Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve 2013

Last blog post this year.
Normally we eat nachos on New Year's Day, but this year I didn't want to think of what to make for dinner tonight, so we started early with the nachos- a simplified version with only a few toppings.  The kids didn't complain.  They only wanted the few toppings I got out.  We'll do more toppings tomorrow.
While eating nachos we watched Doctor Dolittle (the Rex Harrison version).  It's been a while since I watched that movie.  I think it was the first time for the kids.  It was cute to listen to them as the giant pink sea snail came on the scene.  "Wow.  "Whoa."  Apparently an impressive sea snail.  Cute kids.
I let the kids stay up a little later than usual to watch the movie, but not too late.  At this point, they're all asleep so I better go to bed so I get a chance to get some sleep, too.
Happy New Year.  Goodbye, 2013.  Hello, 2014.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy 70th Birthday, Mercer Mayer

December 30 is Mercer Mayer's Birthday.  70th Birthday this year.  When Jr. heard this was coming up, he suggested we read Just a Little Critter Collection, so I put it on the calendar.  Nichole was nice enough to read to Jr. and Jr. Jr. so we could get pictures.
Jr. was very wiggly.  Must be Christmas Break and the kids have cabin fever.  Oh well.
Happy Celebrating!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Tick Tock Day 2013

It's Tick Tock Day again, December 29.  Time to play catch up about some celebrations I didn't blog about.  I won't be able to get to everything, but here are some:

Some of the latest- I had hot chocolate on Cocoa Day, December 13.  I watched Kung Fu Panda on Monkey Day, December 14 (one of the Furious 5 is Monkey).
Last month, Thanksgiving Point had a Dia de los Muertos celebration on November 1 and 2.  Jeremy built a huge Katrina and some wearable puppets for the event.  
We went as a family one of the days.  The kids were able to make crafts.  We looked at displays that were set up as well as some dances that were being demonstrated. 

I mentioned last year was the 50th Anniversary of A Wrinkle in Time.  We didn't read the book last year, but this year we did.  The kids enjoyed it.  After finishing the book, we watched the movie.

This year, 2013, is the 50th Anniversary of Encyclopedia Brown.  As you know, our kids love books, so they were happy to get to read so many Encyclopedia Brown books.

There were plenty of other ways we celebrated in 2013, I just didn't get a chance to blog about all of them.
Here's to blogging more about our celebrations in 2014.

Saturday, December 28, 2013


Last year on December 28, I combined Card Playing Day and Stan Lee's Birthday by playing solitaire while a Spider-man action figure looked on.
This year, I set our portable DVD player on card game box so I could watch The Avengers (also with characters created by Stan Lee).

We didn't get around to playing any card games during the day, but Jeremy pointed out to me after the kids went to bed, Jr. got a Spider-man card game for Christmas.
So next year we can really combine the two holidays.  We'll be ready.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013

National Candy Cane Day 2013

December 26, National Candy Cane Day.  Some suggestions on how to celebrate:

Eat a candy cane.

Put a candy cane in your hot chocolate.  Yumm.

Dress like a candy cane.

Happy celebrating!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Jr. Jr. Jr.

Here's someone new to join our celebrating... and just in time for Christmas.

This is "Lucky."

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

International Mountain Day 2013

I wasn't feeling the greatest today, but we still celebrated International Mountain Day, December 11.
Jeremy emptied our storage closet and tackled the mountain of stuff.  We needed to get some things out and put other things in there.

Jr. Jr. knew it was International Mountain Day and was mentioning it all day long.  While Jeremy was grating cheese for a quadruple batch of chimichangas (we want to freeze some), Jr. Jr. mentioned that it was a "mountain" of cheese.
As each batch came out of the oven, we piled them on a plate to make a mountain of chimichangas.
Jeremy did make plenty to freeze besides those we ate tonight.
The kids decided to play a lot of Hide and Seek this evening.  I'm so glad they didn't choose to play King of the Mountain.  Too many mountains of stuff around that wouldn't hold them right now.
The kids also played Dreidel, even though Hanukkah is over.  Jeremy was able to do balloons at a Hanukkah party this last weekend and they sent him home with several chocolate coins and several dreidels for our family.  That was so sweet.
And after the kids went to bed, Jeremy and I finished our celebrating by watching part of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.  Definitely works for International Mountain Day.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

What Was I Thinking?

For some reason I thought this year would be different.  I thought this year we'd escape the tradition.  The awful tradition of someone being sick the night of the First Presidency Christmas Devotional.  And everyone was doing well, too.  Then all of a sudden today, Jeremy started feeling icky.  Poor guy.  He's been working so hard lately, it's finally catching up to him.  So here we go with that not so pleasant tradition once again.  Jeremy's sick.  He did make it through church today but got a lot worse later.
On the bright side, December 8 is National Brownie Day and even though Jeremy's sick, I felt well enough to bake brownies.  So the kids were able to eat brownies while watching the First Presidency Christmas Devotional.
Since we use the Devotional as our scripture study for the day it's on, before it started and while I was making brownies, the kids were asking each other questions about what we had been studying over the last several days.  It was cute to hear Nichole and Jr. asking Jr. Jr. about the town where Jesus was born.  I could hear their little voices coming from the "time machine" they built in their room.  Today is also Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day.  
I love when the kids come up with their own ways to celebrate.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Cotton Candy Day

Today, December 7, is Cotton Candy Day.  How could you celebrate?
You could do the obvious and eat some cotton candy.  In our case, the only cotton candy we had at home was left over from when we watched African Cats back in October. 
It had been sitting in the pantry for a while.  I don't think it's really edible anymore.  Today was not a day for me to go out shopping for more cotton candy, though.

You could relax and think back to those warm summer days when you went to fairs and ate cotton candy and snow cones.  Thinking about it might warm you up on a day like today.

I asked the kids for other suggestions of things people could do on Cotton Candy Day.  This is what they gave me.

Jr.:  Maybe we could do something to earn cotton candy.
Mommy:  We don't have any cotton candy that we could eat.
Jr.:  Well, we could draw pictures of cotton candy.

Jr. Jr.:  We could draw pictures of cotton candy!

Nichole:  We can get our faces sticky as if we were eating cotton candy, but it would be a little too messy.

So... some suggestions to think about.  Good luck with your celebrating.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Loose Teeth Everywhere

Nichole's been working on another loose tooth.  Last night it was VERY loose, but it didn't come out.  This morning as she was eating breakfast it did come out.

Jr. came home from school with his first tooth out.  What?  I didn't even realize he had a tooth that was loose.  Apparently, when Jr. realized his tooth was loose, he was a little more vigorous with trying to get it out.  Is it a little boy thing?  He got to the point where he just yanked it out.

We had a friend come home with the kids today.  She's working on her first loose tooth as well.  I think hers will take a little longer to come out.  She's not quite as enthusiastic about the idea of yanking it out.

These loose teeth.  They're everywhere.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mr. Disney

December 5 is Walt Disney's Birthday.  To celebrate, Jr. Jr. and I put on Toy Story 2 in the afternoon and both fell asleep on the couch.
Later he and I both stayed awake while reading Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Goes Christmas Shopping.

I think after yesterday's big celebrating, it was okay to do simple celebrating today.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lots of Celebrating

Today, December 4, was National Cookie Day.  I didn't have time to make cookies.  Jr. Jr. wanted to hang a picture on the wall so I drew a cookie (circle) for him to decorate, which he did then got to hang it on the wall.  He was quite happy about that.

This afternoon we had our annual Polar Express party.  We watched the movie, had dinner, clementines, hot chocolate, and popcorn.  To go along with tradition, Jr. spent time reading while the movie was on.  We'll read the book, The Polar Express, some time closer to Christmas.

This evening/night, we went to Thanksgiving Point to drive through their holiday lights displays.  I remember plenty of times driving by on the freeway and seeing the holiday lights from a distance at Thanksgiving Point, but this was the first time I actually went to see the lights.
Jr. Jr. fell asleep on the way, but he loves looking at Christmas lights and we didn't want him to miss it, so we were finally able to wake him up so he could enjoy the lights with the rest of us.  We all enjoyed it.

After driving out of the main holiday light displays, they had a straight stretch with posters set up with pictures and words from "The Nativity Song," a Primary song I remember learning as a child.  I thought that was so great.  After the festive lights, bringing it back to what Christmas is really about.  At the end of the posters, they had a nativity scene set up.  Jeremy and the kids noticed icicles hanging from Mary's forehead and a few of the animals.  We've had that weather lately.

After driving through the displays, we went to the plaza to see ice sculptures, reindeer, and warm ourselves by the fires.  It was so cold but so pleasant.

We had a happy day celebrating as a family.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Countdown to Christmas

My friend, Emily, asked for a list of the scriptures we use for our Countdown to Christmas scripture study.  These scriptures can be adapted for individual families, substituting different scriptures here, adding in more verses for other scriptures there.  It depends on the size of the family and ages of the children (if any).  It's just great to have consistency with scripture study as we celebrate the real meaning of Christmas.  We have good discussions as a family, even the three year old is able to learn and answer questions about what we read and discuss.  We do vary the order from year to year depending on when the First Presidency Christmas Devotional is.  Sometimes if we have time, we do special activities to go along with the scripture we've read like going out to see sheep when talking about the shepherds watching over their flocks or looking at the Angel Moroni statue on the temple when talking about angels bringing messages of Christ's birth.  Sometimes we sing songs that go along with the scripture we've read.  This morning we sang a bit of "O Little Town of Bethlehem."  And now on lds.org we have access to Bible Videos that go along with some of these scriptures.
One thing I've noticed over just the last few days is that even though we're getting the kids up earlier in the morning to do our scripture study (instead of whenever we can quickly fit it in), our moods have been better.  We've all been nicer and more polite to each other.  There hasn't been as much fighting between the kids or between the kids and parents.  The kids have been more helpful and have complained and whined less.  I've shown more patience and been nicer as well.  Nichole mentioned tonight that "it's a good start to our day."  I agree.
But enough rambling.  On to the list:

December 1st- Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:18-23
December 2nd- Isaiah 9:6, Listen/watch part of Handel's Messiah
December 3rd- Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:4-6
December 4th- 1 Nephi 11:18-21
December 5th- Alma 7:9-10, Luke 1:26-31
December 6th- Helaman 14:1-6, 3 Nephi 1:13-21
December 7th- Luke 1:5-13
December 8th- First Presidency Christmas Devotional
December 9th- Luke 1:30-33
December 10th- Luke 1:41-42
December 11th- Luke 1:67-70
December 12th- Luke 2:1-7, Watch Nativity Video
December 13th- Luke 2: 8-12
December 14th- Luke 2:13-14, Sing Angels We Have Heard on High
December 15th- Luke 2:15-19
December 16th- Ezekiel 34:11-13
December 17th- Alma 13:26
December 18th- Matthew 2:1-2, Sing Do You Hear What I Hear
December 19th- Matthew 2:9-11
December 20th- Luke 2:25-32
December 21st- Luke 2:36-38
December 22nd- Luke 1:37
December 23rd- Luke 2:40
December 24th- Doctrine and Covenants 76:22-24, Testimony Sharing

I hope this helps.  I know it has definitely helped our family focus more on Christ at Christmas time.  If someone doesn't have access to some of these scriptures, they can be found on lds.org in the Scriptures section.  There are also Bible Videos depicting the life of Jesus Christ, some having to do with his birth.
And because I'm a fan of The Piano Guys, I have to mention that I love their special Christmas video of O Come, Emmanuel showing parts from those Bible Videos.  We will definitely be watching that as a family for part of our scripture study this season.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Ah Ha!

We did it.  We celebrated.  We've been lacking lately.  Can you believe we didn't even get around to Pizza With the Works Except Anchovies Day on November 12?

But yesterday, December 1, was Eat a Red Apple Day.  And we did it.  And I'm blogging about it.
And today, December 2, was National Fritters Day, and we were at the grocery store, and we were hungry, and they had apple fritters in the donut section, and they had a dozen donuts/fritters/maple and chocolate bars/etc. in a box, and we wanted them, so we celebrated, and I'm blogging about it.
I'm determined to do some more celebrating- and blogging about it, even if it's the simple kind like yesterday and today.  I think it's good for our family.  It's good for our children's creativity.  And the kids love to look at my blog and get a kick out of how much fun we've had as a family.  So here we are.

In other news, since it's December, we've also started our annual Countdown to Christmas scripture study with mint M&Ms.

This morning we read Isaiah 9:6 where Isaiah prophesies of the different names Christ will be known as.  Last year I had the opportunity to sing with the Pleasant Grove Choir and Orchestra singing Handel's Messiah.  Jeremy and the kids came to watch part of it and Jeremy took a video of that piece, singing the words of this scripture.  After reading the scripture this morning, we all sat down to watch Mommy singing it.
Here's a picture of me the night of the concert.
I look a bit different this year.
There are plenty of reasons to celebrate and it's time for me to get back to blogging about them.  Wish me luck.