Dec 21, 2009

Gaylord Texan Getaway - Honeymoon #2

We recently won an overnight getaway from FBCoM for a stay/dinner at the Gaylord Texan. It is a truly incredible hotel and so much more! Here are some pictures from our stay which we named "Honeymoon #2".

Steph couldn't go to such a nice hotel without getting a pedicure, so here she is getting those toes fixed up. :)
While we there, ICE! was going on in the convention center. It was really cool. They froze over 2 million pounds of water and built whoville and the grinch and a plethora of other entities.
Here was the view from our balcony. You'll be able to see it better later, in a daytime shot, but it was very beautiful at night with over 1 million lights in the atrium.
Here's another view of the lights in the atrium. The hotel is set up in a circle-ish shape, so half of the rooms look out towards Texas and the other half look in to the atrium view. My good friend Austin, who works at the Gaylord and goes to Church with us upgraded us to an atrium view among a host of other things. Thanks buddy!
We ate dinner at the Southwestern cuisine place. Here is our main course (in low light) which are "Texas sized" scallops with spicy sweet potatoes.
I had to put this scallop in scale with something, so here is the scallop next to my thumb in the take away container. HUGE!
This was the flat bread appitizer that we enjoyed. It had goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes and some other green stuff... Don't ask a guy what these weird green things are called.

Another view of the atrium during the evening when the lights just turned on... Sorry my Johnston & Murphys are in the way...
As we walked around the hotel, we stumbled upon this pool. It was incredible!
Here is how they decorated the atrium and surrounding areas...
Texas Sized ginger bread house!
Facts on "Texas Sized" Ginger bread house
another huge ginger bread house!
Here is a picture of our balcony, where we spent a lot of time with a little Cafe' and enjoyed watching all that was happening below.
Here is one of three pictures that showed what the atrium was like during the day.

I have more pictures of ICE! and the stay, but I will have to upload those later since they're on Stephanie's camera and I don't have that with me now. Look for it in the next few days.

Dec 15, 2009

Christmas Pictures

We decided together this year that we would like to take some Christmas pictures for our Christmas cards. Not everyone will get a card this year (as I'm a youth pastor and broke!), but I wanted everyone to get to see some of the photos that we took. There were a lot more, but for sake of time and etc. I have posted five for your viewing pleasure. Hope you enjoy.

Nov 30, 2009

Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Craziness!

We had a whale of a weekend this past week. We had our services on Tuesday night here at FBCoM. So, we had from Tuesday night- Saturday night to do, basically whatever we could imagine! Trust me, we imagined some pretty incredible things.

I went to work for a couple of hours on Wed morning early. Then we decided to go play with Shawn and Aimee. We ate at McAllisters... I love the Muffuletta!
We then went to several shops before stopping at Dunkin Donuts... America really does run on dunkin! Then we had to leave Shawn and Aimee so they could go pick up Aimee's parents for the weekend. We met up with them again later that night at the Open Door Baptist Church, Pastor Matt Jarrell
for their midweek service. We finished the evening with the 2nd annual Fiesta nacho night on Thanksgiving Eve. We started this last year with Tasha and her kids. We sure missed them and wished they could have been with us.

The next morning we relaxed, had a nice fire, good breakfast before heading over to Shawn and Aimee's once again to get the wonderful Cheesecake that she made for us, just to find that her mom had brought along all kinds of delectable Philippino food in her luggage. She made Lumpia and Pansit - Thanksgiving traditions... At least I think the pilgrims brought that with them back in 1621.

Then we headed over to my parents house in Rockwall. My sister and her family (husband and two girls) were already there. We delighted in a plethora of festive treats including my dads famous Stuffed Mushrooms, cheeseballs and meat with crackers, veggies, those weird, yet delicious egg things among many other items. Next we feasted on the multitude of Thanksgiving foods. There was no lacking and nothing missing. We ate and ate until we couldn't eat anymore... then we ate just a little more.

A quick wagon ride for the girls/ walk for my dad and I was just what was needed to get ready for the desert session. I had ate last one piece of every desert that was available along with a cup of Danish Uncle coffee. Perfect ending.

My next post will have pictures that my sister took that night...

My wonderful wife decided that she wanted to go shopping on Black Friday. What a treat! If we were going to go shopping, we were going to "Go Big or Go Home" (If I only would have known)
We went to the Allen Premium Outlets at midnight! We got there at about 11:45 and didn't find a spot to park until 12:15ish - and the place I found was in the grassy hill next to the dumpster. We were there for a couple hours until we finally retreated to the Waffle House nearby for a little pick me up at about 3:30ish if my memory serves me right (it was a long night). We returned to Mesquite and fell asleep for a little while until Steph got up to get a quick door buster somewhere and then back to bed. I got up about 8:00 to get some presents for Stephanie from the Galleria! Got some great deals
Around lunch time we both got back home and started digging out Christmas stuff. We decided to run to Home Depot to get a Christmas Tree.
It is about 7.5 feet and was only about $25! We brought it home and started decorating. The rest of the day was spent in decorating the tree, house and putting lights up outside. What a treat! I do however love listening to Christmas Music and since it was after Thanksgiving we were now able to do so.

We got busy the next morning getting stuff done since we had a long day ahead of us. We went back to the galleria mall in Dallas so I could get my free shave from The Art of Shaving

(Christmas present last year from my mom, thanks again mom, it was awesome!) It took the guy about 45 min and I had the best shave of my life. After that, we went to Erin/Jeramy's house to watch the Utah/School Down South (BYU - I really hate putting those three letters together in my blog, but most of you won't know what I'm talking about otherwise).
We unfortunately watched the UofU lose, but we did learn one thing, Kyle Whittingham needs to get fired!

The next day we went to Church, then to lunch at the Flying Fish and then I left Steph with my parents so I could run up to a store to get their Sunday "Black Friday" sale. It was the most awesome gift! It cost me only $19.99 when the original price was over $80! I then spent the rest of the night wrapping presents for Stephanie so should wouldn't find them and discover my hopefully great ideas! Then I finished the night (after evening services) with some leftover thanksgiving sandwiches... the most wonderful food of the year! And, now, here I am again, typing my blog on a monday morning, thinking about getting to this big stack of paperwork I have in front of me, but I just can't bring myself to do it. Happy Monday!

Oct 15, 2009

Date Night Camp Out

We recently decided that a date night was in order. I decided it needed a little twist. This is our story:

I had my mom take Steph out shopping one afternoon while I was at work. I however, had other plans. A soon as she was out of the house, I came home to set up the "campsite" in our front room. I moved all of the furniture out of our living room, and arranged a small pup tent in the corner along with some of my mom's Christmas trees and the topiaries from our wedding for a make shift forrest. I had to through in a couple of rubber spiders for effect. We also had our fireplace in the other corner, so we had everything we needed. One might ask, "Why didn't you just go 'real' camping?" The answer is very simple, my California girl wife doesn't like the "great outdoors" therefore, I brought the great outdoors... indoors! Hope you enjoy the photos...

Here is a photo of our campfire.... we did everything on this fire... we even cooked dinner on it.
I dug out all of my old camping equipment and we used as much of it as we could.
Here is my outdoor wife. We had to change her outfit before taking the picture.... She needed the "camping look" at least. (notice the nice boots?)
Here is a picture of the tent/camping chairs around the fire and the make shift forrest.
The camping backpack with all the things she would need for the night and the tent. It was really nice that the trees had lights already on them.

Here is the worlds worst backpackers food... We got cajun chicken and it was terrible! To say the least.

We decided after the first few bites of this stuff to switch to something a little more "taste-bud" friendly. So, we made:

Hot Dogs! Yep, we still cooked them on over the fire and warmed the buns with a toaster rack.

All in all, it was an amazing night, however, about halfway through the night, that air mattress just wasn't working out... We were so tempted to go back to our own bed, but we made it all night.

In closing some words of wisdom for men who may follow up with this idea... Do not try this the day your wife finishes cleaning the house... It was a disaster! :)

Sep 28, 2009

Cowboy Boots, Giant Tubs and The Gaylord Texan!

Again, way too long since our last post. Here is a little catch up with our lives recently...

These boots officially have nothing to do with anything, but we saw them while walking around at a market and I had to take a quick photo since Texans love boots and they like to make a statement with them. Thought all my California friends would like these.

We were able to go to National Youth Workers Conference (NYWC) in Hot Springs, AR at Bro. Capaci's place this past month. The Theme was "Are You Thirsty?" It was a great meeting with Bro. Reno Likins, Bro. Jack Schaap and of course Bro. Eric Capaci.
It was great to have some time to play with the Fredericks. Their kids have really grown up since they left North Valley. It was incredibly fun to be with their family for the couple of days and see how they work together. My personal favorite was to wake up early and go to their family devotions after breakfast. Bro. Fred is a piece of work, but the thoughts he pulled from Scripture were amazing.

We had a little free time one of the mornings so Steph and I decided to visit some of the "hot springs" here in the area. While we didn't go in the tubs/springs, we went in an old museum type bath house, much like a modern day spa. Here is a picture of the shower systems in one of the rooms.
Here is one of the tubs they would fill with water from the springs...
And yes, this is a picture of the large nogin of Tommy.... I was in one of Bro. Fred's classes on youth work and he came and sat down in front of me. I was shocked to see him as I forgot he was attending school here... He hasn't changed at all.

Steph and I also shared our anniversary of our first date this past week. We decided to go out to BJ's Pizzeria and get a Pizzookie (pictured below) just like we did on our first date.
The last portion of our recent happenings is when Austin, a young man in our church took us to his work... THE GAYLORD TEXAN! He is a sous chief for the pastry kitchen. He took us on the behind the scenes tour of the hotel, kitchens, dining areas, and so much more. This place is awesome. It is so big, I had to take a few pictures of the quantities they had (everything's bigger in Texas)
Here is a small section of their plates...
other "small" sections of items...
And, my post would not be complete until I found an item that is customized for the great state of Texas.... These people sure enjoy their state. This was my personal favorite part of the tour... the behind the scenes golf cart that they fabricated for this hotel.