Happy New Year 2015 Y’all!

I really don’t like it when I have to take down the Christmas decorations. It is so pretty in the house during the holidays. It takes me a solid week to get all 15 of my bins spread out around the entire house. And it takes a day to put it all away. That doesn’t seem right somehow.

The coffee table in the den is cute little snowmen. 
My kitchen table is all snowmen decor too. They make me giggle.  

 My kitchen is red and white for the holidays. Mrs. Claus and her cupcakes and the Nutcracker music playing just make me smile.

I hated putting away all this darlingness. 
Dessert buffet. I forgot to take pictures after we had all the brownies, cookies, cream puffs and cupcakes on these platters. bad me. 
Drink station at the holiday parties. We have sodas and lemonade sparkling cider and all kinds of yummy things. 
My light up snowman wall hanging I keep up all January. My little grandson loves looking at it. 
I love this little snowman above on the left. He changes colors from green, to red, to blue. It’s fun to watch him when it is dark in the entry hall. He gets to stay all January. 

 I luckily have a few bins full of January decor. Otherwise the place would look really depressing and sparse. I have lots of snowflakes, snowmen and some blue and white glittery ornaments I save to put in glass jars for January. And I have my light up snowman from Christmas I leave up all month long too. He is cute.

I have pictures in cute holiday frames I only put out for one month a year. I hate putting this one away, it is so cute of my oldest son and his little family. 
Some more guest tables I had set up. I had cute Santa chairbacks for this card table. The little kids all wanted to sit here in the Santa chairs, even though I had 2 little kiddie tables! lol. 
Advent Tree filled with gingerbread man lollypops for each day of the month leading up to Christmas. 

 I set up lots of tables when I had a family dinner party recently. This was the little kiddie table. I had two of them. I brought some projects and crayons from my classroom so the kids could color gingerbread houses.

Here’s the gingerbread houses and the cute, kid’s table. 
The only nativity I put out anymore is the unbreakable one. If I put out any of my others, somebody loses a head or a leg. This year it was a wise man. Too bad I wasn’t the wise woman who left him back in one of the Christmas bins. 

 Stairs going up to my bedroom. I will miss these cute, long-legged mice smiling at me on the way up to bed.

It is so easy for me to forget the reason for the season. Here is another unbreakable nativity my son Devin brought me back from Armenia, where he served a mission. 
I have tried hosting parties for family and friends always hoping that everybody has a good time; but I’ve learned that some people won’t have a good time no matter what you do, and that isn’t your fault. You just try to enjoy yourself and hope that everybody else does the same. But it is kind of out of your control. 

  Another one of the adult tables set up for dinner. I loved the glittery runner and holly berry placemats and simple Christmas colors and decor here.

And I have good memories of My daughter playing Christmas carols and us all singing along with her. 

I have learned not to have huge and high expectations for Christmas gifts and all the drama it can cause. If people like what I gave them good, but if not, I just leave the receipt at the bottom of the box and they can return it and buy something else. And I don’t mind at all. I used to do that when my mom bought me clothes I didn’t like. And it was fun to go shopping after Christmas was over.

Another dinner party table set up. This one has Santa placemats and gingerbread-men salt shakers and candleburner. 

 Some of these snowmen decorations I will leave up through January. I have 2 light blue bins to house my January decorations. I got them out today and started the taking down Christmas process.

Stockings hung on the mantle. I will miss these pretty ones my daughter made herself for her family. They are staying with us this month waiting for their house to finish getting built. It has been a wonderful time to be able to see and play with my grandkiddos daily. 
All these end tables will go back to being just blah looking after taking down Christmas is done. Sniff. 
My cute kitchen counter. I will miss the bright and happy Santa stuff. 
And I will think back fondly on having The extended family doing the nativity and Christmas caroling together with them.  

I have tried to appreciate the little things this year. I have loved seeing little messages my 7 year old granddaughter leaves on my office whiteboard every time she is in there. It has gotten to be such a funny interchange. I look forward to seeing any new thing she has written. Sometimes they are generic funny thoughts. Sometimes they are messages to grandpa. Sometimes they are notices of things coming up in her classroom, like the time she was worried about a fire drill and the screeching alarm that made her nervous. (snicker) And sometimes they are all for me. Lucky me. I love her so. This particular one her little sister wrote to her, sharing the love.  So sweet.

So even though Taking Down Christmas makes me kind of sad, I have little gems like this to brighten up my day. And the little things I’ve seen and experienced remind me of how good it is to celebrate the holidays. I know if I only lean in a little more often, I will see the little gems that are happening all around me. Things that make me smile like these things do.

Great Grandpa and great grandson enjoying a photo op (NOT) … and there are TWO WHOLE  generations in between! Someday this photo will be even more precious to me than it already is. 
Cousins enjoying their matching bigwheel trikes. There was a third cousin missing this day. But someday they’ll all be together again riding them. 

 And these little gems, these little moments in time just make the little letdown of putting away Christmas,  a little bit better to me.  Things just look a little brighter after all. Here is all 6 of my grandkids blowing bubbles on the deck outside one day during the holidays.

And I won’t soon forget the Monday night we all went to Hogle Zoo for Zoolights with the entire family. It will be one of my favorite memories this holiday season. And those are the things I will think on, as I am taking down Christmas.

Putting up January….snowflakes and snowmen. 
Not quite as cute as all the Christmas pizzaz……

But winter is here….with all that snow and so I will embrace it I guess. Snowmen make it more bearable….:D

Now the front entry doesn’t look AS CUTE as it did previously….but it’s filled with January finds…..snowflakes, snowmen and cute little grandbaby pictures in January frames.

 Changing out all the red and green for blue and white……

 And January placemats, snowmen, and snowflakes……

I wish you all a very happy New Year celebration. Think about all the fun you had this week and month. We are so lucky and blessed now, aren’t we?  Use an idea from former posts to use this Sunday if you’d like. HERE (I Hope They Call Me On a Mission) is a good one. And HERE (hula hoops) is another one. Happy New Year!


Christmas Program From Luke 2 With Songs

Every year our family does the Nativity with all the animals, Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the shepherds and wise men, and readings from Luke 2. We have had so many neat Christmases doing this with cousins, aunts and uncles.

Christmas Program from Luke 2 

I decided to type up all the readings and then add the songs that I liked in between each of the readings. I thought maybe other families might like a copy of it. I just copied the 6 songs on the back of 2 sheets of paper (2 songs on each side) and had this on the front of one side of them and stapled it all together 2 sheets total. Everybody was singing in 4 part harmony! It was so neat. We have some good singers in our family too!

My granddaughters as the shepherds in our Christmas Program from Luke 2. This year it was all little kids that did the program because they are getting bigger now. We had age 4 to about 7 and about 7 or 8 grandkids doing it together. Sweetness overload I can tell you!! 

Here is the link to our Christmas Program from Luke 2. Christmas Program Luke 2 and Songs. Merry Christmas everybody!

Here is our family Christmas Program. We are singing Carols and doing the Readings from Luke 2.

Winter Singing Time Fun Ideas

Well, it’s about time we had a snowstorm in Utah.  So let’s get prepared to sing some fun songs about Winter. It is HERE! I had to clear snow off my windshield this morning on the way to choir!

Here’s a Link for Ping Pong Balls. These would make fine snowballs…..

  My sister-in-law also gave me a fun idea to do after the primary presentation when the pressure is kind of off to do the required songs, and you have more freedom to do some new tunes. Let’s do some snowball games!

You could also use styrofoam balls for snowballs…..

Give each of the kids a piece of white scratch paper. It could have stuff on the back, nothing fancy. Then tell them to write their favorite primary song on it and crumple it up. Then tell them it’s their once a year time when they can pelt you with snowballs! Yipee! They will love that.

Juggle your snowballs using old white socks tied in a knot or white marshmallows…giant sized! 

One class at a time can go and throw the snowballs at you. Then you reach down and pick one up! Whoever’s snowball it is you will then sing their favorite song however you want to. Maybe they could try to “juggle” 3 snowballs while you get everyone to sing. (these could be white beanbags made with old white socks filled with rice or dried beans or popcorn, then tied in a fat knot and cut off. OR they could be some of those giant marshmallows they sell for a dollar at the market!  Or you could use ping pong balls. They are only a few buck at Walmart or Target in the sporting goods section. That is always fun! Or white whiffle balls would work great too. I’ve bought sets of 4 of those for a dollar at the Dollar store.

Whiffle balls could also be white snowballs! 

I thought you could be prepared with a fun little song taken from Primary-to-Go. Let’s do a fun rendition of Popcorn Popping called “Snowflakes Falling”

 Popcorn Popping with a little WINTER TWIST!  

Snowflakes Falling on the Evergreen Trees…..

(Put your hands in round circles like binoculars around your eyes)

(wiggle fingers from high to down low like snow falling)

(close both fists, then flick them open on surprise)

(wiggle your fingers above your head and pass in front of your face)

(motions of making a snowball with both cupped hands)

(motion your arms to make the outline of a 3 circled snowman)

(nod yes, at the same time you  point to your smiling face)

(wiggle your fingers from high to down low like snow falling).

Once There Was a Snowman…

Here are the guitar or autoharp chords if you want to play them instead of piano. 

  Another good song is Once There Was a Once There was a Snowman. Link to my post with pictures I did last winter.  Snowman Link. I made this above last winter. It’s made from an old sheet. I choose a child to come up and scrunch down really little with it in their hands. Then when we sing tall, tall, tall, they make it grow. When it melts then the opposite of course. They let the snowman shrink back to a puddle again.

First Big snow of the season up on our East Bench. 

Utah Snow is here! Happy Winter! 

Have some fun when as the winter weather shows up! In the meantime I’m gettin my new winter coat ready!  Brrrrr!