Monday, December 31, 2012

Top ten in 2012

Lying in bed this morning reminiscing with Wayne about our year.  It went by fast.  I know that's because I'm getting older and this past year represented only 1/50 of my life.  For Laila the year was a lot longer... 1/10 of her life.  I get it.  
We came up with our top ten for 2012....drum roll please.....these will all be written and said  with loud exclamation......
1.  Wayne and I celebrated our 50th birthdays with parties and Road Bikes!
2.  Green Smoothies  made it so we all eat healthier and Landon's headaches decreased considerably!
3.  3 New Cars in our driveway....Elantra, Genesis and Accent....all Hyundai's!
4.  England/Scotland trip to pick Truman up from his mission and see the Sharkeys!
5.  Truman came home from his Manchester mission....Monson went on his Michigan mission!
6.  Laila cut 14 inches off her hair and donated it to Locks of love!
7.  Family Orlando trip.....Disney World and Harry Potter Land!
8.  Mom still moving through her cancer  and chemo.......(booo Cancer....... no excitement here.)
9.  Add and Bre graduated  from college and are off to work in Disney World!
10.  Started my Art dream of painting and creating!

Friday, December 28, 2012

TFIG.....Happy New Year

HAPPY NEW YEAR baby....Laila 10 years ago....2002.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas morning

 All the kids running down the stairs to burst through the wrapped living room....
Wayne video taping everything.....He's a good dad
Laila was thrilled when she unwrapped box after box and finally got down to a tiny box holding an ITOUCH 5!  She also got a ton of Keva gift cards, a book and a dvd.
I got a sweet Blanket, season tickets to Hale Centre, a weekend  in SLC with Wayne and slippers.  Wayne got a new car and a water softener system for the house.
I love this view taken from the stairs looking into the living room.  Christmas morning mess is a good mess.  You can see the wrapping paper on the sides of the doorway too.   Laila loves this new wrap the living room tradition.
Truman got a year gym pass to Gold's gym, Nikes, a Taylor Swift Iphone cover and a Michael Jackson wii dance game.  Landon got shoes, clothes and a Karaoke system....and a new car.
Add and Bre got a Blendtec, clothes, cd's and they are ready take off for Florida  Dec. 28th.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Eve....

On Christmas eve we all gather at Marcie and Gary's for a big breakfast ......
......and white elephant gift exchange.  It's a riot.  We laugh a lot ...this year one of the highlight presents was "Golf Rat on a Shelf." Liz is now the lucky owner.  She's going to take it from room to room and have it watch over her and do naughty things all year long.

Tru made an awesome DVD for the grandparents.  He had all of the Cole cousins talk about why they believe in Santa Claus and morphed it into why they believe in Christ with a mormon message from Thomas S. Monson on the end.  It was really beautiful.  Mom and Dad only made it through 4 scenes before the tears started to flow.  He has video footage of our Santa Claus that came to Grandma Butters home year after year.  Really special.
Go watch this......

Bowling is a family favorite.  None of us are very good...well, Al, Wayne, Adam and Guy are pretty good...but for the most part we just bowl to bowl.  When anyone gets a strike it's a big deal complete with a happy dance and high fives all around.
The Kids like to have silly names show up on the bowling tv.... Truman did the naming this year...he is Squiggles, Bre is J. Breeber, Addison is ADHD, Landon is Landeezy, Wayne is Whayne, and Laila is Lil Mama.  That makes me Big Mama.

We gather in the evening at Grandma Sheri/Grandpa Lyle's home.  We had a sit down dinner for Mom Dad, Wayne, Melinda, Liz, Landon, Truman, Laila, Megan, Nelson, Marcie and Gary this year  complete with brass reindeer goblets.  At the end of the meal Truman threw a jingle bell into his cup and started ringing it.  I chimed in with, "hark, how the bells, sweet silver bells...."  and then Landon joined with "ding, dong, ding, dong."  Pretty soon all twelve put jingle bells in their cups and all were ringing and singing till the end. SO COOL!   It was a Jingle Bell Flash mob experience.  One that can't be recreated....we tried.  
We played some games, then as usual, we pull out choir music and sing 4 part harmony christmas carols and the Hallelujah Chorus.  I really love this part.  I always get choked up looking around the room at so many loved ones singing.  "Were you there on that Christmas night?"  gets me every time.  I don't think I have finished that song, for years, without crying.    I love how music brings the spirit in and unites us.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Family Newsletter Calendar Card

This is us.....Dec. 23.  We just had our annual Ornament dinner with our kids......... twins.....

Our Ornaments..... 
This is  Missionary Monson.....
...this is our reindeer dog

......and 60 years ago this was my mom's family Christmas picture.
                                        The Grant and Eulala Butters' family 1952

Sharolyn, Grandpa Butters, Bailey, Stephen, Darlene, Grandma Butters, Diane, Lynette

Friday, December 21, 2012

TGIF.... Missionary calls

Dec. 1981.  I'm talking to Elder Wayne Welch in Argentina.  The Family Christmas call hasn't changed much...just the device.  (I love Wanee's kitchen wallpaper.) Wendi, Angela and Joel LaSalle are listening in.

 Looking forward to Monson's call from Michigan on Christmas Day

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas isn't about Perfection

5 Carols for Christmas is almost at an end.  I have had such a grand time in this show. I love singing the tight harmony and dancing and being the know it all--been there, done that-Miss Q.

 It also helps that I'm home every night by 8:30 to be with Wayne and to help get Laila to bed.

At the end of the show when our perfect performance has been messed up and we have endured one debacle after another, Miss Q says to the distraught CarolAnn, "Christmas is not about perfection.  If anything it's about imperfection."
I love this line.  It rings true to me every night.
One fellow cast member said, "I don't get that line.  What does it even mean.?"
Well...... I have given a lot of thought to this and know that Christmas is truly about imperfection.  Let me explain.....

 As a mom, no matter how hard we try, we fall short every Christmas..... I know I feel I do.  Trying to find the perfect present, have the perfect family gatherings, have all of the kids and adults get along and stay in the holiday spirit is tough.  We were born to be real, not to be perfect.

When I ask my kids to talk about Christmas memories it's always the slightly imperfect ones that are brought to mind. For me too.  I remember forgetting a Bat Mobile for 4 year old Truman which was the only present he even wanted that Christmas.  It was a Christmas eve, midnight disaster...but  we all smiled through it.   Or the time I came home from singing at a Cole Collection event and all of the needles on my live Christmas tree were on the floor.  I was  so mad... I had baby-sat this tree for weeks.  I picked the tree up, ornaments and all and just threw it in the front yard.   We were done with trees for that year.   All imperfect times.

When I think of that first Christmas so long ago... I see many imperfections.
Christ came down to a humble manger.  There is no way this situation was perfect for Mary and Joseph let alone a new born baby.

I have a couple of nativities that have broken pieces in them.  We are particularly rough on Wise men in the Welch house.  We have 2 Wise men in 2 different nativities-- Wisemen with broken, glued on heads and broken  arms.  But I keep them and put them out every year to remind us of our own imperfections.

We are all imperfect and because Christ came down and through his most gracious Atonement we can be perfected in him.

 Christmas is about imperfection and it's wonderful.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Thankful Tuesday

1.  I'm thankful for Truman.  He just moved back home and is getting used to day to day Welch life all over again.  He is funny, sweet, helpful, crazy, sarcastic, adventurous and an activity planner.  Now if I could just get him to go to bed at night.
Truman had Christmas card photos taken with his friends.  He's crazy like that.
2.  I'm thankful for my favorite-sister-in-law Holly.   Holly's Christmas Friend to Friend program was amazing. She played the piano, sang and danced in a Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer number and  a cat and mouse puppet song and an Angel chorus complete with sign language.  Holly knows every word and does all of the actions full out.  It's a beautiful thing.   I cry every time with joy!  This year at the end of the Program Santa came.  Holly was shaking.  She turned to all of us and screamed , "I'm Freaking out!"  She sat on Santa's lap and asked for a new music box and some holiday socks.  Her wants are simple.
3.  I'm thankful for wonderful "bakers" who want to play with me.   I had my first ever Holiday Cookie Exchange.   So many great ward friends and a variety of sweet treats.  As I was making my ginger cream cookies, the night before, and they weren't turning out, I wondered why I was throwing this shindig....but I had already sent out the invites, so I forged ahead.  It all worked out, thanks to Si.  We had a lite lunch of ham on rolls and a salad and laughed and talked.
I even sold my first painting.  The ladies were all very supportive of my art work.  Maybe I really will keep painting and have an actual showing at some point.

4.  I'm thankful for the written word.  I may not be very good at it.  I just throw my thoughts out there and hit submit.... But Laila has a gift.  Laila gave me a 5 paragraph persuasive essay about why she deserves to have an Itouch 5 for Christmas.  It is a masterpiece.

Friday, December 14, 2012

TFIG..... Snowman

Jane, Sandy, Terry, Wayne and Wanee--the great snowman maker!  1970
Wanee is a great snowman builder.  If ever we have enough snow, she calls the grandkids to come and build a snowman with her.  It's really sweet.

Here is another Snow-man I just love.....
Dad was exhausted after hauling kids up the hill at the Poulters in Woodland Hills.  I asked him if he was making snow angels....He said he was just practicing for his funeral.  1989

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Lists

We always do Christmas lists at our house.  
We divide the list  into 3 categories:  Needs, Wants and Dreams.  
This year as Truman was filling his out he said, "Wow... I don't have any needs...that's pretty amazing."  It is amazing. 
 So many people need just the basics:  food, shelter....warm gloves, coats, blankets.  
We are very blessed.  
I like the dreams category because I get to see what my kids wishes are....a family cruise, Disney World, straight white teeth, All the money.....all excellent dreams.
Laila really got into it this year and made one before I could even get the "3 category list" to her.   She left detailed instructions for me and anyone else interested in getting her a present.  

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Welch Nativity

We had our Welch family party early in the month, this year, to fit everyone's schedules.  Our family nativity is always a highlight.   This year we had Shelbi as Mary holding new little neice Annalee as our baby Jesus.  Brady was Joseph. I was happy these big kids jumped in to fill the spots. Holly was our Angel, this is true in real life and  in the pageant.   We also had 3 shepherds -- Abby, Becca, Savannah;  2 sheep -- Hayley, Nash;  1 Wiseman on a Camel --Laila and Alex..... and a cowboy....Andrew Bentley.
Wayne was the narrator and Sandy kept us on track singing the appropriate hymns as we went along.
Shelbi and Lindsey were arguing over who gets to be Mary and hold little Annalee....Shelbi said, "I get to  because I'm a virgin.  It was funny.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Locks of Love

Laila cut her hair off for Locks of Love donation.   She's been wanting to do this ever since Grandma Sheri lost all of her hair due to cancer.  Laila  knows there's a little child out there, with cancer, who would love a black hair wig.  She is probably right.  Once Laila makes up her mind about something, she is determined and there is no changing it.  Laila just kept thinking about some little cancer filled girl, and would get all teary just talking about it.   She needed to donate atleast 10 inches, it ended up being more like 14-- and now she has a darling a-line bob.  She looks very grown up.
She had Emilee Belnap cut it for her at Emilee’s salon.  Laila made an event out of it and invited her friend, Courtney, to hold her hand through it all.   We celebrated with Keva juice when it was all over.    Laila loves her short hair do!
I am so pleased with her and her generosity.  She is always thinking of others.

Another Laila story......I took her and Savannah Bentley shopping on Saturday.  I told them we would go to the Dollar store and they could spend a few bucks.  On the way there we passed a homeless guy with a sign on the corner..."Anything will help."  This made Laila sad.  She thought he looked so cold.  In All a dollar, she bought this man a pair of gloves and put the rest of her money inside the gloves and delivered them to him.  He greeted her  with a “Thank you…God Bless you and a Merry Christmas. “ We all felt very happy.  What a sweet, empathetic child she is.

Friday, December 7, 2012

TGIF......Nativity 1979

Poulters and Coles put on a Nativity production on Grandma Butter's fireplace stage.  Christmas eve 1979.  Krystin as Narrator.  Krystin, Jenny and Paisley- Angels.  Levi as Joseph.  Angela as Mary.  Liz as a wiseman.  Marcie as a narrator.  Melinda as "the Star."    I probably did the casting.
   Every Christmas Eve was spent at my grandparents eating turkey, ham and hot rolls. We didn't know what cousins would be there but we could always count on the Poulters from Utah county. They were our favorites. We performed skits, songs, dances, jokes and the nativity. Everyone participated and we entertained each other for years. As we all got married and our numbers grew, we still gathered Christmas Eve to relive this with our own children doing the entertaining. Grandma Butters always loved a good show!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Landon's Christmas memories

The most "famous" Christmas story is one that Addison and I share with most of our friends.  It is one that defines who he and I are as people.  Addison is the protector.  He has always been looking out for me, and I love that about him.  And I am not one to hide my thoughts or my feelings.  I will say and do exactly what I want and no one can stop me.   
I don't really know how old I was, probably only 3--( Christmas 1991.)  I Wanted a Minnie Mouse  and a Mermaid Barbie doll.  You know the one, the mermaid would get wet and her hair and fin would change color!! I knew that all I had to do was ask Santa and these things were in the bag!  
Christmas was approaching and I was constantly telling Addison that I wanted a Minnie Mouse and a Mermaid Barbie.  Addison was a "big kid" and he knew a thing or two about how kids treated each other.  Especially how a boy would get treated for asking for Minnie and mermaid.   He was worried!! 
The yearly visit with Santa was here!  I was ready.  Though, let's be honest, at this age I was not one for someone in a huge red suit and crazy beard and hair.  Characters freaked me out.  But I had to tell him about the Minnie and mermaid.   As my turn was nearing, Addison leaned in to me, put his hand up to my ear, and whispered.  "When you talk out loud to Santa say that you want a car but then you can ask for Minnie and the mermaid in your heart.  He will hear it."    
When Santa asked what I wanted for Christmas, I quietly (Because the man FREAKED ME OUT) said, "I want Minnie and a Mermaid Barbie"   
Addison was horrified!
My sweet brother!!  He has always looked out for me.  I love him for this.  And I love him for the fact that he lets me be who I want to be.   He and I, and our close group of friends, now tell each other to "ask for things in our hearts."

I remember having the "Good Girl and Boy" Gingerbread graham cracker house party!   How fun it was to get together with the cousins and candy and make a world out of sugar!
 There was the year that we came down the stairs and ran to our places on the couch where Santa had left presents.  We started looking at the cameras and creepy crawler ovens.  Dad had to stop us from our piles and have us turn around.  There was a golden brown dog!!!  We walked right by her.  Blondie-- our new cocker Spaniel kept the "little" boys, Truman and Monson trapped on the back of the couch for the rest of the day.  They were afraid of her.
I remember always having to be "THE ANGEL" in whichever nativity was going on.  No wise man, no shepherd, just the Angel.  He was my favorite!  Still is!   The other night at the Creche, there was an option to take a "nativity picture" and Addison said, "well, Landon wants to be the Angel!"   This is correct.  There was only one year that I switched to a King.  To be fair, I was offered a flowing gold robe and a glittery silver crown, You don't pass that up.  
   Ok, ok so maybe not ALWAYS an angel, one of the last Nativities that I participated in (since we have lots of kids in the family who can do it now)  was with Laila.  It was her  first one...and her hair was always so frizzy and HUGE!  I would fro it out and it was the best.  I put a towel on my head to be a shepherd, because she was my fluffy little lamb.  

I LOVE that all growing up on Christmas eve night we would gather together at Grandma Butters' house.  We got to see EVERYONE!   We would cram into her piano room and stand on the fireplace "stage" or in front of her tree to "perform"  Everyone had a talent and we would share those with each other.  I love that i was able to watch my parents share their talents, and hear my Momma sing.  It helped me and my siblings grow our talents by having a place to showcase them.  And It was heaven to be gathered together with all these loved ones.  I have strong relationships with many of them to this day.  
As we would drive the few blocks from her house to ours, Mom and Dad would go over what we needed to do to get ready for Santa.  us boys would be looking out the windows up at the sky....seeing if Rudolph was up there lighting Santa’s way to our house.  

I remember braving the cold to stand outside downtown and get a look at the beautiful windows at ZCMI.   They were always so cool!!  It is one Christmas thing that I really really miss.  The magical windows.   This was always paired with walking through temple square and seeing the lights, and then going up into the North Visitors Center and gathering around the Christus.  

There was the year that The Four Welch boys decided for the Christmas talent to perform as the 4 Cole Sisters in the Cole Collection.  All wearing old Cole collection outfits and wigs.  What a frightening sight!  Truman, looked so much like Liz.  The lip syncing and choreography however was impeccable.  

One year Addison and I came down stairs to find BIG boxes wrapped.  We opened the box to find another and then another and another and another.  And then off to New York we were going!!!  Such a fun way to get a gift.  A million boxes.  :-)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

6 months of Painting...

So after 6 months of Painting... I don't know if I'm improving, or just going in circles.  Every blank canvas is either a masterpiece or a disaster waiting to happen.  These are all on smaller canvasses.
Under Water Flower
Bayou Canoe
White  Lily
Red Flower
Island Girl

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Putting Christ in Christmas

Christmas 1980 I was 18 years old and dating Wayne while he prepared to go on his mission that January.  I remember him coming to my house Christmas morning and telling me about an amazing, spiritual Christmas experience that his family had.  I asked his sister, Sandy, to write it down to share, since she knew what was going on  on both sides of the Christmas door.

The Christmas I Remember Best 
Sandy Welch Bentley

It was December of 1980. Clark and I had been married for 4 months. We were making plans for our Christmas. Clark was the youngest in his family and I still had 7 siblings at home. We knew that we wanted to spend Christmas morning with my family to enjoy watching the kids open their gifts.
I loved watching my younger siblings open their gifts. I loved the excitement on their faces when they got something they had been hoping for. I also knew that sometimes we get so caught up in the worldly aspect of Christms that we forgot to really celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. I really wanted the younger members of my family to really think about the Savior on the day we celebrate his birth.
We came up with a plan to help the kids really appreciate the Savior. This is what happened.
We woke up early on Christmas morning and went over to Mom and Dad Welch’s house. There was always a tradition in our family that we get up and eat breakfast before we go into the Living Room to see what Santa had given us. The door to the Living Room was always shut and we knew we were not supposed to peak in!
Jane and Steve came over with Thomas. When we were all there, we ate breakfast and then we lined up to open the door to start opening our gifts.
As the sliding door was opened, we could feel the excitement and anticipation! The kids all rushed in and a silence came over the room. There were no stockings filled with goodies on the couch, no gifts under the tree. The only thing that was under the tree was a picture of Christ with this sign above it: “What are you giving Christ for Christmas?”
We all sat down and talked about Christ and what he had done for us. We talked about Christmas being a time to celebrate his birth. All of us had an opportunity to tell of things that we could “give” to Christ for his birthday. We had a birthday cake and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus.
I remember that none of the kids were upset. It’s hard to be disappointed when there is a picture of the Savior under the tree.
We did find a note from Santa telling us that we needed to remember the true meaning of Christmas and explaining to us that he had left our gifts under the tree at Clark and Sandy’s house.

It took a lot of "guts" for Wayne's parents to do this...but if you ask any of the siblings their favorite is always this story.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Precious Moment's Nativity

Wayne got this Precious Moment's nativity for me 30 years ago.  I get it out every year and put it in it's place of honor.  Most people wouldn't notice this nativity or even think that it's very nice, or precious at all.  But I love it.  I love the broken parts and the warn off paint. I love the memory of when it first arrived.
     It was our first Christmas together.  We had been married 9 months.  We were both trying to be in school.  I was just finishing up my student teaching at BHS and Wayne as at the U and working part time at Mr. Mac's. We had no money.  We were living in my grandparent's apartment on 500 south in Bountiful, paying cheap rent and utilities, driving a bashed in car that Wayne's dad found for us and basically, just living on love.
     Our Christmas decorations consisted of a free "Charlie Brown" type  Christmas branch....I mean tree with worn decorations given to us from my mother....stuff she wasn't using anymore.
    We came home one night and had an anonymous grocery bag at our front door.  We were thrilled by the much needed food and  I remember looking at it and crying.
     As Christmas time rolled around we knew gifts would be sparse.   We had to get new tires for our car...and that was going to be our Christmas gift to each other.   I was sad by this new awareness of adult hood, but knew we would make it through.
    On Christmas Eve, Wayne had one present for me to was the Precious Moment's Nativity that I had seen in the Christmas window at Barne's Gifts on Main street in Bountiful.  I was so touched by this gift and the sacrifice Wayne made to get it for me.  Those tires have come and gone...but the Precious Moment's Nativity lives on and on.