Category Archives: Family Secrets

Not all about ME! These posts include MrD, my big girls and extended family.

Our Christmas

This was a year of change.  For 51 years, I’ve celebrated Christmas in my mother’s home.   As our numbers increased, the stress became more than necessary.  For Christmas this year, my mom and family came to my house.  On Christmas eve,  all  the kids made gingerbread houses.

We cleaned up the mess and started laying out the food.  Instead of a meal, we decided on finger foods and had TOO MUCH!  We ate all afternoon, evening, half the night, the next day and had enough left to feed an army!  It was all good!

My entire family attended the candle light service at our church.  This is the first time we’ve done this and I was touched to the core.  To have all of us in God’s house to celebrate the birth of Jesus was overwhelming to me.   We took up two pews!

We returned to my house, all TWENTY-THREE of us to have a little fun with Dirty Santa and eat some more.  Ughhh!

We had a little entertainment from the bouncing off the walls set.

We were serenaded with a little “You Better Watch Out” and some Metallica.

Some storytelling by Des.

Some tall tales by my brother and nephew.

You might have noticed our 31 year old tradition of matching jammies.  This year the kids all got new booties and I made their boxers.


I got a big hug for my hard work!  (Plus some jammies and hot socks for myself!!)

We finally crashed – all the kids in my room.

Keith and I ended up with Kelsey.

About 5:30 we checked and Santa had left our goodies!

My sister.

My Mom.

grandsMy son got a lottery scratch off in his stocking and won $5,000.


Or so he thought….fake!

We had a wonderful time and it went by too quickly.  Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!


Seasons Reasons

Want to know when the annual Christmas shows are on TV?  Here’s a great link:

2008 Christmas Specials

Here’s a reminder of the REASON for the SEASON.


Merry Christmas!

Thankful Weekend

Lexi and Grandma made Turkey Cupcakes.

On Thanksgiving morning, we went to my niece’s home in Norman.

Here are our men, after chopping the firewood and hunting wild game for our Thanksgiving meal.

While the girls peeled, whisked and ground the corn.

4 generations of women prepared enough food for 5 generations with enough for leftovers.  Big  John braved the kitchen to carve the turkey.

Then there was this.

even Nicholas joined in the snooze fest.

No rest for the ladies – we were up at 3:15 A.M. the following morning for our annual pilgrimage to shopping centers.

Then the highlight of the holiday – Sam Bradford and the Sooners.   Thanks for sharing this picture Des!


Over the meadow and through the woods..

to Grandmother’s house we went.

The weekend before Thanksgiving, we took a much needed break to visit Keith’s family in Missouri.  This is the view from his parent’s back deck.   Peace and quiet with lots of critters to observe.   We had a good visit and they even get Oklahoma football here in the wilderness!   Oklahoma 65 – Texas Tech 21.  Ouch.

J – Our very own MVP

For Immediate Release -August 14, 2008


The summer months proved to be very productive for Hobart’s Jonathan Gelnar as the 2007 Bearcat All-Stater helped the Oklahoma Travelers to one of their best seasons ever as well as the Elite Baseball USA National Championship.

The Travelers finished the successful campaign with five prestigious tournament titles, including the National Championship event in which they notched eight straight victories in a roughly 56-hour span. In the tournament finals, the Travelers outlasted the powerhouse Midwest Wolverines, 11-9, for their second national title in the club’s illustrious 45-year history.

While facing some of the best 18-and-under competition in the country, the Travelers squad compiled a phenomenal 66-7 record, the best all-time winning percentage (.904) in history. The Elk City-based squad won its own Traveler Shootout as well as the prestigious Tony Andenucio Classic in Pueblo, Colorado for the third straight year. They also captured tournament titles at the Sierra Nevada Classic in Reno where Gelnar was named to the All-Tournament team as well as the Razorback Classic at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. They also broke a 30-plus year old team record with an incredible 36-game winning streak in that span before closing with a consolation championship at Wichita State and the national title run.

Gelnar was a fixture at the top of the Traveler lineup all season and proved to be one of the team’s most consistent players, starting 70 of the team’s 73 contests. He hit a blistering .457 at the plate while joining teammate and Oklahoma State signee Randy McCurry in joining the club’s prestigious 100-hit club.

He finished with 101 hits, including 23 doubles, three triples and 11 home runs. The HHS grad drove in 75 runs and finished with a team-high 87 runs scored – the highest total in that category since the team moved to Elk City eight years ago. He also added a terrific .551 on-base percentage, which included a team-best 41 walks and stole 13 bases.

Those totals were enough to attract attention from plenty of college coaches, earning Gelnar a scholarship offer from Arizona junior college powerhouse South Mountain beginning this fall.

From Kim:

Jonathan is the son of John (Pirates, Pilots, Brewers) and Michele Gelnar, sister to Destiny Merkley, uncle to Kenzie and Mia (in picture above), nephew to yours truly and a hero to every kid who crosses his path.  A gifted athlete with a big heart – seeing his prayers answered is an answer to my own.  Hit for the stars – and love God.  Arizona is one state I haven’t lived in, but hope to visit soon!    We love you, Aunt Kim


Last year, we decided to have a family prayer at dinner.  I’m of the opinion that prayer should be an ongoing dialog and not saved up for designated times, but it helped us learn to pray together and get more comfortable praying out loud.  Initially none of us wanted to start the prayer or pray when we had guests.  We’ve moved past that.

We added a devotion before meals that Keith reads to the kids.  It’s a nice jumping off point to discuss moral issues as a family.  Now, even the grandkids and grandnieces (is that a word?) expect to participate!

Ignore those boxes!  I was organizing my sewing supplies.  I am officially finished unpacking.  My wall will be sheetrocked next week and I can finish our study just in time to start school on the 25th.  Nice to feel almost DONE!

Happy Birthday

My older, bigger, sweetest sister, Michele, or Chele as we call her, or Aunt Shelf as Nicholas labeled her,  had a birthday this weekend and her granddaughter wanted to make a cake for her.  So we whipped up a chocolate sheet cake and they proceeded to decorate.  I demonstrated how to scallop the piping down the edge, then Kenzie took a turn.

Next, for the Happy Birthday greeting:

Lexi took a turn:

and after yours truly noted the NUMBER, Kali added some beautiful sprinkles.

Ta Da!  Happy Birthday Sister, Grandma, Aunt and Friend!

Then the girls cleaned up.

Happy Birthday Sis!