Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Red Nose Cafe

Last Friday night, Allan and I went to the Red Nose Cafe.  This event was sponsored by our three local circuses that have their winter quarters here.  We enjoyed a good meal before the entertainment began. 
There was tumbling and acrobatics
Hula hooping and balancing
Juggling with Gerard
Clown acts
The real highlight of the evening was to see some of the kids perform that have been participating in the Circus School!  Through the summer, there were classes available for local kids, not associated with the circus at all, to learn circus skills.  This program has been very popular and also very successful! 
This little guy did a balancing act while twirling a rope and also a hula hoop.  He was the cutest thing!
This beautiful girl showed her skills on the low wire.  She'll be on way to the high wire in no time, I bet!
This little girl was dressed as a rag doll and was brought to the stage in a box.  The man pulled her out of the box and she did some tumbling tricks.  It was very cute!
I dont' know if this was their first performance or not, but they all did a great job and I'm anxious to see more from these kids and others that are involved in the Circus School!
The last act of the night was a father and two daughters who did a unicycle act.  They were very good!
The night ended with a clown contest!  Very good prizes were given in several categories.  Everyone was a winner!
We had a great time and look forward to next year's cafe!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Girlfriend Weekend

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  I had a WONDERFUL one!  Saturday, I got together with girls that I graduated high school with and a couple of girls that graduated several years after us.  We met at Terri's mom's house at noon.  Some of the girls I hadn't seen in years, several I see occasionally and one I see three times a week at church.  We went around the room and got everyone caught up on each other's lives.  Then we went to Roma's for lunch.
We were glad the restaurant was not too crowded because we just might have gotten a tad too loud at times with our talking and laughing!  We had such a good time!
We ate until we were stuffed and then finally went back to the house to visit some more.

I made this amazing, if I do say so myself, Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Ball for one of our desserts.
It was the first time that I'd made it and I was a bit nervous that it might not be any good, but hey, what can go wrong with cream cheese, sugar, and chocolate chips?  NOTHING!
It was really good so I'm going to share the recipe here if anyone is interested:
 Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Ball
8 oz. cream cheese, softened, 1/2 c. butter, softened, 1/4 tsp. vanilla, 3/4 c. powdered sugar, 2 tbsp. brown sugar, packed, 3/4 mini chocolate chips, 3/4 c. finely chopped pecans or walnuts-I just used another 3/4 cups of the mini chips instead, graham cracker sticks or vanilla wafers.
Blend the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually add the sugars just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerator for 2 hours. Place on large piece of plastic wrap and form into a ball. Refrigerate for at least one more hour. At serving time, roll in chopped nuts or mini chips as I did. Serve with graham crackers or vanilla wafers. Enjoy!
We visited the rest of the afternoon and then had beef stew for supper.  Some of the girls were spending the night to have a slumber party but I decided with having church the next morning, that I'd go on home.  Several others didn't stay all night either.  I HOPE to hear the stories of what took place after I left.  I imagine there are some!  I can't wait until the next get-together in a few months!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

An Old Wives Tale? Or Not?

We have a couple of persimmon trees on our property out in the country.  For several years I've tried to get to them when they were ripe.   I've always heard how tasty and sweet they are and that the fruit makes a wonderful jelly.  Every time I've bit in to one in the past, I've quickly spit it out as fast as I can!  They will make you pucker like nothing I've ever eaten before!  This year my mom and I were out walking around the land when she noticed the persimmons and thought they might be ripe. 
The trees were just loaded with fruit!  The deer love this fruit and lots of times all of the fruit near the bottom will be completely stripped from the trees. 

I waited for mom to take the first bite since I've had the sour, bitter ones before!  She said they were good and sweet, so I picked some to eat.  They  were delicious!  I asked her about making some jelly with them but there is hardly any meat in each one and it would take a lot of them to have enough to do it.
What I didn't know about the persimmon is that 'back in the day' people used the seed to predict what the winter weather was going to be like.  So, we picked a few persimmons, took them back to the house and began to try to predict the weather.
According to the Farmer's Almanac, you break open the seed to find a kernel inside.  Ours were kind of hard to break open and we ruined a few before we finally got it right.  Inside of the seed, there will be a kernel that will either be spoon-shaped, fork-shaped or knife-shaped.  I had my doubts that this was really going to show us anything. 
We cracked several open and found the same thing-a spoon shape!

The Farmer's Almanac lists what each of the three shapes mean about the area's winter weather.
The knife means to expect to be 'cut' by icy cutting winds.
The fork means to expect powdery, light snow and a mild winter.
The spoon means to expect lots of heavy, wet snow.  Spoon=shovel!
Also, it says the persimmons you check only predict YOUR local weather, not the weather across the country.  I'm curious to know if there really is a different shape in persimmon seeds in other parts of the country.

I'm not sure just how accurate this idea is, BUT, here in SE Oklahoma we have had a pretty harsh winter so far!  We had a terrible ice storm in mid-December that did a tremendous amount of damage. 
 I guess there is still time for  heavy, wet snow to arrive as the spoon-shaped kernel suggests!  It will be interesting to see what happens.  Next year, I hope to find a fork shape instead!

Monday, January 13, 2014

2013 Year In Review

Well, I have taken quite a long break from blogging but here I go again!  I'm REALLY going to try to do better this year!  I've decided to do a 2013 year in review mainly for my own benefit to be able to see and remember what took place.

We made a trip to OKC in early January to celebrate Christmas with Allan's folks and his brother's family. 

Allan and I had a great time at the Red Nose Cafe sponsored by our local circuses.  It was a fun night of food and circus acts.

Allan tested AND earned his 3rd degree black belt in TaeKwon Do!  He had worked really hard to accomplish this goal and I'm so proud of him.

Valentine's Day!  You can't go wrong with flowers and chocolate!  We didn't go out to supper as usual because I didn't feel well.  I did manage to make an awesome pie though!

We met the kids halfway one Sunday afternoon to celebrate Ashley's birthday!  I made her usual request-chocolate chocolate chip cheesecake!

We went to OKC so that Allan and the kids could go to the Bon Jovi concert!  They had a great time at the concert and I had a great time shopping.

Easter is always such a fun time!  I miss dying eggs with my own kids but this year I got to do it with my nephews.  It was so much fun trying a new way to dye eggs-with shaving cream!  My kids at church made a cute bunny craft to take home. 

We are still in the process of building our new house.  We are doing a lot of the work ourselves so it's taking longer than we had planned.  It is going to be so pretty though!

Niece "K"s birthday was a fun time!  She had a Monster High party with the cutest cupcakes.

We celebrated Mother's Day!  Colby was able to come home for the weekend.  He and Ashley got me the Oklahoma state necklace from The Vintage Pearl and I LOVE it!  My Bible class kids made a cute card for their moms/grandmas and I made one for my mom too!

Dad's birthday fell on Mother's Day weekend so we celebrated him too.  Colby was passed the torch to be the new grill master!  We had a good visit with my aunt and uncle too.

Central Oklahoma suffered several devastating tornadoes.  There was tremendous loss of lives and property.  The state came together to help and support each other.

Colby made another trip home to celebrate his birthday a week or so early.  His birthday is in early June but he wasn't going to be able to come then.  I made one of his favorite meals of chicken fried venison and he ate nearly the whole platter!  

I began a Moses unit in my Bible class.  The kids learned about Moses from his birth to the wandering in the desert.  This was such a fun unit and I was so proud of all that they learned.  We made some awesome crafts to go along with the 10 plagues.

We met the kids halfway to celebrate Father's Day.  Happy Father's Day to my daddy too!

Allan's parents came to an area lake to camp out.   We enjoyed a good visit with them and friends.  

Allan and I enjoy going to the Paris Community Theater's productions.  We went to see "The Pink Panther" and it was great!  

We love the 4th of July!  Ashley came home for the weekend and we had a cookout at Mom and Dad's.  "K" was there for the weekend too and she's always fun to be with.

Ashley and I took a little road trip to Tishomingo to The Pink Pistol, Miranda Lambert's store.  We had such a fun time!  We were hoping Blake and Miranda would show up but they didn't.  :(

We had a circus themed VBS this year and it was a ton of fun!  The teachers went all out with their room decorations and the kids LOVED it!

Allan & I both have August birthdays...a day apart.  I  was preoccupied with Mom since she had surgery the day before my birthday.  I hadn't been able to plan anything because I was taking care of her.  When I got home from the hospital with her, Allan surprised me with a turtle cheesecake that he made!  It was beautiful and delicious both!  A week or so later, precious Ellen from church, had a little birthday dinner party for us and some friends.

Not much happened this month except for me and Hershey getting hooked on Candy Crush!  He saw me playing it one evening and came rushing over to watch.  If I waited too long to make another move, he reached over with his paw and made it for me!  The game doesn't show up in the pics but he really was choosing his own moves!  

We had a great time at our church Halloween party!  I always look forward to this every year.  We had costumes, a hot dog cookout, pumpkin carving and then ended the night with a hay ride.

We celebrated Mom's birthday!  My brothers and their families came and we had a good time celebrating Mom.  We also had a party with our church friends at the Cedar Shed on Sunday after church.

I just love Thanksgiving!  We had our annual family get-together with extended family at my late grandparents home place.  It's always one of the highlights of my whole year!  Granny and Daddy Jim would be so happy to know that we are all still enjoying being 'home'.

Family pictures in the pasture have become a yearly tradition.   Ashley was missing from our family picture but we pretended she was there!

Our anniversary was at the end of week of Thanksgiving.  We celebrated by going to our favorite Mexican restaurant, TaMolly's.  I've had 31 great years with this wonderful man!

DONNY OSMOND!  We had tickets to see the Donny and Marie Christmas Tour in Oklahoma City.
This was such a fantastic night that I can still hardly believe it!  After we got to the venue, Ashley entered a twitter contest to win two front row seats and WON!!  It was amazing to be right there so close to Donny and Marie.  She is gorgeous and he is too!  Words can't describe how amazing the night was for me!

We had a terrible ice storm here.  There was terrible damage everywhere you looked.  The whole county looked like a war zone.  We were fortunate to not have any structural damage at either of our houses but the damage to trees was just heartbreaking.

One of my favorite things I love about our town is our Christmas parade because Santa comes riding in on an elephant!  Seeing this never gets old for me!  I absolutely love it!  We had our church Christmas party and really enjoyed our fellowship with our church family.  

The kids came home on Christmas eve.  We opened gifts from just our little family.  Everyone was happy, happy, happy with their gifts!
Christmas Day was spent at Mom and Dad's house.  Both brothers and their families came and we had a great time.  The little kids get so excited when opening their gifts.  We had lots of good food and I made an amazingly good chocolate caramel pecan pie!  We really loved having both of our kids home at the same time, even if it was only for a short time.

2013 was a great year for us and I'm excited to see what 2014 has in store for us.  Hopefully we'll be in our new beautiful home soon!