Friday, December 26, 2008

Must be Love

My husband loves me! He had today off, while I had to work. I wasn't feeling well today since I started getting a cold, so he offered to make me lunch. I was being a bit picky since we didn't have any chicken noodle soup, and I don't like Progresso or Ramen, so this is what he brought me: Ravioli's with oranges, an apple, cherry pie, and pear sparkling cider on the rocks! I don't think I would have been that creative if we were in the opposite situation. Thanks honey!


Hailey is really starting to take off with her spelling. Lately, she has started spelling answers to questions that I ask, such as:

Mom: "Hailey, would you like pears with your dinner?"

Hailey: "Y-E-S I do!"


Mom: "Who left the coloring book on the floor?"

Hailey: "C-H-A-S-E did."

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone! May we all remember the Savior on this Holy Day, and strive to be more like him!

{Advent Calendar - December 25th}

Jesus was born in the meridian of time, thus giving an ideal vantage point from which to look both backward and forward. For the last 24 days you have stood, as it were, in Bethlehem, gazing in both directions. You have heard the Master's voice in premortal councils. You have seen Him suffer, die and rise again. You have watched Him return triumphant in the clouds of heaven. Now you are ready to focus with great joy on that moment when heaven came down to earth.

1 Nephi 11:14-15, 18-21; Luke, 1:30-32, 34-35, 38; Luke 2:1, 3-16

Consider what gift you could give the Savior and determine to give it all year long.

Joy to the World, Hymn #201

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

{Advent Calendar - December 24th}

Jesus came to Bethlehem a humble babe, born in poverty; but he has promised to return to Earth in majesty. Then Heaven and Earth will be reconciled and the King of Kings will reign.

Matthew 24:27, 29-30, 36, 42

Try to live this day as if it were the day of Christ's second coming.

When He Comes Again, Children's Songbook, page 82

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I am SO behind with posts of our daily activities. I'm hoping to have some time soon, but it's a crazy schedule trying to work and get everything made for Christmas. Stay tuned! I'll let you know when you need to scroll down a lot for updates.

{Advent Calendar - December 23rd}

Jesus is no mere figure from the past, captive in the pages of scripture. He lives today! He holds the universe to its course and guides the work of His servants on the earth.

D&C 76:19-20, 22-24

Go out with friends singing Christmas carols, but add some hymns about other aspects of Christ's ministry.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Scentsy Giveaway!

A friend of mine, Charissa, is a Scentsy consultant, and she is having a giveaway! Check it out and put your name in for the drawing!

{Advent Calendar - December 22nd}

As the holidays get busier and busier, we become involved in so many things - running errands, attending parties, buying presents, choosing wrapping paper and ribbons. It's easy to become focused on material things. Instead, let's remember where our lives ought to be centered.

John 6:35, 10:14, 11:25, 8:12

Go look at Christmas lights and think about where all light really comes from.

The Lord is My Shepherd, Hymn #108

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Warren Christmas Party 2008

We had our annual Christmas Party yesterday. What a blast! Last year we had about 36 people in our home, and this year we were up to about 54! If things continue like this, we'll have to buy a bigger house...or go somewhere else! It was an amazing night with lots of fun people, delicious food, a great gift exchange, and tons of memories. Thank you everyone for making it such a fun night!

NOW, before you start looking at the year's party will have a theme...UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATERS! Check out the stores after'll be sure to find some left!

{Advent Calendar - December 21st}

The morning of Christ's resurrection was the brightest morning in all history: a time of transcendent joy following the gloom of the crucifixion. The words of the angel still echo down the centuries undiminished. He is risen. Those words signaled more than the triumph of a God. They proclaimed the victory of life over death. As we celebrate Christmas, we also celebrate the free gift of immortality for all mankind.

Matthew 28:1-6, Isaiah 25:8

Read the accounts of the resurrection in the four Gospels and 3 Nephi. Record your feelings in your journal. (Matt. 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20 & 3 Nephi 11)

He is Risen, Hymn #199

Saturday, December 20, 2008

{Advent Calendar - December 20th}

Some things are almost too painful to think about. To see our Savior mocked and murdered is one such thing. And yet, through the Scriptures, we should visit Calvary from time to time. We must never forget Jesus died so that we might live and live more abundantly.

Matthew 27:28-30, Luke 23:33-34, Mark 15:29-32

Read the accounts of the crucifixion in the four Gospels and then write your feelings in your journal.

There is a Green Hill Far Away, Hymn # 194

Friday, December 19, 2008

{Advent Calendar - December 19th}

The greatest victory of all time was not won on a battlefield but in a quiet hillside garden. We cannot fully understand the cost of that triumph, but as Christmas draws near, we should at least try.

Matthew 26:39; D&C 19:16-19

Accept the gift of forgiveness. Pray to Heavenly Father about some weakness and ask for help in repenting of it.

How Great Thou Art, Hymn #86

Thursday, December 18, 2008

{Advent Calendar - December 18th}

We all have storms in our lives; storms of fear, anger and regret; storms at home, work and at school. The Master's hand can calm all our tempers.

Matthew 8:23-26

Be a calming influence today. Try extra hard to control your temper.

Master, the Tempest is Raging, Hymn #105

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Stockings

I wish this was a post about some really awesomly cool stockings that I just finished making, but that is certainly not the case today. Eric and I have decided to take away Rion and Hailey's Christmas Stockings this year, due to the lack of responsibility we have seen over the passed several months.

It all came to a head yesterday when they were supposed to clean up the living room. Now, it wasn't exactly THAT dirty, so we didn't think this was going to be much of an issue. Alas. When confronted about it about 1/2 hour later, Rion instantly started saying that Hailey wasn't helping and Hailey was saying that she already did half the work. This is a typical argument that has risen recently which basically means that neither one has done anything. That was verified by simply looking at the living room. Not only that, but on the way to the living room from our bedroom, we noticed that the loft (which was cleaned the night before) was once again the center of a war zone. Needless to say, we were done!

I'm not incredibly proud of going to drastic measures. Not only did we take away the stockings this Christmas, but we told them that if they don't keep the house clean and take care of things they play with, then we'd continue taking away parts of Christmas. And, they can't play with friends or watch movies the rest of the week.

So, is this too harsh? Has anyone else used any tried-and-true tactics to instill responsibility in children? I've even tried cleaning up with them and showing them how it needs to look, especially over the last month or so, but this doesn't seem to be helping them to realize they shouldn't be letting it get that dirty in the first place. Help!

{Advent Calendar - December 17th}

Have you ever wished you could be baptized again and start over fresh? When we repent of our sins and partake of the sacrament worthily, we renew our covenants and are clean.

3 Nephi 18:1-11

As you partake of the Sacrament, make a special effort to think about the Savior.

While of These Emblems We Partake, Hymn #173

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mmmmm, Warmth

I love hot pads! I sit in my room at the desk every day, all day, working. It gets awfully cold this time of year since it is right in front of a non-insulated window. (dual pane - efficient - hardly!) Yesterday I was searching for something to keep me warm, since the blanket was just not working. Genius! How about the hot pad? I tried setting it on my lap, but have found that sitting on it is the best. Weird, huh?

{Advent Calendar - December 16th}

Jesus came to lift our burdens. One of the heaviest burdens we carry is that of hate. In teaching us to forgive, the Lord set us free.

Matthew 18:21-22, 6:14-15, 3 Nephi 12:44

Try to forgive someone who has wronged you. If appropriate go to him today and be reconciled.

Did You Think to Pray, Hymn #140

Monday, December 15, 2008

{Advent Calendar - December 15th}

Turmoil and strife, combat and competition - our world is full of the consequences of man. But the Savior told us how to try to succeed, through peace on earth and good will toward men.

John 14:15, Matthew 7:12, Mark 10:43-44, John 13:34-35

Today tell someone that you love them. Express love for the Lord in your prayers.

Love One Another, Hymn #308

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gingerbread Houses

Our kids just ADORE the Labbees! They live diagonal behind us and down the street just a little bit. It's just about daily that all of our kids play together, so we thought it would be fun to have the whole family over to make gingerbread houses. Of course, I didn't actually get the gingerbread made, so we used graham crackers. This actually worked out better, though, because now all of the kids got to do their own.

It was certainly a work in progress. Next year we will have to buy more graham crackers so the houses could have more supports. They didn't exactly stand up very long, but the kids thought they tasted fabulous! Here are the results.

{Advent Calendar - December 14th}

Christmas could hardly be Christmas without children. They are so much of the magic in the season. The Savior also loved children. In both the New World and the Old, He called the little ones to Him.

3 Nephi 17:12, 21, 24

Do something fun with a child.

I Think when I Read That Sweet Story, Children's Songbook page 56

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What I've Been Up To

I've been very busy working on Christmas presents. This is what I've been working on:

These nativities have been fun. I have one for me and a set for each of my kids when they leave the house. I put magnets in them so they actually stand up when there is metal underneath. I even added one to the back of the star and the front of the stable!

I've done LOTS of these lately. They are lots of work, but very nice!

For once, I'm ready to be done with projects!

{Advent Calendar - December 13th}

We don't like to think of illness or death at Christmas time, but these shadows can fall on any season. Jesus taught us an unforgettable lesson in empathy when He shared the grief of his friends after the death of Lazarus.

John 11:35, 36, 41-44

Do something to bring cheer to someone who has a reason to feel sad.

Abide With Me, Hymn #166

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Concerts

Last night were the Elementary School Christmas Concerts. This was Hailey's first school concert, so she was pretty excited. They both looked very nice, and sang very well. I wanted to get some pictures of them during the performances, but there were WAY too many people in the small gym to be able to do it. They sure were cute, though, with some very fun songs.

We were trying to entertain Chase between performances, so we thought we'd do the "cool guy" moment. Look at those rosy cheeks!

Ward Christmas Party

Tonight was our Ward Christmas Party! It was lots of fun, with good food, good friends, a little bit of Christmas singing, and the jolly red man himself! The kids were so excited!

Rion was too funny. He asked Santa for 50 oranges for Christmas. Then there was Chase who couldn't wait to dig into his bag!

Hailey loves to sing, so we took a video of the Primary. We got Rion toward the end, but it was funny watching Hailey not completely paying attention during the song. It was like she was in two places at once! (Unfortunately, the video didn't want to upload. Ah well.)

After the party, the Stones came over and watched Journey to the Center of the Earth. What a great movie! We realized, though, that color coordinating is a wonderful thing...even if it is accidental!

{Advent Calendar - December 12th}

TheMaster taught that it isn't what you have that counts; it's what you give. Giving of yourself can fill your wold with joy, not only at Christmas, but all year long.

3 Nephi 13:19-20

You'll treasure the time you spend helping others. Do volunteer work for some worthy cause.

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Hymn # 214

Thursday, December 11, 2008

{Advent Calendar - December 11th}

We could labor every day of our lives and still not repay the kindness of our Lord. But he has shown for us that there is a way to serve him.

Matthew 25:37-40

Visit someone who is sick or lonely.

A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief, Hymn #29

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Signs of the Season

This is one of my favorite Christmas ornaments. What a simple reminder of what Christmas is all about. May we remember our Savior always and celebrate His life all year round!

{Advent Calendar - December 10th}

We take our free agency for granted, but it was seriously challenged before our mortal lives began. This Christmas, let's give thanks for the one who defended our freedom.

Moses 4:1-3

Use your free agency to set some goals for yourself. Seal a copy in an envelope to be opened in one year.

How Great the Wisdom and the Love, Hymn #195

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

{Advent Calendar - December 9th}

In a world divided by national, religious, political and racial hatreds, it's time everyone reviewed Jesus' answer to the question, "Who is my neighbor?"

Luke 10:30-34, 36

Do a good deed anonymously.

Because I have been Given Much, Hymn #219

Monday, December 8, 2008

{Advent Calendar - December 8th}

The greatest blessings aren't those of getting, but those of becoming. Jesus taught:

3 Nephi 12:3-9

Foster peace on earth by not quarreling with others.

More Holiness Give Me, Hymn #131

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Setup

We finally started decorating the tree. I feel so behind this year, partly because it hasn't really felt like Christmas. I think it's time to weed some things out of my life so I can get the in the Christmas Spirit. In any case, it was fun decorating with the kids. I think next year, though, they need their own tree!

Bitter-Sweet Day

Today was one of those happy-sad days for me. I was released as the 1st Couselor (Enrichment Counselor) of the Caldwell 5th Ward Relief Society Presidency. Or rather, the whole Presidency was released. Lisa's husband was called into the Bishopric just about a month ago, and it was just too much for one family to have a 1st Counselor in the Bishopric and an RS President in one family. So, the burden was lifted today. I must admit, I wasn't ready. I think that is the first time I have ever been able to say that about a calling, which is probably also why it came. Isn't that how it always works? Once you love a calling, you are released.

I have learned quite a bit about loving those we serve in the last year and a half. It's amazing how there is an instant love for the sisters in a calling such as this. I will always be grateful for that lesson and I hope I can keep that love going. I look foward to what the Lord has in store for me, hopefully soon!

So, for now, good luck Kamie, Karren, Candice and Sue!

{Advent Calendar - December 7th}

The Savior knows the weight of our suffering and the depth of our pain. He has suffered for us, and He loves us without reservation. There is no problem so hard or despair, so dark that He can't help us if we let Him.

Isaiah 53:3-5, Matthew 11:28

Go out of your way to befriend someone who needs a friend. Follow through in the days and weeks to come.

Come unto Jesus, Hymn #117

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dinner and a Game

Every year it gets harder and harder to figure out what to get my parents for Christmas. In years past, we've all chipped in and sent them to concerts and dinner. This year there was really nothing we thought they both would like to see, so we decided to just take them out to dinner and go to a BSU Basketball Game. We thought Dad would like it since he used to play baskbetball and referee. We went to Chicago Connection for dinner, since Richard is a manager and was able to get us a big discount. The tickets were also free through Chicago Connection! It turned out to be a fun evening.

...especially since the Broncos won!

Third Time's a Charm!

Yes, it has taken us three trips to the Christmas Tree lot to find a tree! Last year was no biggie, but this year was quite tough. On top of that, Chase did not want to be a team player, so he and Rion stayed in the car, the Rion and Hailey traded after a few minutes. Poor Chase!

I don't really know how long it took to find our tree, but it wasn't too terribly long. Though, we should have probably spent a little more and gotten a nicer tree that wasn't a Douglas Fir. We loved how full it was, but the spindly needles are not our favority. Next year, we'll go back to a Grand Fir and spend more.

{Advent Calendar - December 6th}

Jesus a healer. He touched away blindness and filled withered limbs with new life. he restored the mind and soul surrounded by much hurt and sorry. We can, in our own way, be healers also. Sometimes a kind word and a helping hand are all that is needed.

3 Nephi 17:5, 6, 9

Try to be as kind as possible to others today.

I Need Thee Every Hour, Hymn #98

Friday, December 5, 2008

Football or Fingerball?

Rion has figured out how to make those triangular paper footballs. So, to make things more interesting, he created his own football field out of K'nex to attempt to flick the football through the uprights. Very creative!

{Advent Calendar - December 5th}

Christmas shines with lights on trees, houses and city streets. As you recall the bright star over Bethlehem, do we remember the source of all light?

D&C 88:6-13

Look up at the heavens and think about who made the sun, moon and stars. Record your feelings in your journal.

The Lord is my Light, Hymn #89

Thursday, December 4, 2008

{Advent Calendar - December 4th}

Many people are hungry - not just for food, but for love, for acceptance, for support. Some are starving spiritually. Jesus knew how to feed every kind of hunger. In our small way, we can do the same.

Matthew 14:15-19

Feed someone spiritually. Write your testimony in a Book of Mormon and give it away.

Tell Me the Stories of Jesus, Children's Songbook pg. #57

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

{Advent Calendar - December 3rd}

All that we have, the air we breathe, the light by which we see, are gifts from a loving Father and His Son. In this season of giving, let us give one of the greatest gifts we can offer; a grateful, humble heart.

Luke 17:12, 14-15, 17

In one of your prayers today, give thanks for every blessing you can name, without asking anything.

Count Your Many Blessings, Hymn #241

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

{Advent Calendar - December 2nd}

At Christmas we celebrate much more than the birth of a baby. We celebrate who that child already was, and what He would yet become. Christmas is a time of looking - to the past, with its glimpses of premortal glory, and to the future, with its promise of eternity.

Mosiah 3:5, 8-10

As you decorate for Christmas, choose or make a decoration that will remind you of the Savior and his mission.

O Come All Ye Faithful, Hymn #202

Monday, December 1, 2008

Spiritual Advent Calendar

I have this fascination with advent calendars lately. I don't remember who emailed this particular one to me recently, but I'm going to post the daily thoughts, beginning today! Here is the overview:

Spiritual Advent Calendar

This is no ordinary advent calendar with little windows to open or snowmen to past on. You are the only moving part. This calendar reviews the Savior's entire mission from teh premortal councils on through his future return as Lord of Lord and King of Kings.

Beginning on December 1st, each day you'll read one or more passages of scripture, moving from epoch to epoch across the vast span of the Redeemer's work.

Each day there will be a suggestion of something you can do to grow closer to the Savior. There will also be a hymn or carol to sing.

December 1st

Remember the Savior's promise:

Matthew 18:20

Invite your family to join you in each day's reading and singing.

O Come all Ye Faithful
Hymn #202