The Elrod Update

Monday, November 27, 2006

Trimming the Tree

The Christmas 2006 Finished Tree

It happens every year the weekend after Thanksgiving... the annual holiday tradition of putting up and decorating the Christmas tree. I remember when I was younger that our family would go out in the woods on my Grandad's property and pick our tree. Daddy would chop it down and we'd bring it home. Whether pine or cedar, it always smelled great! Now, after a year or three of fresh, expensive trees, we have a nice fake one (do "nice" and "fake" even go together??) that has paid for itself already for years to come. It's 7.5 feet tall and has what looks like tiny ice/water droplets on the ends of some of the branches. For a fake tree, it's pretty. This past Saturday morning I began the task of going in the attic and looking for all the Christmas decorations. I must've brought out a dozen boxes... okay, maybe not but it sure seemed that way. Especially to Chris! HA! I've about decided I'm not putting out every decoration that I have this year. What is it... less is more?? ;) Anyway... we got out the tree and Chris helped assemble it. It's really fairly easy... 3 sections and the branches just fall down. After a little fluffing and a light check, we were ready to begin. I started with the many many feet of red beads and wrapped it round and round the tree. Next came the ornaments. I separated the non-breakable ornaments that the kids were allowed to handle from the more fragile ones. I gave them their pile and let them do their work. Surprisingly, they didn't clump all 52 ornaments together in one spot! heehee After some minor placement help from me, it was my turn to finish up putting on the rest. My ornaments are very eclectic. The themed fancy trees look oh-so-pretty but I prefer one with sentimental value. We have fancy glass ornaments and homemade paper ornaments made with love by 2 little boys. We have ornaments that belonged to Chris and I as kids and even 2 ornaments that belonged to my parent's when they decorated their first tree. So many memories in such simple tree decorations. Next came the red and white bows all carefully spaced out. Last came the tree topper. I think I do something different every year. I've made bows, put on a Santa Claus hat, and even had an old fashioned St. Nick perched atop the tree. This year I made my own bow and it turned out beautifully if I do say so myself! ;) I then spread out the tree skirt and it was finished. Christmas Tree 2006 was done and it is quite lovely! Stop by and take a peek if you happen to be out in our neck of the woods! Oh... during the tree trimming, we listened to Christmas music and Chris made us all hot cocoa. It was a wonderful evening of spending family time together. :)

Grant placing the first ornament on the tree

Sorting the ornaments

Chris just sat back and took pictures ;)

Enjoying some hot cocoa

Chris making the hot cocoa for us

We hope each of you enjoys a blessed and wonderful Holiday Season!!

Friday, November 24, 2006

More Thanksgiving Pictures

Daddy and me.... Daddy had a minor car accident (he's okay) 2 days before T'giving and the airbag went off. That's why he has a red nose and, according to Grant, looks like Rudolph!! HA!

Full and sleepy after a big dinner

Siblings and nephews relaxing... ignore the "salutes" =P

PawPaw and Matthew

PawPaw and Grant

David Lee enjoying a plate full of desserts... YUM!!

I love this picture! David Lee, Sarah, Phillip, and me

This tree is out in the front yard at Daddy's... I used to climb it all the time when I was growing up. In fact, I pushed my brother, Phillip, out of it once! I'm nicer to him now... HA!

Y'all may be seeing this one in your Christmas cards this year! :)

Sisters!! I really like this picture, too! :)

Me and Jamie... She's always been like a second mother to me. She and her family are life long family friends. I grew up babysitting for her children... her oldest daughter and I were in each other's weddings. It was good to visit with her on Thanksgiving day!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I hope each of you had a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving Day! It's always good to be together with family and friends... those that love you the most. This is the first year that our family has resumed regular Thanksgiving festivities since Mother died in 2004. Chris and I and the boys went to my dad's house in Arkansas for the day. We stayed the night with my brother, Phillip. Along with my siblings, we were joined by another family for Thanksgiving dinner this year. Janet, who has been seeing my dad, and her family came along to be with us. She prepared most of the dinner... all I had to make was broccoli/cheese/rice casserole and rolls. Oh, I also made homemade caramel corn but that was mostly for Phillip. ;) All total there were 16 people at the house. After dinner, Phillip and David Lee joined each other with their guitars out on the back porch for a little playin' and singin' session. That was fun! Even Matthew got in on the act. Later in the afternoon, Phillip, David Lee and myself went over to our "other parents" house... Tommy and Jamie's. They practically helped raise us and their children are like our siblings. They're a wonderful family and it was so good to spend some time with them. That evening we all took turns playing the original Nintendo game system. Super Mario Brothers... what a blast! There were only 2 controllers and 5 of us wanting to play so when a character lost a life we just passed the controller off to the next person. Never did rescue the princess but we all had fun trying! :) In the end, it was a beautiful day and we enjoyed just being together.

Enjoying the wonderful weather after a good dinner

Playing a little music

David Lee and me

David Lee (singing a tune... HA!) and Sarah

Uncle Phillip and Matthew

Matthew and Uncle David Lee

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

More Patriotic Pics

For some reason, the rest of these pictures weren't posting to the previous entry. Hmmm... Anyway, these are just a few more.

Patriotic Program

Last Thursday, about 4:30 in the afternoon, Matthew casually tells me that he has a 3rd grade program that night at the school. WHAT?? "Matthew... go get your notebook from school." "Mom... there is no note." Right. "Mom... call the school and see." Okay. Sooo... I call the school. Lady answers. I ask if she can clear something up for me because my son seems to think there's a program at school tonight and I know nothing about it. "Oh, yes ma'am! You didn't get the note??" Note?? No! I didn't get a note! If I had would I be calling the school asking if there was a program that night!??! =P Anyway... I ask what time they need to be there. 6:00. Time was then 4:45. Great. "What do they need to wear?" "Anything red, white or blue. Patriotic." Okay. "Matthew... go get dressed now!" He looked great! Navy blue slacks and long sleeved solid red shirt. Patriotic enough for me. I called Chris and told him to just meet me at the school. We get there and as we're walking in I notice something...every other child is wearing khaki pants and a white shirt!!! Good grief!! I walked Matthew down to his classroom and explained to the teacher why he was dressed the way he was. She asks Matthew..."Did you not give your mom the note I sent home a week ago??". Ummm.... no. lol Fortunately, another mother overheard me talking to the teacher and offered an extra white shirt that she had to Matthew. He did a great job singing in the program even though that's not his favorite thing to do. He soooo does not like to perform in front of a crowd! I did get tickled watching him and the little boy beside him play a game of elbowing each other during the performance. They were on the front row, too! Boys! All was well in the end... ;)

Doesn't he look handsome?? :)

Matthew is the 3rd from left past the microphone

Carving Punkin's

On the Friday night before Halloween, our family spent the evening carving pumpkins. I had bought a book of templates to carve something interesting on the pumpkins this year instead of the standard triangle eyes/nose pumpkin face. Matthew picked a skeleton face and Grant picked a "Home Alone" face (if you don't know what I'm talking about... you'll see). We cut the tops off, cleaned the "guts" out and started carving. I kept the "guts" and actually toasted the pumpkin seeds for a treat. I remember my Mamaw in NY doing that once and I've always done it since.

Hope each of you had a great Halloween!!

Chris getting started on Matthew's pumpkin

I think I'm working on Grant's pumpkin

Working hard

Matthew's finished pumpkin

Grant's pumpkin is on the left beside him... Matthew's is on the right beside him. Too bad they came out a bit blurry. Oh, well.

Trick or Treat

This year, same as in the few years past, my lil' goblins... I mean the boys... got to dress up twice and go on a hunt for some sweet treats. First event was Trick or Treat a Trunk at our church the Saturday before Halloween. Each year, all members come and park their cars in the parking lot. They then sit beside their vehicle while hundreds of kids from church and the community come scavenging for candy. Hot dogs and drinks are served first and candy hunting is the rest of the evening. Everyone has a great time and we hope that it's a good outreach to those in our community. Then, of course, there was Halloween night. The boys went trick or treating with the neighbor friends, Davis and Lauren, and their cousins, Austin and Hagen. Matthew dressed up as Captain Jack Sparrow this year (what little boy didn't?? heehee) and Grant was Frankenstein. :)

Matthew... AKA Captain Jack Sparrow

Grant... AKA Frankenstein

Jack and Frank ;)

Matthew, Davis, Grant, and Lauren (neighbor friends)

Matthew, Hagen, Austin, and Grant (cousins)

Checkin' out the loot!

YUM!! Elmo likes suckers!! :)

At the Corn Maze

Every year, the Agricenter here in Memphis hosts a Corn Maze for all to try to find their way through. At night it is a haunted maze. Ummmm... not for us! heehee We went on a Sunday afternoon after church. This year Chris and I took the boys, Grant's little friend (Graydon), Chris's mom (Meme), and my brother (Phillip). Uncle Phillip had actually flown in for the day so it was a nice treat to have him tag along with us. The weather was beautiful that day! Very warm for end of October. We began our journey through the maze a little after 1 pm. Around 10 til 2 we finally found the halfway point. Halfway!! We chose to escape at that point.... we had heard one too many "Are we lost?" by then. heehee After we got out of the maze, the boys wanted to shoot the corn cannon. There are different targets set up in a field... business targets. If you hit one, you got a gift certificate or other happy from the business. Would you believe that Grant hit the furthest target out in the field?? He got us a gift certificate to Whole Hog BBQ! YAY Grant!! Of course, Matthew didn't think it was quite fair that he didn't hit a target. Next year, Matthew, next year. ;) After we left the Corn Maze, we decided to go get a little treat. Thank you, Uncle Phillip, for treating us to delicious Bruster's Ice Cream! Yum!! We then went home and rested for a little while before going back to church that evening. It was a very good day! :)

Meme, Uncle Phillip, and Chris waiting on us to catch up!

Uncle Phillip, Graydon, Matthew, Chris, and Grant

Matthew, Chris, and Grant (who didn't want another picture taken and refused to look at the camera!)

Ma and Pa :)

Matthew and Graydon (Matthew didn't know which side he was on... heehee)

Graydon and Grant

Vanilla, Vanilla, Cookie Dough :)