Thursday, December 20, 2012

More Christmas decor

 I started this post last year at Christmas time and never finished it. Now I can't remember what I was going to add or change about it but I figured I'd post what is here. I didn't set everything up the same this year but it gives an idea anyway.

 Here are some shots of decorations for the holidays.  This one was Thanksgiving.  The blocks on top say "Count Your Blessings"

And here is that space for Christmas. Same blocks on top only this side says "'Tis the Season".  The wood candles next to it were made by my son way back when he was in cub scouts.  Cute. The countdown til Christmas next to the candles is a new addition this year.

  Bay leaf wreath. 
Candy cane wreath.

As an aside let me add that the candy cane wreath does not keep well. Besides breaking easily, the candy canes get sticky over time, so plan on this one being just for one year.

 I find cross stitch very relaxing so I used to choose one big project to work on through the year.  This is our cross stitch nativity.

This was supposed to be a tree skirt but I love the Swedish skirt that I have had for years so I use this as a table cloth instead. Wish I could say I made the Santa that sits on it but that was made by my talented sister in law.  The tree is one of my advent calendars.
One year I did stockings for everyone.  My daughter has informed me that when someone gets married I'd better be prepared to make one for the spouse.  I can't hang stockings on the hearth because we have a wood stove and use it all winter long.  I can't have them dangling down by the stove top.  So they hang from this shelf with a display of Santas. 

Cross stitch pillows.

 Snowmen on the piano.

How is this for cuteness?  This picture was taken the day after my husband and I got engaged and I had it made into a Christmas plate.  My intention was to do an updated picture each year but sadly this is the only one that got made.

Noel pillows. 

This advent calendar was another one of those things that I saw in a catalog.  It was way too expensive to suit me so I asked my Dad to make it for me. He cut the wood and assembled it and I painted it.  I think that I'd paint it differently if I were to do it now but there it is anyway. The biggest difference between this one and the catalog is that theirs was a music box and we didn't bother to do that.

Each door hides an ornament

Thomas Family Christmas Letter 2012

I haven't posted for quite a while, first because I didn't feel I had anything to write about and then I got too busy. But thanks to my husband, I can now post a copy of our Christmas Letter. 

Merry Christmas to all.               

Change and Continuity, 2012:

Much as we might want to think otherwise, there is hardly any chance that the world will really end this December, so as we gear up for the future, here’s a review of the recent past. This year our family experienced a few changes and more continuity. As a fictional sheriff once said, “That could be good, or bad.”

The biggest change was the passing of Maria’s mother, Inga Morgan, in June. After a long wrestle with Alzheimer’s disease, her body finally succumbed. It was a struggle to the end, and we learned that dying can be hard and perplexing, even though death can be a sweet release. After years at her side at the Homestead, including almost every hour in the last weeks, her husband Keith quickly left Rexburg weather behind, returning to Oregon to live with Maria’s brother’s family and to resume his service in the temple.  There was a peaceful, hope-filled funeral, as family and friends reflected on a noble life and a great plan of happiness.

A different kind of change occurred in December, when Brooke completed her undergraduate education at Brigham Young University. She has been an excellent student, and if you want to bug her, just ask, “Now what?” She’d really like to excel in family life more than professional achievement, but at present she lacks a suitor and an employer. But she does have faith, some skills (anyone need forensic linguistics?), and a creative mind. Plus she asserts more control over the ’93 minivan than her little sister.

We passed a couple of milestones without noticeable change. In April, Maria and John marked 25 years of marriage with a luxurious trip to Paris, Idaho in their Buick (also featuring stops in Soda Springs and Logan). Whew! Then in September, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Maria’s birth. We compiled some “golden plates” with the memories and observations of her friends and relatives—all about her, of course—and we had a party. I don’t even think she had to bake the cake, but I can’t remember for sure—it was all just “one mad whirl,” like every night at our house.

Hannah flirted with a bigger life-change this summer, when she accepted a marriage proposal from a fellow Cougareat employee. But the engagement was “suspended” in September—I say suspended in contrast to “broken” or “cancelled” or “shattered,” and we’ll let the two of them figure out what the future brings. Her short-term plans include a study abroad experience in Britain, though she wants to squeeze in a side-trip to Florence, Italy. Her arms and fingers bear the scars of Subway work (sandwiches, not tunnels), but she was promoted and wears a hat of a different color when the hungry crowds descend each day.

Jordan also strove for marital bliss, driving back and forth across the northern border to woo a maiden. Sadly, his efforts ultimately went unrewarded, and now he is a bitter old economist, or at least a heartsick student. Luckily he’ll be retaking a few classes next year so he can get more practice with his major. Meanwhile he continues to work at Porter’s Craft and Frame, which would seem like a good place to meet potential domestic goddesses. Time should heal his wounds, if a steady diet of Taco Bell, chicken nuggets, and Mountain Dew doesn’t kill him first. The cats appreciate the time he spends in bed.

It was a light year for travel, arts, and the other diversions we usually note. John had a sabbatical semester for research and made a research trip to Virginia (including some days in lovely ancestral Thomas lands with his parents), as well as several road trips to Utah libraries and archives. Maria stayed home for pretty much everything, but got to see some home improvements: new paint for the exterior and a remodeled laundry and bathroom (ready for guests). She continues to be a crafty queen and community contributor.

That’s a wrap on 2012. Some things change a lot, others just a little, and some things stay very much the same—most notably the reason for the season, He who is the source of everlasting hope.

Merry Christmas from the Thomas family!