Monthly Archives: December 2011

Christmas Break {Survival}

I was really worried about the summer break this year. It was the first summer we’ve had full custody of my stepchildren, and three months of family togetherness seemed really

But you know what? It went great. In fact, it was pretty awesome. I planned fun activities, I did “summer school,” and we bonded. Tons. It was the best thing that could have happened to our family. In fact, I was begging my husband at the end of the summer to do homeschool. Fortunately, I married I guy who truly gets me.
He said no.

 This Christmas break? I didn’t think much about. Technically we only “have” the first half of the break. The second half belongs to the ex. The first half of Christmas break is filled with Christmas parties and husbands home from work and all that goodness. The second half is the part that drags on. What’s there to worry about?

The ex works full time, and has lost driving privileges. So I need to get them to public transporation to meet her at 5:45 p.m. Then we pick them up at 8:30 (she is “earning back” unsupervised overnight visitation). And that’s if she picks them up. Tuesday we were in the car, on the way to the train, when she texted to say she was “unable” tohave them that evening. Which would have been helpful information before 5:30 p.m., but whatever.This also meant that surprise! I was now responsible for two hungry mouths that expect a little more than cereal for dinner.

Let’s just say I have the kids a lot more than I thought. ;) I really should have expected this.

Now I’m tired and overwhelmed and counting the days till school begins. I hate being the grumpy mom. I want to be doing fun activities with the kids but by the time we are able to get going, it’s time to wonder whether or not they will be needing to meet their mom anytime soon. It’s hard to plan much of anything when you honestly don’t know what the plans are. So I let them get away with hours of watching America’s Funniest Videos. After they do chores of course.
{Seriously, somebody has to!} 

Maybe I’m using the ex as an excuse to be lazy. I can accept that. I definitely have a lazy bone or two. :) I just want to have fun and I want to get out of my house.

And if that doesn’t work, than I really want the kids to go back to school.
Till then… the America’s Funniest Videos marathon continues.

Slacking + Dress Shopping = Fail

You know the little naughty child who grabs his mommy’s scissors and chops all his sister’s hair off?
That was totally me yesterday.
Yeah, I pretty much cut Rebecca’s hair yesterday.
Two youtube videos and away we went.

That’s what I was going to post about.

Or, I was going to post about my insane(ly manic) burst of energy where I totally cleaned out my entire pantry.
The pantry where you had to shield your head when you opened the door.
Then shove it all back in as you close the door.

Random fact: my son is talking in his sleep in the next room. I kinda want to listen in…
Sounds like a fairly serious conversation though.
It wouldn’t be polite.

Anyway. Instead, I’m totally disappointed. I drove all over the valley
{Salt Lake is pretty big, if you need a frame of reference}
trying to find the perfect dresses for our upcoming temple sealing. If I got white for the girls, do I get white for my step daughter, who is not being sealed to us? Do I get another color? Do I sew all the dresses and keep it simple? Do I blow the budget or buy used?

Oh, and family pictures are Monday. So online ordering is pretty much out.

I finally found a gorgeous dress for Rebecca, my stepdaughter. I ended up picking a beautiful ivory bubble dress. The store only special ordered in the sizes I need for Nicole and Abigail. The dresses wouldn’t be in by Monday, so on I went.

I ended up at a fantastic store with everything I needed. Off the rack, sizes 24 months, 4T, and 10. Matching white dresses. Ooh, matching dresses! I have a thing for matching dresses. Is that just a mom thing, or a me thing? I never know, because Gary thinks I’m slightly crazy. But he’s not a mom.

Of course, the price tag for 3 white dresses… is crazy. $60 for a white dress for some of the messiest people I know? This sounds like poor planning.
But… but… they match.

And on my mental anguish went.
Naturally, I ended up at Target.
Which doesn’t carry pretty white dresses for temple sealings.

I wandered.
It was late.
I was pooped.
I have no clue what to do tomorrow.
Family pictures – three shopping days away.
I lose. :(

Walk Beside Me LDS Preschool Curriculum: Letter N

Walk Beside Me LDS Preschool Curriculum

After a long and exciting month of 24 Days of Mormon Christmas, I finally have the newest addition in my Walk Beside Me LDS Preschool packets ready:
N is for Nephi!

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Nephi is such a fabulous hero for us all, but young children especially love him. The stories about him are easy to understand and exciting to even the youngest kid! You can enhance your child’s understanding of Nephi and the brass plates, as well as other stories of Nephi like building a ship and traveling to the promised land, by watching the LDS Book of Mormon Stories. I also purchased Nephi and the Brass Plates from Deseret Book. It was $19.95, and came with an empty case for a second DVD, which you got free (with free shipping!) just by calling in the number. Two movies for $20 was a great deal, and my kids are loving these movies we save for Sundays! Older children may enjoy listening to the Brass Plates Scripture Stories program on the Mormon Channel–especially if you hand off your iPod for a half hour!

The secular focus of the week is N is for Nature. Obviously this is a huge avenue to explore. We didn’t end up doing the bug observation as recommend in the Walk Beside Me Preschool Schedule, because there aren’t many bugs to watch for in the dead of winter. But you can certainly look at pictures of bugs, and talk about their characteristics. Google Images is a great resource for this. I just open each image I want to use in a different tab and we go through all the tabs and talk about them.

If you’re new to the Walk Beside Me LDS Preschool, you can learn more here, or check out the FAQ here. I request that you check out the Walk Beside Me Store. It’s an affliate store that offers a small percentage of profits to me so that I may continue to operate this blog. If you have any questions or downloading problems, please leave a comment. I also love to hear about how your family is implementing the Walk Beside Me curriculum in your home. Many have used it for Sacrament quiet time activites, family home evening, and more!

This has nothing to do with anything, but Santa brought my preschooler Popcorn Bopping for Christmas. A dance mix version of Popcorn Popping, and a hip hop version of I Hope They Call Me On a Mission? Yes, please! My girls love to dance, and I love giving them quality dance music.

A Very {Mormon} Christmas

Merry Christmas.
Put Christ in your Christmas.
Put Christ in your life.

He can only make things better, am I right?

Much love, gratitude, and slackerness,


24 Days of Christmas – Day 24

24 Days of Mormon Christmas

Edit: This is the 2011 version of 24 Days of Mormon Christmas. Some links may not work correctly. For the current version, please click here.

Welcome to the last day in my series, 24 Days of Mormon Christmas. All month long I’ve featured a song, a scripture, and an activity for your family to help you grow closer to the Savior this Christmas season. For my own family, I’ve wanted to put Christ back in Christmas.

The last day of this series, I’d like to leave you with more than a mini-lesson. You can use this with your family tonight, as a Nativity program. This of course will touch on many of the things we have learned about the past twenty-three days as we wrap it up in my personal favorite day of the year, Christmas Eve. :) With my own children, I like to use one of our many Nativity sets to act out the various parts of the Christmas Story.


Song: Christmas Bells (CSB #54)

Reader 1:

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

Song: Once in Royal David´s City (#205)

Reader 2:

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Video: Silent Night performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Reader 3: 

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Video: Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”

Reader 4: 

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

Song: Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful (#202)

Reader 5:

And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Song: Joy to the World (#201) 

Closing: Bear your testimony of the birth of the Savior.

Video: (Optional) Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs the Hallelujah Chorus.


I truly hope you’ve enjoyed this journey with me and my family as we’ve discovered more about the reason behind this Christmas season. I pray that your family will be blessed this year to find peace in the holidays!

Merry Christmas!

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