Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We gots our groove on...

We started a new tradition this year thanks to Chloe and Lindsay! They just loved this scene from the movie "This Christmas" So they requested that we dance the final dance scene with the family.They made a CD with the song looping and we all lined up in the living room.We just told everyone we had a new game. No one knew what to expect but they all were game to try once the music started.I think the memory of them dancing will last me a lifetime. Aunt Teresa and Uncle Lloyd tore it up,(they do have a unfair advantage because they live at leisure world and go to all the dances,so stinkin cute) Uncle Pete was hysterical and everyone took turns being silly and having their moment in the center.I am hoping to add some video that Travis took,It was sooo funny and something you had to see to believe. We are so weird,but we all agreed it will be a new tradition every year.Thanks girls for the "groove"y idea! Madear loved it!

A fun family!

We had so much fun on Christmas day! I love my family with my whole heart.And this year we were able to add our amazing new daughter in the fun! Ashlyn brings us so much joy and it was so fun to have her and Travis both here on Christmas Day. She seems to cope pretty well with our crazy group,and she is loved beyond measure by everyone!! We played games, danced the scene from "This Christmas" with a congo line,(thanks to our DJ Chloe) played our "doubles" dice game and fought greedily over gifts,played Left Right Center,ate great food and felt perfectly content to spend hours in each others company. I feel so blessed! We are not a quiet crowd but if you spend anytime at all with them they will forever treat you like family. We were glad to have our friends the Daigles stop by and they were met with warm hugs and love. It is something I will never take for granted. We sure miss my mom and family who passed away but I know they are smiling and thankful we all still get together and keep the traditions going.The only thing missing was the Tennessee Krikacs! I couldn't think about them or the tears would fall.Please come "home" for Christmas next year? I love our Big Fat Greek Family and can hardly wait until the next holiday!

side note..I'm not that round! My sweatshirt is huge! But it's such a cute pic of the fam I had to add it,in spite of myself.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Someone opened the front door, threw in a bunch of presents and then shook it like a snow globe!

I only wish it was easy to remove Christmas decorations from my house as it was from my blog.One click and the background was changed and the tree was taken down. Here's what my house looked like just a couple days ago. But I love it because it's the remnants of way too much fun!! We had the BEST Christmas ever. Our 3 kids are still here,so the blogging and cleaning will wait while we play.I cant even list my 'Sunday Six' because I am still living my top six moments with everyone here!! I sure hope your Christmas was wonderful too! I promise pictures and stories will follow soon. You know those Greeks there will be stories!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What did Santa bring you?

One of my favorite days at school was "show and tell" There was something so fun knowing it was your turn to get up and share something exciting. I guess my blog is a grown up version of show and tell. So how fun would it be if we all shared our favorite Christmas gift! What memories do you have of Christmas mornings full of excitement and joy as you saw what Santa left...So I decided to send out a email and ask my friends what their favorite gifts were,and then post it on my blog. My favorite surprise had to be my Easy Bake Oven! Nothing better than cupcakes cooked with a light bulb. I would spend my allowance running to Kress to get extra mixes. And I also loved my roller skates! Those rickety metal wheels and we would skate all day.My first pair were the metal ones you clamped onto tennis shoes, and then we got the fancy white ones. What were your favorites? Here's a few of my friends responses....

Olivia~I do remember getting my silver piccolo. I was first chair in the band as a junior in high school . There was a competition to win the "Linda Denny Silver Piccolo Award" but I did not have one so I couldn't compete....until I unwrapped that beautiful silver instrument. I didn't win but I sure will remember how I felt that Christmas. (this one made me cry)

Katie~My parents weren't really into Christmas and being the youngest of seven, they were pretty much over the WHOLE gift giving thing by the time I was growing up. The sooner we didn't believe - the better. So Ellen & I would wrap up stuff from around the house to make it LOOK like we actually had presents under the tree and then open them on Christmas morn & pretend they were great gifts! The last year we did believe we got one of those cardboard grocery store play sets with the fake little cans of veggies, etc... we thought it was pretty cool. Of course, Amy O'Brien got the really cool cash register with her set, so we mostly played at her house(Katie this is why you are always so kind and generous.Your story was precious and I am glad you had a sister to make magic with)

Nancy~There were so many! My absolute favorite and biggest surprise was a jewelry box with a ballerina twirling to "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" and the other would be a "chemistry magic" set. Honorable mention would have to be the "Flower Power"(remember with the cooker and the goop? (I had one too thanks for jogging my memory)

Marcia~ My first doll under the Christmas tree. Both my sisters received dolls as well but they were all different and I loved mine. Funny thing was that I named her Nancy....just as I would name my first real live doll some years later. My other favorite toy was this mechanical dog with a tray of buttons in front and each button you pushed caused some reaction, the tongue would stick out or the ears would sister broke it and I still have not forgiven her...though I know this time of year with all my precious Lord has had to forgive me for, I probably should. I'll think about it! (Marcia writes like she talks, full of details and I love that about her. Plus she really loves me)

Kat~ Two of my favorite gifts were those glass balls on a string that you could bang together,and my first bike with an am/fm radio attached to the handlebars! (my sis in law, funny thing is Paul had those glass balls too)

Casey~"Baby Tenderlove" I loved that doll so much I put blue eyeshadow on her and pink lipstick and use to kiss her all the time!, And the Barbie airplane,I wanted to be a stewardess, just like my mom when I grew up (so sweet Casey just like you)

Kathy~I loved the Lite Brite and getting a brand new box of crayola crayons-the 64 color box that my horrid little brothers and sisters where not allowed to touch. I loved the year I got the Skipper doll to go with Barbie(Kathy I loved my lite brite too and Skipper was such the cool sister)

Abby~ American Girl Dolls and My Saint Mary's Necklace engraved by mom (love you Abby)

Lynn~ My favorite gifts were my basketball hoop and a dirt bike(what no baton?)

Ashlyn~ I would say my “oopsie daisy” doll and also the “My Dear Diary” Hands down! (I can so clearly see her mothering her dolls.I LOVE my DIL)

Janice~ My dear uncle always gave me "boy" gifts. One year he gave me a shooting arcade. It was a smaller version of the carnival shooting gallery. I loved it. (Sarah Palin probably had one too, love you Janice)

Holly~ I would have to say mine was the Easy Bake Oven for sure! I was always amazed when that little light bulb would bake me a cake whenever I had a hankerin'! The other favorite was the doll that cooed and cried! I think you could feed her too! Not like a Thanksgiving feast, more like a jar of baby food (Holly you make me laugh like no other)

Thanks for sharing everyone! I loved reading your memories! I hope the magic of Christmas is just as wonderful for you all this year. After hearing Kate Winslet speak about" Father Christmas" I just fell in love with that name for Santa.With our kids, most of the tags were from Jesus! I wanted them to know it is only because of Him,His grace and mercy that we have anything at all.
I am hoping Father Christmas leaves you a fun surprise this year,and that your day is filled with magic, love and joy!
Happy Birthday Jesus~And Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

To Karen....From Bonnie

Guess what?? Bonnie Hunt gave me a fabulous Christmas Present!! It was such a fun surprise, and something I will have for years and think of her.It's an amazing vacuum that sells for $750 dollars! Wow what a gift(but after all we are pretty good friends now) Sure,she gave one to others in the audience too but it would have been weird if she didn't.Her mom probably taught her what mine did "unless you have enough for everyone don't give one to anyone" So we all got one! We went to her taping last week because I just had to see her set all decked out for Christmas.And it looked so pretty and festive.She came into the audience and we chatted just a bit. Then I saw Holly her BFF and waved and said Happy"Holly" Days.She was super sweet and smiled and waved back to us. I know I'm a true dork and even Chloe asked how long I had worked on that cheesy line. I brought her audience manager who get us our fabulous seats some "Atwood" wine and he was thrilled. I wrote since he gives us such a fun taste of Hollywood, I wanted him to have a taste of the best of Temecula.Her mom Alice was on the show and she sang "Silent Night" and I cried...She is so darn sweet and reminds me so much of my mom. I know some of you might think it's a bit odd how often we go, but I just love her and her staff so much! And of course being a Krikac everyone now has a nick name. Her big security guy is named "shoulders" (frankly they are huge) One intern is "Indiana" because that's where shes from. The other one is "cubby" because he always wears his Cubs outfit. So now they kinda know me too. Its like we're they're one big family...and I am the weird aunt. It is always a fun day...and I promise I wont go back until January.

January 5th she returns from hiatus!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Steve...My beloved precious elf

I was thinking back this morning about Christmases Past.Chad said I sure get nostalgic at this time of year and I agree.It just seems to bring out the best in people and the memories are priceless.Going through my holiday box I found this" to-from" tag from Steve that I had saved. But first the story....
When I was in high school my Dad bought me a striped ski sweater. He was usually the "slip you a 100 dollar bill" kinda guy..and my mom would do most of the shopping. Well one year he went and picked out a striped ski sweater for me.And I think I wore it every single day in January. It was the sentiment behind it and the fact that he went shopping,picked it out and wrapped it for me!! So of course Steve and the boys had heard this story and remembered it.So a few years back,(card is dated 2004) Steve bought me a striped ski sweater and this card was attached.
"To my pumpkin, you are the love of my life and this small present is my way of reminding you of how much I love you. I will try to pick up where your Dad left off so you always feel treasured and loved.He was such a good hearted man and he loved you as much as I do"
What could possibly be sweeter?? Another Christmas morning with the boys watching Mom cry as we open gifts. But it is a sweet reminder of what is important with any gift. The heart behind it...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Karen? Well she twirls the baton!

Growing up with three brothers and being the only girl was usually pretty nice. I was the baby of the family and maybe a little spoiled. My Dad would always say he only had one little girl and she was going to stay a little girl. So as the boys got older and they raced motorcycles I wasn't allowed to. Again,only one girl she was to stay a girl. But after going out every single weekend to ride watch them ride I finally coaxed my dad into a bike for me. He bought me a Yamaha 125 and a pink helmet! They had put me in ballet, dance class, brownies,girl scouts and I had to get my hair curled and 'put up' every Christmas at the "Mop Shop" beauty parlor by our house.They made it impossible for me to be a tomboy. But I was finally able to talk him into getting me my very own motorcycle.
 But my dads biggest joy was that I twirled the baton! I was a proud member of the Hawthorne Twirlers(notice the HT on my fabulous uniform) We would march in parades and perform at grand openings. The boys endlessly teased me about my "big talent" If we were with friends or family my dad would often say "honey go grab your baton and twirl for them" And he was serious!! As I got older it became a family joke. Dave graduated from college, Kenny was a harbor patrol officer, Paul was a sheriff and Karen, she twirls the baton.Sure I had a few accomplishments but it always came back to "she can sure twirl a mean baton" To this day they endlessly tease me.So last week I wrote how excited I was to take some old 8mm film to Costco to put on DVD. I was so hoping it was something really special of Christmas mornings, or of my Dad laughing. But guess what it is?? Footage of Karen twirling her baton!! Yep...footage of me and my friend Tracy in a funky parade with my Dad obviously running alongside filming me.I spent twenty good dollars preserving memories of the one thing no one ever lets me forget! So you can bet when my family is all here this holiday we are going to pop some popcorn, and watch it twice. Since it seems to be my only real claim to fame...We may even watch it three times.

Monday, December 15, 2008

For unto you a child is born...

"My whole life has turned around
I was lost but now I'm found
A Baby changes everything"
Lyrics to Faith Hill's song; A Baby Changes Everything

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sunday Six...Things that made me smile

This has been a GREAT week! Excitement and anticipation were palpable--you can feel it in your bones, when you know that you are going to smile hard and roll in clouds of laughter with friends. And even though this weekend was filled to the brim, it was all about people~Splendid people! Christmas is nearly here and I have truly loved every minute of the season. And I pray that you have too....Here are my favorite 6 smiles this week!
1- My nephew Kory graduated from nursing school!! We are so proud of you Kory and wish so much that we could have been there in the stands to cheer and blow air horns.We send hugs and congratulations from all of us!
2- We had our moms dinner Thursday night and it was wonderful! We had the best time, chatting, laughing and sharing stories.The 3 girls who didn't come last month got embarrassing Christmas panties so they make sure and never miss our dinners again. We didn't do our ornament exchange this year and really missed it! So next year no excuses girls...theres nothing like fighting with friends over gifts.

3- Friday night was our "Bunco Christmas" at Carols. Wow can she put on the show! We had such a fabulous time in her gorgeous home and we were all there! 14 because 2 of our alumni came. We had a fun secret Santa gift exchange and everyone received lovely personal gifts. The night was filled with laughter,great food, and love overflowing. My idea of a perfect evening! A big Thanks to my secret Santa Dori ! I received the most beautiful fresh wreath.It's amazing and hanging on my living room wall, a cute little sleigh, and a cup cake tree complete with sprinkles and holiday holders. It is a darling gift from a treasured friend.

4-I love seeing my kids be Santa~ Something about the idea of them out shopping and wrapping with us in mind just warms my heart. Every single thing they have gotten me over the years means so much to me.Just this week I wore two pairs of earrings from my boys, gingerbread ones from Chad and darling silver ones from Travis. I am thankful they find joy in buying people surprises.

5- Saturday night our fellow "Book Babe" Nancy and her sweet husband John had us all over for some holiday fun! They moved back to Temecula to a wonderful new home and we are thrilled to have them back in town. It is so fun that the hubbies all get along great too, we had fun talking and munching homemade goodies.I feel terrible that I never took out my camera to snap some photos. Thanks for a great evening everyone! Maybe we should make the guys start reading and join us every month? Nah....But last night was a treat

6-Chad and I felt like the Griswolds putting up our outdoor lights! We would no sooner get all the lights up and the whole strand would go out. We replaced the fuses,tightened the bulbs,plugged them in, gave each other high fives when they lit up, put the ladder away, and five minutes later it was dark. We must have done this at least four times. And our house is two stories so each time he had to get back on the roof. All the while the new little boy across the street (who is a true Dennis the Menace) would yell "Lady,Your lights don't work" It takes a lot to ruffle Chad but even he was a tad frustrated!(the new neighbor boys name is Stevie, how cute is that. He has taken a real liking to us and I think we will be seeing a lot of him,and his dump trucks,and he usually comes complete with a corn dog in each hand) But along came Steve to save the day. Turns out it was the extension cord we were using. Now as I turn the corner and see all the lovely lights I appreciate them even more.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Now you know how much I LOVE my jammies...

After working in the market for years, I have seen it all!! But no one has believed me when I would tell them about the 'outfits' people wear to shop in. But thanks to my camera phone, the proof is in the pudding(or in the robe in this case) We have had some doosies! (let me start by saying this was taken at Ralphs and my name is Sophia) Last week this lovely lady came in to shop in her jammies and a bright pink robe. She completed the outfit with no bra, smeared under eye make up and bed head at its worst. Now it was only 8:30am and she did slip into some sandals to dress it up a bit(rather than her slippers) But my goodness? She wasn't running in for medicine or a thermometer,she was grocery shopping! When did this become OK? And I just love that I was able to snap the picture when she stopped off at the lottery machine on the way out to 'try her luck' It just completes the whole picture. We also have the middle aged ladies who come in with the "juicy' or 'pink' sweats. Maybe I am a prude but my take is... if you have graduated Jr high it is no longer acceptable attire unless in your own home. This is not cute!! I can still hear my mom saying" Honey you need to get up and get ready for your day" That meant we had to shower, brush our teeth, and get dressed before going anywhere. I taught it to my kids and I think it's a good rule to live by. OK, for the rest of the month I am going to be "good for goodness sake"No more of these silly posts. But I almost cant help it,people just give me so much material for my blog.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday Six...Things that made me smile.

1- I realized on Monday how much I LOVE Chads laugh! I kid you not ,that boy has the sweetest laugh and he laughs ALL the time. He is going to be home for a couple months and it has been so fun having him here. His joy is simply contagious..Chad,thank you for the giggles, folding my towels,emptying the dishwasher without being asked, dancing with your weird mom in the bathroom to Celtic music, and for belly laughing everyday!

2- Our house is super cozy! And I so love it decorated for Christmas. I hate to ever turn off the lights. Pictures don't do it justice,but it's so sweet at night. It isn't professionally decorated, but its home and I am thankful for it. (yipee we have '5' stockings now : )

3- My brother Kenny taught today at his church and it was awesome!! He really is such a good pastor and his message was beautiful! I am super proud of him and loved sitting in the pew listening to him teach from the word and from his heart. I thought about it the whole way home and smiled.

4- My work always adopts a few kids from the homeless shelter near us for Christmas. Somehow over the years it has become my job to shop and wrap for the kids. Well this year we got 8 names! I feel awful that I complained about having to shop for so many. How selfish of me and I am glad the Lord changed my heart quickly! It has been a joy to buy gifts for kids who would not be getting one. And fun to shop for bargains so we can buy them even more. The names on my list have become a part of my heart and I have been praying for them everyday.

5- We love and appreciate our gardener Crestancio so much.I know that sounds silly but he is such a sweet hardworking man. Every Friday I try to be home when he comes so I can give he and his son snacks and drinks. They always smile and say thank you. They are just the most kind hearted people. He has been helping us with our yards for almost 20 years. And he wont raise his price! He says he appreciates all the people we have referred to him.Sometimes he even comes on Wednesdays too, for extra weeding and pruning. So now we just give him extra cash taped to our green barrel so he will have to take it before he fills it.

6- Steve~ I love you! Thanks for the sweet message on my phone, for getting up with me at 5am to talk while I put on make up and get ready for work,for being so good to my brothers and their families. You are not a good shopper (1/2 hour tops and you are done) you are terrible at wrapping,you maybe hung 7 ornaments, but you are a good Elf in every other way and I love you!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Memory Lane~ Christmas

Christmas Eve with new pajamas and home made cookies! Just what memories are made of...
Used to be when the boys were small because they were so close in age everything was either green or blue. Because that way they could tell which one was theirs. Travis was green because of his green eyes and Chad was blue for his blue eyes. So funny as I was buying some things this year for stockings I had to buy Green, Blue and now Pink!!! I love including Ash in on all these little details. Even though she wont have a pink sippy cup, I still have the old blue and green tupperware ones.I know the boys no longer live at home but I still find myself picking those colors..I just love when little memories come back, and they seem to flood at the holidays! Enjoy every detail in life...they add up to a very full heart.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bah Humbug

If you came here today looking for holiday cheer,you might have to look elsewhere.I am usually full of Christmas cheer! I love the season and I adore buying gifts. The last thing I want to do is complain..BUT
What is the deal with the kiosks in the mall? And when did the sales people become so darn aggressive? I stopped in to get two quick things on my home from book club,and was met with someone wanting to straighten my hair(on a bar stool smack dab in the middle of the aisle,with the same tool he has no doubt used on countless others) The T Mobile guy who almost scared me to death when he jumped out asking if I needed a new phone.The creepy man who wanted to rub lotion on my hands.But the worst is the Israeli guy who sells face creams. (From the dead sea or placenta I don't know I was trying to escape) He would not take no for an answer!! I know you are there, I can see what you are peddling selling. I promise if I like something I will stop and look, but please let me shop leisurely and enjoy the carols playing and the cute Santa. I think next time I am going to pack my water gun and just let em have it. Or my bike horn? I am not going to complain about Helmart Walmart anymore. The greeter is sweet,never jumps out at me and sweetly says "hello and welcome"