Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Christmas

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For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
~ Isaiah 9:6

~ JOY ~

...I bring you good tidings of great JOY...
~ Luke 2:10 ~

...their hearts were swollen with JOY,
unto the gushing out of many tears,
because of the greatness of God...

~ 3 Nephi 4:33 ~


~ Mine & Aaron’s wedding ~ Aaron Jr’s birth ~
These are both experiences in my life when I have felt the
kind of JOY which caused my heart to swell & tears to gush
out. Of course there are other experiences I could mention,
but these are just a couple of the big ones...

As I have been looking back on my life & reflecting on the
times when I have felt that kind of JOY, it has caused me to
try to imagine the JOY that was felt around the world & in
heaven as we all rejoiced at the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Each year, as I watch the movie Mr. Krueger’s Christmas
(with Jimmy Stewart), the part where Mr. Krueger kneels down
& talks to the baby Jesus & tells Him that He loves Him,
I can’t help but feel the Spirit & shed tears.

My favorite part of decorating for Christmas each year
is setting up the nativity set. I always make sure it is in
the most visible spot in the living room for us to see...

Just as Mr. Krueger did, I try to imagine myself
kneeling beside the humble manger which cradled our Savior,
the King of heaven & earth, & it brings tears to my eyes.
I would have felt such JOY & honor at the privilege of being
there to bow down, worship Him, & tell Him that I love Him.
If the JOY I feel at just thought of His birth causes my heart to
swell & tears to gush out even now as I write this, then
imagine the JOY we experienced when it actually happened
over two thousand years ago.

The feelings of Love, Peace, Hope, & JOY that accompanied
His birth that night must have been absolutely wondrous.

Imagine the JOY.


our Christmas with (without) Aaron

We love you all... & we wish you all a JOYful Christmas.
Let us all allow ourselves to feel the Love, Peace, Hope, & JOY of
this wondrous & miraculous season & invite Christ into our hearts.

Love always, Leslie * Aaron Jr.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Random November

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Aaron Jr and I met all the Harkness women and kids out at a park in Salt Lake for Lennon's birthday. It was a beautiful park and the kids had a blast in the leaves.

Pearl, Malia, Grace, Aaron Jr

Ava and the birthday boy, Lennon.
Aaron Jr jumping off of a concrete wall.

and again...

That's my boy... SO brave and tough. :)

Isaac and Sophia joined in the fun. What troopers!

Aaron Jr

beautiful tree

beautiful sun through the tree

I love this photo of Shayla. She is just about to partake of an apple sitting on that window sill. She is so beautiful. We love going over and feeding her once a week. We are still so grateful that she is with family and we can see her often. Thanks again John and Lisa. We are also grateful that Ode is still around. Aaron's parents take such good care of him. Since selling the house, he has lived with them because I can't have a dog where I live. We sure love Aaron's pets who are still around us. Thanks also to Steve and Sue.

These photos were taken at 11:03 pm one night. The first one was with a flash. It focused on the snowflakes, so everything looks really dark. The second one was with the flash off and look how bright it was outside because of the snow. The snow was making everything glow. LOVED it!

These flowers were delivered to us the day after the third anniversary of Aaron's death. My sister Lori's family sent them. They are beautiful and they brightened our day. I am grateful for the thoughtful messages, cards, cookies, and flowers... we are so blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives. Thank you so much.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

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Tradition. This is a tradition I have had for many, many, many years. I took over making all of the pies for my mom when I was a teenager. Then after I got married, I still carried on this tradition. The night before Thanksgiving each year, I make A LOT of pumpkin pies and usually only one cherry pie. For the last few years, Aaron Jr has now become my pie making buddy in Grandma's kitchen. This is our tradition. Thanks to my mom for buying so many of the ingredients for the pies. :)

Here we are with the HUGE bowl of pumpkin pie batter. Mmm...

Aaron Jr helping me to fill the pie crusts. Mark and Suzy stopped by while we were in the middle of this and Evelyn helped fill a few as well. Then Aaron and Evelyn took a break to watch a show together.

This year, we went to my friend, Lisa's house the week before Thanksgiving. She was having a pie making party. So, I brought all the stuff to make four fruit pies and we all went to town making pies. Aaron played with all the kids that were there while us four moms made pies in the kitchen... while talking and laughing together. It was so much fun. Then I froze my four fruit pies and took them out the night before Thanksgiving to thaw and bake. Aren't they beautiful? These are the blackberry and cherry pies. Thanks Lisa and gals.

From Beginning to End.

Here we are... Aaron and Me with our finished products... 12 pumpkin pies, 2 apple pies, 1 blackberry pie, and 1 cherry pie. Mmm...

I believe this is the only photo I took of anyone ON the actual day of Thanksgiving. Aaron Jr enjoying his yummy dinner. We went to see Grandpa and Grandma Sue in the morning of Thanksgiving for a little bit. Sue helped me make some stuffing. I love her recipe, so I wanted to make some this year. Thank you Sue. It was splendid. Then we went to my family's Thanksgiving feast. We ate, talked, laughed, played some basketball as a family, played some others games, talked, laughed, and ate some more... it was a good day.

Thanksgiving will forever be a bitter sweet time of the year for me. Thanksgiving, the days leading up to Thanksgiving, and the days following Thanksgiving... Thanksgiving was the final posting I did before Aaron passed away. Aaron passing away that next week... wow, what a tough week it will be for me each year. We sure miss you, Aaron. Those are the bitter parts of Thanksgiving...

The sweet parts of Thanksgiving are being with family and also having such wonderful memories to sustain us... for now. And the gratitude I feel in my heart as we take that day (or month) to remember the blessings we have and the blessings we are given each day of our lives.

We are blessed...

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bonneville Salt Flats

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I forgot to post these photos. My brother offered to go out to the Bonneville Salt Flats out in western Utah one Saturday in October to take photos of anyone in our family who wanted to drive out there. So, several of my siblings and their families and my parents all went out there and we joined them. All the the photos in this posting were taken with my camera except the last three, which were taken by my brother with his awesome camera (a.k.a. my dream camera:). I wish I had taken photos of everyone else's families, but I was busy taking photos of Aaron Jr. There are loads of photos. I loved them all... narrowed it down as much as I could. I love them all, but they could get boring to others. :)

All of the kids had the chance to drive around in the big open and flat space out there. Aaron Jr loved it.

The salt did stick to everything. I had to take photos of my sister's family's car... the tires looked really cool.

These were fun. Teresa took a bunch of Aaron and me as we tried to get the perfect jumping shot.

My cute parents.

Thanks Robert and Teresa for your time and effort... and everyone who came. It was so much fun.

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