Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Dalai Lama's Instructions for Life

At the end of this year here are some good words of advice.

I love you all.

Thanks for sharing in my life and letting me share in yours.

I hope you all have a wonderful new year!

-Della Hill

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Year in Review

2008 has been a great year for me and my family. (You can read all about it by viewing our Christmas newsletter blog by clicking above). But for the rest of the world and our country it hasn't been so great.
Of course, the best year in review videos are done by JibJab.
I liked last years better, to be honest, but part of that was probably because in some ways 2007 was better than 2008, even though 2007 had a lot of it's own problems.
You can view the 2008 Year in Review video by clicking >>>here<<<. (It's not available to post yet). But you can watch the 2007 video RIGHT HERE!
In 2007 Funny Jokes at JibJab One warning, the 2008 video is funny, but I wouldn't let my kids watch it. Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Chris' Christmas Wish

You know how we wives always try to give our husbands little hints about things we would like?
Pointing out things we see in commercials or in store windows, casually mentioning over lunch how much we like the new pendant that the jewelry store is promoing, all those things?
I gave up on doing that years ago.
I am much more direct. As in:
"Hey Chris, see that digital photo frame? The one right there on the middle shelf, second from the left, with the 7" screen, made by Panasonic that's on sale right now? See it? That's what I want for Christmas."
And guess what I got?
The 7" panasonic digital photo frame, that wasn't on sale any more by the time he got back to buy it.
See, it works.
But I have also learned something else from years of trial and error in this department; sometimes guys give us hints too. Sometimes intentionally, other times unintentionally, they often point out things they would like to have, or think are cool.
And this year, I paid attention.
Not only did I pay attention, I did it up right. I thought it out, I planned it, and I delivered.
Most of you know that my dear husband is a bit of a World of Warcraft fanatic.
You may also know that a new expansion to the game, called Wrath of the Lich King, was released last month.
You probably don't know that in the game the Lich King has a completely awesome sword called Frostmourne.
And if you don't know that, you probably won't know that a company called Epic Weapons has created a real life version of this sword.
Chris not only thought this sword was cool, he found it worthy to decorate his Chrstmas stocking with a felt version of it.
So this is what happened on Christmas morning:
We all had a great time opening up our presents as a family. After the last presents were opened and thank you hugs given Chris started moving around cleaning up all of the wrapping paper and boxes.
This was when I put on a pair of reindeer antlers that had a piece of paper with a yellow exclamation mark pinned to them.
(In the game, when a person has a yellow exclamation mark over their head it means they have a quest to give).
Chris looked at me sideways for a few minutes before he came to me and asked if he was missing something. It took him a minute to figure out why I would possibly be wearing such a silly getup on my head, but when he got it he got excited and asked if I had a quest for him.
I gave him a scroll of paper I had prepared with a quest written out.
The quest was to spend time with each member of the family for 5 minutes, thereby concreting family values and togetherness on Christmas day. Each family member presented him with a siver bell upon completion of their activity.
When he had all of the bells, he returned to me.
At this point I had on my head a gold question mark, the symbol that the quest has been completed.
I told him that his reward would not be found under the Christmas tree, but instead in the box that the Christmas tree is stored in. (It was the only place I could think of to hide the thing, where it would fit, but not be found too early).
He ran to the garage and opened the box.
The sword was wrapped in towels, but he quickly removed the sword from them.
He was shocked. He was thrilled. He almost giggled and jumped up and down like a schoolgirl.
He didn't think I was paying attention when he had pointed it out.
He certainly didn't think he was likely to get it even if I had been paying attention.
In only a few minutes he had it mounted on the wall next to his computer.
You may be interested in knowing it has already drawn blood.
Chris had to lean over his desk for something and when he stood up he hit his head on the sharp sideways dagger.
(Don't worry Grandma, it was just a small scrape).
So in the end, I was the hero for giving the perfect gift.
It doesn't happen much, but I get him once in a while.
And it made my Christmas day that much better.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Wishes

I had one Christmas wish this year that I didn't expect to get.
I barely even said it out loud because the more I voiced it, the more I felt like I invested in it. And I didn't want to be disappointed, because I was certain that I would be.
I also felt like my wish was a little bit selfish, and I didn't want others to miss out on Christmas happiness just so I could have it.
What I wanted, more than anything else this year, was to have all of my boys here together on Christmas morning.
In all the years I have done foster care or worked in group homes, I have never had a Christmas morning with every member of my household there.
There is always someone who spends the day with their biological family and comes home later.
I am glad that these kids have family to spend Christmas with. I wish they all did.
In a perfect world they would all have families who take care of them everyday, and I would be out of a job, and it would be awesome!
Unfortunately, that isn't the case.
My kids who go to another home for Christmas still get as many gifts, they just open them when they get back and they miss out on the magic of Christmas morning at our house.
This year was different. For one reason or another, (and some of these reasons made me very sad), none of my boys were able to go to their other homes for Christmas. The result of this was that they all got to be here on Christmas morning. And I got to be very happy.
All of these kids have anxiety about the holidays. Historically Christmas has been a time of tremendous disappointment or even pain for them. And allowing themselves to open up to the fun and family joy of Christmas is a scary thing.
Because of that, yesterday morning had a potential to start off badly. And it almost did.
But after a few minutes we were able to work through it and have a great Christmas morning.
After all the presents were open all the boys took part in helping Chris do a quest to get his last and biggest present.
Everyone hung out, played with their toys, cell phones, and even put a band together to go on a World Tour courtesy of Guitar Hero.
Later on we all went to the movies to see "Bedtime Stories".
No one complained. Everyone got along. Everyone had fun. We even all sat together at the movies, which is a small thing, but a big thing for everyone in my family to not mind being close to each other.
After we got home we played more Guitar Hero and downloaded new songs onto mp3 players.
I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas. Even the initial stress early in the morning made us appreciate how well everything went even more.
I got the presents that I asked for, but so much more importantly to me, I got the wish that I was afraid to wish for.
I got to have my family together, and had a wonderful time on Christmas..
It was wonderful.
I hope all of you have as great of a Christmas Holiday as I am having.
And to top it all off, I called my Bishopric Member and accepted that calling that I am terrifed of.
Here's to weight lifting.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Santa Tracker

Just in case you're wondering when Santa will hit your neighborhood, you can check out the Google powered, Satellite Santa Tracker at >>>Track Santa<<<.
Merry Christmas!

The Christmas Blog

In case you haven't noticed, at the top of the page there is a link to our family's Christmas Blog.
I don't do Christmas Cards, so I am inviting everyone to read our Christmas Blog instead.
Please just click on the blue Merry Christmas button.
After you read it, be sure to leave us a comment to let us know you were there.
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Best of the 12 Days of Christmas

How can you pick one version of the 12 days of Christmas to be the best?
I can't.
So I am just going to give you a few of my favorites.
Grab some hot cocoa and a popcorn ball and enjoy these carols.
First we have Jeff Foxworthy and a Redneck Christmas

Next is the 12 Pains of Christmas, done oh-so-cleverly

And Bob and Doug McKenzie with their version, delivered (I couldn't help it) World of Warcraft style.

Only 3 days left till Christmas!

Are you ready?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Kind of Person I Want to Be, Sunday Post

I found a few scriptures in the last few days that struck me as powerful.
Today in Sunday School we read a verse that I have read before, but it hit me hard this time.
It was Ether 12, verse 27:
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
I have felt pretty weak in some areas over the last couple days. The thing about these particular weaknesses is that I have gone to God for help with them, and they have been pretty dang humbling.
There are 2 more scriptures about the kind of person I would like to be.
The book of Alma talks about Captain Moroni who led the Nephite armies in their defense against the Lamanites.
If you want to read his story it starts in Alma, chapter 46 and goes on for a while. It is an awesome story.
The 2 verses that sum up Moroni are Alma 48, verses 13 and 17.
13: Yea, and he was a man who was firm in the faith of Christ, and he had sworn with an oath to defend his people, his rights and his country, and his religion, even to the loss of blood.
This verse reminds me of my brother, who is in Iraq right now, and stands for all of those things.
17: Yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, if all men had been and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.
So now we come back to the weaknesses. How do we ever get to be as awesome as Moroni when we have so many weaknesses?
This guy led all of the of the Nephites in defense of their lives, families, country and religion.
I am terrified of leading 20 primary children in singing songs.
In his talk from this October's General Conference, President Thomas S. Monson said "Remember that the Lord will shape the back to bear the burden placed upon it."
Most of us are not asked to lead armies into battle. Many of us are asked to serve our fellow men in other ways.
And when we realize our weaknesses and feel inadequate, we must go to God in humility and faith, so that he can make our weaknesses strong.
This is an amazing thing. I have faith that this is true, and I'm working on doing it.
But I'm still afraid of some of the things I am called to do.
So I guess it's through faith in action that some of our weaknesses are made strong.
We can't be made strong until we start lifting the weights, right? And the more we lift the stronger we get.
I guess I have some lifting to do.
Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Comics, day 3, (last day)

This last cartoon is from "Today’s Cartoon by Randy Glasbergen", displayedwith special permission. For many more cartoons, please visit Randy'ssite @
Hope you enjoyed my comics.
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

More Christmas Comics, (Day 2)

I apologize for any content you may not feel is appropriate for a family blog.
(This one is my favorite)
I found a website that belongs to a cartoon author. All of his work is copyrighted, so I didn't repost it here, but check out >>>Randy Glasbergen's site<<< to see some other good ones.
And come back tomorrow for the third and final day of Christmas comics

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Picture Tag

Well, what do you know? 2 posts in one day!
I got tagged by Pikes Pickles to do this. It seems simple enough.
The object of the picture tag is to:
1) Choose the 4th folder where you store your pictures on your computer
2) Select the 4th picture in the folder
3) Explain the picture
4) Tag 4 people to do the same
NO CHEATING! (cropping, editing, etc!)
I had a problem though, I have an extra folder in my picture file that doesn't actually have pics in it in the #2 spot, so I wasn't sure which folder was technically #4.
Solution: I am posting pics from both of the possible #4 folders.

This is my dog Samantha waiting by the back door to go out. This is not the best picture of her because when the pic is clearer and her ears are up she is a beautiful dog.

I am not sure there is an explanation for this pic.

I took this picture less than half a mile from my house.

I call it Redneck Mailbox.


I tag the 4 coolest people who read my blog. (You know who you are).

Christmas Cartoons, Day 1

Over the last few weeks my site meter has been jumping.
Whenever I check to see what people are coming to my blog for the answer is Christmas Comics, over and over.
So while I posted most of these last year, I will repost them for the sake of my readers who didn't see them last year and for the sake of my google searchers who are looking for them now.
But, to keep you coming back I am not going to post all of them today.
See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pics that make you go Hmmm?

Wordless Wednesday, a day early

Monday, December 15, 2008

The WWE in Iraq

My brother Mike, who is proudly serving his country in Iraq, sometimes gets to see some pretty cool celebrities who go down to visit the troops.
A week or so ago the WWE (that's World Wrestling Entertainment) went down to provide some entertainment for our hard working soldiers.
Mike was very disappointed that he didn't get to actually meet the superstars and get some autographs, especially since he has been watching wrestling since it was the WWF.
But he did get a bunch of great pics. One of which he asked me to not post, and I am obliging.
That one was of Rey Mysterio without his mask. I would love to post that one, but I agree that the guy deserves some privacy.
For those who are not WWE fans this won't mean much, but for some people, like my J, this is pretty awesome.
Rey Mysterio R Truth on an MRAP
R Truth in the ring
Matt Hardy
Matt Hardy, R Truth, and I'm not sure who, in a match
John Cena
(Oh, yeah)
Crime Time
Crime Time on the ramp
CM Punk
Chris Jericho
How awesome is that?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My Talk on Family Traditions, Sunday Post

I got to speak in church today.
For some reason I can't explain, I actually like doing this.
I won't post my entire talk for you. If you weren't in my sacrament meeting today you just missed out.
But I will share the story I told at the beginning and the point that went with it.
What I said:
"I would like to start by relating to you a story about Thanksgiving told by my friend Larry, as it was told to him by his grandfather. I should probably mention that his grandfather was usually intoxicated when he told this story.
Many years ago, Christopher Columbus and his pilgrim buddies came to America to live because the English King wouldn’t let the Jewish people go.
So Moses, who was a friend of Christopher Columbus, rented 3 boats called the Mayflower, the Santa Maria and the USS Enterprise.
When they landed on America an Indian squaw named Sacajuwea met them and traded them pelts for beads. Then she showed them how to degut a rabbit.
The head pilgrim then baptized all the Indians to be Christians and they shot turkeys and played horseshoes.
It was General Custer’s birthday and 3 oriental kings showed up with presents of Myhrr and other crap.
Many pilgrims didn’t survive the first winter, because Jimmy Carter, who was president of the pilgrims had an oil embargo.
Sacajuwea and her Indian friends burned buffalo turds and heated the camp. The pilgrims were thankful, however, it smelled so bad that animals came out of the forest two by two.
The Lord then made a rainbow appear to let the people know that he would never make turds burn again and cause a horrible smell.
All the pilgrims were happy they were away from the king and safe in a new land.
And to beat that they all landed right on that first Thanksgiving.
Charlton Heston was then elected president.
The reason I told you this story, besides getting your attention, is to make the point that, as with Larry and his Grandpa, when the traditions of the fathers are incorrect, even if they are based in truth and carried on with the best intentions, the traditions of the children are likely to be incorrect as well."
Chris warned me that anyone who mentions buffalo turds twice in their sacrament talk has it coming, but it went well.
I think the rest of the talk went pretty well too.
Oh, by the way, my friend Larry who tells this story is a cable technician by trade.
(Git 'r done).

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Story of Love and Loss

A small bird sits, gravely injured and unable to fly.
Her mate comes, bringing her food and tending to her.
The next time he returns, he finds her dead. He tries to wake her. When he can't wake her, he stand beside her and screams. Finally, he stands beside her silently, in sorrow.

Love is all over the world, if you are looking for it.

But in order to know joy and love, we must also know sadness and solitude.


Love is not finding someone to live with;

it's finding someone you can't live without.

- Rafael Ortiz