Friday, December 19, 2008

My Birthday is better than Santa Claus

I have been using Santa Claus as a motivation for my kids to be good since at least Thanksgiving, maybe longer. It never really works very well, and I have decided that my kids really don't care. One year Santa really did leave Shelby coal. When my parents came for breakfast on Christmas morning they had all of her presents and told her that Santa must have gotten mixed up. I wanted to see how she would react if Santa really didn't bring presents to her Christmas morning. She had presents from Mom and Dad to and that was it. Guess what! She didn't care! She was glad to have gifts from us, and there were the movies that Santa brought for the whole family, she was grateful for those too. She was very excited when Nana and Papa showed up with her presents, but that was when I realized threatening with no presents from Santa doesn't work for my kids.

Well, today is my birthday (I'm 35, doesn't seem quite right, but I'm ok with it.) The girls tried to make me breakfast. They made baked potato chips, Mike made Oatmeal. There was no fighting! They were very excited to give me the presents that they had made with construction paper, Popsicle sticks, pom poms, and glitter glue. Mike even got them to unload the dishwasher together, without fighting, by telling them they should do it together because its my birthday.

It should be my birthday everyday!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Windows of Heaven

I began this holiday season with a bad attitude. I had set some expectations for how I thought things should be and when those expectations weren't met I was angry. A couple of days before Thanksgiving I realized I needed to fix my attitude or else I was going to ruin the holidays for my family, and especially my kids. I was praying for help when I felt that I should keep a gratitude journal from that day through Christmas. Now I can see what a difference that one simple thing has made in my life. Some nights I have to really think hard to come up with five things I was grateful for that day, but last night I really started to see the hand of the Lord in my life. About ten years ago during tithing settlement our Bishop challenged us to start paying a fast offering he read from the scriptures about the windows of heaven being open and pouring out a blessing that you would not have room enough to receive it. My thought then was "I don't know, I have a lot of room". I really am so blessed. I have everything I need and a lot of what I want. Last night I was able to see how much I have been given, and the fact that I didn't even realize it showed that I didn't have room to receive it. I guess I should look at the scripture now and try to make room by being more aware of all that I have been given. I needed a kick in the pants to make me look around and see how great life really is. To steal a quote from TAMN of Seriously So Blessed, My life is a Kick-A Fairytale. It really is.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Time for Christmas

I'm listening to my playlist as I type this post. The song that's playing is Barry Manilow "I made it through the rain". I can't help but think of my parents. They moved last week, out of the house I grew up in. It was tough, not something that my mom really wanted to do. But they made it through, and I really do admire the courage and strength they have. They sacrificed a lot for our family and I am grateful for the life they gave us. The part of the move that really got to me was on moving day seeing my parents neighbors, parents of my friends that I grew up with. I really love those people, they are all very special to me. Love you Mom and Dad, I hope that you can find joy in your new home.

I started putting up my Christmas decorations this week. It took me 3 days to finish with the inside of the house. The lights on the outside are still not finished, but they are going to be awesome! I am really starting to enjoy this Christmas season. Last year I got rid of decorations that I didn't love anymore, so it was fun to pull out the bins and see the decorations I love.

This nativity was my birthday present from Darren last year. I love it!
I had the idea of a Christmas tree forest a couple of years ago and decided to bring it back this year. I love it. The tree with the ribbon and the bow on top is our story tree. Every night we read a story and put a corresponding ornament on the tree. Shelby told me a couple of years ago this was her favorite part, I wonder if it still is, she is the one that keeps us on track with it.
This is the downstairs tree. A new addition this year. I love the ornaments, they remind me of something from Whoville. The red lights are a little intense, but I like them, for this tree it works. I have started listening to Christmas music. Darren's rule is that the first Christmas music of the season must be Elvis. It was more like the 3rd or 4th album we listened to, but still early on. My theme for music this year is classic stuff. I have a "crooners" Christmas album that I love with Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, its awesome. My favorite song is "Merry Christmas, Darling" by the Carpenters. I love the Carpenters. Karen Carpenter was an alto, so she's easy to sing along with.

My shopping is almost done, hopefully I will finish it up today. Christmas cards are next, then its time to think about cheeseballs!

P.S. Happy Birthday Jared!
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