Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Happy 94th Birthday Party

A great family celebration.

Today is my Dad's 94th birthday.  George Stone was born on the family farm, in Byars, Oklahoma, in 1919.  After spending his "growing up" years on the farm he and my mother moved to Oklahoma City in 1937.  He now lives back down in McClain County, not very many miles from his birthplace, in a nursing home in Purcell, Oklahoma.  Although he gets around better than most of the folks at the home, including still driving himself around town, he enjoys the care and attention he receives at the nursing home.  Dad has led a very exciting life and still keeps up to date with things.  He has not only traveled all over this country but has been to all corners of the world in his business career.

This afternoon my brother's and I met up at the home to celebrate his birthday with him.  In addition two of my sisters-in-law were there along with my fiance, Jimye Faye.  Some of Dad's fellow church members also joined the celebration.  We brought a cake large enough to serve all the guest plus all the other residents and the staff of the home.
Here is Dad with his four sons.  Standing in the back are David and Bill.  Seated on each side of Dad is Chester and myself.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter 2013

The Son has risen.

Today was the annual celebration of the resurrection of our Savior.  We decided to have a family outing at the park with a picnic.  I was surprised that some of the granddaughters said they had never been on a picnic.  We trekked over to Eldon Lyon Park in Bethany, the next town over from my city of residence.

In addition to Jimye Faye and I we had my son, Alan, and Cathy, his significant other.  Also had granddaughters Emma, Cadence, Katlyn and Madison.  (Actually, Emma has been spending the whole weekend with Grandpa.)  While the kids headed to the park playground equipment Jimye and Cathy hid the eggs for the girls to find.  We all had a good time watching the "hunt".  Once the eggs were found everyone came to the table for dinner.  After a brief talk about the reason for this particular holiday we all dug into a meal of fried chicken, baked beans, potato salad and cole slaw.  Afterwards the girls had fun on the playground while the adults visited.
Katlyn, Madison, Emma & Cadence posing as Easter Bunnies
Although Easter Sunday is a day many people get together to spend time with their families we need to take time to stop and think about why we celebrate this day.  On Good Friday we remember the dark day that Jesus, our Savior, was nailed to a cross and died in atonement for the sins of the believers.  Our bible teaches us that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God".  It also says that the "wages of sin are death".  God sent his Son to our world to be sacrificed on the cross.  His death was the atonement for the sins of those who truly believe in Him.  By accepting Jesus as our personal Savior our debt is paid with his death and we are promised eternal life.  Yes, there will come a day that we will give up this human body that we reside in while on this earth.  But the Christian believes that we are more than just this earthly body.  We believe that we have a sole that will live on.  By accepting Jesus death on the cross as our redemption for our sins our soles will spend an eternal life with God in Heaven.  Without this belief it is hard to understand what people live for.  Christians believe there is more to life than just this existence for so many years here on earth.  So, Happy Easter to all who read this.  All glory be to God.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

It's official, I'm engaged

A new ring for a special lady.

Made it official tonight by buying an engagement ring for Jimye Faye.  She was a bit overwhelmed by it all and it has taken her a bit of time to realize this is all real.  After picking out her ring we stopped at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner.

Jimye Faye and I first met when our families attended the same church in the 1950's.  My family moved away in 1958 and did not see each other again for many years.  We reconnected through a Facebook group for people who grew up in Southwest Oklahoma City.  Last year we met for dinner a couple of times, since we were both single and were tired of going out to eat alone.  Our first actual "date" was this past December when we went to dinner and then drove around town viewing Christmas lights.  From there we started dating for real and things moved on from there.  We have many things in common and this has just felt "right" since that first date.  No wedding date has been set for now.  Just taking life one day at a time so stayed tuned for future announcements.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Shooting Smurfs

We have a new shooter.

When Jimye Faye and I first started seeing each other she was a bit put off by my fascination with firearms.  She pretty much indicated she was afraid of guns.  As we have gone along I've reassured her that guns are just inanimate objects that are good when in the hands of responsible gun owners.  She has warmed up to the idea of my carrying a firearm.  Today we went to the gun range to give her a chance to do some shooting.  This, of course, was after some gun handling safety training at her house first.

She started out shooting a .22 caliber six shooter (old fashioned single action "cowboy" gun) and then moved to a .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol.  She also tried my 9mm Glock semi-automatic but felt the kick was a bit much.  (Although I had told her about proper hand placement when holding a semi-automatic she still got a "slide" injury, which usually happens to all novice shooters.  Fortunately, the folks at the check-in counter have band aids available for this type injury.)  She really enjoyed our time at the range and really did not want to leave when the ammo I had brought with us ran low.

She did an amazing job for a first time shooter.  She was very proud of herself and even posted her target on the wall of her kitchen.  If you look close you'll see she really had a pretty good grouping of shots on that target.  Now she is hyped about shooting and can't wait until we can go back.  Guess I'll need to take more ammo next time.  (We refer to these targets as "Smurfs" due to their color.)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Dinner with the family

Had a family dinner with all the kids tonight.  Had reservations at the Belle Isle Brewery Restaurant for all of us.  Jimye Faye and I were first to arrive followed soon after by Alan and Cathy.  Carrie and John joined us along with their son, J.J.  Finally Alex and Christi arrived and we were able to start ordering.  Had a good meal and everyone got a chance to visit with each other.  With everyone's busy schedule it is hard to get all of us together very often.
Alan & Cathy
Carrie, J.J. & John

Alex & Christi

Jimye & Rick

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A visit with Great-Grandpa

A day with Emma.

Have not had a chance to spend much time with granddaughter Emma lately.  She always like to go down to Purcell and visit her great-grandpa (my Dad) so that was our destination today.  Picked her up around 9:30 and headed south our first stop, Jimye Faye's house.  This was Jimye's first time to meet any of my grand kids.  Emma enjoyed visiting with Gigi, the dog, along with Johnny, a dog that Jimye has been sitting with this past week.  (Actually, this was the least shy I've seen Gigi since I've known her.)

Finally got underway for Purcell, with a stop in Moore for lunch at Jimmy's Egg restaurant.  This place is always a good stop and was very full this morning.  After waiting in line we were seated and got our order in.  Took longer than normal due to the crowd they had today.  Finally we arrived at Sunset Estates Nursing Home in Purcell.  This is Dad's new home.  After a couple of weeks in the hospital it was decided he needed more care than could be provided in the assisted living center where he has lived for several years.

The three of us had a good visit with Dad.  He still has some problems walking and some residual effects from the pneumonia that he had while in the hospital.  He is receiving physical therapy each day but is using a wheel chair to go out into the dinning room for meals.  All in all he is doing pretty good for being almost 94 years old.  After our visit we stopped by my brother Bill's house before heading back to the city.  

We had a good day.  Emma and Jimye Faye bonded well and have become good friends.  It is always good to spend time with family. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Defending the Caveman

Another evening out, another play.

The Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre (or City Rep) is one of the many acting companies here in our area.  The main difference in this group compared to others is that all member of City Rep must be members of the Actors Equity Guild, the national union for professional actors.  I have attended several shows by this group since my friend, Jonathan Beck Reed, is a principal with them.  Tonight's show was:

This is a one man show dealing with the differences in men and women.  A great comedy that was the longest running one man show during it's run on Broadway.  This production had a very good actor, John Venable, from the Dallas/Fort Worth area. 

Tonight my date was Jimye Faye Baker.  Actually, this has been my companion for most activities the past couple of months.  Although we've known each other since around the second grade it has only been recently that we have gotten close.  Jimye has become a very important part of my life.  So, for my friends and followers who are interested, here is the lovely Jimye Faye:

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day 2012

Major snowstorm?  White Christmas?  Uh, don't think it happened.

The weather guessers on TV have been predicting for the last week that we would get a major snowstorm come in last night and we would have a very rare White Christmas in our area.  We did get some sleet in the wee hours of the morning that did cause some major accidents on the highways before dawn.  By the time I got out and around the street crews had done their jobs and the roads were fairly clear.

Picked up my mother-in-law around 10:30 this morning and headed east to Midwest City.  We spent Christmas day with my niece, and her granddaughter, Carrie.  Actually it was, like last year, at the home of Carrie's in-laws, Mike and Barbara Carpenter.  Barbara always has a fantastic dinner prepared for all the family and has been very gracious to include my mother-in-law and I in all their holiday activities this past year.
Carrie with her son J.J. and husband John

Before we sat down to a great meal we exchanged gifts.  Carrie gave her grand mother a huge box of chocolate candy (almost five pounds worth).  She gave me a fantastic print of a painting of the ship I spent two and a half years of my life, which included two tours to Vietnam, the USS Newport News.  She had the picture matted and framed.  This is one of the greatest presents I've ever received. 

We headed back to the west side of town in the early evening so we could get back before the wet streets started freezing over.  Once home I made a pot of coffee and built a good fire and am thinking about this holiday season.  This year, without Joanne, has been very hard and each special occasion/holiday has not been easy.  But, now instead of sitting around feeling sorry for myself I'm contemplating how lucky a person I am.  This Christmas season has been good.  Have spent time with all my kids and grand kids along with other members of my family.  I am very blessed to have all of them to love and support me.  Life is good.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012

A evening with granddaughters.

Spent this evening with youngest son, Alan, and his family.  Visited with the girls, who were very excited about Santa coming tonight.  After awhile decided we needed to take a road trip so the parents could prepare the place for Santa.  The three girls and I piled in my car and headed to downtown Oklahoma City to see some Christmas lights.  First stop was at the Devon Tower, the new 50 story building built my Devon Energy Company.  They have some great decorations out on their lawn.  It was extremely cold so we didn't spend much time outside the car.  Otherwise we'd have crossed over the street to the Myriad Gardens to see the lights there and go over by the outdoor ice skating rink.

After leaving downtown we drove over to Heritage Hills to see how the houses were decorated there.  Heritage Hills is an old portion of town just to the north of the downtown area.  This is where the original city founding fathers built their mansions.  The houses in this area are very large and mostly well over 100 years old.  Soon it was time to head back to the kids apartment.  They needed to get ready for bed so Santa could make his appearance later this evening.  Before heading home I had to get a picture of the three in front of their Christmas tree.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas 2012 has began

Good food and plenty of family.

The Stone clan celebrated Christmas a few days early.  Due to family scheduling we decided to have our family Christmas celebration today.  We all trekked up north to Enid, Oklahoma, to the home of middle brother and his wife, David and Elizabeth.  We had a total of 27 family members there today.  My arm of the family consisted of ten of us.

Both of my sons came with me along with their ladies.  Above standing with me is (l to r) Alan and Cathy and Alex and Christi.  Standing in front are Alan's daughters, Aurora and Cadence, on each end and his twin step-daughters, Katlyn and Madison, in the middle.  (My other granddaughter, Emma, was not able to go with us today.)  We were also joined by Cathy's sister, Grace, who is visiting from Wisconsin.  (Grace was taking the picture for us.)

In addition to my group my three brothers were there with various family members.  Oldest brother, Bill, and his wife Nancy; Chester and Susan had eleven members there, all but one granddaughter who was with her boyfriends family down in Texas; David and Elizabeth were joined by their daughter, Lisa.  Of course, our Dad, the Stone family patriarch was with us.  He brought his bag of gifts for the grand kids and great-grand kids.  Here he is with my four granddaughters getting the gifts ready to distribute.

We all shared a great and bountiful meal together and had a good visit.  Nothing like getting together with family.  One thing I have always tried to instill in my children:  "When all fails around you family is always your fall back position."  I am a very fortunate man to be blessed with the family that I have.