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We’ve finally made the swtich. . . our family blog is now located at http://www.sixmailechix.blogspot.com.  I just got it up and running, but haven’t posted anything yet.  We’ll probably be doing that later this weekend.  Love You All!

I’m a little late in posting this, but I figured as long as I get it in before the New Year, I’m good.  Malia was so gracious this year and agreed to having a combined birthday party with her younger sister and her younger cousin, also December birthdays.  So we reserved the church gym for some extra running room for all the siblings and cousins, ordered a cake, and we were ready for some birthday fun.  cimg6463

We brought some basketballs, and Uncle Matt and Auntie Katie brought their mini-hoop for the little kids.  The kids had fun just shooting some hoops. 

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Naki had a fun basketball game for the kids that could shoot on the big hoop. I love this pic of all the kids listening to the instructions.

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I had set the cake up on the stage in the gym, and really had a hard time keeping Eva away from it!  She kept scooting chairs over so she could climb up to get a sneak peek/taste.

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Eva couldn’t quite get her candles blown out, so we relit them a couple of times for her.  She finally got the hang of it.  I just love her lips in this picture.

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Here are all the birthday kids blowing out their candles together. . . the 1st time they were lit.

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Cake, anyone?

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Happy Birthday, girls.   We are the luckiest parents in the world to have you in our lives.

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So, on Friday the 19th I went to Malia’s school to help with her Christmas party.  When I returned I found a huge box on our front porch.  It was addressed to Naki with no return address . . .mysterious indeed.  Upon opening I found this note:

HELLO MAILE/JAVIER FAMILIES AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

THIS BOX IS FILLED WITH CHRISTMAS TREATS FROM TOYS, TO COLORS, TO CHOCOLATE SWEETS…SO PLEASE DON’T DELAY AND SO HOPE YOU ENJOY THIS SECRET FUN CHRISTMAS FOR EACH GIRL AND BOY.

YOU ARE LOVED

I was so surprised and so touched by this Secret Santa’s kindness and generosity.  This box was filled to the top with stuffed animals, new markers, puzzles, notebooks, bubbles, bath toys, balls, socks, gloves, baby hair accessories, a visa gift card, a restaurant gift card for each of the couples, chocolates, new games, and much more.  I was shocked at this huge gift, obviously thought out for each person in this house.  It was so overwhelming, in a good way, to comprehend that someone cared enough to carry through such a generous idea.  Naki and I immediately acknowledged that Heavenly Father loves us and felt immense comfort in knowing that He continues to bless our family through his earthly angels, whomever they might be. 

Although the idea of using the restaurant gift card to go out on a date was extremely enticing, we both knew that the opportunity to take the girlies out to eat was too good to pass up.  We knew that they would just die to go out to “eat in a restaurant”, their own words.  Eating at a restaurant ranks right up there with taking vacations, riding airplanes, or going to the movies, their rarity in occurance making them all the more exciting and special.  With the girls out of school for the holiday break, we decided that Christmas Eve was the perfect day for the outing.  We surprised them by telling them we had a couple more Christmas goodies to deliver, which we went and did,and then drove to Chilis.  Naki parked, I had the camera ready, and then we told them the exciting news.  I think Line realized the surprise first, but the others quickly followed.

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We told them that we were able to do this only because of someone’s thoughtfulness for our special little family, and that someday we hoped to be able to do the same for someone else. 

Our other occasional restaurant experiences with the kiddies have taught us a thing or two.  First, go to lunch…it makes your dollar stretch.  Second, if you have a newborn, keep them awake for as long as possible before you go so that they just want to sleep while you’re eating.  And third, try to avoid the busy time of the restaurant you’re going to.  We hit a homerun on this one. . . Ane snoozed the whole time, there was only one other table in the section where we were sitting, and the true reason it was such a fantastic experience was by far because the girlies were so absolutely and wonderfully well-behaved.  With the exception of the occasional loud talking voice from Eva, you never would have known children were in that restaurant.  It was perfect.  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Secret Santa. 

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We even budgeted enough for the yummiest desert EVER!  Tasted like an Auntie Jackie-kind-of-concoction.

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We were in heaven that afternoon, and when the bill came we thought it couldn’t end any better . . . only .12 over our budget.  Way to go, Dad!  (He was the budgeter.)Before we could even get our gift card ready to go, our server came to our table, grabbed the bill, crumpled it up, tossed it over his shoulder, and while we watched and listened completely slack-jawed, he said these words.  “It’s all taken care of.”  We were a little slow to catch on.  We asked him what that meant. . . and he let us know that someone had paid our bill for us.  After I was through extensively quizzing our poor and quite-adoringly-smug server, Dad told me that if I found out it would ruin the sweetness of the moment and the act itself.  I don’t think the poor guy was going to give me the info I was after anway.  We were stunned, to say the least.  Who would do such a thing?  Who knew we were there?  Did we know someone in the restaurant or was it someone we’ve never met?  Was it because the girls were so well behaved?  Whatever the reason, we were so touched, once again, by a Secret Santa’s thoughtfulness.  Now Naki and I CAN go on a date for our Anniversary, our 10th come March 27th. 

We saved the rest of the box for Christmas Day.  We gathered all the kids around the box, explained the act of the Secret Santa, and let them dig in.  Here are some excited kids, waiting to open the box.  Keep in mind, that I’d had the box in my room for some time, telling the kids not to look in it, that they had to wait until Christmas.  They were more than ready.

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Everything was a hit. 

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Words seem so inadequate in expressing how this touched our little family.  All we can do is try and pass along the joy and love to those around us.  Thank you so much, Secret Santa.  You truly touched us this season.

So, as many of you know, I have a problem with chaos and untidiness.  I know, from walking through the house you might not know that about me.  But the mess you see is actually very recent, and as soon as the kids turn their heads I tidy that mess up just to keep up for the day. 

I enjoy Christmas just as much as the next guy, if not even more.  I can’t wait to turn on the seasonal music, put out the decorations, make hot chocolate as often as possible, bake goodies for the neighbors and of course for us, go Christmas Caroling, have some fun doing some Secret Santa-ing, get the house lights up, and go get that fresh Christmas tree.  But after having it out for an entire month, I begin to feel a bit cluttered and claustrophobic.  So, for the sake of Christmas cheer and for the sake of trying to not create holiday memories that will forever scar my munchkins, (Mom screaming is just not as pleasant as cheerful mom), I try my hardest to not let my annoyance with the cluttered kids’ nativity scene all over the kitchen floor, or the Christmas books spread all over the couches and living room floor, or the basket full of Santa’s hats not in it’s designated spot, or my wreath only lighting up on the right half, or half of the lights on the banister going out the day after I put them up, or the bells hanging on the doorknob of the door leading to the garage that seem to jingle every time someone just walks by them, or ALL of the pine needles all over the floor despite my best efforts to vacuum those suckers up, get the best of me.  (I really do have Christmas cheer, I promise!)  But come December 26th, I am REALLY ready to put it all away until next year.  So today all morning long we worked and worked and worked on gathering all the decorations from around the house, taking the tree ornaments and lights off, and organizing them for next year.  Then we put all the furniture back where it’s all supposedto be, since we move it to fit the tree, and then start in on cleaning the kitchen, since that was where all the shoved furniture was kept.   Mix that in with breakfast, laundry, working, laundry, nursing the baby, laundry, changing a diaper, working, lunch, naps, feed the baby again, laundry, working, kids waking up, snack, laundry, and that brings us to about 3:00.  Dinner was only about 2 hours away, and I was just about finished in the kitchen.  (Here’s where my neurotic cleaning tendencies come in handy.)  I decided I should clean the microwave while I was at it.  As I was standing at my kitchen sink, I witnessed the strangest thing coming from my electric socket.  For about 7 seconds there was this very strange electrical buzzing/zapping sound. . . hard to explain.  Immediately after, smoke started coming out of the sockets and it freaked me out, quite frankly.  I’ve seen those news stories where someone’s house burned down when it all started from some spark in a bad socket.  So I was feeling pretty blessed that I had been standing there when it happened.  I called my mom first, of course, and then called a friend of ours who is an electrician.  He gave me good advise to turn the circuit breaker to off, and that he would be there as soon as possible.  Lucky for us, no fire in the wall or anything dramatic like that, but it was just the GFI in the plug that went bad.  But hey!  It was still a good thing that I had been standing there cleaning.  Anything could have happened, right?  (Just say yes, to help this crazy feel a bit better about her craziness, okay?)  All in all, a pretty good day.  But Ginny, the point is that I didn’t get a chance to upload any of the videos that I promised you I would. . . so here’s to a new tomorrow, well, tomorrow!

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So we may not have gotten as much snow as Idaho, but we sure got dumped on. . . and so far we’re loving it! 

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This is Malia protecting her snow fort.cimg6766

 

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She’s found it, folks!

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Christmas Caroling 2008

Every year Naki tries to make sure that out of all the Holiday Activities we do, we make sure we do his favorite. . .Christmas Caroling!

This year he took it to a whole new level which in turn brings a whole new level of meaning to the girlies and I.  As parents we’ve really tried to teach the girls that even if we had tons and tons of money, we wouldn’t change the way we do Christmas. . .that years and years down the road you won’t remember the Christmases that you got the most gifts, but instead your heart will always remember the Christmases which you GAVE the most gifts.  So, Naki called his and my family and told them that during the month of December we would be going every Monday night to sing carols to different places/people who might not normally get the kind of Christmases that young children envision.  It has been the most marvelous experience.  On our way to wherever we’re going that evening, we don’t watch any DVDs in the car, and we tell the girls not to talk, but instead we turn on spiritual Christmas music and tell them to listen to the feeling the music brings into their hearts.  We ask them to prepare themselves so that they can bring that same spirit that they feel when they’re listening to the music to those that they’re singing for that evening.  The greatest reward for us is when they climb back into the car after the evening has concluded and listen to them tell stories about who they noticed while we were singing, who they talked to afterwards, and how great it felt to sing to them.  They usually sing all the way home, too!  Last week Naki remembered the camera. . . it was so so great.  Thanks Babe, for trying so hard to teach the kids about what’s really important.  Sometimes to get everyone ready to go, get dinner done early, go pick up the hymn books, tell the kids to quit arquing, corral them all together whereever it is we’re singing that night, seems more effort than I really want to put forth.  But Naki is wise enough to know that the reward received is worth the effort on our (the parents) part.  To quote my Dad from an entry on Cassie’s blog about a time when they were tradition keeping in the bitter cold,  “Why are traditions important? We’ve been coming to stuff like this with you kids forever. It’s hardly ever been enjoyable for your Mom and I, but all you kids remember in the end was that you were a little cold, and that you saw fireworks and had hot chocolate. Meanwhile, all we heard was that you were hungry, cold, and had to go the bathroom. But, it’s the tradition, you remember the hard ones more fondly when you’re older.”

So here’s to lots of hard traditions. . . which are so so so worth the effort.

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Notice the women on the couch.  One woman on the right was holding a baby of one of the families that we carol with, and another woman on the left is holiding a sleeping Ane.cimg6618

 

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