Thursday, December 31, 2009

The "Quick Christmas Summary" Continued

Christmas Day- We woke up to our traditional breakfast of bagels with cream cheese and/or apple butter and fruit. When we finished, Dad read the Christmas story aloud before we opened our gifts. We have to keep our priorities straight, you know. Once again, last minute gifts needed to be wrapped{please someone tell me we’re not the only people who do this}but finallyeveryone was ready in the livingroom. Everyone but Daniel, that is. His not being there{he was with Erika’s family}was the only other sad part of our Christmas. There was a Daniel-sized spot left on the couch but it was too sad to look at so we covered it with blankets and pillows.

Dad always hands out the gifts one at a time so we can all see and discuss it. It was discovered this year that certain people{ahem, Elizabeth}have an aversion to using to/from labels which resulted in people calling out ‘oh, thats my gift to so-and-so’ whenever Dad held up an unlabeled gift. It reminded me of some sort of auction.

One of my very favorite gift this year was from Andrew. He gave me a black hangable jewelry box with four spots for pictures on the front. As soon as I had the wrapping paper off he started telling me to take it out of its box and when I did I almost started to cry. Ok, I did cry but only a little. He had put four black and white pictures of the two of us in every spot. I was so touched! It means so much to me because I’ve always been the closest to him of all my siblings, and he knew how much I would love something like that. My other favorite gifts were what I blogged about here, and the beautiful You are My Sunshine print from Pretty Smitten. Grandpa used to sing that song to me so its very special.

Once again, all the good pictures are on Andrews camera so these will have to do until he gets home and I can post them.

Dad is one of those super hard to buy for types, but I found this very unique plant in watering gel with those little glass rocks you put in fish tanks suspended in it at a garden shop and thought it was perfect{if slightly weird{that was also a weird sentence}}.

I just realized those are the only presentable pictures I have from Christmas morning so I’m putting this one of Elizabeth and Daniel from the night before just ‘cause its really sweet.


For our traditional Christmas dinner we went to Auntie Carol’s. Our menu was, and always is, antipasto{the real kind, not that fake stuff they sell in stores},chicken soup, then ravioli and meatballs, followed lastly by roast beef with potatoes and carrots. I love Christmas dinner; its so nice seeing everyone dressed up and just enjoying being together.

We never have anything specific we do after Christmas dinner; we mostly just talk and play with the kids new toys{this is always best at Molly and Zach’s house because they get the BEST toys}.Molly entertained us by singing songs about bears,princesses, and numbers into her new microphone; and the boys wrested on the floor{was that their way of showing Christmas love and cheer?}; and the aunts sat around the table to discuss next Christmas dinner{because thats just what Italians do-talk about a meal 364 days from now}. Let it be said here and now: I love my family!
When we got home, we opened our stockings. This is the stocking situation in our family: Dads is the biggest, Moms is the longest and always has the most gifts inside, Daniels is the fuzziest, Andrews has little beads sewn around the top edge, mine is, hands-down, the cutest, and the twins stockings match. They are after all, twins. After that, we all cozied up on the couch in our new pajamas and robes for a movie marathon. We watched a movie about the origins of Christmas in others countries, Mr Hobbs Goes on Vacation, starring James Stewart{why,why couldn’t I have been old enough to marry him?}and three episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show{he would also have been totally fine to marry had we been the same age}. And so we finished our Christmas celebrations by going to bed on December 26th.

It was a wonderful Christmas.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A "Quck Summary" of Christmas Celebrations

full of laughter
a little bit of sadness

Those words just about sum up our Christmas. To describe everything would take many, many posts, so instead I’ll try to give a quick summary.{“Quick summary”? Since when have you ever given a quick summary? You haven't even finished blogging about Daniel's wedding yet.}


Christmas Eve- Daniel, Erika, and Wesley arrived around 3 o’clock Christmas Eve laden with gifts, food, and the excitement and expectation of, for Erika and Wesley, experiencing for the first time our large, loud, Italian Christmas. We didn’t have to make the long and arduous trek all the way across the yard to my aunt and uncles until 5 o’clock, so we used the time to do what we always do on Christmas Eve: finishing projects and wrapping gifts. Well, some of us did finishing and wrapping. The other some played the piano, drank tea, ate cheese and crackers, and basically just watched us work. But really, it was nice to have the CCE(Cutest Couple Ever)and Wesley to visit with while we were finishing.

Christmas has always had a little bit of sadness since Grandpa died but I’m so thankful its getting a little easier. Of course, I DO wish he was still here, and I DO wish that Erika and Wesley could have known him but I know that he would be happy that we continue to celebrate Christmas the same way we always have. The way we did with him. I also know that he would have LOVED Erika!

We always have tons of delicious food on Christmas Eve but this year just may have topped all the others. If I described it all any last possibility of this being a summary post would go out the window{if it hasn’t already}. I always make fudge and this year I made the winner of The 2009 Search for the Latest and Greatest Christmas Recipe, Oreo Balls. Pure yumminess.

After we ate, we all went into Grandmas part of the house for our Christmas carol sing. Since we had Wesley with us this year, he played and our singing never sounded better. It was so beautiful. Have I mentioned that he’s a very well-known organist in the organist world and I could listen to him playing the piano for the rest of my life and never tire of it? It was the general consensus that he should become our permanent pianist. Our family specialty song is We Three Kings; we always stretch out “oh,Star of Wonder” to “oooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....” in honor of Auntie Evelyn{Grandpas sister}who started it.My favorite Christmas carols are
Away in a Manger and Oh Holy Night but I love so many more!

Aaron and Wesley discussing the songs. When Wesley is a very well-know organist to people outside the organist world{the world that I live in}, remember that you first heard about him here.

Grandma and Andrew singing away. I'm pretty sure this was when we were singing The Little Drummer Boy. Or "the rump-a-tum-tum song", as my uncle calls it.

Skip ahead about half an hour and you’ll find us opening gifts. Almost all the good pictures are on Andrew’s camera which is with him in NJ, but we did get a couple on my camera.

Zachary was so excited about the hat and scarf Mom made him. He kept saying "look Mommy! A scarf! I really wanted a scarf! Look at it, Mommy!" It was really cute.

Alyssa wearing her new hat and scarf. My favorite part? The little button on the visor.
When we got home, we did our gifts to/from Daniel and Erika since they spent Christmas day with her family. They gave me a really pretty beaded white and yellow necklace that I wore to church on Sunday. Its nice because its not like any necklace I already had in either style or color. They also gave us an 81/2 by 11 print of the picture we used for our Christmas cards. I love it! And yes, she did really like the earrings I made her!

Examining the sweatshirt that must have been terribly exciting, judging by the way they're all looking at it! :)

This picture was actually taken Christmas morning, but its the only good one from my camera of Elizabeth wearing the earrings the CCE gave her. They also gave her a matching necklace she wasn't wearing at the time. Aaron gave her the letter Rubiks cube game.

Christmas day will be up tomorrow when I'm done making oreo balls at 12:52AM. And when I've had about 62 more hours sleep. And when I finish the post{but thats sort of a given}.

Friday, December 25, 2009

From My Family to Yours

ps This is,without a doubt, our best Christmas card ever.
Card designed by MKL Designs

Thursday, December 24, 2009

It 'Tis the Night of the Dear Saviors Birth

ps I love when Josh(we're on a first-name basis)sings this song. It is just so beautiful.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

All I Want for Christmas... to give a dozen chicks to a needy family in a developing country,

and the gift of clean water to a poor African village.

Because giving is better than receiving.

Pre-Christmas Weekend

A slight disappointment came my way yesterday afternoon: the twins mom emailed telling me she hurt her back so she didn't need me to babysit after all. After I recovered, I spent the afternoon writing cards, licking envelopes, and arguing with myself about going out now to feed the rabbits instead of waiting til later when it would be much colder. I waited "til later" and seriously regretted it.

After an early supper, Elizabeth and I went to the friends' Christmas performance at our homeschool group. It made my homeschool graduate heart proud to see how well the kids did. When the A Cappella group comes out with a cd I will be the first one at the store waiting to buy it.

Since the beginning of December, Grandma has been saying she wanted to bring us to her friends home so we could see their Christmas display. We finally went today and were completely floored by it. It was so good! They{mostly the husband}set up just over 200 miniature houses,churches, stores, restaurants, etc. along with over 300 accessories (people, lampposts,animals)in their cellar. They had a hunting lodge, Winter Castle, and even a little Starbucks store. You could spend an hour there and still not see everything.

I finished the earrings for Erika today and believe it or not{I'm still in the " I can't believe it" stage}, I love them. Being completely satisfied with a finished product is something to rejoice about when you're a perfectionist! Once I cut out all unnecessary beads, they were as easy as pie to do. I think she'll like them. : )

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Shopping Experiences

The Great Christmas Shopping of 2009 has officially begun.

Grandma and I braved the chilly wind yesterday afternoon for our somewhat annual shopping trip together. On a scale of 1-10, it would have rated only about a 6 for level of success, but up in the high 9's for eventfulness. We stopped at Joann's first where I only spent about 12 minutes deciding which beads to buy. I think it ranks up there as the shortest time I've ever spent in that aisle. Way back in early November I bought a beautiful silver pendant to put on a handmade necklace for Erika's gift. It was going to be THE gift of the year. So good that I had no desire to think up a Plan B because there would be NO NEED. No need except when the whole gift failed and I had no Plan B to fall back on. To make a long and tragic story short, I returned to the drawing board{aka the craft store}, and returned victorious with an even better idea: I would make her dangly earrings instead. I am praying{seriously, I really am}that they will come out well as its almost Christmas and, once again, I haven't made other plans if this gift fails too. I guess I don't learn from previous mistakes very well. *

As we were preparing to head to the next store, we discovered that Grandma's car wouldn't start. What could have been a tragic 5 o'clock news story of two Christmas shoppers stranded in a parking lot in the freezing cold with NOTHING TO EAT{the news people like to over-dramatize}, made us burst into fits of laughter over the whole thing. We called my uncle for advice{her car is a fancy Hybrid so I just was just about no help at all}and five minutes after we asked him to rescue us, the car started when Grandma pushed the unlock{of all things}button on her remote. That made us start laughing again{I don't really know why},and we were barely got back to our dignified selves before going into the next store. All in all it was a very entertaining afternoon.

Tomorrow I'm babysitting the twins and their big sister Keegan. I'm so happy because I haven't seen them in forever and ever over a month and I know they are going to have grown so much...maybe even rolling over, laughing and pulling hair! It will be the first time I watch all three of them but I'm excited about it. The more the merrier!
As a side note, I've been wanting baby carrier/sling lately to use with the twins and OH LOOK! theres a giveaway!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Our Christmas Home

Christmas Tour of Homes with The Nester

Welcome to our Christmas home!

This is the first year we've used this lantern as a Christmas decoration and I love the way it looks. It was so easy to set it on cotton and wrap pine and fresh holly around the bottom. I think it looks very elegant too.
After the tragedy if having to leave real trees behind for fake{translation: not real at all}a few years ago, the tree and I have come to terms and decided to be friends. Not best friends, just friends. Real or fake, its always exciting to see how beautiful and different the tree will be every year when all the lights and decorations are on.

If you know me at all, you know that I love 1) stars 2) silver and 3) anything sparkly. That pretty much sums up my feelings about our tree topper.

This is my Baby's First Christmas horse; my very favorite of all our tree decorations and the one I put on first every year. As much as I love it, I don't know if I'll be able to take it with me for my own tree when I have my own house because the tree "at home" wouldn't seem the same without it!

We take our mantle decorating very seriously. We've had many different, shall we say, ideas and themes that have shown up over the years, but we alw
ays have up the church, house, and little tiny people. One year Aaron put up his little green Army men at strategic battle locations throughout the landscape which was really a strech , but I allowed* them only in honor of our friends serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The snowmen in the back have been given as gifts over the years and we usually try to buy atlest one new figurine a year.
* The "I allowed" is used in the sense of 'the amount of power the big sister who is the chief Christmas decorator' yields.


* The glass vase filled with the pretty red and gold ornaments started out as an ornament wreath about two weeks ago. After repeated tries and failures, I decided to simply put the ornaments into the vase thereby making just about the easiest possible decoration ever.
* I made wreath in the top right using Christmas tags from gifts Daniel and Erika gave us last year. They were to pretty to throw away so I hot glue-gunned them to a wreath form of some sort{thats just the type of concrete fact I'm known for}I bought at Michaels. I really like it because its different from any of the Christmas decor we already had.
* The bobble head baseball player standing on the rooftop is Luis Gonzalez, coming to you straight from the Cheerios box about eight years ago. He really has served no purpose in our household at all but we've had him for so long now we wouldn't know what to do without him. Feel free to snicker about that last sentence. And so he generally resides on the piano, the mantle, or where ever else he
is in the way likes. Someone thought he'd look good up on the roof and while I took him off to take a good picture of the mantle, I thought we should have atlest one picture of him to pass on to future generations. After all, Christmas is made of memories like that.

Thanks so much for stopping by; I hope you've enjoyed our Christmas home! I hope your Christmas will be a happy, beautiful, joyful time filled with all the people and things you love, and with the memory of why we really celebrate Christmas!

And I even hope it will be filled with stars, silver and sparkly things too. ♥

Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others is good you do yourself...
~Norman Wesley Brooks, "Let Every Day Be Christmas," 1976

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Garrett and Gabby

And so the weddings continue. Friday night Andrew, Marissa, Joanna and I headed to the city for the weddng of our friends Garrett and Gabby. Garrett is the first in our group to get married and, I'm not going to lie, it was slightly sad. *Pardon me while I get my tissues* Sad because we're all growing up and just a little sad for other reasons that don't need to be published for all to see. Unfortunately, neither of our cameras were working properly so I don't have any pictures of the ceremony or the couple together, but I do have a plethora{I have been waiting to use that word}from the reception.

"Wait, is your brother really playing with fire at the table during dinner at a fancy hotel? Doesn't he know he could burn the whole place down?" Yes, he was playing with fire and no,he didn't burn the whole place down. Just think how that would have embarrassed me...not to mention put a damper on the wedding AND the whole Christmas holiday. Our waiter was so impressed with the forks-balancing-on-the-edge-of-a-glass-held-up-only-by-a-flaming-match trick that he called over two more waiters so they could enjoy the show too. If interested, Andrew will perform the trick free of charge at all your major functions.

Marissa and Joanna
The two beautiful girls and I that Andrew was beyond thrilled to have the pleasure of escorting that evening.

Garrett and I*

When I was thinking about it later that night, I realized that Garrett is one of my very oldest friends. We've been friends even longer then Katie and I have. When I was younger, I always thought that I would marry Garrett and Myles{I didn't know at the time that you can only be married to
one person}and we would all live together in a cute little house. I love{slight understatement}the military so just think how much more I would have loved that idea if I had only known then that both Myles and Garrett would be in the military when we were all growed up!
*I'm a
big fan of this picture

Autumn~the maid of honor. She looked lovely and averted catastrophe by realizing that she didn't have the ring before the ceremony began. The bridesmaids actually wore the same dresses we wore for Daniel and Erika's wedding only in silver and without the jackets. We were so excited when we realized we would have the same dress!

In the top right picture I'm with my supposed-to-be husband from our younger days, Myles. The middle picture is Myles and Garrett doing some sort of dance together. Because thats just what dignified military men do.

You know, maybe I should have let Myles and Garrett in on our my wedding plans!

Friday, December 11, 2009

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Erika sent this to us in a one word email: "funny".

I would describe it in a different word: talent.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day of the Smallest Tree

Its been one extreme or the other when it comes to Christmas trees around here. Thanksgiving marked that day I decorated the largest tree ever, and Tuesday will go down in history as the Day of the Smallest Tree(mark your calenders, it was December 8th). Mrs Becker and I spent the afternoon together and created more memories and stories that will be passed down to the next generations. We also created this lovely Christmas tree:

When I got home and told Dad we decorated her tree, he said "I saw it and you could probably only fit about six ornaments on it". That may be the case for regular decorators, but not for the originators, creators, and founders of the Day of the Smallest Tree.

Mrs Becker didn't have a star or angel for the top, so I used this little Hummingbird instead. It was really very appropriate for her because she and her husband(our pastor who died in April)love birds.

I would love to have jewelry fashioned after this ornament. Maybe someday when I have my own jewelry making business, or am married to a really rich man who will special order it for me, I will. I'll be sure to keep you updated if when that day arrives. : )

Monday, December 7, 2009

Its Almost Begining to Seem Like Christmas

I feel so behind with everything Christmas.

I've been working so hard(translation--getting to bed after 1:00 just about every night)at my school the last two weeks with the goal of finishing it all by last Friday so I would have three full weeks to prepare for and enjoy Christmas. Very sadly, I didn't quite reach that goal so I've been a little discouraged. I had *big* plans for all the projects and the decorating I would be starting today so its hard to put it off just a little longer. I've been so tempted to just start everything RIGHT NOW, but I know I'll never get back to the school if I do that. I LOVE this time of year and I hate feeling like I'm losing any of this precious time. On the upside, I only have a little bit left so I'm hopeful I'll be completely finished by the end of this week at the latest and all the Christmas wonderfulness can begin!! (Unless of course, those essays decided to be difficult which is
totally possible based on past experience.)

I have been able to do a few things that made me feel better and more Christmasy:
* decorated the mantle
* watched the original, aka the BEST, How the Grinch Stole Christmas
* began making an ornament wreath with Dad
* went to the Messiah on Saturday

Daniel and Erika meet us at the Messiah and who do you think they had with them?! Dani! I was so excited to see her; it was almost like a Christmas present. She graduated from the music department there so she know
a couple people just about everyone that walked by which made her "very, very excited!".

Is anyone else doing this?
Christmas Tour of Homes with The Nester

I think I will be. Hopefully we'll have all our decorations up by then and since I'm guaranteed to be to photographing them anyways, and almost guaranteed to be be posting them, I think it would be fun. Even if I don't, I can get lots of ideas from seeing others decorations!

Tomorrow I'll hopefully be helping Mrs Becker, a friend from church, decorate her adorable little itty bity
Christmas tree. Every little Christmas thing that I am able to do gives me a little more motivation to NOT give up on my school, and to remember everything that makes this time of year so wonderful.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Less Words Wednesday

Aaron and Paris

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

I've been so busy with school that I haven't even had the chance to do a Thanksgiving day post. My OCDness is somewhat stressing me out because its already December and I HAVEN'T FINISHED WITH NOVEMBER YET. But onto Thanksgiving.

Mom wrote a Fruit of the Spirit on each Clementine we had in our centerpiece and Elizabeth promptly decided that "goodness is my middle name". Apparently humility is not.

By far the biggest excitement of the day was going over to Daniel and Erika's for our first holiday celebration with them as a married couple. To make a long story short(which by the way, my family thinks I'm incapable of doing),Daniel and Erika bought her parents house from them as they're moving to SC in January. Daniel moved in after the wedding so currently all four of them, plus Gramma H, are living at the house(Wesley's out at college). So not only was it Daniel and
Erika's first holiday in that house, it was her parents last. It was so nice to be there for both of those, but even nicer that we could all be together as a new family. Just us with no one else
around so we could all really visit with each other.

They did a beautiful job with the table and made us all cute little place cards. Daniel insisted that we turn our place card around so that "everyone else at the table will know who we are". Apparently he forgot that we all know each other very well, and just possibly 6 of the 11 other people at the table lived with him for 20 some odd years. The illogical thoughts that sometimes come from the mouth of a biomedical engineer are truly staggering.

Before dinner we helped decorate The Christmas Tree. Apparently there are very specific methods to decorating at 12ft.{fake}Christmas tree: colored lights and red-and-white striped candy lights go on first; shiny colored balls are then strategically placed deep inside the tree in spots that will catch the most light; only then can you move onto putting up the "real" decorations. I don't thinks its an exaggeration to say that that tree has about 500 decorations hanging on it. It was so much fun looking at all their decorations. We spent half the time saying to each other "look at this one!!".

The completed tree in all this glory.

After the younger generation play Pictionary while the older talked politics in the living room, we joined forces to play our traditional Thanksgiving game of Trivial Pursuit. I feel it should be stated that the boys team had much easier questions then the girls: "what is the largest sea animal?", "what animal lays the largest egg?" We got questions like "who was the mayor of Chicago in 1935?" We then finished off the day by watching a slide show of the wedding pictures. A lovely end to a lovely day.

"Thanksgiving Day comes, by statute, once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow." ~Edward Sandford Martin

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful ABC's

A- Aaron, Andrew, apples(apple pie/crisp, etc.), my Alphabet Twins
B- babies,butter(I really am thankful for it!), Barney Fife, books, baseball, blogs and the blog friends I've made, brothers
C- church, cousins, children, the children I call mine, craft stores, colors, cd's to listen to on long car rides, Christmas lights, clothes,coffee
D- Daniel, Dad, Dr Suess stories, daisies
E- Erika, Elizabeth, Emma(the new movie)
F- faith, family, friends, forever and always faithful friends, fun, always having food, fabric, fuzzy socks, flowers
G- grandparents, game nights with Autumn and Joanna, Gerber daisies
H- Mr and Mrs H. and Grandma H.(Erika's parents and grandmother), hugs, hot chocolate on snowy days, my home, happy days, hearing
I- cookie dough ice cream, Ibuprofen
J- jewelry, Josh Groban(more specifically,his music), jelly
K- Katie~who becomes more special every day, Kashman(yes,that's his real name), Kim~who makes me laugh every Thursday
L- laughter,love, the gift of life, Lindt chocolate truffles
M- Mom, music, memories, the moments that take our breath away and make our lives beautiful, midnight chats, Molly, Morning Glorys
N- New England, nature, the Navy
O- the ocean, oranges, ostrich feathers,Oreos, outer space, the O's~ Katie's family that I can never get enough of
P- photography, the piano, pansies, pretty papers, surprise packages in the mail
Q- Quaint and Quirky(I am especially thankful that I thought of something that begins with Q!)
R- reading, rivers, rabbits
S- sisters, sunflowers, sunsets, sleep(oh, how I love you), Skittles, Spring and Summer, school(even though I sometimes feel overwhelmed and unmotivated), scrapbooking, sewing, Spellchecker, sight
T- tiaras, tea, the troops who defend us, Thursday night card games with Grandma
U- United States of America
V- volunteering at the preschool and childrens hospital, vacations
W- Wesley~our "step brother in law" extraordinaire, waltzing, fresh water everyday, the beyond beautiful wedding, wise councilors, waterfalls
X- the X-ray that showed Elizabeth did not have internal bleeding after her fall off the roof(Whats that? I didn't tell you that story?)
Y- teams that a beat the Yankees
Z- Zachary, the zoo(because I still like to go there)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Ribbon Rose by Another Other Name

Fair warning: My camera and I have experienced a joyful reunion after a very long three week seperation. I am now able to talk about the wedding even more then before, only this time with pictures. Be still your hearts.

Every bride needs that special bouquet to carry during her wedding rehearsal. When said bride chooses to have a gift card shower instead of a "regular" shower, the number of bows and ribbons available to make the rehearsal bouquet can be slim to none. Enter the three brilliant bridesmaids that made this shower possible and they will ask each shower guest to bring a yard of pretty ribbon specifically for this purpose. Two of the bridesmaids will designate one of their own to do the actual creating...

If I had had any presence of mind while making this, I would have taken pictures of each step so I'd have start-to-finish documentation of the process. Unfortunately, I didn't have any such presence so we only have finished-finished documentation. Unlike most artistic and creative projects that I do, I was actually almost perfectly pleased with the outcome. Being a perfectionist is not always a good thing! The stem of the bouquet was the besequined and beautified toilet plunger Dani decorated as a Erika's scepter during the shower.*

That last sentence shows just how classy we are. But back to the flowers.

It was fun to be surprised by each different ribbon turning into its own type of flower. I almost don't want to say this because I don't want to sound like I'm boasting, but I was extremely proud that some flowers even ended up resembling real flowers like I wanted them to! The only flower I didn't make was Dani's contribution: the white rose in the bottom left of the second picture. It matched the rosettes on our dresses which tied the rehearsal and wedding together perfectly.

What I learned from this project:
1. do not be finishing such a high-importance project the night before the rehearsal
2. see #1

*Why is the whole paragraph comprised of completely different thoughts instead of one continual thought?! The only excuse I have is that its late. and I'm a collage student. I think we all know what that means: sleep is lacking.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

First Gift

The first Christmas gift of the year has official been given in our family.

Andrew, Elizabeth and I(we apparently like group gifts)all pitched in for Aaron to see the Tran-Siberian Orchestra with Andrew* last night. I have yet to receive a review complete with all the important details of the event such as what they wore, but judging by Aaron's glazed over,star struck , "Will I ever be that good?" , look I think he enjoyed it. I just asked him what his favorite part of the show was, and he answered that it was "the music". Its good to know that the musical group is living up to their motto by playing, you know, music! : )
I would love to see them someday,but I'm so happy that Aaron could after wanting to see them for so long. Once again, giving feels much better then receiving!

* Lest there be any question as to whether or not it was a hardship for Andrew to accompany Aaron, I 'd like to set the record straight--it wasn't. At all.

Edit-Aaron just told me that one lady was playing a pink violin. I'll be sure to let you know every time he tells me something new that is of utmost interest and importance so that you'll be able to feel like you were are the concert too. Minus the music; I can't provide that.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dear Comcast

Dear Comcast,

I know your time is limited so I'll make this as short and to the point as possible: I have a problem with your remote. Technically I suppose I have a problem with your cable/remote/internet/whoknowswhat, but the issue today is your remote(see Exhibit A). Out of the five families I regularly babysit for, all five have this remote and none-zero-nada actually turn on/off or operate the tv in the same manner. Translation: I need to learn a new tv operation method for each family. Further translation: alloted tv viewing time usually turns into a hassle because I invariably use method 1 to turn on the tv of family 3 and method 2 to turn on the tv of family 4. In case any further translation is needed: every single time I use the wrong method the tv gets messed up. Very messed up. Makes me play the "wait 'til your dad gets home and he'll fix it" card messed up.

Exhibit A

And so I have just one simple request- can you find it somewhere in your tech-savvy hearts to re-make one of those remotes that turns every tv on and off with just one push of one button?


P.S. If you could also make it dog, spill, dirt, and stomp proof you just might be my friend(at atlest cable/remote/internet/whoknowswhat provider)for life.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Better then Imagined

For that last 20 years, I haven't had a big sister. For the last 15 years since the arrival of Aaron and Elizabeth, I have been THE big sister. The one who wanted to be the second mother to the family. The one who felt, and sometimes still feels, the need to take care of everyone, even if I really am Daniel and Andrew little sister. The one who won't let anyone even think about getting in the way and trying to take care of my family. That's my job. Occasionally through out the years I've wondered what it would be like to have an older sister. How would my life growing up been different? Would I still have the love for taking care of others that I have? Would I even like having a big sister? Adopting Katie's two older sisters as my own gave me a little slice of the Big Sister Pie and as much as I loved it, I was, and am, so proud to say that I have two older brothers. Two big brothers.

Now I have Erika.

Sweet, beautiful, happy Erika. And you know what? I do love having a big sister. I love it more then I could possibly have ever imagined.

Happy birthday Erika!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Balloons are What Memories are Made Of

Saturday morning marked the first post-wedding meeting of the bridesmaids. We parked in our Official Parking Lot and meet at our Official Meeting Place-outside the Dunkin' Donuts on the campus of the school Rudy, Daniel and Erika all attend(ed). After having so many shower/wedding planning meetings there this summer, Dani, Rudy and I feel as if we sort of own the place. I'm sure no one has forgotten the sight of us lugging three plastic tubs of scrapbooking supplies from Dani's car and taking over half the patio for three hours. Technical schools don't generally smile upon such an obvious show of creativity.

Anyway(and I know you're thinking "good heavens, is she ever going to stop talking and just say something?"), just because Rudy was sick and couldn't be with us didn't mean she couldn't join in on the fun of the morning. So what did we do? Simply pull out the bag of balloons Dani just so happened to have in her car and set to work making Rudy a balloon basket of flowers. I use the word "we" loosely as Dani did all the work of blowing and twisting the balloons while all I did was hold them and give occasional comments about which colors to use.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the completed balloon bouquet:

The fun only increased after we delivered Rudy her flowers. We(again, in a very loose sense)took balloon twisting to new heights and Balloon Rudy was born. We took "Rudy" around campus with us all the while taking pictures so the real Rudy feel included in our day. We had a ball with Balloon Rudy but the best part was that Rudy had no idea we were doing this for her until we put the pictures on Facebook. She just sent an email saying she had had a tough week and we really brightened her day. : )

Dani waltzing with the lovely(and very short)Rudy

Discussing Rudy's week.
I tell you, it was a very interesting week she had; just looking at the way her right hand is flying all around.

We missed you Rudy!!

ps. I just want to add that the resemblance between Balloon Rudy and real Rudy was stunning. Just scroll back up to the picture of Rudy with her flowers then look again at Balloon Rudy. We were very impressed with ourselves.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I Couldn't Agree More

My Brilliance is Just Plain Staggering

It really doesn't bother me that I don't own a car yet. I don't mind using either our family van or car and just paying for insurance and gas. Actually, I don't at all like paying for insurance or gas but you know what I mean. Apparently though, not always having and using one specific car is playing with my brain because as I walked out of Pier I Imports today, I was looking at my van thinking 'really? Did I park over there? And the sunlight is making it look really purplish instead of red.' By the time I reached the parking lot I decided that that wasn't my van after all and when I looked to the right to check for oncoming cars, I saw another red car and realized that I hadn't even been driving the van after all. I was driving the CAR.

It is at times like these that I just feel oh, so brilliant.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


In honor of her 21st on October 19th, I present
21 Reasons to Love Katie

1. She willingly plays gets dressed-up in {occasionally outlandish} costumes under the guise of "entertaining the kids" or "to take pictures" , but really its because dress-up is such good, clean fun and she doesn't care that some may say she's too old for such things.

2. Never in the history of friends or candy has there been a better person to share a bag of Skittles with. She likes the red and purple best, I like the yellow and orange best, and we split the green.

3. She is a friend to all kinds. Neither the ladylike Olivia nor that dude, Ernie, are passed over.

4. If you just so happen to say to her "D.F.I.G.", or "M.S.P.", she will understand exactly what you're saying.

5. She thinks nothing of dashing up and down the hallway with you in imitation of Laurie and Jo's dance from Little Women. At 5 o'clock in the morning.

6. Her hair is a work of great beauty. Whoever said that you should not to pick your friends based on their appearance obviously never met her hair.

7. She is fabulous at spelling, her brain makes the Wizard of Oz jealous, and her handwriting is enviable.

8. A day spent with Katie is 98% pure laughter. The other 2% of the time is used as a breath-catching time so the laughter can start again.

9. If laughter really does extended your life, Katie is going to live to be a very,very,very old lady.

10. She includes me in all her big moments.

11. She loves my grandparents as her very own.

12. When Grandpa died, she was able to comfort my in a special way because of that and because she lost her own grandfather 5 months ealier.

13. She always remembers our plan that we will be so polite as to inform the other if we were going to be rude.

14. In all her years of sleeping over, never once has she forget to join me in asking Daniel{the "prince"}if he was in a good mood that morning.

15. Because we both "love eggs AND hate eggs".

16. She will send you an oatmeal soap recipe when your eczema is acting up.

17. While visiting London for the first time she won't forget to send you a postcard and 3 page letter within that one week.

18. Because no one could possibly even think to ask for a better bestest friend to have the last 18 years.

19. Knowing that you love hearing about all the babies at her church, she will provide periodical cuteness updates.

20. She is an amazing sister to each of her 6 sisters and 4 brothers. She is so loved by my family, her "adopted family", that she was given a seat of honor during Daniel's wedding ceremony: in the front row along with the rest of our family.

21. Just look at this picture. Who wouldn't want to be friends with someone so cool?!