Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Excited for 2011


This was our Christmas card for this year.  Anna and Jake HATE it when I drag out the camera and tell them it it Christmas card picture day!  This year, I decided to get a non-biased person involved, and had our picture made by someone outside the family.  She was sweet enough to sell me the digital copy of the photo and I made the cards myself.  I really liked the way they turned out and the kids were happy too.  I consider this a major success.  Maybe we will do this every year!!!

We had a really good Christmas.  I like that the kids are getting old enough now that they don't want "toys".  I don't feel nearly as bad when I am buying clothes and things that I know the kids need, rather than toys that they will only play with for a month or so.  Jake is VERY MUCH into video games now.   I'm not real crazy about it, but I guess it is part of teenage life now.  Anna wanted clothes, clothes, and more clothes.  She got a retro pink Northface jacket and toboggan to match.  She got rain boots (leopard print), a camouflage/rhinestone belt, Coach "Poppy" perfume, etc.  Jake's main gift was a paintball gun.  He was over-the-top excited.  He got a lot of clothes too....he was okay with that and I was glad that I could use the excuse to buy him some new stuff.

Our Christmas....

Jake, Gran and Anna getting ready to eat

Anna and Jake acting goofy


Papa and Gran

Joe took me to Fort Smith on Christmas Eve to get my gift.  About a month ago, he told me he was thinking of getting me a new camera.  I couldn't believe it!  I had, quietly, thought of a new camera, but had never mentioned it to him.  What a suprise when he mentioned it to me!!!!  I love taking pictures and, eventhough my camera was fine, this new one is AWESOME!  It is a Canon EOS Rebel  T2i.  He also got me a cute camera bag, camera strap, zoom lens, and tripod.  Come to think of it, maybe I WILL take our Christmas picture next year!!


Joe had no idea what I was getting him.  He had been looking at a Big Green Egg for a couple of months and this was the perfect opportunity to get it.  He had talked to his cousin, Darrell, a month or so ago about his and Joe was really wanting one.  We have cooked on it twice and love it.  The first night we tried steaks and the next night, hamburgers.  Both were really good. (love the apron!!)


We had Christmas Eve with Gran and Papa.  It was nice to stay home throughout the holiday.  We will see Joe's family around January 1, on our way to see the Hogs play in New Orleans.  



We will leave next Saturday.  We are all so excited to go to The Sugar Bowl!!  A lot of people we know are going, so it should be a lot of fun.

Before Christmas, our pantry was finished and I love it.  I can't believe how much more room I have.  It is SO much neater than before.  Here are some before and after pictures.

Before
After
Before
After


Before
After

 I must put this in here somewhere, but the picture above with the black garbage bag hanging on the refrigerator door....it is not NORMALLY there.  I was cleaning out the shelves before I moved it all to another room and needed a handy place to hang the bag...didn't want you to think I was TOTALLY white trash or something!!  

Just a few more pictures of the insides of the cabinets....


I left this shelf open for cookbooks and for cereal/crackers.


                                                                    
I love that I can walk in my pantry and know where everything is. 
 
Well, I hope you and  your family had a wonderful Christmas.  I'm still working on my Daily December project, but as soon as it's finished I'll post it.

Going on a double date tonight to see Little Fockers, so bye for now!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Daily December 1

Late, I know, but technically it is still December 2nd, so here are my first entries....




The page on the right has a transparency with a green design on it, so it is a little hard to see the picture.  Here is a close up after turning the transparency....



Bye for now......

Thanksgiving 2010 & Happy December


Merry Christmas!!!


Thanksgiving here was perfect.  I love cooking those once (or twice) a year dishes for our family.  Our menu this year was:

Turkey and Dressing
Greenbean Casserole
Corn
Sweet Potato Casserole
Cranberry Relish
Rolls
Anna's favorite Cheesecake
Divinity

Mama and I split the cooking duties this year to make it a little easier on both of us, mainly her.  


Mama's kitchen


Here is my plate


Divinity



Traditionally, we always have Thanksgiving with my mom and dad on Wednesday night, then early Thursday morning we head out to Warren, to spend the day with Joe's family.  This year was no different and it was nice to spend time with everyone without all the hustle and bustle.  After lunch, the kids and Joe headed to deer camp and I spent the night with Joe's mom.  The next morning I headed to Lake Village, to one of my favorite stores, Paul Michael's.

We decided to revamp our Christmas tree this year, so of course we had to have new ornaments!!  Here is our "New (and improved) Tree!"  


It's different from years past, but Anna is having a party for all her friends on the 18th and I thought it was more "stylish" than our more traditional decorations. She really likes it, so it is worth all the fuss!

Here are a few more decorations



Anna killed her first deer at camp.  It was a doe, but she was still really excited.  Apparently, after shooting her, Anna realized the deer was really sick.  Had a bad infection on it's leg, so it was good that she killed her.  Maybe later this year, or next she will get the buck she has been wanting!

This year I have started a Daily December album.  It is an idea that was started by Ali Edwards, a scrapbooker and mother of two.  You can read more about her on her website, but it is a project that is, hopefully, begun many days before the month of December, then when the month actually rolls around, you just snap a few pictures and fill in with journaling of how you spend your days leading up to Christmas.  Thankfully, I already have my album ready for pictures this year.  I hope it will be a fun way to document our holiday season.  

Here are a few pictures of my album.  

  
Side view


 Inside cover


This is the page for December 4


A closer view



I didn't take pictures of every page, but I will show them to you each day during the month of December, so keep checking back.

Joe's grandson, Klayton, has a birthday on Sunday, so here is a peek at his card I made earlier this week.
Happy Birthday Klayton, we love you!!

Bye for now (I'll be back later today)...






Monday, November 8, 2010

A Little of This and a Whole Lot a That

I just got a sweet note (reminder) from a friend on facebook that said she enjoyed reading my blog.....Blog??....What Blog????  Oh, the one that I have neglected so much lately that it doesn't even want to belong to me anymore??  Yes, THAT blog!  As usual, my excuse is that I have been really busy (insert sad face here).  Actually, my life is just plain BORING and I hate to admit it to anyone!  

So, friends, lets get started on what has been going on with us, Life on the Hill!


First off, let me brag a little...both kids had all A's on their report cards!!  YES!!  That is all I will say about that.  (Sounds like a line out of Forrest Gump that we watched last week!)

Gran had another birthday on October 28, so I got to make her a cake!!  I love making birthday cakes.  It seems we have a lot of birthdays in the months of August, September and October, so we are sick of cake by October, but I still love making them.  Here is Gran's cake....



It was a HUGE cake.  It looks normal, I know, but it took 2 cake recipes and 3 pounds of confectioner's sugar!  LOTS-O-CAKE.


I also made a few cupcakes for Jake to take to his Halloween Party at school.  He requested purple cupcakes with bright green icing with gummy eyes and "something else gross" on top...Here ya go....

Fall here is in full swing.  The trees aren't as pretty as we normally have this time of year, I guess because of all the dry weather that we had this summer.  I plan on driving around later today to see if I can find a good pic for you.  

Jake finished football last Tuesday.  He made an interception the very last play of the game.  I can not begin to tell you how excited he was.  He HAD TO HAVE these Vapor-Jet gloves, so that he could play better (insert sarcastic face here).  It was amazing how much better these $40 gloves made him play and feel!!  Anyway, the gloves finally paid off with this interception!  Here is his team and individual picture..




This past weekend, Jake's best friend, Logan (#40), moved to Utah.  He and Jake spent their last two nights together doing what boys do, playing football in the yard and playing video games.  It broke my heart to see Logan's mom drive down our driveway to pick him up.  They are such good friends and I wonder if we will ever get to see him again.  They are moving about 2 hours from Las Vegas, so I'm thinking by Spring Break, we will have a trip planned for them to see each other again.   We love you Logan!!

Anna cheered her last football game of the year last Thursday and her first basketball game is tonight. Ughhhh.  Couldn't they give us a week to recuperate?  Man!  She likes cheering for football better than basketball, so it makes for a very long season.

I spent all night, okay, 2 hours, cleaning out our pantry.  We are building new cabinets, wall to wall, starting tomorrow....I hope!  If you have ever dealt with construction, you know that tomorrow means "later, not today, maybe tomorrow, but probably closer to next week or the week after that."  I looked that up in Webster's Dictionary, I promise!  ha  Lucky for me, I already knew that definition, so I have absolutely NO expectations of when it will start, or more importantly, when it will be complete.  

Here is a sneak peek at my latest crafty project.  

 

It is a project that Ali Edwards does on her website.  She walks you through one step at a time.  I started this last year, but didn't get it completed.  This year, it WILL be done!  The idea, if you have never heard of it, is to make an album BEFORE December and each day, you record what you do during the holiday season, day by day....hence the name, "Daily December".  My plan is to record, with journaling and pictures, our routine, traditions, recipes, etc.  The book will already be assembled and I just put in the pictures and a little writing and it will be done when Christmas rolls around.  

Well, I better get moving...Thanks for reading and come back again soon.  Thanks to Ginger for making me blog!  I love you!!

Bella and Jake send their love....


  Bye for now.......


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dallas Weekend


 Whew!!  The score of the Razorback/ Aggie game was a little closer than I really wanted it to be!!  We had a ball, literally, in Dallas.  We had never been to Cowboy Stadium, but had heard all the hype, and let me tell you it lived up to every single smidgen of it!  

Friday afternoon, we left Clarksville and drove about 2 1/2 hours to Krebs, Oklahoma, which is on the outskirts of McAlester.  Our friends, Shelly and Steven, had promised us some authentic Italian food and they definitely delivered on their promise!  Pete's Place didn't disappoint us AT ALL.  There is a ton of history going on in this restaurant and the food was incredible.  I wish I could have taken pictures, but the lighting didn't permit.  It was an old, two-story yellow house that looked like it had been added on to 5 or 10 times.  Each party is seated in a separate room, so it felt cozy.  Spaghetti and ravioli were served family-style along with the meal.  Joe almost dropped his jaw when I didn't order Fettuccine Alfredo, but for some reason I had steak on the brain and ordered Filet Mignon.  It was delicious and I wasn't sorry at all for skipping the Alfredo.

The next morning we headed toward Dallas and made it there around noon.  It was a HUGE sports weekend for Texas.  Joe said there were several home games being played in that area.  The Texas Rangers were in the playoffs, right next door to Cowboy Stadium, so there was a fair amount of traffic.  We were lucky that the Rangers game didn't start until 4 and ours started at 2:30.  

Here is the Ranger's Stadium 


and another view from much further away...


 Cowboy Stadium


Here are some pictures from inside the stadium





Tristan and Jake


Joe and me 

I think my VERY FAVORITE part of the entire trip was the half time performance by the Texas A&M band.  It was just amazing...no other words to explain it.  

Here is a short clip.

video

I wish I could have recorded the entire performance, but trust me, it was really cool!!

Texas A&M Band during performance


We eventually won the game and here is a picture of the presentation of the trophy.  


This is a picture from the JUMBO-tron, but I had to take this picture because of #91-Jake Bequette.

That night we ate at The Silver Fox, in Grapevine, Texas.  It was a neat place too.  Again, I ordered the Filet....yum!!!  REALLY tender.

It was a fun weekend.  Anna has a ballgame on Thursday night and this weekend Jake has a ballgame on Saturday.  We LOVE this time of year, but it is really busy around here. 

Bye for now....