Christmas: Hunsaker Brunch

I am fortunate, in that I still have loving grandparents (the boys’ great grandparents) that are still part of our lives.

Christmas is such a fun time to be with loved ones, including the Hunsakers. My grandparents hosted an event, full of family. My grandparents, aunts and uncles, my cousins, their spouses, and children were there. It’s a joyful time.

We got together, exchanged gifts, and in so many ways it feels like time stood still, and was so similar to the Christmas’ events at the grandparents that I remembered as a child.

We spent time with our cousins.

We ate yummy food.

We laughed together, and watched the children play.

And when it was time to open presents, Grandma and Grandpa were side by side. Grandpa sitting down, and Grandma on the arm rest. This scene so familiar, harkening me to days past.

Even Sonny got in on the action this year:

The boys with the Hunsakers

A great way to spend the holidays.


Christmas: Exchanging of Family Gifts.

After Santa Comes, we head upstairs to exchange the presents as a small family unit. This mostly consists of the presents the children have brought home from school for us, as well as the gifts they’ve purchased for one another. Now these purchases aren’t big, and most of them have been made and created in secret, or purchased from the dollar store, but it’s my favorite part of the day, because again, the boys find the joy of giving.

And plus, I am always surprised at how perfect there presents are for each other, and how much they really like them.
Truman loved his cookies, chosen out by Tucker

(My thoughts: Really a package of cookies? That much excitement? Truman has rationed them out, and eaten one every day, and shared one everyday. I think he loves that he gets to have his very own cookies!)
Tucker was thrilled with his checkers set, chosen by Elliot

(My thoughts: He loves it…and is now teaching Truman the correct way to play, I overheard it said, ‘you can even jump people two times, if they are in the right places!’)
Elliot got a giant toothbrush that he loves to chew on, picked out by Truman.

(My thoughts: When this was purchased, I thought it would most likely be in the D.I. box shortly after christmas, but actually has been one of Elliot favorite toys to chew on, and it makes a funny noise when you whack it on the ground.)
Toph got alot of functional things, treats for work, gloves for working out in the garage, a new flashlight..

(My thoughts: He thought he got good presents…that was until I unwrapped mine! )

ME…. A parrot hat, that Truman AND Toph picked out together. Tru tells me it’s perfect for wearing to the zoo.

And another unexpected present?

A nice shot of the family infront of the Tree.


Christmas: Christmas Morning…

Waiting on the stairs in anticipation… Did he come?

Yes!! Santa Came! And he brought Candy Canes! (Apparently this is the first year he’s done that, Tucker was excited!)

Highlights and things I want to remember from the morning included:

Continually pulling chocolate wrapped candy (that Santa put in our stockings) out of Elliots’ mouth. I think he liked that tinfoil taste., or maybe it was the hint of chocolate that escaped?

The sense of gratitude that I felt for technology. I am able to record this event both with pictures and video

Elliot clinging to his little people, thanks again Nora! And not really caring about any other presents. (Even if they were just shoes! 🙂 )

Realizing yet again, that Legos are a timeless gift, and all of those little pieces are going to be apart of my life for years and years to come…

Having an super hero in your house, with a crooked little smile.

And remember this year, as the year of the really nice vacuum, that will hopefully not have to be replaced for a LONG time. 🙂 (this is the fourth one of our marriage!)

Oh yeah, and one last thing…the year they SLEPT IN!!! Tuck and Tru are up daily around 6:00 AM. But after their exhausting Christmas Eve Activities, they didn’t get up until close to 8?!?!? Elliot and I just hung out for a couple of hours, waiting for everyone to wake up! Why, oh Why did they choose this day as the day to sleep in?

Silly, Silly boys!


Christmas: The book find and Christmas Eve

Due to sickness, Elliot and I were not able to attend the Phillips Family Festivities this year in person. But watched and participated over video chat. Thankfully, Toph took lots of pictures. 🙂

Here is the book find (One crazy Phillips Family Tradition, that includes the wrapping and HIDING of books for every family member)…Alot of fun. My book find books are some of my most precious books. (Elliot and I participated the next time we went up on New Years Day.)

The evening is broken up into basically three parts, that take place three times.
For the Children-Step One: The passing out of the wrapping paper. Each book is wrapped in different wrapping paper, and a little slip is saved, and then given out, as a clue to help you find your book.

Step Two: The finding of the books. There have been some crazy hiding places: Inside couch cushions, The front of the piano was taken out, Inside drawers, and this year mine was found in the air intake vent.

Patience is essential. Once you find your book, you must wait patiently again for all the other children to find their books.

Step Three: The opening of the books, Youngest to Oldest.

Once the children are done, the adults have a turn (repeat the above steps)…

Then once the adults are done, then it’s time for Grandma and Grandpa to have a turn (Again, repeat the above steps). Many great memories, and a great family tradition.

The next night, Christmas Eve, of course includes the exchanging of gifts:
Truman had Owen’s name, and in addition to the presents we made and bought, he wrapped presents for weeks.

Including a random stool, McDonalds toys, and some of his favorite things. It was so sweet that he cared so much about it, and truely was amazing to watch him prepare and give that present. He cared more about giving than receiving that night, and as a parent, it was awe inspiring to be part of that process.

This night is always magical too, because it’s the opening of the first real presents…

I can still remember the butterflies in my tummy from when I was a little kid remembering Christmas Eve, the excitement and anticipation.

Following the presents was a few dances, including: ‘A Dance of the Tin Soilders’

and then culminated by a live reenactment of the Nativity.

We provided a Shepard


And unfortunately, Baby Jesus was with me, recovering from being sick..but they were able to improvise with a gingerbread doll…

A great way to end Christmas Eve, and return the focus to where it should be.



Beautiful, Peaceful, Calming, and yet again, another powerful reminder of the Love of our Savior for me, my family and you…

Thanks sweetheart, for sending this to me. Love you.


ONE year old.

Amazing how quickly this year has flown by.

I love rediscovering the world with you. I love your little smiles, I love getting to know you more every day, and learning more about what makes you laugh, smile and about the things you just can’t get enough of!

Our family can’t get enough of you…We went from a family of 4 to 5. Our world changed forever, and now we’ll never be the same, since we’ve know your lovable, charismatic spirit.

We love you the Big L! Happy, Happy Birthday!


Temple Square Lights

Christmas Lights always look more magical around the temple, and this year was no exception.

We bundled up, and braved the cold weather,

our boys loved seeing the Christus Statue, and it’s always fun to take the kids back to the place where Christopher got down on one knee, and asked for my hand in marriage.

My! How my life has changed since that magical moment–

Isn’t that a great picture? A new favorite, and again, the realization that I’m a lucky woman..
And just for memory sake…this picture.

The kids were a little tired and cold! Hard to tell in the picture, but Elliot was Screeching, Truman was pretending to be asleep, because he was so tired, and Tucker complaining because he had put his hand/mitten in the water, and now his hand was ‘frozen’. But, even with these things, it was a magical night none the less…because with my family, this temple is a Wonderful Place.


our boys 2009 Favorites…

As with the past two years, a good documentation of a few favorite things…

* cereal– Coco Puffs
* vegetable– Carrots
* drink– Pineapple Juice
* toy– Bionicles
* TV Show– Bionicle
* game– Hullabaloo
* book– Bionicle
* restaurant– McDonalds
* holiday– Christmas
* animal– Fish

If you could change your name, what would you choose?
Time Tracker

What do you love about each person in our family?
Truman– He is Funny.
Elliot– He likes to make squeaky noises.
Dad– He always plays with me.
Mom– She brought me to earth.

Where would you like to go on vacation this year?
Seaworld and Legoland.

What are some of your wishes for this year?
I wish I could go to High School, right now.

* cereal–the kind with marshmallows
* vegetable–Melons especially watermelon
* drink– pop
* toy– superhero toys
* TV Show– Land Before Time
* game– board games.
* book– Geranimo Stilton
* restaurant– Chuck E. Cheese
* holiday– Christmas
* animal– Cat

If you could change your name, what would you choose?

What do you love about each person in our family?
Tucker– We play games.
Daddy– We can build with him.
Mommy– She is fun.
Elliot– He likes me so much.

Where would you like to go on vacation this year?
California again–the beach.

What are some of your wishes for this year?
Learn how to whistle.

* cereal–Rice Cereal, with Cheerios in a close second.
* vegetable–Sweet Potato
* drink–Momma’s Milk (sorry if that grosses anyone out!)
* toy–my Big brothers
* TV Show–What’s TV? He does enjoy our family Christmas videos though! Saying family members names as the picture come across the screen.
* game–Peek a Boo.
* book–Anything with animal pictures in it, so I can practice my animal sounds.
* restaurant–Mom’s home cooking right now!
* holiday– I sure did love all those christmas lights…
* animal–Dog

If you could change your name, what would you choose?
Sir fancy little pants.. just kidding

What do you love about each person in our family?
Tucker-He helps me walk around, and gets me treats when no one is watching.
Truman–Always, always, always wants to play with me.
Dad–That he comes home from work and gives me kisses, and if he doesn’t, I scream until he gives them to me.
Mom–That she likes to party with me in the middle of the night.

Where would you like to go on vacation this year?
Anywhere with my family…

What are some of your wishes for this year?
My wish for him is to learn more words, and be completely mobile, Running around!