Monday, December 27, 2010

Heya from the arctic circle...or maybe that's just me. It certainly feels like it. We're under, eee, I don't know, ten inches of snow? Maybe a foot. Two years in a row we've had major snowfall, and, according to my grandmother, only the second time in thirty-nine years there's been snow on Christmas day. Guess it's one for the books.
Last Thursday was a blog-worthy event, I think. It was the Christmas gathering at Grandma's house/here at home (one and the same, remember?) with Mom's side of the family. I could probably come up with something snarky and clever there, probably a play on the lyrics to that old song about "Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother's house we go..." but I'm not really in the mood.
Anyway, Thursday, food was prepared (including my macaroni bites, but more on that later), then around six, my aunt and uncle, and my cousins Nikki and Dawn, showed up for presents and dinner. Pretty standard family Christmas goings-on.
But there was a twist. See, my grandmother has an . . . odd sense of humor. She got each of the six of us grandkids a pacifier. Like, rubber-and-plastic, babies-suck-on-them, pacifier. Weird thing the first.
We were each also given fire-engine red tube socks with jingle-bells and ribbons pinned to the toes. Weird thing the second.
We were then, thanks to a note in each of our gifts, lead on a chase after a final gift to share. Brown glass bottles of root beer, hidden in the trunk of her sedan. Weird thing the third, and, I suppose, the final.
So, somewhere, there's a picture in a camera of me, my three little siblings, and two little cousins sitting on the ground with our knees up to our chins, the better to show off our socks, with pacifiers in our mouths, and holding suspicious-looking brown glass bottles. I love my family.
I asked my aunt, who took the picture, to post it on Facebook so that I could get it, and my (eleven-year-old) cousin Nikki automatically said, "NO! I have friends on Facebook."
My (also eleven-year-old) brother, wasn't even still in the room. We were all eating his dust, and the socks and the pacifier lying on the ground.
So to my cousin, I said, "You'd be so much cooler if you just rocked the uncool-ness."
To which her mother replied, "Listen to your cousin!!"
And it occurred to me. I didn't used to be like that. I was the one shaking in my boots because I was petrified of doing anything embarrassing. I asked my mom when that had happened. When I had become okay with being myself. She didn't remember either. But, I guess it happened. :) Good to know.
Friday was, obviously, Christmas eve. My stomach tied itself up in knots, and refused to come untied. Solely because Friday night was the Christmas eve service, which meant our Christmas dance. Oh, was I nervous. Less about the three-minute dance itself, and more because of everything I had to remember and accomplish and such beforehand.
It went off without a hitch, though. Well, that's not entirely true. We couldn't find the belts, so the other girls wound up in pieces of curtain leftover from the live nativity, we didn't realize until the last minute that they would need slips, so we had to call someone and have them bring them, and we never did get the stage rearranged like we needed to, so nobody could see me from the neck down, but as far as stuff that really matters, it was perfect.
Saturday was, even more obviously, Christmas day. Typical Christmas morning, plus Grandma, Grandpa, and my Grandpa's sister, who was staying with us. So, we felt kind of . . . on display, but it was really okay. Aaaand my mommy got me my favoritest movie everrrrs. Whispers of the Heart, I've talked about it before. So, now Netflix can have their copy back.
And she got me knitting needles. For years, she and Daddy have been bugging me to learn how, and I've always told them that if somebody bought me some needles and a book, I'd learn. So she finally broke down and bought me a pair of knitting needles. Learning has been a bit harder than anticipated, but I'll get it, eventually.
Saturday night, we went to Nana's house for Christmas there. That part's always among my favorites. Somehow, it just doesn't feel like Christmas until we've celebrated it with my Dad's side of the family. Things always seem to, I don't know, matter more there. Like, before we opened presents, we all shared one thing that had been a blessing to us this Christmas. And it was all really serious, Like the families you read about in books and email forwards. But maybe that sounds a little dramatic. I'm not sure what I'm trying to describe here, but all I know is, I love my family.
Christmas time with Dad's family always makes it that much easier to remember that there's a part missing. Holidays are always the time we miss his sister (my Aunt Becky) and her family the most. They were just home last summer, but it still feels like it's been an eternity. Papaw got her and my cousin Cara on Skype later in the evening, but that's just not the same. It's like, "I know in my head that I'm talking to you, but it still feels suspiciously like talking to a computer screen." Which, besides making me feel slightly schizophrenic, makes it awkward.
Since Christmas, life has been kick back, chill out, watch movies, work on my knitting, and so on. I adore Christmas vacation.
This afternoon, we're set to go see Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Being a HuGe fan of the book, I'm a little wary. I'll let you know.
Ttfn!! :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Weeee wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas. We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!!!!!

Well, kiddies, it's almost there. Less than a week until that favorite day of the year for young and old.
For once, I'm done with my shopping already. Well, kind of done. I was done, and then I decided to grow my list. I've been blessed this season, and I want to let that blessing keep right on going.
That slightly crazy hustle-and-bustle is going on all around me. It turns out Mom and Riley are allergic to the Christmas tree, so we're ditching it and putting up Grandma and Papa's artificial one today. Gotta hit the library to finish picking up my sources for my research paper on the effects of censorship on society, or something like that. Headed out to Dance Outfitters some time this week to pick up a couple skirts for the Christmas dance. Gotta hit Sam's Club for food for the family Christmas party, need to pop in at the Christian Bookstore to finish up some last minute shopping. I'll probably help Mom do all her Christmas baking today, or at least this week. Some time before Friday I need to make about three billion recipes of gingerbread biscotti, as that's what I'm giving all the adults in my life for Christmas.
I need to spend some serious time on inkpop this next couple weeks, finishing up some long overdue swaps and getting ready to promote my NaNoWriMo project. Need to finish editing said NaNoWriMo project, as I already have several people waiting on it. Oh, and on the subject of inkpop, I had something pretty cool happen to me, but I'll get back to that.
Also thinking of transferring all of my original poetry/song lyrics to a notebook, so that they'll all be together. Weighing the convenience of having them all in one place against the pain in the butt of transcribing them. It would take hours.
Christmas with Mom's side of the family here at home on Thursday. Christmas Eve (complete with Christmas dance, and the live nativity) Friday. And then it's . . . CHRISTMAS!!!!!! *Takes a deep breath,* Yikes. That's a lot.
In other news, the kittens have got to go. Mom and Dad (and the grandparents) are getting far too frustrated with their . . . everything. So us kids have to choose one of our precious babies, and find good homes for the other two. Joy wants one, still looking for a spot for the third...
Yesterday was the children's Christmas program at church. Every single one of them did an absolutely brilliant job. From the regular, Kindergarten-fourth grade kids who did the singing and the talking, to Anne and her friend, who danced to one of the songs, to the little preschoolers who did the nativity scene.
It was kind of interesting, playing a part in the behind-the-scenes part of the play. Seems like all my life, I've been on that stage. But now that I'm older, and with Mom as the director, I got a chance to glimpse the other half.
I sank more than twenty-four hours into making two sets of angel wings out of jewelry wire, gold pipe cleaners, tulle, and white feathers. And they wound up looking awesome, if I do say so myself.
Joy and me choreographed and taught the dance to Anne and her friend. And I really was so proud of the both of them. They did a phenomenal time.
My poor mother invested so much of herself into the whole shabang that she's utterly exhausted today. Between the shouting, the allergies, the weather, and the cold, she has next to no voice left. Poor her.
And now, with all of this left to do, I should probably quit procrastinating and get a mooooove on. Talk to you soon. Hope you and yours have a fantastic, blessed, beautiful, happy Christmas. Don't forget the reason for the season, and the manger that rested in the shadow of a cross, and the God who made himself flesh, came to us as an infant, and lived a sinless life to die an outcast's death, to take on the sin of the world. Jesus Christ is the reason for this season, and for every season, and for every breath.
So, as always, my question to you is, do ya know him?

Friday, December 10, 2010


Firrrrst off, I won. NaNoWriMo, that is. 50k in a month. Go me.
Oh, yeah, and I won that too. Inkpop writing contest. True, it was a random drawing, but still, I won. I never win stuff like that. But hey, four free books. Coolio.
Can you tell anything about my mood? I've usually used about ten exclamation marks and at least three smilies.
"You mean, all of you? Or just your neck?" Yay for Avatar.
Oh, my gosh. Did you see The Last Airbender movie? Lame anyway, but if you were a fan of the series, um, two words. Epic. Fail. Uvetar Uung. Bleh.
And speaking of movies, so I finally broke down and saw Where the Wild Things Are. That movie. Creeped. Me out. Officially. *shiver*
And there's that other movie. My favoritestest ever movieee. Being, Whispers of the Heart, Japanese anime, very cooool. Get a feel for it here or here. It's cool, you should see it. We watched it at Tabby's birthday party. Seems like all my friends have their birthdays at this time of the year. Tabby's so unique. She's an artist, but she doesn't know it. And everything we did at her party reflected that. We made dresses out of duct tape and newspaper, decorated gingerbread houses and cupcakes, and painted tote bags with puffy paint. Then a handful of us stayed overnight. So, typical craziness with my gurrls. Playing Just Dance (OMG, is that game fun.), watched Whispers of the Heart, and stayed up talking (about trucks, tattoos, and, of course, guys) looooonnnng past when we should've gone to bed.
The next morning (being a Sunday) was Utter Insanity. A truly beautiful exhibition of Murphy's Law. The van wouldn't start for Mom and Dad, so everything I had left in the back of it, so that it would come to church with them, got left at home. We were late, so, yeah. Umm, the girl I was supposed to work on a dance with during service didn't show. And, my microphone died in the middle of worship. I was about ready to curl up in the fetal position and die. But, of course, that wouldn't've been okay.
'Cause after service was all-day dance practice!!! Hahahahahahahaha. Ha.
Things are considerably easier now. God's in His heaven, and that is for sure. Mom and I had a long sit-down talk with a lady from church who's counsel we both value. We were hoping merely for advice, and our Lord saw fit to call her to take over the management of the dance ministry. So now me and Joy's only jobs are song-picking (and getting it approved by this lady), choreographing the song (and getting the motions approved by the same), and teaching it to the girls.
So, though we were all sore after seven hours straight dancing, but other than that, it was a brilliant practice, and all is going well, and pointing towards our next dance, the Christmas eve presentation of our rendition of Mary Did You Know, going just fine. Yayy!! :)
But for now, I had best be going. The hour grows late, and there really are other things I need to be accomplishing.
Ttfn! :)