Wednesday, December 31, 2008

At The Barn

Am I the only one who loves the way a barn smells? The scents from the horses, hay, grain, leather, all mixed together...mmmm :)

Happy New Years Eve! What are your plans for the evening? We are just staying in, probably do some fireworks, I'll make a bunch of munchies and watch all the New Years festivities on tv. 2009 here we come!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What The...???

(As seen in the Daleville Kroger parking lot :) )

So what do you make of this license plate? Does it say what I think it does? One thing we've noticed upon moving here is that Virginian's love their vanity plates and the Old Dominion State doesn't seem that strict about what you can put on your plates. My husband said vanity plates are very inexpensive here so that may be why you see more personalized plates than not. I did the DMV work for years back in my working days in San Diego for a few different dealerships and the great state of California was very selective about what they would allow on your plate and you had to give a brief description of what your plate would mean if they granted their seal of approval. Here, I've seen some pretty controversial plates, or that I, an ex-DMV clerk would consider controversial.

I do have to say, I love her attitude towards the Marine Corps, especially since I spent the first 4 years of my married life as the wife of a Marine :)

While many of the personalized plates just tell how many kids they have or what number their boy is on the high school football team, some are pretty entertaining.
I think I should do a series on Virginia license plates as I see them!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Our Saviour Lutheran Church

Located in the Historic Bonsack District-Roanoke

I tried to get information on the church from their website, like when it was built but they only had information of what their church is about and worship times. I would have liked to know how old it is.

Sorry I haven't been able to visit. I fried my keyboard on Friday when I spilt my coffee on it, dumb! The last thing I wanted to do over the weekend was deal with all the Christmas exchange crowds so I waited till this morning and hit WalMart up first thing, no crowds!

And a movie recommendation: House Bunny...Oh my gosh, this was so silly hilarious, we laughed out loud, literally!

Friday, December 26, 2008

SkyWatch Friday

So was Santa good to you? I'm wiped out! Over shopping, over cooking and over indulging but we had a wonderful Christmas!

We didn't get a white Christmas but instead had beautiful sunny, warm weather. I took this skywatch photo from the top pasture while I was out walking around trying to burn some unwanted calories!

For SkyWatch photos from all over the world, visit SKYLEY

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Stockings Were Hung....

By the chimney with care
In hopes that St. Nicholas
Soon would be there...

*Merry Christmas*

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Lights

Last night Nick got off work a little early so we drove to Bedford to see the National Elk's Home. One of Nick's buddies from work told him that they put up some excellent Christmas lights and he was right, they did a wonderful drive-thru Christmas display.

Now for fun, how many Christmas Carols can you identify?

1. The apartment of 2 psychiatrists.
2. The lad is a diminutive percussionist.
3. Decorate the entry-ways .
4. Sir Lancelot with laryngitis.
5. A B C D E F G H I J K M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z.
6. Present me naught but dual incisors for this festive Yuletide.
7. The smog-less bewitching hour arrived.
8. Exuberation to this orb.
9. 288 Yuletide hours.
10. Do you perceive the same longitudinal pressure which stimulates my auditory sense organs.
11. The red-suited pa is due in this burg.
12. Stepping on the pad cover.
13. Uncouth dolt has his beezer in the booze and thinks he is a Dark Cloud's boyfriend.
14. Far back in a hay bin.
15. Leave and do an elevated broadcast.
16. That exiguous hamlet south of the holy city.
17. Behold! I envisioned a trio of nautical vessels.
18. Listen, the winged heavenly messengers are proclaiming tunefully.
19. A joyful song relative to hollow metallic vessels which vibrate and bring forth a ringing sound when struck.
20. As the guardians of little woolly animal's protected their charges in the shadows of the earth.
21. Frozen precipitation commence
22. Monarchial triad
23. Oh, member of the round table with missing areas
24. Boulder of the tinkling metal spheres
25. Vehicular homicide was committed on Dad's mom by a precipitous darling
26. Wanted in December: top forward incisors
27. We are Kong, Lear, and Nat Cole
28. Cup-shaped instruments fashioned of a whitish metallic element
29. Oh small Israel urban center
30. Our fervent hope is that you thoroughly enjoy your yuletide season
31. Parent was observed osculating a red-coated unshaven teamster
32. May the Deity bestow an absence of fatigue to mild male humans
33. Natal celebration devoid of color, rather albino, as a hallucinatory phenomenon for me.
34. Obese personification fabricated of compressed mounds of minute crystals.
35. Tranquiltiy upon the terrestrial sphere.
36. Have hitherward the entire assembly of those who are loyal in their belief.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Traditions

When Braden and Dalton were just babies I had seen this Christmas Tree skirt where you have the kids put their handprints on it each Christmas. I needed a new tree skirt anyway and loved the idea of this precious keepsake. The kids look forward to it each year and it's fun (and sad for me) to see how much they've grown each year.

We have a few other Christmas traditions like new pajamas on Christmas Eve, making reindeer food to leave out for the reindeer, milk and cookies for Santa, baking cookies.

When I was little, I remember going over to my grandpa and grandmas so that my mom and grandma could do all their baking and making Christmas candies like fudge and divinity. Mostly though I remember the red and green popcorn balls everyear. I loved those!

Every year, someone different in the family would hold Christmas Eve at their house. If it wasn't at our house, we'd load the car up with all our gifts and head over to my uncles or grandparents house. Then, just as it was getting dark, my dad, grandpa and uncle would gather all us kids into the car and we'd go "looking for Santa". We'd drive around and point out unidentified ligths in the sky that we were sure were Rudolph and his team. We'd drive around for a while before heading back. I didn't know at the time, but this little diversion gave the women in the family time to fill our stockings and put the Santa presents under the tree. It really was a well rehearsed scene and they had it down perfectly! I remember the feeling of pure magic when we'd walk through the door and see all these presents Santa left and our stockings filled (we always got oranges, apples and bananas in our stockings, along with a few goodies). My mom would always say "oh, you just missed him" lol.

We always celebrated on Christmas Eve because parts of the family couldn't get together on Christmas day due to other family obligations. On Christmas Day, we'd then go over to my grandparents to eat our big Christmas meal which was ham, scalloped potatoes, and beans. And pies. My grandma always made the best pies. Lemon Meringue was my favorite and I remember she'd have them cooling on the wash machine as we'd walk in the door and I could never resist the temptation to sneak off the pretty little peaks of meringue as I walked in. She'd also have to make a Minced Meat pie for my grandpa (he was the only one who liked them) and usually she cooked something like pheasant too that my grandpa got while out hunting.

Our little Christmas traditions have changed now but I know our new traditions will always hold special memories for my kids as well.

Today we have a potluck dinner at Nick's work at noon. Nick volunteered me for the cornbread dressing so I now have a pan of cornbread in the oven. Why couldn't he volunteer me for something super easy and way less time consuming like napkins?

Monday, December 22, 2008

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Yesterday we finally did our Christmas picture for our Christmas cards. I know, I know, it's the 22nd and I'm just now sending out my cards?! Anyways, this is the picture that will go inside our cards that we are mailing to friends and family. While taking a few pictures, we had the camera set on timer, the camera started to slide off the desk we had it balanced on and we ended up with the one below. I kinda like it,lol.

I'm sitting here finishing up my coffee getting ready to take Ashlyn to the mall shortly. It's cold out. Supposed to be -1 with the windchill!

So this is my Christmas card from our family to yours! We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
(And Happy Holidays to those who don't celebrate Christmas :) )

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Party

Well the Christmas Party in Braden and Dalton's 1st grade class was a huge success! Braden and Dalton took goodie bags to pass out filled with a special Christmas pencil, candy canes and hot chocolate packets. They brought home some really cute snowman ornaments that they made at school.

In the photo above, the kids are playing the last game of the party. The room mom is playing music and the kids pass a present around. When the music stops, the child holding the present gets to open it and it had something special for the classroom. Dalton "won" and got the last present that was passed around, which was full of chocolates to pass out. It was also pajama day which meant the kids could wear their jammies to school. Braden and Dalton did not participate with that as they think they are "too cool" to wear jammies to school. One of the problems from having an older brother, they grow up too fast!

After the Christmas party the boys and I went and did a little more Christmas shopping. I had to get Ashlyn's shopping done which I *think* I'm about done now. I just have to get one more thing for Christian, something for Nick (I did get him that cookbook from the Diners, Dives and Drive-Ins show) but I need a couple of other things for him, and just a few little things for the kids, oh and our traditional Christmas jammies...need to get those still. Oh, also need to haul the kids to the mall on Monday to let them spend their Christmas money from Grandma.

Are you ready for Christmas?


And now I am asking for your help:

I just visited Woody's Blog where he has posted about a little girl who is deathly ill and only wishes to receive Christmas cards for Christmas. I am going to copy and paste the story from Woody's blog and hope you will grant her this one wish for Christmas.

Hey Everyone,

I wanted to get this out to the blogger community for your assistance.

First, click here;
or copy and paste into your webbrowser.

Basically, this is the story of a little girl who is only 4 that has a rare and agressive form of a brain tumor. Unfortunatley, there is nothing else that can be done and she has been only given weeks to live.

The only thing she wants for christmas is cards so she can read them.

Tonight, multiple fire,ems and police agencies are meeting at a local hospital(large parking area) with apparatus and then are proceeding to a local school to meet her and her family and to give her cards that all the agencies have collected so far.

If you want to make her christmas a little brighter, her address is in the article and I am sure she would love to get more cards from people.

I know this time of year can be a little stressfull for people and people don't like how the economy is doing, they don't like there jobs, they can't stand the inlaws..etc..

But you know what, when you look at this little girl and what she has had to go through in just a short time being on this earth, life really is not all that bad is it??

Thanks for your help..


Friday, December 19, 2008

SkyWatch Friday

Here I am skywatching from the pick up line at Braden and Dalton's school. Today they are having their Christmas party and it's the kid's last day of school for Christmas break. Yay!

To see amazing skies from all over the world, visit SKYLEY

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Driving Miss Daisy

I had to go to Food Lion to pick up some groceries and noticed this cute little pooch waiting patiently in the driver's seat. It always, without fail, makes me laugh when I see a dog sitting in the driver's seat of a vehicle,lol.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Toys For Tots

Saturday afternoon Ashlyn and I had to take a trip to WalMart so she could pick up some things for a project she is working on. While there, the Marine Corps had their
Toys For Tots drive going on. We give to this charity every Christmas so it was really nice that they were there by chance!

Excuse Ashlyn's reflection in the windshield. The place was a madhouse so I couldn't pull over for a picture or we'd risk being run over!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What Is It?

Another one of Ashlyn's photos from DC. She thinks she took this in the Natural History Museum and that's all she can remember about it. Whatever it is, it's pretty neat!

Sorry my visits have been scarce. Trying to get a bunch of Christmas things done!

Monday, December 15, 2008

More DC

Another one of Ashlyn's from DC. She doesn't know which building this is but just thought it looked "cool". So do I! Feel free to take a guess if you know what building this is :)

Update: Lois down in Tallahassee has informed me that this is the Old Smithsonian Castle, which you can read about HERE Thank you Lois!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Capitol Building

The Capitol Building looms in the distance. Here you can really get a feel for how cold and wet it was for those kids!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The National Aquarium-DC

On Thursday, Ashlyn went on a field trip with her American Conflicts class to Washington DC. The kids were put in groups and were free to roam the streets/museums of DC at their own pace. I was thinking "Yay, a bunch of new pictures that I can use for the blog"! The girl gets home and only took 9 pictures, yes you read that right, 9! And 3 of them were of rocks. She was in DC, tons of photo ops! Clearly she didn't understand the importance of her mission, to get pictures, for me!

Anyways, one of her stops was the
National Aquarium. She had a super fun time and came home with alot of stories to share :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

SkyWatch Friday

Looking at the setting sun out my dining room window with the Christmas Tree lights reflecting.
To see more skies from all over the world, visit Skyley Happy Skywatching :)

Here Comes Santa Claus

How could I forget the star of the Fincastle Christmas Parade? I can't believe I forgot to post his picture! Here's the guest of honor, Santa!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cracker Barrel

Who can resist delicious country cooking from the
Cracker Barrel on a cold, grey, wintry day? Well, evidentally I can because I just ran in to check out the gift shop, but had it been meal time, look out, I coulda put a hurtin' on that place! Yum!

Sorry for the poor quality. I took it from my vehicle after getting back in my car and warmed up and realizing I didn't have a photo for today but was too cold to step back outside,lol.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


And one more photo of the parade. Here's the back of the Botetourt County Bookmobile and the emergency vehicles leading the way.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ponies On Parade

There were a few of these adorable little ponies in the parade on Saturday. Isn't he cute?!

We got our Christmas tree yesterday and the kids decorated it while we listened to Christmas music and sipped hot chocolate. I love the smell of a Christmas tree! Nick and Christian worked on the outside lights, it was so cold outside that I was greatful to be in charge of the inside lights!

It's Monday, it comes quickly doesn't it? Have to run and get some blueberry muffins in the oven for the kid's breakfast. Have a great day :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Fincastle Christmas Parade

So we braved the cold and went to the parade. I am so happy we did. Really I couldn't say no as Braden and Dalton kept coming to me and checking the time to make sure we'd make it to the parade by 2:00. How could I resist those two?

We had a great time. It's the perfect little hometown parade! We really didn't even freeze, too badly, although at one point I almost couldn't feel my nose! The kids got heaps of candy, fireman hats and got to see Santa, 2 times in one day!

Thanks Country Dew for giving me that extra little push to go :)

Pictured above is Lord Botetourt High School's FFA.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Breakfast With Santa

This morning Braden and Dalton's school hosted a "Breakfast With Santa" featuring Santa Claus of course and all the pancakes and sausage you can eat!

After filling up on vittles, they went over and saw Santa, told him they want Rock Band for Christmas and received a candy cane.

As we were leaving, I met a mom of twins that I really liked alot and she invited me to join their twin club so I'm excited about that. I belonged to a twin club when Braden and Dalton were first born, but our club was a little on the boring side so I dropped out after a couple of years. I'm looking forward to joining this one and making some new friends!

I was planning on taking the kids to the Fincastle Christmas Parade today but it's very cold out right now and very grey. I'm not sure what kind of weather is in store for us so I'm just kinda seeing how the day goes. I really want to go to The Stonewall Jackson House as they have an old fashioned Christmas there today. I "think" Lexington is about a 45 minute drive from here and we haven't been there yet. Nick works on Saturdays so I'm debating whether or not I want to attempt this on my own seeing as I'm a girl that can get lost in a paper sack. Why does everything always have to be planned on Saturdays?!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

SkyWatch Friday

Seems that now since the weather is getting colder, our squirrels are out in full force! Braden and Dalton have named them the "Evil Squirrels" because in the summer time, the walnuts start falling out of the trees and the boys are convinced it's the works of the Evil Squirrels, throwing walnuts at us!

For more skywatch photos from all over the world, visit Skyley

Happy Skywatching :)

Waiting Patiently

This has been a crazy week for me trying to get pictures for this blog. On Sunday, I had to run to the store and the view from the parking lot was amazing. It was rainy and the clouds were rolling in over the mountains like they do here. I pulled over to the edge of the parking lot to get a photo with this beautiful church steeple and the misty mountains. Usually I always look at what I get but for some reason didn't think to and after "taking" the picture, put my camera back into my purse, parked and went into the store.

Later, when downloading my pictures, that one wasn't there. It must not have taken.

Then today I took the boys to the library to pick up some books. There is an orchard along the way that has such a pretty old house sitting on it that I decided I'd get a picture of it. I am always missing the turn into the orchard so this time I was very careful to watch for it and pulled in. It's just a small road, no traffic, or so I thought. I pull in, get a nice spot that I can get a good picture of the house, when as soon as I step out of my vehicle, a big truck pulls up behind me, with no where to go, I had to get in my car and move so I pulled up further into the drive, when another car comes along,lol. My desire to get the photo dwindled so I just snapped a picture as I drove away hoping that would turn out well. Well, it didn't,lol.

On Sunday, we had gone to Zaxby's for lunch (remember I did a collage from there a while back) and I took a picture of a sign I liked alot and was going to use that. Well as I was cropping it on my camera, I accidentally hit delete. I can't believe the string of bad luck I've had this week with pictures!

So I leave you today with a picture of Braden and Dalton patiently waiting on their lunch of chicken strips! I give up!

Oh, I just got done watching "Made of Honor". I loved it! It's now one of my favorite movies :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Proud Mommy Moment

Every Tuesday, Ashlyn's Early Childhood Development Class takes a trip to a local daycare center. A while back she told me about this little boy that doesn't talk or interact with any of them. He keeps to himself and even the teachers at the center told the kids from Ashlyn's class that he's just like that with everyone. Well, recently Ashlyn has made a breakthrough with him and he just loves her. She's the only one that he will talk to. This picture, Ashlyn sent it to me from her cell phone, is of the two of them, and it warms my heart that he has opened up to her. Ashlyn has a special gift that makes children want to be around her (well except her own brothers,lol).

She says he wants a dinosaur and an airplane for Christmas so we are going to go shopping for the little guy. I hope he has a wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Roanoke Regional Airport

This here is the Roanoke Regional Airport. I had to drop my husband off yesterday. It's much easier than using Hartsfield in Atlanta. I always dreaded having to do drop offs and pick ups there. I was impressed with the architecture of this small-ish airport, very stylish!

On our way home, I pulled next to a man at a red light. He was getting a tongue lashing from the man in the truck on his other side. The truck driving man actually jumped out of his truck and was yelling at this man next to me. I couldn't believe it. I was getting nervous stuck in traffic next to this crazed person with my kids in the car that I was getting ready to call 9-1-1. Fortunately the psychotic man got in his truck and drove away. The man next to me looked over at me like "did you see that guy" and we both started laughing...ahhhh tis the season!

Monday, December 1, 2008

December Theme Day-Circles/Spheres

Today is December 1st (already?!) so of course that means Theme Day for CDP bloggers. The theme this month, Circles/Spheres. When I read what the theme was a few weeks back I thought, "no biggie, this will be easy" but then as December 1 approached I was at a loss.

Yesterday I started decorating my house for Christmas and then settled on a simple wreath I hung on the gate.

The wreath has a long history and many religious associations dating back to the ancient cultures of the Persian Empire. Originally, the circlet was called a "diadem" and took the form of fabric headbands which were sometimes adorned with jewels. Beginning in 776 B.C., wreaths made of laurel leaves were used to crown victors of Olympic Games. Later, when the Games began to move to different cities, each host city would award head garlands made of branches of local trees.

The shape of the wreath, a never ending circle, represents for Christians, an everlasting life, through Jesus Christ, who is after all, the reason for the season :)

And do you know what this means? Only 24 shopping days left till Christmas!

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