I think I've been putting off this post because it was such an amazing, wonderful Christmas and I don't know that I will do it justice! Prepare yourself for an onslaught of pictures! This year we decided to drive to Idaho to be with my family for Christmas. Nathan hadn't seen some of them in over 3 years and he'd never met his new brothers-in-law! Almost everyone would be there and we didn't know when it would happen again - with a family as big as ours it's a miracle to get us all together - so we just bit the bullet and did it! We missed Kelyn, Spencer, and the boys so much. It would have been perfection if they'd been there! We started our "little" trip on Tuesday the 21st at 5:00 pm. Good thing we have a van (the bullet) - it was jam packed with luggage and presents and goodies and blankets!
That's not really our van - but awesome, right? I made it about 4 hours before getting pulled over. What can I say?! I like to go fast - especially on the freeway in the middle of nowhere. And really, I wasn't going that fast! I think the police man clocked me at 72 which means I was probably only going 78ish before I slowed down. The speed limit changes to 65 at night (it's 75 during the day). Anyway, he was such nice old cowboy policeman. I loved his Texan accent! He gave me a warning and sent me on my way. =) I didn't get pulled over again. My kids are angel travelers! The girls slept the entire time. Brenan woke up when we switched drivers in El Paso at 1 AM and he laughed and talked to himself until 5 AM. What a goofball! The weather was great until we got to Price Canyon and even then it wasn't so bad. We made it to Rexburg in 24 hours!
Day 1: We played on the snow hill behind my parent's house for a lot of the day. Nathan and Dusty built a "snow angel". Basically, it was a snow man with wings and it was pretty awesome. I can't believe we didn't get one with the two of them but here is the proof:
Keslie is an animal in the snow! Joseph built a snow jump and we were all sledding down the hill trying to catch it. I went down with Tess and we caught it! We laughed so hard! Anyway, Keslie went down backwards, by herself, and caught the jump and it was hilarious to watch! She thought it was so cool - nothing phased her! Luckily, my mom took a bunch of pictures of them playing on the snow hill. I was either playing in the snow myself or in the house getting warm!!
My maniac Keslie girl!
Anika and Keslie after a sled trip together.
Keslie and Uncle Brandon. He is crazy - what is he doing out there in shorts?!
Here is my beanie girl.
Anika preferred the slower pace of stomach sledding. =)
Here is an action shot of Raylee and Dusty catching the jump!
Doesn't this picture just catpture Anika in all of her cute 7 year oldness? I love her.
My mom managed to round up a bunch of extra snow clothes. A lot of them were from the 80's. I love how Kasey tried one on and then modeled for us! Haha!
That night we watched the season 5 finale of Psych. Have you started watching it yet? If not, you should. It's the best show ever. I love these dorky promo commercials they do!
Anyway, It was a good first day. Great to be with my family.
Christmas Eve: My mom ordered a bunch of cool project stuff from the Oriental Trading Co. It kept all of us busy for awhile. =)
There were these cool ornaments that you could scrape off the black and there was bright colors underneath. This one was my favorite.
And foamie gingerbread houses:
Here are some of them from the back and cute Amber doing a pose!
Keslie and Brenan helped Grandma Kivett get started on the sugar cookies for Santa. The love to help in the kitchen!
We all had fun decorating them!
I just want to gobble him up! He is so fabulously, to die for, cute! I know, I'm just a little biased. Haha! Here is my sweet, little Anika. Isn't she looking so grown up?!
Here I am with a few of my cute sisters.
Alyssa, Brittney, Me, and Amber
Me and my Bubba Lind (that's what I called him when he was a one year old!). He's a full fledged teenager now. Good grief.
Next on the agenda was to act out the Nativity. My mom managed to get some super cute costumes so everyone was decked out!! Here are the performers:
And some more Nativity costume pictures:
Amber, Kasey, Keslie, and Brayton
Doesn't Nathan make quite the handsome wise man?
The 3 wise men (Addison, Kasey, and Nathan) and a little shepherd boy.
Mary and Joseph (Raylee and Brayton)
The angels - Keslie, Baylie, and Anika
The shepherds - Dusty, Joseph, Brandon, and Carlie
Hannah, Alyssa, and Me
Kasey, Amber, and Kes
Tess, Addison, and Joseph got a hold of my camera - this is one of my favorites!
Me and Nathan - snugglin' in the pj's. =)
We took lots of pictures on Christmas eve - all of us got new pj pants from Grammy with a white top so of course we had to pose! These are the pictures that are just not complete because Kel isn't there!
Here are all the kids and grandkids:
And the goofy face one because we ALWAYS have to have one of those!! =)
Mom and Dad and the couples:
Mom and Dad and the kids!
Just the girls (and Brandon in the background). Side note: We watched a bunch of home videos (as always!) while we were there. The one I love is of Me, Britt, and Kel doing a music video to Tearin' Up My Heart and Brandon is in the kitchen making a sandwich. We had no idea he was there and were just jamming away and every few minutes Brandon (11 years old at the time) would start doing a dorky dance to make fun of us. It's hilarious to watch!
It's so fun that we have so many guys in the family now!
Mom and Dad
Britt, Dusty, Brayton, and Raylee
Amber and Kasey (coming up on 1 year!)
Kensi and Brett (getting married next week!!)
Tessa and Addison - been married for 4 months!
After we got the kids in bed we played some Mafia and the animal game. It was a blast! We've never had that many people for the animal game before so we had to invent a few new animals. My personal favorite was the human. Unfortunately, we were all having too much fun to document it. We did last minute Christmas prep and then headed to bed. =)
Christmas Day: I think it started at 6:30 or 7 am. I can't remember! Santa really outdid himself this year! Even the marrieds got their stockings stuffed! The stocking is my favorite part of Christmas I think. ESPECIALLY when were at my parents house. Haha! Nathan got a Droid Incredible for Christmas and he LOVES it!
Brenan loved his new cars and has played with his Geotrax set nonstop since Christmas!
Anika loved her Rainbow Dash pony remote control thing. Other favorites: Scooters, pony stuff, and Leapsters. =)
It was so fun to just relax on Christmas morning. It felt like old times.
Here are some more pictures from Christmas morning:
On Christmas afternoon a group of us went to see Tangled and I LOVED it SO MUCH!! My favorite song was 'I See the Light'. Chills were had. Tears may have come to my eyes. Oh, I loved this movie so much.
The rest of the time: We had a nasty stomach bug begin to run rampant the day after Christmas. I think it started with Bren. He had some serious diarrhea that began on Christmas day. Poor guy. The next morning Me and Hannah were in the kitchen puking by 6 am. I think everyone got it but Nathan, Dusty, Dad, and Brayton. There were a couple days of lounging about while we all tried to feel better. It was a blast to go sledding at the BYU-I hills. Everything was pretty much frozen so we went FAST!! Nathan wore my dad's old mission shoes and they had absolutely zero traction so he had to have helpers to get up the hill. He went to the very top and flew to the bottom! I slipped and landed on my head. It was one of those moments where you fall and stand up super fast and smile big and say you're okay but really you're about to bawl your eyes out. Haha. This is how Brenan felt about getting decked out in snow clothes:
Here is Dad helping Nathan get up the hill. It was quite treacherous. Haha!
They made it! I think the 3 of them went down together.
Anika, being a penguin again!
Mom and Tess
I tried to climb the hill while holding Brenan so that he could sled with me - well, I slipped and we went sliding down and Keslie was right in our way. I sound like a psycho in this video! Haha!
We also made hair things, played games, watched movies, did hair, went shopping, ate at Dairy Queen, went and saw Harry Potter in the bitter cold, and took engagement pictures for Kensi and Brett! Aren't they great together?!
It was freezing cold!! I don't know how my mom's hands didn't turn into icicles!
Saying good-bye to Alyssa since she was heading to Utah:
Me and Mom
Me and Dad
Brenan with Papa Kivett - they were good buddies! Brenan loved my dad and all the uncles. =)
We took off for AZ on the 30th in the early morning and drove on solid ice for hours. It was miserable. Cars were off the road everywhere! We made it to AZ safely though and had a great New Years Eve! That post is next! Both Nathan and I are so glad we decided to make this trip happen. What a great family I am blessed with!