Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas Eve day was a busy day of delivering gifts and last minute shopping (with Will and on my own) while Marie focused on food preparation. (Joel and Sarah did find time to go watch the Hobbit movie). It was nice to finally finish with Christmas preparations and gather with part of the Tueller clan at Aunt Diane and Uncle Lant's new home up Provo Canyon. We were greeted with a wonderful winter wonderland backdrop.

Aunt Diane loves music (she is a high school choral teacher) as do all of the Tuellers so the party started with some musical fun. Each family was given a name of a famous person and the name of a Christmas carol and then someone had to perform their family's carol in the style of that person. Here Aunt Rachel with the help of Grandma and Grandpa sings a la Barack Obama. Sarah represented our family singing Silent Night a la Arnold Schwarzenegger. Uncle Matt brought the house down singing a la Miley Cyrus (no photos allowed at the request of "his excellency"--Marie's term).

With Diane at the piano and Marie directing we then played carols with metal pipe chord accompaniment. 

 Joel and Will played their recital pieces at the baby grand.

Great Aunt Marie with baby Simon wearing a Christmas jacket which was first a gift from Aunt Jan to Will.

Hatted cousins (I made our boys take the hats off for dinner, which for many no longer seems to be a sign of good manners)

In a tradition established by Aunt Anna several years ago we then all enjoyed an enchilada and fixin's feast

Next came the posada where the holy family (Luke and Emily Pritchett with baby Simon) went from room to room in search of a place to stay.

Joining them in the throng were traditionally attired folks including these magi (Aunt DeNeece and her daughter-in-law Ayae--in some of my batik robes)

At each new door, the holy family was met with flimsy excuse after flimsy excuse for why there was no room. Here the throng is amused by Uncle Lant's excuse for having no room in his Inn--

"I'm too busy taking a bath to be bothered."

Finally one nice Inn Keeper (Grandma and Grandpa Tueller) offers them a place to stay. There we all settle down to hear Grandpa read the Christmas story from Luke.

Self portrait using the reflection in the window.

Marie reading to great niece Yuna--who was a guest in our home for several Thursday evenings this fall while her parents attended a class. 

Happy Grandma Diane with her first grandchild.

Her youngest son Isaac (seen here on a self made Christmas ornament on the tree) is currently serving an LDS mission in New England.

The evening ended with gift giving and dessert. It was a delightful gathering.

Back at home we lit our five advent candles and read more of the Christmas story. Sarah then played for us and we all sang Christmas carols about the birth of baby Jesus (most were from the Primary Songbook). Singing Away in the Manger always reminds Marie and me of the birth of Will on December 7th and of his blessing day just before Christmas.  When our two families gathered for his blessing, we all sang Away in the Manger. When we got to the third verse which states "bless all the dear children in thy tender care," Marie and I were both overcome with a deep feeling of gratitude for being blessed with three wonderful children at a much later than normal stage in life.

Next morning the kids were greeted with great gifts from Santa. Will got a soccer net, world cup soccer ball. Messi soccer poster, soccer pants, playmobile soccer game, Wii  Star Wars game, Star Wars Lego, Sunday pants and ties, and a ping pong paddle (plus lots of chocolate and an orange in his stocking).

Joel got an IKEA desk for his room (yet to be assembled), church shirts, pants, vest and ties--including two self-tying bow ties which have long been on his Christmas list, a world cup soccer poster, a Monty Python DVD, and a ping pong paddle. It took a while for the two boys to wonder why they got paddles but no table, then they noticed ping pong balls in a line on the floor that led them to the front porch where a large boxed ping pong table was waiting. Santa was pretty clever. He also must be pretty strong or have good elves to help.

Sarah got some fun new clothes (her choice), more yarn (she gave her Aunt Rachel a beautiful hand crocheted scarf)  plus some Ikea (a favorite place for here) boxes, bath mats, and bamboo. Her big surprise was a ukulele (not on her list). Many of the girls in the neighborhood are players (many inspired by David Lange) so I am assuming that they will have fun singing with their ukes around the campfire at girls camp. She also got some cello music. Santa gifts were a great success. Sarah pulled out her cello and played "In Dreams" and "I dreamed a dream", she self taught herself to play several songs on the uke, she planted her bamboo in rocks and water, and she is now crocheting another scarf.

Sarah's gift to her nativity-collecting mom was this amazing hand made nativity snowflake. She came up with the idea and then cut this out on her first try! In the center is the manger and haloed Christ child with Mary and Joseph looking on.

Sarah gave Joel an Uncle Si doll  (From Duck Dynasty)

Each of the kids got books from their parents (plus lots of ski equipment, clothing and passes earlier in the year). Joel and Will also got new Utah Storm (their club soccer team with a new name and logo) beanies.

I gave the boys new hair spray so they can throw away the nasty smelling stuff they are currently using to keep their bangs pointed heavenward.

Brothers playing the new Wii game.

First round of ping pong.

The boys were no match for their dad or Aunt Rachel. (It is now 9:35 pm and the boys are once again playing ping pong. Score!)

For breakfast we enjoyed our traditional aebelskivers and sliced oranges with powdered sugar. Sarah recently learned in seminary about trans-fats (the pornography of food) which  because it is a genetically created fat it does the body no good--only harm and is therefore likened unto pornography. That pornography lesson convinced Sarah to continue to swear off not only pornography but also transfats! That created a problem for our Christmas breakfast. Grandma Emmett's well used recipe for aebelskivers calls for Bisquick which includes transfats as one of its ingredients. Marie came to the rescue by googling "Bisquick substitute with no shortening" and came up with a recipe. It worked great! We forgot to buy bacon, so we had a very healthy Christmas breakfast.

Later in the day we (along with G & G Tueller and Aunt Rachel) continued our Scandinavian themed meals with a smorgasbord of Ikea meat balls, gravy and lingonberry sauce (Santa and dad seemed to be shopping in the same places recently), mashed potatoes, Danish Christmas red cabbage, asparagus, peas and carrots, butter nut squash, beets, grape juice (all three from our garden), raspberry jello,  and rolls.

Happy, blessed times. 

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