Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pictures of Today are in the Heart

No pictures to show but a few treasured pics to tell.

Our Excursion broke down last night after stake/YM/YW/RS meetings; a little tricky maneuvering and we, along with all our stuff, returned home safely, albeit a little late. Lucky for us the Excursion already had an 8:00a.m. appointment for inspection scheduled for this morning. Sadly, it would take a couple days to get fixed. Thus I've been home ALL DAY!

With the gift of a little more time and a little less running than usual, with January's quiet, and night wrapping around the house early, PEACE and COZINESS filled our home and my being! I've taken some of the greatest pictures of all in my heart today! I'm posting a few here on Blogger for Hoffman history's sake:

-Homemade, fresh ground whole wheat bread (along with jam like Grandma's or extra virgin olive oil dipping sauce and spices like we enjoyed at our favorite restaurants in NH!)

-All the leather cushions and decorating pillows off the couch lying spread all around the floors with an American Girl doll carefully laid out on each (the work of the little people)

-Several sizes of little brown MaryJanes scattered just under the barstools (missed the cubbies again)

-Truly darling, animated, and enthusiastic twin girls searching out Mom after school to tell of their adventures

-A most amazing orchestra rehearsal (music stands and all) right in the kitchen while Mom makes dinner (I love the harmony and racing rhythyms!)

-Not only a live concert in the kitchen, but a live piano concerto loud in the formal room, along with sweet baby 'signing time' music coming from the family room, and a book being authored in the library by girls ages 11 & 8.

-after 1/2 hour of sighting no children under 5 in the home I wandered up the stairs to check in and ran into them coming down, surprising me, already in PJ's (ALL BY THEMSELVES!) and ready for a performance of their own - a fashion show hosted/DJed by 5 year old Esther who introduced her sister, Zoie, as "Sweetie". With rosie red lipgloss and a huge smile, her 3 year old PJ tummy wrapped with a stylin' belt for the show, she couldn't have shined brighter!

-Dad coming in the door JUST in time for dinner and to catch the end of the fashion show - they did it all over again for him, complete with the announcement to turn off all cell phones, pagers, and cameras (how does a 5 year old know to say this so officially?)

-tiny Clara leading the racing mob with flapping happy arms and hopping, happy legs, and the biggest, first hug of all for Daddy when he came home!

-My favorite live guitar rendition of "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz floating down the stairs as I check on little ones in the room next door (Isaac is REALLY GOOD at it!)

-and that same 15 year old typing away on his laptop and talking on his cell phone just behind me now, while the plunking and practicing on the piano ever continues in the background, a little more lulling now that it's past 8 pm and Kate returning to my side several times (up out of bed again;)) with her new ideas for finishing up her book.

-Clara going CRAZY with squeals of delight and flapping arms again when Mom and Dad pull down the tiny statue of Santa coming down the chimney (OK, only half of Christmas is taken down!) and it matched her all time FAVORITE book she's LOVED since Christmas came "Up on the Housetop" (I think I might not put the rest of Christmas away for another year just so she can just keep looking at that book and statue daily!)

The warmth in my heart makes the cold outside all the better, and I hope the photos last forever.

P.S. Five year old Esther just came down to tell me that Zoie is crying because Esther told her that Esther would die when she was 100. Zoie didn't want to be without her even a day. Me neither.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


It came just the SAME... WITH BOXES and RIBBONS and TAGS!! With gifts wrapped completely in LOVE!! A very joyous and wonderful occasion indeed!

pics from top to bottom: Grandma and cousin Camden, Clara, Esther, Zoie Grace and all the CHILDREN!!


Did I ever tell you that Christmas eve is my FAVORITE night of the year?!!! Ever since I was a child there is no other night quite as wonderful! And this one held fast to that tradition. Could there be more joy than that of gathering with family in a warm, beautiful home, lit with candles and lights of the season, to worship and wonder at the Savior's birth? We did what we always do, ate a wonderful dinner, gathered in the 'formal' room (the one with the piano in it), opened with a prayer, SANG carols, enjoyed the talents of each family member - everything from singing "Picture a Christmas" to whistling (hilariously) Joy to the World with a Nintendo gig at the end, to harp playing, to story telling. The reading of Luke 2 (this year the dog came in dressed as a cow and took center stage staring down ever so still and closely and reverently at baby Camden lying on the floor, we couldn't believe how funny it looked!) Mom C. always includes a beautiful gift that relates to the message of the evening and this year's was more beautiful than ever, hand painted and created blocks spelling out FAMILY in whimsical and wonderful ways. The children at the close of such a night throw on PJ's (this year provided by Grandma!) and ecstatically choose one gift from under the tree - usually given by siblings - this year the children missed that part and pictures because they were so worried Santa was coming NOW! Oh the anticipation, the joy, the wonder, the LOVE!

The Christmas eve tradition started when I was a small child and we gathered with my grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins (we always celebrated Aunt Loraine's b-day!) Mom continued on more lovely than ever as the extended family night date was moved earlier often, and now it is my turn these past couple of years to implement and preserve such a precious night. The warmth in my heart for this years Christmas eve was as bright and joyful and cozy as my very first memory of Christmas in Canada crowded with cousins and stockings on the staircase of Grandma's home. Thank Heaven for tradition, the tradition of Christmas, Christ, and Christmas eve.

The Party's just Begun for Everyone!!!

Each year Daddy's birthday is just the beginning of ALL THE FUN!! FOR EVERYONE this year as Mom and Dad (Cooper), Clark and Becky, Kristi and Calt and Baby Camden all showed up that evening for the beginning of a MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!!! We had the FUNNEST night eating Chinese food, having live entertainment on the guitar by our neighbor Bill (that was a BLAST- thanks Bill!), great conversation and LAUGHING ALL THE WAY! The finale of it all for Mike and BOYS was watching the Utes win their game! Happy Birthday, my Michael!

Sugar Cookies no matter what!

We'd just enjoyed a wonderful Christmas choir concert on Dec. 22, starring Emily, Anna, and Mikela! (in our book anyway) And came home to a holiday spirit we couldn't resist. Who could wait any longer to let their hair down (literally, it was a mess you can see!) and kick back to make cookies for Santa! Even if it was past all of our bedtimes! Daddy jumped in enthusiastically as well and the girls and Dad stirred up a storm of sugar cookies! Happy baking to all of you! (Hopefully you wisely do yours before 9 p.m.)

Most Amazing Mission Call

The Hoffman Family is filling up with missionaries! Justin in Mongolia, Dylan just returning from CA, Kasey in Kentucky, Andy headin' out soon with Erin close behind him! FANTASTIC! But just after returning home from UT for Thanksgiving we received the most amazing news from Grandpa and Grandma Hoffman, seasoned missionaries setting out for their second (Grandpa's third) mission soon. Where were they called to serve a mission? RIGHT HERE, IN OURS!!! Pittsburgh, PA. After much consideration they decided to put in their papers and leave it up to the Lord and His apostles as to where they would go in this great US of A to serve. We count it kind and tender mercies from above that they would come here. All our love to all our missionaries - with great expectations for GREAT THINGS to come!!!

Hoffman Youth Early Morning Temple Trip

A little late getting this on Blogger but wanted to show you these amazing youth! What a WONDERFUL GROUP! These are most the Hoffman cousins age 12 and up EARLY in the morning at the Bountiful Temple when we visited for Thanksgiving. WAY TO BE, Hoffman Family!