Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year

It's official, the New Year has arrived! I just wanted to send a quick note to everyone wishing you a very safe and happy New Year. 2008 was a tough year for the economy and while I don't see it getting too much better in 2009, I hope that everyone remains safe and sound and focuses on the happiness in their life. A New Years resolution that I have set for myself is a little less work and a little more focus on myself and my family. I also want to touch base with my friends a little more and not let as much time go by before taking a minute to say hello. Wishing you the best!!!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas is here!!

I can't believe how fast the past month has gone. Things at work have been so busy that it is really making the time go too fast. We had some friends over last night who were talking about their Christmas wish list. They asked me what I asked for and I couldn't really give them an answer. There isn't any one thing this year that I have been wanting, but the best present that I am going to have is to wake up in my own house on Christmas Morning. Since we have moved to Boise, and even before, the holidays have always been very busy. When we lived in Pocatello, we had many different people that we needed to go see, so even though we were home we didn't spend much time there. Ever since moving to Boise, the holiday's have been spent packing the car with presents, clothes and the dogs; fighting the bad weather and hoping for just two days of repreve so that we can drive there and back without incident. I have not put up a Christmas Tree for 4 years, nor have I ever had Christmas lights on my house. When you aren't home for the holidays, it hardly seems worth the mess and stress to just take it down the day you come back home and before you go back to work.

I am excited to say that this year, I have put up my Christmas Decorations both inside and out. My plans for Christmas morning are to wake up late, make some hot chocolate and listen to some Christmas music. James and I will exchange a few small gifts and then will await the arrival of my parents, my sisters and their kids to come over and open their gifts. After the gift opening, we will do our annual Christmas Breakfast Feast (sorry dad, you are still going to have to help cook) and enjoy the time with each other.
I have also decided to test my craft ability this year and made a few gifts. I decided that it was such a momentus occasion that I would post a few pictures of our "Griswold Christmas". While I know that this really isn't to the extent that Clark Griswold went, it feels like a lot with years of nothing! We thought we had all of the lights up that we were going to use when I received a call from my brother Jason. His wife has decided to change their decorating theme, so he sent me about 10 set of Icycle Lights. Since we live on a corner lot, we now have lights down the side of our house on our fence. I love coming home every night and turning the corner to see my house. No matter how bad of a day I may have had at work, all of the stress goes away when I see my house lit up. It is hard to describe the feeling, but I'm sure many of you have been experiencing it longer than I have as this is the first year for outside lights for us.
First, pictures of the outside of my house. James likes to joke that as you come into my subdivision and turn the corner, that our house is the new North Star. He mentioned to our friends last night that if they got lost looking for our house on their way over, to just look to the sky and follow the beam that would be radiating from our lights.
You can't really tell from the decorations, but the two figures on the lawn are dogs. We saw them at Home Depot, and decided they would look even better in our yard. The first store that we went to only had one and it was their display model. When we asked if we could buy that one, they said yes and that they'd give us $10 off the price because it was the display model. Who was I to turn down a lawn decoration, already put together at a discount??? Then we went to a different Home Depot, and the only one they had was the display model so they gave us the same deal.
Now to the inside of my Christmas Tree. I have used the same decorations (although they haven't seen the light of day for 4 years) since James and I got married (8 1/2 years ago). The bulbs are also my attempt at being crafty. I took clear bulbs and poured a little bit of paint inside them to create a marbeled look. Simple process, but I like to think they don't look simple. We also don't have a fireplace in our house to hang our stockings on, so I have improvised with that as well.
A few years ago, I received a gift in a gift exchange that I thought was very creative. It was a glas block with a whole drilled in the back of it. It had a string of lights fed into it and a hand painted snowman on the front of it. Now let me be clear about something.....I am not an artist. If it's a sticker, I can handle it but cannot hand paint anything unless it involves a paint by number kit! But, I have managed to put together my own version of the Christmas Gift that I had received. I was in a craft store the other day and saw the glass bricks that had been used for my gift exchange. I decided I wanted to put some together that spelled out NOEL. I can't tell you how hard it was to find 1" letter vinyl stickers that I could use for this project. I found some in a font that I ddin't really like so decided that it was up to me to create my own. I got out my scrapbook stencils (which I forgot I had and needed to dust them off a little bit) and started to work. After about an hour and a half of getting it just right, finished my project. Here is the final result.
I'll post again after Christmas, but hope that you are all able to peacefully enjoy the holidays. In economic times like we are living in, please remember that Christmas is not about the gifts, but instead about enjoying the time with your family. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Catching Up

Well, it's been a long time since I've made the time to sit down and catch up. Is it really November already? I can't believe how fast the past couple of months has gone. It seems like it was just the other day that we got back from Australia. October brought James's 35th Birthday, a trip to Ketchum and Halloween. For James's birthday, I had about 20 people come over and surprise James after a day of golfing. We had a barbecue and had a great night. The weather turned out perfect. We then went to spend the weekend in Ketchum with James's family and enjoyed another perfect weather weekend. It is always so beautiful up there that going for a walk in the morning is probably one of my favorite things to do. We took the dogs with us and walked along a small creek. We kept the dogs on a leash until we got a way from the creek a little bit, but as soon as we took them off they headed right back to the creek and went for a swim. We can't seem to keep them out of the water. We thought that Halloween was going to be a cold night, but it wasn't too bad. We brought our fire pit into the driveway and handed out candy while sipping on hot chocolate. The kids were able to warm their hands by the fire and we didn't have to keep getting up and down to hand out candy. It was a great night watching the kids and visiting with our neighbors. Next weekend we will be going to Pocatello to watch my nieces basketball games. They play every Saturday, but this is the first Saturday that they don't play at the same time so we will actually be able to watch all three play. We haven't been to Pocatello since May, so I guess we are due for a visit. We plan on going home for Thanksgiving, but I am really looking forward to waking up in my own bed on Christmas morning. Every year we have gone back to Pocatello, but this year decided to stay home. We will miss visiting with everyone, but won't miss the packing of the car, the dogs, and the gifts. I also won't miss traveling that stretch of road from Burley to to Twin Falls. It gets really ugly sometimes and I am thankful that we won't have that stress. Thanksgiving will be a little busy as usual. We will start the day by heading to Twin Falls to have Thanksgiving at my aunts house. She is an excellent cook and I am really looking forward to her turkey and home made rolls. From there we will head to Pocatello and spend the rest of the day with James's family. I have made arrangements to work from Pocatello the day after Thanksgiving so James will be able to spend the day with his family and I won't have to use a vacation day for the trip. James continues to do his Substitute Teaching and is enjoying himself. Although he would much rather have his own classroom that he went to everyday, he is thankful that he is able to work in a field that he enjoys. We are hoping that January brings some job opportunities for him, but will wait and see. We are doing well and are hopeful that the layoffs that are happening in Boise won't hinder his search too much. Either way, we are thankful for those teachers that are currently taking days off so that James can keep working. He has had a job just about every day for the last couple of weeks and has been making some great contacts. We are keeping our fingers crossed.