Thursday, December 31, 2015

365 Joys- December 31st 2015


It's the last year of 2015!  Can you believe it?

I have no idea what I'm going to call next year's posts.   I'll think of something.  Before tomorrow?  Maybe not.  My fingers are sore because we finally got the strings for my new viola today!  I love it.


GEDC1684 And tonight is the oft spoke of evening of snack dinner (as my kids call it) and fun foods night as we wait for the New Year and play games, enjoy snacks, and watch movies as a family.

I'm thankful that most of us are healthy and most of us are here.

Benjamin is on the Stake Youth Committee and emceeing the youth dance tonight (that got changed TO tonight even though everyone we know wanted it NOT on New Year's Eve so the kids could be with their families... ah well.)  So Emilie and Benjamin are at the dance, hopefully having a blast, and we're all here.

Our home is open to whoever wants to come snack with us! 

Happy New Year to anyone who reads this!  I hope your 2016 is better than 2015, and it doesn't matter if last year was good or bad, we just hope 2016 is even better! 

365 Joys- December 30th 2015


Today was a super huge day.

Michael's papers were submitted by the Stake President to Salt Lake.

We can expect his mission call in 2-3 weeks.  Any guesses on where that call will be?

I do not have a picture, because we take a lot of pictures of Michael, and if we don't, he does.  Click on his name to the side of this post to see lots of them!  :)

Benjamin met with the Liberty Community Center to talk about an Eagle Project to benefit their center.  He will probably be building a bench for one of their pool areas.  The project will probably be underway mid-January.

Exciting times!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A special Anniversary gift

Over 20 years ago, Tom asked me to marry him.  We met in January of 1995 in the men's locker room, were great friends first, started dating in March, he met my family in April, we talked about marriage sometime in May, I met his parents over Memorial Day, and he finally asked me in August of 1995.  My grandmother provided her engagement ring from her first marriage.  Tom told me that since he got the engagement ring for free, he'd buy me a viola.  Over the years, I kind of forgot.

Fast forward 20 years to Christmas day, because Tom can't wait 4 more days until our 20th anniversary.

I cried.

Yes, I do play.  Yes, I started playing in junior high, continued in high school, stopped in college and through marriage and having many of my children, started again in the fall of 2011 when we moved here and we played in a Thanksgiving multi-denominational performance of "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" and other numbers.   To do so I borrowed my wonderful sister in law's viola.  I still have it.  It was so great to be playing again.

I was also 6 months pregnant for that performance, haha.

Fast forward to fall of 2013, when we prepared The Many Moods of Christmas cantata by Robert Bennet and Robert Shaw.  Also difficult.  It was also fantastic.  I was also 8 months pregnant with Virginia, haha.  We performed it again in 2014 and just a few weeks ago in 2015.

This poor viola, though.  It's brand new so it needs TLC as I warm it up to playing, tuning, etc.  Withing moments of opening it the D string broke (kind of important, like the A string on a violin...).  We ordered a new set of strings.  The package came on Monday.  The envelope looked like it had never been sealed, haha, so, no strings were left in the package.  They are replacing them and they should arrive today, the 30th.  Here's hoping!

365 Joys- December 29th 2015


Happy 20th anniversary to Tom and me!

We celebrated by repairing the tire on Tom's car, going out to eat, and doing a fun puzzle while watching Mythbusters.

 If you look closely (click on photo to see closeup, I think you can, you can see the puzzle is definitions matched to words... it was a blast!

I will post about Tom's gift to me separately.

365 Joys- December 28th 2015


We finally got some snow!  (and under that is ICE... so Tom worked from home today.)



And it's always a good day for Vitamin C!  (see?)
I'm going to miss this  kid   adult human.

365 Joys- December 27th 2015


I made these.
GEDC1668 Yes, these.
Tom bought me new fabric scissors for Christmas.  (the replace the old ones I got in 1987... yes, that is an 8... for my sewing class in junior high.)  We bought BYU fabric for bow ties, but we saw that we had enough for real ties, too, and these two aren't going to do bow ties.

So yes, here is my awesomeness for the week.  Still need to finish 3 more bow ties.  (I've already made 2... one for a gift, one right here!)

365 Joys- December 26th 2015


Nathanael received Lego ice cube/candy molds from a cousin for Christmas.
This Lego guy is looking rather freaked out at seeing his frozen friends melt.
Lego ice bricks!  Perfect for tiny snow forts...
Michael's new, awesome, shirt.

365 Joys- December 25th, 2015


Merry Christmas to all our family and friends!
We had a fun, family filled and simple day.

Looks like someone visited during the night... we love this tradition of secret giving and sharing.
The stockings were filled...

Even to setting up breakfast for the family. It makes things really easy in the morning!

Juliana found a giant fluffy giraffe under the tree with her name on it.
Ginny found it, too.
First fun present of the morning!
Lego/Duplos are always good for all ages.


A new friend.

Art projects of the future...

Emilie has new friends, too!
Benjamin laughing at someone...

Tolkien anything is good, right?  (this is an atlas, really cool.)

A Coloring book from cousins!
Zebra friend, named Stripe!
And a big dinosaur from a cousin secret Santa!

For some strange reason, Michael got a lot of ties... hmmm.  (and a cool BYU shirt!)

Drawing stuff and more yarn for Emilie!

Emilie?  (these pens are great... her cousins know her!)

An element of danger here... hide!

Always humor in Dad gifts... cookie cutters that look like they've already been eaten!

Nathanael's favorite gift...a Book of Mormon in Greek.

I loved seeing the joy in my children's eyes as their siblings opened gifts especially chosen by them, usually worked for and sacrificed for, and sometimes just thoughtfully found.

I loved the interest in each other and their likes and dislikes.  I loved that their cousin gift exchanges went well and they wanted to know how their far away cousins felt about the presents they had found.

We are blessed, no more on Christmas than any other day but I think we had time to sit back and think about it this day.  This is the last Christmas we all will be together for quite some time, and Tom and I may have been more mindful of this than the kids, but as we watched Michael enjoy this last Christmas at home, we definitely thought about it.

Next year, a few minutes skyping with a missionary may be the best present of all.  Remembered as we talked about it with the Elders over dinner tonight.

Merry, merry Christmas everyone.  We love you.

365 Joys- December 24th 2015


Christmas Eve!

We had the Sister missionaries over for dinner, so Benjamin was entertaining his little sisters as we got everything ready.

GEDC1553 Just some cool kids.



Christmas Eve Pajamas!


Ginny REALLY loved her new Frozen princess nightgown.




Our manger was filled with straw, thanks to secret acts of service between members of our family.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!