I never could have imagined the experiences, challenges and rewards that come along with the title and responsibility of being "Mom". Everyday my little ones present different needs to be met, new attitudes to understand, stages to conquer, and find new ways to unravel my patience. Despite the challenges, the rewards that come from a genuine I love you mom, a moment of 3 children happily playing together, and even a simple accomplishment bring feelings and emotions that words can't describe. I am ever so grateful for my Precious Little Ones; for their individuality, talents, and the completeness each one contributes to the Cox Clan.

January 11, 2009

A Very Merry Christmas

Christmas 2008 was a great year...we enjoyed our family, loved all the festivities and traditions, and savored the many sweet moments of reflecting the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas Eve was spent with the Cox Family and the traditional nativity, seeing Santa and gift exchange was done.

Here's Gary trying to get a little shut-eye... even during all the chaos and commotion of 28 grandchildren, 15 adults, flying wrapping paper, nativity production, and christmas songs!

Jalen was again afraid of Santa...maybe next year!

On Christmas Eve before bed, I asked all the kids what they had asked Santa Claus to bring them that night. After their responses, I also talked with them about being happy and grateful for anything that Santa brings because he can't always give us everything we want. Madelyn's reponse was: "Well, it's good I asked for a dollhouse because Santa's elves have lots of wood and they have all the tools they need to build a really big dollhouse!" At this point, I wasn't quite sure if my little visit had done any good!

With anticipation and excitment, Madelyn, Mason and Aiden could hardly wait to leave the living room to check out their presents Christmas morning. However, their patience was tried while Jalen 1. through a fit because he got woken up and he was not ready to get out of bed (despite being Christmas morning) 2. got dressed...under no circumstances was he going upstairs in his new pajamas and 3. find his favorite jeans. He would not wear just any pants. Finally he made it, without smiles, but he did make it!

Santa's elves did make Madelyn a beautiful, big dollhouse!

Mason got the coolest castle ever, including a dragon and prince! Just what he asked for!

Jalen couldn't have been more ecstatic. Santa brouht a tractor with a bucket and one big enough for him to drive!

Here's my parents who so kindly welcomed all of us home to enjoy Christmas together. All of my siblings except one who lives in town, all stayed at my parents Christmas Eve. It was so fun to share Christmas morning together. My mom has an excpetional way of making everyone feel comfortable and welcome. She loves Christmas and has always gone the extra mile in making it such a special and fun holiday. My parents have truly created a home that is genuinely full of love, fun and happiness. There really is "no place like home for the holidays!"

Kristyn, Thomas and Aiden. They all scored big with a pirate ship, Thomas the Train DVD collection, kitchen gadgets and BYU attire.

Jake and Natalie did have a few Christmas gifts to open on Christmas morning. However, before leaving Cedar City and throughout the month of December, they just couldn't help but give each other gifts along the way!

Travis surprised Meagan this year with a Wii. Meagan thought she knew everything wrapped under the tree, but Travis really fooled her and Meagan was thrilled. Meagan calls herself a "Nintendo Junkie" so the Wii couldn't have been a more perfect gift!

Nanna and Grandpa gave all the boys new cowboy boots and guns. Grandma-great gave them western vests. The boy cousins all exchanged bows and arrows...so as you can imagine, this was a wild, gun-shootin, cowboy and Indians, good guy vs. bad guy kind of Christmas!

One of the highlights for me was enjoying the time I got to spend with all of my siblings. I do have to admit that most of this quality time was spent in the late hours and way past my bedtime, but it was so worth it! Last Christmas my brothers were in Iraq and we missed them all the time, but especially during the holidays. So it was such a blessing that we all were able to stay at my parents for several days together...something we haven't experienced for a very long time.

Cards and games are family favorites and we got into a quite competitive round of hearts. On night #2, the boys came up with a game plan, hoping to really challenge the girls. I don't know if the glasses, hats, hoodies and bandanas were more for cheating or just intimidation but whatever the case it didn't work! Bring it on boys! We're ready for round #3!

After watching the kids have so much fun bowling with the Wii, we decided to take it to a real bowling alley. Congrats to Kera and Adam for scoring the highest. For the rest of us, we'll stay with the Wii!

Another highlight from our trip was enjoying all the snow. Madelyn, Mason and Jalen loved sleigh-riding, building snowmen, snow angels and forts. I couldn't keep their snowclothes dry long enough for them to be ready to go out again.

Thank You to all our family for making this a Very Merry Christmas! We love you!!

January 6, 2009

Holiday Magic

One thing I love about Christmas, is that we celebrate all month long. We participated in many activites and events to feel the Christmas spirit. Madelyn participated with the Canyon Ridge first grade class singing Christmas songs, while Mason and Jalen especially enjoyed dancing in the back. We attended the ward Christmas party and made a trip to the Mesa temple to enjoy the many lights and nativity sets. This year was especially fun because we happened to go on a night with performers singing Christmas songs. I got the cutest movie clip of the kids dancing and singing along, but I cannot get it to upload to my blog:( So you'll have to use your imagination on that one! Another fun tradition the kids enjoy is performing the nativity with the Cox family in Utah. This year Madelyn finally got to be Mary. She was thrilled! Mason was a shephard and unfortunately, Jalen refused to participate! I love all of these activities and especially the sweet moments and feelings it brings that remind me of the true meaning of Christmas, of Jesus Christ.