Sunday, December 20, 2009

O Holy Night

"O Holy Night" is my favorite Christmas song.

It wasn't always that way however.

When I was younger there was a woman in my ward, Sister Halula who ALWAYS sang that song for Christmas. And I HATED it! It wasn't that she was a bad singer, it was the fact that it was long and boring and I had to sit through was seemed like an eternity of a song, every single year.

But I've come to love it, no matter who sings the song. Its such a pure song. Its beautiful and peaceful and reminds us of the Savior, his birth and the Real reason we are celebrating this time of year. Not just that he was born, but that he was born to save us from "sin and error pining."

Here are the lyrics and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing their version

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of Our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world In sin and error pining,
'Til He appear'd And the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope The weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks A new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O, hear the angels' voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts By His cradle we stand.
So led by light of A star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men From Orient land.
The King of Kings Lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials Born to be our friend.
He knows our need, To our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Behold your King.

Truly He taught us To love one another;
His law is love And His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break For the slave is our brother;
And in His name All oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy In grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us Praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory Evermore proclaim.
His power and glory Evermore proclaim.

Enjoy :) and Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Tree!

So I learned how to do this when I spent the weekend with a friend my first semester at college. I then showed my mom how to do it, but I haven't done it since, and so if my instructions are a little off, feel free to mention how it should be done. But my tree turned out pretty great so, I'm not worried too much about my methods.

Any way, to start, this is what you need.
6 Wire hangers - It is Crucial that they are either Exactly alike or very similar in size... I learned that the hard way and had to jimmy rig a solution to my lopsided tree. When I made these the first time, they had wire hangers at the Dollar Tree in perfect bunches of 6. When I went looking the other night none were found. Luckily I raided my closet. Another source is dry cleaners. Just tear out that paper middle and you're good to go. (Free!)
Approx 30 feet of green garland - Dollar Tree again! I went with two different types this year and while it was a pain it was worth it. The coiled stuff in the right hand corner is from the dollar store the stuff on the left, from Walmart. In the past I've just used tinsel and thats a fun way to make an unusual tree that is still cute. I went with traditional this year. (Total: $4)

Wire - I used green floral wire, the thickest I could find. You'll see why in a bit. ($2 at JoAnn's)

A box of 100 lights - (Walmart, $2)

And of course, my handy dandy wire cutters...okay....scissors, don't tell dave...

First things first, group the hangers into groups of two and arrange them like so:
Attach the hooks at the tops to the middle of the bottoms with green wire. They will slip around a lot but just make it so they won't fall off and it'll be okay.
Do all three sets of hangers this way. Do NOT attach the tops.

Next you are going to take the sets and place them inside each other.
I wish I could've gotten a better picture but... this was the best I could do.
Are you starting to see it?
Once all three are put through each other like a giant tripod with 6 legs, you attach them all together by weaving green wire through the top a gazillion times so everything stays the way you want it to.

Next is more wire. Start at by securing some at the top and just start winding you way down, occasionally wrapping the wire around one of the hangers for more strength and support.
This provides a base for the lights and garland so they don't just slip off. You may think I'm weird but it works.
Now start with the lights.

Obviously you want to tuck the RIGHT END in to the inside of the tree. You can secure its place with more wire and then just start winding.

I like putting one up there at the top, especially because I didn't get a star.

While you may see 100 lights and think thats a lot, trust me, its perfect. You want go kinda sparse on top and save your lights for the bottom. You'll see later that i didn't really do that with my tree and while I didn't take pictures, my husband can attest to the fact that I unwound the lights several times because I put too many up top and didn't save enough for the bottom.

This was obviously one of my not so good attempts.

Next is the garland. Just stuff an end in somewhere and start wrapping.

Next, plug it in and admire. But then flip it over and look inside while it is still plugged in before you start moving things around. There will be tons of lights that need to be redirected to the light. Just grab and poke through and I promise your tree will start looking a TON better.

Then, when thats done, decorate to your hearts content and you are done!


An update :)

So here are a few things that Dave and I have been up to lately:

We got back from Tennessee in the beginning of August, just in time for Dave to start a semester at Mesa Community College. I searched high and low for a job and just when it seemed that we weren't going to make another month with out asking for help, I got a job.

I started as the afternoon receptionist for a loss mitigation company called Loan Resolution Corporation. What we do is work with large mortgage companies and we facilitate their short sales.
Short Sales are, by Wiki definition "A sale of real estate in which the sale proceeds fall short of the balance owed on the property's loan. It often occurs when a borrower cannot pay the mortgage loan on their property, but the lender decides that selling the property at a moderate loss is better than pressing the current debtor. Both parties consent to the short sale process, because it allows them to avoid foreclosure, which involves hefty fees for the bank and poorer credit report outcomes for the borrower."

Because we facilitate these for home owners all over the United States we are under a contract to have someone at the office to answer the phones from 5:30am to 5:30pm. that is WAY to long for one person to work and so there are two shifts, 5:30am-noon and 11:00am to 5:30pm with an hour of overlap. Fortunately/Unfortunately I was chosen for the afternoon shift. Fortunately because thats REALLY early to wake up, especially since I have a 30-45 min commute but unfortunately because not only did the afternoon shift stick me in evening traffic, but by the time I got home, it felt like I'd been away all day.

Then, after about a month of working there I was offered a chance to apply for a full-time position that they had just created. So I went for it, and was offered the position. I make really decent money and now that I'm someone completely trained, I'm busy most of the time. What I do is just mostly double checking that a request for an appraisal or payoff or a credit report is valid so we don't waste company money. I also make sure that when any of those things comes back, that it gets to the right person in a timely manner.

Dave is just finishing up his semester. He took Latin (to help him out with all of those fun medical terms) and psychology. And other then that, he's been learning how to be a house husband now that I'm the bread winner. He enjoys having a sugar mama :) For now anyway.

We both have callings in the ward, I'm a Beehive advisor and he's in working with the Varsity Scouts. Mutual is on Wednesday nights and that is when he has Latin so he hasn't been able to go but Latin officially ended this last week so he gets to go this week.
The ward is so great and the Bishop definitely understands that everyone needs a calling to be involved and so there are 3 advisors for the Beehives, plus the 2nd Councilor in the YW presidency and there are only like 6 girls (which is big for beehives but theres a leader for almost every one of them). But one of the leaders, (whos husband just happens to be the current Varsity Scout advisor) is working on buying a house in time for their baby to be born so, we're kind of the fill ins for when they leave.

So yeah, thats what we've been up to lately. :)