Tuesday, December 25, 2012

this was Christmas today

Family. Home. Love. Laughter. Stuff everywhere. Games. Movies. Luke 2. Naps. Cookies. Batteries. Books.
It was heavenly.
I love me a comfy, worn out, sleeping babe.

Much more to come..... it's been a very festive and fun week around here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I believe

My aunt Angela emailed this to me and I thought it was very touching. I wanted to share it.

Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
When 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.

Their smiles were contagious; their laughter filled the air.
They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
They were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
"Where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
"This is heaven." declared a small boy. "We're spending Christmas at God's house."
When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
Then He opened His arms and He called them by name.
And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
Those children all flew into the arms of their King
And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
One small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
And as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of mom and dad."
Then He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe
Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
"May this country be delivered from the hands of fools"
"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"
Then He and the children stood up without a sound.
"Come now my children, let me show you around."
Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."
Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. WolfPA

Saturday, December 15, 2012

How did this happen???

Have you ever looked around and thought, "how did this happen?"
That is thought I had when Jeff added another stocking hook to our mantel. 
It's the weirdest thought because I am living it. I'm a busy mom. I have 4 little ones that I chase around all day. I am aware that this is my life...
BUT still,
sometimes little things, like looking at all these stockings, stop me in my tracks and I go WHOA. 6 stockings!

The latest mantle addition.
Here is the beautiful stocking Jeff's talented mom made for Gage.
It's fantastic. 
I feel so lucky to be the recipient of these priceless gifts. Look at that detail!!!

I tried to put Gage in it for a cute pic but that ain't happening. The baby is way too big for the stocking!

Thursday, December 13, 2012


 This was my favorite Christmas book as a child.
Can't get much better than scratch n' sniff.
Every year the book still smelled yummy.
 Tonight I gave a copy to my kids.
 It was a huge hit!
 Their favorite scent was the hot chocolate.
My favorite is still the orange.
And as for this little guy... 
don't blink or he will grow.
It's crazy. 
Gage is smiling and cooing.
So, so fun!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

the friendly ghost of Christmas past

One is at school
Two are asleep
One is on my lap

I was trying to get my Christmas cards addressed (finally) but that isn't happening very smoothly. I couldn't help but reminisce while I was addressing the cards. I love sending cards. It always makes me remember Christmases past. The people, the places, the good times. Today is the same.

In no particular order here are some things that come to mind.

I remember growing up and going to my Grandparents old house for Christmas Eve. The Christmas lights lit up the whole street and I remember thinking it was the most beautifully decorated home in the whole world. Santa was always there too.

I remember the year I recognized my older cousin, Travis, was dressed up as Santa.

I remember the year we had Christmas Eve in the lounge that my Aunt and Uncle owned and for dessert we all got to go down to the pie case and choose whatever pie we wanted. Heaven!

I remember the magic show and generous gifts we would get at my dad's company party.

I remember the Christmas we got a Nintendo and the day was spent in my parents room, on their waterbed playing Mario Bros and Duck Hunt.

I remember the year my sister and I got neon, tie-dyed bean bag chairs. Score!! We loved those ugly things.

I remember the year my family got a computer! Big ol' huge computer. (am I old??)

I remember the year when we went down to Everett and saw "The Forgotten Carols" live. I remember holding hands with my family and singing, "we will be together, forever, someday."

I remember the year I took all my moms pictures off the walls, wrapped them in Christmas paper, and re-hung them. Our home was really festive that year!

I remember always volunteering to wrap the presents. I still love doing that!!

I remember the year my little brothers got their motorcycle bikes.

I remember going to the mountains one year and cutting down our Christmas tree.
Then there was the year my dad and uncle brian rode in the truck bed and held the trees while someone drove us home. (????)

I remember the year we dressed my brothers up as girls and named them Candy and Crystal.

I remember the year my friend Mindi and I put the stockings on our feet and danced around foolishly to country Christmas songs. As if that wasn't enough we video taped ourselves doing this.

I remember the year I moved out with friends and we combined our efforts to decorate our little house.

I remember all the Christmas seasons that I worked in the restaurant and did banquets galore. Those were the big buck days ;)

I remember the year I came home from school in Hawaii for Christmas and brought my mom a moo moo, which she loved.

I remember growing up and making homemade goodies and delivering them to all of our family, while singing carols.

I remember the 1st Christmas Jeff and I were married and we were in Utah by ourselves. We drove my friend to the airport on Christmas day in an awful snow storm. I think we ate chili from the can for dinner.

I remember the year my friend and I made red glitter balls, galore. I still have mine on our tree.

I remember the year our furnace went out and Jeff and I woke up to a 40 degree house and two little cold babes.

I remember the Christmas we talked to my brother Brent in Spain on his mission and he sang, "Feliz Navidad."

I remember the yummy smoked salmon my uncle Ricky always caught, smoked, and gave us for Christmas.

I remember the year we visited Jeff's family in Arizona for Christmas and while walking out of the Walmart parking lot his sister Gabe asked me when we were going to have babies. (we conceived Brax the next month, fyi lol).

That was the year the boys did the polar dip too;)

I remember the Christmas Jeff's brother Andrew and Rachel got married and Braxton kindof learned to walk.

I remember one of those Arizona Christmases we went to the Mesa Temple and saw the beautiful lights and heard a group sing Christmas songs.

I remember the year we did the slip n' slide in Arizona.

I remember the goodies Aunt Angela still brings. My favorite are the pecan tasies and Nanimo bars.

I remember the year Emmett was rushed to the ER with a door smashed finger, for stitches.

I remember the year we were all in Arizona and how beautiful all the stockings looked hanging from my in-laws staircase. I think there were 14 and they were so beautiful. I wish I had a picture.

I remember the year Jeff and I put Braxton to bed and then went outside our home and got into a snowball fight and made snow angels in the dark.

I remember the year my children and I delivered cookies to our neighbors, one of which was blind and I remember the look of gratitude on her face.

I remember the Christmas my whole family went down to the Church and played basketball in the gym.

I remember the Christmas we didn't have any money and my friend, Andrea, made me and Jeff and all of our children homemade gifts.

I remember the year I made bread for everyone for Christmas presents. It was a phase, the bread making.

.... there is more but that's all I've got for now.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas is a time of love

When I was little my sister and I sang a duet in front of the congregation at church. It was called "Christmas is a time of love." I haven't heard the song since, but every year it runs through my head. I remember the chorus. That's it.
But it's true. 
Christmas is a time of love.

 We are lovers of the Christmas tree around here. At night I sit in that chair after my kids are in bed and gaze at the tree. It's so relaxing and beautiful.
I have also been laying Gage in front of the tree. He loves the lights too ( I just know he does).
There is something magical about a Christmas tree.

 I am a lover of this little Santa Claus as he calls himself. He wears his big sissy's dress and rings his bell as he walks around the house. Love this little man. He also says "cheese" and looks away.
Love these girls and women. There is something lovely about knowing teenage girls and getting to interact with them multiple times a week. They are inspiring and wonderful and I was happy to participate in another
Christmas Magic last night.
Also wonderful is having women who help and serve and lighten my load tremendously, sometimes without me having to ask.
Christmas Magic is a tradition that our ward has had for many years. Every year at Christmas time we do something really special. Last night did not dissapoint.
It included: 
The Forgotten Carols on DVD
Mexican food galore
Christmas Candy Bar
Hot Cocoa
and good company.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hey December

slow down!!!

We are enjoying every minute of you.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

and it starts

Let the festivities begin!!

 Jeff and I in our "Ugly Sweaters" 
Adelle had heard us talking and comes out of her room and says, "Dad, that's ugly." Great ;) I told her that was ok to say to us but not very nice to say to other people. ??
 Here are a couple of the contestants in the Ugly Sweater Contest.
 Gage was the little elf of the night. So cute. Everyone there got their baby fix.
 And the winner is..... 
Jeff was pretty pleased to take the trophy this year.
I am sad I didn't get a group shot. He did have some competition. There were 18 contestants and he got the win!!
 Today we went tree hunting. Adelle found this, "pretty red tree."
 Braxton pretending the tree was Santa, he's developing quite the sense of humor.
 Here we are in front of THE tree.
 The man. Being manly.
 Just plain cute and picture worthy.
 Then this afternoon we prepared for our churches Christmas party.
These kids love any chance to dress up.
 Jeff and I were Joseph and Mary
(basically we had the baby they wanted to be Jesus)
 Gage was baby Jesus.
 It was a really beautiful program with music performed by various couples and small groups.
All the children there sang "Away in a Manger." 
I love things like this. Lots of people coming together. Everyone doing their own small part. The Spirit working and touching hearts. Good friends and food and music.
This is Christmas.