Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Barbie Tree

Growing up, I was a bit of a girly girl. I tried to like sports, but my coordination was pretty awful until I reached the age of 14ish (and even then it wasn't that great). P.E. in elementary school was okay--except for that whole Punt, Pass, and Kick thing--but P.E. in junior high was a nightmare. It was the only class I made a B in from grades 6-8. But I digress.

Girly. I loved makeup and jumped at the chance to give anyone a makeover who would let me. I also really, really loved Barbies, and I owned a lot of them. I played with them a lot a lot too. Somewhere between the ages of 10 and 25 I lost the desire to actually play with them though, so now my beloved Barbies are boxed, safely under the guardianship of my parents' shed.

But evidently my love of Barbie has not completely waned, because each year when I go home, I find myself drawn to The Barbie Tree.
Behold, The Barbie Tree!

It's white, and it doesn't have a gazillion mismatched ornaments like my parents' other tree...and all of those Barbie ornaments have been given to me as Christmas gifts over the years. I dare you to guess how many Barbie ornaments I received for Christmas this year. 

Did you guess? 

The answer is four. I received a fifth ornament, but it wasn't Barbie; it was Crayola, the other type of Hallmark ornament I collect (all thanks to my mom). Normally I don't get so many in one year, but Mom said it was too hard to choose which one to buy this year. They make too many cute ones.

 I'm not complaining; this is one of the cuties I received. A Barbie shoe tree!

While I was at home, I practiced using the manual setting on my camera and got up-close and personal with some of the Barbies.

I know it'd look ridiculous on me, but I'd kind of like to try on her outfit.
Jackie O., is that you?

50th anniversary Barbie. My mom has an original like this. Very cool.

Polished and professional Barbie.

Trophy Wife Barbie? She seems a little uppity to me with one hand on her hip and the other clutching her gold necklace.

If a Barbie ornament were to be made in my likeness, I think it'd look a lot like this. Blue outfit, pencil skirt, camera in hand. She just needs to be a brunette.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Big News

My mother- and father-in-law got their mission call today, and they're going to..................................................................................................................................................


We're surprised, but so excited for them!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What Shall We Give?

One of my friends shared this on facebook, and I decided I wanted it on my blog.

"Our opportunities to give of ourselves are indeed limitless. There are hearts to gladden. There are kind words to say. There are gifts to be given. There are deeds to be done. There are souls to be saved. 
If we are to have the very best Christmas ever, we must reach out for the Carpenter's hand. With every step we take in His footsteps, we abandon a doubt and gain a truth.
It was said of Jesus that He increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. Do we have the determination to do likewise?" -- President Thomas S. Monson

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dad's 80th Birthday Bash

My dad's 80th birthday was last month, and we knew we wanted to do something big to celebrate. Mom and Dad planned the larger details like the venue, the menu, and the guest list, and Henry and I helped with some of the decorations. I love planning stuff like this, so I thought I'd share my most favorite things from the party.

1. The photo line
We collected photos from around my parents’ house and then went to Kinko’s to scan and print them in black & white. We ended up printing about 65 photos of my dad in various stages of his life—the oldest dating back to his 2nd birthday in 1932. My mom already had some twine for us to use, and we just bought a pack of clothes pins to hang up the photos. It was pretty inexpensive to do, but it made a huge impact in the room’s d├ęcor. Plus I think all of the guests enjoyed looking at the photos. So many asked, “Is that really Clyde?” 

2. Eighty sparkling candles!
Kind of a beast to get them lit all at once {that's my lil bigbro doing the job in the photo above}, but watching my dad and my 9-year-old niece as they blew them all out was priceless.

3. The memory book
This was Henry’s idea. We bought an 8’’ X 8’’ scrapbook album, a pack of jewel-toned scrapbook papers, and a couple of archival quality pens. We wanted all of the guests to pick a paper to write a message for my dad, but we also wanted to attach photos of them to the paper after the party {my next big project}. We had the guests trace where they wanted their picture placed on the paper. I typed up a step-by-step instruction guide, which we printed, framed, and sat on the “guest book” table. Unfortunately we only got one picture of the set up...and it just so happened to be in the background of another picture. Senior citizens like to be super punctual {read: 20+ minutes early} to parties, so things got a little rushed with the documentation of decorations.

I know, amazing quality, but you can see the papers, our photo template, instructions, the box, etc.

Here's a scanned copy of the instructions.

Approximately 80 of my dad's closest friends and relatives ended up coming to the party. I was so impressed by that. It was awesome. I think my dad loved every second of it. Arranging for all 80(!) guests to have their picture taken was a bit of a challenge because the room was packed, but I think we managed to get nearly everyone’s picture. I think it will be a really neat keepsake for my dad.

4. The prayer
Henry offered a prayer at the party in which he basically thanked the Lord for my dad's life and asked for continued blessings of health and strength. Henry said several people told him that that was the nicest prayer they'd ever heard, and I think that made him feel a little bashful, but it was a touching prayer. 

5. Love of family and friends
 That brings me to my fifth and final favorite thing. The party was a huge reunion of family and friends, and there was so much love there. There were people my dad knows from his career in real estate, church friends, barbers, plant coworkers {he worked in a plant for 40 years}, and the largest gathering of my family I've seen in a long, long time. Even more amazingly? There was no drama. It was such a happy weekend. I felt increased love for my dad, especially as I looked through those photos from his life. He is a good, honest man, and though he may be a bit grumpy at times, he is a wonderful example to me of loving, working hard, and serving others. (And heck, I’m sure I’ll be grumpy too when I’m 80.) So really, I guess my favorite thing about the party was that I came away realizing again how privileged I am to have him as my father. Love you, Daddy.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Cheer

I told myself I'd do something fun and creative today, and here she is!

Pictured: table runner & berry tree {Target}, ghetto fab lime green glitter tree {courtesy of my mama}, our pantry door with wreath and some tin decorations we won at a White Elephant party last year, my little tin stocking and panda stocking hanger {courtesy of my mama}, poinsettia tree topper {I want to say Kohl's}, more berry trees and JOLLY sign {Target}, snowman {from my mama} and pillow {purchased tonight at Kohls for $15!}, santa {from my mama, I'm pretty sure, or Kohl's} and ceramic tree {courtesy of my granny, she made it}.

It took entirely too long to make this page, and I'm going to blame that on the new Photoshop. 
1. I had to figure out how to "pop out" my pictures, so that I could drag the layers onto my template. Seriously, how long had it been since I'd last digiscrapped?
2. I think I killed it towards the end. It was just being SO pokey! So, so sloooow. Very frustrating. And to think I wanted to have this done before Henry came home from work. Yeah, right. What I'm trying to say is, I hope someone besides me will appreciate my little creation.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

One of my faves...

Oh snap, remember this? 70 days ago you wrote...

Yesterday it was "I love you;" today it was "let me scratch your arms up until you BLEED." Non-verbally communicated. Different student, same glamorous job. ready for the weekend.