Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Out With the Old: In With the New

As a family we were invited to a new years party at a friends house. The kids thought they were hot stuff since it started at 8 (bedtime). They ended up being the only kids there, but had a blast! Might have had something to do with the chocolate fountain, and plethora of food that they were free to eat as much as they wanted to. They played games, visited with the adults and enjoyed themselves. Dave and I had fun too but were happy to get them in bed when we left at 10:30. We ended the night watching a movie until midnight.

January has been the start of a great new year for us! I tried to keep it simple and set only 5 goals this year. One of those goals didn't even last a full day. A few of them have stuck well. Like drinking 60 oz of water daily. I don't always do it, but I constantly try. Also I've been waking up early and reading my scriptures daily as well as committed to get to the temple once a month (even if Dave and I have to go separate). I haven't missed a day of scripture study yet and I can tell a difference in my attitude when I read. It's something I hope to keep up all year.

Finding a sitter for the temple has been challenging lately, so to facilitate the temple goal I woke up at 5:40 the first Saturday of the month and squeezed in a session by myself. It was a great experience and I plan to get up early on a Saturday more often. Dave and I also got to go together as a date night on the 18th followed by dinner and it was wonderful to go with him as well. Two temple trips in two weeks has to be a record for me for the past few years!

In the two temple trips I felt the spirit strongly each time. Not answering a specific prayer but just confirming that I'm where I need to be and what I'm doing (attending) is right. With the chaos of kids and the turmoil of the end of last year it seems like having strong spiritual experiences like this have been few and far between.

We re-comitted to reading the scriptures as a family as well. Yesterday we got the kids to bed really late and I was just going to say prayers and skip scripture study. I told everyone it was prayer time and Brooklyn ran over, grabbed a Book of Mormon and brought it to me. So we read a few verses before calling it a night.

Our neighbors the Vites shared their Kings Day celebration with us! It's a celebration of the day the Wisemen visited Jesus. They came by with a Rosca De Reyes (Cake of the Kings). Inside if are little plastic baby Jesuses. In the Mexican culture you don't want to get the babies, if you do you have to buy everyone tamales on February 8th. But we weren't upset (like you are supposed to be. We were pretty excited to find babies in our cakes!

Dustin found TWO babies so he has to buy double the tamales.

Brooklyn was devastated her cake didn't have any babies in it! So the boys shared their babies with her. It was a fun tradition and we look forward to providing something for our neighbors in February (although it probably won't be tamales... maybe a dessert).

The boys begged me to make their bears some clothes so I made them shirts and pants. Logan wanted a red shirt and jeans but Dustin wanted these fancy duds. Reminds me of the 90s or something. The shorts especially kill me with brightness, but he loves them.

I've been busy for about 2 weeks organizing and purging the stuff in the house we don't actually need. I've been slowly going through the house for months but this month has been times 100. Dave got a free bookshelf and dresser for the boys room so I HAD to go though their closet, books and toys before putting everything in its new home. I also have gone though all my sewing and crafting supplies. I'm glad those are done too. It's easier to create if my stuff is organized.


I love Christmas time! I love remembering the birth of our Savior and teaching it to my kids. I love pulling out the nativities and Christmas movies. I love the food. I love making gifts for those I love. I love the snow in December and sledding. I love visiting the temple and seeing the lights. I do not love all the extra stuff that always gets added to the season. The white elephant gifts. The obligatory events. The last minute gifts you are required to give to people you don't know. But I guess you have to have the bad to appreciate the good.

The year started out with a trip to Temple Square to see the Christmas lights with my friend Tenille. Our family friend was performing in a concert in the Tabernacle and it coincided with Tenille's visit so she was gracious enough to join us. We listened to most of the concert, walked the grounds, drank hot chocolate and of course rode the train downtown (one of the kid's favorite parts of downtown Salt Lake). It was great! Tenille and I were also able to work on some Christmas gifts while she was in town and we introduced her to Sumorrito.

This year Dave and I were put in charge of the Ward Christmas Party. It was a breakfast and super casual. The most work was the shopping and food prep (even though we didn't bake anything ourselves). I think we did a good job and were able to stay under budget while having many options so everyone's dietary restrictions were met.

Every year I put together some type of service project as a way to remember and give back to the Savior. This year we collected clothing, blankets and towels to give the Road Home homeless shelter. We went through our clothes and home and were able to give a few trash bags full but we also collected from neighbors and friends in the area and were able to fill up the van completely one time and the car three times with items to help. It's always exciting to see how much good we can do!

Also along the lines of service I was able to make 5 little doll dresses for a little girl from the Angel Tree. I also purchased some doll accessories that she requested (bottles, pacifier, eating implements) but these were so much fun to make! Makes me wish my little girl liked dolls.

Some time in the middle of preparing Christmas gifts for neighbors all my food coloring disappeared. Well, all but the black. I still haven't found it. I had to break down and buy more because what are sugar cookies without colored frosting? I have suspicions of who made it disappear but have no proof.

While my family was in town for Christmas we all went to the Natural History Museum of Utah. My parents got us a year long pass for Christmas and it was fun to check it all out with our cousins. We were there for about 2.5 hours before Brooklyn, Grandma Sheila and I headed home for nap time. The boys and Papa Mike stayed an extra hour or more to see the Bug Brigade (where you get to see and handle different bugs). It's a really fun museum with so much to see! I've been several times and each time I think I've seen it all but I always find something new that I haven't seen before.

Christmas itself was an exciting event! We got all kinds of fun toys and played and played all morning. We stopped by to visit Grandma Linda and Papa Bill as well. We actually made it out of jammies (which we usually don't do on Christmas). We had our traditional ham dinner with pie for dessert. I was going to do homemade pies, but while leaving the pie crusts out to cool some little boys decided it would be fun to crush and eat them. So we had store bought pies this year. Punks.

The boys love legos so they of course got a few different sets of Legos. They also discovered Minecraft this year and were excited to find there is such thing as Minecraft Legos. Logan's set is still put together from Christmas (it's almost the end of January). They love building!

Brooklyn got some girl toys for Christmas. Princesses and dress ups. She loved them on Christmas and played with them in her Little People house. The game went something like this:

P1: What you want to do?
P2: Go on a hike!
P3: Ok
*Princesses climb on the roof, where all good hikes take place*
P4: Help! I'm falling! Save me!
*Princesses save each other from falling off the roof and all go to the ground to start conversation over

This went on for hours. She hasn't played with them much since Christmas but sure got a day's enjoyment out of them.

Between Christmas and New Years we headed down to Hurricane to visit Great-Grandma Yoder. On our way down we swung by the Cedar City Temple. Since they started I wanted to see it, but haven't had the chance. So we walked around and checked it out. It's a lot smaller than I expected it to be but like all temples is beautiful. It was frigid cold when we stopped by so we didn't linger long (Logan didn't want to get out of the car it was so cold).

While in the area we also swung by St. George to visit Great-Aunt Kathryn. She and my cousin Noah took us on a hike. The weather was in the 40's and perfect for a hike! Unfortunately we got lost and never made it to Elephant Arch. But it's always good to get out and enjoy nature. The boys were absolutely enamored with Noah! Her was so good and patient with them. He answered their questions and made up Choose Your Own Adventure stories for them while we hiked.

Afterwards we went back to Kathryn's for a trip to the Hot Tub, played video games with Noah, checked out the one site play house, and had a pizza lunch. Dave got to talk running and health with Kathryn and Dustin decided Kathryn is pretty cute (better watch out Emil). It was great to visit with them and spend some time outside.

We had a great time visiting with Great-Grandma! She was so sweet with the boys. The boys drew her many pictures which completely covered her fridge. We visited the park with her and she taught the boys how to play Mahjong. I have had to install it on both boys tablets so they can play. They're pretty proud of how fast they can match all the tiles. We also completed a 500 piece puzzle of animals in the Savanna. It was great to get to see her but we were also glad to be home in our own beds. 

Great-Grandma made each of our kids a cross stitch of their names. All the kids LOVE them! They carry them around the house. I've found them on the book shelves in the living room, on the kitchen table, and even in the bathroom. Brooklyn especially loves that her cross stitch has not one but TWO owls on it! When she sees her picture she asks me to sing her name song (because she knows that's what is in the picture).

Overall 2018 was a tough year. But by the end things were looking up for a great 2019!