Monday, January 16, 2017

Tappana Times: Christmas Week 2016

Well I've updated about the month of December, up to Christmas. So it's time to fill in that blank. Christmas fell on Sunday and it was marvelous to be able to go to church on the day we celebrate the Savior's birth. Feeling the Spirit, taking the sacrament, singing Christmas hymns, and hearing messages about Christ? That is Christmas. Of course we had some Christmas spunk at church, making the babies wear the mini Christmas hats I made for everyone to party with that day.

The kids slept over at my parent's house Christmas Eve, so before we headed to church, Brigham, Kendrick, and I drove over and everyone went through their stockings and saw what Santa brought.

Disney countdown picture, mickey/minnie ears and shirts, and disney lanyards with pouches were from Santa, since he knew about our big trip. Santa, what a guy, helping Mom and Dad get fun stuff for our trip.
Brigham and I had a big surprise for the kids this year: Disneyland!! We've been able to save up some credit card points and finagled a few things to scrape enough together to make it to Disneyland. I'm the only one that's ever been, so it's been really exciting for Brigham. It'll also be our first trip with just OUR family (that's not to see family).

We had planned for weeks how to break the news to the kids, and though we didn't go with balloons bursting out of a box, it was still fun anticipating their reactions. Brigham thought they would freak out, but I knew it would be a little too abstract for them to grasp at first. And it was. They didn't even really look at the stuff on the piano, and just dug into their stockings. When we stopped them and helped them figure out everything meant Disneyland, we got a mediocre, "yaaayyyy....." Lydia's defense is that the countdown only says "Disney" and not DisneyLAND, so how was she supposed to know?! Now that we've talked about the upcoming vacation and they get to write a new number every night on the countdown, they are much more excited. Ammon even tried to wear his Mickey ears to school the first day back from break. 

Kendrick was both oblivious and confused, but enjoyed the rocking dinosaur that Santa gave him. 

We literally spent hours opening presents after church, although we were interrupted with a missionary phone call from Kenny. He seemed happy and looked great.

I just want to take a minute and gush about the cute Christmas hats I made. I saw them at one of the many craft shows we went to this season. However, they wanted $5 for each little hat. Outrageous! I knew I could make them for cheap. And I did. It probably cost me about $5 for the twelve I made, and I have plenty of materials to make more. I made most of the adults wear them and it added such a Christmas party spirit. I loved it!

Not to mention, it turned babies into little Christmas elves.

Oh my heart. I saved the hats for next year. So much fun from something so small :)

 We were definitely spoiled. It was a wonderful Christmas day.

The following week was jam-packed with family activities.

We drove around town and saw Christmas lights.

And blinded everyone in the car by using a flash to take pictures.

We had another successful murder mystery dinner - western style this year.

It was thrown together very last minute, but the costumes still turned out amazing. Russ even made a ten-gallon hat out of cardboard.

Aunt Sandy was once again the killer. No one knows who the murderer is until the very end when it's revealed, and both years it's turned out to be Aunt Sandy. Watch out for her, folks. That Elvira!

The western accents were also a crack up. I love seeing the acting skills come to life.

The Tappana family spent a day in Seattle with my brother and his little family.

Cold, but sunny, we enjoyed Pike's Place Market, walking along the waterfront, and eating fish and chips while overlooking the Puget Sound. The kids were troopers, walking for a long while and not complaining about the cold. I think it was because of their new, warm, fuzzy hats.

We had a Great Nelson Bake Off that my father arranged, dividing us into teams and giving us the challenge of a yeast savory bread, and a pie. My dad invited neighbors and friends to come judge the results and they didn't know who made what. They tasted, rated, and revealed.

Two-toned Vienna bread from Sandy, Russ, and Polyana
Braided cheese garlic bread by Becky, Kari, and Brigham
Chili cornbread by Scott and Nils
The judges choose the braided garlic bread as the winner for the bread category. Yes!

Strawberry cream pie by Sandy, Russ, and Polyana
Blueberry cheesecake pie by Brigham, Becky, and Kari 
Chocolate French silk pie by Nils and Scott
 The judges choose the blueberry cheesecake pie as the winner. Sweet!

My team swept the competition. It was actually a super close call and we barely won. The judges based on looks, taste, and bake, and then revealed the overall winner. If they had picked a winner in each category, we wouldn't have always taken first.

The competition was fierce and fun. We have already talked about how we would arrange future competitions.

The winners!
Besides those fun activities, we had multiple game days, a movie night, football games, and lots of general family fun, food, and goodness. Ryan and Kendrick fell asleep together while we watched old family videos, and Chloe constantly wanted Kendrick to play with her, and even would kiss/smell his neck, while he just stared at her.

We were out late almost every night, and the kids were often so tired from all the fun. I treasured letting the cousins play together, though we were missing the cousins far away in Utah. Being around family is what made the holiday season hectic, busy, fun, crazy, and wonderful. Just like it should be!

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