Sibling Sayings

Meiling and Drake, playing keep-the-balloon-in-the-air in our kitchen.

Meiling:  I’m going to keep it the air with my shoulders.

Drake:  Those are called your elbows.

Meiling: My elbows.


Friday Night

We were most of the way through dinner when Drake gave me a sideways look.

“I wonder who could hold water in their mouth longer.”

I finished my last few bites quickly (or at least I tried to), then raised my glass to Drake an took a sip of water.

Game on!

We both lifted our cups to our lips, and took mouthfuls of water.

And so it started.

I got up and started clearing the table.  Since Dad was playing music, I started dancing around (kind of showing off :)).  I pulled out a piece of masking tape and wrote on it, “I have a feeling that this is going to end in water coming out of someone’s nose.”  I showed it to everyone, then wrapped it across my forehead.

Drake pointed at me, and then did thumbs down.  “You’re going DOWN!”  I shook my head, then signed the same thing back to him.  “No, YOU’RE going down!”

And then Dad put on a song that was in three.  I started waltzing around.  Drake stared waltzing around on the other side of the room.  We both stopped, and then Drake entered the kitchen.  He was standing real close to me, and I jumped away from him.  I didn’t know what he was doing!  I thought he was trying to make me swallow/spit out my water.

Then he stared to waltzing around, and I could tell that he wanted me to waltz with him.  So I did.

And that proved to be my downfall.

We had been waltzing for 3 counts when Mom said “Look!” or something like that.

And that’s when I lost it.  I started laughing.  Not just giggling, like I had been doing off and on the whole time, but really laughing.

I knew, at that moment, that I was done for.

I ran to the bathroom and spat out my water.  After coughing, I burst out laughing.

Drake had followed me, and was silently celebrating.  He waited a bit longer, then spat out his water.

After talking a bit, I told him, “We’ll have to do that again.”  I still thought I could win.

“Don’t get your hopes up.” he replied.

Just another Friday night.  🙂


On Thursday my aunt and two youngest cousins on my dad’s side came down to spend a few days at our home.  There was lots of jokes, snow ball fights, games, and Nerf gun wars.  And talking.  And eating, of course.  🙂

We also celebrated Noah’s birthday while they were here, since it was last weekend and we didn’t get to celebrate it then.  Happy birthday, Noah!  It’s hard to believe that he is 15 already…

I didn’t take quite as many photos as I would have liked to, since I was still feeling under the weather.  Anyways, here are a few from their stay.


Drake playing Hannah’s ukulele (he makes me laugh)


Looking at books


Getting ready to sing (I really liked how these turned out, so there are several :))






Drawing for “Cranium


We had just picked up “Cranium” at a resale shop a few weeks ago, and got to try it out this weekend!




Hannah really enjoyed getting to snuggle with Lucy


Ready for the Nerf war (or tag – I think they were playing Nerf tag)


Their “cool-guy” poses


These next few are just plain fun with cousins 🙂






Hannah and Lucy snuggling again



Thanks for coming!  And come back soon!  ❤


‘Tis the Night Before 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.



Like you really have to write this on a cookie.


This too


Again, this was pretty obvious


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


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!)


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.


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


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


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


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


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.)


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


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


They fit really well on the tree cookies.




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.)


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


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)


I love doing exclamation points!


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


(We Wish You a Merry Christmas)


And my grand masterpiece…


This was SO FUN!

Thank you for putting up with all the cookie pictures.


Our Christmas Eve table


The centerpiece






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


Oh, and one more thing…



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


Much love to you all,


Branson, Winter 2012–Part 1

We spent a long weekend in Branson, and arrived home this Monday.  We went to a few shows, some of us rode a zip line, and we hung out.  It was a lovely time, just getting to chill together.

We drove down to Branson on Thursday, arriving around 4 p.m.  After unpacking and having dinner at Red Lobster, we went and saw the Chinese acrobats at the Shanghai Circus.  Very fun!

While we were at Red Lobster, I decided that it would be fun to take pictures of the food that I ate out at restaurants.  A fun thing to do for somebody who loves food, right?  Well, I followed this up by forgetting my camera the next day (which meant that I didn’t get any photos of that meal), and eating my entire meal at the next restaurant before I remembered that I should have taken a picture.  The third time I didn’t even think about taking a picture.  In fact, I didn’t realize that I missed the third meal until now.  I’m real great at remembering to take pictures of my food, eh?  I wonder what would happen if I tried to do a 365 – it would turn into a 100, if I remembered that often!  😛

On Friday, we went and saw Twice Adopted (it was great!) in the morning, then spent some time walking around downtown Branson.  We had lunch at a place down there, and I shared some AWESOME tomato basil soup with Mom.  I have to recreate that soon.  It was so good.  We spent the evening at our condo being together.

We also bought some Pop-Tarts.  Now, for all my trying to eat healthy, I LOVE POP-TARTS!  I so greatly enjoyed eating Pop-Tarts over the weekend.  Mmmmm…

Now for the photos.  I forgot my camera on Friday, for which I was most sad.  😦  Most of these are from Thursday, and a few are from Friday night.  During intermission at the New Shanghai Circus, Drake and I entertained ourselves with self-portraits, portraits, and random shots.  I sure had a blast with those, and I hope you enjoy them, too!




Waiting for food


I ordered the four-course feast, or something like that.  It was SO GOOD!  Creamy potato soup to start it off…


…and then a salad


The faces Drake often makes for me when I point that camera at him.






Love him – he’s just so funny


Meiling being funny – I’m not sure how to caption these






I think they speak for themselves


My main course, minus the shrimp, which I ate before I remembered to take a picture.  Sound familiar? 🙂


Dessert – a brownie.  It was very good, despite the fact that it had too much chocolate and caramel syrups


We drove through a Christmas light display before going to the Chinese acrobat show


Meiling 🙂




At intermission




One of those moments


Fun with the lights


Little Peanut hands


Toe shoes


Now here begins the random self-portraits




I know I said this before, but he is SO MUCH FUN










Rows of chairs, red ones specifically, are fun


Drake had a turn with the camera and took a few photos of yours truly. 🙂





Now, photos from Friday night.


Dad purchased this kit to mix your own chip flavors.  He likes chips.  I like him. 🙂


Drake, making his epic face


The chips, all ready to eat


Playing games



I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving!  I certainly did!  We spent the day at our friends’ home, with another family from church and a few other people. 

It was a lovely day – nice and warm, so we were able to be outside.  Our friends had set up an obstacle course outside, and we enjoyed running it, seeing who could get the best time.  I ran it with my little friend.  🙂

We had an early dinner, followed with a time of Thanksgiving and singing.  After that we had pie and visited.  The evening was wrapped up with a game of Scattergories (I LOVE that game!).

On a food note, the day before I made a grain-free apple pie for our celebration.  I was worried that it wouldn’t turn out, but I was quite happy with the outcome.  I based it on my regular apple pie and pie crust recipes.

And now, for the photos.  🙂


The night before – making the grain-free apple pie


The grain-free apple pie – when I was taking this picture I was thinking, “Let’s hope this works!”


A little hot cocoa made with coconut milk, served in a pretty cup with a pretty spoon.  Ahhh….


On Thanksgiving – my photographer friend 🙂




Mom running the obstacle course with Meimei


The LOVELY table – Sarah, you did and AWESOME job!








View from above






With the candles lit and the cups filled

Confession:  Usually when I am at some sort of get-together, I take a bunch of photos at the beginning, then don’t take many more after that.  So, at this point in the evening, I put my camera down, and didn’t take any more photos until dessert.


Pie time!


What did you do for Thanksgiving?



Yesterday we went bowling.  Noah and Meiling had never been bowling, Drake and I bowled when we were 6 and 4, but Mom and Dad used to be in a bowling league and they bowled every Friday night.  I was a bit skeptical about whether or not I would like bowling, but Mom told me that it was very fun, and that I would like it.  It was very fun!


On the way – playing with slow shutter speeds fast-moving scenery






Drake helping Meimei


Watching Meiling’s ball


Bowling balls


The lane


Waiting – my shoes


Meiling’s shoes


Daddy and Meiling watching