Saturday, December 6, 2008
The second was a wonderful member of our ward, Pat Patterson. He was 86 and his wife died 6 years ago, so it was a blessing to think about their reunion. His wife had Alzheimer disease for the last 8 years of her life. He lovingly took care of her with nothing in return but a blank stare from her. It didn't stop him from his constant care. When the son went to the house after his death, on the mother's side of the bed was a card from Pat for every anniversary, birthday, mother's day and valentine day since she died. He wrote a personal love note in each of them and kept them by her side of the bed. Yes, love is eternal. What a beautiful love story this is - together at last.
As tired as I am, my spirit is floating!
We just had our Relief Society Party! It couldn't have been better. It really set the mood and I think this is going to be a wonderful season. Instead of a dinner and program we had a 'Giving Tree'. For the last few weeks sisters pulled off paper ornaments with information about a child to buy a gift for. We also got gift cards for the mothers. We decided to spend the night at the St. Claires shelter for battered and abused women and children. So off we went, with our wrapped presents, a fabulous pot luck dinner and a little trepidation in our hearts.
We were jammed into the center, it was crowded and hectic, but just perfect for breaking the ice and getting to know each other. The dinner was great, we sang carols and had a story. Then, the best part of the night. Santa! Guess Who? Do you know a chubby old man who is thinning on the top? You guessed it! He was absolutely amazing, probably the best Santa I have ever seen. Even though he had to wipe his eyes a few times.
The first thing he did was ask them if they knew Rudolph and sang it with them, complete with the trailers (like Pinocchio). They all sang their little hearts out. One by one they came and sat on Santa's lap and had their picture taken. One little girl said, "Is your nose really red like a cherry?" Santa said, "Well, what do you think?" She said with tremendous excitement, "Oh, It is! It is!" Each was so precious, so grateful, so full of hope. When you realize these children have never had a positive experience with a man, it made it even more special. One little girl followed Santa out of the building, I told her she had to stay inside and she informed me she wanted to watch him fly away.
I thought of the Savior's words, "Behold Your Little Ones" and "Let The Little Children Come Unto Me." I recognized and felt the spirit bear testimony how precious these children are to Him. He is aware of them and he loves them. It was a very overpowering experience.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
My favorite time of year is here. The house is decorated (almost), the Christmas music is playing and I have the Christmas smell on the stove. Even though it's in the high 70's it feels like Christmas.
Many of you have asked, "How did you do Christmas for all of us kids?". I think back to those fun days, what made it special and how did we do it? First of all the presents. I always had 10 presents for each child. That made over 80 presents under the tree. I don't really recommend that, it put up unreal expectations for future spouses and wrapping was a beast. Each of you got 1 big present from Santa. I tried for it to be what you wanted most. Within reason of course, no pony under the tree. Then the other presents were smaller things that would be enjoyed. A T-shirt in one package, always socks in another. The next might be a box of crayons and a coloring book for the young or a packet of marking pens for the older ones. A lip gloss or a bracelet was always loved. You could count on a new pair of PJ's. It's amazing what you can find that is really wanted for little money. The stockings followed the same principle. A few candy bars, a piece of fruit always helped fill it. Paperback books were good for the older ones. Hair pretty, little cars, you get the idea. We never did a big family gift unless we had enough money to do both the individual gifts and a big ticket item. We saved the big ticket item for another time.
But that was only the climax to a wonderful season. It began with decorating the house, setting up the tree, playing Christmas music every day. I always had the Christmas smell simmering on the stove. (Mix water, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger and few orange slices together and bring to a boil, turn down heat and let simmer. Keep adding water so it doesn't burn down). We went to all the decorations in the area, including the mall, attended both school and church Christmas programs and never missed a Frosty, Rudolph or any other Christmas TV show. We exchanged names among the kids and shopped for each other with excitement.
You remember the traditions, singing, cookies, etc. But the most important thing is enjoy! Take time to read a Christmas story, don't worry if it doesn't all get done. As long as it involves the kids it is worth doing, if it is just cleaning, it can wait a day or two.
My countdown has begun! I can hardly wait.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
The food is eaten, the left overs put away, the dishes in the dishwasher and the kitchen is almost clean. I can't take another step. I am finally beginning to feel my age! As much as I enjoy all the preparations for a big feast, this is the final result! Crashed very early. I must say the food was exceptional. My pies could not have been better. I think I am going to have to have a pie making demonstration since I don't think any of my children and grandchildren can make a good crust. It would be a shame to lose my fantastic touch with pies, so be prepared - You will learn. My goal - never again a store bought crust in this family. I also put the rolls closer on the pan this year and they actually came out better. Try it, you'll be surprised. We had a wonderful day although we missed Susann and Eberly. Poor Eberly was sick, not only was it Thanksgiving, but it was her birthday! We are going to have to make that up to her, I sent home a whole cheesecake for her, it's her favorite. Don't know if she shared it or not! Now on to getting ready for Christmas!