Thursday, December 18, 2008

It Is Finally Here! VACATION!!!!

All I have to say tonight is that it feels like I have never been so grateful for a vacation in all of my life!!!

A Memorial to Our Little Angels

Christmas is such a special time. Without the gospel of Jesus Christ and eternal families, I think Christmas could actually be a sad time of year for me. I am a mother at heart. I have been "motherly" since the day I could walk. That is why the loss of my girls will always be a lingering element of my life, for the rest of my life.

The Christmas after the babies funeral we decorated our tree with angels in memory of our little angels. It was covered with many different types of angels. Our precious friends and family contributed to our angel tree, which made it mean even more to us.

It has been two years since then. And life is good. I am about 30 pounds lighter, Leif has a steady job and is getting a great education. I have two precious sons, and a loving family.

However, every Christmas I take a moment and just ponder my girls. They would be two years old and full of girly energy. They would have matching bouncy curls on their heads, and beautiful smiles just like their brothers. That is what they would have been if they were born healthy. But for now, they are glorious angels filled with the light of Christ in His heaven! They are missionary companions. They serve with their grandparents who are with them. What a precious gift and reminder they are to our little family. We will forever have two little angels pushing us on. Encouraging us to be just a little bit better each day. Thank you my precious angels! Mama misses you...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow Madness in Arizona!

If we had a local weather reporter, they would surely call this week a week of record breaking snow fall. The snow started up again just as I brought Jakob home from school and Leif drove up from work. They were finally able to get out and play in the snow together. These are the results.

Now they're warming back up in a warm shower and it's a steaming bowl of chili for dinner!

Enjoying the Spirit of Christmas

This month has been busy, but looking back I'm actually grateful for all of the festivities. The latest project I've been working on helped set things into perspective for me. I created a Power Point presentation for our ward Christmas party program. I compiled around 40 pictures depicting the nativity story as well as the symbols of Christmas and their meaning. I will try to post some of it later. As I was working on it I had to really ponder the story of Christ's birth and the carols that have been written to celebrate His birth and His life. It was a blessing to have the opportunity to find Christ in Christmas!

One of Leif's cherished Christmas traditions is singing in the community Christmas choir. In years past they used to sing the whole Messiah program. Now they sing some of the Messiah and many other Christmas carols. Leif has had practices every Sunday night for a couple of months. It was a bit of a sacrifice on my part. I asked Leif what it was that he enjoyed the most about taking the time to be in the choir. He said that he loved having the time set aside where he was able to sing the praises to the Lord that are in his heart. With that answer, how can a wife complain? We went to his concert on Sunday. It was beautiful. Leif was able to sing a few small solos. They should have given him some of the longer ones. He is a great singer. He loves to sing bass, But the directors always seem to have him sing tenor. I think that's a compliment. It shows the range that he can sing. Anyway, the night was beautiful and it was one more way to invite the Christmas spirit into our lives. Thanks My Love!
It snowed this week! It snowed at least 6 inches! This is an incredible amount for us! It is still on the ground too. It has been a beautiful site. But it sure makes me grateful for all of the improvements we made on our little home. We are warm and cozy! Jakob has been so excited to get out and play in the snow. Unfortunately he's also been down with a head cold. Hopefully he'll get better and we can play in the snow in SL.

Yesterday Jakob and I had preschool at home. Jakob wasn't feeling great. And when I opened the door to decide whether I was up for taking the kid's out to the car, it only took the gust of wind in my face to make my decision. Jakob was thrilled to have school with me. Just the fact that I was able to give him that hour of uninterrupted time was a miracle. His class was learning about the Ginger Bread Man story. So, we did too. We read the story together. Then we made sugar cookies cut out as ginger bread men and decorated them (Praise be for pre-made cookie doe!) We had a great time!
Last night we carried out our family tradition of singing Christmas carols by the light of the Christmas tree. With Jakob growing up we had to include a few of the silly Christmas songs too.:) It actually ended with a few comical story routines by Leif. He has to teach the kid's at school about different character traits throughout the year. Often times he'll make up stories that portray what he's trying to teach. We love to hear them at home too.:)

So, all in all we're doing well. Both Leif and my finals for school are complete. We only have today and tomorrow filled with Christmas party set up and presentation. Then, We're On Vacation!! We are so looking forward to it! Leif and I both have books that we're looking forward to reading with nothing else planned in the day except meals. We'll be at my parents house for an unspecified amount of time:) We have some things already planned. But we hope to have a few days where we just relax. The kid's should be able to let up do this with the fun gifts from Christmas.... We hope!
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Mama's Update and Rambling

It's been a while since I just sat and blogged. This morning I have plenty of chores to do. But I don't have any pressing deadlines for the first time in weeks. So. I'm going to take a minute and just write. Hmmm? What to write about?:)

Well, there's a light at the end of this busy month's tunnel. I really hope that next December isn't so busy! But I won't count on it. There have been many wonderful moments this month too. If we could just find a way to poof the preparations for events into effect without having to do it ourselves, life would be so much calmer. I love all of the festivities. It's just the time leading up to it and cleaning up... uggg!

On Wednesday I had Young Women in Excellence. I am the first counselor in the YW presidency. Our president gave birth on Tuesday. So the night's event was turned over to me to lead. It was a lot of work. But thanks to all of the other leaders, it turned out really well!! The spirit was strong and the girls participated. We did a program by Jenny Phillips. The theme was "Light Keepers." The YW theme for 2009 is Be Thou an Example of the Believers. It should be a neat year. I'm starting to really get the hang of things in my calling. I don't feel like I'm floundering as much. So that makes it easier to contribute.

This month my house has most definitely been the most neglected element of life. Today I will catch up (I Hope!) and hopefully keep things up until we leave for SL on the 20th. Laundry is on the list too. It's hard having to take the laundry elsewhere to get it done:( Oh well...

Well, as I wrote in my last post, Leif got accepted to NAU. This is a very good thing because they have a BS program completely online so he can work and do school at the same time. A Must in our life right now. It's also nice to know the next few years are secure and planned.

Christmas shopping is pretty much done. It was fun. But I'm to the point that I feel anxiety each time we spend any money. However, the confirmed school loans help ease that anxiety a bit.

Well, I have put this day off way too long and rambled way too much. Time to face reality! Wish me luck!

Friday, December 12, 2008


YIPPEEE! We got home from a fun evening in SG and of course we got on our computers to go through out nightly rituals:) Well, Leif found out that he has been accepted to Northern Arizona University!!! We are so THRILLED! We were getting close to a panic. They took a long time to get his paperwork processed. But it looks like things have gone through and he can register for classes.:) This is a VERY GOOD thing for us!!

CONGRATULATIONS Love! You're on your way!!...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Christmas Festivities

Do you ever have so much to do that you try to forget about everything except the fun things on your list? That's where I'm at today. We've had some fun Christmas festivities that I want to share. I haven't posted our Christmas tree pictures either.

It took me around three days to get our tree completely decorated. I didn't work on it consistently, of course. It was worked on a bit here and there. Honestly, my Christmas trees never turn out quite like what I picture in my mind. To me, the tree looks a bit hectic. But that might just be a tainted perspective due to our life and schedule this month. But either way it's decorated and it's a reminder to us to try to take time to focus on the reason for the season. The first picture is Jakob showing of his new Christmas book that he got to read while we decorated the tree. It's called "Dinosaurs Night Before Christmas." He Loves it, of course!

By Wednesday this week I could tell that I might struggle a bit this month. We have so much going on (mostly work and school are the stresses.) I was frustrated because I just wanted to take a breath and feel the Christmas Spirit with my family. So, I went to my Young Women's presidency meeting. Then I skipped out of the weekly activity and went home with my family. I quickly threw some art supplies on the kitchen table and sat with Jakob as he made a birthday card for Jesus. As he decorated his card, Leif and I talked with Jakob about the true meaning of Christmas. We quizzed Jakob about the nativity story and clarified things for him a bit. It turned out to be a sweet new tradition. From there we read the scriptures and had a special story time and went to bed. It ended up being a good night.

Thursday I started working on another big project. Every year Leif's mother is in charge of getting ladies to decorate tables for a huge orchestra fundraiser dinner. This year I offered to decorate a table. I decided to have a bows and butterfly theme. I set out all of my china and tied bows around the backs of the chairs. For the centerpiece I used the beautiful poinsettia that my mom gave me and placed really pretty butterflies around it. My mother in Law, FayLynn, folded my napkins to look like butterflies. That is Pure Talent!! I think the table turned out really nice. Each table has a favor for the people who sit at it during dinner. I gave everyone scented candles. It was really fun!

Thursday night we went to the first annual light parade for the town of K. We all lined the main street and the floats drove past us. It was really fun! All of the stores on Main stayed open late and had sales. The Coffee shop also passed out hot cocoa. Good small town Christmas fun!

Friday I finished my tables. I had to take Jakob and Caleb with me. I was so grateful that they were cheerful and no problem at all. I brought Jakob a movie to watch and that saved me! That evening Leif and I met up with his parents and went to the dinner. This is a big deal. Leif's parents gave us tickets and they are not cheap! We had a wonderful time. We were blessed to have a sweet family in our ward who took the kids for us. It was a much needed date night!

This morning we wrapped up the K Christmas festival by taking Jakob and Caleb to visit Santa. Jakob was SOOO excited. However, when he got up to Santa and sat on his lap he was a bit shy. When he climbed down and came to me he was shaking like a leaf and I was seriously afraid he might pass out. I think he was a bit overwhelmed!

That's our week's fun in a nutshell!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Leif's Letter To Santa

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is my cavities filled, peace on earth starting with my 4 year old, massages daily with Chiropractic appointments occasionally, or just give back my body from when I was 21, and an insta-degree from an Ivy League University. Besides that....not much...some blue cheese and maybe some good Swiss cheese... at a nice restaurant looking over the Duomo in Milano Italy.

Alright, now that I have that off my chest, I would absolutely love a new computer that takes less the 5 minutes to go from screen saver to being able to use it. I love books (if I could just figure out how to read while sleeping), a remote control airplane to fly with my son, new hair clippers to do all our hair, new head phones that haven't been chewed on, and oh yes, I need new shoes...

Specific Books
  • Jhegaala (Vlad) by Steven Brust or the whole (Vlad) series would be great fun.
  • (Genesis of Shannara) by Terry Brooks it is a 3 part series that I would enjoy.
  • (High Druid of Shannara) By Terry Brooks is another 3 part series that I started a couple years ago and never finished.
  • Myth-Fortunes (Myth Adventures) by Robert Asprin

  • Myth-Told Tales (Myth) by Robert Asprin
  • The nice collectors editions of Farside or Calvin and Hobbes
    Or any new Garfield or Dilbert comic books

Thanks! Leif

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I have tried to be very good this year. Sometimes it hasn't been very easy. Being a mother to two little boys can be a bit frazzling sometimes. It's sure a good thing the boys are so cute! I've tried to read my scriptures and say my prayers. I've tried to be a good wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, YW Counselor, Visiting Teacher... You get the point. I've even tried to further my education this year.

For all of these reasons Leif says that I should get more then just a lump of coal this year. So... I thought I'd give you a few ideas of what I might like.

Thanks for all you do Santa!

Lena Baron:)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Post Thanksgiving Blah and A Lot To Do!

I wanted to find a picture that would show how I feel tonight. I think all of the "bad" food that we've eaten has really gotten to myself and Jakob. I woke up this morning feeling like junk! I haven't felt like this for a long time. Jakob has been a sassy little boy with ears that are definitely not working. He was even too wired to follow directions at dance tonight. Things should be fine by next week. We just ate the last of the chocolate and ice cream. So there are no more temptations in the house. Let's hope things start looking up. I have A LOT going on for the rest of the month. I hope I can keep the right perspective even though the following will be my schedule:

  • This week I have a RS Christmas party (need to make and take cookies), YW caroling at the nursing home, Table Decorating for a community Christmas Festival, and several English assignments.

  • Next week I have Leif's work party (he's in charge of it), YW in Excellence (I'm in charge), my Computer class Final, all English homework due.

  • The following week I have Leif's Christmas concert, Leif's finals week, the ward Christmas party (I have to make a PowerPoint presentation), Jakob's preschool party (have to buy 20 stocking stuffers), and all Christmas plans and presents need to be purchased-sent-wrapped-and finalized.

  • The final week we travel to my parents house, have a family Christmas party (need to find a Wise Man costume), Christmas, Fun!, Relaxation!!!!


Christmas Tree Hunting

We had rain all day on Thanksgiving. The next day was a better day. But Saturday was the Perfect Day! Blue sky, sunshine, and 55+ degree temperatures. The perfect Christmas tree hunting weather. Once everyone was ready we set out for the mountain.

Leif's dad worked for the Forest Service as a career. So he is always our leader. He led us to the perfect spot on top of the mountain. There were plenty of choices and a lot of fun snow to play on. I wrapped Caleb onto my back and packed him as we hunted for our tree. Everyone had plenty of time to play in the snow. Jakob has been looking forward to snowball fights for months. He stayed down and played with Jason and Hannah. He was thrilled to help build a snowman with them as well as pound them with plenty of snowballs.

The rest of us hiked through the snow and looked for trees. This year was the first time in three years that I could actually really enjoy the hunt. I wasn't pregnant or recovering from giving birth. It was Great! After finding several good trees, Leif and I finally decided on the perfect tree. It is definitely the best we have found in the five years we've been married. It's a blue spruce with the perfect round and layered shape. Usually they end up looking a bit wonky and you just have to chalk it up as a sentimental find. But this one really is good.

So, we cut all of the trees down (ours, the church houses', Leif's moms, and Jason and Hannahs.) We took some fun photos to make sure we remembered the fun. Then my family had an idea. They decided they wanted to head up further and go to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I didn't think it was open, but it was. The unexpected trip took up the time that we would have all decorated my tree together. I was disappointed about that. But it all turned out well.

We had a good time hiking a bit to the different lookout points of the Rim. It was the first time Hannah had seen the Grand Canyon, so overall it was worth the trip. Besides, they got to take Jakob in their car on the drive home. So that alone made it worth it for us.:)

Once we all made it home we called Harmony and Darius back over and we went another round with our Thanksgiving feast. Man! We had some Good Food!
The next day my family headed home and Leif and I started decorating our tree. But that's a different post...
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