26 December, 2008

A Christmas Story

She walks up to the front door, arms laden with gifts. Upon reaching the door, she notices a note addressed to her, quickly she reads it before returning to her car for the remainder of her packages. Coming back to the house, she quickly removes the note from the door and reads it again with a grin on her face. "Follow these instructions EXACTLY! to recieve your gift. Instructions Where do you go to put your gifts? Once you get there find me and look inside." So off she went, into the living room to look by the Christmas tree. She was surprised when she did not see her loved one in there waiting for her. So she proceded on the the next part of the clue "find me"...she saw no gifts with his name on them...but suddenly she saw a mailbox with his name on it and upon looking inside, found her next clue. "Roses are red, violets are blue, you need to go where I first said I love you!" This was an easy one. She raced down the stairs to the basement couch, again expecting to find him there, but the room was empty. On the couch was a small black box. Her face lit up as she slowly opened it, all the time wondering where he was. Unbeknownst to her, he was carefully hidden, watching her every move. Her face broke out in a grin as she opened the box and pulled out a delicate diamond and sapphire ring. He came out from his hiding place, a grin on his face as well, and sat beside her on the couch as she placed the ring on her finger. "It's perfect," she said.

And now my friends, I must tell you, that that is a true story, as experienced by me yesterday afternoon. Mike bought me this beautiful promise ring, which he gave me for Christmas last night!

My BEAUTIFUL ring!!!!

When we came upstairs, of course I had to show off my new ring! Then we went into the living room for more gifts. Mike's parents bought me a Kitchen Aid mixer for my Christmas and birthday present. I was so excited! I've wanted one of these for such a long time. I gave Mike a sweatshirt and a hat from American Eagle.

Mike opening his gift from me :)

After the immediate family gift exchange, we went to Mike's aunts house for his whole family get together. We had a delicious dinner: ham, cheesy potatoes, potatoes au gratin, vegetable cassarole, salad, rolls, and baked apples. After a while, the younger kids began to get impatient, so we moved into a big circle to open the presents. Mike's Grandma bought gifts for everyone. She got me a Santoku knife (which I've wanted for a long time) and an American Eagle gift certificate. It was so much fun to watch everyone open their presents. The youngest kids got a ton of presents, and they seemed to think that every gift was theirs, so a lot of us would let them help us open our gifts. There were so many presents!

Grant and Tori were climbing all over the huge pile of presents!

After the regular gifts, we played Bingo. This is a Christmas tradition for Mike's family. If you get a "bingo" you get to chose a gift from the pile. Again, there was a huge pile of gifts! It was almost overwhelming! The first package I opened up was men's socks, which happened to be Mike's size, so he got them. That worked out good because later he got a women's polo shirt that is my size! Between the two of us we got $5, Bath and Body Works Apple soap, a fleece blanket, body lotion (2 kinds), and fuzzy pink gloves. His Grandma also made all the women a bunch of yarn covered hangers, so I got a bunch of those as well.

This Christmas was different from any one before for a few reasons: I had to work the morning, my family is in Canada with my mom's family (we'll celebrate Christmas when they come home tomorrow), and I got to celebrate with Mike and his family. It was a great Christmas and I hope that you and your family were blessed as well!!!

24 December, 2008

Trans-Siberian Orchestra Concert

Last night Mike and I went to the TSO concert at the Van Andel. It was by far the best concert I have ever gone to (and I've been to a lot of concerts). The music was amazing, and the light show was breath-taking. I loved every moment of the 2.5 hour concert!

The lights were amazing...they had fire behind the performers, and sometimes fire balls shot into the air!

The violinist (on the right) was my favorite perfomer of the night! She was absolutely amazing!

This is the whole stage...lights and all!

Amazing guitarist!

His voice gives me shivers!!

17 December, 2008

Christmas in Kentucky

On Friday, Alecia, Mike, and I set out on the road. First we drove to Chicago, where we dropped Alecia off at the airport. She is now in Romania for the next few weeks. Then Mike and I drove about 6 more hours to Ohio. On the way, Mike experienced the deliciousness of White Castle for the first time ;) We met up with my parents and brother and spent the night at my Aunt's house. Saturday morning, we drove another 3.5 hours down to Kentucky. We went to another aunt's house and hung out there for awhile. I wanted to show Mike around "our part of Kentucky" so we went in search of a coal mine. We couldn't find one at first and I ended up driving through 3 counties, up and down the twisty mountain roads. It was fun :) Then I realized I had stuff in my trunk that they needed to set up for the Christmas party so we brought that to the place where the party was. I got new directions and we went out again looking for the coal mine. Finally we found one, thought it wasn't the one I was looking for, but it was still neat to see. We headed back to my aunt's house and played with my cousins for a while. Then we headed back to the Senior Citizen's Center for the party. This was the first family Christmas party I've ever gone to. We got there about 4:30, party was supposed to start at 5:30, and already people were arriving! Mike and I stood off to the side and I tried to tell him who everyone was. In my family, that's quite a challenge. About 130 people came to the party. We ate and talked, and Santa came to visit the younger kids. Sunday morning, Mike and I left at 6 to head home. We arrived home about 4, with a few minutes to relax before I had to be at church to get ready for the dance. It was a busy weekend, but we had a great time!!!

This is an office building in Columbus, they had the indoor lights on to spell out HAPPY HOLIDAYS. It was really cool!

My cousin, Tracey, dressed as Santa and had a sack stuffed with toys for the kids.

Everyone crowded around to get gifts. The youngest got stuffed Curious Georges. The middle boys got cars from the movie Cars and the girls got princess dolls. The teenagers got money.

15 December, 2008

Liturgical Dance

Yesterday, Mike and I left Kentucky at 6 am to make it back to church in time for the Christmas program. (I'll write about Kentucky later!) Alecia and I choreographed a dance to Fernando Ortega's song, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence. Six middle school girls performed the dance. They did such an amazing job!!!
There was a problem with the camera, so the song is in two separate parts. The first movie is the first 4 seconds, and the second is the rest of the song.

08 December, 2008


Please take a minute to watch this movie. The statistics are staggering!!! I learned in my management class that Americans spend $10billion on Halloween...problem solved, huh? :)

01 December, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!!!

Today is my mom's birthday!

My dad made her a cake

Isn't it pretty?
She's been wanting a pair of these for a few years now. They've always been so expensive, but this year I found an amazing deal...
And here she is modeling her new ear warmers. I got her two pairs. One for in her van, and one for in her coat pocket
Happy birthday Mom!!!
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