Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thanks 2013

As we say goodbye to another year I wanted to reflect on the positives some important moments of our lives. Some are super happy, some were life lessons, while others were bittersweet.

In no particular order...

The sale of our house... this was a life lesson, OMG we never thought it was going to sale, it was also bittersweet due to the fact we brought our babies home to that house when they were born. We will always consider Aggieland the home of our hearts. We will go back one day xoxo

Getting our finances in order... this I believe is a challenge for the vast majority of people in the world. With waiting for the house to sell, renters not treating the house like they should, and all the ups/downs and unexpected issues for the year we were able to get things in order : )

Health is a blessing and we are truly grateful that we are overall healthy and have been blessed with two healthy, active, growing girls.

Spending quality time with the Chesser side of the family for Thanksgiving. We have not seen them for a family gathering of this size since 2003. They have always been very supportive and loving of us and it was a great experience for our girls to get to run around and play with that side of the family.

Getting to be a part of several friends' lives as they became parents for the first time. We are grateful that they thought of us and included us in that special time in their lives.

The freedoms that we have and are able to enjoy by being Americans living in America. We are grateful to all the men and women who sacrifice and serve this country past, present, and future.

Through the power of technology we have been able to follow the lives of some super special people and follow their journey in life. Through the journey of these individuals we were able to become more aware of issues, become more compassionate, and be an advocate by spreading awareness. Some of these super special peoples' stories ended bittersweet but will always have touched our lives and hearts.

We are of course always thankful for our families' love and support of us through our own journey in this crazy world we strive to make an impact in.

Bring on 8th Grade

With the start of 2014 I will have said goodbye to 7th grade Texas History and start teaching 8th grade U. S. History. I am a bit nervous about this change due to the fact that I have not taught 8th grade since 2005. This will be an adjustment for the 7th grade students I leave behind and the 8th grade students I will greet on January 7th, not to mention for myself and the teacher who will be moving into my spot in 7th grade.

Things happen for a reason, I was asked to do this for several solid reasons, and as an educator I will always step up to the plate and do what is in the best interest of the students I serve. So with the new year I look forward to the experience of once again teaching 8th grade and all that will bring my way. I am praying for a successful experience as I try to challenge and enhance the educational experience of the students I will encounter over the next five months. I hope that through hard work, dedication, and effort on their part and my own that we will ROCK the STAAR and their scores will reflect all the blood, sweat, and tears that will go into preparing them for what is to come.

Wish me luck in this new chapter in my teaching career.

Decorating Christmas Cookies

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Poppa Update

Ray's dad has been having trouble with his kidney, and it has resulted in him having to start dialysis.  As a result, he was in the hospital in downtown Houston for a few days.  We took this picture at the huge Christmas tree at Memorial Hermann. Big Ray is doing great now and happily was released to go home on Christmas Eve.  We all appreciate the prayers on his behalf and are happy that he was able to come home and celebrate Christmas with his family.

Aggie Mens Basketball

We took the girls to their first Aggie basketball game together. Emma went when she was an infant with us while living in Aggieland. They had a lot of fun and even got into the spirit of cheering on their Aggies. We also visited some favorite food spots, did some shopping, and went to Santa's Wonderland. We had a great time as a family and will take several more trips soon.

Emma and Abby Thanksgiving at School

Ray and I with the help of Uncle Eric made homemade mac n cheese, dressing, and sweet potato desert for their feast at school. I was able to attend this year! Everyone enjoyed the tasty food and the girls loved having us with them.

Pearl Jam 2013

We traveled to Dallas and Oklahoma to see Pearl Jame twice. This is our favorite band and we have seen them at least 8 times and we had a blast! This band takes us back and we can enjoy sweet memories of when we met and things we did while we dated.

Aggie Football Painting

Our first time painting and we went with some good friends. We had a really great time together. Ray and I of course had to paint Aggie footballs. We were the only people in the class so we really got some quality time with the instructor and great tips for future painting. Ray gave his painting to his Dad for Christmas and he placed mine in his office at work.

Christmas Day 2013

We started the morning opening all of the gifts Santa brought!  The girls were excited to receive a lot of Octonauts, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Doc McStuffins, and Sofia the First toys.  They also received tickets to the Pirate and Princess adventure on Saturday!  Vickie came over with her kids to celebrate the day with us, my parents, and my brother Eric.  After a day full of play, we settled in for a dinner of standing rib roast, mashed potatoes, and green beans.  For dessert there was cookies, fudge, and wassail.  It was a wonderful Christmas!

Christmas Eve 2013

The morning of Christmas Eve, we let the girls open a gift in the morning that contained pajamas for them to wear that day and a different pair for the evening.  We then left to Beaumont to celebrate Christmas with Brandie's side of the family. Brandie's mom made her biscuits, tomato gravy, and some other favorites.  All of the kids and other family members opened their gifts, and then we all got to chat for a bit.  We then left and came home to make shrimp creole for dinner.  We usually eat seafood on Christmas Eve.  We then showed the girls a custom video to them from Santa before they went to bed.  They left out cookies, fudge, and milk for Santa, and I assure you he enjoyed it!

Decorating the Tree

Decorating the tree is a family project. We all had a wonderful time decorating the tree and other areas of the house. We talked about Christmas past and drank hot chocolate. We will post pictures of the finished product soon.