Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The 12-day Countdown til 2009

I started the month with a list; I might as well end the month with a list. “Lists” are kind of my style.
(I recently took a personality test that rated me extremely high on being “conscientious”, “perfectionist”… really? Hum…)

SUNDAY 21st we drove to Kaysville for my nephew Tanner’s birthday party. Good boy, good food, and good people.
MONDAY 22nd night I had my friend Heather and her kids over for dinner and family home evening. It has been 14 years since we were roommates at Rick’s College and 8 years since I last saw her. The second she walked in my door it was as if we were roommates last year. Though so much has changed in both our lives, it seemed as if nothing had changed at all. She is a dear friend of mine who is an example of strength, courage, and faith.
TUESDAY 23rd I cooked a huge batch of chocolate chip cookies for Santa with my good friend Wendy. I have to say it was the best batch of cookies I have ever made. Not too long ago Morgan was so impressed with my sister-in-law Trisha who made homemade cookies. “Wow, my mom doesn’t know how to make cookies.” I sure showed her. Or maybe it wasn’t my fantastic cooking skills but just the pound of sweet butter the recipe called for…who knows.
TUESDAY NIGHT was sub for Santa night. For years my siblings and their spouses picked each other’s names and gave a Christmas gift to that person. Last year we started a tradition that instead of picking names we would put the money together and buy for a family in need. My sister Alisa is a second grade teacher and found out about a few families in need at her school. The families write down some needs and wants, we shop, and then Santa and his little children elves deliver the gifts. Do I tell you this to brag about what “good” people we are? Ahhh… NO. I think it takes a lot more character to be the one receiving than the one giving. I learned from those wonderful families that it takes humility to ask for and receive help. Am I humble enough to receive help when I need it, whatever help that might be? I wonder if I miss out on blessings because I’m not humble enough to receive help.
WEDNESDAY 24th was the Hosenfeld Christmas Eve dinner, “talent” show, and gift giving. It was way fun! The coolest part was finding out my sister Alisa is pregnant with her first baby!

THURSDAY 25th morning Santa came! Five hours after opening Santa’s gifts Chandler asked a very important question. “I saw the XBOX games and Rock Band in the basement a while ago and then they were under the tree. Is Santa for real?” After a heartfelt conversation Chandler now knows that Santa is not a man in a big red suit with reindeer. However Chandler still and hopefully always will believe in the Santa spirit. I still ask, “How did Santa know that you would love that gift?” Chandler answers, “He knows everything.” Chandler is right I do know everything. :)

Jason and my kids spent Christmas day at Jason’s parent’s house. They played games and had a blast. I stayed for a few hours before heading home to nap before working a night shift at the hospital.
FRIDAY 26th night was the extended Poulsen family day after Christmas Party. That’s always a good time. After getting home we had to end the day with a late night dose of Rock Band with my neighbors/family members Jared, Nanette, Matt, and Kristi.
SATURDAY 27th we went sledding. Aren’t humans strange? We hike up a snowy hill, slide down on a sled for 10 seconds, hike back up, slide back down, hike back up…very strange.

After sledding we cooked for Ashtyn's baptism party.

SUNDAY 28th was Ashtyn’s baptism. The coolest part was to see the excitement on her face. She was thrilled.

MONDAY 29th we went ice-skating, another strange thing that humans do. We skate on ice around and around and around and around…

If that wasn’t enough fun for the day we went to the Mayan and waited 1 hour and 47 minutes to get a table. What kind of idiot, besides Jason and me, would wait that long to eat at a stupid restaurant? We did try to bribe the kids out of it. “We can go see any movie you want.” “No. We want the Mayan.” “If we leave, you can go to any other restaurant in the world.” “No, we want the Mayan” Crap!!!

TUESDAY 30th night I am heading to the hospital to spend 12 hours with 2 pound premature babies. It's much more of a blessing to be there than it is work. (Isn't she cute??!!)

WEDNESDAY 31st I’m going to stay home for New Years Eve while Jason works….and then it will be 2009.

I wonder what will fill my calendar in 2009?

As my sister Wendy said, because of my “strong family ties, we will never know loneliness, boredom, or isolation which is so common in a world where most people pride themselves on being independent.”

During 2009 I really need to reach out to those who are lonely, bored, or isolated. I have plenty to share.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Small and Simple Things

For years I have recognized that for some reason when Chandler is having a good day, when he is happy, obedient, and has the Spirit, I have a good day. When I have a good day the entire family has a good day. (Happy wife, happy life.) I don't know why this phenomenon happens or why Chandler's Spirit affects our family so noticeably.

Last Saturday morning I could tell right away it was going to be an irritable day because Chandler woke up with a punk attitude.
At 10:00 a.m. we headed out the door to take our turn cleaning the church building.

10:04 I dragged Chandler into the church by his ear, (back, cheek, and whatever else I could pinch) and said sternly, "every time you're a punk you get 30 minutes in your room." (Now that's a stiff penalty, but I'd already had it with him.)
10:05 he walked into the church, sat on a chair, and moped.
10:08 I handed him a cloth and Windex and asked if he would wash all the windows.
10:09 his heart really wasn't into it.
10:22 Chandler was working hard in the chapel helping the men vacuum.
10:40 I asked Chandler if he wanted me to take over vacuuming the benches. He wanted to finish it himself.
10:55 Chandler headed out of the church a new boy. He was happy, nice, and had the Spirit.

(It would have taken us longer to clean our half of the building but Ron, the father of the family that cleaned with us, got to the church earlier than our appointed time, cleaned the bathrooms and vacuumed--he's awesome!!)

After getting home I asked Chandler why he was so different. He knew it was because he served.

Isn't it amazing that less than an hour worth of service brought the Spirit to our family? But if you think about it, it really comes as no surprise.

"Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart."
"When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."

There is obviously no better way to have the Spirit than through service. I hope to do more of it this coming year!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Twelve Doings and Deeds of December

12 times I’ve wondered if we are going to get around to sending Christmas cards this year…
the answer is NO.
11 really restless nights.
December has brought a bout of insomnia for no reason.
10 activities I don’t have on my schedule for two weeks!!!
Spelling, math, piano, hockey, gymnastics, ballet, jazz, ski school, chorus, theatre class.
9 Christmas activities we have done so far this month.
Watching Jim Carrey’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, Enrichment Christmas dinner, Ward Christmas breakfast, riding light rail to see the lights on Temple Square, the Fairbanks’ Family Fun Christmas party, watching Polar Express, going to Heber for the Polar Express, annual sub for Santa shopping with my mom and siblings, dinner and movie (Scrooged) with friends.

8 Christmas art pieces taped to my refrigerator.

7 people on my roof and 700 nails that blew off my roof.
6 X 10 hours a week that Jason has been working.
5 Christmas performances:
Chandler’s chorus, Ashtyn’s “studio kids”, Morgan’s kindergarten sing, Ashtyn’s jazz dance, and Morgan’s ballet dance.

4 days a week that I continue to try to exercise.
3 days Jason has had off of work this month.
2 year old that is proving the “terrible two” theory is FOR REAL.

1 thought that keeps crossing my mind… I believe in the Christmas Spirit.
-the Spirit of Christ-

I love Christmas time when I get to see the world feel Christ’s Spirit. I don’t feel the Spirit all the time but I sure love it when I do. For the last couple of weeks I haven’t felt the Christmas Spirit much. But no worries…I’m just remembering the times I have felt the Spirit and holding on to those memories until I get to feel it again. For me Christmas is always a good time to remember and renew my efforts to feel the Spirit more often.

President Monson has said, "As we seek Christ, as we find Him, as we follow Him, we shall have the Christmas Spirit, not for one fleeting day each year, but as a companion always."

Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol" declares at last, "I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach."

I hope to do the same.