Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Nana Has Added To Someones Life

Every once in a while I run across a card in an old book or tucked in a secret place.  This one is from a number of years ago.  But it was nice to find it and know someone loved me enough to send me a hand written card.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

CHRISTMAS: Rituals change -- Love Does Not!

Every year our celebrations are growing more and more different. Traditions, rituals, constantly change.   Last Year was a gigantic celebration in Branson.  There were weeks of planning, a photo shoot in November so the grandkids could make presents for their parents and then four rooms reserved at the Savannah House so we could party together.

But even before Branson, last year Ken and I took a trip East to visit family.  We visited with Bill and the Eller family in Greenville.
Bill had lost his Millie last year so we visited Millie's resting place.
It was good to see my sister, Bonnie and some of her girls. 
We also visited with Sarah in Ellicott City who had lost her husband, Scott last year. 
We put out Christmas greenery at Scott's resting place. 
And of course, we visited Asheville before Christmas last year.
Kirk and Jennifer were able to join us for Thanksgiving with their girls, Megan and Allie. 
The Gingerbread House contest was an introduction to Christmas for us. 

This year brought changes for all of us....... Ken with a serious illness and families without work.  A tight economy and a heap of stress added to the changes in how we celebrated this Christmas season.  Yet, through it all we are definitely victorious.   There were no trips this year until September when we finally got to drive East to visit family.   We visited with Bill and his new wife Nell in Greenville, SC.
And we drove to Barnwell to visit Bonnie and Jim Eller. 
And the  remainder of the week was with grandchildren in Asheville. 

We are strong, we are well, and our faith is totally in  the abundance of a loving Heavenly Father and Savour Jesus Christ for which we celebrate His gift of Life.
I found evidence of a beautiful Christmas Photo Shoot on Facebook of Joel, Jennifer, Blakely and Sydney.  They are so beautiful and it warms my heart to see them so happy with one another.  What greater gift than the love of our children, our siblings and those who love us.  And what greater gift can we give to God than to love HIM for He is love divine.  It is Christ who teaches us love.
Blakely ONeal 
Sydney ONeal 
So this year Paula and Sarah, my precious sisters are celebrating together in Ellicott City for a month.  I love it when family gather together. 
And Hailey had a Christmas program which I attended along with Kayla and Susie.

And there was one freezing evening that Ken and I were able to take some of the grandkids to Camp Dry Gulch for the church Christmas Train event.  Even this was a different experience from when the children were younger.  Instead of Santa Clause and Pony Rides, it was grown to bumper cars and go karts.

And from hamburgers to BBQ ribs and brisket. 
The one thing that has not changed is the freezing cold that blows off of Lake Hudson.   Here we are waiting to board the Christmas Train which tells the story of Christmas beginning with God creation of the earth and man.     Let us never forget the true meaning of Christ's Birth and the Love it brings into our lives.
The Nativity, the Star that guides us, the gifts we bring to our Christ. 
A symbol of Christmas, the Christmas Cactus. 
And then joy or joys, we received the Collier Family Christmas Eve photo in their ps's.  I love it!
There is even more about our Christmas on the Grandkids blog.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It Probably Was Our Last Time

I can't really be sure, but last night may have been our last trip to Red Lobster.  I love those cheese biscuits .. knowing they are not good for me so we don't frequent Red Lobster often.   Seafood is my favorite dish.  Now I remember previously we visited the Red Lobster in Asheville (Ava loved the place with the hanging fishes even if she did not love the food.)   The last time we visited Red Lobster in Asheville she ordered mac and cheese -- It was the boxed, pop-in-microwave kind.  Ken and I ordered seafood only to be reminded that the quality of the food deteriorated to an inferior grade.    And that was a year ago. 
So last night in Oklahoma City, we were staying at the Quality Inn right next door to the Red Lobster.  It seemed the place to go.  First, they did not bring me what I ordered -- it looked good so I kept it  and it was OK.   Ken's favorite is the fried combo fishermans patter but he was trying to be a good boy and ordered the steamed captains plate --- he DID NOT LIKE  the bland, watery undesirable presentation.       Thus, I think we won't visit Red Lobster again ... at least not until we have forgotten about the last two or three trips when we agreed that Chef Red has lost his touch.     I still love the cheese biscuits even though they are not a healthy item.

Oh, by the way, the reason we were in Oklahoma City was to attend the Keith Wann Coda Show and workshop.  Great show -- worth the trip!
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thinking About The Advent Conspiracy

I've always loved Christmas.  And I totally love the Gift Giving Part.  Looking back, I realize some of my greatest years were when the children were tiny, which makes me know that my focus was a bit off.  I was enjoying the thrill of excited little faces perhaps more  than the birth of the Christ Child.   So when the children grew up, the glamor faded.   It became exciting again when the grand babies came along.   Now, it is time to re-evaluate and consider the best way to celebrate the birth of Christ.   (Photo:   Bonnie, Jean and Buddy about 1950.)

Christ's birth is a coming of promise, hope and a revolutionary love.    However, Christmas has become a time of  commercialization, extravagance, going into debt, major stress,  and even for some a time for regret or a season to be depressed.

Oh the memories of trying to provide gifts on Christmas Lists. It's so much fun to give -- not because there is a need, for me it is the fun of surprises.  Yet as children grew older, I watched some return those gifts which were on their list for something different of just return it for the money.   I thought I loved the shopping, wrapping and watching the opening of gifts only to discover gifts can be inferior -- causing the receiver to make efforts of thanks while inside, disappointed.    So I graduated to a new plan.  Give money, you pick out your own gift. Not a bad plan, I don't mind giving money and you do the work.  What about those times when I requested the gift be wrapped and put  under the tree and opened on Christmas.  Non of these comments or memories are grievous or complaints.  I'm just remembering how off track one can become in the celebration of the birth of Jesus our Lord.    Is all of this a celebration of Christ or a celebration of giving gifts?  (Photo: 1961, my Dad, Mom, Kevin, Marie,  Jim Eller, Jean, Ken & Bonnie.) 

Going back seventy years as a child in a family with six children.  My memory is that we each received one gift of clothing and one toy.  And Christmas was huge.   There were lots of family games, Christmas plays, Christmas Caroling and times to remember Christ and love for others.   Along the way something went awry.  (Photo:  1977 Joel)

When our children were little, I think we began to give our children the things we never had ... only to see them bored and toys broken before dinner time.  It left a bit of an empty feeling and a disgust that children can be so ungrateful, or have such little imagination.    IS IT POSSIBLE TO MAKE CHRISTMAS A LIFE CHANGING EVENT AGAIN? 

Christmas starts with Jesus.   I know that December 25 is not the literal day that Christ was born but it is the day chosen for us to celebrate HIS BIRTH and HIS GIFT to us.    It was designed to be a season where love wins, peace reigns, and our Savior and King is celebrated.   It was designed to be a time of worship as the wise men did worship.  (Photo:  1986 Joel, Sommer, Jenny Lynn.)

God's gift to us was a relationship built on love .... a time to love family and friends.   Part of my thoughts in this posting are taken from and a booklet passed out at Asbury Methodist Church.  The thought is to give the gift of TIMESpend time with those you love.  Time to make a gift that turns into the next family heirloom.  Or time to play with the children or bake a special cookie recipe together and sing old Christmas songs.   Give a gift to someone who has nothing and has a need.  Give less gifts this year.  (Photo 1994: Sommer, Jennifer, Joel, Jenny Lynn, Jean & Kevin.)

I don't think I am spiritually mature enough to cut out the Christmas Gift Giving and the spending of money.   But I might be able to cut back on it.  With the economy tight, it is the perfect year to begin a new practice.   Give the gift of time, the gift of building relationships, the gift of loving one another.  And the greatest gift of all would be surrendering more of self to Christ ... MORE OF HIM AND LESS OF ME.
(Photo 1988 Joel, Jenny Lynn, Jean Sommer, Kevin)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Kevin Scrivner: Published Rocket Rangers Pulp Science Fantasy Adventures

Our eldest son, Kevin Scott, has always had an interest in science fiction ... although he seldom has had friends to play games with, he loves the gaming world and he loves to write about it to the point that he spends countless hours pouring over research to write the best and most authentic piece of fantasy gaming ever possible.  

And then there is that masterpiece where Kevin is reported to be a "Veteran Minataurian" in his writings of Mazes and Minotaurs.  Kevin writes about the Land of the Sun ... ancient civilizations in the far Eastern desert.   He speaks of  a "mostly human" Akamen Empire and the struggles with the Mineans, Umbrians and Tritonians.  For those who enjoy this world of thought, this is an amazing read.  For the true 'gamer' it would have to be a conquest to enjoy.

I Remember Kevin's Early Years
Kevin's life has never been easy.   Born our first child, seven weeks early and weighing in at 2 lbs 2 oz, he spent the first two months of his life in the hospital.   And he returned on numerous occasions throughout the years.  He is resilient, a fighter with a melancholy temperment.    . 
Kevin's  melancholy temperment holds true with his multi-gifted nature and  analyzing mind.  The simplest innocent comment can get an automatic question of "what do you mean by that?"  Melancholy temperments are generally good spellers and precise grammarian and yet sensitive and a bit of an introvert.  Kevin is strong willed in what he believes.  Just try to change his mind on something, I promise you that you will more often not win.  (Photo 1961:  Daddy Ken and Kevin enjoying an intimate moment of joy.)
(Photo 1964: April and Kevin playing cowboy and indians.)
(Photo 1978:  Kevin at Pipe Stem, W Va while visiting Grandma Montgomery.)     Kevin is extremely loyal to his cautiously chosen friends.   And because he is such a hard worker in his areas of interest, he has successfully produced  those published pieces of science and fantasy which he pens.
From the time he was a young teen, his Christmas list included a request for a wife.  We never could provide that for him but he found one for himself in Bonita.  I think perhaps one of the happiest days of his life might have been they day he married his bride.    And when cancer tried to take him, his fighting spirit and faith in God brought him victory while speaking words of faith that he would live and not die.  Many times I heard his confession that he would live to see his children and attend their wedding.   So Kevin and Bonita  now have two beautiful children, Devin and Hailey. (Photo 1965: Kevin with April, Joel and Sommer.)
Thank you Kevin for being our son, for fighting the fight of faith and for your staying power to ever trust in God.  Your Dad and I love you very much.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Driving to church, as we pulled into the COTM parking lot, we had to stop and take this photos of the November sky overlooking the stadium.  This is Western Skys over Oklahoma.
November Sky and Setting Sun. 
I think fall has finally arrived.  I was driving to work on the Creek Nation Turnpike. 
Clicking while I drive? 
I pulled over for this one - still on the Creek. 
Keeping Driving girl - you can't be late for work. 
The tree in the Sorenson parking lot. 
Ken had pulled the Hibuscus into the garage because frost was a possibility.  The hisbuscus had to give off another blossom in the darkened garage proclaiming..."I am happy...I'm not dead yet."