I love my husband!

I love my husband!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Photo....Please vote!

My mom took some pictures of Darrell and I to send out is Christmas cards. Can you please help us decide which one looks better?

Picture #1 in front of their Christmas tree.

Picture #2 in front of the fireplace.

or Picture #3 in front of the house.

Please take your vote! We need help deciding!!

On Friday night there was a Speech Pathologist Christmas party with a gift exchange. It gets pretty men because there are so many wanted gifts! I ended up stealing from my boss, but I got a set of mixers containing: Cranberry Martini mix, Chocolatini mix, Mango Margarita mix, and Blue Margarita mix. The Mango Mix was tried out last night with my parents and the ladies approved. My husband likes the regular ones better, but said it was "ok." Anyway, here a few of my "BUNCO" friends hanging out at the speech party. Shannon is trying to hide her beautiful pregnant tummy, then Alicia, me, Keri, and Heather. These girls are such great friends in and outside of school. I'm so glad I've met them!
Sat. morning I woke up feeling very sick. I sat around all day long and still felt sick. Sunday we went out to my parent's house where I help set up Christmas decorations, but felt horrible. I ended up staying home from work today. Right now I feel like I could go into work, but we'll see if that holds true in the mornings. I hope you all have a great week. Don't forget to vote!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving weekend

We had a very busy Thanksgiving weekend and were able to spend time with both families. We went over to my parent's house on Wed. evening and ate a wonderful Pumpkin Soup recipe. She said that the secret ingredient is baby food. I'll have to get that one and post it for you! On Thursday my Aunt Paula and Uncle Dan, and their daughters, Dani, and Sam came over along with my Uncle Rick and his girlfriend Kim. My grandmother was also there, so it was a house full of Swanns! (My maiden name was Swann) The Swann family drinks a lot of wine and can get very loud during family gatherings. We always take a little breather after the big meal, but then we really get into the drinking and playing games. Apples to Apples was our favorite this year. It get very loud and competitive during these games. Darrell hates to play games so this can be overwhelming for Darrell and he hardly says a word! Poor guy. We had a great time at my parent's new home. They have a media room with recliner chairs and a Blue Ray player, so every evening was spent watching a movie up there. I only took a couple pictures.

Here is me and my cousins, Dani and Sam. I see them a lot since they only live a few miles away!

Darrell got this cute picture of our dogs napping together

And here they are wearing their cute reindeer antlers, can't you tell they hate them!

Saturday we went down to Waco to spend some time with the Lessman Family. We had a wonderful meal and tons of desserts! I felt so uncomfortable because I ate way too much food. Their family is very different than our family. They do not drink alcohol at all and pretty much everyone just sits around after meals and naps or watches football. Finally, I had enough of that and I was ready to go home and sleep in my bed. I completely forgot to take any pictures. Sorry!
We slept in sooo late this morning! I made pancakes for breakfast/lunch and then we worked on decorating for Christmas. I love it, but Darrell hates it. He says he likes to enjoy it, he just doesn't like taking the time to set it up and take it down. Oh well....I told him he needed to get over it.

Here is our tree with/without a flash

This is our favorite ornament (see the silver box below). Some of you may not know this story, but Darrell proposed to me in Colorado on a family ski trip. We were heading to the bus to take us back to the condo after a long day skiing, but instead he told me I needed to get in this van with him. We drove for about 20 minutes out into a beautiful valley. Then we drove up to a ranch where a beautiful red antique sleigh pulled by 2 beautiful horses was waiting. We got into the sleigh and there were blankets and champagne and flowers waiting for us. The driver started up the horses and we were off. About 10 minutes later the sleigh stopped, Darrel pulled this box Christmas ornament out of his pocket and asked me to marry him. He opened it, and inside was my engagement ring. Now we are able to put this up every Christmas and remember the day he asked me to be his wife! It is the most important thing on our tree!

Here is our mantle with all the stockings

I hope you all have a great week!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Our "mini" vacation

I have been bugging Darrell for over a year that I want to go on a vacation. Since we are trying to save money, we planned a small vacation in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. We stayed at my parent's house near Ft. Worth to save on hotel costs. Here are some pictures and memories from our fun weekend.

After we dropped of the dogs at my parent's house we went to the Ft. Worth Stockyards. We spent a couple hours walking around, going into some museums, and watched a cattle drive down the main street. Here are some pictures from the Stockyards:

After that, we went into downtown Ft. Worth. We saw the movie "Twilight", which was really good. I have not read the books, but my cousins are huge fans of the series. They let me borrow the book, so I'm hoping to read it over the next few days. I'll let you know how the movie compares. Then we went to an impromptu comedy show called "4 day weekend". I would highly recommend this place! It was hilarious!

We spent the morning just haning out with my parents, grandma, aunt, uncle, and cousin. We decided to invite my cousin, Sam, to come along with us to the Ft. Worth Zoo. We had a great time!

This picture goes along with a pretty funny story. Sam and I sat down for Darrell to take our picture in front of the chimp area. We were smiling pretty for the picture, when we heard some banging on the glass behind us. We turned around to see a chip yelling at us and trying to hit us through the glass. He did not like us sitting there. Darrell caught our reaction to this chip attack.

My favorite animals were the monkeys and this beautiful white tiger.

We went into downtown Dallas for the day on Monday. First, we went to the 6th Floor JFK Museum. I wasn't allowed to take any pictures, sorry. We spent 2 hours going through this museum. It is from the 6th floor of the bulding where Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK from. They have turned the entire floor into a museum and tribute to JFK. We walked around downtown area and toured a couple other museums and did some Christmas shopping. My favorite part of the whole weekend was our dinner on Monday night. If any of you are Top Chef fans, I was a huge fan of Trey from season 3. He was a chef at Abacus, a really nice resauraunt in Dallas. I have been wanting to eat there since season 3 and on Monday, I got my chance. I had a great glass of wine, roasted duck, and a fabulous dessert that sampled pumpkin cheesecake, pecan pie, and apple pie. It was a wonderful dinner, but did cost a pretty penny. The atmosphere and service were also amazing. It would make a great dinner for an anniversary or birthday. I only took 1 picture on Monday while we were walking around Dallas, so here it is. I wish I would have taken a picture of my meal at Abacus!!
Thank you Darrell for a wonderful weekend with you! I had such a great time!

Pecan Pumpkin Cheesecake

This is my all time favorite Thanksgiving dessert. My cousin, Samantha "Sam", came over last night to help me make it. Here it is:

**This recipe makes 2 cheesecakes**
What you need:

1 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup butter, melted

Pumpkin Mixture:
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup water
2- 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 1/2 cups canned or cooked pumpkin
2 cups whipping cream, whipped

To make crust: Combine pecans, graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press onto bottom of 9-inch pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool

To make pumpkin mixture: Soften gelatin in water; stir over low heat until dissolved. Combine cream cheese and sugar; mix at medium speed until well blended. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and pumpkin; mix at medium speed until blended. Gradually add gelatin to cream cheese mixture and mix until blended. Chill cream cheese mixture until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. While chilling, prepare whipping cream. Fold in whipped cream; pour over crust. Chill until firm.

Hope you enjoy our family favorite!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Fun day with Emily

Emily and I had a great day today. We went to the Heard Museum here in McKinney and they had a 1 mile hiking trail with life size dinosaurs. We also went to see Madagascar 2 with my friend Keri and her son, Will. It was a cute movie. All the kids were singing the theme song "I like to move it move it. I like to move it move it..." as they walked out of the theater. We did some shopping, painted our nails, and are now winding down watching "Kung-Fu Panda". Here are some pictures from the day.

Darrell and Emily. Darrell was getting ready to go mountain biking. Later, Emily asked me if Uncle Darrell was done riding his bike up a mountain. Too bad there are no mountains in McKinney!

Emily and I making kissy faces.

We are ready for a fun day!

Emily's "scared" face. She had so much fun! There was even a dinosaur that spit water on us.

Relaxing after a long day while cuddling with Baby.

Friday, November 7, 2008


I'm sorry it has been so long since my last blog. Things around here have been pretty hectic. This week has been really rough for me. For all of you who are parents to children in special education, please be kind to the special ed staff! We all come to work every day to do something that not a lot of people are able to do, but we love it. I can only speak for myself now, but I really love my job. I love working with special ed children! Because I love what I do so much it makes it hard when I hear parents complaining to me about other staff, or complain to other staff about me. We all try our best everyday. Our job is very HARD! That's all I'll say about that.
A couple weeks ago we went to Darrell's friend, Stephen's, annual Halloween party. These parties usually go late into the night and get pretty crazy, but at 10:00 Darrell and I were so tired and just couldn't get into it. We made ourselves stay until midnight, but then went home and straight to bed. Here are a couple pics:

Last weekend I went to visit my 2 best friends that live in Houston. I saw them at Meghan's wedding in Ft. Worth a few weeks ago, but we didn't get to hang out too much. Melanie had a big halloween party at her house. There were tons of people there that we didn't really know, but we still had a great time. Here are couple pictures:

This weekend we are keeping out niece, Emily. She is 6 year old and is in kinder. this year. When I met Darrell she was 14 months old. It's hard to believe how much she has grown up. She was also the flower girl at our wedding when she was 3. I put her to bed and she asked if Molly could sleep with her. I gave it, but I'm so glad I did because look at these adorable pictures. I think we are going to do some fun stuff around town and then go see a movie. She want to help me cook dinner for my parents tonight. I'll let you know how it all turns out! Hope you all have a great weekend.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Prayers Needed

Please say many prayers for this brave family. Their son has been diagnosed with Edward's syndrome and has been given 1 month to 1 year to live. They are in need of your prayers!http://wittharrislupher.blogspot.com/


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How I spent my evening

First I made basil pesto chicken, with some tomato cheese macaroni. It was really good and I have enough for lunch tomorrow. I spent the rest of this evening at home watching a moving and cuddling with my babies. Darrell took a picture , so here it is, but excuse the mess in the house and how I look. This is the movie we rented. If you like comedy with inappropriate sexual humor, then you will love this movie. Darrell and I did enjoy it...not sure what that says about us, but we thought it was pretty funny!

This is how I watched the movie. Nala and Kitty always have to be close to someone. They are so sweet!

Venting and Animal Pictures

First, let me tell you all that I LOVE working with pre-school children. Especially pre-school children with Autism. I have been thinking a lot about this and I talked to my supervisor who agreed to allow me to specialize in pre-school kids with Autism. Next year I will be working in a class with kids 3-5 years old with Autism, as well as kids 3-5 with other disabilities. I have really felt that is God is calling me to do this and that I would be really good at it.

Now to the venting....

Last week I went to my monthly Bunco group. It is a group of mostly Speech Therapists from several different school districts as well as teachers, diagnosticians, etc. One of the regular girls was out so another girl brought her friend who is a Speech Therapist in a different district. I mentioned that I want to primarily work with Autistic children and her chin dropped and then she let out a huge gasp. She told me that I would regret it for the rest of my life, the parents are "crazy" and are always filing lawsuits, and that she did it for 1 year and never wants to do it again. She said it is not the kids, but the parents that make that job unbearable.

This got me thinking....What if this isn't for me? What if someone sues me? What if I can't take it emotionally? What will I do if parents yell at me? I can't help but be angry with this woman for bringing all of these doubts into my mind. Last week I was so sure about what I wanted to do, and now I'm just filled with doubt. Any advice?

I thought I would cheer myself up by taking pictures to post of all of my animals! Here they are:




Monday, October 20, 2008

Fun weekend!

Darrell and I had a great weekend! I spent Fri. evening with my cousin Dani. She is a freshman in high school and is involved in drama and golf. She is an amazing young woman and I'm so happy that I am able to watch her grow into such a beautiful, ambitious, and funny woman. Anyway...she and I went to the neatest re-sale shop called Plato's closet. They buy and sell used name brand clothing for CHEAP!! I came away with 2 long sleeve shirts, 1 sweater, 1 sweatshirts, and 1 pair of NY&Co. jeans for $45! After 2 hours of shopping, we spent the rest of the evening in the hot tub with my aunt and younger cousin, Sam, who is in 6th grade.

Saturday we drove down to Waco for my niece, Emily's, 6th birthday. Darrell and I stopped by Target to get her a gift and he amazed me with his "little girl present" skills. I was shopping in the clothing sections and he left to go look for a toy. He brought back a Scuba Diving Barbie with a purple tank, fins, mask, etc. and it all turns pink in warm water! I would have loved this as a little girl and couldn't believed that he picked this out on his own! He is going to make such a good Daddy. She loved the gift so much that it was the first one she wanted to play with after all the gifts were opened. GOOD JOB UNCLE DARRELL!

On Sunday we went mountain biking, which was such a scary experience. I'm really hoping I start to feel more comfortable with this because Darrell enjoys it so much. He wants to do this every weekend and I would hate to miss out on this fun time with him....plus, it's great exercise!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

Yesterday was so much fun. As a Speech Pathologist I rarely get to go on field trips, but this year I was able to go on the PPCD field trip with my favorite students! They all had so much fun and it was so amazing to see these kids smile and laugh. I love working with Pre-School kids with disabilities. It is so rewarding to watch these beautiful children improve because of what we do. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the trip.