Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Which One Are You?

Today I was going to Sam's Club. I happened to get behind someone who was actually "parking" in the walkway area so that their party could unload the basket in the trunk. I got too close to be able to move and someone was behind me, so I was stuck. The Salvation Army bell ringer even went to help the young man unload his basket into the trunk to hurry things along. I was amazed at the lack of respect from the driver of the car and the young man. Now maybe the driver was handicapped or something. That could be so. But the young (teen or young 20 year old) was in adequate shape to walk a short distance to the parking lot had the driver chosen to park in a real spot. Years ago this would have aggravated me! Today it just made me kind of sad.

On the way out of Sam's Club, when I was driving off, an older lady was parked in a handicapped spot and trying to unload her basket. A young couple (early 20's) stopped to help her unload her basket, put it in her car, and took her basket for her. This one made me smile.

Now for a few questions concerning both of the stories above:
Which one of these stories is closer to how you are?
Are you aware of the fact that people watch you and watch your reactions/actions - and assumptions are made (whether right or wrong) depending on those reactions/actions? Do you care?

Some of the best ways we can show Jesus living within us is in the small, everyday things of life. Our walk must match our talk for His light to shine in our lives.

 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. 
Titus 2:7-9

Monday, December 15, 2014

Santa-Themed Elementary Christmas Party 2014

It was pretty strange preparing for the elementary Christmas party this year - realizing for the first time ever that I didn't have an elementary student, myself! However, being a year older and in middle school didn't keep the "big" 6th graders from stopping by to see Santa! In fact, a lot of the older grades stopped by for a class picture with Santa!  I told them they would be glad they had done so when they put together their own Senior class videos and have these kinds of pictures.
The elementary students made cute little handprint Santa ornaments this year.
 Thankfully I had a great group of helpers for this center! I didn't have to worry about anything!  They had it all taken care of and organized. That's a good thing since I didn't pay attention to what the directions were until the night before!
 This picture makes me laugh!  The students smeared Vaseline on their chins, then dipped their heads into cotton balls, coming up to make their own....
 Santa beards!
 It was pretty funny and lots of fun!
 It's always exciting setting up the cafeteria in true party style.
 Students get excited just by seeing the tablecloths go on the tables!  It doesn't take much to make a plain party extra-special!
 Just a few details!  The cookie decorations turned out cute - thanks to pre-packaged kits from Wilton.  It made it simple and less-wasteful.
 These students are guessing what is in stuffed stockings. There was an ornament, a cookie cutter, a pinecone, a candy cane, and several other small treasures.  Part of the fun was dumping the stocking out to see what really was inside!
 Other fun games were "Up On the Housetop" bean bag toss....
...and an elf hat and reindeer antler hat ring toss.  Such fun, already-made games! The students had a blast!
One station that we always have at the elementary party is a story book station.  This gives the students an opportunity to sit and listen to someone read a story - something that there isn't always time for in our busy worlds today.  The reader did a great job!  Not everyone can be good in the story center!

Thank you to everyone who helped with the elementary party this year!  It was a great success!

Next year's theme: ELVES!

Monday, December 8, 2014


Here they are:  The 2014 Class C Football State Champions!!

The Tipton Tigers won the Gold Ball in the Championship Game against the Cherokee Chiefs, with 18 seconds left in the 3rd quarter!  The 45 point mercy ruling went into effect with the ending score of 58-12.  The game was played at Southwestern Oklahoma State College in Weatherford, OK.

 And the celebrating began as a few thousand fans cheered on the Tigers!  
Our nephew is the head coach.  We're so proud of him!  He's not only a great coach, but a great example of a Christian man to these young men.  His influence goes way beyond the field.   His dad (our brother-in-law), is also one of the coaches.
 Our 16 year old, Jacob, was a part of the team that went to State last year, receiving the silver ball.  It's still a great accomplishment, but there's nothing like winning the GOLD!  So, of course, we had to get a picture with the trophy!
Sophomore teammates, minus one.

Our oldest put a Go Pro camera on his brother's helmet for a few minutes!

Our oldest son has been broadcasting and commentating the Tipton Tiger football games for a few years.  This was his view for the live audio broadcast.  Pretty neat view!

Our four kiddos....
 The celebrating continued when we got back to Tipton.  The team's bus was greeted by lots of cheering fans and the lit-up scoreboard....
 ...and escorted in by the police and firemen!
 Encouraging words from the Coach...
 And our Freshman gave a big pep talk to the team and to the fans:
 He said, "Y'all are acting like this is over...that when these guys graduate, that it's the end of the Tipton Tigers winning.  But it's not over! We're gonna continue to win!"  We were so proud of him!
One last team breakout :(. That's a little sad!
The block party at the field ended with fireworks!  
What an exciting season!  What a ride for our Seniors! 

 They've gone to State four years in a row and come home with a silver ball, a GOLD BALL, a silver ball, AND ANOTHER GOLD BALL!  They will always have special memories of their HS career!  And we, the fans, look forward to more!

Congratulations, Tipton Tigers! We're proud of you!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Happy 12th Birthday, Tyler!

(Photo by SaltLight Photography)
My sweet "baby" boy is growing up, and while I wish time could slow down.....or maybe I could go back and revisit each year of his youth again....I wouldn't trade watching him grow up at all.
(Photo by Blunck's)
I never wanted a "Christmas" time birth.  It seemed way too busy.  It seemed like the birthday and Christmas would just jam together into one.  But after losing a baby due in December 2001, finding out that we were going to have a little one in December 2002 was there very best gift we could have asked for!
(Photo by Blunck's)
Our little blessing was due on December 12, but we induced on December 5th - the earliest possible day the doctor allowed.  It was further from Christmas, but had a special "number" reasoning for us, as well (I won't share because it doesn't matter and might confuse you!).  It also happened to be the birthday of our brother-in-law, who twelve years later is teaching Tyler (filling in for his own daughter-in-law who has a new little one).
(Photo by Blunck's)
I love this picture with this sweet little face.  Tyler had to be one of the very happiest little babies ever.  He made others happy just by his smile.  I always felt like he knew that he was in our lives for a special reason.  We tell him that he is, too. Without the loss we had, Tyler knows that he wouldn't be here.
(Photo by Blunck's)
Not that we would have chosen the loss, of course, but also realize that even in loss, blessings can come.  They do come.
(Photo by Blanca's)
Tyler is three in this picture.  It was the "Woody" era.  Woody of "Toy Story", that is!  When he would sing, "You've Got a Friend in Me", it was one of the cutest and funniest things he ever did!
(Photo by Blanca's)
Here he's five....and wanted to wear a suit and tie each Sunday - just like his daddy did.  He still wants to, but it's not often!
(Photo by Sabrina Johnson)
This is such a sweet shot of Tyler that Mrs. Johnson captured.  His "thoughtful" pose is just so much "him"!
(Photo by Sabrina Johnson)
And then the "classic" smile we love!
(Tyler's 4th birthday)
I am so thankful that God blessed us with YOU.  I know I probably say that every year, but it's absolutely true.  Your life, your health, your spirit - we're thankful to Him for it all.  And above all of that, we're thankful that you are one of His children.  We are proud of your example in Christ to others, and pray that you continue to grow in your spiritual walk.

You are, and have always been, such a thoughtful and insightful young man.  You've taught me lessons about life.  You will enjoy your "Chronicles of Biscuit" posts some day.  (Well, I'm pretty sure you will!)  You will learn about what kind of young boy you were....and what a FUNNY young boy you were!

I miss your "Chronicles of Biscuit" episodes! That was one of the major reasons I started this "chronicle" YOU.  There's no way any baby book could have held all of your stories! Too bad I waited a few years to start this because I missed out on some great material early on!

Next year you'll be a teenager and you and Jacob will be the only two at home.  What a change that's going to be!  You've grown up so much in this past year.  You've always been 1/2 daddy's boy and 1/2 momma's boy, but this year I felt the shift....just like it should be.  You're becoming a young man.  And that's just what we're raising you to do.  God is molding you in His Kingdom.  We look forward to seeing what He has planned for your life.  For sure we know you'll continue to shine your light and be a blessing to all who know you.  Thank you for that.

I love you,

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving preparations began the Tuesday before Thanksgiving when our oldest son, Zachary, began making homemade bread dough for cinnamon rolls. In a big family tradition that began many years ago by my husband's grandmother, continuing to my husband's dad, it has now passed on to two of my husband's brothers, and now to our son. 
Zachary was honored to get to do half of the cinnamon rolls for the family Thanksgiving!  He's definitely close - if not "on target" - for perfecting them.  One of his cousins told him they were just like "Gramps" would have made them.  What a compliment!  Personally, I hope he keeps practicing :).  Hee hee!
We had a huge group for Thanksgiving Eve singing night at the Tipton church of Christ, followed by yummy finger foods at my mother-in-law's.
There were 40 people there, so it takes a lot of food!  
Plus, we always have leftovers to eat for the next few days for those who prefer the snack food over the regular turkey and dressing....or those who want it all!

The yearly "Turkey Trot" brought out quite a few brave souls to run/walk/or even ride a bicycle.
I always like the pictures seeing the walkers and runners from behind.  I thought about walking this year, but I wouldn't want to give up the pictures of the event!  Plus, someone has to keep time for the runners. :)
Thanksgiving Dinner was wonderful, as usual.  The potatoes, green beans and corn were all garden grown.  And that's a HUGE bowl of mashed potatoes!  The homemade "hot" (that's the 'official' name for them, even if they're not HOT :) ) roll recipe has also been passed on from generation to generation.  Not sure that my father-in-law's can ever be exactly duplicated, but they're still great!
I make a cheesecake every year. This time it was a trial, but turned out really good.  It was a salted caramel/chocolate covered dulce de leche cheesecake.  Sounds fancy....pretty simple.
We had two out of three of our littlest new family members.  We had so much fun with all of the "littles" around!  Seems like my own were the littles not too long ago!
This little girl is the very newest to the family.  She was born November 17th.  She enjoyed her first Thanksgiving!
Liverpool Rummy and 42 are THE games of the season for our family.  Sadly, I only played two games of Liverpool this year, and one of them wasn't a whole game.  I'll have to have my own family play with me to get my "fix" for the year since we won't be around for Christmas for this side of the family.
Thanksgiving afternoon it's time for the traditional "Pumpkin Bash".  This year the pumpkins were rotting early, so they were goopy, stinky, and ready for bashing!
Here's the soon-to-be-married couple posing on the biggest pumpkin! They will be married New Year's Day!  It was C's first time to be at our family Thanksgiving and he won the "Turkey Trot"!
This was the biggest cousin picture at the pumpkins in a long time!  Two cousins and their families were the only ones missing this year!  That's quite an accomplishment in a big family!
I thought this picture was cute of our oldest son. He had just been splattered with pumpkin pulp!  But he didn't seem to mind!
Our nephew got a nice hit on a really ripe one!  The effects are great!
A new tradition in the making, perhaps? Not sure about this one!
You know how I feel about my new "old" pickup????
And that HUGE pumpkin went on top of it!
And then down it went!
It busted right in two! Amazing how heavy those things are when they're mostly hollow inside!

Some ask about cleaning up the field after the pumpkin bash.  You know what? My husband MOWS them!  Yes!  They are cut into tiny, tiny pieces, barely visible from the road at all.  And the birds love it.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with many happy memories with your family and friends.

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