Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Birthdays, weddings and Christmas prep

I always love how schools seem to assign projects, papers and assignments in December even worse at times over the holiday break. This week it was do or die time for Taylor's science project.

Madeline was his partner...they were seeing how e. coli growth was stunted by antibacterial hand sanitizer vs. garlic. Maddie stayed for dinner...after Jeff made sure they disinfected all the kitchen surfaces in which they were spreading their disease filled trays!

We've been getting to know (and try to train our dog). It's a little confusing when Madeline was over because they are both called Maddie...Madeline said she was the "cool Maddie".

Housebreaking is a little ellusive...but thats why we have her on the tile only! Ashley has been a good little doggie mommy. She is way more overprotective than I am, she informes me of everything shes sniffing, trying to eat or when she looks like she needs to go to the bathroom. I get no peace when they are around together but I'm so proud of Ashley!

The other thing we're dealing with is holes in clothes....we're trying to get her trained not to bite when she's excited...so far clothes seem to be her favorite things to bite when she's greeting us in the morning and when the kids come home from school. As the pile of clothes that need to be patched grows...we're working on breaking this habit too.

This Friday Jeff and Taylor went on a campout. The days before were spent helping them get ready for food assignments and find our camping gear. It would seem that every time we need something we realize we've lost the cord to charge it! We had lost two cords Jeff needed so this time he just bought a universal charger.

On Saturday while they were camping I finished getting packages ready to mail, cleaning the house with the younger two kids and then were off to birthday parties. 

The first one was for Manuella Mundo. They did the cutest Alice and Wonderland themed party! Lots of crafts and take homes.  

Unfortunately Ashley could only stay for awhile because she had another party to go to and Jeff and I had a Wedding to go to.

 The youngest Fletcher son was getting married to his sweetheard at Orange Citrus Park. I liked the citrus theme they had going througout all the wedding and reception...a Christmas tree decorated with citrus ornaments, table decorations with orange, lemon and lime slices...

and the bride and groom's car ready to pull oranges behind them to announce their marraige

On Sunday I was happy to listen to the First Presidency Christmas Devotional.

I have to admit sometimes Christmas makes me a little cynical with the commercialism and the distractions that keep us from focusing on Christ. There have been times that my Christmas preparations seem to just be ticking off a checklist and hurrying to get it "done"   It seemed ironic to me too that we spend a month of being Thankful and then spend a month of saying "I want"....

Without fail it seems that something that is said during the devotional seems to help me soften my heart. My favorite was President Uchdorf's talk about not having grinch-like hearts with all the stress and pressure of the Christmas season. Instead of focussing on all the things that were wrong with the season look for the things that are good...you will find it. He talked about Christmas being a time of feeling and sharing the spirit of Christ. His talk and the others helped me feel it's OK to celebrate but look for the good and the things that bring us closer to Christ..you will find it...and so far I have.

I liked the description of advent by President Uchdorf and reading the scriptures of prophets who testified of Christ's birth long before he was born in the weeks leading up to Christmas. So for Family Home Evening last night we focused Nephi's vision of the of the tree of life and the vision he had of Christ's birth, ministry and death and the love of God for all mankind. Then I took an idea from Kim Montandon in Relief Society and asked the kids how we could relate our Christmas tree to the Tree of Life in the vision. I loved their analogies and I'm happy that our family is getting more in the right spirit of the season ;)

And of course with Christmas cards comes the Christmas picture....I have found that...

getting three kids and a dog to all face frontwards...

and smile at the same time is impossible.

Merry Christmas!


Piper said...

You were brave to even attempt to get them all looking and smiling! It is hard enough with the kids- we do not have a single picture with all the animals and kids together. :)

Erin said...

maddys is getting bigger already. Oh the joys of holes in the clothes. I wear the same jeans around the dog now. Stupid dog. Anyway, that citrus wedding sounds DARLING!