Thursday, December 25, 2008

Hello from California!

Well, this for those of you who we haven't told yet: first off, we are all completely okay. On our way down to California for Christmas, we got into a pretty bad car accident. We hit some black ice between Mesquite and Las Vegas, started swerving, ran off the road and rolled the car three times. All three of us are totally okay, thanks to seat belts and car seats (don't ever forget!). Well, McKay does have some cuts on his forehead, and I have a bruise on my shin, but considering we rolled our car at 80 miles an hour, we're okay with it. I've got some pretty good pictures, but I know all you grandmas are a little nervous about seeing them, so I've put a link here for those who want to see them.

Luckily, we were able to get to San Diego in time for Patrick and Michelle's wedding reception.

Besides that, we're just hanging out with my side of the family here in California. We went to Disneyland on Tuesday, and we're going again tomorrow (yay!). Tyler just about jumped out of the boat on It's A Small World to go dance with all the animatronic dolls, and got real close and personal with Grumpy, to his dismay. Today was so much fun with our family. I hope everyone else's Christmas is wonderful too!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Time!

Okay, I went a little crazy with the Christmas festivities this year. McKay probably thinks I'm a nut. We put up all our decorations as soon as we got home from spending Thanksgiving in Texas. Note the ornaments do not go below two feet from the ground, which is about the extent of Tyler's reach.

I insisted on having a gingerbread house this year, since I've never made a real one before.

Tyler thought it was pretty cool.

We got our first big sticking snowstorm, and Tyler just about laughed his head off watching the snow fall outside. Later, when it stopped snowing, we took him outside, and he trudged little paths all over our yard.

Somehow or another, he lost his glove, and it stayed put.

Tonight, I was baking sugar cookies, and I kept noticing that there were fewer finished cookies than I had thought. I would look at the table and think, "Hmm, weren't there just three cookies right here?" I noticed Tyler doing victory laps around the coffee table in the living room, so I figured the disappearing cookies were probably related. I decided to watch:

While my back was turned to the oven, he had been sneaking cookies! I blame Uncle Gordy.

You can see he was quite pleased with himself. But I would be too if I was this cute!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Rembering Christ at Christmas

I've heard a lot of people lately being upset about how commercialized Christmas is. They say that Santa has replaced Jesus as the center of the holiday, and that we shouldn't say "Happy Holidays," and what not. I've been thinking about that this month, and I've been reading a great book called "Rembering Christ at Christmas." I've decided that even though most of the world doesn't focus on the Savior and his birth and mission on Christmas, that doesn't mean Christ is not present during the holidays. I think what matters is where you focus your thoughts. I'm trying to keep our focus on Christ in little ways, like remembering to do our scripture reading and say our prayers every night, and putting our nativity scene in the middle of the living room, and keeping pictures of Christ up in our home. I've found that Christmas, to quote the Grinch, "means a little bit more" when we remember what it really is about.

Now, that said, I LOVE everything about the secular holiday celebration! Rudolph, Frosty, Santa, White Christmases, decorating, tasty treats, give me them all! But I've realized these past few days that we don't have to polarize the two ways of celebrating. I think you can find Christ in any Christmas tradition, secular or not. It just depends on where you are focusing. These ideas are my favorites from Remembering Christ at Christmas. Can you think of any more?

The Greek word for Christ starts with an X, and to save expensive writing space in the Middle Ages, scribes shortened Christ to "X." The Emperor Constantine used the letter X as his symbol on his flag.

Santa wears red and white, which Christ will wear at the second coming, symbolizing the atonement and purity (D&C 133:48-51). Santa "comes like a thief in the night," and "enters not by the door" (D&C 106:4). Santa invites little children to come to him (Matthew 19:14). He knows if you've been bad or good, and he rewards each person according to their works. Santa gives children unearned gifts that they cannot get without him. Christ offers the unearned gifts of immortality and Eternal life. We are not always grateful for the gifts we receive.

Jesus was also "despised by his peers," (Isaiah 53:3) but when "mists of darkness" arise, he is the "light which shineth in darkness." (D&C 6:21)

Decorated Homes
We show that we honor Christ. Outside decorations show our light to the world, and inside decorations show that the love of Christ and his atonement is within.

Christmas Morning
Symbolizes the beginning of the millenium, where we will arise and recieve the gift of Eternal life.

One more thing that struck me in this book was the choice we have between having a "Martha" Christmas or a "Mary" Christmas. We can be "cumbered about much serving," or we can sit peacefully at the feet of Christ. I am so amazed at all that Christ has done for us, and I hope to understand it all better as I focus more on his life. I love this time of year!

Have a "Mary" Christmas!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Texas Trip!

I've got to learn to post more often! We have been so busy the last few weeks. We went down to Texas for Thanksgiving for a week, and we had such a good time with our Hinckley side of the family. For anyone who hasn't made that drive, it's twenty hours. You can imagine what it was like with a wiggly one year old. We stopped in Albuquerque for the night on the way, and Tyler happily destroyed the room. What kind of architect puts a Kleenex dispenser at toddler level?

Here's the carnage.

We had a great week with Grandma and Grandpa Hinckley, and all our Hinckley relatives. I brought in a little Eatough spirit into our Thanksgiving with some Little Smokies and Pineapple-Bacon Wraps.Tyler got his first hair cut:

Mckay and I had lunch with some friends from when we lived there:

Here's some more pictures, I can't help adding a ton!

On the way home, we stopped at Wilson's Arch, just at sunset, and it was gorgeous:

That should do it for awhile for blogging, we've got to recover!