Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas-Giving or Thanksmas?

In November, we traveled back to Oklahoma to see the family, spending a few days with each family, celebrating both Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Not an easy task!  These are some favorite pics of our gatherings.

We started at Papa and Mike's house.

On Thanksgiving Day, we went to Grandma and Grandpa Beach's house.    Here the girls made a gingerbread house while dinner was being prepared.

Addyson Nicole eating the icing off the gingerbread house.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law.  Aren't they sweet?  I introduced them!
"Match maker, Match maker. . . "

Jacob Andrew - my nephew.  He will someday build the world's largest building - he is that smart!

Grandma and her Girls!

And our Christmas Tree at Grandma's - the day after Thanksgiving!

Sisters?  Yeah, we get asked that alot!

My brother-in. . . Nay, just my brother.

Next we went to Gran's house.  In 40 minutes we had torn through gifts like a hurricane, leaving a paper path of destruction in our wake!

Gran and Nana gave Chris a new guitar.  Yes, he was proud!

My BFF Kelli and her little Cade.
He is a rounder!  He loves his big brother Keith!

We were fortunate to celebrate Erica and Keith's official entry into our family  and Erica's 18th birthday while we were there.Isn't she gorgeous?  And smart!  She's going to be a famouse nurse!

So after all this visiting, we drove home and collapsed!  Literally!  We were so tired - the kids and I didn't move for a while day.  We were hoping that little Avery would be born while we were there, but, she had other ideas. . . .

How to Humiliate a Schnauzer

God had a great idea when he made pets.  We've been blessed with two great pups the past 5 years.  Sherman came from Sherman, Texas.  He was actually the kids' dog who lived with Papa and Mama Mike until we moved to Durango, CO and he came with us.  A year later, his sibling, Annie, joined us.

Recently, we had to have Annie put down due to cancer.  We have some great memories of her, though!  Like the way she would run into the back screen - she wasn't smart but was sure sweet!  She hated thunderstorms, too.  She would sneak into our bedroom and doggie crawl up the side of the bed to meld her body into mine until the storm passed.  She loved to ride a Quad, too.  When camping, she'd run towards the 4-wheeler when she heard it start up and want to ride.  She loved camping!

Sherman is now man of the house again.  Since Annie's passing, he has been treated like royalty!  He loves Cheese Puffs - the big ones!  And he's pretty fond of potato chips, too.  He already loved popcorn and is quite willing to try new foods.

Winter is his least-favorite season.  He hates the snow.  His little feet get so cold.  It does bring out a unique talent - he can hike his league and pee pee between the slats of the back deck! 

At Christmas he received a new sweater and new booties!  (look in the picture above).  He's not real found of either gift.  He walked like a duck in the booties - then he another dog looked at me, and he quickly forgot his feet in favor of "protecting" me.  He is very protective but likes to meet new people, too.  And good with kids.  Even when they are trying to catch his little stubby taile!

Merry Christmas, Sherman!

Sorry about the sweater, dude.  But you do look handsome!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Come to the Manger

I love Nativity Scenes.  I have a gold one that plays music.  A glass set that I paid 99 cents for at a dollar store when we were first married.  A bear set that a friend bought me.  And then, there's my favorite set of all!  

Now this is not a fancy ceramic nativity set.  Too stuffy for me.  It's a Fisher Price Little People's set I bought when the kids were little.  Those cute little round faces remind me of my kids when they were much younger.  I love that kids can play with this set and it won't break.

While I was picking up the house for the holiday, I took a close look at this little set and found new members!  Jesse, Woody and his horse, the little miner dude, and a plastic pig had found their way into the scene.  They were all gathered around the baby Jesus.  I didn't dare move these precious pieces.  One of our little friends and very deliberately placed these new-comers at the manger.

It reminds me that there's room at the manger for everyone.  You may feel you don't "fit" into the Christian scene or that church is not for you.  But God is for you.  And everyone fits into His plan!

Jesus is waiting for you.  Not as a baby.  Today He is waiting as your Savior.

Merry Christmas.

May the Christ of the Season
and the Baby of the Manger
Become your Savior Today.

Monday, December 21, 2009

2009 Cookie Day with Little Friends

It was nearly a year ago that two little friends came to make Christmas goodies while their mommy was gone to bring home their new brother and sister.

This year, there were four little friends joining us for cookie making!  And mommy and sis are gone to bring home another miracle!  Cool.

Boys baked first.

Now the girls!

Okay, who doesn't love that smile!?!  of course I mean my girlfriend,
although the puppy is pretty cute, too!

I was smarter this year:  more cookies and less candy!  And lots of mac and cheese!

From the littlest boy:  jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj

From the middle boy:  jhgbdrsgsdxcuyhgbvfiopkiujhy

From the littlest girl:  ppppppppppppppppp//////////////iiiuyteeeee

From Middlest big girl:  i miss you mom  and love you too!

From you friend:  come home soon!  and Happy Ho Ho Ho!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dante Missed the Mark

In homeschooling, I have the desire to introduce my children to different genres of music and literature including those called classical as well as modern.  The music has been easy - I love so many different types of music that my playlists are very varied.  Classical, Jazz, Rock, Latin, Christian, Country, Gospel, Bluegrass.  It's all there.

Literature is easy for me as well.  Afterall, I was an English ,major in college.  I've ready more books than I care to recall and loved most of them.  I like to read to my kids and most times they like it as well.

Today, the Christmas holiday was the source for an unlikely introduction:  Dante's Divine Comedy.  First there's Limbo, the River Styx, the City of Dis, leading to Malebolge and finally the ninth level, Cocytus.  On the way you pass demons, Minotaurs, harpies and taste poisin fruit.  Though a purely  fictional picture of hell, it is a very graphic one.

But my family decided that had Dante been alive today, he would have added a tenth level:  the American Shopping Mall at Christmas time.  The crowds, the noise, the lines!  The lowest level of hell would have bound within the walls of this shopping institution.

Seriously?  It was only Farmington, NM! 

The 10th level would truly be Grapevine Mills Mall at Christmas Time!  With two toddlers.  And a husband.  And no food court.  Or stroller.    Now that would be torture!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Must Reads!

Books you must read:

*  "Same Kind of Different As Me"
*  "Scared"
*  "Arguing with Idiots"  by Glen Beck
              Not PC, but very interesting!  And a little scarey!
*  "Pirate Latitudes" by Michael Crichton
              What a wonderful suprise!  My favorite author wrote about my favorite subject!

Holiday Happenings

I have always loved having company.  Since we've moved to Durango that hasn't happened as much.  The first two years, we were doing every touristy thing imaginable just in case we were moved again.  Then we settled into work and with both of us going all the time it didn't happen much.

But this Christmas I was determined that would be different!

I started on Sunday evening - it took me two and a half days to put up 10 boxes of Christmas decorations.  Every room is decked out!  Or at least sprinkled.

Today, our Home School group came for Tea and Wii.  Tea for those who wanted to eat and visit - mostly the women;  and Wii for those who wanted to play.  It was so much fun!

There was a cupcake decorating center for the kids.  They were covered in icing and sugars.  "They" including the teenagers who were as fascinated with the decorating as the little kids!

It was a lovely morning and I loved having the house full of people and laughter!

Merry Christmas friends!