Here Comes Santa Claus!by Angie

19 Dec 2007
10:12 pm

Jim and I made jam this week so we could take jars of it to our friends for Christmas. Today, I got them all decorated and super cute so that tonight we could deliver them. When we pulled up at the Coolbears’ house, we saw Brother & Sister Coolbear and their daughter Kayla, along with another girl her age, walking down the sidewalk! We pulled up and told them we had come to bring them a Christmas treat, and they invited us to join them in caroling to another family in the ward who lives across the street. We parked the car, climbed out, gave them their jam, and followed them to the Allens’ house. They told us to sing “Jingle Bells” and then just the first line of “Here comes Santa Claus.” Well, we rang the doorbell, and when Sister Allen answered, we all sang a slightly out of tune but enthusiastic rendition of “Jingle Bells.” Then, as instructed, we sang the first line of “Here Comes Santa Claus”…and Santa himself came running up the walk from behind us!

We were all invited inside, where Santa made himself at home in a big chair, and asked, “Is there a ‘Carter’ in this house?” and then asked for each family member by name, at which point they would go sit on his knee and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. Santa would check his list and give them a little gift. After both Sister and Brother Allen had taken a turn, Santa then said, “Is there an ‘Angela’ in this house?” I looked around, thinking there was a daughter I had missed…but after a beat, I realized that everyone was looking at me!

So, yes, I got to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what I wanted for Christmas, and so did Jim. We said we wanted to fly to Utah and visit our families and see my cousin get married, and he said he could arrange that.  That Santa is pretty amazing – now we’re at home, packing for the trip to Utah we asked for!  🙂

Springtown Ward Christmas Programby Angie

16 Dec 2007
8:12 pm

Today at church, we participated in the ward Christmas Program for Sacrament Meeting. There was a violin solo, a guitar solo, and a trio of sisters who sang, “Born to Wear a Crown.” Jim and I were both in the choir, which sang three hymns, and we also sang a duet: “No Room for the King.” We were both pretty nervous – I got the hiccups shortly before Sacrament Meeting started, and I was terrified that they would come back while we were up on the stand! Luckily, no such disaster occurred. Everything went great. After the meeting several people complimented us, and they were all amazed and impressed that my mom had written the song.  Our Relief Society president enjoyed telling everyone that, because she had been sitting in the choir behind us, she could see that we were holding hands while we sang, and she thought that was the cutest thing ever. 🙂

This afternoon, Jim had to go to a presidency meeting for the Teachers Quorum, which overlapped a little with ward choir practice. I walked there on my own (our choir director, Brother Senecal, lives right around the corner from us), and we were about fifteen minutes into our practice when Jim arrived and joined the basses. They were very relieved that he “finally” showed up, since none of them are confident reading music, and Brother Senecal announced to Jim that, “It’s people like you that make ward choirs a success!” I love seeing Jim flattered and embarrassed and pleased all at the same time.

Happy Birthday to Meby Angie

15 Dec 2007
5:12 pm

Today is my birthday! I got to enjoy breakfast in bed and a relaxing morning with Jim, and then we went to the Oakland Temple together this afternoon. This evening, we went to Strizzi’s – a fabulous Italian restaurant in downtown Livermore.  Parking downtown is pretty tricky on a Saturday evening, so we had to walk a little ways.  As we approached the intersection near Strizzi’s, we heard the unmistakable sounds of a motorcycle behind us.  The rider pulled up to the stop light and we realized that it was Santa!  From head to toe, he was decked out as the jolly old elf, complete with christmas lights on his motorcycle.  He was waving and “Ho, Ho, Ho”-ing, even after he turned the corner and drove out of sight.  I’m so sorry I didn’t get a picture of it – I tried, but I wasn’t quick enough.  It was a very entertaining part of a very lovely birthday.

Last night was our Stake Choir Concert on Temple Hill! It was a great success and we’ve both really enjoyed the wonderful people we’ve met and worked with in the choirs over the last couple of months. We performed our whole program twice, and the second time it was video recorded. We kind of wished that it had been the first performance that they recorded, but they were both great, really. We’ve made a lot of new friends through the choir, and it’s been very fun to rehearse and perform.

Christmas Decorationsby Angie

4 Dec 2007
10:12 pm

Christmas TreeJim and I weren’t going to buy a Christmas tree this year, since we will be spending the holidays in Utah… but as I was planning for our St. Mikulás Day Hungarian Feast, I just felt like we needed some decorations to accompany our festivities. I was going to Target anyway, so I bought the tree on sale, and just cheap little lights and ornaments… it was only about $20 in all, but it looks quite pretty all put together (if I do say so myself)!

So, here are some pictures of our lovely little tree. Look, there are already some presents under it! Those are actually Mikulás gifts: some are going into our friends’ shoes during our Mikulás dinner, and the package on the right is from the Hoffman Mikulás in Utah, for Jim and me.

Jim & the Tree

In the picture on the right, you can see where the tree is set up. I know it doesn’t look like a fantastic spot, but we don’t really have a fantastic spot for a tree this size – it either hides or gets in the way (hm…sounds like I’m talking about a pet ferret or something).

I also included this picture of Jim (playing Guitar Hero), so you can see how tiny a three-foot tree looks beside a six-foot person. Small, but sure cute! Hey, like me!