Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A New Tradition is Born

We laugh about the scene in "A Christmas Story" at the end when they go to eat Peking Duck on Christmas Day because the Bumpus' dogs ruined their dinner. Tonight we were Ralphie's family, minus the Bumpus' dogs.

My brother was supposed to come out from Wimberley, but earlier this afternoon let me know that he and his wife were not going to make it. We were going to do fajitas for dinner. Called Los Cucos only to find that they closed at 3PM, so no fajitas. Grrr. I still have a couple errands to run - pick up Craig's prescriptions, get a few last minutes stuff for breakfast and dinner tomorrow, and run to the Post Office to mail stuff once more. (God bless the automated mailing center!) Catherine and Craig explore dinner possibilities while I am gone. I suggest that it would be nice if I did not have to cook or clean dinner! (hint hint!)

Upon my return, we review the options and decide to go to Sakura, a Japanese steak and sushi place nearby. Gary really does not want to go, but we remind him that he said we could decide what to do, so he grumbles but gets changed. ;-P At the restaurant he is somewhat frustrated by the menu, not being familiar with this type of food, so Catherine and I suggest things to try. He ends up ordering hibachi chicken and shrimp, and even trying a little of Catherine's sushi.

In all it was great fun, watching the guy prepare our food, but even more fun watching the faces of the little kids at the table next to us. There were 4 of them, none older than maybe four years old. One of the girls had Shirley Temple curly blond hair, a bee sting mouth and huge brown eyes. She was the most fun to watch as the chef prepared our food. Her eyes almost popped out of her head!

So we have Chinese food the day before Thanksgiving and now Japanese steak and sushi on Christmas Eve. Tomorrow we will do our Christmas day ritual and go see a movie - probably Marley and Me. Back to straightening and wrapping. Oh another tradition in our family (Tracking Santa) I remember listening for this on the radio long ago and far away. Sigh!

Ho Ho Ho!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Let the Holidays Begin

The last week of school before vacation is always challenging. Kids are hyper and teachers are worn out. After 26 years, not much has changed there. ;-) But all in all, not a bad week. We managed to keep the kids relatively occupied with a review, a test and then a 2 day computer activity. They were researching the stages in the life cycle of a star and creating a PowerPoint. They may not have finished their PPT's, but they sure spent quite a bit of time reading about all the pictures they were finding. And in the end, that is what mattered really.

They finally understood my fascination with these sites, too. During the unit, I would pull up photos or video clips that were pertinent to the topic of the day. One kid remarked that I must spend hours looking this stuff up. I agreed that I did, but I thought it was really cool stuff. Cue the eyeroll from students. Their teacher is trying to get us to do something "educational". Warning, danger Will Robinson! Danger! For two days, however, I was happy to hear "Hey Miss, look at this! This is cool!" and "Hey Miss, did you know...?"

So now I can concentrate on finishing the holiday preps. Finish decorating the tree, finish the outside decorations, finish the shopping, send out the cards, and most importantly CLEAN THE HOUSE!!! We have not had our housekeeper for several months now, and it shows. Even though she only came every 2 weeks, knowing she was coming helped us keep things picked up for the most part. We have gotten so lazy, there are piles of junk everywhere.

We are staying put for the holidays this year. I miss visiting with family either in Illinois or Florida, but honestly, I would rather go when it is not holiday time. It is just less stressful for everyone and we are not driven by a set schedule. And the weather is nicer everywhere later in the year. It is always so unpredictable, maybe snow and cold in Chicago, rain in Florida...even here in Houston. But at least we are at home. I can deal with that. But I still miss the family!