We have spent two evenings driving through the streets of Circle C Ranch looking at Christmas Lights. Last Saturday, we went to a party in a gated community there..and the lights were fantastic...so we decided to go back and look for more!! We took my Mom for a trip and found a cul-de-sac that was decorated to the fullest. Last night we went to Galaxy Cafe with our friends Bonnie and Darren and then we went in search of the same light display....we found one that was even more AMAZING!!
Notice the neighbor's house "Ditto" is spelled with lights above their garage with an arrow pointing to Pete's house. Oh, so CUTE!! I took a few pictures with my new camera..and Rob immediately took control..so there are no pictures of him this time....here are some highlights from our little trip through Pete's front and backyard...
Posing by the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree!
Elvis is ironing in the backard!
One of my favorite features were all the huge stuffed Santas...many animated.
Mr. Pete had a tunnel of these guys singing and dancing....even an animated Grinch..PRICELESS!!
I was determined to get my picture with Santa somewhere...I had over 200+ to choose from!
We attempted a few pics with Darren's and Rob's iphones....not sure how those turned out!?!?
Taz on a toilet....(read the sign!!) Remember...Rob's photos...REALLY!?!?!
Cat in the Hat Kayaking and a skiing snowman....
A golf bag full of candycanes....My PGA Man's photo...GOLF, GOLF, GOLF!!!
What a fun trip through Pete's Yard....If you are dying to go...and you live in ATX...
Here are the directions!
Pete’s Trail of Lights
Go Mopac (Loop 1) south and exit Slaughter Lane and go west ½ mile…..turn left on Escarpment, and go ½ mile. Turn right on LaCrosse and go ½ mile. Turn left on Natick Lane and then immediately turn right on Nusser and go ¼ mile. Turn left on Rigsbee. Ta Da! You have arrived and it will be SO WORTH the drive!
Questions? about Pete's Display? He has that covered, too....this was posted for all to see...
What a fun ATX evening....we LOVED it!!
See the people flowing in....as we were leaving a hay ride...decorated with lights drove up...thank goodness we missed those 30+ kids on our peaceful stroll through this winter wonderland!
Texas Longhorns BEAT the Texas Aggies 27-25 on Thanksgiving Night!
Oh, What a game...I should have hit the BLACK Friday midnight openings because I was wide awake for hours after the game. The ATM aggies are leaving the BIG XII for the SEC....so this is possibly the last rivalry game for years to come...we may still play sometime in the future but the games will never mean the same. The UT/ATM game has been a family tradition in my family since I was born....I attended every game with my parents and grandparents (my Grandma was the only Aggie in our family) from the age 1-27 then as my life got more independent...I missed games..but I still go to every home game and tried to get to College Station every chance I could....I should have gone this year...WHAT A GAME!! It is Goodbye to A&M...just as our fight song says....Good Luck Aggies....Good Luck with LSU every year...GEAUX Tigers!!
Texas Fight, Texas Fight,
And it's goodbye to A&M.
Texas Fight, Texas Fight,
And we'll put over one more win.
Texas Fight, Texas Fight,
For it's Texas that we love best.
Hail, Hail, The gang's all here,
And it's good-bye to all the rest!
Yea Orange! Yea White!
Yea Longhorns! Fight! Fight! Fight!
Texas Fight! Texas Fight,
Yea Texas Fight!
Texas Fight! Texas Fight,
Yea Texas Fight!
More BURNT ORANGE.... recipes we had for Thanksgiving...
I made the most unbelievable Sweet Taters Ever!
2011 Sweet Taters (they could almost be Dessert!)
A double recipe is a MUST!!
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 stick butter -- melted (Do not omit or reduce this amount)
SWEET POTATO MIXTURE
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes, fresh or canned
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs -- well beaten
1 stick butter -- ( 1/2 cup) melted
Combine brown sugar, flour, nuts and butter in mixing bowl. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and butter in a mixing bowl in the order listed. Mix thoroughly. Pour mixture into buttered baking dish. Sprinkle the surface of the sweet potato mixture evenly with the crust mixture. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to set at least 30 minutes before serving.
My Brother and I had a pumpkin pie cook-off....mine was a sure fine winner....Caramel Pumpkin Pie!?!? Well....it didn't win the competition..so I am sharing my brother's recipe....it was delicious...cream cheese in anything is AWESOME! My pie involved browning sugar....making homemade caramel.....such a complicated process...but this pie won HANDS DOWN...Congrats, Bubba!!!
Matthew's Grand Prize Pumpkin Pie ~ 2011
8 oz Creme Cheese, Softened
2 C Canned Pumpkin
1 C Sugar
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1/4 t Salt
1 egg, Plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 C half-and-half
1/4 C melted butter
1 t vanilla extract
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground ginger
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/4 t ground clove
Whipped Creme, for topping
Preheat oven to 350-degrees
Bake DEEP dish pie crust as indicated (if it's not a deep dish pie crust, you'll be able to make 2 regular-depth pies...not as good, but will work!)
For filling: in a large mixing bowl, beat creme cheese with hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugars and the salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally add the vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove. Beat until combined.
Pour filling into the warm prepared pie crust, bake for 50 minutes or until the center is "set". Place pie on wire rack until cooled to room temperature. Cut and top with whipping creme.
What a surprise ending...a very sad novel that was not very easy for me to read!! WOW....poor Caroline "Carrie" was from a very dysfunctional family and she had to do so many crazy things to survive! Her Mom tried her best to love her daughter...even after marrying a very abusive second husband...Carrie wanted to leave so many times. One of my favorite characters in this book is Mr. Wilson--a nice, older man that Carrie wished was her own..he taught her many lifelong skills and they both shared the love of music! I liked this book but it did take a a few weeks to get through it......being a teacher...it makes me wonder if I have ever taught any students like Carrie? I know I have taught many children that have been through more than I can imagine.....SURVIVAL is the key word!
I will never forget where I was or who I was with on 9/11/2001!
Buda Elementary School with Jill Heith and BG Henry....
I pray for America's strength and for all the vicitims of that very sad day in US history!
Being a kindergarten teacher....I love this video......God Bless America!
I have been to NYC several times...and watched this memorial being built.
I am excited to go back and see the finished product....just amazing!!
I will never forget.....I have a very heavy heart today....
lots of prayers headed to 9/11 victims and families today!
I guess this is my last completed book for the summer!!
Wish I had another two weeks of summer....I would be sure to finish another book or two...
This book was enjoyable -- kind of a "beach read" ...the author is from Australia and Alice is an active "Mum" of three children....it is amazing how her life changes dramatically in 10 years.
Here is the "do-dah" on the back cover summarizing the book..
Alice Love is twenty-nine years old, madly in love with her husband, and pregnant with their first child. So imagine her surprise when, after a fall, she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! she HATES the gym!) and discovers that she’s actually thirty-nine, has three children, and is in the midst of an acrimonious divorce.
A good book....pretty scary how Alice loses her memory after a fall off of an exercise bike! I enjoyed her three children (even though she didn't remember them at all after the fall)...they gave her a run for her money. There is a sweet child, a studious child, and one that is a real toot! Alice Love was a very social "Mum" and did everything she could for her kids....there are two little side stories about a Grandma figure named "Frannie" and also about Alice's sister named "Elizabeth"...those two stories also keep the book very interesting! If you get a chance read it...it is an easy read.....I sure would wish that memory loss on anyone!
One of my favorite authors is Ann B. Ross...she writes the BEST Southern Fiction Series I have ever read! She started the series in 1999 and I sit on the edge of my seat for a new one to be published. Ann Ross has written 12 books about Miss Julia and her adventures....she is an amazing, funny, spunky older southern lady that has been through just about everything humanly possible!
The latest book in the series ~ #12!
Each one of Miss Julia's books gets better and better.....Miss Julia's widowed husband's mistress, Hazel Marie, had twin girls in this book (she has recently married and her husband loves the babies like crazy) ~ One of the little girls had the exact same name as my Grandmother ~ Lillian Mae! That was so cool to me....the babies got over colic and began taking pacifers by the end of the book and the babies were held by every lady in town. Miss Julia's house is always a crowded house....full of family and friends. I love Miss Julia!! What a great way to end my reading for the summer. I just noticed on Ann B. Ross' website that there will be another Miss Julia book out in 2012!! Yippee....I can't wait!
Rob and I went on the NCL's excursion called Crystal Cave Tubing And Waterfall Lagoon. We were lucky enough to be on the first excursion of this particular tour.....before others have not participated in the Waterfall Lagoon part of it! At the end of our FUN TIMES...they gave us a free hot sauce gift set and a t-shirt for being the first to participate! FUN...another few free souvenirs!
Our tour guide on our bus with AC was "Flowers"...she was terrific! Very knowledgeable and made our day even more fun with all they history of the area. A strange fact about Belize...they don't have funeral homes...when someone dies their family takes them home with them. The family redresses them and fixes their make-up, etc.......and keeps them in their house until the following day and they are then buried above the ground following a huge block celebration. Death is a celebration for all!
We got off our bus and hopped on a HOT bus and rode another 5 minutes up a very steep hill. They assured us our other bus would not be able to make it!?!? The forest was so dense and green....it rained on us a little while...but then became hot and muggy again!
We found all the equipment and got fitted with the goods....vests, helmets and tubes!
Ready or NOT....here we go!
We were in a group of 8 people. We had a young tour guide through the caves and he told us if we talked to loud or yelled the crystals may fall from the ceiling....so he was very soft spoken and very hard to hear.
We walked and walked ~ up and up.....it was WAY HOT!
We were so excited to get to the chilly water in the caves!
When we got to the very top....we walked back down into the cave to board our tubes.
Rob had the underwater camera and was the photographer this day!
I am in front of him and ready to get started.
So many stalagmites and stalactites.....simply beautiful!
"cave pearls" and you know how I LOVE PEARLS!!
Rob in his tube...too bad I took the picture backwards and totally missed his tube!
A cool formation called the "waterfall"...not the waterfall lagoon we were to visit next!
Rob loved these stalagmites under the water...he got some great shots of them, too!
Our group tubed through the "waterfall lagoon"...almost impossible to photograph because it was so dark in there...but the lagoon water was a turquoise blue. GEORGEOUS!!!
This is near the exit ...with the light shining in you can kind of see the color of the cave water.
We walked back up and then down to get back to the main entrance.
Rob and I ate nachos while the other tours in our group finished.
Back to Belize City to get on the ship... I was so disappointed the restaurant that I loved last time I was in Belize was closed....The Wet Lizard..and I was so looking forward to their Panty Rippa drink! Oh well, there is always NEXT TIME!
An amazing day together.....now to catch the tender back to our ship!