Where Did December Go?

Well let me share a few pictures and I will tell you where our December went.

We had a delightful month and I think I checked every thing off my list that I wanted to get done.

So here is our month in a really long, picture-filled post:

Our first Christmas activity was Gingerbread houses. Yes we made Einstein participate under protest. I explained we were decorating them, not eating them. He was still a little freaked out.

I found this awesome little kit at Target.


Five little houses, five not-so-little kidlets. Perfect.

I started putting the houses together


and set the kidlets loose to decorate.



I tried not to get to involved and let them do their houses anyway they wanted.


Which is a little difficult for the control-freak that I am.


But you know I really held back when half of Ham’s house looked like this:


And the other half looked like this:


And that is exactly how he wanted it.


Big Daddy really enjoyed the decorating…maybe a bit too much.


The reason I didn’t worry too much about how their houses looked?


That’s right. After they all went to bed I decorated my own house.

And then we had a lovely little gingy village.


A gratuitous Instagram shot.


The next thing on our list was a visit to a certain jolly elf.


I am so happy that my teenager loves me enough to be willing to go sit by Santa. At least I don’t make him sit on Santa’s lap, because that would probably be a bit much.

After visiting Santa we went to pick out the yearly ornament for the kidlets.



I finally made the step to rely on my iPhone for pictures and I didn’t even bring any other camera with me. This is huge for me, but I do love my iPhone and Instagram. But silly me totally failed at taking pictures of the kidlets with their ornaments. Gah…

The next night was Big Daddy’s office party…and not a picture taken.

Later that week we had our ward Christmas party. The littles were excited to get to visit with Santa again.


All the kidlets had parts in the program, the littles sang with the Primary and the Boyz participated in a very funny “The 12 Days of Scoutmas”. Yeah no pictures of either one…but here is a great picture of the ward.

ward party

A few nights later we made our trip to the Mesa Temple to see the Christmas lights.

They were as beautiful as ever.


And the weather was chilly so it really felt like Christmas.


We made a stop in the visitor’s center to visit the Christus to help us remember the real reason for celebrating Christmas.


That same week we fit in 2 different band concerts.

jared concertethanconcert

It was so nice last year when the concerts were together, but this year they were both pretty short and sweet.

Are you still with me? Only a couple more weeks to go…

A new tradition we started was to sit down and sing Christmas carols and read a story each night. It is a wonderful way to slow down and spend some quiet time together as a family. We have a nice collection of Christmas stories and found some great ones at the library too.


On the 18th we had most of Big Daddy’s family over for dinner and The Nativity.


We have enough kidlets to cover all the major parts including baby Amanda being a perfect Baby Jesus. (We could always use a few extra shepherds next year Steven and Christina)


LaLa was so excited to get to be Mary this year.


We only had to remind her a couple of times that she was holding an actual baby and not a doll. (We did put the stools on the carpet to avoid any serious accidents.)

The next day I meant to send a text to Big Daddy and accidently sent it as a tweet.

I just opened the last Dr Pepper in the house. How the hell did that happen?!?

@embracethechaos on Twitt · via Twitter


I had a great friend and her daughter stop by to save me from utter destruction. So there are times when a mistake is worth making.


Good thing I had the extra fuel because my next morning looked like this:


LaLa got a citizenship award.


Roo was on the Principal list honor roll.


Einstein was on the Principal list honor roll


and the middle school advanced band performed.


Thankfully school was finally out for Christmas break.

And wouldn’t you know it Roo decided that it wouldn’t be Christmas without at least someone being sick and sacrificed herself to a nasty ear infection.

sick rachel

Her being sick didn’t stop us from going to see The Forgotten Carols.


It was the first time that we had taken the kidlets to see it and it was as amazing as always.

The next night my Dad and his wife had a family Christmas dinner. The group was a little bigger than usual since my brother and his family came down from Utah to spend Christmas in Arizona.


And as this picture clearly shows their lives revolve around me…ummm not.


But I did invite my self to a yummy sushi lunch with them and my beautiful SIL Karen.

Reading this post makes the month seem more stressful than it actually was. We had a good mixture of busy and family time.


And finally we made it to Christmas Eve. The night we had all been waiting for.

As we drove to my extended family Christmas Eve party Ham had already had enough for the day.


We only stayed a short time at the party since Roo had shared part of her illness with Big Daddy. This is a quick picture of the group waiting to be entertained.


When we got home Pickles had made an early delivery of gifts.


Who doesn’t love new Christmas Jammies?


I am not sure when or how the tradition of changing into the new jammies right then and there started, but it makes me laugh.


Roo tried to find a little privacy.


Now they can go to bed…


Well there were a couple more things that needed to be done before they could go to sleep.

We finally got around to decorating cookies for Santa…


and maybe some for ourselves.



And we couldn’t forget the reindeer.


Ham kept a look out for Rudolph and his red nose.


I love seeing the magic of Christmas through the eyes of a little one.

And finally it was time for everyone to go to bed.


The kidlets woke up to a “peeking deterrent”.



This isn’t a very good picture, but the look on Ham’s face is priceless.


We finally gave them the go ahead to break through.




And we had a very Merry Christmas.


And Santa had visited the Chaos.


I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas too.


  1. It sounds like you had an awesome month.
    You have the most amazing family.

    I like all of your comments with the pictures, It's nice to have your insight on everything.

  2. You're so good at taking pictures and documenting everything. Me...not so much. Especially since I dropped the camera and broke it.

    Next year I'm totally doing my own gingerbread house.

  3. I love all the pictures!

    You have had more than just a busy month. My goodness....it was.....chaos!!!

    Love the "break through" for the Christmas tree. That is so cute.

    Happy New Year 2012!