Jan 4
Christmas Afternoon
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After we cleaned up at the Shaws’ on Christmas morning, we headed down to my sister’s house for more presents (by this time we already knew the kids received too much and we were going to have to find room to put it all!!!) We hung out and played games, napped (poor tired Steve!) or read (uh, yeah…I was trying to finish reading OUR gift TO Lauren before she opened it) while Gavin took his nap.

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(Look: Matchy-Matchy and we didn’t even plan it!)

Mr G woke up happy and it was on to the presents. Look at his cute face!

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Can you say HOLY ADORABLE JACKET, BATMAN! Yeah…that’s her 2nd DIVA coat in a month…I think we’re in trouble!
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Steve was excited for this present. He knew he got something from me from the Robot store but he didn’t know he’d be getting more from Grams and Papa. At least one gift was a surprise to him! LOL
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Lauren and Kayley were great with their gifts to my kiddos. Lauren printed and created cute characters as magnets for Spencer and Evie’s magnetic wall in their room. Now they have Spiderman, Princesses, sports, etc. etc. etc to play with on there! Kayley created Spencer a puzzle book. His favorite puzzles lately are the “hangman-like” phrases with numbers underneath them. You have to use a chart to match the number to a letter and fill in the blank. Kayley made him a whole book like that and on each page it describes someone in our family. Such creativity girls!

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Okay, have to explain this one. Back in March for Spencer’s birthday we had a Superhero Party and everyone came dressed as their own super hero (Whoa…I just realized I never posted pictures! What a slacker! I’ll have to do that soon…for those of you who have me on facebook, it’s in my pictures). My sister, Annette, was Wonder Woman and instantly became Evie’s favorite girl super hero. Now, EVERY TIME she seems Wonder Woman she calls her “Netty”. Annette is still AUNT Netty, but Wonder Woman is Netty. She even has an action figure Netty…and now, thanks to Aunt Netty, she has a Netty book too. Funny, huh?
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That evening Steve and the kids and I went to our own house for our own Christmas. They opened their last few presents (like Legos) and then daddy gave them their own kid computer…each with their own account to allow for Princess or Batman backgrounds! It’s great cause it’s Linux and it’s free and it’s the education version so it has great games for the kids already on it. What a hit!
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And I just think this is a cute Diva picture with Evie and her Cheetah friend, both animals of the Feline Family.IMG_0312-web
Welp, these 2 posts describe our fantastic Christmas celebration filled with family and fun. Thank you all for your generosity, for letting us sleep in your bed, for making us breakfast, for allowing us to ransack your house, for not getting mad for ditching dinner, and for just being there and for loving our little family. We love you all – Merry Christmas (all year round!)

Jan 4
Christmas Morning
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What a busy time of year! But boy oh boy do I love it! And NOT just because of all the time I got to sleep in, but also to spend time with our families.

On Christmas Eve day both Steve and I had to work half days. Luckily Steve can work from just about anywhere so he and the kids came with me to my work. At 1:00 we packed up and headed to Steve’s parents’ house. The past few years we’ve really enjoyed sleeping over on Christmas Eve and being there first thing Christmas morning. We put our things away (in John’s room…thanks!), played games, ate dinner, put the kids to bed (next to the Christmas tree) and went to bed…well, everyone but John and Steve…they stayed up all night playing computer games. Eh – it’s good bonding time, right? At 9 we heard Alec making crapes (yum yum) so we headed downstairs. The kids were just waking up and we all gathered around the table. Then (how mean is this?) we made the kids take a bath! LOL oh well…they didn’t mind TOO much! Then we got to opening presents. Thank you everyone for the fabulous and very generous things you gave us! (Steve and I are so excited! We got the first and second season of our favorite British Comedy…Allo’ Allo’! AND a new card shuffler…as well as other things of course!) Here are a few pics from our morning:

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At lunchtime Steve’s other brothers and their families came over. We had lunch together and then finished opening presents:

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(Thank you JoJo for a GREAT picture! See…now I’m done trying to take one!)

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Dec 29
Christmas 2008
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What an eventful Christmas! We had such a wonderful time with our families and enjoying the Christmas holiday together. Here are a few pics from our holiday:

Decorating the Christmas tree – we get a real tree every year…one of our traditions. Spencer picked it out…and he’s very proud of that! 🙂 The kids were much faster than Steve and I were so most of the ornaments ended up on the bottom. I almost fixed it but Steve said we should leave it ’cause the kids did it. I agreed and think it ended up pretty cute!

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After the “big one” snow storm, we came home to an awesome snow fort in our front yard. Our neighbors, Spencer and Brent (with the help of a few little ones) made it. It was awesome! I made Steve stand next to the snowman (I think they had help from our other neighbors next door) to show you how big he was. It’s still standing and I’m sure will be there after most everything else melts away…someday…hopefully soon! 😉

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We spent the night at Grandma and Grandpa’s on Christmas Eve. Spencer and Evie got new pajamas…and they were actually excited about it!

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We made cookies for Santa (although the kids weren’t that interested so someone else ate them!) They also wrote letters to Santa. Here are Jadyn, Spencer and Evie’s letters.

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Christmas morning found me staring at 2 crazy men…one being asleep (picture 3). Steve and Rich stayed up all night (Steve fell asleep finally around 7:30…I think) playing Rock Band. Weirdos. Everyone was awake near 8:45 or 9:00…although I can’t really remember. We had our almost traditional (almost because we do it mainly on holidays but it hasn’t been consistant since we spend time at my family’s too) crape breakfast and then got working on presents. Spencer, Jadyn and Evie seemed to enjoy discovering what was behind the wrapping paper and I sure loved watching their faces. I am very excited to try out our deep fryer and see what crazy meals I might ATTEMPT making! Although it was snowing like crazy outside, we left around 10:30 to head to Springville.

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As soon as we arrived at my sister’s house, we got the webcam and Skype installed on Steph’s laptop and “called” my mom and dad and brothers (plus family) in Oklahoma. My sisters and nieces came up with a “Deal or No Deal” game for my parent’s 60th birthday presents. They had 3 envelopes and we had the game board. Lauren was “Lauren Mandel” (Howie) and Kayley was “Kayley White” (the “Ladies”). Mom went first, picked a number, answered a question about the grandkids, and if she got it right, picked an envelope. If the board said “Card Swap” behind the number, and the parent got the answer right, they were able to switch envelopes with the banker (Matt) or with the other contestant. In the end, they got all the questions right…even the bonus question (Who’s taller…Spencer or Luke?) …and got to keep all of the envelopes. Lion King tickets in OKC, $50 for dinner, and Celtic Women tickets in Dallas. Happy 60th birthday Mom and Dad!

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We then opened presents from the Luke side of the family. Spencer and Evie had lots of fun opening presents and playing with their cousins! Evie hugged her new “Princess dress” as soon as she unwrapped it and Aunt Steph made them their canvas town. (She personalizes them too…Emily Scrapbook Store, Steve’s Computer Store, Evie’s Shoe Boutique, Spencer’s Sports Shop, etc, etc, etc). They both have lots of figures (Ninja Turtles, Princesses, Tinker Bell and Friends, Knights, etc). Steve got a pasta maker (which I used today) and a few other things to help make pasta. I was excited to get 4 more pieces to my WillowTree Nativity set…I’m almost done! One gift we were very excited for and grateful for was money towards our Food Storage…which is pretty much non-existent. (thank you!) We spent a few hours at my sister’s house but left to go back to Steve’s parents for a phone call from Uncle John, Steve’s brother who is serving a mission for our church in Mongolia!

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I wanted to include a few pics of my nieces who painted some awesome pics for their mom…and of my sister’s presents to my nieces…personalized necklace hangers which turned out amazing! (If you’re interested in one…she’ll make one for you although I’m not sure what the price is)

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Back at the Shaws we made it to talk to John and heard about things that have been happening with him lately. I can’t believe he’s coming home in September…that’s just insane that it’s been a year and a half! WOW! So it’s extremely cold there…so much that his sock froze to the inside of his boot and that the small slit you see in the 1st picture is all they use to see where they’re going. The 2nd picture is John in his Deel…nice and thick looking. It’ll be cool to hear him speak when he gets home. 9 more months!

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Jul 16
Christmas List
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So, I found the PERFECT thing to get me for Christmas (Steve, take notes). It’s AWESOME and PERFECT for me!

Take a look-see:

Hog Wild Moo Mixer

Dec 18
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree!
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We realized Christmas is only 1 week away and it blows our mind! We finally got our tree at a great little place run by a family. The guy was really nice and even dropped the price by $10. So, for a 6 ft tree we paid $32. Not bad!

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Dec 18
Santa Baby
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Thanks to Grams and Papa, Evie had this oh so cute outfit to wear for the holidays! Here’s how cute my Santa Baby is:

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Mommy and Santa Baby

Dec 9
Christmas Pictures
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I decided to take Evie to Target to get her 1 year pictures but as soon as I found out there was no sitting fee I decided to do the whole family. Spencer didn’t want to smile most of the time and Evie just wanted to explore all of the props. Here are a few that turned out okay.

Family Pics

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Kid Pics

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Spencer (with mitt on wrong hand)

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Evie (tired and very ready to take a nap) and her Teddy

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Dec 5

Okay, so I almost have the Jim Carry How the Grinch Stole Christmas movie memorized. Spencer watches it once or twice a day (depending on how much I can handle it). He tells me when he’s sad, mean, or happy. He tells me that he’s “like Swiper” (the fox from Dora who steals everything).  He LOVES the movie. Thanks Mikey and Coley for letting us borrow it. 🙂

Oh, and when he’s not watching the Grinch movie, he’s watching Polar Express.