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.
I guess I like my new birthday blouse! I wore it on two separate occasions!
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!
So far this year we have gotten to bike in every month! I was afraid May would break our goal because of a little knee surgery for the Hubs. But he's doing well and biking doesn't bother his knee.
For May we biked in Wichita on the way to our Kansas City trip and Olathe on our way back home. Kansas has some great trails!
We started at the hotel on the Wichita Riverwalk
and passed this really cool wall of water
and this bridge with the Keeper of the Plains statue
till we finally came to a flood zone... end of the trail for us!
Afterwards we ate lunch at the Doo-Dah Diner. It was so good - we are looking for an excuse to go to Wichita again! This is the Hubs Fried Bologna sandwich - lots of memories for him with that stuff. :0
This trail in Olathe was more challenging with lots of hills! But so pretty!
Cows in the woods behind us
and lots of flowers blooming too!
I'm not a crazy fast rider but like to enjoy the scenery. These two trails were definitely a change of pace and scenery for us. It's an adventure, too, when you don't know what is around the corner. Kinda like life...
We just returned from a little trip up to Kansas City, Missouri where we met and reconnected with longtime friends. I had planned this one and chose a Bed & Breakfast, and was thrilled that everyone else loved it too, even though it was a bit pricier than we usually pay.
WE WERE TREATED LIKE ROYALTY!
Southmoreland on the Plaza is a beautiful old house, filled with antiques and pretty things. Each room is unique and named for a different historical person; in fact, the second night we were there they had placed an open book on our bed that had a short biography of the person our room was named for. The rooms also had fresh flowers and fruit. We had gourmet breakfasts each morning served on china. Snacks at 4, cookies at 8 - wow, did they feed us well! Not only that, but the location was ideal - one block off the main street - we were able to walk to Country Club Plaza for other meals and also to Nelson Atkins art museum. We stayed up and talked every night in a porch room that was filled with white wicker furniture and a hanging swing. We worshipped together on a little patio connected to our room.
If you are ever in the Kansas City area, these folks get my highest recommendation! This business is a member of the Select Registry, exceptional B&Bs, Inns, and Boutique hotels.
What a treat for us but also a way to reflect on our own hospitality to others as we serve in the Lord's kingdom!
Sometimes it's hard to focus on the good. Even little things can bother us and I was reminded of that Sunday at church. Many of us are addicted to approval of others, and the only one we need approval from is God. One place I go when I need a break from the world, housework, the computer, the phone, you name it - is my garden. I can sit and pull weeds for a long time. And admire the simple beauty God created!
Finally, brothers and sisters, 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. Phil. 4:8
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 118:1
I've had a fascination with rocks for a long time. My family has actually made fun of me about it. I just love them. They're amazing. They are handiworks of God.
The first time I ever saw the Grand Canyon at age 15 on a road trip to California with my family, I was in awe - and heartbroken that we only spent a few minutes there! (I determined never to do that to my own kids!) I've visited the Grand Canyon a couple more times, most recently last fall when we hiked down into the canyon and up the same day. It was hard. It was a challenge. Kind of a half-marathon on steroids! It took us 11 1/2 hours. I loved it and we had trained for it and we were with a sweet group of people from church.
BUT...I said I would never do that again UNLESS I could hike down and spend the night in the canyon. I wanted to really enjoy the scenery, sit around, get to know it a little better, bask in it. But there's a catch! There's only one place to spend the night in the canyon, Phantom Ranch. It's an old, historic place with a few cabins and dorms. Or you can get a campsite (limited) and carry all your gear down and up with you.
I knew Phantom Ranch reservations were hard to get. I didn't know how hard! But I started dreaming the "Impossible dream" and planning for us to go somehow with our adult kids. Time is of the essence. I feel like their lives are getting busier and more adult-like all the time. We are halfway fit physically, who knows how we'll be in a few years?
So the planning began - I had four different If-then plans. We tried calling April 1, 2017 for April 2018 reservations, as the process goes. We had three phone lines calling for over two hours to no avail. We finally got the recording that all Phantom Ranch reservations were full. I was told 100,000 people are trying to call at the same time every first day of the month. Terribly disappointing! I wanted to try one more time, May 1, before giving up and trying for a campsite. My son had three phone lines dialing and I had one. I was in disbelief 40 minutes later, when my son texted me that he was on hold and 15th in line!
We got it! We got our second choice date!!! So we have a reservation for one night at Phantom Ranch, along with the famous stew dinners, one year from now, the week after my youngest graduates from college.
Seems like I've posted so many of these through the years, but it's a special tradition for us - the OKC Memorial Marathon. We've been doing something in it for so long, and the Hubs has only missed one year due to recovery from a crushed pelvis back in 2006.
This year our youngest ran the half-marathon and the rest of us did the 5K. We met him at the Finish Line and the weather was pretty nasty, but at least we escaped the rain and there were no delays in start time. Delays are the worst!
I also love how we can meet up with Team OC folks in a building and pray together before the race. It's a great time to see friends and visit before the race.
Here we are in the building before the race about 5:30 a.m.! Our daughter's husband was the only one not with us - he was supporting his brother who was running the full marathon.
We met up with one of our relatives from Tipton!
Brrr! Let's get this show on the road!
Here's our boy coming in at 1:37!
Right afterwards - refueling with food in each hand and on each hip. :0
Yummm...we went to a new breakfast place afterwards called Sunnyside Diner. Delish!