Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Holidays

It is always so nice and busy to be home with the families for the holidays. This time around was no different.

When we arrived we had so many great things to do with the family. There was the Spencer girls ritual of shopping...a must at least once a month. I was just glad to finally get to join them. Connor playing in the snow (he HATES it....gets that from me). Todd taking an opportunity to draw up an addition for Hazel, Abi being blessed and a reunion with the Hawaii friends. Did I forget to mention shopping for these awesome lamps with Tonya and Alicia, Prom Dress shopping with Kelli, getting my hair colored by Jeanette, Spencer family pictures...the list goes on.

It is so nice having the parents living just a few doors apart from one another. It makes for easy holiday commuting. It is nicer that the parents are willing to make the holiday events work side by side with each other.

Christmas Eve morning Abi was blessed by her daddy and her cousin Mylee was blessed also. The Riches boys sang "Were you there" was beautiful. So many of our closest friends and family were there at the blessing. The Evans from our ward in Taylorsville (next door neighbors and my visiting teacher), The Purba's (Jill is my best friend from Logan), The Lazo's, Sorensen's, and Auntie Rachael from Hawaii. The Bender's (my best friend from Murray), Grandma and Grandpa Spencer, Grandma and Grandpa White, Grandpa Riches and ALL the Riches immediate family and ALL the Spencer's immediate family. It was fantastic. That is what heaven will be like. All of our favorite people (okay, all the people listed above are just A FEW of our favorite people, but some of them just couldn't make it).

After church, we went over to my folks house to celebrate the blessings with the Spencer family. Yummy food!!! Then it was time to take naps before the evenings events took place.

We always spend Christmas Eve with the Riches at Grandpa Riches house. (Christmas Eve afternoon we see a matinee with the Spencer side, but seeing as how it was Sunday, that just wasn't do-able). We enjoyed the yummy food there and SURPRISE! Santa Clause busted in on the party. Only one person in the whole room knew that he was going to come. It was so great to see all of the adults looking around at each other and saying "Did you know?". My face went red as I realized who was playing the part of Santa....none other than Papa Bud. Only two kids were afraid of him, Tyson and Connor....his own grandson was afraid of him. It was the highlight of the evening. The adults did a white elephant gift exchange.

MEL'S FEELINGS ABOUT WHITE ELEPHANT GIFTS That is the best way to exchange gifts between adults. No deep thoughts, no feelings of guilt, no need to return, no hard feelings. Just fun. We gave an unused $20 gift card to Red Lobster wrapped with some nasty looking edible teeth and a $5 gift card to McDonalds with marshmallow Fries with sour "ketchup and Marshmallow Hamburger (YUCK!!!! Talk about a sugar overload for the person who eats that). We got a bowl full of chocolate (heaven!) and the DVD "Adventures in Babysitting." It was great.

Christmas Morning we spend at mom and dad Riches. She makes the most delicious "Christmas Morning Casserole". The whole White family was there and we did yet another White Elephant gift exchange. This time around we gave a hideous lamp that Tonya was going to donate to the D.I. and a box of chocolates that Todd, Connor and I had half eaten. Ken took a picture of us enjoying the goodies and we placed the picture inside the box. It was a great hit. We got in exchange a pop-up clothes hamper and a small hand-held drill.

The Spencer family party consisted of a turkey, and all the trimmings. We opened gifts which were exchanged between couples and cousins. Will had Connor and he gave him a really nice set of twistable crayons and a coloring book. Connor loves to "tunnet" (his word for color). Yoshi picked out Abi's gift, a little toy to hang from her car seat that is an Octopus.

When we had our Hawaii friends get together, it was way too short. I don't feel like we were all given enough time to catch up with one another. I had held off asking questions in emails for a few months in order to build up the excitement and anticipation of seeing one another. I learned that it is better to ask the questions when they come to your mind, because, you may not get the chance in the future, even though your intentions are good.

The remaining days in Utah were spent packing, and repacking, and unpacking and packing again. Dwindling our belongings to only what we could bring with us. I couldn't fit my scrapbooks and supplies in, so hopefully when the next wave of visitors come, they can bring them along.

Silly Side Note Scrapbooking is my therapy. Some people to prozac, I scrap. It can sometimes be more expensive then a little pill, but the end result, those beautiful books, brings joy to me every time I look at them. I am going through withdrawals right now not having my supplies. I have even begun selecting pictures and page layouts for the next book, in anticipation of my "medicine."

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