Sunday, December 28, 2008

A tough week...

GABE, Tanner, Dallin, Michael
EFY 2007
Dallin's dear friend Gabe passed away last Tues. He was one of the youth from our ward. He graduated high school this past June. He loved baseball, Nintendo and playing his guitar. The funeral will be on Wed. the 31st at 11 am. The Priest's will be the pallbearers and the Priests and Laurels will sing. Gabe will be greatly missed! We love you, Gabe!
(Please pray for his family!)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Playing Games!

Thanks Flickr for the pic
Our family LOVES to play games! Especially around the holidays when ALL the kid are home! Last night we played Rummikub and Skip-Bo, both a lot of fun. Some of our favorite games include Catch Phrase, Scrabble, Apples to Apples, Pictionary, and Outburst.

We want to buy a couple of new games.... so, my question to you is, WHAT are some of your favorite games??!!! Please help me out here with some new ones!!! THANKS!!! Party on!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


YEAH!!! I am soooooooooooo happy!!! Dallin got his Eagle Project finished today!!!! Now we are 4 for 4 with one more to go... the pressure is on Chadman!

Dallin wanted to repaint a US map that was on one of the Elementary school grounds. It was old and worn and a lot of the paint had chipped off... when he contacted the school district about it they were very excited and donated the paint! YEAH!! Thank you to our school district for that!

A few "before" pictures...
Last Saturday they went and "power washed" and cleaned it really well so that the paint would adhere nicely.
Then today we all met and got to work painting...
Almost done!
THANK YOU!!!!!Funny thing:
In our household (of all boys) the rule has always been, you cannot drive until you have finished your Eagle Project. Well, they all chose to do them just before turning 18. Fine with us! Saved us money on cars, insurance, and gas! AND, dating... well, they had to double date since THEY could not drive! HAHA!!! IT WAS THEIR CHOICE! Stressed me out every time waiting till the last minute but... they have all earned their Eagle! Congrats Dallin! I am proud of you, it is a lot of hard work!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The "W" in Christmas ~ a story...

Just a sweet story...

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six-year-old. For weeks, he'd been memorizing songs for his school's "Winter Pageant."

The time for the performance came and I filed in 10 minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as Christmas, I didn't expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment - songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer. So, when my sons' class rose to sing, "Christmas Love," I was slightly taken aback by its bold title.

Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright beanies upon their heads. Those in the front row-center stage - held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song. As the class would sing, "C is for Christmas," a child would hold up the letter C. Then, "H is for Happy," and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, "Christmas Love."

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her; a small, quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter "M" upside down... totally unaware her letter "M" appeared as a "W".

The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one's mistake. But, she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her "W." Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and eyes began to widen. In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.

For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:
"C H R I S T W A S L O V E"

And, I believe, He still is.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sabbath thoughts...

Today in Sacrament meeting Sister M gave us a list of "Christmas things" to think about... and then she asked us to decide in our minds which of these things were the most exciting.







Then she read the list off to us again and asked us which of these things were the most important.
• Why is it that at Christmastime the things that are most exciting and take the most time are not necessarily the most important?

• What can we do to make our Christmas more meaningful and to spend more time considering those things that are most important? (Cut down on some activities and preparations that are not important; then spend more time on things that are.)

• How can we make Christ the center of our Christmas?

This year, with the economy the way it is, we are down sizing our Christmas. I have to admit, it is NOT easy for me!!! I LOVE CHRISTMAS, I love a big tree... I love lots of gifts...

So, with the downsizing, we bought a smaller tree than we usually do. My sweet hubby put it up on some boxes of food storage so it would be taller (thanks Bradly boy) but I was still (more out of fun then REALLY complaining) doing my pouty face and being sad... when Dal Pal teasingly, and yet seriously, said to me "Mom, it is NOT about the tree. It is about being together as a family and having fun. It is about remembering our Saviour." He is so right!!!

As most of you know from THIS post that I collect nativity scenes... ever since Chadman was small he would go around to all of them and turn the people AND the animals into a circle facing baby Jesus. The first couple of years that he did this I would go behind him and turn them all to face US again. Eventually, again they would all be in a circle facing baby Jesus. I finally got smart one day and left them that way. He still, to this day, goes around and puts all the shepards, wisemen and animals in a circle facing Baby Jesus. I now leave them how he arranges them. It means so much more to me this way... the way we all should be... getting as close as we can and looking at HIM. Thank you Chadman for teaching me a lesson!
Neal A. Maxwell said, "Each of us is an Inn Keeper who decides if there is room for Jesus"
May we each find room for him in our own little Inn...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Food Storage...???

My sweet aunt from Texas (not LDS) emailed me about family stuff and then asked about food storage... she said that a lot of her ministers and teachers are telling them it is time to start storing food. So, I have one great suggestion for those of you who are just getting started... I know I just bashed Costco for not having "Merry Christmas" cards!!!! (Still ticks me off) BUT... check this out! They have great "starter" kits for food storage. Here is the web site and here are some pictures of what they offer... So, let's help my Aunt Wonka! I know there are lists out there... isn't there a cute Noah's Ark list??? What to buy when??? How much to buy... etc??? HELP us out here ladies!!! I want suggestions... web sites.... any and everything! Wonka will thank you and so will I!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Cards...

I usually use Costco to order our Christmas cards but ALL of their cards say, "Season's Greetings" and I wanted ours to say, "Merry Christmas"!!!!!! So, I ordered mine from Sam's Club this year!!! Thank you Sam's Club for remembering WHY we celebrate the season!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Carols

Tuesdays are BUSY days for me! I volunteer at the high school in the guidance office till 1:00 and then I teach institute at 7:00. It seems that the time in between goes by so quickly! I don't seem to get much (if any) blogging done on Tuesday's! SO, when I finally DID get on line and read my fun comments I found out that I had been nominated.... Okay, WHO DID THIS??!!! You know who you are! Please stand up! Wait. I can't see you! Will you please email me and let me know! Anyway, I was nominated for the spotlight over at Mormon Mommy Blogs! WHAT??? I had NO idea until I read in my comments that a few of you voted for me! IF you are interested in voting... go HERE OR maybe you are interested in reading some other LDS bloggers! Go. It is fun... You can post your own blog and meet new friends! Anyway, thanks to who ever nominated me and thanks for those of you who voted for me...

Okay, real post:

So. Last night at Institute the kids said that they would like to have a "Christmas gathering" next week. A party of sorts. So, they are meeting here at my house and I was wondering if you have any suggestions for a FUN PARTY??!!! I am thinking... we could go caroling and then take cookies around to those who might need a smile. And then I was thinking we could come back here and sit around the tree, share some Christmas stories and have some hot chocolate and donuts.... ANY other suggestions are welcome!!!! PLEASE share what you think would be fun!!!

Does your family go caroling? My family doesn't BUT, we DO sing Christmas Carols together on Christmas Eve! Last year one of my cute daughters in law played her violin while we sang! THAT was fun! They will not be here this year so we will be acapella again this year... Here are a few pics from last year... funny, they are reading the words from their phones on line!
So, speaking of Christmas Carols... what are your favorites??? Please share!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

I love Christmas time! The feelings of service in the air, the smell, the cool crisp weather, the lights... I could go on and on!

Oh, Christmas tree... Oh, Christmas tree...
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nick would soon be there...You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Clause is coming to town!
He's making a list
And checking it twice
Gonna find out whose naughty and nice
Santa Clause is coming to town!He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when your awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake!
O! You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Clause is coming to town!
I DO love my Santa's but I love my nativities more...

Luke 2
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

I have collected nativities for a while... My boys brought me one home from their missions to Brasil and Argentina! I currently have 21 set up in the house, unfortunately I do not have room for all of them. Here are a few of my favorites:
My Bears...My Snowmen...
My friends have been giving me pieces and parts to complete the "Willow Tree" nativity, I just LOVE it! Thank you Kathy and Andrea!!!
And, thank you Pam for my beautiful nativity from Africa!!!

One last thing I want to share...
My dear friend Alanna gave me this mitten several years ago, she said when she saw it, it just shouted "Shaila". I think because of the "shabby sheek" look, I do love that! But, even more then the look I want to tell you why I love it the most... it reminds me of hands... HIS hands... and how WE should serve! It reminds me the story below. I am sure when others look at my cute little tin mitten at the bottom of my stairs they don't know why I love it so and the story that I think of every time I see it... now you might.

During the Second World War, a quaint little French village was bombed by mistake. The villagers were forewarned by air-raid sirens and cleared out of the village before the bombing started. Through the tears of sadness, they sat on a nearby hill all that night and watched flashes and fires as the bombs leveled their town. They returned to their village and began digging in the rubble for anything salvageable. There wasn't much. But, all the villagers joined together in the effort to rebuild their village from the bottom up. As the rubble was cleared from the village square, several pieces of white marble were found, the remains of the stature that stood in the square. The villagers called on the best sculptor to rebuild the old stature as are membrance of the rebuilding of their village. The sculptor worked for years on this great challenge. Finally, as the remaining bit of paint was put on the last building in the quaint village and the streets were washed out for the last time, a veiled figure stood in the square. The villagers held a great three day celebration to commemorate the rebuilding of their village. As the last feature in the celebration, the villagers all met together at the town square for the unveiling of the stature. Finally the veil was removed. There in the square stood a figure of Christ exactly as in the visitors center in Salt Lake City, with his hands outstretched to all. But this stature had no hands, because a bomb blast hit too close and pulverized them beyond repair. So the inscription, instead of reading as it once had, "Come unto Jesus," now read "I have no hands but yours."

I hope that we might remember... and that we will be His hands this Christmas season!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Oh, Christmas Tree, oh, Christmas tree...

So, last night we went to get our tree! It is not as tall as the ones we have had in the past go Bradly boy got the idea of putting it on a box, so, yep, it is on a box of food storage... so, glad that our food storage has come in handy, °Ü° He cracks me up, he even found a piece of fabric to "cover the box" uh, honey.... it won't show anyway when I am finished!!! HAHAHA!

Anyway, we got it up, but I didn't get to decorate it due to Brad and the boys having to go to mutual last night. So, there is sits all naked waiting for lights and decorations! I hope they will climb up into the attack tonight and get me all the fun stuff to "dress" our tree!

NOT happy with my camera right now... look at how DARK the pictures turned out! NOT. HAPPY.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Of Course There Is A Santa!

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her. On the way, my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!" My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true. Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she snorted .... "Ridiculous! Don't believe it! That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go." "Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's. I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that. "Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down."Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby." The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas. That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it. Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers. Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going." I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby. Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team. I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.

Of course there is a Santa! Are you on his team?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

♥ Elder Wirthlin ♥

Remember the WONDERFUL talk, "Come What May, And Love It"? It was given this last General Conference in April by our sweet apostle, Elder Wirthlin. It was one of my favorite talks! Go read it again!
Our sweet apostle, Elder Wirthlin passed away last night in his sleep. He was 91. His wife passed away in 2006. Go HERE to read the article.

Thank you Elder Wirthlin for your sweet spirit and your dedication, we love you!