Christmas at the Mackay house was wonderful this year. It is hard to figure the words to express everything so rather than do that, pictures are worth thousands and thousands of words. Enjoy our Christmas slideshow.
This is such a wonderful time of the year. We want to wish a Merry Christmas to our family and friends. When I ponder the Christmas season and why we celebrate it, I am reminded of a quote from President Gordon B. Hinkley in December 2000:
"This is the wondrous and true story of Christmas. The birth of Jesus in Bethlehem of Judea is preface. The three-year ministry of the Master is prologue. The magnificent substance of the story is His sacrifice, the totally selfless act of dying in pain on the cross of Calvary to atone for the sins of all of us. The epilogue is the miracle of the Resurrection...
There would be no Christmas if there had not been Easter. The babe Jesus of Bethlehem would be but another baby without the redeeming Christ of Gethsemane and Calvary, and the triumphant fact of the Resurrection. For each of you may this be a merry Christmas. But more importantly, I wish for each of you a time, perhaps only an hour, spent in silent meditation and quiet reflection on the wonder and the majesty of this, the Son of God. Our joy at this season is because He came into the world. The peace that comes from Him, His infinite love which each of us may feel, and an overwhelming sense of gratitude for that which He freely gave us at so great a cost to Himself—these are of the true essence of Christmas."
Since we have been in Montana, we have realized that the Friday after Thanksgiving is a part of the hunt - for deer and elk, or Christmas bargains. In recent years, our annual hunt has been for our Christmas tree. We enjoyed sharing the time this year with Allison, Brayden and Glenn. The guide for the hunt is our dear friend Norma.
Allen and Jenny went with us four years ago when Ethan was a baby. Since then have cut and shipped a tree to them each year. (We 've even shipped trees to Amber when she was in Texas.) Ethan called the other day and asked if we could please get them a tree. When asked whether to get it as big as he is, he said no. We needed to cut it as big as his daddy, that he was only four and his dad was 18! He said it would be the "best Christmas tree ever." We agree!
I have admired the 'corn shock' of a neighbor for many years and
so this year for the first time created one of our own from the corn grown in our garden.
The Thanksgiving holiday is coming to a close and we had a wonderful time together. I enjoyed the challenge presented on Facebook to post something that I was thankful for each day. I've decided that since this is a 'living journal' that I would like to re - post those as a part of my blog.
I am thankful for:
1. The freedom that I enjoy in this country and for those who have served and sacrificed to preserve it.
2. My health - I realize that I am over half way to a hundred, but despite a few aches and the need for a little more sleep, I am healthy - I have my vision, my hearing, all of my organs function and am disease free.
3. Great friends and neighbors . We live in such a great community among wonderful people.
4. Warm home and the many comforts of life that I enjoy - I am grateful to live in a time when we have electricity, modern kitchen appliances, computers etc
5. Employment in a place that I feel that I can contribute and help others. I have great people to work with - they are almost like family to me.
6. My heritage - my ancestors who lived before and paved the way in so many ways. They sacrificed so much.
7. Extended family - I have been made to feel a part of the Mackay family and love them all so very dearly.
8. Education and the opportunity to learn. There is so much to yet to learn.
9. Music - it is good for my soul, even though I only participate with my ears.
10. My garden - it was such a fun adventure to plant and then realize the law of the harvest. We still have tomatoes ripening in the basement!
11. Chocolate - I am so glad that it has been determined to be healthy!
12. My grandchildren - I love being a part of their lives - they make me smile even when we aren't together.
13. My children - I am so grateful for each one and the good lives that they lead. I am grateful for their love.
14. My 'children - law' - I so appreciate Julie, Jinni, Jenny, and Brayden. I am grateful for their being soul mates to Wes, Brett, Allen and Allison
15. My husband, Scott - I am thankful that he loves me. We are the best of friends.
16. My Savior, Jesus Christ - I am grateful to know him, for his sacrifice for me, and that I feel his love.
17. For Thanksgiving and the opportunty to realize how very blessed that I am.
I know that Halloween has been over for a week now and most of us like to put the costumes away as soon as possible as the upcoming holiday season beckons. I've had these pictures since then and they keep calling to me to add them to my blog. In my last post, I detailed our cow working day. Well, after that was over we went to a carnival and 'trunk r treat' in Leadore. What fun to watch Weston, Kenzie and Katie!! I was impressesed with Weston as he greeted me and then introduced me to several of his friends. He said, "Grandma, I would like you to meet my friend______, and this is_______, and _______."
Katie enjoyed dressing up as Snow White.
Kenzie was a beautiful Cinderella, ....
hairdo and all.
Someone commented about how well the princesses did wearing their dress up shoes. That success was attributed to all the practice that they had playing in Allison's Sunday shoes this past summer!
Weston was a brave Jedi Knight. At one point Weston had to defend himself with his light saber as he and a Ninja were having a duel. A sheriff from the old west came along to break it up!
Isn't interesting what we do for fulfillment? This weekend was what has turned out to be the Fourth Annual Lemhi Ranch Cow Pregnancy Checking Weekend. For the past four years we have helped work cows at Lemhi Ranch. It has become a family activity. This happens to be the ranch that Wes manages. Scott, Allison, Glenn and I joined Wes and his family and Layne (Scott's brother - who does the actual preg checking). In years passed, Brayden, Allen, Jenny, Brett, Jinni and some of Allison's friends have also been a part of this activity. It is hard work and by the end of the day, you are dead tired - especially those that are sorting and bring up the cows. I usually get the easy job - recording the preg check results. But I have helped move the cows through the chute and that takes lots of energy. Of the 1050 cows checked, 700 were done on Friday without us. So Saturday's work was a piece of cake in comparison. Interesting things can happen as you bring the cows through the sorting area and the chute. We enjoy our time working together - I guess that has become a family tradition. Years back when we were on the ranch, time spent with Dad was often working time. Our children all value that time and the work ethic learned.
Weston, Kenzie, and Katie - part of the crew!
Kenzie, Katie, Allison, and Glenn taking a break.
On a fun note though, Saturday morning while the cows were being brought in and sorted, Scott and Layne went for a drive and found themselves fishing. Scott pulled in 5 fish in 30 minutes!!
We took advantage of my weekend off from school with a trip to Idaho to some of our favorite fishing spots. Included in this time away was time spent with Allison and Brayden, Glenn, and Wes and Julie and family. Allison and Brayden met us Friday afternoon where we introduced and hooked Brayden on fly fishing. Later in the evening we picked up Glenn and met Wes, Julie and family at Allison and Brayden's home. It was great to catch up with all of them. Just before dinner Katie whispered a 'secret' that my birthday was coming. To my surprise, Scott, Allison, and Julie had made plans for birthday cake and ice cream. Each of Wes's kids presented a can of precicous Stephen's Gourmet Hot Chococlate. Saturday morning we took turns with tending the children and attending the Rexburg Temple. Wes had to return home to responsibilites there and Brayden also had to work. Scott, Glenn, and Allison enjoyed the beautiful October day with some more time spent fishing. Scott bringing in one of several big ones
One of the big ones - that put up an energetic fight.
Glenn, Scott, and Allison. (Sorry that I didn't a picture of Brayden with evidence that he caught fish.)
Allison was sure happy to be there.
Some fun pictures of Glenn with the sun on the water.
This past Labor Day weekend had an especially heart warming twist. Our family was all gathered at the Columbia River Temple in Richland, Washington with Brett, Jinni, and family as Breyson was sealed to them. To those who might not know, they had spent over a year getting everything lined up to adopted a baby into there family. He was born in February in Alabama and the adoption was finalized in July. It has been quite a roller coaster for them, but it all came together and now Breyson is theirs eternally. My testimony was strengthened that our Father in Heaven loves all of his children and wants them all to return to Him someday.Jinni, Brett, and Breyson
One of the 'perks' of being a grandma is when grandchildren get to come to grandma's house. I must admit that I didn't get much of anything else done and that I was tired at the end of the day, but I loved every minute of the weekend that Ashlynn and Brynlee (Brett and Jinni's girls)came to visit. They were so excited to play dress up! I'm pretty sure that Brynlee tried on every outfit at least twice. (She had some favorites, though.) Ashlynn didn't like the 'scratchy' feel of some of the clothes but, she had a great time too. We had everything from princess dresses to sheep and cows costumes.
Ashlynn and Brynlee posing with crowns, magic wands and a purse and fairy dress.
Jumping on the trampoline - even in princess clothes!
Sometimes I think the girls have duel personalities! One of their favorite activities of the weekend was to catch grasshoppers! The first time that we went outside they weren't prepared with an official 'grasshopper catching jar' so we used a 'Jasmine' purse. There were PLENTY of grasshoppers and no squealing of squirming when they tickled their hands. We had a full jar by Sunday night.
Brynlee blowing bubbles in the Cinderella/Cowgirl costume.
Ashlynn found a favorite hat and enjoyed the bubble blowing too.
A change of clothes and more grasshoppers. A visit to Lemhi and dinner at Wes and Julie's
As the summer came to a close, we spent part of a weekend in Lemhi with Wes, Julie and family; Allison and Brayden and Glenn. We happened to be blessed with some very flavorful peaches and so we took some along to make fresh peach pie. I hadn't thought about having any helpers, but it wasn't long before there was a chair scooted up to the counter with Kenzie and Katie ready to help! What fun! They were very careful to make sure that each one got a turn to add ingredients, mix it together and roll out the crust. The pictures below are an indication of the successful outcome!
Kenzie helping roll out the crust.
Katie also had a turn to help!
Ready to put the crust in the pie pan. The pie was very tasty and the time spent together cherished.
This was our last year to have someone in 4-H. It was will be remembered as the most unusual year. As fair ended the previous year, Glenn had decided to go all out with his market hog project. He made arrangements to buy 2 excellent pigs. We picked up the first one early in April and the second a few weeks later. (The first one just happened to have a perfect curly tail, so Glenn named it 'Curly' and 'Larry' was the next logical name.) Well, within 2 weeks the first one died - we have no idea why. Since pigs grow better in pairs, we bought a 'buddy pig' and he was named 'Moe'. Larry had a great disposition and was easy to work. Moe had big floppy ears and loved to turn around in circles when he was let out of the pen to exercise. Fair came around soon enough. For the last time of loading the pigs ever, it was quite traumatic and Larry was quite upset, squealing and breathing heavily. Within minutes of unloading at the pig barn in Deer Lodge, Larry was dead! Glenn experienced a wide variety of emotions - mostly disappointment, as he was left to show Moe. After years of showing well, red ribbons were hard to realize.
It's a good thing that Glenn had other projects that had positive results. He did very well with his woodworking project. His photography enlargement was considered for Cream of the Crop. Glenn and Moe
Showing for the last time. Moe was running all around the ring - not a good thing.
Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass,it's about learning to dance in the rain.
It is better to have a character than be one.Elder Russell M. Nelson MTC Devotional October 19, 2010 We need not doubt in the dark what we learned in the light.Elder Terrence Smith (March 2010 Stake Conference)
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.Lao Tzu
I HAVE NO GREATER JOY THAT TO HEAR THAT MY CHILDREN WALK IN TRUTHIII JOHN 4
Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.President Thomas S. Monson April 2009 General Conference
This is not a time for fear, ... but rather a time for faith - a time for each of us ...to be his best self.Thomas S. Monson April 2009 General Conference
Live in such a way that people who know you, but don't know Christ; will want to know Christ because they know you. Author Unknown
You may have riches and wealth untold, With baskets of jewels and caskets of gold. But richer than I you will never be, For I had a mother who read to me. Strickland W. Gillian