Wednesday, December 24, 2008

December 23rd is also the birthday of the prophet of the Restoration. Joseph Smith, Jr. was born on Dec 23, 1805 in Sharon, Vermont. Financial hardship forced his family to move from Vermont to the vicinity of Palmyra, New York, where, in the Spring of 1820, young Joseph, in answer to sincere and humble prayer, beheld the Father and the Son in glorious vision. It is the fervant belief and testimony of millions that Joseph Smith was forordained to assist in the restoration of the Church and Kingdom of God once more to the earth. He lived and died as a true prophet of God. To learn of his life is an inspiration to every honest seeker of truth. We love this great and good man.

December 23, is the birthday of our dear mother, grandmother and great grandmother, Elsie Burk Chapman. She loved Christmas and didn't mind that her birthday was sort of lost in the holiday festivities.

We remember her each year by presenting a bouquet of flowers to one of the many women she loved and admired. We have been doing this each year since mother's passing in 1997. It has been such a nice experience for us to reach out and extend our mother's love to a special woman in her life. This year we delivered roses to Reta Scorsby in Mesa and then laid a rose on our mother's grave.

We love you dear mother. You continue to be an inspiration to us and to many others because of the goodness of your life.

We visited the Temple again, this time with the LeSueur family. It was Sunday night, Dec 21. The Temple grounds were thronged with people, men, women and children of all ages. They all seemed to be seeking for something. Was it just to see all the pretty Christmas lights and visual displays and hear the music of Christmas, or was it something more? Some yearning from within, not quite definable, but very real.

Christmas! It touches us in so many special ways.

Now what do you think is going on in little Paige Carol's mind? I would like to know. She doesn't seem quite sure about this Santa fellow.

What fun, seeing all these grandchildren at our Christmas party that night. They are each so special. Each one with beautiful, individual gifts and personalities. We love them!

We were surprised by a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, who came to our Family Christmas Party bearing gifts and inviting everyone to come and sit on Santa's knee and tell him what they really want for Christmas!

Our dear Grandma Burnham whispered something in his ear and then they both laughed!

(Someone said it wasn't really Santa, but Uncle Jeffery, and that Mrs. Claus was really his wife Kristi, but I don't believe it)

Santa (Rebecca) and Meredith, hamming it up with a song and dance routine to the tune of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus!"
This was one of many choice entertainments during our Chapman Christmas Party at the Gilbert 6th Ward meeting house on Friday, Dec 19.

Our oldest son, Jeffery, his wife Kristi and family arrived Thursday night from Idaho, en route to San Antonio, Texas for Christmas. On Friday, Dec 19, while Linda, Elizabeth and Melissa took Kristi out for a birthday luncheon I took some of the children with me to the park.
Here is Elizabeth's daughter Erica in the Stroller with older Sister Paige pointing at the ducks (Paige is blocking our view of her cousin Kacey). Drew, Erica and Paige's older brother, is there is his nice blue and green jacket.
And helping me with the children is dear Anna, who has come all the way from Rexburg, Idaho to be with us (Jeffery and Kristi's youngest daughter).
We had a fun time together at the Riparian nature park in Gilbert.