Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Baking Day

This year my Grams decided that instead of having us all bake stuff in separate houses and bringing it to Christmas Eve, we would just all get together and bake it at her house. So all of us girls did precisely that.
I tried to stay out of the tough stuff and do the simple stuff to keep us from having any major catastrophes, but I was able to help out a bunch and I got to do the fun stuff like helping the little girls build gingerbread houses!!
It was sooo fun!!!

Nutcracker and Presents

Last year Jon and I started a tradition....we open our presents to each other before we drive to the mountains to be with family. It's a really fun tradition! 
So this year Jon did a fantastic job picking out my present! He got me a pink iPod nano! It is sooooo cool! It plays movies and TV shows and has games and does all sorts of nifty things! The best part of it was not the iPod though - it was what he had engraved on the back...it says "more than all the things" because that is how much he tells me he loves me.....isn't that so sweet!

I got Jon a Garmin GPS system - he has been wanting one........It looks like he liked it! YAY!!

Then we came up the mountain and went to see Laney dance in the Nutcracker. She was a soldier this year, but the last time she was in it, she played Clara, the main girl. This year the show was pretty cute, but nothing compared to the last time! Laney was a great soldier but you should have seen her as Clara!! That girl can waltz!! I guess she is just a great dancer no matter what part you put her in! 
...and so photogenic!
Tanner just got his braces off - - lookin' good!

This is the curtain call!!! Laney is over on the left side, but it's hard to make out faces - we were kind of in a bad place for pictures......

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thank You Soldiers

I found this site on Laurie's blog and it is amazing!!
Xerox is sending letters to the troops and you can help! Just go to www.letssaythanks.com and pick out one of their cards. Then you can choose a pre-written message or write a message yourself and they will send it to a soldier overseas.
This is completely free and it would be really appreciated!
Tell all your friends about it too!!!!!

A Great Day!!!

Today has been a pretty great day!!
Let me start with a little preface story and then I will let you know why today is so fantastic!
Once Upon A Time.....Jon sent a bowl in to a church-wide art competition to be judged. The competition asks for work that represents the Savior or a scripture story, or another aspect of the Gospel. It has 4 levels: first, you send in a picture of the art work and it gets judged. If you pass that judgment you then send your piece to Utah to be judged. They then choose just a few pieces out of the thousands of entries and display them in a museum in Utah. This is very prestigious. They will then give awards to certain entries.....
Jon has had a piece that made it clear to being displayed in Utah a few years ago. Here is what that piece looked like:

So the competition rolled around again and Jon decided to make a platter with the story of Lehi's Dream depicted on it.
This morning he got a letter telling him that he had made it through the first stage of the competition (the picture portion) and can now send the piece in to be judged!!
We were so excited!!! Of course he was trying so hard to stay "cool", but I could see the excitement in his face!
Here is what the piece he sent in looks like:

Isn't it beautiful!! You can see the tree and the iron rod and the darkness - You should see it in person!!!
So that started the day of really, really great!!
Then, I headed off to work and Jon headed off to do his very last final of the semester.....
So, I just got a phone call from him telling me that he finished his final and he felt pretty confident about it, so that is great! And now he is officially finished with his 3rd semester of law school and we are half way done!!!
Then, it started raining!! I love the rain so much and it really puts me in a good mood, and then I learned that I might have snow on Christmas!! YAY!!!!
Then (as if the day couldn't get better) I found a great web site that lets you know when they are having sales at grocery stores and gives you coupons - it is called mygrocerydeals.com - it is seriously the most amazing web site!! It is free to sign up and you get to choose your favorite grocery stores. Then it shows you the sales that store is having and when they will be over - - but wait, there's more - - you can choose items to add to a grocery list and it will keep a total for you of how much money you will spend and how much money you will save if you go grocery shopping and buy those things!!! I don't know how well I explained it, but it is really neat, so seriously go look at it!!
So you can imagine - especially now that there is only 2 hours and 15 minutes left of work - how happy I am!!!!
It has been a pretty great day!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Our Christmas Door

Last year we started a tradition last year (stolen from my creative mother who was once a poor college student with limited funds to decorate a small apartment for Christmas - just like we are now) of decorated our front door to our apartment like a giant present. I really love doing this because it looks so pretty, but Jon and I have so much fun doing it!
Here is a picture of us and the finished product (masterfully taken by Lacie Crandell)
Don't you just love Jon's big, cheesy smile?
We are really in the Christmas spirit!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

My Talented Husband

Now I hate to brag (ok, I don't hate it that much) but my husband is the most talented guy on the face of the planet. Not only does my husband play the guitar and sing, write his own music, know how to grow Saline Sweet Corn (the best sweet corn in the world!), still hold the pull up record at Snowflake High School (and he graduated 10 years ago), have such a quick wit and knack for making people laugh, and go to law school, he is also the most amazing wood turner you have ever seen in your life!!! Now, he is so humble and will not admit that he is so great, but if you check out his web site (jonsaline.com) you will see his artwork.
Here is one example of the talent that he has. He took a piece of wood from my parents wood pile out back and turned it into these beautiful bookends for my dad for his Birthday:

Aren't they beautiful!!!
I can't help but gush and gush over the amazing man I am so blessed to be with for the rest of forever!
Plus he is really really handsome!!!
I am sooooo lucky!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Football Update

Ok guys, I went to the game ready to follow the lead of the other Stallion fans, but, sadly, I never needed to know anything about stuff like touchdowns or point scoring at all actually. You see, Jon and I showed up a little bit late - ok, it was half time when we got there, but don't worry guys we hadn't missed anything - in fact our team hadn't scored at all, but the other team had scored 30 points! 
Well, I am sad to say that the second half didn't get any better. One of our players got kicked out of the game (we think it was because of a comment to the referee) and one of their guys got hurt so he was out for the game too. 
The ending score was 52 to 3 - in the last couple minutes one of our guys did this thing where he kicked the ball and it went between the posts and we got 3 points (sorry, I can't remember the technical football term for that cool move, but it was a really great kick - even I could tell that!)
There were 2 big problems that caused this loss:
1) Three of our best players were suspended this week and were therefore not allowed to play in the game - dumb kids getting suspended right before the state game!!
2) The other team's players were twice as big as all of our little skinny guys - I mean, our guys would be hanging on them and the guys kept running. One time, one of our guys was holding on to a big-o-boys britches and the big-o-boy swung him around in a circle - our guy was completely off of the ground!!
Don't worry everyone - the night was not a complete loss - I learned some very important football terms - here is are my new vocabulary words:
End Zone: the part of the field where you run to get a touchdown (which is a word I already knew, yes, be impressed!)
Sack: When the quarterback gets tackled by a bunch of big-o-guys before he gets to throw the ball and they lose yards.
Running Back: The guy that catches the ball when the quarterback throws it
Even though our team didn't even come close to taking the State Championship - everyone was full of Stallions spirit right up until the end. They were rooting and cheering and pretty supportive all the way. And we still get to bring a slightly smaller trophy home to our school to proudly display in the office for all to see.
Yay Stallions!!!! #2 in the State for Division 1 schools!!! (pretty nifty title huh?)

Football and the Fight Song

When I was in High School I never missed a home football game. I would be in the stand every other Friday night with my fellow Cougars dancing to the marching band, chanting with the cheerleaders, and chatting up on all the newest "who's dating whom" and "who hates whom" stuff that high school inevitably brings.
Now, just because I went to the football games and was even really great friends with most of the football team, I don't understand one thing about the game. Sure I get that there are a bunch of big guys in big, pad-filled outfits running in to each other as a ball that's shape makes so sense at all to me gets passed back and forth. After a few minutes of this, the game stops and everyone unravels from the giant pile of sweaty guys and the game is set back up again in a different spot on the field.
Then when the ball gets ran through the giant posts that means touchdown and the runner then throws the ball on the ground, does a little dance right before getting knocked to the ground by his excited teammates - and the game sets up again......
When I was in high school I operated on the knowledge that it didn't matter if I was actually watching the game - when the fight song played, that meant there was a touchdown and we all cheered and sang along with the band, "Hail! Hail, You Cougars, Pass The Ball Right Down The Field!!"
Well, now I work at a high school and all season I have gotten out of going to the football games. The first few I was "busy" and then a miracle happened...one of the teachers was given a jersey to wear at the games all season - finally a good excuse. When I was asked by the coaches and the players if I would be going to the game, I would simply say, "I can't go, I don't have a jersey to wear"
Yup, I know, it's a pretty lame excuse but I was holding strong.
So tonight is the State Championship and yesterday I was asked if I was going. I gave my regular answer and what was their reply - you guessed it - we have a jersey for you to wear.
Needless to say, I am going to the Championship football game tonight. I will pay close attention and cheer when everyone else does and moan when everyone else does and freeze like everyone else. The weird thing is that I am a little bit excited to go. I haven't been to a football game since High School and they were always fun even when you didn't know what was happening in the game. Besides, I talked Jon into going with me, which of course means that he will be studying right up to the game, and right after the game probably all night - but I was so excited when he agreed to go with me!
So I will keep you posted and let you know how it goes.......
Go Stallions!!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Christmas Underpants

Last week I got a book for a really good friend called "The Christmas Jar" - It's a great book that is full of Christmas spirit and inspiration, as all of those Christmas books are. Jon's mom and I then started talking about the book "The Christmas Shoes" and Jon thought it was so funny - he said "there are always books called 'The Christmas This' and 'The Christmas That' - Next thing you know, there will be a story called 'The Christmas Underpants'!"
Now of course we all laughed at this ridiculous notion, but my crazy brain could not let the idea go....
So here you have it, the debut of my own little Christmas story:

The Christmas Underpants
Malori Jo Saline

Jeffrey was a very intelligent little boy. Ever since he turned the ripe old age of 4 1/2 he was already writing his name and reading chapter books. He enjoyed doing simple multiplication in his spare time, and especially enjoyed Sherlock Holmes and other mysteries.
As Christmas approached Mom started her usual preparations for the holiday. She started baking and decorating and hanging up the stockings. Jeffrey was sure this was very ridiculous - who wants a tree in their living room?
One night Mom asked Jeffrey if he would like to write a letter to Santa. "Who is this Santa fellow?" Jeffrey asked.
"Well, Santa is the Father of Christmas! He lives at the North Pole with Mrs. Claus and the elves who make the toys. Every Christmas Eve he loads up his sleigh with gifts and the eight flying reindeer take him to every child in the world guided by the glowing red nose of Rudolph - the lead reindeer. The sleigh lands on the rooftops of the children and Santa comes down the chimney and fills the stocking and leaves gifts. We are going to have to leave some cookies out for him because he loves sweets! Isn't that exciting Jeffy?" Mom got more and more excited as the story went on.
Jeffrey thought this over for a few minutes. His look was puzzled. Finally, pushing his glasses up on his nose, he replied, "How does one sweet-loving fat man get to ever child in the world in one night? How does his fat belly - it must be fat after eating cookies from every child in the world - fit down the chimney? What if you don't have a chimney? How do reindeer fly? It seems a little suspect to me mother. Not to mention, nobody can live on the North Pole, the climate simply won't permit it."
"It's magic dear." Mom explained patiently, "Now you go work on your letter telling Santa what you would like for Christmas and we will put it in the mailbox before dinner."
Mom walked off quietly humming "Jingle Bells" and leaving Jeffrey alone with his thoughts.
At dinner Jeffrey was unusually quiet during dinner dismissing the questions about his Santa letter. He left the table very quickly and headed to his room before dessert.
Billy, Jeffrey's older brother, noticed his odd behavior and (after eating dessert) followed Jeffrey. When he opened the door he saw the sweet little boy holding his teddy bear and crying. Billy walked to the bed and sat down, "What's up little brother?"
Jeffrey looked into the calm eyes of his teenage brother and started sobbing, "Our mother is planning on letting a complete stranger - a magical stranger named "Santa"- into our home in the middle of the night after we are all asleep! She actually trusts him to leave us presents, but I have read numerous books about robbers posing as do-gooders only to murder everyone in the house! I just can't believe that she would endanger our lives this way!"
"Jeff, that is ridiculous. Santa doesn't murder people, he leaves presents. He is a jolly man with a belly like a bowl full of jello! What is so bad about that? Trust me brother, you don't have anything to worry about."
Jeffrey was obviously not convinced, so Billy told him to wait right there. He left and a few minutes later returned holding a pair of flame colored boxers.
"Do you know what these are?" Billy asked, sounding mystical.
"Your dirty laundry."
"No, these are the Christmas Underpants! If you wear these underpants on Christmas night, Santa won't see you and so you will have nothing to worry about. You will wake up and see all of the presents and know that Santa is a good guy."
Christmas Eve came and after a large dinner, some singing next to Mom's piano and reading the story of Christ's birth in the Bible, they all headed to bed. Jeffrey wasn't entirely convinced that the underpants would work, but he wasn't going to take any chances. He pulled on the flame boxers. He had to tie the waist in a not to keep them from falling down, and he had to roll up the legs to keep from tripping. He climbed in his bed and waited.
He waited and waited and wai.......fell asleep.
Jeffrey awoke to a loud crash followed by the ringing of bells. Quietly he climbed out of bed, down the stairs and hid behind the couch in the living room - and he saw him. The big fat man with a long white beard and the strangest red suit Jeffrey had ever seen. He watched the stranger pull his giant sack up to the tree and then he bent to lift something out of it.
Jeffrey let out a little squeak. He was sure it would be a rifle, or a ninja sword or something equally as dangerous. Santa turned around and looked for the source of the sound, but didn't see the little boy with too-big-for-him flame boxers. He turned and set the first brightly wrapped gift under the tree.
The little boy was so startled by this magical man. "Billy was telling the truth! He must have been telling the truth about the underpants too!"
So, he climbed out from behind the couch and walked right up to Santa.
"You can't see me because of my Christmas Underpants, but I can see you and I am so happy you aren't a murdering robber!"
Santa didn't look at the boy but continued to work with a little smirk on his face.
Jeffrey climbed up on the couch and settled in and watch the man. Soon he was fast asleep.
The next morning Billy jumped on the couch waking his sleeping brother.
"So, how'd it go? Nobody was murdered and we weren't even robbed...do you believe me now?"
Jeffrey was so excited to tell Billy what he had seen! He explained every detail of the story "...and he didn't even see me! I walked right up to him and he didn't even see me! Thank you so much for these magical underpants!"
They started opening their presents - Billy got a new snowboard, and a new pair of underwear, Jeffrey got a complete Encyclopedia set, and Mom got a brand new cookbook. It was the best Christmas Jeffrey had ever, or would ever have thanks to his Christmas Underpants!
And you can bet that every Christmas, no matter how old he got, Jeffrey always wore those flame boxers, and Santa never saw him......
The End

Ok, it's not going to win any prizes - not even worth publishing - but hopefully it brought a smile to your day and a little Christmas spirit into your world...........and now Jon, there is even a Christmas Underpants story!!

Christmas Tree!!

Last night for FHE Jon pulled the tree out and we set it up and decorated it - and I have to say, it is probably the most beautiful tree ever decorated since the dawn of time!
You can't see it in the picture but we have a very eclectic group of ornaments on our tree....We have some very tiny pink balls that came from when I was a teenager and decided to put a tree in my room. We have some very pretty medium sized silver balls that reflect the pretty white lights so nicely. Then we have some transformer ornaments, some precious moments, some cat in the hat, some candy canes, a pretty heart that says the year we were married on it, all sorts of random things - - and our pretty little Precious Moments Angel on the top....
Needless to say, it is the most beautiful tree ever and I am so excited about it!
I was especially excited because I wasn't sure that Jon would have time to help me decorate it, because of finals coming up, but he took the time to have FHE with me and it was so wonderful!
Tonight I am going to work on getting the rest of our decorations up. We have a lot more this year because my mom went through her Christmas stuff and picked out a few things she didn't want to put up! I am especially excited about these cool plug-in things...you put the little adapter in the light socket and then you suddenly have places to plug lights outside!! (I don't know if that makes sense, but the just of it is that I get to put lights outside on my balcony!!)
I love the Christmas season so much and I love being able to spend it with both sides of the family and especially with Jon!
Merry December!!!!!!