Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Go Figure


So, the fam and I went ice skating this past weekend. Well, correction.... Alexandra, Lorelai and I went ice skating. Elisabeth stayed bundled up in her Bob Revolution Stroller and Donald happily agreed to stay with her. In all honesty, Donald will not put on ice skates. He tried it once when I was pregnant with Lizzy...I got it on video....stand up....fall....stand up....fall....{you get the picture}. So no more skating for Donald.

But for me, it was fun. I hadn't put on skates in something like 10 years. I wasn't so sure how it would go. There was once upon a time that I knew how to skate. Nothing fancy, of course, but I could do a waltz jump {take off from a forward outside edge, make a half revolution turn in the air, and land on a back outside edge on the opposite foot}. I am sure that any real skaters out there are laughing at my 'great success'.

Donald said that it would be like riding a bike, I wouldn't forget. Well, I didn't make any jumps...but I also didn't make any falls. It felt great to be out on the ice. Something different from my everyday life of folding laundry.





{see me way back there???}

I was able to make a few laps around with no kids. Freedom.



It's the last day of the year...

make it a good one.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Alexandra's Gift

A few years ago I grew my hair out so that I could donate it to Locks of Love. I wore it twisted it into a bun and secured it with the most beautiful pair of chopsticks adorned with dark and light blue gemstones. Oh, how I loved wearing my hair like that! But the day finally came when it was time to cut it all off. It was one of the greatest feelings {I highly recommend it!}. I mailed off my hair and a few weeks later received a letter thanking me for my donation. It's definitely one of the best things I have ever done {now I am talking myself into growing my hair long again}.

Anyways, this story isn't about me, it's about Alexandra. At the time of my big chop she decided that she too wanted to help make a hairpiece for a child in need by donating her hair. So we let it grow and grow and grow. Then, a few days ago, on Christmas Eve, we decided that the time had come. We piled into the van and drove through the snow to a local salon.

Here is a photographic record of Alexandra's experience:








So what do you think?

{I think that she looks like a Mary Engelbreit character}

Interested in donating? Click here to find out how!

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Story About A Piano

Once upon a time there was a little baby girl named Elisabeth. She was born with impaired vision, but her hearing was wonderful and her sense of touch even better.


One day, when she was just a few months old, her mother introduced her to the piano. Elisabeth quickly fell in love with the instrument...both the sound and the feel.


Elisabeth's big sisters had an old, plastic alligator piano that became her favorite toy. She would sit next to it all the day through and pound the keys, fascinated by the music that she herself was making.


The alligator piano became a trusted friend and companion. It even accompanied her on long {and boring} hospital stays. But alas, the piano started to get old and worn. Keys broke off and the sound grew weak.

Well, as it turns out, Santa Claus heard of the poor dying piano and had the elves get quickly to work creating a very special gift. When Elisabeth awoke on Christmas morning, there under the tree was a brand new, shiny, red piano....just her size!


Elisabeth took her place at the piano and began plunking out notes. It was love at first sound.


And they lived happily ever after.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Christmas Miracle

A month ago I wrote about our Thanksgiving miracle....Elisabeth's moment of sight. Well, over the past 4 weeks we have seen many more of these 'moments'. But the most exciting of all came yesterday when Elisabeth not only saw something, but actually reached out to touch it. We are overwhelmed with joy. Our little baby girl, who lived her first year with no vision, is beginning to see the world!

We have witnessed many miracles in the past 15 months,
but this...this was the greatest miracle of all.

Merry Christmas!

A Holiday Greeting

Have a warm and cozy Christmas!


Merrily,

The Sorenson Family

~Donald, Lisa, Alexandra, Lorelai, and Elisabeth~

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Good Tidings to You...

I took $3000.00 worth of
empty formula cans {click here for that story},


and turned them into Christmas treat canisters.


Then my children put on their holiday aprons {sewed by a dear friend},


and we made lots and lots of goodies to fill them up.


Tonight we plan to visit our neighbors and bring good tidings...along with a little something sweet.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

On Holiday

{Christmas cards decorate the windows of my kitchen}

I am officially on holiday. Last night I performed at my final violin engagement of the season {4 different pieces of music at a Christmas concert}. When I got home I was pooped and told Donald that I am not picking up my violin for at least a week. He said that was a good idea and then cooked me a delicious omelet stuffed with cheese, ham, tomatoes, and olives. Have I mentioned lately how much I love my husband???

Tonight is our Family Christmas Party. And while I am looking forward to it immensely, I also took a moment to look backward to the Family Christmas Party 2007. I have a priceless little video showing a then-3-year old Lorelai throwing a huge tantrum when her part of the talent show didn't go as planned. As we drove home from the party a year ago I vowed that I would return this year with well-behaved children {and a thinner body...I've lost 20 pounds...that's a start}.

I know that many of you will be there tonight. And I know that you all have beautifully behaved children. Yes you, and you, and you, and you, and you, and you, and a million other you's that make up this wonderful family that I am a part of. Do me a favor...if my children start acting up again, feel free to offer me some parenting advice {I won't be offended}.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snowy Sunday


Our house is adorned with icicles!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Saturday Before Christmas

Today I will...

Bake loads of goodies.



Wrap some gifts.



Write out the last of my Christmas cards.



Play with a string trio at a wedding reception.


And at the end of it all I plan on watching a good ol' Christmas movie with my husband.

Enjoy your weekend too!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Trimming the Tree

Some new ornaments mysteriously appeared on my tree yesterday.
They look like this:

{a ball point pen}

{tape}

{paper artwork}

Any idea who creative mastermind behind the decorating is??

I'm quite sure it's the one and only...

Lorelai Leigh

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Photo Tag

I have been tagged by Mandy to post the 4th picture in the 4th file of my digital photo storage.


This photo was taken in our friend Les' home. He used to be our neighbor, but moved to a retirement home 3 years ago when his wife passed away. We enjoy visiting him every Sunday afternoon.

I love how everyone lines up in this photo, with Alexandra and Elisabeth up close and Donald and Lorelai in the background. And those hats...those were the handiwork of my friend Kristen. Aren't they sweet? I do believe that I have blogged about them before.

I tag Erin, Marilyn, and Heidi

Hodgepodge

1) The concert at the retirement home went well. I had one resident pull me aside afterwards and say, "This makes me feel good about the younger generation. All you ever hear about is the bad, but I can see that there is still some good."

2) Donald and I are registered to run in the Cable Bridge 5K on Saturday morning. It's supposed to be like 10 degrees and snowy. Are we crazy?

3) Alexandra has what I am sure is a UTI. She screams that it burns every time she goes potty. Now I have to brave all the snow to get her to the doctor today. Poor little girl. Poor me.

4) I am so grateful to have a husband. He is my best friend and listens to all my woes. He cheers me on and cheers me up. Last night I enjoyed a long soak in the tub while he cleaned the whole house. Then he went out and got me a hot fudge brownie Sunday from McDonald's.

5) Elisabeth is doing amazing. The progress she is making developmentally is almost unbelievable. Yesterday while her therapist was here she shook a rattle with her right hand and actually passed it to her left hand. This is HUGE for her. Her therapist actually got teary eyed. Christmas miracles!

6) I love the way the Christmas tree glows. It's so magical.



7) It's 7:45 and Donald's work just called to see why he isn't there. He's not there?? He's not here either. In fact, he left about an hour and a half ago. Now I am in panicked wife mode, imagining that he has slipped off the road and is stranded in the snow. Maybe we should get cell phones after all...

UPDATE AT 8:58: Donald made it to work. There was just a series of unfortunate events that led to his tardiness. Everything is OK. Whew...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jingle All The Way


I have been busy coordinating a Christmas concert for a local retirement home. At the end of the program I wanted to give a small gift to each of the residents. This required me to be crafty....and I am the most non-crafty person I know. But my girls pitched in and together we managed to turn a million little jingle bells into a box full of ornaments. It wasn't a task that I enjoyed...but it sure felt good to cross it off my list!




{packed and ready to go}

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My List

I've seen this floating around the blogging world. Things that I have done are typed in italics.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited the Bahamas
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Solved a Rubix Cube
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Went inside a pyramid
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Performed a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Flown a kite on the beach
14. Met a US president
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon (working on it)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's The David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Fainted
53. Drove over 100 mph
54. Visited Grauman's Chinese Theater
55. Learned Sign Language
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Watched a space shuttle re-enter the Earth's atmosphere
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Earned an Eagle Scout award
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someones life (I really did!)
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Totally copied a post from someone else's blog to your own (isn't that what this is?)

There are many things on this list that I haven't done...and then again...there are many things that I have done that aren't on this list!

Enjoy a COLD Tuesday!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Cards?

Every year I send out our Annual Family Christmas Card. It's to be expected {considering the fact that I have been in the greeting card business for nearly a decade}. But here it is, December 15 and I have not mailed any cards. Worse yet, I haven't even purchased them. I keep perusing the Christmas card isle at my store in hopes of finding 'the one', but nothing seems quite right.

So I started pondering my dilemma and finally decided that I would do away with my Annual Family Christmas Card and in it's place send out a New Years Greeting. There is one design in particular that is full of *sparkle* and boldly states 2009 on the front. Perfect! I completely sold myself on the idea and decided to tell Donald about the change in tradition. Big mistake. Turns out he doesn't share my enthusiasm for replacing our Annual Family Christmas Card with a New Years Greeting. Who knew Donald was so traditional??

So, it's still up in the air. Keep an eye on your mailbox. One way or another there will be cards sent out {I have hundreds of wallets from our family photo shoot that I can't let go to waste!}.

What do you vote for?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Prepared


The temperature is going to drop drastically in the next few days. Monday is supposed to be a high of 16 degrees. Seriously? Growing up in Southern California I couldn't even comprehend what 16 degrees felt like. But here I am, living in this place that I love....and it's going to be 16 degrees.

So Donald and I took our 3 daughters and went to the grocery store this morning. We wanted to stock our pantry and our refrigerator to the max. The last thing we want to be doing in the upcoming week is making a late night run to the store to buy a gallon of milk.

Stay in and stay warm.

The First Day of Christmas...


Friday, December 12, 2008

Accepting New Students


~Violin Lessons~

Fee: $15/half hour
Ages: 5-18

I've got a few openings...contact me at
to secure a time slot.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Liquid Gold

Have you ever wondered what a 3 month supply of ketogenic formula costs?


$3029.44
{the statement came today}


Did I mention that it didn't even work???

Puzzling

This is the perfect time of year to unfold the card table and get to work on a puzzle. So while I was at work a few nights back I carefully picked out the perfect one and brought it home to Donald. He has been happily piecing it together ever since. Such a cozy hobby...especially with the fireplace burning and Christmas music playing. Ahhh...the good life.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chansons de Noel

This is my music parlor. I always liked the word parlor, so that's what I call it. I especially love hearing my girls say 'the parlor'. They sound so sophisticated! I haven't told them that it's kind of an old fashioned word...and I'm not going to. I'm afraid if they catch on they might just call it 'the music room' {boring}.


In my music parlor I have this fabulous record player that we use to play our collection of old Christmas records. There is something about listening to a record...that wonderful crackle that the needle makes as the disc goes around and around. It makes the music almost tangible. You just don't get that with a CD player.


Amongst our collection of old Christmas records is one titled 'Chansons de Noel'. For me, Christmas isn't complete without this record. It is music from my childhood. Each December we would put this record on and listen to it over and over. These french carols became as familiar to me as Silent Night or Jingle Bells. It didn't occur to me until sometime in my teenage years that this record and the songs on it were somewhat unique to my family. Oh how I loved that record.


Last year Donald set out on a quest to find me a copy of my own. After being unsuccessful for some time he enlisted the help of his Uncle Mike. Donald knew that if there was a copy in existence, Mike would be the one to find it....and he did.

So if you stop by my home during this Christmas season you will probably hear french Christmas carols ringing out from the music parlor. The sound of Christmas...at it's finest.


***Alexandra update: She got up and walked a bit yesterday evening. Slow, steady steps, but it was progress! We also had a nurse come to our home to check the wounds and give her a sponge bath. The nurse will be coming to the house every morning for as long as we need her. Let me tell you how wonderful that is for me!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Good Days and Bad Days

Alexandra spent yesterday lounging in the recliner, propped up by pillows and blankets in all the right places. And for a second day in a row she was showered with cards, gifts, flowers, and treats. These things seem to make her unbearable situation a little more bearable.

However...these same things also make Lorelai's bearable situation quite unbearable. By bedtime she was in the depths of despair; feeling quite left out and unwanted. She stated that this was so "unfair". We tried our best to explain that Alexandra was only receiving the royal treatment because of what she had been through...but a 4 year old does not want to be logical.

She went to bed in tears, completely broken hearted. And I was a little broken hearted too. I couldn't stand the thought of her feeling like she was second best. No child should feel that way. So I went to her room and the two of us had a little chat. Lorelai informed me that the past two days had been "super duper bad days". I told her that there was only one thing to do....flush them away! This caught her attention. "Lorelai, follow me", I stated. We marched to the bathroom and pulled 5 or 6 squares of toilet paper off the roll, then we marched back to her room, got a pen and wrote Day 1 = Bad and Day 2 = Bad on the paper. I watched the joy in Lorelai's face as she crumpled those days up and flushed them away...never to be seen again.

After the flushing ceremony Lorelai enjoyed a Popsicle and listened as I read 2 of her favorite Christmas stories. As I tucked her into bed I promised that 'tomorrow will be a good day'. And it will.






{See ya later buster!}

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