Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I Need A little More of This in My Life

So the holidays haven't been good for my exercise routine (or my eating habits for that matter - but that can't really be helped - what am I supposed to do? Deprive myself of all the good stuff?) Anyway, Shawn and I went cross country skiing last night. I hadn't done this in a few years. I had forgotten how much fun it is. (Thanks to Michelle for watching the kids.)

It was beautiful with the snow falling and the light from the moon.
I'm hoping to make this a more regular part of my life in the new year. Anyone want to join me?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Festivities

Ah, the post you've all been waiting for. (OK, maybe not all of you, but perhaps some of you.) Just a warning that there are a lot of photos here, so if you're not related (or maybe even if you are) you may lose interest, but since this is mainly to keep a record for my own purposes, that's just how it's going to be.
December 23
Because we really like to get the most out of a holiday, we start celebrating Decmber 23rd, with a dinner, presents, reading the Christmas story and singing carols, with the Marsh family.
Here's my Grandpa Backman with Peter.
Amelia with her new Fancy Nancy doll.
The kids always congregate around their Uncle Dan.
Here's the whole crew (minus 6 - my brother Rich and his wife Sandra and their 3 kids, and my brother Joe.)
I'm not really sure what exactly my nephew Joey was so excited about here. I'm pretty sure it wasn't the American Girl books that Samantha was opening, but who knows, I could be wrong.
More opening and showing of gifts.
Shawn and Peter just chillin'.

December 24th
Christmas Eve

The girls busy decorating cookies to leave for Santa. I think there may have been more "Sprinklers" (in Duffy's words) than cookie on some of them. I'm sure Santa enjoyed them either way.
Christmas Eve afternoon, we headed over to my Grandma and Grandpa Backman's house for more food, presents and a reenactment of the Christmas story. I think there were 70-ish people here and about 40 that weren't. I don't know where we would have put them if they had all been in town and come.
Peter and I enjoying a moment.
The angels, shepherd, wisemen, star, Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.
Here are my very own angels (Duffy and Amelia - one minus the halo you'll notice, Samantha - the star of the show, and Jonas - a wise man - fitting somehow.)
Straight from that party we headed to the somewhat more subdued and quieter Christmas Eve celebration with Grandma Cathy and Doug, where there was still more food (ebelskievers - a favorite) and more opening of presents for all.
Duffy and Amelia opening gifts.
Now we can make our own! (As soon as Cathy show us how.)
A little show and tell of said gifts.
Peter and Doug watching the chaos unfold.
Cathy and Amelia taking photos to document the occasion.
The kids in their new Christmas pajamas just before heading home to bed.
December 25
Christmas Day
And finally, Christmas morning. The kids are all lined up ready to see if Santa actually came.
Peter enjoying a new book.
Duffy enjoying some purple lip gloss that Santa must have mistakenly left in her stocking.
Jonas breaking into some new legos.
Samantha opening still another present!
And still more presents....
Once we were completely overloaded with gifts, we moved onto the traditional making and eating of beignets. (Because there wasn't enough of a mess in the house yet.)
Shawn and his "helpers."
I'm not sure if any of the sugar actually ended up on the beignets.The finished product.
After 3 days of gluttony, we decided to finish up the celebrating by going snowshoeing up Millcreek Canyon.
This hopefully made a small dent in burning off some of the sugar from the morning.
This photo makes me think of a cell phone commercial - but with all my favorite people in it.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! We are looking forward to the new year, and making another year's worth of memories.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Just Wondering....

Just wondering, why at the end of the day, the best presents are always the wrapping paper and the boxes? Now, I understand it at this age........but apparently, it still holds true, even when you get older...

Merry Christmas!
*Christmas festivities post still to come.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Watch Out - He's Mobile

Peter's on the move and nothing is safe now. We found him happily chewing on this strand of beads that was wrapped all around the Christmas tree. Oh, Heaven help me.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Carmel Corn 2009

After a 2 (?) year hiatus, we decided to bring back the annual carmel corn tradition at our house. It was nice to actually get real help from the kids this time. (At least until it was time to clean up.) Here are a couple of the helpers. We started popping the corn in the morning to stay ahead.Shawn making the carmel.
A mountain of carmel corn. Mmmmm. We decided we were a batch or two short, but we ran out of a couple of the necessities, so what could we do?
All packaged and ready to go.
Sadly, there are no photos to show the scrubbing of multiple pans and utensils between batches, or the counters and floors covered with popcorn and carmel, or the sprint that Shawn made down the street to get a new can of sweetened condensed milk from our neighbor, wearing an apron with carmel corn stuck to the front - trying to make it back before the carmel concoction started boiling. Still determining whether it was worth it, but it sure tastes good.

A Few Christmas Photos

Do you know how many shots you have to take just to find one photo where no one has their eyes closed, no one is crying, no one is making bunny ears on someone else's head, and everyone (or most everyone) is looking at the camera? And it's just a bonus if almost everyone is smiling, too. The answer is A LOT! Here's a small selection.

Here's a cry and a not looking at the camera.
Here's a cry while not looking at the camera, plus a push your sister out of the way.
No crying, but only 2 out of 5 looking at the camera.
Oh, almost - but what's with the surprised eyebrow look?
OK you guys win. Do whatever you want for this one.
Sometimes you just can't get the shot you're looking for and you have to take what you can get.
This is more realistic anyway, I guess.
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 18, 2009

...Really Busy

So, these are the events that took place just yesterday. A singing performance at school for Samantha,and Amelia,
a preschool Christmas Service party for Megan. I am so impressed with all the work that her teacher, Mandy went to to get this party ready. First, there were cookies to frost and decorate to be shared with friends and family.
Then, there was a meal to be assembled and given to someone in our neighborhood who could use it,
And last, we made scarves to give to kids at the shelters. (Mandy had already made the cookies, cut the fleece into strips, and made some of the food for the dinner. Then we made a huge mess of her kitchen, but the kids had a great time.)
Immediately after the preschool party, we were off to Jonas' school for his orchestra concert.
It's fun to watch him learning to play the bass - and enjoying it.
And last, but not least, we went to our neighbors, the Robinson's for cookies and milk, and to see Santa. (Have I mentioned what a great neighborhood we live in? Does it sound like I'm recruiting? Because I am.) My kids had been looking forward to this all week. Amelia would ask everyday how many more days.
Peter was pretty enthralled with him from the start.
Miraculously, we got a photo with everyone smiling and happy. (Not all the kids at the party were that cooperative - there were a lot of tears.)

Now tonight we're off to the Peter Breinholt concert, then another party tomorrow night, some more Christmas shopping, and then off to family parties next week. The kids will be out of school for the next 2 weeks, so I'm sure we'll find some more fun things to do.