We've enjoyed a great holiday season. I remember last year mother was sick and in the hospital for a while during December. I'm so grateful she's been healthy this year--although she doesn't feel as good as she would like, but has done quite well through all the commotion of the holidays. She hasn't been interested in Christmas shopping and buying gifts is way too overwhelming for her.
David got up on Christmas morning, walked into the family room and said with surprise and delight, "Mom, Santa Claus came to our house last night!" I think it's always a surprise to him when the day actually arrives. Without a concept of time and Christmas decorations appearing in October, I think sometimes he wonders how long it will really take until that wonderful morning of opening presents comes. Sadly, mother is a little the same now--She was little surprised on Christmas when I went to her room and said, "Santa came last night!" She kept asking me earlier in the week when Christmas was and I told her, but it's hard to keep track. We took our Christmas dinner over to Art's parents on Christmas Eve. Dad is pretty much homebound--he's in pain most of the time so he just stays home in his recliner. We had dinner and a short program. I made a new angel costume for Aydia to add to our nativity this year. She was excited to wear it--the sleeves are as long as the dress and I tried to pin them up a little but she wouldn't allow that. So, I went in the family room and let the mothers finish getting the nativity "players" ready. Art began reading the Christmas story from Luke and they came in at the appropriate times. Amy and Aydia were the angels and I knew Aydia would be so cute in the new costume. What a surprise when Aydia walked in with a RED HAT on her head, which was actually a crocheted hot paid in the shape of a dress that was on Grandma Cox's refrigerator. Not sure how she got it or why she decided to put it on her head, but she thought it was wonderful and wore it the rest of the night!(Heather thinks Seth may have had something to do with it...) Well, so much for a spiritual nativity...We had a lot of laughs!
Our Angel With the Red Hat!
We loved the beautiful nativity Nyla sent from Singapore. Mother enjoyed it on her glass table throughout the season. She had a fun lunch date with all the Gregory girls just before Christmas. The amaryllis was beautiful and she has enjoyed watching it bloom. We had a nice visit with the Lunt family before Christmas. Andrea showed mother some darling pictures of the twins. It was a treat to have the bishopric and their families come Christmas caroling to mother's one Monday evening. I didn't get to see them, but Kip and Susan and their family visited on Christmas Eve and I know mother loved having them come. They left a cute glove stuffed and sewn in the shape of the "I love you" sign--very cute! Enjoyed the skype visit with Nyla and the phone call from Kent. She loved getting the cute family Christmas cards in the mail. It's always good to connect with our family!
We enjoyed a trip to Temple Square to see the beautiful Christmas lights. It wasn't a terribly cold evening, but I really bundled mother up--didn't want her to get cold. We scheduled it for a Monday--I worked in the Relief Society building that afternoon and Art works in Salt Lake so the rest of the family just met us up there. It's always a challenge to get everyone together in the same place at the same time. Heather brought Grandma and Amy; Sarabeth brought David, plus had to stop and pick up her husband from work--a lot of extra effort, but it was worth it! It was a fun night.
Visit with Joe and Andrea and their cute family.
Temple Square--we're not as cold as we look!
I was thrilled that mother went with Art, Amy and I to the Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert--we were so fortunate to have tickets given to us by a neighbor--seems our name is never chosen in the lottery. It was a wonderful evening as that concert always is. I was also lucky enough to beg two tickets from a niece for the Sunday morning performance and took my granddaughter, Rachel--we had such a fun time eating breakfast in the car on the way up and loved the concert even more the second time. How fortunate and blessed we are to have such lovely performances to enjoy.
Heather invited all of us to her house for Thanksgiving dinner. It was so wonderful--what a pleasure! Chefs Scott and Spencer smoked a turkey in their new smoker and it was tasty! I was concerned that mother would get too tired and not be able to "escape" when the natives got rowdy! She enjoyed dinner and then actually went and had a nap on Cameron's bed so I think it was okay. Here are some pictures of our dinner. I feel so blessed to have all my family close--everyone was with us this year.
Thanksgiving Dinner at Heather's:
Heather and Scott celebrated their wedding anniversary in early November. They went on a little getaway to St. George. It was another rite of passage as they left their children in charge of themselves instead of coming to our house as they've usually done. The kids did well on their own but I was a little sad to have that part of grandmothering gone. We invited them for breakfast on Saturday morning, which was a fun get together. Rachel always makes mother laugh--she's so cute and enthusiastic and full of fun and laughter. It's good for mother when she comes to visit.
Mother and I took a day and went to Logan for a visit. We met her friends, Barbara and Jeanne and went to lunch. Dear friends that have meant so much to mother and I know she misses them so much. Good friends truly enrich our lives. Drove past mother's house and it looks well cared taken care of--grateful for the good renters.
Mother was thrilled to have DannaLee and Adam visit and share their great news with her. It's always a blessing to know a new baby is coming to the family. Pam and Andrea also visited in November and mother enjoyed the time with them. I know everyone has busy schedules and appreciate the time you take to visit--it so brightens her days.
Mother is doing reasonably well. She has had some sad days this week--seems the holidays are kind of hard for her. The day after Christmas she was quite emotional and tearful--it's so sad for me when she is sad. She often says she doesn't know why she's still living. I so wish there was something I could do to make this time easier and more pleasant. Someone said this to me the other day and it's so true: "From the moment we are born we spend our lives trying to become independent and then in the end we lose all that independence." It's so hard to know you're dependent on others--and even though it's not what she wants, mother is always so grateful for the help that is given. I'm sure there are lessons for all of us to learn as we help her during this time. We've talked about accepting Heavenly Father's will and living the best we can even when it's hard. She lives courageously and with much gratitude and I so admire her! Thanks for our wonderful family--thanks for staying in touch. It means so much to her.
Happy New Year! We send our love to all.