Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December, Christmas, and the Week After

We opted for a digital Christmas card this year. 

December was ridiculously busy. In addition to all the concerts, programs, parties and activities I managed to schedule several eye doctor, pediatrician, and dentist appointments as well as an important meeting at school (in six months when the end of the school year approaches I'll get to do it all again during the other busiest time of the year. I really need to get on a different six month schedule). With everything we had going on the month flew by. I definitely felt frazzled but it had very little to do with the approaching holiday. The days since Christmas have been blissfully peaceful. We have lounged in our sweats, watched movies, chatted on the phone with long distance loved ones, played new games that we got for Christmas and eaten our combined weight in sugar (Blegh. I see more vegetables in my very near future).

With the new year approaching I've been excited to set goals and figure out my word of the year. I think I have it, so stay tuned for when I reveal it in the next couple of days.

Until then, here is a recap of our December/holiday happenings:
  • Band and chorus concerts--wind ensemble, orchestra, 6th grade band, 3rd and 6th grade chorus, Tuba Christmas.
  • Appointments *yawn*--3 dentist, 2 pediatrician, 2 eye doctor, 1 school meeting, a team term paper project for my oldest son, daily after school practices for indoor track for my second son
  • Parties/Activities--1 school event (Cuddle Up and Read); Lights on the Lake with the young women from church; church Christmas party (I was in charge of decorations); Star Wars premier (I created a Han Solo costume for my oldest to wear to school that day and to the premier with some help from my dear friend, Wendy); more than half a dozen meal dates with friends; a Latke party; dinner appointments with missionaries from church (including a raclette party); S'mores party with friends; ladies night Christmas party (including a hilariously fun game of charades); Christmas Eve shepherd's dinner with friends; 1 trip to the Scholastic warehouse sale in Syracuse with Wendy. making/decorating gingerbread cookies; decorating a gingerbread house with the family--complete with a shredded wheat thatched roof; driving around to see Christmas lights with the family and trying to fit in all the special holiday traditions and activities in between regular homework and life.

Decorating the tree.

Han Solo costume in progress.

Church Christmas party decorations. Photo credit: Holly

The awesome mural made a trip all the way from Samoa to be featured in our church Christmas party decorations.

Favorite part of the evening at the church party: seeing all the children gather around the baby Jesus. 

Wise man.

Dinner and gingerbread men decorating.

Lights on the Lake in Syracuse

The finished Han Solo costume. It was a thing of beauty.

Star Wars day at school was a big success.

One of the many appointments we had to fit into our busy schedule in December.

Sporting our lava-lava from my friend Ester.

Raclette party!

We got just enough snow to make a snowman. 

I love giving gifts--even just simple ones--wrapped up in pretty packaging.

Thatched roof in progress.

The finished gingerbread house.

When we drove around to look at the lights we decided this house was the winner. Gorgeous!

I made a fruit cake for the first time ever this year. It was seriously delicious. The whole family loved it.

A friend gave us a s'mores maker before Christmas so we had some friends over to try it out.

The Elvis: toasted marshmallow, peanut butter cup, banana, and bacon on graham crackers. It was pretty delicious.

Part of our fare for our shepherd's dinner./ 

Christmas Eve scripture reading. Photo credit: Holly

Delicious food on Christmas Eve. Photo credit: Delaina

Christmas Morning.

The tooth fairy left a note in the boys' stockings since she fell behind right before Christmas.
Christmas morning Legos.

Lots of presents under the tree. 

Opening the big present for the family from Grandma and Grandpa.

It was a new bench for our front entry. I love it so much!

My brother-in-law did some sleuthing to figure out that I wanted a nut grinder like the one my mom had when I was a little girl.

New hat. New vest.

Checking out the loot from Santa Claus.

This is how teenagers do Christmas morning.

My brother got me some Han Solo in carbonite silicon molds so I had to try them out by making some chocolates Christmas afternoon. Love. 

We went to see the premier of Episode VII so we've been back tracking and watching all the old episodes again.

I love our kid friendly tree. Maybe next year we'll have a real tree topper but the Santa hat does give it some whimsy.

You can check out a few 15 second clips of my kids' concerts on my Instagram account if you're interested.

Also, here's our Christmas newsletter from this year for anyone who didn't see it and is interested.

Dunn Family 2015 A to Z
A—Arrow of Light. Nate turned 11, earned his Arrow of Light and crossed the bridge into Boy Scouts. Now we have three Boy Scouts in the family and one Cub Scout.
B—Baptism. Danny was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by his oldest brother, Seth.
C—College applications. Seth is a senior this year so he has spent lots of time writing essays and filling out college applications.
D—Driver’s permit. Seth got his driver’s permit earlier this year. Now to convince him that driving isn’t so bad and get him behind the wheel more.
E—Eighteen. David and Jill celebrated 18 years of marriage in June.
F—Football. Joel played football in the fall. He started out as a kicker but soon found that he showed promise as a wide receiver.
G—Gorges. We went to Ithaca on a day trip with David’s brother Sammy over Thanksgiving break. It is indeed gorges.
H—Han Solo. Seth made a convincing Han Solo with his fantastic homemade costume for Star Wars day at school and the premier.
I—Ireland. Ireland (the Cassidys’ ancestral home) was the first stop on the trip of a lifetime to Ireland, England and Scotland that Jill went on with her mom and sister.
J—Job. After nearly 17 years as a stay at home mom, Jill got a job as a substitute at a preschool/daycare.
K—Kids. This is our last year with all four kids still at home. Grades 3, 6, 9, and 12—ages 8, 11, 14, and 17.
L—Learning. We love learning. This year we’ve learned all kinds of new things like the Deseret alphabet (David) and that the English make their toast with a toaster like the rest of us (Jill—if you have no idea what I’m talking about you can visit my blog and search “toast”).
M—Music. Music is a major part of our family with 3 of 4 boys participating in multiple musical activities.
N—New York Times. New York Times science writer Carl Zimmer quoted David in an article he wrote about transgenics. Too bad it happened because a Harvard scientist scooped David’s research.
O—Orthodontia. Seth still has around six months left in braces.
P—Predilections: Jill’s blog. Check it out. All of our best adventures are recorded there, plus some other fun stuff too.
Q—Quiet. Life is never quiet around here. If you live with four boys you know what I’m talking about.
R—Running. Joel ran on the track team in the spring and is currently participating in indoor track.
S—SUNY Oswego Professor, Dr. Dunn is halfway through his third year of teaching. He remains a favorite among students (and has a chili pepper on
T—Two Funerals. The family flew to Utah in the spring for David’s grandma’s funeral and Jill went to Washington for her Grandpa’s funeral in June. We’re grateful to know that families can be together forever.
U—Utah. About a week after Jill returned from the UK, the family traveled to Utah for Grandma Cassidy’s graduation from BYU and David’s sister’s wedding.
V—Vision Therapy. Joel completed vision therapy with great results. Danny will probably begin vision therapy after the beginning of the New Year.
W—Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Jill escaped the harsh NY winter and visited her sister and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida for a week in March. It was a dream come true.
X—X-Rays. Just kidding. The only x-rays we had were at the dentist’s office, but we did have one ER visit when allergic Nate got stung by a bee.
Y—Youth. Jill and David both volunteer time to work with the youth at church. Jill continues to work in the Young Women program (girls ages 12-18). David teaches primary (children ages 4-6) in addition to his duties as a member of the Elders Quorum presidency.
Z—Zzzzz. We hope we didn’t bore you to sleep with all our news. It has been a busy year. We think of you often through the year and wish you all the best for a wonderful new year.

1 comment:

Tanya said...

I looove the alphabet newsletter. I stewed for days on ours and finally turned it over to my husband.
Also- WHY do they lose teeth at Christmas?? Smart little tooth fairy you have in NY. :)