Wednesday, December 22, 2010

From Us to You ~ Merry Christmas!

I had high hopes of blogging about various things this week, but it just didn't happen. Life has been busy ~ full and blessed. It's a busy time of year with lots going on here, there and everywhere. You know how it is! We will be loading up our sleigh and leaving town this afternoon...making the trek to central Arkansas to spend Christmas with John's family. We will come back home Monday morning. We are looking forward to a few days off and spending time with family. It'll be lots of fun and there will be an abundance of yummy stuff to eat!

Nevertheless, I did want to post our Christmas card! We mailed our cards out on December 1st. I think we mailed out about 125 - whew. We love getting Christmas cards. Due to the fact that John works from home, all through the Christmas season he will check the mail during the day, but save the Christmas cards and we open them and look at them together when I get home. It's one of our little traditions.

Our Christmas card photos represent a few highlights from the year...

Upper Left Corner ~ Our favorite picture from the year. It was taken in our living room before we left on a “Date Night”. Whether it be going on date nights, playing board games, watching sports and movies, doing weekly devotionals, traveling, buying groceries, shopping, working on projects around the house (basically anything), spending time together is our favorite thing to do.

Upper Right Corner ~ Taken before dinner on our anniversary. On February 8th, we celebrated 7 amazing years together and we look forward to celebrating anniversary #8 in about two months.

Lower Left Corner ~ Ready for a Texas Rangers game. We watched just about every game this year and were lucky enough to go to the ballpark for six of them. We even had the opportunity to go to Game 1 of the ALCS and sit behind home plate. It was such a fun and exciting season that ended with a trip to the World Series. We are already excited about next year!

Lower Right Corner ~ Our Calvin! This picture was taken in our backyard over the summer. He will turn 8 in January. Calvin is our faithful friend and a very special part of our little family.

The frame below is a craft project I made the first week of December. I took a plain wooden frame (that I bought at Michaels for a whole $2.00), painted the edges red and decoupaged wrapping paper on the front. I trimmed and filed around the edge to remove access wrapping paper and then added ribbon, glitter paint and a bow. The only thing I bought was the frame - a super cheap and fun craft project. Finally, where the picture goes I typed a message in Microsoft Word, printed it out on card stock, cut it to size and put it in the frame. I could probably do it a little better if I made it again, but I am pretty pleased with the result and it's something we can put out year after year as a greeting to any guests we may have.

I'm not sure how much blogging I will be able to do over the next two weeks. We will be back home on Monday and have to work three days, but then we have some fun plans over the long New Year's weekend and will have "our" Christmas together. The following weekend, we will drive to West Texas to celebrate a late Christmas with all of my family there. We will take lots of pictures though and have updates coming soon enough.

John and I wish you a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR! May your time with those you love be happy and blessed. Don't forget to count your blessings and remember our greatest blessing - the reason for this glorious season, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!

Until we meet again...
Riley

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

ICE!

A couple of weekends ago, we went out for a fun "date day". We started out the day with some shopping and then we headed to the Gaylord Texan Resort for their annual "ICE" exhibit and then ended the day with a delicious dinner.

Each year, the Gaylord Texan has a one of a kind attraction where they carve a Christmas exhibit or display out of nearly two million pounds of colored ice. It's a walk through exhibit - a VERY COLD walk through, 9 degrees to be exact! Obviously, they have to keep it so cold so that the ice doesn't melt. Before you can go in, they hand each visitor a parka and also encourage you to bring gloves, scarves and hats. They weren't kidding! Even with gloves, my hands were freezing. It was super cold in there, but super fun.

We were SO EXCITED to find out that this year "ICE" would be presenting "A Charlie Brown Christmas". We LOVE the Peanuts gang. We have a little display of Peanuts characters out with all of our Christmas decorations and "A Charlie Brown Christmas" is one of our favorites - a holiday classic. We watched it last week. Each display at "ICE" illustrated a scene from the movie. Though there are a couple of non-frozen props, almost everything you wil see is carved out of ice. It was amazing and unbelievable. Some of it looks like plastic, but it's all ice. WOW! The carvers of the ice were from China and spent 12 hour days for a month creating this display.

At the halfway point, there were slides made of what else...ICE! Each visitor had the opportunity to slide down the ice slide. I opted to watch John slide down and take a picture of him.

Something we weren't expecting, at the very end of the exhibit as we were exiting, there was a nativity scene carved out of ice. Because it was plain, clear ice, it looked like glass and was just awesome. The pictures do not do it justice. It was beautiful!

What a fun day - we had a blast!
Until we meet again...
Riley

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Things to Be Happy About ~ November Edition

December is upon us and 2010 is nearing it's end - what a year! It's time to post my "things to be happy about" from November. If you are new to this, I received a bright yellow, page-a-day desk calendar for Christmas last year and it sits on my desk at work. Each day the page lists various things to be happy about. Throughout the month I keep up with my favorite things the pages list and blog about them at the end of the month explaining why it makes me happy. I try to find happiness in the littlest of things and so many things excite me very easily. If you want to catch up, I started this in January so you can always look through my archive.

It's only fitting this time of year that I quote Buddy from the wonderful Christmas movie, ELF. When asked by the department store manager "Why are you smiling?", Buddy replies, "I just like to smile. Smiling is my favorite".

Here are my November things to be happy about...

  • Holiday Shopping ~ CHRISTmas is certainly not about the presents, but it is fun to shop and buy gifts for family and friends, especially something you'll know they'll really enjoy. Even without buying anything, I love malls, shopping centers and stores decked out with decorations for Christmas.

  • Warm Kitchens ~ Kitchens are my favorite room in any house because that's were memories are made and delicious meals are prepared. I love cooking and baking and I love the coziness of a kitchen...it doesn't matter the size, how it's decorated or what's in it.

  • Band Music at Halftime ~ I was in marching band for 6 years and loved every minute of it. I played the clarinet and was also on the flag team. I have very fond memories from being in band, especially in high school. We even made it to the State Marching Contest my senior year - fun times! Even now, 13 years later (whoa!) I still look forward to watching the bands at halftime.

  • Home for the Holidays ~ We don't live near our parents (they are all about 5-6 hours away) so it's always nice to anticipate going home for a visit, especially at Christmas. We will be spending Christmas this year in Arkansas with John's family and then we'll go visit mine in early January.

  • Being Offered a Ticket to an NFL game ~ I much prefer watching football games in the comfort of our living room, but it was fun to get to go to a Cowboys game - especially for free! We received tickets from a vendor of a client at work a couple of years ago and we had a great time.

  • Eggnog ~ This isn't something I can drink a lot of, but I really enjoy having at least one cup of eggnog during the holiday season. It's really rich, but yummy. I haven't had any yet, but I will before Christmas Day.

  • Small Town Life ~ We live in a small town outside of the Dallas area and it's nice to escape the busyness of the Metroplex. We love all that the "big city" has to offer and take advantage of it, but nothing beats small town life. John's from a very small, quaint town in Arkansas and it's very peaceful and nice. Fredericksburg, Texas is one of our favorite small towns too - with adorable shops up and down Main Street. Small towns are so simple and with the world as crazy as it is, they bring calm. Don't you wish we could all live in Mayberry?

  • Scarves Knotted Snuggly ~ I have several scarves and I really enjoy those days it's cold enough for bundling up in a warm coat, a scarf and some gloves. I've worn my nice, long coats the past two days and I love it. As cold natured as I am, I much prefer the fall and winter weather.

  • Sentimental Value ~ I am a sentimental person and thankfully John is too. He may be even more so than me - one of the many things I love about him, it's so sweet. But we have many treasures and keepsakes from our childhood and growing up years, from family and friends and we have two tubs of special things from each other. We call them our "treasure tubs". You can read about them here.

  • Countdown to Christmas ~ It's on - hooray! But I don't want to rush it and wish the season away. It only comes once a year.

  • Not having to rush ~ Life for everyone is so busy and fast-paced these days. It seems to be getting worse with so many to dos, tasks, commitments, schedules, appointments, things on the calendar and on and on. Being able to take your time and savor the moment is so underrated.

  • Help with the Dishes ~ I am BLESSED and LUCKY - my husband washes the dishes in our house. It's something he's taken upon himself to take care of since the day we were married and he's not complained about it one single time. It's not to say that I don't wash a few dishes from time to time or load/unload the dishwasher, but the majority of it is done by sweet John. Thank you, my love! I don't take it for granted. It's funny because sometimes I'll say "thank you for washing the dishes" (after a meal) and he'll say "thank you for dirtying them" ( by making the meal) .

  • Sleeping Late ~ Not something I get to do often, but not having to set the alarm is such a good feeling when going to bed the night before. It's nice every once in a while to wake up when you want to. "Sleeping late" for me could even just be 7:30 or 8:00, since we get up so early during the week, but that works for me.

  • Long Touchdown Passes ~ Thrill and excitement for a die hard football fan - COMPLETED long touchdown passes are even better!

  • Holiday Window Displays ~ I kind of talked about this above, but I really enjoy all of the decorations and lights in store windows.

  • Shopping...Done ~ We aren't there yet, but we are getting closer. It's such a good, relieving feeling when it's complete and then on to the wrapping - my favorite part!

  • Putting up the Tree ~ We put our tree up the weekend before Thanksgiving due to the fact that we would be traveling and we wanted it done for when we returned home. We had lots of fun decorating the house and took many pictures that I need to post VERY soon.

  • Christmas Movies ~ I heart Christmas movies and we have several of them. We made a list before the Christmas season started of all of the Christmas movies and specials we wanted to watch before Christmas is over. We've knocked off a few, but still more to watch. We plan to make chili and watch one this Friday night - can't wait!

  • Parades & Football ~ We all know my passion for football and parades make me happy too. I've been in a few myself and the Macy's Parade is one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving. I watch it every year. I read on a blog the other day that "parades, football and feasting should be a part of everyday life" - I agree!

  • The Sounds of a Meal Being Prepared ~ This goes along with my love for all things involving the kitchen and cooking/baking. The sound of spoons stirring in a pan, beaters in a mixing bowl, a food processor slicing and dicing, an electric knife carving meat, foil being torn, doors and drawers opening and closing, a pot of water boiling, sizzling of meat...it's all music to my ears.

I wish you all of the happiness your heart can hold during this Christmas season.

Until we meet again...
Riley

Friday, December 3, 2010

Nine Years Ago ~ Where Does the Time Go?

Nine years ago today, December 3, 2001, John and I met each other. Well, electronically anyway!

Here's the story...

For Thanksgiving in 2001, I went with my Mom, Armando (my step-dad) and Andrew (my brother) to spend it with Armando's family in Pearsall, Texas and also celebrate Grandma's (Armando's Mom) 70th Birthday over the weekend. During the evening of Thanksgiving, a few of us were sitting around visiting and John's sister-in-law, Angela (who is also Armando's niece), asked me if I was dating anyone. At that time, I was a few weeks away from my college graduation. I was not dating anyone at the time, but was focused on finishing school and looking for a post-college job. So I proceeded to tell Angela that I was currently single. Well, she got all excited and said that I should meet Jason's brother (Jason is her husband - John's brother). Are you confused? Hee Hee!

Anwho, Angela went on to tell me a little bit about John and what I heard sounded really good. I obviously had specific things in mind regarding guys I wanted to date and from the little that she told me, John sounded great. Keep in mind at this time John was living in central Arkansas and I was living in Odessa(west Texas)...about 12-13 hours apart. So Angela asked me to give her my e-mail address (that she would give to John) and she gave me John's e-mail address and suggested that maybe we could e-mail each other and see what happened.

After the Thanksgiving weekend was over and we all went back home, I waited a couple of days to hopefully hear from this John guy :), but several days passed and I never did. Therefore, I decided to go ahead an e-mail him myself. I had his e-mail address afterall. So, on December 3, 2001 I e-mailed John and then he e-mailed me back later that day. Come to find out, John HAD actually e-mailed me before I decided to e-mail him, but he was sending it to the wrong e-mail address. He was probably wondering why I wasn't e-mailing him back, but it's a good thing I decided to reach out to him. So we made our first connection on December 3rd - hooray!

We continued to e-mail each other back and forth through the month of December just getting to know each other, asking questions and sharing about various topics. We then eventually made the step to call one another and talk over the phone.

In January of 2002, I flew to Arkansas to meet John face to face (January 8th to be exact)...and the rest, as the say, is history!

We still have those first two e-mails we exchanged. John actually forwarded me the first one he sent me this morning with "Happy E-Mail Day!" as the subject of his e-mail. How sweet! I certainly remember how it all began and I thank God. Only He could bring two people that lived miles apart together in the way He did.

I love you so much more than I could ever say, John! Nine years ago today, my life was changed in wonderful ways - forever!
Until we meet again...
Riley

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sweet Christmas Song

One of the many things I love about Christmas is the music. I L.O.V.E. Christmas music and John does too. I listen to it on the radio in the car going to and fro, on my computer at work and play lots of Christmas CDs at home and in the car throughout the holiday season. I even worked out to Christmas music this morning - it made it a little more enjoyable and tolerable (but still no fun at 5am). Nevertheless, Christmas songs bring me so much joy and cheer.

We have several Christmas CDs and we took a few on our Thanksgiving road trip. It was fun to listen and sing along as we drove along the highway. Last year, I bought John Chris Tomlin's Christmas CD "Glory in the Highest". It is SO GOOD - we love it. All 12 songs are amazing. He sings a few classics and also songs written just for this album. We highly, highly recommend it! One of the songs on the CD is simply beautiful. It is written and sung by Audrey Assad who has such a peaceful and angelic voice. The song is called "Winter Snow" and is about the way Jesus came to us - in such a quiet and soft way, just like snow. Of all of the ways our Lord and Savior could have come into the world, He came in such a serene way. I found a video online (part of the side is cut off - sorry!) where you can hear her sing and follow along with the lyrics on the screen as well as some beautiful images - especially the one at the end.



Enjoy ~ Until we meet again...
Riley

Monday, November 22, 2010

HAPPY THANKSGIVING


We had a wonderful weekend! We got caught up on several things, had some time to rest and the house is now decorated inside and out for Christmas so we will be ready to enjoy it all once we return from our Thanksgiving trip. It's nice to have it all done and the house feels so fun and festive. We took lots of pictures so we hope to share those next week.

We'll be taking a little blogging break as we leave tomorrow afternoon to go and spend Thanksgiving with my family. We'll be back home Saturday evening and will have Sunday to recover and regroup before going back to work next Monday. We are looking forward to a great Thanksgiving trip and time with family.

After Thanksgiving, we look forward to enjoying the Christmas season! There are lots of fun and exciting things ahead. Christmas card preparations are underway, we've got a few gifts bought and can now begin wrapping presents to put under the tree (my favorite thing to do at Christmas), more shopping and ordering to do, holiday baking, we have some Christmas activities planned for around here, we have a list of Christmas movies we want to watch over the course of the next few weeks (probably with popcorn or hot chocolate - yum!) - lots of neat things going on to enjoy this magical time of year.

From John and I to you and your family ~ we wish you a VERY HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Be safe and have fun and give thanks to God from whom all blessings flow!

Until we meet again...
Riley

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Time is Near to "Deck the Halls"

These are actually a couple of pictures from last year, but we are excited in the Ussery home because we are decorating for Christmas this weekend. Hooray for the holidays!

We do realize that we have yet to celebrate Thanksgiving, but we will be traveling this Thanksgiving (leaving next Tuesday afternoon) so we wanted to put up our lights on the house and get the inside decorated so it's all done and ready to enjoy once the Thanksgiving weekend is over. We are going to make a few snacks and do our decorating Friday night and Saturday. We also play Christmas CDs while we decorate so it makes it all the more fun. John is getting started on our outside lights and decorations tomorrow. He's really excited and loves to play "Clark Griswold" and work on "exterior illumination". The weather has felt very cool and crisp lately - perfect for this time of year.

We will have a recap and pictures soon of "Christmas Decorating 2010". We are looking forward to December - we have a lot going on, but it's such a fun time of year!

Until we meet again...
Riley

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Salute to Veterans

This morning when I woke up, I knew it was Veterans Day. I was aware of it, but that's about the extent of my thoughts early this morning. Then I tore off the page on our "page-a-day" calendar by the phone and it read, "Respectfully acknowledge the price courageous and liberty-loving men and women in uniform today and in the past have paid for our freedom, our opportunities, and our security." It gave me chills!

We have family that have served in the military including my Grandpa, Armando's father, Kristin's father, John's Dad and John's brother as well as several other family members and friends. I even lost a dear childhood and church friend, Dan Amaya, who died while serving in Iraq.

As I headed off to work, several people in the neighborhood were flying their flags. I leave early in the morning, so the streets are quiet. There was something about the peaceful neighborhood this morning and the site of "Old Glory" waving in the wind in many front yards. And then on the radio, I hear Lee Greenwood singing "I'm Proud To Be An American" followed by an unbelievable rendition of the national anthem. By this point, I have tears streaming down my face.

AND THEN, I turned it on to a local Christian radio station and they are interviewing a soldier and his wife. The soldier suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of serving in the military. There's no way I can express how horrible his current life is, although it's getting much better, but it was eye opening! His wife talked about how angry and aggressive he was when he returned because he still had that "fighting" mentality. He talked about the endless tears of guilt he sheds and the severe depression he suffers with because he survived and others didn't and because he got to come home and others are still serving. He said he has constant visual images in his mind of what he saw over there and they are haunting. He talked about how simple things like digging a whole for a tree in the backyard will remind him of horrible things. He also mentioned a time that they were walking through the mall and he heard a distant pop and he immediately fell to the ground thinking it was a gun shot. His whole life has been changed, but he still was so proud and grateful to have served.

I think about the holidays coming up and how blessed John and I are to be able to visit and see both sides of our family. However, I feel for those who haven't seen their family in months or more. I am saddened to think about soldiers not seeing their spouse, children, parents, friends and extended family at the happiest time of the year. Not only are they away from their loved ones, they are fighting for us and going through unimaginable things. I'm at a loss for words.

When we went to a Texas Rangers game over the summer, on 4th of July, they had a pre-game ceremony where almost two-hundred young men and women lined the baseball diamond and were sworn into the United State Air Force. Oh it gave me goosebumps, a lump in my throat and tiny tears in the corners of my eyes. It was touching and made me so proud to be an American!
I guess today was a wake up call. What I complain about seems so petty after what I experienced and heard this morning. I gripe about traffic driving to work and driving home, not enough time in the day, having to get up early, a long to do list, a busy schedule during the holidays, house chores to tend to, projects going undone, a bad hair day, not wanting to workout - you get the idea. We all complain about the most trivial things. I felt so greedy, guilty and selfish after this morning. I have before, but then I fall back into my comfortable life and lose sight of things, taking so much for granted.

So today, I am saluting veterans - the MANY men and women who are now and who have served in the past putting their life on the line for my me and for us, for our freedom. This amazing group of people, past and present, deserve so much more than the simple thanks I can express. There's nothing I could write about that would detail what the military and their families go through from beginning to end. Their sacrifice and their service is a precious gift to all Americans.

There are so many opportunities to help the military and sadly, we don't do it enough. They need Bibles, their families need Christmas gifts and food (and care and help throughout the year for that matter), they can use old cell phones, they deserved to be greeted and appreciated when they fly home, they need encouragement and to know we are rooting for them, they need help transitioning back to normal life and the list goes on. If you can, especially during this holiday season, help them!

The solider on the radio said this verse helped him as he served. Joshua 1:9 "This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

I salute you all!
Riley

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Things to Be Happy About ~ October Edition

Goodness, I have been bad blogger! I haven't blogged in a week. Where has the last week gone? Life has been busy and we've been out of town with another trip planned this weekend. November is upon us and 2010 is nearing it's end. It's time to post my "things to be happy about" from October. If you are new to this, I received a bright yellow, page-a-day desk calendar for Christmas last year and it sits on my desk at work. Each day the page lists various things to be happy about. Throughout the month I keep up with my favorite things the pages list and blog about them at the end of the month explaining why it makes me happy. I'm a person who tries to find happiness in the littlest of things and so many things excite me. I'm easily pleased. If you want to catch up, I started this in January so you can always look through my archive.

Here are my October things to be happy about...
  • Lattes ~ Yum! My favorite drink at Starbucks and visiting Starbucks makes me happy.
  • Service with a Smile ~ I love a good "customer service representative" or a person that works in retail with a smile and good attitude. Sadly these days it seems like more and more people that work in stores are rude or are so negative.
  • Screaming for Your Team ~ I LOVE sports! High School, College and Professional and I LOVE cheering my teams on. I admit, I can get a little intense too!
  • Saturday Nights ~ This is usually "Date Night" for me and my sweet husband whether out on the town enjoying dinner, dessert and a movie or staying in at home for a fun meal and board games. Saturday nights bring me lots of happiness!
  • Paying Cash ~ Dave Ramsey and his system are amazing. We have been doing the Dave Ramsey "thing" for over a year now and it's been such a blessing and helped us a great deal. One of his methods is paying/using cash for as much as possible via "the envelope system" so it's worked out really well. It took some adjusting at first, but now we love it.
  • Spongebob Squarepants ~ Such a funny little dude that makes me laugh!
  • Hamster Wheels ~ This makes me happy not because I love hamsters, nor have I ever had one, but John often refers to me as his "HamsterMonkey" (which is a whole other post), but it has to do with me and my OCD, to do lists and need to keep up with too much at once. If I have a lot going on or I'm going in a million directions, we joke about me getting in my "hamster wheel".
  • Getting exactly what you ordered ~ I tend to have bad luck at restaurants with many stories I could share, so it's always nice to receive exactly what I ordered
  • Christmas Wish Lists ~ I've been working on mine! I also love knowing what my family and friends are wishing for...especially our nieces and nephews.
  • Frying Donuts ~ This reminds me of my Grammy. She would make us and also taught me how to make little cinnamon and sugar donuts out of biscuits. They are very tasty and it's a precious memory.
  • Halloween Candy Stash ~ Halloween candy is fun because we never buy that much candy at one time and such variety any other time of year. Once I had our Halloween candy out in bowls this year,. we would grab a "fun sized" item from time to time. We had a record 170 trick-or-treaters (yes, we count them) and that was even with running out of candy at 8pm or we could have had more.
  • A Roof Over Your Head ~ I'm thankful for this every.single.day! Especially when I drive by and see homeless people. I feel for those living in horrible environments or in homes falling apart. Just a couple of weeks ago (on a Saturday) a house about 1/2 a mile from us completely burned. We pass by the dark black remains of this home every day and it's so sad that these people not only lost their home, but everything in it.
  • Baked Beans ~ I'm not a "straight out of the can" pork & beans fan, but I love me some baked beans. My Dad's recipe is the best - YUM-O!
  • Beef Stroganoff ~ This is on our menu every month - one of our favorites. We use my Grandpa's recipe that's in their church's cookbook from many, many years ago. I love making my grandparent's recipes and favorites in my own kitchen.
  • The World Series ~ We just have the pleasure of enjoy this. Unfortunately, our Texas Rangers came up short and were beat by the San Francisco Giants and their awesome pitching staff, but it was fun! We are big Rangers' fans so it was a thrilling year - thanks for a great a season guys.
  • Getting Engaged ~ This happened to me on April 16, 2002 - 8 1/2 years ago. It was one of the happiest days of my life.
  • Leaving on a Road Trip ~ We really enjoy traveling together and are always up for a road trip and have taken many. We have a few planned over these next couple of months with the holidays nearing.
  • Cherries in Fruit Cocktail ~ My favorite part! I don't eat it too much, but when I do or I buy it I like to get the "very cherry" for extra yumminess.
  • A Triple Word Score in Scrabble ~ Oh the excitement in an enjoyable game!
  • A Newly Trimmed Lawn ~ Fresh cut grass makes the house look and feel so nice.
  • Waking Up Without an Alarm ~ A.K.A. SLEEPING IN - that makes everyone happy when we are able to do that.
  • A Mug of Hot Cider ~ A warm fall treat! I actually had some the other night while I was working on things around the house. Have you had a "Carmel Apple Spice" at Starbucks? - get one!
  • Cooking at Home More ~ I love to cook and bake and wish I had more time to do it. I have time now, but I can't get enough. After working all day and making the drive home, I still enjoy making supper and sitting down to eat with John. I really enjoy cooking on the weekends when I have additional time. I love to try new recipes and I really enjoy making desserts.
  • S'Mores ~ Finger Lickin' Good! They are the best with a campfire, but we have a tabletop s'mores maker that works really well and is super neat.
  • Erasers that Work Well ~ I can't stand a pencil with a crummy eraser or one that leaves colored streaks. A good eraser = two thumbs up!
I have a lot to be happy about this time of year with Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching - such a special time of year. We have lots of fun plans with family and also just for the two of us. It will be a busy time with lots going on, but life is good. God is Good!

I hope you find something to be happy about each day.
Until we meet again!
Riley

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

I am linking up with Jamie today for "What I'm Loving Wednesday". What a fun, mid-week activity to reflect on a few things making your heart happy.

I'm loving that the Texas Rangers are playing in their first WORLD SERIES ever starting tonight! GO RANGERS - Beat those San Francisco Giants!! There is such excitement here in the Dallas area. John and I have been faithful Ranger fans all year, watching just about every game and we went to a few as well. We are hoping for sweet victory!
I'm loving the devotional study we are working on right now. It was created by Focus on the Family as part of their "Essentials of Marriage" series. This one is called, "Who Did You Really Marry?" - which covers topics such as communication, personality types and love languages. We do a devotional every Tuesday night and we are really enjoing this study - we've learned a lot and laughed a lot. It also has DVD lessons with it which are really good. We are about halfway done and plan on doing more in this series once we have completed this one.

I'm loving that after our devotional last night we watched "The Great Pumpkin" - a Peanuts gang classic. John loves the Peanuts gang and it's tradition that we watch all of their holiday specials. We popped the DVD in last night and enjoyed it with a cup of coffee - it was a nice night. I'm loving that we are leaving town tomorrow afternoon for a weekend trip to visit my family and go to a high school football game - an annual tradition! I haven't been home since May - wow! I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone. We go back home each year to watch my high school, the Odessa Bronchos, play the cross-town rival Permian Panthers. Ever heard of Friday Night Lights? That's them!! This picture is from two years ago...

I'm loving that we will be back home on Sunday in time to pass out Halloween candy. We have so much fun doing that every year and we get a lot of trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood. We also try to keep a count of how many we have. I will count them as John hands out candy and vice versa. Last year, we had 161 trick-or-treaters, but we ran out of candy. You can read about Halloween 2009 here. Since we will be leaving town tomorrow and just getting back into town Sunday afternoon, I already have our candy ready to go on the entry way bench.I'm loving these next two months - November and December. With all sorts of holiday fun surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas and the weeks in between, this is definitely my favorite time of year. We have lots of fun plans over these next several weeks. It's a busy time, but so worth it!

And as always, I'm loving my incredible, amazing blessing from God - my husband, John! He's all that I ever prayed for and more! I feel so lucky each and every day that I get to be his wife. God has blessed us abundantly in our life together! In just a little over 3 months we'll be celebrating 8 years of marriage - how sweet!

Happy Wednesday ~ hope you're loving something today!
Until we meet again...
Riley