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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!



Merry Christmas!

 "He … ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made. As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made; As also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made; And the earth also, and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand. And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space - The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed.”
--D&C 88:6-13

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Advent Day 24



Day 24
Jesus is Born

"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the innAnd there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
--Luke 2: 1-14

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Advent Day 23



Day 23
Jesus is the Savior

"And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of praying unto the Father, he arose; but so great was the joy of the multitude that they were overcome. And it came to pass that Jesus spake unto them, and bade them arise. And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full. And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them."
--3 Nephi 17:18-21

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Advent Day 22



Day 22
 Jesus is the Savior

"And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come."
--3 Nephi 11:15 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Advent Day 21



Day 21
Jesus is the Savior

"And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam."
--2 Nephi 9:21

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Advent Day 20



Day 20
Jesus Performs Miracles 

"And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, 
all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, 
and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; 
and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him."
--3 Nephi 17:9 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Advent Day 19


Day 19
Jesus Taught Us

"Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? Or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer … Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
--Matthew 25: 37-40

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

2013 Christmas Card Preview

I love love love love love Christmas cards. A lot. I love sending them and receiving them. My goal every year is to get them out by December 1, but that didn't happen this year. Now that our Christmas cards are (mostly) out, here's a sneak peek at the good stuff!

Our pictures were taken in October as part of our larger family pictures with Todd's family in San Antonio. The cards are from Wal-Mart. That's right, I can't actually bring myself to spring for the nicer, prettier cardstock cards. I so want to every year, and then every year I just can't bite the bullet and spend the money. But I LOVE receiving them!





2013 in Review
ê  Todd was promoted to major in July! He has become quite the smoker (meats that is), is active with the scouts at church, and continues to compete in various triathlons and races across the country.
ê  Jennifer has a new job as a professional volunteer. The pay is terrible but she enjoys meeting new people around town and on base. She is active with the Altus Spouses Club, the squadron spouses club, and teaches the 8-11 year old girls at church on Sunday mornings and on Wednesday nights.
ê  Scarlett is 18 months old but insists she is 2. She is obsessed with accessories of all kinds, is a daredevil and has no fear, says the darndest things, and loves fruit with every fiber of her being.
ê  Clarity the cat is the same but thinner thanks to some diet food she hates. She has grown to tolerate Scarlett, while Scarlett is convinced they are best friends.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2g5O1VVGpuI/Uo0Y77C45bI/AAAAAAAAGR8/a_tW0LRMe1I/s1600/christmascardbutton%2713.png

I'm linking up with Faith for her sixth annual Christmas Card Carousel! Check it out here!

Christmas Advent Day 18



Day 18
 Jesus is the Savior

"And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given."
--2 Nephi 2:26 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Advent Day 17



Day 17
Jesus Performs Miracles

"And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you? They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him."
--Matthew 20:30-34

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mocktail Monday: Fancy Christmas Party Edition

This Saturday we had three parties to go to throughout the day, two of which I helped to plan. More on that later. To cap off the day's festivities, we went to the squadron adult Christmas party that night. Here we are all fancied up on our way out of the house:


We thought if we pushed the table and chairs out of the way that you wouldn't be able to see them in the picture. We were wrong.

What do Todd and Jennifer drink at such occasions? More often than not, Todd gets a Coke with lime, and I get a club soda with lime. Lime takes a drink up a notch, don't you think? 

I didn't remember to take a picture until after I finished my third club soda of the night and my phone was almost dead, so no flash. (Dear Santa, I would like a new camera for Christmas.)

My drink of a club soda with lime is simple, yet refreshing and just the right touch for a nice evening out on the town (in this case, Blair, OK -- not exactly a metropolitan mecca of arts and culture, but it was still fun). 

Bottoms up!

Christmas Advent Day 16



Day 16
Jesus Taught Us

And blessed are all the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
--3 Nephi 12:9

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Advent Day 15



Day 15
Jesus is the Savior

Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth.
--2 Nephi 2:6

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Advent Days 13-14



Day 13
  Jesus Taught Us
Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
--3 Nephi 12:16


Day 14
Jesus Performs Miracles
And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.  He said, Bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.
--Matthew 14:17-21

Friday, December 13, 2013

5 on Friday



--ONE--

The bottoms of our trees are somewhat scarce, considering we have a toddler. I only put a few near the bottom, and even those are ones that are either not breakable or ones I don't have an emotional attachment to. I have to say, Scarlett has been pretty good about the ornaments. She generally doesn't try to touch them or pull on them. 

Except for these three:

This is a felt stuffed Santa that Scarlett is totally obsessed with. She calls him "Ee-ha." 


This is one of my childhood ornaments and hangs next to Ee-ha. She points at it and says "cookie, cookie" over and over again.


 And this is a sparkly hot pink ball ornament on the candy tree. It is surrounded by brightly colored fake candies, yet this one is her favorite. She insists on grabbing it and throwing it as much as possible. It was off the tree for a day, and when I put it back up, she immediately saw it and ran straight for it.



--TWO--
My sisters introduced me to Chick-Fil-A mayonnaise. Oh.my.word. it is so good. It's the best mayo I've ever had.


--THREE--


Have you had Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Peppermint Crunch? Keeping this in my freezer is so dangerous.

--FOUR--

If you're looking to buy me a Christmas present, I recently discovered these hilarious embroidery hoops and I want them all. There are music lyrics, Liz Lemon quotes, Sheldon Cooper quotes, Clueless quotes, even Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead quotes! So awesome!

Liz Lemon Quote : I Want to Go to There Hand Embroidery Hoop Art - 30 Rock Hand Stitched Decor for the TV Lover - Hand Stitched

DMX Hand Embroidery Hoop Art / Y'all Gonna Make Me Lose My Mind Rap Quote - 7 inch Hoop Home Decor - Hip Hop Rap Lyric

--FIVE--

The Air Force announced yesterday that it would go through a reduction in force process in 2014. Basically, a bunch of people will be losing their jobs next year, both voluntarily and involuntarily. 


This means the next several months are going to be full of a lot of uncertainty for most of us in the Air Force. Thanks Congress. Merry Christmas to you too.

Christmas Advent Days 9-12



Day 9
Jesus is the Savior
For he hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those who have faith in him; and they who have faith in him will cleave unto every good thing; wherefore he advocateth the cause of the children of men; and he dwelleth eternally in the heavens.
--Moroni 7:28

Day 10
Jesus Taught Us
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
--John 13:34-35

Day 11
 Jesus Performs Miracles
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
--Matthew 4:23

Day 12
Jesus is the Savior
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 
--Matthew 3:16-17 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Tree Lighting on Base


So I know I was a buzzkill on the whole "do one Christmas activity a day" phenomenon, and I apologize. I hate being a downer. The thing is, I do really love the idea of making an effort to enjoy the season as much as possible. I want to do ALL THE THINGS and make the most out of it, but it's just not realistic with our schedule.

But in the spirit of finding fun and celebrating the Christmas season, we headed out to the Christmas tree lighting ceremony on base.



There were cookies and hot chocolate to enjoy while Scarlett ran around and we waited for the program to start. They had a choir from the chapel (I think) come out and sing some Christmas carols to start off the festivities. They passed out sheets of music for everybody to participate, so that was fun. 

Then the wing commander and his family invited the family of a deployed member to light the tree. So fun!

=

And then, Santa arrived by fire truck....

 ...and took his place next to the plane for pictures.

Scarlett couldn't have cared less about Santa. She was busy fastening the buckles on her stroller.


And running on rocks.
Super comfortable for mom to chase her on too.


But she did discover the joy of the Christmas "yights." I'm pretty sure we photobombed a lot of pictures that night because she didn't want to leave the tree, and of course it was the hottest spot for pictures. Who wouldn't want a picture of this cute kid anyway?!?


Christmas Advent Days 5-8



Day 5
Jesus is the Savior      

Wherefore, he is the firstfruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved.
--2 Nephi 2:9

Day 6   
Jesus is the Savior

Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world. And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.
--3 Nephi 11:10-11

Day 7
Jesus Taught Us

And blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.
--3 Nephi 12:6


Day 8
Jesus Performs Miracles

And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them.
--Matthew 15:30

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Our Advent Calendar



I can't tell you how many pins and blog posts I've seen devoted to advent calendars. There are some really cute ideas out there, but so many are overwhelming to me. I would love to come up with a Christmas activity to do every day and have the time to pull it off, but I know something like that would just stress me out and then I would resent the obligation. 

The scenario would go something like this: I would be upset that I didn't have the time to do the activity that I created and imposed on our lives, and be convinced that Christmas was ruined because we didn't do something Christmas EVERY.SINGLE.DAY, and my husband would shake me and yell "You made this up! There's no law that says we have to do this! Nobody cares!" And then I would be convinced that I was destroying our kids' childhood because their friends were doing something fabulous and they weren't and I was the worst mom ever.

I paint quite a picture, don't I?


So I created this little advent scripture book several years ago, and it has been one of the best things I ever did for our Christmas spirit.


A certain little girl got a hold of it and made some modifications, so I'll be remaking mine in the near future.

I shared one of the scriptures from it yesterday, and then I decided that I would share a scripture a day from now until Christmas. Since this occurred to me 10 days late, I'll have to spend the next couple of days catching up. 

Some things about this little book: There are 25 scriptures, one for each day leading up to Christmas, and then one on Christmas day. I decided for this collection of scriptures that I wanted to focus not only on the Savior's birth, but on His life, mission, and teachings, as well as the true miracle of His atonement and resurrection. The scriptures are taken from the Old Testament, New Testament, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine & Covenants.

Merry Christmas!

Day 2
Jesus's Birth is Foretold

And behold, he said unto them: Behold, I give unto you a sign; for five years more cometh, and behold, then cometh the Son of God to redeem all those who shall believe on his name. And behold, this will I give unto you for a sign at the time of his coming; for behold, there shall be great lights in heaven, insomuch that in the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness, insomuch that it shall appear unto man as if it was day. Therefore, there shall be one day and a night and a day, as if it were one day and there were no night; and this shall be unto you for a sign; for ye shall know of the rising of the sun and also of its setting; therefore they shall know of a surety that there shall be two days and a night; nevertheless the night shall not be darkened; and it shall be the night before he is born. And behold, there shall a new star arise, such as one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you. And behold this is not all, there shall be many signs and wonders in heaven. 
-- Helaman 14:2-6

Day 3
Jesus’s Birth is Foretold

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. When she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
--Luke 1:26-33

Day 4
Jesus is Born

Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets. Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfil all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world, and to do the will, both of the Father and of the Son—of the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh. And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given. 
--3 Nephi 1:13-14

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Mocktail Monday on a Tuesday: Holiday Punch

I started writing this post last night, but then my computer died and I was super sleepy and didn't feel like plugging it in, so I went to bed instead. I'm sure you understand.  Anyway, Christmas is here, which for me this year means parties, parties, parties! Sometimes it's not feasible to bring a homemade mocktail to the festivities, but if it's in someone's home it's definitely doable. My go-to Christmas punch is so good even the drinkers will want some.

I made this Sunday night to watch my church's Christmas Devotional. I started making it earlier in the day and I was so excited for my first taste of Christmas punch of the season. On another note, the Christmas Devotional broadcast is one of my most favorite things of the season. If you have an hour to spare, you can watch it here. It is WORTH IT.


I found this recipe several years ago on All Recipes here and I'm obsessed with it. The almond extract is key, but I use less of it than the original recipe calls for.

Ingredients:
1/3 cup white sugar
1 quart cranberry cocktail
2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
2 tablespoons almond extract
One 2-liter bottle ginger ale

Instructions:
1. Combine sugar, cranberry cocktail, pineapple juice, and almond extract.
2. Refrigerate for up to one day so flavors can combine and sugar can fully dissolve.
3. Add ginger ale when you're ready to serve. I also like to freeze some of the sugar/juice/extract mixture into ice cubes to keep the punch cold and not water it down.



I am a big fan of  drink dispensers (like the one above) as opposed to punch bowls, and this looks especially pretty in the dispenser. Sure, I get that some punches have fruit in them that can clog a spout on a dispenser, but my dislike of punch bowls was confirmed this weekend at a party when the ladle disappeared into the punch bowl and we had to fish it out. I am so NOT a germ phobe but it was seriously gross.

Merry Christmas!

For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases. And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary. And lo, he cometh unto his own, that salvation might come unto the children of men even through faith on his name; and even after all this they shall consider him a man, and say that he hath a devil, and shall scourge him, and shall crucify him. And he shall rise the third day from the dead; and behold, he standeth to judge the world; and behold, all these things are done that a righteous judgment might come upon the children of men.
--Mosiah 3:5, 8-10