Thursday, December 27, 2012


Winter has barely begun, and we have snow!  Clark came in to my room this morning telling me that it had snowed.  He seemed so excited!  As I mentioned in a previous post, it snowed Christmas Eve, but not enough to stick where we live. I was hoping for a white Christmas, but I'll take the day after too.  The kids went outside a couple of times to play. They enjoyed riding bikes and scooters in the snow, along with going down the small slopes in our yard on the sleds.  Good thing we finally bought some last year.  I hope we can use them a few times this winter!  We were going to go sledding this afternoon, but it started raining.  Tomorrow during Lee's lunch break we'll try sledding.  Hopefully there is enough snow to go sledding at noon tomorrow!  Lee worked today at both locations and saw one patient.  Thankfully he has 10 appointments tomorrow.  I hope the roads won't keep anyone from coming.  Yay for snow over the holidays!

Guess it's time to put the bike trailers elsewhere....
Dec 26 2012, Clark

Dec 26 2012 Shanna

Hopefully it will snow even more!
Dec 26 2012 Elden and Haley

Dec 26 2012 Snowing

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was good this year, but I think the cranky bug bit all of my kids yesterday (not fun the day before Christmas!).  The weather was cold and rainy, so the kids were pretty much inside all day.  Thankfully Lee was home and could help me with some projects and with the kids. Clark and Cal's second cousin Marc got them a Star Wars Angry Birds puzzle.  Clark had fun putting that together that morning.  Later that afternoon they watched A Muppet Christmas Carol.  I love that movie!  I also did some baking. I got all of the pie crusts rolled out and made the pumpkin pie filling.  I put the filling in the fridge and baked the pies last night.  I also made a cranberry pie....a Christmas staple in our house! Christmas Eve is my dad's birthday and that morning we all got on google+ to wish him a happy birthday.  People kept getting on and we sang happy birthday to him three times.  I thought that was funny.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!

Oh, and I didn't mention anything about our dryer.  Last Thursday our dryer stopped working.  As my sister-in-law pointed out, the dryer is good appliance to "break".  Friday night I draped two loads of laundry around the house, which worked out well. Friday morning I started chatting with my brother Daniel asking him about broken dryers.  I went to the right source!  He told me two possible problems and even sent me a diagram of what the inside of the dryer should look like. It was great information.  It would have taken Lee and I a LOT longer to figure that all out.  Well, Saturday Lee was able to get the right parts and that night our dryer was working again!  YAY!  Thanks Daniel and Lee!
Dec 24 2012 Cal & Clark

Dec 24 2012 Clark

Dec 24 2012 Elden Haley

On to Christmas Eve evening.....throughout my life I've been caroling here and there.  Last year we went caroling with two families in our ward  at a nursing home.  I was sad that we hadn't done two things during the Christmas season--attending a live nativity and caroling.  Well, Sunday my friend told me that they were going caroling Christmas Eve. I was very excited! Funny enough another friend in the ward was hosting song-singing and a nativity at her home, but we didn't go.  It was at 6pm on Sunday and we didn't get home till about 5.  The drive would be about 45 minutes from our house, so we decided not to go. Anyway, we did go caroling Christmas Eve and I really enjoyed it.

While caroling, one man there came out and started singing with us.  Then he brought out his wife who you could tell had mental problems. She seemed non-responsive, but then my friend Chandra held her hand while she was signing and the lady started crying.  It was so sweet that he was spending time with his wife, which I am sure he does daily.  Chandra started tearing up and I saw her, then I cried too.  I felt so blessed to be with all of my family on Christmas Eve. The other fun thing about going to Harrisonburg caroling was that is had snowed!!!  It was snowing in Elkton but not for very long and nothing stuck.  It's sad not having white Christmases.  But the kids played a little in the snow and loved it. I loved seeing snow on Christmas Eve. I am excited about a yearly caroling trip with them!  Thanks for inviting us Chandra!
Dec 24 2012 Clark Haley

Dec 24 2012 Cal Clark Haley

Dec 24 2012 Shanna

Dec 24 2012

Dec 24 2012 Elden Lee

Dec 24 2012 Shanna, Clark, Ethan Jeppson

I really wanted the kids to be in bed at 7pm, but that didn't happen (they were all asleep around 9:30).  After caroling our kids acted out the nativity, with some reluctance. Cal as an angel.
Dec 24 2012 Nativity Cal Angel

Clark a wiseman.
Dec 24 2012 Nativity Clark Wise Man

Elden as himself.
Dec 24 2012 Nativity Elden

Cal now a shepherd with his sheep.
Dec 24 2012 Nativity Haley Cal

Dec 24 2012 Nativity Haley sheep

Shanna as Mary.
Dec 24 2012 Nativity Shanna

Dec 24 2012 Nativity Shanna Mary

Shanna, Haley and Clark left cookies for Lee.  We don't really do "Santa" around here.  We'll read Santa stories and they'll sit on his lap at different functions, but my kids know that Dad is Santa and that Santa himself is not a real person.  He is a fun, imaginative person. Last night I mentioned to to kids that they should leave a treat for "Santa", meaning Lee.  Clark said, why should I do that, he's not real.  I told him that Dad would like a treat while he was setting out presents.  I told him that a few years ago my sister Lois left Santa a nice piece of cheese and she got a digital camera for Christmas.  The next morning my dad said to Lois, "Behold, the power of cheese!".  I love Haley's writing on the card for "Santa". 
Dec 24 2012 Haley's card to Santa

Dec 24 2012 Clark (2)

Last year all the kids slept in Shanna/Haley/Elden's room.  We did that again this year, and I think we will do that every year.  When the kids presents came in the mail (we bought almost everything from Amazon, and I loved it!) we just hid them.  I thought about wrapping them about a week ago and I decided to just wait until Christmas Eve.  We don't get our kids a lot of presents, so it was easy to do.  We watched A Christmas Carol, starring Patrick Stewart (my favorite version!) while we wrapped their presents. After setting everything up for Christmas morning, we were off to bed...Christmas morning actually.
Dec 24 2012 (2)

Christmas Day 2012

We've had a great Christmas thus far.  Christmas morning is always so magical!  I've loaded this post with pictures for the Grandparents! The day started out with Clark and Cal waking up before 6am.  We let them play games on our netbook...though I think the battery only lasted at most an hour.  Around 7ish we all got up.  I make my kids wait till I am "ready" for the day.  I don't like morning pictures of my anyway, then add messy hair and no make-up....I think I would be scarier than Marley! For the third year in a row, (now a tradition!), I make my kids individual pumpkin pies.  Growing up, every Christmas we had pumpkin pie for breakfast.  Everyone had to eat a piece before we saw our stockings and what Santa brought us. I don't make them eat all of their pie (eating pie early in the morning was sometimes hard for me when I was little), but that is what we have for breakfast Christmas morning.
Dec 25 2012 Elden

It was fun that it was foggy this morning. Sadly no white Christmas here, but oddly enough I think fog is better than no snow!
Dec 25 2012 Ruth Haley

Eggnog for the breakfast drink.
Dec 25 2012 Ruth Haley Shanna

Dec 25 2012 Haley Shanna

Dec 25 2012 Haley Shanna (2)

Our pumpkin pies and cranberry pie.  Lee whipped some cream to dollop on top.
Dec 25 2012 Cal

I bought this summer sausage in Rexburg actually.  My kids have been so excited to eat it on Christmas. The day finally came!
Dec 25 2012 Cal (2)

The kids then go in one by one to see their stockings. Clark got to go in first this year.  Next year it will be Elden's turn to go in first.  This year only their stockings were out---basically the rest of the presents were under the tree.  They each got a present in their stockings (Shanna and Haley had two to be technical).
Dec 25 2012 Clark Cal Shanna Haley

This is the third year in a row that we've worn these pjs.  Earlier this year I used Elden's green pj pants to fix Clark's pants.  When it came time to start thinking about making new pj pants, I didn't set enough money aside for fabric.  I decided we would go one more year with the same pjs.  Someone gave me some white and pink stretchy pants.  Haley likes to wear them sometimes, so I had her go all white.  We don't all match, but close enough! I'll have to plan better next year. 
Dec 25 2012 Clark Cal Shanna Haley Ruth Elden

Dec 25 2012 Clark Cal Shanna Haley Elden

Dec 25 2012 Ruth Clark

Dec 25 2012 Ruth Clark (2)

Dec 25 2012 Clark

Dec 25 2012 Ruth Cal

All the wrapped cans are their olives.  Usually we put them in the stocking, but they wouldn't fit. I like wrapping stuff, so figured I might as well make them look cute!  And it's fun unwrapping stuff anyway!
Dec 25 2012 Cal (3)

Dec 25 2012 Ruth Shanna

Dec 25 2012 Shanna

Dec 25 2012 Ruth Haley (2)

Dec 25 2012 Cal Clark Haley Shanna

Dec 25 2012 Elden Ruth

Dec 25 2012 Ruth Elden

Dec 25 2012 Elden (2)

Clark walked me in.  We should have had Clark walk in Lee too.  Oh well.
Dec 25 2012 Ruth Clark (3)

Dec 25 2012 Ruth

Notice the sheet in the background? Every year my parents hung a sheet in the entryway to the living room so we couldn't see any presents or stockings.  This year we did the same in two different areas. I thought it was so fun have the living room closed off as if it was a separate, magical room.
Dec 25 2012 (2)

Dec 25 2012 Shanna (2)

Dec 25 2012

After looking through the stockings we opened presents!  Lee handed them out one-by-one, and only after the person who had just opened their present had thrown away the wrapping paper.  Great idea Lee!  It was fun seeing the kids excitement, getting hugs, and hearing Shanna's squeals.

Towards the middle/end, Shanna and Haley put all the presents from the other side of the tree in front of Lee.  The girls were more than happy to help!
Dec 25 2012 (13)

Dec 25 2012 (12)

Dec 25 2012 (11)

Dec 25 2012 (10)

Dec 25 2012 (8)

Dec 25 2012 (9)

Dec 25 2012 (7)

Dec 25 2012 (6)

Dec 25 2012 (5)

Dec 25 2012 (4)

Dec 25 2012 (3)

Since opening presents we've been putting together toys, eating candy, shopping on the internet (me, he he), and chatting with my family on google+.  Shanna and Elden wanted to take a bath, and played with some of their toys in the water.  For a little while the kids went outside to play with Cal's nerf rocket launcher thing. We just had our yummy, annual Christmas day meal of nachos with bbq, shredded pork.  And throughout the day the kids and Lee have been eating their individual boxes of cereal they get in their stockings, along with the addition of a can of olives. It's been a wonderful day.  After 10 years of marriage this is our first Christmas we've spent home all day, just us.  I love being with family on Christmas.  This is has been great though for our first one of just us!
Dec 25 2012 (14)

Dec 25 2012 (15)

Dec 25 2012 (16)

We hope you had a fantastic Christmas.  Merry Christmas everyone!
Dec 25 2012 (18)