Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Day 2010

Dad, Mom, and I start Christmas Day off by dropping in on the kiddos to see what Santa left them.  They were so excited to show us new bikes, ipods, an Xbox and new TV, puppies, and Star Wars movies.  There’s nothing quite like sharing the excitement of Christmas with little ones!  After our drop ins, we head over to Papa and Grandma’s to visit before the chaos begins.

Look who’s sporting a pair of new coveralls! And duct tape, too! (If you only knew why…)

I love this gift GayeAnn got Papa.  This little book has 200 questions for Papa to answer about himself and his life.  He’s supposed to answer one a day and then share with the rest of us.  I can’t wait to hear what he’s written.  My Papa is the best storyteller around!  Now, if we could only find a way to record all of his stories…
These sweet boys worked hard to make everyone pot holders for Christmas!  I don't think they'll ever know how sweet it was.
 Papa reading the Christmas story.
 In the words of Garrett and Ethan, "It's time for the feast!"  Grandma and Papa outdid themselves!!
 Abby and Kenley - Abby just didn't understand why Kenley didn't love her animals as much as she did!
Lunch was pushed back a bit this year, so Christmas Day was a little different for us.  Usually we leave Papa and Grandma’s and head right over to Mom and Dad’s to start opening presents.  This year, we took a couple of hours for everyone to go home, relax, and of course, play with new toys.  I can’t believe the difference this made.  Our Christmas is usually so rushed, but this year it was laid back and we got to take our time.  It was wonderful!

Some of the many gifts – I couldn’t get them all!

Dad’s opening the chair we got him.  He didn’t ask for it, but we know he’ll put it to good use when he and Mom go to Brushy Creek.
 New Xbox games.  I promise he was really excited – even if it didn’t show in this picture.
Hmm – wonder if she’ll wear that when she's in New York…
New interactive book
A helicopter!
A beautiful new bracelet
When I was little and we opened presents at Papa and Grandma’s, everyone had their “spot”.  They sat at that same spot each and every year.  I’m just realizing we don’t do that.  You know me and tradition.  I may have to suggest that next year. :)
Lovin’ my pot holders – made with colors perfectly picked out just for me!
Poor, Tina.  Mom tricked her earlier.  Here she is opening her real present.  I think it’s obvious how surprised she is!
Ahh, a new desk!  It was just about the only thing on her Christmas List.  Bless her heart she had to wait all day to get it!  The chair was under the tree, but she had to play a game of "Hot and Cold" to find it.
 Oh, yes, eating again!
 I've been working on putting old family videos onto DVD's.  We watched a few I had finished!
Later we tried out Garrett's new Monopoly game.  I'm in love with it!  That could be because I bankrupt everyone, but it really was fun!!

The whole day was wonderful!  It seemed longer and sweeter than any other year!  Thank you, Lord, for the gift of family!! 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

"God did it for us.  Out of sheer generosity he put us in the right standing with himself. 
A pure gift.
He got us out of the mess we're in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be.  And he did it by means of Jesus Christ."

Praying that on this very special day we'll remember the magnificent gift we've been given.  God, wrapped himself in humanity, and came to this world for you and for me!  He came to bridge the gap sin causes.  He came to save us!   There is no greater gift or sacrifice!


Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve 2010

This morning, well I guess 10:30 isn't really morning, I went to a movie with Chris, Tina, and the boys.  We saw to the new Narnia movie.  It was pretty good, but once again, not as good as the other ones.  I had a wonderful time and am so glad I went!!  Thanks, Guys, for letting me tag along!

 I came home and finished making meatballs to take to Grana's.  I love Christmas Eve at Grana's!!  I love the "program" she always puts together.  I love getting to see Michelle and Kevin and all their families!  I love the good food and the games we play.
 Looks like these kiddos love it, too!
 Lots of visiting!
 Baby Benjamin is due to arrive in three weeks - maybe sooner!!
 Here's Grana sharing memories of what church services were like when she was a little girl.  In Grana's Christmas Eve programs you can always count on a little history, singing, thought provoking articles, and of course the real reason for the season!  Grana, thank you for all the work you go to to make this night so special for all of us!  I especially loved the poem you read tonight about hands.  That poem was describing your hands!  Hands that have loved, hands that have wiped tears, and hands that have done what it takes to show and share the love of Jesus.  I'm so thankful for you!!
 Kevin led us all in a time of communion tonight.  A time of celebrating what these season means!
While we didn't have time to play the ever-famous Crazy Bridge tonight, it was still a wonderful time spent with family, in the presence of Jesus!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Vacation is Here!!!

Christmas Vacation started about 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday.  I knew I was going to see a movie with Mom that night and wanted to pick up the tickets early.  I also wanted to read some books by Deeanne Gist over Christmas break, since I loved her last one so much.  So, I asked Kelly to ride along with me - to check out books from the library for me.  :)  All I had to say was D'Arpino's and she was with me all the way!!

We picked up tickets, enjoyed a delicious lunch at D'Arpino's, made a quick trip to the Library and the pet store, and then I dropped Kelly off at home.  Mom was at my house ready to pick me up to see "Little Fockers".  We enjoyed it, although we aren't sure it was as funny as the earlier ones.  We were glad we went, though!  Afterward we grabbed dinner at Cheddar's and then Mom came home and helped  wrapped my Christmas presents - when Chloe got out of the way, anyway.  :)
 My plans for my first "official" day of vacation were to put old family movies on DVD and clean house.  Dad stopped by to change my furnace filters (so thankful for all he does for me) and told me he and Mom were going riding.  I couldn't miss that!  So, I kicked it in high and got my house finished - left with wet floors and all to make it on time, but it was done!  It was a bit chilly, but a wonderful ride!!  With weather and sickness, it had been several weeks since I went riding.  I sure did miss it!
 When we got back and started to unsaddle, I noticed Stormy had hurt himself.
 No worries, though.  Dad and Mom doctored it and wrapped it up!  He should be good as new in a few days!
That evening Mom and I made homemade salsa to take to Grana's for Christmas Eve.  We had to add many ingredients that weren't called for in the recipe, but it wasn't too bad.  Next time we are going to use fresh tomatoes and add a splash of lime juice!

I love time off and the freedom it brings to be spontaneous!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What have I been up to? It sure hasn't been blogging!

One post in December?  That’s just sad.  My last post was about my new TV, so one might assume that I’ve been sucked in, but I can assure you that isn’t the case.  Thankfully, I’m an avid picture taker so all I had to do was look through my camera to jog my memory.
I enjoyed a delicious dinner provided by the expert hunting skills of Dad and Chase!  We feasted on quail and pheasant that Mom deliciously prepared!  Later we watched "The Karate Kid".  Believe me, the movie wasn't the only source of entertainment that night!  Or the only source of Kung-Fu for that matter...
‘Tis the season for Christmas programs, yay!  The kiddos were a part of the James River Christmas program.  Not only did they sing their little hearts out, they also looked absolutely adorable!
The Sutherlands
(Yes, there’s a story behind Chase’s attire!  He’s thirteen.  We'll just leave it at that.)
The Woffords
 I also attended Abby and Ethan’s Christmas program for school.  It was just precious - complete with a rock star guitarist and an hula girl who knew how to swivel those hips!
Saturday I helped Tonya make clipboards for Abby and Jacob’s teachers.
I messed up the red and black one, but it ended up being my favorite!
There are no pictures but other activities include: evenings with friends, Bunko (where I laughed and laughed), basketball games (my favorite sport to watch, by the way), shopping, started and finished a fabulous book, The Measure of a Lady (Thanks, Jen! Sorry I’ve had it so long!), watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the first time – and LOVED it, and have had my heart stirred by some A-MAZ-ING messages at church – which I’m hoping to share later this week.

I have NOT been cleaning house, doing laundry, or wrapping presents. :( But, that’s ok, because TOMORROW at 1:00 I’m on CHRISTMAS VACATION!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Merry Christmas to Me!

I did it!  I finally broke down and bought a new TV! While I’m certainly glad I did it, and have NO regrets, it took a lot to make the final decision. I’ve been considering the idea for awhile.

Here’s my old TV. Seven years ago I bought it from Tina and Chris for $75 and they’d had it since them married in ’93. (And it was used then.) It had a great picture and met my needs perfectly.
For Christmas I’m getting TiVo!! Yes, I’m finally stepping into the 20th century and digital recording! I can’t wait!! With this new addition coupled with the amazing deals of the weekend, I just couldn’t resist any longer and decided to buy a new TV.

In looking for something new, I knew I wanted something bigger than 32’’. I wanted something that would fit in the cabinet I currently have, but also feel like I was still getting a bigger TV. They were all sold out of the 37’’. I noticed that the 40’’ measured 38 and 1/16. Mom said my cabinet measure about 38’’. Thankfully Matt made an extra trip to my house to get an exact measurement and said we had a solid 38 and ¼ to work with. I was thrilled to be able to get a 40’’ and for such an amazing price, too!!

We were a little nervous when we got it home, but it fit. We had to take the doors off while we put it in, but it fit! I think it looks great and couldn't be more happy!!!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Black Friday

I can’t remember how many years ago Mom, Tina, Tonya, and I started shopping on this crazy day!  We’ve done it differently every year.  We gone from starting at Kohl’s to Target to Walmart.  (Walmart being the only way to go as you don’t have to stand outside in the cold.)  Even extremely claustrophobic me can handle Walmart.  There’s not a line pushing to get inside, and when they cut open those pallets of goodies, people are pretty decent. 

 We had everything out and up in record time, so we decided to hit a few stores in Springfield.  To us, things didn’t seem as crazy this year.  When I got home later that night, I cleaned the house.
I got all the gifts bought for my nephews and niece.   I only have three left to get.  Christmas shopping and decorating!  All in all I’d say it was quite a productive day!

This year we hit the midnight sales at Walmart.  We left Mom’s at 11:00 to give ourselves plenty of time.  Being the night owl that I am, this was SO much easier for me than getting up at 3:00!  We found some great deals.  Tonya and I saved $30 on one gift alone!  (So, yes, Dad, it really pays to go.)
Tina needed to get some bigger items, and people were already lining up, so we just decided to go ahead and hop in line, too.  It worked out quite well.  We took turns standing in lines, making friends, with those in line with us (Mom more so than Tina or I) and just looking around the store, walking instead of just standing.  After a few hours of this, we finally just sat down.  Walmart came around with granola bars and energy drinks and a few chairs.  I kind of felt like the girl in the movie “Where the Heart Is” who lived in the Walmart.  People would “borrow” camping chairs.  I went to the front and “borrowed” a magazine (which helped pass the time greatly!).  Others brought their own pillows and blankets and layed down.  We were first and third in line for the things Tina needed and we were able to leave at 5:30 with everything we came for!!
After dropping Tina home, Mom and I went home and slept for a couple of hours, then headed to my house to decorate for Christmas.  She insists on putting up my tree because my allergies are so bad.  It’s really such a blessing!