Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Day 'O Fun!

Yes, I'm behind and still posting about Christmas! Had to share though! ;-)

Saturday, December 11th was the first annual Jonah, Glory, & Kristi's Christmas Day O' Fun!

I had told Keelie that I wanted to spend some time with the kiddos and do some Christmas activities. I suggested that Keelie & Justin drop the kids off at my apartment and head out to do some shopping while we enjoyed our Christmas Day. Jonah & I always talk about my kitties in-depth so I knew he'd enjoy being at my apartment so he could see them. The kiddos were dropped off around 10, Justin & Keelie slyly snuck out as the kids and I looked for Sylvester in my closet, and then we got started on making sugar cookies. I tried so hard to be completely prepared so that there would be no bumps in the road, but really, how can you ever be completely prepared with a 2 & 5 year old. ;-) I didn't expect the kids to want to eat the raw dough more than they wanted to cut out the fun shapes. I had to keep reigning them back in to the topic at hand. I knew it'd be a fun/interesting day when both children had massive dough balls in their mouths. Big Aunt Kristi fail! lol. We finally got the pitiful cookies cut out and cooked. And I do mean pitiful. I rolled the dough out way to thin so after they cooked they looked like hard, golden, blobs. Yeah, they didn't keep their shape even a little. I really don't think the kids cared though. It was time to decorate! I moved all the icing and sprinkles to the table where the kids were and headed back to the kitchen to bring over the cookies. It never crossed my mind that I shouldn't leave them alone with the sprinkles. In the minute I was away Glory had managed to pour some all over the table. Awesome! Even after that I didn't think about not letting Glory hold her own sprinkle container. Her cookies were covered head to toe in sprinkles! After decorating cookies, and eating LOTS of icing, and I do mean A LOT, we headed to McDonald's for some real food. Okay, maybe not real food, but Happy Meals, which we picked up and brought back to my apartment. Did you know that it's not super smart to let kids leave their food out, along with ketchup, all afternoon so they can graze? There were nuggets and ketchup everywhere. Every time I picked Glory up she was covered in the stuff. And then there was the time she took her nugget and rubbed it on the tv and then ate it. Yum! LOL!

Rolling out dough and cutting cookies!

Yummy dough! lol!

Hawaiian dough eating reindeer!

Chillin' in their Christmas shades!

Must work out!

I loved when Jonah asked excitedly "KRISTI! Do you do this every day?!" Ha!

Decorating cookies!

Love this face!
After cookies & McDonald's we worked on some art projects. Jonah & I made a hand print wreath with his picture on it, and Glory got one too, minus the hand prints since she was opposed to me tracing her hands. We also worked on some foam sticker projects. The kids enjoyed peeling the stickers and putting them on the foam background. Glory liked putting the stickers in her mouth. Wild child!

I gave the kids their Christmas ornaments & presents during the afternoon. I think they enjoyed their pillow pets, as they used them right away. At some point we had 'Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas' movie playing and started 'Elf'. Wow, I'm tired just thinking about all we did! :-) It was a very fun day! Keelie & Justin got most of their shopping done too and suggested we do this every year! ;-) I guess we can...if they twist my arm! Hahaha! I just LOVE these kiddos and enjoy all my time spent with them! I can't wait for our 2nd Annual Christmas Day O' Fun. Although I might be a bit more prepared next time and get more sleep the night before. ;-)

Away In A Manger

On Friday, December 10th Joy, Leigh Ann, & I attended The Christmas Journey at First Baptist Church McKinney. According to the church's website, " “Christmas Journey” is a fully dramatized production utilizing professional sets for a 16-scene living pageant. The entire drama can be seen from your car. Volunteers will provide each car with a CD narrating each scene. As you travel through the biblical scenes, you will have a multi-sensory experience of the biblical accounts of Jesus Christ’s life. Participants will find themselves driving through a biblical street market or into the field where the shepherds heard the good news. With live animals and kid-friendly scenes, this event is geared toward the entire family." In a word, AMAZING!

I honestly didn't expect too much when we decided to attend The Christmas Journey, which I assumed was just a drive-through nativity. I was very excited to go, but just assumed it would be a small scale production that would take a few minutes to drive though. It was SO much more. The Christmas Journey was a performance of Jesus' birth in a manager through His resurrection from the grave. We were blown away. It was incredible. We even got to keep the narration CD at the end of it all! We waiting in line before entering the church lot for about 20 min and it took about 45 min to drive through it. Well worth the time spent!

It was so weird to be driving along and have Roman soldiers walking right beside the car.

According to the FBC website, more than 600 volunteers put this performance together. More than 7,000 man-hours are spent on this project, which began in June! We all agreed it was definitely worth the time spent.

The scenes were so authentic. They used real babies & children, as well as the live animals. It was great!

Check out Satan to the far left of the photo!

Up from the grave He arose!

I highly recommend this event to everyone next year. They only do it one weekend, 3 days, in December so make plans early to attend. You will not be disappointed!

2010 Holiday Tour of Homes in McKinney

I just love Christmas and all the fun events leading up to it. There is never a shortage of things to do and see in the month of December.

On Saturday, December 4th, I went on the Holiday Tour of Homes in McKinney with Leigh Ann, her mom, Jackie, and three of Jackie's long-time friends from Celina. It was a busy day, but SO much fun! When Leigh Ann mentioned the Tour of Homes earlier in the week I was immediately excited & wanted to attend. In Decatur, where I grew up, they also host a Holiday Tour of Homes and I know how much work goes into the decorating of the fabulous homes on the tour. I knew it would be a fun treat to see all the pretty places.

We met at Leigh Ann's at 11 am, the 6 of us jumped into a Tahoe and off we went to our first destination, 506 W. Hunt. The Victoria style home with Neo-classical elements was built in 1906.

I liked their unusual decorating style and the way they displayed their Christmas cards.

How interesting is this wreath of kitchen gadgets, as well as the little animal designs?!
Next we headed to 315 North Church Street to the First United Methodist Church of McKinney, which was built in 1876 and has a Victorian Gothic style. This is also where Leigh Ann's brother & sister-in-law were married!

I loved all their nativity scenes.

The church has beautiful stained glass windows.

The lovely ladies in our crew outside the church.
Our next stop was to downtown McKinney Square to 110 E. Louisiana to the apartment of Don & Linda Day. This building was constructed in 1880 to house the Crouch Mercantile Store. The apartment was built in 1996.

We then visited 407 S. Tennessee. This home was originally built in 1937 as a medical clinic. The home is a New Orleans French style and still has the original chandeliers and light fixtures in the bedrooms and baths that were imported from Europe.
The light fixtures and garland were beautiful.

I thought this chandelier was amazing!
Our next stop was 824 Chapel Hill Ln, part of Cambridge Homes. The Somerset design featured an Al Fresco room with a fireplace and a very cool wine closet.

This model home was decorated so pretty.

All the ladies!
We stopped at 803 Waddill before heading home to Leigh Ann's. This home was built in 1946 and has late 1800's Victorian doors and stained glass, along with large pocket privacy doors that close off the entry foyer from the family room.

We ended our tour at Leigh Ann's for a fabulous late lunch of chicken salad croissant sandwiches, salad with pears, blue cheese, & cranberries, potato chips, and creme brulee for dessert. It was the perfect end to a fun-filled day!

I would definitely recommend the Holiday Tour of Homes to anyone. It was a great way to start off the month of December. I look forward to next year!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Tree, O' Christmas Tree

Courtney & I decorated the family tree for Mom yesterday. I love decorating their tree and seeing the 34 years worth of ornaments that make up our family collection. As we decorated yesterday we talked about many of the ornaments; how long we'd had them, where they came from, and how much we liked them. There are ornaments from Mom & Dad's first Christmas together, ornaments from mine & Court's first Christmas, and many, many others throughout childhood. I loved seeing the the wide array of ornaments. There were so many ornaments that we couldn't even hang them all. I still remembered the heart ornament with my name on it dated 1985 that was given to me by my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Hitt, as well as the tiny teddy bear ornament given to be in 3rd grade my Mrs. Burnett. It was a fun trip down memory lane. Mom, Court, & I laughed and talked for hours about the various ornaments.

This is one of probably a dozen stuffed ornaments that Mom made around 32 years ago. When I decorated the tree growing up I would always put these in the back of the tree because I didn't like them. lol. Mom soon figured it out when she saw them all in back. From then on it was a joke every year when decorating the tree. This year I hung them all over the tree, just for Mom! And yes, she noticed! ;-)
I just LOVE these pencil ornaments. We all have one with our name on it. A teacher couple that worked at Mom's school made these, so we ordered some for us, as well as many of our friends. The back of this one is dated 1987-1988.
These handcuffs may look a bit out of place on anyone else's tree, but not ours. They were given to Mom & Dad as an ornament for their wedding on December 28, 1976. Handcuffs because Dad has always been a law enforcement officer...and of course I'm sure it signifies them being cuffed together for life as well! ;-)
We have many of these engraved type ornaments too. I found the one Carrie Pruett gave me as a gift in 2nd grade. It was a little engraved cat with my name on it. I still love it. I've always loved this one too. The little girl has Mom's name engraved on it and the little boy has Dad's and it's dated 1980. How special to be able to look back and know exactly when the ornament was from.

Strawberry Shortcake has ALWAYS been one of my faves. I was always super careful with her, as she's breakable. She was given to me by family friend, Monica Weber, when I was probably about 6. Court had Strawberry Shortcake's friend, Lemon Meringue.
1982 - Courtney's first Christmas
This angel looks pretty sad now, but I still put it on the tree. I made it years ago in Sunday school and still love it!
1979 - My first Christmas

Last, but not least, is the golden star with the crown of thorns. Court, Mom, & I made this for a church presentation one year, many moons ago. It was for Sunday night service and all families that wanted to participate could get up in front of the congregation and tell about their ornament and put it on the church tree. I read a scripture, Mom told about our ornament, and Court shyly stood behind us. ;) Court & I were very nervous to get up in front of everyone. We reminisced about that yesterday. lol. As Mom said yesterday though "We all did great."

I could go on and on and on, as I already have. It's just so fun that our family ornaments have such great meaning behind them. I will enjoy decorating my own tree this year, but it won't be the same as the family tree. I do look forward to memories like these with my own children someday though. :)

Monday, November 22, 2010


"I saw you pass away. Although I loved you dearly, I couldn't make you stay. A golden heart stopped beating, hard working hands at rest. God broke my heart to prove to me, he only takes the best."

December 2009

Today would have been my Papa's 87th birthday and my grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary. We lost Papa back in February and nothing has been the same since. Grandma had to go to a retirement home and her dementia has increased, the house out in the country is empty, and we are preparing for Thanksgiving this week without him for the first time.

Papa & Grandma - December 2008

I've missed him a lot through the months, but more so today. It's hard to put into words how much he meant to me and my family. I only have a small number of men in my life that I look up to and respect and Papa was definitely one of them. He was a Godly man; at church any time the doors opened, before his health declined in later years. He was the hardest worker I'd ever known, besides Grandma. He was a farmer and a rancher and would spend all day tending to the cattle or the garden. I loved going out to my grandparent's house growing up. It was always an adventure. We would play on the cellar or cattle guards, run around with the dogs, which we called ours since we didn't have any of our own. I loved going to the big barn with Papa to get sugar cane to feed the dogs. It was a treat for the dogs and Courtney & me. We would eat a plethora of sweets at their house, and Papa would always encourage us to have more. And he always had gum...always. The little children at his church would run up to him to get sticks of gum before and after the service, and I thought my Papa was the coolest because of that.

fishing with Daddy, Papa, & Court - 1991

Christmas Day 2007

I was scared to death of my Papa when I was younger. When his voice was raised it shot terror through me. It created in me a healthy respect for him. Although as he aged he got much more mellow, and my fear disappeared all together. When I picture Papa I always think about the faded overalls he wore. Those were for working and not to be worn to town. I loved them. I also loved his big pocket watch that was always tucked safely inside the overalls. That was Papa.

Papa & Mom - 2009

The whole family - Christmas 2009

I'll never forget the year we shot off fireworks in the country. The dancing butterfly chased Papa and he was running and laughing. It was hilarious. I remember it like it was yesterday. Papa had the best laugh ever. It can't be imitated. It lit up his whole face. I got the biggest kick out of him mispronouncing Courtney's name. He always said Courtley, even if we corrected him. He loved watching 'wrastling' and eating sweets. Chocolate cake was his favorite. There are many, many more memories that come to mind when I think of Papa, but you get the point.
I miss him dearly. He was the only grandfather I've ever known and it was a joy getting to grow up 20 miles from he and Grandma. I know he's in Heaven now, but I would have selfishly kept him around here forever.
"I'm gonna miss that smile, I'm gonna miss you my friend
Even though it hurts the way it ended up, I'd do it all again
So play it sweet in heaven 'cause that's right where you wanna be
I'm not cryin' 'cause I feel so sorry for you, I'm cryin' for me" ~Toby Keith

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Official Twilight Convention

Courtney & I attended The Official Twilight Convention at Westin Park Central Hotel in Dallas on Saturday. Being the obsessive Twihard that I currently am, when I heard about the convention I just HAD to go. Court, being the awesome sister she is, was game to attend with me so I didn't have to go solo.

We arrived at the hotel around 10:45 am, got our tickets and headed to the Grand Ballroom for the welcome from The Hillywood Show, hosts of the convention. They are a hilarious group who does parodies of the different Twilight movies, and many others. They started the convention off with the Eclipse Parody, which had just been released a few days earlier. IT. WAS. HILARIOUS.

The Hillywood Show Cast

Excited for the convention!

Christopher Heyerdahl (Volturi Leader Marcus) was the first celeb for Q&A on the stage. He was very funny! Very full of energy and NOTHING like his character. He would leap off the stage and run down the aisles and talk to the audience. It was fun to listen to him.

After the Twilight Lexicon Panel, who talked about their tales from the black, not red, carpet, I participated in The Twilight Saga Yes/No Trivia Game. I thought I had this in the bag. I mean, I play trivia on my iPhone through my various Twilight Apps all the time, how could I not. The questions they asked were HARD! As you can see above I'm concentrating a lot on the question. And embarrassingly enough, I answered wrong on the 2nd question and was out. How was I supposed to remember that Bella saw different colors that other people didn't see in Breaking Dawn. Really?! lol! Oh well, it was fun!
Then we received a visit from the Wolf Pack's Bronson Pelletier (Jared) and Kiowa Gordon (Embry). These guys were a riot. They were just big goofballs. Must be because they are 24 & 20. I enjoyed their crazy answers during the Q&A. It was pretty impressive when they started quoting Dark Knight together. Bronson also told a story about meeting David Duchovny when he was shooting The X-Files in his neighborhood when he was 9. It was a funny story about him having a mouthful of oreos which he spit into his hand so he could talk to David. :-)

After a short break there was a No Minimum Bid Auction with lots of the convention banners and autographed pictures. I was shocked that this Edward banner went for $500. I mean, I love me some Edward, but $500 for this?! Not so much!

Last, but not least, was a Q&A with Peter Facinelli (Dr. Carlisle Cullen). Court & I actually passed Peter Facinelli as we were going up the escalator and he was going down, along with some bodyguards, but we were so wrapped up in conversation that we didn't even notice until it was too late. Dang it! He was great though. Such a cutie and so sweet! He has a great personality. He also walked throughout the audience answering questions, as well as called individuals on stage so they could personally ask him their questions. The lady in front of us got called up on stage and he had her sit in his chair and hang out while he answered her questions. I was a little afraid she might pass out when she returned to the seat in front of us since she was shaking so bad!
It was a fun day that definitely fed my obsession with all things Twilight. I especially loved the Q&A they aired from the LA convention back in May that Taylor Lautner (Jacob), Robert Pattinson (Edward), and Kristen Stewart (Bella) actually attended. I could listen to Rob answer questions in his British accent all day, but I digress.
The next convention in Dallas is December 3-4, 2011 at the Westin Park Central Hotel again. Mark your calendars. I'll be ready to go again. I think I'm going to start a campaign for the next year to actually have Rob there! You know you'll want to go then! ;-)