Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Down to Dallas

It has been awhile since I blogged, can't figure out why. But just recently we returned from our second trip to Dallas in as many weeks. Seems like when we start going to Dallas, we just keep returning. Last September, we made about 4 trips down in less than 4 weeks. Now 2 trips with a week in between.

Here are some pictures of my wonderful grandkids from Dallas. Our Caitlyn (3 years old) continues to get prettier and prettier. She loves to have her picture taken, and especially loves to see it immediately. (Children today will never understand taking a roll of pictures, dropping them at the pharmacy and waiting a week or more to get the finished product back!)

Caitlyn has lots of energy and is learning how to harness it. But it makes her so much fun, too. She plays with this toy, then that one, then drops everything and runs into your lap to plant a huge kiss on your cheek, then off again. Notice her long, long hair. It is so beautiful.

Brent started out this last weekend with a fever, but soon recovered from it. It was so much fun to hold him. He was lethargic and just enjoyed being held while he slept. He lay on my chest for a long time without even moving, except to get a better position from time to time. But later he recovered (thanks to baby Tylenol, etc), and was ready to play and smile. He smiles a lot, and is a very contented baby. He also liked the sounds I made with my mouth, and just had to investigate the source with his hands. We are blessed with such a wonderful family!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Ava is 3!

I can't believe that Ava is 3 years old today, Saturday the 15th! This means that all my girls are out of the terrible twos. Of course, they never went through the terrible twos, just the terrific twos. Just two weeks ago, Caitlyn turned 3. Now cousin Ava follows right behind. All that is left is baby Brent, and he is a doll to hold.

Three years ago today, Ava was born 3 months early. Just 1#, 6 oz., she came galloping in to the world, and is still going strong. I call her my non-preemie preemie. Somehow she never knew that she was early. The way she runs around, it seems that she has the idea that she was way late. Well, as far as I am concerned, she was. I couldn't wait to get my hands on her. Although I did wonder how I could hold 3 girls with just 2 hands! Guess what? It is possible.

She has the most angelic face! And the last time she was at our house, she took time to sit in Papa's lap with him. She usually is too busy to take even a moment to sit with me. I think she may be growing up!

This little happy virtuoso can play my piano any day she wants. But she may have to wait her turn with sister Olivia and cousin Caitlyn. They alls seem to have quite a flair.

Happy birthday, sweetie!

Another Milestone

This is somewhat of a red-letter day. I have successfully completed my trilogy on healing. Three pamphlets that deal with healing. They are A System of Systems, How to Get Your Healing, and Making Room for Healing. They are written, printed, folded, and ready to hand out. We published them in pdf format, so anyone could request them online and print them out themselves. Judy did a superb job getting them ready for print. They are a good-looking set to have.

As to the book, Victory Ground, I have finished the introduction and the first chapter. I have a couple of touch ups to do today, then on to chapter two. It is quite exciting to actually finish a chapter. It has been a challenge to garner my time properly to produce the book. In the process, I have had to set it aside to produce the 3 tracts mentioned above. And I have the basis of another tract that is about half written. Then, of course, my booklet on worship is ready for production.

So let's see: 3 tracts finished, a booklet ready for print, and a book and a tract in the works. As I look at this, I am amazed at it all.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Our Weekend

We had a great weekend overall. Early Friday morning we left for Dallas. Our grandson was being dedicated. Please see the pictures here: Stephanie's blog. We arrived in Dallas in time for the 10 am funeral of Mary Schweikhard. She was the church pianist at my church when I was in junior high and high school and college. She was an accomplished pianist, but more than that an accomplished Christian. I hadn't seen her in years, but I truly miss her greatly. She was an encouragement to me, and especially to my piano playing. I'll never forget her words of wisdom to me, "Gary, when you are playing for a service, YOU set the tempo and hold it! Most directors don't know how to do that." Well, it has really helped over the years. In the next few days, I will be posting some audio of her playing the piano.

We had a nice lunch and afternoon visit with my mother and my sister Donna. Then on to Jeff and Stephanie's by 5 pm. Judy was really tired and went to bed, so I got Brent and Caitlyn all to myself. No complaints there.

Saturday, Judy was well rested and we had a good time playing with our kiddies. Saturday evening, Jeff and Stephanie had a dinner to attend and we got to babysit. What fabulous fun! While I was watching TV, Caitlyn would periodically turn to me (she was sitting by me) and give me a huge hug and long kiss on the cheek.

Sunday we attended the 9:30 am service and saw little Brent dedicated. After lunch we headed by to Muskogee. In Sherman, TX., the pastor's wife called to say that Brother B wanted me to preach the evening service. We got there in time, and I was prepared. My, my! What a marvelous move of the Spirit. We...Had...Church!

Monday...exhausted, to say the least.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

What am I doing now?

Today, I am washing some clothes to get ready for a trip that is coming up.

But more importantly, I am working on my book, Victory Ground. Man! Research is a big part of it. I have finished the introduction (about 1.5 pages) which took about 5 days. I am about 1/3 of the way through the first chapter, I think. It is all very exciting! Reading my old sermons (over and over again) to glean from them, and checking Bible references and rechecking, and looking at Greek words, etc., is a lot of work. Fortunately, I am enjoying it very much. This is why I didn't want to write a book, unless God pushed me into it. It is a lot of work. But when you know that God wants it done, it has a great life of its own.

Oh, and I am getting an idea for a new mini-tract about fact versus truth. And I am digging into my SoundForge software, getting ready for a sound (obvious) project or two. This, too, is a nudge from the Lord. So He has me busy on a number of fronts.

We are also establishing a new association of independent churches and ministries. I am co-chair along with Conrad Barret, Judy is secretary. Starting next week, I will be going through the surrounding towns visiting with independent works to tell them about the association and invite them to join. This should be lots of fun.

And all that means, I need to quit this little task of blogging and get back to the bigger ones.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

I had a 3-year-old once

My daughter Stephanie blogged today about her Caitlyn who just turned 3 last Tuesday. This brought back vibrant memories of my sweet little 3-year-old red head. Now where did she go. I remember her playing in the house with her dolls. She was good at playing school, too. All her chairs lined up filled with her dolls. She said, "Daddy, when I become a teacher, I know how I want my room set up." No more cuddling, I lost out to a better man. But it was a loss that is bitter sweet, because he is such a good man. I remember we used to talk about him even though we didn't know his name, or what he looked like. Well, anyway, I can always have my memories.

She wound up with that perfect man we talked about. I wasn't sure there was such a person, and I was prepared to console her. Whew! There was one perfect man left! She got her two-story house, the dog, and the boy and girl she always wanted. She teaches school and has her room all arranged, I know, her mom and I helped her.

She was sure of everything in life, had all her life decisions made at an early age. I said, "Stephanie, would you make me a promise? Would you save just one decision for when you grow up? Otherwise, life is going to be so boring!" With a little girl and boy to raise, I think she does have another decision to make, or two.

I love you, Stephanie. You are a good daughter, and I am so proud of you.

Snow and snow ice cream

We had 1+ inches of snow on Thursday. Just enough to make our yard look like a winter wonderland, but as you can see, the sidewalks and roadways were clear -- a good wet snow. Our granddaughters in St Louis had 6-8 inches and got to play in it. Plus they had their very first snow ice cream. It was fun to talk Kari through the recipe on the phone.

Here is my simple recipe for anyone who would like to try it. Put 2 big mixing bowls in the frig to get cool (prevents a lot of melting when you scoop up the snow). Fill the mixing bowls to heaping with good, clean snow. (The snow will "go down" a lot when you start adding the milk, that's why the extra bowl of snow.) In one bowl add milk until the snow and milk become a heavy slush -- not too slushy! Beat up one egg, add it to the mixture along with sugar and vanilla to taste. Voila! Eat and enjoy! Not to fast, avoid a brain freeze. Put the left overs in the freezer for later.