Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013 will go down as one of the sweetest, yet sickest ever. Boo for the flu. Boo for fevers, chills, throwing up, bathroom runs, motrin, water, saltines. Poor Ellie girl got sick first early Monday morning. Lex came into our room asking for another set of sheets since Ellie just threw up all over their bed and all over Brian (good choice there Ellie!) ...just kidding!
Alexa started on Monday night. And threw up for hours. It was so sad.
Christmas Eve came along and we did some of our favorite traditions - out to dinner with our favorite neighbors Rick and Lisa (Lex opted to stay home and rest), the temple to see the nativity and the lights, coming home to act out the nativity, finish the last two chapers in the Book of Mormon (family goal!) and Christmas Eve jammies! Footie jammies this year!
And shortly after, it hit Grace. Hard. Poor girl was sooooooooooooo sick. Might I mention in here that Jeremy is superman (if you didn't already know that??) Brian took care of E while Lex was so sick. But it was Jeremy who was cleaning barf buckets (ewww) and I was tending to fevers, chills, and overall sadness. Brian and Jeremy were also able to give them both blessings, to which I am so grateful! Zac agreed to take one for the team here and instead of getting everyone up at 7:15am for the typical Christmas, we would wait until 8am so Grace could get some sleep. That's sacrifice I tell ya!
Christmas Eve night after caring for Grace, we finally settled down around 1am. By about 4am I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a truck. I tried to tell myself that I was just overly tired and that if I got some sleep I would feel better. But it didn't work. By morning, I was soooooooooooo sick. As everyone opened their stockings and Santa presents, I cuddled in a corner with a big blanket. I felt M I S E R A B L E. I didn't open a single present. I couldn't move. I couldn't talk. It was pure misery. After watching everyone, I crawled back into my bed. Again, Jeremy was superman. He cooked breakfast, cleaned up the Christmas aftermath, cleaned up the house. I know Lex and Brian were huge helpers as well.
I know I slept for awhile, but I really had to get ready because Elder Call was skyping at 2pm!!! I made it into the shower and the right back into bed. I got myself ready and prayed and prayed for the strength to make it through the skype / call. I didn't want him to know that any of his had been / were so sick. We just wanted to talk with him and hear how HE was doing!
Prayers were answered. We LOVED our visit!! At first we couldn't see him via skype, but he could see us. So he called us back, and there for a brief minute we saw his HAPPY FACE!!!! It was SO AWESOME!!! Then for some reason, we couldn't see him. Again he tried to call back. It still didn't work. But I felt SO BLESSED to hear his voice and SO BLESSED that he could see each of us! It was a miracle!!! We had the best visit. Towards the end there was some emotion and lots of love being shared. If he only knew how much he means to us and how much we love and miss him!!! I hope he felt it! {on a side note, Grace got up during the call to go throw up again, poor girl!!!} When his face first popped up on Skype I had the distinct impression to take his picture, so I did. And I am so glad that I did!! It was the only picture we got, although we were prepared to take a family photo with him, etc.. It just didn't work out.
After the call, I curled up on the couch (about 3:30pm and was pretty much out cold until the next day around 11am) Jeremy can always sleep and sleep when he is sick, but I never can. Not until this sickness. I asked him to give me motrin every 4 hours, because I was in so much pain, and he did. I know that helped me so much. At this point Erin didn't feel so great, so we had a Christmas night girls sleepover in the playroom. Grace, me, and Erin. It was sad. But good. We had each other. We also had a bell from an old board game. Whenever we needed something, we rang and someone came running. It was amazing. I have such an incredible family. It was a Christmas filled with many blessings, many answered prayers, and a lot of motrin and barf buckets (sorry, but true!). Here are a few photos to document the adventurous Christmas of 2013.
 Cute baby girl helping make a salad for Sunday dinner xoxoxo
 Ellie loves, loves, loves playing with Zac on the trampoline.
When you ask her, "How big is Ellie?" this is what she does:
 Playing at Grandpas desk!
 The perfect napping strategy: put Ellie down for a nap on Gram and Gramps bed 
(surrounded by pilows of course). She's not the longest napper, but usually needs a longer
nap than she allows herself. So she would wake up, look over at Grandpa, he would wave
at her and she would snuggle back down and sleep more. She had 2 1/2 hour naps!
Ellie with Grandpa after just waking up one day.
 A classic game of Risk on Dec 23rd. Family tradition! Missing Spenc!!
 Miss Ellie with her baby stroller from Kenzie! She is just adorable!
(and she loves it, thanks Kenz!!)
 Ellie loves baby dolls!! She is such a good little mommy! 
 Christmas Eve started out innocent enough. Everyone was well, except for Lex who stayed
home to recover. We all had a delicious meal at Olive Garden!
 Ellie and her amazing daddy, Brian.
 Our amazing neighbors Lisa and Rick after having received the bill that Santa had already paid most of!
Merry Christmas!!
 Ellie loves the chocolate mints from Olive Garden
 Our traditional visit to the temple to see all of the lights and the nativity.
It was a beautiful evening.

 Everyone giving each other piggy back rides! Haha!
 We made it back home to finish reading the Book of Mormon (family goal for the year).
And acting out the nativity. Alexa was feeling good enough to be Mary.
Ellie was jealous that Joseph and Mary had another baby.
Ellie was a sheep (see the photo below of her sheep tail!)
Grace was a great narrator and put everything all together. 
(Look how happy and well she was....that all changed within the hour....)

Then it was JAMMIE time!! Everyone got new footie pajamas this year!
Look how cute they all look!!! 
 We love Aunt Lisa and Uncle Rick / Best Neighbors Ever!!!

 We love Christmas!
 Christmas morning Grace was feeling a bit better, so we opened stockings and Santa presents at 8am.
I tried to hide in a corner and just watch. I loved seeing the sparkle in their eyes and their pure excitement!
Best part of Christmas!
 Zac with his waaaaayyyy cool Nerf Vision football, basketball, and frisbee!
 Gracie got a sewing machine!
 And our nature loving Erin got a backpack!
It's big enough to hike/camp with for a week! 
 And this is me in all my sickness, trying to hold it all in and just lay low.
 Superman of the day. Seriously. He did EVERYTHING!
He's also the traditional "present hander-outer". 
 Our gift from Lex, Brian and Ellie....looks like we were only "borderline" this year.
We better work on that!
 Superman getting the last of the gifts from behind the tree!

 Spencer sent us a way cool package! He sent Canadian chocolate, a Canadian hockey shirt magnet, one of his missionary tags (love!), a flip book with stick figures that he drew (so amazing) and another sticky note pad full of Call Family Christmas Traditions. It was SO thoughtful and I LOVED it! 
I even made it into an ornament so we can have it forever!

 We were all set up ready to skype at 2pm. We knew he would be able to see the couch, the floor 
and the area above the couch, so Lex made him this cool poster!
 Then we all decided on some of the things we wanted to ask him and wrote them all down.
We taped them up by the tv so we could see them and not forget all that we wanted to know!

 All set up, ready and waiting for that call from Canada!!
Every time I see this photo, my stomach drops and my heart overflows with LOVE!!!
We had such a wonderful visit with him! He was happy and looked so healthy! We all sang Popcorn Popping with Ellie so Elder Call could see how darling she is when she does the actions. It was priceless. We laughed, we cried, we shared love, we enjoyed every minute of it!
What a blessing it was to talk to that amazing son of ours!!!
For more details on our visit and how he answered our questions, you can read his blog at It is a private blog, but if you want to be added, leave me a message and I can add you on!

On Friday, we took down the poster and we all wrote love notes, letters, scriptures, and other
amazing things to send to Elder Call. To say that we miss him is a huge understatement!
To say that we can't wait for him to return is another huge understatement!
As my sister put it, having him gone is our "strength training"!! So very true!!!

We had a great Christmas! I feel so very blessed, even though we were all hit with the flu. 
{is it so weird that I had a feeling last Thursday that someone would be throwing up on Christmas??
I know that sounds so crazy, but it's so true. And I am soooooooooo glad that it was me that was
so sick all day long, and not any of our kids!!! I'm happy to take one for the team anyday!}
We love the Savior! We love the opportunity to serve and love and give.
We love the example that He provides for us. We love the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We love that Spencer can share that love with those from Canada. They are soooo lucky to 
have him in their midst. Keep him in your prayers! I know it was SO hard for him to say good-bye
to all of us! WE LOVE YOU ELDER CALL!! Always, always!!


Erin Estella said...

I really love this post of yours. And I just realized that I love reading your comments on each photo. Because I mean I've seen all these photos but I had to get on to read the comments! Love you mom!

lex said...

oh i really love this post! and all the photos. and all the captions. and everything about it! love you!

Cindy Sharkey said...

Wonderful Christmas, sick or not. It just goes to show what we can do as long as we have our loved ones with us. Bless you all. Thank goodness you are well now. Xoxoxo