Monday, December 29, 2008

A Very Green Journey

Please keep my parents in your prayers as they prepare to embark on another International adventure together... They leave for Africa tomorrow afternoon, where they will spend the next two months traveling. To help document their journey (and as part of my Christmas craft responsibilities) I started a blog for my dad. A place for him to document their journey. If you are interested in hearing about life in Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa keep an eye on I'll do my best to keep everyone up-to-date as well.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Memories

It's hard to believe that Christmas 2008 has come and gone... Here are a couple of pictures from the past week that help tell the story of our time together.

"Apple Juicy" visits Mollie and Caroline:

The Green's and Cunninghams at our 6th Kabuto - Christmas Eve Tradition

Just before dinner we went to church for Communion. We were about to walk in the front door of the sanctuary when we heard something hit the ground... Somehow Mike had managed to pick up a lint brush out of my dad's car, with his butt. It made for a hilarious entrance!!! (Dustin was definitely letting us know he was there!)

We attempted to volunteer at Carter Brothers on Christmas Day. It was bitter-sweet because they ended up having too many volunteers show up and could not use our help.

My mom's side of the family came over for dinner on Christmas Day. Aunt Frances (our little fashionista) had fun playing dress-up with the shoes Mal and I received from Santa.

Reido finally made it to town on Friday. (A day earlier than we originally thought, which was very exciting!) Here are a couple pics from his visit.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Because Mike and I do not spend a lot of time at The Box during the month of December we purchased an (um) abbreviated Christmas Tree. See picture above.

Don't get me wrong, it smells quite real and we light the thing every night... Some might say the only differences are that it's a lot cheaper (99 cents from CVS) and much cleaner (no pine needles to clean up).

Mom and Pops, I can't wait to get home to your real tree, Dustin's star and all of our familiar ornaments. I love you!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Marriage Moment...

Mike and I are sitting on the couch watching West Wing re-runs and quasi working... Mike looks up from his laptop and says, "What would be the best job you could imagine?" I look up from my laptop and begin to think of an answer to his question... Then I get distracted. My first response, "I think I smell your feet." Who am I??????

Attn: All Working Moms! (Please Forward)

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Living up to the name "ie adventures"

The weekend adventure began with Martin, Lou, Sandra (a brij co-worker) and me cooking dinner for 42 people at our company Christmas party on Friday night! Just in case anyone feels like cooking for 42 is not adventurous enough, don’t worry; we added to the pressure by throwing in the whole “Mystery” theme (flashback to 27th birthday dinner). By the end of the night I smelled like chicken and my feet hurt like hell (I now understand why you never see a cook wearing stilettos), but the party was a huge success! Here’s a copy of the instructions and the menu our guests received when they arrived. I’ll hold-off on sharing the answer-key in case anyone wants to try their hand at solving the riddles…

Dear Patron,
Tonight’s Christmas dinner has a very special twist,
You’re going to pick what you eat from a mystery list.

You should read through the menu and look for the clues,
Each course must be selected, but their order you’ll choose.

An implement will be needed for each phase of your meal.
Make sure to pick wisely or the food you may feel.

And as far as beverages go, we have options here too…
Feel free to pick one, or please help yourself to a few.

There is only one final rule to this little holiday game.
There can be no more talking till we have all the cards with your names.

Dinner Selections:
• Sosigenes established the winter solstice on my command.
• A very chilly boy from San Francisco.
• Santa’s colors on a southern foundation.
• Petit Christmas trees that give Santa’s reindeer bad breath.
• A nasty name for an elf and his festive swim in a “Merry” Rose Sea.
• Blended ovaries from the evergreen shrub.
• The caroler had this on the third day and we put a national beverage on top of it.

Beverage List:
“Ho Ho” said Old Saint Nick.
Winter icicles find a bubbly splash.
I’ve been dreaming of this, only not too much in a glass.
Keeps Santa Healthy; sometimes wobbly, sometimes not.
Cries from the kid who found hot coals under the tree.

Dining Implements:
Santa’s Coat | Petit Yule Log | Elf’s Toolset | Rudolph’s Rack | Sweet Polar Claw | Snow Remover

After my chef duties were over I jumped in the car and headed to Charlotte to meet Mike. (I should note that Mike did manage to make a surprise appearance at the brij party earlier in the evening, which I appreciate immensely. Because of the drop-in nature of his visit and the fact that he was dressed in a suit, everyone is now calling him the politician. Sweetie, I’m all for becoming your campaign aide. I could totally rock the whole First Lady thing! Just think what a Mystery dinner would do for Capital Hill…)

Getting back to the weekend, while I was off watching Stephan Curry whoop up on NC State with Katie and Cory Saturday afternoon, Mike was calculating away… Poor thing had to sit in a giant warehouse with 600+ other people solving math formulas from 7:30am until 5:00pm.

Ashlie's Dictionary
TORTURE: (tor-ture) noun, verb.
1. The act of having to sit still for 9½ hours.
2. The act of having to remain silent for 9½ hours.
3. The act of having to decipher math problems that involve pictures and symbols that I’ve never-before seen in my life.

Kudos to my husband for having the brains and willpower to survive such a thing.

Sunday was a glorious day for both of us. It’s the first time in I don’t know how long that Mike did not feel pressured to study so we slept in, had a huge breakfast at the B&B, hit golf balls and hung out with the South African family staying with my parents. (Curve ball, I know… But yes, my parents are doing a house swap with a family they met on the Internet. When my grandmother first heard about the whole thing she just about freaked out… I think her exact words were, “Lou, they could be terrorists!!!” Rest easy Grandma, Paul, Daniel and Jason are absolutely wonderful.)

Thursday, December 4, 2008


"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

Citizenship in a Republic
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris
April 23, 1910