Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Second Week of Christmas

Last week I mentioned that our pastor refers to the month of December as the month of Christmas.  I like that-so much we do during the month of December corresponds with Christmas in so many ways!

At the end of the first week, we were enjoying an ice storm-very unusual in North Texas. Since our state rarely has these, we just wait it out until it all melts-there aren't very many snow plows/salt&sand trucks, and those that we do have are usually limited to their use on the highways.  So we began the second week of Christmas just waiting for everything to melt, since we had multiple days in a row where the temperature never got above freezing.  While we were out and about over the weekend, I got a few pictures of the ice.  Isn't the first picture neat?  No, it's not real snow.  My camera has some feature that added it automatically.

On the way to Arlington, the highways were at a near stop, so we took a back way past Dallas Baptist University.  I have always loved the DBU campus-it is just beautiful, so I was excited about the chance to see it covered in what looks like snow.
Here is the bridge by DBU when we first started over it.  It got worse the further we went.  I was surprised it was still open, but thankfully we did not see any wrecks while there.
On Wednesday my husband and I helped Bethel Temple in Fort Worth by cooking for their church Christmas Party.  Some of these pictures are my own, and some came from facebook from the pastors wife's page.

For our date this week, my hubby took me out to Buttons, an upscale soul food restaurant in Fort Worth.  My hubby had heard of Buttons before, but neither of us had ever visited.  Here is my silly hubby.
I had a hard time deciding what to order because it all sounded so good.  I changed my mind about a dozen times before the waiter took our order.  How do you decide between ribs, pot roast, chicken and waffles, and chicken fried steak?  Ultimately I ended up ordering the chicken fried steak-which proved to be a great choice-so good!  And the corn chowder side dish is not to be missed!  Somehow I got distracted and never took a picture of my food-which, by the way, would have been enough for me to share with someone.  I did, however, get a picture of my hubby's choice (and I am pretty sure his favorite food), (cat)fish, shrimp, and grits.  He also ordered a side of greens, which he said was the best he had ever tasted.  I asked for a to go box so I would have room for dessert.  We decided on the white chocolate/raspberry bread pudding.  Yum!  That was some of the best bread pudding I have ever tasted.
Another thing I loved about the restaurant was the live band.  That night, we were entertained by the Legacy 4 Band.  A very talented bunch, they sang jazz, r&b, motown, and even a little Christmas music thrown in.  We have definitely found a great restaurant to throw into our rotation!  One tip if you plan to visit-call ahead to reserve a table.

By the end of the week, almost all the ice was melted, and I have enjoyed the weather being a bit warmer.  I am looking forward to the week ahead-more Christmas parties, and our Christmas vacation will begin.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The First Week of Christmas

Our pastor refers to the month of December as the month of Christmas-and I really like that!  Our first week has been quite an eventful one!  Last Sunday we had the Joshua Experience, "God's Big Band" come out.  It was such a great service!  If you haven't heard them-you really must search for them on youtube.

 Christmas decorations are popping up everywhere, and I am enjoying them!

 My work Christmas party was on Thursday night-the same evening a major ice storm hit the metroplex. I thought I took a picture of dessert that evening, but I cannot find it.  When we got home from that, we picked up our tree and decorations from storage, and I got into the spirit very quickly!
 Then the ice storm hit.  Our area was not as bad as others, but we still got the ice.  It is so pretty!

 Rest assured-we stayed warm!

 Today we went down to the frozen water slides and had tons of fun!  The boys hands started getting really cold, so we didn't stay too long.  What a week!  More wintry mix is headed our way, so who knows what next week will bring!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Festivities

What a great Thanksgiving weekend so far!

I started celebrating on Wednesday with a special brunch at work.
But I ducked out of work early to head to the airport to pick up my hubby from his trip to the Philippines.  He was there with Mercy Chefs helping with the need for fresh water water after the disasters that country has been through.  Here is a picture of him building a shed for the water purification unit.
It is so good to have him home!  That night we went to church for our annual Pie Social-we always have a good time there!

We enjoyed a nice fire that evening.
For Thanksgiving this year, we had planned to stay home-not being sure just how tired and jet-lagged the hubby would be.  We woke up to no running water, but after a call to the water company, we were able to start cooking a couple hours later.  Ahhh, memories!  It helped us to be very thankful for running water when it came back on!

I ended the day by running into town for an hour to buy a few Christmas gifts with the boys.  It was a nice, quiet day and we are all looking forward to the rest of the weekend together.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Fall of 2013

Has it really been four months since I posted a blog?  I think I had blogged so much for so long, that when I decided to start blogging sporadically, it just never really crossed my mind to write anything, plus I needed a break!

I don't think I will ever blog nearly as often as I have previously (40 blogs in a month!  What was I thinking?)  But recently someone asked about Christmas decorations, and I was able to pull up the page on my blog where I posted pictures and see them all over again.  And I enjoyed knowing I had a "record" so to speak, of different things I had done.  So, I do plan to start blogging semi-regularly again.

And just so I have my is what happened in the fall this year (and late summer and early winter!)

July-Girls Camp for work-the theme "GEEK Girls" (Girls Equipped to Enlarge the Kingdom)

 July-Youth Camp with our students at church

 July-another GEEK Girl's Camp for work

July-A 2 day trip to Jackson, Tennessee (read: 2 days of driving, a night in a hotel, and about 2 hours of free time) to drop off my youngest for a vacation to Grandma's.  We met halfway.
Found a letterbox at a rest stop along the way
 Looked for a letterbox in Jackson before returning home that morning here (Casey Jones Village), but was unsuccessful. 
 In Texas I don't find too many indoor letterboxes, but this was a cool one!
 Stopped in Memphis to see the ghost of Elvis-just off Beale that tune.
Later that month my hubby and I took a long weekend trip to Port Aransas to celebrate our anniversary.  We did something we have never done before-we camped on the beach in a tent!  This was my view upon waking in the morning!

 Waiting for the ferry ride to the island
 Camp fire in the sand

 We spent our last night in a hotel in San Antonio-we had too much sand all over the place, and wanted real showers; we did a little sightseeing while there-including the Alamo.

August-Another quick overnight trip to Jackson, Tennessee to pick up my son.  This time I didn't have to work the morning of my trip, so I got an earlier start which meant-more time for sightseeing!  I even got to see the sunrise over Lake Ray Hubbard just east of Dallas.
 Crossing the Mississippi River in Memphis.  See the pyramid on the left? 
 Jackson is home to Rusty's TV and Movie Car Museum (with only a $5 entry fee!).  I highly recommend this stop!
Here is my son with Ricky Bobby's NASCAR suit from Talladega Nights.

 My favorite movie of all times-the Blues Brothers!
 Wayne's World
 In honor of Herbie, I planted a letterbox at this museum.
 We did a little letterboxing with my mom while we were there, too.  This park had a tribute to September 11, 2001.
 I really enjoy flipping through logbooks to see signature stamps of other letterboxers. 
 There was a letterbox at Pringles Park.
  Jackson is home to their own Statue of Liberty.
 And then the long drive home...passing the pyramid in Memphis again.
 We stopped in Little Rock at Ottenheimer Plaza on the Arkansas River; it has a pedestrian bridge that crosses the river.  We didn't cross it in entirety for times sake.  You can see the park below the city.  There was a neat letterbox here as well. 

 My son brought me back some great food from Ohio-Trail Bologna and yummy cheese!  I just love this stuff!
 August-while cleaning out our storage unit, I dropped a tow hitch on my foot (I was wearing flip flops).  OUCH!  I ended up with a fracture-not cool!
August work event-Celebration.  Every August, we honor girl's accomplishments for their hard work in a formal ceremony.  It is the one event of the year that I get to get dressed up for.

August-Random fun.  We saw a pink piano on the side of the road, so we had to stop and take a picture with it.
 Rangers Baseball!  And my hubby found some great seats!
 He and I also went out on a date to a neat little German Restaurant (Edelweiss) in Ft Worth.  An accordian player even came around to each of the tables playing music for us.
September-Back to school and routine...well, sort of!  Picture along our driveway when the hay was baled. 
 September-a conference for work
My oldest turned 16.  He doesn't like cake, so he got apple pie and ice cream with a sparkler.
With major flooding in Colorado, we had to get the Mercy Chefs truck ready for a long trip, so we pulled everything out, cleaned, and put it all back in. My hubby left a few days after this for Colorado for a couple weeks.
September-We went to the Twisted Root Burger.  We have been many times before, and I have never been too adventurous with my food choices.  (They always have a wild game option.)  This time I decided to try to camel burger.  Well, I can always say I tried it, but I won't be trying it again.  Yuck!  Very gamey tasting.
I made Zuppa Toscana in September-an Olive Garden soup recipe that I found on pinterest.  It was really good!
I also must have pumpkin pie soda every fall.  My hubby drove me about an hour and a half away to get me some!
 My youngest son and I did some letterboxing in September as well, while the weather was nice.

In late September, my husband and I had an appointment in Springfield, Missouri to meet with the Assemblies of God about partnering with them so that we can do Mercy Chefs trips more frequently.  Since my hubby was coming directly from Colorado in the Mercy Chefs truck, I drove to meet him there.  Along the way, he had a flat tire, so I used my time to do a little letterboxing while I waited.  I stopped in Diamond, Missouri in what appeared to be just a normal Country and Western Store.  But in the back was a museum of toasters, old and new, along with other small kitchen appliances.

 After being reunited, my husband and I had dinner at Lambert's-home of "throwed rolls".  I have heard about this place for years, and finally got to try it.  It was great food, and if we ever go back to Springfield, we will definitely go again!
 We also had to meet someone in Branson, so we drove that way and enjoyed the views.
 I also fell in love with Culver's.  Apparently there are some Culver's in the metroplex, but none I had ever been to.
 More views in Springfield-Pythian Castle
 Part of a unique bicycle fence.
October was another busy month.  I did a work event-Campout-where girls get to go camping in primitive campsites.
 October-Our first fire of the season.
 My hubby and I did a catering.
 October-the government even shut down.  No pictures needed for that one, but I still thought it was worth mentioning.
The State Fair of Texas!  Our first stop is always to get a Fletcher's corndog.  
 We enjoyed some bands,
 the new Big Tex,
 and the rides.
 I attended a Women's Retreat with a friend.  The speaker was Sam Evans, the pastor's wife of Planet Shakers in Melbourne, Australia.  It was a really great event!

October is Pastor's Appreciation Month.  (Here is a picture of our pastor.)  Our church honored us, and took us out to eat as well.  We are so blessed at our church, and I just love it there so much!
Boss's Day is also in October, so I bought breakfast for my boss.
 We made a quick trip to Waco to see my adorable niece.
There was also a horse obstacle training this month.  It taught horses to not get spooked so easily.

My husband and I tried a new (to us) restaurant called Cowboy Chicken.  It serves rotisserie chicken-and it was very tasty!  Since then, we have heard there are some moving closer to our area, so I am looking forward to that!
 Foodie find:  Reginald's Applesin Peanut Butter!  YUM!  Go to Central Market and TRY THIS!
Also in October, Fossil Creek Community Church held a fundraising gala, and the special guests of the evening were Mercy Chefs!  We enjoyed a nice meal, and then one of the board members of Mercy Chefs spoke and then did a demonstration.  Here are several Mercy Chefs (including my hubby) preparing for the demonstration.
Random October highlight-working on the sound system at our church's second campus.  After watching, I got to go up in the lift as well.  It was a long ways up!

Rodeo Fest-Each year our church hosts Redeofest-essentially our cowboy church alternative to a Halloween party.  Here is one little girl getting ready to go mutton busting, and then some photos of the other fun events.

The Sherman Mountain Boys even came out for our Family Fun Night later in the week.
Then on Halloween, Mercy Chefs, along with an enormous group of volunteers from our church, served hot meals to those attending Christ Church-Ft Worth's Halloween event, which helped Ft Worth Metro raise money for a new trailer.

November-here is my oldest son working hard at the drive-thru at work.
  Cute kiddos one day when I got to help in Kids Church.
 November-we are starting have to defrost the car many mornings now.
I got to tag along with my hubby one day at work while he recorded the video announcements.
Another day, the church got a new sound system, so we stuck around to help while they dug a trench in the sanctuary "floor".
We also attended Minister's Retreat in Dallas.  Our way was paid, which was a huge blessing!  Since the earthquake and typhoon had just happened in the Philippines, we were able to meet with Sheree Moon, missionary to the Philippines, while we were there.  This helped my husband in planning for his Mercy Chefs trip there.
 We walked around the mall while there.  I have never seen one of the big trees at the mall being constructed before.  This was a neat thing to see-I counted over 30 people working on this project.
November-Mercy Chefs helped with another event in Keller, and we drove through downtown Ft Worth on the way home.  So pretty!
Erik Estrada also visited our church this month, to promo a movie he is in called "Finding Faith".  The movie had a wonderful theme about safety online.  Click this link to read more.  
One day this month I also took my youngest son to the CR Smith Museum, which a museum about flight, specifically through the eyes of American Airlines.  Here he is aboard the DC-3.
And here he is on a flight simulator.  He promptly told me he wants to get his pilot's license after trying this out.
Afterwards, we went to locate a couple of letterboxes.  We were very close to the airport, as you can see from this picture.
Wow!  What a busy past few months!  I will do a better job of keeping up with blogging from here on out!