Monday, August 29, 2016

Walk Down Memory Lane

Just a few more pictures from our weekend in Tulsa.  We were able to run by and visit with Granny and Donnie for a short visit. It was too brief but it was great to be together. 

While we were dressed up after the wedding I drove the girls around town where I grew up.  It was great to see the refurbished buildings. 

The high school is being torn down but it was fun memories to share stories with the girls about football games and great times. 

That in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge—
I Corinthians 1:5

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sister, Sister

This is our early birthday celebration with Frankie!  We met for lunch at Spaghetti Warehouse with Frankie's three biological sisters. The girls are all still in Oklahoma and don't get to see each other as often as I'd like, but when they are together they really have a good time. 

There is no doubt that these ladies have the same DNA! The family resemblance is remarkable.  And even their mannerisms and speech patterns are similar.  I got tickled when they all order the same drinks, entree, salad and salad dressing! 

My mom heart is full watching the joy the girls share knowing that they all turned out ok, despite a rough start in life.  I will forever be grateful to these ladies for the spot they fill in my baby girl's heart! 

Rescue the poor who cry for help, and the fatherless who have none to assist them.
Job 29:12

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Dreams Do Come True

What a day to celebrate the wedding of Hannah and Reece at the Noah's Event Venue in Tulsa!  Hannah is the sweet daughter of Kimmie and Tim Pyles our former pulpit minister at McDermott.  We love their sweet family and miss them dearly but rejoice that they are now with our Broken Arrow Church of Christ family.  That is the congregation I grew up in.  

Hannah and Ms. Kim were absolutely stunning.  It was a delight to see Hannah so poised and elegant yet there were glimpse of that sweet young girl in my 7th grade Bible class! 

It's hard to describe the joy that filled the room today.  I think is was probably summed up by Tim as he performed the ceremony he said, 'If anyone has reason why these two should not be married. . . you are crazy!'  That is high praise from a Daddy marring off his only girl! 

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
Ephesians 5:25

Friday, August 26, 2016

Going Home

Trips to Tulsa will always include a stop at the cemetery.  It's a odd reality that so many of our relatives, both Jon's family and mine are there.  I think it is a blessing for the kids that both sides of the family are at the same cemetery.  My mom's twin, my grandparents, Jon's dad, my dad, Mimi's parents, and Jon's aunts and uncles are all together.  It is the first place we stop when we come to town to pay our respects and to pass favorite stories down to the kids of each of the lives represented in bronze. 

For today, our next stop was out to Mom and Bob's house.  It is the house I grew up in and it is always good to be home.  One of my favorite things to do when I'm home is to cook with my mom.  I know it is a lot for her to prepare meals for all of us.  I grew up in the kitchen cooking because my mom was a working mom.  Our meals would be our time to sit down together when Mom and Dad got home for work.  

There is a comfort knowing the salt shaker, pots and pans are all in the same place they have been for the last forty plus years! Some things have changed like the microwave above the stove and all of its fancy buttons, just ask my Mom! The table is still set; the dishes and glasses all match; the roll warmer is still the same one from my childhood; and we like it that way!  

In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so,
I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.

John 14:2 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Earning Brownie Points with Mom

This is the first day of classes for the boys as they begin their second year at LCU.  I told them they would earn serious 'brownie points' if they took a First Day of School photo! 

So, as promised the guys took a picture in front of the bronze chap, the school mascot, before chapel.  This afternoon the girls and I stuck a box of brownies in the mail to them along with a home made card. 

I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for the guys this year!  

How much better to get wisdom than gold!

    To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.
Proverbs 16:16

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday Selfie

On the way to church I text Caleb our 'Sunday Selfie' and he texts back.  Today one of the kids posted a picture of all the kids back at the Sunset Church of Christ's Cross Campus class and I was able to spot Caleb because of the red shirt he was wearing in his selfie. 

Caleb and Richard attend church together.  There are four churches of Christ in the area, but they are settled in at Sunset.  

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
I Thessalonians 5:11

Friday, August 19, 2016

Back to Blue

Yesterday we drove up to Lubbock to deliver the boy to school.  Most of his stuff fit into his Jeep but we but the futon, refrigerator and TV in my van.  The upper class men began check in around nine this morning and by eleven Caleb was all set up and ready for another school year. 

Caleb has a private room this year, between Greek, Hermeneutics, and his honors class he may need the privacy.  Usually at least once a week Caleb and some of the guys from Kyodai, his club, get together for a movie in one of the dorm rooms.  Caleb is pleased to have a room set up for hosting their movie night. 

Richard is an RA this year and has a private room too, in fact JJ and Levi also have private rooms.  JJ is next to Caleb and Levi and Richard have rooms next to each other.  All of the guys have big loads this year and are active leaders on campus, so I'm pretty sure they will need all the rest they can get, when they can get it. 

His room looks great, he is beyond thrilled to be back on campus and this little momma is at peace! 

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, 

will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:7

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Brotherly Love

Having a first rate water park just a couple of miles from our home has its benefits.  Having a family member who works at the aforementioned water park has even more benefits, like family and friend gift passes.  

We used the last four of Caleb's passes to hang out at Hawaiian Falls today. With the hundred plus degree weather we've been having, today's overcast skies were a welcomed sight.  With my back issues and silly eye injury, I was content to sit in the cabana and read a little John Grisham.  

The kids were able to ride all the rides multiple times because the park was fairly empty because of the impending rain.  There are no people in the background of my pictures today because Caleb's manager let us in a little early. The girls are sure going to miss having Caleb home!   

How good and pleasant it is

    when brothers live in unity!
Psalm 133:1 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Suspicious Behavior

Over the years the kids have talked up their love for Hitchcock movies to their friend Hannah.  They made plans to have a Hitchcock movie marathon today.  Armed with great snacks, pizza, cheesecake and comfortable seating we were ready! 

First up was Frankie's favorite, Rear Window with Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly.  My favorite part of this movie, besides the suspense is that the bad guy is Raymond Burr, aka Perry Mason! 

Next up was the Hitchcock action thriller North by Northwest with Cary Grant. This one is another must see and probably one of Hitchcock's finest movies.  

Our final selection for the evening was To Catch a Thief, another Hitchcock classic staring Cary Grant with Grace Kelly as the leading lady.  

We may need to schedule another party because there are still so many great Hitchcock movies to see!  Fun times

So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, 
“How long will you keep us in suspense? 
If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” John 10:24

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Moving On

This was Caleb's last day at Hawaiian Falls for the summer.  It's been a great summer job for a teen to work at the water park.  Caleb has enjoyed working in the offices this summer as opposed to the two summers he spent out in the heat working cotton candy.   His manager had a few going away 'thank you' gifts for him and a special award for his customer service skills and promised him a job anytime he wanted to return.  

While Caleb was finishing up his summer employment, Abigail hung out with her select league, Rage, at tryouts for new players for the organizations 14U team.  That's my girl behind the plate and loving every minute of it even in all that gear at a hundred plus degree weather! 

All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Titus 3:15

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Window to the Soul

So remember I posted about power washing the fence?  It was quite a job and I did the outside and the inside of the the fence.   The water being forcibly pushed through the sprayer did a fantastic job of stripping the old seal and varnish off of the fence.  It also created a steady spray back  during the process.  I was coated in water and dirt! 

Somewhere in this process two days ago some debris forcibly embedded in my eye.  Last night at the kids dance my eye kept getting redder and more painful.  Today I headed to an after hours clinic, my right eye is scratched and bruised but with ten days of antibiotic/steroid drops it should get better quickly. Next time I think I'll wear googles!

How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye. Luke 6:42

Friday, August 12, 2016

Partner, Neighbor, Corner

One of our last events for the summer is the English Country Dancing Ball.  This is the dance where participants come in period costumes, any time period when the dances were performed. Abigail and I found a fabulous dress that we raised the waistline making an empire waist; and added cap sleeves. She completed her ensemble with elbow length sleeves which she promptly took off upon arrival at the ball! 

Caleb also attended but choose not to mess with wearing his suits or tux.  It was a good move because the air conditioning in the building could not keep up with all the warm bodies and energy being expended! Abigail invited several of her friends to join her this evening.  She enjoyed introducing her PEACH friends to the ECD friends she's made over the last four years.

It was a great evening surrounded by good friends!  We finished off the evening with a Whataburger run!  

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, 
as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Wax On Wax Off

This week we've been spending time outside finishing projects on the house.  Jon's taken advantage of the last few days of the boy being home.  They have scraped paint, replaced boards and painted the outside of the house.  It looks fantastic. 

The girls and I have been working on the privacy fence.  I used the power washer to clean the wood. The next step is after it dries out to re-stain and seal the fence, but that will wait for cooler weather! 

For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. Galatians 2:18

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Whistle a Happy Tune

My girl puts in 500+ hours a year volunteering at the local food bank and at church.  She plays softball three days per week and has batting practice on another day. She is currently taking Calculus and Trig. She has taken one of the top 3 spots in Texas Bible Bowl for the last several years. Just your typical 15 year old, right? 

Besides, what else would you expect her to do?   After years of piano lesson the girl is now composing music!  Abigail has never been one to sit still and loves to learn.  

I sat today in amazement as she played her latest composition for her instructor.  Abigail had the sheet music written out and together they reviewed that what she was playing is what she has now composed. I love the kids drive and hard work.  Are there things she not good at, of course!  And there are wonderful lessons of humility and perseverance in those times as well. But for today I celebrate the girls strengths!   

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, 
and all these things will be added to you.  Matthew 6:33

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Lessons Learned

It's hard to believe it is almost time for school to begin!  I have the girl enrolled in dual-credit classes; software classes installed; and teacher/student book sets covering all of her subjects.  She will have a nice variety of classes and learning options.  Today I also enrolled her for the ACT & SAT at our local high school this fall.  

One of the nice things about Caleb being in college is he can pick out and enroll in his own classes.  He also took care of ordering his own books and getting most of his school supplies! 

Today I laid out Abigail's classes for the fall, including volunteer work, piano lessons, and batting lessons.  The only variable we still have is her high school game schedule and from there we will get her practice schedule for the select ball team.  Once we have those filled in, I can map out her other extra-curricular activities and field trips!  Sophomore year for kiddo number three, here I come! 

Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser,
Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning.  Proverbs 9:9

Monday, August 8, 2016

Sweet Souls

There is a lot of greatness in these pictures, and no, I don't mean the kids and I.   Here's what I see when I look at these pictures

In the lower right is Abigail in Metro Relief's now working cooler.  Do you see we now have refrigerated food for our guest!  It has been a tough almost 2 months without any refrigerated items for our guests, but because of very generous donations we are up and running again.

In the lower left is a giant basket of soaps and toiletries our friend Ms. Kathy has been collecting for the pantry.  Today we were able to hand them out to our guests! 

In the upper right is me giving one of our smaller guests a kid's Bible.  All of the Bible's at the pantry were donated by my friend Derek, who is a manager at Mardel's! 

In the upper left corner is Caleb working in Intake with a mom and her little girl.  Caleb is explaining where she can get various services and will pray with the family.  What I see is the nice adjustable leather chair, you see another friend of ours donated three of these chairs for our volunteers.  He knew that the volunteers sit with guests for three hours and asked what would make that easier on our volunteers.  Jon and Caleb went and picked up the chairs from our friend!  

When I look at these pictures it is neat to see my kids working hard to serve others, but I also see all the generosity behind the scenes of the people who aren't in the pictures.  

So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:2-4

Sunday, August 7, 2016

All About That Base

Sandwiched between morning services with Bible class and evening services is an afternoon of softball.  The girl puts in three hours of batting and fielding practice every Sunday with her select team Rage.  The team also practices on Monday nights and Friday nights, for now. 

Funny thing is I know what their tournament schedule is through July 2017, but still have no idea what the practice schedule will be like once school starts!  

Because this is a selcet team it is more of a tournament team, unlike Abigail's CHANT high school team.  As we found out last year, the varsity coaches have full control over how much and what type of practice a player can have with other teams.  

It makes sense that the high school coaches don't want their players to get injured playing or practicing for another team.  Much of Rage's practice during softball season is considered conditioning practice. But because the girls on the select team are all playing high school varsity ball they are getting plenty of practice.

Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor.
Proverbs 12:24

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Idle Hands

The summer months mean Vacation Bible School is over, meaning the script writing, staging and performing are done.  That usually takes up November through January, with a little time in June.  

Summer also means I'm not in that six month stretch of teaching Bible Bowl, October through March!  But summer means I am preparing all of the study material for Bible Bowl.  No material is distributed for Bible Bowl, it's straight forward the test is over the Bible, so what the kids need to master is the Bible.  

Because I serve on the Board of Directors for Texas Bible Bowl, I began last year making a study guide available to anyone interest in Bible Bowl.  I'm so excited to announce I have completed the Study Guide for Texas Bible Bowl 2017.  It is up on the Texas Bible Bowl download page of their website. The Study Guide is 147 pages of questions over the book of Acts, broken up by chapters.  It is an aid help the kids understanding of the scriptures they are studying.  I've written the questions directly from the English Standard Version and they are all multiple choice.  Because it is a tool for learning, each question is followed by the verse number where the answer can be found.

For my McDermott group, I usually print our a Study Guide for each participant and this will serve as their homework as we work through the book of Acts.  In addition to the Study Guide their is also a color coded printed out of the Book of Acts that aids in study preparations, along with a one-word list.  My sweet friend Kristy Stickland put these together, and I put together something very similar, and then used mine to proof her final copy.  Hopefully between the two of us, it is as accurate as possible.

My next step will be writing up my lesson plans and getting all the material produced for my, Lord Willing, 30 students!
Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep,
    and an idle person will suffer hunger.

Proverbs 19:15

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Celebrate Friendship

The kids and their friends got together tonight to watch the DVD of their PEACH drama, 'Something's Rotten in the State of Denmark.'  The play was super clever and the kids really enjoyed watching themselves on stage.  During the performance each of them were focused on their roles, lines and timing.  But in watching it tonight they got to see what it looked like when it all came together.  Abigail is so fortunate to be surrounded by such a great group of girl friends! In the lower right is Allie, Hannah, Gracie and Abigail; aren't they sweet! 

Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
who conduct their affairs with honesty.  Psalm 112:5

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Spontaneous Sing-Along

Abigail skipped out on all the painting and refurbishing of the house today.  The youth group held a Disney Movie Marathon on this hot Texas summer day.  No princess movies were shown during this undertaking.  

The youth interns selected 'Monster's Inc.,' 'The Incredibles,' and 'Finding Nemo,' for the marathon.  Some where during the day they broke for dinner at Raising Canes.  After tonight's Wednesday night Bible Class they watched 'Up.' 

Frankie and Caleb joined the group for the final movie after services. It sounds like one of the highlights was seeing how many lines from these childhood movies that the kids remembered! It sounds to me like a great way to beat the heat and stay out of trouble! 

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light,
but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! Matthew 6:22-23

Monday, August 1, 2016

Keeping Cool

Several weeks ago the walk in cooler at Metro Relief went down.  The walk in cooler is where we keep our fresh fruits and vegetables, along with the pizza, and baked goods donations.  Because we didn't have a working cooler most of the food our family picks up on Fridays we take on to Minnie's Food Pantry.  In fact, on Friday we delivered almost 300 pounds of food to the other pantry because we had no way to keep the food fresh over the weekend.

But things are looking up!  Today Metro received the much needed compressor for our cooler! Because we are a non-profit pantry and not affiliated with any church, we rely on donations for all of our needs.  The compressor was a very expensive piece of equipment to replace.  In addition to the walk in cooler being down, the stand up freezer went down as well.  Adding an additional $14,000 to the repairs needed.  

Turner Trucking agreed to fund 50% of the cost for the freezer if the pantry was able to find matching funds.  Over the last several weeks the volunteers have worked hard to find funding.  Turner Trucking returned today with the equipment we needed to get the compressor to our roof.  We have an HVAC man who is donating his time and service to get us back up and operational! Ms. Gina our dear friend, and the pantry director posed for a picture at this monumental moment!  Hopefully, today was the last day we will run the pantry without refrigerated foods and meats.  Our guests will be thrilled next week to have lunch meats and creamy desserts again! 

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others,
 as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms. I Peter 4:10