Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Holiday Meme

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Both, of course.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?I grew up with pinning my stocking to a place on the couch and all my Santa gifts would be displayed there the next morning. So I followed that tradition with my kids. Of course, they laid awake in bed until I went to sleep and snuck out and saw everything. I learned this a couple of years ago. What a relief when they told me Santa wasn't real so I told them he would not be visiting anymore. Now I can sleep through the night.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? It depends on my decorations. Most years the lights are white. Lots and lots of lights.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Why would I do this?
5. When do you put your decorations up? Probably the first weekend in December unless there is something better to do. Never before December 1. That's sacreligious.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: Our Christmas Eve family home evening. We would read Christmas stories and poems, A Visit from St. Nick and act out the nativity. And really bad Christmas caroling.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Some mean kid told me in 2nd grade. I was devastated. I'm sure he's in prison now.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Growing up we could open one present on Christmas eve after the our family Christmas program. It was always a new pair of pajamas from Mom and Dad. I've carried the tradition on with my children. We still go to Mom's on Christmas eve and have a special program. Afterwards we open our presents from "Grandma" and she opens ours to her. We also do an exchange present with one of the siblings in the family and we open that while all the families are gathered on Christmas eve. (This is straight from Booklogged)
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? I love coming up with new themes for my Christmas tree. It started with an angel tree with white lights and lots of different angel ornaments that I either made or bought. It now includes gold curly ribbon and gold beads. Very pretty. Next I got into snowmen. It also has white lights and lots of different kinds of snowmen and snowflakes. I like lots of different sizes of ornaments on my trees so some snowmen are small and some are 8 or 9 inches tall. I also have little mittens and red berry sprays. When I got bored with those two, I ventured into the Santa market. This may be my favorite tree. I usually use colored lights and tons of Santas and reindeer and elves and toy ornaments. I have a Ho-Ho-Ho garland that I put in the middle. Then I fell in love with those huge multi-colored light bulbs and came up with color tree. I use the little colored lights and those big lights and jewel-toned ornaments. It's not my favorite tree but those lights put me in mind of Dr. Seuss. I know I have lots of Chirstmas decorations, so I am ashamed to say that this year I will unveil a new tree theme. I hope it turns out well. If so, I will post a picture later, but I won't it describe it yet.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? In a perfect world, it would start snowing just after dark on Christmas Eve. You know the kind of snowing I'm talking about. You go outside and it's so quiet you can almost hear the snow falling. You truly understand the meaning of Peace on Earth. Christmas morning you wake up to a Winter Wonderland. The next day, it melts away. 12. Can you ice skate? Useta could.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? My daughter is a gift-giving wonder. She puts so much thought into it and I always love what she gets me. I really enjoyed the year we all got my mother the Willow Tree Nativity set and she had already bought herself one. I was so disgusted with her for buying her own at Christmas time. You can imagine my surprise when I opened my daughter's gift and there was that Nativity Set. She was pretty disgusted with me since I had bought myself one when I bought one for my mom. Last year she gave me presents with an exercise theme, a nativity theme (Jim Shore with the hanging angel: I love angels) and a relaxation theme. She really overspent.
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Being with my family. My family has so much fun together during the holidays and it's aways so wonderful to get to see those who don't live close. They really are my best friends. Next is listening to Christmas music. I probably own 30 Christmas CD's and I try to listen to them all. My two favorites, this year anyway: Michael Crawford's "A Christmas Album" and Amy Grant's "A Christmas to Remember." Honorable mention to Celine Dion, Alan Jackson, and Mannheim Steamroller.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Something I don't have to make. At Thanksgiving, I would have to say lemon meringue or apple pie. At Christmas, it's all about the candy: peanut brittle, fudge, caramel popcorn.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? I love our progressive dinner. One night some time before Christmas, we visit each family member's home in our town to see their Christmas decorations and eat a different course of a meal. We've been doing this for six years and it's fun to look at the pictures we take each year of the families in front of their tree. On Christmas Eve, I like to watch my younger brother read "A Visit from St. Nick" at the speed of light. It's hilarious.
17. What tops your tree? The angle tree used to have a big angel but I now have a star. The snowman tree has a sign that says, "Let it snow." The Santa tree either has a big Santa or a sign that says, "Dear Santa, Define good." The color tree has a great big bow. (That may be why I don't like it as well.) I don't know what I'm putting on this year's tree.
18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? I love giving except it is so stressful trying to find good gifts. And my daughter's presents are so thoughtful that I love getting them and seeing the pleasure she gets from it. (Cassie, I don't expect you to do this every year so don't pressure yourself.)
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? I love the way Andy Williams sang "O Holy Night". I love "Ave Maria." I can't sing either of those very well but I like to sing "Silent Night" and "Hark the Herald Angels Sing." I dislike "Away in the Manger", "Little Drummer Boy" and "I Heard the Bells."
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?? Yuck.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

These are the times . . .

"THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. "
The above quote was written by Thomas Paine at Valley Forge on the top of a drum as there was no paper. Washington was so moved when he read it, that he immediately shared it with the troops who were suffering there.
~~Today in church, we had a couple of talks given on the Atonement. They really hit home. The lady talked about how rough her life was as she grew up; both parents were drug users and physically and verbally abusive. She was living on her own at the age of 16 and made all kinds of wrong choices. By 18, she was an unwed mother. She talked about reaching the depths of despair and finally turning to God for a way to help herself and her son. It was through this prayer that she begin to apply the Atonement to herself and talked about the hope and strength it gave her to change her life. Her husband shared some quotes from church leaders and the story, "He Took My Beating for Me." I've heard it several times and it always gets to me. Because there was additional time left after the two speakers, a high councilman was asked to speak. He shared the above quote from Thomas Paine and applied it to the Atonement. With a little artistic license, we can apply the term summer soldier and sunshine patriot to ourselves. . . how we shrink from doing what is right when it's hard. Or we don't make needed changes because, even with the Atonement, it's so difficult. We need to remember, "What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value." Finally, exchange the word FORGIVENESS for FREEDOM, and consider that for a minute.
~~I was very moved by all the speakers today and wrote this blog so, hopefully, I can remember the feelings I had. I'm so thankful that my life has been relatively blessed and easy, but I hope I will not take my blessings for granted and that I won't take that monumental gift of the Atonement for granted. Certainly, I can apply it to myself in a much greater degree.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

We Might as Well Dance

A friend of mine who has MS sent me this email. I decided to share this with all my blogger friends and hope it makes you take a good look at what's important. It reminded me of the friends and family that I am so grateful for and all the possibilities that are open to us.
*Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.
*I got to thinking one day about all those women on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible. How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word "refrigeration" mean nothing to you? How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched 'Jeopardy' on television? I cannot count the times I called my sister and said, "How about goingto lunch in a half hour?" She would gas up and stammer, "I can't. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain." And my personal favorite: "It's Monday." She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.
*Because Americans cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches.. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect! We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve toilet-trained. We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college. Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of "I'm going to," "I plan on," and "Someday, when things are settled down a bit." When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord. My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.
*Now...go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to......not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting? Make sure you read this to the end; you will understand why I sent this to you. Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask "How are you?" Do you hear the reply? When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, "We'll do it tomorrow." And in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say "Hi"? When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift....Thrown away.... Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over. *It's National Friendship and FAMILY WEEK Show your friends how much you care. Send this to everyone you consider a FRIEND. If it comes back to you, then you'll know you have a circle of friends.To those I have sent this to... I cherish our friendship and appreciate all you do. "Life may not be the party we hoped for... but while we are here we might as well dance!"

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

About Me Meme

Four things you may not have known about me.....
(One of my high school friends e-mailed this to me. I've added a few more categories. It was fun making this list. )
Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Popcorn girl at the movie theater
2. Legal secretary
3. Bartender at a country club
4. Bank manager
Four movies I have watched over and over:
1. Meet Me in St. Louis
2. Apollo 13
3. While You Were Sleeping
4. Notting Hill
I should list all the movies I watched with my kids until we had them memorized. (He-Man, Last Unicorn, Karate Kid, etc. etc.)
Four places I have lived:
1. St. John, Newfoundland, Canada
2. San Francisco, CA
3. Lincoln, Nebraska
4. Utah
Four TV shows I love to watch
1. Dancing with the Stars
2. Extreme Makeover - Home Edition
3. Gray's Anatomy
4. Northern Exposure (It counts, I own the DVDs)
I could add The Batchelor but that would be too embarrassing. (See embarrassing below)
Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Pacific Northwest
2. New England
3. Monterey
4. Disneyland, of course.
Maybe someday I will make it out of the country, besides Canada.
Four of my favorite foods:
1. Prime Rib
2. Pizza
3. Cheese burgers
4. My mom's roast beef
Unfortunately, I can't eat most of these on a regular basis so I like them even better now.
Four living people I would like to meet:
1. Sherry Dew
2. David McCullough
3. Katie Couric
4. Gordon B. Hinckley
Four non-living people I would like to have met:
1. Abraham Lincoln
2. Theodore Roosevelt
3. Lucy Maude Montgomery
4. Eve
There are so many, but I think the conversation would be very interesting with these four. I would like to meet the Savior also, but I will someday.
Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Italy
2. Santa Fe
3. New Zealand
4. Peru
Four Favorite Holiday Memories:
1. Very early morning breakfasts with my kids and other family on Memorial Day at Steinaker Lake. I don't want to do those again, but I love the memories.
2. Christmas Eve at my mom's, especially when all the kids were younger.
3. New Year's Eve at Booklogged's, especially the first year we played "What if . . . then."
4. The 4th of July we spent on Vancouver Island and how hard we laughed on the ferry ride back that night.
Four Embarrassing Moments:
1. I thought I had my church talk memorized but didn't and had to leave the podium and get my paper. I was 10 or 11.
2. Tripping and falling over a cord at work.
3. Tripping and falling on a tile edge during remodeling at work. (There's a theme here.)
4. Slipping and falling down the cement stairs at the Tabernacle after stake conference.
The last three were actually quite painful as well, but crying would have just been more embarrassing. Can I add that I am often very embarrassed for those women on the Batchelor? I probably watch it to see people doing more stupid things than I've ever done.
Four people who will respond to this meme:
1. Booklogged
2. Cassie
3. Alyson
4. Cardine (Someday, we are going to have to meet in person. I love your comments)

Friday, November 03, 2006

It's a Great Day

***Your Birthdate: February 4***
You have an extraordinary character - moral, responsible, and disciplined.Your sincerity and honesty shine through in almost every situation.Driven and focused, you rarely let your emotions get the better of you.You're level headed and rational. People count on you to look at things objectively.
Your strength: Your unwavering loyalty and ethics
Your weakness: Your rock solid stubbornness
Your power color: Navy blue
Your power symbol: Shield
Your power month: April
What Does Your Birth Date Mean?http://www.blogthings.com/whatdoesyourbirthdatemeanquiz/
Thanks to Write from Karen for this idea. I'm sure I'm all this and more. But what's up with that weakness. I'm not stubborn. Do you think I'm stubborn? Because I can sit on you till the cows come home. Actually, I truly question the disciplined part and being driven and focused. Well, I'm very focused when I'm reading. And I don't look all that great in navy blue . . . now, powder blue, that's a different story. Rrrrrrrr.