Monday, December 28, 2015

December 2015 Review

It has been a whirlwind year, so I'm trying to summarize the months with pictures.


Brent turned 40 this month. He is not quite happy about it. I still have a couple years to go before I turn 40, so I'm not feeling as sympathetic as I should. We gifted him with an electric hedge trimmer. He loves getting tools for birthdays and holidays. For his birthday, we visited The Aladdin Cafe in Hopewell Junction. It is a restaurant we have been wanting to try because it features middle-eastern food. The people who own and operate it are Jordanian, so the food had a different spin on it. The food tasted homemade and very, very fresh. We all enjoyed it!

In other news, work continues to move forward for him. He submitted a couple of patent disclosures. I'm hoping that he will able to transition to a new group soon. 


This was an intense month for me with church work. We planned a wonderful Christmas music celebration which went very well. The music and performances were absolutely beautiful. I put together a Christmas dinner for 225 missionaries. It absolutely exhausted me! I also worked to help 12 families who are struggling financially to receive a special Christmas. 

The highlight of this month has to be singing Christmas music. I was able to sing in two trios. In one group, we sang, "What Sweeter Music" by John Rutter. In the other group, we sang, "My Gift, My Offering" by Sally Deford. Both pieces were so beautiful. I also sang with our ward choir and with a couple of small groups. Singing Christmas music brings me tremendous joy and happiness. During this frenetically busy and intense season, music celebrating the Savior's birth helped me focus on the essential things and allowed me to feel the Spirit.


Walter continues to work really hard on his Science Research Class. He has identified a potential mentor. He is working really hard to refine his verbal presentation. I'm so proud of his effort and hard work. He is working to improve natural language processing for a robot. He also received his patriarchal blessing on December 14th, which was really special.


Trent started wrestling again. It is a sport that he really enjoys and takes into account size and adjusts for that. I think he could be more diligent at school, but my current policy of letting it be, means I'm not worrying or nagging about it. 


Josef is playing basketball for a town league. He practices once a week and then plays on Saturday. His team has won every game so far. He is a good player, focused and skilled at handling the ball. He needs more practice shooting and making baskets. He is an asset to his team and they use and appreciate him. In this picture, Josef is the one with the ball making his way down the court.

Josef plays bass clarinet in his band. They had a concert this month. It was short and sweet. Brent had to go to the church so I was the only one who attended the concert. After he played, I took him out for frozen yogurt at Peachwave, where we had a fun time chatting about the music and basketball.


Brooke's big news for the month is that she auditioned and was cast in the role of Annie in her elementary school musical. All the leads are shared between two and three kids. Brooke will share her part with two other girls. She will sing "Tomorrow" as a solo though. She has been practicing religiously and will do great in March!


Jonathan had his First Grade Christmas Singalong performance this month. All the first graders sang several holiday songs, recited poems, and then led a singalong with favorite Christmas songs. Jonathan also played a special role as a snowman in one of the songs. The children were so darling as they sang with energy and enthusiasm. 

Jonathan's teacher organized a family ice skating party. Brent took some of the kids and they all had a great time.


Winter is my sweet girl and constant companion. She is growing so quickly. Now she is starting to say more words. She definitely understands almost everything I say to her. She likes to keep things tidy and organized and is happiest when helping me. She can dress herself and will often tell me she needs her diaper changed. I will start potty training her soon. 


I taught the younger kids how to shape lussekatter, the yummy Lucia buns we ate in Sweden. I used this recipe, which is excellent and worth trying.


In honor of Lucia Day, I brought lussekatter to Brooke's and Jonathan's classrooms. I had so much fun sharing my favorite Swedish holiday with the children. Brooke and Jonathan loved it!

December Weather

Usually in New York, December weather is blustery, cold, and snowy. We've enjoyed an unseasonably warm December. Guess what, a green Christmas in New York is actually green! (As opposed to a "brown" Green Christmas in Wyoming!) My rose plants still have leaves, but I'm sure that will change soon as colder weather is on the horizon.


We had a lovely Christmas this year. Believe it or not, even with all my extra responsibilities, we managed to keep things under control and on schedule. The kids enjoyed their gifts and we reveled in the peace and quiet of the day. 


Christmas afternoon, Brent took all the kids except Winter to a friend's house to camp. Our friend lives close to the Appalachian trail. The weather was perfect for a campout. Winter and I stayed home to relax. I cleaned up the house and then took a long bath and read a novel. It was mostly blissful, except Winter wouldn't go down very well to bed. I was also up quite a few times checking on Maia, the dog, and worrying that she would have an accident. She didn't, but I sure wasted a lot of time stressing about her. The next morning they took turns riding the zipline.

Dog Sitting

We are dog sitting Maia for our friends. Maia is a sweet, calm dog who seems to enjoy our family. She doesn't make much trouble and likes to be cuddled. Our cat, Eris, is very upset about this guest. She sometimes holds Maia hostage in one part of the house until we rescue her. 

Temple Sealing

We were invited to attend the sealing of a little boy to his family. He was a foster baby who has lived with his family for three years. They were finally able to adopt him in November. It was a lovely ceremony--with all of his siblings attending. I recommend going to the temple before Christmas. It was just what I needed to keep the Spirit of the season in my heart.


My heart has been so full of gratitude and joy this month as I have reflected on the Savior's birth and what that has meant to me personally. I feel overwhelmed with happiness at the good things in my life. I have a loving, kind, and good husband who brings me joy. My children are healthy and capable. My needs and many of wants are fulfilled. I'm grateful for a warm and comfortable home, for the ability to prepare and eat delicious food. I'm grateful for the comfort and peace found in the scriptures. I'm grateful for the joy I feel in my life.


No comments: