Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Let's get this party started

I don't want this to be a negative post. But man, am I ready to see 2008 in my rear view mirror. There were some pretty tough moments from this past year. The kind you don't laugh about "one of these days." Ever. I know we're supposed to believe that everything happens for a reason, but I'd give anything to change the footprint of this year.

Having said that, there were some truly awesome moments as well. Alan finding a job in Midland rather than the transfer to Houston was such a lucky break. Getting a teaching position at what has so far been a great campus, and having a great fall semester with the kids has been wonderful. Our trip to Florida was so memorable, so much fun. Going to my sister's during the summer, which I could probably call an annual event now, is always a good time. (I can't wait for this summer's trip!) And I really feel blessed to have made several new friends this year.

Who knows what's in store this year. I just want to slow down and take it all in. Maybe if I slow down I'll do a better job keeping in touch with friends and family. We'll see...

Here's hoping you have a wonderful new year (and have fun ringing it in tonight)!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Playing with my toys

This was the year of technology-related gifts, thanks to my mother who is probably on a first name basis with many QVC employees. We now have a digital photo frame, digital photo key chain, digital photo and video album (wallet size), an HP Photosmart printer (fun!), a power stick, a power inverter...I'm sure I'm forgetting something. I really have no more excuses to not carry pictures of my family with me. Oh, and thanks to DeeBee I can now listen to my iPod in the car!

And then on the culinary side, Alan and I bought each other new cookware and knives, but I also got two new cookbooks and some stoneware. I'm going to use the stoneware today when I make my first cauliflower gratin (thanks, Barefoot Contessa!).

Mostly it's been fun to spend the short but sweet time with all of us together. With Addison living on her own now, it's rare we have those "family" moments. Hope you all have had a happy time with your families as well!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas 2008

Finally got the four of us together for our "annual" family portrait.



Then we had to include Junior in one:


And then for any of you who remember when I shared the "Chandler" pictures of Alan, this is for you. Be sure to click on it for the full effect:

Why we keep him

He's just so darn pretty. I kept this picture's settings to be giant-size when you click on it. You just gotta see those eyes up close.


I think he's part bobcat. Or lion:


It required a lot of will power on his part to not bite me during these shots.

Monday, December 22, 2008

No eggnog, please

This came from DeeBee's page, and it seems fun to play along for Christmas. Plus, I can pretend I have something to blog about when I really don't.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I like to wrap, and I always choose a theme/color, but that in no way means I go to a lot of trouble to gift wrap. Wrapping paper and name tags are about all I do!

2. Real tree or Artificial? One year Alan and I had a real tree, and we won't do that again any time soon. Some day I should tell the story of how Alan disposed of that tree.

3. When do you put up the tree? After Thanksgiving when I have time.

4. When do you take the tree down? I leave it up until right before New Year's.

5. Do you like eggnog? Hate it.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I got this lime green bean bag one year, and I might have cried.

7. Hardest person to buy for? Father-in-law

8. Easiest person to buy for? Addison and Bailey

9. Do you have a nativity scene? No, but I think they're sweet.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail, but I didn't get around to it this year.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? In 6th grade we had a gift exchange, and I drew the biggest box as my gift. All the kids had been dying to see what was in that BIG box. It was a plastic red piggy bank, and everybody laughed! I felt kind of sorry for the girl who brought it, but come on...it was ugly.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? "Rudolph" because I know every line, and it brings back a lot of memories with the girls.

13. When do you start shopping? November, early December.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I think I've regifted a gift card.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, rolls

16. Color lights on tree? White

17. Favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I'm with DeeBee. I don't believe in packing up the kids and taking them away from home for Christmas.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixin, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and of course Rudolph.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? I don't do a tree topper. Just makes the tree seem off-balance.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We work it around the girls, their dad, whomever.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The long-ass lines at Kohls!

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I've done a mixture of bronze, cream, gold and glass the last couple of years, but I'm really liking the jewel tones that are out there!

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? I just answered this on #15.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I want one of those things to convert VHS tapes (like my home movies) to DVD, but it's too expensive.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy feet

It's December 20th and I just walked outside barefoot. And took my sweet time. And it was NICE. Some things about West Texas, like our winters, do not in fact suck.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Countdown

I've been looking forward to tomorrow (today actually) all week, and not just because there are moments I want to dropkick those kids out the door for the Christmas break. I really do look forward to those days where I get to relax and enjoy the time with the kiddos, and not worry about test scores and silly mandates from the district. We get to have FUN tomorrow and have a Christmas-packed half-day of school!

Now if I could just get some sleep and be AWAKE for tomorrow.

Whoopsie!

Here's how the lights looked...


...before I ran over one of the strands. Guess Alan will be replacing a string on his day off tomorrow.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ick

It's going to be a quiet weekend. Alan has the stomach bug and is quarantined to the bedroom. I'm not going within 10 feet of him. How I haven't gotten it the past few weeks is beyond me, since I've been around countless kids with high fever and vomiting. (Teaching is such a glamorous career.)

So, I think I'll continue with Christmas shopping and work on the mountain of paperwork from school.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Lights and Mischief

We might have a new holiday tradition...Alan and Bailey putting up the Christmas lights. This is our first time to hang lights outside, but I can't show a picture yet because I think Alan is on a roll and may be adding much more.



And for those who enjoy the Junior videos, here's one of him playing with the giant toy we apparently bought just for him - the Christmas tree. This shows a major differences between cats and dogs. Dogs will run and act guilty if they're caught doing something wrong; cats will continue right in front of you just for spite. Or is that just Junior?

video

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Oh, Christmas Tree!

Aaah, yes. Who doesn't love assembling the Christmas tree and meticulously arranging the lights, only to be left with a strand that stops working.