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Monday, December 26, 2011

Act 2; Scene 22: Post Christmas Post

Merry Christmas, all!

I hope yours was as happy and lazy and wonderful as mine. We enjoyed a lovely Christmas music program at church first thing in the morning, and then spent the early afternoon preparing a delicious clam chowder. Then we let that stew while we opened gifts. Here are a few of the highlights:

The Christmas elf :-)
Had to get a pic of Mike's bed head

Mike's beautiful new hand made quilt

Katie's excited about a new camera

A pink flamingo pen--with a Santa hat and all!

It was a Christmas of socks--smart wool socks

My little pug--now I have one so we never have to get a real one :-)
And here is one of the gifts that we gave John and Kris (mom and dad Center) for Christmas:


Yup, that's right, all! Little baby coming to our home this summer. I think I was more excited when they opened it than anybody :-). And guess what we found out later that day? Robert's brother Ben's family is also expecting a new baby--August 3rd. We had some great Christmas surprises! I'm excited that there will be Center cousins so close in age. Hurray! Congrats Ben, Kim, Ellen and James.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, full of Christmas surprises! More to come (probably much more) about our little lime (the size our baby supposedly is right now) soon.

Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Act 2; Scene 21: My Greatest Feat

ANNOUNCEMENT!

I did something pretty incredible this past week, if I do say so myself. Many of you may know how I detest carbonation. The only soda that I will occasionally drink is root beer--and usually only in the summer time with roasted hot dogs. 

Anyhow, this past week Robert and I were invited to a Christmas party with some of our dearest friends. They had put together a little game--a root beer tasting competition. They had 5 different types of root beer (Dad's, Barq's, A&W, Stewart's, and Shasta). The participants were blind folded and had to guess which type was which.

At first I wasn't going to participate, because I didn't feel like drinking that much soda. But everyone was commenting on how different each one tasted, and I became curious.

Most participants got at least one brand correct. I think only one got two brands correct. 
But....

I GOT EVERY SINGLE ONE CORRECT!!!!!

It was a Christmas miracle :-). Or, a rather wonderful display of my true taste testing talents. 

Here is my victory picture:

In my friends' words, "It figures. The non soda drinker gets them all right."

Robert also did something pretty incredible.

We all had to put a cookie on our foreheads and try to get it into our mouths. Watch the way that Robert interprets these instructions--and watch the air that cookie gets!

video

All in all, I'd say we were a success at this fun Christmas party :-)

Act 2; Scene 20: A Children's Nativity

Last weekend I helped put together a Nativity play for the primary kids in my home ward. We would practice and then put on the little play for the ward party breakfast. We were all pleased with a darling children's nativity outcome. There is nothing that brings the spirit like watching children enact the story of the Savior's birth. There also may not be anything more entertaining, as well. Here a few highlights from the nativity:

#1: The girl who we asked to be Mary (we assigned Mary and Joseph previous to the day) counting down the days and calling my mom about what she needed to do as Mary.

#2: The little boy acting out who was punished by having to sit by Robert during the instructions (Robert wondered who was really being punished in this situation...)

#3: The shepherds sword fighting with their staffs.

#4: The innkeeper not knowing what a manger was.
#5: Mary plunking down the baby Jesus doll in the manger when that part in the narration came.

#6: The angel coming to Mary and Joseph instead of the shepherds.

#7: Joseph telling the angel to go talk to the shepherds instead of them.

#8: The angel trying to mouth the words along with the narration.

#9: The littlest angel not wanting to come offstage with the rest of the angels and following the shepherds to the manger. Until, of course, she realized she was the only angel--then she ran offstage. 

#10: The littlest sheep (3 years old) standing right in the front of the stage, nearly blocking the manger, holding tightly to his stuffed sheep and pulling the cotton balls off of his sheep head piece. 

#11: One little pig amongst all the little sheep.

#12: Angels mouthing the word "watermelon" when they didn't know the words to "Silent Night" and giggling about it.

#13: The boy who played Joseph saying that he was glad he did it, even though he didn't want to.

#14: The angels getting to keep their sparkly headbands.

As you can tell, we had a very enjoyable time. Hope you all get to act out the Nativity this Christmas also!




Saturday, December 3, 2011

Act 2; Scene 19: O Christmas Tree

December is finally here, and bringing with it the best time of the year! 

The Christmas holidays are full of wonderful traditions and excitements. One of my very favorite parts of early December is picking out a real Christmas tree to bring home. I have never experienced Christmas without a real tree to decorate and smell and put presents under in my home. 

The day after we got home from our Thanksgiving adventure in Washington, we headed up to the tree lot near our house and did some "tree shopping." Robert picked out a gorgeous and fluffy tree from Oregon (at least that's what the man selling the trees told us). We spent the next couple of days setting it up and decorating it. And here are some beauties of the final product:


good thing we have two walls--we have just enough ornaments to cover one side


Isn't it lovely? 

Robert and I started a tradition last year of collecting Christmas tree ornaments. That will be our souvenir from our vacationing adventures. We also decided we would splurge on one "fancy" or "special" ornament a season.
The first ornament we bought together--from Jackson Hole, WY
Last year's special ornament--delicious!
This year we found hand crafted and hand painted ornaments at a Christmas boutique that we both loved. Here is this year's ornament:


I'm excited to one day be able to fill a big tree with all of our collected ornaments. What wonderful stories to bring out in the Christmas traditions.

There really is nothing like taking a step back, turning out the lights, and taking a look at your sparkling tree covered in tiny lights and ornaments. It makes me think, "Wow, this is bigger than just you and me." I remember feeling the same way last year, just a few months after we were married. The Christmas tree made me realize that we have actually started our own little family--keeping and starting family traditions that one day our children will cherish just as much as we cherish our own family traditions at Christmastime. Wow, that's big.

Lovin' the spirit and smell of the tree. Let the traditions begin!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Act 2; Scene 18: My Work Wardrobe

I work from home for an awesome HR software company. 
Emphasis on the "I work from home" part.
The "work from home" part equals "dress comfortably"
Right?

Lately, as the cold weather has hit, our apartment has been quite frigid.
Especially at my desk in front of our huge window, where there seems to be a draft.

So I decided recently that I needed to get some appropriate work clothes for my profession.

Here it is: 


My new fleece snuggie!

I know this snuggie will not only help me stay warm and comfortable, but also stay professional while I sort through all kinds of crazy data :-) These pictures were snapped by Robert when I was making some fabric flowers for my nieces (which they will someday, someday get). 
So snuggies are not only good for work, but for crafts!

Happy working, and happy snugging! :-)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Act 2; Scene 17: "Carson"

It started before I was even born. My grandpa told my mom that if she named me "Carson" he would never speak to me. Fortunately, he warmed up to the name very quickly.

The next instance I actually remember. I was three years old, and my mom signed me up for a reading time program at the library. I showed up the first day, and found my name tag, a cute little face with a bow tie rather than hair bow. Naturally, they assumed by my name that I was a boy.

In my high school classes on the first day, my teachers would be looking around as they called out "Carson McFarland?" and every time give a little "oh" of surprise when I raised my hand and called out "here." 

Doing field trips at This is the Place was also an adventure. I swear, every third little boy between the ages of 2 and 8 are named Carson. All of the moms would be calling out "Carson" everywhere and I kept thinking they were calling out at me! 

I did not know that getting married would complicate this issue. However, Robert (mind you, a very common, normal name--especially for my family) happens to have a rather rare word for a last name--Center. Believe you me, no one has ever heard of that as a last name before. If they had they wouldn't ask about three times how to spell it. 

The complication first became apparent about a week after we were married, and I attempted to change my name on Facebook. But Facebook has a rule that no one can change their name to be representing a business or a place. I learned this because Facebook kept rejecting my name change, insisting that it was a "place" or a "center" and not a name. When I tried to add my maiden name to it (Carson McFarland Center), it rejected the change on account of too many capital letters for a name. (?) So I had to come up with the ridiculous option of Carson Mc(space)Farland(hyphen-)Center for my name. Really?!?!??!

(By the way, I am now a follower on Facebook of the Carson Center in Kentucky--it's a community theater. Go figure.)

We recently moved into a new ward. First of all, when they announced us as new members to the ward, they called me "Anne Center." I'm sure they thought the "Carson" was a maiden name or something. The next week, the Elder's Quorum president (who has greasy long hair and writes psychological thriller novels for a living) was introducing himself and when he heard my name, said "Carson Center? That's the weirdest name I ever heard!"
Right. Thanks for making me feel welcome in the ward.
(Don't worry, we actually really like the elder's q. pres--he's awesome)

Last week a couple invited us over for dinner. How nice! We got there and the host asked me, "Now what is your first name?" I told him Carson. Then he said, "No, I mean your first name?" "That IS my first name."

This week the other Gospel Doctrine teacher referred to me as "Sister Carson." One of the girls I have made friends with came up to me after apologizing that she had been calling me Carson this whole time when it was actually my last name. Ha.

I'm pretty sure our ward is in denial that our last name is Center and that Carson is actually a name that exists for girls, or as a first name at all. I hope they figure it out soon!

Another adventure has been dealing with benefits and going to the doctor and the dentist. Every time, without fail, they ask "And this is for your son?" "Nope. It's for me. I am Carson." I don't have any children and if I did I wouldn't name my son Carson--what a wussy guy's name! ;-)

And last week I went to the bank to cash a check I had received from work. The teller looked at the check and asked, "And what is the Carson Center?" 

"Um...me." 



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Spooktacular Meal #5 and Halloween!!!!!

Our Halloween meal may have been more of a taste success than a presentation success. We made pumpkin pancakes, and attempted to make them into Halloween shapes with chocolate chip decorations. Well...this is what we got:
See that sort of ghost? And sort of jack-o-lantern? Ha. Well, they tasted good.

After dinner we dressed up and headed to the local trunk-or-treat.  
Humperdick suffers!
Liar!
Our neighbors pug. Ha!

I even added the flower Valerie keeps in her hair

After the "trunk or treat," we had a few friends over for some spooky Halloween games and treats.

Caramel apple slices with snicker pieces on top

Ryu and fantasy nerd complete with muffin top

Where's Waldo? Behind the cow girl!
We all played a Halloween story game where each person has one minute to write a part of a story including a Halloween word that is assigned. After that minute, you pass the paper to the left and cover up everything you wrote except for the last line. The next person picks up where you left off with a new Halloween word. It was hysterical! Here is a video of our favorite "story" of the night, read by the impressive Miracle Max:

video

Overall, one of our most enjoyable Halloweens. Now time to start thinking about next year! What should we be? What do you want to dress up as next year?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Act 2; Scene 16: The Halloween Reveal!

Kris, Katie, and Mom--you guessed it!

Miracle Max and Valerie!!!

More to come about our marvelous Halloween tomorrow! :-)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Act 2; Scene 15: Some Reasons Why I Haven't Been Blogging Much Lately

I have been so busy. I can't wait to get back to regular postings, and I have a few great ones thought out to someday be published on the Center Stage. While I wait for more time to gather thoughts and words for a posting, I will tell you (or more accurately, show you) a few of the things that have been keeping me so busy lately:

My wonderful Beauty and the Beast, Jr. cast! They have all been working so hard, and we're so excited for the show to go up next week! Opening night, Thursday November 10th! This picture is from our last 6 hour Saturday rehearsal for the school newspaper--there are a few costume items missing (notice the Beast is wearing jeans...lol), and most hair and makeup is not done yet. But they look great nonetheless!

Gaston and LeFou

The silly girls--love them!


Last weekend, my good friend Sean Sekino and I had a recital! It was just for fun, and it was fun!







 It's been fun. And this next week, we start our production of "The Little Red Hen" at Center Stage for the 5-7 year olds. Yay! They are so excited :-) I have never seen kids so excited to act like a fat cat, a lazy cow, and a sneaky fox. Here we go!

Spooktacular Meal #4

I really wanted to try some mummies for one of our meals, but Robert insisted that he'd had enough hot dogs for a while. So I tried these calzone mummies. I should have given them pizza-dough hands and legs, because they look like long, baby mummies!
You can see our attempt to give the mummy arms...

I think the red pepper arms turned out ok

The mummy wrappings!

This mummy is bleeding tomato sauce and pepperoni! Yum!

And on a side note, here are a few other things I have been trying out this Halloween season:

My Halloween centerpiece! Complete with a pumpkin created out of a roll of toilet paper. Good idea, huh?


And these are some witch broom treat bags. Can you guess what they are made out of?

Yup! Just brown paper lunch bags, some twine, and a stick! Inside are candy corns and candy pumpkins. Yum! And fun!


Tomorrow is Halloween! That means there is one last clue, and one last chance to guess what Robert and I will be sporting as costumes this Halloween. Thanks to Katie for making our one and only guess so far....the answer will be revealed tomorrow on Halloween! This is your last chance to guess!

The last clue is: This couple works miracles.

Happy Guessing, Happy Haunting, and Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spooktacular Meal #3

Say hello to devlish eggs and monster mouths


Doesn't that look gross? Well, I have to say, the eggs tasted kind of gross :-/

But these tasted like candy!

Slices of apple with mini marshmallows held on with peanut butter. Yum!

Happy Haunting!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Act 2; Scene 14: My Weekend in a Nutshell

This weekend was just PACKED full of fun and festive activities.

On Friday night, I donned my creepiest apparel, looking something like this:


for Witches Night Out at Gardner Village with my mom and some friends. After mingling with hundreds of witches from all over the valley, we went to Zupas for dinner. Needless to say, there were a lot of second glances our way.  Even the construction worker with his truck parked right by my apartment complex did a double take and gave me a chuckle as I pulled out :-) 

On Saturday, Robert and I readied our house and treats for a Halloween/Birthday party for my theater friends that I graduated with. We had a cupcake decorating contest. It looked something like this:










I was so impressed with everyone's creativity!!! Especially that handsome guy right there. Most creative. Yip, that's my man! 


And I realize it's been a while since I gave a hint about our Halloween costumes. So here's the third hint: We will be going as a very quotable couple.

Any guesses yet?

Looking forward to a festive filled week, starting off with a trip to the Castle to see Macbeth, then wrapping up with this on Saturday night: 


Do you have any spooky plans this week?