Sunday, December 21, 2008

Getting Ready for Christmas...

I love Christmas. I love the decorations, the music, the lights and just the general air of excitement and anticipation. I love reading Christmas cards from friends and family. I love the sappy Christmas movies they show on the Hallmark Channel (and other similar stations). I love wrapping presents. I love taking my kids shopping and seeing what creative things they come up with to give people. I love baking goodies for the neighbors. I love all the special foods that we make only at Christmastime. I love dressing the girls in their Christmas dresses and the boys in their Christmas ties. I especially love all the family traditions associated with Christmas.

One of my favorite traditions is reading Christmas stories. We have three different “Countdown to Christmas” story collections, so every night we sit by the Christmas tree and read stories. A couple of my all–time favorites are “The Tale of Three Trees” and “Trouble at the Inn”. Although I have read these stories many times, I still get choked up every time I read them!

Unlike many families, one of our traditions is that we don’t cook on Christmas Day. Instead we have our nice dinner on Christmas Eve. Since we did not live by family when I was growing up, we always got together with friends on Christmas Eve. We eat dinner and sometimes go caroling or out to look at Christmas lights. Then we don bathrobes and towels on our heads to reenact the Nativity while reading the story of Jesus’ birth from the bible.

Last year's Nativity Reenactment---Shepherd Riley, Angel Kaiya, Wiseman Alec and Cora as Mary

On Christmas Eve, after our dinner is through and any guests have gone home, we sit around the Christmas tree and we each choose our favorite Christmas song to sing. Then we take lots of pictures by the tree---we take the girls together, the boys together, the whole family, the kids, etc. We always finish with a “pile” picture. Growing up, I had four brothers. As you can imagine, this was NOT their favorite part of the evening. I think it has actually become part of the tradition for them to whine and complain the whole time.

Group Shot from Christmas Eve 2007 (Wow, I forgot how bald all the babies were!)

After pictures, we each open one present, which is always pajamas. After putting on the new jammies, we of course have to take a couple more pictures before setting the milk and cookies out for Santa and jumping into bed.

For breakfast Christmas morning, we always have those little single-serve boxes of cereal. My grandparents started this tradition when my mom was a young child. They couldn’t afford to have cereal all the time, so having cereal on Christmas morning was a special treat. Even though we have cereal for breakfast almost every day at our house, my kids still love getting the little boxes for Christmas. In fact, if you ask my kids what traditions we have for Christmas, the little cereal boxes are usually the only thing they remember. With our little cereals, we also have cinnamon rolls and chocolate milk.

Christmas this year should be a lot of fun. We have had to be a little bit creative with our Christmas decorations. The babies are that stage where they are curious about everything, and don’t quite listen when you tell them “no”. Our Christmas tree has a baby gate surrounding it, and all of our other decorations have been placed out of reach. I am sure the babies will like opening presents and playing with the paper and boxes. Riley and Kaiya are a bit concerned that the babies will attack all of their presents as well.

The Christmas Tree

Ryder, Kassidy and Rustin attempt to overpower the barrier--So far their attempts have been unsuccessful!

The Mantel---Check out all those Christmas stockings! (Which fortunately are too high for the babies to reach.)

Creative measures to keep cords and decorations out of reach of little hands!

Today was the Sunday before Christmas and all the kiddos were dressed in their Christmas clothes. I attempted to get a picture of each of the kids in front of the Christmas tree, but not everyone wanted to cooperate!

Riley--"All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth!"







Kaiya and Riley

The Boys: Rustin, Jayson, Ryder and Riley

The Girls: Kassidy, Rachelle, Kaydence, Kyndall and Kaiya

Jayson and Rachelle

My brother Colby and his girlfriend Neeha stopped by this weekend for a couple of hours on their way to Arizona. I made them pose for a few pictures. Colby said that he thinks I may have become worse than our mom when it comes to taking lots of pictures-----I think I will take that as a compliment!

Ryder, Rustin, Kaiya, Kassidy, Neeha, Kaydence, Colby, Kyndall, and Riley



MDtripmom said...

I love all of your Christmas decorations and traditions! The photos look great as well. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Stephanie said...

We wish you guys could be here for Christmas! I'm hoping that one of these days we will be able to see you guys again. Merry Christmas!

Jeannie said...

Merry Christmas!!! ~Jeannie

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post; thank you! I have followed you since you were pregnant with the quints and I think all your kids are so cute. Merry Christmas!

gilloth/Edina said...

Blessed preparations and a blessed, happy Christmas to you. Thank you very much for the chance for us to follow your life through this blog.It means a lot to me.
Edina from Hungary

Anonymous said...

You have a very beautiful family =D
I'm so happy to see your new post.
The Photos are super =)
Thank you very much to give us this chance to follow your life through your blog
I wish you a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year.
Long life to all your family.

Laura from France

Tobi said...

I loved seeing the pictures from last year. Thanks for posting those. It's so sad that Kaiya probably won't fit into the "Angel" dress this year.

Schauers Hours said...

I LOVE all your pictures! And it was great to see Colby on there.

Dana said...

I started following you guys after reading about you in the BYU magazine. I would love to know where you got the decoration that represents your whole family and then the stocking holder over the fireplace? WE have 7 kids(all singletons) and its hard to find something that can hold such a big number. I love the picture with you and your husband. Very cute and festive!!

Rachelle said...


The ornament was gift from a friend. She found it at a craft show. The stocking hangers I got at Target---I had the NOEL before the quints, and I just added five blank, flat stocking holders (which I also found at Target on clearance last year) in between all the letters to fit all nine stockings.

Crazy Granny said...

You are all so lovely in your Christmas attire. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, I wish that I could be there to give everybody a squeeze. Merry Christmas

lindsay Roscoe said...

Merry Christmas!! I hope you may find some time to relax and enjoy the Holidays together! said...

Hi, I just love your blog. I had triplets on the 7th of December 2008, so just recently. They were born at 31 weeks and one day. We had a set of identicals and a singleton. They are all girls. How did you survive the stress of the NICU? All of our girls are doing well. They are in open cribs now and can hold their own body heat. The smallest weighs in at 3 lbs. 5 oz., the next smallest weighs in at 3 lbs. 14 oz., and the largest our singleton weighs in at 4 lbs. 3 oz. So they have all definately gained weight since they were born. Our singleton has recently been halted on her feedings because of a blockage in her intestines, however they said the blockage is slowly disappearing and getting better. There are just so many scary things that can go wrong... Anyways, thanks so much for sharing your blog, it gives me hope to see that my babies will eventually come home.

The Queen Vee said...

It's Christmas night and we will be leaving Colorado for home tomorrow afternoon. Everyone is in bed and I'm catching up on Facebook and blogs. As always Rachelle, I love your postings and pictures. My favorite picture this time is not one of your adorable children but the one of you and Jayson. I bet you had a wild day today, hopefully at the end of the day lots of happy memories. Love you all.....

Anonymous said...

I wonder how you even have time to get dressed, let alone take all those pictures and put up a tree. I hope it was a Merry Christmas!

Dunstan Family said...

Merry Christmas... I love your little red headed Rustin does he have the temper of a red head?? I have three little red heads. I hope you don't mind me following your family it is beautiful.

Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke said...

fun fun fun

MommyLydia said...

A Tale of Three Trees is one of our favorites too. Though we had to check it out of the library in order to have it.

Barton Creek Mall has a ornament place -- near the movie theater. They make custom ornaments and have a LOT of "large family" ornaments. I don't remember if this one in particular was there, but a lot like it were.