Sunday, December 31, 2017

Way to End the Year

The end of 2017.
Yesterday the kids helped dismantle our Christmas tree. 
We visited friends.

And today, New Year's Eve- we went to church, said goodbye to our Primary class, played video games at home, ate New Year's nachos, and toasted the new year with sparkling cider and Apple Shasta.
 Happy New Year!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Family Pictures in Yellowstone

Since December 29 is National Tick Tock Day, I'm finally getting around to sharing something else from our trip to Yellowstone National Park this Summer:

While in Yellowstone, thanks to my awesome brother-in-law, we were able to get some pictures with our whole family.  I kept telling the kids I was going to keep making them be in pictures until I was satisfied with one that turned out.

Ta-Da.  With Old Faithful in the background even.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

A Rough December

Being sick stinks.  Being sick in December double stinks.
Out the window went a lot of our December traditions (and you know we like our traditions).  Light the World didn't go so well.  Our Countdown to Christmas scripture study didn't go so well.  Sigh.  Oh well.
Even though we didn't do as much service as we wanted to do, we gave others the opportunity to give us service.  Thanks to those who brought us meals.  Thanks to those who brought us various treats and gifts.  Thanks to my husband who did so much even when he wasn't feeling well.  Thanks to my dad who listened to me vent on the phone when I was having a hard time.  Thanks to my sister and niece who gave me a surprise visit, helped bring groceries in from my van, gave us homemade bread, and really lifted my spirits that day so I could face Christmas.  Thanks to all the choir members who assured me they were hitting the right notes when my hearing was totally messed up from an ear infection (and for singing so beautifully on Christmas Eve morning).  Thanks also to our choir pianist who played so wonderfully.  Thanks to friends who invited us over when we were feeling better (mostly... not contagious at least).  Thanks to Santa for his surprise visit to the kids one night.  Thanks to so many for prayers as well.
Sigh.  So now I'll tell about some of the things we did get done in December (not everything, especially since there were a couple weeks where I just didn't do anything but stare at the ceiling, sleep, and read books).

I went to watch the boys sing Christmas songs at school.
Jr. Jr. brought home a candy house on his last day of school before break.
One night, there was a knock on the door.  We could hear some bells outside and one of the kids looked out the window and said, "It's Santa."  Well, Santa came to see the kids.  Lucky was asleep on me on the couch so Jeremy picked him up so we could get a picture of him with Santa even if he was asleep.  Lucky woke up on Santa's lap and didn't freak at all.  Instead he climbed off Santa's lap and said he wanted a hug.  So he got a hug from Santa and of course didn't remember at all the next morning that it had happened.
My sister and niece brought over homemade bread and let me talk their ears off and gave me hugs.  I love family.
We finally got around to celebrating Lucky's birthday since several of us were sick on his actual birthday.

We also fit in our annual Polar Express party even though Jeremy wasn't up to wearing his whole conductor outfit.
Jeremy did make our Christmas tree in time for Christmas.
 Jr. made us breakfast one morning.
Jeremy made us breakfast before church on Christmas Eve.
We got to visit some friends on Christmas Eve.  They gave us a pie plate or... pi plate.
We had our big Christmas Eve dinner
and Christmas Eve program

with our stockings hung by the fire (thank you, The Piano Guys, for the fire)

and the kids got to open up pajamas from Grandma and Grandpa to wear (they all loved them).
We had a white Christmas (even though Nichole had given up hope of having a white Christmas- she was pleasantly surprised).
We celebrated a friend's birthday with pizza, an R2-D2 ice cream cake, edible crafts for the kids, and pie in the face.
Jeremy did make a porg balloon for our friend (if you don't know what that is, watch the newest Star Wars movie- "The Last Jedi").  It went over well.
So that's what we've been doing- most of it in the last week and a half.
The End.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Neighbor Cookies

December 4 is National Cookie Day.  Yes, I made cookies.  Yumm.
Since on #LightTheWorld Day 4 Jesus taught: "Thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself." -Matthew 22:39, we took some platefuls of cookies to some neighbors.
Nichole loves that we can use the holidays to do LightTheWorld.  She also loves that she got a cookie.

The kids were also excited to wake up to snow this morning.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

I'm Tired

I'm tired.  So I'm going to make this brief.  #LightTheWorld  Day 3- Jesus taught: "Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days." -Matthew 12:12
My kids did lots of service today.  I can't mention it all.  It was quite a bit.  I appreciate them. 
My husband also did service.  I also appreciate him.  I did service, too.  I appreciate me, too.
We watched the First Presidency Christmas Devotional this evening.  Beautiful messages of love.  I always love watching it.
We also started writing messages to my niece who is a volunteer in Russia right now.  She lights the world with her service daily and we'll send our appreciation when we finish those messages.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Water and Ballet

#LightTheWorld Day 2- Jesus taught: "I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink." -Matthew 25:35
"Did you know that access to clean water has the single greatest impact on global poverty?  Consider donating to a cause that helps provide safe water to individuals or communities."  That was one of the suggestions on for today's LightTheWorld.  I had no idea how to do that.  It turns out a friend of ours did.  She researched and helped us so we were able to donate to an organization that does just that.  Hooray!  Thanks, Sarah, for helping us do this.
I encouraged the kids to drink lots of water today so we had glasses of water all set up for scripture study this morning.  We all need to be drinking more water.
I told the kids my service to them is encouraging them to drink water.  Their service to me could be actually drinking the water.

This evening I was reminded of recognizing blessings even when you have stresses and trials.  This evening, we went to the Nutcracker Experience at the Orem Library.  Beautiful dancing again.  At the end of their presentation, they let little kids come up and do some dancing with the ballerinas.  Lucky did some hopping.  Afterward the kids got candy canes.
What a blessing to be able to do go to something like that- for free.  Thanks, Orem Library, for helping us celebrate the season.

Friday, December 1, 2017

And Here We Go

Busy busy busy busy busy busy day.  It's the beginning of December.  You know what that means?  That's right.  It's Eat a Red Apple Day
Oh, and we started our Countdown to Christmas advent calendar.  Our old flags were getting a little... old so Jeremy made new flags (changed some of the scriptures) and I laminated them.  We put them on new skewers and we were ready to go.
This morning when the kids got up, we had put dreidels in the vase with the flags.  They got to spin them while waiting for everyone to get ready for scripture study. 
Besides Christmas scripture study, we once again started #LightTheWorld, which is being done again this year.  Day 1: Jesus taught: "Freely ye have received, freely give." -Matthew 10:8
We've been sorting through a lot of things lately in our home.  I've realized that a lot of things we have that have just been sitting in crates for years aren't getting used by us.  Instead of thinking maybe someday we'll use them, they might be able to be used by others now.  So today we donated a whole bunch of items to D.I.  Hopefully they can do someone else some good.

We've all been taking time to give service lately when we can.  Today we also had a little friend come over while his mom was working on some things.
The kids told me ways they'd done service at school such as holding doors open for people and inviting others to play with them.
Jr. Jr. also has a countdown activity from school.  It's a bell with rings for each day up until Christmas.  The bell says:
"How many days till Christmas?  
It's mighty hard to count.  
So glad this Christmas chain 
Will give the right amount.  
Take a link off everyday 
So you can surely tell.  
And Christmas Eve will be here 
By the time you reach the bell."
Jr. Jr. has been so excited about getting to use it.
This evening we went to our ward Christmas dinner and program.  Lovely food, lovely music, lovely company.
So after such a busy day (I didn't even mention everything that went on), we are on our way for getting ready for Christmas.  Keep coming back to my blog and I'll let you know how things are going this December.