Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Year's Worth of Accomplishments

The year's biggest laugh:  Took place just the other day. Christmas Eve to be precise.

{preface} My niece and  I were wrapping gifts with a roll of very old hidden in the corner wrapping paper. As I unrolled it, there was a spider body!!!! After I appropriately freaked out, my mom called my dad in from the other room to come dispose of it (because my mom, my niece and myself were all incapable of carrying the zero weight but 100% grody carcass out of the room). My dad thought he'd be funny and pretend to dump it on my head. Only when I threatened to punch him in the kidney did he realize it wasn't funny.

{the story} So I think the next turn of events follows naturally.  I rolled the paper out a little more to measure it to the box I was wrapping... when i noticed something half-roundish... and totally gross.  I didn't want to get too close- but I tried to figure out what it was before I freaked out.  It was small and curved- and it looked dead and dried out. "Eeew- what is that?" I exlaimed in mild horror. I looked closer and said, "it looks like a larvae!!! gross gross gross gross gross!!!!!"  I used the wrapping paper to flick it away from me toward my niece who also in turn freaked out.. But she, being more curious and courageous than I, picked it up in the tips of the scissors to get a better look at it. She looked like she was performing surgery as she held the miniature monster up to the light.  I looked away, totally grossed out as she said, "what the...? It's a fruit loop!"

I guess you had to be there. But I honestly cannot remember the last time I've laughed that hard. I laughed so much the muscles in my back were aching.

The year's best timing: I don't know if it's appropriate to go into detail- but I'm glad I moved to the facility I did- WHEN I did.

The year's best scheme to get people to like me: I implemented the "make cookies so my co workers will like me" program at work. I think this is still a work in progress, and I fully intend to make more cookies this weekend to take. But these magical cookies have pulled down lots of walls and even scored me a hug once!

The year's greatest accomplishment: Getting the nurses I work with trained. Some of them I've been training to hand me admit papers instead of putting them in the bin. Others I've been training to make sure they stop and take leave as the go home for the day.  It doesn't sound like much, but it's been a work in progress for a few months now, and finally today- one stopped all on his own without my having to remind him.  :)  Of course, now having said that, I'm sure my success will have been a one time fluke. Dangit.

The year's closest claim to fame: I submitted a picture to Cake Wrecks and it got used in on of their posts! Squeeee!!! I'm sure to you normal people that's not a big deal... but I was pretty darn excited. *That* was a good day.

The year's best new addiction: This is a toss up between Angry Birds (which technically I hate- but I have to get to the next level- so I can't seem to stop playing it) and The Big Bang Theory. I think I have a crush on every one of those boys.  I really do love me a nerd. I feel more at home among nerds. I think that's why I always liked Ross and Chandler best on Friends.  They seeeeeem cool- but anyone who knows what the Kobeyashi Maru is without looking it up- and can use it in conversation correctly- automatically qualifies as a nerd and is aces in my book!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Adam

Adam came before Eve. That's all the explanation you get. 

Every year for Christmas Adam the single, childless sisters in the Baker clan take the kids and party all night long so the parents can have some time to do some last minute organizing.  My sister Kim goes overboard with the planning. She plans enough for a three week getaway- but we only have a few hours!

This year everyone had to come dressed as a character from a Christmas story. We had Suzy Snowflake, Rudolph, a gingerbread girl, and a bunch of elves (one was a very convincing Dwayne from Prep and Landing)... oh... and a Grinch... sort of.  [I've been expressly forbidden to post pictures because sooooome of them are in Jr High/High School and have reps to protect.]

We eat Monte Cristos for dinner.

Ohhhhh....  they're heavenly! I forgot about that lovely little tradition. Melanie makes them from the Disneyland recipe.

 We watched the Prep & Landing movies.

I'd never even heard of them! So cute! We did a little Christmas karaoke, some Wii (I kicked their butts at the reindeer games!).

When it got long toward bedtime, I bailed. I'm not going to be in the same town as my bed and not sleep in it. Sorry. Nothing trumps sleeping in my own bed.

But before I have to go to bed- I just have to show you one quick little thing.

My mom makes our stockings when we join the family (obviously, some stockings have moved away and been joined by other matching stockings) and they are all the same size...

Well... if you look closely at this not so good from my phone picture, you'll see that MY stocking is *ahem* a little bigger than everyone else's. My mom threatens every year to make me a new one that matches the rest of the family's... but I'm pretty sure it's right just the way it is. It's a symbol that I'm the "goodest" kid. My mom obviously knew it all the way back when I was brand new.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Forgotten Goodies!

I had completely forgotten this old favorite till I walked in the door tonight from shopping and it was on TV...

I heard one line from it and thought- HEY! I know that movie!!!! So I immediately got online to see if it was available for me to share. It's in two parts- sorry, it was the best I could do- but it seriously is so cute you really need to watch it!  (apparently there are commercials... but they are actually kind of funny.)

After watching that- and seeing the commercials- it reminded me of another goody. We watch this every year. It's not Christmas until I watch this.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It takes a Gingerbread village

The Sunday after Thanksgiving we had our annual Grandma Baker's gingerbread hoopla! I've been meaning to post these pictures ever since!  There was more imagination this year- some of it unintentional- than there has been in the past. We bake the gingerbread and assemble the houses/trains in advance so that all people have to do when they arrive is go crazy with decorating.

Here is a small sample of the village we created. I think in all there were 15 or 16 houses and three or four trains. We were all overly sticky by the end of night and no one was craving sugar. Trust me. What we didn't eat- we soaked in through our skin.

First off- Jessica's amazing creation! She was a pioneer in the Tudor style housing! Freaking genius! I'm quite upset that I didn't think of it first! D'oh!

Little Miss P also got in on the action helping her mama make a little train!

Next is Shayla's California Red Carpet event.

I *love* the roof tiles!

Toot Toot! Now arriving! Lisa and Jenna's Candy Express!

Also arriving at Station Sugar Shock is Dallin's engine- complete with coal car!

Michelle and Shea got creative with their igloo.

Don't let it fool you- there is a gingerbread house somewhere under all those smarshmallows.

I think a couple of the girls were doing a little California Dreamin' on this winter's day. Here is Macy's beach front property!

Complete with surfing Santa!

Now this part is actually kind of funny. I came with a plan for what I wanted to do with my house. I bought Boston Baked Beans because I wanted to "brick" my house.

I think the thing I like best though- is the candy coated sunflower seed lights on the tree. Awesome! (if I do say so myself).

Every year my sister, Kim makes a very similar house to match the decor in her living room.  She uses pink Frosted Mini Wheats to make her house look like it's thatched with straw (are you starting to sense a theme??? Bricks... Straw... what comes next?)

And this year (remember- this was all unplanned- it just turned out this way) Melanie decided to make a version of Eeyore's house. She even came armed with a little Eeyore to enhance her house.

Have you seen Eeyore's house? It's made of STICKS!!! So without talking to each other about it- we totally made the three little pig's houses! I would just like to point out though- that I ended up being Practical Pig- making my house of bricks. I am safe from any candy seeking wolves!

A couple more houses to go!  My poor dear mother spends the whole party mixing up glue for us all to use- she said she made three times more than we usually use. I guess we really wanted to make sure stuff got attached!  Because of time, she asked me to make a house for her to take to her neighbors so this is the one they got.

Dig the teeny candy cane garland!! Aren't they so stinkin cute???

I also thought I'd make one for my dear Auntie. She decorates her house in blue and white for Christmas- so she got a house that would fit in.

This has got to be one of my favorite traditions!  Thanks to everyone who came and made it the best- most drama-free event we've had yet! I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with next year!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

99 years ago today...

...this girl was born.

She grew into a beautiful woman

And became a Mother and the World's Best Grandma.

She died just over 10 years ago.

Some nights I still cry because I miss her so much.

I love you Gramma Dallin!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I can't Handel it

There are three songs that I can think of off the top of my head that I cannot emotionally handle- meaning- just about every time I hear the song- I burst into tears. Pomp and Circumstance (the graduation song? Really Bakeshow? [hangs head in shame] yes), Amazing Grace (but only played on bagpipes) and The Hallelujah Chorus.

This first little video is the best I could do for one of my favorite parts from The Forgotten Carols. I love Handel's dream. I almost hope it actually happened that way. And I'm sure he's up in heaven very proud, yet humbled, by the amazing effect his greatest achievement has had on us all.

One can't help but be moved by the incredible music and the meaning of the words. Admit it, when you read this part of Isaiah in the Old Testament- you read it to the music! I do it! I know YOU do it!

I was going to put a video on here of the Silent Monks doing the Hallelujah Chorus- but A) you've all seen it and B) the version I like of it is no longer available. So instead, you only get one other video. I'm sure you've seen this too- but seriously, as I was looking for it to post it on this blog, I watched it a few times- and sat and bawled by myself in my room while I watched it.

How I wish I could have been there- been part of this flash mob. Not only to take part in the music- but the feeling of it. The blatant bearing of testimony of the Savior. The reminder to these holiday shoppers what it's really all about. All of it.

Monday, December 5, 2011

What the Dickens!

Dickens is a Christmas staple! A Christmas without watching/reading Dickens' A Christmas Carol is like... Arbor Day with no trees... it just doesn't make sense! It's such an integral part of the season! There are like, a bazillion versions out there. Some good. Others...... not so much.

The other day I finally sat down and watched the Jim Carrey Version of Dicken's A Christmas Carol. Can I tell you how utterly disappointed I was with it? Seriously? I thought with Colin Firth and Gary Oldman it would be awesome! And I think Jim Carrey is pretty flingin flangin talented too (if not a tad obnoxious) so I thought it would be awesome.

They got some of it right. It was more faithful to the actual story than a lot of other versions I've seen. But I think they tried a little too hard to make it 3D interesting and the whole death coach chase scene was just stupid.

I think the Mickey Christmas Carol is sweet.

But what can I say? I have a thing for rich ducks with Scottish accents :)

And the Muppet Christmas Carol is hilarious and rather touching (I can't be the only person who cries when I watch Muppets... can I?).

Ummm... Hello! Kermit the Frog is in this one! Need I say more?

One of my favorites is the George C Scott version.

I remember it being a tad creepy (although the Jim Carrey one gives it a run for it's money) .

And of course I'm partial to the Patrick Stewart version (sorry, no good links).

Definitely the handsomest Scrooge ever!
BUT (that's a big but)

My all time favorite version  (judge if you wish)- no matter how not-exactly-accurate it is- is The Mr Magoo version.  You can find the entire video available on Hulu. Or you can just click HERE.

I hope you take time to watch any- or all of these versions! Let me know which one is your favorite!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas is for Overgrown Five Year Olds.

Ho Ho Ho! T'is Christmas season! And there are certain movies/shows that I absolutely MUST watch in order for it to really feel like Christmas! I haven't even checked online to see if the more obscure ones are available, but I'll share what I can!

Today's is one that I'm pretty sure you'll all judge me for. I just remember watching it as a kid- and when I found it online tonight it made me so incredibly happy! I don't know why I can't put the video right on my blog page- but for some reason it's not working- so I'll give you a link to it HERE. Please don't judge me. 

Does anyone out there even remember this show being on TV? I totally loved it!  No wonder I turned out so awesome [read strange]. It's only 22 minutes. Go on- Watch it!

Also, I have a post of our annual gingerbread house party coming up... I just need to take the time to download the pictures from my camera (which I *finally* rescued from my parent's house!) and put them on the blog- so keep an eye out for those- and for more of my favorite Christmas shows!

Do you like how I talk to my readers like they actually exist? hahaha!