Saturday, December 31, 2011

Jenny's Gifts

Jenny gave me two gifts that were extra special to me.  We saw this picture of Mount Timpanogos Temple when we were out one day and she bought it for me.

Here's what she wrote on the back:

Dear Mom,

Happy 54th birthday! This picture meant a lot to me when you showed it to me on our annual Beehive Bazaar day at The Porch on Main. When I was nineteen years old, I received my endowments in the Timpanogos temple. You were there every step of the way and made me feel at ease and were so willing to answer my questions. That was a bonding experience as I learned from you and felt comforted by your knowledge, patience, kindness, and experience. I remember feeling so grateful for you that day. The Timpanogos temple is also where you served as an ordinance worker and initiatory coordinator. Throughout your service there I attended the temple many times. I cannot express how much I enjoyed seeing your beautiful, smiling face when I entered the Lord’s house. You set such an example to me of faith, diligence, and love. You never complained about waking up early, giving up your day, or any of the inconveniences that serving may have given. Even when going through a personal trial you didn’t give up on serving in the temple. You taught me so much through your example. Seeing you in the temple each Wednesday morning would brighten my day and fill my soul with immense feelings of love for the incredible mother that I have, you. I hope that every time you look at this picture you think about how much I truly look up to and love you and that you’ll remember that I will do anything for you.


Her other gift to me was this willow statue, which is entitled "Close to me."  It says "together or apart, always close to me."  I'm so thankful for Jenny and her gifts to me, what a sweet daughter. And those are the flowers that Hillary gave me for my birthday behind.

My 54th Birthday

My 54th birthday was awesome!  I got my hair done in the morning by my good friend, Judy. Then I went to lunch with Rich and Jenny at my new favorite restaurant ~ Mimi's; the corn chowder goes down so easily! In the afternoon, many neighbors and friends came bringing me a beautiful picture of Christ with their names signed on the matte.  I was overwhelmed by their generosity and it was such a joy to have so many friends in my home; I hugged them all!

In the evening we had our usual New Year's Eve party with the Parsons.  It was watching the kids enjoying the chocolate fountain (what a mess!) and playing games together.  Thanks for providing all the food, Parsons!

And all the people who posted on my facebook wall!  I have never felt so loved!  Thank you so much to all my family and friends.

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Clean House

Since my birthday is December 31st, I always like to take Christmas down and have the house clean for the New Year.  Jenny and Brian helped me get Christmas put away and Jenny cleaned the house for me. While Jenny was cleaning I organized.  Today I stayed in my pajamas all day and just organized.  I love living in a clean and organized home! This is what I did today:

1. Finished reading the December Ensign and read the first SS lesson.
2. Organized the linen closet - throwing away old medicine.
3. Organized under my bed
4. Went through the Christmas cards, sorting the missionary ones and put them in their binder pages.
5. Worked on the finances.
6. Put some quotes in evernote.
7. Cleaned out my purses, giving some to the DI pile.
8. Ironed Rich's new handkerchiefs and pants.
9. I cleaned my bipap machine.
10. I blogged!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Layton Trip

Wednesday Jenny and I went to Layton.  Mary generously offered to watch Connor, Abby and Andrew while Laura and Alan went to Buenos Aires.  Jenny and I went to help Mary take care of the kids.  We weren't much help but we were company.  Mary is a good mother and Jenny is a good aunt.  It's a joy to watch my daughters become mothers.  I can't help much any more since I can't talk and my hands don't work much. But I taught Sophie on my ipad that I can write and she can read messages from me.  It's nice to be able to communicate with my grandchildren that way.  I got lots of nice love notes from the kids!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day 2011

We have a tradition of going shopping on boxing day (the day after Christmas).  Jenny was sick so she didn't go and Laura only came to Target because of her trip to Buenos Aires that morning.  So it was Mary, Rich and I.  After Target we went to Taipan and Kohls, where I got new barstools.  I have been looking for new barstools for awhile now and when I saw these I knew they were "it."  Not only do they have gothic arches, but they were only $36 each!  After we went to IHop for breakfast.

 at IHop, yes my eyes are closed, it was an early morning!

my new barstools, notice the gothic arches!  It took Brian several hours to put together. Thanks, Bri!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve 2011

We had a lovely dinner and program Christmas Eve.  We even added a game.  Rich got gifts from the dollar store and I wrapped them, then we sat in a circle with the gifts.  Then while he read "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" and each time he said "the" we passed the gifts to the right and when he said "and" we passed the to the right.  It was fun because even the little kids could do it.  At the end every one got to open their gift.  

 Connor and Ayden

 Abby, (hiding) Andrew, Sophie, Kylie and McKinley

 Buchanan family singing

 Sophie reading "I Believe in Santa Claus"

 Logan playing "Silent Night" on the trumpet

Connor and Ayden singing Jingle Bells

 The girls singing "A Mother''s Lullaby," unfortunately they didn't have quite the accompaniment they are used to.  Apparently, playing the piano has gone the way of ALS.

 acting out the nativity

 the "zip-up team" in their new jammies (minus Hannah who was sleeping)

the best part of the evening was skyping with Michael!

Hillary brought a gift from her and Michael - a video of him that she prepared.  It was awesome!  We were crying even before his call.  It was so great to see him and know that he is healthy and happy.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

HCT A Christmas Carol

As promised we went with the whole family to Orem HCT's "A Christmas Carol." Unfortunately, my Mom had shoulder surgery last Thursday, so she wasn't able to join us.  We loved it!

Janet & Rich

The entire family!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Melissa Sonksen

Twenty-seven years ago we moved to Seoul Korea, Melissa Sonksen was already living there.  Her husband worked for a bank and we were moving there for Rich to be a "foreign legal consultant." I remember well the day that Melissa took me the grocery store and showed me the how to buy sugar and salt and which was which!  We were great friends, getting together often to have dinner and play games.  Craig Sonksen was our branch president and when they moved, Rich took over as branch president.

Anyway, Melissa was coming to town and came a day early to visit me!  It is wonderful when you have friends where the years just pass away and you are just as comfortable as years ago.  Melissa is a great person with a lovely personality.  We had just a great time together!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Todd's 25th Birthday

Happy Birthday, Toddy!  We love you!


Two of my dear friends, Elise Larsen and AnnaRae McAllister, brought me this beautiful quilt. I was so touched by their thoughtfulness and kindness.  It represents many of my favorite things.  They included on the quilt the meaning of the blocks:

We love Janet and we love to sew! This quilt created and sewn by AnnaRae McAllister and Elise Larsen, cam about because of our friendship, love of quilting, love for Janet and AnnaRae's trip to Alaska. Janet loves the forget-me-not flower because of the many spiritual and loving meanings associated with it .  The forget-me-not fabric came from Alaska and became the focal point for our quilt. (Alaska's state flower is the forget-me-not) All three of us love "all things blue and white." We wanted each block to represent Janet in some way and show what she loves.
Block #1 janet loves the mountains, cross country skiing, hiking and being in nature. She loves MIA Camp Shalom
Block #2 Cathedral windows and the cathedral shape are part of Janet's home decor.
Block #3 Janet's home and yard abound in beauty and flowers and beautiful colors. In addition to all things blue and white, Janet loves the color red.
Block #4 Each year at girl's camp Janet loves to look and the stars. She loves all things heavenly.
Block #5 Janet loves hiking to Lone Pine at Camp Shalom every year.
Block #6 The blue and white traditional log cabin quilting block represents Janet's cabin in Heber and our love for quilting and "all things blue and white."
Block #7 Janet loves the Savior and has a Jim Shore nativity similar to the one pictures in this block.
Block #8 Friends love Janet and Janet loves firends--lots of them! This block is a friendship star.
Block #9 The blue and white heart represents Janet's beautiful spiritual heart. We have both learned so many wonderful things from Janet.
Block #10 The "forget-me-not" block is for the Savior, family, and friends, and Elder Uctdorf's talk in RS 2011
Block #11 AnnaRae, Elise and Janet at Shalom 2011 "I Believe."
Block #12 All three of us love working i Young Women and love the YW values.
Block #13Janet loved visiting the Sacred Grove and tries to have a Sacred Grove experience each day of her life.
"Forget-me-not" quilt created and given December 2011. We love you!
Signed: AnnaRae and Elise

Thursday, December 15, 2011

First Day of School in Utah for Buchanans

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Buchanans Have Arrived!

PapaRich and Connor, Abby and Andrew watching Mickey's Christmas Carol

The Buchanans have arrived after their five-day trip across the country.  We are so glad they are here safe and sound!  They'll be moving into their home tomorrow and registering for school.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Traditions

#1. We went to The Forgotten Carols on December 1st. Just Rich and I. We went last year and really enjoyed it, so we went again. It's a little cheesy, but that's what I like about it. I love all the forgotten carols! Michael McLean's shameless self-promoting is exceeded by his love of the Savior and the fact that he ends the show without applause and the true Christmas spirit.

 Rich and Janet at The Forgotten Carols

#2. We go to the Hale Center Theater in Orem every year for A Christmas Carol the whole family. But ever since we saw My Fair Lady at the Salt Lake HCT, Rich has been dying to see it staged there. We went Tuesday night and it was amazing. Really, the staging and actors are wonderful!

#3. Kurt Bestor is a favorite event for our family. We started going years ago and it only gets better. We love sitting in Abravanel Hall and enjoying the full orchestra that Kurt brings. We especially love seeing our ward member, Michael Dowdle. And we also claim Daron Bradford, who we were ward members with in student housing years ago. This year we had a special treat! Rich was chosen to read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Every year Kurt chooses someone to read as he plays music to accompany the reading. We have always known that Rich would do a great job if he had the chance. He did a great job! In fact, on the way to our car people were commenting on how well he did and rolling down windows to tell him what a good job he did!
It was a fun Christmas memory!

#4. We will be attending HCT Orem's rendition of A Christmas Carol with the entire family again on December 20th.

Our Own Santa!

with Ryker Miller at the Ward Christmas Party

Rich prepared a comedy routine as Santa and had the whole crowd laughing.  He also shared this thought from President Faust:

"No one can measure the effect of an unselfish act of kindness. By small, simple things great things do indeed come to pass. Of course, gifts given and gifts received make Christmas special. For many children Christmas Eve is a very long night as they look forward with eager anticipation to the gifts Santa brings, which is why children love Santa Claus. Let me sare what someone once said about Santa Claus: First of all, he's a joyous individual . . . Next, Santa is interested in making others happy. He increased the happy moments in the life of everyone he meets. He loves his work; he gets fun out of his job. He is childlike, simple, humble , sincere and forgiving. Finally, he is a giver. His philosophy is to give himself away in service. He is a friend to everyone. He smiles, perhaps you and I could attain greater happiness if we emulated Santa Claus a little more, for this is the way of the Infant Jesus."

Friday, December 9, 2011

Picture from the TNI party at Costco