Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Day

It comes so fast! 
We are always wishing to freeze frame the day. 
 Just look at this gorgeous morning we woke up to!

The morning was sweet with four little ones in the house.  We got to sleep in until 7:45 :)  Everyone was delighted with what Santa left and the kids were thrilled to find he left them a note! I felt like the lucky winner when I got to see what Mark had been creating down his wood shop for me!  A beautiful little cabinet to hold threads and things in.  It is out of black walnut with my sheep logo carved into the the top two drawers.  He is amazing!  I am so lucky!!! I got him some books about making chairs and a few shaping tools.  Camber got a few things for her apartment, like a food processor, popcorn popper, some clothes and a bag.  Em got some clothes, a wallet with some cash and a new coat.  We missed Davis and Janell.  Our traditional Egg McMuffin Breakfast was wonderful and we enjoyed a leisurely day together. (and yes, we ate one for each of you!!)

 It was a whirlwind of sheer delight as presents were opened...concert tickets, new clothes, a marble run that Papa crafted down his workshop, a pink birthday cake, legos, books and treats galore. 

 I made two quiet books for the little ones... more photos here

Because I have the best husband on the planet!!
It is just waiting for me to fill it up with all of my little needful things!

It was Owen's 1st Christmas!
This little guy loves putting things on his head.  
We couldn't resist this little man hat.  
He is truly the sweetest, happiest little boy!

This day just begged for a walk!  We decided to take some soft apples down to our friends, the goats.  We all loved having the magical White Christmas you dream of.  We know it isn't something we get every year.

Elsie's Christmas wish came true!

Elsie had a simple request for Christmas this year...a PINK Birthday Cake!  Well Mrs. Claus was  sweet enough to send one with Santa...along with the trimmings for a perfectly pink birthday party for a darling two year old!  Here is a little peek into the studio on Christmas night...

Hee Hee!  Papa didn't want to wear a princess hat!
(I think he is probably just plum tuckered out!)

Dani is the best mom!  Her energy and positive attitude is ever evident!  Her children are blessed to have such a fun mommy!  We are so very happy that she is finally over her months and months of morning sickness.  They are expecting a new one in MAY!  We are so thrilled!  The gender will be a big surprise and this new baby will be a tie breaker and very, very loved!!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night xo

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It's Almost Here!

Lindsey's Birthday on the 23rd...
We had a lovely Steak Dinner - grilled to perfection :) 
and Chocolate Cheesecake for dessert.

You can see how excited the little girls were! They were opening the gifts before Lindsey knew what happening.  Birthdays are such  a fun time in our family.  We love Lindsey and everything beautiful she brings to our family.

 Hope you have a magical year! 

 Christmas Eve Dinner

Tradition is Clam Chowder and Seafood.  This year we found a special from a favorite seafood supplier in Alaska and treated ourselves to special Crab and Spot Shrimp Dinner with Chowder and Salad.  We post about many meals and gatherings around the table on our blog.  Our kitchen is core to our family. We love the memories made when we gather to enjoy a nice meal together or sip cocoa and chat. We have certainly had our share of heated discussions and coaxing our little ones to finish their veggies...but for the most part it is a place we look to for love and support.

So we had the flu at our house...Liam and Elsie had lots of resting time under the Christmas Quilt.  It put a bit of a damper on their sledding time.  Never fun to see little ones feeling so sick.  Molly came down with it between Christmas and New did Grandma Marie :(  Mark took everyone who hadn't had a flu shot down to the clinic.

Christmas Eve

Despite the fact that for several days Liam and Elsie have had been pretty ill, we enjoyed our traditions - especially Molly recounting the story of the birth of Baby Jesus.  Wish we had it on video... someone may have captured a portion of it.  It was a first to listen to Luke 2 being read from an electronic tablet.

After the Christmas stories the kids set out cookies and milk and 8 carrots for the reindeer.  We gathered together and watched this video and then shared part of our Christmas Gift to our children:
72 Hour Kits
We have felt since the super storm, Sandy that hit so close to Brady and Danielle's family - that this was year we should do this for our family.  We realized most of them are pinching pennies for school and new we have been excitedly preparing these for the past few months.  Emily was wonderful to help us put them all together.  It was a lot of work going on the hunt and researching out the best prices, but so worth it in the end.  It's a great feeling to be working towards preparedness - for who knows what may come.  With nearly all of our children thousands of miles away, it feels good to do something that may help if a disaster ever hit close to them. We even prepared little red bags for each of the grandchildren :)

Hurricane Sandy Helping Hands from Joshua Brown on Vimeo.

 Merry Christmas XO

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Soaking it all in!

Our kiddos from DC arrived and were so happy to find the white magical *S*N*O*W* that doesn't frequent their area too often.  It is so wonderful to have them here for 3 weeks!! 

 Dinner at La Jolla Grove (Gateway)
Tasty! We like trying out the new restaurants.

 Temple Square is always sooo very cold but we love the lights and the Nativity.

Christmas will soon be here and there is still lots to be done :)
(If we can just come in from playing in the snow!)

Thursday, December 13, 2012


We helped with our Ward Christmas Party this year.  We decided to do a brunch this year and it worked out really nice! We also had everyone bring baskets themed to a particular meal or purpose such as a spaghetti dinner, complete with a pot or baking items, baby necessities, etc.  People were so generous and creative!  Our food pantry will be tickled! We also collected socks, mittens, underwear and hats for a local school.  It was so heart warming to see all the donations.  Santa made his appearance from the great white north!  So fun to see all the kids reactions with their visits on his lap.
Christmas time is just magical.  I made the video that I am trying to add here for a few people that missed it.  Hopefully it will load...soon.

 The cute ladies in the aprons (and sweater vest) are the workhorses behind all the wonderful meals served at our ward parties...for the most part ;)  I don't want to leave anyone out! But one of my favorite things about these sweeties is the way they will scope out the the really good dishes that come through and set at least a portion of it aside for sampling in the kitchen!  They are just delightful ladies that would do anything for anyone - always smiling while serving!  I love them all dearly.

My Gift to Him from Leisa Firth on Vimeo.

 So very happy to have had a visit from Davis.  We got him for about 10 wonderful days.  We had a great time playing games, eating, laughing...just all the great things we love about family and the holidays.  Hard to send him home before Christmas, but life marches on and we all have responsibilities. Sure love you, Davis!! We miss you already.