Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Speedway In Lights

We are about 2 hours away from the Bristol Speedway in Tennessee and each year at Christmas time they do "Speedway in Lights". It's about a 1 1/2 hour drive through every kind of light display you can imagine. It was beautiful. At the very end of the display you actually get to drive onto the race track and in the center you can park and get out and have hot chocolate and ice skate. It was a chilly 9 degrees so we decided to skip that part. We got to drive up on the slanted parts of the track and we were pretty sure we would tip right over...it was awesome. I wish we had a video of that part...McKay was in the back seat screaming like a girl for me to get down. Hahaha! It was a nice evening and of course we got to spend the earlier part of the day in the city finishing our Christmas shopping. Fun stuff!
Different businesses sponsor the display...here's Food City's set up (the major grocery chain here in the VA area).

And here is a true Hillbilly Christmas. This was the display for an RV company.

The Nativity.

This was a display for Wellmont Health Systems. It's Santa Falling off a roof, then onto a stretcher, into the hospital, and out the other side doing cartwheels. I thought it was clever.

Here are some elves at a pit stop fixing up one of them there race cars.

From the very beginning of the track you could see this flashing tunnel and McKay was so excited to go through it. Funny kid...I mean guy.

This is something we will be going back for next year. I wish we could say it would become one of our traditions...but only one more Christmas and we're done with Law School! Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Our Christmas Angel

Tonight was Sydney's Preschool Christmas Play. We were in the very back of the Chapel so none of my pictures turned out, but here's a cute one of her in front of our tree.

Sydney practiced her songs at home over and over, but decided not to sing one note on stage. So...when we got home I had her sing a song for the camera.

Scary Santa

Today there was a Christmas party at the library for Jackson. Of course there was a visit from Santa. When Santa first called Jackson's name he seemed ok, but that didn't last long...so sad.

Eventually he decided it was ok to open his present and everything was better.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Trip to Charlottesville, VA

Sunday after church we left on a little trip to Charlottesville. McKay had a Dr. appointment there so we decided to stay for a couple days and make it worth the 5 hour drive. We went shopping, ate yummy food, rode the free downtown trolley (kinda scary but the kids liked it) and found a fun little park for the kids (and by kids I mean mostly McKay) to play at. It was a nice trip that went by way too fast. One of the first things we saw when we went shopping downtown was this old guy with SICK SICK SICK dread locks. Here's one of those classic "pretend that you're taking a picture of me, but really take a picture of him" shots. Oh, and did I mention it was SICK???

Here's McKay with some old dried up chestnuts he found on the ground. I laugh every time I look at this picture and I'm sure he'll appreciate that I posted it for the world to see.

Here are some videos of the kids playing at the park.

Sherri has been wanting a picture of her in front of this sign, so on the way home we pulled off the highway got one.

Merry Christmas!

Branch Christmas Party

Saturday was our Branch Christmas Party. We had about 65 people there. I know not many people have seen our little chapel here in Virginia, but the best way to describe it's size is just a little larger than the average chapel's primary room. So, just imagine tables and seating for the 65 people that came. It was pretty cramped....but exciting to see the turn out. We had a nice little program and lots of yummy food followed by a visit from Santa. Sydney was giving me a hard time about sitting on Santa's lap. We were in line and as we got closer to the front she started freaking out more and more. Finally it was her turn and right as she was about to cry and run away she heard Santa say "Hello Sydney!". She gave him a strange look and then smiled and climbed right up on his lap. The next day when we got to church she ran up to our Branch President and say "Hey! Why did you pretend to be Santa last night?!"

Jackson only went close enough to get his candy from Santa. At least there were no tears this year.
Sydney with her goods.

It was a nice evening.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's all about me!!!

(I wish!)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Random Post

Yesterday McKay took his last final for the semester. This means we are officially HALF WAY DONE with law school! Good job dear! We decided over the summer that we would not make the trip back to Las Vegas for Christmas this year. With flight prices so high and now having to buy tickets for both kids we decided to stay in Virginia. It didn't seem like such a bad idea at the time. I knew my family was coming to visit for Thanksgiving so wasn't too worried about not seeing them for Christmas. Well, all week I've started to feel the sadness of being away from home. Although I know we've decided to stay home, I did all the laundry and cleaned up the house just in case McKay decided to surprise me with a trip home. Needless to say, that isn't going to happen. It's hard to watch all of our law school friends head home to be with family, but we'll make it through.
McKay has been done with school for 25 hours and he has already finished New Moon (the second book in the Twilight series) and is well into Eclipse (the third book). I think he's enjoying some recreational reading after having his nose stuck in his law books for the past 4 months. He read the first book about a month ago and had to stop because he was too distracted from his work. He's such a chick flick freak (and he always blames the cheesy movies we rent on me!)
We have been enjoying a bit of snow here in Grundy. Yesterday it poured rain all day and then in the late evening it turned into snow. Usually when we get snow it just sticks to the ground, but last night it stuck to all the trees on the mountains as well. It was a pretty sight. It reminds me of when we used to get our Christmas trees flocked as a kid. Here's a picture from our front window.
This picture doesn't really do it justice, but you get the idea.
We went grocery shopping this morning and when we got home the kids wanted to play in the little bit of snow that was on the grass. They also had fun picking up sheets of ice that covered my car and throwing them on the ground to shatter. They were just in their hoodies with no gloves, so by the time we had the groceries in the house they were freezing. Jackson's hands were all red and he was so sad. So, as we were putting the groceries away, McKay wrapped him up in a blanket sitting on a stool. Sydney sat by him to comfort him.

Just a few seconds later Sydney had a used toilet paper roll and was pretending to cut Jackson's hair (using the toilet paper roll like clippers). I guess she thought the blanket looked like the little apron thing they put on you at the salon so the hair doesn't fall on you. When she was done cutting his hair she held up the book and said "Ok Jackson, look in the mirror. Does it look pretty?" He played right along. I love watching them pretend.

And that is the end of my random post. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How old did you say?

We have really been enjoying our awesome pink bathroom. Pink sink, pink tub, pink toilet of course. And yeah, a white toilet seat.

Recently the lever has been sticking, so we've had to reach our hand in the tank a lot so the water doesn't just run and run. Its been kind of a habit to leave the tank open (looks janky like this, but is more easily accessible to fix).

While Keresa was inspecting it once, she saw something stamped into the tank lid.

A closer look

Holy Moly! We always figured this awesome bathroom set was retro, like maybe the 70s. We NEVER would have guessed November 4, 1936!! Whoa! So next time someone comes and uses our bathroom, be careful in there! You are using antiques!

Makes sense though, 1936 -- I guess thats why we had to run our own cable for TV. Did they have TV yet when this house was built?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Gingerbread Houses

On Saturday we met up with the Gilbergs and made gingerbread houses. Here are a couple pictures of our creations. (Thanks for the pictures Andrea!)

Jackson & Sydney

Emilee, Jackson, & Sydney

Thursday, December 4, 2008

What the?

Sherri started hair school yesterday. She had to soak her manikin's hair in laundry softener over night. Creepy eh? Haha.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

November in Review

Yo yo yo-

Our big things this month are Jackson's sentence structure, a little snow, and having company during thanksgiving.

Jackson’s language switch just turned on. It wasn’t eventual or step by step, it just went from one-word sentences to multi-word sentences over night. He repeats everything we say and tries hard to use lots of words to tell you or ask you stuff. Still, they are words that probably only his parents can understand, like “mommy FWEE-suh” for Keresa and “JACK-duhs” for Jackson. He usually asks for help by saying, "HepYou?" (help you) and he saw Sydney having a problem that he thought he could help with, so he offered by saying, "HepYou, Me?"

We had a few different snow days. None were more than an inch or so, and only once did it stay over night. This is good snow, you know? No getting stuck in the cabin for a week, no shoveling, no road closures, no school closures – oh wait, they still close schools even when there is only a light dusting. In fact, it snowed on a Tuesday and the next day, Wednesday, it was all melted. When Keresa tried to drop off Sydney at school on Wednesday, there was nobody in the parking lot. So she called the teacher and she said, “Oh yeah, its cancelled because it snowed yesterday.” It was the kind of revelation that makes you think, “Oh yeah! Of course! How could I have missed that?!”

Keresa’s parents and some siblings met us for Thanksgiving. It was a lot of fun. The boys swam and relaxed, the girls shopped and relaxed, the kids played games and relaxed, and we all … relaxed. For Thanksgiving we made a smoked spiral cut ham, and by ‘made’ I mean warmed up. It was a very nice and easy Thanksgiving dinner with plenty of leftovers still. In honor of the South, we made cornbread stuffing, which was delicious and Southy. That break ended with one of Keresa’s sisters staying so she can go to the cosmetology school here in Appalachia. Its much cheaper and shorter than the schools in Vegas and she will learn all the stuff to take the test and transfer her licensure back to Nevada. So we welcome Sherri for the next several months and hope she can handle the slow paced Appalachia lifestyle after living in Vegas. :)

Two weeks of finals, then three weeks of break for Christmas. Funners!