Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Too late.

I'm afraid the fares have already changed. Bummer. So I'm thinking they had posted the wrong fares accidentally, or they just played a really mean trick on one of their best Oregon customers. I need a shoulder to cry on. Sorry for the craziness.

THIS IS INCREDIBLE! GIRLS REUNION!!!

Ok. Get this! Right now, Allegiant air is offering $9.99 one way tickets (a total fare after taxes and fees of $55.00) for the weekend of February 4th (Thurs.) thru the 7th (Sun.) from Vegas to Eugene. I have NEVER seen a fare this low, so I'm going crazy with excitement. I'm thinking girls' reunion! SO...any of you who have ever been interested in visiting the Oregon Coast, or any of you who have no interest in the Oregon Coast, but you want to make me super happy--this is the chance of a lifetime. By the way--food and lodging will be included :)

If none of you come, I will understand (but I'll be a little sad), but if any of you would like more details, call me or email me or something.

You have to act fast because Allegiant's fares change constantly!

I can't believe I'm doing a "Come visit me" infomercial. Wow.

Anyway....I would LOVE to have you!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas

Dear Family and Friends,

The only idea I could come up with for this year’s Christmas letter was to share with you some of my Christmas memories. Thankfully, almost all of my Christmas memories are wonderful: listening to Manheim Steamroller, Christmas morning rehearsals, picking out and decorating the tree, granny’s and grandma’s packages, get-togethers with the Squires family; the count-downs to 5:30 a.m. …etc. Man, those were good times.
And I’m pretty sure that before this year, I only had one bad Christmas memory: the year my brothers and sisters and I got a little carried away with the early-Christmas-morning peaking, and we actually went through our entire stockings before the legal time. It may have been fine, except that we were totally unsuccessful in re-enacting our excitement and surprise when we opened our Phantom of the Opera tickets for the second time. Mom quickly recognized what had happened and was genuinely disappointed. She sadly reminded us that her fun at Christmas came from seeing our reactions and watching us be excited. Ouch.
I know a lot better now what she meant. Seriously--who knew that being a parent at Christmastime could be so exciting? These last few years have been filled with all of the memories I’m sure many of you share. Camp, Jane, and now Danin are chomping at the bit just as much as I am to get out all of the Christmas stuff. We have special Christmas story books that we only get out during this time of year; we have a Christmas elf who drops in every December to make sure we’re being nice; we always decorate a gingerbread house; we drive around town throughout the month trying to find the best Christmas light display; we decorate; we make snowflakes; we frost and deliver cookies; we listen to Christmas music; we watch Home Alone; and of course, we rearrange the presents.
But this year? Man, this year’s memories will forever be overshadowed by the catastrophe of last night. Last night was our ward’s Christmas dinner and talent show, and Brian had signed us up to do a talent. For a good two weeks we had haggled about what in the heck we could present for a talent. Then, last Wednesday, during our home teacher visit, I mentioned the fact that I’ve never felt comfortable reciting the Relief Society theme in Relief Society. I described how reciting it just makes me feel like a robot. (Please don’t hate me.) So anyway, our home teacher suggested in jest that we dress up like robots for the ward talent show and recite the Relief Society Theme. Yeah, O.K.... Brian, though, loved the idea, and over the next day--as we became more panicked over not having a talent to present--somehow managed to convince me that people would think the idea was hysterical.
So last night, we all marched stiffly to the stage wearing spray painted boxes and gray sweats. Brian and I managed to recite the theme in our best robot voices with Camp and Jane chiming in here and there and Danin just standing there holding my leg. And when we were done--this is the bad memory part--the only one clapping was our home teacher--who was then hushed by our Relief Society President! Oh, my heavens… I-could-have-DIED! The talent show continued under a thick awkward gloom, and Brian and I and the kids ducked out early. What were we thinking?!
Anyway…today at church, the executive secretary approached us and asked us if we could meet with the bishop on Tuesday night. Yikes. I’m still hoping it’s just a coincidence, but just in case--does anyone still have room for us for Christmas?

Wish us better luck in making memories next year--

Love,

Ann














P.S. O.K. You’re right. That whole talent show thing never happened. Thank goodness, right?
The truth is, my sister challenged me to write a Christmas letter that would make my parents laugh. I didn't have a true funny story, so I was forced to make one up. And guess what?
Mission accomplished.

P.P.S The people in my ward are way cooler than that.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The battle continues

Camp just called me a funky, fat, fat, fat lion-breath animal. Hmm. Then he said that he hates me and wishes I were dead. He hasn't pounded on or kicked his locked door yet though, so I feel like I'm getting a pretty good deal. :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Come to Camp's stunt show


Yesterday, Camp asked me if he could post signs around the neighborhood advertising his stunt show. Why the heck not? So he dictated to me what to write on the fliers, we made some copies, and off he went with a baggie of tacks to post the signs. A few minutes later, our neighbors showed up, so Camp rushed around setting up chairs and dragging out his ramps, and the amazing stunts began. Oh, it was so funny. I called Brian to tell him what a cool kid we have. It's a good thing he does things like that to soften my heart, because I'll tell ya--that kid tests my patience and self-control like nothing else.

And that reminds me...the only problem I've found with the whole Santa thing is that kids know that Santa supposedly only gives presents and stuffs stockings for kids who have been really good, but I'm telling you--If Santa were real, I'm not super confident there would be anything in Camp's stocking. That may sound cruel, but I'm serious. I've seriously contemplated whether I'd have it in me to leave Camps stocking empty just to let him experience some painful consequences. Probably not, I'm afraid.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Not Yet

You're not going to hear me complaining about how stores start putting out Christmas stuff in late September. What bugs me is when stores start start closing up Christmas-shop (so to speak) before Christmas is even here! Do you know what I mean? The other day, I drove by the place where we buy our trees every year and they were already taking down the section where all the biggest trees had been! Don't they know that lots of people don't get their trees until after the 15th of December? (Not me, of course. Mine went up on the 27th of November and the 1st of December (my b-day) But still). And although I was delighted when I got my December issue of BH&G in mid-November, I almost felt offended when I found the January issue in my mailbox so soon. And why are they already clearancing all of the Christmas decor stuff everywhere? It's not over yet, folks! Can't you show the most wonderful holiday of the year a little respect? INcredible.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Family love

I just want to say that I love my siblings and think they are hysterical. Every time they post a comment, I laugh out loud. It's worth it to me to post the first lame thing that comes into my mind, just so that I can read their comments.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Miracle

Christmas on 34th Street got put to shame by the miracle I experienced yesterday. Yesterday had what usually would have been all the makings of a really tough day: Waking up late, getting the kids into their church clothes, driving an hour to Stake Conference, Stake Conference itself (when you have little kids), driving an hour home...you know how it is. But yesterday was wonderful. We went to Stake Conference, took naps!, made cookies, cut out and colored ornaments, watched A Christmas story and went on a drive--all without a single fit or fight. (Well, actually, Jane threw a major fit when it was finally time to go to bed, but one major fit is still really good for her :)) Can you believe that ? I know. Neither can I! I seriously don't know if that has ever happened before. A true Christmas miracle.

Today? Well, let's just say that it's days like today that make days like yesterday really, really special. *Sigh*

Hey! Does anybody else encourage their kids to believe in Santa? I actually do not have any memories of ever having believed in Santa, myself. As far as I can remember, my parents never hid the fact that they were the ones putting the presents under the tree. And we were all cool with that. As long as there were presents, we didn't care who the heck was putting them there. I know. It's horrible. But anyway, as I've had kids, I've been excited to go along with the Santa theory until my kids figure it out on their own. This year, though, I've become a bit paranoid about it. Over the years, I've talked to a number of other parents who don't feel good about encouraging their kids to believe in Santa for one reason or another. Some have expressed their concern about emphasizing the materialistic side of Christmas; others have worried that if they lie to their kids about Santa, their kids will never trust anything else they've (the parents) taught once they (the kids) learn the truth. Yikes. So anyway....as Camp has begun to ask more and more questions about the technicalities of the whole Santa story, I've started to get a little worried about what will happen when the truth comes out. Will it be as bad as when my mom pulled me aside when I was eight to tell me about it which cannot be named (for fear of pervert psychos doing web searches and having my blog come up)?
You see, when I was at the tender age of just eight, my sister apparently reported to my mom that she had been hearing me sing along to Madonna's Like a Virgin. And apparently this led to my mom to deciding that the time was right for me to be let in on the big secret. If only she had been right. I likely would not have been ready for a good many more years. But anyway, she took me into her room and sat with me on her bed and revealed to me just how everything works. And in an attempt to make clear to me that IT was not a bad thing, but rather something that was sacred and special between a husband and wife, she told me that she liked it. Well, man, I tell ya. That was the straw that broke my back. I was horrified. In fact, I yelled, "You're worse than the devil," and went crying out of her room. I was seriously traumatized. But I don't fault my mom. In fact, I'm really grateful that I have a mom who made it a point to tell me about the facts of life herself, instead of having one of the kids on the playground do it. I just wish I had been a little more ready to hear it. I wonder, though--if my mom hadn't been willing to be open and honest with me, would I have always been as open and honest with her as I've always felt comfortable enough to be? I'm not sure.

O.K. This is the thing: Are Camp and Jane and Danin and the little chi chi going to totally freak out when they figure out the truth about Santa? Are they going to forever mistrust me? Are they going question whether I am being truthful about all the important stuff? I need to know how any of you reacted when you found out the truth about Santa. Someone reassure me, please!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Janey Mac Turns Four!




I just realized I never posted pictures from Jane's birthday, and I want to give her the spotlight she deserves. She is the most darling, wonderful little girl and I love her like crazy.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Danin's not getting much for Christmas

video

My Favorite Things--Happy Birthday To Me!


So I'm 31.

And My Favorite Things party was a blast, once again. I'm telling you, guys--you should all do one. There is just nothing better than getting together with a bunch of girls to celebrate your favorite things. I even got to dance again--in fact, we all danced. It was wonderful. SOOOOO....in no particular order--here are my 31 favorite things: this year's family room tree, christmas decorating, ornaments, oreos, my flat iron, Christmas ribbon from Costco, costco rolls, Costco (in general), sharpie markers, my black cabinet, decorative hooks, peppers, the Beat It remix that Tim put on Brian's Ipod, While You Were Sleeping, pictures, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, Airwick Harvest Spice or Apple Cinnamon Medley plug-in oil warmers (once again), Downy Simple Pleasures fabric softener (once again), sweats, turtlenecks, topiaries, yogurt covered pretzels, wooden spoons, my ceiling medallions, tree light remotes, tree watering pipe things (I'm not sure what they're called), the yellow book, writing my Christmas letter, my drill, overstock.com, 2% milk, and (for my video) the YouTube Best Wedding Entrance Ever video. If Brian and I have one of those weird things where you renew your vows, we are definitely doing a dance entrance like that at the reception.

And here is Brian's contribution to the party. This was a surprise for me. Notice the time period clothing? So funny...
video