Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Weekend

Noel's family (Noel, Janice, Mark and father-in-law, Bailey) arrived on Christmas Eve. We all ate dinner together at Mom's apartment and then went to the Christmas Eve Service at her church. First Baptist was beautiful!!! There were gold and glass lighted candlelabaras in the front of the church as well as in the aisle. There was a huge lighted tree on the stage and wreaths hung on the walls. I think everyone was in awe. The service itself was very dignified and consisted of instrumental/choral music and readings.

Christmas Day, Bill and I spent the morning cooking a ham dinner with all of the trimmings. At 1:00 p.m. Noel's family, Mom, Uncle Johnnie, Ian, Phyllis and her mother arrived. There were 11 adults. I set up an additional table so that we could all sit together.

After dinner, we retired to the family room. There were plenty of gifts for everyone and we enjoyed watching them being opened. Bill had wanted a dancing Christmas tree and bought Ian one as well. Mark loved our rapping rodent and learned the lyrics. He kept saying, "It's your birthday, it's your birthday!" I thought it was cute! I gave Bill some cash in a card, and surprised him with a cashmere blue robe. (He's finally domesticated enough to wear one. ) He gave me my usual jewelry and a certificate to buy clothes. Bill had given me diamond earrings a few years ago. This year, I got a necklace to match. He always teases me and tells me they are investments.

Keri called about 20 minutes ago. Her brood has reached the Stroud Exit. They have Kelli with them and will stay 5 days. Keri and Kevin just bought a Chrysler Town and Country mini van and this is the first trip. I'm glad they aren't flying. They might be stuck somewhere! Keri hasn't been to Oklahoma for 3 years so we are excited. The grandkids think we live at the cottage in Michigan or at the airport in Chicago.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Musical Address/Observations

This is the address for the New Beginnings Church Musical: www.cloud9videos.com/NBC

Bill is the director, and I am standing on the end of the first row, near the reader.

The video was taken by Chuck Edwards who is a storm chaser and works for FEMA. If you would like to see some tornado videos, you can click onto those.

We have a new teacher at our school who is very pretty, but intensely negative and uses language that is not suitable for anyone. I have gotten to know her in the past few weeks, and have come to realize that she has had a lot of pain in her life. Most of our teachers are born again believers and just naturally care about each other. This particular lady has never worked in such an environment and has expressed her appreciation to us over and over. I have noticed a real change in her. It has become obvious to me that the people who have the greatest emotional pain in their lives choose one of two roads - to become bitter and turn away from God, or they get closer to God and become one of the sweetest people on earth. It's really important for us who know Christ to continue loving those hurting people.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Party/Hospital/Musical

Friday evening, The Language Company had a Christmas party for students and teachers together. We had an international potluck, a sing-a-long (led by Bill and myself) and a game of Dirty Santa. It was hilarious! Also, our director gave all of the teachers gifts from himself for Christmas that were very nice. Movie certificates for the men, and pedicure certificates for the women. We were surprised because we had received Christmas bonuses from the company already.

Saturday morning, we had a two hour choir practice at the church. Bill and I had planned to go to Wal-Mart in the afternoon, but changed our minds when we saw the line of traffic. We ate lunch at Denny's and then went grocery shopping at FireLake.

Saturday evening I called Mom to check on her. She said she was dizzy and couldn't keep her balance when walking. I insisted on picking her up and taking her to ER at Unity Hospital at 6:30 p.m. Upon arrival, her blood pressure was 210 over 103. I didn't know that was possible! Stroke signs. She was given medication and every test possible. By 11:30 p.m. her pressure had dropped significantly and she was given the choice of staying for observation or going home with me. She chose to go home, but not to my home! This morning, she called and told me that she was feeling fine and was planning to teach her Sunday School class. I was not pleased, but have learned not to fight her. I just turn her over to God I will call her again in another hour.

This morning, we sang our Christmas musical. It will be on the internet tomorrow. We'll watch it before giving our friends the address to be sure it is worth listening to. We were very pleased with the live performance. Even better, was the fact that 4 of our Muslim students came to church for the first time. Also, my friend, Sam, who manages Granny's Convenience Store attended. Sam is my Muslim friend from Pakistan who always talks to me when I pay cash for my gasoline. Sam loved the music, and said he would come back to my Bible Study class. After our concert, Pastor Larry gave an invitation. One thing he said stood out in my mind. He said, "Jesus paid the price for our sin, and made a way for us to go to heaven. If anyone knows a better way and is sure of it, they should be advertising it to the world." Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can go to the Father, but by me." I believe He had the authority to say that, and was not a liar. Please watch for the internet address.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

More Holiday Fun

Last Sunday, we had a low attendance in Bible Study because many people stayed home to prepare for the big Christmas dinner which was held after worship. The church furnished ham and turkey. I counted 6 tables of vegetables and salads, and 4 tables of desserts. I baked macadamia white chocolate cookies. During the service, our 16 voice choir sang, "Come, Let Us Adore" from our musical which will be sung next week. That particular number is Black Gospel style, and makes us all want to dance!

Today, we had a birthday party for all of our students and teachers with birthdays in December. It is especially nice because we have a large population of Saudi Arabian students who have never celebrated their birthday before. We enjoy showing them how Americans celebrate life! The "cake" was a snowman made from 24 cupcakes. He was soooo cute!

I have been teaching reading and writing in the morning, and in the afternoon. Our classes have been stretched from 50 minutes to 1 hour each so that we can take off the week after Christmas with pay.

Last night, I chatted with Kelli. Her university doesn't have snow days, and she has to keep the media working everyday. I'm glad she loves her job!

There have been more Christmas cards in the mailbox this year. I'm surprised! They are beautiful and I really enjoy them! Thanks!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Fun!

This morning, I was so glad that it was Saturday! I slept until 7:00 a.m. and then cooked scrambled eggs, bacon and cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Then, I baked macadamia white choco cookies for the church Christmas dinner tomorrow.

Yesterday, I taught my four classes, and then drove home quickly to make a taco casserole and punch and coffee for the choir potluck and practice at our house. Fifteen people were able to attend. We have some very talented strong singers! I wondered if our neighbors were enjoying the music as much as we were. Bill was pleased with the practice!

Tony, the director of our language school, asked me to arrange another Christmas party for the teachers at Gliori's Italian Restaurant. Last Tuesday night, Ian and Phyllis opened the restaurant just for 12 of us. It was decorated so pretty for Christmas! We exchanged gifts, and I came away with a large bag of potpouri, and Bill received a mixture of Hershey's chocolates. When we left, snow was coming down and the car was covered. Tecumseh is an old small town that has been given a facelift. It looked just like a quaint movie set!

On Christmas Day, I just learned that Uncle Johnny will be joining us for dinner. Mom, Noel, Janice, Mark and Bailey (Janice's Dad) will also be with us. Yeah! Keri's family and Kelli still plan to drive from Chicago and Grand Rapids in time for New Year's. The kids are practicing their songs to perform for the family party.

Looking ahead, Bill made plane reservations this morning for us to fly to California in February. God just keeps blessing me! I don't have to imagine what life would be like without Christmas. I lived it in Japan. Many Americans have no idea what our country would be like without God and his Son, Jesus. No Christmas carols, no lights, no spirit of giving etc. etc. I never want to forget, and I want to appreciate Christmas!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday Activities

I always enjoy the holiday season because I don't have time to think about my problems. All of my time is taken with thinking about what I am going to do for someone else. It's fun to shop for others! (That's one reason why I still teach.) Saturday morning, I got my nails done, and then Bill and I went to the mall. We found some really cute stuff for the grandkids which I will keep a secret until after Christmas. Then, Bill insisted on taking me to a jewelry store to look at some items. He is more than generous to me at this time of year.

After shopping, we saw the movie, "Morning Glory". I have always liked Harrison Ford, and the movie is just plain fun. We also saw the movie, "Evan Almighty" on TV. What a message! Morgan Freeman was great!

Yesterday, we had 14 for Bible Study. We studied Isaiah 61. You can't read that chapter and feel depressed. It is full of hope and pure joy. We also had a full choir rehearsal for the Christmas musical following the worship service. The members amaze me with their dedication and desire to sing for God. It was late after choir practice, so we went to Santa Fe Cattle Co. for lunch. I ordered a half slab of ribs. It was too much, and I brought some home.

Today, I begin a new session at school. Again, I was begged to teach more than just mornings. They tried a new teacher last session who had no idea what she was doing when it came to teaching beginners how to write. So, I'm teaching from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00p.m. That's not too bad because we get a week off for Christmas. Yeah! I'm so glad I live in a country that still recognizes Christmas. That was not the case in Japan! Not even on the calendar!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Giving Thanks

It has been a while since I posted a blog because we were gone to Springfield for the Thanksgiving Holidays, and Bill had to use both computers to catch up on the class he teaches for GCU when we returned.

We took Mom with us to Springfield last Thursday morning. It had rained during the night, but was sunny and beautiful as we drove. When we reached the Springfield city limits we noticed cars driving toward us that were covered with snow. Soon, we also were driving in light snow. We enjoyed the snow falling for a few hours.

When it was time to go out for dinner, Noel said he didn't feel well enough to go, but insisted that we continue with our plans while he stayed home to sleep. Mom said she would stay with him. So, Galen, Sondra, Janice, Mark, Bill and I went to Golden Corral. However, when we arrived we noticed that the parking lot was completely filled and there was a line going out the door. We all agreed that we were NOT interested in joining the crowd. It didn't take long to decide to go to Applebee's which was across the road. There was no waiting there! We had chcken, steaks, appetizers, salads and much more. We didn't miss the turkey at all. That evening, we ate pies that Sondra had made and opened some Christmas gifts. Noel was feeling better by then.

On Friday, Galen and Sondra left to go back to Jason's in Oklahoma. In the afternoon, Bill drove the rest of us in Noel's mini van to Branson. We checked into the Ramada Inn which was across the street from Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede. We had reserved tickets for the Christmas Show. Again, Noel did not feel like going and stayed at the hotel. The rest of us went to the show which featured a huge chicken dinner that you eat with your hands. Mark hated that and tried to use two toothpicks which didn't work! The Dixie Stampede Christmas show must be one of the best in Branson! It was our second time to go, and both times there were one thousand people. It is a mix of Las Vegas and Hollywood and is extremely well organized!!! We thought the live nativity was fantastic. It was so beautiful, regal, and done with dignity. I saw many people wiping away tears.

We drove back to Springfield on Saturday morning, and went to the Battlefield Mall in the afternoon. We got excited when we noticed The Body Shop. They had a special, so we stocked up!

On Sunday, Bill and I took Mark with us to the Ridgecrest Baptist Church on Republic Avenue. It is relatively close to Noel and Janice's home. That church has it together! Wow! We loved the orchestra, the duet, the quartet, the congregational singing and the message. We were so impressed with the presentation. I felt like I was at Glorieta. I was reminded that I have so much to be grateful for. I have a great family, and more blessings than I deserve! Thank you, Lord! The problems of this past year are nothing compared to what I have in Christ.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Holiday Season

Bill and I put up our Christmas tree on Saturday morning. (We also stored our patio furniture in the shed.) We figured we had better get ready for the holiday season because our calendar shows a non-stop chain of events for the next several weeks. My next blogs should be filled!!

This week was a bit crazy! Our Muslim students celebrated Hog last Tuesday and 20 of them did not come to class. Then, on Friday, our boss came from Edmond to observe all of our classes. My "preemie" students sang a jazzy song about the days of the week, and had a spelling race on the whiteboard. After my boss left the room, my students smiled and held up their thumbs to let me know that they had done a great job. It made me laugh, and I told them how proud I was of them.

Galen and Sondra arrived this week, but had the flu. They are planning to go with us to Springfield for Thanksgiving weekend.

Keri threw a 40th birthday party for Kelli this weekend in Chicago. The big surprise was that Kirk flew in after attending a conference in Atlanta. And his wife, Tamra flew in from California. I wish we could have been there, but I'm so happy that the 3 Ks are so close and love each other so much! I pray to God that in spite of distance, they will always be close.

Sunday is always great! I accompanied Bill on the trumpet, and Suzanne and Robert on clarinets this morning. We played, "I'll Fly Away". During communion, I began to wonder how anyone could doubt Jesus' divinity. No one but Jesus would have endured the cross without any verbal defense, or at least tried to run away. He came to our world with purpose and died for us with such dignity!! During the invitation, a young couple who plans to be married next week came for baptism. God is good!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekend ESL Conference

I am still recovering from my hospital visit, but felt it was necessary to attend the conference for Oklahoma ESL teachers. Our school is in the middle of an accreditation, and the powers that be will be looking to see that teachers are up to date. Six of us drove to Tulsa together in the school van after classes on Friday. It was raining, but beautiful! There is a lot of countryside between Oklahoma cities. I loved watching the horses and cows standing lazily under trees of red, yellow and green leaves. Ducks floated in ponds nearby.

We stayed at the Park Inn which is next to the Tulsa Airport, and near Tulsa Community College where the conference was held. TCC is a new campus on the north side and very modern. We were treated to catered meals, and spent almost every minute in seminars that we had to account for. My favorite was titled, "Music and Language". That was pure fun for me! During the Director's meeting, some of us visited with Desiree Jang and saw her new baby. Desiree was our former director in Shawnee. She's living in Tulsa now while her husband, James, works on his M.D. He was busy learning to sew up patients after heart surgery at a nearby hospital.

After arriving back in Shawnee on Saturday evening, Bill and I got up early on Sunday so I could teach Bible Study, and Bill direct choir rehearsal. Pete came by our house last week on his bike to pick up copies of the music and a CD. He dropped out of choir to leave retirement and go back to work as a jet mechanic at Tinker Field. His days were cut, so we now have 17 in the choir.

After choir practice, Bill and I had a quiet lunch at Cracker Barrel. As soon as we reached home, I fell asleep in our Lazy Boy couch, and Bill went to work on his on-line class. Now, it is Monday, and we are back to class again. I'm only teaching two classes in the mornings, and I am celebrating my schedule! Thank you, God! I can feel His presence through these busy days!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Family Excitement

Happy Birthday, Sofia! My granddaughter turned 6 years old on Saturday, November 6th. She had a birthday party with 9 friends. She called to thank us for her gifts and couldn't wait to tell us about the garden cake that her mother, Keri, had made with M&Ms and other candies. Sofia, we are so glad that God created you! You bring us such joy! I can't wait to see the pics on your mother's blog!

My youngest brother, Roger, just bought a bigger and better sailboat. It is 36 feet, has a full kitchen, radar, GPS system, and can make fresh water from salt water. Roger's dream is to sail to Hawaii. The boat is docked in Ventura, California.

Kirk just returned from a vacation to Hawaii with his wife, Tamra. While on the Big Island, a fellow hiker broke her leg in 3 places. While Kirk prayed, one of the bones moved back into place. Tamra, an RN, wrapped the leg with beach towels, and the small group of hikers carried the lady 2 miles to a waiting boat. One of the hikers was Jewish and said she couldn't wait to tell her Christian boyfriend about watching one of the bones miraculously move into place. Cool stuff! Kirk has also been given a scholarship to go to a Billy Graham evangelism conference in Nashville the end of this month.

Congratulations, Kelli! She just learned today that she has been elected to serve on the Board of Directors for the Western Michigan Public Relations Society. It is a three year term. I'm so glad for her since she has had many negative personal issues this year. God is watching over her, and is rewarding her for her faithfulness to Him! She's a beautiful, sweet girl! I'm not prejudiced. Ha!

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm Home from the Hospital

Yep! I have joined the club of Senior Citizens who have to watch their health! I was awakened from sleep around 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning. I had severe pain shooting through my left chest. It persisted, so Bill gave me an aspirin and called the Blue Cross Blue Shield hotline for advice. An R.N. advised me to go to ER as quickly as possible. After going through the drill in ER, I was admitted for further tests and observation. After hours of poking , prodding, squeezing, and 9 visitors, I was released to go home at 4 p.m. yesterday. I was so exhausted, I got into my own bed and slept from 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 a.m. this morning without waking once! I learned that my heart is undamaged, and that the pain was from severe muscle spasms caused from stress. Thankfully, there is medication for that. The doctor also said that working part-time is good for me. (While questioning me, the doctor asked me if I was a teacher. I said, "yes" and then asked him why he asked. He said, I used words like "subsided and other vocabulary that Okies don't use. Bill and I just started laughing.) Other than Mom, my own family does not live in Oklahoma. I learned just how great it is to have a church family. My pastor came to pray for me at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, and 8 other friends showed up as soon as worship service had finished. I feel so blessed to be loved by God's family.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

T-Town Is Proud!

The elections are over and Tecumseh is proud! Oklahoma made history by electing its first woman governor. She is Mary Fallin (R), from Tecumseh. Our current governor is Brad Henry (D), from Shawnee. These governors have known each other since they were children because their parents were involved in politics and civic affairs. Also, James Lankford (R) is our new House Rep. Lankford has been director of Falls Creek Baptist Assembly. It is Oklahoma's state camp, but is similar in size and scope to Glorieta. They are mere humans, but it's nice to know that some conservatives are doing their best for our state and nation for awhile. I will put my faith and trust in God, not government.

Mom is feeling much better, and thinks the swelling in her foot has gone down. Perhaps the swelling made her blood pressure go sky high??

I gave tests this morning. My "newbys" did very well. They all made 98% on an 8 page exam. They did so well, I taught them how to play the spelling game that we all know. They were so eager that I had to take off points if they blurted out the answer without spelling the phrase. Why is self-c0ntrol such a difficult skill to learn?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Up and Down Weekend

Mom called me at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. Bill and I were just finishing a blueberry pancake breakfast. Mom was not feeling well and wanted me to take her blood pressure. It had been as high as 190. She often "doctors" herself, and had doubled her medication. That scares me! I took her to the pharmacy where I needed to pick up some meds for Bill, and her pressure was down. Therefore, she refused to let me take her to ER. I took her home, and told her I would check on her. She also has my cell number. By noon, she was doing okay, so Bill and I took a drive to Newalla and Harrah. We had never been there, and were just curious. We got a Dr. Pepper at Sonic and drove home. Mom did well through Sunday, but stayed home from church.

My Bible Study Class is coming back after the summer months. We had 15 on Sunday. Our new fellow from Brazil has become a believer, and had us all in tears as he described how God had changed his life. He told his father that he loved him for the first time via a letter. The lesson was about how important it is to get the head knowledge into your heart. We also discussed the importance of saying, "I love you" to our family, our friends and to God.

Mom gave me a list, so I will shop for her this afternoon. I also mailed Sofia's birthday gift and card today. Sofia's gift is a frilly winter night gown with a matching one for her doll. I really enjoy buying for my grandkids! I can hardly wait until they come for the holidays!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bill's Mr. Pumpkin


Having Fun!

Yesterday, I had a lot of fun with my classes. I taught them to sing, "Ole MacDonald Had A Farm". The students were hearing it for the first time, and just rolled with laughter! Some pulled out their cell phones so that they could make a video.

In the afternoon, I took some sugar-free lemon cake to Mom. When I arrived, Bea, Shirley and Mom were engrossed in a game of Mexican Train. I joined them for the last 3 rounds. They are a hoot! These ladies play together every Thursday afterrnoon after Mom gets her hair done. I hope to have friends like that if I live to be 87 years old.

Last evening, I cooked an unusual meal (for me). Bill wanted smoked sausages, saurkraut, and mashed potatoes. Bill's mother was full-blood German, and that meal seems to be common in northern Michigan.

Today, our school had a Halloween Party. I didn't dress up, but I did wear my pumpkin necklace that flashes light. Bill always wears his clown wig of many colors. Every year, the students decorate pumpkins with marker pens, eat cupcakes and drink cidar. It's the first Halloween for most of the kids, and they loved taking pictures of each other in costume.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sad Week

One of my colleagues was very excited about the birth of a second daughter last Monday. His wife had a planned C-section. Without any indication that anything was wrong, the baby was born dead. It was full-term, so a funeral is planned for tomorrow. Our faculty is a "family", so we collected money to help out. Fortunately, the couple who lost the baby has a strong faith, and are trusting God to see them through this tragedy. They have chosen not to be bitter, and to look forward to the day when they will see their little girl in heaven.

Bill and I signed the closing papers for the cottage yesterday. It was like a funeral for Bill. He had spent every summer of his life at that cottage. Like everything in our lives, things change. We move on, but we never forget. I have been reminded that I should not become too attached to earthly, material things. Bill didn't feel hungry last night, so I made him a cherry pie from scratch. He ate two pieces!

I have been watching the upcoming elections very closely. Somehow, I don't think the Republicans or anyone else are going to be able to turn this country around very quickly. So much damage has been done. I also know that we are getting closer everyday to the end times that are talked about in the Bible. The majority of the younger generation does not honor God, are financially irresponsible and don't have any desire to be independent. They rather like being taken care of by other people (especially the government). That sets us up for the 666 to take over. This just indicates that the Bible is true. I'm not afraid! I know the end of the story!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Beautiful Fall Weekend

Friday, during my lunchbreak at school, Mom invited me and Bill to come for dinner. With her housekeeper's help, she had made some more chicken with potatoes and carrots. When I told Mom that we would love to come, she made a peach cobbler to go with ice cream and wore herself out! She was suffering with back pain when we arrived. Bill and I took over, set the table and cleaned up after dinner.

Saturday, we had thunderstorms most of the day. I enjoyed watching our squirrels run to get acorns that were being blown off of our oak trees between the downpours. We spent the morning on the phone with Keri and Kelli who were orchestrating the final move from the Michigan cottage. The move is finished now, and we will sign the closing papers on the sale this week. About 4 p.m. Bill and I went to the $1.50 theater in Shawnee and saw, "The Sourcer's Apprentice". It is a Disney movie and a take off from "Fantasia". The downtown Shawnee streets were crowded with children and their parents who were trick-or-treating the businesses. Next weekend, the kids will all be in Tecumseh.

This morning, we had great Bible Study class! Another young couple joined us. The husband is from Brazil. We read many scriptures where Jesus proclaimed that He is God and is the only way to heaven. Again, Jesus is God, or He was an incredible liar. We all make the choice. Our guest speaker during worship was a fellow from Mexico who is beginning a Spanish Bible study in our church. After worship, we had choir practice for Christmas. We have 16 members.

We were so hungry after choir, that we headed for Wendy's. They have the best Baja Salad! After eating, we went to the Pumpkin Patch and bought a big round one for Bill to carve. He does this for me every year. I guess it's the kid in us! I really love the fall season, and thank God for colorful leaves, and beautiful skies!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Anniversary Party with Family

Last Tuesday, I finished my classes and waited for DanRan to check the heating unit in our house. After hearing that everything was in order for winter, I went to Mom's apartment to see Noel, Janice, Mark and Bailey. Mom and Janice were in the middle of a Mexican Domino game, so I sat down and joined them. At 4:30 p.m. we wrapped things up and drove to Delta Cafe for dinner. It was Noel and Janice's wedding anniversary! My cousins, Sharon (from Little Rock) and Susan (from OKC) met us. Bill also drove from school to meet us. We had a good time chatting and swapping stories. I thank God for such a close and loving family. We are all Christians and on the "same page".

Yesterday, I was feeling good about the house being in good shape. And then-----the kitchen sink started backing up after I put some old rice down the garbage disposal. Kelli told me over the phone to put some ice cubes in it frequently to clean the "gunk" out. I guess I should be grateful that I haven't called a plumber since we have lived here - except to check the AC lines.

The new students who gave me so much trouble the first week of this session have turned out to be my best friends! They are very bright, and gave me high marks on the teacher evaluations today! Thank you, God, for being in my classroom everyday!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

God Answers Prayer!!!!!

Friday evening, I was asked by Pastor Larry to lead one of several simultaneous prayer groups in our church at Sherry Sparks home. The first thing I noticed when I drove up to her home was a political sign. I was taken back because the sign advertised one of the fellows that I had met at our Frontier Days Parade. He was also the one that could not tell me about his spiritual life. He just wanted to babble on about his grandmother's faith. Upon entering Sherry's house, I asked her if she knew something about this guy that I didn't know. She smiled, and said, "Yes!" The politician had gone door to door and talked to Sherry. She mentioned my encounter with him at Frontier Days. He said that he remembered me very well. Our conversation had bothered him so much that he went to church the next Sunday, and "got right with God". Sherry couldn't wait to tell me!

Saturday afternoon, Bill and I saw the movie, "Secretariat" . Great movie! (Especially, if you like to hear the Edwin Hawkins singers do "Oh Happy Day". When we returned home from the movie, there was a message on the phone that my brother, David had tried to call. I returned the call. He said he had some very good news! (I needed some good news!) Doctors had sent samples of David's cells to a lab to see what stage his cancer was in. The lab called the hospital to say THEY ARE NOT CANCER!! Yeah, God!

This morning, my Bible Study group studied the uniqueness of Jesus Christ. In all history, you cannot find anyone like Him. One either believes He is the Son of God, or you have to say that He is the biggest liar that ever lived. Mike Taylor preached a similar message in our worship service. His main point was that everyone uses faith in their daily lives. We CAN believe if we want to. People simply choose not to believe so that they won't be accountable, or because they don't want their friends or family to be accountable. Bill played, "He Was There All the Time" on his trumpet and I accompanied on the piano during the offertory. After worship, we had Christmas Choir practice. We now have 18 members singing. The musical is, "A Love to Save the World". It's a mixture of traditional and modern music. My favorite is "O Come Let Us Adore Him" in black gospel style.

Bill and I are emotionally tired this week. After two failed attempts to sell the cottage, it seems to be selling. Keri and Kelli have been working with us to move the last of the furniture. It's heart wrenching for all of us to see the cottage go. I still get so emotional and cry whenever I have to say good-bye to things and people I love. I'm so glad I have Jesus. He will never leave me, nor forsake me!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Oklahoma Earthquake

This morning, around 9:15 a.m., my classroom began shaking and continued for several seconds. Being on the third floor contributed to the swaying effect, I'm sure! It was a 4.5 in Shawnee. Growing up in California, and living in Japan, it was nothing new to me. However, my students had never experienced an earthquake and expressed intense fear. I calmed them down and we finished our lesson without further incidence. God still shows his power in earthquakes and storms. Man can't control them, and can only pray.

My second class was a completely different challenge for me. One of my students insisted on accepting two calls on his cell phone in the middle of my reading and writing class. He knew the rules but thought he didn't have to follow them. (I thought about the teacher who recently took a student's phone and threw it on the floor. I didn't do that.) I looked at this big guy in the eyes and told him that he was welcome to leave and be on the next plane back to his country. I would continue to teach. He became very sorry and promised it would not happen again. I felt that I had established my authority as a woman teacher.

This afternoon, I took Mom with me shopping. She didn't want to stand in line, so she went to customer service and they rang up her purchases. Then, she wanted me to do the same. I told her I didn't mind waiting my turn in line. I had to smile at what she gets away with because she is 87 years old!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Weekend Events

Sunday Bible Study was a bit different yesterday. We took our laptop computer to church and showed my brother, David's talk on Transformation. David shared that he had attended many seminars while in prison on how to change one's behavior. He pointed out that none of the seminars educated the prisoners on how to change one's thinking which ultimately dictates our behavior. Of course, we know that our thinking cannot be changed unless we yield to the control of the Holy Spirit. During the discussion which followed, it was pointed out that most of us are continually being transformed. Anyone wanting a copy of this DVD can have one by contacting me. I have David's permission to share his message.

We had our second Christmas musical practice following the worship service. I'm getting in the Christmas spirit just listening to the choir sing. After choir, we went to Van's Barbeque. It is one of Shawnee's oldest restaurants and is owned by Brad Pitt's aunt and uncle. We saw Butch and Sandra Bradley while there. Sandra is our Director of Admissions.

In the evening, my baby brother, Roger, called. He just had a birthday and is 49 years old. He went with two of his friends to Mexico and had a great fishing trip. David had told me that Roger invited the family over for a big fish fry! I always enjoy talking to Roger and catching up on his three college age kids and his church. Roger is Church Administrator and is excited about the growth of his church in So. California. When he's not at church, he's either sailing or fishing!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Indian Summer

This has been an unusually warm fall weekend! They call it Indian Summer. Yesterday, I had my hair cut late in the afternoon. I got home about 6:30 p.m. so Bill and I decided to go to Zocolo's Mexican Restaurant in Tecumseh for dinner. While there, we visited with Darrell and Monta who live across the street from us. The evening was so balmy that they had come on a motorcycle.

This morning, I cooked breakfast and then drove to Mom's to meet my cousin, George and his wife, Pat. (Bill was working on his class.) They had driven from their home in Springfield, Illinois to be a part of a memorial service for their friend, Tom. Tom had experienced the Trail of Tears walk with George a few years back. Because George had been asked to bring the tribal blessing, he was dressed in his traditional Potawatomi clothing. When he emerged from Mom's guestroom I could hear the jingle of the bells.

This afternoon, Bill and I drove to the Country Cottage Lavender Farm. It is about 10 miles from our house. The cottage is a gift shop surrounded by lavender gardens and trees. We were served lavender lemonade as we browsed. I found a few Christmas gifts and bought a mulberry candle for us. I have never been able to walk away from a beautiful candle!

The pumpkin patch is set up every year just a few blocks from our house on Hwy 9. There are strings of white lights all around it, and a train pulled by a tractor for the kids to ride for free. In spite of the 90 degree days, I feel like fall has arrived when I see the piles of pumpkins. I'm always in awe that God has designed the seasons to come and go so perfectly.

I was happy to note that my friend, Danny, came through his back surgery. God does answer prayer!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Warm October

The high today is 85 and expected to go up to 90 degress tomorrow! Yes, that is above average for our area. I really don't mind because the nights are cool. Due to the swing in temperature, several of our students have been suffering with colds. I stocked up on medicines this week and bought Bill some new winter slippers. I feel like a mother squirrel getting her nest ready for the winter months. Maybe I'm just a little bit smarter about winter in Oklahoma than I use to be!

Last week, Bill cleaned the eaves around the house. While on the ladder, he noticed some damage to a patio beam, and the screens. Our friend, David Buoy, is coming out tomorrow to repair and add some skirting to the bottom of the screened patio portion. We are hoping that we don't have to sweep every time Bill mows the lawn.

We just learned that 2 students from Ivory Coast and 4 new students from Saudi Arabia are arriving this weekend. The new Saudis are cousins to the students we presently have. I have already been asked to take these "newbys" under my wing and teach them to read and write. It takes patience, but I have to admit that it is rewarding to see them read their first paragraph and be able to communicate in English. I pray everyday for my classes and know that I must give God the credit when they do well.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Beautiful Monday

It was quite cool last night. It got down to 38 degrees. However, this afternoon it is nearly 75 degrees! After classes this morning, I got the oil changed in my car and took some clothes to the Salvation Army. (I'm not much for garage sales unless I'm moving.) When I arrived home, the weather was so beautiful that I wanted to spend some time outdoors. I trimmed bushes, and cut down my plants that have stopped bearing. Sounds Biblical, doesn't it?

I felt that we had a really good Bible Study class on Sunday. The lesson was about how our society has a tendency to want to re-write the Bible and make sin relative. We discussed how our judicial system and laws would be constantly changing if there were no absolutes and no truth. It would always depend on who the judges were at the time as to what is right or wrong.

After service, Bill directed our first Christmas choir rehearsal for this season. We practiced until 1:00 p.m. and felt very hungry. We headed for Golden Corral, and then only had popcorn for a snack before going to bed.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tears and Laughter

It's October, and I have been warned that this is Satan's month to celebrate before the month of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sure enough! I had to deal with a couple of people yesterday who created some very unpleasant situations. Uncle Johnie refused to go anywhere but home in spite of the doctor's warning. ( It reminded me of my mother after her surgery.) I finally told him I would drive him home if he would let me stop and get the food Mom had cooked for him. I drove him the 10 miles into the country and left him after notifying his neighbors and a deacon in his church of the situation. I felt so bad!

Last summer, we cleaned out the cottage and said our goodbyes to neighbors. Yesterday morning, the real estate agent called to say that we have a buyer. It was hard once again especially for Bill.

My day only got worse! I received a call in the evening that my brother, David, has cancer of the esophogus, stomach and intestines. He was in excellent spirits as usual. His doctors want to try some new treatments that are available. My family is praying for God to be glorified in this situation.

Today, Bill and I hosted 16 of our students and another teacher's family at Gliori's Italian Restaurant for lunch. After the meal, they came to our home and played basketball and soccer in the park. At 2:30 p.m. we turned on the TVs in the livingroom and the familyroom so that everyone could watch the OU football game against Texas. OU won! I served ice cream bars and drinks. That was fun!

Kelli is going to Nashville this weekend to teach church journalism to college students. Later in the month, she plans to go up to the cottage and sell the remaining furniture for us. She is looking forward to going up to the North Woods area when the leaves are turning colors.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day at the Hospital

I picked Mom up at 7:00 a.m. to reach Unity Hospital and see Uncle Johnie before he went in for carotid artery surgery. Bill met us there in his car. One of the ladies from my church was at the information desk and directed us to the prep rooms. My cousin, Joe Glasgow and Gerald Belts (my uncle's neighbor of 31 years) were with him when we arrived. We prayed with him and kissed him before they wheeled him away. We all had breakfast in the Unity Cafe before Bill left for school. On the way out, Bill and I went by Pastor Larry's office. He is hospital chaplain. He was surprised to see us!

While sitting together in the surgery waiting room, I became aquainted with "little" Joe. I had been best friends with his father, Joe, when we were kids. Joe and I were both born in 1948 and enjoyed playing together at family reunions. I also spent a week with him at Falls Creek when we were 14 years old. Joe grew up to be an electrician but died several years ago. I miss him! His son, Joe, shoes horses all over the county. He's as sweet as his Dad was and has the same Oklahoma drawl. Before leaving the hospital, Joe told us that Uncle Johnie said he does not want Taps played at his funeral. He wants Revellie (sp?) because he doesn't intend to sleep. He will be ready to wake up!!

Dr. Weins came in two hours later and told us that Uncle Johnie was doing extremely well. Dr. Weins remembered doing Mom's surgery and sat down to talk. He is a Christian who attends Immanuel Baptist Church and has been on several mission trips. While looking at this young, handsome doctor, I was thinking about Bill Maher's comments on TV last night. He said, "Christians are lunatics, and that we are all selfish and belong in mental hospitals." What a loving, tolerant statement to make when people don't agree with your progressive ideas.

When my uncle recovered, the nurses asked me and Mom to stick around so that we could answer any questions they needed. We were glad to do so, and Uncle Johnie seemed so glad to see us. When he fell asleep, we left and I arrived home about 3:30 p.m. I'll take Mom back to the hospital tonight. Bill is teaching another on-line class, so he won't be able to go back.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Keri, Happy Birthday!

Today is Keri's birthday. She was a very special baby because she was the first grandchild on both sides, and she was the first baby girl in the family since I was born. Besides that, 8 boys had been born in the hospital before her on that Sunday. The nurses were cheering! Keri, you are still special. You are the "go to" lady when people need something organized. Cal Baptist still flies you from Chicago to California when they need help with their special project teams. You are gifted, and you have never forgotten that God gave you your abilities. That keeps you sweet and humble.

I was reminded yesterday of how God takes care of the smallest details of my life. I showed my doctor a "bug bite" next to my left eye. He told me it would go away soon. Four months later, I showed him my "bug bite" which had increased in size. He shrugged and said, "The longer you're in the water, the more barnacles you get." I wasn't pleased! I went home and started putting Clearasil on it everyday to hide the pink color and prayed. Guess what? This week, that "bug bite" is completely gone. I keep touching it to make sure it hasn't come back.

Two years ago, I bought some sweat pants with a matching shirt at JCPenney. They were such a pretty blue and so soft that I asked Bill to get me some more last Christmas. The store was completely out, and I couldn't find any online. Yesterday, I went shopping and as is my practice, I prayed. I found a chocolate brown pantsuit that actually fits me for half price at Dillard's, and then I wondered around JCPenney. Yes! They had my sweats back in stock and they were half price!!! I didn't hesitate. I bought two sets! The ice storms can come. I'm ready!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Afternoon

It's a jeans and sweatshirt afternoon. It's 68 degrees! Yesterday, I made cinnamon rolls, and we enjoyed our breakfast on the screened patio which reminds us that the weather can change back and forth during the fall months. It's great to turn off the AC for awhile.

Last Friday, Noel called and chatted with me about new landline phones. I ordered the same ones that he and Janice have. I want the (free) third phone for the family room because I can't remember to carry my cell phone with me around the house. And, I don't run as fast as I use to. Smile. Then, on Saturday, Noel did some research for me and checked on the best humidifiers for winter. Our old one gave up the ghost! I'm glad he subscribes to Consumer Reports and knows so much about electronics.

Last night, David called. After being apart for years, it's so cool to be able to just chat! He had been to a rodeo in California with Galen's family. The announcer told lots of jokes, so he passed this one on to me: The woman downhill skiier who won gold medals at the last winter Olmpics had to give her awards to Obama. Why? Because no one could go downhill as fast as he can! As far as politics go, I don't trust the Democrats or the Republicans. Too much government always becomes corrupt. History shows us that everywhere! Kirk still sees it in Haiti.

There were two new visitors in my Bible Study this morning - a lady, and a young college student who wanted to attend with his parents. We discussed the fact that God is not only our creator, but desires to be intimately involved in our lives. I listened to an interview this week with Captain Scott Smiley, who has just written a book entitled, "Hope Unseen". He had been a man of faith until he lost his eyesight. His wife (who is gorgeous) and friends prayed for him without ceasing. He realized that without faith in God and the people around him, he could never lead a quality life again. Since then, he has learned to surf solo, and to jump out of airplanes. He is also the first blind person to be kept on active military duty with serious responsibilities. God is so good at making lemonade out of lemons. We have to quit thinking of ourselves as "victims" and begin to look for the victory! God makes us accountable, and that is a good thing! We all run from God at times. When we stop, He wraps His arms around us in love and all the bitter pain inside us subsides.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Memories

My mother made each of her 7 children a memory book from the time we were born until we were adults. She saved everything! There are recital programs, newspaper articles of our achievements and pictures of everyone in my life - including boys who hung around me that I didn't much care for. I also found report cards for my own children that I had sent her from St. Vincent. Keri and Kelli, you did very well! You were in a British private school (St. Joseph's) and ranked 3rd and 4th over all in your classes. Guess what? Your best grades were in English, vocabulary and spelling. Kirk, I found a valentine that you made for "mummy". Very British and sweet!

Speaking of memories, Bill and I saw the funniest movie this afternoon. "It's You Again" The plot is about women who were jealous of each other in high school. Often the "loser" turns out to be the winner. It also points out how some women never grow up and get over being jealous. You know a bunch of senior citizens were at the theater because we all stayed to listen to the closing song. Darrell Oates and John Hall sang, "Your kiss, your kiss is on my lips; Your kiss, your kiss is what I miss"

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pretty Red Geraniums

I thought my red geraniums were finished a month ago, but I'm glad I was patient with them!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall Days Have Arrived

The temperature is gradually getting cooler and rain is expected this weekend. I love summer, but I'm ready for the change of seasons. I am teaching part-time, but my schedule has stayed busy. On Monday afternoon, I took one of the Key Lime pies I made to my friend, Lorna. She received a kidney transplant from a young donor who was killed in a car accident. Lorna is so humbled by this event. She told me that she had read in her Bible that "to whom much is given, much is required" and she wonders what that will be. Lorna doesn't need to worry, she already gives so generously to everyone she meets! I also learned that because the two kidneys she has are still functioning at 20%, the doctor did not remove them in case her body rejects the new kidney. The third kidney was placed in the front part of her abdomen.

I was asked to substitute on Tuesday afternoon. Those young men are crazy! During class, one of the student's cell phones rang. The student sitting next to him began to tell him off because phones are to be turned off during class. Suddenly, the student who was berating his friend heard his own phone ringing and everyone started laughing. When he looked at the ID, he noticed that a student across the room had called him so that it would ring! I admit that it was pretty funny, and I had to laugh as well. Another incident happened before class began. One young man showed his excitement that I was subbing. When he put his face next to mine, I covered my mouth because I thought he was going to kiss me! He started laughing and said, "No, teacher, watch!" He went to the other men in the class, touched their foreheads lightly and kissed the air. Apparently, that's what they do to their mothers! So, I relaxed and let him touch my forehead. I learned something yesterday, and received the honor graciously.

Afterschool, I drove to Mom's to take her some lotion and some cheese crackers. When I arrived, she was baking cupcakes and my Uncle Johnny had come directly from the clinic to report on his condition. He will have coratid artery surgery next week. He has a 50/50 chance of survival and wanted to talk about his wishes. He told his docotor that he believed that God planned his birth and his death, so he should not take it personal if the surgery does not go well. That made me smile.

I thought that my geranium plants were finished blooming for the summer because they were dormant for about a month. I was wrong. They are beautiful once again and I am still learning lessons in being patient. The tomato plants were wonderful this year. I harvested at least 4 dozen or more.

Fall is here, and I'm excited about the holiday season. I feel sad when my mailbox is empty, so I look forward to seeing the colored cards again.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ok State Fair/Disney on Ice

I posted a picture below of Mom and myself in front of the Oklahoma State Fair Arena in OKC. I didn't know if Mom would be up to it, but she was very excited and took her walker that has a seat. Actually, she loves ice skating and wasn't going to miss Disney on Ice. Bill and I had seen Disney on Ice in Tokyo, but it seemed very different in English! We arrived at the fairgrounds around 11 am and found parking easily with the handicap plaque. I had called for tickets and had them waiting for us. Once inside the fairgrounds, we found a table under a tree and enjoyed Dan's Indian Tacos. After lunch, we wandered to the merry-go-round. After buying tickets to ride, we learned that adults can't ride, and there are no refunds! So, we deicded to use the tickets to play a game. We learned that games are $5 cash - no tickets! The game operator commiserated with us and shot the breeze for about 10 minutes. He is an American who runs a guesthouse in Jamaica during the winter, and works for the fair during the summer. I finally decided to give our carousel tickets to some little girls who smiled and thanked us.

From there, we went to the auto show which was in a large air-conditioned building. The three corporations showing were GM, Ford and Toyota. The big SUVs are $50,000. They don't tempt me, but the Mustang was a little beauty at $36,000. Of course, it is 6 cylinder and is still very sporty. Maybe when I grow up, I'll get one! Mom loved the air-conditioning, so Bill and I left her to look at blue ribbon draft horses. While wandering around the bulding, we observed two OU vets spaying a dog. They were performing the operation on a platform that was enclosed by glass and there were TV monitors showing each step. They were taking out an ovary when we stopped to watch.

After watching the operation, it was time to get Mom who was having a great time talking to people at the Auto Show, and go to the arena for the ice show. Her biggest splurge was buying popcorn in a Disney bucket for $10. We couldn't find sugarfree ice cream, so Bill promised to stop at Braum's on the way home. We did, and she got a double dip cone. It was so much fun watching her enjoy herself!! We all bought ice cream to take home.

This morning, one of our Saudi students went to church with us at his request. To be honest, I was shocked that he actually went. He seemed to enjoy himself, and I know that he was surprised to see everyone being so friendly and hugging each other. He also loved the drums, guitars and piano. Bill and I have been asked to play a special on the third Sunday of each month, and this was it. Bill played, "Jesus, Your Name Is Power" and "He Is Able" on his recorder. The people going to Bulgaria this week gave a presentation. Each year, several of our members take medicine and school supplies to the gypsy children. Our church also feeds the children of Shawnee in the park on Saturdays. It breaks your heart to see how parents misuse their money and don't feed their kids!

Last week, I was experiencing pain in my right leg. It hurt so much that I couldn't find a comfortable position to sleep. I took Tylenol and started praying. I had no idea what was causing it and couldn't think of anything that I had done differently. After one week of suffering, the pain has vanished completely. Last night, I was thanking God for my healing and can't believe that I enjoyed a day at the State Fair. The pain may return, but I learned long ago, that everything is easier when God sends His angels to minister to me! Am I a wimp? I guess so, because I hate pain.

State Fair/Disney on Ice


Friday, September 17, 2010

Perspective

Last Sunday, I taught a lesson to my Bible Study class. I always learn more than my students, and feel that it is a waste of time for them if they don't learn also. I read a quote to my class that said, "God cannot be discovered. He reveals Himself when we are ready." I thought about that a lot this week. This morning, I opened the French doors in the dining area so that we could look out at the park during breakfast. As I sat eating my frosted shredded wheat, I became entranced by a huge gold cross that was brilliantly lighted on the far side of the park. When I told Bill what I saw, he thought I had really lost it! I stood up and insisted that he sit in my chair. As soon as he sat down, he could see the cross! I was so relieved! The sun was bouncing off of a metal container in such a way that it truly resembled a huge lighted gold cross. It was beautiful! We both realized that what a person sees is often from their perspective. If you don't have the right perspective, it is possible to miss many things in life. Bill had the good sense to change his position and try to see things through my eyes.

We have a new teacher at our school who is very young, and seems to personify the way America thinks. She is tall, slender and blond. She goes to the tanning salon several times a week, is an admitted shopaholic and is planning to buy a very expensive SUV. Recently, when she hurt her leg, she let everyone know that her family doesn't have health insurance. She doesn't want to pay a deductable. When we asked about her children, she told us that she always gets free care for them because she has no money in the bank, and the government will take care of her also. I was reminded of the lady at the job service center in Springfield. She told my sister-in-law, Janice, that she would rather continue getting unemployment, because there are so many people who need a job more than she does. People use to hide these attitudes, but now they are "cool". The rest of us work, pay our bills, and invest. For some reason, I'd rather be on the giving end of life, rather than the receiving. It's so much more fun! And that's my perspective.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Taking Care of Myself

After posting a few pictures recently, I realized that I have to start taking care of myself before the holidays arrive. Yesterday, Bill met me at the pool after classes to swim a few laps. It felt so good! Lance, our trainer, was happy to see us back. (He has begun taking courses to get his RN degree.) Of course, when I got to school this morning, a teacher had brought in a freshly baked strawberry cake. It was difficult, but I refused to touch it.

The holidays really are almost here! Yesterday, when I went to check the mail, there was a package. It was the church choir Christmas music. However, we have lots of birthdays to celebrate before then. Selah Brooke just turned 3 years old. She called me to say thank you for her gift. I had so much fun buying an ice blue sweat suit with a hood to match her eyes!

Classes are going much better this session than last! Verbal Skills is very interesting at times. My students cannot pronounce "beach". I spent some time explaining what they don't want to say! Also, one of the boys kept saying a word that begins with "sh" everytime he made a mistake in his workbook. I had to stop and explain that word and asked him to say, "Oh No!" instead. I know he will continue to use the word he wants in private, but at least he can use his manners in a public classroom. My class is never boring!!

I have been praying for some special things to happen for a long time. I have just begun to realize that God can't answer my prayers until other people believe with me. Without faith, God can't do anything for us.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday, Sept. 14th

Bill and I are empty nesters once again. We woke up at 4 am on Sunday morning to take Chinami to the Will Rogers Airport. As expected, we all cried as we said good-bye. I'm the world's worst at saying "good-bye"! After going through security, Chinami kept looking back and waving. I wrote several notes to our Japanese friends in Yokohma which she gladly agreed to deliver. After making sure that the plane for Chicago had departed, Bill and I drove back to Shawnee and ate breakfast at IHOP. We finished in time to drive to the church for Bible Study. The lesson focused on how the Christian world view differs from secular humanism. I was surprised at how little some people know. I have made it my mission to know what other people believe, and am so secure in what I believe that I have no fear. My Muslim students are always surprised to learn that I have observed prayer service at a mosque in Chicago, and twice in Instanbul, Turkey. Lately, I have heard liberal people calling Christians stupid, non-intellectual and wimpy. Those same people are extremely intolerant and certainly don't know my Christian friends! Christians are those who know how to think outside the box and outside this world as we know it. That is being free. A true believer is also one who continues to "love".

Sunday afternoon I took a long nap, and then Bill and I watched, "Dr. Zhivago". The music is beautiful, the scenery pastoral, and the message timely. The Russian Czar was not exactly a nice person, but the socialist revolution wasn't the answer either. I will never forget seeing how bleak life was in East Germany before the Berlin Wall was destroyed. (It probably wasn't a good idea to wear our Disney World sweatshirts.) Idealism seems to lose when pitted with reality. Human nature has never changed through the centuries, and we don't learn from war. However, we as individuals can make a difference when we recognize our selfishness and share who we are, and what we have with our neighbors. God can change our hearts and make us generous. The government can't do that.

Noel sent me an article by email this week. He said I was right about the "diverging diamond". It really is a diamond. (Sorry, Steve!) And, the city of Springfield is the first to take the risk and try this European method.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Weekend Happenings

It has been such a nice weekend, knowing that Session #9 is finished! I refused to work full-time next session and had a small showdown with the administration. When looking at the proposed schedule for next week, I noticed that I had been given 3 hours in the mornings of very low level students. I can handle 2, but that 3rd hour ----well, forget it!! Our director told me that I had been given those hours because I was the only one that could get results and had never received any complaints in evaluations. I was flattered, but told him that he would lose me completely if that schedule stood. Teaching students fresh off of the plane is very stressful. It has been worked out for me to teach low level reading and writing, but teach upper level verbal skills the first hour. Whew! Now, I'm looking forward to going back to school next week.

Friday evening, I made stir fry and rice. Knowing that dish is one of Mom's all-time favorites, we invited her to join us and we played Mexican Train. I bought a sugar-free apple pie for dessert. During the game, Chinami told us about her lunch date with Jin. He had given her a bracelet which she was wearing. Life is so beautiful when you are 19 years old!! She will remember Jin forever.

This morning, Bill took Chinami to the Indian Cultural Heritage Center while I made a trip to the mall. Chinami had purchased a Bible on her last shopping trip, and didn't realize that the King James Version was not in her best interest. Waldon's Bookstore was very gracious, and helped me find a NIV with a nice leather cover. From there, I went to the Bath and Body Shop. I bought several replacement liquid soaps for my kitchen and bathroom. I also bought some Cherry Blossom lotions for Chinami and myself. I learned that they are the number one selling fragrance at Bath and Body Shops in America.

After a quick lunch, we picked up Mom again, and we all visted Uncle Johnny's ranch. It is so peaceful and beautiful! His four horses came running to the paddock when they saw us. I will be posting pictures of his Missouri Fox Trotters. My uncle is 91 years old and was still able to saddle a horse, and mount. After training the horse for about 10 minutes, Chinami was invited to climb on. It was her first time to be on a horse. We wandered around the property awhile and checked out his pear trees which will be ripe in another month. In the distance, we could see cows grazing and one of his llamas. It was fun to see my mother enjoy the horses so much!! She told us how to rub them under their necks and told stories about her days of herding cows on her horse named Pet when she was a child. I'm very glad that she can spend her final days in Oklahoma. Mom enjoyed California and traveling the world, but this is her home!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Corrections

Sorry, Steve! I blew it in one of my recent blogs! You told me that the round- about in Springfield, Mo. is called a diverging diagonal interchange - not diamond! (Maybe I just love diamonds. Ha!) Springfield has the only two. I have driven the one on Kansas Expressway and the other one on National. I didn't feel comfortable on either one of them!

Galen, thanks for your comment on my spelling. Misspelling Thursday was especially bad after teaching my preemies how to spell the days of the week! Sometimes I blog too fast. Chinami has a special program on her computer which checks typing speed. She clocked me last week at 75 wpm. Our family gets that from Dad! Remember the old Remington typewriter?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Graduation

Yesterday, our school gave early final exams and had graduation so that our Saudi population could go to the mosque today. I am soooo glad that Ramadan is finished!! Maybe my students will be able to stay awake and not be thinking about their stomachs growling. One of the young men asked me how my God tests Christians since we have not been asked to fast during daylight hours. I told him that my God has already tested me and knows that I have a heart that is not good. There's no doubt about it that I do something wrong everyday. I'm so glad that Jesus covered my bad heart with His blood so that God can't see it. My student was fascinated! Perhaps it's because he plans to drive to OKC tonight and find a disco club with his friends.

During graduation in the afternoon, Chinami gave a beautiful speech and took time out half way through to cry. I noticed that several of the young men had tears also and told her that they were going to miss her. She has a special friendship with Jin, a Korean student who is just out of the military. He asked me today if he can take her to lunch tomorrow.

One of the funnies this week was when a teacher told her class that St. Gregory's is a tobacco free campus. A student looked at her and asked, "Where can you get tobacco free at this college?"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Silver Dollar City and a Ruckus in Tecumseh

After classes this afternoon, Chinami and I drove to the post office to check the mail. There must have been at least 15-20 police cars parked across the street! I asked a lady if she had any idea what was going on. She informed me of the robberies in 3 towns and the shoot out in our local pharmacy. She informed me that one suspect was in custody and another was on the run. I turned on the news when we returned home, and learned that the other suspect had been apprehended on Hwy 9 near Thunderbird Lake. So much for quiet little Tecumseh. Between tornadoes and shoot-outs, it's becoming very exciting!

Bill, Chinami and I picked up Gramma on Saturday morning and drove to Springfield. We arrived just in time for homemade tacos and ice cream with fresh strawberries with Noel and Janice. After lunch, we all sat around their dining table and had another visit with Galen, Sondra and David via the computer. They all looked great! About 3:00 p.m. we left Gramma with Noel and Janice and headed to Branson. We stayed at the Ramada Inn where the Oklahoma Pontiac Club was holding their convention. Beautiful antique cars! After finding our rooms and unpacking the car, we headed for Silver Dollar City for the 50th Anniversary Gospel Sing. We found seats early in Echo Hollow which holds over 4,000 and was packed!! Chinami enjoyed her first funnel cake while enjoying Jeff and Sherry Easter and family. Their four year old daughter sat on the drummer's lap and played the drumset for one of the numbers. She was really good!!

On Sunday, we went back to Silver Dollar City and listened to Sons of Silver Dollar City. They were singing one of my favorite song, "Jesus Didn't Throw the Clay Away". I was talked into riding on the Flying Swings. I closed my eyes and felt the wind on my face when I started to feel a little dizzy. Ha! Chinami wanted to ride the Galleon, and I opted out of that one. While there, we went to the Saloon Show which was hilarious, and listened to the Kelly's. They were so good that we bought a CD. They are brothers and a sister who play the guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass, and violin. The harmony is great! Chinami listens to it over and over because she loves their version of "Revive Us Again". The Kellys also play several Irish numbers. Sometimes I feel like I must be in Ireland because St. Gregory's plays all of the most famous Irish songs every Tuesday and Wednesday. Other days, the college chimes play numbers from the old musicales.

Yesterday, we drove back to Springfield to have breakfast with the family at Ziggies. Steve has informed me that round abouts in Missouri are called divergent diamonds. I still think they are dangerous, and we are all trying to figure out how they will work when snow comes.

We are still very concerned about Noel's health, and pray for him to find comfort and help. His cheerful disposition and peaceful spirit can only be a result of his strong faith. Noel, you are a wonderful role model for us all. As I heard a fellow say just today, "Those who don't believe in God, will do so someday and it may be too late." It made me sad to think that there are those who are missing so much peace and happiness. Chinami prayed in English for the first time this week at dinner. It was straight from the heart - nothing memorized. So pure and beautiful!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thursday Again

Working full-time and being a Mom is a lot of work at my age! Tuesday, Bill took Chinami to the hospital after classes for a tour with Pastor Larry. Since she will be attending medical school soon, she found it very interesting. Unity Hospital is one of the top regional hospitals in Oklahoma. New technology has been installed in every room. I didn't take the tour because I was having my hair cut. We all met for a hamburger at 5:30 p.m. before I rushed Chinami to OBU for "Friend to Friend". It began raining, so Bill and I drove together to pick her up at 9:00 p.m. She absolutely loved meeting other college students, playing games and eating snacks.

Wednesday, the school took the students to the mall. Chinami bought medical books on anatomy and children's diseases. Her sister is already studying to be a doctor, so she plans to share them.

We will be going to Springfield and Silver Dollar City for the holiday weekend. Mom is going with us and will stay with Noel and Janice due to warm weather. We plan to stay at the Ramada Inn. Noel said he will have a nice lunch for us when we arrive on Saturday. He's a great cook, but I hope he just brings in Chinese or something simple.

We just learned at our faculty meeting yesterday that our next OKTESOL conference will be in Tulsa at the Ramada/Park Inn near the airport. We've always gone to OKC in the past. That will be in November.

My classes continue to be very interesting!!! All of my students are in their twenties, but you would never know it! They write me love notes on the white board, and want me to draw smiley faces or stars on their work. Sometimes, I feel like I'm teaching first grade again.

The school hired a new teacher today. She was a high school student at Rift Valley Academy in Kenya. It was strange to be talking about all the people we both knew in Kenya. Rosslyn Academy often held conferences at Rift Valley Academy so it is very familiar to me. Africa is a very beautiful country in spite of the poverty. Speaking of poverty, Kirk had another great visit to Haiti and is working with the President's lawyer to get a license for the new orphanage. I'm very proud of the work he is doing.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Frontier Days in Tecumseh

Friday morning, I went to my 3 month doctor's appointment to see about my blood lab results. My numbers were all fine except for my blood pressure. When Dr. Smith learned that I had gone back to teaching full-time this session, he put his hand on my shoulder and told me that I would get the same speech he had just given his daughter. Bottom line ----go back to teaching part-time. This really has been a difficult session for me because it is Ramadan and the new students are such low level. I dreaded going into my afternoon class until one of the young men (who is a tall, burly teddy bear) looked up at me from his desk and said, "Teacher Marti, I like you!" Another had written on the white board, "Techer Marti, have nis weekend." Those are things that keep me going! You gotta love 'em!

Friday evening, Bill, Chinami and I enjoyed dinner at Gliori's Italian Restaurant. Ian and Phyllis sat at our table for awhile and chatted while we pigged out on the freshly made hot breadsticks. After dinner, I put our leftovers in the restaurant refrigerator while we went out on mainstreet to enjoy the Gospel Sing in front of City Hall. (This would never happen in California!!) Several churches in Tecumseh and Shawnee contributed special groups. The Archer Family had 4 children under 12 years old (2 girls and 2 boys) who sang difficult songs in harmony while their father played the piano. They were great!! There were also several quartets that sang songs that everyone knows like, "I'll Fly Away" and "Victory in Jesus".

Saturday morning, we went back to mainstreet Tecumseh to enjoy more of Frontier Days. We took our camp chairs and watched gunfighters, Indian dancers, the high school band concert and a parade. We chatted with neighbors and drank Dr. Pepper. My friend, Kim Rawls, was working in the Chamber of Commerce booth and Bill bought a T-shirt from her for Chinami. I loved it so much that we bought two more. It was designed by my mother's friend who painted the inside of the Oklahoma State Capitol. Her name is Barbara Hertz. Also, while waiting for the parade to begin, several politicians came by and chatted. I asked Scott Pruitt what his spiritual beliefs are, and he had no problem telling me about his church and his personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He even told me to read the book of Romas. Next, I talked to a young kid named OdNeal. When asked the same question, he was in a state of confusion. He told me about his gramma, and how politics had changed his life. The poor kid was so confused that I knew he would lead people into more confusion.

This morning, I taught a Bible lesson on how to maintain relationships with people. Paul has lots of advice on the subject in I Corinthians. It's been stimulating to have Chinami in our home. She enters into conversations around the dinner table. She told us about reading, "Frankenstein" in her university English class. We talked about implications of cloning, and how people learn to express love. The more we discussed, the more I realized why it is important that God loves us for what is in our hearts, and not for what we do. Many people are still trying to get to heaven with their works while their hearts are evil. It doesn't work!

After church, we went to China Buffet with 5 of our international students. Ted had come to church to say, "Good-bye". He's leaving to go back to Japan on Tuesday. Sun (Korean) returned from summer break and is back at OBU with Diana and Jasenia (from Peru). Of course, Chinami was with us. After lunch, I called Mom only to find out that she was at her church. One of her class members had an 80th birthday celebration.

Sofia called this afternoon to tell us about her first day of school. Because of her birthday, she had to wait a year and I'm afraid she's going to be bored. She can already read and is doing addition and subtraction. However, she's very social and couldn't be more excited! I should probably pray for Mrs. Jones, her teacher!!

Next blog, I'll post some pictures.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Made it to Wednesday!

Bill barbequed porkchops outside on the grill tonight. The temperature has dropped - making life more bearable. Chinami helped with the dishes because she loves Wheel of Fortune as much as I do. She has learned that dinner must be cooked and cleaned up before 6:30 p.m. Ha! She also sits in front of the TV with her notebook, and writes down every new word or phrase. She watches Bill O'Reilly, and hears all of the debate about such things as the planned mosque, and the government's overspending. It's really interesting to hear what she thinks about the world. On the way to school, she said, "I have always felt sorry for the people of North Korea because they have no freedom. Now, I feel sorry for the Muslim people also." This comes after being in class with her Muslim classmates for over a week, and having in-depth converstations with them.

Today, I made a little more progress with one of my students. He has been late for class, missed classes, and has tested me whenever possible. Today, he asked if he could go to the toilet. I told him that break was just 10 minutes away. And then I added, "No food, no water and no toilet." (It's Ramadan.) He cocked his head and began laughing. Later, when I checked the page he had written for me, it was perfect!! I told him it was breaktime and he could go to the toilet. I noticed that he was in no hurry. After break, he was a wonderful student! I'm not sure that it was a Red letter day. Perhaps it was a Pink letter day. That's good, too!

Back to last Sunday.....Bill and I played a trumpet/piano duet. We played Bill Gaither's song, "We are so Blessed". Jin, a new Korean student attended church with us. It was his first time in a Christian church. He ate lunch with us at Braum's afterwards. (We are eating all the ice cream we can while it is hot.) Later, in the evening, we went to Mom's to eat tacos and play Mexican Train. Chinami played for the first time and won two rounds. Mom loved teaching her to play!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

On Happiness and Tears

I just woke up from a refreshing nap on our Lazy Boy sofa. During the summer, I usually sit on the left end of the sofa in the living room because the air-conditioner blows there. It is nearly 100 degrees again today. Last night, it rained hard for about 15 minutes, and then stopped. Thus, we went to the Tecumseh Rodeo as scheduled. It was warm, but a soft breeze was blowing due to rain in the distance. To the west, we watched clouds that would flash with colored lightening. It was soooo beautiful! Chinami loved the rodeo action, and often commented on the MC's Okie accent. He was hilarious! During the bucking bronco segment, he described one horse as being "as shifty as a chicken with X-Lax." We also laughed when two little boys got stuck in the soft red dirt when the children chased ribbons on the calves' tails. Their parents had to pull the kids out of the dirt and take them back to the stands. I was personally impressed by the cowboys in their 50's who were in the calf- roping. Some of those guys could still ride a horse and rope very well!

My Bible class is starting to come back after summer vacation. We had 13 this morning. The theme of the lesson was, "Long-Distance Relationships". We discussed how to show love and encourage those who live at a distance from us. All of us are challenged by that! Christians have an advantage because we know that we can go to our Heavenly Father for help.

Last week, our church prayed for a baby with failing kidneys. This week, we learned that the baby's specialist was at a loss because he couldn't find anything wrong with the child!!! Kirk wrote that there have been several miracle healings in his church as well. I have kept the newspaper article about my brother, David and I being hospitalized with polio in 1953. Many children were dying all around us, and at best living with paralysis. Many churches were praying that we would be spared if that would glorify God. Mom says that she and Dad spent much time in prayer preparing themselves for the worst.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about "tears". I will never forget a friend saying to me, "Look what you did. You made me cry." As I reached out to wipe the tears away, I remember thinking, "Tears are the language of the heart." God put a spirit inside each one of us so that we can feel deeply. Tears are an expression of happiness, sadness, pain, or just because we feel very loved. It is a terrible thing when a person cannot cry. That means all emotion and feeling is gone! It's a wonderful thing to be vulnerable and to have a "soft" heart. Love is from God and He puts feelings in us that sometimes make us cry. We really should embrace our tears because that means we know how to love!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Week's Events

We just returned from OKC where we took Chinami to see the National Cowboy Museum. We had been there before, but I saw so much more today. I decided my favorite artist in the painting and sculpture section is Robert Shufelt. He has a picture of a donkey and a cowboy on a horse that have incredible detail. I also enjoyed the section on old western TV shows. There is memorabilia from Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Lone Ranger, John Wayne and many more. There is a machine that plays music and one is to match the shows. After leaving the museum, we drove back to Shawnee and had dinner at Cracker Barrel. We had rainbow trout.

In a few minutes, we are taking Chinami to the Tecumseh Rodeo. It's raining at the moment, so it will be interesting to see if the event continues. It may be postponed.

This has been a very busy week. I have been teaching full-time, which I almost never do anymore. I'm praying that the school hires some more teachers so I can go part-time again. I have a great morning with excellent students who are "high level". My afternoon classes have been very challenging for me! I have two new Saudi men who are very low level, and had to get use to the idea of having a woman teacher. I felt the power struggle for the first three days, and then things started getting better on Friday. Staying on a schedule was very difficult for them, and they wanted to negotiate their grades! To make things even worse, this is the beginning of Ramadan and they have to fast from sun- up to sun -down. No food or water! I have been asked repeated why I don't fast. When I explain legalism versus the heart, I can see the wheels turning.

Chinami has been a pleasure to have at school and in our home. She seems to enjoy my cooking, helps with the chores, and is always on time. She is excelling in her classes, and says she isn't home-sick. She has called home twice. On the way home from school, she commented on the Oklahoma sky. She says, "It is so high!" I told her I love the Oklahoma sky also. We have the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets! Our air is clear and you can see for miles!

I'll write more later since we are leaving soon for the rodeo.

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's Monday!

I will write a little while I wait for my eggs to boil. I'm making deviled eggs to go with Mom's T-bone steak dinner tonight. Last evening, she wasn't disappointed! She loved her banana split at Braum's. The ladies graciously made it with carb-watch frozen yogurt, a drizzle of chocolate syrup, a sprinkle of nuts, whipping cream and a cherry! She was like a little girl and ate every bite! At one point she checked to make sure there was really a banana on both sides.

This morning, I took Chinami to school to be tested with the other new students, and I worked on lesson plans. Yeah!! Chinami made the highest score on record at our school. She got 96 questions right out of 100. That puts her in the highest level possible. To be honest, I was a bit nervous because my director knows that Chinami was one of my students at Ferris High School which is famous throughout Japan for its academics. I prayed that she would not have forgotten all that she learned. Our testing includes grammar, listening and essay writing. I'm not involved with that testing program, so I waited anxiously to hear how she did!

This new session, I will be teaching 1 hour of advanced verbal skills, 2 hours of 104 grammar, and 2 hours of beginning reading and writing. We are short on teachers because one went to Spain, and one went to China to teach English.

Well, my eggs are done, and I should get busy in the kitchen. Bill picked 4 more cherry tomatoes this morning, so I'll add them to the others picked last night and put them in a salad.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

It's Sunday

It's cooler than yesterday! It has dropped to 100 degrees. However, it is still hot and we are going to take Mom to get a banana split for her birthday. She will be 87 years old tomorrow. We'll make sure that she takes her insulin!

Chinami arrived on schedule on Saturday at 2 p.m. She was all smiles and glad to get off the plane. It took about 24 hours from the time she left her house in Yokohama, Japan to our home. We know too well how she felt. We let her sleep for a few hours before taking her to Bamboo Gardens for dinner. She ordered chicken and vegetables with oolong ice tea. Her English is still very good, and is helping us to remember Japanese. This morning, I translated for her in church as much as I could. Over lunch at Golden Corral, she said that she really liked the music! Our guitars and drummers are exceptionally good, and the church was just about filled since school has started in Oklahoma.

Pastor Mike preached today. His sermon was about knowing that once you have been born into the family of God, you cannot be unborn. Christians can rebell against God and refuse to come back into fellowship with the Father, but they are still His children. The consequences of complete rebellion against God is a premature death. There are many examples in the Bible. In our Bible Study class, we studied the reconciliation that is possible to God because of the death of Jesus. He paid the price for our sins. People all around us still refuse the gift that has been offered to them. Some cannot accept the fact that they are loved that much!

At the end of the worship service, a young couple came to the alter with a beautiful two year old daughter and their newborn daughter. The baby's kidneys are failing. All of the mothers (about 100 of us) gathered around and prayed for God's will to be done. Yes, we were all crying as we thought about our own children and grandchildren. While at the cottage last week, I found one of my favorite books, "Angel Unaware". Roy and Dale Evans wrote a book about their baby daughter, Robin, who died. Robin was sent to this earth for a short time to teach them about God's unending love. Now, Dale and Roy have joined the angels of heaven! When you love deeply, you are so glad that God made a way for us to be together forever!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Back in Tecumseh

Bill and I spent the last week in Manistee, Michigan. It was warmer than usual this summer, although there was a refreshing breeze blowing off of the lake at night. One can hear the pines brushing against each other just outside the window. It was sad to be cleaning out the cottage, but rather fun to find many treasures. Bill found a box that held his christening clothes. He was baptized in the Lutheran Church as a baby, and then later baptized again as a true believer in Jesus Christ. He found his mother's high school senior picture that was taken in 1923, and his grandparents immigration papers from Prussia. They had been processed through Ellis Island. His mother's first Bible was bi-lingual, German and English.

The neighbors on each side of the cottage (for 25 years), Roy and Marlene Walters and Dan and Mary Lou Ursum, came over and helped us set up the yard sale. Dan loves history and puzzles, so he helped me match cups and saucers from a box for at least an hour. For two days we had antique dealers come and buy many of the items. In a better economy we could have made more money. Most of the furniture is still in the cottage, so if it doesn't sell quickly, the kids plan to go back often. Just before we left, Marlene and Roy gave Bill the most beautiful gift! When we replaced all of the windows a few years ago, Marlene kept one of the old ones. She and Roy sanded and painted it white. Then, they placed mirrors in each of the four panes. When Bill saw it, he had to leave the room. He was so overcome with emotion. His Dad had made that window over 60 years ago and he had found replacement latches in one of the sheds.

Kelli drove up from Grand Rapids twice that week and brought Hannah and Caleb. Caleb reached his goal this summer. He beat his Papa Bill in tennis. He has also made the Varsity tennis team this year in spite of only being a 9th grader.

On the way home, we drove to Chicago to see Keri, Kevin and their 3 little ones. Sofia and Selah were excited to see us! Isaiah was so thrilled to see his Gramma come back that he gave her the sweetest smile! He's two months old now. On Monday night, Keri grilled barbeque chicken pizza for us, and then we all walked to the lake which is just a few yards from their condo. As we watched Bill play with the kids in the water, Keri remembered when Bill taught her to swim as a little girl. On Tuesday, we took a tour of their church, (gorgeous) and then had lunch at Mitch's Chicago Deli. We had brots and onion rings. Mmmm, lots of delicious calories!

While at Keri's, we learned about the tragic accident which took the life of the cheerleading coach at CBU, and injured several track team members. I also learned about the couple from Tecumseh who was murdered. It's been a hard summer. I'm so glad that this life is not all there is! It's true that one is not ready to live until one is ready to die and feel at peace about what comes next. I don't have to wonder, "What if the Bible IS true?"

We drove from Chicago to Springfield, Missouri yesterday. I was excited to realize that I could remember how to get to Noel's house coming from the east. I actually turned on I-65 and was able to get on the James River. There is a lot of construction and I was fascinated by the Kansas Expressway interchange. It's exactly like the British round-about with stop lights. Again, we always love visiting with Noel and Janice. After ordering pizza, Noel called Galen and David and told them that we would be using his web-cam for a group visit. We teased a lot about the Greenwalts being in charge where ever we go. David also said that Mom had given him Dad's wallet and he was overwhelmed by its contents. He found Dad's driver's license from Germany, his original social security card and several other things.

Janice had to go to work at the Job Center, but we went to breakfast with Noel and Mark at Ziggy's Cafe on the corner of National and Republic. When in Springfield, go there! You can get a huge breakfast for $2.99. The cafe was filled with senior citizens! After breakfast, we headed for home. The house is fine. I picked 8 more tomatoes and can see 15 more on my topsy turvy. Mom and her friend, Shirley, did a great job of watering for me. Bill is out mowing the lawn as I write. It was 102 degrees today, but it is suppose to rain and turn cooler on Monday. School started in Tecumseh yesterday. Maybe that means fall is just around the corner.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Red Hot Days/Brothers/Michigan/Sandra

The summer is red hot and sizzling in Oklahoma. The next few days are suppose to be 100 degrees and up! We will escape some of the heat since we are traveling north to Michigan for two weeks. Yes, we have security on our house, as do our neighbors. Yesterday, I finished my grades and wrote notes to my subs. My students were concerned that the subs would not speak slowly and clearly. Sometimes Okie accents are hard for internationals to understand. (Although I love the Southern drawl.)

This has been a difficult summer. Yesterday, I learned that my friend, Sandra Bradley who is our director of admissions, lost her father suddenly from a heart attack. He was in his mid-sixties. I cried with her as I thought about the time I lost my father.

I enjoyed reading my brother, Roger's note. He had taken my brother, David, on a camping trip to Big Bear Mountain - just the two of them. He also reported that his daughter, Jennifer, is having a great summer in Japan! She went with a team from Cal Baptist University.

Galen is having some surgery done on his toe. Wow! Did that give me a flashback from long ago! When Galen had his first surgery on that foot, we were both students at CBU and he stayed in my apartment for several days so that I could wait on him. Our lives are like chaff in the wind. Time is blowing away the bad and only the good will be left - if there is any.

I will be checking emails and blogs from time to time. Please hold the snail mail, and call me on my cell phone.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Likes and Dislikes

I can tell that I am getting older. My likes and dislikes are becoming more and more pronounced. Some people call that being "opinionated".

I don't like: lima beans; drawers that are not completely shut; touching birds or insects; clothes on the floor; papers on the dining table; messy kitchens; messy cars; people who are dramatic and demand attention; loud music; being late; unkept yards and negative attitudes. I know lots of people who don't mind these things and I love them anyway!!!

I like: quiet people and music; Dr. Pepper and rootbeer; Red Lobster; Golden Corral; homemade yeast bread; green beans; crossword puzzles; pretty sports cars; teaching English and Bible studies; playing the piano, organ, and violin; growing flowers and vegetables; hosting people in my home; watching Fox news and Huckabee. I love my friends, and my family. I hope that people know that I have grown to love God more and more as I have gotten to know him better through the years.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Voting and Stuff

The last couple of days has been a whirlwind for me. Yesterday, I went to the dentist for my regularly scheduled cleaning and check-up. The hygienist is a real character! She talked to me the entire time she was cleaning my teeth and told me about every member of her family. I couldn't respond, so I just made little noises now and then. After I left the clinic, I drove to the Shawnee tag agency and bought a Pike Pass for our trip. We plan to stop in Springfield and spend the night with Noel and Janice on Friday. I hesitated since Noel hasn't been feeling chipper, but he insisted, and sounded like he was looking forward to our visit. After picking up the Pike Pass, I came home and cooked pork chops and squash from Mom's garden for dinner. I added some baked potatoes. By seven o'clock it had cooled down outside, so I went to the grocery store. It was so quiet! I really didn't buy too much, so I didn't need help to the car. However, the bagboy insisted because he was bored and wanted to get some fresh air.

This morning, I went to City Hall and voted in the primaries. It was difficult in some cases because there were several good choices. I voted for Shane Jett for Congress because he was the director of our school before becoming State Representative. Shane and Mary Fallin, who is running for Governor, are both from Tecumseh!

My classes were great today! After explaining count and non-count nouns, I asked one the young men to come to the board and teach it again. He didn't miss a beat! In fact, he told the students to "wake up" and answer his questions. I NEVER say that, so it made me laugh. In my afternoon class, I have a new boy from Ecuador. I don't know if he is listening half the time because he has his eyes on the Ecuadorian girl who came last week. Young love is so wonderful!