Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wednesday Hodgepodge #253

 
Welcome to this week's hodgepodge.  I've missed these for about the last month but I'm back this week!  Thanks to Joyce for coming up with the topics this week.
1.   Share a winter memory from your childhood.
Most of my childhood, we lived in southeast Oklahoma and we didn't get a lot of snow but as kids we really enjoyed it when we did get the rare snowy weather.  I remember that we made snow ice cream when we got a good clean snowy downfall.  My brothers and I thought making ice cream out of snow was just the grandest thing ever!  Also, since snow was not a usual thing here, we didn't have the cold weather gear that other parts of the country had.  For some reason my mom always had a stash of Wonder Bread sacks that she used for whatever she used them for.  I really don't know what she used them for.  Anyway, since we didn't have snow boots, she would put the bread sacks on us over our shoes and that protected us from getting wet feet! 

2.  What was on your blog this time last year?  (Besides the Hodgepodge of course)  If you weren't blogging, what were you doing with all of that free time?
I went back and looked at last January on my blog and I have NOTHING!  I don't know what I was doing with my time, but I should have been doing the Hodgepodge! 

3.  Ellen Goodman is quoted as saying, 'We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives...not looking for flaws, but for potential.' 

Do you see more flaws or more potential in your life at the start of a new year? Have you done anything specific this month to address either one? Does the new year truly begin for you on January 1, or is there some other month of the year that feels like a fresh start and new beginning?
I honestly see both flaws and potential and they kind of go hand in hand!  I don't make resolutions really but do try to make some changes that will be beneficial to me.  One thing I have done well since the new year is reading my Bible more.  I started in the New Testament this time and I'm already in the book of Luke!  I'm trying to study as I go and not just quickly read through it. 

4. Who's an athlete you admire or respect and why?
I'm not a big sports person to the point of really following certain athletes.  I think there are a lot out there that have the potential to positively influence our young people if they realize those little eyes are watching how they conduct themselves. 

5. Do you like cream in your coffee? Whipped cream on your pumpkin pie? Cream cheese on a bagel? Sour cream on a baked potato? Cream of wheat for breakfast? Have you ever had a scone with clotted cream? Of all the creamy foods mentioned, which one sounds most appealing to you right this very minute?
Sour cream on a baked potato!  I love a good loaded baked potato!

6. Where were you last kept waiting for 'hours on end'? Or for what felt like hours on end? How well did you cope?
I was recently at our pharmacy to pick up some meds.  I waited about 10 minutes in line before I got up to the counter.  I told my name and then was told to to to the drop-off line to update new insurance cards.  Sooooo, I move to that line and it's backed up 4 deep.  So,  I wait and wait and wait.  Finally, it's my turn and there  is a problem with the new card.  After multiple tries, the lady finally gets it to go through.  She smiles sweetly and says, "Barring no problems, it should be about 20 minutes!"  Soooo, I go do my grocery shopping and 30 minutes later, I wander back to the pharmacy again.  Now the wait line is all the way back to the main aisle!  After another 15-20 minutes of standing in line, I finally get my meds and get out of there.  I don't usually get too impatient when I have to wait but this time was a little excessive I thought.  I usually cope by listening to other people's conversations and trying to find something funny about the situation!

7. Believe it or not, when next week's Hodgepodge rolls around it will be February. Huh?!? Bid adieu here to January in seven words or less.
One month closer to Springtime!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Our kids live 3 1/2 hours away and we don't see them as often as I'd like.  Sunday after church, we met up with them and Allan's folks for a late lunch in a town that's about halfway between us.  We had a good visit and I always hate to leave but I'm thankful that we did get a few hours to visit!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Church Christmas Party

We had our annual church Christmas Party last Friday night.  We always have such a great time and this year was no different.
The church supplies the BBQ and the members bring all the side dishes and desserts.  We ended up with a ton of food with enough left over for a fellowship on Sunday night after church too!
Mom and I spent Friday morning doing the decorating.  Then I went home and made Pioneer Woman's skillet chocolate chip cookie as my contribution to the meal.  
We always take family and group pictures of everyone at some point during the evening.  This year we missed getting quite a few of them though.
After the meal, we have entertainment.  Several of the men told jokes and little funny stories that had everyone laughing.  
One of our ladies, aka Minnie Pearl, was the funniest thing!  She told all of the church 'gossip'...some might have been true and some not so much!  Anyway, she is just the cutest little lady.  Allan and a group sang several songs and they were very good!  They sang a barbershop style "Jingle Bells" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas", and then ended with "Mary Lou".  It was great!  We had a first in the entertainment department this year-a baton twirling presentation!  She was really good and next year, I think she'll be bringing fire batons to add to the program...not really but it was suggested to her!  
After all of the other festivities and gift presentations, we took a lot of fun pictures with props I'd collected.  So. Much. Fun!
I'm glad so many joined in the silliness!  I don't think anyone can accuse us of being stuffy church folks!
Overall, it was just a fun evening with lots of good food, fellowship and of course, fun!


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge #247

Welcome to this week's Hodgepodge! Joyce over at From This Side of the Pond  chose some really good questions for this week.  
1.  Many families have a story to tell every year around a holiday.  Does your family have one?  Are you the star of that story or does another family member take center stage?  Share your story if you want.
We don't have just one story that gets retold.  It seems that different family members just begin telling stories and most others have one to tell too.  The stories all seem to revolve around different ones of us and not just one person in particular.  I can't think of one at the moment to share though!  
2.  Are you afraid to speak your opinion?
I wouldn't say I'm afraid but I don't always speak up in certain situations.  I'm shy by nature and my speaking up depends on the situation and the crowd that I'm in.  I'm not confrontational and that sometimes causes me to keep my thoughts to myself.  
3.  Pantone  has announced the color of the year for 2016, and for the first time, they've chosen two shades-rose quartz and serenity. Hmmm...did you know serenity was a color?  You can read the thought behind their selection, but essentially it's blending the warmth of rose quartz with the tranquility of a very soft shade of blue.  So what do you think?  Are these colors I'd find in your home or your wardrobe? Will you add something in these shades to either place in the new year?
No, I did not know serenity was a color. That kinda makes me giggle!  It is a really pretty blend of colors though.  As of right now, I have nothing in my house or wardrobe that are those colors. I do have some pinks and blues in my closet but nothing quite those two shades.  I'd be more likely to add those colors to my clothing instead of decorating with it, I think. 
4.  If you could be in a Christmas Carol, which one would you choose?  Why?
That's a hard one.  I love so many of the Christmas songs!  I think a fun one would be "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"! How could that one not be a fun one? 
5.  December 9th is National Pastry Day.  Will you celebrate?  When did you last purchase something from a bakery?  What's your favorite treat that falls under the heading of pastry?  Did you make it yourself or buy from the professionals?  
Pastries!  What a great thing to celebrate! Now that I know today is National Pastry Day, I may just go by Daylight Donuts on my way to work to get a couple of donuts.  I love most pastries-donuts, apple fritters, bear claws!  They're all good.  Just a couple of weeks ago, I ran by the donut shop on my way to work and got a plain glazed donut and a chocolate glazed donut.
6.  When it comes to holiday decorating...
I'm always late!  We keep our decorations in a storage rental place and I have to rely on someone else to go get the stuff for me.  I have 5-6 huge rubbermaid tubs full of stuff.  After I get my decorations put out, it usually looks like snowmen threw up in the house!
7.  When did you laugh so much it hurt?  Explain.
Sunday night!  We were at a mexican restaurant with a group of church friends and got so tickled and laughed until we had tears and everyone was holding their stomach in pain!  It had something to do with the marble game, Wahoo and it was just so funny!  I can't remember all of the comments being said but I really expected to be sore on Monday from all of the laughing.

8.  Insert your own random thought.
Saturday was our town's Christmas Parade and it's one of my favorite things.  Our town is known as Circus City USA because we have 3 circuses that have their winter quarters here.  So, Santa always rides in the parade on an elephant!  I just love it!




Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town!

We had a busy, busy weekend but it was so much fun! I just love our little town's Christmas parade each year.  It's one of my favorite things.  We watch the parade (well, all parades) on our church lawn/steps with friends and church members.  I love that we do this, too!  This year, we had more church members than usual to show up to enjoy the parade.  The day was BEAUTIFUL for a parade!
The Choctaw Nation Honor Guard always leads most parades.  The high school band and color guard performed along the parade route.  There's always horses and buggies decorated up for Christmas.
And, horses and more horses.
Some old cars and some REALLY old cars!
A snowman and the high school  cheerleaders also showed up.
All of the area fire department trucks joined in the parade.
This is my FAVORITE thing of all! Since we are a circus town, Santa always rides in on an elephant!  This never, ever gets old for me.  I just love, love, love  it!
Saturday evening, we went to a Christmas Party/Ornament Exchange with our Bible Class and the youth from church.
We had a great time with some great people!  I didn't get pics of everyone because I got caught up in the Dirty Santa game and boy, did it get dirty there for a while!
Allan and I both ended up with some cute ornaments!  Allan had to 'steal' the snowman for me since I love snowmen so much.
We had a really fun time!  There was so much food that we were all just stuffed.  I'm so glad we have this group of friends that enjoy being together so much outside of church.  We also spent Sunday lunch and supper with most of these people!  Good times for sure!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge #246

I guess everybody survived Thanksgiving and Black Friday last week. I only participated in one of those activities and it had nothing to do with shopping but eating instead!  It's time for this week's Hodgepodge with Joyce and the other Hodgepodgers.
1.  Did you watch the Charlie Brown Christmas Special Monday night?  Who is your favorite Peanuts character and why? No, I didn't watch but watched The Voice instead.  I don't think I've watched the Charlie Brown Christmas since my kids were little and were still interested in it.  If I had to pick a favorite character it would be Charlie Brown.  He is just so nice!  He gives his best effort at whatever he's doing even if he's not successful at it. 
 "Most psychiatrists agree that sitting in a pumpkin patch is excellent therapy for a troubled mind."-Linus
Would you agree? Yes...but not that it HAS to be in a pumpkin patch but anywhere in nature that is away from the hustle and bustle of life.  A quiet place to just sit and think really is therapeutic.
2.  Describe a sound from your childhood.  What does that sound bring to mind?  It would have to be the music of the ice cream truck!  I think I could hear it miles away before it ever got close to our neighborhood.  Last summer here in our town, someone ran an ice cream truck around town and just hearing that little ditty playing reminded me of barefoot, carefree summer days roaming the neighborhood with my friends and rushing into the house to get a dime to buy an orange push-up when the truck FINALLY made it to our neighborhood.
3.  You've won a trip to a winter wonderland...would that excite you?  Which one of the following would you most want to experience (or which one would you dislike the least?) -see the Aurora Borealis in Norway, stay in Sweden's Ice Hotel, go dogsledding in Lapland Finland, take a winter wildlife safari in Yellowstone, or celebrate winter carnival in Quebec?
I'm sorry to say that NONE of them appeal to me!  I'm not a cold weather girl at all.  Since I have to choose, it would be the Aurora Borealis and maybe I could see it from a hotel room and not have to go outside! 
4.  Who or what keeps you humble? CHILDREN!  They are just so honest and will really tell you just how it is at times.  The little ones in my Bible Class frequently say things that bring me back down to earth pretty quickly!
5.  What part of preparing for Christmas do you like the most?  Explain. I LOVE decorating the Christmas tree!  It's my favorite thing of the season besides getting together with family.  Taking out the ornaments and remembering who it's for and how old they were when we got that ornament is just so much fun.  It sometimes brings tears to my eyes also thinking about my kids being small and so excited for the Christmas season.  
6.  Gingerbread-yay or nay?  Is making a gingerbread house a part of your family holiday tradition?
I like gingerbread but haven't made it in years.  My kids always made gingerbread houses in their school classes so we never made another one at home as a tradition.  I usually was in their classes at school to help so we all got our 'fix' I guess.  
7.  What's one thing you want to start, do, or complete before the calendar rolls into the new year?
Oh, this list could be so long!  I really need to clean out all of the closets and get rid of stuff.  I take donations to Goodwill several times a year and usually make one last trip there in December.  And, since we hope to be in our new house soon after the first of the year, I need all of the junk gone before we move. 
8.  Insert your own random thought.
We survived our first holiday without having Dad.  In a way, I was dreading the day not knowing how any of us would react.  I had a few sad moments in the days preceding Thanksgiving and then on the day itself it hit me again.  One thing that I loved, even though it made me teary, was finding this tree stump with Dad's initials carved in it.  

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family and good food!  We sure did!  I have to admit that I was really dreading the holiday since we lost Dad just two months ago, but we made it through and managed to have a good time, even with moments of sadness.
Not long before Dad's death, they had some trees cut from the front yard.  I just noticed on Thanksgiving that the tree cutter carved Dad's initials in one of the tree stumps.  I don't know how I had missed this before now, but I loved finding it on Thanksgiving Day.

On Wednesday night, my mom's oven went out and we about panicked!  I was already cooking the turkey and several desserts and Mom was to cook the dressing.  Her dressing is the best and is really my favorite part of the meal...other than desserts of course!  So, it fell on ME to make the famous dressing.  I was SO  nervous to do it, especially following Mom's instructions..."don't let it be too soupy or too dry".  Evidently it's a fine line to get it just right!  And...I did it!  And it was great!
My niece made her first desserts for our dinner!  I usually make most, if not all of the desserts, so she was so excited to try to show me up!  She told her mom the night before, "Aunt  Cheryl is going to be jealous because she does all the desserts and crafty things."  That made me laugh!  Anyway, her leaf-shaped cookies and little acorns were very good and I was so impressed and maybe a little bit jealous!
After lunch, we all went outside for picture taking.
My brothers and their families all were here.  One of my sister-in-law's dad came too.  We missed having Ashley though.   Since she works in retail, she had a late work day on Wednesday and an EXTRA early morning on Friday so there was just not enough time to make such a trip.  The cousins saved a spot for her in the group picture!
We all had such a good time together and our rain let up most of the day which  we were SO thankful for.
You can't have Thanksgiving  without have a little football...on tv and also in the front yard.
I'm so thankful that we have a close family that really enjoys being together.  We always have lots of laughs.
Also, Allan and I celebrated our 33rd Anniversary on Friday!  33 years!  I'm so thankful for this man and all he does for me and our family!

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's a mad dash to the Christmas season!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Everybody's Working For The Weekend!

The weekend went flying by wayyyyy to fast it seems!  Ashley came home on Friday for a short visit.  She had concert plans with her bestie to go see Leeann Rimes.  She got home so early that I hadn't even been up for too long!  We decided to have lunch with Mom at Roma's.  Mom had a beauty shop appointment soon after lunch and since we finished lunch rather quickly we decided to kill some time by sharing CHEESECAKE!  We chose black forest this time and it was amazing!
We didn't do much the rest of the afternoon...just waiting on Allan to get home before going out for supper.  Ashley and I took a bunch of selfies and since we tend to act goofy, it was hard to get a decent picture but this  really is our true selves I guess!
She went on to the concert after supper and Allan and I went home and waited for her to come home.  Even though she's grown, I still wait up for her when she's home visiting.
She had to leave mid-morning on Saturday to get back to work that afternoon. I ALWAYS hate to see my kids leave...ALWAYS!  Anyway, they'll both be home in a few weeks for Thanksgiving and I can hardly wait.
Allan was gone most of the day Saturday for a TKD tournament so I was left to watch Hallmark Christmas movies the rest of the day.
Pic courtesy of TKD mom Melissa

Sunday was church and then out to eat...at Roma's...again.  We have such few choices here in smalltown Oklahoma so we eat out multiple times a week at the same restaurants. The food is always great here so we really don't mind.  Today, Allan had Roma's Salad with grilled chicken and I had tortellini alla panna with grilled chicken...one of my absolute favorites!
John & Tonee ate with us today too...as they usually do.  I'm thankful for such good friends!
After church tonight, we went out for supper at El Pueblito with a more church friends.  We always have a good time with lots of laughs.  It's a great way to end a Sunday and get ready for the week ahead.
See!  We can do a normal picture, although those silly ones really reflect who we really are and how we act with each other!
Have a great week!