Sunday, February 19, 2017

Dec-Week 4- Florida, Family pictures, Christmas, LegoLand!

My sister, Emily, picked us up from the airport around 12.  We had leftovers for lunch, took showers and got ready for family pictures!  Thankfully the location was basically my parents' back yard.  It was hot and humid but we were in the shade.  Everyone cooperated for the most part.  Love these people so much!  

Wardrobe change! Love Bethany's yawn in this! 
 Love my mom and dad!!  

After pictures, it was time to open family Christmas presents.  My cute mom performed a little Mrs. Santa Claus reading of "I'm a Grumpy Santa Claus!"  She had all the kids attention glued to her! 
Somewhere in the process of opening gifts, Bethany couldn't stay awake anymore!  She totally passed out on Dan's lap!  So we joked about how she "couldn't hang."  Then we proceeded to be bad parents and draw on her face as if this were a party and she was the first drunk to pass out! 
Hilarious and immature = FUN!  ;) 
All the kids in their new Christmas jammies from Grandma Kelly! SOOO warm and perfect for Utah.  Also funny to note, Bethany LOVED the bottom stair.  It was the perfect place and height for her to sit.  She would often grunt and pat next to her until someone (and it had to be the right someone) came and sat down next to her.  She even wanted Mollie dog to do it...kinda!
We had pizza for dinner then just enjoyed being with each other! 

The next morning was LEGOLAND day!!  Bright and sunny and ready to go!  We even had to use sunscreen.  

 For the most part we all stuck together most of the day.  Which, looking back, maybe we should have split up big kids and little kids, but still, lots of fun!  We even met Emmet and Wild Style! 
 If you bring some non-specific lego characters, you can trade with the employees who wear other lego guys on their name tags.  Ben made a couple trades before he put his guy down at our lunch table and he got lost.  I really love how his face gets progressively more and more tired in these pictures! 
 McKenna LOVES "girl Legos" and was so excited to see these Lego Friends characters! 
 Everyone on the boat ride.
First roller coaster after lunch!  Love that McKenna thinks she's gonna toss her cookies and Ben looks terrified! 
 One of my favorite things about the park was just the amazing Lego creations!  That Einstein is HUGE!  And gotta love Darth Vader! 
 I think one of our kids' favorite parts was this Imagination area.  They could build things on the Lego walls and check out a Lego city that even had a lighthouse. :) 
 They could also build cars and race them.  My mom got some cute pictures of Anna playing at this play area while the rest of us went on a big kid ride! Bethany was napping during this time. 
 What was very interesting to me was that a few of the rides were controlled to an extent by YOU!  In order to go higher on this ride, you had to pedal faster!  There was also a railroad ride where you had to manually pump this thing up and down in order to move your car.  And another ride where you had to pull yourself up on a rope (with assistance) to go higher.  
 This Safari ride was nice because we could wait in line in the shade during the hottest part of the day (after lunch), but the line also took the longest!  People with special access tickets kept getting priority and making us normal ticket people wait longer! But still so cool to see all the animals made all from LEGOS!  
 The boat ride was cool because there was the possibility of getting sprayed.  The blurry picture of Anna makes me so proud.  She does not like any sort of ride that may be considered a "thrill" ride.  She's gotta keep it pretty tame.  However, what makes me proud is that she went on this ride all by herself and didn't even cry or freak out! The bottom pictures are of the first roller coaster we went on for the day!  It was way fun to start with the big rides! 
 Selfies with my kiddos! I opted to sit one of the rides out with the little ones and while we were waiting we saw a water ski show going on!  And the bottom right pictures is a little indoor play area next to one of the big roller coasters.  
 Here's more of my favorite part of LegoLand...the cities!  They build miniature models of some of the biggest cities in the world- London, New York, Las Vegas, Washington DC...
 Indianapolis...And then there was the Star Wars area!  Unreal how cool it all was! 
 Some cute faces on the big rides! Ben looks terrified but he had fun! 
I have to note we tried the "Apple Fries" there and there were very good!  Basically apples cut to look like french fries, baked so they're soft like in an apple pie, coated in cinnamon and sugar, and dipped in whip cream! Sounds amazing, right?  
I should also note, poor Dan was quite uncomfortable on many rides.  The park is definitely geared towards KIDS, not people who are 6'5".  
We stayed until the park closed and got to see the fireworks show.  We grabbed Chick fil a on the way home and everyone slept very well that night! 

Dec- Week 4- Grand Am Windows, Condie's, Mantua, Christmas Eve and Day, Travel Day

Thursday we did laundry and started packing for our Florida trip.  In the afternoon we went to see the Grand America Hotel Christmas windows.  Our friends the Alexanders, Moultons and Roths came with us!  It's my favorite INDOOR Christmas activity.  This year the theme was Christmas in countries around the world.  The giant gingerbread house is always so cool!  Afterwards, we had dinner at a burger place across the street, then our family went and visited the Condies! 
Friday morning the kids went to a used book exchange and cookie party at the Roth's.  We have such fun neighbors! Then we headed up to Mantua for our Christmas Adam celebration!  The kids played, we got things ready for dinner, then we did a couple ornament crafts.  Because of the collages I made, not all the pictures are in order.  The bottom picture is from breakfast the next morning.  
After dinner, we had our anual talent show program.  The kids sing, play an instrument, do gymnastics tricks, recite memorized passages, or just stand up there and be cute! We usually go youngest to oldest.  Anna, Ellie, and Clara sang I Love to See the Temple. 
McKenna and Ben each played some Christmas carols. 
After we finally got all the kids in bed, we played some games and went to bed ourselves.  
We had a delicious breakfast as usual, then Aunt Lara played games with the kids to distract them while we waited to open presents.  (Out of order, everyone in their matching jackets.)
All the grandkids got handmade, personalized Santa hats!  
Anna didn't want to be in the pictures at all.
We opened presents, played, talked, and cried (about some of the gifts, in a good way. :)) We had leftovers for lunch, then cleaned and packed up and headed home for our own family Christmas traditions. We had a pizza dinner then baths.  Next, we set out a letter and treats for Santa and his reindeer, then got in costumes for our nativity reenactment.  
Bethany was a baby hog and didn't want to let us use "baby Jesus." 
Christmas Morning!  
The big gift this year was a horse stable with all the accessories!  
This is the kids all opening their Power Ranger Dino Chargers!  
Opening their books and the stable.  We also got SO MUCH snow on Christmas Sunday that Bishop Dan decided to cancel church.  Not very safe to drive there! 
Everyone loving their Santa hats except Bethany!  More sillies in the Hoddie Footie.  We let Bethany sleep in a little, but she was so excited to get some new binkies, snacks, and a new book for Christmas! 
We enjoyed so much being together as a family for all of Christmas Day.  We did Legos, played with puzzles, the horse stable, and Dino Chargers! 
That evening we had a nice Christmas dinner with ham, potatoes, veggies, fruit, and bread.  We cleaned up a little and made sure we were all packed to head to the airport the next morning for our FLORIDA TRIP!! 
Dan's dad was nice enough to take us at 6:30am!  Unfortunately, our flight was delayed leaving an hour and a half due to "cleaning." It gave us plenty of time to eat breakfast and play in the airport.  
All boarded and ready to go!  
More unfortunately, because we were so delayed leaving SLC, we missed our connecting flight from Atlanta to Tampa so the airline put us up in a hotel for the night in Atlanta.  Dan took an Uber to pick up some Burger King for dinner and some much needed diapers.  We decided to leave our luggage at the airport to simplify things and we only packed enough diapers for the flights.  The next morning we got to the airport an hour and half early, ate a ridiculously over-priced breakfast and made it to Tampa by noon!! 

Dec- Week 3- Immigration Day, Bfast and Santa, Ben Gymnastics, Nelson Party, Christmas Carol, Nursery Nativity, McK Piano Recital

Wednesday night Dan went caroling at Primary Children's Hospital with the young men and young women and was able to take Ben with him.  
Thursday Dan's work had their giving tree gift pick up by the Airman from the Hill Air Force Base.  We also had Desi over to play that morning.  That evening, Dan's parents were nice enough to take McKenna and I to Hale Theater Christmas Carol.  It was so so good!  We met Dan afterwards for dinner at Smash Burger.  
Friday Dan stayed home from work so I could go help with McKenna's 2nd grade Immigration Day.  They were assigned an "immigrant" from the early 1900's; McKenna was Maria Tomasso, age 16 from Italy.  She was coming to America to be a seamstress and live with her sister.  Her health condition was blurry vision.  There were so many parent volunteers we were able to set up a mock Ellis Island experience! First, they simulated a boat ride coming to America. So cool! When they first arrive at Ellis Island, they went through a medical evaluation where it is determined if they need to see a specialist, get treatment for something, or be "deported" for their condition.  Then they fill out a "landing card" with their name, destination, desired job, how much money they have with them, and a signature.   This was finalized at the government inspection area where they received a certificate of naturalization.  
Her whole class dressed as immigrants.  
Here's her medical check and filling out her landing card.  Certainly a day she will never forget! 
That night we drove through a light display called Christmas in Color which one of Dan's cousin's husband is a part of.  SUPER cool! 
Time lapse video.

After that, we drove up to the Hilton Garden Inn for a fun hotel night! 
There was swimming then hanging out with the grown-ups after the kids were in bed.  
The next morning, Saturday, we got dressed and ready for the Davis County Conference Center's Breakfast with Santa! 
There was amazing food as always and fun magicians walking around entertaining people.  
There were also fun characters, who Anna was afraid to look at.  And of course face painting...or hand painting in Anna's case.  
Aaaaaand cookie decorating!  They really have it all!  SUCH a fun morning! 
Our turn with Santa! Bethany loved it.  
Almost all the Websters.  Missing the Winegars who had to leave a little early.  
After breakfast with Santa we went straight to a gymnastic demonstration for Ben.
My sister and Dan's parents came to watch him as well and he sure liked being the center of attention. 
Getting his ribbon. 
We got home around 1:30, unpacked and tried to rest up a little.  We gave the kids baths then headed to the Nelson Family Christmas Party.  We had a delicious dinner then the kids acted out the Nativity.  Ben was a shepherd and McKenna had a little narrator speaking part.  Bethany was pretty cute standing in funny places. 
Such a wonderful crowd of people we love, and a wonderful Christmas message from Grandfather.  
Sunday Anna got to be Mary in the Nativity they acted out in Nursery.  Her friend Beck was Joseph and she could not have been more happy! 

After church we attended an open house at our neighbor's, the Reudter's.  
McKenna also had her Piano recital!  So proud of her! 

Monday the kids started their two week Christmas break!  My brother came over for a visit and I went to run some errands while he babysat.  Unfortunately, Anna caught the stomach virus and threw up.  Poor Jonathan had to clean it up.  :( 
In the afternoon, Dan attended Ailin's swearing-in ceremony!  She is now an official United States citizen!  
Tuesday I went visiting teaching, McKenna had a play date at the Roth's to make snowglobes, and Ben went to Taggart Lewis's birthday party.  After the kids were in bed, Dan went to see Star Wars: Rogue One with his dad and Sarah Jane.  
Wednesday we delivered our neighbor gifts (Kleenex: We "tissue" a Merry Christmas!).  After lunch McKenna and Ben played at the Stewart's house.  Then McKenna and I attended a baby shower for one of Dan's cousins, Lindsay Irion Wood.  After that, we went to Emma, Reed, Andrew, and Russell's piano recital.  
Goofy kids sharing Dan's hoodie footie!