Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve

Here we are on New Year's Eve - another year has gone by and we look forward to a new one. Who would have guessed all the changes that would occur in a year? We were planning on being on the road for at least another year - we had bought the new 5th wheel, and we had the adventure of a lifetime coming up. Well, things certainly changed. Let's take a quick look back at 2010.

The year started with our trip to the Caribbean with our good friends Carol and Neil. The scenery was beautiful and it was a wonderful time for Dan to take some time to recover from his time in the hospital. We enjoyed the relaxation and the time in warmer temperatures. Then we moved up to Unicoi State Park right outside of Helen Georgia for a couple of months. We were greeted with snow a couple of days, and some people that we hope to have as friends for a very long time. Isn't it funny how you can meet someone and know that you will always be friends? That's the way we felt about Don and Judy -special people that make special friends.
The snow in Unicoi was a nice break from all the hustle and bustle that was to come - absolutely beautiful countryside.
Then before we knew it - it was April and time from my mom's 80th birthday. At the time we didn't know that this would be the last time that my mom, brother, and I would be together for a picture.

It is still difficult for me to believe that my brother is gone.

Dan and I watched spring come to Unicoi before our time working there in the park was over. We were able to spend some time in Franklin and visit our church home before the great adventure of 2010 started.

ALASKA!!! A trip of a lifetime. Dan had always wanted to drive to Alaska and see the interior - we had cruised a couple of times, but we wanted to experience all that there was to experience - and while we might not have done everything we wanted to do, we certainly did a lot. Canada, the Alaskan Highway, Tok, Fairbanks, Denali, Anchorage, Seward, Haines, Juneau. We did it all! We will always remember this trip - we just didn't know at the time that it would be our last "full timing" adventure.
When my brother passed away I just happened to be in Atlanta - God sure does work in round about ways. Dan and I had just purchased a home in Lake Placid and when I got back to Alaska we knew that it was time to head to our new home and for our lives to take another unexpected turn.

So, we moved into the "new" house and I went back to work. (Not exactly my idea of a good time, but it is something that needs to be done so we can get some much needed work done on the house). I'm still not sure how long I will need to work - I hope that this is the only year, but I won't completely rule out working another year. I sure would like to have a better year than this one, but I guess I will do what has to be done.
For now, let's just say that this year has certainly thrown us some curve balls, but the best thing you can do is just pick yourself up and keep going. Mom has moved into her house here in Lake Placid and is just about all settled in. We had a great Thanksgiving celebration with extended family and Christmas was a wonderful time with family.

Dan and I took a quick trip to Atlanta to see Crystal and Kim the first part of this week - I also took a cold with me - woke up the morning we were to leave with a sore throat and the cold moved in from there. We came home a day early - after a quick stop in Dowling Park to drop off something there and pick up a few things that Neil had stored for Dan. We stopped by and saw our friends Bud and Joyce for a minute (thanks for the lunch Joyce - fabulous as usual!) before bringing me home and putting me to bed for a couple of days. I am feeling better today and actually think that things are on the mend.
I am as ready as I'm going to be to start back to school next week. The good thing is, I work for a couple of weeks then it will be time for our yearly cruise to the Caribbean - and another year will begin! Who knows what will be in store in 2011!
I hope that you all have a safe and healthy New Year! Thanks for sticking with me as I blog my way through adventures and change. I know that 2011 will bring changes - not only to the house with remodeling (I'll keep you posted on the good, the bad, and the ugly on that as well - I think the title of the blog will certainly come into play in the coming year - I know that there will be times that I will be screaming "Are we there yet????" even if it is only inside my head so Dan can't hear me)- but other changes that we can't imagine. Let's hope and pray that they will all be good changes for us all!
Take care - HAPPY NEW YEAR - and I'll talk to you in 2011!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Just a quick note to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! Hope that you are having a great day! Will post all my news tomorrow, but in the mean time have fun with your families!


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Break!

Well, I survived last week and I am officially on Christmas break! YAHOO!!!!! I can't tell you how much I have been looking forward to this break. Now, if I only had all my Christmas shopping done!

I have ordered some things on the Internet (suppose to be here on the 23rd or 24th - nothing like cutting it close!)and I know what I'm going to get my mom. Have delivered the checks to the kids in Lakeland and have bought the present for the daughters in Atlanta. So, all I have left really is Dan and I think I know what I am going to get for him. I talked to my mom today and told her what Dan wants, but it is way over the limit that we have set for each other. So, I asked mom how much she was going to spend on us and then told her what Dan wanted - I asked her to take what she was going to spend on me and put it with what she was going to spend on Dan and get what he wants. I really can't think of anything that I really need or really want - so I would rather Dan have what he wants. It will officially be a "couple's gift" and I'm fine with that. So, I need to go get mom's and get Dan's (which I know what it is - it will go with the present mom is buying - AND it's within our budget!)

This weekend has just flown by - Dan and I went to Bartow to pick up the truck - Dan had taken the truck in to Bartow Ford on Thursday, but they couldn't get it fixed in one day (something about the thermostat's sticking). Anyway, they gave him a rental car and told him they would have it ready on Friday. Sure enough, when I got off work on Friday afternoon the dealership called and said the truck was ready - so off we went to Bartow. After picking up the truck (which was all covered under warranty, including the car rental) we went on into Lakeland and saw the girls there. Then we went out to eat at MiMi's cafe before going over to Target to look around. We didn't buy anything, couldn't find anything that was on "the" list.

Saturday morning we got up, went out to breakfast then drove up to Sebring to look at some furniture stores. We aren't ready to buy new living room furniture yet, but we are trying to get some ideas about what type of furniture we will eventually get - sectional or just a couch and a couple of chairs. Both recliners, or a recliner for Dan and a chair with ottoman for me. Just a lot of different options. A lot will depend on the remodeling, but we can get a general idea. Anyway, after the furniture stores we went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond shopping - found one present. Then to the little mall in Sebring. No purchases there - came home and did some shopping on the Internet. I also went and had my nails done Saturday afternoon - so they look 100% better.

This morning we went to visit at Placid Lakes Baptist Church for their Christmas Program. It was a nice program. Melissa, Justin and Mom met Dan and I there. After the service we all went out to lunch together. Then Dan and I took Mom home and showed her how to work the new microwave that Dan installed for her this week. She has also bought a new stove, but it isn't suppose to be delivered until this coming week (the 23rd I think). After we got home I did the laundry and watched football. Tonight we had pizza for dinner.

Tomorrow I think I will take Mom into Sebring and get Dan's present - then that will be done. All we will have left to do is get Mom's present. We'll figure out when we can go and get that this week. We are still trying to figure out when we will go to Atlanta and how that is all going to work out, but I don't want to be on the road around New Year's Eve. So, we'll work on that schedule also.

Well, that is about all that is going on around here right now. I hope that you are ready for Christmas and that the love of Christ is in your heart. Remember, Jesus is the best present you could ever receive and He is the REASON FOR THE SEASON. Have a good week and ------------

I'll talk to you next week!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's Beginning to Feel alot like Christmas!

It's cold in Florida - I mean, not by Florida standards, but by anyone's. The high tomorrow is suppose to be in the low 40's and tomorrow night it is suppose to be in the, are you ready for this, the 20's! Yikes, this is south-central Florida. It isn't suppose to get this cold here. Anyway, I don't guess we can do anything about it, just go with the flow.

The good thing is - this is the last week of school before Winter Break - YAHOO!!! I don't know how the kids are going to be - they have been pretty worked up last week. Some of the other teachers say that a lot won't come to school this next week - which means you can't teach any new material. I have new lesson's planned, so I guess I'll just have to wait and see how many kids are there. If in fact there aren't a lot of kids there, then I'll do some review - it certainly won't hurt them!

I still haven't bought any Christmas presents - I guess IF I am going to buy anything on-line I better get it done soon! But I have completed the "dreaded Christmas letter" and have it ready to be printed on the Christmas paper. I'll get the rest of the Christmas cards addressed and ready to go so when we get the letter printed all I will need to do is fold them and get the cards in the mail.

We spent the weekend moving beds around again. We got the adjustable beds back from mom and we will eventually give our 'old' king size bed to Melissa and Justin, but they didn't want it until after Christmas when they could go buy a new "more modern" bedroom suite. Then we will move the bedroom suite they have now over to mom's and the queen bed over here. I'll tell you what - I feel like all we do is trade furniture around. Hopefully, we will get things settled down right after the first of the year.

I guess I'll close for this week. I know that it doesn't sound like we do that much, but I promise we stay busy all the time! Well, I hope that you all are having a good week and that you are about ready for Christmas - remember the real reason for the season - Jesus Christ is the best present you could ever receive!

Take care and I'll talk to you next Sunday!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Well, I thought I would include a few pictures of the decorations around the house and the patio. Above is the tree in the living/family room -taken from the breakfast nook. (Forgive Dan's cap - he is always hanging it on the back of a chair!)
This is the entry way (my mom made the quilt wall hanging for me) ---------------------

And the patio. I don't know if you can tell the changes we have made to the patio since the pictures that I have posted int he past - but we have put a shelf up over in the corner that wasn't there before and added some decorations on it. A clock and some other things, but they are on the wall you can't see. I'll post some other pictures after Christmas when everything gets "back to normal".

Well, the first week after Thanksgiving break is over - now we have two more to go before we get our Christmas break! I can't wait. There is so much I need to do and I just don't seem to have any time at all. Between working all week (I leave for work at 7 in the morning and don't get home until between 4:30 and 5 in the afternoon) and coming home exhausted - to trying to help mom on the weekend (she is STILL unpacking boxes) I just seem to get anything done at home.
Yesterday Dan and I did decided to spend the day together and we went to Orlando and spent the day at Outdoor World Bass Pro Shop looking at boats (Dan's idea) and IKEA looking for inspiration (my idea). Actually, I wanted to look for a new slip cover for the couch that Crystal gave us, but I refuse to pay $150 for something was "just to make do". Guess I'm just too cheap. Anyway, the only thing we bought yesterday other than food was a set of plain white dishes - now I can get rid of the plates we have been using that we had in the 5th wheel. I wanted plain white dishes that I can dress up or down depending on the occasion with salad plates, place mats, and napkins. That was less than $50 and we spent less than $20 on three meals out - we hit a real deal at IKEA - buy one whole meal for $5.69 and get one free and by drinking water it cost us less than $6 for both of us to eat a meal with salad and bread. Not too bad! (Breakfast and dinner were from Mickey D's). We left the house around 10 in the morning and got home about 7:30. Of course, 4 hours of this was travel time - there and back.
Today, I have been trying to get the laundry done after spending the morning at mom's helping her some - we got a lot of thing rearranged in the garage - and I have to admit that she has made a lot of progress in unpacking boxes. Now, she is going to have to start making some decisions on what she is going to keep and what she is going to get rid of. She has brought so much stuff with her it's like trying to put 50 pounds of *hit in a 5 pound bag - if you know what I mean. I look at all the stuff and just shake my head. But, it's her stuff and she is the one that is going to have to make the decisions on what to keep and what to get rid of.
Crystal and Kim are taking one set of good china and Melissa and Justin are taking another set - that should help a little, but there is still so much STUFF! She is saying that she is going to get rid of a lot, but I will believe it when I see it gone. I just want to see her get the house in order so she will fell better about things. Right now, there is so much stuff sitting around and so many boxes that you just feel closed in. But. like I have already said, she has to decide what she is going to do with it all (including all the material and quilting stuff - don't get me started on that!)
I haven't done ANY Christmas shopping. I know what we are getting Crystal and Kim - I don't think that will be a problem. The kids in Lakeland always get cash (that's the way they want it). I think I know what we are getting mom - that just leaves Melissa and Justin and they haven't given us "the list". Until then, I'm not even going to attempt to buy them anything (they might just have cash too and then they can buy what they want, but I hate to do that. I just don't think it's Christmas unless you have something to open on Christmas morning!) You might ask, what about you and Dan. Well, I think I have already told you that we are taking a cruise in January and that is our Christmas present to each other, but we have decided that we will spend $50 each on each other and that's all - no credit cards are allowed! It should be fun, IF I can find the time to shop without Dan with me. We'll see.
Well, that has been pretty much my week - I do have all my lesson plans written for next two weeks and just about all the copies run that I will need. I have a few more things that I need to do to get through until Christmas break. Next week I'm going to start working on the lesson plans for the week AFTER Christmas break - I'm going to try and stay at least a week ahead of where we are. Then I also have to think about what the kids are going to do when I am gone for the week - I have told the Assistant Principal I would like the sub in the room to actually be able to teach so I don't have to leave "filler" work for them. We'll see who they get, but I'm not going to worry about it - if they can't get a "real" teacher for that week, at least I asked.
Well, I think I am going to close for this week. I hope you all have a great week and ---------------
I'll talk to you on Sunday!

Rainy, Dreary Days

Well, I don't know what the weather has been like where you live but here it has been warm, overcast, and rainy.  We are having temperat...