Sunday, December 28, 2008

Coming back to Real Life...Sigh...

Wow! We have had such a great holiday! Jeff's company shut down for two weeks, which means we get him full-time for two weeks, and it has been so nice. We have had so much fun doing family stuff...stuff that obviously did not include blogging. So, here is a whirlwind tour of our Chrismas. Enjoy.
This is on Christmas Eve. The girl hasn't even received a stocking full of sweets yet. She is so excited for Santa to come.

Here is what we ate on Christmas Eve. I would say the girls actually look forward to this more than opening presents. I love this tradition. On Christmas Eve, we eat our Shepherd's dinner on a blanket on the floor. We try to keep the food simple. This year we had roasted beef, homemade bread, grapes, home-canned grape juice and assorted cheese. We talk about the shephards, what they were doing before their angelic visitation, and then how they left to find the Savior. This year we also read a children's Christmas story by Helen Ward, "The Animals' Christmas Carol". A good friend read the story in church and I loved it and it's message that each of us has a gift we can give to the Savior, and for each of us it is different but equally important. Regan and Hadyn liked the story, but kept saying, "Why is Mom crying?". Curse my emotions! :)
Fast forward to Christmas morning. Santa brought the girls Barbie clothes, and several costumes to add to their dress up chest. Here is Daphne (Regan and Hadyn LOVE Scooby Doo, and especially love Daphne) and the Snow Princess.
Here is Hadyn with her favorite gift. Regan picked out a beautiful snow globe for her that plays Christmas music. She carries it around everywhere, and wound and wound it all Christmas morning. I don't know how fragile it is, it seems pretty sturdy...I'm sure we'll find out soon enough...

Then, here we are on Saturday. We got dumped on with snow. We played in the backyard, and went sledding with Uncle Matt's family. Good times. I'm glad we went then, since it has been raining today, and all we have now is a lot of slush.
Merry Christmas from the Luke Family. We hope you all had, and continue to have a great Christmas holiday!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

2008 Christmas Ornaments

Each year, since we were married (which in exactly two weeks will be 11 years) we make ornaments for our tree. One for each of us. Our tree is mostly homemade ornaments, either by us or by friends, and we love it. Anyway, my friend's friend start an awesome crafty blog, where I found the cutest, no-sew ornaments. For the full directions, you'll have to go to this site, which is also an awesome site for simple crafty projects.

Anyway, we each made our ornament last night for Family Home Evening. The girls loved it, and Jeff tolerated it :). I was able to let the girls be creative rather than continually correcting them to make them look "right". It was such a fun night, and I love how Regan and Hadyn's turned out.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I So Don't Want that Electric Bill

It took me several hours, but I got our Christmas lights up on the house. I think it was worth the time... (be sure to scroll down to the bottom of my page and pause my music so you get the full effect)

Okay, so I didn't do it, but this is amazing. My mother-in-law emailed this to me today and I showed it to Regan and Hadyn. Then, we spent the rest of the afternoon looking at more on youtube. You should check the others out. It looks like this house, that may be in Pleasant Grove(?) has done several such things. It took me a week, and several of Jeff's and my father-in-laws man-hours to get my four strings of icicle lights up.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

All I Want for Chrithmath...

It has finally happened! Regan lost her first tooth. She has been waiting to the very edge of her patience. She claims that she is the last first grader at her school to lose her tooth, which I doubt, but there aren't many left that haven't. The tooth has been loose for a few weeks, and she spent a lot of time wiggling it around trying to speed up the process. I have been dreading the moment that it would need to actually be manually pulled, having heard awful stories from friends, and family sit-coms, all without need. She came home from school last Wednesday with her tooth missing...literally. Once she stopped sobbing, I got the full story:
Said tooth was really wiggling around a lot at school, and starting to bother her so Regan just grabbed it and yanked it out. She was very proud. Her teacher gave her a special necklace that you only get if you lose your tooth at school, one that you can put your tooth in for safekeeping until you get home. Regan wore it, I'm sure, as a badge of honor through class and out to recess. When she came back from recess, the necklace was gone, as was (of course) the tooth, and, according to her, all hope of a visit from the tooth fairy. To make matters worse, I wasn't even picking her up from school that day, she was coming home with my friend. They searched the playground and checked at the office, but it was gone.
I eventually convinced her that the tooth fairy would KNOW that she had lost a tooth and visit anyway. We remembered a Charlie and Lola (I love that cartoon more than the girls do. I'm a sucker for a good British accent, even coming from a cartoon) where the same thing happened. Lola just had so sleep with a big smile on her face so the tooth fairy would see her missing tooth. Regan seemed relieved. Later, I went to mutual and Jeff put the girls in bed. When I came home, I went to check on the girls and say good night to anyone not yet asleep. I found Regan with tears running down her face. She said she couldn't fall asleep with her mouth open, but she didn't want the tooth fairy to not see her missing tooth. I finally got her to go to sleep, with her mouth closed, after promising to leave an explanatory note to the tooth fairy.
To make a long story short, the tooth fairy did come, and Regan was happy. The kind fairy even left a note telling Regan that this happens to a lot of kids, and that she has a specially trained dog that would find the tooth and bring it to her (the tooth fairy) if it didn't turn up. Crisis averted.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Four Tickets for the North Pole Please

Saturday night we travelled to the North Pole and back via the Thunder Mountain Railways in Horseshoe Bend. It was fun to watch the girls. I know Chrismas isn't really about Santa Clause and presents, but I will be the first to admit that while I absolutely love the beautiful, Christ-centered meaning of Christmas, I also have a soft spot for the Magic of Santa as far as my girls are concerned.
We didn't tell the girls anything about the surprise trip. They are smart girls, and it didn't take them long to figure out we were going on a train ride, but they didn't know where we were going, or who we might see along the way. As we walked the length of a couple cars looking for seats, we walked through the refreshment car. Regan commented, "It's just like being home except it's longer and has lots of junk food." I'm still trying to figure that one out. Anyway, we got settled into seats, and waited for the train to start moving. The girls were literally bouncing around. It was really fun to watch and imagine what life would be like with that much energy. Sigh...

It wasn't long after the train started moving than the big man himself strolled into our car. I wish I had a picture of the girls' faces. That's the magic I'm talking about. Santa asked everyone in our car who believed in Santa. Hands shot up from kids and adults alike. I was so busy watching the girls reaction, my hand was the last one up. Santa commented that I was running a little slow this year. There's nothing quite like getting insulted by Santa :). I have since forgiven him. Santa actually sat down and talked with us for a while, which was fun. During our trip, Hadyn, with all the sincerety and earnestness a 3-year old can muster up, asked Santa if he was real. He said yes, and both Regan and Hadyn KNOW that they sat by and talked to the real Santa. (As opposed to some of the "helpers" they've seen in the mall and on street corners).We arrived at the North Pole and were given milk and cookies. I looked around. There were a handful of building fronts propped up. You could easily see the poles holding them up. They were pretty, but they obviously weren't real buildings. My mind started racing to explain to Regan and Hadyn why they were like that, when they both just stared and Regan whispered, "I can't believe we're at the North Pole!" Again, I love the magic of Christmas.
Could she be any happier? I hope you can click on this and make it bigger, because she actually looks like she's counting off her list on her fingers. Smart girl. You get the real Santa, you don't want to forget anything!

(Speaking of making your pictures be able to be bigger if they are clicked on, can someone explain the magic of that to me? I thought I had it figured out, but, I obviously do not. I would appreciate anyone who can let me in on that secret...)