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Saturday, December 31, 2005

20 Years...

L.W. and I at the Embassy Suites for our 20th anniversary

...and still counting. On December 28th, Lovely Wife and I attained twenty years of wedded bliss. This weekend, we celebrated the grand event with a lovely day in Saint Louis. First, we had a hearty lunch at Chili's and then went to see Cheaper by the Dozen 2. I just love that Steve Martin and will go to see any movie he's in. I've seen nearly every movie he's been in since The Jerk. He was brilliant in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. My Blue Heaven was hilarious. The Man with Two Brains was...well, let's just forget about that one. Can't winemall.

Inside view of the hotel from the atrium L.W. helping out the 'Men and Women of Danger League' L.W. and I after one of our many costume changes

Anyway, after the movie, I whisked my bride to the downtown Embassy Suites. Very nice hotel and great location. Walking distance from all the nightlife at Laclede's Landing. We had a very relaxing time in the hotel--enjoyed the pool, hot tub, pinball games and complimentary happy hour. We even met a nice couple from Effingham. I realize that to many, Effingham sounds like a perjorative appellation (similar to BFE), but it really is a lovely town in southern Illinios. Then, we headed out for dinner and a comedy club. Dinner was at The Old Spaghetti Factory. I had a lovely chicken marsala and lasagna. Very nice and reasonably priced. Lovely Wife had...I don't know, ask her. The comedy club, Laughs on the Landing, featured an improv group. L.W. even had an opportunity to get up on stage. After the comedy, we went to a sing-along piano bar. Great fun. Overall, it was a great time and a great way to celebrate our twenty years together. Here's to another twenty.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone

L.D. with her new cell phone We had a little Christmas Eve snow From the Christmas Card

May God continue to bless you and your family at Christmastime and throughout the year.

Friday, December 15, 2005

The Christmas Ball

The Christmas Ball ...and the stockings were hung by the chimney with care

And now, with the aid of the Muses, I will relate the classic tale of The Christmas Ball. It all began over 35 years ago. The early seventies, such a wonderful and innocent time. It was a time when a young lad, such as myself, was free to wander and explore the neighborhood without concern. It was a time when teachers were revered and loved. And it was my second grade teacher, Mrs. Grayson, who gave me a cherished gift. She brought each student a Christmas ball with their name affixed in glitter on the side. Mine was a beautiful golden ball with my name in silver. I have kept it and personally hung it on the tree each Christmas for 35 years (ok, maybe I missed a few during college). Generally, I hang it in a place of prominence and this year was no differennt. So, thank you Mrs. Grayson. I will continue to cherish my Christmas ball and hope to continue hanging it for the next 35 years.

Thursday, December 14, 2005

Ugly Game...

Yeah, we're bad We're really bad

...but pretty cheerleaders. It was Lovely Daughter's first outing as a Varsity basketball cheerleader. Our poor Indians were mauled by the Bulldogs in a game that was painfully long. But, as you can see, the cheerleaders soothed the pain and made it all worthwhile. Here's a video clip of the gals in action. It takes a lot of practice to be comfortable with those moves. We're looking forward to a long and, hopefully, less painful basketball season

Monday, December 12, 2005

Christmas Home Tour

I think we get presents under these trees too Christmas Village The Family Room

Mantle-top Manger Scene--dramatically arranged Very Festive
Ok, so you must come on our Christmas Home Tour. No, we don't actually want you to come to our home, we just want you to take the virtual tour. This way, we don't have to clean up after you or worry about you rummaging around where you simply don't belong. I told you that Lovely Wife was working on the Christmas decor well after the rest of us called it quits. Well she's about to wrap things up, so I thought I'd showcase some of her handiwork. Just sit back and enjoy--no need to take off those nasty muddy shoes of yours.

Thursday, December 8, 2005

First Snow of the Season

Livingston Manor--by snowfall Saint Louis NWS RADAR on December 8 at 1519 UTC (that's a little after 9:00 a.m. for you civillians)

...and well overdue. Generally, we receive our first snow around mid to late November, but this year it was a bit delayed. That's fine with me because when the snow flies, I'm busy at work. I remember the good ol' days when I actually looked forward to a big snow. We'd go to the store with the rest of the masses and stock up on French Toast food (milk, eggs, bread) and then settle in with a big fire. When the snow stopped, we'd go on a "snow walk". No so any more. When the snow stops and I'm done forecasting, I just want to take a nap. And I usually do. Napping is one of the things that I do quite well. But, I digress. This particular snow was quite dry (our temperature was in the upper teens when it fell) and not very suitable for snowmen or snowballs. But it certainly does make a nice picture.

Monday, December 5, 2005

It's the Most Wonderful Time...

We should get an 'E' for Effort Livingston Manor--by night

Lovely Wife managed to get the tribe motivated to break out the Christmas decorations this past weekend. OK, she threatened us with bodily harm. BoyHead and I were assigned the outdoor duties. I would like to think that we managed admirably. The giant tree in the backyard is, perhaps, a bit spotty, but hey, that thing is like 20 feet tall now. We were lucky to get the star on top at all. Lovely Daughter set up the indoor tree and helped to decorate it. Lovely Wife did everything else. In fact, she's still working on it all. But after everything is all set up and the house is completely decorated, it's so nice to just sit back, relax and enjoy it.

Friday, December 2, 2005

Two Traditions...

Advent by Candlelight Candy-Filled-Santa-Advent-Calendar

...both alike in dignity, well almost. The tradition I speak of is Advent. The first one is the annual Advent by Candlelight event at our church. All the churchladies gather together around gussied up tables and eat and well...I really don't know since I've never been invited. But it's surely the social event of the season. Lovely Wife sponsored a table and decorated it just so. Most men would not appreciate the beauty nor the detail; however, I am extraordinarily sensitive (but I still don't have a pink shirt like my brother). The second tradition involves the Candy-Filled-Santa-Advent-Calendar. Each day is stuffed with two chocolate treats for the young cherubs. Although they're no longer very young, they're still cherubs and they have come to rely on their after-school chocolate fix during the month of December. It's a tradition that I'm sure they'll remember when they're codgers.