Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ringing in quietly at home

Today was my first official day off in quite some time, since I spent the last 2 days off traveling and celebrating Christmases. It was nice to sleep late and stay home. I didn't feel very motivated to do much, but we did manage to take our tree and decorations down. It feels so good to start the new year off with the house clean and back to normal. Oh, and I hauled that Christmas tree straight to the curb!

We're not going out tonight, just staying home and we'll probably be asleep before 10:30. Our ringing in the new year party nights have been long gone and it doesn't bother me a bit.

I am making new year's resolutions for sure! I've had them on my mind for the past week or so. I'll reveal them tomorrow along with my idea to help keep myself motivated to stay on track.

We got this game for Christmas and have been playing it nearly every day since! Ha ha, this is how the decorations got taken down...while Thomas and I took turns playing! We have pears in our city and we're looking for apples and peaches if you want to trade!

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Two Christmases

We spent yesterday and today with Thomas' family in Temple. Last night we had Chinese for dinner at Dynasty and then today Margaret cooked a fabulous lunch. We had lots of presents to share...I received scrapbooking goodies, which I love. Our Christmas was very nice.

We're both very tired, traffic on the way home tonight was pretty heavy, but it does feel good to be back home. I'm ready to get things back in order now that the holidays are over.

Happy Birthday

Go Dad, it's your birthday! Proudly wearing the birthday button too! Hope your day is special Dad, love you the most!

We're at the Stiles having Christmas. I'll post more later tonight.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

We've had such a wonderful Christmas. I'm a little sad tonight that it's all over, it seemed as if the day went by so fast. (Thomas is a huge Simpson's fan and it looks as if we photo shopped Bart under the tree, but that was actually a cute gift bag that Nikki found.)

Filling those stockings! This was the first year they were completely empty when we arrived. We all filled them up together this year. What you can't see, is the over flow box underneath. It was full of goodies too!

Thomas, with his stocking and a pile of goodies. We took turns opening everything and had such a fun time. This is still my favorite tradition.

All gone...

Relaxing and enjoying the rest of the day. I'm thankful and blessed with a sweet family. This was a truly memorable Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Gift!!

Every Christmas Eve I hear Deana calling her parents or Nikki to try to be the first to say "Christmas Eve Gift". Even though I don't know the exact story of the Maddox "Christmas Eve Gift", this year I beat Deana to it. She texted me @ 12:06 am to tell me she was finally leaving work. I gave her a couple of minutes, and then I texted her back @ 12:39 am with "Christmas Eve Gift".

So my question to the Maddox family is now what do I get??

Also, I did find Deana a happy/treat today. Every year she looks for the yogurt dipped pretzels, which have been hard to find this year. But I found some of them today at Market Street which is a Grocery chain in the DFW area. Deana and I hope everyone has a Very Merry Christmas.

Watch out for Reindeer droppings!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2 more days

I got home from work last night and dragged Thomas back out into the cold 30 degree weather. I was trying to surprise him with a trip to the little park in Little Elm which is all decorated with Christmas lights, but he figured out where we were going pretty quickly. (I also wanted to play with my new camera that he gave me for Christmas.) We had fun walking around and taking a few pictures but it was freezing so we didn't last long.

Saw this sign, but it didn't deter us!

After our walk through the park, we stopped for tacos at our favorite place and then poked our heads into the pet store. They had three large kittens for adoption, two gray females and one black male named Murphy. They were all sleeping and had no interest in us or going home with us at all! We left empty handed back into the cold.

There's just 2 more days until Christmas. All of our presents are wrapped and our bags are packed to drive to New Boston on Christmas Eve. (We're leaving after I get off of work.) If you've waited until now to do your shopping, shame on you.

Here's what to expect:

*Long lines
*Dirty restrooms
*No more automatic adjusting wrenchs
*Nothing in your size
*Many items from the ad sold out

-Don't call the manager to complain about the long lines. While she's standing there taking your call, she sees 11 people in line, also waiting.
-Don't call the manager to complain about the restroom. She's here listening to you complain which prevents her from ensuring anything will be clean within the new future.
-Don't call the manager to complain about an item being out of stock. Yes, I know it's in the ad. No, I can't make it magically appear before Christmas.
-Don't call the manager to complain about no one answering the phone. There's 11 people in can wait your turn too.

Bless the one lady yesterday that actually called me over to tell me that she was pleased with the service that she received. Thank you lady, for brightening my day. I needed that.

2 more days....I think I can, I think I can...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Married 41 years today. Love you Mom and Dad!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Candy Day

The long awaited candy day was today! I didn't rush over to Nikki's this morning, just took my time and packed all the goodies into the car. When I walked into her place, it smelled heavenly...she had already made her almond cake. (It actually has a more complicated name, but I couldn't remember much less even attempt to spell it.) We spent hours making candy and cookies including 3 batches of fudge and 2 batches of peanut butter balls. We talked about how those peanut butter balls are so much a part of Christmas for us. We grew up making those every year with Mom and they are a favorite!

You'll notice how perfectly shaped Chef Nikki's candies are.

This was a new recipe called Chocolate Bon Bons that I wanted to try and it turned out fabulous! After rolling them out, you dip them into the chocolate just like the peanut butter balls. Notice, the fancy dipping tool that made the candy day so easy? We don't know what its official title is but we decided it should be called the Magic Dipper. I sure hope to find one in my stocking this year.~

I drizzled a little white chocolate and peanut butter mixture on top of my peanut butter balls and then whipped out a batch of my famous peanut butter cups. Tomorrow's goal is to get them into festive containers and delivered to some special friends.

It was a great day and we had some much needed sister time. Thanks chick!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's an Ice Day~

The day before yesterday we had 72 degree weather and then all of a sudden the cold snuck in last night with some icy messiness. I got up early this morning even though I don't have to go to work until 1:00. Thomas had the news channel on watching the weather and traffic reports. He attempted to go to work, but turned around and came back home since traffic was at a standstill. I immediately put him to work...ha, that will teach him!

It's supposed to warm up to at least above freezing so I'll be able to go to work for a late shift and the end of my 9th day work stretch. I feel a spurt of energy today knowing that I'm finally off tomorrow. Plus, I am excitedly getting ready for tomorrow's candy making day with Nikki. I have my recipes, ingredients and containers ready to head over to her place.

Off to get ready for work...

Enjoy the day,

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Dear Santa,

Here's a few things on my Christmas list. A wall mount hair dryer...why do these things just quit working after a few years? It seems we end up having to replace ours frequently. It's a must have at our house, and I miss it!

Yankee Candles have the most fragrant aroma than any candle that I've tried and they also seem to last the longest. Eucalyptus is my favorite!

Paper People note pads and stationary is a creative, light-hearted collection of design-your-own stationery from former schoolteacher and artist Laura Kelly. Such cute designs, love it!

Hope you're having a great weekend and not working, like me. We start our extended hours at work tomorrow, so it's going to be a long week. I'm on work day 7 of a 9 day stretch. I'm counting the days, just 11 more to go!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Tradition

Many families have traditions that are either passed down through the generations or have begun and blossomed into new traditions. Our favorite family tradition began many years ago when Dad placed a small package in the toe of both mine and Nikki's stocking. I remember touching the tiny package through the stocking fabric trying to solve the mystery present. Dad immediately made a rule about not peeking inside.~

We were so excited about this stocking stuffer and pondered for hours about what it could be. On our next shopping trip, Nikki and I purchased a small trinket and snuck it into Mom and Dad's stocking. Thus, our tradition began.

Over the years, the stockings were upgraded, Dad actually drew a free hand pattern and sewed our current stockings. Yep, Dad sewed them, not Mom! Of course, they think of everything and made a few extras for a future grandchild and/or son-in-law. There was also that one year that Dad found a huge 5' stocking for Mom. We sure tried to fill that one up! Here's what the stockings look like as it gets closer to Christmas. (This picture is from last year.) They are bulging with little happies!

We typically open our presents on Christmas Eve, but over the years we've learned to enjoy the anticipation of waiting until Christmas Day. After all the main gifts are exchanged we take a snack break. Then we'll take down our stockings from the mantle and sit around the floor with our huge stuffed stockings between our legs. Mom usually goes first, pulling a present out to open and then we'll go around the room opening them all one at a time, taking turns. It takes hours to open everything one at a time and we love it!

p.s. That mystery present that we couldn't ever figure was a $50 dollar bill folded up into a quarter sized square and wrapped with gift wrap! It's a wonder we didn't tear it, trying to open it.

p.s.s. I called Mom tonight and the first thing I asked was, "Whose stocking is the fullest?"

What's your favorite Christmas tradition?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Stampity, Stamp Stamp

I was browsing my favorites today before getting ready for work. I noticed on Tim Holtz's blog where he is doing the 12 Tags of Christmas and daily giveaways, my mother-in-law was picked as a winner! She is a stamping queen! Here's her wall of stamps in her scrap room:

Congrats Margaret, I'm soooo envious!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's been a productive day...

Outside of the house is decorated with our blow up snow globe. Yep, that's Charlie Brown and friends.

Stack of Christmas cards ready to be mailed.

Tickets for Josh Gracin purchased for January 10 at Billy Bob's in Fort Worth. Never mind that I've already seen him TWICE this past year! Love his music!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Peanut Butter Cups

I make a lot of candy every Christmas to share with friends and coworkers. My absolute favorite candy recipe is this easy Peanut Butter Cup. If you plan your own candy making day, then you should definitely add this to your list. It makes approximately 60 candies.

9 oz white chocolate squares
8 oz semisweet chocolate squares
1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (divided use)
1/3 cup cocktail peanuts, chopped
small candy making cups*

Heat white chocolate and 3/4 cup peanut butter over low heat, stirring occasionally. Spoon peanut butter mixture into cups and refrigerate 10 minutes. Heat semisweet chocolate and 3/4 cup peanut butter over low heat, stirring occasionally. (I use the same pan, just be sure to blend well.) Spoon into cups and then sprinkle with chopped peanuts.

Store the candies covered in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to a month.

*Make sure your cups are for candy and not baking. Otherwise they will stick and not be pretty.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


This year is no different than last year. We pull out our Christmas tree and after assembling it, we have the same conversation:

Thomas: I really don't think this tree will make it another year.
me: Maybe we should throw it out after Christmas this year.
Thomas: You said that last year!
me: At least the lights on the tree were working last year.

We made an emergency run to the closest store to buy a few lights and now the tree and the entire house is decorated. I love to sit and look at the tree, it's very relaxing. We chose to use all the burgundy and gold decorations this year, which is my favorite. We did place the large gold jingle bell on one of the lower branches. It was KittyBitty's ornament and she would play with it for hours. I still miss her...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"Born Country"

Thomas went to meet Randy Owen from the country group Alabama tonight. He was doing a book signing at Legacy Books in Plano, Texas and Thomas was first in line! He actually got both the new book, "Born Country" and CD signed. He had been so excited about this all week.

I had told him last week that I was going to wrap that book up and put it under the Christmas tree. His response was, "No way, there's a book signing." Should I wrap it now and make him wait until Christmas? Hmmm...

p.s. I just opened the CD case, and the CD is already in his car! So much for waiting until Christmas.

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's December!

We've very excited that it's the month of is really sinking in that Christmas is coming. Thomas and I have lots of fun things planned this month. We also have a lot on our Christmas to-do list. Here's a sneak peek:

1. Decorate - This is one of my favorites. Thomas pulled our tree and storage boxes down from the attic tonight.
2. Address Christmas cards - I'm not even sure where they are. Eeep!
3. Make Christmas lists - I love lists!
4. Shopping
5. Plan candy making day with Nikki
6. Schedule night out with Thomas to see Ice! at Gaylord Texan
7. Wrap, wrap, wrap
8. Get all of the above done while working 60 hours a week AND before I get too tired to enjoy it all.