Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Swift Kick in the Gut by Christmas Spirit

I considered myself a Scrooge this year. Unforeseen travel, coming to terms with personal things I can't change and the hurry-hurry of Christmas did me in. Ebeneezer it was.

We spent a quiet Christmas at home, watching the youngest, Isabel, enthralled by everything that was Christmas. We ate dinner in our pj's and pretty much kept to ourselves.

I received several gifts (gift cards, books, Cd's, kitchen items, etc.) and a necklace from my in-laws; a pretty milky/clear stone in a scroll-like setting on a thin silver chain. Nice, I thought. I'm really not much of a jewelry wearer. I have a lot of it, handed down by my mom, my ex mother-in-law (r.i.p.) and now my current one. I just don't wear it much.

I wore the necklace on Tuesday and e-mailed my mother-in-law from work, thanking her for the necklace and asking her what the stone was.

She replied that the stones were called Moonstones and were sent from her father years ago (when she was 3 yrs old or less) to their mother as a gift. He was working in Japan, and they (my m-i-l, her sisters and mom) were in the States. On an LP he recorded he mentioned that the Japanese did not like the stones too much, but that they were popular with Americans. Eventually they were set into jewelry; necklaces, rings, etc.

[Back Story: My mother-in-law's father (David's grandfather) was presumed killed in a plane wreck when she was 3 years old. They had finally moved to Japan to be with him. He flew to the States to take care of some family business. Flying back to Japan to be home with his wife and 3 daughters, the plane he was in went into the cloudy Alaskan skies and was never seen from again. Mrs. H and her 3 daughters had to make it back home from Japan on their own.]

Mrs. H passed away over 3 years ago. Her 3 daughters separated the moonstones amongst themselves. My mother-in-law had them taken out of the old jewelry and set into 3 slightly different silver necklaces. One for her daughter and one for each of her two daughters-in-law.

After reading the e-mail, I sat at my desk at work, silently crying, ashamed at my attitude over the past few weeks, and hoping my boss would not notice. I e-mailed my mother-in-law telling her that I was touched and honored at such a gift.

I am. Honored.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Jacob and Epcot's Candlelight Procession

On December 18, 2009, our son Jacob got to sing at Epcot, with Whoopi Goldberg as the guest speaker. He had an amazing time.

Thankfully, a YouTube user posted 7 videos of that night! Below is a screenshot of video # 5 of 7. Jacob can be seen starting at around the 2:15 mark.

I am posting video # 5 below, because it is the one where we can see him in the above picture at 2:15-2:18.

His favorite song, though, is found on video 4 below at 2:40, "Rejoice with Exceeding Great Joy."

Also, at the end of video 6 below, Whoopi is so nice and has the audience stand up and clap for all the kids there.

Great job Jacob!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Jacob says Thank You!

Jacob's birthday is December 21. David's is the 25th. TRY and tell me holiday shopping is fun and I will pinch you really hard.

Jacob combined birthday and Christmas checks and Guitar Store gift cards in order to purchase this: Akai Professional MPK25 Midi controller.

To say he was thrilled would be an understatement. When we got to the parking lot, he whooped and punched his fist in the air. Several times.

So thank you, Titi Vicky and Tio Damian, Titi Kelli Kelli, Aunt Denise & Uncle Frank, Abuela Mercy in P.R., Aunt Sharon & Uncle Terri, Grandpa Frisenda, me and David :). (Gosh! I hope I did not miss anyone! Don't worry about the lateness, dad. He could not wait. He will still use the card you got him on other things at the Guitar Center, don't you worry.) Your cash and gift cards helped this goofy kid have this goofy smile.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy 40th Birthday David!

It really stinks having a Christmas birthday. I don't know HOW he deals with it. I would be bitter. I would! :)

Happy 40th Birthday David!

Christmas Birthday Pictures, Images and Photos

Feliz Navidad

The tree is decorated, the presents are wrapped.

The table is set, the turkey's been packed.

The stockings have been stuffed by Santa with joy.

If only someone would help me put to bed this darn boy.

Good night all! See you in a few hours.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

C is for (Christmas) Cookies

This may come as a shock, but I don't "do" Christmas cookies. Cakes? I'm all over that, but not cookies. Everyone does cookies, though. What's up with that?

Seeing as how I have a box of over 100 cookie cutters and all my cake making supplies, I figured "How hard can this be?" Isabel and I set to making the cookies.

Isabel helps me pipe a border of royal icing to the snowmen cookies. Check out the tongue sticking out. Like mother, like daughter.

(Her hands still have the tattoos from a few days ago. Those suckers will not wash off.)

The snowmen's hats dry. Some stars were also decorated with royal icing and set to dry.

We also set to work on decorating cookie ornaments. She really got into it all.

Working on another cookie ornament.

While she worked on the ornaments, I flooded the snowmen with thinner white royal icing and left them to dry.

Isabel works on a Christmas tree and adds a red nose to a reindeer cookie. The result of our hard work was quite nice to behold.

Above you see a row of ornament cookies and Christmas tree cookies.

They were fun to make.

The snowmen were ready for their close-up, but one of them was just not in the mood.

Next, we added the "present" cookies and the star cookies.

The gingerbread men were next. Isabel made them all except for the fully-clothed one.

The hearts were put on the plate next. No, it really is not supposed to say "Ho Ho Ha." I dropped another cookie on top while it was drying and the "Ho Ho Ho" became "Ho Ho Ha." :)

Some Santas and reindeer made it on to the plate.

Our beautiful collection is complete! (click on the pictures to make them bigger).

Off with his head! Num num num!

I enjoyed our first foray into Christmas Cookie decorating. :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ooooopsie! Christmas Party Near-Miss!

On our way home from Jacob's birthday dinner at Buca Di Beppo I received a call from my ex-sister-in-law Denise (Jacob's aunt). We all, David included, had been invited to their family Christmas party on Sunday. My ex's family is pretty fantastic. They always invite the 4 of us to their Christmas parties and Denise calls on me to have lunch with her often. They have always been kind to me. Even though I am no longer married into their family, they know I have their nephew/grandchild and they are great people.

I answer the phone and Denise asks me where we are. "Driving," I reply. I was wondering why she was asking. Then I say "Wait, the party's tomorrow, right?" Nope. The party was Saturday not Sunday. We had just had dinner and were on our way home. We were supposed to bring the garlic bread for Sunday's party! OOOPS!

We drove home, grabbed the ornament exchange gift and Jacob's gift exchange gift and headed back out. We arrived just after everyone had eaten, which was good. That meant Dessert!

Jacob hangs out with his paternal cousins. Counting Jacob, there are nine cousins his age.

After dessert, there was the gift exchange. Everyone gets a name drawn out of a hat that they buy for. There are just too many people in this family to be buying for everyone and they draw names. I wish other families would do the same. HINT HINT POKE POKE

Want to know the sweetest thing? Denise buys for Isabel; Isabel who is Jacob's sister but no relation whatsoever to that side of the family. Isabel sat helping Denise hand out gifts and then, gasp! She got two of her own!

Here she beams as she receives a tin of tattoos. The next gift....

... a humongous Fairy Princess activity set. I could not get her to look at the camera. She was too excited about her gifts.

After all the gifts were exchanged, the ladies went into another room where we had an ornament swap. One of these deals where you get to steal other people's ornaments if you like them. It was funny because Jake's grandpa came in the room to look at all the "ugly ornaments you ladies will lie and say are pretty." He had us laughing. I purchased a beautiful Wedgewood Blue nativity ornament that was a hit. It got chosen once and then stolen the maximum limit of two times, leaving two women pouting.

Isabel tatted herself up, Jake got more Guitar Center gift cards, cash and video games (he got birthday presents from Grandpa and Aunt Denise as well as his gift exchange gift) and then we headed home.

Thanks to my son's family whom I love for all they do.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Celebrating an Early Birthday

Jacob turns 16 on Monday. Sixteen!! Seeing as how David and I both work on Monday, we decided to take him to his birthday dinner today, Saturday. After posting a "Where should we go" status update on Facebook, my friend Julie suggested we try Buca Di Beppo, so we did. What a FUN, quirky place. They walked us through the kitchen, introducing us to random kitchen staff, on our way to our table. The place was decked out in crazy Italian decor; as if your wacky Italian grandma went nuts with the decorating.

Their menu items are offered in one of two sizes; Small (feeds 3-4 people) and Large (feeds 5-6 people). We chose an appetizer and two small entrees and shared between the three of us, and we still could not finish everything. Miss Is got her own pizza.

The waiter was really attentive. Not a thing slipped by his notice. After the meal, he brought out this candelabra, a rather large cupcake and had the table next to us wish Jacob a happy birthday in Italian.

He even brought Isabel a mini-cone.

He opened several gifts: a Guitar Center gift card and CD from Kelli Kelli, two video games, a laptop cooler pad and two more Guitar Gift Center cards from us.

Oh, and a T-Shirt. "Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal." Oh yeah!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round

I love Panamanian Public transportation. These buses are not air conditioned, so the smell might be a tad ripe, and are covered in crazy pictures and painting. I also have not discerned the bus routes or how people know what bus goes where. It's funny.

According to one customer, the government down there will be getting rid of these buses soon and repalcing them with better ones, with AC. What I did not realize is, that at night, the buses are covered in fluorescent lighting and LOUD music. I wish I had gotten a picture or a video on one from the front.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Overbooked and Saddened

My son is singing at Epcot this weekend with his choir. We were not going to go see him, because 3 tickets at $70-whatever each is not something we can do on our budget, especially around Christmas. Since he was going to be there at Epcot all night, I scheduled our company's Christmas dinner for Friday evening. David took off work and we're going to have to bring Isabel with us.

My son calls me from school yesterday to say they now need more chaperones and the chaperones get in for free. ARGH!!!!!!!!! I asked David to take the night off. If I go to Epcot, I miss the company dinner, that *I* plan out every year, and David gets to stay home losing out on work for no apparent reason.

So I sit here, all sad and mad and grumpy. The holidays are supposed to be fun! They're supposed to be a time of joy, reflection, and time for God and/or Jesus, yet I sit here hating them this year. I lost a week with being out of the country and now can't fit all the shopping in that I need to do while working a full-time job and then coming home to clean, cook, etc. I have doctor's appointments, dinners and parties, and also the shopping I don't want to do.

The not-seeing-my-son-sing-now-that-I-can-get-in-free is the sludge topping to my BAH HUMBUG sundae.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Yummy Sushi Pajamas

Reading in Panama
Originally uploaded by KaarenM

I'm trying to post a blog entry straight from flickr. First time, let's see how this works.

This picture was taken one night when I was too pooped to party, so to speak. After dinner, a few people headed out, but I decided to head back to the room and, you guessed it, read. These are my Buffy Yummy Sushi Pajamas. Probably my best Mother's Day Gift ever. :)

I brought three books with me on the plane; Steinbeck's "The Moon is Down," Charlaine Harris' "From Dead to Worse" and Shaffer/Barrows' "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society." Steinbeck I read on the plane to Panama. The "Guernsey...etc." I started on the plane and finished the next day. That left me with my Sookie Stackhouse, which I finished a day and a half later.

Panic! No Books! After mentioning it to one of our drivers, he quickly whisked me away to Exedra Books. I was SO excited. Several people told me books stores were very rare in Panama. This store carried books in English and in Spanish. There was a coffee shop and a lecture going on in a room; I kept hearing applause.

I purchased Mitch Albom's "For One More Day," which I finished in less than a day, Barbara Kingsolver's "The Poisonwood Bible," which seems so far to be one of those books that gets in your soul, like "The Grapes of Wrath," "The Color of Water" or "Cry the Beloved Country," and "Crepusculo." You might know that one as "Twilight." I figured after my success with reading "The Shadow of the Wind" in its original Spanish, I'd try the reverse and see if the Spanish translation of "Twilight" is any good.

In my Yummy Sushi Pajamas, I relaxed for the evening, to read about Africa and the Price family.

Plane Plane, Go Away

I do not enjoy traveling by plane. Never have. What I can say is that I am a good traveler. I get to the airport on time. I am patient in line. I smile at the often-stressed workers and say "please" and "thank you" because, face it, theirs is often a thankless job.

I also make sure my carry-on is, you know, carry-on. Every single flight I have been on, I see people bringing these humongous pieces of luggage, insisting they are carry-on sized, and then getting irate because they cannot shove their steam-trunk sized piece into the overhead bin. It boggles the mind.

Then there are the people who think they're at home. The man who shuffled his cards loudly for an hour. Not playing, just shuffling. Last night, random-dude was clipping his fingernails. Snip. Snip. Snip. Each snip bore a hole in my brain. Also, EW. You can't wait until you get home or your hotel before clipping your nails and discarding the clippings on the floor. Nasty.

There was also the couple with two young daughters, about Isabel's age, who let their girls run up and down the aisles. Up and down, up and down. I felt so sorry for the flight attendants.

OH! Last night we were coming from Miami to Orlando, after arriving from Panama. It was about a 45 minute hop. A family from Venezuela (I found out because I was sitting next to a young married couple in the group) was heading to Orlando with a change of planes in Miami. Mother, Father, married daughter and son-in-law, teen son and 9-10 year-old daughter. Mother is sitting with her 10-year old daughter, waiting for the plane to leave the terminal. The young girls presses the Call button and the flight attendant comes over. The girl asks for something, not sure what, and the f.a. tells her that as soon as we take off, she will come back. Ten minutes later, we still have not left the gate, and "ding!" the 10-year old pushed the button again. We're all seated waiting. After a few minutes, one of the attendants is counting, hits the button to turn it off, and keeps on counting.

The little girl snaps. her. fingers. Several times. *snap*snap*snap* "Oye!" she says mid-snap. My mouth dropped. She was calling the flight attendant as if she were a dog. *snap* Thankfully, the mom swatted her hand down. I could not even mutter a comment, as the little girl's sister and brother-in-law were seated next to me. After 5 more minutes, the girl gets up, and tells her mom she's going to the back. Off she goes. We're all supposed to be seated, buckled in, ready to depart and little Miss Obnoxious is off. Why? She wanted glass of water. If my eyes could have rolled out of my head, they would have rolled on to the floor.

Have you thanked your flight crew today? I have.

Back from Panama, Again


I'm back from Panama City, Panama. Who? What? Huh? It was a last minute "Here's you're ticket. Go" trip. After some schedule-rearranging with David, I left last Sunday the 6th and returned yesterday the 12th in the evening.

I'll catch up as soon as I clean up the mess that is this house!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Heard Around the House Answers

Here are the answers to the weird things heard around the house:

1) Did you kiss a policeman yet?
The boys were playing Lego Batman and one of the characters, Poison Ivy, incapacitates her victims with a poisonous kiss. Jake asked David this question.

2) When the doorbell rings, I want everyone to STOP killing people, o.k.?
Right before Isabel's birthday party, I exasperatedly yell this out to the boys playing, you guessed it, a video game.

3) "Honey, let's go." "I'm trying to talk to the cats."
I'm trying to get out of the house, David's trying to talk to the cats in another video game.

4) "Jacob! (long pause, while Jake looks scared) What have I told you about those ritualistic beheadings?!?"
Jacob was reading me an article. Something kind of gross, apparently, because I yelled this out a few minutes after he was done. He thought I was mad at him about something, and when I completed the sentence, he laughed.

5) "Get OFF the monkey, so I can get him!"
Isabel kept jumping on a monkey in "Little Big Planet" and David was trying to get her to stop it so they could finish their objective.

There is WAY TOO MUCH gaming going on in this house.

Monday, December 7, 2009

DollHouse and Mr. Gordo Ornaments

More Buffyfest Ornaments!

Heidi's Echo/Dollhouse Ornament and Alma's Mr. Gordo Ornament.

The back of the Dollhouse ornament has Victor too.

Thanks ladies!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Heard Around the House

Remember those Funny Out-Of-Context saying from an OLD post? We tend to say things that, when taken out of context, are sometimes weird.

Here are some more:

1) Did you kiss a policeman yet?

2) When the doorbell rings, I want everyone to STOP killing people, o.k.?

3) "Honey, let's go." "I'm trying to talk to the cats."

4) "Jacob! What have I told you about those ritualistic beheadings?!?"

5) "Get OFF the monkey, so I can get him!"

What do you think?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

More Buffy Ornaments

Say hello to one of The Gentlemen (from the ever-awesome "Hush" episode) and a stake!

Compliments of one of the gals in my group, for the 2009 Buffyfest Ornament Swap.

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Thankful Recap, The Tea Party

Saturday morning, my mother-in-law had planned a girls day out. We were to meet at a Tea House in Chattanooga for tea. We headed over to the English Rose Tea Room, run by several English people.

(click on the pictures to see them in more detail)

The table was set for our party of 9 ladies.

Tea pots covered in tea cozies, to keep them warm. CUTE!

The Royal Doulton Old Country Roses china was terrific.

The tea was poured, even for the little ones who really enjoyed their demitasse cups, brought out especially for them.

We enjoyed an assortment of finger sandwiches as well as scones, cookies, cheese and crackers.

Beautiful ladies at tea.

We also had a last-minute baby shower for one of my sister-in-laws, expecting her first baby next Spring. :) Yay. The staff hid the presents in the back until we were done eating.

It was SUCH A FUN THING TO DO!!! Thanks to my Mother-in-Law for the treat!!

P.S. She's going to kill me.

She leans over to me and shows me the receipt. She whispers quietly "Who ordered the ass? I'm not paying for that." and I BURST OUT LAUGHING!!! cause this is my MIL! I had to take a picture.

Click to make bigger.