Merry Christmas Eve

Last year we drove up to Utah for Christmas and had a horrible experience with the weather and vowed we'd never do it again, ever-ever.  We've since moved, thus this year we are three hours closer and decided to give it another shot!  10 hours is do-able wherein 13 hours just isn't.  10 vs 13 is like 1 vs 8.

My little brother, Dallin, was here visiting the week before Christmas, so he drove up with us on the 21st!  He will be serving a mission in AZ soon, so we got him an AZ driver's license (. . .I still don't have one) and we're working on getting him set up to be an AZ resident so he can go to ASU and pay in-state tuition immediately following his mission.  Hopefully he will come live with us.

Anyways, tangent, we stayed the night in beautiful Page, and woke up to Lake Powell in all her winter glory (try temperatures in the 20s!!).
We pumped our veins full of Monster, put on Christmas tunes (radio regulated by yours truly) and had a nice, uneventful drive north.

First things first upon arrival, bathe the dogs.  My sister's Iggy's are kind of chubby, and for some reason that equals more of a need to bathe.
My dog is afraid of the bath.
Ben and I spend a lot of the holidays in the car while trying to travel around to all of our family.  My dad's house is usually our home base, and it was our first get together which worked out so perfectly.
Each year with my dad's family we do a "guess how many candies are in the [varying object]."  Last year it was a four way tie between Dallin, aunt Lez, Ben and me (we were all two off).  This year Ben won again (cheater I swear!!!).  The right answer was 92.

We played the Double or 7s Game.  If you roll doubles or a 7, you unwrap a present until the next person that rolls doubles or a 7 takes the present from you.  It's wrapped/taped like a dozen times and is intense.  Mister Dallin and Ben won the games which happened to be money!!  (See Ben has to be a cheater!!)
Then we do the same thing with candy.  If you roll a 7 or doubles you pick a candy, or steal somebody's candy, until the 5:00 timer runs out.  It gets personal.
And then for the longest of traditions we've done, we played the Right-Left game.  You each have a present and pass it right or left depending on what the story says.  Then you start with the youngest in opening the gifts, and they can open their gift or trade and open a different gift.  Once you open it though, there's no trading.
Since I am deprived of puppies on a daily basis, I overdo it to a [small] degree with the puppy pictures when we get together.  They are such lovable little creatures.  Mini Greyhounds are both super fast and SUPER lazy.
Christmas Eve we spend with my mom each year, which this year she's moved so we drove an hour (through a blizzard) to her new place.  In Happy Valley it snowed alllll day Christmas Eve.
More traditions. . .playing some intense games for prizes or money.  My luck was great this year (that never happens!).  I think I angered everyone.  Jolie had horrible luck and couldn't win a thing.  She played the last round of Bingo with eight cards, but she still lost.  haha!!
We played one game that was an absolute blast that I'm going to explain it.  Everyone starts with a few $1 bills, (donated by somebody, or you could all bring your own if you want to gamble).  You roll three dice and #s 1-3 are "safe," #4 means $1 goes to the LEFT, #5 means $1 goes in the "pot," and #6 means $1 goes to the right.  Essentially you could lose all your money fast, but you are never out of the game because the person next to you could pass you $1 at any time!!

Eventually all the money makes it to the pot in the middle, and the last person to have a dollar then rolls.  If they roll a 1-3 they take the whole pot.  If they roll a #5 then their dollar goes in the middle and you start completely over.  lol (Jolie).  [You only roll one die if you have one dollar, two dice if you have two dollars, and three dice if you have 3+ dollars.]

It was intensely awesome.  But moving along. . .
(I have no idea who lives in this house below.) Definitely a white Christmas, though it cleared up and was a nice Christmas day after all. 

After midnight my mom informed us that she saw Santa nearby so we needed to go to bed.  haha!  None of my siblings nor do we have any children, so we are still "the children."  We realized this is probably our last Christmas Eve as an entire sibling family and no babies.  [Not an announcement of any sort other than Dallin won't be with us until three Christmases from now.]  We are grateful for these memories!


  1. Spending Christmas with family is priceless. We went to germany to spend christmas with my family. I wasn't home for 7 years.

  2. I love your stripey sweater outfit! And I love that money game too! You can buy it and it makes it much less confusing- it's called LCR.

  3. Beautiful tree! Looks like you all had a blast:) happy new year