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.