Monday, December 26, 2011

Our 2011 Christmas Story

Merry Christmas!

Well, the kids are all busy playing with their new toys and the kittens are working on taking down my tree. So I'll take a moment and share how our Christmas weekend went.

Thursday we were blessed with a full day of good health for the boys. This is a true blessing for this months as the boys have been sick almost every day of the month. We took the opportunity to go into St. George and finish our shopping. That evening we went to the Tuacahn Center for a wonderful festival of Christmas lights and a Live Nativity in their outdoor theater. They brought in live animals including camels. It was a special night with a very memorable wind chill. We ended up going to the DI to buy warmer clothes for the boys. We were very grateful for the night because it was one of the few evenings we were able to go out and celebrate the season.

Friday was a tough day. The boys relapsed back into a very sickly routine of terrible diapers. I was very grateful that grandma was able to come to the house and watch the boys for a while while Leif and I did the Christmas stocking shopping. It was a much needed out.

Saturday (Christmas Eve) I woke up feeling good. I worked on thinking positive the night before. My sweet husband helped me throughout the day to get the house cleaned up really well. We finally decided to trim some of the branches of our Christmas tree. It looked so much better and it filled the house with a wonderful Christmas smell. Throughout the day our home was filled with the cheerful Christmas carols which worked on healing  my weary mother heart (because of my boys' sickness.)

Towards the middle of the afternoon it was clear that the boys were still sick and I would have to stay home from the family Christmas party to be sure Great Grandma and Grandpa Dixon were not exposed to the very contagious illness the boys have (whatever it might be.) I was surprised at the peace that I felt about missing the important gathering. I missed the family a lot and I felt bad that I wasn't able to enjoy all of their company and join in the festivities (thank you aunt Stacey for coming up to visit me, your visit meant a lot to me.) But I felt a calming peace as I made the salad to send down with Leif and I planned what I would do with the little boys while Leif and Jakob were gone. Added to that peace was the wonderful surprise I got in the mail. My sister sent me a box of her homemade goodies. Anyone who knows my sister knows that she is an excellent cook and baker. I was so touched by her thoughtfulness and  I was not disappointed in her amazing talent! Thank you Heather!!!

That evening I sent Leif to the the video rental store (Netflix and Internet were not reliable enough for this night.) While he was gone I enjoyed a short and sweet moment of quiet creativity with my boys. With Netflix not working we had the TV off and Caleb asked to do an art project. I was surprised to find that Jakob wanted to do one too. I brought out the large paper, cotton balls, and glue. With Jon Schmidt Christmas quietly playing on Pandora my boys proceeded to build their own igloos topped off with a few cowboys and army men to hold the fort. It was such a simple moment. But I was grateful for the calm love that filled our home for that moment.

I spent the rest of the evening  caring for the little boys. Bedtime finally came and I watched a beautiful short clip of the Nativity online with Caleb. That was another special moment. I tucked the boys in bed and waited for Leif and Jakob to come home. When they got home Jakob was wound up tighter then the Energizer Bunny. I forced him to lay under the Christmas tree and watch the lights while he listened to the Christmas music to help him calm down. Eventually he was able to calm down somewhat and Caleb had woken up in the meantime. So we sat with them and read the final page in our Christmas Advent book and let them open their Christmas Eve present (PJ's, of course.) From there it was off to bed so Santa could come! For some reason we didn't really have a hard time getting the kids to bed at that point;)  Just after getting the boys to bed Leif was called out for an EMT call. Someone drunk driving. Luckily she didn't hurt anyone. FINALLY Leif and I were together and we had a great time setting out our gifts and leaving the rest up to Santa:) This year I would say we did a good job staying with our Three Gift goal. The only side tracking was for Jakob's much needed extra pajamas and Caleb's potty training necessities.

(Sunday) Christmas morning didn't come soon enough for any of us. Leif and I always wake up several times throughout the night leading up to Christmas morning:) The boys actually slept in until almost 8:00. This was one of the few years where we didn't have any grandparents with us on Christmas morning. Though it's fun either way, I enjoyed it being just us. Especially since Caleb struggled and whined a lot because he had to be patient.;) Truly, it was a wonderful Christmas morning.:)  We all opened our presents and I was so touched by how grateful the kids were for their presents. Just hearing Caleb's "Oh ntchu (Thank you) Brother!" when he opened a gift from Jakob was enough to melt my heart, but then to hear Jakob repeatedly and randomly say thank you for his gifts has definitely done the trick!

Once we got the living room cleaned up Grandma and Grandpa Baron came up to our house after they came home from church. It was nice to hear how the service went and we felt bad that we didn't make it. But sometimes you just do the best you can. We all had a great time opening more presents and giving a few. We are blessed to live close to grandparents.

Christmas afternoon we experienced another one of those special and quiet moments. The words "all is calm, all is bright" come to mind.  After the gift opening and festivities had settled down I found myself surrounded by my family but it was completely peaceful. No crying, no fighting, no one making requests. Everyone was completely content to play on their own. There wasn't even any music in the background.  Just quiet calmness. This was a special gift in itself!

The rest of the day and into the night was filled with lots of toys, candy, and a good Sunday movie. It was a very Merry Christmas for our little family!

Monday started very early for us! Leif was called to a fire in Kanab with our local fire department. He was there from 3 to 10AM. It was a large fire and Leif's first structure fire. Luckily no one was seriously hurt. Though it is a sad story.  I am very proud of him and so grateful for his willingness to serve his community! The rest of the day will be spent as a Play Day! Leif is playing his new NBA computer game and Jakob is trying to figure out his new Star Wars Legos Wii game. At some point we will help Caleb learn how to play his new Grover Wii game. The boys are happy and cheerful but they are still not healthy. So we look forward to tomorrow when their test results should be in. Gratefully we have A LOT to be thankful for and much to distract us from the frustration of their illness.

I am so very grateful for this precious season of the year that turns our hearts to the goodness in each other and ultimately gives us a whole month to focus on Jesus Christ. For without Him, I would be lost in every sense of the word. Thank you Dear Father for sending us Your Son!

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

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