I thought I was finished posting for tonight, but what to my wandering eyes should appear, not one, not two, but 13 blue lights very near.
We were looking out our window, looking for the fireworks we heard, and that's when we saw them - not one, not two, but 13 blue lights holding up traffic. We stepped out onto the balcony to try to figure out what was going on. I guess if nothing else, it was a nice way to get to know our neighbors, because our neighbors to the right and to the left of us, and directly above us were on their balcony, too, asking us if we knew what was happening. When curiousity had the best of us, Carl went in to call the front desk. It turned out that they were setting up a sobriety check point. We heard that there was supposed to be 100,000 people in our neighboring town to ring in the new year (I guess that's the party we're missing. :o) ) Well, I just hope things remain calm and peaceful tonight since the checkpoint is right in our backyard.
Dollywood was closed today, so we did a little driving around and shopping. We found the Beef Jerky Outlet - just in case you may ever need it. :o)
I guess the "highlight" of our day was riding in a brand new, yellow, four door, four wheel drive Dodge Ram. I have been wanting a yellow vehicle for many years now, and I made the mistake of mentioning to my husband that if we ever found a YELLOW 4 door truck, I would trade the van in. Now, to him the color makes no difference, but I told him that if I got rid of the van (which I LOVE driving - maybe a proud emblem of motherhood?), the truck would HAVE TO BE yellow. And what do you know, we found one today while riding around. We were all able to take a spin together while Carl drove (with the salesman beside him). While we were driving down the rode, the kids continuously hollered,"This truck is awesome!!" This was quite embarrassing. (Sitting between them in the back didn't help much.) :o) We didn't buy it or trade our van in, because they seemed to cherish the truck a little more than we did.
We are now back in our motel room, watching the Hallmark channel as they have their Christmas movie marathon. We have Cranberry Sierra Mist Free, pork rinds, beef jerky (not from the outlet), and kettle corn, so I guess we'll have a private celebration, since we found no one's party to crash. :o(
I'm sure you gathered from yesterday's post that Dollywood was very crowded. We found out today that it was the biggest crowd they've ever had. As soon as we walked in the front entrance we could barely take a step without bumping elbows with someone. Today was a little better. We rode the Demolition Derby and saw Smoky Mountain Christmas, which was awesome!!!
I must tell you about a tag that I saw today. On the back of the truck in front of us at a red light was a license plate that read "DIVORCD." I just had posted about our anniversary, and here's a guy who seemed to be pretty proud of his "accomplishment". I don't understand. It's a sad state we live in.
Some of you who read this may wonder about the photo of the red van. We saw that church van parked at Wal Mart. Who would have known that there was another one?
We are back in the mountains and spent most of the day at Dollywood. It was a nice, beautiful day, but boy when the temp drops, it gets cold in dem dar hills. I didn't take many photos today, but my daughter took several, including me in the red car. We waited in line to ride those cars about 45 min, and then we went to ride the Polar Express 4D experience. Betcha can't guess how long we waited for that ride. It was a whopping 2 1/2 hours. We've never had to wait in a line for anything that long!!! Are we spoiled or what??? Those were the only 2 things we were able to do today. We had lunch at Cracker Barrell, and left Dollywood after the Polar Express to dine at Red Lobster for supper. Thank goodness for gift cards!!!! :o)
Dollywood is not open for New Year's Eve, and I left my sparkling grape juice at home, so I have no clue what we'll be doing. I guess we could drive around until we found a celebration so big that nobody would notice us crashing their party. :o) What about the rest of you? What are your plans? I would love to hear about them.
16 years ago today, I hobbled down the aisle to marry my best friend. (I had just had the Bledsoe brace removed that went from my hip to my ankle, because I had broken my knee cap.) In one way it seems like it should be less years, and in another way, it seems as though I've been married to him forever. We have grown together over the years, with our ups and downs, good times and bad. We are stronger than what we used to be when we first started out. Isn't that what marriage is about? I consider him to be my companion and my best friend. God brought us together, and God keeps us together.
Thank you, Carl, for 16 wonderful years and many more to come!!!!! I love you!!!
Christmas Day started out being rather calm and peaceful, and then C. woke up. :o) Boy, was he filled with excitement. He ran into our bedroom, proclaiming that Santa had come. We told him he should go tell S. He did, and we all gathered in the living room to check everything out and open our gifts to each other. I recieved something I have been wanting - an Ott-Lite. C. gave S. a HSM2 Gabriella Doll and S. gave C. a police car and a Mini JD play set. S. and C. then read the Christmas story and did a fantastic job!
We then took off to go have lunch at Aunt P.'s house, where more gifts were opened and our tummies were stuffed. After we had stuffed ourselves with ham, turkey, sweet potato casserole, green beans, corn, deviled eggs, dressing, and many dersserts, we went to my mom's for our time together. Oh, that was a mad house!!! From there we came home to drop some things off, reload, and head over to Daddy C.'s parents' house. Thankfully, there wasn't an overload of gifts there, but the biscuits and snacks were delicious!!!
We then came home, let the kids play with just a few little things, and they went to bed.
K., I posted one of the photos specifically for you. Betcha can't guess which one it is. Ha!Ha! My children now have me in training. :o)
I hope all of you reading this had a wonderful Christmas!!!
We've had a full day today. We started out hitting a local town, looking for a good deal on a laptop, but everything was out of our price range. Hopefully, we will happen upon a good deal sometime in the near future.
We had breakfast at Aunt P.'s amd Uncle J.s at 9:00 AM. Then we visited Mongum this afternoon. She was very alert while we were there. (I think she was excited because she knew S. and C. were coming to see her.)
From there we wemt over to Nanny's for the annual family Christmas gathering. It was a good time of fellowship, eating, watching the young boys wrestle, and opening gifts. The funny part of watching the young boys wrestle is that S. and M. wanted to get popcorn and have ring-side seats. They had it all planned out until they realized that while the boys were wrestling they paid no attention to who or what was around. :o) The pictures from Nanny's are a little on the blurry side because my camera was on a different setting, and I didn't realize it until we were back home.
After arriving back home and showering, we decided to let the kids open one of the gifts that we gave them. S. had two "eye spy" type of books and Dora Snow Princess gummies. C. had some Shapeable Foaming Soap and some blueberry anti bacterial hand soap.
Mini pretzels Rolos Nuts of your choosing Line a cookie sheet with wax paper or foil, and lay the pretzels out on it. Next, place a Rolo on the center of each pretzel and pop it in a 400 degree oven for about 4 minutes or until Rolos are soft. (Temp. and time may need to be adjusted.) Last, press a nut in the middle and allow to cool.
They are yummy. This recipe came from another blog, and it has been a hit!!
I am a simple minded kind of gal, and when I can decorate with simplicity in mind, it's wonderful. The first photo is the centerpiece on my table, made by my children. All I did was sprinkle the sugar snow on the cake plate and place the lid on it. The second photo is a very very simple item that my children made to take to our church's Christmas social last night. These were a big hit. I heard many comments about not only how wonerful they were, but also how simple they are to make. One lady told me, this was the best dish there. That was nice to hear.
We had a big day yesterday. From the title of this post, it sounds hectic, but it wasn't. We went to church yesterday and had a person to sing that had not sung before, and she did a very nice job. Her son was baptized at the end of the service.
After lunch at Mom's we headed to a small town's Christmas parade because it was the only one we have been able to attend, and it's only about 5 minutes from the house. I was surprised and laughed out loud to see my cousin and his in-laws on a float. (I think they just wanted to be seen.) Hee! Hee! This parade was even better than our hometown's parade because a person didn't have to get there super early to find a good spot, and there wasn't a large crowd, so you had plenty of elbow room which is good for kids when they dive for the candy.
The choir had their cantata last night, and did a good job, if I do say so myself. The canata was called "Joy to the World." Afterwards, we had our Christmas social in the fellowship hall. And to top our evening off, we rode around looking at Christmas lights on the way home.
We all met for brunch at Cracker Barrel and then headed to Mema and Papa's house, where the partying and munching began! S. and C. read the Christmas story from their Bible, and they did a wonderful job. We sang, opened gifts, munched, and gabbed all afternoon. We had a good time. L.'s near future fiance will let my children just do about anything to him. Check out the last photo. :o)
We were able to visit Leap of Faith's home this past Monday. What a great day we had. It was relaxing and fun. We were able to do some catching up since we hadn't seen each other in a month or so. All the kiddos looked liked they had grown inches since we last saw them. S. and K. just picked up where they left off, and C. played with M. and N. C. was very impressed by N.'s vast dinosaur collection.
We traveled to the church for a tour and met some very nice folks there, then we headed back to LOF's home. E. just had to ride with us because my kids would have it no other way. (They both love E. so much.) And I didn't mind since the person that I was supposed to follow to the church flew like a bullet. (Just had to tease a bit.)
Our hubby's grabbed some pizza for lunch, and we all chowed down. Then, how should I say this?, we "went for a drive," but it wasn't on the road. :o) I never knew how bad my driving was until playing this game, and I have come to one conclusion: I stink at Mario Kart!!
We couldn't leave until we tried some Mexican food. It was good, and again, we did more catching up and eating. It was a fun time, and we can't wait to visit again!
Mom: So, what did you think? 7 year old: It was real good. Mom: It's really amazing that we talked about all of this yesterday, about how some children don't have parents because they died from sickness since they didn't have the medicine and the doctors that they needed to help them. Then the children are left alone - without parents to provide the things that they need. 7 year old: Maybe God's trying to do something in you and me. Mom: Yes, I think so.
So went the conversation between a mom and her 7 year old daughter tonight after seeing the International Children's Choir. Such wisdom is found in what that 7 year old girl said. We are so blessed that we forget how blessed we are. We need reminders every now and again. We need God to stir our hearts.
This International Children's Choir is made up of orphans from all around the world. To see the smiles on these children's faces amd the way they praised their Creator, you would never guess the circumstances from which they came. What an awesome blessing they were. And yes, orphans have a special place in my heart as my heart has been touched, changed, if you will, by an orphan. This same child asked me tonight, "Do you think that might have happened to my Mom and Dad; that they got sick and died?" My reply was, "I don't know. We don't have any way of knowing for sure, but it could have happened that way."
These conversations really stirred my heart tonight because they were conversations between my 7 year old daughter and me. What is God doing? I don't know, but I do know that He also holds a special place in His heart for orphans.