Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Trees.....

Kerry mentioned – I guess we are what you call “non traditional” when it comes to Christmas trees?
That perhaps is the understatement.

Kerry’s family has always spent Thanksgiving at their ranch in the hill country.  It is a beautiful time for family and hunting BUT it also does not lend time to put up a Christmas tree.  So after 25 years I have managed to still not know when I should put up a tree and this year we did not. 

One year we had a “horn tree” – well actually we have had 3 of those.  But in December of 2004 – we were living at the Concrete House (have a shared why we called it the concrete house?) and getting ready to move to Mimosa.  Our home on Mimosa has elk horns everywhere – and that year we had piled the horns in the corner of our small living room and we just tossed the packages on top of the pile.  Then for two years (not necessarily in a row) we had a horn tree that Kerry created.

This is one of the horn trees looking down from our upstairs

Then notice I am not afraid to use a ladder for a tree.  In 2009 we were watching Son two play football until the weekend before Christmas – so there just wasn’t any time in my crazy world so I made a Graham Steer tree.  However I must not have managed to really get a picture of just the tree – so here’s Niece & Nephew two in front of the tree! (and he even has his eyes closed!)

In 2010 it was a real tree with a cowboy hat on top……

Actually one of my favorites....Can you see the black cowboy hat?

And this year was perhaps the most unusual (and quite the the least time consuming...) – I asked Son two to draw me a picture of a tree – and in about 5 minutes this is what I had:

I am in the market for a 10-12 foot artificial tree – that I want to leave up all year around.  We have plenty of room in the living room – now to see if we can find one that is reasonable in cost!  The part I like best is that my family has always been okay with our lack of tradition for a Christmas tree.  They are such good hearted, understanding men – for those 3 I am thankful (and yes that is my next blog….)

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Oh how I love the game of football.  I know you know that because I have probably written that exact line sometime earlier.  I am not sure where this love comes from – I think part of it is just watching the incredible talent of young athletes and celebrating their success.  I can remember as far back as Justin Pitcock (who is now a captain in the Marine Corps flying v-22 Osprey…) playing linebacker for the Graham Steers – I can still see his stance as he got ready to tackle the offense, Lance Cauthen as a wide receiver, Toby Dollar at QB and I am going to get in trouble with not remembering everyone.  Of course watching Nephew one play and winning the Defense MVP for the district his senior year was just special beyond description.  For Nephew two’s senior year I filmed the games for Coach McCoy – on the sideline.  That was awesome!  I loved that opportunity.  The memories from the seasons with our sons are moments I will never forget.  Some highlights include Facing the Giants (Stonewall…..), Thanksgiving dinners, Football in December, Son one predicting the score against Brownwood, Son two getting moved up to Varsity after the season had started his sophomore year, and of course the State Championship Game in December of 2009. 

State Championship…..  I never imagined it would happen for the Graham Steers.  The dream just seems a bit too big – a bit too far from reach – and in many ways it is.  It takes a tremendous amount of work and dedication to reach that goal.  But for one heart of Texas town – that goal was within their reach – was something they could do and once they got past the Regional Game their pathway became quite obvious.

Dallas Cowboy Stadium, December 15th, 2011 – Mason Punchers vs. Stamford Bulldogs.  Hard work, dedication, determination, experience, commitment and the descriptives can go on for a lifetime.  What a joy to watch a group of athletes with enthusiasm for their team, excitement for their victories, and the will to win…..

The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Timothy 4:7 ~ I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  And in I Corinthians 9:24-25 Paul again talks about competition ~ Do you not know that in a race all the runners, run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.  Paul would have enjoyed the State Championship game…..

I wonder if why I love football reflects my seasons with Jesus.  Watching a football game and seeing the success (and lack thereof) of athletes can be similar to our walk with Jesus.  Even though appearances at the state championship game do not always happen, successful athletes train as if it will happen every year.  I wonder if I am training day in and day out for the championship game with Christ? 

That is certainly something for me to ponder as I watch the awesome game of Football!!!  (It is bowl season you know….. the best time of year to be a football fan!)

And CONGRATULATIONS to the Mason Punchers
2011 Class A, Division I State Football Champions 
Kerry & me at Cowboy Stadium!

JK & ML - two of my favorites... Yes they are family (remember he is Kathy's cousin.....)
but more than that they are our friends!

ML & me!

I thought this looked really cool....

#20 - he's quite good - this season he made 5 out of 7 field goals - longest was 33 yards.  He made 93 PATs (90% for the season and that includes the blocked ones).  He averaged 39 yards for his punts and 26 touchbacks on kickoffs.  Such a fun player to watch! 
Love having a kicker in the family!

#20 as a running back - I know there were others who played
(and quite well - Mason had the MVP for both offense & defense)

This was his TD run....

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I must write!

Good heavens I really must come up with a regularly scheduled blog time!  There are many things I think of to blog about – but obviously not many things I actually blog about!  Most recently we have been really busy with Thanksgiving, having 2 boys in college, and moving my parents to Graham.  They are here – have been for a while – but it just takes time to set up a home! 

My parents' living room at their new home. The couch & chair are new the rocker was my grandmothers and so was the organ in the back.  This room feels so cozy!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with lots of amazing food.  Of course we missed our Coastie – FA Nephew two.  He was boating somewhere in the Pacific Ocean at the time.  That is just a weird concept.  But thanks to his brother – we were able to have another reminder of how proud we are of him!  It was fun to visit with Nephew one – his film life is just amazing.  Are you following Ralph Smyth on Twitter (@ralphsmyth) or have him as a Facebook friend?  That’s Nephew one’s boss – they are doing amazing things in the film industry.  (Have you seen I love you Will Smith or The Man Who Never Cried ?)

Our view from the porch at the cabin....

It was great to have both our boys with us at Thanksgiving.  I enjoy my boys – and their love for family is treasured.  We also watched our cousins & the Mason Punchers play an incredibly close football game on the Friday of the Thanksgiving holidays.  How fun it is to watch our cousins… is Jan’s grandson, Jan is Uncle Werner’s daughter, Uncle Werner was Grandpa Schmidt’s brother.  The other is Uncle Kelly’s grandson – Kelly is Grandpa’s youngest brother.  Kelly has a son – James Kelly who is married to Mona Lois.  Even though JK is really Kathy’s (my mother in law) cousin – JK & ML are dear friends to Kerry & me (they are our age…. well a tad younger!).  Wonder if that made any sense!

This weekend (Friday,  December 9th) we will watch the Mason Punchers play Garrison in the State Semi-Final Game – Go Punchers!!!!!

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.