Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Christmas and New Year’s Celebrations 2015/2016

I wrote this post over three weeks ago and haven’t found service to post it. When I did I discovered that Live Writer, my blog service, had been discontinued. We are now in Bali after speaking on a cruise from Australia to New Zealand, and then meeting Tal at the Australian Open. I think I’ve figured out how to get back in business so for the sake of family history several posts I have ready to go will be coming in quick succession. Thanks for sticking with us!

So first, here’s a post to wrap up the holidays which is fast becoming a distant memory! 

Wow! Sitting in my bed, contemplating an amazing holiday season, I’ve realize that I’ve been so busy “being there” and having fun with the rotating Christmas crews and New Year celebration that I have forgotten to document it!

So for the sake of family history, here we go with a long story and lots of pictures!

What fun we had with our family of Nomads who, after exploring Europe, country by country since May, had settled in Spain in September to put their kids in school. We jubilantly welcomed them back to America (having come via California) on December 20th. Even though we had been to visit them at the beginning of September, they had quite a plethora of adventures to share!

They drove in right in the middle of a five-day snowstorm!  Utah was gasping for snow by the beginning of December and we got it! Since these Eyres have been living in Hawaii at Christmas time the past few years, they were delighted to experience a true white Christmas!


The girls had a grand time building a Snowmom and a Snow Baby in front of the house while Camden created a Snow Snake! Later when the Loosli cousins arrived they built an awesome snow fort, right on our front porch!



It just kept snowing and snowing. Though we had planned many activities, one day we were completely snowed-in!



It was hard to imagine siting on these chairs lounging in the sun on a day like that!


Even the Christmas lights on the eaves were sporting snow!


Rick/Grandfather bought himself a Christmas present (although he claimed it was for the grandkids)! He called it Abel’s Son (Abel was our beloved chocolate lab whom the kids loved growing up with). Ezra was in a panic when he first saw the guy, until he figured out that he wasn’t real! 


On the 22nd we were able to get the cars out of Timberline and we went to the new Church History Museum, which has so many amazing things to see!  I think the kids like the “kids room” the best though!  It’s a wonderland for kids!



On Christmas Eve Eve we got those kids outfitted with ski gear (from our massive stock downstairs in the garage, thanks largely to Jonah and Aja’s smart shopping at the DI in years past) and we met the Looslis at Powder Mountain near Ogden where the Looslis hang out every weekend!  The lodge is beautiful and we had a grand time watching the Loosli kids giving ski instructions to the Eyre kids! 

And look who showed up:


The ride up and back was spectacular!  And a great time was had bay all!


On Christmas Eve the Loosl’s came to our house and the kids played in the snow until they dropped. Here is one of the twins contemplating dropping off the balcony backwards into 3 feet of powdery,soft snow (after thinking about it for quite a while….thankfully….he did a magnificent free-fall).


Before going out, everyone stopped long enough to make a Trader Joe’s Gingerbread House!  Our neighbor brought his kids and another neighbor who was singing that night at the Egyptian Theatre in Park City with Kurt Bestor came to sing a few songs for us!  Fun!




At 5:30, the costumes came out and the lights gave way to candle light as we reenacted the scene that might have occurred long ago family in Nazareth in the home of Mary the night before before she and Joseph began their momentous 69 mile journey to Bethlehem. We all went into character and only digressed in short bursts as we questioned Mary and Joseph and contemplated what might have been said that night long ago. Our traditional “Jerusalem Super” consisted of that they might have actually eaten including fish, grapes, dates, figs, falafel, chees, pita bread, honeycomb,  a middle eastern salad and of course (sometimes the only things the kids really liked) sparkling apple cider!

I was so busy preparing food that I forgot to take pictures! After the dinner we promptly put Mary on the donkey and the nativity scene was reenacted! Look at that “ light from within” in Mary’s face?


This quiet moment of contemplation is always the highlight of the Christmas season!


Since the Loosli had to leave for their next door neighbor’s party in Ogden, we opened two of our favorite gifts because they applied to everybody! The first was our new Birthday Calendar, lovingly prepared by Shawni (which helps me so much to get birthday gifts to everybody on time). It was delightful to see everyone finding themselves on their birthday month and enjoying the new pictures. Thanks Shawni! 


And secondly, our annual Bear Lake Reunion Book. Saydi spends many hours every year collecting and organizing literally hundreds of pictures so we can revel in the grand memories! We even had fabulous wide-angle drone pictures this year, thanks to Josh! 


This year we got a great idea from a friend at a YPO event in Houston. Dad/Grandfather took the bull by the horns and brought that idea to fruition: He found a beautiful leather bound book for each of the grandchildren to record their art, poems and ideas in the same place  for the rest of their lives. He labeled each one and with their full names and we expect to find some amazing things in those books as we visit the grandchildren through the years. There’s too much being said in school about testing and not enough about art and creative writing. I think they really loved them (at least some did for sure)!



Even the teenagers seemed to like them!  :)  Sorry, low light and blurry!


Love this one: using Abel’s son for a pillow while exploring his new book!


Loosli family upon their departure:


Wish I would have taken a better picture of these letters to Santa…but it is what it is. Looks as though the reindeer didn’t go for the carrots, but the cookies are gone!




And everyone was a pleased as punch about the things Santa brought!


Cam obviously liked the new Go Pro:


Ezra who was thrilled with all his new cars (never seen such a car baby) is patiently waiting for his mom to read the instructions on a new toy:





Special gifts included a very special package for everyone from Charity and Ian which had arrived safely from England just in time!

And a beautiful candle made by the hands of Annina with the help of her mother in far-away Switzerland. It is maroon on the outside and blue on the inside! The candle holder is from our great great grandfather and mother’s old deserted home in Sweden which Richard brought home on his first visit there!


After our traditional Eggs Benedict breakfast, we opened more presents and spent the day playing with all the new stuff! So relaxing! A perfect Christmas Day. At the end, we all went to the new Star Was movie which had broken sales’ records the first day it opened. I have to say, it was like journey back in time and so fun to see the kids loving it as much as we did when we were “kids.” Ana went dressed as the young Princess Lea with a bun on the sides of her head. I think it’s the first time we’ve stood in a long line to get in a movie since the first time we saw Star Wars! 

The next morning, sadly it was time for the Wandering Eyres to wander back to Las Vegas and then back to CA to visit family there before they leave for Colorado, Arizona and Washington State. 

They left and Noah and Kristi and their five along with our great Joshua arrived from California in the mighty Sprinter the next day. And it was Christmas all over again!


They opened the gifts from us and it was a riot to enjoy this fun little bunch!

We got to take care of darling Mila while the rest of the kids and Josh hit the slopes again with the Looslis at Powder Mountain. Kristi has a sister and brother living in the Salt Lake area and with Saren living in Ogden, it’s a real trick to spend quality time in each place! Bless them! But we had so much fun with Mila on the Loosli/Eyre ski day! She feeds herself and smiles on demand every time!




The Loosli kids and Josh were heroic in teaching all those little kids to ski that day! Here’s Lyla fresh from the ski slopes with snot frozen to her lip: LOL! Thanks for the pic Saren!


We hit the  Church History Museum again. I stayed with the little ones while the parents (including Kristi’s sister and her husband and six kids) braved the crowds in the new exhibits:


From there, Rick, Josh, Noah and McKay, Cubby and I went to the Jazz game two blocks away. McKay had told his cousins to go home and watch the game on TV and they would see him there and LO AND BEHOLD….they did!  McKay showed up on the Jumbo-tron and Josh had the quick reflexes to take a couple of pictures. It made our night (although the game was great too)!



SO all good things must come to an end….including the year 2016!  We ended it with a bang!  We bid goodbye to Noah and Kristi and kids on New Year’s Eve where they spent the afternoon with Kristi’s brother and the night with Kristi’s sister.

Since it was Jared’s birthday on Christmas Eve and since Josh is a mega Jazz fan, we went to another Jazz Game that night and had such a great time!  I’ve finally had time to watch a few games this year myself and I’ve become a fan too! We sure love this great couple, especially the rock sold Jared who is a blessing to us all!  It was another terrific game and then we went to our condo downtown to bring in the new year.


The party added spice to the girls’ banana grams and the Looslis dear friends from Odgen happened to be downtown for the New Year’s festivities and stopped in to celebrate with us!


What a year we’ve had! Too many blessing to count!  Happy New Year to all you blog readers! Thanks for joining our family’s journey this year! 



Here’s wishing you a fabulous 2016!


Kiki Nakita said...

Linda, what a blessing to have so much family home for Christmas. Happy belated New Year.

Susan said...

I love reading your blog and those of your children. What an example you are to others. I come here often to find encouragement as my family is falling apart around me. I soak up the love, respect and fun you have together. I find myself longing for such a life. Please continue to share as it gives those of us struggling...hope.

Jill B. said...

If I were you, I'd black out your address on your package from Charity & Ian... some crazy people exist and I'd hate to think that your personal info would make it somewhere you didn't want it to.

Linda said...

Thanks for these kind comments! I'm so glad that someone's still out there reading after all this time! My heart goes out to you Susan!

Done on the address! That was not a good idea :) Thanks for the heads-up!!

Shawni said...

So grateful for this recap, loved seeing all the details