Monday, December 31, 2012

Year in Review- 2012

 I've decided to scrap the yearly new years resolutions, because honestly they are always pretty much the same... lose weight, figure out the future, create a better future at home/work/school by ___, etc... And while women with more than 2 kids might scoff at this remark- now having 2 kids I really think my life is pretty swamped with to do lists that to try and create resolutions is just laughable. I know... mom's with 3+ kids are laughing at that comment right now.

Replacing this segment I will list my top 10 memorable moments from 2012 (includes all moments good, bad, and ugly)

My Top Ten Moments for 2012

10. The Olympics in London: we took home metals, Michael Phelps (swimmer) broke a record, and we learned all about sex in the Olympic village. (good)

9. Felix Baumgartner free fall- drops 24 miles from the earth to break sound barrier and make a world record (yawn... oh... um.. good)

8. Obama wins a 2nd term- 1/2 the population happy, the other 1/2 ticked off. (plead the 5th)

7. Syria bombs their own civilians- 3/4ths of Syrians pissed off, the other 1/4 brutalized or killed. And most international countries pissed off and opposed to Assad in Syria... except Russia and China which are making money through this conflict. (ugly)

6. 60 Years- Queen Elizabeth the 2nd of England celebrates 60 years on the throne. I don't think there is  a job in this world I'd want to do for 60 years, even being a monarch.(good)

5. Killings in Conneticut- 20 students (ages 6-7) and 6 teachers are murdered by a mentally disturbed 20 year old who also killed his mother before attacking an elementary school. (ugly)

4. Libyan Embassy attacked- however it turns out the U.S. wasn't so innocent on this and likely running a gun trade and having a prison onsite. (bad)

3. Kim Jong-Un celebrates 1 year in power- launches a long range missile satellite and is reported to following the inhumane footsteps of his father and grandfather. Look how he starves his people... aren't his relatives so proud? (bad... bordering on ugly)

2. In Debt- U.S. is multi-trillion in debt, fiscal cliff is here, citizens will pay more in taxes, and Congress/President/government will continue to spend, spend, spend and borrow, borrow, borrow more money. (bad... very very bad... especially for taxpayers... not so bad for those utilizing entitlement programs).

1. Mayan Calendar & the End of the World- predicted the end came on 12/21/12... we are still waiting for it to end. Making this a good thing, since we will now get to enter another year- 2013. (good)

Now for the countdown that really matters (not) the Oney Family 2012 top 5 events of 2012:

5. Oneys get a brand new vehicle
4. Visited Gulf of Mexico for the summer
3. Visited Virginia and family for Thanksgiving
2. Brian graduates from SMU with his MBA
1. Connor Brien Oney is born!

Hope everyone had a good 2012 and I hope that 2013 is just as good or better. Best wishes for the future from the Oney Family.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Chinese Lantern Festival Dallas


While Texas is typically know for it's mild winters, it has been surprisingly cold for the past few weeks and weekends. Suzi bought us tickets to the Chinese Lantern Festival in Dallas' Fair Park for Christmas, and we'd been waiting to find a nice mild evening to take the kids to see the lights. But as time past and the mercury continued to dip lower on the thermometer, we decided to suck it up and brave the cold conditions.

Surprisingly, as bundled up and cold as we were, there were several people walking around Fair Park in fishnet stockings, sherpa leg warmers, and underwear which barely covered what they are intended to cover. Apparently tonight was Lights All Night- a DJ Dance Concert. And apparently the dress code is - barely dressed. Maybe I'm just getting old... or being too much of a parent... I dunno. However, it was easy to figure out who was going to the concert and who was going to the Chinese Lantern Festival.

They had 22 set displays of lanterns. Most of them seemed to be made of thin silk fabric (or pantyhose) stretched around a wire frame and lights within. It was pretty amazing to see the details the artists put into these displays.

In addition to just displaying Chinese inspired works, they also provided information behind their works. Such as this Peach Orchard.





According to this sign they created an orchard of 800 peaches and Chinese legend tells that this kind of peach only bares fruit once in 3,000 years and that if you eat such a peach you will live a very long life of nearly 1,000 years.

Or the Qilin. Beings with the head of a dragon but body of a tiger that appear only when wise leaders rule. Here 4 Qilin face a giant pearl which is a symbol of blessings top people. These were created from thousands of medicine bottles filled with colored liquid.


They also had other things made from unique materials like this dragon. This dragon is 330 feet long and made entirely of 15,000 bowls, spoons, and wine cups bound together by hand. If you can get close you can see the flatware.





Probably the most noted lantern at the festival is the 50 foot Chamber of the Fairies.This Chamber is where the spirits come to observe the world and bring happiness and peace.


Not to be confused with the Temple of Heaven, which is also at the Festival and considerably shorter. This temple is a replica of the original one located in Beijing (1/3rd of the original's size). The original temple is where the Emperor would pray annually for good harvest. The blue roof tiles represent heaven.


The lake/pond in Fair Park was covered with tons of lotus flowers, frogs, and ducks. The Lotus flower is a flower of nobility. And 3 of the large lotus flowers on display were actually flown in via helicopter.







While most things were Chinese or Oriental in nature and inspiration... there were a few things that didn't quite make you think of China. Godzilla... yes. T-Rex... no.

Animated Ants? Makes me think of Pixar.


Statue of Liberty... um... New York, New York, USA, North America and gift from France, Europe.


Flamingos?



Longhorn Cattle?




I'm sure they managed to link them together somehow, but I was too busy trying to keep my keister warm to really pay attention to some of the signs. Either way, it was amazing to see the creativity these artists use to assemble different scenes- 22 to be exact. And I enjoyed the little I did learn when I did actually pause to read the signs.




It turned out to be a good gift. The kids got to stay up late and see lights, I got an adventure and an education in Oriental lore, and Brian got unexpected scenery provided by the concert. Win/win.


For more information on the Chinese Lantern Festival click HERE.

To coordinate your trip with a scantily clad music event... find someone else to do that for you.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sophie Says...

#1

Sophie: "Mommy I heard Santa with a fork"
Daddy: What do you mean you heard him with a fork?
S: I heard him with a fork. He didn't say Ho Ho Ho.

#2

Mommy: "What is wrong? Don't you like Mommy's new car?"
Sophie: "No. I wanted a bigger white van"



#3

Sophie: Mommy did Santa Claus come?
Mommy: Why don't you go downstairs and look (happened at 7am on Christmas)
Sophie: Mommy, there is something in my STOCKING! Come look!
Mommy: Did he put something under the tree too?
Sophie: Hold on I go check.
(3 minutes later)
Mommy: Sophie? Did you check to see if there is anything under the tree?
Sophie: Mommy, Santa filled up my stocking!
Mommy: Yes. Did he put presents under the tree?
Sophie: YES! Can we go downstairs and open them?

#4

Mommy: Ouch! Sophie you bonked my head. That hurt.
Sophie: No I just tapped it. It doesn't hurt.
M: Yes it did.
S: Let me see.
(Sophie puts her head and rests it on my head)
S: I can't hear anything so it's ok.

#5

Mommy: Sophie did you put the shoes back in the entry way in a line?
Sophie: Yes.
(Well it's not like they were and what I had expected... but it's not a lie either)


Christmas 2012