Monday, December 22, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

Merry Christmas from Pawpaw and The Big Guy

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gettin' Ready For Santa

It was a busy week-end. It was also a long week-end. I took a day of vacation Friday and we made the five hour drive to Columbia Missouri to attend the graduation of our niece from the University of Missouri School of Nursing. She will start work in Tulsa in early January. We spent the night in Columbia, got up Saturday morning to head home and spent a few hours at the Premium Outlet Mall in Osage Beach, MO. It was COLD in Columbia and it followed us all the way home. It was supposed to get down to 2 degrees above zero in Columbia last night. It will be 5 degrees above zero here Sunday night. We got home around 7:30 p.m. Saturday night.
Sunday three of the grandcrew came over to bake cookies for Santa Claus. We brought them home with us after church. I picked up a couple of Papa Murphy's take and bake pizzas. The kids helped Nana make the dough, bake the cookies and then it was every man for himself during the decorating phase. Later that evening I put batteries in all of the Christmas toys that we have. There is a bear that recites "Twas the Night Before Christmas", Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, who sings his self titled tune, and Santa Claus who sings about coming to town. The next hour, the house was filled with mechanical music. I took the grandcrew home around 9:00 p.m., Nana and I picked up the house and called it a night. We're ready for Christmas and it promises to be a busy, fun filled week. I may not get much time to fill you in until afterwards, so, If I don't post again for a few days, Merry Christmas to all and may the Blessings of this special season be yours.

Baking Cookies for Santa!

Batter Lickin' Time

Energizing the Toys

Finally, I leave you with a song that does not have the word Christmas in it, nor have I ever really heard it played this time of year, but the message is clear. It is the message the angels declared to the shepherds in Luke 2:8-14. Again may you and those you love experience God's love this Christmas season and may the New Year be filled with blessings for you. Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years! Enjoy.

Glory to God In the Highest - Signature Sound

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Mary Did You Know?

The very first time I heard this song, several years ago, it was the Kathy Mattea arrangement and it instantly became one of my favorite Christmas songs. Enjoy.

Mary Did You Know? - Kathy Mattea

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Ornaments

As promised, here are a few of my favorite Christmas ornaments that you will find around our house this year. Well, you'll find them around our house every year, I just decided to share some of them with you. If you read this blog about this time last year, a few of these will look familiar.
Ready? Here we go.These first two guys are about 55 years old. They were ornaments on my tree when I was a child. My mother bought a small tree, put it in my room and let me decorate it to my heart's content. It's a great idea. We did it with our daughter and she has done the same for the grandcrew.The Cocker Spaniel is my favorite breed of dog. I have had them as pets most of my life. Right now, this is the only Cocker that we own and he only comes out at Christmas. I like the convenience of this one, but I do miss having a real pup around the house.
As you probably know, we took the family to Disney World this past June. You can see pics of that trip in the archives. It's worth a look. This ornament did not come from that trip. We bought this little guy on our fist trip to the Magic Kingdom five years ago.Since I am an architect by profession, my bride thought that this Construction Santa ornament should be on my own special tree.
Okay, the last ornament in this post is one that should not surprise you. As a native Oklahoman and an OU alumni, this ornamet is a given in my house. Maybe next year I'll have a minature National Championship trophy to put next to him. BOOMER Sooner!
Hope you enjoyed the mini-tour of the ornaments. I may post a few more before Christmas, so come back soon.
If you don't get a chance to stop back by, then Merry Christmas to you and yours. May the God of all creation give you peace, joy and happiness this holiday season.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

These ruby red berries are hanging on a Nandina bush at the side of the house. With temperatures now dipping into the teens, I don't know how much longer they will last.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Let the Celebration Begin

The lights are in place outside, the house is decorated inside, the shopping is done, and last night the final gifts were wrapped. We're ready for Christmas. Let the celebrations begin. Friday night is our Bible Study group's party. Tuesday night is my wife's office (Church staff) Christmas party. Wednesday night is the church choir (my bride is in the choir) party. Party, party, party! I must admit, it is easier to enjoy the celebrations when the chores are done. I can actually read the ads in the paper and look for bargins for myself or my wife.
This season we are truly blessed. In a down economy, the company I work for is actually very busy. In fact we're hiring some additional staff. Thank you Lord! I have worked in firms that had to "restructure" or "downsize" from time to time. I hated it!!! I was the victim a few times...I really hated that. I had to do the down siziing once...I really hated that too. May your Christmas be blessed and filled with the joy of family and friends. Next week I will get the Christmas ornament photos posted, I promise.
And now, for a little music and light display.

Finally a Christmas song. This is quite possibly the best version of O Holy Night that I have ever heard. Enjoy.

O Holy Night - David Phelps

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Make a Joyful Noise

Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent at the church. It was also the Sunday for the Hanging of the Green, which officially begins the celebration of Christmas. As a part of the worship service, the children's choirs sang, and that would include three of the grandcrew.

This choir includes kindergarten through sixth grade. The two grand daughters that you saw in yesterday's post are in the first and third rows of this photo. Click to enlarge.

This cropped shot might help you find them. Lexi (the seven-year-old) is the first girl on the left in the first row. Em (the eight-year-old) is the second girl on the third row. After this group finished, the preschool choir sang. These kids are four and five years old.

The "Big Guy" is right in the middle of this picture. He's in the black blazer. He looks a lot different than the elf from the parade in yesterday's post. Well, he still has that look of mischief on his face.
Children make Christmas special. I believe it is because that Christmas is all about a special child.
"Over two thousand years ago, on a night the world would come to call Christmas, a young Jewish maiden went through the experience countless mothers had before her, and would since: She brought forth a child. But this was no ordinary child. This was the unique Son of God, sent from Heaven to save us from our sins (Matthew 1:21).
Amid the glitter and busyness of the season my you not lose sight of the miracle and meaning of that Christmas night." Billy Graham

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ruby Tuesday

There will be red everywhere in this post. Saturday morning our town had it's annual Christmas parade. The grandson was riding on one of the floats, so we went down to witness the event.

The parade started at 11:00 so the girls got good seats about 10:00. It was a crisp morning. I don't think it was quite as cold as the girls dress implies, but they had their hot chocolate, blankets and Em had her Santa (Ruby red) hat. Nana and Lexi shared a seat.

The mayor and his wife started things off as the grand Marshall. I don't know where the sweet ride came from, I just know that it doesn't belong to the mayor. He's more of a Honda Accord kind of guy.

The Energizer Bunny made an appearance. I know, he's not ruby red, but I included him anyway.

There was a band of shepherds. They were playing contemporary Christmas music. It was really pretty good. I don't think it was historically correct, but it was entertaining.Finally, the fifty-fourth unit in an eighty-eight unit parade is the float we've been waiting for, but where is "The Big Guy"? He's the little head peeking through the back window!

There he is in the "Ruby" red sleigh. The other elves are handing him presents and he is loading the sleigh for Santa's long Christmas Eve trip.And here we have a portrait of a perfect elf, complete with a look of mischief on his face, don't ya think? Come back tomorrow and I'll show you the children's choir at church. All three of the younger grandcrew were there. See ya then. Merry Christmas and Happy Ruby Tuesday.

We Are the Champions!

Bentonville 32 - Ft. Smith Southside 20

It was a good sports week-end for me. The local high school football team played for the state championship at noon on Saturday. There were a few moments of concern but they prevailed by a score of 32-20. This is only the second football state championship in school history. Congratulations to the Bentonville Tigers!

Oklahoma 62 - Missouri 21

Later that night I sat down and watched my alma mater, the Oklahoma Sooners destroy Missouri in the Big 12 Championship match-up by a score of 62-21. The victory earned the Sooners the opportunity to play the Florida Gators on January 8 for the national championship trophy. BOOMER Sooner!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday Thoughts

The Christmas season is in full swing at our house. It is fully decorated, most of the shopping is done and we can now just enjoy the season and some of the events that we've been invited to attend.
Tomorrow night is my office annual dinner.
Tomorrow morning is the city Christmas parade and the grand son will be riding on one of the floats. I don't think anyone has taught him the "parade wave" yet.
At high noon our local high school football team plays for the state championship, and at 7:00 p.m. my Oklahoma Sooners play for the Big 12 championship and the opportunity to play for the National title. BOOMER, Sooner!!!
Sunday is a special event sponsored by the youth group. My wife did some of the decorations for it. I will photograph those and post some of them next week.
Monday I will begin posting photos of decorations around our house and around our city. There will be something new almost everyday until Christmas, so come back often.
And now for a little inspirational music. The first song may not be a traditional Christmas carol, but it does convey the message of the season. Ernie Haase and Signature Sound perform "Glory to God in The Highest."

I did install lights in front of my house this year, but it is nothing like this.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Season's Greetings

It's Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas

Thanksgiving has come and gone. Friday I put the lights on the house. Saturday the the in-home decorations went up and Sunday the tree got its holiday dressing. Now we're ready to celebrate Christmas. If you want to see what the inside looks like stop by often the next few weeks, because this blog will be mostly all about Christmas. I am married to one of Santa's biggest helpers. We have four trees decorated, you read that correctly, four!!! Almost every room in the house has something going on. See you tomorrow for Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Friday Night Lights

State Semi-Final Playoff Game
Bentonville 27 - Russellville 0

Since my dad was here for the week-end and he is not inclined to get out in cold weather, I did not attend the state semi-final football game last night. The local team is 12-1, ranked No. 1 in the state and last night they shut out their opponent 27-0! Next Saturday, in Little Rock, AR, at noon they will meet another team from our conference, which they beat earlier 14-7 for the state championship! We won the state championship in 2001 as a 5A high school. Now they are in class 7A (really, there are no 7A high schools in Arkansas!) and this is their first trip to the final game.
Go Tigers!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

I trust that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day celebration. There were 28 at our house, including ten that were under the age of 12! They started arriving around 2:00 p.m., and by 5:30 p.m. the house was full of family. We ate at 6:00 p.m. The oldest of the grandcrew, who is 12, spent a day preparing crafts for all of the other kids to do while they were here. She turned my home office into the craft room. She had about six or seven things for the others to do. She had everything labeled, neatly organized, and a table in the middle of the room for assembly of some of the items. It was amazing. Like I said, there were 10 youngsters in the house for four hours, and you wouldn't have known they were here unless you had seen them arrive. Scooter did an incredible job of keeping them entertained. She deserves something special for her efforts. I'll think of something. The last of the guests departed around 9:30 last night.
I am taking a day of vacation today and hanging around the house. This morning I got up at 5:00 a.m. in order to get to Lowe's for a sale item I really wanted. I arrived at the store at 5:30 a.m. and to my surprise, there were only a dozen cars in the parking lot! They actually opened the doors at 5:45 a.m. I went in, picked up the shop vac that I was looking for, paid for it, and was back home by 6:00 a.m. Later today I will be putting up the Christmas lights and helping my bride put up the tree. The house will be transformed into the home of Santa's No. 1 helper (that would be my bride) by Sunday evening. Since most of the Christmas shopping is done, for a change, we will actually be able to enjoy the remainder of the Holiday season. Stay tuned, there will be photos in the coming days.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! There is even the possibility of snow flurries by Sunday.
Tonight the local high school football team plays in the state semi-final game. It is on our home field, so that just may be where you will find me tonight, provided that I get my decorating chores done.

Monday, November 24, 2008

BOOMER Sooner!!!

University of Oklahoma Sooners put a whuppin' on the Texas Tech Red Raiders and muddied the waters of the Big 12 championship game and the BCS rankings. The final score was OU 65 - Texas Tech 21 with the last Tech touchdown coming with only eleven seconds left in the contest.
If OU, Texas, and Texas Tech each win their final game, there will be a three way tie in the Big 12 south and no one will own the tie-breaker. The team with the highest BCS ranking will be the south participant in the Big 12 Championship game and face Missouri. As of late Sunday night, that team is Texas. They are currently ranked No. 2, with OU at No. 3. If Texas Tech loses next week, then Texas will be the outright south champion because they beat OU in head to head competition. If Texas loses, then OU goes to the championship game. If OU should lose next week, then Texas Tech wins the south by virtue of having beaten Texas. Are you confused yet?
On a local note, the hometown high school team won their first round playoff game by a score of 35-14. Let me just say one thing about that was cold!!! Always take a blanket to sit on at a high school football game in cold weather. Those aluminum bleachers will suck all of the heat out of you right through your butt. Yes, I had a blanket and was dressed appropriately, but it was still cold! Three of the teams in the conference won their playoff game Friday night, which means that the state semi-finals will have only one team from outside our conference participating and that's who we will be playing this Friday night.. It's been a pretty dominant league the past few years.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Party On Dude!

Yesterday was my 62nd birthday, scroll down to yesterday's post if you want to look at some ancient photos of me.
Anyway, we bought a new recliner. It was supposed to be here the end of October, but the shipment got delayed and it arrived on my birthday instead. How appropriate is that? My new banner photo is the recliner. You'll just have to use your imagination to put me in the picture. I think I'll keep that banner for a little while.When I arrived at the office yesterday morning, I found my door decorated. As always, you can click on any of the photos to enlarge.

This is the custom birthday card that the staff made. Yes, they do know how to use PhotoShop. Which reminds me, I just purchased PhotoShop Elements 7.0. I need to install it when I finish this post.

The real Birthday Party started when we met the kids and the grandcrew at a local restaurant for dinner. I had my favorite Cajun pasta dish. Dessert consisted of a pair of Chocolate Messes. This is a large glass (suitable for floats) that is covered in chocolate inside and out. The glass is filled with several scoops of ice cream, more hot fudge, some whipped cream and a few nuts sprinkled on top for good measure. One was set at each end of the table. The two oldest girls and I ate one while the two younger crew worked on the other. The highlight of the evening was provided by my bride. She presented me with a card that had a lovely verse on the inside followed by Happy Anniversary! She liked the verse so much she forgot to read that final sentiment. All in all, it was a good day. Life is good.
P.S. We had cake!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thursday Thirteen at 62!

Today, Thursday, November 20, 2008, I officially qualify for Social Security. That's right boys and girls, at 9:00 a.m. I turned 62 years of age. So, how am I going to celebrate this occasion? Well, I'm not running down to the local Social Security office and signing up for any benefits. I've still got a few good years left, and the economy has ensured that I will work at least four more years and maybe eight.
First, let's play Thursday Thirteen. Here are thirteen facts about the year I was born.
1. Harry Truman was President.
2. George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Steven Spielburg, Cher, Candice Bergen, Sylvester Stalone, and Jimmy Buffett were born in the same year.
3. Gasoline cost 16 cents per gallon!!! That is NOT a misprint.
4. The movie "It's a Wonderful Life" was released.
5. The league that came to be known as the NBA was born.
6. The Atomic Energy Commission is created
7. Television programming was limited to approximately 12 hours per week on two networks!
8. Ho Chi Minh is elected president of Viet Nam
9. Bikinis go on sale in Paris
10. The NFL team, San Francisco 49er's is formed.
11. Heisman Trophy goes to Glen Davis of Army
12. First meeting of the United Nations
13. The first televised heavyweight fight between Joe Louis and Billy Conn is broadcast from Yankee Stadium. The fight is seen by 141,000 people, the largest television audience to see a fight!
It's my birthday, I can add facts if I like. These are general facts about my life.
14. I have seen The Beach Boys in concert when they were actually beach boys.
15. I have original albums by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
16. I paid $12.50 to see Elton John in concert and they were the best seats in the house!
17. In 1972, at 24.9 cents per gallon, it was physically impossible to put $5.00 worth of gasoline in my Datsun (Nissan) 240Z. It looked like this one.18. I met my bride in 1973 and we were married in 1974. That would be 34 years and counting.
So now you know, I am a part of ancient history! The year was 1946, just in case you haven't done the math yet.

Next, let's take a quick stroll down memory lane. Here a a few photos of me, the early years.3 Months

9 years

High School Graduation 1965

Viet Nam '67-'68

Wedding Day-May 11, 1974

A Young Father and His Daughter (The "Other Woman" in his life) 1976

2006 (Not exactly the early years)
Okay, let's wrap this party up with a little music. I like blues, 60's pop/rock, 70's southern rock, contemporary Chirstian, and Southern Gospel. Here is a little something from each genre. Enjoy.

The Beatles -Get Back (60's Pop/Rock)
Their last public performance from the roof of Apple Recording Studios.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Price Is Right!

Have you ever bid on an item on Ebay with absolutely no expectations of actually winning it, only to out you did win it? Please tell me I'm not the only one ever to do this.
As both of my loyal readers know, I like digital photography. I have been casually looking for a new telephoto lens. My Nikon D80 has a 18-135mm lens, which is great for most work. However, for shooting sporting events or wildlife, one cannot always get close enough to the action to get a truly good picture. I have seen some photos taken by others with a 50-500mm lens and decided that is the lens that I would like to have. Several times, over the past few months, I have bid on this lens only to see it sell for several hundred dollars more than I was willing to pay. Last Saturday I bid on one of these lenses. There were two days left in the auction at the time. Sunday morning I check the site to find out the status of the auction, and sure enough, I had been outbid. I put in a new maximum number, with 19 hours left, fully expecting to be outbid again. This morning I checked the site just to see how much the lens actually sold for and having every expectation that it probably sold for a couple of hundred dollars above my maximum bid again. Holy Cow!!! I won!!! I paid about 50% below retail for this puppy. Happy dance, happy dance! My new toy will be here in about a week. Let the fun begin!
Here is what this bad boy will look like when it arrives.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Thoughts

It's been an interesting week. I've had a pain in my shoulder most of the time and nothing will make it go away. Believe me, I've tried everything, heat, cold, Advil, Tylenol, Alieve, aspirin (separately and in concert), name it, I've tried it and I still hurt.
The economy may be going into the toilet but, for some reason, our business is doing well. I am actually interviewing applicants for new positions. Thank you Lord.
It's going to be cold here this week-end, so I'll be building a fire Saturday I'm sure.
My bride and I may take in a Saturday matinee of the new James Bond film. That could be fun.
I know my bride is planning on getting a head start on her Christmas shopping. That may not be quite so much fun.
The inspirational song this week is a worship and praise song that we have been singing in church recently. I really like the chorus. It is a departure from the hymns and gospel music that I usually post on Friday, but I hope you enjoy it all the same. Have a great week-end and may God bless you and yours.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm a Winner! Who Knew?

One of the local television stations has a "Morning Mug" contest. Viewers send in their favorite photos to the weather man. They show several photos during each weather cast each morning. The one that the staff picks as their favorite wins that coffee mug you see above. Last Sunday morning I won! Several day earlier they had requested that viewers send in their favorite fall foliage photos. If you scroll down a couple of posts you will see a few shots I took during a Sunday afternoon drive that my bride and I took through the Ozark National forest. Well here is the winning shot.
The leaves are gone now and it's really starting to look like winter. It's supposed to get pretty cold this weekend, so I will probably build a fire in the fire place and a have some fresh coffee in my brand new mug.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

DFW Terminal D

Monday, November 10, 2008

Veteran's Day

Valiant men and women have served this country ever since we became a nation. Some have paid the ultimate price so that the rest of the nation might enjoy the privilege of the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. Today is Veteran's Day. If you know a veteran, I would encourage to make a phone call and thank them for their service. We are quickly losing "The Greatest Generation", those who survived the depression, fought World War II, and led this nation into the space age. Many of them are now in their 80's. We owe them much.
There are those who served in Korea, and Viet Nam. Now there are those who have served in the Mid-East. Remember, a soldier does not choose his adversary, nor does he select the conflict, he merely serves where he is told that there is a need and that freedom is at risk. If you see a service man or woman in uniform, stop and thank them for their service. They are doing a job that few people want to do and even fewer understand.

Viet Nam '67-'68