Saturday, October 31, 2015


I had a dream last night.  In the dream I was sitting in an auditorium at a rehearsal.  I was not auditioning, maybe it was for one of my kids...and the next song was supposed to be sung by a lady close to my age.  Something happened and she couldn't sing, so someone there suggested me to take her place.  I was really excited!  I love to sing and consider myself a pretty good singer.  I thought I knew the song well enough.

So everyone in the scene lined up and I did too.  The music began and I paraded out there behind a child who was slow, which caused me to miss the first phrase of my song.  Then I squeaked out a few notes, then totally forgot the words to the song.

"CUT!" That was what I heard.  No, "let's try it one more time," or anything like that.  Just cut the song.  I was devastated!  Even though I hadn't prepared to audition, I had gotten excited about it and thought I could wing it.

Of course I couldn't go back to sleep for a long time after that.  I began to think about the dream and pray.  I thanked God that I don't have to audition for his kingdom!  We don't have to learn anything special or prepare or try out.  Everyone that wants to be in the show makes it!

Pretty sweet gig.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Our Women's Fellowship Ministry at church just recently held "Skills Night," offering a bunch of introductory classes for skills many women like to have.  It was a lot of fun!  It was a ton of organization, too (which I have to give kudos to my friend Lori for doing!).  The classes were 30 minutes long unless you chose Cake Decorating or Knitting.  We had a nice mix of craft type classes and other general skills.

We had teachers from our church donating their time for these classes:

Hand sewing and mending
Cross Stitch
Card making
Cake Decorating
Home decorating
Making tablescapes
Bow making
Wreath making demo
Flower arrangement
First Aid and CPR (non-certified)
Smart Phone tips
Computer tips

I went to two classes:  Flower Arrangement and CPR (non-certified).  Both were well done!  I learned a few little tricks in the flower arrangement class and came right home and made my own pumpkin flower arrangement with a few flowers I had brought home from the class.

Here's some of my favorite pics from the evening:

This literally took me about 10 minutes after I got home.  So fun! Thankful for ladies willing to teach and mentor some of these disappearing skills!

Sunday, October 25, 2015


But not for the reasons you might think!

Duke Homestead
While in Durham, NC, I went to the Duke Homestead.  It was an old wooden home and free museum that I really just looked at as a time-killer.  I was surprised how effective this little free museum, film, and walking around the homestead were, and the sweet story it portrayed.

Washington Duke impressed me as a man with perseverance.  He married and lost his wife to typhoid after only 5 years.  The same thing happened with his second wife of 6 years!  He did end up with 5 children from them. When he fought in the Civil War he was taken prisoner.  When set free at the end of the war, he walked back home.  He walked 130 miles!!  When he got home, his farm was left in ruins, being inhabited by the Union Army during that time.  All he had left was a little tobacco.  Do you know what he did?  He  took what he had and made an entire farm crop of tobacco, and you guessed it, he did well.  He got his sons involved in the tobacco business and his youngest, Buck, was a very innovative thinker for his time.  In the early 1900's he convinced his father to take a chance on a cigarette rolling machine.  This machine improved their company and their wealth grew.  Buck was also ahead of his time in marketing, being the first to create advertising on the little cardboard inserts that went into the packages of cigarettes.

But this family didn't hoard their wealth.  They convinced Trinity College to move to Durham, and it was renamed Duke University!  They gave a large financial gift and it still blesses people today.

Approaching Duke chapel
 Gorgeous chapel doors
Fall leaves with the chapel tower peeking through

I love this story as I think about all the hardships young Washington Duke went through as a young soldier, returning home to virtually nothing, and making himself a new life.   I wonder about what he dreamed about as he walked home those 130 miles.  He took his freedom and did something astounding with it.

As an American, I live in a free country.  As a Christian, I live free from the burdens of sin and have the hope of eternity in Heaven.  Do I really value my freedom?  Do I think about it much?  Do I live in such a way to do anything valuable with what I have?  Am I using what I have to bless others?

These are the thoughts I've been left with as I retold the story of Washington Duke to my family.  How about you?  What stories of freedom or perseverance inspire you?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


This week I'm getting to know a little bit of North Carolina, a place I've never been for any length of time.  Durham, NC, is the home of Duke University.  It's a gorgeous campus!  While the Hubs is in meetings, I've been admiring the place.  This is the famous Duke Chapel.  Built in 1932, one of the last Gothic style chapels built.  It was under reconstruction so I couldn't tour the inside but the outside is pretty impressive!

Favorite quote overheard while following some students:  

"What is that awesome college on the west coast?  I toured it, I can't remember the name...oh, Pepperdine.  Now that was an incredible place!  It's so amazing, right on the beach..."

I had to laugh.  While they are attending this beautiful university, walking by this awesome piece of gothic architecture, they are talking about how awesome Pepperdine is?  Doesn't matter what it is, the grass is always greener on the other side, huh?

There's an 11-acre garden on the campus, Sarah Duke Gardens.  Even though there's not a lot blooming right now, it's still really beautiful and I spent two mornings walking here:

Friday, October 16, 2015


The piece of paper on my bathroom mirror since the first of the year is looking worn and weathered from the humidity.I intended to look at it daily.  I intended to record my monthly weight on it.  I have not looked at it daily, nor recorded my weight!  But I have looked at it occasionally, thinking "what was I wanting to improve this year?  What were my resolutions?"

Be present
Really worship
Appreciate all I've been given

As I looked them over I realized they were all very similar.  All of them have to do with being "in the moment,"  a phrase I have loved the last couple of years.  I love to use it on my husband and other family members as a reminder to quit looking at their phone or just join the family mentally for the short times that we are together.

It's easy to tell others to be present, of course.  But it's hard to see it in ourselves.  We can never see the log in our own eye! (Matthew 7:3-5)

As I re-read the goals I had written, I realized there were no real ways to measure whether or not I am keeping these resolutions.

But I did realize one thing.  A phrase popped up in my mind:


Every little moment you spend visiting with someone is building a connection.  Every little moment you are appreciating what you've been given is momentous.  Each time you do an act of service is a moment that changes you.  Every moment, every real moment you 'let go and let God' is a holy moment.  It reminds me of James 4:14:  Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

Life is a series of moments.  A series of little things.  Momentous things are big and important.  But all those little moments add up to something momentous.  How are you spending your moments?  Are you connecting the dots?  Are they leading to something momentous?

Maybe you know you're getting old when you think more about moments...thanks for listening to my thoughts today, friends.  Thanks for spending a moment with me.  :)

Monday, October 12, 2015


Lately we've had some time to just visit our loved ones!  I just realized what an outdated term that "loved ones" might be.  It's a beautiful phrase though, and I think we should use it more often!

One visit we made was to Son #1's girlfriend's house.  She bought a house in OKC this summer and has two roommates renting the other rooms.  It's in an area that was built in the 1920's and is pretty popular with 20-somethings right now!  We were wanting to visit sometime, but it's kind of hard to invite yourself over!  But my son said recently they wanted to host us for "Crockpot Sunday."  Sounded good to us.  I was proud of them for wanting to do this!  Our schedules don't really mesh on Sundays, but we took the invitation and ate a little later than our normal.  They went ahead and invited my mother and sister too.  It was delightful!

First Sunday Dinner here!

She has an awesome, quirky style!  One unusual thing my son bought for the house was the x-ray light box on the wall.  It acts as a light fixture and also goes with her collage on the wall.

We also just went down to my husband's hometown recently!  We got to eat a meal with lots of relatives, go to a football game, play cards until the wee hours of the morning and pick pears!  

 My SIL has this awesome fall arrangement outside her home to take pictures by...and encourages others to do so!
 This little cutie is my nephew's youngest and was a lot of fun at the game.  We won, by the way, 80-34!  Quite a long game!
 I forgot how hard it is to catch their smiles.  But she makes a lot of funny faces!

Just visiting is pretty sweet and necessary if we want to stay connected in our family relationships! 

Thursday, October 8, 2015


With the recent articles and updates on "Hurricane Katrina victims, 10 years later" it makes it hard to ignore the fact that my family is celebrating 10 years after my husband's "hurricane relief accident!"

Life 10 years ago looked so different!  My kids were 10, 14, and almost 16 years of age.  Life was busy.  We were in many different activities and my main job was keeping it all straight and being their taxi driver.  The Hubs had a good job and enjoyed working on different projects, including disaster relief with a group at church.  The kids were old enough to know what was happening and remember it.  Thank goodness for our faith we were (and still are) plugged into a church that seeks to live and serve like Jesus!  When the Hubs was crushed by that tree people came out of the woodwork - no pun intended - to help us!

There were things that happened right before the accident that I wondered about later.  We just had family pictures made, and I wondered, "Was that our last family picture?"  We had gone on a 2 week driving vacation to California that summer and I thought, "Wow, I'm glad we did that because he may not be up to doing something like that ever again..."  I felt like God prepared me the month before as I struggled with a couple of weird situations and a vein surgery that didn't work and asked my CWBS group to pray for me just 2 days before the accident.  The Friday night I had "all to myself" with the kids spending the night with friends and how I enjoyed my quiet time, watching a movie, scrapbooking and eating chocolate cake from my favorite place while he was gone on the hurricane relief trip.  God blessed me with a time of relaxation before the busyness of hospitals, surgeries, and recovery began.  So many things come to mind...

So many God-things - blessings amidst the pain:  The helmet he took that day, even though he had not worn one previous days.  The tree falling on the strongest part of his body, his pelvis.  A friend who had paramedic training was there almost immediately after the tree fell on him.  Friends who flew me down to Galveston via private plane which was crazy since it was OU-Texas weekend.  The doctors who told me they took care of everything that was going to kill him in an hour.  My mother who was able to just move in and take care of the kid's temporary needs.  Learning to assert myself with the hospital staff.  Christians near and far praying, loving, and taking care of us.  It was a horrible, wonderful time and I'm so extremely thankful that today we can look back and smile about it.  You hear people say that and it's true now.

Thanks for reading today and I pray you can look back over times in your life that God has brought you through the pain and you can see the blessings.

Good old-fashioned scrapbooking, huh?

Sunday, October 4, 2015


The Women's Ministry at our church is having a "Skills Night" soon!  It is a time for women to get together and teach introductory skills to others, including: sewing, cake decorating, even first aid and smart phone tips! I decided to to showcase my skills and made this little sign out of burlap for our registration table.  I thought it came out pretty good since I freehanded it (no pattern).
We wanted to have a fake cake on the table so I made this out of a styrofoam form from Hobby Lobby, joint compound, and caulk.  I then took it to the gal who will teach Basics of Cake Decorating to add some decor to it.  It looks VERY real!  
Finally, I went to a ladies retreat this past weekend and enjoyed making several crafts - these little pumpkins were what I made.  I especially like the canning jar lid one and it literally took me 10 minutes!  My kinda craft!