Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009

It's been real fun. We've planned and played all year long. We've survived another tax season and worked hard around our yard and home. We've laughed and cried, succeeded and struggled. There have been some hard times, but mostly you have been quite good to us. I hope your sister, 2010, is just as kind to us as you've been. We'll miss you!

Jan: Scrapping to support the Utah Down Syndrome Foundation. (Check it out here.)
Feb. Unromantic Angie actually planned some fun valentine things for the family.
March: Spring is coming! Spring is coming!!

April: St. George, the end of tax season, and a new train at the cabin! Sweet happiness.

May: McKay graduated from preschool. He loved his year with Ms. Shelly.

June: Lots this month, but the definite highlight was taking family to see the new Oquirrh Mtn. temple.

July: In an effort to get the kids ready for two solid weeks of hiking and beach combing, we took them on the Donut Falls hike. I'll have you know my 2 almost 3-year-old (at the time) did the whole thing by herself.

August: Kids are back in school, Sophie turned 3 and Brady came home from his mission!!!!

September: Maybe you're sick of this by now, but this was our trip to the coast. We seriously got a small taste of heaven those two weeks.

October: Filled with Halloween preparation and festivities. This is a huge deal at our house.

November: So much to be thankful for. It was a relaxing month. (Of course, my highlight was New Moon. lol.)

December: A month to reflect on the past year's successes and mistakes, to be grateful for a little baby boy who would come to atone for those mistakes and a time to be with family.

Like I said, 2009 you were a great year and we'll miss all that you brought us.
To 2010 we say bring it on!! We're excited and looking forward to the future.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mary and Joseph Dinner

Earlier I posted that one of our traditions at Christmas is to do a "Mary and Joseph" dinner. No matter when this comes up, I always get questions about it and this time was no different.

A few years ago I was reading in the December issue of the Ensign about how different members of the Church keep Christ in Christmas. One family had a "Mary and Joseph" dinner. They ate things that they might have eaten as they journeyed to Bethlehem and discuss what the journey might have been like for them. Of course they also went into THE Christmas story.

When I read it, I knew it had to be one of our traditions. We had recently quit being with either family on Christmas Eve/Christmas morning and were in need of some new traditions to start with our little family. It was pretty close to Christmas, but I talked to Jeff and we both agreed it would be a perfect thing for our fam. We've done it every year since.

Right now our discussion is pretty short and age appropriate for our little kids. They love it though and have started asking if we're going to do it again this year.

This is how we will be doing it this year. We'll have dinner downstairs on blankets since Mary and Joseph didn't have a table. We'll have a fire in the fireplace because that would have been the only light they would have had to eat by if the sun had gone down. (We'll also have the tree lights on. maybe for the stars in the sky?) Things we typically eat for this meal are fish (much to Lyndsi's dismay), pita or flat bread, cantaloupe, grapes, almonds, cheese cubes, olives (much to my dismay. lol.), pomegranates, fig newtons (because what do you do with a fig?) and sometimes a dessert like baklava. (I know that's maybe more Greek-but it was to get the honey in.) This year we'll be trying something called rugelach for a little treat. Oh and the part the kids love-no utinsels. We all eat with our hands. (Luckily it's mostly finger food anyway.) We also serve either grape juice or sparkling grape juice. It's by far not a filling meal, but it is a special one we all look forward too.

We'll be combining this tradition with the one we have of reading the nativity story while placing each character in their spot in the stable that sits under our family tree.

So there ya have it. The Mary and Joseph dinner. :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

For Patient People Only

This is my favorite Jell-O salad/dessert/whatever Jell-O is.
(Click here for the recipe if you're patient enough to make it. :) )

Sadly, I only make it about twice a year. It's not hard, but SO time consuming. Then the layers get frustrating when the previous layers break into the new layer creating all kinds of swirls not intended to be there. It also takes for-EV-er to make. If you make it for a party, make the day before (especially on a fun day like Christmas or the 4th of July). Trust me. You'll be so much happier.

Redeeming qualities- You can't see the messed up layers from the side and the top is covered in cool whip. It's delicious. And even better-I'm going to eat some tonight!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Just in case...

I don't have your current address, here's your card. Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Decking the Halls part 2

This is my very festive and cheery living room. I love being in there with the lights and fireplace on with Christmas music playing in the background. It makes me happy.

What's making you happy right now?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Spirit of Christmas

May it be with you and those you love this season and throughout the year.

The Christmas Spirit

Peace on Earth-Greg Olsen

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Nutcracker

Lyndsi and Sophie had their dance recital Saturday night. Lyndsi has been bouncing off the walls in anticipation for this for months now. She's been going to class 2x a week for an hour each class to prepare for this. She leaps and points her toes all around the house, but she would never show me her dance. She said she wanted it to be a surprise.

This was also Sophie's first time on stage. She's been a little stubborn in class-sometimes participating, sometimes just observing. Her eyes about popped out of her cute little head when she received her sparkly pink costume, though. I still wasn't sure if she would actually dance on stage, but dance she did. And she was adorable. Later that night she was throwing a big fit about going to bed (I thought). When she calmed down long enough to tell me what was wrong, she kept saying she wanted to go back on stage. She has asked me when she gets to dance on stage again at least twice a day since.

The honorable mention goes to McKay. He sat quietly and nearly complaint free (other than drink and potty breaks) through 2-2 1/2 hours of dancing. Way to go McKay!!

My little ballerinas

Sophie with our friend Ella. A first for both girls!

Sophie, Lyndsi and our cousin Krystal post-show. They had fun posing for us.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Decking the Halls part 1

Monday night for our FHE activity we had the kids decorate the Christmas tree. I need to go move a few things still, but overall I think they did a pretty good job. Jeff got the manly job of putting the star on top.
For a surprise treat, we ate our first neighbor gift, white chocolate covered pretzels-delivered just as we were getting ready to decorate. Perfect timing!

I decorated my Christmas tree without the kids help (much to their dismay) and got the living room all festive. I was so happy with it when I finished I nearly cried. Pictures coming soon.

The only thing left needing some Christmas cheer is my kitchen. I'm hoping to do that in the form of homemade caramels and other seasonal candies and baked goods. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Happy Bday to Me......4 Months early

My next birthday I will be turning the big 3-0. It's still a good 4 months away and already people are starting to ask if I have any big plans.

Well, I do. Now that is. The other day I opened my email to a Christmas miracle-an updated tour schedule with new US tour dates for Muse. One of those recently announced dates/locations included Salt Lake! My fellow Muse-nut got online this morning when tickets went on presale and scored a pair for us!! We screamed and jumped up and down like a couple of preteens meeting Rob Pattinson. This is going to be SO awesome!

For those of you unfamiliar with Muse, let me educate you...

And This: