Saturday, November 24, 2007

Another Cold Day...

Stacey didn't have to leave until the afternoon, so we decided to go out to breakfast at The Guenther House downtown. There was a long wait this morning and they were short handed, but it still is a very impressive restaurant. It's the original grounds for the Pioneer Flour Mills (which is still in operation), and the restaurant is the original home built in the 1800's. In one of the rooms they had displayed this years Christmas Gingerbread House. It is an exact replica of the house and the details were incredible, as well as "edible"! There was furniture inside and the whole house was decorated for the holidays, down to the food on the table...all things made with Pioneer Baking mixes!

After breakfast, Larry took Stacey to see the HEB Corporate Headquarters. It's located at the old Arsenal down the street from the Alamo and has been completely restored. Everytime I go there I see something new...this time he showed us the arsenal "magazine," where all the ammunition was kept during the Civil War. Mr. Butt (the owner of HEB) lives in a restored house right down the street and has an underground walkway to the arsenal. The history here is incredible!

Christmas Kick-off...

We had a fabulous last day with Stacey today! We started out the day at Krispy Kreme Donuts and did a little Christmas shopping, then headed up north to a little town in the hill country. It was surprisingly cold the 40's, but it at least it seemed more like the holidays to me. We shopped for a while in Fredricksburg and decided to have lunch there and while we were waiting for our table, I looked up and saw somebody I recognized! It was one of our old pastors from Hope, Eric Hoehn and his wife, Caren. They moved to Austin earlier this year and we were so surprised to see them. Caren's folks were with them and we know them too...Diane was our realtor in Illinois, so it was really fun to see them all.

Later in the afternoon, we were headed home and decided to stop in a little town called Boerne. They have a Dickens Christmas celebration each weekend now until December 25th. It was so much fun...Christmas shopping, carolers, street venders, horse drawn carriages and of course, St. Nicholas! They even had snow making was the perfect "Christmas Kick-off" Day!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving...Texas style!

We had a fabulous Thanksgiving Day, in spite of being so far away from family and old friends. We spent the day with some very special friends in their beautiful home, where they shared not only their hospitality, but also their wonderful family! Becky had prepared the most wonderful dinner and the house was decorated to look like a layout for a Thanksgiving magazine.

Randy's brother, who is a doctor, had just returned from a missions trip to India and brought pictures on his laptop. Wow, that was a totally eye opening experience...really makes you thankful for our country and our culture!

One really nice surprise was that the temperature dropped overnight and today was really cold...for San Antonio, anyway. I think God knew I needed this weather to make me feel less homesick.

We also enjoyed having a two year old for the day...Madison was SO good and kept us entertained with her delightful giggle! It was fun sharing the day with a child close to Lydia's age...makes me anxious for Christmas!
The men spent the afternoon watching football...the Dallas Cowboys, of course! We had some other good friends from our Life Group join us for made me realize how thankful I am for the rich friendships God has blessed us with here. His Love and Faithfullness are never ending!

Stacey's Week in San Antonio

We started out our week by visiting a little town called Gruene (pronounced "Green"), which is an OLD Texas western town. They have the oldest dance hall around which is still in use. People like Hank Williams got their start there along with many others who have their pictures posted on the walls of the building. They still use it today and many movies are filmed there. They also have lots of little shops for the many tourists that visit.
On Tuesday, Stacey and I went to San Marcus, which is a shoppers "Paradise"! They have miles and miles of outlet type shops and restaurants. We did our share of shopping and had lunch at a restaurant which had a stray kitten that waited for food as people came out the door. We, of course, shared the remainder of my tuna from my tuna melt.
Wednesday, we went to visit Larry's plant, where we got to wear lovely gowns and hairnets and tasted chips hot off the line!

On Thanksgiving Eve we visited the River Walk and walked down to the River City Mall. San Antonio is a beautiful city and the people don't seem like "city" people...more like small town folks.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Early Christmas Present!

Today my Christmas officially begins! I know Thanksgiving is not even here yet, but Stacey arrived today so I wanted the whole house decorated for her! She arrived late due to problems with her connecting flight which caused her to be two and a half hours later than expected. She was starving after her delayed flight, so Larry barbequed steak and we had her favorite meal...yummm! Tomorrow we start showing her around San Antonio right after church. I've been looking so forward to this week, and now it's finally here...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Food and Friends "Extraordinaire"!

We had an unbelievable evening tonight when we joined all our friends from our Life Group at the beautiful home of Dan and Joan Beasley for a six course meal prepared by "Chef Dan"! Dan's daily job is with the military, but tonight he impressed everyone with his culinary skills. We enjoyed such fine delicacies as "Scallop Provencial, Autumn Pumpkin Butternut Squash Soup, Stuffed Roasted Salmon in a Croissant and Profiteroles" among other delights!

Not only was the food a delight, but the atmosphere as we ate out by the pool was incredible. Joan collects dishes, most of which she has purchased in Germany during their travels. The tables were set beautifully and the weather cooperated by being better than we had anticipated.

Joan and Dan were outstanding hosts for the evening and all of us were so blessed to be included in this celebration of all God's gifts that He grants to us!