Sunday, December 28, 2008


Today is our 5 year wedding anniversary.  Hard to believe that 5 years have gone by so quickly!!  We went out to dinner with my parents, brother, aunt and grandma this evening to celebrate and while we were there we discussed the past 5 years.  We were all surprised to realize that every anniversary we've celebrated, my parents have been there for it.=)  Frank and I actually began our married life being with my parents (On our way to our honeymoon spot, we were in a car accident -Frank's jeep was damaged- and ended up spending the first 3 or so days of our "honeymoon" with my parents.), so it only seems fitting that we celebrate each year with them.=)  
It was a nice evening, though and I know I speak for both Frank and I when I say that the Lord has blessed us richly through these past 5 years.  He has seen us through a lot and we are excited to see where He takes us in the future!  I am truly overwhelmed and grateful for the gift God gave me in my husband!  Thank you, honey, for a wonderful 5 years!!  I love you!!


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas!

It is hard to believe that Christmas has come already!  The nice weather has made it even harder to believe that Christmas has already come!!  For our Christmas in FL, the high was 80 degrees!  Not quite the white Christmases I remember growing up!!=)  
Thankfully, the weather does not determine or change the specialness of the day.  This year Frank and I decided that we would start our family traditions (You know, those things we'd like to do with our children.).  So Wednesday morning, I made our birthday cake for Jesus and Frank and I had a nice Christmas Eve meal and then went to church.  Christmas morning we got up, read the story of Jesus' birth (Luke 2) and prayed.  It was very humbling to put aside that time to focus on the reason we celebrate that day.  Definitely helped us to remain focused on what really matters on that day (and every day).=)  Anyway, I digress.=)
After this time of reading and prayer, Frank and I exchanged gifts (we did not get anything big for each other - just a couple of small items) and then got everything ready and headed to Frank's parents' house.  Upon arriving we found Frank's nephews already outside playing with their toys.  They were very excited about what they had gotten and immediately shared with us that they had gotten a Wii.=)  We went in to Frank's parents' place and everyone gathered down there to exchange gifts.  The boys received a Nerf Wii game (really fun game!!) that we were able to play with them later that morning/afternoon.  After unwrapping gifts, we spent some time playing games and catching up with all of the excitement for the day.  Frank's brother-in-law made us steaks for lunch and they were yummy!=)  It was nice to be there and just spend time with Frank's family.
After heading home to gather more presents (and our birthday cake for Jesus), we drove over to Carrie and Jonathan's to see what had gone on there.  Marcail, of course, was very excited and couldn't stop going from toy to toy.=)  We spent a nice evening visiting with them and celebrating Christmas.  Marcail had fun showing us her jumpy house and I had to get in there with her!=)  It was a very nice time of fellowship.  We ended the evening by singing Happy Birthday to Jesus and eating the cake!=)
The day after Christmas, Frank and I were blessed to have the opportunity to visit with some friends that we don't get to see very often.  One of Frank's closest friends lives out in TX at the moment and he and his wife were in visiting his family for the holidays.  We, of course, had to take advantage of that and spend some time with them.  Even if it was a lot shorter than we would have liked!=)  
We are now up in PA, visiting with my family for the next 5 days or so.  Unfortunately there is no snow (yet - I am remaining optimistic!), but it is very nice to be with my parents.  All of my siblings will be here on Wednesday to celebrate Christmas and New Year's together.  It is going to be a FULL household!=)  But it will, of course, be lots of fun!  Until then, though, Frank and I are looking forward to some relaxing and some good visiting and best of all, some good eating!=)  
Happy New Year!!

Monday, December 22, 2008


I just wanted to share something really cute with you guys.  Yesterday, while Frank and I were driving out to the island, we passed a car that had something sticking out of it's window and trunk.  It took us a minute to realize that the items sticking out of the windows were antlers and the item sticking out of the trunk was a tail!!  On the front of the car was a red ball!  It was a white car that tried to look like a reindeer!!  It was pretty funny!!  I took a couple of pictures (trying to make sure the car didn't know what I was doing!) and I hope you'll be able to pick out the details, at least a little bit.  Hope you get a kick out of it as much as we did!=)  

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reincar
Reindeer Sighting

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Fun

This past week I was able to attend Marcail's very first Christmas program (working at the school where she attends definitely helps with this!)!!  It was a cute program where the kids sang a few short songs and wished everyone a Merry Christmas!  Then Marcail was able to lead the blessing and parents were able to stay after for cookies and punch.  Jonathan and Gabe made it down to see her program as well.  I know she was very excited to have Daddy and Gabe there!=)  I feel very blessed to be included in so many of her activities!  She is definitely my buddy!=)
Yesterday, Frank and I were able to have Marcail spend the night with us (we try to do this once a month, but unfortunately we allow life to get in the way and are not always able to do this).  We had lunch with the Hicks' and then afterwards Marcail left with us to do a little Christmas shopping  (and when I say a little, I mean a little - the place was packed!!).  Our first stop was Barnes and Noble where we happened to arrive just in time for a story telling.  Marcail sat right down and listened very well to the story (the story read was The Polar Express - Great book!!).  She was even able to hold up the Santa and say, "The first gift of Christmas!". =)  She was loving it!!  After the story was over, she was given a candy cane and a cookie on a stick (she had also gotten a bell to ring for the story) - of course, the candy cane was the first to be eaten.=)  So after this nice break from the shopping frenzy - =) - we headed over to Old Navy where Marcail was ever so helpful in picking out a Christmas present for her cousin Arlington (although we ended up not getting her present there).=)  Afterwards we headed home for a short rest.  
Once we were done resting, we headed out to WalMart to get our sugar cookie dough, icing and wrapping paper.  Marcail and I were deciding together what kind of wrapping paper we should get and I have to say that she did pick up some really cute wrapping paper.  It was funny, though, because we were still looking around the section when we found other wrapping paper that was a little cheaper (and just as nice).  So I tried to talk Marcail into buying 2 rolls of wrapping paper for the same price as the 1, but I was out of luck.  She kept telling me that the one she had was much nicer.  When I asked her why we couldn't put the other one back, she said, "This one's my boy." =)  Cute.=)  Frank was there at that time as well and we couldn't stop smiling at each other over that one.  We decided the price wasn't that different (it really wasn't) and it wasn't worth the agony of separating Marcail from "her boy".=)  So we got Marcail's choice.=)
When we got home, Marcail and I got busy making our Christmas cookies.  We rolled out the sugar cookie dough (I usually refuse to make store bought cookies -if you know me, you'll understand - but I have to admit that this is a life saver when making sugar cookies with kids!!) and started punching out shapes. The bear seemed to be Marcail's favorite.  That and spreading flour out on the dough.=)  After we got the cookies made, we ate dinner to allow time for the cookies to cool.  Then it was icing time!!  Marcail helped pick the colors we made and we each got to lick a spoon (even Frank joined in!) and decorate our own cookie.  Marcail ended up wearing some of hers on her face, but I think she had fun in the process.=)  We ended up making cookies for Mommy and Daddy and for her teachers at school.  We ended the night by reading an interactive nativity story together (the title of the book is called What God Wants For Christmas - I love it!  I use it every year with the students in my class.  7 children get a box and as the story goes along you open up the box and put that piece in the place where it belongs in the nativity).  It was a lot of fun - oh, we did end up watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer 3, yes, 3, times, too.  That part. . not so much fun.=)  
It was a great time spent with Marcail!  Frank and I are realistic and realize that we will not always be this close to my sister and her family so we love taking advantage of spending time with them and their children.  They have a very precious family and we are thankful to be so close to them for however long the Lord allows.
Please enjoy the pictures below!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

For Thanksgiving this year, we had the wonderful opportunity to travel up to PA to spend it with my family. This is especially special because it's been about 5 years since I've gotten to spend Thanksgiving with my family. A short side note, though: I called my parents to tell them about Frank and I coming up (Frank strongly urged me to do this - I had wanted to just drive up and surprise them) and my dad's first response was: "You're kidding." I said, "No" and he went on to explain that they had been invited somewhere else for Thanksgiving this year. I was very thankful that I had followed my husband's advice and called!!=) This is especially funny to me, because last year my parents, brother and grandma ended up eating at Ruby Tuesdays for Thanksgiving. So I wasn't very worried about just showing up! I'm glad I called!=) Anyway. . .
Thanksgiving was wonderful. Frank and I were able to take 2 extra days off of work to compensate for the drive up there. The day that we drove up it had snowed in PA, but thankfully had stopped midway through the day and the roads were clear. We had slow going on the way up, but it was worth it once we got home. =)
Thanksgiving day Mom, Dad and I got up at 7 to walk in a Turkey Trot (5k) in Uniontown, PA. Yes, it was quite chilly that morning (I believe it was 25 degrees out, although that may be optimistic thinking on my part), but I have to admit that it was nice to get out for the walk. Salvation Army was the sponsor of the walk and I made decent time. My parents on the other hand smoked me. =) They walked around once, followed the runners in and thought they had posted a great time!! And they truly had!! Then they noticed that I wasn't around and they started wondering what had happened. They finally discovered that they had only done half of the walk!=) It was pretty funny! My mom did make sure she went back and told the right people what had happened. We didn't stick around for the results, but instead headed off to do a little Christmas shopping and enjoy some coffee. Then it was back home to finish watching the parade.
Later that evening we (my mom, dad, brother, grandma and husband) had the opportunity to go to Upper St. Clair to have Thanksgiving with my cousin and his family. It was a nice time to visit and catch up with them. They have a lovely home and were very kind to allow Frank and I to join them at such late notice. My cousin's wife prepared a very yummy meal and we all ate until we were stuffed!=)
The rest of the trip was spent visiting with family and doing a little bit of Christmas shopping. On Sunday, my younger sister and her husband came over and we had another Thanksgiving. It was nice to see them and I was grateful that they came (they had spent Thanksgiving in New York with his family). We also spent some time playing on the Wii (My mom was determined to get one while we were there. My brother was nice enough to stand in line for 2 hours Friday morning to make sure she had it! We had a good time creating our Mii's and playing the different games) and playing our normal Lake Norman card game (This game does have another name, but I can never remember it. So it is now named after our family vacation spot.).=) My brother, Zac, also taught us a new card game and that was fun to play too. I have to admit, though, that it's hard to play any game with Frank, because he tends to win them all (He is just so stinkin' lucky!).=)
It was a wonderful trip (although I did lose my voice the day after we got there!! Yeah, try catching up with your family when you have no voice - I was finally able to squeak out words by Saturday.) and a great Thanksgiving! I am thankful for many, many things, but one of the biggest things I'm thankful for is for my family. Especially my husband who makes sure I am well taken care of and who will do a 12 hour drive in one day just so I can see my family. I am truly overwhelmed.