Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas to all and to all...I'm going to bed.

One tradition I am passing on is every single item in the stockings are wrapped. My Aunt and mom would stay up all night and wrap all 8 stockings (my aunts 6 kids, plus my brothers and mine) and when I stay stockings..these were HUGE, bottomless, handmade that was a huge job for them.

I have to admit that the kids did get a lot of gifts this year despite our economic state. But what many of you don't know about me is if I see a good deal (and I mean $6 and under for what would typically be a $25+ item, I buy it and save it). So Target has this huge winter clearance sale in January every year and everything is 80% off of the already sale price. So last year, I spent around $200 on $800 worth of items and just saved them. I used them for future birthday parties (which worked great since I didn't have to buy anything all year). I had three 39 gallon bags left over from the move that I packed and then shoved them all up high in the closet. I finally got to a point where I was done storing everything (hey, the Jan. clearance is coming up again ya know) and so needless to say, I was overly generous with Christmas with the kids and other kids we were buying for this year. I did give away a ton of things when we moved because we weren't sure about what kind of space we would have and I didn't want to move everything. So basically, they are restocked. :)

I will miss that this time of year is almost over. I love lighting my Holiday Wreath candles, decorating, baking (and eating) and watching all of the different Christmas movies. We have always made Jesus a huge part of Christmas and really have always wanted the children to focus on him and doing for others versus just the material part...the gifts (although this post does seem a little materialistic based on the pictures alone, but hey, I didn't want to post a pictureless post). I hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Christmas this year. We love you all and now I'm signing off after a very long night of catching up on this blog.

A very small Christmas at my dad's house

Christmas at my dads this year was pretty bittersweet because this is the first Christmas since my Aunt Marcia's passing (she wasn't with us last year because she was going through chemo). My Aunt Jany is having the hardest time of all and decided it be best if she stayed home. We definitely missed having both of them with us. I had taken over hosting Christmas for the previous 2 years, but obviously, I had to pass the torch back.

My dad and Kay bought Corbin the Leapster 2 and Tatum got a dress up box and a Zhu Zhu hamster play pet. Zhu Zhu is this years most wanted toy. Priced at $9.99 each, I can see why. But because of that, people were trying to sell these babies on craigslist, Ebay and Amazon for $35+ and being the kind of girl who would never pay more than something is worth, I wouldn't go for it. When Melissa told me that Toys R' Us had a huge shipment in a few days before Christmas, I called my dad and he was able to pick one up (limit one per customer of course).

Cheers to 2009..may 2010 be a better one.

Christmas at my cousins house.

My sister-in-law Theresa with my nephew, Sammy and my cousin Cameo and Ezra.

Arianne, Dayton and Dave. Dave made this awesome book for Dayton. He is truly talented!

I have been celebrating Christmas with my Aunt Renee and her kids since I can remember. Then one day we all grew up and had families of our own and having Christmas at Aunt Nay's house on Christmas was not going to work anymore, so now we celebrate with everyone the weekend before so we can all still have it. This time around, Daryl had two finals to work on and decided to stay back. I took advantage and went up the night before and stayed for 4 days total. It was so nice to get to stay with Aunt Renee and when we went to the Hayward's for Christmas the following day, I got to stay with the kids and really hang out (all day) and it was so much fun (instead of leaving after a usual 3 hour visit). The following day, I met up with Melissa and her kids at the mall over on my old side of town and then we went to see The Princess and the Frog and out to Arriba's for lunch (it was also Mackayla's birthday) and then back again to Mesa that night for more family fun. Hanging out with my amazing family back in Mesa and some friend time was just what I needed.

Reading to the children the story of the Jesus to the children before they opened their presents from one another.

Tatum with Cameo's little girl, Cora.

Tatum with her My Twinn doll (and matching outfits). A birthday present from Grandmommy and Papo (Daryl's parents).

Meeting Bo and Ezra for the first time (Travis and Cameo both had babies recently) :).

My nephew, Sammy (my brother's little guy).

My Aunt Lori spoiling the heck out of my children.

The end of the night: Kate, Brooklyn, Cressenya, Tatum and Liberty coloring :).

After the movies: Corbin, Xavier, Tatum and Mackayla.

Later that night back at Aunt Renee's house. Cameo stayed over with her kids and we all stayed up late and had some fun munchies. My cousin Darce and her girls also joined in on the fun (as well as Aunt Lori). We had such a fun night!
Cameo lives in Snowflake and of course, we now live in Flagstaff. A huge storm was rolling in the following day and I still needed to stop in at my dads house. By the time I got back in town, the snow was really coming in. I pulled into the neighborhood and saw a Suburban coming down a pretty narrow path in the neighborhood, so I pulled over some (to be nice) and then my van just slid off the side of the road and was stuck (the Suburban slowed some and then kept going..real nice). Daryl had been in town buying salt and eventually pulled me out with the truck. My van kept sliding and slamming against the side of the snow constantly. I'm still shocked there isn't a single dent or scratch in that area. What a trip!


A few weeks ago, the kids and I visited my mom on our way out to stay with my Aunt (my moms sister) in Mesa for a few days. She is living on horse property and finally has a horse she can board. Zacky is the coolest horse ever! I swear he's almost human the way he responds to people and other animals. Corbin loved feeding him, but Tatum wouldn't dare.

Corbin loves carrying around my moms cat everywhere (he's really a cool cat and would love to have one like him one day). My mom has also adopted Asta (my late Aunt Marcia's dog pictured in the pink sweater). She is doing really well living on the farm with all of the other animals getting royally spoiled right along with them and is adjusting really well. I can't wait until her hair grows back in again. The groomers went a little crazy with her..poor thing! :(

Some more updates...

We went sledding over at our friends house (they live really close to us) who have the perfect backyard for sledding. I even got in on the action :)).

Tatum's school had a performance with celebrations across the world and she represented Mexico for Christmas. She has gotten so shy now at performances where last year, she was not shy and her voice was the loudest of all. Now, you really can't hear her anymore :(. I have video, but the upload is really slow and I don't feel like sitting hear all you'll just have to enjoy the pics instead :).

One night we made a gingerbread house and watched A Christmas Story (love this time of year).

Okay..onto the next update...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tatum's "spa" party!

Today we decided to have a birthday party (very last minute) for Tatum. We only invited the girls from her class. We didn't want anything big because we always do it big and this year it was small (7 girls including Tatum). Two of my mommy friends stayed and hung out. The theme was "spa day". The girls wore their slippers/pajama's/robes, painted their toenails/fingernails, did their makeup, played dress up and made fancy flip flops. I bought some fabric and cut strips (sort-of like a no-sew blanket). I really don't have any "good" pictures of them, but one of the pictures below shows one of the girls wearing her pair and you can sort-of get the idea. It snowed last night and today, but we didn't have a blizzard like on Monday. It's funny, every year it seems it always rains on the day of her birthday party and it snowed today. She had a great day and...

she pulled her own tooth out tonight! What an exciting day!!!