Saturday, December 27, 2008

Well, today was an exciting day.  It started out rather slow, (as I prefer my days off to be) and hit it's climax right around 5:30.  So, after eventually getting grandma showered and out the door, which was quite the feat, Renee, mom, grandma and I headed to the mall.  Anna was having a lazy morning so she decided to meet us there later for lunch.  Oh, and she hates the hustle and bustle of the day after Christmas sales.  Anyways, we got a bit side tracked trying to find the post office, then mom, with her great sense of direction kept going the wrong way in an attempt to get to the mall, which literally was a block away!  Anyways, it turned out beneficial as we found a Burlington Coat Factory and decided to hit our first after Christmas sale.  Which Renee grumbled about all the way in the door, then ended up spending more money than mom and I combined.  SHHH, don't tell Jon that Renee has a shopping problem.  After that little excursion, which took about 45 minutes to check out, we were famished and decided to go to the Cheesecake Factory.  Nothing too exciting to report there, besides, it is only about 4ish, and the climax isn't until 5:3o.  So after lunch/dinner, Anna took grandma back to the apartment while Renee, mom and I shopped a little more.  It was maybe 5 stores in when we got the phone call.  Grandma has asked for the fire to be lit, and Anna listened, but we were trying something new, and rather than just burning the natural gas, we had put a duraflame log on it.  Well, the house started to fill with smoke.  Anna was frantically fanning the fire alarm while calling us.  Earlier in the day, dad was over and critiqued us for burning the fireplace with just the natural gas, he said we were running up the electric bill or something.  So he went out and bought those logs.  Well he never informed us to open up the thing to the chimney.  So poor Anna was just doing what she was asked to do by grandma, and thought she was going to set the house on fire.  Which, luckily the tile around the fireplace will recover.  Anyways, we frantically left the mall, called Aunt Debbie who lives closer than we were and dashed home.  We pulled up to the parking lot smelling like a bonfire, and Aunt Debbie inside saving the day.  She had opened the chimney, and started the air conditioner to circulate the air.  Everyone made it out alive, poor Anna just had a headache all night which I am pretty sure is thanks to smelling smoke for so long.  Anyways, the night was pretty uneventful after that.  Renee and I went to Wal-mart and Lowes.  Oh, but we did start our first of 6 nights of dog sitting.  It shall be interesting seeing as how I do not like dogs, and these ones feed off of LALA and are all insane.  Prepare yourself for some future stories of me wanting to kill them.  Anyways, we are still counting down the days and anxiously awaiting the babies!  We miss you and love you Kim.  Wish you could have been here for all the excitement.  

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Well, today was an interesting Christmas if there ever was one.  With Kim and Brandon being in D.C., and Jon being in Iraq, it was bitter sweet.  Renee, Anna and I tried to hold down the Christmas traditions though.  The first to be broken was not having a stocking at our feet when we woke up.  Instead I woke up to Renee being ridiculous and vacuuming at 8:30 in the morning.  Which I thank my wonderful father for because he ticked her off last night when he bagged on her for having a dirty house.  Oh the day when Jon comes home and puts her back in line will be a wonderful day!  Then I had the privilege of making breakfast. I was rather proud of myself.  The only down side was the lack of home-made biscuits.  Then came present opening and dad complaining as usual.  What would Christmas be if he actually liked what we got him?  It was a wonderful morning minus those few flaws.  Then I decided to clean my room (it was much needed as I have no time during the week).  It looks amazing if I do say so myself.  I was even ambitious enough to hang up a few more things: some things in memory of my Grandpa Chuck, a mirror and a bulletin board in hopes of being more organized.  I even changed my sheets (thanks to Kim and Brandon getting me new satin sheets).  Then I was really bored so I painted my nails Christmas red. Of course ruining a few.  And last but not least of the big events was Christmas dinner.  Complete with prime rib, yorkshire pudding, veggies and potatoes.  It was wonderful!  Now there is talk of playing a game, and going to a movie, but I am pretty sure the movie will get vetoed as I have yet to change from my pajamas.  There are really no great stories from Christmas yet.  The highlights have been dressing LALA (Renee and Jon's dog) in reindeer ears and making her dance, Renee feeding McGraw (my mom's dog) off of a fork in honor of Kim, Anna freaking out about a Jonas Brothers magazine, and Renee suggesting we pick up the needles from the tree with our hands because we would break her vacuum if we vacuumed them up.  Anyways, we dearly missed you Kim, Brandon and Jon.  Next year is anxiously awaited when we all WILL be together.  Love you!

Oh, and photos will come soon for your viewing pleasure!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas is coming!

So yesterday was the beginning of Christmas traditions, we spent the day making tamales.  It was quite the feat.  It all began Friday afternoon when I realized that this weekend was my last free time before Christmas.  So, I decided to drive to Santa Ana when I got off work at 5:30 to go to La Grande (the Mexican store that my Grandma Ortiz has always shopped at).  This was a bad decision on my part first because the 55 freeway at that time of night is like a parking lot.  Secondly, because I did not know where I was going.  Let's just say that by the time I found a store (La Grande closed at 2:30 in the afternoon) and bought all the ingredients for the tamales, and got to my mom's house to drop everything off, it took over 3 hours.  After the night of stressful events I indulged myself in 2 pieces of Mexican bread and felt much better.  Moving on to Saturday, we started the assembly around noon.  About 3 hours later we had made about 150 tamales.  For the most part it was just Anna and I, until Renee showed up and demanded that she wanted to spread the masa.  That was short lived, she did not even make it through one when she decided to switch to the easier part of the assembly and added the meat.  Fyi, since I know Kim is the only one who reads this, if you get tamales without olives, that is ALL Renee.  So sorry about the bad luck she is sending your way.  Other than that, it was a great (long) day of tamale making, only to end in a defeating trip to the mall where I bought not a single Christmas present.  Skipping all the unpleasant details of the night and moving on to Sunday morning, Anna and I went to church (which was a great service), treated ourselves to some In and Out, and then off to attempt the Christmas shopping task again.  Once again, SHOT DOWN.  We went to Color Me Mine which is a ceramics shop to realize that painting a coffee cup would have cost more than $30!  Ridiculous.  Off to Nordstroms Rack, yet again, nothing.  We gave up after that, and headed home.  All in all, it was a good yet defeating day.  But the night got better as Alyssa Fenton arrived and brought her usual cheery spirit.  Not much later Anna's friend Rachel arrived.  We have a full house for the night, but it is quite welcomed.  We do love visitors.  By the way Kim, we are fighting mom for part time custody of you and the babies when you come in February.  We simply stated we have a nicer apartment and that it was not fair.  She did not put up too much of a fight.  We will see how it goes as the time grows closer.  Anyways, enclosed is a picture of the tamale assembly process (thanks to mother's great photography skills).  You were greatly missed Kim!  Although I doubt you would have been able to reach the table to help much!