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 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.

Monday, May 5, 2014

2014 Guymon, Oklahoma Pioneer Days Craft Show

 The Pioneer Days 2014 Craft Show was a lot of fun. The main thing was that Terry was off and able to be with me both days. After the show ended we went to eat at Cactus Jacks and then watched the movie, "Heaven is for Real". We had a wonderful time.

The first day, after the parade, we met the queen of the parade. She was 99 and would turn 100 this summer. She was dressed in a long purple satin pioneer dress. Listen, this lady wasn't even using a cane. She was super funny and had a great sense of humor. Her 'little brother' came from Canon, CO. to support her as queen. She was such a sweet lady and her brother was also as healthy as can be. I didn't have my camera with me to get her picture.

Another very special thing happened for me. Many of the readers of my books came to round out their collections. They wanted to be sure they have all 11 of them. (I'm writing book 12.) Two really nice ladies stopped by to make sure I would be at the show on Sunday so that their mother could see me on Sunday afternoon. They had purchased the first 3 books when that was all I had published. Since then, their mother had ordered each book as it was released through the mail.

This is a picture I had to have. She did come to visit with me and be certain that I hadn't released "Restored" yet. (Restored is available in the first 3 segments/episodes via e-book and it will become a completed novel and be released as soon as it is finished. )

 This is Helen Baker. She is super sweet and fun to talk with. I'm glad she allowed me to have a picture with her. She told me to keep writing. It was really interesting that I was sitting in my booth wondering what on earth I am doing by writing these books. Helen and her daughters encouraged me and another lady came by and told me that I must not stop writing. The Lord knew I needed this at this time. Thank you so much!

Terry was wearing this bright blue shirt and things were a little slow so I looked at him and noticed that his eyes were the color of blue that his shirt is. I made him take his glasses off and let me take a picture of him. What a handsome husband! 
He didn't want me to take this picture. lol. It was so good to be able to show "Six Miles from Nashville" to the people of  Guymon because that is where the story of Debbie Williams began. It was a really nice weekend.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Part 3 of Almost 7 years of Publising

This is a non-professional 'selfie' I took this past winter.  Not the best, but it works for this part of my story. I am still writing! I can hardly believe it. Right now I am half-way through book 12.

I decided to add writing contemporary Christian fiction.

This book wasn't particularly going to become the first book of a series, but things changed as I came to the end of it. When I told my sons I was going to write a modern book, they asked me what the time frame of this book was set. I told them 1974. They laughed and told me that was not modern. hmmmm.

The second book in the series is 'Christmas in Nashville'. I thought it would be good to write a book that took on the characteristics of a Christmas movie.

Right now I am writing book #12. It will be released as a novel when it is completed. As I write it, I have been releasing 'episodes' every 10,000 words in e-book format.