Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009 Christmas Letter

As we approach this Holiday Season we thought we would share some of the moments that have defined 2009 in the Anderson home:
• In January we learned the definition of decision making as, Emalee, our oldest was baptized.
• May defined PANIC! We caught a glimpse of what the future has in store when raising a house full of girls. During the kindergarten field trip, Abby and Kamree had their eye on the same boy! Although the boy was willing to hold both girls hands and sit between them, the girls were not happy about it. The whole afternoon was spent in a tug of war between the two girls. We hope the boy’s arms weren’t pulled out of their sockets.
• We can now define pure joy and relief as Lorrin is FINALLY potty trained!
• We also are enjoying the definition of Shinny. Robb got a newer car after 10 years of saying, “Maybe this year it will die.” It has been a blessing that his Toyota has lasted so long, but at 260,000 miles, some rust, and only a few functioning systems left, we decided it was time to let it go!
• Starr learned the definition of dramatic as she experienced one of God’s “tender mercies” this summer. During an afternoon kindergarten pick up as she waited for the kids to pile in the car, Lorrin, who had not been wearing a seatbelt, began to fall out the front door. In an attempt to grab her, the car lurched forward, Lorrin went flying and to make a long dramatic story short she was badly scrapped and ended up with a broken arm. And, despite all the rumors from the hundreds of screaming 5 year olds, no one was run over! The “tender mercy” came when one week later Lorrin’s arm was healed. (Starr is convinced it was an answer to her prayer so that she wouldn’t have to explain the situation anymore when people asked about Lorrin’s beautiful sling!)
• We now know how to define the word BOY. Before this year we thought boyhood mainly entailed carving your name on a brand new dining room table or putting gum on someone’s chair right before they sat down. In only his first year of life Taitt has taught us to snuggle more, laugh more, and growl a little too. Indeed, he has survived his first year in a house full of girls! He has brought us more joy than we could have imagined.
• September defined adjustment! We learned that no matter how good you are at keeping a routine and schedule there are always opportunities to readjust! It was 6pm on a Thursday night that we found out we are expecting baby number 6! Ten minutes later we found out Robb would be called as the next Bishop of our ward! We have thrown all our schedules out the window ever since!
• We can now also define the word Pandemic. We spent the month of October rotating through the “swine flu” and “pink eye”! We are grateful that our symptoms of the H1N1 virus were mild.
As you can see it has been a full and eventful year at the Anderson house. It has also been a year with many blessings, some recognized and probably many we are still unaware of. We are grateful for the many moments that have reminded us of our priorities and what life is all about. In these small moments we have watched our children develop love for each other, us, and God. We have also found safety and joy in being together as a family.
We hope you have had many wonderful defining moments in 2009 and we wish you many more to come. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas Season!
Always, The Anderson Family

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Three jars!

I just have to add one more post today! Amidst everything else, I am done Christmas shopping! I sat in peace last night and even wrapped most of the gifts that have been hiding in closets.
I also have one last idea, a new tradition we are starting on Monday.
I found three different jars at the dollar store and Robb has taken the time to paint them to look like old jars and pots. For Family Home Evening we are going to talk about the three wise men and the gifts they brought to the savior. We will talk about how they saw the star and how it took them months to find the Lord.
We will talk about the kind of gifts we give this holiday. One jar will be for the gifts the children give each other (they draw names and have to MAKE a gift for another sister.) The second jar will be for a gift they can give to Christ, (something they could do better at, or stop doing :) ). The Third jar will be for something they can give to someone else, (outside of the family, maybe someone they do not know). We are doing this lesson early so that my children, like the wise men, will have time to prepare and time to arrive! I believe this is part of an answer to a pray, I have prayed to many times lately, that my children can think outside of themselves, and the love in our home can increase!

More lessons

Robb called me the other day from worked and asked if I could recall a story where the Lord asked someone to do something for them self, something he, the Lord, could have done but didn't. The story of the Leper who was asked to dip himself 10 times came to my head. Since then, that story has had a profound effect on me. As Christmas gets closer I have had a lot of people call and ask for help with different projects. I have been trying to finish up some of my own projects, on top of that I have been having a particularly difficult week (OK month) with children who have been calling names and fighting. We have also been sick with "swine flu" and just as it has ended we have started (and I am praying ended) with "pink eye". I am not complaining I am just saying that I suddenly am feeling overwhelmed. My desire to help has fallen short and I wonder how to get back on track with other things in my life. Well, like I said this story has had a profound effect on my. There are times the Lord ask us to do the work our selves. There are times that in doing that work we learn the lessons we need and can only learn in that way. These are often the times we question, "Ten times?" and we forget the simplicity of the answer that comes to that question. Read my scriptures daily. Take a few minutes with a child. Slow down... You know what your own solutions are.
I was also reminded that we do not always have to do it all either. We can asks others to do what we could do...but what they could also do for themselves. This principle has helped me so much this week. In the times where I can't, they can!
I will add one more principle to to this lesson. Robb, last night, reminded me that Peter was a great fishermen, he spent his days mending and cleaning his nets. Then, on his last day, the Lord has Peter come. The Lord washes Peter's feet! The Lord does this work, not Peter. Surely Peter knew how to washes his feet. Robb reminded me that there are times we will and should do the work for others...but it is in those moments we should take the opportunity to do so much more...When we give selflessly, when we feel like that is what the Lord needs us to do, we can be the hands to do and teach so much more than the simple act of service!
I am grateful for life's lessons. I am grateful the Lord is aware of me, especially in my moments of disappear. He is there for you too.
I do not know who reads my blog, mostly it is family. Sometimes I hesitate to share the things that affect my soul the most but I have decided that these are the experience that make me who I really am and I pray others have similar experiences, customized to them, so that they might know they are not forgotten.

Advent Calender

We have been having fun, while Robb is at Bishopric Meetings, doing craft projects. I thought I would show off our latest and give anyone a really simple and cute idea for a Christmas Advent Calender. We took a 12x12 magnet board that was framed and painted the frame. Then we added vinyl numbers 1-24 and a "Merry Christmas" for day number 25. We bought ornaments from the dollar store. (The "Dollar Tree" has six different packs of 4, so it is perfect). We added the magnets to the back. We hung four plastic candy canes upside down (again from the dollar store) to the bottom of the frame and they become the hangers for the ornaments. Each day, starting December 1st, the kids take a turn picking an ornament to put on the board.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Just like mom use to do!

Here is Saturday's Halloween Project. In the middle of the night on Friday I remembered that Mom use to always make these ghosts every Halloween. The girls loved it! It was a fun inexpensive project and now we have a cute, child friendly, center piece!

Going to the Pumpkin Patch

Sunday, October 11, 2009


As I studied to teach Sunday School this week I read about the Salt Lake temple. The first time the saints labored to set the foundation it took about 4 years. They built it out of sand stone. In the early 1850's the US government heard that the Mormons were planning to rebel so they sent an army to Salt Lake to investigate. Brigham Young had the saints cover the foundation to look like a field before the army came. After the army left and the stones where uncovered the foundation reveled tons of cracks. Brigham Young told the saints that the foundation would have to be redone! He told them that this temple would need to stand the tests of time, that it would stand in the Millennium and be one of hundreds built. What a blessing those cracks were. If they had not been discovered the temple would have been built and later would have fallen! Although those early saints learned hard work from the hours and years of labor, that first foundation took, the Lord had a greater principle he was teaching. The Lord taught those saints that his plan was so much greater. He taught them that he saw something bigger than they did. It reminds me of our lives...although our intents are good we/I often look back and can see the cracks in my own foundation. I hear the Lord gently reminding me that I do or don't need to be doing something. I hear him tell me "try this, it would work better"; I hear him say "Good job! Keep at it, I am having you become something you can not see." And sometimes I hear that very corrective voice telling me I need to rebuild and that the process is going to be long and difficult...yet very worth it. There is a lesson of the atonement in this story too.
I am reminded that the Lord teaches lessons of building in all the scriptures. Before the restoration of the gospel most of his lessons came in ship building. Noah, Nephi, Ether... I do not believe the Lord really cared that his people knew how to build ships. In all case, that I am aware of, the Lord was teaching obedience and a focus on families...get them to "a higher ground". The Lord is in the business of getting us to think out side ourselves, he always wants us to be doing better and focusing on our families. As ships were being built the builders were focusing and thinking about a better place, a "promised land". So it was with the building of the Salt Lake temple. The saints had something great to look forward too. They were focusing on uniting families. They focused their material efforts and daily labors on doing the Lords will. These efforts focused them on covenants they would make that would unit families for all eternity! So I wonder today; Where is my focus? What am I building? Am I willing to follow HIS plan and even be corrected at times?
How grateful I am for my family. I am grateful for the covenants of the temple...of being sealed to my husband and also my parents. I am grateful we can rebuild foundations. I am grateful we can and are led!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How could I forget!?

I totally forgot another beginning! We have wireless Internet and a cell phone now! I know, can you believe how behind we have been? (But think of all the money we have been saving!) We are now up and running with the rest of the world. I thought I would add this tid bit to my blog so some of you could say "Finally" and the rest of you could just laugh!


I have decided that this week is the week of beginnings for us. For Robb it is the beginning of meetings! For me it is the beginning of many nights by myself! I haven't really decided how I feel about it. Kristy asked me today if I was excited about Robb being the bishop or overwhelmed. At first I was excited, I am not quite overwhelmed...at least not yet. I am somewhere in between! He will be gone tonight, tomorrow night, and Thursday night, ask me at the end of the week! :)

Today is also the beginning of morning sickness. For those of you who follow my blog and aren't family, and haven't yet heard the news, we are expecting number six. I woke up this morning at 6 am so sick to my stomach. I don't remember a pregnancy where I have been sick in the morning. (I normally get sick at night.) So I have decided this is a new beginning for me too. Luckily I ate a bowl of cereal right away and have felt fine the rest of the day.

This is the beginning of no dept for us too. Not that we normally have any (besides the house) but we paid of Robb's car last week! Now we are saving again for a new Mini van as we will outgrow ours when the baby comes! :0)

It is also the beginning of cold weather! I have decided I will spend conference weekend sorting out the girls warmer clothes. It is always such a project! It seems to work well for me to fold clothes and listen (at least on Saturday).

I guess I should also mention that this is the beginning of NEW suits, ties, shoes, belts, sock and dress shirts for Robb. We finally drove up to Brigham City and cashed in on the bid we won back in May at Holmes clothing! What a great deal! We paid just over $300 for 2 two pant suits, 5 ties, 2 pairs of shoes, 2 belts, 12 pairs of socks, and 10 dress shirts. If you are a Utahn and ever see an advertisement for "GreenGello.com" it is totally worth bidding on something!

Hope you have a great week of new beginnings too. The last thing I would mention in that we already are beginning to see the Lord's hand in our lives during a time when so much is going on. There is a peace in our home that we have longed and hungered for. The kids seem to get along a little better and I personally feel comforted when Robb is away so much. We are grateful for all the opportunities we have and for all the support and love from so many great people in out lives.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Finishing up Christmas in August!

So I thought I would show off what I have been working on for Christmas for my girls this year! Last year we gave each of the girls an Adora Doll. They are beautiful and were a huge hit. (If you have never seen them it is worth checking out their website!) Anyway, a couple of months ago my friend Kasa, who sales the dolls, called to tell me that the collector's addition was being closed out...meaning that you didn't have to be a member to buy them. They had three different 8 inch dolls they were selling. I saw them and knew they would be perfect for this year. I ordered four! (I had to duplicate on doll). Also this year I knew there was something else I wanted to make my girls. A flower! Sounds weird but when I was a little girl my mom made my sister and I flower-cabbages and little dolls that went inside (they are kind of like a house for a little doll). My girls love to play with mine, the problem is that they fight over it. With these new Adora dolls I figured the flowers would be perfect. Each of the girls is getting one in a different color. Well, I had do do something with the scraps so each girls is getting a quilted purse (the purse is big enough for the doll to be carried inside and be used as a sleeping bag too) and a dress with butterfly wings (Every flower needs a butterfly). Each set of wings is different and unique.
I have been pretty excited about this project and think it turned out great so that is why I am showing it off!
Remember this is for Christmas so don't say anything to my girls! Oh and I will say one more thing, I normally do Christmas shopping early but this year I am way ahead of the game so don't think this is the norm. Normally I shoot for October! (Of course I have a few things to still get and finish up.)

This is Emalee's doll she got last year with the new one she will get this year. I think the girls will love the possibilities of play that will come from these mini dolls.
Can I just say this gets me really excited for Christmas!