Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!  
We had a lot of fun making our Christmas card this year!
Hank loves hats!
 It only took about 1000 photos to get this one! :)

 I have organized fiends that save their Christmas cards in a book.  But I am not at that level yet, so hopefully if I put a picture of it on the blog, I will have it at least somewhere.
It is our sincere hope that all our friends and love one's have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

Soaking Up the Season

This truly is the best time of the year.  We have had such a festive month of enjoying eachother and soaking up the Christmas season.

 Max, Hailey and I got up at 4:30 to watch the Geminid meteor shower where we saw over a dozen shooting starts!
 Max bottled up his Holiday Ale!
 Hailey had her Winter Choir Concert.
 We had a Christmas sleepover.  Karlie's buddies stayed the night while Hank's friend did an "almost over" and stayed until bedtime.  We had pizza and watched Polar Express in our PJs and had popcorn and hot coco.  Hailey and Kaitlin buddied up for a sister snuggle.
Can't be Christmas time without the Gingerbread House.  I am a disaster at these and so wish my mom was here to do it with the kids.  They turn out much better when done with Grammy.  Hank and Hailey ended up just eating their parts!  Epic Fail except for Karlie's.
 With Max having some time off, we have had a chance to bike ride and play in the desert.

The kids love shooting BB guns in the wash and Karlie learned how fun RC cars in mud are!
 While we certainly miss the typical winter wonderland of Christmas, the warm desert does have its benefits.

  Tonight is the crescendo!  
The kids have been eagerly tracking Santa through the evening!
 Nothing says Christmas Eve quite like Prime Rib and Yorkshire pudding!
 Well, except maybe matching Christmas PJs!
We have been building up to the most magical night of the year.  The night that love moved into the neighborhood in the form of a precious baby.  The King of all Kings has come to give us hope, peace, and the love of our Father.  The savior is born!

Christmas Crafts, Cookies, and Class Parties

Sometimes you have to get your game face on.  The week before Christmas break is one of those times.  In times like that I preload with Coke!
 The kids had a half day on Wednesday so each of the kids invited a buddy over to make some Christmas ornaments and cookies.
 First up was a round of Mac-N-Cheese.  Wow, feeding 8 kids is wild!  Then they started painting salt dough ornaments.  They each made 3 to take home.
Then they all went and played while I did a quick clean and prepped for sugar cookies.
Hank was a serious ladies man with just him and 8 ladies in the house!  Such a lucky guy.
 They had so much fun…
 They made so much mess… :)
 Future Rudolphs.
 I baked the cookies while they played some more.  Then it was time to decorate and eat the cookies!
 I always tease Max that I want another baby, and while I think I could swing 5 kids, I am pretty sure 8 would be too much for this mama.  After 4 hours I am left in aw of how teachers manage 25-30 kids all day!  They are amazing!
Thursday and Friday were full of class parties and festivities.  Kaitlin had a Gingerbread Man reader's theater.  Class productions are so cute!  Karlie made stain glass windows and Hank's class made Gingerbread houses.  As room mom for the kids, the last week of school is crazy busy and full.  Half the time I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off.  I am grateful that I am able to be there and a so involved, but I am SO excited to have my buddies home for 2 weeks to play!

First Day of Winter

We celebrated the first day of winter AZ style.  There will be no white Christmas for us, so we have adapted to "winter" here.   We had the fireplace on because it was below 60 degrees.  Break out the sweaters and Uggs!
 Max had a chance to take his dirt bike out for a spin in the morning.  It rained on Friday so he had lots of fun getting dirty!
 What a great day!  Our CSU Rams won the New Mexico bowl!  Go Rams!
We said goodbye to the shortest day of the year by hot tubing and everyone but me doing polar bear swims!  We are eager to welcome longer, warmer days and fun in the sun by the pool!

MKHKKH Family 50 Christmas Tree

This year we added to our collection of States ornaments
We decided it was time to have a special tree designated to our Family 50!
 When my girlfriend Courtney and her family came to visit us in March they brought us a Montana ornament!  I have been searching through the year for the states we are missing ornaments for from our prior travels.  It was so sweet for her to find us Montana 2011!
While in Telluride, I found our Colorado ornament.  There are so many things that represent Colorado to us.  It is my home, where all my family is, and the beautiful Rocky Mountains that we love to play in.  It is like gold in my heart.  Hopefully Telluride will become a yearly tradition as Steamboat was.
While we were in Moab in 2010, Hailey rode Slick Rock.  I thought this biker chick represented Utah perfectly for us.
I was able to have a special Nebraska ornament made to remember visiting my G'ma Helen in 2008 at this Etsy shop.  Nebraska will go hand in hand with memories of G'ma Helen and fireflies.  We miss her light.
We drove through Idaho in 2011.  While we didn't see any potatoes, we did eat French Fries.  :)  That completed the states we were missing from prior trips!
So these two are not part of our Family 50, but it was a special place we traveled and worth adding Venice and Rome.

The 2013 States Trip Ornaments
We started out in Michigan where the kids got to see their cousins for the first time in 7 years!  Definitely worth capturing.
Then we drove to Ohio where we rode a Banana Boat.  I search and searched for a model Banana boat and couldn't fine one anywhere.  So another picture ornament it had to be.
Next was Indiana where we visited Notre Dame.  Karlie is now dead set on going to college there.  She even wanted to watch them during football season.  I told her she can do anything she puts her mind to!
In Illinois we attended a Cubs game a Wrigley Field!
On our way to Iowa we had lunch in Madison, Wisconsin and bought a lot of cheese at the fromagerie.
 One of the things we did in Iowa was to canoe down the Upper Iowa, where Hailey was baptized.
While we were at the Mall of America in Minnesota, we had this ornament made.
Our 8th and final state of 2013 was North Dakota.  I searched for a very long time to find this wood chipper.  It is a HO scale train wood chipper. :)
 Our first visit to Disneyland had to be memorialized, especially since it might be our only…
We will be working on making our Family 50 Tree Topper over the break.  I am so excited to see what states 2014 bring!