My dad always said that if you don't write it down, it never happened, so I am going to do my best to write down the moments as they come to my mind, so bear with me!
Decorating the house and the kids mad frenzy trying to help
Kids singing Christmas songs in the back of the van.
Caity making Christmas cards
Kids waking up to look for Sammy (our elf)
Watching Christmas movies and doing puzzles
Family Home Evenings about Christ's birth
Special time every night and how excited the kids were to open another chocolate box
The kids play-acting the nativity
Going to the Idaho Falls visitors center and watching movies about Christ's birth
Making treats and taking them to friends
Block towers in front of the Christmas tree
Finding the tree in the woods and the kids marching through the snow.
Waiting in line forever in the cold to see Santa
Making hot chocolate and the kids saving their candycanes so they could melt them in their cocoa
Getting Pizza and watching Santa Clause 2
Our ward Christmas party- the kids were so excited to be a part of the children's nativity.
Visiting our good friend, Melvin in Newdale.
Making Christmas Eve dinner with "helpers" (everyone needs a turn stirring the pot. except William. he needs two apparently.)
Caity coming home with Christmas crafts from school
Reading Christmas stories
Watching Elmo Saves Christmas waaaay to many times.
Watching Home Alone 1 and Home Alone 2 enough times to have most of the movie memorized.
Johnny telling way to many people "Merry Christmas you filthy animal." (Then saying sorry and that he was kidding)
Johnny finding elmo slippers at DI for William for Christmas.
My brother Matt getting Santa letters from my kids then playing "secret santa" and getting them things on their lists.
Matt then going all the way to the North Pole to deliver the letters and get replies for the kids- their faces were priceless.
Riding the horse drawn carriage.
Going to the Festival of Lights in Idaho Falls.
Visiting my parents and going to Temple Square and William's face when he saw the Cristus statue.
John taking the kids to the merry-go-round at Porter Park
The Ogden family Christmas party and kids' faces when Santa showed up.
Caity's face with she saw Kirsten (my old American Girl doll) by the Christmas tree Christmas morning.
Johnny riding his bike down the hall
William's face when he realized how many cars he got from Uncle Matt.
Driving to John's parents for Christmas Dinner and Spencer's birthday,
Kids waking up at four in the morning on Christmas because, hello- it's Christmas.
THE SNOW, it was so magical.
Realizing the John wasn't going to watch It's a Wonderful Life with me, but the kids all said they would- and they did!
Making snowflakes all together.
Loving on those sweet nieces and nephews and seeing my kids spend time with them.
Caity memorizing the scripture story in Luke 2.
OK, I'm not offended that you probably just skimmed that list- but that's what I mean- how do I even summarize all that- not to mention all the wonderful ordinary moments in between...there is no way other than to say- I am so grateful. What a wonderful time of year and really, what a wonderful life it is year round.
This year had some hard moments, yet through Christ the moments have led to growth in faith and a deeper understanding of what is most important. He makes our burdens light, our weaknesses strong, and turns pain into joy. I don't know how it works- but I know it does. A Savior was born and he lived for us, died for us, and lived again that we may find joy and peace. I know He lives. I know Christ is my Savior.
Now what pictures I can accumulate from this last December (excuse the mis-order):
John took the kids to Porter Park to ride the carousel and meet Santa
John played his brothers for "The Hat" this must have been a picture he took right before John's dad beat him! :)
Winter walks with good friends
William at the Salt Lake City Visitors Center
Brittany making sugar cookies with the kids- note William's lack of a shirt.
Waiting in line with Shaylee and Kevin for Cabelas. It was coooold.
Caity at the carousel
Kids at carousel
John using the axe he got for Graduation to cut down our tree
My baking helper
Meanwhile, in Cate's room....
Excited to find a tree
Staying behind waiting for the big kids adn dad to get back with the tree
Caity on the horse carriage
Waiting in line for Santa
SO worth the wait- haha, William was not having it! But the rest of the kids were excited!
Real camels for the live nativity!
Now...Some creeper pictures of my kids sleeping, because- oh because I just love sleeping children!
Stockings hung with care
Home Alone, please!
William's obsession with Selfies
And a couple more of William Bradley in his Christmas Sunday outfit:
And some of Johnny Calhoun V:
And some pictures of my darling Cate Elizabeth:
And my sweet baby, Matthew Hinckley
Watching the LDS Christmas Devotional.
Johnny pretending to be Santa. As William would say, "Ho, ho, ho, Merry Mitmas!"
Playing "North Pole"
Their reactions when I said, "You excited for church!?" William hates nursery.
Johnny and Me on our way home from taking Caity to school.
My parents and Matthew
Noah, Caity, Miles, Johnny and William all tied together like reindeer.
Aunt Becky with the kids
At Temple Square.
Real Reindeer at Thanksgiving Pointe.
Johnny talking nonstop to Santa.
Caity asking William if he is excited.
Willliam...still not loving the Santa idea
And you thought your elf was creepy.
Christmas Eve before Santa came.
Matthew and Grandpa
All the July babies together for the first time!
And finally, that's a wrap...here's to a new year!