Saturday, August 23, 2008

Busy Week Ahead

This is going to be a busy week for us. My mother is moving in with us. At 85, she is a life-time Texan who has never inteded to live anywhere else, especially not Oklahoma. But here she comes. Judy has been busy for weeks "re-arranging" the house to get ready for the move-in. I will be going down to Dallas with my daughter Kari to close my mother's apartment and move her belongings. Mother will be released from the hospital/rehab center the day before she flies up here.

I think that once the whirlwind is over and the move-in settles down we will be happy and life will go smoothly. Others may be dubious, but I choose to be positive.

Judy is my hero in all of this. This is my mother, not hers. Of course, I would be happy to have her with me. She has nurtured me from birth. But Judy has really led the charge on this one. She saw the real need for the move, and has been working overtime (literally night an day) to get the house ready and the move done. On top of all of that, Judy has created (again) the most beautiful garden in the front yard and has totally re-landscaped the back yard. She has relocated plants and bushes and trees, dug up horrendous river cane by the roots (ugh!) and re-fashioned the flower beds. My hat is permanently off to Judy; my life, my love, my strength, my encourager, and my pusher.

Oh, and did I say that she strongly and regularly supports me in our ministry with Victory Ground Ministries: designing and printing business cards, editing my new book, and singing and sharing in the preaching.

She has managed all this work by giving up sleeping and eating. (Not really.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ham, Cinnamon and Letters

It has been a fun summer, and I have had opportunity to try new things (for me) on my grill. We have purchased, at various times, brisket, pork roast, and hams. In order to keep the heat out of the kitchen, and to play with my grill, I have cooked these items on the grill. It has been a lot of fun, and a nice diversion from the norm. The outcome is unbelieveable. I cooked them on indirect heat, like an oven, and put some hickory chips in the fire for smoking, plus a special dry rub on the brisket and pork roast, and a "mop" (liquid) on the hams (cooked 2 10# hams - different times). Here I am cooking the second ham.

Back in July, we got to keep Jeff and Stephie's children overnight while they attended a high school reunion in Tulsa. Of course, it was absolutely heavenly. They are the sweetest kids. Brent, about 10 months, was all smiles and fun. Caitlyn wanted to "whing" all the time. She does love that. So does Brent. But the thing I keep remembering is the breakfast I cooked on Saturday morning. I made cinnamon toast to go with the meal. We ate outside, and Caitlyn (3 yrs old) ate very well, but wouldn't touch the toast (guess it looked bad to her). So I said, "Caitlyn, take one bite with me (holding mine up to my mouth)." She did, and before I knew it, she had scarffed the entire piece of toast down. I wished I could have captured the moment on film. It is a great memory.

This is a picture of the letter that Ava sent to me (Kari's youngest, 3 yrs old). She saw a program on the kids channel about sending letters, and she was all about sending a letter to Papa and Mimi. So Kari obliged. Ava "wrote" a letter, they put it in an envelope with a stamp and drove to the post office to mail it. When she got home, she had to call me and say that she had mailed me a letter. It came yesterday, so now I need to write her back.
This Papa stuff (granddad) is pretty cool, and just gets better.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Grandchildren are wonderful!

We have 4 lovely grandchildren to play with, and one to love at a far, far distance. Here is a cute story about one of them, Olivia, who is 4 years old. Kari's blog.

And one about Ava:
This morning I got a call from Kari. She announced they had had an accident. While helping her mother unload the dishwasher (a task she dearly loves), Ava accidentally put too much weight on the top tray, and it broke. Kari asked how to go about getting parts to fix it. I started to tell her what I would do, then realized that she didn't have time to do all that running and fixing when her girls needed her. So I said, "Jim makes good money, call a repairman." She did.

She put Ava on the phone to say hello. She is always so bright and happy when she says, "Hi, Papa!" Today, she sounded quiet and demure. "Hi, Papa!" "Hi, Ava. Did you have an accident." "Un-huh. I broke the dishwasher." (and she broke my heart) Kari said Ava knew she was in trouble. So I encouraged her not to punish Ava when she was so happy to help, but teach her not to put all her weight on the dishwasher.

I am sure I will soon have a cute story about Caitlyn to share with you. Brent...well he is till crawling and saying nothing - the silent type.