Monday, December 28, 2015

*Monday Memos* (Christmas Edition)

*MONDAY MEMOS*

   
 (If pictures are too small, just click to enlarge) 
Weekly recap of my rather crazy, insane, but fun and rewarding life!

dear monday, I am really starting to feel the countdown pressure big time. I didn't have that great of a day because of the stress. Even my five mile run didn't help....that usually gets my mind calm.  Part of it was I haven't been getting much sleep either.  I stay up late finishing things and then I ALWAYS wake up by 5:00 a.m. no matter what time I hit the sack.  It's catching up with me.
Dave had to go to SLC today and my parent's stopped by for a bit.  We had a good time visiting. They are a lot of fun to chat with.  We talked about the Panther's incredible season and how McKay is dying that he isn't here to witness it.  They invited me to lunch and I actually turned them down.  I knew I didn't have time to do that but now I am feeling bad because I know spending time with them is more important than the family poem, but at the time I just didn't feel I could sacrifice another two hours.  But, I am already regretting it because I am finally learning that I need to keep the most important things the most important. Taylor was here in the afternoon and he sat down and helped with the poem a bit and I really appreciated it. The best line in it is from him.  I didn't even make dinner. We had leftovers and Taylor made his own.  I felt bad, but I just had to get the poem done or it won't get out before Christmas.  I KNOW I should have started on it months ago, but honestly, there is always so much else to do that these things get done when they are on fire. Meaning, I put out what fire is most urgent at the time.  And yes, I know that there are urgent things and important things....I have even taught a class on that....but sometimes things just need to get that need to get done. Okay........rant over!  lol

We worked on the neighborhood gifts together.  Now that was awesome! Dave then delivered them and Taylor had to go to his game. I drove all the way to his game in a windy blizzard but the doors were all locked and so I came home.  It was at the Intermediate school this time and I had no idea how to get in.  So I came back and got back at the poem. I can't wait until this thing is done and mailed!
So nice to have the help of some elves this year!

I found these strainers at a killer price and so I knew I had to come up with something to go with them.  I figured the hot cocoa would work.  Kinda cheesy, but that's the idea right?  :)

More neighborhood gifts arrived
One of my favorite parts of Christmas is hearing the doorbell ring and opening the door to see someone standing there to wish us a Merry Christmas with a sweet little gift.  I also love it when we come home at night and find our porch full of the sweet gestures of our neighbors in the form of a treat or cute little thing to spread the joy.  I love seeing the clever ideas people have or tasting their delicious homemade goodies.  I have many friends who have done away with the neighborhood gift thing and instead recruited everyone to donate the money they would have spent to a charity.  I do agree that is a very noble thing as well, but we end up donating anyway (as do most people) and truly the amount the majority spend on the little gifts are very minimal.  For me, it's just part of Christmas.  One of the best parts.  However, our counter is usually covered by Christmas day.  But I tell my boys, it's evidence of the love we share from so many wonderful friends and neighbors.


dear mckay, I look so forward to hearing from this boy each Sunday night or Monday morning.  Sometimes he writes early and sometimes late but I always wait up for his letter.  He sent some pix this week too!  I can't wait to talk to him on Christmas!!!!  


dear mr. cat, you are all wrapped up for the season!

dear tuesday, we woke up to snow again!  I love it!  I ran five miles in it and almost biffed it a few times.  I had to go a lot slower but it felt good to be out. My feet were soaking wet when I got home but a hot shower fixed that!  

And LOOK WHO I ran into...literally!
Don't worry...I put in a good word for all of you!

Then guess what I did? 

Yep, FINISHED the poem!  Yay! I was waiting for some pix of Skyler since he hates his picture taken and now that he lives so far away, I have very few of him!  I ended up using one from our trip to Hawaii last year.  We had a microwave repairman coming but I had to cancel because I had to get them printed and mailed. The print shop did a great job and I love how they turned out only I didn't get enough printed so now I have to go back!  I have enough to mail, just not enough so the boys each have one etc.  
(click to enlarge)
What a relief to have that done!

I went to the store and got some fast food gift cards for the boys too.  I came home and got the newsletter signed, sealed and mailed!  Yippee!  Time for celebration. I was craving pancakes and so that is what we had for dinner!  Dave didn't have any meetings tonight!  That's a first!

dear snow!  I do have to admit I love the snow!  I just don't like that it has to be cold along with it.  A warm weathered snowstorm would be amazing!  But since that's not going to be happening anytime soon, I will just have to take the cold with the beauty of the snow!
These guys are wandering all over the streets!  I feel bad for them because I know it's hard for them to find food when it snows.  I almost took one out this week as I was turning up our street. I thought for sure I had killed a couple but luckily they were all left intact.  They weren't even startled and just casually walked away. 

More neighborhood/friend gifts arrived  


dear bryce home!  Yay!  Bryce arrived home the evening of the 23rd!  So good to have him home even if he has to go back to Idaho on the 26th. 

He posted these on Snapchat.  It's chilly in Idaho Falls! Poor kid!  Glad he's home to enjoy temps in the teens instead!  :)


dear things seen on my runs...
I thought that rock looked just like a nose.  You can see eyes and a mouth as well.

I found more llamas! 
It snowed again!


dear special ornament, I have loved this ornament ever since we were given it the year Tyson passed away.  It brings me comfort every time I look at it hanging on our tree.  This time of the year is always a little bit tender for those who have lost loved ones.

dear putting up mona's tree, I went and visited Mona earlier this week and her tree was sitting in a box in her living room.  I asked her if she was going to get it up and she said no because Christmas was in a couple days and then it would just have to come down.  I understood her logic, but also thought it was pretty sad.  I ran to the DI to try and find some ornaments (and also to look at a purple tree one of my friends told me about there) and then I called Julie and asked her if she would go help me put up and decorate Mona's tree.  She is always so willing to help others and so she was on board.  I got some ornaments from Bonnie that she said Mona could have and we headed over and surprised Mona.  We got it up in record time and it was beautiful. I think she was happy.  There is something about Christmas lights on a tree that bring in the spirit of the season.  I hurried and ran Julie home and then headed to the airport to pick up Sky!
The Elves...  ↓
I found these steals at the DI. I really never go in there but I lucked out today.  I got an almost brand new CocoMotion for $3.  Two years ago they were going for $250 on Ebay because they quit making them.  $3!  Woot!  And I got a new sandwich grill because ours is on it's last leg.  It was also $3! 
dear sky home!  Yay!  Sky arrived on Christmas Eve at 4:00 pm.  The traffic was insane and the airport was even worse!  He was supposed to arrive at 10 am but got offered $500 if he would take a later flight.  He jumped on that offer. Lucky guy!  It was so good to see him but he was freezing!  His body has gone tropical and no longer used to the tundra temps!  It's so good to have him home!!! And the best thing is he is here for a month.  He will be relocating to San Diego in February.  He said he got a little teary eyed saying goodbye to Hawaii.  Oh, I can imagine!  He has lived there almost four years.   


dear christmas eve, we somehow pulled off the traditional dinner tonight even though it had been a crazy busy day.  Dave is in charge of the meal because it's mostly fish and rare roast beast, both of which I have a hard time eating let alone cooking.  He has prepared Christmas Eve dinner for years.  It's now a tradition. One that I love!
                           It's the one time of year I set out my Christmas dishes.
YUMMY!
So glad my parents were able to make it again this year!
So nice having these boys all home!  They had a boatload of mail to go through.


Then it was time for our Birthday Party for Jesus.  We've been doing this for many many years and even though the boys seem to think they are too old, I don't.  I think it brings the true meaning of Christmas in our hearts.  We talk about the scripture "If ye have done it unto the least of these, ye have done it unto me" and we all write down what our gift will be to the Savior this year.  We write one to keep and one to take to the baby Jesus' nativity at the Tabernacle.  This year I read some of those from the past.  It was fun to read them from when they were little. I read a bunch of Tyson's too.  How I miss that boy!
We sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and blow out the candle.  The cake was a pie again this year.  I actually used to bake a cake.  I have wised up since those days!  That is me and my mom trying to blow out the candle from where we sat.  Bryce also attempted.  None of us were successful.  We were all laughing too hard.  Then my parents dropped our notes with our gift for Jesus at the Tabernacle on their way home.  It started to snow a little.   Definitely a white Christmas this year.

The boys opened their PJ's and I "forced" them to let me take their pictures as I do every year.  I would love to do a year by year album of these pictures because I make them pose in the same four places every year.  Sometimes they really balk about it but other times they are very patient.  They were pretty patient this year.





I have good looking boys!  We are just missing McKay this year!  We haven't had all of them here for the past four years!  And next year we won't either.  So it will be at least five years before we have had them all together at ChristmasBy the time McKay gets home from his mission one of them will probably be married. 
Mr. Cat was ready for Santa to come as well!  We didn't even leave cookies and milk for Santa this year.  Dang!  I wonder if McKay would have made sure we did if he had been here.  LOL

dear christmas day, as I said above, this year we were missing McKay and we haven't all of our boys together for four years now.  Well, 11 if you count Tyson in the mix.  And next year McKay will be gone again and so it will be five.  Then who knows how things will be after that.  It's most likely that at least one of them will be married.  There will ALWAYS be at least one sock still hanging. 

The boys weren't waking up too soon!  I was okay with that since I was up very late, but by about 8:00 I was getting ancy!  I text them all and told them to get their keisters up! 
I have decided next year to wrap most of their gifts.  We have NEVER wrapped their gifts (other than their PJ's and a few others) but just lay them out on the couch. When they were little most everything came from Santa and so that's how that tradition started, but this year I realized that it would be more fun to see them open each one so we would get to see how they liked each individual gift. They were being really quiet and not a lot of excitementI mentioned that to them and they said it was because McKay is the one that always gets super excited.  He definitely does get excited about everything and says thank you over and overWithout wrapping their gifts they just kind of look at things and we don't really get a feel of how they feel.  They are very grateful but I think wrapping brings more excitement!  I will try it out and see.  I don't mind wrapping and I am a hoarder of wrapping paper and so that's not a problem.

                                      Merry Christmas!  It was a great morning!                                         
                                       And.....one of my greatest wishes came true!!!  
                                      LOOK WHAT I GOT!!

I can not believe it!!!  Dave gave it to me after I have asked for one for the past 15 years!  I was very very very excited!!!  I'm still in shock!
 
Some shots of the morning.  Traditional orange rolls.  The Big Foot was kind of a gag gift for Taylor and his roomies.  I dressed it Hawaiian style and took that picture of it by Tyson's sock because I could just hear Tyson giggling in my mind over it. 
My parents didn't come in the morning because they are coming later when McKay skypes!  I am so excited!!! 
Mr. Cat was having an enjoyable Christmas!  He loved his catnip mice!
The turks and the deer also stopped by to wish us a Merry Christmas!


 I'm in heaven!  I actually hope this is what gets me into heaven!  I'm hoping there will be a shortage of harp players and so they will take me in because they need me!  :)

We then headed over to Dave's parents house and had a great time with the fam.  We exchanged gifts and ate and chilled with everyone.
We all tested out Mickey's Hoverboard too!  It was a blast once you get the hang of it!
Some random shots


CUTEST COUSINS!


Then we rushed home so we could be ready to Skype with McKay.  We waited and waited but no McKay (that story is below).  We exchanged gifts with my parents and took our traditional photos with them.
My parents waited for a couple of hours and then left when we thought we weren't going to get to Skype with McKay.  So we rushed back over to Dave's parents to exchange more gifts with some of those who weren't there earlier and then headed back home.  


dear skype with mckay that almost didn't happen, we were all so excited to talk with him and so we rushed home from Dave's parents so we wouldn't miss talking to him.  He was supposed to call at 5:00 but we waited and waited and waited and nothing.  I kept checking my email, but nothing there either. 
Waiting....
Finally at 7:00 I got an email from the mission home from a couple saying:  
Dear Parents,

Living here in Russia is an amazing opportunity, each new day brings a new experience and challenges. Today in the USA its Christmas, the magic is all around you.  Your missionary has been looking forward to this day for a long time, that once or twice a year experience to “Phone Home” however the internet here is not as reliable as we would like, and today unfortunately has been one of those days.
If you are receiving this email it’s because your missionary has called us, Elder and/or Sister Anderson and they have been disappointed and frustrated in trying to reach you! We are very sorry for this inconvenience. They Love You! They are Safe! And believe me when I say they wish they could be “Home for the Holidays”. But they are serving the Lord and today Christmas Day they will be acting as a servant of Christ, sharing the gospel with those who need them EVEN more than you do.
Wishing you and your family,
Merry Christmas!
Elder & Sister Anderson

For and in behalf of,
Elder Wilding

We were pretty let down but decided to be positive and pray that he was not feeling worse than we were since he is the one so far away from home.  Then we received this email about an hour later: 

 
Hello this is Elder Lyman from Angarsk. We've been having some problems. We Your sons will be calling from skype in about an hour to 2 hours.


YAY!  All hope was back!  We ran back to Dave's parents to deliver a couple more gifts and then got back here just in time to see this face!  He finally got through about 9:00 p.m.
 He looked SO good and sounded great!  The same old funny and positive and happy McKay!  He loves it there!  Loves it!  We asked him so many questions and he asked us some.  We talked about his Panthers and their amazing season and he was excited about that.  He told us that all he heard about Russia was lies because the people DO smile and are nice.  He said that he feels safe at all times and he loves his area even though it's bitter cold and that he thought he got frostbite on his fingers.  His attitude is amazing!  We talked for over an hour but it went SO fast!  It was so fun to talk to him!  He is a trainer now and it was so cute when we were getting close to having to day goodbye, he told his companion that he had five more minutes.  After five minutes he said he needed to go and I said to wait until his companion was done but he said he had to take the lead on this one because he was the trainer.  What a great boy!   
  It's always SO hard to say goodbye!  But, I only cried for a bit.  I am excited to talk to him again on Mother's Day!
 
dear day after christmas, Weston spent the night with us on Christmas so he could Skype with McKay and so we had a big breakfast for the hungry boys.  It was fun having him over here. Just like old times. 
It made me sad when I saw Bryce and Weston pull away (Bryce was heading back to Idaho and Weston back home) because I knew this was the very last time he will spend the night here before he is married.  I don't like lasts.  Things are going to start changing fast with all these boys.  They are growing up and it's kind of sad.  By the time McKay gets home there could be many more changes. I will always cherish the times all of my boys and Weston spent together at our home.  Many good memories have been made over the years.

We took Sky and Taylor out to dinner to Hua Guan.  Pretty tasty!
Then Taylor challenged us to a typing contest.  He won hands down.  That kid can type faster with fewer mistakes than anyone I know.  He was going at 90 wpm!  And I thought I was fast.  He is crazy fast!
I STILL can't believe THIS happened! 


dear manic manikanat least this week you look festive!


dear random, Taylor posted this on Snap and I loved it so had to share.  He's in the middle.


I found this as I was going through pix for the newsletter.  It's the day they took McKay skydiving.  Love it!

Is this not just beautiful?  I think it's a Simon Dewey but not sure.


dear quotes this week,




4 comments:

Audrey said...

You got your harp! How exciting! I'm so excited to hear the wonderful music you will make. So happy you got to Skyp with McKay! He looks good!

Nancy Mc said...

I love your take on neighbor gifts. Too many people want to do away with it. I just might have to quote you.
Love the harp. Do you know how to play?
Love your traditions and happy that you were able to skype with McKay.

Jodi Wilding said...

Yes the Skype was AWESOME!
And yes I actually go my harp! I am so excited to learn how to play! Not sure how I am going to fit one more thing into my schedule, but I'm determined to learn to play it!

Dawn said...

OH MY GOSH.... A HARP! YEAH!!! I'm so happy for you Jodi! I'm glad you had a wonderful Holiday and everything turned out so wonderful (eventually) I seriously love Christmas time...even with all the hustle and bustle and waiting and working and hoping things get done. It's all worth it in the end. Happy New Year to YOU my Dear Friend! Love YOU!

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