Saturday, December 22, 2007

Three Bradford Pears last week.

Three Bradford Pears today.
Last night we went out for our yearly Night Tree adventure with friends.
Our evening is patterned after the book "Night Tree" by Eve Bunting.

We start by making treats for the wildlife.Then we all gather together near Lake Arcadia and make a fire to keep warm. We roast hot dogs and drink hot chocolate.

And S'mores, of course! Authentically heated on a branch found in the woods!

Then we all take a little hike in the woods to find our tree - the same one each year. We sing Christmas carols while we hang our treats on the tree (and put some on the ground for the bunnies). This is a Wonder Bread star Spencer made.

Star of Wonder!

I crack myself up.
When the tree is done, we gather around the fire and tell about our Christmas memories. Last night one of the young boys brought his guitar and led us in Christmas carols around the fire.

Mixed Media/Performance Art

"King Tut"
by Colin

(found on my living room floor last week)

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mws banner

I almost forgot to give you guys a review of Michael W. Smith's new CD, "It's a Wonderful Christmas." The good people at Provident sent me a free copy just so I could tell y'all all about it!

So. Here goes.

Okay, first of all, it is not a typical Christmas album full of recognizable Christmas songs. It is all original music and its mostly instrumental. Michael does sing on a few of the songs and the lyrics are similar to his other music in that he references relationships. The instrumental sections are beautiful and completely classical in style.

As I listened to the CD, I decided it feels like a soundtrack of a Christmas movie. You sense a story running through it, and though it is classical, you somehow know it is a Christmas story. I think the CD would be perfect for listening while decorating the tree, opening gifts or eating Christmas brunch. It is nice in the car as well.

So, it is not to late to get yourself a copy! You can also click on the banner above and hear a few samples, if you like.

The end.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

It is time for BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes! Thanks for stopping by!

You'll find I love to decorate with snowflakes. They are in every room of my house all year 'round...and I bring out extras for the holidays!

This is the tree taken with a flash...

...and without. Either way, the tree leans a bit.
Also, this was taken last week. Now the tree is surrounded with gifts! Yay!

Here are some decorations from the tree:

This red bird was from James' mother's tree.

This is the Oklahoma Capitol dome, part of a series of Oklahoma Capitol ornaments I collect.

Handmade gingerbread man by Spencer, 2005.

A vintage beaded bell from a garage sale.

I love this Santa scene in a dome. It reminds me of crafts my mom made in the 70s.

I made these. I simply ADORE redwork.

This Santa always hung on my grandmother's tree.

Let's wash up for dinner!

I collect one Lenox Holiday serving dish each year at the after Christmas sales. Last year I got a bonus! Snowflake plates from Yankee Candle that match perfectly!

James bought me this lovely snowflake to hang in the dining room window.

The mantle with a painting of Santa given to me by a neighbor after I admired hers. Isn't that nice? Do you think I should paint the top part of the mantle chocolate brown?

Colin made this plate for Santa's cookies in 2005.

The best advent "calendar" ever. The Jesse Tree provides daily Bible lessons that work from creation to Jesus birth, showing how each event is tied to Jesus. Fantastic.

Just a little kitchen Christmas tree thingamajig.

If you would like to see more homes decorated for Christmas,
please visit
BooMama and follow the links.

Merry Christmas!


Saturday, December 15, 2007


Three Bradford Pear Trees.

Stayed inside all day today cleaning house, addressing Christmas cards, making Christmas gifts, and cookin'. Dinner was poppyseed chicken, homemade cinnamon apple sauce, fresh buttered green beans and banana bread. Can't complain.

Friday, December 14, 2007

So, there is this thing going on over at this other blog where people are calling names (ugly names) because some people have the nerve to light a fire and display the Christmas lights (the neighbors) while some other people who live across the street (the bloggers) have no power. I've been thinking about it here for several hours.

At first I thought the name-callers were especially rude people to begrudge others. The Christmas lights are not keeping anyone else from having power, and it really isn't against any moral code to have a fire in the fireplace on a cold, icy day. Nor is it morally wrong to open one's door allowing others to see one's warm fire. It is a pitiful state of affairs that some are sitting in the cold, staring out their windows with anger in their hearts because they see someone else is better off.

And then I thought, well, yes, really those with power should be over knocking on the door and inviting the cold neighbors to join them by the fire for some hot soup or cocoa. That would be the neighborly thing to do. So...maybe they are jerks.

Of course, in our neighborhood I could feel free to walk across the street and ask to come in because I've fostered relationships with my neighbors over the years. If they failed to invite me, I would consider it a simple oversight and I would invite myself. I'm guessing the bloggers who call neighbors ugly names have probably not fostered such perhaps they are just reaping what they have (not) sown.

So then my mind wandered to the question, "How much should we forego because others have less." Where I live, homeless people walk by my house everyday. Perhaps I should not hang Christmas lights out of deference to their plight? Is that what they would desire? Would it make life more cheerful for them? Would it help them out of their situation if I conserved the energy it takes to power 1000 tiny lights?

Do bloggers who call their neighbors ugly names defer to others in this way? When they get power, will they celebrate by lighting the festive lights that line their roof, announcing to the world that their power is finally restored? Or will they wait till all the people in the city, state (or world) have power?

Dwayne, who I know to be a good and kind man, suggested they might want to quit whining and ask their neighbors to borrow some electricity through an extension cord (as Dwayne is doing). The bloggers who call their neighbors ugly names have commenters who now accuse Dwayne of concocting a story and basically being the same kind of ugly person as the bloggers' neighbors.

Which is helpful.

I'm beginning to think these people are without a place to stay during these hard times because they are bitter and cruel.

Still, maybe it is a good idea for all of us to turn out the Christmas lights until this catastrophe is over. When OG&E announces that power to the state is fully restored, we could all turn on our Christmas lights to celebrate. It would actually be kinda neat, don't you think?

And, even if your neighbors are the jealous sort, perhaps you should invite them over for the evening to warm up - if not for the night. It pays to be neighborly.



If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata, but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can't.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust.
But giving the gift of love will endure.
Merry Christmas!

-- Author Unknown

University of Oklahoma

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My friend's yard.
Click to enlarge and see if you can find the heart.
Ten Random Memories
inspired by Dan

1. My first job was in a small pie shop, Katy's Pantry, which was owned by Katy and Betty. They had three employees, me, Buzz and Marilyn. The kitchen was small, much like a modern home kitchen from today, with three ovens, two stoves, one large sink and two refrigerator/freezers. There was a big wooden block in the middle where we did most of our food preparation. We had a little boom box in the kitchen and whenever "Take The Long Way Home" came on, Betty would turn up the volume and we would all dance around the kitchen using wooden spoons for microphones.

2. During my first Christmas break from college, my friend Kim invited me to work with her as a gift wrapper at a gourmet store in Oklahoma City. We made gift baskets and bows and wrapped gifts all day. On Christmas Eve at closing time a family came in and we were asked to stay until they were finished. I learned that it was their family tradition to do all their shopping on Christmas Eve at this particular store. They spent thousands of dollars and the sales clerks just kept bringing us things to wrap. They were there almost three hours, and they gave each of us a $100 tip.

3. I once worked at a Jewish deli in Dallas. It was the largest deli/caterer in Dallas at the time, which was quite a surprise to me since it was also the filthiest place I had ever seen. One day a woman and man came in to buy some lox and cream cheese. They were both attractive, but I don't remember much about her face. She was wearing pants and a suit shirt. No buttons.

4. When I turned 19 my newest college friends planned a big celebration for me. They told me that our plans were a secret, but they were taking me to dinner and for a surprise. They picked me up at the dorm and gave me a Ralph Lauren sweater from Harold's! (They could NOT afford that!) Then we took off driving. We drove for nearly two hours before we arrived at a Tonkawa football game in some little town. I know why they took me was because I had a crush on a guy from Tonkawa AND one of my hosts that night was from Tonkawa, so it was a nice little setup. HOWEVER, they did not bring any money, and I did not bring any money...and there was no food! I got a little grouchy about their failure to deliver on their promise to take me to dinner when I found out they had all eaten before we left. I regret that now. I should have been all grateful and happy and stuff.

5. When I lived in Iowa I had a best friend named Stephie Bennett. We were like sisters. We even got matching haircuts. She really was my sanity there as I struggled with making new friends and dealing with the meanest third grade teacher EVER. So, one time about 12 years ago I thought I would try to find her on by registering under my grade school. Sure enough, she contacted me! She said, "Are you that girl that lived down the street?" Well, I was just learning that email messages often fail to communicate emotions, and I apparently forgot that she really didn't know me anymore (or my sense of humor), so - well - I wrote back and played all hurt that she called me "that girl down the street." She removed herself from the very next day and has been unreachable since then. I SCARED HER AWAY! It absolutely makes me insane that she thinks I'm a nutcase! I often flog myself for this transgression.

just kidding.

but, really, how much of an idiot move was that?

6. When my dad turned 50 his girlfriend planned a big surprise party for him. He lived in Colorado at the time, and she asked me to drive up and be at the party. I did (of course). He was really surprised and happy - more because I was there than because of the party. Everyone was jovial. Then his business partner pulled me aside (during the party!) to say, "Your dad doesn't want me to tell you this...but he has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease."

And that, my friends, is not the way to celebrate a friend's birthday.

(see how I suddenly seem like less of an idiot here?)

7. One of my strangest Christmas days was in 1989. I had a crush on Eric. He found out I would be alone on Christmas day because my family had gone to Indiana and I had to stay here to work. He invited me to his home for dinner with his family. I was ecstatic!! I made cranberry bread and cookies to take with me and I made sure to look my best. I drove two hours to get to his home and when I walked in the front door, there was his cousin, who was adopted, and who also had a crush on Eric. She was clearly not happy to see me there, and she scowled at me all the day long. His family was lovely and all, but - wow.

8. After a two-month camp at Interlochen, the out-of-state students were bussed to the nearest local airport to fly home. As we were all waiting at the airport, a girl I did not know started to panic. She could not find her airline tickets. She started going through her coat, her purse, her luggage. Her friends looked under the chairs, in the cushions, in the trash can. As I watched, I thought I should probably double check to be sure I had MY tickets. I opened my purse and there were HER tickets right next to MY tickets!!! Oh, the horror. I had to tell her I had them, although I had no idea why I had them or how they got in my purse. I still don't understand it!

9. When I was in 4th grade our family was friends with a family that had two boys. Their son, Bart, was a year older than me. I heard my parents talking with his parents about how Bart and I would make a good match. At that moment, Bart suddenly became the yuckiest thing on the planet. I would get sick to my stomach just thinking about him. That is also during the time in my life when the words "kiss" and "purse" made me sick to my stomach. Is that normal?

10. Last winter giant flakes of snow fell in Oklahoma. Spencer and Colin and I went outside a caught them on our coats. All of us were yelling, "Look at THIS one!" and we were running back and forth squealing with delight. My boys were loving something I've always loved - and it was a very good day.


The Quiet Storm

This has been quite a week. First of all, we are among the few who still has power and we are ever so grateful for that. In this cold weather, warmth really is most dear. We have experienced 9 days without power in the past and know all to well the effects of that in terms of economics, comfort and stability. The last ice storm really taught us a lot about how basic our needs really are and how frivolous all the rest is.

Anyway, if you've never experienced an ice storm, this is how it goes.

First the weather guys tell us it is coming. We have the best weather guys in the country, so we usually believe what they tell us. Everyone heads to the grocery store and clears the store of wood, icemelt, water, milk, bread and Doritos. Probably beer, too. Then we fill up our cars with gas, rent a few movies and cozy ourselves in next to the television. (At our house, having lost power before, we plug in the old fashioned phone, power up the cell phones and cameras, do the laundry, wash the dishes, take out the trash and clear the garbage disposal...because after 9 days with rotting food, that sucker can STINK!)

Then it starts to rain ever so gently, and it all turns into little pellets of ice. This storm came with thunder and lightening, which was unusual (and scary). As night fell, we each packed an overnight bag in case we would have to leave in the night, and we all snuggled up in our big bed with lots of blankets. We watched the sky as the lightning hit transformers and the sky turned green and turquoise and then blue. We waited for the lights to go out until we finally fell asleep.

The next morning we awoke to find everything covered in thick ice. It was still raining and thundering, but now we could also hear the loud crash of trees and branches and large icicles falling all around the neighborhood. Throughout the day we heard sirens and falling trees and loud cracks of trees splitting and of thunder. Everything was gray.

The children wanted to go out to play, but I wouldn't let them. The danger of being hit by a tree or electrocuted by falling power lines was simply too real, so I played the part of party pooper. That's my job.

The television stations are running constant information about where to go for food and shelter, and who doesn't have power and what numbers to call for transportation. The people who need it most can't see it because they don't have power. They say it will be 10 days until all power is restored. They also say another storm is coming Friday. The people without power don't know.

The temperatures finally soared into the mid thirties and the sleet turned to rain. We drove 4 blocks to visit friends and our car was pelted with ice falling from trees. Many of the streets are totally blocked by downed trees. The streets were not slippery, but it was still dangerous. My boys were angry because I didn't let them walk. We had some hot tea and carrot cake. Soon after we left, our friends lost power, too.

I can't believe we still have power!

All the hotels are full of people without power and workers who have arrived from other states to help restore power. People in rural areas do not even have water because the pumps run on electricity. Some cities have no sewage treatment until power is restored. Ironically, the streets are full of trees, but there is no wood available for purchase. Everything is gray. And cold.

And that is an Oklahoma ice storm.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Come on in!

It is kind of icy out there...the trees are not doing well.

...neither are les fleurs.

Watch your step!

That tall tree in the distance is normally 5 stories high.

The wire on top is the umbilical cord to our house.



(click photos to enlarge and see how icy it really is!)

Friday, December 07, 2007

by Spencer

A-1o Warthog
by Spencer

Japanese Zero
by Spencer

by Spencer

by Colin

Unfinished Tiger
by Colin

by Spencer

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