Wednesday, December 24, 2008

musical prodigies?... i think not

First, you will not doubt notice that all of the girls are wearing matching pajamas. Well, we do this from time to time - it is fun (unless you are a teenage girl, then it is embarrassing). It has been a long time since we last had matching pajamas... I believe Allison was three and Parker was just a few months old - so that means nine years.

Second, if you look closely you will see that our "instruments" are catheter tip syringes (also know as Toomey syringes). We got our Christmas money delivered via syringe this year because they are plentiful around here. Well much to our surprise, these syringes give off a very distinct popping sound when you pull out the plunger. Add a lot of imagination and a little bit of rhythm.... viola - JINGLE BELLS (or a loose adaptation of it).

I hope you enjoy this rendition as much as we enjoyed making it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas - present and past

Well, here it is another Christmas... and we Renos sure have a lot to be thankful for.

Doug and I just got back from my work Christmas party.  It was at the home of one of our surgeons, Dr. Taliaferro.  There were a lot of people there from each of the areas surrounding and completing all of the aspects of the Surgical Services. There was delicious food, lots of decoration, festive attire and the singing of Christmas carols.
I would say it was a fun, enjoyable and successful party. 

Doug found a new friend - which was actually an old acquaintance from his college days. He overheard someone talking about foosball (one of his loves) and decided to get into the conversation.  He and Brett (the new/old friend) laughed and talked and tentatively have decided to play a little foosball.

When we left the party, we drove through some of "old Elmwood" to look at the houses and Christmas lights. The lights change from year to year.  Some years, it seems, there are just a few houses with lights and some years there are lots and lots of decorated houses.  It seems a bit skimpy this year, but it reminds me... of when I was little.

Mom used to get me and my brothers all dressed in our "jammies" and load us up in the car to go look at the Christmas lights.  Daddy would drive around in "old Elmwood," the same neighborhood area that Doug and I drove around in tonight.  Daddy would creep along, down the street, and we would all be oooing and awwing at all of the pretty lights and colors that we saw.  Back then I think nearly every house had some lights and we were out for HOURS.  

Doug and I took our kids a few times to look at the lights (in the same neighborhood).  It didn't seem as much fun taking my own kids as it was when I was the kid.  My kids didn't want to drive slow or look at every house.  They would look some and then they wanted to go home.  Sometimes I think that it is impossible to recreate good memories - the appreciation just isn't transferable.

Several years ago, my dad rented one of the city buses that was driving the "Christmas Lights" tour.  My entire family went.  Mom and Dad, my brother Wally and his family, Doug, me, our kids, Doug's sisters Jan and Jill and their families - probably twenty two or so in all.  We met up at the church building and boarded the bus. The driver took us all over town to wherever the best lights were and we sang Christmas carols while we were riding around and looking at the lights.  

One of the last places we went to was the Abilene State School. They have a large display every year that is really lit up brightly and quite festive.  Local businesses sponsor each different display, so you can spend a long time there looking at all of them.  Since it was the longest part of the "tour", the people in charge there had made it a refreshment stop as well.  We all got off of the bus and had hot chocolate.  We even got to have a picture taken with Santa Clause. It is amazing how many people you can fit into one Polaroid photo and still make out the faces!  (I wonder who ended up with that picture?)

When the tour was finished, we were dropped off back at the church building.  We went inside for a final cup of hot chocolate and cake or cookies - something I don't remember.  We also took just a few minutes to play a game.  Jan and I had wrapped up miniature chocolate bars to look like presents and wrapped a one dollar bill with one of the bars.  We all sat in a circle and one of us read 'Twas The Night Before Christmas.  Each time the word "and" was said we had to pass our package to the right.  When the story was finished, we opened the present we were holding.  I don't remember who got the one dollar bill.  I know it sounds goofy, but it was fun.  After that, we all went home.  

We are going to play that game this year during our Christmas, but it will be altered just a little bit... the presents will be better.

I hope you will all think back to some of the traditions that you had when you were growing up and share some of those memories with your children, families and friends.  

I am looking forward to Christmas, both here and in Clovis. I hope you are looking forward to your Christmas too.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

i am not a computer (or electronic) geek

Doug and I went Christmas shopping today. We were pretty successful. I still have more shopping to do, but what I have left is very manageable so I feel quite satisfied with that part of my day.

While we were out getting a few necessities, I decided it was time to buy printer cartridges (our color has been out forever and the black is just a vapor). Well, I had looked at the cartridges so I knew exactly which ones to get - 23 and 24... when I got home the empty ones happened to be numbered 33 and 34 - so I get to go back to Wal-Mart tomorrow to change those out. Ughhh!

Also, while we were at Wal-Mart, I decided it was time to by a wireless router so that Bryson (my 25 year old son - back home after his recent divorce) can use his computer and I can use my ipod touch. Well, we got home - got out the box - put in the CD - followed the directions... it didn't work. Tried again... still didn't work. After about a dozen tries... still didn't' work! Well I got that box and called that 24 hour help line. The guy that answered was very kind even though he was a little hard to understand. He had me change the IP address and about a dozen other things that the CD in the box NEVER would have had me do and "PRESTO" it works now. How about that?

What is the moral of the story? When you buy a new computer gadget, just call the 24 hour help number and don't bother with the CD. It will be a lot faster and you won't have to get frustrated.

Smiles all around. ipod touch internet works. Laptop internet works. Thanks Linksys help man! :)

Now, I can get on with the rest of my Christmas shopping (and returning those ink cartridges).