Thursday, December 24, 2009

Why You Dirty...

The other night we were out looking at Christmas lights and we came upon a house with synchronized lights that was just incredible. I pulled out my camera to take a picture, and wouldn't ya know...the battery was dead.

I kind of muttered, "Why, you dirty baa...Bugger!"

From the back seat of the car I hear Natalie, "Did you hear that? Mom almost said bastard! She was going to say, 'Why, you dirty bastard!'"

How could I NOT laugh after that! I did give a little reminder that if I stop myself from saying a word, chances are it's not appropriate for her to say either!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Be a Reader!

I certainly can't be the only one who reads everything, can I?

At the restaurant I'm always reading the white board that the chef uses for orders from the suppliers. I'm often sneaking up there and making a correction or two (skewrs? no, skewers!) or asking what something means in messy chef short-hand (chopped red ants? really?! no, actually chopped mxd (mixed) nuts) although after pointing that out, a few days later he did write "chopped red ants" on there just to see if I would notice. I did. Immediately.

One of the waitresses who has been there some 15 years said she didn't know anyone's last name. Apparantly she doesn't read the names on everyone's time cards when she clocks in and out.

I've never really thought about it until the chef pointed it out, but am I really that unusual? I'm sure most people read everything too, right? Box labels, scribbled notes, office memos, signs, t-shirts, those mandatory employee rights posters? Please tell me I'm not the only one. I'm starting to get a complex here.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Santa Beard Question

Ok, so I was asked a very good question: If Mike has a big hairy face already, then why the fake beard when he was playing Santa?

Well, he tried it without the beard and it just didn't look Santa-ish enough. There's just something about the flowing white beard that's more Santa like and to be truthful, I'd rather he wear a fake beard than encourage him to grow his beard any longer than it already is. That's just too much hair for my liking.

Here's a couple photos of the girls in their elf suits. The person who loaned Mike the Santa suit had the elf hats and shoes, I made the little felt tunics, and the girls just wore turtle necks and tights underneath.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Here Comes Santa

Mike got to play Santa today at a local preschool. He has been wanting to do the Santa-thing for years, and I guess if you go gray early and have a big beard, what the heck.

He's been bugging me to be his Mrs. Claus, however I don't think I'm NEAR old enough for that kind of thing! I have a little pride! He did talk Nat and Moo into being his elves though, so the three of them got to ride to the preschool on the fire truck (lights and sirens and everything!) and hand out goodies to all the little ones.

The girls were thrilled. I had kind of coached them the night before about being elfish, talking about the North Pole and such, and having an elf name (Nat was Sparkle, Moo was Ming-Ming). I told them it was like having an acting job. Nat was cute last night studying up on the reindeer names before bedtime. I didn't get to go as I had to work, but one of the helpful firefighters took pictures (I love those guys!)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Happenings

Miss Moo had her first concert performance where she played the bells and did a fabulous job. The cool thing about the bells is that they're very easy to hear over the rest of the instruments. I love, love, love kids' band performances. This is my third kid who's blessed me with this treat. I think music is SO worthwhile (even though I dropped band in 5th grade when I found out we had to actually PERFORM--IN FRONT OF PEOPLE. I really missed out and regret not pursuing music when I was young.)

We also went to the best church Christmas party ever. It was a Polar Express theme, and let me tell ya, the couple that was recently called as the ward activities directors really go out when they do a party. Fabulous! All the kids participated in a little skit about the true meaning of Christmas, and then got to sit on Santa's lap.

My little angels waiting for their turn to see Santa.

Not only Santa, but Mrs. Claus too!

Sis and I put together homework stations (got the idea here and here) for Moo and Nat for one of their presents. They turned out so cool, and I know those girls will love them considering how much they love to play school. Whether it will actually motivate them to do their homework is debatable!
(They will have markers, pencils and glue sticks in their plastic pockets on the lower left.)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Snow Day! Wooo!

A very cold storm blew through last night and into today, leaving us with 18" of snow and several inches in the towns below us that never get snow. We started out getting a call from the schools that it would be a 2 hour delayed start, but a short time later they called a snow day.

I was up getting ready to go when I got the snow day call, and I promptly returned to bed under my down blanket with dreams of hibernation. Bliss.

I woke up a couple hours later to the sounds of the girls playing and a power outage. The perfect day to put up our tree, drink hot cocoa (thanks to our woodstove), play games, and watch the girls go sledding.

As for decorating the Christmas tree, the cats could not believe their good fortune: we brought a tree INTO the house, and put dangly things all over it! Merry Christmas to them! At least that's what they think! There's no way to keep 3 kittens out of the tree, so we put the unbreakable ornaments at the bottom and we're hoping for the best, with the squirt bottle loaded and ready when they get a little too out of hand.

I had a bad angle on this photo of the girls following a crash, but it's so funny. Miss Moo has snow in her glasses and Nat's laid out flat laughing her bum off.

Just now the girls and Mike are sitting on the couch watching Monday Night Football. Nat asks Mike, "Are you rooting for the Packages?" What?!? Oh, she meant the Packers!!! Too funny! They'll probably be known as the Packages from now on in our house!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Changing of the Guard

Today at church I knew right away it wasn't going to be our usual first-Sunday-of-the-month testimony meeting when I saw a full chapel and members of the High Council on the stand. I wasn't ready for a new bishopric to be called though.

Our bishop was the first one for our ward when our little branch became an official ward 5 years ago. I had known this man out of church when I got involved with Relay for Life and he was the Chairman of the event. I have always admired him and he is one of the kindest most thoughtful souls I think I've ever known. When he was called as Bishop I wasn't surprised.

They say the bishop is the father of the ward and he truly was. He was such an example to all (still is), and so warm and caring. One of his favorite things was to ditch his regular meeting on Sunday and come into Primary to hang out with the kids. We could always count on him to come to the kids' activity days and play games with them too.

I think someone serving as bishop for 5 years is probably a bit unusual, but in a ward as small as ours, we all serve in our callings a long time just do to a lack of people to take our place. For our bishop though, he had to step down due to health reasons and that's really why no one was prepared, and there wasn't a dry eye in the house today. Our bishop was recently diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia and even though he's undergoing treatment, there is no cure.

The man called to be our new bishop was a complete surprise to me, but as one of the High Counselors explained, a lot of prayer goes into choosing just he right person and it has to be sent to Salt Lake City for approval and even then it's not a done deal. So even though this new bishop has only been in our ward for a mere 5 months, and he was the perfect Uncle Fester at the church Halloween party, I know that there is a reason he was chosen.

Yes, it was a sad day to see the man we all looked up to and knew we could count on, have to step away from his duties, and I think we're all praying for a miracle for him.

If you're not familiar with the LDS church, we have a lay clergy, meaning serving in the church is not a profession. No one recieves pay for being bishop or doing any other callings. Members take on these demanding positions in addition to their regular jobs and responsibilities.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Shopping Till We're Dropping

Yesterday I played hooky from work and went shopping. On Monday, the mom of the little girl I'm a 1:1 aide to, said that she would not be at school on Tuesday. I then asked our teacher if it would be ok to take a personal day and go shopping and she said to go for it.

Then, bad influence that I am, I asked Sis to play hooky and go with me. She of course jumped on the chance too.

I would feel a bit guilty, but I was seriously stressing out about when I would be able to shop at all with both my work schedules and especially because we have quite a few extra parties scheduled for this month as well at the restaurant. I truly don't have any days off (Sundays I don't usually work, but going to church for 3 hours puts a dent in my day).

I left the house yesterday at 8:30 am and returned at 8pm. A. Long. Day. But productive and worth it. For me, I have to travel for an hour and a half to get to a major shopping area so it's even more of an endeavor (I'm not like you spoiled city people!).

We did encounter a couple cashiers who had never heard of our town, and when told how far we had to drive they wondered aloud at how much money they would save if they lived where we did and couldn't shop all the time. (I really doubt they'd last a week up here, personally.)

Sis is so good at keeping me on track (well especially when I almost missed the turn to the city we wanted to go and headed somewhere else entirely!) and she's also good at giving me opinions and finding cool stuff and also finding my dang car in the parking lot. We really had a lot of fun.

Sis shopped for her Christmas gifts but will have to wait for them and open them on Christmas morning. I would've had to give her gift cards had she not picked out what she wanted and that's not near as much fun.

We had to laugh, when at one store while waiting for the clerk to bring back a pair of boots for Sis to try on, another clerk (a young tattooed man who looked very hip) asked if we had been helped. When we said we had, he replied with a very exuberrant, "SICK!!!!" Not, "Ok, cool." or ,"Good deal." but "SICK!!!!" Too funny! We chuckled about that the rest of the day.

I returned home tired, but a lot less stressed about the prospect of Christmas. Now maybe I can actually enjoy the season for a change!