Saturday, April 30, 2005

Delicious Science
Colin wants to be a scientist, so every day I think of some small science expirement we can do. Most are quite simple. For instance, if you put water in a jar, you can test which is lighter: water or air. The air always rises to the top, so we see that air is lighter. Today I was inspired! We made butter!!! Have you ever made your own butter? It is a quick thing and amazes children. Here's what you do:

Put some heavy cream in a small bowl. Your butter yield will be about the same as the amount of cream you put in. Add a little salt if you like, though it is not necessary. Get out your mixer and beat it until it is butter. It should take less than 5 minutes. Tastes best on saltines.

And, by the way, if you like salt and you're not using Kosher salt, give it a try. It is, suprisingly, far tastier than iodized salt. You'll thank me.


Friday, April 29, 2005

That Guilty Feeling
We have a cat living in our backyard. She's not our cat, but she wants to be. She sits on our back porch all day and watches us. If I go outside and sit down, she sits on my lap and sleeps. We thought about bringing her in, but when we tried, she could not get along with out other cat. She needs to be an only cat. So she lives outside. And she looks in the windows longingly. On cold, windy nights like tonight, one feels a little guilty sitting inside by the fire with a kitten while that poor cat shivers in the night.

Anybody want a cat?


Under The Boardwalk ( The Drifters )
(click on title for music)

Oh, when the sun beats down and burns the tar up on the roof
And your shoes get so hot you wish your tired feet were fire-proof
Under the boardwalk, down by the sea, yeah
On a blanket with my baby is where I'll be

(Under the boardwalk) out of the sun
(Under the boardwalk) we'll be havin' some fun
(Under the boardwalk) people walking above
(Under the boardwalk) we'll be making love
Under the board-walk (board-walk!)

From the park you hear the happy sound of a carousel
Mm-mm, you can almost taste the hot dogs and French fries they sell
Under the boardwalk, down by the sea
On a blanket with my baby is where I'll be

(Under the boardwalk) out of the sun
(Under the boardwalk) we'll be havin' some fun
(Under the boardwalk) people walking above
(Under the boardwalk) we'll be making love
Under the board-walk (board-walk!)

Oooooh, under the boardwalk, down by the sea, yeah
On a blanket with my baby is where I'll be

(Under the boardwalk) out of the sun
(Under the boardwalk) we'll be havin' some fun
(Under the boardwalk) people walking above
(Under the boardwalk) we'll be falling in love
Under the board-walk (board-walk!)


Church Humor
Pastor Rodney of North Church sent the following in his daily e-mail devotional claiming they were mistakes he has found in church bulletins. I suspect he really found them in the Secret Pastor Joke Book, as I'm pretty sure I've heard some of them before, but they are kinda funny nonetheless.
1. Bertha Belch, a missionary from Africa, will be speaking tonight. Come hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa.
2. Announcement in a church bulletin for a national PRAYER & FASTING Conference: "The cost for attending the Fasting & Prayer conference includes meals."
3. The sermon this morning: "Jesus walks on the Water." The sermon tonight: "Searching for Jesus."
4. Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 PM in the recreation hall. Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.
5. Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Don't forget your husbands.
6. The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been cancelled due to a conflict.
7. Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say "Hell" to someone who doesn't care much about you.
8. Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.
9. Miss Charlene Mason sang "I will not pass this way again, " giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
10. For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
11. Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
12. Barbara remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Jack's sermons.
13. The Rector will preach his farewell message after which the choir will sing: "Break Forth Into Joy."
14. Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24th in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
15. A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.
16. At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What Is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice.
17. Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
18. Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
19. Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.
20. Attend and you will hear an excellent speaker and heave a healthy lunch.
21. The church will host an evening of fine dining, superb entertainment and gracious hostility.
22. Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.
23. The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
24. This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn sing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
25. Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B.S. is done.
26. The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
27. Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.
28. The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
29. The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday: "I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours!

Saints and Soldiers
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Saints and Soldiers
I'm thinking about going to see this movie. Here's the synopsis:

"Saints and Soliers" is a dramatic, intense and heroic WWII film about members of the Greatest Generation struggling to be both good men and good soldiers.

In mid-December 1944, while Hitler's Army blitzkriegs through the Ardennes Forest in Belgium, American sharpshooter Corporal Nathan Greer, known as Deacon, finds himself held captive with over one hundred other American soldiers in a snow-covered field.

As panic and confusion ensue the German soldiers open fire on the American prisoners, in the historical event now known as the Malmedy Massacre. Greer, his friend Gordon Gunderson and a handful of others escape the massacre by hiding in the nearby woods.

The small band of soldiers come across a stranded British intelligence officer with valuable information to be delivered to Allied forces, further upping the stakes of their already dangerous situation.

With few weapons, no food and a strained camaraderie, this tiny band must take on the unforgiving winter to fight their way back to Allied-occupied territory.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Our family had a yearly tradition: at Easter all the cousins would line up in order of height. My mother, being the oldest, started at the head of the line, but was eventually at the end, having grown to a mere 4'11". She is mysteriously absent from this photo. Looks like her brother is calling her to get in line, though, doesn't it? I bet she was back behind doing cartwheels and splits.
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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

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This past month I’ve been keeping up with a few bloggers who are doing a weekly review of the book, Created to Be His Help Meet, by Debi Pearl. Submission has long been a problem for me (for about 10 years now), and it is clearly something God wants me to learn. I have sought counsel on the subject from several wise friends and have improved due to their advice, but I still have a long way to go.

The best advice I have received is remember that the submission is really to Christ, not just to my husband. My husband may not always deserve my submission, but Christ does, and Christ is the one who requires it. I have learned that submission is not a loss of power, but a service to the kingdom. I am God’s daughter, and God has a legacy of service. It is my privilege to continue that legacy. (To that end, I sometimes wear a tiara when I don’t really feel like serving. It reminds me of the legacy and the crown I will inherit one day). (Plus, it reminds my family to treat me like a queen. *wink*).

The lessons these fellow bloggers have shared have been a true inspiration to me and a lovely weekly reminder of my goal. Combining that with the God’s word and a lot of prayer, I feel as if I am finally on the right track. Surprisingly, I’m happier for it.

Here’s a little excerpt from Molly’s latest review:

“What if the body just starts functioning properly? What if the body stops rebelling and starts receiving from the head, lovingly seeking to help the head's vision become realized, warmly seeking to express her earthly head simply out of love for her spiritual Head? What if she finds her place in her Beloved--her heavenly Bridegroom (see Song of Solomon for a beautiful picture of Him--*romantic sigh*)--and then seeks to bring Him expression on earth? And what if He's shared (Ephesians 5) that He would love for her to express Him in her marriage--for her to seek to bless her husband as she seeks to bless Him?

What if this isn't all about me and my needs, my rights, my wants? What if it's not about my husband's, either? What if this is all about expressing and glorifying Someone much bigger than both of us?”

Illinois Host House, Chicago World's Fair. Headquarters for the citizens of Illinois and Official guests of the State. It is located next to the Sears Roebuck Building, just south of the northwest entrance to the Fair.
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Recreation Pier, Seen from lake, Chicago. The new Municipal Pier extends nearly 3,000 ft. out into Lake Michigan. It cost in the neighborhood of $4,000,000. A wonder of modern architecture combining business and pleasure.
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Last night Colin and I made special letters of thanks for each member of the staff and each of his teachers. This was all done in preparation for next week's Teacher Appreciation activities. This morning Colin brought me a note he found. He thought it looked like it was from daddy. It is written in pahonics, which is rare for daddy. Here is the translation: Dear Jan, At night I thought that we should write somthing about something that we love about something a Colin
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Random Stuff
Best breakfast: re-heated chicken enchiladas with salsa, rice and a diet root beer
Best time in Oklahoma: Spring
Best thing for a little boy to wear out shopping: t-shirt, shorts, boots and a bike helmet
Best way to start the day: children rolling around on top of you wondering when you'll get up (I'm staying right where I am as long as two little boys are rolling around me)
Best dream: my house is clean and I didn't clean it
Best suprise: a cardinal sitting outside the window next to my desk
Best thing I learned today: there is such a thing as a metroblog
Best sighting: the school's security guard showing a student's 1-yr-old sibling a bird in a bush
Best reason to stop blogging for now: seems nobody else is cleaning my house.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I knew I would enjoy the party when I saw these were the napkins.
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Buckingham Memorial Fountain at Night, Chicago, Ill. In honor of Clarence Buckingham, Patron of Art and a member of the Art Institute, this fountain was presented to the city by his sister, Miss Kate Buckingham. It is patterned after the fountain of Versailles, and is the largest fountain of its type in the world. It cost more than $1,000,000 to build.
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Fountain, Chicago World's Fair. Magnificent lighting effects in five colors - - green, red, amber, blue and white - - will make the spectacle unlike everything else in the World. 40 feet high and 200 feet wide, at the south end, three single high sprays about the dome throw water 75 feet into the air.
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Monday, April 25, 2005

Bird's-Eye View of Belgian Village, Chicago World's Fair.
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Approaching Entrance to the Belgian Village. Chicago World's Fair. This consists of 30 buildings, exact reproductions of buildings found in Brussels or Antwerp, the same stone and brick pavements; everywhere a strictly Belgian atmosphere prevails.
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Poppy Seed Chicken

Boil two cups of rice (which makes 4 cups). Put in the bottom of a casserole dish.

Mix together and pour over rice:
3 large chicken breasts, baked and cubed
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz. sour cream
poppy seeds

Mix together and spread over casserole:
Butter crackers (like Ritz), crushed
Melted butter (about 1 tbsp.)

Bake in oven until heated through. This is good served with baked sweet potatoes and a salad.


Saturday, April 23, 2005

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Whew. That was a hard week. I am officially declaring myself attached to my computer!

It has been a busy and interesting week. Best thing that happened: the shuttle driver for my Honda dealership, who drove me home after I dropped off the van for routine maintenance and an engine light on Thursday, made me a super-large home-made banana pudding with whipped cream on Friday! Sometimes you just get tangible rewards for being a nice guy (or girl, as my case would be). A new friend AND a pudding. Can one ask for much more?

My Aunt Carol and Uncle Dave are here for a short visit during their trek across the country. Everyone loves Carol and Dave and the boys waited outside for their arrival for hours. As soon as they arrive, each of us starts into our show-and-tell because we all want them for ourselves. We usually end up wearing them slick! We did have a nice little tea party: English breakfast tea with milk and sugar and banana pudding on Grandma Norinne and Aunt Jean's Havilland China with the the little pink roses.

We kicked off our school's capital campaign Friday night with an initial pledge from the attendees of $3.5 million!! We are planning to build a new school by Fall 2006 at a cost of $7 million. It was shocking to get half way there in one night! What a blessing.

I love the new Westlake Ace Hardware store. They've been making such fun out of their opening! I haven't won any of the big prizes (or the little prizes), but one of the sales reps who was in attendance gave me a key chain with a small measuring tape attached and it made me quite happy. I just love things like that.

Spencer showed Aunt Carol our vacation photos from last summer. There are a few pictures of dolphins swimming out in the ocean. We took them from a long pier and they are barely visible. Spencer said, "See, that's me swimming with the dolphins." When we all laughed he insisted he was telling the truth.

The post office is giving away coloring books featuring all the stamps of the states with information about different areas of the country, word puzzles and mazes. Next time you're there, ask for one.

The new hardware store sponsored an essay contest about mothers. The child with the best essay about why his/her mother deserved a day at the spa would win a day at the spa for his/her mother. I asked Colin if he would like to write about me and he said he didn't think so since I haven't built the 14 foot dome in the back yard yet. I made him a deal: if he entered the contest and won, I would build him an enclosed motherboard control central in the back yard. He agreed. He wrote a very nice pahonics essay about me. The next day, I discovered he had drawn on the new porch fence with a ball point pen and he got in heaps of trouble. He decided then and there that the deal was off and tore the essay into little bitty pieces. sigh.

Next week we'll have a new Walgreen's opening just 7 blocks from our house. These are exciting times in Oklahoma City! Maybe there will be another contest. Maybe this one will be for all the mean mommies like me. Maybe.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Getting My Fix, Not Yet Fixed, Fruit of the Loo Cars and Hardware
I've dropped by my husband's office to get my blog fix for today. Sad, isn't it. But not as sad as the quiet computer that sits, dead, on the messy desk in my office. It is SO quiet. (Sing Funeral March here (lyrics: dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum dum du dum)).

Here's a quick little conversation with Spencer from yesterday:

"Mommy, did you know Robbie Gordon's sponsor is Fruit?"
"You mean Fruit of the Loom?"
"Nope, just Fruit. Sometimes they call it Fruit of the Loo, but that is just because he's from Texas. But, its really just Fruit."

In other news, we're finally getting our new Anderson storm door today and I'm very excited about that. It ventilates from the top OR bottom! ooooooh! As a bonus, I'll be able to windex the handprints on a daily basis. Well, yes, there is that.

And tomorrow Westlake Hardware opens just 3 blocks from my house!!! Just imagine, rows and rows of tools and paint and fixtures and flowers and nails......TOMORROW! I'm sorry Home Depot, but its just 3 blocks away. I know you'll miss me. I'll visit for the big stuff, I promise. But three blocks? How can I resist?

(Just a little something most of you don't know about me: I love hardware stores and hardware. I can spend hours on my computer looking at old doorknobs and lighting fixtures and light switches. I love the sounds of power tools and hammers. The smell of lumber sends me. I know its strange, but its true.)

My children are playing bumber cars with daddy's office chairs, so I better get outta here.

Send in the nerds!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Lost in Space!!!
Hi friends! Something most dreadful has happened to my computer and I have been living separated from the cyber world for nearly 40 hours!!!! Its lonely, I tell you. So lonely. (wink) Anyway, until said computer is fixed, I will be unable to blog or email or otherwise communicate with my cyber friends. Please don't forget me! (And if you know any computer nerds, send them over!)

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Ten Years
Today's Daily Oklahoman has a special pull-out section about the bombing of the Murrah Building 10 years ago Tuesday. First I put it aside thinking I would not look at it. Then, after reading the rest of the paper I picked it up and opened it slowly.

I've heard some people refer to a "celebration of hope" happening this week. Anything resembling celebration is still beyond me and the word offends. Even if you add hope to the end. For me, the wound is deep and I just can't celebrate anything about it. Sure, some good came afterward. Lots of good came afterward. True colors of goodness. But I can't fathom any type of celebration.

Last week I read about the erection of media towers and the instillation of road blocks. We've heard about the speakers who are coming and the singers who will sing.

It is too much of a spectacle for me.

April 19 was a day of death. It was the day innocence ended. It was terror.

I'm sorry, I can't celebrate.

So, the paper's insert highlighted the lives of the children who survived the blast. It was wonderful to see them, truly. Each one is a beautiful testimony to hope. But we also relived the death of Bailey and saw once again the photos her mother asked us to stop publishing. We saw the elaborate structure that keeps the survivor's tree surviving. . .

I closed the pages, tears streaming. It seems only yesterday I was there in the middle of it all. Ten years. Ten years ago we changed. I changed. I became scared of loss and acutely aware of the speed of loss. It took me 8 years to lose the fear. I didn't realize until today that April 19 was the day it all began for me. Ten years ago. Such a journey. (Yes, a journey of hope).

Just, please, do not turn April 19th into another Memorial Day where oblivious citizens spend the day drinking beer and skiing on lakes. And no media circuses. My hope is that April 19 will be a day to remember our pain and those who are still struggling with the myriad after-effects of that day of terror. Remember the victims and their families. Remember the volunteers who witnessed indescribable horrors that must still haunt them. Thank those who helped. And pray for them all.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

SKY RIDE, CHICAGO WORLD'S FAIR One of the most interesting features of Chicago's World's Fair is the "Sky Ride". The towers are 600 feet high. Double decked rocket cars run suspended from 4 cable tracks between and around the two towers.
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I just spent a lovely few hours with the lovely Mrs. Bates and her husband Michael Bates who are visiting from the whirled of Tulsa. We sat out on the back porch and enjoyed the beautiful weather and looking through my box of postcards. I think we covered at least 100 topics including children's videos, sports stadiums, snowflake motels, the Dutch Christians verses the Muslims, readership behavior studies and old highway routes. I think we could have talked all night!

900 feet in length, ten stories high in center, the Ford Building is one of the largest and most magnificent buildings ever constructed for a World's Fair.
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Molly convinced me to take this HumanMetrics quiz to determine my personality type. Not that I don't know my type, its just that I like taking quizzes.

The primary desire of the Protector Guardian is to be of service to others, but here “service” means not so much furnishing others with the necessities of life (the Provider’s concern), as guarding others against life’s pitfalls and perils, that is, seeing to their safety and security. There is a large proportion of Protectors in the population, perhaps as much as ten percent. And a good thing, because they are steadfast in their protecting, and seem fulfilled in the degree they can insure the safekeeping of those in their family, their circle of friends, or their place of business.

Protectors find great satisfaction in assisting the downtrodden and can deal with disability and neediness in others better than any other type. They go about their task of caretaking modestly, unassumingly, and because of this their efforts are not sometimes fully appreciated. They are not as outgoing and talkative as the Providers, except with close friends and relatives. With these they can chat tirelessly about the ups and downs in their lives, moving (like all the Guardians) from topic to topic as they talk over their everyday concerns. However, their shyness with strangers is often misjudged as stiffness, even coldness, when in truth these Protectors are warm-hearted and sympathetic, giving happily of themselves to those in need.

Their quietness ought really to be seen as an expression, not of coldness, but of their sincerity and seriousness of purpose. Like all the Guardians, Protectorss have a highly developed puritan work ethic, which tells them that work is good, and that play must be earned-if indulged in at all. The least hedonic of all types, Protectors are willing to work long, long hours doing all the thankless jobs the other types seem content to ignore. Thoroughness and frugality are also virtues for Protectors. When they undertake a task, they will complete it if at all humanly possible; and they know the value of material resources and abhor the squandering or misuse of these resources. Protectors are quite content to work alone; indeed, they may experience some discomfort when placed in positions of authority, and may try to do everything themselves rather than insist that others do their jobs.

With their extraordinary commitment to security, and with their unusual talent for executing routines, Protectors do well in many careers that have to do with conservation: curators, private secretaries, librarians, middle-managers, police officers, and especially general medical practitioners. To be sure, the hospital is a natural haven for them; it is home to the family doctor, preserver of life and limb, and to the registered nurse, or licensed practical nurse, truly the angels of mercy. The insurance industry is also a good fit for Protectors. To save, to put something aside against an unpredictable future, to prepare for emergencies—these are important actions to Protectors, who as insurance agents want to see their clients in good hands, sheltered and protected.

[Mother Teresa][J. P. Morgan][Tsar Nicholas II][President [George HW Bush][Jimmy Stewart]

The actor Jimmy Stewart and Mother Teresa are examples of Protector Guardian style.

I was kidnapped at 5:00 this morning for an early breakfast and some fellowship. Alice knew 5:00 would be free from advance commitments, so she seized the day! It was great fun and an idea I may just have to copy sometime!
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Thursday, April 14, 2005

There's Your Winner!
James and Spencer are traveling to the Texas Motor Speedway tomorrow for qualifying. Spencer is beyond excited. In honor of their big day, I thought I would share a bit of Spencer's creativity. He is constantly making racecar "scrapbooks," in which he colors racing cars and drivers and staples the pages together. He then brings me the book and orders me to take dictation and write the words on the pages. The following is an excerpt from one of his many scrapbooks (I write they way he speaks, not using the correct spelling):

"Jimmie Johnson! And Matt Kensiff was right behind him...and Robbie Gordon takes the lead. Joe Memocek...and he goes right past the leaders. Jeff Gordon. Terry Labonte, who is the 44 car and Bo Memocek passed-ed the 44 car who was in the lead for a long time on DAYTONA 500! Jimmie Johnson passed the leader Mack Kensiff in 9th place. The 30 car almost wreckeded but Jimmie Johnson passed the finish line on the first lap. Mack Kensseff. Drawn Andretti is right past him and Joe Jarrett is in the middle. Jimmie Johnson passes into the lead but the caplice car comes out and they start all over.

"DAYTONA 500! The number 3 1 car had to go in the pit because he lost on tire. Jimmie Johnson is in 9th place. The number three-zero. Mack Kansev and Jimmie Johnson and Terry Labonte passes the three-zero. Its the 8th lap and the 30 wrecks the wall and Mark Martin spins out at the DAYTONA AT NIGHT. Brian Nooooman! And Jack Lazier was right in the lead. Jeff Gordon comes in twoof place but the three-zero wrecked at the 8th lap. So they start over. Gentlemen, start your engines!

"Jeff Gordon is on the pole. Green flag! Green, green, green!!! Bobby Gordon is right behind the leaders. The three-zero car is right here trying to pass Bobby Labonte in DAYTONA 500! Brett Bodine is in twoof place. The 30 car is in the lead with 18, Bobby Labonte's Christmas car, right behind. Bo Memocek.... Rusty Wallace and his number 99 car! Brett Bodine with a lot of number ones and Bo Memocek!"

I've been very, very busy this month working in the garden. We've almost completed our memory garden. All we need is a few more rocks for the border! We've planted roses (long stem and bush), dianthus, pansies, zinnias and daylillies. I used a whole bolt of weed barrier, two loads of rock (so far) and 6 bags of mulch. Whew. I've also finished the pavers for the trash cans and planted azalea bushes and impatien seeds along the driveway. Zinnias have gone in under the garage window and I've filled in the bird garden with galium, columbine, daisies, pincushion and delphinium. My violets, redbud and lilac are blooming and we already have little green "figlets" on the fig tree. Last summer I removed a chain link fence and a huge amount of honesuckle. I built some new beds then and brought it a bunch of rock. To me, it is a whole new yard and I can see the evidence of my hard work. If anyone else were to walk in the yard, they wouldn't notice much and would never guess how many hours I've spent back there. It is not a show garden, but its mine and I'm proud of it. I'm exhausted (and dirty) from all this work, but at the end of the day its wonderful to sit on the back porch with a cat on my lap and watch the birds and butterflies visit.
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Among the many interesting features of the Hall of Science, the 176 foot carillon equipped tower in the foreground will demand special attention.

(Editor's note: notice the many differences between this drawing and the one below (other than the obvious a.m./p.m. difference).
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The Hall of Science, 700 by 400 feet, two stories and a mezzanine in height, rising from colored, concrete terraces. At night it is brilliantly illuminated by indirect and fluctuating colored flood lights. Located at Sixteenth St. and the Lake, with part of the building extending directly over Leif Eriksen Drive - Chicago's famous water-front boulevard.
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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Today is book review day. If you like it, I'll make it a once a week event. Let me know. The first book is great for teaching a bit of art history to your children. It is Bijou, Bonbon & Beau, by Joan Sweeney and is the tale of three little kittens who delight almost all those around them in the theater, including the artist Edgar Degas, who has been sitting in on rehearsals painting the ballerinas.
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This is a portion of a page from Shirley Barber's book Count With Me! This page is about the number 10, and you will find 10 of each thing: violets, ducklings, hats, lotus, tadpoles and even colors in the border. Beautiful.
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This is a page from my favorite book for teaching colors. Each page represents a different color (and a different animal). You can ask your child how many shades of the color he can find, or you can search for items of that particular color. There is so much to stimulate the mind. From Shirley Barber's Let's Look at Colors.
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I love a cup of tea. My husband makes the best: English Breakfast Tea with Milk and Sugar. It is especially good if he serves it in my favorite cup (tea should never really be served in a mug). I have a small collection of books about tea and recently added The Art of Tea and Friendship by Sandy Lynam Clough to the collection. The book is full of beautiful illustrations and quotes like those above as well as some delightful ideas for ways to use the rituals of tea to increase your friendships and minister to others. Very nice.
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GENERAL MOTORS BUILDING BY NIGHT, CHICAGO WORLD'S FAIR Visited by thousands daily. Perhaps the most interesting feature is the complete assembly of automobiles from chassis frame to gas in the gasoline tank. The building is 454 feet in length.
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Magnificent lighting effects in five colors - green, red, amber, blue and white - will make the spectacle unlike everything else in the World. 40 feet high and 200 feet wide, at the south end, three single high sprays about the dome throw water 75 feet into the air.
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Monday, April 11, 2005

The three fluted towers represent the three branches of our Federal Government, Executive, Judicial and Legislative. The sides of the triangles are the Halls of Thirty States, whose flags and shields join with the unusual coloring of the building itself, and makes the interior court an outstanding accomplishment in modern architecture.
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Today I begin the series of postcards from the 1933-34 Chicago World's Fair! I have more than 25 cards, almost all paintings like these.

These three fluted towers 150 feet high around the dome of the Federal Building represent the three branches of government - administrative, legislative and executive. The towers are illuminated at night.
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Death Valley Lives
Once in a lifetime (about every 50 years), Death Valley blooms. Go here for some beautiful photographs and the story of the dessert. Watch the comments section for my friends' metaphors.

1 The desert and the parched land will be glad;

the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.

Like the crocus, 2 it will burst into bloom;

it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.

The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,

the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;

they will see the glory of the LORD ,

the splendor of our God.

3 Strengthen the feeble hands,

steady the knees that give way;

4 say to those with fearful hearts,

"Be strong, do not fear;

your God will come,

he will come with vengeance;

with divine retribution

he will come to save you."

Isaiah 35:1-4
Servant and Commander
(Dan inspired me to take the quiz)

I scored as Divine Command. My life is directed by Divine Command: My god and religion give me meaning and direction.

“Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.” Deut. 7:9

--King James Version of the Bible

“Even as a tree has a single trunk but many branches and leaves, there is one religion--human religion--but any number of faiths.”

--Mahatma Gandhi

What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)
created with

Saturday, April 09, 2005

"The Myriad Botanical Gardens, located in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City is home to the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory. This seven-story, misty tropical paradise features a 35 foot, vine-covered waterfall surrounded by thousands of exotic flowers and plants."

The boys and I spent an afternoon downtown at the Myriad Botanical Gardens this week. It was beautiful and we practically had the place to ourselves. There is one large lawn that is bowl-shaped and the boys loved racing up the hills and rolling down on the lush green grass. The arbor was covered in wisteria and the ponds were full of gold fish and turtles. We stopped in the gift store on the bridge and I was suprised what a great little store it is! They were also having a plant sale, so we purchased a few plants for our terrarium. I lived in Oklahoma City when the idea for the gardens was proposed, and I never dreamed it would be as wonderful as it is. It is one of many reasons I love Oklahoma City!
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Colin's latest flag design.
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Friday, April 08, 2005

Red Rubber Ball
( The Cyrkle )

I should have known you'd bid me farewell
There's a lesson to be learned from this and I learned it very well
Now I know you're not the only starfish in the sea
If I never hear your name again, it's all the same to me

And I think it's gonna be all right
Yeah, the worst is over now
The mornin' sun is shinin' like a red rubber ball

You never cared for secrets I'd confide
For you I'm just an ornament, somethin' for your pride
Always runnin', never carin', that's the life you live
Stolen minutes of your time were all you had to give

And I think it's gonna be all right
Yeah, the worst is over now
The mornin' sun is shinin' like a red rubber ball

The story's in the past with nothin' to recall
I've got my life to live and I don't need you at all
The roller coaster ride we took is nearly at an end
I bought my ticket with my tears, that's all I'm gonna spend

And I think it's gonna be all right
Yeah, the worst is over now
The mornin' sun is shinin' like a red rubber ball

Oh, oh, oh
I think it's gonna be all right
Yeah, the worst is over now
The mornin' sun is shinin' like a red rubber ball



Cindy Lou has a few questions for me. Here are the answers:

If you were a song, what song would you be? Why?
The Hallelujah Chorus, George Frideric Handel

Why do you like snow flakes so much?

I am amazed at the beauty of a snowflake. Each one is different. Each contains an intricate design, some simple, some elaborate. Even the broken snowflakes are beautiful. I imagine God taking such care in the details of snowflakes, which most of us never notice. Indeed, we can’t comprehend the beauty without microscopes and expensive cameras. But they are sent down for us to walk upon, to play with, to roll into a snowball and throw. They are crystals – jewels – from heaven. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20 (New International Version)

Thinking about your relationship with God, what "name" do you think He calls you by? (For example, I deal with insecurity, but I know that God loves me and in a Bible study I did once on grace I identified with "pearl of great worth". It can be anything....).

I’ve never thought of any specific name, but I like to think of Him calling me, “child.” I’ve noticed that Dennis Jernigan uses this term in his songs and it really touches me.

What's your favorite thing about being an attorney? A mom? A wife?

Okay, as an attorney the first thing I noticed about this question is that it is really 3 questions and the court does not look kindly upon this sort of thing when it comes to interrogatories, which are, of course, regulated by Court Rule 506.49(a)(iv)(K)(MCXIV). Nevertheless, this being an unofficial interrogatory, I will answer the questions.

My favorite thing about being an attorney is my job, which is research and writing for a publication about law. I read so many incredible stories, my job is more like reading novels than actual work.

Regarding motherhood: I enjoy the creativity that is involved with children. I like re-living the fun of discovery. For instance, we made terrariums yesterday and I remembered my first terrarium and how much I loved it.

Regarding being a wife: this is my most difficult job because I’m not so very good at it. It has, however, sharpened me and taught me a lot about myself that I used to get away with but no longer should. I think God works on me most through my marriage.

You're stranded on a deserted island. You have the following in your purse: nail file, $20 bill, lip gloss, a pack of gum, and one item of your choice except a cell phone. How are you going to get home?

My final item would be a jar of matches. I would use the matches to start a fire so I could build a distress signal and keep myself in drinkable water until rescued. I’d probably test out whether the lip gloss is flammable and save that for the day I saw an airplane or ship in the distance, so as to make a larger fire. As for the nail file, the bill and the gum, I’m sure they would have some good use, but I don’t know what. I would like to say, however, that I have been interested in learning survival skills. I think the topic is very interesting.


Vincent Price said I did a nice job.
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This week's assignment is to tell about my brush with greatness. I've always felt that my life was full of brushes with greatness, but none of them brings to mind a particularly interesting story. I've decided to just list a few.

1) When I was in high school I played in the Enid-Phillips Symphony as the principal hornist. We once performed with Vincent Price, who was reading Edgar Allen Poe, and I had a solo.

2) My high school crush conducted the last performance of Cats on Broadway.

3) My first boyfriend's father was involved in the fall of the Penn Square bank. (Actually, that would be more of a brush with infamy).

4) I once drove Philip Farkas, world-renowned French hornist, from Stillwater to Enid and back in a Camaro during a rain storm.


Thursday, April 07, 2005

Our new favorite children's book! As the train heads out for its daily run, it encounters "trouble on the tracks." You'll be suprised what happens!
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Roll's Resort - - - - - Lunches, Beach and Trailer Park
Hi-12 and 13, 3 miles south of Wisconsin Dells, Wis., C-1837
This is one of my favorite hotel/restaurant postcards in the bunch. There is so much to see. The second car from the left has a coffee can or something like it hanging from the rear bumper. You can see a cabin up on the hill behind the restaurant, with flowers in the window. I'm sure from the porch of the cabin, one would look across a great lawn and see the umbrella table across the way. The Coca-Cola sign suggests you "pause" and the restaurant offeres a home cooked plate lunch. I bet it was delicious. It looks like the awning is retracted, ready to be opened on a particularly sunny day, but in Wisconsin the screened in porch would make a fine area for dining in the summers. And that screen door.....I can just hear it slamming shut. Nothing else makes the same sound as an old screen door in the summer, does it? (Click on photo for larger version).
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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Proof positive that it was windy yesterday! This car was parked at my OB/GYN's office when a metal portable storage building tumbled across the plains and enveloped it! Can you imagine the suprise when the woman returned to her car!? I'm just glad she wasn't inside!
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Everyone Knows Its Jenna!
My friend posted that she and her girls enjoy the windy days and sent proof! Reminds me of the movie Danny Deckchair.
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New Blog!
Claudia joins blogdom today blogging about her scrapbooking/paper arts store 7 Minutes Later! The new blog is SisTas 7. Please give her a warm welcome!

Twin Islands Motel & Restaurant
on the Little Pigeon River
In the Great Smoky Mountains.
Twin Islands Motel of 108 units, each with private dressing rooms and porches over the Little Pigeon River. Free Cable Color T.V. in each room. 100% air-conditioned, Heated Pool. Here complete privacy is enjoyed, yet right in the Heart of Gatlinburg on U.S. HWY. 441. Phone in each room.
Phone Gatlinburg (615) 436-5121
Eddie Trentham, Manager
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The Badger Restaurant, Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
Approved Restaurant - AAA - Air Conditioned
Enjoyable Food, Quality, Quantity, Service, Reasonable Prices; Free Protected Parking during Dells Trips. No Time Limit up to 11:00 P.M.
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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Wind is Sweeping Down the Plains!
For those of you who have never been to Oklahoma, let me assure you it can be quite windy here! Normally I enjoy the wind because it has such a pleasant cooling effect. Today, however, was a different story. You could see the pollen swirling around, as if your nose hadn't already told you it was there! Instead of tumbleweeds, I saw papers and boxes and plastic sheeting tumbling by. The most amusing effect was on the tax preparation company's air-filled statue of liberty. Her head was blown back as if she were fainting from seeing the tax return, and her torch was falling to the side. The people who made that thing didn't have any idea what an Oklahoma wind could do to it!

My lilacs bloomed today! I look forward to this day the year around, but I couldn't enjoy it today. The allergens have kept me indoors. I did sneak out for a whiff, but couldn't smell a thing through the conjestion! But, in honor of their blooms, I give you last year's attempt at Easter portraits in the back yard by the lilacs:

Bon Aire Motel
Providence Blvd.
Clarksville, Tennessee
"It's New - Has Everything"
24 Units located at north junction of U.S. Highways 41-A and 79. Swimming Pool for adults and kiddies, free television, electric heat, phones in rooms, AAA approved, Simmons bedding. For reservations, phone MI 7-5233
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Monday, April 04, 2005

Arctic Frog Playclothes Dots. Pair it with the paper below for a funtastic scrapbook layout of your favorite prince.
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Arctic Frog Playclothes Squares.
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The Anna Griffin Princess Dots paper, which goes nicely with the paper below for scrapbooking your favorite princess.
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Anna Griffin Paper. Fun and Fantastique!
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Ogle's Buffet Restaurant
On The Parkway
Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
The newest idea in dining in Gatlinburg's newest restaurant. Buffet service in a delightful, relaxed atmosphere. Our meals are unsurpassed for quality and quantity. Go back for seconds of our delicious foods. Free parking in our spacious parking lot. Five Hot Meats. Five Hot Vegetables. Twenty-five salad varieties (fresh and crisp on crushed ice). Located opposite Gatlinburg's new Chamber of Commerce Building and free parking lot.
Phone 436-4157
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Okie Finds Okefenokee
Looks like Charles has found his way from The Green Frog to Okefenokee.
Me, too.

Mel recounts my childhood today. Okay, its her childhood, but I needn't change even one thing to make it my story. Here's a bit:

"I had the freedom to go as far as my feet would take me within the boundary of our neighborhood. I'd wander past the houses to the undeveloped fields and forests beyond. We'd play in the waist-high grasses, trampling down areas we'd pretend were houses. Other times, we'd go down to the creek where the mud would suck at our sneakers and oftentimes, we'd go home soggy. I greeted each dog in the neighborhood as I circled my block alone. I rode my bike in endless loops around and around the block."

Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Big Camping Adventure
Yesterday, Colin got it in his head that we should have a campout/celebration in our backyard to memorialize our cats. He was hard to turn down because he spent the entire day working out the plans in great deal. He and Spencer packed one box for each member of our family, which included one snack, one pillow, one blankie, one toy and one pair of underwear. They were lined up in my office and ready to go by 2:00. I mentioned that we don't have a tent, and he said we could buy one. Eventually, he agreed we could remove the seats from our van and sleep in the back.

The celebration was scheduled to begin 10 minutes before sundown. We were to pray a prayer of thanksgiving for our cats and then enjoy nature and a few games on the lawn. I removed the seats from our van and we spread out several blankets and brought in a bunch of pillows and flashlights. We hung a lantern flashlight in the van and laid on our backs to stare at the stars. Eventually Daddy brought his portable CD with the latest Veggie Tales movie, I made popcorn and the boys watched the movie while I finished my work inside. By the time I returned, the were all asleep and I had only to crawl in a make a space for myself.

I didn't sleep well because my allergies are bothering me so much, and I ended up coming inside around 4:00 a.m., but it was a great adventure sleeping in the back yard. Colin said it was the best night ever. That's what its all about.
Same Song, Second Millionth Verse
I've been noticing that each of my family members has a little melody or rythm that always appears during improvision or moments of unaware tapping/humming. Spencer likes to sing. He changes the words every time, but the melody is always the same. My brother plays the same notes on the piano everytime he walks by one. James has a song. Colin has a song. I'm sure I have one, too, but I don't even know what it is. It is very mysterious. We may sing others' songs as we go about our day, but that little rythm or melody is always there. I wonder if, perhaps, when we all get to heaven our little melodies and rythms will be put together for the grandest musical composition ever. I wonder.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

For Whom The Bell Tolls
It's a beautiful day. The sky is clear and the sun is shining. Dong. Redbuds are in full bloom and the lilacs promise an appearance this week. Dong. My children are playing outside the open window, laughing and chasing about. Dong. Birds chirp. Dong. Squirrels scamper up the tree. Dong. . . . . Dong. . . . Dong. . . . The Catholic Church around the corner tolls the bell. Slow and steady. Low. Sad. The Pope has died.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Karaoke Friday Night (Late Friday Night!)

Sh - Boom (Life Could Be A Dream)
( Crew Cuts )
(click on title for music)

Hey nonny ding dong, alang alang alang
Boom ba-doh, ba-doo ba-doodle-ay

Oh, life could be a dream (sh-boom)
If I could take you up in paradise up above (sh-boom)
If you would tell me I'm the only one that you love
Life could be a dream, sweetheart
(Hello, hello again, sh-boom and hopin' we'll meet again)

Oh, life could be a dream (sh-boom)
If only all my precious plans would come true (sh-boom)
If you would let me spend my whole life lovin' you
Life could be a dream, sweetheart

Now every time I look at you
Something is on my mind (dat-dat-dat-dat-dat-duh)
If you do what I want you to
Baby, we'd be so fine!

Oh, life could be a dream (sh-boom)
If I could take you up in paradise up above (sh-boom)
If you would tell me I'm the only one that you love
Life could be a dream, sweetheart

Sh-boom sh-boom Ya-da-da Da-da-da Da-da-da Da
Sh-boom sh-boom Ya-da-da Da-da-da Da-da-da Da
Sh-boom sh-boom Ya-da-da Da-da-da Da-da-da Da, sh-boom!

Sh-boom sh-boom Ya-da-da Da-da-da Da-da-da Da
Sh-boom sh-boom Ya-da-da Da-da-da Da-da-da Da
Sh-boom sh-boom Ya-da-da Da-da-da Da-da-da Da, sh-boom!

Every time I look at you
Somethin' is on my mind
If you do what I want you to
Baby, we'd be so fine!

Life could be a dream
If I could take you up in paradise up above
If you would tell me I'm the only one that you love
Life could be a dream, sweetheart
(Hello hello again, sh-boom and hopin' we'll meet again) boom sh-boom

Hey nonny ding dong, alang alang alang (sh-boom)
Ba-doh, ba-doo ba-doodle-ay
Life could be a dream
Life could be a dream, sweetheart!

Life could be a dream
If only all my precious plans would come true
If you would let me spend my whole life loving you
Life could be a dream, sweetheart

(dee-oody-ooh, sh-boom, sh-boom)
(dee-oody-ooh, sh-boom, sh-boom)
(dee-oody-ooh, sh-boom, sh-boom)


The Sandman Motel
On U.S. Route 1, South Portland, Maine
Near South Portland exit of Maine Turnpike
AMA Affiliated...Television...
Open year 'round...Hot Water Heat
Short Drive to Portland Metropolitan Area.
Danny Danforth Tel. 3-7144
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I was driving next to a police car yesterday when I noticed he was transporting a criminal (I mean, alleged criminal) in his back seat. On the security window between the front and back seats, placed right in front of the criminal's seat was a large sticker similar to this one that said, "I Love Cops." Hilarious.
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