Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A funny story...

As most of you know - we endeavour on a tour of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana during the Christmas season. Our travels went smoothly. We got to spend wonderful time with family and friends. And we will have another post (with some pictures) about our Christmas travels. But the purpose of this post is to relay a funny story we heard on our last day of traveling...

We woke up Sunday morning in Newburg, went to Church, packed up the dogs and headed to Louisville to have lunch with Elaine and the newly-weds - Heather and Fred - before driving back to Knoxville. We were talking about the wedding and how much fun we had. Heather and Fred were telling us all of the inside stories "the alterations this and that" or "the florist this and that" - everyone who is married has those similar stories.

Except for this one...

Zoey was the little "flower" girl. And if you read the post before this one - then you can see how cute she was tossing "snow flakes" instead of flowers. But we found out this past Sunday that Zoey (who has always thought of Heather as family) has had a hard time accepting Fred. Zoey and her mommy had a little talk about how Heather was family and Heather loves Fred so they should love Fred too. But Zoey wasn't having any of it. The more her mommy tried to convince her that Fred really is a good guy and she should be happy for Heather - the more distraught Zoey became.

Finally Zoey's mom asked her exactly what she didn't like about Fred. Zoey's answer was (in a near-tears little girl voice), "Mommy - he's just a...". But before I finish that sentence, let me tell you a little about the wedding from Zoey's point of view.

It turns out that Zoey was paying attention to the ceremony - the whole "do you Heather..." and "do you Fred..." and "I now pronounce you man and wife". And then Heather and Fred turned toward the congregation and the preacher stood tall and said, "Let me introduce to you Mr. and Mrs. Fred Nappier!"

But Zoey misheard the preacher on that last part. She thought the preacher said Mr. and Mrs. Napkin! So, the whole big hang-up that Zoey had with Fred was "mommy - he's just a napkin!"

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Christmas Wedding

Well - Heather finally went and tied the knot! And she did it they way she wanted. With a wonderful winter wonderland wedding!

Heather and Fred - moments before the "moment of truth"!

Of course, the wedding was in New Albany, Indiana. And of course, there was a fairly significant snowfall between Knoxville and New Albany just a couple of days before. But there was no way we were going to miss it! And as it turns out, luck was on our side and the roads were cleared by the time we hit the road.

You may kiss the bride!

We met up with Elaine and headed over to the church. It was fabulous with lots of poinsettia's and winter scene wall mural. It was like being in a winter wonderland - only with a heater! And Heather's dress was really spectacular with a ton of beaded sequence and (my favorite) a unique red strip down the back! And the cutest part of the whole ceremony was the flower girl - or should I say "snow" girl since she was really tossing snow instead of flower petals!

Boquoet toss! Check out that red strip on the back of Heather's dress!

The reception was great too. I understand that it's the signatures on the paper that make the marriage official. But what about the cake cutting, champagne toasting, garter removing, bouquet tossing, first dance, chicken dance, and all of those other things? Ahhh - that's what makes it a wedding. When you are together with all of your friends and family, laughing and dancing - that's what makes it!

Yummy cake!

So when people ask us - was it really worth it to drive 8 hours for a 4 hour wedding and reception? You bet it was!

"Here's to you!"

The first dance

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Chirstmas party

Last Friday was the annual Christmas party at All Saints. We had never been before - and our neighbors had been working us over trying to convince us to come. It was going to be hard because we had to be in Louisville (actually New Albany) for a wedding the next day. It was going to be hard to go to a Christmas party on Friday night, and be in Louisville in time for a wedding Saturday afternoon. Especially a Catholic Christmas party - you know how those Catholics are...

But after several weeks of relentless hounding from Todd and Maureen - we sent in our RSVP. And Friday night, we loaded up in the car and headed for the church.

And boy are we glad!

It all started out like you would imagine any church Christmas party. There was food and everybody was sitting around tables talking. Except the first thing you would notice is the sheer number of people - I'm guessing there were about 700 people. And the second thing that would appear odd (at least to the non-Catholics) was the beer and wine table (provided by the church, of course!). So, we ate, we drank, and we were merry...

Then we move in to the next stage where the music starts. And this is where you need to meet Father Augustine. He's from Sudan and has been in the US for about 3 years. And he is has become fascinated with American customs - especially American dances. And the chosen dance for this night was the Macerena. Which was of course followed by the Chicken Dance! Oh my - he really had his groove on!

And the "ring leader" of the show was Father Michael. He's an Irish priest with an apparent love of red bow ties and dancing. He told a story of how he searched all over Knoxville looking for a red bow tie for the party and couldn't find one. then, while he was at Walgreen's filling a prescription, he saw a nice piece of ever-green with some pine cones and bells and (you guessed it) a big red bow! He bought it, pulled the bow off and used the bow as a bow tie.

Now, if you were to closed your eyes and imagined a very tiny, older (60-ish) Irish man - that's Father Michael. He's about 130 pounds soaking wet. But don't let his size fool you. After he ate, he headed out to the dance floor and spent the rest of the night there - twirling all of the ladies around. I can guarantee you that he had more stamina than anybody on the dance floor!

It was a great time and we'll certainly be going back next year. And we still made it to Louisville in plenty of time for the wedding...

And you may be wondering who was getting married? Well - that would be Heather Hill! There will be post about that too - but it will be a day or two. We need the time to sort through the pictures and pull out some of the best ones to show you! It was great (and her dress was beautiful!) - and we wouldn't have missed it for the world!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Banana Bread!

Howdy everybody! Bryon here...

I just wanted to let everybody know that Darlene slaved over the stove last night and baked 6 loaves of banana bread. There's plenty for everybody! All you have to do is come and get it!

She turns into a baking queen this time of year. I'm sure she'll take requests (I've put my request in for some more pumpkin fudge!) - but you'll need to hurry. The Leengrams Traveling Christmas Show begins in just over a week.

...and while the oven is hot - maybe I'll try making some more of Grandma Lee's party mix! Yummmmmmmm......

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Decorating for Christmas

So this is the weekend. The weekend after Thanksgiving. For us, it's always the biggest redecorating day of the year. Not a single room of the house is untouched.

Of course, I'm talking about the Christmas decorations! All of the boxes are already down (and it was 27 degrees in the attic this morning!). Just when the laundry room was starting to look "normal", we littered it back up!

Stacks and stacks - and more around the corner!

And now all of the trees are up and the lights are on. We decided to use the "small" (8 foot) tree in the living room again this year. The 15 foot tree just seemed like a little more work than we wanted. It would have taken all weekend just to put it together, get the lights on it, and get it decorated. That means we would have spent all next week trying to get everything else out and would have only had one week to sit and enjoy it all before the holiday travels start...

So instead, we put the 8 foot tree in the living room and a 6 foot tree in each downstairs bedroom. The one in the living room is completely finished and we'll have the other two finished before the night is done. That leaves tomorrow for the rest of the decorations and putting all of the boxes back up in the attic.

The first completed tree!

It's been fun with the dogs. Izzy has been feeling a lot better and they have both been walking around inspecting the progress. Izzy is always a little bothered by the turmoil. Foxy doesn't really care - she's just glad to have a house!

Foxy - "Hey sis - why are mom and dad tearing up the house again?"
"Izzy - "I don't know - it seems like they do this every couple of weeks!"

And the antler tradition continues. We opened up on of the tubs - and there they were. Right on top! Darlene grabbed then and put them on. Bryon laughed and grabbed the camera. Izzy and Foxy were wondering if mommy was turning into a reindeer! We've had fun with them all day long.

I'm a reindeer!

Hey mom. Are those antlers?