Monday, January 9, 2012

Christmas in Bethlehem

This Christmas, Ken's Mom wanted to do something to really bring the Spirit of Christ into the season!  She has a friend that told her about a family tradition they have that they call Christmas in Bethlehem.  So, we gave it a try; it turned out wonderful!  Ken's Dad and brother, Mark, built a bazaar.  They put up a wooden front with sections for different booths.  Then we draped the tables with rich colored sheets and table cloths.  We pulled different decorations from around the house to add to the theme.  Ken even found a translating site he used to write the signs (and all the kids' names) in Hebrew . It really turned out amazing!  Then we all dressed up in bath robes and sheets to get into character!

Penny prepared all sorts of near-as-could-be-authentic foods.  We had all sorts of breads: bagels, pita bread, Inn bread, pita chips, apple struesel bread

Meat and Cheeses: cheddar, hummus, cream cheese, feta

Fruits and Nuts: figs, dates, olives, oranges, grapes, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, bananas, pears

And  Jewish Latkes, which are little potato pancakes made with potatoes, onion, and egg.

Mark also made each of the kids a leather pouch to hold their coins in.  We all received an invitation calling us to the house of our ancestors to be counted and taxed.  We met at the corner of the road and Uncle Mark took everyone by buggy, to the South Gate.

The kids had to pay taxes to Grandpa and they had to pay Grandma for the food they bought from the bazaar.  Then we all sat on blankets to eat.

We even had a blind beggar (Layne) asking everyone for alms.

After the feast, we had a program about the Nativity with song and scripture.  My favorite part was at the end when Ned and Penny each said something to us.  Penny talked about how when she had children or grandchildren, she never thought she could love another child or grandchild as much as the first; but then how Heavenly Father has blessed our hearts to grow with each new family member and we love everyone so much!  It was so sweet! Ned echoed Penny's words and expressed his love for us and his happiness in having us all together.

It was such a memorable Christmas!  It brought such a wonderful Spirit and meaning I have never felt before!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Temple Square

We were so blessed to be able to visit Temple Square again this year!  I really hope we're able to make it into a yearly tradition!  This was probably the best part for me this Christmas!  We went to Salt Lake City in the afternoon to visit Ken's brother Shane and his family.  We had a good visit, then we decided to visit Temple Square.  It was so beautiful, even in the day time!  We didn't stay long enough for the lights, but it was wonderful, nonetheless!  

 The best part of Temple Square (if you're not attending the temple) is visiting the Christus.  It was so neat when Bailey saw it.  She stood in front of Him and reached up towards the statue.  Then she said, "It's like He's hugging us."  It was a really special moment and I'm so glad she recognized it!

We also took a quick visit to the Conference Center.  I always love visiting that building!

It was such a wonderful experience to share as a family!  It really started us with the right Spirit for Christmas!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Just Another Day in Paradise!

Every once in a while, I like to throw in some random pictures of our every day life!

Bailey got some Bath Crayons for Christmas from a friend at school!  All three kids LOVE them!  They're pretty great!

Lately, the kids "can't sleep" unless Ken lays down with them.  He's such a good sport about it; he's often out before they are! :)

Two on one! (literally)

He worked really hard on this one! :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Play Hard VI: The Next Generation

THE END...............................or is it just beginning??

Play Hard V: Look Alikes

Buddy the Elf finally found his long lost family!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Play Hard IV: Horseback Lacrosse and Polo

Play Hard IV The Movie!!  Now on the big screen, the saga continues!  Trying to squeeze every last ounce out of the day, the boys saddled up and brought out the Lacrosse Sticks and Polo Mallets.  To even out their trio, their cousin, Tyler Perry (Producer/Camera Man via sky diving cam) joined the fun.  Now available on YouTube at:  GoPro Polo