Last year, Justin and I had a 2.5 year old boy and a 2 month old baby girl. There was no way we were going on a kid-less date for Valentine’s Day. So, we decided to stay at home and celebrate after the kids went to bed. But, they are older this year. Justin and I already have two dates planned for this month: 1) my birthday date and 2) our congregation’s adult-only Valentine’s Day party. But, we still want to celebrate Valentine’s Day with our two little special Valentine’s. So, we are going to take them on a date with us. We love having family outings and we love bringing our kids with us on “dates”. So here is a list of dates for the whole family.
Last year’s Christmas season was wonderful. Rhys was 2.5 years old and he was getting a baby sister for Christmas. But, more than that, he was finally grasping the concept of Christmas. He understood about Christmas trees (and was so excited about it). He loved wrapping presents and eating candy canes. He knew who Santa was and would wave to him every time we went to the mall.
Even now, when we ask Rhys what Santa says, he says “Ho Ho Ho” and explains in his own little speech-delayed way how Santa goes through the chimney and leaves presents. He also tells us that Santa left him a play kitchen last year.
We love celebrating Christmas. It is actually my absolutely favorite holiday. It’s so festive, so bright, so full of fun, family, and friends. In the weeks before having Evelyn (two days before Christmas morning), we were so busy. We had so many Christmas parties to attend to.
But, while the commercial and festive part of Christmas is really fun, it isn’t the true reason we celebrate Christmas. As a Christian and as a Mormon, I celebrate Christmas because I celebrate the birth of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I absolutely love the Christmas spirit: religious Christmas songs (like Mary, Did You Know), the Nativity story, Advent devotionals, visiting Salt Lake City’s Temple Square, and Christmas church services are the absolute best part of the season.
But, I don’t think you have to separate the two. I want to raise my children to know and understand both parts of Christmas and celebrate them in tandem. And now that I have a 3.5 year old and an almost-one-year-old, it is the perfect time to start really getting into the holiday season. So, I have compiled a list of ways you can really bond with your children and teach them about the Christmas season and spirit.
“A dream is a wish your heart makes.” We all know the lyrics to the Cinderella song. To me, dreams and wishes are the same thing. I’m not talking about dreams we have when we are sleep. I’m talking about day dreams, dreams of what our lives will be like in the future. Dreams and wishes are nice things to think about. And, I agree with Britt of My Little Sunshines that dreams don’t have to be big or radical. These are some dreams and wishes I have:Wishes and dreams are synonymous. Click To Tweet
We had such an amazing Easter this year. Justin’s parents and sisters flew into town, so we decided to go down to Nephi to spend it with his brother’s family and everyone else.
We went down on Friday evening and Rhys immediately wanted to play with his cousins. He was a little leery of his Uncle Jason and Aunt Rachel, though. We enjoyed a good dinner together, and put Rhys to bed. Justin and I wen to bed pretty quickly after–we were exhausted. Sadly, Rhys is teething and didn’t sleep well at all. It also snowed that night! Grr!
The city of Nephi has a running tradition of Easter egg hunts at their local park every year. Nephi is a small town in Utah and almost the entire city (who Jason seems to know everyone) turns up. But, because it snowed, the Easter egg hunt took place in the local junior high’s gym.
Rhys mostly got smarties in his eggs, and he loved them! The rest of the day was spent eating cheese quesadillas, playing with toys, and taking naps. Then, Aunt Jenny, Aunt Jana, and Justin’s parents arrived. Even though Rhys spent a long week wit them at Christmas, he didn’t want to be anywhere near them for the longest time.
After dinner, the little kids decorated eggs. It was the first time Rhys decorated eggs, and he had so much fun!
After the eggs were done, we sent all the kids to bed, then got Easter baskets ready. Everyone was tired from traveling and the day’s activities, and we’d all have an early morning on Sunday, so we went to bed pretty early again, after talking a bit.
Sunday morning, the kids all had to search for their baskets and the eggs and treats hidden throughout the living room and TV room. Rhys had fun finding the eggs, but he was more excited about his musical PAW Patrol book the Easter bunny left for him.
We hurried and had a breakfast of creamed eggs on toast and bacon, then rushed to get everyone dressed for church…at 9 AM!
Church was stressful. Rhys had a hard time behaving in Sacrament Meeting, and screamed all throughout Nursery, even though Justin was there with him. But, Jason gave an amazing Sunday School lesson on pride and emnity. After church, the kids changed clothes, and then searched for Grams’ and Poppa’s money eggs in the backyard. After that, we had a bit more candy, then all the kids played outside in the nice weather (all the snow had melted by Saturday afternoon and it was in the mid-60’s on Sunday–crazy Utah weather!).
Dinner consisted of ham, asparagus (which I got Rhys to eat drenched in Ranch!), rolls, baked potatoes, and frog-eye salad. The entire family then watched Prince of Egypt. Afterward, we had desert of Razzleberry pie and icecream. Then, we packed up, Rhys gave everyone a goodbye kiss and hug, and we headed home to Farmington. My grandma and great-Aunt were there since they had Easter dinner with my family, so we got to visit with them before putting Rhys to bed. Then, after they left, my sister Madison and her boyfriend, Dallin, came and we all played a dominoes game called Mexican train.
It was a wonderful Easter.