Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Jam Session

There is a wonderful music store in Bastrop that basically will let you hang out and play around with some of the instruments. I was hoping they were open on New Year's Eve, and they were! So, after eating our lunch at the park and trying to feed sleeping geese and ducks who were not interested, we went on over to Owens Music.

It is about as laid back a place as I can imagine. One of the guys in the store turned on a keyboard for the girls, and they took off from there. Next, there were drums. Lots of drums. Apparently, the wee ones have a thing for them. We may have lots of visits to Owens in our future since I don't think the drums will be coming home with us any time soon!

I failed to mention that when we got there, the man who I am supposing to be the owner, was asleep on a couch kinda mixed in with the sheet music. After he woke up, he came over to where we were playing (they actually have a kids play area there with dress-up, games, toys, etc.) and showed Emma and I a few music tricks for learning rhythm. We also got a free piano book out of the deal which Jessie and I can try out as Emma has informed me she's not interested.

Finally, once I smelled an interesting aroma coming from the direction of Aubrie's pull-up, we had to have one last jam session on the drums. The girls were accompanied by an employee on the guitar, the owner on another drum, and I was assigned to the chimes. I hope they let us come back and don't run for cover the next time we show up! I felt badly for the lady behind the desk who was actually trying to get some work done. I so wished for a camera to capture the extremely animated faces of the girls while on the drums - maybe next time.

Monday, December 29, 2008

I Gotta Shake My Booty

No, not me. Our youngest, Aubrie, announced last night as we were getting ready for bed that she had to shake her booty. So, she proceeded to run to her bedroom where she shook it...for a a booty song she made up, apparently. How does she come up with this stuff? She is definitely the family comic, and her sense of comedic timing amazes us - she did NOT get this from me!

Christmas was wonderful here in the Williams house. We had my dad, two sisters, my brother-in-law, his sister, a friend from San Antonio, and my in-laws here at our house for Christmas. It was our first time to host the holiday, and I had a blast!! I would normally get pretty wound up about such a large gathering, but everything was really calm and pleasant - very un-Dee Dee-like. I followed a much-reduced menu that Judy (mom-in-law) gave me. I really don't know how she does this every year. I definitely have a new appreciation for her!

Todd was so sweet and remembered to take a picture of our Christmas Eve food. Judy told me that this tradition started so she didn't have to cook dinner the night before Christmas. So, we have snacks and sweets instead. The girls love it because they get to eat for dinner things that would typically be desert. What could be better than that?

Enjoying the mild weather Christmas Eve

Our friend Peggy's mother lives in Lockhart, only 30 minutes from us, so Peggy brought some of her family up to see us later in the evening. Peggy's mom Frances is 94 years old, very spry and can play anything on the piano in any key. I told Todd it was wonderful that he got me a piano for Christmas a few years back because it would truly have been a shame not to get to hear her play. The girls ran to put on dress-up clothes and danced away for as long as Miss Frances would play, and she knew all kinds of wonderful dancing songs. She also played a ton of Christmas carols - it was a wonderful way to end our Christmas day.

Backtracking just a bit, we really enjoyed lighting our advent wreath each week this year. I think there was added pleasure because Aubrie was old enough to participate. I've looked online for several different ways to celebrate the coming of the Savior and finally just decided to break up the telling of His arrival and the events leading up to it as they are found in Luke. We discuss the birth of John, the angels' visit to Mary, Mary's visit to Elizabeth, and finally, His birth. Next year, however, I'm hoping to be reading out of John's new book. I can't wait! Oh, I also wanted to steal Meredith's mom's idea of wrapping up baby Jesus from the nativity, but I forgot...maybe I'll remember that for next year.

I hope that you and yours had a blessed Christmas and have found or will determine to find time reflect upon what Jesus' coming means. I love the words from a song, "I'll never know how much it cost to see my sins upon that cross." I think that much of the cost was in His coming in the first place, leaving glory, leaving His father. We just couldn't have the cross without His willingness to leave it all to rescue us and to glorify His Father.

'Twas the night before Christmas...

Todd's first ham

Too full to move

Too full to move II

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Chance to Help and Win Something Beautiful

A friend of Todd's from Focus had this on her blog, and I hope I win it! Please stop by her site to go to the donation site and get a chance to win. . . I hope I get it, though. :-) I think the drawing is December 22nd so don't wait too long.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Different Kind of Week

Thanks so much for the Christmas food ideas - I've gotten some really yummy ones for breakfast, and a plan is already coming together! I looked up this online tonight and it was yummy! Again, my normal one is in a box...somewhere...

Have you ever had a week where you just couldn't get things going? I love to feel productive, and on my productive scale, this week stunk. I really LOVE to check things off of my to-do list, and this was just one of those weeks where I'd get some of a task done, but I really couldn't check it off, and it would just linger there, taunting me. I figure there's a lesson in there somewhere that I was supposed to learn, but I mainly just stayed frustrated. The biggest thing was that our van died. It was a minor death, and it was soon back to life, but it interfered with my plans, nonetheless. I think, on top of this, that I was homesick a little. My main evidence for this, besides being awfully teary this week, was that while I was at WalMart, I kept on thinking that I heard people calling me. Now, I either need medical attention, or, my personal theory, is that I'm used to running into people when I go out and keep expecting to see someone I know. Not very likely at this point. So sad, so sad. I know that this is a really long paragraph, but I also have to add that my teariness all started when I discovered one of the sweetest things. My friend Jill had given us a going away present. Now, when glancing into the gift bag, I thought that she had given us a photo album so, like the sometimes procrastinator I am, I had not really looked at it yet in the midst of getting settled. So, Sunday, I pull it out of the bag, and WHAM, I am hit with a flood of tears and couldn't stop. Jill had collected pictures of us and our friends and filled the entire album with a "year in Clinton" theme. She had written comments for just about every picture in there. Now, I've been aware for quite some time that she's a dear friend, but seeing how much our families have done together really overwhelmed me, and quite honestly, I know I took that for granted. So, even though I called her and left an embarrassingly teary message on her voicemail, I wanted to thank her in a more public way for her dear friendship and her sweet family. Thank you, thank you!

Okay. Now that I've gotten all teared up again, there are some more reasons that this week was odd. I visited The Best Little Hair House in Texas this week, and I could barely make the appointment to get my hair cut without laughing! However, Texas name aside, I got a great haircut, and the girls did a great job waiting for me. This was the first time EVER that all three had gone with me for something like this. I had each of them pack a fun bag, and they played in the waiting area like angels. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised! I think it helped that everyone in there was friendly and kept on telling them how good they were being.

Last thing. There are just some things in life that I just never pictured myself doing, like sewing a hat for a cat so that it can have a birthday/welcome to our family party. First of all, I'm allergic. Second, I'm not a cat person. And, third, I can barely sew. We had told Emma that when we got to TX she could have an outside cat so we very promptly found a *free* one (the only way we would get a cat...sorry cat people). Anyway, she planned out the whole thing. She made brownies. (I only measured the oil and vanilla, honestly.) Jessie made *whooped* cream to go on top - this is how she says whipped. She bought Misty, the cat, two outfits at WalMart, and she ordered, I mean commissioned me to make the hat. How can I not post pictures of this monumental event? Oh, and since Misty couldn't have chocolate, we served her a bowl of milk which she LOVED. I have to say she is a very sweet cat, and we really had fun at the party!

Emma making brownies - we had *camped out* earlier that morning...set up the tent in the living room.

The cat.

The cat in the hat.

Monday, December 1, 2008

SOS - Save our Supper!

I'm curious about your favorite holiday-time dinners, dishes, drinks, etc. Trying to be oh-so-wise, we decided that it was not a good idea to unpack everything at the rent house. I still think it was a good decision overall because we have way too much stuff, and the thought of having to pack it all up again in six months when the lease is up is a little daunting, to say the least.

That brings me to the part where my Christmas keepsake book is still in a box somewhere. I keep all my Christmas recipes in this book...

Rather than pout and completely spoil the wonderful season, I decided to see what your favorite things to eat and drink are and if you would share the recipes with me. I usually try to scatter holiday dishes throughout the month since we're kinda big on food around here so I'm up for just about anything.

Besides dinner-type stuff, I'm also looking for a good Christmas morning breakfast dish. We normally eat this wonderful treat called Apple Puff Flapjacks, but maybe it's time for something new. Thanks for the help!