Monday, December 31, 2007

The LAST post of 2007...

It's been a great year for us, with a lot of changes and fun. I'm currently working on my 2007 family scrapbook (all digital this year!), and it's nice to remember back on all the things we experienced this year...Jacob and David's baptisms; my college roommate visiting; David's 13th birthday on Easter; visits with the Bogles; picking strawberries in April; my downtown photo safari with Angie; Palmetto Bible Camp; ROME, ITALY; Mullet Hall for the last time; lazy summer days at the beach; me starting a full-time job; driving through the mountains and seeing Pretty Place with Tommy and Becky; kitchen remodel; Alyne home for A blessed year- not surprised.

So here is the last post of 2007- I'm going to show you what we've done over the past week. Hang on!

I love my new kitchen more every day!! It makes me want to stretch out my arms and sing each morning when I walk in, just like Cinderella in a fairy tale! It's so neat and clean and shiny and organized and spacious...we just love hanging out. And we even love emptying the dishwasher- wonder how long that will last??

Next are random photos of some of my favorite Christmas things...

Our tree...

Our baking...(love my kitchen!!!)....

Friends' and family's well-wishes...

My gift tags...I copied the idea, but don't you LOVE IT???

Candles candles candles...

My pink tree with flamingo ornaments...(I also had a Noah's Ark tree and a Hershey Elf tree at one time- I liked themed trees)...

Santa left David and Jacob some "little bottled Cokes" in our fridge on Christmas the originally-shaped bottles! Cool surprise, Santa!

Alyne came home for Christmas!! We were SO excited! We wish she would stay...goodbye is not fun.

Our traditional Mexican feast with family...and traditional photo taken by the waiter!

Making Christmas cookies on December 24th...

HAPPY NEW YEAR, YA'LL! See you next year!

Monday, December 24, 2007

That's what Christmas is all about...

Charlie Brown: (shouting in desperation) Isn't there anyone out there who can tell me what Christmas is all about?

Linus Van Pelt: Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you. Lights, please. [a spotlight shines on Linus]

Linus Van Pelt: "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were so afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you this day is born in the City of Bethlehem, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men'". That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Bear is BAAAAAck...

Tommy and Becky and Larry and I had a staff retreat for church camp in November- Palmetto Bible Camp is in the SC/NC mountains. They took us to "Pretty Place" at Camp Greenville (an outdoor chapel overlooking a valley and a range of mountains)- and it sure was pretty! We took Bear, too, who also enjoyed the view. It was SO cold but such a beautiful lookout...I could have sat there all day but they had a wedding coming in...

These are for you, Becky!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The last Days...

It's been a busy week, with the kitchen going on and school coming to an end...where I left off...???

Day Eleven was Saturday- they laid out countertops, put in appliances, and did all the detail stuff. They were here ALL day- it was rough. Day Twelve (Monday) and Day Thirteen (Tuesday) were the last days of painting, touch-up, plumbing for the sink/dw, adjusting cabinet doors/drawers, etc etc etc. SO...Wednesday we started moving in! It's going to take me all afternoon Friday (we get out of school at noon) and all day Saturday to empty boxes and figure out where it all goes. I'm posting past photos, but I'll show more when we get some decor up. We LOVE LOVE LOVE it and are still overwhelmed that it's OURS. It's such a turn-around. BTW- we christened the oven on Wednesday night with frozen pizzas and Tollhouse cookies...ahhh....

And the bonus photo is the ONLY still shot I got of my sweet, fast-moving 18 month old nephew. All the other 20+ are blurs. Whew...forgot what having a toddler was like!

Friday, December 14, 2007

My inner elf has to play...

My sister-in-law posted this list of Christmas-related questions on her blog.

If you know me well (my favorite song right now is "Everybody Loves Christmas" by Eddie Money- you know, from the end of The Santa Clause 2 when Mrs. Claus dances???), then you know my inner elf said...

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Paper. Hands-down. Who wants to pull a gift out of a bag???

2. Real tree or artificial? Real. You should be ashamed of yourself for putting up a fake one.

3. When do you put up the tree? The Saturday after Thanksgiving.

4. When do you take the tree down? Usually a day or two after Christmas. When it's over, it's over. No since in making yourself depressed just looking at.

5. Do you like eggnog? Ugh.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I specifically remember the year we wanted an Atari, and we were not expecting one. Then on Christmas morning, E.T. was on the TV took us all of about 10 seconds to figure it out!!! We were so excited- and we even had to take turns with mom, who loved Asteroids.

7. Have a nativity scene? Yes.

8. Hardest person to buy for? People who either have everything or have more money than me, so anything they want they could have already bought for themselves and I can't afford.

9. Easiest person to buy for? Kids. They always want SOMEthing.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I honestly can't think of anything too awful. I have received tons of *trinkets* from students- mugs, candy, mugs, ornaments, mugs, candy, lotion, ornaments. But that isn't *bad* because they are so sweet and so excited when they give it to you.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Real photo card. Link to the blog for the *letter*. (Since I did cut down a real tree, I figured I'd do my part and save some paper).

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Yikes. Well- I have to choose two. "A Year Without a Santa Claus" because I LOVELOVELOVE Heat Miser's and Snow Miser's songs! (Larry and I almost went as them to a Halloween party one year.) And "Charlie Brown's Christmas". It says Christmas all over it- a classic. I know just about all the words because I watch it several times each Christmas.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? The day after Thanksgiving. Yes, I'm out there with all those crazy people!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Not that I remember.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Sweet treats we only make at Christmas...mainly Angie's Peanut Butter Balls!

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Once again I have two (all good elves can't like just one). Everybody Loves Christmas by Eddie Money; and I also like the Trans Siberian Orchestra's Christmas Pachelbel Canon. It would be beautiful for a Christmas wedding.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dumb question.

20. Angel on top of the tree or star? An angel. It was hand-tatted by a very old lady at a church I went to years ago. I won it in the gift exchange. It was the present I opened, and then I got to choose to "steal" ANYone's gift and trade. But I kept mine- I loved it! They thought I was being nice, but I really loved it!

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Because we have a ton of family and I am a Christmas elf, we start around the 21st/22nd, ending with our family of five on Christmas morning. It's nice for the kiddos to have it spread out a bit.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? How they repeat the SAME Christmas songs over and over on the radio (they never play my favorites). And the traffic near major shopping areas.

23. What I love most about Christmas? The decorations, the shopping, the food, the gift-giving, the hanging-out with family, the time off from school, the music, the sights and smells, the everybody's having fun stuff!

Day Ten....

Day Ten was Thursday- they laid the vinyl flooring. It's kinda of weird because it *floats* and for now it's got bubbles that are supposed to work themselves out. Or they'll fix it. (You bet they will).

Day Eleven will be tomorrow- they took today off so the floor would settle and the countertops would be ready.

I'll post photos soon!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Days Eight and Nine...

...were visually uneventful.

They finished up the electrical work; put up the crown molding; adjusted cabinet doors; and put in the under-cabinet lights.

No photos- sorry. Hopefully countertops and appliances soon!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Salley Family Christmas Letter, 2007

Yes, I decided to do a "blog" letter this year. I'm going green.

Here are the *highlights* of our year...

*Larry is in his 9th year of teaching 7th grade at PG, and he's still busy as ever with his XC/track coaching.

*I am teaching full-time again this fall, also at PG- first grade. It's been an adjustment for our family, but I love my students and colleagues and especially love being with my family.

*David is in 8th grade at PG. He tried JV football this fall instead of XC and decided that was not his sport. He is currently playing shooting/point guard on the bball team; will be starring as Daddy Warbucks in the middle school musical "Annie"; and is the middle school student council president! We're pretty proud of how he handles it all. David was also baptized at Winterfest in February.

*Jacob is in 5th grade at PG. He's still playing guitar and some occassional bball, and creates all sorts of things with Legos. He's our outdoorsman, fishing and starting some hunting with my dad (Opa). He also has a fish tank he maintains and is doing VERY well this year in school. 5th grade has been a good transition for him. He was also baptized this year in January.

*Mary Elizabeth is in 3rd grade at PG. She is involved in Girl Scouts and enjoys the typical *girly-girl* things like cheerleading, American Girl dolls, arts and crafts, and clothes! She is still extremely petite and is sensitive to the fact that she's not much bigger than most kindergartners. She's lost her two front teeth, though, and when she speaks to you, you realize she's much older than she looks!

This year...

*...we have been to Rome, Italy. Larry and I chaperoned a two week trip for 18 PG HS students. It was AWEsome. Check out my photos.

*...we have redone our kitchen, a perk of going back to work. We had no stove, no dw.

*...I joined a gym. Best thing I've probably done for my health, physically and mentally.

*...we went to church camp this summer for a week, where Larry and I were educational directors for the first time. We love camp.

I'm sure there are many other that happened this year, but I think most of the *important* thoughts are already posted on my blog- so feel free to "look around".
It's been a good year. It's kinda funny how at the end of a year you're in a place that you really never expected or envisioned. It's even better. God is so good.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Better late than never...