Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas time is here!!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! Ours was quiet and uneventful. Very nice. The few days before, Mark had a blister of some sort on his gums so we (Mark and I) were up all night crying. Well..Mark did MOST of the crying anyway. I felt so bad for him. He couldn't suck on his pacifier or bottle and wouldn't even close his mouth. Poor guy! This morning his sore is gone and he is acting like his cute curious self. Hooray!

On Christmas Eve we went to the City Christmas program. It was very nice this year. Sometimes the program is on the weak side, but this year they really did a good job involving the community with an enjoyable program. We then sang songs as we looked at the lights around town. We came home and settled in for the evening. Of course, it was a very long evening as I ended up driving Mark around at about 2am to see if I could get him to sleep. It worked until I brought him home again, then he started crying again. The next morning was delightful to watch the boys open their gifts! The living room became a sea of wrapping paper. Later I had the perfect nap and the boys and I had a lazy Christmas afternoon together.

The best moment of Christmas!!

Lights in LaVerkin. That deer is hung up in the tree by his hind legs. A red string of lights is around his neck and drapes to the ground. What a hoot!! A true LaVerkin resident!!

Ben was very enthusiastic with his gifts. Using every body part available to open the presents.

The stocking that Cory won at his work Christmas party. The kids were really hoping that Santa would fill it.

The making of the candy houses a few days before. I would call them gingerbread houses but I have never made gingerbread and I've been to lazy to they are grahm crackers covered in candy trying to resemble a house.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Confessions of a Christmas tree Nazi.

Ok Nazi may be a little strong to describe how I am with my Christmas Tree. Well..with any Christmas tree. Years ago I was paid to make Christmas Trees look fabulous. We did trees for the Festival of Trees and we did pieces for the Governor’s mansion. We started the weekend after Labor Day and decorated Christmas trees that filled the store. I remember doing one tree that we did a twelve foot tree with peacock feathers, copper, and lime green. It took three days for the team to get all the lights on! It sold for more than $1200--they were insane I swear! Tons of handmade ornaments, fabric, beads and ribbon. It was my dream job.And it was YEARS ago.

Christmas 2005--not the best picture but you can almost see my insanity wrapped under the tree.

After I started having kids and doing the mom thing, I haven’t actively decorated trees much. That is…except for mine. For the last dozen years or so I have been so uptight about the Christmas tree. I had to have the G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S tree that looked like it came out of a store. This was a great fulfillment for myself. To have something that I felt I was actually good at…I was good at decorating trees. So I was going to do it WELL. The tree may have looked beautiful, and I spent many hours at night looking at the perfect white lights reflecting off of the various snowflakes and icicles. After a few years, the pretty ornaments were getting broke and the kids stopped asking to help set up the tree. (my husband wouldn't even be in the same room while we [aka "I"] decorated the tree. Last year it hit me pretty hard how much the kids didn’t like the tree. They wanted to be apart of the Christmas tradition of the tree and I had owned it completely.

So, perhaps it was because I was 8 months pregnant last Christmas, but I tossed out all of my pretties. The DI received a large amount of d├ęcor that year. When this year came around, it suddenly struck me, in October, that I didn’t have anything to put on my tree! Immediately the Christmas Nazi was in full swing planning colors and designs. But, thankfully, that quiet voice in my head directed me in a different direction. My boys and I have had fun putting together a quaint tree that they love. We made all of the ornaments (still working on some!) and James made a wicked long chain for the tree. When I told the kids that they could put anything on the tree that they made, they were at first very skeptical, but in the end they were delighted. We have had so much fun with the tree. We found bubble lights like I had in my childhood and I even put on colored lights—the first time EVER in my marriage. The ornaments are fun, non-breakable, and we made them all. :--)It is not glamorous, not fancy, not even color-coordinated but my boys love it and I love my boys. I love it too. I have loved sharing this experience with my boys.

And yes that is a ring of 5 gallon buckets of my food storage surrounding my tree with green fabric covering them...I still don't want the baby pulling down the

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A year of grocery savings

It has been about a year and a half that I have been serious about saving money on groceries. I have spent less on groceries than I ever imagined I would have. The past 6 months I have focused more on finding deals on fresh food and non-processed food.
This week we went to Smiths to do a little shopping. Albies deals have been a big THUMBS DOWN lately. So sad since I love Albertsons so much more than Smiths. At the bottom of the receipt there is a spot where they print your yearly savings. I was delighted when I read "Savings to date: $1007.38"!! Smiths isn't my main shopping store so I was so thrilled to see that I had saved this much. Granted, I would probably never spend full price for almost anything so I doubt I would ever spent that extra $1000 at Smiths, however it is a nice visual of the effort of saving money.
Happy Frugal Holidays!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Visiting Santa

Last night was our Ward Christmas party. The theme was The Polar Express! We had a great breakfast followed by a little skit. We even wore our pajamas--mine were my favorite ones, that glow in the dark. So exciting I know. Then Santa and Mrs. Clause came for a visit.Mark wasn't falling for the big red guy in the fluffy suit. He wanted nothing to do with him! Sorry Santa!

Ben LOVED it! He talked up a storm! This is the first year when Ben will really understand Christmas and the excitement of it.
James and Luke wanted the candy. And that meant they had to sit on his lap. They hammed it up quite

The kids had a lot of fun and it was nice to visit with friends from the ward. We are blessed to live in a ward that is very caring for each other. I think of when I had Mark earlier this year and how the ward brought me meals for a few days afterwards, but then gals kept calling and bringing me food. And since I never turn down food, I happily accepted it. I didn't have to cook for over a week. I felt so blessed. Anyhoo, it was nice to share some of the holiday season with them at Christmas time.

Here is the little skit that was performed. (Sorry it cuts out at the end...outta space at YouTube.) Luke had one of the parts and was SO excited for it. He really enjoyed being on stage. When he was singing I was so shocked! I knew he could sing..but I didn't know he has such a nice clear voice. It would be nice to get him some lessons someday.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Happy Birthday James!!!

Today my James ventures into the double digit world and arrives at the age of 10! James has been an adventure since day one. When he was little he was our little escape artist...he would get out of any situation we would give him. He could easily climb out of his playpen before he was a year and a half, he ran our of nursery, climbed out of his crib, out the bedroom window..oh yes..and I even remember when he was 4 and seeing his little feet hang off the side of our house when he was trying to get his toy down. James has definitely been an adventure!

I love you James!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Oh one more thing...

I just want to say that I have a great Dad that I am so thankful for.
Thanks Dad!
I love you!

Inspirational Story

This story is very inspirational to me. We all have challenges to overcome in life. In the scriptures it tells us that our weaknesses can become strengths. --Ether 12:37. I believe that this includes our learning challenges, our struggles, everything.