Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tradition, Tradition!

Go ahead, sing it like Tevye: "Tradition, tradition!" Christmas at our house is plumb full of traditions, some of which we've let go with the move (for the best, I think, to simplify), but others that I've carried on from my childhood. Gingerbread houses are one of these traditions.

Unfortunately, this year, the tradition fell flat. Literally and figuratively. It was already a busy Monday--6 loads of laundry, a Costco run, a normal grocery store trip (both of which had to be orchestrated around Zelly's naps and kid pick-up/drop-off times), preschool, early out, arranged play dates, etc. etc. Then I couldn't find the candy I needed for the gingerbread house, so I had to make yet another trip to a different store. So by gingerbread-house-decorating time, I was exhausted.

And, like I tell the kids every year, baking the gingerbread house is kind of a guessing game. It's already brown, so you can't tell how done it is, and since it cooks in a jellyroll pan, you can't really tell how thick it is. So you pray that the final result is soft enough to eat but hard enough to hold up when decorated.  This was my first year in the 10 or so I've been making them that I failed miserably. I burned the gingerbread people and undercooked the gingerbread house. So, the roof caved in and the edges fell off. And the icing wasn't stiff enough, so the windows sagged down almost to the ground. Then the kids tried to eat their decorated people and just about broke their teeth. So they complained about it loudly and I got upset because I did my best and even made an extra trip to find the candy we needed and why were they complaining.
Oh, look! It has an overhanging roof!
After the overhangs fell off and with cracks in the rest of the roof--still hanging on!
So, Tevye tells us that they keep their balance in their town with traditions and that without tradition, their lives would be "as shaky as a fiddler on a roof." Often that's the case with us in the long run, I think. But sometimes, the trying to keep the traditions throws my day and therefore my psyche off balance. Monday I definitely ended the day as shaky as a fiddler on a roof. Or as shaky as the undercooked roof of a gingerbread house.

Friday, December 13, 2013

In the Christmas Spirit

I honestly can't believe it's already December 13. Insanity. Anyway, as soon as the Thanksgiving guests left, the kids were clamoring to put up the Christmas decor. The tree was a 3-day affair, as usual (Sat night, bought it; Sunday, lights up; Monday, decorate for FHE). I've been enjoying the fresh-tree smell ever since. Oh, how I love the Christmas tree. Unfortunately, the tree is off in the music/reading room this year to keep it safe from Little Zelly (or vice versa). I miss having it right in front of me. 

Sweetie reading a Christmas book to H.

A Peek at the Last Few Weeks

We've been busy, of course, over the last few weeks.

Little Zelly has been busy being cute, looking out the window, eating her first Oreo piece, and getting into everything:
Sweetie got a reward for her musical composition in Reflections:
And she and I went for a mother/daughter date to BYU's Christmas around the World.
H and his friends have been busy playing Wii Sports:

And the kids have been busy doing random things, including trying out our new snow!

Giving Thanks

We had a great Thanksgiving. We hosted J's family--22 people gathered from California, Arizona, and Utah. I'm just now recovering from it. Not really, but I haven't blogged for a while and so I thought it might work as an excuse??

The Thanksgiving preparations involved licking all of the suckers in the turkey (for H) and trying to make food with a 10-month old pulling on my legs and crying (for me):

We feasted and feasted, of course, had a family talent show, lots of cousin sleepovers and soccer games, and went to Temple Square to see the lights (with all of the other people in Utah!) It was good to be together. We have so much to be thankful for.

 J's Mo-vember mustache was not one of those things to be thankful for:


Monday, November 25, 2013

Rockin' the Sunday Tunes and a Piece of Peace

Yesterday in Relief Society, the teacher gave a lesson based on a talk from Elder Packer. She talked about how answers to our concerns in life can be found in the scriptures. I know this. I've experienced it. But not for a while. Before she began her lesson, she had everyone write down a concern they had. Then she gathered them up, distributed them (nobody wrote their names on them), and we had 5 minutes to find an answer to that concern in the scriptures. Mine was "children with financial problems." A doozy. Can't look up "money" or "financial problems" in the Topical Guide. And besides, that would be giving advice to the child with the financial problem, not the mother worried about that child and what to do for him/her. But, what do you know, I found this little gem in Alma 7:27:  "And now, may the peace of God rest upon you, and upon your houses and lands, and upon your flocks and herds, . . . your women and your children, according to your faith and good works."  So, this is one promise for the woman with this concern--she needs to continue in faith and good works and the peace of God will rest upon her and her child. This 10 minute exercise brought the spirit of the scriptures into my heart again and helped reignite my own desire to continue in faith and good works. After all, I want a piece of the peace!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Can I Be Done Posting Halloween Pics, Already?!

This morning when I was braiding Sweetie's hair, she said, "I can't decide if I'm going to be a vampire or a mummy for Halloween next year."  Ummm, good thing you have about 353 days to decide, my dear. As for me, I am DONE with Halloween and have long moved on. Except for in my blog. So let's finish this holiday up, shall we? This year we had a werewolf, a Wonder Woman (whose costume was a labor of love and a lesson in patience on my part), a Hulk, and a Cabbage Patch Kid. By the week before Halloween, my sewing machine and my sanity could take no more fur, lycra, satin, etc. I ordered Little Zelly's wig off of Etsy the first week of October and it arrived at 5pm on Halloween. I had frantically run around trying to borrow another costume for her that afternoon because, even though she didn't trick or treat, the kids were shocked that she might go without a costume.  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Great Pumpkin(s)

Ahhh, pumpkin carving. J's favorite part of the holiday (ha ha). But he survived and so did the pumpkins and the kids (with all of those knives around, it's never a given).  And we ended up with some beauties!