Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Best Christmas Present Ever

The older Soren gets the better Christmas is for us. Even though he isn't sure Santa is real now - logic is starting to kick in - he still was very excited for Christmas morning. Alan and I stayed up late setting up what we hoped would be a HUGE surprise. Months ago we purchased a Wii, as we knew it was going to be the 'hot ticket' item this Christmas. I'd been purchasing accessories for it since October and tried to keep everything well hidden. However, Alan and I both had concerns that Soren knew we'd purchased it. So, we devised our plan.

Part 1 - Remove the XBox and all accessories from under the TV.
Part 2 - Insert Wii and all of it's components under the TV.
Part 3 - Close cupboard and hide all traces.
Part 4 - Sleep
Part 5 - Get up and head downstairs to open presents.
Part 6 - Open all presents that are under the tree and empty out stockings.
Part 7 - Eat Breakfast
Part 8 - Play a card game
Part 9 - Casually ask Soren to setup the XBox for a round of Battlefront with mom and dad.
Part 10 - Watch him discover his last Christmas present.

There are no words to describe his reaction. Instead, we've uploaded 2 video clips.

So - needless to say - that was an AWESOME reaction. Awesome.

I'll update on the rest of our Christmas later, but I had to get these up.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Christmas is just around the corner! I can't believe it. I have so much wrapping to do it is ridiculous. I also should really go out and get ONE MORE THING at the store, but I'm like - ugh, fight with all the crazy for one more thing? Or just buy it the week after? I go to the mall (ew, hate the mall) on Jan. 1st to buy calendars anyway, so I could just get it then. Yes, that's what I will do.

I've done all the grocery shopping, again, except one thing. We started a new tradition last year - french toast with this KILLER bread. It's Hawaiian sweet bread (I think). This year, however, we will be having STUFFED french toast, so I probably should get some fruit as well. I have apples and pears, but I think berries would work best. So, I will probably run to the store in the morning. But just the grocery store. And just the one that is super close.

Soren had a class party yesterday. He begged and begged to wear a Santa hat to school, so I let him. Luckily it made it home, too. He had a great time and I'm glad for that. Today is the last day of school and then he gets a whopping 7 (school) days off before he's back to school on Jan. 2nd. I swear I remember Winter Break being much longer than that when I was a kid. Anyway, today he was distracted by the great UNO war and forgot to grab his lunch on the way out the door, so after water aerobics, shower, and cake baking I had to run over and drop it off to him. It's only the second time this year that he has spaced it, so I can't be too upset. Especially because I won UNO 4 times and he only won 3. Rematch is scheduled for after school.

Alan recently was called to be in charge of the basketball program for the entire stake. Not a big shocker. It's like his life's mission or something. So he's now in the EQ presidency, in charge of basketball and sports for the ward, and in charge of basketball and sports for the stake. Plus coaching basketball for Soren. Plus - oh yeah - working full time. Hee hee. He's becoming almost as busy as me!

Speaking of me and busy, I just keep piling it on. I'm singing with a small women's choir on Sunday at church and then singing a solo the following week. I'm also going from just being over the little kids singing time at church to all the kids under 12. So.... yeah. And Jan. 3 outside work starts up again and then I, of course, have the inside work. My poor house is falling apart around me! It's just by the time I finish work, cleaning is the last thing I want to do. I have no idea how moms work full time - although sometimes I wish I had just one full time job instead of 4-5 part time jobs.

Somehow I did find time to get Christmas cards out, though. And mail a package. Now I've just got to get the birthday cards for December in the mail before the month is over. I can do it!!! At least I think I can.

Maybe after a nap.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Another Week Closer to Christmas

Can you even believe that Christmas is only a week and a day away? A week from tomorrow we'll be opening presents, playing games, going to the movies, and celebrating my BFF Jen's birthday. (BFF, for those of you who are unsure, means Best Friend Forever. . . it makes me laugh and when I say it out loud I do it with that California, Valley Girl accent. Well hey, it makes ME laugh - no one was talking about you. You don't have to laugh. Hee hee!) I do not think any packages I need to send will get to their destinations in time. I only have 1 package to send, though. Everything else is small. I feel as though I am not nearly ready enough, though, because things have been rather stressful the past few weeks.

I started my new job 2 weeks ago and have been trying to get into the groove of things there. It is a lot more structured than my other web design gig, so I'm learning the ropes. I'm also trying to remember how to use certain aspects of Photoshop because it has been a while since I did much designing in that program. However, I think I've finally got a handle on things and so hopefully things will settle into a nice pattern and I can just add it to my list of things to do. The great thing? We don't work on weekends. I love that!

Tomorrow is my last day of teaching musical theatre until the new year. I'm planning on doing some work on our new show, but reserve a bulk of the time to just playing fun improv games and goofing off. My last voice lesson is on Thursday night. Next week I will not really be working at all. It will be nice to have a week of down time.

Since we don't have any family near for the holidays we've had to make adjustments in our life out here in the EAST. Usually we have had the missionaries over on Christmas Eve, but this year things are different and I do not believe that is an option. So we are heading over to my sweet friend Nancy's house. She was my roommate in college and up until about two (?) years ago lived up the street from me. However, she ran off and bought a house and moved about 30 minutes away (depending on traffic). Even though she isn't too far away geographically, our lives are both pretty hectic and we don't get to see each other much at all. So, we're going to go have food over there, hang out, do the whole Christmas Eve story of Christmas thing and what not . . . ya know, usual Christmas Eve stuff. This will be fun! I haven't seen Nancy and the kiddos since like . . September. I don't even remember the last time I saw Richard (Nancy's hubby) and Alan mentioned that he thinks it has been a year since he's seen them all. Crazy! So, good times. And no major cooking (which means the kitchen won't be dirty lol) at our house on Christmas Eve. Yay!

Soren had something exciting happen this past week. At his school they do a Geography Bee. I had only ever heard of a Spelling Bee, so I didn't even know this was happening. However, on Friday he came home and informed us that he made it to the semi-finals in the Geography Bee at his school! Of course, being Soren, he has now become not proud of this, but freaked out. He doesn't want to "look like a dufus" in front of the whole school if he gets an easy question wrong. We had a long talk and I think he's feeling better about things, but we'll be doing quite a bit of studying this afternoon and in the morning tomorrow. I just told him to go and do his best. We'll see how that all turns out!

It's time for me to get some things done around the house before Soren is home from school. Monday the kids get out of school at 1:15pm, so I don't get as much time to do stuff as usual. I also need to shower - I still smell like chlorine from my water aerobics! Later!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I wish I could say that so many exciting things have been going on that I haven't had a chance to post, but I'm afraid that is not the case. The truth is, nothing exciting has been going on, so I haven't posted. Haha!

We did have our ward Christmas party on Friday night. That was fun. I led the kids in singing a few Christmas songs and then the crowd as well. We also sat by a family that is newer to the ward that we are getting to know, Shasta & Doug - a really fun couple with 2 cute little girls. It was the first ward function we had since our really good friends moved out of the ward, so I was concerned about who we would sit by and then Shasta saw me and waved me over to sit with her and Doug. It was nice that she felt comfortable enough with us to wave us over and it was nice to not have to go searching for someone to sit with. I always get really whacked out at ward events, even though we've made quite a few friends in the ward. I worry no one will want to hang out with us. I probably shouldn't so much, but I still do.

Our first snow on Wednesday led to all after school activities being canceled on Wednesday night. This included basketball for the boys. However, our girl's night (attending Cooking Club taught by the aforementioned Shasta) was not canceled. With the snow and the people here who can't drive when the roads are dry, I decided to stay home rather than risk my life. The boys and I snuggled up together and spent the evening just hanging out. Soren and our next door neighbor, Madina, played out in the snow and dreamed of a Thursday with no school. When morning came, the snow had stopped but ice had formed. This caused a 2 hour delay and a ton of traffic issues. The kids were glad for the delay and I didn't mind, either. It meant I did not have to drag Soren out of bed - which I only have to do on school days. The rest of the day proceeded as normal Thursdays do, so there is nothing that exciting to report.

I did get to see Enchanted on Friday, an adorably fantastic movie. It was just a feel good movie and I giggled a lot and had one of the songs stuck in my head the rest of the day. There aren't a lot of movies coming out this holiday season that have me excited about the movies. In fact, this is the first movie I've been to since Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix. I am looking forward to National Treasure II, though. I think that is what we'll see on Christmas Day this year.

Well, Alan has started watching Tin Man without me - HOW RUDE! So I better head in and try to stay awake for at least the first hour or so. For those that are unaware, it's a miniseries from the Sci-Fi channel - a new twist on The Wizard of Oz with an actress that intrigues me, Zooey Deschanel. The actress who plays Chuck, from Pushing Daisies, totally reminds me of her, too. Makes watching that show a little nuts for me sometimes - especially because Jim Dale narrates and he also reads all the American versions of the Harry Potter books on CD - which I've listened to a lot.

Right, I need to get off my tangents and go watch Tin Man. Alan's throwing water bottles in my general direction. Don't worry, they're empty. :D

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Outside the snows is falling . . . .

Our first snow started sometime in the middle of the night. I woke up to a light sprinkling of snow outside and said to Alan - it's like the Frost Fairy sneezed! It isn't that exciting, but it's just nice to have snow as a testament to how freaking cold it has been the past few days. Yesterday I thought limbs were going to fall off, it was so crazy cold. And I was out and about all day starting with a 9am trip to the grocery store, followed by a mad dash home to unload the car (BRRR), then off again to the bank, pay rent, order my contacts and look for a new pair of glasses, and then out to lunch with my roomie, Marie. Following lunch it was another mad dash home so I could conduct my first design interview for my new job. After completing that, it was time to freshen up and head off to my musical theatre class, where I had 2 new students and one returning student. Then I taught a voice lesson. Then I came home and actually got to sit and eat dinner with my family. After that, though, Alan headed off to a basketball game in DC and it was time to get Soren ready for bed. Once Soren was safely tucked in, I made a run to Borders, but came back empty handed. BOOOOO! Then it was - work on a layout for my new job and wait for Alan to get home. Alan gets home and boom, crash into bed.

Yes, yesterday was busy.

Today, however, is a bit more relaxed. I do have work, but it's all at home. All my errands were run yesterday. Soren will most likely get out of school early if the snow keeps up like the predictions say it will. Hopefully this means Alan will be able to come home early, too. This will also mean that all after school activities will be canceled - so no basketball for the boys tonight! It would just be nice to have an excuse to hole ourselves up for a few hours, cuddle on the couch, put in a movie, drink some hot cocoa, and just relax.

If, however, the snow isn't as snow-ish as I hope . . . I'll be heading to Ikea with a friend mid-morning, then spending the afternoon working, then head to cooking club tonight in lieu of girl's night. My friend, Shasta, is showing us how to make truffles. I think I'll bring some carrots and an apple!

Maybe on Saturday I'll get to relax a bit . . . :)