Saturday, December 31, 2011

21 - 12

Diana's birthday is on December 27. She hates having her birthday so close to Christmas. The hard part is we actually chose that date. Beth and Sharaya were both c sections so any other births had to be c sections as well.

The doctor gave us the choice of anywhere between December 18 and January 3. Chuck's mom birthday is on the 27th and she was turning 60 that year. We thought it would be a great tribute to her to have her youngest grandchild born on her birthday.

I will say it hasn't been easy. The living room is still often filled with Christmas wrapping and gifts when we pull out the birthday paper and balloons. She often feels we buy her Christmas presents, then set one aside for her birthday. I can honestly say we've never done that, but I can see where she might feel that would happen.

This year she turned 21. We went to lunch at the Rainforest Cafe and she looked at me, "Well mom you no longer have any children. We're all adults now." Gulp!

Her and I spent her birthday day shopping. She bought some new clothes and we went to lunch. That night the family went to Red Robin for dinner. She told us she didn't want us to tell them it was her birthday so we didn't. I kinda regret that.

The following night Sharaya and Ryan took her to Cinnabar, a movie theater that serves dinner and drinks. Her birthday lasted about 4 days!

Oh my gosh I had forgotten that her and I also went to see Rodgers and Hammersteins Cinderella! It was playing at the 5th Ave Theater in downtown Seattle. I grew up with that movie and our girls know the music too. I'll admit, it was hard not to sing along!


Our view of the stage


The big finale



At the Rainforest Cafe

Having fun at Red Robin


Happy Birthday Diana!

And now we are just a few short hours away from 2012. I don't know about you but time is just going way too fast for me! We hope and pray that your 2012 is filled with glorious moments of laughter, family and friends.

Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tigger and Eeyore

Diana and I went shopping with Beth and Allison yesterday. It was like shopping with Eeyore and Tigger. Together. At the same time. One was steady, methodical and slow and the other was literally jumping and bouncing all over the place!! Can you guess which was which?!


Between Diana's 21st birthday, Christmas, and not being able to use our kitchen sink for a few days, this has been such a busy week.

Christmas was great as usual. We shopped at decorated malls and took family photos. The day itself brought lots of laughter, gifts and too much food!

Bellevue Square. This tree was three stories tall! 

The Disney Store had a mini castle with a magic mirror inside!


On Christmas Eve Ryan and Sharaya came to our house so Allie could open one present.

New Christmas jammies!


Sugar got a new toy for Christmas






The aftermath. When it was all over, we watched A Christmas Carol.


The reason for the season: Baby Jesus

When we first put up our tree, I set this empty basket under it. Then miraculously on Christmas morning, Baby Jesus is born! We started this tradition when our girls were little and I absolutely love the fact that it's lasted long enough for the next generation! This made me happier than almost anything else that day.

Do you have traditions that have lasted at your house?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tis The Season

Allie is down for a nap so I thought I'd give you a little update. I expect at this time of year, any of our blogs read about the same -


Christmas parties.....
(This was our office staff party)

Christmas lights.....
(Not our house)

I didn't wait for Chuck to stop.....

A concert or show somewhere.....
(This was at our church)
(Both Adult and Youth Choirs)

Beth is between the orchestra director and worship leader

I hope you're all doing well! Only 4 more days till we celebrate the birth of our Lord!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Growing Up With Beth - A Siblings Perspective

I was going to write a post this morning but then I read my daughter Sharaya's. The name of her blog is The Broken Anthem and there is a link near the top of my blog. It's a great post. She shares a unique perspective that I don't have. Please take a minute to read.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Choir Entered the Sanctuary.... and I Panicked

I layed in bed at 4:00 this morning, writing a blog post. It was amazing! But now, actually sitting in front of the computer, I can't think of a thing to say! :)

This is our tree. Diana's dog Sugar has been sleeping on the tree skirt this year. Not sure why. Ours isn't a professional looking tree, as you can see. Every single ornament has a memory attached. I love opening up each box and remembering a family member, or pet, or arts and crafts created many years ago. The angel on top was made by a close friend of mine. I think we've had it for more than 15 years. I love the way our tree looks each year. Filled with all those memories, it almost becomes like one of the family.


The youth choir sang on Sunday. Sharaya and Allison came to our church to watch Beth sing. The two of them, plus Chuck and I are sitting in our seats as the choir begins to enter down the center isle. They are hustling. I mean, they are walking so fast, they're almost running. I began to panic. I leaned over to Chuck, "Beth can't move that fast!" I could feel the tears welling up as I realized she will probably be left behind. Then Sharaya leans over to me, "Is Beth gonna be able to move that fast?"

Then we see the ensemble come in on the platform from the back. They're walking a little slower than the choir and in the back is Beth. She was movin' I'll tell ya! For her it was pretty fast, but she was keeping up. The girl in front of her made sure she got up the stairs okay, then showed her where to stand.

That's when I lost it. I really felt Beth had found her place. She was keeping up. She finally belonged. And she loved it! And I loved it. And I cried. I was so proud of her. And proud of Melody, the girl who was now her friend.

You know that feeling when your child accomplishes something, no matter how small; that feeling that wells up inside your gut and you can feel it coming to a climax in your heart? Yea, that feeling never changes. It doesn't matter if your child is 7 or 27, you will always be overwhelmed at their achievements.

Beth is on the far right, bottom row.
Youth choir on the right.
Kids choir on the left.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Seems Like Forever

It seems like forever since I've written here. With Christmas getting closer, we're getting busier. Can anyone else relate?!

We got our tree decorated. It takes less time each year. You'll find this too as your kids get older. Chuck and I lay out the ornaments and the kids hang them on the tree. They are spaced evenly, heavier ornaments hung on heavier branches and they're not all hanging on the bottom branches. :) Okay, done. Then we look at each other, "Now what?" So we played UNO for a while.

(It was at this point I was planning to upload pictures of our tree, I had a whole paragraph I was going to write but my camera just died. I think I need to recharge the battery. It was at half power last night while we were driving around looking at Christmas lights. I'll have to wait to post those pictures too.)

So... what else has been happening. Oh! Allison was in a little play at their church. The older elementary kids sang while the preschoolers were the animals. They were all so cute!!

Allie's on the left -

Allie is on the right, looking down at Justus, the donkey


There's more to tell you but the pictures are being held hostage by my camera. I'll charge the battery and write more later.

Have an awesome day!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

She Couldn't Contain Her Excitement!

I went to the top of the stairs and yelled, "Beth?!"

She hollered back, "What?"

"We're getting ready to decorate the tree!"

It usually takes her a while to switch activities, turn off the TV and make her way upstairs.

Not tonight.

She was up right away! I was opening the bin with all the ornaments.

I layed out all the little ornament hooks to make it easier to grab one.

Then I looked over at the couch.

I guess I took too long with the hooks.

Friday, December 2, 2011

To Garland or Not To Garland

The Christmas Around the World Potluck is over. We had less people that I hoped, but around the amount I expected. I know the reason for that though and hope to change it next year.

This was my 4th year organizing this event and it really is getting easier. I loved finding the table centerpieces, enjoyed making the trees (even though I was in tears trying to make the perfect bow) and really liked trying all the different foods!

I had Mung Bean Soup for the first time. It's from Vietnam. I may not have the name exactly right because I left my notes at work. :) It's sort of a tapioca look with a creamy cococut topping. It was really good.

Beth went back for seconds for the sea food pancakes from Korea. They looked like a quesadilla.

She was such a great help tonight! She lit the candles, put the dirty napkins in the laundry bag and steered the long cart full of supplies back to my office. At one point she tells me, "I feel like I'm driving a car!" (She's only driven once, a few yards, in a school parkinglot.)

We had fun tonight, but I'm glad it's over. And my trees? Some of you have asked about my tomato cage trees. I forgot one, small detail. The garland. The entire time I was making them I was thinking, "I bet they would look better with garland." Yet I never went back to look at the original Pinterest photo. Until tonight. Yep, they have garland. Oh well. My trees looked okay! Now I can't wait to go get the garland! Just $5 at Michaels! I bet they'll look amazing! :)

Table decorations

One of the trees. I filled the planter with brown paper bags, then covered them with a layer of moss.


My helper!