Thursday, December 29, 2005

The New Year Fast Approaches

Well, here it is almost 2006. WOW where did the year go??? I have read your posting and they make me very happy and pleased that each of you have had a great Holiday. The true meaning of the season has been expressed by each of you. How thankful I am to have such loving and caring children.

I don't know that Bruce and Judy will be coming for the New Year this year....Judy has the flu!! I told Bruce we'd sure love to have them but that we didn't need the flu. So I don't think they'll be here but you never know about them.

Well, dad's surgery went well. He's a little uncomfortable. Men....Can't handle pain....Just kidding. He's really doing quite well. I am hoping that today will be better than yesterday. He couldn't find a position to sit in that didn't require his neck to be in a painful position. I think he had a fairly good night.

Jessica called last night she is having a good time in the DC area.

Well, this is short and sweet. I hope this finds all of you doing well, being safe, and having fun.

How about sending me some pics of the Christmas Holidays that we were together? Send them to my email account.

Talk with you later.


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Katie's Monday Post...on Tuesday (12/27)

Well this weekend was (as we like to say in German) sehr interessant!! We had fun with Creighton's family and Skyler was so much fun. He's starting to "talk" back to people and he laughs now when you make funny sounds. Although by last night he was "way off schedule" and Janna and Kipp were ready to get home and get him back on that "oh so important" schedule. He is so cute and a lot of fun. He is cuddly and rarely cries. We are blessed to have two angel nephews and two sweet nieces!! Playing with Skyler this weekend made me miss TJ, Kate and Clair so much!!!

However, I got lost of cool stuff for Christmas so that made it easier to not have the kids around. I can't list everything here because it would take up the rest of the room on our blog. Just kidding! My favorite gift was hanging out with Creighton for four days straight and having his family here and also being able to talk to y'all on Christmas. I am glad that we all were able to spend time with our respective "other families" this year. It was hard not being in Aiken with Mom and Dad and Jessica, but Creighton's family is so funny that they made it easier.

We also celebrated Janna's 24th birthday yesterday. We slept in, played Scattergories (which was HILARIOUSLY FUN!), went to dinner at Olive Garden, she opened her presents, then we had ice cream cake from Bruster's! It was YUMMY! Then we played a game she got for her birthday called Apples to Apples. It was a lot FUN! Oh, I almost forgot, Justin's friend Kim was in Greenville for Christmas (she lives in SLC) so she came over Christmas Eve and yesterday. She is so much fun. I like her a lot.

Well, I better wrap this up. I want you all to know that I missed you very much over the holiday, but I am glad that I had the time with The Lynes'. I am blessed to have Creighton in my life. He is so wonderful to me and I don't even deserve it. Marrying him is, hands down, the best things I've done in my whole life. And I think that's what Christmas is all about, recognizing the Savior's love for us and sharing that with those around us.

Gl├╝ckliches neues Jahr! (Did I say that right???)

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas to all and to all A Good Night

Merry Christmas! I feel very happy and sad at this time of year. This is TRULY the first Christmas I have spent away from my family, and I won't even have a piece of you with me. I am so happy to be with my NEW family (TJ and Tyler are my heart). We are having a blast in Key West. It is beautiful here. Tomorrow we plan to head out to the Southernmost Spot in the US (minus Hawaii). I think this was a great idea to come here and be with Neil, Anna, Buffy, Tom, and Laura. We are really enjoying our time with them and TJ is loving life (lots of attention). He is even learning a few new tricks ( he pulled himself up in the pack-n-play today). WOW! Is he growing. I as, Rosalind will miss you all, but will think of you and I promise to call. Tyler and I plan to tak TJ to church Sunday morning, and since I know you will all also be in church it will be like we are kind of together. I love you all, but most of all I love that we have the blessing of the gospel in our lives. We know that we will be together forever. I wish Tyler's family understood the importance of that. (We are working on that) Tyler and I both have testimonies of our Savior and we are so thankful for this time of year that we have to reflect on his life. For me Christmas is so very special, last year while I carried a baby I thought fondly of Mary and I felt a special closeness to her. What an amazing woman she is. She had such great faith and courage. I pray for that kind of strength in my life everyday. I love you all and wish you all the most Merry Christmas possible, from us folks in the sun!

Love you,

Maria, Tyler, and of course TJ

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Family Christmas Time

I can honestly say, my favorite part of Christmas is the time we spend together as a family! I love being with family! I am so glad we were able to spend time together this season! Thanks to you all for your wonderful and thoughtful gifts. I think we all, Stephen, me, Kate, and Clair, enjoyed and appricated all our new things! Thank you!
Also, I want to thank KT and Creighton for having us to there house. Thanks for being such wonderful host and usual!
The only sad part about Christmas is that I can't have my cake and eat it too! Meaning...I can't be with ALL my family at once. I guess that is what heaven will be...being with ALL your family (hopefully!) at once! Mom, Dad, and Jessica, we will be thinking about you and we will be calling you lots! As for KT and Creighton, and Maria, Tyler, & TJ, we will be thinking about and calling you all too! We hope you all enjoy your Chirstmas, no matter where you are or who you are with! I can promise you will all be in our hearts! I love you all! Thanks once more for the wonderful gifts and mostly for your time and enenrgy to gets us all together!
Love you!

Question of the Week

How does one tell "Jingle Bell time?"

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

As Christmas nears.......

It will be a very different Christmas this year. This will be the very first time that we, Jessica, Dad and I will be alone. When I think of it it makes me sad but when I think again I am happy that each of you have good in-law families to spend time with. I remember that I did it too with my parents. AND I also know that time is fast approaching that you'll want to be home with your own families having Santa come there. I very well understand! So I hope that all of you have a wonderful time and be very safe in traveling.

Let see where to start....The past two weekends have been a whirl wind....they were fun. I thought that Christmas @ Casadei's was a huge success. I thought that Gordon and Gaye were more into the Christmas spirit and that eveyone in general had a wonderful time. I means a lot to me to have my extended family and all of my children around me at this time of the year. I am very grateful for Betsy, she tries really hard to make their home a place where we can come home to. When my mother died I would go home to see daddy but it was a very empty place. His marriage to Jane wasn't a good one...She was pleasant but not loving, and still home was empty. Love was missing. When he married Betsy things changed, love came. None of you every knew my mother, only Stephen may remember her vaguely, but knowing Betsy is like knowing my mother. My mother would have done the things that Betsy does....she would have made her home a place for all the family to gather.

The Bright Christmas party too was a good one. I was so happy to see Mimi feeling so much better. Though I know she got a little sick she was much clearer in her speaking and thinking. Again it was great fun to have all of you there with all of the Bright clan. I wish that Kathy with her children had been able to come. I know things get hectic around there but it was fun to see the little ones play with each other. I appreciate Anne and Tammy helping Mimi and Papa to make things nice. They spent a great deal of time making sure that things were clean and tidy. That the place to eat was attractive. Each time I go home and spend time with Mimi and Papa I tell Dad that I feel such a need to be there with them. I wish we were in a place that we could move in with them. I know they need a watchful eye and I'd love to help. Again this past weekend was such great fun. Thanks for being there.

Now for the best part of all ... the Bright Christmas at the Lynes home. We are grateful to you, Katie and Creighton for opening up your home to us. You have such a lovely home. It was very cozy and such fun to watch all of you open presents. I am glad that each of you enjoyed your presents. Family is so important and I appreciate each of you making such efforts to make the family event a joy. I am grateful to each of you for the presents you gave me and your dad. We are so blessed to have children who are so thoughtful.

Let me end this posting with my feelings and my testimony. I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for family. I know that it is a very important unit of the human race. I also know that family can be forever and that forever starts here in this life. We can make our homes a piece of heaven here on earth and that that spills over into the eternities. I am so bless with a good family both extended on both sides and an immediate family with an endless growth. I have a great appreciation for my Savior, who came to this earth to be an example and to give the most precious of gifts that of his own life so that we might be able to live with Heavenly Father and Him again. His gift of repentance was truly a great gift and I am thankful for it. I hope that each of you will remember the "reason for the season" an that each of you has a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Love Ya - Mom

Monday, December 19, 2005

Katie's Monday Post (12/19)

Well it's this past weekend was COLD! Mainly because we lost power on Thursday and didn't get it back until Saturday. We should feel blessed though because our CEO and Branch Manager still don't have power. Creighton's boss just got his back on today and the paralegal at Creighton's office has a tree in her kitchen. Can you imagine?

I'm very excited for Christmas. Since it just occurred to me that it is THIS SUNDAY! I have less than a week to finish buying for Creighton.

On another note, I went out to the site where the bank will be located and let's just say CONTRACTORS DRIVE ME NUTS! Why do they say "it'll be done tomorrow" when what they really mean is "wish in one hand and spit in the other and see which one gets full first!" Plus this ice storm is the best thing to ever happen to them since their new excuse is "we're waiting on Duke Power........". I'm not holding my breath..............

Well, I hope you all are having fun scurrying around getting ready for the holidays and traveling to your various far off and sometimes exotic destinations. I'll miss you all on Sunday. :( I'll be sad because I won't have "a piece of my family" with me.

Thanks to Mom and Dad and Stephen for the wonderful Christmas presents they gave me. They are all wonderful. We are so blessed to have thoughtful family who thinks of our wants (and needs) in gift giving. But you know........nothing beats a button for a gift!

Merry Christmas to everyone. I hope you have a wonderful day and remember all that our Savior has done for us, beginning with His birth in the most humble circumstances to the atonement and His death in the most horrible way. He is the way back to our Heavenly Father and for that gift I am most greatful.

Love, Katie

Thursday, December 15, 2005

PEOPLE Magazines

I know that I have shared this with you guys before, BUT TJ loves the PEOPLE magazines and can not seem to get enough of them. I do appologize to Rosalind, becasue she will be the recipient of some soggy PEOPLE magazines. ANYHOO! I caught TJ today and snapped a few pics (just like a good mommy). He is growing so fast you guys, it makes me sad. He is making so many new sounds and moving so fast. I can't wait to see you all this weekend.

Love ya, Maria


Hello Dear Family!
I have not posted in a while. So, I thought I'd take this chance to up-date you all on what is going on with us!Well, we have been keeping busy and keeping warm. We have pretty much finished up all our Christmas shopping. I have nearly everything wrapped and under the tree. Starting next Tuesday, we will begin the packing process.
Yesterday we went to Kate's pre-school Christmas party. The whole family was invited and I am very thankful that Stephen made arrangements so he could come. I know it ment a lot to Kate. It ment a lot to me too! He is a good daddy. Clair is really taken by Stpehen lately. She used to only want me to put her to bed, but lately she wants Stephen. He is so good to red to her and then rocks her for a bit. I aksed Clair if she was my girl yesterday and she said, "No, Daddy's girl!"
Anyway, back to the pre-school party...They sang songs, and ate goodies. Then they had a surprise visit from Santa. Suprisingly, Kate sat on his lap with out much encouragement. Clair was another story, but she did get up there with Kate and with a candy cane bribe! Ironic that we tell our kids to stay away from strangers and not to take candy from strangers, but her I am encouraging them to sit on a strangers lap and take candy from him! Hummm? Anyway, I took a few pics, but the blog is still against me and won't let me post pics, so I sent them to Stephen to post. So, the party went well. Ms. Moss loved her gifts from Kate and so did the high school teachers. (This is a whole other story...ask me about Kate and the raindeer Kate made.) As we were walking out the door, Ms. Moss handed Kate a gift. At first she couldn't find it, and then she found it at the back of her pile. She said, "Oh Kate yours is special that is why it is at the back." Then she looked up at me, winked and said, "It's a little harder." I don't know what it is, because Stephen told Kate to wait until Christmas, but I am pretty sure it is a book of some sort.
I talked with Ms. Moss this week about Kate and if she thought she could handle going to kindergarten next year. She said definitely she could! However, she was doubtful as to the public schools working with us on early admissions. So, since then she has been passing along lots of info on private schools. However, we couldn't afford them even if we want to! So, after Christmas, I will make an appointment to go and talk with the principal at the elem. school Kate is slated to go to.
Clair is doing well. She fell down the stairs the other day while holding her new book. I don't know if the book or something else did it, but she got a horrible scrape on her chin. It almost looks like a little burn scrape. It bled like crazy and she only stopped crying when Stephen put on a band-aid...which she called her "boo-boo". That night when we tried to take it off, she said "No, leave boo-boo on!" So, in the pics Stevie will post of the pre-school party, you will see her "boo-boo". She is really talking a lot lately and we are still working hard on colors. Every once in a while she will totally surprise us by correctly identifying several colors in a row. I am starting to think she just doesn't find the whole color game interesting and therefore doesn't pay attention. Little stinker!
Well, that is pretty much all I have to up-date. We love you all and can't wait to be together this weekend.

Funny Kids

The other day on our way home from Greenville, we stopped in Commerce to get some gas. A huge white stretch limo pulled into the gas station. I pointed it out to the girls. Kate said, “Wow! It is really big!” I agreed. Then she said, “Boy, they must have a LOT of kids!”

Yesterday, Clair was playing with a Barbie. Kate got several pairs of Barbie shoes with one of her dolls on her birthday. Clair was trying all the shoes on her doll. Then she took a pair of shoes, and carefully lined them up next to each other on the floor and proceeded to try to put her foot in the shoe. Now I know she has small feet, but they aren’t THAT small. Every time she would try to put her foot into a shoe, it would knock the shoe over and then she would patiently set the shoe back up right and try again. She did this with every pair of shoes. It was very comical to watch!

Merry Christmas

Rosalind and I went to Kate's pre-school Christmas party yesterday and guess who came? Santa did. Clair actually sat on Santa's lap but only with her big sister. Here are a couple of pictures. Rosalind asked me to post them since she can't do it from home (firewall issues).

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

My Birthday Present

Well today is another day and another day older LITERALLY!!! Yep, I am fast approaching 30, I guess I might finally catch up to my big sis. I always wanted to be older than her or at least the same age. And since she said she is going to stop her birthday's at 30, then I guess I will finally catch up. Ha ha ha!!! Thanks for all the phone calls they sure do make my day. Tyler gave me The Polar Express for my birthday. I love that book and movie. He also gave me a GREAT present. I went visiting teaching and when I came home he had not only taken care of TJ (fed him, put him down for a nap, and played with him) but he had also finished picking up the house for me. I told him that was the BEST gift ever. I now know what mom was always talking about. Having someone clean up for you or do the dishes or even the laundry is such a huge help. Well I will see you all this weekend.

Love ya

Maria (a much older and a little bit wiser)

Monday, December 12, 2005

I'm a bloggin' fool

In case anyone else lost is a scanned image of the Bright party letter. Love ya' mean it. :)

My Doctors Visit Today 12-12-05

Well, here goes....The doctor order a chest X-Ray of my lungs, since I was trying to hack one up all the time and he also ordered an esphogram (sp) to see how my swallowing was. The results came back today. I have acid reflux. OK that doesn't sound bad however out of all of the symptoms I had about 8 out of the 10 or 11. My hoarseness, vocal weakness, voice breaks, coughing and so on and so on. I am suppose to do a number of things like, elevate our bed 6" at the head, take medication, watch spicy foods and to eliminated STRESS - I asked dad about the last one he said I needed to get rid of him....Well that's kind of drastic so I'll have to see what I can do to eliminated the STRESS in my life.

Well, we are off and running Christmas shopping you know. See You All next weekend. Love, Mom

Question of the Week

What's the longest (in distance) you've ever traveled? Please include start and end-points, mode of transport, age when you made the trip and time it took to make the trip.

FINE! I am. I'm posting. Is everyone happy now? Just kidding!!!!!

Life in Simpleville is RECKLESSLY OUT OF CONTROL. Christmas totally crept up on me! I just put up outside decorations last night. I got the photocell timers at Target and now I don't have to worry about turning them onn and off. That is nice!

The bank is taking up all of my time. I work some crazy hours. And trying to keep on track with my workout schedule makes it even harder.

It was fun to have Tyler, Maria and especially TJ here this weekend. He has a great personality and is sooooooooo cute. What a happy baby.

I'll try to post some pics of the house now that I've got all the decor up. I have a few finishing touches to put on and then we'll be ready for Creighton's family on the 23rd!

Oh, before I forget. Let's plan to do our sibling gift exchange b/t 6:30 and 7:00 at our house on Saturday. OK?


Easy Gingerbread People Recipe

GIRLS & guys too! I found this easy gingerbread people recipe. Roz- I thought maybe you and the girls might enjoy making and decorating these. KT I thought your girls at church might like these. Mom, you could put these on your table in the shop or give to your family's that you and dad visit. Jessica you could make and take to YSA or to work.

3/4 Cup Butter, softened
3/4 Cup Firmly packed Brown Sugar
1 pkg. (4 serving size) JELL-O Butterscotch Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
1 Egg
2 Cups Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 Tbsp. Ground Ginger
1-1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

BEAT butter, sugar, dry pudding mix and egg in large bowl until well blended. Combine remaining ingredients. Gradually add to the pudding mixture, beating well after each addition. Cover. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until dough is firm.

PREHEAT oven to 350. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into gingerbread shapes or other shapes. Place on cookie sheet adn bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Remove from cookie sheets and cool before decorating.

IF YOU WANT TO MAKE THESE INTO ORNAMENTS- poke a hole in the cutout before baking.

TJ's New Adventure

This morning as I was trying to get the trash outside BEFORE the trash guys made their loop on our street, I put TJ in the floor in the living room with his toys and blanket. He was playing a having a great time. I made it outside with the trash and back into the house. I was in the kitchen replacing the bag when I thought to myself that I hadn't heard from TJ (you know the normal grunts and groans of a new crawler). So I peeked around the corner and what did I find? TJ on the bottom shelf of the coffee table. He was lying there drooling among the PEOPLE magazines. What a silly guy. SO I pulled him away and told him NO! Then I went back into the kitchen to finish the trash bag. When I returned to the living room this time he was half way into the foyer (on the cold tile). He didn't even care that the floor was cold and hard. What a mover this one is. Oh, well.

Can't wait to see everyone this coming weekend AGAIN! It will be fun. I hope you all have your gold belts and shoes to wear to the Redneck Christmas Party. Ha ha ha!!!!

Love you guys,


PS For those of you who know Emily Simmons (Black) she is expecting #4- a boy!

Friday, December 09, 2005


Hey Family,

What is up? No one is posting on the blogg. Stephen and I are carrying it and let's face it, Stephen's obviously biased Clemson posts are not too offense honey! Come on folks...give me something to chew on!

KT, did you get your books...and is everything ok? How is work?

Maria, are you still thinking about signing up? What is TJ doing?

Jessica, what play are you doing next? When are you coming to visit?

Mom, how is business? Did you find your tape?

Dad, how is your work on the building coming?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

We've got Spurrier!

Yes indeed, we've got Spurrier. 1 st & 35!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Clair the tiny dancer!

Today we went to our realtors office to go and see Santa and to take part in holiday cheer etc. Anyway, we get there and Kate and Clair both totally freak out and won't even go in the room where Santa is! So, I am pretty ticked...we did drive like 25 minutes, in the cold and rain, plus I curled their hair and dressed them in their holiday shirts, and I had my camera...and, and, and. So, I am pretty ticked.
Then a lady says, "the dance show is starting upstairs if you would like to go and watch." So, of course the girls are ready to do anything to get as far away from the bearded freak...or as most normal people call him, Santa...they start begging...pleading to go see the dancers. So we go up stairs and they have everyone crammed in this way too small room and let the kids sit up against the wall around the floor space where the girls will be dancing.
The girls were 7 to 16 years old and Clair was totally lovin it! After the first dance she started clapping and then started yelling, "Hurray! Hurray!" Everyone laughed. Then she did the same thing after the second number. She also was trying to move her hands like the dancers and watched them real close. After the second number they had a pause so the dancers could change costumes. They lady said during the pause they'd put on some music and just let Kate and Clair do a dance since they were so into it. So Kate and Clair totally got up and were ready to show everyone their best dance moves...but I motioned for them to sit back down. The lady said "I was serious, they can dance." I said, "You won't ever be able to get them to sit down again...they will think they need to be up with the dancers!" Luckily, the girls came back in about that time. Clair cheered loudly at the end of each dance. Then they did a tap number. Clair started hitting her feet on the floor...I guess you could call it tapping while seated on your rear or rump-tapping! By this point all the ladies around us are going crazy over her. "She is such a doll." "Oh look how cute!"
Before the last number, the lady running the thing says, "And we have some info up here about our studio if anyone is interested, and I definitely want to see this little girls mommy (pointing to Clair) because we start them as early as 2 and a half. How old is she?" I said, "Well, she is too young then, she just turned two!" So, that is the story of how Clair stole the show...Clair the tiny dancer!

Friday, December 02, 2005

New sayings...

Clair's new saying..."Peace out sucker!" (Thank you Aunt KT! :)
Kate's new saying..."What do you say! What do you know!" (Thanks Worm!:)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

My latest Holiday Decor!

Happy December! It's the most wonderful time of the year! My house is looking pretty festive and the pride of my holiday decor this year is our Clemson Christmas tree. It is really cool...well, Creighton might not think so! :) Anyway, we have it in the family room in the basement (with the traditional tree upstairs in the living room). It is nice to bring the holiday cheer to the basement. I tried to post pictures but it won't let me, so I sent them to Stephen and he will post them. Let me explain our Clemson tree to you since the pictures don't do it justice! We used our old tree...yes it is kind of sad, but it will do for now...and put on white lights and orange lights (that I got at Halloween). Then I strung purple bead garland around the tree. I used all the Clemson ornaments that I have been collecting for the past couple years and also got some cute little glass blown footballs. I used Stephen's Clemson fleece I made him last year as the tree skirt, and to top off the tree (as recommended by my mom) I used one of Stephen's Clemson caps. KT had a cute idea too, I just don't have time to do it this year...but am seriously considering it for next year...make a skirt out of orange fleece and then put a fuzzy white around it as trim...then make a matching "Santa" hat out of the orange and trim it like the skirt and put that on top! I think that would be cute too, but you all know I have no talent for sewing...but thanks for the idea KT...maybe I'll get all the stuff and just happen to leave it at your house! Then when you return the stuff to me it would be magically finished and ready to use on the tree next year! :) Anyway, I wanted to share. I thought MOST of you would enjoy the pics. Look for Stephen's post with them! Love ya and GO TIGERS!