Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

The week before Christmas was very challenging. Jack was a little sick and didn't sleep during the night the whole week. I had to gather the little energy I had to drive the kiddos to their Christmas events, participate in my events, and help Julianna with her Girl Scout Commitments (we baked cookies, cut fringes on blankets, helped with the Sampson Toy drive, etc). I was also asked to teach in Relief Society this Sunday, and the lesson was particularly challenging... so I spent a lot of time on my lesson too... anyway, after I came home from Church yesterday, I was extremely exhausted. But all the time and effort was worth it. I just hope next Christmas I won't be up during the night. :-)

Here is what happened on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

On Christmas Eve, we had a yummy Turkey dinner.

The Menu:
A 13 1/2 lbs turkey, cooked to perfection (ok, I exaggerate a little)
Salada de Batata (my mother-in-law's yummy potato salad recipe with homemade mayo and lots of olives)
Arroz Campones (yummy rice with lots of veggies)
Chorizo and Pistachio Stuffing (new recipe - definitely a keeper!)
Special Turkey Gravy (from, super yummy, but a little too thin. I'll keep the recipe, but will put less liquid next time)
Banana Cream Pie (Pampered Chef recipe that I've been making for years)
Pudim de Leite (Flan, my mom's famous recipe - so good!)

Here is picture number one. Sadly, it's missing a plate of stuffing and the gravy.

After dinner and dessert, we watched the Living Scriptures DVD of the Birth of Jesus. Then the kids got new pajamas from mom and dad. Then, it was time to see who could find the pickle ornament I hid in the Christmas tree the fastest. Julianna won by finding it in 5 seconds. Raphael was second finding it in 37 seconds. Michael gave up after two minutes, but he was a good sport about it.

After that we opened presents from Grandma Noeli and Grandpa Vilmar. Lots of good stuff!! We played a little and then it was time for bed.

Needless to say, the kids woke up early. They waited patiently for us to wake up too and then it was time to open the presents.

Then it was time for Rabanadas (sweet bread, kind of like French toasts). They are a Christmas tradition in Rio de Janeiro, where I am from. My mom taught me to make them and Julianna made half of these herself on Christmas day. She did a great job.

Oh what joy

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Fun

One of our traditions is to make a gingerbread house every year during Christmas time. This year we decided to make a train instead. It was fun! I'm glad I took a few pictures right away because the train is missing parts now. I wonder what happened.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Since October (Continued)

Jack learned to crawl before he learned to sit. He was very different from my other kids in this way. The others learned how to sit well first, and then learned to crawl and the later happened after eight months of age. Jack started crawling at six and a half months, and after crawling for two weeks, on his seven month birthday, I found him like this when I left him for a minute to go the bathroom. This was the very first time he sat by himself for more than five seconds. He sat for about three minutes, giving me plenty of time to get a few pictures.

Now, fours days later, look how much better his posture is.

Now a picture of him crawling.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Since October...

Julianna Was Baptized on Halloween! What a special day! Raphael sang "I Am a Child of God" in Portuguese and in English by himself. He sang so cute! :-) I and my mother-in-law gave talks. Michael and my father-in-law gave prayers.

            We had dear family members come to the baptism...

In November, we took the kids out of school and went to Disney World
the week before Thanksgiving as a surprise. We only told them about the trip the day before so they could help us pack. They loved it! Even Jack liked Disney World. We stayed at the Sharaton Safari. We went to the parks Magical Kingdom, Epcot Center, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. The parks were busy, but we had a great time.

On the way back from Disney, we Spent Thanksgiving at Destin Beach, Florida. The weather was beautiful and the beach was gorgeous. The water was really cold though and there was a lot of jelly fish... so not much swimming. But considering it was winter, and above 70 degrees, we can't complain! We stayed at the Hilton SanDestin (right at the beach) and it was really cool to see the ocean and hear the waves from our room. In the evening we ate at the hotel. They had a really yummy Thanksgiving dinner.

December has also been really busy. On Dec. 8th Marco and I celebrated our anniversary (the actual day is right before Thanksgiving). We went to Andrea Bocelli's Concert at the Toyota's Center. It was unforgetable! I am a huge fan of him and going to his concert was a real treat. I can definately check it off my Bucket's List. :-) I wish I can keep this memory in my mind for a very long time because it was a really special day. Everything was perfect. I recorded some of it with Marco's iphone. Here is the link:

Another cute one:

(To be continued...)