Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas tree

My friend, Carrie, told me that their family cuts down a tree every year for Christmas and I've ALWAYS wanted to do that. Since I've always lived in California that wasn't a realistic dream to fulfill. Since we live in AK though many people do this. I was very eager and passionate about experiencing cutting a REAL Christmas tree. To be honest we've always been one of those "fake" christmas tree family. By the way, pine scented candles do not smell like the real deal. Now I have both a real and fake tree and I love it!
So here's the story...we first had to get a tree permit. A friend got us one on base. Friday morning we set out to get our tree. We were on a time schedule because Jeff and the girls had to come home, eat lunch, and get ready for the Nutcracker by 1:30. We left our home at 9:30am. Pretty sure that was going to give us plenty of time. When we were driving we quickly realized our heater, radio, clock, seat heater were not working. The heater not working was a major problem because the windows got so foggy you couldn't see outside and ice was beginning to form on the inside of the window not to mention the snowy road conditions on top of all that. When we got to a different friend's home to help us figure out the problem, all that stuff started working again. We finally got to the tree site an hour and a half later, got out of the car and Levi threw up. So far things weren't working out if you can't tell. Remember we're in a time crunch. We spent the next 5 minutes finding and cutting down what we thought looked like the perfect tree. I was expecting that part to be the longest. I wanted a small tree, since we already had a fake one up, and we found what we liked and Jeff sawed it down in like a minute. He strapped it on top of the car and we were off.
The tree we fell in love with at first glance. Jeff is our hero. Look at him carry that huge thing. Okay so it wasn't THAT heavy, but the needles sure were razor sharp.
When we brought through the front door, I started laughing in disbelief. Remember that I mentioned I wanted a small tree. We brought it in our home and realized it was about 14 ft tall. It looked so small in the forest with all the other gigantic trees. We cut a few feet off and placed it in our dining room. I love it. We got done just in time for Jeff to take the girls to see the Nutcracker.

If that doesn't invite you to sit down w/ a good book and cup of hot chocolate, I don't know what else would.


I was sad this morning when I woke up and knew that Jeff had to go back to work, Sydney had to go to school, and we were back into our routine of life. We had such a fun Thanksgiving week. Jeff took Wednesday off and him and I went x-country skiing together. It was my first time this season so needless to say I was winded after my first small hill. We skied over 5 miles and by the end my legs were exhausted. It was fun to finally be out there skiing (we had a week or two of temperatures in the negatives--don't good for skiing or much else outside).
Thursday I cooked all morning while Jeff took the kids skiing. We ate at our friend's house w/ other friends. It was a lot of fun to stuff ourselves with yummy food and then play some games. Thursday night a friend and I did the whole "black friday shopping" thing. We went to Toys R Us and then to Target. Both included waiting outside, lots of people, and waiting in line. It was fun despite all that and the cold. I was in bed by 3am. With only 5 hours of sleep I wasn't cranky the next day either. Pretty impressive for someone like myself.
Friday we cut down our first real Christmas tree (that deserves a separate post) and that afternoon Jeff took Sydney and Jordyn to see the Nutcracker in Anchorage. The girls loved it, most of it; the last 1/2 hour they were antsy. Saturday we hung out and finished decorating our home for Christmas.
Our home on Thanksgiving day. It's hard to tell but we do have christmas lights on our home. They've been on since October. Can you imagine trying to put them on our house right now? We will not see the black of our drive or the green of our grass until April or May.
My girls on Thanksgiving. We also saw Breaking Dawn that Monday.
Our November tradition. One of my faves "I'm thankful for dad because he lets me watch Pink Panther" Jordyn wrote. As you can tell Levi tried to write some stuff too.
Jeff and the girls in front of our real tree, before we decorated it.
This is my favorite room at night when the garland and tree are lighted.


So just thought I'd share a few of the crafts I've done recently.
This second one is my favorite: the Growth Chart. I love it because it's not permanent; we can move it with us whenever we move again to another house.
The sock snowmen were easy to make and the kids love to play with them too.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Our first time sledding this season. We have a great place to go close to our house.
Levi loved going sledding

Everyone on one sled.
Levi has the best ride of walking up the hill.
The girls wanted to go together and they put their arms around each other to stay on. Love those moments.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

another post about faith

This is going to be the long version of the story (just so you know):
The past few weeks I've been sick like a lot of people. I was feeling better but then I couldn't hear in my right ear. It felt like I had water in my ear from swimming. I thought it was probably an ear infection so I went to urgent care to have it looked at. The PA said it was and like most doctors who have looked in my ears said, "Wow. you have quite a bit of scar tissue on your ear drum. Did you have tubes as a kid?" YES. I have a long list of ear issues including several sets of tubes, ruptured ear drum, and not the best hearing in the world because of these things. See, looonng story.
Sidenote: It's kinda like when I go to get my hair cut or dyed, the person without fail says something to the effect of, "Wow. You have soo much hair. It's so thick." And without fail, I give a token laugh and think to myself "Really? I have thick hair? Yeah, hair lady I do. Thanks for noticing; you're not the first." Everyone has physical traits and one of mine is my hair. It usually attracts attention--sometimes good and sometimes bad. At least I don't get attention for my boobs or a huge wart on my nose.
Alright, back to the story. The PA prescribed antibiotics. I thought that would for sure kill any bacteria left over from my cold or the whole ear infection thing. But it hasn't. My hearing seems worse. Instead of feeling like I have water in my hear it feels like whatever it is has solidified. The ear seems totally occluded (I think that's the word I'm looking for). And it feels like I'm talking in an echoing tunnel (it's hard to explain). So now I'm worried. Tonight is my last night of antibiotics. I'm feeling totally better, except for this ear thing. Yes this post is about faith like the title mentioned....I'm slowly getting there.
I've know for a week that Jeffrey R. Holland was coming to our Stake Conference to speak. He is an apostle of Jesus Christ, for those who may not know. Yesterday I asked Jeff, "Is it totally ridiculous that I might think that Elder Holland might feel the spirit and know that I want a healing blessing from him and that he'll give me one???" Jeff, being very honest said, "YES." My response was, "but anything can happen if I have enough faith, and I believe that can happen. I don't know how, but if I have faith he can give me a blessing." I was thinking of the story (and I don't know the story all that well so forgive me) the women who had sinned and had faith that if she just touched Christ her sins would be forgiven. Jesus felt her gentle touch and said something to the effect of your sins are forgiven. Go thy way and sin no more. In stake conference this morning the stake president talked about that faith can move mountains and again I thought about wanting and hoping for a healing blessing. Elder Holland began to speak and I had forgotten about my wants and desires at this point; I was all ears, or at least one ear (my left one that is good). He was closing up his talk and out of nowhere he said, "I know there is a particular person who wants a blessing, or maybe more than one person and so I want to leave a blessing on each person here: man, woman, and child." His blessing was about 10 minutes long. He said that in ancient times Christ would leave a blessing on everyone who was there because there were just too many people to give blessings to individually. I didn't know that, so that was cool to learn. He mentioned many things, specifically to mothers, fathers, and children. He blessed those who needed healing as well. Jeff and I looked at each other and stared in amazement. I didn't know how it would happen, but it did. I'm again grateful for a merciful Father in Heaven who knows who we are, who I am, and blesses us as we demonstrate our faith and express our righteous desires. I know that the prophet, Pres. Monson, and his apostles are disciples of Christ and are set apart to bless us, teach us, and love us. My faith grew stronger today and was worth writing this long story down. I still am unable to hear out of my right ear. Tonight is my last antibiotic I need to take and then depending how my ear is tomorrow, I may be making an appt. with an ENT.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

halloween 2011

This was my first Halloween experiencing snowfall. After the trunk or treat at church, we went around our neighborhood with some friends. We walked around for 20-30 minutes before going home to drink some hot chocolate. Next thing I knew it was snowing. It didn't stop anyone because there were still tons of kids walking around until about 8:45. It was Sydney's first halloween that she understood the strategy involved w/ trick or treating. She was running to every house trying to get her bucket full. Another first was making a "halloween" dinner. It was easy and the kids loved it so I think a new tradition was born. Here are some mummy dogs.
These are suppose to be mouths w/ teeth and we drank poison to wash it all down.
Sydney designed the pumpkin which turned out looking like the guy Chunk from Goonies. Levi loved exploring the insides of the pumpkin. The girls insisted on using gloves to pick the stuff out of the pumpkin.
This is at our tri-ward trunk or treat. Sydney is a super-hero. It's kinda hard to tell w/ all her snow gear on.
Levi is are lil' stinker aka a Skunk
We went to about 3 or 4 different parties. Jordyn went back and forth with a Cinderella and Rapunzel costume.
Her favorite was the Rapunzel costume. I loved it, but by the end of Halloween I wanted to burn the wig. I'm still finding hairballs from the wig all over the house. She does make a cute rapunzel though.
Moving on to the next holiday.