Friday, January 14, 2011

Updated! The Christmas Orange...

Above is a very short clip of the fun we were having with the Christmas Orange.  Unfortunately our memory card was almost full on our digital camera, thus the shortness of the clip.

The Christmas Orange Family Night-

The Primary gave us 2 oranges and a paper with a Family Home Evening outlining a lesson and games we could do.  I loved this night.  The photo says it all.  We had fun!

Memories We Made the Days Before Christmas 2010

Christmastime of 2010 brought our family closer together as we laughed through Mr. Worst, warmed our bellies with sloppy spaghetti, and fiddled with fun for 24 days.  Both the Steve and Elinn Allgaier family and the Jake and Kelli Lauret families joined us in our memory-making mayhem.  What a delight to reminisce with them and share in their similar memories although we live miles apart!  And I bet you're wondering what we did for days 16-24 (or even if you weren't wondering, I'm going to tell you anyway).

Day 16: Steve's idea- Send a Holiday Email to your family members.  I'm glad we got this one thrown together last second.  In case you missed it, here's another look at our holiday email:
"We want all you to know how much we love you all.  We hope this short greeting finds everyone in cheerful spirits.  We have had a wonderful year filled with family visits, filling up our new home,  and celebrating every holiday to it's fullest.  Lily started kindergarten this year and attends the elementary that Steve teaches at (it's his 4th year already, can you believe it?).  Lani and Amara play cheuffer (spell check?) almost everyday and Lani teaches preschool to Amara and 3 other 3-year-olds, as well as volunteers in Lily's classroom every Friday.  Ah, a good life.  May God bless you all!"

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Wow, I can't believe that was sent out a month ago!  My, how time flies!

Day 17: Lani's idea- Think up an embarrassing or funny moment from your past and share it.
Lily and Amara love to hear Steve and I tell stories from our childhood, but that's not what happened that night.  Grandma Mapother babysat our children as Steve and I went to the temple.  Lily tells me that they couldn't think of any embarrassing moments so they all just told jokes.  There's always something to laugh about when Grandma is around!  Oh, and a big THANK YOU to grandma for babysitting so Steve and I could attend the temple.  It was very special to take time to draw closer to our Savior during the holiday season that was meant to celebrate Him.

Day 18: Amara's idea- Shadow Puppets!  Find a flashlight and try to make as many different shadow puppets as you can. 
I'd have to say I really enjoy all of Amara's ideas.  That night was crazy busy and so we had to save that activity for another night, but when we did it, we had fun!  Now where did our flashlight go?  I found Lily reading story books in my closet with it and I saw Amara packing it around the house for the next few days.  I'm not sure where it ended up.

Day 19: Lily's idea- Fold a paper into thirds (our family did fourths) and take turns drawing a creature.  The first person draws on the top third of the paper, then folds it over so the next person can't see what they drew, then the next person draws a body and arms on the next third of paper, and the last person draws the legs and feet.  Be sure not to peek until the drawing is finished.
Although we ran into a preschooler tantrum mid-way through this activity, I think it went well overall.  Our funny aliens are hanging up in the girls' bedroom.  Both Amara and Lily love looking at them.  What cool creatures we made!  Take a look:
This is how they hang on the wall-

First we have: Lani (hat), Steve (head), Lily (legs and feet) ...Amara was busy having a meltdown.
 This next one was: Dad(hat), Amara (face- can you see the eyes, nose and mouth?), Lily (body), Lani (legs)
 Next creature features: Lily (hat), Lani (head), Steve (body), Lily (legs) (again Amara is busy melting)
 And the final: Amara (hat), Lily(face), Lani (body), and Steve (legs)

Day 20: Steve's idea- Write a love note to one another and hide it somewhere where they'll be sure to find it later that day! 
This idea gets mega-points for being so great; however, we lost out because we never got around to doing this one.

Day 21: Lani's idea- Carve out some time tonight to drive around a look at Christmas lights. 
Steve was outnumbered when he suggested we do this one on a different night.  I knew if we didn't do it now, it wasn't gonna get done and it was a tradition my family did every Christmas season (I wonder what Osmond Lane looks like now.  That's where my family always went to view the pretty light displays).  So we bundled up and ventured out in the car, driving slowly in case of black ice and patchy fog.  It was so great to hear our backseat squeal with excitement at every light we passed.  "Christmas out my window!" is what the girls would say every time they saw a house decorated with lights.  Then Steve got in on the excitement and would glance down a street and if it looked like the neighborhood had lots of Christmas cheer, we'd make a turn.  We spent about 15-20 minutes looking at lights that night and it was indeed memorable and magical and WAY worth it!  Thanks Steve for giving in.

Day 22: Amara's/Lani's idea- Give yourselves only 5 or 10 minutes to create a homemade Christmas ornament using things around your house.  Time yourself and work independently, then when time is up, see what you came up with. 
I wasn't sure how well this was going to work, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with what 5 minutes did.  The kids and I (Steve had mutual that night) had fun cutting up old Christmas cards and taping on an ornament hanger.  When Steve came home, he saw 3 new ornaments on the tree, and I loved spending time creating with my girls.

Day 23: Lily's idea- Give a back rub, foot massage, or back scratch to each other.
Our family lined up shortest to tallest and spent probably 2 or 3 minutes rubbing or scratching one anothers' backs and then switching off so everyone got a turn.

Day 24: Lani's idea- Give a gift to Jesus.  Sit down together and think of something you can do together to give a gift to Jesus, then write it down and put it on your tree where you'll see it and remember to do it.
It would have been a nice ending; however, we were gone out of town to Grandma and Grandpa Christensen's and didn't bring our calendar with us, so this is another great activity that didn't get done.

All the activities that we did turned out to be successful at doing what they were meant to- creating memories (even if some of those memories included tantrums or dragging feet).  One night after the girls were asleep, Steve sat down by me and said, "Hun, I just wanted to tell you thanks for doing this memory-making calendar thing.  I know I didn't always show support, but I am really happy with the way things turned out.  I think the girls had fun and we had fun and I think it would be a good thing to do again."  I totally agree.