Saturday, December 29, 2007

Holiday Ups and Downs

I love the holidays, I love having 3 of my kids here. Allan, Heidi, Brent, and I went to see Enchanted last night. What a cute movie. The theater was packed--not just for our movie, but I couldn't beleive the lines. (I guess if people weren't shopping they were at the movies.) Kyle had friends over for a Rock Band Marathon --goodness only knows how long they played.

I wanted to post some of the cute pictures received this Christmas. I received this one of my little Garrett (Neal and Macy's little guy) I can't believe how much he looks like his dad. and this family picture of Stephen and Daphne's family. As my family grows, I realize I need to make room on my wall that displays all the pictures for the additions to the family. I may have to change the grandchildren pictures from 8 x 10 to 5 x 7. One of our grandsons got engaged, but I'm not sure when he will be getting married and not sure how to do that arrangement on the wall.


Since I don't smoke, I don't need to quit, but for whatever reason this is how I've acted (at times) lately. Maybe it's the fact that I get a little frustrated not with those that can't come home for Christmas but with those that don't want to be here, but as Allan tries to tell me over and over again--let it go. I try to blame my frustration on outside forces, but you and I know that no one can MAKE us act or feel a certain way!!! (Actually I say I know, but the problem is I know in my head, just can't get my heart to accept it.)

Besides increasing my hormone dosage, any suggestions????? I also wondered if it could possibly be that I have overdosed on chocolate???

We are having a fairly quiet day today--other than making lists for our annual New Years Day party. I've tried to remember how many years we've been holding it, but I just can't remember. The guest lists has changed--it's actually the same core group but at times the group is different because kids have been gone on missions, have gotten married, had children--whatever. We always have a great time. I always do some kind of a trivia game--I've got to enlist Neal's help. He seems to know so much trivia!!!

Sidenote #1--I'm sure glad Christmas is in the winter--because with all the extra food/leftovers, I'm grateful for my other "refrigerator" aka the garage!!! There is no way in the world we would get all the extra food in the refrigerators in the house ; )

Sidenote #2: I love my site reader--now that I've figured out how to use it. I love seeing where people are visiting from. I laughed the other day when someone from Italy came on after searching "bauer 24 clock". That made me laugh. Then my daughter-in-law wanted to know how I knew she was making carmel brownies, well, I saw she got on and looked at my recipe for the brownies. But the best was the person from Singapore who looked for "spaghetti hairstyle"--still not sure what they found!!!

THANKS TO ALL OF YOU. I've been blogging for about 6 months and I have enjoyed the experience so much. All of you and your comments and your blogs have made this such a fun thing for me to do.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I ROCK--at least at Rock Band ; )

After failing numerous times, I tried again and managed to play two songs on Rock Band, and guess what--I made it through. I got in the 85-90% on them. I hate to say it, BUT I WAS SO PROUD!!! Then Heidi and my friend, Cory, convinced me to sing. (Now you have to know that both of them sing, so I was very worried, but I do love to sing--or whatever you want to call what I do with my voice and music ; ) I sang "Don't Fear the Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult. (A song I really love), and THOUGHT I knew the words, until they came up on the screen. I don't know what I thought they were, but they were certainly different than what I have always been singing!!! When I saw the words, I thought of Tori's post some time ago about "I come to you with broken arms"!!!) Sorry, but no pictures are available of my debut--after all I am the only one who takes the pictures!!!

We had a delicious dessert gathering last night and it ended up being a very small gathering. We missed those who were not able to attend. As always, way too much food. We did get several people down in the basement doing Rock Band. I love people who are willing to try something new!!!

We got our mail delivery again today, and I got a lovely package from Nancyface and Lauren. Love the picture--just made me smile so much. Thanks for the beautiful notes inside. Love you guys. Thanks for the candy, yum!!! I enjoy making cards so the cardmaking kit is very much appreciated. I also realize I didn't thank Mrs.Monkey for the beautiful Christmas card she sent. It was so sweet and so true--We truly have been given the best Christmas gift.

We had some friends over tonight for Allan's fried chicken. It was as delicious as always. It had been quite awhile since Brent had seen Tom--and he had not met Tom's wife, Julie. It was fun for them to have time together. It sure is a good thing Kyle got Rock Band because we were all in the basement playing again tonight.

I have to tell you all about one of the wonderful gifts I received from my FABULOUS, FANTASTIC, WONDERFUL, INCREDIBLE (believe me I could go on) husband. It was a coupon that read: "This gift from Santa Claus is good for one year's worth of having your house cleaned every other week so that you can spend more time on seminary, blogging, spoiling grandchildren, talking ont he phone, eating chocolate, shopping, or whatever else is important on your schedule." IS HE NOT THE BEST!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Boxing Day

Yes, it is boxing day here in Canada. There have been days when we have braved the crazy temps and the crowds to find a great bargain. This year we're really not interested.

We had a great Christmas. It had been a great Christmas Eve. We read Luke 2 a little later than usual, but it was so wonderful to have that time together. After the kids changed into the pajamas Santa left, we took our traditional picture. I'm not sure what time Allan was up getting started with the turkeys on Christmas morning. The kids didn't get up until 7:00. Everyone was very happy with all their gifts. I so enjoy sitting back and watch all the gifts being unwrapped. It is so fun--it's when I'm taken back to when they were little and so excited as they opened each gift. I love it.

I have to admit the big hit was Rock Band. We all had a great time playing. (I STINK, but maybe one day I'll get better.)

Our dinner guest arrived a little before 3:00 for dinner. We had a ball. We had done some re-arranging of our furniture to accomodate our guests. It was important to me to have all the missionaries in the same area eating together. Brent had mentioned how much he loved when he was on his mission and they could all be together. We weren't sure we were going to be able to pull it off--putting 30 of us in one area, but it worked.

We had purchased a bunch of little gifts last Saturday so the missionaries could do a little gift exchange. They seemed to have a great time doing it. There were a couple of zip ties that they seemed to enjoy. We had purchased a red and a black Canadian toque and the Miss. Pres. and his wife ended up getting them--they looked so cute with them on their heads. (They are wonderful couple and such great sports.) The parents of these missionaries are so blessed that their children have such wonderful people watching over their sons and daughters. After the gift exchange we sang Christmas carols and had dessert. (I made a black forest cake for the first time--I'd post a picture, but it was so funny looking--yet very tasty.) We also had German Chocolate Pudding Cake which was delicious.

After everyone left, we were exhausted, but it was such a great kind of exhaustion. I hope your Christmas was filled with love.

By the way, if you want to see one of the cutest little shepherds you've ever seen, go here.

We're off today for the movies. Have a great day.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas to all, and to all...

It's Christmas Eve morning and I'm so excited.

Had a fabulous weekend. Heidi made it home--yippee. Her plane from Denver was delayed about 3 hours. We had our Ward Christmas dinner that night so we headed to the airport about 15 minutes before she was due to arrive. It always takes time to clear customs. Hah, we should have known it would take A WHOLE LOT LONGER. Poor thing, when she came through she was so frazzled. They really gave her a hard time--she was almost in tears. If you remember her previous experience we thought that as she came through this time (as a visitor) and told them she was visiting her parents, there would be no problem. SURE!!! As she said, you would you have thought she was on Canada's Biggest Threat List!!! Finally after an hour of questioning her "why do your parent's live here" "why are they not citizens?" "why did you allow them to take your card?" (after they told her they were going to arrest her, what was she supposed to do????), "you should appeal the decision", they begin going through every single thing in her bags. (They even got after her for not declaring the See's Candy--she said it said, "meat and fruit" not candy) Finally, they let her through.

Had a great day yesterday (wonderful Christmas program at Church),--Kyle and his dad at the sacrament table together for the first time. We went caroling with our friends the P's. It was cold, but yet was so worth it. We then enjoyed a great dinner with the P's followed by a hilarious game of Apples to Apples.

Then last night, Allan and I were upstairs and Heidi yelled to us that there were a bunch of missionaries coming to the door. We opened the door to carolers. It was great.

Now I'm off to finish up some last minute details so I will be ready for tonight and tomorrow. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas, surrounded by those you love and that your home is filled with joy, peace and happiness.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Seminary Breakfast

I decided yesterday that since we have so much to carry over to the Church when we do the Seminary Christmas breakfast, we'd move it to our house. I only have a couple of kids that had to travel a little farther than normal. (Kyle was thrilled--he figured he could sleep in a whole lot longer--what maybe 10 minutes???)

I have been trying to come up with a little ornament for them and finally I remembered Heidi had received a great one from her YW leader a number of years ago and since none of my students have older sisters who would have had Nicki, I would use the same one. We had been talking about how everything in the Old Testament points to the Savior and His Atonement so this was perfect. (Thanks, Nicki)
This is what it says:
It’s Christmas time at our house
and we are putting up the tree. .
I wish I could find one simple way
to remember Christ’s gift to me.

Some little sign or symbol
to show friends stopping by
the little babe was born one day
but He really came to die.

Some symbol of His nail pierced hands
the blood he shed for you and me
What if I hung a simple nail
upon the Christmas tree?

A crimson bow tied round the nail
as His blood flowed down so free.
To save each person from their sin,
and redeem us for all eternity.

I know it was His love for us
that held Him to that tree.
But when I see this simple nail
I know He died for me.

I love that one of my girls brought three of her friends from school, and one of the boys brought his girlfriend, so it was a great day to have one of our returned missionaries come and speak to the youth about the value of serving a mission. He did a fantastic job. As always, our cooks were great. No one left the house hungry.

I guess the breakfast has just been a sampling of life for the next few days. Maybe tonight we'll stay home and relax ; ) (When Heidi comes home I want to be able to stay up and have more time with her!!!!) Tomorrow night is our Ward Christmas dinner. Haven't made arrangements to go carolling on Sunday, so I'm not sure if we'll do that. On Monday we will have our Christmas traditional soup and buns meal and take a ride on the Candy Lane Train. Tuesday we have some of the missionaries and the MP and his wife coming for dinner. It will be fun. Wednesday which is Boxing Day we have a gathering here for dessert. Then we have a young man from our Ward who is now living in Minnesota and going to school. (We have been good friends with he and his family for years. He told his wife that Allan makes the best fried chicken he has ever had. (Well, of course, that gets you dinner at our house with your family when you come home to visit.) We love this family so it will be great to have them all here for dinner on Thursday. Then I think I will put my feet up for a day or two. I SO LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR.

Sidenote: The kids and I were laughing yesterday about December 22nd being the first day of winter--they wondered what season it is when the temperatures are at -40????? Sounds like winter to me ; ) Actually, the last few days have been fairly mild. There is a winter storm watch in effect for tonight and tomorrow--we'll see

Sidenote #2--A very special thank you to Nancyface and Lauren for the beautiful Christmas Card. I LOVED the picture. Thank you. Also, a special thanks to Tori who also sent a card and a picture. I feel like such a slug because Tori got cards out AND SHE MOVED!!!! I have no excuse.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Could Christmas Really Be Less Than A Week Away???

First of all I realize I haven't posted anything about the Nativity Pageant. Because Kyle was home sick on Friday with the flu, we didn't go to the Friday night performance. He was supposed to play during one of the intermissions. Those who attended said it was it was pretty cold. Late Saturday afternoon we headed to the Forks to see it. (I didn't get a good picture, so I decided to post the pic of a cute nativity set Heidi gave me for Christmas last year) Fortunately, the weather cooperated. We found where Kyle was supposed to play piano and we left him there. Brent's plane was arriving at 5:35. We were grateful that he hadn't arrived early. (I think Brent is so looking forward to having Christmas morning with us)

I am so mad that I didn't take my camera when I headed for Church on Sunday--we had lovely hore frost and I really wanted a picture. If I just knew how to use the camera on my new phone I could have taken a picture. By the time I was coming back from Church there really was nothing to see. I think hore frost is so beautiful. (Actually we have hore frost again this morning, but the sun is not shining and I knew it wouldn't be as pretty, but this is what it looked like. (One day I'll post a picture when it's a beautiful sunny day and you get a better idea of what an amazing winter wonderland display we have when there is frost.On Sunday I talked to one of the boys from the Congo and asked if he was tired of the cold and snow yet. He answered with a very enthusiastic, "NO!!!" (I'm sure glad he's enjoying it ; )

I'm going to switch gears for a minute. Maybe because of my Seminary lessons this week, but I've been thinking about how it is much easier to deal with our own struggles than to watch others deal with trials. Maybe it's my controlling nature, but I always think everyone else isn't going to get through a trial. I need to let go and put it in the Lord's hands. I cannot do anything, but He can.

It is such a joyful time of year, but I can't help thinking of those who are facing difficult times. I have a dear friend in California who I served with in a Young Women's Presidency--we had babies on the same day back in 1983. She just found out her husband has Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. My heart is just breaking for them. We are so blessed to have the understanding we have of eternal life, but times like these are still difficult. I pray that they will be at peace.

It's time like this, I so wish all my kids and grandkids could be here for Christmas. I highly doubt I will ever have all of them, but I guess I can always dream!!! Only 3 more sleeps and Heidi will be home. I know she's grateful to have finals over.

Monday, December 17, 2007

You Better Watch Out, You Better Not Cry...

O.K. This has got to be the best representation of the line "You Better Not Pout" from Santa Claus is Coming to Town!!! My daughter-in-law took the picture of their little Drew. She and my son were going to use it on their Christmas card this year--I think it's priceless!!!

Sidenote: Brent made it home safe and sound. It's wonderful to have him home. He had to check an extra piece of luggage--a gift I had him pick it in the States. I couldn't believe what the airlines (which shall remain nameless, charged him. We would have been better off shipping it FedEx!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas Shopping

Where have the days gone??? It seems like this was just yesterday, when, in fact, it was some 13 years ago!!! I miss the days of taking little ones to see Santa. I think it's a pretty safe bet that KYLE wouldn't let me take him today!!!

I have been working hard trying to get my shopping done. I must admit, I love shopping on-line. (We have a blizzard warning today, so I'm glad I don't have to go out) In fact, Seminary was cancelled, so I drove Kyle to track practice this morning and I'm not leaving the house again!!! However, it really didn't amount to much here in the city. For most of the day the sun was shining, but the wind had been blowing big time. (Sure hope they don't end up having to cancel The Nativity Pageant tomorrow night--temps with the wind chill are predicted to be at -43!!!)..]

Way back in September I proudly announced I had started my shopping and not only that, but I had wrapped the presents I purchased. Well, guess what, I couldn't find them--I didn't remember where I put them. Hallelujah: after much searching I finally located them. I keep a little notebook and write down every gift I purchase, and when I wrap them I number them (just in case tags fall off). I know just a little obsessive!!! Note to self: Next time, include where you hide the gifts!!!!

I think I found a great gift for Allan--I purchased it on line, but it was out of stock--not sure if it's going to arrive in time for Christmas, so he may just get a picture of his gift.

I saw this cute little quiz on Magirk's blog so I decided to take it--

You Are Prancer

You are the perfect reindeer, with perfect hooves and perfect flying form.

Why You're Naughty: Because you're Santa's pet, and you won't let anyone show you up.

Why You're Nice: You have the softest fur and the sweetest carrot breath.

My two little elves in Utah are coming home bearing gifts that Mrs. Claus asked them to pick up for her in the states. (Sure hope they don't have problems clearing customs!!! With Heidi's luck at immigration/customs they'll probably throw her in jail ; )

Have someone on your list who is tough to buy for: I had a friend send me the instructions for this fun little gift. I've included the link in case any of you have the perfect person in mind for these:

The link is right here: maxi slippers

How about you? Are you done with your shopping?

Sidenote#1--Late this afternoon t got a call from the place that's supposed to repair my van letting me know that the parts are in and if we'd like we can call to make an appointment to bring in the van. Problem: The van is there!!! (At least it's supposed to be there ; )

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Day of Randomness

I feel like being random today, so here goes:

1) I'm into countdown mode--4 more sleeps and Brent will be home, and 11 more sleeps and Heidi will be home. I can hardly wait. It will be so wonderful to attend Church together on the 23rd. Actually we will have our Ward Christmas dinner on that Saturday night, so both Brent and Heidi will be able to attend. This will be Brent's first Christmas at home for a couple of years--he got home from his mission last January.

2) Last Sunday the Primary President asked Kyle to play during Primary and his Sunday School teacher said no because she felt he needed to be in class. As I walked by the Pres. asked me if I could play, I said not really. She then said, just the top notes with your right hand. Well, that I could do. But, I obviously didn't do a very good job because after the opening hymn, one of the teachers asked me, "Sis. R., would you like me to take over?" It's a good thing I had a piano lessons today!!! Maybe I've been away too long ; )

3) I have been listening to my Josh Groban "Noel" Christmas CD. Every time I listen to "I'll be Home for Christmas" and it has the greetings from soldiers and for soldiers, I bawl. And then I feel so selfish--here are these families sacrificing so much, and I'm feeling sorry for myself because all of my family can't be with ME for Christmas. Thank you to all those who have anyone serving in the military. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

4) Last week was so incredibly cold--not so bad this week. I look at our little missionaries and feel so bad for those that just recently arrived. I know they were told it was cold here, but cold is one thing, this is worse than cold!!! Not sure if I mentioned this before, but we have one from Yuma, AZ, who when he was putting on his coat commented that it was the first coat he ever owned ; )

5) It's been fun having the site meter on here because now I see where some readers come from who don't leave comments. I was going to say I really want everyone who stops by to leave a comment, but then again, I guess maybe you don't want to say anything positive and you've been taught, "if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all". I am curious about a couple of places that keep popping up--one from a University on the West Coast, and then a couple of people on the East Coast. I'm so glad you stop by. Thanks ; )

6) Our Stake had such a wonderful event on Saturday night--Prelude to Christmas. We had it in conjunction with a local Catholic Church. Both choirs performed and it was just a nice evening. The Priest spoke and then our Stake Pres. spoke. I think everyone who attended, enjoyed the evening.

7) We had some wonderful talks at Church on Sunday. One of the speakers quoted a talk given by Elder Wirthlin back in 2002. Because this time of year we all feel so busy, I just wanted to quote part of the Conference talk. (I do this so I don't forget) He was talking about the early apostles who left their nets to follow the Savior. He asked if the Savior were to call us today would we be willing to leave our nets to follow Him. He described these "nets" as anything that entices us from following the call to follow Jesus. He said, "It is impossible to list the many nets that can ensnare us and keep us from following the Savior. But if we are sincere in our desire to follow Him, we must straightway leave the world’s entangling nets and follow Him...
I do not know of another period in the history of the world that has been so filled with such a variety of entangling nets. Our lives are so easily filled with appointments, meetings, and tasks. It is so easy to get caught in a multitude of nets that sometimes even a suggestion of breaking free of them can be threatening and even frightening to us...we can spend a lifetime whirling about at a feverish pace, checking off list after list of things that in the end really don’t matter...
That we do a lot may not be so important. That we focus the energy of our minds, our hearts, and our souls on those things of eternal significance—that is essential...
As the clatter and clamor of life bustle about us, we hear shouting to “come here” and to “go there.” In the midst of the noise and seductive voices that compete for our time and interest, a solitary figure stands on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, calling quietly to us, “Follow me.”

I so need to get my priorities straight--especially this time of year. I want to be sure and take the time to focus on those things that matter most.

Hope you all have a great day.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

About Me Meme

Mrs. Monkeybutt tagged me for this a week or so ago. Here goes:

Four Places I've Lived: Gosh, only 4:

1) Charlotte, North Carolina--I never thought I'd live anywhere but California so the move to Charlotte was quite an adventure. We only lived there for a year, but what a great year. I love the South.

2) Brampton, Ontario--This was our first experience living outside the U.S. I was pregnant with Kyle and quite ill, so I spent my first couple of months in the hospital. We loved living in Brampton.Whenever we had visitors we went to The Sacred Grove. One of the bonuses of living there was being so close to Palmyra (the Pageant every July) and Niagara Falls.

3) Laguna Niguel, California--When we moved to Southern California, it was quite an adjustment. Allan moved first and commuted (by car) for the first 6 months. I hated being apart so was very grateful when we were all together again. The biggest bonus about living there: DISNEYLAND; the biggest drawback: TRAFFIC.Not only that you could go to the beach on January 1st!!! Here in Winnipeg that is inconceivable!

4) Castro Valley, CA:
When I was in high school in a city not to far from CV, I had such a different view of CV. I loved living there. I lived in a little duplex before I married Allan. I joined the Church while living in CV. The kids went to high school there--we spent many Friday nights at the football stadium; we had Joy School there, we built a house there, and some of my very best friends still live there.

Four Jobs I've Had in My Life:

1) Babysitter: I loved babysitting as a young girl. Wouldn't everyone love to pay babysitters what I made back then: 50 cents an hour!!!

2) Sales Clerk: I've talked before about working at The Nut House. It was a fun place to work--it was a nut and candy kiosk at the mall. When I was pregnant with Stephen I was a clerk at a variety store. Still remember that it had a popcorn machine and whenever popcorn was made I had to make a run for the bathroom and get sick.

3) Window washer: Gee, haven't I had some exciting jobs!!! I washed the windows at a junior college.

4) Secretary--I have been a secretary working in many different locations: A seed company, the County, and two hospitals. It would be so different today. Technology is so different--I remember the days of carbon paper and erasers. (Nothing quite as fun as making a mistake on a document with 6 carbon copies!!!)

Four Places I've Been on Vacation:This is a tough one for me because we have been very fortunate to go on some pretty amazing vacations. I'm having a tough time deciding whether I should put the ones where we've been with all our kids, or we've been alone. So, I'll do a mixture of both:

1) Disneyworld 1992: We took all of our kids/grandkids to Disneyworld for Christmas 1992. It was fabulous.

2) Park City 1990/2002: The first time we all went together was after a family reunion. It was the first time all of the kids had been on a vacation together for years. They had all grown up and everyone got along--What a bonus!!! Then in 2002 we had a fabulous time together.Brent wrote a script for a little movie called "The Ultimate Watch" and we filmed it in Park City. The kids were hysterical. (The aluminum foil headed people were aliens)

3) Australia/South Seas:
Our first cruise in 1986 is such a wonderful memory.

4) Russia 1995: I grew up during the Cold War, so I never dreamed I would ever step foot in Russia. In August 1995 we went on a cruise of the Baltic Sea (I must admit I was a little scared)

Four Movies I Can Watch Over and Over:
1) You've Got Mail: I'm such a romantic.

2) Independence Day: I don't know why, but I just really enjoy this movie and Armageddon--doesn't really go with the idea of #1 above (well there is romance in both of those movies, isn't there???

3) Pride and Prejudice--yes the Kera Knightley one. (It's the only one I've seen)

4) Field of DreamsIt's not one I get out and put on all the time, but it seems to be on TV a lot. I love at the end when he "has a catch" with his dad. I sit and cry and think how much I would love to play catch with my dad.

Four of My Favorite Foods:

1) Just about anything chocolate--
This is probably my biggest weakness.

2) Prime rib--Whenever we go out for my birthday, I usually always order prime rib and bake potato.

3) Bloomin onion--I love salty things so if there is no Outback nearby (which there isn't in Canada) I'll settle for potato chips, pretzels or popcorn since they are all favorites of mine.

4) Ice cream--especially if I get a chance to go to Cold Stone!!!

Sidenote #1: The other night we went to a dinner at the Mission Home and one of the missionaries sang for us. Apparently he had been in a production of Les Miserables and he sang "Bring Him Home"--one of my favorite things to hear! He sang without any accompaniment and it was absolutely incredible.

Sidenote #2: Just for a laugh I have to tell you what happened in Seminary on Thursday. I've been trying to get more participation--the kids have been dead. So I decided to put up a secret word and whoever used the secret word in their comment would get a treat. (I had stopped at a store and picked up Orange Juice and a little bag of cinnamon rolls) One of the girls said the word, so I gave her the treat. A few minutes later I noticed she was laughing. When I asked her what was wrong she said nothing and then finally admitted what she was laughing about. First of all the bottle of orange juice was cracked. I felt so bad. Then she said, "But Sister "R" that's not the worst part--the cinnamon rolls are moldy". I thought, "Boy I bet you're glad you said the secret word!!!" Note to self: Don't go back to that store for treats!!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Christmas Meme

I saw this Meme on several blogs over the last few days, and because I love this time of year, I couldn't resist.

Wrapping paper or gift bags?
I love wrapping paper, and I very rarely use gift bags!!!Í

Do you have a Nativity scene? I love my nativity scenes. This is my favorite.
I also have this one which I love mainly because it is so fun to have children play with it.
Then there's this one which Allan got when we were in Iceland a few years ago. It is the oddest looking one, but I have to admit it has grown on me.

Do you like eggnog? It is my most favorite stuff. (Sorry, Lauren). I even like the light stuff. I'm very sad when they don't sell it anymoe!!

Favorite Christmas movie ? That's a tough one. I love so many Christmas movies. I love Elf, but I that isn't very traditional, so I would have to go with "It's a Wonderful Life" or "Miracle on 34th Street"

Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? I usually get my cards all ready and then don't get them all addressed, so I don't mail any of them. I very rarely do a card but do a Christmas letter with a photo or photos.

Easiest person to buy for ? I was going to say "me" because I always know what I want (and everyone knows all they have to do is buy me a candy bar and I'm happy)--and sometimes I make life a little easier for Allan by picking up a couple of things for me, but so I don't sound tacky I think it would have to be Heidi.

Real tree or artificial? I put up several Christmas trees each year. 3 of them are artificial and 1 is real.

Have you ever recycled a Christmas gift? No--I always love everything I receive, so why would I recycle???

Favorite Christmas song? I guess it would have to be the one that makes me cry every year--because I miss my kids who aren't with us--I'll Be Home For Christmas!!! (Always wishing they would be home with us for Christmas!!!)

Do you travel at Christmas or stay home? We haven't travelled over Christmas since Allan's dad died in 1999 and we went to Reno to be there before he died and stayed through Christmas.

White lights or colored on the tree? 1 of my trees has white lights and the other 3 have colored lights. My house has white lights.

Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Anything and everything (especially if it's chocolate)

Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Of course--Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen--and, of course, the most famous reindeer of all--Rudolph!!!

When do you put up the tree? The artificial trees go up right after American Thanksgiving and then the real tree goes up around the 10th!!! Speaking of "putting up"--this is my tree that goes on the landing above the front door. Poor Allan has to climb a ladder holding the tree. He is such a good sport (AKA dutiful husband)

When do you take down the tree? I usually take down all of the decorations the first Saturday after New Years.

What is your favorite place to go at Christmas? For years, our zoo used to have an event called "Lights of the Wild" and it was so great to go walking around the zoo and see all the displays when it was 40 below 0. (It was always a treat to take visitors and let them experience a REAL WINTER!!!This is the year Wendy and Tony came to visit--can you tell they were COLD??? Since they stopped doing it we love to go and ride The Candy Cane Train!!!This was Christmas 2004--right before Brent left for his mission. Neal brought Macy up to Winnipeg so we could meet her. She commented the other day something to the effect that the coldest she has ever been was the 2 minutes she spent walking from the airport to our car!!!

Open presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
The kids get to pick one gift to open Christmas Eve and then the rest are opened on Christmas morning. (Besides the Christmas pj's they get every year!!! Speaking of which, I think I should look for a new pair for Allan--we've had these for years)

What do I love most about Christmas? I love to do all the shopping and watch everyone's face on Christmas morning. It makes all the preparation worthwhile!!! I also love doing The Twelve Days of Christmas.

Of course, I am so grateful that I know that Christmas is more than just a day off of work, but it is a celebration of the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for Him. One of our traditions on Christmas Eve is to have homemade soup and read Luke 2. By the way, if you have the Church video Luke II and you put on Amy Grant's Breath of Heaven--the timing is perfect!!!

This is a fun Meme--if you haven't done it, go ahead and do it!!!

Sidenote: The van is not going to be written off, but it will be repaired. YIPPEE!!! But, due to the number of cars that are in shops being repaired it will take six weeks to get it fixed!!! It will make it very interesting when Heidi and Brent come home for Christmas--they can't drive the rental car.

Kyle had to talk with the insurance people about the accident. They needed to give him what they termed "a lecture". They wanted to be sure he understood it is illegal to drink and drive??? (I think both Allan and Kyle sat there dumbfounded!!!)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's Good To Be Home

It was nice to see my two men standing there as I came down the escalator at the Winnipeg airport last night--Kyle holding a little sign his dad had made that said "Welcome Home" and with hot chocolate in hand (it was a little colder in Winnipeg than it had been in Boston)

First stop, the rental car desk at the airport to pick up a rental since my little van will be in getting repaired for who knows how long--since we haven't taken it in for an estimate yet, we still don't know if it will be written off. (The van is in the garage and I couldn't get back any further to take a better picture.) Poor Kyle feels so bad. I know the feeling of sliding in the snow and ice--it is not fun.

I want to write a little about my trip. I was horrible at taking pictures--I usually take a ton. As I mentioned in my previous post while I was in Boston Neal and Macy hosted a desert party at their home. Neal did the decorating out in front, with help from Amanda.

(I don't think Macy wanted to watch him climb on the ladder putting the decorations on their huge pine tree!!! It was amazing. They bought several cheesecakes, red velvet cake, and pies. I couldn't believe all the baking Macy did!!! She made sugar cookies and they put them out for people to decorate and I wish I had taken pictures of the creativity displayed by their guests!!! She also made some delicious pumpkin cookies. I loved the cream cheese dessert ball she made--yum, yum!!! They even had little placecards that told you what kind of dessert was on the table. My granddaughter, Amanda, gave me some great advice--"Pace yourself, Grandma". Didn't work--I was stuffed after eating just a couple of things.

It was a great party and their friends all seemed to have a ball. Neal has worked with games and I think they own every game system imaginable. They had the Wii set up in one room and it eventually became the room where everyone was doing DDR. In the other room they had "Rock Band". That was a lot of fun to watch. I don't even know what time everyone left because I was exhausted and went up to bed while everyone was still there. (Allan and I are old fuddy duddies and everyone knows when we have a party they leave EARLY!!!!)

I had a real treat on Sunday when I got to watch Macy in her role as Ward Choir director. She is an amazing singer and does a wonderful job. (I have never attended a Ward Choir practice, but I was so impressed with the practice.) Here's Garrett playing the piano for the practice--no, not really!!! He's talented but not that talented YET.

It was tough leaving on Monday. The nice part is I know I will see them all again in May when I go out for Amanda's college graduation. I am very jealous because they are going to Utah to be with Macy's family for Christmas--maybe one year they'll be brave and come to Winnipeg. (No one likes to come to where it's -40 degrees!!! Can we say COATS, HATS, GLOVES, AND LONG UNDERWEAR!!! (Neal and Macy did come the Christmas right before they got married and I guess that was enough for them) I really don't like being away from family, but everyone has jobs and has to live where they can. I'm just grateful we do have a chance to get together--just wish it was more often.

I'm so glad that I got this picture of me and Garrett.

Don't I just have the cutest grandkids????

Macy was nice enough to take me by a bakery in Boston. I figured my getting through security would be a lot easier if I followed the advice from The Godfather "Leave the gun, take the cannoli". So I got myself a chocolate chip cannoli. Yum, was it ever delicious and came in very handy because I didn't have any time once I got to Toronto (since my flight out of Boston was 2 1/2 hours late and we ended up in a holding pattern over Buffalo before landing in Toronto. I had to run like crazy after clearing customs. I wanted to get some of these "lobster tails" for Allan and Kyle and decided to get a couple of extras for my Seminary kids. Allan taught for me this morning and took some in for the kids.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

My Trip To Boston

It's been a great trip to Boston. All is well. My grandson is as cute as ever--and so is my granddaughter, Amanda, who is going to school in Boston.

My trip to Boston has not been without some excitement. I guess I should back up and tell you that on Wednesday night when I went to Kyle's band concert and I got home and realized that my cell phone was nowhere in the car. I started thinking about my trip there and think I know what happened--Allan called me to let me know he was on his way, I laid my cell phone on my lap. When I got out of the car, the cell phone fell onto the ground and because of the snow I didn't hear anything. Even though it was 11:00 I decided to drive back to the school to see if anyone had turned it in--not yet. So, I left for Boston--no cell phone.

Thursday morning I flew from Winnipeg to Toronto (my plane left Winnipeg at 5:00--that's a.m. not p.m That meant I had to get up at 3:15 to leave for the airport at 3:45!!!) I was dead tired. Allan was flying to Vancouver. He was nice enough to take me and sit at the airport until his plane left at 8:00 a.m. (What a guy ; ) I had no cell phone and when I got to the airport realized I had forgotten my glasses and my copy of Eclipse!!!

I tried to sleep--actually I did my usual fall asleep as we are pulling away from the gate! Then I woke up after we got up in the air!!! I can't believe

The plane left on time and I had a 3 hour layover in Toronto. I worked on the computer for awhile and then decided to go walk around. I went into a store to buy a pair of those cheapy reading glasses and I hear this voice say, "Hey stranger". I thought, gosh that sounds like Neal, but he's in Boston. I look up and it's him. I was so excited. He had been in Toronto all week. We had lots of time to visit in the airport and then on our flight. Macy had arranged for a shuttle to pick us up in Boston and drive us to their home. It was great.

It has been a good visit. They are hosting a dessert party tonight so I tried to help take care of the baby so Macy could get lots done!!!

Sad news, on Friday night Neal and I had gone to Best Buy. Allan called Neal's cell phone and when I got on the phone he said, "You haven't checked your e-mail. Kyle had an accident". He is fine. The roads were icy and he lost control and ran into a parked truck. Apparently my van is in pretty bad shape. Kyle is obviously pretty shook up and worried about the money. My friend, Cory, who is staying with him says my van is totalled--Allan will be home tomorrow night, so I will know more then. I'm just very grateful he wasn't hurt!!!

I will post some more pictures from my trip when I get home--not sure I will have the heart to post pictures of my smashed van!!!