I love my husband!

I love my husband!

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.