Saturday, December 16, 2017

Live Nativity

Mosiah 13:33-35, "For behold, did not Moses prophesy unto them concerning the coming of the Messiah, and that God should redeem his people? Yea, and even all the prophets who have prophesied ever since the world began—have they not spoken more or less concerning these things? Have they not said that God himself should come down among the children of men, and take upon him the form of man, and go forth in mighty power upon the face of the earth? Yea, and have they not said also that he should bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, and that he, himself, should be oppressed and afflicted?"

I made a goal for the month of December to read the Book of Mormon. I'm getting there and hope I can make it!! I'm in Mosiah reading the teachings of the prophet Abinadi. It has made such a difference in my life this month. Not only that, but I've been studying general conference talks. My soul feels at peace. I feel comforted and hopeful and humbled. God is real. He loves me. He loves all His children.

I was happy to be able to take the kids to this live nativity at the Bishop's farm. It was really well done. I hope that they could feel the spirit there. That they felt the difference between the cold of outside and the warmth of being by The Savior.

This morning I went to the temple. It's been a while, too long and I'm ashamed to say that. I've been trying to distract myself instead of doing what I should do, and that is turning to The Lord. Because that is truly where my peace is found.

I was moved to tears kneeling across the altar, doing sealings, with an elderly man who could barely kneel. His hand shook uncontrollably in my hand. Here is a man who's health has slowly declined but nothing will stop him from serving God. What is my excuse?

I felt so happy in the temple. The light was so bright. There is new art in the changing room too. A mother holding a baby. I needed to see that. I needed that artwork there. To be in God's holy temple where I have been sealed and my children are sealed to me. Where I can remember my sweet little baby Joe and know that life is eternal. That he waits for me.

That this Christmas, I remember a baby who was born who made it possible for my baby to live after he died.

God is good. Ella had climbed on the counter when we baked cookies and said, "You want to know how I did that. JESUS HELPED ME!!!"

Jesus helps us do so much, if not everything. He has made everything, every moment possible. I was telling the kids on the way out, if there is anything I want in this life, it's for them to believe in Christ and follow Him. To make good choices and be kind people with firm testimonies.

A little boy shoved Eli to the ground and sat on him. When Eli asked him to stop and he didn't, Eli came and got him. He had the gall to touch Eli with me watching and Mama bear got a little cross. After that, there was no touching. NONE.

I thought about the hands on the altar today. One hand had the signs of hard work written all over them. Have I used my hands to help as much as I could? I know that I haven't, but I was happy to take my hands and rub my daughters cheek to say goodnight, or clean up a dish or two or twenty today. I was happy to have my hand wrap gifts and tie bows for people we love. I was happy to have my hands call a friend, to vacuum for my grandma. My hands turned the pages of the Book of Mormon, they lit a candle.

I am blessed. And I just pray that I can do what is right. That I can have the strength to be patient. That I can have charity fill my heart.

Papa's Ward Christmas Party- No Ham

So apparently there is this chef in Papa's ward now.
Thank you Jesus.

The food. It was excellent! It was just like eating at a great restaurant. Will I bring a salad? Sure!! And thank you for feeding my family.

The entertainment was short and sweet. And there was SANTA!!!! Hooray!!!!!!!!! Such a great night.

Although there was one awkward moment when a friend of ours, Pam, lost her jacket. She was really worried because it had her insulin in it. Where could it be?

Yes. My daughter had a matching coat and accidentally grabbed hers. Some guy shouts out in front of everyone that Nina has it. Yes. Thank you. Sheesh.

Mild Holiday Baking

Ella and I kick started some baking with chocolate chip cookies for the live Nativity. She is extra helpful, especially with licking the beaters and taste testing!!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Activity Days Mother/Daughter Christmas Party

Debbie has the most beautifully decorated house. It was like walking into a Christmas Winter Wonderland. It was festive and happy and set a wonderful tone to the night's activity. It was hands down the best party!!!!

The girls made beautiful ornaments for seniors in an assisted living home. We decorated delicious gingerbread cookies and there were treats galore!!!! SO YUMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was treat heaven!!!!

Since I had my camera I volunteered to take pictures. I AM NOT A PROFESSIONAL!!! But I was happy to be able to capture a few moments for the moms and daughters to remember.

Debbie, Kay, & Renae are the leaders and doing the very best job. These girls have fabulous activities and feel very loved by their leaders.

Addy is one of Maria's best friends at school. I'm so glad they have each other!!!

WHAT A GREAT NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Christmas Treats from Friends

When some of your good friends in life are bakers..... thank you Jesus!!!

Yes, work outs have been a LOT harder, but these treats are worth it.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Cousin Cookie Party!!! 6 years a tradition!!

It's hard to believe that I have been doing this 6 years. I was looking back through all the pictures and to see the children growing, new family members.... it's just a beautiful thing and my heart is filled with gratitude. 

Honestly, it's only possible because my dad let's us crash his house. My Yaya, Dad, and Jody all contribute funds to make it possible. Alicia gave me the sugar cookie & frosting recipe ages ago. And then of course, my little elves help out with EVERYTHING!!!

I would say it was a smashing good time together!! Everyone was well fed and the kids all enjoyed playing together!! Everyone had PLENTY of cookies. It was a great night and we all got to catch up and visit!!

6 soups!! Yum!!

So glad Ram is here!!! It was very nice to spend time with her kids, especially watching Jody wrestle Teef and freak him out to the point of tears.

I'm so happy to catch up with Kelli. We are hoping to hike Mt. Shasta together!!! Maybe summer!!

Tobi hasn't been feeling to well lately, so we were glad she could come!!

Nina gave all her cookies to friends and teachers at school. Very Christmas spirit!!!

I was happy Mia was able to make it this year. She and I talked about not having moms at Christmas but how you just have to step up and be like they were. So very true. I could feel my mom close by and especially the morning after when her favorite Christmas song came on. My heart truly has just been so full of gratitude lately.

Love that Rachael was able to make it!!! She is a breath of fresh air and I feel like I could talk with her for a lifetime we have so much in common.

The gang, 2017!!!

My beautiful bestie. So proud of her and her courage to do what's best for her and her family.
She is amazing in every single way!!!

They are in highschool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The cousins and their spouses. Mine was in the bathroom. Although Kimmy did get one of us which I love because Jody's dredlock is connecting with the chain on the Christmas tree. I was pleasantly surprised that he stayed the whole time. I hope he had a good time.

My Aunt Pam is one of the most kind people I know. She is the very definition of goodness and it shows in her life and her children's live as they continue on the legacy of being giving people. Truly she is so generous in her words, actions, and gifts. She lifts me up by just being around her. Kim is the exact same too.

So glad there are little cousins too!!! Everyone played so very nicely together!!!

Jackie and George. Man, I'm so glad there are couples like them who genuinely are in love with each other. They make my heart happy!!!

The cookies! The glorious glorious creations!!!!

Until next year!!!!!!