Thursday, December 26, 2013


We drew names during FHE about two weeks before Christmas.  RJ got Reagan and decided to make her a dress.  I thought it was ambitious since he didn’t have a lot of time and I couldn’t help him much with deciphering the pattern.  We hit a roadblock when he got to the sleeves (even though they were the more “simple” cap sleeves).  After hours, phone calls and requested help from a friend, we decided to go rouge and follow directions backward.  It worked!  RJ finally finished the dress at midnight on Christmas Eve (as you can see from the big clock in the background).  He did an amazing job and had a lot of fun doing it.  I am so proud of him.  My only fear was that Reagan wouldn’t wear it.  I think we will both cry if she doesn’t.

I didn’t feel like Christmas to me when I went to bed.  It had come so fast!  We didn’t do our regular Christmas Eve activities and I started to feel bad about having such a small Christmas.  I didn’t think about it but we only got the kids one gift.  They got something from Santa of course and we did our name draw.  I mostly felt sick about RJ’s Christmas.  I just got him something practical and the two un-fun things that he asked for.



Hunter woke McKenna up at 3 a.m. because he thought his clock said 8!  I worried that they wouldn’t go back to sleep.  McKenna struggled and ended up on the floor in our room around 4.  Reagan woke up at 5 so I went and laid by her until I heard McKenna scream from my room.  She had gotten in our bed so I climbed in beside her.  When she head butted me, I kicked her out and we finally all slept until 7:20 when Hunter came back into our room asking if it was time yet.  We read the strips of paper we had put in the manger, sang Away in a Manger and did a group hug before heading down.

The kids opened their stockings and I put the cinnamon rolls in the oven.  We did a group chat with Uncle Robert who is serving a mission in Johanessburg South Africa and will be coming home in March.  I was amazed that Kevin got so many people chatting at once.  It was a great thing to do Christmas morning though the kids got tiresome and were down right done with the video chat by 9:30 am.


Santa brought RJ a grey pinstriped suit.  He brought me a piano bench that opens to store books.  Hunter got a leather football just his size with legitimate receiving gloves.  McKenna got a giant bin of craft stuff (rainbow loom with bands, beginner knitting kit, 3D coloring pages, make a face sticker pages, model magic and a mermaid mosaic).  Reagan got a kiddie camera that takes digital pictures, video and has several games along with two crafty things.


Over a month ago, RJ ordered a compound bow and some arrow for Hunter for Christmas.  They have not yet arrived so we printed off a picture of the bow and told him it will be here within five days.



McKenna wanted a kids foot spa with hundreds of jelly like beads in it.  It was $40 and electric so we decided to get a grown up one that plugs in for $20 and purchase the Orbeez separately for $7.  She loves it and has used it 3 times in 24 hours!


Reagan loves to play games but the ones we have that are age appropriate are getting old.  We bought her the game “Cootie.”


I had Hunter’s name this year and as is tradition, we try to give homemade gifts.  Hunter has been sleeping in Reagan’s old room which was decorated with ballerina decor.  I decided to masculinize it.  I made a window treatment and target to put in front of his laundry basket.



When I asked Reagan who the best daddy ever was, she pointed to RJ and said “he is.”  However, she refused to try the dress on yesterday.  We are crossing our fingers that she will wear it Sunday.


Hunter made this memory book for me.  It had pictures of us over the past two years in it.  It was really sweet.

McKenna made an emergency car kit for RJ.  She helped cut the fabric, press the peddle or guide the needle, choice the contents with some help and wrapped it.


I stressed over what to help Reagan make for McKenna and decided that since McKenna really needed pants and a long sleeve shirt, Reagan could simply pick it out.  She took long enough to decide that she could have made something.


Hunter gave something to everyone.  He made this cute nutcracker filled with popcorn for RJ.  One of the most touching gifts of the day was what he did for Reagan.  He gave her his allowance for one and a half weeks.  He’s only received two weeks worth so it was an impressive sacrifice.


RJ got me some really fun necklaces, a pink fleece over shirt, scarf, face cream and made an amazing date list.  He did a great job.  I loved everything he did.



I felt so bad about RJ getting one gift from me that I wanted to do something that wouldn’t cost anything but let him know how much I love and need him.  I wrote this and put it in a frame that we already had.  A lot of it is personal and has deeper meaning than can be understood from the outside.

You Are

The still in my frenzy The bend in my fixation The silly in my stern The brake in my hasten The patience in my rush The salt in my sweet The support in my ambition The strength in my softness The fantasy in my reality The handy in my tool belt The thrift in my spend The relax in my white knuckles The start in my finish The sensitivity in my hardness The curiosity in my fear The fulcrum in my teeter totter…

You Give My Lift Balance

I also got him a hand drill and USB cable that connects to his phone so he can download pictures (since those are the things he asked for).  In the end, I picked wrong so he will have to exchange them both.

Grandma/pa Reeve sent a box filled with fun books for the kids, some kitchen utensils and RJ’s annual knife from his dad.


My parents gave us towels that match our bedding, two movies and a book.  We also received money from Grandma Blanche and Poulson.  They are always so generous.

Amanda got us a family game and gave the kids each something (Pokémon cards, princess calendar, light up wand).


Dave and Christine had our name on my side of the family and they gave us a really cute FHE chart (which we have needed since we have never had one) and super fun colorful matching knives and cutting boards.

Michelle Kiesner bought kids each something before going to Columbia for Christmas.  They got all kinds of candy, notepads and toys as well as a dog movie.


RJ made the kids’ videos and put them on the tree.  RJ got a kick out of watching herself this last year and listening to the music RJ picked.  I love this gift that he does as well.  It’s always fun to look back at the good times.



Santa left our family a deep fryer and a box of 8 puzzles.

We had so much going on all day that I didn’t feel one bit of regret for getting them each one present.  Our living room still seemed to be busting at the seems and we couldn’t keep up with everything they were pulling out and putting together.


We ate a ham dinner with cheesy scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls, roasted carrots and pumpkin pie.

We finally sat down at the end of the day to watch Despicable Me 2 (a gift from grandma/pa Morrison).  It was a really great Christmas.

Christmas Eve

We spend the day at home, cleaning, finishing up Christmas presents, baking and wrapping.  The Hillyards invited us over for an early dinner.  After hanging out in our pajamas all day, I talked the kids into getting dressed and even got to curl the girls’ hair!  I had to take pictures.  RJ had painted their nails on Sunday.  Beth made this bracelet for Reagan two years ago and I finally got her to wear it!  So many victories.



Hunter surprised me.  He told me he wouldn’t wear anything nice (sweats only).  I figured as long as he changed his underwear, it wasn’t worth the battle.  He snuck into my bathroom and put gel in his hair, clipped his own fingernails and put on his nice clothes (jeans)!



We had a lot of fun with Tim and Lisa and their family.  When we got home, we let the kids open their pajamas but were clean out of time for Miracle on 34th Street and reading Luke 2 as planned.  We did manage to sing a few Christ centered Christmas songs, read scriptures (BofM) and pray.  I bribed the kids to go straight to bed with an extra respect ticket.  Hunter won but the girls took the competition seriously and it paid off.


Reagan’s jammies lasted about 30 seconds.  She is VERY particular about her clothes these days.  She only wants to wear dresses, three specifically (no tights, leggings, socks, undershirts, sweaters…)