Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 Was a Great Year for Us

2010 has now come and gone. Reflecting over the last year, it was a great year for us! We started the year in our new house. We have slowly made modifications to the house to suit our taste. Little changes, but they made a huge difference for us! We changed out the chandeliers in the dinning room and the kitchen, we added lights over and under our kitchen cabinets, and Richard built me new pantry shelves in the laundry room! We have enjoyed our first year in our new neighborhood and have made lots of new friends. The boys learned to swim this summer in the neighborhood pools! I joined not 1 but 2 bunko groups and enjoy getting to know the ladies each month. We also have enjoyed entertaining more in our new house. I've started cooking more, and it is so fun to have friends over for dinner!

John started Kindergarten in 2010. He loves going to Lakeshore and loves his teacher Ms Hostick! I can only hope that Robby has her next year. She is patient, full of energy and very creative! I'm amazed how much John has learned already and he is starting to learn to read. We read each night before bed, and John is reading more and more of the stories. We are thankful for the new books the boys received for Christmas; they give us a new supply of stories to learn!

Medical wise, it was a fairly quiet year for us. I've continued my IV treatments every 5 weeks, but they go on without excitement. We don't know how long I will continue the treatments. I'm thankful for a doctor that works it all out with my insurance company. Richard did get a defibrillator inserted for his heart back in February. He has an enlarged heart that medication wasn't impacting, so the doctors wanted this done just in case his heart stopped. Richard was also tested for sleep apnea (I could have told the doctors that he had it!) and was tested positive. We are now waiting word from the doctor regarding his new c-pap machine to sleep under. We think being treated for the sleep apnea could have a positive effect on his heart, but only time will tell.

The boys started playing sports this year. In the fall, they both played soccer. We enjoyed watching them in the games which are very comical at this age! John also started basketball for the winter sports season. He is very good at basketball! The team is still learning the basics of the game, like teamwork, but they have come a long way in just a few weeks. So far, they are undefeated! Robby participates in a basketball clinic each week. They divide the 3 and 4 year olds into groups and then rotate to different stations. One station, they work on defense, another dribbling, and another shooting baskets, and so forth. It's been a great way to let Robby participate, but learn about the game. We didn't think that he was ready for a team game, so this was perfect for him.

I started a Biggest Loser competition with my sister and brother. Congratulations to Sean for winning our 1st season! While I came in last place, I did loose about 20 pounds. I've also changed a lot of habits, like cooking better for my family. I started walking each morning. While my exercise has curbed off due to the weather, my sister is smart and got me a new walking video to use inside! I promise to pick it back up! After all, season 2 is just around the corner!

On a more personal note, 2010 brought my biological father back into my life after 30 years. We spoke only a few times before he died, but I'm glad to have the few times. We knew that he was sick, but I don't think anyone knew just how sick he was. Sean, Tracy and I flew up to Philadelphia for his funeral. We finally got to meet our Uncle, Aunt, and cousins for the first time! I was very happy to spend time getting to know our family better! We also got to do a little site seeing in Philadelphia before we headed home. It was fun to see where our country's government began and even the Liberty Bell! I can't wait to take my boys back there some day! And of course, everyone is welcomed to come to Texas for a visit!

I know that 2011 holds further excitement for our family! I thank God for his blessing over our little family! I also pray for His blessings over your family! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cranberry Relish

Today, as I prepare for Thanksgiving, I've decided to make my cranberry relish and can it for the first time. Generally, when eating cranberry sauce for your Thanksgiving meal, a little dab goes a long way! So, when making my relish from 1 bag of cranberries, I always wind up freezing half of it for Christmas. This works well, but with all of our canning fruits this past summer, it donned it me that the cranberry relish could be canned too! It turns out beautiful and I think it would make a perfect gift!

Cranberry Relish with Pineapple and Pecans

3/4 Cup Pineapple Juice
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
Dash of ground Cloves
1 - 12oz package of Cranberries
1 - 20oz can of Crushed Pineapple
1/2 cup toasted chopped Pecans

Toast pecan pieces on a shallow baking sheet at 300 degrees stirring occasionally, until you can smell the pecans from the oven. Set pecans aside to cool. Strain crushed pineapple. Add the juice to a medium sauce pan, and set the pineapple aside.

Add sugar and spices to sauce pan, stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add cranberries and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir for 3 to 4 minutes until cranberries pop. Remove from heat and add crushed pineapple and pecans. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

You will love how good this smells! Enjoy for the holidays!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Soccer Otherwise Known as Swarmball

The boys have really enjoyed playing soccer this fall for the first time ever! Really, it's just Swarmball as 5 members from each team go after the ball all over the field. They just travel in a pack and kick the ball together. The goal is just to break out of the swarm and score! It is very exciting when it actually happens since everyone works so hard! :)

Robby's team is made up of 3 and 4 year olds, so some games are filled with a lot of tears and temper tantrums. Robby enjoys playing though and he really likes to be the goalie. Mommy would prefer that he is out there running as much as possible since he seems to have a lot of energy that needs to be used up.

John's team is just 5 year olds. John is really good at running and kicking the ball hard to clear the swarm. John scored a goal on his first game, but hasn't scored any others since. However, today, he had 2 assists in goals, so he was just as happy! We have really been encouraging teamwork with John since he really likes to do too much on his own.

I've enjoyed being a soccer mom! We have 2 more weeks and then it will be basketball season. I think we will just sign up John for basketball and let Robby wait until next year. We'll see how that goes; Robby may have a different opinion since he thinks he can do everything that John can!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wow! It's been almost a year!

I can't believe that it has been almost a year since I wrote anything. I guess I've been a little overwhelmed that I don't really really want to concentrate on anything in particular to write.

My brother and sister and I have started a Biggest Losers competition between the 3 of us. I'm not winning right now, but I have at least made progress. I've made progress in cooking and in exercising. I've got the boys eating vegetables instead of just fruit! I've been walking almost every morning...early in the morning! Getting up at 5 AM wouldn't normally be ideal for me since I really like to sleep in, but in the morning is when my feet feel at their best instead of all swollen at night. One thing about walking that early is that it is before others get's quiet and, finally, cool! I put my music on and walk...not thinking about anything else...which is relief! At work it is go, go, go and home I'm cooking dinner and we then have to get after homework! Fit in soccer practice and an evening at church, and we have a very full week.

After we make some further progress, I'd like to get new family pictures taken. I'm proud of my family and I'd like to show off the new us.

Man, was this post random or what!?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Christmas Eve Part 2

After enjoying a good meal and good conversation, it was (finally, according to the boys) time to open presents! John and Robby donned the Santa hats and passed out presents. This is a pretty challenging feat for two little boys that don't know how to read! There was a lot of pointing and shouting to get everything in the right place!

John opening his favorite helicopter!

Robby concentrating opening his present, that's why his tongue is hanging out. He loved his present too!

Daddy helping his boys get everything opened! (And maybe playing a little too!)

Richard and I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas!

Mommy sneaking a Christmas Eve kiss on Daddy!

A special thank you to Becky (Aunt Buckee), Ann and Lisa for making this a very special evening for our family. We had a terrific time! The boys were passed out on the way home ready for Santa to come in the morning!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Eve

Those in my family that still live in the Houston area met over at my sister Becky's house to celebrate Christmas Eve together. We planned a big meal and had lots of presents to open. Before we ate, and before it got dark, Tommy, Becky's friend, had gotten all of the kids and teenage boys new Nerf guns. So the big gun fight pursued! The rules were that they had to go outside and the big boys couldn't hit the little boys. It was a very windy day, but that didn't seem to matter!

Robby heading outside for some of the fun!

Richard got a hold of one of the boy's guns! Everyone got in on the fun!

New House

We moved in November, right at Thanksgiving to be exact. We love our new house, but we are still trying to get unpacked. It is awful to have to move during the holidays, but the last time we moved it was July! Nobody should move in Texas during the summertime! The weather was nice, but a little cool.

We finally have a contract on our other house! We are supposed to close on January 28th. We are asking for prayers that close goes through as planned! We will have to take the time to say good bye to our other house. We will always have great memories from the other house, but ultimately it was just too far to drive to work! After my illness last year, it was very important to cut out stress where we could. Cutting my 50 mile, one direction, commute in half certainly cuts my stress!