Friday, December 31, 2004

Karaoke Friday Night

Auld Lang Syne
(click title for music)
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
And here's a hand, my trusty friend
And gie's a hand o' thine
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne


Colin's new passion: planets. Notice antarctica on planet Earth?
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Thursday, December 30, 2004

Here She Is: Miss Elanious
I don't feel like blogging much, to tell you the truth. Its hard to think of much to say when there is so much suffering in Asia right now. I've been reading some Asian blogs and when you get back to December 25 and see what they were blogging about before the tsunami, it seems so surreal. Christmas decorations: who cares. Plans for the holidays: who cares. And then I realize how meaningless it all is. Really. Who cares about shoes and cookies and parties and couches and all the stuff we spend our time and money on.

I know, I know. Drama. I'll get over it. Its always been about bread and circuses. The truth has always been that it is all meaningless. Our eyes, our thoughts, our time, our should all be heavenward bound. The tsunami is a reminder of all that. But it is so much more. It is devastation. It is unfathomable horror and sadness. I've seen horror and sadness right here in Oklahoma City, but this..... This.

So, my friend Annie is back in the country and headed toward OKC on a jet plane as I type. I promised to have a new post up before 10:00 so she would have something to read tonight when she ought to be sleeping. I'm sure she was hoping for something better than this! But, you know what, friendship is not meaningless. It is the true gold we have while we're here on Earth. Especially when it is heavenward bound, as this friendship is. Welcome home, Annie. We missed you.

These are images of Aceh on northern Sumatra before and after the tsunami. You can see the utter destruction. This was found at Reuters, where you can find hundreds more photos of the area. Credit to Reuters/Ho.
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Aerial view of people sunbathing on Patong beach, four days after a tsunami hit the area, on December 30, 2004. One of the most powerful earthquakes in history hit Asia over the weekend, unleashing a series of tidal waves which devastated coastal areas of Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia and tourist isles in Thailand, killing thousands of people.

30 Dec 2004 REUTERS/Luis Enrique Ascui
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I don't understand this. An entire region is wiped out, and tourists wipe off their chairs and lay on the beach to top off their tans????? Are you kidding me? Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems their are people without homes, without families, without food or clothing. There are not enough people to help. So, hey, let's go top off our tans! Sounds great.

Sounds unbelievably callous and self-centered.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

I have been deeply affected by the news of the tsunami in Asia. It is an unimaginable horror. There are thousands of news sites and blogs with information about what happened and what is happening. I found this blog with a video, that shows how quickly the water came up and how surreal it was for those who experienced it first hand. At first it seemed like a bit of water was coming in and the people didn't seem scared, although maybe suprised. Then suddenly everything was floating. Unbelievable. Just pray. (And go here for updates and ways to help).

UPDATE: The "blog with a video" is now a blog with many videos, but Apple is charging him for using up bandwith because he is getting so many visits. If you visit, tread lightly and consider a contribution.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Unsolicited Christmas Report
(Hi Meg!)
Christmas went well and we have the messy house to prove it!! Not to mention an exhausted mommy! There were some tense moments there before Christmas when Colin suprised us by asking Santa for a USA flag towel and a sea lion. Even Spencer's airplane request turned into an adventure. I got a towel ordered online, only to recieve a notice on the afternoon of the 23rd that my order had been backordered!!! Luckily, I found a kind soul at a sporting goods shop who was willing to embroider a flag on a white towel for me. Whew. Then there was the late night eve of Christmas eve visit to my favorite store (WalMart) in search of an airplane. That was quite an experience. (Nobody could get down the aisles because most of the toys were ON THE FLOOR in the aisles!! Oh, the inhumanity!)

Anyway, the boys were very excited Christmas morning and I was proud of their sincere reactions to their gifts. They even hugged each other! At our house, we take turns opening gifts, which has never been a problem until this year. Colin was SO excited he was wiggling while he waited for his turn. Pretty cute, really.

When we were finished, James and realized we had overdone it a bit. Good thing we cleaned out the boys' room a few weeks ago.

Our Japanese friends came for lunch and we kept them here until late in the day playing our new favority game, Blockus. Man, is that a fun game. It is sold as a children's game, but it is really for all ages. And, its addictive! The games are fairly short, and you always want to play "just one more time" in hopes that you'll win. I bet we played 20 games in one day!

We also got the new Polar Express board game, which is a good strategy game for children. The board looks a lot like Candy Land, but there are some add-ons to the game that make it more interesting. Highly recommended if you like playing games as a family.

Lunch was simple. I bought a honey-baked ham and warmed it up, then served dilled peas, mashed potatoes, corn and rolls. My chocolate bundt cake didn't come out of the pan straight, so it was lovely. I started cooking an hour before lunch. That sounds about right, don't you think?

After Christmas, I normally shop all day trying to find some good bargains for next year's holidays. This year, I went to just 3 stores. I purchased a Lenox Christmas serving piece, gilded oak leaves for Thanksgiving and a calendar. Today I got some bargains at my scrapbooking store (everything is 40% off today and tomorrow) and I bought some new shoes.

So much was happening in December, it seems like Christmas came and went in a flash. I would like to thank all of you who have so generously offered money and items for my friends who lost their homes to fires this month. They have been richly blessed by you, and I have been doubly blessed to witness your generosity and sweet hearts. What you have done for them has made this one of my best holidays ever. May you be blessed.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Ye Old Christmas
I was awake most of the night with a cough. I curled up in the living room in front of the TV and watched WGN's Yule Log, which turned the television into a fireside and played soft Christmas music. Every thirty minutes, they would play these Christmas greetings from long, long ago. Suzy Snowflake, Frosty the Snowman, and Hardrock, Coco and Joe. As I sat and listened by the "fire," I reminisced about all my Christmases past. Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Colorado. Beautiful memories. I thought about all I had done for my children this Christmas and how my own parents had done the same for me as I grew up, though I did not realize it at the time. And I fell asleep with tears in my eyes.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Sweets for the Sweet
I've been in the kitchen assembling gingerbread houses for our annual gingerbread decorating contest, which will be held later this afternoon. As I was building, I listened to my boys playing together in the next room. They were pretending something with the tent they made out of furniture and blankets. In the middle of playing, Colin said, "Spencer I'm glad you're my brother." Spencer said nothing, so Colin added, "Are you glad too, that I'm you're brother?" "Yeah." "Good."
Its Karaoke Friday....Afternoon

O Come, O Come Emanuel
(Click on title for music)

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.


Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.


O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.


O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.


O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.


O come, O come, great Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times once gave the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.


O come, Thou Root of Jesse’s tree,
An ensign of Thy people be;
Before Thee rulers silent fall;
All peoples on Thy mercy call.


O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.


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Thursday, December 23, 2004

Passion Faux Pas
Read here why The Passion of the Christ was not nominated for an Oscar.

(Update: Anonymous commenter #1 makes a good point: the nominations have not yet been made. My statement should have read: "Read here why The Passion of the Christ will likely not be nominated for an Oscar. Sorry for the sloppy, pajama work. Read here for details about the Oscar Oracle.)

(Oh, and just as an aside, my work has hardened me from taking correction personally. Please don't feel you have to be anonymous to point out my errors! If you want to call me a vacuous ninny, however, please just keep your comments to yourself!)

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

A Christmas Story: Culinary Capers
Back in the mid 80s I worked for a caterer on lower Greenville. We specialized in business luncheons, but also had a small walk-in shop where we sold gourmet everything. My job included shopping at the Dallas farmer's market, cooking, delivering and testing new ideas and recipes. One afternoon Kurt found one of these tin soldier pans and asked me to experiment on Christmas breads that we could use in December.

My favorite Christmas bread recipe at the time was the Silver Palate's cranberry-orange bread. So, I set about making the cranberry soldiers. How festive they would be! And delicious, too. But, alas, it was not to be. When you cook cranberries, they burst, and these poor little soldiers looked as if they had been shot up! So, dear friends, keep your cranberry bread in loaves!
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New Blog
I just found a new blog about downtown Oklahoma City called The Downtown Guy. Give it a visit! And for a review of some of our downtown adventures, go here, here, here and here . And, just north of downtown, there is this.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

We had a wonderful time with Santa this morning at North Pole City. First Santa told the children the story of Jesus' birth and then he talked to them and took photos with them. Colin asked for a flag towel, seashells and cat toys, and then asked Santa to bring his mommy a real sea lion. Oh my. Spencer asked for race cars and airplanes. Santa told Colin his wishes were modest and different. They had a sweet time together. Best Santa ever.

Last night we had an opossum visitor in our back yard!! It was not the first time I had seen one, but it was James' first and he was quite suprised: thought it was a giant rat at first. But this guy eats rats and mice, so he's a friend of mine! (More info here.)
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Monday, December 20, 2004

Just as an example of how universities are moving away from training for a lifetime of earning capacity and toward an indoctrination of young minds, I give you this: a proposal at the University of Michigan to REQUIRE students to pass 3 credit hours of Gender and Sexuality class (translation: sexual deviancy class). This would be in addition to the already-required Race and Ethnicity class, which was instituted to educate on the importance of diversity and acceptance. I quote:

“These are not issues that pertain to just a small group of people who can study them,” she said. “This should not be exclusive.”

“There’s a lot of education that’s mandated and required that you might not agree with at all,” Cederberg said. “You can take it or leave it in these classes, but people need to be exposed.”

I don't buy the argument that this "should not be exclusive," which was made in response the the mandatory nature of the class. There is room for middle ground between exclusive and mandatory, after all.

And, yes, there is a lot of education that is mandated (AND REQUIRED!) with which I disagree. (I would, however, be interested in requiring basic English for the previously quoted individual!) This, too is a weak argument. Believe me, people are exposed (apparantly no pun was intended) to sexual deviancy of all kinds. Is it necessary? No. Will it prepare one for, say, petroleum engineering or accounting? No.

I will not be suprised if this measure passes at U of M. Look at the faculty offered at the College of Letters and Science (English Department) at USC. Yes, indeed. USC has its very own collection of Queer Studies professors. To what end? (again, no pun intended).

Parents - if you are sending your children off to college, be sure you have an idea what you're getting your child into. This is not your father's college education!

-via Saint Kansas

  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  1. In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and confectioners' sugar with hands to form a smooth stiff dough. Shape into balls using 2 teaspoons of dough for each ball. Place on prepared pan, and refrigerate.
  2. Melt shortening and chocolate together in a metal bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth, and remove from heat.
  3. Remove balls from refrigerator. Insert a wooden toothpick into a ball, and dip into melted chocolate. Return to wax paper, chocolate side down, and remove toothpick. Repeat with remaining balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper; set aside. Eat. Compliments of AllRecipes.
Home for the Holidays
Last night we attended our annual neighborhood Christmas dinner. The neighbor around the corner hosts it every year and invites most everyone on his block plus us. He makes the ham and bread and we all bring side dishes and desserts. Every room in his house has a Christmas tree and tables are set up all over the house. The children run through us playing and laughing as we sit around the tables chatting about our latest adventures. To me it feels like an old-fashioned family Christmas. We live in an older neighborhood where each home is different and all of them have beautiful wood trim and interesting little rooms here and there. I so enjoy all our neighbors and the evening is one we look forward to all year.

After dinner we all bundle up and start out on our home tour. We walk from house to house to see how each of us has decorated this year and what changes we've made to our homes during the year. Some houses are the same year after year, but there is always somebody who has painted a room, remodeled or purchased new furniture. This year one of the teenaged daughters treated us to harp music to show what she has learned this year. We have one new neighbor who spiced up the tour with their beautiful home, and Colin was very excited to show everybody the new art he had posted in his room.

The tour finished, we headed back to the host's home for dessert and coffee. His daughter and her boyfriend played the guitar and sang Mexican Christmas songs to us while we feasted on cheesecake and spice cake. Four hours later we all went home to our clean and decorated homes. What a wonderful way to start the week of Christmas!!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

"Colin, you should go to bed now."
"Well, I've decided to be a nocturnal creature."
Luckily, all he had left to do was make this invitation for Lydia. He won't be giving it to her just yet, so don't ruin the surprise. (9:55 and he's fast asleep).
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Photo Album
I got some photos developed today and thought I'd share a few, even though I posted about the actual events long ago. That's the trouble with using real film. But, that's what I prefer, so please bear with me.

This is James taking the time challenge on the dairy-go-round, a mock-up of the actual wheel from which the cows are milked. That platform spins around and you keep busy attaching the pumps to the teets. Things you never knew you never knew.
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This is one of those Indiana farm roads I told you about. It is very near where my father was reared. I doubt much has changed since then. When the corn is in the field, you can't see past the edge of the field.
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This is Colin's Flagland....well, a portion of it. There was only one problem: he forgot to leave aisles.
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Binging and Purging
Wow, children can gather a lot of stuff!! We consider ourselves fairly moderate (on the edge of tightness) regarding the purchase of toys for our children, but after today I'm not so sure. Tomorrow we have our neighborhood (block) Christmas dinner and home tour and I decided to go upstairs and straighten the boys' room. That was around noon. I emerged at 5:18!!! Seems somewhere along the line every box was emptied and all toys were co-mingled. To make matters worse, they are all small. An entire box of life-size insects was mixed in with little foam shapes, magnet letters, matchbox cars, Legos, blocks, beads, ribbons, and game pieces. The chairs had been turned upside down and covered with blankets to make a fort. Every book was out of its place and piled on the floor. And then there were the flags. Flags of every size colored and cut out by dear Colin. Some the size of my fingertips, some a little larger. Everywhere.

By the time I was finished, my van was loaded with items to give away and the trash bag was full. When I say loaded, I mean it. I decided I don't ever want to spend 5+ hours cleaning but one room of my house. I left the things they love and removed all else. They'll never miss it. And Colin looked in his closet and said, "WOW!! LOOK! It's clean!" Enough said.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Karaoke Friday Night!

Joy To The World
(click on title for background music)

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

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Spencer has a cute way of making up nick-names for us. He almost always calls his daddy "daddy-O," and he often calls me "mommy-o." I call him "Spenceroni." This morning as James left for work Spencer yelled out, "Goodbye Champion of the Champion Cup!" Priceless.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

No Comment
What every blogger wants for Christmas is comments and to be blogrolled. If you don't have the means to blogroll me (or if you already have), the least you could do is leave me a comment!! I mean, really. You never call, you never drop by......I don't even know who you are any more!
Hashing It Out
Take note of this new criminal tactic (not to mention the interesting defense).
Well, the doc says I should eat a whole bunch of yogurt since I'm on an antibiotic. I don't have anything against yogurt, but I do have something against a whole bunch of it. I just bought some "lite" yogurt and it has the bad taste of aspartame even though the ingredient list includes Splenda. Its hard for me to avoid eating calories, and now I'm choking down something I find distasteful. That just doesn't seem right!!

Poor Poor Pitiful Me.
Forwarded Christmas Poetry
Its not Shakespeare, but the message is good:

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the town
Not a sign of Baby Jesus was anywhere to be found.

The people were all busy with Christmas time chores
Like decorating, and baking, and shopping in stores.

No one sang "Away in a manger, no crib for a bed".
Instead, they sang of Santa dressed-up in bright red.

Mama watched Martha Stewart, Papa drank beer from a tap.
As hour upon hour the presents they'd wrap

When what from the T.V. suddenly caught their ears ?
'Cept an ad.. which told of a big sale at Sears.

So away to the mall they all flew like a flash...
Buying things on credit... and others with cash!

And, as they made their way home from their trip to the mall,
Did they think about Jesus? Oh, no... not at all.

Their lives were so busy with their Christmas time things
No time to remember Christ Jesus, the King.

There were presents to wrap and cookies to bake.
How could they stop and remember who died for their sake?

To pray to the Savior...they had no time to stop.
Because they needed more time to "Shop til they dropped!"

On Wal-mart! On K-mart! On Target! On Penney's!
On Hallmark! On Zales! A quick lunch at Denny's.

From the big stores downtown to the stores at the mall
They would dash away, dash away, and visit them all!

And up on the roof, there arose such a clatter
As grandpa hung icicle lights up on his brand new step ladder.

He hung lights that would flash. He hung lights that would twirl.
Yet, he never once prayed to Jesus... Light of the World.

Christ's eyes... how they twinkle! Christ's Spirit... how merry!
Christ's love... how enormous! All our burdens... He'll carry!

So instead of being busy, overworked, and uptight
Let's put Christ back in Christmas and enjoy some good nights!
-Author Unknown

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Family Matters
I just read an interview with Amy Laura Hall that is definitely some food for thought about the way we view family. Its a bit of a long read, but well worth your time. I'd love to know what you think about it.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Today's Bible Lesson
Hebrews 12:7-11
7Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Jiggety Jig
Well, I've been to the doc today for the bite I recieved last night in Hobbes moment of uncontrollable pain. To my suprise, I had to have an x-ray to see if I have an anaerobic infection. Luckily I was cleared on that one or I'd have to have surgery!!! Yuck! So, I'm on antibiotics and yogurt until Christmas and I have an ugly black pen line around my ugly red and swollen arm so we can watch the progress. Oh well, it matches my swollen, baggy eyes and my bad hair.

(By the way, I'm not telling the children Hobbes bit me, so please don't mention to them.)

Tonight is the big Christmas concert at Colin's school. Despite the opportunity to stand on "raisors" and sing to a large audience, Colin is claiming we won't be going. The thing is, we ARE going.

The one good thing about today is Lileks' skinless weinie ad. Well, you could say 'good', or you could say laughably disgusting.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Colin's cat, Hobbes, died tonight. Here they are in 2002 when Colin dressed as Hobbes for Halloween. He was a really great cat with unending patience and a playful disposition. He adopted Ella and treated her like a princess. We will all miss him.
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BlogNoggin Gone
Blogging is light 'cause life is full right now. Well, you could say "full" or you could say "spinning out of control." I expect I'll catch up sometime around December 27th. Maybe.

Gotta friend in the hospital which, more than anything, has my mind distracted. His wife (also my friend) has been by his side for the last 8 days and is emotionally and physically spent. There's not much I can do, so I'm just praying right now. Their kids have been over a few times in the past week and they've been a delight. No trouble at all, really. I imagine the novelty is wearing off for them by now, though. It will be nice for them all to be home together again.

Gotta another friend who is expecting her first child this week and is living in a hotel because her house burned last week. I've been collecting stuff for her and trying to get their Christmas presents wrapped for them. They are hoping to move into a rent house Thursday....and they're hoping the baby doesn't come before then (she's due Saturday). People have been amazingly generous. I just took a van load of baby clothes, books, bottles, and toys, household items, food, and gift cards. The family is still in shock. (Her sister's house burned down a few weeks ago!)

Hobbes' back legs have been giving him trouble since last spring, but they gave out today. He looks scared and he wails occassionally. He is Colin's best cat and, since we've already lost two cats this year, I'm just praying today is an anomaly and he can walk tomorrow.

My brother just left town today. We sold him our Element this morning and bought a new one this afternoon. Why is it not possible to by a car the way you buy earrings? Just say: "I like that one. I'll take it." You write a check, they give you the keys, and you say your farewells. Maybe they call the bank to see if your check is good, but then you're free to leave. NO. I'm hear to tell you, even if we had actual cash in a suitcase, we could not get out of there in less than 3 hours. First we negotiate. Then we wait for paperwork. Then they have to get the car ready (even though it is already brand-spankin' new). Then we have to sign paperwork. Then we have to decline all the optional warranties and service plans. Shouldn't they at least offer a sandwich in there? And a coke?

Anyway, the house is looking terrible. Papers piled high on the desk, dust everywhere, dishes in the sink, clothes in the washer, newspapers by the couch, toys EVERYWHERE, crayons EVERYWHERE...... I'd really rather leave. And somehow all this blogging is not getting it cleaned up!

Okay, well I guess I'll go get to it. Have a nice day. And thanks for the donations to my friend.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Night Tree
Last night one of our favorite families invited us to join them in their family Christmas tradition. We went out to Lake Arcadia and built a fire for roasting hot dogs on sticks. Our children (4 boys) raced around in the woods, climbed trees and dug holes while we cooked the dogs and drank hot chocolate. After we ate, we walked into the woods a short distance and decorated their tree (they use the same tree every year) with ornaments we had made at home in the afternoon. We had bread stars with honey-seed edges, pomello baskets with a fruity/bready/seedy mixture, pinecones covered with peanut butter and seeds, apple slices, oranges on strings, Cheerio/pretzel garlands, popcorn/cranberry garlands and cracked corn. We stood around the tree singing Christmas carols (starting with Oh Christmas Tree!). Then we each talked about things we were thankful for and what kind of animals might enjoy our tree. Then we headed back to the campfire to make s'mores and chat. It was an awesome night. The stars were beautiful, the fire was warm, the air was crisp and the company was incomparable. (The entire evening was based on the book, Night Tree by Eve Bunting.)

Thursday, December 09, 2004

We Interrupt This Blog...
for a brief public service announcement:

We all seem to have the wrong email address for Aussie Anne (aka Annie Okie). Our only means of communication at present is this blog.

We Miss You Annie!!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


"Mommy, I'm not giving any more gifts to Spencer because when I give him a gift he doesn't say anything like, 'Wow!" or 'this is great!' or 'I'm so glad to have this!' or 'Colin, you are amazing.'"

"What did you give him?"

"I gave him a jelly bean egg and three jelly beans and a chocolate egg part that I found."

(Maybe Spencer cracked his tooth on that stuff and couldn't speak?)
Funniest Thing Today:

I got this email from my friend Penny today:

Carissa got an ID card at school from Smile Safe Kids. When they took school photos, they also made up ID cards and stored the photos in a database, in case the child was missing. You could access the national data base to get a current photo and identifying characteristics to help the authorities, etc. We noticed last night that she had filled in the blanks herself. After filling in height, weight, hair & eye color, she filled out the last category, which was "Other distinguishing characteristics." She doesn't really have a birthmark, so here's what she wrote:
Other distinguishing characteristics:
Pretty, smart, likes hot dogs, has a great . . . smile!

Just in case she ever gets lost at a baseball game or Wienerschnitzel . . .

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

A friend of mine, who is expecting a baby girl this month, lost her home to a fire tonight. Her sister lost her home last week! They were all staying together in the house that burned tonight, so her sister has been through two fires in one week. I went over tonight and they were clearly in shock. Its time for helping. I'm accepting donations for them, preferably in the form of cash or gift cards. They will not be able to move into their houses for quite some time, so they are living in a motel right now. The sister's house was not insured. May I suggest gift cards for restaurants, phone calls, WalMart/Target, and Home Depot/Lowe's? Anything, any amount will be appreciated!

Most Humorous Event of the Day: When James brought me the gifts he purchased at Border's and wrapped himself at their giftwrap counter. He asked me to put them under the Christmas tree. Nice paper.
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Monday, December 06, 2004

Here's a Blog for Ya
Found this blog today via Dustbury: Tongue Tied. Here's a little quote:

"A December parade in Denver will feature everyone from Chinese lion dancers to gay and lesbian shamans, according to the Rocky Mountain News, but not Christians who want to sing yuletide hymns or carry a Merry Christmas message..."

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Colin and I had homework tonight. (Yes, the assignment DID include parental participation.) We were given a gingerbread man and told to imagine him traveling around the world and wearing clothing from a particular country. Right up Colin's alley. He chose Israel first. He had a momentary change of heart and wanted to do Seychelles, but I got him back to Israel. Whew. So, here he is.
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These are our papers for our journey to Bethlehem. When we reached Bethlehem and were counted in the census, they were stamped.
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Big Weekend
This was a busy weekend for us...and quite enjoyable. It all started Friday with some impromptu worship time with my girls. Then we had lunch at McDonalds, which was arranged by Colin and his friend (mothers and siblings were invited for utilitarian reasons). The other mom is a gem and we had a wonderful talk. Ran a few errands and came home worn out!

Saturday I did some Christmas shopping with the one and only Aussie Annie to fill out the bag of goodies she was taking home to Australia. (She's been in transit since 5:00 this morning and she still has 4 hours to go!!). Spent the afternoon raking leaves....and you wouldn't even know it. Then it was off to Bricktown for sushi at Lotus with friends. Dinner was FANTASTIC. I had the chef's choice sushi platter, which was great...but my neighbor let me taste her beef stir fry and it was out-of-this-world delicious. We had intended to eat at Zio's, but there was a one-hour wait, so we walked the canal and found Lotus only half full. I feel sorry for all those people at Zio's now!! We certainly got the better deal! Not that there's anything wrong with Zio's.... Anyway, downtown Oklahoma City is very festive right now. Bricktown, Myriad Gardens and the Braum's Ice Skating Rink are lit up beautifully and most weekend nights you can ride the canal boats for free. The Crystal Bridge is free on Sunday evenings. The theater is open, too. You really must go!

Anyway, I digress....

Today we had church, a Christmas open house, a baby shower and a trip to Bethlehem (at the advice of Kyndal). The journey was wonderful, but we did have to wait about 1 1/2 hours before we got to go! By then, Spencer had fallen asleep, so we had to carry him all the way to Bethlehem. In a way, it made it more real. And it was certainly much less than Mary had to bear! Before our journey we were given papers identifying us by lineage. Roman soldiers stopped us several times during the trip and asked to see our papers. Colin seemed to understand it was all pretend until then. He whipped that paper out quickly, though. He did NOT want to be arrested! On our way home he asked if we were going back to that church. I said probably not, and he said, "Good. I wouldn't want to be arrested!"


Friday, December 03, 2004

Its Karaoke Friday Night!!

Your Mama Don't Dance

(Click on the title for background music!)
Your mama don't dance and your daddy don't rock and roll
Your mama don't dance and your daddy don't rock and roll
When evening rolls around and it's time to hit the town
Where do you go to rock and roll?

The old folks say that you gotta end your date by ten
And if you're out on a date and you bring her home late it's a sin
There just ain't no excuse
And you know you're gonna lose, you never win
I'll say it again

And it's all because
Your mama don't dance and your daddy don't rock and roll
Your mama don't dance and your daddy don't rock and roll
When evenin' rolls around and it's time to hit the town
Where do you go to rock and roll?

You pull into a drive-in
And find a place to park
You hop into the backseat
Where you know it's nice and dark
You're just about to move and your thinking it's a breeze
Then there's a light in your eye and then a guy says,
"Out of the car, long hair"
Oowee! "You're coming with me!"
Said the local police


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Oh, My
One of my favorite sites is This sign will make you laugh out loud.
Racing Spectacular
Every day Spencer has a "very special race" and he wants us to watch it. He lines up his Nascar replicas and they go around and around the bedroom rug. He imagines each member of our family driving a car and we take turns winning. Today he told me these things:

"Mommy, do you know who is going to win the race today?"
"Um....Jimmy Johnson?"
"Nope. I'll tell you. Its either going to be Bomby Labonte, Kurtain Bush, Jeff Gordon or Terry Labonte. Actually, the fivety-five car is going to win. Do you know who is going to drive the fivety-five car?"
"No. Do you?"
"Well, its someone in our family like you or daddy or Colin or me. Well, actually Bomby Labonte is going to win, so you want to drive that car, right?"
"Oh, yes."
" toad, you."

I took the scenic route home this afternoon - through Nichol's Hills. I thought I might see some nice Christmas decorating and inspire some happy thoughts. But when I first entered the Hills, what I saw was a beautiful home roped off with crime scene tape. Two police cars and two crime unit vans were parked around the house. My heart sank.

I have no idea what transpired at that house today, but it is certainly grim. And somehow the juxtiposition of beauty and what I presume was terrifying just stopped me cold. I still feel a heaviness in my chest.

Update: here


Welp, the WalMart Neighborhood Market is coming to my neighborhood. A few years ago a very nice grocery closed its doors. I think its prices just weren't competitive with WalMart and the Buy 4 Less store nearby. We were left with Buy 4 Less, which is nowhere near luxury, but which carries a nice variety and has a great international market. Its a bad idea to shop there on food stamp day, but otherwise its fine. I had heard Crest might locate in the old grocery location, but I'm guessing that's out the window since WalMart has arrived. I must admit, WalMart will be enticing. I'm guessing it will be cleaner than Buy 4 Less and maybe not so busy. Who knows. But I'm disappointed that WalMart is NOT moving into the old grocery space. It would have been a lovely location and it is the perfect size. The small stores left behind in the strip could have used the pull. No, WalMart is building next door. So, if it goes out of business (unlikely) or puts Buy 4 Less out of business (more likely), we'll have two empty grocery stores on our corner. Isn't that special? Indeed.


Thursday, December 02, 2004

Next year I will be in charge of our church's ladies retreat! We will be talking about God's creativity and I think it will be a fun and relaxing weekend. For those of you who would like to attend, please mark your calendars now for October 21-23 (OU and OSU have away games that weekend) at our usual place!! Can't wait!!