Thursday, November 29, 2007

I Heart Christmas Music

Who doesn't love Christmas music? It reminds me of all things festive and happy like snow falling outside, family gathering around, eating cinnamon rolls on Christmas Eve, welcoming Santa to our family parties over the years, and most importantly, it continually reminds me of the birth of our Savior. I don't know if I am finally 'growing up' but I honestly cannot make it through my favorite songs about Jesus' birth without tearing up while feeling the beauty of that event fill my whole heart. I actually love it but it makes me laugh afterwards when I am simply driving around town with the kids and I suddenly have a face full of tears and squeaky voice due to my emotions. Here are a few of my favorite songs:

1) Favorite New Song: In a Bleak Midwinter by Sarah McLachlan
It's a gorgeous, less popular song which showcases Sarah at her finest. See here for lyrics.

2) Favorite New Arrangement: I'll Be Home for Christmas by Michael Buble
I just love Michael's voice and this sentimental song is always comforting--fills my heart with joy for actually getting to be home for Christmas with all my family around me (in-laws included:)

3) Favorite Random: Were You There?
The only arrangement I have of this song is a piano solo by John Schmidt which is mild and gentle, and very lovely. But I love this song because the lyrics are so tender and beautiful. My husband and I sang it as a duet for our ward Christmas party our first year living in Phoenix. Since then it has been a favorite. Here are the lyrics:

Where you there? Where you there
On that Christmas night?
When the world was filled with a holy light?
Where you there to behold as the wonder foretold
Came to Earth?

Did you see? Did you see?
How they hailed him king?
With their gifts so rare that they chose to bring?
Did you see how they bowed as they praised him aloud
At his birth?

Did you hear how the choirs of angels sang
At the glory of the sight?
Did you hear how the bells of Heaven rang
All through the night?

Did you know, did you know
It was God's own son?
The salvation of the world begun?
Did you know it was love that was sent from above
To the Earth?

Did you know it was love that was sent from above
To the Earth?

4) Lifelong Favorite: any German Christmas carol
I am certain that the very first Christmas song I memorized as a child was either Kling Glokchen Kling or Leise rieselt der Schnee. My family is all a little German at heart due to our 3 years living there back in the 80s. Thanks to the fabulous Heintje, we enjoyed all our favorite Christmas music auf Deutsch every year even after moving back to the states (and we still do thanks to the option of recording records onto CDs).

5) Favorite Classic: Silent Night
See here to read my feelings from last year (captured on Heidi's blog...)

In all honesty, I love every song and especially love this time of year :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I'm Dreaming Of...

The view from my back porch last night.And the view this morning :)

Monday, November 26, 2007

2nd, I Mean 3rd Dinner

Wow. 3 Thanksgiving dinners in one week. Such yummy food but more importantly, such wonderful company every time! First, Ruth Ann hosted a LeBaron dinner at her home last Sunday for all her children and grandchildren living in Utah. Second, my mom had us all over on Thanksgiving, and then Cecily hosted us one more time on Saturday in honor of Heidi and Ben's 36 hour weekend in town. At this rate I shouldn't need to eat anything for about a week! It's so worth it though to have reveled in so much family time--we had a ball at each dinner :)
crazy Cares at her finest :) such a contrast to the shy refined Maddie--at the moment anyway!the boys doing their silly snowman skit--Beans was super excited to be included with the big boys

Saturday, November 24, 2007

18 Months Old

Our sweet little girl is growing up so fast! Lately she is saying everything, following Bentley's every move, feeding fluffy animals and baby dolls her bottle, trying on every pair of shoes she can reach in my closet and clomping around in them through the house, dancing and showing off for everyone we know, and cuddling us all the time. She is a darling, busy, feisty little toddler and we fall in love with her more and more every day. Happy 18 months Caresie :)

Friday, November 23, 2007


Tons of delicious food, sweet kids, sweet potatoes, lots of laughter, lots of football (on TV), hot buttery rolls, dressed up kids, napping baby girls, Tutu and Papa, and hours and hours of family time=perfect.

Cares' favorite activity--finding a comfy lap for story time
Where's our Heidi? Missed you little sis!

Good guys fighting off evil villians (Joseph called Ethan a Lithuanian bell-hop)
Tickle war with Stacey
And reading once again with Grandma Bobbi...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Sorrow in Death

I have cried a lot today. My heart is heavy and sad. But at the same time I am overwhelmed with feelings of love and gratitude. I attended a funeral this morning for Jared, Joseph's 32 year old cousin. I never really knew him all that well since he has lived away for many years but I know his siblings and parents well and see them often at LeBaron parties and family events. Jared left behind a wife and two children ages 3 and 1. In seeing all of them today and the hurt and pain they are dealing with, I couldn't help but feel so much sadness for them in losing their brother and son, and husband and daddy.

The service was so lovely. Johnny gave the family prayer before we went into the chapel and it was so touching--a sincere, pleading and tender communion with our Heavenly Father. My husband and his 4 brothers sang a beautiful medley combining Where Can I Turn for Peace, A Child's Prayer, and The Lord is My Shepherd. They were accompanied by the wonderful James Hebdon (a cousin on the other side of the family). Their voices and words were simply perfect and the spirit bore such strong witness as they sang of our Savior and His love for us. I watched those 5 brothers singing up there and I was filled with so much love for them. They are good, righteous men who are doing good things in their lives and the lives of their families. They were so willing to participate in the funeral and help in any way they could because they loved their cousin. They were very close while they were growing up and Jared even lived with the LeBarons for 6 months when he and Joseph (and Jim and Johnny) were all teenagers. It was tender and sweet to see my husband and his brothers sing, and weep, over the loss of their old friend.

The bishop shared a quote that I really liked in his closing remarks. He was talking about mourning and how it is a natural and good thing because it is essentially a display of love. He then said, "the only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life." It made me think of my own precious children and dear husband as well as my siblings and parents. My family isn't perfect and we certainly have our own issues but at the end of the day, I love them all so much and would be devastated to lose any of them knowing I could no longer see them and laugh with them and make memories together. That is what I will take with me today--a renewed love and appreciation for my beloved family. I am a lucky girl to have them.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

This Week's Musings

Disclaimer: The first paragraph is totally gross--not for those with any aversion to throw-up. Oh--and the pictures are of some recent home decor I set-up for Jessica's baby shower at my house. They only match a fraction of this entry but they look nice and festive :)

1) How can I clean the fabric seats in my current rental car so that they no longer smell like throw-up? I have tried Armor All cleaning wipes, Clorox wipes, good old hot water and now just have a super strong air freshener hanging from the rear-view mirror. The source of all the vomit--none other than my tiny pro-barfer, Caroline. She has thrown-up 3 times in one week--and each time in the Dodge Magnum rental. Thanks to a mild concussion and a way yucky cough/cold Cares has outdone herself (and this is saying a lot for her since she has been a heroic barfer ever since she began eating solids).

2) What better art is there to hang in my home than portraits of my kids? Seriously, my newest prints, courtesy of the fabulous Rebecca Mudrick, are worth every penny (and still cheaper than any painting I have ever really wanted to buy).

3) Why do I only get serious about really cleaning my house and getting things in order when I am going to have company over? I guess that's one reason why I offer to host things like Sunday dinner every once in a while, enrichment activities, and baby/bridal showers--kicks me into gear. I am learning that I cannot get much accomplished when I own the equivalent of 2 wrecking balls in the form of children which magically destroy any progress I make in cleaning anything (especially the kitchen floor and bathroom toilets--can anyone say "3 year old boy??").

4) How can I make myself get more sleep? I am fighting a cold and really need to sleep but I simply cannot make myself go to bed before 11:00 (and usually it's midnight!) I am so much like my mom in that I love the quiet and stress free world of my house at night. I can get so much done on my computer like lesson plans for dance and Bentley's preschool, blogging, my church callings, and Christmas and family history projects. Or, I can simply sit and watch DVRed shows that I have been saving for days and enjoy the downtime without any interruptions. My kids wake up around 7:00 am every day so there's no rest for the weary come morning. Anyone know how to get me into bed already? ;)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

2 Weeks Ago

How have I let that much time pass without posting about our lovely little trip down to St George? Maybe our horrible car wreck on the way home has been deterring me. At any rate, we had a wonderful time and the weather was gorgeous--perfect for swimming, mini-golf and lots of running around outside :)
Mini posers at their finest!
Silliest boys ever. They honestly made me laugh so hard I was crying--several times during our weekend!
Tiny golf course dancer!

Monday, November 5, 2007

6 Things

I read Krista's blog the other day and loved her post on 6 things people may not know about her. I decided that I could never do an entry like that because everyone knows everything about me--especially those who read my blog! But then I started really thinking and I actually came up with a few (but I am sure there is someone out there who did know all of these things before I posted;) I wonder why I felt compelled to dig up so many embarrassing things about myself...Anyway--here goes:

1) Back in the early 90s I had the hugest of all huge crushes on Mark Paul Gosselar from my favorite Saturday morning show Saved by the Bell. So, naturally, I wrote to his fan club and received my very own autographed picture and proceeded to sleep with it under my pillow for several weeks. I was such a devoted fan :)

2) I'd really like a tattoo. I won't ever get one but I must admit that I think a simple little design on the top of my foot or the back of my shoulder could be quite tasteful and sexy.

3) When I was little I used to pretend I was a Solid Gold dancer. I'd tuck my nightgown into my underwear to create my costume and then I'd dance for my family. You'd better believe I was awesome doing all my sassy 80s jazz moves (OK--I looked nothing like them but I felt like I was doing exactly what they did on TV!)

4) I decided when I was very small that if I were a princess I would require one thing: a hired back-tickler with amazing nails to tickle my back for me every night as I fell asleep. It still sounds fabulous--I love having my back tickled.

5) I love Conan O'Brien. His humor can really make me laugh out loud whenever I happen to catch his show late at night. I am excited for him to replace Jay Leno in a few years so I can watch his show before midnight.

6) When I was in Junior High and bored while washing my hair in the shower, I used to read the back of my shampoo and conditioner labels out loud and act like I was on a hair product commercial. Seriously, for those of you who know me, it fits the bill--I can totally be a drama queen!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Happy Birthday Bob

Happy Birthday to the lone, November birthday boy! I know Bob is at the BYU football game right this very minute and that seems like a grand way to celebrate :)

Bob is one amazing guy. I met him when he was just a little deacon in our ward but he has always seemed older and wiser than his actual age. I love that Bob is so very willing to help his family members. I used to think that because he was the youngest, everyone just took advantage of him. This may have been the case at one point but the Bob I know just helps and works and does his part without any complaints or drama--plain and simple. When Joseph and I moved to Phoenix after graduating from BYU we wanted one more person besides my mom to come with us and drive in the U-Haul with Joe and help us unpack. We asked Bob if he would join us and he was only too happy to come and lift pianos and couches and all sorts of boxes in the 115 degree AZ heat! And we were so grateful to have him there (we then "invited" him to come help us move back to UT 3 years later and he agreed again--love that kid!)

I love that my own family loves to have Bob around and has even invited him on family trips when Joseph and I weren't there :) He is so calm and helpful and fun and friendly that he just fits right in in any situation. Bob is a fabulous guitar player, a true Canadian at heart, an insanely good game player, a double-major pursuer, and a lady charmer (even though he really doesn't think he is ;) It's so fun to hear all about his dating pursuits and see how eager he is for help in understanding and dealing with girls.

Our family loves you Bob and we can't wait to see what you accomplish in this 22nd year ahead of you!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Haunted Halloween Horsley style :) OK--enough alliteration. We had a festive and tasty Halloween dinner at Cec's house with Grandma Bobbi, Uncle Marsh, Grandma "in-law" Susan, Cecily and her family and Catherine and her family. During dinner, all the 6 boys sat together and Bentley decided to call Calder his "new mommy." Great thing was that Calder totally played along and helped Bentley eat most of his food :) The LeBaron clan grabbed a few pictures with some daylight left and then zipped home for trick-or-treating in our own neighborhood. Needless to say, "Fifi" the puppy (as Cares' dogtag denotes) and Bentley the dragon were adored by our friends and stayed ultra warm in their fleece costumes. Notice my cute hubby enjoying the chance to dress up and act the part :)

Classic photo moment--gotta love Bentley picking his nose and Maddie dancing like a princess!!