Monday, January 11, 2010

Christmas Sunday

We had our Christmas program at church on the Sunday before Christmas. I sing with the ward choir, and we had planned and prepared to sing three songs. I was also involved in a quartet that was singing another song. The choir director asked us to arrive 30 minutes early for church so that we could do one last rehearsal before we performed.

A few weeks before Christmas I bought outfits for the twins to wear to church on Christmas Sunday. It's a tradition in my family to get a new church outfit for Christmas and Easter. I loved this tradition as a child, and I have continued it with my own children. Each year I search a few different stores for a beautiful dress for Maryam and a handsome sweater vest outfit for Peyton -- and of course the are always coordinating! The night before the "Christmas Sunday" I laid out the twins Christmas outfits so they would be ready to wear the next morning.

Now, I should give you a bit more background information. Tobin is our ward clerk, so he has to attend early morning meetings before church each week. This leaves me to get the twins ready by myself each week. Every Sunday morning they throw a fit about having to get up and get ready. That fit usually involves some crying and yelling about not wanting to go to church. Once we get to church they are happy to be there, so I'm not really sure why they throw a fit every week. It probably has something to do with having to get up and get ready earlier than any other day of the week (since I'm not working this year). I usually do everything I can to motivate them to get ready, including allowing them to choose their own outfit to wear to church (with some guidance from me--I'm really way to anal to just let them have free reign).

So Christmas Sunday morning dawns bright and early. I wake the twins earlier than usual so we can arrive early for the choir practice before Sacrament Meeting begins. I even aimed to arrive an hour early rather than 30 minutes early so that I would have 30 minutes extra time for melt downs, tantrums, and other such catastrophes. Well, I really should have allowed an extra hour. That Sunday morning was the first knock down, drag out battle I've had with my daughter. It was a glimpse of what her teenage years could be like. And it was ugly! This is one of two times during the year that I choose her clothes for church, but she was not having it! She threw a huge tantrum about not wanting to wear her Christmas dress. I tried everything I could think of to convince her to put the silly dress on, and suddenly we were deadlocked in an epic battle. I ended up texting Tobin and telling him that we might not make it to church at all that day. He left his meeting to call home and try his fatherly powers over the phone to convince the twins to listen to me, but to no avail. Maryam still refused to put on the dress.

I finally gave up and told her to choose a different dress to wear. I was nearly in tears, we were running very late, and I wasn't finished getting myself ready for church yet either. At that moment she finally decided that she would wear her beautiful Christmas dress after all. Oh, was I fried! Eventually we did make it to church. The choir practice was already half way through, and I was still on the verge of tears. One of my friends happened to arrive about the same time and asked how I was doing as we walked down the hall. I broke down crying and she lovingly consoled me. She has five children and assured me that these kinds of mornings happen to the best of us. Thankfully, her cheerful attitude quickly lifted my spirits. The choir performance went quite well, and my performance with the quartet was even better. It turned out to be a lovely, spiritual meeting.

I usually take a picture of the kids in the Christmas outfits before we leave for church, but this year that obviously was out of the question. In fact, I didn't even think of taking a picture until much later in the day after they had already changed their clothes. I had to bribe them the following Sunday to get them to put on the Christmas outfits again so I could take pictures. It may be a short-lived tradition at this rate. But next year they won't be three-year-olds anymore. Maybe four-year-olds are more reasonable and obedient. Maybe four-year-olds will better understand their mother's desire for a cute looking, coordinated, somewhat matchy family for the Christmas program at church.
They are such posers! I don't know where they come up with this stuff!


Christmas morning is so fun as a parent. I love seeing the excitement in my children's eyes as they hurry down the stairs to see what they got. Here are just a few highlights from Christmas morning this year.

Peyton and Maryam each received a scooter from Grandma and Grandpa Moon. They coordinated well with Santa who brought the matching helmets and knee pads. Mor Mor and Oompa Loompa sent personalized towels for the twins, but somehow I failed to get a picture of them. They also sent fleece blankets for Tobin and me. Those were a fantastic gift for us, and we have used them every day since! Our house feels so cold right now, so whenever we are sitting down, we wrap up in our blankets made by Mor Mor.

This is the toy Santa brought for our family, but really just for Tobin. He has had fun helping the kids play with the helicopter and learn how to control it.

Tobin and the kids playing with the helicopter. The kids are wearing new outfits they received, and Tobin is wearing the apron he received from our brother-in-law.

We had a small but wonderful celebration this year. We hosted Christmas dinner at our home with just the four of us and Tobin's two aunts. We had a lovely day cooking and enjoying being home with the kids. Dinner was great and we thoroughly enjoyed the time we got to spend with Aunt Sally and Aunt Mary. It was really nice to have them come to our place for a quiet dinner. Well . . . as quiet as it gets with two three-year-olds and two brand new scooters.

Christmas Projects

Here are some pictures of the projects I made as Christmas presents. I had so much fun! I haven't really done any crafting for a couple of weeks, and I'm in withdrawal. I need to get a couple of baby quilts done ASAP and I've got a project to do this week for a friend who just lost a brother. (That's a story for another post.) Anyway, I'll be back in the saddle this week!

These actually weren't Christmas presents. I made throw pillows for the couch and chairs in our living room.

A wood crafting project for my sister Sarah's gift. I found the idea on one of the crafty blogs I follow online. These tured out much larger than I anticipated, and I love them. Now I really need to go visit my sister so I can see them in her house!

Bags I made as Christmas gifts for my sister and niece. This was my first time making any type of bag. They turned out much better than I anticipated. And they were so easy that I'm thinking of making some more.

These are my twins modeling their Christmas pajamas. I intended to make matching pajama pants for all of us (including Tobin and me). The day after I finished the pants for the twins, Maryam saw the picture on the front of the pattern and requested a nightgown instead. I wasn't really prepared to make a nightgown, but I decided to do what I could with the fabric I had. The next morning when she saw the nightgown she was not impressed. The picture on the pattern shows lace on the nightgown; this was what she really wanted -- something frilly and girly. (She really is my daughter!) I explained that I wasn't prepared to make that, so I had to just use what I had. She decided she could get along with what I made, and wore the nightgown all day long that day. Because of that little development, I ended up not having enough fabric to make pajama pants for Tobin and me. Let's just say, Tobin was not disappointed. In fact, I think he was relieved that he doesn't have to humor me by wearing some funky bright green PJs with penguins on them.