Monday, December 19, 2011

Enjoying the Season!

We can't believe the Christmas musical is finished! I'm waiting for Chuck Edwards to give us the web address so that our friends and family can listen. We are not professional, but many people told me that it was our best performance. God's spirit was really with us because we lost one of our best singers on Sunday morning. Pastor Larry called at 7:30 a.m. and told us that Mike Taylor's father had fallen and was awaiting surgery at Mercy Hospital. Mike would not be at church. We were all devastated by the news and began to pray for Mike and his family.

Saturday, we practiced all morning, and then went to Red Lobster for lunch. Since our anniversary is next week, we ordered our usual lobster, scallops and shrimp. After lunch, we walked it off at the mall. I had finished my shopping, but Bill had just begun. While sitting on a bench, Tom Parks sat down next to me while his wife shopped. He travels the world for "Feed the Children." He shared with me his plan to bring a medical team to Shawnee Mission. Having participated in many free medical clinics, I told him to give me a call to help with administrative needs.

Thank you, David, for the Appleby's gift card! You were more than generous! I guess Noel's family, and Mom will go out with us in Branson next week! Spinach dip. Yum!

Kirk and Tamra sent pictures this week of baby Zeke. He is a miracle! I cannot forget the day the doctors had no answers and we thought we were losing that little angel. I spent the afternoon on the phone, and Bill emailed everyone we knew around the world to pray for God's will to be done. Telling God that I was willing to give baby Zeke back to heaven was the hardest thing I have ever done. It was a test of my faith. When I left California, little Ezekiel was still in a coma but was showing signs of recovery - both in his lungs and heartbeat. He left Loma Linda Children's Hospital when he was 6 weeks old. I can hardly believe that he is a healthy little boy now who cries and kicks! God has given us a beautiful baby! Thank you! While there are those who want to kill babies, I'm so glad that there are people who have dedicated their lives to saving babies. They are the world's greatest resource!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's Time to Celebrate

It's Christmas! It's time to celebrate! As I grow older I realize that I have to enjoy everyday to the fullest. I don't know what next year holds for me and my loved ones. I'm planning a Christmas dinner next Thursday evening before traveling to Springfield. I'm going to use my china, crystal and napkin holders. Actually, Bill made me think of it when he asked me to light the candles while we ate pizza. I told him that I would have to buy more candles if we used them frequently. He smiled and said, "Buy more candles!"

I also realized that I never want to be a "religious" person. I've been thinking a lot about what it meant for God to come to earth as a poor baby, and allow himself to be killed on a cross for me. That was true love. So many people love in order to get something for themselves, whether it be for sex, financial security, or someone to take care of them when they are sick. Unselfish love is hard to come by in this world. It's a God thing! I really want to love unconditionally. There is no better gift. It doesn't matter how many Christians feed the poor if they are doing it to shine a light on themselves. The only way to be blessed is to do it out of gratitutde for what God has done for us. Then, it has true meaning! That humbles me.

Monday, December 12, 2011

December Events

Last Saturday, we celebrated Janice's 60th birthday at Garfield's. She still looks pretty, doesn't she? From left to right in the picture below is Bill, me, Mom, Noel, Janice and Bailey. Mark is peeping from behind.

Yesterday, we continued our study of Christmas in Bible Study. We also celebrated Leo's 75th birthday. He's so sweet, and really misses his wife during the holiday season. During worship, the choir sang one number from our musical. After the service, we enjoyed a beautiful potluck dinner in the fellowship hall. The chuch provided ham and turkey. The choir ate first so that we could practice. Having practiced at our house on Friday was really beneficial. Our friend, Randal made risers for the men to stand behind the women. He did a great job. We also got to watch Jessica practice her Irish dance to "What Child Is This". Our church is so blessed!!

We had a great time at our choir potluck on Friday. Twenty-three people came. I baked a strawberry cake and made raspberry punch with sherbet and ginger-ale. This year, after we ate and practiced, we exchanged gifts. I got an angel ornament, and Bill got a nativity snow globe that plays "Silent Night". While we were cleaning up, I noticed two little birds on an end table that said, "Joy" and "Peace". Later, I learned that Lorna had left them for us and wanted to be anonymous. That sounds just like her! She is a role model of Christianity. She is so humble and always looking out for other people.

The 3 Ks are all doing well. They are all busy with Christmas! Kevin will graduate from Trinity Seminary in Chicago next week. It has been a long haul due to pastoring full-time and having 3 babies in the process. Kevin is a former Marine and knows how to work. He is also a very humble person who puts others before himself. God really honors humility. I'm still working on mine.

Christmas Choir/Fence/B-Day Party











































Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Winter is Here!

I need to check some homework for the 0n-line college class, but decided to blog first. I feel like I have been going non-stop this past week! I finally cut back my roses and dealt with a lawn mole that kept coming back. He loved the poison peanuts that I put down his hole. So, I chewed some gum and left it for him. I never saw him again.

I got our Christmas tree decorated. Bill wanted to help, but finally told me he wasn't going to have time. He learned his lesson. Never take two night classes when you have a full-time day job! I'm not complaining because he told me that he has booked tickets to Tahiti in February. Our 30th wedding anniversary is December 22nd. Bill says that will finish his bucket list. We'll see.

Piano lessons are going well. It's fun teaching Christmas music. I don't remember getting so many hugs when I taught piano 20 years ago. Maybe I didn't???

Bible Study Class was great! We are still stuck on the number 15 in attendance. We studied the true meaning of Christmas. We discussed why many people will not accept the message. It was determined that pride and the inability to see sin is a major reason. Also, many people want to take credit for acquiring eternal life, without understanding that it is a gift, not earned.

Christmas choir practice was excellent. We are hosting a party and practice at our house this Friday evening. We expect 20 people. Chuck Edwards is planning to put our performance on the internet. I'll let my readers know the address soon.

I may have mentioned that a mother could not pay me for her child's piano lesson because they had to make a payment on their trip to Disney World during Christmas vacation. What????? I recently heard how you can tell which child will be a Republican and which child will be a Democrat when they grow up. When a playmate wants to take his friend's toy, the Republican will say, "No, that's mine!" When a playmate is a Democrat, he will say, "No, that's mine! Here, take Billy's."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nice weekend in Springfield

Bill and I drive Noel and Mark to Springfield on Thursday morning. (We couldn't talk Mom into traveling with us, so I baked her a sugar-free pumpkin pie and bought a small turkey breast for her dinner. ) Noel was wiped out from the trip, so we brought home tacos on Thanksgiving evening and had pie and brownies for dessert. On Friday, we drove to Battlefield Mall for about an hour. I bought Mom a new cell phone at the Sprint kiosk. It rained all day Saturday and we just sat around and watched TV. That evening, Janice's father, Bailey Hill, took us all to Appleby's in Nixa where he lives. I love the spiniach dip and chips! We all laughed because we went to Appleby's in Springfield last Thanksgiving weekend. Sunday morning, we attended Ridgecrest Baptist Church on Republic Rd. The music is outstanding!!!
Wintley Phipps will be in concert there next week. Wish I could go!

We arrived home Sunday evening. Mark stayed with Janice in Springfield so that he could bowl with his team.

Monday, I spent the entire day it seemed at the Dean McGee Eye Institute (OU Medical Center). I was there from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Noel went along for the ride and we had lunch at Denny's in OKC. I returned home about 2:45 p.m. The eye doctor agrees with my last eye doctor that I may have been born with asymetrical pressure in my eyes. That means that I do not have glaucoma, but they will continue to watch me. I was given 4 tests, including a field test and pictures of my cornea and optical nerves. I still have 20/20 vision in both eyes relating to distance. I can drive without glasses. Reading is a different story.

While in Springfield, we had a nice Skype visit with David and Galen. I talked on the phone with Kelli, Keri, and Kirk. I just can't have a Thanksgiving holiday without remembering the tiny little turkey that came into my life in 1970. Kelli was born 14 months after Keri. It was difficult, but I wouldn't trade my kids for anything! They are gifts from God and I love them! Thank you, God, for all of the wonderful people you have put into my life!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Week

The weather is cool and rainy. I love it! Last night I sat by the fire and watched the news. I had a busy day shopping and meeting Bill at the surgeon's office in the afternoon. The doctor said that Bill's gall bladder was not an emergency and that he could wait until a more convenient time to have it removed. We were relieved in light of our busy schedule at the moment! I left the medical center to hurry home for a piano lesson. Nancy brought a beginner duet book that is lots of fun! She's learning, "I've Got the Joy, Joy, Joy".

Last week, I drove Noel to the OK Heart Hospital (North) for his 7:15 a.m. appointment. When he finished, we ate breakfast in the cafe. I love their yogurt with mixed fresh berries! After breakfast, I drove Noel's van to Sam's Club. He bought two real leather rocker recliners for his new apartment. Fellows at the store put them into the van, but Mark helped Noel and me get them out. Noel really paid the price for that physical exertion! I told him he was crazy. I realized again that my family would rather die working at something than to sit in a tent on Wall Street!!!

Saturday, Noel and Mark went with me and Bill to see the movie, "Help". It was great! Having been raised on the West Coast, it is difficult for me to realize that people of color were treated so differently in the South. Also, having lived in Africa for three years, I can see the cultural influence on Blacks in America. We "rocked out" at church in Kenya. I loved it!

We had 15 people again in Bible Study last Sunday. We seem to be stuck on that number. There were 4 absent, but a new college student has joined us. Allisa is a beautiful OBU student from Texas who has become very involved. She shared in class how she was a difficult teen, but her parents teaching was paying off. She's involved with Hope House for children.

Noel and Mark joined us for worship on Sunday. Noel wasn't feeling very well, but he forced himself to come because Bill and I were playing the special music, "As the Deer".

Choir practice was a drill session. The Celtic music we are learning for Christmas is very difficult. We don't mind because we love the familiar tunes. After practice, Bill and I went to Cracker Barrel and ate trout, and shopped for Christmas.

We are driving to Springfield on Thursday for the weekend. Noel misses Janice so much! Bill and I are trying to get the GCU classes caught up. He grades all the papers and I grade the homework -- 41 students. This week the students are contrasting Christianity and Pantheism. I'm learning a lot myself. I become more and more thankful that I have hope through Jesus Christ. One atheist student said that he was becoming afraid. I told the student that there is no fear when you understand how much God loves you! You also have a power greater than yourself to help with any problem that comes. That gives me peace and makes me thankful!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Beautiful Fall Season

I thought fall was going to pass us by, but it has been one of the most beautiful that we have had since living in Oklahoma! The trees are brilliant! Today, however, is the first cold day we have had. Yesterday, it was 70 degrees. I'm not complaining because the energy bill is low!

I met my new doctor this week. Dr. Shaw has come to the clinic after serving as Chief of Staff at Community Hospital in Oklahoma City. This morning I had my lab work and got a shingles innoculation. I was impressed because I received a call telling me that my lab results were very good.

Last weekend, Janice drove to Shawnee with Bailey. Noel's family and Mom came over for dinner. I served tacos and spanish rice. Everyone loved it because I topped the rice with cheese. I also made an apple pie and served it with whipping cream.

I'm still staying busy with piano lessons and on-line classes. I really enjoy reading the homework for the Christian Worldview class. This week the book is discussing how the atheist view differs. The students have really impressed me with their deep thinking. One wrote that atheists in general think that pigs and dogs have more importance than an unborn child. Another wrote that if you have no belief in God or a higher power, then you must create your own self worth and value. That can be very risky since we all come down on ourselves at times.

Politics is heating up! I am so glad that I watch Fox News to get both sides of the story. I saw a story on MSNBC that made me angry. I had watched an interview with the person in question, and knew that there was another side to the story that I was reading! No wonder Fox continues to be #1 in the ratings. I'm also glad that the mayors have begun to see the light and are asking rude people to leave the city streets. "Occupiers" have certainly been a lesson in what happens when you take God out of the equation. There is a right way to get things done! The general public and business owners have rights also! Well, the Bible predicts that all of this will happen. Matthew 24

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Celebration of Life and Death

This is Sofia's 7th birthday. She is such a joy in every way! We love to hear her chatter on the phone about first grade and all of her activities at church.

Yesterday, Kirk called to tell us that Tamra's mother is dancing with Jesus! Nancy Hyde fought a hard battle with diabetes which caused her to lose both feet. I grieve with Kirk and Tamra's family because of our loss. She was one of the most generous people on the face of the earth, and loved deeply. Last summer, while visiting in California, I was touched by the extreme loyalty that Andy (Tamra's father) showed by traveling back and forth to the hospital daily to be with his wife and lover. He was battling cancer and didn't let it stop him. Again, Nancy let her family know that heaven is for real before she passed from this life, and mentioned people in her past as they are now in the present!

Last Wednesday, I took Mom as my guest to a dinner at Paul's Steak House. It was an appreciation dinner given by our bank. I was impressed because there were no speeches --just New York steak and a good time with other clients. When we left, we were given stone coasters. I wished Bill could have come with us.

Thursday morning, I drove to OKC to pick up Noel at Community Hospital. His neurologist had him to spend the night at the Sleep Center. Later, Janice arrived in Shawnee. She brought a car full of linens etc. for Noel's new apartment. She and Mark stayed until Saturday morning, and then she drove Noel back to Springfield. He will return the end of November for his next doctor's appointment.

Yes! Oklahoma experienced two big earthquakes this past week! The one on Saturday morning registered 5.6 without any explanation. We thought we were back in Japan where they are frequent. I felt no fear, just waited for God to stop rocking the boat. My times are in the hands of a loving God.

Bill's Mr. Pumpkin 2011

Bill is showing off his carving skills once again this year!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

It's a beautiful Halloween! We had rain this last week, with warm days and cold nights. As a result, the leaves on the trees have begun to turn red and gold. Mixed with the green, the myriad of colors are gorgeous! Saturday morning, Bill and I went to the pumpkin patch. He picked one that would be easy to carve. Jack is so cute with his toothy grin! I noticed that Braum's ice cream has gone on sale, which is also a sign of fall.

I have been working more than I expected on Bill's on-line classes. There are 28 students in Christian Worldview, and 16 students in Writing for the Media. I post participation in the discussion groups and grades. There is a rubric that I follow. Bill reads and grades all the essays. Whew! I'm finding the classes extremely interesting because the students are from various ethnic groups, and enter the classes with fresh and open minds. Actually, I'm encouraged by these young people. Many of them are new Christians, or show that they are really seeking God. Many of them are not impressed with the world that their Godless parents are leaving them.

Saturday, Noel went with Bill and me to see, "Real Steel". It is an interesting sci-fi movie about robots that fight. It was exciting, and quite the "guy movie". Noel is really excited because he can move into his new apartment anytime now. It will save his family a lot of money while he is here to get medical treatment. The kitchen is fully equipped with dishwasher, laundry unit, and built-in microwave. The back has a small patio. It's about a block from Mom's. Perfect!

Sunday was a good day! There was a beautiful young lady from Texas that visited my class. There were 15 of us again. The lesson was on God's provision. Some people can only see what's in front of their noses. Others know what God can do with what we give to Him. Several times, God has multiplied our finances without any help from us!! I remember the time our stocks were sold without our permission. Just before Bill called to complain, he noticed that the market had taken a major drop and an "angel" had saved us. Someone had made a mistake, but it was in our favor. I just thanked God! After we sold the cottage, Bill sent some of the profit to an investment corporation. That business was going under, and the vice president (our investment counselor) had not alerted us. We were able to get the check back just in time and avert the money to a bank. Thank you, God!

Choir practice continues to go well. The Irish timing is challenging, but fun! Christmas will be here soon!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Fence/Family/GCU classes

I guess I should take a picture of our new fence on the south side of the house. (We replaced the north side over a year ago.) When I'm not giving piano lessons and helping Bill with his college online classes, I'm a contractor. This past week I went to Ace Hardware to order and pay for materials for the new fence. It was a huge job because we took out the old chain link fence and replaced it with a cedar privacy fence. We used steel posts set in concrete every 6 feet. Also, because our neighbor's yard is 6 inches higher than ours, we had to put 2 layers of railroad ties against the bottom of the fence to stop erosion. I got tired of the sound of saws and drills and am sooo happy it is finished! Emma Stockton lives next door and paid half the cost. Bless her!

Mom is fine. Noel continues to see cardiologists and neuroligists. There were some glitches in the new apartments being built, he has to wait to move in. My brother, David, got his passport and will be going to Mexico in November. He just returned from visiting his daughter, Lisa, in Seattle. Baby Zeke is progressing well at home, but is still getting rid of the methadone in his body.

Sunday was a good day. In spite of 3 people being gone, we had 15 in Bible Study Class. The lesson was about spiritual warfare and recognizing evil. I noticed that the members are beginning to feel very comfortable with each other and are opening up. It takes a lot of trust and courage to ask others to pray for you in certain areas of your life. Unconditional love is often difficult to find! It comes when people realize that everyone sins and we all need forgiveness. Learning to love people but not the sin is a hard lesson!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Summer Pictures 2011

Harbor Village, Manistee, Michigan



View of dining area.


Full moon as seen from our deck.








Want to see them again! Smile!





































One Nation Divided

I have been very disturbed by the scenes I have seen on TV this week. I was further shocked when our president encouraged the unorderly demonstrations. Everyone agrees that policies need to be changed so that people are not cheated by banks and businesses. However, the folks I see on the streets of NYC apparently missed the lessons regarding going through proper channels, using proper hygeine and having respect for people who have different beliefs.

When you take God out of a person's belief system, it seems that respect for others is also abandoned. I have not always agreed with my parents, but I have always respected them and would not want them to be embarrassed in front of their friends by my behavior. It's not all about me! I wasn't allowed to talk back to my parents, and I never allowed my kids to talk back to me. To this day that rule persists, and we all respect each other in spite of differences.

A nation is like a family. When we are unable to sit down and discuss problems in a civil manner, all hell will let loose. In spite of being raised with six brothers, yelling and screaming was not a part of our homelife. By nature, we are selfish, but the spirit of God can change hearts so that we aren't always looking out for ourselves. On the other hand, I have observed that the people who want everyone to have equal benefits without working for them, are often people who were spoiled while growing up. They never had to work too hard, and had a lot doled out to them. They never learned the satisfaction of working hard and achieving success on their own. My husband, Bill, was in the Peace Corp. Their motto was , "Don't give people fish. Teach them how to fish so that they will never be hungry."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Family and Trip to Tulsa

A week ago Monday evening, David and Charity arrived at Gramma's with their 2 year old twins, Josiah and Gideon and older son, Hayden (4 yrs.). David is my nephew (brother John's son). He works for the Sheriff's Dept. in Riverside, California. Bill and I joined them for dinner and soon learned how to tell the twins apart. Gideon has a sunny disposition and has a ready smile on his face. Josiah is more serious. Both have beautiful blue eyes and a mop of blond curls. Tuesday morning, the kids came to our house to visit and play in the park. It had been raining, so we had a foot washing on the patio before they left. I think Hayden enjoyed the experience more because he found the most puddles.

Saturday, Bill and I drove to Arby's on the southwest side of Tulsa to pick up Noel. His wife, Janice drove from Springfield with her father, Bailey and son, Mark who had gallbladder surgery yesterday. Noel felt so bad that he wouldn't be able to be with Mark for his surgery.

Yesterday, (Monday) I drove Noel to Dr. Kahn's office. While there, he had a pacemaker check. Noel is five years younger than I am, and is far too young to have these problems. Before heading home, we had lunch at the OK Heart Hospital Cafe. I felt right at home and was surprised that Noel seemed disoriented until I remembered that he had been a patient and had never eaten in the Cafe. Smile!

David served his parole and is now a free man! He flew to Seattle last weekend to visit his daughter. Fantastic! He is rewriting his book and has a full life ahead.

Bill is taking on another GCU class and has been teaching me how to post homework and grades. He also continues to teach English full-time at TLC. If that isn't enough, he's directing the Christmas musical practices after worship service. We have 21 people who have taken books. One man went hunting for the weekend, but showed up for choir. A woman went to urgent care Sunday morning for eye allergies, but then showed up for choir. Wow!

I'm following the political candidates and the Wall St. demonstrations carefully. I remember what Dad use to say. "Where God is, there is order. Where evil exists, there is chaos." Where God is, you find the "fruit of the spirit".

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall Has Arrived

It began to rain on Saturday evening and continued all day Sunday until midnight. I loved it! The brown leaves on the oak trees in our backyard swirl and float to the ground. Near the stop light on Hwy 109 a pumpkin patch announces that fall has arrived. Every year, children ride a small train around the patch and choose their pumpkin. We will buy a big one in another week. I enjoy making pumpkin bread from scratch.

Last Friday evening, Bill and I finally went to the Tecumseh High School Homecoming football game. It cost us $2 each to watch Harrah High School blow T-Town away! We decided Tecumseh's marching band was the only reason to go. They were good and played a tribute to Elvis. Bill thought it was great to be a spectator, and not have to be the director after so many years of worrying over high school bands. Teaching English is easier!

Saturday, we saw, "Captain America" at the Hornbeck. We used our reward card and were given free popcorn. It was a cheap date! The movie is pure Hollywood - a guy's flick.

Sunday, we arrived home about 3:00 p.m. after Christmas choir rehearsal and lunch. I called Mark who had been rushed to St. John's Hospital for chest pains. The doctors are running lots of tests, and think he may have gall stones and anxiety attacks. I am suppose to drive to Tulsa next Saturday and meet Janice and Noel for lunch. Then, I will drive Noel the rest of the way to Shawnee. He has an appointment with his heart doctor here. It remains to be seen if Mark will be with them.

I continue to teach piano lessons and am loving it! Two of the little boys are 8 years old. They lean on me and say, "You are my favorite piano teacher!" Of course, I know it is because I give them such things as wiggly worms that glow in the dark, and little cars when they do well.

I am so thankful that God created seasons and that I can count on Him. Science continues to show itself to be fallible. Every year, science corrects itself in some way and confuses us. Should we have this or that test? Should we eat eggs? Who ever said a lobotomy was good? I'm so glad that Christian doctors and scientist don't totally rely on themselves!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Celebration of Answered Prayer

What a weekend! On Friday evening, 14 members our Bible Study Class had a potluck dinner on our patio to celebrate Lorna's 60th birthday. Lorna shared how grateful she was because there had been some doubt that she would ever see that birthday. Last year, Lorna had a kidney transplant. We had just sung, "Happy Birthday" when my cell phone rang. It was Kirk saying, "Mom, we've got Ezekiel in the car and we are taking him home from the hospital!!" I told our guests the news and held up the phone so that Kirk and Tamra could hear the applause! Today, Kirk called me again so that I could hear him cry. What a beautiful sound! Ezekiel was 6 weeks old on Sunday and is finally home for the first time.

On Wednesday, Keri celebrated her 42nd birthday. She is still young and beautiful! Not only is she pretty on the outside, she is pretty on the inside. I am so proud of the Christian wife and mother that she is.

Yesterday, we had 17 in Bible Study Class. We studied the wedding in Cana, and the power that God gives us in our daily lives. Several members shared the incredible things that have been happening to them. After the worship service, we had Christmas choir practice. Twenty-two people showed up. Bill taught the men's parts in one room, and I taught the women in the auditorium. Next Sunday, we will sing together. As I mentioned in a previous blog, we are singing an Irish musical and everyone just loves it. The most famous tunes have Christmas words.

Last night, Mom gave Bill and me tickets to see, "Courageous" with her church at the Jones Cinema 8. It was showing on 2 screens and the parking lot looked like a football game! Sony distributed the picture made by Sherwood Baptist Church for 2.2 million dollars. Yahoo reported that it made 8 million dollars the first weekend. I loved the movie!!! It made me laugh several times, and it made me cry. Several men around me were crying as well. I was reminded that there is an all-out spiritual warfare going on as I watched the trashy movie previews just before "Courageous" began. Satan is working harder than ever to devour anyone he can. However, "Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world!"

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fall is in the Air

Our fall evenings and mornings are cool while the daytime temps reach the mid 80's. We won't get the fall colors due to the dry summer. Tecumseh got just enough rain to keep the lawns a pale green. I really missed the usual thunderstorms.

I'm giving piano lessons in the afternoons and enjoying being a homemaker in the mornings. Yesterday, I knew that Mom would be missing Noel since he returned to Springfield for a few weeks. So, I took her to the mall and then we had lunch together.

Bill and I watched the Republican debate. Many of us were impressed by Herman Cain. We just laugh when people say that all Right-Wingers are racially prejudiced. Look up Herman Cain on the computer. He's smart and knows God.

Sunday, we had a good Bible Study Class. We discussed how to share our faith in a hostile society. During the worship service I played an arrangement of "Holy, Holy, Holy" for the offertory. After the service, we had our first Christmas choir practice. Everyone is excited because it is a Celtic collection entitled, "Tapestry of Light". One of our teenage girls is going to do a solo Irish dance as part of the performance.

Ezekiel remains in the hospital while the doctors wean him from the morphine he was on for the past five weeks. He is breathing on his own, and Kirk and Tamra can hold him. Loma Linda's head pediatric doctor told them to thank God! Ezekiel had one of the worst cases of meconium aspiration they had ever encountered.

Kelli called this morning. Caleb is adjusting to the divorce and playing on the varsity tennis team at his high school. Hannah is on the high school student council and singing with the worship team at her church. (Mega church!) Their worship team director requires all singers to attend one of the other services as well just to worship. Wise!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Lifestyle

I am enjoying being semi-retired for awhile. I have three piano students and two wanting to begin soon. My friend, Nancy, makes me feel that I am doing the right thing. She continually thanks me and tells me that she has always wanted to take lessons! I haven't taught piano since we lived in the Cayman Islands 18 years ago.

Baby Ezekiel continues to improve and may get to leave the hospital next weekend. He is learning to feed and becomes more aware of his world each day. We all celebrated his one month birthday on Sunday! (To think that some people want to abort such precious blessings of life! Perhaps they have never loved anyone but themselves.)

Yesterday, I joined Noel and Jason (Galen's son) at Mom's apartment for lunch. Noel made gourmet sloppy joes for us. I do mean gourmet! There were bowls of shredded lettuce, cheese, Fritos, baked french fries, and a platter of sliced tomatoes and baby carrots. For dessert, Noel had made banana pudding from scratch and topped each serving with whipped cream. No cherries. I hate those things anyway! We all sat and watched a slide show of the family on Mom's new digital frame. We laughed at how young and thin we all use to be! Noel was exhausted from his efforts and went to bed soon after lunch. Janice is driving to Shawnee this weekend to take him back to Springfield for awhile.

We learned that our computer company, TechRescue, is going under. In this economy that in itself is not a surprise. But, I was really upset when I realized that they had broken contract and continued taking our money. Our tech man, Keith, was honest and told me to block our auto payment as quickly as possible. So, I called our bank and did so. We will continue to keep Keith on a free lance basis. We really appreciated his honesty!!

We all have to stop putting our trust in people, and turn to God. The message on Sunday taught me that God is not fair------He is merciful! Fairness is not a spiritual concept. But mercy is! It's never too late to serve God and He will always give us more than we really deserve. We will miss a lot of blessings if we try to negotiate. I'm also learning not to give God a timetable. He knows what's going on, and He's never late! Matthew 20

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

More Summer Pictures 2011

Uncle Johnie's Casket

Bill and grandkids at Lake Michigan in Manistee
Kirk with poster of Grampa's "How Much Do You Love Me?"






Gramma Marti with Ezekiel at Loma Linda Children's Hospital in California









Summer 2011

It has been a hot, eventful summer! I just posted some pictures of Manistee, Michigan with the girls and our grandkids. It was our first journey back after selling the family cottage and we were all curious about how we would feel. However, we spent a week at Harbour Village and fell in love with being right next to the yachts and the beach. Kevin was taking a class and couldn't join us, but Keri drove up with Sofia, Selah and Isaiah. Kelli came up with Hannah and we celebrated her 14th birthday.

Noel had his ablation surgery at Oklahoma Heart Hospital. It may take a second procedure, the verdict is not in yet. He is still having some heart issues. We have enjoyed having him stay in Shawnee with Mom in her apartment, although Janice misses him in Springfield.

Ezekiel is improving daily and we are praying that he can leave the hospital and go home soon. His breathing tube was removed last Sunday when he was 3 weeks old., and he is learning to breathe on his own and feed.

Galen and Sondra just returned from England where they ministered and toured. We are awaiting their report.

I am no longer teaching at TLC. I have started teaching piano/keyboard lessons again. I'm finding it to be much more flexible and seem to be making some people very happy. Bill continues to teach full-time for TLC, and is teaching for GCU in the evening. He enjoys what he is doing and continues to have good health.

It has been a long, hot, challenging summer, but God has been good through it all! Check out a few of my pictures in my previous blog. I'll try to add more this week.

Summer Pictures 2011



















Thursday, September 8, 2011

Prayer for Baby Ezekiel changes everything!

The day before I flew back to Oklahoma, Ezekiel opened his eyes for the first time in a week and looked at me breifly. Kirk said, "Mom, that was a gift from God!" Just a few days before, we all (including the head doctors) thought we were going to lose the little guy due to infection from the meconium and pulmonary hypertension. I called Bill and he sent an urgent request for prayer via email. We immediately received return emails from friends at home, Japan, Kenya, Korea Grand Cayman, and India! Everyone assured us of their prayers.

Christian doctors at Loma Linda Children's Hospital were confused and began to pray for wisdom. After deciding to try a different antibiotic, Ezekiel showed signs of improvement. Tamra, being a nurse, taught me how to interpret the numbers on the various machines. In spite of wanting to have the heart of Abraham when he was asked to give up his son, I couldn't contain my tears of joy when I saw my tiny grandson open his eyes.

I was touched when Kirk told me how much he had learned about God the past few weeks. He said, "I can't hold my son because of all the wires and tubes. God wants to hold me, but it is impossible when I'm so attached to this world. Everyday, I tell Ezekiel what a beautiful room he has at home that it is just waiting for him. Someday, I'm going to leave this sin-sick world behind and go to a beautiful home that has been prepared for me!"

While attending Kirk's church (Set Free) last Sunday morning, I was reminded that our words come back to us. A man named Mark came up to me. He said, "Ten years ago I came to Kirk's church when he was in Pomona. You talked to me for a long time and encouraged me to go to the Ranch and get rid of my drug habit. I didn't realize that God's strength is greater than mine. Here I am 10 years later, and still drug free! I wanted to say, "Thank you!" To be honest, I didn't remember the man and was stunned! Mark also went on to tell me about his daughter who was born with heart problems and is now 30 years old. Now, he was encouraging me!

Kirk called last night. He was allowed to hold his first child for the first time! I told Kirk to call me when they get those respirators out of the baby's mouth and he can cry. What a beautiful sound!

When you love someone so much, and the doctors admit that they aren't sure what to do, it is such a comfort to be able to cry out to God. It is also a comfort to have family and friends that say, "I can't help, but I have a God that can!" My faith has been strengthened through this time. I have also learned that if God wanted to take my grandson back to heaven, He would give me the grace and strength to deal with that also.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday, August 28th

I am preparing to fly to Riverside, CA early tomorrow morning. Kirk called and reported that Ezekial is stabilizing, but is not breathing on his own yet. The doctors hope that he will be able to breathe on his own in the near future. We are so grateful for all of the prayers that have been said. I received more messages this week from friends close to home and from Japan. Having a family of believers is so comforting.

This has been a busy week. I drove Mom to the Seminole Courthouse on Wednesday to finalize my Uncle Johnie's will. I drove Noel to the Okla. Heart Hospital (North Campus) on Thursday for a CT scan on his heart. He will have the ablation surgery next Wednesday. Mark and I hung out at Starbuck's (inside the hospital).

I have been fighting sinus drainage due to all of the air conditioning. Bill drove me to Ada to get some meds on Saturday. Bill has been the wind beneath my wings while I have worried over family members this summer. He has washed dishes, mowed the lawn, helped shop, and taught my Bible Study Class. He has done all of these things while teaching full time at TLC, and setting up his new on-line computer class. I'm blessed!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Baby Ezekial

My new grandson, Ezekial, is bringing the Christian world together this week. He has so many people from around the world praying for him! Yesterday, my brother Roger called. He said that his daughter had called from Asia to check on baby Ezekial.

I have a ticket to fly to Riverside, California next Monday. Although the baby will most likely stay in the hospital, we are hoping that Tamra will be home and I can assist her. Yesterday, Kirk reported on the phone that Ezekial's blood pressure had risen, and they wouldn't have to give him plasma. He still cannot breathe on his own. The email pictures of Kirk and Tamra praying for the tiny bundle with tubes everywhere are so sweet and made me cry! (He can't be held yet.) There must be sooo many angels surrounding him.

Tamra's mother continues to recover in the hospital from an amputation of her leg, and she has no sisters.

Times like these make me so glad that I have faith in a power greater than myself or any doctor. When I feel helpless, I just talk to God and feel secure that He knows what life is all about and has a plan. That gives me an unexplainable peace that no one on this earth can take away.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back Home/Baby Ezekial

Bill and I had a great two weeks in Manistee, Michigan! We arrived back home last Sunday evening, and haven't had time to take a breath since! The big news is that Tamra had an emergency C-section yesterday, August 21 at 4:30 a.m. My grandson, Ezekial Zion Overstreet came into the world gasping for breath. He has Miconium Aspiration - he pooped into his lungs. That seems to be a common affliction, and is very dangerous. As Kirk said, "Ezekial has already started a prayer movement!" The doctors feel that he is doing much better, but he remains on breathing tubes. Although Kirk and Tamra live in Riverside, California, Ezekial was born in the same hospital that Kirk was born in 36 years ago. I had an emergency C-section at Redlands Community Hospital in California. Kirk also started a prayer movement!! Dr. Reynolds admitted to me that he learned to pray in those 7 minutes

Tamra's mother remains in the hospital after having a leg amputated due to diabetes. I am waiting for Kirk's call to let me know if I am needed to fly to California to be a nursemaid.

Noel continues to stay at Mom's apartment. He has a CT scan this week, and his heart ablation is scheduled for August 31. I need to be here for him as well, so I will see where God sends me.

I taught my Bible Study class yesterday for the first time in 3 weeks. There were 16 people present. Our lesson centered on what Paul had to say about criticism of each other. We had a great discussion.

The day before we left for Michigan, I was told that the school would not have enough students to keep me as a part-time teacher. Okay. I decided to go back to teaching piano until I'm old enough to collect Medicare. Without any real advertising, I already have 5 students ready to start in September!

We really enjoyed seeing Kelli and her kids, Caleb and Hannah. We also had a great time with Keri and her kids, Sofia, Selah, and Isaiah. The condo was modern, extremely well decorated and furnished, and the location was perfect! It was on a yacht harbor and across the street from a beautiful beach with a nice playground. Harbour Village also had two pools -one inside, and one outside. Bill and I enjoyed a concert at Interlochen and one on Manistee River. Our last night there, we saw the play, "Bus Stop" at the Ramsdell Theater on stage. I continue to say that I will post some pictures in the future. I'll surprise myself and get it done soon.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Noel/Michigan

August is here and the heat goes on! My roses could care less about the heat, they continue to thrive and be beautiful! What an example to us all!

I taught 12 people in Bible Study on Sunday morning, and then traveled to OKC to visit with Noel in the Heart Hospital. He is toughing it out until the ablation surgery....maybe two more weeks. Galen and Sondra have remained in Oklahoma to be with him.

Knowing that Noel is in good hands, we decided to go on to Michigan and stay in touch. We rented a 3 bedroom condo on Lake Michigan and the kids will join us. However, we will stay with Roy and Marlene for a couple of nights on Bar Lake. They were our neighbors for 25 years until we sold our cottage last year. It will seem a bit strange to be sleeping next door. However, Bill is looking forward to waking up in the morning and not having any chores. Every year, he had a list of things he wanted to do to keep the place in top shape. Now, he can swim and canoe.

I may not be blogging for two weeks. If we find a wi-fi , I will blog a bit on our computer. As my dad would say to me when I left for Japan, "God will take care of you, and God will take care of me."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Noel/Mom/Kelli

It has been a long hot summer. In spite of the high temperatures, God just keep blessing! Keri called me on my lunch hour at school. She had gone to Kelli's custody hearing, and reported that the judge ruled in Kelli's favor. The judge also ruled that Caleb cannot decide who he will live with until he is 18 years old! God does answer prayer!

Noel had a second brain scan. The doctors ruled out a second stroke and said they had seen scar tissue. That enabled them to put a camera into his esophagus and take pictures of his heart today. Once the pictures are interpreted, they may put a laser into his heart and create a wall of tissue to stop the stray electrical impulses. Yesterday, I was in Noel's room when the doctor from Cleveland Heart Hospital called. He and the doctor in OKC agreed. That was a confirmation that the right course of action had been decided.

Also, yesterday, Janice called me from Mom's while I was at the hospital. She needed to go back to the hospital, and needed me to take Mom to the clinic. Her right eye was bright red! The doctor worked her in, and said that a vein had burst from strain. It should be alright in a few days.

Bill called Michigan to see if we could postpone our stay at the lake condo that we have rented. They are being very kind, and said to let them know about Noel's condition. We gave them the hospital room number for varification.

Galen and Sondra drove back to Oklahoma as soon as they heard about Noel's condition. They are staying at Jason's. Jason had just been to California for a week with his family. You can tell that he spent a lot of time on the beach because he is very brown!

At the moment, we don't care about Washington and politics or the weather. We are just watching Noel. I don't believe in a God who gives me everything I want, but I do believe in a God who loves me and always does what is best. He's so much smarter than I am!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Isaiah 40:31 Noel/Uncle Johnie

"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strenth ......." I have hung onto this verse for the last week. I know without a doubt that I could not have endured without the prayers of my family and friends.

When I went to a meeting at Cooper's Funeral Home last week, I thought I would simply take Mom and be an observer. It became apparent that Uncle Johnie had not left funeral instructions. Family members knew what they wanted for the graveside, but had no idea what to do for the service. Uncle Johnie's church had just lost their minister of music so there was a void. At that point, I stepped up and took control of the music and the service. I also ordered the family flowers.

On Friday morning at 8: 00 AM the horsedrawn wagon was to carry Uncle Johnie to the cemetary. It was one hour late and everyone was standing around in 90 degree heat. Noel began to feel bad and Bill and I took him to the church. I gave him some ice water and put him on the front row with us so that no one would greet him. Noel made it through the funeral and the beautiful lunch which the church provided for the family.

On Saturday, Noel began to weep with intense pain in his chest while sitting on our couch. I told him I was going to drive him to the Okla. Heart Hospital ER. They admitted him, and Bill and I arrived home at 1:00 AM . I got a sub for my Bible Study class. That afternoon, I drove Mom and Mark to the hospital. Dr. Kahn encouraged Noel and said there were several new procedures that could help him. In the evening, the test results came back from the head scan and he learned that he had suffered two small strokes at the funeral. One from a clot and one that was still bleeding. Noel has five more tests today and then we will know more. Noel is a 6 foot tall retired Navy officer who is always detailed and in control of any situation. It's hard for me to watch him be so helpless.

I have to teach this morning, and then take Mom to meet my uncle's attorney. Then, it is back to the hospital. I have a peace that passes all understanding. I'm amazed at the strength God is giving me physically and emotionally. I am so thankful for loving friends and family who are praying for me in spite of not being close. It makes all the difference in the world at times like this! I love you! Keep praying!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Uncle Johnie

My last day at school was last Friday. Saturday morning, Mom called me at 7:00 a.m. Uncle Johnie had died of heat exhaustion and smoke inhalation. Neighbors saw smoke. Isn't that just like God to send smoke signals for his beloved Indian man?At 92 years old, he was still bailing hay and living alone. Mom and I are helping to make arrangements since he lost his wife and his son several years ago. I learned that he was still teaching an adult SS class, was a deacon in the church, and was the former treasurer. He was loved by everyone who knew him! The Oklahoma Baptist Children's Home will receive his estate. The statement I have heard most often about Uncle Johnie is this, "No one was more ready to meet God face to face!" Is there a greater compliment?

I will write more after the funeral.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Crazy Days of Summer

Yesterday, I taught my verbal skills class and then left to go to the dentist. I had my teeth cleaned and a good check-up. No problems. Then, I picked up Mom and took her to lunch at Boom-A-Rang. We both ordered breakfast. I hadn't eaten there for about 3 years, and was surprised to see that it has expanded and was packed with people. Before leaving Mom's apartment, she gave me her Easter decorations that she collected while living in Germany. She said that she always spends Easter at my house, and doesn't feel well enough to use them. I value them! When I arrived at my house, the far end of my street was blocked with OGE trucks. Three houses down from us, someone had been digging and hit a gas main. Their entire front lawn had to be dug up! About an hour after the OGE trucks left, it began to rain. Thunder rolled and lightening flashed. It rained hard for over an hour. Thank you, God! It was an answer to our prayers!

Keri called Monday evening. Chicago had a major storm that knocked out their electricity. Living next to a lake is great when it is hot, but doesn't help during a storm.

Galen needs gall bladder surgery. I told him my surgery at Miami Baptist in Florida was no big deal. He will be just fine! My brother, David, learned he is diabetic. No more pie!

Kirk has taken responsibility for the Set Free discipleship program, and is interim pastor of the Joshua Tree church. Tamra is 8 months pregnant now. Yeah!

Last Sunday, there were 13 in Bible Study. We celebrated two birthdays, and discussed how legalism has no place in the Christian life. If we could save ourselves by good works, Jesus would not have needed to die for us. I could never earn my way to heaven. It is a gift!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

July 4th Heat

We continue to have record breaking heat in Oklahoma. It is 108 degrees in Tecumseh at 4:30 p.m. However, life goes on! I taught my usual morning classes, and then took Anne's classes in the afternoon because she wasn't feeling well. After school, I dropped by the Pott Tribal Court to get my tags renewed. $50 - not bad for a '10 Camry! While there, I stopped by to see my nephew, Jason. I caught him on his way out to check on the FireLake Grand. We chatted for about 10 minutes. His family is going to California next week to enjoy the beach, and Papa Galen and Gramma G.

We tried to escape the heat last holiday weekend to no avail. We took Mom to Springfield on Saturday and had a Mexican lunch with Noel and Janice and Mark. After lunch, Bill and I drove on to Branson for two nights at the Center Point Inn. We had dinner at Montana Mike's Steak House. We had to wait for a table at 8:00 p.m. I felt like I was back in California! The next morning, we went to Skyline Baptist Church. Wow! This gorgeous building is located next to Fall Creek on Fall Creek Road. When we entered the lobby, there were Branson scenes and a lady playing a baby grand piano. There was also a visitor's center with cookies, coffee and soft drinks. The sanctuary looked like a first class dinner theater that was graduated on levels. We learned that it truly had been a dinner theater, and was sold to Hobby Lobby for 2 million dollars. In turn, Hobby Lobby sold the property to the Baptists for one dollar!!!! We sat in cushioned chairs and had our Bibles and programs lying on the counters in front of us. The pastor is a former missionary, and had just taken a group to San Salvadore.

Sunday evening, we went to the Shoji Tabuchi show. I saw several signs in Branson that said, "Tabuchi rules Branson". Now I understand! Just like the Japanese we came to know and love, he is a perfectionist violinist. What a gift! He and his band play every style of music flawlessly. The dancers and the lighting were also fantastic! At one point, a laser US flag waved over the audience. Beautiful! I was reminded that God allowed only man to create art and music in his image. Animals cannot do that. We are really special and loved!

On Monday morning, we drove back to Springfield. We went to Incredible Pizza to celebrate Mark's 29th birthday. There were 16 of us including Mike and Christine White from Dad's church in California. They were visiting Janice's Dad, Bailey Hill. They talked about old times together when Dad was their pastor. Of course, they were excited to see Mom in Springfield! We left after a couple of hours, and made it back home by 6:00 p.m. We went by Braum's to get some ice cream before dropping Mom off at her apartment. God is sooooo good! I'm blessed to have people in my life that I love so much!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pow Wow Week

I can't believe that another Pow Wow has come and gone! There were 5,000 people who participated this year! Security was tight and we had to show our ID cards. My brother, Roger, and his son, Daniel arrived last Tuesday night. It was great to see them both! Daniel is a 5th year senior at Cal Baptist. Like his father, Daniel is a musician and plays the drums for the girls touring choir.

Bill and I hosted the family for dinner on Wednesday. With Galen, Sondra, David and Mom, there were 8 of us. After dinner, Ian and Phyllis Gliori joined us for dessert. We discussed the books that David and Galen have each published. Then, we had a photo session. During the festivities, I received a call from Noel that he was on his way to the ER once again at the request of Cleveland Heart Hospital. The family stopped, joined hands and prayed.

Mom hosted her kids on Thursday evening. We enjoyed pulled pork and told stories from the past.

On Friday evening, we went to the Pow Wow grounds for dinner. My cousins, Vic and Ruthie had traveled from So. Dakota, and George and Pat from Springfield, Illinois. That evening, Roger won $100 in the checkers tournament, and nephew, Jason won $100 in the pool tournament.

Saturday afternoon, my cousin Susan and family joined us all. They live in OKC. Uncle Johnie also drove in. My mother did not feel like joining us due to the heat. The drumming and dancing which follows the big dinner always reminds me of my heritage. George Godfrey made us proud once again. He won $400 for second place. At midnight on Saturday, Roger and Daniel drove their rental car back to Dallas to catch their flight to California.

Sunday morning, David was part of an Indian naming ceremony. His sponsors were my mother and cousin George. His Indian name is Sky Warrior. At the same time, Galen taught Mom's Bible Study class, and Bill directed our choir at New Beginnings. After our service finished, we joined the family at Golden Corral for lunch. Soon after lunch, Galen, Sondra and David took off for Springfield, Mo. to visit Noel and Janice. Sunday finished sadly when Bill and I heard that our friend, Cheryl Barton died that afternoon from cancer at the age of 55. Cheryl's husband is the principal of the school where Bill and I taught Enlish in Tokyo, Japan. She died in Anderson, Indiana where her parents live.

Our Engish school here in Shawnee has taken in the students who were evacuated from Minot, North Dakota. The school flooded up to the second floor! Fortunately, the new students have become part of our student body easily. God is good! It rained this morning for 2 hours!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Family and Friends from Japan

High record temperatures have been set in Oklahoma! We got some relief today, but it is still hot! I won't complain because we have not suffered - thanks to great air conditioning.

Last Friday, I was asked to lead a discussion activity again when the comprehensive final tests were over for the session. The Saudi students were fascinated to hear how the Koreans share the costs for their weddings. Only the men pay for their wives in Saudi Arabia.

On Saturday, Peggy and Joe Zee arrived at our home from Yokohama, Japan. We had not seen them for nearly 4 years. It seemed like we just picked right up where we left off! Peggy and Joe are important members in the Yokohama International Baptist Church. Joe sang in the choir, Peggy played the violin in our string group, and we always spent our birthdays together. They are also special people because they are Chinese, but speak English and Japanese fluently. Joe is retired now, but was a chemical engineer and school principal. Peggy is a physical therapist. I miss her messages!

Sunday, I had 17 people in my Bible Class. We continued our series on Christian stewardship. The title of the lesson was, "When Enough Is Enough". We frequently tease Bill Brooks because he wants a boat and hasn't got one yet. Isaiah said he dreamed that Bill got his boat and drove him to Brazil. Funny!

Galen, Sondra, and David arrived in Shawnee last night. I had a nice visit with them this afternoon. Roger and Daniel will fly in tonight.

Bill is recovering from his gum transplant. He's been on soft food since last Thursday. I've been surprised at how well he is doing! God is good!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Outdoors work and Turner Falls

Bill and I have spent a lot of time outdoors this month. When you own a home, you find it is man against nature. Crab grass tried to take over our lawn. Fortunately, we have a church friend who works in the horticulture department at OBU, and suggested some steps to get rid of the problem. We also had A-1 Fencing come out and give us an estimate on how much it will cost to duplicate the fence we had put in on the north side of the house. Our neighbors yard on the south side is higher than ours, and is sliding under the chainlink fence that exists. After seeing the shocking sticker price, I approached Emma and asked if she would be willing to pay half. She was very pleasant, and has agreed to do so when her next CD matures. Thank you, God, for a sweet Christian neighbor!

Saturday, Bill wanted to do something different, so I suggested we go to Turner Falls, which is one hour south of Tecumseh. It is a State Park, and seniors can get in half price. When we arrived in Davis, Oklahoma, it was lunchtime. We chose a BBQ place just off the highway. However, a group of Christian bikers had just arrived and the line was too long. We asked a fellow if there was another place we could eat, and he suggested we try the Fried Pie. That was very popular also, but much bigger. What an experience! I had my first Spinach Mushroom Pie, and Bill had Beef and Potatoe. We split an apricot pie. No forks are required. You pick them up with your hands and indulge. While eating, I heard people talking about Falls Creek, and asked how far it was. They pointed and said, "Three miles!"

Bill and I decided to go to Falls Creek Baptist Camp first. It competes easily with Glorieta. After driving around, we stopped at one of the guest lodges and asked for prices. I want to take my Bible Study class in the fall. Then, we drove a couple of miles down the road to Turner Falls. That was a much bigger recreation area than we had imagined, and couldn't believe the mass of people that were there to camp and swim. We had to park a mile away from the falls and piled onto a shuttle with all the swimmers. It really is a gorgeous waterfall. Bill took some pics on his cellphone which I will try to put on my blog in the future. That evening, we stopped at Gliori's for spaghetti. Ian and Phyllis want to go with us to the falls on a weekday when there aren't so many people. You take a raft and just float on the river. Fun!

There were 16 in Bible Class today. Pete and Lorna were gone to a reunion. The lesson was about storing up riches in heaven and using our money unselfishly. We also discussed the difference between our wants and our needs. After worship, the choir practiced our July 4th music which we will perform the last Sunday of June. I'm hoping my brothers will be there to enjoy it. The Pow Wow is that same weekend. God just keeps blessing! I can't imagine life without Him!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summer Arrived Early

It reached 100 degrees this week. That is well ahead of schedule in Oklahoma! Thank you, L ord, for air conditioning! We are watering the lawn and all of our plants every evening in an attempt to keep them green and growing.

I enjoyed telling my Saudi students that Mom cooked a porkchop and mashed potatoe dinner for us last Friday evening. They can't imagine eating anything that came from a pig!

Saturday afternoon, Bill and I went to the Aldridge Hotel ballroom for Robert Brown's high school graduation party. His grandmother lives there, and told me to let her know if I ever need to use it for a church party. Nice! After the party, Bill and I headed to Thunderbird Lake to have dinner. It was so hot that we chose not to eat on the deck as usual. We sat inside, next to the big windows. I ate half of my chicken and brought the rest home. We had planned to watch, "Black Swan" that night because we had been given free vouchers. In spite of it having received an academy award for best actress, we turned it off when two ladies started making love. It was totally disgusting!!!

Sunday morning was great! We had 17 in Bible Study. I missed Linda, who was sick, and
Sue, who was out of town. Our new members, Tony and Gina were baptized in the worship service with their 3 teenage children. Everyone was clapping! Last week, one of my students asked me if it was true that some Americans don't believe there is a God. I told him that some say that, but I don't believe them. He just shook his head and said, "No God! That's impossible!" I agreed!

Galen and Sondra flew to Springfield this week. They are driving Noel to Cleveland Hospital for tests and an analysis of his heart condition. Janice has a high profile job at the State employment agency in Springfield and will take off work if Noel goes back to Cleveland for surgery. Our family and many of our friends are praying for his recovery. Noel told me again that he is in God's hands and will accept what comes. Noel is a wonderful role model for me. Yesterday, while driving home, I had to pull over for a funeral procession of cars. I counted 47 cars with their headlight on. Having that many friends who will go to your gravesite on a workday is a true sign of riches!

I received a birthday gift this week. Yes, a birthday gift! Keri sent me studio pictures of each of her kids along with a birthday card. Waiting for 6 months made them even more exciting! I stopped by Gramma's and took her the envelope with her name on it. She was happy to get pics also.

I'm still fighting with the computer, so be patient if you follow my blog. Bill ordered a new Panda and we are waiting for it to arrive.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

Last Friday evening, Bill and I worked on the yards. He mowed and trimmed the back and front yards while I watered plants. Saturday morning, Bill cleaned out the shed while I cleaned the fridge and went grocery shopping. By lunchtime we were both exhausted and took a nap. At 4:00 we took a drive to Thunderbird Lake which is about 20 minutes west on Hwy 9. The Clear Bay Cafe on Calyso Cove opens on Memorial Day weekend. We enjoy sitting on the deck which has misters, and watching the speed boats and jet skis. Bill always orders clam and fries. I ate a pulled barbeque chicken sandwich. I also had a virgin pina colada. It's slushy. While eating, a group of young adults got off of a boat and sat down at the table next to us. Considering that they had some children sitting nearby, Bill and I could not believe the conversation. It was all about their evening at a bar, and who was showing off her new underwear. Everyone was laughing. Wow! Our friends talk about politics, theology, travel and educational matters.

Sunday, I once again didn't expect too many to be in church since it was a holiday weekend. And, again I was surprised! There were 15 in my Bible Study. It was a tough lesson for me. It concerned mentoring others spiritually and being patient with new Christians. My class is very transparent and said it is difficult for them to spend time with those who need attention. We also talked about how difficult it is to socialize with people who do not share our values, drink heavily, and use profanity.

Sunday evening, we met our friends, Anne and Dan, at the Hornbeck to watch, "Limitless". It is interesting to think about how smart you could be if you could access all of your brain and remember everything you have ever seen or read. We wish that we could give some of our students a few pills. It might help them in the study of English. Smile!

Monday, I picked Mom up for lunch. Bill grilled T-Bone steaks to go with the potatoe salad we had made earlier, toss salad and corn on the cob. For dessert, I served strawberries on angel food cake with whipped cream. Later, we played Mexican Train Dominoes. Mom never tires of that game because she is sooo good at it! We took her home around 4:30.

Last night, we received news that many of the church bonds that we bought are in default. It is just another sign that the church age is coming to a close and the Bible is absolutely true. Bill has diversified our portfolio, so I'm not worried. A lady told me today that I don't look my age. I told her that I get up every morning and decide whether to have FAITH or to have FEAR. With God, I have no fear, only faith that He is going to take care of me now and through eternity.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I'm a "real" Okie!

I think the worst of the tornadoes are over. During the last round of storms, I was on the phone most of the time. Noel called from Springfield while watching the weather channel. Then Sondra called from California to check on us. Just when we thought all was clear, we got a call from Tecumseh City Hall telling us to take shelter. Bill took a mattress into the hall bathroom and I answered the phone again in the kitchen. It was a Rasmussen Poll. I had heard of them on Fox News, so I proceded to answer all of their questions while looking out the French doors. I decided I would hang up and run if I saw a tornado coming. All the while Bill was yelling at me. I just don't get excited about these things easily. As Uncle Johnie said, "God knows when we will be born and when we will die." I do my best and let God do the rest. It is the unbeliever who needs to worry. I know my eternal future without a doubt! I do care that many lost their homes and loved ones. I pray that God will comfort them physically and spiritually. I understand their pain because I have lived through earthquakes, a volcanic eruption, a house fire and a hurricane. Many friends lost their homes last year in the tornado here in Tecumseh.

This has been a good week for me. Last Monday, I took a group of students to Unity Hospital for a tour. Unity is a very high tech hospital and the students were interested in the differences between the health care in their countries and the U.S. We are so superior at present. I can't predict our future, however, with a bunch of people in government who are ignorant of financial matters. I still can't believe how many people whine about their healthcare while watching a big screen TV and drinking beer. The line between "needy" and "spoiled rotten" is becoming blurred!

We have a new teacher at TLC. I don't know her, but I'm having a hard time liking her because she reminds me of another lady I met a few years ago that has a nasty personality. She has a husky voice, and when I hear her speaking, I can visualize the other lady. I'm praying that God will help me with my attitude.

Happy Birthday, Kevin and Isaiah! Isaiah was born 3 days before his Daddy's birthday. Congratulations to Hannah! She is graduating from the 8th Grade. I can't believe that I will have two grandchildren in high school next year! I'm blessed by God!

Since I am only teaching mornings this sessions, I have been working on the house. I bought another rose bush for the yard, and a hanging basket for the screened patio.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Weekend Report

Last Friday, we finished another session. After the students finish their comprehensive exams, they go the lounge for an activity. I was asked to plan and supervise this particular time, and enjoyed it! While waiting for students to finish testing, I played ping pong for the first time in months. I surprised myself by learning that I can still play. (While in high school, I worked for the newspaper office and earned a ping pong table by signing up new subscribers.) When we had enough students, I conducted a discussion group concerning likes and dislikes. Interesting!

Bill finished teaching his 7 week Media and Mass Communications course this past week. I had been a patient "widow" so he took me to OKC to celebrate on Friday evening. We were shocked to learn about the new trend that is sweeping the elementary schools. While making a waffle at Hampton Inn, I talked to little girls who were there for birthday parties. In both cases, families had rented 3 rooms for the night so that the girls could use the pool and have a slumber party. My mind was calculating big dollar signs!! No economic problems in OKC.

Friday evening, we ate at Spaghetti Warehouse which brought back memories of Japan. We use to eat at that restaurant in Tokyo after spending 3 hours studying Japanese every Wednesday afternoon. After dining, we walked around Bricktown by following the canal. It was a perfect evening weather-wise. While there, we chatted with some of our students and had tea at a sidewalk cafe where a group was playing jazz. The next morning, we went to the new theater and saw, "Pirates of the Carribean". To be honest, Johnny Depp can be funny, but the movie was a "yawner" in general. I enjoyed being in an ultra-modern cinema more than watching the movie. It has a super big screen and rocking chairs.

Sunday, was a surprise! Last week, I had a new couple join our Bible Study class. They came back again, and another new couple joined us. Suzanne and David moved into their new home this weekend and I thought we would be down in number. Not so! We're up to 18 members again. When we sing, I have to supply papers because these people did not grow up in church. They are soooo refreshing! They don't mind telling you how Christ is changing their lives. They also love being with people who have their own stories to tell of forgiveness.

My family keeps me praying! Noel may be going to the Cleveland Heart Hospital in June after they look at his history. Roger goes to the doctor tomorrow to have his finger x-rayed. He broke it while sailing and we are hoping it is healing properly. He is considering flying to OK for the Pow Wow. David may be driving here with Galen and Sondra. Mom cooked for me and Bill again last night, and she is beside herself with excitement thinking about her kids coming. Tomorrow is Isaiah's first birthday. I will write about that later. What a cutie!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Weekend Events

I can hardly believe that it is the middle of May! I guess I am having fun! This is the last week of Session #5 and I love my students! They are smart and willing to learn and they are a nice change from some I have had lately. However, Bill has had some unbelievably lazy American students in his on-line class. I am not so optimistic about the future of our nation when I observe the number of people who don't want to earn their grades or their living. So many people have both hands out and brag when they don't have to work. I'm also surprised at how many people don't understand the economics of running a household, or the government.

Saturday, Bill and I took Mom to the Catfish Round-Up Restaurnat just off of I-40. Uncle Johnie met us there to celebrate his birthday, although it was late. He is 92 years old and still independ ent. He didn't want fish. He ordered a hamburger with lettuce, tomaotoe and NO goop! He entertained us by talking about getting married again. He's looking for a beautiful woman who would be willing to water his horses. I will be posting a picture soon.

There were 18 people in my Bible Study Class yesterday. We continue to enjoy our discussions and are growing. A new couple joined us. The husband said that he had been hurt by a church in the past and had not spoken to God for many years. His life was a mess and he wasn't happy. He fell on his knees last week and then called Isaiah. Isaiah told him that he had found a church that was real and had true faith. A church that told the truth. In worship, Larry preached on sin and the consequences. We all listened because we were all guilty and needed to repent.

This last week I have been dwelling on the word, "humble". God calls us to be humble, not arrogant and cocky. Americans have a hard time with that word. Having a good self image and being humble before God is a balancing act. We fall off the beam a lot. We can't love God or other people in the right way until we see ourselves truthfully.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Celebration Weekend

It's Wednesday and I'm catching my breath before the storms hit our area this afternoon ( We are under tornado watch.) We have had one event after the other. Last week the accreditation team arrived at our school. Just after Christmas, our school changed directors. Apparently, deadlines had not been met up to that time. The school had 4 months to submit records and prepare for the on-site visit. We all began to work and pray! Actually, I was amazed at the peace I felt when a fellow came into my classroom and began jotting notes as I taught my class. The next day, our director announced that we had passed with no weakenesses. The CEO of The Language Company said she could not believe it. The Shawnee school was a miracle! Our new director, Sandra, had done the job!

Friday, the school faculty was taken to lunch at The Santa Fe Cattle Company. That evening, we had an all-school picnic at a park. Grilled chicken was provided.

Saturday, Bill took me shopping for Mother's Day. It was fun for him to choose a new blouse and pay for it with his monthly allowance. In the afternoon, we saw, "Soul Surfer". Everyone should take their kids to see it! It is overtly Christian. Of course, I loved watching the world class surfing! I longed to drive to La Jolla Cove in San Diego and jump into the surf. I could smell the salt air and listen to the seagulls overhead. And, of course, I love Hawaii! I've visited several times and am ready to go back!

On Sunday, I taught my great Bible Study class, went to worship and then picked Mom up for dinner. Bill grilled T-Bone steaks, and we ate on the patio. Keri, Kelli and Kirk called on Sunday afternoon. Kirk is leaving today to go to Costa Rica with a team from Calif. Baptist University. He has been a team leader for about 5 years. They plan to dig wells and share the good news of Jesus Christ. Tamra passed her Mobile Intensive Care class. After her class, examiners had to listen to her respond to radio transmissions from helicopters bringing in gunshot victims. Tamra is special because she prays and relies on God to give her wisdom and guidance in her work. Everyone around her can see it! It was an honor that she was the only one in the ER to be asked to take the class! Yeah, Tamra!! (She is 6 months pregnant after 10 years of marriage to Kirk!)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Blog Again!

The blog I typed on Monday vanished. We are having trouble with both computers, so we may have to replace them sooner then planned. We have a contract with a company that will set them up for us along with a new printer.

I'm blogging on the desk top that can't remember paragraphs.

This is a crazy week because an accreditation team will be visiting The Language Company tomorrow and Thursday. It is a 5 year accreditation. I have been planning my "dog and pony show" for my grammar, reading and writing classes.

My brother, David, sent part of his new book to be reviewed. I hope I can get to it tonight! He's an excellent writer!

Kelli called Sunday evening. She loves her job at Cornerstone University. Hannah is running for student council. She will be a freshman in high school next fall. Caleb is learning to drive. Yikes!

The big news this week was the Royal Wedding, and the death of Usama Bin Ladin. We celebrate, but neither will change our world. Evil still exists and we all must be accountable to God. I'm amazed at how many people blame their problems on other people, don't take responsibility and feel entitled. Bill has on-line classes that are filled with single parents who have their hand out to the government. They also tell him off when he follows the university guidlines for grading. They want free grades without doing the work and following the directions. It seems that the people who don't want to be subject to rules in this life, are often the same people who find it difficult to be under the authority of Almighty God. One can sense from their attitudes and choice of words, that they are not Christians.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Celebration

God certainly answered our prayers for rain this weekend. We had a tornado warning on Friday evening. I do what is necessary for safety, but I never really get in a dither because one is so powerless in those situations. Bill was pulling me away from the kithen window because I was enjoying watching the hail . It looked like popcorn dancing. I guess Toyotas have hard finishes on them because we haven't found any dings from the storm.

We had torrential rain all day Easter Sunday. In spite of the downpour, I had 18 in Bible Study class which followed our 9 a.m. choir rehearsal. Isaiah shared that his father always bought a 36 inch chocolate bunny for him and his family in Brazil on Easter. It was filled with more cahendy and small toys. Sue shared that she grew up in a legalistic churh that did not celebrate Easter at all. Tears welled up in her eyes. Pete shared that since he left the Catholic Church and learned what it meant to really know God, everyday has been Easter for him. Wow!

Our worship service was powerful. Lori Edwards signed to a song I had never heard. In the lyrics , God says, "My love, rise up. I have conquered the grave." The Spirit of God came down and the entire congregation rose to their feet and began clapping. I have never seen anything like it before!!! Lori just kept signing to the music. It was beautiful! When she finished, our choir sang the musical, "Hallelujah, Praise the Lamb". My favorite song in the musical was, "No More Night". The words continue, "no more pain. No more crying again."

After church, Mom and her friend, Shirley joined us for lunch. I had made potatoe salad and baked a cherry pie on Saturday. Before church, I put a ham in the oven and tossed a salad. Mom brought a fruit salad and a sugar free banana-strawberry pie. I had invited Uncle Johnie but his church was having a dinner. It was a blessed Easter, and life is wonderful when you can celebrate it with family and friends.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Midweek Madness

I am reviewing my students for their comprehensive test this Friday in every class this week. The poor students have to label all parts of speech in sentences. I decided I like teaching reading and writing more than grammar.

We have had a dry spring. We are praying for a storm tonight, although we can do without a tornado and hail. We are planning to grill on Easter but it may be a bit wet.

I'm going to the pool with Bill in just a few minutes, but thought I would try typing on the laptop and see if I get paragraphs. I really prefer typing on the larger flatscreen desk model.

I must report that I am excited for Noel. His heart specialist at St. John's in Springfield has found some doctors in St. Louis and Cleveland that may be able to help him. It's the first sign of hope that he has had. Even Mayo Clinic could not help him. I will never give up praying. God majors in the impossible. He doesn't always do things our way, and that seems to bug control freaks.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday Weekend

Friday evening, we had my Bible Study Class in our home for an Easter potluck. There were 16 who brought their most delicious cuisine. After dinner, we played a few games. Bill found some Bible quizzes which were lots of fun because people would make up answers when they didn't know. In one game, Bill read the Ten Commandments and asked which number it was. We all learned that we really didn't know them in order. I had planned an Easter hunt in our backyard, but the wind was so strong on Friday, I just gave the prizes away. The adults loved it! Saturday morning, I took Mom some food from the party, then Bill and I headed for Norman. He had bought $5 tickets to the OU Red and White game. It was a gorgeous day, and we got a little pink from the sun. We watched Landry Jones in action and that was fun. We left the game a little early to pick up Roy and Marlene Walters. They had flown from Michigan to their daughter's home in Kansas. Then, they drove together to Norman for their grandson's birthday. Ben is a new OU law student. His wife teaches English. We took Roy and Marlene to Marie Calendar's for dinner. The Walter's have been our neighbors on Bar Lake in Manistee since Bill and I married. They were so sad when we sold the cottage last summer. We have rented a condo on Lake Michigan and plan to go back up this August. The Walters begged us to come a few days early and stay with them on Bar Lake. We have agreed. When we returned from Norman which is 30 minutes down the road from us, it was still nice outside. Bill and I decided to walk the new trail that has been made in the park behind our house. It took us about 15 minutes to complete. Sunday has been very busy. After teaching my class, I accompanied Bill on his trumpet. He played, "The King Is Coming" for offertory. The choir sang one of the numbers from our Easter musical for special music. There are 14 of us. Our guest speaker was Richard Smotherman. He is District Attorney for our county. He gave his life completely to Christ a few years ago. He said that he had seen so much in his job that he thought he was going to implode. As a result, he had wandered far from God and almost lost everything. One day he drove away from his office and went to the Unity Hospital chapel to be alone. He poured his heart out to God and asked God to put his life back together. Now, he prays with convicts and their families. He has a heart for children who are victims of crimes and does all he can to help restore lives. During the invitation time a man in his 70s made a decision to follow Christ. His son and daughter-in-law were in tears. God is a God of restoration and miracles.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Weekend Fun

Well, it seems that my computer doesn't like double spacing, so I still have no paragraphs. I'm told that I need a new computer. Bill wants to wait until his current on-line class is finished, so that we can get a new printer to match the new computers. That's fine. Saturday morning, I took Mom with me to Lowe's to shop for gardent products while Bill worked on his class. I bought more river pebbles for my flowerbed and geraniums for the patio. Later, Bill and I took taco salads over to Mom's apartment for lunch. She paid a fellow to plant her flowerbed and it looks beautiful! In the afternoon, Bill and I went to the Hornbeck to see, "Unknown". When the movie costs $1.50, our certificates last forever! The movie is a thriller and I never figured out exactly what was going on until near the end. Very good! We had 16 in Bible Study Class yesterday. We continued our unit on grief and how to deal with it. I still don't know how people deal with grief who are not believers. My class is coming to our home this Friday for an Easter potluck. Everyone seems to be looking forward to it. I plan to hide candy in our backyard for the adults. I think we all enjoy being a kid sometimes! When growing up, I always had a new dress for Easter, and my family went to a fancy restaurant for dinner. Easter continues to be one of my favorite holidays. Celebrating new life in Christ should be exciting!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Paragraph Test/Music/Gardening

I typed my last blog as usual. However, when viewing what I had typed, I noticed that the double spacing that I use to separate my paragraphs were not there. I'll check after I type this blog to see what happens. Every week is different for me. I have been teaching the interactive classes after school for my friend who has gone to nursing school. This is highly unusual because she is 55 years old. She says she loves it! I was told to do whatever I wanted in these classes, so I have been playing the keyboard and singing. They have learned, "Unchained Melody" which the students knew from the movie, "Ghost" and "Do-Re-Mi" from the movie, "Sound of Music". They like that one because we hear the chimes play it on the St. Gregory's campus. Yesterday, I was tending the soil around my roses and laying more weed pads and pebbles. (They are so heavy.) Keri's kids called to thank me for the Easter package that I sent. I was glad they stopped me because I was already tired from swimming earlier. While at the pool I learned a valuable lesson. There was another couple there with us. The wife was extremely fluffy, and her husband was in relatively good shape. They had their arms around each other and acted like newly weds the entire hour. After watching this, I told Bill that it was possible that I'm on the wrong path. Instead, of watching my weight and staying active, maybe I should put on a few more pounds! He just started laughing, and told me how proud he is of me. It does make one realize that personality and sweetness are the most important factors in a relationship.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Weekend Events

The last few days have been a whirlwind of activity. Sunday morning, I taught my Bible Study Class. The lesson was concerned with the grieving process which we all go through after losing someone we love. I really asked God to help me teach that lesson because I knew that I had a man attending for the first time who lost his wife and daughter one year apart. There were 17 people in attendance. After we had discussed the topic for about 10 minutes, I asked my friend Sherry to sing the song that she had sung in worship 2 weeks prior. The words say something like this -----one by one He took everything from me, until I was empty and He could fill me again with His love. As Sherry sat in her seat and sang quietly, I could hear the tears in the class as we all thought about people we have loved and lost. Not all losses are through death. Easter choir practice went very well. We will sing on Palm Sunday. Sunday evening, we attended Butch Bradley's ordination service at Wallace Ave. Baptist Church in Shawnee. Butch has been my banker and was a FDIC examiner for several branches. His mother was our county treasurer until she retired last year. Butch is 41 years old and is excited about his decision to be a pastor. He graduated from OBU and took seminary courses but wandered away from God for a time. He feels a real concern for college kids because they are trying so hard to be intellectual and find a reason to live life their own way without accountability. Yesterday, Bill and I traveled to Edmond with 7 other teachers. The TLC in Edmond is on the Oklahoma Central University campus. We spent the day learning about new technology in the classroom. I did get excited about a new portable whiteboard that is used with the TV screen. It's back to class this morning. After class I have to swim and do some gardening.