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Showing posts from 2015

Christmas Eve/Day Memories

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We had a wonderful family-fun Christmas Eve. In fact, I think it was my favorite Christmas Eve in years. As it was Marcus' birthday, we let him choose our family activities. First, we enjoyed brunch at Angies, one of Marcus' favorite restaurants in town. Then, we went ice-skating at a local indoor ice rink. That was my favorite part of the day. After ice-skating, we saw the new Star Wars movie (from the front row!) and then we picked up Marcus' cake from the local bakery on the way home.

At home David prepared our traditional Christmas Eve dinner of Prime rib. Yum! While we waited for it to cook, we watched, White Christmas, my favorite Christmas movie. After dinner, Marcus open his presents (an air soft gun with target), although his main birthday gift this year was going to the Myth Buster's tour with Zach earlier this month. As tradition, we read the Christmas story from the scriptures and sang Christmas carols/hymns. We also unwrapped new pajamas each, and we ende…

Merry Christmas

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I wanted to post one last time before Christmas. Here at the Madsen home, we are enjoying each other's company and our family Christmas traditions, such as baking, reading Christmas stories and watching Christmas movies. We are looking forward to having Zach joining us tonight and to spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day all together in our Utah home. I love my family so much and cherish every memory we create together.

If you're looking for some Christmas videos to share with your family, here are two of my favorites:

Christmas through the eyes of Joseph. This is a beautiful video.

The First Noel


Click HERE to find a reading of the Christmas story from the Bible and a video of the Nativity. This is something we do every Christmas Eve as a family, after celebrating Marcus' birthday for most of the day. We gather together in front of our fireplace and we read the Christmas story and sing carols/hymns, such as Away in a Manger and O Little Town of Bethlehem.

To find mor…

Our Family Weekend

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This weekend, we spent two days and a night in Salt Lake City as a family. We had a wonderful time together. First the kids and I picked up David from the airport early Friday afternoon. We checked into a hotel two blocks from City Creek Center and Temple Square. While we waited for Zach to get off work and join us, we walked around City Creek and did a little Christmas shopping. After Zach joined us, we walked around part of Temple of Square, enjoying the lights before sitting down to a late dinner at The Roof restaurant at the top of the Joseph Smith building.












On Saturday we enjoyed brunch with close friends and A Christmas Carol play at Hale theater.

Finding Joy and Peace

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I woke up to this lovely, quiet, wintry view.

I love to watch gently falling snow this time of year.

And see everything covered in a blanket of white.
I've been thinking about joy and peace lately. My life isn't perfect and some of my extended family relationships are an ongoing trial for me. The world is in great turmoil as more and more of my spirit brothers and sisters make selfish choices and use their free agency to hurt others. There is so much that is out of my control, but there is still a lot of good in this world and there are true sources I can turn to for joy and peace.
First, my Heavenly Father is always there for me. And I know I have a heavenly mother as well, cheering me on through my Father in Heaven. These are my perfect parents, who never let me down, who never forget me, who want me to succeed and have joy in my life here on earth. I have always known that I am a daughter of God, and that He loves me unconditionally and perfectly. When I focus on my relati…

Crafting With Neighbor Girls

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On Friday afternoon, into the evening, my sweet Marissa girl hosted a fun Christmas craft party with five little neighbor girls. It was so much fun! We love sharing our passion for crafting with others.





One of the crafts was decorating pine cones with glitter glue and miniature pom poms.

Each girl created their own birthstone ornament. The girls filled their clear plastic ornaments with Epsom salt and then added (with the help of a funnel) lots of fun bling, such as sequins, buttons and beads in the colors of their birthstone. They really turned out lovely.

This is Marissa's Garnet ornament. Isn't it sweet?

The girls also created these adorable snow globes. They used Christmas figure stickers, modeling clay, card stock circles and clear plastic cups. We even added a little glitter to shake around.

This picture reminds me of those seek-and-find pictures. Can you spot a spool of twine? A glue gun? A skating penguin? An orange funnel? Yellow beads?

After the crafts, the girls gat…

Marcus' Minecraft Party

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On Saturday we threw a Minecraft birthday party for Marcus. We had seven boys participating altogether.

They were little goofballs!

Darcie designed the cake.

Marissa designed this Creeper face out of paper napkins.

The first activity was painting Minecraft swords, which I painstakingly designed and cut out of thick cardboard.

While the swords were drying, the boys played some target games with Nerf guns.

Marissa designed this target game.

She painted these faces!

We served all sorts of fun finger foods, Minecraft style. The pigs in a blanket were "bread and pork chops". The blue jello was "water". Their was fried cheese and pretzels for "sticks" and grapes were "slime balls". 

Potato chips were "potatoes", Goldfish crackers and swedish fish were "fish". Marshmallows were "snowballs".

Darcie and I were in the kitchen preparing the pigs in the blanket.

Once the swords were dry, the boys posed for pictures.

Their swor…

A New Christmas Tradition

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Last night for our 24 Days of Christmas, we read this true story-



Worn down from her children's bickering, one mom comes up with a way to bring the Christmas spirit into their home. Every week, each family member draws a name out of a hat. The idea is to secretly serve the family member they randomly chose for the whole week. Every act of secret service equals one straw for Baby Jesus' manger. We read this story together last night and laid out an empty manger to fill with one piece of straw each time we secretly give service in our family. Can we make the manger soft enough by Christmas Eve? We'll see!