Sunday, December 27, 2009

Alveybunch Christmas 2009

Our Christmas was wonderful this year. We all enjoyed our time together and the opportunity to spend it with others. We played most of Christmas Eve and enjoyed a traditional turkey dinner at home in which we invited my sister and BIL over to join us. Later on, we met up with my parents and some siblings at Grandpa and Grandma B's home. To share a little of the Christmas spirit and watch them open their presents. I think next year we'll have to get the kids to dress up and act out the Christmas story as someone reads it from the scriptures.

We left early enough from their house to still let the kids open a present before bedtime: a special pair of pajamas for each of them to wear for Christmas. Bubba pretty much slept through all of the fun but that seems rather common for a baby! We put out a couple sugar cookies on our special Santa plate and then off to bed for the kiddos.

Our little ones are not early risers which is perfectly fine with us. They were up at about 8 o'clock, sleeping in on Christmas morning. Our kids were very good this year and spoiled relentlessly. It looked as though everyone had a gift from Santa under the tree except Mr. A who received a package of coal! There was a note attached that said his gift was outside! We all ran outside to see what Santa had left behind and out in the backyard was a trampoline! Looks like Santa is a bit of a tease, don't you think?!? The kids were thrilled, they never suspected anything.

After being spoiled at home we headed over to Grandpa and Grandma B's for a "little" breakfast and more presents! We were showered with gifts and fun. We had my brother's family so we had to wait until they arrived for them to open their gifts, I was a bit antsy to see what they thought. It was good to have all the siblings together. My brother has been out in Oklahoma for the past month plus all of October for hospital work. We had a blast for our Christmas and the kids are enjoying all their new gifts and playing hard. We played games until late at night and then drove home thoroughly exhausted!

We sure enjoyed the gifts and excitement of Christmas! I think most everyone is a little more thoughtful and loving, a little more generous and compassionate at this time of year. We are so thankful for our gift of the Savior!

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Days of Christmas: Day 25

Day 25- Read Job 19:25—Enjoy this special day!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Days of Christmas: Day 24

Read (and act out) Luke 2—Christmas is almost here. Here is a small gift. (Include Nativity trinket)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Days of Christmas: Day 23

Read Psalms 95:6-7—How do we worship Christ? Sing “O Come All Ye Faithful!”

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Newsletter 2009

Dear Family & Friends,

We have had a year filled with lots of blessings for our family! The Lord has been mindful of us in both times of feast and famine. Our testimonies of the Lord Jesus Christ have been strengthened and we have sought the Lord more in thanksgiving. Our family has grown by leaps and bounds this year. We started off the year with the birth of our little baby on February 22nd. We've also been blessed with two new nephews, a niece and a sister-in-law. Katie was baptized in May along with the baby’s blessing, it was a very eventful time for our family. We had the privilege of having all of our siblings attend this special event for our children. We are so grateful for our family both near and far. Both of Mrs. A's sisters and their families moved back down to southern Utah this summer. We've been able to get together often with all of her family which is wonderful! We aren't able to see Mr. A's family very much but enjoy the opportunities when they arise.

When school started in the fall so did many other opportunities for our family. Katie was able to start piano lessons with a lady just down the road from us, Mr. A found many opportunities for extra money and he joined a local choral group called Lieto Voices which is conducted by a fellow teacher from PV. The bishopric continues to keep Mr. A busy on Sundays and Tuesday nights. He has really enjoyed the opportunity to serve in this capacity. Mr. A is in his fifth year of teaching at PV and loves it! He is a natural!

Mrs. A is busy at home with the kids. She enjoys being a mother to all five of her children, cooking, baking, reading, taking pictures of the kids, crafts and decorating our home. She is a very hard worker and keeps us well taken care of. We hope to have more success in gardening this year as this past year we were a bit occupied with a new baby and various other projects. If you have any tips we would love to hear them. Mrs. A is busy with her church callings; she is over the Activity Days 8-9 year old girls and our Cub Scouts committee chair.

Katie is 8 years old and in 3rd grade. She enjoys piano, reading, playing, creating, and drawing. Katie is our little princess! She was baptized this past spring and her testimony has grown so much this year. We are really proud of the good choices that she has made. She recently donated her long hair to Locks of Love so that children with cancer might be blessed by her generosity!

Tater is 6 years old and in 1st grade! He really has enjoyed learning how to read, hang out with friends and the many other opportunities that school presents for him. He likes to play with friends, ride his bike, wrestle, draw and just be a kid! He really loves school and always tells us about how hard he works at school!

Rexy is 4 years old and has really grown up this past year! He is much more responsible and is always doing little tasks here and there without being asked so he can be more like Jesus. He participates in a neighborhood preschool that he loves! He is so excited to get older and cannot wait to start kindergarten next August. Rex always makes sure that everyone is included and loves being a big and little brother. He loves to wrestle, play with dinosaurs, cause all kinds of trouble and draw pictures.

Jack-jack is not a baby anymore! He will be turning 3 years old at the end of next month. He is as advanced as possible for an almost 3 year old. Jack-Jack is quite friendly and has a silly sense of humor! He is already potty trained both day and night as a little Halloween candy helped us along the way. He is able to do just about anything he sets his mind to. He loves to roughhouse, play with his brothers, climb the walls, watch movies and meet new people.

Bubba is 10 months old. He is such a sweet little man, full of love for everyone! He has brought so much joy to our family. He is crawling all over the place, climbing and getting into everything. We are so thankful for him. He has his dad wrapped around his little finger and knows it!

Our family has been so blessed this past year; we definitely see the Lord's hand in our lives. We know that He is aware of us and answers our prayers. Christmas is a wonderful time to celebrate our Savior’s birth. He has blessed our lives with His grace! Always keep the spirit of Christmas in your hearts. Remember the reason for the season! We keep our lives pretty busy but if you want to know what is going on with us check out our blog at

We send you warm holiday wishes,
The Alveybunch Family

The Days of Christmas: Day 22

Read Isaiah 1:18 & Revelations 3:5. What does snow have to do with the real meaning of Christmas?
Activity: Make a snowflake

Bubba is 10 months old

Our little guy is so mobile! He crawls and climbs everywhere. Bubba is starting to pull himself up onto the furniture including the fridge! He has a very sweet disposition but can hold his own if the boys start bugging him. We have sure enjoyed having him join our family. He brings such joy to each one of us. Bubba loves his brothers and sister but his daddy most of all. He is a great little man and a great buddy for his mom. We love him!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Days of Christmas: Day 21

Read Isaiah 61:1-3—Bows “bind up the broken hearted” and remind us that we are all connected, through Jesus Christ. How can we serve someone this Christmas? (include little bows)
Activity: Tying bows on the Christmas tree as our reminder!

Tonight was Mr. A's performance with Lieto in their Christmas concert. He did a great job! Both my sisters and their families came with us to see him perform. Unfortunately the place was packed! We ended up sitting on the stairs along the wall. It was a little uncomfortable but everyone seemed to enjoy the music. Later on we tied our little fabric bows to the Christmas tree. The older two were able to help out but the others are a little young just yet. Rexy tried and ended with "these are how you tie shoes!" Next year he'll be able to join in and I know he can't wait!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Days of Christmas: Day 20

Read Psalms 66:1-2—Christmas bells are rung to make a “joyful noise”.
Activity: Sing “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” (include bell shaped candy or small bells).

We had Tater take bells off of our tree and hand them out to everyone to ring while we sang. Bubba was even into the bell jingling. He had to sneak a taste but rang the bell too! I found tons of small bells at Target in their Christmas decor and thought it was a great way to decorate. They're a little too big for Bubba to swallow and they are not breakable unless your two year old steps on them and tries to bend them. Well in that case they flatten but aren't broken!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Days of Christmas: Day 19

Read Isaiah 9:6—What are some of the names of Christ?
Activity: Watch a live nativity

Our family loves to see the live Nativity at the Tuacahn. It is always a special experience for us. We drove over to Tuacahn and had to wake a couple rug rats up when we finally arrived! It wasn't too packed so we ended up being on the third row which definitely helps keep the kids attention. They loved every minute of the performance, even Bubba seemed a little entranced. The live animals are always a favorite. After it was over their is a real reverence. We took some snap shots of the kids in their cute little photo areas and then headed over to Santa. I thought we would be okay with William and all his experiences with the jolly old elf but to no avail. He is scared of the man. We couldn't get him to sit at the fireplace next to Katie who was sitting on a stool next to Jack-Jack who was sitting on Santa's lap. Mr. A just ended up in the picture holding Rex who smiled a "stop torturing me please!" smile. We arrived back home with a car full of sleeping kids and a full day behind us!

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Days of Christmas: Day 18

Read John 8:12—Christ is the light of the world. Christmas Candles and lights remind us of his light. (include small candles)
Activity: Lighting a Christmas candle and watch a Christmas movie

We spent a little while reading Christmas stories and preparing Tater's primary talk tonight. He wrote his talk about the Savior. It turned out to be a really good experience. I asked him questions about the birth of the Savior, how it makes him feel, what the Savior has done for us and he bore his testimony at the end. I believe it was better for him to express his own feelings with simple guidance rather than just being told what to say. I am definitely guilty of this when it comes to their talks but have decided to make it more of their own.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Days of Christmas: Day 17

Read John 1:1-5—Why do you think we decorate with Christmas lights at Christmas?
Activity: Drive around and look at Christmas lights

We took the kids around and let them guide our course with a little coaxing here and there. They had a blast! Jack-Jack was very into making sure we saw all the lights. "Dad you missed that one!"

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Days of Christmas: Day 16

Read Matt. 2:13–15--Why did Joseph take Mary and Jesus to Egypt?
Activity: Caroling

We went caroling with the cub scouts in our ward around the neighborhood. The kids all seemed to enjoy themselves. Afterwards we headed over to the church for hot chocolate and candy canes. It was our monthly pack meeting so I just decided it would be best to include that as the activity for the day. The kids are really enjoying the Christmas spirit in our home. Rex is asking a lot of questions about the birth of the Savior. He spent a little while this morning setting up the nativity to make sure everyone was there. He is finally starting to understand some of the more spiritual parts of Christmas. We are headed over to the temple lights next so they will be enjoying that!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Days of Christmas: Day 15

Read Matt. 2:11 and Matt 25:40 Why do we give each other gifts at Christmas?
Activity: Neighborhood gifts

We tied bags of microwave popcorn with ribbon and attached a little note that says: Just poppin' in to wish you a Merry Christmas! Love, the Alveybunch Family. It is a little corny but when you have to try to remember everyone in your neighborhood, cheap is good! Now the delivery of these great little bags will take a little bit to get all delivered but I think it is the thought that counts!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Days of Christmas: Day 14

Read Matt. 2:11--How did the Wise Men show that they knew the young child was the Savior? (Include present shaped chocolates or other tiny gift)
Activity: Christmas Symbols

Katie gave our family home evening lesson on the Christmas symbols. She had cut out pictures of each item to be placed upon a tree that is also a symbol of Christmas. It was a great activity for the kids to do and they learned a little about the symbol or reason for some of the items we use at Christmas. Our list comes from the Especially for Mormons book Volume 2. The symbols are as follows:

  • Green - everlasting hope of mankind (tree)
  • Red - the gift of God (red ornament)
  • Bell - guidance and return
  • Candle - thanks for the star of long ago
  • Candy Cane - the shepherd's crook
  • Wreath - eternal nature of love
  • Star - burning hope of all mankind
  • Gifts - Heavenly Father's gift to all mankind the Saviour
  • Bow - spirit of the brotherhood of man

Katie's hair donation!

Katie's had been waiting the last few months to donate her hair to locks of love. She was rather determined but wanted to make sure her hair would be long enough to cut first. I was a little wishy-washy on the matter as she has been rather loving her long hair for quite sometime. It turned out rather cute after the cut and we'll get to try lots of new hairstyles along the way. I am proud of her dedication to this matter. She is a very giving little girl!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Days of Christmas: Day 13 Santa Clause

Read Matt. 2:7–10--Where did Herod send the Wise Men?
Activity: A visit from Santa Clause!

Sundays are always busy at our house but the kids didn't mind the extra visitor last night! We had a knock on the door and who do you suppose it was? Why Santa Clause with his jolly bells and all. The kids were thrilled to see Santa Clause! Rex was the only one who wasn't quite sure of the jolly old man. Tater was sure it was his grandpa but everyone else thought he was crazy! Katie was a great sport and made sure Santa knows that she wants a Barbie cruiser, I guess we'll have to see what Santa has in his bag for her. Tater wants Indiana Jones Legos, Rex wants dinosaurs but wasn't willing to sit on Santa's lap to tell him. Jack-Jack jumped up on Santa's lap and then completely went blank, he just stared at the man in the red suit! Bubba saw Santa on Saturday night so he had no problem sitting on his lap, especially with a candy cane as bribery. The kids loved it and ran outside to see a twinkle of Santa's sleigh in the sky! Looks like this Christmas is going pretty well so far!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Days of Christmas: Day 12

Read Matt. 2:1–2 How did the Wise Men know that Jesus had been born? (include star stickers)
Activity: Ward Christmas party

The kids were spoiled on Saturday morning with a thin layer of snow all over the ground, enough to make snowballs to throw at their dad. Boy were they excited to play in it! Later on we had our family pictures taken by my sister. It was raining so we ended up taking the pictures inside of a couple hotel lobbies! That was quite the task as Rex was really mad we kept taking pictures. With five little ones to focus on, there was lots of bribery and quick snaps in hopes of ending up with something worthy of keeping on the wall. I guess we'll just drag them back outside if they don't turn out. After the kids picked out their prize at the dollar store, we headed over to the ward Christmas party. We were a little late so we missed the nativity but enjoyed the food, company and carols. It seemed to be a rather eventful but successful day!

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Days of Christmas: Day 11

Read Luke 2:15–17--Where did the shepherds go after the angels left?
Activity: Making Christmas cards

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Days of Christmas: Day 10

Read Luke 2:13–14--Who joined the angel in praising God?
Activity: Join with the angels and sing “Joy to the World”

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Days of Christmas: Day 9

Read Luke 2:8-11—Candy canes, remind us of the shepherds' crook and The Savior, who is “The Good Shepherd” (include mini candy canes)
Activity: Decorating a Gingerbread House

This is definitely a family favorite! The kids love to decorate with candy especially since they get to eat it when we are all through. I don't know how you feel but I am usually trying to pinch pennies wherever I can. When it comes to the gingerbread houses though I splurge unless I'm using graham crackers, I think it is totally worth buying the kit! Gingerbread takes forever, is never the right thickness, all the measuring to make sure it all workout. I did that in the past but gave up when I came across the kits. No more baking for me!!! Well, as far as gingerbread is concerned. I know a little lazy but I would much rather spend the time with the kids decorating, eating candy and laughing than the time it takes to make the darn thing on my own.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Days of Christmas: Day 8

Read Luke 2:7—Why did Mary lay baby Jesus in a manger?
Activity: Manger ornament craft kit

We have been so blessed! Katelyn has been taking piano lessons since the beginning of September. This has been a wonderful experience for her as she has grown more accustom to the instrument. The only problem/frustration we have run into is having to take her over to the church everyday to practice the piano. Entertaining four boys in the primary room while Katie practices the piano can be quite the battle. I decided to try my luck with craigslist, an online classifieds, for a piano. As luck would have it, I came across an add for one this week with a great asking price! I contacted the seller and we were able to purchase it today! It is great especially for our little pianist! Now we'll just be that much more motivated to keep going with the piano lessons which has been a goal for Mr. A and I. We want each of our children to have the opportunity to learn to play the piano.

Preschool: Letter G

Today was another preschool day that I was in charge of. We started out tracing the letter G in both upper and lowercase with Elmer's glue on a green piece of construction paper with colorful glitter. The kids loved dumping glitter onto paper. Making a mess is their specialty! Then we read the Gingerbread Man which the kids loved. Games and goose start with G so we went outside and played Duck, duck, goose. They couldn't get enough of that game. Literally!!! Next we had a snack of gingerbread man cookies with colorful sprinkles of red and green. Glasses were next so I used piper cleaners and shaped them into glasses. The kids loved wearing them! Alexa Kayley said they made her look brainy! Silly girl. I then let them play outside as they all love to play on the playground. I think the kids had lots of fun, I know they were happy!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Days of Christmas: Day 7

Read Micah 5:2—What does this scripture foretell about Bethlehem?
Activity: Sing O Little Town of Bethlehem

My aunt came to town for a short visit. She was only able to get away for a couple days since all her family is so dependent on her in Seattle. We were invited to dinner over at my parents house for a visit. We went over for a spaghetti dinner and to visit with my aunt, parents, grandparents and siblings. It was nice! Everyone besides Mr. A, my brother and his crew came over to visit. The kids loved playing with cousins and running the house a muck! Rex seemed a little uncomfortable with so many people around but he survived. Just a little clingy! Bubba was fine, he was comfortable around enough people as long as there was crawling space which seemed a little limited due to the amount of people!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Days of Christmas: Day 6

Read Luke 2:1, 3-6—Why did Mary and Joseph go to Bethlehem? (Include coins in the advent box)
Activity: Ice Cream Party

Katelyn finished up her dinner last night at the Brick Oven (my birthday dinner) only to run to the bathroom and throw it back up! Needless to say, we spent the day hanging out at home, maybe the Dickens' Festival was too much for us recovering from the stomach flu. Zack had early morning church meetings so we all slept in except him who was at the church before 6am. Matthew and I were up at 7:30 but the other 4 made themselves known around 9:15am! Happy Birthday to me! I was able to complete Matthew's Christmas stocking today which turned out great. I posted the picture back on my previous post. Zack was pretty busy today as it is his month to conduct in our ward and fast Sundays he is in charge of the collection of fast offerings. He did finish up around 6 o'clock which is pretty good timing for him.

Stephanie, Tim and Jaerick made their way over with two dozen donuts and a gift (mixing/measuring bowls) shortly after Zack arrived home, great timing as Zack had totally spaced a birthday cake! I really wasn't interested in making my own. Cameron and Jennifer soon followed with their little ones. We let the kids play downstairs while the adults and babies visited upstairs. Later on, we had donuts and ice cream for everyone. After they left my parents and little brother TJ made their way over. My mom made me a birthday cake!!! She definitely knows about Zack's forgetfulness. They brought presents and visited for a little while. None of this was planned as you can tell from my attire! My kids were so hyped up on sugar by the time my parents came over they were bouncing off the walls! Eventually things settled down. Zack put the kids bedding back on their beds so they could sleep. I nursed Matthew and put him to bed and the day ends with me blogging, Zack asleep on the couch waiting for me to finish up and William conked out on the stairs! The rest of the kids are in bed asleep. Isn't that just how things go?!? Well I don't feel any different in my 30's as my 20's. I'm just a busy mom taking care of my crew and trying to get the most out of this life. Here's to my next 30 years!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Days of Christmas: Day 5

Read Luke 1:36—How were Mary & Elizabeth related? Who is older, John the Baptist, or Jesus?
Activity: Attend the Dickens' Christmas Festival

We attended the local Dickens' Festival here in town. There were lots of little shoppes to buy Christmas gifts at. Since it is my birthday tomorrow, Mr. A bought me a few prints from Del Parsons and his 2010 calendar. They are beautiful prints and I am thrilled about the calendar too! The festival was very eventful with all the hustle and bustle. They had musical performances in the center of everything and they had little snippets from Dickens' plays over in the food court. It was a very busy activity.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Days of Christmas: Day 4

Read Matthew 1: 18-21 - Why did Mary & Joseph name the baby Jesus?
Activity: Open the children's nativity

I was so excited to get this nativity from Fisher Price this year. I wanted the kids to have a nativity that they could play with and act out the story of the birth of our Saviour. This is incredibly durable as most all fisher price little people are. They have another nativity with lights, a backdrop, more characters and music but I believe part of the treasure of our Saviour's life is how simple his birth was, how pure. He didn't come to the world as a rich son of a king or with the world's sense of grandeur but rather in a simple stable with a young mother and an earthly father to care for him. He overcame the world! I don't need my children to have a depiction of the Saviour's birth with all the world's commercialism. I want it to be more about the characters not the extra fluff! The kids all seemed rather thrilled about a new toy. I had Rex open the box and then each child was able to take out a piece as I described each character's role. The little boys immediately started playing with it. Jack-Jack made sure Bubba knew that he was not to eat the baby Jesus or slobber on Mary. They'll get some wonderful time playing with these toys and actually learning more every time we talk about our Saviour throughout this holiday time!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Miss Katie's Piano Recital

This evening Katie had her first piano recital. She worked really hard on both of her pieces. She played Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer and Away in a Manger. She did a good job! Both of her cousins take lessons from the same Miss Amy as Katie. It has been a good experience for all of them. I am so proud of her hard work. Miss Amy said that Katie is very studious and it shows in her abilities every time she comes to her lessons. She is a very hard worker! Katie said that her hands were shaking really hard while she was playing but she kept going and finished up nicely. What a good girl! She is a wonderful example to her brothers. We are all so proud of her many accomplishments.

The Days of Christmas: Day 3

Read Isaiah 7:14 & Matthew 1:23 - How did Isaiah know what would happen? Why is it important that he did?

Activity: Hanging stocking

Katie had her piano recital this evening so we needed a short and sweet activity to accomodate our busy schedule. Our stockings all look great! I finally was able to finish Bubba's Christmas stocking to complete the set! I am always so glad when I can finish a project in a timely manner. I am making rag quilts for the boys for Christmas which has been taking a lot of my time lately and with Christmas right around the corner I have many projects to finish up! The joys of holidays and making everything "perfect"!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Days of Christmas: Day 2

Read Luke 1:26-33 Who told Mary that she would have a baby?
Activity: Put up and decorate the Christmas tree

This was a rather eventful day as I woke up early this morning with the stomach flu, shortly after Bubba puked his little guts out! Well there is only Katie and Mr. A left before it has gone through the whole family. The boys were a bundle of energy to say the least. Tater felt well enough to be back at school Tuesday. Rex and Jack-Jack are still struggling a bit with the runs but otherwise it is just Bubba and me really feeling the yucks! We were able to get up the Christmas tree which was a little too exciting for the boys. They couldn't calm down enough to make their ornaments stay at first! We got it up and it looks good. I appreciate my fake tree if it leans or is not full enough it is any easy fix. Hey even if the boys knock it over I'll be able to fix it! Keep your fingers crossed. Katie has her first piano recital tomorrow evening, she's been working hard since the beginning of September and we're excited to see her progress. With her long, thin fingers she was born to play!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Days of Christmas: Day 1

I found a great idea for celebrating Christmas all month long at, her blog has a scripture with a question/activity/gift to give everyday through to Christmas. I've added additional activities for my family. This way my family will maintain the true spirit of Christmas and have a special moment everyday to fill our lives with the love of the Savior!

Day One: Read John 3:16 - Why did Jesus come to earth?
Activity: Write letters to Santa

The first activity was a hit! The kids really seemed excited to get into this! The plus to having the questions after the scripture is that they actually listen. It was a teaching moment that helps them to really understand what the Savior has done for all of us.