Monday, December 28, 2009

Surviving the Blizzard of 2009

I have pictures/posts about my company Christmas party, Christmas with Eric and His Family, and just Christmas overall but I felt I needed to get our experience of the Great Blizzard down before I forgot or too much time passed! It was an experience etched in our minds for quite sometime!!!

I did have to come into work for about 3 hours on Christmas Eve. It wasn't too bad because my boss brought me biscuits and gravy and we just hung out together. Very relaxed!! Luckily we left the office one hour before our original set time. Bryan and I have always spent Christmas Eve with his family for the past 13 years. Although it was snowing in OKC/Moore, we decided to leave for Ada, hoping to drive out of the storm. That did not happen. Instead, it felt like we were in the eye (if a snow storm has an eye) of the storm the entire drive to Ada!! Just some basic information...from Moore to Norman, the drive is usually 7-10 minutes. From Moore to Ada, the drive is usually 1 hour 10 minutes. On Christmas Eve, it took us 50 minutes to get from Moore to Norman. And it took us 4.5 hours to get from Moore to Ada!!!

These pictures were taken on the interstate about 5 miles from Moore.
We passed this jack-knifed semi-truck along Norman. At this point, the snow, wind, and road conditions made us afraid to turn around and we had already spent 45 minutes in the car. We did not want to get stuck/stranded in it driving back and it was hard to find a place to turn around.

We stopped in another town to use the restroom and Bryan bought "provisions" in case we got stranded in our car. I had asked him to buy some crackers and peanut butter, thinking of a source of protein. I had two bananas from home already in the car. Here are the provisions he bought...

Cheetos and Gatorade!!!

I must remember this when I ask him to get dinner for our future children!! :)

The last 3 hours of our drive were very scary. Our visibility was terrible and we had to stop every 2 miles or so to clean off our wipers. I don't think we ever got over 10-15 mph. At one point, we discovered we had crossed over the entire road and was straddling the edge of the road with a small drop off about 75 ft in front of us!!! Bryan was able to correct and get back onto the road. Needless to say, I was crying at this point and nauseated!!

As I recalled this to Brooklyn, I told her I would never have gotten out in this if we had a child!! Promise!!!! Looking back, we were crazy to have driven to Ada. We should have stayed home! I am so thankful we made it safely.

My father-in-law on Christmas Eve
In the midst of a blizzard he was concerned about the star falling off his tree outside! Ha!!

There is some beauty of a white Christmas...
This was outside my in-laws home on Christmas Day. The bird was just beautiful!

We drove back home on Saturday. The drive back was dramatically different:

Here are some pictures of our house, 3 days after the blizzard when we got home. I couldn't get into my driveway and my poor car had to spend the night outside.

This is standing in our garage, looking out. We brought a few bags in and then took time to dig a small path so we could walk into the garage. Can you tell how deep the snow was up against our garage!

The pictures in the daylight were taken yesterday after some snow melt.Bryan and I had fun shoveling snow. I love Bryan's action shot!!

At sunset yesterday. And now my car is in my garage!!!

Have a great week!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Silver Dollar City -- 2009

Bryan and I think we are well on our way to establishing some Christmas traditions of our very own. One of them seems to be going to Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO to view the lights, drink some cider, and watch Dickens Christmas Carol. We did this last year, we just went this past weekend for this year, and we bought passes for 2010!! We have tentative plans to go with friends and take family on other trips!

Silver Dollar City is the best place to go for the holidays! I cannot wait until we have a small someone to take with us. However, we would definitely have to watch the weather and temps. It was cold this weekend!! It was so cold, even this little squirrel was burrowing for some food!
Now you see bits of his head (look closely)....

Now you don't....
This year we were able to take Bryan's mom with us. His dad isn't much of a traveler! It was fun to have her with us.
Bryan was our very own personal tour guide in Silver Dollar City. He scanned the official Silver Dollar City paper while we waited in line to see Dickens Christmas Carol (which is a must if you go to Silver Dollar City during the Christmas season).

One of the beauties of Silver Dollar City is the Christmas decorations throughout the park. Buildings and trees are covered in bright lights. I think it would be a child's delight! Here is one of Bryan's "must stops"...the Taffy Shop.

They also have a beautiful ceremony to light the tree (unfortunately my video was too long to upload). The tree, of course, is not lit in the daylight. Bryan and I always take a picture in front of the tree.

Different colors of the same tree:

They also have a light parade in the evenings as well!

We did some shopping Sunday at the Tanger Outlet Mall and then ate at Lambert's Cafe in Ozark, MO...home of the throwed rolls! It was delicious!! We ate way too much!!

Now it is back to work, wrapping gifts, and getting ready for a family gathering!

Have a Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Harvest IS Coming !!

I wasn't going to blog today because I was trying to catch up on some reading in James, but I "accidentally" read James 5:7-11. I was suppose to be reading/taking notes on the last part of Chapter 3. But I just had to share with you what I read in James 5.

The title in my Bible just before these verses reads "Patience in Suffering."

"Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful." James 5:7-11

Although these verses are tied to the return of the Lord, it made me immediately think of those waiting for children or those waiting for a spouse or those waiting for healing or those wanting a renewed marriage or perhaps a job. Waiting gets long and worrisome. But notice the mention of precious fruit! Isn't that child to be, that husband to come, that healing to come ever so precious! It made me think of the precious child to hopefully come into our home next year. It often seems like the deepest desires are so long in the coming. These scriptures tells us too we must receive the early and late rains. I think of trials, the disappointments, the let down after let down, and the "rain" that falls on our lives, but their is precious fruit as the outcome!! Hallelujah!! I could be taking this scripture in a whole different direction, but I had to share how it initially set with me. Oh, it does mention the farmer waits with patience! Patience....the hardest aspect of farming. It says to establish your set, be ready, be sure. Those who remain steadfast will be blessed. The Lord is compassionate and merciful!

I found this picture by artist Gregory Frank and it is titled "A Peaceful Time."I LOVE this picture. I think of it as a mother and daughter, me and my daughter on my Granny's land! We would be at the end of our harvest. The title is so fitting. A peaceful time...Harvest is Coming!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Card Carousel 2009

Faith is having a Christmas Card Carousel over at her blog!! And thanks to her advice, I was finally able to get ours onto my blog!

Isn't Faith absolutely amazing!! She is one of the most talented individuals. She is so creative and artistic! And might I add, just gorgeous!!

Although our Christmas card isn't too fancy, it is very special to me. My cousin Eric helped take our picture on my Granny's property. There are many memories at Granny's house and I find myself longing to be in Ada as much as possible because she is there and it is land my Poppy farmed and kept cattle on. This year, I wanted to be sure I had something I could look back in years to come that showed their land. So we chose the large pond or "tank" that Poppy stocked with catfish when he came home from fishing. If Poppy were here, I think he would be delighted we used his pond for a backdrop!

Although I live in a big city now, I still love going back to the country! Merry Christmas! May you experience love, peace, joy, and hope in Christ this Christmas as well as the upcoming year. May you truly know Him and His greatness. My prayer for you is that you would have a personal salvation relationship with Jesus Christ!

Merry Christmas!!

The Great Bake Off of 2009

This year Bryan and I decided to give baked goodies to his co-workers. There are 12 individuals he wanted to give to and we thought baking would be a thoughtful and less expensive way to share with 12!!

I started baking on Tuesday with Ande' Creme Mint Cookies...I think they taste like Christmas!

Then I finished up last night making Cowboy Cookies, Bon Bons, Chocolate Covered Pringles, and English Toffee.

I had a wonderful time doing it but my muscles were tired at 11:45 p.m.! Bryan was a huge help while I baked and put the containers together. He folded the laundry which may not seem like much to some but it helped me from getting mentally overwhelmed with tasks to get done. I really appreciate him. Plus, it kept him out of the way!! :)

I do have to admit, when I was packing all the containers, loading the dishwasher, and washing large dish after large dish, the thought did cross my mind...why not do $5.00 sonic cards. That sure would be easier. BUT, it would have been more expensive. Plus I truly enjoyed baking the goodies.
I was most proud of the English Toffee. I had never made it and I think it is rather tasty. I used Paula Deen's recipe. I felt very southern!! I thought about trying to talk like her with a strong accent to see if my candy would turn out better, but by this time, Bryan had already fallen asleep and it was just me and our cat!! No one to entertain! Too bad I didn't look as pretty as she does in the kitchen too. I admit, I was wearing my pjs while I cooked. I had to change again before I went to bed because I had chocolate on them!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Graduation and Lights

This past weekend my cousin graduated from East Central University in Ada. My Alma mater!!
You can't tell in this picture, but I did dress in my schools colors! Orange!!! After the graduation, I visited the campus store and bought Bryan and I both alumni shirts! I don't have a picture of mine but I think it is pretty snappy!
Eric and Whitney provided lunch for all of us at our Granny's home. It was great to see my cousins, aunt, uncle, and my family.

Eric, Whitney, Katie, and Jesse

My parents with my sisters and I (can you tell I went with the wild hair look!)

Uncle Doug, Granny, and My Mom

The pictures taken of my aunt and I did not turn out. I'm glad she has posted some on face book though! :)

Once we got back to our home, I met my cousins James, Eric, and Eric's little boy Jesse for dinner. Bryan was out of town and Eric's wife was at a birthday party. I would have loved to have got a picture but I didn't want to embarrass them. It was a great visit and yummy Mexican food!

On Monday, we went with the Gortons and Brooklyn's high school friend, Courtney, to our annual "View the Lights at Chickasha and Eat at Jake's Ribs." Yummy! I love having this tradition with the Gortons. It means so much they include us. I think we have done it for three years now.

It was ridiculously cold though on Monday night. We didn't last long at all outside. We walked over to the the large light tree, took some pictures, and then went to buy hot chocolate and apple cider inside. We opted to do the drive through this year and I'm kind of glad. I think the cold would have been painful and might have made some folks sick.

Please pray for Granny. She has had the shingles and although they are finally clearing, she is still not feeling well. She does not have an appetite and has no energy. Also, please pray she will be encouraged. Her spirits are somewhat down.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Registering 101

A few weeks ago some of my "Mom" friends went with me to register at Babies R Us.

Brooklyn, Courtney, and Courtney's son, Brody.
He didn't go with us, he just wanted to be in at least one picture. He was changing his mind by the time the retake came:

But isn't he just a handsome little boy. I love his red hair and I love his personality.

It was great to have these two ladies go with me. They had lots of advice and were so very patient. We covered the entire store!! I registered for more items than I thought I would and I later revised it online and eliminated some items because I felt bad asking for some of the items. My first run at it left my registry 18 pages long!!! The clerk said she had seen way longer!The clerk was so sweet and kind. She thought it was hilarious I took her picture.

I removed some items and I actually purchased one item using a coupon I had:

We had debated back and forth on getting a changing table. We weren't sure how much room we would have or how much we would use it. Was it something we absolutely had to have? We found this one while registering that would match the wood fairly close. I went back later and bought it with a 15% coupon.

Do you use a changing table?

We bought a car seat a few months ago in preparing for our home study. We wanted to show we were absolutely ready for an infant.

Here are just a few items I also selected.

It is getting harder and harder to stay gender neutral. There are so many cute and precious blankets, bibs, & clothing! I have been blessed to have such a variety of advice on baby equipment. I sure hope I am selecting the right items!!

I was a smiggin overwhelmed and we covered a lot of material.
Brooklyn & Courtney after registering!
Thank goodness for a nice meal at Chili's afterwards.

Last night was our last class for Resource Family Training!!! YES!!!!!

Afterwards, Bryan and I went to Target and finished registering there. His eyes were bloodshot by the time we were done. I didn't dare attempt to take his picture!!
Thank you to everyone for sending encouraging words our way through blogging and face book. Thank you for your prayers. We would still love them!! As we continue to wait, I grow somewhat anxious to be honest and I yearn more and more to take in a child. I'm trying to be very aware to wait solely for God's timing. I absolutely do not want to run ahead of God. I just sometimes wish he were a faster runner! :-)
Have a blessed weekend!!