28 December 2014

Christmas Eve



















Christmas Eve was simply wonderful. Justin had the day off from work. The kids and parents needed to get out of the house for a while. The roads were pretty dry so we headed to Sterling just in time for lunch at our favorite restaurant, Santiago's for pork carnitas. Yum. Then we went to Walmart. Yes, we are exciting and took all kids to Walmart. Justin decided to update his eye prescription because he lost his sunglasses and needs a new pair. While he was engaged in that the kids and I did a little shopping. I got new bath towels to replace our stinky ones. The kids each got a special toy from the money Grandpa and Grandma Call sent them. Amelia chose a puppy called Candy (a zoomer puppy), Everett chose a puppy as well, and Phillip chose 3 Imaginex spaceships just in case Santa brought him the Super Nova Battle Rover. After that we drove back home.

I hurriedly started the sourdough bread with a starter I maintained for 2 weeks. The bread smelled delish as I let it raise. While the bread did its magic. I had a super quick photo session with a family whose son and brother were visiting for the holidays for the first time in years. The bread was taking much longer than anticipated so the kids decorated a gingerbread house while I worked on shaping dough. Justin helped each kid decorate their name initial on the roof. Justin helped me prep the clam chowder by frying up bacon, and cutting onions and potatoes. Our neighbor, Kelly and her son Zane came over to join in our evening. The bread smelled heavenly. Together we made the best clam chowder ever. It was not too thick or thin, the bacon crispy, and the spices perfect! Only took us 10 years to make the best chowder ever! Yum. Kelly was duly impressed with the chowder and bread. Everett ate three slices of bread, rather the soft bread middles and left the crusts lonely. Amelia ate her soup! After dinner the kids wanted to do another round of the Nativity! Justin volunteered to be the donkey. He looked like a real a$$. He he. Zane volunteered to be baby Jesus. Amelia was in heaven with a real baby around. Ynnej knocked on the windows and rang the doorbell right after Kelly left. She left a bag filled with gifts and some candy. The kids tore into the packages to find the expected PJs. Soon all the kids were PJ'd up and chowing down candy. Amelia got a real kick this year out of the Santa tracking app on Justin's phone. Amelia left some chocolate milk for Rudolph since he whined about wanting some last year. We read some books then got the kids in bed. Phillip was so excited he did not fall asleep until almost 9:45.

Santa enjoyed the smaller pile of gifts this year. It only took an hour to arrange everything and get the magic spread around the living room. I pinned a blanket to the hallway and hall closet door to keep little curious people (Phillip) from wandering down the hall during the night. I was sure, almost 100% that the kids would get up at 4 am. Thus I spent a restless night in fear of missing an errant wandering child. The kids did not wake up until 7:30! Dang! I remember getting up at 3 and 4 and 5 in the morning.

Slicing More Than Strawberries
























We were very excited for 14 days of Christmas break. So excited we invited Murphy's Law into our home to damper our plans. I allow my kids at a young-ish age to handle knives, mostly butter knives or my small paring knives. Everett was cutting the tops off strawberries in the kitchen. I went into the living room to watch Amelia and Phillip's pillow pet parade and take a video. The video is really cute until the end. Everett handed me the knife to put away. I grasped it on the flat edge when Everett suddenly decided he wanted it back, turned the blade into my thumb and yanked with all his might. He cut a deep incision about 3 mm deep, 4 wide. The knife sliced an artery (or two) which cause a fountain of blood to pump out of my thumb. Nothing could prepare me for the scene of my thumb dangling open spurting blood. I was a little slow on the uptake, finally realizing my thumb was in trauma I grabbed it with my other hand and squeezed it hard to stop the blood. I ran to the sink and yelled for Amelia to call Dad. She did, only telling him "mommy is bleeding on the floor! Come home quick!" I hear Justin tore out of his work building and was home in less than 4 minutes. I was really close to fainting from watching my blood pump out of my thumb, I laid down on a pile of dirty laundry waiting for Justin. He burst in and tried to pick me up, his work badge got stuck in my hair. I told him to find me some shoes and a coat since I was still in my PJs. He called our neighbor, Kelly to come over and take care of the kids. We rushed to the ER for some assistance. The Dr on call stabbed my thumb (which hurt more than the actual cut) with a mixture of epinephrine and numbing agent. Justin and I got queasy watching her stab my thumb while blood was squirting out. After the shots (five shots total) the blood flow slowed down enough for the Dr to take a look. We could see the tendons and a glimpse of bone, grisly and cool at the same time. Justin left the room while the Dr sewed up my thumb, two dissolvable stitches and 8 surface stitches. As quickly as the trauma happened it was all over. I went home with a comically bandaged thumb and finished the day filled with laundry, cleaning, lots of errands, cookie making, and FHE. I am so grateful to Amelia for thinking on her feet, to Justin for saving me, and Kelly for watching my crazy crew.

My thumb started to hurt after dinner. It was very numb before that time. We enjoyed a lovely family home evening with the Rognon family. I usually make doughnuts to take around to our neighbors. Those plans were nixed with my lovely thumb-cident. The kids and I made sugar cookies the evening before so we just decorated those with sprinkles and frosting instead. Our 8 kids enacted the Nativity story, two or three times. Phillip made a cute donkey...he sure sounds like one sometimes. Elena dressed up as Mary, Amelia as the angel. The boys kept morphing between characters. I think Everett was a shepherd sheep the entire time. Even with all the crazy going on the simple and miraculous nature of the Nativity touched our hearts. Justin showed the bible videos of the birth story after the kids acted it out. Then we got dirty! Soon four bowls of frosting lay rocking and rolling as kids licked butter knives and tried to focus long enough to frost the cookies. Soon piles of sprinkles and oodles of frosting graced sugar cookies. Yum. I think Phillip ended up with frosting cookies.

Tuesday it snowed. Tuesday it was windy...I mean blizzard windy. What do my crazy kids do? They run outside in PJs, robes, socks, and a blanket to frolic in the snow. Amelia said it was AWESOME. She keeps talking about it so the experience must have been impressionable. I sent the kids out later appropriately dressed to play in the snow. Amelia roped me into painting faces again. Phillip had a cool lion face that lasted about 5 minutes. Amelia chose a cute fairy mask. Everett asked for creepy carrots on his face. Justin keeps finding carrots on the floor around the house. Instead of throwing the carrots away he sneaks the carrots into Everett's bed. Everett is totally delighted each time he finds a creepy carrot in his bed. The kids are convinced Ynnej puts the carrots there.

Evelyn and I braved the snow after dark to collect a couple crucial items from Walmart. Course our Walmart did not have what I needed.

***Sad, Sad day. Evelyn is completely weaned. She weaned herself last week. Now she carries around apple sauce packets like a lost soul instead of nursing.

Christmas Day 2014





















Phillip woke us up at 7:30 with a valiant war whoop that petered out to a "whaaaat is covering the hallway?" I laughed knowing the temporary barrier worked. I showed him where Santa left his stocking. He and Amelia immediately tore into their stockings. He was delighted that Santa left him teeny tiny pickles in a tiny container. His slinky only retained its shape about 10 minutes. He mangled it up into a wire purse for Mia. Everett slunk in wondering why it was so loud.  Eventually he caught on that Santa left him a "socking" and presents. After Evelyn woke up I got the lights and music on for effect. After the kids raced into the room chaos exploded. I remember Phillip whooping and repeatedly yelling "boo-yah!" over his Battle Rover. Amelia was delighted with the pottery wheel. Everett was clueless and wandered around until Phillip found a teddy bear sitting on a Christmas tree branch. Evelyn grabbed a fruit pack and sat on the floor until I opened her food. Everett opened a bunch of power ranger keys, he was so worried there was no weapon to plug the keys in to. We solved that problem quickly. Each kid got a fun lantern from Cabela's, they insisted on eating breakfast under the table with their camping lights. We breakfasted on sausages, eggs, and pop tarts. 

It snowed over night and through the day, vertical snow! We enjoyed a lazy day tucked in at home with lots of fun gifts and the best company. Amelia learned how to throw a basic pot, then threw two more on her own. She had clay splattered on her face, she insisted the splatters stay to remind her about her new talent. Phillip was beside himself while Justin added the accessories to the Battle Rover. It is the coolest toy ever. The ships he got the day before can attackntge rover and the rover will detect the ships then sound alarms. It launches a space ship and shoots various disks. The boys disappeared for hours while they played. At one time Phillip raced by with Evelyn perched on the battle rover holding on for dear life. Everett mostly played Power Rangers with his keys and power weapons. Evelyn spent the day picking up forgotten pieces of candy, looking like a forgotten orphan with sticky face, hair, and hands. She sat on a gift bow after one diaper change, it stuck to her cute buns much to our delight. 

The kids and I watched a movie piled on the couch in ultimate snuggling formation. We played new games and tried out gifted crafts. Instead of making the elaborate ham dinner I planned Justin suggested having only hordurves for dinner. DONE. After dinner we cleaned up a bit. The best part of the entire day was sitting piled on the love seat singing Christmas songs as new snow fell outside. Simply a perfect day. 

**We also got to Skype with Elder Lance and then my crazy family. We talked via phone with the Calls and the James Lances. Elder Lance looks great! He is doing all the right things to serve the Lord. I loved that my kids could see him and reconnect that this is the missionary we pray for so often.