Sunday, November 29, 2015

Oh Christmas Tree

I recall a time, not too long ago, when putting up my Christmas Tree was the one of the happiest days of the year.  That was before I had children.  Now, the very thought of putting up the Christmas Tree fills my heart with dread.

This year I didn't get up tree up before Thanksgiving, so we put it up the Friday after Thanksgiving. We got started around 5:30 p.m..  I thought this would be plenty of time to get the tree up before the boys went to bed.

As always, I checked the lights first.  Of the six strands I tested, five strands were not working. I was so upset.  We bought all new lights last year!!!  In frustration I asked Michael to go get new lights. He responded, "but I haven't had time to research." Wrong answer.  Those of you who know Michael know that he researches everything.  We don't make a purchase over one hundred dollars without Michael doing hours of research.  Well, in my world one does NOT research Christmas lights.  I demanded that Michael forego the research this time and go get my lights.  He obliged.

However, it was getting late so we decided that we would probably have to put the decorating on hold for the night.  I told Finn that we would decorate the tree another time.  He walked over to me, held my hands, looked into my eyes and said, "Mom, we can't give up on Christmas."  I decided to power on - no matter how late the boys had to stay up.  And no, it wasn't Finn that made me change my mind.  It was the thought of spending another day on this tree.

After Michael got home, I learned that he had basically taken out a second mortgage on our house so that we could get LED Christmas lights.  They are expensive, but boy was there a huge difference.

Next it was time to get the ornaments out.  This year Finn, Sam and I sat in the kitchen and carefully took all the ornaments out of the boxes and set them gently on the lid of my big ornament tub.  I deduced that this would be the most time efficient way to get the ornaments on the tree.  My plan actually worked.  We only had a few causalities - mostly boxes - but that was easily fixed.  I had a good time doing this task with the boys. I remembered how last year was so disastrous and how this year was so much better.  The boys were excited, gentle and curious about the ornaments.

Then it was time to put the ornaments on the tree.  I slid the box lid full of ornaments into the den and carefully positioned it in a place where I thought it would be safe.  I then turned on Harry Potter and gave the boys sugar cookies.  

I guess I blame it on the cookies . . . Sam was so enthralled with his cookie that he walked right into the den and took two steps . . .  directly onto my lid full of ornaments. (Big sigh of frustration.)  He didn't even notice!!

Thankfully Finn was there to keep me sane.  He immediately got to work putting ornaments on the tree.  He was really good at it too.  He spread them out appropriately and put them on the tree according to size.  I helped Sam put on a few too.

When we were about half way finished, Sam got bored and started playing with his bunny. Something got him very excited and he started throwing his bunny around.  I told him multiple times to stop, but he didn't listen and worse I didn't follow through with my many threats because I was too busy with the tree.  Then it happened, I looked up as bunny went flying through the air in the very direction of my ornaments.

And yes, bunny landed with a huge thud right on top of my ornaments. I did follow though this times - Sam went to timeout.

We did manage to finish a little after 9:00 p.m.  I put the boys to bed and sat exhausted on the couch and admired our work.  I am so glad this joyous occasion is over.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

On Wednesday night we went to spend the night with Nana and Papa.  By the time we arrived, Em's crew was already all there.

We started our evening doing our favorite thing - sitting in the kitchen, talking.  The boys did their favorite thing too - wrestling on Nana's new furniture. 

For dinner Nana made taco salad AND turkey cookies!!

Sam and Hank found each other pretty early in the evening and stuck tight to each other all night.

After dinner we all sat upstairs and the boys played Angry Birds with Papa.  They got so excited every time they earned a point.   See Finn's excitement below.

Sam decided that he needed to take pictures.  He refused Nana's real camera and instead opted for his fake "Frozen" phone camera.

The next morning we all went out to play before lunch.

They swung on the tire swing. . .

Played horse shoes . . .

Played on the playground . . .

Climbed trees . . .

And built a fire.

Next we took a walk to the near by farm and petted the donkeys, alpacas, horses, lamas, and cats. They boys loved it.  On the way home Finn was thrilled to have found a dime on the road.  As it turns out, Papa had dropped coins on the road all the way home.  Finn collected two dollars and sixty six cents.

After lunch we opened our Christmas ornaments.

Notice that the boys are in different states of dress.  Sam went for broke and hung out in his underwear the rest of the night.

The boys and I decided to stay another night.  After everyone else we went outside and roasted marshmallows.

Sam and Finn also sang us every song they have ever learned.  Papa sang a little too!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Rock Island

This weekend, me and few girls that work with me in Juvenile Court took a weekend retreat to Rock Island state park.  We arrived at the cabins around 4:00.  We literally put our stuff in our rooms, sat in the living room and talked until 10:30 that evening.  We had the best time.

The next day we got up and went exploring a little bit.

Our favorite place was Twin Falls.

This is all of us - Erin, Samantha, Me and Robyn.

This place was so neat - you could climb all over the place. 

Later than evening we went back to the cabin and tried to start a fire in the fire pit.  By the time we got it going (which took a while) it started raining.  So we went in and ate taco soup and talked some more. 

I left that evening around bedtime so that I could be back for Sunday School the next morning. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Thanksgiving Program

Tuesday night we went to HCA for Sam's Thanksgiving Program.  It was pretty beefed up from last year.  They sang five (short) songs and finished up with "Give Thanks."  It was precious! Sam and his class were the Indians. 

Afterwards we had cake in the cafeteria. 

Putting up the Christmas Tree with Buck Denver

On November 12th we started the process of putting up the Christmas tree.  It is now December 4th and I have still not completed the pr...