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.