Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We had a fun Christmas eve yesterday, we went to walma.rt to walk around and watch the crazy frenzy of last minute shopping. We were going to go to the mall but didn't want to drive that we went to the Olive Garden and enjoyed some good Christmas Eve food.
We are happy that we have some yummy leftovers so we are having Italian for Christmas today! YUM!
We opened our gifts to each other...
Doug got a gift certificate to go to the movies...:)
And he gave me boots!
Christmas boots...
Merry Christmas to everyone!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gifts that last...

Lately I have been thinking about some fun gifts that family and friends have given us that we continue to enjoy. These are just a few that come to mind...(there are LOTS more that I could list)

*a gift card from Star.bucks, Letha gave me a bag of clothes last week and when I got home and sorted them out I found a card with a gift card to s.tarbucks...trying to stretch this baby out but have been loving some peppermint mocha 'on her'.

*a couch from strangers, someone called someone who called someone, who had our number...and we got a call asking if we wanted a couch...sure is nice having furniture!

*great big cloth (grocery) bags from India, Kara sent me a couple of these over the last few years and I love them. I use them for so many things and so far they have not started to rip or anything! Plus, they are pretty.

*our t.v., on one of our trips up to Vancouver, BC to visit Mom and Dad we headed home with a van completely full of stuff. One of the items Dad so craftfully packed into the van was his t.v. We still use it and are loving it still!

*my kitchen aid, some years back my parents gave me a kitchen aid mixer for Christmas...and oh how it has been loved! It still has it's place on my kitchen counter and I use it each time I bake.

*picture albums, Letha has bought us a few picture albums over the last few years, they are so fun to make and then look at once they are delivered. We keep them in our living room and enjoy showing new friends our pictures from the last few years.

*Coffee!, I have a little bit of Kenyan coffee left that Dad brought back from Kenya this has it been a treat. I also have just a little bit of my Portuguese Espresso that Mom brought back...I am making that stuff last!

*Cranberry scented candle, Marlo gave it to me on our last visit and we keep it burning a few hours each day...we love it!

***A small framed crossword that my Mom gave me back when I was in high school. It says, "I have called you by name, you are mine!" Isaiah 43:1 I have always kept it in a place that I will see it often and somehow in all of our packing, I either left it behind in storage or have not found where I had packed it yet. Either way, I don't have it here and I have missed it.
This is one of those gifts that always reminded me of a greater gift, one that we all have access to yet some still refuse to accept. The gift of salvation is above all, the greatest gift I have ever been given and the small gifts that friends and family give always remind me in a tiny way of the sacrifice it took in order for me to be given the gift of salvation. Christmas is a time that everyone is giving gifts and getting gifts, I am especially grateful for the ultimate gift that the first Christmas brought us- Jesus!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas town addition 2011...

On the way back from Virginia, we decided to take our time and stop at a couple of malls to walk around and look for our Christmas building for this year. (Go here to see our Christmas tradition) This year we were looking for a mechanic's shop since we have spent many days (and dollars) this past year on our vehicles! We were excited to find this lovely 'garage' and 'detail shop'. We thought it was neat that it is also a certified Craftsman tool dealer...we love craftsman tools in our house.
A nice addition to our village...
Another exciting thing is that when we got home, we had a package from Mom and Dad! Yeah for an early Christmas day package!
Here is Doug trying out the flying monkey sling shot...
Very entertaining!
There were lots of fun goodies in the box that we are enjoying...(although the candy is going fast!)
Oh, while we were shopping we also found this Charlie Brown Christmas tree that we had been looking for...
And, in our package was our 2011 ornament for our tree...

Friday, December 16, 2011


This week we enjoying getting to go on another trip to Virginia to see Letha before she left. We had a good time visiting her and seeing friends! We were so glad to be able to attend a service to celebrate with her the completion of a long process to get to where she is going! It was also a good remind for us because it gave us a renewed focus to continue and complete our schooling so that one day we might be going too!

Letha and I before the service:
Doug's photo-bomb!
And of in front of 'the world'
After the service they had a big reception with tons of good food!
We enjoying eating and visiting...
Later that evening we got to see Letha's friends some more at a pizza party...
The end of a good day!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Food and friends...

These last few weeks have been a bit of a crazy blur for us as we have been finishing some semester-long projects and studying for exams. It hasn't just been serious though, we have made some time for fun. One evening, Doug and I decided to walk around in Wake Forest and got some yummy treats along the way.
Here is Doug with his favorite Lemon Squares from the Lemon Tree downtown:
I am a sucker for candy stores (pun intended). So, I dragged Doug into Sweeties, our candy store in Wake Forest. They had made peppermint flavored cotton candy...yum!
Then back at home, we enjoyed a calm evening by the 'fire'.
We had a fun surprise from family, a package full of goodies (steaks, burgers, etc) we have enjoyed eating some amazing meals on them!
Another friend had given us a brownie mix, so when I needed to do some stress relieving baking...I enjoyed making this pan of brownies (people sure know how to give us good gifts!)
All the food we got along with the brownies gave us the opportunity to invite some friends over for dinner. Doug was in charge of the burgers...
We had so much fun eating and talking with friends...
We especially enjoyed having our apartment full of squeals and joy from these two little ones...

Nothing like some free meat and chocolate to bring people together! Thanks to those who provided good food for all of us! It was all enjoyed very much!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas time!

We have had fun this year decorating for Christmas. Last year we weren't at home for Christmas so we didn't get a tree but we enjoyed going and picking one out with Letha. The year before that we did get a tree and had fun decorating. This year we picked out our tree among the other pre-lit plastic is Doug getting it out of the Jeep.
Putting up decorations...p.s. having a pre-lit tree is amazing, makes the whole tree decorating process so easy!
Doug likes garland...
Looking for 'holes'... I was a little sad not to have all of my ornaments from through the years to put on the tree. When we moved out here, somehow my shoebox full of our ornaments was left behind. This year we just have two new ornaments, one from Portugal that Hannah found last year and one that Letha got Doug (Cowboy's).
Doug trying to straighten out the star...
Our Christmas town. One of our Christmas traditions is to get a new Christmas house for our 'town' that reflects some memory from that year. Our first year together we got a chapel and clock tower that represented our wedding. Our second year together we moved to our house on a tree farm so we got a tree farm scene. Our third year for some reason was not documented anywhere that I can find (although I distinctly remember blogging about it). Our third year, we had enjoyed experiencing having chickens and hatching a baby chick so we found a farmhouse to add to our little town. We have not found this year's addition yet but we have a couple of ideas of what we are looking for...when we find 'the one', I will post again with pictures of it.

Here is our Christmas town displayed under our tree (sorry the tree farm is kind of dark).
Our tree...(not sure why but it proved to be very difficult to get a good picture of it!)
What are some of your Christmas traditions?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Weekend fun...

This past weekend, we took off on a mini road trip to visit Letha and friends(of whom I never got any pictures of)!
Entering Virginia!!
We felt it was necessary for Doug to get his first picture with the world while we were giving him a tour of ILC.
Letha had some fun surprises for us while we were there, the first thing we did was go for a yummy desert...
Before the sugar high...
Excited about the sugar high...
Evidence of the sugar high....(we went next door to FiveBelow and had fun choosing our Christmas stocking stuffer stuff fun from Letha)

At the mall, we were checking out all the cool stuff at Build.a.bear and Doug was entranced with the stuffing machine...
On Monday while Letha was in class, we went to Richmond to tour the Capitol and some other fun old building. Here is a statue of George Washington, apparently the only statue that he ever posed for.
Outside the capitol...see Doug?

Across the street is this other cool looking building, so we went on in and checked it out too...

Our favorite gas station...mainly because the name is fun to say, there isn't much inside.
We had such a fun time visiting and getting a break from school. Now we are enjoying a weekend of relaxing before school starts back on Monday. We are ready for this semester to be finished and just have a few weeks left to get all of our last assignments done and tests completed!