Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men."
Luke 2:14

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Handel's "Messiah" Scriptures

Recently, I found all of the scriptures used in Handel's "Messiah" listed in a performance program (When my dad was on his mission, he found these scriptures on his own!). Here is the cheater list, for my reference, as well as anyone else interested:

Isaiah 40:1-3
Isaiah 40:4
Isaiah 40:5
Haggai 2:6-7
Malachi 3:1
Malachi 3:2
Malachi 3:3
Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23
Isaiah 40:9
Isaiah 60:1
Isaiah 60:2-3
Isaiah 9:2
Isaiah 9:6
Luke 2:8-9
Luke 2:10-11
Luke 2:13
Luke 2:14
Zachariah 9:9-10
Isaiah 35:5-6
Isaiah 40:11
Matthew 11:28-29
Matthew 11:30

John 1:29
Isaiah 53:3
Isaiah 50:6
Isaiah 53:4-5
Isaiah 53:5
Isaiah 53:7
Psalm 22:7
Psalm 22:8
Psalm 69:20
Lamentations 1:12
Isaiah 53:8
Psalm 16:10
Psalm 24:7-10
Psalm 2:1-2
Psalm 2:3
Psalm 2:4
Psalm 2:9
Revelation 19:6
Revelation 11:15
Revelation 19:16

Job 19:25-26
1 Corinthians 15:20
1 Corinthians 15:21-22
1 Corinthians 15:51-52
1 Corinthians 15:52-53
Revelation 5:9, 12-13

Monday, December 23, 2013


"Traditions are important, but it's also important to know that traditions don't happen without a lot of work and preparation. You have to recognize that once you make all this effort, you're not going to be appreciated. There are going to be children misbehaving, and it's never a perfect setting. You just have to set the table. When you invite people to that table is when you share experiences, you share life, you share love, and you start to share stories. That's the fabric of life that brings us so much joy."
-Ann Romney, LDS Living Magazine, November 2013

High expectations can be my enemy, so I always like realistic outlooks from seasoned mothers that reassure me that my experiences are normal.   

Being the tradition maker is a tough job- in fact harder than I initially expected going into parenthood. I think I expected traditions to just happen naturally and easily. What I didn't realize is that creating traditions is another example of parents' love and sacrifice for the good of their family. Being in the driver's seat (when you're used to being a passenger) can be kind of frustrating because the effort you've had to make, or battling grumpies, sometimes spoils the magic... especially when things don't go as planned

Luckily, most of the time you get to enjoy the magic too. And those magical moments are priceless. But, I guess we can hope that regardless of how smoothly things go, it's all contributing towards a beautiful finished product- which won't happen on its own.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

2 Startling Discoveries Made This Week

  1. Christmas is next week! Ack! 
  2. According to Ebay, the 80's are now considered "vintage".

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas is the New Easter

At the beginning of November, immediately after Halloween, I set out to buy some Thanksgiving decor. I learned very quickly from the scanty inventory in every store that I was a month late. Stores were already decked out in full Christmas glory. While ridiculous, I wasn't surprised. Thanksgiving was late this year and the stores wanted to get a jump start on their holiday sales. I'm no stranger to holiday sales timing. We all know Christmas is the big sales Kahuna for stores. Soon, Bryan Adams' dream of celebrating Christmas every day will come true. I think we're half way there. But....

What I didn't expect, is to find stores already breaking down the Christmas stuff in the middle of December! This weekend I was shopping in a store that had already consolidated its Christmas items to a section, put them on sale, and had busted out their Spring inventory! I'm sorry but this is getting beyond ridiculous. Can we please shop for things in their relevant season? What's next? Breaking out the bathing suits in the middle of winter? Ok, bad example. What's next? Pushing winter clothes in summer? Another bad one. What's next? Celebrating Easter in December?

Perhaps in 100 years, stores will have pushed Christmas sales so much earlier each year, that they'll actually get back to selling things in December. 

Until then... Have Yourself a Merry Little Easter!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gift to the Savior

The last two years, I have wanted to find a way to help our family remember the true meaning of Christmas throughout the month. Last year, we did a Service Challenge.

This year, I was inspired by the words of President Thomas S. Monson during the 2013 Christmas Devotional:

"As the Christmas season envelopes us with all its glory, may we, as did the wise men, seek a bright particular star to guide us in our celebration of the Savior's birth. May we all make the journey to Bethlehem in spirit, taking with us a tender, caring heart as our gift to the Savior."

I had the idea to wrap a box and cut out a slot in it. From now until Christmas, we will focus on doing something each day that shows a tender, caring heart. We'll write our good deed on a piece of paper and put it in the box. On Christmas, it will be the last present we open and we can read together our gifts to the Savior. I'm pretty sure this is an idea I heard somewhere and filed away. I'm just glad it resurfaced! Would it be too ambitious to hope this might become an annual tradition?

Things of this nature can be abstract/intimidating to children (and adults) so we have a list of ideas to help us remember the simple things we can do:
  • Thank you letter
  • Temple service (visit temple, family history, etc.)
  • Pray for someone
  • Random act of kindness
  • Serve neighbor
  • Watch a Mormon message
  • Share your testimony about Christ
  • Food drive
  • Share encouraging words (missionary, military, sick, etc.)
  • Secret service
  • Volunteer to give a prayer in a church meeting
  • Make copies of family recipes and give them to friends
  • Forgive someone
  • Say thank you to someone that helps you
  • Say hi to someone new
  • Spend personal time with your children
  • Return your grocery cart in the stall
  • Call or write a distant relative
  • Hug someone
  • Pick up litter
  • Donate clothes
  • Let someone go in front of you in traffic
  • Help a child memorize the Articles of Faith
  • Be patient with someone

Monday, December 9, 2013

He Shall Feed His Flock

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings this song ("Consider the Lilies" album), but it didn't occur to me until yesterday that it might be scripture. It's a beautiful verse:

"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young." -Isaiah 40:11


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Pilgrim Pilgrimage

Like I said, we were recently out of town for Thanksgiving. We went to Utah to visit lots of family which was lots of fun. But, as all trips to Utah are for us, it was exhausting. The time change alone sets us up for that. I didn't realize how exhausting the trip was until I was running errands yesterday and actually felt glad to be running errands. Here is our trip in a nutshell:

  • Day 1-  Flight out. My husband graciously takes the kids so I can sit alone. Heaven for 2 minutes. Two drunk men sit next to me and proceed to: attempt to flirt with me (my husband has never been less threatened), color with crayons bummed from the kids in front of us, accuse passengers seated around us of passing gas, and solicit my advice concerning one's fertility woes. I found myself actually pining for kid duty. Everyone complains about crying children on planes, but no one talks about the drunks. I decided I'd take a crying baby over two drunk men any day. I changed seats when the guy next to me spilled his ice on me.
  • Day 2- Swim at rec center. Baby blessing.
  • Day 3- Son and Husband are sick with stomach bug. Quarantined from relatives.
  • Day 4- Son and Husband well. Daughter comes down with stomach bug in middle of the night. Lots of laundry. I stay with her while she is quarantined from relatives. Take a much needed nap with her. I go to bed that night dreading my number is next for the stomach bug.
  • Day 5- I sleep all night. No stomach bug! It feels like Christmas morning when I wake up. We are now free to proceed with our plans. Visit more family all day.
  • Day 6- Meet friend for lunch. Cram in shopping. Visit BYU with kids and reminisce about our carefree days (why didn't we appreciate those days more?). MOA exhibit. Cram in shopping.
  • Day 7- Tour of MTC by in-laws.
  • Day 8- Trip to Trader Joe's for Joe-Joes so as not to burden family or friends with my habit- er- tradition. Walk around Temple Square. Flight home. My daughter refuses to wear seat belt. I make her. 30 minute crazy tantrum. Nothing will calm her down. Reconsider which is worse on a plane- a crying child or 2 drunk adults.
Lots of fun. Lots of craziness. Not good sleep = Family bond forged by fire!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Kick-off!

Black Friday has come and gone (as well as Cyber Monday), but I was out of town for Thanksgiving and unable to post this ad to kick off the season. An ad that beautifully encapsulates two great American traditions- Black Friday and humanizing animals.

That poor dog. That sweater does no favors for its figure.