Monday, December 31, 2012

Because it's Christmastime

(And yes, Percy and Harry have made a come-back. More of their adventures to come!)

Winner winner, chicken dinner!

Congratulations to Karrie and Jamie! They were the only ones who entered, so they both win!

Please feel free to contact me anyway you want and let me know what prize you would like.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Psst!! Hey, readers!

Be sure to enter the latest contest and giveaway. There are some really cool prizes available, and so far, you have a really good chance of winning. Seriously. Please!


Wordless Wednesday

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Manger of Bethlehem

I wish I knew the name of the boy who is singing. What a pure voice. The composer is Rob Garnder, and he is the head of an organization called Spire Music. Thank you for this amazing song and video.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The lights on my tree, I wish you could see

Every year, I like to take artistic pictures of the lights on our Christmas tree. This year, we decided it was time to bite the bullet and go with eco-friendly LED lights. It's made for some interesting differences in my yearly tradition.

It's birthday time for Mr. Perfect

Mr. Perfect's birthday has come and gone again for another year. We celebrated for three days (Friday through Sunday), and he got to eat a lot of really good food, open really fun presents, see a really good movie, and be serenaded by the Cottonwood High School Madrigals (nice job, guys!) at the Ward Christmas Party.

On Friday, Game Boy had a date (oh. my. goodness!), so we decided to have our own date night and try out a new restaurant. We went to BRIO Tuscan Grill, and now we have a new favorite Italian restaurant. Our server was amazing; she had the best ideas of what we should eat. We had prosciutto bruschetta, lobster bisque, and a grilled trout that melted in your mouth. May I just say that my tummy was very happy but rather uncomfortably full.

On Saturday (the actual birthday), Mr. Perfect picked homemade waffles for breakfast and got to open his first present, which turned out to be new backpack sleeping mats. They go inside your sleeping bags and are incredibly more comfortable than the old ones we've been using.

He had to go into the office for a few hours (boo! it was Saturday AND his birthday after all), so Game Boy and Most Happy Girl did a little more birthday and Christmas shopping. When everyone was home, Mr. Perfect opened this stunning sweater:

and we headed off to see Life of Pi (highly recommended movie). Next, it was the Ward Christmas Party for dinner and entertainment by the aforementioned Cottonwood High School Madrigals. Most Happy Girl had to stay and help clean up, but Mr. Perfect and Game Boy were ready to leave, so they walked home. It snowed most of the day, so I was very happy to find them snug and safe inside the house when I got there.

Sunday, we made beef stroganoff (with grilled steak) for dinner and homemade sea-salt ice cream (Game Boy has been wanted to make this for a long time) for dessert. Mr. Perfect also opened the last of his presents. Well, really he just got them out of the trunk of the car. New 0° F backpacking sleeping bags (if we can figure out how to make them small enough to go in the sleeping bag area of the backpacks).

I think Mr. Perfect enjoyed himself very much.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Drama Queen in Suessical the Reader's Digest version

As many of you know, Drama Queen is studying Theatre at SUU. She's having a great time and loves her Acting I class (taught by Peter Sham). One of her classmates posted this on YouTube, for which we are very, very grateful. So, Drama Queen and her Acting I class present Suessical, the Musical in just under 9 minutes:

Post #500 is here!!!

Hey there, blogosphere fans. Random Things & Kite Strings has reached an amazing milestone. Post #500!!! Whoot whoot! And you know what that means? That's right, kiddos, another contest and giveaway. (And the crowd goes wild!!!)

After the amazing success of the last contest and giveaway (thanks to all five of you who entered!), I have high expectations for this one, too.

  1. Add a comment to this post before Christmas Eve (December 24, 2012). That gives you a little over two weeks.
  2. Spread the word to all your friends to come and enter, too.
  3. Come back on Christmas Day to see if you won.
If you win, you get to select from one of the following amazing offers:
  1. A hand-delivered baked goodie of your choosing. For ideas of the culinary delights of which I am capable*, see my cooking blog (one crazy girl's kitchen). Once again, you must live within a 25-mile radius of me to select this one.
  2. A framed 8x10 of your favorite Wordless Wednesday taken by me (please limit to one that I took and not an image pulled from the internet -- I don't have printing rights to those).
  3. A copy of Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George, which is a wonderful retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, one of my all-time favorites fairy tales.
So that's it. Happy blogging, everyone!

*sigh, the English major in me wouldn't let me end that with a preposition.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Elder Bednar and my piano

Stake Conference this weekend included a new Stake Presidency. No biggie, right? These things happen every weekend somewhere in the world. For our stake, it was quite a big deal, because the visiting General Authorities included Elder David Bednar or the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It used to be common for a member of the Quorum of the Twelve or the First Presidency to preside when a stake presidency was changed. Not so much anymore. You see, Elder Bednar told us that this past weekend, while he was with us, another apostle was in Africa helping to organize the 3000th stake in the church. Yup, 3000 Stakes of Zion spread across this amazing world. He said that if the growth of the church stopped where it is now, and if apostles attended stake conferences each weekend for all of the existing stakes, you would have an apostle come to your stake conference every 27-30 years. At the rate of growth the church is experiencing right now, it won't happen again in our lifetime.

Some of the highlights from his two talks (Saturday Evening Adult Session and Sunday Morning General Session):
  • Primary children are spiritual giants compared to the general population of the world. Everything you need to know about the gospel, you learn in primary.
  • If you're feeling a little unsure of your bearings, visit primary.
  • The GAs who come aren't there to pick new leaders; they are there to find the leaders Heavenly Father has already prepared to lead. If corporations tried to use the same method the church uses to put new leadership in place (minus the prayer and spiritual guidance), it would never work.
  • Even though Christmas trees and lights started as pagan traditions, Christ is the Tree of Life and the Light of the World. If you can keep those two truths in mind during this season, you'll never look at your Christmas decorations the same way again.
  • The piano I bought about seven years ago used to belong to the Bednars.

Okay, he didn't really mention that last item in either of his talks, but it turns out to be true. When I bought my piano at the Summerhays Music piano liquidation sale (they don't sell pianos anymore), the salesman told me that it had belonged to the Bednars, and that Sister Bednar had traded it in on a grand piano. He mentioned it to me after I had already decided to buy the piano, and we were finalizing the deal. I'd always thought that was a sweet idea, but had no way to verify it. After the adult session on Saturday evening, I was able to ask Sister Bednar about it, and she confirmed that the piano sitting in our living room sounds like it was indeed their old one, and she even stopped Elder Bednar and had him meet me. It was an amazing conference, and not just because I now have actual bragging rights to a Bednar connection.

Signs of Christmas

We put the tree up this weekend, but didn't get any lights or decorations on it. However, there are other signs that Christmas is fast approaching. In today's world of technology and internet shopping, nothing says "Christmas Gifts" more than boxes left on your doorstep with that heart-warming, familiar smile.



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