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Archive for December, 2009

Christmas Celebrations

Last week, we enjoyed a couple of Christmas celebrations with our Sunday school class. On Wednesday, the girls met at Amy’s house for a cookie swap. We each brought something to share. I brought graham cracker brittle- a recipe shared with me by a sweet youth leader growing up. It was fast, easy, and yummy! Amy had cute little Christmas tins ready for everyone to stuff their treats into, which was perfect for bringing our batch to school the next day. (the cookies were great, but as teachers we get enough sugar this time of year to send us into comas!) After we finished distributing everything, we went downstairs for pizza, conversation, and a Christmas movie. It was a great, low-key night!

On Saturday, we went to another couple in our class’ house for our official class Christmas party (the boys were invited this time). We shared a great meal, hung out, and played one of my favorite party games of all time: White Elephant. We brought Christmas mugs and originally ended up with a cute Crate and Barrel dish towel and Bath and Body Works soap- not a bad trade! Unfortunately, by the end of the night we ended up with a Christmas ornament and an old iron. Disappointing, but certainly the fun of the game! Other gifts included Father of the Groom golf balls, a Santa Mr. Potato Head, and, of course, a Snuggie. One of the gifts included a note that announced that our friends, Jason and Mary, are expecting their first baby in July! We had a great time celebrating with everyone!

Unfortunately, ALL of my pictures from the party are crazy blurry, but I couldn’t resist including this one of Zach and some of the class kids. I like this about him:

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One Funny Date Night

I had a looong week last week. Nothing bad, just busy. We had a couple of special events at school (including a 6:30am web conference with a school in India), the kids were a bit bonkers (Christmas break is in sight!), and it seemed like my to-do list kept growing. Enter: my amazing husband. When I got home on Friday, I was surprised with flowers, the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living, Fresh Market dinner, and a Christmas movie. Pretty amazing.

To top things off, he had a hot bath waiting for me so I could drink hot chocolate and enjoy my magazine. He told me that it was supposed to be a bubble bath, but he couldn’t find any bubbles. When I suggested he look in the jar in our guest bathroom (we use it to store hotel soaps and shampoos in case guests need extra), he returned with a packet of bath powder given to us by the teachers from our Japanese partner school. We were given a rainbow of the packets- pink, blue, and yellow. The one that Zach happened to pick out was yellow. Thinking it would be some sort of flowery or lemony sent, I asked him to pour it in. Here’s what we got:

 

I don’t think I really need to explain what went through our minds. And yes, I did still take the bath. All in all it was a great- and pretty funny- date night.

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We’ve been having fun sprucing things up around here! I’ve gotten pretty much all of our decorations at after Christmas sales, so it’s always fun to pull out the boxes and have fun new things to put up. I got the branches in the second set of pictures at the sale we went to over Thanksgiving. I saw online where someone used epsom salt for snow and, while I was skeptical at first (I’ve only ever used it for blistered ballet toes), I was pleasantly surprised by how real it looks! The cookbook in the last set of pictures was a gift from Zach’s mom over Thanksgiving. She complied family pictures (recognize the cutie in the blue?) and recipes into a cookbook and gave a copy to each of the kids. The thought and time she put into putting it together was so sweet. I love looking through ours and am excited to be able to make some of the delicious Angle recipes!

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As some of you know, as a PE teacher, Zach doesn’t work on Fridays. Although some weeks I really wish we could trade places, I’m also incredibly thankful for all of the things he gets done while I’m spending the day at school.

Take, for example, this past Friday. He asked me to pick up Hibachi for dinner (aka stall so I would come home when it was dark). This is what I came home to:

 

 

 

Yep. He’s great.

PS- Don’t you love how the lights make the porch all cozy and cute? It makes me want to leave them up forever.

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Thanksgiving

For Thanksgiving, Zach and I traveled to Blowing Rock to spend time with the Angle family. We had a great time relaxing and catching up with family. I meant to take pictures but didn’t really follow through, so instead I’ll just give you a run-down of the trip.
Wednesday:
–          Arrived in Blowing Rock, enjoyed a low-key night with the family
Thursday:
–          Watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade
–          Ate a giant delicious meal and our first fried turkey, prepared by our brother-in-law Danny
–          Drew up a plan of attack for Black Friday
–          The girls watched TV on the projector downstairs while the boys watched football upstairs
Friday:
–          At midnight, the girls went to the outlets to catch the sales. None of us got anything earth-shattering, but there were a few good deals to be had, some snow falling, and fun memories made
–          Slept in Friday morning, then went to Wal-Mart (we got a printer for $25)
–          Went to an amazing sale that Zach’s brother, Robby found. The owner of a GIGANTIC house was selling everything. It was a crazy free-for-all, and Zach and I picked up a few fun things.
Saturday:
–          Watched an amazing NC State/ Carolina football game and celebrated the Wolfpack victory with much shouting and dancing around the living room.
–          Headed home
Sunday:
–          I went to a craft fair with my dad. We have been visiting this particular fair every year since we moved here, and it’s one of my favorite holiday traditions. I love seeing the things that the different vendors come up with and dreaming of having a booth of my own!
 
All in all, it was a great week. We are thankful for the time that we were able to spend with our familes and look forward to spending time with them at Christmas!

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Kitchen- After

As promised, here are the after photos. As every homeowner (or renter) knows, “done” never really means done, so there will still be little projects along the way. In the meantime, we’re enjoying the revamped space!

The granite countertops were a perfect compromise. Zach wanted black, I wanted white (giallo ornamental, to be exact), and the wonderful representative at our local marble and granite company suggested this: amarillo gold. It has flecks of brown, black, and white in it, tying in the appliances, furniture and trim. What more could we ask for, you ask? This: because this particular granite had been used in a large commercial job, the company had to order large shipments of it. The granite used in our kitchen was part of the leftovers, making it significantly cheaper than the other options. Win-win!

I’ve often said that my dream kitchen would have a window over the sink. Here it is, decorated with beautiful flowers from a sweet Bible study friend.

 

The kitchen table belonged to my grandparents. I love the worn look of the chairs and the fact that it reminds me of playing cards, eating my grandma’s famous dill bread, and enjoying family time. Because my grandma was such a stickler for tablecloths, the top of the table is in remarkably good condition. The dolly in the corner was my grandpa’s. I’d love to replace it with an old stepstool/chair like this one (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/uimages/ny/12.20.cosco2.jpg). My grandma had something similar, and I used to love to sit on it and watch her cook. The ticking stripe curtains were originally from Pottery Barn, but I bought them new in the package from Craigslist.

The old drawer was a flea market find. It’s a great place to store dishtowels (Ikea), which we try to use as much as possible. We like the idea of helping out the environment and our wallets by using reusable towels. Plus, they’re just cuter. (:

 

The little office nook next to the refrigerator is one of my favorite parts of the kitchen. It gives us a space to pay bills and cut coupons without cluttering the cooking space. The chair was another flea market find- it’s hard to see them in this picture, but I love the red strawberries embroidered on the seat!

This is a crock. With sticks. (The sticks actually drove Zach crazy because he was always running into them, so they were removed after this picture was taken. Now there are only rocks in the crock. Suggestions welcome- maybe a plant?)

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