Sunday, November 30, 2008

Help!! I Need Advice on a Holiday Planner and Holiday Traditions

I have always been fanatical about providing a memorable Christmas for my family. I want things to run smoothly, so I have had two Holiday Planners that I have used over the years. Marth Stewart Ultimate Planner and Flylady Holiday Journal. I have adapted them to fit my and my family's needs. Martha Stewart's planner suggests to send holiday cards on the 3rd week in December. She also doesn't have her Christmas tree up and decorated until the 3rd week as well. I think that is way too late. The Flylady Holiday Journal requires most everything to be done by December 1st. I don't even think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving. But the Flylady Holiday Journal has cute family traditions like making your own christmas wrapping paper using plain white paper and using stamps, stickers etc to decorate it. We did this one year and the kids had a great time. Unfortunately, if presents are supposed to be wrapped by December 1st this doesn't make for such a great Christmas tradition. My kids and I also decorate gingerbread houses which has been a fund tradition. Some of those houses have made it to Christmas without being eaten.

I need your help with new ideas on having this holiday season run smoothly, how to bring the Christmas spirit into the home, and making this the best Christmas yet. What does your family do? If you have any ideas, please post them or email them, and I will share your ideas here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I love Thanksgiving because it is a time for reflection and a great opportunity to express thanks for all of our blessings. Because I have so much to be grateful for this year, this will be long:

I am thankful for the 5 senses. To see the beautiful sky when I walk the kids out to the bus in the morning; to smell my favorite Salt City Candle "Apricot Cream", to hear my children and husband tell me they love me, and to touch their faces and feel their hugs and kisses.

I am thankful for Nathan's ability to work. Nathan has had many injuries to his hands these past couple of months. He continues to have significant pain, but I am so thankful that he still has them and can still work. He has always worked hard and I am grateful for his ability to provide for our family.

I am thankful to be a teacher. I get to have fun with 19 great kids every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. They say and do the funniest things; they bring me pictures they have drawn; and they even remember some of the important things I teach them like what is Peter's last name in the nursery rhyme Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater (His last name is Peter just in case you were wondering).

I am thankful to be a mom. I have 4 fantastic kids who keep me on my toes. They make me laugh, cry, worry, and wish that I had more kids....not. They each have a unique ability to make me feel as though my cup runneth over.

I am thankful for technology. I love things like email, blogs, facebook, twitter, and other computer gadgets that can take up too much time if I let it. I love text messaging, cell phones, and getting pictures of nephews from my sisters. I love DVRs: particularly the "skip back" and "skip forward" buttons. I love my Ipod, and being able to download General Conference so I can listen to a talk every morning while I get ready for the day.

I am thankful for cooking stuff like microwaves, crockpots, and food processors.

I am thankful for neighbors who let me borrow cups of milk, sugar, bleach, aluminum foil, or other things I run out of. I am grateful for neighbors who don't complain about the weeds in our yard or our lawn that needs to be mowed.

I am thankful for friends and family who invite us over for dinner, bring us goodies, write us notes, and laugh at our jokes even when they've heard them all before.

I am thankful for my parents who were faithful in keeping the commandments and stead fast in raising 11 children.

I am grateful for the sacrifice that so many have made so that I could enjoy the freedoms I have. I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for my Savior's atoning sacrifice for all of us. I am grateful that my Heavenly Father knows and loves us all individually.

I am grateful to those who stuck around to read to the end of this post....thank you.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Trevor

I was almost 26 years old when I gave birth to Trevor. I wasn't ready to have 3 kids. I was busy working at home doing data entry on the computer from 10 Midnight and then I'd get up at 4 a.m. and work until 9 a.m. so I could be a mom for my kids during the day. I remember being tired all the time. Heavenly Father knew I needed a baby that was content, happy and even tempered.

I can not have imagined a better baby than Trevor. He would look at you as if he knew what you were saying. He smiled early. I remember taking him in for his shots. All babies freak out when they get their shots and I was ready for the battle. The nurse and I got his attention and she and I were talking to him and making him smile. He was so busy smiling and paying attention to us that he didn't even realize he just got stuck by a needle. He did this every time! I remember the nurse saying to me, "You have a special baby here." I agreed.

Trevor is a special kid. He is friendly in a quiet way. He is confident in a humble way. He is sweet in a "cool" way. Trevor has Christ-like characteristics that are unique to a few of our Heavely Father's children.

The best part is that Trevor turned 12 and was sustained as a deacon. He passed the sacrament for the first time today. He asked me if he did a good job. I said, "Of course." But I actually couldn't see him where I was sitting. He is always concerned about doing a good job. Trevor is awesome! We love him very much!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Young Woman in Excellence

I haven't gotten a chance to talk about Megan on this blog, so I would like to dedicate this post to her. Our ward had their Young Women in Excellence on Tuesday. It was an opportunity for the young women to display their talents. The theme was "Night at the Oscars..You Are a Star" with a charge from the YW general President, not to ever forget their devine worth. The Primary Room was decorated so beautifully with gold, black and white. There was even a red carpet for the girls to walk down. There were displays of the girl's talents and projects that they have been working on. Megan likes to make things. She likes to sew, crochet, knit, make jewelry, and much more. She made a necklace for Brooklyn. She is wearing it here.

She made a couple of ceramic bowls at school.

She made many earings and bracelets.

Each girl was also given an award for a special talent that they have. Megan was given the award for being "Helpful". She loves to help out and lift the burden from others. Megan is always thinking of others.

When I was in High School I had a friend named Linda who told me often that she was thinking about me, and hoping I did well on a test that I was worried about or anything that was troubling me at the time. I used to think that Linda was full of balogna. I couldn't imagine that someone would put my concerns over their own; even if for a minute.

Now I have Megan in my life who is probably the most thoughtful person I have ever known. Whether it's moving from the sofa to the floor so someone can have a seat or making cookies for someone; or giving someone a hug who is sad. It is Megan's mission to leave a ray of sunshine in each life she touches. I am so blessed that I have Megan as an example of genuine thoughfulness. Megan, you are my angel and I love you very much.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Week in Review

What a crazy week we just had.

Monday we celebrated Brooklyn's birthday by going out to Carl's Jr for a quick meal and then went to see "Beverly Hills Chihuahua". The movie had mixed reviews among family members.

Tuesday we had a get-together to see Memo who was in town. Jilly went to the airport and waited for her. Jilly gave up and came to mom's where every one was gathered to see Memo and family. We called Memo to see what was going on. She wasn't scheduled to come in until this week. OOPS! We had fun anyway. We'll do it again this week. This time we hope that Memo and family will be there.

Wednesday was the last game of the Spartans.

GO SPARTANS! We got Trevor's hair cut and the hair stylist was a mom from the team and suggested we shave Spartan's in his head. Looks awesome!

We dropped Trevor off an hour before the game and went to One Man Band for some dinner. Brooklyn wanted to take a picture of me and Nathan.

We get to the field and the game was just about to start. The girls wanted nothing to do with the game so they played at the huge playground. The rest of us watched from the side lines.

This may be little league with a bunch of 11 year olds playing, but I will tell you, this game was just as intense as any college rivalry game. It was complete with one player being taken by ambulance to the hopital because of a head and a possible neck injury (we hope he is ok). Another player dislocated his fingers....yes it looked nasty and he was taken to the emergency room to get it straightened out (OUCH!); and then several more players were out with injuries. Our team dominated the game up until the last quarter when there were several huge mistakes by the coach and a couple of players which costed us the game.

This is the first year for these kids to play for the Spartans. They played kids that have been a team for 5 years. We parents are so pleased with their dedication and spirit. YOU ROCK SPARTANS!!

Thursday: Brooklyn had a school program celebrating "Things That Make You Go AHHHH!" It was fun. I have no pictures because I brought the video camera. I am learning that I need to bring both cameras everywhere I go.

Friday: Halloween. I dressed up like a witch, Nathan was "the sheriff" and the kids...well here's the picture.

Brooklyn put herself in charge of handing out the candy. She had a great time teasing the little trick-or-treaters with a fake mouse. She made coming to our house memorable for so many kids. They may never come back. We ran out of candy, and I had to go into the preschool stash for more.

Saturday: The most stressful and great day and the cause of my cold sore. The Pow Wow and Brooklyn's Baptism. Nathan was supposed to take the Boys to the Pow Wow on Saturday morning and stay with them until they were done at 11:45. They were then supposed to meet us at the church at 12:30 and Preston was to get fitted for the jump suit (He was baptizing Brooklyn). The baptism started at 1:00. But at 2:00 a.m. when Nathan came home from doing a Halloween Karaoke party, He decided he was too tired to get up at 7:00 to take the boys to the Pow Wow.

I proceeded to tell him all the girly stuff that needed to be done, like clean the toilets, get Brooklyn's hair in a braid, and finish the augraten potatoes that I couldn't finish because the store was out of Cream of Chicken Soup (who runs out of C of CH Soup?) The list went on and on. He said he could handle it.

Everything ran more smoothly than I had ever could have imagined. My mom came to the house to fix Brooklyn's hair, Megan and Brooklyn cleaned as best they could and Nathan finished the potatoes.

I was teary eyed watching Preston baptize Brooklyn. She was so excited! Nathan gave the confirmation prayer. What a great blessing it is to see our littlest child be baptized by our oldest. We are so pleased and blessed!

Our families went to our house after and had dinner.

We finished the night at the Utah Jazz game. We missed most of the first quarter because we wanted to watch the rest of the BYU game on the big screen tv they have at the Energy Solutions Arena. BYU won! We finished the evening with a Jazz win!

It was a great week.

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