Familes are like fudge, mostly sweet with a few nuts

Pre-Christmas activities

We started out the Christmas season this year with a "Journey to Bethlehem" Ward party. David was the tax collector (food for the I.F. Food Bank) and I was the tax collector's wife. (go figure) Josh and family came with us. It was a fun night as we visited different food stalls in Bethlehem and saw the angels and shepherds and wisemen. We even saw the Babe in the manger. The best part was that the party was on Dad's birthday so the tax collector's stall was decorated black.
Then we went to hear Addie's class Christmas program. She really gets into the singing. She even had a special roll in the song "I'm getting nothin' for Christmas". She got to open a gift and make a sad face when she found nothing in it. Kyle played the piano for them.
Of course we made chocolates. This year I taught a friend, Malane Anderson, how to make and dip candy. Shanalee came and joined in too. With three dippers, we kept Dad and Malane's husband very busy melting chocolate. Shanalee and I both tried some new centers and they are yummy! Yesterday Malane brought me a box of chocolates she made and dipped at home this week. They were very good. I must be a good teacher. :)
This year I also taught a group of 9 ladies (and several of their daughters) how to make rock nativities. I called them the "rock stars" and we had a great time gluing, breaking, reglueing, painting, breaking, reglueing etc etc. Above is a picture of my counter on the day we resined the finished sets.
I made the rock nativity set this year for Bethany, and on the day I presented it to her, she and Todd presented this beautiful nativity set from the Phillipines to me. It is really pretty. I think I got the better of the deal. (Thanks Todd and Bethany)

Happy 60th !!!

We celebrated David's 60th birthday this past week! He is an old man, but a wonderful marvelous old man and I like him just as he is.
Sunday Kyle and his girls came over while we were at church and decorated the house with black crepe paper and balloons. Katelyn
and Addison put up the steamers in the doorway with a sign that said "You have to LOVE Grandpa to pass!!!!". Then everyone came for dinner and of course the grandkids just had to help open gifts. The Ward gave us the cake with 6 candles that said "60". Thanks, everyone, for celebrating with us!

More fun!

After Thanksgiving we headed down to provo to visit with the VanDykes. We also visited with the Johnsons. Heather arrived home from her mission in Hungary on Thanksgiving Day. It was fun to see her and listen to her stories.
I just had to get this video of Abbie at the piano. She loves to sing and is already accompanying herself!

A full day of Thanks

David and I had a very good Thanksgiving day. In the morning we worked on projects around the house - David on the dorm in the basement and I on Christmas gifts. I put current pictures of the progress on the dorms at the bottom of this blog, but I didn't put pictures of the gifts I'm working on. Sorry. No peeking. At mid-day David and I went with Susan Horwith (a single sister friend from the Ward) and served food at the Community Thanksgiving dinner sponsored by the Salvation Army. What a great experience that was. My table was filled with men from City of Refuge, a men's shelter and rehabilitation center. They were great. Later in the day we went over to my folks to celebrate Thanksgiving with them. We invited Susan along again and she brought the homemade cranberry sauce - very good! We had a good Thanksgiving meal with Mama and Daddy and lots of good conversation. Then Shanalee, Josh and Clark showed up for a visit. It was just very enjoyable. When we got home, David turned on our Christmas lights for the first time this year. What a surprise. Brett had come and put up lights along the roofline. I had told David I didn't want him on the roof this year (He is getting too old for such shinanigans) so he only put them around the windows and door in front. Brett did the rest for us. Thanks! it looks great! Below is the dorm as it looks now
and looking at it from the TV room.
I am very grateful for David - and not just because he is building my dorm! David is wonderful. He is a super dad, a fabulous husband and just a very very good man. He, my children (all 12 of them), my grandchildren, and my testimony of the Gospel are my greatest blessings.

The first video is Clark crawling in my folks dining room. The second is Clark helping his folks look through Black Friday ads. The last one is of all those at Grandpa's house that night.

Fun New Things at Our House

Quite a while ago, I think back in September, my "Grandma" blanket disappeared. It turns out Shanalee snuck it away and had it updated with all my grandkids' names. I've been meaning to blog it ever since and just never took the time. Thank you Shanalee. I love it!

Just this week they finally got here to blacktop our drive way. I've been waiting for this for 20 years. I like it a lot. I'm sure I won't like the bill when it comes next week though. Oh well.(I was right. I don't like it!)
Dad has started working in the basement! The left picture shows where the boys dorm will be. The right one is the storage room. You can see why I am trying to clean things out of the basement. It will be a pretty small storage room! Do you think Dad will finish the dorm by Christmas? Zach and Eric are supposed to sleep there. I have faith in him!

Visiting Kanab

In October we went to Kanab to visit the VanDykes. We had a great time. We sat at home and relaxed, played at the park with the kids, found a great sandstone cave to explore, and visited Pipe Springs National Historical Monument. Of course the best part was seeing Tammie, Rob and the kids and just being there with them. What a sweet family.

Tammie found out about these caves from her visiting teacher. They have lots of different colored sandstone in them and are just up the canyon from Kanab. What a fun place. I found lots of sand for 4-H. Pipe Springs was a fun place to visit. It is a restored fort. The longhorn cows were a bit intimidating but the ducks were just cute.

these are just two fun videos. I think you can guess what book Dad is reading to Abbie in the background.

In "tune" with the season

We had a Halloween Recital/party for all the family that was around last night. Our costumes were all just amazing ;-) In Kyle's family we had three fairies, an elephant, 2 cats and the grim reaper. Brett's family featured two ducks, a duck hunter and the Fish and Game warden. Josh brought a family of Supers. Raggedy Andy, aka Dad, was the MC for the program. Everyone was involved in the recital - piano or voice or scary surprise. Grandpa and Grandma came for the fun too. I think Grandma is doing super well with her new hip! After the program we played the donut-on
-the-string game and Grandma brought Halloween owl treats for the kids. Enjoy all the videos of the fun talents. Some are not complete but you get the idea. Just for your information, Elden did NOT play "Three Black Bears". He played "Three Black Spiderman Cats"! James was too stage shy to perform with the family but he did it for us later by himself. Hailey sang a song from her Primary Program and she really likes to sing!. Katelyn and Addie are doing excellent with their piano and Josh and Shanalee had fun doing their duet. The last video is Grandpa, Mark, Brett and Hailey doing the donuts. Brett always finds the short cut, but the others were much more entertaining. I just wish I had a gotten a video of Dad telling his great Halloween jokes... such as: Why didn't the skeleton go to the prom? He had noBODY to go with! or What game do ghosts like best? Hide and go Shriek! He had some great ones!

Winter Already?

I was really hoping for a long drawn out fall. I guess it proves that hope is not enough, and obviously I did not have enough faith. The storm started Thursday and hasn't let up yet. These pictures of the yard were taken Thursday afternoon. We were told to expect a frost, but nothing about snow for 3 days. Our garden is ruined, we lost the plums just as they were ripened, and now no more raspberries. So sad.

One week later: Happy day - the snow insulated everything so we didn't lose the plums, the raspberries, or the garden! Maybe we will have a long fall after all.