We've been living a bit of a white trash lifestyle lately. The faucet we bought a year or so ago was one of those pull out sprayers. We loved that we could spray things and that were higher or farther away from the faucet than we could reach until it started leaking...but no problem my dad showed us how you could tighten something to keep it from dripping anymore. But then it never really sat in it's "holster" the way it should. It always kinda sagged just a bit. Then one day I walked downstairs and there was water running down the wall and a small puddle on the floor. It took me awhile to realize that the pull out sprayer was dripping in it's ill fitted holster down into the basement and no amount of tightening would stop it. That's no big deal I thought we'll just keep it hanging in the sink. It didn't want to stay in the holster nice anyway.

We lived like this for awhile. I was always a little embarrassed when people came over and did anything in my kitchen and didn't say anything when they put the sprayer back in the holster even though I sat there worried about what was happening in the basement.

We started to notice that every time we ran the garbage disposal the yucky water would back up in the second sink which wasn't normally a problem unless you had clean dishes in there drying. And the sink was draining very slowly as well. I figured something was clogged in there so I got a plunger to see if I could dislodge it. No luck. Derek decided to give it a try with no luck either. So he decided to look in the trap. We did find some interesting things in there but when he went to put it back together it just didn't quite fit right. We discovered that they had previously put it together with some kind of caulking. Then we noticed the disposal was leaking. Derek was able to put the pipes back together to where they were only dripping a little bit and we put a bucket under the disposal, then made plans for a new disposal. Meanwhile Derek got sick and went on a business trip and the jimmy rig under the sink was thought less of until Derek was at Stake conference adult session and I went downstairs to run some laundry and found a significant puddle on the floor and water marks all down the wall and even running along the furnace pipe to the middle of the room. Whatever Derek had done to fix the pipes was no longer working and water was pouring out of them everytime any water ran down them.

Monday it was FHE under the sink.

Derek started with the disposal installing a new one. Including a new stainless steel stopper. Am I dumb to like this so much

He had a little help along the way.

One day when Hyrum is older and has his own home I'll tell him that he replaced a garbage disposal when he was 4. :)

Then on to replacing every last pipe under the sink.

No caulking allowed.

It looked so pretty when it was all done and not a leak in sight.

Then he got started on replacing the faucet.

Three hours after he got started, between crazy boys and baths, Derek was all but done besides the cold water hook up not staying in place and spraying water everywhere while I tried to get the boys teeth brushed and in bed. We agreed that he'd take a break and wait for me to help him finish it.

After cleaning up the kitchen a bit we found the tiny little metal clamp that kept the cold water connection in place and after that it was smooth sailing.

I do poverty well and I don't mind being inconvenienced to save a buck but it is seriously soooo nice not to worry about water ending up in our basement if something is put out of place. And I have to say I am incredibly impressed with my handy husband. Sometimes I catch him admiring his work under the sink too. Little by little we are redoing the kitchen. Now I need a new sink...maybe when we replace the counter tops.

The fun didn't stop at Christmas. Oh no. Derek had a week off of work after Christmas and Hyrum had been making plans for weeks. First up was bowling.

Every time we went to the BYU bookstore (which was 3 times in the weeks leading up to Christmas) he'd say "Remember when we went there?" And I would tell him that we didn't go there because they were closed when we wanted to then ask him if he wanted to go. He DID. So we put it on our list and it was the number one thing to do on our list.

So on Monday morning we called BYU Cosmic Bowling to make sure they were open and low and behold they were not so we headed to Fat Cats in Provo for some afternoon bowling.

Hyrum was soo excited

It was Noah's first time in bowling shoes and he was really excited. First he needed a little help

But before long he was grabbing his ball (6lbs!!!) and carrying it to the lane by himself.

He loved it.

A great time was had by all!
Yeah pretty obvious that we don't bowl a whole lot.

The next day we headed to the Springville Museum of art and to the new library. Every time I go to the art museum I wonder why we don't go more often. It is seriously the best kept secret in Utah county. And it's FREE!! Although they ask for donations. Even the boys enjoyed it. They didn't take as much time as Derek and I would have being alone but still it was so great. Since we moved down here nearly three years ago this is the first time Derek has been and that is a crying shame. I plan to change that.

Our new library opened at the end of October and Derek hadn't been there yet either. Since we'd been once we gave him the tour. It is state of the art and big and beautiful. Checking out your books is crazy. You just put your stack down on this pad and they all just appear on the computer screen. Checked out! We spent the rest of the day reading the new books we borrowed. I love library day. Another place we should go more often.

On Wednesday we decided to try a movie at the movie theater near us. We decided on Puss in Boots. It's a mid run movie theater that charges 3 instead of 5 or 6 dollars. Since we were saving so much on tickets and since we were on vacation we decided to splurge on popcorn. We were a little nervous how Noah would do since the last time we went to a movie he only sat for 15 -20 minutes. He did GREAT! He would have sat through the entire whole movie happily eating his popcorn had Hyrum not had to bug out a few times.

Thursday was our Salt Lake City day. We headed up to Discovery Gateway children's museum where we met our old neighbors and played a bit.

The last time we were here Noah was 5 months old so this was a VERY different experience for him.

When we were talking about going to the art museum Hyrum was ecstatic talking about the plastic tube and the pipe cleaners. It took us awhile to figure out he thought we were going to the Gateway museum and upstairs they have this air tube that you can fly muffin papers joined together with pipe cleaners. Of all the things he could remember about this amazing museum he remembers that. I was surprised. And he spent a lot of time there.

Noah also found something familiar.

While Hyrum figured out gears.

Then we went to the food court in the City Creek development. It is going to be so nice when it's done. We parked in a brand new parking garage. ( have you ever smelled the new smell in a parking garage? it was a first for me ) We checked out the waterfall outside the windows of the food court on the way out. Sooo pretty.

Then because we were there and could we went to the Church History and Art museum. Hyrum was a grump because he wanted to go home but Noah was all about it. He steered the ship toward the promised land.

Jotted a few words down on the "golden plates"

and planted a few vegetables

before he met up with his big brother to give him a ride around town.

Then rested in the shadow of a friend

Then we hit the tabernacle and south visitors center on temple square to see the pipe organ ( we told Hyrum it was like the Count's counting pipe organ) and the little model of the temple. ( Hyrum loves seeing the little oxen surrounding the baptistery )

After that we decided to go see Derek's aunt and uncle to deliver their Christmas gift but when we called we found out that they had left to go down to Arizona the day before. Fail. Especially since their gift is perishable and will have perished by the time they get back. Great.

The next day was the playing with friends day. We were watching Hyrum's ( and Noah's ) best friends in the neighborhood, Alan and Tyler Mejia( and their baby sister Joy), while their parents went on a way over due date . It was on the list to play with them on our vacation. They had the best time and before we knew it three hours had passed.

The next day they invited us to their house for a little New Years Celebrating we that's just what we did. We had pizza and played board and video games and all around had a great time.

We ended with a little blueberry boy bait and frothy hot chocolate made by the hot chocolate maker given to me by my boys.

Then we did crackers and poppers and had the boys in bed by midnight eastern standard time. Then Derek and I toasted the New Year at midnight mountain standard time.

Are we noticing a trend here?

This year has been an odd one for our end of the year holidays. My parents have been out here for Halloween the last four years until this year then we've always been with family for Thanksgiving and Christmas and this year it was just us.

We knew for awhile that we wouldn't be going up to Idaho Falls for Christmas with Derek's family remodeling and Derek conducting ( and as it turned out speaking ) on Christmas day. We thought for awhile they might come to us but with Christmas being on a Sunday and Derek's mom working in retail we figured the chances were slim to none that they'd be able to join us and they weren't. I'd planned for this eventuallity by talking to as many cousins as I could about coming down to our house for a Christmas eve something. As it turned out we had plans for my cousins to come down for an old fashioned Streeter shabang on Saturday and a nice dinner with some of Derek's cousins on Friday.

Derek was off work on Thursday and we ran around finishing up shopping and other details then Thursday night the upset stomach Derek had had all week seemed to worsen. All of Friday he was in bed with the stomach flu. We called to cancel our plans. But that night we started our gingerbread house as Derek slept on the couch.

We did one last year and Hyrum remembered and wanted to do another. This may become a tradition

Last year I had little to nothing to do with the construction of the house itself and this year I was flying solo with two eager little boys pushing to put the candy on.

I think I did pretty well.

The next day Derek was feeling a lot better and headed off into the Christmas eve shopping madness to finish up HIS shopping. When he got back we decided to finish the gingerbread house. This time Dad helped.

It should probably be noted just exactly how much my boys LOVED the gingerbread house frosting

( I should probably mention that this was after we were done with the gingerbread house- why fight it)

Except when it was on Noah's finger. He really hates his hands being dirty

But Hyrum took care of that

He's such a good big brother.

Then we made the Santa cookies that Hyrum remembered making with Mema from last year. Noah helped too this year.

We got a box from my sister that day and in it with the presents were boots and coats that she didn't send with the 4T clothes. Hyrum was SOOOO excited. One pair of boots had mud on them from the previous owners and Hyrum said they were army boots thinking that the mud was camouflage. Because Hyrum was putting on boots and coats of course Noah had to as well. And then since they were putting on boots, he wanted to take a walk, in the wagon and since we had a few more neighbor gifts to deliver we went for a walk around the neighborhood to deliver them. ( Is this sounding a little like 'If you give a mouse a cookie'?)

When we got back from all of our running we decided to watch The Polar Express since we hadn't watched it yet and Hyrum kept saying he wanted to watch it on Christmas eve. But when we asked him he said he wanted to watch 'Mr Kruger's Christmas' instead. So that's what we did and after we retold the Christmas story from the Bible using the Little People to act it out.

While Derek was reading we noticed when he paused Hyrum would continue, quoting the Bible word for word. We were shocked until we realized that he has watched 'Charlie Brown Christmas' as many times as he could get away with just about every day of the week and along the way was memorizing the Christmas story that Linus recounts from the Bible. Thank you Mr Schultz!

Then we put the baby Jesus in the manger. Hyrum was SOOO excited to do this. He'd been waiting for so long and was entirely committed to making sure that Jesus had a nice soft bed to lay in. We expanded it this year to include any nice thing you do for anyone without them asking you to do it. So if he picked up his wrapper without me asking him to do it he put a straw in the manger which I was totally cool with because otherwise I'd be doing it so really, it was for me.

Then we persuaded Hyrum to watch the Polar Express. Noah was chomping at the bit to see the choo choo movie but Hyrum gets really nervous and upset while watching it. He managed without too much drama.

We also let the boys open one present of our choosing which were new Christmas jammies.

Cute boys.

Then we laid out the cookies and milk and wrote Santa a letter and the boys went to bed. Rather quickly I might add which kind of surprised us.

I have to mention something about the gingerbread house. As soon as we got it done Hyrum began worrying about a visit from "Ms Gretel". He even wanted me to put him to bed because Dad would know what to say to her in German. It even got to the point that he would leave extra candy beside the gingerbread house for her to eat, so that she wouldn't eat the house. The imagination of a 4 year old. This may become a new tradition too.

The next morning we let the boys sleep as long as they possibly would and Hyrum came in around 8. We tried to keep them in our bed as long as we could too. But we had to get into the shower to get ready for church. Then we showed Hyrum what Santa left in his room. A new Sunday outfit complete with sweater vest and tie. Noah got to wear Hyrum's other red tie. Hyrum was actually pretty excited about the new outfit.

Note to self: when Christmas is on Sunday make sure to tell Santa to WRAP everything in the stockings and under the tree.

It was a novelty for Dad to be home before church.

After church, where the boys were remarkably well behaved for what was waiting for them at home, we headed home and didn't bother to change as most people did. We just dug right in!

Stockings first because they were easy access and had already been breached. Noah got some 'Cars' cars. He was really excited.

After the stockings were complete we started in on Santa gifts and gifts from each other. For some reason whenever they'd open gifts they never faced me so I could never get any good face reactions. They both tore into gifts this year.

(of course most of the excitement was over once I got the camera out)

Until Noah opened this...and then he was done

This is all he wanted to play with for a long time.

After we opened the first wave of gifts we had our Christmas brunch.

Everyone bravely ate it despite the lingering affects of stomach bug to no ill affects.

The rest of the day was a mix of playing with toys skyping with family and opening more gifts.

We ended with Derek and I watching "It's a Wonderful Life" Something we've tried to do every Christmas ( or at least on OUR Christmas) since the year before we got married and I introduced it to Derek who'd never seen it. It was a good Christmas

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.