Friday, December 25

Christmas Morning

We had such a great time Christmas morning. In both of our families, growing up, Brad and I always had to wait at the top of the stairs. Well, our kids will remember waiting at the bottom of the stairs. The kids loved their Santa presents. We loved being able to open presents at our own speed. We really took our time. It was great. The thing I loved most was seeing my kids more excited for each other and the most excited to see their siblings reactions to what they bought them.

Ryan was the most surprised by his Santa gift. We told him that we had told Santa no way no the Nintendo DS. It was just to throw him off. He was thrilled!!!

Ashlyn loves Barbies of all sorts. She loved her new nurse barbie with twins.

This pile of goods is what the family and kids got as group gifts.

This is Brad and I's stash. We spent most of the money on Brad's new blu-ray player (okay, let's be honest, it is just as much for me as well)

Kids Christmas Picture

Thursday, December 24


This was our first Christmas Eve at our home in Lehi. We didn't go to my parents or California. Our kids were so excited for this. We had a very nice Ham dinner, had a special lesson from Dad on being a light unto the world, and then the kids acted out the nativity. (You can never do it enough in the year for my girls). At the end the kids opened their annual pajamas. Our girls called themselves "the triplets"!!! I love matching my girls. I have to do it now while it is still cool. Not so cool when they are tweens and up!!

Monday, December 21

Grandma Swensen Day

We have a tradition of something called Grandma Swensen Day. It is a day when my sisters and I get together to make Christmas candy. My Grandma Swensen was my mothers mother. She was a wonderful candy maker. She passed away when Ryan was only 3 months old. She was a wonderful women and it is fun to remember her as we make candy and listen to Mormon Tabernacle Choir music. We also have KFC for lunch as that was a favorite of my grandmother.
This year we also had FHE with my family and the kids acted out the nativity. My girls were angles and Ryan was a wise man. It was a wonderful day.

This is how Brad spent Grandma Swensen Day!!!
I love this picture of my sweet little angel. She posed herself.

Ashlyn had a very Merry Christmas preschool on the Monday before Christmas. She was visited by The Grintch and then they acted out the nativity. She got to be a beautiful angel.

Wednesday, December 16

Christmas Performances

At school the kids have music class. Their teacher has a talent show for a week where kids get to show off any talents they have. And I mean any. During Ryan's talent show two boys did a staged fight while they asked another boy from their class to play "anything" on the piano. It was pretty funny until they pretended to start shooting each other. Bless his teachers heart. She tried really hard to find something positive to say about the performance.
Ryan and Makayla both performed their Christmas songs. They did such a good job. It really is a miracle my kids know how to play the piano. I have been a horrible teacher to them this past year as I have been juggling teaching and pregnancy. The worked hard though and did a magnificent job.
On December 16th they had their piano recital. It was the first year I had it at the church. I got permission from my stake president through my bishop to do it. It was FANTASTIC!!! I could actually fit people, and we didn't have to fight parking or a snow storm in Alpine. The kids once again performed very well. Good job you two. I am so proud of you.

Makayla getting praise from her fellow students after she was done performing.

Saturday, December 5

On the 5th Day of Christmas

Okay, on December 5th there is the Christmas Devotional. My family tradition growing up is to have a fondu dinner on Christmas Eve. Well, this year we have decided to make the move and rearrange and start the Brad and Tamara Bell family traditions this year. So, we moved fondu dinner to the night of the Christmas Devotional. We shared the fun evening with the Owens. Bryce didn't love the day I picked because it was fast Sunday. The problem is fondu is a very slow dinner. You don't fill up quickly. I didn't notice a problem with it since I couldn't fast due to the pregnancy. We had a very wonderful evening.

Sunday, November 29

Christmas Vacation

So, Brad was forced to take the last two weeks of the year off of work (using his vacation time). I always hate it during the year as we are trying to plan everything and don't seem to have enough time. However, when it comes to those last 2 weeks....I LOVE IT!!!! Here is a quick look at December and all the fun festivities!!!

It began with our annual gingerbread house making FHE. I totally cheat and buy the wonderful package at Costco. The kids love it and ogle the tasty house all December.