04 January 2016


As with everyone, October always means the beginning of the Holiday season... Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years.  This year was particularly rough since the passing of Rick, my Dad & Homer.  It's definitely true that the "firsts" after losing a loved one is always the hardest.

October, for us, always means 2 things:  pumpkin patches & trick or treating!!!  The first pumpkin patch that we went to, with classmates & friends, was at a nearby church.

Our dear, sweet friend, Trinity, turned 1 year old this year.  We had a wonderful time at her birthday party... the kids always love hanging out with Ms. Angela.
The twins also took their very first gymnastics class in October.  They really enjoy the activity & we love that it burns some of that endless energy.
We decorated (with stickers, jewels & glitter) pumpkins AND carved pumpkins this year.  The kids love digging out that yucky gook from the inside.
The second pumpkin patch that we always look forward to going to is called Love Creek Orchard's Pumpkin Patch.  We went with our awesome friends, The Strottner's.  It was the perfect weather for such an outing.
At their school, Bulverde Baptist Church Mother's Day Out, they dress up for crazy hat & sock day; take treats; & have a little party of their own.
Halloween is quickly becoming one of Jett & Delilah's favorite evenings.  We kept with a family theme, again, this year... Jett was a fireman, Delilah was Sparky the fire dog, I was "fire", & Rich was a hydrant.  We really enjoy the opportunity to do stuff like this with them... they always get a kick out of it!
We started the morning with cinnamon rolls decorated as pumpkins.  For dinner, we had our annual pumpkin pizza.  Then, we all hit the streets looking for candy.  Grandy & The Block's joined us for the fun.

Along with all of the special things that we do in October, we still have our regular, everyday things... School; playdates; shopping; playing at home; bubble baths & more.


 Luckily, November started nice & slow... LOTS of playing outside; riding bikes; dress-up; & play dates.
Then, mid November, we celebrated Brisa's 3rd birthday.  The theme was Frozen, which is a favorite of most kids these days.
 At school, the kids have a Thanksgiving dessert party.  They get to wear little pilgrim hats & the parents get to join them for some tasty treats.
For Thanksgiving I decided to host the family at our house.  We do this every year BUT this year I wanted to do a fancy Turkey dinner, using my Mom & Dad's wedding china.  I served a roasted turkey with several sides, including sweet potato & pecan casserole; corn pudding; fresh green bean & citrus salad & pomegranate & walnut bread.  Grandy, Clarence, Milagros, Brisa, Tucker & Kylie all joined us for the special evening. Jett & Delilah finished off the evening with a slice of pumpkin pie.
In the Anderson home, the day after Thanksgiving always means... decorating for Christmas!!!  We got busy, first thing, & finished it all up, in one day.  This year, for the first time, I set out Mom's nativity scene, that she made by hand back in the early 80's.  It looked just beautiful.
 Just as the Friday after Turkey Day means Christmas decorating... The Saturday after means heading to Christmas in Comfort.  This year, Patrick, Michelle & Owen Strottner joined in on the fun.  We stopped first to have lunch at the Dodging Duck then on to Comfort.  It was pretty cold... but nothing a mug of  hot cocoa couldn't fix.  Right after we decorated gingerbread cookies, that is...

Much to the family's dismay, I arranged for our yearly Family Photo session.  Surprisingly, it went really well & we got several pictures that we liked.

Also making his appearance in November, to get things on the right track for Santa, is Mickey the Elf.  His nightly shenanigan's always make for a fun game of Hide & Seek for the whole month of December. 

I guess I'll start December there... with a run down of all of Mickey's sightings throughout the Holiday Season.  (There were some nights that he was more creative than others :)
 This year was the first year that we attended the official Lighting of the Bulverde Town Christmas Tree.  There were different vendors; food; games & even snow for the kids to play in.  We met up with friends (Ellen, Carmine, Derek, Andrea, Olivia, Patrick, Michelle & Owen)  & stayed up way past our "bedtime".
On December 6th, the Anniversary of Jarrod's death, Rich ran in his 10th 1/2 marathon, in honor of Jarrod. Me, Grandy, Jett & Delilah went out to the race to show our support & cheer him on.
 As busy as December ALWAYS is, we still manage to have time for playing; snuggling by the fire; & lots of coloring.

Since the colder weather FINALLY set in, Jett & Delilah take advantage of hot, sudsy, bubble baths.
 A fun tradition that we've done every year since the Twins have been born, is our trip to see the Christmas lights in Johnson City.  This year, Milagros, Brisa, Patrick, Michelle, Owen, Ellen, Carmine & Derek all joined us for the evening.  We stopped for dinner first, at the Pecan Street Brewery then headed to check out the lights.  We took a hay ride around town & played in the grass under a million shiny lights.

Our neighbor in the culdesac, Mr. Gerald, always produces the most amazing inflatable & Christmas light decor.  Jett & Delilah insist on walking to his house almost every evening.
Before the kids were released for Christmas break they had a small class, pajama party.  All of the children wore their Christmas PJ's; brought snacks; & watched the movie Polar Express.
We had a couple of opportunities to hang out with our great friends, The Strottner's.  We decorated gingerbread houses one evening.  Then, we spent a different afternoon making & decorating Christmas cookies.  Any time that these kids spend together makes for the perfect evening.


It was a good thing that the kids made such special cookies.  We had just the perfect plate to put them on when it was time to leave cookies & milk for Santa plus carrots for his reindeer.
 This year I FINALLY talked Rich into braving the traffic & the crowds to go see the Christmas Lights in Windcrest.  With jammies on, we piled into the car; bought some hot chocolate for the ride; & headed east.  They definitely did NOT disappoint!
The kids & I tried our hands at making some cookies together.  I'm pretty sure their favorite part was taste testing.
The Walker's hosted their annual Christmas party again this year.  It's an opportunity for Rich & I to get away for an evening of fun with wonderful friends... and LOTS of (too much) Holiday "cheer".
We also hosted our smaller version of the annual Christmas Eve Open House that my folks used to have.  Friends, family & neighbors stopped in to catch up; eat; drink; & partake in a game called the Saran Wrap Ball.  We all had a wonderful time & as everyone left we sprinkled "reindeer food" (deer corn & glitter:) in the lawn so that Santa would know where to land.  But, before the festivities began at our house, Grandy took Jett & Delilah to a very special Children's Christmas Eve Mass at her church.

 Another tradition that my Mom & Dad started years ago, that we are all TOO happy to carry on, is finishing off Christmas Eve with a delicious Irish Coffee.  I can't help but think of & miss my Dad each time I sip on one.
After being completely wired from the Irish coffee that I drank, Christmas morning seem to come very early!  Jett was the first one awake & in our room screaming "Santa came, Santa came!"  We had a full morning of unwrapping our gifts; Christmas tree pancakes; & playing with new toys.  After a much needed (& deserved, I might add) nap, we took the new scooters & joined our friends in the neighborhood for a fun afternoon.  Our traditional Christmas meal was replaced by bowls of chili, cornbread muffins, queso & tamales. 
 In hopes to instill in Jett & Delilah, the true meaning of Christmas, we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.
 Then, one final, Family picture before we all said good night on another wonderful Christmas Day.
So, the year ends with Rich on shift & the kids & I spending the evening with The Strottner's.  We had dinner at Beefy's where the kids played & played for as long the chilly, night air would allow.  Then, the 3 of us headed home to snuggle in bed & listen to the fireworks shoot off over head. Rich, while at the station, got to see plenty of fireworks himself.

Well, to be honest, we're not really sad to say goodbye to 2015.  While it held some good times, we also experienced great loss.  We are looking to this new year of 2016 with refreshed hope & new dreams.  Look out, 2016... Here come the Anderson's!!