Friday, December 18, 2015


The best gift I gave to anyone this year was this t-shirt, designed and printed by friend Becky Dawson of One Lane Road -- the same Becky Dawson who taught the hand screen printing class which I loved so much at art camp this year! I went to her website looking for the print depicting our Lucky Star camp adventures, but found this instead.

Now, if you've been reading this blog for long, you surely know that most every adventure we embark upon is instigated by my hubby -- ergo his nickname, Adventure Boy. So how could I resist?

Just in time for our biggest adventure ever!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Visas, plane tickets, passports, shot records, travel insurance, travel journal?


First Aid Kit?


Malaria pills and antibiotics (in case the infamous traveling trots should strike)?


Permethrin to make our clothing mosquito-proof, and DEET to make our skin mosquito-proof?


The fewest pieces of modest, skin-covering clothing (mostly black) that can be combined to give me the most different outfits, suitable for both the heat of Khartoum and the chill of Barcelona?

Check! (although I'm still working on the color-mad accessories that will make all that black somewhat tolerable)

Sparkly, fragrant gift bags for our hostesses?


Yee-Haw Texan gifts for our hosts?


Something special for the mother and father of the bride? Perhaps a little family history album that lets them know a bit about Austin's family roots, and shares pictures of him growing up?


Sooooooooo, what am I forgetting???!!!

Monday, December 14, 2015


Christmas is over and done for Hubby and I, I'm sad to say. We celebrated with the kiddos over at Lexi's house this weekend.

Hubby is the type who doesn't stop shopping when he has enough. He stops when he runs out of time. So maybe it was a good thing we celebrated two weeks early this year. As it was, we had to take two cars to transport it all!

Do you ever have Christmas Crackers at your holiday table? The tubes where each person grabs an end and yanks, and out tumbles a goofy paper hat, a joke, and a small toy? Well, Lexi found some special ones this year, where each one held a little wind-up reindeer toy. Plus, there was a race track in the box as well!

What a disaster. Not one of them made it across the finish line! However, the hats are rather fetching, don't you think?

Check out hubby's new t-shirt! I got one that says "What happens at Nana's, stays at Nana's!"
Especially when worn with the Lucha Libre wrestling masks we brought back from Mexico for the boys.

My hubby's family wasn't really into stockings -- especially not for grownups. However, once I introduced him to the Thomas way of doing things, that first year in Indonesia, well, he took that ball and ran with it! Since then, the stockings have always been our favorite part of the celebration.

I just love my boys in their new beanies. If only we could convince Papa John to wear one.

These two, I swear. Not only do they look alike here, they also have the same profession (computer security), and now work at the same company! Hard to believe they aren't blood relations.

Anyhoo, though I am kinda sad that Christmas zoomed by so quickly for us this year, I am extremely grateful to have the rest of this week free and clear to finish getting ready for The Epic Sudanese Adventure. Can you believe it? One week from today we'll be boarding our plane for parts unknown. SQUEEEEE!

Oh yeah, one other thing was kind of unusual, but awesome, about our Christmas celebration this year -- getting up when it was all over, and just walking away from a living room full of gift wrapping detritus, and a kitchen filled with heaps of leftover food. I felt pretty guilty about that, but I'm sure I'll get over it in time.

Many thanks to Lex, Nate, Izzy and Little Goober, for treating us to such a wonderful celebration.