Thursday, December 16, 2010

New Sights

When I was in 8th grade, I got contacts. I can remember being enamored with the intricate leaves on all the trees. I guess for my whole life they had just been a green blob!

Colby had his eye test done recently and flunked! I received the letter in the mail from the school nurse telling us we needed to go see the eye doctor. We did and yes, Colby has my eyes.

We just got back from picking up his new spectacles and the first thing he looked at were the leaves. "Wow! Mom, you were right! There are leaves on the trees!"

As we drove back home he proceeded to read every sign as soon as he could see it. With a big smile on his face he exclaimed, "These things really DO work!"



Sunday, December 12, 2010

First Tree

Chris and I got married very young. Being in college and living in Married Student Housing made the financial and spacial constraints of having Christmas trees just something we had to deal with. Plus, we always went "back home" so we actually had two trees -- one at my parents house and one at his parents house.

This little glass tree was the only tree we had for several years.

I can still remember the first Christmas tree we purchased.

We were living in Stillwater, OK. Chris was in graduate school and I was working at the Chamber of Commerce. Chris surprised me one night about 5:00 by walking into the Chamber, grabbing me and my coat and telling me to get in the truck. We headed to Wal-mart, got a cart and he pushed it to the Christmas aisle. We searched the aisles for the perfect lights and decorations. We ended up with a theme of purple and green! (This WAS the early 90's!!)

We then headed outside to the trees and scoured the lot for the perfect tree!

I will never forget the excitement over that night and how Chris surprised me.

Every year, I still "put up" our first tree to remind me of how far we've come and that special "first" in our marriage.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Holiday Cheer

I have a few new holiday decorations this year.

One in particular makes me smile.

I hope everyone has a holiday season that is filled with lots of smiles!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


The Blakley Family has thrown tradition to the wind -- at least "normal" traditions. We don't spend hours on Thanksgiving Day cooking or eat in the dining room of a family member. Our tradition is meeting in some city in Texas for Thanksgiving weekend. We stay in a hotel, go on outings, make crafts with the kids and watch a lot of football! And, of course, we do eat!

This year we met in San Antonio. A beautiful, historic city.

We stayed on the River Walk, ate Thanksgiving dinner at a quaint restaurant, visited the zoo, and watched the river be transformed into a Christmas wonderland with Santa arriving on a boat!

My mom wanted us all to go around to say what we are thankful for. Judson, the youngest, was thankful for the clones in Star Wars! My sister and brother-in-law are at the end of a 3 1/2 year "adventure" and are thankful with God's provisions throughout it all.

One of our newer traditions is helping people on Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, having lots of kids, it is hard to find somewhere where all of us can volunteer. This year we took matters into our own hands and the kids fixed bags of food for the homeless. My dad carried a big bag full of sack lunches through the streets of San Antonio and when we came upon a homeless person he would gather all the grandkids around and have one of them give the homeless person a small bag of nourishment. Each person was very grateful. We heard some sad stories. I believe it made a difference in each of our hearts -- to realize how blessed we really are.

I am thankful for so much. I have been blessed since the moment I entered this world. I have amazing Christian parents. Having a dad and mom who "walks the walk", especially in front of my kids, is huge! I have always been loved, supported and encouraged. I married a man who is my best friend, who I love being with and who I want to grow old with. He is an awesome father and giver and provider. I have two boys who are healthy, smart and fun! I live in the best country in the world. I know that God is beside me through everything and He is the Lord of my family.

And...we all really like spending time with each other!