Sunday, December 31, 2006

2007 Eve

Winter is a bad time to begin exercising, especially if what you choose means you have to go outside. So as I drink my hot coffee, I'll be debating about going out there.

Alan and I had this last-ditch crazy idea to run off to Fort Worth today, meet up with his brother and sister-in-law to spend New Year's with them, and then come back tomorrow or Tuesday (I was pushing for Tuesday). It doesn't look like it's going to happen, but it was a good idea! Alan hasn't seen Karl in a while and another overseas duty would put it off several more months.

And now for some random photos. We heard ornaments clanking around on the tree and discovered the source. Guess Junior was getting one last climb in before we took the tree down yesterday.

And then Bailey had a friend spend the night last night and decided to bake some cookies. It helps to set the oven to the correct temperature of 350, not 450.

Hope everyone has a great New Year's Eve!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Got plans?

Hmmm....what to do...what to do New Year's many options and invites....NOT. So I guess instead of feeling like losers for not having plans, maybe we'll go to the movies or be wild and crazy and do a double feature or something.

I'm trying to get a headstart on resolutions, my main one being to get back to exercising. I've now walked/jogged two days this week, including this morning in the rain (see river forming in our street). Our friend Heather, who visited over the holidays, is training for a marathon and is therefore inspiring me to get my running shoes back on. You know, those pretty white and blue ones that I got on my 38th birthday and whose awesomeness was so great that I would become a running machine. That lasted as long as all my exercise phases - about 3 months. I will never ever in my life run a marathon and frankly don't want to do that to these knees, but I think it's so cool to know someone else who has set that goal. Anyway, my shoes are still pretty and need to be shared with the world.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

As if I need another sedentary activity

As long as my break is for the holidays, I should have read some books by now. I just can't get motivated, and I'm all open for suggestions. I'd really like to find another series to start, because then you have several books to read one right after the other. I'm up to date on both the Sue Grafton and Janet Evanovich mystery series, and those are my favorite. But it doesn't have to be mysteries. I like juvenile fiction as well, but seriously - I'd be up for anything and should try new authors and genres. Please give me suggestions and as many as you want! Oh yeah, preferably they should be books that have been out long enough that I can get them at the library. It's a cheap hobby and I want it to stay that way.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A little family time

I took a short break from blogging because we've been busy like everyone else with Christmas, seeing family, friends in town, etc. We had a good time getting to know Joe and Heather's little boy, Dillon, and spending time over at Mother and Dale's with close family friends.

Alan had to go back to work today, but I'm off until I take another subbing job. I think I'm ready to put the Christmas stuff away and get the house back to normal, especially since the Christmas tree always looks so sad once the presents are all gone.

Joe snapped this shot of us in front of my mother's house. What strikes me most is how close in height everyone is getting.
More later...

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

We have a saying around this house that it's a good thing he's so beautiful, or he might be kicked out on the street. Hope everyone is having a great Christmas - more later...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Reindeer assault

At this very moment I can only think of one thing I hate more than grocery shopping. Windy days. Wait, I just thought of one more - shopping on windy days. The wind is blowing 40 mph here today and I still had lots of Christmas shopping to do. So I was rushing around this morning trying to get as much done as quickly as possible so I could get back inside out of the wind, when I got knocked off my feet, literally. I had to stop at my mother's house to drop off shopping bags and was doing everything I could to quickly grab the bags out of the car and get into her house. As I hurried past her mechanical yard reindeer, it swung its head around and KNOCKED ME DOWN. The bags went flying and I fell to my knees. I did that thing where you look around to see if anyone saw, but I think I was in the clear. It didn't become funny until I retold it to DeeBee later. Guess I got the message to sloooooww down.

So once Alan and I get finished shopping (hopefully tonight or tomorrow night) we're going to be ready to sit back, hang out with our Okie friends this weekend, and as Heather would say....kick it old school.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The kids

When they were much younger, Christmas was all about them. What really mattered was that they had a good Christmas, got much of what they asked for, were happy, surprised, excited. Now that they're getting older, yep it's still about them. Parents (and I have to say especially moms) just have this innate need to please their kids. I'm guessing that won't change, at least until grandkids come along many, many years from now. Or decades.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Who doesn't love checking the mailbox at Christmas?

We've been receiving quite a few Christmas cards this year, which is totally undeserving since we are so bad about sending cards ourselves (this is our first year to send them, I think). Not that receiving a card means you're something special or popular, but don't you sometimes feel guilty if you don't send any? I've tried to be more comfortable with receiving a card or gift without feeling the need to reciprocate if I hadn't intended to with that person or couple or whomever. But that didn't stop us from hurrying to get our candy made and out to the neighbors before they could bring us anything! Isn't that what the season is all about? Beating people to the punch! Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Denise asked for the buckeyes recipe, so here it is for whomever. By the way, we actually made these yesterday and just be aware that it is an off and on full day event. It usually makes 12 dozen, but we rolled some of them smaller and got 208 I think. We were packaging them up for gifts and needed a lot more this time. Bailey helped roll, Addison helped dip, and Alan helped with cleanups and whatever else we needed. So we can officially say it was a family occasion. :-) Why did I not get pictures?! Ugh!


3 lbs powdered sugar
2 lbs creamy peanut butter
1 lb melted butter or margarine (cooled down a bit)
2 lbs milk chocolate chips
1 block paraffin wax (found in the canning supplies section of stores usually)
150-200 small to medium baking cups

Mix first three ingredients together in a huge bowl and form into 1" balls. You will start mixing and think "no way in hell is all of this going to mix together." I start with a mixing spoon and end up just digging in with my hands, and even then I'm thinking there's no way this will ever mix together. Just use your muscles and keep mixing. Get it to a point where you're not seeing or feeling the lumps from the powdered sugar.

Place balls on trays and refrigerate for about an hour to firm. Cut wax block in a few pieces for easier melting. Melt chips and wax in double boiler (or however you want) over low to medium heat. To dip, insert a toothpick into ball about half-way - dip in chocolate and cool on wax paper. You will need 3-4 prepared trays or cookie sheets lined with wax paper to hold all the buckeyes. After all balls are dipped, remove the hole from the toothpick with your fingertip. This works easier when the balls have been sitting out at room temperature a while.

I then put all the balls back in the fridge to cool before placing them in the baking cups. They can be stored either in the fridge or at room temperature. We put together 15 packages with about 12-15 buckeyes per package. This is what our neighbors and some of the girls' friends will be getting.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Friday rambling

A couple people have mentioned that they tried to comment on my site and couldn't. I think it's just Blogger issues, since I haven't changed any settings on my site.

I can't believe next weekend is basically Christmas weekend. I might force the kids to help me make buckeyes tomorrow. I made the claim before Thanksgiving that I would do SOMETHING for the neighbors during the holidays. Thanksgiving came and went and they got nothing. So this is my last chance to take them something before they show up at our door with goodies. Anyway, it makes such a huge batch that the girls could take some to their friends for gifts, too. That could be my incentive to get them to help! I just realized I'm thinking out loud instead of trying to post something of interest.

I subbed yesterday and am subbing half a day today. Here's my oh-so difficult schedule: I show up at 11:30 and don't actually have any real contact with the students until 1:00! Then we take a math test which will take about an hour, then they are going to do some kind of Christmas craft, and then they get PAT time (free time). I just don't know if I can handle such a stressful afternoon.

Tonight is the Oxy company Christmas party. All I'm gonna say is that it better be a step up from last year - the party that was held on a Sunday afternoon at a theater and included a visit from a choir and Mr. and Mrs. Claus, followed by a local rendition of "A Christmas Carol." Oh, and children were invited.

But although tonight is at a country club and there is alcohol allowed this time, the entertainment is a magician. Hmmm...expect pictures. :-)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

My new baby

So since I asked several people their thoughts on cameras, I'll share what I ended up with. I got a Kodak EasyShare Z612, 6.1 MP with 12X zoom. If you read Melissa's blog, then I sound like her copycat when I say I didn't get to play and fidget with my new toy very much either last night. But I'm throwing a picture in anyway of Alan and his dad putting a new radiator in my car, partly because some of you may not have known that Alan is becoming quite the mechanic. Just makes him that much more handy to keep around.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Saturday Night

A couple of pics from the party, courtesy of Denise.

Alan won most Bunkos (yes, we played Bunko and the guys LOVED it) and is therefore wearing the night's Bunko hat.

That's my best friend Denise in the middle and her sister Darla on the left. We had a good time!

Monday, December 11, 2006



This is another NOT clear picture. Funny thing is that the fact that the pictures didn't turn out well is so like how the last week or so leading up to graduation has gone. But before you get to thinking that here goes Tanya again on a whining rampage, don't. It just got kind of comical how many things didn't go the way I had envisioned them. And the reason I think they didn't is because I was maybe getting a little too excited about the weekend itself. I have this theory that if I get to acting too happy and/or proud and/or confident about life in general, some giant invisible foot comes along and stomps all over things just to make sure I keep my feet on the ground. And to force me to remember all the things to appreciate - like my dad being there, and Leigh, and Melissa, and Addison and Bailey, and of course, Alan. And all the support and kind words from family and friends. Thanks everyone!!

Here's a very blurry picture from Saturday. All the pictures from Bailey's digital were blurry, so the purchase of my own camera will be happening sooner than planned. I'll be posting some other pictures later today and maybe some from the party soon. The ceremony was an awesome experience, but I'm glad it's all over. I also couldn't and wouldn't have done this without Alan.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

"Calgon..." (you know the rest)

I knocked them upside the head, screamed at them, held my hand over their little mouths, and then locked them in a dark closet with spiders and ghosts. Or at least those were the sweet visions that were floating in my head after teaching a bunch of third grade heathens yesterday. It's amazing the disruption a teacher has to juggle in any given day. And then try to teach on top of it. Some days are good, and some are very, very bad. I hope I have a big "Ah-Ha!" moment someday when I realize, "oh, that's how it's done!"

But I'm spoiled more than I should be and don't have to work the rest of the week. Alan's dad will be here later today, his mom is arriving Friday, and then there's graduation and a Christmas party here at our place Saturday night. It won't be a party the likes of what the Richardsons can throw, but I plan on having a good time. ;-)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Some blah, blah, blah

Not much to report about the weekend - a little Christmas shopping that Alan and I forced Addison and Bailey to be a part of. They weren't overjoyed at first, but sooner or later a tiny smile or two surfaced for split seconds. Alan finished hanging the last of the new blinds in the house, Junior gouged a two-inch cut along my foot, we ate way more fattening foods than necessary, and so it was a normal weekend.

My biggest accomplishment was getting the computer fixed (with a little help from Microsoft after I donated $35 to their cause). I can now view websites the way the internet gods intended!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Now we know

I've heard of lots of explanations from kids about where thunder comes from. God is bowling, God is mad, God is mad at the Devil, etc. But I heard one the other day while teaching science to some first graders that still makes me laugh. When asking their thoughts on what causes thunder and lightning, one little boy said "That's when God is mad at Jesus." Wow, you know you're having a bad day when you're JESUS and you piss God off.