Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sleigh Races

What do you do with all the candy canes that Santa brings every year? You could eat them, yes this is true. Thanks to my sister-in-law Emily's creativity, we started a new Christmas tradition. We all made sleighs out of candy canes, gram crackers, and ... anything else we could think of. Many special tools were used to construct the sleighs, such as glue guns, knives, and well...Devin sucked on his quite a bit to make then ends of his sharp and spiky. We then put a very large piece of cardboard down the stairs to serve as the track. We first held time races to see which sleigh was the fastest and which sleigh would go the greatest distance. Then we got a big piece of insulation and raced all the sleighs at once. Zach my nephew was SO entertained. We had a lot of fun too. We even gave out awards. Big surprise Peter, the engineer, won for furthest distance. Devin won for fastest, according to him he didn't cheat by putting graphite on the candy canes to make it go faster. Emily won the straight shooter award. And I won for the most durable sleigh, mine is the only one that still looks the same as when we started. It was tons of fun. We can't wait for next year!

Giddy As A School Boy

Devin is a pretty happy fellow. That is one thing I love about him. He really doesn't get upset or angry. He's just a happy-go-lucky guy. So my daily quest as his wife is to try and find things that make him really happy. Christmas was hard. I'd ask him what he wanted and he would just smile and say, "I don't know, I'm just fine." AH! That makes it so hard! Shopping for content people is SO difficult. Well, I had a bolt of inspiration one night. We were over at my mom's house and Devin was playing some Christmas songs on her piano. Ah ha! I thought I'd get him a piano book of Christmas songs. I did, he loved it. He took his book over to my mom's house on Christmas and just played and played. It was then that I realized that something had to be done. The following evening as we were loading up to go look at Christmas lights as a family, I asked my little brother if we could take a small detour to our house. My mom months ago told me that we could have the small electric piano that she wasn't using. Before now, we just never had the time or means to do anything about it. Peter said sure he'd love to help. They took it apart, put it in the back of the suburban, and long story short, we now have a piano in our house. Devin is SO happy! He sat right down and just played and played. I'm glad I found something that makes him giddy as a school boy.
Oh, and I love playing it too. :)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Carol

What would Christmas be without going to see A Christmas Carol? This has to be one of my favorite stories. We started reading the book together over Thanksgiving break so that we would be done with the book before we went to see the play. Sadly, even through the book is only 70 pages, we are not quite finished yet. A week ago we went with all of Devin's Card Throwing Friends from work to see this great play up at the Hale Center Theater in West Valley. It was great fun to go and hang out with all of Devin's friends from work and their wives. It was a great performance! This has to be one of my favorite Christmas tradtions. It's no wonder why President Monson always quotes this story. Dickens was right on when he wrote this book!

Classic Skaing Christmas

What would Christmas be without Classic Skating? What? For those of you who don't know, my family has always had their Christmas party at Classic Skating. With a family as big as ours, it would be crazy to try and fit everyone into someone's house. It is more fun this way. The kids have plenty of room to run around, there is tons of space for tables to eat, and's just fun. We had a great time! It is so nice to see my extended family. I wish we didn't live so far away so we could see them more often. Devin and I had a great time playing lots of games. I came out on top as the Air Hockey champion AGAIN! (Devin did beat me once 6 to 5, but that was after three straight games.) I killed my brother and that is all that really matters. I had a nice pony ride with my nephew Zach. I don't fit quite the same way as I use to. We also had a great time playing on the Dance Revolution thing. My cousins are experts, we ... are not. But we did have lots of fun. I really enjoy dancing around. Especially when it's free! Ah, to make a fool of yourself for free. We also got to play in the Pirate Cove with my nephew Tommy. I'm not sure what all this game playing has to do with Christmas, but it is tradition so it works, right?

That Was ...Different

Christmas is going to the Nutcracker. I love the music of the Nutcracker and I love the ballet too. One of my favorite memories of my Grandma Beth, is going each year up to see Ballet West perform the Nutcracker. I am amazed that as many times as I have seen the Nutcracker I never get sick of it. Each year I love the music more and I still get excited for my favorite dances.

If you have been reading our blog you will know that I ran in the Nutcracker 5k at UVSC this year. As part of this race you got not only a really cool long sleeve T-Shirt but you also got a free ticket to the Nutcracker at the Covey Event Center. I was really excited because we hadn't gotten around to getting tickets to Ballet West yet. We got a ticket for Devin and went to the Saturday matinée.

Well, it was no Ballet West. The music was still amazing. The kids were as cute as ever. There were some dances that were really great. I felt bad though, I've never seen so many dancers fall. It made the performance ...different than what we normally see. I don't say this to be critical. Could you imagine me trying to spin, leap, and twirl on little wooden blocks in my shoes? It was still a great performance, just...different. I'm glad we went, it was so much fun. Because we went to the matinée there were tons of little girls all around us. It reminded me of how excited I got when I went with my Grandma.

What a Pot!

To continue with my Christmas Chaos blog, that I think is going to become more of a "Christmas is" theme....Christmas is parties with food assignments. Every once and a while when we go to family parties or ward parties or any kind of party, I have the chance to help out with a food assignment. I like doing this, I like helping out. We have found a small problem though, sometimes we need to make a lot of food. So, for the last several months we have kept our eyes open looking for a nice big pot. I have a pot that came with our other pots, but it is too small. My canning pot is obviously too big. And like Goldie Locks we finally found a pot that is "just right." Thanks to Ikea, we found a great deal on a great pot that made my food assignment for our family Christmas party a walk in the park. It was wonderful making a nice big pasta salad and not having to clean up the mess of a pot that has boiled over because you are trying to cram too much in to a pot that is not big enough.

The Stockings Were Hung!

Yeah! They are finished. It has been at least two years since I bought the material for these Christmas stockings and they are finally finished. Now before anyone gets excited because there are three, let me re-emphasize that I bought the material two years ago. The pattern had three different stockings so I bought the material to make three --- two years ago. Sorry to disappoint anyone. :) But I figure this means that I am good for at least three years. I must admit though this project gave me a run for my money. I consider myself a fairly good sewer. The problem I faced was time. Saturday night I finally sat down and said, I've got to get these finished. At about 11:55pm Saturday night I ran out of thread and I had had it. Luckily Sunday gave me time to get over my frustration. So Ta Da! Monday, December 24th, Christmas Eve, with not a moment to spare the stockings are done. Now Santa will have somewhere to put .....???

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Chaos

I would be lying if I said that Christmas time is the most peaceful time of the year. Maybe we are the only ones with this problem, but it seems like we try and cram way too much "joy" and "happiness" in during the Christmas season. I think we are not the only ones because everywhere we go there are tons of people out too. I guess perhaps it all starts with people saying, "You've got to have Christmas Traditions!" One of our Christmas Traditions is just being part of the Christmas Season Chaos. Chaos on the freeway, Chaos in the parking lots (the worst being the one in South Orem by Barnes and Noble and the Distribution Center--Yes, you take your life if your hands driving there), Chaos is the stores, Chaos at restaurants, and finally...Chaos in Salt Lake. To make it even better throw in some snow and everyone is in a jolly mood. :)
Surprisingly enough we are! How is it possible to be in the middle of so much chaos and still be happy. Devin says that if everyone would play Kenny G in their cars they would be happy too. Perhaps?
This last week's Christmas Traditions took us to the Conference Center to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert. It was great! Our two favorite songs were two we normally hate, The 12 Days of Christmas and I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In. The 12 Days was great because they had people all over acting out the different parts. And I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In was about the coolest organ solo I've ever hear. We were really disappointed that they didn't do that one again today on Music and the Spoken Word.
So what are all of your Christmas Traditions? We still have a few left so stay tuned!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

"Tutu" Much Fun!

What do you get when you mix the fun of running, with the first real snow of the year, and the nutcracker? Give up? You get the 10th annual Nutcracker 5k. This race would have to be one of the most fun races I have run all year (and it will probably be the last race I run in 2007). Because it is the Nutcracker 5k, all the runners wear tutus. I was a little worried yesterday when it rained and rained all day. I was pleasantly surprised this morning to wake up to snow. Snow is great because that means that it is warmer outside. I braved the roads to drive over to UVSC for the race. We only did one good donut on our way. Luckily it was early enough in the morning that there were no other cars around. We all put on our tutus and ran, not with the intent to break any records, just with the desire to not slip and break our necks. It definitely was a different kind of race. Instead of trying to pass people, you tried to find the best path through the snow. It also was interesting trying not to get splashed too much by the cars that were driving by. It was SO much fun though. We got long t-shirts and a free ticket to the Nutcracker. I look forward to running this race next year. Maybe Devin will be able to run it with me next year. He would have run, but he got to go camping with the scouts in the snow. Fun. NOT!