Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Lights at Temple Square

As seen on December 28th, 2008.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Day 2008

Snuggling in bed before opening presents.

Spending the morning with Grandma and Grandpa.

Opening presents!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Eve 2008

We enjoyed a wonderful dinner and evening at the Dalton's this Christmas eve.

These night-before Christmas festivities felt complete. We loved being with baby Annabel and baby Jonah to celebrate their first Christmas', and we anxiously await the arrival of Chad and Lizzie's baby girl (whose expected arrival is imminent!).
The nativity re-enacted: complete with angels (Ella and Louisa),
Mary (Caroline) and Joseph (Zach) and a sweet baby lamb (Annabel).
Not pictured: the cutest baby cow ever (Jonah).

Present opening: each of the girls received a talking Marie doll.
(Don't mind my 2 second sigh in the video... it is so fun to have girls!)

They love the dolls, and the packaging too!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Service Breakfast

Ella and Louisa with
"someone dressed up as Santa"
Saturday, Dec. 29th, 2008

A wonderful tradition in the Parley's 5th Ward again occurred last Saturday. Each year our Ward gathers prior to Christmas to celebrate with breakfast, a visit from Santa, and most importantly, a gathering of gifts purchased for families in need. Through these unified efforts, Christmas was provided for 8 families. This year, we also donated items to complete 100 school kits for children in impoverished areas. This is a testament to me of the good we can do when we unify our efforts and gather together with great love.

The Nativity

by Louisa

Louisa's drawing of the nativity scene, complete with the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, 2 wise men (each with their own prominent features: one a nose, the other ears), a shepherd and lamb, the hills surrounding Bethlehem and an angel.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Visiting with the Real Santa

Ella: "I was a little afraid, and a little excited to meet Santa. I knew he was real because he has a map of the stars inside of his cape to guide him on his journey. I told him that my classmates saw his sleigh flying during recess. He said his sleigh was parked with his reindeer in Park City! I sat on his lap and told him I want the Corolle Marie doll."

Louisa: "It was so cool, because I didn't know that Santa was really real. It was very fun to see him. If we didn't see him I would think that Santa was not real. I knew that he was real because sometimes there are people that dress up as Santa and they say "ho, ho, ho" but really they are not Santa. I see their faces and they are almost like a bee (that goes buzz). He was at the Children's Hour. It is a place where Lizzie is. She works. She comes at night. I told him I want a baby pony pinkie-pie (I will name her Abby) for Christmas."

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Proof of my Mullet

Morning hair (and face):

Some serious bang height. Good thing I live in Utah.

Warning: This post will self-destruct if I don't receive a record number of comments.

P.S. I'm putting myself out there on this one.
P.P.S. Yes, sometimes I drop Ella off at school looking like this.

Note to Self

Ideas for next year's white elephant exchange:

* Return the huge can of beans (serves 40) with some Beano to accompany
* Live Goldfish
* Summer Sausage - a huge one!
* Partially eaten chocolates with a picture of the eater
* A toilet-seat (perhaps new)
* Box of crickets
* Return this year's autographed picture of Steve (brought by friends, not by us!)
* Menopause detector test
* Jar of pickles, ice cream, pregnancy test
* Adult diapers
* Live worms
* A collection of drug-rep pens & paraphenalia

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

She's Moved On...

...to bigger and better things!

Goodbye binkies,
hello super-sized bottles!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Silver Bell

Today a sweet Christmas memory from my mom's life is featured in the LDS Church News.
She tells of a cherished gift received in her teen years by her father (my grandpa Melvin Leo Schwartz): the gift of a silver bell on a necklace.
Mom relates this story to the lasting gifts of example given by her father. She reaffirms the grand message of Christmas: that the Savior's matchless life is the greatest gift given.

I remember my mom wearing this necklace, especially at Christmastime. I love hearing this story, and others, of my grandpa, who I never met. Though there is great power in the spoken word, I cherish that this experience is now a written record in our family history.

If you would like, you can read more here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Spikey Hands

Occasionally, we have a visitor at our home. Of the worst kind. She came today: we call her Mean Mom.

She warned that she was coming. She asked repeatedly for the girls to stop playing with the shapeable foam soap (now noted: a ridiculous request). She endured the bathroom messes, the facial foam mustaches, even foamy falling snowmen. However, when the green foam was spread over the (just cleaned-by-professionals) carpet Mean Mom started raising her voice and without warning spanking (the score: Ella 3, Louisa 1).

Louisa headed straight for the pad of paper and created art. Her masterpiece is featured here tonight. She calls it "Spikey Hands."

May this serve as a reminder for me to better show love and patience, to value people over things, and to teach obedience through positive parenting.