Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kevin's birthday

Today is my son-in-law, Kevin's birthday. I made a potatoe salad and a key lime pie to go with the grilled steaks tonight. Of course, he feels that Isaiah is his greatest gift. Isaiah is a wonderful baby who gets lots of love from his big sisters, Selah and Sofia.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday Events

We are excited to welcome Isaiah Lee to our family! He is absolutely beautiful! Kelli drove to Chicago yesterday with Hannah and we took Sofia and Selah to the hospital to see their new baby brother. For the complete album of pics see Keri's blog! He was born on Monday afternoon. He was one ounce shy of being 9 pounds.

I'm enjoying being in a forested area next to a lake. Keri's condo community is called Water's Edge. The baby was born in Lake Forest Hospital where many of the Chicago Bears live. Kelli and I drove around a bit just for fun. I'm also learning how to be a gramma again. We took the girls to the Burger King playground for lunch! Keri will bring Isaiah home tomorrow. Kevin is a fantastic father!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Update to last blog

Keri just called. The doctor is planning to induce labor on Monday morning at 7:30 am. That gives me time to arrive, and Sofia can be a flowergirl for a wedding on Sunday afternoon. Isn't it great to be able to plan? On our way out of Braum's at noon today, Bill and I were met by Alberto. He was our blue eyed/blond student from Brazil who was a champion basketball player in highschool. He's an OBU student now, and is hoping for a scholarship. I couldn't believe it! Alberto and I prayed that he would get to go to OBU, but he had to go home for awhile and convince his father to let him stay in the States. When two people are praying for the same thing, and they both have faith, God will make it happen!!!
Last blog for a few days

I will be flying to Chicago tomorrow morning. I posted all of my grades yesterday, and said my goodbyes to our students who have graduated and are moving on. I was told that when I return in two weeks that I will be teaching Grammar 104 because the students requested me. That made me feel good! I felt really tired after school and felt guilty about watching Wheel of Fortune because Bill was outside mowing both lawns. They are so green!

Today, I finished last minute packing. I made chili and a potatoe salad so that there will be left-overs while I'm gone. Bill asked me to meet him for lunch at Braum's, and then we will eat tonight with Mom. She said my potatoe salad sounded good, so I will take it over with some smoked ham I bought. The home health nurse has been checking on her. I'm so glad!

I saw Dr. Smith yesterday. He told me how healthy I am, and then started to google on the net. He wanted to see Shoreline Drive in Grayslake (Keri's address). Dr. Smith studied at Northwestern University in Chicago for awhile. He loves to travel, and we often discuss places we have both been. I like to travel, but I like to come home!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Blessings and Roses

Last night, we were under tornado warning from 5 pm to 10 pm. There were several touchdowns, but we only got rain, wind and pea-size hail. Again, we had 2 hours of flashing lightening. This morning, I checked and had 14 new rose buds. My topsy turvy tomatoes are loving it! Our cars were untouched and are shiny from begin washed.

Wednesday evening, I had my hair cut and styled. While there, a lady began telling how the last tornado had demolished a car that she had just sold for $2,500 on the phone. I said, "I saw you on TV! She had been interviewed, but didn't see the clip. While bemoaning the loss of $2,500, her insurance agent told her that the car was worth $3,500 and she would be reimbursed. God has a way of turning lemons in lemonade!!!

Keri continues to have false labor. I told her that I would keep my airline reservation and plan to fly this Saturday morning. We think the doctor will induce very soon. Our school session ends today, and I have all of my grades finished. Actually, it's very convenient. Mom is doing better, and I don't feel so bad about leaving her either.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Weekend Events

I'm still packed and waiting to go to Chicago. God's timing is always perfect and we cannot always understand His ways until we look back. I know that I was suppose to be in Oklahoma this past weekend because Mom has not felt well in the least. Yeterday, Bill and I stopped by after church with a bucket of KFC. She ate very little and let me do everything. That is not typical!! This morning I called her doctor and asked for a home health nurse to check on her everyday.

Not knowing if I would be in town, I had asked Paul Slone to teach my class on Sunday. There were 15 people, and he did a great job. Of course, people were reporting on the tornado damage, thanking God for safety and the good-hearted people of Tecumseh. We sang, "He is able, more than able to do whatever concerns me today." Pastor Larry (senior chaplain at Unity Hospital) spoke about the Ryder children who were reported to be dead, but are recovering. One of the kids was wrapped in a blanket and in the top of a tree when found. I believe in angels!! Another couple joined our church yesterday. They are 70 years old and just got married. Love has no age!

We enjoyed Noel and Mark over the weekend. (Janice is a manager for job services in Springfield and had to work.) As planned, Bill picked up pizza and brought it to Mom's apartment. On Saturday, Jason dropped by with his wife, Shelly, and Jace and Kylee. Those kids are so cute!!

Bill's class, "A Christian World View" has prompted lots of discussion. It was pointed out that if you believe that God created everyone special with value, then you treat that person with love and respect when they are old, ill, in pain, or challenged. If you do not believe that people are special when they cannot contribute to society, it is easier to kill babies and let senior adults die. Without the spirit of God in my life, I would be extremely selfish and not want to be inconvenienced by other people's problems. What would MY world be like if all of the Christians were taken away?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Lightening Storm

Last night was my first time to experience a lightening storm. The flashing light woke me up around 4 am and continued for an hour. Of course, every flash was accompanied by roaring thunder and vibrations around the house. Most of the stop lights were not working today, and the window above my desk at school was blown out. It has poured rain all day!

Mom is still not feeling well, but Joy came in this morning to clean her apartment, and Noel and Janice arrived around 1 p.m. Bill is picking up pizza and will meet me at Mom's for dinner.

Keri had another Dr. appt. today. The doctor was surprised to see her. She had sent her records to the hospital last Friday. Keri has dilated 2 cm. and is just waiting for that little boy to decide to join the world. I'm still packed and ready to fly.

I got a Mother's Day gift today that I asked for. It's the anniversary edition of "Dr. Zhivago". I got to see the opening of that movie in Hollywood when I was a freshman in college and am really excited!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Morning at Unity Hospital

Before going to school, I was suppose to go get my lab tests and didn't eat breakfast. Mom called at 7:30 am and told me that she was running a high temperature, had a headache and felt terrible. It was pouring rain, so I decided to go to the clinic and ask a nurse to check on Mom at her apartment. The doctor thought it best to take her to ER in case she was going to have a stroke. After several tests, the doctor seemed at a loss. I asked him to look at her left ankle and foot which were very blue and swollen. More tests! Finally, the doctor said that blood tests showed that she had cellulitis and a bacterial infection. That was causing her other problems. We got a prescription for antibiotics and we were on our way. Yeah! I was asking God for help, because Keri's baby has been teasing us all for nearly a week.

About 10:30 am I went to the hospital's new cafeteria to get something to eat while Mom was in radiology. It had closed until 11:00 am. So, I wandered to a vending machine. A fellow had the door open and was stocking it. While I was just standing there, he looked up at me and asked if he could get me something. I told him I would like some Cheetos for breakfast and smiled. He handed them to me, and refused to take a dime! I told him that God would bless him, and he said, "I know!"

After taking Mom home, getting her lunch, and getting her meds, I raced to school to teach my afternoon classes. Our school had invited a Muslim teacher from OKC to be our guest today per my request. I felt responsible and was glad to see him for a brief time. He talked to our students in Arabic after school and helped them to understand American culture and our education system. It was very productive.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tornado Hits Tecumseh

We have power again! Many of our neighbors are still without after the storm hit us on Monday afternoon. We were told to leave school when our director heard that our area was under a tornado warning. Bill and I were looking out the french doors in our kitchen toward the park when we saw the wind gusting and heard the siren. Police and emergency vehicles were already speeding along Hwy 9 toward Little Axe (3 miles away) where a woman was killed and her three children injured critically. We prepared to take cover in the bathroom. Everything became very hushed and quiet in about 10 minutes. Our house and cars were completely untouched. We couldn't watch TV without power, so we didn't know what had happened just 4 blocks away until calls started coming in on our cell phones. Mom called to say that her friend Shirley had lost her home. The kids had seen it on their news in Chicago and Los Angeles so called to report. This morning we learned that 19 school busses were destroyed and the public schools are damaged and without power.

Shawnee is fine. We went to school yesterday and did lots of counseling. Our international students had never seen baseball size hail and had no idea what was happening. After school, Bill and I drove Mom to see Shirley's destroyed home and drive around a bit. Police are blocking the streets from Highland Avenue. Some beautiful new brick homes are in shambles, while houses 100 years old are untouched. Mom's church had the windows blown out.

It's fantastic to see the community pull together at a time like this. Food and manpower is pouring in to help. Our church has asked for a list of all members who need help. At a time like this people choose to see the powerful hand of God through His people, or they become bitter and turn away from Him. Within minutes, neighbors were helping neighbors. Tonight, we will be taking Mom to see Uncle Johnny who is without power, but won't leave his animals.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Weekend

Well, I'm still in Tecumseh! Keri called yesterday to wish me a Happy Mother's Day, and it seems her contractions stopped for awhile. That's fine with me because I need to get mid-session grades done today.

Yesterday was an important day at church. We had 14 in Bible Study (3 more members came in for worship with their families from out of state.) I had anxiety about the lesson because it centered on divorce. However, half of us have been divorced, so it became a discussion about when divorce is acceptable, and how the church should view divorce. We all understand the Biblical view, and should focus on forgiveness and moving on as a Christian.

In the worship service, Pastor Larry spoke for about 10 minutes. He let the congregation give praise to God for their mothers. About 20 people stood to speak for one minute. All women received pink roses with babies breath. After church, we picked Mom up at her apartment. She had been to her church and had taught her Bible Study class. As promised, Bill grilled T-Bone steaks fr us. I added baked potatoe, salad and green beans. For dessert, we had Braum's sugar free chocolate pecan ice-cream.

I'm on a diet today because we went to Red Lobster on Saturday. We got our usual - lobster, shrimp and scallops. No dessert!! I have to say that I did celebrate with Dr. Pepper instead of my usual water with lemon. Kirk paid for my dinner. Before going to Red Lobster, we went to Lowe's to get my Mother's Day gift. I got a thick pad for my chaise lounge. I had been many places trying to get a color that would go with our blue and yellow patio furniture. I finally found a yellow. People close to me know that I have to have everything matching at all times or it drives me bonkers!! I would rather do without.

Kelli called. She has been boxing everything to move into her new 3 bedroom, 2 bath condo next weekend. After living in mansions, her kids think it is small. I welcome them to the real world.

This will be an interesting day. Severe weather is expected this afternoon. Oklahoma is not boring at all. You just have to trust God that He is in control, use your common sense and just enjoy! I'm praying for my family and friends to want and let God give them joy in whatever they do today.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Saturday, May 8th

I have spent the day packing and making sure my kitchen is clean. Keri called last night after a visit to the doctor. (Baby Sheckler's pics can be seen on Keri's blog.) The doctor told Keri that she is already having contractions, so I'm ready to fly whenever Kevin calls me. The airline will not change my ticket for medical reasons until Keri is actually checked into the hospital.

My brother, David, has arrived in California. His residence is only two miles from Galen's church! David will stay in the halfway house until June 4th, at which time he can be released to live with Galen and Sondra. Roger is flying Mom to California in a few weeks. I think he must be planning a sailing trip for Mom and David. His new sailboat is much bigger and has radar for longer trips. Mom gets a kick out of steering!

Bill is planning to take me to Red Lobster tonight since Mom is coming over tomorrow for a steak barbeque. (She hates seafood.) Kirk and Tamra sent me a giftcard for Red Lobster, so that was convenient! It's suppose to rain off and on beginning tomorrow and through the week, but Bill insists he can grill under the patio roof. Okay....

My life is in flux right now, so I will keep my friends up to date as events happen. Thank God for wonderful mothers!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday, May 7th

If you want some exciting reading, check out Steven Greenwalt's blog:

It would make an excellent movie! I have learned so much about long distance truck driving!

I'll have more to write later.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thursday, May 6th

Yesterday, was my Dad's birthday. I've never met a man that I have admired more! I feel like I know what Jesus is like because of my father's example. He was gentle, forgiving, and always positive. If I said anything negative about someone, he would just look at me, smile and encourage me to treat that person with respect and dignity. I also remember Dad saying on several occasions, "If there is no God and I am wrong about the Bible, I have lost nothing. I have lived my life in peace without guilt, and have been very blessed! If I have been right, then I am ready to meet my God and am excited about the next life. I can't lose!" I know without doubt that I will meet my father again. It's impossible to live his life without the power of God.

Life is unpredictable. My brother, David, is on his way to California. The Feds sent him to a halfway house near Galen and Roger. Yeah! We all know that David is very blessed to have a Christian family that will forgive him for what he has done, and do all that is possible to help him back into society. David is an extremely smart talented person.

Yesterday, I bought Mom a gift certificate from her hair dresser. I think we are ready for Mother's Day. I also bought some more summer outfits for Selah and Sofia. It's fun! My mailbox was full of junkmail. I noticed that junkmail comes in official looking envelopes these days. I guess that makes me open it, instead of throwing it away. Interesting! I still have more filing to do to clear my kitchen counter.

I'm still waiting for Baby Sheckler to arrive. We should know this weekend what the doctor is going to do.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Congratulations! And Trials!

It seems that May is the time for promotions and congratulations. Galen just learned that he will be given a supervisory position, and now Steve writes that he and his partner, John, have earned the title, "Elite Team". That took years of dedication and skill. Congratulations! Noel and Janice raised you well, Steve!

Yesterday morning, I was sitting at my desk in the Teacher's Room when a student walked in without saying a word. He walked to one of the cabinets and began moving things around. At that point, I got up and questioned him. By then, he was looking at things on another teacher's desk, and said he was looking for a cup. When I pointed to the refrigerated fountain in the hallway, he became very indignant. I stood up to him, raised my voice and ordered him out. When he began to argue with me, my voice got louder and he left. Fortunately, Marilee had walked in and witnessed the entire episode. I learned that the same student had taken a picture of a test just one week ago. He will be gone by the end of this week.

After an emotionally intense morning, I found a memo on my desk at lunch from The Language Company CEO. The Shawnee school had the highest evaluation ever given by students in all 9 schools. It's a unique situation because all of the teachers and the director are "born again" Christians. The owner is Muslim and his wife is Catholic.

Monday, May 3, 2010

My Weekend

Friday night, Bill and I attended the OBU Jazz Concert at the historical Ritz Theater in downtown Shawnee. Someone had restored the neon sign and it was flashing. Cool! The jazz band is going to Brazil in June to work and play concerts. Therefore, they played a lot of Bassa jazz. A girl sang with them on three of the numbers. She was very good, and it took me back to the sixties. So relaxing!

Saturday, the McLoud Volunteer Fire Department was back in Shawnee, so I bought a gorgeous yellow rose bush and planted it with Bill's help. Later, we went to Braum's before seeing, "Alice in Wonderland". The fireman who had helped me put the rose in the car was also eating at Braum's and came over to say hello. By the way, the movie is great for adults, as well as children. Sometimes, we have to take time to just sit back and laugh!

Saturday evening, Steve called me while driving to Maine. I finally got his blog address straight and was able to read it! Steve, I loved reading about your travels. When you stop driving, you can write a book! Can I share your blog address??

Sunday, my Bible class attendance was down. We only had 13. Five of our members came in for worship, however. During the service, David Jordan, our youth director, was sworn into the Army as a chaplain. He will be going to Afganistan after his formal training. He really feels called, and is excited. Major Hanna spoke about David's commitment. He shared that when he first met David several years ago, David weighed 270 pounds and was not accepted by the Army. David prayed and ran at 4:30 every morning with Major DeRyker (another officer in our church) in order to meet the requirements. Today, David is a tall, handsome young man and you would never know about his battle with weight.

After church, we went to dinner with Alex ( an architect from Korea) and our two students from Peru. Those girls are petite and beautiful! I think Alex is smitten! Choi and Lu had other plans, but it was good to have them sitting with us in church.

I visited with Mom on Sunday afternoon and took her some seedless red grapes. I told her to be sure and watch the Huckabee Show on Fox. S.E. Cupp, who is an avowed atheist, was the guest. She has written a book about the bias of the mainstream media against Christians. She is worried about the balance of the nation. Although not a believer in Christ, she can see the intolerance that Christians are enduring. I know from the Bible, that it will only get worse. The Bible says that in the end times we will face persecution -----that America will NOT be a Christian nation. As long as we have a government that does not need God, God will take His hand of mercy off of our land, and we will suffer the consequences. I have heard this since I was a little girl, and now I am watching it happen. Christians have to decide who they will serve. Christians must prepare to suffer. Atheists will not tolerate us and love us the way that Christians have loved and given freedom to all.