Wed Dec 01 2004 09:53 MST:
Last night, I attempted to make a tree skirt for our Charlie Brown tree, as well as stockings for John and myself. Ours are in Mom's scary shed and we didn't remember to get them until it was dark. There is no light in the shed and I don't think I'd want to go there at night anyway.
I followed Mom's tree skirt pattern: Fold fabric in half. Cut giant semi-circle. Hem. Trace around dinner plate in center. Cut out. Hem. Unfortunately, this will only work on fake trees. I think real tree skirts (including ones previously made with this "pattern") have slits down the side. But I had already hemmed it (twice) so we took the bottom off our tree to put the skirt on. I am going to glue some trim to the edge once I borrow a glue gun. All in all, it didn't turn out too badly. John helped me pick out red fabric with embroidered snowflakes and a white and gold twisted trim.
I also followed Mom's pattern for stockings: Draw a stocking on newspaper. Cut out. Repeat until husband is convinced this pattern will make a decent stocking. Fold fabric in half and cut out two identical pieces. Turn wrong-side-out and sew (but not the top!) This is all I've done so far. We used red and white fleece. I am going to put a contrasting cuff on each and I'm thinking about doing a slip stitch around the edge in contrasting yarn, at least for the red, and embroidering our names on the cuff. I don't know how to embroider. Oh well. The fleece was on sale.
(6) Wed Dec 01 2004 21:07 MST Sorry, Mom:
Today I mailed letters from Santa to 100 or so children. It was fun! That's saying something, considering I was really just stuffing envelopes. They also got a picture to color for the coloring contest. I brought home the ones we had printed out but decided not to use, and John and I each colored one after dinner.
Speaking of dinner, I got home and it was all made for me! John made chicken with a peanut orange ginger glaze and rice and carrots. It was delicious, especially that part I didn't have to cook. We have determined we will be unable to make Tomato Fennel Soup, and Mazto Balls. Couldn't find fennel or Mazto anywhere. Mer.
I may have already mentioned this, but Linda and I have been told we are wrapping the employee gifts this year. It's been quite the ordeal, but today our errand-runner took the wrapping paper to Maintenance. She had the entire rolls cut to the width we needed, then made one of the guys hold it while she cut it into lengths on the giant paper cutter in Graphics. Brilliant. Linda and I have a quota of wrapping 20 per day to get them done before the party.
You would think I am becoming an expert wrapper, but I just wrapped something for Leonard that didn't turn out so well. All of you coming to Utah post-Christmas are getting more gifts than are at Mom's (sorry, Rach). I keep remembering things I was supposed to buy, or that have been hiding the closet.
(5) Thu Dec 02 2004 18:58 MST:
It is v. cold (as Rachel would say). Today driving to work the bank told me it was 15°. Brr!
Is there anyway to make a little "degree" sign on the computer without doing anything complicated?
John made dinner again tonight. And did the dishes. And did laundry. He says he cheated by taking it to his parents, but I say it's the same number of stairs.
We have to take a White Elephant gift to a work party on Saturday. John suggested bringing Cold Sassy Tree, which is the worst movie I've ever seen. Well, maybe Cat in the Hat is still worse. Of course, bringing our plaqued wedding announcement is another option, but perhaps a bit over the top?
Sat Dec 04 2004 09:38 MST Crescendo!:
Last night we went to Mannheim Steamroller. I learned that the group is named after and 18th century music technique now known as the crescendo. I am relieved; when I first heard of them I thought it was some hard-rock-punk group. Anyway, it was really, really good. The presentation was awesome, the songs were great, I had a great date. We also had great seats- the first row of the balcony, and not all turned sideways or anything. There were only a couple songs I hadn't heard, between our two CDs and FM 100. We were definitely in the minority as far as age goes.
Anyway, it was really great. Thanks for a hot date, John!
I have finished the tree skirt. And given up on embroidering the stockings (turns out I need embroidery thread). Eventually I will find something cool to do with them. In the meantime, they can be plain.
Sat Dec 04 2004 09:42 MST Free Rolling:
You can listen to clips from all the songs on their new CD at this website. Enjoy!
(2) Mon Dec 06 2004 08:16 MST:
It's snowing! This is the first actual snow I have seen fall in Utah County. It has been so cold that the teeny bit of snow on the ground when we got home from Thanksgiving is still there. That's a nice thing about snow; It is warmer today (already, this morning) than any other time this week. The banks I passed on the way to work indicated it was between 28° and 33°, warming up as I went south. Much better than last weeks 15°.
(6) Tue Dec 07 2004 09:46 MST:
Kathy gave me a cute little snowman decoration. I like snowmen things. She gave Linda and Audrey little ornaments too. She meant to give them to us at the party but forgot. I don't think I mentioned we had a party at her house on Saturday night. It was a lot of fun. We had stuffed pork chops and carrot cake, and a white elephant gift exchange.
Sat Dec 11 2004 19:03 MST:
This morning was our work Children's Holiday Party. It was fun, I guess. We took a picture with Santa, and I got three (more) hours of overtime. I think I like December in HR!,p>
We also went shopping, handed out reminder fliers to everyone in our ward that hasn't brought us their gifts for the Angel Tree yet. Then we cleaned the house and rearranged the bedroom. Oh yeah, we also really got our table a few days ago. It looks so cute in our cute little apartment, although I don't think we've actually eaten a meal on it. Now we are going to make Peppermint Bark. Is it really only 7:00?
(2) Sun Dec 12 2004 13:20 MST:
John and I have been going over our tithing slips and paystubs in preparation for tithing settlement this afternoon and were astonished to see that we doubled our income from last year. Between us we have had 8 jobs this year (John is doing some temporary work over the break). Hopefully work will be more steady next year, at least after we move to Orange County.
(1) Tue Dec 14 2004 16:44 MST:
Did a lot. Not doing anything now. Should go home. The travel coordinator was supposed to go on vacation on Friday. Instead she is leaving tonight. It's not so much the three extra days of doing travel (did I mention I'm her assistant?) as that everyone had to all of a sudden get all their January travel stuff in. Today. So it was crazy. Those Procrastinators!
Travel, by the way, makes me very nervous. Luckily, this is supposed to be a very quiet time of year (hence, she is actually taking a vacation). I guess placing recruitment ads made me nervous at first too, but I'm used to it now. This will be good experience though.
Wed Dec 15 2004 21:12 MST:
Sooo busy! My coworkers are slowing leaving for vacation, surgeries etc. I am feeling a little overwhelmed. On the other hand, it will nice to be busy since I'm not taking any vacation until after Christmas. Quickbooks was installed on the Company Store computer today. I have three weeks to learn how to use it, and IS has three weeks to transfer all the info from the current (lame) program we use. I am going to have to start taking inventory. It is going to be a big job to get it all set up, but hopefully this program will help things run more smoothly, and be easier in the long run.
John made me dinner again tonight. He's so great! We bought another bookshelf today at Target, with some of the gift certificates Kathy gave me. Definitely a nicer Christmas bonus than the See's Candy last year. Mmm... Candy...
Fri Dec 17 2004 09:42 MST Movin' On Up:
Today I got my first Holiday Card from a vendor. Addressed to me! Everyone else's are already plastered to my window, but this one is just for me.
(2) Sat Dec 18 2004 11:30 MST Orange Peanut Ginger Glazed Chicken:
I thought I would get around to posting this recipe, since we have used it twice now and it's very yummy and easy.
1/3 c. orange juice
1/4 c. peanut butter
1 T. grated ginger
some peanut pieces
Slowly stir orange juice into peanut butter until it is creamy. Add ginger. Dip chicken into sauce and then roll in peanuts (or if you are too lazy to chop up the peanuts, just sprinkle them on top). Bake at 400° for 25-35 minutes, or at 375° for 20 minutes if you have a hyperactive oven like ours. Serve with rice. Yum!
Mon Dec 20 2004 12:28 MST:
Yesterday we got to go up after church and have a big family party with everyone before Nathan and Ashley go to California. It was a lot of fun. I made Jello jigglers, which were a surprising hit, especially with the adults. John got to play with Tyler and Ember to his heart's content. We are going up again tonight to make gingerbread cookies with the kids. Then we'll go up on Thursday and spend the whole Holiday weekend doing fun stuff. Yay!
Darrell and I are here holding down the fort. I am busy doing a little bit of everything (but thankfully not too much travel). He is busy closing out a 401(k) account for a company we bought, before the year ends. I guess I should be busy eating lunch.
Mon Dec 20 2004 12:40 MST:
John took me to see "The Work and the Glory" on Saturday. I was trying to guess what movie we were going to see and he told me it was "Nora Jones' Diary" which made me crack up. John, you're so funny!
Tue Dec 21 2004 12:05 MST:
Gar! I spent the first four hours of my day not doing much and now an entire list of things is begging for my attention. Gar, I say!
(4) Tue Dec 21 2004 20:59 MST:
On my way home from work, I heard the oddest collection of Christmas songs on the radio. First was the worst version of "What Child Is This" I've ever heard. The tune was hardly recognizable. Then was an off-key hoe-down version of "Do You Hear What I Hear". It was awful! Then came "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen", sung by a babershop quartet. That one I actually liked.
It was a very long day at work. I have lots to do for tomorrow, but I am hoping to get my desk cleared off in the morning before people start piling up more things for me to do.
Wed Dec 22 2004 16:32 MST Dear Sumana:
We are sad you won't be coming to Utah too. There's always the summertime!
(1) Thu Dec 23 2004 09:27 MST:
Mom, Look! As cute as this idea was when I was just joking, it really is a little sick. There really is only one Jellybean. Jelly Belly Beanie Baby. Give her a kiss for me.
Sun Dec 26 2004 22:22 MST:
We had a very long and fun weekend. I came home from work to a wonderful surprise- my very own ten-year old! Jodi got into an accident and Logan got sent home with John rather than with Grandma and Grandpa to rescue her. Unfortunately for him, and the rest of us, there was a mess on the freeway, and it took us 1 1/2 hours to get to my in-laws'.
Friday we went to see Series of Unfortunate Events, which I enjoyed very much. It was better than the books, but that's only because the first 5 books aren't very good. We have finally read Book 11, by the way, and it's excellent. The whole family came, from Grandpa to Tyler, although Grandpa did not enjoy the movie.
Friday night was the big Holbrook Christmas Eve Party in Lehi. It was great until I got picked to be Santa Lucia (itchy crown!). Franco and I are apparently the only people who haven't done it (Well, Ember, but she refused), and boys are only used as a last resort.
Christmas Day we got up around 7 AM (how fun to have kids around!) and opened our stockings, gifts from Santa, and from each other(interfamily). We had eggnog waffles for breakfast and Brook and Erin came over around 10 for gift exchanged between families and from Mom and Dad. I have been much spoiled, although not so much as the boys. I have some desperately-needed new work clothes. I bought John the "Peanuts Classic Holiday Collection" on DVD (I know that's what it's called because I called 7 stores looking for it and paid more than I wanted to). I had to mention that because I am very proud of getting him such a perfect gift and even surprising him with it. He also got some new ties.
Today we played games with the kids all day (although I also got some Boggle in with Jamie and Erin). I am working tomorrow and Thursday, and spending tomorrow night getting ready for Mom and Leonard to visit. We haven't bought groceries in two weeks, but our house is pretty clean.
A Disneyland Christmas (or perhaps Thanksgiving) has been discussed for next year, since we will be living down there. We'll see!
(6) Mon Dec 27 2004 12:39 MST Mayo vs. Miracle Whip: What's the Point?:
I have heard more than one argument about the various aspects of mayonnaise and Miracle Whip that make one better than the other and I have just one thing to say: Neither!
While the general idea of putting pure, flavorless (and in the case of Miracle Whip, sugar-loaded) blobs of fat on a sandwich is entirely revolting, I must admit that mayonnaise (which is what I call both of these condiments) has some good points. Well, one good point. It keeps a sandwich from becoming dry. But why add fat and no flavor just because you are too uncreative to think of a better alternative? There are so many other possibilities. One excellent example is Subway's Sweet Onion sauce, which is entirely fat-free. Oil and vinegar, vinagrette dressings, even Ranch dressing will add some flavor in with its calories. European Connections offers cranberry sauce as a dressing for their savory crepes.
In closing, I would just like to say, give a try to some of those wonderous possibilities out there, and let me know what you find.
(4) Wed Dec 29 2004 10:30 MST:
Having a good time with my family. Yesterday Mom, Leonard and I went to the BYU Museum of Art to see the Ancient Art exhibit. It was pretty neat and we got Mom a wheelchair so she could actually enjoy it. Then we dropped her off at home for a nap and Leonard and I went to the mall for returns and lunch, and then to a used bookstore.
Today we are trekking up to Salt Lake, to visit with the Whitneys and to see the Planetarium. We are also planning to go to the Soup Kitchen, if it is actually open today.
I was quite spoiled with a Second Christmas. I got a whole stocking full of stuff, including a new ducky syrup pitcher and matching salt and pepper shakers. We got some awesome books, and some adorable magnets with decorative Chinese characters on them. Mom also got me an awesome garlic container with lots of fresh Gilroy garlic. And countless other wonderful things.
Sumana bought me lots of things that smell delicious. I love smelling yummy things. There is a bottle of lavendar pine soap that reminds me (and Mom and Leonard) intensely of something we used to have, or use, or something. It's scrumptious.
I too got a wonderful book, written by myself over the past four years. "Susie's Leaning Tower of Chocolate: by Susie Chadwick" I am definitely enjoying reading it. However, I think I'll have to pay more attention to things that I write in the future. Somethings I don't understand, or I don't know who or what I'm talking about.
(2) Thu Dec 30 2004 16:30 MST:
Thanks for visiting us, Mommy and Leonard! It was fun to hang out with you. Hope you made it home safe, too. Sumana, I am listening to the CD you got me in my car. I like it, some of the songs have made me laugh.
I got to come home from work a little early today, since I worked through lunch. I didn't bring lunch because food sounded nasty to me this morning, and I didn't think I'd make it through have the day anyway. And the cafeteria was closed. Luckily, keeping busy at work helped keep my mind off my aching tummy, and it feels a little better now.
I spent several hours today doing inventory in my little store. I am nervous about starting our new system (we will be using Quickbooks) next week. I am still unsatisfied with the way some things on it are, and with my knowledge of it. But it really will be a much better program in the long run.
(1) Thu Dec 30 2004 22:34 MST:
While I was making dinner tonight, I enjoyed lots of my new posessions. I used garlic from my nifty garlic container. I read about olive oil in my new cookbook before using some. Then, while it was baking, I filled my new ducky salt and pepper shakers.
Tomorrow I have a day off. I am going to clean the house and run some errands. Then I plan on organizing my new scrapbooking stuff, and perhaps making some cards. (Rachel and Sumana both got homemade cards for Christmas, and I hear they both liked them!) I got some adorable animal-shaped rubber bands that I think would look cute on a page.
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