Saturday, December 26, 2009

Our First Christmas

What a great FIRST Christmas! I cannot put into words how special it was for both Josh and I. We began our holiday festivities by going to Josh’s parent’s house for a

We began our holiday festivities by going to Josh’s parent’s house for a pre Christmas party. They invited close family and friends and we had delicious snacks and played games. Josh’s mom is a great cook. She made her famous meat balls, pasta salad, cream cheese croissant rolls, little smokies wrapped in a croissant, key lime cheese ball, Josh’s favorite Crispix, and much much more. Josh and I brought my homemade Chex Mix (Mallory’s recipe) and cheesy bacon dip. We brought our close friends, Mallory and Kody Thompson to the party. We played a fun game in which several of us have never played; Apples to Apples. It was a lot of fun.

Josh and I at his parents Pre-Christmas Party

Mallory and I at the Party

The Hostess, Gayla and I

Christmas Eve: We have always, since my siblings and I were young kids, have celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve morning. Santa always came the night of December 23rd! It was a tradition my parents started many years ago, they did that so we as a family could spend a day together at our home and play with our toys for as long as possible. We celebrated again this year on Christmas Eve morning with my family. Josh and I went over to my parent’s home that morning. My mom prepared a delicious breakfast; biscuits, gravy, bacon, deer meat, hashbrowns, fresh fruit, and eggs. It was amazing! After breakfast we began to exchange our gifts. My parents got Josh and I a gift in which we will never forget; a Canon Rebel Camera. Something we will cherish for a lifetime! Josh received clothes, DVD’s, socks, CD’s, and much more. I received clothes, teacher books, children’s books, jewelry, a purse, and much more! It was a great Christmas with my parents.

Christmas at Mom and Dad's

The Tyree Christmas Tree

My Stocking Gifts from Mom and Dad

Our gift from my parents; Canon Rebel Camera!!

Calico Rock to visit Josh’s Grandmother Hamby. We took her a gift; a wedding portrait of Josh and I. She was very proud of the picture. We wrapped up Christmas Eve by placing homemade sugar cookies and a RED STRIPE beer out for Santa. We went to bed before too late. We were anxiously awaiting our FIRST Christmas morning.

Josh and I with his Grandma Hamby

rning by waking up at our home! That was something that both, Josh and I wanted to make our tradition. We first opened our stocking gifts. Josh got me some amazing stocking gifts: At Home Market gift card, candy, and gloves. Josh got a hot shot, candy, socks, RED STRIPE beer in his stocking. We then began opening our gifts from one another. Josh went above and beyond this Christmas he got me several items in which I will be able to use in my classroom, clothes, and enamel cookware. I was so surprised and so happy!

Cookies and Red Stripe for Santa

Christmas Morning

Josh’s parent’s home. Santa had come to visit us there too! His parents, sister, brother-in-law, and our nephew were anxiously awaiting us! We began the morning by filling our coffee cups! (Mmmm…Josh has introduced me to my new favorite thing: Hot Coco and Coffee mixed together!) Drake began opening his stocking gifts as well as his gifts from Santa, Mommy and Daddy, Mammy, Papa, Uncle Josh, and Aunt Ashley! It was so much fun watching him open! He LOVED it!! We then began opening our stockings! Those were the neatest and most unique gifts! Josh’s mom put a lot of thought into our gifts! We then opened our gifts and passed out gifts to Josh’s family. We had a great exchange. After opening we then prepared breakfast. :)

Drake riding his tire horse from his Aunt Ashley and Uncle Josh

Josh and I Christmas morning at his parents home

My stocking at Josh's parents home

We had to leave Josh’s parents before noon and travel back to South Fork to join my TYREE family. We had lunch and opened a few small gifts. At 3:00 we rejoined Josh’s family (his parents, siblings, Grandmother, and Aunt and Uncle) to have a late lunch and gift exchange.

Our Annual Christmas picture at Josh's Grandma Perryman's

The Hamby and Wise Families

Courtney and I

We then rejoined my family to celebrate with my mother’s parents and brother. It was a great end to a wonderful day. We were so exhausted by nightfall. We had five Christmas celebrations in one day! WOW!! It was a lot of fun and worked out perfectly. I was real worried that all these celebrations would conflict and our families would be disappointed in the rush, but it worked out surprisingly well. We
are so blessed and have such great families. We could NOT ask for anything more!

The Day After Christmas: Today we celebrated Christmas with my Aunt Terri, Alan, and Bryce. My mother fixed another delicious breakfast; cinnamon rolls, bacon, breakfast casserole, hash browns, and fresh fruit. We exchanged gifts and visited. Afterwards I began tearing our Christmas decorations down. It was depressing. I LOVED our decorations and hated to see them go, but it was time. Everything looks so bare! Tonight we celebrated with my Dad’s side of the family. This made our 10th celebration! It was a great evening, but didn’t end very well….Josh has the stomach flu. He hasn’t felt very well most of the day and by nightfall he was not good at all. I have gave him some anti-nausea medications, 7-Up, and been spraying the Lysol like it’s going out of style!!! We do NOT have time for any sickness!!!! My siblings have had it this week as well I am sure it’s a bug that’s going around our neighborhood…blahh!! I pray for him to become well…We have two more Christmas’ to go. That would make a total of 12!! WOW!!

My parents celebrating Christmas with the Harrill Family

The Harrill's got me a giftcard to the Teachers Store

What a great end to a wonderful holiday season! This has been by far the BEST Christmas. I look forward to spending many, many more happy Christmas’ with my wonderful husband, our families, and our friends!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Man...

Just for fun....

The Game of Tag about your MAN:

1. Who is your man? Josh

2. How long have you been together? 3 years

3. How long did you date? Dated two years

4. How old is your man? He's 29

5. Who eats more? JOSH!!

6. Who said "I love you" first? Josh did…in Tunica, Mississippi!

7. Who is taller? I am…maybe by an inch?

8. Who sings better? Neither of us…LOL

9. Who is smarter? I would LOVE to say I am smarter.

10. Whose temper is worse? JOSH….horrible temper!!

11. Who does the laundry? Ummmm ME! Although, Josh sometimes helps out…
12. Who takes out the garbage? ME! It would be piled up over the roof if I expected him to do it!
13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Josh!
14. Who pays the bills? Josh and I both!
15. Who is better with the computer? That’s a tough one! Josh is pretty good!
16. Who mows the lawn? It’s a joint effort. Josh usually weed-eats while I mow.
17. Who cooks dinner? I do most of the time (when I COOK)
18. Who drives when you are together? Josh on long trips…But sometimes I help out too.
19. Who pays when you go out? Josh does.

20. Who is most stubborn? JOSHUA DANE HAMBY!

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Josh usually does.
22. Whose parents do you see the most? My family lives near us, so we usually have dinner with them or they have dinner with us, most generally.
23. Who kissed who first? He kissed me!

24. Who asked who out? Hmmmm…well I believe Josh did.
25. Who proposed? Josh did, August 1, 2008.
26. Who is more sensitive? Josh
27. Who has more friends? Me!
28. Who has more siblings? I do! I have one sister, Kate and one brother, Luke.
29. Who wears the pants in the family? That’s a tough one, I like to think I do, but if Josh was to answer this question he would say, he does!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Let the Celebrations Begin!

Christmas Party 2009

This weekend kicked off the Christmas season for me. I celebrated Christmas with some close friends from High School. We do not get together very often, although we spent a lot of time celebrating our marriages this summer. We always have a great time catching up.

Sarah Beth hosted this year’s Christmas party at her new home in West Plains. Her and her husband purchased their home back in the spring. It was a beautiful home. Sarah did a great job hosting. The party began at 7:30. When we arrived she poured us a delicious cup of homemade hot coco. (Talk about amazing). She made her hot coco in the crock pot. The recipe included; whole milk, whipping cream, coco, and Hersey chocolate pieces, it was amazing. Sarah Beth also made chili and the fixings. It was great too. I took a cherry cheese cake. It was pretty good too, if I do have to say so!

The wonderful hostess, Sarah Beth and I

Each year we do a fifteen dollar gift exchange, we exchange gifts by reading; The Night Before Christmas. This is a tradition we started years ago. I took a scarf and a Pottery Barn peace sign ornament. I received Natalie’s gift, a wall rubbing that read: Bless this Nest. I spent the afternoon trying to decide the perfect place to rub this onto…. decisions, decisions. I look forward to spending many more holidays with these special girls!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Here I Come WPMS!!!

Its official, I got my first teaching job…and I am thrilled. This is something that I have been awaiting for a LOONNNGG time. I finished methods this semester (the course load you must take before Student Teaching) and was suppose to begin Student Teaching January 11, 2010, although, a new opening at the West Plains Middle School became available; Title One Communication Arts. I am hired to help students who are classified as ‘bubble students’, these students are within ten points from scoring basic to proficient on the MAP exam, so I am there to help them. I will have approximately ten students per hour ranging from grades 5th through 8th. I will still be observed by my Student Teaching advisor just like the other Student Teachers.

Over Christmas break I will be busy preparing lesson plans, beginning of the semester activities, and decorating my classroom. I am so thankful that I have picked things up here and there over the last few years (or I would be spending a fortune).

I am looking forward to this great opportunity and cannot wait to begin January 5th, 2010!

Reading Stellaluna to the students in one of my college Reading courses.

My Methods class :)

Some of my Methods students on Halloween

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Our First 200 Days of Married Life!

It’s hard to believe that Josh and I have been married 200 days today. Time sure does fly when you’re having fun! It seems just like yesterday that we were celebrating our new life together with family and friends at our wedding. There is not a day that doesn’t go by that I do not think of our wedding. It was such a happy and fun day!

Our Wedding Day, May 30th, 2009

We celebrated the Fourth of July with the Thompsons

Carving Pumpkins for Halloween

Celebrating Drake's First Birthday, November 2nd, 2009

Our life over the last 200 days has had its ups and its downs, just as any newlywed life has. It was a hard adjustment at first, both of us coming from our parent’s home to our new married home, but we survived and we LOVE every minute of it. Our home is a great place, people have always said; “There’s No Place Like Home”, and I believe it! Over the past 200 days we have made a lot of memories together.

We are looking forward to our First Christmas together. We are going to celebrate Christmas morning at “our” new home. This was a hard decision for Josh, not waking up with his family Christmas morning, but we wanted to start a tradition of our own.

Our First Christmas Tree

We are also anxiously awaiting my graduation on May 15th as well as our First Anniversary on May 30th. We are planning a vacation to celebrate both. We have talked about a trip to New York City or the beach, but we do know that we will be going on a trip of some kind.

I pray that the next 200 are as great as the first 200 have been. I look forward to spending many more happy and healthy years together with Josh.

Fall 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Just For FUN!

Maybe I should –begin thinking of a New Year’s resolution (maybe…cooking more for my husband? We’ll see??)

I love the smell of – Pledge, Sensual Amber from Bath and Body Works, a roast cooking in the crock pot (can you tell I am hungry?)

People would say that I—I am an outgoing person, who likes to have fun!

When I wake up in the morning -I get up take a shower, blow dry hair, put make-up on, straighten hair, get dressed, eat breakfast, kiss Josh good bye…and off I go! (It’s pretty chaotic at our house in the morning)

I lost my willpower to – Go out of my way for people who wouldn’t do the same for me.
My past made me- A stronger person with more willpower!

Dogs are-not my favorite thing in the world. I am not an animal LOVER. I am the girl who will NEVER EVER have an animal inside our home, maybe one day an outside dog?

Cats are-The nastiest, sickest, fuzz ball thing EVER! YUCK!

Tomorrow is-going to be a great day…going to do some shopping in Mountain Home then work with my kids at school in the afternoon. Maybe dinner with our BFF Rose’s?

I have low tolerance for –People who don’t put out any effort, parents who do not support (as in love, care, and keep them safe and healthy) their children, and whiney teachers… (Remember, you choose this profession)

Never in my life have I – got to say, WHEWW… I made it… College is OVER, May 15th I will get to say it! Woo Hoo!

High school was- A lot of fun! Full of LOTS of memories that I will cherish forever!

One time at a family gathering- (LOL…is all I need to say). Better not publish this on my blog.

Take my advice-Life happens while you're busy making plans! (Thanks Mallory, I really liked this)

I'm almost always-thinking about what is going to happen next, where my life, our families’ lives, and our friends lives are going to take us next. Life is GREAT!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Our Weekend Recap

Josh returned home Friday evening from weeklong business trip to Dallas. It was great to have him home. Friday evening we grabbed some Chinese from Diamond Head for my family and took it over to their house for dinner. They were babysitting their ‘grandchild”, Addison. Addison is a six month baby girl, the daughter of our friends, Scott and Amanda Smith. Scott and Amanda have named my parents Addison’s West Plains grandmother, “MiMi.” We love babysitting Addison. We played patty cake, put her hair in pony tails, fed her green beans, and rocked her asleep. It was so fun!!

Saturday we attended Miss. Ava Claire Uphaus’ first birthday party! It was great turnout, we had chili and all the trimmings, yummy birthday cake, and some of the infamous Fruit Punch. Saturday afternoon I took a short nap, made Josh his favorite; Fruity Pebbles Crispy Treats, and prepared our food to take to the first annual Thompson/Hamby Christmas. Josh and prepared a great pork tenderloin and a hash brown cheesy casserole. We then travelled to the Thompson residence. Once we arrived we ‘dug in.” The Thompsons’ had prepared a delicious cheese ball, a five bean salad, green salad (with the wonderful WINE AND CHEESE dressing—mmmm), rolls, and a chocolate cheesecake. It was a great dinner. After eating we took a drive into the West Plains area to look at Christmas lights. There were so pretty homes, including the Thompsons lights. Josh and I might hire Kody next year to put some lights up for us…haha! This was our first Christmas celebration. It was a lot of fun to have a great meal with such great friends.

Happy First Birthday, Ava Claire!

Josh and I were up for some much needed quality time with one another. We took a trip to Branson. We left later Sunday morning. We went to Tanger and the Landing to do some shopping. I got a few things for myself and Josh got his favorite; The Everything Apple, from Rocky Mountain Chocolate factory. After shopping we ate a nice early dinner at Texas Land and Cattle. It was delicious. After dinner we went to the Trail of Lights at Sheppard of the Hills. This light display is 2.5 miles long and was named one of the best light attractions in the United States by The Travel Network. The lights were fantastic. We were amazed by all the detail that was in these lights. After we went through the drive thru light display we went up into the Sheppard of the Hills Tower, we got to see the lights of Branson. After we went up into the tower, we were served hot apple cider. Mmmm. What a great ending to a great weekend.

Josh and I at the Branson Landing

Me at the Landing :)

My husband, Josh

Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Week at a Glance!

Last Friday we celebrated my husband, Josh’s 29th Birthday. We had our closest friends, Kody and Mallory Thompson over to celebrate, and our parents over to help us celebrate his birthday. It was a great evening. We had Josh’s favorite; Blue Pig Barbeque ordered in, my mom made some delicious rolls and fruit salad, Josh’s mom made barbeque baked beans, Mallory and Kody brought puppy chow (mmmmmm: Yes, Josh shared), and I made spinach dip as well as provided the Blue Pig and drinks. It was a lot of fun. We celebrated by having my mother’s famous fruit punch and a few cold ones! We then sang Josh “Happy Birthday” and had cake! Josh left the next day to go on a business trip to Dallas.

Josh and I celebrating his birthday!

Josh's birthday cake: I LOVE picture cakes!

This past week I finished my Christmas shopping!! WOO HOO! I have everything wrapped and ready to go! So proud! I also completed my methods final this week. So methods are now in the PAST…Student Teaching here I come! I am looking forward to the great opportunities in which are in front of me! This last week I got to scrapbook for the first time in at least 6 months!! I stayed up late earlier this week and completed a few Christmas gifts as well as a few things for my future classroom! I really enjoyed this time. I needed some Scrapbook time! I was beginning to have withdrawals. I wrapped up the week by spending my day with the BEST students on the planet, South Fork Elementary students. I worked with first grade today. I am so thankful to have such a rewarding career.

I look forward to the weekend ahead. I am attending a family friends little girls First Birthday party. We are then celebrating Christmas with the Thompson’s tomorrow night. We are having quite the feast. Josh and I are preparing a Pork Tenderloin and Mallory’s infamous Potato Casserole. (Yummy!!) Mallory and Kody are hosting this year’s Christmas dinner and preparing rolls, salad, a bean dish, and cheesecake!! We are looking forward to this dinner. Mallory is breaking out her china for this Christmas celebration. The evening might call for some Christmas Caroling, but we will see what night brings! Photos to come soon!
Happy Weekend

Friday, December 4, 2009

Trip to Paradise

Josh and I at Couples Sweptaway Negril

Our seven day trip to paradise…JAMAICA!

Our honeymoon began on June 1, 2009 we began the day by waking up in our new house and then travelling to St. Louis early that morning. We stopped in Rolla and ate at our favorite, Panera Bread Company. It’s a tradition. We take a pit stop at Panera in Rolla each trip to St. Louis. After a short lunch we were on the road again to St. Louis. In the car on the way we reminisced about our wedding, I took a short nap (geez …planning and conducting a wedding takes it out of YOU) and called family and friends one last time before we arrived to the air port. We arrived to Lambert International Airport, checked our luggage in and shortly boarded the air plane for JAMAICA.

Once we boarded the air plane we begin reading magazines, books, and talking about how anxious we were to arrive in JAMAICA!! We were so excited. Once we arrived in Montego Bay, Jamaica we went through security, had our passports checked, drank some delicious champagne, and awaited the arrival of our shuttle bus to Negril. The shuttle ride to Negril was approximately one hour long. It felt like the longest hour of my entire life. Horrible, Horrible driving. Holy Cow. I thought we were going to be car sick. The driver was dodging goats, crazy Toyota and Nissan cars, and drug dealers. It was quite the experience.

Crazy Drivers.....

We safely arrived to Couples Sweptaway in Negril after dark. Service men and woman whom work at the resort met us at the shuttle and gave us ice cold clothes to wash our face and champagne (wow—hospitality: that was the story behind our entire trip). We soon checked into our room and were amazed by the beauty of the resort. We then went to the Palms “Buffet Style” for dinner. All the food at the resort was wonderful, but different. We tried all types of foods while we were in Jamaica. It was great!

Parasailing in Jamaica

Activities that we participated in during our honeymoon was; parasailing, horseback riding, getting couples massages, catamaran cruise, snorkeling, weight boarding, resting, and eating! It was a great trip. We met amazing people and seen amazing scenery. We were so sad to come back home to everyday life, but we were ready to begin our life as husband and wife.

This is where I took lots of naps!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Our Love Story

Here we first blog post! This is the love story of Ashley and Josh:

I have known my husband most of my entire life. The most ironic story, here we go. My father as well as Josh’s father played on the same summer softball league in Bakersfield, MO, a small “hick” town not too far from where we were both born and raised. Josh as well as I was young kiddos. Josh was around the age six or seven and I was around the age one. Our parents would tag us along to these hot, miserable, and dusty Sunday afternoon softball games and tournaments. I am sure that’s were our love for softball and baseball grew. Little did we know that playing in the hot summer sun and dust we would grow a love for one another and one day become husband and wife.

Josh is actively involved in the sport of team roping. So is my brother, Luke, I had tried and tried for years for my brother to fix me up with the one and only, Josh Hamby. No Luck, until May 2007. Josh finally gained enough nerve to call. We talked for a few weeks. We talked for hours and hours on end. Little did I know that this romance was blooming! On June 21st 2007 we went on our first date. We went to Mountain Home, AR and ate at El Chico’s Mexican Cuisine. We had a great dinner, we talked and laughed and truly enjoyed one another’s company. After dinner we went back to his home and watched: Talladega Nights. It was a great evening.
We had a great summer. Together we attended rodeos, ball games, and family outings together. He got to meet my wild family and I got meet his! From the first date on, I knew deep down that this was the man for me!

This was our very first picture together

On August 1, 2009 we became engaged. It was a perfect day! We booked St. Louis Cardinal Baseball tickets months in advance. Josh came to pick me up from my parent’s house to travel to St. Louis to the game and took me to the front yard, beneath the arch in which we got married under, got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. Of course I said YES!!!!! I was so surprised, excited, and blessed to get to spend the rest of my life with such a great man. I couldn’t get on the phone fast enough to call family and friends and tell them the news. We travelled to Saint Louis that afternoon and watched a great baseball game that evening. We gorged ourselves with ball park nachos, hot dogs, and cold beer! It was a great evening. We spent the night in St. Louis and shopped and ate a great meal at the Cheesecake Factory that next day. We travelled home to share the excitement with our families that evening. They were all so proud!

Our Engagement Day Picture in St. Louis

I married my best friend, Josh on May 30, 2009 at the home of my parents. It was a beautiful and perfect day. I had planned for a total of nine months and poured everything I had into making this day PERFECT, and it was. I had always wanted to get married in my parent’s front yard. It had been my dream since I was a small girl, I would play bride and walk down the same aisle/side walk in which I walked down May 30th. My dream came true! My family hosted a great event. We rented a huge white tent and that is where the reception was held. We had great food, great weather, and great family and friends to share this wonderful day with! We are so blessed!

Our Wedding Day

We left the following Monday after our nuptials and went to Negril, Jamaica. Watch for the an upcoming post about our trip to paradise!