Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pre-Christmas Goodness

I LOVE this time of year.  It is super busy.  But, at least for me, it's almost all FUN busyness.  Except for the whole "hosting a dinner for 35 women at church" thing.  Parts of that were fun.  But it was mostly stressful.  But it went well!  And everyone enjoyed it.  (Except for a us singing ALL of the verses to eight Christmas songs.  That was a bit much for some of the women.  I'll remember that for next time.)  And I can't believe the big day is only five days away!  Yippee!

*Day of Service*

Our big service project at church this year, was held in conjunction with our Christmas brunch.  We volunteered at Backpack Beginnings, organizing comfort backpacks for homeless, abused, and neglected children.
They have their system completely streamlined.

The girls were GREAT helpers.

They put Brandon and his big muscles to work doing manual labor.
He rocked!
So grateful for this chance to serve with our ward family.

*Christmas Lights*

I'm such a sucker for Christmas lights!  On December nights, I smile in my minivan everywhere I go.  

One of our favorite go-to stops is the musical lights out in the boonies.
It's about a 25 minute one-way drive from our house.
We packed up the kids and cruised out there....
only to find that they're not doing it this year!
Oh no!
I was so sad.
B was ticked that we drove all that way for nothing.

Andrew was amused that we found "Fat Boy Blvd"
while we were out there.  :)

Luckily, the Ridgeway lights (our other family fave)
 were still going strong!
Love, love, love it.

A friend showed me a new spot that is awesome, too.
 I don't know how well the picture captures the awesomeness,
but this is a forested lot between two homes.
So cool!

I also liked the next-door neighbors' NOEL.

*The Nutcracker*
All of the girls in the family went to the ballet this year.
(Meanwhile, Andrew took B to ride go-carts.
All of us were happy!)

Pre-ballet twirling.

Caroline had come from a birthday party with an
amazing face painter and there was no way I was making
her take that off beforehand.

We loved the performance!  Since the girls are taking ballet right now, they were even more interested. Caroline's favorite was the mice.  Whitney loved the snowflakes.  I think my favorite was the waltz of the flowers--I love all the different colored tutus. 
 *Relief Society Christmas Dinner*

My responsibilities at church right now include a monthly weeknight meeting for the women's organization.  Most of the meetings are casual and I delegate the teaching responsibilities.  But this one was a little more work.  And entertaining is not really my strength.  Sometimes I forget important details.  Like forks.  So I was stressed out pretty much the whole day of the dinner.

But then I showed up at the church.  Half an hour before the dinner.  And there were women (and one young man!) already waiting to get in the building to help me set up.  Just out of the goodness of their hearts!  Everyone pitched in and it was a wonderful evening.  Especially the rolls from Golden Corral's bakery and the Cheesecake Factory dessert.  (Now you know why the rest of the activities are so casual--we save all our budget to end the year with a bang!)

I'm trying to remind myself that these women love me.  And that if I miss important details, they'll still love me.  And forgive me.  And dig some plastic forks out of one of the storage closets themselves if they have to.

*Preschool Program*

We had a great time listening to Care Bear sing her heart out
at the preschool Christmas Program.

Such a little cutie patootie.

Sorry it's so shaky.  My assistant videographer is a rookie,
but I was grateful for his help.
I love how she holds that last note out longer than anyone else.  :)

Have a great Christmas!  We miss all of our family and friends who live far away, but are grateful for cards, gifts, blogs, and facebook that make you seem not quite so far away.


  1. You have to email me where you saw those cool lights! I want to go now! Also hearing brandon belt out those notes was pretty cute.

  2. What a fun post! Tell Brandon he sings like an angel. Caroline was dang cute too. And being the Enrichment (or whatever they call it!) leader during Christmas is SO STRESSFUL. I hear you, and I'm sure they forgive you if you forget the forks. I had a mild nervous breakdown two years in a row as the Enrichment person and I doubt anyone in that ward remembers the events all -- the good or the bad! (Although I think the one lady who got really really mad at me for returning her dishes unwashed still remembers. Why do place settings cause we women so many problems?)

    Hope you guys have a maaahhhvelous Christmas!

  3. We don't even use real forks at RS activities. I guess your ward is lucky to have you after all! *grin*

  4. Oh what tidings of joy! Awesome service project, and singing too! And twirling red veleveted girls and mama.

    Loved seeing your RS meeting in action! Last year, the woman who was over decorating for our Stake Women's Conference was going crazy because she lost a box of 100 knives/forks/spoons as we were setting up the night before - they were the nice clear plastic kind. We turned the Stake Center upside down looking for them and someone finally had to go buy another box. She took me aside two weeks at our RS party and said when she got out her Christmas decorations she moved a box to the side in her storage.........and there was the missing box of knives/forks/spoons. I'd forgotten all about it but she sounded like she was still stewing over it and so relieved to have solved the mystery. Now if I could just find those 10 linen tablecloths I borrowed that I'm pretty sure the sweet high councilmen threw away.

    I'm making gooey caramel corn tonight!! Love you!!
    Mom S

  5. that should be "she took me aside two weeks AGO!"

    But, I enjoy the little thrill of clicking "publish" without proof-reading

  6. I thought you were RS secretary, did you get a new calling or is that part of your secretary responsibilities?

    Fun post!!

  7. All of the forks responses are cracking me up!!

    Megan--we don't use real forks either. I forgot to put out the plastic ones for our soup and salad dinner. A sweet friend found me in the kitchen and asked, "Do you think we could get some forks for our salad?" D'oh! I was so focused on the SOUP and SPOONS that it didn't even cross my mind that another utensil might be required for SALAD. Ha!

    Ang and Amy--A few months ago I got called to be a counselor in the RS Presidency, the one over the additional RS mtgs. Our ward is short on sisters to fill callings, so I don't have a leader or a committee. My presidency members are always great to help me out, but two of them couldn't make it this time. It can get crazy, but I'm doing my best. :)

  8. Those red velvet dresses steal the show.