Posted in Family Corner

Merry Christmas!

One of my Christmas displays

This Christmas season has just flown by! I’ve been so busy that I’ve barely had time to think about my blog, let alone sit down and post anything. There is so much going on in my life right now, besides Christmas, but my focus is on spending time with my husband and children. I have everyone under one roof at the moment and that is rare these days. In just a few weeks time, my sweet youngest daughter will leave on her mission, and if all goes as we hope, next year we will be building a home near my aging mother-in-law. We are running into a few snags, but I have faith all will work out as it’s meant to be.

Sisters baking together

My daughters baked a kazillion sugar cookies and gingerbread people on Wednesday for our little girl craft party on Thursday. We hosted seven little neighbor girls and it was so much fun. I love my craft parties with these sweet little girls. They are so creative! They made penguins, snow globes, wreath and snowmen ornaments. Then they decorated cookies to their hearts content.

c6 c5

I miss having young children of my own, so spending time with littles and watching them create adorable things just makes me happy!

c2 c9

Our Christ tree

♥ I am thankful for this time of year to remember the birth of a very special baby. We have this little tabletop tree and each of the ornaments on it feature a name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Every night we unwrap a Christ ornament (the rectangle ones made out of Jenga blocks; we made these last year as a twelve-day of Christmas tradition) and read the scripture verse that goes with it. It ends our day on a spiritual note, reminding us of the true meaning of this season. ♥ Merry Christmas and thank you for your support of my blog. ♥

Posted in Family Corner

Our Favorite Christmas Storybooks

We have a tradition of reading one Christmas story each night leading up to Christmas Eve (when we read the Christmas Story out of the scriptures). I thought I’d share the storybooks we cherish the most at this time of year, the ones that remind us of the true spirit and meaning of Christmas:


The Light of Christmas, by Richard Paul Evans. A young boy discovers that the truest gifts come from selfless acts of kindness.


The Miracle Maker, by Ann Acton. A little town learns how one person can make a difference just by believing


Our beloved prophet, Thomas S. Monson, shares a childhood story, when he learned that giving is sweeter than receiving. The Christmas Train, by Thomas S. Monson.


This is also a true story. It’s the sweet story of the candy bomber. This story is read by Tom Brokaw on a DVD.


A lovely story where a Primary class focuses on the spirit of Christmas together. The Mismatched Nativity, by Merrilee Boyack.


If you’ve ever wondered what might have happened with the three gifts given to baby Jesus by the Magi, than this story is for you! The Three Gifts, by Patricia Cook Orr.


God Bless Us Every One is the story of how A Christmas Carol came to be written. This book is lovely because it comes with a DVD featuring The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.


Christmas Oranges is the story of an orphan girl who receives the sweet gift of friendship at Christmas. This book is retold by Linda Bethers.


I love this book because it’s one of my favorite Christmas carols: Good King Wenceslas. This includes a DVD of Jane Seymour narrating along with The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.


This is the story that has been with us since the beginning of our tradition. It’s the heartwarming story of a young couple who each sacrifices for the other at Christmas. The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry.

♥ We have finally received lasting snow here in Utah this winter! I’ll try to post some photos in an upcoming post. Thanks for reading, and feel free to share a few of your favorite Christmas storybooks. ♥

Posted in Blessings Corner, My 52 Stories

November Blessings- Day 30 (Our Christmas Traditions)

First off, I want to thank my readers for supporting me through a month of daily posting (although I technically cheated for 5 of those days so I could enjoy Thanksgiving with my family). I may never post every day for a month again, haha, but it did help me catch up on my 52 Stories which was my goal.

Last Christmas. I need to hang these bulbs up again and we’re still waiting for snow. Looks like a late winter here this year.

I thought I’d make my last November Blessing post about my family’s Christmas traditions. I didn’t have any to carry over from my childhood, that I liked anyway. I just didn’t have one of those kind of childhoods. But, that just meant I had a blank slate to start my own traditions with my husband and my children. So, without further ado…

  • Every night leading up to Christmas Eve, we read a Christmas story. We have a binder which includes each story typed out, plus a scripture verse and carol, but last year I wrapped up all the Christmas story books we’ve collected over the years and we unwrapped one to read each night.
  • We have quite the collection of Christmas movies in our home library and that is pretty much all we watch all December long. My all-time favorite is White Christmas.
  • Every year my kids each get a new ornament for our family tree. They each have their own ornament box to keep their collection in.
  • We send out family photo cards to friends and extended family. Some years, this has been an e-card instead and some years we’ve written up a newsletter.
  • We bake batches of cookies, and sometimes candy and make up plates for our neighbors.
  • We see one play, ballet or concert as a family. Sometimes it’s The Nutcracker. Sometimes it’s A Christmas Carol. This year it’s the Mannheim Steamroller concert.
  • For several years now, the boys have given to the girls and the girls to the boys. So, my two daughters team up and give a gift to their two brothers, and the boys do the same for their sisters.
  • I fully decorate our house inside and out. I have close to 20 Christmas containers full of decorations and such. I have several Peruvian nativities.
  • In the past few years my daughters and I have hosted a little girl Christmas craft party. We have little neighbor girls over to make ornaments and decorate sugar cookies.
  • We play Secret Santa to one family in need. We love selecting special gifts, wrapping them, and figuring out how to deliver them anonymously.

On Christmas Eve we spend most of the day celebrating Marcus’ birthday. Sometimes we go see a movie he wants us to see. We have birthday cake and birthday presents, wrapped in birthday paper. Then, we eat a delicious prime rib dinner my husband cooks for us. After dinner, we each open one gift, a new pair of pajamas. After we’ve changed into our pajamas, we read the Christmas Story out of the scriptures (we actually have a special binder for this) and sing carols in between parts. My kids tell me this is their favorite tradition of all.

♥ I’d love to hear one or two of your Christmas traditions. ♥

Posted in Blessings Corner, My 52 Stories

November Blessings- Day 29 (Next Year Will Be An Adventure)

I’m sitting in the passenger seat of my husband’s truck. It’s just after 7pm and we are in the middle of “moderate” Salt Lake traffic on the freeway. We (my husband, Marcus and I) are on our way home from visiting my mother-in-law for three days. We are planning to move close to her next year so this was to get that ball rolling on her end. We saw 2 builders and drove around looking at potential land to build on. 0332496D-6CFB-4276-8C6C-78ADD92E717C
We have never ever built a home before so this will be a new experience for us. It feels both overwhelming and exciting at the same time.  The second builder we met with gave us some advice. He told us to send him photos of details we like that we want to incorporate. He also sent us to a website of home plans we could choose from and he can modify them. Or we could have our own draw up. Any advice from those who have “been there, done that” would be appreciated.

♥ So that is a little of what is going on with us. How about you? Who is excited for Christmas? Marcus goes on a campout this weekend to cut down Christmas trees for neighbors who have ordered one. He’s going to choose our tree as well. 🎄

Posted in Blessings Corner

November Blessings- Day 27 (This Christmas, #Light the World)

#Light the World is a campaign to help us remember the true reason we celebrate Christmas by little acts of kindness and Christlike service within our communities. It’s something we can do together with our families. If you’d like to participate in the #Light the World campaign, please visit for a calendar and ideas. The daily videos are really sweet to watch.




Posted in Blessings Corner

November Blessings- Day 26 (Our Family Christmas Card Photo)


How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was really nice. All of my kids were home (at least for dinner) and my mother and her husband joined us as well. My sweet youngest daughter is now on her way back to her college apartment. It was so lovely to have her home for five days. We had to find a time to squeeze in our family Christmas photo because my oldest daughter’s work schedule was crazy. I think this one is our winner. I enjoy mailing out Christmas cards with a family photo. There were some years, such as when we lived in Peru, when I had to make do with e-cards. There are some fun e-cards out there, I must say.

♥ Do you mail out Christmas cards with a family photo? Or do you write a letter recapping the year’s events or everyone’s growth? I’d love to hear! ♥

Posted in Blessings Corner, My 52 Stories

November Blessings- Day 9 (Christmas Preparations)

This morning my mother-in-law phoned my husband to tell him she has found us a potential acre of land to build on, near her home in central Utah. She sure is excited for our move! ♥ I spent most of today helping my son study for his semester exams for his accredited online classes: history, math, science and English. He had a lot of facts, equations, definitions and time line dates to memorize. I made up flash cards and grilled him. He’s taking those exams now, with his proctor. I’m confident he’s going to nail each test. I’m glad tomorrow is our fun day. We’re going on a hike with our Friday Nature Club. I need to plan the club activity for next week. Yikes!

This evening’s sunset view from my balcony

Christmas is just over 6 weeks away. This time of year seems to fly by, but I love it. I’ve been watching Hallmark Christmas movies since they started their Christmas countdown at Halloween. Are there any other Hallmark fans on here?

This week my husband is in town, after working out of state for the past two weeks. He will be away all of next week as well, and then back for Thanksgiving. So, this seemed a good time to start our Christmas shopping and planning. First we bought some porch decorations. For all the decorating I do at Christmas, I’ve never decorated our front porch. I’ve also bought the base wreath and supplies to make my Christmas wreath on my seasonal bucket list.

My daughter just asked me if I was going to post my gift list on here. Haha! No way, Missy! I did tell her to keep a certain day open in December so that she can join us at the Mannheim Steamroller concert. I am so excited about that! That will be our major family Christmas activity this year. In past years, we have seen The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol.

I also sent out an email to some mothers in my neighborhood, so that we could schedule the date for my little girl Christmas craft party. I host these parties for their young daughters, and they love them. I now have little girls hugging me at church and asking me when the next craft party is going to be. I’ve already bought each girl a clear plastic jar from Michael’s, so they can each make a snow globe. I haven’t planned the rest of the party yet, but one year we had sugar cookies already made up for the girls to decorate and they loved that. I want to do that again.

♥ So that is the start of our preparations and planning. I’d love to hear how your Thanksgiving and Christmas preparations are coming along. ♥