Monday, January 9, 2012

Christmas Memories

I realized this morning that I had not done any updates about our Christmas festivities.  So, here are the things I want to remember about Christmas 2011.  Jason and I fell in love with the idea of cutting down our our Christmas tree.  We decided it would become a wonderful family tradition and we'd look forward to it every year.  We got the permit, bundled up and snowshoed into the great white wilderness.  As it turns out, finding the perfect tree is easier said than done.  After a lot of trudging about with a heavy 3 year old strapped to my back I was excited to find a tree that looked fine.  Jason cut it down and carried it to our van.

We wrapped it up and made the 2 hour drive home.  Once we arrived at home, Jason spent a lot of time grafting in branches where the tree looked sparse.  He left to run an errand while I was putting the lights on the tree.  I was so disappointed that it was difficult to hold back tears.  This was NOT the tree I'd envisioned! (Honestly, it looks much better in that photo than it did in our house!)

The needles were all at the ends of the branches, so there was nothing to wrap the lights around.  I'm not generally one to complain, but I was having a hard time with this.  Jason arrived home quickly and as soon as I saw him I burst into tears, "I don't like our tree!".  I cried for a minute (how dumb is that?  But apparently the ideal Christmas tree means a lot to me...), then we decided to make the best of it and just start hanging ornaments.  The poor scrawny tree could not support them and I was soon in tears again.  We eventually went to our backup artificial tree and I used the branches from the fresh tree to make garlands to decorate the house.  It wasn't a total waste!  
Along with the Tree-Cutting Disaster we also had a lot of fun (and I didn't even cry selfishly once!).

Ice Skating:
We went with a group of homeschool friends and had so much fun!  The kids picked up a lot and gained a lot of confidence by the end of the session.  We look forward to going again several times before the winter is over.

Ellie and were both able to sing in choirs this year.  I have missed singing with a group and have really enjoyed my time with the Logan Towne Singers (rehearsals just started again for the new year and I love it!).  Ellie sang with the Joyful Noise Homeschool Choir.  They did a Les Miserables medley and Miss Ellie sang a solo.  She did such a fantastic job and has really come a long way in her ability to perform in front of an audience. 

Click here to watch the video:

Ellie as Young Cosette
Ellie and I both had performances on the same night, so we enjoyed dinner out (Indian food is our family favorite at the moment) before the shows.

Naturally we decorated cookies and watched Christmas movies.

I enjoyed an early morning trip to the beautiful Logan temple with my dear sister Lindsay (in the well-below-freezing weather).

I'm not sure what was happening here, but had to include the photo.  That Ethan is such a ham lately!

We enjoyed an extended stay "down south" visiting family.  I loved having down time with both sides of the family with plenty of time to catch up, that's definitely harder to do now that we live a bit farther away.

  A month or so before Christmas, Ethan asked Grandpa Kindlespire if he would make "hippo pancakes".  None of us had any idea where he got the idea or what he was expecting.  But after much contemplation my dad came up with this:

Pretty amazing!  Ethan was very pleased.  I can't wait to hear what he asks for next time...get ready Grandpa!

We enjoyed a quiet New Years Eve at home.  Ellie supplied the decorations. We watched home videos from the previous year, made our Hillman family goals for the coming year, ate some yummy food and sent the kids to bed at 7:30.  I wonder how long we'll be able to get away with counting down til 7:00?


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