"Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to you, each other, your children, your grand-children and others throughout the generations. Remember, the Savior chastised those who failed to record important events." --President Spencer W. Kimball

December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Wow, I can't believe the holidays are here and almost another year has past.  It's crazy to think how fast time is just flying right by.  My kids are growing so big and so fast, and it kindof makes me a little sad.  I wish I could keep them young and with me forever :) 

I wasn't going to send out a Christmas card this year because I didn't think I had the time, but I had a couple people ask me to make them one....and while I was doing it, I figured if I have time to make some for other people, I have time to make some for us!  :)  It took me like 15 minutes one night while I was at work, and here's what I came up with.........I LOVE it, best Christmas card we've sent out by far!  hahaha
I'm really into crafting and making homemade gifts right now, so I was trying to think of something nice that I could make for our families for Christmas.  Gotta love Pinterest and all their DIY crafty ideas.  I came up with the perfect gift for our parents and for my sisters.  Unfortunatly the gift I had planned for my sisters didn't get finished before Christmas.....so it's still a work in progress that I'll finish and gift to them at a later date.  For the gift for our parents, I always try to think of something creative that includes the grandkids....since our parents are all about the grandkids...and I found the perfect gift.  Super simple to make, includes all the grandkids and very sentimental = a perfect grandparent gift!  :)
I should have gotten a picture of them before I put them in the shadowbox, because of the glare on it....but here is my gift to the grandparents.  The one on the left is for Ova's parents, with all 20 of their grandkids names.....and the one of the right is for my parents with the names of all 18 of their grandkids.  I put material on the back before I glued the scrabble letters down, but it still looked plain to me so I made those little flowers out of tapa cloth.  These pictures don't really do any justice, but they really are nice!  :)
I don't know what happened to our stockings from last year, but I couldn't find them....so I got to make new stockings this year.  I gotta tell you that I LOVE that iron-on transfer paper stuff....I cut out the names and little Christmas decoration designs and ironed them right onto the stockings and it was super easy...and I love how they turned out!
We didn't have any presents at all under the tree, even up to the day of Christmas....my kids were getting really worried about it, especially Mone.  They've been having a problem keeping their room cleaned and I kept telling them over and over again that I was going to tell Santa not to bring them anything because they haven't been listening to me and keeping their room clean.  LOL.  The night before Christmas Eve, the kids went to check the mail and they came home screaming with excitement.....Mone got a letter from Santa Claus.  They couldn't even believe it. 
I had to work this year on Christmas Eve and on Christmas day, which wasn't the greatest, but it all worked out!  Ova's family planned to get together on Christmas Eve at our house.  They were going all out with puaka tunu, ham, lu pulu masima, and all the sides.  We were supposed to start early since I had to leave for work at 630p, but we never seem to start when we plan to...so of course it was late.  Ova ate with me before I left and just as I was leaving everyone started to show up.  It was good to see everyone, even if it was just as I was walking out the door. With me working on Christmas Eve, I was wondering how Santa was going to be able to put all the presents under the tree before the kids woke up, since they were probably going to wake up before I got home from work.  Santa had a lot to do delivering all the presents on Christmas Eve, and since he told Mone in his letter that he would be in West Jordan around midnight, they all went to sleep early.  Santa had already worked out with some of his elves to make sure all the presents were under the tree before 7am, when I got home from work....LOL......yeah, that didn't happen.  :/  Thankfully, my kids were still sleeping when I got home from work that morning so I got to help put all the presents under the tree.

 It was perfect timing too because within minutes of being done, my kids woke up.  I first heard Mone get up and then I heard him frantically trying to wake Makai and Tala up....he kept saying "it's Christmas, it's Christmas...lets see if Santa came!"....and they all jumped up and ran to see if he came.  We had our own Christmas tree downstairs and Gramma Tea and Ma had another one upstairs.  The kids went to check the tree that was downstairs in the living room....because that's where we live....and there were no presents under it.  I think I saw their little hearts break. :(  LOL  They came to me, almost crying that Santa lied, he didn't come.  I was like What?!  Are you sure?  Santa wrote and told you he was coming, I don't think he would lie.  Makai said.....but mom, we just checked and there's no presents under the tree.  They were all frowing and super disappointed.  I told them that maybe Santa got confused because there were two trees in the house....maybe he left them under the tree upstairs.  They all ran upstairs and started screaming and jumping around.  Santa did come!!!  :)  They came downstairs and were so excited telling me that  I was right.  I told them to go around the house and wake everyone up so we could go and see what he brought

My four blessings on Christams morning.....in their Christmas Eve pajamas
We all gathered around in the living room upstairs and as our tradition, we talked to the kids about why we celebrate Christmas and that presents are not the most important thing....they need to know and understand and remember the true meaning of Christmas, and that we celebrate because of Jesus Christ.  Ova always asks them questions and takes the opportunity to teach them.  I love that part of our Christmas traditions.  Before we let the kids pass out the presents or open them, Ova talked a little bit about why this Christmas was so so special.  He said there were 3 main reasons that this year was extra special.

Reason #1 is that Ma is still here with us. 
She'll be 90 in a couple weeks and she's been really sick lately, but she's such a strong woman.  He reminded us how lucky and blessed we are that she has been able to spend the last 10 Christmases with us and told us that we really don't know how much longer she will be here, so we need to remember these times and how blessed we are that she is still here.

Reason #2 is because Baby Katea is home!  This is our first Christmas as a whole family all under one roof.  Last year baby Katea was in the hospital and our time was divided between home and hospital.  This year was so special because she was home, and healthy and happy.  She is a miracle and a blessing and he reminded us how thankful we need to be that she's with us.  Reason #3 is that Po was spending Christmas with us this year.  I'm going to have to dedicate a whole nother blog post about Po, but for now I'll just say that he's one amazing person and I'm so proud of him.  He is preparing to go on his mission and should get his call within the next couple weeks.  Ova talked to him directly and gave him some words of advice and encouragement.  Then he reminded us that this will be Po's last Christmas with us too, at least for two years.  He broke down a little when he was talking to Po....we all did....we're all just so proud of him, the man he's become and how far he's come!  :)  When Ova was done talking, he offered a prayer and then we let the kids pass out and open their gifts.
We got a call from one of our neighbors earlier in the month, the Oliphants.  They live a couple houses down from us and are probably the best neighbors that anyone could ever have.  From the minute we moved in they have been so loving and caring.  They helped us move in and welcomed us to the neighborhood.  They're constantly coming over to check on us.  When baby Katea was in the hospital, they brought food for our family.  When they found out about Ova, they came over to see what they could do to help.  Dave, the dad comes over frequently just to see how we're doing.  When he found out that Ova was bedridden and hadn't been able to leave the house, he offered to have a couple guys come and carry him out to a neighborhood bbq they were having, just so he could get out of the house.  When they found out that I work graves and sometimes don't get home in time to take Makai to school ontime, they offered to pick him up every morning and take him.  I am so grateful for them.  They carry the Christmas spirit year round.  They are full of love and charity.  They are true examples Christlike love.  They genuinely care and we feel it.  It's so nice to have people like that!  They called to tell us that every year they choose a family to do Secret Santa for, and that this year they chose us.  Dave actually called Ova to ask what we wanted and what we needed.  Ova tried thanking him but telling him that they didn't have to do that for us.  But they had already made up their mind.  He told Ova, you can tell me what your kids want or we can just go buy stuff.  LOL.  We told them what our kids were asking for, and Christmas morning when the kids opened their gifts from the Oliphants, they got exactly everything they'd ask for.  I'm so so grateful to them for their love for us!  :)  They even got these for Ova and me.......they know we haven't been able to do anything for so long because of Ova's immobility, so they got us a date night....movie and dinner gift cards for Christmas.  We are so grateful!

My kids get spoiled every year, and the funny thing is that they only get clothes from us.  I always go shopping on black Friday when they have all the big sales and that's pretty much the only time I ever go shopping.  I get all their clothes for the whole year on that one day. LOL.  It works out pretty good too because I can wrap them and put them under the tree, giving them more presents to open on Christmas morning :)  We've learned our lesson that it's not necessary to buy them a lot of toys and things because they don't end up playing with all of them.  Santa only brings them 1 gift, and it's usally what they've been asking for...or the first item on their wishlist.  Then of course, they get gifts from Gramma and whoever else wants to buy them a gift.

For Christmas we focus on the kids.  We try to make it meaningful and special for them.  That's the only gift I ever want, is to have my kids with me and have them healthy and happy.  Plus, it's a gift in itself to see them so happy!

They all got little pillow pets, baby Katea loved her little parrot :)
Opening their gifts
My girls :)
Tala girl is a little spitfire, she was getting on Ova's nerves so bad Christmas morning because she kept opening her presents and then throwing them on the ground.  She didn't want anything she got...she wanted all of Mone's gifts.  LOL.  Her little attitude and personality sure keep us entertained!
When we were done, we cleaned up and got ready to head down to Lake Shore to spend Christmas with my family.  I had to work on Christmas night so we didn't have much time.  I knew I wasn't going to be able to sleep at all so Ova drove us down.  We all met and ate Christmas lunch and then hung out and talked while the kids played with each other and the toys they got for Christmas.  It's always a good time when we're with family!  I found out that my brother Safi is engaged and actually getting married next month, in January.  His fiance Fale was there and we all got to meet her.  She's a sweet girl, and I'm happy for them!
We left my parents house and my family went home while I went to work.  It was a super busy, super blessed, super fun, family-filled day!
Merry Christmas, hope you all had a great one too!  :)

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