Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ellie the Flower Girl at Last

Ellie, age 9 has always wanted to be a flower girl. She has made this known to all. Finally, her uncle asked her to be a flower girl. She pronounced that this was her dream come true! Her little brother, Everson was the ring bearer. Don't they make a cute pair ! Picture was taken before leaving home for the wedding, so Ellie didn't have on her headpiece and Everson didn't have his boutonniere. I'm so glad that Ellie finally got her wish!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Together for Christmas

Here's Will and his little sister, Katie

Katie asked Santa for this!

Will, Erik, Ellie, Katie, Emma

Katie, Will and Everson

Ellie telling the story

For the first time in 5 years, my two children and their families were able to get together for Christmas here in Texas. Sam and Angie with their two children, Will and Katie arrived here last Tuesday. So, needless to say, I have been very busy with them as well as my Texas family. Seven grandchildren in all, under one roof, along with 4 adults. Things have been going very well, and the kids are really enjoying each other tremendously.

Christmas Eve we had a nice dinner, and my daughter-in-laws family as well as some close friends came over. We had a great time! We had a Mexican and Italian combination of foods! It was very interesting. We had a wonderful evening of visiting, eating, and exchanging some gifts. The best part of the evening was the skit the kids put on about the birth of Christ. Ellie did a terrific job as an angel telling the story, in her own Ellie way, while the other kids acted out their parts! I was able to capture a picture of her above. All the other 6 grandchildren had parts including little Elisha who was a shepherd. Of course, he had his own spin on it as well.

This was Sam and his family's first visit to Texas. They felt it was about time we all could be together for this holiday. It has been very hard for them to travel long distances because of Will's health. We are happily looking forward to Will being off all treatment for Leukemia on February 8th.

Unfortunately, their trip down here was not without a lot of stress. First there was the big snowstorm that hit the east coast, and they were in the thick of it. Also, during the trip down here, Will developed a fever. This can be very serious because with his counts being low, due to the Chemo, he is susceptible to getting an infection. As soon as his fever reaches 101 +, he must be taken to a hospital. Luckily they were passing through a major area in Mississippi with a Children's Hospital where there were Oncology doctors on hand. Upon examination, they discovered he had an ear infection and treated him with antibiotics and wrote him a prescription for more antibiotics and sent them on their way. By the time they arrived here, he seemed fine and has been having a great time playing with his cousin, Everson who is just a few months older.

The weather was great for the first 2 days they were here, in the 70's. Christmas Eve day brought some snow flurries and cold windy weather. Yesterday and today it's been in the 50's and sunny, so that's good enough for us New Yorkers!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Decorations Miniaturized

There is always something you forget to bring when packing to go on a trip. I had a small Adirondack tree (really cute) and some other decorations from home I meant to bring with us but unfortunately they were left behind. Not wanting to spend a lot of money, I was able to come up with a very small tree that fits on my kitchen counter and a one piece nativity set, as well as a couple other things. Since I do have some Adirondack lamps and other things already, our home is at least somewhat decorated. It is such a challenge when you are in such a small space. After taking this pic of our tree (don't laugh), I found a small tree topper and Deja gave me some more small ornaments to use, so it actually looks better than the picture.

Notice next to the sofa, the large water bottle. The water here in San Angelo doesn't taste all that good, and I don't even like to make coffee with it. It is safe to drink, it just doesn't taste good. There are places all over town where you can fill up water jugs. Only cost 1.25 to fill up the 5 gallon jug. So, it has become part of our living room decor, something I can live with!

I have various gifts hidden everywhere in this small space. The kids are in and out, and I don't want them to see anything. It will be nice seeing them open presents this year and being able to give them gifts instead of gift cards.

Have a very Merry Christmas everyone from our little house to yours!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Man's Shop!!

Pictured above are a couple of stores here in San Angelo. Their names speak for themselves. I don't have any interest in shopping there, but Al seems to think they are pretty cool. One is sorta like a hardware store and the other is more of a clothing store.

Not too much going on here. Trying to get a little Christmas Shopping done. The weather has been great these last couple of days. Sunny and in the 70's. Everyone here is doing fine also. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Sam, Angie, Will and Katie in about 1 week. It will be a fun time with 7 kids and 4 adults under one roof. Al and I will be there also, but we can retreat to our little home on wheels if it gets too noisy. Also, if the weather is good the kids will be playing outside a lot.

We plan to leave here sometime after Christmas, we are not sure what day yet. We aren't sure where we are going yet either, but a little further south, possibly San Antonio then the Corpus Christi area.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Brrrr, It's Cold Here in Texas!!!!!

It's been rather cool here in Texas! I'm told it's not the norm even this time of year, but it has been going on for too long, without much change in sight. We get breaks of sunshine and the temp actually went up to 70 or so yesterday. Got down in the 20's at night and has remained cold all day today in the 30's. I know we shouldn't complain, because our friends and family back home are having even colder weather and snow to deal with. Al was complaining today to Ellie, 9 and she looked at him and said, "Well, what do you want, it is winter after all!"

We are still enjoying ourselves here in spite of the weather. It's nice and toasty in our RV. Also, it's so nice not to have to get up and go to work everyday, especially in a snow storm! That, in and of itself, is something to be really thankful for.

It's nice visiting with Doug, Deja and the kids and we are looking forward to Sam and Angie and their kids coming out here for Christmas. This is the first time in 5 years we will be together for Christmas! We will miss seeing Al's kids and their kids, though! We usually get together with all of them for a couple of hours on Christmas Day and it's always so much fun seeing what Santa brings the kids & their excitement over the whole thing.

Well, it's time to get dinner on the table so I'll sign off for now!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Chuckwagon

As I mentioned in my last blog, My Daughter-in-law's parents, Trish and Tom have a chuckwagon, which they had set up at the "Christmas at Old Fort Concho" event. The chuckwagon was used in earlier times in the old west. Most of us have seen these in western movies and tv shows. The name of their camp was "Bertie Belle Camp" after Tom's mom. He has a picture of her hanging up on the front of the chuckwagon. I'm sure she is smiling down on them!

Tom designed and built his chuckwagon himself. I'm no expert, but to me it looks very authentic. He and his wife, Trish have been in cooking contests with other chuckwagon owners. There is a chuckwagon association they belong to and there are strict rules they must follow. The food is furnished to them and they are told what to cook. They can win cash prizes. But, it's not really about that. For them it's the friendships they've made and the "love of the sport".

At the event this past weekend, they were more on their own. They had homemade chicken soup, beans and rice (a southern favorite), and biscuits with homemade jams and jellies. Also popcorn and candies for the kids.

Next weekend they will be in the downtown area again for another event.

Tom also built and designed a jail on wheels and named it "Lonesome Dove." The kids all seemed to love this. It is now set up in my son's yard and is for sale in case anyone is interested!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas at Old Fort Concho

This has been a fasinating experience for us. Every year in San Angelo, they celebrate Christmas at Old Fort Concho. It is a wonderful display of how people lived back in the old days. There were Confederate and Yankee soldiers dressed in period clothing, American Indians and many people were selling their crafts as well. Teepee and tents were set up all around the place. There was even a 19th century soldiers baseball game where children ages 6-12 could learn to play the way they did back then. Our daughter-in-laws parents, Trish and Tom had a Chuckwagon (pictured above) from which they were cooking and giving away free hot cocoa, coffee, soup and biscuits. Ummm good! There is something about food cooked outdoors that is so wonderful.

We will be writing more about the Chuckwagon in our next blog.

We went to the Nutcracker performance last night and it was great! The kids were outstanding in their performances!

Last night before we went to bed, we noticed there was no water coming out of our tap. We looked at the outside thermometer and noticed it was 31 degrees. Just enough to freeze up the outside hose we had hooked up. Luckily, we had water in our fresh water tank and managed fine until the next morning when the temp went back up. Yesterday, it was about 20 degrees colder here than back home in NY. The cold spell will soon be over as it will be in the 60's tomorrow and the next 10 days look pretty good.

Friday, December 4, 2009

WHAT I WOKE UP TO.........SNOW!!!!!

After a week of hearing we may get snow, I woke up this morning and looked out the window and lo and behold, a white blanket of that white stuff covered the ground! It was nasty and raw out there, as the wind was blowing and snow was coming down. Not the kind of snow you want on Christmas, but a nasty raw type of snow that is not at all pleasant to be out in! Actually it's good in one respect because I will get to experience all the seasons this way. I have always said that's what I like about the Northeast........the change of seasons. At least here, winter is a very short season.
Last night I went to the Nutcracker dress rehersal! Since you can't take pictures at the actual performance, I thought maybe I would be able to get some pictures at the dress rehearsal as they allow you to take pics, but you can't use a flash. It was almost impossible to get any good pics as even though the stage was lighted, most of the pics are a bit blurry. Also, hard to tell who is who. When these beautiful young ladies came out on the stage, I didn't realize at first that this was Emma's group, but finally spotted her in the back row. The scene was called snow. It is pictured above. Very graceful, and she looked beautiful. I am unable to tell you from the pic which one is her. This is her first time on stage doing Pointe. Ellie was a mouse, and the stage was fairly dark, so I was unable to get a picture. It was very cute though. Erik played a party boy in the opening scene and was up there for quite a while. I was able to get a few pics of him on the stage. It appears he is quite a good little actor! Anyway, I guess I need a better camera, or a lesson or two in photography! I didn't stay for the whole thing as I'm going back tonight with Al for the opening night performance. It will be more enjoyable not having the camera with me.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Snow Predicted Today here in Texas

It's been raining cats and dogs since last night. So, we're just hanging out in our little house. Actually, Al is still sleeping. He wasn't feeling well during the night. Hopefully, it's nothing serious, and I'm hoping it's not contagious.

Snow is predicted for later this afternoon. I think it will be a non-event to a native of upstate NYer, though. It is going to be 40 degrees and will be snow mixed with rain. Who knows, it may not even happen. Ideal weather conditions here would be to have just enough snow to fall during the night on Christmas eve to just cover the ground and make everything white, then melt off the next day and be 70 degrees.

Not too much to write about until after this coming weekend. We will have a lot going on here. Deja's dad and his wife are coming to see the kids in their Nutcracker performances this coming weekend. We are planning on going to opening night on Friday night. While all this is going on they are having a big event here in San Angelo, "Christmas at Old Fort Concho 2009." Al and I are hoping to go there sometime over the weekend. Doug and Deja and the kids always miss this because they are so busy with the Nutcracker Performances. We might be able to take Everson with us when we go. It is an anual event and supposed to be really nice. Deja's mom Trisha and her husband Tom will have a chuckwagon set up at this event. I will definately have to get some pics of it. I guess that means, I have something interesting to blog about after the weekend. Hopefully, I can get some pics of the kids in their costumes. We can't take pics during their performances though.

Well, Al is up and I think he's feeling better. Bye for now!