Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good Riddance 2008!

Goodbye 2008. Or shall I say good riddance. I have had better years. However, I found a few things that I enjoyed this year:

1. Wii- along with millions of other eight-year-olds. Greg and I wonder where this contraption has been all of our lives. We love playing each other in tennis. (Don't ask who usually wins, because it isn't me). I highly recommend this console. I haven't really played Call of Duty since we (Wii?) got home, and you know how I love COD.

2. Dance Dance Revolution- If I'm not playing the Wii, I'm playing Dance Dance Revolution Universe 3. I love it, and it makes me get up and move. It even tracks my calories that I have burned. Of course, I can only do it with no one else around. It's way more fun than walking on the treadmill for 45 minutes. (Unless Young and the Restless is on).

3. "Young and the Restless"- I used to love "General Hospital," but "Young and the Restless" is a little less mob-ish.

4. My Canon digital Elph camera- Love it! It fits in my purse and takes great pics and videos.

5. Our new bed- It is made for giants because it is so incredibly tall. However, it is the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on. After sleeping on a mattress that was at least 45 years old and thin and hard, I am really appreciating this monstrosity.

6. Colorado Springs- We are so glad we ended up here and not Pennsylvania or Boston or somewhere farther. It's nice to be a car trip away from family. Also, it's one of the more conservative places in Colorado. (Our county was about 59% red).

7. UNICEF- I blogged about it before. If you use Hotmail or use Microsoft's Instant Messenger, then you should join the "i'm initiative." Learn more about it at this website.

8. Spray ranch vinaigrette- Thanks wishbone! I love the taste of ranch, but hate the calories. This solves my problem. I have been putting it on salads, sandwiches, crackers, or anything else that calls for ranch dressing. This website shows you what I am talking about. It sits right next to my spray butter that I also love!

9. Websites that I found this year that I enjoy:
- LOL cats and LOL dogs- not sure what it is about this, but it always makes me laugh.
- Garfield minus Garfield- Who knew John Arbuckle was so troubled?
- Raiderpower- It's nice to hear what other Tech people think about Tech sports.
- Facebook- I don't LOVE it like other people LOVE it, but it's kind of fun to peruse.
- Popsugar and the whole Popsugar network- They have different websites devoted to different topics. From celebrity gossip to cooking to fitness to babies to news, there is one for everybody.
- Foxnews and Redstate- During the election, I needed these websites to keep me sane.
- Sparkpeople- More about this weight, calorie, and fitness tracking website later. Most amazing thing- it's free!

10. Webcams, Iphones, technology, oh my!- thanks to the webcam, I get to see my family more often. It really helps the loneliness. Also, Evan knew who I was when I saw him in Lubbock. I absolutely think these are the greatest inventions ever! Also, you know how I feel about my iphone! Under the technology headline I would also add blogging!

P.S. Is there anything that you found this year and love? I would love to hear about it.

P.P.S. Happy New Year's Eve! Be safe!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Home for the Holidays

Well, Greg and I made it home from our tour of Texas. Not really a tour, but to Weatherford and then to Lubbock and back. We had such a great time and are so appreciative of all of the gifts and hospitality of our families. Greg has been a little under the weather with some cold-like stuff, so it was a really good thing we came home on Saturday. No matter how long we stay it never feels like enough time to get to hang out with everyone.

Once we arrived back in the Springs, we realized that we are really glad that we live here. We really like it. The only thing that is missing are our loved ones. Otherwise, I think we'll take the Springs over Lubbock any day. You just can't beat the scenery. Maybe someday we'll convince others to join us up here.

Our star of the Christmas holiday was this cutie:


Greg and I believe that kids make Christmas so much more fun. We hope that someday we can have some so that magical Christmas feeling will come back. But not for a while. We both want to lose weight and get really healthy before that day comes. Until then, we can enjoy Alli and Bryan's little ones. In case you didn't know, Evan is going to have a little brother in May. (Maybe April). So, thanks Alli and Bryan for having kids so we can enjoy them until we have our own!

P.S. I am already working on my New Year's resolution- Go Me!!

P.P.S. Let's see how long it lasts!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Update

On Friday night Greg and I attended his office's Christmas party. The food was great...until that night. Megan and Scott came to stay with us and I became so violently sick. I'm still not sure if I had some sort of bug or some sort of salmonella-ish type of sickness, but I do know that it was no fun. No fun at all. Because of me being sick, we had to go one day later to Weatherford, but we got there. (Barely- Greg almost ran us out of gas once. When we filled up we put 13.75 gallons into our 14 gallon tank. Yes, he almost had to push our car...)

We had Edmiston Christmas Monday morning. Greg and I received a Wii from Wilma and Chuck that I believe Wilma had to wrestle out of the hands of a mother of 3 small children at Wal-Mart in order to get it for us. Just kidding- she ordered it online and the next day they were sold out! The Wii was too much fun for all of their grown children. (I'm sure all of the 8-10 year-olds will also be enjoying their Wii on Christmas morning. Maybe some day we will grown up!)

We attended the Edmiston family Chinese Christmas party. I ended up with the cookie jar and Greg finagled tools. We did conspire a little bit, and in the end we ended up turning on each other, but it was all in good fun!

We were able to visit with Donna, Tom, Thomas, Laura, Garrett, and Kathryn at Laura's house yesterday for a bit. I was anxious to see my mom, but these guys are definitely the next best thing. Kathryn smiled and Garrett told us he was hopefully going to get a Tony Romo football helmet from Santa. I hope Garrett can hold on to the ball more than Tony, though!

So now we are in Lubbock, where it was a chilly 65 degrees when we got here yesterday. (Sorry, Lubbock, but 65 degrees is not chilly). We are doing some running around today, and I am going to eat at Furr's. I know- I'm livin' the dream! I have been craving Furr's baked fish for a couple of weeks now. I hope it tastes as great as it does in my dreams! Then, Cranford Christmas tonight and Karr-Edmiston-Phillips Christmas tomorrow.

P.S. Greg and I are getting baby fever being around all of the cute kiddos.

P.P.S. Merry Christmas Eve!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Beware of Wrap Rage

So, I have been watching the Today show, as any good maker of the home does. This morning they did a story on toy packaging. You can watch the video here. (You'll have to click on "The Problem With Packaging" from the selections on the left). Apparently, people are having such a hard time with undoing the packaging that surrounds toys and other gifts.

Ok, I am not all bah-humbug about this. I know that it can be frustrating to turn the twisty ties and cut through the plastic, but isn't that part of the fun? It builds the anticipation of actually getting it out and using or playing with it.

Not only that, but are we so spoiled that we complain about this? The report says that 6,000 people a year are taken to the hospital due to injuries sustained while opening a package. Paper cuts hurt and all, but?? I suppose people are so dramatic that they really are using machetes to open packages as that one lady says. (I don't want to make light out of any injuries, I'm just astonished, I guess).

If they didn't wrap it so tightly then people would complain of it being damaged or pieces missing. No matter how you look at it, the businesses seem to be wrong. Well, if the packaging really does give you a heart attack, then I suppose you could...I don't know...not buy it? Oh, but you just have to have that Barbie, don't you? Then I guess you should get over the packaging thing.

I side with the businesses on this issue. My product being damage free and having all of its pieces is way more important to me than the few extra minutes it may take me to safely open the packaging with scissors or even a pocket knife.

Here is my Public Service Announcement for the holiday season: Please, please, go easy on the untwisting of the twisty ties on your toys and presents. You don't want to end up being laughed at in the ER. No, that's horrible, I don't mean that. Just be careful folks, it's a dangerous, dangerous world out there. (Cue the shooting star and the "More you know" theme).

P.S. Let's hope for an injury free Christmas morning, everyone!

P.P.S. I should be wrapping (albeit, horribly) packages and cleaning instead of blogging. That is how much you mean to me!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Recession?

So I was hoping that with this recession and all, the stores might be a little less crowded. If you watch the news, it seems that no one has any money to do Christmas shopping, which, don't get me wrong, is sad and all, and we really don't either. So, I thought that each store I went to wouldn't be that crowded and the lines would be short because no one has any money to spend on gifts. (The recession isn't really affecting us except for some student loan issues, and Greg's retirement that is about negative 400% or something awful and depressing.)

We set a Christmas budget, I have been keeping a spreadsheet, and we have been bargain shopping. We don't have any money left to actually get to the places we need to get to for the holidays, but we have presents!

However, I must report that aisles are just as crowded and lines are just as long. Most of the time lines do not bother me. I can wait to check out for forever. What I cannot tolerate is not being able to find a parking place. I don't even mind a far parking place. I just mean A parking place. Anywhere.

Greg and I tried to go to a shopping center on Saturday (I know what you are thinking- Saturday?? You are gluttons for punishment.) We couldn't find a single parking space in the ENTIRE parking lot. Are you kidding me?? I got frustrated and we left. Apparently every person in Colorado Springs had the same idea that day. I guess I don't mind standing in line because I feel they are continuously progressing. Driving around a parking lot in circles and circles just feels like you are going in circles and getting no where.

Next year I am Christmas shopping in July.

P.S. I didn't realize that it may not snow everyday in Colorado, but rest assured that your backyard will always have a thin blanket of snow over it. Sophie is not happy.

P.P.S. I have been wrapping packages and they are not turning out well. At least the wrapping paper is super cute!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Update From the Edmiston Bungalow

Well, it's cold. I know it seems like only yesterday I was complaining (I know...Me? Complaining?) about it being un-Godly hot in the house. Now, it's perfect, but tremendously cold outside. There is snow on the ground and more to come, I believe. To you mountain folk (especially Edmiston #3) it may not seem like much, but I took a picture of the thermometer we have on our front porch. Here it is:

Here is my evidence that it is cold outside. I believe, if you look closely enough, it says 1 degree (it's 8:45 P.M.). This morning when Greg woke up, it said negative 8. (Of course, when I woke up it said negative 4 because I sleep a few minutes later than he does. But, please remember that everyday I was teaching, he laid in bed all comfy and cozy while I got ready and was usually sound asleep when I left, so I don't feel too bad).

It has been eventful in our mountain cabin. (By mountain cabin I mean not close to the mountains at all, but we can see them, and it's not remote like most cabins are- we live in a neighborhood that always reminds me of the movie "Edward Scissorhands." If you've seen it, then you know what I mean. Talk about Suburbia!) We made peanut brittle, that may become gifts for some lucky folks, and peanut clusters from Wilma's recipe, that are so good. We were going to share them, but I think they will be gone way before we even think about giving them away. Here is a picture of Greg licking the spoon. (Stand back girls, he's mine!)

And our yummy peanut clusters:

We had an eventful weekend with a little bit of drama in the neighborhood and a lot of dramatic cooking and baking in our kitchen. We also have sugar cookie dough in the fridge waiting to be turned into adorable little Santas and snowmen and bells with colored icing. Our life is so exciting!

P.S. I received so many wonderful gifts when we were married. One I received from a wonderful teacher and mother that I worked with at the school gave me a huge bucket full of cookie cutters. Cookie cutters galore! I must say that this gift has been truly wonderful. I have a cookie cutter for everything! If you are looking for a unique gift for a bride-to-be or a mom-to-be I highly recommend this. My cookie possibilities are endless!

P.P.S. Maybe I'll just eat the dough! It's so good!

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's Still a Great Time of Year!

What would Christmas be without fantastic Christmas songs? Even before Thanksgiving I was listening to my Napster Christmas radio station. I would listen to Christmas music year-round if it wasn't looked down upon by others. (Not to mention it would drive Greg crazy). Well, here are some of my favorite Christmas songs:

1. "White Christmas" sung by Bing Crosby- I know many people have done this song, but I prefer good old Bing!

2. "The Christmas Song" sung by Nat King Cole- No one does this song quite like he does.

3. "The Christmas Waltz" sung by The Carpenters- Love, love, love this song. This is the song I hum constantly throughout the season while I'm at work. (By work I mean cooking, cleaning, folding laundry, shopping, playing Call of Duty 4...you know, all of the things a normal housewife does).

4. "Baby It's Cold Outside" with Sammy Davis Jr. and Carmen McRae- Many others have tried to capture the fun in this song, but no one has succeeded like these two. Jessica Simpson? Please. I heard her version on the speakers at King Soopers today, and I cringed a little. I have nothing against her, I just cannot stand her version. She sound kind of whiny.

5. All time favorite- " O Holy Night" sung by either Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, or Martina McBride. O Holy Night is hard to mess up. I get tears in my eyes every time I hear this song. It is lovely.

All love all Christmas music...almost. I know people love Mannheim Steamroller, and even Greg is a huge Trans-Siberian Orchestra fan, but I cannot stand this type of "Christmas" music. I prefer traditional stuff with more classic instruments and less 80's synthesizers and electric guitars. Maybe it's just me...

P.S. My brother-in-law, Scott, LOVES the song "Santa Baby." I hope he doesn't mind me giving his secret away! Haha!

P.P.S. I would love for you to tell me what songs you love during the holidays! And I won't judge you if it is something by Mannheim Steamroller or Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Apparently, I am in the minority when it comes to my distaste for these two.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Another "Kick in the Pecans"

Wow, the hits just keep on coming, don't they? Or as Greg says: "Another kick in the nuts." Pecans? Peanuts? I don't get it... As a Red Raider fan, loyalty is a must, because it sure is hard not to get discouraged sometimes. Last night we found out that Graham will not be a Heisman finalist. We didn't think that he would win the award, but it would be nice to see him there. I'm sure there is some reason, having to do with votes or some such, that he wasn't invited. But last night, when my brother-in-law called us angry and told us the news, it was the Oklahoma/TTU game all over again. Or wait, it was the we-don't-get-to-go-to-a-BCS-bowl feeling again. (The last one made me really angry because Greg and I wanted to go somewhere fun and make a vacay out of it. Alas, we do not want to go to Dallas because we have been there many times before, so we'll just save our money).

Well, Graham, you are my favorite college quarterback. But I must admit, I am a little bit biased.

Usually I watch the Heisman ceremony, but this year I will be boycotting it. And I am not a "boycott-er." This totally goes against my non-green, non-recycling, don't-believe-in-global-warming nature, but I'm going to do it. In fact, I am going to find the antithesis of the Heisman ceremony and watch that instead. I assume it is something super girly and un-political. Any suggestions? "Strawberry Shortcake?" "Hannah Montana?" "High School Musical 3?"

I suppose I am so super glad that we beat Texas this year. They would be playing against Florida, probably, if it wasn't for us. I can fall asleep smiling every night knowing that UT fans' dreams were shattered by Crabtree's amazing catch and touchdown at the end of the game. It actually gives me warm fuzzies to think about how Texas could maybe beat Florida and Oklahoma will probably get crushed, (see their previous bowl experiences) and it is killing them inside. (Not literally).

P.S. Just win the Cotton Bowl. Big time!

P.P.S. I can't really watch "Hannah Montana." It was accidentally on this past Sunday after some political show I was watching (Maybe Greg was watching it, I don't know...) and it sort of drove me crazy. I'm sure it is fantastic for young girls, but I am obviously not a young girl anymore because I couldn't stand it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Every year there are certain movies that I have to watch around Christmas time. They are, obviously, revolved around Christmas or winter. Who would want to watch anything that isn't based around this time of year? Oh, I suppose that would be my husband.

For some reason every year around Christmas he has to watch "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. I'm not sure when that became his movies of choice around the holidays. He can't even explain it. He just says he feels a strong "need" to watch them around this time. Oh, wait! They have elves in them. Never mind, I see the connection. They may not be Santa's workshop kind of elves or have secret dreams of being a dentist. They may be a perfect shot with a bow and have endless amounts of arrows and speak in a made up language, but they are elves none the less.

Here are the movies I must watch around Christmas time:

1. "White Christmas"- Is there anything better? Music, dancing, Christmas, snow...it is the perfect movie. I will be happy to recite it to you, if you insist. My favorite song from a musical ever- "The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing." I walk (prance?) around the house singing it all of the time.

2. "Miracle of 34th Street"- New one or old one, it doesn't matter. I do not own this movie, so I always catch it on TV about half way through. I can't even remember what happens at the beginning, I rarely see it. (Except now thanks to the magic of the DVR!) What a movie about Christmas miracles!

3. "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer"- Not any of those fancy animated ones, I'm talking claymation. Classic tale of not fitting in because you are different. I love this show. The next dog I get I want to name "Yukon Cornelius." I probably won't have another dog for a very long time. I'll probably have a kid before I have another dog, and I am not going to subject any child to "Yukon Cornelius."

4. "Charlie Brown Christmas"- Sometimes I watch Linus' speech during the play practice more than once because I love it. If you did't know, he quotes Luke 2:8-14. Actually, I must confess that I didn't know he was quoting scripture until today. Not to mention, my Christmas tree looks a whole lot like the one Charlie Brown picks out, and before they put stuff on it and make it pretty.

5. Greatest one of all- "It's a Wonderful Life"- I don't even know if I can describe in words the way I feel about this movie. I cry every single time. Every time. Everyone can take a lesson from George- Just when you think you don't matter, is when you matter the most.

So here are a few of the movies I look forward to around Christmas. There are others I watch, starring such characters like the Grinch and the Sneetches, as well as more modern ones like "The Santa Claus" and "Polar Express." But these are some that I usually just catch when they are on TV. The previous ones are movies that make the holidays complete!

P.S. I would love to hear about any other movies you and your family watch around the holidays. I am always taking suggestions.

P.P.S. Less than 2 weeks before we head to Texas, and I am not done Christmas shopping yet! I wish I had elves to help me. (But not Lord of the Rings Elves, they wouldn't help with anything unless I had some epic battle to fight, which I don't!)


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Let it Snow!

Ok, I am starting to warm up (no pun intended) to the snow. It has been snowing here all day long. I woke up, had about 3 cups of coffee with pumpkin spice flavoring, and have enjoyed the fire and a good book.

So, snow may not be that bad. I think Colorado snow is different than Lubbock snow. It seems to be more cotton-y. It's almost soft. Wyatt is loving running around getting mouthfuls of snow. I just hope he doesn't accidentally get a mouthful of yellow snow- gross! (You're welcome for that thought).

Remember, Casa de Edmiston would love to have anyone visit their snow bungalow!

P.S. I never thought I would say this, but fantasy football is almost over, and I am actually kind of sad. It's a little bit addicting.

P.P.S. I put my Christmas tree up and it looks about the way my wrapped packages look. I will not be posting pics because I am not very impressed with it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Darn Books...Why do they make you have to think?

I try to read a lot, as you know. Usually, I like to be entertained by stories and that's it. Just spoon feed me, don't make me have to think. Occasionally, I will pick up a book about history or other nonfiction. Something a little bit deeper than murder mysteries and books by mothers who really never wanted to be mothers so when they have children hilarity ensues. I usually can count on author James Patterson to give me a suspenseful story (in super short chapters- Yay!) about some cop trying to solve some murder while putting himself in danger at every corner. However, I just finished his last book, "Cross Country," and darn it, Mr. Patterson, you had to make it all real and stuff.

In the novel the main character has to travel to Africa. Now, please understand I am no activist by any means. You know my recycling stance and such. What he describes (I know it's a work of fiction, but I like to think the author does quite a bit of research) is awful. It really made this cold-hearted, ignorant person open her eyes just a little bit.

So far today I have Googled: "Darfur," "African Conflicts," "Sudan," and "Non-Profit Organizations." I don't want to get into the politics, because goodness knows I am no expert. However, I do like children. I am so not one to donate to a cause, but if I did I would probably donate to Unicef. They seem to help the kiddos who cannot help themselves. I think of how much I wish I could save each and every one of them. I am also very interested in children being able to get an education in another country. Books, paper, pencils, all of the little things I know my students took for granted everyday, are the things they need.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to start knocking on your doors or protesting. Sometimes, just educating yourself about the world is a good thing. That's what I did. "Cross Country" peaked my interest, and I followed it up by doing a little research this morning, that's all. It's always useful to learn about the world. So, I guess I should thank James Patterson for peaking my interest. (Something tells me that was his intention- that sly dog!)

P.S. Just so you don't have to go and google it, here's the website for Unicef: www.unicefusa.org Look at it or don't. Whatever.

P.P.S. Christmas tree is probably going up today. Well, actually I am still debating about whether to put one up or not. Only Greg and I will see it, and we won't be here for Christmas. I can't decide. I suppose I can take pictures and you can tell me how lovely it is, then it will be worth it, right?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Memories!

Around the holiday, memories seem to be created around every corner. Some memories are not the ones you intended, but some day they will create great stories. (For example, my favorite commercial right now can be seen by clicking on this link. This is exactly how I feel about our getting caught in the mountains.)

As it turns out, I do not handle the unexpected well. I wish so much that I could be one of those people who roll with the punches, and act as if everything that happens is another adventure. But I am not. Just ask Greg. I get very frustrated and tense. Then, I regret getting upset once I am home and safe with my puppy dogs. All last week, Greg and I created another wonderful fantastic Thanksgiving memory.

We got to Salt Lake safely and quickly. (I say quickly because our trip home was a little bit longer). It is a beautiful place. Scott and Meg's place is somewhere I wish I could vacation all of the time. They are very lucky to be in such a big city, yet when you are at their home, it feels like you are in a secluded mountain town.

We had an awesome meal that Wilma mostly cooked (Meg and I made a few dishes...ok, Meg made a few dishes, I made green bean casserole- easily the easiest dish that was cooked that day. They knew not to let me do the gravy...) and Meg and Scott made us feel so welcome. We invaded their house with our large amounts of luggage and our loudness during football games, and we appreciated that they tolerated us!! We even got to see Chuck through the magic of the webcam. (Webcams are the best invention ever!) I'm sure he was sorry he missed my green bean casserole! (Well, let's not be ridiculous, I'm sure he was sorry that he missed everything Wilma made because it was so yummy. He is lucky he gets her amazing cooking all of the time!)

But let's get to the really important part of Thanksgiving- the desserts, of course! Megan made a pumpkin cobbler that was delicious as well as her "pink stuff" that hopefully helped her feel like home and I enjoyed quite a bit. Wilma made pies that looked as beautiful as they tasted. In fact, Greg asked me to try and bake a chocolate pie like Wilma and Granny, and I was willing to try...until I saw Wilma's chocolate pie and it looked like it could grace the cover of Gourmet Chocolate Pie magazine. It was so pretty, I made Scott take a picture of it. (As soon as he sends it to me, I will share it). After that I knew there was no way I could ever do that!

I was also wondering if doctors prescribed Valium to people who have to be passengers in cars while driving on ice? My hands hurt, I was clenching my fists so hard. Greg would have appreciated me taking some Valium or horse tranquilizers or something in that category because I freak out a little. However, Greg is so great with the roads. Another way he is perfect. Even with me gasping at every moment like I used to when watching Amber Flew play Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega way back in the day. (Flew- you know exactly what I am talking about!) He was so patient with me.

Regardless how the trip ended, we had a great time in SLC. Thank you Scott and Megan and Nacho and Maggie, and especially Kizzy, for letting us invade your home. And thank you Wilma for taking care of so much! Memories!!

P.S. Scott- please send me the Thanksgiving pics, but can you airbrush me and make me look skinny before you send them? I promise I will put "Copyrighted by Christopher Scott Edmiston...All Rights Reserved...Please do not use pictures of Abby for modeling purposes on any billboard unless you seek permission" on them.

P.P.S. We cannot wait to create memories of Christmas soon in Weatherford and in the LBK.