I told Shawn that New Year’s Eve 2014, was officially the most boring New Year’s Eve I have ever had. Tabetha and Jarom went to a church dance, and Shawn and I spent the evening packing and preparing for our trip to Anchorage the next day. The rest of the kids just ran amuck the whole night. I folded and sorted clothes into piles for hours, and while I hollered, “get me your Sunday shoes,” or “where are your gloves,” the neighbors littered the night with the occasional firework. Around 11:45 pm the kids headed downstairs to watch the ball drop on t.v. and I knew the New Year had arrived when the neighbors shot off their final rounds of fireworks.
Even though our New Year’s Eve was nothing to brag about, it was all for a good cause, because we got to spend the weekend in Anchorage with our cousins and with BFF Amy (@ Adventure Permitted) and her family who are visiting her family for the holidays.
We had a wonderful 4 day trip. It was so nice to get out of town and leave our cares behind for a few days. The highlight of our trip was the afternoon we spent sledding with Amy and her extended family. It was about 5*F out that day, but Amy brought hot chocolate and cookies to help us stay warm. It was Camdon’s first time sledding and he was not too excited about it. I took him about half way up and as we came down I could hear him laughing. I thought he was having fun, but when we got to the bottom I realized it was more of an, “I’m about to cry any second” sort of laugh. All of the other kids had a great time. Mya had fun but she only stayed outside for about 5 minutes. She spent the rest of the time in the car, because as she says, “I’m an insider.” meaning, “I don’t like to be outside when it is cold.” The fact that one of our friends had a movie playing in her car could have had a little something to do with it.
After the sledding party we went to Amy’s sister’s house, ate pizza, and cuddled her sister’s 10 new labradoodle puppies. So ADORABLE! (you can see them here.) There are several still available. You know you want one. Katie got $20 for her birthday from Grandma and tried to buy one while we were there. Fortunately for us, $20 didn’t quite cover it, and so we won’t be adding a new puppy to the family. Although, Katie is still holding out hope that they don’t all sell and that her $20 dollars will get her a new puppy after all.
At the end of the weekend it was sad to leave our cousins, sad to leave Amy and her family, and it was hard to come back home to reality and -30*F temperatures. But, we were happy to get back to Tabetha who stayed home from the trip because she had to work. It was so sad not having her with us and thinking that this is how life will be in a few short months when she moves away to school. I’m glad to report that she did well for her first time home alone. She kept the dog and horse alive, and she literally kept the home fire burning while we were gone without burning down the house, which is a plus.
Christmas is my favorite time of the year and I am always sad to see it end. We had a wonderful December, this year, full of Christmas cheer, holiday fun, and birthdays.
The kids are always so excited to put the Christmas tree up and to get all of the decorations out. This year the kids wanted to decorate the tree, but I was busy finishing my book for book club, so I told them that if they could bring it in and put it together they could decorate it. I was so surprised that Hannah and a friend of hers were tough enough to bring it in and set it up. Then Logan and Tabetha put the lights on and all the kids put the ornaments on. It looked as good as if I had done it and I didn’t have to do anything but watch. It was awesome, especially since I loath putting the lights on the tree.
I took the kids to the annual Gingerbread House Competition this year. We used to go every year, but some how got out of the habit of going. The little girls loved it and had so much fun voting for their favorite house in each category. Of course a gingerbread house competition in Alaska wouldn’t be complete without an igloo.
KateLynn celebrated her 8th birthday in December, and was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (more on her birthday coming)
Tabetha had a birthday as well. She turned 18! Holy Cow! (more on her big day will be coming as well)
Every year our church ward has a big Christmas party complete with a live nativity. My girls look forward to the nativity for weeks. They each get dressed up and then they sing a couple of Christmas songs to all the parents. It’s adorable. This year I had two angels and a wisewoman in the nativity.
This year we went and saw a production of The Nutcracker Ballet. I have always wanted to go and was able to get some cheaper matinee tickets. They girls were the perfect age to go and sit through it and understand it. We had a great time and would like to make it a tradition to go every year.
Finally, Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the real, actual, Santa Claus house in real North Pole Alaska. It was Camdon’s first time sitting on Santa’s lap and I was pretty surprised he didn’t cry. He wasn’t too thrilled, but he didn’t cry. I was sad I didn’t get a picture of them all together with Santa, but they enjoyed telling him what they wanted for Christmas.
Good-bye Christmas and December. We are sad to see you go, but we are looking forward to January and the start of a wonderful new year.
Along with having a pajama fashion show on Christmas Eve, another of our Christmas Eve traditions is having shepherd’s pie and sparkling cider for dinner by candlelight. Some of the kids even said it was their favorite meal of the year.
Christmas morning came early. Katie, and Mya woke Logan up at 5:00 and had fun looking in their stockings, playing in their new tee pee, and sorting presents. They finally convinced the rest of us to drag our tired bodies out of bed at 7:00. A few of the kids thought they were going to die waiting for me to stick the turkey in the oven before we opened presents. I’m happy to report that they did survive the wait, and after the turkey was shoved in the oven we took turns opening presents.
Some of the favorite gifts included:
this horse head mask Tabetha gave Logan
Katie’s flippers and scuba mask, which she continues to call a scuda mask.
and Camdon’s ball tower. He played with that toy for hours. After we were done opening presents I had a really long nap, and we just relaxed and took it easy the rest of the day. The turkey was done around 4, I made rolls, and we just had a light dinner, snacked on goodies, and watched a few of our favorite Studio C videos.
I hope your Christmas was as wonderful as ours!
Every year, on Christmas Eve we let the kids open one present which is always new pajamas. When everyone has their new pajamas on we hold a pajama fashion show with me as the cameraman and Shawn as the MC. Last year, Shawn, in the mist of all the Christmas excitement and fashion zeal, declared the fashion show a pajama extravaganza which then got mashed into pajamaganza.
The pajamaganza tradition continued this year and so, here in all of it’s Christmas time fun and glory is the 2014 Lowry Family Pajamaganza.
You can watch last year’s Pajamaganza here
I have the best family in the whole world, and the hardest part for me, about living in Alaska, has been that I’m so far away from everyone. I am the oldest of 9 children, 6 girls, 3 boys, with 2 sets of twins in the mix (yes my mom is super woman.) I also have 6 terrific brothers and sisters-in-law, and close to 30 nieces and nephews. They all live within 2 1/2 hours of each other and are always doing fun things together. I miss them terribly, especially, during the holidays when I can’t go to all the family get-togethers.
On Sunday my sister Tricia, texted me to see if I had been getting any surprises in the mail. I told her no, but I hadn’t checked the mail for a couple of days. I would be sure to check it tomorrow. Monday came and I was so excited to see what we would find in the mailbox. When I was finally able to get to the mail box, (it’s about a 1/2 a mile away) I was thrilled to see we had two packages. The kids opened them up to find that my family was doing the 12 days of Christmas to us! Latter that day the mail lady brought 3 more packages to our door and they have been arriving 1-2 every day since then. I have been just as excited as the kids waiting everyday for the mail to come.
Gifts include: (Sorry family if I’m forgetting something)
- air fresheners
- 2 card games
- hot chocolate
- sugar cookie mix with icing
- colored pencils and notebook
- red box gift card
- an elegant faux fur blanket
- Christmas Book
- Pizza Hut gift card
- Cheese and flavored milk
We feel spoiled, and loved and incredibly blessed to have such wonderful family. Thank you family. I love you. Thanks for making our Christmas brighter!
The kids had so much fun making the sugar cookies!
To say our Thanksgiving started out chilly would be an understatement. We woke up to weather that was -20* F. Brrrrrrrrrrr. Thankfully it didn’t stay that cold for days on end. It just hung around for Thanksgiving day was all.
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving day. I got the turkey in the oven first thing in the morning and all of the other food I needed to make done early as well. I just had to heat it up when we got to Shawn’s office building. Talk about a low stress day. It was fabulous. I was kept wondering if there was something I had forgotten to do because it all seemed to easy. And, having Thanksgiving at Shawn’s office building was a great idea. There was plenty of room for everyone and the kids were able to run around and play, I didn’t have to clean my house before and after, and the boys had football on a projection screen 10 times the size of our own t.v. It was a win win for everyone.
We spent the rest of the weekend eating left overs, watching football and Netflix, relaxing, and playing card games. The big kids were glad that it warmed up to 10 degrees yesterday so they could go skating outside. They had a great time, and I was happy to enjoy a little alone time at the library while they skated and the littler kids were at home with dad. All in all it was a great, stress free weekend, which was just what we all needed.
Headed to town around 3:30. The sun had already set and the sky was incredible.
Camdon held cousin Phoebe’s hand every chance he got. They were so cute together. After a while though, she had had enough.
Food, fun, family and football. What more can you ask for?