Thursday, December 26, 2013

It Was a Peaceful Sort of Christmas

 Dear Friends,

We hope that you all have had a wonderful Christmas, and that you are still basking in the peace of the season, as are we.

Here are some pictures from our family activities preceding the holiday. On Sunday, the three oldest girls played and sang "Mary's Lullaby" at church~

 On Monday the 23rd we performed The Nutcracker for my mother and brother via Skype. It actually worked out quite well!

On Tuesday, Christmas Eve, we did a reenactment of the Nativity story, with Mister Graham reading from the Gospels of Luke and Matthew~

May the Light of the Savior continue to shine down upon us all!



Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas is Coming!

Dear Friends,

Christmas is coming, ready or not. I must admit that every year leaves me feeling like hiding under a rock, as I try to remember all of the little things that make one's loved ones feel remembered. :) But I do love the spare moment that I have to stop and think of the Savior's birth, and all that He means to me, especially while cuddling with a baby by our little tree.

We've been busy singing and playing carols for various nursing homes in the area, as well as participating at church parties and meetings. AnnaMarie and Audrey are at this moment getting ready to play the harp and violin for our church's choir, while Tasha will be singing along with them.

Visiting with the forgotten elderly~

We make door knob ornaments and hand them out as a way of letting the residents know we love them

On top of  all that performing, the children will be performing their 10th annual home-made Nutcracker ballet, for their proud parents and other close family and friends. It is such fun to see them develop their talents each year, and the creative ways they have of throwing costumes together from whatever's lying around the house! 
We are all missing our Grandma Graham this time of year, since Christmas was always her favorite. She delighted in spoiling her grandchildren especially at Christmas, making their stockings to hang up, as well as night clothes to open on Christmas Eve. I am almost through stitching Hyrum's stocking, using the pattern that his grandma left behind. She was working on a felt                   ornament collection of the nativity, and we will be using that to decorate the front of the stocking.It's the little things that mean a lot this time of year, and each year that passes makes us love the little things even more.

May your Christmas celebrations bring you the peace of Christ and joy, and may we all live in appreciation of all that He has done for us.

To God be the glory,


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Happy St. Nicholas Eve

Dear Friends,

We are getting ready for bed (early, just to be extra good) this evening, in anticipation of the arrival of St. Nicholas. We hope that he has dressed extra warm, since it's freezing cold outside!

It's nice to have such roomy footwear to hold carrots for St. Nicholas' horse, as well as any gifts he'd like to leave us~

Thankfully the house is nice and warm, since Pete the Parakeet would not be a happy boy. Doesn't he look all innocent and non-finger biting in this picture? :)

One of our Christmas cactuses is putting on a display for us right now. The beautiful blooms of this plant spell "Christmas" for me even more than the tree, since the original starts came from my grandmother's house of happy childhood memories. They are an easy care plant that handles underwatering and low light very well, and are very long-lived.

Meanwhile, downstairs in Dollton, the dolls are putting up their decorations and getting ready for Christmas as well (to tell the truth, I think they're having way more fun than we big folks are!)

 Since Mr. Graham was called to be the bishop of our local congregation, I've been doing my best to make sure that there are always fresh flowers to beautify the podium. I bought red poinsettias for the month of December, and we were able to enjoy them on our table with our Advent wreath for a few days, as well. Red and green were my deceased mother-in-law's favorite colors, so I'm sure she would have approved. We are certainly missing her during this special time of year, which she loved so well.

May you all stay warm and dry this night, and may the peace of the season rest in your hearts.




by Eleanor Farjeon

Nicholas, Saint of Children,
Loves to spend his wealth
On pretty toys for girls and boys,
Leaving them by stealth.
The wind in the chimney
Hears children call:
"Bring me this, Saint Nicholas!
Bring me that, Saint Nicholas!
           A silky scarf,
           A bag of sweets,
           A big gold ball!" 
Nicholas, Saint of Sailors,
Children of the sea,
When their sails are torn by gales
Close at hand is he.
The wind in the rigging
Hears the sailors cry:
"Save us here, old Nicholas!
Save us there, good Nicholas!
           Saint of Sailors,
           Bring us safe
           Home, high and dry!"