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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!