Sunday, December 23, 2007

a special Christmas gift from Mom

I am lucky to be apart of a family with lots of traditions. One particular tradition that I absolutely love is one that is a result of my Mom's love for me and my sister-in-laws. Each Thanksgiving, my sweet mother presents to me and my sister-in-law's a special Christmas gift. These gifts are something a long the line's of a Christmas decoration. She has been doing it for years and might I add....I LOVE IT!!! Each gift is from one of her many talents. She is probably the most talented person that I know. The gifts range from flower baskets, hand-sewn table runners, things that are tole painted...the list goes on and on. I have watched her create these amazing gifts. They are created with all her love. Oh, it is amazing.

Well, this year, she had been working on our gift for quite sometime. But, she did not complete it in time for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving came and went. Nothing was said of the special Christmas gift that we did not receive.

Side note: I knew that we would receive them--I was not about to let her put this project away.

A couple of weeks ago, my niece asked if her mom was going to get her special "Christmas Gift" this year. She said that her mom commented how sad she was that there was no special present for her on Thanksgiving. Then, my brother told Mom that his wife was feeling really sad that she did not receive her special gift,either. See, Mom, we do love your special Christmas gifts. In fact, if you happen to walk through my house--most of my decorations are those "Special Christmas Gifts"!

Finally, we now have received our gift. It is a hand-pieced pillow. Each square on this pillow is hand-sewn. These pillows took her hours and hours of stitching. Her stitches are amazing. It looks like each stitch is exactly the same. I know that they are a product of her love. See, my Mom suffers from severe arthritis in her hands. (I have arthritis in one finger and that about kills me on cold days--I can not imagine both hands and fingers!!).

Thanks Mom for ALL of the special Christmas Gifts. We all love them and wait eagerly for the next Thanksgiving!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Christmas Card Competition!!!

Well, I have a huge secret and I would like to share it with whomever is reading this post. Each year, I secretly have a contest with my roommate. It really doesn't matter which roommate. The contest is with whomever I am living with at the time. This contest works because I am single and my mail comes to me in my name only. I have had this secret every year since my BYU days. I told one of my roommates about it one time and it backfired. So, since then, I have kept my secret to myself. It, definitely, works much better for me to SECRETLY WIN!!

The secret is a contest with whomever I am living is all about Christmas Cards that we receive.

Side note: I love mail (snail mail)--oh, I do love email, too--I love letters, I love cards, and most of all I love receiving Christmas Cards.

So, I have a secret competition with whomever I live with to see who receives the MOST Christmas cards. I place each Christmas card on our refrigerator. One side is hers and the other side is MINE!!! This year was great!!! There is only 1 mail day left and I am winning the Christmas Card Competition. I am secretly screaming with delight inside.

Ok!! I know you are thinking that I am a tad bit bizarre--but sometimes, it feels good to win!!! Yes, I know that my current roommie does not have a clue--(she is not computer savvy--so needs for to be reading my blog), but I think that I can declare an official win!!! I am sad that she did not receive a lot, but I am ecstatic that I heard from a lot of friends. I do treasure my cards. I love to hear how everyone is doing. I love to see all the pictures-families are getting bigger and older!!! I love to read your letters!!! Isn't life just FABULOUS!! Thanks to all that sent me Christmas Cards this year (& secretly helped me become victorious!!! HA HA).
I received two more today--that had not made it on the refrigerator before I took this picture!! (They are on my desk at work!)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

1st Annual Progressive Dinner & the beginning of a fun tradition

Tonight was our Annual Progressive Dinner. Actually, it was our 1st Annual Progressive Dinner. I decided that it would be fun to have "the girls" hang out together. I had a list a mile long to invite, but with it being so close to the holidays, I decide to rethink my list. I think 100 girls in a room would be quite festive--don't you think? So, we only ended up with 9 this year: Mom, Jessica, Melanie, Vieve, Janille, Maleen, Julie, Kaylie and me!!! We had a delightful time!!!

Well, it started out at my house (Michelle's Party Palace), then we braved the horrific snowstorm toVieve's home for appetizers. She made the most delicious mini quiches. Such a yummy appetizer--she needs to share the recipe. Then, we braved the snowstorm and went to Mom's Christmas Palace--aka. The Gren Home and ate delicious salad, french bread and lasagne. Thanks Mom, Jessica and Julie for the delectable dinner. We shared our most embarrassing moments and laughed and laughed. I think that Maleen topped us all on that one and then a close second was Jessica. Okay, maybe Julie would be in the top running on that one too. Ask them, they just might share...

Dinner was over and so was the snowstorm. So, back to Michelle's Party Palace for Peppermint ice cream and mint cookies. We shared our favorite Christmas traditions and then we played the "gift game". Of course, it was lots and lots of fun!!! We all ended up with fabulous presents!!!

Then, it was off to take pictures....One...Two...Three...SMILE!!! Okay, it was kind of difficult trying to figure out how many seconds I had to run to get into position from the start of the timer!! I swear that it was different each time....

We could not stop giggling!!! Thanks for a wonderful night. I do believe that the 1st Annual Progressive Dinner was a HUGE success!!! I know that it will return again next year....I hope you can make it!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

a warm feeling...

Each year, for the past 5 years, we have had the privilege and the pleasant opportunity of helping a family in need. So, tonight, Mom, Shad, Jessica, Brylie and I went shopping for our Sub4Santa family. There is definitely something to it--the warmness that comes through your whole body--the spirit of giving. That special smile that seems to warm the cold weather outside. Oh, I just love this type of feeling!!

As we shopped and shopped, laughed and laughed and had a great time--we could not help thinking of this particular family's expression on Christmas morning. One thing is great--is thinking of the family that thought that there was no hope--only to find out--that there is still hope. This has been one of the most peaceful traditions that we have been able to create. Oh, I love this time of year. The time when people share with others.

Sometimes we run into people that are being scrooge's, but maybe they are struggling or going through difficult times--hopefully, they can figure out what brings happiness to them. Sometimes, it is just a smile or a cheerful hello. I just love Christmas--Christmas time is a time of giving. I do wish that people would have this kind of spirit all year long.

I found it!!! The most desired Christmas Present EVER!!

I found it!!! I found the Christmas present that I absolutely want!!! So, if there is anyone out there possible that would LOVE to get me the present that I want so badly....I have found it. YES, I have found it!!! Let me share with you how I came upon this wonderful thing!!! I have been searching for the Christmas present that I really want. Since, I am not dating anyone seriously--at this time of year and there is no excitement for an awaited diamond, I have found the next best thing.

Mom and I went shopping, today. She was trying to help me be less stressed out about purchasing Christmas presents--until today, I have only purchased 2 out of the 40 presents that I am still trying to decide to buy. There are only a few days left and I am starting to really feel it. So, we shopped and shopped. I did purchase a gift (yes, 1), so my count is a little over 39. I feeling a little bit better--3 down, 39 to go!!! I was feeling a lot better at this point.

Anyway, getting back to the Christmas present that I found and want....Mom and I stopped at this place--I can not reveal the place--someone might be getting a present from that place. I looked to the left and gasped!!!! I screamed (yes, quite loudly), jumped out my car and ran over to the most desired Christmas present ever. This is what I saw...

Is this amazing or what? Does that not say "MICHELLE"? A yellow bug with flowers all over it. Look at the hubcaps? Aren't they the coolest ever? Oh, I just sat there and drooled!!! Mom told that I should probably stop hovering over it, someone might call the police. But, I just sat there and drooled!!! This is definitely what I want!!! So, if there is a Santa Claus--"Mr. Santa, if there is not a husband in the works....this is definitely what I want!!!"

Monday, December 17, 2007

Candy Day at Mom's

Today was declared as "CANDY DAY" at Mom's. Every year, my mom, dad and I get together and make candy. I have been responsible for making the divinity each year. I can not even remember the year that I started making the divinity--but since then, I have been in charge of it. Dad has been in charge of making the fudge each year and Mom is usually washing all the dishes that we dirty. (There is usually A LOT!!!)--Sorry MOM!!!

Well, this year, it was just Mom and me!! Dad had to work, so I took over the fudge making. I think it turned out nicely for never making it before. Actually, it was scrumptious!!! The divinity was superb!!! The Oreo cookies (a new added treat for this year) were simply delicious!!! So, after 2 batches of divinity, 2 batches of fudge and 2 batches of Oreo cookies, we decided to call it a day!!!! OK, we weren't finished until we packaged up all the neighbor gifts. Who knows what might happen when Dad and Shad show up to eat the treats!!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

3 lively girls & hairspray

It arrived...the big slumber party at my house. The slumber party has been in the works for quite sometime. On Monday, my niece called and said that this Friday was the day for the BIG SLUMBER PARTY at my house. The slumber party always consists of me and my niece-K-Bugs. But, this time another person was added--my 7 month old niece, Miss B. So, all the arrangements were made and planned out and now the big day has arrived!!!

K-Bugs had most of the night planned. First, we had dinner at the Panda Express--our most favorite place to eat when we are spending time together. Orange Chicken and Fried Rice for her and Orange Chicken, Kung-Pu Chicken and Chow Mien for me. I don't think that we ever waiver on what to order--it is always the same. Next, we dropped by the mall, then the grocery store and then, it was home to cuddle up and watch "Hairspray." I Had never watched this movie, but K-Bugs said that it is one of her favorites. OK, I must admit, I really liked this movie too. Miss B only made it through the opening credits before it was off to slumber land for her.

Anyway, while eating Orange Sherbet ice cream and watching the movie, K-Bugs and I had a great time laughing. There were so many funny parts. I can not believe that John Travolta pulled it off being a woman. It was great!!!

Then, it was off to slumber. But, "slumbering" was not what I would have called the night. Making sure that everyone was tucked in and warm through out the night was an adventure, especially when you are dealing with a 7-month old and an 11-year old. But, it was a lot of fun. I do look forward to the next time that we have a slumber party!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Traditions

Can you believe that it is only 15 more days until CHRISTMAS!!! I was talking on the phone today to a friend and was exclaiming how excited I am for Christmas!!! I just have the holidays. One thing that I love about the holidays is decorating, shopping, cooking, spending time with my family & friends, decorating, shopping, cooking, spending time with my family....and it just keeps on going on and on!!!

I visited a friend's blog the other day and she was sharing her favorite Christmas tradition. So, I started thinking of all our family Christmas traditions. Such traditions seem to connect the dots between families. I find myself incorporating those fun traditions in my own life. Isn't it great?!

Anyway, one of my favorite traditions is that every Christmas Eve, Mom, Dad and I put on our new Christmas pajamas. We then make hot chocolate. I snuggle in between Mom and Dad on the couch and we read the new Christmas release book from Deseret Book or Seagull book. (Oh, the book is read by my Dad). Amongst these books are A Christmas Dress for Ellen and Christmas Oranges. I can't wait to find out what book we get to read, this year. So, if you are in the neighborhood around 9:00 pm on Christmas Eve and you have nothing else to do....drop in for hot chocolate and a story. I know that you will enjoy it as much as me!!!

I still love doing this even though I am not a little girl anymore. It is my alone time with Mom and Dad and it is FANTASTIC!!! Thanks Mom and Dad for this fabulous tradition!! I look forward to each year.

I would love to hear what your favorite traditions are. Please share them with me!!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

the little monkey

Tonight, I had the blessed opportunity of spending time with my little niece. She has the cutest smile and sweetest giggle. But, the funniest thing about her is she squishes her face up and makes this little monkey noise. I was singing, "Once there was a snowman" to her and she would squish her little face up and make the monkey sound and then she would giggle. It was hilarious. I am not sure who was having more fun--Miss B or me. We were having tons of fun until we had...two episodes of throwing up and two sets of clothes changing and a bout of screaming (the little monkey was the one screaming!!).
But, then I remembered my mom telling me that she sings to Miss B when she is upset. So, I started singing, "I am a child of God" and the screaming stopped. WOW!!! That was too cool. She just snuggled up and fell asleep (for about 15 minutes) but it was amazing to realize the power of music.
When she woke up, we snuggled together on the couch and watched a Christmas movie. She was not about to go to sleep, but it was fun cuddling with her. Like I have said before, she is the sweetest thing ever!!! I know that I was ready to turn in for the night when Miss B left. WOW!! I have a friend that is expecting her 9th...Gerb, how do you do it?!

Friday, December 7, 2007

it's better to be safe than sorry

It seems like everyday is an excitement for me. I guess, if you look for fun things to happen they happen...okay, when I wake up every morning THE ADVENTURE BEGINS!!! It is usually quite entertaining. One of the girls at work, Julie, told me that when I get married, my husband is going to have a lot of fun. Okay, I am not sure if that was suppose to be a compliment meaning that I am a hoot to be around or is it that there is so much adventure in my life--he is going to be laughing his head off every second of the day. I bet the answer is the latter.

Well, I had only been home 10 minutes--time enough to find that the washer was not being used, sort my laundry on my bathroom floor and then put a load of laundry in the washer when all of a sudden, I hear this horrific alarm. I sprint to the furnace room--my carbon monoxide/explosive gas alarm is blinking "GAS". I hit the reset button. The alarm will not stop!!! The horrific alarm is still going off. I grab it and run to the kitchen (why I did this--I am not all sure). I read that if the alarm is going off call 911!! So, I disconnect the battery--I could not hear at all. I dialed 911.

"911. What type of emergency do you have?"

"UM. I am not sure if it is an emergency. My carbon monoxide/explosive gas alarm is blinking GAS."

"Are you feeling faint?"

"UM. No."

"What is your phone number?"

I give her my name, phone number and my address.

"Are you having chest pains?"

"UM. No." (other than...I am completely scared too death at this point!)

"Is there anyone else in the house?"


"You need to exit the house immediately." I, literally, run outside-into the rain!!!

"Are you feeling faint?"


"Are you having problems breathing?"

"No, I am just scared too death."

"You are okay. Are you breathing okay?" Then, she tells me that when the explosive gas affects you, it hits you pretty fast. So, she kept asking how I was doing and all that kind of stuff.

The fire engine drives up...and the 911 dispatcher waits until the firemen are with me. (What a kind person--ok, ok, I know that is her job--but I thought that she was nice.)

They bring the detectors and they did not find anything wrong. They searched the whole house and there was not any explosive gas. Then for the next 10 minutes, they talked to me and made sure that I understood that it is better to be safe than sorry. They said if the alarm goes off not hesitate to call. They had already responded to several of the same calls today. They said that these detectors have saved 4 families that live in Provo and that I have one of the best detectors. They said that they would have rather came tonight, then to find me dead in the morning. I think that they are correct on that one. I am glad I did not die tonight.

As we were leaving the house, Jen and Sariah showed up. They saw the fire engine and came to make sure all was okay. What great friends and neighbors. Jen noted that one of the fire men was very nice looking. I think that I was too nervous and FREAKED out to really notice.

So, my advice to all of my friends--
it is better to be safe than sorry!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

sink vs. hair

Being single has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the disadvantages is that when something needs a fix-it, you have to fix it. In all actuality, I have incredible parents. They are always there. When I need something fixed--it is Dad that I call. I know that he gets extremely tired of taking care of his daughter, but he does it!

Well, for the past few weeks, I have been fighting with my bathroom sink. It takes FOREVER to drain. I have tried Liquid Plumber, Draino, bleach, and any other Chinese solution that people have told me to try. THE SINK WILL NOT DRAIN!!! Okay, I know that I have a lot of hair. I know that it is everywhere. One thing, I know is that it loves the drains-whether it is the bathtub drain or the sink drain--it LOVES the drain. I am not sure if it goes there for refuge, but it ends up there all the time. When I go to my parents home to stay, Dad always comments on the amount of hair I leave behind. I swear, I check every drain when I am through--just so Dad can not make that comment. BUT, I seem to never find every strand.

So, I knew the problem with my bathroom sink--HAIR!!! Okay, so, tonight--while brushing my teeth, I became irate!! The sink was not draining!!!! I thought to call my Dad, but he was still at work. SO!!! I took matters into my own hands and disassembled the entire drain system from under my sink. I was amazed at my "handyman" skills.

I am not sure if I was going throw-up or pass out. Other than the sight was horrendous (I think that I could have made a wig out of how much hair was stuck in the pipes), but the smell was absolutely GAGGING!!!

But, I sucked up the "sissiness" in me and got to work. It took me about 45 minutes to get all the hair out of the drain. It was disgusting and yucky!!! Oh, how tonight, I wished that I had a husband to take care of this disgusting task!!! BUT, I was able to accomplish this UGLY, DISGUSTING, SMELLING, HORRENDOUS,... (and the list goes on and on)...TASK!!! I would say that I am pretty proud of myself.

Then, when I put everything back together...


Sunday, December 2, 2007

New Moon

I FINISHED IT!!!! Between my HUGE list of things to do... I FINISHED IT!!! Now, I need to get ahold of the next book. I said before...I am addicted. This book is very descriptive--which I love--I am girl that LOVES details. I want to know everything and why and how and what.... So, Gerb, I went back and read your questions. I, too, want to know "if Bella is truly, irrevocably in love with Edward, why is she so disgusted with the idea of being married to him?" I am not married, but I am a tad bit concerned. Because if I was immensely in love with someone, I would want to marry that person. So, Gerb, I do agree with you. "WHAT IS HER PROBLEM??" Bella, go for it!!!

So, I need to get a hold of Eclipse and find out what happens with Bella? Does she become a vampire? Does she marry Edward? What happens with Jacob? What happens with Edward? Do they all become friends in the end? I have mixed feelings of who I like better--Edward or Jacob. Edward is definitely a fine guy, but I see potential with Jacob. OUCH!!! I just don't want anyone to get hurt. I like it when everyone gets along and is friends. Does that happen??? I know, I need to be realistic. Can you be realistic when it comes to reading these books?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Festival of Trees

Each year, my Mom and I visit the Festival of Trees and each year, my niece's dance team performs at the Festival. This year, we awoke to SNOW!!! Yes, we have snow!!! Finally--the snow has arrived. But, I do not like to drive in the snow. You never know what the people around you are going to do and sometimes, you never know what your car might do. On the way to the Festival, there were only a few cars off the side of the freeway--going the wrong way. But, we made it safe and sound.

So, to the festival to watch K-Bug...
She is an amazing dancer and very talented!

Then, off to the trees....

This one was decorate by a family that we know. It is dedicated to their little 4 year old boy that passed away. He loved ducks and this was a fabulous tree full of ducks! What a wonderful tribute to him.

I found this tree. It was dedicated to all of the police officers in Utah. Since, I have a friend that is a police officer....this one is for you!!

These 3 trees were decorated by Chris--our quilt instructor. Her and her sisters decorated these trees and dedicated them to their father, sister and brother. WOW!!!

These were fabulous!!!

Of course there were lots and lots of beautiful trees. The stories behind these trees brought lots of tears, but what a wonderful and peaceful feeling.

I found this saying on one of the trees....

"What we love to do...we find time to do!"

We arrived home safely...driving 10 miles an hour on the free way was definitely not fun--but for the most part of the day...It was all in all fabulous!!! A great way to start the Christmas season!!!