Monday, December 31, 2012

last day of the year

 Last day, we made it through 2012.  It was a good year.  Today we spent the morning putzing around.  Cleaned the kids rooms, made pancakes.

In the afternoon we headed out to Mount Vernon.  Not all of us, R and the two little ones stayed home to work on a project.  The rest of us went  and it was cold but fun.  I always like a trip there.  I admire George Washington.  He was a good man.  I find it so touching every timewe visit to hear that after his death Martha closed their room and moved upstairs, never to enter their shared bedroom again.  She must have really loved that man.
 Clayton and Jenna took a picture with Martha.  Hannah didn't want to but she was there too.

This is what $100 worth of patio rocks looks like.  We get this muddy spot on the bottom of the stairs that I step in every early morning when I take the poochies out.  I asked R to build something to keep my feet mud free.  It looks so good I want him to expand it into a patio with a fire pit and furniture, on a lawn surrounded by a white picket fence, and with two peach trees inside and maybe a grape arbor and a strawberry patch.  Dreams.

When we were done we called R and kids and they met us at Cafe Rio.  Now we are home.  Hannah is at Sister Nelson's for a youth new years eve party.  Her first party with friends.  She's probably having the best time tonight.  Lu is watching Johnny Test and going to bed at 9pm.  Ethan and R and Clayton are playing halo 3 or whatever it is.  Jen is laying on the couch, I am on the lap top.  We are party people :)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Ice Skate

 This morning R and I got up early and left CJ in charge of the kids.  We went to a special chapel session and temple session and luncheon for the stake leaders.  It was very nice.  I especially enjoyed the chapel session.  Pres. Sakai and Pres Pratt spoke. I felt the specialness of the temple and enlightened.  I can't wait to go through with Jenna in a few months. 
 Nana and Abba and UB came over in the morning and hung out then they all headed up to DC to meet us when we were done.  We went to the Inner Harbour and went ice skating and ate; it was a lot of chilly fun!
 Abba is a good ice skater :)
 Ethan caught on right aways and did really well....
 until he didn't.  Don't worry it was a small set back.  He was back up and skating in a second.
 Lu liked skating with the penguin.  She really wanted one of those guys and penguin stalked until one was available.

The old folks sat by the fire holding every one's coats when they got warmed up :)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas the final chapter

 Nana, Abba, and UB arrived tonight.  We had a delicious dinner at Ledo's then came home to open some gifts.  We had fun laughing (and some of us doing a little crying).  Ethan got some golf clubs.  He loves to golf with Abba and Larry and Dylan.
 Han got the kindle paper white! She was excited!

 look how snuggly  my little Z is in my lap.  She's such a good doggie. 

Abba and Hannah.


We have dear family members that are all over the place.  This is lucky in many ways, but hard in others.  Mom and Dad had a busy Christmas with the different missionaries and members.  They are really blessing the people in Montreal as well as their family at home with their good example and commitment to living the gospel.
Tate and Penny had a great holiday with their mom and dad and Aunt Sierra.

Miss these two girls.  Dani made these beautiful sweaters for herself and Si and the girls.  Such crafty goodness!

So this morning I did the worst thing.  I am a horrible person.  I volunteered to babysit the cute little Ray girls while they went to serve the homeless.  Then I completely and totally forgot.  I don't know how that happened.  I told R and J about it and remember the day before but then at bed time nothing, nada, zilch. In the morning I woke up and hung out with R and Lu, took the dogs out, did whatever then looked at my cell and saw a message from Michelle "can we still borrow the toaster? and I'll leave the door unlocked for you"  Oh my holy heck!!!! I couldn't believe it. I ran out the door, tripped on the steps,  twisted my ankle, hopped up and raced to their house where I found Matt making pancakes and all was well.  They left Lexi behind to watch them which was a HUGE relief.  I felt SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO bad and awful.  Thank goodness they didn't trust me and just leave.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

the rest of the day

 The rest of our Christmas was very nice and relaxing.  Grace and Ethan got lots of fun kits so they were working on them.  Also Ethan spent many many happy hours shooting things.  Ziva spent many happy hours eating the marshmallows that got left on the floor. 

Some people napped :)

We watched a couple of movies.
 and R finished my new chandelier! I love it.  It looks just like I wanted it to.  Clayton helped with some manpower when needed.  He stood on a ladder with this heavy thing on his head for at least half an hour!

 Nana and Abba were on facetime while the end was being installed so they got to enjoy the shenanigans as well!
The finished product!  I actually love this picture :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day!

 Christmas is such a magical time of year.  Yesterday we got to go to the feed the homeless breakfast.  It was a good experience.  It didn't go smoothly but I was glad we went.  Then in the evening we had the Elders over for dinner.  Again, not as smoothly as I would have hoped but it ended well and everyone was fed.  Sometimes the best laid plans don't go as planned :)

This morning we got up to a tree bursting with gifts and kids excited to open them. We had a fun time opening and sharing and talking.
 Ethan and Grace were both very excited about the gifts they gave and could hardly wait for them to be received.
 Ziva helped Clayton with trash duty :)
 The love birds.
 Ethan and Rob both got bow ties.  They will look so dapper on Sunday!
 Our house is now a tornado zone.  There is stuff every where.  However the kids are having a terrific time.  So much so that they boycotted the movie I suggested and are just running around in their pajamas playing.  That's a good thing :)
 Lu with her go go walking pup.
 Ethan with his soft air gun.
 R and I went for a motorcycle ride, now he is off with Jen doing the same.  We got to talk to family all over the place.  French toast casserole and bacon was served for breakfast.  For dinner we have left over ham and potatoes.  Last night we watched the story of Luke 2.  I think we got all the Christmas boxes checked. 
 Merry Christmas 2012. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Lights

 We went to DC last night.  We go at least once a Christmas season to enjoy one of the concerts at the temple visitors center.  On the way up we stopped at Bobby's Burger Palace where they have truly the best milk shakes and some really good burgers too.  Our experience was good.  We had really good service.  When we got our food Grace began to pout.  The server asked if everything was okay and we said it was.  She then scooted to the other end of the table. He looked at her burger and saw that Hannah had cut it in half for her, he thought that was the problem and went in the back and made her a new one, which he brought out to her so nicely.  Unfortunately I had to tell him the real problem was that the bun had seeds on it.  We thanked him a lot and he left the second burger (which Clayton ate) and a short while later brought out a third burger for her, no seeds.  All this with a smile and no extra charge.  I was really impressed with his attentiveness and that he cared what a 7 year old wanted when the rest of the family was actually ignoring her.
The Lyon's sisters were performing at the concert.  They were, as usual, better than wonderful.  I enjoyed it very much.  After we walked around the newly redesigned visitors center and enjoyed the creche display. We also looked at the lights.  Sadly while I remembered the camera I forgot to put the memory card in it so no pictures.

Despite the kids grouch faces we had a fun time.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

engagement photo sneak peek!

 Lindsay Edward is amazing! If you need a photographer in southern Maryland she's the girl to go to.  I love every picture I have seen so far.  I don't know how they will ever choose the ones they want for their announcements.

getting closer

 Jenna and Clayton arrived on Monday night!  Yay! It's going to be a fun break having these two here.  I am happy to report that everyone likes Clayton.  Tuesday we went to Salsas for lunch and showed him our little town:)  Tuesday night R and Pete took the boys to see R's work and out to burgers.    Yesterday they had their engagement pictures taken by the very talented Lyndsey Edward.  They had a lot of fun and although we have only seen this one sneak peek I know they turned out great.  I am super excited to see the rest of them!
 X continues to amuse us with his antics.  Silly elf.
 Last night we had tithing settlement.  It was a very nice experience.  We had to wait awhile, which is okay.  When we got in the office I immediately felt the Spirit.  I didn't want to leave.  It was peaceful and lovely.  The Bishop spoke to us and we declared ourselves full tithe payers.  It was a sweet experience.  Even Hannah mentioned that she felt it strongly.  It's always interesting when you get  a new Bishop.  In this case Bishop Martines is a close family friend.  On the drive over the kids were asking us what to call him now.  I said, Bishop Martines.  I will call him that now, even socially.  Because I respect the office he holds.  I have always admired his wisdom and calm nature, yet last night I saw a different side to him, a depth that made our simple meeting a spiritual experience.

Recently I have had the chance to treasure up some words heard from the mouths and thoughts of good friends.  Bishop spoke about doing the work of the Lord last night.  And how that is more than going to meeting and reading the sciptueres, although that is part of it. Another part is work.  I know mom and dad are doing work right now and it's for the Lord. I recently read a blog post from a woman who was saying that we (as a nation) are giving our our birthright (which is work) to live a life largely made up of leisure and what a detriment this is to our children and our souls.  Interesting.

Another opportunity came on Sunday during Sunday School.  We were reading in the particularly poignant closing chapters of the Book of Mormon.  Mormon is speaking to his son Moroni and giving him good council.  We spoke of the advice given that teaches us to know if something is good or not.  Kitty had a wonderful point.  She said that many of us do things every day that are not bad but that do not adhere to this guideline.  They don't bring us closer to God, they don't invite us to do good or to believe in Christ.  These many many things that we do that don't fit the criteria should be evaluated by us to see if they belong in our lives, or if they deserve such a large portion of our time  She was not saying that we shouldn't watch TV, or read novels by the pool, or whatever other things might fit into this list, in fact certainly there is a place for rest and relaxation that is appropriate and good.  The point that really touched me was the invitation to really examine those "not bad" things we do and see how much time we really want to give them. 
Moroni 7:
13 But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do agood continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and benticeth to do cgood, and to love God, and to serve him, is dinspired of God.
14 Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is aevil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.
15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to ajudge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.
16 For behold, the aSpirit of Christ is given to every bman, that he may cknow good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.
 After tithing settlement we went to buy a tree, finally.  We were waiting for Jenna and Clayton whic is why we are so late this year.  We quickly picked from the 4 remaining trees :) tied it on the roof and came home to decorate.  It was  fun time getting out the ornaments and stringing the lights and our tree looks very cheery now.
Bub "helping wth the tree"