Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bye Bye '08 . . .

What are you doing on this last day of 2008?

Well, I'm going to be busy packing up the remaining Christmas bling. I'll also be preparing for the family dinner we're hosting on New Year's Day. We're having another 'smoked meat fest'. Bob is an expert at smoking ribs, pork loin, bologna, & sausage.
We always stay home on New Year's Eve watching TV & enjoying a few snacks.

I'm hopeful that I'll be posting my giveaway on Friday or Saturday!!!
Enjoy your last day of '08!!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Visit To The 'Show Me State' . . .

We made a day trip to Missouri on Sunday to visit my sister, Susan, & her husband, Mike. They live a few miles from Kansas City. It was the perfect day for a drive, we left very early & returned home after 10:00 PM.

They recently built this beautiful home.
I adore that little round window.

Here's a shot of Susan & Mike on their bicycle built for two.
Today is their 26th wedding anniversary.
Happy anniversary guys!!!

This piano was in the church Susan & I grew up in.
It brings back many sweet memories.
They bought it when the church purchased a new piano.

Bobby & Kari loved the house.
Here they are enjoying a little ping pong action in the basement.

I've got to get busy today putting away the Christmas bling.

Yesterday I spent the day resting & taking cold medicine.

Time to get with it!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Friday Night Lights . . .

Last Friday night Bob & I decided to drive around & look at the Christmas lights in the area.
We were delighted to find this infamous lamp in a window in the subdivision across the street!!

"It's a major award!!"
Bob said he wanted to put one in our front window next year . . .
I don't think so!!!!
I do like the movie, but that's going a little bit overboard don't you think?

We drove through the light display at Rhema Bible College in Broken Arrow.
There were hundreds of people walking around admiring the thousands of lights. Believe it or not the temperature was 70 degrees!

A few miles from our house we saw this simple yard decoration featuring Charlie Brown & Snoopy.

This mammoth display is right next door to the picture above.

Every year they add more & more . . .
I wonder what their electric bill is for the month of December???

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Encouragement . . .

So encourage each other to build each other up,
just as you are already doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

The root of the word "encouragement' means to "put courage into."
What a beautiful picture of one person standing beside another saying,
"Take courage!"
God has given you the ability to be that person to others.
Ask Him to show you those who could use
a kind word,
an uplifting thought,
a simple prayer.
They could be strangers on the street or members of your own family.
Your encouragement may help someone walk when he or she might have stumbled.
You might help someone stand firm instead of giving in.
And encouraging other has yet another benefit~
those around you are strengthened so that they can offer you an encouraging word when you need one.

I want to thank all of you for being an encouragement & inspiration to me.

I am so blessed !!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

33 Years & Counting. . .

Bob & I are celebrating our 33rd wedding anniversary today.
My, how time flies when you're having fun!
It was a cold, snowy night.
The date was Saturday, December 27, 1975.
Here are a few photos from that day so long ago . . .

Cutting the cake . . .
Happy in the glow of candlelight . . .

The wedding party . . .
Susan, my sister, DeeDee Bryant, a college friend, Mary, my sister, me, Bob, Loy, Bob's brother, Dan Prickett, Bob's best friend, & Craig & Brian, Bob's nephews.

My parents, Gerald & Helen & Bob's mother, Verna. . .

Even though our outward appearance has changed in 33 years . . .

one thing remains the same . . .
our love for each other . . .
every year gets better & better. . .

Happy Anniversary honey!
I love you!!!!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Pictures. . .

Hello friends. . .I'm so happy you came by today for a visit!

We had a wonderful Christmas! For Christmas Eve dinner we had chicken enchiladas. We watched 2 of our favorite Christmas movies, 'Christmas Story' & 'Christmas Vacation'.

We got up early Christmas morning to exchange gifts & have cinnamon rolls for breakfast. We enjoyed watching 'White Christmas' after we ate.

Here's Kari with some outfits for Ethan. . .

Bob & Bobby both got new bathrobes. . .

Don't you just love this coffee mug that Bobby & Kari gave me?
I love my new 2009 Mary Engelbreit calendar from Bob.
My sister, Mary, also gave me one, now I have one for my desk & one for the kitchen!
Thanks guys!!

Now on to the dismantling of the Christmas bling! I think I'll start today putting away a few things. I will leave some decorations up for New Year's Eve & New Year's Day. I always get a little blue & depressed putting away Christmas, the house always looks so bare.
Christmas Eve was my 100th post. I'll be posting a giveaway next week to celebrate!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

For Unto Us A Child Is Born. . .

For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish,
but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Memories. . .

Happy Christmas Eve everyone!

Christmas Eve always brings back sweet memories of the past.

It also brings the excitement of new traditions for our family.

These Norman Rockwell pictures are so wonderful.

A reminder of a simpler time . . .

childhood joy & innocence . . .

visiting grandparents . . .

Merry Christmas to you & yours!!

This is my 100th post!!!
I'll be posting a giveaway a few days after Christmas!!
Hope you'll come by to check it out!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Delight & Joy. . .

Before Elise went to bed Saturday evening she opened the gifts I made for her. As you can see in the pictures she showed delight & joy when trying out her new purse & exploring the 'I Spy Quilt'.

Looks like she's ready to head out the door to do a little shopping!

How cute!

Exploring the colors . . .

and pictures. . .

I know you all are very busy with last minute preparations for Thursday. Thank you for stopping by today! Blessings!!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Graduation Celebration. . .

We returned Sunday evening from our trip to Houston to attend the graduation of our nephew, Grant. He graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Anthropology.

Congratulations Grant!!!!

Here are the proud parents with their son.
My brother~in~law, Howard, & my sister, Mary.

We got to meet Grant's fiance, Kate, for the first time at the graduation ceremony. They're going to be married in April.
I'll be posting more pictures from our trip later.

Since I've been away I have been reading your sweet & thoughtful comments on the posts that I had scheduled, but I haven't been able to read your blogs. I'll be catching up on blog reading today. I can't wait to see what you've been up to !!
Have a marvelous Monday friends!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Contentment. . .

Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

Hebrews 13:5

Painting by Thomas Kinkade

You may find contentment to be one of the more difficult Christian virtues to develop. Every day you are bombarded with advertising messages that, by and large, seek to make you discontent so that you can be persuaded to fill your new-found need with some new possession.

Think of it this way" Contentment is a by-product of thankfulness. Set aside some time each day to thank God for all He has done for you. And verbalize your thanks. Count your blessings, one by one, thanking God for each and every one. Soon you will have a new understanding of what you have, rather than what you don't have.

When we cannot find contentment in ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.

~ Francois La Rochefoucauld

When I read this devotion it really struck a chord with me. I need to be content with what I have and stop coveting things I want but don't need.

Blessings to you!

Devotion taken from 'God's Daily Answer'.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Only 5 More Days. . .

Well friends, here we are with only 5 days until the big day! I'm so glad all my gifts are wrapped & ready. The only thing I need to do is pick up a few things for Christmas Eve snacking & Christmas Day dinner. Also, the house is clean so maybe I can just relax a little! Here's hoping!!!

It looks like Santa has already delivered some early presents!

No Bob, you can't open a gift early, you have to wait until Christmas morning! Hee-Hee!!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Another Christmas Book. . .

I'm recommending another wonderful Christmas book for you to read to the children in your family. This is another book that I used in my classroom for many years. I know you'll love this book as much as I do!!

This delightful story will remind you of the bygone days of old-fashioned country Christmases! Ruthie is a small-town girl whose family finally receives the honor of choosing the Christmas tree for their town--and sure enough she and her papa find the perfect balsalm. However, World War I comes and Papa leaves. Ruthie and her mother have more worries than they expected.This is a heart warming story of wartime heartache, but it still manages to perfectly capture the Christmas spirit and the true meaning of the holidays. The prose is gentle and folksy, and the illustrations beautiful & full of detail.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Reason For The Season . . .

Jesus is Better than Santa

Santa lives at the North Pole.

JESUS is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh

JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year

JESUS is an ever present help.

Santa fills your stockings with goodies

JESUS supplies all your needs.

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited

JESUS stands at your door and knocks.. and then enters your heart.

You have to stand in line to see Santa

JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.

Santa lets you sit on his lap

JESUS lets you rest in His arms.

Santa doesn't know your name, all he can say is "Hi little boy or girl, What's your name?"

JESUS knew our name before we did.

Not only does He know our name, He knows our address too.

He knows our history and future and

He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly

JESUS has a heart full of love.

All Santa can offer is HO HO HO

JESUS offers health, help and hope.

Santa says "You better not cry"

JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.

Santa's little helpers make toys

JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts, repairs broken homes and builds mansions.

Santa may make you chuckle but

JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.

While Santa puts gifts under your tree

JESUS became our gift and died on the tree.

It's obvious there is really no comparison.

We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about.

We need to put Christ back in Christmas.

Jesus is still the reason for the season.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey. . .

Today I'd like to share a wonderful children's book with you. I used this book in my classroom for several years. The book came with a CD that featured the deep, rich voice of actor James Earl Jones. The music sets the mood for the feelings & actions of the characters. The illustrations are beautiful & the life lesson taught in the book is priceless. If you have children in your family I highly recommend this book as an addition to your home library.

Here is a thumbnail sketch of the story.

Susan Wojciechowski, illustrated by P.J. Lynch, The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (Candlewick, 1995)

Susan Wojciechowski uses the setting of a Western frontier village for her Christmas story about the miraculous and transformational power of love.
His name is Jonathan Toomey, but the children of the village call him Mr. Gloomy. He seldom smiles and never laughs as he walks hunched over, mumbling and grumbling to himself. Most of his time he spends at his workbench, carving wood, for Jonathan Toomey is said to be the best woodcarver in the village.

The reason for Jonathan's gloom and mood is known only to himself: before moving to the valley, he had another life and a wife and baby, both of whom died. Unable to stay in the same place after that, he packed his belongings and "traveled till his tears stopped" to live in a small house at the edge of the village.

One day, his work is interrupted by a knock at the door. It is the widow McDowell and her 7-year-old son Thomas, newcomers to the village. She explains that the Christmas creche, which she has had since she was a girl, was lost in the move, and that she hopes that Jonathan could carve a new one.

Jonathan takes the job, refusing to promise them by Christmas. "Christmas is pish-posh," he says, and shuts the door to set to work. But a few days later, the widow and Thomas are back: Thomas wants to be a woodcarver, and he wants to watch Jonathan work. During the visit and subsequent visits, Jonathan experiences the miraculous transformation.

Wojciechowski develops Jonathan's progress back to fully living subtly and carefully through small and convincing details. There is a gentle rolling rhythm to her precise language and the structure of the story, and she uses images repeatedly to punctuate the story: church bells, wood shavings, the click of the widow's knitting needles. Wojciechowski depicts Jonathan's loneliness and despair as running close to the surface, evoking genuine emotions and responses.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Excitement Everywhere . . .

Sunday a strong cold front whipped into our region of Oklahoma dropping the temperature from 70 to 20. Around 9:30 p.m. heavy sleet started pelting down. At times we could hear thunder! By the time I made it to bed around 11:30, the streets and sidewalks were covered with thick ice. Ugh, here we go again! At least we weren't getting freezing rain, just sleet!

Monday morning Kari was scheduled to have an ultra-sound to check little Ethan's progress. We decided it would be a good idea for us to drive Bobby & Kari to the Dr's. office in the 4 wheel drive since it was evident that the roads were in horrible condition. Most of the schools were closed in the area. It took us 45 minutes to make the trip that should only take 20 under normal conditions. When we got a few miles from the office we started noticing that this part of town had received only a trace of precipitation, the streets were clear! Amazing. Speaking of amazing, Bobby & Kari invited us to come in the room & see the ultra-sound! Wow! How amazing! We found out little Ethan is about 3.9 lbs. The due date is still February 20. Thanks kids for letting us share this moment with you!

I received this wonderful award from Melissa at !!
Thanks friend for thinking of me!!!

The rules say to pass this award on to other deserving blogging friends, so I'm passing it along to anyone who stops by to read my blog. All of my friends in blog land have really outdone themselves showing their 'Christmas Spirit' with their beautiful decorations & yummy recipes.
All you have to do is post 5 things you love about Christmas.
Here's my list. . .
I love celebrating the birth of our dear Savior.
I love the beautiful music I hear during the month.
I love decorating our home for the season.
I love seeing the excitement in the eyes of a child.
I love being with our family as we share food, fun, & love.
Thank you for coming by today for a visit. Stay warm!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Favorites. . .

Dawn at posted this fun list on Friday. I decided to play along! Thanks Dawn!

~ Christmas Favorites ~

Fresh tree or fake tree?

We used to have a fresh tree years ago, but now we just use artificial because of our allergies.


My favorites are two I still have from elementary school Christmas parties in 2nd & 3rd grade.

Christmas song?

#1 favorite is Oh Holy Night, I remember my mom singing it in church as a solo.

#2 favorite is White Christmas, I get so excited if we have a white Christmas, which isn't very often here in Oklahoma.


We open gifts on Christmas morning .

Favorite gift as a child?

A transistor radio! I thought I was so grown up!

Christmas meal?

We started a new tradition a few years ago of having steak. Everyone likes the change from turkey & ham!


Christmas sugar cookies

Place to be?

Wherever my family is.


My favorite Christmas memory is Bobby's 1st Christmas in 1981, he was 5 months old. He was so sweet in his Santa outfit!

Christmas movie?

I have several. . .

#1 ~ It's a Wonderful Life

Love Jimmy Stewart & Donna Reed

#2 ~ White Christmas

Love musicals

#3 ~ Christmas Story

Cute & funny Ralphie

#4 ~ Christmas Vacation

Bob loves this movie & laughs each time he sees it like it's the first time!

Let me know if you play along.I'm interested in your favorites, too!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Faithfulness. . .

If we are faithless, He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.
2 Timothy 2:13

Painting by: G. Harvey

God's faithfulness grows out of the unchanging perfection of His nature. Because He is infinite and perfect in His love, mercy, and kindness, you can trust Him to be perfectly faithful in His care for you. Your friends may fail you; your own heart may fail you, but God never will. Divine faithfulness is just God being what He has always been and always will be.
That is why it is foolishness to think for a moment that God's faithfulness to you is in any way dependent upon your performance. Even if you have been faithless, turn your heart to the One who is ever faithful. He is always ready to take you in.
Upon God's faithfulness rests our whole hope of future blessedness.
A.W. Tozer
I hope you take the time to listen to the entire song I have selected to go with today's post. I think it will bless you!
Devotion taken from 'God's Daily Answer'

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gifts In A Jar. . .

I'm almost finished with my homespun gifts for Christmas 2008. I've sewed & monogrammed some gifts & made gifts in a jar. I won't be showing the monogrammed gifts until after Christmas because I don't want to spoil the surprise for the recipients. I will be showing the jar gifts & recipe.

Jar Gifts. . .
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here's the recipe. . .

Cookies in a Jar Project

Jar Ingredients:
·2 cups flour
·1 tsp salt
·1 tsp baking soda
·3/4 cup brown sugar
·3/4 cup white sugar
·1 1/4 cups chocolate chips

Use regular or wide mouth quart canning jars.
Layer ingredients in the order listed above.
Be sure to pack each ingredient after adding it to the jar or else you won't have room for everything.
Place lid securely on jar.
Cut a 9 inch circle of fabric, place on lid with rubber band.
Add *ribbon & baking instruction tag.
*I used thin wire star garland instead of ribbon.
Baking instruction tag. . .

Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup butter or margarine softened
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Thoroughly blend together the butter or margarine, the egg, and the vanilla. Empty jar of cookie mix into the butter mixture.
Mix until completely blended.
Drop teaspoons full of batter about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.
Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Today I'll be making Spicy Pecans for more jar gifts. I've never made this recipe before, but it looked like a perfect gift for some manly men on my list who like spicy food. I found it on a blog a few weeks ago, sorry I can't remember whose blog it was. Here's the recipe. . .
Spicy Pecans
1/3 cup butter melted
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound pecan halves
Heat oven to 300 degrees F.
Melt butter, add Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt and pepper, and mix well.
Place pecans in mixing bowl and pour the liquid on top, then stir to thoroughly coat. Spread onto a cookie sheet or jellyroll pan in a single layer.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring and re-spreading every 10 minutes or so.
Take out of oven and place on paper towels.
When cool, store in an airtight container.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Many Thanks & A Song. . .

I want to say a big thank you to two blogging friends today.

First, I want to thank Becky at for picking me as the winner for her contest she held on Wednesday. Thanks so much Becky!! It was fun!! Be sure to check out her blog to find out what the contest was all about & the special prize she's sending me. I'm so excited!!!!

The other day I was given the award shown below by Gloria at Her blog shows so many beautiful things in her home. Thanks Gloria for the award & always stopping by here to leave a sweet comment!!

This song blesses me. . .

I remember the first time I heard the song, 'Mary, Did You Know?', by Mark Lowry. As I listened to his gorgeous voice & heard the powerful lyrics, tears filled my eyes. The song has been a blessing to me, I hope it touches you too.

I wasn't able to find Mark singing the song on PlayList so I'm featuring Clay Aiken.

Mary, Did You Know?

By : Mark Lowry

Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you.
Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.
The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb.
Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding is the great I am.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The End Of The Tree Parade. . .

I'm so thrilled you came by today for the end of the tree parade!!
All the trees you'll see today are small tabletop trees.
Some have a theme while others are there just to add sparkle & shine.
The upstairs office. . .

I found this old sled at a garage sale many years ago for 25 cents!

Let's visit the TV room now. . .

This skinny tree is loaded with all kinds of fun ornaments.
If you click on the picture you'll see Barbie, The Lone Ranger, Howdy Doodie, Andy & Barney, and other reminders of the past.
You might even see Pistol Pete!

The guest room. . .

Precious Moments & angel ornaments make this tree special.

The upstairs landing. . .

The theme of this tree is Nativity.
The round sign hanging on the lamp says, 'Happy Birthday Jesus'.

The dining room. . .

This grapevine tree is wrapped in green & red mini wire garland.
You can't really tell how glittery & sparkly it is in this picture.

Thanks again for stopping by today, see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What, another tree?

Tuesday the weather was wet & wintry. The temperature kept dropping all day so I decided not to venture out to do some shopping I had wanted to do. Believe it or not when my hubby got home from work he announced he was going to go to the mall & do a little shopping! I stayed home because I'm not a fan of trudging around in freezing rain!

Monday I finally finished decorating & fluffing the entire house with Christmas bling. You might remember me saying in an earlier post that my stress was very much over the top & my energy level was at an all time low last year at this time. In fact not one single room was decorated upstairs!

Yes, today I have another Christmas tree to show you! Last year this tree never made its way out of the attic.

This tree is in our master bedroom downstairs. As you can see it's decorated with mainly gold & a few touches of white. There are several different kinds of angels. Click on the picture to see the details better.

I just love this angel!

Here's an elegant Victorian child angel.

Okay, now don't faint, but tomorrow I have more trees to show you! Hope you'll come by to check it out!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Another Christmas Tree. . .

I'm featuring another Christmas tree today. I started decorating a red, white, & blue patriotic tree for Christmas 1990 when our nephew was deployed to the gulf. Little did we know that in January 1991 his Harrier jet would be shot down about 2 weeks after the Gulf War started. For about 28 days we didn't know whether his was dead or alive. A day or two before all POWs were released we received the miracle news that he was alive! Every year when I decorate this tree I think about so many things that happened during that scary time for our family & the miracle of his survival. I praise the Lord for protecting our nephew!

We brought Bobby's wooden rocking horse out of the attic for the first time in years. I can't wait until next Christmas when Ethan can take a ride on the same horse his dad used to play on!!

Here are a few of my favorite ornaments on the tree.

A liberty angel. . .

A Santa sewing an American flag. . .

A chubby Santa dressed up as Uncle Sam. . .

I invite you to come back tomorrow for another Christmas tree reveal!