Thursday, July 31, 2008

I can't believe it!

It has been over a week since I have blogged. I do pretty well for a while, then it is out to pasture. Ugh! I don't have any cute sayings to report (I think), and I don't have any pictures to show (I'm sure). It has been a busy time. My mother came to visit for a couple of weeks. And she returned home on Tuesday.

Good news. My mother is coming to live with us at the end of August. This is very needed and we are glad that she has been able to make the decision to come here. It was a tough one, I am sure. I can't imagine giving up my home and living with someone else. But this way, she can have a better life for longer.

On a sadder note. This is the last day of July - my birth month. I will have to wait until next July which is 11 months away! Oh well, this has been a good one. I have had special visitors and special gifts and special days and special meals and special phone calls and special emails. It is much better to celebrate the whole month than just one day. AND I do have one more gift coming to me - from my dear wife. It should arrive any day.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Still my bithday month!

I am still enjoying my birthday month, and am still getting presents. For those of you who celebrate only one day for your birthday, you are missing something great. That may be another post.

Last Saturday, my Texas kids were here for a short visit. Stephanie presented me with a birthday gift from Kari, Jim, Stephanie and Jeff. It was a gift card to Lowes. (and a nice sized one at that). So on Monday, Judy and I went buying. We spent it all but $3. We'll get that done later. Here is what we bought in pictures. First, 3 chairs and a table for the front porch. Now we can sit on the front side of our house and watch the world go by. We eventually want wicker chairs, but this is a nice gift, and we have already enjoyed them tremendously.

Then, the piece we have wanted for a long time - a fire pit for our patio. This allows us to enjoy the backyard further into the fall and earlier in the spring. We are eager to use it, although now is not the time for a fire. While putting it together, the base/fire pan lay out on the patio. In just a short time I reached to get it and join it to the frame per instructions. I almost burned my hands when I grabbed hold of it (it is all cast iron). So no need for a fire just yet. The thermometer registers just a tad over 100 at this time - that is enough. But come cooler weather...

nd here is another view (for my kids to see). It has screened doors that open on two sides to tend the fire. It is 25" across (on both sides) and 30" tall. We were looking for a round pit, which Lowes was out of at the moment. Then we saw this one (the one Stephanie liked, or Kari) and we fell in love with it. Thanks girls, you are so sweet - you too, Jim and Jeff. Come sit by the fire, or on the front porch.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hold on! Time is rushing!

This is turning out to be a tough summer. Oh, not because I have reached the big 6-0. I can handle that. I even do well when I think that my daughters are the age they are, maybe because the grandchildren are so young. But here comes the biggy. My little nieces and nephews are growing up. I don't mean the ones that are my girls ages, but the ones that came after them. With Judy's big family, we have nieces and nephews of all ages, some still just babies.

In June, one of our nephews got married! He was the cutest little boy. I always loved being around him. He was so playful and happy. He truly isn't old enough to be married - not in my mind or memory.

This month, another nephew turns 20. TWENTY! It is just almost too much to handle. The only way they can get married, or turn 20, is for me to get older. Ugh! I am having some real adjustment issues.

Lord Jesus, if you are thinking about coming back any time soon, now would be a good time.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Great Birthday

I celebrate my birth month of July - from the 1st to the 31st - every year. Why limit it to just one day? You get more, and every day there are special things that can happen. That is true for this year, in spades. Judy and I picked a gallon of blueberries and then were given a gallon by a very dear friend of ours. We harvested one of our apples trees and made an apple crisp pie with the apples. (Isn't God good to put us in a house where one of the apple trees - we have 2 - comes due in July around my birthday!) I have gotten cards and money and special dinners and meals out. Every year near my birthday they set off fireworks all around the USA! Wow! What a great blessing. So you see the value of celebrating the whole month. And I still have half the month to go. As I always say, life just keeps getting better.

Yesterday, the 16th, was my actual birthday, and it was great. I turned 60 - a milestone of some sort. My mother, who just turned 85 three weeks before, is here to share with us.

We started the day with a great breakfast of scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, fresh tomato wedges, homemade bread/toast, and coffee (I got the breakfast I wanted because I made it myself, including the bread!) We ate on the back patio and lingered a long time enjoying Judy's beautiful landscaped backyard. Finally, around noon we came in and I spent some time studying for teaching Bible Study at Christian Chapel in the evening. (Again, it is so wonderful that my birthday fell on Wednesday, so I got to teach the Word of God!) Mother and Judy took me to IHOP for dinner before church - I love IHOP. At church we had 3 cakes for me and my mother and all the people who have July birthdays. It is what I wanted for my birthday, to have enough cake to share with everyone else. To me the whole thing about a birthday is doing something for others. And my Sunday School teacher made me a coconut pie that is absolutely out of this world. Oh, God is sooooooo good. (The pie I only shared with my mother and Judy!)

Here is a great picture. We have lots of cardinals around our place (and other birds, as well). I have learned the cardinal whistle, and am able to bring them down to the trees near our patio. But yesterday, on my 60th birthday, this cardinal came to the peak of the roof over the kitchen. We sat there for about 10 minutes, maybe more, singing back and forth to each other, face to face. Judy finally slipped into the kitchen through the sliding door (in picture) and went around to our bedroom, got her camera and went to our back door out of the bedroom and took this picture through the glass on the door. (You can click on the picture to make it larger.) Just after she finished the picture, the bird left. He was just waiting for her to get the shot. Again, life just keeps getting better.

A big shout of thanks to everyone who made my birthday so great, and still my birth month (for those of you who still want to bless me!). My girls each called me throughout the day to wish me happy birthday. And Kari blogged about me.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


In the last few day, I have mentioned picking blueberries at a blueberry farm and picking apples from our apple tree. Gotta tell you, life just keeps getting better.

Judy made a fabulous apple crisp pie with the apples, which we finished last night. This morning we had some of those apples prepared in the freezer, but not enough for another pie. So I took some of them, added some blueberries, cinnamon and brown sugar, brought them to a boil in some water, then added them to our oatmeal. Oh, my! Now that was sommmme oatmeal!

Like I said, life just keeps getting better. Tomorrow, we are having some friends over. I am cooking a 6# brisket on the grill all day, then adding some corn on the cob. Is this just too good? And Judy is going to add some potato salad with it. Okay, pinch me, am I really alive? Yes!

I have such a good life, in every respect, and it's all because of Jesus.

P.S. You want to read a good, inspiring message from Bodie Thoene? Click here, it's short.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

And more!

(Read my former blog, or this one will not make sense.)

Okay, I'm not through with the '5800 block' of the last blog. I keep wondering:
  • do tall people and fat people have more squares than short and skinny people? Or are they just bigger?
  • if someone loses weight, do they lose squares, or do they just shrink? Same with gaining weight, do they gain more squares?
  • where is the original plat for the squares? How do we know if the count starts from the top or the bottom?
  • I think I am assuming correctly to say that the 5800 block is somewhere near the heart. Obviously, if it were on the leg, someone wouldn't die -- unless they hit a big artery and bled to death.
  • but is the 5800 block on the front or back of the body? Or maybe under the left arm on the side?

Okay, now I think I might be through. Unless someone wants to add something I have missed. That might get me going again.

A Little Fun

Loving English grammar the way I do, I am always taken back when I am reading and find some glaring grammar mistake. Sometimes I write them down, just for remembrances' sake. Here is one that is quite funny, to me. It involves a misplaced modifier.

"Dominque overheard the phrase and slased downward with his quirt, striking the man who had just come to his aid on the shoulder."

Now, in case you don't catch it, "on his shoulder" should come after "striking the man". Unless you really believe that he came to the man's aid standing/sitting/jumping on his shoulder. These are not uncommon in the newspaper, but in a published book? Where was the editor that day, that this error was allowed to get through? Oh, well, none of us are perfect.

I remember one day listening to the news on my way to my office at ORU. The newsman reported that a man had been killed on North Lewis Ave. during the night. Then he said, "He was shot in the fifty-eight hundred block." For the rest of my drive I was wondering if the man's body was divided evenly into numbered blocks, and exactly where was the 5800 block. Then I began to wonder if my body was blocked out, as well. I must say I feasted on that one for most of the day. Still strikes me as funny, but I don't know in which block it strikes me.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A Veritable Delight

Imagine my complete joy when I step out of the house of a morning on my daily walk to be greeted by such a lovely garden. Judy does such a beautiful job. All I have to do is keep the grass green and mowed -- much easier, to say the least. Seems like a different part of the garden is in bloom all the time. So every day becomes a real adventure to see what will greet me. Here is what I saw this morning.

These beautiful roses (don't even know what kind they are) and the hibiscus together were so inviting. You should know that the hibiscus are looking at me as I come down the porch steps. What a great reception I had. The rose bush is full, with more yet to bloom. Then they go away and in a couple of weeks, a whole new crop come back.

Here are the hibiscus up close. Unlike the roses, the bloom only lasts for a day or two, but then there are always more to take their place. They are so big. I am just amazed at their size. The house down the street has blood red ones. Imagine!

On another note, yesterday I picked the apples from one of our apple trees and Judy made an apple crisp pie for dessert last night. (Note for the ladies reading this: I peeled and cut them up, she didn't have to do it all!) I didn't spray our apple trees at all this year, so I had to share the apples with bugs, worms and birds. But I still got enough for the pie, and some left over. Yum! It was so good. This made me plan to spray next year! This was our first harvesting since we have lived here.

God is so good to us!

Friday, July 04, 2008

A Beautiful Family

Yesterday, our Texas kids passed through Muskogee on their way to a Juy 4th vacation with other family members. They wanted to have dinner with us, to meet us at a restaurant on their way. What fun to be with them. Everyone should feel good about their kids and their families. We certainly do ours. What a great time we had with them. Caitlyn and Brent are so well behaved. We enjoyed them very much. Caitlyn was asked by someone what her daddy does. She replied, "He goes to work to get me money." And just 3-years old, too!

Here is Brent with Mimi. He is 10-months old. He is so happy and peaceful, easy to take care of and be around. He is the mirror image of his dad.

And here he is with Papa. I am sure he would rather look at beautiful Mimi, but into every life a little rain must fall.

Caitlyn is 3, and very sure of herself. She can easily take control of any situation. I think she will be a great leader some day. She wanted to sit by Papa, she sure is a a good diplomat.

Here they are together. If you notice Brent's black eye, you gotta guess who gave it to him.

And here's Daddy Jeff. Does he ever love these two kids! He is such a good husband and dad. He really is all about leading his family. They are faithful in church, and the Lord really blesses them. I didn't mean to leave Stephanie out, but the only picture we got of her was not the best. I am sure she thanks me for making the right decision.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Bible Learning Lab

Judy's long awaited website is finally up and online. Wow! It is fantastic. Here is her description of this website: "Learn the basics of this amazing book! When you understand what is inside, you will soar higher than you can imagine!"

She has worked diligently on it for about 10 months. And in the months to come she will be adding new features to it. But for now, it is up and running with wonderful things to discover.

Check it out! Bible Learning Lab! (There is also a link to her site at the right of this page.)