Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Snow Babies

I forgot to post one of my Christmas decorations, my snowbabies. I have collected these for years and years. Mike has given many through the years as different things in our lives have happened. I keep them in my curio cabinet in my entry way but most people don't notice these cute little creatures. Each one of them have sentimental meaning to me.
In this picture you can see them sledding down a hill, when I received this one, we had a huge sledding hill in our backyard that my kids enjoyed and so it reminds me of that.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas stories

As a family we read a Christmas book every year together. My kids love it when we read Christmas stories but the last few years we have read bigger Christmas books as a family. It is something that I feel brings our family closer together and helps to bring the Christmas spirit into our home. Some of our favorite small stories are "the Gift of the Magi", " The Fourth Wiseman" and there are many others. This is also a tradition that my family had when I was a child. My mom would read special Christmas stories to us. She had such a special way of telling stories to us and they seemed so real.
We have read three Christmas books together that I would like to suggest to any of you that would like to know what to buy to read for next year or for a late Christmas story for this year.
The first one is "Christmas Jars". We just totally loved this book.
The one we read last year was " Return to Christmas" and it was great too.
Tonight I read " Winter Star". I would recommend each of these books. There is something special about Christmas stories at this time of year. I am sure that this will be a tradition that Mike and I even carry on after our kids have moved away.

Our most favorite Christmas story of them all is definitely the story of the very first Christmas that is found in Luke. We enjoy this story each year on Christmas Eve as we remember the real meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Every Year

We are all enjoying the Christmas season, with parties, shopping, making candy, visiting with friends and family and many many more. One of our awesome traditions is that we take the kids and go to St. George and get tickets to see the Forgotten Carols by Michael Mclean. If you have never been you should make it a priority to go. It makes Christmas special every year and reminds us what we are celebrating. The music is great too.
After the Forgotten Carols we drove over to the temple to see the Christmas lights. They are beautiful and the temple is just gorgeous. We have never seen the Christmas lights at this temple and it was great.
I didn't realize that they have a nativity with narration.

Free hot breakfast at the motel, is a great plus with a growing family. You can tell they are not quite awake.
After breakfast we went shopping for each other. This is the first year that the kids bought not only gifts for Mike and I but for each other. We usually help them buy for each other but this year they wanted to do it all. It was a lot of fun, shopping around with Mike while they were trying to find just the perfect gift for us. After shopping we went to Costco and had to pick up a few things. The kids love the samples. Yummmy. This picture is after lunch at Costco we were ready to head home. What a great day, we had a tons of fun. I was definitely ready to head home and be home. We figured out that we have slept on four different beds this week. That is crazy.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Special to me

I thought I would take a minute to add a few of the most special ornaments to me. These ornaments are placed on my tree every year because they are the most beautiful in my eyes. I remember when my kids came home from nursery and brought their new ornaments to add. We were all so excited and today I am still excited to add these special ornaments to my tree. They bring back great memories.

I couldn't find the one I have of Karrilyn. Hopefully it is in a box some where and I will find it.

This is my new prelit tree that we bought this year to put in our family room in our basement. It is always fun to buy a new tree and decorate it. I thought it turned out very pretty.

This tree we have upstairs for everyone to see. We bought it when we built our last house which was our dream house. I love it. It is so big and elegant and for a fake tree it looks pretty real. I remember when we bought it we purchased it on a great deal the day after Christmas. The Christmas tree sure makes a difference in the feeling at this time of the year in our home.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas fun

So we decided to take our own Christmas pictures and actually send Christmas cards. I hope by now most of you have received your cards so I thought I would share some of the crazy pictures that we took. My kids are definitely crazy, but fun. Rae, it isn't just when they are little, it is hard to get good ones when they are older too.

I hope you all enjoy a little Christmas cheer and have a cozy comfortable Christmas.
One other thing, I need to tell my kids to stop praying for a white Christmas, because it has been snowing and snowing and snowing. I think we have plenty of snow to last through the winter, but I guess if we all had the faith like my kids do we could make many miracles in this world. I definitely think we will have a White Christmas!!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Mike and I just returned from a trip to SLC for the last three days. We had a wonderful sealing at the Mt. Timpanogos temple to go to and then we stayed with Mike's parents. The next day Mike had meetings and I was off to play with one of my GREAT friends that I haven 't seen for a long time. We laughed and laughed and laughed. I had so much fun and it was like yesterday since we had seen each other. We also shopped, which is wonderful because I don't get much chance where I live to do that.
Mike and I got to stay at a motel last night for free and also had a wonderful catered dinner to go to. We woke up this morning to awful weather but knew that we needed to get home, so off we went hoping that all would be well. We arrived home today and the sky is blue and there is sunshine.

We had such a great time just the two of us and the opportunity we had to spend with friends and family. I just wanted to comment on my wonderful kids. I was so worried about them the whole time with the weather being so bad, but they handled everything. They even shoveled walks on their own and drove to work in the bad weather without a paranoid mother at home. I am so lucky to have such great kids, I have truly been spoiled and love them so much.

Think before you make it a tradition

One of our traditions ever since the kids were real small is that we put together a gingerbread house every year. When we were small we thought it was great fun, but definitely a lot of work. As life has become crazier we have tried to get out of it but I guess when you start a tradition you should make sure that it is a tradition that you are willing to continue for a LONG time. The last four years or so we have just bought the gingerbread prepackaged box at Walmart and that has made it real easy, but this year we decided to try it the real way, starting with making gingerbread. What a lot of work, but the kids love it and this gingerbread house is definitely cuter than the one that comes in the box.
Doesn't look much like a gingberbread house at this point.
You always have to have a fence and icicles on your gingerbread house.
This is the finished gingerbread house. Isn't it cute???
I guess the advice is make sure you want to start a tradition before you start because it is often hard to quit a tradition once it has started.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I love my stockings

I love my Christmas stockings. My mom made them for us. Each stocking she made by hand and each stocking is unique and different just like each of my kids and my husband are. They are and will always be very special. Yes I am spoiled. My brothers and sisters have to talk my mom into making them some. She was younger when she made mine. They will always be an important part of Christmas at our home.

If you look close you can see that Mike's has a Santa with a parachute on it. That is just one example of stockings and how they tell a little about each one of us. Thanks MOM!!! I will cherish them always.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus

Do you still believe?

Every year at this time of the year, my heart is so full and all I want to do is give. I remember when I found out as a child how unhappy I was that there was no Santa Claus, but I have continued to believe in someone that gives to all, so you see deep within I DO believe in Santa Claus( or the true spirit of giving to others). I believe that there are wonderful people out there that give everything that they have for others. The greatest example that we have of this is our Savior. He has given us everything.

Maybe my feeling this way comes from parents making Christmas this way or maybe it all stems from a very special Christmas in my youth. It was the Christmas of 1978. My parents were struggling financially and we just figured that we would not have Christmas.

I guess that was not what was really meant to happen that crisp December of my childhood. That year I remember feeling so loved. I remember one night coming home and there were boxes and boxes of gifts on our front porch. We were so excited, but that is not all. They just continued each night. One night there was a box of food. I remember there being everything that I could think of. There was potatoes, fruit, hamburger, and many other items. One night a family brought a Christmas dinner over and left it on the porch. That year as we left for Salt Lake to go and see family on Christmas Eve we returned to again another box with a card and presents with no name. I remember my parents and us older children just crying because of the generosity of so many hearts. I felt so overwhelmed that someone would love us so much to share with us.

As we all went to bed that night I remember hearing a knock and a jingling. It was Santa. My parents told me later that it was one of our friends disguised as Santa and he was bringing more big gifts to be left for us from still more people. What a Christmas!!! Why us??? There was nothing we could do to repay the many people because we had no idea who they were but we could love EVERYONE a little more. We were reminded to "Love thy neighbor as thyself."

This was such a special Christmas and I was so touched by the true spirit of Christmas that me and my family, and to this day every year I pass on what has been given to me and my family many years ago.

SO YOU SEE YES, There still is a Santa Claus, and he lives on.

WE BELIEVE!!! DO YOU??? I hope that we can all find some way to be a giver or Santa to someone this year and change their lives like someone has changed my life and my family's life.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Favorite of mine

I have this poem that is framed and that I put up every year and I love it. I hope you enjoy.

A long time ago in a land far away
A child was born on a cold winter's day
He wasn't the baby you're thinking about
But another small lad, he stood short and stout
He grew up to be quite a caring old man
He loved little children, every one in the land
He found the "Good Book" and studied its pages
It was the story of Jesus passed down through the ages
His heart overflowed as he read, could it be?
A love so divine that he died just for me?
A twinkle appeared in his eye on that day
He found a road straight to Heaven and Christ was the way
As Christmas came closer, his heart filled with joy
He'd show God's people he loved them every girl, every boy

He made lots of goodies and stocked up his shelves
Yes, Santa was busy and so were his elves
He was filled with such love, that he wanted to share
So he handed out gifts to kids everywhere
Praise be to God, let the Angels sing
For this jolly old man spreads love for the King
As he steps into the chimney, he looks high above
And whispers," Happy Birthday dear Jesus, from Santa with love".

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Memory of a feeling

Do you have a memory of a feeling at Christmastime?? This time of year always has been very special to me, probably because my parents always made it a special time when I was a child, but I know it has much deeper and many more reasons for this memory.

This time of year brings back deep feelings of falling in LOVE. I remember the first time my husband picked me up on a blind date was at Christmastime and I was listening to Christmas music. We went on a double date and went to see the lights at Temple Square. We also saw Mr. Kruger's Christmas while we were there. Two weeks later he sent me roses. This impressed my mom but I didn't think much of us at that time.

We dated on and off for the next year and the next Christmas I made him a quilt. He loved it. It was at that time that I began to fall in love. I still have the Christmas CD that was playing both the first year I met him and the next year when I began to fall in love and when I play it even now it brings back many deep feelings.

The cd is "Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton's Once Upon a Christmas". There are many romantic Christmas songs on that cd, one of my favorites is " A Christmas to Remember". Maybe you need a romantic cd for this time of the year, check this one out. It has many beautiful songs. I have probably bought 4-5 of these cds through the year because they get used so much at this time of the year. I have a sister that also loves this cd, because it was played so much at our house when I was at home. It is amazing how music can bring back some wonderful deep feelings, in this case deep feelings of LOVE. What a great time for romance!!!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

For years and years

For years and years there has been a tradition in my home. It started when I was very little and it still continues on today in my own home. Every year as long as I can remember we would have a birthday party for Christ on Christmas day night. We would set an extra place at the table for him and eat by candle light and have a very tasty meal. My mom would tell very special Christmas stories and it was always a very special night. I still continue this on. My kids love to hear stories even at the age that they are. After the stories we always have a very special birthday cake and sing Happy Birthday to our savior. I just wanted to share that yummy cake recipe with you and hope that you might want to try it. It is very yummy and the best part is that it is a RED cake. I mean really red. I think this makes it special because it is red, which is significant in so many ways at this time of the year.

Here is the recipe. I hope you enjoy or make it for some fun party. You will be the hit of the party. A friend of mine said that they were making it on the Food Network the other night and she decided that she needed to make it too. So here it is to all of those who love to try something yummy and new. Give it a try and let me know.

Red Velvet Cake

1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 Tablespoon cocoa
2 oz red food coloring( it comes in small bottles in the spice part of the grocery store)
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

Cream sugar and shortening and then add eggs. Make a paste with the cocoa and food coloring in a small bowl. Add to creamed mixture. Mix salt and vanilla with buttermilk and add alternately with the flour to the creamed mixture. Mix baking soda and vinegar in a small cup. Fold into the mixture. Don't beat.
Bake in 9x13 or 2-9 inch round floured and greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. You can check to make sure it is cooked with a toothpick and poke it into the center to make sure it is all cooked.

I hope you enjoy this very special treat and remember the real reason for Christmas.
Merry Christmas from my kitchen to yours.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Try this Out, you just might like it

There is a tradition in our house and before I share it with you I thought I would tell you how it came to be a tradition.

Many years ago when Mike and I were dating, we were going to a family Christmas party and we only had directions but really didn't know where we were going so we looked and we looked and we drove around for hours trying to find a certain church house. We were not having any luck and we were getting hungry and thirsty so we decided to take a break and stop at 7-Eleven and get a drink. Mike bought a thing of Egg Nog and a big fountain drink of Sprite. I thought nothing of it until he started to mix them together.

YUCK!!! I said. How could you drink that? Well I didn't know that this was a drink that was very frequently drunk during the holiday season at his house. I finally gave in and tried it. I really didn't think that I would like it, because I am not a big Egg Nog fan. I was very much surprised, because it was GREAT.

Ok so if you are saying the same thing that I did, "Yuck", then at least go buy some and give it a try. My kids just love it and most people that I have had try it like it too.

Oh yeah just remember it helps to take a knife or fork and get some of the fizz out of the Sprite first and then add the Egg Nog. I usually use half of Egg Nog and half of Sprite.

If you are daring enough, I really think you will like it, but Let me know if you like it. I guess if you don't try it you will just think that I am crazy, but most of you already know that I am.

Monday, December 8, 2008

You better watch out

Just a little reminder that you better be good especially at this time of year. Ok, maybe at our house because we are reminded each day that we are being watched ALL the time.
I hope you enjoy one of my favorite decorations, yep he is in both of my bathrooms. He is very cute and makes us all laugh. This just goes to show he is watching all the time. Merry Christmas.

How do I feel?

Yesterday was quite an emotional day for me. In the last month our ward has been split and so our ward in my church is trying to restaff many of the callings that are needed to make up a ward. I was called in yesterday by a member of the bishopric for a new calling.

First of all I want to tell you how hard this was for me. I have been in nursery for the last 10 months and I have thoroughly loved it. I have such a deep love the for the children of the ward and have grown to love these children almost like my own. I was pretty emotional about this change because of my attachment to my little friends.

Well I was called to be the ward music chairperson, I guess that means that I am in charge of any music that goes on in the ward. I flat out told the bishopric that I would rather be in primary or in nursery but that I will do anything that I am asked to do. So yes I accepted and I am sure as with any other calling it will be a growing experience for me. I have a great love for music and I am so deeply touched by it and have seen and felt it touch people in a way that nothing else can. I love to sing even though I am not the best at it. I like to think that people don't plug their ears when they hear me sing. I am truly thankful for the many beautiful pieces of music that have been created that touch so many lives. (maybe some day I will see the reason for this and will once again be able to work with the beautiful children in primary but for now I will do what I can to do my best in my newest endeavor. Wish me luck)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I thought this was cute

Mike just sent this to me and I thought it was SO funny. Some of his cadets here at ROTC made it and put it on the end of year slide show. I hope you enjoy just a little laugh on Mike's expense.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Remember the reason

This has become a favorite poem for the Christmas season and I wanted to share it with all of you

Twas the night before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas
and all through the town
Not a sign of Baby Jesus
was anywhere to be found

The people were all busy
with Christmas time chores
Like decorating and baking,
and shopping in stores.

No one sang " Away in a manger,
no crib for a bed."
Instead, they sang of Santa
dressed up in bright red.

Mama watched Martha Stewart,
Papa drank soda from a tap.
As hour upon hour
the presents they'd wrap

When what from the TV
did they suddenly hear?
'Cept and ad. which told
of a big sale at Sears.

So away to the mall
they all flew like a flash...
Buying things on credit... and others on cash!

And, as they made their way home
From their trip to the mall,
Did they think about Jesus?
Oh no.. not at all.

Their lives were so busy
with their Christmas time things
No time to remember
Christ Jesus, the King.

There were presents to wrap
and cookies to bake
How could they stop and remember
who died for their sake?

To pray to the Savior... they had no time to stop.
Because they needed more time
to "Shop til they dropped!"

On Walmart! On K-mart!
On Target! On Penney's!
On Hallmark! On Zales!
A quick lunch at Denny's

From the big stores downtown
to the stores at the mall
They would dash away, dash away,
and visit them all!

And up on the roof,
there arose such a clatter
As grandpa hung icicle lights
up on his brand new step ladder.

He hung lights that would flash.
He hung lights that would twirl.
Yet, he never once prayed to Jesus...
Light of the World.

Christ's eyes... how they twinkle!
Christ's Spirit... how merry!
Christ's love... how enormous!
All our burdens... He'll carry!

So instead of being busy,
overworked, and uptight
Let's put Christ back in
Christmas and enjoy
some good nights!!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Where did all of this come from

I have been finally trying to decorate my house and I am remembering how much hard work it is. Another thing I am wondering is where did all of these decorations come from. I keep bringing boxes and boxes upstairs to decorate. I guess this is a sign that I am not as young as my college friends and that you can judge a person's age by how much stuff they keep or how much decorations they accumulate during the years.
I guess it does depend a little on if you are a big Christmas person or a Christmas Queen like my brother calls me.
At this pace I think I might be done decorating by the 15th of this month. On top of the decorations that I already have I am thinking that I want to decorate our new basement family room. Do you know what that means??? More decorations...
How much decorations do you have?? Do you think I should decorate the basement family room or just let it be normal and not festive?? These are questions that I have.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Little at at time

I must say that this is my most favorite time of the year, and I probably have stated that mildly. I have always loved this time of the year. This year is crazy because I haven't even had time to decorate my house and that is so unlike me. Today I finally had time to get out my Christmas Bedspread. Yep, I have a Christmas Bedspread that my mom made me a few years ago. This bedspread means a lot to me and took a lot of time and effort. She made it after a song that I sang as a solo when I was five years old at a Christmas Ward Party. I still can't believe that I sang it all by myself at the age of 5. It is called Christmas. Each of the symbols on this blanket symbolize the letters in this song and this will always mean a lot to me.
In case you are interested this is how the song goes so that you can see the blanket and realize why there are some of the pictures on it.
C- is for the Candy wrapped around the Christmas tree
H- is for the happiness with all the family
R- is for the reindeer prancing by my window pane
I- is for the icing on the cake as sweet as sugar cane
S- is for the stocking on the chimney wall
T- is for the toys beneath the tree so tall
M- is for the mistletoe where everyone gets kissed
A- is for the angels that make up this Christmas list
S- is for dear Santa who makes every kid his pet,
Be good and he'll give you everything in his Christmas alphabet

Monday, December 1, 2008

This is evil

My kids talked me into making this yummy pie even though we had enjoyed Thanksgiving and all the pies that were there. They said that it just isn't the same without this pie. I let in and made it. It is so yummy, but I must admit it is EVIL too. Give it a try, when you are ready for pie or dessert again.

Chocolate Cheesecake
1 cube margarine( melted)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup fine chopped nuts
2 Tbsp heaping sugar
2 small pkg instant chocolate pudding
1-12 oz cool whip
1-8 oz cream cheese
1 cup powder sugar
1 hershey candy bar

Melt the butter. Add flour, nuts, and sugar. Mix well and spread on bottom of 9x13 pan. Bake in the oven at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes. Mix pudding using 3 cups of cold milk. Set aside. Take powder sugar and mix it with cream cheese and cool whip but save 1 cup of whip cream for topping. Put cream cheese mixture on cooled crust, then put a layer of chocolate pudding and finally top it with 1 cup of cool whip. Grate hershey candy bar and sprinkle over the top.
Mmm... It is evil but good.