Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Branson Trip for the Weekend

We had a great time in Branson this past weekend with Steve's family. We go together every year and have so much fun. Typically, we stay at the condos at Thousand Hills but they were totally booked so we stayed at a new place, The Majestic, which was on Table Rock Lake. We really liked it there, too, and I'm sure we'll go back.

Here's a few pics from our stay...

"A" is turning 8 in a few weeks so we had a little family celebration for her while we were there. We also celebrated birthdays for my niece who just turned 4 and my brother-in-law who will be turning the big 4-0 this week. Here's a few pics from the party...

If you go to Branson, you HAVE to go shopping and a visit to Tanger Outlet Mall is a must. We've gone every year for I don't know how many years now but Steve and I have always gone kid-less - one of the sweet blessings of having grandparents go with you on trips ;-) But this year we decided to take the girls and they LOVED it! All of their favorite stores in one mall - Justice, Children's Place, Gap Kids and Claire's!

One other understood rule about Branson, you have to go to Silver Dollar City. So we went on Saturday but unfortunately it rained quite a bit so we didn't get to stay very long. We went back the next day and although it was cloudy and cold most of the time, we still had a great time. We rode rides (the "big swings" was the kid's favorite), ate yummy food (the sausage skillet dinner was my fave!), listened to great music by Equador Manta (I loved this band!) and watched the most AmAzInG Chinese acrobat show (how in the world they do the things they do with their bodies I'll never know!). Here's a few pics from Silver Dollar City...

We had a great time and look forward to going back again soon!

Monday, April 19, 2010

My Personal Account of the Oklahoma City Bombing

April 19, 1995. The most horrific day in Oklahoma history. I remember it like it was yesterday.

It was a beautiful, sunny day - not a cloud in the sky. I was doing a teaching internship with Mr. Stiglets, a first grade teacher at a school in Mid West City, just east of Oklahoma City.

9:00 A.M. - Time for school to begin. The kids were already busy doing their schoolwork. The school announcements came on over the intercom telling us about the day's events and telling us to have a good day. If they only knew what was to come.

9:02 A.M. - I heard a faint rumbling sound. It was so faint that the kids kept on working and didn't even notice. I thought it was maybe my imagination but a few minutes later, someone from the school office came to our room to inform Mr. Stiglets and me that there was an explosion, possibly a bombing in downtown Oklahoma City.

We were a little concerned about it but not too bothered, not knowing all the details. A few minutes later,  the school office lady returned and told us it was much more serious. We turned on the T.V. in our classroom and quickly learned that the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building had been bombed. We were both in shock but tried to not act too worried so as not to upset the children. They kept on busily working while we watched the news in disbelief.

I began to really get worried because my mother lived in a sky rise apartment in downtown OKC, and my father worked downtown. I had no idea where the Murrah building was in comparison to where they lived and worked.

Then Mr. Stiglets said with a blank stare on his face, "My son works at the Murrah building!" He immediately left the room to call his son but he never answered the phone. He kept calling and calling but soon the phone system went down because of so many people calling downtown to see if their loved ones were okay.

We tried to go about our day as "usual" but it was so difficult. The unknown was almost unbearable. Hours later Mr. Stiglets finally received a phone call from his son! He was okay! He just so happened to be looking for a parking space when the explosion occurred. He was running late that day and should have been in his office. He shouldn't have been able to make that phone call. Many more  miracles with similar stories were reported in the days after the bombing.

About noon, I just couldn't face the unknown anymore. Mr. Stiglets let me have the rest of the day off and I headed straight to downtown to see if I could find any answers about my parents since the phones were down. Unfortunately, every entrance into downtown was blocked and I could not get in. So, I just went home and waited for a phone call.

I finally heard from my step-mother that my dad was fine. His building, Liberty National Bank, was several blocks away. They felt the explosion but it didn't have any noticeable damage.

My mother was not so fortunate. The sky rise apartment she lived in, the Regency Tower Apartments, was right across the street from the Murrah building. At the moment of the explosion, all the windows in the building were blown in. Glass and major damage was everywhere. She lived on the 12th floor and immediately the elevators shut down. Many of the residents were elderly and had major health problems. My mom knew she needed to get out of the building, so she had to walk down 12 floors and helped many of the residents down - some were blind, some had breathing issues and some had heart conditions. She doesn't remember a lot from that day but what she does remember was all the mass chaos and seeing people hurt and in need.

Everything on T.V. for the next week centered around the OKC Bombing. The details were so grim and bleak, but at the same time it was amazing to see so many people pull together and give of their time, services and monies and make something good of something that was so bad.

The following year, I found myself teaching kindergarten in Grapevine, Texas. I wanted my students to know about that day in history - minus all the graphic details to protect their little minds. But my students wanted those who were affected by the Bombing to know that their thoughts were with them. So they made a huge poster and on the anniversary date, I took it to the bombing site and hung it on the fence - couldn't miss it in bright yellow :-) I was so sad to see so much devastation - even a year later. Here's a few pics from that day...

So what do you do in the midst of tragedy? You move on. You pick up what's left of the pieces and move on. And that's just what everyone did. Of course there was much pain and suffering - you could not watch the news and not be affected by it. But God brought good out of something bad and made Oklahoman's strong in spite of it.

And a little update on Mr. Stiglets... I did a google search to see if I could track him down and found this picture and caption on the Mid-Del Schools Facebook Page: "Mike 'Piggy' Stiglets is the Principal at Ridgecrest Elementary in Midwest City. Mike has been an educator for over 33 years. He is known as Mr. Piggy. Over the years, his students, staff and parents have given him pigs as a sign of appreciation and for fun. Mike has kept each and every pig he has received and tagged each one with the name of the student that provided the gift. He currently has the pigs on display at Ridgecrest Elementary. The students have enjoyed seeing the pig collection." I'm glad Mr. Stiglets is doing well and wish I could let him know I was thinking of him on this 15th anniversary.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

"Kwero!" - What an AmAzInG Night!

I've mentioned in previous postings how I have recently been involved with "Kwero!", a dinner and auction to raise money for orphans and widows in Lira, Uganda. Well, last night was the night of the event and it far exceeded our expectations! The entertainment was awesome, the food was to die for and the best part was that we generated $60,000 in auction and ticket sales - far exceeding our goal of $30,000! It moves me to tears as I think about how "Kwero!" moved from just being a concept in our minds to seeing it come to fruition - God definitely had His hand on the entire event and I look forward to seeing what He has in store for next year!

Here's a few pics from our fun evening...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Our First "Garden"

Our family has wanted to start a garden for years now and we've been thinking a lot more seriously about starting one this spring. So, this past weekend, Steve went out in the backyard and started digging up our 16' x 20' garden. After about 5 minutes he came in the house and said, "Are you sure you want to do this? It's going to be a lot of work and take a lot of time."

So, needless to say, we came up with Plan B - to create Earth Boxes. We got the directions from this website and Steve went to work. We planted red, green and yellow peppers as well as a couple of tomato plants. We also plan to turn our sandbox into a little garden since the girls have outgrown it. Not sure what we'll plant there - probably lettuce, onions & cucumbers. Check back in about a month and see how it's going ;-)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tulsa's Urban Campout!

Heritage Homeschool Co-Op Annual Mom's Retreat
Downtown, Tulsa
April 9, 2010

Recipes for the foods I brought to the Retreat...

1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 (18.25 ounce) package German chocolate cake mix
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease the bottom and sides of one 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
Layer coconut and pecans in the bottom of pan.
Prepare cake mix according to package instructions and pour over pecans and coconut.
Combine cream cheese, butter or margarine, vanilla and confectioners sugar and beat until smooth.
Pour over cake mix.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
Toothpick will not come out clean.


2-3 chicken breasts - cooked and cubed
1 can of petite diced tomatoes
1 jar of artichoke hearts - chopped
1-2 small jars of chopped black olives
1 small jar of mushrooms
Angel Hair Pasta (enough for 6 servings)
Italian seasoning
Minced Garlic

Mix cooked ingredients in large pot. Add seasonings to taste. Simmer for 20 minutes. Eat and enjoy!

Dance Class Preview

Zumbathon 2010

April 10, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spirit 2010 Summer Cheer Camps

Get ready for some super summer fun at Cheer Camp 2010!
Meets at Rejoice Church

(Hwy. 169 and 106th St. in Owasso)

June 21-24
(Ages 3 to entering 5th grade)
Learn new cheers, a pom-pon routine, develop and refine tumbling skills, get your spirit on by doing crafts such as making domino magnets, designing a custom, personalized dry erase board, painting “spirit” fingernails and creating pendants. Also get a custom made t-shirt and spirit pin.

July 19-22
(Ages 3 to entering 5th grade)
Learn new cheers, a pom-pon routine, develop and refine tumbling skills, get creative doing crafts such as making your own bottle cap necklace,  designing your own  “cheer stuff” box,  painting “spirit fingernails in school colors, and creating pendants.  Get a custom made t-shirt and spirit pin.

Camp space is limited so enroll early!  Each cheer camp will be $85 and includes a t-shirt, crafts, and lots of cheerleading fun.  If you choose to enroll in both camps your second camp cost is only $65!  To be guaranteed a t-shirt you must enroll one entire week prior to camp .  

Questions? Call Christine 918-808-2754 or email spiritcheerandtumbling@yahoo.com. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Let's Zumba!!!

The Owasso YMCA will be hosting a Zumbathon on April 10th. They will be raising money for the Strong Kids Campaign. Check out the Zumbathon facebook page for more information!

FOX 23 News recently taped a Zumba class at the Y to promote the upcoming Zumbathon. Here's the actual clips that were shown on T.V.  The first airing can be seen here and the second airing can be seen here.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Introducing...'Lil Kwero!

As mentioned in a previous posting, I have had the privilege of helping plan an upcoming fundraiser, called "Kwero!", which is a dinner and auction to raise money to build an orphanage and medical clinic in Lira, Uganda. Well, one of the items up for auction is a sweet, little Yorkie/Chihuahua mix puppy. My friend who is donating her let the girlz keep her for a few days because they kept ooh-ing and aw-ing over pics of the puppy, a.k.a. "Lil Kwero". They had so much fun taking care of her and got attached pretty quickly. We were a little sad when we had to give her back but we know she will make some family really happy in less than 2 weeks ;-)

Here's a few pics of 'Lil Kwero...

Education Day at Incredible Pizza Company

We had a BLAST at the Incredible Pizza Company's "Education Day" today! Their special guest was drummist, Arthur Thompson, who is also the entertainment for our upcoming Kwero benefit. It was great meeting Arthur - he is so talented, is a great teacher and works wonderfully with kids.

We also had fun creating art, watching science experiments, playing games and, of course, eating pizza! "M" even lost a tooth while there and "A" lost a tooth as soon as we got home! Such excitement for one day ;-)

Here's a few pics and videos from our fun day...






Easter 2010

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Remembering Great Grandma Nimmo

Ethel Eveline (Nimmo) Duncan
March 1, 1916 to April 1, 2010

The following was "Grandma Nimmo's" obituary as read at her funeral...

We gather this morning to pay our respects to the passing of Ethel Eveline (Nimmo) Duncan, a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother and a friend to many. Ethel was born into this world on March 1, 1916 at Bucyrus, Missouri to John and Bessie (Jarvis) Hollenbeck.

Ethel was the oldest of six children, herself, Ruby, Clyde, Edna, Leland and Stella. The family lived in the Houston, Missouri area until she was eight years old and then the family moved to northwest of Beggs, Ok. Her dad was a farmer and general laborer and they lived in this area where she attended school.

She later met Charlie Nimmo, whose family lived in the area and on Oct 12, 1939 she was joined in marriage to Charlie Nimmo at Beggs, Oklahoma. Ethel and Charlie had five children Virginia, Erma, Glenna, John, and Charlene.

The Nimmo family lived most of their lives in and around the Tulsa area. Ethel and Charlie later moved to southeast of Owasso and lived next to two of her sisters, Ruby Graham and Stella Rogers until she moved to the Baptist Retirement Village in Owasso.

After death of her husband, Charlie Nimmo, in 1994 she later married Curly Duncan who passed away in 1996.

Ethel was primarily a home maker, but at times she worked at different occupations to help with family expenses. She was not afraid of hard work and she kept her house very clean and liked to decorate. When she painted she not only painted the walls but herself as well. I remember going to see her one time after she had been painting and she had a stripe of paint on her face and one across her glasses. She had all kinds of yard ornaments and they got painted on a regular basis.

After her two husbands passed away she took care of her 2 acres until her children decided that due to her age it was too dangerous for her to be on a riding mower or weed eating.

She liked to get together with her brothers and sisters families and play card games, checkers or dominoes. Not only did she enjoy visiting with family but she liked to go to garage sales, flea markets and junk stores. Whenever anyone wanted to go fishing or to the lake she was ready to go. In fact my first experience with all of her family was a weekend campout on Duck Creek of Grand Lake. I was just dating Erma at the time and we had quite a time. We slept in tents, on the ground, in cars, on tables or any where we could find.

After the death of her husbands and about the age of 80, Ethel starting traveling with one or more of her daughters, visiting Alaska twice, Florida twice and at the age of 93, she and Charlene drove to the Grand Canyon. They drove all the way, four or five days, and when they got there she got out of the card, smoked a cigarette and she was ready to go home.

One thing some of you may not know was that Ethel’s mother was a cousin to Anna Jarvis whose mother Anna Reeves Jarvis started the Mothers Day Work Club prior to the civil war which continued until her death may years later. Her daughter Anna Jarvis after the death of her mother carried on her cause and on May 10, 1908 the first official Mothers Day service was held at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia. In 1914 Anna petitioned President Woodrow Wilson as well as members of congress to set aside a special day to honor our Mothers. On May 8, 1914 President Wilson approved the second Sunday in May as Mothers Day, which is celebrated in more than 46 countries around the world,

Ethel was raised in the Baptist faith and in her later years she attended Rejoice Baptist church here in Owasso and greatly enjoyed going to her senior adult classes. Before she moved into the retirement village she was happy to host a party for her class at her home.

Due to her age and health she moved into an apartment at the Baptist Retirement Village in Owasso. Her family tried to get her to go to the cafeteria to eat at least one meal a day, but she said they didn’t cook to suit her. The first thing she did was claim the one tree in the center of the courtyard and planted a small garden. Later she thought the grass on the west side of the complex was too high, so she sit on the grass and cut the taller grass from one sidewalk to the next, about 75 feet with a pair of scissors.

She finally started taking meals on wheels, but she had her daughters start buying her peanut butter by the tall jars, 2 at a time and she would go thru them in two to three weeks. When they looked in her refrigerator they found it full of the meals on wheels dinners and when asked why. She said that she was saving them for when she lost electric. But she was getting plenty of protein and crackers.

When her health began to fail, she had to move into the Evergreen Nursing Home of the Baptist Retirement Village where she resided until her passing.

She enjoyed being with her grand children I am sure that each of you have fond memories of the experiences that you shared with her over the years.

On Thursday April 1, 2010 she passed from this earth to be with her heavenly father at the age of ninety four years and one month. At the time of her passing she was a resident of Evergreen Nursing Home.

She was preceded in Death by her parents John and Bessie Hollenbeck;
Two husbands Charlie Nimmo and Curly Duncan;
Two brothers; Clyde and Leland Hollenbeck;
Two sisters; Ruby Graham and Stella Rogers;
One daughter Virginia Turner;
One daughter in-law Peggy Nimmo;
Two son-in-laws
And three grand children

Left to survive her is one sister; Edna Reese of Mounds, Ok; Her son: John Nimmo of Skiatook, OK.
Three daughters Erma and husband Charles Rowden of Sperry, Ok; Glenna and husband Darrell Reese of Claremore, Ok and Charlene Lawson of Miami, Fl.

She is also survived by 16 grand children; 34 great grand children; 18 great-great grand children; many nieces and nephews and a host of friends.

God Saw

God saw you getting tired
And the cure was not to be,
So, He put His arms around you, 
And whispered "Come with me."
With tearful eyes we watched you suffer
And saw you fade away,
Although we couldn't bear to lose you,
We could not ask for you to stay.
A golden heart stopped beating,
Hard working hands laid to rest,
God broke our hearts to prove to us,
He only takes the best.