Monday, December 31, 2007

Grandpa's Birthday Party

Here are a few photos from the lunch we had here for my dad on his birthday. All three of my brothers were able to come and five of the grandchildren were able to make it. We had a good time just spending time together and sharing old stories.
This was my dad's first official birthday party. We've always taken him out to eat or done something small. But, this is the first she-bang he has ever had with "all the trimmings." He doesn't like to have a fuss made over him and always insists on us "not doing anything at all." That's just his way.
My dad grew up in a small Polish community and didn't speak English the first several years of his life. When they had moved to San Antonio, a neighbor boy invited my dad to his birthday party and my dad did not have a clue what that was nor did he still speak much English at that point. They didn't have birthday parties where he was from and that was an entirely new concept to him. He loves to tell that story. He always adds that the kid probably invited him out of pity since he was the new kid.
Now, 70+ years later, he has had his first official birthday party of his own!
Love you, Dad! Hope you enjoyed your day.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Happy Birthday, Grandpa!

I just wanted to take a quick minute and wish my dear ol' dad a very happy birthday! We love and appreciate you more than words can say!
I'll try to post pics from the party tomorrow!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Day in Abilene

This year we had "Dominguez Christmas" at Sam & Arly's in Abilene. We had a great time catching up with everyone, watching old Looney Toons, playing the Wii (apparently we are the last people in civilization without one of these game thingies), and having some great food.
Nyla and Arly fixed a Dominguez fave, "Ham & Potatoes in the CrockPot." We also had lots of dips and baked goodies and some to die for meatballs that Syndi brought! Yum.
The kiddos had a fun time with all of their presents. One of my favorite scenes was Ema, Eli and Benjamin "racing" the Dinoco Helicopter, Dinoco McQueen and Lightening McQueen across the kitchen floor with Elena's new "Little People" farm animals balanced very carefully on all of the vehicles. No one fell off!
The adults participated in what we have called "gift card palooza" where Nyla ended up with a Lowe's gift card and Fred scored the Bath & Body Works one. Too funny.
We met up for lunch on the 26th with everyone and then headed back to K-town where we promptly collapsed.

Christmas Eve...at Home!

This is the first Christmas we have ever spent Christmas Eve and morning at our own home. We really did enjoy this.
Christmas Eve we cooked a brisket and just enjoyed the day! We opened gifts that night (yes, I know, we do it that way!). After the boys had sugar plums dancing in their heads, David & I started in on a few hours of "some assembly required" while watching It's a Wonderful Life.
The next morning, Benjamin was more enamored with the fact that "Santa ate my cookies" and the reindeer ate the apple than he was with the train table St. Nick left behind.
We had a great morning together and then headed to Abilene to mmet up with David's family.

Holiday Recap: 12-23-07: Pawlik Christmas

Since my parents have moved to Marble Falls, we no longer do the traditional Christmas Eve party with them that we have done as long as I can remember. I miss those Christmas Eves a little bit. They were my favorite day of the year as I grew up. They are still just as fun, now to be celebrated "the Sunday before Christmas no matter what."
My mother prepares for this day starting the Friday after Thanksgiving. She hits the stores for that crazy 5 a.m. rush and begs me to join her every year, (um, no thank you, my bed is still calling me at that time). I can recall a post-Thanksgiving sale when I was eight years old and was dragged through Kmart at six a.m. to get the brand new Dirt Devil for a steal of a deal with the matching hand-held vac for a penny! I am still reeling from that experience.
Anywho. Mom makes what we all refer to as "her spread." It includes my nieces' favorite tamales, Spanish rice, beans and Mexican pasta salad. Then there is all of the "grazing items" which include sandwich fixings, lots of dips, chips, queso and all of the baked goodies.
When I was young we all swapped presents with everyone and it was a mad wrapping paper fiasco. These days we have limited the gift-giving to those under eighteen. Except of course, we all get gifts for my parents and vice versa.
It is funny to watch your family "age." This year, my niece Amber brought her fiance, Paul, to whom she recently got engaged. And of course, five years ago, I brought David to this for the first time. Our other niece, Andrea, now has an 18-month old (yes, I am a great Aunt). Kayla and Keaton are growing like weeds. And I always am amazed and in awe at what Amanda is up to in her career (she just bought her first house, way to go, girlie!). Our nephew Aaron lives in Florida with his family (again, I am a great Aunt),we just got their family card and it was precious!
I guess there is nothing we can do about it, I just still feel like I am "the baby" even though my kids are now the babies. I feel like breaking into a medley of "Obla-Di Obla-Da."

Saturday, December 22, 2007

See You After Christmas!

Tomorrow begins our family-visiting for Christmas. We hope you all have a wonderful holiday. Here's a few random photos from our festive month. Please take care.

Friday, December 21, 2007

2007 Christmas Letter

To read our holiday letter, please click here.

Tag: Seven Random Things

This tag is circulating again! I tried to avoid it for fear that everyone would know what a loo-loo I can be, but it is time to face the facts.
Seven Random Things About Me:
1. I have many OCD tendencies (I take after my mother!). Most of these include compulsive list making, wiping down shopping carts with Clorox wipes that I carry with me in a baggie, and constantly using hand sanitizer (I am a little weird about my hand sanitizer too, I only buy a certain kind that has a super high alcohol percentage so I know it has to work!).
2. The silly uses of the letter K drive me crazy. This is my favorite letter after all! People constantly use it to misspell titles and what not (like, Kristin's Korner, Krazy Glue, Kozy Kafe-- umm hello, the alliteration would have still worked here with the correct letter, Cozy Cafe). I just feel like this is a little funny.
3. I am a huge Neil Diamond fan. Hands down, he was my favorite concert I ever attended. When I was young, I took dance lessons for years with a dance company that always used "America" as the open pageantry dance of their annual recital. I can still do this routine, and yes, I still own my baton. Did you all know that he once performed in concert at ACU? If only I had attended college in the seventies....or not!
4. I sport my very own natural hair color. I haven't colored my hair since 2003 and don't plan to until I start seeing the dreaded gray.
5. If you just recently met me (within the last five years), you'll find this hard to believe. But, one of my first cars was a Z28 Camaro that I still miss to this day. I even had a custom exhaust system installed in this car because I loved how it sounded. It also scored me a few speeding tickets. (What were my parents thinking?)
6. I go through at least four curling/flat irons a year. I am very hard on hair appliances.
7. After graduating ACU, I was offered a job in New York City with an event planning company that I thought pretty hard about taking. However, I was a nervous wreck about moving that far on my own so I took a job with the ACU Alumni Office. I remember the sense of relief that I felt actually saying out loud to my friends Amber and Betsey that I was staying in Abilene and working for them. They were pretty happy, too, and that made it even better. Wow, imagine how different my life would have been if I had taken that offer! There's a scary thought.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Some Lovin' from our Oven


Well, folks, I am officially done with the 2007 edition of Christmas cookies. It has been several days of non-stop oven-running, mixer-spinning, dough-nibbling, cookie-cutting, counter-cluttered maddness at the Dominguez household. But we are officially finished.
We even managed to throw in a clogged sink/disposal/dishwasher situtation on top of it all.
David and I wanted to put together some special goodies for the admin. team so I thought it would be fun to include it with our holiday baking. We fixed our favorites: Walnut-Frosties and Red & Green Pinwheels and even added a few new items that we'll have to repeat in years to come.
Benjamin also discovered the magic of the oven light. He was pretty vigilant over the batches as they baked up.
Although it was indeed quite a bit more baking than we usually do, we really had fun doing it!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

2007 Christmas Letter...Online!

Dear Friends and Family--
First of all, thank you for taking the time to visit our blog. This is our very own online "digital scrapbook" of memories that we love to share with you. Please check back often; we try to update several times a week. Feel free to leave comments as well-- we love hearing from you.
2007 has been a wild twelve months for the Dominguez family, with several life changing events happening to our little foursome.
We ended 2006 with heavy hearts of an impending surgery for Kristi's dad, Al. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer and surgery quickly followed in February. The surgery was a bit more than we all bargained for. Al's hospital stay was much lengthier than originally planned and surgery was also a little more complicated. We were sad that we were unable to join the family in Austin for this. Kristi was very pregnant and unable to travel at the time. Al is now cancer free and about to celebrate his 72nd birthday on the 29th. This indeed is a blessing to us all.
On February 21st we were so excited to welcome the newest member of our family, Jonathan Miles Dominguez. He weighed in at nine pounds, three ounces and was 22 3/4 inches long. He has brought so much joy to us. It has been so much fun to watch him grow and gain such a charming little personality. Benjamin is very much enjoying being a big brother, too!
Shortly after Jonathan was born, we made a big decision to leave our sweet little town of Muleshoe and relocate down to central Texas. David was offered a wonderful principalship at Rancier Middle School in Killeen. We bought a house on the edge of Killeen and are still getting settled into our "new life." The actual process of moving became a little rough when David had to have emergency gall bladder surgery in June. We ended up having lots of friends and family on both ends of the move to help us out! A big thank you again to all of you.
We do miss Muleshoe and all of the wonderful friendships we made there. Our Muleshoe church was so good to us and helped us pack up and gave us such a wonderful going away party. We have been blessed to already have several friends from "the greater Muleplex" come and visit us at our new home. We have already made one visit back and plan to visit again in the new year.
We have already settled into and feel very blessed by our new church home at the church of Christ in Belton, a short drive down the road from us. We have made some wonderful new friends there and even reconnected with a lot of ACU buddies as well. We are getting very involved in our "young marrieds" class and the boys both enjoy their classes and new friends as well.
Benjamin turned the big three in September and is well on his way to four! He really keeps us on our toes and is quite the talker. He is very fun to have a conversation with and knows some pretty big words for a little guy. He is very contemplative and sometimes a little shy in new situations. His major interests include helping mommy cook, playing with his Cars (the little characters from the Disney movie), playing in his sandbox and listening to his favorite songs. He loves singing at church and is starting to participate in the worship service as well.
In November, we traveled to Pecos to see David's family for Thanksgiving. It was nice that the whole family was able to be together. We really enjoyed catching up with everyone.
The day after Thanksgiving we celebrated our fifth anniversary! We were able to spend most of the day back in Buffalo Gap, where we were married. This has been an absolutely wonderful five years.
Living down in central Texas has also given us the opportunity to reconnect with Kristi's family on a regular basis. We plan to host all of the Pawliks to our home in a couple of weeks for Al's birthday.
David is settling into his new job very well. He loves Rancier, but still holds a fondness for WJHS in his heart. He has already started his involvement at church by teaching our class in the rotation and giving a talk at our class retreat in October. He has even led singing a couple of Sunday nights.
Kristi still enjoys being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM). She enjoys meeting up with other SAHMs from the church during the week for playgroups, coffee and other activities. She has also enjoyed getting the new house put together and enjoying time with the family.
We hope you are all doing well and enjoying the holiday season.
Merry Christmas and Happy 2008!
With Love,
David, Kristi, Benjamin & Jonathan

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree with Rancier

Saturday night was the Rancier Middle School Christmas party over in Salado. It was great to get to meet everyone from school. We really enjoyed Salado-- what a super cute little town. The Stagecoach also seemed like quite the hot spot.
The RMS faculty and staff has been so welcoming to our family. I've attached a few photos from our night out.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Girls' Nite Out--So Fun!

Well, as promised, I wanted to share all of the ornaments I received at Jennifer's Ornament Swap Party. This was a blast. The girl can cook. We enjoyed Brie Kisses, Spanikopita, crab bites with creamy dill sauce (that I mentioned before here), a chocolate fountain with all sorts of goodies to coat in its streams and many other fun things!
We each handed out our ornaments and it was so neat to have fifteen new beautiful things to add to our tree. Several of us made our ornaments. I think I will hit the after Christmas sales this year to get mine for next year! Although making them was fun, too, I just didn't get the head start I should have. (Hello, procrastination!) More than anything, I enjoyed the fellowship with my new friends.
Hope you enjoy the pics! Try and guess which one was mine!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Party-Hearty

I am so excited about this weekend! It is going to be a holiday party-palooza for David & I!
I am really thrilled about tonight! I am going to my friend Jennifer's for an awesome girls' night out ornament swap! There are fifteen of us going and we each bring fifteen ornaments, one for each party-goer. And, yes...I got mine finished! Jennifer is known for being a great chef and party-thrower so I know tonight will be a blast! I'll have to post pics of all of my new ornaments tomorrow.
Tomorrow night is David's work party at the Stagecoach in Salado. People keep telling me it is a pretty neat place, so it should be fun. This will be the first time I meet any of the teachers. I know his administration team and love them all to pieces, I just have not gotten up there to meet the teachers, yet. The boys are sleeping over at Grandma and Grandpa's so I have no doubt they will have their own "party" over there. If time permits, we may try to drop in at our church class party after leaving Salado.
Consider us party people.
One other reason to celebrate? This is our 100th post! Woohoo.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Happy Birthday to our Fish


Well, it is coming upon one year since Benjamin received one of his most favorite gifts ever-- his two goldfish from Hollye & Gary Hooten last year at Christmas. Benjamin's obsession had always been to go to the junior high in Muleshoe, not to see his Daddy, but rather to go see the big fish tank in Hollye's room! He just loves that he has his own two fish now and even helps care for them by feeding them their (handfuls of) fish food.
I am sort of making a big deal about this because these two little fish have really gone against their odds and survived when the rest of us thought they would not make it this far! Shortly after we brought our fish home, we left on Christmas break for well over a week. We had orignally thought about placing them in Hollye's classroom so she could feed them when she fed her own fish, but they waxed the floors at school and we couldn't get in! Imagine our amazement when we got home and our little friends were still thriving! David even went in ahead of us to make sure no one was floating! Hollye was even contemplating getting "back up fish" on their way home from their Christmas in Snyder!
These two fish (which we actually named Hollye & Gary after their givers, but somehow they always get lumped together as "the fish") have been through a lot, including a very sloshy move from Muleshoe to Marble Falls (where they lived with my parents for a month) and then to their new home in Killeen on Benjamin's dresser where they currently reside.
I just wanted to be the first to wish them a very happy first birthday. I also want to promise them a little more first rate care this year with no week long vacations and sloshy moves! We love you, "fish".

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

WooHoo, a Christmas Tag!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I think wrapping paper is more fun for kids to open so I try to use it more. But if a gift is a funky size, gift bag all the way!

2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial. And pre-lit is a must these days.

3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the day after Thanksgiving unless we are out of town, in which case it usually goes up before the end of Thanksgiving weekend.

4. When do you take the tree down? After Jan. 6th

5. Do you like eggnog? No. David does. He would take a bath in the stuff if he could.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? The Barbie Dream House. So fun.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Not currently, but I love that Willow Tree set.

8. Hardest person to buy for? My dad. The man has everything and if he doesn't already have it, he's probably going to buy it himself.

9. Easiest person to buy for?
David. He has a lot of "interests" that lead to good gift ideas.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A day planner I recieved in fifth grade from my secret Santa...what is a ten year old going to do with a day planner? It was sort of funny, though.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail, but I am contemplating doing our annual Christmas letter on the blog and just mailing the actual card.

12. Favorite Christmas Movies: Family Man (hands down-- awesome movie), White Christmas and of course, It's a Wonderful Life

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? One year I shopped all year and was done before November and realized it wasn't any fun come Christmastime. So, now I try to start in late October.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
No

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? My family's Christmas Eve "spread" which is always Mexican food and my mom's "Sand Tarts" which are a huge tradition. It's not Christmas until I pop the top off of the red and white striped tin of those cookies at my parents'.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Clear

17. Five Favorite Christmas songs? In order of my favorite....1)The Christmas Waltz (Frank Sinatra version, please), 2)A Marshmallow World (I am not kidding, I love this song, especially the live version with Dean & Frank-- what a treat!), 3)This Christmas (Harry Connick, Jr.), 4)Santa Claus is Back in Town (Elvis Presley), 5)(There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays (Perry Como), and okay I'll have to add a sixth because I am a Christmas music nut...6)Step into Christmas (Elton John)

18. Most Annoying Christmas song? Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. I am not into comical songs, anytime of the year for that matter.

19. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Since getting married, we always travel to family for the holidays. However, this year we will actually spend Christmas Eve at our own home and wake up here to Santa's goodies for us! We plan to drive to Abilene on Christmas Day to see David's family and we'll have Christmas at my parents' on the 23rd.

20. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph

21. Angel on the tree top or a star? Neither, I am a bow kind of gal.

22. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Growing up we ALWAYS did this on Christmas Eve, and Santa came with "the good stuff" on Christmas morning. We are planning on opening most stuff Christmas morning this year.

23. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Germs, yuck. Everyone is also sick this time of year.

24. Favorite Christmas Apparel?
Anything red! I am excited about my outfit for David's school Christmas party this weekend, I found a great red blouse to go with my black gauchos! Can't wait.

25. What I love most about Christmas? Everything. I can not get enough of this time of the year. November first through January 6th is the best time of the year.

I tag EVERYONE on my blog roll. Ha! Oh come on, this is a fun one.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Our Very Own Rudolph



Well, the good news is we have Christmas cards. The bad news is poor Jonathan now has a very red nose. I knew going in that these cards would be the end of me. I just couldn't leave well enough alone.
We staged a photo on our porch and got one pretty good shot. Then, Jonathan decided to do a flying leap onto the concrete. We felt just awful about the entire ordeal. It was one of those "hold the baby until we snap the pic and let go for just a second"... for fear of...the inevitable. He was not injured, just a little "road rash" on his sweet little nose. It looks awful in the pic, it tamed down after his bath. But, I thought I would share the aftermath.



And, of course, Benjamin was very concerned...

Me and Caillou's Mom Need to get it Together

All of a sudden I have realized that Christmas Eve is two weeks from today. Yikes. I feel like time has just escaped me and all that I need to get done! If you have not received a Christmas card, it is because I have not mailed them. Or even ordered them. I have never been this behind. I know Shutterfly is quick, but they better be waving some magic wands when they get our order.
I have yet to bake a single cookie.
I have yet to wrap a single present.
I have yet to make my ornaments for my exchange on Friday.
I have yet to simmer my "The Smell of Christmas" that truly marks the beginning of the season for me.
I have yet to apparently get a clue that Christmas will indeed come, whether or not I am ready.
Benjamin's favorite thing to watch is a little cartoon on PBS called Caillou. We try to limit his television intake, but I sort of like Caillou also, and it seems pretty wholesome all around with a lot of good lessons. We recently purchased "Caillou's Holiday Movie" (which I highly recommend if you have a three-year old). Anywho, in the movie, Caillou's mom points out that there are only twelve days until Christmas day and they still have to decorate, send out cards, bake and see the Santa parade.
Funny, the first thing I thought of was, man this mom does not have it together. They haven't done anything and it's only twelve days out for them. (Yes, I am well aware that I was indeed judging a cartoon family, which is more and more odd now that I am actually typing it out for all the world, a.k.a, all three of my blog readers, to see).
I have now realized, I am that mom. To my credit, we are fully decorated. Actually, that may be more to my parents' credit for lending some babysitting and Christmas light expertise to my sad little situation. But, fourteen days out is looking pretty good at this point.

If you end up with a Happy New Years card, please know it was with the best of intentions and a mom that just couldn't get it together!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Laundry and Lysol

Ugh, sigh. Benjamin, indeed, has the stomach bug. We were greeted by that wonderful aroma this morning. It's going to be a laundry and Lysol kind of day.

The Christmas Card Photo, Pt. 1

I say part one because once you see these, you'll see the need for a part two. What are your thoughts? Will any of these work? Ha.



And my personal favorite...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

This is How We Roll

Poor Jonathan. Crawling seems like it may never happen! Just like his
brother, when you are a big boy, getting up and crawling for the first
time seems to take awhile.
But, there are other modes of getting yourself around.
video
And, no, he never did make it to that phone. Boohoo.

Monday, December 03, 2007

A sampling of sickness

We had a sort of weird weekend. We were supposed to go to McKinney on Saturday to have the First Annual Callaway-Dominguez Christmas with my good friend Lori and her family. However, it has now turned into the First Annual Callaway-Dominguez New Year's Eve.
Jonathan was a little yucky on Friday, I won't go into details. I will however let you know that now would be a good time for all of you to buy stock in Desitin. So, we decided it would be better to stay home and let it pass and not pass anything onto Jackson Callaway. By Saturday night he was fine but now Benjamin was running a fever. Hmph.
He ran a low grade fever on and off until yesterday afternoon. Nothing else.
I guess I should be super thankful that we haven't gotten the knock you off your feet illnesses that seem to be going around. I think over the past few weeks we have all had a little sampling of different sorts of crud. I am just ready to be normal! (whatever that is?)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Benjamin Takes the Old Spice Challenge




Funny Story:

Yesterday, on a relaxing Saturday morning, Kristi and I realized we hadn't heard from Benjamin in awhile. So, I went around looking for him. I found him in the master bathroom. It was quite a sight. He had my drawer open, with my stick of Old Spice High Endurance in his hand. He was holding his shirt up, and rubbing the deodorant back and forth across his stomach! We had a good laugh about that. The guy in the picture (from the Old Spice commercial) was the first thing that came to my mind.