Monday, December 26, 2016


This year's Christmas Eve was much different than most years.  I went on my morning run as usual.  Dave played with Carson while I was gone.
Saw this interesting scene while running.  That guy is actually INSIDE is engine!  Made me laugh!
Always fun to wake up to this!
Sadly Mr. Snowman has seen better days!
Haircuts were on the menu for the day. Sky cut Carson's as I cut Taylor's.

Dave was off and so after my run we decided to head for Hardware Ranch.  We picked a good time to go because it wasn't busy at all and the temps were very mild!  I think it was 40 degrees!  Taylor couldn't really remember going there.  Dave and I felt like bad  We have gone there so many times over the years but maybe he was on his mission the last time we went or who knows?  The elk were gorgeous.  
 We took a little tour of the museum expecting to see a SCARY BEAR for Carson, but this guy was the scariest thing there.  Really scary because they live where I run!  In my backyard!
We then headed to Logan to get some lunch at Center Street Grill.  I told them not to eat too much because we had our HUGE Christmas Eve feast in a few hours, but everyone still ate up!  Dave and I shared a philly steak sandwich. Then we did some shopping (yes on Christmas Eve!). Sarah wanted some ear muffs and I had to find a razor for Bryce because somehow I thought I was done but actually hadn't got the razor yet.  Sometimes I worry about me!  But considering everything I had to buy and how much was going on in my head, I felt grateful that was all I forgot!  It has been fun to buy for a little one again this year though. 
Carson having fun messing up Sky's hair!
When we got home, our porch was loaded with gifts.  Did I mention that is one of my most favorite things about Christmas?  The love and generosity of our sweet neighbors who take the time to make you feel loved and special is so heart warming.  I had to make a few gift deliveries and Dave also took some neighbor gifts around.  And, since I was out, I actually went to Kent's on Christmas Eve!  I needed the cake for Jesus' birthday party and didn't have time to make one.  

Weston and Mary showed up for a visit.  They said they wanted to get out of doing the nativity at Grandma and Grandpa Jo's.  LOL

We got busy getting the dinner and table ready for our feast and then my parents arrived.  Carson once again had fun with them and took Grammy to "jail" again as well as handcuffing her.

Dinner was fabulous as always.  Dave didn't go quite all out as he usually does with crab legs and onion rings etc, but the prime rib and shrimp was more than enough.
 MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE!  Wish Bryce could have made it!
 This little guy is ALWAYS smiling and happy! This was the first time for a sit down dinner for Sarah.
We did our traditional Birthday Party for Jesus and Carson was so stinkin' cute.  He didn't know who Jesus was and so I showed him my nativities and talked to him a little bit about it. He was very interested and kept talking about Baby Jesus.  When we wrote our notes to Jesus, he was so sweet and wanted to write one too.  He said on his that he "loved his Chayden" (brother) and "my Jesus".  He told Grammy to put that she wouldn't go to jail again, and so she did!  Oh, my, it was so much fun to have a little one around again!  What a sweetheart he is.
 Singing Happy Birthday to Jesus. 
 Grammy and Grampy are so nice to deliver our gifts to Jesus the past few years.  We always went down as a family to deliver them and listen to the great nativity our city has on display by the tabernacle, but now our boys are older and less excited to do that, so we appreciate them doing it for us.  A Facebook friend posted this ↓ gorgeous photo of where we deliver our gifts to Jesus and I loved it.

It started to snow and it was really coming down!  Yea!  We are going to have a white Christmas!!!!  Sarah was beyond excited!  She has never seen snow before and it was so fun to watch her reaction.

Bryce couldn't leave Idaho Falls until the park was closed and he ended up leaving around 11 pm.  He text us about 1 a.m. and said he was going to pull over for a bit and get some rest.  He arrived at 3 a.m.  I was just grateful he made it safely!  The roads were NOT good!  We had the celebration without him but sure did miss him.
FUN with Carson!

I had to post both of these because of his cute expression in both.

I got my Christmas Eve pictures with Sky and Taylor though.  Sky said only one, but Sarah talked him into a few more.  She has a way of getting him to do things I never could!  He treats her so well.  He is seriously the dream man of any woman.  He does so much for her and is always at her beck and call.  Even BEFORE she becks or calls. 
Next year, I hope I have all four boys in this photo!
When I tried to take more than one!

Wow!  It is actually here!  And I somehow got it all done!  At least I hope I did.  You never know until the day of!  lol
Looks like Santa will be on his way soon....everyone is crashing.
Check this out!

Christmas Day!  
 Merry Christmas 2016!  
Talk about a WHITE CHRISTMAS!   Holy cow!  The snow was coming down hard!  We woke up to several new inches of snow and by the end of the day we had over 12 new inches!  Janzen had come and shoveled out our driveway which was very kind of him. 
We didn't get to bed until 1:30 or 1:45 a.m. and I had set my alarm for 6:15 because we had church at 9:00, but I didn't hear it and Dave woke me up at 7:00. I was in a bit of a panic not sure how we would be able to do it all before church started, but we just went with the flow. I wouldn't have cared so much except I had to say the opening prayer and couldn't be late!  If it was just us adults, I would have just waited until after church, but when you have a little one there is no waiting! 

Carson was so cute. He was still really tired, but once he woke up he was really getting in to it.  I probably over did it a bit with the presents I got him, but that is how I roll. 
I had some wrapped empty boxes I used for our RS party and I decided I didn't want them to go to waste and so I put them under the tree and gave each boy one.  It was quite hilarious! 
I sure do love these guys!
I got my picture after all!
We really didn't open anything until after church because there just wasn't time.  But it was a great day.  We thought Bryce was heading back out at 11 a.m. but due to the snow, they decided to close the park because Idaho Falls got 14 inches so he got to stay until tomorrow!  That was an awesome Christmas gift!  
Santa's reindeer recovering from a long night!

Church wasn't as crowded as I expected it to be, but it was a very good meeting.  Sarah is not a member and I sat by her and she seemed to be intently listening.  Janzen and Johnny gave great talks.  It was good to have Sky there with us.  Carson was very well behaved.  I loved having Christmas on a Sunday because it really made you focus on the reason we are celebrating.  It brought such an amazing spirit about the day.  An almost sacred feeling.  We came home and Grammy and Grampy came shortly after.  We opened the rest or our gifts and Dave made French Toast to go along with my orange rolls.

Carson loved his scary bear blankie and slippers and the doctor jacket we gave him.  I got a little carried away with gifts for him, but he just thought they all came from Santa and so it was okay.  The Bunch-ems were the fave. I had never seen them and took a risk, but they were a hit. Tyson would have loved them!
He doctored me up real good!  lol

My favorite gift is the Russian nativities!  Love them so much!

We took some of our traditional photos....
I set the timer on these:
This ↓ is my favorite of all!  Look at everyone's face!  Hilarious!
I sure do love my family!
Sarah wanted some pix in the snow with the deer in the background. They turned out pretty cool, especially for someone from California.
We then rushed over to Dave's parents.  For the first time in forever, we were the first ones there!  But since McKay was calling at 4:00 we had to get there so we could get back.  Everyone started to show up after with the exception of Scott's family.  We exchanged the gifts of those we could and then ate some stew and rolls and headed back home for McKay's phone call!  

When we got home, we kept waiting and waiting and come to find out he told us the right time (being 5:00 pm) but I talked to his comps mom and she said 4:00, but we figured that was because his comp called his parents first.  Weston and Mary came over to talk to him as well.  It was so exciting when we heard that sound of him calling in on Skype (well Google hangouts to be correct).  Weston saw him first.  Then we all rushed in!  My first reaction when I saw his face was how GOOD he looked!  He is a very cute and handsome kid!  He just looked so good to me!  It does a mother's heart good to see and hear her missionary son live! 

We had some problems with the connection (as we always do!) and he could hear us but we couldn't hear him.  After several computer switches we finally heard his voice!  Nothing better!  Oh, how I miss that boy!  He was so dang cute!  And as is always the case, very happy!  McKay is a funny kid and always has people laughing.  He just radiates joy and peace.  You can't not love that kid!  We talked about Russia and a lot of other things.  He kept asking questions about football teams and players.  It was hilarious.  He has always been so into football stats etc.  Nothing's changed!  hah  He is doing great and hopes he gets to stay on Sakhalin the rest of his mission.  We had him speak some Russian and I honestly have NO idea how he ever learned that!  Amazing!

When time was up, he said he had to go and he was immediately gone!  He didn't mean to do that I am sure, but I am actually very glad that is how it happened because it was so much easier than saying goodbye and all the I love you's and the horrible gut wrenching feeling you get when the connection ends and you are left there feeling so empty. That did not happen this time.  It was more like ripping off a band-aid fast!  It was just over so fast and none of the build up.  Kind of like dropping your missionaries off at the curb instead of the big long production of going in the MTC for the long meeting before you tell them bye.  This was much easier!  I didn't ever really cry this time.  Well, okay, not like usual.  And I didn't have that deep sad feeling.  I still was sad because it's so hard to know we won't talk to him until Mother's Day, but it's also a bit easier knowing he will be home for good in six months!  It is always hands down THE VERY BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT getting to talk to your missionary!

We then headed back to Dave's parents to exchange the rest of the gifts.  Everyone was there this time and so we got some fun games going too.  Pool, foozball, Taboo, and Guesstures.  It was fun.  Dave was playing Dr. Mario most of the time so he missed out on the "real" fun.  Barry had us laughing hysterically as usual.  He is a riot.  I wonder what Sarah was thinking.  haha
 We had a blast!
 Aubrey sang for us and it was an enjoyable day.

The calendar was a big hit as usual.  Seeing everyone enjoying it so much makes it worth it. 

We stopped by the Disney Christmas light house and it was so pretty.  Sarah is Disney obsessed and so she loved it.  

Mackenzie spent the night with us.  Carson was so cute with her too.

Another Christmas in the books. 


A few shots McKay sent on Christmas Day of his celebration:


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