Saturday, December 20, 2008


Before leaving California, we gave our christmas tree to the ward. I would have kept it but:
  • It would not have fit into the moving van
  • It was too FAT
  • It took a long time to assemble
  • It took even longer to put lights on it
  • OK--I just wanted an easier tree to put up that had lights already attached!

So now that we are in Utah and Christmas season is here--there is no money for a new tree. But that is OK--cause I am happy to wait for one when we can afford a new one.

In the meantime, we are using my three decorative trees that I had. Don't you think they look lovely? I mean--just look at those decorations! They are just overwhelmingly gorgeous (and of course my favorite color!!!).

We have one present to put under the tree so far. Maybe I will be adventuresome and produce more gifts??????

Today was good - we are now officially part of the Christmas festivities on our block. We borrowed green lights from Kimberly's apartment ceiling and put a wreath on the door. I think the sign is a fair assessment of our thoughts about Christmas this year.

But then I did decorate our fireplace mantle to bring in the Christmas cheer!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


This evening Von and I attended the Mormon Tabernacle Christmas Concert, with guests Brian Stokes Mitchell and Edward Herrman. It was an incredible evening. Neither one of us had been to the Conference Center for an event. And of course I forgot my camera!

The MoTab was beautiful, the Orchestra on Temple Square were superb, and I think Max Wilberg is a genius, but besides that, the guest soloist had an incredible voice. I believe he is African-American, or at least part. His range of vocals was vast, but the best was when he used his deep gutteral sounds, which just bubbled out, rich and strong. He had arranged a number of the songs he, the choir and orchestra sang and played together.

And then Herrman did a narrative of the life of Longfellow, and the history behind the song "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day." I have heard it before, but he did such a beautiful job, and then the vocals to accompany it.

The MoTab sang the Hallelujah Chorus, and everyone stood! I love that song. It brings back memories of when I was in high school, and the choir I was in sang it. Back in the 70s, our director had some "techno" music to accompany us, which was really cool back then. But what I remember most was the part the soprano's sang - the notes just kept getting higher and higher, and sustaining those high notes was a feat unto itself!

Music is powerful. Hearing and singing those ole' familiar carols once again does bring a sweet spirit of remembrance to this Christmas season. How I wish my voice had the ability to sing like it once did!

Monday, December 8, 2008


I thought I would be exempt from being that a good thing or a bad thing?

So you want to know a little about me Marlys - here goes:

1. 8 favorite TV shows: American Idol; HGTV Divine Design; FoodTV Barfeoot Contessa; Project Runway; Simply Quilts (no longer on-sad); House; TLC What Not to Wear; Law and Order.

2. 8 Things That Happened This Week: sat through 6 hours of church meetings; made peanut brittle; made rocky road; went to class; checked in with my daughters; annoyed my husband; watched the snow fall and melt; finished my VT for the month (aren't you jeolous!).

3. 8 Things I Love About Winter: Windy weather; NO snow; fire in the fireplace; eating freshly picked oranges; the beauty of a grove of trees that have no leaves; quietly sitting in the room with only the Christmas tree lights on; shelling nuts; rainstorms.

4. 8 Things on My Wish List: The tugboat to arrive; a "stellar" new purse; EXTRA TIME; going on a mission with Von; a credit card that is paid off each month; wrinkles and extra skin that would disappear; eyes that would accomadate contacts; dinner out once a week.

5. 8 Favorite Foods: Homemade ice cream; zucchini with butter & cream; fresh pico de gallo and chips; homemade wheat bread smothered in butter and honey; Von's tri-tip; sweet watermelon; Marie Calendar's Razzleberry Pie; and cinnamon bears! (No chocolate!!!)

6. 8 Favorite Memories (only eight?): Witnessing the marriage of my children in the temple; bear hugs from my father; the sweet smile of my mom; my grandchildren laughing; the thoughtful planning my husband takes in surprising me; playing in the soft sand of the ditch bank with my nephews; tickling and playing with my children in the grass on the lower lot; the never ending green beans from our garden!

7. 8 Favorite Places I Have Been: San Francisco; Utah in the summer; Arizona in the spring; California in the spring; Cruising down the Rhine river in Germany; Lucerne, Switzerland; Amsterdand, Holland; home.

8. 8 Favorite Movies: Bourne series; Sabrina; Lord of the Rings; Runaway Bride; Sweet Home Alabama; How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days; Little Lord Faunteroy; The Fugitive.

9. 8 Nicknames: Annie; Andie-Pandie; Desert Fox; Curtis; Hey there (sorry, that is it!).

10. 8 Things I am Looking Forward to: The semester to end; decorating for Christmas; reading a thick juicy book; getting some major sewing projects up, running and finished; Christmas baking; MoTab Christmas concert; a serious massage; 50 pounds lighter.

11. 8 Embarrasing Moments: Having the wrong word escape my mouth in one of my "thyroid moments"; always losing my hat during our marching band performances, along with the TP I used to stuff it with; 9 months pregnant and peeing in my pants because I was laughing so hard after taking the last hand in Tricks with a red 1 (20 people were playing in that game); I am sure there are more moments--but I don't remember any more--sorry!

Who do you tag?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


All my kiddies went home, and all I have left to show for their visit are piles of blankets yet to be put away. What a crazy wonderful week we had with all the family "home." How blessed Von and I are to have such wonderful children and grandchildren.

I liked the noise and the busyness, late nights, talks and hugs and kisses. I am sure my mother and father were chuckling while watching from on high all the little personalities we had running around our house. Talk about energy!

Now the house is quiet, and maybe that is a good thing since I have yet to finish my english paper :(

I am grateful that our family could be with us this past week. Never before have I missed my family as I have these last 3 months. They define who I am and why I do the things I do. They are as much a part of me as I am of them.

We had a treat as our two youngest granddaughters were blessed, Eden Ann Finch and Tessa Lynn Packard. Lindsey called them our "vanilla and chocolate!" Eden is fair and blue-eyed, while Tessa is dark-haired and brown-eyed--both beautiful little baby girls.

We had fun bowling as a family, hiking, snowboarding and skiing for some, a turkey bowl game to prepare for the feast and playing games. Christmas lights at Temple Square and caroling to dear friends. Family pictures - which will be surprising for some as I no longer have 5 blonde-haired daughters!!!

We know have 11 grandchildren, all as different as can be. Handsome and beautiful and full of life! (Pictures to be posted later)

I love you--children of mine! You are the best.