Friday, December 26, 2008

How sad is this??

Jamie and I played Wii Sports quite a bit yesterday afternoon, and we are both sore today! We took the fitness test, and I managed to get my fitness age down to 39 from my original score of 55 (yeah, how pitiful!). Jamie's fitness age is 25 - he totally has an unfair advantage. The fitness test is a combination of bowling, tennis, and baseball. Of course he hits a home run every single time he bats. I say they need to add a volleyball section in there, and then we'd have a real competition.

What is even more sad is the fact that Jamie is playing Wii Tennis left handed today, because his right thumb is sore from playing yesterday! And he is still winning. Show off.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

From our family to yours, we wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and we give thanks for the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ.

Here are our pictures, taken on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.

I also created a video montage of some footage that I recorded. I am just now beginning to use this feature on my camera, and I'm loving it! This video includes:
  • Happy Birthday Jesus
  • Dad & Jamie playing baseball on Wii Sports
  • Elise singing Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
  • Coach & Elise dancing in the kitchen on Christmas morning

Holly & Herman's last day with us

Holly & Herman had their last day with us yesterday, on Christmas Eve. When we woke up, they had set up my laptop on the coffee table and gone to Elise's favorite website for playing games. They were playing a Disney game that featured Donald Duck. What tricksters!

Last night Elise gave them hugs and told them goodbye. We knew that when Santa came to visit, he would take Holly & Herman back to the North Pole on his sleigh. Sure enough, when we woke up Christmas morning, they were gone. I actually feel a little sad to see them go. We will miss them and look forward to their return next year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The day draws near

I was telling Jamie tonight how hard it is to believe that Christmas is only a couple of days away now. Every year there is such a build up to the big day and so much time goes into preparations - gift buying, wrapping, decorating, menu planning, grocery shopping, cooking, etc...then it seems like the actual day sneaks up on us.

It occurred to me tonight that we only have 2 more nights with Holly & Herman until they return to the North Pole for the next 11 months or so. I think we really need to make the most of it, so I am trying to get a little bit more elaborate with these last 2 days.

Tomorrow morning Elise will find Holly & Herman on the kitchen table with her crayons and Christmas coloring book...and they've gotten a bit artistic! Of course, who would expect anything less from a pair of mischevious Christmas Elves??

We will have to save their art work for Elise's scrapbook...which unfortunately is a full year and a half behind. How the heck did that happen?? I think I feel a New Year's resolution coming...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Final Countdown

We are in the final countdown to Christmas Eve, which means Santa will be here soon! This also means that Holly & Herman are taking full advantage of their last few days with us. In the past few days they have...

hung from the ceiling fan

taken down the stockings

and turned on cartoons!

There is just no telling what else they may do between now and Christmas Eve.

I have finally completed the Christmas shopping and gotten all the gifts wrapped. That is a good feeling, although I wish it had been done a few weeks ago. I also did a little bit of cooking this weekend, because I like to have a lot of yummy things to munch on around the house for the holidays. All in all, I think we are ready for Santa!

Holiday Hoops

I got tickets a few months ago to take Jamie to see a double header at the Toyota Center. I have been sweating it out for weeks now with the playoff run in football, wondering if we would be able to use the tickets. As it turned out, we were free this weekend, so we saw UT vs Michigan State and A&M vs LSU. It was a fun day out, and Jamie really enjoyed seeing UT. Unfortunately they lost in the last few seconds of the game...still it was a fun experience. We did have a questionable Michigan State fan sitting right next to us - the creepy factor was high with that dude! But we made the best of it.

We also got to see James Blasczyk take the court for A&M. He graduated from FHS last year. Here he is shooting during warm-ups.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A visit with Santa

Elise asked Santa for a baby doll and a Barbie. :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Exciting Elf Exploits

Since I was off this morning, I was able to see Elise wake up and discover the latest adventures of Holly & Herman. Just a little mischief in the kitchen today. :)

A party and dancing!

Elise's dance instructor had a parent observation today, and I took the morning off to go watch. It was super cute. This is my favorite dance, which is actually their Halloween dance. She said the kids loved it so much, they had to perform it during the Christmas show!

I also got to help out with her class Christmas party. Wow, what a bunch of excited and crazy 4 year olds! God bless their teachers is all I can say. Santa Claus made an appearance, which was a huge hit.

There was so much food. And cupcakes. And cookies. And candy. It was a child's version of heaven!

Food, music, dancing, and just doesn't get much better than this.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More adventures with Holly & Herman

This first one is from several days ago, but I forgot to post it.

This one is from yesterday and requires some explanation. Every evening I lay Elise's clothes for the next day on the coffee table (well, that is if I don't forget!). This makes it a bit easier for Jamie to dress her in the morning and get her off to school. So, yesterday morning, Elise found Herman with her panties on his head and wearing her shirt. Jamie said this one was a huge hit.

And finally, this one is from this morning.

Jamie is on the treadmill

I can't decide if I am happy due to the fact that I have a husband who is interested in staying healthy and fit, or if I should feel like a slacker because I am sitting on the sofa watching him! I am thinking that slacker prevails.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Elf Update

Holly & Herman have been with us for a while now, and we are starting to get to know them better. It is becoming more and more apparent that Herman is the brains behind the mischievous operation. Just look at what he did on Friday night.

And here are some pictures from this morning.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Life Lessons

I've always loved sports for as long as I can remember. As a child, I would get to stay up late to watch games with my dad. KU basketball of course! I also remember being an avid Oilers fan back when they were in Houston, and completely infatuated with Rockets during their championship years. There's just something about sports that I love.

I think one of the main reasons that I love sports is that they teach a lot about life. You've heard the saying, "Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten". Well, everything I need to know, I learned while playing team sports. I learned perseverance, the value of hard work (and also that sometimes hard work isn't enough), how to motivate others and what motivates me, interpersonal skills, sportsmanship, how good it feels to win and how bad it feels to lose. I also learned that even when you are one of the best, most sought after players in the state, sometimes you run across someone who is better. I thought about this lesson a lot today at our state semifinal loss against Lake Travis High School. That is a tough one to learn, especially when you are accustomed to success. But it stays with you throughout life and reminds you to be humble in your successes and gracious in your failures.

Hats off to Lake Travis and Garrett Gilbert. They were simply the better team. We could have fumbled less, made a few more tackles, or thrown fewer interceptions...but honestly at the end of the day, they were just better. Give credit where credit is due. Congratulations to them, and best of luck next week in the state championship game. They truly deserve to be the ones going.

As for our team - there is absolutely no shame in losing to Lake Travis. No one else has beat them this year (or last year for that matter). We had an amazing run, and it was so much fun to be along for the ride. I always get a little bit sad at the end of a season. Not because of the game or a loss, but because of the relationships. It's hard to say goodbye to the seniors each year, knowing how much their lives are about to change. Jamie gets quite attached to them, of course, and I really grow to know them through his stories and watching them play. I also think it brings back memories of my own senior year and saying goodbye to my high school career.

For me, the transition from high school to college was the hardest transition of my life thus far. Harder than the transition into motherhood and the transition of divorce. I know that sounds crazy, but I truly feel that way. There was something very traumatic about leaving my home and the friends I'd known since 3rd grade and moving away to a new town to start all over as an adult. I remember standing in my room the night before I left for college and thinking to myself that things would never be the same again - and they weren't. We think when we bid farewell to high school that we will keep in touch with all our friends - that we will still see each other and be a big part of one another's lives. And we do for a little while. But time passes and people move in different directions...and we lose touch.

I watched as the kids patted one another on the backs on the sidelines and gave hugs. Some of these friendships are years in the making, and the bond between teammates is strong. Think of all they have shared with one another. I know they are thinking their friendships will endure the trip to college. Some of them will, but the reality is that most of them will not. It's hard to imagine everyone scattering to the wind, but I know in just a few short months, that is what will happen. It's not a bad thing, necessarily. Still it does make me a little sad.

Of course there is always a silver lining. We won't be playing for a state championship this year, but we far exceeded expectations by being one of the 4 best teams in the huge state of Texas. Our quarterback will play next year for Texas Tech, and a few other seniors may get offers to play in college as well. It will be a blast to watch Tech on television in the next few years to come. And Jamie and I will get our lives back! Well, at least for about the next 6 weeks until baseball starts again. We haven't had a full weekend together as a family since late July, so it is long overdue. I know Jamie is exhausted and can really use the break. I had a quiet moment in the stands tonight during the 4th quarter when it was incredibly apparent that we would not win. I just felt so thankful and blessed. I'm so thankful to be healthy & to have found a man like Jamie to share my life. I wish things could have been different today, but I cannot spend much time feeling bad about how it turned out. We are just too fortunate to be overly upset about a football game.

Congratulations to the 2008 Friendswood Mustangs on a season that has been unmatched since 1973!!!! What memories we will have of this wonderful year...just another reason to be thankful. :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Gearing up for the big game

Jamie hasn't slept much this week in anticipation of tomorrow's state semifinal against Austin Lake Travis. They are a formidable opponent thanks to their quarterback who is a top recruit in the nation and will be attending the University of Texas next year. But don't rule us out! We also have a great quarterback and the will to win. The Chronicle ran a good article today discussing the highly anticipated game.

QB duel adds fuel to the fire

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More snow pics!

The snow really started to pick up, so we got Elise out of bed, threw our jackets on over our PJs, and went back outside! She was able to build a small snowman and have a snowball fight with Jamie. Bailey and Dexter also got to play in the snow in the back yard. It's now way past our bedtime and we are guaranteed to have a cranky little girl on our hands in the morning, but we couldn't pass up this opportunity - it will be melted by tomorrow.

Friendswood Football Videos

Some cool news videos on our team:

One Win Away

Friendswood vs Beaumont Central

Friendswood vs Magnolia

Friendswood vs Westbury

Friendswood vs Lamar Consolidated

Story on Kevin Thornton (Kevin is Jamie's favorite athlete at FHS)

It's snowing!!!!

I know for many people that is no big deal, and sometimes even an annoyance. However, to those of us living in the Houston area, this is a rare event and one to be celebrated. I remember vividly the last time it snowed. It was the evening of December 24, 2004. I remember so well for 2 reasons. The first is because it was Christmas Eve, and the second is because it was Elise's first Christmas. We had a White Christmas that year.

Of course Elise doesn't remember one bit of that, so this is her first experience with snow! Unfortunately we didn't get much - not even enough to coat the ground. But at least she got to go outside and play as it fell for a few minutes. She had a ball!

Trying to catch a snowflake on her tongue

It's a snowball!

More elf mischief

This morning we awoke to discover that Holly & Herman had been playing with our Christmas tree ornaments last night while we slept. They made quite a mess, and Elise had to put some of the ornaments back on the tree. She was so excited about this discovery that she had to call me at work to tell me all about it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Jamie is going to kill me...

But I just love him for being so goofy! I really needed a good laugh the other day, and he came through as usual.

Seriously, though...I am totally digging the Under Armour shirt. I wish he'd wear that more often! YUM! :)

I'm it!

Okay, Lisa tagged me, so here goes!

Here's what you do...Grab the book nearest to you, find page 56. Go to the fifth line. Type it, and the few following. Of course, tell us the name and author of the book. Let us know if it's a good read, because we all need good reads!!

You know I'm choosing one of the Twilight books, and since my copies of Twilight and New Moon are currently loaned to friends, I grabbed Eclipse (Stephenie Meyer).

"I told you I didn't want to fight with Charlie."
"Nobody said that you had to."
I glowered at him. "I can't help myself when he gets all bossy like that - my natural teenage instincts overpower me."
He chuckled. "Well, that's not my fault."
I stared at him, speculating. He didn't seem to notice. His face was serene as he gazed out the windshield. Something was off, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Or maybe it was just my imagination running wild again like it had this afternoon. I can't stop reading!

Marshmallows, anyone?

Darn those mischievous elves! :)

An interesting conversation occurred after Elise discovered Holly & Herman in the marshmallows this morning. It went kind of like this.

Jamie: Elise! Look what Holly & Herman did last night!
Elise: Santa did that, because they are just dolls.
Jamie: No, they are magic elves, and they come to life when we are not watching.
Elise: We better hide the marshmallows then, so they don't get into them again! I think they ate one!

Two thoughts occurred to me when Jamie told me about this exchange between them this morning.

1. She is tough to fool!
2. She is hilarious!


Monday, December 8, 2008

Up to no good!

Those pesky elves are already up to no good, and Herman has really gotten himself into a predicament! LOL

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Introducing Holly & Herman

We have 2 new, mischievous visitors in the Crocker household. Santa sent Holly & Herman to stay with us from now until Christmas Eve. They will be keeping an eye on Elise to be sure she behaves like a good girl and sending reports back to Santa at the North Pole. When Santa visits us this Christmas Eve, he will take Holly & Herman with him back to the North Pole where they will stay until this time next year.

While they are visiting, the elves tend to explore at night while we sleep, and are known for getting into mischief. There is no telling what kinds of things they might do, and what we might wake up to find each morning! It is going to be a fun few weeks leading up to Christmas Eve.

Credit for this fun idea goes to Elise's stepmom, Ashley. I'm so glad she told me about this. Once she mentioned it, we both started doing a bit of research and found that many variations of the Christmas Elves exist. One of the more popular versions is called Elf on a Shelf. However, the elf that comes with it is just not nearly as cute as Holly & Herman. We are kind of making up our own version of Elf on a Shelf. We ordered our elves on Amazon, and I typed up a letter from Santa that they are bringing with them on their first day to visit. Elise will wake up tomorrow morning to see them hanging out on top of our television set with the note from Santa. I can only hope that we will see nothing but excellent behavior now that she knows the elves are watching her closely. :)

And then there were four...

We pulled off an amazing win tonight over Beaumont Central High School to advance to the state semifinals! It was very close, with a final score of 20-19, and very exciting to be the team that came out on top! It was also very cold.

We will be heading to College Station next Saturday to play at Kyle Field (the home of the Texas A&M Aggies). This is all pretty surreal to me, and it must be to Jamie as well. We were just state semifinalists in baseball about six months ago, and here we are again. We really just have to pause and recognize how huge that is, and how many coaches dream of going this far and never get the opportunity in their entire career. And here we are doing it twice in one calendar year. Amazing. Jamie is so fortunate to be in this position.

Our opponent next week, Lake Travis, is VERY tough. We heard on the sidelines tonight that they defeated Killeen earlier today by some outrageous score of 70-something to 9. Yikes. It will be tough, but we can do it!

I was thinking back today on the rocky start to the season with Hurricane Ike and the cancellation of almost our entire pre-district season. It's amazing that it began that way and has taken us this far. Here is the playoff bracket so you can actually see just how far we've come.

Go Mustangs!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Do not order your Christmas cards from Snapfish and print at Walgreen's.

I've had 2 bad experiences in a row with them now. I ordered some Halloween cards from them in October, and they never seem to have the order completed when they tell you it will be complete. At least I did get the Halloween cards, even though they were late. That is more than I can say for the Christmas cards.

I spent around 3 hours last Saturday evening working on a design for our Christmas cards. I was using a similar theme to the "All we want for Christmas is a state championship" on the right side of the page. I spent a lot of time editing the photos - I had put together 3 different pictures from football games this year. I made 2 versions of the card - one in color and one in black & white to see which looked nicer in the preview. I took a lot of time experimenting with a lot of different templates to choose the nicest one. The point is - I really put a lot of time and effort into it!

So, I finally perfected the card and sent it for printing at Walgreen's. Snapfish's site told me that the cards would be ready on Sunday morning by 9:20. Remembering my Halloween experience, I did not show up at 9:20 for the cards. Instead I waited until after 11:00. I went in and it took them around 30 minutes to even locate my order in their system. Originally they told me they did not have it. I kept insisting that they did, and finally they found it. But their machines were still warming up, so they hadn't started printing any photos yet for the day (STILL warming up at 11:00???). I was told my order was first in line to print as soon as the machines were warmed up. So, I left somewhat agitated, but planning to return later on Sunday to pick up the cards.

I went back in around 3:30. Surely that would have given them enough time, right? After all, my order is first in line, right? Wrong. It's still not ready. After about another 15 minutes of investigation, I am told that my order has been CANCELLED. Yes, cancelled. Seriously. I wait another 5 minutes or so while they check to see if they can resend it for printing. Nope. It's just GONE. And I really think the lady behind the counter could not have cared less. By this time I had spent about 3 hours designing the card, made 2 trips up to Walgreen's, and waited almost an hour...and still had NO cards. And even better, all my work on the design had been deleted.

I will NEVER, EVER place a photo order with Walgreen's again.

I went home and designed a different card through WalMart's site, and this time I just opted to have the cards shipped to me at home. I'm not getting out in the crowds for a third time to get Christmas cards. At the end of the day it seems to have worked out quite well. I am paying around $30 less through Wal Mart, and I received notification that my order was shipped to me yesterday.

Also, just FYI: WalMart has all the same templates for cards that are on Snapfish's site, and they are less than HALF the cost. I ended up changing the theme of our card, so now we won't be sending out any cute football cards (it just took too long to get that right the first time). But I am pretty happy with the card I designed. It will work out okay, even though it's not as cute as the original card.

So, that is my Christmas card drama.

Christmas Shopping

I am pleased to say that I finished shopping for Elise before Thanksgiving this year. Every year I say I am going to do that, and this year I finally did! Hooray! I'm really excited about what Santa is bringing this year. Elise will wake up on Christmas morning to this dollhouse. I think she is at the perfect age for it and will love it!

She will also get a set of Tinker Toys from Santa and a set of Polly Pocket dolls/accessories from Jamie and I. I bought stocking stuffers from the dollar bins at Target. They had some really fun stuff, including a Hello Kitty wallet, Disney princess lipglosses, fun holiday socks, Hello Kitty pens, some art supplies, etc.

I have ordered a few gifts for the rest of the family, and Elise and I will be working on a secret Christmas gift project for all the grandparents and great grandparents this Friday as well. Hopefully by the end of the weekend, I will be about 90% finished with all the shopping. I'm still clueless about what to get Jamie this year. We set a price limit for each other, and I am having a hard time coming up with anything that stays within the limit. Hopefully I'll come up with a great idea soon.

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Over the last few days, we decorated the Christmas trees at our house and Grandma & Pa Pa's. It went pretty well - we only broke one ornament this year. I'm wanting to have some sort of "theme" for our tree, but since I haven't come up with anything I love yet, we are just using the plain colored balls. They look pretty, so until I get a great idea for a themed tree, we will continue to use them.

This year Elise was really into decorating. It has been fun to watch her. After she went to bed, I had to "fix" the tree, because she hung all the ornaments in the same spot. I didn't have the heart to fix it while she was still awake - I just told her what a great job she did. :) After we finished the tree, we put on our pajamas, made some popcorn, and snuggled on the couch to watch Frosty the Snowman. It was a fun evening!

I am finished decorating inside, but I have no idea when (or if) we will get to the outdoor decorations. It's dark outside by the time we get home in the evenings, and weekends are consumed with football for now. We will at least get our snowman out sometime this week, and if that is all we do this year, it will be okay. It's just not worth stressing over.