Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I should...

I know I should blog, but I just think I will wait until Jeff, Stephanie and family make it in. I am sure I will have great pictures of all my family together. We will all be in church together on Sunday - isn't that great?

Until then, I invite you to read Kari's and Stephanie's blogs.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

This and That and Christmas Lights

Today is a mix of stuff. I wanted to show some more pictures of our house in Christmas lights. These two pictures were taken by Judy. I like them because one of them is taken through the Youpon holly bush with its beautiful red berries, and the other is taken from across the street. Judy is standing under the huge magnolia tree. Notice at the bottom middle of the picture the curb that turns to the right.

These next two pictures show our very ingenious squirrel. He finally figured out how to get the bird seed by climbing on the roof of the house, then jumping to the top of the bird house feeder. (Notice the youpon holly that is directly behind him and the huge magnolia tree across the street that show up in the pictures of the house above.) The second picture is proof that I do play the piano occasionally.

These last two pictures are of the Garden of Lights in Honor Heights Park. Judy snapped a few pictures. These came out the best. Enjoy them and your Christmas holidays.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Fabulous Dinner

Yesterday evening, we had 10 of our fabulous friends over for a nice dinner party. The 3 pastors at our church and their wives, John and Joy from Tulsa, Lowena from Muskogee, and my mother from Dallas. It was a lovely meal. We had pulled pork sandwiches (very elegant despite the name), broccoli and cheese casserole, Oklahoma caviar, salad and condiments. For dessert we had South African Melk Tart and Mountain Blueberry Coffee (smells and tastes just like blueberries). We had a lovely time visiting, laughing, talking about the Scripture, etc. Of course, the ladies and gentlemen loved the tour of our house.

We decided to make the dining room our music room, and make the music room our dining room. By so doing, we could extend our table to its full 8.5' length, with 12 chairs around it. But we also discovered that we were able to eat 'beneath' our lovely Christmas tree. So we have decided to leave the exchange of rooms as it is for now. Here are some pictures of the table set up before the guests arrived. One is in the afternoon and the other just after our outside lights came on.

Again, as we do daily, we rejoiced in the wonderful gift the Lord has given us in our house. And we thank Him for giving us such a blessed life. It just keeps getting better!! Like my friend Jewelle Dean says, "Give God the glory and He will give you the goods."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Catch Up

It has been a few days since I have written. Too much stuff going on this season.

My mother arrived at the Tulsa airport Thursday evening to spend Christmas with us. Next Sunday Jim and Kari and girls will be in Tulsa to spend Christmas with the his folks and us. We are eager to have them come. Then Jeff, Stephanie and their kids will be here the weekend after Christmas. We will have all our family, and my mother, here with us for part of the holidays. Wow! We are excited.

It is always so much fun to see the 3 girls playing together. They have so much energy, and each one of them encourages the others -- not always for good -- but always for fun. Someday Brent will be old enough to play with them. I wonder if he will become the leader because he is a boy, or if he will withdraw some because he is a boy. At any rate, I am looking forward to finding out.

Right now, though, Caitlyn is having fun being Momma's helper with Brent. She is very good, too! Stephanie enjoys her help. Caitlyn loves to snuggle, and sometimes when I am around, without warning, she will get up close to where I am sitting and snuggle in for a few minutes. It isn't very long, but it is greatly enjoyed and remembered.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Not-So-Icy Ice Storm

As I said yesterday, we missed the brunt of the ice storm. Streets were ok, trees with just a little bit of ice on them, and by evening things were melting just fine. We are so thankful that we didn't get caught again like we did in January. I also promised some pictures of the storm. So here they are, and then I added some of a similar view from last January for comparison. Enjoy, and be thankful if you have never been caught in that kind of a storm. It is even horrible to remember. The oak is in the front yard, the pines in the back.

Now here are the same trees in January with the horrible ice storm on the 17th.

OK, I just had to sneak in one of my front yard, too. This was before it got worse!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Icy Edge

I woke up a little on edge this morning. We had rain yesterday which has turned to ice today. Remembering last January's horrible ice storm, I was a little concerned that we might have another bout today. AND my neighbor lost a huge limb off her oak tree which stands just beside our driveway. The limb literally fell across our drive way, blocking our exit with the car. The city truck came around picking up limbs in the street, so I asked if they could take this limb. No they couldn't because it was on private property. I asked them about me dragging it to the street and them picking it up. They said they would on the next round about. So I decided that after breakfast I would drag it down the driveway.

While eating breakfast, I heard the sound of machinery outside. I went to our front porch to check, and our next-door neighbor had a friend out helping her cut up the limb (no way I could have drug it to the street) and piling it up for the city to come by and get it. Wow! God really takes care of us! And she didn't have to do that. I learned during the January ice storm that limbs and trees of neighbors that fall on your property become your property (that's the law). So she was very nice to come fetch the limb.

Anyway, it is 35 degrees here now and rising. Tonight is supposed to be 37 and tomorrow 52 degrees. Whew! We missed this ice storm, although Tulsa (just 35 minutes north) got hit with it -- electricity out, limbs and such down, etc.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Product of the Seed

It's Christmas again. My favorite part of the Christmas story is the wise men. I get so much joy reading and studying them. Here is just one thing that exploded inside of me some years ago.

I was preaching on the wise men on a Sunday morning. Somehow I got to church early with a lot of time on my hands, so I decided to sit down and re-read Matthew 2:1-12 in the Greek testament. In reading, I came to verse 2, the wise men asking Herod, "Where is He That is born King of the Jews?"

Now you must know that for years I had wondered why Herod went so ballistic when the wise men showed up with their question. Why was a baby so unsettling to Herod? Why did he kill all the babies in Bethlehem, just to get at Jesus? I know he was very insecure, but really....

So...reading this verse, I stopped short. Wait a minute! That is not the word for "born". This is a weird choice of words here. It was not gennao or apokueo. Instead the word was tikto (pronounced kind of like "tiptoe through the tulips", except "ticktoe"). Tikto has to do with fruit production, and is literally translated "that which comes from the planted seed", "the fruit of the seed".

So the wise men said to Herod, "Where is He That is the product of the seed, the King of the Jews." They were specifically referring to Genesis 3:15, "the seed of the woman." And they were telling Herod, "Your time is up, the real, long-awaited King of the Jews has come. We want to see THAT King, if you know where he is, please."

And, today, people have no problem with "Merry Christmas" and Christmas trees and gifts, etc. But when people truly worship the "Product of the Seed", bombs go off. People go ballistic. Play your holiday games - fine. But really bring Jesus into the mix - uh oh!

This year, may you come face-to-face with the Product of the Seed! Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Olivia's Sense of Humor

I am convinced that Olivia has a very subtle sense of humor. I first noticed it when her family was living with us here in Muskogee. Every evening after dinner, Jim, Kari, Olivia, Ava, Mimi and Papa would walk down the street to the little park that has two ponds. After swinging and watching the ducks, etc., Kari would announce that it was time to go home and get in the bathtub for a bath. One day as we drove by the park, Olivia said, "There's the bathtub!" Kari said, "No, that's the pond." Olivia would reply, "Bathtub." And on and on this would go. This happened often. And I finally decided that Olivia was really teasing us.

Last night, Mimi and I were talking to Kari, Olivia and Ava on the web cam. After a while, Mimi left to go fix supper in the kitchen. When the girls said goodbye to me, they then wanted to say goodbye to Mimi. So I called out to her, "Judy....Judy...Judy, the girls want to tell you goodbye." Mimi came in, said goodbye to them, then left. Olivia said, "Where's Judy?" Kari said, "MIMI left." Olivia said, "Oh...where's Judy?" Kari said, "MIMI is in the kitchen!." Olivia said, "Oh...where's Judy?" Kari said, "MIMI is in the kitchen fixing supper." Olivia said, "Oh...where's Judy?"

I am sure she was teasing with us, in a very subtle way. I am eager to see this develop more in the future. What a funny girl!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Christmas Lights at the Gilmores

I am surprised! Judy and I drove around our neighborhood last night (Honor Heights) to see other people's Christmas lights. There were almost no Christmas lights up! Probably not more than 5 or 6 houses in the whole neighborhood. Most of the homes are more expensive than ours, but only two homes had more lights than ours. For those of you who don't know, Honor Heights is like the Snob Hill of Muskogee. (We didn't know that when we purchased our home!! But found out later.) Anyway, you would expect these people to fix up their homes for Christmas -- NOT!

So I am even more proud to present our home to you this Christmas. Notice in the photo of the porch that the pillar lights are reflecting in the windows behind them. In the center of the picture is our Christmas tree that is inside the house (it is about 15' from the front door, so all you get is the glow of the lights - no ornaments). Enjoy -- and Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Little Christmas Cheer

What a great time we had in Denver, just before Thanksgiving! I took this little clip of our children/grandchildren/great grandchildren singing. It was so delightful. We missed some of them who couldn't be there, but most are gathered on the stage singing.

Then here is a video of the older clan. We learned to do a couple different Virginia Reels and had a great time learning and doing. This one is a circle and if you look really hard you can see Judy and me (I have a white shirt on) on the back side of the circle. Actually the girls moved around and the guys stayed in the same place.

Tomorrow I will try to upload some pictures of our Christmas house lights.

Monday, December 03, 2007

A Frog in My Bathtub!

This past October, or maybe it was early November, we had a frost warning. Judy brought all of her outside plants in and just quickly stuck them in our master bedroom bathtub. We don't use it, only our granddaughters do when they are here, so it was a good place to put the plants and water them (the water control also has a hose/sprayer attachment). One night about 3 weeks ago I heard a weird noise. It occurred twice then stopped. The next night, same thing. I said to Judy that it sounded like a tree frog. We never heard it again after that. Well, last Saturday Judy decided to work on some of those plants - cutting off dead stuff, refreshing the plants, etc. Suddenly she says to me, "There's a frog in my bathtub!" Sure enough there was a tree frog, which is now happily traversing our yard some place. Here is the picture to prove it. (You can click on the picture for a bigger shot, if you must.)

Now, on to prettier things. Here is our Christmas tree (see Kari's here and her two beautiful girls). You can see the lights on some of our front porch columns. Judy has done a really great job of decorating this year, kind of rearranged the house some. But the neat thing is she has decorated. With the little girls living with us last year, and Judy still working, it just wasn't feasible to do much decorating. (Who knows, I may post other pictures of our decorations in future blogs.)

O K, Stephanie, your turn to show off your tree!