Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Got it!

I have an addiction. A real weakness. I LOVE books. Especially really good picture books. Hands down my favorite Christmas tradition is one that my mom started when we were very young. She took all of our Christmas books and wrapped them up. Each day starting December 1st we would get to unwrap a book. It was so exciting each day as we took turns opening up a Christmas book. We would all cuddle up on the couch and and my mom would read us a Christmas story. Each year we'd open the same books and we loved them more and more. As the years have gone on my mom has added more and more books to her Christmas book collection. Last year she made a list of all the books. She has exactly 150 Christmas books that she divides into 24 piles and wraps up so the grand kids can take turns opening them each day until Christmas.
When I taught school my favorite Christmas activity was one that we did each year on the last day of school before Christmas break. It was what we called "Polar Express Day." It really had nothing to do with the Polar Express, but that is just what we called it. We spent all day just reading Christmas stories. Parents and other adults would sign up and come in and read their favorite or their child's favorite Christmas story. We would wear our PJs, bring blankets and pillows and just listen to stories all day. It was by far my favorite day of school all year. My class was never bouncing off the walls on that day. They were actually sad and didn't want it to end. They wanted to stay and read more stories.
Now that I have my own little family it is really time to start our own Christmas book reading tradition. In my quest to keep things real and under control, I decided rather than wrapping up all my Christmas books, I'd just make a special Christmas Book Bag. Each night I put a few books into the bag. The next day we let her open the bag and we all cuddle up on the couch by the Christmas tree and read stories.

You might be wondering what "I Got it!" has to do with Christmas books. Well, my mom has a few books, OLD Christmas books that I just love. Some of the best Christmas books ever made were made in the 1950s. The illustrations are to die for! Shocker that these books are out of print. I have started looking around and trying to find my own copies of some of these classic stories. Last year I was lucky enough to find my own copy of Pranky's Christmas. It was in even better condition than my mom's copy. I am happy to report that I just got another book. Not a really old one, but one that is out of print. It is The Berenstain Bears' Christmas Tree.

This is one of my favorites! I really don't know why they stop printing such good books. I was so happy to finally have my very own copy. It is in such good condition.
Anyway, I will keep searching for good Christmas books to add to my collection.
What are some of your favorite Christmas stories?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Thanksgiving in Idaho

Yes, Christmas is almost here and I still haven't blogged about our trip to Idaho for Thanksgiving. Here is the short but sweet version of our trip.
We decided to drive up Wednesday morning so as to avoid any night time driving problems. Anna was an angel and slept most of the way. We had fun visiting with family that day. Wednesday night I made my first pumpkin cheesecake for our feast the next day. It turned out pretty good. I don't like pumpkin pie one bit, YUCK!!! But pumpkin cheesecake, that is a whole different story. Thanksgiving day was lots of fun. We ate lots of great food and had a wonderful time visiting with family. After our Thanksgiving feast we went for a walk around the Green Belt. Missy and Briant had fun chasing the ducks and geese.

Everyone had fun throwing snow at each other and at random objects and animals. We even got some good family pictures. Thanks Missy!!!

By that time we were on the verge of turning into popsicles. We went home and finalized our Black Friday shopping strategies. Devin and I decided to be really lame and just go when Anna woke up. Well, at 3am Anna decided to get up and BARF all over everything. As we were cleaning things up I thought, heck!, I might as well go shopping....but I only went on line and bought some fabric so I didn't have to fight the lines at JoAnn's. (But this last week I found out that my order had been canceled because it is all out of stock or bla bla bla....I should have just gone to JoAnn's at 3am. Next time I won't make that mistake.) Anna slept well the rest of the night. We took our time in the morning and headed over to Khols which means less than 5 minutes into the store to pick up what you want, and 45 minutes of standing in the LONGEST SLOWEST line ever. Why do we do this? For the glory of saying we did and to make our pennies stretch a little further.
Friday afternoon I went with Missy and Briant to see New Moon while Devin and Anna took a nap. This movie was SO much better than the first. But I've decided that I don't like going to the movies without Devin.
We went to a really yummy all-you-can-eat pizza place called Craigo's for dinner. It was REALLY good. I can't wait to go back. I am really boring, but I love pizza. I could eat pizza all the time.
Saturday we drove up to Ashton to spend some time with Kyle, Kat, and their girls. Anna loves playing with her GIRL cousins. It was fun to see Anna and Kami playing together. Kami is 6 months older than Anna. Last time when we went up, Kami was walking and Anna still hadn't figured out how to roll over. Now that Anna can keep up with Kami they have tons of fun together. Kami just kept saying, "Anna, Anna," and Anna would just follow her around. These two really need to have more time to play together. All four of the girls slept in the same room that night. Ashley was so cute with Anna as she was freaking out before she fell asleep. Ashely kept saying, "It's ok Anna, It's ok." What a good kid. The girls didn't get mad that Anna was screaming, they just tried to calm her down. Anna stopped crying and went right to sleep. I think Ashley is ready to start babysitting.
The next morning we all went to church. Of course the girls got some good cuddle time with Devin before things really starting going in the morning.

Too bad we had to go home after church. Oh but don't worry, we'll be back! Anna did ok on the drive home. She slept for quite a while but then she was at breaking point from about Bountiful until we got home. Thanks to string cheese, gold fish, crackers and anything else that would keep her happy we made it home ok. We sang lots and lots of songs. Sometimes Anna didn't like the songs and tried to plug her ears.

It is a good thing she loves books. Anna had a great time just looking at her books.

There you have it! The "short" version of our wonderful trip to Idaho. Now we can officially move on to Christmas.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Saturday Sampler #5

Well, it is 9:40 on Friday night and my quilt blocks are finally done for tomorrow. This month's blocks have been a real stretch for me. I have always been a straight line sewer. Curves have always been way out of my comfort zone. One of the reasons why I decided to take this quilt class was to help me step out of my quilting comfort zone and try new things. This month we had three blocks, all of which were applique blocks. No straight lines, no squares, no triangles, just lots and lots of little pieces with curves. Now truth be told, I have not spent all month on these three blocks. I have been the princess of procrastination and I did not even start my blocks until this week. These blocks were much more time consuming than other blocks I have done. Thanks to Marilyn for saving my life with the tinfoil trick. That made ironing these little pieces SO easy. I can't imagine trying to get them to fold under right without the tinfoil. I am happy with how my blocks turned out. They are far from perfect, but it's late and I'm not unpicking anything....not tonight at least. I am trying not to be too critical because this was my first attempt at applique. I feel like by the time my third block was done that I was really getting the hang of it. BLAH! At least they are done. Who knows how this class will stretch me for next month?

Another reason why I have been slow to get my blocks done is the fact that Anna has been such a big helper with everything lately. She wants to be right in the middle of everything that I am doing. Which means I can only sew when she is fast asleep. I don't mind her helping me sweep the kitchen, but sewing is not a mom and daughter thing, not yet at least.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Other Things

I have gotten behind again with my blogging. Thanksgiving has come and gone. I have fun pictures from out trip to Idaho from Thanksgiving and hopefully I'll get those up soon. Life has been a bit crazy at our house...crazier than normal we've just been doing other things.
We have spent the last several weeks cleaning and packing up as much stuff as we can, because we are going to try and sell our condo. The way things are NOT selling in our complex right now we figure this might take a long long time, so we decided we should start that long long time now so we can get into a house sooner than later. This has been a hard decision. We love our ward and stake, but living in a condo is not what we want to do forever. We both long to have a yard where Anna can play and room for a big garden. Other things like a garage make a "real" house something we really would like for our family. As we have prayed about this decision we feel like the only real way to show the Lord that we are willing to be where He wants us to be is for us to put our condo up for sale. That way if He wants us to be somewhere else right now, it will sell quickly. And if He wants us to stay where we are at, then it won't sell. It will be exciting to see what happens.
We have also been trying to get ready for Christmas.
Oh, and most importantly....we spend a lot of time playing with Anna. Today she learned to climb. We all know that is going to make life even more exciting and not leave a lot of time for blogging. Hopefully I'll catch up soon.

One of Our Favorite Things

Tonight Devin and I did one of our favorite things together, we went to the adult session of Stake Conference. This meeting is always phenomenal. It is a time when you are just filled with the spirit. The speakers are always great and the messages are always exactly what you need. You also get to see good friends that you don't see as often as you wish you could. We are such nerds, we always stay and talk with people long after the meeting has ended. As we were driving home I told Devin thanks for taking me to stake conference tonight. I told him that I don't mind that he doesn't take me on big fancy romantic dates, because he takes me to the adult session of stake conference and that is WAY better!
I realized something tonight as we were listening to the speakers. 3 1/2 years ago Devin and I had just started dating and we went to our first adult session of stake conference together. During that meeting, sitting next to Devin, I had the impression that we needed to start reading scriptures together. I was surprised at the thought because we really had not been dating for that long, and for me you just don't start reading scriptures with anyone that you aren't really serious with. The whole meeting I kept feeling like that was something we needed to do. That night as we were talking about the meeting I got up the guts to tell Devin what I had felt. And now 3 1/2 years later we have read scriptures together every night (except for the few nights that we have been apart....we've even done some over the phone scripture readings). This has been such a strength to us. Yes, sometimes reading scriptures with me late at night is like reading scriptures with a zombie, but we have been consistent. I know this is one of the reasons why I love Devin more each day.
Yeah for reading scriptures every day with your best friend! Yeah for Stake Conference and drinking from the spiritual fire hose! I can't wait for more Stake Conference tomorrow.
The church is true!