December 2010

December 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Countdown to Christmas!

On Tuesday Dallin called in the late afternoon and said he was in Temecula and would be hitchhiking the rest of the way home on Wednesday. I told him I would come up and get him because it had been cold and rainy for days and I didn't want him to have to sleep outside even though he says he would've been fine with that :(. I was so grateful to see him and have him home safely. Dallin has acquired a new traveling companion, Jose. So we now have a grand-dog. He is very cute, but it has been a little interesting having a puppy in the house. Pennie is not enamored, but she is being patient with him.
Jose is a cute little thing, though, and Dallin is a doting dog dad.
We have had a TON of rain, and Wednesday we were blessed with an amazing rainbow!
And Caitlin and Billy arrived!
On Wednesday night we drove through our local "Christmas Card Lane". Mr. and Mrs. Claus were there to greet us! I'm glad we got to see them before they had to start loading the sleigh!
Most of the houses in the neighborhood decorate their yards with "christmas card" type things. This is one of my favorites. It is the Peanuts gang and it says "Happy Holidays from our team to yours." So cute!
On Thursday night we went to the temple to see the pretty lights. They added more lights this year! Mark probably got better pictures, but I don't know how to download them from his camera, so you get these. Here is cute Cait and Bill.
The lights are so pretty, and this couple isn't too shabby either.

We also started our Christmas puzzle. (They're actually working on it right now, Christmas Day evening, and are almost finished. They are sprinting to the finish....)
I know I have a lot of pics of these two...just can't help dang cute! Christmas Eve dinner. Lots of time cooking, but worth it! I really felt intently grateful to have all of us together because I know it will change in years to come.
CHRISTMAS MORNING! This is Cait and Bill opening up Jayce's present to them. He got them a blue bowl (great popcorn size). He searched long and hard for just the right present.
Jayce wanted Spy Gear...these are his night vision goggles! This is Derek enjoying Christmas morning breakfast, sporting his "future missionary" tag Cait and Bill gave him.
Caitlin and Billy got Cody and Jayce this bama-jama (means really big and cool) nerf gun. It's a fully automatic weapon that shoots out a round of 25 bullets. This has been the hit of the day, I think (besides Pennie's toys).
Mark was excited and surpised by this shop vac. His favorite gifts were the camera gear he got!
This is Jayce crawling under the tree to find every last present!
One of my favorite presents of the day was giving "The Berenstain Bears B Book" to Billy. Our family has grown up on this book and has it memorized. I thought it appropriate since Billy has two B's in his name. Now their family can grow up on it, too :).
Caitlin gave Pennie a rawhide bone and she grumpily guarded it ALL day. If any one or Jose(Dallin's dog) got near, she would growl and snap. Geez.
What a GREAT day! We have been abundantly blessed in many ways.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I continue to haul in an inordinate amount of stuff into my house. I don't know where it's all going! Much of it is hiding in my closet with strict instructions to the boys to stay out, but I still haul in more bags, every day. This can't be good for my budget or my desire to keep a neat and tidy house. I'm always picking up or moving something. It's crazy!CHRISTMAS CARDS!
I started my Christmas cards. This is early for me! I usually don't get them out until after Christmas. Well, at the rate I'm going, that may again be the case. Nope, I have to get that pile out of here before the big day! This year, for the first time in many years, I am trying to write a personal note. We'll see how this all works out.

I made time to bake a ton of cookies this week. They are in my freezer. I made four different kinds. These are ginger cookies and I got this recipe off of that Best Bites cooking blog I love so much. The cookies are all in my freezer, ready to be packaged up and given away. I still need to work on that! INTERFAITH SHELTER!
Every year our youth at church get to help put on a Christmas party for the families at the Interfaith Shelter up in Escondido. It's a pretty big deal, we bring games to play with the children, we cook a full breakfast, we bring crafts, a pinata, and even gifts for all the children. We actually work on this for weeks. These are pictures of Derek shopping for all the breakfast fixins and then some from the party this morning. It's really a fun thing to do!

So, just so you know, I don't sew. I have been known to try really hard and I have managed to make a few things in my years of domestication, but it does not come easy! Caitlin called a few weeks ago and said, "Are you going to have a stocking for Billy?" Well, of course, I am! So I shopped online and almost bought some (we needed one for Jayce, too), but none of them looked right and they were all very expensive. So what do I do? I decide I can make them. Thanks to Laura Peterson, my very talented friend, I was successful! She told me what to get and how to make a pattern and how to cut everything.
And then I went over to her house and she sewed and I ironed and we just had a good ole time! And, voila! Here ya go, Billy and Jayce, your own stockings!! We're all ready for Santa to fill them :). LOVE NOTE!
So, Jayce gave me this note and asked me to read it to him. It is from a friend at school named Savannah. He wants me to make sure we get her a Christmas gift. Hmmm, what should I think about this? It reads: "I love you Joxine so muche You have Been nice to me. You are the Best Boyfrinede I have ever had. Do not forget that you aft to meet me at the tree evry Day. Love: Savanah. To: Joxine. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO (And then a heart with I Love you!)" BROKEN WINDOW!
Well, with all the boys that live in this house, you'd think we would have broken a few windows. But this is a first for this house. Derek hit it with a basketball, accidentally, of course. They are coming to fix it this week. Luckily it only broke the outside pane of the double paned window. As you can see, there is never a dull moment at our house, and this week has been especially busy! But I wouldn't have it any other way! I love my life!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


The world measures value a little differently than I do. How much money do you make? How fast can you run? What house or how much stuff do you have? Tonight we attended our stake's Christmas Choir Concert. It was amazing. I felt so much inside I can't even describe. God loves us completely and unconditionally just the way we are. And tonight I felt that love as I listened to songs about the birth of His Son. I couldn't decide which I felt more...the sweetness of testimony burn in my heart, or the sweetness of joy as I watched Mark and Derek standing side by side singing those songs. My feelings of testimony about the reality of the Savior, that he is who he says he is, that he was born to show us the way and to give his life that we may live, cannot be measured by worldly standards. Nor can the intense gratitude I felt tonight to have a husband and son sing sweet testimony of the Savior. But they are as tangible to me as anything anyone could measure.

Decking the halls!

We finally found time to pull out the Christmas stuff! We actually took all the boxes down last Saturday, the boys and I put the tree together on Sunday, and we began triming the tree and decorating on Monday for Family Home Evening.
This is a new cookie recipe I tried. It is a winner! The recipe can be found at: This is a "count-down to Christmas" chalkboard my sister in law, Diane, made for us MANY years ago. The kids used to fight about who got to erase and change the number each day. Now, they kind of forget :(.

One of my very favorite things to do during the holidays is to simply sit in the living room and look at the pretty tree and the glow in the room. I love this time of year!

This is the hair do Jayce has been sporting for the last couple of weeks. He refuses to let us cut his hair, or even wet it and comb it. He has no shame! Many of his classmates have bed head, but this could win a prize! Luckily he let me wet it and comb it for church today. Whew!
Jayce is definitely the reason for the season this year! He is so excited and loves doing all his holiday artwork. These are pin pricks that we put on window on the back door. He worked on these all week!

Here he is dutifully coloring each day of the month in December, in the assigned pattern. It is green, green, yellow. Oh, and notice the hair!

This is a fun photo of the front porch. If you peek in you can see our Christmas tree lights. I love the look of our house this time of year. I also love driving around and seeing Christmas trees in the front windows of people's homes.

Wrestling news this week: Cody is injured! He can't straighten his left leg all the way. We saw an orthopedist on Friday and got an x-ray which looked normal. He'll get an MRI this week, hopefully. At first the doctor said no wrestling, but after some discussion, he said, "Cody, I know you have good control over your body and in protecting it. I'm worried about what someone else will do to your body." So, Cody can practice but he just has to be careful. I'll keep you posted! (The numbers on their arms are their weight class. This is such a pretzel picture!)
Baseball news: Derek tried out yesterday and made the Team 1 winterball team! What does that mean, you say? He will play with all the varsity players and compete against other schools in this pre-season period of time. He still has to tryout for the varsity team in February, but it's likely he'll make the team. We're excited for him, but we'd be okay, too, if he didn't make it. It's a long story.
Well, that's the news for this week! I've been shopping, baking, planning, and wrapping! This will be the best Christmas ever! Okay, so I think I say that every year, but it's true! Each year is the best Christmas ever!