Sunday, 28 December 2008

Holiday Madness!

Our family likes to squeeze everything in one big chunk. It all begins in September with Tatiana's birthday, and my parents anniversary. In October, we have Jonathan's birthday, along with his brother's birthday, and Halloween. November holds only Thanksgiving for immediate family, so we only have to buy a bit of extra food that month. Celestia's birthday is in December, along with my mother's birthday, our anniversary, and (of course) Christmas, which always includes both our family, and gifts for less fortunate children, because I could not be so blessed without also blessing others! :) We wrap it up in January with my birthday and my sister's birthday, and (completely off the subject) our truck's registration and inspection are also both in January, which costs money, too! The only people who don't manage to squeeze their birthdays into this block are my dad (who is in June and always within a week of Father's Day) my father-in-law (who is in August, so I suppose I could include in the madness, since it is the month before Tatiana's) and my mother-in-law (who is in May and always within a week of Mother's Day). You can see where someone like me, who LOVES to give people presents, could absolutely lose her mind, trying to buy everyone even a fraction of what they want. I start in December... The moment the current Christmas is over! It's absolutely the only way we can manage everything without going broke. Buy a little at a sale here, and a little more at a sale there, and before you know it, it's taken over my closet! I won't bore you with everything we unwrapped, but here are some highlights.
Santa brings each person in our household one gift (ummm, maybe two if they're small and can be wrapped together), along with a present for the whole family. Celestia got a Miley Cyrus CD, and a Jonas Brothers CD. For our future veterinarian, he brought a horse barn complete with horses, and a "horsepital" play set. Jonathan got some World of Warcraft cards, and I got a Princess Bride (my favourite movie, ever!) card game. The present for the whole family this year was Trivial Persuit Family Edition, that has a set of cards for adults to pull from, and a separate set for kids to pull from, so that everyone can play together. I feel a family game night coming on, soon! ;)
Our big gifts this year were lots of fun! Jonathan got a surround sound system for our tv, which I'm sorry to say, I was not able to surprise him with. It was WAY too big, and there was just nowhere to hide it! I had to call him on the day after Thanksgiving and ask if he would be disappointed if it wasn't a secret. In all fairness, my big-ticket item was not a surprise either. Jonathan bought me my very first camcorder!!! :) We read more consumer reviews than you would have thought possible trying to find just the right one, and I am SO excited to have it!!! Celestia, being the frilly girl in the family, received a big box-o-hair-goodies. She now has sparkly clips, not-so-sparkly clips, headbands a-plenty, hair chopsticks, ringlet curlers, a waving iron (that used to be mine!) and even a fake curly hairpiece! We also got her a beauty bag to keep everything in, so they will hopefully all last more than a week! Tatiana received the third Nintendo DS in the family, so she can play without having to borrow Daddy's or Celestia's. She's had a blast the last couple of days playing with her sister! :) Even the dogs got in on the action, with fleecy clean chew toys, which they promptly began to tear apart, and new Kong toys.
We had great fun this year, and most of all have just enjoyed having a extra time together!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Little Monkeys!!!

We often call our girls pet names, and one of our favourites is "Monkey", or some other version thereof (Monkeyana, and Monkeyestia are particular favs as well). For Christmas Eve breakfast, they made monkey bread with very minimal help from Mommy. Tatiana had a particularly great time mixing the dough with her hands while Celestia was off helping Daddy with other things. A wonderfully-fun super-sticky time was had by all, and it was yummy to boot!!! Have you noticed how much Tatiana likes the PJs she's wearing in these pics? Maybe they'll be some new ones under the tree. :)

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

What with this, that, and the other, we had not found a moment to actually put up our Christmas tree until the Sunday before Christmas! Our girls decorated it this year, with very little help from Mom and Dad. I have three sets of love birds that are just difficult to get on, so I placed those, and Jonathan placed the angel topper that Tatiana made several years ago (our star is too heavy for the artificial tree we got last year) but beyond that Jon and I placed not one ornament. We did have to remind the girls several times not to put all the same things in the same place, and to actually put some ornaments on the top of the tree. It's probably not the most artful job we've ever done, but the girls enjoyed the honour of decorating, and I love it!!!

Happy anniversary to me!

Remember how I said that Jonathan had to go to Florida during our anniversary? We decided to take an entire day off of work to make up for it, and have a date! I knew we were going to go to Caroling at the Adolphus, as I told Jonathan that I always wanted to, but never had. Being a choir nerd myself, I always enjoy a good choral performance, and the Adolphus serves cookies and cider to munch on during the concert! I really must find a good local group to sing with again! (Any suggestions anyone?) We knocked around downtown Dallas for a while, saying hello to old friends from our days of working there, and Jonathan had a couple of business matters he had to take care of. After that, off to the Gaylord Texan Hotel, where I knew we were going, but had no clue why. When we arrived, there were signs posted everywhere for something called "Ice", but I still couldn't imagine what that might be. We trooped through the entire hotel, which was decorated beautifully (think I'll bring the girls back and take some pictures of them.) and on to the attached convention centre, where I finally got a clue what we were doing. Ice is the HUGEST ice sculpture exhibit ever! There were animals galore, a skating pond with ice sculpture people skating on it, a gigantic Santa, a "gingerbread" house, 10 foot tall Christmas ornaments, an ice slide (that was oh-so fun!) an ice cathedral complete with trumpeting angel, and a larger-than-life-sized nativity scene! I wish I could give you more pictures of everything, but blogger will only let me post so many! Jonathan promised that he would "make it up" for being gone on the actual day, and he certainly did! I think he might just like to remind me what a big kid I actually am! ;)

Musical fun!

For the last few years, our church has done two children's musicals a year - one in the Spring, and a Christmas musical. The girls look forward to these, and I am also one of the teachers for them. It's such a busy time of year for my family that I am often tired out and frustrated by the practices and commitment, but in the end it's a great time, and this year was no exception. The musical was called the Christmas County Spelling Bee. All the kids learned to spell different names of Jesus, and they did a GREAT job!!!
The Saturday before we performed, the cast had the privilege of appearing in the Anna Christmas parade. This was the girls first time to be in a parade, and I think they enjoyed it very much!
Our church's sanctuary is structurally challenged this year, (meaning the roof is falling in, and it's just not safe!) so everything has been moved into the fellowship hall until it can be rebuilt. The kids had only one rehearsal on the new (MUCH smaller) stage there, and I'm so proud of all forty-some-odd of them for the way they adapted!
The morning of the musical, we arrived for our last quick run-through and pictures. It's certainly a sign of the times when the girls both have their makeup and hair fixed, and Mommy doesn't! I eventually got myself put together, although I think only halfway so for the pics. HA!
Celestia's part in the musical was that of head cheerleader, and she had a nice long solo that she did wonderful with. As Tatiana is only in third grade, and we had over forty children this year, she did not have a named part, but did an AWESOME job with her solo!!! Jonathan said that they're following in their mom's footsteps already. I wonder if I should get them an agent? ;)

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Fun at the ballet

Jonathan was in Florida on our anniversary (it was either that, or Celestia's birthday, so we felt that this was the lesser of two evils) and I knew that I would be feeling a bit down, so I surprised the girls with tickets to the Nutcracker ballet. This was our third year to go, and we've really enjoyed it each time. I just love fun family traditions! ;-) The girls got to wear their Christmas dresses for the first time this year, and I took some pictures of them at Bass Performance Hall. It really is a beautiful place, and the pictures just don't do it justice. I can't believe Christmas is coming so quickly, and I haven't even managed to get my tree up yet! Bad Mommy!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

...And now!

Now: Jonathan (you do the math on everyone’s ages) works at Freeman south of Dallas doing computer tech stuff at conventions all across the country, and I work at Stone Resources in Carrollton as the receptionist / everything girl for a granite and marble company. We live in a 3 bed 2 bath house with a 2 car garage in Anna,TX, and have 3 (count ‘em 3) mutts named Arynson (lone pic) Floppy (black & brown) and Calypso (orange and white). Celestia and Tatiana are in 5th and 3rd grade respectively, and are home schooled by their Nana. I chopped all my hair off several years ago (but am seriously considering growing it back out) and Jonathan finally got to have his goatee back!
We’ve had an amazing life together so far. Sometimes it’s been perfect, sometimes, quite frankly, it’s stunk, but we promised to love each other in the good times AND the bad, and there’s always been a lot of love to go around. Happy anniversary, Honey. I love you bunches!!!


6 years go today, I married the most wonderful man on Earth, and what an adventure it has been! I thought it would be fun to take this opportunity to look at our lives then, and now.
Then: Jonathan (23) worked at Renaissance Tower in downtown Dallas as a security guard, and I (also 23) was a shift supervisor at Starbucks, also in Ren Tower. We lived in a 2 bed 2 bath apartment on the corner of Coit and Frankford, and had a green water dragon named Sampson for a pet. Celestia (5) and Tatiana (3) were both attending Sunshine School at Prestoncrest Church of Christ, where I went to church as a teenager. I sported hair down to my bum, and Jonathan had very little hair at all, as he wasn’t allowed to have a beard at his job.

And 11 years old!!!

I can’t believe I have an 11 year old! That’s right, 11. Celestia requested a jungle themed bedroom, so we got to go crazy with exotic animals this time. As I searched for decorations that my tweener would not too quickly outgrow, I came across some beautiful blacklight posters with a tiger, and leopard on them. That did it. We were already planning on using bright colours, and these fit the bill, perfectly. I was not able to have Celestia’s bulletin boards finished by her birthday, but she didn’t seem to mind. Daddy picked the fabric for them, and I think he did a GREAT job! I was looking for some cool pink cheetah fabric, but just didn’t like anything that the fabric stores had to offer. I think the black and white print that we ended up with is going to be really fun under the blacklight! We went to The Magic Time Machine for Celestia’s birthday dinner, and everyone had a great time. For those of you who don’t know, all of the servers dress as characters from movies, or cartoons, and act the part. Our waiter for the evening was G.I. Joe, and he was awesome! The girls loved getting to run around the restaurant getting their autograph books signed by all the different characters, and we all left stuffed like little piggy-pies. I think it’s time for me to get serious about walking the dogs more!!! ;o)

9 years old!

Since I started this blog after Tatiana’s birthday, it never occurred to me that I ought to put some pictures of her with all her loot. Now that Celestia’s birthday has rolled around, I thought I would do a retrospective look at our “Little Monkey’s” birthday. Daddy flew back into town the day before Tatiana turned 9, so he took the day off of work and stayed home with the girls. They had a fun lazy day, and I took a half a day off, and came home early. Tatiana was plagued with breakthrough chicken pox (vaccination what?) and not able to go out into public. No matter, she requested Pei Wei for dinner, so we got take out and trekked over to Nana & Papa’s house for the evening. As the girls recently got their very own bedrooms, we decided to decorate them for birthdays this year. Tatiana requested a meadow with horses, so she received all horse gifts. As I have posted all of our fabulous home improvements in my previous blogs, you may not be shocked to learn that we have not yet painted, or actually hung anything up the room. Ah well, at least the decorations are bought. Our next project (if things ever quit breaking) will be to actually paint and decorate. It ought to be cute!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

A little bit of this and a little bit of that.

By now, you're probably wondering "what has she been doing in the last month that she can't be bothered to post anything?" The short answer is housework and home improvements. I'm sure you were hoping for something more exotic or glamourous but that, my friends, is the truth. See, I am a terrible housekeeper. I admit it. (Whew, I'm glad I got that off my chest!) Most of the time I'm doing good to keep enough laundry washed and the dished cleaned! So, with Jonathan home for almost a whole month we got down to some serious stuff around the house!
The computer desk that Jon had was, as he so aptly put it, past it's due date. It was a hand-me-down to begin with (thank you Jamie & Scott) so it was high time for a new one. One of our Saturdays was spent entirely on building the new one. Actually, to be more accurate, JONATHAN spent an entire day building the desk, and I spent half a day getting a massage and shopping, and the other half helping to build the desk.
I got my daddy a pair of season tickets to the opera for Christmas, so one Saturday was spent doing more shopping, and going to see the Marriage of Figaro.
And now for the kicker... Two months ago my washer broke. Last month was the refrigerator. (that killed another weekend, by the way. I have never thrown away so much food!) This month, on Thanksgiving, my kitchen faucet broke! Yep, there I was, cooking green beans for Thanksgiving dinner, and the faucet starts spewing all over the place! Greatness. We also discovered that the cold water cutoff under the sink doesn't work either. Thankfully, we were able to stop the spewing by disassembling the faucet, so we didn't have to go without water. *sigh* I am now the proud owner of a special tool to turn off the water at the metre on the curb. Yeah, I know you can do it with a wrench, but it happened to be raining the day after Thanksgiving, and I didn't feel like crawling on the wet grass to turn it off. Anyway, I have a beautiful new faucet now that makes it super easy to fill the water basin on my Rainbow vaccuum cleaner. I love it!!! :)