Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Tommy and I were in Seattle last weekend. It was raining when we left. Imagine that, rain in Seattle. :) I happened to get a window seat on the plane and watched as we took off. What started as gray skies, dark clouds, and pouring rain turned to brilliant sunshine when we broke through the clouds. It stayed that way until we landed in Salt Lake City.

I couldn't help but think that sometimes that's the way we envision God when things are not going as we planned. All we see are gray skies, dark clouds, and pouring rain and assume He's left us. But, the Son is still shining brilliantly on the other side of our worries. We've just shifted our focus a bit.

Let us always remember the words of Deuteronomy 31:6, "...the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

First Birthday Party

Surprise! Bet you were expecting pictures of a toddler. My siblings and I gave my mom a birthday party for her 75th birthday. It was a huge success, and she loved it. When it was done, she told us we would never know how much the day meant to her; because this was the first birthday party she'd ever had. That brought a few tears among the sisters. Can you imagine living to be 75 and never having had a birthday party?!?!? My grandmother tried to host a birthday party for mom's 10th birthday. But a neighbor girl went to school and invited the entire class. This was during World War II when my grandfather was away at war. The family had $25 to live on for the month, so there wasn't enough money to have everyone over. The party had to be cancelled.

We were fortunate to be able to have the party in a Victorian home in Texas City, my home town. It was a beautiful setting (and meant we didn't have to do a lot of decorating). More than 50 of Mom's friends stopped by to wish her well. Mom knew about the party but didn't know exactly what we were doing. We arranged for her to arrive a few minutes before the guests began coming so she could see the cake and table decorations and we could enjoy her reaction.

The cake served as the centerpiece and was spectacular. My sister, Diane, found a baker on Craig's List. Diane wanted the cake to represent things in Mom's life. The baker did an excellent job--and even drove over an hour to get the cake to the party. Each layer was a different delicious flavor. The bottom layer is a suitcase. Mom loves to travel. Three dice were resting on the suitcase. Mom has played Bunco for 47 years and is a charter member of her club. Dots on the dice added to 75. The top layer is a red hat. Mom has been queen of her red hat group since it began, and she loves the monthly activities. Diane and my sister-in-law, Lynn, did a great job of capturing the essence of mom--lots of fun, world traveler, loyal, and a wonderful friend.

For the table, we took a long length of ribbon and tied a knot for every decade of Mom's life. The ribbon wound around the table. Starting on one end to represent 1934, we placed replicas of things that had been invented or happened during Mom's lifetime along with pictures of her in the appropriate decade. Then, each child added something to represent a special connection between them and Mom. For example, the first overseas trip Mom made was with my dad to Germany in 1988 to visit Tommy and I when we were stationed there. I put the hat my dad bought while there and a picture of the three of us at one of the places we visited on the table. The table and the cake were huge hits!!

The next day we had a family gathering at my brother's house. He loves to cook on the grill and prepared racks of ribs, sausages, and brisket. Good friends brought potato salad and deviled eggs. Actually, several people brought deviled eggs. We had four or five dozen. I can assure you none went to waste. More than 30 people came by to visit and eat. There was birthday cake from the party for dessert.

A wonderful celebration for a wonderful mom!

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Monday, September 7, 2009

The End of an Era

My brother and sister-in-law recently bought a new house in Santa Fe, Texas. It is large enough that my mom moved in with them. With their move from Texas City, all my ties to my home town are now gone. Don't feel too bad for me. Santa Fe is only 14 miles from Texas City, so it's not like I can't go back--there's just no reason for me to go. Feels just a bit like I've abandoned a friend.

Texas City sits between Houston and Galveston on Interstate 45. It's not really a town you drive through. You have to exit the freeway and make the effort to drive into town. It's a port and the southern end of town is lined with refineries. It used to be home to one of only two tin smelters in the world. Fishing and water sports are big. Every summer the city celebrates Tackle Time, a type of fishing rodeo, that culminates on July 4th with a fireworks show over the water. It was a big deal to drive out on the dike, a man-made peninsula that jutted five miles into Galveston Bay, to see who was winning in the rodeo and see the biggest shark or stingray hanging on the scaffolding. (However, it was wise to keep the windows rolled up in the car. Dead fish and warm temperatures don't mix well.) Unfortunately, Hurricane Ike destroyed the dike.

Not much has changed in the city since I moved away more than 30 years ago. The restaurants have changed names, but the buildings are the same. The only high school looks exactly as it did when I graduated in 1972--although work began this summer on a new school building. The entire town celebrates Friday night football games. Palmer Highway is still the main street in town, and it only takes 10 minutes to drive from one end to the other. Residents still drive to Houston to shop. Although most have changed hands, the refineries still line the edge of town. Shipley's Do-nuts still makes the best chocolate filled donuts you've ever tasted.

I think it's that constancy and familiarity that I will miss. I may have to borrow Mom's car and drive back every once in a while just to make sure all is where it should be.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Home again, home again; jiggity jig....

My mom used to say that whenever we'd been out running errands or away from the house for most of the day. Recently, I was with her and quoted her line when we pulled into the garage. She told me the rest of the rhyme goes,"Off to the market to look for a pig; Home again, home again, jiggity jig." Don't know about the looking for a pig part, but I am definitely glad to be home again after a busy month.

You've seen the post about the girlfriends' visit to Seattle. The weekend after that I traveled to Hurricane, Utah for a staff retreat. (It's not pronounced like the storm, but "her ih cun" with the emphasis on the first syllable.) Hurricane is in southern Utah about 15 miles north of St. George in what is known as Utah's Dixie. It's a beautiful setting in the red rock country. My boss co-owns a home there, and the entire staff and their spouses travel down for a weekend of planning, fellowship, and fun. We get a lot done. But, it's also a lot of time on the road--five hours each way. Although, we do have fun on the drive as well. Last year we discovered one of our employees is a whiz at TV sitcom jingles. And you thought full-time Christian work was always serious! :) And we bring enough snacks to feed an army for weeks. You know how Baptists are when it comes to eating. :)

The following Thursday, I flew to Texas to help my mom pack to move. My brother and sister-in-law bought a house big enough for all three of them to live in comfortably, so the whole crew moved last Saturday. My sisters and I came to help mom get ready for the movers. Hooray for not having to move everything!! Packing was tiring enough. We didn't get finished by Sunday, so I stayed until Wednesday. We got mom completely packed and had time for some fun--Sunday breakfast with mom and the siblings at IHOP, Whataburgers for dinner at my brother's, and a quick trip with my mom's girlfriends to Coldwater Creek. Those ladies can shop!!

In case you're having trouble following when I was gone and when I was home, I was gone August 6-9, 14-16, and 20-26. I love to travel but I was REALLY glad to be home.

It gave me a new appreciation for what Tommy goes through every week as a pilot. A few days at home followed by a few days on the road--sleeping in a different bed each night and eating every meal out (assuming there's a restaurant open at 4 a.m. or midnight). Often adjusting to a new time zone multiple times in one day. Coming home and trying to catch up on what needs to be done here. Missing family. Yet, he does it with a smile on his face and a love for what he does. Thanks, Tommy. You're the best!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Girlfriend's Getaway!

The girlfriends flew to Seattle last weekend for a much needed get away. My dear daughter played tour guide, host, and taxi driver for four crazy ladies. She may never be the same. :)

We toured the Pike's Market where Chris bought fresh flowers--something she's always wanted to do there but never had a place to put them. Lindsay gladly gave them a home. We watched the fish fly, sampled fresh fruit and donuts, and visited the gum wall. Who knew, with all the wonderful things to do and see in Seattle, that a place where thousands of people have stuck their gum to the wall is the most visited site. And, how in the world did that get started?

A night on the town was next. Little black dresses and heels came out of the suitcases. We watched the sun set and the moon rise while slowly circling the top of the space needle. Gorgeous!

Of course, there's always shopping on a girlfriend trip. We hit the outlet mall in Marysville where Linda scored the best deals of the day--three pairs of pants from Coldwater Creek for only $9.99 each. But, we all found something to take home. Lindsay had great fun listening to us try to pronounce local city names. Can you say, Mukilteo, Tulalip, Puyallup, or Sammamish correctly?

Saturday had us bundling up for a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island and a yummy breakfast. On the way over, the boat captain brought the ferry to a complete stop for a memorial service. First time I'd ever seen ashes scattered at sea. They were actually encased in a large clear envelope. It was quite moving to be a part of it even though none of us knew the family. Then we traveled from Bainbridge to Seattle by ferry--one of the most scenic ferry rides in the area. A stroll through the souvenir shops for t-shirts and some time sitting outside Starbucks (where else in Seattle would you go for coffee) people watching completed the day.

Although the sight-seeing and meals and shopping are fun, the best part of a girlfriend's trip is the laughter! Just what we always need to forget the stresses of everyday life and prepare us to return to work and family until the next time.

I love my girlfriends. Missed you Penny. Thanks again, Lindsay.

Friday, July 31, 2009

In the woods....

We are blessed to live five minutes from town but have the feel of living in the country. We have the center lot of a cul de sac, which gives us extra room on each side and a pie-shaped backyard. Much of our yard is also wooded. The lot behind us is seven acres, but the owner built on the far side of the lot and left what's between us wooded. There's a creek running about a hundred yards from the house. It's so peaceful. I love sitting on the back patio or in the hot tub listening to the creek run.

One of my favorite things is the animals we have wander through the yard. There's a small herd of deer living in the woods. They wander through our yard at all times of the day. Just this morning, a young buck crossed the yard on his way to drink from the creek. Last week twin fawns came down to taste the ivy. Mom was keeping an eye on them from the other side of the yard. We usually see at least one set of twin fawns every year.

In addition to the deer, there are Califonia quail, skunks, an occasional fox, and racoons. They all provide great entertainment. I once watched a mother skunk try to corral seven babies and get them up the path. Made me grateful for only two children. :) Tommy and I watched a raccoon climb out on the branch the bird feeder was hanging on, tip it sideways to pour out the seed, then go back to the ground to eat it. (The deer also love birdseed.) Last month, a mother duck and about twelve ducklings waddled up the path. I'd never seen that before and assume they must be nesting near the creek. We also have the robins I mentioned earlier, magpies, and hawks.

Although the yard is big and lots to maintain, neither Tommy and I are ready to give it up just yet. The blessings still outweigh the work.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Birds, Berries, & Birthdays

We have a type of cherry tree in our yard. Not edible cherries. I have no idea what kind of cherry tree they are (remember, I have a black thumb when it comes to gardening). They look more like blueberries, and the fruit rippens in July.
We also have tons of robins, who LOVE these berries. Seriously, the robins spend the summer days gorging on these berries. It's fun to sit on the porch and listen to the robins fluttering about in the trees as they eat. Although it's not so fun to clean up blue bird poop afterwards. :-)
July-the month of America's birthday, which has become my second favorite holiday by the way. Red, white, and blue. Just a few days ago, this thought came to me. Red like the robin's breast, white hot days of summer, and blue berries. How good of God to add His special touch to July!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Matt and Amber drove up the end of June to spend week with us. Lindsay flew down to join them for a few days. What a blessing that Lindsay, Matt, and now Amber enjoy one another's company and get along so well. It was the first time all five of us had been together in Utah. The kids got to visit friends, laughed with each other, and did some "touristy" things as well. We had a great visit!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Family Ties

These are my cousins, Robert Allen (don't you just love the southern tradition of using both the first and middle name) and Wayne (right). They came for dinner last Saturday, which isn't unusual--unless you factor in how long it's been since we've seen each other. Last time Robert Allen and I were together was 1973!!!! I had dinner with Wayne in April; but, prior to that, it had been 10 years!!

Somehow, though, family ties make conversation easy. We enjoyed an evening of reminiscing and catching up. They grew up in Mississippi, and I grew up in Texas. Lots of stories about childhood antics. As middle-class families, vacations were primarily trips to see grandparents; so we didn't see each other often. Our two families overlapped at grandma's house only once--for a Christmas gathering. Wayne remembered me scaring him to death with ghost stories about pirates. Totally appropriate for Christmas, right?!

They are working in Utah for a while. Let's hope it isn't another 10 years before we get together again.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


It is exciting to me to be getting older. Sure, it comes with aches and pains and memory loss and.... I can't remember what else. But, there is a sense of accomplishment in making it this far. I couldn't wait to turn 50 and get my invitation to join AARP. Would you believe, I didn't get one and had to go online to join!

I love the thought of "senior discounts" as well. Unfortunately, it seems the older I get, the older you have to be to get the discounts. Well, last week we had breakfast at Denny's, and you only have to be 55 to order off the senior menu. Woo hoo!!

Monday, May 25, 2009


Tommy and I celebrated 34 years of marriage this week. May 24, 1975. Ten days after I finished college and one week before he reported to duty at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas.

One thing God impressed on me even as a youth was to marry a Christian man, and He provided a great one. (Thank you to all those Christian men and women in my life for the example you were!) Tommy and I met on a church mission trip in 1969 and were friends for two years before we started dating. We dated for four years. Yep, you did the math correctly. We've known each other for 40 years! And, what a life it has been!

A career in the Air Force that took us many places and blessed us with friends across the United States and around the world. Those early marriage days when we decorated with bricks and boards for bookshelves--and moved them to new homes, twice. Two wonderful children and now a fantastic daughter-in-law. The means to travel, which we both love. The joy of spending time together just watching TV or reading or working in the yard. Someone to lean on in the difficult times.

There are a few more pounds and a little less hair now. But, I am thankful for Tommy and our life together. It's still an exciting life and I look forward to many more years together.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Race for the Cure

Salt Lake City holds its Race for the Cure the Saturday before Mother's Day. Over 18,000 people walked or ran the 5K route. For several years, ladies (and a few men) from my church have participated. There are mothers and sons, grandmothers and granddaughters, and friends. Most of the participants have friends and/or family who have been affected by breast cancer. Some are survivors; some are not. Regardless, participating in the race is a way to honor those dear people. My mother-in-law (on the left) had breast cancer at age 65 in the early '70s when surgery was much more radical than it is today. She lived 20 years after the cancer. My mom (on the right) is a four-year survivor!

The clever team names are hilarious. Some of my favorites are, "Harleys for Hooters," "Save Second Base," "Feel Your Boobies," and "Save the Tatas." We decided to come up with a team name for this year. We debated on Baptist Boobs or Mountain View Mammaries. Mammaries won.

We arrive very early to stroll through the vendors who have come to give away or sell items. There are pins, water bottles, wrist bands, scarves, chances to win running shoes, etc. Ronald McDonald is there, and McDonald's gives out apple slices. Many of us wear pink. After the race, our group had lunch at Jason's Deli.

Yet, even in the midst of the fun and fellowship, there is a seriousness to the race as well as we remember why we're there. We saw a gentleman walking by himself carrying a flag and wearing a sign on his shirt that read, "walking in honor of my beautiful wife of 34 years." And, a young boy with, "I love walking for my mom." One of the ladies who walked with us lost a dear friend in January to breast cancer and wanted to do something to honor her.

Here are a few pictures you might enjoy.

Pink shirts are survivors.

Fuze gave these capes away and took the picture.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

One more thing...

I forgot to tell you one thing about Washington DC. That city has EXCELLENT and INEXPENSIVE public transportation!!! We never rent a car when we go. Just hop on the metro or catch a city bus to get anywhere you need to be.

The hotel where we stayed offered a shuttle to the closest metro station, which was about 15 minutes away. We took that Saturday morning, and arrived at one of the city's transportation hubs--buses, metro station, and this! The sign's a little bent, but you can read it. What's "kiss and ride" you ask? A drop off lot that allows a few extra minutes for a kiss good bye in the morning or a kiss hello in the afternoon. Tommy says I just need to get out more. But, I though it was quite unique and way fun.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Travel log

One of the best things about being married to an airline pilot is occasionally getting to travel with him on a trip. Tommy had a 30 hour layover in Washington DC last week. Thanks to a wonderful boss and a rearranged schedule, I was able to tag along. (An aside, for those of you who think the life of an airline pilot is all glamour, try getting up in time to be dressed and ready for a 5:50 a.m. pickup by the shuttle driver for the return trip. Then fly an all-nighter to Alaska 28 hours after returning to Utah.)

Washington DC has become one of my favorite cities. I think it would be neat to live in our nation's capitol where history was and is made and there are so many things to see and do. Although, realistically I wonder how many times I'd make the effort to see the sites if I lived there. I've lived in Utah since 1980 and still haven't made it to the re-enactment of the driving of the golden spike which created the transcontinental railroad system.

We were blessed with a beautiful day! Sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s. For this trip, we chose to see the World War II memorial and the Jefferson monument--neither of which I'd been to before. The WWII memorial is beautiful. Lovely fountains, a pillar representing each state, and two larger sculpture representing the Atlantic and Pacific battles.

Then it was on to the Jefferson memorial. We were too late to see the Japanese cherry trees in bloom, although we did find one blossom left. :-) A friend who lives in Virginia told us there were four million people there to see the trees a couple of weeks ago. I'm not sure fighting those crowds would have been worth seeing all the trees in bloom. We did see other trees with lots of blossoms. There were people in paddle boats in the tidal basin. We thought about joining them but decided our feet were already tired, so they didn't need the additional workout. Getting old is NOT for the faint of heart! We spent a couple of hours wandering through the memorial and the displays downstairs. Afterwards, we sat on the steps facing the tidal basin to rest, people watch, and enjoy the sunshine. Suddenly, we hear a helicopter. It was President Obama's helicopter! The pilot circled the tidal basin several times before flying on to the White House--to the delight of the crowd. Two more helicopters followed and did the same thing. Way cool!!!

One other fun thing. While we were sitting and resting, this sweet lady asked me if I'd hold her hand as she went down the steps. There was no railing. As I was helping her, she thanked me profusely and said next Sunday was her 84th birthday; and she didn't want to miss it. Hope I'm in good enough health at almost 84 to be sightseeing.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring time in the rockies...

Spring in Utah is a most interesting season. God teases us with a couple of beautiful, sunny days--then it turns cold and snowy again. Just last week, one of the local ski resorts got 140 inches of new snow. We had beautiful weather Easter and Monday. It's snowing again today. A local weatherman calls it "sprinter."

One nice thing about spring snow is that is seldom sticks to the sidewalks and driveway. Hooray, no shoveling!! And, as long as it is raining or snowing, the pollen count is down. Hooray, no allergies!!

I spent the morning snuggled under the covers finishing a book while it rained/snowed outside. Heaven!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Random musings...

Today is my dear husband's birthday. Unfortunately, he had to work, so we celebrated Friday. I'm teaching him the joy of spreading birthday celebrations out over several days or even weeks. :-) Happy Birthday, Tommy!! I love you.

I am recovering from the worst cold I've had in a long time. It's been 12 days, and I'm still not completely well! Yuck! It came on suddenly and knocked me for a loop. Tommy was afraid I was going to suffocate, because I was making such weird noises when I slept. (Thank you, God, that I could sleep.) All that's left is a nagging cough. Back to the office tomorrow. I can hardly wait to see how much is piled up on my desk after missing three days in the office. NOT! (Thank you, God, for a wonderful, understanding boss who allowed me to stay home and rest.)

Here's a sad story of what our world is coming to. Late last Monday afternoon, I wrote four reimbursement checks for people in the office. Since I was still feeling so bad, I put them in my mailbox at home and raised the flag rather than drive to the post office. It never crossed my mind that could be a problem. We live on a quiet cul-de-sac.

The next morning just before 10, I drove out of the driveway on my way to get my hair cut and colored (you just don't miss that appointment no matter how bad you feel). I noticed the mailbox door was open. My first thought was, "I'm glad it isn't raining or those checks would be wet." Then I noticed the checks were gone. I stewed over it while at my appointment then had my fears confirmed when I returned to find that the mailman had come. Someone stole the checks!!! Talk about feeling stupid. I called the bank and stopped payment on the checks and let the guys the checks were for know what had happened.

Once again, God took care of me. If the thief had not left my mailbox open, I would not have known the checks were stolen until one of the guys asked me why he hadn't received his reimbursement. Which would have been too late. That very afternoon someone tried to cash one of the checks. The bank called my office when the check came up with the stop payment notice. The person who answered the phone is not normally in the office that day and just happened to be one of the guys to whom I'd written the checks. The thief was trying to cash the check written to that employee! He told the bank teller that the check was stolen, that he was the person being impersonated by the thief, and suggested the teller call the police. Crazy "coincidence," huh? Thank you, God.

But, it's sad to know that my trust level has been altered.

Happy Easter!!

Happy Easter! Isn't it wonderful to be reminded of what Christ did for us when we were so undeserving? As Christians, we often say "Christ died for us." My dear friend, Doug, today reminded us in Sunday School that that "us" is singular. He died for me. It was my sin that kept Christ on that cross. Humbling isn't it?

Here's a song we sang in church today. Travis Cottrell's words say it well.

Let the children sing a song of liberation
The God of our salvation set us free
Death, where is thy sting? The curse of sin is broken
The empty tomb stands open, come and see

He's alive, alive, alive. Hallelujah!
Alive! Praise and glory to the Lamb.
He's alive, alive, alive. Hallelujah!
Alive forever. Amen

Let my heart sing out, for Christ, the One and only
So powerful and holy rescued me
Death won't hurt me now because He has redeemed me
No grave will ever keep me from my King

I'm alive, alive, alive, hallelujah!
Alive! praise and glory to the Lamb.
He's alive, alive, alive. Hallelujah!
Alive forever. Amen

Worthy is the Lamb, worthy of our praise
Worthy is the One who has overcome the grave
Let the people dance, let the people sing
Worthy is the mighty King.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Grandmas ain't what they used to be

(I borrowed this post from my sister. Isn't she an excellent writer! She captured my mother to a T.)

My mom, is the new-era grandma. It's hard to keep up with her. Not that she gets lost, her children just cannot remember her itinerary.
Let's see, this past month, her sister from Mississippi came for a week-long visit, then those two and two other friends took off on a cruise for another week. That would tire me out, but no, not them. From there, they all took off driving to Mississippi to return the sister to home and visit. They went shopping, to the casinos and had a blast. On the way home, in the continuous rain, they made multiple stops, to ease the tension of a long trip, and to get one more visit in on the way home.
I called her last night to see about lunch this week. Let's see today is cards, tomorrow is doctor appointment, Thursday is nail and hair day, then we have art class, bridge and who knows what else to fit into the week. Maybe I can arrange a dinner.
It is absolutely fantastic that these ladies, in groups or in singles, can rampage through the countryside and enjoy every single second of it. Never a dull moment. When there is nothing else to do, they will sit and play Mexican Train, go to dinner, a movie, a play at the community college.
Now that may sound a bit selfish. (NOT) As they also do some charity/volunteer work. Stuffing bears for the police department, working in the historical museum in our town, helping supply gifts at the holidays to children and the seniors, and she is very active in her church.
Not forgetting that most of these ladies have had to deal with the passing of a spouse, medical issues and the like. The attitudes and outlook of these cuties is positive and happy.
Oh to be like my mom and her friends when I have passed another 20 years. I think she is the greatest example of a new-era grandma. Not sitting around waiting for time to pass, watching TV and letting life pass by. But taking charge of her life, living every moment of it to the fullest capacity. No whining about what I could of done, instead she runs the game of life, skidding around the bases, sliding into home plate yelling, "What a Ride! Let's do it again!"

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wind on Wednesdays

Two of the many clocks we have must be wound weekly. In order to have any prayer of remembering that consistently, Wednesday has become the official wind the clock day. Thus, "wind on Wednesdays."

To further complicate matters, when I go to wind the clocks, the hour or minute hand usually sits across one of the three places to insert the key. (I think that's Murphy's Law #787 or so.) I leave the clock door open and hope to remember to go back and finish the winding job in a few minutes. More often than not, that few minutes becomes an hour or so; and I sometimes come back to the same situation.

OK. I'm officially old.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The recession hits close to home

Matt and Amber came to visit last week. Yea!!! It was the first time they'd been in Utah since they came for Trevail and Laura's wedding last June. And, the first time they'd visited as a married couple.

An unexpected treat was the opportunity for Matt and Amber to join Tommy and I at the 85th birthday celebration of a friend from a former church. We ran into several people who had not seen Matt since he was about 10 years old. (Why do we always picture the children of friends in our mind as they were when we last saw them even as we watch our own children grow up?) He loved the shocked look on faces when people figured out who he was--and the extra surprise of getting to introduce his wife.

Unfortunately, they were able to come because Matt was let go from his job. Since it was also Amber's spring break, we thought it might be good for them to get away for a few days. I think they did enjoy some time from the stress of "what now." They visited their Utah friends, went to the zoo, and shared some laughs and good talks with mom and dad. I know we loved having them here.

My heart hurts for them as they face the uncertainties of the future. It's hard when your children hurt and you can't fix it. Yet, I rejoice knowing God is in control and in seeing Matt and Amber acknowledge that. There are blessings in the midst of this time of adversity--good friends to lift them in prayer, an unexpected temporary part-time job to provide some extra income, and even a forgotten gift card to Wal-mart that surfaced the day Matt lost his job.

God is good! All the time!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


My birthday was last week. I LOVE my birthday!!! It's getting to hear from friends and family that makes it special. It's also fun to spread the celebration over several days or even weeks. And this one was great.

As a Facebook newbie, I was surprised to get lots of greetings from friends I normally would not hear from. Those one-line well wishes were nice to read. My kids called. My boss took the office staff to lunch to celebrate my and a coworker's birthdays. The mailbox held cards from friends and family for over a week. A friend who shares March as a birthday month met me for lunch another day. We recently reconnected after many years. It's so nice to catch up with her and her family. Tommy took me for a steak lunch at Lonestar. It doesn't get much better for a Texas girl!

Thanks to everyone for remembering me. And, in case you're curious, I don't mind telling you I celebrated the big "double nickle" (as my sister so cleverly reminded me).

Saturday, February 28, 2009


Several years ago, my church grouped the deacons into teams. Each team was composed of four deacons and their wives who would be "on" for a week. It would be their responsibility to answer ministry needs that arose during the week. It's really a great plan and is a great way to keep the deacons from becoming overwhelmed with responsibilities.

Who knew, though, that a byproduct of that arrangement would be a group of amazing girlfriends!

My original deacon wives' team included me, Penny, Valerie, and Linda. Quite a diverse group--12 years separate the oldest from the youngest; a stay-at-home mom and three working women; a laid back California earth mother, a southern belle, and two Missourians. But there were similarities as well--we love God, we are all moms, none of us is originally from Utah, and the military played an important part in our lives. The military moved Penny a few years ago, but she is still a part of the "girlfriends." We added Chris--a great Christian, the horse lover, a mom, not from Utah, and influenced by the military--to round out our local foursome.

Looking back it's hard to remember exactly how the girlfriends came to be. The deacon team (also known as "the gang") got together for dinner and game nights to get to know one another a little better, so it must have evolved from that. But, I cannot tell you how thankful and blessed I am to have my girlfriends.

We laugh a LOT!!! Last night we went to dinner at Applebee's and spent four hours catching up. We laughed so hard people from other tables were staring at us. Somtimes we also cry a lot.

We've traveled together for girlfriend get away weekends and completely filled the back of my MDX with luggage and shopping bags. We've kidnapped a friend's doll and photographed it in a cornfield, at Wendy's headquarters, and sunbathing (complete with sunglasses) poolside. We've asked strangers to take our picture looking through an iron gate at a rest stop in Nephi, Utah. We've slept five to a room and watched the Westminster dog show on Sunday morning television.

We are great event planners. Five of our children have married in the past five years. The moms not related to the bride/groom have hosted showers, set up and taken down rehearsal dinners, and manned the serving tables at receptions so the mother of the bride/groom could enjoy the event. All the Utah girlfriends even traveled 12 hours to Arizona to attend my son's wedding and help with the rehearsal dinner last July. (We missed you, Penny.) It takes dedicated friends to willingly travel to Arizona in July!!

The bridal shower for my future daughter-in-law, Amber, saw the debut of the Utah Tribal Moms. Creative Chris made each of us neclaces with stickers to depict the previous weddings and a grandchild. She, Valerie, and Linda put their necklaces on as the shower drew to a close and each introduced her "tribe" to my future daughter-in-law while dancing through the room waving mardi gras beads (they're cheap). The beads were then put on Amber who also got a kiss from each mom. Hilarious! Amber loved it.

At the wedding, these dear friends talked the DJ into playing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," sat Amber and Matt in the middle of the dance floor, and again danced around them waving the mardi gras beads while their husbands and other Utah guests stood around the edge of the dance floor playing various instruments from the dollar store. Again, hilarious! (Although the New Mexico guests might have wondered what their daughter was getting in to.)

We have a hysterical retirement plan (if our husbands die before we do). Not morbid--just practical. Think "Golden Girls" on motorized scooters. Watch out world!

We are family. Not only because we all are a part of God's family, but because none of us live near our biological families. We share secrets, call on each other for advice, for help in time of need, when we need a shoulder to cry on, when we need someone who will pray for us, for recipe advice, etc. We've even promised to make sure each other's homes are clean if we die. I may be a horrible housekeeper but I don't want anyone to know that. :-)

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says, "Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken."

How blessed am I to have four braids. Our cord is definitely not easily broken.