Christmas, and Other Things

Just need to clarify something real quick:  my last post is dated December 25th, but it sounds as if it was written on the 24th.  That’s because it was posted at 12:02 a.m. on Dec. 25th (or something like that).  It was written on the 24th.

We had a wonderful Christmas.  We don’t get up at the crack of dawn to open presents any more.  We get up, eat breakfast leisurely, some people get dressed (I am done with being in Christmas pictures in my pajamas), and then people gather to open gifts.  This lasted for a little while, and then we just…chilled.  Nothing really all that exciting.  I took a 2 1/2 hour nap or something like that.  I was working on getting over a cold (and I am still working on getting over it).

The “Pirates of the Caribbean” concert on Friday was WONDERFUL!  Mom and I made a whole afternoon of it and had so much fun.  The concert was great, and I was SO glad that I got to be there.

We arrived at Powell a bit early, so I asked Mom if I could take some self-portraits out in front of Powell.  It was snowing, and the sign was so pretty.  So we walked from where we parked, over to the front of Powell (a walk of several minutes).  I didn’t wear my jacket.  I did not want it in the self-portraits.  (Of course, right?)  When we were standing there, Mom realized that she had left her cell phone in the car.  We were already planning to take my camera back to the car, so we would grab it then.  Well, when we walked back to the car, we forgot to grab her phone.  We remembered it once we got all the way back in front of Powell.  So we turned around and marched right back to the car.  I think we made the round trip from the car to Powell Hall and back 2 1/2 times.  Just burning calories, right?

I was without my jacket throughout all of this.  Completely by choice, though.  Yes, call me silly.  I know. I know.  Snowing, and I am without a jacket.  But, hey, I didn’t want to manage it inside Powell.

It was funny once it was over.  And it was a little funny while it was happening.

Oh, and I REALLY enjoyed a Caramel Brulee Latte from Starbucks.  Thank you, Mom!  It was AWESOME!

The rest of last week was mostly spent in doing things around the house – ironing, for instance.  And healing.  This cold is holding on.

I didn’t take that many pictures on Christmas.  Or any other day, really.  So here are a the few that I took.

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We had two candles burning while we were opening presents.  As you can see, in the middle of opening presents, the outside of the candle also caught on fire.  We put it out and lit just the wick again, but in a few moments, the outside had caught fire again.  This really wouldn’t have been that much of a problem, except for the fact that it smelled quite strongly.

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Self-portraits  🙂

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Can you believe that this is the last day of 2012?  It seems to have gone by so fast, yet when I think back on it, it almost seems as if enough happened to fill two years.  But last Christmas seems not all that long ago.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Are you doing anything for New Year’s Day?  We aren’t.  We have never done a whole lot.  🙂

‘Tis the Night Before Christmas

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I hope you all had just as lovely of a Christmas Eve as we did.  We continued our tradition of having the W.’s over.  We had an awesome time! We talked, played a game, and stuffed ourselves with ate our traditional prime rib dinner.

I love our Christmas Eve tradition.  It is so fun, so laid back, that there is very little stress involved.  It makes for a great time.

Melissa and I decorated the table, which we did last year.  This year Mom had purchased a new candle centerpiece.  (I’m not sure where I was going with that.  But we’ll just leave it there anyway.)

Before the W.’s got here, I pulled the gingerbread cookies out and frosted them.  I must confess that I *sigh* ate a few.  *Sob*  I will try better next time. 

Voice #2:  BUT IT IS CHRISTMAS, right?  Do I get ANY cheating around Christmas?

Voice #1:  If you hadn’t been cheating as often, yes.

Voice #2: BUT…

Voice #1:  Oh, don’t even go there.

Voice #2:  Just…whatever.

 

Never mind. Sometimes these things just happen.

As I was saying, *cough* I decorated the cookies today.  I was trying to be artsy and creative (which, although I can be the latter, I am NOT the former by any vast stretch of the imagination).  I tried several different things (swirlies was my best), but then I got stuck on words.  Words are so fun.

I kept trying to write “twinkle” on a small star-shaped cookie, but all that would fit was “twink.”  I tried to get it to fit twice, but only ended up with “twink” both times.  Later, as I was looking at them, I realized that I had gotten confused as to where the “i” was, and had dotted the first stroke of the “w” both times.  So I ended up with “tiwnk,” or probably more like *tries to find letters that look like what she wrote* nope.  They don’t have the letters I was using on the keyboard.  How did that happen?

 

Wow.  Maybe I should write my posts this late at night all the time.  It might make things a bit more interesting.

And who knows what I will come up with?

Maybe it is better that I don’t.

 

So I had lots of fun with words.  You’ll see in the pictures.

 

Do you see how long (and how many interruptions – FROM MY OWN BRAIN) it took for me to say that?

 

Anyway, now for the pictures.

 

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Like you really have to write this on a cookie.

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This too

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Again, this was pretty obvious

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It turns out, “yum” is really fun to write in cursive in frosting.

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I started thinking about Christmas carols, and thought about “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”  Well, when there is white, it is often on a tree, right?  So I put white on a tree.

Sometimes I’m not sure that I make a whole lot of sense.  Or that if I do, it is a rather silly sense that I make.

Whatever that means. 

(I really should write my posts this late at night!  I’m much more fun!)

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When I showed this to Melissa, she said that I should have written “wish”  on it (when you wish upon a star).  I completely agree.  I will have to do that next time.

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Again, another very obvious one.  But I think this one is quite cute.

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An M&M!  Love those things.  Have you seen the Chocolate Mint ones?  Anyone tried them?  I haven’t, but they sure sound good!

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This next set of cookies was inspired by my sister’s piano theory book.

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They often have things to decorate with notes, rests, and such, and they tell you which thing gets which symbol with numbers.

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Kind of a “decorate-with-music-symbols-by-number” thing.

(I am sure they have a more official name, but, as has been previously stated, it is late.)

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So I decided to try decorating cookies with musical symbols.  I should have tried to do the bass clef over again.

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But treble clefs are just so much more fun to do.

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They fit really well on the tree cookies.

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I then started writing the titles of Christmas carols out on cookies.

(Ding Dong Merrily on High – I am going to put what each one is, since they are all not super easy to read.)

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One of my favorite Christmas songs (When Love Came Down)

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Christmas doesn’t fit on one cookie, or at least I didn’t think it would.  I didn’t try.  I might have ended up with something similar to “twink.”

(Sing We Now of Christmas)

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I love doing exclamation points!

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(Joy to the World – with an exclamation point!)

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(We Wish You a Merry Christmas)

 

And my grand masterpiece…

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This was SO FUN!

Thank you for putting up with all the cookie pictures.

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Our Christmas Eve table

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The centerpiece

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Reflection

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Beauty on a plate (what else can I say?)

 

Oh, and one more thing…

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Merry Christmas!  May you all have a lovely, lovely Christmas!

 

Much love to you all,
Allison

Snow, and a Bit More

A synopsis of today.

It snowed today.  I love the snow.  It was also really windy.  I walked outside to the mailbox, and brought my camera.  Some fun self-portraits ensued!

I had about half of a can of coconut milk left over from making something for the get-together, so I decided to make some coffee ice cream.  I chopped up some chocolate chips and threw them in there, too.  Coffee chocolate chip!  Mmmm…

Yesterday I put Christmas lights up on Meiling’s and my bed.  It is really beginning to feel like Christmas, with the snow and the lights and the baking.

Well, I guess that is about it.

Oh, one more thing.

After we already had some snow accumulation, I wanted to plug in the Christmas lights on the back deck.  I was wearing my sandals (since I was inside), and I didn’t want to take them out into the snow.  I didn’t want to have to dry them off when I came back inside.  I considered going around, but I didn’t want to mess up the lovely snow (laugh at me, I know, but I like the snow).  So I just went barefoot.  I knew it would be cold, but I have done bare feet in the snow before.  As stepped into the snow, I started yelping.  Man, it was cold!  When I picked up the cord, it was covered with snow.  So I had to stand there, my feet in the snow, and shake, wipe, and blow the snow off the cord.  And my feet just kept getting colder.  I thought, “Man, now I know what the dogs feel like when they go out in the snow!  Their poor little pads!”  I opened the door to come inside, my feet were all wet, and I didn’t want to walk on the floor.  Since there were a bunch of people in the kitchen, I just started calling, “Somebody, bring me a towel!”  Mom answered, “No!  Why do you need a towel?  What are you doing?”  I used my apron.  And then she brought me a towel.  🙂

Moral of the story:  Get a towel before you go barefoot in the snow.  Or at least tell people what you are doing, so they will understand when you need a towel, and they will also understand the yelling.

Well, that would be the end of that!

And now for a picture:

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My grandparents had Noel on their fridge during Christmas.  The letters were all separate, and when we had our family Christmas get-together, a group of the cousins (including me) would rearrange the letters to spell “Leon.”  I am not sure if this name had particular significance, but it was fun.  🙂  Remember that?  I have these letters rearranged after this tradition.

Also, my grandparents had some plastic mistletoe that they would hang up in different spots.  Once they hung it from the fan upstairs, and once they hung it over the stairs heading into the basement (the basement was were the tree was, and were all the cousins played/hung out).  All the girl cousins would try to get other cousins tricked into walking under the mistletoe, so we would have to kiss them.  🙂 It was funny.

Fond memories.

Anyone else have any fun Christmas memories?

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Snow clouds gathering

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It’s really coming down

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Snow

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I purchased this hat last night.  I LOVE it!  Lots of fun.

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“I love the snow!  And my hat.”

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At dinner tonight:

Meiling, coughing, “We were smoking our bazookas!”

Say what?

(Not.  She has a cold.)

12/17/12–Ramblings

Heads up:  This is going to be random.  Over and out.

While I was doing school, my feet were cold.  So I went and put on a pair of socks, only to discover that both socks had holes in the toes.  But I have not bothered to take them off (too lazy/feet are to warm) so I am just walking around with an increasing number of toes sticking out of the front of my socks, all the while being slightly annoyed.  There are currently 3 toes sticking out of the left side, and 1 sticking out of the right.  I kind of want to keep them on just to see how much bigger the holes get.

I made pumpkin muffins this afternoon.  I had attempted to make some paleo pumpkin pancakes the other day, but they didn’t work.  And I still had leftover pumpkin in the fridge.  So I decided to make muffins with it.  But I didn’t use all the pumpkin, so I still had to freeze the extra.  So what was the point of making the muffins in the first place?

I discovered that I was multi-talented (is that a word?) while I was making the muffins:  I can lick the batter spoon while scooping the batter into the muffin cups (using a utensil, of course).  Pretty impressive, huh?  Oh, and by the way, what is SO attractive about the leftover batter in the bowl?  My favorite batter would have to be a good cookie dough.  Something with chocolate.  But everything I make has chocolate in it, doesn’t it?

*I break here to insert an idea I just had*  Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies?  I’ll have to think about that.

*Carrying on now*

I really didn’t need to make the muffins.  I need to try to chill on the sugar intake.  I have to start being firm.  Cause I have been a bit of a wimp in this area lately.

Let me invite you inside my head.

Voice #1:  Hey Allison!

Voice #2:  Ya?

Voice #1:  Listen, you need to chill on the sugar.  No more chocolate chips with that scoop of peanut butter after lunch.  You know that it isn’t good.

Voice #2:  I know that last part. But…*sniffles*

Voice#1:  What?

Voice #2:  I like the chocolate chips and peanut butter!  A LOT!  *Sniffles again, then bursts into tears*

Voice #1:  I like it too.  But sometime the good things are hard.  You know you used to be better about your sugar consumption.  So you know you can do it.

Voice #2:  *stops crying, sniffles*  Ya, I know.

Voice #1:  So let’s try again.

Voice #2:  I guess that would be good. *sniffle*  Do you have a tissue?

Voice #1:  Here.

Voice #2:  Thanks. 

Voice #1:  So are we on the same page about desserts?

Voice #2:  Oh, not having that peanut butter and chocolate chips everyday after lunch?

Voice #1:  Well, it’s a little more than that.  I’m going to put this very plainly:  WE NEED TO CHILL ON THE SUGAR INTAKE.  PERIOD.

Voice #2:  I’m not sure I have any tears left.

Voice #1:  So are we together on this?

Voice #2:  *sighs*  I guess.  But after the pumpkin muffins are gone?

Voice #1:  Well, you can still eat them, but s…l…o…w…l…y.  Not the whole of them in two days.  Got it?

Voice #2:  Yep.  Got it.  And now that I am all cried out, I am really with ya.

Voice #1:  Great.  Let’s hit it.

 

I put up Christmas lights on the house on Saturday.  Noah wrapped the back deck with lights, and I put the lights on the front.  The front has colored icicles and the posts are wrapped with colored lights.  But I have too many strands plugged in to each other, so they have blown two fuses already.  I need to go out and split them onto two outlets.  I will probably do that soon.

My brothers are flying airplanes, and Drake just flew one over my head.  He then proceeded to try to do it again, but this time it hit me straight in the head.  He says there was an air current.  Hm.

I am looking forward to this week:  Mom and I are going shopping.  Tomorrow it will be just the two of us.  I like when I get her to myself.  It doesn’t happen all the time.  And we have a lot of fun together.

I am also looking forward to this week:  Cooking.  Lots.  Stuff for Christmas – gingerbread dough.  And Mom is having a party, and I am cooking for it.  Not going to say what I am making, because some people who are *hopefully* going will possibly be reading this.  But for those of you who are curious, I will probably post about it post-party.  (I just used “post” with two different meanings in the same sentence!)

Counting down the days until my mom and I go to the symphony.  For my Christmas present,  we are going to see Pirate of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl at the symphony.  They will have the movie on a big screen, and they play all the music LIVE!  IT IS SO AWESOME!  We went and saw Lord of the Rings:  Fellowship of the Rings when they did that, and it was SO WONDERFUL.  I always said thought that if they were to do Pirates music, I would want to be there REALLY BAD.  I am really excited that we are going (if you couldn’t tell).

Oh, and I ate a pumpkin muffin not a full minute after I finished the above dialogue

Well, I think that is all.

Now off to fix those Christmas lights.

From toes-sticking-out, batter-spoon-licking, multi-talented, too-much-sugar, Christmas-light-loving, excited,

Allison

Love ya!

P.S.  And if you read all of that, I am amazed.  You persevered.  🙂

Branson, Winter 2012–Part 2

I really need help with post titles.  They can be SO CHEESY.  Man.  I don’t think they even come close to qualifying for tacky (one of my favorite words).

Anyways.  Now for the rest of the photos of our trip to the lovely Branson, MO.

Where did I leave of?  Oh yes.  Saturday morning.

On Saturday, I woke up and was lying in bed for a while, and then I must have dozed off again.  Cause suddenly I looked around it was 11!  I have only slept in this late once before, and that was because I had stayed up until 2:15 with a friend (not sure if I told you that, Gloria, but I did sleep in that late).  So I exited the room, expecting to be immediately greeted with “Oh my!  Look who finally got up!  Sleeping Beauty!”  or something like that.  Instead, nobody said anything.  Dad and my siblings were sitting around the family room, eating breakfast and watching Animal Planet.  That is NOT normal.  At all.

I then went and made myself some breakfast, which was topped of with with not one, but TWO Pop-Tarts (ah, the awesomeness!).

Later, we all went to the Vigilante Zip Rider for the boys to ride the zip line.

You though I  would ride the zip line?  No.  Not at all.  If I go to an amusement park, I usually only go on tame rides, like the merry-go-round.  And I will only usually ride one or two rides.  I go more to take pictures.  🙂

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The view from the observation tower, where the zip line that the boys rode is

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Drake and his faces

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All the zip line riders

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“Make a scared face!”  Dad’s call  🙂

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The challenge

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Waiting to see the boys go

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There they go!

The boys really enjoyed the zip line.  I’m glad they did.

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This made me laugh.  Ha!  “A high speed cable ride with a sudden abrupt landing.”  That could make the ride sound unattractive to just about anyone.

We were planning to go back to our condo to have dinner before going to see Joseph, but there was such a line of cars going to Silver Dollar City (and that was the direction that we needed to go), that we just went out for dinner instead.

And I forgot to…but you probably know what I forgot (to take a picture of my food).

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Waiting for dinner

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Me and my Drake

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Siblings.  Friends.  Partners in crime.  🙂

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Window shopping (a few family members had gone to the other side of the window)

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After that was Joseph – enjoyed by all.

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The Sight and Sound Theater

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Excuse the odd lighting

Sunday was spent quietly at our condo.  In the afternoon we went for a walk.  And I took pictures. 

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Drake and Meiling had run ahead

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Self-portrait time!  I need to work on pointing that camera.

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The (second) observation tower.  This one wasn’t surrounded by glass.

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The view

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The other observation tower, where that boys had ridden the zip line

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Meiling running ahead

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Like father, like son

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A flower, in December

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Look!  They have weeds in Branson, too!  And I have a picture to prove it.  So there.

We also had chicken wings for dinner.

I LOVE chicken wings.  I know I have never ever discussed this extreme love here, but it is true.  I get so into eating them, and then end up making a TOTAL mess of myself (wing sauce all over my face and hands) and then my hands smell like wing sauce.

Dad always says that he likes watching me eat wings ‘cause I make such a royal mess.

But I just love wings, so I keep eating them and making a royal mess anyways.

We went home the next morning, after breakfast.

And that’s that.

Thanks for reading!

Love,
Allison