Friday, December 23, 2011

Making Memories and Mustachios

Today is Jen and Ryan's 17th anniversary.  Happy Anniversary!  Ben and Carly came to spend the night at my Mom and Dad's ... because for some reason they wanted to spend their anniversary alone.  Whatever.
 Movies were watched ... mostly be these three.  Or, make that four.  Zoey seems to think she is a person.  A little, furry person with an attitude.  I am not to blame.

But, enough about the dog ... while they were doing, um, nothing, I was making mustachios.  Because no Christmas would be complete without a mustachio or two or seventeen.
 I was going to buy glasses with noses and eyebrows, but at $5 each there was no way I was going to buy 16.  Which meant Plan B.  Homemade mustachios.  Start with black felt. I cut two at a time because I needed wanted them to line up perfectly.  I just traced my mustachio on a piece of wrapping paper ... partly because it was Christmas, but mostly because it was on the table in front of me.
 Cut out your mustachios ... see why using scraps of whatever paper you have is necessary?
 I used Aleenes's original tacky glue and applied liberally ... I figured the more the better.  Be sure to get the edges.
 Stick your dowel in the glue.  Some mustachio wearers said they would have preferred the dowel to be lower.  I liked it higher.  And, since I was the one making them, I won.
 I added some extra glue on top of the dowel.  Not sure if it was absolutely necessary, but I figured better safe than sorry.
 Then top with the other mustachio ... see why I needed wanted it to be perfect?  Now let dry.  I "built" all of the mustachios on wax paper ... this is not an option.  Otherwise your mustachio will stick to whatever it is left to dry on.
 And when you are finished you have a mustachio (on a stick) ... sure to bring fun family memories when worn with a spirit of joy.  
And, just in case you aren't feeling the mustachio, you could always wear it as a uni-brow.  

And, why the mustachios you ask?  Hang in there for a few more days ... it definitely was one fun family adventure!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Jumping Back In

And the blogger slacker of the year award goes to ... drumroll please ... ME!  It has been a bit too long since I last posted ... no excuses.  

Anywho ... where were we?  Yes, the blog ... we are spending our Christmas in Florida with my entire family.  It has been 5 years since the last time we were all together for anything ... too long, but that is what happens when you are literally spread out all over the country.  New Hampshire.  Florida.  Texas.  Utah.  Could we get any further apart?

We made it into town first.  We drove all night.  And by we, I mean Dean.  Those kind of driving shananigans were much easier when we were younger.  We may never recover!  Torrey was excited to meet up with her Florida cousins. She had researched and planned a fun outing ... a trip to an indoor trampoline park.
 After signing away our rights (ha!) and donning special gear (helmets and special shoes ... and new socks for Ben) the kids hit the trampolines.  They made it past the "trampoline police" with ease ... Jennifer and I laughed and laughed when he quizzed a group of teenage boys about "his" trampoline rules.  He took his job very seriously.
 Carly demonstrated her mad jumping skills.  There were also flips.  And dance moves.  And just general Carly-silliness.
 Ben enjoyed playing basketball.  Perhaps the NBA should try a season of trampoline basketball ... Ben seemed to be having a blast!
 Actually, all of the kids had a blast.  They jumped.  And jumped.  And jumped.
 And when they tired of jumping they tried out the tornado machine.  And then jumped some more.
 At the end of the hour, they were all jumped out, exhausted and big sweaty messes.
But, I think they would agree that their first cousin adventure was a blast.  I predict a family Christmas that is epic ... more to come!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mary Did You Know?

Jennifer got married two days before Christmas 17 years ago.  It was a crazy time ... and I was an emotional wreck because not only was she getting married, but she was moving to Virginia.  Away from me.  Because evidently Ryan wanted her to live in the same zip code as him ... go figure.

Anyways, the wedding was in the evening.  At some point, my mom had Laurie and I in the kitchen cutting various things ... from olives (I kid you not) to fruit.  My mom had Christmas music playing ... or, rather, A Christmas song playing.  After about the 100th time through of "Mary Did You Know?" I asked her if we could try another song.  ANY other song.  She told me she HAD to learn the song.

Crickets.  Seriously, knives stopped in the air.  I looked at Laurie and whispered, "Is she singing at the wedding?"

Um, no.

We still laugh about that moment today ... and, proudly, I know every line to "Mary Did You Know?"  Please feel free to call if you are looking for a soloist for a Christmas wedding ... it won't be my first time to sing at a wedding.

I write that to remember it ... because let's face it, I'm getting old.  But, today I have been pondering Mary.

My Kinderfriends open one piece of the Nativity each day.  Today it was Mary.  I often wonder how much Mary knew or realized would be asked of that teeny baby she was carrying.  That tiny child she loved before she knew SHE would be THE one.

The girls her age waited and hoped they would be THE one.  Prayed they would be THE one.  And when Mary was chosen she did not refuse to be THE one. 

It was pointed out to me today that Mary would have been about Torrey's age.  15ish. That thought alone has caused me to have remind myself to breathe a few times.  It caused me to wonder about her parents when they heard the news.  We never hear about them.  Did they stand behind Mary and Joseph?  Or did they walk away? What about her friends and and the townspeople?  What exactly was the cost to Mary to be Jesus' mother?  Did she know when she said yes?

I'm sure she would say it was worth it all.

Someday, we will be able to ask, "Mary did you know?"  Until then, we ponder and wait. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Well, Well, Well ...

Please go back and read that title with your hands on your hips ... because criminitly we have been gone for awhile.  (And, the first i in criminitly is long and the other two are short ... that will be my only reading lesson for the night.  I promise!)

And, yet, nothing has changed.  Well, almost.  

Volleyball is over.  We learned a lot this season ... it was a hard season, but it is during the "hard" that we grow the most.  And feel the most pain.

Torrey continues to do well in 10th grade.  It is still hard ... I'm thinking college will be a breeze for her!  Speaking of college, we are beginning to think and plan.  She goes on a Texas college tour in March.  A&M is mine and Dean's top pick ... I work with some sweet Aggies who are working their magic on her.  There is still time to decide ... thankfully!

My parents came for Thanksgiving.  We had a really great visit ... and it is going to be redone in a few weeks when we head to Florida for Christmas (WITH THE DOGS!)  We really have a lot to be thankful for.

We painted and had new carpet put down in the guest room and craft room.  Dean couldn't complain too loudly ... it is because of HIS dog that we had to tear out the carpet in the craft room to begin with.  And that is all I am going to say on the subject.  Dean did a fabulous job painting both rooms and the bathroom ... magnetic paint was even involved!  In the process we decided to get a new bed and are now making a headboard.  Does it ever end?

My class is beyond yummy.  I have some seriously smart kids.  (I am spending part of my weekend pre-reading chapter books to make sure they are appropriate for two of them ... they are in Kindergarten for crying out loud!)  One of my smartest was overheard saying to one of his friends, "You have no idea how smart I am."  Um, none of us do.  Whenever I am asking someone to please stop doing whatever he will invariably say, "I love you, Mrs. Townsend."  And it makes me smile because I know he is telling me that because he thinks I am being not so nice and he wants to get me off the ledge.  However, he did ask me the other day if I ever yelled ... and I thought in my head please don't ask my family, but that also made me smile because EVERYDAY for almost 9 years I have asked God to let my words be gentle and my spirit be sweet.  I cannot take credit for a kindly spoken word ... it is only because of Jesus.

We are mulling over some things right now ... mostly whether or not to put up a Christmas tree.  We are going to be gone.  Do I really want to deal with putting it up to enjoy it for a little bit only to have to come home and take it down while dealing with a mountain of laundry?  Go ahead and leave your vote ... all two of you who read this much neglected blog.

We are also mulling over Spring Break plans.  A certain someone is turning 16 that week and we are thinking about going somewhere fun.  We are also thinking about summer.  Torrey will be going on two mission trips and is anticipating them more than she is anticipating Christmas.  I love so much that she loves Jesus.

I was asked to join a book club today.  This isn't my first book club ... my friend and I made up our own a few summers ago and only let in people with kindles.  We called it The Kindle Book Club ... original, eh?  We mostly did it so we could meet without kids and drink coffee.  I downloaded my book tonight ... The Dovekeepers.  It takes place on Masada.  I'm hooked already. 

I am planning on making Christmas gifts ... probably should have started before now.  Tomorrow will be a marathon day of crafting.  I'm a little excited!

We went to the funeral for our friend, Stacy today.  It was a little surreal to leave Kindergarten, go to a funeral, and then go right back to littles who needed me to not be sad.  Unbeknownst to them they really did help me today.  The service was a lovely tribute to a remarkable man.  Completely God honoring ... but, I didn't expect anything less.

Sorry for the seemingly randomness of this post ... my brain has seriously been all over the place for the last few weeks.  Although, sometimes in the random you can really glimpse a person's heart ... even if it is just for a second.