Sunday, November 29, 2009

Worth more than the tree!

Tree Decorating, Part 2: Some of the story that I forgot to tell:
While I was putting on the three strands of lights that we used last year, I was quickly realizing that the way I was putting the lights on the tree, those strands were not going to go far. When I told Emily, she stated that I was doing a great job and then when I began to stress again, she said "Teresa, we live in a civilized society and Walmart is just up the road." She left and came back with 4 new strands. When I had gotten through 3 strands, we stared at how little progress I had made and I volunteered to go for 4 more strands. "Surely that will be enough." I got home, continued with the lights, continued to apologize to Emily. She just kept assuring me that she liked a lot of lights and I was doing a great job. 4 more strands later, Emily was back out the door. I was convinced we would only need two more strands, but we wisely decided she should buy 4 more and if we didn't use them all, she could return them. I was almost to the top with the 4th strand when I realized I wasn't going to reach at my continued rate of lights to branch, but it wasn't enough for another strand, so I began to stretch them out a bit. I can totally tell every time I look at the tree. If you look at the picture, you can see a big red bow right under the star. It helps to disguise the lack of lights! :)

When all was said and done, this was Emily's comment (after much gushing about how wonderful the tree looked, of course): "There is more money in lights on the tree than I paid for the actual tree!" :) We were both okay with that.

And thanks to Dad and Amy coming over with some string, the tree no longer leans!

If anyone wants lessons on how to put fifteen strands of lights on a 6 foot tree, I'm thinking of having my mom come and teach! Any takers?!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

6 feet of MAGIC

Here is my post of my 2nd decorating experience in my apartment. Let me start with a pre-story. My mom is the Christmas light putter-onner in our family. My brother is her second in command. It was only ever my job to unravel the lights for them while they put them on. I was always fine with that. It was always a joke in the family that someone would have to run to the store to get more lights because we wouldn't have enough. All those years of Christmas decorating fun have culminated to me taking over the reins in my own household and have resulted in my fun-filled day.

Let me give you some statistics that will make my mom proud :) :

6 foot Christmas tree

5 hours

3 trips to the store for more lights (2 of which were made by Emily, one by me)

1500+ lights (yes, you read that right)

15 strands of lights (we think at least one of them was more than 100 lights)

2 calls to my mom to ask questions about putting lights on the tree

1 fabulous, magnificent tree!

1 afternoon of fun/roommate bonding

1 more Christmas memory to file away in my brain

Here is the final result:

If you scroll down to my previous post, you can see the poor, pathetic attempt of putting on only 3 strands of lights last year. What a difference 12 new strands makes :)
Here it is with the flash.
Last year I posted lots of pictures of Christmas ornaments on the tree. Here are a few more, plus other decorations in the house. This is my 2008 ornament. I panicked because I couldn't find it at first. But then I realized that I was looking for the 2009 box (which I don't have yet because I haven't opened presents from 2009 yet!).
This is an ornament Mom bought me from my hometown in Georgia.
I have always loved the Willow Tree Nativity set, so I asked for Mom to start the collection for me. These are the pieces I got last year (except the lady holding the lamb and the little boy--those are pieces I have out throughout the year, but decided to add to the Christmas decorations because I figured they still applied).
This is the ornament I got last year at the Forsberg Christmas party. We have a tree that we do an ornament exchange off of every year. You bring an ornament and then take one off the tree at the end of the night. In the background is one of a set of ornament bulbs I bought last year after Christmas because I thought they were fun. They came in all sorts of colors--pink, gold, blue, green, red.
Many years ago Hallmark had these snowmen for sale. Jan Karon wrote a very popular series of books called The Mitford series. These snowmen are inspired by the book and there was even a gift book that was written to go along with the series. Mom let me take them last year to decorate the apartment. This year they are on my book shelves.

Repost: 1st Christmas in Apartment

This is a repost of some Christmas decoration highlights from last year as an introduction to what is to come (although you will actually see it last, since blogger posts more recent posts first. Oh well, you'll still have this close at hand instead of having to search for it!)

Here are a couple pictures of our Christmas tree.
If it looks like the tree is leaning it is just a figment of your imagination! Promise!
Here's a picture from today with the snow in the background. And all the presents under the tree. Emily was laughing at me because I had so much fun organizing them. This is the first time in probably 6 or 7 years that I have had my own tree (well, really my mom's tree, but let's not get so picky). When I was living at home it was always my job to arrange the presents under the tree. I guess I have been able to do that at Dad's house too, but the first time at my own place!
Another tradition my mom started when I was in middle school was that she bought my brother and I an ornament a year so that when we grew up and got our own place, we could have ornaments to hang on the tree. This is the first year I have been in my own place to hang them, so I was VERY VERY excited. Here is a sampling of some of my ornaments and some miscellaneous other ornaments I've collected over the years:
1994 ornament. I think this was the first year mom did ornaments. The reason I say "think" is because when I was getting my ornaments from mom earlier this year we found one that was broken. It was either my first or second ornament, but I think it was the second.
1996. My brother got a similar one that looked like a snowman.
1997. I love this one because it's pretty unique.
1998. I received a similar one in 1999. They were made by a local artist in our hometown in Georgia and mom thought they were really cool. The other one says "The greatest gift ever given was given on a tree."
2002. This is one of several "inside out" ornaments that I received over the years. I found these at a craft store in my college town one year and bought the first one for my mom. The ornaments are actually painted from the inside! After that, we loved them so much that we bought/received them for several years.
This one is either from 2004 or 2005. I didn't want to pull boxes out to figure it out :). I actually received two ornaments this year in the same series. The other one is a bear dressed like an angel blowing a trumpet.
2006. This year mom went "whimsical."
2007. These three are last year's ornament. I'm guessing mom couldn't decide which one she liked best, so she bought all three! But I really like them, so I didn't complain!
Here is miscellaneous ornament #1. My friend Danell actually painted this for me in 2003. You can't tell from the picture, but on the other side of the ornament is a bunch of trees, so if you're looking at the snowman it looks like he is built by a forest. Very cool. She's way more artistic than me!
One of the years that I lived in Texas I did Texas themed presents for everyone, but then I wanted some of my own, so I bought two ornaments, this cowboy cactus and.... (in the background you can also see the duck that I bought from Tanner's last year when my friend Lisa was here.)

Sheriff Santa! I love that his legs are dangling cacti!

So, now you know about half of the ornaments that are hanging on my tree. I realized that this season is so hectic that only Emily and I are actually going to see the apartment decorated, so I wanted to be able to share my decorations with everyone!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Feasting, Thanking, and Happy Birthdays

It's a little late, but I needed to give a great big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my nephew, who turned 2 on the 19th. He had a Cars themed birthday. The pictures looked like he had a wonderful day. Who wouldn't with this many balloons?! I also had my first of three Thanksgiving meals this week. Our church has an annual Feast of Thanks, and it was tonight. Yummy food and great fellowship. We sang our first Christmas song of the season (I'll admit, I wore Christmas socks to church in anticipation!)

And it's a THREE DAY work week! HURRAY!!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Post Number Four Hundred and One

I missed posting on my 400th post!

I don't talk about the place I work very often, but I just want to let everyone know that I love many things about my place of employment. As everyone in Central Illinois knows, it has been DREARY this week. We had all hoped to see some sunshine today, but to no avail. I did run off the road (I hit the uh-oh bumps on the edge of the highway) yesterday because I saw this tiny patch of blue sky and couldn't stop staring at it! Anyway, I received this email from a coworker yesterday and it made me very happy...

We're protesting!
Tomorrow has been officially declared "Sunshine Day" at Family Preservation and Support Services and Youth Development Services.
A Few Rules for Our Newly Created Day:
1. Check all bad moods at the door before you come to work.
2. You must smile at least 6 times each hour.
3. Wear Aloha Attire or something YELLOW! We need to brighten up this place!
We'll Brighten Your Day with:
1. An Impromptu Kahuna Grill - 11:30 PM to 12:30 PM. Fireplace room. Complete with brats and all the fixings.
2. Free Soda - What's better than that? Get your buzz going on as much caffeine as you can drink in a day.
3. Free Popcorn in the Family Pres Foyer.
AND. . . 4. Prizes for everyone in their mailbox for being such good sports in this crappy weather.

How fun is that! Not many people can say they have such fun coworkers and work relations at work. It is a fairly regular occurrence at my work! The unfortunate (well, sort of) news is that I did not get to partake of the festivities. I worked this morning in the office, and then saw a client from 10-12, and then took the afternoon off to run errands, get some Christmas shopping done, and clean the apartment for guests coming this evening. But just knowing that work was going to be a fun place to be if I chose to make it that was good enough for me!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


In bowling, three strikes is a, I'm assuming that the term can be applied to other threes, like three posts in three days.

On Sunday we had a guest teacher in Sunday School. He normally teaches the junior high kids. One of the things he said was that we were sitting much more integrated than the junior high kids. It made me laugh, and still makes me laugh. Our class does not get described as well integrated very often.

That's all I've got!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Other Fun Happenings

SURPRISE! Two blogs in two days. It's been awhile since I did that!

Friday I was able to go visit my old co-worker (sad. I don't like calling her that. Maybe I should just call her my friend now. On a side note it reminds me when Holly and I graduated college. After three years of calling her my roommate, it felt like taking a step back to call her anything else. But I finally adjusted to calling her my friend, or I would call her my friend and clarify that she used to be my roommate. Even 8 years later, I still refer to her as my college roommate more than anything else.) Okay, tangent over. Friday I went to visit Stephanie and her son, Asher. Let me tell you...he is so cute! :) I didn't take my camera, so no pictures of the cutie, but just imagine cuteness! It was good to visit with her. I told her how much I miss her at work. Friday morning I pulled into the parking lot and looked for her car. And several days earlier in the week I was driving to work thinking of something from the day before that I wanted to tell her. Sigh. Soon I'll have a new office mate and maybe she'll want to hear all the fun details of my life too. If not, I'm not sure what I'm going to do.

Saturday evening was the annual Career Impact Avanti's and Ice Skating. I must say, I used to enjoy skating much more in "my younger years." The thought is fun, and I enjoy it when the skates aren't killing my feet. However, I'm not a big social skater. I don't do well pacing someone else so that we can talk and skate at the same time. So, I only lasted about 20 minutes or so and then someone else who didn't want to skate sat out with me and we talked. Nothing like paying six bucks to talk to a friend in the lobby of the skating rink! :) Really, I promise, I enjoyed it while I was skating, but I was also happy to not be skating anymore.

Tonight I'm "getting coffee" with a friend. I'm excited to hang out with her and get to know her better. She and her husband are fairly new to the church. In case I have to explain, the reason "getting coffee" is in quotes is because I don't like coffee. So, we're going to a coffee shop where she will probably drink coffee and I will probably drink hot chocolate. I'm hoping that peppermint hot chocolate is out for the holidays.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sister, Sister

If you're like me, you are singing that line from the TV show, "Sister, Sister." If you're not like me, than you might have just read it and assumed the post was about me and my sister. But you would only be half right. The post is about me, my sister, her best friend, and my friend. Daynah's best friend, Lydia, has a sister who I go to church with and am friends with. Hayley and I decided it would be fun to take Daynah and Lydia to Fired Up. So, that is what we did. The younger girls both painted something for their moms (shhhh...don't tell) and the older girls (or should we say more mature girls) painted something for themselves. I finished out a set of coasters that I had started. Here is me and Daynah after we finished painting our pottery. This was Daynah's first time at Fired Up. I think she had fun, but sometimes it is hard to tell. She finished painting way before us (by like an hour) but I think she was content to just sit and listen to conversation.
Daynah and Lydia working hard on their pottery. Notice how intent they are on their pottery. This was the "working" pose.
This was the "I guess I'll smile if I have to" pose. Humor the girl with the camera!
Hayley got creative with her pottery and decided to splatter the outside.

It was a fun day and I can't wait to see how everything turns out.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Beat By a 5 year old

in bowling. with bumpers. and this is why I don't bowl in real life with adults.