Tuesday, December 18, 2012


 The first of this month started off really optimistic and exciting.  I really enjoyed November 1st through the 4th.  Then November 5th came....and well....it didn't go my way.  So I sulked for a good solid week or so.  Then I pulled it together and decided to go on with my life.

We had a great Election party with the Jensens.  We all wore our red, white and blue and had some fun American History trivia games.  Lydia recited the pre-amble and will now take over that role for Emma, she is quite delighted with herself, and I don't blame her.  The night was a huge disappointment, despite the themed food and decorations.  

My mom and dad were off in Africa having an experience of a lifetime.  It was really great seeing their photos and hearing their stories.  I am so thankful to have parents who do more with their time and money than just go on a cruise or to Hawaii!!

This young man's name is Jote.  All he wants in life is to be loved.  He really bonded with my parents and I sent him a few emails and he now considers me his sister.  If ever someone wants to send him a message via facebook to just let him know you include him in your prayers, well, it would mean the world to him.  

 I had fun taking my sister's annual family photos this year.  Could her boys be any more stylin'?  Love these little nephews of mine!!  And check out my sister!  Couldn't.Be.Cuter!!

These are some random photos Ryan took on his phone.  This is the girls and I snuggled up for a movie and a family room picnic.  Watching a show with the girls means so much to them, go figure. 

Ry sent me this photo while I was at work.  The text read "Like mother, like daughter."  Turns out Emma has my "butterfingers" gene. 

Ryan doesn't cook all that much, but when he does.....boy howdy, it is tasty.  This is a curry squash soup he made.  I was over the moon for it!

We made a thankful tree for the month.  Every day we would write down something we were thankful for.  It was a great activity for the whole family.  The leaf below is my favorite...from the mouth of babes.
For my own record, these are the things we were thankful for.  RYAN- Opposable thumbs, depth perception, free social system, free economic system, the comforts of civilized world, private transportation, free access to information, animals, inspiring Sunday school teachers, modern day Prophet, the Book of Mormon.  LINDSEY- Emma's laugh and enthusiasm, Lydia's voice and sweetness, being in a great ward, Internet communication, second chances, beautiful weather, cozy beds, keeping my kids warm and comfortable, food on the table, sanitary living conditions, paved roads.  EMMA- her teacher, Holidays, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, living on Earth, cousins, bread, family, insects, Grandma and Grandpa, fish.  LYDIA- Friends, Emma- the best big sister in the whole world, "My best mommy, but I'm not thankful for Satan," lots of toys to play with, Joy School, Second dam (which entails hikes, picnics, and feeding ducks,) "snakes, but not rattle snakes," family dinner, my sweetest, snuggliest, best mommy, my sweet sister Emma.

My parents returned form Africa the night before Thanksgiving.  So this year we just ate out and had a wonderful time and the most delicious food at Elements restaurant.  Earlier in the day we took our girls to see Rise of the Guardians.  I wanted to cry my eyes out.  Childhood is so important and children have so much more strength and power than they realize.  It was a really great movie.  We went back to my parent's house for great white elephant gifts and some fun games.  Then spent the night before heading back home (30 minutes) the next morning. 
On a side note.  LOL, it totally looks like Bundy is rocking some eye shadow and lipstick.  Just in case you were wondering, my man does NOT wear make-up....he's just naturally handsome ;)

My birthday was 3 days after Thanksgiving so we cooked our official turkey dinner on Sunday and had Sara's boys back with us to eat and party it up.  My mom made some nice efforts to make my birthday special and she even let me order a whole pumpkin cheesecake from Olive Garden which made me a very happy girl.  

32.  Eh.  I'm kind of over the whole birthday scene and hoopla.  I had a nice day, but it was just another day.  I was very happy to have my sweet family to share it with though.  My mom, Sara and I ditched our kids a few days after my birthday and went for an all day shopping excursion and out to lunch at my favorite place, Red Robin.  I got most of my shopping done and had a collection of birthday money to spend on myself.  This was perhaps my favorite day of the whole month!

I think this little door might be the high of my Christmas season so far.  One day Ryan and the girls and I were getting ready to go out for the evening when we heard some sawing and hammering noises coming from the family room.  We ran in there and found this little door attached to our wall. 

When the girls opened the door they saw the magic dust that is a portal leading to the North Pole.  They FREAKED out!!  I can't remember when they have been so delighted with something.  I am still beaming inside with the success of this addition to our Christmas traditions.  

Our elf, Tinsel, came the night the door arrived.  She has been such a joy to have in the house and the girls genuinely adore her.  We also added a new member to our Holiday collection....Hoot.  Hoot is our owl who lives in our tree.  He's not magical or anything, just a fun addition to keep our tree cozy.  Tinsel likes to snuggle up with him from time to time.  I like that Tinsel is not frightening.  She is just a beautiful elf fairy and unlike the elf on the shelf, she doesn't look like she might kill me in my sleep.

We've had a great Christmas season so far.  In years past it has taken me a while to actually have it feel like Christmas.  However, this year I have felt the joy, and love and wonder right from the start.  Emma and Lydia have been such a joy and delight to the spirit in this home.  Here they are kissing beneath the mistletoe.  I just can't imagine my life without them.