Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My resolutions...some of them

1. Stop putting stuff off

2. Scrapbook once a week

3. Learn all of the lyrics to Putting on the heart

4. Read the entire Jane Austen collection

5. Enter my roses and photos into the County fair

6. Try one new recipe a week

7. Learn to keep my trap shut

8. Have a baby, maybe. Who knows.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jeff's Village

I figure I have a few more days to get away with doing a Christmas post. I wanted to put pictures up of Jeff's Christmas village.

I think it needs to be stated that Jeff is big on tradition. In fact, one of the things he was looking forward to the most when we got married was starting our own traditions. Having a Christmas village was one of them. He liked the thought of it being "Dad's village".

So, for our second Christmas together, he mainly had village pieces under the tree. He adds to it every Christmas. A very important and long awaited skating rink was added to the display this year. I knew I couldn't make him wait for Christmas to open it. He was very excited. He kept playing with it and coming into the room to look at it. I did good. : )

Well, on the day that it kept snowing and snowing, I played around with my camera to see what kind of shots I could come up with. They probably would have turned out better if I had a tripod, but they're not too bad.

By the way, I got a tripod for Christmas! Yay! Here are the pictures that came about from a snowed in woman with nothing better to do. I hope you enjoy.

Some of the windows have scenes in them. I was trying to get the perspective of someone walking in the tiny village.

Did you know that Scrooge lives in our village? He's right there getting visited by Marley. Note the chains on the figure standing.

Jeff's aunt Leah got him a little Mickey train set a few years ago. It fits perfectly.

I couldn't get a good shot of the new skating rink. This was the best one.

I did this closeup with my niece in mind. She LOVES Mickey.

Thanks for looking. I hope you guys all had a great Christmas and will have a happy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dancing at the Spokane Club

Lindsay's ballet class was invited to preform at the Spokane Club for their members.

The building is so cool inside. I don't think I took enough photos of it, but it was very rich and very exclusive.

Lindsay's class did a Hungarian folk dance instead of a ballet dance. They also wore party dresses instead of recital costumes.

Umm, I am tired. My writing seems really robotic right now doesn't it? Ya, it does. So if it seems like my heart isn't into writing this post now, you would be right. I just want to go to bed. So I am going to post this and some pictures and go to sleep.

I really was excited about it though and she did a really good job. She dances beautifully and she takes it very seriously. OK, good night. :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

And the snow, snow, snow came down, down, down

We had a record breaking day in snowfall yesterday. We have a total of 29 inches, but in one 24 hour period we got 19 inches!!!

We are totally snowed in. Like Jeff had mentioned though, we have plenty of food, warmth, and water. We even have a fake fire and great music to relax to.

I believe I will bake today. I am felling like today is a sugar cookie, spritz cookie, orange glazed shortbread, fudge, and cherry and lime popcorn ball day! Now, if I do all that I will be amazed. I know I'll get some of it done though. I would make caramel corn too, but I don't think I have everything for that.

Back on subject, here are a bunch of pictures to show you the magnitude of what we have in our neighborhood right now. I will also include the photo that KHQ6 put on the news as their favorite snow photo. I submitted it to them and they put it on the air! I am still a bit giddy over that.

here ya go

Our van and the Taurus left out in the street

The snow made our lights look like snow cones. Awesome!

The winning photo!!!

All of the snow that Jeff shoveled by hand. What a man!

Snow deep enough to cover a fire hydrant!

I think Lindsay looks like Randy from Christmas story
"I can't get up! Ralphie!!!"
Yes. That is Abbey's leg strait down to the bottom of the snow.

The tunnel that our neighbor built, and our
peaceful winter wonderland!

Thanks for looking at all of our photos! I hope it showed a good enough impression of what we have over here. Let's just hope we can leave by Monday to make it for all of the Christmas festivities. I am hosting a table at a family dinner after all.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My first TAG! And a bonus. You just gotta look!

I was tagged by Lisa. I am supposed to post the 4th picture in the 4th file of my digital photo storage. I am not sure what that means, so I am going to do what I think it means. I will count 1, 2, 3, 4 folders I pick the 4th picture? I am a total nerd. I think I am just tired and need to go to bed. Alrighty, here it is.

Lindsay will dress up in her ballet costumes and dance. This was last year around the same time. She is so funny. This was her kelp costume for the Under the Sea ballet.

Oh, and guess who's picture was just picked to be shown on the news?.?.? ME!!! HA HA YA! This is the one they used.
I tag my Mom and uncle Mike.

Snow update

A quick update. The storm subsided around 3:30pm. At last count around here: 29 inches. Relocating 120 cubic yards of snow without a blower hasn't been fun . . . yet. Snow forts are destined. We'll have photos tomorrow.

All in all, it was a great snow day. Sure we are trapped in our home and neighborhood, but we have food in the fridge and pantry, electricity and gas is functioning, snow gear for the girls to go CRAZY outside, and we even found a crackling fireplace/Christmas music screen saver on the On Demand feature of our cable so Heidi and I can relax to the fake fire. Great snow day.

School is obviously canceled tomorrow. It looks like Christmas break came two days early.

White Christmas

Just a quick post from Jeff. After shoveling yesterday (twice) to keep up on the snow, I woke up to the walks and drives looking like I hadn't touched them. 20+ inches without drifts and still snowing. The Weather Channel is showing that it will snow through this afternoon. School is canceled and most workers are staying home if they can. Our neighborhood is at the end of the plowing priority list, so it might be a couple of days before we get plowed out. Until then we are stuck in the house because the snow is too high to drive in our streets. Days like this make me wish I had a large truck.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Not to do another sappy post, but I LOVE my family!

I am so blessed to have a caring and loving family. I was really worried about what we would do for Christmas this year. Present wise. I didn't need to worry for long, my mother-in-law gave us money before we left Kennewick after Thanksgiving. She said she was giving all the kids the same amount to just go buy the presents. She doesn't drive and Jeff's dad just had surgery to try to remove the cancer in his body. Now, I believe she is giving all of her kids cash to go get presents for their families. I think she gave us a bit more because of our situation though. I was really touched. It was enough to buy the girls almost everything on their list. I was able to find everything they wanted on super sale too.

My mom is really great to us too. She is getting Lindsay a new wardrobe practically. She grows like a weed and we usually have to buy her new clothes around this time anyway. Not having the money to get her clothes was a hard realization. She has already outgrown what we got her at the beginning of the school year! My mom is always concerned about my girls. She likes to buy them really cute clothes. I buy them clothes too, she just gets the the really cool stuff that I can't justify buying when I am on a budget.

My sweet sister Lisa. She is a great person. She wanted to help us this Christmas too. I can't tell you how touched I was. I am tearing up a bit right now as I type this. I would do anything to help them and apparently they feel the same way. I don't know what else to say about it, I would just be redundant in repeating the same sentiment. I love you guys!

Finally I want to talk about my uncle Mike. He sent me Christmas CD's this year and I love them. It was such a nice surprise. It really picked me up when I was down. I am glad that I am getting to develop a relationship again with Mike and Cindy. I am happy that I have him for an uncle and Cindy for an aunt.

I am happy and it is because of the family that I have.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A humble request

Every year we like to do the giving tree at one of the local grocery stores. The girls really look forward to this tradition. It really lets them know just how blessed they are. They love to pick out a little toy or a piece of clothes for the boy or girl they select. Lindsay and Abbey both know that this may be the only thing the needy child gets for Christmas.

Our circumstances are a little different this year. With Jeff out of a job and finances being tight, we didn't know if we could do the giving tree. This really bothered the girls. Abbey and Lindsay both came to me and offered their own money to get something. I think together they had like 3.50 between them. They even said that I wouldn't have to get them anything because their Grandmas would be taking care of them. I was really touched. So we went to pick out a name.

The pickens were really slim this year, which I thought was odd. In these times shouldn't there be more families in need? Maybe more people had decided to help those who are less fortunate and took names off the tree. Well, we found the child that we were going to help. It was partly that she was a 7 year old girl and that what she was asking for was so sweet and humble you couldn't help but to pick her.

This was her wish list:

Socks, slippers, shampoo, lotion, and a small stuffed monkey.

What a simple wish list for Christmas. I could tell that this is a little girl who is truly in need. She isn't asking for and expensive toy (which some do) Her luxuries this year will be what some of us consider necessities. How blessed my children and I are, that we do not have to wish for socks and shampoo. I was just touched and overwhelmed with the spirit of Christmas, when we as a family, went to the store to pick out her things.

Abbey and Lindsay carefully selected each item for her. They picked out socks that could match everything and be very warm at the same time. They smelled each kids brand of shampoo, before selecting the best scent. They picked out a "fancy" lotion to give to her, it was vanilla butter cream. They also found her a little stuffed monkey that was holding a pair of slipper-socks. The final gift was a little tootsie roll bank. Every kid needs a tootsie roll bank.

The girls brought the stuff to the customer service counter and Lindsay proceeded to pull out and have the lady check off everything on the list. The lady thanked us and especially the girls. We left the store with the special spirit that only doing good works can give you. We came home and had some dessert. The girls were talking about how much that little girl was going to love what we got her. Lindsay remarked, "We got everything on her list! We even got her something that wasn't. She will be so surprised!"

I hope that little girl will be as happy with her gift, as my kids were with giving it to her.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

11 years and counting

Today is my 11th wedding anniversary. I don't know what I am going to do today. I have a friend that is going to watch my kids for me. Is it sad that I really don't want to do anything? I would just like to make a really nice dinner, rent a few movies and cuddle on the couch. I don't think I can convince Jeff of that though. He wants to go out and do something. Oh, well.

I wish I had a scanner. I would upload some cheesy wedding photo. Here are a few facts about us instead.

Did you know that a terrible wedding day and reception is supposed to be good luck? It must have been what's helped us all these years. I think the real low point was being left at the hairdressers, begging for a ride from someone there at the hairdressers, having to scale my parents snowy roof to get into the second story window with my new French tip nails, because I needed to get my veil and shoes. Ahh, good times. :)

Did you know that our wedding anniversary is exactly 12 days before Christmas? We sometimes get or do little things each day to keep celebrating.

Did you know that we also picked the 13th so we could have a few Friday the 13th anniversaries? We did, we're kind of funny that way.

Did you know that I prayed to know who I was going to marry when I was in 8th grade? I did. I was in Miss Money's English class and I had a voice tell me very plainly, "your going to marry Jeff DeCoursey." I looked over at the chubby kid with glasses who was probably wheezing at the time, I snorted and said something along the lines of "whatever!"

Did you know that I married my best friend? I did. Jeff and I were best friends for about 2 years before I ever felt romantic feelings for him.

Did you know that I fell in love with him at a cemetery? Yup. I went to visit Grandma Elva and Grandpa Jess's graves and feed the swans. Jeff took me and we brought a picnic lunch. We sat on a bench and I heard something in my head say, "You love him, you need to be with him." I instantly fell in love with him. Like snapping your fingers. We were married 3 months later.
(my mom thinks it was Grandma Elva being the meddling matchmaker)

Well, I am glad that I married my best friend. We have been through ups and downs together and we have faired pretty well. So here's to 11 years and counting towards eternity.

Friday, December 12, 2008

This song rings in Christmas for the Sorenson children

Please take two minutes out of your busy day to enjoy a snippet of this movie. If only to share a childhood memory with me.

I hope you liked it. I introduced it to Jeff a few weeks after we were married and he fell in love with it. His Christmas is not complete unless he gets to watch it.

If you have never heard of Emmit Otter's Jug band Christmas, you are truly deprived. I suggest finding it and watching it, even though you can't find a complete original copy anymore. Still, edited Emmit Otter is better than no Emmit Otter.

It was part of our Christmas tape that was watched over and over during December. I took the tape a couple of years ago and last year I tried to put it on DVD to surprise my siblings with their own copy. It didn't work though. I don't know what went wrong with it, but the DVD will only play the first two chapters and then freezes up. So if anyone has any ideas of what the problem might be I am all ears!

Oh heck! Let's do another one! I think this one is my mom's favorite song. It shows little snippets of the movie through out it. I believe it's Emmit doing a duet with John Denver. In the movie it's originally sung by Emmit's Ma.

Thanks for watching. You just slipped back into time with the Sorenson kids.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Our Elva tree.

Our Christmas tree used to be done in all silver and crystal. I it was beautiful, but to my husband it lacked character. He had grown up with a tree with all sorts of decorations that the kids had made or what ever his Mom would buy at the base. It had charm to it, but I didn't really love it. I still lacked something.

My Mom always had a matching tree. It was always pretty. The down side of that though, is what ever ornament you thoughtfully made at school, wouldn't be placed on the tree....(unless you hid it in the back) So naturally when I got to be old enough to have a tree of my own, I had grand plans of a beautiful coordinated tree. I did a country craft tree for a few years until I found the prettiest silver set of Christmas glass balls. Then that became my tree afterward.

Well, Jeff requested about 4 years ago if we could just try having a mish mash tree. It was only fair. I also was getting stuff the girls made in school and they always would go on the tree, but they were throwing off the perfect balance.

He really changed my mind when he asked me if I had any memory of having a colorful tree. I had to only think for a second before my beloved Grandma Elva sprang to mind. She was my Great Grandma and if there ever could be a candidate for sainthood this woman would have been it hands down. I could go on and on of her perfections, but what I will talk about is her love of color. Her house to the outside eye would appear to be tacky. She had orange and white striped wall paper with brown flowers on one wall and a different paint color on the others. All of her furniture was different colors too.

So when her tree would go up, it was so fun and whimsical. It had bubble lights and other different shapes of lights in all different colors. The ornaments were an assortment of things their kids had made or things they had collected over the years. When we would go to their house, which was often, I would just sit in the chair and stare at the tree. I thought if Santa has a tree, this is what it would look like. Ahhh, memories.

That inspired me to go ahead with what I like to call the "Tacky Tree" It's bright, colorful, and filled with new and vintage ornaments. I like to collect the 40's-60's era of ornament. I settle for recreations too. Before I buy an ornament I think, "Would I see this on Grandma's tree?" If it's a yes, I buy it. I know that people may look down on my tree for not being sophisticated and styled, but in my mind it is. It's Elva styled, and I don't think you can do better than that!

I can never seem to get a picture that shows it off all the way. I think I need to study my camera manual more. The tree has about 800 lights on it. Since the tree is a real one, that's as strait as we could get it. I still love it.

Abbey and Lindsay do most of the decorating on their own. We do move stuff around afterward though. Don't most parents?

You can see Bruce's ear in the corner of the shot. He's on my lap.

My mom got me these trees last year. I wanted more color for my tacky display. It also creates the perfect scape for the Santa Abbey made. I made the wreath on the stand this year too.

I hope you enjoyed my lovely Elva inspired decorations. Jeff wants me to show his Christmas village in a post sometime. Maybe I will do that next.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I made it all by myself!

This Christmas one of my Christmas presents was a real tree. I have wanted one for quite a long time now. When we were first married we always had a real one. We had a tree farmer in our church that would let the poor college students have a tree for 10$. So we would pack Abbey up and go out into the snowy hills of his property and saw one down.

We have had a fake one for most of our married lives and I just don't think it holds the same charm and tradition a real one does. I remember going to the tree lot when I was little, or Ernst hardware and picking out the tree. I looked forward to picking out the tree almost as much as getting the stuff that was under said tree. We seemed to always go at night too. So the lights of the tree lot would make it really special. I thought I needed to tap into those feelings and memories this year. Jeff and I packed up the girls and went to a tree lot to pick out our tree.

Well, I will write about the tree in a later post. Anyway, we not only got our tree from the tree lot, the guy offered us all the loose branches we wanted. We took quit a few, and I made a wreath with them! Mind you, I have never made a wreath before. I didn't know what I was doing. I have a friend that I called and she gave me a step in the right direction and I think it turned out AWESOME!

I love it even more because I made it myself. I am a creative and crafty person. I just haven't felt like creating anything lately, so this was a nice kick start to my desire to make stuff.

This is what was left over from the project. I am trying to think of something to do with them too.
I don't think I have mentioned our pets, but this is Bruce. He is Jeff's cat, but he doesn't agree. He has devoted himself completely to me and follows me wherever I go. As you can see in this picture. Most pictures I take, he is in there somewhere. It's kind of like where's Waldo.

My constant furry companion. He is a good cat. Usually the favorite of everyone. Lisa and Abbey prefer Mookie, our other cat. I should do a post about them. I am just worried that I would look like the crazy cat lady or something, I do love them a lot you see.

All right, well that's my project I did on Saturday and if you want to know how to do a wreath I am more than willing to share my MacGyver like tactics with you.

Merry Christmas Everyone !

Monday, December 8, 2008

Not to be

Jeff was supposed to find out if he got the job with Expedia today. They called, it's a no. They said it was that it seemed that he didn't want the job enough. I just don't really know what to say to that. Did he need to have banners and a lighted sign that says "I REALLY WANT THIS JOB!"? I can't help but think that his illness played a roll in that. He was at the height of a really nasty flu bug during his 4 interviews. I suppose it's hard to really sell yourself when you are in that state. Maybe he got some of them sick and this is payback. {heh heh} Well, I am really disheartened. I am feeling myself plunge into the depths of despair. I can't let myself though, I have to help find a way to keep this family afloat. I don't know how, but I will find a way.

I made a cool wreath this weekend. I was going to post about that, maybe later. For now I am going to go and comfort my husband some more and probably cry some more. I am so SICK of crying.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Believers and Nonbelievers

I know that my children want to believe. I think Lindsay still really does, even though there are a lot of "nay sayers" in her class. You can just tell that she really has a pure belief in Santa Claus. She just has that excitement that you can really only have when you are still a true believer.

Abbey on the other hand, I don't think she really does any more. I think either last year or the year before that was her last year. It's really hard to tell. Neither of them have come to Jeff or I and flat out asked if Santa is real or not. Abbey asked about the tooth fairy this year. She took that pretty well.

When she was three, she told us Christmas morning that Santa wasn't real and that Mommy and Daddy put out the presents. THREE!!! To young in my opinion, so we did some quick thinking and vowed to run a tighter ship in the future.

Now that Abbey is ten however, she won't just come out and ask about Santa. Everyday we have to hear about it in one way or another. I think her way of asking is to think of the hardest gift for him to deliver and see if he comes through. One year she asked for a photograph of Rudolph. Which she got I might add, with a bit of effort on my part. After the Polar Express came out, she wants a sleigh bell. She starts to obsess about it. She wont stop bringing it up.

They both also repeat what kids in their class say. Which is a huge pet peeve for me. I can understand if a child doesn't believe any more, but do they have to make it their mission that no one else does either? Abbey had kids in kindergarten telling her he wasn't real and that it was the parents. There are also the kids that don't celebrate Christmas and have never had Santa in their lives. So, ok, fine. Whatever you tell your own kids is fine. I just wish parents could try to tell them not to let the secret out of the bag for the other children. Maybe some of them do and it's just in a child's nature to correct another child's incorrect thinking.

I know that when I finally found out from my mom, I was also told not to ruin it for those that still believed. "Well of course not!" I thought. "What kind of jerk does that?" I hated it when kids in my class would say things about it so I would definitely not be part of the "nay sayers".

So, I think I need to take Abbey aside and have a talk with her. Her incessant need to talk about his realness is starting to bug Lindsay, and I think she might ruin Lindsay's potentially last year if I let her continue. I think Abbey really wants to know, but she just wont come and ask because there is a part of her that doesn't. With those of you with kids out there, how have you handled this touchy subject?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving, just a tidbit after all.

Well, I thought I would have pictures to show of the day and I really don't have much. I really think that is the sign of a good time. I cooked the meal with a great deal of help from my sweetheart. He is my kitchen helper every year. He and I made that pact a while ago. I was not interested in cooking such a huge meal and cleaning up after myself while I did so. So to keep me cooking the dinner that he looks forward to most during the year, he helps with anything I need to get it done! I also had my niece Alexandra be my shadow this year. I really don't mind that because I love my nieces dearly and she has always had a little piece of my heart.

I have to say the turkey was one of my best this year. The rolls turned out really great too. The pies, not my best. The gravy....let's hope I do better for Christmas. All in all I think the meal was great and I loved best of all to share it with my family.

After the dinner we gathered in the family room and we passed around a little box that had cards inside with questions on them. They would be questions about things like what your thankful for and other such things. Lindsay made it in activity days and was determined to have everybody join in. She would stand by each person to pass out a card and when they were finished she would put the card aside so as not to repeat it. She was very serious and sweet about the whole thing. I thought it was adorable. My question was 'Who in your life should you thank more often?' My answer was my children should be thanked more often. Now, I started to think of this more thoroughly and I know I could have answered that much better. I know I need to thank my parents more. They are always there for me when I need them. Always. I also should thank my Heavenly Father more. I don't know if I can ever be greatful enough, but I want to try. So, ya, just a little revision on my answer.

We even played a little American Idol afterward. Shawn really loves that game. I don't know what next year brings for us, but I am glad that this year was good. I hope I can remember it fondly, even though I don't have many pictures to help me.

Oh, and give your congratulations to my uncle Mike and family for the new addition to their family. Welcome Danee!