Tagged: holidays

The 2016 Christmas Door Decorating Contest

 

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At first, rumor had it that there would be no Christmas Door Decorating Contest. Then five days before judging, they announce there will be a contest. Five days is not enough time. The previous year took me three weeks to handcraft a well decorated door. And I won 1st place in H6.

This year I’m in H3, and I got 3rd place. Good enough for a dozen cookies as a prize.

The guy who won 1st place cheated. He got his door decorations from his buddy who won the H3 contest in a previous year. Then he put those same decorations on his door for this contest. It took him all of 20 minutes. The second he won, he took down the decorations and boxed them up for the next year, while everyone else still had their doors decorated. What does that tell you?

While the 1st place door only took about 20 minutes, I spent about 25 hours hand crafting a 3D snowman and cutting out approximately 100 snowflakes! Among other things. I wanted to make a beautiful 3D Christmas tree, but there simply wasn’t enough time.

It was nice to enjoy the Christmas Spirit with my wife, Suzie. She is the one who always encourages me to participate in the annual Christmas Door Decorating Contest. She brings so much warmth to my days. Suzie loves Christmas music during the holidays, so as I decorated the door, I also listened to Christmas music.

Although I’m thankful for all my blessings and my heart is filled with joy and gratitude, I must admit that it sucks that a guy can break out a winning door from last year and win again this year, with no real effort.

Then, on top of that, I didn’t even get to take a real picture with my door. I don’t know what happened. Usually they post a date and time for pictures. It seems as if they didn’t even want to do the contest at all…as a result they just rushed through it.

Oh well, it’s prison. What do you expect?

Better luck next year.

I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays!

 

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Steven Jennings

Thanksgiving In The Joint (part 2)

 

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After reading an email from my sweet wife about what she is thankful for, I realized that my previous Thanksgiving post was incomplete. I failed to mention the things that I am thankful for.

I’m thankful for having such a wonderful family. Starting with my wife. She is so incredibly kind and loving. Her dedication & loyalty is absolutely impeccable. I am so blessed to have her. Thank you, Suzie!

I’m thankful for my amazing mother and all of her love & support. Thanks, mom! I love you.

I’m thankful for my sisters, and my nieces & nephew. I’m especially thankful for my brother-in-laws and how they treat my sisters and their kids.

Wow! There’s so much to be thankful for.

I’m thankful for my Friends.
I’m thankful for my readers and followers.
I’m thankful for being in The Dog Program.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to blog.
I’m thankful to be alive and to have a release date.
I’m thankful for my Marriage.
I’m thankful for clothes to wear and food to eat.
I’m thankful for JPay.
I’m thankful for football season.
I’m thankful for Influential Books to read.
I’m thankful for my health.
I’m thankful for Stone City Blog.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to take NA classes to earn back good time.
I’m thankful for all my blessings and for all the people who love & support me.

Thank you.

 

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Steven Jennings

 

Thanksgiving In The Joint (part 1)

Thanksgiving In The Joint (part 1)

football

Football started at 9:30am and continued throughout the day. I loved that!

At 10am, they served brunch. We had:

Cold Cereal (Reece Puff)
Belgian Waffles
Fresh Danish
Scrambled Eggs
Turkey Sausage Links
White and Chocolate Milk

After brunch I came back to my cell and slipped into a bran new sweat suit. Then I crawled up on my bunk, got under the covers, and watched my fantasy football players do work! I pretty much layed in bed all day and watched football.

At 5pm, they called dinner. For being in prison the food was excellent! We had:

Turkey
Mashed Potatoes
Stuffing
Turkey Gravy
Corn on the Cobb
Yams
Cranberry Jelly
Homemade Dinner Roll
Chocolate Crème Pie

At 7pm there was a Bingo Tournament in the gym. The prizes consisted of: deodorants, toothpaste, soaps, shampoos, and body washes. I’ve played my fair share of bingo, and I gotta admit, I don’t like it. So I didn’t go play this year.

Happy Holidays.

 

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Steven Jennings

 

Thanksgiving In The Joint (part 2)

We Won The 2015 Christmas Door Decorating Contest!

 

 

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I know this post is late…but better late than never.

My wife and I won the 2015 Christmas Door Decorating Contest!!!

For the back story on this project, you can read our posts:

Christmas With My Wife
Christmas With My Husband

The prize for 1st place was a huge double layered 12”× 24” Spice Cake with white frosting. I gave most of it away. It was way too much for one person. Then I sent the winning door to Suzie. Not the actual door itself… here, let me explain:

Before I decorated the door, I sheet rocked it with cardboard. Then I attached all the decorations to the cardboard. So nothing was actually on the door except for cardboard. After we won, I just peeled off the cardboard, cut it into three sections, and stuffed it into a customized box I made for shipping. When she got it, she re-assembled it, and now has the winning masterpiece hanging on her bedroom wall.

If you look closely, there is actual popcorn and fruit loops strung on the tree. 🙂

Oh, and the snowflakes are all dangling on the door by strings of floss. When the judges came to see the door, I turned on my fan and pointed it towards the door to make the snowflakes flutter and float as if really falling from the sky. And the presents under the tree are all 3D and each have an individual Christmas tag.

Sorry I left ya all hanging for so long.

So now ya know…WE WON!

With 900 miles between us, we worked together brainstorming and putting this Christmas project together with love…and our creative teamwork proved successful.

I love doing things with my wife that helps bridge the long distance between us.

 

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Steven Jennings

Christmas With My Wife

 

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Just before December approached, I asked my wife, “Is there anything I can do for you this Christmas?”

She said, “Hmm, let me think about it.”

A couple days later she tells me, “I thought of something we can do together!”

I respond, “Reeeallly. And what might that be?”

“Well, you know how much  I love Christmas…” she began.

My baby LOVES Christmas! She goes all out. She decorates her house and the tree, listens to Christmas music as she bakes, and much more.

She sent me 20+ Christmas cards throughout December, each one was different and full of love & life. Her words were full of comfort, encouragement, memories, hope, humor, and passion. My sweet lady even sent me a personalized paper Christmas Tree to hang in my cell!

We had date nights watching holiday movies/programs together at the same time. She also sent me TONS of pictures, too. Which I absolutely LOVE!

So YES!!! I know how much she loves Christmas and this time of year.

She continued, “I’d like for us to win this year’s Christmas Door Decorating Contest.”

We’ve done this together for the last 2 years. We’ve placed 2nd and 3rd, but haven’t gotten 1st place yet. So I respond in a skeptical voice, “You want to WIN IT?!”

She says in a confident & sweet voice, “Yes. Win it for us! You’re always telling me that we can do anything we set our minds to. Lets WIN IT! We’ll do it together.”

I perk up and say, “You’re right, baby! I’m going to win it just for you!”

I’ve put over 70 hours in on decorating my door. It looks AWESOME! My wife inspires me to go above and beyond. Every second I spend crafting this door into a masterpiece, I’m thinking of my beautiful, loving wife.

(picture from 2013)

(picture from 2013)

Even though we’re almost 900 miles apart, I feel a strong spiritual connection to her.

She sends me ideas, sketches, paper cut-outs, and all kinds of creativity for the door. I send her samples of those ideas and await her approval, or her suggestions of improvement. And I love it!

I am so blessed to have such a wonderful wife. She soothes my soul and puts nothing but love and joy in my heart. The way Suzie loves me is the best gift I’ve ever received. The warmest, most powerful feelings I’ve ever known are generated by this incredible woman and her love.

Because of her, this has been one of the BEST Christmas’s since childhood. As a matter of fact, she makes me feel like a child again with all the anticipation & excitement she brings to my life. She takes me up outta this gloomy, negative prison environment.

christmas spirit

I have felt the Christmas Spirit so strongly. With every ounce of my strength & energy, I will love this woman the way God intended for a husband to love his wife.

For my wife’s perspective, please read her blog titled, Christmas With My Husband.

 

Merry Christmas!

 

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Steven Jennings

 

PS – We Won The 2015 Christmas Door Decorating Contest!

Thanksgiving 2015

 

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I went to brunch at 8:30 am. Then layed around and watched football.

Then went to dinner at 5:00 pm. I had: fried chicken, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravey, yams, fruit salad, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie w/whiped cream.

It was actually pretty darn good! I was thankful.

Then I came back, hopped up on my bunk, and watched Chicago beat Green Bay! Who knew???

From 7-7:30pm, there was a live band made up of inmates who played a few songs in the dayroom.

I’ve never seen that before…not in the unit dayroom! It was cool. They were good.

But wait!!! The festive events arn’t over yet…

Today (Friday) was the start of several tournaments. I entered the Dominoe tournament. I won my first match and advanced in the bracket.

Then I subbmitted my name for the Pie Eating Contest. Outta 60 submittions…I got randomly selected. I ate one Chocolate Cream pie in 1:28! That was good enough for 1st place! By 5 seconds!!! I got a big ribbon that says: 2015 PIE EATING CHAMPION

Then the whole unit played BINGO for bags of homemade cookies. I was sitting at a table w/two other guys. We all agreed that if anyone of us win…we’ll split the cookies 3 ways. One of us won!!! The cookies were delicious.

I am so thankful for life.

No matter where we are…life is what we make of it.

 

MEDITATION:

The great joy of life comes into my soul, flooding me with love and thanksgiving.

I do not grieve or feel sorry for myself, because nothing is lost or gone from me.

I have friends and family who love me. I have the most sensitive, loving, wife in the world.  I have inner peace with a spirit of love and appreciation.

No matter where I am, or where I go, peace, love, and serenity will follow me.

I keep my friends and family in my heart…they are always with me.

I am filled with the joy of living and the great peace that comes to all who believe in the power of love.

 

Happy Holidays To Everyone!

Enjoy your blessings & love your family.

 

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Steven Jennings

Happy Halloween!

Christmas Door Decorating Contest 2014

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My goal was to get 1st place this year. I got 3rd. Last year I got 2nd (see: Christmas Door Decorating Contest 2013).

The 2nd place winner was Mark Till (see: Mark Till). But he was sooo mad that he didn’t get a picture taken standing by his finished door. He felt the contest was rigged.

I love my 3rd place door!

The tree is 3-D made out of layered cardboard. It is strung with real popcorn, and I made the lights out of plastic spoons. The coffee table has milk and cookies on it. And I wrapped empty cardboard boxes as the 3-D presents under the tree. As you look out the window you’ll see a snowy landscape, a snowman, and Santa flying across the sky with his reindeers. But you can’t see all that because I covered my door with pictures of the people I love…my wife & family.

Even though my door placed 3rd, it’ll always be #1 in my heart 🙂

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I just thought this door was kinda funny, so I thought I’d share it. A couple of inmates painted it, but some of the staff deemed it to be inappropriate. They said it depicted gang violence. (The red snowman is a Blood. And the blue snowman is a Crip.) So they took it down. In prison, there is a serious side to everything.

 

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Steven Jennings

Christmas Day

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-8AM-

Merry Christmas everybody!

Today is going to be a great day. I just got done talking with my sweet wife. She sang me Christmas songs. I love that! So soothing. I will call her again after breakfast. She loves it when I call her. So today I will call her as much as she wants me to.

 

-9AM-

For breakfast they served:

 

Banana

Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Danish

Fried eggs

Hash browns

Biscuit w/jam

White and Chocolate milk

 

Not bad for a prison meal.

 

After I ate, I came back and called my wife again. All our lovey dovey talk really put me in a GREAT mood. I am so thankful to have this feeling of love in my life. I owe the world to my wife. She truly makes me a better man.

After we hung up, I went and read Proverbs. Then I participated in the Holiday Spades Tournament. I’ve won this tournament several times over the years. But not this year. I’m already out.

Now I’m just sitting in the dayroom writing this blog on my jp4 touch screen as I wait for a phone to open up. I’ll call my baby one more time before I go lay down and relax.

 

-3PM-

I just woke up from a nap. Today is a lazy day. I’ll stay in bed until dinner. I’ll read “The Power of Now”. I’ll watch basketball. Miami and Cleveland are on now. I’ll listen to music. I’ll meditate. I’ll lay here and dream of the day they let me go. I’ll visualize the man I want to be. Minute by minute I’ll transform my mind into the man I was born to be. Today will be an easy breezy peaceful day.

 

-7PM-

Dinner was delicious! I had:

 

Fried chicken

Scalloped potatoes

Candied yams

Corn on the cob

Pull apart rolls

Fruit salad

Pumpkin pie with topping

 

Now I am back on my bunk…..chillin. Sharring my Christmas day with all of you.

It’s an easy life in here. But first I had to get past all the loneliness and accept responsibility for all my wrong doings. I deserve to be in here. I was wrong. I must pay the price. That’s what I’m doing. As I pay my debt to society, I might as well make the best of it. How, you ask? Well my friends, just kick back and watch. I can show you better than I can tell you. I still have 15 years to do. And through this platform I invite you to ride along on this journey.

Along with my wife, friends, and family, all of YOU inspire me to achieve greatness.

Thank you for all the supportive encouraging comments.

Thank you for reading. My heart is full of love.

 

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Sincerely,

Steven

Thanksgiving

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Holidays in prison are bitter sweet.
Bitter for obvious reasons.
Sweet because I like to focus on the positive.

At 9:45am they called brunch. They served:

French toast
Strawberry syrup
Scrambled eggs
Sausages
Cinnamon roll
Raisin bran
Chocolate milk
Regular Milk

At 5:45pm they called dinner. Thanksgiving dinner consisted of:

Turkey
Cranberry sauce
Roll
Stuffing
Mashed potatoes
Corn
Gravy
Fruit salad
Pumpkin pie
Cool whip

Then I layed in my bunk and watched football.

Today is a day to be thankful. No matter where we are or how heavy our burdens seem, we all have something to be thankful for. First and foremost I want to thank God for allowing me to exist as a human.

I am thankful for my wife, my family, for all my blog supporters, and I am thankful for all the love & positive forces in my life.

I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sincerely,
Steven