Best Wishes for 2013

THE END OF A GOOD YEAR


It's that time of year again...time to reflect upon the passing of another year. 2012 was a good year for our family. We had some great vacations and were able to spend quality time with family and friends. The jobs are going well, all of us are basically healthy, and the kids are doing an awesome job with school. I hope that 2013 is just as nice.

I wish you a wonderful and successful new year!


Holiday Travel

Holiday travel can be pleasant or hectic! Last weekend we made an enjoyable trip to Cedar City to visit my family, and attend my niece's baby shower. Kellie is having a baby in January and her sister, Courtney, planned a very fun baby shower. Great food, fun games, and lots of girls/ladies equals a successful shower for the mother-to-be! Our drive from Salt Lake to Cedar City went smoothly. When family members have snacks and electronic entertainment all is well. The weather was decent and the temperature wasn't too bad either. For the return trip Steve decided that the electronics needed a rest. He took the ipods, cell phone, and played Christmas music on the radio. The kids played the Alphabet Game and I'm Thinking of an Animal game. They were forced to look at the scenery and use their imaginations. Guess what? They survived the return trip without grumbling too much.

My kids get along pretty well together. How do you manage to keep everyone happy on long journeys? What are your family's favorite travel treats?

FAVORITE CHRISTMAS MEMORIES

What is your favorite Christmas memory?

This week I was thinking about our family Christmas traditions and my memories of Christmas while growing up in Cedar City, Utah. I remember some happy times celebrating the holidays with my parents and seven siblings. We would have a nice dinner on Christmas Eve. After eating our oyster stew (requirement!) we could open one present. After a few years I found myself enjoying the oyster stew. Some family members still grumble every year about this tradition. For my little family I had to alter the tradition to just having some form of seafood (such as crab or salmon, because the other three refused to eat the stew!). This tradition honors my Dad's Danish ancestors. My husband, Steve, grew up with one present being opened on Christmas Eve, but that present was always a new pair of pajamas. We carry on this tradition for him with our children.

My Dad always read the story of Christ's birth from the Bible. Steve carries on this tradition for our family. I love sitting together near the Christmas tree while hearing about the true reason for Christmas.

When I was young I remember being so excited when we would drive around Cedar City to see the beautiful, sparkly, Christmas lights. Steve and I started a tradition with our kids; we visit Winder Dairy's store to have scones, hot chocolate, and eggnog. We usually go on a Monday night sometime before Christmas, then drive around looking for houses with wonderful Christmas lights.

Baking during the holidays brings back memories too. I loved to watch and help my mom and sisters as treats were made and then enjoyed. Now I love to bake treats with Madison's and Cameron's help.

So, what is your favorite Christmas memory? Can you narrow it down to one? I found that I have many, many memories that warm my heart and help bring the Christmas spirit into my home. 

BOOK REVIEW: Beyond the Foothills

BEYOND THE FOOTHILLS by Essie Summers

Over the years I have read many Harlequin Romance books. I especially enjoy Harlequins published in the 1970's and 1980's. This book was published in 1976. I have read several books written by Essie Summers. I enjoy the characters that she creates and the settings that are explored in her stories. This is my favorite one!

I really enjoyed the New Zealand setting. I could visualize the fictional Blue Canyon, and Mount Aspiring with its ridges and mountain peaks. A romance on a secluded sheep station was right up my alley. The homage to the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery was inspirational.

Main characters Marilla St. John and Rufus Sinclair are a perfect match. I loved following along the journey as they met and discovered commonalities in the qualities they desired in a potential spouse. Hiding Marilla's real identity was a fun twist. The entire storyline kept me entertained and reading on. Always loving a perfectly happy ending, this book delivered.

Christmas Music

As I've been listening to Christmas music this week I've been thinking, actually reminiscing, about past Christmases. When particular songs play on the radio do you find yourself reliving events from your past? Nat King Cole songs really send me back in time to my childhood. I remember standing next to a record player and playing his Christmas album...over...and...over...again. I love his voice. Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas" really brings back good memories too. When I hear Elvis sing "Blue Christmas" I remember watching him act in old movies (he was sooo cool) on TV. Toby Keith has some really good songs that make me think of my husband. And when I hear "I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas," I visualize my daughter at about 5 years old (She is now almost 15), dancing in her holiday dance recital. Ah...so many good memories!
Are there any Christmas songs that bring back good memories for you?
I hope this holiday season is full of wonderful music and happy memories.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS!