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???