Thursday, December 30, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside!

We don't often have scattered snow flurries or freezing temperatures in the Valley of the Sun, but today we had both. So this morning I picked the remaining citrus on my dwarf trees.

And moved my tomato plants into the garage. The plants in the greenhouse scooted over to make room for company. Before the sun went down, I put frost cloth blankets over the in ground frost sensitive plants. When I watched the 7 day forecast I realized that my car and tomato plants may have traded places for a some time. It works! I'll just open the south facing garage door to let in some sunshine during the day.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Two became three

Today is the second wedding anniversary for this beautiful couple. Two years ago we left Mesa for San Diego the day after Christmas so that we might attend their wedding in the San Diego Temple. It was a beautiful day, though unseasonably cold for San Diego. It was a day full of wonderful memories.

This December they arrived early for Sunday dinner so that photographer DIL, Emilia, could take pictures for their Christmas card. What better location than Grandpa's backyard.

This year they became a family of three. Oscar brings us all much joy!

Happy Anniversary Nate and Nichelle! I hope that your Christmas once again in San Diego has been a delight.

Thank you Emilia for leaving a file of their photo shoot on my computer as well ;)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Fear not . . .

On this Christmas morning I am so grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ. Because of His birth, life, and the Atonement I have no need to fear. Our Heavenly Father wants us to live a life without fear knowing that His Son came with all His saving powers. He provided a way to overcome death, sin, our weaknesses, and the common ailments of life that may be unrelated to sin.

"Fear not . . . For with God nothing shall be impossible" Luke 1:30, 37

"Ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ." Moroni 7:41

Read more here and here.

Friday, December 24, 2010

One of my favorite places in Mesa

Hubby and I ventured out to one of our favorite places in Mesa last evening. The Mesa Arizona Temple was built in the late 1920's. We were married for time and all eternity there in 1975. Each year hundreds of volunteers decorate the grounds with hundreds of thousands of lights to bless the Christmas season.

There is one more week of lights. Each evening at 7 pm a different musical group performs on stage on the south side of the Visitor's Center. Last night it was The Duttons. We arrived a a half hour early but still found ourselves standing way in back. The grounds were packed with those wanting to see this amazing musical family which performs in Branson, Missouri most of the year but who now appear in Mesa December through April. It was a wonderful hour of incredible music and harmonies.

If you have not yet visited the temple lights this Christmas season, make plans now. For more information go here.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A few of my favorite things. . .

Oscar playing "jingle bells"

I enjoy decorating for Christmas. I might even decorate too much for Christmas. Here are a few things which are making me happy this year.

My nativity wall hanging lovingly made by my sister, Lynette.

My newest nativity given to me for my birthday by my hubby. The grand girls counted and say I have over 40! Who knew. I like to keep the living room Christ centered.

Son Nathan brought this one home for me when he returned from his mission to Brazil.

Son David brought this one home from a mission to Peru.

Grandpa Glen bought the kissing crystal at a former neighbor's shop in Gardner Village in Midvale, Utah this year. Grand girls love it!

The family room is our Santa space (and the kitchen table is currently full of a Santa helper project.)

There is also a Santa collection. That is the top of my stocking created by my mother in the 1950's.

All the many interpretations of Santa make me smile.

Closeups of the Christmas village created and given to us by Glen's parents 33 years ago.

Still one of my most favorite things.

I always decorate a garland over the bay window in the dining area.

This year I'm honoring my Scandinavian heritage. I so hope that there are little things making you happy this Christmas season.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Jingle Bells, Batman Smells

Four of the grandchildren and I ventured across town to the Tempe Center for the Arts today.

We attended the Childsplay production of "Junie B. Jones, Jingle Bells, Batman Smells."

They appeared to enjoy every minute. Childsplay always does such a nice job with their productions.

Image from website
That is Junie B. (the "B" is very important) in her orange jumper at the Santa Shop. I'm sure that most elementary school age children would relate to this play adapted from the book by the same name by Barbara Park. There was much laughter! So nice that the grandkids were out of school on Winter Break so that they could go to a play about being in school!

We sang along to Christmas songs on our return trip to Mesa. It was a great grandkid day!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Nativity Play 2010

After an early Christmas dinner held before half of the grandchildren leave for Christmas in California, we once again reenacted the nativity. For past plays go Here.

This year our former angel took on the role of Mary. She was very careful to keep the babe in swaddling clothes.

Mary's real life father played the role of Joseph and also narrated part of the story. Other narrators included Grandpa Glen and his other sons. The shepherd was joined by a wise man and a wise girl.

The angel was on high and we also included a two year old camel who was just all over the place!

The evening ended in the backyard under a full moon. It also included Grandpa's bubble machine, front wall walking, singing "Happy Birthday" to David and Susan, and smores prepared around the outdoor fireplace. We sent them home with piles of Christmas presents, new tree ornaments, leftovers, oranges, and hyped up attitudes.

It was loads of fun!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Doughnut Day 2010

Yesterday was our traditional doughnut day. This year Dave and Sally hosted. The school kids and BOMA business people had Friday afternoon off. We conveniently passed the doughnuts through the kitchen window to Glen the fryer.

This is a several hour project so deliveries of doughnuts are made to friends and neighbors while they are still hot. It always helps to have door runners.

Once the doughnuts are fried, they arrive at the glazing station. After being glazed, they move onto packaging.

The babies helped entertain each other while their mommas worked.

They older grand kids engaged in fort building upstairs and general mayhem.

As you can see, it was dark by the time we mopped up. There were not many leftovers. Final decision - one more Bosch mixer full of dough next year!

Favorite quote of the day - Ruby after Heather left early to attend a party for a friend, "Family is more important than friends!"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Having a heat wave

The calendar says "December", the outdoor flag says"Winter" and the thermometer says "high 70's and low 80's". We're enjoying record breaking warmth after having record breaking cold the week of Thanksgiving.

This has lead to an unusual juxtaposition, autumn leaves and a still beautiful garden.

The winter grass wears a coat of many colors.

Roses continue to bloom then fade away on the arbor.

The garden remains prolific.

And the tomatoes continue to set new fruit.

The flowering bushes and annuals are in full bloom.

You can have your record snow falls and bone chilling cold. I'll just enjoy my rewards for surviving another Arizona summer

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Snowy mountain tops but clear roads

We spent a busy, wonderful few days in Utah. Our first morning out, the clouds were low on the mountains. I had never seen Mt. Timpanogos quite like this before.

Glen had many clients to see while I worked on some Christmas projects back at the townhouse. Glen did make time to go with me one morning to see the Bloch exhibit at the Brigham Young Museum of Art.

It was wonderful and so appropriate for this time of year as we ponder the Savior and His Gift. I also took Glen downstairs to see the Tissot exhibit.

I look at this banner and marvel at the number of "pixels" Tissot managed to include in his very detailed water colors. The original is about 8 X 10 inches. On the way out we noticed the rack full of magnifying glasses - too late for our "up front and personal" perusal. Tissot will be gone in a month so now is the time to go if you want to view both exhibits. If you go, be sure and grab a magnifying glass.

The Bloch exhibit offers an iPad rental for $3.00. Pay it! The exhibit is free, after all, and the iPad app really enhances the experience.

Go HERE for an earlier post about these two exhibits of "The Images of Christ."

On Glen's Salt Lake City appointment day, I tagged along for some shopping and the chance to go see the Lights at Temple Square at the end of the day. That meant that I spent 4 hours at Borders waiting for Glen to finish with clients. I didn't even read this time. My Christmas projects came with me. Thank you Borders for the comfy chair with a low table next to it by a big window upstairs which was next to the CD section. I enjoyed the Christmas music and the time just flew by!

We were so fortunate that Utah temperatures were in the 40's all week. It made our walk in and around Temple Square so enjoyable.

There was a light drizzle at times, but the winds were calm.

As we continued on past the Church Office Building, large nativities from many countries were on display.

It was a perfect way to end our December visit. We were on the road again the next morning and lucky for us, this trip roads were clear both ways!