Thursday, January 7, 2016

Christmas Vacation 2015

With the exception of Elder Kenny Nelson, who is serving in Honduras, everyone was able to come home to Washington for Christmas this year. We felt like it might be one of the last times, with families starting and lives changing, so we decided to make the most of it. We had so many fun activities planned to keep us busy and having fun together during the two weeks of Christmas break.

We had a baking day making delicious Christmas treats, everyone that wanted, or could go, went and saw Star Wars with a Star Wars marathon in preparation. We had an amazing race put together by my dad where he set clues and flags out around Maple Valley and we had to solve riddles, complete tasks, and race around in cars to finish first. I put my team, consisting of Brigham and my sister and her husband, way behind by failing miserably at Mario Kart. All the other teams were able to rush off but we had to stay behind until I successfully completed a race. We made up time solving clues, and luckily finding someone that knew where a road was, when we weren't allowed to use phones or gps, put us back with the pack. I redeemed myself at the end by beating my brother at a Link Crossbow game, and though he had four attempts before me, I used my shooting skills clenching the win for my team. It was a grand time! Competitive teams, running through grocery stores, texting mishaps, and almost car accidents trying to block others from leaving kept it interesting.

One of my favorite activities was our murder mystery dinner. The theme was Greek/Roman so we all dressed up to play our parts and showed up for a lunch hosted by Kyle and Katrina, who were putting the activity on for us.

I didn't expect Brigham to really dress up, but he walked in early from work, and I cracked up. His costume was perfect, tucking leaves into his glasses. His character was named Bogus that predicted the future by reading animal entrails. Oh it was hysterical, and I like to still call him Bogus at times that seem pertinent.

I was Rotunda - a Vestal Virgin that protected the fates of the empire by guarding the eternal flames.

Ryan was a king, and we had Egyptian princesses, centurions, and more.

Kyle and Katrina slaved all morning and created a Roman/Greek feast with hummus, dates, goat cheese, pitas, and more. It was authentic. While we ate, we entered the scandal and intrigue of the murder and worked to solve the case and accuse each other of many devious debaucheries.

It turns out I was not such a vestal virgin after all and I liked the wine a bit too much...Lots of people tried to kill the dead man and it was fun to spread rumors and sort through it all. In the end, it was my Aunt Sandy who was the actual killer that did the victim in. It was a riot!

We also dressed up for the yearly tradition of reenacting the Nativity. This year, with a new baby, Brigham and I were chosen to be Mary and Joseph. It was fun to switch it up since I'm usually the narrator.

Scott and Taylor were the innkeepers

The puppies kept going after Baby Jesus and I had to push them away. Having a newborn during Christmas brought a special spirit.

Lydia and Ammon were shepherds and wisemen with Uncle Ryan. Kayleen was the angel and Kyle took over the narrating job for me this year.

It was a merry Christmas Eve with everyone all together! My parents were happy to have a new house that could fit everyone.

My kids slept over at my parents Christmas Eve, except for Kendrick. We took him home, swaddled him for the night, and prayed he'd give us a good night's sleep for Christmas.

He didn't.

However, we were still happy to wake up early the next morning and drive the couple of minutes back to my parents to start Christmas.

The kids were up and ready to head downstairs, but as per tradition, they waited for the signal that it was time.

Santa brought the kids a new Kindle to share together, ready with a snazzy Frozen case and games already loaded. Dang, Santa is good. Ammon was quite excited about the army men, or "Lamanites", in his stocking.

Baby Kendrick wore his Santa outfit and enjoyed the promise of what was to come based on the empty bottle in his baby stocking.

Keeping with tradition, after looking at our stockings, we ate breakfast and then opened presents from each other, one at a time.

With fifteen people, it is quite the ordeal and took three hours with lots of boxes and paper and happiness for each other. I love opening each present one by one and watching what each person is getting. It adds to the spirit of gratitude.

This year, snow started falling as we opened presents and it was magical to watch it through my parent's big picture window Christmas morning. It rarely snows in Washington and having a white Christmas is something I always long for. It was beautiful!

The rest of the day was spent tinkering with gifts, and having fun in a white elephant gift exchange put on by my aunt. We won a Chromecast thanks to my aunt's pity when she took the hideous University of Utah hat I happened to open, allowing me to steal from someone else. I was grateful my cousin came, because he spent hours helping Ammon set up his new legos.
During the rest of break we played game after game, and yet I feel as if I wasn't able to play all the games I wanted. We ate lots of junk. I was finally able to see Mockingjay part two, thanks to my mom watching the baby. Those that could, went and volunteered at the assisted living center. They went to Christmas lights, went hiking, and also played sports at the church. For most of the activities I had to stay home because I am recovering and have a brand new baby, and I was ok with that, but I really wished I could have gone and played basketball at the church. It's one of my favorite activities to do with my family. I also really missed going to the temple and doing sealings together. But my family was great, planning activities at home so that I could participate, and offering to watch the baby at times so that I could go. I was able to go to the family history learning center. Did you know I'm the direct descendant of a King of Scotland? 15th great grandfather - I have royal blood and you may all now bow to me :)

Baby showers and family discussions, dinners and my son's baby blessing, skyping with Elder Kenny and passing around the baby so that he's so used to being held he's completely spoiled. We did so much. In fact, it was somewhat exhausting for this new mom. I felt overwhelmed at times and just wanted to stay in bed and rest for days, but it was a happy exhaustion and we have so many fun times to remember. Especially since it will probably be our last Christmas all together.

Merry Christmas from this Tappana family. This is our first family picture all together. It was a joyous season for us with our new little addition, and celebrating the birth of another baby that came to save us all. I'm so grateful for Mary and Joseph and their faith and sacrifices. I'm so grateful that little child was born and lived a perfect life to suffer and die, and then live again, so that I may live again and be with these beautiful people forever.

1 comment:

  1. your family is so fun! i wish we did dressed up like that- and everyone participates- my dream!! so cute- and you look amazing. little kendrick is adorable. merry xmas!