Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hard To Say Goodbye...

This year the holidays, both Thanksgiving and Christmas were the best I can remember. I'm sure it's because all of our kids were able to come to San Antonio and also because we suspect that once Shelley goes to London, it may be a while before we're all together again. At any rate, it was a Christmas I'll remember...

We each recieved some really special gifts...for me it was the portraits Stacey gave us. She got all three of our girls together and went out one snowy night to have portraits taken...they turned out wonderfully and Larry and I were both so surprised! Stacey won the "Pickle" award again this year...I think there's only one year she missed it. Late in the afternoon, we all went to see the new movie, "Marley and Me", which was wonderful (but kinda sad). My mom is so amazing...she kept up with all the activity going on and even stayed up until midnight on Christmas playing "Train Dominoes" with us.
The day after Christmas the weather was beautiful so we took the opportunity to go to Sea World. It was a fun and relaxing day, and a perfect ending to a wonderful visit.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Christmas Eve Performance...

Shelley took this video this evening while I was preparing our Christmas Eve dinner. I wasn't going to post it because we were all being really silly, but it's hysterical so I thought you'd enjoy a good laugh! Merry Christmas!

*For those of you who don't know, my mother, dancing in the background, is 87 years old and VERY sane!

Merry Christmas...Eve!

We woke up to a beautiful day this morning and decided to go downtown to the Riverwalk for lunch and to see all the decorations. It was a perfect day to go because it really wasn't very crowded and yet it was very festive.

After lunch, we headed up to a beautiful outdoor mall to do some last minute shopping before we went to the Christmas Eve service at 3:30. The music at the service was wonderful and Max preached a sermon called ""Joe to the World", about how Jesus became an ordinary person and came to save "any ordinary Joe" like us!

We spent the evening here at the house where we had our traditional potato soup dinner and then opened our out of town gifts from family. The unusual thing was that we were able to sit out on the porch...that's definately a new San Antonio tradition!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pre-Christmas Activities

Sunday, after church, we had tickets to go see my friend Crystal Gulley in a play in downtown San Antonio. It was the musical version of "A Christmas Carol" and it was wonderful...really a great addition to the Christmas season.

It was so cold here (in the 30's) that in the evening that we decided to stay home and have chili and cornbread and watch movies. During the movies, my mom and I made cookies and decorated was a very cozy family night.

Monday morning was hopefully the last day of our cold spell, so we changed our plans and decided to drive up to Gruene and have dinner at the Gristmill. Since we wanted to go in the evening, we all went to see "Australia" in the afternoon...that was a good choice because we all loved it! We got to Gruene a little too early to eat, so we walked around the town for a while before meeting at the Gristmill for a fabulous dinner served in front of a roaring fire, but surrounded by the beautiful outdoor scenery that we love so much. The picture of Shelley and my mom was taken in front of the oldest dance hall in Texas, a place often used in filming country dance scenes in movies.

The last thing we did tonight was stop by "Schlitterbahn Country Christmas". It's a waterpark that is tranformed into a Christmas was cold, but I was surprised how many people bundled up and came out for the fun. There were bobsled rides, light shows, carolers and crafts, as well as hot chocolate, wassail and german food.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Week begins...

Well, Stacey, Shelley and my mom arrived tonight after negotiating snowstorms up north! They actually slid in between a blizzard on Friday and another due to arrive Saturday afternoon, but after meeting them at the airport, we gave them a San Antonio welcome with a motorcyle ride and a backyard barbeque!

Then we headed over to an amazing outdoor live nativity presented by a local church. We were a bit cramped during the 30 minute wait to get in the gate, so Shelley (as only Shelley can do) scooted up through the sunroof for some fresh evening air and I snapped a picture through my window!

The production was awesome, with people costumed in Bibletime costumes and acting out every scene as portrayed in the Bible during the birth of Jesus.

It was after nine, when we headed home to make smores in our backyard firepit...not exactly something you could do if you were up in the midwest at Christmas!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Festive Without Snow!

We had the most festive day today, although it was one of the warmest days we've had in a actually was in the 80's! This was the last day of Sunday School until after New Years, so we had a birthday for Jesus with my first graders. Then this evening, we attended a Christmas concert with our good friends, the Smallens from our cul de sac. It was held at their church, First Baptist, which is a really old church downtown by the Alamo. The concert was fabulous, but I enjoyed the atmosphere of being down in old San Antonio just as much and the architecture of the building as well as their decorations were fantastic!

After the concert, Larry and I went down to the Riverwalk for dinner and enjoyed the Christmas's starting to feel a lot like Christmas, everywhere we go...does that sound like a song?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Winter Weather Warning...San Antonio Style!

Well, winter made an appearance here in San Antonio this week, but it was very short lived. The temps have been down in the 30's each morning and we even had some snow flurries Wednesday evening. It's funny to watch the kids come to school in the mornings...they are so bundled up you'd think we it was 40 below. I guess this is really unusual for San Antonio, in fact the news showed close ups of ice on the leaves like it was miraculous! I'm actually enjoying our short lived winter, but each afternoon it does climb into the 70's, so it still feels warm to me.

I did our Polar Express reading at school today and as usual, the kids loved it. Ever since the movie came out, I hear kids say they like the movie more than the book, which makes me kind of sad, but today my faith was restored when we had mobs of students fighting to get into the room where I was reading. I had 50 Polar Express tickets to give out for each of the four readings, and we had kids practically wrestling to get their made me feel like a rock star or something! This is a picture of the set up in the room where I was reading. I love to see the faces of the children as I ring the bell or read the note Santa leaves...there's nothing like the imagination of a child!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Long past due!

We had so much fun while the kids were here, but since they left on Tuesday, I've been so busy with school and getting ready for our real Christmas, that I haven't taken time to post the rest of the pictures we took after Thanksgiving. Larry and I really enjoyed both of the grandkids and we're having a hard time getting used to the fact that they're so far away again. At least we have wonderful memories of our time with them.

On Friday, we all took a walk down to the park in our neighborhood. Lydia of course enjoyed being outside and playing in the playground. Joshua seemed fascinated by simple things like this leaf Shannon showed him.
Since Shannon and Josh don't get many opportunities to go out without the kids, we offered to babysit while they were here as much as they liked. One evening, we took Lydia to see the new movie,"Bolt"...she loved it!

On the Monday after Thanksgiving, I had to go back to school. After work that day, I brought home 500 milk bottles to wash so they would be ready for the students to make pinatas this week. I had no idea how exciting that would be for Lydia...maybe even the highlight of the trip???

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Day!

What a busy day it was trying to fit two holidays into one! We had our Thanksgiving dinner early in the afternoon after cooking all morning and decorating cookies with Lydia. When she woke up from her nap, we started all over again with our Christmas celebration!

Lydia has become a "gift expert" in the last year and couldn't wait to begin opening her Christmas presents! We did a "princess" theme this year and she really seemed to enjoy herself. Her favorite gifts were her "princess wish stones" and her talking "magic mirror". Little Joshua didn't have any idea what was going on, but he sure watches his big sister all the time...if that's any indication, he'll get the idea very quickly, I'm sure!

Wednesday, November 26th

Although we had lots of Thanksgiving preparations ahead of us, we decided to take the day and go to Sea World. I'm so glad we did because it turned out to be a perfect day...they had the whole park decorated for Christmas and even the shows all had a holiday theme. We all loved feeding the dolphins and the whale show was outstanding!

In the evening, Larry put up the smaller tree in the living room so we could celebrate our family Christmas on Thanksgiving evening. It was so much fun having Lydia there to decorate the tree with...there's nothing like the joy of a child at Christmas time!

Tuesday, November 25th

Although the weather has been cooler than it was last year at this time, it's still much nicer than it is up north, so we took off today to show off the beautiful city of San Antonio. After a wonderful breakfast at Magnolia House, we stopped at the HEB arsenal and then went down to the Riverwalk. Because there's so many of us, Larry and I took the motorcyle while Josh drove Larry's car. On the way home, Shannon rode with Larry on the bike and seemed to love the ride!

In the evening, we babysat while Shannon and Josh went out to dinner. We decided to take the kids to the Bass Outdoor Store to see the Holiday decorations. They had a great set up with Santa, Christmas trains and numerous outdoor scenes. Although we did make a stop to see Santa Claus, Lydia's favorite thing was the shooting gallery!

Grandkids Visit!

Shannon and Josh arrived on Monday and we've been so busy I haven't had a chance to spend much time on the computer, so I'll try to catch up on all that's happened. After a long travel day, the kids needed some down time, so we just hung out at home and spent time catching up. Baby Joshua has grown so much since we saw him in August. Although he's still less than twelve pounds, he's smiling and is developing his own little personality. Lydia has a great memory... she immediatly went into the house and and took out all the toys she remembered. Of course Grandma has spent time shopping, so there was lots of new stuff to discover as well!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another Fun Weekend...

Weekends have been so much fun since Larry got the bike and now that fall is here, there's lots to do and nice weather which makes it even better! Saturday, we took a trip up north to run a Christmas errand before we went to church. Then on Sunday, we went out to visit someone that Larry knows from work and I ended up going horseback riding for the afternooon. I hadn't ridden at all for over four years and although it was just riding western around the ranch, it felt great!
I just got back a few minutes ago from the school where my fourth graders put on a patriotic musical for Veterans Day. They looked so cute in their costumes and I'm always amazed at what parents in this district do...the kids looked like professionals! I love all my students and it's fun to be a part of things like this.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mrs. King...Art Teacher?

When I was told I was going to teach Art this year, I was really kind of apprehensive. I've never really seen myself as "artistic" and I wasn't sure what I had to offer the students in the way of creativity. It's actually turned out much better than I expected...I love teaching anything and because I'm limited to Kindergarten through fifth grade, I can even pass myself off as an "artist" (well, to the younger students, at least!) I've had fun putting my room together, although I still have a lot of things I want to do. Now I'm kind of hoping I get to continue this...maybe I'll become an artist in my old age!

San Antonio Autumn...

We've had really unusual weather for this part of the country this year (or so I'm told). It actually has felt like fall, although not as cool as up north. This weekend we rode the bike up into the hill country and found some beautiful color in addition to a great fall festival. The festival actually is a craft fair/ antique show with over 470 vemders that occurs on the first weekend of each month, but I wouldn't want to go there in the summer! It's set up like a little old village that winds up through the trees...very cool, but we couldn't buy much because we had the bike. (I wonder if that's why Larry likes the bike so much.)

Then after church and our Bible class on Saturday evening we joined some friends to celebrate October birthdays.
Then on Sunday evening we had a "Goodbye" party for our good friends Dan and Joan who are moving back east. It was a fun evening, but sad to think they're going to be so far away.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat Night!

I went back to work on Wednesday this week and it was SO good to get back with the kids! I expected to be tired the first couple of days back, but I seem to have more energy since I've had the surgery than before. The only problem is that I was so prepared prior to leaving, but after having a sub for a week, I'm now really busy bringing all my lesson plans up to date.

Yesterday, our good friend Dan Beasley officially retired from the military. Since I had just missed a week of school, I wasn't able to get off for his decommisioning ceremony. Larry did go and was really impressed not only with the tribute given in Dan's honor, but also with the character of Dan himself. They gave Dan many rewards, but he continually turned it around and praised the men and women who served under him. That's the character of Godliness showing and we're so glad God brought these special friends into our life. Then last night we all met for dinner at La Fonda, where we enjoyed spending the evening with all our friends from our Life Group.

Right now as I write this, trick or treaters are just winding down. We had a lot of kids this evening, and it was really fun! Most of them I know from school and they get really excited when they get to my house. After the first hour and a half, we took Larry's bike through the neighborhood just to see what else was going on. I couldn't believe how decorated our neighborhood was...there was even one court that was blocked off for a "Haunted House"...(not really scary, just fun stuff)!