December 31, 2007

January Desktop

Enjoy! I hope this month is a good one for you and me! May we keep our resolutions and may they better us and our world.

Top 5 of 2007

#5- We had so much fun taking Kyleigh to her first amusement park- Fiesta Texas in August. We allowed her to pick one souvenir from the trip and she chose this tacky over-the-top Tweety bird necklace with big pink rhinestones. She loved it so much that she actually snuck it to school on picture day to make sure she was wearing it for her kindergarten pictures. My sister was not pleased to say the least.

#4- Attending the first-ever Big State Festival in October was a blast! It was great to see many of our favorite artists like Tim McGraw, Gary Allen and Kevin Fowler. We also enjoyed seeing Lynard Skynard and Willie Nelson. They are well past their performing prime, but it was nice to catch them before they retire (which really should be soon!)

#3- I really do love my new job! While I miss my KW girls a lot, I love what I do and the ability it gives me to live my life the way that feels best to me. I am so glad I made such good friends while working at KW and am glad we are keeping in touch via blogs, email, and an ocassional phone call.

#2- Finally, a vacation! It had been too long! Marcus and I loved our May trip to Chicago. Everyday held something new and exciting- shopping, museums, sports, fireworks, comedy, performing arts- you name it, we did it! We are still talking about our trip and when we will go back. Soon, I hope!

#1- 2007 was a great year, but nothing tops running in the White Rock Marathon for Baby Will. It was such an experience that I know I will always remember. It was physically exhausting and mentally exhilirating! I was so proud of our team for finishing the race and for making Will's life better.

2008 promises to be an even more exciting year. We hope the 2008 year end review includes a new baby, new house and a new truck for Marcus. I hope your 2008 holds more blessings that you can count!

December 30, 2007

What do you use Rubbing Alcohol for?

Marcus and I are planning to sell our house in 2008. In preparation for the sale, we decided to clean out some closets this weekend- starting with our linen closet where we found a 2/3 full bottle of rubbing alcohol that expired before we got married.

On one hand, I am grateful we have not needed to use the alcohol, but on the other hand I have to question why they sell such a large bottle when two active people haven't used but 1/3 of it in 10 years!

We welcome your suggestions- what are some uses for rubbing alcohol that we have not thought of?

Note, our hydorgen peroxide was also expired along with a whole lot of medicines. I truly consider this part a blessing. We were prepared for the flu, coughs, headaches, diarrhea, and all kinds of other things and luckily, they didn't happen!

Another Christmas Celebration

Last night we celebrated Christmas at our house with my Dad, stepmom, her mother, and my sister's family. Marcus' Mom was planning to join us, but got sick and could not drive in from Abilene. We missed you Carol and hope you feel better soon!

There is nothing these kids love more than ripping open presents. I forced them to smile for a couple of pictures in front of the tree and it was torture for them to be so close to presents that they could not open.

Here is Kyleigh showing joy when opening new headbands. Her cute little bob cut looks even cuter with a thick headband.

Cohen is seen kissing his new teddy bear. I bought Kyleigh a bear like this before she was born. His name is Brownie and she still sleeps with him. Cohen had been trying to steal Brownie for himself. So, we found him a very similiar bear. We are awaiting his name...

Cohen sports his new Camo gear from Granpa and Jacque. He is ready to go huntin'.

A family photo of my Dad, Midge (my stepmom Jacque's Mother) and Jacque.

Shaun, Tiffany, Kyleigh and Cohen.

Gingerbread Houses

My Mom mentioned to me earlier this week that Kyleigh wanted to decorate a gingerbread house. Since she was spending the night with us Friday night and all day saturday, we went to the store and bought a house on clearance.

I had no idea they were so much work! Marcus used the icing (read glue) to put the houses together and then we had to wait 4 hours. Very hard things for Kyleigh to do.

After the four hours were up, we had our Christmas company here! So, Marcus and Tiffany helped to ice the roof and decorations on the houses for both Kyleigh and Cohen.

Here are the winning masterpieces- House #1 comes to us from Tiffany and Cohen. It appears in this picture that Cohen ate too much of the home's icing (read glue) and the candy.

House #2 comes from a very proud Kyleigh and Uncle Marcus. Checkout the front door complete with a door knob and a nicely decorated sidewalk.

December 28, 2007

Little Miss Suzy Homemaker

Kyleigh came over to spend the night tonight and help me get ready for our family Christmas celebration tomorrow night. We are expecting 9 people, so we needed to make three pies.

Kyleigh poses in my new apron and our graham cracker crust for the Strawberry Banana yogurt pie.

Kyleigh inspects the Cranberry Orange Cheesecake spinning in the mixer.

This might be my all time favorite picture of Kyleigh. She is proudly showing off the Chocolate Chip Cookie pie we made.

I could not have posed her any better! What a sassy little chic!

December 27, 2007

Trip to San Antonio

I had to be in San Antonio on Friday for a site visit for my 2010 annual meeting, so Marcus and I drove out early and had dinner with Goddess Girl Alison, her husband Brad, and their cute kids Gus and Georgia.

They made us a fabulous dinner! This is likely the last time I will see Alison before she has her third child. She is due next month, but could likely have the baby any day now!

After dinner with the Romikes, we drove into San Antonio and stayed in a great suite on the Riverwalk. Check out the Christmas lights from our balcony. The Westin was kind enough to give us a free room and then upgrade us to a luxury suite. We give the curtains two thumbs up as they kept the room pitch black long after sunrise!

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy 1st Birthday to Journey with the Jenks-
Happy Birthday to you!

Our blog is one year old today! Yea for the blog!

Here are some vital stats to note:
199 Posts
4963 Visits (this number could be higher as tracking was added during the year and not at the beginning)
12 new friends have started blogging this year

I hope 2008 includes lots more exciting posts for all to enjoy!

December 26, 2007

Gathering of the Goddesses

My friend Lori emailed me a link to a website called Personal Creations where they personalize just about anything. She was shopping on their site and saw their Goddess line and thought of me, not because Lori thinks I am a Goddess, but because she knows that is what my college girlfriends and I call ourselves. I just had to personalize a plate to serve snacks on next time I see my Goddesses.
Alison, Billye, Chandra, Danni and Katy- this plates for you. May we always enjoy our gatherings together and may the snacks always be calorie free. Finally, let me apologize now for Chandra's green hair. I promise I chose blond for you!

December 25, 2007

Christmas Day Fun

Being a kid at heart, I got everyone up at 7:15 this morning. I just can't sleep imagining what is waiting for me downstairs!

As soon as Marcus came down, he found his first present, new TV trays. He always wants to eat in the living room and I'm not so confident of our balancing abilities on most foods. He got to work putting it together quickly.

While he worked on the TV trays, I popped in the monkey bread that had been rising all night. It is one of our favorite recipes and a Christmas morning tradition.

We then got to work opening presents. Marcus received a new watch, book, magazine subscription, running socks, and wallet. I got a new blowdryer, Williams and Sonoma cooking stuff, James Avery charm, pink Vans tennis shoes and a cross. I also got some great scrapbooking stuff from Marcus and Mom.

Jean Grey enjoyed the pile of paper that landed on the living room floor.

After opening presents, we got back to playing games. In all this holiday, we played Sequence, Yahtzee and Skip-Bo.

After lunch, Marcus retreated to the loft to celebrate Christmas
with a couple of World of Warcraft missions to complete. It worked out nicely as it gave Mom and I an opportunity to do my favroite hobby- cardmaking!

Mom made 12 or 13 cards in our fun afternoon. These are a couple of her favorites. It was great for me to use up some of my extra scraps and gave her a big set of free cards to use for the next few months.

Christmas Eve Service

Since joining Great Hills in 2003, we have always attended the Christmas Eve candlelight service. It is a beautiful ceremony that really puts the focus of Christmas on Christ.

At the end of the service, one candle is used to pass on "the light" and light the candles of everyone in attendance. Once all of the candles are lit (I'd guess 1000 people!) everyone sings Silent Night. It is moving!

My Mom joined us for service this year and then spent the night to join us Christmas morning for the fun!

After church, we came home to a wonderful dinner- a roast that had cooked all day, salad, rolls, and homemade peach cobbler with ice cream. Before heading to bed, we opened our standard Christmas eve gift of new pajamas and played games. It was a wonderful night.

New Blog Design Unvailed :)

I hope everyone is enjoying their Christmas holiday. I love decorating for Christmas, but I also enjoy taking it all down and having the house clean again. As the holiday ends in blog world, I spent some time redesigning with my fun digital scrapbooking software.

We'll see how long the new design lasts before I get an itch to change it all again. Anyone want to bet?

In the resdesign I also added labels to our site and went back and labeled lots of posts. Look on the right side of the blog and you'll find the label categories. Click on a category and you'll find all the posts labeled together.


December 22, 2007

2007 Trail of Lights

WOW- there were a lot of people wanting to see the Trail of Lights with us tonight. We sat in traffic for over an hour, just to exit and park. Cohen did a great job keeping us company and Marcus did a great job of not cussing!

I love the intricate detail of the large Oak trees covered in lights.

Check out Marcus and Cohen with a frozen smile!

Thanks to Kristi, we had a great wagon for Cohen. It was cold, so we wrapped him up in a couple of blankets and a hoodie, purchased on our way! He was cold and his eyes watered the whole time, but he smiled and got excited by all of the pretty lights.

Cohen and the Shepmnks

Tomorrow Cohen turns three! Today we celebrated with lunch, a movie and the Trail of Lights.

We decided it was upon time to make him a Red Raider. He seems happy to be wearing his red Texas Tech hat!

Along with his new hat, we got him a light saber. A mini-me of Marcus- Red Raiders and Star Wars!

After lunch, we took Cohen for the night and we went to check out Alvin and the Chipmunks (or Shepmnks as Coco would say!). It was a cute movie and Cohen did a great job, only getting up once to go to the bathroom.

Happy Birthday Coco Bean!

Kiersten Mattie Mize

One of my longest friends (since 5th grade!) Tabriah had her baby girl on Thursday afternoon. Marcus and I stopped by the hospital before she left to meet her. She never wimpered a peep while we were there. She is so precious and we're glad she arrived safe and sound.

December 21, 2007

observations while driving...

You know, for the past 20 months or so, my job has included a lot of driving around time. On an average week, I can put about 400 miles on the car. During this time, I've made a few observations.

First of all...Starbucks. Their lids. Now, I am some what agnostic to the whole "Starbucks is good, Starbucks is commerical burned coffee" debate. They're everywhere, theyre drinkable, and the price for a no name coffee is the same. But their lids...SUCK.

I dont' want to get off on a rant, but we live in an age of technology, of constant product renovations. when Dunkin Donuts can offer a nifty tab to cover the coffee, and when 7/11 has a sliding cover, you would think the guys that MAKE coffee and only sell coffee, would be the head of the game. No...instead, when I pick up my coffee..the lids pops off, or its dribbles down the side into my cup holder.

I know people want the Starbucks logo status. They do NOT want the Starbucks spillage status. I use to drive out of a parking lot from Starbucks and had to go over three speed bumps. Half the coffee never made it.

Second thing....between 10am and 4 pm, the craziest drivers...are soccer moms in minivans. Its like my own personal Grand theft Auto game when Im out there. I see Dodge Caravans swerving across three lanes of traffice, Yukons zipping through parking lots....I'm ready for gunfire.

Third thing....gas pumps are WAAAAYY to complicated. They now have music, offer carwashes, optional receipts, loyalty tag rewards, have to press the grade of gas, start button....enter the zip. My home loan was not this hard. And man...getting in and out of one now...with the soccer moms on the loose....I keep spilling most of my Starbucks here.

Couple more things....there are a LOT of HEBs in this town. And they are always crowded...

The tolls really are nice. but the lanes are really...really...really...snug. Slow down through there.
Lifetime fitness is always crowded too....Golds gym...only around lunch time. I guess at Lifetime, their clientel are above jobs. Or its the soccer moms geting a workout in.

another thing...wifi. I got a lot of good places to tap in some free internet. Bear Rock rules. (I won't bore you with another diatribe about Starbucks charging for the internet like its some kind of rare thing. Dinosaur...) The library also has some great wireless....and you can do some really nifty people watching at the library.

last cell phone is my work phone, and obviously I am going to be on it a lot...inevitably while operating a motor vehicle. I try to be very cautious. There are a LOT OF PEOPLE on the cel phone while driving. And texting...and emailing....hey...I admit Im not above it....but YIKES...there are a lot of people lucky to just concentrate on the road with the radio on....

Upgrades to the Scrapbook Room

I have been wanting to upgrade a couple of things in my scrapbook room for about a year. So, I took a little bit of my bonus last week and purchased a couple of things....

Here is the new little corner of the room. I have loved this bulletin board for years. It is 44" wide by 32" tall- HUGE!

This is a new toy from Pottery Barn. It is made to hold cards, photos or postcards like in the old general store. It even twirls. I love finding the most unique things at Pottery Barn.

This is the other corner of the room. With my new space, it is much cleaner and I have more surface room to work with.

With my room all clean, I felt inspired to scrap a couple of pages. I owe my good friend Alison a stack of pages she sent me back in October.

Thank you for being patient Alison! I will complete your pages this weekend and have them to you next week.

December 20, 2007

Avnet Christmas

Tonight was Marcus' team's Christmas party. It started with a couple of games of pool and rounds of beer at Scooter's Pool Hall in Cedar Park.

I showed up after 5:00 to play with Deanna for the pool championship and we WON! I was lucky enough to hit the 8 ball in.

After pool, we all headed to dinner at Traxx- a good restaurant in Cedar Park. I love chicken fried steak and was impressed with their edition.

Pictured from the left is Marcus, Delia and John, Ed and Valerie, Deanna, Keith, Donna and John.

After dinner everyone headed to John's house for the white elephant exchange, the Poinsettia Bowl and a little drinky-drink.

Ed is Czech and loves to share his Czech Plum Brandy with the group. I don't drink, so I always skip but the sour looks on everyone's faces tell me only a Czech could love this drink.

I love getting together with Marcus' coworkers because I get to see my buddy Keith. He has the same job as Marcus, but in Houston. Keith is single and I am looking for just the right girl for him. If you know any nice girls looking for a family-oriented, responsible, cute, beer-drinkin', football lovin' mid-thirties man, email me! Keith is a great catch!


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