Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Ben and I are frugal. We've been using some very...loved..."silverware" since we got married. Ben got his set in 2003, and I don't even remember how I came to acquire mine. Needless to say, it had seen better days.
We were given some at one of my bridal showers, but only enough for for 4 settings. I really liked the pattern, so for the last several years I've been trying to find more of it, without luck. But when we've had company over, it's been enough to do the trick. But this year for Thanksgiving we were having 5 adults over, so we bought some nicer stuff to set our table.
And then a miracle happened.  I found someone selling the pattern of the really nice silverware I wanted, who was willing to mail it to us. So for Christmas/our Anniversary, Ben got me my silverware.
And I decided it was time to retire the other stuff. Here is Ben's reaction to that idea.

In the end, common sense won out.  We did not need four different sets of silverware taking up valuable space, especially when two of them were quite literally falling apart. 
Thanks Ben for being everything I need in a husband-smart, frugal, and funny!


Merry Christmas from the Lewis' in Japan

We had a wonderful Christmas Day that started out with waffles and opening gifts before church.
Ellie and Clara got new red dresses. Funny story-Ellie was super excited to open the presents, and we had her open the dress box first so we could put it on her and be all ready for church before opening gifts. She was super excited, and so we put Clara's dress on and tried to put Ellie's on.  She would have none of it. She started crying and didn't want to get dressed.  So we laughed, set it aside and let her open another gift. Then while she was busy admiring it, we slipped the dress on and voila! Happy girl.

Though you can't tell by the look on her face, Ellie loved her gifts (some toy food, an art set, a Mickey Mouse puzzle, and an ABC game)

A friend gave us some Ben and I hats, and Ellie thought they'd look good on her and Clara.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pink Cheeks

Ben has pink cheeks.  He doesn't really like them.  But they look so sweet on our girls!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Break!

We are only two days into Christmas Break, but it has been so fun so far.
On Saturday we went to Mikasa Park, a Japanese park right outside of base.  Ellie enjoyed running around and dancing to the music and watching the "dancing water." And so did Ben, as evidenced by this video:

There is a small shell amphitheater at the park that Ellie and Ben enjoyed making noise in.
It was quite cold, but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Then we attended our church's Christmas Nativity display and Christmas "concert." Mostly because Ben sang in the choir, and sang a solo (he sang "Silent Night" in Japanese).

And on Sunday I got the girls all matchy-matchy green squared in some outfits my mom had made for my brother and I when we were quite small. But the dress for Ellie was a little short, so I don't think they'll get to wear them together again.

Don't you love Ellie's face!?

Friday, December 9, 2011

5 Months

It's funny how time seems to go in jumps and starts and slow motion with babies...and sometimes life in general.
Clara just keeps getting bigger and smarter and shows more of her sweet little personality every day.
She still grins at the drop of the hat which is just the sweetest thing ever (or at least tied with Eleanor saying, "Oh, music fell down," whenever I turn down the music in the car).
She occasionally rolls over by herself, but not in an reliable fashion.
I remember that Ellie was sitting up pretty well on her own by Christmastime (we have photographic evidence of it to remind me), but Clara doesn't show much interest in sitting.  Nearly every time I try to help her sit she stiffens up her legs and backs and tries to stand up, which she does surprisingly well (and obviously with someone holding her arms for balance).
She adores Eleanor and will grin and laugh whenever she looks at her.
Even though she isn't yet sleeping through the night (please, soon, please!), she's such a pleasant baby that it's hard to mind.

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's December 2nd

It's December 2nd and we hung a cardinal on our advent calendar Christmas Tree. Because December 2nd is my sister Sierra's birthday.  She would be 27. For those who don't know, I have two sisters that both died of SIDS as infants (Cheyenne was the youngest in our family and would be turning 20).
In my family the cardinal represents Sierra and a bluebird is Cheyenne.  I really ought to have my mom explain to me sometime the specifics of this.

At any rate, the first memory I have is meeting my baby sister.  I was 2 and half. Daniel, my brother just younger than myself, and I had been with our Grandma Sunny and I remember her bringing us back to the apartment in Orem to meet our new sister.  I remember that my mom was holding her in a yellow quilt and just being a little curious and in love with this little red newborn.
She was only with us till the end of January. I don't remember anything else about my sister besides meeting her for the first time. Nor do I remember her funeral, but I do remember something my parents taught us as a result.  That death is not the end of our family.  Sierra is still my sister. She always will be. I cherish this testimony and I know from countless confirmations by the Holy Spirit that it's true.

I can't imagine what my parents felt burying their second and then their third daughter. I'd rather not. But I do know, because they have told me, that their grief is not bitter. They know that God sees the bigger plan and that He is aware of them, of each of us.  And loves us eternally.  That's why He gave His Son (John 3:15). To make a sacrifice for our sins so that we will never be eternally lost to Him. Hallelujah for Christmas, and double hallelujah for Easter!

I love this time of year, to celebrate the miraculous birth of the Savior, and to try and emulate Him and our Eternal Father by giving of ourselves to those around us.

But I especially love Easter, to celebrate the sacrifice of Christ and His equally miraculous and majestic resurrection that brought with it the promise that this life is not the end. It is not the end of our lives or our progress, nor does it need to be the end of the sacred relationships found in families.
Because, let's be honest, I could never get enough of this!
 Or this! (Oh man, can you imagine when the seven of us all get together someday? What a riot that will be!)
Or these wonder, wonderful folks!
Or the splendid family I married into (of which I cannot find a decent picture at the moment, but you are all quite dear to me).
That's all.