Monday, December 31, 2007

Welcome, 2008!

2007 is ending with a bang (What was that noise outside? It sent children running from all parts of the house.) I suppose New Year's revelers were beginning early. Anyway, I am still in Delaware and celebrating New Year's Eve with my family, minus the Big Man. He and I have been in touch tonight, and he is in Central Time, so we actually get to celebrate twice. This has become a tradition.

I am looking forward to new things in 2008 but also thankful for the things that I have learned in 2007. I finished school (sorry, I did try not to mention it again,) and that was a big personal deal for me. The kids and the Big Man are healthy and happy, and I have had great times with wonderful family and friends. I am blessed!

So, I hope that 2008 is wonderful for you. I wish you all health and happiness...wow, sappy...I just wish the best for all of you!

A

P.S. I would also like world peace.

Friday, December 28, 2007

First State News

Okay, there is no news to share, I just like to remind you of where I am.

After some delays at the airport yesterday, we arrived last night safe and sound. My parents met us at the airport and my brother and his kids surprised us at my parents' house. We talked and laughed until too late. Then my very dear friend called this morning and took me out. We went to the mall, which was a frequent hangout when we were kids, and went to lunch. She has moved since the last time I was home, so we stopped by her beautiful new home. After she dropped me off, I had just enough time to play with the kids and then my wonderful brother and I took off.

We went to see my niece play basketball in Valley Forge, then we went into Philadelphia. We ate cheesesteaks, because we were in Philly and that's a must, then we walked around a little bit. We saw Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, from a distance at least, because it was nighttime. Then he took me to hear some music. It was wonderful! He always plans fun things for me. Wow! I know I should be tired, but I am not at all. Plus, the sleeping arrangements are different than they were last night, because another nephew is here, so T. Willy is currently sprawled across the bed where I slept last night. I guess I'll go and see what I can do about that.

Have a great night!
A

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Traditions - or skip this unless you are really bored

We have several Christmas traditions in our family. So today I thought I would share them with you.

We do not look at Christmas lights until Christmas Eve. So on Christmas Eve, we piled into the Durango and drove around to look at lights. One neighborhood is built around a lake, and they set up Christmas trees in the lake, so we make a point of going there. Then we just choose a few others at random. One thing we noticed this year is that a lot of people did not do lights, ourselves included. I really did try to get out there and set them up, I just didn't. What was it about this year? Anyway, we still enjoyed ourselves, it was just a bit different.

After we look at lights we come home and eat. Our tradition is to eat a meal of appetizers/finger foods. For the kids, it's taquitos and mini-corn dogs, and for the grown ups it's usually spinach/artichoke dip and shrimp. We changed it up this year. We had crabcakes and bacon wrapped steak. We also had a vegetable tray, but I'm pretty sure the ranch dip negated any value the vegetables offered.

After dinner the kids open one present. For T. Willy it was a Thomas train, his first and just the start of his "very Thomas Christmas." He was delighted. MK opened a DVD so that she could watch it while she was trying to sleep.

















We then put the cookies and milk out for Santa, with celery for the reindeer. We use the same plate and mug every year. This was a big thing this year. MK really took the lead in a lot of things for T. Willy. This is the first year he really "got" a lot of it, and she loved helping him. We read the Christmas story from Luke 2, because we don't want them to lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas, then off to bed.














We eat the same thing for our Christmas breakfast, but this year we added hashbrown casserole. It's nice that the Big Man works in a restaurant and is able to purchase things like that. We also had mac and cheese with our ham, all from his restaurant!!!

One tradition started when the Big Man and I lived in Virginia and were still in college. We have never lived near our parents and brothers, so we often have quiet Christmases. After the presents are opened, there isn't a lot to do. So we head to the movies. If you don't do that, you would be amazed at how many people do! The theater was packed! We are quite thankful for the ability to buy tickets online. However, we haven't done that since 2003, because T. Willy wasn't able to sit through a movie. And this year he was! It was so much fun!

Our last tradition is a trip to Delaware for the kids and me. We are flying out tomorrow, so there is much to do today. We have a stop in Cincinnati on the way up, instead of Atlanta. We won't really see the city, but MK is excited to go to a new state.

So there are our Christmas traditions. I will include some pictures of yesterday. MK loves music in a way I never did. She loves being in the band at school, she listens to music all of the time, and her heart's desire this year was for a bass guitar. She was thrilled to get it, so here is a picture of it. T. Willy also got a wagon, which he immediately climbed into.




Tuesday, December 25, 2007

What the hail?




We awoke to the sound of rain this morning. Then while we were opening presents we heard something unusual. We've lived here for 10 years and today was the first day we have had HAIL! It was so pretty falling and, if you used your imagination, it looked a little like snow. I haven't seen it snow in 9 years or so, so I was a little excited about it. It has already melted, but was fun to watch while it lasted. So here are some pictures of our backyard. I especially like the one of the sliding board...because it kind of looks like snow piled up.

Merry Christmas!!!

Here are our Christmas tree and fireplace on Christmas Eve after the kids had gone to bed. I always take these pictures, the last few before the chaos and confusion.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

TMI

I have attempted to keep things relatively private on this site...rarely use real names, always say "our little town" instead of giving specifics etc. But today I just had something to share.

MK was given an assignment in English class to write an essay about someone that she respected, an older person important in her life. She chose to write about the Big Man's dad, a worthy choice. The "elders" were then invited to school yesterday where they were given a reception and presented with the essays. Some reporters from our small town were there and she and "Pap" made the newspaper. So here is a link to the article. We bought a few copies of the paper for both sets of grandparents. The paper version has a picture of her and Pap together. Way to go, MK!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Ty's Rainbow


Sweet Treats

Today MK had some friends over to make some Christmas treats. We made candy and cookies and had a really nice time. The girls were very helpful and brightened up a dreary day. It rained quite a bit but we were rewarded with the most beautiful rainbow at the end. T. Willy called it his rainbow and was thrilled with it. So here are some pictures of our day!
video

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Hello!

I am welcoming my wonderful brother into the blogging world. You can find him here. He is an excellent photographer and is planning to post pictures more than writing. I cannot wait!!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Parade Night

We enjoyed another parade tonight. It was very long, but we stayed until Santa brought it home. MK had fun marching, and T. Willy had a great time catching a bag full of candy and hanging out with his dad. I just enjoyed watching it and seeing lots of friends. There were more floats and more spectators than I can remember, but it was a lot of fun.

Here are a few pictures. I enjoyed more than I photographed, but it's a sampling. There is one of T. Willy and the Big Man while we were waiting for the parade to begin. Then there is one of MK with a friend of hers after they finished marching. The last one is of 2 of MK's friends with their scout troup.


So the holiday season has officially begun for us! Merry Christmas!