Friday, December 31, 2010

Old & New Resolutions

In 2010 I made several New Years Resolutions to see just how many of them I could do or maintain by the end of the year. And here are the results:

1. To work out every weekday for at least 15 minutes! EPIC FAILURE!

2. To read to Sophie at least 5 nights a week. Lasted till March, since then she was too squirmy to read to before bed.

3. Go to Louisiana. We went to Louisiana perhaps 3 times, so SUCCESS!

4. Plan at least one trip back to Kansas to visit family. We visited KS twice!

5. Successfully make fried chicken! I DID IT! Took several tries and several very burnt or undercooked peices of chicken but I finally did it!

6. Update this blog at least once a week. Yup... got this one too!

7. Work on my Spanish. I finished Level 1 and Level 2 of Spanish!

8. Get Ivory to do Pennies for Peace. And failed... not that I didn't try. I spent a lot of time giving hand outs and print outs to my principal over the subject. It just never worked out.

Now as a New Year begins (2011) I thought I'd list a few more resolutions and again... we'll see just how well these work out next December.

1. Complete all 5 Levels of Spanish. Currently I've completed Levels 1 and 2, but there are 3 more levels to go.

2. Get a Teaching Job in Texas! I've been working on getting certified in the state of Texas and will be ready for a job in the next school year.

3. Visit Galveston or the Gulf of Mexico. We are about 5 hours from the beach so hopefully this summer we can enjoy our time on the Texas coastline.

4. Try (again) reading to Sophie, this time perhaps maybe 3-4 days a week.

5. Take Sophie and do one sport or activity (i.e. iceskating, dancing, gymnastics, soccer....)

6. Save money. Shock my husband by saving on all our utility and grocery bills at least 1 month of the year.

7. Lose 20 lbs. I can do this right?! Right???

8. Don't break my laptop! Currently during our week long stay at the hotel my laptop crashed and Dell is sending us a box so we can in turn send my laptop to them where they will have a computer repair man fix it and mail it back. So I'll be without a lap top for several days. But since this is my 2nd laptop to own, and the 2nd laptop to poop out on me, I'd really like for it to last through 2011. Preferablly longer.

Anyway, I wish everyone a wonderful new year and perhaps I'll see you in 2011!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Making the Move

A year and a half ago, Brian's parents, Brian, and I moved ourselves into the rental house in Camden, Arkansas. This Monday, we got to experience having a moving company pack and move us. On Monday, two workers arrived and quickly had most of our items packed within 5 hours. On Tuesday, they returned and after 6 hours all of our items were loaded and shipped to Little Rock, where they will then be transferred to another truck and then driven to our new place in Texas.

Now that all of our items are packed, with a few exceptions, we'll have the adventure of living in a hotel room for a week before the movers arrive and unload our belongings in Texas. Luckily, we've had really nice hotel rooms (one hotel we spent 2 nights in even had a jacuzzi tub in it, which we took full advantage of).

Here are some pictures:

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas in Camden

This is the first year we've been away from any kind of family for the Christmas holidays. So we spent most of Christmas Eve and Christmas creating our own holiday traditions.

On Christmas Eve we baked and ate some chocolate chip cookies. Some went to Santa, some went to our priest Fr. Hart, and the rest we saved for ourselves for Christmas Day.

Then we made out "Thank You" cards. One for Santa, thanking him in advance for bringing us presents, which we left right next to the cookies. Another was for Mary & Joseph, thanking them for raising baby Jesus and giving us Christmas, which we left in the care of Fr. Hart.

We attended the Christmas Vigil Mass and Sophie (along with all the other kids attending Mass) took the statue of the baby Jesus and put him with the rest of the Nativity members. Sydney kindly carried Sophie up there so she could partake with the other children.

After Mass we drove around to look at the Christmas lights, tracked Santa on NORAD, and then put Sophie to bed.

On Christmas morning, the cookies and Santa's thank you card were gone and presents were left around the tree.

Not all of them were from Santa, but they were just as fun to unwrap.

Even Brian found some things under the Christmas tree.

And Santa did not forget Oscar either.

Overall I think we had a good Christmas which really tried to stress the importance of giving as well as the real reason for the season. Hopefully everyone enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and we'd like to thank everyone for the gifts that were left under our little tree this year.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Review: Top Ten Places in AR

About 3 months after arriving in Arkansas, I created and posted my list of Top Ten Places in Arkansas to visit. Now, a little over a year later, our time in Arkansas is limited to 5 more days. And we managed to visit or do ALL of these things... except one... the Crater of Diamonds.

For my original list, click HERE.

Here is a photo checklist of our visits to these sights.

1. Crater of Diamonds (the one that got away. Perhaps we'll go sometime)

2. Little Rock Capitol building

3. Alligator Farm (this happened in Shreveport, LA not AR, but I think it counts since we got to see some alligators).

4. Hot Springs National Park

5. Bath house in Hot Springs

6. Historic Washington State Park

7. Louisiana Purchase State Park

8. Petit Jean State Park

9. Devil's Den State Park

10. See a Civil War Re-enactment. This one did not happen in Arkansas, but when we visited Vicksburg, MS. But I say it still counts.

In addition to all of these places, we've visited several of the 53 state parks that Arkansas has to offer.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Went to Washington State Park

We had 60 degree weather today and so I made a spur of the moment decision to drive to Historic Washington State Park. It's been on my top ten list of things to do in Arkansas for quite awhile. And with our days in Arkansas decreasing quickly, I wanted to go before we left.

Historic Washington was the state capital of Arkansas during the last two years of the Civil War. The state of Arkansas under the Confederacy moved the capital from Little Rock to Washington to avoid being captured by the Yankees. (Yankees pictured below)

Of all the buildings and museums open we only ended up visiting 5. First was the visitors center and old courthouse.

Then we stopped at the Jeweler/Watchmaker's house, the doctors house, a farmstead, and then the gun museum. There were other places open, but Sophie was starting to get tired and I decided it was best to head back home.

Also, during all of the tours (other than our trip to the courthouse obviously) my camera started having electrical glitches which prevented me from taking pictures as well.

However, we did have a good time and Sophie got to meet a billy goat named Fortune (her favorite part of the tour) and we discovered that Grandpa Oney would LOVE the gun museum there.

So 7 more days left in Arkansas, and 1 more state park to see on our To Do List.

For more information about Historic Washington State Park, click HERE