Thursday, December 22, 2011


Christmas is three days away. We have been busy wrapping all of the presents we will give one another on Christmas morning, making hot cocoa with candy canes dipped in the mug, mixing and stirring the ingredients to make Spritz and Buckeyes, as well as cozying up and watching Little Women- one of my favorites
I can't seem to get enough of the Christmas music, driving around looking at the houses decorated with wreaths, red bows and seeing loved ones gathered around the dining room table, and enjoying the twinkle lights on the tree in the early morning and late evening over the last several days.
I always catch myself thinking about my Grandma Jane a lot around Christmas. She always loved this time of year! Her house was always so festive- filled with handmade decorations that she had made, tunes blaring through the house such as this one, and anxiously awaiting the arrival of her family. I specifically remember one of her Christmas decorations- a frame of Amy Grant's 'Heirlooms' lyrics inside of it on the kitchen wall right before you walk into the family room. I remember getting older and reading the lyrics and really loving the meaning. Now everytime I hear this song, a wave of nostalgia comes over me and I always think of  all the Christmases we shared together.

Up in the attic,
down on my knees.
Lifetime of boxes,
timeless to me. 
Letters and photographs,
yellowed with years,
some bringing laughter,
some bringing tears.

Time never changes,
the memories, the faces
of loved ones, who bring to me, 
all that I come from,
and all that I live for,
and all that I'm going to be.
My precious family
is more than an heirloom to me.

Wisemen and shepherds,
down on their knees,
bringing treasures
to lay at His feet.
Who was this wonder,
Baby yet King?
Living and dying;
He gave life to me.

Time never changes, 
the memory, the moment
His love first pierced though me,
telling all that I come frome,
and all that I live for,
and all that I'm going to be. 
My precious Savior
is more than and heirloom to me.

My precious Jesus
is more than an heirloom to me. 

-Amy Grant

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Ellie!

Today my niece Ellie turns 5! Wow, where did those years go? We are celebrating her big day with a "Rainbow" party complete with lots of color and fun. Here is a look back at Ellie's past parties...
Happy Birthday Ellie! 
This year you have learned so much and done new things-swimming, Irish dancing, gymnastics, made new friends and you continue to love animals (especially dogs), going to the zoo, the park, parades, baking and coloring. You have quite a sense of humor for a 5 year old and you are a sweet big sister and so caring of others.
I know you don't realize it now but you bring us so much joy and laughter and brighten the day just like a rainbow can. Have fun, be silly and eat lots of cake. We love you!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Carolyn Jean

Happy Birthday Little Sister!

Here is the story of my sister Carolyn, (Car, Carolie) in a nutshell:
She is the youngest of 3 girls born to Rex and Jane in December of '69 in St. Louis. A tow-head, blue-eyed little girl, she has always loved animals. As a baby and toddler she always seemed to have a stuffed mouse (Mousey) and she was always a lover of dogs-Tawny, Pepper, Maggie and a puppy in her near future. She was a track star and a cheerleader and a record-setting swimmer. She was such a good swimmer that 20 years after swim team her swim coach married her!  She seems quiet to strangers but is fun, silly and witty around her family and friends. She may come across as an angel but she has a fiesty side and can send me to tears laughing. 

Words that describe her? - gentle, caring, devoted wife, mother, sister and daughter, smart-she is an attorney, talented as a cook and photographer. She loves the beach and Maine, wine and mussels, coloring, her friends, but mostly spending time with her family~Mark, Ellie and Finn. Of the 3 sisters she is the laid back one-patient and undemanding, most always has a smile on her beautiful face. I remember as an 11 year old how I wanted another sister. Did I know then how much I would cherish having her in my life all of these years? Happy Birthday Carolyn!

How do people make it through life without a sister?  ~Sara Corpening

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

The girls all spent a day recently doing all things Christmas. It has become an annual tradition we all look forward to. We began the day with breakfast with hot chocolate- a must on the menu. For hours we made garlands, gift tags, ornaments, and rolled and baked gingerbread cookies. As we began our day Bing sang Christmas tunes to us and this naturally led into "White Christmas" playing on the tv as we created. Here is a look at our play day!

some of our supplies~

a few finished products~

a family tradition~
my mom always made these for every cousin, personalized with their names on them

perfect ending to a perfect day!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Garden Glow

The weekend before Thanksgiving, Blake and I were in the mood to do something festive and get us ready for the holidays that were coming upon us! Blake researched and read about Philbrook Museum's 'Garden Glow' in the newspaper. Having never heard about it and not knowing what to expect we decided to go on Saturday evening. It was a good sign that when we turned down 26th Street the street was lined with cars with people leaving and arriving at the museum! We squeezed into a spot and walked up to a shiny, bright and loud Garden Glow. What a festive treat it was!

We enjoyed the colorful Festival of Trees throughout the main level of the museum. Local artists, elementary students, girl scout troops, etc. decorate a Christmas tree in a unique way that means something special to them. We saw trees adorned in seashells, silver pencils, blown glass, minature girl scout cookie boxes, fabric pinecones, etc. It was so much fun! They had The Grinch Stole Christmas playing in the auditorium so kids could drop in and watch the children of Who-ville try to spread the Christmas joy into the green grinch's heart.

We then moved outside to the beautiful Philbrook gardens to see thousands of holiday lights illuminate the gardens- we even got to walk by the spot that Blake proposed to me almost 3 years ago! Outside la Villa restaurant they had an area where kids could make their own wildlife tree ornaments to give the birds and squirrels a special Christmas treat.

Speaking of treats, we came inside to a hot cup of cocoa that we sipped as we went upstairs to the gingerbread houses!! Just like the Festival of Trees- anyone from around Tulsa can enter a gingerbread house. They all looked so whimsical and delicious!

Before we left, we wanted to take one more peak at the illuminated garden. We were walking out to the balcony and ran into Santa Claus himself! He was listening to what a little girl was hoping to see under her tree on Christmas morning. I wanted so badly to go give him a hug, but Blake said no...
As we were leaving, I called my mom and sister and told them it was a MUST next year, that we all go to Garden Glow together as a family! Just like we hoped, Philbrook's Garden Glow got us into the Christmas spirit! How could Christmas trees, lights, gingerbread houses and hot cocoa not get you ready for this most wonderful time of year?