Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

December/Christmas recap


Here’s a very belated update!

While some of the others went to The Hanging of the Green back in December…
Maggie, Benjamin, and I stayed back at John-Clay and Sarah’s.
We watched Eric, did dishes, and watched a movie. : )

Some of us have been able to volunteer
at a local place that serves a meal on week nights to those in need. 20161207_184545-2

We had the Clay Christmas on the 17th.
Lot’s of food, family, little great-grands, presents, fun, and games!IMG_2219IMG_2223

Granny always gathers the little kids and tells an interactive Christmas story.
We’ve all had our turn as the kids gathered around Granny. : )

We sang some Christmas carols.

The kids did a gift exchange. Then we do a great big White Elephant bash…
…which we didn’t get any pictures of. :/

Each year Granny blesses each of us with a gift. : ) She gets a few in return.

We played a fun group game. The gist is to unwrap as much saran wrapped candy as you can before the next person rolls doubles! It was a hit. There was candy everywhere. It was an intense several minutes. : )IMG_2268IMG_2266

And of course good ‘ole 42 is always played.

Everyone was here for our family Christmas again this year! We so easily take it for granted! We celebrated the Friday and Saturday before Christmas.
The theme was “Chalkboard”.

Lots of prep goes into getting our “tea” ready. Basically it’s an appetizer night. : )
With it being a chalkboard theme…Maggie and I got put to work writing lots of 
chalk things (the Peace, Love, and Joy was pre-made). 

John-Clay bought himself an early Christmas present…A Lego Christmas train
that goes around on a track. Some people have a little obsession with Lego
around here…although I have to admit, it was pretty cool! The nephews were
pretty enthralled with it too.

Maggie is the wonderful-official-shrimp-fryer.

Look at what was at this little guy’s eye level when he walked in the door. : D

Is that a little too much temptation for you Evan?

Mom is so creative! She did great on the decorations.

Nephews are the best.
And yes, there is an extra someone in the picture above…
…more on that some other time. : )

The food is always so fun and scrumptious. So much work goes into it.
It’s worth it though, ‘cause you get to eat on it all weekend. : )

Each year we each draw a sibling’s (and in-laws) name. And give them a present at Christmas. Who you have is suppose to be kept a secret…but more often than not there’s some hashing out ideas, or something going on.

It’s fun to see the gifts and thought behind them.

Games, games, and more games.

Dad got called in to work Saturday morning.
So we held off on the presents and such till he got back. We played games…IMG_2430

…and just hung out. : )

Once Dad got back, we did our normal Christmas. Dad shared, we sang some
Christmas hymns…it’s so much fun to all sing together. 

Then presents…

Since we were home…a car load of us were able to sing and pass out cards
at a couple of nursing homes on Christmas afternoon!
It was a treat to be able to share the joy of Christ’s birth with them…
especially fun ON Christmas. Their smiles made our day!IMG_2280

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS:
for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

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End of the Year Family Newsletter and Pictures



“Suddenly There Was…”
Do you ever feel like you wait, and wait, and wait for something then
suddenly, there it is, or it happens? A long winter that seems to drag
on, then “suddenly," it’s spring! The anticipation of a birth, then
“suddenly” we have a baby. The prolonged deterioration of a health
condition, like my father-in-law, then “suddenly,” he’s gone (how I
miss that man). The wonder when the Lord will bring a spouse for
your son, and “suddenly,” he is married (welcome Sarah)!You are in
the freezing outdoors for hours, carefully watching every slight
movement in the trees, then “suddenly,” there is a deer staring you
Okay, so it doesn’t always happen that way, sometimes the suddenly
is just, sudden. Like a car accident, in Oklahoma a thunderstorm, a
knock on the door and unexpected company, a cut thumb, or a
phone call that “changes everything."
When a suddenly comes, it is easy to ask, “Why me?"
For Mary, the mother to be of Jesus, it came suddenly. Suddenly
Gabriel appeared to Mary and gave her "sudden” news that she
would bear a child who would be called the Son of God. The
Scriptures report the shepherds got the news of the Savior being
born, "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the
heavenly host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the
highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’"
Like Mary and the shepherds, when a suddenly comes, we want to
move from, “Why me?” to “What’s next?” Mary said, “…be it unto me
according to your word.” And the shepherds, “Let us now go and
Suddenly is not just for biblical times or biblical characters, it’s for us
too. God is still in the ‘suddenly’ business. I have asked the family as
they report the events of the last year, to include something that
happened they didn’t expect or something they anticipated a long
time, then suddenly it happened.
Of course “suddenlies” happen to us, but not to God. He is not
surprised or informed by anything. He has revealed Himself as, “I
Am that I Am.” So I will share an “I am” scripture that I pray will be
encouraging to each family member during the “suddenlies” of 2016.
The passing of Cheryl’s Dad in October has been a major event for
the whole family as his health continued to deteriorate and he
needed more and more care. We all were very conscious of final
days and opportunities to hear his stories, play another game of
“42," or seek his wise counsel. I had the privilege of presiding at his
graveside service. It was quite a testimony to the Lord as we
reflected on Harold’s salvation and journey here on earth. He
worked hard, played hard, and served others and the Lord with all
his might. We are so blessed to have Cheryl’s Mom, Gwynna, right
across the fence. She is such a godly influence for my girls, a lover
of God’s Word, and a great cook. The families we were
fellowshipping with as we gathered as the Church each Sunday
have moved or scattered and so we as a family are unsettled in
where the Lord would have us worship and serve. You can pray for
us about that. The “I AM” verse I pray to be encouraged by:
"When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man And He placed
His right hand on me, saying, "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the
last." (Rev. 1:17)

Cheryl: Not much catches Cheryl “suddenly”—by surprise. I know I
say this every year, but she continues to be the COO, Chief
Organizing Officer, in the home. A huge test of this was John-Clay
and Sarah’s wedding and Oklahoma reception. Of course it all came
off beautifully as everyone pitched in. With the passing of her dad,
Cheryl, her sisters and her mom are getting more time together. She
did squeeze in a trip with the girls to War Eagle and made it to a
couple of Thunder basketball games, but being “Grammie” is hard to
top. The “I AM” verse that I am praying will be an encouragement to
Cheryl: The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming (He
who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all
things to us. Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He.” (John


Abbie (23) really enjoys traveling, family, and work. Trips included:
War Eagle, MN, IL and Big Sandy. She was very intentional to plan
fun birthday outings with each of her siblings that still live at home;
those were special times. She is already making plans for the new
exciting babies being added to the family. Abbie still works part-time
as a CNA in the same nursing home and loves her residents.
Recently she completed CMA training allowing her to pass
medications.The goal behind getting her CNA and experience caring
for the elderly was to be able to help care for grandparents.
Assisting Granny (Cheryl’s Mom) in caring for Granddad, was very
rewarding. “A special relationship was built between he and I that
we’d never had before. I will always treasure the precious memories
we made and would not trade it for anything.” The passing of
Granddad was the primary “suddenly” for Abbie; she still feels the
loss. But she also mentioned that the Lord suddenly provided
another car for the family. It was a gift from a guy that was in the
Russellville, AR youth group! Quite a blessing when you have six
drivers in the family. The “I AM” verse that I am praying will be an
encouragement to Abbie: So Jesus said to them again, "Truly, truly, I
say to you, I am the door of the
sheep. “(John 10:7)

Charity (21) – is the primary caregiver for my Dad who lives with us.
She faithfully rises early to cook, clean, and care for his daily needs
(others step in from time to time too). She also made some special
memories while getting to help take care of Granddad in his last
couple of weeks of life. Helping Mom plan and host the Oklahoma
wedding reception for JC and Sarah was a huge blessing, and
Charity enjoyed the challenge. She still loves doing the family
garden and we love the fruit of her labors. Somehow she also
squeezes into her schedule, cleaning houses with Carinna and
mowing lawns with Benjamin. Some of her favorite “suddenlies” that
happen are the unexpected opportunities that pop up to minister and
serve in different places! One of those this year was getting to
volunteer for a week serving and cooking for a ministry’s summer
camp training. The “I AM” verse that I am praying will be an
encouragement to Charity: Jesus said, "I am the true vine, and My
Father is the vinedresser." (John 15:1)

Maggie (19) – was grateful to finally catch up with school (after being
sick with mono) and graduated this May. She says she is always
blessed by our homeschool conference at Big Sandy as well as all
the other trips that were taken! Maggie is super excited to have the
family expanding with JC and Sarah having got married and babies
on the way!Another highlight was some neat photography
opportunities that God brought her way. Both she and Carinna
enjoyed a fun trip to Frontier City (an amusement park), planned and
provided by Abbie for the twin’s birthday. Not so enjoyable, she
(along with Carinna and Benjamin) had all four wisdom teeth
removed this year. Maggie loves being an aunt; Evan is such a joy!
In August, Maggie started a part time job at a nearby home daycare.
"I really enjoy my kiddos!” As the others, she is thankful for the
Lord’s faithfulness and all-sufficient grace during Granddad’s death.
She was grateful to get to attend a CPR/First Aid class, and along
those lines, is excited about any “sudden” door the Lord might open
for the future. The “I AM” verse that I am praying will be an
encouragement to Maggie: Jesus said…"I am the way, and the truth,
and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." (John

Carinna (19) – Besides training our new dog Heidi, Carinna kept
herself busy with helping Granddad, bees, hunting, cleaning houses,
guitar, carving, garden, working at properties, and the list could go
on. Carinna’s comment on the trip to Frontier City: “One way to bond
with your siblings is being terrified for your life together on a roller
coaster, then doing it over and over again.” She got to go up to the
Dornink’s a couple of times with Dustin and Hannah where she gets
to spend time with friends who sharpen her spiritually. Another fun
opportunity was to go to Illinois early to help prepare for JC and
Sarah’s wedding. She says family has been a huge highlight—
babies coming, spending time to both work and play with Dustin,
Hannah, and Evan, getting to know Sarah and hanging out with JC
and Sarah. Caleb took her to a Thunder basketball game…what an
experience!Her “suddenly”: I really wasn’t looking for a job but God
suddenly laid in my lap the opportunity to help a family homeschool
a couple of their kids. I love the chance to invest in their lives
academically and spiritually, and watch them learn. The “I AM” verse
that I am praying will be an encouragement to Carinna: Jesus said
to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will
live even if he dies." (John 11:25)

Benjamin (15) – is now the tallest member of the Burnett family! He
really enjoyed going to a film festival in Texas and especially the
opportunity to get advice from the Tull family about a movie he’s
working on. We had new neighbors move in next-door with 3
younger boys who Benjamin enjoyed playing basketball and many
other things with them. Due to Granddad’s health, we didn’t feel
comfortable going away for our annual family camping trip but took a
weekend and had a great time “camping out” at the house. Benjamin
appreciates getting to spend more time with Caleb and the
encouragement he receives from his older brother. Benjamin also
got to go up early to help the Ferraro’s with JC and Sarah’s wedding.
He had a lot of fun playing with Joel and Benny and helping with a
short fun movie for JC and Sarah. He was very honored JC asked
him to be a groomsman. Benjamin harvested two deer this year. “My
‘suddenly’ involved a significant discount price for the Christian
Worldview Film Festival and Guild I had been wanting to attend. This
was a turn of events I did not anticipate, but am excited by the
surprise provision.” The “I AM” verse that I am praying will be an
encouragement to Benjamin: Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of
life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me
will never thirst." (John 6:35)

Jim Burnett, my dad is such a quiet blessing and encourager. He is
so grateful for the little things of life: a good meal, birds at the feeder,
the beauty of flowers, and the visit of a family member. The “I AM”
verse that I pray will be an encouragement to Dad is: "…I am the
Son of God." (John 10:36)

Those outside the house:

Caleb (25) continues to live in Shawnee, work at Kimray, grow
deeper in his commitment to God’s purifying work in his life and stay
connected with his siblings. The “I AM” verse that I am praying will
be an encouragement to Caleb: “…I am the Light of the world.” (John

Hannah (27), Dustin and Evan are in Bowlegs, Ok, ministering to
their neighbors, active in their church, and expecting the delivery of
their second son…suddenly—any day!The “I AM” verse that I am
praying will be an encouragement to Hannah’s family: "I am the
Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was
and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev 1:8)


John-Clay (29) God suddenly brought JC the love of his life, Sarah
Ferraro. They live in Shawnee, serve the Christian media industry
together, and are expecting our third grandchild mid-summer. The “I
AM” verse that I am praying will be an encouragement to JohnClay’s
family: "You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for
so I am." (John 13:13)

In the new year, don’t forget the suddenly of God and the God of
suddenlies! Suddenly can come suddenly.
When a suddenly comes, remember to move from "Why me?" to
"What’s next?"
And finally: Suddenly Jesus came. Suddenly He left. What’s next?
Suddenly Jesus will return. Will you be ready?

Johnny Burnett for the family


Merry Christmas, Everyone!!! And a very happy New Year!


Updated “Meet the Family” page

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Celebrating here, there and everywhere!


We love to drag Christmas out as long as we can, starting the Saturday after Thanksgiving through December 31st. Lots of Christmas music, movies, food, parties, pictures, gifts, shopping, traditions…

Here are some pictures of our celebrations through-out December…

First, we celebrated with my Mom’s side of the family at Granny’s house! Uncle Damon brought a delicious brisket and everyone else contributed with fun-odd-yummy side dishes.


Evan, Caleb, Abbie, Daniel, Me(Charity) and Gabriel


Granny enjoyed getting to love on all the Great Grandbabies – I think, in every family there is almost always that one cousin that the little cousins gang up on and wrestle and pick on… well, on this side of the family it used to be Daniel, bless his heart, we were probably so annoying…then we all got older and now it’s the great-grandkids with Benjamin as the victim! :) They love playing with Benj!


Sang lots of Christmas carols together.


Lots of 42 was played, it made the reality of Granddad not being there even more real, he was almost always at the table shaking the dominoes for another game. He was very missed.


Oh yes, Catch Phrase is must-play game too!


Acquire is…um…very intense!


Granny, Mom, my aunt and I worked on sewing little ornament birds for everyone made from Granddad’s flannel shirts and striped overalls! They turned out really cute. In this picture you can kind of see them hanging all over the tree.

photo 1 copy

Somehow, Uncle Joe managed to take a nap even with all the noise around!

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We always play the dirty santa/white elephant game… strange things were brought everything from a selfie stick, and an octopus mug with hot chocolate, to tannerite exploding targets, and the infamous round-cat bird house!


Granny read Luke 2 20151219_143122

And that, folks, was the Clay Christmas.


On the 22nd and 23rd, we celebrated Christmas together with our family.

We played “Christmas Carols” Pictionary!


“Haha, Aunt Sarah, I got your seat!” One of Evan’s favorite things to do is to steal anyone’s seat right after they get up!



Grandpa always reads Luke 2 for us before we open gifts.



This year, the theme for our family tea was “Woodsy”…think red plaid, cedar, pine cones, and moose… it was really fun!


We had a fancy cheese platter with meat and crackers – Bear-claw cookies and buck-eyes.


Cheesy bacon potato rounds – pine cone cheese ball


Bang-bang shrimp – Brown sugar bacon wrapped chicken bites


…and more!


Due to lots of sickness going around our house, Carinna as not able to participate :(


The Elliott’s hosted a fun Christmas Eve party at their house!


For years, Grandpa has brought his delicious chex-mix to the Burnett Christmas. So Dad and I helped him keep the tradition going! We made 5 gallons of chex-mix…it took us all day!


-Christmas with Dad’s side of the family-

Well, this is Oklahoma right? So of course, why not have severe storms! They got blizzards in NW Oklahoma, but the storms over us weren’t carrying beautiful snow and ice… but tornadoes! This is NOT April!!! It’s the day after Christmas!!

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Aunt Janis was gracious to host everyone at her house this year! She had us play some really fun group games! One of them was called backwards charades! Each charade was a Christmas song title, so all but one person on the team would read the card, then at the same time everyone acted it for the one person guessing from your team! It was hilarious!




What are some of ya’ll’s favorite Christmas traditions?

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I Love this Time of Year … =)


It’s a rare but welcome happening to get all these ladies in the kitchen at once cookin’ up yummy stuff. =)

Carinna wanted us to take a crazy picture to capture how we really felt and how we were actually acting. =) =) =) …which you could say happened to involve goofy and festive moods. =)

As you can very well imagine, we’ve enjoyed having this little toot and his momma around our house for a few days while Dustin was away at a wedding…

Among the goodies were mint cookies, the infamous puppy chow, honey chai roasted almonds, bear claw cookies, chocolate covered Oreos, toffee cookies …

Granny was also whipping up some deliciousness at her place, so we hopped the back fence and helped make divinity, fudge, and cinnamon rolls… ya know, the good old fashioned candy that takes an expert…like Granny. =)


Christmas really snuck up on me this year because I was so consumed with my CMA class. The afternoon I finished, Charity went to town with me so I could do some last minute shopping. We had a very fun and successful trip together. =)

The past two nights we’ve made our annual Christmas caroling venture to friends, family and neighbors. We added a few extra stops this year including the generous couple who let us pick up peaches under their trees for free to use for the peach festival. =) I’m really not sure who enjoys it more, us or them – it’s a special tradition.

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Take time to enjoy all the special moments together, don’t take them for granted. Merry Christmas!

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Christmas in Oklahoma City!


Our day was off to a good start with our hometown Stratford Bulldogs winning the Class A State Championship football game! If you were to read the newspapers or hear talk around town, you’d know that this has been a special group of guys and their coaches. They have been very outspoken about their faith, importance of family, and sportsmanship and they have given glory to God all throughout the season…they’re also undefeated!

So we proudly cheered on our home team that was made up of friends, distant relatives, guys we go to church with, and neighbors… They won 67-28! GO DAWGS!!


Abbie came too, but she stayed in the van to do some studying…more on that in a later post.

The Bulldogs praying for a player from the opposing team who got hurt.  FullSizeRender copy

Afterwards, we met up with some of our cousins who live in downtown OKC. They served us a delicious spread of fancy cheeses, sausages, crackers and pickles!

photo 1 copy 2

They had a really fun chalkboard wall so Maggie, Carinna, and Benjamin left some artwork for them to remember us by! ;)


We walked down to the Devon ice rink and went skating… well, as much as you can skate in 65 degree weather with the ice melting! But hey, it’s skating…and Christmas time, and fun with cousins…you just can’t beat that!

photo 2 copy 220151212_19144120151212_191555

The Devon tower has this ginormous red ornament and several “little” ones that look like they fell right out of the sky and landed in one piece! They are really pretty, sparkly and festive!

photo 1FullSizeRender(3)FullSizeRender(2)2015-12-12 23.29.50photo 3 copy 220151212_20073520151212_195840

Thanks Cori and Justin for the amazing evening in downtown OKC!20151212_200816

Meanwhile, at home, I think Dad and Mom felt a little left out of the OKC fun…so they invited JC&Sarah, Dustin&Hannah and Sam (Dustin’s friend who was visiting from TX) over for pizza and games! And they sent us this picture!


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