On Eagle's Wings

On Eagle's Wings
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:29-31


Friday, July 20, 2012

Leavin' on a jet plane

I will be back again ...
and ready to catch up with you and
share lots of pictures of our vacation.

Almost all packed now.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Daddy and the Typewriter

My Dad's birthday was this past Sunday. He would have been 88.
Daddy was a shy man, and somewhat backward in some ways
because of his upbringing in the hills in Arkansas,
but he was a faithful and loving father to us.
It's not about his character that I am reminiscing this week
(his character and values were always very transparent and very high),
but I am thinking of the day (way, way back then and long ago,)
he brought home from the local pawnshop
a "gift" for my sister and I.

(ok this is not an actual pic of our typewriter.
This is a pic I took of FDR's typewriter when we were in NYC
Ours wasn't quite the antique this is ;-))
"I bought this typewriter for you girls. I want you to learn how to type.
Before you get married, you will need to get a job,
and I want you to be able to work in an office."

To a reader in 2012, that would seem
a very "male chauvinist statement and way of thinking."
But my Dad, the son of a sharecropper in Arkansas,
was brought up in a time and place where you worked the farm,
married and raised children, sent them off to a little one-room school
that went no higher than the 8th grade,
and said children then followed that example, repeating the cycle.

After his service in the Army during WWII, he married my Mom
and began to work the land as his Dad had before him.
They then moved to Oklahoma hoping to better themselves.
He worked for a steel company in Tulsa that built oil derricks.
Weathering the heat and the cold out on that steel daily for over 30 years,
he knew the hardships of manual labor and,
while that never would have been our lot as females,
he wanted us to have an easier time of it than he and Mom.

A high school education was what Dad believed would see us through
until the day we married
because sending us to college was beyond their means.
So each year when we made up our school schedules,
we were encouraged instructed to take
"every business course that our high school offered"
because he believed we would receive the
equivalent of a business school education.
This was a much better hope than for the females from his hometown,
as jobs were not only scarce, but limited to such as the local dime store,
canning factory, or chicken factory.
(These jobs were not dishonorable, but there wasn't much future in them
not to mention the ickiness of tearing chickens apart daily).
I will spare you a picture of that!!!!

So I submitted to my Dad (MOST unwillingly, I might add).
I DID NOT want to learn to type, the typewriter was a HATED OBJECT
and I really could not explain to you why.
It is a mystery to me, but, a very strange thing happened
in Mrs. Sweeney's typing class as I typed aaa, lll, sss, kkk,
over and over keys clanking against the typewriter ribbon.
Return - DING!! ;-) 
I began to win the speed tests again and again.
It then became a competitive thing to me.
(What is even stranger to me now is that our children learn this "skill"
at such an early age now that it makes me laugh that I was 15
when I learned to type and was so proud of myself.)

Shorthand, office machines, business law, etc. all became classes that I loved
and excelled in bringing much higher my average in school than before.

So where am I going with that?
I am so thankful to my Dad that he had the foresight
to want me to learn how to take care of myself in life.
Being hired right out of high school by a company
which hired me strictly for my skills
(there was no job open at the time I applied,
but the VP told personnel that they "should not let a 'girl' like her go.")

My experience led to much better jobs and learning as I went until a later time
when I would be trained as a paralegal for the law firm I worked for.
As I grew more mature, my desire for learning increased
and I began to take classes at the local community college.

But, more importantly, there came a time when it became NECESSARY
for me to support myself.
And when that time came, I had experience and stability so that
I didn't have to scramble around and try to find where I belonged.
The position that I was in at my time of necessity was a springboard of learning
for other opportunities to come in the future.

Thank you, Daddy. I believe with all my heart that the Lord guided you to "gift" us
with a simple little machine that would be a tool to gain access to resources
so that we could "gift" others with even better things.

One last thing about this little typewriter.

I taught my sweet Mom how to type on that typewriter.
She had to leave school at age 16 to help on their farm.
So after raising her kids, she studied to get her GED
and worked for many years in the Education Service Center
and with special need students in one of the high schools.
She was so proud of her achievements and loved going to work
and the interaction she had with the youth.

You understand that pride more when you know
before she married my Dad she was employed:
Yep - chicken factory and canning factory!

Sweet Tomatoes Gone Sour

Who would have thunk it?

I can't think of anything much better in the summer than
a fresh, juicy, homegrown, red tomato.

Grocery stores usually know nothing of such things.

So, when I found these beauties one day last week,
I stocked up.
And I ate almost all of them.
(I lost count.)
Hmmmm, guess who's sick?
For over a week.
I made no connection between delicious, healthy tomatoes
and acid reflux.
After a trip to the doctor, I learned that connection.
Don't be such a pig!

Who knew?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rolling with the punches

Working on it! :-)

Getting ready to go on vacation is hard work.

So while we're about getting ready for vacation,
Dear Heart says, "how 'bout we get the house painted while we're gone?
That way, it will all be nice and finished when we return."
Wah!! Wah!! It's not that easy.

(Takes time for me to adapt)

Long list of things to do and you're adding to it?
packing for ANY kind of weather
enough for TWO weeks?
and in one suitcase.
getting along without ALL the "necessities"
(you know: hair stuff, i.e., different size brushes, dryers, curlers, it's ridiculous)
doctor appointments
getting everything ready for the painters
moving plants
planning for watering of said plants
(Trudy too)
(Why is it always about hair and clothes?)
Arranging for petsitter
preparing for any unforeseen emergency
pack a list of medical records
(and feeling somewhat apprehensive remembering what happened on our last vacation)***
"Oh yeah," he asks, "how 'bout we get the inside of the house done
while the painters are here?"
give strangers the key to my house?
combination to the gate locks?
move all the furniture to the center of the rooms before we leave
only to face all that upon my return?
No way!
Isn't it enough that I am preparing myself
for a lot of the adventures scary things we have planned for said vacation?
Things that are way out of my comfort zone?
Things that weren't at the top of the list for me

But I am not whining.

It will be fun!

I'm excited we get to go somewhere we've never been
(Alaska - where majestic and breathtaking scenery awaits).
I'm thankful we are BOTH in good health for going.
I'm very, very thankful in all things.
But I really, really do
like being at home.
I like it here.
(Got my trusty binoculars to help spot any bunnies
that might be hiding out there)
Trudy and I both agree that the view from my window is just great!
And that's the truth.

***This parenthetical statement is at the heart of the anxieties about going away.
While the above post might seem shallow and ungrateful,
I realize the privilege of being able to do all these things.
It's just been a crazy, crazy year.
I still see the glass half-full.
That's all.

"Casting my burden upon You today, knowing You will sustain me ... casting my cares because You care. You are compassionate and have covenanted with me for peace. You are my peace.
In the multitude of my anxieties, your comforts delight my soul."
(Psalm 55:22; 1 Peter 5:7; Ephesians 2:14; Psalm 94:19)

Friday, July 13, 2012

I had no idea ...

that blogging could be so stimulating, addictive, fun, friendly.

This has been a fun day of reading comments to this little blog
(thank you, Sweet Tea for such a "sweet" intro on your blog
and sending new friends my way.)

Everybody has a story - everybody has a tale.

Most of this afternoon I've spent with a cup of coffee, reading your blogs.
The comment was made by Linda that everyone has a story
and that is something for sure.
We are all different and yet, share so many of the same thoughts and feelings.
I am looking forward to following new friends
and sharing a little part of my life here
in this new place (for me anyway) called blogland.
It's going to be fun!
(It's so much fun, I got a little carried away and pushed a button
or some crazy thing and now find myself following my own blog!)
Do I need to say "Excuse me" or something?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Make My Day

Go Ahead!

Make my day!

And you do!

Every time I hear from you

or think about you

or what fun we have together.

You. Make. My. Day.

Thanks for calling to tell me about the trip to the deer lease,
for filling me in about Noah sleeping on the pallet in Brady's room,
and that your Mom bought sand toys for your trip to the beach.

Can't wait to hear about the big boat birthday blast later
and the even bigger beach blowout!
Wow! you guys sure know how to have fun.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Splish, Splash

Two kids in a tub

A time for cooling off!

flipping out

for being lifted up.

Looking at the world through your "gobbles"

And quenching a really big thirst.
Seemed like we had to wait forever!!
But, finally.

According to Kate and Grandpa,
almost every one was our "favorite"!
The 4th was fun!

Second Chances

Twenty-seven years ago found me in some dark, hard places of life. Having recently been widowed, and with my mother suffering in another state with the worst stages of her cancer, I felt so alone. With the loss of my husband, I had given up hope of ever having a family, and now this: my brother was diagnosed with lymphoma and a very grim prognosis. But,

The point of walking with God

is to

keep on walking

Fast forward two years!
I met my future husband and, in the middle of that budding relationship, learned that my brother was a good candidate for a bone marrow transplant! Great news!
And even better news: I'm the perfect candidate to be his donor!

July 5, 1987 - After my sad good-byes to Jay, off I go from Dallas to Seattle, where the transplant would take place. My brother and his wife, Susan, along with their 2 year old toddler, Chase, had traveled there on a road trip a few days before from Tulsa, Oklahoma and met me at the airport.
What I remember that day: It was cloudy and, brrrrr, 57 degrees. 
Chase had a flower to present to me, and, after driving around Seattle, I saw the apartment where we would live, along with other residents in the building who were experiencing the same process.
Phil and Suz at our little apartment in Seattle

The magnitude of all this is too much for this little blog. And, after pondering it the last few days, it would require many pages to tell it all. But what stands out is that every time we turned around, God was hearing the prayers of many and doing something wonderful for our little family far from home.

"It was the worst of times - it was the best of times." It was a scary time for all of us, and the loved ones we left at home, but we took time to enjoy our stay in Seattle and explore the great Northwest before the transplant process would take place. We had some fun seeing the sights.

Chase checking out the gorge

Jay and I on Mopeds

The Real Journey Begins

Bone marrow transplants are pretty common these days,
and I don't know the current statistics for survival, but I do know that too often,
we would return to our little apartment building to see a family packing up and leaving Seattle.
Some departed with great enthusiasm about their return.
For many who left, they would be returning home with one less family member.
Family, Friends, Church ... we experienced one blessing after another throughout this valley.

The Day of Release
Freedom ... and Reunion with Susan and Chase

Thankfully, my brother's transplant was a success and he is still around and doing fantastic.
To our dismay, our precious Mother left this world while we were there. We know she is with the Lord and rejoiced at her graduation, but still ...

Second chances: my brother got one in life,
and he and Susan just celebrated 35 years of marriage.
Don't they look even better these days?

Their son Chase is now a Captain in the U. S. Army and training for Special Ops.

Me, the one who so desperately wanted to give life finally had the opportunity to be an instrument in God's hands to give life to my dear brother, Phil.
Phil, Susan and Chase

Two very fine men

So much to give thanks for. Thank You, Father. You are great!
You really do miracles so great! There is no one else like You.

The End of the Story? No.
Married to Dear Heart Jay that year,
and along with that came Sara and Jason.
My blessings. :-) My family.

The family God has blessed me with.
Not the greatest picture,
but you get the picture.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Ahhhhhh, finally ... Spa Day

YES! and it was a great one, too.
Facial AND massage in a very tranquil setting.
Enjoyed every minute of it.

Thank you to the Steindorfs and Nicholsons for this lovely
and much appreciated birthday surprise.
I have been saving it for a special time and today was it!!

You all are terrific!

Thursday, July 5, 2012


On July 5, 2006, the life of a 22 year old young lady named Elizabeth
and her entire family were drastically changed.
Elizabeth suffered a stroke that night.
By the grace of God, she had a brother who was paying attention.
The doctors were pessimistic about her future.
But Liz had a praying Mother.
A loving family.
And lots of other family and friends who prayed,
And a really AWESOME God.

We celebrate her today.
In this journey the past six years,
my friend, Cindy, and I,
"adopted" her as daughter.
she calls us Moms2.
We love you, Liz.
We've shared lots of great moments.
Your life is a beautiful picture of what
a Wonderful God can do.
Liz with her three Moms.
(Can you tell which one is her real Mom?)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


What can I say about sisters that hasn't been said before?

Well, one thing I can say for sure that hasn't been said!
Nobody else has mine!
Had a really nice time visiting with her today.
We don't talk really often,
but enough to keep up with what is going on in each other's life.
Today we recalled a lot of things
we did when we were younger.
We remember different things.
Nothing to write home about--
(even a couple of confessions)
but most memories shared caused some out loud laughter.
Bringing home a dead rattlesnake for Mom and Dad to see! Yikes!
Going to the movies (oh no!) and switching our skirts for shorts!! Oh my!
Teaching a friend to dance the "Pony"

when she spent the night and
finding out later that she got in trouble for participating in that!??!
(Dancing was kind of a no-no when we were growing up,
along with movies, shorts, make-up, etc.)
We thought our parents were the strictest of all.
Guess not!
I love you, Roberta Sue.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Patios and Needs

When you think the word patio, what picture comes to mind?
A place to relax outdoors, cool, shade from the heat.

Our son Jason built a fantastic cover for their patio
to shade the kids from the heat. He also built a really terrific
ladder to the kids' fort/playhouse.

Amy, our daughter-in-law
has worked hard to add to the beauty of both with
different flowers and plants and decorations.
Great job, guys! :-)
Last night I mentioned that the only thing
the playhouse needed were wind chimes.
Amy agreed, but Jason nixed that.
(I knew his Dad would agree with him).
Jason mentioned that the only thing
the patio needed was a flat screen TV!

Amy and I both nixed that!
(as if I had any say in that discussion)
But, isn't it funny the differences in
what men and women
think are needed?
Kate and Jack don't know anything about wind chimes,
and I really don't think they care about the flat screen TV
(yet). ;-)
But what they DO know is
it's fun outside,
fun time climbing the ladder
and sliding down the slide.

And Jack REALLY likes
the water table on the patio.

Now that's refreshment!!
And that is what is needed!

Hmmmmm. That sounds a lot like us.
Kate and Jack's Daddy and Mommy have provided
a place for them to play,
and rest, and be refreshed.
Our Father has provided everything we need too.
"Your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!"
Matthew 6:8 NLT

The extra blessings????
We call them God-kisses.

And Grandpa kisses too.