Monday, December 30, 2013

New Driver

Wow, how can this be here already?
 I remember way back when Dan was contemplating beginning online college courses. We figured out that by the time he gets his degree, he will be nearing 40 and Danny will be close to driving age. That seemed SO far off in the distance! But here we are!

The week after his birthday we were packing to spend a night and two days with my sister Chris in Georgia. Our goal was to have everything packed, so we could meet Dan on our way north, as he was leaving work. Around 10 that morning, Danny asked me if I could take him to the courthouse to take his driver's permit test. I didn't think he had studied his manual all that much,  but he was serious and so I decided to let him give it a try, even though it was going to make my day extra busy.

After I felt like I had everything done around the house and all our clothes packed, off we went.

The people at the courthouse were so friendly and the man behind the desk made a joke about how they don't want mug shots they ask you to smile for your license photo. The photo was taken even before the test was administered. I guess that way if they pass, it's all set to go.

After the man took Danny to the other room and let him sit behind closed doors to answer all the questions, I began to wonder.....if he DOES pass this test, am I going to let him drive home?? Then I really started getting nervous! :) And pass he did!! :) The road signs part of the test he got all right. The road rules, he missed 4. I was so thankful because I didn't realize how much the test and then a re-test would cost! :O

Since I had a few stops to make and he had never driven before, I made him wait till we were done at the grocery store and then I let him drive home, and then to the farm for milk and to the destination where we were to meet Dan. I was surprised how well he did!

Once he drove on some of the narrow back roads, things were a little more hairy for me. I like control and I was NOT in control!! :P I am thankful to say that after 3 weeks of this, I am much more relaxed. My foot doesn't press the floor and things in my lap don't get turned a little sideways when I think he should get closer to the other side of the lane! ;) (yeh, that's how I try to "control" moving things in my lap will make any difference! Haha!)

Last week I let him take me to town....he got to pull in at the bay door at the service station, back out onto a main road and then drive through the bank drive-thru window and also park in two parking lots. He did so good

Dan makes me sit up front if we are both along, because he thinks that I do too much "back seat driving". But I think it's about same-same. :D I will say, I'd rather be up front....then I can grab the wheel if necessary! :) :) Just kidding!!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Time

It's been a busy, busy week!! 

Last Saturday we had choir practice in the morning from 10-12 Noon. 

Late afternoon, we headed to Dothan, AL to do some Christmas Caroling. Raymond Smoker, a man who attended our church, but passed away a while back, worked for Dr. Maddox in Dothan. Dr. Maddox loved Raymond and after his passing asked that our church stay involved in his life in different ways. One was inviting us to carol with his family and (church??). They have horses and carriages covered in lights, that go to a retirement home and then carol through a large, well-to-do neighborhood.
It was really neat to see how many people were sitting out waiting to hear the carolers come through. At the nursing home, they opened the dining room windows, where residents were eating supper, and many came out on the porch to listen.
Then we slowly went through the neighborhood and ended up at a park in the middle of the development where there was special singing by the Maddox family, and others and a short devotional. They had fires going, a playground for the kids and hot drinks and cookies for everyone! It was a really fun evening!! :) 

This was our ride!!

And the riders....I cut off Carmen Miller and Rocky had run to get our caroling papers, so he was missing beside Heidi. Jeremy was our leader who was hanging on the back of the wagon and Ben came later! 

Carmen and Tamara

It was a fairly warm evening, with a nice breeze, so the residents could come outside to hear the singing without freezing! :)

Sunday morning, Dan preached at ACI and the hurried to church to share a Christmas message with our church. Came home and enjoyed a quick lunch of pulled pork sandwiches!

In the afternoon I started with a case of the runs! :( I was planning to join our church singing at one of the local nursing homes, but decided that wasn't going to work. Instead I stayed home and got in a short nap. We were supposed to be at church by 4:45 to get one last practice before our program that evening. I still wasn't feeling real great, but seemed to be getting better, thankfully!

Hey, I can dream, right?? ;)

This one got kind of blurry, but it's the best one with the whole choir and our leader! :)

The children sang one song they learned during Sunday school time, "O Come Little Children".

There were other special parts by some of Jeremy's piano students as well as some of the choir members.

This was Jeremy and Nathalie Yoder (14) playing a piano duet, "Angels We Have Heard on High"

After the service, we had snacks and fellowship for all. During that time, I started getting really cold and just feeling miserable. Till we got home, I had a fever of 100.6. It climbed to 101.5 at the highest. I spent pretty much all day Monday just lying around. With the fever and runs, I also had headaches, body aches and lots of stomach pain! :P

My plan HAD been to get the house cleaned on Monday and then spend Tuesday baking cookies. Well, on Tuesday I was feeling much better, still had the sharp stomach pains, but was able to get a lot done. I still didn't feel like baking, but Danny did. He mixed up a batch of mint chocolate chip cookies and then delivered a plate full to our neighbors, the Alford's.
 Hopefully tomorrow we can do some baking! :)

Danny made some yummy cookies.....yes, I ate one today. Hopefully it wasn't too soon to put something like this into my emptied out system! :P

I love all the cards and pictures we receive this time of year!! And I'll be honest, those cards with a little dough in them also brighten my day! :) We got 2 or 3 like that! 

Christmas Eve

Since I was still not feeling 100% better yesterday, and not feeling much like eating, we ordered pizza for supper. (I think that may become a Christmas Eve tradition) After supper, we each opened one gift!

Tamara was thrilled with her new warm PJ's, PB cups and a Nutella snack pack! :)

Danny likes his 24 oz. camo Mt. Dew!!

And his new PJ's

My family knows what I love. I think for my safety, I will put some of these in cookies! :)

Dan's gift was Blueberry Cordials and a Roller Massager! That thing is just heavenly! It just picks the sore muscles right out!! We have all reaped the benefits of this purchase!! :)

Showered and decked out in their new PJ's and ready for a movie marathon!! :)

The forecast was for a cold night and frost! So Danny set up the sprinkler and turned it on before we went to bed.
This is what we woke to this morning....

And ICE!! :)

The sprinkler has pretty much become a tradition every year! It's just so cool!! (Literally!!) :)

I love how each blade of grass, or weed, becomes encapsulated in ice!! It's just so amazing!

I had also planned to make a menu for the week and go grocery shopping on Monday. Since that didn't happen, there was no real plans for food on Christmas Day! :( The morning started with Baked Blueberry Oatmeal and gifts!

Danny got an airsoft mask.

My new can opener!!

Dan got that Dr. Pepper shirt he's wanted for years, and some of his favorite food items.
I think we'll have waffles tomorrow morning, so he can use his new blueberry syrup! :)

Tamara likes her new watch, journal and pens.

And I got a new tripod since mine got left behind one day! ;)

I got some pretty bling from my dear hubby!! :) It says "You Hold My Heart Forever"

This gift was for both the kids and they pretty much had it figured out! :)

It kept them busy all morning and into the afternoon!! :)

Oh, yeh, someone got a new pair of shoes, too! :)
Tamara got boots, but we gave them to her early. She knew we got them and wanted to wear them for a special occassion! :)

All done!! :)

Now the guys are watching Basketball (well, at least the one who didn't fall asleep). I think we'll be going on a walk after awhile and letting the dogs out to play. Then a relaxing evening for all! :) Dan has off work the rest of the week!! Yay! Tomorrow, I plan to grocery shop, bake and do some last minute cleaning before Dan's two sister's and their little girls come on Friday!! :) Looking forward to having them here!!

I really hope to do better with my blog in the coming year! There are so many things on my mind to blog about! :) One thing I would like to do is share the amazing story of how Dan is starting a new job in January!! It's all been God!! :)

Merry Christmas and a Happy, Blessed New Year to each of my friends!!
"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Bike Hike -November 16

One of the first "fun" things I remember doing with our church when we moved here, was going on the Annual Bike Hike!! No one quite remembers, but it seems this annual event has been going on for over 20 years!!
 The Bike Hike takes place on St. Marks Historic Railroad Trail. The part we used to bike is a 16 mile trail. This year, we started at a nice park about midway, rode down to the fort and then back up to the park, which was probably somewhere between 14-15 miles total!

Thankful for those who "bring the kitchen sink"!! :) It is really nice to have some air pumps for those bike tires who got filled using a faulty gauge and were really not filled at all! :P (Yeh, we got a new gauge now!!) :)

The Miller family ready to go!! 
Yolie & I rode together the whole was a slow pace, because Collin was with us! That is a LONG way for a 4 year old to bike!! He did great and it gave us time to chat! :)

Loved this church along the trail....the tree (there were actually 2 of them) was very unique!!

Once everyone gets to the fort by the water, at the end of the trail, the kids love to run and "explore"!!

And climb the walls!!

Down by the water, Toby was sitting on a rock. He knew I was carrying my camera, so he gave me a sweet smile! :) Then Collin wanted a turn too! :) Two handsome little guys!!

This is at the end of the trail, ready to head back to the park.

Caroline leading the pack....her nephews and the young girls!

The trail is so beautiful and nicely paved!

When we got back to the park, a lunch of chili and taco soup was waiting!! 

You never know what kind of weather it will be on bike hike day! November weather can vary so much from year to year! We have gone when it was so cold that people were wearing gloves and coats, and we have gone when it was really hot!! This year was almost as perfect as you could wish for. It was warm and partly cloudy.