Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Holidays

Christmas was a BLAST! My sister and bro-in-law hosted us at their house in North Carolina, and we had a great time. We had quite a few activities planned (including a girls' day at the spa at The Umstead - WOW!), so time went very quickly.
Lauren really GOT the concept of "time to open presents" this year. She was beside herself. For 2 days, she didn't want to eat or nap ... she just wanted to play with her toys. Above is a picture of Lauren with three of her favorite presents: The mermaid dress (she insisted the tail needs to be in the front), the Minnie Mouse gloves and Daisy Duck. This expression is her dreaming about who she is... she got a bit schitzophrenic, but her imagination sure got some exercise!
I'd like to say that Kyla loved Christmas as much as Lauren, but the fact of the matter is that that kid just loves EVERYTHING. She grins from the moment she wakes up until the moment she goes to sleep ... ear to ear. She's so adorable. (I'd say "she's the easiest baby" but I know my sister will read this, and when you're a mother of two kids under the age of 3, NOTHING is actually easy!!)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Merry Christmas!

All right! In reverse chronological order, we have the following events on which I have NOT updated you!

Below is a picture from our Project Runway tea yesterday. I went a little crazy with the decor since it was either decorate or write my Christmas cards. Tablecloths and candles won out. Left to right are my friends Kristen, Leslie, Susan and Aunt Crazy.

Last Tuesday I took Anger Lual (and her sisters Achan and Awut) to Anger's choir concert. this is her grade singing ... I have circled her little head in red.

We had fun, but let's be honest, it was also a little boring. Why do choral directors always pick the most BORING CHRISTMAS SONGS EVER???
Below is Anger, Achan, Awut, their cousin Nyibol, and their two friends from Tuckahoe.
The weekend of December 8th I went home to Virginia Beach to see my Mom and go to a party at the Geyers', good family friends. On Sunday I met Jenni, my best friend from High School, for lunch.
We weren't happy with this picture. In real life we are MUCH hotter than this ... you gotta believe me.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Sorry I haven't written in a while! I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving. We had a nice one, which was followed-up by a trip to my cousin's house for desert. Above is a picture of Mema, Chuck, Bill (AKA Uncle Bull) and a very squirmy McKenna! (McKenna LOVED Thanksgiving - she had cranberry sauce all over her head!)

I have heard a lot of stories lately about the perils of preparing for Christmas. There are Christmas trees on fire, overspending to the brink of bankruptcy, and certainly over-imbibing (you know who you are!!)

Until this morning, however, I'd never heard of our good friend Rudolph the Reindeer wreaking havoc on innocent families across the US ... again, until this morning.

Meet my friends - let's just call them The Griswolds. You may know them from the link to Dad’s page on the right over there ... SD, if you'd planned to post this, I'm sorry for stealing your thunder! I also borrowed your vernacular for the boys ... remember; imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! :)
Meredith e-mailed me this morning with some updates on the Griswold clan. Meredith and Suburban Daddy have 3 sons now, so I expect the occasional insanity, but this quote made me laugh out loud!

From Mere:

“The boys are all good and very excited for Christmas. Thing 1 and Thing 2 watch "Rudolph-the Red-Nose-Reindeer" just about every night. It's probably getting a bit out of hand since they got into a fight this morning about whether or not Thing 2 had a shiny nose. “

In other Christmas news, Scott sent me a link to a web site that makes "you and yours" dance like elves. It's hilarious - check it out! Here I am with my friends Amy and Scott....

Have a lovely Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I think I received this in an e-mail circa 1996, but I still think it's funny.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Achmed the Dead Terrorist

Someone sent me this video today, and I thought it was hilarious. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

November 11-12

I had an interesting weekend! It was incredibly productive, incredibly fun, and incredibly sad. I worked around the house on Saturday and I am now ready to recycle about 4 boxes worth of old papers. Why I kept my Christmas receipts from 1996, I'll never know, but they're GOING AWAY!

Sunday, my friend Cindy came down from Arlington. We shopped and ate and watched movies and slept - PERFECT girls' night! This is from Monday morning at Kuba Kuba.

Cindy helped me shop at Target and Babies R Us for a gift for Sabrina. Sabrina and her boyfriend Andre just had twins, but unfortunately the twins are REALLY early. We went to visit them on Monday at George Washington Hospital (Aliya is in NICU) and the Children's Hospital (Andre had emergency surgery that morning). I hope these little babies recover gain some weight so they can go home with Mom very soon.

After the hospitals, I took Sabrina and Andre to dinner at the same Chinese restaurant Sabrina and I have gone to since she was 8. This is always our waitress ... unfortunately, we can never remember her name! She always gives us big hugs anyway.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Was it me??

Holy cow! Remember my Barack e-mail below? Well my friend Meredith sent me this today ... do you think I am "the voter?" Wow! And they say one person can't make a difference.

Unfortunately for Barack (who I will now call "Barry", since we're all chummy now), the newswoman points out that technically he's still supposed to have his hand over his heart for the National Anthem. HOWEVER, they are ALL supposed to be FACING the flag, too, so he wasn't alone.

Of course, that means there goes all of the Democratic candidates, too. Shoot. Does that mean I have to vote libertarian?? :-)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Very nice weekend

I have some pictures from last weekend that I thought I would post. Unfortunately, what I DON'T have a picture of is my poor little mangled car.

On Friday morning, I was driving to work - and I NEVER drive to work - so that I could leave directly from work to head up to Northern Virginia for Alison's baby shower. I was just driving along and a car came from my right and POWEE! She hit my front, right bumper. She was very nice and admitted fault right away, so the paperwork on all of this has been a cinch. The bad news for me is that I was issued a shiny, black PT Cruiser from Enterprise. I really don't like this car, and according to the auto-body shop, I'd better get used to it because the earliest I'll see my adorable little Matrix again is Tuesday, November 27th.

Anyway, I missed Alison's shower Friday night but drove up in the Cruiser for Hannah's shower on Saturday. She and Brian are having their first baby in January. She looks so beautiful (as you can see below!) It sounds like they are ultra-excited, and she sure did rake in the loot! For example, with the never-ending gift bag from Meredith, I'd be surprised if there's anything left at Babies R Us!

On Saturday night I met my friends Padma and Mo at Jen and Dave's house to hang out for a little while and grab some dinner before their Goodbye party at Ben and Bethany's. (Wow, that was a mouthful - are you still with me?) I was very impressed with Jen, who was able to hold it together almost all the way through the party before becoming the emotional equivalent of a puddle. :-)

I stayed over at Padma and Audrey's, then headed down Rockville Pike to meet my cousins for lunch at the Original Pancake House. Katy (AKA "Curly") gets cuter every time I see her. And that's hard to do, because she was about as cute as she could possibly be from birth! Here she is after showing off her loose tooth. She was headed out with Mom and Dad that afternoon to her ice skating lessons. She loves them, and she's already at Level 7!

After eating 5 pumpkin pancakes (eek!) and catching up, Amy, Pat and Katy had to head out and I started to make my way back to Richmond.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Barack e-mailed me this morning...

Well, as most of you know, occasionally I am prone to hop up on my political high horse. This is one of those times. If you're not feeling political, you might want to skip this blog entry.

Now, let me start by saying that I do NOT know who I am supporting for President next year. I have absolutely no idea. I'm completely stumped. I am fairly sure, however, of whom I will NOT be supporting. This category is pretty much the entire list of candidates for the Republican party.

Recently I received an e-mail from a VERY Republican friend of the family. I love her to death, but I did NOT like this e-mail.

First of all, am I really supposed to be influenced by an e-mail with this in the subject line? I'm just not sure I can get behind the campaign of an illiterate. Have we all forgotten Dan Quayle?

Subject: Candicates for Commander-in-Chief....
Second of all, I am not a fan of people who take pictures out of context and without reference to a legitimate source, then add their own narrative as propaganda. This (in italics below) is what the e-mail said:
I had heard about this but a picture is definitely worth 1000 words! God save us!!!

Senator Barack Obama, Governor Bill Richardson, Senator Hillary Clinton and Ruth Harkin stand during the national anthem.

Barack Hussein Obama's photo (that's his real name)......the article said he REFUSED TO NOT ONLY PUT HIS HAND ON HIS HEART DURING THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE, BUT REFUSED TO SAY THE in the world can a manlike this expect to be our next Commander-in-Chief????

Please also note the spelling of "manlike."

So I decided to forward the e-mail to the Barack Obama campaign to see if they had a rebuttal. Guess what? I got a reply! I told him I would reply with his response to the original e-mail, which I did. I thought I'd also post this on my blog, in case others of you have received the baseless e-mail:

11/03/2007 06:34 PM

Subject Response to Your Message to Senator Obama

Dear Anne,

Thank you for inquiring about the false accusation that I have refused to sing the National Anthem or say the Pledge of Allegiance. I knew when I decided to run for President that I would not be immune from the "anything goes" form of attack politics that has been so prominent in our elections in recent years. And this outrageous charge is just another example of the kind of mean spirited, "shock" politics I will move beyond as President.

I am honored to lead a life of public service, and it is inconceivable that I would ever refuse to say the Pledge or sing the National Anthem. In fact, as a U.S. senator, I am sometimes called upon to preside over the opening of the Senate in the morning, at which time I am proud to lead my colleagues in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, with my right hand over my heart. Anybody who doesn't believe in the Pledge shouldn’t be running for President.

Every time I have been elected or reelected to the Illinois Senate and the United States Senate, I have proudly raised my right hand, placed my left hand on the Bible and sworn to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." And I will be proud to take the Presidential Oath of office on January 20, 2009.

Thank you again for contacting me. Please share this message with anyone you know who has been misled by this baseless and particularly hurtful political attack.

Sincerely, Barack Obama
Paid for by Obama for America

Mr. Obama, if you are reading this, thank you for your timely and professional response.


Aunt Crazy

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Here are a few random pictures from my Halloween and the Halloweens of friends and family ... Enjoy!!

My sister and my niece, Minnie Mouse

Without Dumbo and Minnie, I wouldn't be Aunt Crazy!

Kyla the Elephant

Woody (Matthew) is Minnie's (Lauren's) best bud from school

Minnie and Woody take Cary Park by storm

Mo coordinated The Dressing up of the Lual Family! From left to right, Awut Chan (mother), Yay, Pocahontas Anger, Kitty Cat Nyabol, Spiderman Deng, Peter Lual (Dad), Princess Adeng, Shrek Duk, Glamor Girl Ayak, Witch Achan, and Vampire Awut.

The teeth and headband Mo got for Shrek Duk were awesome... he looked so cute.

Princess Adeng, Granddaughter, was dressed to the nines!

Jenna's girls, Eliza and Ellie, the Snow Leopard Sisters

Cheerleader Elle and Darth Vader Dane Weightman

M&M Carly and Popcorn Nick

Aunt Crazy, Uncle Bull, Matt and Amanda head to Haunted Hanover


The Batmobile and Joker

Bob the Builder Shane and Fireman Keegan

I'm not exactly sure what Finn is, but I think he's cute! Maybe he's Pete, Shane's favorite character from the Mickey Mouse Club cartoon?

Spies & Moge reunion

Last weekend I headed back up to my old neighborhood in Falls Church to see Moge's new baby, Ben. He's such a doll! The Spies family also came down and we had a great day of drinking beer, watching football, raking leaves and carving pumpkins! I even saw Samantha and Lindsey's latest moves from their Hip-Hop classes.

Samantha and Ben
Lindsey and Kennedy

Emma and Moge

Ben, Lindsey and Samantha

Billy and Moge

Spies and Ben

Lindsey and Tom

Monday, October 22, 2007

Step in Time! Step in Time!

This weekend my friend Mo and I took the Luals to see Mary Poppins at the Byrd Theatre. All proceeds went to Child Savers, which assists children in the Richmond area with handling traumatic events in their lives.

Waiting outside the Byrd before the show, there were people doing face painting. Deng went first, and he got a star. Nyabol, Anger, Achan, Duk and Awut were also painted.

We took up almost the whole row! And that was WITHOUT Mom, Dad, Yay, Nyaring, Thiep, Adeng and Muloh. Shwew. The kids had a great time jumping up and down, eating popcorn, singing and making a LOT of noise with the kazoos that were handed out.

The kids with "Queen Mo" (AKA "Driver") after the show.

While we were waiting for Mom to get back from work at Chic-Fil-A, we took advantage of the chalk in the grab bags they handed out at the movie.

Ayak traced Deng. He thought that was really funny.

The girls really got into all the pictures being taken ... I guess you could say they really LET THEIR HAIR DOWN.

I can't really put my finger on WHY this is my favorite chalk drawing, but something about it just speaks to me. :-) This was from the twins ... a "disagreement" began when Achan's "I love you Anne" strayed into Anger's "We love you Anne." Hard for me to pick a side on that argument!
The grab bags also contained temporary tattoos of Mary Poppins. Nyabol swore to me that she was going to try to keep this on until school on Monday!

After Mom left, we cleaned the WHOLE HOUSE - bathrooms, kitchen, bedrooms, clothes, carpet - EVERYTHING! Then we shared 4 Tombstone pizzas and I ("Princess Anne") headed back to my house around 9. What a fun day!