Thursday, December 24, 2009

12th Day of Christmas

On Christmas Eve, we wanted to thank our “Secret Elves” somehow so we made brownies with peppermint extract and ground candy-cane in them and set them on the porch with a note thanking them.  Their kind gifts they brought everyday really made our first Christmas away from family much more enjoyable as well as fun since we had something to look forward to each night.  That afternoon they left us our final gifts with the note:

“On the Twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me Twelve drummers drumming!…”

This story will spread the true Christmas spirit.  Remember the Christ every time that you hear it!


A Star for the Tree..


The book “The Little Drummer Boy”

They also finished off giving us the rest of the figurines for the nativity as well as the book that the nativity came in.  I am so grateful that they shared their creativity and gifts with us!  This was a Christmas we won’t forget!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

11th Day of Christmas

Here’s what was sitting on our porch on the Eve of Christmas Eve:

“On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me Eleven pipers piping…”

Pipers are scarce so we brought you their kilt, we cut and we tied and we made it a quilt.


It’s a lap blanket…perfect for watching movies as a family with! 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

10th Day of Christmas

This movie is what graced our doorstep for the 10th day of Christmas along with the note:

“On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me Ten lords a-leaping…”

This beautiful ballet is a holiday treat.  Watch these Ladies and Lords as they leap on their feet!IMG_1830

This movie was an interesting surprise.. I didn’t even know there was a Barbie Nutcracker movie (proves I didn’t have a girl yet…).  This actually is now one of Christian’s favorite movies because he loves the prince-nutcracker-solider idea!  Who knew when I let him watch this movie that he’d start dressing up in a cape with his Bermuda shorts and winter boots on waving a sword around…


Santa and Snow!

At the nearby park they had a special “Winter Wonderland” party.  It was super fun.  We were able to meet up with some friends from our ward that I had mentioned it to so it was fun to walk around with them.  Christian was really excited to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him (not too quietly) that he wants a Teddy Bear for Christmas!  I’m sure Santa wishes all of his orders could be so simple.  Christian has lots of plush toys  from monkeys to penguins but he only has one little teddy bear he got from his great aunt Melody when he was born.  I think he wants one because most little boys in story books have a teddy bear…. at least it’s not a horse which is what he’s been asking me for!  Santa also gave out candy canes, while the elves nearby passed out free hot cocoa and stickers that said “Jesus Loves Me”…IMG_1775   

The white in the background (sadly) is not real… It’s just a white piece of plastic.

They did however have some snow that they shipped in that morning!


We had to ride the train to get to the snow area and Christian was really excited to see it!


First, they let the kids play in the snow pile…it was pretty much dirty ice by then… Jared is in the background of the picture trying to chip away at the snow so that Christian could make snowballs.  Christian was just happy to stand on it!


Then they let the kids sled down the hill, it was a pretty good sized hill because Christian slid down so fast this is the only picture I got of him that is discernable…and this is when he was stopping at the bottom!   


I’m thinking the amusement park is privately owned…I don’t think people in Utah would dare put up a sign like this without having to worry about a million protesters marching around!

I’m so thankful I got to see some snow…even if it was a perfect day of 72 degrees!

Monday, December 21, 2009

9th Day of Christmas

This 12 days of Christmas gift was the most surprising:   

“On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me Nine ladies dancing…”

Pop yourself so corn, sit by the fire.  Watch ladies snowman dancing!  You’ll never tire!


I had never seen this show before but it was one of Jared’s childhood favorites.  We watched it as a family for family time.  The only thing was that Christian cried at the end.  I guess all good things have to come to an end.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

8th day of Christmas

Here’s what we received for the 8th day of Christmas!


Milk and Cookies! 


This is where I came to the conclusion that this person doesn’t know me too well for two reasons…Number one: Who can wait 5 days to give cookies that are in the house to Santa? The Second reason was less important but noted: Lactose intolerance.  It must be someone I don’t suspect….

Saturday, December 19, 2009

7th Day of Christmas

We received a bag with a note on it and a this book in side.  The note reads:

“On the Seventh day of Christmas, my true love sent to me Seven swans a –swimming…”

We hope you like The Trumpet of the Swan, It’s a book about love and courage; it won’t lead you wrong!IMG_1825

What a great idea!  This is one of our families favorite books.  It’s a little silly but it is the first chapter book that Christian had the patience to listen to and we read it while I was sick in bed in the first few months of pregnancy with Vivian.  It is a great gift!

Friday, December 18, 2009

6th Day of Christmas

“On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me Six geese a-laying…”


We couldn’t find geese, but their eggs might do.  Open each carefully to find something new!


Each egg had a mini ornament in them and it came with a little tree to decorate.



We let Christian put it in his room... so fun!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

5th Day of Christmas

“on the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me Five golden rings…”


Here are five rings—they taste rather good. They’re not very healthy, but enjoy them.  You should!


The 5th day of Christmas we got five golden…






I am so amazed by their creativity!  Who would have thought up that?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

4th Day of Christmas

“On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me four calling birds…”


Well, it’s hard to find calling birds this time of year so they gave us a calling card…



and a stable to put our nativity in…


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

3rd Day of Christmas

So we got visited again by our “Secret Friend” who is giving us the twelve days of Christmas.  This one made me even more suspicious as to who it might be.  You see, in October we had a Pumpkin Recipe Night for Relief Society and half of the treats had walnuts and/or milk (at least that saved my ever-widening figure from even further girth) so I kept turning down offers of delicious pumpkin offerings because of the ill effects both ingredients cause me and when I cheat I’m so so so sorry for it sooner and later.  Anyway, so I can have pecans which seems weird when they look so similar to walnuts but they really don’t bother me.  Remember those pecan turtles we got on the second day of Christmas?

Well, for the third day this is the note we received,

"On the third day of Christmas,

my true love sent to me

Three French hens"

"There is no "French" in this Little Red Hen,

Just enjoy this book and bread with your friends."



There was the book “The Little Red Hen” and since you can’t tell from the picture, a darling bread pan with banana bread mix attached to the bottom.  There also was a bowl of warm totally melt-in-your-mouth rolls that Jared and Christian consumed before I could take a picture (I was lucky to get one roll).  It’s amazing to me that a 29-year-old guy and a 3-year-old boy can be such coconspirators when it comes to finishing good food quickly!

The banana bread makes me wonder if it is a certain darling single girl in my ward who I was telling this story to about how Jared and Christian think they are chefs because they love to add “secret ingredients” to whatever they bake when I’m gone.  I was saying how they recently made banana bread that after they put half the batter in the pan, they filled the whole thing up with chocolate chips and then put more batter on top…let’s just say that part one of the batter didn’t adhere really well to part two of the batter and so when you sliced the bread it broke in half width-wise so the presentation wasn’t gorgeous though they both went crazy over it and ate most of it up fast. I personally think banana bread is sweet enough and I like it unadulterated from chocolate chips… at least they’ll cook!  It’s really funny what they make sometimes.

So anyway, having a box of banana bread is really making me suspicious that it’s her.  She is super creative and  teaches early morning seminary so she really likes to have fun so doing something like this seems up her ally…

The figurine included was of the donkey.  The picture’s a little blurry…blame the camera because I retook this shot a few times.


This speculation thing is just way too much fun and I am so touched!

Santa Lucia Day

On Sunday, we celebrated Santa Lucia Day which I explain more fully on my crafting blog.  I indulged and bought saffron to make the traditional buns.  I can’t believe how expensive saffron is!  I wonder what kind of climate it grows in because I could make a fortune…


They really were good though.  I’ve had the real authentic buns one other time in my life and I still could remember the flavor… marvelous!

Ward Christmas Party

Saturday was our ward Christmas party.  It was a fun event though it seemed a little strange to be going to a a Christmas party when it’s not that Christmassy looking outside.  In fact, the oranges on the trees outside our deck our just getting ripe and ready to pick.  It’s kind of weird for me to have fruit ready when it’s the holiday season.

They played “Mr. Krugers Christmas” for the entertainment.  I guess I’m just used to having some kind of talent show like in our previous ward.  There was a special visitor that Christian was very excited to see who refused to talk!  There wasn’t even a “Ho Ho Ho”! Oh well, each Santa is different I suppose.  Christian didn’t seem to mind though, he was happy to ask Santa for a horse which is what he keeps trying to convince me would be the perfect gift….


Christian saw a sister in our ward wearing a Santa hat as we were leaving and asked if he could wear it.  It was pretty big for his head but it was cute.  This little boy is just not shy.  I wonder where he gets it….

IMG_1733 IMG_1734


Monday, December 14, 2009

2nd Day of Christmas

Well we were visited again by our secret friends who are giving us the twelve days of Christmas.  This time the note said:

 “On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me Two turtle doves…”

“Last night was pears, this night is “Doves” Share these together with those whom you love.”


Attached was a card with a dove on it and yummy turtles which we really enjoyed.  These were made with pecans so it makes me wonder if this person knows that I can have pecans and that I’m allergic to walnuts…. it could be someone who sat by me during one Relief Society Night who felt bad for me because I couldn’t have some of the treats because they contained walnuts.  That would narrow it down!  We’ll just have to see if they give me anything with lactose…


Also included was this darling lamb figurine.  Forgive my dusty shelf….

This is so sweet of whoever is doing this for us….I hope to do something similar someday so that’s why I’m putting it in my blog… so I remember what they did and have some ideas!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The 1st Day of Christmas

As we were trying to put Christian down for a nap after Church, we found a note on our porch that reads:

“The Twelve Days of Christmas are coming to you!  Each day on your porch there will be something new.  A gift that relates to the song of “Twelve Days,” And a part of the Christmas story—of Christ whom we praise.  To serve you it gives us such joyous delight, Please enjoy this Christmas spirit each night!”

“On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me A partridge in a pear tree.”

“Relax, have some fun, let go of your cares.  Snack on these pears while you try to find “pairs”.

There was a basket full of pears with a book of The Twelve Days of Christmas,


and a game of Old Maid.


There also was a figurine from a nativity included


I am so shocked that someone has been so sweet and decided to bring us the Twelve Days of Christmas this year!  I have never been the recipient of the Twelve days of Christmas and I am really surprised that someone would choose to be so generous to us and do such a thing for our family.  We really hardly know anyone in our ward so I’m really wondering who in the world/ward it could be!  Jared and I keep speculating on who it can be…  Whoever it is, they’ve really touched my heart.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Preparations...

This week we’ve been trying to get ready for Christmas.  Because we were moving last year Christian does not remember us ever decorating for Christmas which I find so sad.  I’m also amazed at how not getting ready for Christmas last year really affected me.  Last December I had my senior recital, the school Christmas concert and our move all packed into it.  I am so glad that this year I can do all of the things that I’ve wanted to do for the past (two) years.  Poor Jared, he’s feeling a little crazy by all of my projects and ideas!

artsy Christian

Last Monday we went to Walmart to get a real Christmas tree from the ones for sale in the parking lot by a private vender…we ended up going inside the store and getting an artificial tree that already had lights for half the price when it turned out that the cheapest real one was $75.  Then we came home and celebrated advent (a day late) and put up the tree for family time.

Christian was amazed at all of the decorations we had because he had absolutely no memory of the Christmas he was 22 months.  I feel so bad that I just didn’t have the energy (or time) last year to at least put up something in our apartment at the village.

Saturday we went the to parade of lights that my friend Claudia told me about. It was really fun and also comical to me to watch all of the people outside “freezing” in their warm winter coats while I was a little chilly in my hoodie (you couldn’t even see your breath).  I guess I haven’t acclimated completely to the climate.  Christian was very excited to see Santa on the new fire engine for the last entry.  Sorry about the picture being hard to see, my camera’s not the best at night!


Santa on the top of the city’s brand new fire engine!

Being Swollen not so Swell and Ob’s partner...

Ever since we got back from Utah I’ve been having problems with getting swollen feet and ankles.  I’m not even sure why.  It doesn’t seem to make a difference what amount of water I drink or amount of exercise I get.  Some days I am swollen and some days I’m not.  Weird.  The weirdest day was a couple of days ago when I had one swollen ankle and one completely normal one.  How do you explain that?


Can you tell which ankle is swollen?  Oh well, at least my toenails are cute…


Warning this may be a little TMI for those of you not interested in my preparation for birthing.

Another thing that has been bothering me is that I went to meet my OB’s partner and I don’t like a few of the things he had to say.  I gave him a copy of my birthing preferences and I really didn’t like a couple of his responses.

First of all I offered to give him a copy incase he is the doctor who delivers my baby and he said “I’m willing to look at it but I’ll probably just lose it anyway”.  Okay, whatever.  That doesn’t make me feel like he really “cares” about whether or not he “happens” to be my doctor at delivery and if he even “cares” about my feelings on my birthing time.

Second thing was after he read through my preferences he said “well I have a problem with the last one,” (which is: I appreciate your patience in waiting for the placenta to detach naturally), “I prefer to “help” the afterbirth along by pulling the placenta out”.  HELLO!  I’m so glad I put that last part in as an afterthought.  There is no reason on earth why he should have to “help” me birth my placenta!  This is my baby’s birth and I don’t need to feel rushed or pushed into having this baby any faster than nature intends.  I never had to have this discussion with my last doctor (whom I miss greatly).  After I gave birth to Christian he told me to go use the bathroom and try to get comfortable so and then tell him when I felt like it was time to push for the afterbirth.  That’s the way it should be.  I never felt like he was rushing me.  Besides, whoever my doctor is, he/she is being paid ample for the amount of time they actually spend with me…even if I have a long labor.  I think doctors who rush you on your special day are morons.  Thus, I’ve been a little concerned.  I like my regular OB fine but if it happens to be his partner…I’d rather fire him!

This makes me wonder if I really should just change practitioners (again) or find a midwife.  Maybe I’m overreacting.

Any thoughts?


Here’s my birthing preferences for those who are interested in looking…

· Please no IV. A Saline Lock is fine.

· I would prefer intermittent monitoring (20) minutes on the monitor each hour).

· Please do not offer pain medication or ask me what my level of pain is. I know what my options are, and I will ask for medications if I need them.

· I would prefer not to have any drugs to “speed” labor along.

· I would like to eat and drink as I feel the need as birthing takes a lot of energy and I need to keep my strength up.

· Throughout my birthing, I would like to pick what position is the most comfortable for me at the time.

· …I do not want an episiotomy, but am willing to discuss its medical necessity if one should arise.

· I prefer not to have any “coached” pushing. Please allow me to have mother directed pushing.

· We will provide blankets and will dry our baby ourselves. Please allow me time to get to know my baby before removing him from my chest for newborn procedures.

· Please do not clamp or cut the umbilical cord until it has stopped pulsing. Birthing partner would like to do the honors as well.

· I appreciate your patience in waiting for the placenta to detach naturally.

Santa's message to Christian!

This is so funny! I love it. You can make your kid their very own video from Santa. It is really fun. Here's the one from Santa to Christian. You just add various information and then it's totally applicable to your child. I can't wait to show Christian his video!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thanksgiving ‘09

This is long so feel free to skip through to the pictures!

On a whim, Jared decided to see if he could get the Friday after Thanksgiving off so that we could go to Utah for Thanksgiving and spend it with family.

It was a great vacation though way too short!  I wanted to see everyone and do everything but as we all know time goes by much to quickly.

We had dinner at my parents around 1:30 pm.  We hadn’t told my Grandma on purpose of surprising her and I think it worked.  It’s been hard on her and us after living in the same neighborhood for 6 years to suddenly live about 12 hours of driving time away (people will tell you it’s 10 but not when your 8 months pregnant with a 3-year-old who’s potty trained).  It was great to see my family though we missed my sister Julie and her family since her daughter got the croup.  :(.

  IMG_1556   Christian and Sandy enjoy the out of doors with beautiful crunchy leaves!IMG_1562Christian and Autumn running in the backyard together.IMG_1566IMG_1576  IMG_1586Beatrix looking darling and Enoch giving his biggest grin!IMG_1577  Sandy’s darling personality laughing at the camera!Christian rough housing with Grandpa Doug!IMG_1585

After pie, we drove to Saratoga Springs to Jared’s sister’s house where they were having Thanksgiving.  We’d called ahead to tell her we were coming and Jared’s mom knew but the rest of the family was surprised and freaked out.  Christian was so happy to see his cousin Trystan that he was very difficult to get into the car afterwards.  All of Jared’s siblings were there except for his sister Melanie, even his sister April from Connecticut was there (she had flown in that morning to surprise the family as well).  It was really fun to see all of them together.


Christian and Trystan eating some last minute pie together.

The next day we visited Jared’s parents who had their Christmas village up which was really fun for Christian to see.  They also read him some books in German and then translated them into English.  I was amazed at how patient he was listening to German because I don’t think I would have been that attentive as a 3-year-old (or even as a 5-year-old for that matter).


Peeking over the piano at the village…IMG_1624     IMG_1603  Listening to German books with Grandpa Gerald and Grandma Linda.IMG_1606

Then we visited with my sister April (but not enough) and then brought Christian over to my aunt Janean’s to play with her kids.  Christian really loved playing with his cousins and came home with a heart from his cousin Colin that says “You are Loved” Love Colin.  Very sweet.

We then stopped by my Grandma’s house and it was a lot like old times.  Christian played with her famous blocks and after one building decided that he would rather count the blocks than build with them (there are 107).  This boy is so interesting to me.  I always wonder why he doesn’t want to color, he’d rather write letters, and then he would rather count items rather than ‘play’ with them.  I guess I’m a little more right-brained than he is and so I don’t ‘get it’.  


Grandma Hugging Christian

Playing with blocks….IMG_1627

We went back to my parents and had a lovely visit with my dear Dayna who lives in Las Vegas now so it was a treat to get to see her.

IMG_1637 IMG_1659

Dayna and Christian (if we were Catholic she’d be his godmother).   Me with Dayna feeling for kicks.


On Saturday morning we met up with Jared’s sister Melanie, thus we saw every one of Jared’s siblings over the Thanksgiving Holiday.  This really made Jared happy so I’m glad we went.


Jared and Melanie in their matching blue with their matching blue eyes!

After a lovely visit I went with my mom and my SIL Megan to the Downeast Outlet Store in Salt Lake (which I never knew existed before).  It was awesome because they had shirts that were on sale for 2 for $5 or 1 for $3.  I got a couple of T-shirts and a couple of camisoles that have been great!

Then us girls went on a hunt for something that I wanted to get Christian for Christmas.  It was really fun and it was the first time since our move that I’ve spent longer than an hour away from Christian.  I love my boy, but sometimes I just need some time alone!  Thanks Megan and Mom for the fun girl time!

We finished the day by taking Christian to play with my friend Charisse’s little girls and see their darling new baby named Jared.  It was great to see Charisse and Christian still keeps talking about his “one cousin” with the two sisters.

Of course, a visit with my mom is never complete until we go to the fabric store together so I finished the day with my mom at Joann’s buying some random items that I’ve been needing.  I never knew how blessed I was to have a couple of fabric stores so close.  Now the closest one is 10 miles away and not worth a quick trip with a 3-year-old for a package of needles or whatever I’m getting low on.

We drove home Sunday morning and got home at about 7:45 pm.  It wasn’t a bad drive home but my legs were starting to feel “twitchy” in flagstaff so we got out for a longer dinner than (Jared) had originally planned on.  He was disappointed we weren’t home by 7.  I was just glad to get out of the car for a while.  It was nice to ride home as a family.

I’m so glad that I was able to come and see most of my family and a couple of friends as well.  Thanks to those of you who we crashed your celebrations!  People are the true blessings in my life.  Though it is nice to be home, I miss everyone in Salt Lake and I’m a little sad that I probably won’t be out there until March…

We’ve had a pretty good month together.  Each night before family prayers we each put ten pieces of pop corn in a jar and with each piece said ten things we were thankful for.  Then the day before we left, we popped the popcorn and made “Indian Popcorn” which is a recipe my mom gave me in her cookbook when I got married.  It is mostly molasses that flavors the stuff and tastes a lot like crackerjacks.  It’s also addictive.  We talked about how the Native Americans saved the Pilgrim's lives by being good friends and teachers to them.   It was really a fun thing to do I think we’ll try to remember to do the same tradition every year.  One benefit of our counting our blessings it Christian seemed a lot more content the month of November with not so many “I want” sentences which was nice.  It also was touching every night to hear Christian’s first thankful item to be “my beautiful baby sister”.

I know that Thanksgiving was over a week away but there are so many things I am thankful for.  I have to mention a few of them.

1. My husband

2. My darling little boy

3. This baby I have yet to meet

4. The gospel of Jesus Christ

5. A living prophet

6. An apartment that has enough room and is equipped with electricity, modern plumbing, heating, and A/C!

7. Food to eat

8. Employment for my husband along with good insurance so we can afford to have a baby.

9.  Incredible friends and extended family who keep talking and listening to me and making me feel important

10. Scriptures to keep me grounded


I am so blessed in my life.  There are some things that are not the way I would have planned but there are so many things right I feel so grateful for.  Heavenly Father really has given me so much.  So despite all my whining I really am so blessed in my life and the opportunities that I’ve been able to have.