Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Day in Indianola

Christmas day, despite all the snow, we headed down to Indianola for brunch with my parents and my sister and her husband and their daughter. It was great to spend Christmas morning together. Brunch was very good...thanks Dad! After we ate, we moved on to opening stockings and presents. Morgan was super excited to see her auntie Heather!
Christa helps Morgan see what is in her stocking.
Morgan is excited to find a red cardinal.
...and two clementines!
Wade is excited about his stocking, updated this year with a felt Santa!
Despite the toys in her stocking, Morgan won't put down the clementines.
Fruit makes us strong!
After the stockings were opened we headed into the other room to open presents! Everyone is excited.
My mom, playing with Morgan's doll by the Christmas tree.
Heather and I wait as the presents get passed out.
Morgan was excited to get new bows on her shoes!
She is quick to help her grandpa open up some presents.
Heather and I gave Morgan music in a box...she was super excited to open it up!
Complete with a tambourine...
...and finger cymbals!
Morgan also got a new baby complete with juice and milk bottle, her motherly instincts kicked right in!

We had a great time in Indianola! Good food, good fellowship and plenty of laughs. Nothing beats the joy on an almost 2-year olds face as she opens Christmas presents!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Eve

Heather and I got to spend Christmas Eve together, just the two of us at our house. We went to the 3:00 Christmas Eve service at church and then headed home to prepare a Christmas Eve meal. We started with some shrimp cocktail, followed with some honey mustard glazed ham and some sweet potato fries.
Everything turned out great, so good in fact we are planning for the same meal next year. Our table was set complete with white and red tulips (I gave those to Heather for our anniversary!).
Riley was very interested in our honey mustard glazed ham.
After dinner, we headed downstairs to open some presents! Heather and Riley posed for a picture on the steps with our fun snowflake luminaries.
Riley went first, this was a gift from her dog friend Coco.
We had a fire in the fireplace and took our picture with our mantel decorated for Christmas....and then for a Comfort family photo (if only Riley would look at the camera).
Then Riley got to open up her stocking...she dove in head first. find a new chew toy and some dental bones!
Next, Heather's turn...I wonder what it could be?
...nice wrapping and what a fun "H" tag
Oh boy, a new coat! Just what she wanted.
...but what about her stocking? Riley is willing to help see what is in there.
"Locally Grown" t-shirt.
...and a new water bottle with goodies inside!
I opened my stocking next...and I got some new guitar stings!
...and some Burt's Beeswax lotion and chap stick. I am excited but Riley isn't interested in chap stick.
...and a fun new ivory snap shirt.
...and the mystery gift. I had no idea what Heather got me for Christmas.
I opened up the box to guitar cables. I am a little confused but excited and Heather says to me, "Now, let's go upstairs."
...and waiting under the Christmas tree is a bass guitar!
WOW! A bass guitar, I was totally surprised!
Heather found it on Craigslist and then got her mom to pay for it so I wouldn't see the check come through our account...tricky! Nice job babe, I love it!
We also got for each other a new laptop...which actually came before Christmas and we love it.
Christmas is a special time of year, a time filled with cheer, a time to celebrate, a time to be thankful for the many blessings in our lives...Happy Birthday Jesus!

Screw Shoes

With all the ice and snow, people ask me if I still run outside and how do I not fall down. I do continue to run outside and this year I have a new weapon for battling the winter conditions...Screw Shoes! A couple of the guys I run with tried it last winter with success, so I thought it was time I try to get some traction too. We found the idea here, and so far they have been working. I took an older pair of training shoes, bought some 3/8 inch sheet metal screws

...grabbed my drill and put in some screws. The website says you can use up to 1/2 inch, but I opted for the 3/8 inch and I can't feel them through my shoe!
With "gel" or "air" in the heel, you do have to be a little careful with the placement of the screws.
I added 6 screws to each shoe and I have noticed a difference when running on the ice!
...and when you hit pavement, you might think the screws would be annoying, but it sounds more or less like a rock in your shoe...small price to pay for some added traction.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

AFC Christmas Party

Last week, Heather's work had their Christmas Party at Des Moines Golf and Country Club. What a great reason to get all dressed up! Unfortunately, I had a nasty cold...puffy eyes and head congestion.
Derek was super jazzed to put on a tie!
Joni and Derek were all smiles as we sat down for a fantastic dinner.
Dawn and Aaron are also excited to celebrate Christmas. Aaron, as usual, is counting his money.
Jon and Kim enjoyed the dinner as well!
The "fun" table!
The staff gave Gary and Barb some Christmas presents.
The America's Family Coaches staff.
Heather and I in front of the pretty Christmas decorations.
Heather and Joni.
Aaron, still counting his money while enjoying the decorations.
The girls of AFC
Heather and Joni both got new Christmas coats that they wore to the party!
Heather and Kim pose for a picture with the fresh snow and Christmas lights.
We had a great time at the Christmas party. We are very thankfully for Gary and Barb and the work that they do and that Heather can be apart of it. Merry Christmas!