Friday, December 26, 2008


For Christmas...

Michael met a new maiden named Toshiba
(who, apparently, is a whiz as a lap-dancer...I mean, lap-top),

I got great footwear!

Evan got a girlfriend (gift-cards for dates included),

Lane got skiis,

Joshua is going to get fit,

(just as soon as he gets off his duff),

and we all get Amy!

Beat that (and I do mean you, Georgia Brown!).

To top it all off, I made my mom cry.
(I didn't even know it was that good of a present!)

Now that's success!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Well, at least my children are.

Joshua got very excited when I told him that Aunt Merrit was coming to visit.

"Mom," he questioned, "Who do you think is the prettiest of you and your sisters?"
Stating the obvious, I replied, "Well, Merrit, of course."
"Mom, would you be offended if I agreed with you on that?"

Not to worry; he told me I was, at least, second. Condolences to my third and fourth prettiest sisters.

Another time we were listening to Christmas music and "Deck the Halls" began to play.

"Why do they keep singing about Richard?" Joshua plied.
"Richard?" I asked, "Who's singing 'Richard'?"
"You know," he explained, "Dick the halls..."

It got better.

Just then came the refrain, "Don we now our gay apparel..."
To which Lane said, "Oh, great! Now we've got Dick and Don wearing gay clothes in the same song!"

FM100 will never be the same again!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Look what I found in my garage!

Michael said that this is representative of his mid-life crisis: he bought us a Tahoe!

At least when Michael is having his mid-life crisis, he thinks about how better to go boating, skiing, and on long road trips with the family. That's the kind of guy I married!

A very astounding Christmas to us!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I recently visited a friend's house and saw a small plaque there that read,
"Have a Mary Christmas."

I've been thinking a lot about that.
What was Mary like? What was it she thought and felt, holding that new baby of hers? How was it that she was so willing? How is it that she was so worthy? How is it that she was ready and able to fulfill her role in this world? How could I emulate such an exemplary woman? And just how do I even get to the place where I would really want to be like Mary?
If I were Mary...

"Behold the Handmaid of the Lord..."
I would decide in my mind and heart right now to say "yes" to whatever is asked of me at any time.

"Be it unto me according to thy word."
I would have stronger faith in the power of the priesthood and the guidance of the Holy Ghost.

"My soul doth magnify the Lord."

My actions, from inside out, would be in line with God's directions for me, and done with His purposes as my guide.

"For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name."

I would recognize God's hand in my life in all things, and, in seeing His goodness to me in the past, trust in His plan for me in the future.

"How shall this be?"

I might question, "How," but I would move on in faithful action from there, knowing that "with God, nothing shall be impossible."

"But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart." "And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him."

This I think I do, in that I constantly marvel, with their father, at my own sons. My pondering, my feelings, my decisions are centered around them, as I'm sure any parent's are.

In looking at all these things, I find that I'm still very much more Keri than I am Mary. Still, I am touched every time I think of her, and know that I want to have a Mary Christmas, now and always.

In Addendum (how very Latin sounding of me):

In wanting to have a Mary Christmas, I should also be sure to have a Mary Easter.

It's kind of the whole point of Christmas, and I am so very, very grateful. He is risen.
Merry, Mary, Mary Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2008


(I promise, Lane is in the picture, too; just look really hard in the back!)

At the Vance household, we are doing our darnedest to have a very merry Christmas.

Keri is doing her part by decorating, decorating, and decorating. She also shops every now and again. And again.

Evan is doing his part by singing, and singing, and singing some more. He traipses over the city sidewalks, busy sidewalks to go caroling caroling through the snow with his high school Madrigal choir. Constantly.

Lane is doing his part by socializing up a winter storm. Parties are good, especially if there are girls there. Ice skating is good, especially if there are girls there. Church dances are good, especially if there are girls there. Skiing is good, always.

(Lane having his hair played with back stage got it...a girl!)

Joshua is doing his part by being our favorite 10-year-old boy. Always up for tickling from Dad, always up for talking with Mom, always up for teasing his older brothers.

Michael is doing his part by...well, a little of this...

and a lot of this.

Deserving a lot more of this...

As a family we had a grand time getting a Christmas tree,

(You can see who was really involved in this process--remember, I'm behind the camera, but at least out of the car!)

looking at the lights,

(Picture by Keri...oops) (Pictures by Michael...awhh)

going to Christmas concerts (choir, band, flutaphone, and Eclipse, to name a few),

and making graham cracker houses.

Our season is turning out to be merry. Very. And it's only just begun! We hope you're having just as much fun as we are.

the Vances