Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why my husband is the best!

As most of you know Joel and I live in a tiny 1 bedroom apartment. When I say tiny I mean it, it's only 540 sq ft. We are trying to save money in order to pay off our student loans. (That's a different story, back to the reason I am writing this). We decided this year that there was not enough room to put our Christmas tree up; hence, the reason for Christmas Corner. I have really been wanting to put it up because I missed it. However, I haven't complained to Joel, my mom maybe, but not Joel. So today when I walked in from work my tree was up!! The furniture was stacked in the corner in order for us to have room,, but I don't care!

This what I saw when I walked in

And this is what was on the couch

The note said 'Have fun decorating the rest! I love you!!'

I know most of you probably don't care about this, but for me it was very special! Action must be my husbands love language because he loves doing things for me.

And now you know why my husband is the best!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

White Rock Marathon (or not)

So last year I secretly made it my New Years resolution to run the White Rock half or full marathon. I say secretly because I didn't tell anyone. I keeping my resolutions and I didn't think I would keep this one, so I didn't tell anyone. If know one knew it was my resolution, then know one would know if I didn't keep it.

I had completely forgotten about it until July. In July our church announced that a group of people were going to run this years White Rock to raise money for World Vision. So I decided (with a little help from friends) that I would join the group too. I knew there was no way that I could complete a marathon, so I opted for the half.

I started off doing great, I was running/walking 3 or 4 times a week. But that didn't last... sad to say I quickly fell off the band wagon. However, I had already paid to run, so I was going to give it my best effort. So without any training at all on December 5th I attempted my first half marathon. I did much better than I expected, and was able to make it to mile 6.5 (when you start as far back I did though it was more like mile 7).

I am disappoint in myself that I didn't stay with my training and complete the race. Especially when I think about the fact that I was running for people who don't have clean drinking water, something that I take for granted every day.

To be perfectly honest I absolutely HATE running. I don't see how people enjoy it. The whole time I was in the race I kept thinking 'how do people like this?' or 'how is this fun?'. I vowed never to run in a race again. However, after giving myself a week to think about it... I am really mad that I didn't finish. I don't like not finishing what I started. So while I absolutely hate it, I just might have to try it again. I want to be able to say that I have complete a half marathon. So who knows, but if I can go 6.5 miles without any training at all... It kind of makes me wonder what I can do with a little bit of effort.

Joel wasn't able to get a picture of me, but here is a picture of the race. I'm sure I'm back there somewhere.

Have you ever completed a marathon or half marathon? I would love to hear about your experiences.

The one with trash

I absolutely love everything about Christmas. The music, the lights, the smells, the cold weather, I mean everything. But there is one thing I love the most. TRASH. Trash is a special trail mix that my family (my grandma and mom) makes only at Christmas time. I absolutely LOVE it. Several years in the past I have made myself sick eating too much of it at once. Please enjoy some pictures of us making it. 

I did not take picture of all the ingredients, it wouldn't be special if you all knew the recipe. 

christmas tradition

My mom mixing away

mom in kitchen


before going in the oven

 My batch, I don't like all of the nuts in mine.

nut free

Thanks Mom and Grandma for making trash again this year! Now I am all set bring on Christmas!

*In my house we eat all of the trash, but if your family won't eat it all it makes a great gift. You can put it in little Christmas containers and give them away to friends!!

ABF Christmas Party

This past Wednesday our ABF had our annual Christmas party. We had such a fabulous time, lots of good food, funny presents, and great friends. The night started with with mingling and eating. So many recipes I need to get.

Some of the girls, apparently we like purple. Julie, Me, Alicia, Michelle, Tammy, Julie, and Katy

Trying to gather everyone into the living room to for our white elephant gift exchange.


The gifts

The Hare's ended up with a great Santa hat. I wish I had gotten a picture of Jenny's face when she opened up this gift.  As you can tell the gifts were lots of fun!

Joel's first gift (look at Johnathan's face in the background, I think that says it all)

Tammy with her finger lights. She has an amazing ability to pick out the best gifts. Her gifts got stolen more than anyone else.

My gift, they may look inspirational, but they are not really they are messages of despair.

Joel's second and final gift. I think we are actually going to give it to my dad as a present in addition to what we already bought him. He will love all this cooking stuff.

Both of us with our gifts. I think that we did pretty good.

After everyone had played the game and opened their gifts, we walked down the street to see the coolest Christmas lights ever!! I have seen videos on Youtube, but I have never seen them in real life. Down the street from the Link's home there are two houses that have set lights to music. They are across the street from each other so its almost like they are dueling except that they are set to the same music.

Thanks so much Matt and Katy Link for hosting the party at your house! Joel and I both had a great time.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Welcome to Christmas Corner

This year Joel and I are in a tiny apartment, so we don't have room to put up our Christmas tree. I love Christmas time, and I love decorating for the season. So this year I opted to still put up decorations, just not as many.

So Welcome to Christmas Corner in the Howard house

Yes all of our decorations are Dallas Cowboys (what can I say we love our team)

I already have presents wrapped (I am pretty proud of myself for that)

Right by our front door

Most importantly though, the reason for the season. Jesus Christ coming as a man to save us from our sins. This our Nativity Scene on our dining table.

So excited for the Christmas season. I am so blessed and can't wait to share those blessings with everyone else this year.

Black Friday

I know I am crazy, but I love black Friday!! I am one of those insane people who sleeps in a tent over night to get a great deal on an item.This year it wasn't even for me, it was for my sister Emily. Autumn, Emily and I spent Thursday night in Best Buy's parking lots waiting to get a computer. We got it, so it was totally worth it!

Here are some pictures of us being crazy!

Our tent

Emily laying down

Me laying down

We may look warm and comfortable, but don't be fooled. While all of you were in your nice warm beds we were huddled together laying on concrete trying to stay warm.

We were doing it for fun, we chose to do it. There are so many people who don't have a choice, so many people who sleep on the street every night. This is just one more thing that I have to be thankful for, a warm bed. I challenge you this holiday season to count your blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!

Thanksgiving 2010

This year Joel and I had two Thanksgivings. We went over to my grandmothers house for Thanksgiving breakfast, and we went over to my Uncle Mike's for a late lunch. (Some how I managed to leave my camera in my purse for that one.

Joel and I have so much to be thankful for this year. We are truly blessed with the best families any one could ask for. And great friends! Here are some of the pictures from our fun day!

For breakfast we had sausage rolls. These are a tradition in my moms family, and it's one that I think I will keep around. (These are obviously uncooked)

Joel and I (we couldn't get Leo to look... he was distracted by my little cousin walking around)

My dad and I with our caffeine for the day

Joel and Leo

My Uncle Billy, I swear he can sleep ANY where.

Jessica, Breanne, Lauren and Autumn

Most of the cousin's with  Grandma and Uncle Billy (Yes my family is huge)

Leo's new best friend Zachary. They had so much fun following each other around.

At my Uncle Mike's we ate lots of yummy traditional thanksgiving food. Then my Aunt Sue had arranged for all of us to play BINGO! It was so much fun, and she even had prizes for all of us! She is so creative and always thinking of fun things for us to do as a family! Then we sat down to watch the Cowboys and Saints play. I left at half time to go get in line, so I missed the almost come back, but it was lots of fun!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Not much going on

Things in the Howard household have been pretty uneventful. Because of the holidays coming up, Joel has been working like a crazy man. I miss him like crazy! At the same time, I am so thankful to have a husband who works so hard to provide for me. So with Thanksgiving right around the corner I thought I would take time to tell you what I am thankful for.

1. The love of my life who I couldn't live without, Joel Andrew Howard. Thank you for all you do for me!
2. My family. I don't know how I would have gotten through my life without my wonderful parents and AWESOME sisters.
3. Great friends to share life with.
4. My job, I get to do what I love with some really great people.
5.Being out on our own. For those of you who don't know, Joel and I lived with our parents for a year after we graduated. (I am very thankful that our parents allowed us to move in with them, but I love we are out on our own.)
6. To be an American.
7. My iPhone!!! How did I live without it?
8. Ice cold water, it's all I drink!
9. A warm bed.
10. My education.

There are so many other things that I could list, but I won't. I wish everyone I very happy holiday season. We have so much to be thankful for!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wonderful Sunday!

What a great Sunday! Joel was actually off, so we were able to spend the whole day together. The day started off by attending church at The Heights. Our ABF talked about materialism, and I realized yesterday after breaking my phone how important possessions are to me. So this is definitely an area I will be working on as I move forward.

After church we went out to lunch to celebrate my Dad's birthday. We had a great lunch with my parents, siblings and grandparents.  Most of my Dad's presents had to do with the Texas Rangers.

After lunch we came home and watched the end of the Cowboy game (we had been watching it at the restaurant). We were both sad at how pitifully they played, so to cheer ourselves up we put in season 2 of 'The Big Bang Theory'. While watching the show we decided to carve our pumpkin that has been sitting on our table for over a week.

My husband does not like to get messy, so of course I did the dirty job.

This is a lot harder than it looks!

We had no clue what we were doing, but we had seen pictures online of what we wanted to do. And we didn't have any pumpkin carving tools, we only had what was in our kitchen. We thought that using a cheese grater would work, well DO NOT TRY IT!!! It doesn't work! Joel broke our cheese grater, but we got a really good laugh out of it.

Here is our finished product!  I think it turned out pretty good considering what we had to work with. (Last year we did a Dallas Cowboy pumpkin, so this year it was time to show the Rangers a little love)

And it looks really cute on our patio!

Like I said it was a great Sunday... I had almost forgotten what it was like to spend a weekend with my husband! Now we are going to finish the night watching the Rangers when game 4 of the World Series!!


Happy Halloween!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fall Festival

Once Upon a Time...
... in a land not so far away, a church held their annual fall festival.

Both children and adults alike dressed in festive attire to a theme involving make believe and child like wonder. Costumes were worn, games were played, treats were given, and all definitely had a fairy tale ending.

This past Wednesday the Heights Baptist Church participated in its annual Fall Festival. The theme this year was "Once Upon a Time." Each ABF (adult bible fellowship) set up a booth that incorporated a classic children's book. The Honeymooners chose The Wonderful Wizard of Oz!

From the yellow brick road to Munchkin land to tree orchards to the poppy field and finally to the Emerald City... we definitely were no longer in Kansas anymore.

Enjoy some fabulous pictures of our booth and the cast and crew who made it all happen... Meet the Honeymooners in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. So just remember... There's no place like Home!

Welcome Friends to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Meet the crew: The Honeymooners

Follow the Yellow Brick Road!!!
Our game this year was extremely clever. It was similar to a cake walk. Each child was to of course... follow the yellow brick road. When the music stopped, whoever landed on the wicked witch won a ding dong! "Ding dong the merry o... sing it high... sing it low... let them know the wicked witch is dead!"

The Zellners as a Scarecrow and a Munchkin!

The Links as Dorothy and The Yellow Brick Road
Joel and I as "Munchkins" and little Leo as "Toto"
The Zoutendams as a Munchkin and a Scarecrow
Julie as our Cyclone
The Kennedys as a Flying Monkey and Glenda the Good Witch
Ray as the Scarecrow
Alicia as the Tin(woman)
Don't be surprised if you see her in more than one costume... The reason for the mid game switch-er-oo was we had a tinman costume but no one to wear it. So Alicia took one for the team and ended up with two costumes for the night. Super fun! 

Our not so cowardly lion Eric Davis

The Hares as Auntie Em and Uncle Henry

Munchkin Land Fun!

Yay for Ding Dongs!

"Munchkining around!"

Getting Ready

"Toto" (Leo) and I have to say I was so proud of our little boy. He was so well behaved and let everyone pet him and hold him. I think he was the highlight of the night!

The Hoopers and our psychedelic Poppy Field
The Davis'

What a fabulously fun time at this years fall festival. Ha say that five times in a row. More pictures should follow as well as who won this year's contest. Happy Fall Ya'll!

*Thanks again to Alicia who let me borrow all of these pictures!! (I left my camera in the car)*