We're back from our Hawaiian cruise and I'm back from QVC. It seems like a long time since I last wrote.
Here are a couple of photos of us on Christmas day in Hilo on the Big Island.
We hiked across a volcano in the rain (it finally stopped in the middle of our hike). It really was great--we loved it!
We had a wonderful time on our cruise--even though we didn't see very much sun! As we landed in freezing cold weather in Salt Lake City on January 1st, my hubby said, "I'll take 80 degree warm rainy weather over freezing cold snowy weather." Our favorite island was Kauai--lots to do but not overly populated. (Loved hanging out with our neighbors and dear friends, Dana and Garrett Lyman and their family.)
Christmas was definitely different being away from home. A good different. But, I realized it doesn't matter where you celebrate the holidays, as long as you're with the ones you love. And--I didn't have to worry about baking, cooking, wrapping a lot of presents, finding places for toys, throwing away wrapping paper and boxes, etc. It was a nice break!
On Christmas Eve, we read the Christmas story, then opened our handmade gifts. Everyone was so creative and we'll definitely do it again next year. It was a lot of fun! Here's what everyone got:
Steve gave his daughter, Stefyn, a frame and plate he painted. The frame said "Love is not a feeling, it's an ability" (quote from Dan in Real Life) and the plate said "When life gets hard you can hardly stand, kneel."
I gave Kade the September Kit of the Month travel album of our trip to England, Scotland and Holland.
Stefyn wrote me a very touching poem which she framed and surrounded with photos.
Kade made Collin pajama paints--complete with his name stitched on the front. (Thank goodness he learned how to sew in a sewing class in 8th grade--I don't sew.)
Collin adhered a mini scrapbook page that said "I Love You" to a hot chocolate mug for Brecken.
Brecken made Sage a rice bag with her name on it plus painted an adorable tea set and flower bank.
Sage painted Steve an "I Love You" pen, pencil and Tootsie Roll Pop holder.
Several of you asked for the other "12 Days of Christmas" ideas. Here they are and HUGE thanks to who our secret Santa was!
(Chocolate covered orange sticks)
"On the fifth day of Christmas
Chocolate covered orange things
Seemed like straightened golden rings"
"On the sixth day of Christmas
Geese are asleep. Snow's all around
A good time for hot chocolate
Drink it by the pound."
"On the seventh day of Christmas
A swan in the tropics reclines
Amidst the grapefruits, oranges
and juicy clementines."
"On the eighth day of Christmas
Eight maids went a milking
But with those Christmas cows
Chocolate milk was a flowing."
"On the ninth day of Christmas
Dancing ladies salute
They're in a festive mood
For some delicious dried fruit."
"On the tenth day of Christmas
English lords went a leaping
To and fro, high and low
It's English toffee they're seeking."
"On the eleventh day of Christmas
Winter cold had pipers shaking
They'll warm by the fire
With cookies after baking."
(Cute snowman and Christmas Tree decorations)
"On the twelfth day of Christmas
We drummed right through our list
And after twelve gifts
We hope we will be missed."
"So have a Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year too.
We are friends who think you're grand
But you'll never know who!"
A few other things:
Someone asked where I get all my jeans. My favorite jeans are Lucky brand (you can buy them at Buckle or Lucky stores), ModBe and American Eagle.
Also, be sure to get the January Kit of the Month. Definitely worth it's weight in gold and it's going fast. I can't wait to give it to Steve for Valentine's Day.
I guess that's it for now. Tomorrow is Steve's birthday so I've got to go get balloons and few little surprises plus prepare for Family Night.
Have a great Monday.