Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Blessings 2011 & And Awaiting A Happy New Year

I Am A Very Happy and Blessed Mother and Grandmother!
 I suppose this will be my last post of the year. I want to run all my posts together because if my Christmas surprise is anything like what's coming for this new year. I can't wait. I'm not sure I've ever been so anxious for a new year to arrive. Oh no, not this one was bad and this Christmas Eve was absolutely one of the best Christmas presents I've ever had, ever. And both holidays of Christmas Eve and Christmas will be now especially be dear to my heart. 2011.

The really funny thing is I didn't get one single thing I wanted as a gift. Steve messed-up pretty bad. All my hints and actually telling him just didn't work. I even made a list! All of this doesn't matter at all because I couldn't get him anything. He always makes sure I never have ANY money. Really, I think he actually puts his hand in my purse (that's taking it far) but he would if he new some was in there, take the money out and then after Christmas give it right back. However, that's never happened because my pocketbook has been on empty for a long, long time. I have too look under clothes in the closet for spare change or in the canning jar for nickels and pennies.

I spent hours and hours on our decorations for Christmas. I didn't put a lot out as in bunches of decorations, but just rearranged and made everything tidy and easy to repack after Christmas was over. I didn't think anyone would even see my decorations but Steve and I. Most packages I had sent to my family and friends through the Internet and directly to each one's home.

 I made my mom fudge and divinity for part of her present and basically it was the most expensive present of all. I messed-up so many times. The marshmallow fudge was a mess! I realize it was my own fault using the wrong kind of milk, my kids liked it anyway.  I finally made it right. I'll remember to memorize the ingredients and the instructions. I spent more than $25 three different times. The really funny thing is no one ate the ones I made for here at the house. Every single one in my family is strictly off sweets. I think Steve took the big plate down to the fire station.

Oh yeah, the fire station! Steve had to work both the 24th and 25th of December. I know it's against Union rules to end-up doing the shift of both days of Christmas and Christmas Eve, someone is suppose to come-in so a firefighter has part of Christmas off. No one came, no one offered, and of course, no one noticed my husband would be one both days. In years past we have had Christmas Eve or Christmas at the fire station and its pretty fun. The kids loved it but it wasn't both days. This was the first time I wouldn't have someone here with me, not even my husband. Last year we went up to Larin's and family with my other daughter, Kiely and her new husband, Matt. I was home alone and the thought at first was a bit sad, but I thought that heck, how many people must be doing that in this world? Alone at Christmas, but not really because it's Sunday! And also, I could easily go to the fire station and instead of cooking and wrapping all day, I could rest. Sounds good to me!

Christmas Eve:
My three children and their families got together and surprised me. They came over in the morning. Steve knew about all this and met-up with them at our house with the fire engine and the guys. My son took over my  kitchen and started making the famous "eggie-pancakes" with sides of eggs, hash-browns, sausage, and bacon. It was a huge feast and a beautiful warm Saturday. All my family brought the presents over  and we ate together and then laughed a bunch and opened presents.

Steve's mother and my mother were also here. The only one missing that lives here and would usually be in attendance was my grandson Tanner. He was visiting his other grandparents that live in Washington D.C. I know his Christmas is WONDERFUL! We love D.C. and love his updates on his vacation with pictures of all his fun experiences.

The kids had a "white elephant" gift exchange, just for fun and it was funny and full of surprises. I don't get how happy all the grand kids seemed with receiving a huge amount of very random junk.

My Mother and Mother-in-law Dune joined us, also


The tending of our livestock to me was special because I really wanted all to get something extra to make their Christmas special too. My family all had gone to other family members around and I hurried outside so to make it down to the fire station to have a special dinner with the guys. I came home to a very brightly lighted home with lovely music that I left-on to play as I slept. I need to sleep for tomorrow because of Church time arrives early and I need to do the chores before I leave.

Christmas Day 2011:
I decided when I woke-up this morning at 2:30 a.m. that I wouldn't go back to sleep, so as usual when I wake-up I read the Scriptures at the end of Helaman with "Samuel The Lamanite" fortelling the news of Christ's birth about to occur and then the first part of 3rd Nephi when the signs did come to pass with the night becoming as day and the star was shinning announcing to the people of the Americas. I made sure I concentrated on staying awake and that's not hard because I was so excited. I thought about and did go on over to Dustin's house at the beach and see all of them open their Christmas presents before church. The morning, and still very dark at 5:30 a.m. was beautiful. I left my house with the Christmas music on my radio and made it just in time to see the kids come out to open presents. Funny how my children's children open presents so different than my own kids did back in the '80s and '90s. My grandchildren took forever to open each gift and then took the wrappings to the waste basket. They were so careful and with each present they stopped and played with each one.




I knew I had to be back at Marnie's and Steve's to catch the other four grandchildren opening their presents. The sun was coming up and it was glorious. I made my arrival a little late but really in time to open the gifts. They kids did the same thing. They were so slow and deliberate with each present and while they just were unwrapping it up I ran-out to do the chores. Christmas here in Santa Paula is almost always the most beautiful day of the year and this year was no exception.

Church was wonderful. It was filled with the Spirit and I enjoyed every moment and that it was Christmas Day even made it more special. Our family sat together and the congregation seemed be filled with joy. I left quickly after our last meeting to see my Steve still on duty at the fire station.  He had lunch/dinner all prepared and without the usual interruptions. I was so grateful that no fires and accidents happened on Steve's watch.
80 degrees! My Snowman Needs Some Cool Beach Water
We called our other children and family out-of-state and saw their tears because they couldn't be with us. We begged Kiely and Matt to travel down and visit us. They had to stay somewhere else anyway because the dorm closes over Christmas break. Steve and I had a wonderful present. Our children from Utah were coming down and our children and family from Arkansas were just about to come out for my grand daughter's baptism and Baby Susan's blessing. Only Larin and her family would not be here. Wyoming has pretty severe weather during Christmas and this was no exception. We would make-do with the "Face-Time" application on our Ipads. So blessed to have such a great, new invention.

What Did my "Other Kids and Grandkids Do On Christmas Eve?"
Sunny but muddy and very Cold
Wyoming is Very Coldy

Its Freezing In Arkansas, too!
There was a snowman in cool Ventura Ocean and my families away from me are very cold but enjoying the real kind of Christmas season that is thought to be traditional. The best thing is that they all don't mind the cold. They are say, "Mom, it feels like Christmas."

I went home to more chores and climbed in bed to Christmas music, but was completely-out before the first song ended and I was sleeping before sunset. I love Christmas so much and took way too many pictures. We have so much to be thankful for this season and I can only see that the New Year is going to be truly wonderful.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Turtle Tales

To My Grandson Dallin That Loves Wildlife
and at 9 Years Old, Still Believes In Santa Claus

My daughter Marnie and her family have started this tradition to go to Big Bear for the week before Christmas. It's a wonderful time to play in the snow and see the glistening lights and just be cozy for a week. However, to do this Marnie and Steve have to be done with all their shopping, wrapping, giving, visiting teaching...everything! And of course, that includes someone to take care of their "menagerie"  and this year Marnie delegated jobs out to a number of different babysitters. I seemed to be blessed with the sweet new Christmas present, the turtle. It's actually a tortoise, but for the sake of 'easier for me' I'll be calling it turtle or Herman. I did call it Herminee, but because I really have this deep feeling that Herman is a boy. Again for this post since it is Dallin, my grandson, who's receiving this super, stunning, little, baby turtle, I'll just refer to the turtle as a boy, Herman.

The New Baby!
 I know that Marnie knew that I would just smother her little present (Herman) with tons of attention and I was excited to learn how to care for such a sweet pet. We did notice a bit of jealousy between the the new baby hamsters and Herman.

"Do You Want To Babysit?"

Me With Herman
 Marnie texted me and I texted her to let her know just how Herman was getting along in a strange home. He is so cute. I just wanted to remember how fun it was to have adventures with Herman through Internet photos. Most of the photos I didn't even take or invent, but there are some great turtle photos on the Internet and gave us loads of fun with our adventures.

Marnie: "That's funny!" "Silly pictures. Is he being a pain in the neck?" "Thank you for watching him." "Is he okay?" Marnie was really worried that he would turn on his back and die. I was worried, too. I was so scared that got-up during the night to make sure he wasn't upside-down. It would be so disappointing for Marnie if her little Herman died. I can tell she really, really loves him and me...I would cry because I ruining their favorite Christmas gift.

Me: "He's in bed with me he's freezing." "I think Herman needs a heat lamp." We had some cold weather and he was just staying in his little house and I was so worried he would go into hibernation and then again the threat that he would die. I did hold him and put both my hands around him until he started to really move around. He was mad at me because I started touching his closed eyes and pulling at his little toe nails. He woke-up grumpy.

Marnie: "Really, I have one (a heat lamp) I just didn't want to bother you with this." "Is Dad home?"
Marnie: "After Herman is warmed-up he'll probably eat better" "Thank you for warming him up again."
Me: "Yes, Dad's outside."
Marnie: "Okay, If you want you can put the turtle outside. I just don't want the cats to eat him."

Ahhhh, Our cats love turtles.

What happened here?
Marnie: "The lamp is on Steve's work bench it has a stand."
Me: "Okay, we'll definitely get the lamp." "Thank you, Herman Ninja in my bed, again."
Marnie: "I love you mommy, thank you again and goodnight."

Marnie: "You're nursing the baby turtle, right?" "Ha! Ha!" "You're having bonding time."
I did laugh very hard at that statement because it's a running joke in our family. I start holding my new grandchildren and I'm so pro-nursing that they tease me that I'm going to just nurse ANY newborn which has now morphed into all baby animals. The thought of nursing a turtle with a beak like, Whoa! Crazier than a real baby, with a mouthful of vampire teeth. Yikes!

Marnie: "That's crazy looking." Me back:"Well it's your baby turtle." "Didn't you notice this?"
Marnie: "I guess I missed THAT SIDE of him." "Mom, your fun!" "Did you get the light?" "Melissa can help you get in because she's getting the stroller and maybe she could get the light, too?"

Herman Is Cold and He's Got His Turtle-neck On

Me: "Okay, I would like that" "We need the heat."
Marnie: "I will let your know if she's coming." "Herman will not want to come home to us,"
"Oh good, I'm glad he woke-up and tell dad thanks for getting the light."

Me: "Dad just got back and have a good night."

Marnie: "I hope he enjoys the light-is he happy now?"

Me "It seems eating is his favorite activity when he's warm." "He gives me a big smile!"

Marnie;"So he finally ate?" "Is he really eating all of these things?"

Marnie; "Dallin loves them, too."
Me: "I do not like those kind of salamanders." "They're very strange!"

Me: "This morning Herman told me he was bored and I know, I know!" "I guess I over-did it yesterday."
 "B-O-R-E-D!" "I let him take his snail-friend for a ride but she started upsetting him, I don't know why... but she slipped-off the back and hid under the water fountain." "Herman's really sad."

 "I had to make candy again and help mom." "Herman doesn't get it, he thinks grandma should be entertaining HIM." "Your dad helped me make this costume and spray-painted it to match your turtle." "He needs a friend that resembles a turtle." "The costume is claustrophobic"

"Oh my gosh!" "I would hate to be to be a turtle and claustrophobic." "I guess that doesn't happen much because we don't see a lot of naked turtles running around."

Marnie: "That's crazy-looking!"

Me: "I painted the turtle and now I'm getting bored." This could make Kenna so happy." "Hope you don't mind because I painted him with fingernail polish." "I still had the black toe-nail polish from Kiely's Bachelorette's Party." "Oh no, Dad just left for the fingernail polish remover at the drug store." "He's getting worried that the paint may get-down to his skin through the shell and burn him."

Marnie: "How's the little turtle doing?"
Me: "For future reference Herman really, really likes his stomach scratched."

"And! Did you know his hobbies are cars and jets? "Maybe he IS a boy, Marnie."

Me: "It's seems wheels and turtles don't go well together." "I can't believe the driveway is so steep." "We were going to go up to the mailbox but changed our minds. He would've really been hurt, probably flipped." "Herman got already scuffed-up as you can see... and I know they're just surface burns, but ouchie!"

Me: "Today Herman and I had a long talk (turtle whispering) anyways, I told him how I loved my Chia Pet turtle so much and wished he was real."

"Herman thought the idea of growing grass on a real turtle was gross." "I explained that it does happen and works well and he could grown his own food." "I had to show him the underwater turtle and it freaked him-out."

Me: "Oh yeah, this picture really shocked him." "So Herman let me do a scaled-down version."
"I'm looking silly, huh?"

Me: "After all the humiliation that I put Herman through yesterday, I guess I gave him a bad dream and he had to tell me who he really is-It was a secret in his family." "Herman comes from a famous line, not the dumb, big, flippered, surfer dudes in the ocean or ponds." "He has this calling in his life."

Me: "Herman had all these special fighting tools in his pocket under his shell. the secret identity came right out." "It was that he is a Ninja Turtle." The weapons had to come out anyway-- they were giving him a rash." "Herman's father's name was RAPHAEL and who'd guess this was true?" " "It just could have been dress-up but his weapons are real." "He even had one of those Ninja Stars!" "Scary!" "Herman does have a family picture of himself and all his cousins." "Herman is on the lower left."

"I can see that he is really special, but you knew that deep in your heart." "I also found out that he sometimes works as a double on this "pet rescue show" on TV. and showed me a portfolio picture of himself that he hands-out for autographs." "Did you know all this?"

"Don't DO THAT Again!"
Me: "I had to get Herman in the house because he was throwing a big fit and had his own SCREAM-FEST" "All the animal's were looking at him in shock." "Herman has seemed to be so mellow." "He certainly has a little temper!"

Me: "Herman ran-away, dang!" "He's missing--I'm so sorry Marnie." "Can you get another turtle?"

Dec. 23rd
Me: "We found lil' Herman." "He ran off to find some flowers to make friends again with his snail friend." "Her name is Slowee the snail, she was gnawing on his shell and he yelled at her and it hurt her feelings." "Herman went out to find her some flowers." "How cute, huh?"
Me: "I guess Herman is still young and he got side-tracked because after visiting with Slowee he decided to go to take some laps in the pool." "Kids are so naive!" "Herman can't swim, he doesn't even have webbed feet and he hug all around the edge all day trying to get out." "No wonder I couldn't find Herman." "I don't speak Turtleese very well but learned that 'Hissss, snap-snap!' 'Hissss, snap-snap!' means HELP." "You may need this information for later.

Me: "Herman is trying to do his dress-up daddy-style." "He wants to fit in your family and asked me if this was a good SWAT-LOOK?"

Me: "This is Herman's Dallin-look" "Silly-guy!" " He's really hoping for the blue uniforms this next year and already bought the ball-cap."

"Do I look Cool?"
Dec. 23 Evening
Me: "Herman drew a picture of himself." "He getting nervous about Christmas and is very excited."
Marnie: "That's awesome!" "How did he do today?"

Me: "Herman saw Dustin's old thumb skateboard and I had to let him try it, but no rolling down anywhere just flipping around in the kitchen." "He did hit the wall and a chair leg, but no damage and now he thinks he's neat and wants to try-out the skate park with Dallin as soon as it warms up a little."

Me: "Herman's eating right now." "I gave him some rose petal leaves and he's devouring them, like a pig." "I think he needs a good soaking and he's probably thirsty from all the skate boarding today."
Marnie: "Sounds good and we can soak him when we get home." "Thanks-I love you."

Dec 24th
Herman through Internet Translation Services: " I'm so happy I get to see my family today." "Yay!" "Bet you didn't know I'm a disco-dancing Ninja Turtle." "I also do Salsa dancing, Murango, Foxtrot, Rumba, Shufflee, and I Boot Scoot to slow dances and my best moves are Break-Dancing. I spin like a top!" "Whoot!" "Whoot!"