We had such a great Christmas! The kids had a blast and we spent a full week hitting all the family parties we could take in! So much fun! Prepare yourself for a picture overload! I will keep the wordiness to a minimum...did you believe me?! Silly you! :) What can I say?!
LINDSTROM FAMILY PARTY
Santa came, which the kids were really excited about! Cute Jake....um, just wondering if anyone else noticed when he started getting so big! I can't believe I have an almost 10 year old! YIKES!
Mallory was a BLAST this year! She was TOTALLY into Santa. She would giggle randomly and loved setting out cookies and milk for him! It was pretty fun!
Sweet Little D even got to sit on Santa's lap. Well, not for too long. He wasn't feeling that great.
So, he spent most of the evening RIGHT HERE! Lucky boy! See he's happy as can be with his Daddy!
I LOVE this picture! Look how pretty my Mother in Law is! I just love her! It was pretty fun when Santa coaxed these two onto his lap! I have to add that I am SO grateful for amazing, supportive and VERY loving In Laws! Love you Jeff & Lynne!
Then it was onto the games! There is nothing like games with the Lindstrom's! It is a riot! We seem to go in and out of phases with different games. This year Eric & Dani bought Lynne a poker set. We even got Lynne to play with us one night! She is generally opposed to such a game and is known to color waving hands over the suicide kings knife! However, we talked her into playing with us, and as long as we promised a self-replenishing stack of chips, she was in! :)
Notice Eric?! Oh my! I had to laugh! Sunglasses and a red hat for a poker face....SO ERIC! I love that guy!
Next night, on to the.....
ATKINSON CHRISTMAS EVE PARTY
Did I say night? Well, what I meant was day....ALL DAY! That is what we do. It's just not Christmas Eve without Atkinson family breakfast...which was at MiMi's Cafe this year, then most head off to an afternoon movie and then head down to Chad & Julie's house in Payson for a little dinner and fun!
Oh, did I mention I miss holding Dawson like that?! I do. A lot! I am glad there are plenty of pictures to document Dawson's favorite position! It was that way his whole life! Love that!
After a yummy dinner the kids unwrapped presents. Mallory got Playdough from us. Immediately Brian (Chad & Julie's boy) took her over to the table and they started playing. Brian or Boo as most call him, is about 17ish....I think. There are 4 boys in their family, no girls. When Dawson was in the hospital for an especially long stint Mallory got to spent a few days with all these boys! They spoiled her rotten! She loved it! Now when she comes over they just love to give her a little extra love and attention! Pretty cute!
This year all the adults brought a $10 gift. The goal was to find a sweet deal and bring the best gift. Then they were all wrapped and placed in the center of our circle. Uncle Todd went around letting us all draw numbers out of a basket. Then the fun started. It was the funnest game! There was a rhyme for each number. For example we would have #11.... there would be something said about number 11 being patient and then instructions for finding the perfect gift, such as it is covered in Red paper, then after it was opened the instructions would then instruct #11 to trade with #4 then #9 then someone wearing green, or something like that. Oh my! It was so darn funny! We had such a great time! I love these Atkinson's!
My brother Clint took a bunch of pictures from all of the families and made a family video for this years party. It was awesome! He did such an amazing job! He made it totally funny and so much fun to watch! I think this tradition is quickly becoming the favorite!
Now, onto Christmas Morning.....are you still with us? Good! :)
See those cute quilts? I made those for the kids this year. On Christmas Eve we all open one present, a new pair of PJ's. This year the kids got a new pair of PJ pants and a matching quilt! The back is a super soft Minky fabric. My sister in law JoJo helped me through all of this! Thanks Jo!
Mallory loved Christmas this year! She had so much fun getting every last bit of paper off each present! This particular present is a Fancy Nancy Doll. I love Fancy Nancy! 2 weeks before Christmas our Mallory, still struggling with the entire concept of potty training, was told that if she was TOTALLY out of diapers by Christmas Santa would bring her an extra present. This meant night and everything. So, we put her in undies and sent her to bed. I fully prepared myself for a few nights of changing the whole bed, but not so! Each morning she woke up and yelled "I STAYED DRY" on her way, RUNNING to the bathroom! We were so excited! Since then....not one single accident! Pretty big deal! So, Fancy Nancy was her extra present! She was happy about it!
Jake had such a fun Christmas. The long awaited Nintendo DS became his and a surprise basketball with a note telling Jake that there was a new basketball hoop for him at home topped his list of best moments!
Mal was WAY excited about her new Leapster! She kept telling everyone she was getting a DS....yeah right! She wasn't disappointed for a second! She loves playing with her Leapster while sitting on the Lion pillow's back. Thanks for the pillow Grandma & Grandpa!
Dawson got a special stuffed monkey. One that was to be held and kissed and hugged by all of the family before it was tucked into bed with him at night. This was so he could feel how much his family loves him all night! He spent the whole day being loved like crazy! He got special loves from Grandpa Lindstrom and then.....
My Dad. Grandpa Hardy! Sweet Baby! I know my Dad is going to like this picture!
After a fun morning we headed to Grandma & Grandpa Hardy's for a little "Hardy Party" super calm style. Grandpa wasn't feeling to well. His heart had been giving him troubles and he was on strict orders to take it easy.
Have you ever seen "Lulu My Cuddling Kitty"? She is a Furr Real pet toy thing. My oh my is she CAH-REEPY! However, Mallory is in love! She LOVES her kitty, which she lovingly named Lily! The other day a commercial came on for a scratching post for cats and Mal said, "Mom, can we buy that?" To which I replied, "But we don't even have a cat!" And quickly she shot back with, "Yes we do, we have Lily!" Touche! However, this creepy cat doesn't have any claws and has an on/off switch....come to think of it, she isn't creepy at all, she is the best cat to have! Yes, I think I am beginning to like her! :)
I loved getting to spend some time talking with my Grandma. I love this woman! She is really something! It was so much fun to sit with her and watch the pictures pop up on the new digital frame her kids gave her. They had loaded pictures from when she was in High School....my oh my do I look just like her then! That's pretty fun!
Jake is the best big brother! When D wasn't feeling all that happy Jake went to work doing "MIBUM".
Ever since Dawson was tiny he has always loved to have his bottom lip flipped. Then when he tries to talk while you are doing it, he always makes the sound, "MIBUM". It makes us and him laugh everytime!
Jake was the best "MIBUM"er around! Dawson knew it too! When Jake was around D, no matter how upset he was, Jake could always calm him with a little head scratch and some "MIBUM".
That's my cute Grandpa watching the boys. He is really quite something! My whole life I have grown up thinking his is invincible. He is like an ox. He works hard and is always strong! When we were kids and got a little roudy in the house we could hear Grandpa say, "HEY!" and that was enough! When Grandpa spoke, we listened. Now, when we hear his booming voice we all laugh, poor guy! I am sure it started with my little brother Kyle. I think he had a great deal to do with turning Grandpa into a softy. We all love him so much!
Grandpa spent Dawsons funeral in the Emergency Room. His heart is giving him trouble and the doctor gave him a little more blood thinner than he needed. This gave him quite a bloody nose. Days after the funeral Grandpa got a pacemaker. All of this has ended up being a blessing. When Grandpa went in for his chest xray to check on the pacemaker they found that one of his lungs had collapsed and the lining of the other was filled with fluid. No wonder he felt short of breath!
After pulling off a gallon of fluid it was sent to the lab for testing to find it's purpose and origin. What was found was a bit of a shock for all of us. The fluid was full of Cancer Cells. As my little brother Kyle pointed out to my Dad, all of the heart stuff was a blessing so that we can find the cancer and figure out where it is and what to do with it before he had gone to far. Right now, we don't have any other information. I think they are hoping to see the Oncologist this week. Our prayers are certainly with Grandpa & Grandma right now! They are in good spirits and are really strong and optimistic! Oh how I admire and love them both!
So, that was Christmas! Man, it feels good to get that up and posted! We are slowly but surely getting back to normal life! It is a good thing! This week I got to speak in Sacrament meeting about our sweet Dawson, then in Sharing Time. This Wednesday I get to teach early morning Seminary, doing the same. I am excited about that one! Next week I get to do Enrichment for our ward and then at some point in the future I am headed to Nevada to share our experience with my friend Carrie's ward youth! I love sharing Dawson with so many! It is a blessing to me! I got to have the experiences, but I know that I am only an instrument while sharing his message! We knew when Dawson passed away that it was not an end, but a beginning. It is our duty and mission to share our experience with others.
Alright, now I am up WAY too late and need to head to bed! Tomorrow is a fun day in Twin Falls for me. I am hitting the Temple, Costco, Winco & Target, then heading over to Dawsons physical therapist office to donate his cute little green wheelchair to another little one that can benefit from it!