Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Grammy Day 2010

I really and truly believe that with age comes wisdom. There was a time in my life...not so long ago...where I really felt that everything HAD to go the way I planned, WHEN I planned, or it would be forever ruined. As the years have gone by, I have been "educated" by a wise, loving, and patient Heavenly Father, that being FLEXIBLE is good...and, most times, brings an even better result. Case in Point: Grammy Day...

Originally, I had planned Grammy Day to be a time my grandkids could spend time with me, freeing up moms and dads to shop, have a date, or just whatever. We would eat Goulash, make Gingerbread Houses, and just have fun. Well, my younger kids wanted to participate, and the first grandbabies were too young to do all this alone, so mom and dad stayed, then others wanted to stay as well...It turned into Goulash, Goldfish Crackers, Gummy Bears, Green Salad, and Gingerbread Houses for ALL...such fun. Then, Mike got a wonderful job in Vegas, and grandbabies had to move away. So, Grammy Day had to move as well. Some years, we did it late...after Last year, a new grandbaby came, and so Grammy left a Grammy Day kit, of sorts, for the new Mommy and Daddy to have when she felt well enough.

So, Grammy Day 2010 was planned...We would leave Dec 21 and return Dec 22. I even purchased a Groupon for a Sleigh Ride, 35 minutes from Las Vegas...perfect plan. I had our "sleigh" loaded with presents from Papa and Grammy, Great Granny, Nano, Aunt Kayty, and the Name Draw gifts, Grammy Day gingerbread houses, Candy, etc. Grammy Day dinner, ... So glad there are no check points on the way to Vegas...if anyone touched that trunk, I think it would have burst!!! We planned on leaving...and then we need air in the tires, and the air compressor at the gas station was broken, so we came back home to use ours, and then the neighbor needed a "quick" machining job by Dee...we left an hour late.

Okay...things happen...I was busy studying for my income tax stuff...Driving was great...Till we hit RAIN...the rain wasn't bad, but it made it so that the roads for the sleigh ride were too snowy and were closed...can you BELIEVE it? Too snowy outside Vegas? So, I left the groupon's good till the end of February, so they can have a sleigh ride!

We arrived to a lovely home, and a happy Wilkins family. Houses were assembled by the men for later decoration. I went with Gracie, some friends, and Mommy to visit a sweet family that wasn't having Christmas, and that was a special time. We returned to uncles and Adam playing video games. So, Mommy and Daddy were encouraged to attend their bishopric party...even if only for a little while.

We ate some Goulash, and then Joshy and I were emptying the fun with him handing me silverware...and then smiling! I texted Mommy to stay...Joshy and I were doing GREAT.

We ended up doing dishes, playing in the cupboards and under the table, getting candy out for decorating (Mommy didn't want to miss the fun) and we went on the porch to snuggle...

Grace and Joshy and Grammy...while the rain fell. It was so fun to sing songs with Grace...and sweet Josh fell asleep in my arms. The evening was wonderful...a sleeping baby in my arms, a sweet angel singing with me, the boys happily watching a movie...and Mommy and Daddy having fun...

So, we put off houses till the next morning...

It was SO much fun...after breakfast, we decorated...

and ate candy...

and decorated...

and ate more candy...
 Mommy was helping Joshy with his house, since he was only a few days old last year. She was guiding him in roof decoration...which meant that she carefully placed and decorated. If Josh volunteered to help, she would give him some "building materials" to "try"...(notice her right hand, with the kind encouragement to stay back...till everything was set.)

and decorated...
This is Grace's "Smile Of The Month" and her finished house!

It was SO much better to have the kids fresh in the morning, and a whole day to wear off all that sugar!!!

So, Grammy Day 2011...will be BREAKFAST...Gingerbread Waffles, Granola, Grapefruit Juice...the possibilities are endless!!!

Wisdom...and being flexible...led to the BEST Grammy Day ever!!! I was so glad I could have fun with Joshy, and with Grace, that the Uncles and Adam could have time together, that we could sit in the rare Las Vegas rain and sing (Gracie and I just love to sing together! We have our own Song..."There was a Grammy had a girl...and Gracie was her name-o...", so glad Allison and Mike could get away and have fun with some wonderful people from church - and that she could relax, for she does SO much for this sweet glad for everything...

We left, and literally swam home...rained almost the whole way...a total rarity! And as we pulled in the driveway, I breathed a thank you, for safety, for the job Dee has that blesses us to be able to afford trips away like this-I know that for many, this is impossible, and I am so thankful! , for our old car making it there and many blessings...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

O Holy Night - Kenneth Cope and Liz Lemon Swindle

Our Christmas Letter...

Merry Christmas

Again, our days have flown by, 
and it’s time for our annual rhyme.
What a wonderful chance to reflect on the year 
that has passed this Christmas time.
Our sweet family continues to learn and grow, 
opportunities have not been few.
Our cup is overflowing, with  love 
and support of family and friends, both old and new.

Doran, still blessed to be at Honeywell, 
has been educated as a casting engineer.
So, with his worldwide transitioning duties, 
he adds facility certification to his career.
He has filled our yard with fruit trees, a garden, flowers, 
and built a pizza oven, too;
Working as a disc jockey and a specialized machinist 
helps support our whole crew!

Mike has a job he excels at, and loves, 
which makes it easier to have them four hours away!
Allison never stops; super wife, mommy; 
she teaches our grandbabies to live like Jesus every day.
Adam, in grade 2, loves reading, science and playing basketball, 
a big Kobe Bryant fan!
Grace, 4, a new reader, loves ballet and is Mommy’s best friend
and helper in every way she can.
Joshua, now a walker, loves to swing, play, eat pickles too! 
He’s just the sweetest little one year old guy!
Papa and I are so thankful they don’t tire of us, “Grammy Bags” in hand, 
hopping in the car and coming by!

Ethan works for Home Depot, he leads in distribution. 
A new homeowner, his off time is full of honey–do’s.
Cameo loves her job, meds get where they need to be; cheers 
Ethan’s softball, keeps a home and goes to school.
Doran delivers furniture, but is headed to be a photographer full time; 
business continues to grow.
Danyel , an amazing nanny, now will care for brothers, two. 
She loves to sew and craft, & is the best chef I know.

Morgan is our adventurer; lived in places far and near. 
Now in Seattle, he seeks a job, big fishing may be fun.
Kayty, in her 3rd yr. of college, auditions for NAU soon. 
Loves singing, movies, and helping Party City run.
Nathan’s Sr. year, full of football, track, and working on that 1960 truck;
motor sounds so fine.
Suzzy, learns to prepare taxes, mastering pizza dough for the new oven, 
and bread baking, without a whine.  

Eternity, and the joy of family were celebrated this April 24th  past:
 Danyel and Doran together, sealed for time and all eternity, 
Dee and Suzzy 30 years at last.
Summer was again filled with tons of football drills, 
so for our vacation, home we did stay.
In the Spring, Kayty went on her own trip; 
Disneyland’s call could no longer be kept at bay.
Dee’s work travel took him to Michigan and Ohio, 
wondrous sites in church history he did see.
                                                          We endured our Arizona summer in the pool, 
                                                  but did lots of things to make our yard a great place to be.  

The future may have many uncertainties, but this much we do know
   Through the challenges all face, we can learn and continue to grow.
Please know that we ALL have a Savior, who is there for us, through times good and rough.
Remember HIM, whose birth we celebrate now. With Him, we will always have enough.

Much Love,
Dee, Suzzy, Allison, Mike, Adam, Grace, and Joshua Wilkins, 
Ethan and Cameo,
 Doran and Danyel, Morgan, Katelyn, and Nathan

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Our Christmas Card...

Shutterfly | Photo Cards

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Real Reason...

Christmas gets so busy...with all the regular stuff we need to do, and, to top it off, you get to wrap presents, shop, attend concerts, help high schoolers get ready for finals, decorate, send cards...Often, I am ashamed to say, I don't stop and think. We used to read a special holiday story every night, but this year, with kids coming home late from work, hubby and I are usually exhausted by "reading time".

Thank goodness for bloggers...I saw a cute nativity someone had made the other day, and a link to others who had made their own nativities to display. That is one thing I DO have. I have many wonderful nativities, including three I have made myself. I went in the living room, took pictures of the ones I wanted to include and share,
 This sweet one I found in one one of my books. I just loved painting it. Just the sweetest people. And the best...I love the little lamb that just peeks up to see the Baby Jesus.

 This one is another favorite. Originally, I just liked the sweet faces, so I bought the instructions to paint it. It was only when I began to trace and paint that it was children, dressed up to show a "living nativity". The baby Jesus is in a wash bucket. The children have dish towels and blankets on their heads. The "camel" is a horse with a pillow on his back. There are even children in wheelchairs, both in the choirs and in the kings. I just love it!
I made this one with the women at church. However, I didn't like the primitive faces they had, so I made my own. It is a puzzle that all fits in the stable, though the pieces don't  spend much time in there!

and looked at my other ones. It is amazing just a simple act of stopping...and looking...and pondering...can do for your priorities. I took just a few moments out of the busy day, and yet, it gave me a moment...

As I read my scriptures every morning, I often read references to "pondering". Pondering can happen while you load the dishwasher or wash the dishes, while you hang up the laundry, while you wait before the college choir concert begins. All it takes is for each one of us to take that time to do ponder. I am now more refreshed.

Thank goodness for these beautiful help us remember the birth of our Savior.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Stockings Were Hung...

Another year...and my stockings are my treasure! If there was a fire...after my hubby and kids, they would be the first thing out! I treasure them. I bought kits on sale to needlepoint the ones hubby and I have.

I bought a kit for the ones I made for Allison, Ethan, and Doran. Oops, ran out of kits. So, I copied the next four. Oops...nothing for children in law, so I copied again for theirs. Oops...nothing for grandbabies, so I copied yet again.

The sweet white one is for Doran and Danyel's sweet Charles, who waits for us with Heavenly Father.
I have one under construction, just in case...

O Christmas Tree

 This is our main family tree...and it's absolutely covered with ornaments! We used to chop down a real tree...until the bark beetle...So, we have an artificial one now...and it doesn't hold as many, but I put as many on as I can.
I love looking at Christmas trees. I love putting up our trees, though I complain...a lot! Every ornament is not just a bauble on the tree...It is a memory. A memory of a cub scout den and noodles glued on a piece of cardboard, surrounding a cubbie's smiling picture. It's salt dough rolled out and chubby little hands taking their pick of a cookie cutter, pressing it, and baking it. It's the beautiful glass balls that once hung on hubby's tree when he was small.
These sweet snowmen...all made by my babies in their kindergarten/first grade classes. Just missing one...guess Nate's school didn't do snowmen! I always put up
right together. They are on clothes pins, but they face different ways, so it's hard to get them facing the same way.
This egg...over 30 years old...When I was absolutely in love with hubby before he was even fiancee, or even noticed me, for that matter, I made him a little Easter basket. I had painted this egg, with his name on it, his 1960 Ford Pick up, and this-in remembrance of his church mission, along with a chef's apron I embroidered.
It's creations from loved ones who are not with us any more...the Santa and stick horse from Aunt Bonnie, the crocheted socks from Grandma Vera, the sweetly painted and fired baby Jesus and Mary from Grandma Dorothy...
 These sweet booties were made for my first angel baby, by an equally angelic friend, who recommended my obstetrician for that first baby, because he had delivered seven of her babies. We had her eighth, and my second, within days of each other. We would sit in a dressing room - days before mothers' rooms at church- and nurse our sons, and talk. I learned so much from her. She was strong, and would defend her children to her death. I cried on the first Sunday at a new ward (LDS church) because I hadn't appreciated the wisdom I had been blessed with from my older friends, like her. Later, she was the victim of breast cancer. Even in her death, she taught me to love life, and to live it without worrying what others have.

the cross stitched elves from Nano, the adorably sewn Mrs. Claus from Grandma. Its the ornaments painted and given from a neighbor, in honor of a Church calling.

This sweet angel, with yellowed tape, was on my first Christmas gift, and was always hung on our tree. Until my dad found a spire to put on it (Never could figure that out...he loved architecture and Frank Loyd maybe...) The Shroeder...came from Sister Hamblin, my piano teacher. She was the most patient, calm person...loved her!) The wreath/pig...that is my annual ornament I paint for this year.
 Cross stitched treasures from Nano...The bottom of our tree is child safe...all "stuffy puffy" ones. No worry about breaking any!

It's just so, so much. Every time I walk by, I look, and remember...

Another tree... The Outdoorsman Tree...Dee had been given TONS of hunting and fishing he now has a special place for his!

And since I was born on July 4th...Independence Day...I have a tree that is all red, white and blue.
 This wonderful ornament was given to me by the awesome people that my hubby supervised. He had to transfer to another division, and, when he left, they had a luncheon for him. I was invited. We walked in, and a room FULL of people cheered for him. Silly guy, he thought no one liked him! Anyway, they gave me this adorable ornament, cuz I always sent in Texas Sheet Cake for them. Little did they know that their's would end up being my favorite ornament...I just love them and their kind thanks EVERY time I made them a cake...for the way they recognized just HOW SUPER my sweet hubby is...and for the great people they were. I think that was hubby's favorite job.
  So many ornaments. Even my annual ornament began to have red, white and blue on it, except for this year. Can you believe it...I forgot!

There they are...the trees I love. And, I have an attic with boxes of ornaments that don't fit...waiting for a child to need some for theirs. Memories...happy, happy memories.