Friday, December 31, 2010


Some of you might recognize this stitching project:I love how it turned out! Thanks for the pattern, M!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Missionary Pictures!

Not only did we get to talk to Peter for an hour on Christmas Eve, but he sent pictures too! This is all of the missionaries on the South Island, together for their Christmas Conference. Pete's up on the stage, yellow tie, standing next to Beckwith.Here's Peter chasing some sheep. He said they were pretty fast and he couldn't keep up. I think he's shaking his fist at them.
This looks like a service project to me. Peter says he's done more yard work on his mission than he ever did at home. This is ironic, because for the last 4 years he's worked at a plant nursery and a landscape company! One comment he's made is that he meets people from all over the world. This picture is a good example. Nationalities, from left to right: American, Samoan, Aussie, South African, Maori and German.Peter and his companion- Pete said this was their Christmas picture. See the wildflowers in the background? It's summer there.Missionary pictures make me happy!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Cruise

I like Christmas morning with grown-up kids. No rushing, plenty of sleeping in, it's nice! This year we decided to give one big gift to our whole family- we are going on a Mexican cruise together in February. Did I mention it was a Disney Cruise? :) So a lot of the little things we gave each other was cruise-related. Brian and Lindsey made towel animals for Ben and Shannon:Bruce got some new cruise shirts:The girls had a fight with the plastic lobster and crab that were decorating their presents:I think this is a funny picture of Brian with the laptop skin he got from B&S:
Of course the cat was in on the action too. We made her pose with her presents. Now she thinks that she needs her new, special food at all times. She screams at me for it. I'm trying to give it to her at random times so that she doesn't know when it's coming.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2 Daughters=Matching Pjs?

On Christmas Eve we had fun with our other traditions, like reading the Christmas story and modeling Christmas pjs:
I've had this strange urge lately to buy matching outfits for Shannon and Lindsey. I need to control this compulsion, because I don't think they appreciate being matchy-matchy.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Saturnalia!

After our corn dog feast on Christmas Eve, we tried our hands at making gingerbread houses- something we've never done without a kit before. Bruce and Brian bought out the graham cracker supply at the local Walmart, then added frosting and candies to decorate our architecture. My normally noisy house became deathly quiet as we concentrated on our creations.
Ben brought back memories of his mission in Oklahoma with this Redneck Christmas creation. These gummy bears are relaxing in their recliners, in front of their trailer park home. Notice the satellite dish on top and the junk pile out back. There is also a gumdrop keg of beer if they feel to the need for liquid refreshment. I made a gingerbread lighthouse. Not overly creative, but easy to make, with a plastic cup to give internal support. I particularly like the chocolate animal cracker rocks around the base of my lighthouse. Bruce made...a box. Later, after playing a rousing game of Bang, he decided it was jail.
Lindsey brought Lil Missionary into the picture by posing him, and those dastardly ninjas, inside a gingerbread outhouse. He'd better hurry up in there, there's a line of waiting animals!Brian went with an international theme with his Arc de' Triomphe. I particularly like the chariot on top and the carnage left from a recent battle in front.After a vote, Shannon won the competition with her creation: the Colosseum in Rome. Inside you'll find gummy gladiators, Christians being eaten by animal crackers, and Sparticus with his mates. She added a "Merry Saturnalia" to her Colosseum, which was the holiday celebrated in December by the ancient world. Apparently the Christians stole it when they took over. Leave it to a history major...I can see the potential for this to become a bigger and better gingerbread competition in coming years. I'd better start researching now!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Corn Dogs

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! Ours was lots of fun, starting with a great phone call from Peter. He sounds really good and happy, but still wouldn't tell us where he's going on his next transfer. He says we'll find out in the "the Lord's due time." Ok. After the call we got started on our Christmas Eve Feast. Bruce made the traditional corn dogs. This year we had 7 different dips for these deep-fried babies, including homemade fry sauce. If you're going to go, go big, I always say!Here, Lindsey is feeding Peter a corn dog while Shannon rubs his belly.Brian and Lindsey made wonderful Beignets. They were great, mostly due to Lindsey's kneading. Ben and Shannon made yummy filled strawberries!I'm hoping to share what I made in next week's posts. It was all delicious, and we'll be eating leftovers for days!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Just About Ready

We're just about ready here. The tree is upright again, the Christmas Villages are lit:
The Nativities are set up:The Stockings are...laying in front of the fireplace where Santa can't miss them:Yep- just about ready.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


This really wasn't in my holiday plans this year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Meant To Be

Have you ever walked into a store, seen something, and known that you were meant to have it? Like it was made just for you? It happened to me with these:These combine 2 things that my family is really into- skiing and Mickey. I was meant to have these. I'm going to make my future grandkids ski on these! They are decorating my porch. I found them at the neatest store in Lay-Un that is filled with all kinds of retro stuff from the 60's and 70's. Coolest store ever. It's like taking a trip back to my childhood. Metal lunchboxes, Formica tables, you get the picture. They had some huge, light-up plastic Santas that I really wanted, but they were not for sale, just for display. I found this great sled there too.I really like my porch this year! My goal for next year: huge, light-up plastic Santas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Everyone Should Have A Party Barn

Everyone should have a Party Barn. You know, a place where you could hold a really big party. A place that has a kitchen and tables and a bathroom. A place where kids can run wild or college kids can perform Feats of Strength and you don't have to worry about breakables being...well, broken. Unfortunately, Bruce and I do not have a Party Barn. We have a barn, but I wouldn't hold a party there. But we DO have access to our friend's Party Barn and that is where we hosted the Stratford Family Christmas Party last night. We fed them vast quantities of Chicken & Rice and grape juice punch. They brought salads, rolls and desserts to fill out the meal. We kept them occupied with Christmas-themed coloring posters on the walls. One of those themes was A Christmas In New Zealand. This is what they came up with: lots of sheep, decorated palm trees, a Maori warrior, a dinosaur (?), a missionary that looks a lot like Peter, and a Hobbit. We'll mail this to Pete.In keeping with the Lord of the Rings theme, my favorite drawing on the poster was the Tower of Sauron, decorated with Christmas lights. Merry Christmas from Mount Doom!
After dinner we had a talent show. There was quite a bit of singing and gymnastics, followed by the 3-Person Death Spin. This picture truly doesn't do it justice. Daniel and Leah made a truly astounding gingerbread copy of a real house in Logan.Bruce was in charge of the Pin The Tail On The Disney Character game. Then we had the tradition Nativity re-enactment. It was magical! So my advice is, find yourself a friend with a Party Barn!