Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Christmas Vacation

This year, we spent Christmas with my family in St. George! We had a lot of fun and packed a lot into the days we were there. The night we got to St. George, my mom and dad put the kids down for us, then Ryan, Mandi, and I headed to see Star Wars Rogue One! The theater in St. George has self-serve kiosks as their only form of ticketing. When we got up to the kiosk, it started printing something before we started our transaction. That something turned out to be a free popcorn coupon, woohoo! The movie was so, so good and also really sad. I never thought I'd be a Star Wars fan but I've turned in to one. I loved Rogue One and can't wait for the next movie. The boys were very disappointed the next day though when they found out that Ryan and I thought it was too intense/violent for them. I felt kind of bad when Reed asked if we were just saying that so we could surprise them on Christmas with tickets (that's what we did last year). But we were serious this time. Sorry, boys. 

The next day was kind of gloomy and chilly (especially for St. George), but we wanted to get the kids out of the house for a while--so we went to the new park! Unfortunately, the train was closed for the winter. Fortunately, the park is really unique and fun even without the train! We played there for quite a while. The boys' favorite thing is this climbing structure:

Lila mainly loved everything.

That night, we went to the Tuacahn live nativity! We got in on the last night it was showing and were lucky to get tickets--they had to turn away a ton of people from the early show. The nativity was so beautiful. It's one of my favorite parts of Christmas in St. George. After the nativity, we drove around to see Christmas lights! This was our third or fourth time looking at lights this Christmas season but it was just as magical as the first few trips.

We started the next day (Christmas Eve!!) with donuts at Lin's, which is our very favorite place to get donuts. We decided to get the "Texas donuts" this time because go big or go home, right? Also, the Texas donuts only cost about twice as much as a regular donut but were four times as big!

We spent the afternoon making graham cracker houses (again)! The kids love making graham cracker houses and specifically requested to make them again about 5 minutes after finishing our first round of houses. This time, Asher and Ryan teamed up to make the Washington monument, Reed made his own house again--this one shaped like a hexagon, I made my own tall and skinny house, and Ben and Kayla made a barn. Grandpa held Ellie :) Mandi and Lila made a house with a spike on the wall that pokes bad guys' eyes out when bad guys come. They also had three or four eyeballs on the ground from bad guys who had suffered at the spike's hand. This was all Lila's idea. She called Mandi her "teammate" for the rest of the trip!

 The candy corn about halfway up is the spike.

Top view of Lila + Mandi. You can see some eyeballs on the ground.

 My house

 Reed's home belongs to a giant. Or a monster, maybe? I can't remember. The eyeball belongs to the occupant. The pile of brown at the back is a woodpile!

 That night, we had our Christmas program. Each of the boys played three Christmas piano songs they've been working really hard on. Asher played "Jingle Bells," "Good King Wencelas," and "Christmas Joy." Reed played "Come, Little Children," "Deck the Halls," and a different version of "Good King Wencelas." They did such a good job! Lila sang "Jingle Bells" in the way that only Lila can. At the end, the boys led us in singing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and Lila ran out as Rudolph! After the recital, we read and talked about the Christmas story from the scriptures, then sang "The 12 Days of Christmas" with everyone acting out a part. Then it was time to leave treats for Santa (cookies and Mountain Dew!) and get to bed!

Ryan peeked in at the kids:

Christmas will be it's own post, but the rest of the trip will be here!

 The day after Christmas, we decided to shoot down our graham crackers houses with Reed's new nerf gun! Unfortunately, that didn't work at all--apparently I made reallllly good frosting glue this year. We sure had a fun time trying, though. And, after we'd all gotten our shots in, we let the kids go to town karate chopping the houses into crumbs.

We had hoped to have a snow day in Cedar City when Grandma got home from work. Unfortunately, it was supposed to be 15* in Cedar that day, which did not sound pleasant. We promised the kids a Mt. Charleston snow day at home and instead went to the Children's Museum! We were a bit worried that the museum would be packed, but as it turned out the museum was emptier than I've ever seen it! Lila had fun taking her teammate Mandi all over the place. Reed and I wandered off to check out the new dinosaur room together while Asher explored with Ryan, Grandma, and Grandpa. Eventually, we all met up in the basketball room where Ryan, my dad, and I had an epic game of HORSE. My dad survived the "E" FOUR TIMES and ultimately won!

 They built that dinosaur!

We had wanted to find a way to serve that day, so after the children's museum we went back to Grandma's house and made four freezer meals and two dozen frozen cookie dough balls for the Cook family in my parents' ward. Sis. Cook had recently undergone surgery and we hope the meals were helpful for her! I did find that making freezer meals is a really good way for my little family to serve--everyone could help!

After we ate our dinner, it was time to head back to Vegas. We had a great trip!

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