I'm on vacation so I'm going to post the emails the kids wrote to their cousin (Woo's nephew) on a mission in Colorado. I'm sure he won't mind ....

Elder Bacon,
I love you. Have a happy, happy Christmas. And I hope you have a very, Merry Christmas. That's all. Love,

Hi Elder Bacon,
I hope you have a good Christmas. I hope you stay safe. I hope you're having fun on your mission. I wonder what you get for Christmas.

Dear Elder Bacon
Thank you for being my cousin. How are you doing?I'm. Doing fine.I hope you are having a good time on your mission.I can't wait till I can go on a mission!I can't wait till you can come home.I love you.Tell me what you get for christmas please.I hope you get some more church clothes like ties,shirts,scriptures,scriptures case and and something you like maybe some candy.
Love oxox

Hi Elder Bacon,
You have a house? I have a house and beds in my house. I have a Christmas tree up, cuz it's Christmas. My mom has a iPod and my dad had a iPod and a camputer. I have a toy camputer. Archie's here. Archie's a baby. I wanna say Merry Christmas. Hi, Merry Christmas.

Hello Elder Bacon
Merry Christmas. Hope you get some great present's this Christmas Season. The best Halooaday ever is Christmas because of Jesus Christ. Hope you have a great time on your Mission. Hope you get the present's you wan'ted. We really miss you so much.
Love xoxoxoxo

Hope you all had a great Christmas!



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This year sets itself apart from previous years in that somehow no children were born to us!

Find out how!

Woo's never been more attractive or more gainfully employed, thanks to working a new fulltime job (20% of the time in a real office!) for a startup that aims to take over the world....

of cloud storage.

This company was bought by another company which makes him a "company man" twice over.

In other endeavors, he's spent his entire life savings on a crummy, dilapidated rental property. 

Beautiful vacation home for rent. You deserve a break. 
Why not make it tomorrow?

He discovered the joys of cheap Chinese made quadrocopters,

Use coupon code THISISFORMENOTMYKIDS for 7% off!

Maintained his girlish figure via the All Stress Diet (patent pending) and made heads turn in his service as Elders Quorum President, winning such reviews as:

"I'm happy to see you don't take this too seriously." - The Bishop 
"You're the Elder's Quorum President?!?" - Stake High Council Member


"No really, who is the President?" - Chelsey

Chelsey has been busy attending to the needs of her 7 childlike cohabitants, and writing a novel.

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before prices go up--or she gives up!

She doesn't look a day over 37 thanks to this one crazy trick!!

Yes, she drinks a shotful of olive oil every day.

In other efforts, she's killed off at least one person with an accidental "death date entry" on FamilySearch (and has a much greater appreciation for the difficulty of resurrection).

She spent several hours cooking avocado-coconut fries, teaches the 16-18 year old girls in our church and generally holds all things together while maintaining her dignity (see photo above).

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Ruby is 10 years old. She's been endowed with all the good qualities of her father: thrift, aversion to manual hair maintenance and closed mouth chewing, stubbornness, and entrepreneurship.

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From her mother she's inherited spelling bee savoir faire, competitive individual sports, and reading. 

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She's also picked up some skills unmatched by either parent, such as sneaking (barely), befriending special needs kids, dressing up like Harry Potter, and instigating riots among her siblings so she can subsequently demonstrate her excellent peacemaking abilities.

Herbie is 78 years old this year. Other than his aching back, cataracts, interest in older women, "allergies" to things he conveniently doesn't like, his 7 o' clock bedtime, and reading choices (Edgar Rice Burroughs, Mark Twain, The World at War), he's probably 70 years younger than he acts.

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He's made a strong showing in debate, wax medium art, and wax medium art removal.

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He's got a heart of gold,

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And wants to play football. When not wooing the recess lady, or his teacher, or sixth graders, he plays flys up with Moses. He loves Cub Scouts, offers to help classmates with multiplication tables and takes over for Dad when Dad isn't home (or within earshot).

Moses is either 6 or almost 1 1/2, depending on how you count. He's put on a lot of muscle mass thanks to his expertly-crafted, sugary, butter-laden grain supplements.

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He's a real wizard in awkward, quasi-martial-artsy body movements. Hedging his mad self-defense skills and imposing physique, he's also pioneered "body guard" building and trained several padawans in that skill.

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Would-be attackers don't stand a chance. He even conquered Satan by doing his chores without whining. Once.

His only weaknesses are decks with protruding nails and water over waist-deep.

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Linus is still the most enchanting kid in town (quite literally) due to his sweet smile, broken leg hobbling and Tiny Tim voice--well, and the local demography ;). He made headlines (in our house) for learning to ride his bike the fastest of any kid yet.

Linus is making important realizations like, "If it tastes good, it's not healthy," and "I want things that taste good, thanks," and "No, carrots can't be healthy!"

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He's our self proclaimed "cleanest eater" (originally coined by his dad). He lives by strong routines. If he ran the world, he'd be 16, have a drivers license, and go by the name of Peyton.

Penelope is a mom. Her name is Betsy. Her name is also Chelsey. Or Miss Nelson. Or Miss Viola Swamp. Her eyes can open as big as her head when she's excited... which is whenever she's awake.

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Penelope won't eat beans, rice, salad, spinach or soup. But sometimes Betsy will. Like most moms, she wears her clothes and shoes backwards and plays in the closet. Like most kids, she makes beds, puts babies in cribs, and sets tables everywhere she goes. She has a baby named Archie and a baby named Bounce.

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Archie is, by all accounts, a baby. He likes smallish, round things. He likes putting smallish, round things in his nose.

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Archie calls Penelope "mom," and will lie down and nap for her. He sometimes says "I bad guy," then laughs. Other times he is a bad guy while he surreptitiously hunts for powdered foods such as Kool-aid™, flour, oats or freshly-trashed foods from the garbage.

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He is no longer in a crib or high chair and is working on his escape from diapers. Unlike all other kids his age, he likes cars and trucks and candy and footwear.

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We've had a great year, and look forward to many more! We wish we could see all of you in person and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Figgy pudding--free delivery! 

Woo, Cheltz, Ruby, Herbie, Moses, Linus, Penelope and Archie

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Over the last few years, I've pared down and I've pared down, until I now have a stress free Christmas. I have to say that I couldn't do it without Amazon. I know I've said this before, but how wonderful is it to spend an evening in my own house picking out presents for the kids and then have them show up on my doorstep 2-7 days later? They come in sturdy, cardboard boxes that I can leave in a pile in my room and the kids can't even get a peek--Wonderful!

Anyways, the point is I feel like I'm really enjoying this Christmas season, and I think that my focus and the family's focus is definitely turned towards Jesus' birth.

I memorized The Living Christ around Thanksgiving, but wanted to recite it for my family. I finally did that this week for FHE. (I do have to say that it never seemed especially revelatory to me, but memorizing it made it a lot more meaningful.) We watched the short YouTube clip He Is The Gift, and put up the tree.

The next night while Woo was at work I let the kids decorate the tree however they liked. Minutes after this picture was taken, Archie pulled the tree down on top of himself, all the kids ran around like nuts, making things worse trying to help, and the tree wouldn't stand up anymore due to all the decorations being concentrated on one side. That was the point where I lost my temper (still not perfect ...).

Here are some random things from the last two weeks:
Me: I don't know computers as well as Dad.  
Linus: You don't?! I do!  
I just get a book and I type, type, type.  
Just like Dad does. 
Oh, Woo. You make it look so easy.

Four things Linus has to say every night after I kiss him goodnight.
  1. I love you and I like you and goodnight!
  2. Will you take me to the potty?
  3. Will you pinch me when you take me to the potty?
  4. Are you staying up?
Linus (announcing the arrival of another Fedex truck): It's a Fedup truck!!
Whenever anyone can't remember something, Linus is quick to yell: 
Ask Jesus! Jesus is the only one who knows. 
He says this because recently he couldn't remember something, prayed, and then suddenly was able to remember it. 
Moses (wearing his fire helmet backwards like a flat brimmed baseball cap): I'm a lazy man.  
Woo: Is that how lazy men wear their hats, Moses?  
Moses: Well, sometimes they wear it like this. (Turns the brim to the side.) 
Moses is very, very motivated by candy. He'll step right up and do a fantastic job on all his chores and cleaning his room just for a little Christmas treat.

He was very proud to show me his math test. Not only because he got 100%, but because (as he carefully turned each page and showed me) it was five pages long and he didn't miss anything.

Last Sunday Penelope suddenly announced that she's Betsy. Betsy has three children: Cheerio (Archie), Archie (a doll) and Chouin (a doll). Actually the doll's names are sometimes Powchin, Bunkbed (a girl), Wowa, John and Konn. 

Betsy does all the important Mom activities like brushing her children's teeth, putting them in bed and putting them on the potty. Penelope sure is lucky to have a younger brother who is such a good sport, and who she can parent in her spare time. Archie will do almost anything she asks--even lie down and pretend to nap. 
Linus: NellPea who are you married to?  
Penelope: Archie. He's my kid.

Woo's bought himself a few toys this week and last. Two new sets of headphones, and his crowning glory--The X11 Hornet. For those of you who don't know, the X11 Hornet is a quadrocopter. We've spent many evenings with the lights off, Woo flying his X11 Hornet up and down the living room and the kids watching, totally transfixed. Woo loves it so much (and the kids have too), that he's ordered almost all of them remote controlled helicopters for Christmas (don't tell them).

Herbie came home from school one day very excited because his friend Brock had made him an elf (as in the Elf on the Shelf). His friend was being very kind to draw him an elf, write out the rules and package it nicely for Herbie, because (according to Herbie) he's the only kid in his class who doesn't have an elf at home spying on him.

Ruby, Moses and Linus immediately colored and cut out elves of their own and placed them in the living room. Herbie made the rules absolutely clear to everyone, and even told the elf the rules of our house, and then (oddly enough) the elves never moved, and everyone forgot about them. 

Archie now does that cute thing where if one of the other kids hurts his feelings, or we tell him he can't do something, he'll bawl all the way to the stairs and up them. Then come down ready to be happy. He's seen the others kids go upstairs crying so often and come down happy that he seems to think it's some magic panacea. And maybe it is.

Ruby went shopping with Grandma Sandy for her birthday last weekend. She was super, super excited and got do some things she'd always dreamed of, but her tyrannical parents were always preventing. Like eating spaghetti with meatballs (Woo hates it, and I've never made it for that reason.) She also got herself some clip-on earrings, and a whole bunch of books--everything Harry Potter.

Well, I think that's it. Hope everyone's enjoying their Christmas!