2008 Closing Random Thoughts

It's 1:32 pm - just over 10 hours left of 2008, and what am I doing? NOTHING!

First of all can you believe that we're 10 years past 99? I mean - Prince said he'd party like it's 1999 - what was partying like then anyway? I had a 2 year old, and I'm pretty sure that any partying going on at my place was much different to the stuff that Prince was singing about.

Anyway - I have places to be, parties to attend, a new year to celebrate, and I'm sitting here in my office watching my next door neighbors, who have never experienced snow - apparently there really are still people like this, shovel and reshovel piles. They're not creating sledding hills, making snowmen, or clearing a path out of the garage. Just randomly shoveling. Huh.

Jon's working today (always a good thing), and the other 3 boys are downstairs watching Ratatoulli, jumping on the couches, and playing Heroscape. I cleaned the kitchen this morning, but now it's a mess (the boys found where I hid the Candy Cane Almond Roca and Lindor Truffles, and there are wrappers EVERYWHERE). The cushions are all off the couches in the family room, and Carson's got the floor of the living room completely covered with figures, tiles, cards, etc so that he can plot his strategy for tonight's game.

I really don't want to go down there anyway - it'll just mean that I have to do something or look at my partially put away Christmas decor. There's just not time to finish putting it away, get ready for tonight's party, and put together the yummies that I'm taking. Oh well.

The family room tree has been bagged - it'll go back to Jon's parent's house tonight. The one in the kitchen has all of the ornaments removed and boxed up at its foot and it just needs to be carried to the basement. The living room tree is still standing on the end table with all of its adornments also boxed beneath it. Is there anything more lonely or post-holiday representationist than an undecorated tree? Don't think so.

I did finish beading a necklace and bracelet this morning. They go with the earrings that my SIL, Chris, gave me for Christmas. I'd post a photo, but the camera has gone incognito for a few days - that's why I haven't posted photos of Christmas morning. I've been wearing all 3 jewelry items with my jammies and pony-tailed hair thus far today. Griff said I look beautiful. Who am I to argue?

Yesterday I found a zipped, angora hoody at Smith's Marketplace. I really do love the thing, but I'm going to work on want/need spending in 2009. That black hoody really isn't a need. I have other black sweaters, and that hoody has pockets right about hip level that create little bulges where they aren't necessarily needed. Besides - if I bought the hoody I'd want to but a new cami to go underneath it, and I don't need more of those either. BUT - it's on a 60% off sale. Oh the dilemma.

I hear my latest chick lit calling me. I may have to read a chapter or 4 before I get in the shower. As long as we're ready to rock & roll when Jon gets here, it's all good, right?

Have an enjoyable, safe evening. I'd like you to all be around to check out my thoughts during '09.


Christmas Magic

Some wonderful friend is providing me with a humorous 12-Days-of-Christmas. We love it! The boys are racing to the door each evening trying to catch the culprit, and we're all trying to figure out what the day's gift will be. Our favorite has been the canes that were used by the 9 ladies after they'd been out dancing all night.

The 4th day brought 4 messages, one of which was a story about the candy cane miracle. In summary - a woman was complaining about not even being able to afford candy canes for her Christmas Tree during a prayer. The next few days saw an abundance of candy canes entering her home, and she realized that her prayer had been heard.

My Christmas spirit has been greatly hampered this year with workloads being light or non-existent for both Jon and me. I'm not worried about Christmas, but the next few months aren't something that I'm really looking forward to.

Friday was Jon's brother's 10th anniversary, and Jon and I got to have a niece and 3 nephews spend the night at our house. I was looking forward to it because I love these kids, but I was also a little intimidated. I don't have any girls, and I wasn't sure that I'd be able to keep Courtney entertained. I was also a bit worried about changing diapers (haven't done that for a few years) and waking up with a little one. The amazing thing to me is that the two I was the most reserved about are the two who made it the most enjoyable for me.

After dinner (who knew that cutting German pancakes, cooking sausage links and pouring juice or milk for 7 kids could be so time consuming?) Courtney and I got out my beading supplies, and we made a few bracelets. I had so much fun spending girl time! When we were wrapping up, Courtney said, "Aunt Staci, you're a lot nicer than I thought you were." I didn't quite know how to take that so I just said thank you and gave her a hug.

Jon had taken her little brother, Alden, upstairs to read him a book in an effort to get him to sleep. Friday night was Alden's first time spending a night away from both parents at the same time. He was such a good kid! Jon's story didn't quite get him to sleep, so I wrapped him up in his blanket, gave him his milk, and sat next to the Christmas tree with the other lights in the room turned off. He quietly asked me if his mom was home and said he wanted to get down. I hugged him tight, said it was time to go to sleep, and started lightly tickling his face. He finally went to sleep, and I just couldn't quit holding him. I held him there with the gentle light of the tree casting shadows on his cheeks and was overcome with the love that I felt for this little boy.

Jon finally came to get him and we put him in bed with Courtney. Much to every one's surprise, he slept all night long.

My sister-in-law, Shauna, had given Jon and I a goody bag for taking care of the kids. She included a candle, a book, a card, and ... candy canes. I didn't think about the story from my neighbor until later Saturday night, but I was reminded of the little gifts of the Christmas season: boys that brighten my home each day, a husband who truly enjoys his family, nieces who teach me that I need to work on my relationships with them, sisters-in-law who pay attention to details, and little boys who bring peace.

Of course this lead me to think of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. The next day I sat in class with my 5-yr-old primary kids, watched the sunbeams (this included Griff) all excited and dressed up for a nativity during sharing time and thought about how much I love these children. I realised that this love was small in comparison to the love that was demonstrated to each of us by our older brother and by our Heavenly Father as each of our individual needs are tended.

Thank you to all of you who've sent cards this year, called on the phone, renewed old friendships, and offered your bits of wisdom via blogs. It's made this holiday season one that I will always remember.


Hey - it's only been a month!

I suppose that after a month, I really should update my blog...

In case any of you are worried, my thumb is just fine. I do have a scar, but it's hardly noticeable.

So - wanted to fill you all in on our Thanksgiving festivities. I've also got a list of things that I'm thankful for floating around in my head, and I'm pretty sure I want to get that posted sooner rather than later. I get teary-eyed every time I sit down and try to organize my thoughts, so I'll do my best :).

We ate with Jon's family at his parents' stake center. There were 36 of us, and it was unbelievably fabulous!

Someone organized a family talent show, which my boys kicked off with a karaoke ala MP3 player in the ears version of "Last Christmas, I gave you my heart. The very next day, you gave it away..." Carson and Evan were supposed to sing along, but they got Griff onstage and left him up there! Griff was too nervous to stand there and look at all of us, so he turned around and sang to the back of the stage. I expected a couple of booty shakes, but that dang stage fright kicked in and kept his posterior fairly still. It was pretty dang funny. My neices performed a few impressive piano numbers and a tumbling pass.

One SIL is getting her Tae Kwon Do black belt this coming weekend, so she and 3 of her kids (all of whom have or are also getting their black belts) did a thing with num-chuks, pin-chuks (don't ask me the difference), and black lights. Afterward the kids all got up on stage and danced around until a couple of them got beaned and we had to put a stop to the ninja brigade.

We had a volleyball game in which all but one of Jon & his brothers chickened out of playing. Turned out to be a competition between the aunts and the Father-in-law and the nephews. I don't think anyone used a camera, but I'm positive that there would have been some incredible photos.

We cleaned up the church and then went over to Mom & Dad's to eat left over pie. Fabulous day!


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