Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Santa Clause is coming...

I practically forced the larger Davis family to come participate in our little family's excessive Christmas Eve singing and story telling traditions, but it turned out so fun! As you can see, somewhere between Silent Night and Zach's sweet Grandma reciting The Living Christ, Shayla fell asleep. Zach put her in bed and I thought she had stayed asleep until Santa was about to fill all the stockings around midnight and I heard her come down the stairs and ask what I was doing. Apparently she had been awake several hours because she was working on presents for Mom and Dad. So cute!

The Grinch is my favorite Christmas story... the kids act it out with their finger puppets.

Grandpa reading Luke 2 while Shayla "follows along" in her own book.

We had a VERY exciting visitor come. I was worried my fairly perceptive daughter would not be fooled... at the ward Christmas party she told everyone, including all the kids, that the man in the red suit was certainly NOT the real Santa. Luckily, she was sure that the real Santa stopped by on Christmas Eve (as opposed to Aunt Allie's boyfriend's Dad all decked out in a Santa suit).

I thought Kyler would be scared stiff, but once Shayla got her present by sitting on Santa's lap, he was all for it.


hmmmmm... I wonder if these two are spoiled

Santa didn't have the easiest time finding this white horse, but it was well worth the effort. Shayla and her doll Sally played with it the entire day... I even overhead Shay apologizing to some of her other new toys because she wasn't playing with them very much.

This is what Shayla (with the help of Aunt Allie) stayed up working on the night before. Mom and Dad's favorite presents by far. My book was filled with pictures of my favorite things... like hearts, and my favorite food, which according to Shayla is chocolate. Zach's had lots of picture of trucks and motorcycles she had cut out from magazines. Totally priceless.

Shayla made all the girls in the family a felt mouse that holds a candy cane (I used to make them for my Aunts when I was little) and she made all the boys a candy cane reindeer.

The other highlight of my Christmas... talking to Elder Radford on the phone! I was a little worried that my family wouldn't be able to figure out 3 way calling (no offense family), but I totally underestimated them! It was so fun to talk to him and hear how well he is doing in Florida! I think I'd been talking to him for about 5 minutes when Zach took this picture and I'm already crying. I know, you're all totally shocked.

I hope everyone's Christmas was as Merry as ours! We miss you Nana & Poppie and the rest of the Idaho Family... can't wait till next year!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Card Fiasco

I almost didn't do a Christmas card this year (I was going to opt for sanity instead). But apparently I like to make life more difficult all in the name of the holiday season, so I ended up doing them. It was quite the adventure. Why is it so impossible to get one decent picture of two adorable kids? I don't know, but it is. The card turned out pretty cute, but it's not perfect. You might get it in the mail and think, "Couldn't she get a better picture than this?" The answer is no and here are a few reasons why.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Birthday Boy

Happy Birthday Kyler! Even though Mom finds it a little depressing that her baby isn't really a baby any more...or a lot depressing. But we had a great day nonetheless. I kept calling him the birthday boy and he kept insisting, "I not birfday boy, I Kyler." Then I would tell him, "Happy Birthday Kyler!" And he would say, "Happy Birfday Mommy!"

Shayla was being incredibly "helpful"...

... a little too helpful...

...OK Shay, that's enough help

And this year the award for most beloved toy that makes the other toys seem mediocre at best goes too...

... Aunt Lala for the plastic Mickey Mouse in a talking convertible!

Every year it seems there is one present that captures their little heart and makes the other gifts almost obsolete. I've learned that this present is almost always A) not from Mom and Dad and B) under 10 dollars. Case in point: On Shayla's second birthday we got her a princess tricycle, a sand box, and who knows what else. What she loved the most was the little stuffed Barney (that sings the ghetto Barney song when you press hard enough) that Nana sent in the mail. You can actually see Barney in the picture above because I was telling everyone my favorite present theory and Shayla wanted to show everyone that she still had it. And of course, there's Kyler with his Mickey car.

I thought for sure the tricycle would be a big hit. I mean it's a Harley Davidson for crying out loud!

No such luck.

He did finally get interested in some other presents... none from Mom and Dad of course.

This is what the "men" were interested in the whole night (surprise surprise). I wish I had a picture of all the ladies crowded around the dinning room table chatting away. I think we make far better use of our time that way... and we can also actually hear when there are children yelling for help (unlike the Dads).

In Shayla's defense, he actually did need help on this one. He was pretty much just spitting on the cake when he was trying to do it alone. Incidentally, I came up with this cake on my own which I'm pretty proud of... the only big design flaw was trying to write Kyler's name in frosting on top of loose coconut. As you can see, it didn't exactly work out. I thought Kyler would LOVE the cake. All he really did was get a concerned look on his face and say, "Those a MY cars."

At least he liked the cupcakes!

Kyler was so done taking pictures at this point. But, all in all it was a great day. Thank you party-goers and gift-givers for sharing it with us!

A few pictures from his actual birthday...

I'm obsessed with this one

My Little Santa Baby

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas Play List

Yep, it's that time of year again. Time to break out the Mo-tab and Mariah and listen to Christmas music 24/7. If you're crazy like me then this has already been going on for over a week now. The problem is that there is not an unlimited supply of great Christmas music out there...which becomes painfully obvious when you get in the car and turn on the "all Christmas" radio station to find that they're playing Mannheim Steamroller's "Deck the Halls" yet again. (Incidentally, what is with them...they play already overplayed Christmas songs on their casio keyboard with a disco beat and people buy millions of I only the only one doesn't get it?) And then there is the even more painful (and incredibly, even more overplayed) new "favorite" carol...The Christmas Shoes. I can't even think of it without cringing. If I hear this song blaring over the loud speaker in a store I will literally turn around and walk right back out. And I can say that in all honesty because it happened last year. Here are a few more songs I could do without:

Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano- If you wanna wish me a Merry Chirtmas then do it in English. For a real laugh, check out Celine Dion's version on her "These Are Special Times" album (no, that's not a Martha Stewart special on TV, it's actually the title of a song on Celine's album)...I'm pretty sure they speak French in Quebec, not Spanish.

Santa Can You Hear Me - No Britney, he cannot hear your nasaly whinny voice because he only listens to people who haven't been naughty.

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time, Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time, Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time -AHHHHHHHHH! Not anymore thanks to that dumb song getting stuck in my head. I'm pretty sure this song is at least partly responsible for the increase in suicide rates during the holidays.

But, even though there are more than a few hiccups, there are still lots of great songs and albums out there, even if every album is mostly composed of new versions of the same old songs. Here are a few suggestions to break out of the Josh Groban and, heaven forbid, Clay Aiken mold.

1) Christmas Song by Dave Matthews band. Not exactly traditional, but I love it none the less.

2) Santa Baby by Everclear. This isn't the easiest song to find if you're into piracy, but for all you honest people out there you can buy it on itunes. I like the lyric change from a sable under the tree to a guitar...because fir was so 5 decades ago anyhow right. If you're not into rock band covers then at least let go of Madonna's disgusting version and go with Eartha Kitten or Marilyn.

3) Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Judy Garland. In this case, and many others, the original is the way to go. And by the way, the movie Meet Me in St. Louis that the song was written for is one that everyone should see.

4) Wintersong by Sarah Mclachlan. This album hasn't been around that long. The whole thing is to die for. I'm a big Sarah fan so I'm not exactly partial, but it's worth investing in. Wintersong is an original and isn't really about Christmas, but it's beautiful. My other favorite on the album is an old carol called In the Bleak Midwinter. So good.

5) God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by Barenaked Ladies and Sarah Mclachlan- I know, I know, Sarah yet again. But this song is worth it, I promise.

6) Silent Night by Boys II Men. I know that it's kind of 1993 of me, but this is such a great acapella version.

7) Face of Love by Jewel. I love her whole album "Joy: A Holiday Collection" as well. It's fun and unique.

8) I Farted on Santa's Lap by The Little Stinkers. Probably one of the dumber songs I've ever heard, but I still love it...not as much as my sister Rachel. I know that you're thinking I'm a bad parent to be letting my kids listen to/sing a song like this, but just don't judge until you hear it. And it's not like I'm letting them listen to "Hanky the Christmas Poo"

9) River by Robert Downey Jr. Not really a Christmas song, but don't we all wish we had a river to skate away on once in a while. Like when we're standing in an hour long line at Target.

10) Cool Yule by Louis Armstrong. A seriously underrated Louis song.

There are too many more songs to list and so many more great albums: Christmas With the Rat Pack, Harry for the Holidays (an unfortunate title for Harry Connick's album, but some of the songs are great), Michael Buble's Let it Snow album, The Muppet Christmas Carol Soundtrack, Toby Keith's a Classic Christmas (just a little joke, I hate Toby Keith as much as the dixie chicks do). And although I joked about Josh Groban and Mariah Carey I really love their albums as well. If anyone wants to share their holiday music suggestions, I'd love to hear them.