Friday, December 18, 2009

My Dear Friend Linda

There are certain people who come into our life and their tender touch never leaves us. One of these dear people in my life returned to her Heavenly Father this week. Linda Bisson was (and still is) a dear friend of mine. It never mattered how many years passed between our visits. Whenever we talked or ran into each other the sincere love that Linda had for me always shown in her voice or as a sparkle in her eye.

I have many precious memories with Linda. She took me under her wing when I was a self conscious young girl and helped me catch a small glimpse of who I might become... If only I believed in myself as much as she believed in me. I remember one particular moment when Linda gave me a sincere compliment and I disagreed with her for the last time. She looked me in the eye and said, "Just say thank you!" I was deeply touched by this simple yet profound lesson that she taught me and I try to pass the lesson on whenever the chance arrives. Linda saw greatness in me. For that I will always be grateful.

Linda (and her dear William) came to me during one of the most difficult times in my life. I had just lost one of my little girls and I was sitting in the hospital hoping that I would be able to keep her twin sister. William and Linda surprised me with a visit to my hospital bed. They shared their love with me along with the testimony they had gained together that I would be with my little girl again. They had been in my shoes many years ago when they lost their little girl. To have their love and testimony wrapped around me during that time was a gift I will treasure forever.

Now as I am forced to say goodbye to Linda for now, I cling to the memories of her Love. I cherish the witness of her strength and fighting spirit. Even during the darkest hours of her life she chose to fight on, if for no one else but her precious family. For those of us who are left behind, we marvel at the tapestry she has woven throughout her life and thank our Father in Heaven for allowing us the privilege to be a part of that masterpiece.

Thank you dear Linda for your love and your life. You will be forever missed. Enjoy that unfathomable feeling of being pain and sorrow free. We look forward to twirling in our beautiful white dresses right along side you as we dance together to heaven's songs when our time comes. God Bless you precious sister... Until we meet again!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Toddler Destruction

Good Heavens! Caleb is on a role.

So he woke us up early this morning. We sit in my bed and munch on pretzels and ginger ale until my stomach settled. I decided that I HAD to take a shower this morning. So, I took a risk. I left Jakob in charge of Caleb and jumped in the shower. Half way through I hear this, "MAMA! Help! Caleb's on the table... Not one foot is on a chair... He's got the pretzel bag... He's dumping it... Mama! He's spreading it ALL OVER! He just threw the advent candle... a piece fell off... MAMA!" By then I was out and caleb was on his way to time out. Jakob and I clean up the mess. As we clean up the mess I took the time to explain to Jakob why my energy is zapped and I feel like I'm going to throw up all day long. He agrees to be a big helper.

So then I decide to tackle breakfast. We manage to finally decide which cereal everyone wants. We sit down to eat and read our morning story. Suddenly I hear a swooosh-swoosh sound. Caleb has dumped out his entire bowl of cereal on his tray and is spreading it from side to side managing to push it all off of his tray - which was his intention of course. Lady saved the day on that one. Good Dog!

The morning progresses and I get Jakob settled in for a long shower and decide that I have a minute to check my email. And then I hear it... Clink. Clink. The sound registers and I RUN! Two seconds too slow. My precious china crashes to the floor. I had my prized china dishes sitting out after using them a couple weeks ago. (Yes, that's my fault.) Caleb pulled a small box down that was filled with the salad and tea plates. From what I can figure one of each was broken. SAD! So Caleb is in his second time out in one hour.

As I was cleaning up the mess, I hear... Rip. Riiip. Caleb was ripping the homemade art from the walls behind his crib... He's still in his crib.
So I have folded up all of the chairs and stools in the house. Pushed the china into the middle of the table waiting for Leif to help me put it up. And I decided I better vent out this morning and hope for a better afternoon. Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mama and Jakob's Date: Polar Express

Jakob and I went on a special date last night. Our town sponsors a "Polar Express" every year. Last night I was able to take Jakob. We listened to the "Polar Express" story read by our local librarian. We then passed by a table spread with all kinds of tasty cookies and hot chocolate. Outside, we boarded a large wagon decorated with lights pulled by a tractor. They pulled us throughout town as we visited together and sang an occasional Christmas song. Eventually we made it to "The North Pole" Which was the elaborately decorated home in the town and this is where Santa visited us and gave us all a bell. It was a fun night out together!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Joyful News!

I have a minute of peace and quiet and the energy to blog. So I will share some of the Joys of this precious season. This shouldn't be too long, but I think you might want to continue reading;)

We're almost to our first day of the Christmas Count Down (Twelve Days of Christmas Reading.) I am really looking forward to it! We have a Christmas Advent candle that we will read Christmas scriptures by each night. I have also purchased and checked out several Christmas books this year to fill our days with the Christmas Spirit. I am proud of myself this year, I actually thought ahead a bit. I got on Oriental Trading and ordered 4 Christmas Craft projects to go along with some of the books that I bought. The main theme of the books are the Legends of the Stocking, tree, St. Nick, Candy Cane, etc, that all point us back to our Savior. I'm really looking forward to the fun and the spirit.

I feel so much better about the Christmas season this year. Leif is REALLY busy with school. I feel bad about that. But other then that, I'm not too overwhelmed with life and it's happenings. I am grateful for that.

Well, for those of you who have stuck with me through this post, you get to hear our exciting news! Yep, the Baron family will soon be getting bigger (not just the mama either;). I'm pregnant and THRILLED about it! I thought about waiting longer until I told the world, but I feel at peace and content that all will be well. So, there you have it. The due date is the first week in August. I am currently 5 weeks and 3 days. So far, SOO Good. I'm planning on feeling well for the next nine months... But I'm not naive enough to say I probably won't be sitting at the computer blogging for the next while. But, Who Knows!?... Send your Positive Vibes my way and I'm sure it will help!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Country Christmas Candy Making and Advent Candle Event

I have a fridge filled with a beautiful variety of chocolates and a house that smells of peppermint. Do you know what that is like? .... heaven, indeed.

I held the first annual Country Women's Christmas Candy and Advent Candle making event in my cozy cottage this weekend. It was a great success! I believe that it will only get better as the years progress. My dear mother in Law and close friend, Harmony, were with me from the beginning to the end. I am happy to say we also had other women come and go throughout the day. We started around noon and ended after 4:00 in the afternoon. There was never a dull moment and we all had a wonderful time.

The house was filled with the Christmas Spirit as we baked along side one another. The sounds of the season filled the air as an undertone to the stories, laughter, and sisterly encouragement shared between each woman. The tables were spread from one end to the other with baking supplies and eventually platters filled with colorful candies. All ready to be dished up on plates and shared with families throughout the town. Some of us also walked away with a candle stick marked with 12 little cinnamon candy pieces to advent the days leading up to Christmas.

We made 8 different kinds of chocolates. I was lucky enough to find the recipes all online so I can share them with you. Here it goes:
Chocolate Peppermint Bark
Toffee Peanut Clusters
Yummy Cracker Snacks
Orange Coconut Creams
Chocolate Peanut Butter Candy
Peppermint Fudge Truffles
Holiday Truffles
Cashew Cluster (not online) Just melt white chocolate and mix with cashews

When all of the candy was finished and the women back to their homes, Leif and I finished dishing up individual plates and made little tags for the families who we Home and Visit Teach. We climbed in the car with our boys and delivered all of the candy. It was the perfect way to share the true meaning of Christmas with our children. My hope is that next year more of the ladies will be able to share the gift of giving with their own families at the end of the event as well as my own.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Family Fun and Festivities

Life has been fun lately, truly fun. Luckily, not in the sarcastic sense of the word. A couple of days ago during school we learned about the Apatosaurus. Of course this led Jakob to ask if we could go hiking and digging for dinosaur bones. Luckily it was on a Monday, which means Family Home Evening and Papa doesn't have school at night. So I told him yes. So Leif got home, Jakob grabbed his digging tools, we put Lady on her leash, and headed out to Wood Hill (just out of town.) We climbed the hill high enough that we could see for miles around. There is so much beautiful open land surrounding us. We enjoyed the view for a while as we gathered pretty rocks and petrified wood. Then on the way down we stopped for a bit and had a Juniper Berry War (throwing berries at the opposite team.) Great Fun!

The next day (Tuesday) the boys and I ended up going on another good hike through some of the hills around our back country. We are learning about the Joy of the Earth for Joy School and we went on a nature observation hike together with our friends. It was beautiful and so fun to be out in nature with great friends. That night, Papa came home from his class early enough for us to load in the car and go to the grocery store to buy our Christmas tree (against tradition.) WOW! We got a true beauty!!

On Wednesday we had another great day. Jakob and I decorated the Christmas tree first thing. I must say it turned out beautiful! It's covered in multi-colored lights. The top half of the tree has bulbs (gold, white with red poinsettias, gold with poinsettias) and angels dotting the tree. The bottom half of the tree has a few butterflies throughout the area. I decided to completely eliminate temptation for Caleb. I'm SOOO glad I did!! I then wrapped maroon colored ribbon that is lined with golden beads. around the tree three times. And to top it off there is a beautiful golden star with white lights. Jakob really did help. He actually insisted on the angels and I think they made a sweet touch. Precious memories. If you're wondering what Caleb did during the decorating, he sat in his high char (most of the time.)

Just as I was laying down to catch my breath after all of that fun and excitement Leif called me. He said that the school was having a bird of prey assembly that he thought Jakob would enjoy. HE said he would be able to sit with us if we came. So, I of course loaded the kids up and we headed over to the school. It turned out awesome! The man who came had a true passion for the birds that he took care of. He brought an eagle, falcon, and a hawk to show us. It was so neat to learn about the birds that fly right in our area and we don't even recognize them. Now Jakob is constantly looking in the sky bird-watching. LOVE IT!

And then as if we hadn't had enough fun, we got to go to a rocket launch at Papa's Chemistry class. It was Bitter Cold. But really fun to see the rockets shoot into the sky. There were several women from Colorado City in Leif's class. They were so sweet and prepared a delicious meal for us. So the night was closed with homemade turkey sandwiches and pumpkin cake. Ahhh, so nice!
Today has been more of a get things done day. Well, kinda. We started off after breakfast by going to the middle school and decorating a table with my china for a Christmas Festival that the town holds every year. Leif's mom then sent us out to lunch (Bless her heart) MMM! After I finally got the kids down for naps and Leif working on school work I finally got my shopping list written up for my Ladies Time Out candy making party I have here on Saturday. Looks like we'll make around 8 different candies. All very easy, and SOOO Yummy! Can't Wait! Tonight I also through together a couple of pretty wreaths for my door. One is artificial the other is from the tree branches we trimmed off of our tree. I'll try to get pictures.

Again, just as I was laying down to catch my breath before I put the clean laundry away, we got a phone call. Leif's mom called to let us know that our neighboring town was holding their annual parade of lights festival tonight. So, we bundled us all up and headed out the door. It was cold again. But such a fun little treat to enjoy the small town parade and friendships.

So, as I said, life has been fun lately. Tomorrow we get to go do the shopping for Saturday's party and I get a much needed hair cut. Then Saturday is the party. Then Sunday I teach the Sunbeams (3-4 year olds) in primary for the first time. I am looking forward to it. But I need to plan the lesson. So I best be saying good night!
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