Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Our 2008 Christmas Story

It all began with a couple of huge weekend snowstorms that left us with about 3 ft. of snow on the ground, which the kids loved!

The schools were closed both the Friday before Christmas and the Monday, so the kids had one day of school before Christmas with all of their Christmas parties on that day. We went to Lydia’s for her Christmas program and she was a Christmas tree representing how Germany celebrates Christmas, I thought that was fitting giving our family history and her grandfather Henry Herget.

Santa Clause came to visit her school and we were able to get the kids picture taken with Santa. Emily is not to sure about the situation.

Then on Christmas Eve we had a surprise visit from the Fire Department and guess what, they had Santa with them! Their fire engines came roaring down our street decked out in Christmas lights and Santa in the front seat. They stopped in front of our next door neighbors. And of course all of the kids on our street came out of the house. Santa gave them each a candy cane and a hot wheels car! We were lucky enough to get our picture with him.
Overall, this year was a little lonesome. John had quite a week at work, starting on Sunday leaving at 5:30am and not getting home until 7:00-9:00pm most nights and he finished out the week on-call on Saturday not getting home until 10:00am Sunday. He was exhausted.
Thankfully he was home for Christmas Eve. The kids and I had dinner at the Hulse’s and then we caught up with dad that night at 6:30pm. We had hot cocoa, listened to our family Christmas stories and let the kids open one gift. Their one gift is Christmas PJ’s and here they are:
Then Christmas day, Jack is at that age where 4:30am isn’t to early to see what Santa brought him. So he comes into our room to wake us up, our first reaction is to roll over and go back to sleep but we figured since dad had to leave at 5:30am and was going to miss Santa gifts we would do Santa gifts with him; so we all got up and went downstairs. They each got to open the gifts Santa brought and that took until about 5:00am. Then John went and got ready for work while I put the kids back to bed. And guess what they slept in until 8:45am, I couldn’t believe it. I think we are on to something here.

Christmas day the kids had to wait until dad got home to open the gifts under the tree, so to keep them occupied the sister missionaries dropped by and played battleship with Jack and helped me get ready for John to get home. It was a blessing to have them drop by!! John got home at 7:30pm, we ate our Christmas dinner of Ham, cheesy potatoes, homemade rolls, etc. and then we sat down and opened the rest of our Christmas gifts. The kids didn’t get to bed until close to 11:00pm!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Greeting!

In April of 2008 we welcomed Emily Kathryn West into our family. She has been such an easy baby and we feel so blessed to have her in our lives. She was a lot smaller than Jack and Lydia coming in at only 6 lbs. 1 oz. Her brother and sister have been a huge help taking care of her and she is now starting to coo and babble.
John is staying very busy in his residency by working long hours. I have enjoyed my calling on the Church Public Relations committee which has me recording a radio show that airs once per month. Jack is in 1st grade and I am continually impressed with the school system here. He is already doing story problems in math and reading chapter books. We are so proud of the progress he is making. Lydia is in Preschool five days per week and preparing to enter Kindergarten next year.
We miss all of you so much and hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

I am sorry for the informal Christmas card this year, I hope you can all forgive me. I know how much fun it is to receive Christmas cards each year and I love putting them up on my bulletin board for all to see. So I promise this will not always be the way you will get your Christmas greeting.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thanksgiving and a couple of other treasures.

I thought I would post this cute video of Emily… she has started doing this soft singing and then she turns up the volume… it is so cute.

John has been working 17 hour shifts starting at 4:30pm and ending at 9:00am the next day, that basically gives him 6-7 hours to sleep before he has to be up and back at the hospital, he is so tired… I caught him taking a cat nap with our daughter Emily.

On Thursday, Gantrie and Corey Boren invited us over to share Thanksgiving with them and it was wonderful. John got up at 2:00pm and we went over he ate and then he left for the Hospital, I stayed with the kids and we played a few games, it was a lot of fun and it was nice for me to be with friends on the holiday. Thanks Gantrie!

Then Saturday we celebrated a second Thanksgiving because John wanted to wake up to the smell of Turkey in the oven. It was quite nice. It was our first Thanksgiving dinner with just our immediate family without friends and family and it was great. Here’s a picture of the table with all the fixins! I made homemade wheat rolls, turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, banana cream pie, etc.

Another fun thing I thought I would add. In Buffalo it is not unusual to find someone building an ice skating rink in their yard for the winter. And my neighbor did just that, here is a picture of the ice rink before the snow and ice. Twin girls live here, they are Jack’s age in fact they were born the same day as Jack. One of the girls plays ice hockey and the other one a figure skater. It will be so fun to watch them out there this winter!