My sister and her three boys came from Oklahoma City for a short visit yesterday and they went home today. My girlz had fun playing "spies" with their cousins and I enjoyed catching up with my sis and holding her six-month old baby, Will (who is in almost every picture below!). My mom came over for dinner last night and of course she was thrilled to see five of her seven grandkids in the same visit.
Wish they lived closer but it's nice to see them when we can!
I recently got to go on our church's annual Women's Retreat to Sky Ranch in Miami, Oklahoma. This was my second time to go and it's just such a nice time to get away. (I wrote about last year's retreat here.) We had a great time attending sessions, sharing with small groups, singing (hence, why the Emerge playlist on this blog was created), crafting, eating, zip-lining and even zumba-ing ;-) One of the best things about the retreat is getting to know the other ladies outside of church. We had some great sharing time that is leading many women to feeling true freedom in Christ for the first time ever. Looking forward to going again next year!
Today is the fifth anniversary of my grandmother (a.k.a. "Gammy") going to be with Jesus. I miss her so much. She was the perfect grandmother and such a great example of a kind, thoughtful and fun-loving Christian. More than anything, she loved to serve others.
The following is an excerpt from one of her Gratitude Journals. (Thank you to my Aunt Jeanette for sending this out to our relatives today! Such a sweet memory of Gammy's servant attitude.)
February 11, 1994
Over several cups of coffee this morning, I sat and was doing some pondering of my past days. For several weeks I had been getting ten years of Volunteers files up to date and getting everything in order to hand over to our activity director. In other words after eighteen years of really working hard at this voluntary business, I was slowing down to almost a halt.
On February 10th, I went out to the Nursing Home (Rosewood) and turned in all of the books and files. In the afternoon, we volunteers had our monthly business meeting and I resigned as their president and founder of ten years. What a load off my mind! I enjoyed all of my voluntary work at Rosewood, Four Seasons, and Hillcrest Nursing Homes, but now I wanted to do what I wanted to do.
So, on this morning of pondering, I looked back through the years. In my seventy-one years as far back as I could remember, it seemed like I was always doing for others (as millions of others have done). I probably wasn't any better or any worse and what I have done is certainly not outstanding but it was an interesting path to travel. The joy and blessings that I have received along the way are too many to count. God has been so good to me to give me the health and ability to do my tasks and I'm grateful to Him. I believe He led me to become a caregiver and a volunteer. The loved ones I tended to are all gone now so most of what I was doing is no longer needed.
Does all of this mean that I can now rest on my laurels and do nothing? I really don't think that God wants me to do that just yet. Yes, I want to rest my body now but I still want to find new avenues to take and see what I will find along the way. I will always do some kind of volunteer work if I can help someone or try to be a blessing to someone. As Aunt Bonnie would say, "I still have rats to kill!" I do miss hearing her say that.
As far as I know, there are still lots of books to be read, lots of new people to meet, and lots of old friends to remember and check up on and I do not wish to be alone and hidden under a bushel. What fun would that be?
The joy of waking everyday and to wonder what the day will bring is something I look forward to. I may not wake until 10 or 11 - but not all of the day is gone! I do stay up late at night and a lot of that time is in reading.
I so look forward to seeing her again someday. In loving memory of my Gammy...
For about the past six months, I have been busy helping plan a fundraiser to raise money to build an orphanage and medical clinic in Lira, Uganda. The event is called "Kwero!" which is Ugandan for "party!" Several people have asked me how I got involved with this endeavor so I thought I'd share my story ;-)
Project Hope Worldwide is an Owasso, Oklahoma-based non-profit organization whose mission is to "invest, equip and provide hope to the poor, the oppressed, the widows and the orphans around the world." Their current project is "Calo Me Lare", which means "Village of Redemption". Calo Me Lare is located in northern Uganda where many Ugandan citizens have been affected by AIDS and many children are homeless orphans just trying to make it in the world. Project Hope Worldwide wants to help this unfortunate community by building an orphanage, a medical clinic and eventually a school within Calo Me Lare.
In order to take on a task this big, obviously large funds of money are required. So, the Board of Project Hope Worldwide thought it would be a great idea to plan a huge fundraiser and raise money for Calo Me Lare, but also raise awareness of the needs of Ugandan citizens. The Board asked a friend of mine, Amy Main, to head up the fundraiser then she thought of three more ladies to help join her on the Planning Committee.
This is where I came in. Amy approached me and filled me in on Project Hope Worldwide and Calo Me Lare. She told me her idea of hosting a local fundraiser and asked if I would help out by being the Media/Public Relations Chairperson. It didn't take much to convince me that this was a great cause and something I could help out with that was bigger than myself.
So, we got to work right away planning and advertising the event, making invitations, printing tickets, notifying the public, creating websites, sending out press releases, procuring auction items, etc. It has been a huge feat but something I have really enjoyed participating in. So as you can see, "my" part of the story is not really "my" part. The role I have played with Kwero is so minute, but when brought together with lots of volunteers and a few "surprise" donations, we can and will make a huge difference for those in need in a country clear across the other side of the world! So many people from within our local community have taken an interest in Kwero and I am constantly amazed at all the many ways they have volunteered their time and services!
The event is April 17, 2010, and we hope many people from the Tulsa area will come out for an exciting and fun evening - and all for a great cause! To find out more about Kwero, please check out our Kwero Blog or visit us on facebook here!
Well, soccer season has officially begun! "A" is playing her 4th season and "M" has decided to take it up this year so this is her first time to play. They are both so excited and look forward to their practices and games each week. I love to watch them play but I'll enjoy it more once it starts getting warmer outside! ;-)
We recently took our monthly date night with the girlz. It was Steve's turn to take "M". They ate dinner at Baja Jacks Burrito Shack then went shopping at Old Navy and Kohl's. I took "A" to Burger Street then shopping at Hobby Lobby and Old Navy. We always look forward to our night out with the girlz!
A very good friend of mine, Nicole, recently had her fourth child. I've enjoyed so much these last nine months watching her belly grow and anticipating the birth of little Samuel. I even had the privilege of painting his nursery. Here's a few pics of the girlz and me meeting him at the hospital....
He's so precious!
Welcome to the world, Samuel! We're so glad you're finally here and we look forward to watching you grow into a little guy! You are very blessed to have the sweet family God has placed you in! We love you already!
"M" is involved in a book club for girls through our homeschool co-op and they presented a play today! It's called "Home Is Where the Heart Is" - the story of an American Girl, named Kirsten. "M" played the role of Marta, Kirsten's best friend. She even had a death scene, which she was not thrilled about at first and wanted to rewrite her role as moving away instead of dying - but she was a trooper and went through with the death scene with flying colors ;-) All the girls worked so hard on learning their lines and practicing their parts. They even included "A" even though she's not quite old enough to be in the Book Club, yet. She got to be the sign holder and introduce each new scene. She was so excited to be a part of the play, too. Special thanks goes to the director of the play, Miss Valerie, for all of her hard work, as well as her persistence and patience in working with the girls. Here's a few pics and videos from the show...
A friend of mine known as "The Silhouette Girl" just did silhouettes of my girlz for me. I think they turned out FABULOUS! I love them so much and will cherish them forever! I love the details from their pony tails to "M's" glasses! You can check out The Silhouette Girl's website here. And she does much more than silhouettes - she also does super cute jewelry with charms, invitations and more! Check her out!
Dr. Seuss was born Theodor Seuss Geisel on March 2, 1904, in Springfield, Massachusetts. The amazingly clever author published more than 60 children's books over the length of his career. Looking for some ways to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday with your kids? Here's a few ideas that I've found on the internet...