Wednesday, December 31, 2008

That Came and Went Real Fast!

Yes, almost a week has past since Christmas but it's taken me this long to finally find a bit of time to post about it!
The palm tree is in memory of Tyson
Brotherly love - ahh...
Or are they just trying to score points since it IS Christmas Eve!

More brotherly love - double ahh...

One of our traditions on Christmas Eve is to celebrate the birth of Christ by having a birthday party for Jesus. It only seems fitting since it IS HIS birthday...yet we give gifts to each other and not to Him. In our family we each decide what gift we are going to give the Savior during the upcoming year that would mean the most to Him. We then write it down on a piece of paper and try really hard to work on it that year. We have a birthday cake (this year it was a store bought pie because I had NO time!) and sing Happy Birthday to Him and then we go to the city nativity and leave the written gifts with the baby Jesus. We also keep a copy in a gift box that we get out each year to see how we did the previous year. For some reason I find my gifts almost always being the same thing each year...i.e., be more patient, read my scriptures daily, be the peacemaker...things like that. Oh well, maybe I am making a little progress.

The boys at the nativity scene

Check out the headless person's shoes!

Dave and me by the camels

I really tried, BUT I just couldn't resist...

The boys ready for their long winter's nap... Sky's even in his cap!

McKay was so excited for Christmas he wanted to go to bed at 6 p.m. I have to admit, I wanted to as well...not due to the excitement but due to pure exhaustion! We should've let him because instead they all ended up staying up late to watch a movie and didn't hit the sack until about midnight. On Christmas Eve they always all traditionally sleep in the same room. This year, they took the long winter's nap literally and WE woke up before THEM! That has NEVER happened in the history of generation upon generation! I was awake by 6:30 waiting for them to come in and wake us up, but nooooooooo.....

We finally got up and waited and waited. Not a peep, not even a creature was stirring...

I was even banging pots and pans around in the kitchen, but to no avail. Finally at the blasphemic hour of 8 a.m. they arose.

Santa has arrived! Notice it is getting light outside and STILL no movement in the house!

Blasphemy! Pure and simple blasphemy! Isn't there a law that states you have to arise before at least 7 a.m. on Christmas Day??? Well, there should be!

No longer by the light of the silvery moon... but by the light of the very bright sun! Blasphemy I say!
Taylor was pretty excited he got a cell phone because he was soooo not expecting one!

McKay was thrilled with his autographed photo of Steve Smith from the Carolina Panthers!

A sign of our times...

All three electronically plugged!

Christmas morning family photo
(Sorry so blurry -click to enlarge so less blurry)

And just for... fun!

Help! I said "fun!"

Using my best effort and muscles to get Sky to stay for just ONE more picture.

This is what he thought of that idea...

McKay seriously "GRINCHED" out!

My parents have always come to our house on Christmas morning, but this year because of my Mom having hip surgery the week before, we went to their house.
Me and my bro Jerry and nephew Davis↓ at my parent's house.

Sisterly and brotherly ♥love♥

Is my Dad trying to do the bunny ears to my Mom? Guess it's genetic!
Either way, she looks pretty darn good for being only a week out of major surgery!

We stopped by Dave's parent's house also.
Here I am there with two of my nieces Britt and Mackenzie.

My cute niece Dani with her new do...

Tyson's cute friend Sam stopped by my in-laws to bring us a gift. She is just so darling! It was snowing soooooooo hard when she came. That snowman is made out of tile bricks...VERY heavy, but so stinkin' cute!

The guys playing PIG

Dave and his bro Scott after being outside for less than 30 seconds! It was coming down hard! We got about eight inches.

Bryce dotting on his cousin Mackenzie

Me and Mackenzie checking out my in-law's new swing. She reminds me so much of Tyson. Always thinking of something funny to do or say. Maybe that's why he loved her so much!

This was taken the morning after... we got a LOT of snow!!!
We were abundantly blessed with a wonderful Christmas once again!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Serenity Sunday ~ Be Still My Soul

"Be Still, My Soul" by Catharina von Schlegel

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side; Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain; Leave to thy God to order and provide; In every change He faithful will remain. Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend; Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake, To guide the future as He has the past. Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake; All now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know; His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on, When we shall be forever with the Lord, When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone, Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored. Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past, All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart, And all is darkened in the vale of tears; Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart, Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears. Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay; From His own fulness all He takes away.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Friday Memes

A little late...but I hope someone will play along anyway!!! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Food 4 Thought Friday

Feel free to play along for some yummy fun! I will post a new one each Thursday night for those that are on a different time zone. JOIN IN!!!

Food 4 Thought Friday ~ This week's questions

Hope you had a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
Was there a special moment for you during Christmas day (or Eve) this year?
McKay was so happy he got a picture of Steve Smith that said, "McKay, Be the Best! " and then signed by him. He said that was the best Christmas present he has ever had. Also, we had a huge snowstorm on Christmas afternoon and my boys all left my in-laws early Christmas night to go shovel our driveway and part of our hill so we could get up it. They worked for over an hour and if they hadn't we probably would have been walking up it - even with 4 wheel drive! It snowed about eight inches or so in a short time. That was a nice surprise that we truly appreciated.

What was served for your Christmas dinner this year?

We ate twice...once at my parents and again at Dave's. Since my Mom is still recovering from surgery, my Dad made a ham. We took some funeral potatoes and thought he was just going to put in a ham and buy some rolls. Oh noooo... we got there and he had made two salads, hot rolls, and lots of other stuff. At least that's what my Mom said, I have a feeling she had something to do with it too. Naughty Mommy! Then we went to my in-laws and had stew and rolls and lots of chocolate and too many Carmel Corn Pops that I made.

What did you get that you really wanted? What didn't you get that you really wanted?
I really didn't want anything specific, except some purple boots and some levis I got. But I was so excited that "Santa" gave me a new PURPLE phone! I love it! Imagine that!

Midnight Snack
How are you feeling right at this moment? Relieved it's over or sad it's over already?
I am feeling grateful I SURVIVED another Christmas!!! Actually I am feeling relieved that my boys, and hopefully the others I gave to, were happy with what they got. I usually feel somewhat of a let down the day after, but not this year.

Recipe for this Week
(instead of your recipe for life - what is it for just this week?)
One day at a time...just one day at a time!

PLEASE PLAY !!!! Come on you know you want to!

Be sure and stop by the other's blogs who played along too!!!


1. I must be here to watch my boys all grow up before I die.

2. You can't stop hurries on quickly and we can't do anything about it.

3. I wish I never had to buy gas and groceries again.

4. Reading great books has helped me change my life.

5. I know the song ~ The Gift~ by heart.

6. If I weren't so afraid, I would Bungee Jump and Sky Dive.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to attending my brother-in-laws 50th birthday party - the old geezer! JK!, tomorrow my plans include running outside if the weather will let me!, cleaning and organizing Christmas gifts, trying to get caught up on so many things I let go the past few weeks...newspapers, magazines, organizing, reading other blogs I have totally neglected!, and maybe go to a movie or stay in and just enjoy the winter wonderland and Sunday, I want to attend all my meetings, attend my nephew's missionary farewell (he is going to Mexico), go to his house for dinner after and visit with everyone, possible go to my in-laws and visit with Dave's sister Karen's family and everyone else that is there, just chill.

Christmas is forever, not for just one day, for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf. The good you do for others is good you do yourself...♥

~Norman Wesley Brooks;

"Let Every Day Be Christmas," 1976

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Random Thoughts on Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve has always been magical for me.

I have tried to make it the same for my boys. Normally though, I find myself rushing in a mad dash to try and finish all there is to do before the big deadline. This year is no exception, but I have really tried to focus more on the true meaning of Christmas. The whys of it all instead of the rush of it all. I have always found it amazing that we try to cram in just a single month so many extra things that we don't have time for in any other month, but we somehow think we can do it.

I for one am guilty of squeezing in more than is humanly possible. But I still push myself to the very limits. Mostly making sure each and every tradition is carried out without fail.

I have finally learned that it isn't necessary to do everything just in the name of tradition. That has been hard for me, because much like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, I have always felt that "tradition" is sacred. And it is, but traditions can also be altered to fit the season of life we are currently in.

For example, here I am blogging on Christmas Eve! Never before in the history of Jodi-dom would I take 30 minutes to sit and write or do something that isn't on my long list of things to accomplish before 5:30 a.m. tomorrow morning. And trust me, some years it has taken me that long to get it all done! It's not that I am not organized or that I haven't planned things out, but mainly it's because I've always tried to cram so much in such a short amount of time.

I have never left enough time to just "be" like I talked about in my last post. And just being (I am finally learning) is so much more meaningful than always doing.

If I want to blog on Christmas Eve -which I do because writing for me is so therapeutic - then I can blog. If I want to take the boys somewhere that isn't our "normal tradition", then I will. If one of the traditions doesn't happen, then maybe it is time to re-evaluate that tradition. As my boys get older, I have sadly noticed some of the tried and true traditions just aren't as meaningful for them anymore.

And that's okay.

This year we didn't get out our huge basket of Christmas books. I wrap each book every year and every night of December we un-wrap one and read it. This has always been one of my favorite traditions as well as theirs. It was done faithfully each year for many, many years until this one. No one said anything about it. I was surprised. Maybe they just forgot. I know I did, until a few days into the month. I guess I shouldn't be surprised since they are children's books, and maybe that's just not cool. I should just be grateful McKay said something about our elf coming this year...had he not, I would have forgot! When I asked the boys about the books, they said they did notice, but they thought I was too busy this year to get them out. Ugh....dagger to the heart! But I was glad they at least did notice.

This Christmas has been unusual in many ways for our family. There have been many things happening that have taken a great deal of time that aren't normally a part of the season. And that is okay too. Each year will be different. I have finally concluded there really isn't a "normal" for anything. Life is full of change and change is life. And there really isn't anything that is normal other than change.

This Christmas I have tried to focus on Christ and not get caught up in the insanity of the season as I always do. Like I said, I have tried. Many days I have still been guilty of only focusing on checking off the items on my to-do list. But the small effort I have made has made a huge difference.

I feel the Savior's love more in my life. I feel His joy and his gladness for the season. I know without any doubt whatsoever that He lives and that He loves each and every one of us. Even more than we can begin to comprehend. I know He came to this earth to die so that we might live again. I know He suffered beyond description to atone for our individual sins and even for the pain associated with our heartaches and sicknessess. When we feel like no one else understands, we can be assured that One does. He has already been there. He did this because of His great love for each of us. I am so grateful I can feel that love. During this Christmas season, I hope and pray that you can too. How grateful I am for the miracle of that birth so many, many years ago! That is really what Christmas is all about.

Merry CHRISTmas to all
and to all a good night!


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