Tag Archives: Oklahoma

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Well, not right here at our house, but the festivities are beginning down the road in Chickasha! And we all decided to check it out!
As we crossed the street to the pizza place (dinner first, right?), Gary pointed out an interesting water tower at the end of the street.
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But wait – is it a water tower? Or is it
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a giant leg lamp? (Think “The Christmas Story”)
Why I think it is!
After pizza, we drove down the block to check out this giant leg!
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Apparently, it’s a brand new park here in Chickasha – you can read about it here.
But we didn’t come to Chickasha to discover a 40 ft. leg lamp (fun though that was!). We came to check out the Chickasha Festival of Lights.
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Being that none of us really like walking around in the cold, we opted just to do a drive-through (though there was some pausing when we went by the food trucks (funnel cake, anyone?)), so these are your classic ‘out the window’ photos. But it sure was purty!
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If we do it again (since we’ll still be in the area next month) I think it would be fun to bundle up and walk around the lake and go across that cool bridge.
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As long as there was a big thermos of hot chocolate waiting for me on the other side!

Only 36 days till Christmas, friends!!
Steph

Mondays are for Memories – a Different Oklahoma Project

I thought for today’s Monday Memory, I’d check back to a different Oklahoma project we worked back in November of 2015 –

November 22, 2015 – From Beginning to End
From the beginning
New Life Ranch-1
to end
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our November SOWER project was excellent! Here are just a few of the reasons we loved this project. We’ll start with the practical.
They invited us to join them for meals whenever they were serving guests. Now you might think we loved that for the savings it represented (and believe me, we did appreciate that!). Or maybe it was the beautiful salad bar that helped me stay on track with the pre-holiday attempt to lose a couple of pounds (and you know – it did!). But what we really loved about eating in the dining hall was being able to sit with, and get to know, the staff. And even better than getting to know the staff, was getting to know their little ones. From 6 weeks up, there were surrogate grandkids everywhere. We never knew when a little one would join us for dinner or a hug or both! It was such a delight – and an honor – to get to know these dedicated families who have given their hearts to “To proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to equip believers for ministry.” Plus it was pretty sweet giggling with the kiddos!

Then there was the property. From our parking area to the horse pastures to the hiking trails – this place really is “a valley set apart”.
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Oh – the Work! I confess there was no disappointment when we weren’t asked to clean cabins. Data entry of Guest Survey Cards (so fun to read the comments, and just so you know – Biscuits and Gravy was by far the favorite meal) and then sewing curtains in our very own yurt.
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All of us ladies were pretty happy with our job assignments.
And the guys liked building their little gatehouse. They finally split up the team (5 guys on that little building got a bit crowded), but Gary largely stuck with the building.
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(What is it about that guy and roofs?)
They got it as far as they could, and we’re pretty sure the New Life guys will be able to finish it up in no time.

Did I mention the Birthday Month? Since my b-day is in November, I pretty much claim any celebration as being done in my honor and use any excuse I can to have a bit of cake and ice cream. I celebrated with our SOWER friends, talked and FaceTimed with all the kiddos, and had several mushy birthday cards to open. It was a great day – and a pretty darn fun month!
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Yes, that bowl of fried ice cream is as big as my head, and I’m happy to report that four of us worked on cleaning the bowl!

Touristy stuff. NLR is tucked in the NE corner of Oklahoma. The closest town is Siloam Springs, AR and the Missouri border is not all that far away. I was amazed to discover all there was to see and do in the area. Everything from safari rides to historic villages to the very first Walmart store. We were pretty focused on getting the reno closer to completion, so we only took one day to be tourists. We headed over to Bentonville, AR (known as the birthplace of Walmart) but also home to a beautiful American Art Museum, Crystal Bridges. This was founded by Alice Walton and recently added a complete Frank Lloyd Wright house to its collection.
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It’s pretty spectacular. And it’s free! What’s not to love?

On the renovation front, there was my beloved desk project –
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and more recently, the addition of the long awaited (really, he’s been asking for a recliner for years!!!) recliner.
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We’re still fine tuning the furniture placement, but all in all, it’s working out just fine. Zzzzzzzzzzz

Then there were the people we worked with.
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Working SOWER projects is kind of like going to summer camp. Even if you don’t know anyone else when you arrived, when it comes time to leave it’s hard to say good-bye. Of the four couples we worked with we had worked with two before, had met one at a rally and one we had never met. By the end we were almost family. We worked together, often ate together, and played together. We’ve shared our sorrows and our triumphs. And we parted knowing we’ve found new prayer partners. Friday morning we all scattered in different directions – Texas, California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma. We’re gonna miss these good folks! Although we’ve parted ways, we’re still joined in the heart!

Yes, from the beginning to the end – that was one fine project. Seeing God at work in camps and schools and group homes and rescue missions across this country – and maybe being a small part of that work – is absolutely the best part of being a SOWER! Joining together with other folks to share in that blessing (and maybe even see a bit of this beautiful country) is just icing on the (birthday) cake!

Thanks for stopping by and listening to me ramble on about New Life Ranch and our time here. If you just came by to find out about the bungee cords – well, the answer is 7. Unless you count the 3 factory installed straps that hold back the pocket doors and then the number is 10. 🙂

Psssst – there are more pictures of our time at New Life Ranch HERE if you’re interested!

A long hard drive

We knew our drive to Oklahoma had a couple of complications, but still, it was less than 300 miles, so how hard could it be?
Although the forecast called for rain, the day started with some promise –
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But it was going to be a broken promise!
Our first stop was getting Lizzie inspected at a garage just 10 miles down the road, so I was going to follow in the truck for the first bit. (Texas RV inspections are pretty simple. Lights, flashers, turn signals, wipers, horn. $7. See ya next year.) Since our next stop was going to involve getting the tires rotated on the truck, we decided to continue in our caravan style to avoid unnecessary hooking and unhooking in the rain.
Yes, the rain had arrived.
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Can you see Lizzie up there? With those bright (newly inspected) lights?
By the time we arrived at Costco for the tire rotation, the rain was steady and the wind was blowing. We did our shopping, had our favorite Costco $3 lunch (IYKYK), and retrieved the truck from the tire center. And it was still raining. So we decided to delay hooking up the truck until we stopped for fuel about 20 miles down  (up?) the road.
By now the wind had picked up too, so after Gary filled up Lizzie (gulp), we found a place to park and waited out the worst of it. The rain finally let up enough for us to get hooked up, and (after we put on some dry clothes) we were on our way! Reunited again!
But there were still 165 miles to go. While we were in a pocket of no rain, the wind continued to batter us.  And let’s not forget about that good old traffic demon. Lots of folks were getting the heck out of Dodge (Dallas!) for the weekend!
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And then, as expected, the rain returned.
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We took a break at the Oklahoma Welcome Center, and considered calling it a day and just staying there for the night. But after the driver took a little power nap, we opted to continue on our way.
Eventually, we got off the interstate which, even though it was still 50 miles to our destination,  made it seem like we were closing in on the prize!
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Oklahoma – thanks for the hint of Fall color, but if you could do something about the utter lack of shoulder, that would be lovely!
Off the main highway, onto the dirt road
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and finally, a full 10 hours from our departure we were parked.
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So it was a pretty yucky, super long trip. But there were some bright spots –
RV Inspection – check
Truck tires rotated – check
Filled up the truck @ Costco – $2.93/Gal (Sweet, right?)
Arriving safely – even if it was a bear of a trip. Always thankful for that!
And a bowl of delicious soup waiting for us upon our arrival. Thank you to our wonderful Group Leaders!
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It might’ve been a long hard drive to get here – but I’m pretty sure we’re going to have a good month! (For a little more about just where we are, hop on over to the Where we are now page!)

Thanks for coming along on our rainy day travels!
Steph

One Week In

One Week in Oklahoma
One week into October
One week into our Oakridge Project

And it’s been a good week! This is our third time at Oakridge, which is unusual for us since we generally like to work at new (to us) ministries. But coming back to Oakridge is always a sweet experience. It’s a family run camp, with five siblings all working alongside Mom and Dad with the camp maintenance and activities. And as the kids get older, some pretty cute grandkiddos are on the scene too!! We all gather for devotions in the morning, and I just love how Brian’s (Papa) lap is always open for a little one or two!
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We’re working this month with our good friends, Kim and Joe, and some new good friends, Lana and Dan. The guys are tackling a big electrical job. Like rewiring the main chapel and dining hall and move all the wiring to underground Big.
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Gary got called away from that job to do some electrical work up at their bed and breakfast (The Ridge). I don’t have any pictures of that, but I’m pretty sure he was working hard!
We girls were focused in the West Chapel.
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We’ve been sprucing up the room, touching up paint, replacing and repairing wallpaper,
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and re-staining places on the floor where the finish has come up.
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The floor is going to be our biggest challenge because, well, it’s BIG, and we really don’t know the first thing about repairing stained concrete floors. But we’re muddling our way through, with lots of directions, a little help from You-Tube, and lots of rubber gloves!
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We still have a couple of steps to go on just this section, so I’m pretty sure there is some job security for us!

So this first week has been great! We’ve had the opportunity to worship together, enjoy some wonderful meals together and even attend an adorable two-year old’s pumpkin birthday party!
Elliott’s birthday
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Grown-up really know how to concentrate on those pumpkins!

We’ll be here until just before Thanksgiving, so we’re looking forward to a grand (and productive!) time here!
Thanks for stopping by!