Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Goes Out With a Bang

2016 goes out with a bang... literally.  Last night while we were making pizza, our oven and stove stopped working.  It kept tripping the circuit.  Finally, it stopped working all together.  Every time I switched the circuit in the circuit box it would trip it.  So we got creative and finished making our pizza in quarters in the toaster oven.  It worked.  We also discussed how we would adjust our traditional New Year's Eve nachos without the use of the stove.
Earlier today I thought I'd try to turn the circuit on again... just in case.  When I flipped the switch, all the power in our apartment went out.  Bang.  Well, it was more a pop, but you get the idea.  Whoops.  So much for being able to heat anything up for nachos with no crockpot, no microwave, still no stove and oven, and we wouldn't want to open the fridge anyway because that was also not on.  It also meant no heater, etc. etc. etc.
So Jeremy called our rental people about this emergency and someone came pretty quickly, fixed things, including finding out what was wrong and tripping the stove/oven.  So guess what.  New Year's Eve nachos including being able to use the stove to heat the nacho cheese and make refried beans.  I was also able to use the oven for making Chex Mix.  Hooray, but sorry to the maintenance guy who had to come fix things on New Year's Eve.  At least it didn't take him too long.
Well, this is a way to finish off 2016.  We got our nachos. 
We got to toast the end of this year and the beginning of next year with sparkling cider from the fridge. 
The kids got to stay up late watching movies (even though I was hoping they'd just fall asleep with their sleeping bags on the living room floor) and we have 9 o'clock church tomorrow morning.  We even made some celebratory pizza before working on nachos since the oven is working again.
Happy 2016.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Mercer Mayer's Birthday

December 30 is Mercer Mayer's Birthday.  Jeremy saw his own "little critter" while he was out today.

A ruby-crowned kinglet that really showed off its ruby crown for him.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Gotta Get Those Birds

A few weeks ago when Jeremy hit 200 life birds (I have less), he joked about how we could still get me 200 by the end of the year.  December 29 is Tick Tock Day, almost the end of the year, and we both got a new life bird today.  A Northern shrike.
We took the kids up to Antelope Island today since they're still on Christmas break.  Besides the Northern shrike, we also found our target bird- porcupine in a tree.  There were a bunch of them, but the first one we spotted was in a tree right next to the road.  Jeremy got out and took quite a few pictures of it.  It was still there on our way back along the road so Jeremy got out to take some more pictures.
While he and several other people were taking pictures of the porcupine, there was a bison that came along and just casually walked along on the other side of the road.  That was fun.

 It was a great day at Antelope Island.  It was cold but we did get out a couple times.  We went to the ranch and the kids had fun playing in the snow there.  
We also got out at the visitor's center and the kids had fun watching a bunny and white-crowned sparrow hanging out near the bird feeders.
Another highlight to the trip was seeing a barn owl on our way out.  That was awesome.  Beautiful bird.
It was a good family day.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Spiderman Memory Match

December 28 is Stan Lee's birthday.  It is also Card Playing Day.  We've combined these in the past in creative ways.
This year, the kids got to play Spiderman Memory Match Game to combine and celebrate.
Last night after the kids went to bed, Jeremy and I watched Ant-Man.  We finished it after midnight with a cameo from Stan Lee so it was technically on his birthday.  Tonight after the kids go to bed we're going to watch Captain America: Civil War.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Monday, December 26, 2016

A New Holiday

Now that blogging about LIGHTtheWORLD is over (don't worry, we'll still do service), I may start talking about holidays again.  We found a new holiday.  December 26- besides being National Candy Cane Day (I was reminded recently of how we celebrated that one in 2013- check it out)- is also Wren Day.  Oh yeah.
We went out in search of a Pacific Wren up near South Fork Park to celebrate.  Jeremy saw one recently.  I hadn't seen one and didn't find it today.  Oh well.  The kids had fun playing in the snow and we saw a whole lot of deer and wild turkeys.  There were so many turkeys on the ground and up in trees.  It was so fun to see.
I was not upset that I didn't get to see the Pacific Wren.  I'll try again another time.  It was a beautiful afternoon/evening.  The roads were clear but there was plenty of snow on the sides and on the trees. 
Wonderful nature.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Day 2016

Christmas Day was good.  The kids got to see what Santa brought them and open presents in their stockings before church (we made them get dressed in their church clothes before they could even come out from the back).  At the ward Christmas party, Jr. Jr. told Santa what he wanted for Christmas- a dragon.  He was convinced Santa would bring him a dragon and kept telling the other kids in our family so.  This morning he was not disappointed when he saw a dragon by his stocking.  He let us know that he knew that present was for him.  So cute. 
Jeremy also got what he asked Santa for when we opened presents later- a Utah State Parks Pass.  That's going to be great for birding.
At church, the choir sang several songs.  Lucky wanted to sing, too.  Thanks to Jr. and Daddy, he was distracted a lot up until right before the closing song.  Then he realized that I was up on the stand and Jr. couldn't coax him to stay with them.  Jeremy couldn't physically get him either.  So he came up and stood right next to me while I led the choir and turned around and led the congregation and turned around and led the choir and turned around and led the congregation.  Thankfully, he stayed right next to me... I think.  I was concentrating more on the music right then.
After church, we came home, the kids got back in their pajamas, and were happy to play with their presents from Santa while Jeremy and I got ready to continue with present opening.  It took a while before we started (I had to go outside and take pictures of the snow- Nichole was hoping for a white Christmas and she got it), but nobody complained.  Everybody was content and it just felt nice.  Hooray.  Eventually we did get to opening presents and it was fun.
This evening after a lot of play and just enjoying being together as a family, we discussed the last day of LIGHTtheWORLD.  "Jesus's disciples followed him and so can we."  That's what we've been doing this whole month.  Jeremy and I expressed gratitude to each of our children for the service they've been doing.  We also talked about how we can continue to follow Jesus through service, even if we're not going with specific themes or suggestions.  I've learned about some more ways to serve during this and I already have some ideas of things I want to do in the near future.  I am also grateful for how others have served us during the month.  I was hoping LIGHTtheWORLD would help me have a better attitude this December compared to last.  It definitely did.
Oh, and I made homemade gifts for the kids again.  I counted cross-stitched them each a keychain this year.
 Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve 2016

After Jeremy hurt his arm yesterday, I knew I'd be able to LIGHTtheWORLD according to today's theme (I wish we didn't have to this way, but we do).  "Jesus cared for His loved ones and so can you."  Jeremy's limited in what he's able to do right now so some of our plans and traditions had and have to be changed a little.  Because of having a better attitude toward Christmas this year, it's not so bad.  It reminds me of How the Grinch Stole Christmas (by Dr. Seuss).  Even after the grinch stole all the Whos' toys and presents and food for their feast, Christmas still came.  It came without ribbons, it came without packages, boxes, and bags (paraphrasing here).  Jeremy told me he didn't know if he'd be able to wrap presents for me.  I told him that didn't matter.  He did manage to wrap presents by himself.  He even helped get a few things ready for dinner.  The kids all chipped in helping with dinner as well, from clearing and wiping down the table to peeling eggs and rinsing lettuce.  There was definitely service happening in our home today.
We had some visitors give us service as well.  We had a few people stop by to bring us Christmas gifts of various sorts, including a gift left on our doorstep.  It said, "Merry Christmas Telford's From the North Pole."  Thank you so much for the paperware and envelope.  It is greatly appreciated.  You know who you are.
I'm very grateful for all the kindness shown to us by so many people.  I'm very grateful for friends who came to give Jeremy a Priesthood blessing this morning, who took time away from their own Christmas Eve morning to perform that service for us.
This afternoon, Jr. Jr. got to sprinkle reindeer food out on the lawn.  He got it from school.  It had oats and glitter in it.  The package said, "Magic Reindeer Food  Sprinkle on the lawn at night, the moon will make it sparkle bright.  As Santa's reindeer fly and roam, this will guide them to your home."

We weren't able to have one of the dishes Jeremy was going to make for dinner.  Since we didn't have it for Thanksgiving, Jr. had his heart set on it for Christmas.  He had a very good attitude about it when we explained that Jeremy wasn't able to make it.  We still had plenty of food.
After dinner, Jeremy told the kids a special Jackerina (defender of the Telford family) story while I made snickerdoodles (thanks for the recipe, Kelly Quilter) so the kids could put out milk and cookies for Santa later.
Then the kids hung up our stockings by the fire and we had our last Countdown to Christmas scripture study and bore our testimonies.  Then we went around telling about ourselves for a video like we do every year. 
Then the kids got to open up presents from Grandma and Grandpa Telford (new pajamas) and put them on. 
 Aaaah!  My hair is on fire!

Then Jeremy and most of the kids went to bed while I tried to organize some music because the choir is singing in Sacrament Meeting tomorrow for Christmas and I'm the choir director.
Our 3-year old would not go to bed, so finally I went to bed for a little bit.  Eventually he went to bed and now I'm up again writing this blog post.
I told Jeremy, with his hurt arm in Sacrament Meeting tomorrow, it will be like Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol.  It will be good for people to remember on Christmas who made lame beggars walk and blind men see (paraphrasing again).
Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Service for the Family

It seems like these last few days of LIGHTtheWORLD can be focused on service in our own family.  "Jesus was a peacemaker and you can be one too."  Easier said than done with little kids.  There were a few fights between the youngest two that we tried to calmly stop today. 
There was still plenty of service that went on.  Kids helping with cleaning and fetching things.  I helped Daddy out after he got hurt- held a plate for him at one point while he ate.
Friends stopped by this evening and brought us a Christmas present.  So sweet.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Annual Polar Express Party

The theme for LIGHTtheWORLD today is "Jesus showed gratitude and so can you."  A few days ago I mailed a letter to my brother and sister-in-law thanking them for some of their influences in my life.  They are awesome.  I hope they got the letter by today.

This evening we had our annual Polar Express Party.  As with every year, Jeremy dressed up in his conductor uniform and read the book to us.  Then we drank hot chocolate and watched the movie.  Well, the kids watched the movie.  I fell asleep.
It looked like two of our kids had Polar Express parties at school.  The other one Jeremy went to dressed in his conductor uniform and did a juggling/magic show for the kids.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


Honestly, if I wasn't doing LIGHTtheWORLD, I wouldn't be writing this blog post.  Late nights and early mornings are catching up to me (Ah, the season of Christmas).  I need to go to bed so I'm going to make this quick.  I guess that works for Humbug Day which is December 21, right?  Actually, this evening we let the kids watch The Muppet Christmas Carol after they made balloon ornaments to put on our balloon tree.  That's how we really celebrated Humbug Day.

O.K.  Back to making this quick.  The theme for LIGHTtheWORLD today was "Jesus forgave others and so can you."  I chose to laugh a lot instead of get upset a lot today with my children.  That included when they were jumping on me or right in my face during Christmas singing performances at the school.  It helped me be less grumpy and was a good reminder that they are special little people who need to be treated well even if I might normally get frustrated.
I can't put all my thoughts and feelings into words right now since I need to go to bed so this is just a little something.  Service in our families is just as important as service to others outside our home and how we treat others can definitely be a service. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Pack Meeting

"Jesus saw potential in others and so can you."  We got to go to pack meeting for cub scouts this evening where Jr. received a belt loop for his Bear.  He was able to share some of the things he had done in order to earn it.  Way to go, Jr.
The kids got to make graham cracker houses for the activity.  The leaders were so patient with those kids.  Way to go, leaders.
I got to watch a friend's child today.  Lucky was asleep when he got here and the other kids were at school so we had a bit of one on one time, playing Hungry Hungry Hippos together part of the time and part of the time I worked on a project I needed to work on while he played Hungry Hungry Hippos or with other toys.  While he played, though, it was fun to praise his hippos or the animals he was making make their sounds.  It's these little things I need to work on with my own kids, too.  Taking that one on one time to be involved in what they're doing and praising their efforts.  I've got really good kids and I'm blessed to see how they're growing in so many areas.
Nichole's teaching kids from school how to juggle for a science project.  Nichole, who a year ago couldn't really juggle herself.  Nor could she sew and now she helps me sew juggling balls.
As I mentioned, Jr. is doing well with cub scouts. 
Jr. Jr. has a wonderful imagination and the things he comes up with are terrific.
Lucky just wants to be like all the big people.  He volunteers to help with things when someone asks for help.  Sometimes it's things he's too little to do, but he wants to anyway.
These are really good kids and I love to see how they LIGHTtheWORLD.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Calming the Storm

"Jesus calmed the storm and so can you."  I like what says for LIGHTtheWORLD about this one.  "Jesus understood that life's storms can take many shapes.  Some storms rain down from the sky; other tempests come from within.  The Master can calm all storms.  When we follow His example, we can be a light in the lives of those going through turbulent times."  This one kind of went through two days for me.  I donated to Humanitarian Aid yesterday and I experienced some of my own "turbulent times."  It wasn't anything major, which is a relief, but I had some trouble with some of my children during Sacrament Meeting.  Many of you have been there.  Several people comforted me with hugs and encouraging words afterward.  I mentioned also that my friend offered to let my kids come over to her house for a while (which I took her up on with the two youngest boys).  I appreciate those acts of service given to me to help calm my storm.
Today I went shopping.  As I shopped my thoughts were toward looking out for others who may be in need of a simple act of kindness if they were having a troubled time.  As my items were about to be rung up by the cashier, I noticed that the person in front of me was leaving without a couple of her bags.  I ran after her and let her know so that she wouldn't have that "storm" to deal with.  It was a simple act of service, but I'm grateful that I had prepared myself to help when the need arose.

On a bit different note, this evening we had Family Home Evening.  Our three-year old was in charge of the lesson and decided to talk about Jesus.  It was so cute.  Here are some of the things he said during his lesson and our discussion:
Jesus was a baby.  He was in a basket.  He was in a manger where the animals ate from. Did the animals eat Jesus? The animals ate straws, and cups, and the table. Jesus was in the table. Jesus was a sheep. Jesus was asleep. Jesus was a baby. At Christmastime.

It was so cute.  Then for our activity, Jr. decided we should have a snuggle party on the couch while watching a movie.
Awww.  Snuggles.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Goodbye, Children

"Jesus honored the Sabbath and so can you."  We taught our last time to our current Primary class this morning.  We love those kids.  They are each so awesome in their individual ways.  We talked about Jesus being the greatest gift we've ever been given and He is a gift for all of us.  We gave each child their own gift of a sticker of Jesus and one of the ornaments we got from our friends who were raising money for gifts (and other supplies) for refugee children.
We found out, by the way, that our friends passed their goal of $300 and raised $500 and when they went to buy the gifts, Santa came out to thank them and gave each of the little boys in their family their favorite candy bar.  Way to LIGHTtheWORLD, friends.

Nichole and I also had our last choir practice before Christmas.  We brought brownies to the choir members.
While we were at choir a friend let us bring the little boys over to stay with them while Nichole and I were practicing.  Jeremy and Jr. went home teaching then Jeremy needed to take a nap when they got home.  Thank you, friends.  You LIGHTtheWORLD with your kindness.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Star Wars Mom

I called my mom today.  When my dad answered and I asked for my mom, my dad said, "You're calling because the thing told you to."  They've been paying attention to LIGHTtheWORLD, too.
On there are suggestions with each day's theme.  Today's theme is "Jesus cared for His mother and so can you."  One of the "three simple ways to get involved" was, "Call your mother right now."  Looking down the page it gave other suggestions.  One of them was, "Seriously, call your mother."  My parents got a kick out of that just like I did. 
I love my parents.  They have always been such good examples to me.  I'm grateful to them for so many things and I do tell them often, not just when the thing tells me to.

December 17 is National Maple Syrup Day so Jr. and I made pancakes.
Here's a face Jr. Jr. made out of his food.

Then I left the kids in the afternoon/evening so Jeremy and I could go see the new Star Wars movie, Rogue One, just like we did last year with The Force Awakens.
Except this year the showing we went to was earlier in the day, and this year Jeremy built an X-Wing to be raffled off, and this year we invited a couple friends to come with us.  It was fun.  Nichole let me borrow her Gryffindor robe and I just safety pinned some black fabric over the patch.  With the hood up, Jeremy said I was very sith-like.
It was a good day.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Something Simple

Let me tell you something very simple I'm learning from LIGHTtheWORLD this year.  As it is so simple, I'm sure many of you already realize it.  Here goes:
Sometimes with service, I don't know what to do.  I'll be at home thinking, I should do service, but I don't know how to serve.  What should I do for someone?  I now know what to do- just do something.
Through these 25 days I'm realizing that as I get out to serve others, I recognize more opportunities to serve.  It's like with faith.  The more we exercise our faith, our trust in Jesus Christ, the more faith and trust we have in Him, the more He is able to help us grow.  We also grow through service.  And just like with faith, one of the things that really helps with service is prayer.  An idea of what to do for service may not come right as you pray (sometimes it does), but as you are in the process of prayerfully helping others, you are able to recognize needs around you, ways to show kindness, love, and compassion.  "Jesus showed compassion and so can you." 
Service can be big.  Service can be little.  But serving with love absolutely brings us closer to Christ.