Friday, April 30, 2010

What happens in the backyard stays in the back yard, except when your mom is a blogger

Silas and Cody are at ball practice tonight. Season starts tomorrow, I am packing a ballgame tote tonight. Candy, blankets, sunscreen, camera, chairs- I LOVE baseball! More on that tomorrow. But a rare occurrence happened and so I grabbed my camera. Cady took Charis out to the trampoline to jump. They were screaming "we are family" and playing so well that I decided to practice with the camera and see what I could capture. This...

Charis wanted me to take a picture of this....

She's pretty limber.

And talented. And funny. She's downright hilarious actually. I moved on to practicing on my budding iris'.

Then Charis got off the trampoline and was talking.She talks a lot, I wasn't really comprehending until she said, "I pee in the grass".

At ball practice the last few weeks there has been no bathroom around and on occasion when she's said she had to go we have tried to get her to go behind a bush. Silas loved peeing in the grass. He even did it in front of the school in PreK. Cady never mastered the act. We felt sure Charis wouldn't either. But tonight she decided to go in the grass. So before I could discourage it she dropped her pants and proceeded. And I just happen to have camera in hand!!

the funniest thing is that she fell! in the dirt, in her puddle....

But it didn't deter her, she continued on.

And actually did ok, not getting soaked in the process. By the time I got close she was done.

The end.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

LIFE shots with the new camera

I am current trying to find 60 pictures I took this morning of Charis.

I am computer dumb.

One reason may be that none of my equipment is compatible. As I get new I am finding it isn't compatible with the old. But that's life isn't it.

And this post is all about life. As in the game.

I am still reading up on how to operate the new camera but am already finding uses, I mean excuses to use it. Like this colorful old childhood game I introduced my kids to a couple of weeks ago.

Here we go, us in our little cars. I loved this game as a kid.

Hot dog it's pay day!  I used to play this game for the children. I loved filling my car with pretend kiddos. Now I play for the money.

Cady got twin boys. Both Cady and Silas love trying to see who'll have the most children. They can't understand why I'm not upset if I don't have a car load of kids at the end.
They'll even cheat to get more. It's crazy. Cady won with 5 tonight.

The day of reckoning. Ominous.

All games end sometime. (except Monopoly) And the only thing certain in life is that ours will end too. Don't know about you but I know in whom I believe and can't wait to be with him.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Show Choir

Whatever problems "the ex" flame had caused in my deeply insecure heart -by the first of May we were over them. Not that we talked about them. Lord forbid Cody get the impression I was insecure, jealous or "needy". I just saw enough evidence that settled the quaking ground beneath my feet. Little by little I was learning to trust. Though this would be an on going struggle- me and trust- that is. But I'd been raised to look to my creator for help. I'd realized I had put my relationship with Cody above my relationship with God- I had an idol. And that's what happens when you depend on earthy things and look to people to satisfy you- they fall short and you're left on shifting sand.

Graduation was nearing and I was getting a little emotional.

I am a third child. Not the oldest, not the youngest.

This has disadvantages- less baby pictures, new clothes are rare, forget about a new car at 16, less involved parental activity (that one could be an advantage).

And then there are the advantages- less discipline (from 2 ways-they are tired of spanking children by this point and you learn from watching the others get disciplined resulting in less need for it), everyone raises you, you have an account of your unrememberable childhood from your older siblings, you have a pretty laid back personality because there's less pressure on you and less emotion when you do things (my parents had graduated 2 kids before).

So it wasn't bawling hysterically emotion.It was more ....resign, an unavoidable change, melancholy. My mom and I both felt it. My Dad- who knows, I was trying to read Cody's mind not dad's. I was not good at either.

Mother's day came and went with special events and gifts that year. But my mom was my mom and I hadn't had children yet so I had no appreciation really. And my mother still flickered the lights on the porch when she thought we'd "said goodbye" long enough. We could really drag it out. We had much to talk (cough, kiss) about.

Before graduation there would be several lasts. Many activities, MANY activities. One was my last show choir performance. I am writing in 201o and have heard no less than 10 reviews for the new show, Glee in just the last week. This show is based on a show choir. I can't believe I haven't watched it. I will put that on my to do list.

Show Choir may have singlehandedly kept me in school. Not that anyone would've let me quit but I sure would've wanted to had I not made show choir.

We moved from Raleigh, NC. The high school my brothers graduated from (Millbrook) graduated 500 kids every year. And there no less than 10 high schools all over the city. You were a number. When I moved to Duncan everyone knew everyone, they'd gone to school together FOREVER. When I'd go to school each fall I'd be lucky to know one person from a previous year. I am in no way complaining, I never stayed in one school longer than 3 years and I am very thankful for each experience. I am very glad I got to be in a large school system and in several elementary schools and East Millbrook Middle School (please comment if you know of EMMS it will make my day!) We even homeschooled 3 years.

Duncan was different not just because they all new each other but because they had high school sororities called "clubs" . They rush after your freshman year. Guess when I started school- middle of my sophomore year. It was not only different but it was over, I'd missed it.

I had a decision to make when I went back to public school- what elective to take. I had started out in band in middle school and had continued playing the clarinet. There was softball, track, art, home ec and of course ag. I had no idea what "ag" was. None. Those people coming from "ag" were very mysterious to me. I almost signed up just to see what that was about. I had honestly never heard of agriculture as an elective, sport, or interest. People farm? Today? Excuse my ignorant city mind. My mother and father grew up on NC tobacco/cotten farms but I was not. I went to piano and voice lessons. My good friend Mandy was in choir so I chose choir. Plain and simple. Same reason I chose band in 6th grade- my friend Becky did and I wanted in.

So after a semester at Duncan High School I was really ready to quit, send me home. Mr. Zinn held auditions for show choir. All I knew was they sang, danced and wore purple dresses. And everyone looked up to them. Reflections was the choir to make in the vocal department. I tried out, why not? Mandy was in there. I remember Mr. Zinn, God rest that good man's soul, bringing me and 2 other girls in to a practice room. I didn't know what was going on but I think he had 2 spots, 3 girls and a big decision to make. But when the list came up by the end of the week I was on it. God knew how much I needed it even when I didn't.

Show Choir was fun, 2 of my favorite things -singing and dance (but you remembered that didn't you :) Show Choir was a place where I belonged. I had a purpose there, I had an identity. I loved all those people and we had so much fun. We even got new red dresses that year!! We traveled to Winter Park, Co and had outings around Duncan and contests. We had this amazing song we sang each time we performed, "May all our alleluias, when spoken and heard be heart felt praise...." Belonging. It's so needed in teenagers life.

That's me second from the left.

I couldn't wait for Cody to see what all we did. We were working on R-E-S-P-E-C-T. and making sequence dresses. I had a solo. There was the senior slide show, awards, and "Just put some love in your heart" . Not to mention it was the end, my last one (I hadn't decided to study music in college).And Cody refused to go. He couldn't stand musicals nor show choir and told me he would not be attending.

What the ?????????

This meant the world to me and he didn't want to come. To say I was heart broken was an understatement. Every one I loved loved music, loved the arts and would have definitely been there. At the spring concert my junior year I had three guys there to see me. True story.

I had dated a band guy from Duncan once or twice after getting together at my junior prom and I also had met a freshman at OU (music major) through a mutual friend and we'd also dated once or twice. They both came that night. Then my ex-boyfriend (the one Joe reprimanded me on) showed up too. He missed me, he really could care less about music:) And after the show , there on the steps of Duncan Auditorium at one point all three were there-around me-at once. Boy was it a little awkward. None of them knew each other or the dates I'd had with all of them.

And this guy who I was willing to ditch previous college plans and my senior prom for didn't want to come to my last musical performance. While I'd like to say he had to work, he didn't. He just didn't like show choir (gasp). This was a deal breaker. How could I spend the rest of my life with a man who missed my last show choir performance? Of course I didn't say anything. I was trying to outdo the old flame who'd been coming around. I just went and sang my heart out and even was presented with this......

And my new best friend wasn't there to see me.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Minister's Wife?

I love storms. I go out to watch them when the sirens go off. I love the energy, the lights, the quick change in temperature. I love springtime in Oklahoma. I love the wild flowers on the prairie and the green winter wheat fields.

We'd had an unusual amount of tornadoes that week in April along with the other tragedies. As if life wasn't uncertain enough, God had to let the winds loose. Tragedy is a lot like storm clouds. Sometimes it comes quickly, sometimes the clouds cover the whole sky for days on end. But the sun is still there on the other side waiting. Just like God, there even when we refuse to believe and can't see.

I found much comfort and solace in Cody's arms that week. Life could pack a punch. But I was fully convinced Cody could take it on. He was strong and resolved. I had found a place resting on his chest listening to the beat of his heart and it felt like home.

And I was convinced, except for the preacher's wife part, I wanted to be with him till I died. Well sorta, it seemed like a good idea.

That last year in high school I somehow got asked to play piano at the Wilkins Nursing Home on Sunday morning. I have a feeling it had to do with an old man named Joe Schwartz. Joe was about the first person I met coming off the moving van from North Carolina. He took to me. Thank God he did. Joe and God kept me from a lot of teenage foolishness. Joe would pray for me like his own child. I was an assignment. God assigned me to Joe. One time we were in Mexico on a mission trip and I'd broken up with a guy I'd been dating but it was an on again/off again relationship. Joe confronted me on it. He asked if God had told me to end the relationship. I said yes. He said, "Why in the world are you messing around with him then?" I had no answer. And when I got home I called it quits for good. I was just wasting time. I dated some more here and there then 10 months later I am watching tornadoes form outside with Cody. Had I not obeyed God's voice I would've been tied up, confused, and so distracted when Cody came by that day in November. My dad used to say, "it only takes one". I didn't 100 guys, I just needed one. One that loved the Lord first.

So I'd go and play hymns on Sunday morning at the nursing home. Joe would bring the lesson or Cotton Rodgers. I learned a lot from those "old" men. Cotten and his wife, Beaulah were precious. He passed away not long after that year. He'd preached the gospel his whole life. His wife was happy. They still held hands and went everywhere together. Could that be Cody and me one day?

Then there was this African American couple in their 90's. They'd been married over 70 years. They wheeled around their wheelchairs together. He was a preacher too. He loved to sing, "I'll fly away". I played it every week for him.

Two couples. Love that had lasted years. Serving beside each other. Maybe I could do this. Maybe this is my destiny.

I really didn't think that much about it. I just loved Cody, he loved the Lord, surely we'd be ok. Sign me up, I guess.

I remembered my dad announcing to our church that Cody had felt called to full time ministry about a year before. Then he "shared" some at our Wednesday night youth group meetings. Someone asked him to teach at the nursing home. So he came.

We were already dating when he started coming. Maybe he wanted to check out my piano playing abilities. That is a prerequisite for being a pastor's wife you know. Or maybe he just wanted to be near me. He worked a lot and was at college during the week. Sundays and Wednesdays were all we had. Whatever the reason I loved seeing him up there teaching as the elderly slowly nodded off to sleep. Couple of times he preached at the Alzheimer' unit. One of the patients came right up to him merely inches away from his face as he expounded on the book of John.

On mother's day that year dad asked Cody to preach on a Sunday night. He spoke of his mom, grandmothers, and Jesus' mom. He read from the book of Hebrews, chapter 2 verse 9 and John 3:16 (always a good one to throw in there).

It was an awesome night, we prayed together. I had bought a book for us to go through. "Soul Mates" .
I wasn't pushy, no, not at all. "I" just wanted to lead us in the right direction. Cody never participated willingly in my little devotions. I was quite put out by his unwillingness to be my "Soul Mate". A much better read would've been "Wild at Heart" by John Eldridge. So I failed at "taming" him. It was a sweet surrender in the end. He leads quite well on his own. We are both works in progress.

See there he is on the cover running from my soul mates book.

So I was making my plans and began to think of the future with Cody. Little did I realize I had begun slipping little by little- giving him more and more of my heart. So when an old flame walked through the doors one day we had a little earth quake. I'm sure the Meers, Ok seismograph didn't pick this one up but the ground beneath me began to shake. And I absolutely hated it. I hated that one girl could make me feel so insecure. I hated that I'd let myself get so dependent that I couldn't see another option if Cody all of a sudden walked out of my life. Insecurity does crazy things to a woman's mind. And we had conflict. I grew up with brothers, loved hanging out with guy friends but I had no clue how to determine how a man thought. Could he really be pulled away from me by her? Funny I don't even remember who it was, but I remember how alone I suddenly felt. Maybe we weren't as "certain" as I'd thought. Maybe no relationship is certain. So where did that put me? I'd given up going back east for school, I'd given up my senior prom (he was NOT going back to a high school prom and I wasn't going without him) and I'd given him my heart. That was the scariest of all.....

Sunday, April 25, 2010


I am forever grateful for second chances. Third, Fourth and Fifth ones too.

This picture was taken back at Christmas but this post is about that guitar looking tote. It's about God and me and second chances.

Today I carried that guitar case to my church.

And my fingers look like this. (I love teaching beginning guitar. I know when they are practicing by simply feeling or looking at their fingers.)

Because I've been doing this the last 2 days.

While we are taking pictures of fingers, this is my messed up thumb.

I just thought you needed to see it.

My brother slammed the bathroom door on it when I was between 3-7. I don't even remember it happening. I just know that one of my thumb nails is messed up.

It makes me, me. It reminds me of my brother and Eagleton Circle where we lived and simpler times.

And while we are talking about guitars let me share this...

and this....

BEAUTIFUL isn't it?

It was a gift. From a good friend, it's been a huge blessing. It reminds me that while I may make my plans, God is working out my destiny day by day, song by song, student by student. Proverbs 16:9

At times in my life I've really wanted to perform. Currently I want to write a book. On occasion I've tried to chart my own course but God keeps providing for me in teaching others to worship and praise Him via music. So I keep trusting him that though I'm dazed, confused and overwhelmed (just on occasion) that this is where he's working and where my anointing lies.

Several years ago God rejected me as a worship leader. My own pride had set in, taken over and become something that needed to go. It was the hardest year. I remember at the time being so broken, so hurt and yet so thankful. Thankful that I was his child and he was helping me even though it hurt.

I wondered if I'd ever get the chance to lead music again. I bet Peter thought the same thing after he denied Christ.

A year later I led worship again for the first time in a small church near Ivanhoe, TX. And we sang, "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere". I was glad the Lord disciplines to restore not condemn forever.

The pastor of that church then gave me this guitar last summer and I led worship with it this morning at my church.

I am forever grateful for second chances. I still battle pride but never want to go back to that place. There is one God that can save, one God that deserves praise, recognition and applause and I am not him.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Dance

In the last 5 months I'd gone from walking through Homeland looking at pies to wanting a ring on my finger. We had gone from "We'll I had fun tonight" to half hour long good night kisses. The passion was not hard to find.Hard to stop yes...more later....but for now...I found long hair irresistible and he had it going on.

If I had periodic moments of unbelief in how we'd managed to fall in love, Cody might've had several long conversations with himself over the whole thing.

For one I was in high school. We were 4 1/2 years apart.

Secondly, I had bangs! (They lasted 6 months and he talked me into growing them out).

Third, He'd been engaged before.

And then there was the whole camero thing.

Weeks after we started dating but before "officially" being a couple, he went and sold it. Something about an idol in his life and that God told him to sell it. Which that only made him more attractive to me. The fact that he'd do whatever it took to obey God and follow him.

I had a list. I love lists. A list of what to look for in a husband. There were 22 items on the list. I wish I could say I always referred to that list upon dating someone but I didn't. God alone kept me out of trouble and I am forever grateful. At some point though I figured out one thing. One thing that would settle the rest. He had to Love the Lord with all his heart,mind, soul and strength. On the list it says "Sold out Christian, willing to do what God wants". I figured if he loved the Lord and would do what ever it took to follow him, he'd love me too and would do whatever it took to love me like Christ loved me.

So, the camero...he'd taken a pink camero and turned it into this....

A beautiful thing.

Well whatever the reason he kept coming back. Even when I beat him at chess.

I have another theory why he stayed but you'll have to ask him.

But if there was ever a reason to really think twice about dating me it was the incident that happened a year before.He, my sister and I alone know about this until now. It's time to tell.

My sister and I along with others started the first youth praise band at Immanuel Baptist. My sister is more gifted on the keyboard than I am and was playing that evening. We ran 75-100 youth each Wed. night and met in the gym/fellowship hall area. All our equipment was out but Debbie and I were the only ones there. Since the move to Ok we'd become closer. Moving half way across the nation to a foreign land in the middle of your teenage years will do that. I am forever grateful for my sister. (Although she and Cody didn't exactly get along either...that's another story)

Regardless, that Wed. afternoon she was on the keyboard practicing away. Probably Beethoven's Fur Elise (she played it so much I learned it from hearing her play it). And in a moment of sister/girl craziness I started dancing. Dancing through the isles. I was a closet dancer. Well not if you count show choir but these moves I didn't do in public. They weren't provocative, they were expressive. They were hilarious. Made up. Crazy.

And about the time I completed an arabesque and turned toward the door, Cody, also early that night, was there. Eyes wide open , no doubt. I don't think his sister danced. I don't think he understood. I didn't understand. Why was I dancing? Why didn't someone tell me? Why did anyone let me out of the house?

This incident was months before we ever started dating when I never had a second thought about dating him. And this probably sealed the deal in his mind that I was a weirdo squatty body.

After we'd been dating a while I got up the nerve to ask him if he remembered the incident. He just smiled.

Ode to a Camera (or 2)

pWe go way back you and me,
to when the big ones were less than three
I was so excited on that black friday
I went home and put my 35mm quietly away

A Digital,a preview I see
with Easy share features, you were hardly free

I am sorry you got put away
when another camera came
But then you broke on me
And that was lame

You ..little discreet and compact thing
were a surprise gift from my hubby
so excited, I wanted to sing
You captured that new little girl so sweet and chubby

But alas your size was your demise
and you fell right before my very eyes
not once but hundred times galore
with a bang you hit the concrete floor
I will miss you and your charm
and that rubber band wrapped around your arm

Those last few months
you gave it your best
capturing my pioneer cooking
but now you rest
Goodbye blurry pictures
and rubber bands
Your duty is over,
I have a new cannon rebel in my little hands!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bishwa's Visit to the United States

Well it's been one week since Bishwa from Nepal left my home. I had gone several weeks without writing. That's a bad thing when you love to write because then your mind gets cluttered and it takes weeks to get it all out.

So most of you know Bishwa from my posts from going to Nepal last October. You can get up to date here if you missed it. Wonderful, WONDERFUL experience. So thankful to have gone.

I may post video later about how we came to know Bishwa and his family, his orphanage, his ministry and his country of Nepal. A beautiful place.

He came to Duncan on Thur April 8th. We got to visit briefly. He spoke at a conference at Meridian Friday and Saturday then came to my home.

He brought me a little tiny tote~

 In it was a necklace and a bracelet.

The Bracelet was from Anand- Bishwa's son that is so much fun. You may remember him from here. And here he is introducing himself.

We'll keep watching him- God will do mighty things through him. I can sense it.

Bishwa asked me before he came if there is anything I wanted from Nepal.

"Can you bring Gopi? and all the children? Can they live with us forever? We have plenty of space in Oklahoma. We can visit Mt. Scott if you get homesick for the mountains. "

There was one thing I wish I had more of. I had failed to take a picture of the bag and could barely remember the name. Bishwa got it though and brought me 2 bags of this stuff....

Kapse is what he called it. It's like a Tibetian pretzel. But so much better than pretzels. They are definitely fried and made of white flour. I will never be able to make them, they will forever be a treat to me. They may be reason I go back to Nepal. Just kidding.

I ate them with chocolate spread from Belgium when I got back from my trip. But they were good by themselves to. My kids loved them, which says a lot. We finished both bags several days ago.  

So we had Bishwa speak at our church. He did really well. It was his first time to preach in English. He shared his testimony. I have a video of it as well that I'll post later if I can figure it out.

These are my good friends and neighbors Leona and Sara Norton from Pursuing my passion

Sara wrote about her account here- can't wait to see what God leads her to do in the next year- she's another one to keep a watch on

Sunday was crazy after church we had lunch with some more people interested in going to Nepal.

Then we headed north of Velma to "the bottom" (of what I don't know ) they were moving cattle and Sandy Pogue (who went with me to Nepal) had invited us to see.

Nepal was a Hindu Kingdom up until a few years ago. Cow roam free there, they are considered sacred. Watching the cowboys load those cattle was a very cultural experience I'm sure. I bet he thought, "I never knew this existed" Much like I thought when I went to Nepal. International travel should be mandatory!

Then I took him to Marlow and he stayed with Michelle Jones and her family for a few days. Michelle's a photographer. A nice one that let's me use her pictures. She began taking creating masterpieces last summer. Here's her fan page. She's good.

Bishwa got to speak to her daughter's fourth grade class. One kid asked, " How long are your days there?" He had told them it was night time there at that time.

Bishwa is also musical. The first night he stayed with me he asked if he could play my guitar, he wanted to worship before he went to bed. As I checked facebook that night I heard a child of God break out in praise- it was beautiful.

Tuesday Michelle brought him back to me at lessons. I teach Michelle's daughter Lauren. This is really how Michelle got involved in the trip. She brought Lauren to lessons last summer and I said, "Hey you wanta go with me to Nepal?" The next week she said yes and I will be forever grateful. I am so glad she came. We roomed together and had a lot of 4 am chats. That's when you wake up when your not adjusted to the time yet.

This is a rare pic of me at work, enjoy!

By the way Lauren and Silas are the same age and I would arrange a marriage in a heartbeat- I love that girl.

After lessons that day I took Bishwa to Lawton. He just had to see Mt. Scott. The real draw was 7 Nepali students. I met them through facebook last year before I went. They spoke Nepali, I just smiled a lot. They are mostly from Kathmandu, near where he is from.

When the BCM wasn't open we went to the new student center with our pizza and cookies.

Can you find the crazy American in this picture? I love these girls- they are a lot of fun. 6 of them live together. I am going to host them in my home soon.

Wednesday Sandy Pogue took Bishwa on a tour of local attractions. This is Turner Falls.

And Thur. morning he had interviews to go to and we had school and the Pioneer Woman to go meet.

Bishwa loved Charis. He was no doubt homesick by this time.

He said , "You must come to Nepal little Charis"

And she promptly got on her squeaky shoes and headed out the door. I will treasure the thought of her at 2 so willing to go serve the Lord in Nepal.

So the goodbyes were quick.

A few pictures taken and they were off.

He stayed in Tulsa a few more days. 

And a few days later Terry posted this....

We can't stop smiling at this picture! His trip to Oklahoma is complete!

Pray for Bishwa, for the developing country of Nepal. They need stable government but most importantly they need the hope and salvation of Jesus Christ. Money and power do not bring happiness. God is the one and only God with the power to save us. Those who have found this peace are changed indeed.