Brian and Gabriel
My favorite monkeys! Brian's glasses are tinted, by the way. They aren't really as pink as they look here. OK, they really are...time for some new ones! ;)
The kids with Santa at the Transplant Christmas Party 2009
I think Christmas was the busiest holiday when I was growing up. It all started the day after Thanksgiving when about ten million boxes full of Christmas decorations came down from the attic, or in from the shed, or whatever, and were piled around the living room waiting to be emptied. Putting up the tree, hooking up the lights, and hanging the ornaments took a full day's work. With nearly a thousand ornaments covering that 5 foot tall tree, you could barely see any green at all! The next day entailed putting up all the holly, garland, wall decorations, stockings, figureines, and mistletoe. The days before Christmas were filled with family activities, pageants, and the annual baking of the sugar cookie ornaments. After the cookies were baked, decorated, strung and hung on the tree, each visitor to the house was able to snag one or two and munch on them right off the branch. On Christmas Eve I was permitted to open a few gifts and put out milk and cookies for Santa. Christmas morning around 2:00 almost always found me sneaking out into the living room to peek at the stash Santa left before crawling back into bed to lay wide awake until my parents came into my room, when I pretended to be asleep and later surprised as I saw all my gifts. After opening all my loot I spent the rest of the day trying out my new toys, reading all my new books, eating, and chatting with family. After moving to Texas a few more traditions were added, such as spending Christmas Eve at my Grandma's house with the cousins and the annual White Elephant gift exchange for the adults.
Now that I am a Mom, Christmas is certainly different. It's a lot more work, and that makes me appreciate all my parents did to help me have great Christmases with many memories. We still decorate the house, although we have less decorations and a larger tree with a few less ornaments. We no longer bake sugar cookies, but we do make banana bread or fudge for the family. The kids write their letters to Santa. We continue to get together on Christmas Eve or Christmas night and do the White Elephant gift exchange. On Christmas Eve we read "The Night Before Christmas" to the kids and put out cookies and milk for Santa. We get out the Nativity and set up the figurines as we read from Luke in the New Testament. On Christmas Day the kids empty their stockings, open their gifts, and sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus. At some point during the day we go over to Aunt Susan's house for her annual brunch. We keep the decorations up for a week or so before saying goodbye for another year. Whew! I'm exhausted just thinking about it!
My name is Chalea, and this is my blog. I am 27 years old and I feel 40. I was married at 18, had my first baby at 20, second at 21, and third at 23. My husband is 33, my shoe size is 9, my pant size is 6.......hahahahaha!!!! Sorry, couldn't lie like that with a straight face. Anyway, enough with the numbers. I was born in Oklahoma City and was raised all over Oklahoma. I've lived in Bethany, Tulsa, Moore, and spent several years in a tiny podunk community called Sam's Point, 4 miles away from the nearest gas station located in Canadian, which was another 30 minutes away from the closest WalMart in McAlester. Yeehaw. I moved to Texas at the age of 13. It became just Mom and I shortly after that, and then we found the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, thanks to a couple of missionaries and Mom wanting to get me a free Bible. (That's a cool story, I'll have to share it sometime if you haven't already heard it.) Anyway, that church saved our lives. I now teach the 11 and 12 year old girls in Primary and love having this gospel in my life. I am grateful to be sealed for all eternity in the Temple with a wonderful returned missionary husband. I am thankful to have an eternal family and a Heavenly Father who loves me beyond measure. Thanks, Mom, for the free Bible...best gift I ever recieved! Other than God, I also love spending time with my family, traveling, eating, shopping, Girl's nights, roller coasters, dressing up, Twilight, Harry Potter, reading, Interpreting ASL, playing games, and going out to eat with my husband. I have an A.A.S. degree in Interpreting for the Deaf and have been interpreting professionally for about 5 years now. I enjoy my job and love my life. I feel very blessed!