Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Blessings 2011 & And Awaiting A Happy New Year

I Am A Very Happy and Blessed Mother and Grandmother!
 I suppose this will be my last post of the year. I want to run all my posts together because if my Christmas surprise is anything like what's coming for this new year. I can't wait. I'm not sure I've ever been so anxious for a new year to arrive. Oh no, not this one was bad and this Christmas Eve was absolutely one of the best Christmas presents I've ever had, ever. And both holidays of Christmas Eve and Christmas will be now especially be dear to my heart. 2011.

The really funny thing is I didn't get one single thing I wanted as a gift. Steve messed-up pretty bad. All my hints and actually telling him just didn't work. I even made a list! All of this doesn't matter at all because I couldn't get him anything. He always makes sure I never have ANY money. Really, I think he actually puts his hand in my purse (that's taking it far) but he would if he new some was in there, take the money out and then after Christmas give it right back. However, that's never happened because my pocketbook has been on empty for a long, long time. I have too look under clothes in the closet for spare change or in the canning jar for nickels and pennies.

I spent hours and hours on our decorations for Christmas. I didn't put a lot out as in bunches of decorations, but just rearranged and made everything tidy and easy to repack after Christmas was over. I didn't think anyone would even see my decorations but Steve and I. Most packages I had sent to my family and friends through the Internet and directly to each one's home.

 I made my mom fudge and divinity for part of her present and basically it was the most expensive present of all. I messed-up so many times. The marshmallow fudge was a mess! I realize it was my own fault using the wrong kind of milk, my kids liked it anyway.  I finally made it right. I'll remember to memorize the ingredients and the instructions. I spent more than $25 three different times. The really funny thing is no one ate the ones I made for here at the house. Every single one in my family is strictly off sweets. I think Steve took the big plate down to the fire station.

Oh yeah, the fire station! Steve had to work both the 24th and 25th of December. I know it's against Union rules to end-up doing the shift of both days of Christmas and Christmas Eve, someone is suppose to come-in so a firefighter has part of Christmas off. No one came, no one offered, and of course, no one noticed my husband would be one both days. In years past we have had Christmas Eve or Christmas at the fire station and its pretty fun. The kids loved it but it wasn't both days. This was the first time I wouldn't have someone here with me, not even my husband. Last year we went up to Larin's and family with my other daughter, Kiely and her new husband, Matt. I was home alone and the thought at first was a bit sad, but I thought that heck, how many people must be doing that in this world? Alone at Christmas, but not really because it's Sunday! And also, I could easily go to the fire station and instead of cooking and wrapping all day, I could rest. Sounds good to me!

Christmas Eve:
My three children and their families got together and surprised me. They came over in the morning. Steve knew about all this and met-up with them at our house with the fire engine and the guys. My son took over my  kitchen and started making the famous "eggie-pancakes" with sides of eggs, hash-browns, sausage, and bacon. It was a huge feast and a beautiful warm Saturday. All my family brought the presents over  and we ate together and then laughed a bunch and opened presents.

Steve's mother and my mother were also here. The only one missing that lives here and would usually be in attendance was my grandson Tanner. He was visiting his other grandparents that live in Washington D.C. I know his Christmas is WONDERFUL! We love D.C. and love his updates on his vacation with pictures of all his fun experiences.

The kids had a "white elephant" gift exchange, just for fun and it was funny and full of surprises. I don't get how happy all the grand kids seemed with receiving a huge amount of very random junk.

My Mother and Mother-in-law Dune joined us, also


The tending of our livestock to me was special because I really wanted all to get something extra to make their Christmas special too. My family all had gone to other family members around and I hurried outside so to make it down to the fire station to have a special dinner with the guys. I came home to a very brightly lighted home with lovely music that I left-on to play as I slept. I need to sleep for tomorrow because of Church time arrives early and I need to do the chores before I leave.

Christmas Day 2011:
I decided when I woke-up this morning at 2:30 a.m. that I wouldn't go back to sleep, so as usual when I wake-up I read the Scriptures at the end of Helaman with "Samuel The Lamanite" fortelling the news of Christ's birth about to occur and then the first part of 3rd Nephi when the signs did come to pass with the night becoming as day and the star was shinning announcing to the people of the Americas. I made sure I concentrated on staying awake and that's not hard because I was so excited. I thought about and did go on over to Dustin's house at the beach and see all of them open their Christmas presents before church. The morning, and still very dark at 5:30 a.m. was beautiful. I left my house with the Christmas music on my radio and made it just in time to see the kids come out to open presents. Funny how my children's children open presents so different than my own kids did back in the '80s and '90s. My grandchildren took forever to open each gift and then took the wrappings to the waste basket. They were so careful and with each present they stopped and played with each one.




I knew I had to be back at Marnie's and Steve's to catch the other four grandchildren opening their presents. The sun was coming up and it was glorious. I made my arrival a little late but really in time to open the gifts. They kids did the same thing. They were so slow and deliberate with each present and while they just were unwrapping it up I ran-out to do the chores. Christmas here in Santa Paula is almost always the most beautiful day of the year and this year was no exception.

Church was wonderful. It was filled with the Spirit and I enjoyed every moment and that it was Christmas Day even made it more special. Our family sat together and the congregation seemed be filled with joy. I left quickly after our last meeting to see my Steve still on duty at the fire station.  He had lunch/dinner all prepared and without the usual interruptions. I was so grateful that no fires and accidents happened on Steve's watch.
80 degrees! My Snowman Needs Some Cool Beach Water
We called our other children and family out-of-state and saw their tears because they couldn't be with us. We begged Kiely and Matt to travel down and visit us. They had to stay somewhere else anyway because the dorm closes over Christmas break. Steve and I had a wonderful present. Our children from Utah were coming down and our children and family from Arkansas were just about to come out for my grand daughter's baptism and Baby Susan's blessing. Only Larin and her family would not be here. Wyoming has pretty severe weather during Christmas and this was no exception. We would make-do with the "Face-Time" application on our Ipads. So blessed to have such a great, new invention.

What Did my "Other Kids and Grandkids Do On Christmas Eve?"
Sunny but muddy and very Cold
Wyoming is Very Coldy

Its Freezing In Arkansas, too!
There was a snowman in cool Ventura Ocean and my families away from me are very cold but enjoying the real kind of Christmas season that is thought to be traditional. The best thing is that they all don't mind the cold. They are say, "Mom, it feels like Christmas."

I went home to more chores and climbed in bed to Christmas music, but was completely-out before the first song ended and I was sleeping before sunset. I love Christmas so much and took way too many pictures. We have so much to be thankful for this season and I can only see that the New Year is going to be truly wonderful.

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