Sunday, December 28, 2008

More Catch Up

I took off the Monday after San Antonio - and so glad that I did. LK came over and we made the traditional goodies to take to our parties on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day: Spinach Dip; Tortilla Roll-Ups; Broccoli Salad; and cheese balls to pass out to my nephews. Rested up I returned to work for one day - nothing much to do but a little work - and went home a half hour early. Wednesday was Christmas Eve - so I finished wrapping a few little gifts and prepared to get to church early for the Children's Program. Even though I don't have any children in the program (yet) - I always go to watch my Sunday School kids & previous year's Sunday School kids. They really did a good job, especially my great nieces and nephews. They all sang and some had speaking parts which they did with great ease. And of course, all of them, a fashion plate!!

After a little chat with the kids, off to my former MIL's home and all the family. What a crowd! After eating, drinking, singing Happy Birthday to Jesus, and listening to Matt's CD, the kids opened gifts first. Chaos!! Most were very sweet and gave hugs all around. The adults opened gifts next, which the kids so nicely distributed. L & J received a few little "baby" things and I got a script "family" and "grand kids" wall hanging on which to attach photos. Too too late we headed home about midnight.

I was up the next morning as L & J planned to be there between 8:30 & 9, so I preheated the oven and got the breakfast casseroles ready to go in. Just as L & J arrived, the casserole was ready - complete with J's request of tater-tots on top. It was pretty good if I do say so myself. After we opened gifts, we had a little time to rest before heading to Mom & Dad's. The kids gave me the traditional fluffy house shoes, my ME calendar, candles and B&B stuff. We surprised R with his car air intake. He was pretty excited.

We got to Mom & Dad's about 11 where everyone arrived slowly, ate a little, and settled in to have the kids open gifts first. My sister's boyfriend's two girls came along, making for a quite noisy time - but that was to be expected. Mom's tree and presents were beautiful, as usual, and Mom passed out bags for the girls to collect her famous bows in, including rules of the game: no stealing; keep your and your family's bows only. L & J had to hurry off to J's Mom's house, so they didn't make it back for dinner @ 5 - turkey with all the trimmings. A nap would have been nice in between, but that didn't happen. R & I left after dinner clean-up, and I stayed on the couch for an evening of Christmas movies, then bed.

I think this was the first time that all the kids and families were at Mom & Dad's in a while - so that makes 6 kids, 4 spouses, 1 boyfriend & 2 kids, and 10 grand kids.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Our choir Christmas party was held the Friday before our San Antonio trip, at the home of one of our sopranos and her bass hubby. Their house is so beautiful with about 8 Christmas trees. There was singing - of course - of Steve's songs about the choir and of my song about Steve the Director, set to the tune of Frosty the Snowman. There was also lots of food and plenty to drink and laugh about - plus a rousting game of "Swap". It was relatively new to me and many others, but made for quite a loud game which enticed many to join in.

Saturday morning K came by to pick me up. It was a warm day - about 75 degrees - but we packed our coats and toboggans in plan with the forecast of a cold front coming through. We stopped at the Dell Children's Hospital to see K's niece for an hour or so - wearing our pink fluffy halos and bringing bags of goodies. We arrived at the hotel about 4:30 and met up with Jim and Paula - then got ready to head to the river walk. We were to meet at 6:15 at St. Joseph's landing to load the first boat. K parked at the Mercado and we rode the trolley back to the river walk, where our driver did not let us out exactly where we wanted, and we ended up searching for the landing - which no one really could direct us to - making it there just in time, out of breath and sweating from the warm weather. We carried our coats, just in case.

There was some drama about who was to ride the first boat - evidently Steve didn't know the current status of some sweetie-pies who wanted to ride together - so they were scheduled on separate boats - que lastima!! After a delay, we were set to go, sitting on our coats, wearing our flashing necklaces and glow-in-the-dark earrings and hair pins. According to our driver, Rachel, the river walk was the most crowded ever - as we could tell - and she has been driving for 9 years. We enjoyed singing and waving to the crowd, pulling up next to folks enjoying their dinner, a wedding, and an outdoor scene from "Wonderful Life". There were lots of smiles and hand waving, cheering, and good wishes. During one portion of the ride where there was no one around, Steve wanted us to sing the Hallelujah Chorus - just to see if we could. We did, and from then on, about every 3rd or 4th song was the Hallelujah Chorus. I must admit we sounded pretty good with the acoustics of the bridges over the river!

Round two found less drama - except for the fact that I dropped my coat in the river - but before we got started, the local visitors convention group came to video tape us performing in the boat and are going to use it for a promotional video. Our driver just had time to down a bite of supper, then off we went. We passed other boats that were singing, too - but not near as loudly as us. It seemed they sung into their song books and not to the crowds. Our driver said we were the best boat EVER! David retrieved my coat and I wrapped it in a WalMart sack for the rest of the trip.

We trekked back to the Marriot to use the facilities and find the trolley stop to catch a ride back to the Mercado. What a crazy driver he was. As we gathered at the corner to walk across the street to "Mi Tierra", our group of 7 decided not to go along, and we headed to K's car. A quieter dinner was in order - and we found that at Chili's at the Quarry. Still laughing, sharing drinks and dinner, we were sort of glad the season was 'over' for the choir - then we headed to the hotel to sleep.

I got up the next morning about 8 to shower and get ready, allowing the others to sleep in, or so I thought. Seems the sound of the hair dryer woke them up. We found out that the cold front came in while we slept - and it was a windy 32 degrees. No coat - but thank goodness for the toboggan and scarf and gloves! We went back to the Mercado, so La could shop for something for her Mom, then headed out. A few miles down the road, we stopped at Cracker Barrel for lunch - where I took off my hat at the table - a big mistake - as my hair was ridiculously shaped into the hat hair I loathes. I actually didn't see it til I went to the restroom - OMG! What a mess, but what a laugh I had. Toboggan all the way home.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cantata 2008

This weekend was our home church performance of the 2008 Cantata "Why Christmas". After having practiced since July, I think the audience and our choir (kwar) director was pleased. Prior to this performance, we had already done so in Shreveport on Thanksgiving weekend, then "down under" in the caves at Burnet, (pictured above) not to mention still practicing in between.
Then after the home performance, we traveled to Clifton to sing once more at the Lutheran church there. Whew! What a few busy weekends we've had!
This weekend we head to San Antonio for what our group has dubbed the Saturday San Antonio Solstice Singing Celebration on the Riverboats. Its a wonderful time with the river walk decorated in lights and most folks in the Christmas Spirit of it all. One of our church members - who's daughter sings in the choir - rents two boats so that we all have an opportunity to sing - and the boat drivers love it almost as much as the folks walking or eating dinner along the way. We wear 'flashy' jewelry and fun hats and shirts, then go out to eat with our group after singing. We won't have much of a voice left by that time. Its a perfect way to round out the season.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Random thoughts...

Everyone seems happy to... sing Christmas Carols; dress in festive clothes; bring good wishes to all they meet; shop for the perfect gift; attend church; keep secrets until Christmas morning; decorate the tree, the house and even the car!

Do cranky people seem less cranky this time of year? Or is it that we just choose to ignore the cranky part and look for the good?

Its easy to get overwhelmed at the thought of the "To Do" list. It seems to get longer every day.

And what about the "Christmas Music"? Sometimes its a little much, especially when blaring from every radio and store speaker system! An occasional drive to and from in silence is actually quite nice.

Cold sunny days are my favorite. Bundling up and putting on the sun glasses...even adding a scarf and riding without the heater turned on in the car. Sipping hot chocolate or hot tea or coffee...yum.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Great News!

I am happy to announce that come next July - I'll officially become a Grand Mother. Whether I am Gramma, Granny, GiGi, Nanna, or Grandma - you can bet I'll love that little one like crazy!! This makes my folks 'great' grandparents for the first time - and of course all the aunts and uncles 'great' as well. We are praying that God blesses my daughter with an easy pregnancy and delivery - just like her Mom had!!