Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our it's not because the tree is up. 

Because I've kept myself so busy that I don't have time to even sit down let alone write anything for the blog. Why do I do that to myself every year??

I pack extra projects, good ideas with not enough time to execute and in the spirit of giving I end up tired, stressed and eventually overwhelmed... definitely not the spirit of Christmas. 

So in an effort to slow down a bit and breathe, I'll post our family advent calendar for the month of December so far...

December 1st - Decorations are finally up. We even got a few Christmas cards. I laughed when the first one we got had Christmas spelled wrong on the front, guess it missed the spell check. 

My favorite decoration is the scrapbook pages I made with last year's Christmas cards posted on the fridge. That's been fun to look at. 

So silly me is selling jewelry again right at Christmas time. I did a fun open house at a friends house but I still had lots of stuff left so when I got a flyer that the school district was hosting a craft fair I thought I'd try it out. 

The organizers did a great job, there was music, food, Santa and live performances...the only thing missing was much of a crowd. Not too many buying customers. The ladies in the booth next to me were bummed out and discouraged, I told them that's how craft shows are. You never know if it's going to be good or not. 

So my family was patient while I hung out at my booth that day but I got done in time for....

Our ward Christmas party that night. (Jeff always likes holding the babies)

We had a great dinner and a fun performance from the Young Men and Young Women that night. 

December 2nd - Sunday visits to the Deaf Branch and the Young Single adult ward (It was an eye opening experience for me. The songs were the most interesting. I ended up singing a quiet solo since I didn't sign, and there wasn't music but I didn't want to look like I wasn't participating.)

These Sundays when I do visits Jeff is gone with Bishopric meetings so I get the kids going as much as I can then leave. I race back in time to pick them up and bring them to our church. Then part way through our church I race off to the other ward and Jeff tries to get done not too late so he can bring the kids home. 

It was fast Sunday that day and I was hungry by dinner time. I had a great pan of chicken enchiladas ready to cook. Guess what the oven wasn't working again! So we brought it to a neighbors to cook. I was really hungry by the time it was ready. 

December 3 - My mom's birthday, called her but sent her present with the Christmas package

Had presidency meeting and Ashley was supposed to have Activity Day but wasn't feeling good so skipped it. 

December 4th - The oven repair guy came. It was still under warranty, thank goodness because it would've cost us $126 dollars just for the guy to look at it. 

The problem was the pans were stacked too high in our storage drawer and they were taking the spark that was supposed to go to the igniter which was keeping the oven from working. Boy did I feel dumb...but relieved too. 

It was also my friend Cindy's birthday that day and we celebrated with her at a lunch at her house. 

She said a great way to celebrate your birthday is to invite all your friends over and have your own party. 

Ha ha I tried having a family gathering on my birthday last year. It was fun to have family over but it didn't feel like a birthday to me. Not having to clean and then host and clean again is enough of a birthday present to myself, but it was sure nice of her to have us over. 

December 5: 

Had a hair appointment, had to reschedule it a couple of times so I was glad to be able to keep it. 

December 6: Working on Christmas shopping, crafts and things to send to families far away...and still making jewelry.

Brought dinner to another person I visit teach who had hand surgery that day. 

December 7th:

Got to meet up with Jeff's family to see Donnie and Marie perform their Christmas special in L.A. at the Pantages theater.

We had a great dinner before and enjoyed  a great entertaining performance. 

I remember watching the Donnie and Marie show when I was younger but I had never seen them in person before. Fun!

December 8th - Today was the Little People of America Christmas Party. It was a little bittersweet. I was election day and Joanna Campbell and I have been running it and involved for 6 to 8 years together and she had done it a number of years before that. So we have a new board running things. They will be great and I'm excited for them but it' different knowing I won't be as involved any more either. 

Ashley got to sit on Santa's lap 

but didn't know what to ask him for. 

Santa didn't even offer Jacob to sit on his lap...ha ha, probably a good choice. 

Obviously Jacob entertained him somehow. :)

Taylor stayed home because he wasn't feeling well so he didn't get to hang out with Santa.

We were sad to come home after the party and find that one of our turtles had died. 

I think the other two turtles had been biting his tail. We separated him from the others but he only lasted a day. At least he didn't suffer long. 

December 9th: 

Tonight we had the missionaries for dinner. We met an elder from Australia and another from Mongolia. The Elder from Mongolia said the prayer in his native tongue, fascinating. 

Originally I had thought about making a turkey dinner for the missionaries but realized I was visiting two wards again today and Jeff had meetings all day as well, then come to find out the Elders had to eat quick because they had to get back to the church for the Messiah Sing In. So crockpot dinner it was. I used to love to go to the Messiah Sing In, but I was the only one in the family that loved to go to it so I'd end up there by myself. After a crazy week and busy Sunday I figured staying home would be wiser. 

I ended up watching the season finale of the Amazing Race with the kids (Jeff wasn't feeling good and went to bed). Our Roaming Gnome is now going to a new home. We didn't win but that's OK because the Williamson's have never won. Their team was probably the least likely to win and they did it.

December 10 - Dropped off jewelry at a friend's preschool and then came back for the end to sell it. 

A couple of people bought things and then I raced out to San Bernardino to have lunch with Steve, Tahna, Ron Richards, Jeff and a mutual client Dorothy Hackathal and her granddaughter out at Black Angus.  It's kind of become an annual Christmas type lunch...the problem is every year it seems I'm not hearing about it until a couple of hours before it's happening. There have been times I've had to miss it but I was able to pull it off. 

That afternoon I went to a Christmas cookie dough exchange. My favorite kind. We all exchange cookie dough and so when we want to cook it, it's fresh from the oven. (This is my 2nd cookie dough exchange this season ;)

December 11th 

Did a craft show/open house at a ladies house that I met at Simone's. She's a mom at the school that I've talked to a few times but haven't gotten to know really well yet. 

The upside: I got to get to know some fellow moms at the school better, make a couple of Christmas gift necklaces and I bought this cute ornament to hang on our tree. 

The downside: I hung out basically all day and only sold some earrings and one set of beaded bobby pins for a total of $17.00....thats how these things go sometimes. 

I decided to cut my losses and pack up early so I could come home and get the family some dinner before I headed out with the Stake Relief Society presidency to visit another wards Relief Society Christmas dinner and program. 

They did a great job. The dinner was homemade tamales, the program was a wonderful Christ centered program with great music and performances and we even came home with a take home craft of baby Jesus. So glad I cut out early to go. 

December 12 - Was supposed to bring my jewelry to another preschool but she had to cancel due to spent the day trying to catch up on some of my projects to finish so I could get my families packages in the mail!

The day went quick and I didn't get near enough done but when Taylor asked if I could take him rock climbing (I've been too busy lately) I took him up on it and figured I could do my stuff later. He's got me to try some rock climbing too!

December 13th  - 
Got a call to sub a 1/2 day. Haven't gotten called in about a month so I took it. 1/2 days are the best! Just long enough and still time to get some stuff done during the day. 

Ran over after teaching to do a visiting teaching appointment right after and then ran out to Mira Loma to pick up some hand made organic soap and lotion I bought on-line from a lady that knew me growing up. She makes it all herself with ingredients from her garden out back.  I'm actually excited to try it once I picked it up. It smells great...I was late getting Ashley from school though because of it :(  Sorry Ashley.

That night I fed my family and headed over to our ward's Christmas cookie exchange and dinner. Lots of yummy cookies...this time already cooked. It was fun and a nice evening. 

Any guilt at leaving my family yet again for another evening was swallowed up in the fact that I was bringing them home a mound of cookies. 

December 14th - 

Today was Jeff's work potluck. Always a tradition...the kids used to come with us long ago but now they are all in school so Jeff and I got to go alone and hang out with our New York Life friends. 

Also our first Christmas goodie was dropped off. How cute...I'm already feeling my waistline many cookies and goodies around already! ;)

We took the kids to watch the Hobbit. It was good but looong and drawn out. I was wondering when they were going to kill the dragon...then I heard it's more than one movie. I have to say it was well done however. 

December 15th - The Piano Recital

Every Christmas the kids perform in a piano recital. Taylor isn't taking lessons any more but he participated by playing a duet with Ashley. Jacob was the last one to play so he was the finale! 

He said his nerves got the best of him on his first song but his last one he did a great job! Way to go all of you! I'm posting their performances on youtube right now if you want to see it. Just go to our channel...beaulieubunch

That night we wanted to take the kids to celebrate and do something. The boys didn't want to do anything so they sat at home by themselves and Ashley and Jeff and I went to dinner and did a little shopping. Jeff and I rented a redbox movie but we ended up watching Elf on TV instead...(everyone ended up falling asleep by the end except for Ashley). 

Sunday December 16th - 

No extra visits for me but I did bring hand made baby shower invitations for Relief Society in our ward. 

We had a quiet evening together, nice. We watched the finale of Survivor...Jeff fell asleep early. The kids got to bed too late and it was an early morning the next morning!

December 17th - 

Went over in the morning to bring my jewelry to Cindy's preschool, in between picking it up I shopped the whole time the kids were at school...and even some after. 

I love Kohl's clearance, and having a 30% off coupon. Receipts like this make me happy. I spent $86, saved $367 and got $10 Kohl's cash back for later. Thats my kind of shopping. 

Oh also in my shopping I found a decent solution to the boy's bottomless pit of cereal eating. (Which is becoming quite expensive) They won't each the generic brands, they want the "real" stuff. 

I pulled one of my mom's old tricks though...take the generic and put it in the "real" boxes. I haven't heard a complaint yet. Hee hee hee. 

December 18th 

Subbed today at the school. It's a 1/2 day so I thought I was getting off easy. Nope...there was grading and things for me to do until 2:30. Sorry Ashley who had to hang out with me the whole time. 

Jacob refused to do piano and mutual and said he was too tired. Ashley complained of a headache. 

While Taylor was at mutual with Jeff, Ashley and I made this pinterest creation for her class for her party on Friday...looks a little bit to Valentine's day but oh well. 

December 19th - 

Got two sick kids home from school today. 

Have a baby shower tonight. I pretty much got the blanket done for tonight and have done this blog post. I guess there's always tomorrow.  Trying to ignore the rest of the to-do list. 

By the way those signs that say "6 days to Christmas" only bring joy to the seems to bring panic to everyone else.  ha ha. 

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Full of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has come and gone...and now I'm Christmas shopping. Where does the year go? 

The week before Thanksgiving I was helping to prepare for a stake leadership training. We just got called as a new Stake Relief Society Presidency and with the meeting coming up we met often and were frantically coming up with something good. 

My job was to send out invitations, update the roster and create a Tech guide pamphlet for Relief Society leaders. Overall the meeting went well and everyone did a great job with their parts. 

I've been subbing a little more. The teachers can finally request who they want. I love it because I usually only end up going in about once a week. Enough to have something to do but not enough to get burned out. 

I had a girl that sent me a tattle tale note.  She folded it up and taped it and put it in my clipboard instead of telling me anything about it. Ha ha. There was nothing I could do because she didn't say anything.

Her note says "Dear Mrs. Boyer, can you tell Hadyn to stop chewing on his toy and stop talking"

The latest victim of Maddie. The dog likes to carry things around and normally she doesn't chew them up...but if she has something too long and it's good and chewy I don't think she can resist. Barbie is now armless.

Got all my jewelry stuff out right now, getting ready for a craft show this week. Its fun to lets see if I can sell enough to cover the money I spent on supplies ;)

The week of Thanksgiving the kids were all off school so I thought it would be a perfect time to come up and see Angela and Robert for a couple of days. It ended up working out great because they needed the help to watch Ian while Angela was working and Robert recovered from a round of Chemo. 

Ashley came with me and was my little helper and the boys decided to stay home and hang out with Jeff. They had grand plans to lay around the house all day and play video games and sleep in. I'm sure for them it was a great couple of days of nobody telling them what to do :) 

Ian got a little sad when Angela first left for work in the morning, I guess that's pretty typical, but he was fine less than a minute later. 

One of the things that makes him happy is Yo Gabba Gabba. Ashley would watch with him...we watched every episode there is on Netflix, more than once. Most of the time he wouldn't sit and actually watch it, he just liked it on in the background.

We were laughing when one of the songs got stuck in our head "Don't say mean things to your friends, don't say mean things to your friends..."

Another thing that made Ian happy was Ashley...and snacks. 

I brought some snacks from home as well and he found those pretty quick :)

When I got there Ian was sick with a cold that had lingered and turned into a bad chest cold. Angela knew he needed antibiotics so on our first day of babysitting Ashley and I took him to the doctors.

When we were sitting in the office waiting for the doctor he found he could turn the lights off and on. That was the funnest game ever in his mind.  He didn't like the doctor however. As long as I held him and just turned him around to wherever the doctor needed to look he was OK.

After the doctor's we took Ian to a little park that we saw close by their house. He loved sliding on the slides with Ashley. We met some friends at the park as well. When he started running away trying to get me to chase him...we were done at the park. 

The next stop was picking up his prescription. There was a wait at the pharmacy so we went next door to check out the pet store. 

I didn't have a cart or a stroller, that was mistake number 1.  I found out that Ian liked to run through the aisles and get me to chase I herded him near the animals. That got him to stop, hee hee hee.

He liked the fish and the birds and when he looked like he was getting bored I scooped him up and away we went to get his medicine. 

It's funny how out of practice you feel when watching a young one when your children are older. I very much enjoyed it but I realized how it's hard to get anything done, it's tiring and I forget that it just takes a second for them to get into things they aren't supposed to. A couple of times I turned my back for a few seconds and he was either on top of the table or turning the dishwasher off and trying to sit on the lid.  Basically I learned to keep him in my sights at all times, ha ha.

The next day we took Ian to the library. Robert was feeling well enough to come with us too! We ended up getting there just as they were making turkeys. Ian did a little bit of coloring and jumped on a few of the big stuffed animals and then we were off to a little petting zoo in town. When we got there I realized my cell phone was gone. I knew it was in my pocket at the library so I figured it just dropped out of my pocket. 

We drove back and it wasn't there, they even called it to see if we could hear it. No luck. Ian was cranky by this time so we went back home.  

For the next few hours I worried over my cell phone, called to find out what insurance we had on it and so forth. I thought to pray about it and then tried to relax and let whatever happened happen. 

After 2 unsuccessful attempts to get Ian to take a nap, and 3 stinky diapers later we decided to try the petting zoo again to try and tire him out. Ashley and I were leaving in a couple of hours so we thought we would try the library again just in case my phone turned up. 

I went to the desk and the guy that helped me before had it next to him. He said "I'm glad you came back, the janitor turned in your phone" I was so happy! I was sure to do a follow up thank you prayer ;)

By the time we got to the petting zoo Ian was starting to fall asleep in the car. Robert stayed in the car with him while Ashley checked out the giant pumpkins, bought a gourd or two and fed one goat. 

We then ran over to Rocket Fizz and grabbed some crazy soda flavors and I bought Ashley the giant gummy bear she wanted. I figured she earned it with all her help babysitting!

After a nice final dinner with Angela, Robert and Ian we headed back to Riverside. 

The next day was the day before Thanksgiving. It's always hard to come back after a trip and play catch up and for some reason I wasn't really feeling in a festive spirit. You know there are times that you think you are supposed to feel a certain way, and sometimes you aren't really feeling it. 

I had just commented that the one thing I was grateful for after last years oven fire was that I had an oven that worked and that I wouldn't have to host Thanksgiving this year. Not more than 20 minutes later the oven quit working in the middle of baking brownies for the next day. What!?! The oven isn't even a year old!

We tried tinkering with it but no matter what we did it wasn't working. I had 1/2 baked brownies, and lots of rolls I was supposed to bake in the morning!

I put a desperate plea on facebook to see if I could bring my baking to someones house in the morning. I got a couple of offers so that made me grateful. 

Since prayer worked for the cell phone I tried it for the oven, even if it could just work Thanksgiving day that would be great. 

The next morning I woke up and rolled out my dough for rolls and prepared to lug everything over to my friends house. 

1/2 hour before I was supposed to leave I thought I'd try and turn on the oven again. By some miracle it worked! I quickly fed everything into the oven without turning it off until it was all baked. 

Now I was truly grateful for the oven! 

I don't know what it was but since then it's been working every day. 

It's it funny that it takes us losing something, or thinking we are losing something to really feel grateful for it. 

Thanksgiving was at Grandma and Grandpa Nelson's this year. They had a big table in the garage to eat on...we could never do this in our garage...people would probably have junk falling on them ;)

I really appreciated my mother and father in law for hosting because I knew that it was a lot of work!

Some of the football watcher crowd (with Taylor texting in the background)

The food was good and plentiful as always! Yum!

Our favorite part of the night is playing games!

After dinner is done we put the table away and gather the chairs in a circle and play games. 

Steve added a new one this year. 

It was like a cross between telephone and charades. 

Playing with all ages meant we got to act things out that you wouldn't want to have to act out, like potty humor...

and have everyone laugh at you....

or laugh with's all in good fun!

That night Jeff and I braved Khols across the street for their midnight black Friday deals. We bought like 3 things then got out of there fast. Craziness! Jeff was whacked in the head at least 3 times and as we were walking back to our car we watched someone slam into a parked car as they were trying to leave the parking lot. Wow enough black Friday for us!

Friday we went skating with family. It was Jolene's birthday and Sharon and the girls drove down and Jolene had a couple of friends come and we all met at the skating rink. 

(I know this is a horrible picture but it was the only one I had)

We practically had the place to ourselves for a long time. Sweet! 

The kids got to race each other, they held hands and made a big chain and Jolene and Ashley even won one of the games and got their own cotton candy. 

Saturday we pulled out our Christmas decorations, sweating in the heat. Sheesh it wasn't feeling anything like Christmas yet, but up the decorations went.

It reminded me of those years growing up when I would get a winter coat for Christmas and then we'd go outside wearing it to play and we would be sweating to death in it! Only in California.