Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Boys and their toys

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Traditions

As John and I began putting decorations away, I remembered our longest running Christmas tradition. In 1995, John and I celebrated our first Christmas as husband and wife. To honor this special event, we purchased an engraved ornament. Being young and clueless, we didn't know much about ornaments. We went to the local Wal-mart and picked out an ornament that could be engraved. They didn't have a machine to do the engraving back then, so the nice lady at the jewelry counter free handed it. The next year we discovered the Things Remembered Kiosk in the Denton mall, and they became our place to get ornaments for many years. When we moved to Mississippi, we faced a new challenge. The nearest Things Remembered was in Monroe, LA. Not exactly convenient, but we drove to Monroe to keep with tradition. The next year we discovered New England Ornaments and began ordering online. Much easier than driving to Monroe.
This year we broke from tradition in that we ordered ornaments early. We will not be repeating this next year since John and I ordered the exact same ornament this year as last. In years past we have gotten the ornaments out and reviewed them to be sure we didn't duplicate. Oh well, it makes for a fun memory.

Christmas 2010

In 2005, we began the tradition of going to a Hibachi Grill for Christmas Eve dinner. This year was no exception. Even though Jacob complains a lot and insists he doesn't like Hibachi, we press on. This year he discovered some items on the menu that agreed with him, so the complaining was much less. I guess our perseverance paid off.In 2007, we began the tradition of including a family photo with our Christmas card. Here is this year's photo. I love looking at previous year's photos and seeing how much we change year to year.We have several other traditions that are essential. On Christmas eve the kids open one present each, but I get to choose which one. It is always pajamas. Once the boys have their new PJs on, John reads the Christmas story. This year was a little different in that the boys read the story. Jacob read from the book of Matthew and Joshua from the book of Luke. I like this new twist on the tradition.

On Christmas morning, the boys get up to tear into all the loot. Santa isn't a big player around here. He usually leaves a couple of things in the stockings, but we've never really put emphasis on him. This year the boys got lots of bigger kid toys. The go kart and doodlebug are sure to keep me on edge, but the boys love them. They also got DSI XL's and various video games. Jacob asked for Lego's, but not little kid Legos. He wanted Star War Legos with lots of little pieces. I am just hopeful he will keep them picked up and out of the dogs reach. Oscar loves to eat little toys. After the gifts are opened, John makes breakfast. This year he treated us to cinnamon rolls using a recipe from the Pioneer Woman. According to the recipe, it makes 8 servings.She must be serving some hungry people, because the above picture is what we had left after we finished breakfast. I think breakfast may last all day. They were very yummy.

Now to go enjoy more of this lovely day with my family. Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

It has to be close to Christmas when you hear this on the radio

Finally heard it for the first time this year on Thursday while running some errands. The holiday season must be here.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Trick or Treat

Joshua didn't have a preference as to what he was going to be for Halloween and Jacob was going to be a baseball player. After watching tv last night we got the idea for Joshua to be a chick magnet and then Jacob decided to be a letter to the Great Pumpkin.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's time to get home

Now on the last day of the trip all I look forward to is getting home. Back just three years ago home time was the rarity and hotel life was the norm. I don't miss those days.

With that said, downtown Tampa is a nice area, especially now while the humidity is low.

Just watch out for the iguanas.

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Waiting to board the plane

I am at the Jackson airport waiting to go to Tampa for the next few days to attend an industry conference. As I am sitting here I am reminded how much I do not miss the days that I flew out every week. Things are much better now.

I have been working on a couple of "putt-putt" holes for the fall festival coming up at church and here are the results.

Friday night Jacob was able to go to an overnight sleepover birthday party for one of his friends at school. He had a blast, but it was a bit of a stretch for Kristina as we had never met the parents until we dropped him off. It all went well, and it gave us a chance to have an evening with just Joshua. Jacob doesn't like Japanese food, but we love it so we took this opportunity to visit Stix. Joshua decided that he was going to eat with chopsticks and did great.

Now I am going to use the next bit of time that I am in the air to catch up on some reading. I hope the next few days pass quickly.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

More pics

The post below had to be broken up due to size, so here's the rest.

The boys on their first ride at the fair.

My first tree after being "certified". I learned how to estimate where the top of the tree would fall. I missed by less than 18 inches, I'm happy.

Now I'm working to build two holes of a miniature golf course for our fall festival at church. Pictures to follow later.

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Let's catch up with pictures

It has been a while since the last update. Since then it has been non-stop with lots of scouting and not a lot of rest. Also in that time frame I have been through chain saw training with the Baptist Men Disaster relief team and we experienced our first ever Mississippi State Fair as well as our annual Merchants Foodservice sales banquet.

Webelos learning new knot tying skills.

One of the best inventions ever-a propane powered coffee pot.

Sunday was our friend Thomas's birthday and this is the cake that Sharon made for him. Only in Mississippi do you find a crawfish boil cake.

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dressing Up

Twice a year we get to play dress up. Last night was the first of these events. We attended the annual Sales Banquet for John's company. In December, we will attend my company's Christmas Party. That means I will get to wear the above dress one more time, before it is banished to a life of hanging in the closet.I wanted to include last year's picture, just for fun. I really like last years dress. I may have to convince John we need a fancy date night so I have an excuse to wear it again. It's not that I don't like to dress up, I just don't have many opportunities. We definitely need to change that fact.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Boredom is the Enemy

Today was a great day in that we had nothing planned. John went to work for a few hours and I cleaned house. When John got home he asked what I wanted to do. My response, clean house and clear the leaves off the back patio. Fall is definitely here, so clearing the leaves has become a regular Saturday task. Anyway, it didn't take long for him to clear the patio, and then boredom set in. We should all know by now what happens when my dear husband gets bored. Presenting, the partially demolished patio. This fun project was originally slated for November, however, we were contemplating delaying it until February to ensure enough reserve funds to cover incidentals. Judging from today's events, this has been moved up to October, possibly September.
A little background on this less than fun project. The previous owner of this wonderful abode built the patio on over the existing roof. There is currently a leak that we believe is at the point where the patio roof joins the old roof. It does not leak in the house, but it does leak on the patio. It is causing the soffits to rot out, so it has to be corrected. Whenever we remove the actual roof from the patio, we will have to put new shingles on at least two sections of the roof. Since we have never shingled before, it should be interesting. But as John says, "I saw it in a cartoon once." The only major challenge today was avoiding the rage of red wasps. Of course, John arose victorious. I just enjoyed sitting on the patio taking it all in. My pink roses are quite pretty.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Happy Birthday my Love

Happy Birthday John. It has been another amazing year. Thank you for all you do. You are a loving and devoted husband, father, and friend. My life is blessed beyond measure because you are the man God called you to be. I'm looking forward to another great year. I love you.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Memaw and the zipline

I don't know how I have forgotten to post this here, (but to my credit it is already on Facebook and YouTube) but here it is. I give you Memaw riding the Zipline. ------

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Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day

Once the plumbing was back in working order we made our first trip to the Vicksburg National Park.

After that the boys got to go fishing. Joshua got the first and smallest, Jacob caught the next five, and Joshua finished with about a four pound catfish.

All in all it was a great day.

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Labor Day Weekend

In honor of the Labor Day weekend, John's parents came to visit. They arrived Saturday around lunch time and left Sunday after church. Once they left, John needed a project to fill the next two days. Boredom gets him into trouble every time. The man cannot just sit still and enjoy some down time. I now present, project number one - clearing the front flower beds. It is true that the front flower beds have been badly neglected. When we bought the house, they were overrun with twisted and mangled shrubs that looked awful. We wasted no time removing the shrubs and planting some mums. Two years later, and that is all we have done. To make matters worse, we have not done any maintenance, so the few remaining mums were surrounded by weeds and in need of pruning. John's solution - till it all up and start fresh, possibly with Azaleas. Sounds good so far. Off we go to till it up. Oops! Apparently, the main water line into our house runs right under the front flower bed. Enter, project number two - replace the broken copper pipe. This was not as simple as it sounded. John has never worked with copper pipe, and he was less than anxious to learn how. So, he cut out the section that was broken, and off we went to Home Depot to review our options. There was a really nice guy in the plumbing section, that offered some helpful tips. We bought 10 foot sections of 3/4" copper tubing, 1/2" copper tubing, and PVC pipe, lots of shark bite connectors and other miscellaneous supplies. Just over $100 later, I was starting to think calling a plumber might have been the smarter option. Once we got home, John hooked everything up, and water shot out of one of the shark bite connections. Because of the angle of one of the connections, the pipe needed to be soldered.
On to plan B - watch online "how to" videos to learn to solder. John watched a few videos, and we made another trip to Home Depot. This time we bought flux, a soldering kit, a small torch and other miscellaneous supplies. Just over $70 later, well over $100 later if you count eating dinner out since we had no water, I was beginning to rethink my decision not to call a plumber. We stopped at Walmart and picked up some bottled water to get us through the evening. John got up first thing Monday morning, and restored the water. He quickly mastered soldering and can now add that skill to his impressive list of talents.

In addition to replacing the pipe, he also installed a main shut off and spliced into the pipe to run water to the faucets in the back yard. The previous owner just had a pipe running from the front faucet and it looked pretty tacky. He did a great job and now we can move on the finishing the original project. Oh wait, since we spent our plant money on plumbing supplies, I guess the flower beds will remain bare. At least John learned some new skills and he definitely stayed busy. No boredom here.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The zipline is down

Evidently our Sunday night rains brought down a big enough branch to bring down our zipline. The fun part will be stretching it back up.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weekend at Roosevelt State Park

This weekend Kristina's work had a family picnic at Roosevelt state park complete with bounce houses, dunking booths, giant slides, and of course a mechanical bull.

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