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Month: December 2011

Holiday Happenings

Holiday Happenings

You know what?  I’ve enjoyed this holiday season.  I really have.  It hasn’t felt quite as frantic as some in the past, I’ve enjoyed putting Christmas decorations in our new home, making cookies and spending time with some friends.

I didn’t get to many, many things on my list.  I would have liked to go to Arkansas to see my family, I wanted to host some friends for dinner or a small party or two.  I don’t necessarily feel like I’ve bought the perfect gifts … and actually they aren’t all purchased.  
But, like Mary did so long ago, I want to “treasure up in my heart” the right now.
Hearing of my kids play the Wii and laughing and joking together, shared moments in the kitchen, the fire in the fireplace, the streets lit up with Christmas lights  … and mostly the wonder of knowing Jesus came as a baby in a manger to save the world.   

A few of the things we’ve done the last week:

School parties –

Earlier this week we took a trip to Palestine to ride on the Polar Express:
For some reason I can’t make these pictures go in order, but they read the story over the loud speaker, we got cookies and hot chocolate and before we knew it the train arrived at the North Pole.  Lights were everywhere and Santa was waving.  He then got on the train and gave a bell to the kids and rode back with us while we all sang Christmas carols.  Most people had on their pajamas like in the book … our kids wore sweats … does that count? 

We’ve decorated (this is an uploaded picture from Hipstamatic – It makes the pictures look like your grandmothers camera and I love it!):
 I made the wreath above the stove (normally our Elf on the Shelf isn’t sitting in it … it just happened to be the day I took the picture and everybody knows you can’t touch the Elf).  🙂
(Pinterest might be one of my favorite things of 2011).
Last but not least, we had our traditional Brown and Lackey family Christmas celebration complete with the re-enactment of the Christmas story.  We all love this tradition.  The oldest child leaves for college next year and we thought the Christmas story drama tradition might be coming to a close but alas … it wasn’t.  This year it was completely directed and performed by the kids and there were a few unusual twists.  Most noteably, the girl parts were played by boys and the girls parts were played by boys.  (Jacob was the one exception to this and insisted on being a shepherd!).   Oh … and baby Jesus was played by the Lackeys dog this year.  

Today is Christmas Eve.  Rain (wish it was snow!) is falling and the we are finishing up our to do list.  Not all of it will be done, but that is fine. 
I just opened a Christmas card from a friend who said … “the Christmas season brings hope in its songs and candles and stories, and we breathe peace knowing God had a plan then, and He has one still”.
Breathe peace.
And that is my wish … that you and your family would know the peace and the joy that comes from celebrating the birth of our Savior.

Merry Christmas and peace to you all!

Santa Baby …

Santa Baby …

Bill and I went to a sweet, sweet wedding on Saturday night.  Bill has worked with the bride’s mom for years and years and we think their family is awesome.  We had such a great time.

I convinced Bill to get into the photo booth (really, why do I have to convince him of these things?!?).  I gave him a Santa hat and thought he looked so cute.  The photo booth guy gave me an elf hat which I quickly donned.

We took these pictures:

AFTER we came out, the guy working the photo booth  said …. “You know, Santa doesn’t kiss the elves, right?”.

My bad.
Santa Claus came to town.

Santa Claus came to town.

I love being invited to Christmas festivities.  I don’t want to miss a thing.  But, truth be told, cookie exchange parties always make me a little nervous.  I’m not exactly known for my culinary talents.

But I can copy a recipe (kind of … anyone remember last year when I failed to notice that one batch of cinnamon roll dough made 7 pans and I ended up with something like 35 pans of cinnamon rolls?!?).

It’s actually been several years since I’ve been invited to a cookie party and when I got an invite this year I quickly scoured pinterest to see what kind of cute concoction I could make.

Or better yet … that Savannah and I could make together.  We bought some Nutter Butters and began working …

We worked …

And worked …

He’s cute, huh?

And kept on working until we had almost 6 dozen Santa Nutter Butters.

I think these might have been my favorite cookies I’ve ever “made” mostly because there was absolutely no cooking involved.
And y’all … I totally wasn’t embarrassed to walk in with this platter of cookies!

It was a Christmas miracle. 

I’m not going back to this Christmas Party for a LONG time!

I’m not going back to this Christmas Party for a LONG time!

I love making gingerbread houses with my kids.  I’ve bought several of the packages in the past and we’ve enjoyed putting them together but I usually end up thinking …. “these would be better with different candy” or “why do my walls keep falling down?!”.  More recently I wondered … “why have I bought kits for two years in a row and not ever made the houses?!”.

So this year when I saw an announcement for a gingerbread party at our church I signed right up.  It sounded fun to me … someone else puts the houses together (getting the walls to stick together was always a PROBLEM for me!), there would be lots of candy … and best of all … I wouldn’t have to clean my kitchen.  
Saturday was the big day and we headed out (minus Caroline who had a finals study session).  

The party was set up so cute and we got our directions.

We found our house (SO excited that the “structure” was already standing!).
We ALL worked and worked …

It was at about this point when a worker came up to me and said … “sooo, y’all are doing this without grandparents?”.  And right then … RIGHT THEN I realized this was a party for grandparents and grandchildren!  
I could not stop laughing!
Now it had crossed my mind that none of my close (in age) friends were there.  I thought they must be too busy or didn’t enjoy a good gingerbread party… but in reality, it was because they read the fine print!

In my defense (or in an attempt to make me feel better!), the coordinator of the event (who did a GREAT job!) … told me that after not so many grandparents signed up she opened it up to the public.  So truly I either saw the one piece of paper that didn’t say grandparents or I totally skipped over the part that said grandparents.

Either way it was funny.

Although we would have enjoyed having grandparents there, we still had fun!  I thought our house turned out pretty cute.

I even took an aerial view … fancy photgraphy, huh?!

Someone had even donated this CUTE gingerbread tree for the party:

The party was really cute.  The kids got gingerbread cookies to take home, we got a picture in front of the tree in a cute mat as a favor and they had cookies and punch and LOTS of candy to decorate.

But as fun as it was, I’m not planning on going back for a LONG time. 

It’s a story that had to be told …

It’s a story that had to be told …

There was kind of a big deal football game last weekend in Waco.   Baylor played the University of Texas.  Although we won the game last year, they’ve won it so many times that any time we win we are really, really excited.  So excited that one year we took the girls to the game (maybe 10 years ago) and when we beat UT we all watched as the fans tore down the goal posts.  Good stuff.
Moving on to this year … Savannah wanted to go to the game and really, so did I.  The problem was that no one else in our family could go.  At some point I realized Savannah had a sleepover birthday party to go to the night before (that usually means she would be super tired) and it was supposed to be cold and rainy.

So I told her we probably wouldn’t go.

She begged.

I thought about the cold and rain and said “no”.

She begged some more.  In fact she said … “I’m going to the game on Saturday”.

I assumed that when she came home from the party she’d be so tired she’d forget about it.

Instead, she came in the door wearing her Baylor t-shirt (cracked me up that she had remembered this), put down her sleeping bag and said … “I’m ready to go”.  

Y’ALL, the look on her face told me one thing and one thing only ….

I’d better get in the car.

Problem was, I was still in my pajamas.
I quickly got ready and put in a quick phone call to Bill (he was helping with a basketball draft at church) that said … “by the way, Savannah and I are going to Waco”.

And off we went.

My girl has  game.

It didn’t bother us that it was sold out and that we didn’t have tickets and that we were leaving with exactly enough time to get to the game … never mind having to park in ten buck too.

We just drove.

Quick stop by the Baylor Bookstore (I NEEDED a new sweatshirt, it was supposed to be cold, remember?) 🙂 and a look at the bear and we were off …

You can’t even believe how things worked out.  Somehow Sav and I turned on a road that ended up being the exit to the parking lot right next to the stadium and suddenly we were parked.  A man selling tickets at the gate sold us tickets for 1/2 of what people were asking on line … and we were in.


RGIII (you might have heard of him …. and tomorrow maybe the Heisman?!?!) is such a fantastic player to watch. 

The rain didn’t even bother us.  In fact the next day someone asked if we got wet and I said “no”.  Savannah corrected me.  I did have Bill’s rain jacket so I guess it did the trick.  Seriously the rain didn’t bother either of us at all.

I asked Savannah a couple of times if she wanted to leave (it became a blow out) and she said “NO.  I’m staying until the end”.

And so we did.

The very, very end.  Then she jumped over the fence and I watched her walk into the crowd.

She was pretty easy to keep up with since she was wearing pink in a sea of green and gold but all of a sudden I couldn’t find her.  I saw what looked to be a parade.  And there … standing right next to RG 3, as he carried the Baylor flag around the field was Savannah.  I almost fell over laughing.

Did I mention that Savannah has game?!?!

Of course my camera was dead at this point (story of my life), but Savannah snapped a few with her itouch:

Y’all, she walked all the way to the gate where the players walk in.  RG 3’s mom was there hugging all the players as they walked in.  

Savannah wasn’t finished yet though … wanted her picture with a player and so bless the heart of #50, whoever he may be, that took the time to get a picture with her.

I headed onto the field too … after I recovered from the shock of seeing Savannah walking around next to the front runner of the Heisman trophy award :)!

All in all it was a FABULOUS day.  I’ll never forget it and I don’t think Savannah will either.

Well, she will remember everything up until the time we got into the car and she IMMEDIATELY fell asleep.  

Sic ’em Bears!

The blog is back.

The blog is back.

For starters, I don’t even know where the blog has been the last month or more.  Not only did I not write blogs, I didn’t even read blogs.  Yes, I did go on pinterest a time or 200 … I even made a few things from the site like this …
 And a grilled cheese with bacon and avacado sandwich …. that was DELICIOUS.  I made it for the Hilltop Honeys and the Dilla Honey’s (ha!  my parents, the Dillahunty’s) and they all agreed it was a keeper.  This picture isn’t very good but the the truth of the matter is that it is one of only two pics that one of the honeys (Deb) took at our girls weekend … and the other pic was of the sandwich too.  My how the mighty have fallen.  Anyway … this sandwich will change your life.  For real.
I’ve spoken a time or three since I’ve blogged (this was at First Baptist in Russellville, AR): (don’t you always wonder where to look when the person speaking is on a big screen right behind them?!).
I also mentioned on the very last blog I wrote, which was quite a while back, that I was going to tell you about a great big surprise that happened when I spoke in Dallas.  The great big surprise was that my friend Robin drove up from Houston and SHOCKED me by coming.  I’m pretty sure it’s the most shocked I’ve ever been in my life.  Her best friend Leslie goes to the church where I was speaking and having Robin there was pure joy for me.  I know by looking at this picture you probably aren’t seeing joy … what you are seeing is SHOCK.  I could NOT believe she was there and I had just found out when this picture was taken.
One of the things that shocked me so much about Robin being there was that I had just seen her the night before during one of my 517,000 carpool runs that I made to football practices.  She just smiled and waved.  And to think that 24 hours later she was in Dallas was just incredible.

Speaking of football (Robin’s husband was the coach) … it’s over.  I still haven’t gotten over how cute I thought Jacob looked in his football uniform (took me FOREVER to stop calling it an outfit).  Basketball is now in full swing and Bill is Jacob’s coach … and it will come as no surprise that I think Jacob looks awfully cute in his basketball uniform too.  🙂

Tonight was the end of the season banquet for Caroline’s high school volleyball team.  I love watching her play.  Brittany’s volleyball ended and she has already had basketball games.  She is playing for the middle school and LOVES it.  

We celebrated Savannah’s birthday with a fun “Amazing Race” party.

We celebrated Thanksgiving and I made the ENTIRE meal by myself … thankyouverymuch.
Just look how tired I look in this picture!!

I did have some help from my two “foodie” children:

And all that cooking turned out like this:

 If I was a better blogger I’d turn that picture the right way … but it’s too late and I’m too tired.  🙂  

Jacob requested a pumpkin cheesecake chocolate chip pie.  He saw the picture in a magazine and I do believe it’s been added onto the “must have” list for Thanksgiving.  It was really good!

And now it’s Christmas …

I’m having such a good time decorating our new home and today … today for the first time since we moved away from Dallas (that was in 1993 people!), we had a fire in the fireplace.

You can’t begin to know how happy that made me.  

About as happy as it makes me to be blogging again.