Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve

We are home safely from California and today I am cleaning and preparing for our party tonight. You are all invited if you didn't know before. We hope to see you here!

The fun starts at 6 pm or thereabouts...

Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year's Eve Party

First of all, though I'm only supposed to talk about our party, Yosemite was AWESOME. It was so beautiful. There was snow in the valley and despite our woefully inadequate clothing it was still so great.

Also we are having a New Year's Eve Party on New Year's Eve. Everyone is invited. Please come. Kids are welcome.

6 pm on.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Napa Valley

We went to Napa Valley on Friday. It was pretty fun. I was the designated driver and we went to three wineries and had a yummy lunch at a cute little restaurant in Napa. According to those who were tasting, Alpha Omega winery seemed to have the best wines.

Yesterday we had extended family over for a late lunch. I got to see cousins all grown up and aunts and uncles who though they hadn't changed much still seemed to be somewhat different. Some of them stayed to play board games and that was fun.

Today Joel and the kids and I are going to Yosemite. It should be a good time. We are staying one night and then the California trip will be basically over. It's been too short.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Apron

I think my favourite present this year was a beautiful apron from my sister.
Thanks Grace!
I'm sitting here with all my family and that is really the best gift. I could have received nothing and still been happy.

Fajitas for lunch... Mmmm.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Legos and Games

The last couple of days we have been relaxing. Emlyn and Denali found my brother and sister's legos and have been playing with them almost non-stop (why don't they do that at my house?). We also played "Lego Creator" game which is a lot of fun although Denali's a little young for it.

I messed up when buying someone's present and what I thought was a good deal is turning out to be a good deal all right. Of trouble. I don't know whether it will end up working out or not.

EDIT: my VERY SMART sister figured it out and the present is now in working condition. She is so great.

Tonight we are staying at Grace's house and Joel will be arriving to spend the rest of the trip with us. I have really missed him.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Caroling, Cleaning

Yesterday was lots of caroling. We sang at one nursing home, took a break at church, and then sang at a few more homes. At one point we were at the house of a 93 year old lady who had made cookies and cut up fruit for us. She had beautiful paintings all over her walls that she had painted. She gave all the little kids a toy from her living room. We were to arrive at 6:30, and when we drove up at 6:30 she was already standing on the porch in the cold waiting for us.

We ended the night at another home, this time of a 100 year old lady. She, too, had made lots of cookies and a batch of crockpot hot chocolate. She was very gracious and refused to let anyone clean up for her.

This morning we declared a "rest day," meaning we wouldn't do so much out of the house. I helped my mom tackle the dining room/office where there were some things to be given away and sold. Much of the day was spent craigslisting and cleaning.

Tonight my parents are caroling again and I am at Grace's house with my sisters and my kids. It was so sweet to hug my kids after being away from them all day.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Big Basin

Yesterday even though we were pretty tired from flying till all hours of the night, we decided to go to Big Basin and see the redwoods. It's a smaller park for redwood trees but it was a shorter drive than Big Sur, which is THE PLACE to see giant coastal redwood trees.

I looked at Google Maps and got a general idea of where we were going and then we jumped in the car and started depending on the GPS. Bad idea. We made many wrong turns and got delayed. We finally arrived and it was well worth the bad traffic and wrong turns.

Coastal redwoods are enormous. The biggest ones at Big Basin were 66 feet in circumference and 16 feet in diameter. They are so tall (329 feet) and beautiful, and the whole forest smells heavenly. I could have stayed there for days (in fact it would be nice to live in Los Gatos which is right there) but we had to get back on the road after a short hike because one of our party had to be back in Concord for the evening. The kids enjoyed climbing into the trees where previous forest fires had burnt out the bottom of live trees, and I enjoyed the smell and beauty. It was a long day and the kids were tired but I wouldn't mind going back again today. :)

Then I left the kids with my parents and went to stay at Grace's house for the night. We rounded out the evening with a trip to Target.

Oh and Jet Blue wins the prize for great air travel. Yummy snacks, live TV, and so much legroom I didn't know what to do with myself.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New Year's Eve Party

Every year we host a New Year's eve party at our house, and most people have a good time. Everyone is invited, climbingbuddies, work budies, church buddies, random guy you met on the street buddies.
Hot tub will be hot
Climbing wall will be climbed, BYOS (Bring Your Own Shoes)
Party games will be played
Table games will be on tables
Watch the ball drop in High-Def
Food will be delicious
Alcohol, including the famous Schopp Margaritas
Non-alcohol for the tea-totalers
Fire in the fireplace
Come as early as 6pm, stay as late as you like. Feel free to come and go for the party hoppers, early to bed, late to rise, or non-committal.
RSVP encouraged but not required.
Come empty handed, we'll have stuff, or if you feel like bringing something then food, drinks, and games are always welcome.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Today's (Second) Tip

When making chicken stock it is not a good idea to add habanero peppers unless you like really spicy chicken stock. And we don't.

Ack!

Someone forgot to tell me it would get down to 35 degrees today. It was 79 yesterday, and we had the air conditioning on. Then last night it got down to 58 degrees in our house because the a/c was still on.

At any rate we woke up to 35 degree temps. Brr!

Today I am packing and doing laundry and cleaning the office.

Today's Tip: Don't wash a pull-up in the washing machine.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Weird Dreams

Last night I was sleeping with one of my arms straight out from my body. I kept dreaming that I was loading or unloading the dishwasher. Eventually I had to move my arm so that I would dream something that wasn't dishwasher...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Beauty

I know I have been scarce; in addition to all the holiday craziness my computer broke and I am limited to time in the evenings on Joel's work laptop or checking my email at Emlyn's school. The school filters don't allow most networking websites like this one.

This evening we went to a holiday bazaar downtown. I was expecting to see something like a craft fair, with a lot of quilts, shabby-chic dolls, and Texas stars. Instead I was pleasantly surprised to see beautiful high-end artsy things that were right up my alley.

I think I could easily have spent $43000 if I had it. The art was so beautiful and colorful. I saw beauty in wood, ceramics, pottery, cloth, and the list goes on. I was inspired and awe-stricken. I wandered around just staring at the beauty and wishing that I were that good of an artist.

I kind of think of it as filling up my creativity gauge. After an hour there I felt like I could create anything with just a little training and time. I would go to a mosaics booth and imagine making a mosaics creation. I would go to a silk-cloth booth and imagine standing in my backyard, dying silk with a friend and then combing beautiful designs on it.

I did not buy anything. Overall things were out of our price range and we have already completed our Christmas shopping. But I got business cards from some artists, and now I can dream about mosaics classes or painting or weaving my own hammock. Or something simple, like sewing.

I've started sewing on commission. I think my only client so far has been satisfied with the turnout. I made her 5 stockings and a tree skirt, and then I made her two dresses for her little girls and an applique on a shirt for her little boy. After the holidays I will be taking more orders. I think for the beginning I will start with people's specific orders and then later I will branch out. Now that Joel's mom is in town we may start an Etsy store and sell both of our creations on there.

I'm tired but glad we went to the bazaar. Catch you later.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Sunday Peace

The sewing project is finished.

The house is (relatively) clean. Very few traces of our Mexico trip remain.

The garage sale went (fairly) well. Many people made a lot of money. We have a lot left over to give to those in need.

This next week promises to be more peaceful. I have a few small things, like Christmas cards, another sewing project, and crafts with the kids, but I think it will def. be more joyful.

Looking forward to a relaxing day.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Good Morning!

We are back from Mexico. It was a lovely trip and I'm so thankful for the friends we saw there. I am also thankful for carpet, hot water, and central heating. And my lovely washer.

This week is continuing my regular schedule of hecticness. I am hosting a garage sale on Saturday (if you want to sell your stuff, let me know), sewing a project for a friend, and trying to clean my house from my trip. I might just be insane. Not really sure.

This is all leading up to our Christmas in California trip which will start on Dec. 17. So we have a lot to accomplish in a short time, without forgetting the true focus of this season, Jesus Christ.

I hope that your Thanksgiving was lovely and that your Christmas will be as well. I may be hard to find around here...