Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas with the niece and nephews.

OK, so Slim is in love with this little man. Really, how could you not be? His smile lights up the room and he is just a lover.

We spent the weekend at my parents house after a bad start, which you will hear about in a later blog. We arrived at my parent's house around 4 on Saturday, just in time to share an early dinner with them. My mom had made a roast with veggies and potatoes. Delicious, of course. After dinner, my parents, Slim, and I played cards. My dad and I won Hand and Foot.

Here is a sweet pic of Slim and his newest nephew. Aren't they cute. They came over on Sunday before church and then again after church because Brandi was feeling sick and needed some time by herself to rest. We had a blast playing with the kids.

Davis sure can dance. If you tell him to, he will just start to move his body to the music or to the music in his head, and he has really good rhythm.

We spent Sunday afternoon at the Villages visiting Uncle Mike, Aunt Marti, and Melinda. We heard some live music at the church, had a delicious dinner, and then did some dancing in the town square. If you have never heard of the Villages, check this out!
I wish that there was a place like this for us younger folks.

On Christmas Eve morning, Greg, Brandi, and the kids came over for presents and brunch. It was crazy, but it was really fun to watch the kids open their gifts. Strangely enough the favorite toy was an old doll stroller that my mom had previously purchased. Davis loved being pushed around in it... Even little Gracie took a turn pushing.

It is so amazing that this little man has warmed up so much since the last time I saw him. He will give hugs and smile at everyone now... well not everyone. Church still was a bit overwhelming for him. I have come to be ok with the face that he likes Uncle Slim more than me. :)

There were the most pics of Davis from this trip, I mean we do have 2 years to make up for...

We stayed to watch the kids open their stockings on Christmas morning. They had their new robes on, and were so cute. Our camera battery had died at that point, so you will have to check out Brandi's blog to see those ones.

Isn't Brayden sweet?
I think that my favorite quote from all of Christmas was when Brayden opened up his Lightning McQueen helmet and pads and said... "wow, totally coo!" He was so excited about Christmas this year. He wanted to help everyone open their presents and was so glad to give gifts too. Greg and Brandi took the kids to the dollar store to pick out gifts for all the adults. I got a horse statue, some clear playing cards, and Noah's Arc characters. Slim got a sword and a motorcycle. Pretty much our favorite presents.

We made it back in time to spend the day with Slim's family. You will have to wait on pictures of that, because as I said before, the camera battery died. I know that there are some pictures from that day though, because Haley got a new camera.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Overwhelming Blessings!

Thanks to a lot of hard work and generosity of people in our community, the Be a Santa to a Senior program was more of a success than we had planned.

We were able to provide gifts to over 525 seniors, this year! It was such a blessing to be able to bring the presents into facilities knowing that the clients would now be able to have a gift and a visitor this year.

Last February, we received a card from one of the seniors who got a present last year, and it said that she was so thankful for the gift and the visit and that the time we spent there was the only Christmas she had last year. This lady since has passed away and we are glad that we got to be part of helping her to have an enjoyable December, last year!

I want to say thank you to everyone who helped me, and kept me sane during that time.

Here are some:
Corol- for heading it up in Ft. Myers, and for doing such a great job!
Sharon- for all the help with wrapping and delivery
Aaron- for seeing our clients and delivering to them
Alaina- for having your class at school participate and for being so generous

There are so many more people who made this possible! Thank you for everything. How about 2,000 next year? :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Welcome sweet one...

Nathan Robert Arnold came into the snowy land of Buffalo, NY on 12.16.07

I am so glad that he is here, and so proud of his sweet mom. (Heath, 'you done good') I can't wait until March when their smiling family is all down in Florida for a mini-vacation.

Heather, Jacob, and I were the best of friends in college. We haven't seen each other since 2002. THAT IS A LONG TIME! So much has happened since then. I am not going to bore you with a list, but know that my heart aches to spend some time with them, even if it is not sitting at a truck stop eating black bean soup and cornbread.

I love you guys! I hope that the four of you have a fantastic Christmas. Wishing you snuggly pjs, hot cocoa, and lots of love!

Friday, December 14, 2007


sorry... I had to do it!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Being a santa to seniors...

Just call me Mrs. Claus...
This is me unwrapping, re-wrapping, and wrapping some more. Hundreds of presents for hundreds of needy/lonely seniors in the area!

The process isn't always the neatest part, as you can see in the photo above, I am sitting on a bow or something. The entire office was turned upside down, but day three of presents is starting to bear a lot of 'fruit'. Piles of presents in everyroom of the office.

Presents for another facility...

More and more...
Extras in the boxes for more presents

Our Christmas tree, with even more presents! There are going to be so many seniors who are blessed with presents this Christmas!

Thank you to everyone who has donated!

God bless us, everyone!

Monday, December 10, 2007

The lights on my tree, I wish you could see, I wish it everyday...

Around the holidays, it makes me wish that I could be close to all my friends and family who are scattered around the US. I wish that I could make Christmas cookies with the Hams, go shopping with my mom, and play in the snow with Heather, Jake, and Sydney. I wish that I could sit and drink hot cocoa with Jenny and Danielle, like we used to. I long to sit by the fireplace with my whole family because no other room in the house was warm enough. Don't get me wrong, Christmas here is Florida is something that is totally fun. I mean where else can you have weather in the 80s in mid-December? I do love it here, but I wish all the people who I care about could be with me.

Anyhow... the Carpenters are on the Christmas music station like 30 times per day... so here it is (the lights on my tree- feel free to sing along to add to the effect)
It was dark in the room, but since I am not a professional photographer, I couldn't get the flash to work correctly to show the gorgeous bulbs... so it looks like it is the middle of the day.

Yes, we have the tree in the kitchen, it was too big to go anywhere else. Surprisingly, the Dude hasn't barked at it, or tried to eat any ornaments! I am pretty grateful for that, as I would have had to beat him. (just kidding, but seriously)

My time in Orlando

... was awesome. It was great to be with my family. We really just relaxed, ate, and shopped. (The things that we do best.) While I was gone, I decided that I am going to never go without Slim again. I hate being away from him, and things are just more fun when he is around. Make sure that you check out his blog to read about what he did while I was away!

Davis is pretty much A-DORABLE! He hasn't spoken yet, but we are anxiously waiting to find out what is going on in that cute little head of his.

Greg has been shaving his head, but I cannot wait for them to let it grow into a 'fro'.
I know that you are only looking at this post for the picture... so I will stop blabbing on and on!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I am so proud of my husband!

So, I have been accused lately of having short posts, so this one should prove to be a bit longer.

This one's dedicated to the one I love:

Caring, Thoughtful
Hardworking, Smart, Creative
Dependable, Pensive, Generous, Heartwarming
Quirky, Talented, Loving, Handsome, Helpful, Wonderful

I have the best husband in the world. He takes such good care of me, and really is working so hard.

He busts his butt at the gym and is so diligent with his diet, that in the last week, he has lost 15 pounds! Keep up the great work, Sweet babe! I love you.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

MAC rocks our world.

BY THE WAY, great serious face, Car!

This was taken over Thanksgiving break, we went to the Millenia Mall and got some new eye make-up. The cute litte MAC girl showed us what we could do with it. Enjoy!

The best picture ever...

How funny is this?

I promise that it is only grape juice, but it sure does make for a great shot.

I love this man... I will see him and kiss him a lot this weekend.

Until then, CHEERS, Bray!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Peppermint Bark

Made it today- it was perfect.

Here is how...

Melt 1/2 lb of Semi-sweet chocolate
Spread onto a waxed paper lined cookie sheet.
Stick it in the freezer.

While that is freezing, melt 16 oz of white chocolate
Stir in 4 crunched up candy canes
Spread that over the hardened dark chocolate

Freeze for 5-10 minutes

Break, and serve (or give Slim one small piece and stick the rest in the fridge because I am bringing it to the CAREGiver Christmas party)