Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas 2010

Even though we arrived home from Tahoe on Christmas Eve we still managed to keep up our annual traditions. We joined our church family for a wonderful service full of great worship, a good message on the peace that Christ offers (something I really needed to hear) and wants to give through us and then we came home to do have a small Birthday Party for Jesus. We played some games, had a birthday cake and gave presents to Jesus. Each of us shared why we love him and why we are choosing to follow him. It was a precious time full of simple but honest answers. Including Adisons answer to why she loves Jesus - "because I get presents because of him".

Christmas morning we added a new tradition to help slow things down and get the focus more off of the presents. We told the kids that we were going to hide the little nativity pieces and they would not be allowed to open their stockings until they had found each piece. Kenyon was up at 6 telling me how he had already looked and not found anything. He was pretty upset. Kyle forgot our kids are 11 and under and decided to hide them for a group of adults. Seriously one of them was in the bread maker that is put away in our cabinets, to find one you had to take the clock off the wall and look inside it and others were taped or hidden in rediculously hard places. Eventually the kids found them all (with major hints) and they got to open their stockings.

Grandpa Paul and Grandma Jenny joined us for our omelet breakfast and the final reading from our Advent book. The kids enjoy the book and practically have the whole thing memorized by Christmas day. I love it!

Then of course, the presents need to be opened. Not my favorite part but I do see why the birth of Christ is worthy of such a celebration. I just look forward to the age when the kids enjoy the giving more than the getting. We give the kids 3 gifts each year in honor of what the wiseman gave to Jesus. 1 gold/best gift, 1 frankencense/something for worship and 1 myrrh/something practical. Disneyland was our gold gift this year so there wasn't much but it still always feels like too much. This was also our first year we did a stocking exchange (siblings drew names for whose stocking they would fill) and a sibling gift exchange. That helped minimize the chaos a bit and the kids had a lot of fun picking things for eachother.

Since this is also my journal I want to document what they each got from us...
Adia got a book called 8 great dates for moms and daughters that we will do together and an interactive globe.
Avery got her first real Bible (vs. the kid kind that only have short little stories), rainboots and an umbrella.
Kenyon got a boys devotional to start doing with daddy, the Adventures in Odyssey DVDs and a new backpack.
Adison got a new christian princess book, rainboots and an umbrella.
Kaden got the animate Jesus movie and some Hot Wheel toys.

Yes, Adia got an I-pod (thank you Auntie Ta Ta) - it's wierd when she has nicer things than me.

Grandpa got to be the first to read Adison her new book. It was a hit!

Kenyon got a new Michael Jackson ornament this year and both the boys seriously play it every day and practice their moves - obviously they still have a lot of practicing to do!

When everything settled, g'ma and g'pa went home and the kids sat around playing with new things the exhaustion from Disneyland, Tahoe and more hit and Kyle and I fell asleep. Of course we woke up to a disaster! But whatever. We cleaned up the house, took down some decorations (namely the big tree dying in my family room) and then took off to spend the evening at the river (kyle's parents). Uncle Ty and Aunt Christi were there and the kids were SO EXCITED to get to see them. We also got to see crazy Uncle Ben and Aunt Dara - always a treat. It was fun to hang out with just the brothers families - thats a rarity!

And that is about it. We hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!
For those of you family members we didn't get to see - we sure missed you!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


The week before Christmas our family enjoyed a lovely little getaway in Tahoe. It was SO NICE to be together with nothing to do. The ride up there was so interesting. When we left the house Kyle asked Adia to pray for our safety and boy are we glad she did! About 10 minutes into the trip the light on my dash lit up that says "service 4 wheel drive". We stopped at a mechanic who said they couldn't fix it. We then headed to Grandpa Paul's to switch Saburbans. The picture below is where we got stopped on the mountain. We found out it was due to some major snow fall and about 6 cars needed to be cleared off the road. It was at this spot that a news crew showed up and I was panicking because I thought you would be able to see me in the background of the newsladies report. I turned in my seat to face away from the news van when Kyle says "Amy, shes coming to your door". Sure enough I coulnd't get out of being interviewed and Kyle and I were put on the news for plenty of our friends to see - SO ANNOYING! I guess that is payback for all the pictures I have refused to be in for so long.

Anyway, we finally made it to Tahoe and had such a great time. Here are some of the highlights...

Good old fun in the snow.

Lots of beautiful photo opportunities!


Snowball fights!


Snuggle Times!

Goofing around!

Spending time with GREAT FRIENDS
who joined us for a couple nights!
Looking cute in our gear.
Watching Lake Tahoe look like an ocean.

Watching the big kids!
Getting sick but feeling really loved when Adia delivered snow to play with inside.
There are so many good pictures I wanted to share but my computer is being funny and I have several more posts to complete in the next few days so I need to just get this on here. Overall we had such a great time. The kids got lots of snowboarding and sledding in and we all enjoyed some really precious time as a family. I wish we could go back next week!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Girlie Christmas Gathering

On Tuesday (the ONLY night Adia doesn't have volleyball) Adia and Avery invited some girls over to have a little Christmas fun. We had a great time and I think we'll add it to the list of traditions over here. :)

We started by making Gingerbread houses. But the girls were WAY more interested in chatting with each other rather than decorating.

Then we made a little craft for them to give to someone they love.

Next, we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and the girls went around the table sharing a gift they want to give Jesus this year.

Adia is giving the gift of being more patient with her siblings.
Avery wanted to give the gift of trying to control her temper.
I told Him I Would spend more time with Him in prayer and in the Word.
Some of her friends shared they would be nicer to their siblings.
Adison said she would give Jesus the cake. Obviously she didn't get it - as usual!

Of course we had to take some silly photos.

These are Adia's BEST FRIENDS! I am so thankful to God for giving her such godly girlfriends. They are truly SO SWEET and SUCH GIFTS in her life. I love that they are getting older and girlie yet they still have a blast and act super goofy! It's funny sometimes she gets in trouble and I know I should take away the privelage of hanging out with friends but I LOVE the influence they have on her and the relationships they are building so I rarely stop a get together.

Avery had a fun night with her friends too but it's hard to be the little sister and ALL your friends think your older sister is really cool and try to hang out with her all night. This can be really hard for her. I hate it. But one of her friends is one of Adia's BFF's little sister so she never leaves Avery - she gets that they aren't so cool after all!

And to end the night they gathered on the couch to watch a Christmas movie. Adia and her friends enjoyed it to the end. Avery and her friends ran upstairs and went crazy about 1/2 way through it.

Over all it was a great night, with great friends and I think Jesus must have smiled looking down at all these young ladies who love each other well and Love Him a bunch too.

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


We just got back from our families first trip to DISNEYLAND!

Grandma & Grandpa helped us make that happen for our whole families Christmas gift. It was also mine and Kyle's gift to our kids this year. Everyone had a BLAST and it was totally worth the combined effort to make it happen.


Here is what we looked like on the LONG drive there. But we finally made it and had such a good time!

Splash Mountain!

I LOVED all the Christmas decor!

Lot's of shoulder rides! Grandpa was the best baby holdder ever!

Kaden is IN LOVE with Buzz but freaked out when he got close to him. Adison on the other hand LOVED meeting all the different characters. I love how she does her feet in pics!

He didn't freak out on the ride though - he LOVED it. Adia and I fought over who could go with him until we realized the 3 of us could all fit in together.

I kept trying to get the adults to look at the kids they were sitting with but all of them (besides me) were way too interested in getting points by shooting the silly guns! Dorks!

Adia and I on a fast ride that went down and around a mountain... not sure what it was called.

Jenny cracked me up - checking out her pictures before the ride was even over. She was a blast to be there with. I swear she knows that place better than I know the local mall. Crazy!

Daddy & Avery fighting their way through the park.

This is how the Middleton's keep entertained while we wait in the lines!

Adisons' favorite part for sure!

When I asked her who's castle it is she quickly said "mine"

I'll have to find the many shots of Kyle like this as a little guy.

Kaden was not feeling good at all while we were there but when he felt good - he felt REALLY GOOD!

Everything was so beautifully lit up for Christmas. I LOVED it!

Brad & Lindsey even stopped by to have some fun with us. Brad went on the Tower of Terror with the kids as well as the wet rapid ride (2x). Then G'ma and G'pa took the kids swimming at the hotel while the 4 of us went out for a nice dinner. It was a great treat to see them.

Everyones favorites...

Kyle - Pirates

Amy - California Soaring (or something like that)

Adia - Tower of Terror

Avery - The loop de loop ride (not sure what it's real name was but it's the roller coaster in CA adventure)

Kenyon - Indiana Jones and The Jungle Cruise (some random boat ride with tons of cheezy jokes)

Adison - The princesses & the honey pot ride

Kaden - Buzz