My husband and I took a few days off last week and went to Woodward, Oklahoma to see his sister. Between Enid and Woodward is a state park called Gloss Mountain State Park. It's also known as the Glass Mountains.
As we approached the state park I couldn't help thinking the landscape reminded me of New Mexico. The mountains aren't mountains at all but more like flat topped hills made up of red dirt and selenite.
Selenite is an alternate name for Gypsum, a mineral that is transparent and colourless that exudes a pearly lustre which glows, thus the name Gloss Mountains. When the sun hits the mountains just right they sparkle and look like they are covered with diamonds.
Western Oklahoma is such a contrast compared to the eastern part of Oklahoma but it has a beauty all its' own. Northeastern Oklahoma is green and lush with lots of trees and is quite hilly, whereas western Oklahoma is more flat and there aren't as many trees and the dirt is red, and I mean red. In the western part of Oklahoma you will see farming communities and lots of oil wells. Woodward is almost two hours west of Enid and it feels like it is out in the middle of nowhere. Driving through Gloss Mountain State Park broke the boredom of a long drive of the same scenery.
A week from now all the Christmas deco will be taken down and put away for another year at our house. It all has to stay though til after New Years Day. That is when all of our kids and grandkids will be here for gift exchange, pizza and football.
Santas will be put away but the snowman stays through February.
The fire stays but the tree will be put away.
Santa and his reindeer will go.
It's like when you go on a trip. You know that in a little while you'll be coming back the same way you went. It's the same when you put all the Christmas deco up, you know it has to come down sooner or later. I'm so glad I don't have to go to work anymore. Retirement means doing things at your own pace. So I don't have to be in a hurry to put all the decorations away. Hopefully, I won't be sick of it all by then.
A week or so ago my sister at Ninny's Notes blogged about the tinsel tree she made and, of course, I had to make one myself. I've had the materials for a while now but just got around to making one yesterday. It was so easy! I put colored lights on the one I made and small hot pink and red ornaments. It looks so pretty next to my Santa collection on an antique desk near the entry. You need to go to my sister's blog and check hers out and see which tinsel tree you like the best.
My mama went on a short trip and brought this stuffed moose back for me. At least that's what she called it. She told me I could play with it and sleep with it if I wanted to. Now why in "doggie world" would I want to do that? I'd much rather chew on my chewie and could care less about a stuffed moose.
Don't get the wrong idea here. I am NOT kissing this thing, only smelling it to see if it's edible. Nope, this wouldn't be tasty.
I hope this isn't the only thing I'm getting for Christmas. If it is I'm going to be very disappointed. I know, I can regift it to one of those runny nosed kids that come over here once in awhile. Woof, woof!
This is the only time of year I make homemade candy. Chocolate Peanut Clusters are my husbands' favorite candy and Christmas isn't Christmas without them. I like Peppermint Fudge and make it at the same time as the clusters. Last week I made enough for us and our church connection group that meets on Wednesday nights. This week I will make more for our children and grandchildren.
The day I made candy I also baked some cookies. Those of you who know me know I don't bake cookies unless they are the store bought slice and bake kind. I got the recipe on a blog I was reading one day and thought they soundeed good. Some of the ingredients were cocoa, instant coffee, flour and sugar, etc. They were ok but I probably won't make them again. My husband loved them by the way.
If you don't see a post from me for a few day you will know what I'm doing. Makin candy!
This month I have been teaching Pre-K through 4th grade Sunday school at our church. We have a rotation system where each grade attends a different class each Sunday. I'm in charge of Good News where I teach the theme of the month which is, The Gift of Jesus. As we all know, we don't know exactly what time of the year Jesus was born but the month of December has been set aside to celebrate. As far as I'm concerned there is nothing wrong with that and am thankful that most of the world celebrates the birth of our Savior at this time. I decided that not only would I teach the birth of Jesus and the events that led up to it, but I added another gift that wasn't in the lesson plan.
I brought a large box wrapped in beautiful red foil paper with a big red bow and set it in the middle of the table that we were all sitting around. I told the children that this was another gift that I considered the "Greatest Gift" of all and that we would open it after the lesson. Yes, the birth of Jesus is a wonderful gift but not the greatest. They were quite interested in this large present on the table and what could be in it. Was it something for them they wanted to know. I told them it was for everyone. After discussing the story of the birth of Jesus and how it was a wonderful gift, I was now ready to share with them the greatest gift of Jesus. As I opened the box they were all eyes. The first thing I pulled out was a whip that had many leather streamers with bits of medal attached to each streamer. They knew imediately what it was. I told them how Jesus was whipped before he was crucified and how he must have suffered during and after the beating. Then I pulled out a "crown of thorns". Yes, it was a true to life replica. We discussed how Jesus was bullied and made fun of. Then I pulled out a large nail that was also a replica of the real thing. We discussed the suffering of Jesus as he hung on the cross. After this discussion I then asked them what they thought was the greatest gift of Jesus and in unison they exclaimed, "His death."
I asked the children why Jesus had to die on the cross and I was surprised to hear a first grader reply, "For our sins." We discussed what sin was and why Jesus died for our sins. These kids are bright but I was completely caught off guard by how much they knew and understood. I hope the props I used in telling the story will be a memory they won't forget.
Yes, the birth of Jesus was a gift, but the greatest gift was His death. My prayer is that the world believes and accepts this gift.
For those of you who like a good read full of suspense this is the book for you.
It's about a man(Reed) and his wife(Beck) who go camping. During the first night an unearthly wail pierces the calm of the forest. Then someone, no something, emerges from the dense woods and begins pursuing them. Everything that follows is a blur to Reed except for the unforgettable image of a huge creature carrying his wife into the wilderness. (Think Bigfoot).This book doesn't waste time getting suspenseful and after the first few pages you'll be hooked. I really enjoy books that have a great ending and this one does, plus it ends with an unusual twist.
This was such a good book that I couldn't put it down. It reminded me of books by Dean Koonz except there wasn't any profanity. Frank Peretti is considered a Christian writer and depends on the plot to sell the story, not sex or profanity. And guess what? It works. He has also written other books that I plan to read in the future. This Present Darkness, Piercing the Darkness, The Oath, and The Visitation are a few of them.
For the past two days we have had our youngest grandson staying with us during the day because he is sick. He has been diagnosed with a sore throat (not strep) and cankor sores in his mouth due to whatever virus he has. The doctor isn't sure what it is but did put him on an antibiotic because his ears looked like they were in the early stages of an ear infection.He also has a slight cough. In other words, he's miserable. He has been going to school (daycare) since August and we knew he was bound to get sick sometime or another. When one of the grands get sick I drop everything and give them my undivided attention. That means they spend a lot of their time in my lap. No housework, running errands, washing, etc. for me. All that can wait. Just Nana time with the sick one.
He's been sucking on a cold washcloth because it is soothing to his mouth. Either that or it gives him comfort. Whatever works.
Papa is good to go get this and go get that. At one time during the day grandboy ask for a chocolate doughnut with sprinkles and Papa got up and went to Homeland and got him two.
Being retired has its rewards. Taking care of sick grandchildren is one of them.
Some of the blogs I follow have posted pictures of some lovely tablescapes, especially this time of year. When I started decorating for Christmas around our home I planned one of my own on our dinningroom table. This is what it is suppose to look like. The centerpiece I designed myself.
My hubby has other ideas. He decided to add his own touch.
I appreciate his input but this is not what I had in mind. Men, they just don't get it!
I'm one of those people who will stoop to making my own decorations for Christmas before I'll pay an arm and a leg for them at a department store or gift shop. Wreaths being one of them. I'll put one together and use it a few years then tear it apart and make a new one. The one above is in the entry hall. Below are somemore of the ones I made this year.
The Santa face is homemade and I found it at a garage sale for $1.50 in great condition. What a steal!
These wreaths aren't as elaborate as those you see in flower shops but they are festive and spruce the house up for Christmas. They also save me a ton of money.
When I was a young teenager my parents took the whole family to see the movie "The Birds" written and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. My mother was a fan of suspense and supernatural books and movies, so we were dragged along. That movie made an impression on me and I've never forgotten it. Since living here in our neighborhood we have a scene right out of the movie every day at seven in the morning and around five in the evening. Thousands of birds fly over our house and extend at least a quarter of a mile around us going northwest at seven in the morning and then back to the southeast at five in the afternoon. This last at least thrity minutes. It's an amazing scene.
I've never seen them up close but a cousin of mine that is a birder told me they might be grackles. But whatever they are they are leaving the area where they roost at night and going to an area where they feed during the day and then back to their roost in the late afternoon.
I can hear them coming and I love going out on the deck and watching them fly overhead. Not to worry though, because I have never been torpedoed with bird droppings. Evidently they don't poop during flight. Ha.
The other day we asked our daughter-in-law what we could get our two and a half year old grandson for Christmas. She told us that he had been talking about a toy called "Stinky the Garbage Truck". Of course, we had never heard of this one before and were amused that he wanted a garbage truck out of all the toys he could choose from. She told us we could find it at Wal-mart or buy it online. We hightailed it over to Wal-mart to see if they had any left. You know how popular toys go fast and we didn't want to take any chances that they might be out of stock at our local store. We were in luck because they had plenty. So we plopped down $49.00 and bought the thing.
Let me tell you this is no ordinary garbage truck. It is about half the size of our grandson and when buttons are pushed on various places it interacts with 90 plus phrases and sounds. Such as," I'm stinky, are you?, Make some noise if you want me to dump!, Keep pushing boss!, MMMMMMM trashicious!", etc. No wonder he wanted one.
What ever happened to toys like bulldozers, police cars and tractors that kids could actually play with in the dirt? I guess they still make those but what kid in their right mind would choose those over one that actually talks?
Speaking of gifts that talk, I bought our seven year old granddaughter a Taylor Swift doll at K-mart that sings one of her hits when her belly button is pushed. Now this will be a hit with her because she loves Taylor Swift. She has both her CD's.
What will toymakers think of next? I was elated at that age to get a Barbie doll that came in a black and white bathing suit and was stiff as a board. Our mother made all the dolls clothes and we were thrilled. By the way, I still have that Barbie.
On November 22nd of last year my dad passed away and two days later our youngest grandchild was born. That whole week was bittersweet to say the least. In the midst of sadness new joy emerged. A precious little girl that Nana can dress in pink. Her older sister had been anticipating her arrival as well as the rest of us. She was seven years old and had wanted a sibling for a long time.
Thanksgiving evening when we were all together we had a birthday party for baby Brylee who turned one. She had had one the night before with her other grandparents. She had no idea what all the fuss was about but she looked pleased.
She has learned to take a few steps on her own, but if she really wants to get somewhere fast she gets back down on hands and knees and takes off.
Brylee is crazy about her sister. Her eyes light up when she walks into the room. Here Cailynn is helping her little sister open presents.
We are blessed with four grandchildren. Two boys and two girls with the youngest one year old and the oldest seven years old. The two boys are in between the two girls. When they all get together it is total chaos. We love it.
I rarely get overly excited about new music artists but I was quite impressed with the voices of The Texas Tenors, a vocal music act in Branson. A few years ago they came in fourth place on America's Got Talent. They should have won first as far as I'm concerned. After our day at Silver Dollar City we went back to our cabin and cleaned up and went to their show. It was awesome! They sing all kinds of music from opera to country and everything in between.
They not only have beautiful tenor voices but are very humble and thankful for their opportunity to sing in Branson. They each went to college in Texas and majored in music. You can tell they have been trained vocally. My sister and I bought one of their CD's which is their first one and I think you can just buy it from the Starlite Theater where they perform. I'm not sure though. I bet you could order one from their website. If you are ever in Branson go see them. You won't be disappointed.
Sis and I stayed after the show and got our picture taken with The Texas Tenors, (J.C., Marcus and John), with a "bunch" of other women. Saw a few men who were good sports and got pictures with their wives and The Tenors, but of course "the rocks" wouldn't with us. They are so not much fun. I think I'll have my picture framed and hang it in my hubby's bathroom. What do you think?