**Disclaimer - pictures will come in another post. I still need to download all of them to my computer!
Wow! I can't believe how fast it has all come & gone! Christmas usually lasts for a week after the big day for us because we head south. This year we went south early though so now I'm not quite sure what to do with myself since I didn't have to pack up & leave town first thing this morning!
We went to Manti the weekend of the 18th. We were able to visit with Trav's Grandma & Grandpa Whitlock & most of the Whitlock family on Saturday. Lots of food and presents! It's fun doing white elephant with kids. We let them pick from youngest to oldest and then after everyone opens presents THEN whoever wants to trade can trade. That way there's "No bawlin'!". On the 19th we had Christmas with the Bown clan. I hear there's 58 of us now and 2 more on the way. No wonder we have to have the party at the senior citizen's center! Lots and lots of good food again as well as some fun presents. The kids draw names on this side of the family, so they get to trade presents with cousins. Fun to trade, hard to buy presents sometimes!
After our weekend in Manti we got home and said our good bye's to Travis as he had to head back to work for 2 more weeks. We were glad he got to do Christmas in Manti with us. If he had been working I don't think I would have taken the kids down by myself this year.
We spent Christmas Eve at my mom's house. We just ate lots of food (again...apparently I'm getting pretty good at that!) and had the kids open presents. My poor brother ended up wrapping all the presents and I think it took him & Scott something like 3 hrs of both of them wrapping to get it all done! They wrapped all the presents up and then put them in a big box so it looked like the kids were just getting 1 big box for a present. They were pretty surprised when they opened their big box to a bunch of smaller wrapped presents. They were sure excited. I don't think there was any disappointment at all! Caleb's favorite present was the tractor pillow thing my mom got. That kid has adored that sucker every time we go into JoAnn's (and we go there A LOT) for like 6 months! It was around $25 so I couldn't ever justify buying it. I was SOOO glad my mom got it for him. I'm not sure how glad I am that the sucker makes noise though! We didn't know that when we admired from the store! I was excited to find some cute new baby girl clothes in my big box of presents! They're SO tiny! I had totally forgotten how fun baby girl clothes are! I'll be in trouble when I take Sam shopping now!!
Christmas Day we were allowed to sleep in until 8:30 when Sam woke us and her brothers up. As soon as Caleb saw his 4 wheeler (one he can sit on and ride) he was pretty much not interested in what else there was for him. It was cute! You should have seen his face when he accidently hit the accelerator and ran into the couch! I surprised Travis by having his wedding ring fixed (it was cut off in his accident 3 1/2 yrs ago). I also bought him a new wedding ring (scratch resistant, life time guarantee, titanium, and thicker). I also had my grandpa make him a strap for his acoustic guitar and his gun. Those were his idea, but they turned out amazing and I think he'd kinda forgotten that he asked me about having that done for him. I also bought him a new set of binoculars and a book light (for when he's stuck on the side of the road in a blizzard again!). The kids were super surprised when they opened their new xbox 360. Our playstation2 died a few months ago and they were kinda bummed out because they had just figured out how to play it and we had gotten some kid friendly games at the big Hollywood video sellout. We also got Rock Band Beetles edition. Nash is quite the drummer and Sam is an awesome singer. I tried it for the first time tonight and didn't do too bad on the drums (Caleb was helping though). I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to get the guitar to work right (neither could Nash or Sam so I don't feel too stupid). I think once we have the guitar figured out (hopefully we can figure it out on our own without Trav!) the kids and I might have some serious Rock Band wars!
Today was a double whammy of Christmas parties. We were able to go to my Grandpa Maughan's for dinner this afternoon. I've only been lucky enough to hit this party about twice in the 11 1/2 years since we've been married. Grandpa usually does it after Christmas and that's usually when we're in Manti. It was fun to go. Not nearly as many people were there as I had hoped, but it was still fun to see those that were there. I found out that one cousin and his wife are expecting a baby boy on the same day as I am. I also found out that a cousin and his wife are adopting a new baby boy in April. And, another cousin and his wife are expecting in July. My sister and I were talking to Grandpa trying to figure out how many we are in numbers now. We decided after the five babies that are "on the way" we will number about 81. Now that's a lot of Maughans!!
After dinner at Grandpa's we headed over to my aunt's house for another dose of Christmas. I couldn't eat dinner again, but had to sample Grandma's fudge! I think just about everyone was at this Christmas party (only missing one or two). After dinner Grandpa and Grandma gave the great grandkids and grandkids their Christmas presents. Grandma had my cousin Ashlee make calendars for us using pictures of all of us. She even put all the birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and due dates on the calendar! I'm impressed Ash! They turned out super cute! The kids got pillow pets and are using them as they watch a new Scooby Doo movie. I don't think Caleb can fit many more animals in his bed. I'll have to get a picture of that kid tonight. He's in a toddler bed and has around a dozen animals he sleeps with and usually one or two books and a sippy cup! I'm glad he'll be in the double bed when he moves downstairs with his brother instead of just the twin! Of course, the twin would even be a step up from what he's got now! I just don't know how the heck that kid even fits in his bed with all those critters!
Travis had to leave to head back to work at 11 am today. It was a bummer, but we weren't even sure if he'd be home for Christmas so the fact that he got about five extra days off (with pay) was a nice surprise! We are glad he'll only be gone a week this time. Unfortunately, he will miss Sam performing at the USU half time on Wednesday this week. Fortunately, he will be home when Sam gets her tonsils out on Jan. 6th! Samantha was able to feel her sister this past week too! On Christmas Eve Trav and I were watching a movie and he had his hand on my belly. Brookelyn was kicking like crazy and his hand was in the right place but he said he couldn't feel it. I'm sure he'll feel it next time. That girl is doing gymnastics in there just like Sam used to! The night Sam felt her kick I asked Nash if he wanted to feel his sister. He looked at me with this funny look on his face and said "No!". So I rephrased it thinking he might have misunderstood. I asked "You don't want to feel the baby?" I got that funny look again and he said "No!". When I was telling Trav about it later he asked me if it was the "That's the stupidest question anyone has ever asked me" look. That described it perfectly!! It cracked me up to see his face though. He was always excited to feel Caleb kick so I thought he'd want to feel Brookelyn. I guess the Iron Man 2 movie was more exciting!! Shows how much I know!
No plans for New Year's Eve yet. I'm sure it will involve food whatever we do! We're good at that part of parties! Hope you had a great holiday!