Friday, December 30, 2005

Home Again.....

Whew. Home again and ready to get back into my routine!! Here's a recap of the last couple of weeks:

Monday, Dec 19: my annual Open House where my apartment was full with friends.

Mon-Wed: Craziness at work trying to get things wrapped up for most all of the accounting department to be out this week.

Thursday, Dec 22: up before the crack of dawn to be in the car headed to Tennessee by 7:00 am. My parents and I drove in their Odyssey and my sister and bro-in-law drove in their Pilot. We drove, and drove, and drove.......talking back and forth between the vehicles via walkie-talkie and even playing Trivial Pursuit between the cars. Such fun!!

Thursday evening: dinner in Memphis with the old youth minister from
my parent's church in Abilene. Then back to the motel to do Christmas with our immediate family. Pretty good haul for 5 adults!!



Then Friday, we headed to my cousin Teresa's house for the whole family Christmas lunch. Our five, plus: Teresa & Todd, Jason and Kelsey; Randy & Tracy, Noah and Ross; Aunt Geneva; Uncle Freddie; Grandma. Lots of yummy food and gifts exchanged between Teresa's clan and the rest of us. Teresa is a pretty avid photographer, so she is good about making sure we always take pictures. Here's the first photo of our new family with bro-in-law Phillip:



We headed down to Tullahoma for the rest of our visit. Spent the weekend with family, hanging out, eating more, watching movies, etc. After a midnight service on Christmas Eve, we got up early for the traditional Christmas morning breakfast cooked by my cousin Randy -- eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuts and gravy, hashbrowns......all soooo very yummy! He does a great job! Then off to church and back to Aunt Neva's for beef tenderloin, baked potatoes and cheesecake for Christmas lunch.

Heather had to work this week, so she and Phillip got up early on Monday and headed home. I headed down to a very fun yummy Mexican food lunch with
Mae (met her beautiful daughter Hadlee!!), Donna and Terri at Rosie's in Huntsville, AL. It was so much fun!! Thanks girls!

We headed back to Texas on Wednesday. Made it back to my place about noon on Thursday. While we were gone, the apartment fairies had been busy. Putting in new mini blinds, a new fridge, new kitchen floor, new stove, and cleaning the carpet.







So, now, I'm home. Doing laundry. Putting everything back in order. Starting to pack away Christmas. Planning on a quiet New Year's Eve with my good friend Kelly. And looking forward to three more days before going back to work!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Forty-three

Yes, you read the title right......forty-three (43) is how many people were in my apartment tonight for the big Christmas open house! I beat last year's total by 13!!! And there were several folks that are regulars that weren't here this year.

Y'all it is so much work, but it is sooooo much more fun than work! I love it!

Now that the dishwasher is humming away, I'm off to bed. G'night.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

It's almost here......

This weekend is spent in final preparation for my:

I'm making the last food item right now - sausage balls. Still need to prepare the concentrate for my punch and then clean, straighten, set the table, etc.

Timer's beeping, break time's over....back to work!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Christmas Q&A

Stole this off of Malia's blog....

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Wraps

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? I grew up with colored on both -- now I have white on my garland/tree in my apartment.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Would if I had access, a good place to hang it, and any hopes of it working!!

5. When do you put your decorations up? Ideally, the weekend after Thanksgiving, but the past couple of years it has been the weekend before Thanksgiving.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Sausage balls.....although they can be made any time of year, typically we got them at Christmas time and for as long as the leftovers lasted!!

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Taking candy off our candy bell each night before bed .... counting down the days until Santa!!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? The truth about Santa? Well, I guess that depends on how you interpret the question. If you mean when did I learn that a fat man in a red suit does not really ride a sleigh and come down my chimney and leave presents, I honestly have no idea when that happened for me. It just did and I accepted it and moved on. We never discussed the fact that Santa is a fairy tale....matter of fact, we all still pretend that Santa really still exists!

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Not officially -- but our Christmas has never been about the date on the calendar, but on how our family schedule works out and when we are able to be together. So, if Christmas falls on Christmas Eve, then yes!

10. What kind of cookies does Santa get set out for him? Whatever is made -- cookies, candies, etc.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it! Definitely don't get enough of it down here in Texas!

12. Can you ice skate? Not really.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? No, there's a new favorite every year!

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Spending quality time with family.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? There are far too many to mention.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? My favorite Christmas tradition these days is the annual party that I throw. I love hosting people in my home and it is a way to get a wide variety of people here at once!

17. What tops your tree? A bow - growing up it was a crystal angel that my mom made.

18. Which do you prefer Giving or Receiving? Both.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Carol? this moment? Frosty the Snowman.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Yuck.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Wireless

I've finally gone wireless -- well at least some of the time. My laptop from work has a wireless card (thanks to a great tech guy who got me lots of cool stuff when he bought it!!). So today, my personal "Geek on Call" (my daddy) went and bought me a wireless router and set up a little wireless network here in my apartment.

I probably could have installed and set it up by myself, but I think it would have caused me major frustration and probably many many phone calls.

So, now, I can sit on my couch and work, email, blog etc while I watch TV! Ain't technology grand?!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Cold

Well, it has been truly cold and icky this week -- at least the past two days. Yesterday the high was somewhere in the upper 20s I think, with off and on sleet/freezing rain. Made for some fun frozen streets this morning!! Most of the schools closed, but our offices were open. I think by about 10:00 everyone had trickled in that was gonna make it. {of course, we had a few whiny babies that didn't want to come into work, so they said they couldn't make it even though they live closer to the office than me -- my commute is 5 miles or less} Bright sunshine helped melt away some ice patches, but it was still below freezing all day. I think it is going to hit a record low tonight, somewhere around 17 degrees.

I think we've finally put a bow on the Home Tour and have called it done. We had a wrap-up, brain dump session yesterday with lots of thoughts and opinions for things to do {or not do} for next year. Personally, I almost think that it is time to come up with a new fundraiser. I'm not sure this is fun any more. And shouldn't we be able to enjoy ourselves while raising money for a great organization? I've got a big plastic tub of checkout supplies ready to go to Home Tour storage (aka the Exec Dir's garage). Will take it over this weekend, then I'm washing my hands of it all.

I'm starting to get things moving for my open house on Monday the 19th. I'll post a pic of the invite closer to time. Got some of the groceries purchased last night - before dark - so that *if* we had a "snow day" today, I could be productive. Made salsa last night. Made banana bread last Monday. Made peppermint bark tonight.

Now, off to wrap the rest of my parent's Christmas presents. They are coming out this weekend and I don't want them to figure anything out!! Now, if Mom wants to help me wrap Heather & Phillip's, that would be a whole nother story!


p.s. ala Donna the little squiggly brackets will mean sarcasm here in this little spot of cyberspace {bet you didn't know I had it in me, huh?!}

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Shorthand

My family has been trading emails today talking about our upcoming long weekend together. Included in the discussion of our plans have been some of our family shortcut abbreviations.

My new brother in law hasn't quite caught on to all of them, so he sent a message to us all asking what F&M (Freddie & Mary - my aunt & uncle) and M&D (Mom & Daddy) were. We've been playing fun emails back and forth all afternoon teasing him.

I've always used my own shorthand abbreviations - and my stint in public accounting taught me many, many more. Plus, my mom and her mom actually read and write shorthand (the official, old-school business language). I've always wanted to be able to read it - to have my own "secret" language - but also to be able to read mom's notes on who gets what for Christmas!!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Catching Up

Well, the Home Tour was once again a HUGE success. Final numbers aren't in yet, but I would guess that it will surpass our goal of $30,000.

My whole body hurts from standing, hauling, twisting, climbing, etc to help get everything organized. And that was just on Saturday.

Sunday, we had a non-stop mad rush of people checking out from the Holiday Shoppe for well over three hours.

I'm off today, counting money, reorganizing the checkout stuff to be stored until next year, and in general catching my breath before the crazy busy spiral to the end of the year.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Mia's Story

I've recently found the blog of some folks I knew at ACU. They are over in China right now bringing home their daughter, Mia. Check out the blog if you have a little time (and some spare tears to shed) - it is an amazing, heartwarming story!