Wednesday, March 19, 2008

You asked, I'm answering

About the Precious Moments Chapel, Randi asked: "Who even knew that existed? Did your kids love it?"

Historically, I've not been a big fan of Precious Moments. I mean, I've always thought they were cute, and I appreciate the message shared through the books, dolls and figurines. Personally, though, I've not been a collector.

When I was in college (Round 1), I roomed with this girl who drove from Tulsa to Carthage at least once a month to tour the chapel. She was an artist, so I assumed she went for inspiration. Regardless, I thought she was a little kooky to drive even that distance to over-and-over look at the same cherubic children covering the building walls. I didn't understand at all.

Dropping by the chapel was totally unintentional on this trip, primarily because I didn't realize it was on the way. While driving to my brother's house, we began to see billboard advertising, and at that, I entertained the idea of stopping in. I knew Gracie would just love the side trip because the Precious Moments children are so cuuuuuuuuuuute and she just loooooooooooooves them. Bub, on the other hand, would be totally bored, or so I thought. I dismissed the idea altogether until I was passing the very last billboard before exit 18B. That was the one that said "FREE TOURS DAILY." I don't mind doing things that are free because if we hate it, no problem, but if we love it, even better.

We all loved it. I learned so much about the artist, Samuel Butcher, and about Precious Moments as a whole. For example, I didn't know that many of the Precious Moments characters are memorials (representations of those who have died). There's a whole memorial room in the Chapel dedicated to Butcher's son Phillip who was killed in a car accident nearby, and I don't know if that's when the other memorials started, or if they'd been ongoing all along. Regardless, that knowledge made the paintings that much more personal and beautiful. (There are photographs displayed in another chapel room of some of those who've been memorialized. It's interesting to look for them in the art.)

My favorite painting was Hallelujah Square. It was nice to see Heaven sort of catering to little ones. Though I know my little ones are not alone, it was really nice to have a visual. I particularly like seeing Jesus among the crowd of kids, the angel patching up the broken heart, and the Welcome Toys for Children. Gracie wondered if the baby crawling across the middle was Zachary. The visit altogether was very sweet. I'm glad we went.

Playful Professional asked, "How was Horton?"

Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who is a very cute movie. I think it's one of the better animated movies I've seen, and there are some really cute character interpretations (our favorite is Katie). The story overall is told quite well, and stays pretty true to the book.

Tara asked, "Are you originally from OK?"

Sort of. I was born in Dallas, but my family moved to Tulsa shortly thereafter because of a job opportunity for my dad. We lived in or around Tulsa the majority of my young childhood, though I lived briefly in Clarksburg, MD. with my mom and stepdad. As a preteen, I moved to Ponca City with my mom and spent many weekends and summer days back in Tulsa with my dad. As a teen, I moved back to Tulsa and stayed there for school at Rhema and ORU. After that, I moved to France, back to Tulsa, and then to Bryan, Texas when James (who lived in College Station) and I were dating. We moved back to Tulsa to get married, and lived there for about four years before moving back to the Dallas area for a job opportunity for my husband. I've come full circle.

We're very happy here in this area, and can't imagine moving away, but we're open to whatever. After these past few days, though, it's abundantly clear that Tulsa is no longer home to me. I would wrestle long and hard before ever agreeing to move back.


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