Friday, December 26, 2008

Silent night, holy night...

Right when I finished that last entry, I realized that I had not said a single word of the true reason for this season. The reason there's such a special feeling in the air, the reason strangers are smiling and cheerfully wishing you a Merry Christmas at a packed Honeybaked Ham store on Christmas eve, the reason we think of the less fortunate even more because the real reason for this season is to celebrate the birth of our beloved Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the reason for the season. He is the originator of everything good and true. He, who is full of love and patience, peace, hope and that I cannot even comprehend. He, who knows us intimately, knows our strengths and weaknesses, and loves us anyways. I wish I could be more eloquent in expressing my feelings for Him. I love Him. I rejoice in Him. Amidst the presents and hustle and bustle, may we each still feel the peace and power that was felt that silent night, holy night...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We are headed out of town early tomorrow morning, so I just wanted to download Christmas morning pictures before we left. It's been a fabulous day here on Belmont Lane (as I hope it has been in your neck of the woods)...probably one of the best Christmas' yet. simple. We didn't go anywhere, but played all together while the "weather outside was frightful" (well, not really. Just rainy...which is "frightful" for California standards). We opened presents, drank wassail, played games, watched movies, took naps (amazing), talked with our loved ones, snuggled up by the fire, and were happy. I love days like this...especially when it's Christmas.

Last night, as I was getting the stockings all ready for Santa, I noticed a note tucked deep down in Savannah's stocking. It read like this: "Dear Santa, I think I was being a bit too greedy last year. I am eight now. The last time you came I was seven. I love that doll you gave me last year. I'm not really going to ask for anything. From, Savannah My list is on the back: 1. Happy for Christmas 2. Healthy for Christmas 3. able to do service 4. Help others 5. and give to others 6. My sister Erika to feel better Merry Christmas!"

I'm not even making that up (I could never cook up a note like that). Adam and I cried. You have those moments as parents...payoff moments. You get a glimpse that maybe, just maybe what you're teaching your kids is sinking in. I loved that.

Joseph got a sword (actually a "star wars sword!!!" that glows in the dark). One of his sisters bought it for him from the dollar store. We could have just stopped was by far the hit of Christmas. He was wielding it all over the place.

Austin found Hershey kisses...we could've stopped there too.

Hope you have a peaceful Christmas season. Love you, each one.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tender Mercies

This past Sunday night, I flew down to Houston (as a last minute plan) to see my 93 yr. old grandmother, Dorothy. She lives in an assisted living facility and has been there for almost six years now, since my Papa passed away. We have never called her Grandma, Nanna, Granny...just "Dorothy." It just suits her. She (and Papa) have always had a special place in all her grandchildren's hearts. All growing up, it was just "Papa & Dorothy" like salt & pepper. So, having the supportive husband that I do, I was able to spend two full days with her. Along with my wonderful sister-in-law Natalie and sweet nephew, Ethan, Erika and I spent our days just chatting with Dorothy and being near her. We packaged nuts to give out to the people who work there and decorated her apartment for Christmas, while she rocked and sang to the babies. Heaven was very near. She hss absolutely no short-term memory. In fact, my sister Lauren called while we were there on Monday. It was Lauren's birthday. I handed the phone over to Dorothy and said, "Dorothy, say 'hi' to's her birthday!" She took the phone and cheerfully said, "Hey! I hear it's my birthday!" We laughed. She has a great sense of humor. This was definitely a tender mercy that the Lord so kindly bestowed on me. At the end of our visit, Dorothy took my face in her hands and said, "I am so happy you came." I know that tomorrow she will not remember me even coming, but I will.

On a separate note, our family has been enjoying the Christmas season, I'm sure just like you. The girls were in the Oxnard Christmas parade with their school. They had a great time. They even talked Adam into dressing up in his tux to walk with their group as one of the hot chocolate servers from the Polar Express. He is always such a good sport.

The other picture was taken right before we walked around the neighborhood, looking at lights. We do that's so much fun! Hope you all are having a wonderful, enjoyable Christmas season. Love to you all.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Nine is Divine

Before I "dot another i" (Bob Kratchit...I'm sorry. I can't help throwing in a line from The Christmas Carol-my favorite! I'm giddy with excitement that it is Christmastime!), I just had to express my thanks in this wonderful season of Thanksgiving! I have the best family and friends and life. In my mind, I'm thinking of each one of you individually and thanking my lucky stars (well, actually Heavenly Father)for sending such incredible people in my path. I'm crazy about each of you. I have the greatest life...what can I say?! On Thanksgiving morning, my sister Adrienne and I were chatting about how great it is that Thanksgiving is the holiday that comes right before Christmas. (My sister is so wise and profound...I just love her.) It puts us all in the right mind-set for the "most wonderful time of the year." Anyways, how could I go another second without expressing my gratitude for my many, many blessings...Hope each one of you had a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving.

And, how can it possibly be Christmas already??!! I got jipped! There couldn't possibly have been 365 days in this year! My mom used to tell us that the older you get, the faster time flies by! She's right! Yikes! Nevertheless, I have had a wonderful year.

So, about a year ago, my sister Lauren (also very wise and profound--I just love her too. living in Milwaukee)called to see if I could watch her little darlings during Thanksgiving week 2008, as she and her husband Hubble were going to be going on a trip with her in-laws to Ireland. Loving to spend time with any family I can get my hands on, I agreed. (I'm sorry my grammar is very sub-par right now. It's late and I'm writing with half a brain). So, I had my cute little nieces and nephew come and spend the week with us last week. We had a total blast and lived to tell the tale! Thankfully,my sister Adrienne came out from BYU to help me and my cousin Jimmy (living in LA)came also. We didn't do anything extravagent, but laugh, make big messes, eat, and laugh some more...memories. Juggling nine little ones under nine yrs. was actually a great strategy. It makes having six again not seem so hairy after all!