Monday, September 15, 2014

240 BUNKO PARTIES LATER...

Hard to believe, but I've been playing Bunko for 20 years now!  That adds up to about 240 parties!  There are a few of us that have been in the group the whole time; others were added in as people moved.  Since I've been a SAHM most of those years, this has been one of my primary social occasions and it's been such a blessing to me.  Mommas just need to have a night with the girls once in a while!  We always share concerns and pray for each other, along with eating good food. We've gone from sharing birth stories to menopause...I've learned so much from these friends!

For our 20th Anniversary party, we decided not to do the "Roaring 20's" but everyone had to wear 20 things and there would be some prizes for that besides the regular Bunko prizes.  We also had a t-shirt design so we can order those.  Some of us were pretty creative!


Showing off our 20s

20 pins

20 hair things

20$


Me and my Bestie

 20 pieces of jewelry

Reading Bunko memories


Funny prizes for some funny people!



Friday, September 12, 2014

A WEDDING IS COMING...

and soon!  My daughter is getting married in January!  A year ago she started dating a young man who was a friend of my son - he had left college here to attend a special school back in his hometown of Denver.  He looked her up, and the rest is history!  We invited him to spend vacation with us in July and right before we left, he sent us a beautiful letter.  We knew that something was up...sure enough, not long after vacation he asked for our blessing.  He was not sure when to ask her, with the recent death in our family.  He was kind enough to ask us about it last Sunday, before he did it. My husband told him we would welcome some good news.  So, it happened!  He is a fine Christian man and we are thrilled for them!



One of the coolest things about him is that he's a song leader...so he fits into the family very well!  Looking forward to helping these two get on their own and lots of fun wedding planning in the next few months!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

JOHN'S WAY OF BEING LIKE JESUS...

I wanted to share with you one of the most interesting things I noticed at my brother-in-law's memorial service last Friday.  There were a lot of people there - 551 signed the guest book.  There were people from all walks of life.

As people filed by the casket (it was closed but my sister didn't feel up to standing in the foyer to talk to people afterwards) I saw that there were a lot of homely people.  People society might call rejects.  There were poor people; t-shirts were the best attire they had.  There were some who didn't speak English.  People of different races and colors.  There was a very large man, a friend of his from high school, who could barely walk because of his weight. These were people John was kind to, people he had hired to help him complete jobs, people he gave his time to - he didn't consider himself better than them.  It totally made sense with all the memories that the minister read about him.

He was a living example of this scripture:
Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Romans 12:16

As I reflected on this, it occurred to me how much he was like Jesus in that way.  Jesus was a friend to the outcasts.  Jesus noticed people that others overlooked.  Jesus helped the helpless.   Every single one of us is placed on this earth for a reason.  We all come in contact with the world in various ways. John had the opportunity to touch people by helping them fix their cars or houses, loaning out tools, hiring others for asphalt jobs, and sometimes just going out for a movie and a burger.

It was a sweet sight.  


Sunday, September 7, 2014

REALITY STINKS...

 Every day I wake up, and a few seconds later, I remember.  Six days ago, a terrible, terrible car accident took my brother-in-law's life.  My sister is left a widow at 48 years old.  They were driving along a familiar road, not too far from their house, when another driver who was texting ran a stop sign.  She hit a truck, which was catapulted into my sister's car.  My brother-in-law was killed instantly as the bed of the truck hit their car and peeled off the top.  My sister escaped with three broken ribs.  It's been horrendous and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

When we got the call on Labor Day, I heard there was a wreck and that my sister was taken to the hospital at OU's trauma center, and she was getting some tests done.  I assumed since they told me nothing about her husband that he was okay.  Not so.  I found out when I entered the hospital.  Many family members were weeping in the chapel area.  We weren't allowed to see my sister for a couple of hours because she was getting a CT scan, but we were told she was talking.  I felt sick.  We were mourning the loss and hoping for the survivor.  It was awful. Her brother-in-law on her husband's side of the family who is a medical pilot for OU was allowed to go back and see her, and my friend who works there came and was able to go back and check on her and give us updates until they allowed us to go back.  It was a long 2 1/2 hours.  My sister continually was asking about her husband.  I think she knew at the scene but she kept asking people, including me.  I had to tell her that "He didn't make it."  My mother and I spent the night with her at the hospital, as her girls, 17 and 22 years old, found comfort with friends.

We went home the next morning.  Reality hit a little more each day.  Every emotion under the sun has been on our faces this past week.  There were a lot of things I didn't realize go along with a death like this:  Investigation of the accident by OHP, and Medical Examiners, holding up things like releasing his body to the funeral home and being able to get her things from the car.  Finally on Friday they released the car and  someone was able to get her personal things out of the car from the wrecker service.  She lost her husband, her car, her phone, pretty much her whole world, in her eyes.

But being children of God, we have been able to count our blessings!  The fact that he was a Christian and that he died instantly - no pain involved - was a blessing.  People who came to comfort and help at the hospital, a continual flow of meals, love and support, so many beautiful flowers and gifts. He was always helping someone.  So many wonderful stories we've been hearing from those he has touched.

Now the hard stuff begins for my sister.  I spent the first five days with her, protecting her, making her take her medicine, making her rest, trying to help her make decisions.  My husband was a great liaison with the church, arranging for the  memorial service.  We picked her up a rental car, even though now she is a paranoid driver(me too, if we are truthful).  She hasn't driven at all yet.  But she is talking, crying, and healing.  She is planning for the future.  She is processing insurance, thinking about getting another car, trying to figure out what to do with his business, and what she might do with all the projects in his 1800 sq. ft. garage.

Somehow everything is going to be alright.

Monday, September 1, 2014

VEGAS FOR THE FIRST TIME...

I didn't want to call myself a Vegas virgin.  Virgin is just not one of those words I grew up saying and still don't like it when people call themselves that when they do anything for the first time!  Call me old-fashioned.  

I never really wanted to go to "Sin City" and thought maybe I'd just never go to know what I was missing.  Why tempt yourself?  But the opportunity came up to go with the Hubs on a business trip and I decided to go, even if it was just about sitting by the pool with a book.  What I saw was a weird assortment of man-made monuments and a lot of fake stuff.  Some places even had fake grass in front of their hotel (understandable in the desert, I guess).  Lots of people gambling and others on the sidewalk trying to get your attention. During the days when the Hubs was in meetings, I spent my time walking the strip and looking at the beautiful hotel lobbies and themed shopping areas.  I also did spend a little time reading at the pool every day.  We ate dinner at some great restaurants - Emeril's was the best!  Probably my favorite thing was the fountain show at the Bellagio hotel.  The fountains are choreographed to music and lit up at night.  I got teary-eyed listening to "I'm Proud to be an American" with the fountains dancing to it.  I think that's the ONLY reason I might go back.

Since I didn't have a phone with a camera, not too many pictures were taken - another thing not to worry about!  :)  The Hubs did take a few:

We stayed at the MGM - they had this boxing ring in the lobby.

Bellagio
 A snail made of flowers in Bellagio Conservatory
 The Fountain show at Bellagio

 Jean-Phillipe Pattisserie's Chocolate fountain at Bellagio
 Gorgeous cakes too!
Our last night we went up in the Stratosphere to eat at Top of the World!

 You could bungee jump or ride a couple of rides off the side of the tower.  Crazy!



The view was gorgeous by the time we finished dinner - Las Vegas all lit up!

 Stratosphere lit up 












Friday, August 29, 2014

DIGITAL DEPRIVATION...


Monday:  Woohoo, fun week ahead!  I was so excited to be accompanying my husband on a business trip without the worries of leaving teens at home, that I made a major mistake.  He had gone a day ahead of me, so I was on my own getting to the airport.  For some reason I thought it would be no problem to exercise, pack, clean the house and water the plants before leaving the house at 1:30 p.m.  Before I knew it, it was noon and I hadn't finished packing yet.  Then I checked my flight times and saw that I needed to go about 15 minutes earlier, so I panicked...and I remembered everything except...MY PHONE.

No problem, I'll just do this the old-fashioned way this week.  Parking was nerve racking, and I had to go all the way to the top of the parking garage to find a space.  Not long after that, security was calling for the "person who left their makeup bag and sunglasses at the checkpoint" - whoops!  Then my flight was delayed twice, so I started to realize I would not make my connecting flight...

I started calling my husband and son on the pay phone at the airport.  Four different times.  Of course, neither of them was answering this unknown number showing up on their phone!  Finally a man in my waiting area took pity on me and asked if I was on the flight that hadn't even left its previous destination yet...and I said yes and spilled my guts about how I didn't know what to do and had left my phone at home.  He was very kind and started looking up flights on his phone and told me just what to do.  Another embarrassing moment came when my name was called over the airport loudspeaker for me to "call your husband." He'd finally gotten my previous messages and so I called him back on the pay phone.  The Hubs told me to buy a phone at an electronics store in the next airport.  Ok, no problem...

So I made it to the next airport and couldn't find an electronics store and it was getting late.  I asked and was told there was one two terminals away.  No way was I going to attempt that.  I walked down another hall and saw a Best Buy vending machine!  Did you know they sell electronics in vending machines?  How weird and WONDERFUL!  I bought a little phone for $54 that said "ready to use" on the box.  Well, their idea of ready to use is a little different than mine...After piddling around and buying some food and looking around in a book store, I decided I'd better open the box and check out the phone.

I discovered I needed to insert the battery, sim card, and charge the thing!  Thankfully I had about 30 minutes before boarding the next flight.  Got it charged, but it still didn't work.  As I was getting on the plane, another nice man came and sat one seat away from me.  With his computer, CD player and headphones, he looked like a guy who might be able to help me.  So I asked for help.  It actually took us about 15 minutes and multiple times trying to put the sim card in different ways to get it to work, but it finally did!  I got a call in to my husband right before the plane took off.

It didn't take long for me to feel really LOST and unsure what to do without my phone.  Everyone around me seemed to be looking at their phones, computers, or other devices.  Only one person noticed my weird behavior, I guess, going back and forth to the pay phones.  Then even when I had gotten one, how to work the thing!  Thankfully, with the kindness of strangers, I was taken care of...I was saying prayers of blessing for those two!  

I'm resolving today to be more aware of those around me and less into my digital devices!  A little digital deprivation was good for me, I think...

Monday, August 25, 2014

RECENT READS...



THE INVENTION OF WINGS by Sue Monk Kidd

The story of two girls, one a slave and one a daughter in a predominant family, in the early 1800's in Charleston.  As they grow up and apart, they both yearn for freedom and a life of their own.  An interesting story of independence.  I enjoyed this one and the slave treatment wasn't unbearable like some literature or movies I've experienced in the past.



DESERT SOLITAIRE by Edward Abbey

An older book, published in 1968, my interest in it was purely because we were getting ready to travel to this area for our vacation.  Someone on Tripadvisor had recommended it - the author had been an employee for Arches National Park for 2 years way back when there were very few visitors.  He knew the "real" Arches park, and challenges us to keep it pure.  He has an interesting writing style, which challenged me.



DELANCEY by Molly Wizenberg

THANK YOU MOLLY!  I loved this one.  Not only because of her writing, but because my youngest also read it while we were on a road trip and proclaimed it the 2nd book he's ever read!  He was serious.  He's just not much of a reader despite all my efforts.  But he's coming along!  He loved it, which is really saying something.  She chronicles the opening of their successful pizza restaurant in Seattle, the ups and downs of owning a business, and the effects on a young couple's marriage.