A few of the Lange family Christmas traditions

Another Christmas is here and I LOVE Christmas time! We had a great Christmas and we are now sitting inside where it is nice and warm watching a huge snow storm roll in. I thought I would share some of our Christmas traditions, you might think some are crazy but we enjoy them none the less!

#1 Christmas eve dinner at Grandmas
This tradition takes a little explaining...Since Bret and I have never had any famly in the valley we have adopted my babysitters family. We call her grandma Bonnie and we just love their family like our own. Every Chrismas eve we go to her house for a dinner. Her house is small and it is getting more and more crowed with all the growing families. We decided to have the dinner at our house this year and it was so much fun. We had home make chicken noodle soup and taco soup. Grandma Bonnie fried up some scones We are so grateful to have family as great as they are!

#2 Opening our Christmas pajamas
I know this is a tradition for a lot of people and we do it because the kids really want to open something on Christmas eve. This is really the only night they actually wear pajamas. Most of time is whitey tighties or boxers. But the kids like this tradition, so we keep on doing it.

#3 Reading a Christmas Story
Every year we get a new Christmas book and read it on Christmas eve. This year I received a Christmas story at church so we
decided that would be our book. Here is a picture of Bret reading, he usually can't finish the story without crying. He did pretty good this year, his voice only got crackly once.

#4 Driking egg nog from fancy glasses
Once a year we pull out these fancy glasses and drink egg nog, we go around in a circle and toast to something we are thankful for or something we think is great...This is what everyone toasted to this year...
Dad: to Christmas
Mom: to being alive and health
Aaron: to family
Alec: to Christmas
Cade: to angels
Dawson: to pajamas!

#5 Building a fort
When the boys were little we would build them a fort so they would get excited and want to go to bed. As the years have gone
on and the boys have gotten older they have taken to building their own fort. Aaron helped create this "deluxe" fort for the boys and of course, the dog.

#6 Leaving a treat for Santa
The kids like to throw carrots on the roof for the raindeer and leave a treat for sant on a plate by the front door. We usually leave cookies, but dad assured us that santa would really really like a piece of pumkin pie with whip cream on top.

#7 Santa leaves a trail of candy
Every year santa leaves a trail of candy from the door to our presents. We usually have to pick them up quickly or the dog gets an early chocolate breakfast....sounds good to me.

#8 Waiting at the top of the stairs
Every year I take a picture of the kids sitting at the top of the stairs, waiting to run down and see what santa brought. I hope to someday fill the stairs with daugher-in-laws and lots and lots of grandchildren.

#9 The treasure hunt
This is probably one of the kids (and parents) favorite tradition. Each child has their own set of clues that sends them on treasure hunt. Each clue sends them all over the house trying to find the next clue. As they get older the clues get harder and harder. When they get to the end of their treasure hunt they find a bigger gift from mom and dad.

#10 Grandma Roundy's orange rolls
These were a recipe that my mom used to make when we were growing up and so I carried this on to my own family. Here is a
picture of them in the oven and another picture of them half eaten. These are traditionally done in a bundt pan, but when you can't find one and your going on 3 hours of sleep, you use whatever you can find!
#11 Aracely's Tamale's
Ok, so this isn't really our tradition, but we are so glad that it is a tradition with our good friends. We have some very good friends from Guatamala and every year they make a big batch of tamale's. And yes, we get to be the recepients of this tasty treat. This might not look like the best picture, but boy oh boy do we love it when the Carias family rings our doorbell on Christmas eve!
Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gingerbread houses!

So we made gingerbread houses for family night and we had a great time, so much so that the thought of eating another piece of candy made us want to lose it. We broke into teams because Bret bought the kits and we only had two. Aaron and mom were a team and dad and the other boys were another team. Let's just say Aaron and mom's house was kicking serious butt and we were thinking we were so cool. That is until we were almost done and our roof started sliding off because we used too much candy and it was too heavy. Bret said something about the three little pigs and Aaron and I not being patient enough, and we would have to come to their house for shelter blah, blah, blah...Whatever, we didn't even care about being the best and it wasn't supposed to even be a contest. Who cares about being on teams and dumb candy houses? I'm not bitter at all.... :) Aaron actually got the drill out and drilled a hole in our roof and tied a zip tie through the top and it worked great. We had a fun night and I just kept eating the candy off the roof over the next two days to lighten the roof and "keep the roof from sliding".


Doesn't even phase me....

Yes, that's Dawson up on top of the plant shelf. I came out of the bedroom and found him sitting 12 feet up. Worried, who me? Naw, with a house full of boys, that doesn't even phase me. I'll just keep telling myself that this kind of stuff is normal and hopefully I'll get through these years of raising my boys with only 99% of my hair turning gray...

Giving me the peace sign that everything is ok!

Jumping, with no fear I might add, to his daredevil dad.
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A younger Alana

Yes, I turn 40 this week and it seems like yesterday that I was in these pictures. My dad sent me these pictures in an email today and just for fun I thought I would post some. You can decide which kid you think looks like me.

Here is a picture of me with my "supermodel" mother! She always looked like a million bucks, she was so stylish and classy. I was her fourth kid and look at her shape...not fair. She was an amazing person. She passed away when I was 16 and she was 50, the older I get the younger she seemed when she passed away. There are so many things I wish I could do just like her, but there are also things that I am glad she passed on to me. This picture made me stop and think of her today and I just want to share some of the qualities that I remember about her...she was a great great seamstress, a beautiful piano player, great at stitchery, good at math, hard worker, a super mom, strong in the church and a wonderful cook, she loved trying new recipes. I can remember making cinnamon rolls with her on Saturdays and she would always give me my own little mound of dough to make mini cinnamon rolls. Another thing I remember, is her laugh. She loved to laugh and her and my dad were always the joksters, always being funny when my friends came around. I never ever remember seeing my mom mad. I never remember my parents even getting in one argument, wow. She was a great person and I am so proud to be her daughter.

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A lesson learned....

Last night I put out the last of my Christmas decorations. One of my favorite things is a nativity set that my parents brought back from Israel. Here is a picture of how I had it arranged before I went to bed. Fast forward to the next day and look at the second picture. Hmmm, seems as though a little four year old decided they needed to be rearranged. I love how even the cows and sheep get to join the circle. How ironic to find the nativity like this. It really made me stop and think about the true meaning of Christmas. How much we can learn from little children...Christmas really should be centered around Christ. Even my four year knows that better than me.

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Bret turns 40!!!

Yes, my awesome husband turned 40 today! Wow, what a ride we have been on together, 17 years total next week! I couldn't ask for anyone better for me, he understands me and loves me despite my faults. He is the worlds greatest dad and the boys think he is pretty awesome. In the last five years I have seen him become the greatest man around. One thing we love the most about dad is his willingness to let us laugh not only with him but at him. He doesn't mind being the brunt of our jokes. We always joke around and tell him that there are these new devices out there called computers he should try using one, but despite the fact that his two brothers are computer genius, he doesn't want much to do with them. He would much rather be outdoors, fishing, hiking, biking or just "being in the hills" with the boys. All he wanted for his birthday was to spend the evening with his family and if you know Bret at all he said it while his voice was cracking. He gets very emotional talking about his family. So that's just what we did, spent the evening together.

On one funny note: Later that night Bret needed to change a light bulb at the very tallest point in our house, so he got up on the ladder and was up there for about 20 minutes trying to fix some wiring. After he descended from the ladder he sat in the dining room chair and all of the sudden he started screaming, "my legs, my legs, my legs they are cramping, I'm too old to get on a ladder for that long" Well, Aaron and I are doubled over crying and laughing at the same time. He just keeps on screaming that his legs won't stop cramping. While laughing I went over and started to help rub his legs, but I just could not stop laughing....I'm laughing all over again as I type this! Later that night when we got into bed he said his legs were still shaking and he felt like he had been lifting weights like he did in high school. I guess there's just some things you can't do after 40....change a light bulb.

Here we are with fire extinguishers ready...

All the boys giving dad a love

Dawson is looking at all of dad grey whiskers.
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Homework, what's that?

Wahoo! I finally got it to work.

So last night Aaron was supposed to be doing his homework but it was too quiet and I should have known better! Especially when he and Alec came up and asked if they could use my "nice" camera for a special project. Aaron was the claymator and Alec was the photographer. This is what they came up with... I thought they did a pretty good job for their first time. It took 113 pictures to make this little video. "Homework, who needs that? Who cares if I go to college" ....maybe he can work for Disney.


Hangin the lights!

Well, I kept bugging and bugging Bret to get out and hang the lights on the house. I kept telling him that he should do it before it snows because it will be so much easier, but everyday is another day because there is no snow. So finally tonight I got home from a photo shoot and he was hanging the lights! Yeah!!! So now maybe it will snow :). Cade actually got ahold of my camera and took a few shots. I did manage to snap a picture of Cade and Dawson putting lights on the tree. We also got a tree tonight, it is twelve feet tall and it is huge, I didn't know it would be that big, it goes all the way up to the top of the ceiling, now I just have to bug and bug Bret to put the lights on the tree ;)!