Tuesday, December 29, 2015


We made gingerbread houses.  Don't believe the instructions on the box that tell you how easy and quick it is!  Sarah and I had a terrible time getting the houses to stay together and it was a good thing she'd brought extra frosting because that canned stuff sure did work a lot better than what they put in the kit!  But we did it, and the kids had a lot of fun decorating!
Sarah and I took Elle to see the Texas Ballet Theater's production of "The Nutcracker" in Fort Worth. Miles' mom and grandmother met us there.  It was beautiful and Elle loved it. I couldn't help but think of all those years my girls were in dance and participated in this show as well as many others. Sarah was the Sugarplum Fairy at one time and I asked her if she could believe she danced that role as a teenager!  I may be biased but I think she did *almost* as well as these professionals.  :)  It was a lovely day for all of us.
All of us after the show

We went to Sarah and Miles' for Christmas Eve, had dinner and exchanged gifts amongst ourselves.  Such fun!

 Christmas Day we went back over and joined all of Miles' family for brunch.
It was so warm we sat outside for awhile and enjoyed the sunshine

We all walked to the park to let the kids play for awhile

We were going to go to Abilene to visit Susan, Corey and kids on the 27th but the weather was bad so we have postponed it.  Can't wait to see them and then later to see Bonnie and David and kids, too.  Wish they all lived in the same town so we could spend more time together!


Beck is  out of school so we spent one morning at the Children's Garden at the Arboretum with Sarah and the boys. Something for everyone!


One thing I love about being right here by some of the kids is that I get to take part in their every day lives.  Beck attends Pre-K at a Lutheran Church (with a female pastor, I might add!) so I went with Sarah and Jack to watch his Christmas program.  So cute!

 Beck really got into doing sign language during "Silent Night."  Adorable!
 And belting out "We Wish You a Merry Christmas!"
 We made Christmas cookies
 Jack is always happy!
 Rich and I went to the reopened Dallas Farmer's Market a few weeks ago.  This stuff was not actually at the market, though, but at a little produce store down the street.  Pretty!
 Walking around downtown
 My girl and me
I guess it's official--I received my TX driver's license and my voter registration in the mail!  Going to the DMV was quite the experience. We were there for FOUR hours.  Yes, four hours.  I am just not used to the big city, I guess!  I had read all the regulations on line and discovered that we didn't have to take a written or a driving test if we had a valid, unexpired license from another state, and we brought lots of documentation of identity and residence.  Sweet!  So we finally get called and we go up to the desk and OMG it was such a hassle!  I brought my SS card and my passport for ID and the clerk said she didn't know if she could take them because my SS card has my given middle name on it and my passport has my maiden name for my middle name.  She said I needed to get it changed so they would match. I just flat out lied spontaneously and said, "Oh, I used my SS card to get my passport and they said it was fine."  She did ask another staff member, who luckily backed me up. Whew. Then I needed two documents to prove our residency. Unfortunately, I somehow managed to bring an unsigned copy of our apartment lease. What the heck.  So that was immediately no good.  Thankfully I am somewhat overzealous at times and I had brought extra documentation in case we needed it.  One of the rules was that if you have a car, you have to bring your registration but it can also be used to establish residency.  We hadn't received our tags, etc., yet, but I took the bill of sale which had our address on it and they accepted that.  Then I had brought our paperwork from healthcare.gov where we'd been accepted for insurance and it had our address on it. She kinda sneered at me and said, "I don't know if we can even take THIS."  I am so thankful for the other staff member (who was actually the one assisting Rich) who was more senior and kept overriding my clerk. She said that was fine. Then they realized I was in the system from when I lived in Texas before but my name had changed.  Good grief, then she wanted my marriage certificate. Did I have it with me?  I said no, it's been so long I didn't think my old license was even relevant any more.  Once again, the other clerk saved my skin and said it was fine. Then I had to sign some sort of affirmation that I was sponsoring Rich because it was only my name in the address line on the health care document, even though both our names were inside.

The whole time I was there, I kept wondering HOW IN THE WORLD people who don't speak good English or who are not well educated or have any other kind of issues could make it through this gauntlet!  Crazy! There were several individuals who were obviously from other countries there at the same time as us and I just felt sorry for them.  Hopefully they got through it all!

Of course, we are in Texas, where pretty much anyone can get a gun and I wonder why getting a driver's license is so much harder!  LOL

PS I was sad to "surrender" my Alaska license!

Soccer Tournament

Elle's a great little soccer player and played in a 3 on 3 tournament a few weekends ago.  Her team won all four of their games and won their division!

She's getting so tall and grown up!