Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Christmas and more!!!

Well, before too much time goes by, I need to write about our Christmas, but I guess I should back up and write a bit about the month.

December was a crazy month.  The winter was long, cold, and cold and long!!!!  (And in hindsight, I have to say THAT WAS JUST THE BEGINNING ; )

I returned from Utah on December 3rd and had to immediately begin decorating for Christmas.  I knew it would come quickly--it always does.  I laugh when I think about this little decoration for our front yard that Allan bought.   Here it is--I'm sure you can tell why we laugh every time we see it!!!  As you can see, Ella is out again ; )

The first weekend of the month was our Nativity Pageant at The Forks.  It was great as usual--a little cold like it has been in the past.

We were anxiously planning for the boys to come home, and I was planning for Heidi and Daniel.  (Allan didn't know that they were coming home for a week--Heidi ended up having to tell me because I had talked about really wanting to go to Utah for Christmas because one of my grandsons and his wife and baby were going to be there.  When I mentioned this to Heidi she said, "Mom, you CAN'T come to Utah."  And then she told me that they had found cheaper tickets and decided to fly into Grand Forks and Kyle was going to go and pick them up ; )

There was lots of shopping to do.  This year the number of missionaries who would be coming for dinner was up significantly.  The gift bags were ready to go under the tree!!!  The missionaries came over for dinner and Allan put them to work moving furniture.  They were such a big help.

On Saturday, December 21, Kyle was heading home.  Unfortunately, his flight had nothing but delays.  He ended up getting in much later, but we were just glad he made it.  When he was leaving Salt Lake they got out on the tarmac and SAT AND SAT AND SAT.  Eventually they went back to the gate and "cancelled" his flight.  So he and one of the girls from our Stake who was on the flight heading to the service desk.  She got on the next flight out, he got on the "original" flight.  She began texting me and I sent her updates from him.  When he landed in Denver, she had told the flight attendants they were traveling together and they needed to be one the same flight.  They held the flight for him.  She had gotten him a bagel with cream cheese and he was so grateful for her since he hadn't eaten ; )  I love this girl!!!!  They arrived in Winnipeg late Saturday night, but at least they were home!

Sunday was wonderful to have Kyle with us.  Allan made him a big steak for dinner which always makes him happy.

Heidi and Daniel were flying in on Monday, December 23rd.  Kyle left to go to Grand Forks.  As it turned out, their flight was late getting into Grand Forks, so Kyle had extra time to get his Christmas shopping done.   (And believe me airplane problems only continued throughout the whole Christmas season)

I had lots to do as I was preparing food for our Missionary Dinner which was going to be held on Christmas Eve.  I knew Heidi and Daniel would be there to help me, so that made me worry less about everything that needed to be done.  I was on the phone with Heidi and Kyle trying to figure out when they would arrive.  As they got closer, I became pretty excited.  About an hour before they came we had a couple of visitors.  A couple of families from our Ward got together and came carolling--it was so fun.  I especially loved the little Primary kids all bundled up singing.  It sure warmed my heart.  Then one of the sisters from the Stake came by with a little plate of treats.  So appreciated.

Finally, I got a call from Kyle that they were really close.  So when there was a knock at the door, I yelled downstairs to Allan and asked him to get the door.   I grabbed my camera and stood at the top of the stairs so I could capture his expression.  Well, he was SURPRISED.  It was so fun.  They were not convinced that he hadn't figured it out, but I knew he hadn't.   He was genuinely surprised and it was so fun.

The next morning we were up early getting everything done for our dinner.   The tables were set, desserts were pretty much done.  Allan was busy cooking the turkeys.  Heidi and Daniel were doing the salads.  Kyle's most important job was to pick up Brent at the airport.  Surprisingly, Brent's flight was on time.  (Of course, all that changed when he went to fly home!!!!)

Apparently there was a bit of a mix-up when the missionaries started arriving for dinner.  That through things off a little, but we have learned to stay flexible, and the evening was FANTASTIC.  Most important thing:  WE HAD ENOUGH FOOD!!!  We NEVER want anyone to go home hungry!!!!
Our Mission President and his wife were there for dinner, but had to go home before the festivities because their children and grandchildren had flown from Alaska to surprise them for Christmas.  Hey, that was such a GREAT surprise, we knew they needed to be home with them.  

This was the scene after dinner when we gathered in the living room for the singing, stories, and the ever popular gift exchange.  They were so fun.  As always the Canada hats and scarves were always the most "coveted" gifts!!!!   It was such a treat to share our Christmas Eve with these wonderful missionaries.  They were so appreciative and we had a blast.

I do have to admit at the end, Allan and I commented that we really don't know how we could have done it without the kids.  They were such a HUGE help.  We were pretty exhausted when it was all over, but it was a good kind of exhausted.  And because it was Christmas Eve there was still much to do.  Santa Claus brought our pajamas, so we had to get changed and take our traditional pajama photo.

It was one year when I was grateful there were not little ones who would get up at the crack of dawn.  The kids let us sleep in a little and then it was time to open all the presents and then enjoy our traditional waffles, strawberry and bacon breakfast. 

Normally we go to the movies on Christmas Day, but we decided to hang out and relax and we went to the movies on Boxing Day.  (We watched movies at home and it was wonderful.  We love movies so it was fun.  But going to the movies on Boxing Day was a BIG MISTAKE, because we didn't think about the traffic and we were late to the movie, but we had our seats so all was okay.  

Then on Friday, Kyle and I had the chance to go to our first NHL game.  It was so fun.  I was disappointed because they took away my camera ; (  They said it was too professional--the camera might be, but I'm not!!!!   We LOVED the game and had a blast.  This was our treat before the game started. 

Saturday we played games and it was so fun.    We had to go and buy some cards and when we were out, we got stuck in the snow.  Believe me that doesn't happen very often.  Fortunately, our wonderful neighbors came and pushed us out.  (The boys didn't realize and were in the house--they were quite embarrassed when they realized someone else had to help us ; )

Sunday was Church and I still laugh when I look at this picture.  Poor Daniel was FREEZING the whole time.  I guess the kids are used to the temperatures.

On Monday we were up early to make trips to the airport.  We drove Heidi and Daniel to Grand Forks and then got home in time to take Brent to the airport for his flight. Or so we thought.   We had a call from United saying his flight had been cancelled, and they had booked him on a flight the next day.  It was pretty upsetting.  He didn't leave until Wednesday.  Kyle's flight was leaving on Saturday morning and we were a little worried about it.  As it turned out we got a call Friday night saying his was cancelled and they booked him on a flight for Tuesday.  (School started again on Monday!!!)  Allan went to the airport early in the morning and got Kyle on a flight at 2:30.  Needless to say, it didn't leave at 2:30 and he got into Chicago too late to make his connection to San Francisco.  So, he stayed over in Chicago and the next afternoon was headed to SF--again DELAYED and he got to San Francisco a few minutes before his flight to Salt Lake.  And, of course, he had to take a bus from one terminal to the other.  But I am happy to announce HE MADE IT.  

I don't think the kids are jumping up and down to fly home again during the winter!!!  But I LOVED HAVING THEM HERE!!!!


Now, just for fun, a few pictures of Ella and her December adventures.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Life is crazy, and I think it's time to get back into blogging.  (And not just because I NEED TO VENT, but I'm sitting here thinking maybe it's not necessary.  All I will say is I am worried about a lot of things.  I do appreciate General Conference and all the wonderful talks I heard.  I'm so incredibly grateful for prayer.)

When I began my photography project, I decided I really couldn't do both.  After two years of taking a photo a day, it's time to let it go.  As much as I enjoyed it and have learned a great deal, I really need to have more of a place to record my thoughts and do more journaling, so I am back.

I will have to fill in the blanks here--after all Christmas was amazing and I really need to write about it, not to mention some trips to see some little and some bigger ones ; )

Look it's already April and I haven't blogged since November.  Just a heads up.    I will get out and read blogs, too.  That is something I just haven't done, although most of the people I follow are on facebook, that's just not the same ; )

Let me end by saying THIS WINTER HAS BEEN SO LONG.  And, don't try to tell me it's over, IT ISN'T OVER YET--at least, not here.  We had snow on Saturday AGAIN.

Just to give you an idea, this picture was taken March 24th.

I do know that eventually it will end.  I was able to finally run outside a couple of days last week, but it has gotten too cold again.  And, frankly after the fall last fall, I'm a little leery of running when there is ice on the ground ; ) 

This weekend is our Stake Temple Trip and I am so looking forward to spending lots of time there. 

And by the way, Happy Birthday to one of my grandsons.  He is an incredible young man.  I cherish the wonderful memories of I have of him.  We were fortunate enough to spend lots and lots of time with him when he was growing up.  Unfortunately, we don't get to see him very often any more and I miss that.  Here he is with his son, my sweet little grandson Logan.

As well, Happy Birthday to Heidi's husband.  I can't tell you how grateful I am for him.  With her going through another medical challenge and being so far away, I appreciate knowing he is right there by her side taking care of her.