Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Thankfully, we aren't having Christmas with my husband's family until New Year's Eve! Which means we've had plenty of time to get the home-made Christmas gifts done!!!

Not that I've had anything to do with it, this year. YES, Amy, I'm saying that my husband is CRAFTY. Actually, we decided when our youngest started bringing home all these cool things he'd made in Wood Tech class, that one of those projects would be duplicated and we would be the stars of the home-made gift exchange this year!

I documented the construction, just in case any of you want to get out in your garage in 30 degree weather and try it, too:
After cutting the strips of wood, they have to be glued together. They look like they are really in the holiday spirit with this, huh?
Clamp it all together while it dries.
Planing and sanding next.
Final step: Oiling!

I hope you figured it out by now - Cutting boards!

Sunday, December 26, 2010


We have a little tradition of the "fake gift" that goes way back to when we lived in another house and the kids were little. I had a plant shelf up high in the family room. It was so high you probably wouldn't put real plants on it. Most of the time I think it was blank or had a few decorative items on it. One Christmas I decided to get a few big boxes and wrap them to look decorative and Christmasy and put them way up there. The kids started asking me what those presents were, to which I replied, "those are fake gifts, just to be pretty." I started thinking how disappointing that might be to them, and started scheming right then. One of the gifts I had ordered for all of the kids was a little puppet theatre for them to play with, so I decided to put it up there, wrapped among the fake gifts. After all of Christmas was said and done, I looked at my husband and said, "Daddy, do you really think all those gifts are fake? Maybe we better take them down and see..." So we got the ladder out and got down all those fake gifts, and the kids tore into them, and found that one box really had something in it! They thoroughly enjoyed that, so the next year we got a game or something the whole family would enjoy together to be among the fake gifts. Now I have fake gifts around a smaller tree in my entryway. So we've kept the tradition going strong.

This year's fake gift was a night on the town: Cirque de Soleil and dinner! We really enjoyed Cirque de Soleil, Allegria! It had been many years since we had been to any kind of a circus performance and were wowed by the acrobats, trapeze acts, and beautiful costuming and set(unfortunately, they don't allow any picture taking)! After that we went and tried Upper Crust, a new pizza place. It's in Classen Curve, one of the hottest new places in OKC. The pizza was average, but the setting is really fun, especially when you can see the Chesapeake light display in the background! Oh, yes...if you're a pizzookie fan, they have their version. It's called Cookie Pie. I would definitely recommend stopping by just for dessert sometime!
Okay, probably my favorite pic of the holiday season!
Upper Crust pizza!
The Chesapeake lights!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I did it again...didn't order enough here's a virtual card for you! Did something different this year - used a company called Zazzle when enticed by a half price sale. They're fine, not super high quality, but I thought the numbers 2010 were kind of fun and it highlighted the important events in our family's life! The two middle pics were in Italy!

Enjoy your family this holiday season!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


A new tradition is in the works! After years of making Christmas crafts with my children, their interest has gone to bigger and better things...and I've found a new one in doing crafts with my sweet little neighbor girls! They are the perfect ages to really get into the making of Christmas goodies! We had them over last year and let their parents have a night out, and so we did that again this year. We packed a lot into one evening:
Cracking pecans with my husband!
Candy sleighs
Pretty simple: hot glue candy canes to a graham cracker, then use Elmer's glue on wrapped candy to glue it to the top of the sleigh for "gifts"! If you want to spend more, you can find chocolate Santas to place behind the sleigh.

1 c. butter
1 c. sifted powdered sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
Dash salt
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. red food coloring
Peppermint Glaze (opt.)
In large mixer bowl beat butter until softened. Add powdered sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, peppermint extract and salt. Beat well. Add flour and beat until well mixed. Divide dough in 1/2. Stir food coloring in one half. Cover each half and chill about 30 minutes or until easily handled. For each cookie, on lightly floured surface, shape a teaspoon of plain dough into a 4" rope; repeat with red dough. Place ropes side by side and twist together. Pinch ends to seal. Form twisted ropes into canes. Place cane 2" apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until done. If desired, brush with Peppermint Glaze. Yield: 48 cookies.
Painting cardboard pieces for an ornament
Saw these in the newspaper - looked easy but they were kinda tricky - made from paper tubes, paint, and pipe cleaners (chenille sticks for you young'ins)!

Time to go, there's some leftover cookie dough in the fridge calling my name...

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Liverpool Rummy started tonight, after our son in college finished his finals and came home today!!! We promised him we wouldn't ask him to play cards with us EVERY night of Christmas break...

And the game we all love...Sock Match! Someday we'll quit playing this game and just toss 'em!

Monday, December 13, 2010


Yes, I am still practicing! Don't know if I'll ever get it right, but I (and my husband, he's a great help) am working on it! Even when the house is fairly clean, and I set out my beautiful Christmas china my husband has been giving me for 27 years, I still have fears that perhaps 10 people is too tight a fit around our antique dining room set. I worry that that the meat is dry. Or the tea must have been too warm since the ice cubes melted so you see, even a 46 year old experienced mother of three still thinks about getting it right. So if you have any insecurities about hospitality, just get over it. There's the NIKE sermon: JUST DO IT!
Our brothers and sisters in Christ at the "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" Christmas party!
We didn't know who would be coming, but they all brought a dish and went to the church building first to pick up their house assignment. All the groups met back at the church building for dessert and "Dirty Santa" after the meal. It was a lot of fun and we did get to know one new couple!
Snowball salad! I'll share that one soon...this post is already putting me behind...

We repeated the same meal - actually we had some delicious leftovers for this group of college kids! We squeezed 12 around our table this time. I definitely think that 12 is the max we can do!!!
This reminds me of the passage in Luke 14:4 - Give to those who can't repay you...we love feeding our son and the kids he brings over just to give them a little dose of home cooking!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


includes every link on THIS WEBSITE. For a while now, 16 years to be exact, I've been plucking gray hairs from my head, and highlighting my dull brown hair occasionally. I've never really taken the plunge and done an all-over color on my hair. Seems to me, though, the 2 things that fool people age-wise are fitness and hair color. If you keep your body fairly trim, in a healthy weight range, and have some kind of color besides gray or white on your hair, it's hard to tell if you're 40, 50, or 60 years old! So that's been my aim for a while - to fool everyone. But the time has come to stop plucking or I'm seriously going to start looking pretty thin...

I read an article in the paper over Thanksgiving weekend that had this incredible fact in it: The woman who started THIS WEBSITE had spent $52,000 over 2 decades coloring her hair. UNBELIEVABLE. So now that has me feeling guilty before I ever get started thinking about hair color. I've always been a natural kind of girl with minimum makeup and tried to dress in a way that would please God, so that plays a factor, too.

What do you guys think?

Should I try to do it myself to cut costs? (I've done my own highlights - probably obvious to you)

Do I do salon color just a few times a year ( to cut costs)?

Should I embrace the gray?

Saturday, December 4, 2010


is the sign of a WISE teenager. When you invite Mom and Dad to the picture-taking pre-event, it makes us feel happy to be included. Especially after shelling out the dough for new clothes, flowers, etc!!! Maybe we'll feel like continuing to support you in your future endeavors.

What's more, we got a bonus tonight! We were invited to go eat dinner with this group before the winter formal - probably because none of them drive yet! But it was fun - 4 teens in a booth, and their 8 parents sharing a nearby table. A night for everyone to remember.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


My son and his lifelong friend just found out they won a video contest on ETHICS. Check it out and see if you have made any of these ethical slipups...


It's been a while since I've been to a sports banquet. Four years, I think! My kids played lots of different sports growing up, but music has been what they've stuck with through high school. I hope they don't have any regrets about that. I certainly don't! You know all the studies...improved brain function, math skills, etc. Not to mention exposure to many different languages and nurturing their artistic side. But I have to say sports helps in many ways too. I went to my youngest's Cross Country banquet last week and LOVED the coach's style! He's been around here for 30 years. He retired from teaching, and now paints houses, quitting at 1 p.m. to continue coaching Cross Country /Track at EMHS. He was HILARIOUS to us parents - my son said they are so used to him that he's not funny anymore. But I love it that he doesn't mince words. Here are some


While handing out certificates for the faster runners: "Here's one of our better runners, Congratulations."

For the slow runners: "Good improvement, good improvement."

"There's only 19 trophies and 53 of you guys. So I think you'll figure out not everybody's gonna get a trophy. If you want a trophy, then SUCK IT UP AND BE A MAN. Work harder next year and you'll get a trophy."

"If you don't work hard, your gluteus maximus is gonna get bigger."

"Go ahead and try basketball or football and maybe you'll be one of the chosen few. But if you show up for a meet we'll put you on the bus and let you run..."


I LOVE this guy! He led an awesome prayer before the banquet started, and obviously loves running if he's been doing this for 30 years - actually you might see him on a bicycle now, following his runners. He buys kids snacks if they need something after a race. He tells is like it is and encourages hard work. He is a great role model. We are really blessed to have this guy, and his young protege in our school!

Monday, November 22, 2010


Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking...another post about a mom missing her college kids...while you are wishing there were less mess to pick up and wondering if they'll ever learn _____!

But I was just contemplating the word "MOMENT." That's what I've been thinking about in the MOMENT, cherishing the MOMENT. It really is easier to enjoy life and be happy if we do this. There are NO PERFECT DAYS, and certainly NO PERFECT WEEKENDS. Only MOMENTS.

Having said that, we had a pretty good weekend here - with one home from college for Thanksgiving Break, and another one coming home soon. Went to see "Harry Potter" - but that certainly wasn't the moment I'm speaking of....really, it wasn't - with the person next to me who threw up in their popcorn sack during the movie....YUCK!

It wasn't the BOGO holiday drinks at Starbucks we had afterward, although it greatly pleased my coupon-loving heart to get 2 free drinks!

It was the time we spent in the yard Saturday afternoon. I had conned them into helping me put up the Christmas lights. Although not everyone did lights, there was leaf raking and tetherball playing and we were all out there together. I didn't get any wonderful family picture with everyone smiling, but here's a few scenes from my cherished MOMENT:

My lovely daugher raking leaves
My son and his friend playing tetherball
Wrapping trees with Christmas lights

That was my sweet MOMENT this weekend. I wish for all my friends many sweet MOMENTS!

Friday, November 19, 2010


So it's that time of year again...when the EMHS girls are asking guys to go to the Winter Formal with them! Many of them ask in very creative ways, as this article demonstrated in the school newspaper today.

Check out that picture one more time...

Yes, that's my son's name on that phone text, and yes his girlfriend is the one who wrote the article!

That's how she asked him...through the school newspaper! What an intelligent girl!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Except for maybe piano lessons, of course. Those cost too much, so Girl Scouts was what I did.

I stepped back in time last week and talked to a Brownie troop about the 3 generations of Girl Scouts in my family!
I had a lot of fun with these energetic young girls, and showed them my mother's handbook and sash from the 1950's (dues was $.03 per meeting back then!) It was "show and tell" with lots of other memorabilia, including my Junior Girl Scout uniform, and items from my daughter's days as a Girl Scout as well.

I shared my 3 FAVORITE THINGS from scouting:

1. SONGS - silly and serious! I remember singing while doing crafts, riding on the bus to camp, and around campfires. Songs with hand motions, songs with harmony - I loved them all!

2. CAMPING - Day camps were great, but as I got older and got to spend the night, it was even better! I remember a time in 6th grade as a Junior Girl Scout when we got to make our own tents out of a tarp and a rope. It rained of course, and our sleeping bags got soaked! We had to dry them out on the grass the next day. That was one campout I'll never forget!

3. EARNING BADGES - My absolute favorite badge to earn was the CYCLIST badge. I had to plan and carry out a bicycle trip. My Dad went with me and spent the entire day riding around Edmond with me. We stopped at my elementary school to play on the playground. We ate a picnic lunch on the grounds of UCO, we went to Braum's for ice cream, and stopped at a bookstore, where he bought me a comic book. I loved that day!

Something occurred to me after reflecting on all of this: How much Girl Scouts contributed to my spiritual life! Singing PRAISE songs, seeing God in NATURE, and nurturing RELATIONSHIPS with each other. So, just a thought about the extracurricular activities our children are doing: Will this contribute to their spiritual life? Are they learning skills that will help them later in life? Are they working with others or just developing themselves? Are they being encouraged to do good deeds? I don't think ALL the activities my children have been involved with have been beneficial to them spiritually. And I just have to wonder, are most activities today SELF-SERVING? Just something to think about...

Monday, November 15, 2010


Just how to get the chocolate bar in your S'MORE to be as deliciously melty as the marshmellow when you assemble it?!

It NEVER happens for me. The marshmellow might be toasted perfectly and you put it all together and the chocolate is still hard! Well, look no further, we found the ANSWER:

Step 1: Buy these GIANT marshmellows. They are 2-3 times the normal large marshmellow size. CAUTION: CHOKING HAZARD. (Seriously, it really says that on the back of the package!)

Step 2: Break up your chocolate and PUSH it into the giant marshmellow.That's right, put it INSIDE the marshmellow!
Step 3: Roast it over the fire, letting the chocolate melt into the marshmellow!
Step 4: Assemble between two graham crackers. Enjoy your wonderfully messy treat! No hard chocolate!
Step 5: Hope the kids leave you some for seconds!

Friday, November 12, 2010


But it's official now...she's the Queen of the Knights!

I don't really get it since I didn't go to college here, but she tells me it's a big deal. Must be if they gave her a jersey and she's riding on their shoulders! So that makes me excited because all I've ever been Queen of is my own household!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


These two met each other on campus recently, and have become friends. The cool thing is, their MOTHERS shared maternity clothes 20 years ago! I vividly remember an adorable navy blue jumper I borrowed. We then lost touch with each other as jobs took us/them to different places and to different churches. It's wonderful how God brings people together, isn't it?

Sunday, November 7, 2010


that's one of my husband's favorite sayings. Exactly what I thought after looking at the few pictures I took yesterday.

"If only" he could smile like his friend!

But we're okay with that...makes 3 out of 3 for us...our 9th COCDA honor choir concert, our 3rd kid to get a 3 year medal! Woohoo!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Your daughter calling at 8:50 a.m. to tell you what a great day she's having. She just aced a test, loves it that it's raining, and her next class is canceled so she's got some unexpected free time. Sweet call!


Watching your son perform praise songs to our Father!

It's been a good day. :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010


So I bought this product this week, expecting great things. I mean, what else would you expect with a name like LAVISH? It wasn't horrible, it just didn't live up to its name. There was one really good bite. I think it must have had a huge chocolate chip in it. Save your $.

But now this, this was really good. I was craving something with that mexican chocolate taste. Love that hint of cinnamon and vanilla in it. Once I had the BEST hot chocolate at Maggie Moo's, and I keep trying to recreate that. They made hot chocolate, then put in a scoop of their cinnamon vanilla ice cream. Have you ever had hot chocolate with a scoop of ice cream? Well, it's wonderful, especially with Cinnamon Vanilla ice cream. Anyway, Maggie Moo's is long-gone around here. I found this recipe and it's a KEEPER!

Cinnamon Brownie Cupcakes (courtesy McCormick seasonings website)
1 c. flour
1 c. cocoa
4 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix first 5 ingredients together. Set aside. Mix sugar, applesauce, eggs and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Gradually stir in flour mixture until well mixed. Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon 1/4 c. batter into 15 paper lined muffin cups. Bake 15 minutes or until done with toothpick test.

NOTE: I reduced it to 2 eggs because I don't like brownies with an eggy taste. I also had to cook it 20-25 minutes to get done. We LOVED the cinnamon-fudgy brownie, but next time I think I will reduce the cinnamon to 3 teaspoons. The nutrition information indicated 4g fat per cupcake, but it would be even less than that with the reduced amount of eggs! Big taste and not a lot of fat. I like it!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Look at these two little friends...sweet little girly girls with their plastic jewelry on...
My daughter and K playing on the swingset, 1993

Forget the girly girls...just call 'em MUDDY BUDDIES now!
K, from Texas A & M and my daughter completed the Muddy Buddies race! 2010

Isn't it interesting how with some friends you can just pick up where you left off? These two have been separated by distance for a while but are still friends. What a blessing! They went to church together and were in playgroup together for basically the first 8 years of their lives. Although they lost touch for a few years, they reunited again about 5 years ago when my daughter went on "TREK" with K and her youth group in Texas. They went to different colleges, but of course have connected with facebook, and now have enjoyed a challenge getting back together again to do the Muddy Buddies race!

Haven't they grown up to be beautiful young ladies? :)