Christmas 2013

We were brave and went to the mall on a Saturday to visit Santa.  The line wasn't that bad, and Mike was even okay with going too.  He hates the mall and the idea of having to pay for a picture to sit on Santa's lap, but I told him to get over and and we're creating memories.  :)

We were afraid Eden would have a tough time sitting on Santa's lap, but she did great!  Shalom was the one going crazy throwing a fit afterwards not wanting to leave the mall.
 Right after the mall, we drove over to the Midland stake center to see over 300 nativity displays and a live nativity.  It was so beautiful and Shalom sat still the whole time during the live nativity!  There was a room for kids to make their nativity.  Shalom and her friend, Ryder, were so proud of theirs!

 Fun times playing outside in the dirt and rocks!  Roxy loves playing with the rocks:  catching them, dragging them, whatever she can do with them.  Ella is enjoying freedom after living in a crate for a year!  
It almost looks like the dogs are listening to whatever Eden has to say.

I think they will grow to become great pals!
Shalom loves playing with Hayden and Ryder!  They came over to play one day, and we found Arlene (our neighbor across from out garage) outside with her dog.  Shalom and Eden ran over and gave her a hug.  Ryder said, "I want one of those!"  He walked over to Arlene, whom he had never met, and got a hug from her too.  So cute!!  They are playing in the back of her brand new car!  Such a sweet lady!
 Santa came to our ward Christmas breakfast!  I sure do love Shalom's age where Santa is so special and exciting and everything is so magical!

I'd say it was time for her to get her haircut after over a year!  She was so excited!  She sat still the whole time!  If only she would do that for me!

Shalom's birthday party on her birthday, the 17th!  I tried not to go all out for her birthday party just to keep things simple.  I let some of the kids play upstairs until all the rest of them got here and then they all decorated tree-shaped sugar cookies.  Then, I thought I had a bright idea to read How the Grinch Stole Christmas and have the kids pin a heart on the Grinch afterwards, but the kids were so restless while I was reading the book.  I just said, "Forget it!"  I didn't want to stress out too much over it or make the kids do something.  All I really wanted was for Shalom to feel loved, and I hope she did.  I am so grateful for her and to be her mother!

Poor Roxy had to be outside because some of the kids get scared of her. 

My sweet birthday girl!
Shalom's friend, Cara, had so much fun piling on icing and sprinkles.  I don't even think she ate it.

Thursday, the 19th, Shalom had a pajama/Christmas party at her preschool.

 Christmas Eve, some of our friends went Christmas caroling with us.  We always have a lot of fun, and it seems like we bring someone different along each year.  (Last year, I tried to make really cool, different kinds of treats to give away.  This time, I decided to make all simple treats which made my life a lot easier!) 

As I was setting up the girls' presents from Santa, I couldn't help but think about how my parents must've felt the night before as they were putting our gifts together.  I think it is so much more exciting and fun to be the gifter than the gifted.  

We were definitely blessed this Christmas season!  
The girls in their new Minnie Mouse pajamas from Big Daddy.
Shalom got a new scooter from Big Daddy and GiGi for Christmas.  This was her third day trying to ride it, and she did awesome!  Mike would say to her, "Push, push, ride!"  I think it helped a lot!

New Year's Eve, we went to the Bird's house to celebrate with lots of other friends!  We had a lot of fun just hanging out and shooting fireworks!  I'm sure we were great guests because Shalom ended up peeing her pants and had to wear Hudson's boy underwear and pants while Eden's diaper leaked poop and her to wear Charlotte's pants

Shalom always has so much with Erin!  I love how Erin will stop by to pick up Shalom to take her somewhere!
Snuggling and happy right before Eden got scared from the fireworks.
End of the night/year hug with Roxy!
We had a great Christmas season by trying to make things simple and by focusing on the true meaning.  Shalom was so sad when I took all the decoration down she was crying the whole time.  I think it's sweet that she loves all the decorations and the whole spirit of the holiday!

After the  NYE party, on the way home, I told Mike that that was a nice way to end the night/year.  He said, "Well, almost."  He showed me an email on his phone that showed that he signed me up to go on England, Ireland, and Whales 10 day trip with my mom and Amy.  I couldn't believe it!  He is way too good to me!