Monday, July 17, 2017

SHREVEPORT VOLUNTEERING...

Like many volunteer works, you leave with a sense of fulfillment from some small task, and awareness of how much more work there is to do!  We participated in a type of mission work this past weekend in Shreveport, LA.  It was interesting and such a blessing to both me and The Hubs.

We first heard about this from a friend at church.  She participates in the Fuller Center for Housing Bicycle team.  The team does long rides across the country, spending nights in church gyms along the way, and participating in building works the Fuller Center does in different areas of the United States.  The ride she was on started in June in San Francisco, and is going across the entire country to Atlanta!  Can you imagine?

She asked us to join the team to encourage them as they stopped in Shreveport for a building project. We drove down and got there Friday at dinner time and were treated to dinner with the bicyclists at the Fuller Center.  In typical southern hospitality, we were served home-made Gumbo, rice, salad, chocolate cake, and sweet tea!  It was delicious!  We heard a presentation about the Fuller Center and were given some instruction about the work we would do the next day.  After the dinner they told us there was a balloon festival nearby on the LSU-Shreveport campus.  So all of us piled into two vans and our vehicle and went to check it out.  I had never been to a balloon festival before.  It was awesome! For King & Country was playing a concert there and also they had fireworks!

A table centerpiece at Friday night's dinner at Fuller Center NWLA


 Balloon festival

I had my first experience "glamping" with the team in the Fellowship Hall of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament church.  It was the right price - FREE.  We got up early and were on the job site at 8 a.m.  We split up and did jobs like installing hurricane clips, painting, caulking, framing a shed, cleaning up the job site, mowing, etc.  We also met the future homeowners and the wife was able to stay and work with us that day.  It was hot and humid and we worked hard until 2:30 p.m. Some of the group went to work in their store of donated building supplies also.  






After cleaning up and resting the Fuller Center took all of us to a restaurant renowned for it's "All You Can Eat Catfish."  It was a great time! One of the things I enjoyed most was finding out where the different members of the bicycle team were from and asking the older ones about how they trained.  Would you believe they have several 70+ on this 9 week bicycle tour? 

One of the craziest things was our sleeping quarters.  It was, well, vintage, to put it nicely.  As we returned from the restaurant and flipped on the lights, we saw something running across the floor. And then we saw 3 or 4 more of them.  The Hubs took care of them for us.  Let me just say Louisiana grows much bigger cockroaches than Oklahoma does!  After someone reassuring us that "at least roaches don't bite," I zipped myself up as much as I could in my sleeping bag.  I finally fell asleep!  



We went to church with our friend the next morning and went by the grocery store for her to pick up some things, then said our goodbyes.  We left with a sense of appreciation for the Fuller Center for Housing, and a sense of wonder in the way God works in the lives of people.   
























Tuesday, July 11, 2017

RED RIVER, NEW MEXICO...40 YEARS LATER

We had a family vacation way back in the 70's to Red River, New Mexico - hadn't been there since!  But for my Mother's 75th birthday my sister and I wanted to take her somewhere nice and cool for that special day.  We chose to visit Red River again after all these years.  The size hadn't changed much but there are many more small hotels and condos, along with restaurants and shops.  No big name hotel chains or big box stores.  It's really charming.  You can walk to everything!  We had lots of good times just chatting, laughing, eating out and challenging Mom with a few adventuresome activities!
 Lots of cute places for pictures downtown

At the restaurant at the top of the mountain

Riding up on the ski lift - a 30 minute ride




Mallette Park and cracking ourselves up over selfies!

Mountain tubing

Renting a 4wdrive for a few hours and going up to Greenie's Peak
Hike in Mallette Park


We did spend an afternoon in Taos, too!

At the Mexican Imports store and Taos Plaza

Bent St. Cafe for birthday lunch - so delicious!

Thankful.  






Tuesday, July 4, 2017

GARDEN PLAY...

Play is good for you no matter your age!  Way back in college I learned in early childhood education that play is essential for children.  It's how they learn.  A few days ago I decided it was time to play.  I took a much needed morning off from my phone, emails and other ministry related items.  
 I cleaned out my vegetable garden of these flowers that were taking over and have been enjoying this little arrangement from the "trash" of the garden.  I needed a heavy vase so the wind wouldn't tip it over so I repurposed a candle holder.
This door to nowhere has been here in the wild part of our yard and I wanted to embellish it so I added these English ivy vines I saved when we took down a large tree.  The vines were over 17 years old and had taken over.  They were kind of cool looking though, the way they had woven together, so I played around and at my daughter's suggestion, made these "blinds" for the window.

I put these in a pot for this little plant to climb up on. Upon?  Eh, not worrying about it.

What do you do in your playtime?

Monday, June 26, 2017

A FLURRY OF ACTIVITY...

I can't believe June is almost over!  Been busy with projects, making new friends, reconnecting with loved ones and  not knowing which end is up.  I need to quit complaining about it (yes, it happens) and just be thankful I am able.


RefresHER hostesses


VBS group




I guess I like my new birthday blouse!  I wore it on two separate occasions!









Saturday, June 17, 2017

SERVICE MAGNIFIED...

Friday I got to do some "research" on a service project for Women's Ministry.  We are planning to do some special things in July and our goal was to do something to benefit women, done by the women of our church.

My aim was to work for a few hours and get a feel for what we might be doing to help at a thrift store recently opened by one of our members.  She is a new Christian and has a passion for helping those who need a second chance.  That is the name of her store.

What I didn't know was how I would see service magnified in those short few hours!
Here is the owner of Second Chances and some of the pretty items she has displayed.  I watched as she greeted customers so happily.  I watched as she asked two men that pick up things for her go get two nice shelf displays from another nearby store and she paid one of them with a pair of shorts.  She asked me if I knew of any groups who could help him get his gas turned back on.  She went next door to see if a pawn shop had a record player for a customer seeking one.  I also observed her getting in trouble for trying to sell a couch on the lawn outside of the shopping center.  She smiles through it all.  She told me about the jewelry brought in weekly by a woman in our church who makes jewelry and helps her display it.  She showed me the lovely draperies recently dry-cleaned and brought in from a member of our church to sell.  She knows the customers who steal.  She helps anyway.  This gal is something else.  She loves Jesus and wants to serve.  

I watched as a customer engaged her employee (below) in conversation.  They had both worked for Salvation Army and had lots to talk about.  After she made a purchase, she came back in and gave the employee a $20 bill to help buy her next bus pass.  I about cried!

All I did was hang up clothing and sort shoes and greet customers.  But I learned a lot more about what she is doing and the people she helps and those who are blessing her - oh, the stories!  I enjoyed working alongside both of these fine ladies.  It was a great day!














Monday, June 12, 2017

KANSAS CITY SCRAPBOOK...

Just a little more Kansas City with our friends:

Walking to dinner in Country Club Plaza
Looking at downtown - walking over to the Hallmark Crown Center on The Link bridge

In awe at the Steamboat Arabia - amazing story museum of sunken treasures
The many treasures from the Arabia
Andre's for a little afternoon treat - like a little piece of Europe

Visiting the Harry S. Truman library nearby
Harry's home
An interesting church building we had to stop and see
The Shuttlecock sculpture at Nelson Atkins Art Museum

Glass maze in the sculpture garden

He said WHAT?
Silliness
More sculptures in Nelson Atkins
Union Station
The model train exhibit at Union Station
Taking the Hallmark tour!

Such a fun place with so much to do and see and taste!  I hear there may be an Amtrak route from OKC to KC in the future.  I would love to go by train next time!