Wednesday, December 24, 2014

It's Christmas Eve!


Today is Christmas Eve. The day has been relaxing and fun so far. I have the ham baking in the oven, the boys helped me tidy up the house, and now they are all playing together nicely. The Mormon Tabernacle choir is singing in the background to some my favorite Christmas songs, so I thought it would be a good moment to sit down and write a bit before finishing dinner and everything else that we have planned for tonight (family dinner, a Christmas movie, spiritual thought on Jesus Christ, then wrapping wrapping wrapping!!) I bought William a Christmas sweater at Penneys, which is an awesome store here in Ireland. Everything they sell is inexpensive and they have really fun stuff, mostly clothing and accessories. I will miss Penneys when we eventually move home to Utah.

We are planning on having a roaring fire all night tonight and all day tomorrow! It hasn't been very rainy this year, unlike last year when it rained 3-4 times a week, so today was warm and sunny... it didn't feel much like Christmas Eve, but that will change as it gets colder this evening and we all snuggle up to a Christmas Eve fire! 



 The boys were able to make a proper gingerbread house at our Cork Branch Christmas Party! Megan, the sister missionaries, and I arrived to the church early in the day and we set 12 of these up so that we'd be ready for the party. We cut out pieces of cardboard and wrapped them in tin foil because they are too big for paper plates. The icing is made up of egg whites and powder or icing sugar. That's it and it works like glue! Once the houses set, they were strong! Each family that had kids in the primary had a gingerbread house. The kids were good sports and all helped each other make these awesome!



George is heading over to meet Santa Clause! He was happy to see him and to get a box of chocolates! Lucky boy! We had to buy and wrap these gifts as well beforehand. 




 Gregory's turn!


 This year, Santa had prepared a song for us all! And he loved singing so much, that he continued to sing the entire time. As the children went up Santa was just singing away and he'd hand the child the present and that was that. No sitting on Santa's lap this year!








Here's Gregory and George making their gingerbread house!









Merry Christmas Eve to all! I am so excited to spend Christmas with my little family! They are so wonderful, and I do miss everyone, especially my family, but I hope to make this year a very special Christmas for my boys! Love to all!
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As we celebrate this Christmas season, our thoughts turn to that sacred event long ago when the Prince of Peace and the Light of the World was born (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, who was “wounded for our transgressions, ... and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). He promised: “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).
We sincerely pray this Christmastime that the light and testimony of the Savior will come into our hearts, that our lives will reflect His life and attributes, and that people everywhere will accept the blessings of His mercy and grace that are made possible through His atoning sacrifice.
May each of us be blessed during this joyous time of the year, and may we acknowledge with gratitude our Heavenly Father’s incomparable gift to us—His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thomas S. Monson
Henry B. Eyring
Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Pantomime and Sugar Cookies


The Bank of Ireland gave Stan some tickets to the Pantomime Sleeping Beauty at the Cork Opera House. We really had no idea what a pantomime was, but we quickly found out that it is a family-friendly play that is funny, has lots of music, interacts with the audience, and is great entertainment for all. We had such a fun evening! My good friend watched William, so the rest of us could have a nice night out. The Bank of Ireland also had goodie bags for us with toys that light up (there is one in the picture below, a boy is holding it in the row above us.) All the guests had to wait downstairs but we had VIP passes and were able to sit in the lounge and take a look at our goodie bags before entering the sitting area in the theatre. Also, we were lucky because we were on the front row of the upper level, so unobstructed views! It was really nice!
  

Every Thursday morning, there is a lovely playschool for George and William. We go and William crawls around and plays with all the toys, while George and I get to do arts and crafts. It's really an important thing, because I never get one-on-one time with George. This week was their Christmas party. So we did an Olaf craft from Disney's Frozen, George got his face painted, he met Santa and received an early present. They had wrapped up for each child, even William, a Christmas book and a large box of chocolates.

Rudolph the red nose reindeer...

This week we had lots of friends over, and we made Christmas sugar cookies together.






Christmas is coming, I cannot believe it's almost here. I've done all the shopping except for stocking stuffers and that's easy! I love making memories with my boys, and I hope that they love spending time together. I hope that I also instill within them a testimony of Jesus Christ. I love the opportunity we have each year to celebrate His birth and life!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cork Christmas Celebrations: Ice Skating and the Ferris Wheel

Cork On Ice


I really wanted to do this last year, and we just didn't get to it. Plus just having a c-section, it wouldn't have been wise to go out on the ice. However, this year we did it! Stan and I took turns on the ice while the other was on the sideline with William. It was very fun. I am a bad skater, but we had these very friendly winter animals to help: the penguin and the seal. They made the difference, you never had to fall down on the hard ice, we just held onto these guys and went for a ride. George and Gregory took turns riding on the seal, and Gregory even tried holding onto the penguin and would try to skate on his own for a bit then quickly he would grab a hold again to the penguin before falling. He did fall a few times but he really did a good job. Stan is a much better skater than I, and he did a great job taking the boys around the rink. He even escaped into the adult side for a real go, and he loved it. Skating is a great workout and it takes some practice. When I ice skate, I always think of the professionals and Olympians who can do spins and flips and all sorts of tricks, and land perfectly on the ice. It is very impressive!








Cork Holiday Markets and the Ferris Wheel


We did go on the ferris wheel last year with my brother and his family. It was a good memory for us, so we did it again with our little family this year. The boys loved it, and afterwards wanted to tryout the carousel. Both were fun... anything like this is great. I love getting outdoors and being involved with what the city has to offer. They also had many booths set up with all kinds of yummy food for sale. There really wasn't anything I could eat, but it was fun just to smell all the good smells!


After riding on the ferris wheel we went to the shopping centre at Wilton and there I chopped my hair off. (http://stanbrookenelson.blogspot.ie/2014/12/chopped.html) So I believe this is the last photo taken with my long hair. It's not even that long here, I cut six inches off earlier this year, and then I took another 4 or 5. I've almost cut off an entire foot of hair this year!





Look at Stan's beard! I think it's the longest beard he has grown since we've been married. I think he looks great! I also love this photo because it captures a big, happy smile from William. This kid is so cute. He is just a precious little baby boy! The other day he was trying to get into the fireplace and we use the fireplace so it's full of ash. So I told him in a very kind voice, "no no no..." and he burst into tears! This kid is so sensitive that if I even look at him the wrong way he's upset. I make sure to always give him lots of love!








Happy Christmas! I love spending time together as a family during the holidays. We are far from all our extended family, so we spend a lot of time doing fun things with just our little family. I am blessed to have such a great husband and children who want to go out and do things together. I'm glad we are making memories! I know that families can be together forever! I love my eternal family!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Chopped!

I've been wanting to try something new for a while... so I cut off all my hair! It hasn't been this short since grade school, and it's wonderful. I really love my new do!



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Dublin Zoo: Family Fun For All!


We have been wanting to go to the Dublin Zoo for over a year now. So last week Stan came home from work and said this Saturday let's go to Dublin! And so we did!


I think my favorite animal is the panda bear. He was not here, but his relative was. I wanted to take this fella home with me!





Penguins! I love them, and so do we all. They swim so gracefully and effortlessly... it is fun to see them in action. There are so many cartoons involving penguins, that I thought they would line up and do a dance and sing for us. Maybe next time :)


Stan is a good dad. When George gets tired, but doesn't want to go in the buggy because now he's a big boy, he will say that his leg hurts and Dad knows then that he's wanting a ride. Stan is good to just throw him up onto his shoulders and carry him for a bit.





William is such a great kid. He comes along, travels well, and just is happy to be with everyone. I have been blessed with really good babies. They make life fun because we aren't stuck at home for fear they will have a melt down or something if we take them somewhere. William is a happy boy, so kind, and loving.


This gorilla was sleeping right by the glass. They boys loved this because they pretended to touch his back as he slept.


















I'm so happy that we had a good day together at the zoo. It really doesn't matter what we do, but if we are happy together and making memories then it's like heaven on earth. I know that my family can be eternal. I love Stan and all three of my boys. I want to be together forever, and I know it's possible through Heavenly Father's plan. I am so grateful for the knowledge of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am proud that I am member of His Church here on the earth, and I hope that I may always keep the commandments and my temple covenants so that I may live with all my loved ones forever!