Monday, December 31, 2012

December 30th - Last Sunday of 2012!

This is the last Sunday of the year, and the last Sunday that we will be having afternoon church meetings.  I am so happy that next week we go back to the 9:00 schedule.  Of course, that means I can't wait until Sunday morning to make my last minute RS preparations!

I taught the RS lesson today.  It was a fifth Sunday, but our bishopric chose to have the combined meeting on the first Sunday this month, so that meant the presidency lesson was today.  Since we will start a new course of study next year - Lorenzo Snow - I taught a biography about his life.  We hope to get the sisters excited about knowing the prophet in a more personal way.  The lessons are all doctrines, but knowing the prophet whose teachings are being studied makes a difference in what we can learn.  Besides, we all need a personal testimony of each prophet.  The lesson went well, I think, and I hope at least some of the sisters went away excited.

We also had tithing settlement at 5:00, so I had to stay late.  Lisa and family did not come over since we were going to be so late anyway.  So, when I walked in my empty house, I really missed them!  Lisa said Ashby was NOT happy when they didn't come over.  Sure glad she likes to come to Grandma's!!!

Bill stayed at the church after I left, as he has to stay until all the money is counted and a bank deposit made.  With the last of the tithing settlements, that went later than usual.  Then there was an Eagle Scout Court of Honor, which he stayed for.  I was already in bed when he finally got home!

It wasn't quite a normal Sunday, but it was a good one nonetheless.  I always like the Sabbath Day.  It is what fuels me for the week ahead!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

December 29th - Sealing at the Temple

We started the day by going to the temple for the sealing of some friends.  We have kind of been along for the big days in their relationship and this was the culmination.  I spoke at her baptism - we attended their wedding - we went to the temple with them when she received her endowments.  Today we were able to be there when they were sealed.  It was very nice and we were so glad to have been invited.  Bill was even asked to be one of the witnesses.  It feels so good to see such happiness.

Back home, we both did a few chores around the house.  I managed to get three loads of laundry done, a few more decorations taken down and packed, as well as some other stuff. 

Lisa called and said she could get away later in the afternoon to do some shopping.  I had already told her we were going on a shopping trip for her as part of her Christmas present.  So, we met up at Sugarloaf Mills Mall around 3:30 or so.  I expected busy - I didn't expect mobbed!  There were lines of cars trying to get into the mall, lines trying to get out, almost no empty parking spaces, people-to-people inside.  Fortunately, we were going to just one store and that was where we went and stayed!  She managed to find several things that she liked and I bought a couple of tops, too.  In spite of the mobs, we had a good time.

Bill had mentioned going out to eat or to a movie, but by evening, we both were happy to just stay in!  I worked on family history while he watched movies.  Since it had gotten so cold, and even had a few snowflakes that fluttered down (not enough to stay anywhere - not really enough to even see, if I hadn't had on a red coat that made them visible!), it was nice to stay in warm and cozy.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

December 28th - End of the last week of the Year!

Today has been pretty much like the last couple of days.  I still have the throat thing, but I don't really feel that bad.  I took down a few of the Christmas decorations - not many.  I couldn't stand to create a mess, so it was one box at a time.  I have 3 or 4 boxes now ready to go back to the attic.  I haven't touched the tree - I wonder if I can convince Bill that he has to do that one?????

I got some RS things done - reviewed my lesson a little, posted the rest of the Saturday afternoon conference talks on the RS blog.  (Sunday morning talks will be posted in January.)  I worked on family history a little, rested and finished my book. 

All in all, I kept pretty busy, actually.  I should have done more with the decorations, but I just couldn't get myself to do anymore.  Oh, well.  There is always tomorrow!

We were supposed to go to a wedding reception this evening, and had every intention of doing so, until Bill came home from work not feeling so well.  We wanted to share their joy, but didn't feel it appropriate to share anything else, so Bill just went to bed.  Hopefully, we will be better in the morning.

Friday, December 28, 2012

December 27th - A Little Better Day

Today went a little better than yesterday.  At least I accomplished a few things - like finally getting the house straightened up again.  I worked a long time on my lesson for RS on Sunday.  It is a biography of Lorenzo Snow and I am having trouble trying to get 87 years compressed down into about 20 minutes!

The rest of the day was pretty quiet.  I did rest a little in the afternoon again.  The sore throat is still there, but I don't feel as sick as yesterday, so hopefully it will be gone soon.

I am looking at all the Christmas decorations and wishing they would just disappear.  I guess I have more grinch in me than I care to admit!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

December 26th - Day After Christmas!

I had big plans to get the house back in order today, but that didn't happen.  I had a bit of a sore throat yesterday, coughed a lot during the night, and felt less than great today.  I did change the sheets and washed a couple of loads of laundry, but that was about all I did.

Oh, yeah, I spent most of the afternoon lying in bed, reading or sleeping.  I hope that knocks this cold, or whatever it is, out before it actually gets me.  It was a rainy, nasty kind of day outside, too, so bed seemed a rather cozy and comforting place to be.

I am not really sick, and I don't want to be!  I have too many things to get done.  Tomorrow will be a better day!  I am just glad that I have the luxury of having a lazy day now and then.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 25th - Merry Christmas!

We had a wonderful Christmas Day.  With no children waking us up anymore, we got to sleep in and relax - at least until Lisa's crew arrived and all quietness totally disappeared!  I got dinner on first thing - had to get the green beans cooking and the ham ready to stick in the oven.  I had already fixed potato salad and I bought bread that just needed to be baked for 10 minutes.  I like to keep it easy on Christmas day.

We also had to put together the kids presents.  We got Brooks another Thomas the train set to keep at our house.  Getting the track together was a little more complicated that we had anticipated!  Ashby's gift was a doll with a cradle and high chair and the furniture pieces needed to be put together.  They were pretty easy to do and we were able to get everything ready before they got here.

Around 11:00, the wild ride began!  Their two big gifts were just sitting out, so they both were really excited as soon as they came in the door and saw what was set up for them.  You would think that Brooks had never had a Thomas set, because his mouth dropped wide open and he just grinned.  Ashby gasped and covered her mouth with her hands, she was so happy.  They started playing right away while Lisa and David brought in everything from the car. 

First thing we had to do was open the gifts.  Lisa also got a Rapunzel doll - the Barbie size version - along with Flynn and a couple of extra dresses.  Brooks got a bowling game, which he loved since he likes throwing balls so much.  We had gotten Lisa and David a very nice camera since their old one has seen better days.

Among other things, Bill got me a new bread maker.  My old one, which has been used a lot, died a few weeks ago.  Ashby picked out a diffuser (air freshener) for me from the dollar store.  They also gave us another stepping stone cement imprint with the kids feet and hand prints.  And, of course, the regular annual gift of a picture calendar for next year.

There were plenty of other things.  The kids had so much fun playing.  It is interesting, though, that it didn't take long for Brooks to have out his favorite old toys from the toy closet.  He kept going back and forth between the old and the new.

After dinner, we were just lazy and totally enjoyed a quiet afternoon.  I think almost everyone took a snooze while Brooks was napping.  TV was on and I have no clue what they were watching! 

Later, since no one was hungry after our big dinner and all the snacks that had been consumed all afternoon, we ended the evening with some chocolate fondue.  That has always been our traditional treat on the night we decorate the tree, but we didn't have it this year.  Lisa felt like Christmas was complete since we finally had the fondue!

We talked to Billy, who did not do anything, but loved his quiet day all alone.  He could have gone over to my dad's, but he liked the idea of just sleeping in and doing nothing.  He sounded fine when we talked, so we aren't worried about it.  It is just his attitude about the commercialism of Christmas.

It has been a great day with family.  We have a strong testimony that the Jesus was born and that he lived and died for us.  The Atonement is and was the greatest gift ever given to man, and we are grateful for its power every day of our lives.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

December 24th - Christmas Eve!

Being the last day to get everything ready for Christmas, this house was a buzz all day.  Bill got up early and after coasting into the gas station on fumes, he headed to the mall to get the last of the gift shopping done.  He had a great time.  I hate the mall, so I have trouble identifying, but I am glad he enjoys it so I didn't have to do!

Meanwhile, I left early, too, to make the final grocery store trip.  I got home, put some of it away, and then started in on food preparations.  First of all, I got the Tex-Mex dip made since that has to go to the family party this evening.  Then I had to peel and cook potatoes, boil eggs, and snap the beans.  We will be having ham, potato salad, and beans tomorrow.  I got the potato salad all made and the beans are all ready to turn on in the morning.

I also finished wrapping the last two gifts that I still had here.  Bill wrapped the things he bought when he got home.  I think that means things are pretty much ready.

We joined with the rest of the extended family at Julie's house at 5:00.  We had the traditional Christmas Eve dinner of tacos and trimmings.  It was all good.  Later we opened the gifts and had a lot of laughs together.  We finished off with some fabulous desserts.  The kids all decorated gingerbread houses and had a ball with that.

It was a very nice family Christmas Eve!

Monday, December 24, 2012

December 23rd - Christmas Sunday

Sundays are always my favorite day anyway - but today was the Sunday before Christmas and that is always even better!  Several of the college kids are home for the break and it was fun to see them.  There were lots of visitors too, as many members have family in town for Christmas. 

There was extra music as part of sacrament meeting - an organ solo, a string trio, and the choir doing two numbers.  The bishop was the closing speaker and, as always, he is emotional when he talks of love and the Savior.  It was a very nice meeting.

Sunday School class was on Exaltation - always a great subject and very appropriate as we think about the purpose of the Savior's birth!  The RS lesson was based on Elder Eyring's talk "Where Is the Paviolion?" from October conference.  We had a very nice spirit there as the sisters shared their experiences with prayer.

When I got home, the kids were all here.  Lisa had gone ahead and put the rolls in the oven and the rice in the cooker.  I had fixed a taco soup and she had even gotten the chicken breasts all shredded.  So it only took a few minutes to get the table all set so we could eat.  We had a really nice late afternoon and evening with them.  Bill got home late - we will sure be glad when tithing settlement has finished! - and played with the kids instead of eating.  (He just had a late dinner.)  Ashby and Brooks get so excited when he comes home!

When they left, Bill had to put together his Santa costume.  He has been asked to be Santa for a family in the ward again.  He will go early on Christmas morning and put out the gifts.  The children will all be hiding and will get to watch Santa come.  He has done this for several families over the years.  He enjoys it, but it does mean that he still doesn't get to sleep in on Christmas morning! 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

December 22nd - Fun with Ashby!

Ashby spent the night and went to sleep so easily the night before - it was almost 11 when we got home from the ward party.  She wanted Grandpa to lie down with her for a minute and in less time than that they were both asleep!  She came into our room about 4:00 and did the little pat on the arm until I woke up.  I just pulled her into bed between us and she went right back to sleep.  It is fun having a little one cuddling between us!

By the time she got up about 8:15, Bill had already left for a job and I was doing some computer things.  She wanted French toast for breakfast, so guess what we had!  After breakfast, we got cleaned up and dressed and then our chores - making the beds, cleaning the kitchen, etc.  She wants to be right there helping, so that was fun.

Then we got to play.  She played with the cars and the mat a lot, although a few other things made it out of the toy closet, too.  Mid-morning, she wanted to go outside.  It was a bright, sunny day, but cold and windy.  She wanted to hide the puppets and then find them like in the video, so we went out for a little while.  I opened the garage door and she was mostly in there, hiding the puppets over and over again.  When our cheeks started getting cold, we went back in.

She was hungry again, and for her treat she only wanted ice cream.  Figure that, after being out in the cold!  But she ate it all gone.  Then it was back to playing some more.

About noon, Lisa and Brooks came over.  They had already had lunch, but Ashby and I still needed to eat.  Then Brooks went down for his nap and Lisa curled up in the big chair and fell asleep, too.  Ashby just kept playing!  Her mom had turned on NickJr, so in between playing, she watched a little.

When everyone was awake again, Lisa ran off to do a couple of errands and then they all went home.  We had such a good time and Ashby was sweet and easy to have around.  Other than wanting someone to play with her a lot, that is.  Then again, she is staying over to spend special time with Grandma and Grandpa, so of course, we are going to play!

Bill got home from his job a little late and was exhausted.  I understood that feeling, so we had a quiet evening.  I think we are getting old - or something!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

December 21st - Ward Christmas Celebration

I have been on the move all day and it has been a long one! 

I started with the usual household chores, etc., then had to take off to meet up with the other RS counselor at Costco to buy paper products for next years' RS meetings.

From there, I went over to Lisa's to get Ashby.  She will be spending the night and going to the ward party with us.  She was so excited!  She even had to pack her back pack with a couple of things, since she always takes that when they travel.  When we got to the house, she was like a little top - spinning all over the place.  I had a couple of chores that hadn't gotten done before I left, so we finished those up.  Then we fixed mac & cheese for lunch.

Following lunch, we just played - with the cars on the mat, with the play ice cream food, dancing ballet, and a few other things.  We even sat at the computer and played a game for a while.  She finally wanted to put on a video.  It is from a set of books we have that has a hand puppet that is used with each book.  She had the puppets and books out, and had more fun playing and reading along with the video.

Bill got home just in time for us to all get ready to go to the church for the Christmas activity.  It was a Night in Bethlehem evening and was very well done.  The conclusion was a play about the birth of the Savior.  Bill was one of the wise men and Ashby was so excited to see him every time he appeared.

We got home after 10:30 and got Ashby off to bed as quickly as we could.  She was so tired, she wanted to take a little rest before we got ready for bed.  Fortunately, Grandma is smarter than to fall for that one!

We had such a wonderful day - it is always special when Ashby is with us.  And she nearly stole the show at the party - with her ballet moves in the aisle and her conducting the singing!

Friday, December 21, 2012

December 20th - Rainy Day in GA - and Windy!

If all this rain we got today had been snow, we would have had a major blizzard.  The wind was wild, especially in the late afternoon and evening and was still going strong when I went to bed.  Billy texted that they had 12 inches of snow in Des Moines.  So glad we just got the rain!

We need the rain, though, so I didn't complain much.  It did make me just want to laze around in the house.  I had had plans to do some errands, but I didn't feel like going out.  I ended up spending most of the day just doing little things to relax.  I even made some cookies.

I did post a review of a book that the author had sent to me.  A while back, he had sent his first book based on one of my reviews of another book on Amazon.  He thought my review was right on and he wanted me to read and post a review of his book, which I did.  A few days ago, I got a copy of his second book - again, very much unexpected.  I have liked both books - they are mysteries with lots of government agencies involved, etc.  The author is Whit Gentry.  This book was Not Authorized.  In the final print of his first book, he added an epilogue and included, by name, the people he had chosen to receive the books for free.  And he repeated those characters in this book, again in the epilogue.  Rosemary Cantrell is a divorce attorney for a highly successful law practice in Chicago.  (Wish I had all the money she earns! But I would never make it as an attorney.)

By mid-afternoon, I finally had to go out and pick up the RS group order from Snellville.  It was still early enough not to be rush hour, but traffic was awful!  I am sure glad I wasn't in a big hurry.  Anyway, I got the order picked up and stopped at the grocery store on my way home to get stuff I need to fix my assignment for the ward Christmas party tomorrow.

I spent the rest of the day working on family history.  What a good rainy - and windy! - day in Georgia.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

December 19th - Living Nativity

This has been a busy day.  Started the day getting three loads of laundry done and other things around the house.  Then at 11:00, I went to our RS presidency meeting which lasted a couple of hours.

When I got home, Lisa and the kids were here, which I had hoped would be the case since she had called earlier about maybe coming over.  She went out to do some errands, while the kids stayed with me.  Brooks was sleeping and Ashby and I played.  A package delivery came and it was some play food that I had ordered for her to play with in her playhouse.  She had a ball with that.  She played inside for a long time and then took it outside and made her playhouse an ice cream stand. 

Brooks woke up, so we were all in the house playing when Lisa got back.  She had noticed that Prospect Methodist Church was doing a live nativity tonight and she wanted to take the children.  David was working late and she didn't want to take them alone, so we had quick grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner and then drove over to watch it.  It was very nice - more like a pageant than just a still nativity.  I have seen live nativities done both ways and I like the music and re-enactment of the story better.  Brooks liked the real animals - sheep, donkey, and camel - most of all.  Ashby liked the "real" Baby Jesus - even though they just used a doll, I guess it was real to her since all the rest of the people were real.  It didn't last long, and the night was beautiful, and we all enjoyed it a lot.

They then headed home and I had a chance to finish up some things that didn't get done while they were here this afternoon.  It has been a very busy day, but a really good one!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December 18th - Productive Day

I got a lot done today - that always feels good!  Let's see:  straightened the house like every other day, put out some more Christmas decorations that I had forgotten (particularly some individual candles), wrapped a couple more gifts, visited one of my VT sisters and had a great chat, eliminated several things from the to-do list (many of them involving phone calls, which I hate!), posted more conference talks on my RS blog, worked on my Friday RS email, prepared for tomorrow's presidency meeting, worked on family history.........  There was more, but that's enough.

It sure doesn't sound like much now, but I am tired!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 17th - Lunch with the Kiddies!

My Monday started off as usual - mostly getting the house back in order after our fun Sunday with the family.  It wasn't really bad, so it didn't take long.  Then I worked on putting together the RS lesson schedule for next year.  I had a few other computer things that I worked on, too.

Lisa had sent a message first thing in the morning that she had coupons for free lunch for the kids at Chili's, so we met up around noon to have lunch.  That was fun.  The last couple of weeks have been so busy that we haven't gotten out much during the week and we enjoyed the time.  Ashby is still talking about the Nutcracker and trying to dance in the aisles!

When I got home, I worked on a couple of things and then decided I was too tired to keep going.  I have been so much more tired than usual lately, so wondering whether the thyroid is out of balance again or if it is trace remnants of my cold.  Either way, I took a nap for a little while.

When Bill got home, we went out to get a Christmas present for Lisa and David.  We got that all done and then stopped at Del Rio for dinner.  That means I ate out twice today! 

Monday, December 17, 2012

December 16th - Sweet Sabbath Day!

This has been another great Sabbath.  I spent the morning reviewing the RS lesson that I had to teach and getting things ready for dinner.  We had a crockpot chicken with potatoes, onions, and carrots.

Services were all good today - good talks in Sacrament meeting, lesson about the final judgment in Gospel Principles.  Of course, I had to teach to RS, so I am not sure I can safely say it was a "great lesson," but I felt good about it.  It was about finding peace and happiness in a world where so many terrible things are happening. 

When I got home, the kids were all here and we pulled dinner together and then had a great late afternoon and evening.  Lisa and Ashby had gone to see the Nutcracker last night, so Ashby was still totally absorbed by that and spent most of her time dancing.  She has also been watching it on UTube, so has become quite knowledgeable about how to do a lot of the leaps, spins, and toe moves.  Very cute!

Brooks was climbing on the couch cushions and took a fall and gave himself a huge goose egg on his forehead.  He cried for a bit - which means it really did hurt, since he doesn't cry much when he takes falls.  He will have a magnificent bruise on his forehead, but he seems to have recovered.

Bill didn't get home until really late - tithing settlement is making it late to complete the bank deposit.  But he still had enough time to play with the children for a while.  They love it when Grandpa comes home! 

So, it was a wonderful Sunday.  I am very much looking forward to our moving to the 9:00 schedule in January.  It will make it so much nicer to have the afternoon with the kids.  

Sunday, December 16, 2012

December 15th - Saturday Stuff

Just another Saturday!  Four loads of laundry - change sheets - clean house (a little, at least) - etc. 

I spent a good part of my day preparing the RS lesson for tomorrow.  The regular teacher had one of her children get really sick and he has been in the hospital all week.  He had the flu and when they thought he was about over it, he started saying his brain felt funny and then he became unresponsive and wouldn't answer questions, etc.  A trip to the hospital and a couple of days of testing showed the virus was in his brain.  He didn't know people, couldn't talk - very scary.  He was put on steroids for symptoms and started speech therapy, thinking it could be an extended recovery.  Fortunately, at the end of the week, he suddenly started talking again and knew his family.  He couldn't remember the previous four days, but at least he was better and got to come home yesterday.  We are all very grateful for that.  At any rate, she didn't need to worry about teaching this week on top of everything else, so I will be doing it since I couldn't get a sub.

We were invited over to some friends' house for dinner, along with another couple.  So, we picked them up and spent a great evening with great friends.  We had a lot of fun, laughing and telling stories!  Thanks for a great evening.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

December 14th - A Busy, Fun, and Sad Day!

The sad part of today was the school shooting in Connecticut.  I saw a headline on the internet before going out and then came home to find that the number killed was at 27.  Unbelievable!  My heart is just sick for all those families.

In all other ways, I had a very good and fun day.  First thing this morning, I had to go out and do some of the errands that I never got around to yesterday.  I got gas, got a haircut, picked up a prescription, and bought a few groceries. 

Then I went home to make my dish for a potluck luncheon today.  I made a new recipe - Taco Pasta Bake.  I warned everyone they were an experiment and, fortunately, the response was positive.  The luncheon was my water aerobics class and it was held at the home of one of the instructors.  There was a nice turn out and we had a lot of fun, getting better acquainted and eating a great lunch.

I got home around 3:00 and did a few things at home, before deciding that I needed a short nap.  After all, I needed energy to complete my day!

At 7:30, I met up with 7 other women from church for a Girls Night Out at O'Charley's.  It was a lot of fun and we laughed a lot!  We also did a white elephant gift exchange which was a lot of fun, too.

By the time I got home, I was tired.  It didn't take me long to get into bed to do all my reading.

What a great day for me!  What a sad day for so many other families - my prayers go out to their whole community.

Friday, December 14, 2012

December 13th - Babysitting Again!!

This was a typical Thursday - I started with water aerobics, then came home to complete four loads of laundry.  I had every intention of going out to run a long list of errands, but I got myself buried in family history and never made it!  Oh, well, there is always tomorrow.

Bill got home in time to go with me to babysit with the kids.  David and Lisa had their last class this evening.  She had made homemade pizzas, so we ate with Ashby and Brooks and then just played.  They are so cute!  Have I said that before?  Of course, they played "chase" for a while (running circles around the house) and then mostly played with the matchbox cars on the bench.  Bill got to do that this time.  About 8:00, I took Brooks up to get ready for bed.  I am still amazed at how easy it is to put him down.  Ashby had her snack and watched a video while I was doing that and then we got her ready for bed about 9:00.  She went downstairs to say good-night to Grandpa and ended up playing with the trains with him.  Lisa and David got back about then, so they got to try to get her to bed themselves.

A fun evening.  And a good day - even if I didn't get my list of errands done.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

December 12th - A Little Visiting Teaching

I went out to visit one of my sisters today.  We had a great visit.  She is one who was not active for many years and about a year ago, she and her husband have started coming back.  They have reached a point where they are really excited to learn everything.  It is so fun to see her enthusiasm. 

I ran a couple of errands while I was out - including a stop at CVS to pick up specials and use coupons ($26 worth!)  Plus I walked away with another $11 in Savings Bucks to use next time and $10 off a purchase of $50+.  I will have to plan to shop again next week!

The rest of the day, I was at home.  Among other things, I got the Bathcrest books finished and now everything balances to the penny - the bank book, Quick Books, and online banking.  Hurrah!

I was also able to spend some time on family history.  I had brought back an envelope of things from my cousin that were from her dad and I hadn't taken the time to go through it yet, so I did that today.  Her dad had written a story of his earliest memories up until he turned 5 and the family moved from Minnesota to Iowa.  I picked up all sorts of interesting tidbits.  He was 2 1/2 years older than my father, so remembers when he was born.

Another busy and productive day!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 11th - Happy 85th Birthday, Dad!

It was my dad's birthday today and somehow I forgot to call!  I had been planning for days to make the call and then it slipped by - what a dunce!  I will have to make up for it tomorrow.

I started the day with water aerobics.  I had an appointment to visit teach one of my sisters afterwards, but that fell through.  So, instead, I spent the day at home.  I can't really say that I did much - other than the usual things that keep me busy.  I did get another two months of the Bathcrest books done - just one month to go. 

I did lay down for a short nap, but ended up reading a little and deciding that I didn't really want to sleep.  I guess it was one of those kinds of days.  I kept doing something all day, but accomplished nothing of great interest.  Actually, that is kind of the story of my life - rather dull.  But, I really wouldn't change it a bit!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 10th - Rainy Day in Georgia!

Today was a stay-at-home day.  It probably would have been anyway, but with the rain and wind, there wasn't even a question about going out!

I did the usual Monday morning straightening of the house, but the truth is that there wasn't all that much to do since the kids weren't here yesterday.  I like it more when they leave their messes for me to clean up on Monday!

With the rain and gloom, it was hard to really get into working very hard, but I did spend a lot of time at the computer.  I managed to cross some more things off the to-do list.  I finished the Christmas letter - I don't send many, but I do like to keep in touch with those people that I only communicate with at Christmas.  I worked on the Bathcrest books - I had four months of bank statements to balance - now I only have three.  I finished the Christmas gift for the people I visit teach.  I looked for some mountain pictures to use as a guide for a picture I need to paint for Billy.  I am still in shock that he actually asked for one of my paintings!  I worked on family history a long time.  And a bunch of other stuff, too. 

About the only rainy day thing I didn't do was to make cookies! 

So, a new week has started and it was a pretty good first day.  I just won't look at all the other things I ought to do - especially anything related to shopping!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

December 9th - Stake Conference & A Christmas Party

We had stake conference this morning, so we were up and off this morning.  I am so looking forward to our regular meetings moving to morning with the new year.  It is nice to get up, get dressed, and go to church.  It is also nice to then have an afternoon - to maybe even take a nap! 

Conference was good.  Elder Posey and his wife spoke.  He is the new temple president, but had served previously as an area seventy and has been to our conference before.  He is a very entertaining speaker and we enjoyed it.  We also enjoyed his wife.  Among other things, the stake presidency spoke about some of the stake goals for this year.  One of them relates to preparedness and I feel good that we have started focusing on that more this year.  I will use that when I do the weekly email.

We had a nice afternoon.  I just fixed us some soup and grilled cheese for lunch and then actually got in a short nap.  In between, I did some family history, read a little, and enjoyed the afternoon.

At 6:00, we went to the bishop's house for a small social.  They had invited the bishopric, execute secretary, and clerk, and families, as they do each year.  It was really nice to eat a good dinner and then sit around and chat.  And, I might add, laugh a lot!

So, this has been a very nice and productive Sabbath Day. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

December 8th - Saturday! Need I Say More?

I haven't figured out why Saturdays always seem so --  well, I don't even know what!  Just, not normal??!!!

Well, I guess it was a normal Saturday - straightening the house, etc - even cleaned a little extra in a few spots.  I spent a lot of time on family history.  I managed to complete a couple of things on the to-do list.  Too bad the list keeps getting longer! 

I had such a headache all day that I finally laid down and tried to nap.  I didn't really sleep, though.  Bill went to his leadership meeting for stake conference in the late afternoon while I was still resting.  By the time I was supposed to go, I just didn't feel up to it.  So, I stayed home!  A bit rebellious, I guess - or whatever.

So, I had a quiet evening doing a few things, like more family history.  Then it was off to bed rather early, so I could read.

I am not sure if this was a successful day or not - but I made it through!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

December 7th - Pearl Harbor Day

This was another of those days when I am not sure what I actually did all day, but I was busy, busy, busy!  Among the things I accomplished was getting the rest of the Christmas decorations done, doing 5 loads of laundry, getting out my RS email, straightening the house, and working on family history.

Bill was home today, but had to run some errands and then took the back off the dryer to clean it.  The dryer usually dries the clothes faster than the washer can wash them, but it had gotten slow, so needed to be cleaned out again.  In other words, my laundry chore would have been quicker if he had gotten it done before I started the laundry!  Glad it is done now.

Friday, December 7, 2012

December 6th - Temple

I started my day with the water aerobics class and then hurried home to get cleaned up.  Some friends, Jan and Hutch, picked me up so we could go to the temple to do some of my initiatories.  It is ward temple day, but it is hard to make it in the evening, so we did it this morning.  It was really nice and we all enjoyed being at the temple for a couple of hours. 

We stopped at Mo's for lunch - they had never even heard of it!  They did enjoy the terrific burritos.  Then it was home to do some things.  By later in the afternoon, I was starting to drag, so I actually got in a short nap again.  I spent most of the evening doing some family history stuff. 

It is always a great day when the temple is part of it.  I enjoyed the day, and enjoyed the time with my friends.  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

December 5th - RS Day

I started the day doing my usual chores, etc.  Then it was off to a RS presidency meeting at 11:30.  We had not met in a month, so there was a lot to do.  Among other things, we needed to reassign several visiting teachers.  That always takes a while - trying to make everything match up just right.  Whew!  We didn't finish the meeting until about 2:45.

I had time to run home, get a quick lunch, and then I picked up the RS president so we could visit one of the young women who has decided to move on to RS.  We had a great visit with her and took a little bag of goodies for her. 

When I got home, I finished up some things that had been neglected earlier.  I finally had some popcorn and relaxed a little before heading to bed early.

We got a lot done today, but I have a lot I still need to do.  I don't think I will ever feel "caught up."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December 4th - Another Busy Day - but a Nap, too!

Bill was not working again today.  It is nice having him home, but it totally messes up my schedules.  I started with my water aerobics class - had a really good workout.  Then I came home to get cleaned up for the day.  I was working on a few computer things when Bill decided we need to go buy a new showerhead - and he needed me along.  The truth is that I would probably complain about the one he chose, so he was just covering himself.  (While I was in Iowa in October, he replaced the shower caddy and I totally hate the new one.  At least he hates it, too!)

We made our purchase and then went to Steak and Shake for some lunch.  We hadn't eaten there is ages and it was really good.  They do the best fries and milkshakes!  By the time we got home, it was about 2:00.  I was so exhausted that I decided that I had to have a nap today.  I ended up sleeping for about two hours, so I guess I was right.

When I got up, I did a few things that needed done, but I never did do the house straightening that is usually a part of every daily routine.  We still have Christmas decorations to finish and the place looks a mess.  I really hate that feeling, so maybe tomorrow I can get things back on track.  I think Bill has a job scheduled, so I will have a chance to do my usual routine!

Around 6, I headed over to Lisa's to babysit with the kids while she and David went out to a class.  We had a great time.  We spent most of the time playing with match box cars on the bench.  Finally, Brooks wanted to go downstairs, so we moved down there.  They still played with the cars for a while and then started running around and jumping on the couch - one of their favorite games.  It was good for them to get some final energy expended, so they would be ready for bed.  Brooks went down about 8:45 and Ashby was just starting to get ready when her mom got home to take over.  It was a lot of fun.

So, it was a busy day.  Some good things were accomplished, some good things not done, and it ended with a ton of fun!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December 3rd - Whew! What a Wild Day!

Bill didn't have a job scheduled today, so we decided it was time to get the Christmas stuff done.  First stop was to get a tree.  We were the only tree shoppers at Home Depot when we arrived.  They had just put out the trees that had just come in, so we got our choice of the lot.  The first tree we looked at was fine with me, but Bill thought we needed something taller - we don't agree on that, but I'm not about to make it an issue.  So, the next tree he picks is huge.  It is a good looking tree, but huge!  I suggested that it was way too tall, but I was overruled.  Therefore, we now have a tree that is way too large for our small house!  Oh, well.

We got the tree home, in the house, set up in the tree stand - none of which was a snap, because the thing is so huge!  Once the tree was standing, we brought all the Christmas boxes down from the attic.  There are so many!  Fortunately, I marked them really well last year when we put things away, so it was easy to find the lights.  Bill's job is putting on the lights, so we got to work doing that.  I checked the lights and untangled them, etc.  We went through the box with the lights from last years' tree and then started in on the box with the lights we used outside last year.  I said it is a huge tree!  We finally had enough lights on the tree.

Next we moved outside to put lights on the bushes.  We were down to only about 10 boxes of lights left, so we figured that we would not be able to put out as many as before.  We couldn't seem to find cords, etc., so Bill took a break to run to the store.  He needed to do a bank deposit and pick up a couple things at the grocery store anyway, so we did it all in one trip.  About the time he got back, I found a third box of lights that had all the cords, timers, etc, along with some more lights.  He was so happy to get to decorate the bush on the other side of the driveway, too! 

He was close to finishing when Lisa and kids arrived to do a tree decorating Family Home Evening.  It was so nice that they played outside for a while first.  Ashby even went over to Ethan's house next door to see if he could come play.  They had a ball playing in the little playhouse.  We even put some Christmas decorations on it.  Meanwhile, Lisa stepped in and was cooking spaghetti for dinner.  David arrived in time for dinner, so we had a chance to all sit down together for a few minutes.

Then it was time to decorate the tree.  Ashby loved climbing up on the little step stool to put the ornaments up high where Brooks couldn't reach them.  Of course, she wanted to put them even higher, so she got Grandpa to lift her way up to put them way up high.  Brooks had fun running around trying to hang ornaments, too.  Of course, he copies everything Ashby does, so he had to climb the stool and then get lifted up high, too.  We used every ornament we had, including some old plastic things that are usually not used.  Like I said, the tree is huge!

When it was all done, it looked very nice.  We also got all the nativities and the village out.  The rest will wait for another day!

So, now it looks like Christmas at the Cantrell home.  I don't know why we need an eleven foot tree, but it is very pretty!

Monday, December 3, 2012

December 2nd - Love My Sundays!

After being out of town and sick for the last two Sundays, it was wonderful to have a normal day today.  In the morning, I got dinner all prepared as much as possible, worked on some RS things, and did a few other odds and ends.

Then it was time for church.  We had a very nice fast and testimony meeting, followed by a good Sunday school lesson, and then a combined third hour.  They were introducing the new curriculum for the youth and needed all adults and youth to understand the new program so it will be effective.

After church, we handed out more of the aprons we made as gifts for the sisters.  All of that took time, so I got home later than usual.  Then when I went to start the grill, it was out of gas!  I couldn't find the replacement, so I was close to a meltdown.  Fortunately, David dug deeper in the garage than I did and found the replacement.  We then had grilled chicken thighs and veggies, along with rice and hot rolls, for a very good dinner.

Bill was really late getting home, but since Brooks had taken such a late nap, the kids were able to stay.  At 8:00, we listened to the First Presidency Christmas Fireside, which was very nice.  Then they had to head for home.

It has been a tiring, but very worthwhile day.  I needed the rejuvenation from church and from family!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December 1st - Happy Birthday, Brooks!

We celebrated Brooks' birthday last night, but today was actually his birthday.  It is hard to believe he is two years old already!  And he just keeps getting cuter!

I spent my day cleaning and doing laundry.  I also got my RS email finished and out, did some family history, and worked on several other things on the "to do" list.  I didn't cross anything completely off, though, and I added another item or two.  It is beginning to feel like a bottomless pit!

I also ran out and picked up the drink mixes for the RS group order - or at least the ones that are in - and got those separated and the sisters notified.  A included a run to the grocery store while I was out.  We have a lot of food storage, but we keep running out of things like bread and milk and fresh veggies!

This was pretty much an ordinary Saturday.  The goal to get a Christmas tree has been rescheduled - maybe sometime next week!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

November 30th - Temple Day

Gratitude Journal:  I am grateful for the temple and the peaceful spirit I feel when I am there.

I picked up Jan, one of the sisters I visit teach, and we headed to the temple together this morning.  I had planned to work on some family files, which I conveniently left lying right where I wouldn't forget them!  So, instead we did a temple file name for an endowment session and then went in to help with some sealings for a little while.

It was a very nice morning and we both enjoyed it.  We had fun chatting in the car on our way there and back.  We also stopped at Arby's and had a sandwich for lunch.  It was a wonderful way to spend the first half of the day.

When I got home, I had a few things to do, including wrapping Brooks' birthday present.  Then about 5:30, we went over to Lisa's for his party.  David's father and his friend are here visiting for just a couple of days, so that is why Lisa did the party a day early.  They leave in the morning.

David grilled a London broil and did an excellent job.  All of the dinner was very good.  Ashby could hardly wait, though, until it was time for Brooks to open his presents.  She tried very hard to let him do most of the opening, but as soon as he would open something, he would want to stop and just play.  He was very cute as he got so excited.

We finished the evening with some ice cream cake from DQ.  Their cake has always been a favorite of the family and it had been a long time since we had one.  It was as good as ever.  It was a very fun evening, with the kids so excited about the new toys, and getting to visit.

This has been an especially nice day!