Friday, December 26, 2008

When What To Their Wondering Eyes Should Appear...

4-Wheeler, "a bedtime bear", BB Gun & Sewing Machine

Other Christmas favorites include:
Ellie: "Sparkly pink shoes from Nana and my baby doll from Santa"
Joshua: (very first pair of) cowboy boots from Grandpa and the pink stroller from Santa !?!? (probably so I don't keep fighting Ellie for hers)
Luke: "Camouflage gloves from Mom & Dad and Cabelas shirt that Nana and Grandpa gave me."
Megan: "Gift certificate from Santa to get my ears pierced and new clothes"
(?!?!????!!! Can parents veto Santa gifts???)
Daddy: Skill saw, Seinfeld Scene It and new clothes
Mommy: Bosch mixer, Monster Truck tickets, money for new camera!!

And within hours of Christmas morning we have-a finished sewn blanket made by Megan and a plastic tent in our family room!?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Kids Are Nestled All Snug In Their Beds. . .

After our Christmas Eve dinner, and traditional Christmas Eve Family Home Evening, the kids all went to bed in their new pajamas the Pajama Fairy delivered that morning. The picture shows them with their bags (Santa doesn't wrap at our house, he fills bags!) and their stockings are close by. Tradition at our house is to leave your stocking by your bedroom door, and your bag by the tree. And off to dreamland they went....
Until Luke comes out crying, because he's thrown up. An hour later followed by Ellie who has done the same. No visions of sugar plums danced in our heads-instead we have Megan (with what Mike and I have self-diagnosed her over the years) with insomnia, Luke and Ellie throwing up every couple of hours-and Joshua-oh maybe Joshua had visions of sugar plums dancing in his head-he's the only one that slept well!!!
Somehow, someway,at some point, we must have not stirred because, Santa with his magic was able to fill stockings and fill bags while nobody awoke.
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Twas The Night Before Christmas

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After a long, complicated situation, our Formal Christmas Eve dinner is now an annual event, full of tradition. Everyone arrives in their best dress and a nice roast beef dinner is served. Christmas crackers are snapped open, jokes shared, hats worn, trinkets observed. Polite (well, as polite as all the Unwins plus Mike together can be!) conversation is enjoyed and everyone leaves room for dessert. Not necessarily, just because the chocolate trifle is yummy,

but because, hidden inside the trifle is a quarter,which if in your serving, will win you the crisp $5.00 bill that sits waiting on a displayed easel waiting for an owner. This year Casey decided we had to have an order to who gets theirs dished up first (Casey-always making it fair.) James was first, followed by each individual, anxiously, thoughtfully and suspensfully dishing up their serving of chocolate trifle. But for the first time in our 5 year history, everyone finished their serving and no quarter was after discussion whether everyone should have seconds, or have it be $10.00 next year...everyone opted for seconds...(whether you're full or not-afterall, there is money involved!) And so, for the second year in a row, Cindy became the proud owner of $5.00.
(In 5 years, we've had only 3 winners. First two years my dad, then Luke, then last year and this year Cindy.)
Dinner is the event, no program, no activities, no games. Before everyone leaves, the kids like to change into their pajamas (that the Pajama Fairy left that morning), for everyone to see, and everyone leaves wishing each other a Merry Christmas, full of excitement and anticipation to exchange gifts the next day.
We are very blessed. Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 22, 2008

(To The Tune of The 12 Days of Christmas)

Our December Christmas Memories this year will include:
Luke's First Grade Program, Uncle James' Birthday, Meeting The Grinch instead of Santa, Posing by the tree.
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Joshua's first time in the snow, dinner with Taylors, dinner with Tingeys and a kid decorated Christmas tree.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Our Christmas "Miracle"?

So, the reindeer sweater Luke "wore when he was 4" has 'magically' resurfaced. I looked up and down and in and out of everywhere to find it, to "prove" to Mr Christmas it didn't fit him anymore.

I guess I neglected one thing in my hasty search; to tell my mother I was looking for it. I showed up at her house the other day, and she casually and nonchalantly said, "Here's the reindeer sweater." I looked at it as though a Christmas miracle had occurred-instead she replied, "Granny made two. Besides, this one has always been too big for Luke." Me, the member of the family, with the near perfect memory, had forgotten that:

a. I returned the sweater to my mother for safe keeping (it should be properly handed down to my brother Casey's kids when he has them)
b. It has always been too big for Luke in years past.
c. There are two sweaters-has he already outgrown the other? Or was 'the other' sweater his size before the Mr Christmas era.

As Mike handed Mr Christmas the sweater on Thursday night, the squeal that came from Mr Christmas, was something, had we anticipated it, would most definitely have been recorded.

As I sat and looked at Luke in church yesterday, proudly wearing his Christmas sweater. I thought back to my dear Granny, who knitted the sweater 20+ years ago. Tears came to my eyes as I reflected on Christmases as a child. As we were Granny's only grandchildren, Christmas always included Granny.

I decided to find Granny's journal and see if she felt the same way about us at Christmas time. Following is written in her own words Christmas of 1986,

"Wonderful day provided by Christine, Peter and the children. A lovely Christmas dinner prepared by Christine...I shall always remember the table display and decoration. So well arranged by the two older grandchildren...Everyone enjoyed their delicious dinner and filled crackers, wore hats and exchanged jokes round the table...At 6pm we were all prepared for Pat and David Brain and children to visit us...'What my Mum and sister would have enjoyed' to see their happy faces and pleased with their many blessings...
Went to bed happy and contented with a lovely day spent with the children."

I have been blessed to have Christmas childhood memories, worth always remembering, hopefully my children will too, especially Mr Christmas and his memories of the reindeer sweater.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The State of Our Union 2008

So this is the same ole (hopefully not boring) format I have used for 7+ years now for our family Christmas card. "The State of Our Union." Some of the categories change over the years, some stay the same. And so, as not all of my blogging friends are on the Christmas card 'list.' Here it is.
Merry Christmas Friends and Family. We love you ALL.

Please note, it does not have the typo error that those on the 'list' received. I fixed the typo that said, "Favortie Vaction" (which incidentally, both words are accepted by Microsoft Word's spellchecker) to Favorite Vacation! Embarrassing, I know, but OH WELL!
(click to enlarge)

P.S. Please also note, for my brother Casey's pleasing, there are NO enlarged or colored words on this post!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Want Her Autograph?

Since singing, "I Love To See The Temple" at 21 months, and performing "The Star Spangled Banner" at age 3, in front of 30+ people at a Family Reunion, Megan has been blessed many times in her 10 years of life to share her musical talent.

A highlight of her singing, was a year ago, she was asked to record a song for the Stake Primary CD that was distributed to each Primary Child in the Stake. She beautifully sang, "If The Savior Stood Beside Me."

But, even that recording last year, didn't quite compare to the opportunity she had on Saturday. She was asked to sing and record some arrangements of Primary songs that a lady had written. Megan faithfully listened to the CD and practiced the music she was given. Singing in the professional recording studio, complete with headphones, microphones and all sorts of fancy equipment gave her a combination of nerves, excitement and pride.

We'll let you know when the CD is published.
Want a copy?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Best Kept Christmas Secret

I was telling my husband and my mother (hint, hint) that I would like a new potato masher for Christmas.

It made me recall a favorite Christmas secret I once kept. The Sunday afternoon process of mashing potatoes had caused both my mother and father to discuss the need for a hand potato masher. (We used a "mixer/blender" to do the potatoes, which once caused my father and me to make Wallpaper Paste!)

One year, as Christmas approached, my dad came to me with a shopping bag and said, "Hide this somewhere, it is a potato masher for your mother for Christmas." I was so excited, just what she had been mentioning. Well a few days later, my mother whispered, whilst holding a similar shaped shopping purchase, "We need to hide this somewhere for Dad. It is a potato masher for Christmas."

Ohhhh-Ahhhh-the agony of having to keep a straight face. But me, yes me, didn't open my little childhood, talkative mouth. I kept my mouth closed. But oh how I remember giggling on Christmas morning, when my mother and father produced out of their Christmas wrapping paper piles, their very own potato masher!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

First Time For Everything

Either Ellie doesn't get out much or I don't get out much. BUT, after careful consideration of people on my Christmas list, and strategically waiting until Megan was out of earshot, after the older kids left for school this morning, I turned to Ellie and said,

"I think we will go to the mall today."
"The mall?"
"Yes, I'm going to go get in the shower and get ready."
"And get dressed? In sweats?"
"No, not today."

As I finished showering, Ellie appeared holding her dress-up princess gown (which incidentally, she rarely wears), and suggests,
"Don't you think this is a good choice to wear to the mall."
Next thing I know, she has on the princess gown, and is holding the 'curly iron' requesting her hair to be "curly for the mall."
We did however, negotiate on regular shoes, not dress-up shoes. (As they are an adult size high, high heel!)

Finally, as we were pulling out of the driveway, and Ellie has a big smile on her face, (wishing I had a working camera,) I questioned, "Do you know what the mall is?"

Sitting on Santa's lap, eating at the food court and looking at all the sights and sounds was sheer delight for Ellie.
"Do we really have to leave yet?"

And that is what happens when you are a third child!?!
Has Ellie been deprived in her 41/2 years of life? Or am I simply, a wise mother!?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Aagh-What An Ordeal!

So our tree is finally up, straight, lit and decorated. Our hall floor and baseboards are also clean.
Setting the tree up...
Lighting the tree...
Snappy spouses...
Impatient children...
So many choices of ornaments...
Partially decorated tree falling down...
Kids jumping out of the way...
Snappy spouses fixing tree...
Impatient children...
Mr Christmas not seeming like himself...
Mr Christmas running to the bathroom...
Mr Christmas taking his head out of the toilet too soon...
Daddy cleaning hall...
Mommy finishing the tree...
Big sister getting bucket for Mr Christmas to lay on the couch...
Mother cheering up Mr Christmas by saying, "Look on the bright side, you can stay home all day tomorrow and stare at the Christmas tree."
Little sister exclaiming, "I'll stare at the tree with you all day tomorrow."
Crazy camera so no pictures to prove anything...
Didn't I once tell you Christmas is NOT my favorite holiday???!!??!?!

Does He Think We Smoke?

So, those that know us well, know Mike and I do not enjoy movies. In our family, Megan is about the only one that enjoys watching a movie once a week or so. For the rest of us, it is a rare occurrence. However, we obliged our children on Friday afternoon and sat down and watched 'Home Alone' with them (that I quite enjoyed!).

Well, Saturday evening rolled around, and our children wanted to do "Family Movie Night again." It is such a novelty at our house to sit and watch a movie, that Mike and I had to sit in the front room, while the kids prepared the family room for the occasion. Upon arrival to the family room which had blankets, pillows and the love sac anxiously awaiting occupants, the following sign hung on the wall. Look closely on the middle left, and see if you can tell what Luke 'sounded out' to write.


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