Monday, December 31, 2007

Our Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas this year! Caleb is finally old enough to really start to understand and appreciate all of the traditions and related chaos. Before going to Nana & Pop's, we let the boys open their gifts from Chris' parents that we got in the mail and/or picked up. Joe and LeeAnn got the boys some cute pj's and a Video Reader (a teched-out version of read-along books). Cherri called and informed us that she would send us some money to buy our present from her. It took us several days to find it, but we finally got the Wii she wanted to get us. And we love it. Caleb can already out-golf me and can now beat his dad at bowling. I think Chris and I have stayed up until 2am a few nights. We even took it to my parents' house and shared it with everyone there!

Caleb "boxing" at home:

Bodie's girlfriend, Beth - picture by Caleb:


My Uncle Quinn and Aunt Care came to Mom's house with their families for Christmas Eve. I was so excited to get to see my cousin Nikki again. It's been several years since we've gotten together for anything outside of a funeral. Her children are so cute! Caleb was glad that there were some kids close to his age to play with! Unfortunately, Chris missed most of the fun, but he made it in time to tell everyone bye and eat what was left of the food.

After everyone left, we did the traditional stuff...opening pajamas, reading "The Night Before Christmas" and leaving treats for Santa and the reindeer. Caleb did well with this, but Cole had other plans. He took advantage of everyone sitting on the couch and decided that we were his personal playground and then decided that the carrots for the reindeer might be a good late-night snack. Please notice our super-cute pajamas in the following pictures...(mine and Sarah's are sock-monkeys, Mom has the "trailer trash" version - RV's and pink flamingos)
Cole jumping on everyone:

Annual front porch picture:

Just because the monster looks so cute:

Having a little snack:

I'll save Christmas morning for later...I'm tired of uploading pictures right now.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Party

The last week has been a little frantic for me. See, last night, we hosted our "Friend Christmas Party". We decided to go all out and do an actual sit-down dinner instead of the usual guys-outside-bbq'ing-girls-inside-kids-playing hang-out. We even dressed up a little more than usual! Nothing fancy, but totally fun for our group of close friends. So, I cleared out the living room so we could all sit together and spent the day cooking...two turkeys (John came over and fried one), mashed potatoes, green bean bundles, rolls, shrimp cocktail dip, cheese log, pretzel salad and chocolate-dipped peanut butter balls (Caleb made those). We ate, laughed and played games. We are so blessed to have found such a great group of friends!

Here are a few pics from the night (although I didn't take many):

Caleb helping set the table

Sabrina, Alain and John

Stefan and Nancy (he's telling me how much he loves my green bean bundles)

Chris, Sharon (newly pregnant and not feeling good) and Sabrina, again

Pretzel Salad (and our ornament place-cards in the background)

Caleb's picture of us playing games

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Open letter

Dear Magazine-Peddling Teenager:

Thank you for visiting my house yesterday. Although you were only slightly obnoxious, your sales pitch made me think of a few things. I must be fair - you really didn't have a chance with me. I rarely have time to sit down and read magazines and really didn't want to pay for a subscription that (a) I might never get and (b) is rediculously over-priced. Really...I have two small children and Christmas is next week. Why in the world do you think I would shell out the seventy bucks for SHAPE magazine so you can go on a trip to Rome when I can barely afford to drive across Houston sometimes? Do you know how much gas costs these days? Oh, you were home-schooled and therefore deprived of a "normal" childhood and never got to go on a Senior Trip? I'm sorry...nah...not really. I only went to San Antonio on my Senior Trip and turned out okay. You really tried, though, calling me a "stay-at-home Goddess" and trying to make me feel better by saying I could donate my magazine subscription to a local children's hospital. Pretty slick. Honey, I've been married almost 8 years now...I know when I'm being buttered up for something. Good luck to you. I hope you can find a good job and save some money for that great trip to Rome one day.

The "Stay-At-Home Goddess"

PS - I might have been more open to listening to you if you didn't smell like pot.

Friday, December 14, 2007

30 Years in 30 Weeks - editions 14 & 15

I guess I still haven't "caught up" since Thanksgiving week and this has been another crazy week, so you get two 30 in 30 editions in one today.

This picture was taken on the last day of 8th grade. I'm sitting between my friend, Holly, and Charles. The cutie on my lap is my friend Angela's little brother, BW. Toughest little guy ever. Watching little BW fight through his cancer taught us young teenage girls a lot about life...and death. This just reminds me of how wonderful it was to grow up in Shepherd. I remember when BW passed (we were in High School), Mr. Shaw (our principal) stopped the entire pep rally to have a moment of silence for their family. Think that would happen in a bigger school? Nope.

This picture was taken during the Spring of my Freshman year (shortly after I got my braces off!) while at DisneyWorld for band trip/contest. I switched from trumpet to baritone that school year. Do you know what the inside of your bottom lip looks like when playing a trumpet with braces? Hamburger meat. Raw hamburger meat.

L to R: Me, Tiffany, Angela, Jennifer, Bonnie, Jill. Obviously, we all took advantage of being away from our parents and wore our short-shorts out in public. Pales in comparison to what a lot of Freshmen today would do, huh?

Friday, December 7, 2007

One more Christmas Craft

I needed something new to add to my front door, so I made this cute clipboard! Special note: the red trim at the bottom came from Pam Pam's house!

Happy Birthday, Pop!

Happy Birthday, old man!

This week at our house...

You know, I've come to realize that I missed out on a lot of Caleb's life when he was a baby. Dropping him off at the babysitter at 6am and not picking him up until almost 5pm some days didn't really leave a lot of time for us in the evenings. I think Cole is trying to make up for that lost time and showing me all of the fun stuff I might have missed. He's really learning how to push my buttons!!! Let me give you a recent example:

This is how I found Cole the other night. I was doing some laundry and Chris was on the computer. I came back into the living room and realized it was just too quiet. I quickly looked around the house for Cole and finally found him in our bathroom. He did this with no assistance. For those of you that haven't been to our house, let me tell you the only possible way he could have gotten in our sink....
1. Climb on toilet
2. Reach over to cabinet to hold on while you balance yourself on the toilet paper holder
3. Climb on over and into the sink!
Doesn't he look remorseful? Let me also mention that everything in my bathroom has a slick surface and the child was wearing socks...

Caleb made his gingerbread tree this week. I'm extremely proud of myself for not trying to take over and just let him create it in any way he wanted. He really wanted the train, but we do that at Nana's house each year, so I convinced him to try the tree. Please note the Transformers that helped him - Bumblebee and Soundwave. For your viewing pleasure:

My friend, Nancy, emailed me Wednesday asking if she needed to bring anything this weekend. Ummm...maybe? What's this weekend? I quickly called Chris. "Oh yeah, I need to talk to you about something," he said. We are hosting a "girlfriend dinner" at our house tomorrow night...much to my surprise. See, one of our last single friends, John, has been dating "ICan'tRememberHerName" for a while. "ICan'tRememberHerName" lives in San Antonio, so not many of us have really met her. Hopefully I'll remember her name before then.

I also wanted to say thanks to everyone who prayed, crossed their fingers and did tribal dances for us this week. CHRIS GOT THE JOB!!! After Christmas, his work commute will be much much much less than it is now! Yay! Now I have to go over and check out this store...never been to it before.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Why didn't I take pictures???

So, Sunday evening we went to Jan and Jason's house for their Christmas Open House. It was so much fun to sit around and visit with adults! Caleb had a blast playing with JR and Cole flirted with everyone, I think. Even though Jan was in the hospital for days before the party and is currently on bedrest, she was the perfect hostess...perched up in her big chair so everyone could flock around her and chat. I know she must have felt miserable, but I'm sure she enjoyed the company. As expected, their decorations were GORGEOUS! My favorite tree was the "China tree" in their entryway - beautifully done in reds and golds. Let's see...they also had the "gold tree" in the living room, the "bird tree" in Jason's office/trophy room (I really liked this one, too - especially the peacock on top), the "Texas tree" in the dining room, the "toy tree" in the playroom and JR had TWO trees in his room. (Did I miss anything, Jan?) Seriously, it all looked stunning - I can tell that it took a lot of work.

Not to take away from the fabulosity of their party, but I have to mention the "field trip" we took next door to Jason's dad's house to see his "trophy rooms". My God...I've never seen so many different species of animals at once. I think he said there was something like 300 different varieties in the three rooms we toured. I actually got the heel of my shoe caught in the mouth of a polar bear. The most unusual animal (which I don't remember the name of) was some sort of creature that looked like it came straight out of Dr. Seuss book. Safari/Big Game hunting is such an unusual thing to me...I have so many questions! I seriously couldn't stop thinking about it that night! I mean, it's not really *my* cup of tea, but I don't have a problem with the way Gary described his way of hunting. I figure since Jan is on bedrest and bored out of her mind by now, I would just entertain her with some of my, here's what I'm wondering:

1. How do you ship those animal mounts back home? I'm just having visuals of a giraffe head tagged and spinning 'round and 'round on one of those luggage carousels at the airport. (okay, I'm not that dumb...I know it wouldn't be shipped like that)
2. How exactly do you get an elephant head in the door?
3. What are the walls made of so they don't crumble under the weight of all of those things?
4. Do "new" pets freak out when entering those rooms? How exactly do you acclimate a dog (or other pet) to the environment? Are they just terribly comfortable around all animals now? I mean, would they freak out if they saw a real live lion or would they just be like, "what's up?" to them?
5. Does Gary have his own personal taxidermist? How much does it really cost to get that sort of work done?
6. What really happens with the rest of the body after one of these exotic animals is taken down? Is there a demand for walrus meat?
7. For Jan personally - what was your REAL reaction the first time you went to Gary's house?
8. Does Gary have anything left on his hunting "checklist" or does he feel fulfilled with what he has?

I think that's all for now... But really, it was impressive. You just have to see it in person.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

30 Years in 30 Weeks - edition 13

1990. This was my 7th grade school picture. Like my hair? Pretty hot, huh? So, I had this picture taken and then left immediately afterward to get my braces put on. Fun times. Mom made hamburgers that night. Yeah, that didn't go over well with an extremely sore mouth. I'm not sure what I ate...

So seventh grade introduced me to cheerleading. My friend Becky (or she liked to spell it "Becki" sometimes) really wanted to try out, but was a little hesitant. I remember her telling me that she wouldn't try out unless I would do it with her. So, I was a good friend and tried out. We both made it (and Bonnie and Tessie, too!) and I ended up loving it. I remember one specific football game we went to. When we traveled, the 7th grade team would sit in the stands while 8th grade played - and vice-versa. We cheered both games since there were four 7th grade cheerleaders and four from 8th grade. Anyway, during the games, we would give our megaphones to the guys that were sitting in the stands. Well, Jimmy Cash decided he wanted to grab my megaphone from me and I really didn't want him to have it. He evidently didn't like that too much and reached down from the stands and slapped me right across the face. My momma came UNGLUED. I've never seen her move so fast! I tried playing basketball (that didn't last long) and running track that year, too. You should see my "track picture" from 7th grade - now THOSE were some big bangs!

Oh...I have to add this picture, too. I don't have too many pics with all of my siblings! Isn't this cute? It's from my cousin Bodie's birthday party (Bodie is in my lap). The other "big kid" is my cousin, Nikki, Bodie's sister. I'm really cracking up at my little brother Shane! Check out that huge belt buckle and funky hat he has on! Lindsey (sitting next to him) is totally hamming it up for the camera and poor little Sarah just looks like she wants to take a nap. LOL!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Say your prayers...

...cross your fingers

...send some good vibes some tribal dance

...whatever it is you do for good things to happen - DO IT! Chris has an interview for a Pasadena store on Wednesday morning at 8:30. Even though this would be a lateral move rather than a promotion, it would save a ton of dinero in gas and so much less time for him to get back and forth to work. I really would like my fun-to-be-around husband back.

Y'all!!! Big News.

So, I'm uploading pictures and came across this one. How did I forget to mention this last week? Only THE biggest news in San Jacinto County in years! (Those of you not from my hometown...start the giggling now, okay? I know it's going to happen!) But, for real. SJC has it's first real stop light! It's not even a blinking one...and it's on REAL poles...and it even has one of those fancy protected turn signals! I made my mom stop so I could get out and take a picture when we were on the way to Thanksgiving. Can you believe it?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

More Christmas Decorations and a Scrapbook Page

Well, I finally got around to decorating the top of my refrigerator with something festive. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but I found these cute patterns for miniature houses from Better Homes & Gardens (they had some in last December's edition also - see...keeping mags HAS paid off!). I made one, stuck it in a jar with some glitter, added a Christmas rub-on and - TA DA! My new favorite decoration. And, since Cole thinks glass ornaments are balls, I added a few in a glass cylinder and threw my silver glitter "trees" up there, too. I like how it all turned out. Kinda kitschy-retro if you will.

Also, here's a scrapbook page I did today for a contest on Andrea's sketch blog. Love this pic that Jan sent me from JR's birthday party earlier this year! For those interested, the paper is by My Mind's Eye. I added touches of SU! Crystal Effects to resemble water droplets on each of the scallops, clear buttons, clear rhinestones, Quickutz paisley and splat die-cuts...oh and chocolate velvet ribbon - just because I love brown right now.