Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Day Fun!

Christmas Day started by joining Trilby, Mike, & boys for Mass in Williamsburg.  Hopefully next year we can get the rest of them to join us.  There is nothing like going to Mass with the whole family.  All of the kids and their families were here to celebrate together.
Trilby, Mike, Payton, Cael, & Nate were here.  
(Nate is VERY uncooperative with picture taking lately!)
Travis, Kerry, & Chance were here.
Tasha, Kyle, & Clara were here.
Trina, Tanner, & Grayson were here.
We ate lunch, cleaned up, then opened gifts. 
We opened gifts youngest to oldest(grandchildren).  Nate enjoyed opening his gifts then setting them aside to wait for the next one.  Cael is opening his gift while Nate waits patiently calmly soberly for his next turn!
Chance enjoyed dessert.

Payton played with his DS. :(
Grayson made funny faces!
And Clara looked adorable in her Christmas dress.
We had a great Christmas!  How about you???

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December Recap Continued

We left for Texas on December 17th.  We drove as far as Wichita where we spent the night. We're just too tired to drive straight through after working all day anymore!!  We got to Dalhart about 1:00.  After saying hi to everyone and changing our clothes we went to Mass and then to my brother's company Christmas party.  One reason we went was so Bud could be Santa at Marybell's.  (Don't know what Marybell's is?  Go here.)  Bud enjoys filling in for Santa and decided to grow his own beard and hair this year.  Well, he did get some looks and comments on our way to Texas, but the best was the little girl in church who was POSITIVE Santa was there.  As we went to communion she was poking her mom saying, "It's Santa, it's Santa!" (I am happy that the beard and hair are gone as of last night!!)

Sunday was Marybell's Christmas.  People began lining up as early as 9:30 a.m. even though the starting time was 2:00p.m.  Approximately 775 toys were given out to children from 0-12 years old.  They got bicycles, trampolines, dolls, kitchens, trucks, scooters, basketball hoops, game tables, etc.  Each child above the age of 3 goes to choose his/her own gift.  Santa had a few words to say and then he mingled and visited with kids and parents.  The Christmas Story was told in English and Spanish, and a band played Christmas songs.  Cookies, hot chocolate, cheese, and chocolate milk were provided.  I took tickets from kids and made sure they went without parents to choose their toy.

After Marybell's we went to the local nursing home where we passed out stockings stuffed with socks, lotions, and other things.  They LOVED Santa.  This lady was adamant about getting her picture taken with Santa.
 She said it was the closest she had been to him in 90 years!
Our family members that worked at Marybell's.
We left for home early Tuesday morning and drove straight through.  I spent Wednesday at the hospital with my sister and brother-in-law as he was admitted on Tuesday.  As soon as he was released Wednesday night we headed to Wal-Mart to finish Christmas shopping and buy groceries.  We got home about midnight and collapsed.  Thursday I wrapped packages all day as Bud cleaned and made party mix.  Then it was Christmas!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December Recap

I know my postings have been few and far between this month.  It has been a busy/strange month.  I wasn't feeling well before Thanksgiving and ended up with sinus infection over Thanksgiving break.  Then I had to report for jury duty.  November 30th and December 1st we spent selecting a jury, and sure enough I was chosen along with two of my colleagues and a secretary in our district.  We started the trial Wednesday afternoon. The trial was for a woman charged with involuntary manslaughter and five other counts of theft, adult abuse, neglect, etc. (To read a little about the trial go here.)Thursday was a hard day, but I felt like I was taking things in stride and looking at things scientifically without getting too emotional.  Friday morning I woke up an emotional wreck and had a tough day.  Each day we were in court left me exhausted!  By the time I went to school to do lesson plans after being at the courthouse all day I was wiped out.  That didn't get me very far along in making any Christmas gifts or cookies!  Saturday I got a call that my uncle had passed away. (more on this later)

Saturday, December 4th we were busy moving Trina, Tanner, and Grayson to their new home.  We put in a long day and went home exhausted.  The next day I was able to do a little Christmas decorating that I hadn't finished.

Monday, December 5th we were back in court and I was still an emotional mess.  At break I answered a call from my brother who wanted us to go to California to my uncle's funeral.  So, I asked the judge to release me and he did.  ( It was really a blessing in disguise for me emotionally.)  This allowed me to be in school Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

We left for Los Angeles Thursday afternoon meeting up with my brother and sister-in-law in Dallas.  I was glad to get the chance to go to LA as I was born there, but had never been back since my parents and I moved to Iowa when I was two.  We were able to do a little sightseeing Friday  before we had to be at visitation.  We went down to Rodeo Drive.
Then we headed to Hollywood.
We did some "touristy" things like a tour of stars' homes.  Which by the way, was kind of a joke.  We didn't really get very close to many of the homes, but we did see a lot of stars' bushes!!  We had lunch at the Hollywood Hard Rock Cafe and looked at some of the stars in the sidewalks.
Do you recognize this building???  
This is where Richard Gere drives up in his limo to pick up Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.  We then went back to the hotel to change and went to visitation.  I spent the night coughing and coughing, so we headed to find some OTC meds for me the next day.

My uncle was my dad's twin.  Dad passed away in 1987 at the young age of 52, so my uncle had 23 more years.  His funeral was December 11th which was their birthday.  Saturday we spent the majority of our day at the funeral and then at my uncle's home.  We spent some time taking pictures and visiting.  We were very glad we went as we were the only relatives who could make it from our side of the family.

After we left there we drove along the ocean and then toured the Queen Mary in Long Beach.  

We then headed over the bridge back to Long Beach to each supper at a great seafood restaurant on the water.  I had lobster for the first time.  It was fantastic!!

Sunday morning we left after breakfast and headed to the airport.  When we left LA they were having highs of 85 degrees.  When we landed in Moline it was -20 wind chill.  What a shock to our systems!!

This gets me to December 13th--at school exhausted and not feeling great, but I knew I couldn't miss school because we had already scheduled to be gone the next weekend.  The week was full of meetings and appointments after school, so again I didn't get anything cook, baked, or made for Christmas.  We left Friday afternoon for Texas.

I think that's enough for now.  More about Texas tomorrow!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from Our Home to Yours!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Finally, A Day at Home!

It's been awhile since I've blogged because of  lots of things going on this month!  I'm finally at home with the lights on the tree,
a fire roaring in the fireplace,
and since we finally finished our shopping I have a pile of gifts to wrap.
So, this is where I'll be today wrapping, wrapping, & wrapping!
December update will come after I wrap, clean, and bake at least a few Christmas cookies!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holiday Questions

Play Along!

On Laurie's blog, she shared this, you can only answer with one word! Feel free to take it, and share your answers also!

1. Your holiday decor:

2. The weather where you live this time of year: cold

3. Your favorite smell of the season: spice

4. Your favorite beverage of the season: wassail

5. Something you wish you could avoid during the holidays: shopping

6. What you typically bring to the potluck: dessert

7. What you wish people would stop bringing to the potluck: pickles

8. A word to describe how you feel about the word 'potluck': hesitant

9. What is on your feet right now: Socks

10. How many layers you are wearing right now: three

11. Where in the world you would rather be right now: Iowa

12. Something that makes you feel invigorated this time of year:d
13. Something that makes you feel challenged this time of year: checkbook

14. A cold weather comfort food you crave: cappuccino

15. Something you wish you were doing right now: sewing

16. Something you SHOULD be doing right now: wrapping

17. Your opinion of snow: lovely

18. Your opinion of those big furry-looking hats with earflaps: comical

19. A tradition you'll be sure to keep this season: baking

20. A tradition you'd like to start this season: relaxing

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Civic Duty and Stuff

• CIVIC DUTY (noun)
  The noun CIVIC DUTY has 1 sense:
1. the responsibilities of a citizen

jury duty - the civic duty to serve on a jury

Yes, I have been doing jury duty this week.  I have never served on a jury or even been called to jury duty before, and wouldn't you know it, I got picked.  The strange thing is that I am serving along with two other teachers in my building and a secretary from another building in our district.  With a jury pool of 80 to start how could that happen?  It is a big case, and it is expected to all this week and into the next.  I never dreamt it would be so emotionally and mentally draining.   We have put in long hours, so after running an errand or two I haven't gotten home much before 6:30 or 7:00, so I haven't accomplished much this past week.

After spending the day moving Trina, Tanner, and Grayson into their new home yesterday, I finally got some time to sew today.  Years ago when I had four small children I made each of them Christmas stockings.  I never got around to making any for Bud and me, but what did it matter since no one filled them anyway.  Well, after Trilby was married, Payton was born, and maybe even Cael, I added to the stockings.  Long story short, I made one for each son-in-law and our daughter-in-law and each grandchild.  One year I even made one for Bud and one for me.  Last year I made one for Chance for his first Christmas.  This year I needed to make two, so that is what I did today.

Grayson's stocking:

And Clara's stocking:

And all of the stockings handing on the mantle.
I'm sure I will be happily making more in the future!