Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Shawna's wedding

My cousin, Shawna, married Jeremy a week and a half ago on a beautiful December day. The night before the wedding, some friends graciously invited us to have dinner at their home and spend the night. The next morning, Mom and Mel got out the hair styling book and went to work.The end result was very pretty! It was a very fancy wedding, and since we were dressing formally, she wanted a hairstyle to match. Shawna asked Melody and I to play the prelude music, and we were happy to be a part of her ceremony.

Mr. and Mrs. Penney

(Jeremy's grandpa was the man who started JC Penney's.) My cousin, Kristina, was the matron of honor, and her two little girls were the flower girls. They were so adorable! You'll see quite a few pictures of them on here since they were so cute!

Kristina and AlexaKaitlyn My grandparents and the happy couple. Kaitlyn is such a ham. After the wedding, we went back to my aunt's house for a few hours before the reception. Kaitlyn and Melody had fun playing on the piano together.The reception was held at Drury Lane. We had never been there before, so when we walked in all we could say was, "Wow!" We are definitely small town folks who haven't been many places like this one! It had a dining area, theatre, hotel, and different ballrooms.

The chandeliers were beautiful!Needless to say, we took advantage of the picture-taking opportunity. I was dying to try this grand, but I didn't dare!

Me and my handsome bro

Typical Jase being strange
Alexa again Kaitlyn looked cute playing with her dress and twirling around.

More cousins, Rick and Dani, with their two boys, Ricky and Dale.

Mom and Dad coordinated well in their cream and brown that day.

The tables were beautifully decorated.

Jason made sure we took some pictures of the food.

Kaitlyn and Alexa eventually got comfy, and they decided to try out the dance floor.

Alexa and her daddy having fun.

Ricky dancing with his mom
We were glad to share in our cousin's special day!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Girl time

We recently had the Ava and Helena over to our house for a visit. The first day we talked, played games, talked, cooked, and talked some more in bed until the early hours of the morning. ;-)
The next morning was more of the same, but then it was time for beading. Helena had brought some of her things, and she wanted Melody to show her how to make jewelry. Ava joined them as well. I know from past experience that beading is not my thing, but I enjoyed visiting with them as they worked.The special crimp beads were not co-operating that day. I think the necklaces took twice as long as they should have because of those stubborn beads. Mel even had a hard time with them, and she is an experienced beader. Melody decided to make a macrame (sp?) necklace this time. The finished products...Ava's, Helena's, and Mel's.
The necklaces turned out so pretty! Helena made some earrings too!
I told them they needed to model their work for me. We had a fun time with the girls and enjoyed getting to know them better!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Girls' Party

The first Saturday in December is our annual Girls' Party. This get-together was started years ago by my grandma, her 5 daughters, and 1 daughter-in-law. The group now includes the next generation, and we join when we turn 16 or marry into the family.

My cousin's wife, Danielle, hosted the party for the first time this year, and her house was decorated beautifully for Christmas!
Aunt Kim made the festive tableclothes and centerpieces.
Visiting while we wait for everyone to arrive...Mom, Aunt Tammy, Grandma, and me. After our yummy brunch, we headed downstairs to open our gift from our "Secret Sister".
My cousin, Heather, couldn't make it from Florida this year, but she mailed Melody's present to Dani shortly before the party. Mel received a journal, gel pens, and some really neat scrapbooking books!
Melody's gift to my cousin was a pencil drawing of Therese and her fiance', Dan. Therese loved it, and everyone oohed and aahed over the picture.
Therese had me, and she gave me some warm, fuzzy socks (quite appropriate for me!) and some items from Bath and Body Works.

Mom and I both gave a book of Christmas stories to our Secret Sisters (Aunt Nanette and Aunt Jan). We've collected these stories ever since I was little, and we enjoy reading out of our book so much that we are now passing the stories on to other people.

Denise, Shawna, and Aunt Jan My cousin, Kristen, had Mom, and she made her cement stepping stones for the flower garden which she decorated with pretty stones.
We had dessert after opening our gifts and visited some more before heading home. Thanks, Dani, for hosting the party this year!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Miscellaneous

We have to give an update on tree-topper tradition. None of the kids won this year! Mom must have been tired of all that "bickering". *wink* Actually, we received this ornament from our friends, Wolfgang and Lauren, who brought it back from Germany. Mom put the star together and decided it needed to be in the place of honor this year.
Hmm...will that make the tree-topper debate easier or harder next year?Another tradition we have in our family is the Christmas puzzle. Mom's parents bought this puzzle in the early 80's, and it has now been passed on to our family. It's quite cute and we enjoy putting it together each year.Competition is part of this tradition. I'm not sure who started it, but in 1984, someone recorded on the inside cover of the box the time it took them to complete the puzzle. Sorry, the picture is not a very good one. Can you see the time at the top? It took 5 people 1 hour and 17 minutes to complete the puzzle. We have done this puzzle so many times throughout the years that we have it down to an exact science. We know exactly where each piece belongs and in what order to put it all together. Our top record is 43 minutes and 40 seconds, and that is with only two people! We beat all the 3, 4, and 5 person times! Mom and I have not succeeded in breaking it yet, but we will one day. I came very close to topping the 1-person time this year, but I didn't quite make it. I'll probably try again before Christmas is over.

This is a miscellaneous post of Christmas things, so I'm going to switch subjects again.

Melody played her flute in the Dixon Municipal Band this summer, and she participated in the Christmas concert a couple weekends ago.
Melody and Jason both played in the municipal and college bands in their jr. high and highschool years, but they haven't participated for a few years. Mel enjoyed playing again this year, and she was first chair throughout the summer.
The Christmas concert is traditionally held in the Historic Dixon Theatre. It was decorated beautifully! I had forgotten the camera, so during the intermission, I made a quick trip home to get it.

It's hard to see Melody in the pictures, but she is to the right of the band director in the first "U". She is 3rd from the right. Some of the decorations...
The horn players did a little decorating of their own.
At first, I couldn't figure out what was blinking up on the stage, but then I saw the Christmas lights on the music stand. A few years ago, one of Mel's fellow flutists found tiny lights to put in their hair. It looked really pretty. Mel tried unsuccessfully to find some this year.

Christmas music is so much fun to play; we've already had five performances in the past month, but we're not tired of it yet!