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Monday, January 31, 2011

V.V.B.C.-Favorite Quotes from Breath by Martha Mason

"Vicarious Virtual Book Club
My Favorite Quotes from Breath: A Lifetime in the Rhythm of an Iron Lung
by Martha Mason

I meant to put some of my favorite quotes in my discussion post about Breath, but I forgot! Here they are now, from Martha Mason!

"I live with a stable of nightmares, but hope keeps them in harness."

"Sometimes I wondered if I were in hell. Can there be a greater punishment than helplessly listening to the anguished cries of the person dearest to us? Perhaps hell really is isolation from the absolute love of God--or by proxy, from the love of our mothers. The ebb and flow of love between parents and children seems essential to a well-functioning life. Maybe our love for parents and others is our synapse to our Creator. Selfless love, personified in good mothers, compels us to seek the higher--to seek God. To be deprived of or cut off from that love is indeed hell."

Dante reached across the centuries to capture the way I felt as Christmas dawned on the horizon that year: "No greater grief than to remember days / Of joy when misery is at hand."

"I keep looking at the clock on the mantle. It is an old clock that once belonged to my mother's grandfather, so I think its hands are moving slower than those of the new clock in the kitchen. I make frequent treks to the kitchen to check the movement of those youthful hands. I convince myself that on Christmas Eve the minutes have to be stretched to allow Santa to get to every house in the world. On no other night are the laws of time suspended. The evening drags like a sled on rocks. I eat cookies and
drink milk until my stomach rebels."

"Years later I would understand what Wordsworth meant when he wrote 'In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts/ Bring sad thoughts to the mind.' "

"Hattie brought her bull calf to the fence for me to scratch her head as I admired her offspring, who had no name because he would soon be slaughtered. He had already inadvertently caused me trouble. My example of him as one born to die to save others had not pleased Preacher Crow at Bible School earlier in the summer."

[Note: Martha discovered a book of unknown origin, that she thought may have been her brothers, in a homemade bookshelf in the hall, while sitting in her wheelchair, watching her mother dusting the books.]
"Whatever the source, my new manual showed me a better way to live above my physical problems. My enthusiasm was sparked when I read, "Take away the complaint 'I have been harmed' and the harm is taken away." I could do that! I could not allow my spirit to be stunted by polio! There had to be more to the life I had struggled so hard to save. Marcus Aurelius also told me in forceful terms that my day would not last indefinitely and that I had only one opportunity to experience my world in its best light, "...[A] limit of time is fixed for you, which if you don't use it for clearing away the clouds from your mind, it will go and you will go, and it will never return." Although I had--have--no fear of death (but a good measure of fear of dying), I decided I could stay too engrossed in the adventures of life to think about death.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

V.V.B.C.-The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin

Vicarious Virtual Book Club-
The Mountain Between Us 
by Charles Martin

"The Mountain Between Us" is my Sisterchicks Book Club's February book selection. A brief synopsis of the plot is that two strangers, one, a young, married doctor on his way home from a conference, and the other, a young woman on her way home to be married, survive a private plane crash in the middle of a wilderness area. Nobody knows they are on the plane, so they will have to save themselves.

I will not post any review for the V.V.B.C., until after my Sisterchicks Book Club meeting February 21, but I wanted to have a place for those of you who've already read the book, those who want to recommend the book, or anyone else, to comment.

There are at least 30 of you "Vicarious Virtual Book Club" members who've e-mailed, facebooked, or told me in person that you're reading some of the selections! I hope SOME of you will post on the blog entries, so others can see your comments, and be inspired!

This is meant to be a "no pressure," FUN and CASUAL group! No worries about having to "sound intellectual!" We're all here because we ENJOY reading! Some of us may be more serious about reading than others--no problem! You don't have to read all the books to participate. We want to hear from anyone who wants to post!


All I'll say, until after the Sisterchicks Book Club meeting, is that I was THOROUGHLY engrossed in this story! It was great "escape" fiction for me. This is probably a "chick book," (translation: love story), however there's a fair amount of survival/adventure, as well.

I could almost LITERALLY FEEL the cold and snow! (Having so much snow here in Atlanta during the time I was listening to The Mountain Between Us, made it very real to me! I LISTENED to the Audible version this book on my iPhone, if you want to hear a sample, here is a link. Just type in the author or book name.)
Search for audiobooks:
by author, title or keyword


Last night was my Book Club meeting at Starbucks in Peachtree City!
With a majority of our Sisterchick Book Club members enjoying themselves on a "Girl's Bahama cruise," our number was smaller than usual. Seven Sisterchicks who were "Left Behind," and two first timers, got together to discuss our February selection, The Mountain Between Us.

Before getting started, we introduced ourselves, to our new members, and got to know each other a little better. We learned some new "fun facts" about each other! We are a nice cross-section of interesting and intelligent women! We shared a lot of laughs, before we even started discussing books! (That's all I'm going to say. What goes on at book club, stays at book club! LOL! One of our "newbies" left after introductions, but before the discussion, so as not to spoil the book for herself. We're looking forward to seeing her next month for Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers!)

Sheron led off the book discussion with questions she'd found on the internet. We talked about the moral lessons of the book. Some reviews called it Christian fiction, but none of us saw any reason to classify it that way. There was no overt Christian content. There were no prayers or major references to God, or the hereafter.

This lack of references to God was especially obvious after the main characters, Ben and Ashley, dealt with the death of their pilot, Grover, and the removal of his body for "burial." There were not even any desperate prayers for divine intervention as Ben's and Ashley's circumstances become more dire. The book was full of good values, which certainly are compatible with Christianity, without feeling preachy.

Most of us felt that the book was pretty intense at times, requiring us to stop and take a break! The cold and wild animals were uncomfortable to consider, as was the hunger.

We discussed whether or not we could have eaten Napoleon, the dog, or the dead pilot. I think we all realized that we couldn't predict with certainty what we might do in order to survive. Speaking of survival, the fact that Ben and Ashley survived without frostbite damage to their extremities, in such dire circumstances, seemed unrealistic to a couple of people.

Sheron suggested that The Mountain Between Us could have represented something that bound Ashley and Ben together--the shared experience that nobody else could understand, as opposed to the mountain referring to something that separated Ashley and Ben from safety.

Out of the seven who'd read the book, only one figured out "the twist" that blindsided the rest of us! Several of us saw a few of the "clues" that Ben's wife and children were dead, but we were blind-sided by the unexpected revelation that they were interred in his wife's "dream beach house," which she did not live to see.

I personally thought this book was a great read, as well as a VERY compelling Audio Book. Everyone at Book Club liked the book--it's not always so "unanimous!" I asked the Sisterchicks for a numerical ranking. On a scale of 1-10, with ten being best, The Mountain Between Us garnered 3-7's, 2-8's, and 2-9's, for an average of 7.85!

What do y'all think? Did I leave out anything important? Any comments?
Jump on in!

Friday, January 28, 2011

V.V.B.C.--Read Through the Bible in a Year!

Vicarious Virtual Book Club--
Read Through the Bible in a Year!


Just thought I'd share that I'm reading through the Bible in a year, with The Daily Walk Bible, New Living Translation, in case anyone wants to join me. (There are other Bible versions available.) I like the Daily Walk study notes, and the fact that every seven days you have a "catch up day," to catch up with your reading if you get behind.

If you want to read along with me, here is the reading schedule. Click Here for Walk Through the Bible Reading Plan It's dated 2010, but it's the same as in my Daily Walk Bible. If you jump in now, you can either gradually "catch up," or start on today's date, then go back and read the rest of January when you have time, or just stay on the correct date, and finish this time next year!

I'll do a "re-cap" about once a week from materials I used when I led a Bible Study group through reading all the way through the Bible in a year. I was inspired to start reading through the Bible by author and speaker, Judy Reamer, who related how she was inspired by Philip Green to love and read the Word of God. Mr. Green read the entire Bible 584 times in 28 years! At the end of this blog are an article by and about Philip Green, and two from Judy Reamer.

Judy, who is Jewish, became a Christian in Las Vegas, when her favorite singer, Pat Boone, used Old Testament Scriptures to point Judy to Jesus!  (Click here for Judy Reamer's website.) Judy is an inspiring speaker, if you need one! Her testimony and her "Shoes" talks are my favorites!

I've read straight through the Bible about five times, I think. Unfortunately, I've lost count! Anybody want to read along with me this time?

Philip Green's Booklet: How to Read the Bible
Judy Reamer's List of Benefits of Reading Through the Bible
Judy Reamer's Directions for Dividing the Bible into Manageable Parts

Thursday, January 27, 2011

V.V.B.C.-Breath: A Lifetime in the Rhythm of an Iron Lung: A Memoir by Martha Mason

Vicarious Virtual Book Club:
A Lifetime in the Rhythm of an Iron Lung: A Memoir by Martha Mason

I'm going to go ahead and post blogs for the first 4 books of this year, so people will have a place to post comments. That way, people can go ahead and read what they want, choose the corresponding blog, and participate in discussions, either publicly, or vicariously anonymously! I've had e-mails and calls that some of you are either participating, or considering "joining." I hope lots of you will jump in and post, so others will be inspired to do the same.

I will be putting the abbreviation V.V.B.C. in front of each title, to make them easier to find in my archives. This book doesn't much need for a "SPOILER" warning, since it's a non-fiction memoir, but, please be sensitive to what details you share!

Breath was nominated by Sisterchick Book Club Member Sheron Womack, and it was our January Book Club Selection. Sheron gave us a lot of interesting background information from her internet research about polio, and about famous people who were either personally affected by polio, or had one or more family members who had the disease. (A few were: Donald Sutherland, Jack Nicklaus, Mia Farrow, Alan Alda, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and Dinah Shore. Click here for more info.)

Sheron posted links to a couple of videos about Breath author, Martha Mason, which helped give voice and context to the book. After seeing Sheron's video, I, along with several other Sisterchicks, watched other videos about Martha, and similar polio victims, on Youtube, prior to coming to our discussion at Starbucks.

The following video shows the iron lung "breathing" for Martha, and you can hear the sounds. One of the comments at book club was someone remembering hearing about how noisy the hospital wards were when they had multiple patients lined up in iron lungs.

The majority of our book club members remembered getting polio shots when we were children, and/or getting the oral vaccine, in the mid-to late 50's and early 60's. A number of us had friends and family members who had been affected by polio, and it was interesting to hear about that.

I believe it was pretty much universally agreed upon, by out group, that reading about Martha's "situation," of living in an iron lung for 60 years, pretty much put all of our own "situations" in perspective! Several people said there was "no way" they could have lived like that. Everyone agreed we certainly wouldn't want to!

We also agreed that Martha's acceptance of her situation, her hunger for knowledge, and her inquisitiveness, and thoughtfulness toward her friends, made it work for her.

We discussed whether or not living in a small town was a large part of Martha's being able to thrive in her situation. Neighbors and friends definitely helped carry the load.

We discussed the indignities Martha had to suffer daily, in terms of personal hygiene, and bodily functions. We discussed "day to day" activities, and how Martha strived to be as normal as possible.

We discussed familial relationships, and how Martha's role changed, as most of ours will, from being the child of a parent, to being a parent of an increasingly childlike parent. We discussed why we thought Martha structured her book the way she did--she didn't start with her childhood.

I almost forgot to say that Martha's writing style is engaging, easy to read, and very precise and enjoyable. She's got a great vocabulary, and is very well-read. I loved the quotes and examples she used from different authors.

This is another book that I, most likely, would not have chosen to read. I am ABSOLUTELY glad I read it! It served to change my perspective on lots of things! Bottom line affirmation--Faith, People, and Relationships are the ONLY TRULY IMPORTANT "things" in our lives!

Sisterchicks: set me straight if you need to! Vicarious Virtual Book Club friends: Y'all all jump on in with comments, questions, and/or observations!
P.S. I just found this Wikipedia post. The book club thought Martha had lived in the iron lung longer than anyone....
On the 30th of October 2009, June Middleton of Melbourne, Australia who had been entered in the Guinness book of records as the person who spent the longest time in an iron lung died aged 83.[11]

Monday, January 24, 2011

Vicarious Virtual Online Book Club-6 Prior Books-Summarized

Some of you have asked about prior Sisterchicks Book Club Selections. I decided to do a post about the books from the last 6 months of 2010. I'm going to give a brief summary, give you my personal "rating" (1-10, 10 being best), and then open up the blog for comments/discussions! I'll be reviewing this year's books one at a time.

There are links to most of these books via the Amazon box on the right, if you'd like to read more, or order any books. Or, you may click here to go to the Audible site, to hear audible excerpts.


Sara's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay--Interesting fictionalized account of the 1942 Paris roundups and deportations of Jewish families, who were arrested, held outside the city, then transported to Auschwitz. I was unaware of this chapter of French history, until I read the book. The setting is modern-day Paris, when an author is researching a story for the 60th anniversary of the roundups. (8 for being interesting, and engrossing)

Mennonite In a Little Black Dress Rhoda Goolrick--A "memoir" about a Mennonite woman who leaves her faith, then "goes back home" after her husband meets someone on Her writing was entertaining and descriptive. I enjoyed her vocabulary. I thought she was a little too angry, and that her seemingly rebellious overuse of foul/shocking language was unnecessary. I learned a little more about Mennonites, which was good. Some of the recipes she included were interesting. (5 for being just "so-so.")

A Reliable Wife Robert Goolrick--This is what Amazon says: "When Catherine Land, who's survived a traumatic early life by using her wits and sexuality as weapons, happens on a newspaper ad from a well-to-do businessman in need of a "reliable wife," she invents a plan to benefit from his riches and his need." I tried and tried, but could NOT get into this book!
I missed this book club meeting, so I can't tell you any more! (I'd give it a zero, but since I didn't read it, I guess I won't rate it!) Any Sister Chicks, or anyone else, want to comment?

One Second After William Forstchen--The US is forced back into conditions that are similar to medieval times, by an unexpected EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse.) This is a thought provoking wake up call about just how much we rely on technology, and how ill-prepared we are for any kind of national disaster. It is a very plausible, realistic, and well-done, glimpse into what will happen if we suddenly have to survive without electricity, transportation, running water, grocery stores, prescription medications, sanitary conditions, etc. Most things we take for granted will be gone, in an instant! People are forced to defend themselves and their "territory" to survive. Definitely one of my favorite books ever. It's made me much more aware......Our Sisterchick Book Club members' reviews were mixed. Some people loved it, some didn't like it, and some were disturbed by it. I'd venture to say that each of us learned something from this book! (This is a DEFINITIVE TEN. One of my FAVORITE BOOKS of ALL TIME!) The AUDIBLE version of One Second After, which I now have on my iPhone, is FABULOUS! (There is a forward by Newt Gingrich, and a

Making the Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Cat David Dosa--This is about a cat in a nursing home, who had the power to know when patients were getting ready to die. Cat lovers in the book club REALLY liked it. I'm not a big animal lover, so this isn't a book I would have chosen to read. It WAS interesting, but not engrossing. It was a quick easy read. I thought it remarkable that the cat was so in-tune, and intuitive. The Sisterchicks had some good discourse about whether Oscar's talents were related to physical or psychological cues. We also had some good conversation about aging and death. My favorite quote from the book was (I'll give it a 7. That's probably being kind!)

Will Jesus Buy Me a Double-Wide: 'Cause I Need More Room for My Plasma TV Karen Spears Zacharias--Again, I'll defer to the Amazon assessment: "Zacharias (Where's Your Jesus Now?) pours on the Southern charm in this not-so-gentle diatribe against what she calls the golden-calf theology in America. There are a lot of folks prancing around treating the Bible like an algebra book and God like their personal banker, Zacharias writes, and she is out to find them. She lambastes folks like an unnamed evangelist and adults who exploit children to make money off the faithful, while also sharing stories like that of Sister Schubert and an unnamed Marine, who live with generosity and faith. Zacharias will draw chortles with her colloquialisms and colorful language—he has a buttload of money—but she also exposes how we've started mistaking Christianity for capitalism. The book is long on stories but short on theology, pointed in criticism yet lost in indignation. Some may wish for a more reasoned approach, but none will argue with the solution: Stop imagining all the ways in which the universe can serve you and start figuring out how you can serve others." I thought Karen told some good stories, but never went anywhere with them. (This is one of the books I listened to. I'm giving it a 6 because I enjoyed hearing the author read it, and she kept me engaged.)

OK! That's how I saw our last 6 books of 2010, in a nutshell! Do you agree of disagree? It's YOUR turn! Have at it!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Vicarious Virtual Book Club--Introduction


I joined the Sisterchicks Book Club about 6 months ago, and have very much enjoyed doing some "intentional" reading! I've definitely read some books I wouldn't have otherwise chosen, and I've had a great time "having" to take time to read in order to finish books in time for book club meetings! I have also enjoyed meeting some new friends, and hearing lots of differing opinions on the books we're reading.

When hearing about my new book club, a number of people have expressed some of the same concerns I had about book clubs, prior to joining. I've had friends in some VERY serious book clubs, which made the idea of a book club seem daunting! I know of at least one club where you're not allowed to comment if you haven't read the book, and another where you're asked not to even COME if you haven't read the book! Some book clubs frown on "audio books," which I LOVE!

Fortunately, "my" book club is very relaxed! Come if you want. Participate if you want. And, if you come, and haven't read the book, no problem! Lots of club members have electronic readers, and nobody batted an eye when I shared an audio excerpt of the author reading from her book "Will Jesus Buy Me a DoubleWide (`Cause I Need More Room for my Plasma TV), because I wanted everyone to hear her accent!

My book club also meets at Starbucks, which is exciting for some of our members! (I don't drink coffee, so this isn't a "big deal" for me, but I do drink Chai Tea, or flavored water while I'm there!)

It occurred to me that some of my cyber friends might want to participate in my book club vicariously, through me, and through interacting on my blog, in a virtual book club. No obligation! You can read any of the books that interest you, and we can discuss them online! Or, you can just read about the books on the blog! Get your own Starbucks, "regular" coffee, tea, hot chocolate, Coke, Diet Coke, or whatever you favor, and curl up with your book, in the comfort of your own home!

Please forward this blog post to anyone whom you think might be interested, and we'll see what happens! I'm hoping some of my Sisterchick Book Club members will join in on our discussions, too!

Our club votes on 6 month's worth of books at a time, so here is the current list!

January 17: Breath: A Lifetime in the Rhythm of an Iron Lung: A Memoir by Martha Mason
(I will post about this book soon!)
February 21: The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin
March 21: Her Mother's Hope  by Francine Rivers
April 18: My Reading Life by Pat Conroy
May 16: I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg
June 20: The Noticer by Andy Andrews

Hope you'll join us online! HAPPY READING!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Reflecting on 2010...

Happy New Year! 
Reflecting on 2010...

After taking a break from blogging, to enjoy Christmas, I'm back! I hope everyone had a great December, filled with the love of family and friends!

I had a GREAT extended Christmas Season, beginning with a multi-day baking marathon, with Blake's girlfriend, Faith, and ending with a trip to the mountains with extended family! (Links to Christmas photo albums are at the end of the blog.)

Ed and I had a quiet New Year's Eve at home, relaxing and watching ballgames! Today, I followed the Southern Tradition of fixing black-eyed peas and greens with Pot Likker, which are supposed to represent "luck and money" for the coming year!

As we start this new year, I thank God for family, friends, and freedom. I encourage everyone to remember our service members, especially those who are serving away from from home. I am extremely grateful to live in the United States, where we are free to worship God, and enjoy the many fruits of this "land of opportunity!"

I'm praying for New Year's blessings of good health and happiness for all my family and friends--including my "online friends!" In the words of Dickens' Tiny Tim, "God Bless Us Everyone!"

My long-time, online friend, Kim, did a "year in review" on her blog, which caused me to reflect on my blessings in the past year. I thought I'd "borrow a page" from Kim, and do the same on my blog! I couldn't include everything, but I hit A LOT of highlights! LOL! I hope you'll reflect on your own blessings, as you take a photographic tour of mine!

What a year! Some of our many blessings, in pictures: 

Brittany went with her sorority sisters, and other BAMA friends, to Pasadena, California, to the Rose Bowl, to watch the Crimson Tide, win the National Championship!
Brittany and Caroline
Our "adopted grandson," Matthew, son of Julie, our former babysitter, was baptized by the same pastor who baptized Julie, when she was in high school. (Matthew calls us "Grandma Jamie" and "Uncle Ed!")


We lost Frank Hill, our dear friend of almost 40 years, who was also my dance partner. He fought a valiant 9 month battle against cancer. Frank's gentle spirit, and his Christian faith, were an inspiration to everyone who knew him. Frank showed us how to live and die with grace and class. I'm grateful to have known him.
Frank Wells Hill

Showcase Dance for my 55th birthday in 2008

We went to Brittany's sorority (∆∆∆) Parent's Weekend in Tuscaloosa, AL.
Mother-Daughter Pansy Breakfast

I was able to go to Asheville, N.C., to watch friends, Sue and Jim, in their first dance competition, and see my Sea Island Dance Instructor, Audrey Woods.

Jim and Sue
 I met childhood friend, Cathy, in Sylva, N.C., on the way back from Asheville.

Jamie and Cathy, Sylva, NC
Georgia State's football team has spring practice on their new practice field for the first time!
The team gathers at the end of the first day of spring practice,
with Georgia's Gold-domed state capitol building in the background. 

Blake with his Mama
Ed and Blake

We had an impromptu egg and cookie decorating party!

Some of our "masterpieces!"
Assorted Decorated Eggs

Easter Lunch with the Easter Bunny!

Fishing in the pond!

Spectacular sunrise during "Mountain Time" with my friend Sally.

"Senior Honor's" weekend with Brittany, in Tuscaloosa.
On Campus at The University of Alabama
∆∆∆ Party

Georgia State University's Spring Scrimmage.

GSU's first ever Spring Scrimmage in the Georgia Dome.
(Brittany and Jamie are rockin' Panther tattoos.)
My friend, Val, visited from Minnesota.

May was a full month! Brittany was graduated from the University of Alabama, Summa Cum Laude! Ed, Faith and I took a fun-filled cruise out of Jacksonville, Florida, to the Bahamas, and our nephew, Jonathan, got married.
Graduation Day-The University of Alabama
Ed and me, parasailing!
Ready for deepwater dolphin swim.

Propelled by a dolphin! 

Jonathan and Stephanie are married!

My Nephew Jonathan's Maternal Relatives!
Our nephew Eric came home from Afghanistan!
 Happy wife, Lynne, and Eric's mother, Barbara, welcome Eric home!

Ed celebrated his 60th birthday and Father's Day the same weekend! Ed is in great health! He faithfully runs three miles every other day, and enjoys hunting with friends, and staying active with our kids!

Ziplining at North Georgia Canopy Tours:

We broke with our tradition of church barbeque and fireworks in Peachtree city, for fireworks at the beach!

Blake turned 20, and celebrated with a cookout at home, with friends.

Ed, Faith, and I, spent a weekend in the mountains. We took "the kids" to their first drive-in movie! (And our first drive in movie in a LONG time!)
Trout fishing in a mountain stream.
Brittany started Law School at Emory University, and I was blessed to be with my friend, Joy, for the birth of her baby, Aiden.

9-02-10--Blake took the field for the first kickoff of Georgia State University's first ever football game! The Panthers won their Inaugural Game against Shorter, and ended their Season with a winning record.
Blake, #18, taking the field.

Some of Blake's fans!

Taking a photo for our Christmas letter!

I went to Savannah with Mama for 5 days, where she was honored as a 60 year member of Phi Upsilon Omicron (Phi U.)

I enjoyed a wonderful 9th annual "Beach Chick's Weekend" in Fernandina Beach, Florida, with childhood friends of 50+ years. This is where my blog photo was taken.

I had two stories published in a hard-backed gift edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul!

We watched Blake play football for Georgia State every weekend in October, with Brittany, Faith, and other family and friends! (Ed went to every game this season; I missed two out of town games.)
Faith and Blake

Blake, Jamie, Peggy Ryan, and Ed

Yurapan and I co-chaired a covered dish church luncheon for 900!

Church Luncheon: After the initial rush--8 food lines!
I enjoyed a trip to Helen, GA, and environs, with the Senior Adults from church! I'm now the "trip and program planner!"

Brittany competed in the Georgia Hunter Jumper Association Finals.

GSU football continued into November!
We celebrated Brittany's Birthday.

Blake (#18) played with the GSU Panthers against The University of Alabama in Bryant Denny stadium.

We celebrated Thanksgiving early at Ed's work, served the homeless and disadvantaged at Landmark Christian School on Thanksgiving morning, ate lunch out, got a Christmas tree, and had a traditional Thanksgiving evening meal!
Green Oil Thanksgiving

Blake and Tricia enjoying a Lunch Buffet

Tricia and Ed playing with saws!

Our Tree

Tricia's Tree
Brittany was a bridesmaid in her friend Katelyn's wedding.

I celebrated my birthday for at least a week!

We had a joy-filled CHRISTmas with family and friends! (Links to Christmas photo albums below.) Our annual "Family and Friends Dinner" to celebrate Jesus' Birthday!

Christmas Morning. My family (with my Mother) in our matching pajamas!

We thank God for a WONDERFUL 2010, and look forward to a GREAT 2011!

Christmas Tea:
Christmas Eve:
Christmas Day:
Cousins' Christmas: