Monday, December 26, 2011

Entry 454: We Bought A Zoo

In our earlier post we mentioned that we decided to start some of our own Christmas traditions, and one of the new traditions is to go to a movie Christmas day. We decided that we would go and see the matinee showing of We Bought A Zoo. We promise that we won't give away the whole movie, but it was basically about a widowed man who has 2 children. They are all struggling to move on with their lives and decided to move. They find their dream house, but it is on a zoo. They decide to buy it anyway and the rest of the movie is about trying to make the zoo successful and moving on with their lives.

We both really enjoyed the movie and even though she won't admit it, Julie cried at least twice during the movie. Lance enjoyed it more than the Twilight movies, but Julie thought the Twilight movies were better.

Entry 453: Christmas Eve

This year we decided to do Christmas a little different and to start some of our own traditions. We started off by deciding to cook ourselves a nice Christmas dinner. This consisted of a brown sugar ham, spinach mashed potatoes (new recipe that we tried because we both enjoy spinach), broccoli and rice casserole, and a nice cranberry orange salad. We spent most of our day cooking this, but in the end the work was well worth it because the meal was great.

We also decided that we wanted to attend the early Christmas Eve church service. We went to the service at 4:30 and it was absolutely packed. Julie made sure that we left early, and for once Lance was glad that she did. We were there 15 minutes before the service began and we still struggled to find a place to sit. It was a beautiful service and as always the music was wonderful, but then just when we were thinking that we were going to get out of their relatively quickly the associate pastor decided to give a sermon. It was a novel idea, except for the fact that it lasted for 20 minutes. Lets just say that the sermon talked for a good 5 minutes about the Indiana Jones movies. Saying that the people and kids weren't happy would be an understatement.

After church and eating we decided to finish the night off with a nice bottle of wine and watching The Sound Of Music. All in all it was a nice night.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Entry 452: Early Christmas Gift

Julie has been asking Lance for quite some time to get a keyboard for her Ipad. Lance got onto the Best Buy website on Black Monday and found a really good deal on a wireless keyboard that came with an Ipad stand. The item was backordered and unfortunately the day that it finally came in Julie got the mail and opened it. So far Julie really likes it and won't let Lance even touch it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Entry 451: Junior Matha Stewart

Julie is a fantastic cook, but this year she has decided that she really wants to bake Christmas cookies. The past two Sundays have consisted of Julie slaving away in the kitchen and trying out some new cookie recipes. So far Julie has made some delicious new recipe chocolate chip cookies, cranberry orange cookies, and pecan ball cookies (which you can see below). Lance really enjoys this because he gets to taste test all of them.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Entry 450: Giving Back

As many of you know, Lance transferred to a middle school this year and now works with 7th graders. So far he loves it, even though there are quite a few differences between the two groups of kids. There are four 7th grade teams and every year each team adopts a refugee family for Christmas. When Lance heard this he set a personal goal for himself of raising at least a $1000 for this cause. He talked to his paraprofessionals and they came up with some great ideas. One of the great ideas we came up with is to make duck tape bracelets and bows and to sell them. We researched it on the Internet and after some practice we began making them at a pretty good clip. We had a few nights where students stayed after school to help and ended up making around 500 bows and bracelets. For a week straight we sold bracelets for $2 and bows for $3 before school. At the end of the week we made a little over $700.
Lance also thought of a great fundraiser that he had once seen where a local custard shop came and sold custard to students during the school day. Lance contacted the custard shop and set everything up. They came during all of the lunch shifts (which was almost 2 hours) and Lance helped them collect money and put the toppings on the custard. We were making so much money, that we were having to put money in our pockets because the money bags were full. It was an exhausting two hours, but rewarding because when we were done our cut was a little over $250.
When it was all said and done Lance and his paraprofessionals raised $983 which was just a little short of the goal, but it made us all feel good because the money will be put towards a great cause.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Entry 449: Aaron Crow Signing

Lance noticed last Thursday that one of Julie's favorite Royals players, Aaron Crow, was going to be signing autographs at US Toys in Lenexa, Kansas. Aaron Crow is a relief pitcher for the Royals and one of the players that Julie really wanted to get an autograph from. We loaded up the car on Saturday and picked up one of our friends who wanted to go along. Julie was really worried about not getting an autograph, so we showed up an hour and a half before the signing and were the first ones in line. Aaron Crow was a really nice guy and he ended up signing a Crow shirt, baseball, his rookie baseball card, and a bat for us. You can see the pictures below.