Browsing Tag

12 days of christmas


Twelve Drummers Drumming

5 January 2016

The Twelfth Day of Christmas

The twelve drummers drumming represent the twelve points of belief in The Apostles’ Creed. 1) I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 2) I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. 3) He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. 4) He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell [the grave]. 5) On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 6) He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 7) I believe in the Holy Spirit, 8) the holy catholic Church [catholic here is a term from old Greek meaning the universal Christian church], 9) the communion of saints, 10) the forgiveness of sins, 11) the resurrection of the body, 12) and life everlasting.

 After I took my nieces to school and napped in bed with Chris for a couple more hours, I did yoga! Yay! Last year I did a 30 Days of Yoga (with Yoga With Adriene) and it was so good. This year, Adriene is doing a free yoga camp! So I hopped on that bandwagon and am working my way through it. I started a few days late, but I signed up for the email list and they’re pretty motivating and help keep me on track. So here’s a blurry yoga selfie. 

I was responsible for Edel’s play time this “morning” too, and finally made it outside about 2:30 pm, just before I had to go pick up the girls from school. Okay, this weather… what is this?! It’s january! Not summer.  


I borrowed Mom’s car and she walked home from school, along with the girls, because I had a yearly ward council planning meeting to go to. My mom is super great. She’s such a peach, and I hope she realizes she’s great. Thanks for reading my blog, Mom! <3 :)

So… institute has been happening here. I felt the Chris and I needed to go tonight, and we did, and it was really good. I’m so glad we went. I learned about Jesus and temple covenants, and Christ’s invitation to follow him. The words “Come, Follow Me” are more real to me now.

Husband and I are working on improving our sleeping schedule. Going to bed before 3 am and waking up before 11 am. :) It’s going well. Chris is pretty committed to waking earlier and getting to work earlier. I’m supportive and know it’ll benefit us both.

Oh.. here’s our bed. Looks like we’re a co-sleeping family hahaha.


Also, a highlight of my day was receiving a bunch of funny snaps from my cousin’s little daughter. Thanks, Cali!


Eleven Pipers Piping

4 January 2016

The Eleventh Day of Christmas

The eleven pipers piping stand for the eleven faithful Apostles – Simon Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James bar Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, Judas bar James.

The day wasn’t super eventful, and I’ve been slacking on my 12 days of Christmas gifts, obviously. I went for a nice walk with Edel Cradle and PIPER (too bad there weren’t 11 pipers piping, but I’m so glad we just have one little Piper). I wasted some time today slouching on the couch and aimlessly scrolling on my phone. That’s annoying. My day didn’t quite go as planned, but how often do things go as planned? Life can still be super great even if it isn’t as we plan. What do we know anyway? :)

I had to pick up my nieces after school because Holly and Jordin went to Anchorage to get a new used truck. Once I got them taken care of, I had some grocery shopping to do too, because Chris and I hosted Empty Nesters’ FHE at our crib, jk at our house, tonight. I love our Empty Nesters group and I’m glad they have Chris and I be a part of them! :)

The FHE (family home evening) group is usually a potluck and then a little lesson. We hold it every two weeks and different people host it each time. Chris and I haven’t participated in it too much this past year with summer boat cleaning and trips out of Alaska, but things are getting more into a nice routine now, and we like that. Even though winter has been soggy recently, it still has plenty of sweet and cool moments.

I had my mind set on making spring rolls for FHE tonight, and Chris made tasty chicken noodle soup. But we got home pretty late with not much time to prepare. I don’t like feeling rushed! But I had so many helping hands to create the spring rolls! It was wonderful. It is so nice to share food together, to break bread.

Natalie spent the night at my house, and Katy at my mom’s, since my sister and her husband were in Anchorage. Natalie had some homework to do and we made it through that, and then came the best part of the day, sitting at the table with her, talking, and eating ice cream. Oh, I love that girl. I love them both. Then Natalie and I went to bed (Chris slept on the couch so she and I could take our bed) and we talked a lot and it was great. She has such thoughtful, curious questions. I love her.


Ten Lords A Leaping

3 January 2016

The Tenth Day of Christmas

The ten lords a-leaping symbolize the Ten Commandments.

 Sunday. Sundays are usually big days with lots of church stuff. The worldwide leaders of the church are currently putting more emphasis on inviting people the keep the sabbath day holy, because they know it will bless our lives. I love sundays. Today was a fast sunday, which I honestly don’t always look forward too. The physical and spiritual benefits of fasting are great, but I really like eating, so it makes it hard. :) During and shortly after my mission, I was a good faster, but I’ve gotten weak in my old age. Jk, I’m not old at all, but I have slacked in the fasting department. But today I put in some efforts and prayer to my fast, and it was good. 

Chris and I got to church early today, which always makes me feel on top of the world. I was supposed to lead the music today in sacrament meeting, but ended up having to play piano! Eek! the Cat. This was a big deal to me. I had played piano in sacrament meeting in my student wards in Hawaii an handful of times, but accompanying singers is not something I’m super confident in.

Fortunately, it went great today! I quickly chose some hymns I felt confident in playing, and I was really surprised how well the sacrament hymn went. Good thing, so I didn’t distract anyone during that most important part of the meeting, by not playing well. My fingers just knew what to do and I was really glad.

There’s not a lot of active pianists in our ward, and not many people know I play piano, but I do! :) I’m really really glad I play piano, and that I like learning and like playing. I’m mostly self taught, and a computer program kickstarted my piano learning when I was 10 or 11. I’m glad I play, and I’m glad I didn’t mess up the piano much in church today!  

I also remembered to pay my tithing today, which is super. The past two years I’ve let all my tithing pile up and scramble to pay it at the end of the year. This is not the best way. PAY THE LORD FIRST, since everything comes from him anyway.

After church we feasted at Holly and Jordin’s. Salmon kabobs or kebabs. Either way, Jordin makes really really good salmon kabobs. And we took some yummy coconut rice that we cooked in our pressure cooker in like, 5 minutes. Three cheers for the pressure cooker. It was a great family feast, and nice to be over there.

When Chris and I came home, I fell asleep. Nap. I seem to think I don’t nap that often, but husband has kindly informed me that I fall asleep in front of the heater most days. :)

After my nap I got a wild hair and did something I’ve been wanting to do for two years! I made granola! :D:D Not sure why it took me two years to make, but I put it in my planner for the week, and I did it!

I did other productive things like writing letters and playing piano too, and watching Tomb Raider on xbox. :) This sunday was great. I’m so glad that I fasted, bore my testimony, played piano well, enjoyed family time, made granola, wrote letters, and that I’ve been using my new journals and passion planner!


Nine Ladies Dancing

2 January 2016

The Ninth Day of Christmas

The nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit – love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Galatians 5:22-23 

Our January 2nd commenced with some productivity! So, a few months ago, I got a hankering to recycle. I’ve heard that it’s not economical to recycle in Alaska because it takes more energy/money to transport the recyclables to recycling facilities, but there’s recycling bins in plenty of places around town, so I figured I could make this small change to make a small difference.

I thought there was also some personal progress goal connected to recycling, so that was motivating for me too. At church I work with the young women, and personal progress is a program for the girls to grow closer to Christ and become more Christlike. Our young women here are currently in a personal progress dead zone and not many girls work on it. But I want them too, because I know it can help them. So I’ve been trying to work on my personal progress to help motivate them. So far it’s not really working, but so far I haven’t done much personal progress either.

Anyway… here is a picture of my recycling efforts. For the past few months, I just toss the recyclables into this huge, growing pile. Today, Chris was ready to get rid of it and so we did! It was fun! Just kidding, it wasn’t very fun. It was kind of annoying. But it was funny, and it was good. I felt better about recycling my glass, plastic, tin, aluminum, cardboard, and some paper. Really what I need to do, is just use less, and reuse more. Reduce, reuse, recycle – I think that’s it. :)

Do YOU recycle? Yes, I do! :)

Other good news, my mama got home from California today! It’s not the same when she’s not around. Even if I don’t see her everyday, it’s so nice knowing she’s always just down the road. But I’m really glad she went to California and spent time with my brother and sister and fam.

After I picked her up from our little, friendly airport here in Homer, we caught this beautiful sunset. 

And then Chris made burgers and we ate them. I don’t like beef burgers though, unless it’s like, the family cow or something, or the wild moose or elk or whatever, but I made a falafel patty instead. It was tasty. And I still felt like I got to enjoy burgers with everyone because my sandwich looked the same. :)

And then I enjoyed my double chocolate gelato. And Chris played hours of Tomb Raider on xbox and it was surprisingly interesting to watch.


Eight Maids A Milking

1 January 2016

The Eight Day of Christmas

The eight maids a-milking point us to the eight beatitudes – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven… Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted… Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth… Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled… Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy… Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God… Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God… Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

 New Year’s Day! Chris and the boys played video games all night, so they were sleepy heads. I woke up at 10, so I wasn’t that ambitious either haha. I took Edelweiss girl for a nice, rainy walk, and made some flapjacks for breakfast when I got home. Tasty! The boys had woken up and started playing xbox again, which woke Chris up too (along with my angelic voice saying, “time to wake up, Christopher!”).  

Early in the afternoon we went to safeway for some reason, formerly called Eagle. I miss those days of Eagle. And I still often refer to plastic store bags as “eagle bags”. Here’s what we found in the Eagle parking lot. This is very Homer. :)

We stopped by Holly and Jordin’s house at a convenient time when she was making tasty salmon croquets. So we ate that with them and that was good. Speaking of Holly dolly, she gave me this little frog ornament for Christmas, and today I found it under the tree, like this… Piper… that cute kitty must’ve torn it apart and eaten it’s eyeball.  

On this January 1st night, Chris spent it productively at the office, and I spent it productively at home doing some super great cleaning, organizing, tidying, and taking pictures of our animals.


Seven Swans A Swimming

31 December 2015

The Seventh Day of Christmas

Seven swans a-swimming represent the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit – wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. Isaiah 11:2-3

 I haven’t spent much time on the beach recently, and that needs to change. For me, the beach is a place of renewal. I go to the beach seeking peace and I find it. Maybe I find it because I’m seeking it and not just because of the place, but there’s something special about the water meeting the earth.

Chris and I live less than a ten minute walk from the beach. Jeepers, ten minutes, why am I not there right now?! Edelweiss loves the beach too, but she loves anywhere outside. In her few years, she’s gotten a couple wild hairs and has attacked a few dogs, which is really frustrating and makes me wriggle inside, so we have to be careful when we take her around other dogs incase she’s unpredictable. She’s usually really great and we love her, but that makes me hesitant to take her to the beach sometimes. And I think I feel guilty if I go to the beach without her haha, so maybe that’s why I haven’t gone. Anyway, no excuses, I’ll be going to the beach more! It was so nice. And I just went without planning, and I didn’t have my gloves or hat, and I was chilly, but it was perfect

I did my last visiting teaching visit today (HOORAY! IT WAS SO GOOD AND I FEEL GREAT) and then just got ready for the New Year’s Eve party. The Young Men and Young Women and presidencies are in charge of it, so that’s been keeping us busy. But I think the party turned out great. People seemed happy with the food and the activities. I liked the photo booth and photo props best. :)

Chris’s business mentor turned best friend, Richard, and his daughter Emily, joined us at the party and it was really nice to have them there. We’re grateful for them in our lives, so we can eat together and go to movies together and talk and such. :) Emily also took super great care of our animals while we were gone for Thanksgiving.

Ands here’s our young women presidency! I’m really grateful to be serving with Tara, Jenna, and Rachel. They’re so helpful and dedicated, and they’re all really really wonderful people. I’m better for just knowing them.   

And then… on this New Year’s Eve, Chris had some of the boys over and they played xbox until 7 AM! HELLO AND CHEERS 2015!


Six Geese A Laying

30 December 2015

The Sixth Day of Christmas

The six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation. “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” Genesis 1:31

 We’ve been cat sitting, and there’s cats all over the place. And Edel ate cat litter covered poop (gross) and then threw up (also gross). The cat we’re cat sitting likes to get up on the tip tops of the cabinets and has taught little Piper to do the same. Also, I think I’m ready to clean off my fridge again. 

The weather lately has been very soggy, but I don’t think we have any control over the weather, so COME WHAT MAY AND LOVE IT.  And now for the great gift for the sixth day of Christmas, say hello to the German Shepherd mask! I saw it on amazon and found it pretty comical. I hope it appears in some family photos some day.


 I went visiting teaching today, and that was so wonderful. It was so great. And at mutual we set up for the New Year’s Eve party, which was fine. I’ll be glad when the party is over. :) It’s not a ton of added stress, but I don’t want to plan another church New Year’s Eve party for a while. Chris and I watched the Truman show when we got home, and I fell asleep, like the last two minutes!! I’m cursed to fall asleep for the very ends of movies. IMG_7590


Five Gold Rings

29 December 2015

The Fifth Day of Christmas

The five golden rings represented the Pentateuch, the five books of Moses, which gives the history of humanity and God’s response of grace. What we learn from the five books of Moses is God’s dealings with his children. It starts with the creation of the world and of Adam and Eve (yay, I love them), how they fall, but then we are taught we are given a redeemer, the song of God. And then it goes through the early prophets, and the Exodus of the children of Israel, and stuff after that. :) I need to become acquainted with the old testament. When I was studying it in Jerusalem, my love and appreciation for the Old Testament grew a lot a lot! But since then, I haven’t taken much time to study it. In scripture study, I learn a lot with the help of the institute manuals, but I don’t see myself as a very good scripture studier right now, which means I can only get better! :)

As Christmas break often goes, I stayed at home today and enjoyed hanging out with my smelf. (Chris says smelf instead of self, so I do too sometimes. It’s a funny thing we do hee haw). I finished making cookies this morning and enjoyed a bunch of them. They’re tasty and not too unhealthy with their organic whole wheat and oats and organic sugar (which is still unhealthy) and coconut oil and applesauce. And then loads of chocolate cheeps, or chocolate chips as we sometimes call them.

The best thing I did today was make appointments to go visiting teaching! I’m so proud of myself. :) I always have the desire to visit (or somehow connect with) my assigned sisters each month, but more often than not, I don’t accomplish that. Things are changing now! Hooray. I think visiting teaching is super fantastic. It is wonderful to visit people, especially when they want and need it. I have one older lady that I visit teach that loves and appreciates visits muchly.

We had some yummy broccoli cheese pasta for din din tonight, and watched Star Wars episode 6, and I konked out with a half hour left. And then I napped for two hours while he played Xbox. Not sure how I slept through all that. I remember feeling the cats walk on me, and I really love that. I love being walked on by cats, really. Their gentle little paws cruising across you. When I walk up, Edel had jumped on the couch and was cuddling with me. It was so cute! We love our animals, even though they’re extra worse and mess and wear and tear. They’re good companions.

Here’s my cat bum magnets from Chris! <3

For a couple hours, I talked with my childhood bff, Carlita Carla, on the tell. We snap chatted each other while we talked and it was funny. She taught me a new snapchat skill which I’m pretty proud of. I never knew how to move the emojis around like this before! Successful day.  

(this airport one is Carla’s) The bus cracked me up.

Also! One of my favorite Christmassy/Winter musics is George Winston’s December album. It’s such good piano music and I’m listening to it now, and Chris and I listened to it a lot last winter when we played rummikub. I like playing games yay yay goodnight cheers.


Four Calling Birds

28 December 2015

The Fourth Day of Christmas

The four calling birds are the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The word gospel means good news.  Chris got an xbox 1 headset today! He bought it for himself today and uses it for talking with his little bro while they play Star Wars Battlefront together. I claimed it as his gift of the 4th day of Christmas though. :)

So, my Monday… I woke up and did a half hour of yoga and that is excellent! I love when I do yoga and hope to do it more! It’s still raining around here, so everything is very icy and kind of slushy. I took Edelweiss on a great walk, and enjoyed my time in nature. She sho did too! When I came home, Chris had finished working out, showered, and was ready to head to the office.

I spent some time in front of the heater this morning, as per usual, some time on the computer looking stuff up, some time eating last night’s delightful stirfry, and some time eating a bunch of lindt chocolate. Then I felt like a ding dong face for having eaten too much chocolate, so I read a bunch of stuff about how sugar is bad for our bodies and minds. I want to eat much less sugar and I’d like to improve my relationship with food and become more involved with its growing. Soon enough. I guess I could start with an herb garden! I’ve never grown much before, but I’d love if Chris and I had a huge greenhouse. The governments grants high tunnel greenhouses to people with a few requirements, like using them . So I want that. And I want chickens and our own eggs. I LOVE BABY CHICKS. And I want babies.

This afternoon I sent out a Christmas box to my sister in law Angie, did some grocery shopping, and some stuff to prepare for the New Year’s Eve party at church. Sometimes I put off doing errands, but I was pretty on top of it today. I like that! Oh! And I went to the bookstore and got a super journal and the best pen ever for my new passion planner. It’s a six color gel pen, how perfect. I got the q&a journal, which I’ve been wanting for five years or so. And it’s a five years journal, which is such a great idea. And I got my next cute journal and a present for Chris. I LOVE journals.

I’m tired. It’s 3:30 in the morning. Not sure why I’m up hehe.

This evening some of us church friends got together and had a feast at the Wolfe’s home. It was wonderful to be in everyone’s company and to eat the tasty halibut casserole.

Chris and I each got home about 8, and then he played hours of xbox while I explored spotify and rekindled my relationship with music. I haven’t listened to much music the past couple years, but now that I have a spotify account, that’ll change! Chris got me a spotify subscription for Christmas. I’m going to go get in bed with him now and squeeze him tight.

Oh, I made cookies tonight and a jar with ingredients to send to my home girl, Carla. She’ll just have to add butter/coconut oil, vanilla, and an egg! Easy peasy! I wrote some missionary letters tonight too, which is always so so so good. One of my bffs is in the Philippines on her mission for another year. Chris and I want and plan to be at the airport when she gets home in a year.


Three French Hens

27 December 2015

The Third Day of Christmas 

The three French hens stand for faith, hope, and charity.


I felt pretty useful at church today! I had ward council this morning, and we got out late, and so Chris had to find his own way to church. He planned on getting a ride from some friends, but it didn’t work out, so he had to walk 10 or so minutes to my mom’s house and pick up her car. He said he actually ice skated over there, because we had some snow, but now it’s just rain! So everything has turned into ice. The roads were bad and some people didn’t make it to church. I lead the music today, which I’ve never done in a sacrament meeting, but I’m glad I know how! It was cool being up there and seeing everyone. And then when it was time for the closing prayer, the assigned person wasn’t there and bishop looked behind and asked me to do it. I was glad to. The prayers can and should be a very important part of our church services.

During Sunday School, I sat with my sista Holly. I love being at church with her and I’m glad she’s a faithful church goer, especially now. We were totally twinning today, with long skirts, and dark blue, chunky (funny word), wintry sweaters. She had her scriptures on her lap, so I put mine on my lap to look she like her. Then she opened her cover, so I opened mine. And we both had the same bird sticker in the same place inside! So funny! It was the same type of bird sticker, just different color and facing the other direction. It was placed in the same place, the middle of the top inside cover. I felt great, strong connection that Holly is my sister. I’ve pretty much always looked up to her and I love her lots. How special to have sisters. We both grew in the same womb and we’re blessed we’re here in Homer for each other.

The third hour of church is Young Women time. I prepared my lesson late last night and I wasn’t feeling 200% on it, so I was glad when we decided to got to Relief Society instead! We only had 1.5 yw there today so it was great to go to Relief Society today. I love it in there. And I played piano for the opening and closing songs! We started out with Joy to the World, one of my favorite songs to play, and we ended with How Gentle Gods Commands. I enjoy playing piano and was happy to share my musical talents at church today. Not a lot of people know I play piano. I want to play more and I can, because I have a great full size keyboard here at home. I want an old, wooden, upright piano, but I don’t feel I’m very deserving of one until I play what I have now.

Chris played lots of xbox today. I fell asleep in front of the heater for a while. Then I cleaned up Christmas aftermath, all the stuff we haven’t put away the last week. I want less stuff. I’ve listened to the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up a few times, and I really want to simplify all of our possessions. Extra stuff takes so much extra energy.

For Chris’s Three French Hens gift today I wrote him a load of love notes and hid them all over the house. I hope he’ll be finding them for weeks. And I put away his pizza he left out. :) Also, I want to have babies.


Two Turtle Doves

26 December 2015

The 2nd Day of Christmas

The two turtle doves symbolize the Old and New Testament, which bear witness of Christ.

As Chris’s second gift of the 12 days of Christmas, I said we could get rid of this fantastic, mustard yellow chair in our garage. We’ve had it for almost a year, and I love it. But it’s gross and is just taking up space. Christopher doesn’t like it and never wanted it in the first place, and I had big dreams for it to put in my creation room, once I gave it an extremely deep cleaning. :) But alas, I’ve never cleaned it and it would take a lot to clean, so this week we’ll take it to the salvage area at the dump. Tsk tsk but that’s okay.


Also! I learned some other great stuff about turtle doves. Not only are they in Home Alone 2, but they show up in Palestine in about April. And Mary gave two turtle doves as her temple offering after giving birth to Jesus. She didn’t give two lambs because she didn’t have much money, so turtle doves or pigeons were acceptable.

AND we went sledding today and it was SNOW much fun playing in the awesome snow. Where our house is, there’s just a little bit of snow and ice. But head up the hill and BAM (hit by a bus)! It’s winter wonderland! It was so fun and uplifting to be all together and play and eat and laugh. And Chris went to Star Wars for the 4th time today. I almost went, and decided I should stay home and work on my young women lesson for tomorrow. Here it is 2:30 am and I still haven’t done much with it. Oops. I did learn a load about the 12 days of Christmas though! And I had a really great conversation with Chris’s sister. And I listened to Enya. IMG_5810-1 IMG_5813-3 IMG_5825-1


A Partridge in a Pear Tree

25 December 2015

….. To help prevent after Christmas blues and to keep the spirit of CHRISTmas alive in me, and thanks to my inspiring friend, Alyssa, I’m doing a 12 days of Christmas for Christopher. I’ve read a lot a lot online about the origin of the song and the symbols of each day. Really interesting.

The 12 Days of Christmas starts with Christmas day and ends on the eve of Epiphany, the day commemorated as the Magi/wise men arriving. Something I read said “you can’t celebrate the birth of Christ in just one day!” Which is one of the reasons for 12 days of celebrations. For me, the whole December is pretty Christmassy. Oh I love love Christmastime.

Something eles I read said how some religions weren’t allowed to celebrate their beliefs, so this song helped remind them of things that bring us closer to Christ, and blessings we’ve received. All of the birds or performers or 12 things have interesting secular backgrounds too.

The 1st Day of Christmas

The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ. Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge which feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings and nest.

For Chris’s gift today, I wrote him a love letter. FullSizeRender