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


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Wednesday Medley of National Parks

1. Is there a National Park near where you live? I guess the closest national park that I know of is Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas. We spent many years camping there. It is a beautiful area and many memories were made there over the years.
photo credit

Our old boat at Lake Ouachita
Waco, Texas has the Waco Monmouth National Monument, but I’m not sure that counts. 

2.  How many National Parks and which ones have you visited? Denali, Mesa Verde, Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Great Smokey Mountains, Acadia National Park, Hudson River Valley, Blue Ridge Parkway, Grand Teton, Ouachita National forest, Rocky Mountain National Park. 

Who knew our visit to Tennessee would find us spending the next three days at the stroke unit in the University of Tennessee in Knoxville? It was one of those times when I found myself experiencing so many emotions: the check in my spirit that said I needed to get upstairs to our room, fear as I was talking to DH and saw his face and voice change, knowing it was a stroke; immediately getting 911 on the phone and the paramedics helicoptering him to Knoxville. Me? Left at the hotel with all our stuff and thinking, Oh God! I'm all alone! But no! Immediately hearing Him say to me, "You are not alone, I am with you." He took care of all the details and everything turned out all right!

Glacier National Park
So gorgeous!

Is there one you would really like to visit? Yosemite, and after searching online for national parks, I saw many I would love to visit.
3.  The Park Rangers are protectors of the environment, of the wildlife, and visitors in the parks.  Is there someone (human) in your life who you count on as a protector or are you someone's protector? My DH has been my protector, but now it seems the roles have been reversed to a certain extent.
4.  Have you ever had an up-close-and-personal experience with a wild animal that you can tell us about? Does a snake count? I've had a few encounters with them. Not so personal as to touch one though!
5.  It is certainly an honor to show value to this profession by giving them a day of remembrance.  What is another profession that you like to see honored by a "day" of their own? Is there a day set aside to honor the spouses of people in service?
6.  On this last day of July, please tell us something about your week so far.

So far, fairly quiet. We had our Monday night friends over last night and we had such a good time, we laughed and laughed til I … never mind. This morning I had breakfast with RuthAnn; great conversation catching up and this Saturday she is going to come with me to visit the Messianic congregation I've been enjoying for the past few months. The last week was very full and I should have blogged to keep a record, but there just hasn’t been time. Kate came over for a few days and we had a really sweet time with her. She and I actually went shopping together and it was fun (she hasn't been a fan of shopping in the past). We picked up several things for her and she was so expressive in her thanks for the things I bought, I kinda felt embarrassed. We talked and went to the park a couple of times.
(Someday she may kill me for posting this!)

Kate used to stand behind this to pretend to give me ice cream or French Fries. 
Now she is kneeling … getting so tall.

Seems so long ago, we were like this!

It was a very enjoyable and relaxed visit. Sara and the boys called to tell all about their church camp experience, which was good and they were excited about it … the friends they made and fun they had. I was truly thankful to hear all about that. Thank You, Lord!!

Having fun at the water park today with friends.

I also had a meeting with one of the BSF leaders to learn more about my leadership role this fall. So many good things are happening in my life, I feel the Lord is bringing me to a new season … a much needed one because of other things happening, i.e. the kids growing up, transitions my friends’ are making, making new friends, etc. good stuff.

And last, but not least, here is our birthday girl from last week! She made and brought the dessert for us in these sweet little Pioneer Woman ramekins. Lemon/blueberry pudding cake, to which I added ice cream and warm blueberry sauce, and it was all delish!

I sure will hate to see this long time, precious friend move away early next year! :-(

Friday, July 26, 2019

Teach Us Again Today

Our Father, we thank you for the gift of grace you have given to us in Christ as we give ourselves to you again this day. We give ourselves to you in worship because of all you have done for us. Teach us how to be your people, not imitating the world, but being transformed by the precious Word you have given to us and grant us genuine love for one another as members of your body. Teach us to serve you and one another with gladness and energy in accordance with the calling you have given each of us. Amen.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Wednesday ... a Relative Medley

Wednesday has faithfully rolled around again and you know that means it's Wednesday Medley time with Terri, Our Friend from Florida. This week is National Cousins Day and I'm guessing everybody has some good answers to share about cousins.

1.  What can you tell us about your cousins, please, or someone who is close like a cousin? I had many cousins and we visited them frequently when I was growing up. They lived a couple of hours away from us and since my parents had been the ones to leave their hometown, I guess the burden was on them to keep up the visits. My mother’s side of the family did visit us frequently. Some of my best times were spent with cousin Charlene. 

Me with the ugly face, Charlene and her brothers, and Leonard Dean,
with Grandpa and Grandma, way out in the hills of Arkansas.

2.  Do you still see your cousins and will you contact them on National Cousins Day?  Many of my first cousins have passed, and the cousins who still live in Arkansas are even farther in distance than back then. I seldom see them, but keep up on Facebook. I am so glad for Facebook for that reason and will definitely give a shout out to them on National Cousins Day. 

3.  Terri had a favorite aunt and uncle she will tell us about.  How about you? It is a toss-up between Nancy and Gene, Sonny and Dolly, and aunt Opal. All of them were good aunts and uncles in their own special ways. Aunt Opal’s house was always fun and laughter. She made outfits for my sister and me and my cousin Charlene. The others were younger and it was fun to visit them and play with their babies, taking them for walks, swinging them around, dancing with them. So sad, I pulled little Jo’s arm out of the socket. Except for a cousin one year older than me, I am the oldest of the cousins now, and the oldest of the girls.

Aunt Nancy and me.
Nancy's beautiful daughters, Jo and Linda, 
a couple of my younger cousins

4.  Did/does your family have reunions and can you tell us about them? They used to, but not anymore. I guess it was too much work or lack of interest. I don’t know, but it makes me sad. The cousins who live there and grew up together have enjoyed common interests, weddings, babies, etc. and of course, I didn’t get to be part of that being so far away.  

5.  If you have children, are they enjoying relationships with their cousins, aunts, uncles? My bonus kids, Sara and Jason, along with their spouses, Barrett and Amy, have many cousins and their families have big reunions. The grandkids enjoy cousin relationships even more so, for which I am happy for them. They are making great memories. 

6.  Tell us something random about your week so far.

Not too much to tell here. We are having a birthday gathering this evening (Tuesday) which I am looking forward to. Cindy wants to make her own birthday cake … hmmm. I will make blueberry sauce for the ice cream. Kate texted asking to come over, so after the men’s breakfast on Wednesday, I will go get her. As I write this, I am getting ready to attend a workshop on writing your story/testimony. I’m curious about how that will work as I share my life changing moments. Since I am not one who enjoys making any kind of presentation in front of a group, especially strangers, I’m a little apprehensive.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Sunday Post

Kids staying cool!

Jack came for a visit last week and we stayed busy most of the time. He is not one to sit around too much … always wanting to do something. So, we went to church the first night he was here. I was helping in preschool that night, and the snow cone truck was there for the kids before church. 

That face!
They had his favorite flavor … tiger blood!

The next couple of days, we went to see The Avengers End Game, played at the park a couple of times, took walks, went to the mall so he could get some Legos, put them together, played Air Hockey, and went swimming. I don't mind saying he wears me out and he was pretty disappointed at having to leave on Friday.

Some down time.

Such a sweet boy!

(He is a sweet boy, but you gotta wonder when he says something like, "Hey, Nonnie, if something ever happens to you, can I have Annie?" Hahaha!!! What a scream!

Yes, you need to hide after asking a question like that!! 

Meanwhile, down in South Central Texas, Brady and Noah are off to church camp! I am praying they have a super time, make new friends, and experience God's presence in a fresh way!

So blessed to have these precious boys in our life.

Last week, there was an informal gathering with the BSF group leaders. I am the newbie, and also am the "oldie." Interestingly enough, since all my friends have been moving away and others have graduated to Heaven, I have been saying I maybe need to make some younger friends. Well, there you go! They are a very nice group of ladies and I look forward to getting to know them better. 

Friday, July 19, 2019

Saturday 9 Espionage!

Secret Agent Man (1966)

Unfamiliar with this week's song. Hear it here.

1) This is the theme of a TV show that ran on CBS from 1964-1967. The series was produced, and originally aired, in England. The BBC has shared many shows with American audiences over the years. Can you name another? The Avengers with Diana Rigg!

2) The show is about John Drake, a special agent dedicated to exposing plots that threaten world peace. A quick check of Netflix and Goodreads reveals that spy stories are just as popular today. Is espionage a genre you enjoy? Not so much. Do you read books, or watch shows and movies, about spies? Not really.
3) The lyrics tell us Drake travels from the Riviera to Bombay. Where were you when you last spent the night away from home? Why were you there (vacation, business, international intrigue)? We were in south central Texas visiting our daughter and grandsons. We had a grand time in spite of the brief time we had to be there. Saw Spider Man, played 42, Monopoly, ate at the Tokyo Steakhouse, and took them to the trampoline place.

Giving Porter a facelift!

In the foam pit at trampoline place

Wearing his birthday cross.

Outside the steakhouse

6) Born John Ramistella, this week's featured artist, Johnny Rivers, grew up in Louisiana. He took "Rivers" as his stage name because he grew up along the Mighty Mississippi. If you were to change your last name based on the geography of the area where you grew up, how would you be known? Oklahoma has a wide variety of terrain in its geography, and although I love Oklahoma hills, it also has some nice rivers, including the Arkansas River and the Red River! So I’m going with Connie Rivers and be like Johnny.

 7) In 1966, when this song was popular, Jacqueline Kennedy was the woman most Americans admired. What famous woman do you admire most? (She doesn't have to be American.) Although she is criticized for her past, I think she has been most admirable and gracious this past couple of years in light of the abuse on every side from the media, celebrities, feminists and politicians. I’m going to say Melania Trump. She has been treated disgracefully, yet she is always dignified.

8) 1966 also found another Jacqueline was in the news. Jacqueline Susann's first novel, Valley of the Dolls, was atop the best seller lists, even though it was savaged by the critics. What's your guilty pleasure? What book, movie, TV show, or song do you enjoy, even though you know it has little artistic merit? Haha! Absolutely NO artistic merit. Occasionally I think it’s fun to watch Judge Judy! She’s a hoot and most of the people on the show are so ridiculous.

4) The refrain states, "They've given you a number and taken away your name." In today's digital world, that could now be said of all of us. Are you good at remembering your computer passwords? I am with most of them, however, we have so many now and they are supposed to be different, so it’s better to keep a list on hand in a good hiding place.

5) Patrick McGoohan, who played Agent Drake, went from being a good guy to appearing as a murderer on Columbo four times. Were you a fan of Columbo? Not so much.
9) Random question: Imagine you've been stranded alone in the woods for 10 days. No companionship, no internet or phone or TV. You have been sleeping in the dirt, living on berries and river water. Your rescuers drive you to a hotel. Upon check-in, what's the first thing you do? Let my family know I’m all right. (Then a shower and ordering room service.)

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

A Peachy Wednesday Medley 😊

For this week's fun medley, Terri has a wealth of information relating to each of the Wednesday questions. Make your way over to Your Friend from Florida to read up on some very interesting details and then share your answers with the other Meddlers!

 1.  Do you enjoy fresh peaches? 
I used to like the fresh peaches off the peach tree in our back yard, but don’t have a tree here and never buy fresh peaches these days. Not sure why they don’t appeal to me anymore. What is your favorite way to use them in a recipe? Peach cobbler would be the best of all. The above pic of peach ice cream looks wonderful!
2.  Have you ever gone the wrong way on a one-way street?  
Oh yes. I have also gone the wrong direction on the highway, thinking I was going south and really going north. I have also gone to the wrong house and just walked right in! And last, but not least, I made the arrangements many years ago for my boss to go to his speaking engagement in Houston, only to discover when he arrived and called me to let me know he was supposed to be in Austin! Oopsy!! On that day, the elderly Mr. Matthews, Sr. (my boss’ dad) walked by my office several times giving me the side glances as he chuckled, and making me feel even more embarrassed about my boo-boo. Thank goodness I had a very forgiving boss and that he was able to get in touch with someone else to speak for him that day!
What do you think about Mr. Corrigan's story?   True or False? 
I have no idea, but glad he had enough gas in his plane to make it. Something about that causes me to wonder about his story.

3.  Tell us about your life when you were 17. I was a senior in high school, looking forward to upcoming graduation, finding a job and being able to buy a car of my own, having a boyfriend; the usual desires of a 17 year old. 
4.  Do you use emojis when you text, email, or FB message? Yes. Do you have a favorite? I like the heart, the smile, and the laugh out loud.
5.  It has been asked many times, but do you have a tattoo? No.
Do you want to get a tattoo? No. However, my friend Liz, who has been in a wheelchair for the past 13 years and unable to speak above a whisper, has a tattoo on her wrist for the purpose of initiating communication with others to tell of her story! She has been a living testimony of her gratitude and love for her Heavenly Father. She is such an inspiration!
It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.
Psalm 119.71
6.  Last, but not least, please tell us something about your week! 
Book Club last Friday was fun, and now we are reading Beneath the Scarlet Sky. Although I read it last year, I will re-read to refresh my mind on details for discussion.
On Sunday evening, we joined the Messianic congregation to watch the movie Exodus: Gods and Kings with Christian Bale. The Rabbi paused the movie several times for group discussions, questioning what we found right, what we found wrong about the movie. Lively discussions and my final conclusion was thank goodness we didn’t pay to see that one! So ridiculous the way Hollywood fails at telling the greatest miracle in the Old Testament of the Bible. I do not recommend the movie, although the special effects for the plagues were done amazingly well.
Monday evening, we met our friends to attend an event at The Hope Center in Plano. David Barton of Wallbuilders.com gave quite an extensive history lesson about the founding fathers of our nation and their dependence upon God and the truth of His Word in beginning the country. It was extremely interesting and David Barton, being an historian, has so much knowledge and the information was overwhelming! But the foresight of the authors of our Constitution, along with their knowledge and respect for God's Word really puts our “leaders” today to shame.
Other than that, just ordinary, routine things and this evening I will be having dinner with BSF group leaders, getting to know them and hopefully, glean tips on leading a group.
It's going to be a VERY HOT couple of weeks ahead of us! So thankful for AC!! I am always amazed that we survived hot weather in the past without AC!

I've shared it before, but this was our family after a trip to Branson, Missouri and Eureka Springs in 1958! Poor Mom and Dad! So good of them to take us on a little vacation in spite of the heat!
Turner Falls used to be a great place to cool off, but I hear negative things these days. So glad we got to enjoy back in the day.
Turner Falls, Oklahoma
Sara coming down the slide

Jason diving
Just chilling!

Friday, July 5, 2019

Saturday 9

It's Saturday again … Join Sam right here for another fun Saturday 9 meme.
America, the Beautiful  

Unfamiliar with Frank Sinatra's 1945 version of this song? Hear it here.

1) In 2016, a group recommended that this week's song replace "The Star Spangled Banner" as our national anthem. They maintain it's just as beautiful but easier to sing. How do you feel about this?
I re-read all the lyrics to remind myself why I like the Star Spangled Banner! The song is a celebration of the fact that the flag that represents freedom still stood after a battle for that freedom. It may be hard to sing, but the lyrics bring a tear to my eye. America the Beautiful is a beautiful song also, with meaningful lyrics which I really love. However, should this be chosen, I believe there would be a big controversy over the fact that the song is calling on God to bless America. Too many stinky protests only divide what is supposed to be the United States!
2) Katharine L. Bates said her lyrics were inspired by a trip to Pike's Peak. What's the most beautiful American spot you've ever visited?
I love the Rockies and the Grand Tetons – maybe the Northwest, Mt. Rainier. There are so many beautiful places in our country, it is difficult to pinpoint one.

And Alaska!!!! Can't forget Alaska!! 
3) The music was written by organist Samuel Augustus Ward. Both Bates and Ward were very formal when signing their names professionally -- she including her middle initial and he with his full middle name. How about you? When you sign checks or documents, do you use your middle name or initial?
Not unless the document has printed it.
4) In 1945, when this version of the song was recorded, America lost Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Frank Sinatra said, "I lost a hero." What late, great American hero from our past would you like to honor today? How about those firefighters and police officers who dealt with 9/11?
5) Also in 1945, a 19-year-old "hoofer" waited outside the Los Angeles radio station where Sinatra was being interviewed. That was the beginning of the friendship between Sammy Davis, Jr., and Frank Sinatra. Tell us about your oldest friend.
My oldest, oldest friend is no longer around. But my oldest friend at this time would be Bettye … we met at church and shared many good adventures. She and I led a Bible study group in my home for many years, and she cleaned our house also. I learned a lot from my friend, Bettye, and we shared secrets no one else has been privy to. She helped me hang wallpaper, she taught me many things about leadership and caring for others, she led me on some wild goose chases, but the memories we share together are sweet, yet not without their "moments".
6) The Fourth of July means we're in the middle of summer. Are you careful about applying sunscreen? Not always.
7) Mosquito bites can be a major summer annoyance. Are you scratching any itches right now? Yes, I have no idea why they like me so much.
8) Emergency rooms report an increase in wrist injuries in summer, with people falling off bikes and skateboards and jamming their wrists catching hard-hit softballs. Have you  been to the ER or Urgent Care during 2019? Nope!
9) New York is home to Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest every year on the 4th. Will hot dogs be consumed in your household this weekend? 
Not in my household, but I did have a hot dog on Wednesday and again on Thursday this week. Some wonderful men at church grilled burgers and hot dogs before church service on Wednesday night. 
One of the men of Grace cooking out before time to eat!

Whole lotta dogs there!
And on July 4th, we went to a pool and food fest at a friend’s home. There must have been 40 or more people there and there was mountains of smoked ribs, chicken and grilled hot dogs … hors d'oeuvres, potato salad, mac and cheese, so much food!!! I ate way too much and then I had three pieces of Texas Sheet Cake! Oh my goodness!!! 
So many interesting people to watch and it was quite loud. They had a traditional quiz led by a gentlemen with his master’s in history, so he led the quiz and only those under age 25 were allowed to answer. Surprisingly enough, they got most every one right!
Today I took DH for a blood draw and afterward, took him to breakfast. Ran some errands, re-potted a plant, made some birthday cards, watched a turtle dig a hole for a nest, and had a close encounter with a black grackle! Yikes!
Whew! What a day!

Wednesday Medley Kaboom!

A Happy 4th to all and may we celebrate our freedoms today with a gusto being grateful to those who went before us to grasp hold of and even die for that freedom.

Terri has your All-American type questions for this holiday, so grab them right here, answer on your blog, and come back tomorrow to link up with the other Meddlers so we can visit each other!

1.  Please share a favorite July 4th memory with us.

Memories of the 4th of July include hot dogs, homemade ice cream and watermelon, playing croquet, watching fireworks, hearing the kids ooh and ahh over each one because “that’s my favorite!” Well, maybe that is a medley of my favorites over the years. 

We spent a few 4ths with family in Arkansas … either the White River or the War Eagle River. After a day at the War Eagle River, we were all "cooked." Coppertone was not something packed into our bags. A picnic lunch and fun in the river all day, and the torture that night sharing a twin bed with my sister … no AC in my aunt's house.  We suffered terribly all through the night with our sunburns and  stinky feet in each other's faces as that was the only way we could fit that bed. Huge, thick shade trees whose branches hung over the White River made for some really cool fun as we kids swam and my uncle cooked hamburgers and hot dogs over the camp fire!  One year (I was 13) Daddy decided to take the family to a drive-in movie which was something we never did, and that was the only time! But there were three westerns showing (John Wayne, James Stewart and Gary Cooper) and so we all packed into the ’59 Impala for a night at the movies. Too hot … too long … not fun! (Sorry, I can never just share "one" thing!)

2.  How do you plan to spend tomorrow?  If you are working, will you celebrate later?

We are going to a friend’s home for food and pool party! I miss the days of the kids being here for fireworks, but they are growing up and have bigger and better offers these days!

Sara with Baby Jack
Slippin' and slidin'

Cute memory of Noah!

4th at our house … those were the days!

3.  Is there a favorite food always reserved for your 4th of July celebration?

Don’t you have to have hamburgers, baked beans, deviled eggs and potato salad to make it official? I used to make a coconut cake topped with blueberries and strawberries … red, white, blue.

4.  In Florida, you can buy all kinds of fireworks, including some that fly high and burst into pretty cascades.  Are fireworks legal in your state/community and does anyone you know put on a display for your neighborhood? 

Ours and every community around us offers spectacular fireworks shows. For us, the fireworks display is usually at the park across the cove and we have a perfect view. However, this year the lake is up too high and so they have moved the show to a different location so we are going to have to figure out where to go to watch them … if we do.
When we were kids, Daddy would buy a bunch of fireworks and sparklers and we were able to shoot them in our front yard. We played with the sparklers … he did the fireworks. It is against the law in the communities in the metroplex area (Dallas/Fort Worth).

5.  Do you have a favorite movie that you always watch sometime during the 4th of July?

Yankee Doodle Dandy is usually a good one.

6.  Share something from your week, please.

It’s quiet on the home front. My new flat screen TV was installed today and that is pretty exciting as the one I have in my upstairs living area had a flawed screen (I'm pretty far behind the times with TV). After all these years, just finally decided it might be okay for me to have a nice one! 
We went with friends last night to dinner and there were six of us. We were having such a great time laughing and being silly that I think we caused some confusion to our wait person when we ordered our food. When we finished ordering, she told us her name was Peggy Sue and to let her know if we needed anything. Of course we had to say the first stanza of "Pretty, pretty Peggy Sue" and from that moment on, she acted as though she was very annoyed with us and continued to have an attitude the rest of the evening. I guess she hears that every time she says her name. (People always ask me how tall I am and did I play basketball, so I know it can get old.) She messed up the checks for the other two couples, but I gave her a nice tip and wrote a little note to her on our check letting her know we felt we had offended her and had certainly not intended to. (Now I wonder if I should have done that, the others said she should have been able to handle it because we were not rude.)