Monday, December 31, 2012

End of 2012

I was going to write a year end post but put it off so long I decided to end on a different note. The last night of our vacation had a beautiful sunset. So I will end with a picture of the sunset to end the year. May 2013 bring us beauty, joy and happiness.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Life at the Beach

So what does life at the beach look like? Well when the wind is blowing 30 mph and the sun isn't shining, it looks a lot like this.

Yes he had on two layers of tshirts and a coat.

The birds didn't seem to mind.

I will say one hour after these were taken and we moved inland a bit, the sun came out and we were down to short sleeved shirts.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Interesting food

I always enjoy going to grocery stores wherever we travel. We went to an HEB Plus in Corpus Christi and they had a huge deli, bakery, sushi, meat section. I had to take pictures of a couple of really cute cheese balls.

Look its a carrot cheese log!

Or how about a pumpkin!

We didn't buy either so I can't tell you what they tasted like but oh we're they cute.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas from Port Aransas

We took a vacation for Christmas this year. We decided to go to the Gulf Coast of Texas since it was within driving distance of home and it would be warmer. Ten hours of driving was well worth it.

Christmas brought 75 degrees and super windy weather. But when you consider it was freezing drizzle going into snow and 25 degrees back home, it seems like a great trade off.

We brought most of our presents with us. We packed small!

But it brought lots of goodies.

And created a lot of trash.

We drove along the beach for miles and watched people in bikinis frolicking in the water. It seemed a little cold for me to do that but it was neat driving on the beach. We will go there later in the week when it is less windy.

We stopped at a bird sanctuary and they had a butterfly garden. I missed the monarch migration back home but they are hanging out here. The butterfly weed (yes that's its name) had about 40 of them on it.

And of course we had to stop for the tourist stores because they have huge sharks.

We will end the day with a very non traditional meal of lasagna and garlic bread. The condo we are at didn't have as many cooking dishes as we would like so we had to buy a frozen one. We will cook a ham and turkey next week when both of our mothers come to visit.

I hope everyone had a wonderful day.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Car Decorations

I'm sure everyone has seen the cars with wreaths or even the antlers and reindeer nose. But driving on the interstate in Texas yesterday, I saw the most unusual thing. An actual reindeer on top of a car.

We were traveling 70 miles per hour and the reindeer wasn't moving. Guess it was lighting the way home!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 21, 2012

12 Acts of Christmas Kindness

Joyce at From This Side of the Pond started this challenge at the end of November. What a lovely idea I thought. So here we go.

My first thought was take pictures of everything and they needed to be big. That shortly went to the wayside when I realized that acts of kindness can be small as you will soon see.

Here's the ones that I have photos of first.

1. Donate food to the buildings food drive. They were collecting food for three local organizations.

2. Being a Secret Santa for a foster child. For the past ten years our family has adopted a child through the Secret Santa program that provides foster children in our county with gifts. We started out getting a child Whitney's age so she could buy things but as she got older we went for the little girls. This year I had a girl who wanted a baby doll and dress up clothes.

We always make sure to get them some warm clothes too and everyone needs cute pajamas.

But these first two I do every year. Can I really count them?

No more pictures now.

3. Put money in the red kettle. I usually don't carry cash so I don't do this, but this year I made sure to empty my spare change into a kettle.

4. Put extra in the parking meter when shopping so the next person won't have to pay. Unfortunately our town is looking at new meters that reset themselves when a car pulls away and this won't be able to be done anymore.

5. Volunteer extra hours at church for the big Christmas Spectacular. I've written several times about this.

It was about this time that I realized that small gestures are just as kind.

6. Hold a baby in the church bathroom so the mother can clean its nose. See a small gesture but the mom couldn't have done it without me.

7. Make sure that the elderly and disabled got seated safely for the Spectacular. When there were the crowds we had, this was very important.

8. Park far away in the parking lot so others could park close.

9. Make a suggestion at work that perhaps meant a student would get an assistantship to get a graduate degree. This actually could change a life.

And here I am with three more to go and I don't know what to say. I'm sure I did things but they are part of my normal life and how I treat people. I would like to think that I'm a kind person. So I'll stop the list and say even though I don't list twelve, I'm sure that I did at least that many.

I think the important thing is to continue to be kind all the time and not have to rely on being the Christmas holidays to make you be kind.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hodgepodge - Last One of 2012

It is the last hodgepodge of 2012. Join the fun now or wait until the new year.

1. How will you spend 'the night before Christmas'?
We'll be in a condo by the beach just the three of us and the dog. Whitney will open one present which traditionally is a pair of pajamas. Will this be the year we break tradition? We shall see.

2. What is one thing you are not?
A runner. You know the saying "you run like a girl"? I think that was written about me.

3. Fudge-are you a fan? Your favorite flavor?
Fudge is ok but only if it is chocolate. I don't like those peanut butter ones.

4. Did you attend any craft/vendor fairs in the month of December? Do you prefer homemade goodies or the more professional stalls? Are you giving any homemade gifts this year?
I didn't attend any craft fairs at all this year. I did make some gifts though in my spurt of craftiness. I have several other ideas I'd like to try out though too.

5. What's your favorite type of holiday gathering?
Quiet and intimate. I'm not a big one for huge crowds.

6. We're approaching a new year...what's going to be different in 2013?
Other than we will all be older? Hmmm I don't have a good answer to that one.

7. Share a favorite scripture, quote, saying, or song lyric relating to peace.
I had to google this one.

"There is no way to peace, peace is the way."
( A. J. Muste)

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Whitney had her allergy testing this week. After a painful process (sorry honey) we found out she was allergic to 42 of the 45 things they tested. Some much more so than others. Animals, trees (except for pine and cedar), weeds, mold, dustmites. So she starts allergy shots in January.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Spectacular Weekend!

As I have talked about the last two weeks, this weekend was Christmas Spectacular at church. I was there for five services...about 10 hours in total and boy are my feet tired. But it truly was a wonderful experience. 266 people accepted Jesus into their lives (that's a pretty big return I would say). Here's a few photos that I took off the Journeychurch website.

This is the band performing. So many instruments.

Just one of the food tables. The red and green cookies were delicious.

This is a view of the lobby Friday night.

Whitney had her picture taken with RemoteKontrol afterwards. 

There were lots of people taking video of this group. They are pretty spectacular.

I can't wait to see what next year's spectacular brings. How do you top this?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Fragments - Spectacular Time

Joining up for another edition of Friday Fragments with Mrs. 4444. Always a good way to end the week.

Mommy's Idea

Church is getting ready for the Christmas Spectacular. 7 shows starting tonight. I went over last night to help out and they had all the food done! 660 dozen cookies, 7,071 bags of caramel corn, chocolate covered pretzels and puppy chow, s'mores fixings all ready to go. Yes you read those numbers right. They are expecting over 10,000 people this weekend.

Here's a few photos of the church decorated.

 A giant playtube covered in lights and wood to look like a lincoln log house.

I can't wait to see the show. Because look who is performing at it:

If you have watched So You Think You Can Dance, the middle guy should be familiar. And yes they have performed on that show too.

In other news...Whitney came home from college today. She's home for a month. Next week she will be back in the city for three days of work and allergy testing. Of course I'll be at work so it really doesn't matter if she isn't home during the day.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Joining up with Joyce for another week of hodgepodge.

1. So, when did you last take a walk in the woods? A stroll along the beach? A drive going nowhere in particular in the car?
Probably this summer on our vacation in Alaska. I took some flower pictures.

2. Are you sending Christmas cards this year? About how many do you send? Photo card or something more traditional? How do you display the cards you receive?
No cards are sent this year or for the last couple of years. I believe the last ones we sent featured a photo of the dog with Christmas antlers on her head. She still gets excited when she hears that jingle because she gets a treat if she sits for a few seconds still with them on her head.

3. What's a word you've heard too much of in the past week?
Fiscal cliff. Who came up with this term? Dan and I have an over/under every news cast with how many times it will be said or on the screen. Usually it averages 5 per 30 minutes.

4. December 13th is National Cocoa Day-are you a fan? Plain or flavored? Marshmallows or no marshmallows?
I didn't know this was a day but now I'm glad I do. I love hot chocolate. Plain (maybe with a little peppermint schnapps) and a few mini-marshmallows.

5. What is something you do to help alleviate the hectic pace of the Christmas season?
Online shop. It's the only way to go.

6. Besides jewelry, what's a favorite sparkly-glittery item in your home or closet?
I have scarf that was Whitney's that has silver sparkles on it. Of course I really wish I had the black scarf with the gold threads but I'm lucky I have this one.

7. Share a favorite line or two from any Christmas carol.
Do you hear what I hear? Do you see what I see? Do you know what I know? (Of course they aren't right next to each other in the song)

8. Insert your own random thought here.
My favorite Christmas show was on this week. The Year Without a Santa Claus. I love the heat miser/snow miser song. My profile pic is Snow Miser right now on Facebook.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

Weekend WrapUp

Saturday I spent the day with Whitney for Mom's Day at her university. They had a tea at the President's house which is on campus and then a reception later in the day. They have their Mom's Day so late because there are so many shows (big dance show, theatre production and choir show) that they invite the families now to see their kids perform. Of course I don't have a performer but I still enjoy the day. Each year we receive an ornament. I'm glad their mascot is a star.

Sunday was crafting day. I made gifts to give to my co-workers and neighbors. Nothing elaborate, but I like to do something that takes a little effort to show I care.

Just add ribbon and Christmas picks to store bought candles and you have something that is a little unusual.

The weather turned cold yesterday so it was nice to be able to wear a sweater to work today without worrying about being too hot.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Fragments - Party Time

Joining up with Mrs. 4444 for Friday Fragments. Come join us.

Mommy's Idea

Anyone else all Christmas music? I have it on in the car and then I have four different Pandora stations playing in my office while I'm at work.

Joyce at From This Side of the Pond started a 12 Days of Christmas Kindness this month. Please join in if you can.

Potluck dinner with my bible study group was Thursday. This was my first try at this and I was quite happy with it. The thing I liked most was that the women were at least in a general vicinity of my age. There are a lot of young people who attend my church so it was nice to be able to be around middle aged women.

Getting my hair done this afternoon so I don't embarrass Whitney at Mom's Day Saturday at school. They are having a tea at the President's house and also her sorority has a little thing planned. Looking forward to seeing her even though she'll be home a week later for a month.

Next weekend is Christmas Spectacular at church. 7 services full of music, dance and entertainment. Last year they had a drum line and aerial acrobatics. This year we have a great dance group that I've seen on tv before on my favorite dance show, So You Think You Can Dance. I'm volunteering at 4 services and sitting and just watching one of them. If you are in Norman, you should come by!

My online shopping orders are finally starting to come in. I still have a bunch more to do but at least I have gifts. I decided to put off buying a tree. I found the one I like but since I'm not putting it out this year, I am going to wait to spend that kind of money. It is at the year-round Christmas store so I can pick it up later and not worry about them running out.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge - Stockings Were Hung With Care

Joining in for this week's questions with Joyce.

1. Share your traditions surrounding the Christmas stocking.
Growing up my mother made my brother and myself stockings. We didn't have a real fireplace but somehow my parents found a cardboard one. It really looked like a fireplace and it even had a fake fire look to it. So we hung them on that.

I made all of our stockings after Whitney was born. We still use those now.

2. How many hours of sleep do you average at night? Is it enough?
Back when I had bad insomnia if I got three hours a night I thought I was lucky. Nowadays it probably is six total but it is broken up into a couple of three hour spurts. I wish I could sleep like I used to...a good 8 hours straight.

3. If you had to give up one thing for the remainder of this year what would it be?
Complaining about the weather. The weather is up and down. I just need to accept what we have. It is not like I can change it.

4. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (or Wills and Kate as I like to call them) have announced they're expecting a baby. Do you follow news of the Royals?
I really could care less. There are so many other "real" news stories that should be covered and instead we get this frenzy.

5. For me, the sound of childhood is__________________.
The sound of a child being tickled. There is something pretty exciting about that kind of a laugh.

6. Fruit cake-yay or boo? What's your favorite dessert made with fruit?
I love a good fruitcake. The best come from Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas.

7. What is one thing you want to accomplish before 2012 comes to an end?
Picking out, purchasing and having installed a new back door. I'm a terrible procrastinator and this really needs to be done now.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I took my certification test yesterday. We were given four hours but it only took me a little over two. There were quite a few questions that I didn't know but luckily we don't get points off for guessing wrong. I'm not sure why it takes six weeks to get the results since the test was on the computer. I'm really hoping that I passed.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday Quiz About Me

Joining up for a quick little blog hop from Wayne at Touristic.

Acting Balanced

1. When was the last time you had your picture taken with Santa?
Maybe when we first got married? I'm not sure if we even got a picture of Whitney with Santa. That was just never a big deal for us.

2. Which do you prefer - ham or turkey?
Definitely ham. Yum, yum, yum

3. Do you give more to charity in December?
I think so. I participate in the Secret Santa program for foster children providing them Christmas presents and since that is a December thing, I guess that would be more.

4. Which US City would you most like to visit and why?
New York City. Probably the only major city in the US that I haven't been too. It just seems un-American to not have been there.

And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!

Do you prefer clear lights or multi-colored lights for your Christmas tree?

My answer - I've always had multi-colored lights but I'm leaning towards clear on the next tree I buy (which I swear will be sometime soon).

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas Decorating at Work

Just wanted to post a picture of the four big trees at work all decked out for the holidays.

This isn't my photo but looks to be taken from the third story. Those are 12 foot trees, each with its own theme.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Fragments - November is Over

So it's the last day of November but I'm still joining up with Mrs. 4444 for Friday Fragments. The end of the month doesn't mean we can't frag!

Mommy's Idea

Here in Oklahoma, you know it is getting ready to be Christmas time when you hear the BC Clark Anniversary jingle. Whitney is doing her part to introduce it to all of her college friends who aren't here. It is just so darn catchy that I end up singing along every single time.

Thursday on my way to work there were a gaggle of geese at the park in the neighborhood park. It was a great way to start the day.

I'm starting to get impatient waiting for my autographed copy of "Cooking with Love". It better get here soon or the love will be leaving.

I had to learn some new software at work this week. There is a reason why I do everything in Excel. I like it. I was never meant to be a graphic artist. I've been working on the advertisement about a symposium we are co-hosting. But the good thing is I get to go to the China!

I also have to do some major studying this weekend. My certification exam is Tuesday and while I know a lot, it is the nitty gritty specifics that always get me. I just have to know that stuff for the test so some cramming is in order.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hodgepodge - Beginning to Look Like Christmas

Yes it is another edition of hodgepodge. Thank you Joyce for this week's questions.

1. With that being said I think I need to dive right in to some Christmas related questions, don't you? Which do you prefer-pretty gift wrap with a bow or a pretty gift bag with/without a bow? What percentage of your holiday gifts are currently (as in right this very minute) wrapped in some form or fashion?
I like shiny paper. It doesn't need to have a bow. But I like to coordinate my paper. This year everything will be in shiny blue and silver (bought last year on clearance). I have nothing wrapped because I have nothing in the house to wrap. I ordered a few things over the weekend but they aren't here yet.

2. What is one item on your Christmas list this year?
I just made a list up Monday and I put an iron on it. Practical and not exactly exciting but the iron I have I got in the 80's so I think it is time to replace it.

3. What makes a home?

4. Motown founder Berry Gordy celebrates his birthday on Hodgepodge Day-November 28th. Are you a fan of the Motown sound? If so, who's your favorite Motown artist and/or song? Here's a list in case you're stuck.
I always wanted to be be a backup singer. Not sure I have a favorite artist.

5. Red or green-which one is more prevalent in your closet?
Much more red. I like both colors but I look really good in red.

6. True or false-bacon makes it better? If you answered true, what's your favorite dish made with bacon?
Good bacon is delicious. I've posted a recipe for cinnamon bacon pasta that is super tasty.

7. Share a favorite holiday memory.
When I was young (aka before the mall) we would go visit Santa Claus in a little trailer parked on a side street. We always got a little candy cane from him.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Our building is slowly being decorated for Christmas. Four 12 foot trees, multiple hanging ornaments, four balconies covered in icicle lights. It truly is a wonderful sight when finished.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012