Thursday, December 27, 2012

Entertainment at work

I should have included this in my end of the world post probably. It was my last day of work, and these pictures go along with that. So we go through a lot of staples at work. We pull them out of documents before scanning them. I always had wanted to save them for a while and see how many we had and use them for something, but I hadn't done it. Well this last semester, I decided to change that. So we collected staples all semester. The cup in this picture is where we collected them. That cup was pretty heavy. The cool thing about collected staples is you can pull them up by grabbing a few on top and lift and the whole thing comes up. And you think the cup's just about too full, but then the staples just keep pushing together and there's more room. Anyway, we decided to make a staple ornament for our supervisor for Christmas. So I got the very last clear ornament from Michael's (seriously, shelves completely empty except for this one ornament!) and we filled it with staples! That was a bit of a challenge. When it was getting full, you could only put them in a couple at a time and then try to shake them to the sides...especially since this was a square ornament, so you had to try to fill the corners! It was a bit of a challenge, but it was fun and it turned out pretty cool. :)

Also, on my last day, I experienced a first. I've stapled plenty of documents, got a staple stuck in my thumb once when trying to remove it, but never had I stapled my sleeve to something! I thought it was hilarious though. Had to take a picture. I think normally I roll my sleeves up but I hadn't that day. Sorry about the white boxes over the picture, I decided I should cover the documents since we do deal with confidential information.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve at Home

Merry Christmas Eve! It's been a great day! First of all, it snowed quite a bit and was quite lovely out. I love a white Christmas. I also love the movie and the song "White Christmas" too. So I was pretty thrilled. Dad was slightly less excited while he shoveled several times throughout the day. I would have helped, but I was busy helping Mom preparing our smorgasbord. But it was beautiful to see the snow falling. I should have gotten a better picture when it was snowing a little harder and the flakes were better, but this isn't bad. This is the view from our front door. 

This evening we had a special surprise when Santa showed up on our doorstep! He brought us a special treat before heading on his jolly way. He'll be back later tonight of course, but he wanted to see us awake too.

This evening we enjoyed our Swedish feast, followed by plenty of cookies and treats, reading Luke 2 and Matthew 2, and our yearly story of Babushka, during which we receive new PJs instead of a toy (the link leads to one version of the story that seems to best match the one we retell each year). Now we're watching The Polar Express and then off to bed! Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas lights & Caroling

One of my most favorite things about this time of year is Christmas lights. As a number of people could tell you, this year I've been quite vocal about that...every time I see Christmas lights, I say in a really excited voice, "Christmas lights!" And if there's several houses with Christmas lights, I repeat it a lot...yeah people love it and don't think I'm crazy at all! Okay, I'm mostly do this with only my sister in the car to avoid judgment. But I get super excited about Christmas lights. Especially white ones. I like colored ones too, but I tend to absolutely adore white ones, like icicle lights. The more lights the better. I just love them. When my friend invited me to go to Temple Square with him this year I was super excited. I absolutely adore the Lights at Temple Square. I was pretty much giddy. It's just so beautiful! The other night I drove around town and looked at lights for a while to get in the Christmas spirit. It made me so happy. I can't get enough of them.
This is a house in Houma, LA. Awesome, huh?

Another favorite thing about Christmas is our tradition of caroling. Our family goes every year with several other families in our neighborhood. For me it's a treasured tradition. We went tonight and had a really big and awesome group. Not to boast or anything, but we sounded fantastic. It's so fun because there's a lot of musical talent in our group and we harmonize really well. It was great fun going caroling. My family got a picture (minus Jord) after, while enjoying hot chocolate to warm up. Good times!

Friday, December 21, 2012

It's the end of my world as I know it...

So, the world didn't end today. We'll just have to wait for that I guess. But there are definitely changes in my life right now! Today ended my student employment at the bookstore. And 8 days ago I finished my undergraduate work. Super super weird. It honestly doesn't feel like it quite yet. I'll have moments of excitement and moments of panic, but it hasn't really set in that I'm not going back to school or my job after Christmas. I have to find a new job. I won't have homework. How weird is that?
Up to this point, I've had a pretty good idea of what I'd do with my life...I'd get an education and go on a mission. Hopefully get married sometime too. That part obviously hasn't come to fruition yet. I definitely planned on figuring out what I wanted to do with my life while in college. Sometimes that doesn't happen, apparently. Even when you pick a major because you have to in order to keep your scholarship, that doesn't mean you've got it figured out. I probably could have studied a lot of different things and been quite content, but still not have figured out what to do after. I like a lot of things, I'm good at a lot of things, but I'm not passionate about many and I don't excel in much. So here I am, a college graduate, and I'm still on a quest to find out what I really do want to do. And you know what, it's okay. I'm not super worried about that. Yes, I need to find a job (quick!) and there's a lot up in the air, but it'll work out. Yep. Because the world didn't end today.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Our Family Christmas Letter

Every year my dad writes our family Christmas letter. I always look forward to it because it's super funny. This is our letter this year. Enjoy!

Change and Continuity, 2012:
Much as we might want to think otherwise, there is hardly any chance that the world will really end this December, so as we gear up for the future, here’s a review of the recent past. This year our family experienced a few changes and more continuity. As a fictional sheriff once said, “That could be good, or bad.”
The biggest change was the passing of Maria’s mother, Inga Morgan, in June. After a long wrestle with Alzheimer’s disease, her body finally succumbed. It was a struggle to the end, and we learned that dying can be hard and perplexing, even though death can be a sweet release. After years at her side at the Homestead, including almost every hour in the last weeks, her husband Keith quickly left Rexburg weather behind, returning to Oregon to live with Maria’s brother’s family and to resume his service in the temple. There was a peaceful, hope-filled funeral, as family and friends reflected on a noble life and a great plan of happiness.
A different kind of change occurred in December, when Brooke completed her undergraduate education at Brigham Young University. She has been an excellent student, and if you want to bug her, just ask, “Now what?” She’d really like to excel in family life more than professional achievement, but at present she lacks a suitor and an employer. But she does have faith, some skills (anyone need forensic linguistics?), and a creative mind. Plus she asserts more control over the ’93 minivan than her little sister.
We passed a couple of milestones without noticeable change. In April, Maria and John marked 25 years of marriage with a luxurious trip to Paris, Idaho in their Buick (also featuring stops in Soda Springs and Logan). Whew! Then in September, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Maria’s birth. We compiled some “golden plates” with the memories and observations of her friends and relatives—all about her, of course—and we had a party. I don’t even think she had to bake the cake, but I can’t remember for sure—it was all just “one mad whirl,” like every night at our house.
Hannah flirted with a bigger life-change this summer, when she accepted a marriage proposal from a fellow Cougareat employee. But the engagement was “suspended” in September—I say suspended in contrast to “broken” or “cancelled” or “shattered,” and we’ll let the two of them figure out what the future brings. Her short-term plans include a study abroad experience in Britain, though she wants to squeeze in a side-trip to Florence, Italy. Her arms and fingers bear the scars of Subway work (sandwiches, not tunnels), but she was promoted and wears a hat of a different color when the hungry crowds descend each day.
Jordan also strove for marital bliss, driving back and forth across the northern border to woo a maiden. Sadly, his efforts ultimately went unrewarded, and now he is a bitter old economist, or at least a heartsick student. Luckily he’ll be retaking a few classes next year so he can get more practice with his major. Meanwhile he continues to work at Porter’s Craft and Frame, which would seem like a good place to meet potential domestic goddesses. Time should heal his wounds, if a steady diet of Taco Bell, chicken nuggets, and Mountain Dew doesn’t kill him first. The cats appreciate the time he spends in bed.
It was a light year for travel, arts, and the other diversions we usually note. John had a sabbatical semester for research and made a research trip to Virginia (including some days in lovely ancestral Thomas lands with his parents), as well as several road trips to Utah libraries and archives. Maria stayed home for pretty much everything, but got to see some home improvements: new paint for the exterior and a remodeled laundry and bathroom (ready for guests). She continues to be a crafty queen and community contributor.
That’s a wrap on 2012. Some things change a lot, others just a little, and some things stay very much the same—most notably the reason for the season, He who is the source of everlasting hope.
Merry Christmas from the Thomas family!