Thursday, December 30, 2010

Time To Say Goodbye To 2010!

It's hard to believe it's the end of 2010! At the end of the year, I think it's fun to look back and reflect on everything that has happened during the previous 12 months. So...I borrowed these questions from another blog, but I thought they were good at helping me remember 2010!

1-What did you do in 2010 that you had never done before?
*Went to Spain! In November, Steve and I traveled to see Mark while he was studying abroad and we had a wonderful week sight-seeing and spending time with him in that amazing country. It was such a great trip!

*Started teaching at a Title 1 school. All the schools I have ever taught in before have been full of children from pretty privileged backgrounds. Not this school. And teaching these sweet boys and girls has been such a good experience. They are precious and so appreciative of everything. I am so glad God brought me to them.

*Met some sweet blogging friends in person! In April, Ashley and I got to go to the Beth Moore conference in Atlanta and we got to meet so many friends from the blog world. That was really fun!

2-Did anyone close to you give birth? No, but a baby is on it's way! Ashley is due in first grandbaby!

3-Did anyone close to you die?
No, thankfully!

4-What date from 2010 will remain etched in your memory and why? There are several. The day Ashley told us she was expecting,

the day Mark left for Spain,

and the day I found out I would not be teaching at my school anymore. The good and the bad.

5-What was your biggest acheivement this year? Hmmmmm....I would have to say just keeping my sanity amidst so many changes. Our lives have been changing so quickly over the past two years. The stress points have been racking up with kids going off to college, marriages, job changes, babies, etc. It has been alot to adjust to!

6-Did you suffer any illness or injury? No, I have surprisingly been very healthy this year despite the stress.

7-What was the best thing you bought? Well, it turns out I am a technology geek! I have LOVED my iPod Touch!

I use it all the time at home and I take it to school and play music in my classroom. I really wish I had an iPad and a Kindle! And I also want Sirius or XM radio. haha

8-Where did most of your money go? College and stuff for my class!

9-What song will always remind you of 2010?
Hmmmm....lots of songs! Here are just a few...
The House That Built Me-Miranda Lambert
King of Anything-Sara Bareilles
Boys Of Fall-Kenny Chesney

10-What do you wish you'd done more of? Read my Bible, had more down time, and blogged.

11-What do you wish you'd done less of? Stressed about school!

12-What was your favorite TV program? We had lots of fun watching The Amazing Race this year.

Other than that, I rarely have time to watch much TV. If I do, I usually watch the Food Network or a talk show that I've TiVo'd like The View, Hoda and Kathie Lee, or Oprah.

13-What's the best book you read this year? It is sad, but I haven't had time to read. That has got to change!! I love to read! Mostly I read magazines like Real Simple or People.

14-What was your favorite movie this year?

Probably Toy Story 3...

and Ramona and Beezus.

(Apparently I was into kid movies this year??) I want to see Waiting for Superman and The Social Network!

15-What did you do on your birthday? How old were you? I turned 46 this year. On my birthday weekend, I went to Atlanta for the Beth Moore conference and got to meet so many of my blogging friends in real life! That was so much fun!

16-Did you travel anywhere this year? Yes, in addition to Spain, Steve and I took a trip to Cancun back in February.

Then my girls and I went to Florida right when school was out.

Our family also went to Boston and New York this summer for the fourth of July.

Then Steve and I went to Miami for our anniversary in August!

We have had lots of fun traveling this year!

17-What national/world event stirred you the most? I think the oil spill in the Gulf. That was just awful and I was so afraid that it was going to do long term damage. (Which it did!)

On the other hand, the Chilean miners were so inspirational and a testimony to the resilience of the human spirit!

I loved that story!

18-What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? A less stressful job. Enough said.

19-What merited celebration? Ashley's pregnancy, Mark's awesome trip to Spain, and all the good times we had with family and friends this year!

20-Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010?
I think the thing I've learned this year is that God is in control. I am not. He has the plan. I may not understand it. But I can look back and see His hand working in my life through the years. He has been so good to me. There is no reason to stress or be afraid. He is faithful in everything. He has blessed my life so much and I will continue to look to Him for anything I need!

Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ashley's First Baby Shower

Today was a fun day. After a leisurely morning with my coffee and the Today show, we got dressed and I took Laura and Lindy to a Thai restaurant called Deejai. We all love Thai and this place is really cute and has a coffee shop feel to it. (I know that seems weird to mix Thai with coffee shop, but it works!)

After that I met Steve and we went to Buy Buy Baby to get Ashley something for her first baby shower tonight. I got her one of those nursery monitors that has a motion sensor that goes under the baby's mattress. It senses if the baby stops breathing and sounds an alarm. It also has the audio monitor with it.

Two girls in our Sunday School class hosted the shower for Ashley and it was so nice. We have some of the sweetest and most thoughtful couples in our class and we feel so blessed to be a part of it!

Ashley got so many nice things. Everyone was very generous! She is getting really excited about her baby getting here! It makes it seem more real when you start getting everything.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Things I Never Get To Do

I went to the mailbox this afternoon and totally expected not to get any Christmas cards at all. I was getting a little sad. But when I opened the mailbox, there was one straggler in there! It was from a friend of ours who always sends her cards out a little late. But I was so happy to get one more card. My trips to the mailbox aren't nearly as fun when all there is are bills and junk mail! I think I am going to order some more magazines this year, just to make it more exciting! haha

Anyway...I went through all of the cards we got this year and re-decorated my refrigerator today. Every year, I take down all the cards from the previous year and put up all the new ones. I love looking at the faces of all our friends every day. It reminds me of how blessed we are to have such wonderful friends.

Here is our new refrigerator!

Tonight, our lazy fun continues. Mark has several friends over and they are all piled up in the bonus room with sub sandwiches watching NC State play in the Champs Sports Bowl.

Laura went out to dinner with a friend, and now she and Lindy are planning on making cookies, watching a movie, and spending the night with another friend.

And I am getting to do some things that I feel like I never get to do when I am working.

1-Cooking Dinner Every Night

Since I have been off for the past week or so (and since all my kids are home), I have been cooking so much more! I like to cook and I try to cook at least 3-4 times a week, but usually not every night. But recently, I have tried several recipes that have been big hits at our house that I thought I would share them with you. They are all from Pioneer Woman. One is her Chicken Pot Pie.

The recipe is in her cookbook and it is also here online. If you want a great dish to fix on a cold winter night, you should try this one! The perfect comfort food.

And tonight I tried Pioneer Woman's Barbeque Chicken Pizza.

Everyone loved it! If you've ever had this at California Pizza Kitchen, it tastes alot like that! Really good.

Did I tell you I got a panini maker for Christmas? It is going to be broken in this week! I am planning on making some grilled cheese sandwiches and PW's Sherried Tomato Soup.

Oh my word, that sounds delicious!

2-Watching Movies

I have also been watching alot more movies than I ever get to when I am teaching. I watched the old Parent Trap the other day. I forgot how cute that movie is.

I like that one AND the newer version with Lindsay Lohan. My girls loved the Lindsay Lohan version when they were little. (I guess since they are twins, too!)

Then on Sunday night I watched The Sound of Music, which is close to being my all- time favorite movie. I never get tired of watching it!

And tonight I am planning on watching Love Actually.

I have never seen it and I have heard it's really good. Have you seen it?

I also have three new books stacked up just waiting for me to read them.

This one...

This one...

And this one...

I am sad because I know I will probably start reading them, but I won't get done and then school will start back and I will be a crazy person again and they will never be finished. I really hope that doesn't happen!! I am going to try to keep reading even once I'm back at school.

And, I have had so much more time to read and catch up on blogs, which I LOVE. I have found several new blogs that I am adding to my reader. Here are just two...

Sister Stuff
Heather Hendrick

I love all the great ideas that are shared out there in bloggy world, like this one...

Therapy Sacks

Doesn't this look wonderful to put on your feet when you are cold or around your neck when you are tired or stressed out? I think they sell these in stores somewhere, but you could also make one easily!

So....those are a few things that I am really enjoying right now. I am so thankful for this break and getting to rest a little bit. I have to say that I am already dreading next week! It is going to be hard going back to work. :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Day After The Day After

A one-day snow day is perfect! Today it warmed up so the snow started melting and everyone could get back out on the roads. Steve went back to work, but since I didn't have anywhere to go, I mostly just stayed at home! I did join him and some of his co-workers for a nice lunch though, so that was fun.

Laura and Lindy tried to go to the mall and return some things and they said it was nuts. They waited in line for an hour and a half only to be told they couldn't return the item without a receipt (which they didn't have). They were not happy campers after that!

We are still making our way through the Christmas leftovers. (Mark and his friends are helping out with that!)

I haven't put any Christmas stuff away yet. We are still enjoying it and I'm thinking I'll keep it up until New Year's Day.

There has been alot of this going on lately...

Just hanging out, watching movies or football, reading, and being lazy!

Even Rocky likes to get on the couch with us and cuddle...

Tonight Ashley came over for a little while. She got her crib and bedding today and was so excited to show us! I had to take her picture while she was here. She is 32 weeks now! Isn't she getting big??

These past two days after Christmas have been so wonderful. I am enjoying every minute!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

Merry "Day-After-Christmas"!

We woke up to about 3 inches of snow today. It was so pretty! So, we are snowed in today and I am loving the fact that we have nowhere to go and nothing to do. Things have been happening so fast here for the past few days. It has been a blur. I have wanted to blog each day, but we have had a house full of friends and family and the holiday fun has been in full swing.

So...I think I will just do some highlights!

1-Chili and Cheer
We had such a good time at our annual Chili and Cheer with our neighbors. We love them and our kids have grown up together so we always have a great time when we hang out. We have gotten together every year for the past ten years or so! I am thankful for our sweet neighbors. They are really alot more like our family than anything!

2-Christmas Eve
Our Christmas was a little different this year because Steve's parents are gone to Arizona to see his sister. Usually on Christmas Eve, we go to the Christmas Eve service at church and then over to Steve's sister's house afterward. But this year, we went to my parents' instead. We had a good time with them. I love spending time with my family!

My favorite part of the night was listening to my dad read the Christmas story from the Bible. I have heard him do that for years and it is such a sweet memory.

Steve and Laura having fun...

3-Christmas Day
Christmas morning was very relaxed this year. Steve and I even woke up before our kids! I think that is the first time that has ever happened! We opened our presents and had a big breakfast. Friends and family stopped by throughout the day and we loved seeing them and getting to visit together. We even got to take naps on Christmas afternoon.

Christmas night was another family party at my house. Everyone came over and we ate AGAIN and opened our family gifts. We even played a little Dance Central on the Kinect! It was a wonderful Christmas!

Today has been so lazy. We have played in the snow and watched movies and eaten leftovers. It was perfect after the busyness of the holidays to just slow down for a minute. The snow is beautiful and fluffy and it feels like we are in our own little snow globe!

I hope you had a great Christmas too. I am praying that it wasn't too stressful and that you were able to slow down and really remember what Christmas is all about.

"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'"