Monthly Archives: December 2010

This Week…

This Week…

This has been a super busy week.  I’ve been on Christmas vacation since Friday around noon and up to that point, I hadn’t started my Christmas shopping.  Matt and I finally braved the roads, parking lots, and stores Saturday afternoon and were able to accomplish quite a bit of the things on my list.  The mall was crowded and the lines were long, but the worst part about the whole expedition was by far the parking lots.  It took us 30 minutes to find a parking space at Memorial City mall.  It.was.CRAZY!

We weren’t completely finished when we left on Saturday, but we grabbed some supper and called it a day.  Matt went out on Sunday afternoon while I was gone and finished his Christmas shopping for me and then I went out and completely finished everything else Monday.  I had extra shopping on my list Monday because not only was I trying to finish the stuff for Christmas, but I was also shopping for Matt’s birthday which was on Tuesday.

Matt worked a half day on Tuesday and then we met for a BBQ lunch for his birthday.  After lunch, he worked on getting the bed put together and then we had dinner with his mom, sister, and grandmother for his birthday.

Happy Birthday Matt!

Since I’ve finished all of our Christmas shopping, our dining room has officially been turned into Santa’s workshop.  It’s fairly organized and neat for now…but it’s only going to get worse.  I’ll keep it organized while I’m wrapping, but neat…that’s another issue.  We just have too many people to buy for…I have to keep it organized, but neat doesn’t always work out…haha.

The table doesn’t look so bad…but make sure and notice the STACK of boxes in the right corner and the stack in the chair.  This also doesn’t show some of Matt’s gifts which are in hiding under our bed.  If you need me over the next few days…look under all the wrapping paper!

Our New Bed!

Our New Bed!

I had been looking for the perfect bed for our bedroom for a few years.  I had decided I was going to make one using an old, antique door, but those weren’t easy to come by.  Then, I decided I was going to make just a headboard out of a fireplace mantle, but later changed my mind.  I found a bed at an antique store in Abilene that was exactly what I wanted and was a really great price, the only problem was that it was in Abilene…and I needed it in Houston.  When we started looking for plans for the desk, we stumbled across building plans for a “farmhouse” style bed and it was exactly what we had been looking for.  We got the plans from the same website as the desk ( and we’re super happy with how it turned out.

Shortly after finishing the desk, Matt printed out the plans for the bed and we bought all the lumber.  While I away on a Ladies Retreat with the church, he built it for me and then we sanded, primed, and painted everything.  I’m so happy with how it turned out and I’m so glad Matt is as handy as he is!

the foot board…primed, waiting for paint

the headboard (laying on the ground)…primed, waiting for paint

…almost there…

all finished!  I’m so happy with and Matt did a fabulous job!  Merry Christmas to Jenna!

Finals Week

Finals Week

Finals week is definitely one of my favorite weeks of the year.  Fall finals are a lovely occurrence because that means I’m about to embark on a much needed, much anticipated two and a half week hiatus from my precious little students.  Spring finals are most definitely my most favorite week of the year, for obvious reasons, but currently in mid-December, I’m trying to keep everything in perspective and be thankful for the break I’m about to get.

Unfortunately though…finals week not only ushers in rest and relaxation, there’s a lot of work that has to be done in order to reach this point.  Two weeks ago, I returned from Thanksgiving break to write 4 exams, 5 essay prompts, and 2 final exam review sheets.  No big deal…all in a day’s work, right?

Class by class this week, my kids have been knocking the socks off of my final exams and their essays.  We’re rockin & rollin in World Geography!  I’m super proud of them, but completely swamped by all of the grading.

Nothing says Merry Christmas like 140 exams, 140 review sheets, and about 250 essays.

With that huge stack of papers on my desk…its a good thing all of that has already been graded and entered and I only lack 20 more exams, reviews, and essays.  By about 9:30 Friday morning, I’ll be hearing sleigh bells!

Well hello, Christmas break…so glad to see you again!

Life Lately…

Life Lately…

Life around the Manges household has been BUSY.

This is always a busy time of year, but every year I’m amazed at how much we have going on.

The Saturday before Thanksgiving, Matt and I drove to College Station to watch A&M take on Nebraska.  We met some friends from Dallas and enjoyed the game from our seats in the Zone at Kyle Field.  This was the first game any of us had been back for and what a game to go to!  Not only was it a great game, but all 5 of us thoroughly enjoyed SITTING during the game, unlike the students!

Please excuse the CRAZY hair in this picture.  It was super windy at the top of the Zone.  A&M beat Nebraska and the students stormed the field at the end of the game…it was so cool to see!

Just a few short days after the game in College Station, Matt and I loaded up to head to Abilene for Thanksgiving.  After we got home from my parents, we ventured out to find the perfect Christmas tree for Christmas 2010.  We got a really pretty 9 foot tree at Lowe’s.

putting the lights on the tree…

all finished!

This past weekend we had our class Christmas party from church on Friday night and we also helped my cousin’s little boy celebrate his 1st birthday this past Saturday.  It was such a sweet little birthday party.  The kids all had a fun time playing in the mini-bounce house in the backyard and opening all kinds of presents.  Jack wasn’t at all interested in his birthday cake and preferred to play with his new toys.

me, Aja, & Becky after the Christmas party.  So thankful for sweet friends!

Last night, we went to the Texans’ game at Reliant to watch the Houston take on the Ravens from Baltimore.  Matt’s dad bought tickets for us, Matt’s sister, and himself to go to the game for Matt’s birthday.  It was my first pro football game and we had a lot of fun.  The game went into overtime, so that made for a very late night and a very tired day after, but it was fun.

Danielle & Chris…Matt’s sister and dad

I’m so excited that school is almost over…we only have 2 1/2 more days before our 2 1/2 week break.  It will be so nice to relax and spend time with family for those 2 weeks.  I guess since Christmas is next week, I should START…yes, start my shopping.  I haven’t bought one.single.thing.  Oh well…should make for an interesting weekend out fighting the crowds.

Tea Cakes

Tea Cakes

My whole life, my Nana has made tea cake cookies for every holiday and special occasion.  Tea cakes are kinda like sugar cookies, but very dense and not quite as sweet.  Nana always cut them out with holiday cookie cutters and iced them using powdered sugar icing.  She always made some especially for me though, because I prefer my tea cakes without icing.

When Matt and I got married, Nana made dozens of tea cakes and all the ladies in my family helped us ice them to give as “favors” to our guests at the wedding.  Not only did she make the dozens of cookies, but she also wrote down the recipe for me so I could keep making them.

cookies from our wedding…we had “M’s”, “J’s”, and wedding cakes

I’ve started making tea cakes for alot of our functions at church like baby showers and holiday parties.  They’ve become a huge hit!

These were for a “giraffe” themed baby shower for a friend at church.

these were for our class Christmas party at church.  I baked 7 dozen in about an hour & a half and then decorated about 5 1/2 dozen in another hour & a half.

Matt definitely enjoys that I’m the baby shower cookie maker at church because that means he gets to eat my “practice” cookies.  I love making the cookies, but as its referred to in my family…I somehow inherited “the curse”…once you start making them for people, you can’t get out of it.