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!"