Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice grants wishes

Bella ready for last night's parties!

It snowed all day yesterday. It was a white magical first day of no school. Too much fun to be had. The last party we went to was straight out of the movies. We walked from our home to theirs on the snow covered streets and entered into the most enchanting cottage. Snug as a bug, I sat on the home-braided rug. They served creamy rich cocoa and even made a homemade brew from their very own Christmas tree branch. We didn't get to see the eclipse through the snowy white clouds but I don't know if anything could have been more delightful than making new friends and holding a chubby baby with bells for buttons in a twinkling cottage in the middle of a winter storm.

My Christmas wish has come true. SNOW!!! I have been dreaming of a white Christmas since the moment I knew we were staying home for Christmas. The kids were decked out for fun - free wild fun. Snow makes the yard a whole new world to explore.

Whoops, already stuck!

Daddy had a big job of clearing our mile-long driveway

But help is on the way

He didn't get very far

The best big sister helping the little stuck child - again

Trying to throw snow at me

I thought I would take out the trash and then settle in for my winter dream day. I mean, who wants to be snowed in with a full garbage? Not I. Me in my robe and rainboots slipped on the first step and went all the way down. It was quite beautiful to lay there and watch the snow fall. But I had to get up and finish my job.

We are digging in and loving every moment. Bella has been writing books for gifts, the boys have roasted marshmallows, and I sit here wearing my early and maybe only Christmas gift (fine by me) the coziest slippers ever made - SmartWool - have a candle burning the yummiest Christmas tree smell with a wooden wick so it crackles as it burns and am listening to the best Christmas music ever - Sufjan Stevens. Go get it. It comes with 5 cds for the price of one. We are indeed having the most merry early Christmas. And it's still snowing!!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Maxing out

Well, it's not really possible to MAX out Christmas. But every day the kids are adding to my already very expanded Christmas decor.

Here, Jarom's snowmen complement the cutest vintage Christmas angels, along with our new green friends from the dollar bin at Target. We adore them. They are about due for a haircut.

The classic Christmas countdown.

Out of all of our nativities, this one is our favorite. (Yes, we have more than one. Quite a few.) Gifted from my mom. She had found it at a thrift store and had it on display at her house. I guess Matt and I were the only ones who complimented her on it because a few days later we opened our Christmas gift from her and lo and behind - it's ours!!

Our tree has started to bear gifts. The kids have been eagerly finding and wrapping the perfect gifts for each other. Which I LOVE!!! It sounds weird, but that is something we NEVER did in my family. It wasn't really possible. I have 7 brothers and 5 sisters. Don't worry though. Our Christmases were all very merry!! And I can remember the first time I had a sibling "rich" enough to buy one for all of his siblings. We all had tears streaming down our faces and we were jumping up and down. I love that memory, and the best part, I was like 17 or 18. I was definitely crying tears of joy and overwhelming love.

This year's new ornaments - by Bella

Jarom did the star of Bethlehem.

and he watched a Family Fun how-to video online to make this beauty

Another favorite nativity. It's a wall hanging. Gifted one year from my sis-in-law Heather.

The kids are desperate for their daddy to magically turn this ginger into gingerbread.

Bella made a list for O and herself. Orion's is pretty easy to figure out. Bella's may be a little difficult for you to decipher: A princess dress, a dolly, and a crown. I think the rest is clear though.

Bella yesterday morning all ready for her Christmas program!!
hint hint - don't forget to notice my new thrifted table cloth.

My stars

Upon waking yesterday. Matt informed me by starting with, I have really bad news, you are not going to like this. Boy, was he right. Our beautiful Tabernacle had caught fire early that morning. And even though it had immediate attention, it continued to burn all day and all night. The heart of Provo, our precious gem. It was a sad day to say the least. It has been a day of mourning. Everyone all about town HAD to come see it, to witness it. It is a full blown funeral. Everyone feels as though they have lost a dear friend. Matt and I have been here for almost five years now. Our first visit to church was in that building. We were blown away. How magical it was to be there. Built in the 1800's by our pioneers. This building is one of a kind, so unique. It even had a flare of gothic architecture, rare for our area.

This is our first sight of it on the way to school. Shocking. The roof had collapsed at 6 am bringing down some parts of the walls with it. Orion and I stopped and walked around after dropping the kids off at school. He was saddened because he thought that the animals had burned. Poor guy. This is where they have the live nativity, where we were playing with the animals just two weeks ago.

This is from the afternoon. They never stopped blasting water into her and yet she continued to burn. By this time I had all the kids again. Jarom kept saying, "This is the last thing I ever wanted to happen to Provo," or "Today was supposed to be a happy day." It was, in its own right though. It was the kids' last day of school. It is going to be a very memorable one. Bella kept making up songs. I should have Matt post one. They have a theme of loving the tabernacle and never crying again. Jarom, at one point got all huffed up and said - what are they going to do? Can't grandpa come and fix it right now? and to that Orion says - No! I'm going to fix it! We all - and by all I mean not just my little family but the whole community - stand firm in wanting to rebuild or restore. The kids want to donate all their money to it. I'm sure everyone does. Sunday night we are joining a singalong from 6pm - 8pm for the tabernacle across the street from it. Please all come. Let's unite in love and song.

11 pm, still burning, Mr. Fix-it catching snowflakes on his tongue


This morning the fire's out. They're assessing it and trying to figure out if anything can be done to save it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

one less step behind

We finally got around to taking our family Christmas picture today! Not the best, but it actually *was* the best. You know what I mean.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown

Found the perfect tree for us. We go on a little drive up the state every year to this tree farm, North Pole Pines in Farr West.

We like to find the ones that no one else wants. This fellow has long twisty arms, just longing to be held and taken home.

So home, he's a coming. My stud had some little helpers in the back.

Up on the car top

My hero

Every year the Tabernacle puts on a Live Nativity. We actually have never sat through one. We come just for the animals. Hail!! The princess of the night xoxo.

Me and this little furry friend - a little yak - were hitting it off with a staring contest. Matt came to get a photo of the love connection but when I looked up little Yakky snuggled into me so lovingly.

Thinking about using this for my Christmas card. YES! I still don't have one.

Matt made sure to give all the mammals equal love.

The brave and noble donkey bears the cross upon its back for carrying Mary. The kids who owned these animals were so friendly. Freely and eagerly told us all the facts about the animals and invited us to their farm :). Cutest boys ever.

Bringing in the tree. It is straight, just tilt your head a little to the right.

Thrifted Christmas cheer!

Finally get to decorate!!

All hands on deck! Busy little elves.

The kids were fighting about who gets to put the star on so I gave the job to Daddy. It didn't stop them from fighting. It just changed the fight to who gets the best view on the armrest.

So, we didn't put it RIGHT on top. He is our little Indian Brave with his own little feather topper.

O and I went to our childrens' museum and lucked out. The activity was to make gingerbread houses. Orion was so excited. And worked very diligently.

Stopping to jump and flap over his work. He was so happy.

Oh, back to work.

Very proud to have it on display at home. What is that sparkle behind the blue snowflakes? ...

... It's the Mother Tree, who welcomes and protects. I have been wanting to put lights on this tree since we moved in. She GLOWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope you all have the glow. If you haven't found it yet, here are some suggestions: cocoa, caroling, baking and decorating cookies, Christmas movies, driving past neighborhood Christmas houses ("gingerbread houses"), fuzzy socks, the Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas cd, and good will towards men.