Friday, December 19, 2008

Belt Test

The boys had their Tae Kwon Do belt tests last night. They did very well, I'm very proud of them. It's rare that they end up close enough to each other that I can take pictures of them both but last night they were side by side, so that was nice!
I have to say, the belt tests are a little boring. They tests the juniors with the adults, so you have to sit through alot of other people. I don't mean to sound rude, but I just want to see my children! OK, that's a little rude, but I don't think I'm alone on this one!

Here are a few pics of the juniors at their best!!

Here are the three amigos! This is Matthew, Tanner and one of their very best friends Caleb. Aside from the big shoe in the way, this is a really cute picture. These three seem to never be able to spend enough time together!

Shower Cake

I made a baby shower cake yesterday that I thought turned out really cute. I was only told that she wanted a 9x13 and that it was a boy. The rest was left up to me. I also had my Christmas candy to make so I opted to do this quick and simple design which turned out well, I think. I hope she likes it!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Car Club Christmas

We had the honor of hosting our car club's Christmas dinner this year. It turned out really well. I had no idea of how many to expect, but we had quite the turn out as 32 friends drifted in with casseroles, salads, and desserts in hand. We had a great time of fellowship! These are a few pictures I took. They're not that great but I wanted to show off my guests!

One of my favorites things of the night was when we needed another table and Mike and I were able to pull this table out with 2 benches and extra chairs, throw my favorite linen table cloth on it and accommodate another 8 people in a matter of minutes!

This is my dining table, it seats 8 without the 2 leafs in it. I hope to do a post soon of my house, but you can see a little of it in these pix.

This pic has a shot of my kitchen in the background. I think my kitchen is my favorite room in the house. I love the way it turned out. It was the room I spent the most time planning out when we were building.

This is outside the dining room door on the back patio (that door leads to our laundry room). It is usually cluttered with bikes and scooters, but we cleared it off for our guests. We had 2 tables set up outside and the weather could not have been better!

I love entertaining! One of my friends commented on how brave it was of us to have this many people over. I have been dreaming of these kinds of dinners for years. We finally have a home that can comfortably accommodate a lot of people. God has blessed us with a fantastic new home. It just seems selfish not to share it with the amazing family and friends He has also blessed us with!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Our Beautiful Christmas Tree!

We put our Christmas tree up and it is absolutely beautiful! I can't stop staring at it!
This is what Lola did the entire time we were decorating. She would not come out from underneath the tree, especially after I put the skirt down. She really got comfy then!!

What's so special about this tree, you might ask. Looks like any other Christmas tree to me, you're thinking. Well, let me fill you in on a little history of my rather 'unconventional' Christmas trees! Hopefully I can find the pictures soon because my descriptions will not do my previous trees justice!
In my defense (you know it's bad when I have to start off defending myself!), we were living in a cramped mobile home while we were building our house. We did not anticipate on being there as long as we were, as is usually the case when building. When the first Christmas rolled around, we had no room for a tree. Many of our things were in storage and I had no idea where my Christmas decorations were. Time to get creative! I went to a dollar store in town and bought a small (maybe foot, foot and a half) artificial tree in a little pot. I thought it was cute! But, still I have no decorations. So, I bought 2 cans of silly string. I took the tree and the boys outside and let them decorate the tree with silly string. I thought they'd love it! Actually, they did until they realized this really was our one and only Christmas tree! I had to hear about this tree for weeks, no months, no...I'm still hearing about this tree! Matthew was so upset because he said no presents would fit under it. I told him we were buying small gifts that year! That didn't go over so well! OK, that's tree #1!
Tree #2 was actually very pretty (I thought). We're still in this mobile home. We thought we would be in the house by now. So, I go out in the woods and cut down a small tree (some argue that it was just a branch, but it was a tree!). I stripped off the few leaves left on it and spray painted it white. I put it in a bucket of sand and strung it with white lights! I thought it had somewhat of an elegant touch! At least we could fit presents under it (if only a few).
My family has given me much grief over my Christmas trees. I choose to believe it's jealousy!
I asked Matthew a couple of months ago if he would like a real tree this year. He looks at me with this blank look and says, "it would be nice" with no sound of hope whatsoever in his voice. So, I took them to the tree farm the other day and we picked out an 8 ft. frasier fir! We only have 9 ft. ceilings. By the time we got the tree into the stand, it was only inches away from the ceiling! I turned on Christmas music and we all decorated it together!
So, there's the story behind why this tree is so exceptionally beautiful! Compared to what we're used to, most anything would be!

I even decorated my buffet! It's festive while still leaving room to be functional!

And, what Christmas tree would be complete without a nod to The King! I tried to convince Tanner to put his ornament near the back, you know so it wouldn't get knocked off and broken (wink, wink). Well, when you enter the den from the foyer, it's the first thing you see! Oh well, it's still the most amazing tree ever!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I wanted to fill you all in on our trip to Graceland. It was a lot of fun! Mike nor I were that excited about it at first, we were just taking Tanner. But, I have to say, once you're there you kind of get into it. The very first night we got to Memphis, we went out to eat on Beale Street. The first souvenir we bought were these sunglasses (with attached sideburns)! As soon as Tanner put them on, we could not resist! Note his new Elvis hat, too!!

We stayed in none other than the Heartbreak Hotel, which really is at the end of Lonely Street!! It was decked out in blue velvet and pictures of Elvis on every wall. We did have a little excitement while we were there. We went out to dinner our last night in Memphis and when we got back to the hotel, there were two firetrucks in front. As we entered the lobby, we noticed a lot of people sitting everywhere! Turns out, there was a faulty wire on the elevator which set off the fire alarms and all the guests were having to stay in the lobby on the ground floor until it was checked out. There was no fire, the firemen checked the elevator and we were allowed to return to our rooms around 11:00 (I think). Fast forward to 1:30 a.m.! We are waken by fire alarms going off! Talk about panic! People were going up and down the halls banging on doors telling people to get out! We were on the second floor. We were trying to throw some clothes on as fast as we could and get downstairs. You could not even think straight for the noise of the alarms! We get downstairs and oh, what a sight!! People are in their pajamas, hair sticking out everywhere, slippers on. It was a mess. So, after a few minutes, here come the fire trucks again! They check everything out and about 2:30 we are allowed to go back to our rooms. Who can go back to sleep after that?!?! Apparently, the sensor on the wire was bad and kept saying the wire was overheating or something, there never was a fire! But, we had to drive back home the next day and we were all beat!
Oh, I almost forgot the other exciting event! We were pulling into a gas station down the highway from the hotel and these two cars race out of the parking lot as we are turning in. Mike even commented that they must be racing. Well, when we get out to get gas, we find out a guy at the gas station just got his car stolen and one of those cars racing away was his!! Crazy!
We can't say we didn't have any excitement on the trip!

This is a shot of the front of Graceland. I like the way they do the tour. You walk through at your own pace and you have these headphones with this little player of some sort that narrates everything for you. You can pause it if you want to look around more before moving to the next room or you can skip ahead if something doesn't interest you. It's pretty neat. Graceland is not the mansion you think of celebrities living in today. But, it is still quite large. It looks smaller from the front, but seemed to keep going in the back.

This the first room you see when you enter the house. It's the living room. Check out those peacocks! If only I'd seen those before we finished building our house!!

This is the raquetball room that has been turned into a huge trophy case! These are just a few awards. There are hallways in the house lined with more!

The hotel had a sirius radio stand where you could listen to Elvis through headphones. Here's Tanner listening to the King!!

The Sirius radio station All Elvis (which we have to listen to all the time) broadcasts straight from Graceland. We got to go in the booth and talk with the dj. He told us all kinds of information. It was very interesting. He showed us how they set up the computer to play the songs. They have over 3,000 varieties of Elvis songs! This includes different versions of the same song as well as his songs done by other artists.

That concludes all the pictures I have so far. The rest of my pictures are not digital so I may have to post them later. We saw his private jets (the Lisa Marie and the Hound Dog), the Private Presley exhibit (from when he was in the army)and we toured Elvis' car museum. We also went to Sun Studio where he recorded while in Memphis. That was interesting. We also went to the Peabody Hotel to see the ducks. That was fun! We went over the Dolly Parton bridge to Arkansas, just so we could say we went to Arkansas! We stopped in Tupelo, Mississippi on the way home to see Elvis' birthplace and childhood home as well as the church he grew up. It really was a fun trip!
I thought I would end this post with a little Elvis trivia for those who might be interested:
*Elvis had a twin brother (Jesse Garron) who was stillborn
*Being a mama's boy, when his father remarried several years after his mother's death, Elvis would not let him continue to live at Graceland because he said that was his mama's house so he bought them a house next door (we rode by that house, too)
*The pink cadillac that everyone says he gave his mother never was his mother's. She never drove. He called it his mother's car because it was her favorite of all his cars
*Graceland today is what it looked like when Priscilla lived there, not what it was like when Elvis died
*Elvis (and his mother) were originally buried in a public cemetary, but due to security concerns, his father had them moved to Graceland. Today Elvis, his parents and his paternal grandmother are all buried at Graceland. There is a marker there for his twin brother, but he was buried in Tupelo
I'm sure there's much more I'm forgetting, but I'm getting really tired and can't think straight. I'll have to post more pix of our trip later when I can get them scanned. I hoped you have enjoyed your virtual tour of Graceland!

Happy Birthday Tanner!

Better late than never! Tanner's birthday was last Friday, the 28th. He's 8 now! That realization is a whole other post entirely!!
We celebrated with a small bowling party. Tanner had never been bowling and wanted to have his birthday at the bowling alley. I think it was one of the most fun parties we have ever had for them. I think kids and adults alike enjoyed themselves. Everyone bowled!
What party would be complete without a cake. An Elvis cake, of course! Here's Tan's cake I made. I knew I could not make Elvis look real in frosting, so I found a picture of a caricature of him instead. Tanner liked it and everybody got a kick out of it! It was fun!

OK, I must have had just a little too much time on my hands that day because I had no wrapping paper for Tan's gift and decided to make my own. I had some U-Haul packing paper but it was a little see-thru. So, I decided to draw designs on it to throw off seeing through it. Elvis pictures, no less! Everyone thought I bought it that way!! It was hard to watch all my hard work get ripped to shreds as he tore into his gift! Oh well, it was worth it! Here's my artwork. Green is Tanner's favorite color so I did them all in green paint marker. I found this picture online and started off drawing my own and while they looked good, it was just taking too long. So, I traced the rest. What do you think?