Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Not a Weather Blog, But . . .

I don't intend for this to turn into a daily weather report, but the craziness continues and it's fun to share the madness with all of my friends from all over the world. "Springtime in the Rockies" is a musical from the 1940s, which I am quite sure I've never seen. But do you remember the song, "When it's springtime in the Rockies, I'll be coming back to you"? That's all I remember of the song, but I always think of it when the goofiness arrives in the spring here.

It's April Fool's Day and they say we're going to get 2-6 more inches, at least in the Denver area. We'll see. Maybe the joke will be on the forecasters. But yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day, albeit breezy enough that it wasn't pleasant to be out there.

I did see some sights that I want to share. The sun shining on the lake was creating sparkling diamonds on the water. If you double click the first picture, you can see some ducks on the water.

The seagulls have found an interesting place to gather - must be having a meeting. They spend a lot of time during the winter on this concrete eyesore - which I keep meaning to call the City and ask what in the world it is, in the middle of our beautiful lake.

I love how the trees frame them.

Back in my yard - the grass is so green now that the snow has melted and watered it. DC must have put fertilizer on just at the right time in the fall.

And the tulips are once again reaching for the sky.

Remember when I've written before about Peru? Our church has sent teams to Peru three times for building projects. The last two times were to Arequipa to build a district center, to be used for educating pastors and other important gatherings. Last summer, when the team came back home, it was with the resolve to complete the project by sending money to the Peruvians, who can get the work done much more economically if they have the funds and the materials.

Imagine our surprise when suddenly Arequipa, Peru became the centerpiece for a huge new project for our denomination. Much of the recruitment for the young people who are taking on the challenge of starting 120 churches in unreached cities and villages in the southern part of Peru is happening with the help of a rolling demonstration of the dream.

This truck came to our church Sunday night and we had a great time of fellowship as we took turns going through the display and hearing about what is going on down there. The young man's picture on the right is our pastor's son - the one who went to Peru as a volunteer missionary several years ago, married a Peruvian girl - they are now missionaries in Argentina and have two beautiful little girls.

If you have 3 minutes to spare, watch this video presentation of the exciting project.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Random Shots Around Here

Strange as it may seem, we're thankful for every single flake that fell all day Thursday - ending up to be 9+ inches here in our town - officially, at least. It looks like more than that to me on these pictures of our picnic site from four days earlier.

But it doesn't take long for it to begin melting into the parched ground once it stops snowing and the temperature goes into the 40s.

The tulips keep pushing their way up.

I have to feel sorry for those which had already bloomed.

Little Miss Kate is taking after Grandma - Chocoholic-in-Training??

Her latest skill is standing alone. Can walking be far behind??

While her sister is working on walking, Miss Emma is more interested in talking. And another less desirable trick!

The big girls were engrossed in the t.v., wearing their adorable hats made for them by Barb. They spent several hours outside today making snowmen and forts, and lobbing snowballs at their cousins, aunt, uncle, and mom. They should sleep well tonight!

But before heading for bed, they let off yet more steam for Grandma. Too bad my camera isn't a bit faster. But you get the idea.

Have a blessed Sunday!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thursday Trivia

This is last Sunday - lunch on the patio. The day before, the big girls and their cousins were running around in the sprinkler and sunning themselves on the lawn.Remove Formatting from selection

The dirt here in the flower bed is so dry.

This is today - Thursday. DC just called to say that his employer is sending them home in a few minutes. School has been dismissed. It's very slick on the streets. As Care Bear said this morning, "Well, that's Colorado!" And it's so true. And I have to say I haven't heard too much complaining, since we're all so concerned about the lack of snow we've had this winter. So here it is - the crazy storm we've been expecting, and somewhat hoping for. Maybe rain would be nicer for spring, but we take what we can get!

This happened in Denver recently:

"A parrot whose cries of alarm alerted his owner when a little girl choked on her breakfast has been honored as a hero.

Willie, a Quaker parrot, has been given the local Red Cross chapter's Animal Lifesafer Award.

In November, Willie's owner, Megan Howard, was babysitting a toddler. Howard left the room and the little girl, Hannah, started to choke on breakfast.

Willie repeatedly yelled 'Mama, baby' and flapped his wings, and Howard returned in time to find the girl already turning blue.

Howard saved Hannah by performing the Heimlich maneuver but said Willie 'is the real hero.'

Willie got his award during a 'Breakfast of Champions' event Friday attended by Governor Bill Ritter and Mayor John Hickenlooper."

Earlier this week when I went to visit A Hint of Home, I found this tribute to Paul Harvey, who recently died at the age of 90 after 58 years of amazing, winsome, wise broadcasting.

I copied this piece from her site:

If I Were the Devil by Paul Harvey© 1999 WorldNetDaily.com

If I were the devil...

I would gain control of the most powerful nation in the world;

I would delude their minds into thinking that they had come from man's effort, instead of God's blessings;

I would promote an attitude of loving things and using people, instead of the other way around;

I would dupe entire states into relying on gambling for their state revenue;

I would convince people that character is not an issue when it comes to leadership;

I would make it legal to take the life of unborn babies;

I would make it socially acceptable to take one's own life, and invent machines to make it convenient;

I would cheapen human life as much as possible so that the life of animals are valued more than human beings;

I would take God out of the schools, where even the mention of His name was grounds for a lawsuit;

I would come up with drugs that sedate the mind and target the young, and I would get sports heroes to advertise them;

I would get control of the media, so that every night I could pollute the mind of every family member for my agenda;

I would attack the family, the backbone of any nation.

I would make divorce acceptable and easy, even fashionable. If the family crumbles, so does the nation;

I would compel people to express their most depraved fantasies on canvas and movie screens, and I would call it art;

I would convince the world that people are born homosexuals, and that their lifestyles should be accepted and marveled;

I would convince the people that right and wrong are determined by a few who call themselves authorities and refer to their agenda as politically correct;

I would persuade people that the church is irrelevant and out of date, and the Bible is for the naive;

I would dull the minds of Christians, and make them believe that prayer is not important, and that faithfulness and obedience are optional;

I guess I would leave things pretty much the way they are.

I haven't had a chance to listen to him much in recent years, but this is my favorite piece - I hear it every Christmas on our Christian radio station - they play it often in the days leading up to Christmas. You can listen to it here, or read it below.


As read on the radio

Unable to trace its proper parentage, I have designated this as my Christmas story of “The Man and the Birds.” You know the Christmas story, the God born a man in a manger, and all that escapes some moderns—mostly, I think, because they seek complex answers to their questions, and this one’s so utterly simple. So for the cynics and the skeptics and the unconvinced, I submit a modern parable:

Now, the man to whom I’m going to introduce you was not a Scrooge; he was a kind, descent, mostly good man, generous to his family, upright in his dealings with other men. But he just didn’t believe all that incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmastime. It just didn’t make sense, and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn’t swallow the Jesus story about God coming to earth as a man. “I’m truly sorry to distress you,” he told his wife, “but I’m not going with you to church this Christmas Eve.” He said he’d feel like a hypocrite, that he’d much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. And so he stayed, and they went to the midnight service.

Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier, and then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound, then another, and then another, sort of a thump or a thud. At first he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window; but when he went to the front door to investigate, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They’d been caught in the storm, and in a desperate search for shelter had tried to fly through his large landscape window. Well, he couldn’t let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, so he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter, if he could direct the birds to it.

Quickly he put on a coat, galoshes, tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light, but the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in, so he hurried back to the house, fetched breadcrumbs, sprinkled them on the snow, making a trail to the yellow-lighted, wide-opened doorway of the stable. But to his dismay the birds ignored the breadcrumbs and continued to flop around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them; he tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms. Instead, they scattered in every direction, except into the warm, lighted barn. And then he realized that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I could think of some way to let them know that they can trust me, that I’m not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But how? Because any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow; they would not be led or shooed, because they feared him.

If only I could be a bird, he thought to himself, and mingle with them and speak their language! Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to the safe, warm . . to the safe warm barn . . . but I would have to be one of them, so they could see and hear and understand. At that moment, the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sound of the wind, and he stood there listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas . . . And he sank to his knees in the snow.

And sadly, now there will be no more "Rest of the Story."

Have a great day wherever you are, as we feel like Christmas in Colorado!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Just a Quick Update

It's a cold and blustery March day here at my house - snow is raging north of us in Wyoming, and west of us in the mountains, but not a drop of rain or snow has hit our parched ground here in our neck of the woods. In fact, the wind is taking away the moisture that we've put there ourselves - vanity, vanity, all is vanity, as Solomon would say (can you tell I'm studying Ecclesiastes??)

I just wanted to share the last two t.v. news pieces about David's amazing feat (see previous post if you don't know what I'm talking about!) Last I heard, the pledges and cash had risen above $26,000. He plans to do this every year, no matter where he's stationed or whatever he's doing.

I have to say I shed a few tears as I heard the one gentleman say he set his alarm and came out at 3:00 AM when he heard that David predicted that would be the hardest time for him. Randy, my brother, who you will see being interviewed, said this,

We had never met or heard of the guy before. He and his wife were there at the start, left and returned at 3:00 am with hot coffee, fresh fruit, sandwiches, OJ, choc milk... (note - chocolate milk is David's favorite thing to consume in prep for his runs - this was covered on a previous news clip and this guy picked up on it - so neat).
When they left later that morning, they asked Carol what they could bring in the afternoon. Carol asked for a Canadian bacon Domino's pizza. They showed up around 3:00 pm with 15 Domino's pizzas! And there are so many other stories. The event brought out the goodness in so many hundreds of people."

I hope you enjoy these:



Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring is Springing - and Snow is Coming - Maybe??

It is officially spring and I love watching the colorful offerings of our Creator. It is supposed to be one of those perfect early spring days - we're watering because we haven't had much moisture this winter. That is supposed to change this next week, but we'll see! As soon as the sun is fully on the patio, I am going to go out and clean up all of the baby equipment - car seats, bases, stroller - fun times!

It was spring break this week - for everyone except Kristen and her cyber classmates - their professors continued to pour on the assignments. Not fair! So I had the girlies - all 4 - more than she or I expected.

Care Bear, first grader, is quite the artist and writer. She writes a book about every other day. In fact, she wrote one for St. Patrick's Day which her teacher read to the class. This day she was really in the Easter mood. My neighbor is de-cluttering (and, believe me, she has a lot of clutter - she hoardes and is now de-hoarding) and brought me 4 bunnies she'd acquired years ago whose price tags had never been removed. Just enough for the 4 girls. Care Bear found them before I planned to give them, but I'm glad she did, because it kept them occupied all afternoon. She spent the afternoon creating an original Easter basket, complete with directions.

Then she began writing a book - here is my favorite page.

I ordered tickets for Kristen and the two bigger ones to go to Disney on Ice Thursday night. I decided to keep the babes instead of going with them so that they could probably enjoy it more. The twins went to sleep at 7:30 and slept 12 hours. And Kristen and the big girls got to sleep in until 8:30 the next morning. Good for everyone. There is nothing more fun to me than seeing their smiling faces first thing in the morning.

DC is on his way up to the mountains above Denver where he and the other three members of his long-running quartet will record the next 3 songs on their first and most likely only CD. These guys have sung together for 25 years and have many favorite songs. They sing mostly southern gospel, but are often asked to sing at the funerals of the wonderful saints of our church. It's hard on DC to do that, but I understand why their families honor their desires for these churchmen to sing. We are really excited to hear the end result, which will have 10 of their favorites. I now totally understand why CDs cost so much - the amount of work that goes into producing one is incredible.

Today is a very special day for one of my nephews, David. He is a cadet in his junior year at West Point. David began planning his career at West Point and beyond when he was in 7th grade. He is an amazing young man.

David is an extreme runner - meaning that his running career has expanded from doing it for exercise in his neighborhood to coming up here to run the Bolder Boulder every Memorial Day, to marathons, to 50 mile runs in Central Park, to a 100 mile run while he was home for Christmas in Oklahoma. I thought of David when I read this quote in Rick Warren's devotional one day this week:

"In the film Chariots of Fire, Olympic runner Eric Liddell says, 'I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast, and when I run, I feel God's pleasure." Later he says, 'To give up running would be to hold him in contempt.'

There are no unspiritual abilities, just misused ones. Start using yours for God's pleasure."

David has become involved in the Wounded Warrior Project. He has such a heart for soldiers who are coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan with life-changing injuries. Today's challenge began as a dream back during Christmas break when he ran that 100 miles, and is being carried out today.

The event itself actually began yesterday afternoon at 5:00 and will end today at 5:00. He is running around his high school track in Yukon, Oklahoma for 24 hours, which he computed to be 135 miles. David's story has been featured in newspaper, on radio, and on t.v. in the last two weeks or so. Here are two videos from Channel 9 in Oklahoma City - very short and informative. I have to say I had tears in my eyes as I watched them. Please go
here and here to see what is going on. His goal was $10,000, but last I heard from my brother, it has exceeded $19,000 as of 1:00 this morning.

I wish I could be there and walk a few laps with him. I am a very proud aunt.

UPDATE: David is on his way back to New York and West Point, to begin classes again tomorrow morning. He is, of course, very tired. He ran 107 miles in the 24 hours, after having a rough time early yesterday morning. But he persevered and finished the course. The amount raised has risen to $25,000.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

We're Not in Kansas Any More

We flew into the KCMO airport, but went to the Kansas side of the river for the week-end. Our friend was our pastor's wife for 9 years and has been gone from us for 9 years. We had a great, delightful, relaxing week-end full of conversation and food - what could be better??

I was planning to take some pictures, but that didn't happen too much, so I will paint some word pictures.

I don't like sitting in the middle seat, but did both ways. I will say that Frontier's seats are not as tightly together as United's. So that was good. The flight there was less than half full, so we could have spread out, but for some reason we stayed put. My sis and I live 4 miles apart, but seldom have quality time to visit, so we did a lot of that on the flight. I hope the lady by the window didn't mind.

Carol has 4 daughters and 12 grandchildren. We had the fun of seeing all of these "girls," who had been a part of our lives. Seeing the grands was grand.

Sitting around various tables while we ate and chatted, sitting in the living room and chatting, driving down the street and chatting, visiting with the girls and chatting - getting the picture? The photos would have been quite boring!

We went to their very large church and really enjoyed Sunday school and worship. Monday we went to visit our denomination's new headquarters building - named Global Ministry Center. They recently moved the operation of our very international church from three crowded old buildings in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, to this wonderful facility in the plains of Kansas. I was impressed with the way they are using every inch effectively, nothing is ornate but very tastefully done, and the technology is fantastic - they are able to do video-conferencing with missionaries and national leaders anywhere in the world.

We saw several people who were part of the mission team on my trip to Brazil a few years ago, another former pastor's wife, and an attorney that used to go to our church and now works for the denomination. It was great fun.

It's funny. As I was thinking about leaving on this trip, I recalled that most of my prior trips to the Kansas City area have been quite traumatic.

  1. My first flight ever was to KC from my college in Oklahoma. I flew there for the quadrennial general convention. Leaving KC for Omaha for the rest of the summer, I was stuck on the runway for a long wait, totally fogged in. I remember it clearly, though it was 40 years ago - YIKES!

  2. When I was in college, my sister, brother, and I would get home by any means possible, since we didn't have a car until the last year. One Christmas we were traveling with an acquaintance who was headed our way. As happened more than I like to remember, it snowed heavily that day. We had to take a detour into KC that year to visit his uncle. Not a good idea, and I wasn't happy about it, but when you're begging a ride home, you go where the driver takes you. We got stuck there overnight because of snow. We all ended up sleeping on the floors of his uncle's house (because we always packed the car as full of people as possible to save gas expenses and to get everyone home). We didn't get home until the middle of the afternoon of Christmas Eve day. But at least we were safely there - eventually.

  3. I went to KC a few years later to visit a couple of friends - I was single and headed down there by myself in my little green Mustang. I was not intimidated by traveling alone in those days. Maybe I should have been. I must have taken a wrong turn off the Interstate, because suddenly I had no idea where I was. It was dark, late, and in a not-so-nice part of town. I saw a phone booth, so pulled over into this deserted parking lot to make a call to my friend for directions - with the phone booth out in plain sight, with no booth. YIKES! I quickly discovered that the receiver had been jerked from the box, rendering the phone totally useless. DOUBLE YIKES!! By this time I was, indeed, nervous and frightened. I sent up one of those quick prayers and headed down the road. Soon I saw what appeared to be a convenience store, so I pulled off, very relieved. When I got inside looking for a phone, I discovered, to my amazement, that it was a converted convenience store - now a police station! Amazing, and miraculous. The nice officers directed me to where I needed to go and it was very close by. Soon I was safely with my friends for the night.

  4. Fast forward quite a few years. We went to visit Kristen while she was in college. I forgot some of my clothes hanging on the door at home. I had to head to Wal-Mart for a couple of things to wear.

  5. Then there was the time that Kristen and I had to fly to KC at the end of January to pick up her car and her things and drive back to Colorado. It was a late evening flight and we sat in the waiting area wondering why we weren't boarding. Turns out that there were so many sick attendants that month that there wasn't a crew for our flight. They literally were meeting crews at planes as they came in and asked if anyone had any available hours left to work. Finally around 11:00 we took off, arriving in KC around 1:00 a.m. We went into a "game room" and tried to sleep, using our backpacks as pillows. The games gurgled and burbled all night. The automated announcement about watching out for your baggage kept on all night. It was horrible. Finally 6:00 came and we were able to get on the shuttle to go get her car, a tiny Geo Metro, load it with all her stuff, and head back to Colorado around 11:00 a.m. I made the remark that we'd better not have a flat, or we were in trouble getting the spare "donut" out of the back.

    The worst happened - we both dozed off as Kristen was driving and we ended up bouncing through the ditch through the dried weeds. When we finally stopped, one of the tires was totally shredded. I headed up to the roadside to try to flag down some help. Eventually, a car stopped and a truck with a trailer came across the median from the other side. The truck pulled us out with a winch, and the car led us to the next town to get a new tire, after helping us unload and reload that tiny car. The man in the car offered to buy the tire. What a blessing as we realized that both vehicles had "Jesus" bumper stickers on the back. We felt without a doubt that we had been ministered to by angels.
So - Kansas City and I have quite the history. This week-end was the best.

Kristen finally had a chance to do a catch-up post at Smoke-Free Mama - check it out, if you have a minute!