Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Kayli's Sweet Sixteen

It may be a bit odd to be writing this on Christmas Eve, but this way I won't be so far behind on Christmas, and besides it is an appropriate thing to do on a day that Kayli thoroughly enjoys.  Kayli was born six days before Christmas on, not so coincidentally, the only year that I was completely prepared for Christmas by the end of October.  That was sixteen short years ago and now she is grown into a beautiful young woman.

Kayli's birthday brownies.
Kayli hoping to get her wish.
Kayli is a very thoughtful person and I am a little worried about what our house will look like when she stops acting like Cinderella.  She does such a good job of helping out.

Kayli is very musical and has been taking guitar lessons the last three months at the same time as me.  She already plays the piano beautifully.  She has decided to go back to piano lessons rather than continuing with guitar.  We'll see if she really learns guitar on her own like she thinks she will.  I didn't have much success with that!  Thanks to her father's urging she has also joined me in singing in the choir on Sundays.

For her birthday Kayli had a friend get together because her Dad kind of made her.  She requested that nobody bring gifts and so she got presents from everyone.  Tia was in charge of being hostess and they played games, watched a movie, and barely made a dent in all of the treats that Derek bought.  Kayli's actual birthday was on a Monday and a school day.  She didn't get to open her presents until dinner time but she got brownies, ice cream, and hot fudge at snack time.  We had the food that she requested for dinner (sweet and sour chicken with chicken nuggets on the side for those who don't like sweet and sour chicken).  Then we watched a movie because that is what she wanted to do.

Kayli opens presents with Jake as a sidekick.

She must have liked whatever present she was opening here!
Kayli is a good, helpful girl.  She has good friends and is a good friend to others.  She likes high school a lot better than junior high and she loves Christmas.  She is writing a letter to Santa as I type and looks forward to racing Trisa up the stairs in the morning.  I don't know that she has ever won that race yet!  Happy late birthday to my close to Christmas Kayli!  I hope 16 is sweet!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Energetic Erin

Erin with her family
Erin is strong, imaginative, and fun.  She finds energy when I'm sure I couldn't, and she uses that energy to take care of those that she loves.  I remember once that I was talking to somebody who I thought might know Erin.  I knew she was describing Erin when she said, "Is she the one that's always carrying two children?"  Erin says it keeps her balanced to have one child in each arm.  It would have kept my children at the emergency room being treated for head wounds.  It probably would have sent me off for early shoulder surgeries too, but Erin is strong and she seems to manage just fine.  Somehow she never gripes about her arms or her aching back or anything, at least not to me, and her two youngest children know they can count on her to hold them when they need snuggles.
Okay, so this isn't Erin.  But this is exactly how she would carry these boys.
It must be a family talent.
Erin has five children and a husband (Russell).  The husband came first.  She also has a nice house.  She uses her imagination in playing with and teaching her children, and in coming up with more ways to decorate, and redecorate her house.  It is always fun to go and try to figure out what is different.  She only lives about 15 minutes away, but something is different every time I go.  I haven't kept track of how many times the front room has been repainted, or any room.  The floors have changed, the furniture gets added to, the rugs come and go, the cabinets are a different color, new pictures or plaques take the place of old ones.  The constant is that it always looks nice, and there are always happy children around.
Happy Erin with a happy Dylan
Erin has a couple of different blogs, including a cooking blog.  She cooks up yummy things and then posts the recipes and pictures.  I admit to not visiting that blog often, but it is not the blogs fault, it is Dan's allergies.  We all know that yummy stuff has milk, or cheese, or eggs thrown in there somewhere!  Yummy desserts seem to be her specialty and for a while she seemed to get the dessert assignment for every single family dinner that we had.

I call Erin every now and then when I want someone to talk to and I always enjoy the chance to chat.  Quite frankly, it makes my day that she always seems so happy that I called.  She's on the computer quite a bit too and so I like to write her e-mail because she's usually very good about writing right back.

Erin likes to shop and I hear (from my girls, and Russell, and Tanya) that she is fun to shop with.  I think I'd like to peak and see how many shoes she owns.  She shops both in stores and online and has been known to sell a thing or two on ebay, which I think is brave because, well, because it would make me nervous to do that.

When our kids are opening presents slowly we tell them to "open it like Aunt Erin!"  Because of her childhood habit of sneaking a peak at her wrapped gifts, I still wonder if Russell dares put any of her presents anywhere in the house before Christmas -- or maybe she just buys her own now, but I think Russell has managed to surprise her a few times. 

Erin makes me smile.  She's just so creative and quick witted.  She reminds me of her Mom in the way she can take a rather daunting task and tackle it with a positive attitude and the thought that if we just get to work, we'll get done soon.  She also seems to have inherited, or developed, the gift of keeping a positive attitude even when sleep isn't very abundant.  All the same, I hope that she got a good nights sleep before her birthday and that today is a totally awesome day for her.  She won't want me to be too mushy, but I love her, and hope she has a happy birthday!

This is to let Erin see the lone picture she would have had on here if I hadn't gotten some off of her Picasa web album.