Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Blessings

This link will take you to our Christmas Card (I spent hours trying to figure out how to do this and I'm learning)

 New Traditions are Wonderful

One of my favorite sayings is from a Church Hymn that I've sung since I was a little girl.
Thanks Missy and Ryan for making the vinyl lettering!

We wanted to incorporate this theme into our Christmas this year.
Tom and I wrapped this "Scatter Sunshine" plate and stand for
each of  our children's families and attached the following letter
with a $20 bill inside an envelope. We delivered the presents about
a week before Christmas with instructions to "open now".
It was so AWESOME! Everyone got involved and excited and worked together.

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve Dinner at Doni and Will's new home surrounded by our children, grandchildren, Mom and my sister Kat and her husband Ken. Those who weren't with us, The California Urbans and Barrs, Elder Taylor and Sister Rachel, were close in our hearts.

                                                                   Mom and JJ

  Vilayphone and Ryan

                                                                      Nikki and Guy

                                                                      Kat and Ken

    Julie and James
Missy and Ryan

   Sarah, Mateo and Nick

   Tom and Mom

   Cindy and Mom
   Will, Doni, Ally

   Ally, Emi with Maya in her arms, Jesse and Cindy

   New Pajamas for all the grandchildren, even the Big Ones!

After the kids opened the traditional PJ gifts and got comfy,
we watched the original Luke II, which is always a Christmas highlight for me.
Then each family shared their "Scatter Sunshine" experiences with us.

 I wish that I had photos for each one.   All were "heartfelt" gifts of service.

This is the Forshee's Act of Kindness in Doni's words: "Of all the great ideas that the kids came up with, Jesse's was chosen (from a hat) and we had a wonderful experience passing out cookies and hot chocolate today in Salt Lake. Sometimes it is hard to come out of your comfort zone, but it is so very worth it. I'm certain WE got more out of it than the dozens of people we were privileged to meet and serve.
Jesse wrote this: "And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God" Mosiah 2:17 Today was an experience I will never forget. There is truly no better way to gain love than to serve. The love I feel right now is indescribable. My family and I brought hot chocolate and cookies down to the people of Salt Lake that are in need of help. I am overwhelmed by the response that we got from the people we helped, and the gratitude that was plain on their faces. They helped show me the true meaning of Christmas, and of charity, and of love. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to help, even if it was just putting a smile on a few people’s faces. Merry Christmas.

Tom came up with the idea of doing something to show our gratitude
 for the Firemen in our community. So I got up early Christmas Eve,
 baked 2 dozen cinnamon rolls to share with them.
It was a great experience and they seemed genuinely happy
to be remembered and appreciated.


This New Tradition is a Keeper


Other Christmas Highlights of 2013

* A very special Christmas gift we received this year was a "night out" 
with Ryan, Missy, Tana, Grace and Joe. Missy prepared a delicious dinner 
and then we all went to the Hale Center Theater to see  a 
delightful rendition of "A Christmas Carol". " 
It was a bitter cold, snowy, icy evening 
but the warmth of being together was perfect! 
(Sadly we didn't get any pictures.)

*Another Christmas event that was special to us was attending 
the Herriman Stake Night of Music with the Cuellar Family. 
Jeremy and Julie sang a beautiful duet of Silent Night. 
This Mom was so happy to hear them sing again! 

* Christmas Night we were invited to the Welker's home to talk with
Elder Taylor for that long anticipated Mission phone call.
Oh what a wonderful 40 minutes of heaven it was to hear his voice again
 and to know that he is happy and doing well in Guatemala!

Charleston Christmas Party with Mom


                                      Tom fixing the bow on the wreath at Jim's grave

                                               Annual Christmas Concerts at the Mall                                                                         

Kat and Diana's Christmas Concert at the Charleston

Aunt Pauline was with us.


                                   The Family Tubing at Daniel Summit on Christmas Eve
                                                      (except Grama and Grampa)

                                                   Mo Tab Christmas Concert

 We were blessed to be gifted tickets to this wonderful evening
 with Mark and Annette Anderson

Lunch at La Jolla Grove with dear friends, Kathy and Richard Bartlett

Our hearts are full of gratitude for the love that surrounds us, our family, our friends
and new people that we might not know today but will become our friends tomorrow.
We are truly blessed.
There is sunshine in my soul today more glorious and bright,
Than glows in any earthly sky for Jesus is my Light!

2 1/2 Days and Counting

Friday, December 20, 2013

10 Days and Counting

The Process began in July 2013

                               Checking the mailbox in late September for our call.


Finally after all the waiting, the whole family gathered on Sunday, September 29th 
(even our California kids were with us on skype). My cute mom, Colleen is patiently anticipating....


The Excitement BUILDS....


 Time to open the Call.

Where are my glasses?

We're still trying to figure it out...

and then the realization


We'll be in the same mission where our Granddaughter Rachel is serving as a missionary.

We are so blessed to have the love and support of our family and friends!

Time has flown by and so here we are, 10 days before we begin this new adventure in our lives. This is a beautiful time to be immersed in the scriptures and preparing to testify of our Savior, Jesus Christ. This Christmas Season has been especially sweet for us. We've been trying to keep up with all the family activities, the music recitals, Christmas concerts, Birthdays....all those things that we will miss during the next 18 months. But our hearts are full of amazing memories and our digital photo frame is full of photos so I think we are good to go!  
(and maybe I'll learn how to blog before it's time to come home again!)