Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving Week

The festivities began on Tuesday when Caden's pre-school class had their "feast." It was so cute. The kids had all made costumes to be either a Pilgrim or an Indian. They also had learned some songs that they performed for the parents. Caden had been singing them over the past couple of weeks. Well, I don't know why this is the case, but the minute there are lots of people around Caden turns into a mommy magnet. His class has had a few party's and he is always so excited to go. Once we get there, and he sees all the parents...he just won't let go of me. He refuses to participate (you can see there are no pictures of him here.) I just don't know what to do. I want him to have fun, but he just doesn't seem to adjust to changes well. He really is a man of routine, and if something is different he completely shuts down. It really worries me. Do you have any suggestions of what you think I could do to help him adjust better?

Then of course, came the actual day of celebration. We started out by going over to visit with Shawn's dad. Shawn's parents are divorced so it is always crazy around the holidays as we try to visit everyone. We don't get over to his dad's very often so this was a nice treat. The kids were able to spend some time with "grandpa" before he had to go into work that afternoon. Lorraine's (Shawn's stepmom) son Brian and his wife Krista were there too. Most of Lorraine's kids live in Wyoming so it was nice to visit with them too.
Every year my sister has "Maya's Thanksgiving/Birthday Party." My niece was born on Nov. 28 so it is always easy to have the family birthday party combined with Thanksgiving. The kids always have so much fun. They LOVE to go to Nancy's house! She rents a bouncer every year, and the kids play to their hearts content. It is nice because I can relax, and just let them run free! The food was great, and I was stuffed.

This year we got a real nice treat when my cousin Artie (His wife, Amber, has a blog & also owns Beauty Queen Boutique) put on a show for the kids. He used to do this skit years ago, and had my Aunt Sheri make a costume for the occasion. The kids got a kick out of it, and I have to say it really was entertaining. We taped it, so here is the debut (if you don't see it here now - check back later, I am in the process of uploading it.) ...Hopefully he won't be too embarrassed that I put this on here.
We really had a great time, and the kids had wore themselves out so much that they were asleep within minutes of driving away from Nancy's!

The next day probably should have been spent running around getting the 'best deals', but I just wasn't into it this year. In fact, I have no desire to go out and buy my kids any more toys! I have decided this year they will be getting one toy from Santa, but the 'present' from us will be something that we will do together. Do you have any ideas of unique gifts that I could give that doesn't involve toys! It may sound crazy, but I am just sick of all the junk. I would rather have something that they can really look back and remember as something special.

Instead of shopping, we spent the day putting up all our inside Christmas decorations (we hope to get our outside lights up next weekend). Caden had alot of fun unwrapping each of the ornaments. One of the things that we have begun doing is getting an ornament for the tree whenever we go on a vacation. So then when we are hanging the ornaments we talk about where we got each one. We also get a new ornament for each member of the family that signifies something about that person for the year. It will be fun as the years pass, and we get more and more to hang on the tree. We do have a "fake" tree. I would love to have a "real" one, but succumbed to the pressure when I realized if I held out for a real one that we wouldn't have it up until a few days before Christmas. Now I set it up as soon as I can so that we can enjoy it all month long! (Thank goodness for Gold Canyon Candles -- then I don't miss out on the smell of a live tree!) Anyway, here are some pictures of our tree. I really love the way it looks when it is dark. There is nothing better than coming around the corner, and seeing the glow. Christmas really is a wonderful time!
One thing that I want to do more for my kids, is establish more traditions that they really can look forward to. Because we live by both of our families, I feel that sometimes we don't have any traditions that we do with just Shawn, me & the kids. I want my children to not only love being with their extended family, but to also realize that we alone are a special unit.

What are some traditions that you have done with your families to help build unity and memories that they can cherish?

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Melanie and Will said...

Crystal your tree is very pretty!!! It looks huge too! Especially compared to our "Charlie Brown" tree! lol

Heather said...

Beautiful tree! I love Christmas and all the traditional hype that goes with it, not the Commercial hype! I don't have any suggestions for new traditions but like what you have already started.

sheri said...

Crystal, That was great with that video of Artie! You sure manage to get some fun things on your blog. Your tree is beautiful too!

Stina said...

hahahahaha!! i hope you get lots of comments on this post because this is what MY last post was about basically. the traditions thing anyway. i know onething that my family did when i was at home (we didn't start till i was older tho) was to go christmas caroling on christmas eve...i thought that would be fun to grab another friend and their family (it's not as fun with just the few of us) and make christmas goodies and go out caroling too. that way we could spend some time and tire the kids out TOO so they sleep quickly :) (maybe drive around looking at christmas lights too to mellow them out if they got wound up) and also be able to spend some nice family time.

Katie J. Layton said...

Kendra is the same way around people, even if it is TWO people she doesn't know. I was the same exact way when I was little and so was Brian, so she has no hope. Just joking. But, in my opinion, there is really nothing we can do. I had to learn on my own and I guess Kendra does too.

I LOVE your Christmas tree. YOu would laugh at our Christmas tree.

Okay, we are the same about the whole present thing. I am so sick of toys and crud all over the place. We are trying to make Christmas about the celebration of Jesus birth. One thing we do each year is make a cake with our kids and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus with a ton of candles. The kids love it and it really puts the attention on how it is Jesus Birthday. Also, we have a Christmas jar that sits out all year and anyone in the family can throw extra change or money in the jar. We take the jar and buy Christmas presents for a child that would not have Christmas otherwise. This puts the attention on giving instead of receiving. We also have a bon fire every MOnday night for FHE and roast marshmellows. While we roast marshmellows we tell the story of Jesus birth. We talk about what we are going to do for Jesus birthday and then we top it off by singing Christmas songs.

Okay, this post is forever long. I would love to hear other people's Christmas traditions, at least the ones that actually have to do with Jesus.

I am excited to see you and Shawn this month.

Staci said...

Sounds like a FUN Thanksgiving!!!

I was going to tell you to buy your kids Christmas Ornaments, since you don't really want to do toys this year...and then you went on to say you already do! That is one thing we did every year & wrote the year of the ornament on the bottom w/a we can look back & I have an ornament for EVERY year:)

FUN FAMILY TRADITION: 12 days of Christmas for someone in the neighborhood(maybe your kids are too young for this??) We have waffles/icecream/strawberries for Christmas breakfast-I love that tradition! You can read the nativity/act it out on Christmas Eve???

Scribbit said...

WE always cut our CHristmas tree--but that's another post.

Looks like you had a great holiday!

Bowman Family said...

Wow! You've been busy! I love the tree. You look phenomenal in the picture at the top of your blog by the way. Glad your Thanksgiving went well!

Abbie said...

Check out this blog for some great ideas of things to do with your kids for Christmas. Any of the ideas could become your own traditions.

Tonya said...

That is a funny video! Thanks for sharing that :)

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