Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy 2007!!

2006 has been a great year in our house. After a sad middle to 2005 we found out that we were expecting our little boy just before Christmas last about a Christmas miracle. Our youngest arrived on August 18th kicking, screaming and peeing and has been a joy to have with us. Our oldest started school a week later. We had a great vacation to San Diego! Common Grounds has reached out to so many people in need of a warm place to get out of the elements and get a bite to eat. Jim's job is going well and he'll begin a new focus after the first of the year.

Tonight it's low key in our house. Our oldest is recovering from a bout with the stomach flu and now has a bit of a cold. I'm sniffling and sneezing along with him. Our baby is still trying hard to break those teeth through his little gums and he and daddy are asleep on the recliner. This new years will be rung in with a hug and goodnight. A little different than years past, but I wouldn't have it any other way. What are you doing or have you done to ring in the New Year?

Happy New Year to you and yours! May 2007 be filled with blessings, safety, peace and love!

Christmas Tradition Number 10

One of our last Christmas traditions is a call or visit from Santa Claus. Two or three years ago Santa called us on the phone and chatted with our oldest. Last year, Santa took time out of his very busy night to come and see us and bring our son a gift. This year that tradition continued with Santa bringing gifts for both of the boys. Our five year old got a pirate that he really wanted Santa to bring, and our youngest got a teether that Santa just knew he needed (he's only 4 and a half months old and working on teeth already).

We took advantage of the situation with Santa and took a lot of pictures.

All of these traditions are something that I hope continue. I couldn't pick one tradition I like over others. I enjoy sharing the shows I grew up on with the guys and hope that these will become favorites for them throughout the years. Baking is something that I really enjoy and with help to decorate the cookies especially for Santa is a fun, fun thing to do. Decorating the tree and remembering times past and places we have visited makes me happy. And visits from Santa are really, really cool.

All of these things are family things we can do together and help us to build lasting memories. All make the holidays a very special time!

Christmas Tradition Number 9

Christmas tradition number 9 is one of my FOOD! There are several items that fit into this category. Our "traditional" Christmas Eve dinner consists of Heavenly Ham, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, rolls, and some type of pie. I LOVE Heavenly Ham because it's pre-cooked so you don't have to worry about getting it done just right...and it's oh so good and sweet. (Their macaroni salad is wonderful too!) And it really makes good left overs for the next day and a few days to follow.

Christmas morning it has been our recent tradition to have a rendition of Barbara Smith's (Michael W. Smith's mother) breakfast casserole. It has eggs, sausage, cheese, bread and milk in's very good. I make it the night before and bake it while we open presents. It makes a great finale to the present filled morning.

Then there's the sweets...I LOVE sweets...this year our five year old and I made gingerbread cookies...with the help of Pillsbury, that is...we got the cookie cutters out and made a lot of cookies. He then decorated them with icing and sprinkles and set them out for Santa. We had a cookie exchange at work this year...5 dozen cookies for each of us...they were/are yummy!! I didn't get one of my favorite cookies this year and have kinda missed it...I love date pinwheels. Usually my mom makes some but I forgot to ask for them this year.

Then there are the drinks. I love hot chocolate and hot cider...but the weather here has been way too hot to enjoy those drinks. Last year I thought I had missed out on egg nog because I was pregnant. I got some this year just wanting to taste that thick creamy goodness. My tastes must have changed, it just wasn't very good at all...maybe too nutmeggy. So, I stuck with Coke and sweet tea this year.

Christmas Tradition Number 8

Another Christmas Eve tradition is watching of A Christmas Story. This has been a Christmas traidition for us especially since TBS has had it on for the 24 hours of Christmas over the past few years. If you don't catch it all between Christmas Eve dinner and the several church services we have, you might catch it while wrapping the last several presents or on Christmas Day when the hype has kinda settled down.

The story never gets too old or tiresome for me or our soon to be six year old son. Who could tire of hearing, "You'll shoot your eye out," over and over and over and over again?

Christmas would not be the same without it.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Christmas Tradition Number 7

Every Christmas Eve we spend time in church. One of my favorite things about Christmas Eve is the candlelight service. I love how peaceful the sanctuary gets when the candles are lit and Silent Night is sung. I preached this year for our morning service and added candlelighting as a part of that too. This was because we didn't have a children's service and our congregation is aging so many of them don't like to travel after dark. It went well even though the sanctuary wasn't completely dark for it. It was cool!

Another tradition that I just love which didn't happen this year was during the Christmas Eve service I LOVE to hear the song O Holy Night sung. It gives me chills when it is sung well and at the evening service. I really missed that this year.

Christmas Tradition Number 6

Somewhere in the midst of the holiday season, we saw two of my favorite Christmas specials...ones that I hope the boys will continue to love even when they have children.

The first is Year without a Santa Claus...I LOVE the heat miser and cold miser...

There is also How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the cartoon one, not Jim Carey), Rudolph, Christmas Vacation and several others that we love to watch. I remember these shows from when I was little and am thankful that I can share them with my kids. Thanks to the Family Channel many of them were seen this season.

Christmas Tradition Number 5

Each year we get pictures with Santa. This year we did it a little later than normal because the crowds were so big and the lines were so long. This year both boys sat on Santa's lap for the pose.

I continued this tradition even when I was in college. I hope the boys find it as much fun as I did.

Christmas Tradition Number 4

After our oldest got his tree up, it was time for the family tree to be put up and decorated. We've had artificial and real trees in the past. I always had artificial trees growing up and Jim always had real ones. Real trees are nice but quite a bit of work...and I get tired of cleaning up needles all the time even way after Christmas. This year we got an artificial just cut tree that is prelit. It's gorgeous and does look a little real.

We always put lots of decorations on some people too many (my mother at Christmas commented that we had way too many decorations) but I disagree. There's still lots of green showing all of the decorations on the tree have some sort of sentimental meaning to them. We have decorations we bought on our various trips...our honeymoon, Tampa, SanDiego, other places that I can't think of right now. When the boys were born we bought baby's first Christmas ornaments...our oldest has a train built with each year up to five. We have some of the Christmas glass bulbs that we had our first year of marriage. We have ornaments made by our oldest during school and preschool, ornaments given to me when I used to teach, and others made or given to us by family and friends. I have a few ornament that I enjoyed as a child. Each of these ornaments mean something to us...and cause us to smile as we adorn the tree. At the top of the tree is one of my favorite angels (I collect them) that lights up and holds some decorations herself.

Too many ornaments? I don't think fact there could be a lot more.

Christmas Tradition Number 3

This year our oldest got to do something that I loved doing when I was his age...he got his own tree. Our friend Betsy's dad has a shop where he sells some really neat stuff...a part of the cool things are Christmas trees. J got his very own table top tree and got decorations for it. There's a soccer angel; 2 stars, one of which is a Marshall star; Star Wars characters including Darth, C3PO, R2D2, and Yoda; Jeff Gordon decorations (his favorite NASCAR driver); a birdhouse; a teddy bear; Anakin and Obi Won action decoration; Santa; a gingerbread man; and a string of M&M's. He wrapped it with colored lights before putting the decorations on it.

He then put the gingerbread house underneath the tree. Quite a neat tree, I think.

Christmas Tradition Number 2

I looked at my last 2 posts and realize that I haven't posted for quite some time. We have had many continued traditions that we have done this Christmas season. I will do them as separate posts so I can put pictures with them.

This year our oldest got to make a gingerbread house again. Two years ago he made a real one that was the manger complete with straw (shredded wheat) and the baby Jesus. Last year we made a foam gingerbread house that we can keep for years to come. He's got that one sitting underneath tradition number 3 (see next post). And again this year, I think he was inspired by our stadium cake, we made a real gingerbread house.

Jake had a lot of fun decorating the gingerbread (premade) with the icing and candies...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Tomorrow's the Big Day

A while ago I posted about not being able to go to the big premiere because the ticket prices began at $250. Well, that was before we found out that the Marquee Cinemas in town were offering tickets for that same night at $25. We are going tomorrow to see the new We Are Marshall movie and our tickets allow us entrance into the green carpet to potentially see the stars.

I'm VERY excited and can't wait to see this movie. Every time they show the preview I get chills. I wonder if we'll be able to see us in "our scene". It's the retro scene where they 're having a board meeting to discuss cancelling the football program.

The town is again a buzz...this is exciting...I can't wait to see the movie.