Tuesday, January 15, 2008

January 2008

Happy New Year 2008!
It’s good to be another year older and wiser. Actually I wish the wiser part was a little more prominent than the older part!

A few of my Christmas wishes came true this holiday season!
The first wish was having a very happy holiday. I’m always a bit fearful of school breaks because of the HUGE expectations that come along with FREE time. Being the family cruise director gets a bit overwhelming at times and this year wasn’t much different except for the constant reminder in the back of my mind…keep it simple!

SNOW was the determining factor in our activities over the break…and wow did we ever have SNOW! At least every other day we had a snow storm. That made it easy for Santa and his sleigh to travel to our house, but made it a bit hard for the Christmas Eve dinner guests to arrive. Our mountain and especially our street takes a big hit when it snows. As we greeted each dinner guest at our door we were given a big sigh of relief and a little tale of terror as they made the last trek up our hill.

In the winter we will often sit and watch from our living room window, the cars spinning and sliding trying to make their way up to the top. Sometimes they make it and often times they don’t. LaFonda (as Connie fondly refers to our Suburban---she gives many family cars a name) always barrels up the mountain with no problem—going down is another story!

Christmas Eve was a wonderful gathering of family and friends (about 30 of us) and once safe and warm in our home we shared a wonderful meal, some family Christmas memories and stories and we read the account in the scriptures of the birth of Jesus. I felt very blessed that night for many reasons…good family, good friends, a call from the Philippines and a personal testimony of the love Jesus has for each of us.

As we were eating our yummy Christmas desserts we were even blessed with a surprise guest…Santa! He was polite and rang the doorbell instead of coming down the chimney (oh wait we don’t have a chimney)! He was dressed in red with a big bag of gifts and joyfully gave to all! That memory still brings a smile to my face even weeks later…Santa is a very fun, giving man.

After all the children were nestled all snug in their beds Kels and I had a few last minute tasks to attend to and then we settled in for the night. All the fun of Christmas Eve must have tuckered the kids because they didn’t wake up till 8:00 AM on Christmas morning! A beautiful gift for their parents.

Christmas day was fun and relaxing. We stayed home in our pajamas, ate yummy leftovers and played with all the fun new toys. The cousins and Grandma Chatfield came over for breakfast and stayed and played for awhile too. Mid afternoon Kels took the kids sledding. Jake wanted to try out his gift from Santa, a snow boogie board. The sun shone brightly on the snow packed sledding hill and all came home happy, tired and without injury. I caught up on a little R&R. Great Christmas day!

Number two on my Christmas wish list was an efficient quick clean up of all Christmas d├ęcor and 2007 stresses. I wanted to start the new year with lots of energy and new resolve. The decorations came down quickly and soon after that I was released from my R.S. enrichment leader calling—a clean sweep right! A few days later I was given a new calling. I was asked to serve as the 14/15 year old Sunday School teacher. We are studying the Book Of Mormon this year and so far we are off to a good start. Kids sure do know a lot more that I used to at 14!

My third Christmas wish was to experience something new in my life. Shortly after thinking about this wish we were invited to go Laser tagging with Carri, Connie and their kids. I was unsure what this activity was all about but Nate assured me it was great fun. We split up into teams, donned vests with laser sensitive shields and guns, and entered into a great fog with lots of hidden stairways, rooms, trap doors, re-charging stations and great fun! We played for over and hour and even 6 year old Kate was awesome. Ben took home the honor of being the best sharp shooter but all felt surprisingly good about how and whom they “tagged”. After awhile I didn’t even mind taking a couple shots at Kels!

After all that fun it was nice to get back to a bit of “normal”. School started again and the first week back we had Parent-Teacher conferences. It was nice to find out that our kids are right on track and doing well. Kate’s Kindergarten teacher raved about her and her marks were very high in all areas including citizenship. Jake is excellent in his Math skills and is quite a creative writer. His teacher commented that she loves to read Jake’s stories because she can always count on his to be different than all the rest. She said after reading the same story 23 times it’s fun to read Jake’s. Bianca is grateful that P.E. is done for the year although she will be taking Aerobics this semester. She also completed her Spanish class for the year. She and Kels can communicate a little now and Kate and Jake are always jumping in with the counting to ten. Oh we are such a bilingual family. Bianca will now take an Art class along with all the other required courses. Bianca has a real interest in Art and shows real talent.

Kelsey is taking 4 classes this semester at UVSC. He’s thinking after this semester he will be ready for the Master’s Program and then on to graduation…for good! We hope that a CPA is the end result of all this…along with a fabulous job in the tropics!...or maybe just an office that isn’t in the basement. We’re grateful that his current job is a good one and allows for such flexibility. We hope he continues to be blessed with good health and a will to rise early every morning to greet the day…at 4:00 AM! Study hours are hard to find for a person working and serving full time.

My last Christmas wish is still in the wish stage and as wishes go it must not be revealed in hopes that it will come true. I feel blessed to have a great feeling of contentment in my life. As I watch my children experience things that help them to grow, mature and develop, my smile deepens…I’ve seen that same smile on Kelsey’s face. Its’ good to be a parent…it’s challenging at times but oh so satisfying, especially when one of them leans over and whispers in your ear, “I’m trying to be just like you.”