Survived the Holiday Season

img_7721-final We did not take many pictures this year.  No, not even Joey!  Lee took this one of us together with the dogs on the night we put up our Christmas tree.

We went to the Mercado Christmas celebration with Grandma Margaret on 24 December.  We had a lovely Christmas Day meal with the Lupa/Carlson clan, Joan Jones, and the Reads.  It was pot luck, so we didn’t have to do too much cooking, but we wound up with all the leftovers.  Yum!  Joey did make plum pudding, and it was a hit.

George and Nancy joined us late in the evening on Christmas Day.  We went to breakfast with the Etheredges, Zimmermans and Schoors on the second day of Christmas, and then returned to our house to open presents.

Speaking of presents – after years of nagging and hounding, my husband finally gave me some earings from James Avery.  He feels that James Avery is too easy an answer, and prefers to be more creative.  While I certainly appreciate that sentiment, and I have gotten some fabulously creative presents over the years, a nice pair of earings is fun too!

Mom and Dad joined us on New Year’s Eve.  Lee and Billy came over to assist with the preparations for New Year’s Day.  We held our 6th Annual New Year’s Eve film fest.  This year’s theme was Bruce Willis.  The favorite movies were The Fifth Element and Die Hard with a Vengence.  Lee and Joey kicked butt in the kitchen – it was the most organized I think we have ever been.

On New Year’s Day we ate breakfast with the Mercados and Etheredges before George and Nancy had to leave for the airport.

The New Year’s Day party was a fantastic success.  The food was fantastic – the hoppin john really gets better every year!  It was fun to see all of our friends throughout the day.  I really missed Ross and Kat, and thought of them several times during the party.  Laura and Jason joined us late in the evening – I am so happy they were able to make the drive!  The first guests arrived at 14:15, and Jason and I left to drive Jacob back at home at 02:27 on 02 January, so the party officially lasted 12 hours and 12 minutes!

Despite the late night, on 02 January, Joey, Mom, Dad, Laura, Jason and I drove to San Antonio to visit with the Rodriguez side of the family.  We had a great time visiting and catching up with all our cousins and Aunts and Uncles!

On 03 January we had brunch at Zax with our cousin Ben, and then it was time for everyone to go their separate ways.  I left with Mom and Dad to go to Houston.  Jason dropped Laura off at the airport so she could fly to Albequerque so she could perform in Amahl and the Night Visitors in Santa Fe.  Jason drove back to Denton, and Joey went home to a empty house to begin the clean-up!

Daniel’s First Birthday Party

Our wonderful nephew, Daniel, turns one year old on 01 April 2009!  His birthday party was held at his Uncle Troy and Aunt Christinne’s house today.  Asher and I enjoyed playing with the pirate themed party favors.  The blocks we got for Daniel were a big hit with both Daniel and his cousin on his father’s side, Jonah.

Happy Birthday, Daniel!

New Year’s Day

Yesterday Joey and I hosted our tenth annual New Year’s Day party.  A great group of people showed up!  We ate hoppin’ john, bean soup, and sausage balls (aka meat cookies).  Dad, Asher, Laura and Joey decorated the garage and side walk with chalk.  The Etheredge siblings were all present, and our nephew Daniel was charming, as usual.  Chiara played with Elanor.  Lee and Billy brought their friend Melissa, who talked physics with Dad, and then discussed opera with Laura and Alissa!  We finished the evening with a round of Apples to Apples.  In short, it was a wonderful day, a perfect start to 2009.

Etheredge Christmas – the third day

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me… family, a bell mishap, and a shopping trip.

Troy, Kay, Andrew, and Daniel all came over to our house for breakfast on Saturday, 27 December.  Andrew and Dad cooked eggs and sausage.  Joey made sticky buns and hot sauce (not to be eaten together, those are just the things he prepared).  Everyone sat down and we really enjoyed the meal.  Next we opened our presents.

I got a perfume, and framed picture of Joey and me from Joey.  Troy gave us a copy of his wedding video, and a gift card to Alamo Drafthouse.  Kay, Andrew and Daniel gave us beautiful handmade gifts: bath salts in several different scents, and a book of recipes.

Daniel enjoyed opening his presents.  He mostly liked the paper and the bags, but the cup that his Uncle Troy and Aunt Christinne gave him was a big hit as well.  Elanor seemed to have a good time during the celebration – there were all these people sitting in a circle, and they were all petting her – what could be better?

Lee came and picked me up for bell choir practice.  We drove toward church for about five minutes when I realized we needed the keys, so we turned around and went back to the house.  It took quite a bit of searching, and a call to Joey to find the keys – they were in his coat pocket.  We finally made it to church, but were a bit disappointed because no one except the two of us showed up!  After I called one of the other members she came by and we did manage to pick some music, and plan for the next rehearsal.

Later in the day Mom, Lee, Billy, and I went shopping.  Mom and Dad got Joey and me a new trash can, sounds boring, but it is pretty fancy.  It is bigger than our old one, and you don’t have to use your hand to open the lid.  The can we had previously could be opened by stepping on a peddle, but that feature broke awhile back, and it has been bugging my dad every time he is here.  Ask my dad about it – he is dying to tell you about the physics of this particular trash can, and why it will last longer than the one we had before.  Mom found an awesome salad bowl and salad tongs and got those for me as well.

Christmas Eve, and the first day

Many of you know that I absolutely insist on Christmas being celebrated during the actual twelve days, and Christmas Eve.  Joey and I usually set up our tree on Christmas Eve or the eve of Christmas Eve.  This year we set it up on Tuesday, 23 December, 2008.  Lee and Billy joined us.  Lee helped me hang the lights.  Joey made hot chocolate.  We got the tree up and decorated in record time.

On Christmas Eve Joey and I slept late, and then got up and did some chores around the house.  Joey put up the lights on the exterior of the house.  Then we drove down to San Antonio for the party at Uncle Marcelo’s house.  My parents flew into San Antonio on Christmas Eve, and we met them at Uncle Marcelo’s.  We visited with my exteneded family, and ate dozens of tamales.

Mom and Dad came up to Austin on Christmas day.  We took a hike at Walnut Creek Park.  Later we had a great supper, including potato soup and ham.

Etheredge Family Gathering

CIMG2822 Joey and I are so lucky to live in the same city with his siblings.  Although we did not spend the day of Thanksgiving with the Etheredge clan, we did see them over the weekend.  Christinne’s folks, Dave and Sarita, were in town, and we got to visit with them as well.  Everyone assembled at our house in the afternoon, and we visited and relaxed.

Daniel met Elanor; they seem quite fond of each other.  Babies and dogs make for really cute pictures.  Daniel got to hang out with Uncle Troy and Aunt Christinne, and also met Dave and Sarita for the first time.

Troy brought Ziegy over as well, and Elanor got to meet her doggy cousin.  The guys took all three dogs on a walk.  Elanor wanted to play with Ziegy, but Ziegy decided hanging out with Christinne was safer!

I am so glad we got to see everyone, and spend some time with the family.  My only regret is that George and Nancy could not be with us!

A little house shopping (Not for us :-)

Here are some pictures of a house I looked at with Troy this morning.

Pictures from Troy’s and Christinne’s wedding.

While we were in Cozumel I collected copies of pictures from everybody we were staying with and posted those pictures here. Now that Troy and Christinne are back from their honeymoon, I have added the pictures from their camera and I am reposting all of the pictures. So, for those of you who were at the wedding and wanted to share pictures, and for others who just want to look through a couple thousand photos from the trip – here is the complete collection.

Christi’s Photos:


Christinne’s Photos:

George’s Photos:

Holly’s Photos:

Jan’s Photos:

Joey’s Photos:

Joey’s Second Camera:

Kari’s Photos:

Marie’s Photos:

The Wedding – Monday – June 2008

Wedding60 Here are the first pictures from Troy and Christinne’s wedding.

We will write more later, but we wanted to get the pictures up as soon as possible.

Many photographers contributed to this collection: Aunt Jan, Marie, Joey, George, and Holly. A big “thank you” to all of you.

Snorkeling at Jeanie’s – Monday – June 2008

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA On Monday morning, we went to breakfast at Jeanie’s waffle house again. Then we stuck around because Troy told us that the snorkeling was really good at Jeanie’s, and they would rent us gear.

We got set up and jumped into the water. We saw lots of fish, a starfish, and a crashed airplane! Troy showed off by diving to the bottom and pointing out cool stuff and doing tricks. No animals were harmed in the taking of these pictures

After we were worn out from snorkeling, Joey and I stayed around at Jeanie’s to get some lunch and lounge in the sun before heading back to the hotel to get ready for the big event…