Monday, November 26, 2012

Random Questions

Kayla tagged me in a post of random questions.  She came up with her own, which I will attempt to answer here.

1.  What is your favorite holiday?
     I would have to say Christmas even though it is sometimes a crazy time of year.  I love to give gifts, I love
     looking at the beautifully lit Christmas tree, and I love having my kids home.  There are some things I
     don't enjoy, but the good definitely outweighs the bad.

2.  When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?  I can't remember too far back,
     but for as long as I remember, I wanted to be a secretary and a stay-at-home mom.  I was fortunate
     to get to do both!

3.  What hobby would you like to take up if you had more money/time?  It's not really a hobby, but if
     I had the time and brainpower, I would love to become a midwife.  Childbirth was such a special time
    and I would enjoy helping other women go through that experience.  I secretly want to be in the right
    place at the right time to have to deliver a baby!

4.  What TV shows do you currently watch?  Since I have cleaned up my television viewing, I don't
     watch nearly as much.  In addition to the Today Show, I watch reruns of old shows (Mash, Bob
     Newhart, Mary Tyler Moore, etc.).  I also like Jeopardy. Paul and I watch television series on Netflix
     (24, White Collar, Flashpoint, etc.)

5.  How long do you spend getting ready on a typical morning?  As little time as possible, but usually
     only about 45 minutes (and it shows)!

6.  What does your name mean?/Why did your parents choose your name?  I don't know what my
     name means and was too lazy to look it up, but I was named after a close friend of my parents.

7.  What's the best gift you've ever received?  A notebook on my 50th birthday which contained
     personal letters from my family and friends.  Such a thoughtful gift from my kiddoes!

Since I don't know how to tag other people and am not imaginative enough to come up with questions,
I guess I'll let some of Kayla's other friends carry on the questions!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Responding to Grace

I believe that God, through the Holy Spirit, has been trying to get my attention for several years now.  I have not wanted to listen because deep down I knew what He had to say and I didn't want to hear it.  Even worse, I knew I didn't want to obey it.  Thankfully He didn't give up; I have heard Him loud and clear and I want to make the changes He is asking me to make.

I believe in grace.  I really do.  I also believe, though, that there is a lifestyle I am to strive for in response to that grace.  I believe as a true follower of Christ I should be striving for purity, holiness, sacrificial living, a spirit of service, etc.  I believe if I am not striving for those things, I am not being a true follower of Christ.  For me, this has eternal consequences because my conscience condemns me.

God has been calling me to a life of purity.  A major source of impurity in my life comes in the form of television.  I watch shows that are not pure at all.  They are full of coarse humor, foul language, sexual innuendos, sexual immorality, etc.  I know I cannot read "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things"(Philippians 4:8) and watch these shows with a clear conscience.  There are books and movies I should not read or see for the same reason.

So why are these things so appealing?  One major reason is because I LOVE to laugh and this kind of humor has become funny to me.  I also like to connect with other people who are watching the same shows, movies, etc.  I like to quote "funny" lines and understand the joke when those lines are thrown around.  I also like to sit and be entertained--A LOT.

Now that God has my attention, though, some things are going to have to change.  Television time will be drastically cut.  My daily communication with God has got to improve.  Bible study and prayer need to be a top priority in my life again.  I don't want to be able to leave my Bible in the car from Sunday to Sunday.  I want to need it every single day regardless of where I am or what I am doing.

I am asking God to keep Philippians 4:8 in front of me at all times.  I want to live this kind of life.  I think I ought to live this kind of life to show my appreciation for the grace God has given me and to be following God with "all my heart, soul, mind and strength."

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bragging Rights

Hopefully I won't embarrass my children with this post!  Most of my readers ARE my children so I ought to be okay!  After all, who doesn't like to be bragged on a little bit?

My kids make the holidays so enjoyable.  They want to come "home" and spend time together with Paul and me and with their siblings.  As a mom, that means the world to me.  I love spending time talking with them and playing games together.  I appreciate each one for taking time out of their busy schedules to make time for us during the special times throughout the year.  Hannah and Matt are both busy and involved in many things, but they make family a priority.

I appreciate Kayla and Darby as a married couple for their dedication to sharing time between us and Darby's parents.  They do such a good job splitting their time up (and that is no easy process)!  I remember the early days of marriage when we would be juggling our schedule to make sure we spent quality and quantity time with my parents and Paul's.  I just really appreciate the time and effort it takes to work out holiday plans.  This year they have done a great job again!

Speaking of Darby's parents, I just want to say how very blessed I feel to have "in-laws" (we aren't sure what to call each other) that we enjoy so much.  It has been an extra blessing to be in the same church and spend time together--not only as the kids' parents but also as friends.  Thank you, John and Debby, for sharing so willingly and for raising such a wonderful son for us to have as a son-in-law!

My kids are just the best and I feel blessed all year that I can call them mine, but the holidays are an extra blessed time for me!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Our Colorado Trip

     Paul and I just got back from a car trip to Colorado.  About half the way there I said, "Whose idea was it to drive?" (Mine)  Actually, we had a good time coming and going and having plenty of time to catch up, solve the world's problems, etc! 
     The purpose for the trip was to attend a good friend's wedding (Tommy Johnson and Emily Jorgensen for those who might know them).  The wedding was as sweet as could be...a real testament to their Christian lives.  Tears filled my eyes the entire time watching my "Little Tommy" taking his vows to be a wonderful mate for Emily.  It seems like just yesterday he was just a little bitty kid at church. Our family has been so blessed to know Tommy and his family almost his entire life.
     The great bonus to the trip was getting to stay with my sister, Kay, and her husband, Gary.  We had a wonderful time visiting and just hanging out.  We got to see Gary's most recent play, Wizard of Oz, which was a real treat.
     Another bonus was the beautiful weather.  Granted it did get into the 90s during the day, but that is nothing compared to our heat wave.  Also, it was so pleasant in the mornings and evenings.  On the way home we went from 57 degrees in Trinidad to 106 degrees in Waco!  We definitely enjoyed the break from the extreme heat.
     It was a great trip and we are blessed to have the time to go places and do things that bring us so much joy.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Camping We Will Go, A Camping We Will Go....

I didn't think I would be going back to camp at 52.  When Hannah asked Judy and me to go to ACU Camp as group leaders, our first response was "aren't we too old and out of shape?"  Of course, Hannah assured us we were neither and we naively believed her!

Actually, we found we weren't too horribly old and out of shape (for camp, that is).  Although I think our plan for next year (if we go), is to be thinner and in better shape, we did just fine this year.  I'm actually proud of us.  We were able to keep up reasonably well with 24-year old Hannah and definitely functioned better on less sleep.

The week was wonderful!  It wasn't perfect but it was great.  Our little "color group" (consisting of 17 sixth graders) started off a bit quiet and timid, but by the end of the week most of them had come out of their shells.  Meal times seemed to be a great opportunity to get to know the kids.  We were able to interact with them in a more relaxed atmosphere and that helped in our classroom time.

My favorite part of the week was the blessing time on Thursday night.  The group leaders write an individual blessing to each of the kids in their color group.  We included a scripture for each child that we had chosen especially for him or her.  Then one by one we read their blessings to them.  The kids seemed to enjoy hearing words of praise and encouragement.  We spray-painted little wooden boxes gold (treasure boxes) and put a "gold" one dollar coin in each to remind them that they are "God's Special Treasure."  It was a blessing for us as much as for them.

At the first of the week I might have told you I wouldn't be going back.  I was definitely out of my comfort zone working with kids older than I am used to teaching.  However, by the end of the week I was hooked and was already thinking of ideas to incorporate next year!  It's kind of one of those things where one year is just enough to really understand what it's all about and the second year would be building on that knowledge.

So, I guess I'm proof that a 52-year old CAN go back to camp!

Friday, June 24, 2011


We had a wonderful visit with Kayla and Darby when they came to Texas recently.  We talked, played games, celebrated birthdays, got pedicures (okay, not Darby), ate out, etc.  Hannah was here for several days and Matt was able to leave his job and come up for an evening.  We enjoyed having all four "kids" home.  One of the highlights for me was watching them play Just Dance on the Wii.  I laughed so hard as they tried to mimic the moves on the screen (see pictures below).
Although it was sad to take Kayla and Darby to the airport to return to Illinois, we had a great day on the way.  We left about 10:00 in the morning and stopped by Fort Worth to see Clint and Whitney and their newborn son, Finn.  He was a precious little boy who cooperated fully being passed around and loved on!  Whitney and Clint seem to be doing well and we enjoyed visiting with them and catching up on their lives.

After a quick lunch at McDonald's (you can tell I'm a big spender), we were off to the next baby!  We went to my niece's house to see baby Samuel.  With a 4 1/2 day old baby, Amy and Matthew were still very sleep-deprived.  Little red-headed Samuel is absolutely precious but seems to prefer sleeping during the day and crying at night!  I held him and loved on him and gave him great-aunt to great-nephew advice on how things were going to work. I'm sure he gave Amy and Matthew a great night's rest after our little conversation!  Matthew and Amy are going to be great parents and I look forward to watching Samuel grow up.
Little Samuel
Finally I couldn't put it off any longer and I dropped Kayla and Darby at the airport.  We said our goodbyes and I didn't even have time to cry before I was caught up in the Dallas traffic.  It was a wonderful trip, as always.  We are so blessed to get to see them every few months and to have wonderful in-laws who share them with us so freely.

Next on my agenda is a visit from my sister, Kay, from Colorado on July 6.  Can hardly wait!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mother's Day/Birthday--May 8

It was a great weekend!  Hannah and Matt came into town to celebrate my birthday and Mother's Day, which happened to fall on the same day this year.  We had a great time visiting and playing games.  I had just seen Kayla and Darby a couple of weeks ago and we celebrated my birthday and Mother's Day when we were together.  So...I felt very loved and very special.  My cards from the kids were wonderful, especially the hand-written sentiments on them and Kayla's handmade cards.

As always, Paul made sure my birthday and Mother's Day were special.  He took us all out to eat (which is always fun) and made sure I didn't lift a finger (except when I insisted).  Paul gave me a camera to replace the one I left in Belize so I'm excited about that!

Matt, Hannah and I (and to an extent Paul), got hooked on the Monopoly Card Game.  We played many hands of it and had fun turning against one another and ganging up on anyone doing well!  We love playing games together, visiting and acting silly while we do.  It's great family time.

Sunday afternoon, of course, Hannah had to head back to Dallas and Matt to Abilene.  It always leaves a little lump in my throat to see them go.  I am so blessed that Kayla, Darby, Hannah and Matt all make special time for me!