Sunday, December 30, 2012


A few months back my Mother sent me a book about family traditions. 
I read through it once and forgot about it, then as the holidays approached I reconsidered the book and started to think about our own family traditions.  We don't have many, we've adopted some from our own families which we love, but I thought it would be even better to create our own. So this year we added to our list of traditions and next year I hope to add more. 
Our family acquired a plethora of illnesses over the past week or so, and have been thus quarantined to our house.  Unable to attend church on Sunday before Christmas, Henry and I sat at the computer and listened to our Prophet, President Monson, and his first counselor, Henry B. Eyring (H's favorite) talk about the true meaning of Christmas. 
Christmas is about giving with out the hope of getting.  Serving others and bringing them joy.  Sharing the love of Christ with those around us.  Quarantined to the house we were unable to send out Christmas cookies, go caroling, or do anything else to serve in the community. (I will add that perhaps we will start the whole giving at the beginning of Dec. so if the week prior too is flu infested we will not have missed out.)
H and I discussed that the reason we celebrate Christmas, was because of Christ, his birth and his life and since it's his birthday, what gifts we might be able to give him.  And as we learned through out Prophet, as we serve others we are giving a gift to our Savior.  "When ye are in the service of your fellow man, ye are only in the service of your God."
My dear friend, Mahana, dropped by unexpectedly one morning after discovering our sickness, with a cup of hot cocoa, meant the world to me!  We received an act of kindness from a friend, and Christ was given a gift of love.  Grandma came and sat with kids while Mom went on a quiet, much needed, visit to the store. Another gift received by us and given to the Lord.
So even though we were unable to go out and do more service, we received much from friends and family. One of my favorite Christmas gifts, came from our dear friends R & L, meals in a bag.  Its a food storage idea, but they were put to good use when Mommy didn't have the energy to cook.  Another example of serving us and the Lord.
What we did do....
after being cooped up for so long we had to resort to more sophisticated ways of entertainment...
Henry's favorite
"Now Mom, don't laugh...." as he gives me weird googly eyes..
And then he giggles uncontrollably as I bust out laughing..
Not only can she make the cool glasses...
she can pick her nose at the same time!
What talent we possess!
We may offer lessons to anyone interested. LOL

Okay, one of the traditions we started this year
24 books wrapped
One opened each day and read. 
The kids LOVED it.
I think each year we will fine tune the list of books. Until we have 24 we absolutely love.  Or who knows maybe it will continually change.
Thanks to Auntie Stephanie for her searching at thrift stores!!  You're the BEST!
Second Tradition
A box on Christmas Eve... Christmas Eve is reserved in our family for my awesomely wonderful Sister and her birthday.  We eat pizza and have some sort of chocolate dessert in her honor and we even sing to her (present or not). So On the night of Christmas Eve, I packed a box with new pajamas for all the kids, Christmas mugs, special hot cocoa, and a Christmas Movie. (This year provided by Grandparents) The Original Grinch movie followed by Charlie Browns Christmas.
The kids loved it, and I discovered that E had been wishing and wishing for footie pajamas like L has forever... who knew?  Way to go Me!
(Porter wasn't yet decked out in his PJs... but you get the idea)

A tradition in my family from years past
"expensive cereal" on Christmas Morning
I think we got the pack of small boxes with lots of options
But we just went for the big ones... so we could savor it longer :)
Definitely a tradition keeper!
My husband and wonderful friends and neighbors helped come up with a wonderful home made gift for the kids this year...
They came complete with marshmallow guns and marshmallows to shoot the eyes off the snakes (eyes are ping pongs)
So we spent the days before Christmas hanging out in the garage drawing, painting and creating this fun homemade gift.  Henry B. Eyring spoke about homemade gifts and the meaning they can hold and the memories they can create... while this may not hang in our grand children's houses...  I love the idea of making gifts for family... So my Christmas gift creating will have to begin a lot earlier next year.
After Christmas day
we spent the remaining week here,
on the couch
She's even cute sick!
And when we could manage,
here at that beautiful table playing cards
(a Mattingley family heirloom, that we are holding temorarily for them)
a past time our family LOVED!
And a tradition that will continue in our family.
Now honestly I have to tell you I was a bit cranky because I was home bound for a complete week with little to no contact with the outside world.  After attending a friends Memorial service today I finally realized what a blessing this week has been.  Yes we were sick, yes it wasn't always pleasant, my house was a disaster, Christmas candy is still uneaten (Not necessarily a bad thing), but I got to spend an entire week with my family!!! No interruptions, just us, spending time together.  I don't know what the future holds but I am sure that I will be ever so grateful for this week of family sick time we had together.  My children bring me great joy, so does my wonderful hubby! I am grateful to all who served us, and especially for our precious Savior, the greatest gift of all. With his birth we gained hope that man will live again, that we will be freed from our sins, and that we will eventually be home again with him and our Father in Heaven.  What JOY there is to celebrate at the Christmas season if we look past all the pretty paper and ribbons.
We Love and Miss so many dear friends and family, especially around Holiday seasons, well actually, every day! But we hope that you all were blessed with gifts of service from others, and hopefully opportunities to GIVE gifts of service.  We LOVE YOU ALL!! May the Lord bless you with peace and Joy in the New Year.
The Miner Family

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


 WHAT??!!!! It's almost CHRISTMAS??!!!
Guess we better stop being NAUGHTY!!
Well since the last post.... We did it... We moved in to the New House!!!
We do not yet have flooring upstairs, doors hung, or steps to the front porch, but we are IN!!
 During the process of moving over
 our first dinner in the new house
yep, she's a red head, with an attitude to go with it.. :)
And the two older kids are crazy excited for the new house, but they miss their loft bedroom with the skylight.  Can't win them all I guess.
 This is MY kitchen!
Counters on the left are extra deep, because my  hubby is building me a drawer behind the lower cabinets for my 5 gallon buckets with flour, sugar etc.  :)  And behind the little man on the counter is an awesome range... with a convection oven! (actually it has a stupid button on it... converts it for you so you don't need to actually know how to use a convection oven. ha ha) I LOVE IT!
Cookie making is so much easier!
Now to try the bread
 And our living room, no banister up yet... we have a big cedar chest in front of the stairs now so L can't climb up there.  Even with out the upstairs we are in heaven... so much more space!!!
The far right of the picture shows the door to the "crawl space"  with 7 foot something ceilings, and currently holding our bed and storage room.  Actually down stairs will be the movie room and "Costco room"  Ever see Blast from the Past?  Just imagine going shopping in your "crawl space."  That's what I have... pictures to follow... also housed inside my "crawl space" will be my sewing nook!! 
 Add to the mix an Alaskan Christmas tree, acquired from our front yard :)
Decorating TALL trees isn't easy, may require shorter tree next year.
 All this makes for one HAPPY MOMMY!!!

 The view from our front windows, front yard.  LOVE IT!
For those of you not in AK, we didn't get our first snow this year until the second week of December!
And when it snowed... it really snowed! The kids were playing outside so long yesterday in negative temps that their cheeks were a bit frost bitten... but I couldn't convince them to come indoors... they just wanted more layers. :)
So much has happened this year with our family, mostly it's been another wonderful year of bliss and peace.  This little miracle man has been living life at full speed.  He goes to Preschool four days a week and LOVES it!!
Just a quick update on his status...
We recently had MRIs of his liver and heart to determine the level of iron build up in his organs.  We prayed and fasted much, and were blessed to only have iron build up in his liver.  Heart is still clear and strong!! Because he has build up in his liver, treatment plans have changed.  For those of you that don't know, because of his many, many, many transfusions following transplant his body has a great store of iron.  Which isn't great. Genetically it's called Hemachromatosis which means that his body can't break down iron on it's own.  This disease only presents itself in older individuals though, highly rare for a child to have it. So we are all in agreement that it's probably from all the transfusions.  For the past year he has been doing monthly phlebotomy visits at the PedOnc office.  It hasn't been as helpful as we hoped, so we are going to try weekly visits for a while, drawing more blood... which means: Pokes every week, with possible IV for fluids, with possible swelling (Henry always liked to get bloated with IV fluids in the past) which may lead to a port or something to prevent weekly pokes and IV and swelling... which means germ a phobia again, and fevers taking us back to the ER...
While it's a bit disheartening I cannot help but be grateful everyday that ALL we have to deal with is iron overload!  There are so many more scenarios that I wouldn't want to be living right now.  The Lord has truly blessed us with two years of peace and joy!
H is strong and has done amazing so far, hopefully a big kick in the pants will help his iron deposits decrease and allow him to go back to normal life. 
For now we will enjoy the rest of the year in "normalcy!"