Friday, December 15, 2017

Gearing Up For Christmas

All the Christmas cards have been sent, and I think we have all our gifts bought
(and mostly wrapped, where wrapping is necessary).  Yay!

The tree is looking prettier all the time because the packages are so pretty.
This year I decided only natural browns, blues, and golds under our tree, and since we're the only ones wrapping the presents for each other and my parents, it works!
My parents are coming into town at the end of the month and we're going to have a happy celebration
(hopefully with a FEAST, too!) with them, so we have their gifts under our tree, too.

Claude does NOT like all the deliveries . . .   

Usually it's in the 50s in the morning still, but we've had at least two or three days in the high 30s! 
It feels VERY wintery and festive.
It gets dark really early, too - around 5:30 PM.

But the chilly air means that everyone needs lots of fuzzy blankets and cuddles - hooray!

Juvy wedged herself between two pillows.

Claude was even willing to let Stephen touch her.
It was a big day! 

 She wants to snuggle with me a lot, too.  I don't mind!

 In the midst of the festive activities, Cubie (my Nissan Cube)
got sick!  She just wouldn't start at all one day while I was running errands.
I'm very thankful for AAA - first the mechanic guy came and figured out what he thought the problem was.  

Then I waited an hour more and the tow truck came.

 Happily, I was not rushed for any reason, and I was able to spend 
the waiting time at Ross and TJ Maxx! 

They have crazy stuff now (probably due to the popularity of "ugly sweater contests").
This one was nice, though - it reminds me of fuzzy shirts men in Minnesota might wear in the winter.
I was tempted . . . 

Here's what I was wearing:
blouse: Maison Jules (Macy's)
camisole: JKY by Jockey (Target)
jeans: INC International Concepts (Macy's)
socks & shoes: Target

I bought this very cute plaid shirt with some huge 
beautiful metallic floral embroidery.

I happened across a couple of other outfits, too, while I was digging through photos.
This is probably my favorite one lately.
jacket: Levi's (Amazon)
blouse: Black Rainn (Ross)
skirt: GAP
tights: Target
shoes: TJ Maxx
bag: ABage (Amazon)

I wore this last night to a Christmas party for the production team at church
(Greg runs the sound board, and I was his date).
I added my Levi's faux-leather jacket and a big gray scarf because we ate dinner outside.
Since my health stuff has been acting up a bit, I was really chilly and I am most of the time lately.
I'd much rather be cold than HOT!
sweater: a new day (Target)
camisole: JKY by Jockey (Target)
jeans: Style & Co (Macy's)
socks: Amazon
shoes: Target

I'm having a small Christmas party tonight for the 1:1 (special needs) team I lead at church.
I'm cooking the main dishes and my co-volunteers are bringing sides and desserts, so we'll have a yummy time!  Off to vacuum . . . 

Two of my students playing superheroes using box tops as shields . . . 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

It's FINALLY Chilly!

It has finally gotten chilly enough to need to cuddle under blankets and wear SWEATERS!
It's my favorite time of year.

The house looks especially festive, I get to layer, and the cats are eager for me to get in bed with the hot water bottle to snuggle.

Terrible lighting, but such a silly, droopy kitty!

 Another way we're getting cozy around here is by getting some new blankets!

New blanket #1: the stripey one

New blanket #2: the floral one

Claude was uncertain . . . 

This time of year, especially,
more than one cat would often like to be on my lap at the same time!

Sometimes they succeed!
I'm always happy when I'm covered in cats
(although most of the time I have a full bladder or need a beverage!)

Two!  Two, two two cats on ONE LAP (sort of)!

Here's a little video from when Allistair was extremely relaxed.
He does satisfied HUGE kitty sighs that melt my Momma heart.

I also like it when he washes his cute little face.

And here's some very happy Claude:

I bought them all an early Christmas gift - GRASS!

Stephen sees a mystery through the window . . . what could it be?!

I finally posted the most recent week of style video I put together, and here it is!

Here are some outfits I wore this last week.
I haven't been feeling great again, so I haven't filmed more style videos.  
The weather has been finally been chilly, so I definitely want to! - this is my favorite time of year, after all!!!
sweater (notice in the upper left that the white dot is a CAT FACE!): Maison Jules (Macy's)
skirt: Dani's Choice (Amazon)
bag (also a cat!): ABage (Amazon)
shoes: (Target)

blouse: Target (WhoWhatWear line)
skirt: Dani's Choice (Amazon)

Terrible lighting in the mirror at church:
top: Target
skirt: Rekucci (Amazon)
tights: Target
shoes: Target

The tree is getting more presents underneath every day!

Here's a little bonus present for you today -
something beautiful that drifted right over our house the other day!

I hope you are enjoying this festive season!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Year In Review 2017

Merry Christmas from the Priems!!!

Welcome to our corner of the internet!

Thank you for checking in with us during this festive season!

Here's what's been going on with us over the past year.

Greg's Work
Greg continues to work at Intel as a software engineer - and it's been 23 years!
He has a lot of interesting projects relating to in-house software.
His software was probably used as part of making the processor 
that's in your computer right this minute!!!
He was surprised by a trip to Oregon to provide some training for a few colleagues in October, but other than that, he is able to stay local.  It did provide the chance to get rehydrated (it was drizzly!) and enjoy some cooler weather.  He also got to eat at some interesting restaurants 
(he usually chooses the ethnic ones for the most fantastic flavors).
Greg gets to play Foosball most evenings after work;
he enjoys the exercise and the opportunity to build relationships with his co-workers.

Christie's Work
This year I have been inspired to start the laborious process of digitizing the Chirp Curriculum so that it can be distributed online.  I want to make the curriculum available to as many people as possible with as low a cost as possible.  Not having to pay shipping costs will help a lot.  It will also be helpful to me to not have to print and assemble each lesson binder and then ship it out (though I will still make the option of purchasing fully-assembled binders a possibility for some time, maybe forever).  This process of digitizing means that I have to work closely with my wonderful illustrator, Jihae, to create additional visual supports and then I have to do a bunch of computer-y stuff to them to put them in the right format . . . it's a little bit daunting, but the original curriculum writing was a BIG job and I accomplished that SLOWLY over three years with God's direction.  If I did that, I can do this!

I also continue to produce videos for the Chirp YouTube channel that are focused on child developmental, early childhood, developmental delays/disorders, behavior challenges, and sensory needs.  The technology needed to create videos is changing all the time, and it's fascinating to keep learning and keep challenging myself with software and lighting and cameras and all that.

I am the chef of the family, and I continue to learn more about how to cook healthy plant-based meals for me and meals with fewer animal products (that still taste good!) for Greg.  I'm getting better!

 Last February, my brother, Mark, his wife, Jillian, and their sweet girls, Cora & Esme, were able to come to Arizona to have some extended family time.  It was WONDERFUL!
We even got some great photos.

Here's the comedy one (at least on the part of Greg . . . !)

I was happy to be able to travel to Minnesota in October for some more family time!
My beloved parents had birthdays ending in a zero this October (and my brother and his wife had big birthdays ending in zero in September and Novemeber!), 
so it was a good year for some more together time.  
October is the BEST MONTH of all!
Look at those glorious leaves!!!

We also have been hiking a lot during the cooler months now because I've happily 
been feeling quite a bit better (hooray!)
Greg always has interesting facial expressions.  

If you made it through all that news, you deserve some cuteness, so here you go: cats!

Stephen is our long thin black cat.
Now that he is five years old, he is much calmer and cuddlier than he was as a scared little kitten.
He's still got a tiny little kitten "mew!" though!
He loves to sleep and droop off things.

Allistair is Stephen's brother (womb-mate!)
They were born in a bush in our front yard and they won our hearts not long after that.
He loves snuggling best, and after that eating, and after that, his favorite toys (Wanda the whale and Maud the blue mousie).  He REALLY loves his Momma (me!) and starts doing all sorts of naughty things when he doesn't get enough snuggles and attention.

Juvy is Allistair and Stephen's grandma!
She was a stray in our neighborhood who'd already had two or three litters
before we were blessed to adopt her and have her join our little family.
She is a joy.  She has a cute little croaky meow and she's VERY soft and cuddly.

Claude is FLUFFY and energetic.
She is like a furry little snow fox with very soft fur and a big huge voluminous tail.
She likes to race around and be crazy with her tail held high while all the other cats are sleeping.
We switched foods and her digestive problems have all gone away, so she's MUCH happier, fuzzier, and sillier.  We love it!

She can look fierce, too!

Have a blessed and wonderful Christmas
and a festive and joyful holiday season!

Christmas is the celebration of the God of the universe coming to Earth to show LOVE
through His life of gentleness, forgiveness, and peace.
Our mission this year and every year is to do likewise!

We want to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, and with all our souls, and with all our minds. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: we will love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
(Matthew 22:37-40).

May you see the love of Jesus all around you this holiday season and all year round!

Christie & Greg