Tuesday, January 12, 2016

3 things I learned this Christmas

Things I learned this past Christmas

  • People can be really generous! Someone(s) did the 12 days of Christmas for us this year. (if you are reading this, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts!) The things they brought were very generous, thoughtful and so special to us. Each night was something to either help our family, enjoy each other better, or create special memories. I have been sincerely touched by the generosity of friends and family. I admire all people who have such open hearts. 

One of the 12 days of Christmas gifts, this one was so thoughtful!! The top picture shows where we've already displayed them on our wall. 

  • Making Christmas more meaningful...more about the Savior, definitely takes an extra effort. We began a tradition with my family 5 years ago to have a spiritual moment before we open presents. We have taken turns being in charge of the spiritual moment from year to year. It can be whatever the person in charge wants, we've done puppet shows about the Christmas story, watched videos, sang songs etc. It really adds to the spirit and reminds us what Christmas is really all about. 
  •  That same day (with the Burdett side) we also each wrote down a gift to Jesus and a family gift to Jesus. We all write down our gifts, fold up our little papers, and place them in a little white stocking. My personal gift to Jesus this year involves making sure I give special attention to each family member, each day, like I think Jesus would want me to. Spending quality one on one time with each of my children daily has become such a sweet time that I look forward to. I'm not perfect at it, but it makes a big difference in our relationships when we do it consistently. 

Bible Videos - has really nice videos to help us focus on the Savior. 

  • Christmas is a time to guard our family time and preserve our relationships, rather than getting so busy that we don't have time to connect with our immediate family members. We probably could have done a better job at this, but it wasn't too bad. We weren't overloaded with too many things. Our holidays pretty much involved driving to Utah and spending a week with each of our families. We really enjoyed ourselves. We value the time that we got to spend with all of them. It's never easy taking care of the kids in someone else's house/environment, one of us is always on Evan (or Eli) duty. But we learn to accommodate and make it work. I especially love to see our nieces and nephews, it's my favorite! 
  • I wanted this Christmas to be extra special for Eli. He is still interactive and aware of the people around him. Since I'm not sure how he will be next Christmas, I wanted it to be really fun for him. I think he had a really nice time! There were so many family members loving on him all the time. Overall, I think we lived in the moment and really enjoyed ourselves. Living with Children who have GM1 Gangliosidosis will teach you that real fast!

Eli and Great Grandma Rae Leishman

The Burdett Family has really grown lately! Nichole did a great job on this picture! We were freezing in the snow, but it was totally worth that gorgeous background.

More pics from the holidays
 Eli's 1st grade Holiday music performance was so much fun to watch. Eli's special needs rep, Katie, held him up the entire time while he bounced  and danced like crazy. She must have been exhausted by the end. He loves music. I heard comments from people around us at how cute he was. He was the dancer and also the musical instrument boy.

Eli Dancing at the concert! Sorry the filming isn't too great, it was a hard room to film in being such a bright stage with low lighting in the audience.

Trying to take pics with all the grandkids, quite the handful

My Dad has a wall in their basement that is just for kids to draw on. It has been a lot of fun for the grand kids.

 We had a lot of fun making gingerbread houses (well out of graham crackers). The kids had to get creative to get them to stay standing up. Fun times! (The mess that was on this table 10 minutes before this picture was pretty crazy)

Brad gave out the awards. Victoria's was the Sparkliest! (I can see now that "sparkliest" is not a word)

Eli's big cousin Kaden  

 He's got that look in his eyes!

Cousin fun! 

Poor Eli gets sad randomly, we don't know exactly why, here's an instance in which he just suddenly starts to cry. 
Those presents behind them were very intriguing all week, although Evan only managed to destroyed a few.   

 We had lots of fun with the Pullins kids!

 Brad got to go Mountain Biking in the snow with his good old friend, Dave!

The boys at Great Grandma Rae's house (two of the twins didn't make it cuz we gave them our flu!)

 Laya got a mini sewing machine from her aunt Amy and sewed her very first item, a purse. She was very excited.