Were you all aware that tomorrow is New Year's Eve and that 2012 is nearly here?
If you were, good for you.....I just realized :)
2011 has been an awesome year!
moving into our house
buying new furniture
refinishing some old furniture
buying a new car
selling an old car
having a baby
hosting Thanksgiving dinner
taking the Palm Springs Tram to the peak
playing on the beach
Max mutton busted in the Spanish Fork rodeo
Max started first grade
Mia started Preschool
Zac split his head open
Zac got pneumonia
Zac rode to the hospital in an ambulance
Zac survived the year!
Mia starred in her first Christmas program
Ty turned 30
Ty got paid to work all year long!
we made new friends
we love our new ward
we have great callings
Ty and I celebrated 8 years of marriage
We have been very blessed this year! I really can't believe it is almost over! I am very much looking forward to 2012. I am excited to start the new year with my family in our home. I hope everyone has had a wonderful 2011. Happy New Year!
I love to read food blogs. I love looking at the beautiful food photography and drooling over the amazing recipes that are being posted all of the time! I love the way food bloggers write about their recipes and food in general. I was reading a post this morning over at Une Gamine dans la Cuisine about brownies. The author talked about her great love for brownies and how brownies just "Speak" to her. Brownies speak to me too! They say "Eat me! I am full of chocolate and butter!"
These people who are so passionate about food seem to be passionate about other areas of their lives as well. They love their families and children, some are passionate about travel or writing, others are decorators or triathlon athletes. I think life should be full of passion. How much better life can be if we are passionate about what we are doing.
Back to the brownies......Brownies can be simple. You can make a pan and post a picture labeled: Brownies, or you can write a post about the amazing chocolate that was used in the recipe and how the texture of the brownies is fudge like perfection.
We all could use a little extra zest or zeal in our day. That is what these bloggers give to me. I am thankful for their passion.
Christmas morning began bright and early at our house. I didn't really mind. I was up and ready for the fun to start.
Mia was up first. She was so excited to come downstairs and discover what had happened during the night. She got to open her stocking gifts while we waited for the boys.
When the boys were ready it was time to open the packages!
Zackary's favorite present was this Cars set with Lightning Mcqueen and Mac.
Max got the Lego Batman game. He has been playing Lego Star Wars for months now so we thought he would love this!
Mia got a playset for all of her Littlest Pet Shop animals.
Everyone was very happy with their Christmas. The big hit of the day was the surprise outside. Santa left a note for the kids telling them that he has left something for them in the backyard.
They were all out and bouncing by 7:00 this morning.
Such a happy way to start our Christmas day!
After all of the bouncing and the presents I made hot chocolate. The kids played, I cleaned, and then we all went to church for a fabulous musical Christmas meeting. After church we had a big dinner with friends and family. We are all worn out and feeling so very blessed for such a wonderful day.
I rejoice in my Savior, Jesus Christ who has made all of the blessings in my life possible. What a wonderful day to celebrate the wondrous possibilities we have been given because our Savior came and because He lives!
It is hard to believe that Christmas will be here in 2 short days! It has been a wonderful holiday season for us. It was kicked off with the arrival of our new baby girl. She has made this Christmas very special for me. I have tried very hard to make our days merry and bright. We have made and eaten Christmas goodies, crafted Christmas decorations, visited lights, listened to and sang along to an endless stream of Christmas music, and wrapped gifts. I have tried to remind my children of the true meaning of Christmas. I have talked a lot about our Savior, Jesus Christ and His birth. I have tried to teach them that it is becaus e of our Savior that we have reason to rejoice.
I am so thankful for the Christmas holiday and the constant reminder that Jesus lives! Jesus came!
I am looking forward to the next few days and I hope I can be a little better as I strive to remember and follow the Savior. We are so blessed. We have been given so much and I often think about what we can give back this time of year.
I found this quote by Howard W. Hunter and I think He describes perfectly what we can give.
“This year, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again.” -Howard W. Hunter
In the past we have not left cookies out for Santa on Christmas Eve. This year, however, will be different. Little Mia has been constantly reminding me about Santa's need for cookies. Since I know "Santa" very well I picked a recipe I thought he would enjoy.....
We took the kids out to the Victoria Gardens shopping center today. It is one of my very favorite places to shop. I took the girls and Ty took the boys. Mia, Zoey, and I went to William Sonoma and sampled some hot chocolate. We stopped in at "Justice", which is very in if you are a little girl. I bought some new jogging shoes! I strayed from my usual Nikes and bought some Reeboks. We went to Crate and Barrel and found the cutest kid sized mugs. I bought 4 so the kids can have hot chocolate in their own little cups. I finally got myself a food processor. I can't wait to give it a try.
Ty took the boys to the Apple store. They visited the big Christmas tree and then bought caramel apples from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. They were eating the apples at the playground when we found them. They shared the apples. We were all very happy.
Next we all went together to the Bass Pro Shop. The kids love seeing the big fish and we always leave with lots of gummy candies.
I love doing a little shopping just for fun right before Christmas. We all had a great time.
Now we are home sitting in front of the fireplace and getting ready to put together all of our friend and neighbor gifts.
Yesterday was Mia's last day of school before Christmas vacation. Her class celebrated by singing carols and having a little gift exchange, followed by a special lunch. Max finished up today. His class did a little performance to Josh Groban's "Believe" at the flag ceremony this morning and then they spent the day eating candy and reading the Polar Express.
The kids are home now and I am thrilled about the break!
Here are some of our plans for the next week before Christmas:
Visit Victoria Gardens for a fun filled shopping trip
Pass out our Christmas cookies
Make some more fudge and caramels for Ty to take to work
Make gingerbread houses and gingerbread men to be decorated and enjoyed
Trip to Trader Joe's
Trip to Micael's
Checking out all of the local Christmas lights
Visiting the Mission Inn
Making candy sleighs
Buy some more stocking stuffers
Make powdered donut snowmen
Make gumdrop garlands
Dip candy canes and marshmallows in chocolate for hot cocoa
I would like to thank my many blogger friends and the Pinterest website for inspiring me with all sorts of fabulous Christmas ideas!
1. Last night Mia starred in her very first Christmas program. She played an angel and she did a great job! It was a very sweet experience to see all of those preschool aged children singing about the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
2. Tonight is Max's Christmas program! I am looking forward to another wonderful event. I am also looking forward to tomorrow when this year's Christmas programs will be over :)
3. Zoey is the cutest baby ever.
4. I have spent a lot of the last week in the kitchen baking cookies and making candies to give away for Christmas. It has been a delicious week!
5. Fresh squeezed orange juice is one of my favorite things about living in southern California in the winter time. Oranges and Christmas are a nice combination!
I finally bought some powdered sugar and we were able to make our little sugar cone Christmas trees.
We used marshmallows and coconut for the snow.
And mini m&m candies for the ornaments on the tree.
This is Mia's tree, while she was still working. She wanted to take advantage of every open space. Mia loves crafty activities and really enjoyed this project. Zackary decided he likes marshmallows and stole as many as he could before running away to watch Toy Story :)