Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Still more fun is happening around here!


Here were a few photos that I forgot to post.
Before everyone else left on Christmas Day we decided to let Lauren open her Birthday gifts.
Her birthday is January 7th and since she wouldn't be here, we decided to celebrate early!

Amy gave her Fisher Price Disney Princess little people! Kind of a funny joke between her and Amy!
She also got dishes from my neighbor's house...that is what she really wanted! She was thrilled!

Then the next day we took her to her favorite place to eat SUSHI LAND! Nik, wasn't sure he would like sushi, but he did!
Here is the rest of the photos from Christmas!



Miss Audrey trying to tell everyone that they needed her delicious Christmas cookies! :) She is hard to say no to.
Amy wrapped her packages for me in "brown paper paackages wrapped up in string, these are a few of my favorite things." Remind you of a song...right?



Since like every other year, I didn't get everything made. I gave the girls some fabric, Doc McStuffin Bandaids, and a pretend shringes and a coupon from me. Been working on them today!

Tonight Amy, John and girls came over to meet Lee's girlfriend Caitlin ( who is here visiting ), and we all went out to eat and then went to Snowflake Lane in Bellevue ( it is actually called Celebration Lane after Christmas).



Everyone had fun but, boy was it cold outside! Fun night and it was worth braving the weather for!



Smile and look up ... it's snowing!


Good Night dear friends!

















Monday, December 28, 2015

Family!

When the kids were little, it was so fun to see their excitement for Christmas! Hard to believe that was sooo many years ago.
Now here we are years later, and watching the next generation get excited about Christmas!
We were blessed to have 3 out of 4 of our kids and families with us this year. We missed Brad and Krystal and kid...s but tried to Face Time with them. I realize that each year, we should be grateful to have any of the family that we get to have at Christmas. Once they are married, we realize that we have to share time ... and so we are very grateful for the time we got!
It was great having the house full and crazy again. I forgot how loud and messy everything gets when they are all home. I forgot how one moment everyone is happy and laughing, and then a few minutes later... we they could all be upset about trying to choose where everyone wanted to have dinner! Yes that is what we call Family!
Then I had to laugh on how hard I worked to have the house look, feel and smell like home when they all walked in the door, then just a half hour later with everyone's stuff and everyone there...you couldn't even see the floor :). Wonder why we Mom's do that EVERY TIME? No, I know why we do, because we want our home to feel like Home, smell like home and look like home...if only for a moment! I do think that is a very important MOMENT though!
Today is Brad and Krystal's anniversary, can't belive it has been 7 years ago that these guys have been together... and now we have these three sweethearts in our family! LOVE THEM!!!! We feel soooo blessed!

Lauren and Nik left early this morning, so hard to see them go but grateful they were able to come this year for Christmas!
House is a bit quite, of course... I need to clean it again but oh ... it was soooo worth it!
Family, yes what a simple word but it has sooooooooooo much value and meaning!
Feeling very grateful tonight for this sweet Family of mine!
Good Night dear friends!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Getting ready for Christmas!

Well, I can't believe it has been this long since I have posted. We have been so busy getting things ready for Christmas. One tradition that we have with the girls... is to have them pick out some things that they would think a little boy or girl their age would like or need, then we take it over to the nearest Sleep Country, where they have a collection area.
I love to see the concern they have for the kids that are less fortunate than them.

Then this week we got to have the Sister Missionaries over for a Christmas dinner. I remember when I was on my mission far away from home for Christmas, how fun it was to have families invite us into their home at such a wonderful and busy time of the year! 

It was fun getting stockings ready for them and for decorating the table
up for dinner!
Then another gift I got early was for Amy, Lauren and I to go out for a day together. We started out going to the Temple...how grateful I was to be with them in such a special place! Then we went shopping and then went out to lunch!


The rest of the week we just delivered Christmas gifts and we blessed to get have so many of you 
drop off wonderful things for us, Thank you!. And the Christmas cards this year...were simply beautiful!
Then tonight we went to Amy and John's house and had a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner.
We got to watch a Christmas special, and just enjoy having our family together.


We were blessed to even be able to Face Time with Kai and Oakley in Texas, it was so fun to have the whole family together, so grateful for modern technology! We even got to sing a Christmas song together and wish them a good night. Oh how I love those Texas kiddos!



I think Kai is going to take after his Nana, he loves Christmas too! Look what he and his family made after finding a branch that looked just like antlers! :)
Then Lauren gave her Christmas present to me early! A watercolor that she did. She is one talented girl! I love it!!!!!
I pray that each of you have a wonderful Christmas, and are able to feel the true meaning of Christmas this year.
Good night dear friends and Merry Christmas!



Friday, December 18, 2015

Lynn's tears!

My last day at work, one of my dear students Terri Stromberg came up to me and showed me a Quilting Magazine. Actually it was April/ May 2015 Quilting Arts Magazine  
She then explained to me about the contest that she entered. It was to design or create a Breast Pocket for the Reader Challenge, all in honor of Breast Cancers Survivors.
This dear friend told me that the top pink pocket was one that she created and designed. She said in one of my classes, that I had mentioned that it was my anniversary for my Mastectomy. She then designed and created this pocket , which she called Lynn's tears! And she got her pocket chosen to be published in the magazine! How beautiful, she is one talented lady and I felt very honored that she thought of me!
She seemed to understand that there were a lot of tears involved with my battle with Cancer.
So thankful for her thoughtfulness.
Good Night dear friends1


 




Thursday, December 17, 2015

Come in from the storm!

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The Man and the Birds

PAUL HARVEY’S CHRISTMAS STORY; “THE MAN AND THE BIRDS”
By PAUL HARVEY, ABC RADIO
Dec 24, 2004, 01:57
Unable to trace its proper parentage, I have designated this as my Christmas Story of the Man and the Birds. You know, THE Christmas Story, the God born a man in a manger and all that escapes some moderns, mostly, I think, because they seek complex answers to their questions and this one is so utterly simple. So for the cynics and the skeptics and the unconvinced I submit a modern parable.
Now the man to whom I’m going to introduce you was not a scrooge, he was a kind, decent, mostly good man. Generous to his family, upright in his dealings with other men. But he just didn’t believe all that incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmas Time. It just didn’t make sense and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn’t swallow the Jesus Story, about God coming to Earth as a man. “I’m truly sorry to distress you,” he told his wife, “but I’m not going with you to church this Christmas Eve.” He said he’d feel like a hypocrite. That he’d much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. And so he stayed and they went to the midnight service.
Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier and then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound. Then another, and then another. Sort of a thump or a thud. At first he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window. But when he went to the front door to investigate he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They’d been caught in the storm and, in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his large landscape window.
Well, he couldn’t let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, so he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter, if he could direct the birds to it. Quickly he put on a coat, galoshes, tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light, but the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in. So he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow, making a trail to the yellow-lighted wide open doorway of the stable. But to his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs, and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them. He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms. Instead, they scattered in every direction, except into the warm, lighted barn.
And then, he realized, that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I could think of some way to let them know that they can trust me. That I am not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But how? Because any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led or shooed because they feared him. “If only I could be a bird,” he thought to himself, “and mingle with them and speak their language. Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to safe, warm …to the safe warm barn. But I would have to be one of them so they could see, and hear and understand.”
At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sounds of the wind. And he stood there listening to the bells – Adeste Fidelis – listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. And he sank to his knees in the snow.


Gratitude!

I was blessed to have such happy people in my life. This girl is one of them, I love all my adopted kids, they have been a blessing our lives.

I love to make things for the special people in my life. When someone really appreciates the love and time you put in it...is even better.
I don't think I have ever seen someone so grateful for a gift, oh how I love this girl!
If I could have my wish...I would be able to make something special for every single one of my friends in the world! 
They would then have something that let them know... every day how special they really are!
Good Night dear friends!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

What we can learn from children!

Kid's have so much to teach us! I think that is why we need to try and spend some time with a kid every week or every day ( if you could be so lucky ). They just see the world differently than we do, is that good?  Yes, because look how happy they are! Couldn't we all be so blessed... to feel that happy every day!

Good Night dear friends!

Monday, December 14, 2015

The most important part of Christmas!

The most important part of Christmas!
I loved this video....you can watch it HERE:

Night dear friends!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Christmas without them!

This was an appropriate story after the week...
May we all be a bit more aware of those around us, who may be struggling this Christmas season because of the loss of a loved one! May we pray for them and truly try to do for them...what Christ would do if HE were here!
Good Night dear friends!

CHRISTMAS WITHOUT THEM

December 20, 1999

The night is clear and the air is crisp, snow falls gently on the ground. Tonight is Christmas Eve. Off in the distance I hear the voice of approaching carolers. They are too far away to hear the song they sing. I quickly close the door shutting out the sights and sounds of Christmas. Tonight is just too painful as I think of "Christmas Without Them".

Is Christmas ever the same when we are without our loved ones?

The traditions I have cherished since childhood have changed into something new and unexpected. As an adult, I find myself with feelings of a five year old, scared and alone. I have no mother or father to comfort me. Tears flow and I feel my heart breaking.

Sometimes, I find myself standing in the midst of strangers with tears running down my cheeks. Why is it so difficult to purchase candy canes and beautiful red bows? 

I catch the glimpse of the shoppers, as they try not to stare, while others, forgetting they are strangers, stop to offer a knowing smile of understanding. I begin to realize I am not alone with these types of feelings. All of a sudden the memories come flooding in.

How fortunate I am to have such wonderful memories of my wonderful parents and the times we shared. Just as quickly as the memories brought tears the same memories resurfaced to spread joy. Memories have a way of making the emptiness bearable. I remember. I smile.

My thoughts are once again returned to the children. Their sounds of singing grow closer. I open my door to find their half- frozen faces, smiling brightly at me.

Christmas without them may never be the same, but, from out of the darkness pleasant memories flood my heart. I can almost hear my parents voices telling me the story of this most holy night. Like a message from above, I listen as the children sing, "Sleep in heavenly peace".
I found the story HERE:

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Tough, tough day!

Today started out early when I went to a friend's house for an Estate Sale. I have been to Estate Sales before...only one or two. But never to an Estate Sales of a dear friend, it was tough to watch everyone just go through their things...as if they were just junk! I caught myself wanting to buy it all... so that  their stuff didn't go to strangers but by someone who knew and loved them.

After that I went to my friend's funeral. It was truly a celebration of her life and to hear from her children and grandchildren through a song...was inspiring and touching to say the least.
Here are some of the notes that I took as her children talked, so many of us left the funeral...inspired and wanting to be a better person. That is the life of an amazing person!

First her 3 daughters spoke they said...
...Our Mother had a life of abuse but she broke the cycle and created her home to be a Safe Haven for them. And she also raised a family of children who loved the Lord and knew how to keep covenants to the Lord.
...She was determined to go to college and graduate, she was the first in her family.
...She became an attorney and was one who was adamant on protecting children.
...She taught us to always focus on finding the good in people.
...She was all about service to others!
...She shared with us her love and testimony of the Savior, which was evident in her everyday life.
...She made us who we are...because of her love.
...She was the greatest example to us!

Her son who spoke near the end said that he had a dream over a year ago...where his Mother died. He woke up crying and said it really shook him to the core... to think that anything would happen to his Mom. So he decided to write down 10 Principles and Lessons that his Mom taught him. 
1.HOW TO WRITE...He said when other kids got in trouble they probably got put in time out or got spanked. But in their case, his Mother made them write a paper about whatever it was that they did. He said he remember well writing a 3 page letter on Honesty...but couldn't remember what he did :) He said that his Mom said "it was their OPPORTUNITY " to learn from the mistake they made. And why they shouldn't do it again!
2. RESPECT, CHARITY, GRATITUDE and SERVICE...she made us write Thank You notes for everything and to everyone. Teaching us how important every type of service was.
3. HOW TO COOK... she always took the opportunity to let us cook with her. Dinner time was valuable to her.
4.WHAT CONVERSION REALLY MEANS..she shared how she became to know about the church and what that meant to her. She always told us how grateful she was for the knowlege that she recieved. She also shared her testimony of Forever Families with them.
5.HOW TO SET A TABLE... Mom was particular about how to do that, and through that I learned alot about how important it is to pay attention to detail. Plus, that crossed over to details about being OBEDIENT.
6. HOW TO ARGUE...she was stubborn, but that made her an effective Attorney. It has benefited many children throughout her life.
7. HOW TO TREAT YOUR SPOUSE...because of the hard life she had lived as a child, she was determined not to ever marry. But when she met and fell in love with my Dad, she said it was her greatest gift. She always told us how blessed she was... to be married to him. Their love for each other was a great example to us! In her wedding band Dad had it engraved with the words "You are the perfect one for me "
8. HOW TO FORGIVE..You would have to know the life my Mother before.. to truly understand how teaching us to forgive was such a big deal. But to talk about her life isn't appropriate here... but let me tell you, she taught us all how to overcome things and to forgive not matter what.
9. CHARITY...it was evident in everything she did. She always taught us to serve and give to Others. She taught us by example! She was a Christlike Example to us and others.
10. ALWAYS AND FOREVER... It was a children's book she always read to us, about a Mother's love. And she always ended all of our conversations or her letters or cards to us by saying she loved us always and forever. This principle taught us that she knew we could be a Forever Family if we live a righteous and obedient life. My Mother knew there was life after this, she bore that testimony to us always.
And because of her and my Dad, I know she will ALWAYS AND FOREVER, be my MOM!

One of the hymns we love to hear is... I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER LIVES because the words are a testament of our chance to live again too!

"To all who have lost loved ones, we would turn Job’s question to an answer: If a man die, he shall live again. We know, for we have the light of revealed truth. “I am the resurrection, and the life,” spoke the Master. “He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” 20
Through tears and trials, through fears and sorrows, through the heartache and loneliness of losing loved ones, there is assurance that life is everlasting. Our Lord and Savior is the living witness that such is so.
With all my heart and the fervency of my soul, I lift up my voice in testimony as a special witness and declare that God does live. Jesus is His Son, the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh. He is our Redeemer; He is our Mediator with the Father. He it was who died on the cross to atone for our sins. He became the firstfruits of the Resurrection. Because He died, all shall live again. “Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives: ‘I know that my Redeemer lives!’” 21 May the whole world know it and live by that knowledge..."  ~Thomas S. Monson
I left this sweet friend's funeral with a determination to
... write more letters to my children so that always know that I love them and what I hope for them
... to take more photos with them ( so that we have memories saved together )
...to send more gifts to my chidren and grandchildren ( so that they will have something as a reminder of how much I love them ) a tangable gift of my love!
...to be more forgiving
...to look more for the good in others
...and to tell Jeff and my kids and grandkids more often...just how much I love them!
...and to be a better Mother,Grandmother, Wife, Sister and Friend!
So you can imagine now why my day was so tough. I haven't really accomplised anything and everything makes me cry. It hits too close to home for me, and it makes life seem even more precious.
Good night dear friends! I truly love and appreciate each of you!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Loss!

A dear friend of ours passed away last week. It had saddened my heart. What an amazing lady she was and still is. She will be missed by so many, especially her sweet husband, kids and dear grandchildren. Like everyone else, you ask yourself what can I do? Realizing that there are soooo many friends that asking this too and yet all the family have asked for is their privacy. Through church, the other families in their ward... have taken care of needs while all the family is in town.

Last night when Jeff and I were talking about what we could do, he reminded me of one of my favorite books about grief and loss called ..Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss
by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen.I had loaned the last one out and don't know where it is...so I just forgot about it. We decided to go pick one up at the book store for their family. Then tonight I made some tissue holders, for her kids or grandkids. Wish I could have done more, I just didn't know what to do and thought that tissues would come in handy. I dropped the stuff of to some of their other family that lives near, and asked if they would give them to the family for tomorrow. I cried on my way home. 

Just imaging what their family is going through, made me sad. Loss is hard. My prayers and thoughts go out for them and everyone who has to go through such loss and heartache in their lives. May we all pray to know what we can do... to help others in their time of need
Good Night dear friends!



Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Monday, December 7, 2015

What a weekend!

How grateful that we got to watch the girls for the weekend. Our big concern was how Miss Audrey would do, she has never done a Sleep Over yet! But Saturday when she woke up she yelled for us to come get her "Nana! Pappa!" as I went in, I said " who is in here?" her response "It's Audrey Nana, I did Sleep Over!" She was so excited, she had to come in the living room and tell her success to Jenny and Poppa! Yeah!                                                                                                        


Then we did chores! She loved doing the dishes!

Then we had to make some delicious pretend Christmas cookies!


Then since it was pouring and cold outside, we decided to do some Elf stuff! Of course we had to wash the table, set up some cute signs and then got making some fun Christmas gifts for their friends and cousins! Can't you just see us in our jammies all day and hear the Christmas music throughout the house? So much fun!!!




Then we watched a Christmas movie and got their clothes ready for church tomorrow! Church went ok...Audrey doesn't necessarily sit still too well, so I am glad that Jeff and I were there to tag team her. 
Then after we took the girls home, we got to do some face time with Kai, he wanted to show his cousins where his Christmas elf was when he woke up yesterday! Too cute!


After that we watched the First Presidency Christmas message, it is one of our favorite Christmas traditions.You can watch it HERE:

So grateful I remembered to to bring my new afghan that I am crocheting!

All in all...what a wonderful weekend it was!
My children say I "look" at them WAY too much...I love looking at them!  They are beautiful!  ;):