Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Over $450 Worth of Prizes Available


We live in the Heartland. It's not unusual at all to see someone walking down the street (or into our home) with spurs jingling on their dirty boots and a gun on their hip. A handkerchief isn't just western decor, it's necessary for keeping the dirt out of your nose during dust storms. Our family loves the song, "Jesus was a Country Boy" by Clay Walker. The idea of walking down a dusty road with Y'shua of Nazareth is stirring. What do you 'reckon visit with Him about?

While the children are playing Cowboys, Mom needs a little entertainment too right? Let me suggest this great opportunity for a nice bundle of goodies. There are books in this bundle that the whole family is going to LOVE!

The Nan's Heritage Series by Elaine LittauThe harsh consequences of other people's sin leaves Nan bitter and broken, but God's amazing Love prevails in her life and overflows into the lives of those around her. Elaine Littau is the author of eleven published books and many magazine and newspaper articles. She is a mentor/coach for other authors and enjoys public speaking for groups. Many enjoy listening to her humorous take on life. Even the simplest activity takes on a life of its own when Elaine is involved in the telling of it.


Stella's Plea by R.A. Giggie“Trust me,” she heard a voice say to her. When her deaf daughter, 3-year-old Alexis, goes missing, Stella Brigg faces an incredible struggle. Alone, while her husband serves in the armed forces overseas, Stella must depend on Someone greater than anyone she’s ever known. Someone who loves her even more than Don ever did. Only that kind of love can carry her through in her search for Alexis. R.A. Giggie


A Mighty Fortress first in the Hymns of the West series by Faith BlumJoshua and Ruth Brookings are traveling by stagecoach to finally join their parents in Montana. Attacked by murderous outlaws, the teens barely escape with their lives and must survive in the barren Wyoming and Montana territories and escape the man who's hunting them.Seven years ago, Jed Stuart ran away from home and joined Tom's gang. Jed is tired of the lawlessness and wants out. The only problem? He is the boss's right-hand man and will never be able to leave. And what's one more stagecoach robbery, anyway?Can Joshua lean on God's strength to keep himself and his sister alive until they find a town? Will Jed be able to face his anger or will it consume him completely? All three are running--the hunter and hunted. What will happen when they meet? Faith Blum


Alyce (The Valley Stories #1) by Sarah ScheeleAlyce Lomlossa has never dreamed of visiting King Timson. To a member of a minority group that opposes his rule, his brooding, glum palace is associated only with imprisonment and death. Though it's been a long time since any Sherban was arrested, Alyce feels little in common with her ruler and is quite content to stay unnoticed.

Until a mandatory summons to the King's court dance leaves her no choice.

A 20,000 word novella that enlarges the story of Cinderella. Sarah Scheele


God's Daughter by Heather Day GilbertOne Viking woman. One God. One legendary journey to North America.

In the tenth century, when pagan holy women rule the Viking lands, Gudrid turns her back on her training as a seeress to embrace Christianity. Clinging to her faith, she joins her husband, Finn, on a journey to North America.

But even as Gudrid faces down murderous crewmen, raging sickness, and hostile natives, she realizes her greatest enemy is herself--and the secrets she hides might just tear her marriage apart.

Almost five centuries before Columbus, Viking women sailed to North America with their husbands. God's Daughter, Book One in the Vikings of the New World Saga, offers an expansive yet intimate look into the world of Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir--daughter-in-law of Eirik the Red, and the first documented European woman to have a child in North America. Heather Day Gilbert


Tales of the Wolven The Dragons SonAfter the brutal massacre in his village, a broken, grieving boy chooses to live with a golden dragon in the wild rather than go to the mountains to be with his own people. If only he had known then what that simple choice meant… Thirteen years later, Keegan, no longer a boy, learns that his younger sister survived the massacre and so sets off to be reunited with her. When Keegan accidentally interrupts a plot against a princess, what should have been a fairly simple trip turns into a complicated struggle for survival. A mysterious elder appears, full of wit and riddle. Mythical monsters shed their fictional skin and hungrily pursue Keegan and his dragon. Haunting nightmares begin to tear at his mind. As he continues on his quest to be reunited with his sister, Keegan is only just beginning to understand what it means to be The Dragons Son. Kathryn Fogleman


Fern Valley Adventures by Aileen StewartFern Valley is home to a group of wonderful animals who have fun and face some of the same problems children everywhere do. Roberta and Mildred Cornstalk are creative chickens dealing with the loss of their beloved granny, and they’re looking for something to do to cheer them up. Want to know what adventures they find? Want to know what happens to Roberta and Mildred’s brother, Edward, when he goes fishing, what birthday surprise is in store for Betsy Woolrich, or what lesson Kimmy Curlytail learns when she keeps something that isn’t hers? Then follow this endearing cast of characters as they enjoy their time together and learn important lessons.

A perfect addition for any child’s personal library and a joy for families to share, Fern Valley is a collection to be treasured for many years to come. Aileen Stewart


Legends of the Swamps: Uncle Frank and the Search for the Alligator King by Kimberly ThompsonIt’s almost the end of summer, and seventeen-year-old Julien is seated around the campfire with his sister and six cousins, waiting for Uncle Frank to begin his story.

He’s the best storyteller in Louisiana, and tonight he’s got something really good—the story of the Alligator King. But first, he has to go back even further and tell another story—that of Eagle Hawk, who became a man and set off to follow his vision, where soon he meets a beautiful Irish girl and falls in love.

“But what does this have to do with the Alligator King?” they all want to know. And Uncle Frank just puffs on his pipe and grins.

The Alligator King is the first novel in the Legends of the Swamps series by Kimberly Thompson. The old (although no one knows exactly) Uncle Frank weaves fact with flair to create a tale worthy of a late-night campfire. Get caught up in the mystery as the boys and girls lean forward in their seats, ready to hear what happens next, begging to interrupt Uncle Frank and ask the question: did this really happen? You can decide for yourself, because this is where Uncle Frank’s epic tale begins… Kimberly Thompson


Chloe May: Daughter of the Dust Bowl by Grace LundmarkChloe May's father found his wife's tactics incredulous as she dealt with their impoverished life and her own restlessness. Then came the Depression and the droughts of the Dust Bowl. It took more than their losses, near starvation, and apparent defeat to put a tear in her father's eye. In fact, even the women in the Whitehurst family were seldom reduced to tears-conniving and rash behavior, perhaps, but not to tears! The family knew laughter and fun, balancing heartaches and poverty. Chloe May: Daughter of the Dust Bowl is based on the true story of the author's mother, Chloe May, and her family's frequent moves in, around, and out of the Oklahoma Panhandle of the '20s and '30s. Laced with historical facts of the time, Chloe May: Daughter of the Dust Bowl is a must read for younger readers wishing for a glimpse into one of America's most difficult eras, and older readers who will identify with one family's modes of survival. Grace Lundmark


Laura Eckroat Children's BooksThe Life of Bud is the story of life and how important we all are and how hard it is to let go in the end. The story follows Bud, who starts out in life as a tiny bud—he feels insignificant. But Bud grows into a beautiful, vibrant leaf on the Mighty Oak Tree and becomes a very important part of the tree. Those who have looked for a children's book that explains gently about the topic of life and death, look no further. The Life of Bud explains to children and reminds adults that death is an important part of life. A Simpler Time - Oversaturated with the latest video games and iPhone apps, does anyone slow down to remember A Simpler Time? Join A.J. as she discovers a summer of fun with her mom, finding animals in the clouds, and a trek to find the perfect four-leaf clover! What's in the Corner? Sing along to this musical mystery “tail” as Muffin the rescue dog discovers what's in the corner of her suburban backyard, while protecting her owner! What’s in the Corner? A Muffin "Tail" is Muffin's second adventure and is sure to spark the imagination of children of all ages. Went Out To Get a Donut - Came Home With a Muffin - At first, Muffin was scared and hid under her mommy's chair. Muffin found out that training class was fun and interesting, and her mommy gave her treats and affection for doing her lessons correctly—what we call 'positive reinforcement'. Muffin became our 'star student!' Muffin graduated from her first level of classes-Beginner Education and is starting her second level of training soon. Laura W. Eckroat

Lynn Babor's Christian Horse TrainingChristian writer Lynn Baber retired as a National and World Champion horse breeder/ trainer after careers as a business and equine pro. From horses to "contending for the faith" every message is based on God's Word. Lynn shares simple truth even when it's not the popular path.

Lynn teaches worthy leadership, methods for achieving success, and the process of building faith under the brand Christian Horse Training for Amazing Grays Ministry, a 501.c.3 non-profit.

Life is simple when you follow a worthy leader. Peace, joy, contentment, and security are found with proper focus and commitment. Lynn shares messages in print and in person to help folks find blessed simplicity as Christians, horse lovers, and citizens, in a world where complexity and confusion presently reign.

Highly credentialed in matters of leadership, relationship, and most things equine, Lynn offers a unique mix of experience and perspective that is open, conversational, and personal. For folks who love Jesus Christ, horses - or both!

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

This is a picture taken in 1962. Me, Daddy, Grandma (his mom),  and Mama. I thought this would be a good post for Father's Day and belated Mother's Day. This was taken in California and was the last time I saw my grandma.
Because I was so young when both sets of grandparents passed away, I take the job of grandparent very seriously. I promoted good relationships with my boys and their grandparents because there is no one who can really fill that gap.
My grands, all 5 of them, mean the world to me. I think of each one of them all the time and pray for them to have a wonderful life. I hope I have played my part in helping them know that they are loved and valued.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Sewing Lesson for Maci


Yesterday 7 year old Maci walked past the sewing room/office/craft room on the way to our bedroom. She asked if it would be possible for me to teach her how to sew with the sewing machine. I told her we would try to get to it.

Today, I finally thought of something that could be finished rather quickly and also give her a lot of sewing machine time. I had some strips already prepared for a string quilt and realized that allowing her to piece those strips together and then quilt them would give her a lot of practice.

My machine has a turtle speed and a rabbit speed. (there are pictures) If I set it to turtle, she can only go turtle. With rabbit she may go as fast as she wants. By the time she finished, she set it to a little more than halfway to rabbit. Her seams became more and more uniform. We stuffed it with the filling from an old pillow. She is really proud of her project and I am impressed at her willingness to follow directions. She also learned ironing and pressing skills. Now, on to the next project!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

My Favorite Childhood Toy

This is me in 1960 or 1961 with my favorite toy ever! The picture was taken on our back porch on the day it was given to me. The dark color of the tricycle was emerald green and the other parts were white. My little blouse was deep red and the pants were tan.

Our house was only about three years old there. It was a new housing development in our little town. I didn't know until I was in Junior High School that it was located on "the wrong side of the tracks". Even when that piece of information was deposited Inside my mind, I didn't care. I loved my little house. There weren't many kiddos my age on my block, but I played my heart out on that little trike. I sort of resented the day I out grew it and had to go to a bicycle.

Our sidewalks were cut out for driveways so it made learning to ride on the sidewalk dangerous. My mom's solution to that was to learn how to ride the bike in the thick grass of the very large back yard. She and Dad bought me a bike that would be big enough to see me through High School and adulthood. Now, I wasn't but a few years older than I was in this picture and I have always had very short-legged. (Not a good thing when learning how to ride a really big bike.)

I was determined to learn to ride and I finally did it. My next favorite bike was the bicycle built for two that I bought at a garage sale. We still have it. I will take a picture of it soon. Terry put new seats on it and re-painted it. This picture makes me smile!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Grandma Made a Promise

Around February or March I had a conversation with our oldest granddaughter, Sierra. She had been drawing fashions in this little book that she received for Christmas. She is eight years old and loves to design clothes. In our telephone conversation, I said, "Why don't you draw up something and I will make it into a doll dress?"
She said, "I'll get it right to you."
Sierra, Maci, and I are pen pals. We write actual letters on stationery, attach stamps, and send them in the mail to one another. I save every little scrap they write to me and they love writing to one another.

One day, weeks ago, I had a letter from Sierra. In it was the drawing. She requested that it be made for a Barbie doll. She had specific items pictured. Some of them were gems on a headband and on a ruffle around the bottom of the straight skirt, a big collar with a bow and a heart. I had freedom to choose the colors used.

Well... have been sort of putting off making the Barbie dress because they are hard to make. I was thinking that I might make doll dresses for a rag doll the size of raggedy Ann. I did go to pinterest and find some patterns, then I printed them.

I got busy babysitting, having a monster cold, writing episodes of a book, going to craft shows, helping Terry move his mom, and...putting it off. Shhhhh we don't want her to know that part. Her daddy called to talk to me on Mother's Day. She asked to have a word with me. She said, "Happy Mother's Day, Grandma. I'm a little concerned about the doll clothes you said you would make for me."
I said, "Why are you concerned?" (I think I knew the answer.)
"It has taken quite a long time."
"I will get to it as soon as I finish the episode I am writing."
"Okay, Grandma."

After we hung up, I felt guilty...but not guilty enough to sew yet. I did finish the episode and knew I had to get crackin'. I looked all over for the drawing....Oh no! I couldn't find it! As I went to sleep I prayed that I would find it. "Secretary Desk"...It was almost audible.

The next morning I searched the secretary desk. I found it there.  I had errands to do and needed to see my sister for a bit, so I forgot the sewing project. I did take the drawing to her house to show her and my nephew what I was going to be working on.

Today...this afternoon, I went to my fabric stash in search of good fabric for this fashion. It took quite a long time to get it just right. I had to find the Barbie from my childhood days to be my body form for her doll. I got out the pattern that I printed off and it was too small.

I tried to enlarge it, but couldn't get it through my head how to make it work. I climbed on a chair to the top of a closet and found my old Barbie clothes. (Remember when we only had 2 Barbies and we changed their clothes all the time?) Anyway, there was one dress that was pretty beat up and that  knew fit really cute. I took it and carefully pulled it apart for a pattern.

I was in the middle of cutting everything out when Terry got home. He went to town to see his Mom and to get some Sub sandwiches for us. While he was gone, I sewed the little dress up. I hope Sierra sees that Grandma kept her promise even if it took me a long time. At least it didn't take 50 years like replacing the 20 mule team Borax model did for my brother. hee hee.

I know I have a strange look on my face, but look at the cute design my little designer came up with. I am going to send it to her this week and hopefully, she will love it, too.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Article in Liberal, KS Newspaper

More Than Just Beverages Shared at High Tea

  • provided by Central Christian Church for the Liberal, KS newspaper
The women of Central Christian Church and their guests were treated recently to more than delectable refreshments at their High Tea, but also to a wonderful, encouraging message from their guest speaker, Christian author, Elaine Littau.

Littau, author of 11 books, presented a message entitled, "Some Assembly Required" which reminded the audience that folks around us may feel like the person hurriedly assembling that toy under the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve only to find parts left over, with no clue where they belong. She encouraged those present to be aware of people who haven't quite found where they belong among us and help them to fit into the assembly.

As the wind and dust blew outside, Littau told the audience a bit about her latest book, "The Restless Kansas Wind", which is the forth book in her Rescued series. Her presentation was peppered with anecdotes of life with her husband, her sons and their spouses, and her grandchildren.

Once the group moved to the lower level for refreshments, the ladies had their choice of seating at one of eight beautifully decorated tables featuring china from members of the group. Each lady later told the story behind her china.

Delectable items to eat included fruit kabobs, mini cheesecakes, cucumber sandwiches, mini cupcakes, and cookies. A variety of teas and punch rounded out the fare.

Before the afternoon ended, the ladies had the opportunity to visit with Littau, as well as purchase her books.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Possessions Don't Make Up a Life

Terry and I are the youngest of our siblings in our families. We stayed close to home and near our parents through the years. Because we have lived close to them, we were always on the scene when our parents moved in their latter years. There were siblings who helped as well.

It has always caused me to ponder when going through the things we purchase in our day to day life as I sort through them and decide if an item is worthy of making the move to a new place. I have done this personally for myself in several moves, but because we were always moving from a smaller place to a larger one, I didn't have to down-size.

Moving parents is a much different experience. With my mom and Terry's, they moved from a place with lots of storage to a smaller place, then after a number of years, to the rest home. I remember how difficult it was to sort down to a one bedroom apartment for my mother from a 3 bedroom house. Then, to half a room in Senior Village. All the siblings came and took the things they had purchased for my parents. (furniture and nick-knacks) That took care of a lot of things. The items that were duplicates were put in a garage sale. Much of that sold. We went through the same type thing with Terry's mom this past week.

With our mothers, we had some similar challenges. There were many cards and pictures. We saved the pictures and the cards that had a handwritten message in them. There were many that were only signed. Because there were so many cards, we did throw those away unless they were really old or from someone in the family. Still, what to do with them???

Terry had made his folks a ceder chest when he was in high school. There were precious mementos in it along with some old pictures. We sorted them according to which sibling each item pertained to. When we see them next, or if we regain some energy, we will send them in the mail. Either way, they will find a home in the appropriate place.

Terry and I spent hours and hours going through all of Viola's things. I thought of how much love was put into some of the purchases and the work involved in the things they bought to maintain their home. Viola had to leave a lot of these things behind. She does have a few things in her room, but the bulk of her possessions were gone through and sorted.

People of her small town saw our pickup truck outside her house and came to inquire about Viola. The things that were said over and over were, "I'm really going to miss having her here. Her smile was the best. I'll have to go to Perryton to see her."

She will be 98 years old this summer. I wondered how it was that she didn't go 'under the radar' like so many of my elderly family members in the past. She remained current even though she didn't go out much into public for a year. One of her care-takers said that Viola had taught her a lot about love and life during their time together. (Maybe that is why Terry is such a good man. With a mother like that, he had to be.)

She has only been in the nursing home a week and the nurses and aids love her. They comment on her smile and great attitude. She has made friends and plays bingo. She takes her walker to her room at a pretty good clip for her age. She is upbeat and happy to see us every time we drop by to see her. I think what I have learned this week...again...is that possessions don't make up a life...the person living the life does. Viola Ruby is an inspiration. I'm just her daughter-in-law, but she has taught me to keep smiling, even when circumstances aren't exactly what I would prefer. I hope she is around as long as she is able to live without being in too much pain. I know I have more lessons to learn from her.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Part 2 Baxter Springs, Kansas Trip May 2014

October 2013 Terry and I went through Baxter Springs, Kansas on our way to Branson, MO and Backstrom, LA. While we were there our friends, the superintendents of the Bible College, Billy and Rhonda Waggoner, told us to be sure to come for the Reunion in May. This year the classes from 1954, 1964, 1974, 1984, 1994, 2004,  and 2014 were going to be featured at the alumni banquet. We decided to attend and we are glad we did.

 We stopped at the Trolley Car Bridge at the edge of Baxter Springs to see how it was holding up after all these years. It was one of our favorite places to spend time while we were dating.

I remember that one time there was a whole lot of rain. I would call it a flood, but I'm from the Texas panhandle and I don't really know about things like that. There were whirlpools under the bridge and the water was really high.

We are 40 years older than the kiddos who double-dated and walked this bridge.

We were on our way to the Alumni Banquet. Our 'partners in crime', Lynden and Starley Bensch were staying at the same hotel we were, so we rode together to the banquet.  On many of our dates in 1974 they were the second couple for our double date. Terry and Lynden have been friends since being in the church nursery as babies. Boy, did they have stories to tell.

 Lynden and Starley Bensch. The conversation flowed and laughter was plentiful. I laughed so hard with these guys that my stomach is still sore even today! These two could be comedians! (along with the hubs)

 Terry and Lynden had to climb up on the bridge for a pose also.

 Kathryn and Jack Cornell with Rhonda (Sanger) Waggoner at the banquet. The Cornells were the superintendents when we attended in 74.
 Sherri Cook was our piano teacher, music teacher, and choir pianist.   Alvin Buschman was in our class and is married to Lynden Bensch's sister.
 Do you remember Vicki and the Royalheirs? The man in black is Bill Patterson. He and his wife, Vicki founded the group. They were also ministers to the students at Panhandle State University for three years. Their ministry really made and impact on me when our youth group from Perryton went to meetings there and listened to the athletes give their testimonies.

 An impromptu quartet formed of Bill Patterson, Jack and Kathryn Cornell, and Ted Barker. Ted was the super the year before Terry and I attended.  It was fun to see him again, also.

This is an empty lot next to the dorms. It is also the location of the 'old home'. It has been removed for years.
 This is the building where we had the banquet. To us, it is new. I'm not sure how long it has been here, but it is super nice.
 This is the main building for the AFBC. There are classrooms and the kitchen/dining hall. They were very kind and invited us to eat lunch and breakfast with the students and our friends.

 This is one of the dorms. In 1974, this was dorm 1 for the girls.
The other building in the background was dorm 2. This Bible College changed my life. It was my only option in 1974 after graduating. Funds were low and I couldn't put my parents through trying to help me with tuition in a regular college.

AFBC has always been funded by faith contributions. At the time, I wasn't able to pay for my education there. I was still welcomed and loved. Friends of the school sent and still send offerings to support the school. This is where I met the love of my life. Terry has been the best thing that came out of this school for me. Other benefits have been the friendships as well as knowing there is a place like this on the earth where students are trained in the Word of God and teachers love their students and are a great example of the love of God.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Baxter Springs, Kansas May 2014 Part 1

Terry and I had the wonderful opportunity to attend our 40th class reunion in Baxter Springs, Kansas. We were students at the Apostolic Faith Bible College in 1974. At that time the term of the School was from late August through December 13. Some students came back for a second term. Terry and I met there and were engaged there. After we were home for awhile, we were married in Perryton, Texas where we have made our home.

I will post pictures of friends and the school next time I post. This time, I want to post some pictures and tell about how Baxter Springs is doing since the tornado hit a few short days ago.

 I know I took a lot of pictures. I haven't posted all of them on here because some of them were a lot of the same scene.

First, I do want to tell every one that the Bible College and the buildings belonging to them and the staff suffered no damage. None of the students or teachers were hurt. In fact, the storm in Baxter Springs yielded no deaths. We thank the Lord for that.

This is the main street as we came upon the damage.

Some businesses were spared and others wiped out. On further down the road, the Pizza Hut and Sonic Drive In were unharmed.

Terry and I were speechless as we drove down the main street.  I have never been up close and personal to anything like this. People were really busy and collecting debris into piles for pick up.

A closer look of the previous picture.

Isn't this something? Wow!

 There had been a convenience store located behind those gas pumps . Actually, there was very little of that store left.

Lots of empty lots. One thing that was interesting was the businesses and houses that were not touched even though the building next to it was gone. 

Our friends at the Bible College said that this truck was one of the first to show up. This trailer was loaded with equipment and tools for volunteers to use to help clean things up. This is the ministry of the Billy Graham Association. Franklin Graham started this ministry up. Samaritan's Purse is more than the little shoe boxes filled each Christmas for children. This ministry is a big deal that meets needs all over the world.

Some of the teachers at the Bible School live a block away from a string of houses that were demolished. This is way too close for comfort. Please join me in prayer for those who lost so much.

This could be a street in any town in the world.

This is the main street area that didn't suffer damage.

These trucks were running all over the place...loading and unloading.

This is a tent for the volunteers. It looked like food was being prepared for them and other activity. We didn't go inside to ask the particulars. A group of the Bible College students volunteered and helped as much as possible.
This in an apartment. See the refrigerator?

These last few photos are of one of the residential areas of town.

Terry and I were afraid that the reunion would be cancelled, that the hotel would be gone or not able to honor our reservations, or many other things. The people were busy. They were moving on with life as much as they could. The reunion was wonderful. We enjoyed our stay in the hotel. The people in the Walmart store where we picked up some Zquil for me, were upbeat and helpful.

Baxter Springs, Kansas will always be a special place in my heart. I know that the people will put this behind them and with the Lord's help, go about with their lives.

Next post will be about the reunion and the wonderful people who have influenced my life so positively.