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Since I never seem to get around to sending out Christmas cards or letters, I decided to blog a bit to keep my fans updated. :-)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Humor for today

I found this in my email inbox this morning, and just had to share. :-)

1. The roundest knight at king Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
3. She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still.
4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.
5. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.
6. Now matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.
7. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
8. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
9. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
11. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.
12. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
13. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, 'You stay here, I'll go on a head.'
14. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
15. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep off the Grass.'
16. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, 'No change yet.'
17. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
18. It's not that the man did not know how to juggle, he just didn't have the balls to do it.
19. The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
20. The man who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
21. A backward poet writes inverse.
22. In democracy it's your vote that counts. In feudalism it's your count that votes.
23. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Home again!

I've just returned from a lovely visit with most of my family (we were missing the Texas branch). As mentioned in my previous post, I played games with the nieces and nephews, and even one brother and one sister-in-law.

The favorite games this year were Pictureka and Lego Creator (which I think is now out of print, but Amazon has some used ones). My brother got a Monty Python version of Fluxx for Christmas, which we tried out at a Saturday game night. It was VERY entertaining! Fluxx is a card game where the rules and the requirements for winning are constantly changing (i.e. in flux). One of the rules was that you could play an extra card if you spoke with an outrageous accent during your turn. My brother and his wife embraced this rule with gusto, as did their 12-year old. I love it that we can all cut loose and be silly together.

Tonight I introduced some neighbors to Pictureka, and it was well-received. If you live in my area and want to try it out with your family, invite me for a game night! :-) The age range is 6 and up, and it can easily be played as teams or individuals. We had 7 people playing as individuals tonight and it did not seem to take too long to complete. It gets faster as the players become more familiar with the tiles that form the game board, yet remains challenging.

My 7-year old nephew will now be referred to as "Gameboy" in future posts! (I haven't settled on a name for his older brother quite yet.) Gameboy and I tackled several games while I was home, starting with Pictureka and Lego Creator. The others were Racko , Battleship, Stone Soup , Blockus, SkipBo, and a Mario game on his new Nintendo DS. (He and I played the same game on the DS and traded the unit back and forth each time one of us lost a life.)

Good times!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Eve Eve

Ok, so it isn't Christmas Eve quite yet, but my family gathered tonight for our Christmas Eve dinner since my nephews will spend tomorrow with their mom. In past years, the meal has been an extravagant affair that nearly matched Thanksgiving, but this year we kept it quite simple. My brother, GrillMeister, made chicken divan and rice, his wife made spinach salad, my brother Yevi brought ice cream, and his wife made pineapple pudding (which I LOVE!). I made rolls and brownies, and mom prepared a veggie tray and crackers and dip as appetizers. I also put together a large plate of homemade candy, which seemed to go over quite well. Oh, and Yevi's MIL brought meatballs. Yum!

My favorite part of the evening was playing games with the nieces and nephews and my brother Yevi (The only other adult who would play tonight). The hit game of the night was Pictureka which a friend gave me for my birthday. The kids couldn't seem to get enough of it, especially my 7-year old nephew. He is an amazing game-player and learns new games quickly. After a rough losing spell last March, he announced to his mother, "Aunt Holly does not 'let' me win".

You bet I don't. He is smart enough to win fair-and-square!

I'm hoping for a game night at Yevi's house later this week. They are a fun crowd to play with too. I've been experiencing board-game withdrawal in recent weeks due to a very busy schedule, so it is nice to kick back and play games. Ahhh.... I love holidays!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A new Christmas Tradition

This year, I had a bad case of the "bah humbugs". I wasn't excited about wrapping presents, or making cookies, or anything Christmas-y. And then I attended the Carol Service at the Cathedral of the Madeleine. Wow! The music and text were beautiful and I walked out of there with my heart full of love for Christmas and the remembrance of the birth of our Savior. Interestingly, I was also excited to wrap presents, make Christmas goodies, and spread Christmas cheer. Don't be looking for a Christmas card from me anytime soon, because that is always the last entry on my to-do list and I never seem to get that far!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas memory

When I was in High School, my dad always put up Christmas lights that I could see at night through my bedroom window. Last night, as I prepared to sleep at Mr and Mrs Mordecai's house, I noticed Christmas lights shining through the window above my bed. What a lovely remembrance of years gone by!

For a moment, it made me think, "Maybe I SHOULD put up lights on my house", but that was quickly followed by, "I'd have to put them on the back of the house in order to see them from my room."

Maybe I should just put them around my bedroom window and call it good. :-)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Greetings from the North (but not the North Pole)

Greetings from the home of Mr and Mrs Mordecai! She is kindly hosting her family and me while we are in town for her brother's wedding tomorrow. Her son, Red Chief, is in fine form at the moment and is keeping us all entertained.

My kitchen has been a busy place since last Saturday. In that time I have:
--Baked and decorated two layer cakes
--Made three batches of marshmallows and dipped them in chocolate
--Dipped a batch of caramels in chocolate (I traded a co-worker a batch of marshmallows for a batch of her caramels!)
--Made a double batch of fondant, destined to become cherry mashes in the near future
--Baked three loaves of lemon bread for the wedding reception of "bird-in-furnace-remover" (also known as Mrs Mordecai's brother, or DB)

As a result, my kitchen currently is a messy disaster and I just LEFT it that way this morning! Why do today what I can procrastinate until tomorrow? Ha! Actually, the real problem was that I didn't hear my alarm for the first 20 minutes it was going off this morning, so I ran out of time before I got to the cleanup part -- but I did do the MOST important thing --I got the caramels dipped. I was supposed to be at Mrs Mordecai's parent's house at 8 for breakfast before we departed. Umm... I started packing at 7:40, jumped in the shower at 7:45, and was several minutes late. Luckily we weren't on a strict schedule or trying to catch a flight!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

THE holly-day!

It was my birthday last week while I was away, and I spent it at Disneyland with my neighbors! (But not Silly Girl. She was with us earlier in the week). It was so much fun to play with MA and her family.

If you go to Disneyland on your birthday, stop by City Hall and tell them it is your birthday. You get a big button to pin to your shirt and all day long nearly every Disney worker wishes you "Happy Birthday" -- even street sweepers!

While the 12-year old and I were in the line for Space Mountain, we chatted briefly with a man and woman behind us -- it was the woman's birthday too. The man inquired whether we had been asked any Disney trivia that day, but we had not. He reminded me that it was also Walt Disney's birthday and that he would have been 107 that day.

So...a little while later while we were in the line for It's a Small World, one of the line monitors noticed my button and wished me a "happy birthday", and then said "Did you know that today is Walt Disney's birthday too?" "Yes I did!" was my quick reply. He then asked "Do you know how old he would be today?" "107" says I. Guess what I won? A tinker bell pin. I know you are all jealous!

Silly Girl

It's been quite awhile since I last posted an entry! I've been away playing in California where I visited my dear friend MEJ and her family, which gained a new member while I was there! My favorite 4-year old (Silly Girl) now has a baby sister (no nickname yet). I spent quite a bit of time with Silly Girl while I was there, and thought you might enjoy these soundbites:

Silly Girl's most common statement...
"Oh Holly....you're funny"
Me: I get that a lot

At church on Sunday...
Me: Listen to the organ -- they're playing Christmas music!
SG: Where's "Jingle Bells"? It's my favorite!

SG's 2nd most common statement...
SG: I'm hungry
Me: What do you want?
SG: I dunno
Me: When you figure that out, let me know.

7:45 on Monday morning. I was up, showered, and ready to load the car. SG was still asleep. I walked into her room and quietly asked:
"Who wants to go to Disneyland?"
SG: I DO! -- I was just taking a little rest.

As we left exited the freeway for Harbor Blvd near Disney, I decided to beat SG to the punch...
Me: Are we there yet?
SG: Do you see the Mickey & Friends parking garage?
Me: No
SG: Then we are NOT there yet.

We rode the Matterhorn after the sun went down...
Me Wow! that's scarier in the dark!

Here are some pics from Disneyland. We met up with my neighbors there, and Silly Girl was instantly enamored of their 12-year old.

Waiting in the Haunted Mansion line:

Post Splash Mountain (note the water line on SG's skirt)

All three girls posing with the Mouse:

New sister