Tuesday, December 29, 2015


I just finished reading The Immortal Nicholas by Glenn Beck.  I wasn't sure I would like it before I started it.  (Although I really like Glenn Beck, his books aren't usually my favorites.)  I was really surprised.  Usually I don't think "his" writing is very good.  This one was well written.  Glenn is also a gifted storyteller.  He did a great job of weaving the story of Santa with the story of Christ.  It was a testimony builder.  The story was riveting and had me fully engaged.  I highly recommend it!  It's nice to have a story about Christmas/Santa Clause that reminds us that the REAL reason for the holiday is our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Friday, December 25, 2015


Kotten Kandy, Lollipop and Key Lime Pie
are ready for Santa to come...
Who knew that having THREE daughters and TWO grandparents could make the Christmas celebration so much better?  It does!  This was probably one of the most fun and memorable Christmases EVER!  We have truly been blessed with Grandma Mil and Grandpa Mac's visit and Lollipop's stay!!!!!
Our Christmas celebration always starts Christmas Eve.  We have a huge dinner and read the Christmas story from Luke.  Then we give "gifts" to the Savior.  We finish the evening by watching The Nativity Story in our new pajamas.  The girls love their panda PJs.  (The panda is one of Lollipop's favorite animals - so the pajamas were to honor/celebrate with our new sister/daughter!)
The weather has been so beautiful!
I can't believe it's December...
Christmas Eve Dinner
Grandpa Mac, Grandma Mil, Scott, Lollipop, Kotten Kandy and Key Lime Pie
(I'm taking the picture!)
We feasted on ham, turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole (Thanks to Amy),
deviled eggs, pistachio salad, red hot jello and rolls....
New pajamas....
Modeling the new panda PJs...
Kotten Kandy, Lollipop and Key Lime Pie
Christmas morning was really fun!  The girls woke up REALLY early (because Key Lime Pie had to work) and opened their stockings.  They oohed and ahhed over the fun things found inside!  Then we feasted on homemade cinnamon rolls.  (Thank you, Scott!)  And finished the morning by opening the presents under the tree.  It was so fun to spend that time together and laugh together and love together!  We count ourselves truly blessed by this amazing group of people we love and shared the celebration of Jesus Christ's birth with!
Waking up at 6:30 a.m. is hard.
But it's worth it for the stockings Santa brought!
The girls were still half asleep in this picture, though!
Key Lime Pie
Kotten Kandy
Mil made a BEAUTIFUL book about our extended family reunion
last year.  It included life lessons from the entire McCallister clan!
Grandpa Mac made an AWESOME CD that included ALL
17 grandchildrens' lullabies + a few others!  We LOVE it!
Kotten Kandy worked REALLY hard making a quilt that represented
ALL of Mil and Grandpa's posterity with their favorite colors.
They loved it!
A few of Key Lime Pie's gifts....
A sampling of Kotten Kandy's presents...
Lollipop couldn't even hold all of her gifts....
Here are all three girls with their "blankies!"
Kotten Kandy (with an owl) - Lollipop (with an eagle) - Key Lime Pie (with a wolf)
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Grandpa Mac and Mil
Lollipop, Key Lime Pie and Kotten Kandy
How can I possibly begin to start blogging the fun we have already had this week - and it's not even Christmas yet?!  We are blessed with family, friends, love, and the wonderful season this time of year is!  And the highlight this year is that my parents are here for Christmas!  It is really fun to spend time with them!  (Lollipop has grown to love her "American grandparents" too!)  So here's a sampling of our crazy week before Christmas:
Here is our Homeschool Christmas White Elephant gift exchange....
These are some great teenagers!
Our ward Christmas party started with a "trip" to the Polar Express...
Kotten Kandy with her good friend Apple Dumpling!
I love their Christmas shirts!
I love these two munchkins!
I'm SOOOO grateful my daughters allowed me to get a pic with Santa.
They are never too old to keep believing in the jolly elf!
Scott decided he needed to combing arts and crafts with his job....
Look what he created:
A nativity out of bottles!  Amazing!  Such talent!
While Scott was creating, so were the girls:
Lollipop created a "German" gingerbread house....
And Mil with her granddaughters created an "American" candy house.
All three had a great time making these gems!
Here are their finished gingerbread homes.
Guess what?!  Scott found me in the kitchen making fudge.  Yum!
Mil and Grandpa took us to Red Robin (a "real American restaurant") for dinner.
We all ate until we were sick....
Key Lime Pie had to work during the Star Wars premiere.
The crew was her favorite one to work with!  She loves these girls!
We got to see Star Wars Monday night for FHE.
It did not disappoint.
Kotten Kandy and I got new glasses - which called for a selfie!
Kotten Kandy, Mil, Key Lime Pie, Lollipop and I have been binge watching Poldark.  We love the BBC television show!  Thanks, Mil, for sharing with us.
I'm sure there is something I am forgetting to blog.... It has been a crazy, fun, busy week!
Christmas is in 2 days!  Lots to prepare and do....
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


I kinda feel guilty about posting a book review on this AMAZING book, because it's a limited edition and VERY hard to get a copy of it (since my brother wrote this book and only self-published a handful of copies.)  But this book is truly wonderful!  (If anyone wants to borrow it, I'll share.)  Ben tells personal stories as he attempts to "understand Paul's warning from nearly 2000 years ago."  He explores such topics as Vanities of the World and Desires of Our Hearts.  He also discusses the importance of asking Why? and what Worship really is.  My little brother masterfully crafts stories and scripture and sound reasoning together to help build my own testimony.  I'm grateful for his example and his willingness to share his thoughts with me and our family.  He may be my little brother, but he is definitely one of my role models.  And this book cements his place as a mentor and an example to me.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


This is quite possibly one of our most favorite days of the year: the day we celebrate Christmas with our "adopted" family with our "adopted" family name!  We have dinner, gift exchange and visit/play.  It's soooooooooo much fun!  I truly LOVE everyone of these people!  We are family!  And we are spoiled rotten with love and friendship!  I am soooooooooooooo grateful for this crazy crew!
Scott and I always get the kids books for Christmas!
They liked this year's selection....
Scott is a natural with babies!
Raisin is sooooo darn cute!
I love this little Raisin!
Marmalade and Lollipop are great friends!!!!
Spoiled rotten: I can't wait to read the book that Fiddler on the Roof is based on.
And a game about libraries?!  What could be better?!
We've already started asking lots of questions
using Scott's card game "The Art of Conversation...."
The Bettenhausens get to play Bellz! and watch "Cokeville Miracle!"
Amy got chocolate, a mug and I-tunes from the girls....
And these are the books Rachel got from us.
Chris loved his Ohio State booties!
And who doesn't love pizza?
Mad Libs was a huge hit with Hammond!
Key Lime Pie was also spoiled rotten!
She loves her kitchen supplies for when she goes to college...
and I-tunes from "the boys" was a hit too!
Lollipop can't wait to use her new crock-pot!
And she gets to go shopping with a gift card.
Perfect gifts for her from the Bettenhausens and the boys.
Kotten Kandy got books to help with her writing.
She loves them!
And she got pens and journals too!
These families know my daughter well!
Marmalade, Juice, Nuts, Jelly Bean and Apple Pie
were also spoiled by K2 and the boys!
What a fun night for everyone!  I truly feel blessed!


(This weekend was the Crestwood Nativity Display.  Key Lime Pie and Kotten Kandy sang with their show choir on Saturday for the display.  The nativities were beautiful!  Lollipop liked seeing them all!)
(Nettie and her parents came to visit!  We love this girl!  She is a role model for my daughters and we miss her so much!  Colorado/BYU are lucky to have this girl as a resident!  We love you, Nettie!)