Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Merry Little Christmas

Dear Friends,

I hope that you had a lovely Christmas, wherever you spent it. Ours was spent at home, enjoying the joyful noise of little ones so excited by the possibilities of what could possibly be hidden under a thin layer of wrapping paper. Hyrum wasn't too excited, however, about modeling the knitwear that was made as gifts this year!

The dolls had a fun Christmas. One of the them, who was just a head without a body, finally got a body for Christmas, which can only happen if you're a doll!

 Evangeline's dolls were excited to meet the newest Ken doll, whom we have dubbed "Mr. Darcey" for now~

Frankie was just happy about getting a few toy tractors to add to his construction company~

The older girls not only received hobbit-related paraphernalia, but also were able to see the latest Hobbit movie the day after Christmas. They even dressed as some of their favorite characters!

My friend Cat surprised me with a homemade apron, which was truly needed~

 But of course, the greatest gift of all is knowing that "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)



Sunday, December 7, 2014

Thoughts on Home Life

Dear Friends,

I have reading some nice thoughts about home influence, and would like to share some of them with you this Christmas season.

"Our homes need the blessings which come from daily communion with God. Devotion in the home, which has been such an anchor to youth and parents alike, has all but vanished. A few generations ago it was a common practice. Then families knelt together in prayer; the scriptures were read aloud; and households joined in the singing of Church hymns. This practice, if revived, would contribute much to the strength of the home and the nation. The differences and irritations of the day melt away as families approach the throne of heaven together. Unity increases. The ties of love and affection are reinforced and the peace of heaven enters.

Such an atmosphere can be created as parents plan for recreation and diversion together with their children An evening at home in wholesome activity; a picnic in the mountains or nearby park; or a fathers and sons' and mothers and daughters' project- these all tend to increase filial affection and love in the home and strengthen parent-children relations. Time thus spent yields big divideds Love at home and obedience to parents increases as the bonds of home are made secure."

~Ezra Taft Benson, So Shall Ye Reap

As you can see from the photos, we have been enjoying a simple Christmas season. The children always decorate the trees (this year we added a small live cedar tree from the woods). Evangeline has even decorated the maple trees out front with ribbons and balls (photos forthcoming!).

We did have a few St. Nicholas gifts brought to us in our boots, but we also forgot to get photos of the festivities, as well! I love celebrating St. Nicholas Day, as it helps to offset the length of the wait until Christmas Day.

Hyrum looks like he's making a list and checking it twice!

We have been bringing out a few pieces from our antique linen collection, pinning up a bit here and there to add winter cheer to the home. I have a hard time fighting the winter "blahs" every year, and having pretty things about really brightens my mood.

May you all be blessed this coming week with love and joy.