Saturday, December 24, 2011

Dear Santa and Rudolf,

We hope that your evening is going well. We have left some reindeer food for the others on the back porch, but for you two there is a special treat. Mom says you like Oreo's but dad insists your favorite is sugar cookies.

Thank you for stopping by!

Ehre and Ben

Christmas Eve PJ's

The kids are already for church tomorrow and their Sunday clothes are laid out too.... good thing we have church at 11. We will still ne able sleep in a little bit.before starting all the morning festivities.

Mary Christmas!

Best laugh in a long time...

We Went and clean the church today but did so before having breakfast. By the time we were done everyone was super hungry. We have been given a gift card to Applebees this was the perfect time to use it.

Ben ordered some fries and went to add some ketchup to them. This is what happened when he open the bottle. The waiter laughed and we laughed for poor Ben.

What a funny memory!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Loas Nativity Set

A very cool Christmas gift arrived this week from my twin sister Amy... funny how people are still finding out that I am a twin!

This nativity set was made by Mr. Chanpheng Sombath, in Nanga Village, Vientiane, Laos, about 47 Kilometers north of central Vientiane. He is a member of the LDS Church and my sister Amy is in his ward.

Mr. Chanpheng is the father of five children. His primary livelihood is rice farming and manual labor, and he comes from a family of locally-renowned woodcarvers and gunsmiths. The women in the family weave silk to supplement the family income. During long forays in the jungle hunting and scavenging for food and countless nights in the rice fields, Chanpheng grew up learning how to make small traps, weapons, and trinkets of all types.

Chanpheng began making Lao nativity sets when he learned a previous source of similar sets was drying up, yet demand remained high. Having converted to Christianity from Buddhism, producing nativity sets is more personal to the Sombath family than a source of supplemental income. Members of his community and congregation are proud of Chanpheng for using his skills and talent to subtly share his faith while helping to preserve Lao folk art amidst rapid modernization in Laos.

Each Lao Nativity set is produced from wood and natural materials Chanpheng has personally gathered in the jungle near his village. Woods used in production may vary, but the most common wood Chanpheng uses is called "May Mook" or "Pearl Wood" in English, due to its clean white appearance. The wood is dried next to the family's charcoal cooking fire, and members of the family help weave reeds and straw for the roof and walls of the miniature huts. Chanpheng personally carves each character using rudimentary hand tools, adding a unique touch of personality to each one. The model house is built using the same methods and design as a full-sized traditional Lao house, raised above the ground to provide shade and protect from flooding. At full production capacity it is only possible to produce three sets per week, and carving the characters takes about two days per set.

In approximately two years, the Sombath family has produced dozens of these nativities and has used the majority of the resultant income to support extended family and help other families in their village. Their children have new clothes and a new bicycle to ride to school, and in the future the family hopes to save enough money to buy roof tiles to replace the sheet metal roof on their house.

Care for the nativity: As the nativity is made from all natural sources, it carries a risk of inhabiting bugs and termites. Each set has been sprayed with bug killer but as a precaution the nativity and characters should be set in direct sunlight for 12-24 hours to kill any potential bugs or eggs. As an alternative, it could be placed outside in freezing cold weather or inside a freezer for 12-24 hours. This should be done upon receipt of the set and prior to storing for long periods of time.  ( I have to wait for us to get either of these weather extremes out here since its just grey and rainy right now!)


While she looks cute here with her brother she is close to a meltdown. I.put her down for a late nap because she had a late morning nap ( not to mention my need for a nap) and she played for an hour...or I think it was an hour.  I guess we'll try for an early bedtime.

On another note have I mentioned that I have started packing? I know we aren't moving till the end of March, but Jeff is very busy and will be till he defends and then when baby comes well be busy with other things. So I have 10 weeks to keep packing a little here and there to help things go smoother later. :) It was surprising that we have 12 boxes of books,  confirming our love to read.

Ben stole my earthly phone....

... and used the camera to take some photos of his dinosaur.  :) I was surprised he knew how to find the app and work it. Smart kid.

Old fashioned but cute!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

1st haircut in a looong time.

Ehre needed to have a trim and so last night we had a girls night. Jeff rook Elise and Ben to pack meeting. When I took a close loo she needed atleast 3" off. She wanted me to cut it above her shoulders built that was too short for me. In the end we put in light layers to help with her natural curl and I  think its cute. Then we painted her nails and toenails pink and finished "Samantha's First Christmas." It was a fun evening just the two of us.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

8 years

Now 8 years later I woke up to a husband making me breakfast in bed and taking care of the kids. We have an afternoon date to see Twilight and eat cheesecake. I am so grateful for my earthly and eternal companion. He puts up with all my weaknesses and fault and most of the time pretends they don't even exist.

1 year and 11 days later

...sorry I didn't have a wedding shot in this stash of photos...but 1 year and 11 days after our wedding Ehre joined our family...things have never been the same since.


Bridals were delayed due to a biking accident a few weeks earlier.  From this photo you would never know that I had been hit causing a minor concussion, two black eyes and 10 stitches along my lower gum line.

Engagement photos

We had our photos taken at the Delicate Arch in Moab. This is one between shots...we had alot of fun.

Proposal 2003

Did you know Jeff proposed kneeling on a cliff face while in his Sunday suit while we were rock climbing?

First box home...

Jeff had me help empty filing cabinet drawers and put all in a box to bring home with me. Jeff has very little of any personal items in the lab now, a sign that he is almost done!

Monday, December 19, 2011

My current project..

...the light grey suit will be for Beck's blessing to the go with the white and green crochet blanket I am almost done with. The dark grey suit is for all those 0-3 month Sundays. Tomorrow we are at 27 weeks, only 10-11 more weeks to go!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ben's Christmas program.

He did a great job!

Live Nativity

This is a 21 year project that is amazing. There were live camels.donkeys and was amazing. I only workshop we had not waited till our last year to see this!

8 Happy years!

This Tuesday will be our anniversary. Last night Jeff brought home these beautiful flowers and then we went on a date. We had a fabulous dinner at Mtn Jacks and then saw the holiday pops concert with the symphony, it was wonderful.
Here's to year #9!

New piano student.

...I guess she likes to play too!