Thursday, December 27, 2012

Family and Laughter at Christmas

This was a wild Christmas season!  I planned to have my family for dinner on Christmas Day.  However, we had a snow and ice storm watch that changed our plans.  We decided to have our dinner on Christmas Eve.  My brothers David, Galen, and John came with their wives. With Mom, Bill and myself there were 9 adults.  I cooked a ham with all the trimmings while Bill cleaned the house.  After dinner, we exchanged gifts and then went together to Mom's church (First Baptist, Tecumseh) for a candlelight service.  Bill and I sang a trio with Sherry.  Mom had requested, "Come On , Ring Those Bells".  It was a beautiful service.
Christmas Day, we didn't get much snow, but we got a thin layer of ice.  Bill and I exchanged gifts and then enjoyed staying in the rest of the day.  In addition to the pearl earrings, I received a leather Bible cover.  I had never had one before.  I gave Bill a songwriter's software program and a BattleShip game which we played.   
Last night, we went over to Mom's apartment and had dinner with my brothers and their wives (Meche, Sondra and Cathy).  Actually, we drove through and got hamburgers.  We sat and told stories of when we were growing up.  We laughed and laughed at each others stories.  I also had a revelation!  David is the second child,  I am the third child, and Galen is the fourth child. The first 4 children were raised in San Diego, and Noel, John and Roger were raised in Bakersfield.  The cultures are very different!  My last three brothers like to hunt, fish, and work on technical things.  We are all solid Christians, but our skills are different. 
Today, we are preparing for Kirk's and Kelli's family to arrive on Friday.  Keri's family will arrive on Monday for the Big New Year's Eve party.  It will be a house party for sure!  This house will be shaking with laughter.  I'm so glad my parents loved babies and didn't abort me!  
I pray that those I love will have a blessed New Year and find magic in everyday!  For those who love the Lord, I'm very sure that we will all be together someday!   Yeah!    

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Celebrating Jesus' Birthday!

Last Wednesday, I had an echocardiogram.  When I drove out of the clinic parking lot it was 10:10 a.m.  The church choir was to sing at the Expo Center at 10:00, and Bill was going to play his trumpet solo.  I was sure I was missing it, and decided to just relax and let God order my life.  When I arrived, Pastor Larry said, "You made it!".  I thought he meant that I was just in time to accompany Bill.  However, the choir started filing onto the stage.  I grabbed some music that was sitting on the keyboard, and took my place.  The president of the event had talked, and I didn't miss a thing!!

On Thursday, I volunteered at the hospital because I had gone to South Heart Hospital on Tuesday to have a nuclear stress test.  While there, I met Nick who was my technician.  I learned that his wife worked in the imaging department at St. Anthony in Shawnee.  So, on Thursday, I met his wife, Katie.  They are both really sweet young people. 

Friday, Bill took me Christmas shopping.  I decided I could use a new windbreaker.  We went to Burlington Coat Factory and I found nothing.  We drove to Sooner Mall and I found nothing.  Bill was determined to get me something, so we went to Gordon's Jeweler.  I picked out a pair of pearl earrings.  While there, we met Melanie, a sales clerk who was from Macinaw Island, Michigan.  Her grandparents own a Fudge store there.  Bill was so excited to meet someone from his neck of the woods.  He spent two summers working on that island while he was in college.  He spent the other two summers working at Interlochen Music and Arts Camp. 

From there we drove back to Shawnee.  We decided to go out to dinner for our anniversary that evening.  We enjoyed lobster, and shrimp at Red Lobster.  It was next to the Shawnee Mall, so Bill decided I should look for a windbreaker there.  No such luck!  However, we did go into the Living Word Book Store and find two books we both liked.  One is "Strong's Bible Concordance", and the other is "The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict" by Josh McDowell.  It proves that Jesus was who he said he is.  The book is filled with documents that are in the Oxford Museum in England.  If a person wants intellectual evidence, it is there.  If a person's heart is not open, it doesn't matter.  Pride will send them to hell, and they will never see the magic all around them.

Saturday, I went to the practice at the church for the Children's Christmas program.  I have been asked to play the piano with the guitars and drums.  The kids program is tonight at the church (Sunday).  After the practice, we picked up Noel and Mark and saw, "The Hobbit".  I wasn't impressed with the plot, but I loved the scenery!!  Bill and I visited "The Lord of the Rings" locations a few years ago in New Zealand.  I remember being on a mountaintop and looking down at a green meadow filled with sheep.  I thought of Psalm 23.  We brought home some of those sheepskins. 

This week as I listened to people asking, "Where is God?"  I also heard some people say, "Evil would be banished from the earth if there was a God."  And, then I heard someone say, "Maybe God should bansih me and you.  We are evil."  I am so glad that God is loving and doesn't always do things my way.  I have friends that should go to hell if they died today.  But God is patient, and gives people a chance to let Him change their hearts, and unlock their chains of pride.  I noticed that God allowed the shooter to kill innocent children, and adults who were believers.  He knew who was ready go to heaven.  The children cannot come back to their parents.  But the parents can go to their children if they choose.

I am also thankful that we have spirits in each one of us.  When I am not with those I love, I can close my eyes, and the love and friendship goes on forever!  I pray that you will find peace and music in your heart that only comes from the Heavenly Father who sent His Son to the earth so many years ago.  Can you hear the song?  You are loved!   Merry Christmas!      

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Tears and Smiles

Last weekend was very difficult for me.  I taught school for 22 years.  Five of those years, I taught first grade.  I could relate so personally when I heard of the school shootings in NewTown.  I could just imagine what those teachers were feeling!  Bill and I arrived in Nairobi, Kenya just 6 months after the embassy was bombed there.  Our school campus, Rosslyn Academy, is only 1 kilometer from the new embassy.  And, across the road are the offices for the United Nations.  Because of the proximity to these important buildings, we often had evacuation and stranger drills.  The first time I heard the siren, my heart pounded!  I lined up my 24 children and marched them across the soccer field to the line of waiting busses.  My eyes filled with tears as I realized my heavy responsibility, and I prayed!  The high school and the middle school joined us, and then the superintendent spoke over a loud speaker.  The grounds had been swept by security and there was no longer a danger.  I thanked God, and returned my children to the classroom.  Many of them were crying, and told me about their evacuation during the bombing when they were in kindergarten. 
I can't even imagine what the faculty and parents are going through in Connecticut as I think of my own grandchildren!  I did hear a father talk about his faith in God, and he encouraged the community to reach out to the shooter's family.  What an act of forgiveness!  That man will be able to go on with his life because he knows that God is in control, and that gives him peace and strength.   I believe that all of those innocent children are with God and are His angels.   I will continue to teach my children and grandchildren to trust God for everyday, and to live in His love, not in the fear of evil.  Light is more powerful than darkness!

Yesterday, our church choir sang their best musical yet! ( Chuck Edwards was not able to be there and record it for us because he is working in New York City for FEMA.)  The church has new omi-directional microphones and many people said the choir sounded like they were singing in a concert hall.  We sang, "Repeat the Sounding Joy" by Wayne Haun and Dave Clark.  It has a Branson feel, and the congregation started clapping along with several of the numbers.  At the close of the service, Bill was honored by the church.  He had worried over every detail, and God blessed his efforts.  The church was packed out, and we ran out of ham at the potluck.  There must have been 175 in attendance.    We have been asked to sing several of the numbers from the musical at the Okla. Expo Center on Wednesday morning for a Christmas party.  We are still amazed at how God has blessed us with so much talent, and we just want to give the songs back to Him!  The more we empty ourselves, the more God can pour into us!  Jesus was born so that we can have eternal life if we BELIEVE!                   

Friday, December 14, 2012

More Christmas Activities

Last night, Bill and I attended the Shawnee High School Band Concert.  Wow!  They had about 75 students in their band, so they divided them into two groups this year for the first time.I could tell that Bill missed not directing after all of his years of working with bands, orchestras and choirs.  He has offered to donate some of his time and work with the kids.  He has been substitute teaching at SHS for the past few months and is getting to know the faculty and students. 

St. Anthony Hospital sent all of their employees and volunteers to the movies for Christmas.  We had a choice, and chose SkyFall - James Bond.  We went on Saturday morning.  I was impressed at how organized it was.  After asking us which movie we were going to see, they directed us to the single line at the concession stand.  We each picked up a box of popcorn and took the soda of our choice which had already been poured.  It was a great movie!  Action packed, and family friendly.

This morning, Noel came over and helped us put up my new Thomas Kinkade wreath on the livingroom wall.  It has little village structures around it and a chapel in the middle.  Batteries light up all of the windows. 

Noel was on his way to the South Heart Hospital with Mark.  I just talked to him on the phone and learned that Mark's heart monitor showed some problems.  He has an appointment next week.

Noel spends all of his time at that hospital!!  Yesterday, he went with me to have a nuclear stress test on my heart.  When I got there, it was cancelled because I had not fasted.  I was not given any instructions before hand!  I will go back next week.  The techs felt badly, and gave Noel and me vouchers for the cafe.  That was nice.  I don't know what God has in mind.  But I just have to trust Him.  (Bill taught 5th grade yesterday while I was at the hospital.) 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Home for the Holidays - Sometimes!

I just returned home from the hospital where I volunteer.  During lunch,  Pastor Larry introduced me to 3 doctors who are active Christians.  One administers chemo therapy to out-patients, one is an OB-Gyn, and the other is a general surgeon.  They are all very friendly, and it shows that they are believers!  While making my rounds on the 3rd floor today, I met a young woman with COPD.  She related to me that she thought she was dying last night while in ER.  She also told me that Dr. Anderson (my friend) had seen her through her trauma, and when the patient was aware of her surroundings again, she noticed that the doctor was wearing a pin that read "JESUS".  She told her that someone could wear an Obama pin, and still not know him.  Dr. Anderson smiled and said, "I know Him as my Savior and Lord of my life."  The patient then said, "I'm in the right hospital!"

Before going to the hospital, Noel and I attended a CPN Christmas party for elders.  It was my first.  We sat with our cousins, Ruth and Laura and talked about summers past at our grandparent's house.  (Mom had a dental appointment and couldn't attend.)  The food and drink was very good, and the CPN pre-school provided entertainment.  Noel won a gift certificate to the Delta Cafe.  Before we left, we were all given a bag of gifts and an Indian ornament made from beads.  Nice!

Last night, Noel called and said that he had prepared sloppy joes and homemade banana pudding for a family in his church who had come down with the flu.  Would we come?  Since I had just given 2 piano lessons and it was getting late, I was very happy!  Mom joined us as well.  It is so good to see Noel's health improving!!  He had some rough days in the past.

In fact, Noel is feeling so much better, that his pastor asked him to preach a week ago for both services while he was on vacation.  I played the piano for the evening service because the music director's mother-in-law died during the afternoon.  I don't usually attend in the evenings, but I did it for my beloved brother.  He is a great preacher.  He is interesting, brief, and challenges Christians.  After the service, we went to Braums' and I enjoyed an eggnog cone.

The "Christian Worldview" class is now finished, and "Writing for the Media" has begun.  I'm am so glad to be finished with the 2 atheists in our class!  They were extremely rude and loved to put Christians down whenever possible.  It was challenging to stay polite and objective.  Both students made an "A" grade because their papers were written well.  It was during the discussions that they were arrogant and hateful at times to their classmates and to Bill as the teacher.  I pray that Christians will never become so intolerant as what we have experienced.  I still don't believe anyone is really an atheist, just bitter and angry at God.  Or, they don't want themselves or someone they know to be accountable.  As I've said before, I have literally traveled the world, and people of all nations are seeking God in their own way.  We were created to do so!  The Bible says that we will be judged for what we know.  I know for a fact that "true" Christians are the happiest people on the face of the earth.  I can see peace on their faces and in their eyes - even in the midst of trials.  "Religion" and a relationship with Jesus are two different things!  Some "Christians" are not Christians at all. 

Last Friday evening, we had 21 people in our home for Christmas Choir potluck and practice.  I think the entire town must have enjoyed our music until about 8 p.m.  The musical rocks and everyone enjoys singing it so much!  Last Sunday, the choir sang "Come On, Ring Those Bells" to entice everyone to come back on the 16th to hear the whole enchilada.  The church has been talking about how many "powerful" singers we have this year.  There are 7 men who have outstanding voices.  It's God's choir, and He is blessing it more and more every year!!!    

Monday, December 10, 2012

Holiday Pictures

Below, are a mixture of pictures going back to Halloween, our trip to Branson to the Lennon Sisters concert and a picture of my St. Anthony Hospital volunteer smock.  If I find more that are interesting, I'll post them as well.  While figuring out this process with our new computer gadget, I also edited some mispellings in my last blog.  Sometimes my fingers work faster than my brain! 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Preparation

It seems that I never stop preparing Christmas gifts!  Yesterday, I learned that my younger brother, John, and his wife, Cathy, are driving to Oklahoma for Christmas.  Mom should be very happy!  All 6 of her kids will be here for the holidays.   Bill and I are hosting my brothers and wives, and my mother for Christmas dinner.  Later, our kids will arrive for New Year's weekend.

Tomorrow night, is our choir potluck and practice.  I spent yesterday at the grocery store.  Every year, I make sherbet and ginger ale punch.  I'll be baking a chocolate bundt cake this morning.

Last Sunday, the choir sang "Repeat the Sounding Joy" from our musical.  It is so Branson style.  We love it!   This Sunday, we will sing "Come On, Ring Those Bells".  And on the 16th, we will sing the entire musical.

Again, I enjoyed spending Tuesday morning at St. Anthony Hospital - Shawnee.  I met an American Indian lady who wanted a priest.  I told her that I had requested one, but I knew God really well.  She asked me to pray for her.  After I prayed, I began singing to her.  She had never heard, "Jesus Loves Me"  and looked into my eyes very intensely.  When I finished, she thanked me and began to cry.  I am learning every week that people don't know, or understand how much they are loved by God!  As humans, we can't comprehend divine love until we have experienced it.  Some have only known judgement, and punishment from their parents.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, Bill has 2 atheists in his "Christian Worldview" class.  It is required by Gand Canyon University or they wouldn't be taking this class.  One of the students just cannot wrap his head around the idea of something existing that he can't see.  As a nursing student he will have to come to grips with that concept.  Also, he can't understand why God would send His son to die for people.  The first problem is accepting the fact that we are sinners who make mistakes, and need to be punished. You really have to humble yourself to see that.  However, the good news is that we have been forgiven.  I have a California license plate on my computer desk that reads, "NOT PERFECT - JUST FORGIVEN.

This week, Bill has started reading the Book of Revelation to me.  That use to be a difficult book to understand, but it is becoming more clear now.  It is an exciting time to be alive and watch the predictions come true!  The weather, the nuclear wars, the famines, and the dissolution of our governement......Wow!  It is absolutely the will of God that Obama be president.  We have a leader who has put fear into the hearts of the nation, and assures them that they can trust him.  People are like sheep, and will follow him off the edge of the cliff if need be.  If the economy of the United States can be flattened and everyone is depending on the government, the 666 can move right in and completely take over.  I am again reminded of my experience in East Germany before the wall was taken down.  I was not allowed to buy anything in the grocery store because I did not have a card!  (Food Stamps?)  They would not accept my East German marks.  The 666 cannot take over until the US dollar is worthless.  We now have a World Banking system, the computer is in place, English is the world language, and the UN is becoming stronger.  We don't know if 666 is a person or an organization, but we do know that it is anti-God, and that Christians will be persecuted.  I am sure, however, that Jesus will come back for his kids before He allows Israel to be destroyed.  He has protected the Jewish people since he made his promise to Abraham.  He is not a liar!  And He has a reputation to keep!      I have peace and happiness in my heart knowing that God is in control, even if my world is falling apart around me.  Thank you God for Christmas time!!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Red Apple Sunrise in Branson

Yesterday, Bill and I got up at 5 a.m. to drive home from Branson.  To the west, there was a full moon, and to the east, there was a brilliant sunrise the color of red apples.  It was like a gift from God! 

Bill and I had a wonderful time celebrating our 31rst wedding anniversary at the Meadows Resort in Branson.  We were assigned to a lovely condo overlooking the pond.  Like last year, the resort was lit up for the Christmas season.   We saw 2 shows while there - Dixie Stampede and The Lennon Sisters at the Moon River Theater.  As usual, Dixie Stampede held a capacity crowd of over 1,000 people.  I always love the dinner, and the show is first class!  After the Lennon Sisters concert, we had our picture taken together, our CD autographed and met their granddaughters who sing and dance in their show.  We also bought 2 of their ragdolls for Selah and Sofia.  Janet and Kathy Lennon autographed the legs.

While at Noel's, Janice cooked a smoked turkey for us.  It was delicious!  Steve, their son, came in and visited us for awhile.  He has driven for Schneider (sp?)  Trucking for 10 years now.  Steve had Forest (5 years old) with him.  Hunter (8 yrs.) was in school.  Steve grew up with my kids and they stay very close on FaceBook.  That has seemed to taken over many people.  I think that is about all Galen does now. 

We left Branson early yesterday so that I could go to my doctor's appointment.  All of my lab work was good.  Dr. Shaw is checking my heart to make sure that all is well due to my family history.  He also told me to be careful about too much typing on the computer.  Smile! 

Noel's procedure went well in Springfield.  Now, Mark is having some heart problems, and Noel took him to the Heart Hospital in OKC to be checked. 

When Mom returned to Shawnee from Springfield she tripped coming in the door.  Who knows why?!  She is fine, but has bruises on her arm and leg.  She wears a Medi-Alert at all times.  Good!  Last Sunday, she attended my Bible Study Class before traveling.  We had 18 in the class, and she seemed to enjoy it.  I wasn't sure if she would approve of my teaching style.  She lectures more, and I ask a lot of questions.  My class is always contributing and laughing.  Being a Christian is plain fun!

I will write more later.  We have a new computer, so I can put pictures on again.  Bless God as He blesses you!   

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!  It is a beautiful fall day with a high of 76 degrees.  It feels like San Diego!  Bill and I are going to Gramma's for dinner.  She insisted!  I made pies and a fruit salad. 

On Sunday, Bill and I are driving Gramma to Springfield.  She will stay with Noel and Janice while Bill and I go to Branson to celebrate our 31rst wedding anniversary early.  We were actually married in December, but the whole family will be here around that time.

Besides teaching on-line, teaching piano lessons, and volunteering at the hospital, I have been putting up the Christmas tree, and preparing gifts for 24 people.  The guest bedroom looks like a workshop.  In between the other activities, I got my hair cut, had my nails done and paid the house taxes and insurance for another year. 

I am thankful to God for so many things this year.  I love having a close Christian family!  I marvel at my lovely home.  Bill just had my bathroom remodeled and it feels like a luxury hotel.  He insisted that my sink handles, TP holder, and vanity handles be brass.  In addition, both bathrooms have new tile flooring.  I thank God continually for His generosity!  This year I'm really looking forward to having all of my kids, grandkids and my brothers' families in Oklahoma for Christmas!  We haven't been all together like this for 9 years.  God must have planned it because none of us planned it!  Again, have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, and look for reasons to be happy and content.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


This last week has been a whirlwind of activity!  Bill and I drove Noel to emergency twice.  One time we went to South Heart Hospital, and the other to North Heart Hospital.  Noel's pacemaker was tweeked and he was give new medication.  His heart is still doing its own thing in spite of two surgeries.   We have to trust God that He knows what He is doing!

The elections were enough to give anyone a heart attack!  Our nation is already feeling the effects.  The dow dropped 400 points, and many people are being layed off.  Surprise!  Surprise!  Obama is getting his way.  He courted the uneducated, the lazy, and the bleeding hearts who have no knowledge of finance, and how it works.  Socialists will have their way if all the rich can be drained of their businesses and the government can take over.  The problem is that the hand that feeds the poor will have no more to give.   I predicted Obama would win after observing the masses of people who want to be dependent, the moral decline of our nation, and the obsession with pleasure rather than the satisfaction of a job well done.  God will judge our nation!!!  He will not be mocked!  I will most likely suffer with the nation, but I have God to walk me through the hard times.  He will give me peace and happiness in spite of those around me.  Perhaps, some will have their eyes opened.

This past week I gave5 piano lessons.   I also graded homework for the "Christian Worldview" class online.  It fascinates me to read their responses to the questions asked by the University curriculum.  Everytime we teach this class there is at least one atheist in the group.  Most of the students have their heads and hearts on straight.  The majority of our students this session are in the nursing school and have great insight.  You can feel them connecting science with the mysteries of God.  I tell them about my favorite doctor -Dr. Anderson.  She is a born again Christian and a great physician who gives God credit for all she does.  I've seen her cry over patients! (And, she's thin and beautiful!)

Last Tuesday, I spent the morning at St. Anthony Hospital.  Every week is different!  I walked into a room where a young woman lay dying from cancer.  She was in great pain.  I put my hand on her arm and began to sing, "Jesus Loves Me".  Within minutes she was asleep.  I never cease to be amazed how God can work and bring peace.  I prayed for her silently and crept out of the room.

I left the hospital a little early to meet Bill at Paul's Steak House.  Our bank was having an appreciation lunch.  When we left, they gave us a fluffy beige throw.  It was really nice since we didn't get much interest on our investments this year. 

Yesterday, Bill and I worked until noon and then took a drive to Turner Falls.  It was wonderful!  The temperature was unusually warm and there were few people in the park.  We stopped at our favorite Fried Pie restaurant and brought some blackberry pies home.  I had never heard of them until we moved to Oklahoma.

This week was Sofia's 8th birthday.  She is growing up to be beautiful, smart, and loving.  She helps the teacher at school by helping the student who has been mainstreamed into the class.  Sofia understands that God made everyone special and she must love those around her regardless of looks, intellect or physical ability.  I am very proud to have Sofia as my granddaughter!           

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Sometimes I feel like life is speeding up for me.  Everyday is so busy and wonderful!  Since it is Tuesday, I have just finished another morning at St. Anthony Hospital.  I met a patient who was in a very bad mood and mad at God.  He wouldn't look at me as I talked to him.  Finally, he agreed to let me sing to him, but still would not look at me.  I began singing, "Jesus Loves Me" very softly.  Suddenly, he turned his head toward me and his eyes filled with tears.  Before I left, he promised to ask God to give him faith.  

We have been watching the storm on the eastern seaboard of the United States.  Bill and I went through something similar while living in Grand Cayman for 4 years.  We had a NorWester that was very powerful.  The ocean knocked down metal railings along the shore, covered roads, and flooded most of the hotels on the beach.  During times like that you just pray, and observe the power of nature.  After such events, people either turn away from God or -- their spiritual eyes are opened and they get closer to Him.  Those who get closer find that God blesses them more than ever!   

This week I was grading homework for the Christian Worldview class.  One student wrote that she had never read the Genesis account of creation before.  She wrote that she felt special for the first time.  She had always thought that she was an accident of nature until she realized that God made man in His image to have a relationship.   I thought about that for a long time.  It's true!  If you don't believe that God created you for a purpose, then you have no reason to live.  Everyday is an accident rather than finding the plan that God made.  (We have the choice to follow the plan or not.) 

Yesterday, I learned that one of my piano student's mother is in prison.  Another of my student's father is in prison.  I thank God for bringing these kids into my life.  I listen a lot and encourage them.  Both students are very smart and musically talented. 

I don't envy the next president of the United States.  I still would not be surprised if Obama is re-elected.  Our nation is Godless and selfish. And most citizens do not understand financial economic issues.  Many young people remind me of my children when I told them I could not afford something that they asked for.  My children would reply, "Just write a check!"  Well, that is exactly what Obama has done for 4 years.  He keeps writing checks without any money to back them up.  We owe China and our debt is 16 billion dollars.  Our nation will pay dearly in the future if we don't get real!  Mitt Romney is not a perfect candidate, but I would trust him far more with my money.  He is also against gay marriage and abortion except in rare cases.  As a Christian, I have to vote for Romney!  It has nothing to do with party.  When I die, I can look God in the eye and know He agrees with me.  No doubts in my mind.  I have complete peace.     

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New Class/Cleaning the Clutter/St. Anthony Hospital

Today was my morning to volunteer at the hospital.  I look forward to it because the people I meet enhance my life so much.  Ed is an 80 year old volunteer who is a cancer survivor.  He drives the shuttle cart in the parking lot and had lunch with our group today.  George is in his 80's and orders the candy for the gift shop.  Patti is a volunteer chaplain with me.  She is a retired police officer and rides a motorcycle.  Her husband is also a retired police officer.  Patti is tall, slim and a pretty blond.  But--don't mess with her!  Oh, she plays the electric guitar in our church worship band.

As I made my rounds today, I met a couple who had just been told that they must make a decision whether to take their mother off of feeding tubes or not.   We talked and prayed together as the tears flowed.  When I left, I knew that God was giving them peace.  A lady in another room was so glad to see me!  She cried and held my hand as she poured out her heart.   She related that her 19 year old grandson had broken into her house while she was in the hospital.  The patient's housekeeper had found him in his grandmother's bedroom with his girlfriend having sex.  Broken bottles of alcohol were strewn about the house along with burnt down candles.  I felt at a loss when listening to her story.  I began to pray that God would bring peace into this lady's life.  I encouraged her to just calm down, relax and concentrate on recovery.  I also prayed for the grandson!

This week, Bill was given two new college on-line classes. The on-line system has been changed, so Bill and I both are having to learn where things are.  The classes are "Christian World View" and "Writing for the Media".  Having taught these classes before, we are astounded by the bias of the media.  Thank God for Fox News!  After the 2nd debate, Candy Crowley had to apologize for being wrong about statements made by Obama.  Unfortunately, millions of people heard her take up for the president.  After the 3rd debate, fact checkers noted that Obama had mistakenly called Romney a liar.    The media is not quick to report these facts if they don't help their man.  This is not good journalism.  When I read my daughter Kelli's articles,  I notice that she is totally unbiased.

Bill is substitute teaching 2 days a week by choice.  We actually spent a morning together just shredding old files, and cleaning closets.  I can't stand clutter so I was in 7th heaven!

Mom is coming over tonight for barbequed pork chops.  The weather has been very warm, but is expected to change to winter this weekend.  It's time to put away the patio furniture and carve a pumpkin.  I love fall and the changing colors on the trees in the park.  Thank you, God!      

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


This has been a week of doctor visits.  I went to Dean McGee Eye Institute in Oklahoma City.  The doctor thinks my right retina is swelling and wants me to come back in 2 weeks for more pictures.  I feel blessed that my daily life has not been threatened, and I can drive well. 

Bill had his last visit with the ENT in OKC.  We have begun a gluten free life which has taken some thinking and specialty shopping.  I have done better on this regimen than Bill.  He really misses pizza and so we cheat now and then.

I'm still teaching piano and especially enjoy my 10 year old girl who is blind in her right eye.  She's very bright and always has her lesson learned.  She decided that she needs an hour lesson and I agreed.

Christmas choir practice was outstanding!  There are 19 members that blow us away because most read music and practice with their CD during the week.  We've always had great performances, but we have always had to work very hard.  This group just breezes through the music! 

Bill has been subbing at Shawnee High School in science and social studies.  He enjoys the students and doesn't seem to have any real problems.  This afternoon he was going to teach one class of Latin. 

Bill and I joined Noel, Mark and Bailey for lunch on Saturday at Carl's Jr., then watched the movie, "Taken 2".  It is action packed and keeps you on the edge of your seat.  Bailey said he loved it!  He is something else for an 86 year old man!  After the show, Bill, Noel and Mark got their flu shots at CVS.  Bailey and I already had ours.

Monday, I drove Noel to the South OKC Heart Hospital for a CAT scan on his head.  After, we had a KFC dinner at Gramma's apartment.  Bailey and Bill were there as well.  Gramma made peanut butter candy cookies with corn flakes.  We devoured them!

Bill and I have been enjoying the fall weather.  We have been using the new walking path in the park behind our house.  It is 1 mile around and has all of the trees labeled.   Last week, the city put in 2 new playgrounds on each side of the park which are very popular.  They also resurfaced the lighted tennis courts.  We are so blessed to have such a pretty park directly behind our home.

This morning, I volunteered at St. Anthony Hospital - Shawnee.  I met a young woman who told me that she use to be lesbian.  She wanted to know if my church would welcome her.  I told her we welcome anyone that God loves, and He loves everyone.  Just as she asked me to pray for her, Dr. Anderson walked in.  She is a born again Catholic and said she wanted to join us.  (Dr. Anderson is one of the prettiest young doctors I know.)  In another room, I met a lady who has just moved into one of the new apartments next to Noel.  We became very good friends and I intend to visit her when she recovers and goes home.  Before I left the hospital, I was told to sign up for my holiday ham that the hospital gives to all of their workers.  How nice!

I have a habit of introducing myself while waiting in line for my lunch at the hospital.  (My kids tease me about that habit.)  Today, there was a tall young man in a suit next to me and I flipped over his badge so I could read it.  I was stunned when the badge said, "President".   He was very nice and almost seemed glad that someone talked to him.  I'm so happy that I know that in God's eyes I'm  special and equal to anyone on the face of this earth.  It really doesn't matter if you are the president or a volunteer, we all must face God one day and He only cares about our hearts.  

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Last Friday evening, Bill and I hosted 17 people in our home for a Bible Study party.  We asked Ian Gliori to bake Italian chicken for us.  I made rice pilaf and iced tea and coffee to go with it.  The members brought veggie platters and desserts.  After dinner, we played games and sang.  It was a great time of bonding.

Saturday, Gramma didn't want to go anywhere until I mentioned the Catfish Round-Up Restaurant.  She stuffed herself with current fritters!  I admit that they are really yummy!

Sunday, we began Christmas choir practice after worship.  We have 4 new members that are fantastic singers!  One fellow sang with a group at Disneyland for several years.  The musical this year is "Repeat the Sounding Joy" and has a Branson gospel feel.  My favorite song is "Come On, Ring Those Bells" because I sang it as part of a trio in Tokyo with other American English teachers.

Thank you, Lord, that one of the on-line college classes is finished.  We had some students that could not even do well in high school.  It is sad!  These students were given government grants, and don't have a clue as to what is going on.  They admit they don't watch the news and don't care.

I was watching Anderson Cooper when he learned from a Washington source that the problems in Libya were not connected with the You-Tube video.  He looked distraught.  I had been watching Fox News and had known for 2 weeks what really happened.   This has happened more than once.  No wonder Fox has been #1 for the past 10 years running.  Our family pays extra if needed just to make sure we know what is going on.  The dialogue gets very heated at times when listening to both sides.  We also listen to American Family Radio (Christian talk radio)  Their logo is "The truth prevails."  When I observe people who have chosen to throw God out of their lives, I don't envy them.  He is soooo good to me!

Bill taught his last class at The Language Company last Friday.  They have officially moved the school to Ada, Okla.  He didn't want to sit around, so Bill attended the substitute workshops for Shawnee and Tecumseh.  He has been called to teach 3rd grade and high school science.  That should expand his world.  I just laugh, and tell him our life is anything but boring!   

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Experiencing Death with Compassion

This morning, I reached the hospital at 8:00, parked the car and put on my chaplain's jacket.  Just as I entered the chaplain's office, Pastor Larry asked me to follow him to the emergency room.  I knew I was in training.  When we entered the trauma room, I observed a doctor and 3 nurses administering paddles on a man's chest.  After a few minutes I heard someone say, "We have a pulse."  But it was soon lost, and the medical team resumed 20 more minutes of  CPR.  I went in search of the man's wife who had just arrived behind the ambulance.  Fortunately, the wife and two children were believers.  They made it very easy for me!  I began to pray, and I kept asking God what He wanted me to do because these people were strangers to me.  Little did I know that I had a different assignment!  After taking the family in to be with their husband/father who had just died, I noticed that the young doctor was just standing near the coffee machine with tears in his eyes.  I went to him and told him that he had done everything possible.  I also reminded him that God decides when we will be born, and when we will die.  He hugged me and said he was learning that.  Then he went on to tell me that in the last few years he had learned that the medical manuals were written by men, and God seemed to have the last word. 

The doctor (fresh from finishing his residency in Tulsa) walked to the cafeteria with me to have breakfast at 10:00 a.m.   He had just finished his shift and would be driving back home to Tulsa.  He told me about his tour of duty in Iraq as a medic on rescue missions.  While there, he saw the hand of God in many men's lives and became a believer.  In the process, he had developed such compassion for his patients (even the enemy).  I told him that was a gift from God, and to never lose it!  His last words were "God often works outside the box of science!"         

Monday, September 24, 2012


Last Saturday, Bill and I went to the Jones Theater to see "Last Ounce of Courage".  That is one of the most powerful movies we have seen in years!  It is not for unbelievers.  It is a challenge to Christians!  There was not a dry eye in the theater, and no one moved when the movie finished!  It was several minutes before we could leave our seats.  I apologized to the kid who was waiting to clean up, and he said it had been that way on Friday evening.  He said the crowd just stood and wouldn't leave until the music and the credits were finished.

Janice arrived from Springfield on Saturday.  She and Noel are exploring the possibility of founding a group home for challenged adults in Shawnee.  They have found several people who are interested in helping them with this project.  Noel has a dream to make it first class and staff it with caring Christian people. 

Sunday, Noel, Janice, Mark and Mom joined us for a snack of tacos and apple pie and ice-cream.  After, we watched a Gaither DVD that Mom had ordered.  It had clips of their best concerts over the years in places like Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. 

This morning, I took Mom to the dermatologist.  She does have cancer on her nose that can be treated with chemo cream.  Without insurance, the cream is $215.  I had never heard of it before.  The doctor also took a biopsy off of her cheek.  In a week we will know if it is positive for cancer.  The worst case scenario is that she will have to go to a plastic surgeon in OKC to have a small chunk taken out of her face.  Not good!  She takes everything in stride and trusts God to take care of her.   God is good all of the time!  I'm so glad that I can stand up straight and not have a bundle of worry on my back.  As Whitley Phipps said, "You can't climb to the top of the mountain if it is smooth. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blessings! Blessings!

Some days are just full of blessings!  Yesterday, I picked up Vincent at his school to give him a piano lesson.  I just picked up a new student, so I don't feel badly about not charging Vincent's Mom who is a struggling single mom.  Anyway, Vincent was thirsty so I drove through Carl's Jr. A young fellow handed me 2 Dr. Peppers and said I really want to give them to you this afternoon.  I felt his sincerity and thanked him. 

This afternoon, I went to Dr. Reding to have my skin checked.  I had a few barnacles that he erased for me, and said I don't have cancer.  Yeah!  Before leaving I talked to him about Mom's dark spot on her face.  He told me to bring her in on Monday morning and he will take care of her without charge.  He just wants to do it for her.  His Christianity is written all over him! 

After going to the dermatologist, I went to FireLake to buy groceries for the week.  On the way out, Jack Clark (the man who checks the tickets at the door) asked me how I am doing.  When I asked him how he is doing, he began to sing to me.  He sang, "There Will Be Peace in the Valley" perfectly.  I didn't know he could sing!  His wife is battling cancer, but Jack still has a song in his heart and on his lips!  Wow!

This week I fought a spiritual battle and won.  Everytime I looked at our lawn and saw the marks of our floor, I wanted to hit the guy who did it.  Instead, I forgave him in my heart and called him.  I asked him to come back and finish the 2 bathrooms.  He was very apologetic and told me he would be over next week to finish the job.  It made me feel good to be friends again.   Who knows?  Maybe I will need mercy in the future myself.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fall weather/New Floor/MiddleEast/School

Fall weather has arrived.  That means cool mornings and evenings, and warm in the daytime.  We had a few days of gentle rain that we all enjoyed!  Bill and I were especially glad for the rain.  When we had the new floor put in our kitchen, the workmen put their materials on the front lawn in 105 temperature heat.  The chemicals killed the grass where the materials were laid out.  Cute!  Anyway, the rain and some sun mixed together are reviving the damaged area.  We have forgiven.

Bill and I are in the 5th week of our 8 week on-line class.  We take turns laughing and being frustrated with some of his students.  How did they ever finish high school!!  Our government is throwing money away.  These people should have never been given scholarships! 

Since The Lanugage Company has moved to Ada, Oklahoma, Bill has been teaching with one other teacher at SGU.  He is teaching 5 students who did not want to move until the end of this session.  Some like the homestays that they have, and one student only had this one session left before graduation. 

We have been watching the MiddleEast unrest on television.  We were patting ourselves on the back because Americans don't destroy their own cities.  However, the Occupy Wallstreet crowd are made of the same fabric it seems.  To date. 7,000 arrests have been made and they are gearing up to commit more crimes.  As one commentator reported, the Occupiers just want "free crap".  They don't respect themselves or anyone else. 

Last week, Mom came over for lunch and we talked about places we had been together.  She said she wished that every American could have seen Eastern Germany before the wall was torn down.  I agreed with her.  Those were the saddest people I had ever met!  As we drove through the city, we were stopped every few miles to have our papers checked.  We could only get food at the hotel because you had to have tickets to get food in the stores.  Every car was tiny and looked just the same.   There was nothing to buy, so we brought our left over marcs home with us.  While touring the tower where Martin Luther threw his inkwell at the "devil",  a young student asked me quietly what the United States was like.  I never dreamed that we would have a president that wanted America to be socialist and take away from the rich to give to the poor. 

One can give everyone the same amount of money every year, and there would still be poor people.  We all deal with what we have been given differently.  Some are wise, and some don't know the value.  I was thinking about a friend who was given a car when he was in college.  Because it was given to him, he was not independent.  His parent could take away the keys at anytime.  In contrast, my brothers earned the money and bought their own cars.  No one could take away the keys.  They were free!  There is a true feeling of independence and freedom when you do things for yourself.  I want the government to serve me, not me serve the government because I owe them! 

Fear and lack of confidence causes people to rely on the government.  When people fear enough, the one world system will take over and the 666 can rule - just as the Bible predicts.  How close are we to that day? 

Monday, September 10, 2012

More Hospitals/Kitchen Floor

The week just flew by!  Monday was Labor Day, Tuesday I volunteered at the hospital,
Wednesday we had new tile put in the kitchen.  (Fake stone) Thursday, I prepped for my colonoscopy and Friday was my procedure. 

I had my last colonoscopy 10 years ago in Tokyo, Japan.  I had no idea what I was doing, and took a cab by myself to the hospital.  I was admitted and given a bed.  Totally ignorant, Bill went to school to teach as usual.  Only the doctor who did the procedure could speak English, so I followed directions for 6 hours in Japanese.  When I was released, I was as weak as a kitten and a little groggy.  I asked a lady behind the desk in the lobby to call a cab for me.  She pointed to a public phone and told me to call for myself.  I really wasn't in the mood to take on the Tokyo telephone directory!  I could feel the tears coming, and began to pray.  At that moment, a taxi cab pulled up to let off a rider.  The driver understood my Japanese and said he would take me home.  God has always been there for me!

Well, this time was different!  Bill drove me to the hospital, and stayed!  Everyone spoke English!  The surgery center is beautiful with a lighted sky ceiling.  The only problem was my veins.  It took 4 nurses to get an IV going.  (I'm not exaggerating.)  The doctor said I have a wonderful colon.  Yeah!

Our church had a State of the Church meeting on Sunday morning.  It was very encouraging.  An anonymous donor gave us $10,000 to re-roof the old educational building.  At the end of the service, a 10 year old girl played "Be Thou My Vision" by memory on her violin.  She was great!!   After, we had a potluck dinner that was unbelievable.  The church bought the chicken and brisket.  Our pastors are all bi-vocational and get little pay in spite of a congregation of 150 people.  We have grown a lot this past year!

At 6 AM this morning, I drove Noel to the North OK Heart Hospital.   He will stay for 3 days while they try some new medication on him.  Noel's father-in-law, Bailey Hill drove with me.  He was one of Dad's deacons in California, and now lives in Springfield, Missouri.  I loved hearing him talk about his fun times with Dad before he died.  He said, "One time we were having coffee together and your Dad asked, "Do you know why we are here?"  When I said, "No", your Dad said, "Because we are not all there!"  I could just picture my Dad saying that and then begin laughing.  He was always joking around!!  The old and the young loved him. 

Today is my granddaughter, Selah Brooke's birthday.  I flew to Chicago for her birth 5 years ago.  She has beautiful blond hair and ice blue eyes like her daddy.  Selah is a little shy, but very loving.  I pray that she will come to know God in a very personal way, and be strong in her belief.  The name Selah is at the end of many psalms, and means to meditate on the words.  Say-La

This week, I found an atheist magazine at a medical clinic.  I brought it home and read it.  It made me sad and I wanted to cry for the people who have no help nor hope.  Every article was bitter and angry.  I asked the doctor in that clinic if he was a Christian.  He smiled and told me about his walk with God.  In fact, he began to talk about San Diego, California where he had been a naval officer.  Of course, we had lots to talk about at that point!  We both love San Diego.  He was sorry for the magazine I had found.     

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September Heat

I'm looking forward to fall weather.  It is September, and 106 degrees!  The drought continues throughout the midwest and the crops are failing.  Has God already begun His justice on our country?  I wouldn't blame Him after hearing about the Decmocrat platform.  Gay marriage is just fine, and abortion is okay, as well. 

This morning, I made my rounds at St. Anthony Hospital, Shawnee.  There was a one year old in a room with her foster dad.  She was absolutely charming!  When I asked her if I could pray for her, she grinned and held up her arms to me.  I picked her up while being very careful not to disturb the tubes that had been poked into her.  She cuddled against my neck.  I prayed for her aloud and just enjoyed holding her.  I remembered how much Jesus loves the children, and people who have the faith of a child.  This morning, she was my little angel and ministered to me!

We waited 8 months for a CD to mature, and replaced our kitchen sink.  I burned my other white ceramic sink and now we have a beautiful new stainless steel.  If my husband was in charge of the national debt, there wouldn't be any!  The kids can verify that statement.

We had a wonderful Labor Day.  We barbequed T-bone steaks and then played Mexican Dominoes with Gramma.  She was elated!  When I went to pick her up, she had been pulling weeds in her front flower garden.  It was already 100 degrees!  (She couldn't understand why she felt a little bit shaky.)  She was excited to show me the new shorts she had just bought.  Greenwalt women are sexy!

Bill and I enjoyed seeing, "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" this weekend.  It's a great movie.  Noel told me to take tissue, and he was right!  Noel is back in Springfield this week.  Mark had new bedroom furniture delivered.  Noel will be back to Shawnee next weekend for another round at the Heart Hospital.  We continue to pray for his heart problems.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Last Monday, Noel and I attended a release meeting for Mom at the Golden Rule Nursing Home.  I was shocked that they said she could go back to her apartment that day!  No problem!  Noel and I packed her belongings (along with her tons of birthday wishes) in his van and my car.  Mom is now home and very happy!  I must say, however, that she tries to be too independent at times.

Bill and I lost two very dear friends this week.  We learned that Jean Kerr passed away.  She and Walt were like parents to us when we were first married.  We met them at the small Baptist church when Bill was teaching music on the Arizon/Utah border.  Jean and Walt were from California, and were some of the few who were not Mormon.  Our kids would play with their grandkids in the summer on their ranch.  I look forward to seeing Jean and Walt in heaven again. 

Phyllis Gliori called on Monday evening to say that her mother had passed away.  Auda Anderson spent many holidays at our house.   She was a very pretty woman who loved to sing and spent many hours praying for her family.  We attended her funeral in Earlsboro on Saturday afternoon.  First Baptist Church was overflowing!  Her family (mostly from Irving, Texas) had nothing but praise for the woman who prayed for them and taught them the love of Jesus.  I remember Auda just sitting quietly in our house, smiling and sometimes singing.  She was always a "lady"!  We will miss you Auda, but we will sing together again in heaven.

I spent Tuesday morning at St. Anthony Hospital in Shawnee.  I was assigned to ICU.  I visited with 12 patients.  One black lady just glowed when I walked in her cubicle.  I could tell from her smile that she was a Christian.  She blessed me!  Another lady was surrounded by her family.  I knew when I walked in that they also were Christian.  They were eager for me to pray with them.  In contrast, there was a man who was very sour, and ordered me out.  Another man wasn't sure if he wanted me there or not.  I had to smile when his mother ordered him to let me pray for him.  The fellow told me he was an atheist and wanted to banter with me for awhile.  Before I left we were friends and he did ask me to pray for him.  I could feel the pain in his mother's heart and wondered how he could do that to her.  Every Tuesday morning, I eat breakfast with the other volunteers and we have a good time.

On Wednesday, my cousin, Sharon Bergeron Watson and her husband Marty drove here from Little Rock.  Marty is a pastor and Sharon manages the LifeWay Store.   Mom, Noel, Mark, Bill and I had dinner with them at Arrow Cafe.  I love the Indian Tacos.  Sharon and Marty were spending several days in Oklahoma City where Susan (her sister) lives. 

Most of my mornings are now spent grading homework for two GCU classes.  Bill grades the papers.  We have about 24 students and that keeps us both busy! 

Sunday morning, God answered our prayers.  It stormed for about 2 hours with plenty of thunder and lightning.  We opened the bedroom window and enjoyed!!  We have been in drought conditions and it was a welcome sight.  I think many people must have been thankful because our church was filled and the singing was great.  Christians in our neck of the woods are beginning to wake up to what is going on in our nation.  I just can't believe that President Obama would sanction gay marriage and vote 3 times in Illinois to allow partial abortion.  It sickens me to think how a doctor could partially deliver a baby and then finish it off!  If that man is re-elected, then our nation deserves the punishment that will come.  We can look at the history of other nations and see what happens when a nation turns from God and his words.         

Monday, August 20, 2012

Michigan Memories/Mom's Birthday

I'm writing this blog before going to a meeting at the Golden Rule Skilled Nursing Facility.  Mom has progressed to the point that she is ready to go back to her apartment with some assistance.  She was quick to tell me that she passed the mental test and achieved the highest score ever reached in that facility - 100!  On August 16th, she celebrated her 89th birthday.  Her room is covered with cards, balloons, flowers and gifts.  Her friends gave her a party and of course there was a big dominoe game.  That evening, Noel and Mark, Jason's family, and Bill and myself took Mom to the Delta Cafe for dinner.  Nine of us enjoyed home cooking and ended on homemade cobbler.  They gave Mom sugar-free apple.  Yesterday, Bill and I went to her apartment and set up her new microwave and toaster oven.  Noel and Janice gave her a new hot water pot to make tea quickly.  Bill also vacuumed due to the mess some workers had left after changing fire alarms. 

We had some wonderful downpours of rain this weekend in Tecumseh.  It made me think of Michigan again.  I enjoyed the grandkids so much!  While in Manistee, we all sat around the table and played Crazy 8s.  Kevin  taught us the proper rules, and Selah (4 years old) won the game!  Another day, after we finished  a lunch of grilled hotdogs, Hannah and Sofia stood near the table and sang solos for us all.  They both have beautiful voices.  Isaiah is only two years old, but can sing as well!  Keri and Kelli are great mothers and are teaching their children to use their talents and have confidence in the Lord. 

This weekend, Bill and I watched "Bourne Legacy" with Noel and Mark.  It won't get any awards, but it is action packed!  We were sorry that Janice had visited Shawnee while we were gone and we missed her.  We are praying that she can retire from the Missouri WorkForce Office in Springfield in the near future.  She is one of their top managers and they won't want to see her go.

It was good to be back to my Bible Study Class yesterday.  We had a visiting couple.  The wife is a teacher, and her husband is the vice principal of the Shawnee Middle School.  We talked about how the present administration of our nation is hastening the Lord's coming.  I use to wonder how the 666 could possibly rule.  The technology is in place, English is spoken everywhere, and the economy is becoming flattened. You can rule people when they have enough fear put into them.  We are already seeing Christians being mocked and rediculed for their beliefs.  The Prince of Darkness is blinding people and making them believe that they are doing the right thing.  I was shocked to hear a Christian say that abortion is fine if the mother can't support the baby.  Murder is never okay!  The answer is to stop having unprotected sex, and give babies to people who want them and can afford them.  Our church feeds children all over the world.  America buys enough dog and cat food to feed many children!  We have become very selfish people and need to change our priorities!  We just don't want to be inconvenienced.  I refuse to let the problems of this world take my joy away.  I have so much to be thankful for and I know that my blessings come from the Lord!  I pray everyday for my friends who do not know God personally and are hurting.  I can love the person, and not the sin. 


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Home from Michigan

It was wonderful to escape to the north country for a respite from the heat of Oklahoma.  We headed for Michigan early in the morning and arrived in Effingham, Illinois about 4 o'clock in the afternoon.  After a short nap in the Hampton Inn, we walked next door to the Lone Star Road House.  Just as we finished eating, a severe thunderstorm swept the county.  The wind was blowing rain at 60 miles per hour, and continued doing so for 30 minutes.  Needless to say, we got acquainted with many other travelers from all over the U.S. while we waited.  Some had come because the power went down in other restaurants across town. 

The next morning, the sun came out and we continued our journey north.  We arrived at Kelli's home in Grand Rapids, Michigan in time for a delicious grilled brot and pork chop dinner.  Caleb (16) and Hannah (15) kept us laughing with their stories about school and friends.  Caleb is on the varisty tennis team, and Hannah is Sophomore representative on the student council.  There are over 1,000 students in their high school.  Kelli stays busy being media director for Cornerstone University.  Grand Rapids has a national arts festival soon, and Kelli was interviewing top artists for the newspapers.

The following day we drove to Interlochen Arts Academy for the closing concert. At intermission, I wasn't feeling well and decided to sit outside.  I could still hear the music while looking at the tress and the lakes.  A 13 year old boy who was watching the family dog sat down next to me.  His family was from Chicago,and his sister was playing the harp in the orchestra.  His father was a former NASA rocket scientist and was in the process of being transferred to Virginia.  What I found interesting was that he was homeschooled because his family was Christian.  He had been taught that science and God were very compatible.

After the concert, we drove the hour back to Manistee where we had rented a condo at Harbour Village for the second year since selling our cottage.  It has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths.  The back side of the condo is on the yacht harbour, and the front faces Lake Michigan.  The grandkids love the huge beach with a playground.  Also, the complex has two swimming pools - one outside with a jacuzzi and one inside for rainy days.  We ate breakfast and lunch at the condo, and then went out for dinner each evening.  On Wednesday, we all went to the park and listened to a free jazz concert.  The group was from Lansing and had played with Ray Charles.  On Friday, Bill and I went to the Ramsdell Theater and saw the play, "Glass Managerie" by Tennesee Williams.  The actors were great!!!

We are home now and I will write more about that later.  Today is Mom's 89th birthday.  Her friends are giving her a party at the nursing home this afternoon, and family is taking her out to dinner tonight.  She will be going home soon and she is excited about that.  We have held her apartment for her.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


This has been another busy week!  I finished my orientation at St. Anthony Hospital - Shawnee.  Yesterday, after the morning session, new nurses, radiologists and 3 volunteers (including myself) were asked to follow our trainer outside the conference room.  The directors of all of the hospital departments were lined up in the hallway clapping for us.  We were then led into a room that had linen covered tables and we were served a beautiful roast beef dinner.  I felt honored when I was given my security badge with picture ID, and my blue jacket that said, "pastoral care".  (After all, I was the lady who had stolen a heart monitor by mistake!)

After receiving my booster shots in the afternoon, I had 30 minutes before my afternoon session on disease control.  I decided to get a glass of ice tea from the hospital cafe.  I had to wait for a fellow in a wheelchair in front of me and noticed he had a foot that was bandaged.  He told me that he was going to lose that foot the next morning.  I assured him that he wouldn't be alone, that God and His angels would be with him through it all.  The fellow continued putting sugar in his tea and didn't say a word.  But, before he left, he looked at me with tears and said, "Bless you, lady!  Bless you!    I realized that I couldn't save his foot, but I could give him a smile and encouragement in the assurance of God's presence.

For those of you who remember the pretty lady, Dr. Anderson, who was Mom's physician while at St. Anthony's.  She is a born again Christian and talked at my orientation about the beauty of losing one of her patients who knew God in a very personal way.  She said it was her spirit-filled patients who led herto really know God.   I've heard it before, and I heard it again.  There is a difference between the way a believer dies, and the way a non-believer dies.  Everyone in the room can feel the peace and hope!

We are packing for our yearly vacation to Lake Michigan.  We're going back to the same condo we rented last year.  It is on the harbour and faces the beach.  It's the same beach that Bill grew up on in the summers,  and enjoys watching the grandkids swing and go down the same tall slide he did as a child.  We love walking on the pier and watching the thunderstorms form on the lake. 

Keri called to say that she and Kevin had a great trip to Charlotte, N.Carolina for a missions exploration conference. ( Kelli drove to Chicago to watch their 3 kids.)  However, they have another option they are looking at and will know soon where God is leading them.

Sunday was very good.  There were 16 in my class.  We continued our study of the Holy Spirit and the warfare that goes on in our lives.  We discussed Chick-Fil-A and what it means to be a Christian in a world that does not tolerate Christians.    After the service, we went to lunch with Noel, Mark and his friend, David Karr.  Then, we visited Mom in the nursing home.  She is doing great and continues to smile!



Monday, July 23, 2012

Family is Important

This week has been busy with settling Mom into her new home.  Everyday, I've checked her mail, her tomatoes, and took her little things to make her life easier.  On Friday, I watched her "bowl".  The physical therapists have a Wii game plugged into the big screen TV and Mom did very well!  She had just had her hair done and her nails polished.  She looked radiant!  Mom was doing so well bowling that some of the therapists decided to play against her. 

Saturday, Bill and I played music for Mom and other patients for about 20 minutes.  When we played hymns they sang along.  Mom has always had a nice alto voice. 

Sunday, we took Mom a sugar-free pina colada shaved ice.  We took one for ourselves as well and talked about the news.  There has always been evil in this world, and it will continue.  God hates evil and promises that in the future he will win the war against Satan.  I pray for the people of Aurora.  This is their time to come closer to God, or turn away from Him and become bitter people.

Bill and I watched, "Spiderman" this weekend.  In the movie, I noticed a poster on the wall.  It was a quote from Albert Einstein.  It said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge."  I know that Einstein became a believer in God before his death.  I thought long and hard about that quote.  Faith and imagination go together.  Once you imagine God exists, then you can develop faith.

I had another good Bible study on Sunday.  We continued our study of the Holy Spirit and how it gives us power each day.  I experienced that power today!  When I woke up I told God that I didn't know how I was going to go through the hospital orientation today, get groceries, and give a piano lesson.    When I arrived at the hospital, I was told that the orientation had been moved to next week.  Pastor Larry has been on vacation and had not passed on that information to me.  I wasn't angry at all.  I just said, "Thank you, Lord!"  I had too much on my plate today and you knew it!"

This morning, Noel called to say he is back in Shawnee.  Galen called to say hello.  Yesterday, Kirk called to say they have moved into their new home and love the big in-ground pool and jacuzzi.   He and Tamra are going to a church conference in Atlanta next week.  They are taking Ezekiel with them.  Family is so important!  I'm counting the days until we go to Michigan enjoy our kids!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

On the Wings of An Eagle

I searched for "On the Wings of an Eagle" on my computer, and found a You Tube version.  It was written and sung by John Denver.  I also found "On Eagle's Wings" sung by Michael Joncas which I totally loved!  I will have to thank Dr. Shaw for introducing me to these songs!

Back to the Hospital

One morning, Sondra and I decided to go watch Mom do physical therapy in the nursing facility.  We stopped them from having her pull weights overhead due to her recent pacemaker procedure.  When her session was finished she began to complain of chest pain and we could see her body convulse.  Tests showed that her lead wires had come loose.  They were too short for her chest.  It was back to the hospital to put extension cords on her new spark plugs!  The nurses and doctors on 3rd floor knew us well from the week previous, and said, "Here are those problem children again!"

Just a few days before, Mom had been released from St. Anthony and I had packed her bag - including a heart monitor which I presumed went with her.   As Mom was being taken to the nursing facility,  Galen, Sondra, Noel, Mark, and Bill and I decided to eat dinner at Arrow Cafe.  Before dinner arrived, I received a call asking me to return the heart monitor.  The entire third floor was on lock-down until it was found!!!  My family encouraged me to eat my dinner (which I can't remember) before returning to the hospital.  I arrived on the third floor at 6:40 p.m.  I was greeted with hugs and all kinds of expressions of gratitude!  The shift change was at 7:00 p.m. and no one could leave until I showed up with that extremely expensive monitor.  I get teased a lot about it!

I had my own doctor's appointment this week.  I was surprised that my blood pressure was so good!  I told Dr. Shaw that I had seen a beautiful picture of eagles and angels while having my blood drawn in the lab.  I was feeling really tired at the time and it reminded me of my favorite verse:  "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings of the eagles.  They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."  The doctor smiled and said, "My favorite song is "On the Wings of Eagles".  Do you know it?  I said, "No, sing it for me!"  And, he did!  Then he told me that he wouldn't be the doctor he is without the help of our good Lord.  I thanked Dr. Shaw for saving my mother's life for a little while longer.  He had read her EKG and called the ambulance.   I learned that doctors and nurses need encouragement from us!

I continue to be grateful for such a  loving family and friends!   My phone has rung off the hook, and I felt so much support from my brothers' families and my kids.  My brothers' facebook connections were really humming.  The cards have flowed in as well.  Thank you!

I taught my Bible Study Class on Sunday.  There were 18 of us in spite of 6 members absent.  We are growing.  The lesson concerned the power we have when we have the Holy Spirit working in us and through us. 

I played the piano for the wind ensemble that played last Sunday.  The Holy Spirit helped me big time!  I didn't have lots of time to practice.  The arrangement of "I Will Sing of the Almighty" was 6 pages and was filled with sixteenth notes.  The ensemble consisted of trumpet, flute, clainet,  trombone and piano.  Many people said they were blessed by the music.  Heaven will be filled with music!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hospital Week with Mom

One week ago, Mom was transported by ambulance from her doctor's office to ER at St. Anthony Hospital/Shawnee.  Upon arrival it was determined that she needed a pacemaker.  No problem!  She went through the surgery successfully.  It was the aftermath that kept us at the hospital.  Due to extremely low oxygen and sugar levels we didn't know if she was going to live through the day.  When she finally stabilized, a new problem developed.  She has neuropathy in her feet and ankles.  She can't stand up!  As a result, she has been transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation.  That was a blow because I had always planned to take care of her if needed. 

Galen and Sondra drove to Oklahoma from California for the PowWow and planned to drive on to the state of Maine.  However, they have been at the hospital everyday with me and Noel.  Noel's wife, Janice drove from Springfield and stayed the weekend.  She was a tremendous help to me when Mom when into insulin shock.  We put orange juice and graham crackers down her while the nurse did his thing.  I kept rubbing her shoulder and shouting at her to wake up.  Her sugar level had dropped all the way to 30.  All of this was due to her sleeping off drugs given the day before and not eating.

Mom has a beautiful private room, but she is not use to letting people do for her.  We all get mad at her for trying to do things she is not physically able to do - such as moving from the bed to her wheelchair.  The chance of falling is high since she has so much pain in her feet. 

Bill taught my Bible Study Class on Sunday while I stayed at the hospital.  There were 16 in the class.  He told me the theme of the lesson was learning to rely on the Spirit of God to give us power in areas where we are weak.  Identifying those weaknesses and turning to God when faced with them is a discipline that we don't always want.  Also, on Sunday Galen baptized his granddaughter, Kylee in their swimming pool.  She had been waiting for Pappa G to come since Christmas.

God was having a discussion with an atheist.  The atheist said, "I can make a man the same as you can."  God replied, "Go ahead!  Show me how you do it?   The atheist knelt down and picked up some dirt.  God said, "Sorry, the dirt is mine!  Make your own dirt!"  We learned in the hospital to rely on God.  Man can be so smart and yet so stupid at times.  The doctors and nurses were wonderful, but didn't always have the answers.  I'm so impressed with the Christian medical workers who have enough humility to say when they have to depend on God for the outcome of any procedure. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Pow Wow /Musical

The last weekend of June is Pow Wow for our family.  My cousin, George and his wife traveled from Springfield, Illinois again this year.  George dances in the competition in his traditional Indian costume.  He is not only a dancer, but has a doctorate in entomology and has traced our family history back for generations.  We love to listen to George tell stories.

George and Pat came to church with Galen and Sondra to listen to our church choir sing our patriotic musical.  Becky Grimm joined our choir this summer.  She directs Harrah High School choir and has a masters in voice.  She is a welcome soprano as well as being in my Bible Study Class.  The entire service was very moving.  Two of our men wore their dress blues and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.  One of them sang with us, and the other was our reader.  Doug read about the sacrifice of soldiers being away from home, but knowing their families were praying for them.  There were tears in his voice.  I could hear sniffles in the choir and started praying that God would help us get through the next song.  He did!   During the sermon, seven people came to the microphone and read quotes from seven past presidents regarding the importance of the Bible in governing our nation.  It was very powerful, and I realized how far from God our nation is now!  It is a sad time because we know the consequences.  God doesn't play games and He means what He says in the Bible.  You say I can't prove there is a God.  I say you can't prove there is not a God.  We will all live forever --either in Heaven or in Hell.  We are accountable for what we know and understand.  It's serious!

Mom is not feeling well this week and loses her balance easily.  She is at the doctor this morning and will have tests run.  Saturday, she showed us a letter she received from the Secretary of Labor for the State of Oklahoma.  He saw the newspaper article about her having taught Sunday School for 75 years, and was very impressed.  He laminated the article and sent it to her.  We have no idea how he got hold of the Shawnee NewStar.  It was a reminder of how we influence people everyday without knowing it.  Their eternity may depend on what we do or do not do.  Love is essential!

I will try to add some pictures this week!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Family/Noel's Birthday

Galen and Sondra arrived in Shawnee with Mark on Wednesday evening.  I joined them for breakfast at Arrows Cafe on Thursday before they headed back to California.  Doris Robinson, a long time friend, had just passed away and Galen was needed at the funeral. They will be passing through Oklahoma again this week on their way to the state of Maine for vacation.  They rented a sporty little Sonata for the trip.  If there are any problems with the car, it isn't their concern!  Good thinking!

Noel turned 59 years old on June 20th.  Janice arrived on Friday, so we all went to Catfish Round-Up just off I-40.  Mom wasn't feeling well, and couldn't go with us.  She loves the fritters and yeast rolls, so I got some to take to her.  After stuffing ourselves at dinner, we drove the 30 minute trip to our house.  By then, we were ready for a small piece of chocolate birthday cake and chocolate ice cream.  Bailey wanted some coffee, which turned out to be a hit in spite of the hot weather.

Saturday morning, Bailey (Janice's Dad) took everyone out for breakfast at the Arrow Cafe.  It has become our hang-out!  We got the breakfast special which comes with biscuits and gravy.  In the afternoon, Janice wanted to play games with Mom, and Noel wanted to see the movie, "Battleship".  (Noel spent 20 years in the Navy as a legal advisor.)  Having been an officer in the Navy, Bill wanted to see the movie also.  So, Noel, Mark, Bill and I went to the movies.  It was great!  It was pointed out that the sun hangs in space at a perfect distance from the earth.  Science shows that if the earth was closer, it would be too hot for life.  If the sun was further from the earth, it would be too cold for life.  How could anyone believe that creation is an accident!  Even our body's chemistry is balanced to sustain life and keep our heart beating. 

There were 18 members present in my Bible Class yesterday.  I don't tell my class who to vote for, but I do teach the principles that our government leaders  should be defending.  It's time to rescue America from those who have bleeding hearts and are willing to print worthless money to take care of our citizens.   A democracy cannot survive when people are not responsible and need a nanny state to take care of them.  I have been watching people sign up for free cell phones in my community all month.  They take 2 or 3!  I realize that I am paying for those with my taxes.  I don't mind helping anyone, but I want it to be my choice and my blessing!  Regarding unions, they have done a lot of good.  However, when tax payers have to see that a public bus driver makes $150,000 a year, that is over the top!  When the driver was interviewed, he thought he deserved it!  We have to look at both sides of a problem and work out a solution that will not cause more problems down the road.  America wants instant solutions and wants money right now!!   What happened to being patient, suffering together when needed, and putting on our "big boy pants"?  When we have a leader who exhibits these traits, we will see our nation pull together and not be so divided.  As Dad always said, "Timing can be everything!"  "Don't ever run ahead of your people.  Even when you know you are right!"   That's wisdom that comes from God!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mom/Hospital/Recital/Father's Day

Last week was filled with people and activity!  Noel was in town for a doctor's appointment, so he went with Mom and me to Cooper's Funeral Home to pre-plan and pay for her funeral.  She thought that everything had been taken care of in California where Dad is buried.    We learned that only her burial has been taken care of, so we started planning and writing checks.  I'm so grateful we did that!  We joked a lot, and I learned many new things about my mother.  Jay Cooper is a Christian and he enjoyed "our visit".

Tuesday morning, Pastor Larry asked me to come to the hospital and talk to him about being a chaplain's assistant.  St. Anthonys has bought out Unity Hospital and the doctor's medical center.  It means that there will be more freedom to help the patients spiritually.  I volunteered to help 2 mornings a week, but will have to go through a security check and an orientation.  I met several more doctors and nurses who openly welcomed my help.  The emergency room and the surgery waiting room are filled with people in despair.  I just pray that I can pass to others the peace and calm that God has given to me.  I have no doubt that heaven exists and I want people to open their hearts and minds to that fact!

Friday evening, we had a taco salad supper and music recital at our house.  Bill invited 4 Korean students to join my students.  They played the piano and guitar, and sang.  Vincent played "Jesus Loves Me", and then his mother, Ashley sang, "How Great Thous Art".   She has a strong soprano voice.  To close, Bill played his trumpet and recorder.  I accompanied him.

We spent Saturday getting a new hot water heater.  It was only fitting after the lawn mower died, and the Corolla had work done on the brakes.  I was reminded again of how important it is to save for a rainy day, and that material things don't last forever.  I just looked up and said, "Thank you Lord for providing and giving us common sense to save money.  The United States Government has no idea of how to handle money! 

I am also grateful for a wonderful father who knew God intimately, and showed his love for his children and my mother.  If anyone had the right to feel like a victim and blame others, my Dad certainly did.  He never let being an orphan and having extended family who were alcoholics keep him down.  Dad struck out on his own before graduating from high school.  He finished high school while at OBU and then went to Southwestern Seminary.  He made a conscious effort to learn how to be polite, have class, and to dress like a gentleman.  Dad taught us that God was a "God of order".   Dad never allowed his children to use bad language, to raise our voices in the house, and to respect each other at all times.  Dad taught us that, "God is love and respect."    He practiced what he preached, and he was loved by the entire community.  Pastors from all denominations often called our home just to talk to Dad.  Dad exuded love and truth, and I look forward to seeing him again in heaven. 

Of course, I always let Bill know how glad I am  that he is a good step-father.  He always makes sure that I see the kids and that we have vacation time together.  He's very generous and doesn't mind using money that he has earned to pay for those vacations.  Kirk is extra kind to Bill because he knows how difficult it is to be a step-Dad.  I thank God for good fathers!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Remembering Andy/Shopping/Concert

Thankfully, our summer weather continues to shift.  It's hot for a few days and then a cold front brings us more rain.  The summer seems more normal than last year.  I thank God evry morning!

This week I received a call that Andy (Andrew) Hyde had been released from his cancer pain, and had gone to be with God.  The hurt for Kirk and Tamra was intense since Tamra just lost her mother in November.  I have wonderful memories of Andy.  He flew around the world selling yeast for Anheiser Busch to international bakeries.  Andy loved people and had a personality that lit up the room.  At 65 years old, Andy and I would talk about sixties music and the many Japanese students that he and his wife, Nancy, hosted in their home over the years.  Last August, Andy and I were both staying with Kirk and Tamra because Ezekiel was in Children's Hospital, and Nancy was in another hospital nearby.  Andy drove me home one day before he drove on to visit Nancy.  As he drove, he told me the following story:    Andy did not grow up in a Christian home.  His parents did not attend church.  When he was 9 years old he decided to walk to the Catholic Church near his home.  While there, he copied the worshippers and just followed their lead.  When he returned home, Andy related to his mother how he had done everything right, including taking communion.  His mother flew into a rage because he had not been baptized!  Andy told me that he had such a desire to know God, that he was relieved to find out how simple it was when he became an adult.  He told me how God had become real to him when God released Tamra from drug addiction.  He watched Tamra receive her B.S. in nursing while on a softball scholarship.  (great pitcher!)  Andy had coached his kids and was devastated by the drug use.  However, he learned that the power of God can turn life around!

I listened to Madeline Murray O'Hare's son speak on Huckabee's program on Fox.  William Murray has written a book, "Life Without God".  He was a successful businessman who began to drink.  In his lowest moment he began searching for God and found him.  His life without God was so bad that he can remember his mother saying, "I wish that abortion had been legal when I conceived you!"   That is just a glimpse of how our world would be without God!!

Last Thursday, Bill and I were asked to play a 30 minute concert at Unity Hospital in their chapel.  Bill played his trumpet and wood recorder, and I sang one song.  Several doctors and nurses were there from the rehab and cancer center.  While there, I became interested in the volunteer program.  I talked to Pastor Larry about it, and he has encouraged me to come a few hours a week. 

Mom's brother left her a little money, and I have taken her shopping this week.  Actually, it has been fun to watch her decide what to buy.  I didn't realize that she had been wanting a new blender.   She also asked me to help her choose a new mattress set.   She's been told that her apartment complex is being renovated, and she will be moved to an updated apartment in a few months.  She's really excited about that!  I've also noticed that she is getting stronger and more flexible since we have been going to the toning tables on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  It's a nice mother/daughter time. 


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer Has Arrived

I have been spoiled to the spring-like weather in Oklahoma.  However, my tomatoes have flourished in the humid heat this week!  I picked 3 large red ones yesterday afternoon to enjoy with our homemade tacos.   I was excited after last years drought destroyed all my efforts in gardening.

Bill asked me to go to the OKC zoo with him on Saturday before the summer gets too hot.  We asked Mom to go with us, but she said she had seen enough animals in San Diego.  I told her I had seen most of the animals on safari in Africa, but it would be nice to just relax.  And relax, we did!  We took the tram and didn't do too much walking.  We were blessed with a parking space that was close because the National Softball Championships (Women's) were across the road from the zoo. In fact, we have been watching the OU women play on TV during Thunder Basketball commercials.  How about those Thunder!!  I pay attention to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook because their mothers are radiant Christian women.  They go to the games and pray --  Not to win, but for their sons to do their best.

After going to the zoo on Saturday, we ate a late lunch at Applebee's.  I love the spinach dip with cornchips.  In fact, we ate so much that we didn't want dinner.  Noel had told us about the shaved ice shack close to our house, so we checked it out.  We both ordered mai tai with a scoop of ice cream.  Most of the kids around us ordered Spider Man  which is red and blue.  There are about 50 flavors.

Sunday was great!  I'm enjoying playing with the praise band.  Listening to those people pray before practices is inspiring!  They don't perform, they give their talents to God.  I asked Jesse Hernandez to play the offertory.  It gave me a break.  After worship, we had our July 4th choir rehearsal.  The syncopation is a challenge.  The group is always smaller in the summer, but very talented.  About 5 men and 6 women stay to practice every Sunday.

Bill and I have begun teaching another college class together.  It is a communications class.  I checked their autobiographies today.  They are from all over the United States and are extremely interesting people.  One is an international singer.   I also noticed that most of them are Christians and are proud of who they serve.  It shows because they are also humble in their communication to the other students in the class.  I have become more and more aware that humility is a must in the Christian life because we cannot give ourselves credit for anything!  Everything we are and everything we have comes from our Lord and creator!  You can see the joy in a TRUE Christian's eyes!