Saturday, December 31, 2011

Y Mountain: New Year's Eve

No snow, barely a need for a jacket.
December 31st?

Friday, December 30, 2011

What I Would Have Said If I Had Ever Shared My Testimony in 2011:

 I can remember the exact moment that I knew Jesus loved me. It was a very real, singular moment. I was desperate to know. My heart hurt so intensely that my prayer was more of a challenge than a pleading. I told God that if he was there I needed to know it, right then and there, that I couldn't just hope anymore. He answered that challenge in an immediate and beautiful way. It was life changing.

I can also remember the exact moment that I knew that I loved Him. It was a different moment in time.A couple of years later. It took me by surprise. I always thought I loved Him, but when I knew for sure, I felt it deep. I knew for certain that my spirit recognized His voice as I read His words. I knew that I had loved Him long before I came to this earthly place.

It's not easy to put into words but I get so homesick from time to time. Sometimes, I just see a picture, or sing a sacrament hymn,or read a scripture verse and my heart aches to go home. To be with Him.
I had a friend tell me once that it was morbid to want to go back to Heaven so soon.
I don't think so.

The Book of  Mormon kind of brings it all full circle to me. I love to read how intensely the prophets loved Him.  How everything they did was to prove their discipleship to Him.
I love how He continually pleads with us to come unto Him.
I feel that plea to my very core.
I try to make the atonement count every single day of my life.
Jesus Christ loves me and that knowledge has made all the difference in the world to me.
I live to be with Him again, whenever that may be.

This is my testimony. Whether I speak it out loud or not.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Veto Power.

A popular gift this year:The Marshmallow Shooter. 

I am scraping up smashed marshmallows everywhere.
And I'm not happy about it.

You know how sometimes you make yourself bite your tongue when you want to veto a certain toy?
You tell yourself to try and be the fun mom who doesn't care if marshmallows are stuck to the wood floor just as long as the darlings are having fun?

Every time I try to be that mom, it doesn't work out well. I never end up being fun for very long. Eventually I become crazy mom who delivers long lectures about how I am not the maid...

Wow, maybe I took the Christmas tree down too soon.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas: Packed Up and Put Away.

We start early but we end on time.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Eve, 2011.

Christmas Eve, without a doubt, is the LONGEST day of the year. Even for adults.
Our day began with a few minor chores- Mom brilliantly decided to have Saturday chore day on Friday in hopes of less grumbling and grouchiness on Christmas Eve. 
After a few morning duties, we headed up to Orem to visit Bro. Enlow. When we got there, there was a young cellist playing for the residents. He was quite good. 
So good that they were all asleep.

Soon, Beth couldn't help herself and followed suit. 
He seemed to go on forever :)

Finally, we made our way to Franklin's room and visited and opened presents. We had fun even though he didn't remember that he used to live right next door to us.

We headed home, ready to go to Payson for Janis' traditional Christmas Eve party. 
But, she had some unexpected visitors which put her behind schedule, so we had some extra time to kill. 
Hmmm, what to do?
Watch Les Mis, AGAIN.

Soon it was time to hit Janis' party and it was something, I tell you.

She had a spread like no other. Jake was thrilled because FINALLY Janis let the youngest go first in the serving line. With all that food to choose from, what did he end up with?

Yeah, crackers.

We visited...

Played games...

Ate delicious food...

...and played more games.

During Eskimo Bingo, Kaylie got the "crappy " gag gift 
(rubber dog poop)...

While Beth scored some cashola!

After the party we went home and had our Christmas FHE, followed by a family gift exchange. 
Judie gave everyone PJ's.

Even Bella got a gift.

Long day, but well worth every minute. 
Well, almost every minute.

Merry Christmas.
We Love You.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Four Jean Valjeans.

I am slightly obsessed with the 25th anniversary edition of Les Miserables. My favorite song of all time is Bring Him Home and this is a crazy wonderful version. It features 4 of the greatest Jean Valjeans. But MOST amazing is Alfie Boe . He steps in at about 3:00. He brings me to tears every time. 
Oh, I love this story and LOVE this music.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Temple Trip.

We took Hannah and Kaylie to the temple last Friday, in between the hoopla of getting ready for Beth's birthday party. 
It was the perfect reprieve. 
The BYU students were heading home for the holidays and so we had the baptistery almost to ourselves. No small feat at the world's busiest temple baptistery...
It was a sweet experience. 
I love the temple.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Night of Archuleta.

David Archuleta had a Christmas concert last night.
There is no one I would rather listen to sing about Jesus. 
My eyes are a little puffy this morning. 
His music was topped only by the announcement at the end of the night that he would be serving a full time mission. 


Monday, December 19, 2011

Flashback Monday.

 Thirty years ago I wore this T'shirt to school on a regular basis....

Today, life came full circle.
Rock on.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ode to the Neeley's.

Family Christmas Party 2011, Part Two.

My words are few, but pictures are worth thousands....

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Family Christmas Party 2011.

Guess who gave the gag gift tonight...

Guess who was the lucky recipient...

Guess who traded his own present to take it home....

Oh yeah. You're Welcome.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sweet Sixteen.

After a completely stressful day of preparations by a completely stressed out mom and a mildly overtasked Dad, Beth is celebrating her 16th birthday even as we speak...

She chose an 80's theme, which she was totally excited about until I tried to give her "bangs to heaven"...she was not amused but left them as they were since I used a can of hairspray to keep them saluting the sky.

Some people had interesting interpretations of 
the 80's dress code (boy on the right...)

Cute group and lots of fun- but I have yet to hear them play the slammin' 80's playlist Michaela and I put together. Hmmm... at least I have some AWESOME new running tunes.
May I just end by saying my kids are truly growing up way too fast?

Happy Birthday Beth.
I LOVE you!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Court of Honor.

Elijah is now "Life." 
Dang, I look happy.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Will Sings.

At our ward Christmas party, Will was asked to sing in a group of three boys, the second verse of Silent Night. This would follow the whole primary singing the first verse. He was just a little stressed about it....
Turns out he was stressed for nothing. When it came time for the boy group number, the rest of the primary forgot NOT to sing . Don't you love happy endings?