Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

It is Christmas night. All is calm and quiet and bright. We had a wonderful Christmas with a few big twists. My sister's new baby Sam had to have an operation on the 23rd so they were in the hospital with him till Christmas eve night. That was disturbing but we are grateful the doctors found what had been going wrong with his digesting his food and that he is recovering well at home now.

Also my parents got a big envelope in the mail from our Church Headquarters, specifically the missionary department. ;) They will be serving another 18 month mission in Kenya again starting this July.

We are enjoying family in town and new exciting presents (trains trains trains! a rocking horse, an ipod nano, a new camera and an exersaucer!) I will post photos from Sabrina's new camera shortly. She was our Christmas photographer this year.

But for now, here is our Christmas card for all of you to wish you a very merry Christmas from the "8 Waites,"

Here is the original photo by my sister in law Elizabeth. Thanks Buff!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Advent Calendar

Someone asked for more information on the Savior Centered Advent Calendar my sister gave us for Christmas this year. Here is a photo of it halfway through the month:
 It is hung from a piece of twine with clothes pins. As I took down the bags I put up Christmas Cards we had received. In each bag was a scripture question about the story of the Savior's birth along with the scripture reference where the answer to the question could be found. Additionally in each bag was an activity for the day. See below:
The activities have been one of several things. Some are a challenge to do a Christ like action like the day above where we had to call a family member or friend who didn't live with us and tell them how much we love them. Others have been poems or stories about Christmas to read as a family. There was a Family Home Evening plan in one. We read a story about the Christmas orange and played "pass the orange" as a family. That was so much fun!

My sister has posted more details on how she did this project and how you can make your own on her blog. I would highly recommend going over there to visit it. Just click HERE. Not only does the make for a really fun and Savior focused December, it is really cute and makes a perfect place for hanging cute Christmas cards too.

Make it as a gift for someone you love next year!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Treats

Today I am once again thanking the Lord for my helpful girls. We were busy women today. We tended the boys and worked hard to get all our Christmas treats together for our friends and neighbors. This year I decided to give a cheese ball. It is a nice break from all the sweets. But my girls said I had to do pretzel treats too. "You have to think about kids mom! They don't like cheese balls." So we did about 300 pretzel treats too.

Sabrina and Annie and I got a good assembly line going while the boys napped.
So the photo is a little blurry but they were so cute in their aprons.
First we put some press and seal in a little 1 cup sized bowl.
 Then we put some chopped pecans in it. (Annie did a wonder chopping all the pecans with our food chopper thing by pampered chef.)
 Next we put in some plumped craisens. (Sabrina was our plumper. She was a pro with a wet cloth tied to her waist to help her out.)
 Then we covered the craisens with green onion. (I chopped up 18 bunches of green onions for this project.)
 After Annie put in the nuts and Craisens, Sabrina put in the green onions and then topped it all with a layer of Apricot Jam.
 Lastly, I added two ice cream scoops of our cheese mixture (1 part coconut, 2 parts shredded cheddar cheese, 4 parts cream cheese softened.) We had a total of 28 cups of cheese mixture for our project. I patted the balls of cheese down into the bowl and wrapped the press and seal around it.

Here was the end result:
 And here are all of them together on the table.
Next time I will have to be more careful about making sure my press and seal is bigger and seals well as some of them started to leak jam. There were too many to put in the fridge so we just took them out for delivery with a bag of Wheat Thins ASAP.

Now I am bushed, but happy. I love Christmas. Merry Christmas to you all!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Creative Crowns

 My Lauren loves to create things. I love seeing the beautiful things she comes up with. Our Camille tree out front (a red oak) has been shedding its leaves little by little. She picked a bunch up and made a counting book telling how she found one leaf in a bush and two leaves in the street and three leaves ... you get the idea. It was really cute with the leaves all stuck onto each page.

Then she got the scrapbooking scissors out and made these beautiful fall crowns for herself and her sisters. I think she wore hers for 3 days straight. She even made one with a leaf above each ear to wear for school "holiday head gear" day last week. It was her "raindeer" crown.

I just want to remember these little creations of hers. I want to remember the little notes of love and the times she offers to wash Annie's feet after Annie has a rough day. She may be hard headed and impossible to convince she is wrong (i have NO idea where she gets that ;) but she does have a loving heart and lots of talent.

I love you more than a never ending ice cream cone Lauren!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Eight months old and eight teeth! I am loving this little "wormy" boy. Harrison likes to worm his way along the floor pushing with his right big toe. He can crawl. He does more and more these days. But most of the time he crawls a few feet and then drops down to his tummy to push himself along the floor wormy style.

He is most drawn to the stairs (though he hasn't made it past the first step), the shoe caddy closet (bins of shoes and socks to throw all over) and the car bin. Luckily he hasn't disturbed the Christmas presents too much.

He is a snuggle bug and will wrap his arms around your neck when you hold him. He loves to run his hands through the back of my hair and hold on to it. I love that. He is precious to me. Those eyes, those lips, that happy, peaceful disposition... what is not to love?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


My hands have ben rather busy lately, thus hindering my posting. Instead I have been managing the messes and craziness of this little pirate guy:

"He will only be 2 once," Jon reminds me. And I know it. It brings both feelings of sadness and relief. I love 2. I hate 2. Mostly I love 2. But there are a few parts of 2 that really drive me batty. When I feel I am going batty I ask Noble, "How many are you Noble?" His little "I'n twoooo!" Makes me feel better.

He has been learning that Christmas decorations are for looking not touching (such a disappointment!) and that Christmas presents are supposed to stay wrapped under the tree. It is a "BIG No! No! No!" to unwrap presents.

Last week he opened a present (his first such offense) and found a train. It was for Harrison. Noble loves trains. This particular train was Emery from Chuggington (Noble's favorite show.) He was devastated that this was not for him. Later when I asked him what Christmas was all about he said, "Emery." 

We had work to do. I took him over to the Nativity and told him the story of the Savior's birth. He wasn't sure about that baby really being Jesus. It looked lots more like Harrison to him. At the end he was till pretty sure Christmas was about trains. 

All week we have been emphasizing that Christmas is about Jesus. We have been doing daily activities focused on the Savior with a fun advent calendar my sister gave us. Finally today when I asked Noble what Christmas was all about he said, "Jesus, Baby!"

I love seeing the joy of "Kissmuss" through 2 year old eyes. He will only be 2 once. He will only want me to play dinosaurs for hours for a short period of his life. He will only want to find scissors to cut anything he can for a little while longer. He will only insist I cook in the play kitchen with him and do all the cooking the way he says to for a few months more. He will only be saying the cute little things he says for a little while longer. He will only be 2 once. 

And I will savor it all, the good and the bad ... because I can. Because he is "twoooo!" Hooray!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Little Things

My camera is out of juice. So the other day I went to get the charger for the battery so I could charge it. I couldn't find it. I looked high and low. No luck. I have one place I keep stuff like that and I looked throughly to no avail. The camera is only a few months old. I have only had to charge the battery once. Where could it be?

Tonight I started to think I would have to buy a new charger. I looked up how much a replacement would cost - $50. That is almost 1/4 the price of the camera. I know it has to be somewhere. But where?

I went up to bed. I knelt down to say my nightly prayers. And I prayed to find my charger. I did not have much hope. I had already searched high and low. I knew it wasn't somewhere I was just going to "run across" sometime. I have been looking for it for a few days now.

But I prayed that maybe the Lord would put a thought in my mind that would help me know where to look. I just kept thinking that it couldn't be too far from the place I keep all the charger things. So I came back downstairs to that area and thought, "You know I know I have looked there before, but I will search the kid's "pencil" drawer again. It has lots of junk in it. Maybe the charger is hiding.

As I started looking I realized that I didn't even know exactly how big it was. It could be smaller than I was thinking. I began taking everything out. And there it was. Under some paper in the far back corner. It was MUCH smaller than I thought. It has no cord either (another thing I was looking for.) It just plugs straight in the wall.

Once again, the Lord shows me He does care, even about little things.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

the best laid plans...

Today is Jonathan's birthday. I was planning to go out to dinner with him and another couple to a nice place on the strip last night. I was planning to let him sleep in and do all the kids by myself this morning. I was planning on making him a coconut cream pie all for himself. I was planning to put the kids to bed early so we could spend one on one time together before going to sleep.

Then yesterday, a couple hours before we were to go out, I found out one of our friends was sick with a stomach bug. We decided to go to the temple instead of the Strip. Then for his "birthday dinner" we went to Tacos El Gordo. Basically we went to Mexico only we never left Las Vegas. It was the real deal. It was not the fancy place we planned to go but the food was legit Mexican. And the spirit and learning at the temple were so much better than the strip atmosphere.

When we got home we watch the King of Kong documentary. It is all about 2 guys competing for the world record score in Donkey Kong. Best line in the movie is when the one guys daughter is talking to her dad about how he is trying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records. She says something like, "Gee I never knew it was such a big deal to be in that book." Then her dad says it is and that people do a lot to get in it. To which she replies something like, "Yeah some people ruin their whole lives to get in it." Hmmmm.

That night Harrison was up 10 and 2 and 4 and 5. He is teething and has an ear infection so I was up with him each time. So when Noble woke up at 6 ... well Jon didn't exactly get to sleep in. I wanted to get up with him. The spirit was willing but the flesh ... well it was bone tired.

When I did wake up I did make a coconut cream pie for him and a second (1/2 coconut 1/2 chocolate and coconut) for everyone else we would be eating with that night at his parents house.

It was fast Sunday so there was no breakfast in bed or anything but we did wrap up some presents and let Jonathan open them this morning. After church I put Noble down for a nap and let Jon have a much needed nap. Then we packed everyone in the car and headed for Grandma's house to celebrate the 9 or 10 Waite family birthdays in the month of December.

Annie was acting funny and not eating all through dinner. Post dinner we all sat in the family room going over who all had birthdays this month and when. Just as we were wrapping that up Annie threw up all over me. Fun times. She felt so bad that she had thrown up on me. But that is just part of being a mom.

We went to the bathroom to disrobe and shower and get our clothes in the laundry. Meanwhile the family dove into dessert. Jon shared his pie with his family since my "chocolate coconut" experiment was not so great.

And tonight I sat with Annie till she fell asleep before going in to spend a few minutes with Jonathan before he fell asleep. What a long day. I hope Annie sleeps tonight and feels better tomorrow. I wish I could sleep. I feel anxious. I thought writing might help. I hope it does. I am going to go try to sleep again. It was not the birthday I had planned for my husband. But he knows I love him and I love that he loves me despite my foiled and altered plans.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Celebrating the Savior

Last Sunday we had a lesson in our women's class about focusing on Christ during the Christmas season. At one point in the lesson the teacher asked us to share a memory of one of our best Christmases. A Christmas where we really felt the Savior in the season.

A couple of ideas came to my mind. Foremost among those was the Christmas of 2009. A friend of mine raised her hand and said what I was thinking. "A couple of years ago, Stephanie did that auction on her blog. I wasn't that involved with it but I did donate something and I was in touch with the person who won my item. That Christmas helping that woman out who was really special."

She was talking about the auction I did to raise money for Emily Jones after her husband tragically died in the Nutty Putty Caves in Utah over their Thanksgiving break from medical school out East. It was a lot of work to do that auction. But, for me, it was one of my very best Christmases. I really felt the Savior's love in the service of so many people.

A couple of days ago my friend Britt contacted me about a friend of hers. Britt's son Daxton died the same week as Camille. He had just turned 1. We met online and then in person a few weeks after they died. We have become great friend since then and have traveled together many times.

So Britt and I were chatting online and she told me a friend of hers from high school named Brooke Hunt. She and her husband have had an extraordinarily rough year or so. Her husband had a job loss that led to the loss of their home. Two weeks ago her husband was in a car accident and totaled their car. This is all tough but it is small potatoes in light of their Thanksgiving week.

Just days before Thanksgiving, Brooke found the youngest of her 4 children, her 17 month old son Chase hanging in the rungs of their bunk bed with food in his mouth. He died the day before Thanksgiving.

Britt and I both know exactly how Brooke feels. We know nothing can make this better. But we want to do something to send some love her way. Britt thought maybe we could collect angel ornaments to give their family an angel tree similar to ours. I know that angel tree and the ornaments sent by so many of you brings me so much peace and joy each Christmas.

I love taking each ornament out and examining it and remembering the notes of love and support that were sent with them. I would like to invite you to make this one of your best Christmases ever by doing some service for the Hunt family. Be on the look out for angel ornaments. I will be talking to Britt more about how else we can help. Perhaps donating some money (burial costs are not cheap.) I get more info for you when I can.

If you would like to send an angel ornament, please email Britt at angelchase506 at gmail dot com.