Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

This season was wonderful even though there were a lot of flubs.  The three biggest flub ups--putting up Christmas lights 4 different times because the first was just to put on the hanging plastic things.  The second trip to the roof was to put up a set of icicle lights that wouldn't hang down due to the sub zero temperatures (that's right--I said sub zero in the same sentence as light hanging).  The third try was fantastic except I would of had to have an outlet for each set!  Who invented those lights needs to be fired.  Fourth and final try was twinkling snowflakes that ran the perimeter of the house.  Even though 2 casings of snowflakes busted and a row of 5 snowflakes won't stay lit, I am not going up again until March or April when Alaskans take down their lights.

Number two and probably the most difficult for me was the live Christmas tree that didn't happen this year.  We tried the weekend of Thanksgiving (our usual Christmas tree purchasing time) and found over priced trees that already looked like a fire hazard.  Weekend after weekend, we searched. We even tried to cut down our own Christmas tree on base.  We went several times to sign in at an office that always seemed closed when we got there.  Then on a -1 degree day we discovered that we signed in on line.  The waist deep snow and freezing temperatures should have made us leave before we started.  Bent on finding a tree we trudged through the snow and found a bunch of Charlie Brown trees in all heights.  When I could no longer feel my toes, I decided we should hike back to the van.  Tiago, not wanting to leave empty handed, chopped down this sapling and we left with all our fingers and toes attached.  Luckily, I got a free fake tree for helping sort things at the Airman's Attic.  The kids decorated it in their toy room and that was about the extent of Holiday decorating.
At least there were awesome icicles.
Trying to find the tree.

The extent of my crafting abilities--our advent calendar!
Aside from that, we had fun with our Advent Calendar with various activities that matched up with scriptures.  For example, we read Mark 10:13-14 and talked about how children were very important to Christ.  Then we went sledding to try to be childlike.  Another night we read Doctrine and Covenants 1:37 about how we need to study and obey Christ commandments.  We talked about how it can be easy or hard sometimes to obey.  We then tried to draw snowmen on our heads without looking (for hard to obey) and then made a snowman on our fridge for an easy obedience activity and hand snowmen pancakes for dinner.

Yummy Pancakes

Joaquin discovering whipped cream!

We have loved living here because it is really easy to find activities to get into the season.  The city just north of us (Palmer AK) had a huge Christmas celebration.  We didn't understand the extent of it and so we missed most of the fun the first day.  Sunday, we drove up for the Nativities and the kids accidentally crashed a live Nativity play.  They told us we could dress up.  So we did.  Then we were ushered on stage to take part in their ward's rendition of the Nativity.

We went to a tree lighting ceremony with a Santa who was pulled to the tree by several live reindeer in an open sleigh.  There were cookies and hot chocolate and choirs of angels (or at least sweet little kids singing).

Joaquin pointing downhill to let me know it's time to stop the pictures and go!

We went sledding tons (joaquin loves sledding) and even got the chance to ride around a frozen lake in a dog sled.  I was so glad we had just bought hand warmers and mitten style gloves and brought blankets cause it was a chilly ride.

Christmas Eve we dressed up as Santa, reindeer, and an Elf to score free lift tickets at the ski resort on Elmendorf AFB.  We didn't really make it over to the lifts and practiced skiing down the bunny hill.  Then joined our fellow ward members at their yearly sled and feed at the Golden Corral.  It was fun.  Tiago loved Golden Corral.  He said "That was the best restaurant ever.  You can eat until you are full!"  I think we need to start saving for teenage years.

Corraling it up!

To make things a little more exciting, we moved the Christmas tree from the upstairs toy room down to the living room while the kids slept.  We also put on the Christmas tree lights and star with gold dangling stars hanging from around the tree on the ceiling.  Christmas morning they woke up to this obstacle course outside their room.  It was so cute to hear their exclamations upon finding this red streamer surprise.  Talia exclaimed "Oh, Santa is such a good man.  He decorated our house for Christmas!"  Tiago said "He is so clever."  Mia just giggled and all of them tried it multiple times.


Emily said...

wow... what an awesome and other-worldly christmas you had up there!! Thanks for sharing all those fun photies!


You guys are seriously so fun! Your advent activities are impressive and I am amazed at how many times you have been sledding this year! Glad you are having so much fun in your winter wonderland up north! We would love to come visit after things thaw out a bit... :)

Lynn said...

Well, good thing your kids have beautiful eyes, because we may not see the balaclaved beauties until the summer. I can't believe that you can get a fresh christmas tree up there! We could get them in Hawaii no problem. Doesn't make sense.

I love your advent and Christmas morning ideas. You guys are so much fun!

Cathy Cromar said...

Just read this in the middle of January. What a fun Chrismas, and you are such a fantastic family

Cathy Cromar said...

Just read this in the middle of January. What a fun Chrismas, and you are such a fantastic family