Sunday, January 15, 2012

Christmas Memories

It all started with the lights

(Jayden & his friend Shawn)
Our Christmas TreeSome things never change...brothers!
Papa, Grandma and Lilibug
Javis, Liliana and Chaylia
Lilibug helping Grandma with the dishes
Lilibug and Tracen
Jayden taking Liliana on the slide
Feeding the ducks
John with Javis, Jayden, Colby and Braden

Treasure hunting!
Colby and Mad Jack Jones
Braden and Colby
The "Sign"
Colby and Braden
Good Times!
Colson and Papa
Family Ties

(Plus one curly head kid named Shawn-Jayden's best friend)

Christmas this year will hold a tender spot in my heart. Javis & Chaylia brought our Liliana to stay for a week so we could bond with our beautiful little girl. We haven't really had quality time with them since they moved to Brigham City. They arrived Christmas Eve, so we had dinner with Karen and Travis, then gifts and games. Great times! Lots of teasing, fun and laughter!!! Christmas morning, after Sacrament we came home to cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate then enjoyed opening gifts. Lilibug and Jayden made quite a haul:) We really treasured our time together: playing games, watching movies, taking Lilibug to the park and to feed the ducks at the pond. Chaylia and I even took in some shopping and lunch. One night, Grandma & Papa watched Tracen and Lilibug as Javis, Chaylia and Jayden went with Karen and her brood to go rollerblading! The kids were perfectly content to stay behind and play together, entertaining us old folks.

Shasta and the kids rolled in Thursday evening so she could spend some time with her brother. We got into some serious Skipbo (just like old times when the kids were little) and fun conversation!! I was capturing as many memories as I could during this week. For the better part of Thursday, Papa had been plotting an incredible, albiet spooky adventure for the boys. Friday morning he took Braden and Colby out exploring for buried treasure. Complete with a treasure map, they hiked in the Delta and miraculously discovered all these hidden archives that had been buried (Grandpa had gone out earlier in the morning with junk he'd picked up at the goodwill and stuffed in one of my old pillowcases...he even spray painted some rocks gold so they looked like riches). Unbeknownst to the boys, Javis (wearing a mask), and Jayden were also lurking in the brush and as Papa read the "Tale of the Toolies and the legendary Ghost of Mad Jack Jones"...they ran by giving the boys quite a fright! Braden nearly stabbed Javis out of fear because Papa let him carry his knife...hmmm. Not sure that was too bright but, hey...they had fun! They had a real story to tell when they got home and dumped their treasure on my dining room table. Memories.....

Friday evening, we went to the church so we could spread out and have a fun game night with all the extended family: Olsen's and Purdum's were there too. We had the entire church to ourselves so we played basketball, ate turkey sandwiches, salad, chips, homemade root beer, fruit...and played some wild games. We laughed...laughed and laughed. It's so good to be with family.

New Year's Eve, Chaylia's parents came into town so we had them over for dinner and good conversation. It's amazing how much we have in common. We loved having them here. They are just an awesome family and we're so grateful they allowed us this time with Lilibug. I know it's hard to share those grandparent moments so we were very touched. Later, the kids went back to the hotel with them for some swimming and fun. I was pretty tuckered out by then so I just jelled-out. I don't even think I made it to New Year's.

I think the week caught up with me. By Sunday, I couldn't get out of bed. I'd been up ALL NIGHT, hugging the porcelain...I was sick...sick...sick and, afraid I poisoned everyone. Fortunately, I was the only one who fell ill.

The week was just magical and by Monday, I was feeling the weight of sad goodbyes. I truly just loved having our kids here and enjoying our Lilibug, as well as all the grand babies that were here!

As I look back in retrospect, Shawnte' started off this holiday season with her visit. We had two wonderful days with Vance and Demi before the holidays so it felt complete; celebrating family time. But, there's always that emotion that comes when we miss the ones who couldn't be here. We miss Breck, Sienna and Veda!!!