Thursday, December 31, 2009

NYE 2009 and More Snow Pictures

It's the last day of 2009. What a year this has been. It has been a good last decade. You take the good with the bad and just know that that's how life goes. There are a lot of things I wish for 2010. Mainly, though, is for peace and happiness in my life - more peace and more happiness.

Alyssa took several pictures on Chrismas Eve while it was snowing. She got home right toward the end of the snow, but it had been snowing all day. I love some of these pictures so I wanted to share them with you.

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day Events

Our first Christmas in our new home. This is a picture of the tree with the presents around it. It's not like when they were little and got lots of little inexpensive gifts that made these huge piles of unopened toys. This year was much more simple and more about needs than wants.

If you ask my kids, "What do you want for Christmas?" the typical answer will be, "I don't really know." I would like to think that they have everything they could ever need or that they just aren't really all that concerned about getting anything inparticular. This year, Ben definitely needed a new case for his trombone. We didn't want to get just any case, though. He needed what is called a gig bag. It's more padded than a typical case and it has a shoulder strap so it's easier to carry. I had to sneak it out very early that morning because it's not easy to disguise a case as you can see from the picture. He was the first one ready to open gifts once he woke up and saw it under the tree. Jonathan, of course, "needed" more legos - so he got a good portion of what Toys R Us had on sale. It was the highlight of his day.

Michael and Alyssa never expressed a need for anything specific so I came up with something for each of them on my own. Back around Granduation, Michael and I were at the bookstore. I believe he was looking for a bible. He was this Chronological study bible and seemed very interested in it. I intended to get it for him for graduation but then he wanted other things. Since then, he has decided to go into ministry, so I thought this would be a perfect gift for him. Everyone who studys the bible needs a good study bible. He liked it and I hope one day he will appreciate it. He will also get a trip to the local Sushi bar to have dinner with me next week.

For Alyssa, it was an ever evolving idea as to what I would get her. I was thinking jewelry - a ring maybe. Then, on Christmas Eve I was out getting some last minute things and the idea came to me. She used to have her tragus (the nub that sticks out over the hole of your ear) pierced until an unfortunant event happened and I had her take it out. Since then, she has been wanting to get it repierced. She also has her cartilage on her left ear pierced and really needed a new earring. I found these inexpensive sterling earrings and a really nice sterling ring that says "One Life One Love" which is my hope for her. Then I wrote her a note telling her that I would take her to get her tragus repierced. She was more than thrilled!

The snow had frozen into ice overnight and someone needed to get out and get mom and bring her over to the house for lunch. Michael left early to get Ashleigh so they could exchange gifts, so I sent him to get Nana. Overall, it was a very fun and relaxing Christmas for us. We didn't have the usual turkey. I made a brisket instead. We don't have a dining table, so I pulled out the card table and piano bench. We made due with what we had and it was fun. I got the new John Mayer CD and some nice things from Bath and Body Works, which is my favorite!

I look forward to the future when there are families running around and lots more people flooding my house to celebrate just being together. That is what I want for Christmas.
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Snow

It was an amazing site! Snow was actually falling for HOURS on Christmas Eve. I was pleasantly surprised when it started about mid-morning and continued into the late afternoon. There was a small concern that this would keep us from going to church for the Christmas Eve service. Later that evening, the news was reporting many churches cancelling their services. Thanksfully, we do not live far from our church, so no matter what, we would be there.

Michael was playing Joseph in the finally part of the Nativity story that has been told to the children each Sunday.

We left early enough to get mom from her house and then get to the church safely. The snow was definitely going to turn into ice at some point during the night, we just didn't know when.

I do remember having snowy Christmases when I was little. I probably remember this more from seeing pictures because I was pretty little, under five years old, I think. It's nice to have this for my kids when they can remember it. The snow fell and blew most of the day as Jonathan was the only brave one to venture out in it. The rest of us just wanted to stay inside where we were warm. The thing about living in Texas is, normally you aren't really prepared for snow when it comes to the proper clothing. In our house, we tend to layer. We don't have those big, heavy coats because, for the cost, we won't use them near enough and then the whole out-growing thing. It just gets to be too expensive.

Alyssa took some amazing pictures at the house. I will blog on that in a little bit. They are beautiful, if I do say so myself!
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Live Nativity 2009

Ben and Taylor

The church we belong to is right on a busy corner of the highway and a popular street that runs through Bedford. It is a large church that is extremely hard to miss if you pass it more than once. For over 20 years (I'm guessing here) they have done a "Live Nativity" on the corner. Last year the church didn't do it because no one would step up and help organize and ask church members to participate. Admittedly, I was disappointed. As long as I had live in that area I saw the activity going on and this year I was a member and no one wanted to participate.

Thankfully, someone from the church stepped up and organized the whole thing and did a great job, I might add. It helps that we have a Youth Pastor who is very adamant that the youth participate in pretty much every event. While my kids get a little miffed sometimes, I think she is right in "asking" them to help out. Alyssa was supposed to help out on Friday night but she got a job and needed to work. Benjamin played a shepard on Friday and Michael played one on Saturday. I didn't get a picture of Michael....sorry Jerry G.

Basically, people dress up like Mary, Joseph, the shepards and magi and then they have a company bring live animals so that people will stop in and come up and see the animals and we can introduce them to our church. I have to say, it was very inticing. the church has an easy access parking lot, which makes it less intimidating to get out and come see what's going on. It made me proud to be standing there watching the kids walk up to "Mary" and "Joseph" like they were Santa Clause. The parents would take pictures with all of the "cast".

I hope that a year never goes by again where they don't do this.

The "Baby Jesus" is facinated with my little shepard boy

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Monday, December 14, 2009

What is Christmas Anyway?

This time of year always gets me to thinking about what I want for my future. Christmas is not about gifts at all to me. I do get the kids something, but my budget is small so it's not ever very much. This year, I haven't really asked what they want, although two of them have told me certain things. I am going more along the lines of being thoughtful and getting what I think they would like. We will see how that works out.

I have a few more vacations days and decided to take two extra days off before Christmas just to be together. Our lives are so rushed all the time. I want to just relax and hang out, play games and eat pizza in front of a movie...ease and peace. That is what I am looking forward to.

I received an email from a guy I go to church with. It contained about 12 different Nativity pictures. The one above is my favorite of the ones I was sent. Christmas should be about family, love, your faith and celebrating the birth of Jesus. It is not about all the commercial crap and buying gifts for people you hardly know.

So, remember this during the holiday season: appreciate what you have, love the ones you are with and be grateful for everything - good and bad.
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A Christmas Story

Christmas is less than two weeks away. Sunday, yesterday, we had a presentation of "The Christmas Story" from the children of the church. Jonathan is not the child of mine who likes to be up in front of a crowd for any reason what so ever. As he gets older, he is slowly coming out of his shell, realizing that he gets more recognition when he does something like perform. The Sunday before, when the Children's Director stopped me and asked if Jonathan was going to come to the practice and get his part, of course I said yes. Jonathan wouldn't speak to me until after the rehearsal.

I had told him that Ms. Jennifer knew he didn't like being up in front of people and wouldn't give him a speaking part. Alyssa took him up to the church, so when he got home, he actually apologized for his attitude. Not only was he going to have lines to say, he was the 3rd narrator with the most lines. Luckily, they were going to have the lines on the podium, so there was no need to memorize, just knowing how to read what their lines were.

He was so excited to get all dressed up for church that morning. I was so proud of him for standing up there and reading his lines. That's him on the left in the picture in case you couldn't tell. Here is the link to the church sermon videos. It's the middle video choice. Michael is the one leading the singing.

Grampa and Grandy were there to see him and after the service, took us all out to lunch. Jonathan stayed for the Birthday Party for Jesus. The rest of us had a great time! I love that the kids are getting older and are more adult-like so we can all have lunch together and talk like adults. It's a good thing
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Thursday, December 10, 2009


This is Texas and the saying goes, "If you don't like the weather, just wait a few minutes and it will change." That is exactly what happened last Wednesday when I opened the door to the apartment when we were leaving for the day. It was that nice, wet snow that you know isn't going to stick around all day but it's fun to see falling from the sky. You can't tell it from the picture, but that is snow on my car and snow falling from the sky.

We aren't ever prepared for anything like this because it just happens maybe once or twice a year. Buying the gloves and jackets needed for this type of weather just isn't feasible anymore. I have one child who wants to run out and play in it. The other ones like to look at it but they don't like the coldness of it. This just makes me see laundry piling up when Jonathan runs out in his hoodie that gets soaked almost immediately....and I spoil it by demanding he get out of the wet snow!

When the kids were little, I would usually get a hand-me-down jacket or two from friends. This always worked well on snow days, but none of my kids have ever liked big jackets. Maybe it's because I don't like them either. I prefer to layer - always have. I can't imagine living some place like Alaska where you have to dress like this almost all the time. I do love wearing a scarf, which seems to be the new thing now. That's another post for another day.
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