Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Payne’s from Washington Go Visit the Ellsworth’s in Oklahoma

We had the greatest time at the Ellsworth’s. Telling you about it is like writing about love or faith or hope . . . it’s so much easier to experience than to describe. I think it best if I give you a picture book version of our trip.

The Payne’s from Washington Go to Visit the Ellsworth’s in Oklahoma

Breakfast with free digital player

A brave self-portrait of the warm bowl of nuts in my lap.
No one else in 1st class was documenting their experience.

This is what first class flying looks like: egg soufflé for breakfast, a digi-player, warm nuts, and all the leg room a person could possibly covet. Oh my . . .

Maddie came to pick us up at the airport with her mom.
When asked why she was the lucky one to come, she said she asked first

Hydn sat on the counter and wanted to help with every meal

Hydn slicing green onions for bruschetta

Hydn helped cook every meal.  He’s a fine cook.  We had so many good things to eat.

Calvin and Bert watching the pot boil

The shrimp pot eaten right off the table with your hands

Saturday evening Bert fixed an incredible Southern shrimp pot, complete with deep fried okra, catfish, and hushpuppies, jambalaya, and boiled red potatoes, corn, and shrimp.

This was the bowl of leftover shrimp... I told you it was incredible

Non-alcoholic mint julep made with cherry-limeade instead of lemonade

We also had non-alcoholic mint juleps. These are a Kentucky Derby drink, Justin’s favorite, and an Ellsworth tradition (Ellsworth’s owned Swapps, a Kentucky Derby winner). Bert says mint juleps are normally green, but ours were made with cherry limeade. No matter the color, they’re good. Really good. I believe we may have found a new Payne tradition. And since it was a celebration for Justin, we all gave a toast in his honor.

Justin and Hydn on walk

(I’m thinking I should have named this picture book Where’s Hy? He seems to be in almost every picture.)

Besides eating, we went on walks through their property.

Justin and Hy with Ty and Pal

They have armadillos, copperheads, cotton-mouths, and very, very beautiful land.  The kids have built some amazing forts and treehouses. 

Besides eating and going on walks, we played lots of games like . . .


Ty, Pal and Justin blowing the ping-pong ball back over

Blow-the-ping-pong-ball-off-your-opponent’s-side-of-the-table leaves you a bit light-headed.  We also played ping pong around-the-world which leaves you a bit dizzy. 


Cali and Jesse

We played Werewolf for hours.  I was usually the crazy villager.  No special powers were granted with that card, which was a very good thing as I had trouble grasping the game.  Cache on the other hand is always a werewolf.  Don't forget that.  And Jesse?  She's the same whether she's a werewolf, villager, or witch.  Just accuse her, don't try to figure it out.  That's the only thing you can do with Jesse.

The Sock Game.

Before the game had begun

Ray, the conquerer, with his minions.  As Cali said, "It's pretty hard to conquer someone with 4' long legs."

Oh man.  You’ve got to try this one.  All you need is a bunch of socks.  (Rachel pulled out her mismatched sock basket and we all grabbed two.)  Then everyone sits on the rug and after the boundaries are defined, someone says, “Go.”  The goal is to keep your socks on and get everyone else’s off.  Please note Calder doing the backwards summersault – Ray took off one of his socks with force.  It was one fun game.  I think it should be noted that I was down to the final three.  Cali said it was because no one took me serious.  Could be.  It’s a great strategy if true.  I think it would be fun to give everyone a pair of Christmas socks and play this on Christmas Eve.  Hint.  Don’t play this game too close to the Christmas tree or it might cost you three or four ornaments . . . and precariously tip the tree.  We know.


Jesse, Rachel, and Cali with Bert's feet in the background.
Bert's watching the National Finals Rodeo where some of his vet patients and clients are competing.

The homemade dreidel

Some of the candy loot

Beings we were there during Hanukah, it only seemed fitting to play the dreidel game with homemade dreidels. Cali took bags and bags of candy which served as loot.

Magic Show.

Pal doing magic

Pal also put on a magic show. It was incredible. He had over an hours worth of tricks, which included a shovel handle coming out of his hat and a good old-fashioned switcheroo. After each trick Calvin would say, “How’d you do that?” and Pal would breathe big, smile, and say, “Magic.”

Ray, Ty, Justin, Cache, and Calder also played Dominion.

Coloring Contest.


Cali.  That lime-green chair cost her the win.  So said the judges

Cache and Calder.  They got disqualified because they chose a picture without Santa in it
and the judges thought that a Christmas Coloring Contest needed a Santa in the picture.
I thought it lame of the judges not to give us the criteria first, but luckily mine had a Santa
(thought it didn't help me win)

We also had a couple hours long coloring contest.  I did not win.  Cali did not win.  Calder did not win.  Cache did not win.  Pal did not win.  Justin did not win.  Rachel did not win.  Maddie won.   Ty, Bert, and Justin were the judges.  


Calvin and Hydn fixing things

Hydn thought we brought Calvin along just for him.  They played stick-em-up over and over.  Hy dies in a most dramatic fashion -- he grabs his chest, closes his eyes, staggers, then falls to the floor.

Varmint Calling.

Calder demonstrating

Though Calvin would take umbrage if I called varmint calling a game, it is one of the things the boys did.  Hydn wanted to go with them and Calvin said he could.  I said, "But won't he hurt your chances of calling something in?"  Calvin said, "They'll just go from slim to none."  We kept Hydn busy while Calvin took Calder, Justin, and Pal out and taught them how to varmint call.  Calder called in a racoon on his first try. 

We didn’t just eat, go on walks, and play games, we also went places.  Like to Craigheads, the gas station, Butcher's Pen, and church.


I’ve been to this store twice now and I still can’t tell if the joke is on me or on the owner.  This store has merchandise from way back on the shelf.  And the old tin, thirty foot ceiling has things stacked all the way to the top.  Truly.  When’s the last time you saw denture cream for pennies?  And yet, the owner has some of the greatest new stuff too.  I can’t decide whether or not the old stuff is filler, antiques, or if she really expects someone to buy it and use it.  It’s a mystery.
All I know is Calvin saw some old paper dolls –Eva Gardner and Bette Davis – for sale and said, “I remember my sisters playing with these.”  He bought four, one for each of his sisters for Christmas.  Cali found a darling new book as well, “Wodney the Wat.”  It’s going to be a classic.  As we left, I noticed some homemade cupcakes on the front display case.  The sign said something about controlling the town's cat population.  Calvin and Maddie started laughing in the car and said, “That’s funny she sells poison cupcakes.”  I said, “No, no, no.  You buy a cupcake and eat it.  The proceeds go to spaying the cats.”  Rachel said, “Are you sure?  I think the poison cupcakes.”  I told you this store is a mystery.  You don’t know who the joke is on.

Creation of Truth Museum.

The Creation of Truth museum owner showing Hy one of his puppies

Rachel took us to the Creation of Truth museum.  It's only open on Saturdays, and it is possibly the sweetest museum I've ever seen.  A man and his wife saved their money and built a little buidling where they could teach that man was created, not evolved.  There's no cost, they just have a desire to show and teach people  the things they've gathered over the years that show a Creator's hand.  The place is so clean and tidy and sits in a beautiful stand of trees.  The museum owner also sells wolf X pups. 

Gas Station.

Jesse window painting

We also took Jesse to one of her window-painting jobs.  I love seeing her art work.  She can draw whatever you ask her wherever you want it.  It was interesting hearing her commentary on the day:   women never say anything, kids ask to watch or help paint, and the men stop and visit.  One man asked her for a business card and when she said she didn’t have one he asked for her phone number – he wants his home window painted.  I’m thinking Bert, Justin, Cache, Calder, Pal, and Hydn will accompany her on that one.   (Hy has no qualms about telling someone to "Stick 'em up.  Higher!  Higher!")

Maddie picked up an Oklahoma real estate book at the gas station for Calvin to consider.


Calvin shopping.  I told him it needs to be withing walking distance of Rachel's

It's very tempting.  Reminds me of the J.C. Penny's Christmas catalogue. 

It was one great trip.  As was mentioned several times, “It just feels so good to be a part of their family."

The End


Anonymous said...

ohhhhhhh I wish so bad I could have gone. That sounds like the best trip ever. Ande

Wow! What a great trip! May be I should rethink my no fly resolution! First class looked wonderful. Viki

I hope they know what a beautiful family they are! I am sure they do....they are so beautiful! (and you are too) Jenny

Oh Jane...what a beautiful trip you had. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, feelings, pictures...I truly felt that I was in your pocket and experiencing every precious moment of it. You are so very blessed to have these choice experiences in life. Deanna

Deidra said...

That sounds like so much fun!

I love Wodney the Wat!!

Kathy said...

How awesomely nostalgic!

Lucy said...

I love photo trips:0

Isn't flying first class grand? If only I could afford it....

What a wonderful trip. I love spending time with any of my sisters, and your time there looks like it was spent very well indeed.

deidra said...

I want more! I've missed NJP!

I love the variety of things you did to share your time together. I'll have to remember some of them over the holidays when it's easy to slip into the "Put in a movie and take a nap" syndrome. Movies and naps don't make for very good memories.

Carolyn said...

Looks like you had so much fun!

Also, I love Wodney The Wat. I read it to my kids at school.