Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas 2010! ( in last Christmas)

Almost a year ago (Christmas Eve day) we woke up to a winter wonderland.  Ryan and I had plans to drive to my parent's house that day to spend Christmas with them and make a special stop along the way to pick up a very special Christmas gift.

Rewind a few weeks when someone in the family...(I think it was Melissa?) informed us that there were great pyrenees puppies for sale not too far away and suggested that we go "look" a them.  I knew before I married Ryan that we would own a great pyr some day.  It was only a matter of time.  :)  I also knew that there was no such thing as just "looking" at great pyr puppies.  No. way.  In my heart I knew that if we went to look at them we would have to bring one home with us. we went to a farm in rural Iowa where Ryan picked out the biggest puppy of the litter. :)  We couldn't take him home with us that day because he was only a few weeks old and had to have his deworming shots. Fast forward to Christmas Eve day which was the day we chose to pick him up since it was between where we live and where my parents live.  

We waited a little bit to see if the snow would let up Christmas Eve day and then decided just to head out because we were anxious to pick up the puppy and get to my parent's house!  It helps that Ryan loves the challenge of driving in the snow and we have a pretty reliable vehicle.  My smart husband was thinking ahead and tossed a recovery strap and a shovel in the jeep in case of an emergency.  It was a good thing he did that because we got to be a Christmas Eve blessing to a woman who had spun her car around on an exit ramp and got stuck in a snow bank.  Pretty exciting.  The roads weren't too terrible until we got out on the country gravel roads that hadn't been plowed yet!  I'm glad my mom wasn't with us. ;)  When we got there we discovered that the dog we had picked out a couple weeks before was given to someone else!  The lady confused which dog was ours.  So we picked a different dog.  Ryan picked him because of the spot on his back and a pink spot on his nose.  We're glad we got him!

it's really hard to tell by looking at this photo...but this is one of the country roads we traveled

Here's the photographic review of the past year....

on the way to meet my parents!

meeting the cousins for the first time.  little did they know he would soon be bigger than them!

oh the fun things you can do a dog while he's sleeping!

He really likes to be in the way.

Sorry for all the photos!  It was hard to chose just a few.  :) 

So we've had Gil for a year and I can't imagine our home without him.  I had never thought of myself as a dog person until we got him (don't worry dad...I still love cats too :).  He is a big sweetie and a gentle giant (most of the time) which makes it worth the endless amounts of the fur and drool. :)  There is nothing like snuggling a big, fluffy, great pyr.  Trust me.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanks be to God....

Happy Thanksgiving!  I know it was a couple days ago and the majority of the world has moved on to thinking about Christmas.  Don't get me wrong....I love Christmas.  However, giving thanks should be a part of every day, shouldn't it?  I haven't been on facebook much in the last couple days but I recall seeing my friend Cindy's status on Thanksgiving day.  It said "What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?" Hmm.  I've just been pondering that these last couple days.  I confess I don't thank Him enough and He sure has abundantly blessed me.  I want to remember to thank Him every day....especially for "His indescribable gift" 2 Cor. 9:15  Even when life seems tough and money is tight....there is always much to be thankful for.  

What a week this was!  I had 3 cleaning jobs this week (thankful for that!), and on Tuesday night we had three of Ryan's friends from high school, along with their wives and kids over for a quick but fun supper!  That was eight adults (including me and Ry) and eight kids!!!!  My table looked plain, and the garlic bread was a bit more crispy than I would've liked, but none of that mattered because it was special just being with people we care about and enjoying the time with them.  I don't know Ryan's friends super well but I know they are great guys and it is such a treat to get to know their wives better.  After supper, the four wives and all eight kiddos went to watch the husbands play soccer.  They didn't win :( but...Lee scored the goal of the night.  Way to go, Lee!  He probably won't even read this. I'm really lamenting the fact that I didn't have a chance to take a single picture of this crazy gathering and I totally forgot to have everyone sign my guestbook.  Oh well.  Next time!  :) 

On Wednesday night we had our annual Wafflegiving at the chapel.  It's pretty self explanatory. We eat waffles with all kinds of yummy toppings and everyone shares what they're thankful for! :)  It was memorable and unique and there was lots to be thankful for.  When we got home my parents were waiting at our house and the kitchen fairy (my mom) had washed all the dirty dishes I had left behind in a hurry to get out to the chapel.   She decided "the cleaning lady needed a cleaning lady." ;) So thankful for her!

Our thanksgiving was a small but sweet gathering that included me, Ryan, and both sets of parents.  We hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our house this year and I loved every minute!  It was a pretty stress free day as I prepared as much as I could the night before and my MIL contributed ham and apple pie to the meal.  I asked Dad to make his famous secret stuffing. Even though it's never the's always delicious.  My dad pastored a church for 25 years and every year he and my mom would make a thanksgiving meal for the whole congregation.  People would always ask him for his stuffing recipe but he would never give it up.  He's one of those creative cooks who can just throw things together and *poof!* it's amazing.  I didn't think so when I was a kid because I could only appreciate things like mac and cheese.  ;)  When i shuffled downstairs in my PJs on Thanksgiving morning, he was already in the kitchen working his magic. :) So thankful for him.  My kitchen fairy followed behind me all day, cleaning dishes and helping with the feast preparations as much as possible.  Did I already say I was thankful for her?  Well...I am.  

it was so fun dressing up the table! :)

look at that handsome red bearded man!  love him! definitely thankful for him!

enjoying a little taste pre-dinner!  :)

praline pumpkin torte.  so delicious. 

thankful for parents

 We had a lovely time of eating and giving thanks.  I may or may not have teared up a little. :)  We laughed and talked and we started the tradition of each person reading a verse out of the verse box and guessing the reference. It was a great evening.

Mom and I ventured out shopping later in the day on Friday.  Thankfully we didn't have to fight off any psychos with pepper spray or worry about getting trampled.  We slept in and went out when we thought it was safe. :)  I have actually never done the whole black Friday shopping thing.  I cannot stand massive crowds of people.  We only went a few places, but mom found lots of treasures at a consignment shop for the ebay business my parents have.

While we were gone Ry and Dad put Christmas lights on the house and Ry was working on Gilbert's dog house when we got home.

you can't see him but Ryan was actually in the dog house too. :)

I think Dad likes Gilbert a little more each time he comes. :)

One thing is for sure....Gil definitely likes my dad! :)

I'll leave you with one final picture from tonight. Ryan and I were sitting at the dining room table working on Sunday school stuff for tomorrow and Gil was helping Ry.

Time for bed!  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!