The Energizer Cowboys who kept things humming at the reunion

The Energizer Cowboys who kept things humming at the reunion
These kids know how to have fun!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Post Christmas Shananigans

    We celebrated Christmas for almost the whole month, which is just the way we like to do it! We had quite a few neighborhood parties, YSA and AR socials.  Amazingly we were able to be with all of our family many times between Thanksgiving and New Years, just not at the same time..

    For Christmas Eve, we invited Rob's family, Kathyrn's parents, Brother Lovatto, his grandson, and Mary to dinner and a program.  It was a wonderful evening, and we were so glad they came. The next day we hosted a soup dinner and games with some of our Home Evening group, plus friends who needed some cheer in their lives.
Home Evening Game Night with Friends
We received lots of wonderful gifts for Christmas, but the one most meaningful was delivered about 10 days before Christmas and we read, and reread it.  "T'was the night before Christmas" started with a Wilcox spoof on the tradition poem, and Anthony filled it with lots of humor and allusions to Christmas's past.  He and Autumn rallied the rest of their siblings, asking them to write their memories of Christmas, as well as their own family traditions.  Autumn added photos and did the layout, and somehow miraculously got it published and to us before Christmas!  
    We learned a lot in the process of reading our children's stories, some of which we'd known about before, but others were surprises.  It was a great memory jogger, and we laughed a lot, and even cried a little as we recalled the hectic Christmases of long ago.  

Thank you so much for taking the time 
to pull together such a great present.
This book was the inspiration for several
Christmas tricks of our own.

  On Christmas Morning as we opened presents with Rob, Kathyrn, Ethan, and Travis, there was one last present which had especially been prepared.  We had found out by reading the book, that Rob was sorely disappointed one Christmas when he was about 9 years old, when he didn't get the Nerf Rocket Launcher he wanted..instead Chris received it.  Tears were shed, and he even double checked with Mom to make sure she hadn't made a mistake.  
   Well, Santa made restitution this year, and wrote Rob a note saying that Mrs. Claus had finally cleaned the back room, and found requests from the 1980's which had been lost.  Always one to keep his promises, Santa wanted to deliver the goods, even though it was late.  
           It wasn't quite the same Nerf Rocket launcher of 30 years go, but was happily received.  
                      Merry Late Christmas, Rob.

The other fun thing about Christmas was participating in Ethan's treasure hunt to find his Christmas present.  It started in Monticello, Christmas morning, then went to Blanding to Granny and Papa's, then to our home, then back to the Sandbox at Redds.  It was quite the treasure hunt, and low and behold--Ethan's Christmas request wasn't "shot down" afterall.  He got a single shot .22.  He was one excited boy.  So he and his dad both had new firearms to shoot.  Safety instructions were reemphasized, and the first target practice planned.

Tuesday Dec. 27-30  Nathan and Anthony's families join us for a fun filled week

Dad's Root Beer from Quent and Bev, also a big
summer sausage and Almond Roca

The highlight of Dec. 27th was the gift from the Christmas Story Store. 

When we read Nathan's reflections on Christmas's past, we discovered that Tammy didn't have the same appreciation of the movie, The Christmas Story, like most of our kids do.  Shortly afterwards, we saw Joel Tate wear ing a Christmas Story Lamp necktie, we knew we needed to get one for Nathan, as he had a special affinity for the crazy movie. In the next few days the idea grew, taking on new dimensions and angles! Until Dad determined to create a replica of box which could feasibly contain the infamous lady's leg lamp.  Of course, the cylinder for the leg, only contained the necktie, but it looked like it could possibly hold the leg, and there was even an antique lamp shade with black fringe, albeit, fringed plastic!  He even saved the mailing label from the tie, to make it look legit.

  Here is the letter Dad composed:
Nathan reads the letter
We were pleased with the effort that you kids made for us on our Christmas book that Autumn put together.  It was fun reminiscing about past Christmases.  We even learned a few things we hadn’t heard before.  We appreciate your contribution.  We are glad that you still enjoy watching “The Christmas Story”.  We are surprised that Tammy doesn’t share your same enthusiasm and were wondering what we could do to improve this situation.  We thought about getting Brendan a BB gun, but that might not help matters.  
   We also thought getting some genuine bunny pajamas for Laurie, but we are not sure if she would wear them.  Finally, I went on line and I discovered the perfect gift -- A real Christmas Story lamp.  I’m sure if this lamp is displayed in your front window you will be the envy of all the neighborhood and it will give Tammy a greater appreciation for this classic movie.  In this package, you will find a real Christmas Story lamp.  Hope you enjoy it and may you use it for many Christmases to come.
Tamara can hardly contain her excitement as she anticipates
the great Leg Lamp in her window!

I had a great video of the reading of the letter, but it was so big blogspot won't accept it.  Que Lastima~
It was very fun to see both Nathan and Tammy's reactions.

Everyone was excited to see what was in the box.

The infamous lamp shade in all its tacky glory

Now, what do you suppose is in here?
Sigh, relief!  It was only a tie....not a leg

What we really want to know....Did he wear that tie to Church Sunday?!
Wilcoxes Rock-out with Wii Rock Star

Some day we may rue the day we put guitars 
and drums into their hands

This combo above came the closest to real talent

Even Grandma tries to keep up with Ethan (and Elton) on  Crocodile Rock
unfortunately, she couldn't see the words very well.

Grandma's Deja vu reality game:  Fox and Geese
Back when grandma was a girl in Idaho, we always had a lot of snow, so we filled our free time hours with lots of outdoor games.  If we could find enough kids, or coerce our parents to play-- Fox and Geese was the funnest, because it was a running game.  Others we played were "Who's the Boss of Bunker's Hill"--where you tried to stay on top of the snow pile, while others tried to push you off.  Dad was always best "Boss".  The words are so old I can't even find them on Google search, but the taunt went something like this: "I'm the boss of Bunker Hill, I can fight and I can kill."  Gruesome I know!

He made us a harness for our dog, Pal, and then he could pull our sleigh.  He also made us mini-toboggans which could be used on soft snow, but we had regular sleds for zipping down the hills which surrounded our home on the farm. He also made a large toboggan out of corregated steel, which fit our whole family.  It was very heavy to pull up the big hill, and the snow had to be frozen to use it, but it was very fun to do it together as a family.

 We also made snow angels, had snow ball fights, built forts, made trails, and all the other fun outdoor things that kids can invent.  The winters we lived in Ririe, sometimes Daddy, or another parent would pull us behind a car on our sleighs.  We'd all be roped together in one long line  I'm sure it would be illegal now, but it was very fun, until a sharp turn would tip someone over.  Sneaking off to do that one Sunday afternoon, is the only time I remember being spanked by my mother.   In later years we learned to ski, and that became our new passion, especially for Doug and I.  Lynn, Clint, and Nancy later took up the craziness as well.
Fox calls "Scatter" and all the geese run from the center when the game begins.

Even though we had been blessed with about 4 inches of rain the week before Christmas, there had been no snow, and it was about 45 degrees in the day.  Then The Perfect Snow Storm arrived in Blanding Dec. 27-28 after Christmas, putting down about 2 feet of soft fluffy snow.  It didn't pack very well for the Fox and Geese course, so Anthony revved up the snow blower that Chris had given us, and made the best circle and cross cuts I'd ever played on.  

The running course is a circle with pie wedges radiating out. The center is the Fox's den where the captured "geese" must go, until they are saved by being tagged by a "free goose".  There are also two safety pens where the geese can run to to avoid being tagged.  To make it more exciting two foxes can be selected.  After they wear out, a new fox is chosen, until everyone has a turn at being foxy.  It is great fun.  This may be my last time to play, and it was so fun, with no injuries!! I think we had  three generations of us playing, 9 altogether..which was a great size for the game.

Friday was a beautiful cold day, perfect for playing outside--for a little while at least.

Aren't they cute little geese?
Hmmm, how do we save Laurie from these two big foxes?

Ethan's Birthday Dec. 30th at the Redds

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Cheer When Family's Near

We were home from Phoenix about 3 days when we left on an equally wonderful trip north to see our kids in the Wasatch Front. Here are some of the pictures from that trip. 
Michael with his "stuffed" house!
High demand on Gingerbread real estate
Like Father, like son.
Autumn pre-made all the shapes for gingerbread houses, plus gave everyone cutters and a recipe which can be used for future house projects.  Everyone brought lots of decorations, and the kids jumped right in and created some wondrous creations.

Some more smiley grandkids with their final projects. Brendan and Laurie finished theirs in record time.

Peyton loved all phases of this project!
Haily with her "neat" little house

While the Gingerbread houses were hardening, we ate at the famous Wilcox Pasta Bar.

Next on the docket was some great family entertainment:  Laurie and Brendan provided
a cheery duet welcoming in the Season.

Rob shows that he can even play and sing sideways--one of our favorites from The Forgotten Carols by Michael McClean.  Rob introduced us to this album shortly after he came home from his mission, and it's been a part of Christmas ever since.

Chris and Pam's Christmas Choir

Mattea tells one of the best jokes of the night. (Who's your favorite...?)

Next came the Victory Arch, where parents heralded the success of each child, and we all celebrated their successes.

Ethan Jess Wilcox
Hailey and Peyton

It's so good being me!!
We hope everyone felt this way.
Danny and Hunter ready to be recognized
Every one needs a victory arch once-in-a-while!  

Grandma presented CJ with a quilt for finishing up his Eagle Scout Award (almost), and challenged the other grandsons to set that as a goal in scouting .

He knows if you've been good or

Some how or other, Santa found out where we were and came to check on everyone's list. 
 Travis, however, was not impressed and Ethan's request was temporarily "shot down."

Presents for all "good little boys and girls" and all of our Grandkids are "good".
Musical present exchange
But the Best Presents of 2010 were Travis, Emily, and Hinckley