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.