute!
We had a great time on Christmas Eve and the kids went to bed by 8:30 so Santa could work his magic and be to bed at a reasonable hour  =)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ulle Nissen- Christmas is almost here!

My fun Norwegian father-in-law is amazing- he cooks, he paints, he's funny, he's a fountain of gospel knowledge... and he's the Ulle Nissen!  He goes around to schools and houses spreading joy and laughter and probably a bit of confusion as well.  Olivia has a little preschool that she teaches once a week and she invited him to come and spread some cheer.  The kids thought it was great!
The funniest thing was that he gave each of them an entire box of cookies- they were pretty excited about that!

Merry Christmas!!!

The next morning we woke up to 5 inches of snow! The kids played in it for hours, making a snowman and building a fort.

This is my favorite view- this is what I look at while I'm in my kitchen.  I love the homemade ornaments and stockings, the Norwegian flags on the tree, the picture of the temple and all the little touches that make our house a cozy Christmas home.

Such a fun family!

The lights at Temple Square, in Salt Lake City were exceptional this year
It was Simeon's first time seeing them and he absolutely loved it- he was skipping and running and so excited about everything.

It was a nice, warm evening, although a bit rainy.

I love this picture of Jayda on her Daddy's shoulders, looking at the beautiful, lifelike Nativity with the Temple in the background.

Poor Petter has a December birthday- so we really celebrated it good!  Some of his siblings came over and his friend, Lats, and his parents.  I made the most delicious soup I have ever tasted: Cioppino - it was amazing!  It is basically soup stew with a tomato/white wine broth- it has scallops, cod, shrimp, crab, mussels and clams! I will definitely make it again... soon- and I'll include the recipe and pictures.

The girls were acting like egyptians.
Happy Birthday Peppy!

Oozing with talent...

This year we had our First Annual Christmas Talent Show.
I showed the kiddos how to make Norwegian ornaments- Landry treated hers like a little purse.

My poor mom just had surgery so she just kinda sits around.  Love the candy cane cast!

We drew names to see who would go first and Tate was the lucky guy.  He acted out the book How The Grinch Stole Christmas- it was adorable.

My brothers sang an awkward but entertaining song.

Jayda played and sang.

Sim sang the Iron man theme song and showed some Superhero moves.

I played the harmonica while my girls danced.

Holden sang "Rudolph"

Mom and Dad sang a Christmas song.

Holly and Adrian sang and danced. It was a great party- Olivia also played her violin but we didn't get a pic of it.  The biggest surprise was that my brother Dan, who has been in China for the past 8 years came home for Christmas!

Back at home, I play Christmas music all day long and the kids dance all day long.

He is obviously getting his groove on- sorry about the scanty clothes- he feels more like a Superhero dressed this way =)