Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve in the morning...

...was consumed with Origami-
thank you Grandma Tomi-it brought several hours of much needed quiet.
                                         Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Annual Family Christmas Party 2010

Hosted by the Backus family this year, we partied hard,
like until 8:00 or something...
(and I obviously wasn't using the red eye feature on my camera) 

 Judie and Hannah get the party started!!!

 Cassidy and Julie
(bonus points if you can find the the Archuleta Christmas ornament above Julie's head...)

 Christine is a little confused and thinks it is Halloween...

Eskimo Bingo for the kids was tearless this year;
wish I could say the same for the adult version...

Kyle was soooo thrilled with his lovely parting gift! 
I just can't remember what it was...

Oh, the adult game was intense.
The blue package in front of Michael was superbly fought for!

But in the end, Janis was Eskimoed...
by Michael none the less!!!

Until next year...
Mele Kalikimaka!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Could it be more fitting... celebrate Bethany's fifteenth birthday by seeing David Archuleta perform with the 
Mormon Tabernacle Choir?
He was stunning-in his element. He was born to sing this way...

 We ate at Costa Vida...

 rode TRAX to temple square...

and sat on the hard benches of the tabernacle.

Beautiful night.
Beautiful music.
Beautiful girl.
Happy Birthday Beth. I love you.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Kaylie had a birthday.

Kaylie turned 11 this week... and decided to have a Brown family first...
 crepes instead of a birthday cake.

The excitement is almost more than she can handle.

Have you ever seen candles in crepe filling before? 
She's an original that Kaylie!!!

Greatest accomplishment of the night? Cassidy has surpassed Janis in height!!!
Christine, Jake, and Will are catching up fast.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I love these thoughts.

If you have a little time, and need a little help getting into the spirit of Christmas, read this beautiful talk by Elder Holland: Maybe Christmas Doesn't Come From a Store.

It's definitely worth a few minutes...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Favorite Gift So Far...

I never really "got" the whole Handel's Messiah phenomenon. I guess I always thought it was for the musical elite to fact, on Sunday, I decided to play our practically unused copy again to see if we were yet able to grasp it's magnificence. It only took one song before the kids were practically plugging their ears and begging me to turn it off. So imagine my surprise as to what happened Tuesday night.
     It had been a rather melancholy day for me. My shoulders felt heavy as I had  immersed myself once again in the goings on in the political scene. It was more than just the really seems as if that great war in heaven has just changed settings, and the adversary is doing his best to take away choice after choice. Stunning policy is being passed through this lame duck session of congress-and it is breathtaking in its far reaching effects. With all that on my mind, I attended an orchestra performance at Michaela's school, where her choir had been invited to perform the closing numbers . I felt sad that the beautiful Christmas music was set against the backdrop of my mood of hopelessness. When they began the concluding number, I realized that it was Handel's Halleluja Chorus.  I quietly slipped to the aisle doors  with the intention of  staying there right up to the end, and then make a quick exit before the crowd dispersed. As I stood there listening to the choir, the most amazing thing happened. A powerful witness of the Savior penetrated my whole being. It was electric. And as they sang "and He will reign forever and ever" I just began to weep. I knew and felt with my whole soul that it was true. He reigns. Not Satan. Not the President. Not any person. Once again I was reminded that He is in control- all things are His. I  felt all of that hopeless just wash away. Embarrassed by my emotional response, I looked around and saw others wiping  their eyes obviously touched by the music.
It was beautiful, and it was just what I needed.
Handel, I am now a believer.

For some beautiful insight on Handel, read this.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Look who dropped by!

We love Taylor Hicks 
but between you and me, he hasn't aged well.