Saturday, February 27, 2010

Whispering Hope

A friend who lives in Vancouver, BC asked us to listen to this performance by a Chinese man who played Whispering Hope on a leaf. It's incredible! Please listen on this site:

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Morning

The school is testing this morning, and I don't need to be there. Yeah! There is about an inch of snow in our yard, but no ice on the streets or driveways. I heard two scientists retract their previous statements about global warming this week. In fact, one of them said that science is not always absolute truth and frequently changes. I had to admire this man for not being stubborn and admitting he had been wrong.

Mom and I have a date for lunch and shopping. I have to take the shopping list with me that my nutritionist has given me. Fortunately, I can continue drinking my hot chocolate for breakfast. Nestles is caffeine free.

So many people have been sick or in the hospital. I have had to cover more classes this winter than in years past. Those classes, in addition to my own, have really been a challenge. This is not heaven yet, and God never promised to take away our problems. However, He has promised to give us extra strength and peace when we simply ask with humility. It's so comforting to know that He is there when no one else can help! And, heaven is still to come!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday Morning

This morning I woke up, and looked out the kitchen window as I was preparing breakfast. The sky was so beautiful! It looked like the American flag. As Bill says, "God is the master artist!" I took a picture which I will post later. This week has been busy because I have been covering for another teacher in addition to my own classes. It was okay because those Ecuadorean boys are fantastic in English!!! Lucille willed her desk to me when she left. I moved yesterday, and it's nice to be next to the window. I can look down on SGU tennis courts, and the expansive field behind with trees and cows.

I had a productive session with my nutritionist, Melissa. She is not concerned about my weight or my looks. She is only concerned with sugar and cholesterol numbers. While at the pool yesterday, Melissa was at the check-in counter. My trainer, Lance, asked me if she had put me on her famous toothpick and water diet. I admit that I was really hungry after swimming. I ate grilled catfish, a salad, and a baked potatoe for dinner. I can be "bad" and eat anything on Sundays. Marilee, a co-teacher at SEI (just started coming to my church) said that she is praying for me everyday. I love it when people pray for me!! Sure can't hurt!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Evening

This morning, I woke up to the sound of thunder and rain on the roof. I lay on my pillow and watched the lightening show out the bedroom window. I didn't want to get up. I love thunderstorms and just wanted to enjoy the terrific display of God's power. However, I had much to do. In spite of the rain, 14 people came to Bible Study. I took a picture of the class , but Lorna and Marilee were covering children's classes and we missed them. Our topic was about having the mind of Christ, and how to respond to hateful people. The discussion was lively to say the least. During the morning service, I was presented a certificate of appreciation for beginning and teaching that adult class. I had no idea and was in shock when I was asked to come to the front of the auditorium.

Bill and I played the offertory this morning. He played, "For Those Tears I Died" on his wooden recorder. Of course, when Bill chose that song, I flashed right back to St. Vincent where Keri and Kelli sang that as little girls. It was a grown up song, and Kelli began to cry at the beginning of the service. She was afraid she would forget the words. The girls did a perfect job, but in the recording you could hear the tears in Kelli's voice. So sweet!

After church, we began our Easter musical practice. I'm always inspired by the people who will sacrifice their time to stay after the service.

Kirk called this weekend. He was so excited about being in Haiti!! He said that Tamra got to teach many people in the orphanage about first aid and medical treatment. He also said the response to the message of Christ is heartening. There is a chance for Haiti!

Saturday morning, Bill and I worked around the house until noon. Then, we saw the movie, Dear John". I'll just say, that it's a story that many of us can relate to, and you will hear lots of sniffles. However, the ending is a surprise! After the movie, we went out for a fish dinner. No more fast food places for me until my lab numbers are where they should be. It's kind of fun to have meat, salad, and vegies every meal. Smile!

Tomorrow is Monday, and is a training day for teachers. I have been asked to give a presentation on Metalanguage. I talked about it at lunch one day, and the director asked me to explain it and train the other teachers. Frankly, I'm learning that what I think is common sense is new to many young teachers.

I'm going to relax now and watch the Winter Olympics. Maybe God will send some more rain tonight. I pray that I will never become blinded to the presence of God. He said that I could always find Him when I seek Him. I can trust His promises.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Miracles are Everywhere if You L00k

Yeah! Our friend, Shirley, got her report from the doctor, and the huge mass in her stomach is NOT cancer! She is going to be fine. Shirley's husband died last year and she lives alone, so the church people are going to stay with her around the clock for a few weeks when she is released to go home.

Ted Anderson, Keri and Kevin's friend, has returned from Haiti after volunteering to go as a traffic controller. His report is so inspirational. Please read the blog at

Every year, our neighbor's tree has shed its leaves and blown into our front yard. We ended up doing all of the raking. Well, in the last ice storm that tree was badly damaged. This week, that tree was completely cut down. Thank you, Lord!!! I was planning to plant a low hedge between the yards to stop the leaves. Now, I don't have to do that. I recently saw a poster that said, Don't live for the moments in which you take a breath, but live for the moments that take your breath away! I call those "miracles".
Friday Morning

It is a cool drizzly morning. It's jeans day at school, and that reflects my mood. Last night, we had an emotional farewell dinner for Lucille. The owners of The Language Company drove from Edmond, our former director, Desiree, drove from Tulsa. Shane Jett (a former director, who is now an Oklahoma Rep.) came and presented Lucille with a certificate signed by Gov. Brad Henry. Wow! Shane was one of the first people I met when I came to Oklahoma. He tried to recruit me twice to teach. However, I chose to teach first grade, and then went back to Japan. It's a joke between us that I wouldn't teach for SEI until after he left and went into politics. Last night, he whispered to me that he will be running for another position soon, and needs our help. He's young, handsome, charming and most of all, a dynamic Christian.

Before school, I saw Dr. Smith. He wasn't pleased with my sugar lab numbers. He has referred me to the nutritionist at the Fitness Center to avoid diabetes or a stroke. I told him the pool heater had been down, and I had been walking. He agreed that swimming was far better for my joints than walking.

Wednesday, I ran errands for Mom after school. She has a small needlepoint rocker in her livingroom. I always enjoy just sitting in that rocker and talking to her. She plays CDs during the day, and it is so relaxing!

Bill and I have enjoyed watching the Winter Olympics. I love looking at the snow, but I get cold easily, so I like watching winter sports from my LazyBoy. I'm still amazed that Kirk and Tamra are so good at snowboarding. Shaun White is a cool tomatoe!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


We just got an email from Kirk and Tamra. They are very tired! They have been sleeping outside with the orphans. There are no aide workers in sight, and the people are going through the rubble to find material to make tents. Kirk said the wedding for his friend was beautiful. Val, his pastor friend was suppose to get married on Valentine's Day in Boston, where he grew up. However, he and his new bride asked them to use the money for the orphans. Those people have the true love of God in their hearts. I believe that those people are the ones who are rich!

Yesterday, Mom made a trip to OKC with her Bible Study Class to visit Shirley who is in OU Medical Center. She had surgery 9 days ago to remove a mass in her stomach. I called her on Monday and she still had not eaten anything. I'm praying that God will heal her body, or take her to her eternal home quickly. I don't want her to suffer anymore. That's the beauty of being God's child. There is no fear or doubt!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesday Morning

It's a sunny day and I don't have to teach until 10 this morning. Yeah! I have been reading computer mail. Galen, thank you for the pictures of Cal Baptist Homecoming! Wow! You were the chairman of the event this year! You did a great job! Henry Blackaby is really lucky to have a picture taken with YOU! He is probably the most recognized name in Christian circles. "Experiencing God" has changed many lives!

I'm still a bit in shock after looking at your email pics. My college friends look soooo old! I ran to the mirror. Life really is short, and to be taken seriously. I still can't imagine gambling with eternity. I have interacted with and read about so many cultures around the world. All of them, without exception have attempted to know God. We all have a soul and the desire to know where we came from. I never argue with people who believe in evolution. How I was made is not a concern to me. God made me, and could use any method who wants. It is my opinion that my grandparents were NOT monkeys. I can see how other people might think that their grandparents were. I have read several articles that say scientists have found bones in the Rift Valley and in Glenrose, Texas that prove that modern man was on earth with the dinosaurs and before. Of course, these articles are not going to be put into the mainstream media because they would be inconvenient, just like the new findings on global warming. It's easier to go along, than to disrupt some people's mindset. I'm learning that free thinkers are some of the most stubborn people on the face of the earth. They can only see one side, and they aren't going to consider the other side for one minute. I personally think it is too scary for them to actively seek God.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine Weekend

Wow! So much has happened this weekend, that my mind is in a spin! Last Friday, our school had a Valentine party after school. The students were given art supplies to make valentines while they munched on valentine goodies. I only stayed for a short while and then I rushed home to get ready for our all-church Valentine dinner. When I reached home, the telephone was beeping to let me know there was a message. It was from Kirk and Tamra. It read a string of numbers and then said, "Made it to the border. Let everyone know." I called Keri and she told me the following story. Kirk got a message that their Friday flight had been cancelled to Atlanta due to the impending storms. Kirk drove to the Ontario Airport and talked to an agent directly. He was told that a flight was leaving in exactly one hour, and they could be on that flight. Kirk speeded home, and got the luggage. He and Tamra made the flight with God's help!

Keri had been to Cal Baptist University to help train Special Project volunteers and had just returned to Chicago. She said that the girls had received their valentines and that Sofia could read hers this year. She shouted, "Mom, Gramma loves me!"

The church dinner was fantastic! The catered Italian dinner couldn't have been better. Following the dinner, we enjoyed a concert. Our youth director imitated Lawrence Welk perfectly and had us rolling with laughter. With the help of our Praise Team, we sang several Beatles songs and the theme song from Archie Bunker. We also sang, "All the Gold in California". There were about 175 of us who really got into the moment and thought we had gone back to our teenage years!

Saturday, Bill and I drove both cars to the Toyota dealer in Norman for servicing. They took 4 hours (literally) to look over the '10 Camry. It has no problems that could be observed. Bill was told that his '03 Corolla was in perfect shape. Both cars got free oil changes and a wash. We left without paying one penny.

This morning, we woke up to another beautiful snowstorm. By the time church was finished, it was melted and the sun was out! Bible Study attendance was about half, but the building was full by worship. I learned that Sue was not feeling well this morning and I was asked at the last minute to play the piano with the band. Fortunately, I knew all of the music quite well, and created my own piano arrangement of "Close to Thee" for the offertory. After church, Pete, Chuck and I practiced our violin trio. In a few weeks we will play, "Morning Has Broken". It was my first time to hear Chuck play. He's quite good. Chuck is our friend who grew up in Columbia where his father was a missionary surgeon.

My father died on February 13th. However, it was the 14th in Japan where I was living at the time. My Dad was the epitomy of showing God's love, and it was fitting that he should meet His God on Valentine's Day. Love is a gift from God. You can't force it, manufacture it, or fake it. When I was 16 years old I lived in San Diego. There was a Navy fellow (who my family remembers well) who decided that I was going to be his wife. My mother fell in love with him, and decided that was a wonderful idea. He was nice, talented, and had a blue Camero, but there just wasn't any chemistry. I remember feeling badly because I just couldn't love him. The point is, if I have ever told you that I love you, it's a big deal! I don't say those words easily. As I grow older, I realize just how wonderful it is to have family and friends that I truly love! I hope that you had a wonderful Valentine's Day, and know how much I love you, and just how much God loves you!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thursday snowstorm

I just got back from FireLake and put my groceries away. It was my first time to load my car while the snow was falling. A cart lady came over and helped me!! How nice! There is a dusting of white on our lawn and the trees. Maybe the weather put me in the Christmas spirit because I bought some Pillsbury cinnamon rolls. The delicious smell of FireLake's barbeque also caused me to sin and buy some pulled pork on my way out.

This week has been challenging in my morning English classes. I've been teaching active and passive voice. The same unit also introduces transitive and intransitive verbs. Last session, I taught the same students past participles, so it wasn't too hard. In the afternoon, I have a reading and writing class that has a very interesting textbook. It's about cultures around the world. Yesterday, we read about the Mexican's Day of the Dead. Today, we read about the importance of cows in India. Tomorrow, we'll learn about The Great Wall of China. I'm learning new facts that I didn't know along with the students

Yesterday, I had my nails done. I always use a pearlized pink that is called, "Royal Flush". They were out and had ordered a new bottle for me. Ivy (the owner's wife) said it was a shade darker. Dan, the fellow who was doing my nails, disagreed with her. He said it was the same. They argued for quite awhile. Finally, a lady who was sitting next to me said, "Dan, you aren't married yet because you haven't learned to agree with the lady, and then think what you want!" Everyone in the salon burst out laughing.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tuesday Morning

The days are getting away from me! Sunday, we had 17 in Bible Study. I reminded them that next week is Valentine's Day and they should bring a friend. Friday night, we are having an all church banquet catered by Fratelli's Italian Restaurant in Shawnee. Pastor Larry preached a sermon on "Worship and Praise". He told us how grateful he is that our church is so joyful. The singing takes the roof off every Sunday! He also told us that Kareoke means an Oklahoma pall bearer at a funeral. Think about that one! (In Japanese, it means "singing with an orchestra") It was impressed on us, that worship is not "a style" but "a state of the heart toward God."

The classroom can often be a place of counseling. When my students can't concentrate or seem down, I quiz them to see if I can help. One of my girls burst out crying because her boyfriend had just dumped her via email. She felt better after the rest of the class told her we understood completely and it happens to many people. In fact, one of the boys told her that his girlfriend was mad because he came to the States for a few months. Life and love is so hard!!!

I was totally surprised when a beautiful young woman told me that she loved Teacher Bill and was going to marry him. My first thought was that I would have to divorce him first, but then realized that it wouldn't be an issue in her country. I laughed, and told her that she was welcome to him if she could get him. When I told Bill, he had to think about it for a minute because her father owns a famous hotel chain in the Middle East. Smile!!

More on love later. I've got to go vote this morning before I go to school. Satan is always active, so we Christians have to wake up!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Saturday Continued

(Be sure to see the picture in the previous blog.)

Saturday morning, I took a chicken sandwich and some pecan pie to my mother. She had just studied the lesson for Sunday, and she wanted to know how I was planning to teach it. The lesson is on convincing the unbeliever that God is so wonderful. I told her that I had finally come to the realization that I cannot convince anyone because I am so imperfect. Only the Spirit of God can do that, and that is my continuous plea. I heard a song this week on the radio with these lyrics...."You can't enjoy the fruit until you get out on a limb."

When I returned home, Bill had finished work on his on-line media class, so we went to Red Lobster and enjoyed the gift card that Kirk sent. We both had lobster, shrimp and scallops. Yum! From there, we went to the Hornbeck and saw, "Leap Year". Okay! I'm ready to go to Ireland! The landscape and culture is so romantic! Keri, you and Kevin picked the perfect honeymoon escape!

After watching the movie, we came home and watched "Huckabee". The Ventures were his guests. They played, "Hawaii Five O" and "Walk, Don't Run". Last week, Neil Sadaka was the guest, and the week before, Andy Williams. I love that show!!! We also listened to Sarah Palin. People can mock her and make fun of her all day, but she said one thing that I don't hear from others........"We as people have human failings. We don't always have the answers and we need Divine intervention." She also said that she didn't want the TEA Party to back only Republicans and be a bunch of sheep. We should judge each candidate individually before deciding who to vote for. Her husband, Todd Palin is not a registered Republican. He is Independent. Shouldn't we all be???

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Thank God It's Saturday!

Thusday evening, I got a message on my way out of school, that Linda's mother was in ER . It was cold and raining, but I knew I should go. When I arrived at the hospital, I was told that I couldn't go in because I didn't know her mother's last name. Frustrated, I called Pastor Larry and he said he would call ER to let me in. Sure enough, a very kind nurse led me to the correct room. As I was entering the room, Linda was on the phone with Larry, and she assured him that I was there. I stayed until the doctor was sure that Linda's mother was stabilized.

Friday morning, the phone rang while I was cooking breakfast at 7 PM. Anne had been ill most of the night, and was asking me to cover her 9 AM class. I drove to school in time to look at Anne's lesson plans which were not complete. Fortunately, I have taught that conversation class before, and knew what to do. I prayed that God would give me strength for my day, and a positive spirit.

After school, I drove to the pharmacy, to the post office, and to the bakery to pick up Bill's cake. I got home one hour before the party. The picture below is of some of our guests. Marilee and J.R. came in after the picture was taken, so there were 14 of us altogether. We had a sandwich and salad menu. Some people stopped by Subway and brought their contributions. David, our Chinese friend had his chef friend at Sunrise Chinese Buffet make Chinese dumplings and Korean grilled steak. The conversation was very interesting! Five of us had been to Africa, and everyone had been to Europe. David told us stories about China and his father's oil pipes that are made of porcelein rather than metal. Before going home, Pete and Chuck picked out a violin trio to be played in April. Everyone left about 9 p.m. and said they would see us in Bible Study Class on Sunday. As Bill was helping me clean up, I was thanking God for giving me strength for my day, and for friends who have deep faith and positive spirits.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bill's Birthday/Back to School

Today is Bill's 60th birthday (and his twin brother, Jim's). I think it's really hard on him because he still thinks young! Schools were still closed on Monday, so we did our testing of new students on Tuesday, and began classes today. I teach Grammar 105 from 10 AM to noon, and then Reading and Writing 103 from 1 pm to 3 pm every day. We have 5 new students from Ecuador who got stuck at the Dallas Airport during the ice storm before flying to Tulsa, and then driving to Shawnee. They had never seen ice or snow!

I baked a cherry cobbler and took it to the teacher's room this morning. It was very popular! Bill's big party is Friday night at our house. Actually, he just came home from the doctor. She burned off some little "barnacles" on his face.

I feel like my birthday has gone on for ten days. Kelli sent me a very nice gift card for Bath and Body Shop, and one of my students gave me some embroidered cloths for my bread baskets. She told me earlier that she was going to give me something for my "breath". Anne and I kept trying to think of what she meant. When she gave me something for my "bread" I was very relieved! Smile!

This afternoon, I was listening to the Oasis radio station as I drove home. The 3 pm program is great! They play a lot of hymns in a big band or jazz style. They also played a song today that I think must be new. The words are a very simple prayer .....God, help my friend to know you and understand how much you love. There's nothing I can do, only wait for You. As I listened to the words, I wondered who wrote the song, and for whom the song was written. It was so sincere and so powerful!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Countries Visited/Resided In

While listing the countries I have either resided in, or visited, I realized that my family has been to many countries that I Have Not. For example, Mom and Dad went to Yugoslavia, Galen visited India, Keri and Kevina honeymooned in Ireland, Kelli has been to Romania, and Kirk to Greece for the Olympics. Bill has also traveled to places I haven't such as Brazil and Venezuela. I have a lot more traveling to do! I am very blessed, however, to have visited the following countries.

Aruba Australia Austria Barbados Belgium Canada China Columbia Costa Rica Dominican Republic England Fiji Islands France Germany Grand Cayman Guam Holland Hong Kong Indonesia Italy Jamaica Japan Kenya Korea Liechtenstein Malaysia Mexico New Zealand Panama Philippines St. Lucia St. Thomas St. Vincent Singapore Switzerland Tanzania Thailand Trinidad Turkey Venezuela USA/Alaska/Hawaii

Monday, February 1, 2010

Winter Wonderland

After 3 days of no TV or computer we are back with the living again. The ice/snow storm is over and the landscape is breathtaking. Trees are encased in crystal, and bushes and trees are shrouded in sheets of white. The rain began on Thursday and turned to ice by afternoon. It snowed all day Friday leaving us at least 6 inches of snow. Early Friday morning we heard popping and explosive sounds throughout the neighborhood. The power went off soon after that. I stepped out on the patio to take a picture of the park when I heard another crashing sound. Just as I reached the door to our house, I realized that a huge branch from our neighbor's tree had just fallen on their roof. They are fine! Our two oak trees seemed totally undisturbed by the storm, and the cardinals and bluejays didn't seem to notice either.

Thanks to gas logs and Yankee candles, we never suffered. I had made egg salad, potatoe salad and brownies. With smoked ham sandwiches, we enjoyed our picnics. Bill was ready to grill but the power came back and ruined his fun. Bill usually doesn't care for table games, but he actually played several rounds of scrabble and Mexican Dominoes and enjoyed it! Saturday, we had electricity, but no cable or computer yet, so we watched the DVD, "Thunderball" (007) that Kelli gave us for Christmas. On Sunday, church was cancelled, so we went to check on Mom. Her road and sidewalks had been cleared. While Bill went to MacDonald's with his laptop to work on his computer class, I played games with Mom. She had made some vegetable soup earlier which she shared with us. It was so delicious!

We had cancelled our party last Friday, so I called all of my Bible class members this morning to reschedule for this week. Everyone seemed excited!

I called our Toyota dealer this morning about our 2010 Camry. They said they would notify us if we need to bring the car in. Some parts were made in Canada and some in Japan. The Canadian parts are the ones in question and they are waiting for the serial numbers to be sent. I'm not too worried because we have driven our car to Michigan, Texas and Missouri without any problem at all. Experience is everything!

Thank you for all of the phone calls! Storms can be a blessing!