2019 December 24 Tuesday

2019 December 24 Tuesday in Liberty Hill, Texas

ggs, toast, and bacon for breakfast before Ella and I headed for Lakeline Mall. Ella came along to get pictures taken with Santa today.

his was the view from our deck as we were leaving home this morning. The sky was bright, but no add-in

nd this was the sun almost coming over the horizon as we arrived at the mall.

worked 8-12. It’s done. No more children and adults to sit on Santa’s lap or give him hugs. Today I had many adults and late teens to sit on my lap for pictures. I also had a few children, who had previously had pictures taken, stand in line and wait their turn just to talk to Santa again.

tar Buffet was my choice for lunch. Ella had suggested a steak house. Though that sounded good, I felt like more variety than steak, potato, and broccoli.

e had to stop at Wal-Mart for prescriptions and odds and ends. However, we arrived shortly after they closed for lunch.

hen it was home to rest before going in to Liberty Hill for the Children’s Christmas performance at Cross Tracks Church. You could tell that most of them had worked hard on their parts.

Candlelight service followed the children. Lots of scriptures and lots of singing.

God bless and g’nite

  • Visit my devotions blog new devotions every day (nearly)

  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.

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  • Tom and Ella Daily Journal of Our Lives

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  • All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
  • Day 83 in our Texas home
  • 40th and final day as Santa at Lakeline Mall, Cedar Park with 1 at La Cantera, San Antonio

2019 December 23 Monday

2019 December 23 Monday in Liberty Hill, Texas

We are in for a warming trend that will keep us above freezing at night. Yay! No more concerns about ruptured waterlines.

re-dawn from my deck at home. I took this shot as I was leaving at seven o’clock to go to work. This was the next to last day for the season.

he sun was just peeking over the treetops when I arrived at Lakeline Mall this morning. I worked 8 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. actually I worked a little after 2 because they forgot that my shift ended at 2 and hadn’t put a break in the line.

he odd things that I’ve had youngsters (toddler to pre-teen) ask for this year.

  • Luggage
  • Electric toothbrush
  • Toothpicks
  • Stapler
  • The Mall
  • Vending machines
  • A claw machine
  • Thermos
  • An ice cream dispenser
  • A cotton candy maker
  • A Lamborghini
  • Pillow
  • Lava lamp
  • Net to catch insects

The most ask for items this year.

  • Legos – always the most asked for
  • LOL everything (several boys also ask for LOL items)
  • Nintendo switch
  • Barbies items
  • Nerf guns
  • Drones
  • Polaroid cameras
  • Paw Patrol

Sad things asked for.

  • Dead grandmother to come back.
  • To see a dead uncle again.
  • A gift for my father, where ever he is.
  • Peace and love in the family
  • Mom not to work so much

ust after Sunset this evening. It was nice to see some color in the western sky for a change.

God bless and g’nite

  • Visit my devotions blog new devotions every day (nearly)

  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.wordpress.com

  • Tom and Ella Daily Journal of Our Lives

https://tomandellajournal.wordpress.comhttps:/

  • All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
  • Day 82 in our Texas home
  • 39 days as Santa at Lakeline Mall, Cedar Park with 1 at La Cantera, San Antonio

2019 December 22 Sunday

2019 December 22 Sunday in Liberty Hill, Texas

he fog wasn’t bad this morning from our deck at home. However, it was soon noticeable once we were on the road. The further into Leander that I went the denser the fog became. By the time I drove into Cedar Park it was less foggy. I can’t say that the fog delayed me in any way. That was because there was also less traffic to slow me down.

oday’s schedule at Lakeline Mall was 10-2. That allowed me time in the morning to drop Ella off at Cross Tracks Church so that she can sing in the choir and attend worship as well as Sunday school. A friend brought her home and, maybe, out to eat first. I will also picked up my breakfast from the breakfast bar at church.

his is my carpet that I brought in to the Santa dressing area so that we wouldn’t have to contend with the filth on the floor. However, Charlie had also brought in a carpet and laid it on the Sunday before I came in Monday with my piece of carpet. So for most of the season we’ve had a double carpet. I will be rolling mine up and taking it home. At some point I hope to have it on the floor of the topper.

was off at 2:00 and home by 3:30. I stopped at Dairy Queen for chicken and dumplings (and milk shakes). I also stopped at QuikTrip for gasoline. That means DQ to QT.

God bless and g’nite

  • Visit my devotions blog new devotions every day (nearly)

  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.wordpress.com

  • Tom and Ella Daily Journal of Our Lives

https://tomandellajournal.wordpress.comhttps:/

  • All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
  • Day 81 in our Texas home
  • 38 days as Santa at Lakeline Mall, Cedar Park with 1 at La Cantera, San Antonio

2019 December 21 Saturday

2019 December 21 Saturday in Liberty Hill, Texas

og was the big story on today’s trip into Lakeline Mall. Also of Interest, I saw a car run a red light. Fortunately I saw him coming and did not pull out in front of him. Just another reason people should not be driving the speed limit in limited visibility. But I guess eventually natural selection will take care of those people.

The Santa set was busy from open until I left at 2 p.m. I’m sure Santa Charlie will be busy until the end of the day. I head a teenager brought to me who was blind and deaf and developmental issues. With no other way to communicate with him, I took his hand and let him feel my face and beard. Hires mother thanked me and thanked over and over again.

imes like this really Make new extremely thankful for the children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren with which God has blessed me.

ating Cheetos, playing Fast Track, and drinking hot chocolate with marshmallow. What a nice way to spend am evening.

God bless and g’nite

  • Visit my devotions blog new devotions every day (nearly)

  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.wordpress.com

  • Tom and Ella Daily Journal of Our Lives

https://tomandellajournal.wordpress.comhttps:/

  • All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
  • Day 80 in our Texas home
  • 37 days as Santa at Lakeline Mall, Cedar Park with 1 at La Cantera, San Antonio

2019 December 20 Friday

2019 December 20 Friday in Liberty Hill, Texas

There is no sunshine this morning therefore no Sunrise photographs

mm, warmer this morning, but do you see the predicted high for today? Yep, just three degrees warmer than the current temperature

ork started an hour early this morning on the Santa set in anticipation of more of a crowd. School is out!

got to work only to find out that our set manager will not be finishing out the year with us, because of a family emergency that called her out of state.

he day was busy as expected. And I imagine that tomorrow will be busier yet. The school age children were there today also, because the local schools have gone into Christmas break.

t was raining when I left work this evening. Apparently it had rained most of the day. This didn’t seem to make any difference to the traffic on the roads.

stopped at Wal-Mart again tonight. This time I was able to get my medications. I was also able to buy more grocery items that weren’t on yesterday’s list.

t was dark when I arrived home, so no sunset photo.

God bless and g’nite

  • Visit my devotions blog new devotions every day (nearly)

  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.wordpress.com

  • Tom and Ella Daily Journal of Our Lives

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  • All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
  • Day 79 in our Texas home
  • 36 days as Santa at Lakeline Mall, Cedar Park with 1 at La Cantera, San Antonio

2019 December 19 Thursday

2019 December 19 Thursday in Liberty Hill, Texas

awoke this morning with a sneezing spell. That’s not a good thing for Santa.

ood morning, sun. It’s nice to see you on this cold Texas daybreak.

hursday’s are the days when I get to stick a pin in my finger to check my blood clotting factor. Today was good when I sent my results to the testing agency which then forwards that information to my heart doctor.

usiness on the Santa set is puking up. I expect tomorrow to be very busy indeed, because the local schools will be out for Christmas break.

al-Mart was my first stop tonight. I had once again ordered online for pickup this evening. After the groceries were loaded, I went into the pharmacy. But the prescriptions were not ready.

he next and last stop before getting home was Golden Chick tho push up some supper.

God bless and g’nite

  • Visit my devotions blog new devotions every day (nearly)

  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.wordpress.com

  • Tom and Ella Daily Journal of Our Lives

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  • All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
  • Day 79 in our Texas home
  • 36 days as Santa at Lakeline Mall, Cedar Park with 1 at La Cantera, San Antonio

2019 December 18 Wednesday

2019 December 18 Wednesday in Liberty Hill, Texas

t got right down chili last night. I had to even close my bedroom window. And for a change, I slept under the sheet and the comforter. Ella also had a fleece blanket throw over her.

he drive into work was uneventful other than dropping Ella off at the over-the-hill gang building so that she could attend a grandies meeting. Praise the Lord. They are signing and mailing Christmas cards today.

stopped and finished filling the truck fuel tank, that I only got a partial tank in last night. The gas was considerably cheaper here, by at least $0.10.

Weatherbug predicts that it will dip below freezing again tonight. However, that will be the last time for freezeing temps at least for theneedy 10 days.

God bless and g’nite

  • Visit my devotions blog new devotions every day (nearly)

  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.wordpress.com

  • Tom and Ella Daily Journal of Our Lives

https://tomandellajournal.wordpress.comhttps:/

  • All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
  • Day 79 in our Texas home
  • 36 days as Santa at Lakeline Mall, Cedar Park with 1 at La Cantera, San Antonio

2019 December 17 Tuesday

2019 December 17 Tuesday in Liberty Hill, Texas

left home a little early this morning because I needed gas in the truck. I got to the gas station only to realize I didn’t have my billfold. Ah oh! I called Ella and ask her to look around home to see if it was there. It was not.

he last time I could remember having it was yesterday morning when I drove through Burger King for breakfast. So I checked likely places in the cab of the truck. Then I checked the unlikely places in the truck. Not there. I had no more time to search because I needed to get to work.

had enough gas to get to work, and, maybe, home. At the mall, as I was getting into the Santa suit, I found the billfold in the coat pocket. Whew! I almost never carry the billfold onto the set. Yesterday, as I waited to go to the set, I was putting some ID information into a file on my phone. When it was time to start, I just dropped the wallet into the Santa suites coat pocket.

s of last Sunday, we have officially seen over 3,000 children at the Santa set. This next week will easily double that number – possibly triple the number of children already seen.

ow do we know how many we’ve seen? We gave each child a sticker that said, “I’ve seen Santa.” We had 3,000 and now they are all gone. And not every child took a sticker and hardly any parents took them for babies who visited Santa.

peaking of babies, the first couple of hours today were nearly exclusively babies … very very few cried.

s I stated earlier, I needed gas in the truck. This evening, after work, I went to a station and got a half tank full. Why only a half tank? Because I’m sure I can find it cheaper elsewhere. Why didn’t I go elsewhere first? I really needed gas so I stopped at the first available place.

God bless and g’nite

  • Visit my devotions blog new devotions every day (nearly)

  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.wordpress.com

  • Tom and Ella Daily Journal of Our Lives

https://tomandellajournal.wordpress.comhttps:/

  • All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
  • Day 78 in our Texas home
  • 35 days as Santa at Lakeline Mall, Cedar Park with 1 at La Cantera, San Antonio

2019 December 14 Saturday

2019 December 14 Saturday in Liberty Hill, Texas

The full moon this morning just before sunrise.

And then the Day Star rose.

received a call from Kerri before I left home this morning. She still needs help in San Antonio. I will be going to San Antonio after I am done at Lakeline at 2 o’clock. I will jump into Rudolf the Red Nose Pickup and head for the shops at La Cantera parkway
San Antonio TX. I’m to start at 5 o’clock there.

he thing I had dreaded most about going to San Antonio was the 2-hour drive back after 9. As I have stated previously I do not like driving in the dark. That problem has been solved because I will be spending the night in a hotel motel in San Antonio.

nd the other situation was that I was going to have to go down, work till 9, then drive all the way back, and then be at Lakeline by 10 a.m. With this new plan, I will be off work all day Sunday. Which is really good because we have laundry to do and Christmas dinner with Adam and family on Sunday evening.

bove was the plan as it was planned. This is the way it played out. The 1-1/2 hour drive took 3 hours. I parked in the mall parking lot and called the set manager. It went to voicemail. I really needed the restroom, so I went into the open-air mall to search for one. Some helpful shoppers pointed the way. I called again and it went to voicemail again. I asked directions to the Santa set from some shoppers and a young gentleman showed the way.

got to a spot where I could see the set without being too obvious (I was in full Santa suit). This time I got a call back. She let the other Santa go and escorted me into the set. We were busy until about 8:45. The set closed at 9.

hen I had to find where I’d parked the truck. I wandered around until I found a store that I remember. Once I got my bearings, I was okay.

erri sent an email with directions to the motel. I arrived at the motel about 9:30. I was told that the reservation was made but not paid for.

called Kerri, who called Becky, who called I don’t know who. But the motel would not take any of the payment options.

ome time after 10 I received directions to another motel. Before going to the motel, I stopped at What A Burger for my second meal of the day. Then I headed toward the new motel. I drove into the drive one turn too late. The motel is on a one way frontage road. That means I had to drive further down the road, cross under the freeway, take the frontage road on that side for 4 miles, cross back under the highway, take the original frontage road back to the motel and pull in the correct drive. Check in was quick and easy (and paid for).

got to my room by 11. I then called Ella to say, “I’ve landed.”

God bless and g’nite

  • Visit my devotions blog new devotions every day (nearly)

  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.wordpress.com

  • Tom and Ella Daily Journal of Our Lives

https://tomandellajournal.wordpress.comhttps:/

  • All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
  • Day 75 in our Texas home
  • 33 days as Santa at Lakeline Mall

2019 December 13 Friday

2019 December 13 Friday in Liberty Hill, Texas

gracious good morning to you! May your day be filled with wonder and joy. The sun is shining and the birds are singing … or at least making a racket.

he toll road was relatively free of traffic this morning.

I saw one vehicle stopped by the police this morning which may account for why the majority were traveling closer to the speed limit.

s of 1:00 p.m. we had a slow but steady stream of traffic to see Santa. As usual I had more visits than the photographers had photo sales. I don’t understand why they aren’t trained in any sales techniques. I don’t understand why they don’t take photos of those who “just want to talk to Santa”. It is digital photography, you have not incurred any expense by clicking the button on the camera. It costs the potential customer nothing to look at the image on the screen. If they don’t want to buy it, you’ve lost nothing. If they like the photo, you’ve turned a profit. What am I missing here?

round 1:30 I received a call from the district manager for Cherry Hill (the photography company) asking if I would be willing to go to San Antonio and cover the evening set at Rolling Oaks Mall. I said yes.

was willing to drive the hour and a half (if traffic was good), work until 9 p.m., drive the two hours home, and be back at Lakeline Mall at ten o’clock tomorrow. I was willing, but not wanting to do it. I never received a “go ahead” and at 4:30 the set manager said he was told that it was covered and I could go home. Whew!

he items I brought home yesterday for the food pantry, were taken to our church today. Ella made arrangements for a friend, who was going there tonight, to take them. I’m glad that was taken care of.

God bless and g’nite

  • Visit my devotions blog new devotions every day (nearly)

  • My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.wordpress.com

  • Tom and Ella Daily Journal of Our Lives

https://tomandellajournal.wordpress.comhttps:/

  • All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams
  • Day 74 in our Texas home
  • 32 days as Santa at Lakeline Mall