The British are Coming!

More and more lately I feel like running down the road yelling “The British are coming!  The British are coming!”  Much like Paul Revere did on April 18, 1775.  People immigrated to the American continent to experience freedom from oppression and tyranny.  They had to fight several wars to earn and protect the freedoms and Republic we enjoy today.  I feel that we are at war once again to protect our freedoms.  Little by little our freedoms have been nibbled and picked at.   Up until now, we have seemingly not lost that much.  But if we let our guard down and give in to pacifism because it is easier than opening ourselves to criticism and argument, then we will lose much more.  Two days ago, without a single person in congress reading it, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed.  In other words, the massive, over-spending, ear-marked, Democratic hay-day Porculus bill.  This particular bill attacks several of our fundamental principles.  A few of which are religion, states rights, our individual rights, and possibly most importantly, our Republic.  Our government has seriously over stepped it bounds by passing this bill.

It is important to understand we live in a Republic, not a Democracy.  A democracy means that the majority rule.  But when the majority decide to take things from the public that don’t belong to them, the democracy fails.  In a Republic, the government is restricted by law leaving the people alone.  There is a great video that explains the different types of government.  It has made clear several things for me.  I highly recommend you watch it.  http://www.wimp.com/thegovernment Our current government has decided to become a democracy, without the consent of the people.  It continues to pass laws that limit the power of the people which in turn makes itself more powerful.  With this kind of power, our country will be forever changed and we will lose what has made us great.  The freedom to be self-dependant and the ability to choose our own roads without the restriction or fear from the rulers.  The video mentioned above has a splendid quote “The essence of freedom is the proper limitation of Government.”

We, as the people, give rights to the government, and we have the ability and the right to take rights away from the government if they are not protecting our inalienable rights as humans.  Obama has stated that one of his biggest problems with the Constitution is its binding power on the government.  That is the way it is suppose to be!!!  If the people give up their right to take  judgement on the government and keep it in check, then we are flinging our doors wide open to Socialism and Fascism  and any other type of freedom-squashing government that the world and the ambition of man sees fit to throw at us.

This is a definite occasion that the government needs to be put in check.  I am so angered by this stimulus bill that I am beside myself.  I am mad about several things.  The fact that this ridiculous bill passed and that Obama has lied to us.  I am mad that not a single person in congress has read the bill or had the opportunity to debate it’s many pages of controversial sections and articles.  I am mad that we were not given the five days promised to us, by Obama,  to review and make public comment on the bill (or any piece of legislation going through Congress).  I am mad that the lobbyists had the bill before the politicians had it.  I am mad that people don’t realize that the best way out of debt is to stop spending money!  I am mad that the government is bailing out private corporations.  It is not the governments job to bail out private corporations. Giving money to businesses that are failing because of the incompetence of their owners, is not protecting the rights of the people.  In fact, it is stepping on those rights because it is inhibiting free enterprise!

We are at a point in time where we need to start making a stand and fighting for our Republic!  I am not sure how, however.  But something needs to be done.  It makes me so nervous that an 8 inch thick piece of legislation was just passed and not a single person knows everything that is in it.  What rights have been lost?  What jobs have been created?  So far, I am hearing about nothing but more bailouts, more layoffs and pointless jobs that the free market won’t support and that will have little to no effect on the quality of life.  There is an adage that I know that fits this situation very well.  It is “Hope for the best, but expect the worst.”  That way I am not too disappointed.

January and February Update

I was kidding myself when I thought I was going to be able to write a series of blogs catching up on the holidays.  I hardly have time to keep a current blog, let alone one making up for past time.  I have tried several times to write a blog post, but every time I get on my mind is filled with anger and indignation about what is happening in our country, that I get writers block.  I want to write about my family, but I get clouded over with other things and can’t focus.  It has gotten so bad for me that in order to make sense of my thoughts, I have had to take a break from the computer and the articles and the commentary for a while.  I am hopefully back now and can write coherently.

I will start with my family.  We have had Strep throat going through our house lately.  About a week and a half ago, Brynn had a UTI, 3 days later I got Strep and 5 days later Garion got it.  He is home from school today still trying to get better.  However, if you could hear him playing with Brynn right now, you would never know he was sick. 🙂  Guess he will be going back to school tomorrow after all.  He won’t be contagious anymore and with his amount of energy, it will be good for him.  We are counting down the days to Garion’s Baptism.  It is insane to me that he is this old already!  But time does move on continuously and doesn’t give us any leeway to stop and smell the flowers!  That is why it is so important to live in the moment!!! Garion is really excited about it.  In our religion, we wait to baptize until the child is 8 years old.  We believe that infants and babies are innocent and unable to understand the difference between right and wrong.  We believe that by the age of 8, they are able to not only understand the difference, but act on it as well.  We have been given agency by Heavenly Father, and we believe that by the age of accountability, 8, they can start to use their agency with respect for the consequences that come from our actions, be they good or bad.  It is a big day and we are looking forward to it!!  In addition to his baptism, he will be having a birthday party too.  Although, at this point, I have no idea what it will be.  He wants to go to Jump on it, a trampoline place for kids.  But I am not sure that will happen.  It is still in discussion.

I am starting to get a little frustrated with Brynn.  She is so cute,  that most of the time it is too hard to stay mad at her.  But she is truly a toddler in every since of the word.  In the last couple of weeks and even into that last month or two she has really started coming out of her experimentation and exploratory shells!!  She is into EVERYTHING!  Just about every wall in the house been colored on, almost every book has been scribbled on, and the furniture is colored as well.  She has learned how to climb and loves to get into the glass cabinet in the kitchen, or wave around a steak knife (Which have been moved to the top of the fridge, by the way).  She loves to make messes with anything she can get her hands on, from Mommy’s makeup to her breakfast to her brothers Pokemon cards to her sisters lip gloss.  Nothing is sacred.  If you value it, it needs to be hidden.  That is about where things stand.  The problem is that she gets so happy to have discovered something new or to have helped “do” something that she gives this completely beautiful smile and it is impossible to reprimand her.  Most of the time. 🙂  Then again, she is also learning self defense and has started hitting and pinching when Garion and in particular, Kayla, do something or take something from her that she doesn’t want to give up.  She has serious control of her eyebrows.  And when she is upset she has this way of pulling them down and over her eyes to give the “evil” eye.  It is hilarious!  But her meaning is very clear!  I am trying to get a picture of the “eyebrows” to post, but I have lost the battery charger for our camera.  When it is found, I will get and post a picture.

Kayla is still Kayla.  There isn’t much new to tell about her.  Her obsession with puppies is getting a little out of hand and I am ready for her to move on.  It gets a little tiresome, even though it is still funny, to speak to my daughter when she is pretending to be a dog.  She responds by barking at me, crawling on all fours, licking her food and water with her tongue, and saying she can’t do her chores or anything she doesn’t want to do because a dog wouldn’t be able to do that particular thing.  Yes, definitely ready to move on from the dog obsession. 🙂

I am trying to get back into running.  I haven;t really run for months and I miss it!!  The weather is killing me.  My bravado and usually tough (tough for me) skin for the cold is seriously resisting the cold.  I just can’t seem to get myself out the door for a run with snow on the ground.  My brain wants it but my body refuses.  I would almost kill for a treadmill!!!  So I am still trying to workout in my basement with videos, etc.  They just don’t hold that much interest for me.  I like to work them into my routine with my runs, but all on their own, I get bored.  Oh well.  Winter can’t last forever.  I have become unusually obsessed with politics.  I have also discovered that very few people want to discuss the happenings of our country.  I have a strong suspicion that it is because I get pushy with my opinions when I start talking about it.  It is frustrating to me though, because if no one will talk to me about it, then I have no where to vent my thoughts and no where to learn new things or lines of thinking.  That is the beauty of a good conversation, both sides walk away enlightened and hopefully more respectful of the other party because of their thoughts.  I really want to become more involved with politics somehow so that I can feel like I am making a difference.  However, there is very little I can do personally.   Plus, I am just not sure I have the backbone for politics.  So I have retreated to my house.  I figure that I can prepare my family for whatever may come.  Good or bad.  That is my job and how I can make the biggest difference.   But if there is anyone out there who is in the mood for a little political discussion, send me a line. 🙂

Jason is still working.  He has paintball practice once a month and PLUG once a month and Scouts every Thursday.  He teaches a primary class at church on Sundays and, of course, is still the head of our household!  🙂

Man, listen to this post.  It is almost like a Christmas letter.  I guess that is what happens when you don’t write about your family for a month!

The Inauguration of our 44th President

Wow..it has been a long time since my last blog.  I am going to try and play catch up.  Not all in this one post though.  That would be a very LONG post. 🙂  Instead, I am going to do a series of short posts about the big events in the last month.  I will start with Christmas Eve and move through the next month.  I have really missed blogging.  When I was in California I wasn’t able to get on the Internet and I was surprised at how lost I felt.  Jason is wearing off on me more than I realized. 🙂  But I don’t mind.  My catch up posts are more for my own personal history than anything else.  Since I have started blogging I have cut back on my journal entries.  Well, to be totally honest, it has been about 2 years since my last journal entry, but blogging is so much easier and this way I have pictures with events.  It is slightly more difficult to do that with journals and I don’t scrapbook.  I am not creative enough.

Anyway, I just wanted to take a moment and talk about the inauguration  that happened on Tuesday because it is a very important part of the history of our country.  It is really fun to be a part of history!  Although, I am hoping this particular chapter turns out to be happier than I am predicting.  It is no secret that President Obama and I do not agree on very many issues.  In fact, I can’t think of any off hand.  But what makes our country great is the fact that the people can and have spoken and voted in the man they thought would do the best job leading us.  Granted, he didn’t win by very much, but he still won.  I thought this quote by Thomas Jefferson was very interesting.  “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine. ”  If we elect the right people, the other 49 percent won’t have to worry about losing their rights because the leaders will do everything in their power to protect all 100% of the people with honesty, integrity, virtue, personal morals and courage to stand against the onslaught of manipulations and deceits that seem to accompany any office in politics.

As a citizen of the United States of America, it is my duty and obligation to freely and willfully support President Obama in his office.  I support him as president and I like him as a person, but I have to say that I do not support the changes he is planning on making.  President Obama has been in office 2 days and we are already feeling the moral effect of his executive orders.  He has show hypocritical tendencies by first criticizing Bush on the amount money spent on his inauguration, and then spent 3 times as much on his own.  He has put a hold on the salaries of the white house staff for no reason I can come up with other than to pay for his own expensive tastes.  The democrats have made a fairly big deal about going green but none of them seemed to have a problem taking private jets to the inauguration.  There were over 600 private jets at the airport on Tuesday.  And to top it all off, Obama has already made a devastating executive order lifting the ban on federal funding for abortions.

I love our country because we are free to succeed and fail based on our own choices and abilities and ambitions.  We all have a right to reach for the American dream, but that does not mean we will all achieve it.  We have the right to pursue happiness, that does not mean we will all achieve it and it certainly doesn’t mean the government needs to give it to us.  How would we learn and grow if we allowed ourselves to be spoon fed through out our lives?  I love our country because it is merely run by the government, not controlled by the government. The fundamental role of the government is to maintain our security and basic public order.  Bailing out the economy, getting involved in religions ceremonies and governing schools is not part of our basic security or keeping of the peace.  I feel that the government is sticking its head into areas that are none of its business.  If we allow it to proceed in this direction, I really worry that we are digging our own grave.  John Adams said “Democracy… while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.”  This could be us, if we allow ourselves to become complacent.  We need to study the issues and keep the government in check.

Many of the policies Obama wants to implement, will put more control in the governments hands and take the ability away from the people to be free to make their own choices, for good or ill.  During his inaugural speech Obama said “The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works…” and although this is a very good question, it pushes aside the fact that a larger government will not make it work better.  In fact a larger government may seem to fix in the short term a few of our countries problems, in the long run it will lead to more control and loss of personal freedoms.  Obama wants to take us to Socialism and that is not in any form of the idea what our founding fathers wanted for our country.  Thomas Jefferson was very wise when he said “Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.”  We are free to be free.  We should not let laziness and rocks in the road to fortune allow us to settle down and accept what others give us without question.  We need to be very careful that a handout on the roadside from the government will not grab hold and enslave us in the future to living only by the Governments  good grace.

I have been very surprised this past year at the strength of my feelings about the government.  As far as I can recollect, I have never been so passionate about anything in my life.  Just thinking about it gets my blood boiling.  I know that I have offended more than one person of late, and I apologize for that.  After pondering about why I am feeling so strongly about this, I came to the conclusion that I have been ignorant, and the time for ignorance has long since past.  I want to raise my children to know their rights and to speak their minds in the hope that they may lead their peers and fellow citizens in making good choices.  Knowledge is power and I have failed to make myself knowledgeable about the important factors concerning our country these days.  As I said earlier, one of the beautiful things about our country is that it is and should be run by the people.  We elect people that we feel will make the decisions that most closely relate to how we feel and the morals, standards and virtues that we uphold.  When we sit back and decide to let the government make our choices for us, or choose not to vote or get involved because we think our voice won’t make difference, then we are condemning ourselves to be lead by people who don’t care for our opinion and who will make choices not for the good of the country and people, but for the good of themselves.  ( I am not necessarily saying this is the way with our current administration.)  We, the people, are the safety net for our country.  It is great and it is up to us to keep it that way.  Not the government.  “Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.” ~Thomas Jefferson

I would love to trust the government, but I don’t.  So far, in two days the Obama administration has proved that some of my fears were not vain.  I feel that the lift on the ban of federal spending for abortions is just the first of many dominos to fall.  I strongly urge everyone out there to inform themselves of the facts of all the issues and let their voices be heard.  I am not judging anyone.  I am well aware that there are a large amount of people out there that don’t agree with me on many of these issues.  That is okay with me.  I just wanted my personal position to be clear.  I do not take for granted my position as a citizen of this country and I will do everything in my power to exercise all of my rights so that I won’t lose them.  Though my efforts may be small, maybe I will be the snowflake that starts the avalanche.  It is not only our duty, but our RIGHT to make sure the Governement is working for us, the people.  We own the governement, not the other way around.

Sweet Stomach Ache!!

We have sooo much junk food!  I guess it is the time of year, but holy cow!  In the last 24 hours I have used about 5 1/2 pounds of butter!  We have Swedish tea rings, Turtles, Caramel, two different kinds of short bread, cut out cookies, and the left over candy from the graham cracker houses.  In addition to what I have made, we have rosettes, peanut butter cookies, and pumpkin rolls from our neighbors.  It is all sooooo good!  But I tell ya, I go to bed almost every night with a sweets stomach ache.  I really wonder how the kids do it sometimes.  Even with our “Eat healthy first rule”, they still eat more of the sweets than I do.  How do they keep their stomachs from exploding?  Garion’s answer was the best. “Mom, remember, we have different stomachs for different kinds of food.  A vegetable stomach, a meat stomach, a drink stomach and a dessert stomach (which is the biggest I bet!).”  I just had to laugh.  Well, here is “Cheers” to our dessert stomach and the holidays that keep it filled to the max!

Snow Storm!!

We are finally getting the major storms we have been hearing about for the last month.  All day today it has been snowing like MAD!!  I took a couple of pictures to show everyone what it is like.  I think this is the most snow we have had at one time since we have lived here.  I could be wrong though…but I don’t think so.  So, because of the storm, all of my plans for the day have been cancelled.  My friend Krissy was suppose to come, but didn’t want to brave the roads!  Smart!  Then, we were suppose to go ice skating with the family, but I don’t want to brave the roads either.  One of my main concerns is that the last time we had anything near this bad of a storm, the two roads in and out of our town both closed and the kids and I were stuck in the car in the storm for 4 hours.  A lot of people had it worse and were stuck a lot longer than that.  So I count myself lucky that we made it home as fast as we did.  That being said, I would rather not get stuck again.  So  we are having a snow day at home.  I am cleaning, doing laundry, and baking.  Garion is glued to the computer playing games and Kayla and Brynn are running wild through the house.  Gotta love it!! 🙂

Annual Graham Cracker House Night

Yesterday we were suppose to go ice skating with Jason’s family, but unfortuantely, Heather and Allison were up most of Friday night throwing up.  Needless to say, the ice skating trip was cancelled.  It worked out pretty good for us though.  The ice skating is rescheduled for Monday afternoon and we had a night to make graham cracker houses.  We spent the afternoon going from store to store to find the right candy.  Jason in particular wanted a specific kind of hard to find candy that took us to 4 different stores.  But at the end of the day, we had everything under the sun that we could possibly want to put on a graham cracker house.  On the way home we stopped at Marley’s, the restaurant in the Harley Davidson store to get some sliders for dinner.  We also ordered a Black Cherry Vanilla custard that they forgot to give us, but of course we were all the way in Lehi before we realized we didn’t get it.  Bummer.  Anyway, after we got home, I made the frosting while Jason helped the kids cut the graham crackers to the right sizes and then we spent the next couple hours gluing, frosting and covering our houses with candy.  Kayla and Garion both had the goal to not only use every single kind of candy we had, but to cover the entire house and the 10 inch paper plate the house was sitting on.  We had a great time!  Amazingly enough, there were no fights, arguments, tears or tantrums the whole time!  The houses turned out really cute too!  The only problem now is how to keep the kids from devouring them all at one time!  But then again, it is Christmas, why not!!  🙂

Sledding!!

I have to grudgingly admit that winter does have it’s advantages.  On Thursday after it stopped snowing, I took 7  kids (by myself) sledding to the hill at the amphitheater.  I had Brynn, Kayla, Garion, Grace and Meg, and Tyler and MaKenna.  We had a blast!  Kayla in particular has been asking to go sledding for weeks!  We didn’t even own a sled until about 2 weeks ago and since then have just been waiting for the snow.  It finally came.  And it came hard!  Wednesday night and Thursday it snowed pretty hard, then Friday it stormed really bad all day and rumor has it, it is suppose to snow and storm all weekend.  Although, here it is noon on Saturday and not a flake yet today.  Maybe it will hit tonight.  Anyway, the kids had a blast sledding and afterward we all came back here for a cup of hot cocoa!  We made it sledding for about an hour before the girls all got too cold.  Since we only had 3 sleds for the 7 kids they had to share, but the 4 year olds had a hard time getting up the hill and down by themselves.  They need a parent to help, so I would like to get another sled so that while Garion is doing his thing, either Jason or I could be taking the girls down the hill.  So mainly, while Meg, Tyler and Garion sledded, the girls and I played in the snow at the foot of the hill.  At the end of the hour, when we were leaving, they took off their gloves and all their fingers were bright pink and ice cold!  So I took a picture of them all saying “Burrr!!” and holding out their hands.  Super cute!!!

Meeting Santa

I want to relate a quick story about the ward Christmas party.   I forgot to mention it before.  I have discovered that Grace, Kayla’s friend is out to sabotage Kayla’s Christmas! 🙂  Just Kidding.  But it was so funny!  The ward Christmas party was a breakfast in the morning.  We ate yummy food, then they had a really cute program and then, of course, Santa came.  They didn’t have the kids all line up to sit on his lap like they have done in years past.  Instead, they gathered all the kids into a circle around Santa’s feet and Santa talked to them about all the symbolism of Christmas.  He had a “goody” bag with an example of each thing in it.  Like a star, a wreath, a candy cane, etc.  It was really great.  Kayla, Grace and Garion ended up on the floor right at Santa’s feet.  Kayla was touching his boots.  She sat in rapture awe of Santa the whole time!  I wish I had my camera to take her picture with her head back and mouth open and smiling at the same time as she stared at him!  Anyway, just after he sat down, it got really quiet as everyone waited for him to begin.  Just as it got quiet, Grace says to him “Santa!  Kayla has been mean to me!!”  Santa was very surprised by this declaration.  He was quite speechless actually. 🙂  He mumbled something I didn’t quite hear because I was laughing so hard and then went on with the program.  The funny thing was that Kayla had been really nice to Grace that day.  When they play, they argue on and off, but nothing unusual.  The only thing I can figure is that Grace must think that if she rats Kayla out, she will get more gifts!  The best part of the whole thing was that Kayla didn’t do anything more then smile shyly at him and look down for a second.  She looked so guilty!  Hopefully Santa will know she has been nice and not naughty and put more in her stocking than coal!

What I believe about the Constitution and Government

When we were at the Salt Lake temple Saturday night, we paused to reflect on these signs.  They are written on stone monuments in temple square.  This is exactly what I feel about the government and the constitution.  I feel that the constitution is under attack lately and unfortunately a lot of the attackers come from the government itself.  I know that all people, government officials as well as normal citizens who do not stand up to defend it for the God given document that it is, will be held accountable.  I am so grateful for the country I live in and the freedoms I enjoy.  But it is important to remember that even though we have freedom, we don’t have the right to forget the commandments of God and turn away from what we know to be right and wrong.  We have agency, and the laws are there to protect us from those who choose to use their agency inappropriately, not to protect those in the wrong.  Things are confused and backwards these days, the Constitution is there as a guiding light to keep us in line.  In case you can’t read the photos, they say…

LIBERTY: “The constitution of the United States is a glorious standard…founded in the wisdom of God..Established by the hands of wise men…raised up unto this very purpose.  It is to all those who are privileged with the sweets of liberty like the cooling shades and refreshing waters of a great rock in a thirsty and weary land.” ~Joseph Smith

“The laws and constitution of the people…should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles: That every man may act.. according to the moral agency.. given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgement.” ~ Doctrine and Covenants Sec. 101

“Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty.” ~

GOVERNMENTS:  We believe that governments were instituted of God for the benefit of man, and that He holds men accountable for their acts in relation to them, both in making laws and administering them, for the good and safety of society.  We believe that no government can exist in peace except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property and the protection of life.” ~Doctrine and Covenants Sec. 134

“Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land.”  ~Doctrine and Covenants Sec. 58

“We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers and magistrates,in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law.” ~12 Article of Faith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Secret Santa and Christmas things

This has been a fun week for me, and the family.  On Wednesday morning I went to the Temple and it was like a breath of fresh air.  I need to go more often because I forget how relaxing and calming and peaceful it is there.  I just sat and pondered life and things that have been on my mind for awhile.  I came home feeling better and more centered. A very important thing for this time of year.  🙂

As many of you know, we have been trying to get the kids more into the true spirit of Christmas this year and take some of the focus off of the presents side of things.  One of the ways we have decided to try and do this is by being a secret Santa.  Our neighbor is a trauma counselor and he works with a family of 8.  A mother and 7 children who have seriously had the wrong end of the stick.  The father is not in the picture anymore for good reason.  The mom and kids are in hiding from him and would not have anything come Christmas morning without help.  We thought it would be more meaningful and personal to help with a family we have an association with though our neighbor than a stranger off the tree in the mall.  So we have combined forces with several other families to provide Christmas for this family.  Jason and I elected to buy for the 4 year old girl and the 7 year old boy since they are the same ages as Kayla and Garion.  That way, they could really help pick presents for them and better understand the feelings of the kids.  This has been a completely satisfying and fun experience for our whole family.  The kids (Kayla in particular) had a hard time in the beginning when we started buying things that they would have really liked.  But as we explained to them the situation, they have really gotten into the spirit of secret Santa.  We finished our shopping yesterday and today after church, we pulled out all the stuff we had gotten for them and went over it again with kids.  I asked them how they would feel if Christmas morning they woke up and there was nothing under the tree and Santa hadn’t come?  Garion about broke into tears right there.  I think he really started to understand what it would have been like for them.  It was really neat to sit and explain to Garion and Kayla how this opportunity has allowed us to act as Christ would have us act and share our blessings with others in need.  We didn’t wrap the gifts because our neighbor wanted to make sure everyone had about the same amount of things so no kids would feel jiped.  But as we carried the items next door, Kayla must have asked 10 times if we are going to go with Jamison to deliver the presents and if we are going to be friends with the little girl and how happy she was that this girl was going to get presents.

I am planning on making secret Santa a yearly tradition.  However I am not quite sure we will go in with other families again in the future.  It just gets a little awkward.  The whole point is to do what your family can to bless another.  But all in all, it was an excellent experience and I am soo happy we were able to help another family have a good Christmas and get the things they need.  It has really increased the spirit in our home. 🙂

Friday night we had our 2nd annual friends Christmas party/gift exchange with the Laws and the McNairs.  This year we changed it a little and added a full blown traditional Christmas dinner.  It was Fabulous!  The food was excellent, the conversation was entertaining and the presents were fun!

Saturday, I “snuck” out with the girls to do the last of my shopping for Jason.  Jason took Garion out do some shopping of his own and around 12 pm we met up at Arctic Circle to have lunch.  Julie and Michelle picked me up from there and the three of us went out again for last minute whatever shopping.  I am pretty sure all of us are now completely done with our shopping.  It feels really good.  Now I just need to get things mailed. 🙂  Saturday night, Jason and I took the kids to Temple Square to see the lights, watch the nativity presentation and see the Christis.  We had a great time!  It took us a while to find a place to park, the traffic was terrible!  But once we got out of the car it was awesome.  At one of the gates to temple square there was a set of bag pipers.  We stood and listened to them play Christmas music for awhile and gave both Kayla and Garion a dollar to put in their bucket.  It was funny because they were really

scared to walk in front of everyone to the bucket, but then they saw a couple other kids putting money in.  So they very cautiously walked to the bucket together and put their dollars in, then ran back to us.  The lights were amazing as usual.  I was glad we made the effort to go.  Battling the busy streets and the crowds at Temple Square where totally worth it to see the kids’ faces when they see the Christus.  Their eyes go wide with awe, and they reverently approach Him and just stand and stare at Him.  We listened to the 2 minute presentation and the kids loved hearing the “voice of Jesus”.  Garion was the only one who understood it was a recording.  But it was awesome.  After that, we made the trek back to the car and came home.  It was a late night, but a really fun one.  And the best part was, that it didn’t snow on us!  Although, I don’t think Jason would agree with that. 🙂