Saturday 6 January 2024

Christmas 2024

Christmas truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Our 2024 Christmas was busy and rewarding. 

We don't really do a good job of decorating for many holidays around our house - but we definitely do a little more for Christmas Our tree had a designer approach....all silver and white (beads and tinsel, but alarmingly, no Christmas balls!) I really liked it. It was all Allen's idea but I happily went along. I loved having it up and sitting by the tree to read each day. The Christmas gifts were wrapped in paper that matched the theme as well. Allen is so clever!

All the fun started on December 22 when Jill and Chase arrived from Edmonton. Peirce and Michael also came over and there was a big sleepover in the family room (bigger people means bigger sleepovers!) It was so fun to have them here and my heart was especially happy to see everyone get along so well. Grandma Jensen also came and spent a number of days with us, which added a lot of fun to our time together. A friend of ours, Meredith, also spent time with us over the holidays.

Christmas Sunday at church was a fantastic musical program. There were a lot of songs I had never heard and our ward's little choir easily took up the challenge of the complicated music. It was really nice to all go to church togethr. I didn't want to pressure Peirce into attending and so I told to Peirce him it would be fine either way. After talking it over with Michael, happily, they decided they would attend with us. Peirce said that the first time someone said something stupid to him though he was going to march out. There was no need for that. Everyone was so happy to see him and to meet Michael. Again, a heart warming experience. 

My dirty little secret about Christmas is that Allen does most of the shopping to get us ready for Christmas. In turn, I try to do most of the cooking....although everyone helped a lot. Saturday night when everyone arrived, we had our traditional Chinese Food night. On Christmas Eve, we had a six course meal! Sunday was the regular turkey dinner and on Boxing Day we enjoyed a pot luck with friends at the church. 

On Christmas Day, we went to a movie: The Boys in the Boat. I read that book years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the movie as well (although, I still say the book was better). Our friend, Meredith came with us to the movie. I even decided to use the word "swing" from the book for my word of the year. More on that later.

Jill, Chase, Peirce and I volunteered to usher at Storybook Theatre. We got to see One Christmas Carol....which was a version of the story told by one actor playing ALL the parts. It was really something else. That takes some talent!

Allen took on the challenge from our Stake President to make sure the social needs of people we knew were met. It meant that he invited family friend over for dinner on Christmas Day, organized a Boxing Day pot luck, a young families dinner (lots of kids and lots of fun and lots of noise!) and an empty nesters pot luck. Phew!! It was a lot of socializing. LOL 

On New Year's Eve, Jill and Chase invited their friends, the Holoboffs over. We had breakfast supper and then played games. The Holoboffs are really great. We were really happy to spend the evening with the cool kids! LOL 

Being together and having everyone enjoy being together is really what made our Christmas great. We have a wonderful family.

Sunday 24 December 2023

2023 has Zoomed By!

 Well, well, well. I have done a really poor job of blogging in 2023. What in the world happened?

Late in 2022, we were asked if we would be in charge of Moroni's Quest for our stake. I really didn't know what we were getting into and it didn't take long for things to ramp us and start taking up all the empty space and more in our calendars. The event was in July and I don't know if I've ever experienced anything more tiring AND  more energizing at the same time. The learning curve was steep and I was so grateful for the mentorship from our friends, the Paynes. Allen's health was not great through it all and until we got answers in September, he really struggled to do all that was required. 

The Sunday after Moroni's Quest, I was really ready for a rest. I'll never forget waking up Sunday morning and seeing the bags under my eyes. I looked terrible!! It took a good week of resting before I felt like I had really recovered. Apparently, rest wasn't a long term plan though as that Sunday I was called to be the Relief Society president in our ward. Again, it's been a tiring and energizing experience. I'm learning a lot and really growing to enjoy the assignment. 

This year, my goal is to write more. Stay tuned! 

Sunday 25 December 2022

Second Christmas

 For our second Christmas we celebrated with Grandma. We were worried that she might not be able to come because it has been so cold lately - but on Christmas Eve the cold spell ended and things warmed up tremendously. So grateful! 

Christmas Eve was Chinese food and a movie (Scent of a Woman....strange choice for Christmas Eve....but alas!)

Christmas morning we opened stockings and then headed off to church. I was playing the organ and the choir did a beautiful cantata. It was really amazing. 

Later, there was another Santa visit by Allen. We have a family in our ward where the parents are absent and kids are living with their older brother so he helped them with presents by taking them shopping to buy gifts for their siblings and then today he showed up with stockings for them. 

Later we opened gifts. Grandma went off to her sister's house for dinner and we had ham and scalloped potatoes and an amazing cranberry cheesecake for dessert. I'm not one to make fancy desserts often. This one was a winner! 

I was trying to get a selfie of us. Finally Peirce said he should try. We are laughing at how simple it was for him! LOL

Two tricks we learned this weekend when it comes to Bentley: 1. If you buy him a bone he will be quite busy and stay distracted with it while we open presents. 2. He loves getting a new ball! He played for hours.