Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009-The Year in Review-Jan thru June

I admit, I saw this idea on CJane so I am blatantly copying it.........
A pictorial review of the main points of 2009...

January ended with a wonderful retreat to Coronado Island, for our wedding anniversary, staying in a historic hotel.

It was blissfully relaxing, the last relaxing weekend we had for a loooong time..because
February 1, 2009....

I received a new calling......and life hasn't been the same since.
February brought gardening,

March, more gardening.....

and preparing for our Elder Steve's homecoming....

And in April!!!! 
We saw our missionary son again for the first time in two the temple.

We brought him home....

Celebrated Easter.....

And in May, did more gardening.....

And got a new grandbaby!

In June, we put shade over our garden......

And our son decided it was time to put his missionary papers in...

Stay tuned tomorrow for July through December....

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Urge to Purge

Does anyone else have it?
The Urge to Purge?
The Feeling to Fling?

It hits every year, about 6 hours after the Christmas frenzy. I just want to clean up, clear out and THROW out. All the hidden places in my home that have been storing Christmas gifts anywhere from six months to six days have been cleared out, the recipients of those gifts happily (hopefully) carting them off to fill up their own spaces.

We have plastic garbage bags stacked in piles next to the already filled garbage can. The recycle garbage can has already been collected. TL was sneaking around in the middle of the night, surreptiously stuffing our extra reyclables into other people's partially empty containers. Friday I will be ready for the "double dump." Double dumping means I watch for the garbage truck, and when our container is emptied, I scurry out with another six full garbage bags, pile them into the container and drag it across the street where I leave it to wait for the next garbage truck go round. Do you think the driver knows my deceit????

I want to take down all the decorations, clean out all the closets, and organize every drawer. The feeling only lasts about a week, when it disappears, only to reappear about six hours after next year's Christmas.

Therefore, I'm striking while the iron is to speak.

Go forth and PURGE!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

La Navidad

The often asked question the last few days has been, "How was your Christmas?" or "Como fue la navidad?" The most frequent response, especially from my Hispanic friends, has been, Lots of food! Lots of Family! Ours was no different.

Mucha comida...

Oh, the food! And this was just from Christmas Eve! I'm still trying to unload the refrigerator.

Mucha familia.....

Mucho fun, Muchos memories (sorry-bad Spanish)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Pardon me while I try to escape from the post-Christmas abyss!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

And the Stockings were Hung....

Stockings are a big deal at my house.
When I was young, and we were bugging my parents every hour on Christmas morning, my Mom would say at about 5:30-6:00 am, "Ok, you can get up and look at your stocking." She would bring our stockings to our rooms and we would rip into them and that would appease us for at least a little while.

Fast forward, I would let my own kids look at their stockings first. I used to put a piece of fruit, a box of the tiny cereals and some hot chocolate in each one. That would cover breakfast, since I simply was never up to preparing a large and sumptious breakfast on Christmas morning....exhaustion always set in.....due to pregnancy, nursing or just plain old-fashioned exhaustion.  The kids used to argue over which cereal they was the only time of year I would buy Froot Loops and Frosted Flakes.....

Fast forward, now this has evolved into making each person's stocking individual and special. I take a lot of time trying to find things that will FIT and also unique and fun stuff, especially for the girls. You know, stuff you never buy for yourself.....

So the stockings are all ready.......except we are going to miss one stocking this year.......

 He's away in the service of Him whose birth we are celebrating this time of year and that makes it okay! And we get to talk to him at 12 noon MST!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

An Important Announcement

Santa's Workshop is now officially closed until next year.
3:55 MST.


Grandma's Fourth Annual Christmas Party

Yippee, we're going to Grandma's house!

Playing Reindeer Games.....

Fill the stocking relay
First you put a piece of candy on a spoon...

Then you run as fast as you can and put it in the stocking.
Be careful, don't drop the candy!

Yay! Our team won! Guess what the prize was?
The candy from the stocking!

Strike a Reindeer pose....

Playing "Santa Says"  (kinda like Simon Says)

Decorating our gingerbread man cakes

It takes a heap 'o concentration!

I had tons of fun at Grandma's Party!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Is anyone else out there having trouble moving photos on Blogger???
This Blogger person is very frustrated.....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Greg Olsen art

What is the funnest thing about being the Relief Society President?
Getting a phone call from someone who says, "I would like to help a member of your branch have a Merry Christmas." Seeing wonderful people step forward and lend a helping hand to those who are less fortunate.
What a joy this has been for me this Christmas season.
....."Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
Matthew 25:40

Friday, December 18, 2009

Go Devils!

Congrats to our latest ASU grad!

4 years of college down.....

4 or 5 more to go!!

You go guys!

p.s. Didja notice he's wearing his smart guy tassles??

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tender Mercy #6294

Lately I've been trying to focus on the little tender mercies that happen throughout my days and give thanks to Heavenly Father for his kind and watchful care. They are not big things, not "Today I'm grateful I didn't get hit by a bus," just the little things."

Like last week, I was sewing frantically and realized that I was missing a small piece of fabric necessary to finish a project. In dismay, I got ready to set it aside, when I noticed that in my craziness, I had accidently cut an extra piece of the same project! It was just what I needed to finish up without having to make an extra trip to the store-halfway across town-to pick up the fabric!

Tender mercy ♥♥♥♥

Two weeks ago, I had to teach the Relief Society lesson, not in my native language. Being the president, I have to do this every three months and it literally strikes terror into my heart for weeks beforehand. But when I taught the lesson, I could feel the words coming into me and flowing out of my mouth. It was an incredible experience!

Tender mercy ♥♥♥♥♥

Today I was running around, trying to get some Christmas shopping done. While sitting in the parking lot of a store, I was on the phone with a very unhelpful 411 operator, trying to find the phone number of another store I had never been to. I finally gave up, and went into store and completed my Christmas purchase. When I came out, I couldn't find my car keys! ----Guess where they were? In the car......with the door unlocked..... My car was still there, nothing was taken......all was well.

Tender mercy ♥♥♥♥

Today receiving an absolutely fabulous letter from our Elder Bubba D, addressed to his sister, which she read to was a letter every parent hopes to get-sent to his sister-but amazing nontheless, full of testimony and brotherly advice.......

Tender mercy ♥♥♥♥♥

The challenge is to find those tiny tender mercies every day, that keep us going and let us know that God is ever mindful of us.....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ten Days before Christmas Quiz

Stealing this from Rebecca Irvine:

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate? True confession, I love eggnog, but no one else does and it's super fattening, so it doesn't grace my frig these days.

2. Does Santa wrap the presents, or just set them under the tree? Definitely wrapped. It's more fun on Christmas morning! Side note: I don't put anything under the tree before Christmas. Too many years of toddlers trashing presents started this tradition, and now we have another generation of toddlers......but it looks impressive on Christmas morning piled with gifts!

3. Colored or white lights on the tree/house? White on the tree. TL loves colored and it was time for replacements outside, so he gets his colored outside.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope....but teenage daughter has been requesting it. hmmm... wonder why?

5. When do you put up your decorations? Day after Thanksgiving, exhausting!

6. What's your favorite holiday dish? The breakfast coffee cake, made by my daughter, recipe from her mother-in-law.....yummmmm.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child. The year of the Barbies....I'll never forget seeing them all lined up. Now I know how many hours my mom spent sewing Barbie outfits, complete with tulle and satin and beads!!!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? From the neighbor girl across the street. I was shocked and devastated. I think I was about six.

9. How do you decorate your Christmas tree(s)? We have one with gold and red ornaments in the living room (the kids call it the ASU tree). The other one has a mish mash of elegant red and apple green ornaments along with family ornaments, large red poinsettias and bows.

10. Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve? Never used to but now we open jammies and the kids open each other's gifts.

11. Snow! Love it or dread it? Here in the desert of AZ, it would definitely be an exciting event!

12. Ice skate? Can you do it? Not really. I'm a desert rat.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? One memorable one is the year TL gave me a garbage disposal. I was thrilled beyond belief. (try living without one for awhile) (I have a photo of my joy)

14. What is the most important thing about the holidays for you? Christmas hymns and studying the life of the Savior, giving! (I know it's not one-but I can't narrow it down to one)

15. Favorite holiday dessert? My mom's toffee! hands down.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Christmas Eve fajitas! Sewing for Christmas.

17. What tops your holiday tree? Nada! (yikes!)

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? Giving definitely wins, but receiving is fun!

19. What is your favorite Christmas song? Angels we have heard on High. p.s. I LOVE the Messiah.

20. Candy canes? Meh.....Not too much, but add a little chocolate and I'm there.

Scripture: Isaiah 8:6

Monday, December 14, 2009

Big Girl Panties

Hip-hip Hooray!
I'm a member of the Big Girl Panties Club!

I was at her house a couple of weeks ago, and suddenly she became veeerrry quiet. Upon investigation, she was standing in the bathroom, taking off all her clothes from the waist down, including a diaper. "What are you doing???!!" She replied, "I go potty." Whereon she proceeded to climb on the potty backwards, do her business and then look pleased with herself while awaiting for the cheers and accolades of all present. She made up her mind that day, and she hasn't turned back since.

The fact that she made this momentus decision while under the influence of her grandmother's care OF COURSE has no relevance.........ahem.....

She hasn't had an accident since....

Until she was under the care of her grandmother again a few days ago, when she got a glazed look in her eyes and said, "I go pee-pee in my unnerwares."

Oops. First accident.

The fact that she slipped up while under the influence of her grandmother's care OF COURSE has NO relevance.........ahem......

Friday, December 11, 2009

I Just Sent My Baby off in the Car Alone

Yes, it happened. My seventh and final child received her driver's license this afternoon, passing the first time.

No more training new drivers. No more trying not to scream at crazy driving, stop the car, stop the car, STOP THE CAR! No more clenched teeth and gripped hands. Ahhhhhh.......
Now I just get to wait home every day, listening for the car and praying for the angels to watch over her. Good thing I have a great hairdresser. I'm in the process of adding a few more grays.
Post-dated edit: Yes, we have had accidents. Multiple. Because I have multiple children. Hey, that could be another good blog post topic!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Just checking in to report that:

I'm washing the 15+ tablecloths from the latest party.
(I didn't know that being the Relief Society prez included being a wedding/party planner and tablecloth washer).

And Santa's workshop is in full swing today.
Except that I'm sorta making things up as I go.
In duplicate, triplicate, quadruplicate........
I work well when I have a pattern.
But when I don't....
It's a tad stressful.

And then I go on the internet and see something and think,
OH, I gotta make that for Christmas!!!
And completely overestimate my time/energy/money demands.
Or I see Heather Bailey's new fabric line, Nicey Jane,
And I must head out to get me some.

And I got my new Williams Sonoma catalog.
And I pretty much want everything in it.
Except I already gave TL my Christmas list.

And I'm trying to get Alaska boy's missionary Christmas package
Off today.
And I'm not quite done with that.
It's hard getting "wow" stuff for a missionary with limited space
And shipping costs.
And missionary rules.

And I've been listening to poor Alyssa hacking and coughing.
Feeling sorry for her.
And hoping I don't get it on Christmas Eve.
(P.S. Rubbing Vicks Vaporub on your feet and chest reaalllly works good!)

And shopping with Jessica @ ToysRUs.
Having a hilarious time.
And getting to give kissies to her baby boy.

And feeling completely relieved that my Sunday lesson
In Spanish.
Is OVER for a few more months.

That's pretty much it for now.

Friday, December 4, 2009

It's Beginning to Look alot Like Christmas.....

In my garden!
Beautiful dark red chili peppers and red bell peppers.

Lovely greens.
Pure happiness.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Snapshots of my Life....or...Wordless Wednesday...Almost

Steve's room after being answered for the dance....the answer is yes, by the way...
A cute tiny little pair of pants left on my dryer.

The empty 1000 yard spool of thread on my sewing table. It was full the first of November.

Decking the halls....furiously....
Doing a wedding for my adorable secretary.....she was an absolutely gorgeous bride. (and if anyone tells you they saw me salsa dancing like a crazy woman at the wedding, I'll deny it to the day I die)
Redoing the visiting teaching lists.............again.
Our newest family missionaries.....attending the farewell.

So life is happening.
I'm kinda wore out.
I've had terrible stomach pains for the last two days.
After a prolonged discussion with my mother,
We decided it's stress.
So how do I stop the stress?????????
But life is good.