Monday, January 2, 2017


#1 - The Eggnog Contest

For years - nay, over a decade - Greg and I have debated the merits of homemade eggnog (me) vs store-bought eggnog (him).  So in the middle of December, we finally decided to conduct an official taste test and let our kids be the judges.

Mom came in dead last.   

#2 - Christmas Concert

Since the end of Thanksgiving, our oldest has been practicing every Sunday evening with the local Eagle Stake Youth Choir for their annual Christmas Concert.  The final concert was absolutely wonderful!  I was especially fond of the hymns where the audience sang with the choir - it made me choke up with tears.

Of course, we were in such a rush that night that Bubbs nearly had a mini disaster trying to get his shirt on (see below), and Mom forgot to take a single picture of James with his choir.  In my defense, I was so completely moved by the singing that I didn't think about anything else except the words of the hymns.  It was also -1,000 degrees outside and we all could barely speak while holding it together to keep from frostbite.  

#3 - The Ugly Sweater Cookies

I don't think I'll ever opt for ordinary gingerbread houses again.  This was 100x more fun.  Thank you Trader Joe's.  I love you. 

#4 - Inventive Creativity

Around the beginning of December, Greg and I laid down an all-encompassing decree in the McKinnon household - NO MORE SCREEN TIME.  Except Friday & Saturday.  Good luck, we told the kids.  We love you!

Since then, the kids have slowly stretched their creative wings elsewhere.  Roo's direction was the kitchen and the local library, where he checked out a few cake pans and tried his hand at decorative frosting.  We're loving eating all his experiments!

The other kids have resorted to more physical challenges - 

#5 - Candy Cane Swim Meet

He's in the lead!  And getting better and better.  You should see his sculpted biceps now.

#6 - Christmas Sunday Outfits

My mom sent vests, shirts, pants, shoes, socks, ties, dresses.  They were one handsome bunch! 

#7 - 2016 New Years Resolution - DONE!

I forget constantly how much God knows us - in the smallest of details.  Last New Years I was uncharacteristically firm in my resolution to spend more time in the temple.  I didn't know it then, but that resolve was divinely inspired.  

There were several months where getting to the temple took extreme creativity and assistance from others - especially the months away from Greg and during our apartment skirmish.  And then there was that entire month the Boise temple was closed for cleaning - WHAT?!

But considering how this year turned out, I can't think of a stronger resolution to have chosen.  I felt lifted, strengthened and calmed.  Truly, I believe there are less gray hairs on my head because of the reassurance I continually felt every month from worshiping in the temple.  By no means did this worship take away our hardships - especially the ones that seemed to multiply this fall.  But we were stronger in facing them. 

"He knows when you are lost, and He knows where you are.  He knows your grief.  Your silent pleadings.  Your fears.  Your tears.  It matters not how you became lost - whether because of your own poor choices or because of circumstances beyond your control.  What matters is that you are His child.  And He loves you.  He loves his children.  Because He loves you, He will find you."  
- Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf 

The pictures below celebrated my last time in the temple for 2016.  That night we picked up KFC for the kids.  Warm house, comfort food, spiritual high and a delirious sense of accomplishment.  It was a sweet night. 

#8 - And The Rest...

Grandma Carver's Christmas pillowcases were all the rage around here.  And we loved the ward Christmas party/breakfast. 

1 comment:

Erin said...

Last year my goal was to make more time for David and me. I think this year more temple time needs to be my goal. Thanks for the reminder. I need to do a lot better in this department. By the way, tell Andrew great job on his football helmet cake. If he ever wants me to show him some decorating tips, I'd love to.