Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Canyons Owners Holiday Celebration

Every year the Canyons throws a fabulous Holiday party for all the property owners.
This year the party included lots of delicious food, a live band, a juggler,
a photo booth and unlimited diet coke (that's the part mom liked most!)  It was awesome!
Ashley's roommate, Sydney joined us for all the fun and festivities!
She is a doll and the three girls had a blast hanging out at the party and
then they headed home to do some baking and put together a puzzle.
What a perfect way to spend a cold winter night!
The girls are ready to party!
Dad is excited about the yummy desserts.
Justin and Ash are sad that Allie had to leave early for work.  Right Ash? You're sad!
Our table after a couple of trips to the buffet table.
The girls in their costumes are getting ready to enter the photo booth.
Ashley is still really sad that Allie is at work.  
Justin is a good sport and is trying to cheer her up!
Dad and Mom tried the photo booth too.
Ashley and Sydney looking good and spreading some Christmas cheer!
The little girls.  So cute!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time!

We celebrated Christmas a day late since Allie had to work at the hospital Christmas day.
Once Allie got home, we had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner 
followed by the nativity reading by Dad and reenactment by the children.  
Ashley was in charge of casting this year.  
She changed it up a bit with Brooke playing the part of the angel 
instead of Kimber, who when she was only 3 years old memorized Luke 2:10-14 
 and has pretty much owned the part every year since then. 
Another unexpected surprise was that Justin was casted as Joseph, 
Ashley casted herself as Mary and Allie as the shepherd.  Hmmm...that seems a little suspicious!  
Allie was a very good sport and decided that if she had to be a shepherd, 
she would be the cutest shepherdess ever and that she was! 
We added a new musical element to our Christmas Eve tradition...Christmas bells!
It's a Christmas tradition in the Crandall family which Kimber has really enjoyed.
She recently bought her own set of bells and made her own music posters 
so that she could continue that tradition in New York.
She mentioned it to me and together we decided that it would be a fun tradition to start at the Holt household.
Brett was very patient with us, as he and Kimber tried to teach us how to play the bells.
It was quite comical, because we struggled a bit with the timing, 
not to mention singing in the right key was rather challenging.
But we didn't get discouraged because what we lacked in musical talent 
we made up with plenty of energy and enthusiasm.  
The Christmas bells was a fun activity, a tradition that is definitely here to stay.
The next day we attended the "visitors ward" in Park City, 
afterwards everyone changed into their Christmas PJ's, and we sat around and opened presents.
Christmas Eve dinner.
The casting list is posted.
Notice my role was to simply be a spectator.
Obviously, Ashley knows of my lack of talent:)!
Mary and the shepherdess just hanging.
Brooke with her stocking.
Allie and Justin. 
Ashley with her new necklace.
Santa brought all the girls matching necklaces and earrings.
Brett and Kimber with their stockings.
Note that Kimber's is a Christmas angel?!
Sisters in their matching Christmas pajamas.
Allie and Justin are about to open their new camera.
Thanks Aunt Lisa for wrapping their present!
Ashley unwraps a gift that suits her just right...a musical sweater!
I love the keyboard on the top.  So cute!
As you can see, Allie still loves Zebras
and fortunately, Santa still knows of her obsession!
Brooke and her new camera.
She was surprised that Santa was able to surprise her at all this year
since she was such a help to Santa with all the shopping and 
wrapping of the gifts for all the other good boys and girls.
She thought for sure she knew everything that she was getting...that Santa is such a clever gift giver!
I love surprises and I love Christmas!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Winter Wonderland!

 We finally made it to Park City, and we are ready to celebrate Christmas!
First on the agenda, one of favorite traditions, hitting the slopes at Deer Valley
and enjoying Christmas eve lunch at the Empire Pass lodge.
It was a gorgeous day for skiing!  
The weather was perfect, nice and sunny, not a cloud in the sky! 
The trees looked gorgeous with their hanging limbs, weighed down by all the new snow.
It definitely looked like a Winter Wonderland.
 Brett, skiing through the trees and catching a little powder!
 Brett, since Kimber wasn't around, found this nice tree to snuggle with,
 while taking a much deserved break, after skiing through the trees.
 They love each other!
 More sisters!  They kind of love each other too!
 Ash had to get in on the sisters lovefest! 
 They are kind of obsessed with Brooke...they love her a lot!
 Brooke took a wild tumble and landed in a most awkward position!
 Brooke, with her ski stuck in the snow, patiently waiting for someone to help, 
while her parents are busy taking pictures, documenting the crash.
 Finally dad puts his phone away and comes to the rescue!
 The girls heading down Stein's Way.
 Brooke, posing like America's Top Model, with the beautiful Jordanelle valley in the background.
Brett and Kimber are ready to hit the slopes again
 after enjoying a delicious lunch at Empire Pass lodge!
  The little girls on the other hand, are ready to take a little after lunch nap on the cold snow.
 Allie wanted to get in on the napping activity too.
The gorgeous view of the Deer Valley homes.
The end of a perfect ski day!
The only things that could make it more perfect was if Justin was with us.
(He was in San Diego, watching his friend, Miles Burris play in the Poinsetta Bowl, but will be joining us tonight.)
And if these two cute Christmas characters were here with us!
Fortunately, these Tyler and Sonya will be joining us next week on the slopes 
and help us celebrate the New Years!  We can't wait!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cancelled flights and Christmas lights

We were pack and ready to go, almost heading out the door to the airport yesterday, 
when we got a call from Delta informing us that our flight had been cancelled.
  After chatting with a Delta rep, who said that we were on the standby list
we decided to go down to the airport and see if we could possibly get on the later flight.  
After waiting several hours at the airport, it was apparent that the flight was overbooked 
and we wouldn't be flying out until the next day.   
Dad was a good sport and didn't complain, 
even though it meant that he would be missing one of the best powder days of the year. 
 Instead of being sad and gloomy about the situation, 
he suggested that we go see the Christmas lights on Dovewood Court 
because we all needed a little Christmas cheer! 
 It has been a few years since we have taken the kids over to the Christmas light display 
and I had forgotten how incredible it was...really quite amazing!  
Their were so many lights, ornaments, tinsel, candy canes, Christmas trees, and lots of reindeer.
They had Santas and snowmen, Charlie Brown and Snoopy, the Grinch,
 and every Disney character that you can even imagine!
Since we couldn't be in Park City enjoying the fresh powder, 
Dovewood Court was the second best place to be to enjoy some Christmas cheer!
My only regret was that I had packed both cameras in my suitcase and it was on it's way to Salt Lake City.
Luckily, Brooke had her phone and took a couple of pictures 
and this sweet video of one of the garages that was decorated.  Enjoy!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Graham cracker gingerbread houses with Brooke's friends

 Brooke invited her friends over to decorate gingerbread houses on Friday night.  
She made mini gingerbread houses out of graham crackers and they turned out adorable.
Brooke definitely won the prize for putting the most candy possible on a gingerbread house.
It seriously weighed a couple of pounds but looked so cute!
Brooke with her gingerbread creation!
 Erin, Maddie, Taylor, Lauren and Brooke with their gingerbread houses. 
A view from the top of Brooke's sweet house.
I don't think she could have fit one more piece of candy on that house!
The side view of the house.  It sure looks yummy!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Kings~Bigger, Badder, Better...mostly just bad!

The Kings have a new slogan this year, "Bigger, Badder, Better." 
It's on all of their big billboards hanging around town,
 along with a picture of the five big starters, none of which I even recognize.
After attending the Kings vs. Miami Heat game last night,
we all agreed that the only part of the slogan that is correct, 
is that the poor Kings are definitely "badder" this year than ever before.
Dad still buys season tickets, so he took Brooke and her friend, Gabby
 and cousins, Weston and Tanner to the game.
They had a fun time even though the Kings lost.
Weston is a big LeBron James fan so he was very excited to see him play,
but he was a little disappointed that the crowd booed him every time he touched the ball.
All in all, it was a fun night and Dad reported that at least the garlic fries were "better" than ever!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Disneyland~the happiest place on earth!

This weekend Brooke had a race down in Southern Cal.  
Ashley took a break from school and joined us on Friday night.  
The race on Saturday morning didn't quite go as Brooke had planned 
so we headed to "the happiest place on earth" to cheer us up.  
And it worked!  
No sooner had we walked through the gate, 
that we all forgot the race and Brooke began to smile again.
We ran from one ride to the next, taking in all the Christmas cheer
with all the festive decorations throughout the park.
We enjoyed the new Aladdin show, but hands down our favorite was
the brand new World of Color show in the California Adventure.
It was Ash would say, "beyond belief!"
I would say it was something like the fountain show at the Bellagio times 10!
The girls loved watching it, reliving their childhood memories
 as they reminisced about their favorite Disney animated movies and characters 
as they were featured in the show.
I love how Disneyland brings out the child in everyone
and for a minute I felt like we had gone back in time.
  I could almost picture Ashley sprawled in front of the TV
completely mesmerized as she is watching Lion King...again,
wearing her Pocahontas pajamas, clutching her favorite Disney stuffed animal
and constant companion, Abu, the monkey, 
while Brooke, wearing her Cinderella pjs, which were 2 sizes too small,
 is happily dancing with her minature Woody
that came in her BurgerKing happy meal.
As little girls, these two, loved every Disney animated show,
 the princesses, the songs, every character, except, of course, the villians.
I think Brooke dressed up as Cinderella for Halloween every year 
until she was a freshman in high school and her princess dress no longer fit her. 
She was either Cinderella or a pig for any dress up day or for any school project!
 And I think Ashley has downloaded every Disney song on Itunes. 
 She has a Disney playlist which we listened to this weekend
 and claims that it's her favorite playlist of all time.
So accompanying these two at Disneyland proved to be not only "the happiest"
 but at this time of the year "the merriest place on earth!"


  Ashley was agreeable and posed for the traditional A for Ashley photo...
but then she got sassy and insisted on striking another pose.
Spanx Ash, for showing your true personality!

Years ago, we took the family to DisneyWorld when the Tower of Terror had just opened.
We immediately had to try out the new ride and we all thought it was fabulous...
except Brooke, who was about 5 years old at the time. 
The first time we took on the ride, she screamed hysterically and wanted nothing to do with the ride. 
The only problem was that no one wanted to volunteer to stay behind
and wait with her while everyone else went on the ride. 
So we dragged her along with us every single time. 
With great hesitation she would follow us to the line and question us, 
trying to make sure we weren't going on "that scary ride." 
I have to admit, it's not one of my finest moments as a mother,
as I didn't want to miss out on the fun either.
I confess that I participated in tricking her as we would distract her
 or skirt the questions or flat out make a crazy story up
to hide the fact that we were, yet indeed, going on "that scary ride"...again
There wasn't much of a line at all that day at The Tower of Terror
 so we would finish the ride, then ran back in line and do it all again,
 over and over, giving Brooke the same misinformation about the ride,
dragging her along the way until we got to the point
when the elevator doors would open and she would burst into tears. 
 It's a wonder that she doesn't have serious trust issues! 
 Her favorite story that we told her was that "this is a shortcut to the Tea Cups!"  
I think Dad came up with that one! 
Like I said, not my proudest moment, but Brooke survived
 and loves to tell the story about when we traumatized her at DisneyWorld.
 And the Tower of Terror ride has become one of her favorites.