Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Gingerbread houses and Christmas baking

It would have been real easy to say we didn't have time for gingerbread houses this year. But we skipped it last year, and the truth, is I like doing them too! Plus they make great decorations. Just like the Christmas tree, we made them on a Sunday morning before church. This explains why everyone is in their jammies with funny bedheads.  

Brennan and Levi shared a house. Next time I'll have to make more dough so they can each have their own; they were the first ones done, and they wanted to keep going.

 The older boys took a lot of time on theirs, and they turned out great!

 Chloe did her part to eat the candy.                                Spencer just woke up!

 Needless to say, we were a little rushed getting ready for church. But it was worth it!
Dallin didn't finish his that day. He spent a lot of time crushing candy canes. 

Classic Levi expression! It's my job to assemble the houses. 

I did this really smart thing this year (mostly because we were running out of time and icing), where I put the houses together without the roofs. Then a day or so later I added them. This worked better because they were WAY more stable by that point. I'll have to remember it next time!

 You can't rush art.


Adorable! From clockwise starting at top left: Brennan, Spencer, Tyler, Spencer, Levi, Dallin, Tyler

Now on to Christmas baking. This is always one of the last things I do to get ready for Christmas. I made two batches of fudge this year because we gave most of the first batch to their teachers. I made it one evening when everyone was either at play practice or in bed, and they were all so disappointed in the morning that they didn't get to help. So it was a good thing we needed that 2nd batch!

I think mostly they like eating the marshmallow cream.

I have to laugh at my long-haired boys when I look at these pictures. They tell me they looked like The Beatles.

We went caroling a few days before Christmas, and Spencer and Tyler took turns playing sax/violin. That's always a fun tradition. I did this other smart thing - I made a quadruple batch of sugar cookies a few weeks before Christmas and froze them. Then all I had to do was defrost and ice a few before we ate them or handed them out. It saved a ton of time!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Santa and Christmas outfits

Two weeks before Christmas was the church Christmas party. There was a lovely ham dinner, Christmas sing-along, primary nativity (Dallin and Brennan were 2 of the 3 kings - I forgot to take a shepherd costume for Levi, but I managed to find a dishtowel to put it on his head - he was very relieved), and of course a visit from Santa.

Levi loved Santa this year.                                   Chloe wasn't so sure!

 Our Santa is a cool California surfer. 

I took these pictures after church one day (after I ordered our Christmas cards, otherwise these would have been perfect). I love Brennan and Levi's matching red vests!

Such handsome boys!! Chloe refused to get in these pictures.  

These 3 always want to wear suits to church, and thankfully Dave has a million Christmas ties he's received as gifts from work.

Chloe loved her new red dress, even though it wasn't pink. Red is her second favorite color. In fact she usually likes to wear the 2 colors together - she reminds me so much of me! I distinctly remember my older sisters telling me to stop wearing pink with red, but I thought they were the perfect pairing.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Finding time to decorate the tree

As fun as it was for Tyler and Dallin to be in the play, it kind of took over our lives for a few weeks. Add in all the regular Christmas parties and concerts, and we weren't left with much free time to do things like decorating the tree. We managed to squeeze it in one Sunday morning before church, which started at 1:00.

We all got ready for church while we waited for Dave to finish putting on the lights. We've had this fake tree (which we love) for many years, and a bunch of the lights were burned out. He had to restring about half the white lights, and then the boys helped him add the colored lights. We like to light up the whole street with our tree. 

It was hard for some people to wait! 

Yay, time to decorate.

We got to help my mom decorate her tree too. These kids are fast!

Notice there are lots of pictures of Chloe. That's because she kept saying, "Take picture me, mommy!" With that apron and grin, how could I not?!

Dallin's hair was so long! I was very happy to cut it right after the play. 

It was Levi's turn to put on the star, so Chloe gets to do it next year (it's a good thing we keep track on here because we always have to go back and check).