Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Christmas 2014

Yay! Time to document Christmas...only three months usual. This year we were with the Grubers and we had lots happening! It was very exciting! And so begins our ten day stay...

Tuesday night, we arrived for dinner. Alli, Rick, their kids, Riverton Grubers, and Karl were already there. Grandma Gruber was also there. We had a delicious dinner and had a great time meeting Mason (Rick’s three year old boy). He is so adorable. He seems to be a serious kid but you can tell he has a sweet and silly heart. He wore a pink cast on his arm because he had broken it weeks before, falling out of bed. It was such a great opportunity to get to know both of them before the wedding the next week. The Tuttles had decided early on that they were not going to come for Christmas and that they wanted to have their own Christmas in Colorado this year. They also wanted to stay home for the sake of the newborn, Penelope. She was born just eleven days after Colson. As fate would have it, though, with Alli and Rick announcing their engagement and wedding, the Tuttles would still be coming to Utah, but not until the Saturday after Christmas.

Oh! And we decorated (and ate) sugar cookies!

Alli is always pretty popular with the kiddos.

All of the cousins got bears from Grandma and Grandpa with bead necklaces around their necks spelling their names. So cute!

Wednesday morning, Jason and I wanted to share a very yummy Belgian Waffle recipe that I got from one of my friends. Thanks to a nursing baby, however, it ended up being Jason making breakfast for everyone. Luckily he had help from other family members. It turned out great and everyone loved it. It was Christmas Eve, and so after hanging out for a bit, we headed to the church for their ward's Annual Christmas Program. As always and as promised, it was short and sweet. After that, we had an amazing prime rib dinner (thank you George!) and we had our nativity program. Again, another short and sweet program thanks to the chaos of children.


doing luminaries

Colson sure was a hit with the cousins


Charlie trying to creep in on Max's iPad

Jason being wrestled

trying to get a good shot of his Christmas Eve outfit

The feast:

The nativity:

studying up for his role as wise man

getting ready for Santa

a nice Christmas Eve bath

Thursday was Christmas! That morning all of the kids had a special gift from Santa. Charlie was given a cute Thomas the Train Tent. We lured him in there with some treats. He was interested for a short while, but then that was the end of that. Hopefully he will enjoy it more in the months to come. Colson got a squeaky toy giraffe. After Santa gifts and breakfast, we started the process of opening the gifts under the tree. I would say we did it in record time considering how many people and how many presents were there! There were so many fun and thoughtful gifts! We were all spoiled! We had the Spencer/Jinkins clan this year, and the Riverton Grubers had us. We spent the rest of the day playing with our new toys, hanging out, and eating good food. Merry Christmas!

wakey, wakey Charlie...Santa came!

some Christmas morning lovin'

lots of squirming for pictures from Charlie

Oh! We had a white Christmas! We couldn’t believe it! I had written Kimberly (Sister Arbon) earlier that week complaining that it didn’t feel like Christmas because there hadn’t been and there wasn’t going to be snow. Boy, did it come through in the nick of time! We had beautiful snow, and lots of it! The kids (and adults) had a great time playing in it throughout the week. A definite highlight.

Christmas day always comes and goes so fast, wouldn’t you say? Before we knew it, it was Friday. We spent it playing with toys and playing in the snow.

Saturday, Alli went to go get her nails done for the wedding, so naturally April and I had to accompany her! I justified it as an Anniversary gift (as it was mine and Jason’s six year anniversary that day). We all got Shellac manicures. Loved it! After the manicure, we invited Alli, Rick, April, and Max over to see our new house. The last time April and Max had seen it was moving boxes in...and Alli and Rick had never seen it. It was really fun to be able to show them. They were all so nice about the things we had done with it.

That evening, the Tuttles flew in! We were all very excited, especially the kiddos (most of all, probably Alex)! Just like last time, George and Nancy reserved the gym at the church. We were all there playing when the Tuttles arrived. It was really fun when they walked through the doors. We had our talent show (always such a hoot) and celebrated Clara’s birthday with Domino’s Pizza and cake. Such a fun and busy day.

Colson and Penelope - 11 days apart

Sunday was another busy day. We started off bright and early with Penelope’s baby blessing. It was held in the Gruber home and as many of the Tuttle side came as could. It was such a sweet gathering. After that, we headed to church. After that, we had more visitors! The Banks arrived! Grandpa, Alan, Steve, Annette, James, and Spencer. They were all here for Alli’s wedding. They were sleeping in a nearby hotel, but spent most of the days at the Grubers with us. So fun...they are so great with the kids.

Colson's silver cup from Great Grandpa Banks

beautiful, new burp cloths from Aunt Annette

Monday arrived, the day of the wedding. Everyone was so excited. Alli went to get her hair done at the Pro Do Bar that we went to for Girl’s Days, and even requested the same girl to do her hair. It turned out really cute. The ceremony and reception was at Noah’s Event Center in South Jordan, and it was gorgeous! Such a beautiful, clean, and modern venue. It was fun and elegant at the same time. I loved Alli’s dress, and the colors she chose were soft and classy. I am so glad she decided to do it in Utah. The family was able to be there and several of her close friends flew from California to be there too. Alli really knows how to throw a killer party! We had a smokehouse BBQ dinner, fun sodas (with juice boxes for the kids), and all you can eat shave ice from Hokulia. For her wedding cake, she did tiers of donuts instead of a typical wedding cake, and then also had gourmet donuts for all of us to eat from Beyond Glazed. Alli really had the kids in mind. Not only did she get an awesome DJ for some serious dancing on the huge dance floor, but she also got a magician to entertain and do balloon animals. The party was such a blast! What a great way to welcome Rick and Mason into the family. And to end the night perfectly, there were large sparklers and sky lanterns.

getting clean for the wedding

the love birds

Pics from the wedding:

Tuesday morning, Alli and Rick’s family left. It was sad to see them leave, but we had such a great time with them. That night, in true Banks-Gruber style, we enjoyed some aerial fireworks.

left over donuts for DAYS!

On Wednesday, it was the Banks and Tuttles turn to come and see our new house. That night was New Years Eve, so we celebrated with games, food, sparkling cider, sky lanterns, and more fireworks.

Meeting Jamie's girlfriend, Alexandra

Fans of the Steven Banks Show drove from Wyoming to buy one of his "art pieces".


Thursday was the day of goodbyes. Our little family was actually the last to leave. It is crazy that we had been there for ten days! Oh, it was great! Of course, my favorite moments were just the times hanging out at night after the kids had gone to bed….just chatting, watching shows, playing games, and vegging out. It doesn’t get any better than that. I love me some Christmas family time!

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