Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Fun!

We enjoyed a wonderful first married Christmas! We were able to celebrate at our house AND with both of our families in the mountains! It was a bit of a whirlwind, but it was great to have time with so much family. Here are some highlight pics:

"Christmas Morning" at our house!


Ronnie got new bike wheels that he was most excited about!

I'm a dork! But i love my new North Face jacket and matching ear warmer headband!

Then we were off to North Georgia with Ronnie's fam. We had a wonderful, spacious cabin and we ate lots of yummy food, went hiking, enjoyed the hot tub and celebrated Christmas! Sadly, I didn't take many pictures here, I was too busy having fun.

The cabin didn't have a Christmas tree so we improvised Charlie Brown style.

Hiking was so fun!
Then it was off to a bluff in North Alabama with my family!

It was beautiful!
So cozy

But the best part was time with the whole family together!

We played hard, rode bikes, fished, ate more yummy food, and just enjoyed being together!

Now we are back home, catching our breath and packing for Peru. We leave in the morning! More to come on that later!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I have many fond memories of spending hours at my Grandmother's house as a child making kolaches. If you are not familiar with these, they are a delicious Czech treat: a yeast roll filled with fruit filling or meat. My sisters and I would "help" my grandmother sift the flour, kneed the dough, form little round balls of dough and finally fill them. It is a long process, but oh so worth it!

My grandmother died while I was in college and sadly many years have passed since we gathered for a day of kolache baking. But I wanted to resurrect the tradition, as my sister has done. And so for the first time I made kolaches all by myself. I missed the company of my sisters and the expertise of Grandma, but all in all I would say it was a success!

Mixing up the dough

A variety of fillings- apple, peach, kielbasa sausage and popsika topping

The finished products!! Yummy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Heritage House Christmas!

Our town may be small and struggling, but it is certainly not hopeless. One need only venture into the old white house called the Heritage House. This old house has been transformed into a place for youth to come hang out, learn, and be introduced to new things. Janet Schriver, the director, has received grants from the state's Juvenile Justice Department and many of the youth that frequent the house have been in serious trouble with the law and have been court ordered to be there.

The interesting thing though is that the teens absolutely love it! The house is a place they can come every afternoon after school, there is always something to do and there is someone there that cares. On any given afternoon youth can be found practicing choir, dancing in the front room, writing songs, and learning how to use some pretty awesome Apple computers!

Our town really doesn't offer much in the way of entertainment, especially for teens, so it is no surprise that many of these kids found their way into drugs and crime. The Heritage House is certainly meeting a need!

In the past few months I have had the privilege of teaching dance there. I have been working with about 5 youth on a hip hop dance piece for their recent Christmas program and open house. The event was a big success! Take a look at the pics:

All decorated for Christmas!

This is Quez, Deon, and Jarvis, they all dance! Jarvis also won an award at the program- a new bike for having the most potential as an artist. Two other boys won bikes, one for most improved attitude and the other for most improved behavior.

This is Stanley aka Big Grub (winner of most improved behavior). He like to raps and he is pretty good at writing his own songs. He performed a Christmas rap.

Blues singer Bobby Rush performed and was a big hit.

This is the Heritage House Boy's choir. They are really cute and are learning a lot!

Check out this article about the event from the newspaper!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!

It snowed this week! We got 5 inches!

Our humble abode all snowy

Winter Wonderland! Looks like Narnia!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A few setbacks...

Last night we had some torrential rainfall here. The sirens wailed a few times and we hung out in the closet. But most of the time we were able to be in my current favorite spot by the Christmas tree. However, we experienced a few setbacks...

At one point we looked at our tree and realized half the lights were no longer working. I guess this is what you get when pay $1.50 for them at Dirt Cheap! Also, you will notice my yellow mixing bowl on the floor...yes, we sprung a leak! Or something like that, we still aren't sure. I was just sitting there wrapping presents when suddenly one of them started making a strange noise and liquid began to soak the paper. I was in a particularly ditsy mood and I thought to myself "wow, Aaron must have bought me perfume or something and it burst!" My husband, was a little quicker and ran to the kitchen to get a bowl while informing me it was a leak! The good news is that it only dripped for a minute, then it stopped.

Sigh...wet present!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Small Town Christmas Parade!

Yesterday evening Ronnie and I ventured out in the chilly night air to watch our town's annual Christmas parade! It was quite fun, complete with bands, floats, dancers, candy, horses, and lots of sirens and flashing lights. Sadly, the lighting was pretty tough on the pics. But I wanted to share some!My nephews would have loved this vintage John Deere with lights!
Christmas music provided by the local high school.
The motorcycle police from the capital city!

It brought back fond memories of when I was a small child I got to ride on a float with my uncle, sisters, and cousins in the the Christmas parade in the small town where my mom grew up!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Saturday Projects!

This past weekend was full of activity and fun! We went Christmas shopping, to a dinner party, to the singing Christmas tree at our alma mater, and an installation service for Ronnie's dad to become the new assistant pastor at a church. Saturday afternoon I was able to get some projects done at home...
Some presents are now wrapped and under the tree!
I made these jars of chocolate chip bar ingredients for some church friends!
AND I made my first cheesecake! It was the dessert for the dinner party. Pumpkin Cheesecake...Delicious! You can check out the recipe here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Our First Christmas Tree

Thanks Amanda and Daniel for the tree!!

Our stockings are hung under my $10 antique store find- NOEL!

Christmas china thanks to Bunny!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Project: China Cabinet

I thought I would share with you my furniture renovation project! I have been meaning to post these for a while, but I only recently put the finishing touches on it.

I had been wanting a china cabinet or hutch for a while, because I wanted to be able to display all the lovely wedding gifts that we recieved (remember, I have a weakness for china and such). I explored countless antique stores, but started realizing that this looked like it would be a very expensive purchase and I wasn't sure I was ready to spend that kind of money at this point. So I began diligently checking Craig's List each day and one morning low and behold I found it! For a hundred dollars we purchased this:

I liked the fact that it had storage underneath, lots of display room, and even a lighted top. I wasn't crazy about the color. So...

It became a painting project! I decided to paint the outside a crisp white and the back of the top part my favorite blue color...we had left over paint from our bathroom.

The final touch was adding new hardware and filling it with treasures to display!!

I love my new piece of furniture and I love the price!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


You get a line I'll get a pole, honey

You get a line I'll get a pole, babe

You get a line I'll get a pole

And we'll go down to the crawdad hole

Honey, oh baby mine.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Front Porch Dance

So I have to admit I have been painfully lax in blogging lately. Time has been filled with work, church, time with friends and family and lately something new for me! I am dancing with a new dance group...Front Porch Dance!

Front Porch Dance is a dance collective comprised of local artists from diverse backgrounds who collaborate to produce innovative choreographic works. Our aim is to create approachable dance art that promotes awareness and appreciation of contemporary dance. (from our vision statement)
Our front porch is a place where ideas are explored, dance is shared, and life is celebrated... (again, from vision statement)

We made our debut of sorts this past Friday night in a community dance concert.
Our first piece was entitled "Rob's Porch." It was set to the music of local musician Jamie Weems.

Our official website is soon to come, but in the meantime you can check out our myspace page at