A couple racoons started frequenting our back patio at night. They were pretty sneeky and always appreciate the snacks the kids leave.
Rain! California has been in a complete drought so we dance in the rain when it finally came.
After over three years, I was released as Young Women President in my Ward at church. It was so bittersweet! This was the last Mutual activity I had with these amazing girls. The following Sunday proved to be really difficult for me emotionally. I knew for several weeks in advance that I'd be getting released, and through promptings and feelings much prior to that, I knew that my time was coming to a close, but something about the finality of it all was hard. When they released me over the pulpit I could not stop crying. All through church I simply cold not control myself or make the tears stop no matter how hard I tried. During the last few minutes of church I said my goodbyes to the young women, giving my last bits of counsel and love. Afterwards, one young woman came up to me sobbing. She's been really stand offish over the years despite my attempts at reaching out to her. She couldn't really compose herself either, but we hugged and I knew, finally, that she knew I loved her, and I hope has felt the love of the Savior through my service. I'm so thankful for the time I've had to serve in the Young Women program. It is inspired. I have come to love these girls so incredibly deeply. I'll miss them but will forever love them and feel joy in their successes and growth. During my testimony in Sacrament meeting I talked about sacrifice. Many times during the last three years I asked myself why the Lord saw fit to give me such a busy calling during such a stressful time in our lives. I bore children 6 and 7 while serving as Young Women President. Ben was in school and working a demanding job. For the last year I'd been hiring a weekly babysitter so I could attend Mutual activities. Yet, as I contemplated all this, I came to realize that our Heavenly Father requires sacrifice of us. He stretches us, and challenges us, so that we can, in a very small measure, understand the sacrifice of His Son just a tiny bit more. Many of those challenges would have very soon be alleviated and so, because there was less sacrifice required on my part, it was no longer my time to serve. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ and His church that affords me the chance to develop talents, personal relationships, and to grow closer to the Savior. Callings are inspired blessings and I'm so completely thankful for the opportunity to serve in His kingdom.
In early December I was in charge of the Winter Festival and Silent Auction at my kids' school. It was a doozy to pull off, but we did it! These are all the baskets that we had donated.
Eli and his buddy sold hot cocoa.
Meilani helped in face painting. Titi came out to manage the littles while I ran the event as Ben was at school.
Eli sold around 75 bags of mistletoe for a scout camp fundraiser. It was growing in our tree.
Ammon, white elephant gift shopping with mom.
and kissing snails.
Eli at his Winter Concert. Best music teacher ever!!!
Sethie was Student of the Month in his class.
Seth's Christmas concert.
Temple lights with Cousin Amanda and Allison before they head to Canada.
Gingerbread houses at the Adams-Harts.
I wasn't going to put this out there, but...in all it's glory, here's our laundry disaster. Ben took it all to the laundry mat one day after getting fed up. Do not try this at home!!!!!!!