Friday, January 6, 2012

December Miscellany

December was full of all sorts of goodness and busyness...

We took the kids to the Church History Museum before seeing Temple Square Lights...

There were so many fun hands-on exhibits...

Sophia and Liv loved the dress-ups...

...and Olivia rocked the latin dancing.

Sophia looked super-cute in her hat and gloves (even though she didn't keep them on for more than five minutes! Poor, cold girl).

The lights were beautiful, as always. We expecially loved the nativities.

We visited the Festival of Trees with Grandma Cole and met up with Megan and Erin and my dad who came into town for a few days. While we were there we got to see many people admiring Megan's work.

Megan's tree was amazing! It was fun to be there with my cute Grandma. We all got a little teary-eyed when the volunteer asked if we were interested in  learning more about the cute boy the tree was done for. She reached for the story and Megan told her that she had written it and designed the tree because it was HER cute little boy. Moments like that are hard.

My dad stayed with us for a few days.  He likes to get us a kit for decorating a gingerbread house most years... the kids had a lot of fun doing it with him this year. Sophia was all about shoveling the candies into her mouth. (Let's be honest, that's what we all wanted to do.)

We had a very fun Christmas party with the Harper side of the family, and I didn't even think to get out my camera. Can someone remind me next time? There was this funny picture taken of Ryan though...

Great hair, no? It was so fun to be with the Harper clan! We missed Ry's sister Traci and her family and of course his parents, but his brothers and aunts and their families and his grandparents were all there.

I got to participate in one of my favorite traditions... my friend Marilynn's cookie exchange party. This year I made some sugar cookies (recipe from Our Best Bites) and decorated them to look like poinsettia cookies. I loved the way the white ones looked...

...but the red ones looked orange and despite using no-taste red gel food coloring, they tasted like red food coloring. Oh well!

You can see other recipes and photos from that fabulous party at the Christmas Cookie Collection blog. I am hoping to add her appetizer recipes there too, they were SO yummy.

Such a fun group of friends! Marilynn is in the red... she is an amazing cook and mom and friend and all-around person. We joke that some day we are going to open a catering business together, but really, I would just be the grunt worker, all the talent is hers!

Coleman's class did a fun gingerbread play. Sophia and I got to go and see him do the songs and dance with his apron and baker's hat.

Love those smiles!

Of course December was full of mailing and receiving beautiful Christmas cards... and we thought our neighbor gift was pretty clever this year (and useful!). It was also very, very corny. Apologies to our neighbors that we love dearly!

We gathered at my mom's house a week before Christmas.... she likes to have our kids re-enact the nativity... Sophia was so thrilled to be the cow. Eliza was a cute donkey!

Tayden was Joseph, Liv was Mary, and Abi was the angel.

Cute wise men, no? Evan, Brady and Coleman loved the crowns.

Cute group of kids! They all swapped costumes and did it over again (and again!). It seems they all want a turn at being Mary... or Joseph... or the angel.

We got to go and visit Grandma and Grandpa Cole. They've had rough year with their health, and we are so grateful they are on the mend. Sophia LOVED sitting with Grandpa...

...and then she followed the fun snow globe over to Grandma. We love that the Coles live close enough that we can see them fairly often. They are wonderful to us!

I wanted to introduce the kids to potato latkes. I remember eating them in elementary school as a kid and loving them, so I thought it would be fun to make them during Hanukkah. I think it a bit ironic that the photo is in front of my "SIMPLIFY" sign, because there wasn't a lot simple about making these. Coleman said, "Hmm, they taste like hash browns." So much for introducing cultural awareness. 

We made a LOT of treats in December. Caramels and toffee and cookies, oh my! One of our favorite treat making sessions was when we invited a few friends over to decorate sugar cookies.

The kids were much more creative than I was in their use of colors and toppings.

Don't you just love a good sugar cookie?

Aside from making several Christmas gifts (which I didn't take any pictures of!) I managed to craft ONE lovely item for our home this year. My multi-talented cousin made a very cute felt rosette tree and I wanted to copy (see hers here). Mine didn't turn out as so very cute as hers did, but I like it all the same. Yay me. 

And finally, I spent a good part of December reading and listening to the Book of Mormon as part of my Personal Progress project for Virtue.. We started reading the Book of Mormon as a family earlier this year, but at 6 or 8 verses a day, it was taking us a really, really long time to get very far. I decided at the beginning of December that I wanted to finish by the end of the year, and I did! We had already read 1st and 2nd Nephi, so I started with Jacob and made it through to the end.  Thank goodness for podcasts and naptime! It was really cool to read it in such a condensed amount of time as I was making note of the characteristics of virtuous people. I loved reading/listening this way! A fun project summarizing my experience is in my head and should be in the works soon.

We also went to an awesome ward Christmas breakfast that is deserving of it's very own post, so that is on it's way... Christmas pictures to come, too.

Overall, our December was full of goodness... family, friends, gifts galore, treats and more treats, many great lessons from the Book of Mormon, and lots of great and worthwhile activities!

**How would you summarize your December?


Ria said...

I would say our December was pretty much like yours. Lots of family and friends to celebrate with.

Kristi said...

My girls loved the exhibit at the Church museum, too! So fun! I am always amazed at your cookie decorating skills. I think you and Marilynn should start a business! I know I would be one of your best customers. How fun to see all the great ladies, again!