Monday, December 31, 2012


I'm still formulating my goals for next year but here's one: 

Make more stuff.

I've felt kind of disconnected this year, weird.  And I'm sure there are lots of reasons why but one that I have put my finger on is that I haven't made enough stuff.  I've barely touched the World's Largest Felt Collection.  I haven't sewn very much or cooked any really fantastic meals.  There just hasn't been enough creating going on and I need that sort of thing in my life. So there, resolution:  create.

Resolution for tonight:  snuggle my niece Addie, who has red curly hair.  You guys, you don't even know.  Her hair is a wonder.

Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmastime in the Hood

What a lovely few days this has been.  On Christmas Eve we saw the return of an old Numbered Street tradition with Chino PD escorting Santa around on a flatbed truck.  We all walked down to the end of the street and waved, just like we did as kids. Nothing beats Christmas in the Hood.

On Christmas day we had our usual breakfast feast and then opened presents - one of which was a pair of Hammer pants.  For real.  Listen, my family is funny, okay?  And they've married funny people.  So when Camille put "Hammer Pants" on Gina's Christmas list as a joke, Chris decided to make them.  In hot pink.  We all took turns putting them on and dancing around the living room.  Glorious.

Yesterday we saw Les Miserables (I didn't hate Anne Hathaway, but I also wasn't broken up about her dying early on.) and then we had the summit.  There were no blazers or mustaches (disappointment) and we weren't in Switzerland but we did eat latkes and corned beef sandwiches and talked and laughed for many hours, which was exactly what I hoped for.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Scrum Scree

Merry Christmas, Dear Friends.  I hope your day is merry and bright.

My sisters and I did not do a Christmas number this year at the Knecht Family Extravaganza.  I know, I know.  There just wasn't time to rehearse, okay?  So to make up for it I'll show you this video that the fam has been obsessed with for some weeks now.

There isn't a single thing about this that I don't love. I die every time her wiggles his eyebrows. It's my Christmas gift to you.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas cheer!

So much Christmas cheer!

1.)  I spent the majority of the afternoon and evening with the Art Society and we cut out snowflakes and watched Elf.  It should suprise no one that I'm going to become a full-time snowflake cutter-outer.  I love that it's a surprise every single time you unfold one.

2.)  The Salvation Army bell ringer over at Stater Bros. is THE BEST.  He is super cheerful and sings really loud with all the wrong words and mostly wrong tunes.  But he's just so happy.  You can't help but give him a buck everytime you come out.

3.)  I made caramels last night.  It is not Christmas until you have wrapped a few hundred caramels.

4.)  Christmas breaksfast with my seminary kids.  And we watched A Charlie Brown Christmas (Linus quotes Luke 2 and we're studying the New Testament.  It totally fits.)

Monday, December 17, 2012

I took to my bed

So I got the stomach flu AGAIN.  This is the third time in four months, and by far the worst. This begs the question - is a Russian spy conglomerate trying to off me? Because I sense foul play.  And it is well documented how much the Russians love to poison people.

Anyway, I was up all night long trying to not vomit.  And then I dragged myself out of bed and taught seminary - because my two other options were 1.) call someone at 4 in the morning to sub my class or 2.) call one of the other teachers and ask if they can take 25 more kids.  These seemed like total jerk moves so I went.  I will admit that there were multiple times throughout that class where I completely lost focus of what the kids were saying because I was trying not to pass out.  I made it home and crawled into bed and slept like the dead for many hours. I'm hoping that fooled the Russians and they'll leave me alone for a while.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Happiest Place

I'm officially ruined for ever going to Disneyland again unless I'm with a cast member and someone in a wheel chair.  My mom, Camille, Katie and I went yesterday thanks to our dear pal and practically little brother Casey (not our actual little brother Casey although they did grow up together so Casey 2 was over a lot.) Casey does parades there and he was kind enough to get us in for free and then take us around the park and get us onto all the rides through the back entrances.  And because my mom has a bum ankle we got her a wheelchair, which was our back door pass to everything else Casey couldn't get us into. We walked right onto everything, including the new Carsland ride, which is super fun.  It was such a lovely evening.  We just sort of strolled around and went on a few rides and ate ice cream and then Casey got us into the VIP area for the fireworks show. Magic.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Seriously, where's the fudge?

1.)  When Christmastime comes around I always start expecting treats every day.  Because treats seem to be so prevalent throughout December, that on the days that there are no treats I find myself looking around for them.  Surely there must be a plate of fudge somewhere in my apartment. Shouldn't there be a tin of brittle left on my doorstep?  A bag of caramels?  Cookies?

2.)  Speaking of Christmas treats I read an article in which the author was disproportionately passionate in her loathing of grapefruit as a holiday gift.  Is this a thing?  Do people really give grapefruits as gifts? She was writing as if this was a common practice and yet this was the first I've heard of it.  But then, every other person I know has a citrus tree in their backyard.  If I gave a basket of grapefruit as a gift I would expect the reply, "Um, thanks?" She was also writing as if everyone hates grapefruit.  Hogwash.  I think it's yummy.

3.)  It's not like I'm waiting at every door for a gentleman to open it for me, but this article on chivalry struck a chord.  I think we need to bring it back. Or at the very least, encourage men to not shove women out of life boats.

4.)  We were testing out Spenser's music video app at the institute.  What can I say, it's finals week.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Here's a quick glimpse into how my brain works:

I like hitting upon the perfect word.  And I know when I get it because it conjures up the exact image in my mind of what I am trying to convey.  I just posted a comment on my friend Valerie's blog.  She was writing about books she would give to her family.  And since I know and love her family it made me nostalgic and I wrote: "Can we expect an Appel/Knecht Holiday Summit this year?" And like that I had an image in my head of our two families facing each other across long rows of tables. Some are wearing blazers, all are wearing name tags.  The men have sprouted mustaches.  There are pine trees outside because we're in Switzerland, as this is were all good summits are held.  The breakfast buffet is still set up but it's closer to lunchtime and there's a rumor going around that it's sandwiches again.  There is a stenographer in the corner. There is a lot of gesturing going on which signifies we're talking about important stuff.

This complete image popped into my head the instant I typed the word "summit" which can only mean that it was the perfect word.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Baby Hazard

We have a toddler at the Institute.  Her name is Baby Kodie and she's 18 months old.  Both of her parents go to school and they switch off taking classes so BK is there all day long.  She's become my little buddy.  She'll toddle into my office to open and close the cupboard doors, pull files out of the cabinets, color, snag some food from kids eating lunch in there and generally act really cute.  Sometimes she'll go into the game room and watch a round of ping pong.  Or she'll hang out with the guys as they discuss video games.  She loves taking people's iPhones and keys and they happily hand them over because she's so cute with them. Everyone loves her.  She's our little mascot.

Lately she's been coming into my office in the early afternoons to crawl up onto my lap and fall asleep.  It is as precious as it sounds and it melts my heart.  But I have discovered a hazard to this cuteness.  After I carry her out to the lounge and put her down on one of the couches I'll notice bits of food encrusted on my shoulder because she's a bit of a drooler when she sleeps.  Today is was dried milk.  Yesterday it was goldfish cracker crumbs.  The day before that someone gave her some candy so there was dried chocolate drool on the front of my sweater. There's also been licorice, Doritos, and remnants of string cheese.  I'm going to have to invest in a slicker.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

40 years

As mentioned previously, my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.  If you know my parents this should come as no surprise to you.  You can't picture them not being married to each other, can you.

I can give a million examples of why their marriage has been so successful.  But instead I'll just share three:

1.) I once told a friend that I had never heard my parents fight.  I've never heard them argue or raise their voice at the other or even say an unkind thing about the other.  Not once.  And my friend responded by saying that they had done me an enormous disservice because couples should fight.  They should yell and get angry because that's how you get to the heart of the matter, and now because of this quiet home life I would be greatly handicapped in any relationship because I wouldn't know how to fight for what I needed. She was wrong of course.  Because if anything what my parents taught me by this example was that it is entirely possible to have a relationship that is loving, generous, kind, loyal, funny, and respectful - without any yelling.  I am under no delusions that they had a perfect easy marriage, or that they didn't want to yell at each other from time to time.  But they refrained and always chose to work it out in a loving way rather than yell to get their point across.

2.)  It used to drive me crazy when my dad would come into the house and say, "G, can you make me a sandwich?"  Like he couldn't make his own.  Like she didn't already iron all of his shirts and make every meal for him and look after the kids and keep the house clean. So I brought this up with my mom and all she said was, "I like doing things for him.  And he does so much for me. Get over it."  So I've gotten over it.  And I have since learned to see how sweet it is when she does it.  Or when she asks him to do something and he responds.  When you love someone it's nice to make them a sandwich when they ask, even if it goes against all of your feminist ideals.

3.)  Nearly every single night we would eat dinner together as a family and at the end my dad would get up, take his plate to the sink, and then walk back over to my mom and put his arms around her and say, "Kids, have I ever told you how much I love your mother?" As if we needed to be told.  They showed it every single day in sweet simple actions.  There were never any giant gestures of love because there was nothing to prove. We saw it in everything they did.
Happy anniversary, you two crazy kids.  Have I ever told you how much I love you?