Thursday, December 31, 2009
Now that's kind of funny, here it is New Year's Eve and I'm just now blogging about Christmas Eve. Maybe one of these days I'll be caught back up in blogland.
Our Christmas Eve was spent attending a candlelight service at our church and then spending the rest of the evening with our friends Brent and Angie. They are the first couple we really met/made friends with when we first moved here and are so fun to be around. Brent never misses an opportunity to harangue me, and I'm pretty much the same about him. Angie had kept the girls for me on the 23rd and they had spent the day making and decorating cookies. What a site to behold when I picked them up, they were covered from head to toe in flour. She took pics, hopefully she'll share with me at some point!
Before the kiddos went to bed we let them open a present, which I had already picked out - new jammies! The girls looked too stinkin' cute in them!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
The other part of Christmas that she really enjoyed was learning all the Christmas songs. She loves to sing anyway but she seemed to sing even more so during the holiday season. She learned several songs in her Sunday School class and then their class sang them for the parents. Not only did she learn the songs but she learned some movements to go along with them and would have the sweetest look on her face when she would sing "Away In A Manger" and would get to lay her little head over on her hands as she would sing about him laying down his sweet head.
Singing "Go Tell It On The Mountain". Like I said, she LOVES to sing!
Monday, December 28, 2009
Outside my window: It's dark and cold with just a little bit of snow covering the ground.
I Am Thinking: Of sweet little Rebecca and that in just a few weeks we will celebrate the anniversary of her adoption. It's amazing how much she has changed this past year, from the scared little girl in Xian who was trying her hardest to be oh so brave to the sweet little girl who now loves to snuggle up next to me and read. The difference a year can make in the life of a child who was once an orphan and now has the unconditional love of a family.
I Am Thankful For: Our children and how sweet and kind they were to each other Christmas morning. I was so proud of all of them because they each wanted their siblings to open their presents from each other and then wanted us to open the things they had picked out for us. They had done an awesome job of picking out items that were fitting for each other and you could tell they had really put some thought into it. They were so thankful as they opened each of their gifts. It was a pleasure to watch!
From The Kitchen: There is a local Mexican food restaurant that serves the BEST chicken tortilla soup and I have tried so many times to duplicate their recipe and haven't even gotten close. It's funny though because there are 4 or 5 of their resaurants in our city but yet the soup is different in each one. Weird. While not quite like the one I love so much, I finally found a recipe that is just as yummy even though it's in a tomato broth instead of a clear broth like the one I like so well. Just enough spice to enjoy but not so much that it overpowers the soup. I'll certainly be keeping this recipe! Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup I made it yesterday and then we had enough for leftovers tonight - yummy. Little Rebecca told me it was "yummy for her tummy".
I Am Wearing: My favorite black sweats that I love to change into when I get home from work.
I Am Creating: Not sure if this counts, but I am working on my 2010 organizer :-)
I Am Going: Instead of where I'm going, I'll talk about where I've been. I started a new job last week! So far so good! It's much closer to home, a different field of IT than I've worked in before but I think I'll catch on sooner or later. The people all seem down to earth and easy to get along with. I think this'll work!
I Am Reading: Finished "Shanghai Girls" the other night and then started another book that Santa had left in my stocking. It's guaranteed to be a good cry. Sounds like Santa must think I need a good cry? Or maybe Santa just thought I'd enjoy a sappy book! Ryan has been reading the Bill Cosby "Fatherhood" book, for some reason that just cracks me up but he thought it was pretty funny too.
The other book worth mentioning this week is "The Crippled Lamb", Rebecca has asked me to read it many times over the last few weeks. She even takes it in the car with her and pretends to read it. If you're not familiar with the story it's about a little lamb that had been born with a leg that didn't work. The other lambs made fun of him but he had a special friend Abigail who was always very nice to him. He ends up being in the stable the night Jesus was born. A very, very sweet little book. Rebecca's favorite part of the story, and the part she now knows verbatim is "She would spend hours with Josh, telling him stories. When Josh got sad because he could not run and jump and play in the grass, Abigail would say "Don't be sad, little Joshua. God has a special place for those who feel left out"." She may not be able to repeat all of the story back, but she's got that part down and it just makes my heart melt when she pretends to read the book and says that part. Priceless.
I Am Hoping: That I find my favorite bible. It's been missing for a couple of weeks now and I can't find it anywhere. Last night I was dreaming about finding it and just when I would almost find it, I would wake up. Only to start dreaming about it again and then waking up at the same exact point. Is that a weird dream or what? There's plenty of bibles around here but that one was my favorite translation. Guess I need to make a trip to the book store if it doesn't turn up in the next few days.
I Am Praying For: A young lady who lives in Tennessee that we met while vacationing in Florida back in 2006. It was Emma's first trip to the beach and this little girl was absolutely smitten with the Emma bug and she played with her for hours on end. We've kept in touch since then, such a sweet young lady. Her daddy is in the hospital with cancer and my heart just breaks for her and her family. I know all too well about losing a father to cancer. Her dad's name is Jimmy if any of you want to join in prayer for this family, I'm sure they would appreciate it.
I Am Hearing: A football game. Sigh.
Around The House: A stack of paper and notes that I need to go through. New toys that need to find a place to reside in the basement, but for now I'll just leave them in the den since the girls are having so much playing with them. Trees and decorations that need to come down, but Brian really likes to enjoy them as long as we can so I guess I'll wait until after the first of the year.
One Of My Favorite Things: I mentioned movies last week and YES! I was able to sneak out and see a movie-all-by-myself last week. Woohoo! Still have several movie tickets that my old boss had given me over the years I worked for him. Just not sure when I'll have an opportunity to see another movie for a while. I'll just say this, "The Blind Side" is well worth seeing!
A Few Plans For The Rest of The Week: Ryan had basketball practice tonight and Emma wanted to go along for the ride. Rebecca stayed home with me. She told me that she stayed home with me because she loves me. How's that for an ahhhhh moment?! No games this week but the girls will have gymnastics on Thursday. Ryan is going ice skating with the youth group on New Years Eve which means one of us is going to have to stay up late. sigh. Unfortunately, Rebecca wakes up the same time every morning regardless of what time she has gone to bed. Guess this is practice for the upcoming teenage years for Ryan. Not so sure I'm ready for that ...
Have a good week everyone!
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Both Emma and Rebecca had class parties on the 17th. Thankfully I was able to have a couple of days off between jobs and therefore was able to make both of the parties. Rebecca was especially tickled for me to be able to come to preschool.
Emma's little kindergarten party was fun too, there's just nothing cuter to me that a bunch of little 5 year olds. Not sure why but that's pretty much always been my favorite age of child to be around. There were all kinds of messy activities for them. They made reindeer out of candy canes, made little gingerbread houses out of graham crackers, frosting and various candies (messy doesn't even begin to explain that little activity!). I was also there to watch them practice for their concert that night. Just too stinkin' cute!
Ryan and Emma both had concerts that night with Ryan's to start at 5:30 and Emma's at 7:15. "Supposed to start" are the operative words there. Brian was sick and Bex wasn't feeling too well herself so it was just me, Ryan and Emma ... and too many places to be in one night! Since Ryan's didn't start on time I wasn't able to watch all of it. Thankfully some friends of ours were kind enough to bring him to Emma's school for me after they had finished up. He looked oh so handsome!
Emma's little concert was so cute to watch! They first did some songs with the bells. Oh, and while I'm thinking about it - this is the dress that caused all the drama that was mentioned in my previous post. That dress would not have survived the party earlier in the day, there's just no way.
Here's all the little dumplings all dolled out singing for their friends and family. There were as many cameras there as a presidential interview! Little miss Divine is front and center.
And this is what I found when I came home. Brian with his jacket on because he was cold and sweet little Bex sound asleep in his lap. They looked just too comfy for words!
What a whirlwind of a day!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
And while we're talking about Emma, I have a funny story to share. I've already shared an abbreviated version of this on Facebook so some of you may have already read this. My apologies if that is the case!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
My mom and her husband made the trip out from Oklahoma and spent the holiday with us. We had the best time even though Brian and I were worn out from trying to get the house back together in time for their arrival. We've been in the middle of this remodel thing upstairs that's been goin' on way longer than it should. The good news is that we did indeed get the guest room back in working condition.
We decorated cookies the night before. These were supposed to look like this:
But they ended up looking like this and this. The main thing is that the kiddos has a blast and yes, the mess did wash out.
Belated Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours! At this rate, our New Year's greeting will probably come about about mid-June or so. ha.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
The middle school band participated in the Shelbyville Christmas parade and it was brrrrr cold that morning. The girls and I headed off to the coffee shop and enjoyed some hot chocolate while waiting for the parade to begin.
We caught up with some friends to watch the parade and the girls really enjoyed themselves visiting with one another but the big attraction for the day, none other than the mail slot for a downtown business. It was the funniest thing to watch the little ones go up and peer in the slot and at some point they organized themselves into a line and were patiently waiting their turn to peer in. I really think they could have continued this little game all day long if left to their own devices.
And then came the band, except I never saw Ryan. I think that is him in the Santa hat on the far left but I'm not completely sure!
A few days later Brian & I used a vacation day to spend some time together. We headed out to explore a few towns that were new to us and didn't do much other than explore some little antique shops and bought some books. The highlight of the day was lunch at Shaker Village, we didn't realize we were going to be so close to there. What a relaxing lunch! Here's a few shots even though they really do not do the restaurant justice.
And lastly, this picture just says it all. This was on our way home from our day out together as we were driving through the countryside. We had just passed some very, very nice horse farms. I cracked up when I saw this sign! And yes, there really is a Nonesuch, KY and if you're interested there really is a Rabbit Hash, KY as well. Oh the things you learn when you venture off the beaten path.
Back to Thanksgiving later ... it's almost 10 a.m. and the girls haven't had breakfast yet!
Monday, December 14, 2009
Outside my window: That's funny, at least today ... I'm at work and my cube is on the interior and my window, well - I like to describe it as a jail cell type window. For months now I've been saying I need to install a phone on the outside.
I Am Thinking: Of the things that need to be done for Christmas, not just for us but for things that should be done for bus drivers, daycare workers, preschool teachers, kindergarten teachers, Sunday school teachers and the list goes on and on. To be quite honest here - I get very overwhelmed. Not to sound un-Christmasy or bah-humbuggy. Nor am I sure that either of those sentiments are actually words. But really, how do you mother's out there get it all done? I'll have to admit that it was pretty easy to do when Ryan was in kindergarten. But is that because I was 6 years younger? Or was that because there was just one child and one set of all the teachers listed above? How does one adequately show appreciation during the most wonderful time of the year when quite frankly, it's difficult to find the time to actually get it done?
I Am Thankful For: Another orphan being united with her family. I know that I know that I know, that the angels in heaven just have to be rejoicing! There's a long story to share about this family, and their new daughter Jubilee in particular, but I'll have to save that for another time. I'll just have to leave it for now by saying that she is a child of answered prayers and not just prayers from her delightful family either. Something about this precious child touches my heart and has since the first time I saw her picture on our agency's list. Hop on over to their site: http://aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.com/ and give them a big ol' THANK YOU JESUS!
From The Kitchen: You'll be impressed. I actually did cook this weekend! Homemade meatloaf from The Pioneer Woman's new cookbook! My timing was off and I didn't have it made in time for Brian to be able to enjoy it before he left for the Christmas play that he was in this weekend at church but we'll be enjoying it tonight. We both love meatloaf but unfortunately he doesn't particuarly care for the way I make it and I don't particularly care for the way he makes it. Needless to say, we just avoid it. But surely to goodness this recipe will work for both our tastes. If not, I'll officially give up on meatloaf!
Oh, and the girls and I made some delicious little treats last night. Dab some peanut butter between cheezits and then dip in melted chocolate. YUM! Brian saw it on some show, not sure which one, so we tried them last night. Tasty little things they were - but oh my, my - messy to say the least! The main thing though is that the girls thoroughly enjoyed the mess. He said that on the show they said they taste like little butterfingers. Not so sure that's how they taste to be but they are good!
I Am Wearing: Black slacks, white turtle neck and purple vest.
I Am Creating: Someone please throw out an idea that fits me for a category? I did help Ryan with a school project on Spain yesterday and used some of my scrapbooking things so I guess that could technically fall into 'creating'.
I Am Going: To be starting a new job next week. I know, I know - I haven't shared anything about this. I've only been at my current job for a little over 3 months at this point but something better came along from a financial and location perspective so I'm making the change. This has been a very difficult decision for me because a job changer I am not. When my job was lost back in January, my world really did feel like it was falling apart and then I went those months with very few interviews. Not at all an easy time for me. Prior to working for YUM, I had only had one real grownup job and had almost 10 years in at both places so I do not take changing jobs lightly. There were all kinds of jobs I did while in high school and college but you just have to do what you have to do when you're young. It's much different as a grownup, especially when there is more to consider than just yourself.
I Am Reading: Shanghai Girls. As soon as I'm done w/ that, there are all kinds of things to pick from. Brian and I picked up some new, old books on our day out last week. Several Pearl Buck books, some other China history books that were written before the Cultural Revolution and then for fun, a few first edition Garfield books. Brian has some older comic books that Ryan is now enjoying so he thought Ryan might like to have them. There was a sign hanging up in one of the antique shops we went in that said "Any unread book is a new book". I liked that! I also picked up Bill Cosby's "Fatherhood" book. I remember years ago laughing so hard from that one that I cried. He's such a funny guy and right now, I can't wait to re-read it and enjoy reading for just pleasure as opposed to learning something! There was one more, can't wait to read it either because it's written by my favorite humor columnist Dave Barry, although I don't think he has an actual column anymore. We used to read his columns when we were in Texas and he was always good for a laugh. I'm a little hesitant to share the title but if you want a good laugh, I'll share it once we're finished with it "Dave Barry's Guide to Marriage and/or S**". LOL. I've only read the preface and that had me in stitches. He starts it off by talking about the importance of finding the right spouse. Not as important as finding the right caterer, but it does rank right up there.
Ok, enough of my book reviews for now. For a lesson on oddity, one only needs to visit our book shelves.
I Am Hoping: That my new job is all that I want it to be.
I Am Praying For: The new friendships that were made while working here and hoping that those relationships remain even with my change. Also praying for the family mentioned above who is in China now adopting their daughter.
I Am Hearing: The sounds of a typical office. Typing. Talking. A little laughter thrown in here and there.
Around The House: Presents to wrap, todo lists to write.
One Of My Favorite Things: Movies. Something I truly enjoy but rarely ever get to spend the time doing. While Brian & Ryan were at church last night and after the girls went to bed, I treated myself to "The Proposal". I think I may even go see "The Blind Side" one day next week. The last movie I actually went to see was "13 Pounds" and that was back in January, the day before we left for China. I really should get out more :-) Nothing quite like watching a movie totally alone, I know - it's probably weird. But I enjoyed doing that even back when I was in college. My favorite time to go is the middle of the hot summer and just enjoy the time in the dark cool theater. Now that's nice!
A Few Plans For The Rest of The Week: Basketball practice tonight for Ryan, maybe some more treat making for me and the girls. Twelve month post placement meeting with our social worker Tuesday night. Our last one! We'll be traveling to Lexington that night and we're planning on dinner at our favorite Mediterranian restaurant and then hopefully be able to drive through the Christmas Light display at the Kentucky Horse Park. Time may not permit, but I hope it does! Wednesday so far is open for me, but Brian and Ryan will be going to church. Ryan and Emma both have holiday concerts on Thursday and at separate schools. Not sure if we'll both be able to go to both or if we're going to have to divide and conquer. I'll save that decision for Thursday. Then on Friday we will be ringing the Salvation Army bell at Wal-Mart. We typically buy the little candy canes and let the kids hand them out. It's funny to watch people, and I'll have to admit that I fall into this category when I'm on the other side of the bell - but people approach, some make eye contact but I'd say that most do not. Which I understand, while we do give - we certainly do not give every time we go by. But when little Emma taps them on the arm, hands them a candy cane and wishes them a Merry Christmas ... well, something magical happens. It's amazing to watch. Something about that little dumpling just makes people smile and almost always they come back to the kettle and drop some money in.
Have a good week everyone!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Oh my, I'm in 'clean out my inbox' mode and ran across some pictures I had emailed to myself back in February when I was cleaning up my hard drive at work. That does count as cleaning right, when you move things from one pile to another?
Anyway, I just busted out laughing when I saw this. I am pretty sure this was taken in 2007, Emma would have been 3. The trip to see Santa the year before had been futile and tear filled so I just went out to our local little farm/feed store. Certainly didn't want to fight mall traffic and a long line for drama. We walked in, Emma calmly walked up to Santa, stuck her little hand out for a handshake and said "don't touch me". Then climbed up into his sleigh and told him what she wanted for Christmas. Can't really get any more direct than that can ya'? You know us Hunter girls, we're so diplomatic, sensitive and subtle. Yes, subtle. That's the right word.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Thank you Melissa, I'll treasure these always and forever.
Not quite sure what I ever could have done to deserve all of the wonderful friendships that have been made here in ol' Kentucky. But I tell you, it's truly a wonderful gift. This just has to be the friendliest state in the union.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Outside my window: It's snowing in the 'Ville!
I Am Thinking: Of all the things that still need to be done upstairs to get ready for carpet to be installed in the hallway and the kiddos rooms. Yes, this is a repeat from last week - we had a terribly busy week and while I did get a few things done, it's still not ready for carpet. I'm also thinking about getting my behind in gear because Brian and I have taken the day off to spend together. This is an annual thing we do while the kids are in school/daycare. Nothing big, nothing planned - just a day out together where we do a little shopping, exploring, lunch someplace that we wouldn't typically take the kiddos. Very relaxing indeed. Our once a year chance to talk uninterrupted!
I Am Thankful For: My sweet hubby and so thankful that he enjoys spending time with me as much as I him.
From The Kitchen: Well, not exactly qualified for this area. We need to find a Carolin friendly topic :-)
I Am Wearing: Sweats, bare feet ... about to change into jeans and sweater for our outing.
I Am Creating: Again, maybe I need a new category for me. Not much creating these days but it would be nice to be able to scrapbook again one of these days.
I Am Going: Out with Brian! We're going to go explore Danville, Harrodsburg and Perryville. We may not make it to all 3 but we'll give it the old college try.
I Am Reading: Just on a lark, picked up a "Log Home Living" magazine at Lowe's last night. Not that we'll ever live in a log home but it does remind me that at one time that was my dream. Who knows, maybe we'll have a little cabin in the woods one of these days.
I Am Hoping: That the weather holds out today.
I Am Praying For: My mother-in-law and for Ryan as he learns about state government these next few days. Miss the little guy. That a decision I finally made is the right decision. Not really anything I can share now but hopefully will be able to in the next week or so.
I Am Hearing: The sounds of Rebecca playing. She loves to take little things like marbles or any little pieces of anything that she can find and put them in a toy coffee pot. She has her little dishes on the floor and is just as busy as can be. What a blessing she is! I'm just now remembering that it was on our "day out" last year that we received the call with our final travel information to be able to book our tickets to go and get her.
Around The House: A clean kitchen and for now a clean den. That is until Bex brought her toys up. But it's so fun watching her that it's really okay. Such a busy little girlfriend.
One Of My Favorite Things: Stillness and quietness, not too much of course - and not often. But with Ryan and Emma gone and Rebecca playing so quietly ... it's nice. Very nice.
A Few Plans For The Rest of The Week: Tuesday night - taking the kids shopping for the family the preschool is providing Christmas for. Wednesday - maybe a date night with Brian? That one is still up in the air. Thursday gymnastics and then on Friday the Christmas play starts at church and Brian is in it. This year it is running on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Have a good week everyone!
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Now that Christmas time is near, it's time to revisit this subject. I've been asking for the same thing now for several years in a row but have yet to get it. Will someone PLEASE tell Brian that for $8, he can make me a very, very happy wife? Interestingly enough, these cute little guys can be purchased HERE. Obviously I'm not the only lady in the world that thinks pink tools are a good idea!
I had my own hammer and screwdriver before we married but somehow mine became his, moved to the garage and has yet to be seen or heard from again. I'm a thinkin' that if I were to have a pink hammer and screwdriver that neither Brian nor Ryan would be caught dead using them and therefore they would stay where I put them and would be accessible when needed! Not that I'm known to use one or the other often, but it would be nice to have a set handy. In their own little cute pink tool box would just be icing on the cake. Not to be demanding or anything.
Which all of this reminds me of a funny story. They were asking the children at Emma's daycare what their mother's wanted for Christmas, I'm thinking this was when Emma was 3. She told her teacher that her mommy wanted a "screwdriver". I was told later that the teachers all laughed and laughed and laughed because they thought I was referring to an adult beverage! Guess there must not be that many ladies who ask for a pink screwdriver for Christmas!