Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Last Picture.

From the Drat files:
Last night we were preparing for another family movie night. All was going well. We decided to make the Jiffy Pop we got at the family Christmas party the night before.
Getting the Pop stuff ready to go...
Then. The burner was preheated and the Jiffy Pop was set down.
So far, all is well.
It begins to pop and grow.
So exciting!!
Please don't focus too long on the grime around the burner. It may cause problems for you.
It gets really big and the pops are coming fast.
We can't wait!
And then the camera fell on to the floor.
I picked it up.
The lens was busted.
The camera is no more.
I don't know why these stupid things keep happening to me.
But I'm sick and tired of it.
And somebody better do something about it.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Christmas Review.

Christmas 2010.
What a wonderful Christmas!
But first, I want to say a word about this guy. My guy. On our cruise back in June we made a deal. We would forgo the whale watching excursion in exchange for a diamond for me. We never found a good diamond on the cruise. Then when we got home I got rear ended and we needed all available funds to purchase a new vehicle. So the diamond was fast becoming an abandoned idea.
Christmas morning, after realizing a week before that a prong had busted on my wedding ring, I got my diamond. I haven't gotten a picture of it yet because my laptop went the way of the dino. So I just wasn't going to blog it. Now it's getting sized. I should have it back tomorrow and will show it off then. So the diamond deal was realized. For months Daniel had been talking to my sister in law who works for Ari Diamonds about a ring. And now I have it. Well, tomorrow I'll have it. Then my wedding ring can get fixed!
And no, I'm not blogging on the family computer. Yesterday while out getting ingredients for salad for last night's family party, we looked at laptops. And wouldn't you know it?! Sale! So I now have a laptop again. It's nice. It's gray. It was drastically inexpensive!
Daniel...I love you! Thank you for being mine!
Now on to the Christmas review....
Last Wednesday the kids had a sing along. Let's just say that we brought the camera, but weren't positioned to get great pictures of the kiddos. So I'll try to point them out to you.
Ruthie is in the purple shirt, which you can't really see, over to the left a bit.
The first graders sang Santa Clause Is Coming To Town. A Capella. They were awesome!
Isaac and the 5th graders sang...something. None of us can remember. Isaac can't remember. We're on vacation!
Isaac is in the middle off to the left. All the yellow shirts around him are the 5th and 6th grade choir.
Sam and the third graders sang Jingle Bell Rock. And boy did they rock! Even his teacher, who I LOVE!! was dancing while leading them! Do you see their faces? That's not just for the song. That's their love for their incredible teacher. She isn't allowed to retire until after she gets Ruthie in third grade in 2 years!
That evening we took the Front Runner to Salt Lake to have dinner and see the lights at Temple Square. Here is Daniel and 2 kiddos as we wait for the train!
And the third kiddo. It was cold!
We had lots of fun and are glad we only do it once a year!
The following evening we got a visit from Santa slash Grandpa. That's what the kids call him.
Here is Sam telling what he wants in Santa slash Grandpa's ear.
Then Isaac got a turn. He was very serious as he told Santa slash Grandpa what he wanted.
Ruthie was next. She was just happy to sit on his lap!
After their visit we went to a local home to see a live Nativity. Every year we forget. This year I put in on the calendar. It was so great. It was freezing and the straw we sat on was damp from the rain the night before, but the story and the music and the feeling....mmmmm....just perfect!
Then we came home and had hot cocoa and read Luke 2.
Christmas Eve was spent at Abbie and Poppy's house. We had dinner and then the kids did the nativity.
As we waited for the kids to get dressed, Uncle Adam, who is a new daddy to baby Reed, did his rendition of The Circle Of Life.
All the cute kids who participated in the Nativity. Poppy narrates. The oldest kids help dress the younger kids and Isaac took pictures.
Baby Reed was baby Jesus, but was taken off stage when Mary almost dropped him on his newborn crown while trying to pick up the binkie.
And then came Christmas.
While the kids were dreaming of sugar plumbs dancing in their heads, we set up.
The quilts that actually got to be Christmas quilts!
In each stocking we got Lagoon Season Passports. We will have a stupendous summer!
In the morning, we waited for everyone to wake up.
Then did Baby Formation.
That's the kids way of saying they go in birth order. Baby Formation. Works for me.
Can we please go now???
The bustle of Christmas morning.
We got movies and Wii games.
Isaac went to put a memory card in the Wii system and came back.
Daniel found a new remote in his stocking and asked the kids what it could be for?
The obvious answer was that it went to the TV in my bedroom.
Then it clicked!
We upgraded our 12 year old TV with a broken on/off button and lines running through the picture.
We feel kinda fancy now!
And an important part of Christmas...
We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.
And soon, a fantastic new year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

It's Dead, Jim.

I wanted to quickly wish all of you the Merriest of a Merry Christmas this year! And I hope the New Year brings blessings and Joy!

Last week my wedding ring lost a prong. I cried. My most favorite jeans broke. And not along a seam. Then my laptop lost its life. I cried again. So I have to use the family computer for a while. My laptop was a Christmas gift exactly 3 years ago. Now it's dead, Jim. If bad things happen in threes, I should be good for a while.

I may not be posting for a bit. I must share this computer with 4 other people. I have to bide my time. Maybe when they all go back to school and work...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Mandate.

So last Friday night I got a sitter (2 sitters in fact) and Daniel and I went to dinner and to a movie. Tron to be exact. Awesome! So glad I chose it! When we got to the theater we saw a group of men from a previous ward we were in. We said hi and went on our way. They actually had seats (I love assigned seats at the movies) right in front of us. Daniel asked one of them, "So how did you all get out tonight without your wives?" To which he replied, "How did you get out without your w...... hahahaha." Funny. To which I almost replied, "Just don't tell his wife. This is girlfriend night out." But then he said, "Mandate."

So I took all that home with me. After a couple of days I finally told Daniel..."I just don't get it. It's a mandate that they all go out and leave their wives at home with the kids while they all get to go out and see a movie??!!"

Daniel clarified. Man-date. A group of men on a date.


I still don't get it.

And if you get a chance to see Tron, Go 3-D! Totally worth it!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Sunday Night Visit.

We were sitting on the couch and beginning to watch a Christmas movie last night when the door was knocked. Daniel and the kids ran to it. In walked Santa. My kids all started yelling, "It's Grandpa!" But this wasn't Grandpa. He sat down and started to talk to the kids.
Here is Sam on Santa's lap.
Then Ruthie's turn.
Now you'd think I'd've turned on the flash....but nooooo.
Wait. The flash is now on.
And finally Isaac sat on his lap. Under duress, but with a promise of an extra 15 minutes of Wii time today. Bribery never hurt anybody.
We want to thank our neighbor, ahem, Santa, for dropping by Sunday night.
It was a fun visit!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Little Of This And That.

Last Saturday Daniel put up little fences around the trees in the yard. The goats have been enjoying them. During the week, the kids looked out the window and saw this. Cas, in the fence, eating the tree. Daniel fixed that fence right up today.
At Pack Meeting this week, Isaac earned his Webelos badge. He also earned 1 Compass Point along with it. He is working to get his Arrow Of Light before he turns 11.
I was so proud of my Wolves, too. I had 14 of my 16 boys come. See Sam in the background? We have uniform inspections now and each boy passed inspection. We are also working on the 2 R words for the flag ceremony. Reverence and Respect. They had both!
Did you know that in one week Christmas will be over?? Hello! Speaking of Christmas, this is the 4th quilt top that contains much of the extra squares I used in the kids' quilt tops. Here's the problem. I forgot about the quilts. I just sent Daniel out to Walllllmart at 6 pm on a Saturday night, the Saturday night before Christmas, to get batting. If I don't get on these quilts soon, they'll be New Year's quilts. Or perhaps birthday gifts for 2011.
So. Are you ready for Christmas?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Christmas Joy.

I love the magic of Christmas. I love that my kids believe in that magic. I love that they believe that Grandpa dressed in a red suit is santa and that he and Grandma give them each a bag with an orange and peanuts and maybe a small gift. They know that mom and dad are “helpers” of sorts and I love that it's magic to them. I love the nativity scenes on my mantel and in our play room. I love that baby Jesus is at the center of each of them. Even when the kids rearrange them to play, Jesus always remains in the center.

I love my prelit tree. And I love the red apron around the bottom with my kids' handprints from each Christmas since 2002. I love that my kids are excited to put their handprints on for 2010. I love all the ornaments on my tree. Lots of Christmas flowers and all the ornaments my kids have made. Nursery. Preschool. Kindergarten. All the grades. Cub scouts. I love those ornaments. I love the angel on top of our tree. And I love my pine scented candle.

I love the smells of baking. The plates we put together for neighbors (hopefully this weekend). I love the things our neighbors bring. Not so much that it's something to eat, but that they thought of us. I love having wonderful neighbors and friends. I love all the Christmas cards on my wall. I hang each one after I open it and read it. I love listening to Christmas music in stores and in the car.

I love the family time we have together. Going to see Christmas lights. Going to a movie. Going to Grandma and Grandpa's or Abbie and Poppy's houses. Choosing and wrapping the gifts for the Ward Angel Tree. Discussing our friend-family's upcoming trip to Mexico to build and donate time and things and giving them what we can to help. I love making sure my kids have some change in hand to put in the Salvation Army can outside the door. I love hot cocoa and marshmallows and candy canes. I love my kids planning a Christmas Family Home Evening and then doing a fantastic job. I love watching Luke 2 and seeing the newborn Jesus in Mary's arms. And I cry because at the same time we see that wonderful moment, we can hear the flies. They are in a stable afterall.

I love the expected traditions of all those things above and I am excited at the new traditions we will start this year. I love that Christmas this year isn't about big and expensive gifts for extended family. It's service and fun and just simple things done. And spending precious time together.

I love that we recognize our Savior's birth. He was born. He lived. He suffered. He died. He lives. On that one night 2000 years ago, our lives began. The King of Kings was born in a manger. And He brought with Him, Hope, Joy, Peace and Life. Oh how I love this time of year.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Difference.

Last night Daniel and I were watching Seinfeld. Again. And it was the episode when George's phone line is crossed with "Donna Chang"'s line. Remember? Everyone who speaks to her on the phone thinks she's Chinese. Why? The name for one. Donna Chang. Then she and Jerry plan a date. At her suggestion they go to a Chinese restaurant. She has an acupuncture class. They all expect to meet a Chinese lady. And when George's mom meets her, she says, sounding highly disappointed, "You're not Chinese!" We laughed.

So here's the difference. Or maybe a similarity.

Ruthann, let's say, Jones. I won't use our last name. It's a thing with me and my blog. But if you know my last name, just say it...Ruthann ..... If you talked to her on the phone and she wanted to go get a cheeseburger on a date. If she taught an aerobics class. If she talked about, well, just the things she would normally talk about. Would you expect a white lady? Look at the name again. You wouldn't think, "Hm. I'm excited to meet this really nice Chinese lady." You wouldn't really even say, "Hm. I'm excited to meet this really nice white lady."

I really don't know what the point is. I just look at my beautiful daughter and know she is Ruthann. That's just who she is to me. But I wonder, when others see or hear her name, are they surprised by the face they see when they meet her? I know that those who know her, know that if ever there was a Ruthann, she is her!

Life may get very interesting and perhaps a little amusing as she gets older.

Oh. And she's not allowed to date until she 35. I think that's reasonable.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Joy In The Stable.

I inherited this wonderful Nativity a few years ago from my mom. It could go outside on the porch, but I love having it in the play room next to the Christmas tree. This Nativity is sturdy and only once have we had to glue a Magi gift back on a hand. My kids have been known to lay down in front of the Nativity to play with it. I have heard wars, horse stories, a baby screaming, a wise man scolding and so much more. But when they know I won't come in to intrude, I see them playing out that first Christmas night.
This is the set up from the last "play" with the Nativity.
A little Christmas added to the stable. And apparently it was raining. So all the people and animals are inside.
Next to the palm tree you can find a poinsettia flower.
Right behind the shepherd, a snowman can be found.
And then there is the holly. My kids think it's mistletoe. So it's hanging from the ceiling inside the stable. Over Mary and Joseph. Hee hee.
But what I love and what brings the most Joy is that all the wise men, the shepherd, the ox, the mule, the sheep and Mary and Joseph are all surrounding and facing baby Jesus.
And isn't that what it's all about?!
If you haven't put Christ in the center of your Christmas, it's time.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Joy In Many Ways.

First of all.....
Joy in the form of the most fun and the most interesting and most cold (it was freezing!) and most donut amped Joy producing people in my life.
The sugar coated Joy.
Every year before Christmas my mom does Abbie's Christmas Cookie Party.
Because of busy December Sunday evenings, each family was given a take home cookie party.
It starts with icing and candy.
You add an Isaac.
A Samuel.
A Ruthann.
And a silly dad.
And you get lots of sugar coated Joy.
For Christmas this year I am making quilts for the kids. I got tons of the black with white dot squares and then tons of other fabric from Daniel's parents. So I cut all the other squares and then sewed them.
The green inspired number is Isaac's.
The blue with the constellation looking center is Samuel's.
And the lovely purple is Ruthann's.
Those are the tops. Now I will work on the middles and the binding then quilt the squares. Easy peasy lemon squeezy and a very inexpensive gift! And I know they will be the source of warm comfy Joy on movie nights!
Last night I got a knock at the door.
Remember this fun new bread basket?
I mentioned tears of Joy at new tea towels to go in it.
My lovely neighbor Mandy handed me a plate of cookies and then handed me something else and said "I brought you some Joy".
Tea Towels!
Just in time for Christmas bread sticks!
And red!
My favorite color of all time.
And wonderful for Christmas rolls.
Joy in a basket.
Minus the bread sticks.
Thank you Mandy!
So there is my Joy for this week.
I hope your week has been as full of Joy as mine!