Friday, November 30, 2007

Welcome Friends

Tonight some of our favorite people came visiting! My dear friend Alisia (who is the best pharmacist in Fort Worth) dined with us, along with my favorite brother. These are the best kind of Friday nights!

Friday Fave Five

Today's FFF is a collection of my current favorite seasonal experiences. Like most folks, excepting Mr. Scrooge before the ghosts visited him, I love this time of year. I think one reason is because we are more intentional in getting together with the ones we love. Anyway, here are my favorites for this week.

1. Decking our first halls with my husband. It's a Team effort around our house because I have zero patience for tangled Christmas lights.

2. Josh Groban's Christmas cd, Noel. Silent Night (Track 1) is everything you would hope from Josh. Glorious! And so far I've gotten weepy everytime I've listened to I'll Be Home For Christmas. You'll understand why if you listen to it, which I highly recommend.

3. Starbucks Non-Fat hot chocolate. I might be okay with putting a few Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving, but I can't drink this if it's not cold out. It's good, non-fat, and you get the happy red cup.

4. Turning into our driveway and seeing our very first big Christmas tree lit up in the window of our very first house. It's a dream come true, really.

5. Pulling out the Christmas dishes and serving up a plate of warm food. Why is it that the Christmas season makes you want to cook more? I'm going into uncharted territory to bake my first real cheesecake tonight. We'll see how that goes...

Feel free to pass your sights and sounds along!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Shout Out to My Husband

When I got home from Bible study tonight, some Christmas decorations that I wanted to put up but hadn't had the energy to were exactly were I wanted them. The boxes of other stray decorations were out of sight, and even the laundry was put in its proper place. HUGE, HUGE blessing.

Thank you BWG!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Christmas Countdown

So Thanksgiving is officially over. In typing that I realize how sad it is that the day was little rushed, at least by the retailers. But seriously, did you see the deal at Best Buy for the 50' Samsung DLP? It was long discussed at our post-Thanksgiving table.

I was amazed at the readership's commentary on shopping in Dallas malls and the outcry over any display of Christmas paraphernalia pre-Thanksgiving. Never before have I had such a hot topic on this blog, so thanks for sharing your opinions. I continue to hear feedback from closet Christmas music listeners and from those who boldly went ahead and decorated their entire houses before Thanksgiving day. But I'm not going to call anyone out.

I think I found a happy medium in the decorating. I pulled out just a few things the afternoon we left for Thanksgiving, but have left the tree decorating until today. Today is a day of firsts at our house. First time to put lights on the house. First time to decorate a tree over 4 feet tall. And for the first time ever, I have the majority of Christmas gifts bought, and it's not even December yet. Nice!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Wednesday nights I help Miss Amanda with Mission Friends at our church. We teach pre-k and kindergarteners about Baptist missionaries around the world. Each night as we end our circle time, we go around the circle and let the kiddos pray. Although sometimes all we work on is minimizing the distractions, most of the time listening to them is one of the sweetest parts of my week. Some are praying outloud away from their house for the first time, and we love encouraging them.

A few Wednesdays ago was one of those nights that for a moment took my breath away. We had one that thanked God for just about everything that he could think of: for the roof, for the church, for the sidewalk, for school, for the dog, for supper, for Mom & Dad. I thought to myself..."when was the last time I just sat down and thanked God?" In college, I had a bulletin board that I would just write random things I was thankful for on all the time. Not falling on my face down the stairs when I tripped. Finding a $5 bill so I could go out with friends to dinner and not eat in the Commons. Finding a parking spot (Ags, can I get an Amen?) not in fish lot.

Most of the time I take the little stuff for granted. We serve an amazing God who has quite honestly given us many things we don't deserve--the biggest of course being His Son and the grace and mercy that came from His sacrifice on the cross for our transgressions.

Today I am thankful to be close to the ones I love all day long. I'm thankful for a husband who is a servant leader. I'm thankful that I have the ability to work and that I enjoy my work. I am thankful for my healthy family. I am thankful that I have had some mini-vacations over the past month that have refreshed me. And I am thankful that I can wear tall boots regularly for the first time since last February!

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Live Blogging from Thanksgiving Eve

We're watching the Aggies in the NIT semi-finals, and currently, they're winning!  My mother is whipping up the dish she's supposed to take to my Grannie's for lunch tomorrow.  It's a Thanksgiving/Christmas lunch staple in our family--cream cheese corn.  In honor of the high calorie holidays, here's the recipe. It's easy to make, and easy to reheat, which makes it especially perfect for potluck style gatherings.

Cream Cheese Corn

3 cans of shoe peg corn
8 oz. cream cheese
1 stick of butter or margarine
1/4 cup of milk
1 fresh jalapeno, diced
1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Over low heat, melt together the cream cheese and butter combined with the milk.  Drain the corn.  Mix with the cream cheese mixture.  Add the jalapeno, then top with the grated cheese.  Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Great Outdoors

Jeopardy Style: What are new shoes, party lights, and an air mattress?

If you answered "necessities for a Gentry camp out," then you're right!

Last night we went camping with our Sunday school class at Mineral Wells State Park. Everyone says it's a great place to climb and rappel, however I am a big chicken so things like that don't really get me as jazzed as they do say, people whose initials are BWG.

He e-mailed me at work yesterday morning to say he thought he would probably find out a lot more about me by taking me camping. I replied, "Exactly what do you expect to learn that you don't already know?" to which he said, "Good point." Anyone who knows me knows that I am not really a fan of nature, I don't like being cold, and I can't stand getting dirty.

So camping is basically my own Perfect Storm.

Here are the pictures...the proof that I braved the storm and lived to tell about it. And don't tell Brad, but I had a good time.

Sitting around the campfire.

Celebrating Chris's birthday with an Aggie cake!
The wind promptly blew the candles out as we stepped outside with it. Note to self...

I saw Bambi and his mom out running around this morning.

The view from our campsite.
Good times!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Breaking News

Mr. G has finished his Masters report.

The Hallelujah Chorus is playing on repeat in my head.

It is a brilliant paper, and I'm so proud!

Way to go, Mr. G!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Saturday in the Park

NorthPark, that is. And instead of thinking it was the 4th of July, you would think there are only 5 shopping days before Christmas because it was that crowded.

Today Drew and I ventured over to Big D, where the shopping is marvelous and people dress up to go to the mall. I read once that the "What Not to Wear" people were out and about in Dallas a few years ago, and that scared me into thinking that jeans and an old college t-shirt at the mall could equal public embarassment on cable tv, so I can understand why the Dallas folks dress up.

But I digress.

The mall was super crowded. And let me just tell you that you should expect an iPod for Christmas because everyone and their mama was in the Apple store buying iPods. We did some browsing, a little trying on, and finalized our Christmas list to send to our mama because she's ready to shop.

Right now I am blogging on Drew's new MacBook, and it is so cool I can hardly stand it. The pic above is courtesy of photobooth. I don't know if I could permanently make the switch though, but it is tempting, let me tell you! I just finished making Paula Deen's triple chocolate chip cookies for my husband who just walked in the door from school.  He has only one more trip to Austin, and he graduates on his last day of that trip!

Brad informs me that even though eggnog is out on the shelf and he loves it, he does not want to drink it until after Thanksgiving (side note: I don't drink eggnog. It is gross.)  Is anyone else completely set against NO CHRISTMAS until after Thanksgiving?  I mean, I'm not putting up my tree or anything!

I have no comment on the Aggies' performance today. Thank you.

Friday, November 9, 2007


Nothing kicks off a weekend better than sitting in traffic on your way home. Not really, but at least I can console myself with Christmas music on KVIL. The Huge Exception is the hippopotamus song. It is the opposite of my favorite.

This weekend will be very fun--my favorite brother is coming ito visit, which is always a good time, and I have a baby shower for a dear friend. And I fully intend to start my Christmas shopping! Should be very relaxing.

I hope you and yours have a very merry weekend!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Viva Las Vegas

So since last Saturday, I've been in Las Vegas and just got in yesterday. I attended a software conference there. I had a great time but am so glad to be home. Some people go to Vegas to gamble, but the shopping is where it's at. I spent plenty of time after conference sessions at the Grand Canal Shops in the Venetian and the Forum Shops at Caesar's. And Fashion Show Mall? Love it.

For the first few days of my trip, my mom and my aunt came out to stay with me and tear up the town. They left Monday morning, and the rest of the trip was all business. But while they were there, I did get to see some of the sights.

Mom & Aunt Sheri on the Journey to Vegas

In the lobby of The Venetian

I stayed in the Venetian, and it is quite luxurious. For two of the nights I had an entire king bed to myself. And there were 3 flat panel tvs in my room. One in the sitting area, another in front of the bed, and a third in the bathroom.

My Mom and I in the Bellagio Conservatory

On the Strip in front of M&M World. Yum!

Sisters on the Strip in front of New York New York

While I was gone, my dear husband attended the 50th wedding anniversary party of his grandparents in Texarkana while attempting to write his Masters report. I am so proud of him. I am happy to say that the end is in sight, and he plans on being finished with the rough draft this Monday!

Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!

Reason I Like My Phone #513

I just realized I can blog from my phone. Let the games begin!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Mystery Blog Guests

This will come as no surprise that I track who visits this blog. I know many of you out there visit this site and don't leave us a comment. Please feel free to tell us who you are and how you got here (we probably have friends in common) even if we've never met. We'd love to meet you.

If you're wondering, "is she talking about me?" The answer is most definitely yes--I am talking about you.

Have a great Friday!

Washington D.C.

Another destination is checked off my list! For the first time ever, I can say that I have visited our great nation's Capitol, Washington D.C. And I must say, it lived up to my every expectation.

This past weekend I travelled with Ashley to D.C. for some sightseeing and also to watch her dad and my pastor run the Marine Corps Marathon. More on the marathon later, because it was awesome and deserves its own post.

We left Friday on The Company Plane and got into Baltimore around 7 PM. We caught a crazy shuttle to the Greenbelt Metro station, bought our tickets and got on our way to Arlington, VA. Once we were on the green line, two men behind us were arguing with conversation laced with profanity. Nice. They started inching closer and closer to one another, and we were certain they were going to fight. This is fantastic for two girls alone on the subway. We were slightly scared so at the next stop we jumped up and sprinted to the next car. With all our luggage. Sprinting.

So once we finally got to the Rosslyn station, nearly 3 hours after our flight landed, we got to the escalator to take us to street level. It was the tallest, steepest, most frightening escalator I've ever been on, and I was sure it was Jacob's ladder taking us to heaven. It was that tall and the picture I have does not do it justice.

We met up with the Dean family and promptly went to bed. Long day!

First thing Saturday morning we went to the Holocaust Museum. Amazing. Go see it. It might begin to help you understand the enormity of that event in history. So after a bit of a teary beginning to the day, we walked past the Washington Monument (huge) on the way to the National Archives.

Ashley and I went on from there to see the White House. Howdy George and Laura!!!

Then we went back, rested our feet, and got ready for dinner at a neat restaurant overlooking the Potomac to celebrate Allison's birthday! The picture from the post below was at that dinner.

The next day we got up and watched Bro. Mike run the MCM. It was amazing, and like I said, I will defer discussing this event in another post because this one is getting pretty long.

After the marathon, we grabbed lunch at Five Guys, which was recommended by Anthony and Allison (Ashley's bro-in-law and sis) before setting out for a marathon of our own...seeing all the sights we had left on our list and finding a souvenir. We walked and walked and walked. First we went to the Capitol and got some great pics.

We stopped in at the National Air and Space Museum and saw the Wright Brothers plane, along with Dorothy's ruby slippers which were stationed there during a Museum of American History renovation.

Next we walked all the way down the National Mall past the World War II Memorial, to the Lincoln Memorial. From there, we saw the Korean War Veterans Memorial, which is a little frightening, but awesome. After all that walking, we decided it was time to head back and get some rest since we were flying out early the next morning.

I have to say that the national landmarks were seriously larger than life. We live in a great nation, and those public servants who have come before us make me proud to be an American.
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