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December 2020

Miranda Family Lights Household Hosts Holiday Cheer and Charity

The Blue Hippo

The Lark Development

The Art of Play


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Features 8

ASK EDMOND

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HAPPY, THE BLUE HIPPO

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MIRANDA FAMILY LIGHTS

I’ve heard it called “quarantine fatigue.” I know people are tired of being stuck at home. Not me. I love it. I haven’t been home for months. Alison and I have been living out of state while I receive my cancer treatments. At this time, we’re pleased to report, I’m officially in remission and SO happy to be back home in my house, sleeping in my own bed, lounging in my favorite spot on the couch, hanging out with my dogs - I don’t even mind my vocally annoying cat. Since July, the months have been a blur. We’ve gotten a few brief breaks to come home - but the majority of our time has been spent in a little apartment we sublet near the treatment center. Since returning, I’ve been directed to put some weight back on. I dropped nearly 30 pounds. With the holidays coming up, I have accepted that challenge. This morning I’m eating pancakes and bacon. Mid-morning, I’ll make a milkshake and snack throughout the day. Then right before bed, I have ice cream and pie. Oh, and here’s a bonus pro tip: put cheese on everything. How’s it working out for me? Pretty good. I’m slowly putting weight back on. Some of the weight I lost was muscle mass. That’s more of a challenge to build up again, but taking the dogs for walks and quality time on the treadmill is helping. Since the treatments have left me immunocompromised, we’ve been extra careful with limiting our risk of virus exposure. We get our groceries and favorite meals delivered, are working from home, don’t really see anyone and we’re not going out anywhere. This would not be a good time for me to end up with the virus. So for now, like a lot of you, we are stuck here at home. I feel for you. But for me, I know it could be worse.

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Who’s ready for the Holidays? A collection of canines chime in From hippo-knappings to Route 66 icon Household hosts holiday cheer and charity AN EGG-CELLENT PASTIME

Self-taught hobbyist creates in quail, emu and ostrich eggs

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THE LARK DEVELOPMENT

Downtown living with the privacy of a neighborhood

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CALEB’S CAUSE

Fulfilling the need for diapers across Oklahoma

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THE ART OF PLAY

This tactile and tedious process creates art from action figures

Business 22

DR. VIRGINIA VAUGHAN

From delivering babies to women’s wellness to obesity management

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TATSUKAN DOJO

Training for those who want to experience karate in its original form

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RECIPE: GINGERBREAD COOKIES

Decorate a gingerbread family with royal icing for the holidays LOUISE TUCKER JONES

A COVID Christmas

Dave Miller Back40 Design President

ADVERTISING l 405-301-3926 l sales@edmondoutlook.com MAILED MONTHLY TO 50,000 HOMES IN THE EDMOND AREA 1024 W Covell, Edmond, OK 73003 l 405-341-5599 l edmondoutlook.com l info@edmondoutlook.com December 2020 Volume 16, Number 12

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Edmond Outlook is a publication of Back40 Design, Inc.

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© 2020 Back40 Design, Inc.

PUBLISHER Dave Miller l EDITOR Jennay Wangen l ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Angie Clemens Byers l GRAPHIC DESIGN Adrian Townsend, Anne Richardson PHOTOGRAPHY Marshall Hawkins www.sundancephotographyokc.com l DISTRIBUTION Edmond Outlook is delivered FREE by direct-mail to 50,000 Edmond area homes. Articles and advertisements in the Outlook do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine or Back40 Design. Back40 Design does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. The acceptance of advertising by the Outlook does not constitute endorsement of the products, services or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service that is fraudulent or misleading in nature. The Outlook assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials.


LOCALLOOK

Ask Edmond

Who’s ready for the Holidays? Canines chime in.

Luna Labrador - Blue Heeler mix Lauren Criswell, Owner Graphic Designer & Marketing Coordinator Puppy Paws Hotel & Spa I adopted Luna as a shy little rescue puppy. Months later now, her confidence has soared! You can catch her playing with her friends at the dog park, taking in the breeze out the car window, and giving lots of kisses.

Geroge & Dax Mixed and Long-haired dachshund Kayla Dickey, Owner HR Professional OU Medicine George and Dax are the patriarchs of our dog family. George is a very serious pup and the “goodest boi”, but is willing to be subjected to mom’s antics only twice a year. Halloween and Christmas. Dax will do anything for a treat (and a cuddle).

Koko Chihuahua/Yorkie Kei Pashaj, Owner Server The Fixx Koko was introduced to our family as a puppy and immediately became a permanent member for the past 6 years. She’s the most loyal dog ever and has always loved a good outfit to keep cozy and classy for every occasion.

Cookie Havanese Ha-Suk Clemens, Owner Retired - Professional Gramma Cookie is always ready for family time and holidays because that means extra snuggles! She’s such a sweet girl and loves quality time with her humans!

Sofie & Prissy English bulldog & Bichon Stella Ward, Owner Retired Prissy, pictured on the left, unfortunately passed away last year. However, my husband and I are blessed to still have Sofie, pictured on the right, in our lives. She continues to make our days brighter and filled with love. We hope to celebrate many more holidays with her in the future.

Mac Havanese mix Alison Miller, Owner Executive Administrator Back40 Design Mac finds lots of comfort from his “babies”. There will be some new ones under the tree this year - maybe even a sweater. Mac definitely prefers toys to clothes, but he’s just too cute to not dress up!

Interested in participating in our Ask Edmond feature? Email us at AskEdmond@EdmondOutlook.com. We’d love to hear from you! 8

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FEATURELOOK By Amy Dee Stephens

Happy, The Blue Hippo

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You’ve driven past it a hundred times, and maybe even wondered, “Why is there a Blue Hippo along Broadway?” The hippo’s origins are a little foggy, but its place in Edmond culture is unmistakable. Bud Fisher’s knowledge of the hippo, whom he calls Happy Hippo, goes back 30 years. “I was told that he once belonged to an aquatic center that went out of business,” said Bud. “Water used to shoot out of that box the hippo’s holding.” Bud inadvertently acquired the hippo when he purchased an old construction company in 1991, which came with a variety of equipment pieces and work projects left in the back lot. The hippo lay in two pieces, along with an elephant that was in too many pieces to save. Bud put Happy in front of his shop, Glass Solutions located at 1129 S. Broadway, and he’s been “happily” smiling at Edmond drivers ever since. But if you think the blue hippo’s story ends there, then you haven’t heard about the many adventures of Happy. His first kidnapping was in the early 1990s by high school students at Edmond Memorial High School, who somehow hauled the hippo up onto the gym roof! Thus followed a long string of hipponappings by students from rival high schools. “One time, some Santa Fe High School students Although Happy asked permission to was not originally a borrow the hippo for Route 66 landmark, a teacher’s birthday surprise. I agreed, but he has become one while there, he was spirited away by Edmond North,” Bud said. “He was also put in the pond of Oklahoma Christian University (then Oklahoma Christian College) as a fraternity prank.” Poor Happy has not survived all of his travels unscathed. He’s gotten bumped, scraped, and even fallen out of a truck. Following multiple repairs, Bud mounted him more securely. Happy also suffers from sun exposure, which leaves him looking pale at times. If you’ve driven by recently, you will notice that Happy has gone from faded light blue to a vibrant turquoise. “My son repainted him with an airbrush,” Bud said. “I remember repainting him at least four times before I retired and turned the company over to him.” Bud is amused by the hippo’s legacy. Although Happy was not originally a Route 66 landmark, he has become one. Travelers along the Mother Road often stop to take a photo with Edmond’s blue hippo. “He’s become famous. He’s been in the newspaper lots of times. I’ve seen cheerleaders pose for photographs in front of him. I’ve seen parents drive up and let their children out of the car to kiss him, although I wouldn’t say he’s sanitary,” Bud said with a laugh. “I think it’s wonderful how taken people are with him.” Although Happy Hippo’s age and origins remain a mystery, he has firmly, but smilingly, staked his place in Edmond’s history.


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FEATURELOOK

By Maggie Murdock Nichols

Miranda Family Lights It all started with a tree. Mark Miranda spotted what’s called a mega tree towering over an Edmond business. The tree was formed by a pole with lights cascading and staked to the ground. He asked Liz, “Think we could do something like this at our house?” Liz agreed and the rest is history. The Miranda Family first brought holiday cheer to Edmond through their Christmas lights display in 2015. “We’ve come a long way.” Liz and Mark laugh as they recall that first year. The Miranda Family Lights went from basic to brilliant. The Miranda kids, Mia (14), Logan (11) and Kylie (9) have been a source of encouragement from the beginning. As they’ve gotten older, they’ve added more complexity to their contributions and have become quite the critics. Mia helps Liz with the tedious process of sequencing, syncing music with the movement of lights. Logan and Kylie enjoy adding lights to the house and climbing on ladders when given the opportunity. Each plays a vital role in the show. Mark has a background in tech, and Liz adds the artistic flare. Good Cheer and Charity As the lights grew in number, the Mirandas found a way to give back. Viewing the lights show is free and open to all, but the family began a passive ask for cash donations to be made to the Regional Food Bank. The family raised $10,000 last year. A Bright Spot for 2020 The Miranda Family Lights will bring light and levity to an otherwise shadowy year. The pandemic has not hampered plans

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to bring holiday cheer, but the family will proceed with some The Mirandas modifications. The family debated taking a break after they were featured on ABC’s “Great Christmas Light Fight” in 2019. The fame brought even bigger crowds and traffic issues. Mark says, “We really felt it was important to carry on in the midst of COVID-19. It’s been a tough year for everyone, and we know we’ve become part of family traditions.” The family strives to make the show bigger and better every year. This year the show will follow an 80s theme with a special tribute to Liz’s late father’s favorite movie, Christmas Vacation. The light show lasts more than 7 minutes and features 8 songs. The recent ice storm caused damage to their Halloween display, ruining two jumbo screens and damaging trees. Mark decided to take the opportunity to upgrade and upsize the screens. Watch for a special video appearance from the Miranda kids. Ever changing Oklahoma weather is a challenge and can cause closures or temporary pauses in the show. The Mirandas encourage those interested in viewing the show to check their Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mirandafamilylights before heading out. The Miranda home is located at 19544 Talavera Lane in Edmond.


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FEATURELOOK

By Amy Dee Stephens

An Egg-cellent Pastime Patrick Fedde was bored. For this 90-year-old with a very active There’s a compressor for the dentist’s drill, and most of his hand lifestyle, COVID put a damper on his plans. He was supposed tools are dental instruments. “I stick my arms into the box to to be vacationing in Portugal, but instead, he watched online carve,” Patrick said, “Because it’s dangerous to breathe egg dust, tutorials and taught himself how to carve eggs. That was three which can release remaining bacteria and microbes.” months ago, and now, he’s an egg artist! Fedde is no stranger to danger, egg or otherwise, having “Nope, I’m not an artist,” Patrick said. served as a machine gun squad leader during the Korean War. “He’s very talented,” corrected his wife, Beverly. He is the recipient of three Purple Hearts. According to Beverly, Patrick’s interest in arts and crafts Patrick isn’t one to slow down. Not then, came from his career as the president not now. “He gets up early to walk and of a craft distributorship. He often had work in the flower beds at church. I can’t the opportunity to learn new crafts, keep up with him!” and became quite accomplished as a “I’m very healthy,” Patrick said. “If it calligrapher—but it was over fifty years ago weren’t for the virus, we’d be traveling that he attended a session on egg carving. right now. I’ve been to 80 countries, but Being “stuck at home” this year rekindled when Beverly and I got married, she hadn’t his interest. traveled outside of the U.S. We’ve now A quick learner, Patrick can now been married seven years, and I’ve already complete some of his egg creations in as taken her to 40 countries!” little as 15-20 minutes, more advanced Christmas Market projects taking several days. He enjoys the Now, he’s confined to traveling to the challenge of seeing how much eggshell Christmas market at the Oklahoma City he can get away with carving out, but the fairgrounds to show his eggs, but he’s slightest pressure in the wrong place can pleased by the interest in his creations. crack the shell and ruin the project. When Most are religiously themed, but he’s tried Patrick first started, he broke four eggs for Patrick Fedde to create everything from an interesting every one egg he finished. tortoise he saw in a nature magazine to From Quail to Emu Eggs He uses all sizes of eggs, from quail to emu eggs, but he’s looking forward to tackling ostrich eggs. “They are so thick that you can do three-dimensional work in the egg layers.” Decorating and carving delicate eggs takes extreme precision. His workstation, which he calls “The Egg Box,” resembles a medical lab. It’s a lighted, wood-framed glass box with armholes. A large vacuum is hooked to the back to suck out the egg dust. 14

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Disney’s 101 Dalmatians. “Each one he makes shows more expertise and detail,” bragged Beverly. “I enjoy watching him at work.” “After weeks of being locked away with nothing to do and no place to go, carving and decorating eggs is fun. I can’t wait to get started on the next one,” Patrick said.


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FEATURELOOK

Developer Matthew Myers

By Maggie Murdock Nichols

The Lark Development Just a block West of downtown, a new neighborhood concept will soon take flight. The Lark offers residents the convenience of downtown living with the privacy of a neighborhood. While the homes will be new, the concept of community living harkens back to a simpler way of life that’s making a major come back. The Lark will be Edmond’s first pocket neighborhood and has proven to meet the demands of the burgeoning downtown. Enamored by Edmond Downtown Edmond’s charm caught the eye of local developer Matthew Meyers. His family temporarily took up residence in an apartment near downtown in 2018. On morning bike rides and meetings over coffee, Matthew couldn’t help but see the potential unfolding right before his eyes. Matthew decided to lay down roots and made Vault 405 coworking space the official place of business for Switchgrass Capital. Matthew joined the Edmond Visual Arts Council with the intention of adding interactive art to the blossoming downtown. As soon as work began on the railroad quiet zones, he decided to go all in, selling off other assets across the state to focus on downtown. The Lark is the first of five projects to be spearheaded by Matthew and Switchgrass Capital.

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A Community Built for Connection The Lark prioritizes people over cars, connection over clutter. Front porches will spill onto a common green space with covered parking provided in an adjacent, but out-of-sight alley. Shared amenities include a tool shed, bike share program, herb garden, outdoor movie space, centralized mailboxes and common dining area. The community is designed with the intention of providing ample opportunities for connection. The Lark is a good fit for those who are interested in abandoning a life of clutter in exchange for quality. Matthew was sure to point out that simple doesn’t mean vanilla, and small doesn’t denote a compromise on quality. The homes feature high ceilings, lots of light, luxurious bathrooms, and stunning kitchens. Matthew has partnered with husband and wife designer and builder duo, Trey and Brett McPherson of Stone Ridge Homes. Buyers can choose from several floor plan options like the Bluebird, Sparrow or Hummingbird and curated design packages. Edmond Living Reimagined Downtown Edmond has become a place to live, work and play. The Lark will allow residents to walk to work, grab coffee, lunch or dinner and take care of grocery shopping close to home. “As I look around downtown now and with even more development on the horizon, I would want to live here and I know others feel the same.” Matthew says. The first phase of The Lark is set for completion in Spring 2021. This phase will consist of 28 homes and is close to selling out. For those interested, a $5,000 refundable deposit will reserve a cottage. For more information visit www.edmondlark.com.


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FRESHLOOK

Gingerbread Cookies with Lemon Icing Decorating with royal icing is time-consuming but not difficult. Over the holidays especially, I love to dedicate one or two days to cookie decorating. During such a busy time of year, it’s remarkably relaxing to throw on a Christmas movie and spend a few hours piping tiny scarves onto a gingerbread teddy bear family. Depending on how much you use, the icing should last even if you double the cookie recipe. Ingredients Makes about 24 three-inch cookies • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temp. • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar • 2/3 cup molasses • 1 tsp vanilla extract • 1 large egg • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour • 1 tsp baking soda

• • • • • • •

1 Tbsp ground ginger 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp ground allspice 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg 1/2 tsp ground cloves 1/2 tsp fine salt Powdered sugar, for dusting

Lemon Icing: • 5 Tbsp meringue powder* • 2/3 c fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons) • 1 tsp cream of tartar

• 2 lbs powdered sugar, sifted • Food coloring gel • Extra lemon juice

Cookie Directions: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and all spices. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the brown sugar and molasses, then the vanilla and egg until combined. While still beating on low, gradually add in the dry ingredients. Mix just until incorporated. Divide the dough in half and shape each into a disc. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours. Heat oven to 350F. Prep two baking sheets with parchment paper. On a clean surface, sprinkle powdered sugar and begin rolling out one of your dough discs. Use powdered sugar as needed to keep dough from sticking. Roll to ¼-inch thick and use cookie cutters to create shapes. Place shapes on baking sheets and bake for 8-9 minutes. Continue until you’ve used all your dough. Keep dough not being used in the fridge. Let cookies cool completely. Lemon Icing Directions: Combine lemon juice and meringue powder in a clean stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on medium to combine, then add cream of tartar. Add powdered sugar and beat on low for 10 min, scraping bowl sides when needed. This is the consistency you want: when you run a spatula through it, the icing smooths out in 10 seconds (less is too thin, more is too thick). If too thick, add lemon juice a little at a time. Be patient so you don’t overdo it. Once you reach the right consistency, separate icing into different bowls to add food coloring. Cover all icing with a damp towel to keep it from crusting over. Fill pastry bags fitted with tips to decorate. For basic flooding, I use a #2 or #3 tip, and for details a #1. For extra tiny details I’ll use Gina is a long-time food toothpicks. I also like to fill tall glasses with 1cm of water. I place filled icing bags into blogger, Back40 Design web those glasses when they’re not in use to keep the icing inside from crusting over. developer and professional Wipe off water before reusing. eater. Find more of her recipes *I find meringue powder in the baking sections of craft stores and supermarkets, or online. 18

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on her Instagram @gina.chong.


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BIZLOOK

Dr. Virginia Vaughan By Maria Veres

Dr. Virginia Vaughan is passionate about all areas of her busy OB/GYN practice, from delivering babies to women’s wellness to obesity management. But after 31 years in practice, what she loves most is the enduring relationships she has developed with her patients. Treating the Whole Person Dr. Vaughan is part of Crossway Medical Clinic, a group of independent physicians who practice together under the same roof. As a doctor in private practice, she isn’t constrained by patient quotas or time limits. She can get to know her patients,

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and their conversations range beyond primary medical concerns. “They might ask me about anything—parenting, what it’s like to go through menopause, or having depression and anxiety,” she says. Crossway is a Christian clinic, but all patients are welcome regardless of their beliefs. “I don’t bring up faith unless a patient does,” she says. The team at Crossway has taken many precautions to keep patients safe during the pandemic. Patients are taken directly to a treatment room on arrival, and strict sanitizing protocols are followed. Focusing on Wellness Dr. Vaughan trained at OU. She is board certified as an OB-GYN, and she also offers obesity management. She accepts most major insurance plans, as well as Medicare and Medicaid. One part of her practice that Dr. Vaughan is especially excited about is the Viveve treatment for women. This painless in-office procedure treats vaginal laxity and minor incontinence. It works by

Dr. Virginia Vaughan

stimulating collagen production in vaginal tissues. Dr. Vaughan encourages everyone to keep prioritizing their health during the pandemic. “I find it troubling that people are putting off health care,” she says. “They think they can wait, and that’s not always accurate. Be as careful and as safe as you can be.” Dr. Virginia Vaughan is located at Crossway Medical Clinic, 609 West Memorial Road, and online at crosswaymedical.com.


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BIZLOOK

Tatsukan Dojo By Maria Veres

At Tatsukan Dojo, Sensei Abdalla Khalid takes the discipline of karate all the way back to its original roots. He teaches the Goju Ryu form of karate, practiced in Okinawa for more than 600 years. Clearing Up Misconceptions “Lots of things can be called karate,” says Abdalla. “This is authentic karate from the birthplace of karate.” Most people think of karate as a Japanese art, but Okinawa was an independent kingdom for centuries before becoming part of Japan.

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The stereotypes of karate being practiced by humble peasants for selfdefense are also inaccurate. It began as a battlefield discipline, practiced by Samurai warriors. Unlike some more recent forms of karate, Goju Ryu is a complete art, incorporating conditioning, striking techniques, grappling, and more. Abdalla has studied karate for more than 20 years. He’s also a certified exercise physiologist and offers personal training in addition to Goju Ryu classes. He travels to Okinawa regularly to continue his training. Not Your Average Dojo Abdalla stresses that Tatsukan Dojo isn’t the place for people who just want to dabble in mixed martial arts or learn showy moves for exhibitions. Many Goju Ryu students spend more than two years on physical conditioning before even beginning their formal training. Abdalla teaches Goju Ryu classes for kids and adults. The dojo also offers training in other related forms, including

Sensei Abdalla Khalid akido (taught by Roger Armstrong) and Katori Shinto Ryu (taught by Paul Frank). All instructors are certified in their disciplines and have achieved high levels of training. “What we do is nothing like the movies,” says Abdalla. But for those who want to experience karate in its original form, Tatsukan Dojo offers a rewarding path. Tatsukan Dojo is located at 109 W. 15th Street in Edmond and online at tatsukandojo.com.


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FEATURELOOK

Caleb’s Cause By Katie Standlee

Surprised by the lack of opportunities for children to give back, Marcie Hines knew it was her family’s calling to make a difference. “My son Caleb was five, and I literally remember it like it was yesterday,” Marcie smiled. “I walked outside and prayed, ‘Okay, what am I gonna do? Can we do this?’ God gave me all the answers within five minutes.” In that moment, she knew the foundation would be Caleb’s namesake. Caleb’s Cause Foundation has served over 40,000 children and gathered over 1 million diapers for families in need across Oklahoma. “That’s what’s important for me. We provide something so small, yet, it has such a large impact,” Marcie said, “That’s my joy in it.” Day in and day out, Marcie and Caleb work for the foundation, performing site visits to their sponsored organizations and accessing needs. Statewide Necessity Diapers. They seem like such a small item, but to a parent, they are expensive necessities. According to the Foundation’s annual report: • 1 in every 4 kids in Oklahoma lives in poverty • Lack of diapers is one of the leading causes of child abuse • 0 state programs in Oklahoma assisting with the purchase of diapers According to the National Diaper Bank Network’s 2019 findings: • 157,083 Oklahoman children are under age three

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• 1 in 3 families nationwide struggle to provide clean diapers for their baby • 57% of parents in the US missed an average of four days of school/work in the past month because they couldn’t leave their children at child care due to lack of diapers Foundation Outreach Caleb’s Cause Foundation encourages children of all ages to get involved: host a diaper drive, donate diapers or dollars, and advocate for families in need of fresh, clean diapers. Diaper drives can be held anywhere, such as birthday parties, 5Ks, and school gatherings. Free diaper drive kits and resources are available for download on the Foundation’s website and include everything you need to host your own. In addition to raising funds and hosting drives, Caleb’s Cause Foundation now offers financial grants to local nonprofits and statewide organizations working to solve the diaper crisis in our state. This year alone, the Foundation has distributed 13 grants in various amounts ranging from $500 to $5,000. Online applications are accepted throughout the year and reviewed for approval in August. Visit the Caleb’s Cause Foundation website for more information at www.calebscausefoundation.org or email info@calebscausefoundation.org.


ALOOKBACK

A COVID Christmas

In January, I started physical therapy with expectations to make the Arkansas trip in the spring then spend the whole summer in beautiful Bella Vista. Then COVID-19 hit. No trips. No visits. Nothing but isolation. Summer came and went and I saw By Louise Tucker Jones pictures of friends on Facebook taking vacations, even with COVID restrictions. Last year, I planned to spend the month I admit I was envious. I wanted to do of December at a private residence in the same, but I have been entrusted Bella Vista, Arkansas, near my oldest with the care of one who is fragile. My son and his family. The house was ready. son, Jay, has congenital heart disease Aaron even had a Christmas tree set up and a compromised immune system. to welcome his mom and little brother. And admittedly, I’m a “senior.” And now, But while I was packing my car, I lifted it’s December and COVID counts are a heavy box and turned at just the wrong exceptionally high. So it looks like we angle and suddenly pulled something in will spend Christmas at home again this my back. And of all things, I did much the year. same with my shoulder. The pain was But I’m certain this situation did not excruciating so travel was postponed for take God by surprise. And though I long a few days. to visit my mother, who just turned 104 I immediately started ice and heat. I years old, as well as my out-of-state rested. I planned. I prayed. But the pain grandkids, I trust the Lord with His plans continued and I knew it was impossible and His perfect timing. No matter where to make the drive. Reluctantly, Jay and I I may be this holiday season, I will sing spent Christmas at home.

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Christmas carols, hang stockings, help Jay decorate the tree, wrap presents, bake cookies and display the sacred Nativity. And when the hallowed eve is silent, I will write a letter to my beloved, late husband, as is my custom, and give thanks to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate on this holy day called Christmas. Wishing You A Blessed Christmas! ABOUT THE AUTHOR Louise Tucker Jones is an award-winning author, inspirational speaker & founder of Wives With Heavenly Husbands, a support group for widows. LouiseTJ@cox.net or LouiseTuckerJones.com.


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FEATURELOOK By Maggie Murdock Nichols

The Art of Play: Action Figure Photography A child of the 80’s, Chris Kriley has held onto the joy of toys. Reminiscing over the brands that defined the era, Chris says, “G.I. Joes are my favorite, hands down.” Chris’ hands are rarely idle. His day job as a chef for The Barlor keeps him busy, but allows enough time to explore other crafts that interest him. Chris is an artist. His preferred medium over time has been paint, but he’s recently delved into the world of action figure dioramas. Solace in Imagination Chris spent his childhood all over the United States. His father was in the Air Force, which led the family to move often. By happenstance, Chris was born on Tinker Air Force base on a journey across the country and later ended up making Central Oklahoma his home. He says his gypsy lifestyle led him to find an escape in art. He found solace in imaginary worlds when everything around him was changing. Instagram Nostalgia Using the camera on his phone, Chris takes still shots and videos of action figures. The photos pause any passing scroll through Instagram. His use of light, effects, props and atmosphere make the photos come alive. He began posing the figurines outdoors, but the perspectives were off, “It was impossible to put a figurine next to a tree, in tall grass and get the perspectives right.” Chris has handcrafted most of the scenes and sourced some from other toy photographers and creators. Chris refers to his craft as an addiction. He finds the tactile and tedious process to be therapeutic. He puts in the time to get the perfect shot.

Chris Kriley

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Timeless Toys Chris loves the thrill of the hunt. G.I. Joe has rereleased many classic figurines that he collects. According to Chris, “You just can’t make a better toy than G.I. Joe!” The open ended, detailed and articulate toys allow for perpetual play. “It’s great to see kids enjoy the same toys their parents played with.” He hopes his photos are something that can bridge the interests of generations. The art of play is here to stay. Chris can be found on Instagram by searching @skydrowalker. His follower base is made up of other toy fanatics who create like him and those who enjoy viewing the scenes as a fan of good photography and figurines.


1024 W Covell Rd., Edmond, OK 73003

Profile for Outlook Magazine

Edmond Outlook - December 2020  

Edmond Outlook - December 2020  

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