Sunday, December 25, 2022

Christmas Time!

A Night In Bethlehem

This little wooden nativity is from Hawaii,  it is actually 2 pieces that slide together, and it stores flat.

I love, love, love Relief Society activities.  I wish they were weekly (or daily), but that's asking a lot, I know.  I'm so pleased our ward put together this blessed evening for us.  They called it "A Night in Bethlehem."  The table centerpieces were little nativities.  I LOVE NATIVITIES!  Especially small ones.

The gym was turned into an ancient Bethlehem marketplace with 3 canopies lined up and tables with the offerings for us.. dinner, dessert, and gifts.

Carolyn Heaton spoke to us about the foods of the Middle East.  She used to live there.
Homemade flatbread
Rice and a veggie-herb salad called taboulleh
Wow!  Look at this spread! A whole table charcuterie with crackers, cheeses, nuts, olives, fruits, etc.!
Dessert was cheesecakes and chocolates, and the drink was a delicious lime and cucumber mixture.
These ornaments were our gifts and they're made of olivewood.
My plate.  I could eat this food every day.

Some Christmas-y Things That Made Me Smile

Found this comic on facebook.

This snowflake fell into my van one very cold morning as I was taking Amara to school.  Isn't it beautiful?
Our friends living up in Tridell made a really cool light show on their house.
We've had some gorgeous winter sunrises!
Our succulent started blooming~. It's never done that before.
Another gorgeous sunrise
Our cute little animal
Watching lots of Christmas movies with a little lap dog.
Lily with the lucky lap dog.

Christmas Eve

Since my mom was headed out of town to stay with Micah's family for Christmas, we had a Christmas Eve celebration brunch with gift opening at her house.  It was a really great time!
Mom opening the cute tiny handmade gifts from Amara- a butterfly bookmark and a tiny charm.

Our Christmas Eve Dinner

We had a lovely meal, I must say.  I submitted it to our family's Marco Polo Cooking Challenge. We made the traditional Krab Stuffed Mushrooms, and then I made some tri-tip steak which turned out really good.  I also made a marshmallow snowball pistachio jello salad (aka watergate salad, but who likes that stupid name?).  I'm very pleased with how this all turned out, especially since it was all last minute.
The girls donning their new pjs.  Yeah, they loved them.

Christmas Day

My first gift on Christmas morning was a fire and ice sunrise!  Thanks to God for the chance to experience his wonderous handiwork. 🌅 

My daughter and I share a journal, and in it we answer questions. Last night a question came up whether I preferred sunrises or sunsets. If you know me, you know I love both, but if I had to choose I think I would choose the sunrise because of the peace and tranquility that is present when the world is still mostly asleep.  

Shortly after the sunrise this morning, I read the Christmas story in the Bible found in Luke 2. The verse that stood out to me was about peace. I’ve come to see that peace in my life has everything to do with Jesus Christ. He is my sunrise. Quite literally he is the “Risen Son.” Practicing His teachings of “good will to men” is what has brought peace and joy to my life. 

Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

A new addition to our home ~ The gnome in the home.  Steve's coworker gave it to us and we've been taking turns hiding it around the house.  It's been fun!  Here the gnome is hiding a gift for the family (a Nintendo switch)
Amara made me the tiniest gift- a charm!
Amara made Lily a writing prompt jar.  She loved it.
Amara also got me my favorite Little Debbie snack- Cosmic Brownies!
Steve loved his newly covered car seats.  I actually fixed his seat which was missing giant chunks of foam, so I bought more foam and shoved it into the holes and taped it down, then covered the whole ugly mess with new seat covers (with matching steering wheel cover and seat belt covers)!
WHAT?!!!  Thanks Steve for getting our family Shen Yun tickets!  We're all super excited!
Amara found the Nintendo Switch!

We went for a winter drive as the sun was setting and got to view the sunset from a prime location.
Someone had built a snowman up there.  It was obviously built awhile ago.  Now it seems as if it's trying to get a face tan.

The cold, hard world is turned into a perfect canvas ready to display in stark contrast the warmth of His goodness and light. 💕 

The sun set is a perfect image to describe how I feel at the close of this year.  In seeking God and looking heavenward I’ve experienced a variety of divine, personal moments testifying to me that God is here for us and can make beauty in a harsh world.