Wednesday, December 23, 2009

One less thing....

Right after Thanksgiving, I bought two boxes of Christmas cards.

I had really good intentions.

What I lacked was motivation.

Last year I sent photo cards.


Photoshop in a couple more wrinkles and we still look the same. Maybe next year we'll have a family photo to send.

I've been known to send a lengthy Christmas letter. Due to blogging, Facebook and free long distance, any news would be old news.

I did manage to mail five cards. But unless you're in Iraq, prison, or on the mission field, you can stop checking your mail box.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 18, 2009

PC in the CoC

I find it odd that the ONE time my local congregation decides to be "politically correct" is at Christmas. Amid all the hoopla of boycotting certain stores because their greeting is "Happy Holidays" not "Merry Christmas" and the endless emails criticizing those who have taken "Christ" out of Christmas, my church finds itself on the, shall we say, pagan side of the fence.

In my childhood, I was taught that since we don't exactly KNOW the specific date of Jesus' birth, we should not celebrate the event. Or better yet, celebrate it all year long. I often found myself arguing the point with my peers. Strangely, the very season that His name is mentioned most, and the world is opening doors of dialogue opportunity, we slam the door in their faces. Is it really so wrong to choose a day on our calendar to shift everyone's focus onto our Savior? The work has already been done for us. We don't even have to try to "sell" it. Just take advantage of it!

I found out this week that one "Christmas" song made its way into our worship schedule for Sunday, only to be taken out by those holding the power. It saddens me that a song taken directly from our standard book of hymns should be axed just because it's December.

But of course, we must be politically correct. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Party On

This is my evaluation of the Zumba party tonight.

Getting to visit and know my fellow Zumba classmates better -- awesome.
Best friend Janet choosing her BIRTHDAY party at her PARENTS' over the Zumba party -- lame.

Being accompanied by a live bongo drummer -- awesome.
Dancing to "Shake What Your Mama Gave Ya" with a male drummer in the room -- lame. (I'm just sayin'.)
Learning that said drummer is the father of a gym employee and not some pervert -- less lame.

Looking forward to the after-class refreshments -- awesome.
Refreshments consisting of pretzels, Crystal Light and low-fat, low-cal mini muffins -- lame.

Final name drawn for a door prize....Lita! -- awesome.
Door prize = High Protein/Soy Based Hot Chocolate mix -- lame.
Can I trade for one of the cool Zumba tote bags or head bands?

Most physically challenging high-impact Zumba class to date -- awesome.
Almost breaking a sweat -- very awesome.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Winterfest '09

Two reasons it might not be wise to go ice skating on a mild sunny day: a) everyone else in Tulsa has the same idea and b) there's an inch of water on top of the ice.

No skate rental discount, so we're determined to make the most of it.

Did I mention it was very sunny?


Steady, fella.

Huggin' the wall.

Notice the soaking wet jeans. Not sure if we were ice skating or swimming. We may be officially in the "polar bear club" now.

video

Jacob was a trooper. And I got a good "core" workout, just trying to skate and hold him up.


video

I give him a 6.5 for level of difficulty.

We went back to his house and snuggled under the blanket (wet jeans can make you really cold) to watch "Night at the Museum" while Jacob told me everything that was going to happen or be said 5 seconds before it actually happened. Listening to him narrate the movie was funnier than the movie itself. He said, "Nana, you laugh a lot." Yep.






Friday, December 11, 2009

Random Thoughts Du Jour

Due to popular demand, I am writing a new post so that millions of readers who keep visiting my site won't have to keep looking at the pumpkin pie catastrophe.

Random Thoughts:

I watched my beautiful niece, Morgan, today on the Channel 6 morning show. She has teamed up with the Salvation Army to do the "Bark Park Toy Drive." Her idea, her initiative, her organization, her big heart. I'm so proud of her. You can see the interview here. Here's the plug--take your dog to the dog park tomorrow, Joe Station or Hunter Park, 11:00 - 3:00, and drop off a new toy for a child that may not otherwise have a present under the tree.
Morgan
Better than smashed pumpkin pie, right?

How many years have I been grocery shopping at Walmart? Ten years? Twenty? For the first time today I noticed that the produce aisle has labels above the vegetables. I always have trouble finding the green onions, but lo and behold, if you just read the signs, you can stroll right up to them. Seriously. I almost cried.

Because of lab results, I now will add one more pill to my daily regimen. Dear Santa, I want one of those plastic daily pill organizers, preferably with hourly compartments. I've been a very good girl.

I don't want to hear any more details of Tiger's sex life. The end.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Confession


This is how you know things have gotten way out of hand.

Sunday evening: Bored and hungry. Pumpkin pie is calling my name. As I take it out of the fridge...not slowly and carefully, 'cause by now I am literally salivating and I can't wait another second, the plate slips out of my hand and lands face down on the floor. Rational Lita tells herself, "now the temptation is gone--good riddance." Irrational Lita puts the pie back in the fridge.

Monday evening: After a bowl of turkey soup, just need a little sumpn' sumpn' sweet.

Don't judge.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

How many of you have THIS MUCH help putting up your Christmas tree?



And after the final angel was hanging...not on a limb...but on a needle....

TA-DA!!!



Maybe a little bottom-heavy? Do ya think?

After endless snacking and playing doctor and police, Lauren finally began to wind down and I asked her if she wanted to take a nap. Lauren: "No, Nana, I not tired, I just yawning." Me: Giving her a questioning look--"Are you sure?" Lauren: "Don't look at me, please."

Papa's turn to play and since this is most likely the last 70-degree day for a few months, outside they went. The kids played "hide in the hay" and sent Papa to get me to search for them. Gracie standing at the barn door didn't give it away. Not in the least.





Good girl, Lassie...I mean, Gracie.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Fall Harvest

If you're expecting a cornucopia of fresh vegetables from the garden, you will be sorely disappointed. Around here we harvest.......






deer.

Jeff took a buck off our property here in S.S. and just as it was ready to be picked up at the processors, Neal & Jeremy returned from the western Oklahoma acreage with this truckload of venison. Two bucks and three does to be exact.

I think we need to buy a freezer.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Down with Blankets

Ever since the construction began on the IDL, (when was that? July?) my detour has taken me past this green space on the east side of downtown. Tulsa has done a good job over the last decade or so, beautifying the city, thanks in part to the program "Up With Trees."
However.....here's my beef. You knew there would be one, didn't you?

Every work day I drive past this blanket/sleeping bag(?) hanging on the fence. Each day the rips are a little bigger and more and more stuffings are slowly making their way out of their confines and mingling with nature.


This particular green space has an "Up With Trees" sign that says, "In memory of Dewitt L. Potter."
I know it's blurry, I was fighting construction traffic while taking these photos. But trust me, that's what it says.

Now, I hope that if I were a family member of poor Dewitt (may he rest in peace), I would occasionally "tend" to the area I sponsored in his name. I don't think Dewitt would be too proud of the hanging blanket.

Up with trees. Down with blankets. Four months is too long.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Random Thoughts Wednesday

It's 12:24 p.m. and I'm still in my pajamas. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I haven't blogged in over a week because I've been working on and editing my 2008 blog for annual publishing. (If no one else will publish you, publish yourself.)

Tonight is the last night to teach 2's and under Bible class. Woo Hoo! I've really been looking forward to this LAST class. I don't think teaching infants is my "gift."

I just pulled a loaf of homemade cranberry bread from the oven. A close friend mentioned liking cranberry bread, so I'll take her some tonight. Not the whole loaf, as I'm a little selfish.

Why don't I sweat? I've googled the condition and it doesn't seem to exist. The first 2 times I went to Zumba, I actually sweated! Is past tense sweat or sweated? Hair dripping, clothes stuck to my body. Now, after an entire hour of constant high-impact aerobic dancing, I'm dry as a bone. Maybe I'm dehydrated. I'm trying to drink more water.

Speaking of drinking, what happened to QT Chai Latte????

Neal will be doing some traveling again, which bums me. Although it will be a nice break from having to plan dinner and prepare his lunch every day. However, if you talk to him, just mention the part about me being bummed.

On a serious note...found out last night that Betty Mansur has left this world. Betty was the real deal. She was generous, talented, and outspoken. I spent many evenings in her tole painting classes at Park Plaza with wonderful friends. We still laugh about getting scolded by Betty for talking, giggling and not paying attention. You never wondered where you stood with Betty. She will be greatly missed.


Saturday, November 07, 2009

Grandkids on the Farm

If you're my Facebook friend (and why wouldn't you be?) you've already seen these pictures. These were taken last Saturday, in and around the barn. I think they're worthy of a post.









Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Masks We Wear

I had to start this post with my grandkids, Darth Vader and the Wicked Witch. They love dressing up and being something entirely different from Jacob and Lauren.

The Masks We Wear was the subject of this morning's sermon and front page bulletin article. How appropriate.

"...often times we pretend to be something we are not. We act as if we are more competent than we are, more "together" than we are, more able than we are, or more right than we are."
-Elliott Dunn (pulpit minister, SSCoC)

What's that? Was he just looking at me? I wear the mask well. It fits perfectly.

How can you "mourn with those who mourn" (Rom. 12:15-16) unless I remove the mask and let you know I am mourning? How can you "pray for each other" (James 5:16) unless I remove the mask and let you know I am struggling? ("confess your sins to each other" same verse.)

During the sermon, I couldn't help but consider how we are partially to blame for others wearing the mask. For instance, before services began, I was sitting in the pew preparing my contribution check. Another member walked in front of me and said, "Smile! Be happy!" I obliged. Now, admit it, it would have been pretty weird for me to have been sitting there alone, concentrating on writing a check, with a huge smile plastered across my face.

Can we not allow each other to have serious moments, to be discouraged, to be sad? Not only do we wear masks, but life is simpler when everyone else is wearing a mask. We assemble together to be encouraged, but is it all superficial? We want everyone to put on their happy faces so things don't get messy.

I confess. I'm guilty of both. I wear the mask. And I'm probably responsible for others wearing the mask.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mousecapades

This book, one of Lauren's favorites, is banned from our library...indefinitely.

We've trapped 3 mice in 3 days.

Allow me to elaborate on the drama at our house last night, when we had a "dinner guest." After dinner, Jeff & Guest retired to the game room to watch a movie. I was enjoying a quiet evening of TV, blogging and Facebook, when the 2 baby mice decided it was time to come out and play. J and G came back to find me hiding behind a doorway, broom in hand. "Shhhh! They're under the table." I like to make a good impression on new girlfriends.

Jeff begs me to let him pop them with the pellet gun. "Not in the house!", I say. "Mom, it's just a pellet gun--trust me."

This is the only thing that saved that tiny mouse's life:


The saga continues....

Halloween Baking



Lauren was thrilled to get in on the action this year.


Jacob is my "dough-eater" so we didn't end up with many baked cookies.

I imagined the frosting preparation to be a lesson in colors. You know--wise Nana teaches that we have to mix red and yellow to get orange. But Jacob was unimpressed and informed me that blue and yellow makes green. Smarty pants.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Super Mom

I should either get the Mom of the Year award, or I'm totally insane.

I was gone a good portion of the week, so I planned to spend the day (after sleeping in 'til 9) getting my house back in order, doing laundry, then working out. Neal had planned a weekend out west to hunt and I had planned a quiet evening at home...maybe with a pizza.

My oldest son called around 10:30 for a favor. Could I go to his house and put his laundry (hunting clothes) in the dryer? Just a small diversion from my schedule. My youngest son called around noon to tell me his "friend" was coming over tonight to watch a movie and could I cook dinner? Hmmm. What is it that keeps me from saying, "No, that doesn't really fit into my schedule today."? Oh, and could I make chicken and rice and could we eat at 7:00? Well, of course sweetie, whatever you want.

Chicken boiled, house presentable, at 3:00 I head to the gym. Phone rings. Youngest son. "Where are you?" "On my way to the gym." "Well, it's too windy to hunt, so I asked if she wanted to come earlier and she said yes." "Okay. But I can't have chicken and rice ready 'til 7." Yay me. I put my foot down, right?

Janet and I shorten our workout slightly, so that I can get home and get cookin'. I start to leave the gym and look for my keys, which I left hanging on the key rack. There's only one set of keys...and they aren't mine. I look quizzically at the girl at the desk and say, "I'm sure I left my keys here, I remember swiping my key fob." Her eyes become the size of saucers and I hear a quiet, "oops" slip out of her mouth.

Get this. Someone had called saying she thought she left her keys there and described them. Honda key, Homeland key card, one key has yellow key ID band--perfect description of my keys. She sends her boyfriend to pick them up. Now I'm stuck at the gym with no keys, gym personnel have no idea who the member was that called (you mean to tell me that in 2009 there are still businesses without caller i.d.?) and a disconnected phone number for the man that is now in possession of my keys. Janet and I do some sleuthing, and track down the man with my keys (long story) and I rush home in time to get dinner in the oven and take a shower. Dinner served promptly at 7:00. Okay 7:20.

And the "friend" was delightful, by the way. Hope she wasn't too horrified at the visible mousetraps and the fact that Jeff had to disappear with the pellet gun to dispose of the one caught in the live trap. Thankfully, she grew up in the country. Yes! *High Five*

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Business Trip


I know what you're thinking. Business trip? She's a church secretary, for heaven's sake. Get it? For "heaven's sake?" Okay, so it's been a long day. I'm in Louisville, KY with one of the women on the church finance committee for a training conference on our new software.

We only arrived a few hours ago, and I already have blog material.

So. We check in and head to our rooms to unpack. We share the elevator with a distinguished looking man and--coincidence--he's also on 6th floor. As we exit the elevator, Carolyn and I exchange room numbers so we can call each other. I round the corner to my room, Room 608, and the distinguished gentleman is standing at the door. He looks at me and says, "Did I hear you say, "608"? Doh! How stupid of me to blurt out my room number. I timidly admit that that is, indeed, what I said. He says, "I could've sworn that was MY room number, but my key won't work." Oh, my goodness gracious. Where is Carolyn??? I try my key, which of course opens the door, and son of a gun, there's all his stuff in the room! An apparent mix-up. But he doesn't let it go. He offers to share the room!!! Oh lawsy! I chuckle...you're a funny guy. So we get back on the elevator to straighten out this mess and he says, "You probably wouldn't be able to put up with me anyway." To which I say, "You probably couldn't put up with me either." To which he says, "Oh, I'm not so sure about that." Lord, please get me outta here! As the lady at the desk frantically tries to find another room for me, he says to her, "I offered to share with her." Obviously, she was concentrating too hard on finding me a room to think that was funny. I wasn't laughing any more either. Oh great--my new room is still on 6th floor. So we ride back up to our floor in relative silence, while I discreetly cover my new room number with my thumb.

All unpacked and now Carolyn and I can go to the hotel restaurant and have a nice dinner. The waitress brings us our checks and we each pay with a credit card. Only, when she brings them back for signatures, mine doesn't have my card in it, and the ticket has already been signed and paid for. I'm thinking "608 man" and my eyes start darting around the restaurant. I wave down the waitress, and I guess she's having a bad night too, cause it was just another mix-up.

Meanwhile, sitting at the table next to us is Jeremy Sisto from Law and Order, NO LIE.

Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Lita Blevins' Day Off

Did you know one of my favorite movies is Ferris Buehler's Day Off?  Now you do.  Ferris lives out my secret fantasy of taking a whole day and spontaneously coming up with fun and bizarre ways to pass the time.

Instead, here's what I did on this beautiful, sunny day off:

Go to the shop to start up the riding lawn mower.  Discover two flat tires.  Go to the barn to get the air compressor.  Not there.  Back to the shop...oh, there it is, my bad.  Play mechanic and finally figure out how the dadgum thing works. Air up the tires.  Fill tank with gas.  Start mowing. Get stuck between cedar tree and wood pile.  Physically try to lift riding lawn mower out of wedge--can't be good for my herniated disk and recovering hiney.  Finish yard and move on to dog yard. Mower starts making grinding noises and is leaving rows of tall grass between blades.  Park mower and resort to push mower. Finish dog yard with push mower, stepping in fresh Gracie deposit. Now I smell like a mixture of wild onions and dog poop as I greet the electrician. Explain three electrical jobs I need done.  Start first load of laundry.  Unload dishwasher. Remove globes on bathroom light fixture and handwash, then replace. Clean bathroom top to bottom. Clean inside car windows. Carry 2-ton ladder from garage to front of house. Clean front picture window outside. Come inside and raise blinds to clean inside picture window.  Kill red wasp hiding behind blind. Replace blind that I just pulled off wall.  (Window frame will have to be reattached another day.)  Start second load of laundry. Carry 2-ton ladder back to garage, lift garage door and dodge falling centipede.  Wait patiently on electrician to exorcise the house from the haunting of the electricity snatcher, while I sit at the computer and blog.

Far cry from a Cub's game, art museum and parade.

Danke Shoen, anyone...anyone?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What's a Woman to Do?

For those of you who stopped by to get a chuckle, I apologize. This is one of those times that I just need to journal my feelings.

For a long time, I've struggled with the role of women in the church.  At one time, I just felt like we got the raw end of the deal.  Much of the time I'm relieved that the responsibilities fall on the men.  I vacillate.  For years, it didn't really matter what I thought, because all churches seemed to agree, and the women were relegated to teaching Sunday School and planning VBS. But times...they are a changin'.

I'll admit, the first time I attended a service where a woman read scripture and a couple of the communion servers wore high heels, I fidgeting in my pew.  Is that really okay?  More to the point...why is it okay for a woman to read scripture at the 9:30 hour, but not the 10:30 hour? And why is it okay--even expected--for a woman to pass the trays sitting down, but not standing up?

Recently, I was the only woman at "Prayer Night" along with 4 men.  We discussed prayers that God had answered and spiritual needs of our congregation that we would be praying for later in the evening.  I brought up a few items to put on the list and discussed freely and openly with the men what would be included in our prayers.  I even took notes to bring to the next meeting, for the sake of efficiency.  Women are good at that.  When it was time to get down to business, the list was divided between the 4 men.  I can speak ABOUT prayer, but can't actually PRAY out loud?  They can't listen to a woman addressing God?

Just wondering.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Inside Out



I just returned from my first, but certainly not my last, ZOE Conference.  Since I blog about a lot of insignificant and superficial trivia in my life, I feel compelled to let you in on the very significant weekend I just experienced.  But I'm so filled up I don't even know how to begin to describe it.  I'm overwhelmed by a God that masterminded the direction of paths in my life that led to this opportunity.  I am convinced that no words on a blog post could do justice to the feelings that are welling up in my heart.  From the spirit-filled praise and worship segments, 
to the amazing speakers who showed me things in the Bible that I had never seen, to the incredible people with whom I shared 18 hours of van time, meals, fellowship, fun (among other things that are just between Brenda and me).

Here's the Readers' Digest version in pictures:

SHARING TALENTS:

Linda has magic hands.


Brenda can put her foot behind her head--impressive.


She can also pick her nose with her tongue.  Could come in handy.


We let Alice think her deformity is a talent.
We're kind like that.


Terry, the man of many talents, resorts to props.


SHARING THE CONFERENCE:

Rick, Linda, Amy, Wes

Jeannie and Danna

Terry and Lita

Hannah, Brenda, Alice

Our awesome interpreter and Terry's new friend, Teresa.

SHARING MEALS:


Hannah and Shane at Corky's BBQ

Jeannie and Van

Pizza in the Girls' Suite

SHARING A DEEP CONVERSATION:

Wes and Rick


SHARING A MOVIE:

Hannah, Amy and Alice


Linda and Wes

AND SHARING A FOOTBALL GAME:

Good game, bad outcome.

The weekend can be summed up with this praise and thanksgiving from Ephesians 3:20, 21:

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Let's Party

Do you ever have so many fun things planned for the weekend that you begin to dread it?  Am I really getting that old?  Here's our weekend schedule:

Friday Evening:  
6:30 - 2nd thru 6th graders from church arrive
6:30 - 7:00 - grill hot dogs, while kids play soccer in the pasture (hopefully avoiding any cow patties left from Black Bull's visit)
7:00 - grandchildren arrive for evening while parents go to a party far, far away from any munchkins
7:00 - 7:30 - escort children into the house for handwashing, filling plates, filling and refilling drinks, balancing plates and drinks back through door to eat outside
7:30 - 9:00 - gather 'round the campfire for songs, stories and the grand finale---roasting marshmallows and eating smores


13 kids (counting our 2 grandkids)


Mission:  Get the kids on a sugar high before returning them to their parents.


Cory is the master roaster.  This kid knows how to git'r'dun!


Jacob loved roasting marshmallows, but didn't want to eat them, so he roasted and Nana ate.
I still have a tummy ache and marshmallow under my fingernails.

9:00 - 10:45 - entertain grandkids until parents get home


Saturday
7:00 AM - leave home, drive to Edmond
8:30 - 1:30 - OC Alumni Baseball Day
1:30-3:00 - drive home
3:00 - ? - try to come up with refreshments for Small Group on Sunday while cleaning up from Friday evening's activities

Sunday
9:30 - 12:00 - Church
1:00 - 3:00 - Family coming over for Sunday Dinner
3:30 - Singing Practice at church
6:00 - 8ish - Small Group at our house

The alarm went off at 6:15 this morning (Saturday).  Neal hit the snooze button.  6:30...snooze. 6:45...Me: You wanna just stay home?...Neal:  Uh huh.

Sometimes you just have to say no.  Thanks for the pep talk, Terry.