Lots of favorite memories from this activity. I thought it would be FUN to have my cute little Sunbeams over to the house for a PARTY DAY! I sent them all invitations, and I had many cute little voice messages from 3 year olds on my answering machine telling me they could come!
Thankgoodness my two "Santa Helpers" were home that day from their other Christmas Adventures. I recruited Karianne and Kelsie to come give me a hand. Who knew it would take that many hands to put together Gingerbread houses!
I love how Barak brought his big sister Cayenne to help help him!
I love howJaden wore his coat all the time and kept peeking out the door
to see if his Grandma Ginger was waiting for him.
I love how Dylan just wanted to eat candy - he said "it's a party so you're just supposed to EAT CANDY!" and wanted to take his pizza home in a zip baggy!
I love how Charlottekept asking where "Grandpa Klein" was :)
I love how Kayla stayed and finished her house and ate pizza and talked and talked after everyone else was gone!
Just a few scenes from home - I love the quietness and the lights of Christmas at our house this year. Even though it seems like we've had a houseful of people throughout the season - at night and in the early mornings it is so beautiful and quiet.
I love the sights and sounds of Christmas.
Kelsie was my holiday decorator this year.
I think she did a wonderful job!
I love how at Christmas time, the generosity of friends and neighbors becomes apparent on my kitchen counter. The yummy treats, snacks, chocolates, homemade ornaments, precious gifts from precious friends - all adorn my kitchen and make it my favorite room in the house.
There's nothing like visiting Hawaii in the winter time when it really begins to get freezing cold here and you step off the plane in Hawaii and feel that tropical air, no parkas, boots, mittens, gloves . . . it's the most wonderful feeling.
That's what we experienced this last week when my sister, Kim and I traveled to the Big Island with our girls. We were so grateful for each one of them that could make the trip. With these busy girls, jobs, college, LIFE, it's just so hard to get them together anymore - and it's their favorite thing in the world to spend time with each other!
We feel kinda spoiled because we used mom and dad's time share week for our accomodations and it was gorgeous, flew standby on dad's Delta passes (which we were all lucky enough to be placed in first class because apparently no one else is traveling right now - a wonderful opportunity!) so who could pass up Hawaii in December?
Probably, my very favorite activities were visiting Hapuna beach - the waves there were fantastic and the kids had a blast playing in them. It's up north on the Kona Kahala coast. About a 30 minutes drive from our condo. Also, kayaking to the Captain Cook monument in Kealakekua bay and snorkeling there. The snorkeling at the monument is some of the best and my favorite snorkeling to be found anywhere in the world.
The most beautiful Kona Hawaii Temple - we attended church on Sunday at a little LDS chapel located right next to the temple. It was so beautiful! I love fast and testimony meeting in Hawaii. You can always feel the spirit so strong. I love how each members gets up and greets everyone with an "Aloha".
It was pretty sad to come home to a blizzard, snowy roads and freezing temps in Salt Lake City again. Made me want to get back on the plane!
Kayaking Adventure Story -
We actually had quite an adventure on our kayaking trip. We had beautiful weather our whole trip except the day we kayaked. We started out early in the morning, that's when snorkeling is the best, and the weather was fine. It's about a one mile kayak trip across the bay from where you put in the kayaks to the monument and the snorkeling location. While we were at the Cook monument the wind picked up and the rain clouds began to roll in. In my experience, rain on the islands is not uncommon, it usually comes frequently and goes as fast as it comes. So we weren't too concerned. As the clouds began to get blacker and blacker and the wind was picking up we thought we better head back across the bay and get the kayaks out of the water.
Just as we started paddling back, the rain began to pour down in buckets. We almost turned back to wait out the storm in the shelter of some trees, but three of the girls had gone ahead of us in a three person kayak and we were having trouble seeing them since the swells were now about 15 feet high. So we thought we better try to keep up with them and be sure they were okay. It was pretty trecherous crossing the bay, wind blowing, rain pouring, riding the swells up and down and up and down. But we all made it back safe and sound. The girls thought it was the coolest thing ever. Good for them! Grandma and Grandpa were waiting on the other side to take our pictures in the pouring rain when we arrived. Good thing we didn't turn back to wait . . . in an very uncommon occurence, the rain continued to pour down for the whole rest of the day. Most of the islanders we talked to said they had never seen it rain like that EVER on that part of the island. There was reports on the news that night of flooding on Oahu, and in Hilo. Roads were closed and washed out everywhere. We'd still be sitting under that tree in the pouring rain probably if we'd waited!
I've been out of town with my two girls, sister, nieces, one nephew and my parents for the last 10 days. We had so many great experiences which I'll be blogging about soon. But I had a lot of catching up to do on the many wonderful posts I missed while I was gone. I was particularly inspired by this one from my friend Jackie, "I am Falling in Love" that contained a link to the Mother Letter Project. I feel like it's a site everyone should visit and hope you have time to get involved. It's a great way to experience some additional inspiration at this Christmasy time of year.
Anyway - it inspired me - and since I've put my Christmas preparations on hold for a little bit while watching 6 inches of snow pile up in my front yard - I added my experience to the Mother Letter Project with this letter:
I'm a Labor & Delivery nurse at one of the hospitals in my city. One of my favorite Christmas memories that I treasure was made while working one Christmas Eve, late when everything had calmed down, the patients and most of the new babies were sleeping. I was alone in the nursery with one brand new tiny little infant boy whose mother was exhausted from a difficult labor process and sleeping, just he and I and a rocking chair. And as I rocked the tiny infant, just so newly born, I was intimately reminded of Mary and the Christ child, born so long ago on that first Christmas Eve. And I couldn't help thinking if she had any idea of the greatness of the mission of her son, of the grand works he would accomplish, the love that he would create amongst mankind. Just as the sleeping mother of the little infant boy could never imagine the great joys and sorrows that perhaps awaited their family surrounding the birth of this little baby.
At that time of my life, I had four little ones at home ages 4 to 13 years of age. It occurred to me at that moment that I was like Mary, I had no idea what great and marvelous things were awaiting my family and specifically my little ones throughout their lives. I was certain that these experiences could contain great pain, yet knew that they would also be greatly blessed in so many ways, and that whatever trials and adversities might come their way, would be a gift in their lives to strengthen and teach them. In reality sent from a loving Heavenly Father who knows and loves each one of his earthly children.
In a way, I kind of made a resolution within myself that night, that I would never take motherhood for granted. That I would enjoy and bask in every minute of it from the adversities to the great joys. That I would be confident in my role as a mother, the importance of being there for their comings and goings, the importance of nurturing and example, regardless of what the current portrayal of women and mothers by the world may be. And now many years later, I still treasure that memory, still treasure each moment of motherhood, still try to find joy in adversity and hardship, and always faith and hope for the future. My wish is that all mothers everywhere might experience and realize their intrinsic value. What a great and noble role is motherhood. Merry Christmas to you!
Copy and paste this to your blog and BOLD the ones that you HAVE done.
1. Started your own blog (of course) 2. Slept under the stars (an occasional night on the tramp with the kids when they were little, most recently every night at Lake Powell!) 3. Played in a band 4. Visited Hawaii (one of my three favorite places on earth) 5. Watched a meteor shower (this summer at 3:00 am from the tramp) 6. Given more than you can afford to charity 7. Been to Disneyland (But not in a long long time) 8. Climbed a mountain (Timpanooke to the top of Timpanogus, a great hike and a new annual tradition) 9. Held a praying mantis (I admire them from a distance though) 10. Sang a solo 11. Bungee jumped 12. Visited Paris (another one of my three favorite places) 13. Watched a lightning storm at sea 14. Taught yourself an art from scratch (knitting – I read a book and made a total of one wash cloth, but I'm still trying when I have time that I don't know what to do with) 15. Adopted a child 16. Had food poisoning 17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty 18. Grown your own vegetables (ahhhh! Summer time – I love the garden - sigh!) 19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France (and I wasn't all that impressed but it is interesting) 20. Slept on an overnight train (Venice to Bern, the conductor forgot to wake us up in the morning and we almost missed our stop, had to throw all our backpacks out the window - ha!) 21. Had a pillow fight 22. Hitch hiked (sadly I must admit to this one in my ski bum college days) 23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (yep, guilty again) 24. Built a snow fort (at our cabin in the winter time when I was much younger and warmer) 25. Held a lamb 26. Gone skinny dipping 27. Run a Marathon 28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice (it was so fun, the gondolier let my kids wear their hats and they looked so cute) 29. Seen a total eclipse 30. Watched a sunrise or sunset (my favorite sunsets are in Hawaii) 31. Hit a home run (I wish!) 32. Been on a cruise (just a short 4 day one, and I'm longing for the Caribbean) 33. Seen Niagara Falls in person 34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (Vienna Austria) 35. Seen an Amish community 36. Taught yourself a new language (French actually) 37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (are you kidding me – but I'm really really really happy!) 38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person 39. Gone rock climbing 40. Seen Michelangelo’s David (I love Florence and the Accademia) 41. Sung karaoke 42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt (yep, waited around the park for that a couple of times in my life) 43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant 44. Visited Africa 45. Walked on a beach by moonlight 46. Been transported in an ambulance 47. Had your portrait painted 48. Gone deep sea fishing 49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person (an awesome experience, except we almost lost Karianne as they were closing the Vatican museum and she didn't quite make it in the door behind us – we had to dash back out and find her) 50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (I love Paris in springtime, I love Paris in the Fall . . .) 51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (Hawaii – my favorite place is the Cook Monument, Kealakekua Bay with a kayak) 52. Kissed in the rain 53. Played in the mud (I remember many time, gleefully tromping around in the mud after big rainstorms with my brothers and sisters) 54. Gone to a drive-in theater (I once saw “The Deep” in pouring pouring rain at a drive in – it was way too realistic) 55. Been in a movie/commercial 56. Visited the Great Wall of China 57. Started a business (Not me personally, but I did support my husband in starting a business) 58. Taken a martial arts class 59. Visited Russia 60. Served at a soup kitchen 61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies (I really like the 'thin mints' the best) 62. Gone whale watching (Maui) 63. Got flowers for no reason (Everyone needs flowers frequently) 64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (as often as I can, like this Thursday) 65. Gone sky diving 66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp 67. Bounced a check (that was embarrassing) 68. Flown in a helicopter 69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (handmade cradle set made for my by my Grandpa Morey, I'm saving it for my grandbabies) 70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial (1980, the summer before I got married) 71. Eaten Caviar 72. Pieced a quilt 73. Stood in Times Square (it's an awesome feeling about 1:00 am) 74. Toured the Everglades 75. Been fired from a job 76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London (kinda boring actually) 77. Broken a bone 78. Been on a speeding motorcycle (Norm once took me all the way to Logan on a motorcycle, I thought my parents were gonna die when they found out) 79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person (fun family vacation) 80. Published a book 81. Visited the Vatican (the week before Easter, in 2000, it was awesome!) 82. Bought a brand new car (only twice, a little Mazda 626, and my little Subaru Outback, I felt sooo spoiled) 83. Walked in Jerusalem (no, but I really would love to do this one!) 84. Had your picture in the newspaper (wedding announcement) 85. Read the entire Bible (when I was a teenager) 86. Visited the White House (also, right before I got married) 87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating 88. Had chickenpox (those ones in your hair are the worst) 89. Saved someone’s life 90. Sat on a jury 91. Met someone famous (I worked for Orrin Hatch when I was in high school and once got to shake the hand of Governor Ronald Reagan, who later became President of the United States) 92. Joined a book club (reading Digging to America for next month, I love Book club!) 93. Lost a loved one (my grandparents on both sides) 94. Had a baby (4 times!) 95. Seen the Alamo in person 96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake (when I was really little) 97. Been involved in a law suit 98. Owned a cell phone (yep, we had one of those early brick style ones) 99. Been stung by a bee (my dad was a beekeeper – I used to hate it, but loved the honey)