Familes are like fudge, mostly sweet with a few nuts

Santa Clause Came to Town!

Leslie planned a Santa Party for Saturday morning. She wants to make this into a tradition for family members who are around. Santa came to visit and pulled gifts from his sack. Mark was much more interested in playing with the

ball then sitting on Santa's lap and Hailey started crying the minute he walked into the room. Caleb just wanted to pull his hair. Still, the party was a success and Santa even had a gift for Dad and Todd.

Leslie's folks were here for the weekend and they helped her prepare the homemade donuts for the party. Diane glazed and Richard cooked while Leslie cut out donuts.
Play time, including ringaround the rosies was a big success too.


Dec. 10, 2009 - Well, our gingerbread creation is done. Brett and Dad and I stayed up until midnight last night and then I finished the last few things this morning. It turned out great - so fun. I could not have done it without Dad and Kyle and Brett. They were immeasurably helpful. Thank you Thank you!
The details we put in this year are the,
funnest part, so enlarge the photos so you can see them. I really like how the fountain turned out, complete with frozen falling "water" and blinking
lights. The North Pole Postal Service mail box was fun to make and I like the pile of coal in the barn for naughty boys and girls. The "days till Christmas" numbers are magnetic so they can be changed each day. Brett designed the sleigh at left and Dad made the wind sock which is a wonderful "sleighport" detail. Notice the doghouse below that Zachary and Eric made. And thanks again to Shanalee for the dog. I forgot to put the dog's name on the doghouse before it was cemented down and now I can't reach in to do it. However, I would like suggestions for the name of the dog. What would Santa name his dog?
It is nice to have it finished and tomorrow Dad and Kyle will carry it into the museum. Thank you to everyone for all the great ideas. It was a lot of fun. (but I'm not sure if I will do it again, I might be getting too old for this kind of stress)

My life is gingerbread!

We are making great progress. Monday I worked on the house, especially the inside. Brett came over in the late evening and helped Dad put on the roof and start the shingling. Dad also did the electrical work.
We plan to light the runway, the fountain, and the light posts. Yesterday, Tuesday, I worked on the barn. I think the reindeer names are a nice touch. Brett came over again in the evening and he and Dad finished the shingling and did the masonry work on the chimney. Brett also designed and built me a sled for Santa. I started getting all the little things ready like the signs and the mailbox, the runway and the candy fountain. The end is in sight!

gingerbread update

Last night Kyle came over and David was home from Tithing Settlement, so we got a lot done. The Workshop is almost complete and the barn and house are up and started. I have 5 days counting today. Wish me luck.

Big Weekend for Katelyn

Katelyn was baptised by her dad on Saturday December 5. She looked beautiful. I loved the way Tiffany fixed her hair, and the little baptism outfit her Grandma Murray made for her was perfectly gorgeous. She radiated. I'm so proud of Katelyn for her decision to be baptised.
Katelyn has lots of Priesthood support!

The baptism was in the morning. In the afternoon katelyn had her Suzuki Book 1 Recital. She did very very well.
We do love you Katelyn!

More gingerbread

Santa's Workshop is almost finished. David finished the shingling this morning. Now I can finish up the dormer windows and I'll do the side door later. Next I'll do Santa's house. I have to turn this in one week from today. I hope we get done.

Happy Birthday David

I took David birthday shopping after Thanksgiving and we bought a new camera to replace the one dropped in the water at Zion's. It is a nice camera as you can tell from these very low light level photos - and all the ones at the Thanksmas party too.
Be sure to wish your Dad a happy birthday. He's practically an old man!

The Thanksmas Party

Grandma Schwieder's Christmas gathering was the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It was also Grandma and Grandpa's 59th Wedding Anniversity. The family gathered to celebrate both.
These are my favorite photos from the weekend - both at my house and at the party.

Everyone played games to receive their gifts. The kids had to shake doubles. Many of them had no idea what doubles were, but they were willing to shake the dice.
Grandma put together a video of old family photos and video clips. David was the star and the other siblings complained that there were more photos of him. Of course there were - he is the best.

Gingerbread update

The construction on Santa's Workshop is going well. We had some trouble with the tower, but it is now standing. I failed to get photos of Zachary and Eric helping me decorate the doghouse, but I'm sure there will be doghouse photos later. David thought we should skip the dog house this year. He claims there aren't dogs at the northpole. I told him his daughters would disagree.

Gingerbread Creation

So I decided to document the creation of our gingerbread "house" this year. Hopefully it will not get too long. I really enjoy this process - it is totally creative. However, I could not do it with out David's support and huge amount of work and time. Thank you David. I also have the support and help of any of my kids who happen to be around. Kyle has already put in many hours helping. Thank you also.
I failed to get a photo of the first step - designing the house. This took hours/days because first I had to decide what I wanted, visualize it,
explain that visualization to Daivd via rough sketches etc, and then David had to draw up the architectural plans -in other words he had to draw up a pattern for every piece of the house/building so we could cut out the Gingerbread.
The second step was all done by David and Kyle. Between them they made 16 batches of gingerbread, baked it, and cut out the pieces. My only involvement was to help remove gingerbread pieces from the pans (it takes two people to remove the big pieces) and find room on the counters and tables for all the pieces. These first two pictures show some of the results of the first 2 steps.
Step three is to make the windows out of hard glass candy - what you make suckers from. If I decide to decorate the inside of a house, then I don't put windows in all the pieces. This year I put windows in Santa's workshop and part of the Barn. Step 4:
Now my part begins. I usually put the house together first and then decorate walls, but this year I tried it backwards and decorated the walls first. I hope it works. After spending hours in stores looking for appropriate candies etc. and hours deciding what candy I want to use where (and it does take me hours to decide) I finally made some royal icing and set to work. Kyle came to help and we worked together for about 3-4 hours Saturday. We got lots done on Santa's Workshop and Kyle just barely began Santa's house.

And the winners are...

This is Todd's colored pencil drawing of a snake. You may have seen it before. He entered it in a BYUI student art show last month and won 3rd place and $100.
And here is Dad's winning photo of Leslie repelling in Zion's this summer. He entered the photo in a company (Battelle) wide vacation photo contest and won 3rd place. He didn't receive anything, but the photo was published in "Battelle World" an international company magazine. So people all over the world will see Leslie repelling! Don't we have talented family members!

Thanksgiving - great day!

Today has been a very nice day. I am so grateful for my life and all you marvelous people who make my life wonderful. I love you all. I started with a picture of our house lit up for the Season. Dad turned the lights on tonight. I am so grateful for David. He is simply the best.
I can't possibly post pictures of everything or even everyone I am grateful for so these are some of my favorite photos from two weeks ago when many of you were visiting.

The girls (and Elden) were having a great time exercising to "Mousercise" and Todd was demonstrating his new tap dance abilities. It was great. I'm grateful for healthy kids.

Today my dad said "I am most grateful for your mother and then for all the family. Family; that's all that really counts." I agree, and the Lord agrees too. The whole Plan of Salvation is designed to get Heavenly Father's family back to him. My family is fantastic. I really love you all. (I'm also grateful I won our game of phase 10 tonight. I creamed them!)