Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Day!

We spent Christmas Eve at Stacey's and it was one of the best Christmas Eves I can remember! We started out the day with breakfast at Machine Shed and then went to see a movie. It was snowing, so it was really "Christmasy"! We then headed over to pick up my mom and had lunch at her place...she really enjoyed showing us off to all her friends. After the Christmas Eve service at Hope, we went back to Stacey's for our Christmas Eve supper and stockings. We did something new this year and played a game to see who would open the next gift. It was much different than other Christmases but I think I liked it better than the way we had done it in the past, so maybe change can be good!

Christmas morning was spent with Shannon and Josh. I was afraid the kids would be exhausted after the two previous days of Christmas with Josh's family, but they seemed to do just fine. They're both at really good ages for celebrations and they seemed to really enjoy the day.

Kids always love getting gifts, but I'm always amazed at how much they enjoy giving them also. Nothing beat seeing Lydia give her mommy and daddy the gift she had made for them!

I loved the last picture because it showed how both my girls got involved with the American Girl Bitty Twins dolls. I'm not sure who loves those dolls more...the moms or the daughters!

Christmas was our last night there so Larry decided to cook a standing rib roast for Christmas was delicious, but cooking in an apartment kitchen sure made me miss my gourmet kitchen! All in all, it was a great trip and I enjoyed the snow while I was there, but we were both glad to get home to warmer temps, clean cars and nice roads!

Midwest Christmas!

After driving for 14 (plus) hours in the car, we finally arrived in Northern Illinois and found the winter wonderland I always miss during the holidays. We arrived Sunday morning and stopped by Hope in time for me to visit Lydia's Sunday School class and get in a hug (or two) and then to stop by Hopefulls for a quick visit with old friends. Our time up north is so busy and goes by so fast that we don't have a chance for the kind of visits we'd like, but a quick hug tides us over until our longer visit in the summer time.

I think if I had to choose a favorite moment while I was up north, it would be the night I got to babysit while Shannon and Josh went out to dinner and a movie. I took a bag of Christmas books and crafts that I had been saving and while Grandpa and Joshua were watching "Cars" (for the umpteenth time), Lydia and I had a craft night. She LOVED it, and when I mentioned making her mommy and daddy a gift, she was so enthused, I thought she'd explode with joy!

One thing I love to do at Christmas time is visit the mall, but I wasn't sure the kids would enjoy it because they don't go out to "shop" a lot, but it was much better than I expected! We mostly did fun "Christmasy" things so they didn't get bored or frustrated. Lydia's favorite thing was jumping on the big tramp, but Joshua like the puppy in the pet shop best! Great Grandma went along too and even Shannon got a chance to do a little shopping for herself. All in all it was a great day!

We took the last night before Christmas Eve to have dinner at Stacey's apartment. She has the cutest place now and it was the perfect spot for us to call "home" while we were there.

I loved this picture of Holly....looks like she's saying "Aww Mom...when's Christmas?"

Introducing "Holly Joy"...

Larry surprised me with an early Christmas present this year, and one of the best I could've hoped eight week old Yorkshire Terrier puppy! I came home from Awanas on Sunday evening to find her curled up in Larry's office. It didn't take me long to fall in love with her. My only concern was leaving her for his upcoming Christmas party in San worries though...I left her at the kennel at my new vets and they all spoiled her rotten!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Thanksgiving Week

After being in north Texas for just over two months, we were ready for our first real holiday in our new home...Thanksgiving! Stacey and my mom flew in from Milwalkee and Shelley and Rusty drove up from San Antonio, so we had a house full for a few days but it was wonderful! The dogs had never met each other but warmed up quickly and got along well. I don't think I've ever enjoyed a Thanksgiving so much, but I guess that's because I had so much to be Thankful for this year. After all, it was only a short time ago that we didn't know if Larry would have a job at all and then later, if we would ever get our belongings back...puts things in a whole different perspective!

It was all so fun just being together for this holiday! My mom and I made the pies on Wednesday and one of my favorite things was teaching her to use the apple peeler. It took her a while to get the hang of it and it was hysterical to watch her...I just hope I'm as open to learning new things when I'm close to ninety!

Thanksgiving Day arrived and we had fun putting together a scrumptious feast. Larry grilled the turkey on his new backyard grill and it turned out perfectly! Bella tried every trick in the book to bribe just one bite, but in spite of her cute new outfit, Stacey wouldn't give in to her.

Right after Thanksgiving we took off to explore the Dallas/ Fort Worth area. I had been so busy setting up my new household that I hadn't gotten out much yet, well, other than shopping for household stuff! Anyway, we found LOTS of holiday festivities that were fun to experience...
and we accomplished a lot in a short amount of time!

The very last night before they left, Stacey and I had tickets to go to the Michael W. Smith concert. He was performing with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and it was a perfect end to a perfect Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Finally...Pictures of the New House!

I've had so many people asking to see pictures of the new house that I finally decided to post the ones of the rooms that are finished. We're still working on Larry's office and the guest room, but those will be finished soon too. It's taken so much longer that usual to feel settled because we've had to replace so much of our furniture that was ruined in the move...VERY frustrating! Fortunately, I found a wonderful shop that sells upscale used furniture and because we had so much to replace, the owner has worked with us and given us some great deals, praise God!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Welcome Home...

Well, we've officially lived here for a month now, so I decided I better get used to calling this "home"! We now live in the Frisco/Little Elm area...Frisco being the much larger town where we will do most of our shopping. Since the house is starting to look a bit more like "Home", we decided to take a Sunday off and explore our new home town. After church, we went to a restaurant that many people had told us to try. It was in a neat little part of town with an antique train, museum and a restaurant called "Babe's".
The restaurant looked like a broken down farm, although it's only a couple years old. Once in the courtyard, it was really neat...kinda like an old homestead!

The food was incredible...lots of fried chicken and pot roast served family style with all the trimmings...Larry LOVED it! My favorite part of course was the music and the servers even danced!

Sunday afternoons, I've been working with third graders at the Awanas program. Stonebriar Church is a HUGE church, especially considering it was started by a small group of people, who along with Chuck Swindoll, wanted to start a new church in the growing town north of Dallas called Frisco. Well, it grew quickly and now it's hard to believe it's less than ten years old!

Tonight was the Awanas store and I was so impressed with how well it was seems God places me in these unfamiliar surroundings so I can get new ideas for kid's programs, hmm...I wonder what He has in store for me here!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Heartbreaking Move...

Heartbreaking only begins to describe the feelings after this very difficult move! It all began when we had several estimates from professional movers and then got a phone call from a "competitor" saying they would beat the competition by two thousand dollars. Since it was a company move, Larry went to his boss, who told him to go with the least expensive offer. It wasn't until 24 hours after they had left with our stuff that we got a phone call demanding thousands more than we had already paid them. In hindsight, it's easy to see the signs that something was wrong, but that didn't help the situation. When the company finally paid them and they arrived with our belongings, item after item was broken or destroyed. The only good thing was that all of our photographs that I had worried so much about, were virtually untouched. Now begins the long process of putting our lives back together!

After all the discouraging news, Shelley and her "friend" Rusty showed up to our very unsettled house to help us with our unending projects. Amidst the mess and disorganization, we did manage to have some fun meals out where we fell in love (even more)with Rusty, our adopted "son". The best news came on Sunday when we got a call as they were heading home, and Rusty asked permission to date Shelley...our answer?...a very emphatic "yes"!