Monday, December 21, 2009

Work Christmas Lunch/Party

We had a nice company lunch at work today. We also opened our presents we bought ourselves. The past few years, they have given us each some money to buy ourselves a present. Then we wrap it up and put it under the tree at work. I have a really hard time finding what I want to buy because I can never think of anything I need or want. After going to a couple stores, I finally went to Target (Jeff came with me there), first going to the electronics department and then clear around the store before going back to the electronics department and finally settled on a nice $60 CD player. Work gave us $40 (it's been $25 in the past). So $20 for this CD player in the picture below isn't too bad! Jeff had a CD player from before we were married and I had a smaller one from before, too, but they both don't work so well, so this is a nice gift for myself, I think. And I set it on top of my computer desk so I can listen to music while I'm at the computer. :-)

During the lunch/party, they also gave out awards. I didn't get one last year (maybe because I was a new team leader). I wasn't expecting one this year, but I was the last one they gave one to and here it is below. I was surprised, yet really happy. I think if you click on it to make it bigger, you can read what it says.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Christmas!

With Christmas just under a week away, I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! We had an extended family Christmas party (on Jeff's mom's side) tonight at our condo's clubhouse. It started out with dinner, followed with a little Christmas program where a lot of Jeff's cousins' kids dress up for the Nativity and an adult recites the scripture passage in Luke and we sing Christmas hymns. Then we do our "white elephant" gift exchange, usually with a little game that goes along with it (to trade or pass gifts). Most gifts are better and nicer than the traditional "white elephant" gifts. Our gifts we bought were a gift card to Ruby River and a Cinemark movie gift card. With the little game they had along with it, we used a dice and set a timer for 20 minutes. We passed the container with the dice and timer around and rolled the dice. If a 2, 4, or 5 is rolled, nothing happens. If a 1 or 6 is rolled, you have to trade with anybody else. If a 3 is rolled, everyone passed their gifts to the right. We ended up with our Cinemark gift card and a nice framed picture of Jesus with a little child. One of Jeff's uncles buys picture prints and puts matts and frames on them and sells them to other businesses. And he usually brings a few to these Christmas parties as gifts. I think just about every year that Jeff and I have been married, we have gotten one of them. We have a couple hanging up on our living room wall, one from last year we still need to hang up and the one we got tonight. They are very nice pictures and nicely framed and put together.

I got all my Christmas shopping done today. I feel so relieved that that's done. Stores and traffic at this time of year are crazy!!! I also wrapped all our presents, so we're all set! Actually, I still need to wrap Jeff's presents... right now, they are hidden. And Jeff just has to get a couple more things for me, but he'll do that Monday during his time off work. He has almost 3 weeks off because his work doesn't let them carry over vacation hours into the next year anymore, so he's using them all up. Lucky him! I have enough vacation hours I could take some days off, but I want to save them up (I can carry over up to 80 hours into the next year). I'm thinking if I save them up, I could take some "snow days" off next winter... I might even start this winter. I usually go to work early, and a couple weeks ago there were 2 mornings where there was snow and it made for some stressful driving to work. So when it snows next time, I could just stay home and use vacation hours. :-) I haven't decided yet if I want to start that this winter or not.

Jeff finished his last final this past Thursday. He's so glad to have the semester done and over with, especially with his Ethics & Values class that he hated. We will both be starting school here in 2 1/2 weeks. I'm excited, but a little nervous since I haven't been to school in over 10 years. I was also approved for a loan and will get all of this coming semester paid for with the loan (which of course, we'll have to pay back). Before I decided to go back to school, we were going to pay for Jeff's schooling as we go, and we will continue to do so. We just couldn't afford both of us, so we had to get a loan for me. I also came up with a new work schedule for myself (I love my flexible job). I have classes in the evening, so I'll be going in to work later in the morning than I usually do, then going straight to school on the days I have classes (since the college is halfway between home and work, no sense in going home, then going back to school).

We have enjoyed sending letters to Jeff's siblings, Katie and Jason, every week while they're in the MTC (Missionary Training Center) and have enjoyed getting letters from them and reading letters they've sent to Jeff's parents. It makes me reflect back on my time at the MTC as well as the rest of my mission. I wish I could remember more of it. But I guess I do have my journal. :-)

Anyway, enough rambling. I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Wow, 2010! And oh yeah, 2010 is a new year, a new decade... I'm making several New Year resolutions and I hope to stick to most of them (if not all of them!). I want to start the new decade out right. :-)