Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas Tidings

This was a Christmas for the books. It was a mixed bag of sorts. We laughed and cried. We missed Mom terribly and we were greatly blessed.

Here are a few highlights:

Some dear friends of ours came caroling to us the Sunday before Christmas. Dad and I both cried. It was an answer to a prayer.

We had our Raclette dinner on Christmas Eve and realized that Mom knew all the details and we didn't so much. We made notes after we were done eating so that next year we'll be better prepared. It was still enjoyable and next year it'll be fabulous! ;)

Christmas day was here, there and everywhere.  I went to Dave's in the morning then we went to his dad's house then his brother's house then we stopped by aunt Peggy's house then finally back home for dinner and presents. The Hanlins were in the Springs with Jeff's family then over to Peggy's then on to Dad's and they got there about when we did. And that's where things got a little interesting. As you can imagine, all those stops took a little longer than we had anticipated so we got home about an hour and a half later than planned. That meant that the meatballs in the crockpot were....mostly burned. Yum! And the soup in the other crockpot was maybe a little over cooked as well. Before I left I had cut up fruit and measured out all the spices for wassail. I gave Dad instructions - Pour the cider in a big pot, add everything in this bowl and let it simmer for a couple hours. I was really excited for wassail! (I wasn't super excited for soup or meatballs...)

As we were sitting eating overcooked soup and burned meatballs (I think everyone was just trying to be nice and eat it anyway - or maybe they were just glad we were finally home so they could eat...) I took a sip of the much anticipated wassail. Oh dear. It was not good. Not like a little not good. It was really, really not good. There was almost no flavor - it was so weak. I thought, "Huh! I would never have thought wassail would get so weak from simmering too long. In fact, that's just weird. And dang, that's a really big pot of wassail to just throw out." Turns out Becky was thinking something like "I don't want to tell Carrie her wassail isn't good but..."

We even got Becky's kids to try it. They didn't like it.

Then Dad said, "I wonder if I put too much water in that wassail?"

Me, "You put water in it?  Did you use all of the cider?"

Dad, "Cider?  What cider?"

We all burst out laughing - there's no water in wassail but there IS cider.  And it was all in the fridge. Later that evening Dad, standing at the fridge, said , "Now I do kind of remember you saying something about that cider..."

We laughed about that all night. And maybe for a couple days afterwards. Dad is no longer in charge of the wassail.

Despite the hard moments wishing Mom was here with us it was a good Christmas with family and friends and laughs and blessings and memories. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas too!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

SA Conference Luau

Better late than never, right?  Here are a bunch of pictures from our Single Adult Conference Luau - none are amazing but it'll give you an idea of what it looked like. We had months of fun creating the tiki dudes, volcano, waterfall, centerpieces, signs, etc.

We'll start outside where we had a couple of these signs (thanks for the wood burning help Becky!) directing everyone to the various activities in the two buildings:




Inside is where everything came to life...

Tiki Dudes - cardboard boxes (boxes for all these projects were courtesy of Mom - thanks Mom!) covered in newspaper to give dimension then in paper mache then painted once they dried:







We had something like 25 tiki dudes, which looked like a lot in Kristin's basement but hardly any in the big cultural hall!

Next up, table centerpieces.  We made 3 different kinds to have a little variety.

Baskets with tropical flowers:

Palm trees!

Floral rings around vases.  Inside the vases we had sand, tiny seashells and rocks, and a battery operated tea light.

We had a tiki bar thanks to Kristin's generous friend:



One of our favorite features (and the one that caused the most frustration and took several rebuilds) was the volcano:


Once again this was a product of many hours of covering boxes in paper mache (I think we've all had about enough paper mache time to last a lifetime!) then we added lights wrapped in red cellophane for lava.  Behind the volcano we hung black paper punched with holes for stars (lamps behind the paper) and of course a sparkly moon (you can't have a luau without a sparkly moon can you?). 




In the back corner we built a waterfall.  Guess what it's made of?  Right!  Boxes covered in paper mache.  Then we put blue plastic tablecloths down the center followed by white lights.  Then we draped blue organza over the top. Justin and Paulette made a ring of stones around the pool of water and hung the background scenery.


We strung about 180 paper lanterns (fuchsia, orange and lime green) in three different sizes across the ceiling and added a couple strings of lights.



We had a delicious dinner from Lifestyles Catering and then Manea Polynesia came and danced for us. They did an incredible job!!  They had 16 dancers and did dances from many of the different islands.



Our conference committee was small but they were incredible to work with!  The best part of anything like this is all the new friends you have!  Thanks for everything Kristin, Debbie, Cheree, Penny & Dave!  


Friday, October 28, 2011

Hungry Boy

J - Mom, I'm starving! Will you make me something to eat?

Mom - We have beef stew, taco chili, chicken fried rice, egg drop soup, or white chicken chili in the fridge. (All leftovers from homemade meals this week.)

J - Sick!! I mean something good!

Mom - I'm pretty sure you know how to make Ramen noodles.

J - Ooo, yeah. Will you please make it for me??


[An ongoing yet never changing conversation in our house...]

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mom Pace

I walk fast. You may or may not have noticed that but if you spend much time walking with me you'll see that I have trouble going at a leisurely pace. Wait, I think I've mentioned this before... Yep, here ya go.

When the J was little, (from the time he could walk), he's had trouble keeping pace with me. He would hold my hand and say "Mom slow down." Or I'd be cruising along and realize he was running to keep up with me. I did try to slow down but really he had to learn to move it. To this day he is more of a dilly dallier than me. Until today.

Today I had the J take me to the library to switch out some movies. I was moving as fast as my little surgered self (gall bladder removal last week) could and he was several paces ahead of me. I said, "Are you running a marathon?" He laughed and said, "No, I'm just going my mom pace."

That gave me a good laugh. Which hurt. ;)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Don't You Love Getting a Surprise in the Mail?

I mean really, who doesn't love getting a little unexpected surprise in the mail? This afternoon I got home from work and thought I'd check the mail on my way in.

I opened the box and just as I was about to reach in I saw, to my great surprise, a snake!! For the record I said, "ooo" but I didn't scream. I thought that was pretty good. And then I promptly moved far, far away from the mailbox. I've seen Indiana Jones and you just never know what these creatures might do!


Now, I'm sure this is a garter snake and they say those are harmless but really I've never had the urge to know that first hand. So I informed Dad and the J that until one of them removes it the mail will stay in the box. (This is a clearly defined "man" job!)

My guess is that those lovely junior high kids thought they'd have a little fun - at my expense. Rude.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Meet Bosco

The J got a dog this week! Meet Bosco:


Isn't he cute? He's getting used to us and as I watch him I'm coming to see that he'll fit in just perfectly around here. He likes to bury himself in Js comforter to sleep just the way J does. Then I watched him eating this morning:


He takes food out of his bowl one piece at a time and lays them out on the floor then eats them one at a time from the floor and I thought "where have I seen that before?"


See? He fits right in with us already!

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Comic About Me?

The J saw this comic earlier this week, cut it out, and showed it to me with a huge smile on his face.

214163.gif (Ok, you might just have to click here to read it...)


When I read this my only question was "Almost July? How did she get all the way to July before she started planning summer vacation?" I'm just sayin'...


Then I saw the next day's comic:


214164.gif (and here...)


Oh my heck!! That's the exact dynamic in my little family. The J doesn't like to travel and I love it. This is us to a T!