Wednesday, November 21, 2012

If I Were in Charge

We live in a topsy turvy world.  It is twisted when illegal aliens are now to be called undocumented immigrants.  I have a question.  What would happen if I decided to just drive without a license and called myself an undocumented driver?  Same principle, but...it sure wouldn't fly in a court of law!
Nowadays, people who get arrested and go to jail get a roof over their heads, 3 meals a day, color TV in their cells, computers, libraries, free medical care, ping pong tables, basketball courts...all paid for by "we the people"!  If I were running things, it would go like this:  Prisoners would have a 40 hour work week.  They would be out farming...growing their own food, the surplus to be sold in farmer's markets to offset prison costs.  The fact they raised their own food would also offset prison costs.  If they plowed, planted and harvested, slopped hogs, milked cows, cleaned out barns and stables, butchered their own food...think of the savings?  Plus, once they learned how to actually work and earn an honest living, maybe it would change some of them and we would have less returnees into the prison system.  Hard work would also tire them to the point there might be less fighting energy. 
I would also have some of them out doing roadwork.  If they did a lot of the roadwork, that, too, would save taxpayer money.  There are many things they could work at that would give them busy hands and job skills for their after prison life.  I grew up with the idea that people who learn to work and work hard have less time for getting in trouble.  Most career criminals are what they are because they want to get a fast buck without having to actually do hard work to get it.  Then they go into a system that supplies them everything for a minimal amount of labor invested.
Welfare would NOT be given to every person who cries poor.  People who are healthy and capable of working would be required to do "public community" jobs...keeping parks mowed and gardened, picking up litter from the grounds...they would be street cleaners, public day care workers, road workers, hospital volunteers, school playground attendants, school crossing guards...and the list goes on.  Again, this would save taxpayer money, because instead of getting handouts free (that is costing working taxpayers money) they would be useful and they would begin to have some self esteem.  I know, I know...I hear some saying that would put others out of jobs...no...it could be done auxillary fashion, helping hands style.  I just can't see people sitting back, arms crossed waiting for others to work to pay the taxes that pay for the benefits they get for sitting back doing nothing!  So many places, like rescue missions, public health clinics, etc., need volunteers.  Welfare people are so often helped by these agencies, so it would only be fair for them to give of their time to return what has been lavished on them!  Life is about working.  One must work if he is to eat is a Biblical principle.  It makes sense. 
The irresponsible attitude out there today is astounding.  There is no accountability for misdeeds.  Punishment is no longer politically correct.  We live in a society filled with compensation instead of accountability.  A recent experience showed just how things have changed.  I was in a first class hospital in the maternity ward.  Almost every mom in there was unwed, and a good many were in the USA illegally.  They were in private rooms, had a 10 page menu from which they could choose what they wanted at any given hour of the day until the kitchen closed at night.  They had color, cable TV, their rooms were decorated in solid oak furniture and were equipped with sofas that made into beds (for visitors that needed to stay the night), and recliners.  They were served, one time during their stay, a beautiful, candle light dinner for 2 with the person of their choice.  All their pre-natal visits, and their hospital stays were covered completely.  Get the picture?
Now, when my first baby was coming, my husband worked a job, but we had no insurance (he had worked a union job but a mass employee lay-off lost him the job and the insurance we had) so we had to go to a "public health" clinic.  It was NOT free.  We paid a reduced rate in proportion to our need.  Everyone paid something.  There were no frills.  I didn't even get an epidural (and I survived 35 hours of hard labor with nothing for pain until the actual birth, when I was given a saddle block) and we were 4 to a room, a shared, black and white TV and no remote.  All but one, of the 4 in my room, were married, all were legal US citizens.  No one complained.  We were grateful to even get a break.  Now, in this day and age, I saw the bills from a 48 hour stay (which were copies of what had been sent to the gov't.) Just the ones I saw were over $10,000.  I was shocked!  Sad to say, several of the mom's I saw were on second and third babies, the mom's were still illegal and they were still getting everything paid.  This makes no sense!  Solution...well anyone can make a mistake once, but I don't think they should be treated to 4 star hospital stays, and I don't think they should get to do it a second or third, etc., time for free, either.  
I hear "affordable health care" coming out of so many mouths and yet, one of the reasons for the high cost of health care is our own human greed.  Doctors and hospitals cover themselves by charging phenomenal prices because they must pay huge insurance fees to cover lawsuits over every little thing people choose to blame them for.  YES...there are some legitimate cases of error, but these cases should NOT be tried by a jury of people who know nothing about medical care and are swayed by lawyers...either way...  I think a state medical board, people who KNOW medicine, have studied medicine, should weigh the evidence in the balance and lever a fair settlement.  The "something for nothing" mentality is destroying society.
This is the present mentality.  Someone I love was refused treatment because she didn't have insurance and couldn't pay the money up front.  She was told that were she single and pregnant  or a single parent, well then she could be treated.  So...what is this telling people?  Ya...you get the picture.  Free rides have never, never benefitted society.  They have only created a "gimme" mentality, which has spread worse than any contagious disease in the history of mankind.
My solution...if you want to eat, WORK! 
So there you are..agree or not...but what is happening today is NOT working, and it looks like we will be sinking even deeper in the coming years.  It is time for all of us to get back to using our grey cells instead of letting the media plant ideas in our minds.  We need to weigh the pros and cons.  And I WILL say it...we need to see what God says!  He has always had the right solutions!
Okay...the end!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Silence Not Golden

The house is quiet now...so quiet that every falling raindrop resounds like a pounding drum.  There is an endless stillness which seems to be waiting for something that isn't going to happen.  The house is clean and neat, without little toys and socks scattered here and there.  The baby bed is stripped down and seems also to be waiting for the little person it sheltered for almost a year.  There are no broken dishes, no DVD's strewn wildly, no books pulled from the shelves.  No cries wake us in the night, no babyfood is on the floors and furniture.  It is once again the orderly place it was a year ago.

There are no sweet baby laughs and squeals, no slobbery kisses, no hugs and pats, no baby songs and chatter.  No bright eyes light up when we walk in the room, and no arms stretch out for us.  Our sweet Cayden is gone.  Once again we have to live with all our precious children and grandchildren all so far away. 
 
Sometimes the mess would get to us.  Sometimes we would have liked a bit more sleep.  Sometimes we would have liked to watch something without wrestling with or chasing down a very determined, very curious little guy, but that is part and parcel of having little ones around.

As I sit here in the silence, the emptiness echoing off my heart, I wish...oh how I wish he was still here.  We ache with the loneliness and the knowledge that the next time we see him we will just be strangers he's heard about from mama.  But it is what it is, so we go on doing what we do...thankful for the Comforter who helps us get through each day.

So here's to you precious Cayden!  Poppy and Grammy love you so much.  We miss you and mommy both more than you will ever know.  We pray always that you will grow up loving Jesus as He loves you, and that, even though you won't remember it, you brought much joy to us and much love while you lived here!  Wish you were still here...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Joyeux Anniversaire, Mama!

This beautiful lady was born 84 years ago today.  My dad has the privilege of calling her his beloved wife, my sister and I are privileged to call her mama, and her 6 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren call her gramma or memaw.  She is the most important woman in my life...the one who has always been there for me, the one who will always be there until she draws her last breath.  She is one of our most faithful prayer warriors and cheerleaders.  I thank the Lord for her every day of my life!

When I was growing up, she was a kindergarten teacher...a really GREAT kindergarten teacher.  She taught in the days when there were 30 or 40 in class and teachers knew how to maintain order.

She had to put up with a lot with me for a daughter, because I was always up to something, and always needing repairs and prayers.  I think I was responsible for her premature gray hair!  More than once, she threatened to knock my kneecaps off!  Which of course she never did! 

I have so many memories of her...some make me laugh, some leave me in awe...so I will just tell a few!

Mama played basketball in high school and her team went to state championships more than once.  She was really good, even when we were teens.  I can still see her on Friday nights shooting hoops with the teens (she and my dad were the youth directors at church) and she could give those guys a run for their money!

When Daddy decided to go to Bible college when she was 35, she was right there with him.  She left a beautiful, large house in Miami and moved into a tiny...really tiny (but very cute) little house in Missouri.  She left friends, family, house, and financial security to follow the Lord with my dad.  And it wasn't easy!  We ate a lot of potato soup, and she even tried to cook some venison we were given, but not knowing anything about wild meat, none of us could stand the smell or even get it down!

I remember the first year in Springfield.  I had always been very short, until that first summer there.  I grew 7 inches and with no money for new clothes, that was a worrisome thing.  Mama came up with a solution.  Straight dresses were coming in, so she took apart her full skirted dresses and made us clothes.  She hated sewing, but she put herself to the task so we would have things.

We had a black walnut tree at that house.  Being southerners, we knew about pecans, but no one told us husking black walnuts would stain your hands a very ICKY color!  But we sure had fun doing that together.

There are so many stories, but the thing I want to say about my mom is that she was always, always an example to us.  She is a lady, she is kind, she was always kept a great mother, and most of all she showed us what a Godly woman really is.  I have loved her every day of my life, and I will love her every remaining day of my life.  She is a gem, a treasure!  She is what I someday hope to be!
I love you, Mama!  Happy 84 years young! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lyndee love

 
 
This time, 40 years ago, I had been in labor a long, long time, and still had a long time to go before my very first, beautiful, baby girl was finally born and placed in my oh so impatient arms!



 
She was born after 35 long hours and she was a big, beautiful baby..weighing in at 8 lbs. 12 oz. an measuring 21 1/2 inches.  Did I mention she was 4 weeks late?

 
Melynda Dawne Williams
She was a sweet, smart little girl and by the age of 1 was talking up a blue streak, singing little Sunday School songs, and when her brother was born when she was 18 mos. old, she was already mommy's little helper.
Lyndee is in the middle on the bottom row.  This is an important picture, because it was made just a few days before she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, just a few months after she turned 13.  It was a very hard time for her and for us, but she faced her diabetes with courage, though that wasn't an easy thing to do at such a young age.
 This is Lyndee and me the year she was 15...still our beautiful girl! 
This is us last fall...she is still my beautiful girl!  I love you, Lyndee!  I hope you have the best birthday you have ever had!  I am happy and proud you are my daughter!  God's richest blessings on your life, my love!
Happy birthday...Joyeux anniversaire!

 










 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Defining Love

In this day and age, because of television and movies, the world has gotten a rather twisted view of love.  Hollywood pictures it as steamy, slam 'em up against the wall, clothes ripping, heavy breathing madness.  That, folks, isn't LOVE!
This is how I see love...I see my grandpa Price finishing the lunch dishes, going to the freezer and taking out the ice cream, then filling up a styrofoam cup, packing it around tightly so it won't melt.  He takes that ice cream to his beloved wife of 66 years who is in a rest home because she has dementia.  He leans down and kisses her and smiles lovingly and says, "Here I am, honey.  I  have your ice cream!"  He doesn't cringe or show anger when she slaps him, he just gently coaxes her to eat the treat she loves so much.  He goes every day, without fail, and when people tell him it isn't necessary because she doesn't know him, he just says, "But I know her, and I love her!  She's my sweetheart!"
I see a tired mother with a cooling cloth in her hand bathing the fevered brow of her sweet little one.  She hasn't slept in over 24 hours, and she is looking haggard, but her eyes are fixed on that hot, suffering little face that is so dear to her.  Her husband tries to convince her to rest, but she can't...not until her baby is cooler and on the road to recovery.  Then, and only then, will she rest.
I see a husband coming through the door, looking around at a house that is in shambles, and he sees his wife struggling to get things picked up, in between checking her dinner preparations.  He walks up to her and puts his arms around her and says, "Hey, honey!  Missed you today!  I see it has been a tough day.  Let me finish up dinner and you go rest awhile!"  He gently leads her to a recliner and eases her down, tucks a cover around her, and heads into the fray of the dinner time mess.  Oh, he's tired, too, but he knows that the woman he loves and to whom he has pledged his life, has need of some spoiling from handling the every day trials of kids, household duties, and all the hundred other things she's been through.
I see a teen who would rather be out with friends, but has had to grow up too soon because her mom is gone and she must help with the younger kids while Dad works.  She hasn't had any new clothes in a long time because money is short, but she doesn't complain because she knows how much her dad is hurting...she is hurting, too.  When her dad comes in, she hugs him tightly and says, "Let me give you a back rub, Daddy...it'll ease the tension."

The best example I see is not a pretty picture.  It is someone who has been so battered he barely looks like a man.  He has a crown of thorns on his head, and the blood streams from all his wounds.  Spittle runs down his face from being spat on.  His arms are outstretched and he is nailed on a rough cross.  Those all around are mocking Him, screaming words of anger and hate.  The man looks up and says, "Father, forgive them!  They know not what they do!"  All the sins and the weight of the world are on Him, but love keeps Him where He is...His unending, unconditional love...
Don't let the world confuse you about what love is.  Love is sacrifice, love puts up with the disppointments, and love isn't an emotion...love is a choice.  We choose to love. 

Today...I choose to love!  Blessing to all !

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Happy Ending

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the story of the prodigal son.  There are so many lessons to be learned through this story.  In my mind's eye, I can picture the whole thing...here stands a loving dad...he has loved and given to his 2 sons all their lives.  He has sacrificed for them and been their rock in every situation. 
One son seems to be co-operative, steadfast, hardworking.  The other...well, he is a self-centered, selfish young jerk.  I know, I know...harsh words!  I stand by it!  Look at him!  He struts up to his father and boldly tells him he doesn't want to wait until his dad is dead for his inheritance...nope, nope nope...nothing nice in that!  It's just gimme, gimme and gone!  He hasn't taken one second to even think about how his dad feels, if this is going to hurt him or cause him financial hardship.  He didn't even technically have the right to make such a demand, but he did...then he coolly walked away without a backward glance.
That selfish kid took off for parts unknown, blew all the money partying like a rich boy until it was all gone and he found himself in a pigpen feeding pigs, wishing he could eat some of their slop.  He was pretty hungry, and pretty desperate.  He looks at himself, ragged, filthy, starving, friendless, broke...and he says to himself, "Even the servants in my father's house are better off than me.  I'm going home and ask for a job!"
There are several things that always strike me in this story.  The young man knew he could go back home.  He knew he was truly loved, and he knew he was unworthy of the deep love his father had always shown him.  He went for home, no longer haughty, but broken and willing to be just a humble servant. 
Then I think about the dad.  He must  have asked himself WHY...why did his beloved son leave?  Why could he not see the love that had always been lavished on him.  He didn't know why, but he knew he loved his son, so there he was!  I can see him going out every day to the road, hand shielding his eyes, looking down that long, dusty road...praying to God for his son to appear in the distance.  How he must have loved that wayward child to go on, day after day, waiting and praying!
I love to picture his face when he first sees the little puffs of dust and something bobbing along the road.  I can see his faltering steps forward, and then he breaks into a run...I feel his rapidly beating heart fill with joy as he sees it is finally the one he's been waiting for so long!  He throws his arms around that stinky, sweaty, ragged young man and lets him know he is loved and accepted...just as he is.  A servant?  No!  A ring, clean clothes, shoes on his feet and a welcome home party.
Happy ending!
But, what if...what if the prodigal had waited too long and his dad was gone forever?  I don't think his brother would have killed the fatted calf for him! 
What if...he was too proud or too stupid to come to his senses?  He would have died among the pigs, probably.
I am glad the story is as it is, because it is the perfect example of God's great love for us!  We arrogantly hurt him and walk away...live it up, forgetting about Him and all He's done for us...but He is still there, always there...waiting patiently for us to realize just that.  His arms are outstretched, just as wide as those of Jesus, when He died on the cross for us.  He wants to hold us close, clean us up and wants to let us renew our place in His household of faith!  That's love!  Real love!  Not the Hollywood kind, or the romance novel kind, but the truest of true love.  I'm so glad He ran to me! 
The last thing I always think about in this story is this...the prodigal had to run back to his father, or there wouldn't have been a happy ending.  I am adding a song that I love and illustrates this story!  http://youtu.be/MCVvSArfVw0
Moral of the story?  If you need to run home...run!  If you have someone who's walked away...be there waiting, arms open wide to welcome them home!
                                        Blessings to all!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Story of Princess Alyssa

Once upon a time, a princess married her prince Charming.  They had dreams and plans like all young couples.  They became dedicated school teachers and wanted to have a few kids of their own and then adopt a child or two.  The years went by, and in spite of prayers and every kind of medical help, their longed for child never came.  So they decided to adopt.  God worked a miracle and within a very short time, they were chosen by a young mom as the best candidates to adopt the baby she was unable to raise.  The day that beautiful baby girl was placed in their arms was a day of great joy to the entire family.  She was Mimi Lynn's and Papa Don's first grandchild! 
As the days and months went by, the precious baby grew.  She cooed and cried as all babies do.  She saw her pediatrician regularly, and nothing seemed amiss.  Gradually, the prince and princess began to notice that she had problems with her motricity, but were told she would catch up and all would be fine.  But the little princess wasn't getting better, so they got professional help.  Or tried to....but, after frustrating and costly years of tests, they were told that, yes, something was wrong.  But what?  A possible stroke at birth? Autism? Cerebral palsy?
There were likenesses in several different things, but they were never able to put a label on just what is wrong, so since they can't give it a name, they do not qualify for aid of any sort.  The prince and princess have never given up.  They lovingly help the little princess to keep developing her motor skills.  They encourage her every step of every day to be a hard worker and to keep trying.
Let me say here, in this day of demanding "perfection", many would have abandoned this little  girl, not wanting to have to deal with all the ensuing problems, but the whole family loves her and helps her each day to be all she can be.
Several years after the little princess came became theirs, another miracle happened!  God allowed the princess to have a baby girl, and right on the heels of the baby girl came a baby boy!  They have a wonderful family full of love.  It is a joy to see! 
Moral of the story?  God makes everything beautiful!  Everything! Everyone!  Our little princess, Alyssa, recently won swimming medals in the special Olympics.  She is amazing!  So are Princess Melody and Prince Mark, and Mackenzie and Brice, the 2 younger kids.
And they all live... happily ever after...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Baby Girl

Twenty-three years ago, at 8:00 AM, on a hot Sunday morning, Don dropped me off at the hospital in Villeneuve St. Georges, France.  He also left our oldest child, Melynda, with me because he had to go pick people up for church, teach Sunday School, preach, take people home after church, go by Mickey D's to get the kids and himself some lunch before he could be back to the hospital before "The Littlest Big Event" of the year made her way into the world.  I know...some of you are probably wondering why he didn't just stay with me himself and have someone fill in for him...right?  Well, here's the story!  Over here, in France, there just aren't that many spare preachers, bus drivers, etc. to replace someone who can't be in the puplit or behind the wheel!  And ya!  He would have made arrangements if it had been necessary, but this was #4 baby, and he had already learned that there were no worries when it came to being back in time for the big event. 
Kelsey...our loooooonnnnngggg awaited baby....was still hours away from making her appearance!  Lyndee and I had had foresight and we had brought some games with us.  NO!  Not video games because handheld ones didn't exist then...well, maybe they did, but we didn't know it...so we had some cards and some dice and paper to keep score.  We were busily playing "Farkle" when the midwife stepped in to get me all hooked up to the various and sundry machines.  We then progressed to the delivery room because my very young midwife (she had just finished school end of June and it was July 16) was convinced that in no more than 2 hours baby Kelsey would be in my arms!  I just smiled and chuckled to myself!  Lyndee and I kept on playing games for awhile and listened to several other babies being born in the nearby delivery rooms.
About 1:30 PM, Don and the boys arrived and Lyndee went out to eat her lunch and wait with the boys down the hall.  Don was there by my side and we laughed and talked and prayed and waited.  The little midwife kept coming in, and she was still very convinced that it wouldn't be long.  Don and I shared a secret smile, because we knew from experience we still had a while to wait.  After another while, our sister-in-law showed up.  She came in to spell Don so he could go get supper for the crew and we, too, chatted and laughed and waited.  By now the little midwife knew I knew what I was talking about and she didn't come quite as often.  The time kept passing and finally, close to 9:30 PM, all the other 8 babies had been born to all the other 8 moms who had come in after me, and the little midwife was looking a bit frazzled because I was still there!  She checked and sighed and said, "Only 3 cm. dilated!"  I came to swift attention and questioned, "WHAT?"  She said it again, and I said, "I think you better get me in the stirrups because this event is fixing to take place!" 
"Oh, no!"  she exclaimed, "3 is nothing."  And out she went!  I looked kind of frantically at Don!  We both knew what 3 meant!  It took me over 35 hours to get to 3 with Lyndee and then I went from 3 to baby in nothing flat!  It was the same for the boys.  Don waited a few minutes and then he got her attention again and told her he thought she might ought to check again.  She didn't want to do it, but she did and then she squealed! "Get her into the stirrups!"  Don went tearing out...he didn't think he wanted to see the actual birth.  He had barely gotten out before she was born.  At her first cry, he came tearing back into the delivery room, surgical gown flapping out behind him, and it is a wonder he didn't kill one of the nurses with the swinging door! 
Our beautiful baby girl was finally here!  Down in the waiting room (really, just the end of the hall with a few chairs), the kids heard her cry and they started cheering!  It was a shorter day than we had expected, but a long day for the waiters!  We are thankful for our baby girl!  She has brought us all so much joy!  Love you, Kelsey Leigh!  Sorry I didn't get this up on your birthday!  You are still our baby girl and joy to us!  Hope your birthday and all the things we did will be a sweet memory through the years!  Love you to the moon and back!

A "TRUE LOVE" Story

For half a century, the world has applauded John Glenn as a heart-stirring American hero. He lifted the nation's spirits when, as one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, he was blasted alone into orbit around the Earth; the enduring affection for him is so powerful that even now people find themselves misting up at the sight of his face or the sound of his voice.
But for all these years, Glenn has had a hero of his own, someone whom he has seen display endless courage of a different kind:
Annie Glenn.
They have been married for 68 years.
He is 90; she turned 92 on Friday. [Unsure when this started.]
This weekend there has been news coverage of the 50th anniversary of Glenn's flight into orbit. We are being reminded that, half a century down the line, he remains America 's unforgettable hero.
He has never really bought that.
Because the heroism he most cherishes is of a sort that is seldom cheered. It belongs to the person he has known longer than he has known anyone else in the world.
John Glenn and Annie Castor first knew each other when -- literally -- they shared a playpen.
In New Concord, Ohio, his parents and hers were friends. When the families got together, their children played.
John -- the future Marine fighter pilot, the future test-pilot ace, the future astronaut -- was pure gold from the start. He would end up having what it took to rise to the absolute pinnacle of American regard during the space race; imagine what it meant to be the young John Glenn in the small confines of New Concord.
Three-sport varsity athlete, most admired boy in town, Mr. Everything.
Annie Castor was bright, was caring, was talented, was generous of spirit. But she could talk only with the most excruciating of difficulty. It haunted her.
Her stuttering was so severe that it was categorized as an "85%" disability -- 85% of the time, she could not manage to make words come out.
When she tried to recite a poem in elementary school, she was laughed at. She was not able to speak on the telephone. She could not have a regular conversation with a friend.
And John Glenn loved her.
Even as a boy he was wise enough to understand that people who could not see past her stutter were missing out on knowing a rare and wonderful girl.
They married on April 6, 1943. As a military wife, she found that life as she and John moved around the country could be quite hurtful. She has written: "I can remember some very painful experiences -- especially the ridicule."
In department stores, she would wander unfamiliar aisles trying to find the right section, embarrassed to attempt to ask the salesclerks for help. In taxis, she would have to write requests to the driver, because she couldn't speak the destination out loud. In restaurants, she would point to the items on the menu.
A fine musician, Annie, in every community where she and John moved, would play the organ in church as a way to make new friends. She and John had two children; she has written: "Can you imagine living in the modern world and being afraid to use the telephone? 'Hello' used to be so hard for me to say. I worried that my children would be injured and need a doctor. Could I somehow find the words to get the information across on the phone?"
John, as a Marine aviator, flew 59 combat missions in World War II and 90 during the Korean War. Every time he was deployed, he and Annie said goodbye the same way. His last words to her before leaving were:
"I'm just going down to the corner store to get a pack of gum."
And, with just the two of them there, she was able to always reply:
"Don't be long."
On that February day in 1962 when the world held its breath and the Atlas rocket was about to propel him toward space, those were their words, once again. And in 1998, when, at 77, he went back to space aboard the shuttle Discovery, it was an understandably tense time for them. What if something happened to end their life together?
She knew what he would say to her before boarding the shuttle. He did -- and this time he gave her a present to hold onto:
A pack of gum.
She carried it in a pocket next to her heart until he was safely home.
Many times in her life she attempted various treatments to cure her stutter. None worked.
But in 1973, she found a doctor in Virginia who ran an intensive program she and John hoped would help her. She traveled there to enroll and to give it her best effort. The miracle she and John had always waited for at last, as miracles will do, arrived. At age 53, she was able to talk fluidly, and not in brief, anxiety-ridden, agonizing bursts.
John has said that on the first day he heard her speak to him with confidence and clarity, he dropped to his knees to offer a prayer of gratitude.
He has written: "I saw Annie's perseverance and strength through the years and it just made me admire her and love her even more." He has heard roaring ovations in countries around the globe for his own valor, but his awe is reserved for Annie, and what she accomplished: "I don't know if I would have had the courage."
Her voice is so clear and steady now that she regularly gives public talks. If you are lucky enough to know the Glenns, the sight and sound of them bantering and joking with each other and playfully finishing each others' sentences is something that warms you and makes you thankful just to be in the same room.
Monday will be the anniversary of the Mercury space shot, and once again people will remember, and will speak of the heroism of Glenn the astronaut.
But if you ever find yourself at an event where the Glenns are appearing, and you want to see someone so brimming with pride and love that you may feel your own tears start to well up, wait until the moment that Annie stands to say a few words to the audience.
And as she begins, take a look at her husband's eyes.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Papa

Almost 85 years ago, in a Kentucky town, a 10 lb. 13 oz., strapping baby boy was born.  He was the 7th child and 4 more siblings would come after him.  He was mighty big at birth, but as he grew, he stayed on the smaller side in stature, growing to about 5'6".  He was very bright, and a gifted musician.  There wasn't a brass instrument he couldn't play, but he specialized in the trombone.  He was so bright he graduated at the age of 16, and was given a scholarship to one of the top music colleges in America, but he wanted to serve his country in those end of the war days.  They wouldn't take him in the regular military branches because he was too young, so he joined the Merchant Marines.  That tour of duty took him all over the world, and when he was done, he came back to the town of Punta Gorda, Florida, where his dad pastored a Baptist church.
One day, he saw his dream girl crossing the road!  They married when he was 20 and she was 19.  Eleven mos. later, they had a baby girl.  He was in University in Gainesville, Georgia, studying to be a lawyer.  Illness caused him to leave school and move to Miami, where he started a cabinet building company, which became a thriving business.  Some hard things happened and some good things happened and he quit the business and started working full-time at our church as youth pastor and music director, both things at which he excelled.  His epic youth activities even made the headlines on several occasions!
When I was 11, he surrendered his life to become a preacher, and we packed our bags and went to Springfield, MO.  We left a beautiful, fairly large home, and moved into a tiny, tiny house.  Small as it was, I loved that house!  My dad got to buy it because he worked for the builder...again as a cabinet maker! 
When he started College, he was also working 3 jobs.  School started at 7:30 AM, and sometimes he wouldn't be in bed until 3 AM or later.  He was also the youth pastor and eventually became the music director at the church in Springfield.  Again, his youth activities were astounding.  He never ran out of ideas, and we would have a great time, but there was always a message behind what we were doing.
From his various ministries, I can't even begin to count how many have gone into the ministry.  He became a church pastor after I left for college, and pastored 3 churches before he retired.  He didn't like retirement so he "unretired" and took an associate position, where once again...in his late 70's...he was working with teens and the music, amongst other things.  Even at that age, old-fashioned as many saw him, he still had a great ministry.  Many of those kids are now in ministry, too.
All this is "history", because I want you to see the man my papa is!  He may be small in stature, but he's a giant to me.  Even at his age, he still goes like a hurricane.  He suffers from trigemenal neuropathy, which has levelled many, and is even called the suicide syndrome, because some people can't bear the pain...but he is unstoppable! 
Dad...I hope you know just how much we love you!  You are and always will be my precious dad.  You taught me so much and are still teaching me by your example.  You are honorable in all things and you treat Mama, Lynn and me, as well as all the grand-daughters and great grands, like ladies.  You raised the bar for me, when it came to my life mate!  I am so glad you gave a Godly example, so that I would know what a Godly man would be, because that enabled me to fall for a Godly man as well!   Have a blessed and happy Father's day!  I love you #1 Dad!

Never My Love

Forty-three years ago I graduated from high school.  I lived in Houston, TX...and I hated it!  My Junior year of High school I started out in Ft. Worth, TX and then, right after my birthday, in November, we moved to Miramar, FL.  Then right around Easter, we moved back to Texas, but this time to Houston.  I love love love Ft. Worth, and I absolutely hated Houston.  An odd thing happened in all my moving around.  I started High School in Springfield, MO, and then added the other 3 places.  Each city/state had different credit/required subject requirements, which meant by the time I got to Houston, I was way ahead of the game.  If I had taken English in summer school I could have finished and graduated in early January of my Senior year because Houston had mid-year graduations, but my mamma feared I would take off for college and being I just turned 17, she put her foot down and nixed the mid-term graduation idea.
As it was, I ended up going to college in August...still 17, but an older, wiser 17.  Now the Bible College I went to was really big at the time.  There were over 1,000 single guys and likewise, over 1,000 single girls.  Dorm life was a blast...loved it...even though the rules were really, really strict! 
Dating was permitted Friday evenings between 5 and 11PM and Sundays after church until 10:30 PM.  With that many singles, there was a huge choice for everyone.  After the first few weeks of meeting, going to this or that function with varying different guys, I met a handsome young Alabama guy.  He was kind of shy, very quiet and at first, I didn't think I liked him.  After going in groups after church and hanging out, we got to know each other better, and he asked me out for the first time 2 days after my 18th birthday.  I think I knew from pretty much the first date that he was THE one! 
We dated for 2 school years and at the end of my 2nd year, his 3rd, he proposed. I said yes!
The following was our song!


We got married in August of 1971. We had Lyndee in September 1972. Cristofer came in March, 1974, Shan in April 1976, and Kelsey tagged along in July, 1989. Don is an incredible husband and father, and has been from the start. He is my best friend on earth and almost 41 years of marriage later, we are still in love, we still respect each other and stand faithfully by each other through the good and the bad. I am honored to call him my husband and soul-mate. Our 4 children are blessed to call him their father, and our 11 grand-children couldn't ask for a grander papa than Don! I love you, babe! This one's for you...Happy, Blessed Father's day!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Reflections...

Went to the Paris area to celebrate the 40th anniversary of our friend's church. We started out there 36 1/2 years ago. There were so many people there that we have known through all these years! Some were kids when we came, and now they are grandparents! Being there made for some bittersweet memories. It made me feel kinda sad as well. I watched everybody with their families...and some were 4 generations worth... and I thought about how we are here, so far from our families. We love what we do, don't get me wrong, but sometimes...sometimes it is hard! We don't get to share in our kids and grandkids lives...we don't get to see first teeth, first crawl, first turning over, first day of school,graduation, or the other milestones in our grandkids lives. We aren't there to hug out parents and take them to the doctor when they are sick. We aren't there for the different holidays. Occasionally, when we are in the States we get to see them and share brief moments of their current lives, but those moments are few and far between.
Last summer, we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. Our church was so sweet and did a surprise celebration for us. We love our church, we really do! But there was a sadness, too, because those are the moments you want to share with family, too! You want them to be there all around you...you want to savor the precious view of the 4 generations gathered together.

When Christmas rolls around, we imagine what they are all doing. We wonder if they are having a blessed time, but feel, like us, that there is a missing piece in the family picture.
We've seen so many missionaries come and go, and so many that planned to be missionaries, but didn't go, and they are there with their loved ones, enjoying the sweet pleasure of church, family, holidays, vacations...and ya...sometimes it hurts deep down.

Then, it's like God puts His loving arm around us and gives us a hug. He turns our eyes outward, to the people whose lives have been changed because we were here to introduce them to Jesus. We were here to help them through the hard places in their lives.

We have wanted to quit many times...especially after we have put a lot of work into people and they stray from God. It is easy to think, "Why am I wasting my life here when they don't care?" The answer always comes...because GOD cares! We ALL fail Him from time to time, but He is still there, by our side. He put us here and He keeps us here. So we stay, we pray, we labor. It isn't always easy...in fact, it is often hard, but we know it is a task worth doing!
As you pass time with your families, take time to savor the moment. Sometimes those "moments" are what will keep you going!
Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy Birthday Lynn!

Tomorrow is my sister, Lynn's, birthday.  Lynn is 2 1/2 years older than me, and though she is a lot shorter, she is still my big sister! That is her on the left at the age of 4.  Lynn and I didn't always get along when we were kids, as is par for the course for most siblings.  We could fight like cats and dogs between ourselves(verbally) but let anyone else say or do anything to the other and they had to deal with the consequences!  Then we were a team!  

I must say, that as a kid, I gave my big sis a lot of grief at times.  She tended to be bossy, and that would get my goat so I would have to get even!  Often, when we were doing the dishes (nope... dishwashers
were not common household appliances back then!) I would slowly sideways walk my foot over and stomp on hers, because she had pushed my buttons one time too many.  Sometimes I got away with it, but most times not!  I thought it was worth whatever punishment I got, just to get even!

As I grew older, my vengeance got "better".  One night, I hid in her closet until everyone was in bed.  When all was quiet, I opened the closet door and came out at her.  Now, Lynn and I are both very nearsighted.  Without her glasses, all she could see was the door movement and someone coming at her.  She sat up and tried to scream, but was so scared just a horrible squeak came out.  Of course my parents, who were just next door to her room heard the commotion and of course, I caught it, but good!  I hadn't really intended to scare her that bad, really, and I did feel bad about it after.  Didn't even mind the punishment, because I knew I deserved it.  In spite of everything, we grew up, and as we grew, we became best friends.  We have lived far from each other for almost 37 years, but in our hearts we remain close. 
She also taught school for over 35 years.  She had to deal with my kids on the occasions when they were in the States.  She was a very dedicated teacher and was constantly helping kids out.  One day, she got stuck dealing with things on the other side of the learning center.  The older kids were all needing her, too.  Our son, Cris, told the kids he would get her over there and proceeded to let out a war whoop and leap out of his chair, on which he had placed a tack (after he was out of it)!  She did come over very quickly, and Cris grinned and said, "See!  I told you I could get her over here!"  With all the sterness she could muster, she sent him to the principal's office!  We had a laugh over it later, and still do when we remember those long ago days!

Lynn is such an incredible person!  Several years ago, she was diagnosed with a very rare illness called Inclusion Body Myositis.  It is an illness that destroys the muscles of the body.  Lynn is so tiny and so frail now, and she has dreadful falls that seriously hurt her, but she remains cheerful in the face of all she goes through.  She can not easily get up and down  from chairs unaided, but that doesn't stop her.  Her husband is the pastor of a small church and she still faithfully does everything pastors' wives need to do.  She still plays the piano for church and works with the children and the choir.  She just doesn't give up! 

Several years ago, she and her hubby came over and helped us build a building for our church!  Two of our grands were living with us at the time and we were in this tiny, 3 room apartment.  We were squished as all get out, but we had such a great time!  My grands loved her dearly!  She is just that way...you HAVE to love her!
As you can see, Lynn is one of my role models!  She is the dearest sister in all the world and I miss her every day!   So...here's to you, Lynn!  Happy happy birthday!  I love you!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Come Fly With Me

You know, being missionaries, we have a lot of flight mileage!  I was thinking the other day, if I had a euro for every kilometer I've flown, I could build my dream house, furnish it and live awhile on the rest of the money!  Flights used to be enjoyable...sort of...but nowadays, they are a royal pain!
Today, I'm going to tell you about a few of our more interesting flight moments!  Starting with when the kids were little tykes!
We were scheduled to make the long haul flight to the States and for some reason Cris, who was probably about 8, saw the movie "Airport".  I am NOT a fan of disaster movies, so why or how he saw that, I don't remember, but the fact is, he did.  We were about 2 hours in the air, and they had served us our lunch when the plane just simply dropped.  There is no other way to describe what happened. For a split second trays were suspended in air and then every thing came crashing down on the tray tables, spilling food and drinks everywhere.  The plane started jerking around choppily and, I have to admit, it was pretty scary!  Cris was sitting by me.  He grabbed my hand and was hanging on for dear life.  I just squeezed his hand back and said, "Let's just pray!"  So we did, and shortly, things smoothed back out, the plane started gaining altitude again and we all relaxed.  About that time, Cris looked up at me with huge eyes and whispered, "Whew!  I am NEVER watching a disaster movie, ever again!"  Gotta say...I kinda agreed!
Several years later, when Lyndee had become diabetic, and we were having a dreadful time getting her blood sugar in control, she and I made an emergency trip to the States so she could see a specialist at George Washington University Hospital in DC.  Unfortunately, it was at Christmas time.  Don was in France with the 2 boys and Lyndee and I were in the States.  To top it all of, the specialist decided Lyndee needed more time to get her diabetes under control, so we changed her ticket, but I needed to get back.  So on New Years Eve, my parents, my sister and her family, and Lyndee were sitting with me in Dulles airport.  This was back in the days when people could still go all the way to the departure gate to see you off.  The time came for me to catch the shuttle flight that would take me to NYC where I would catch my overseas flight.  They called for boarding, and I walked straight through, got on the plane, sat down and waved out the window to all the family.  They all had these puzzled, worried looks on their faces.  I looked where they were looking and saw them closing the plane...and I was the ONLY passenger on it;  Now, I was feeling a little freaked out, and was thinking to myself, "Wow!  This is like something on "The Twilight Zone!"  Not a split second after, the stewardess looks at me and says, "Wow!  This is like something on "The Twilight Zone!"  I really, really wanted to get off that plane!  The last glimpse I saw of my family, they looked like I was feeling!  When I got home and called them, they said....you guessed it... "Wow!  That was like something on "The Twilight Zone!"
Years later, when Kelsey was 14, we were on our way to Washington State and when we were eating, Kelsey took off her friendship ring from her besties, and a ring from her boyfriend.  She fell asleep before the flight crew picked up the trays, and her rings got taken along with the trays.  When she woke up, we were already close to Chicago and she started crying because her rings were lost.  Kudos to that stupendous flight crew!  As we were circling Chicago waitng for a landing slot, that crew and myself were digging through all the garbage containers trying to find her rings.  Kelsey...she was standing there watching!  One of the male crew members looked at her and said, "Girl!  Get down here and start digging if you want to find those rings!"  Now Kelsey refuses to even touch the garbage can.  We have had war over this many times!  So she was ewwwwwing and yuuuuukkking throughout the whole ordeal...and barely doing anything!  Finally the head crew member came up and told us she thought she was the one who had taken up Kels' tray and she thought she had emptied it in the 1st class cabin's bin.  We made our way back up to the front of the plane and sure enough!  There they were, practically on top!  We landed a scant 5 minutes after finding them!  I will never forget what a great group that flight crew was.  Things changed, shortly after, and now, service is difficult and attendants tend to be not very attentive!  Oh!  For the good old days!
Happy flying to all!  I bet most of you have stories, too!  Would love to hear them!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Enough is enough!

I read in the news today that the USA passed the bill making it legal to abort a baby based on its gender...you don't want a girl...Bye bye baby....you don't want a boy...so long, son!  My mind just can NOT grasp that my country would allow such a thing.  I have never believed in abortion, but this surpasses anything they have done before!  Who made us God that we should decide such things?  Who made it okay to kill a baby up to one week before it is due to be born and call it legal abortion?  I  get angry when I read about babies that have been aborted late term, but due to a "mistake" the baby is born alive and then is left to die, and nursing staffs are refused the right to give them comfort or help.  If a mother decided her preemie baby's life wasn't going to be good and left it to die, she would go to jail for killing her child.  But people can choose to do this before and it is okay...oh...and the next step will be allowing people to destroy their child if it isn't perfect.  It is already happening in Holland. 


We had a friend who was a severe diabetic and when she was pregnant with her 3rd child, she was told the baby was no good and she should abort.  She refused...her perfectly normal daughter is now the mother of a beautiful baby boy of her own!  My own Kelsey was going to be aborted without them even informing us what they were going to do, but we figured it out.  They said my foetus wasn't developing like it should, it was tubal, and several other things, none of which were the truth.  That "no good foetus" will be 23 in July.  She is beautiful, normal, and is now the mom of a beautiful baby boy as well.

This isn't my usual post, but this is something that is a subject dear to my heart...one that makes me fighting mad to protect all those innocent little lives that didn't ask to be created and then are wiped out like so much garbage.  I believe every life has value...EVERY life.  You who read Elisa's blog (The Crazy Life of a Writing Mom) you know all they went through, fighting to keep their precious baby.  Many people today would scorn them for fighting to keep a child that would have a less than perfect life...but he was precious to them.  Think about it...none of us are perfect in God's sight, but He loves us unconditionally.  I think it is time we start fighting back for the lives of these children.  Enough is enough!

There is a movie out now called "October Baby" about a girl who was an abortion surviver and it s a true story, one everyone should see.  I am enclosing the Youtube trailer of it in this post...  http://youtu.be/I_9l7lEe-AA
Love to all...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

I bit ago, I promised to tell you about Shan!  So here goes!  Shan was born 2 1/2 mo. after we arrived in France.  If you read his birth story, you already know that!  He was born precocious...NO LIE!  That boy woofed down an 8 oz. bottle from the time we brought him home from the hospital! 
By the time he was 3 mo. old, he was tearing around in a walker.  Walkers, then, were a different breed!  They consisted of a cloth seat between two X bars with wheels...very collapsible...not really safe at all.  But he needed to move.  He followed me all over that house and that was a problem because the basement door lock didn't work.  When I would go down to wash, he would take a running start and hit that door.  One time, he actually ended up hanging head down between the steps..with concrete below. 
He was crawling and also called me Mama and Don Dada and said bye bye by the time he was 4 mo. old, had 7 teeth by the time he was 6 months old, and had learned to climb out of his crib by the time he was 6 mo. old.  His bed was by the door, which opened right on the top step of very old, very slick stairs.  We knew, if he was to survive, we would have to find a safer house!
We found a nice 3 bedroom, American designed, unfurnished house for a reasonable rent, and we moved, just after our first Christmas.  Our furniture consisted of a bunkbed, a portacrib, and a rocking chair.  Friends loaned us an old mattress for us to sleep on.  We had no curtains, no appliances, no table and chairs, no couch.  It was embarrassing, because we could see the "oh my!" looks of people passing by, but we took advantage of "no interest for 9 months" credit and ordered the cheapest couch, kitchen appliances and chairs.  The only problem was, back then, you had to wait forever and a day for it to get delivered!
One day, our immediate neighbor asked if it would offend us if they gave us a clic-clac sofa.  This would open up to a comfortable double bed...clic clac!  We thanked them and said we would love it!  In the meantime, some missionaries on their way to Africa came through.  They were expecting a baby and they said how much they really wanted a portacrib, so I gave them ours...I mean, after all, Shan had been getting out of it for 3 months...he could just start sleeping on the bottom bunk!  Don's mouth was gaping!  But he knew me...he has said from the beginning he lives in dread of the day someone says they like what I'm wearing and I will end up bare!
So, Shan moved to the bottom bunk.  He never fell out of bed...we just had to fight to keep him in it!  That boy!
One night, Don had gone to a late prayer meeting, and all of a sudden, here came Shan down the hall!  He was smeared in red and looked like he was bleeding to death.  He wasn't!  He had opened a screw top jar of burgundy shoe polish cream and eaten it!  Then he drooled it all over kingdom come and himself, too!  I was hysterical!  Was that stuff toxic?  There was absolutely nothing on the label to say either way.  I made a frantic call to the church, which was a good 20 minutes away.  Don and Paul Dédéyan came tearing to the house, grabbed him up and rushed him to the hospital...where they were told, "Wrong hospital, we don't treat children!"  They went to 2 others before they found one that treated children! 
When they got there, the young intern looked at Don and said, "Take all his clothes off."  Don left his diaper on, but was told that must go, too!  Now, Don was an experienced dad...he knew what would happen to a stripped down 9 mo. old boy laying bare on a cold table.  He stepped aside, still holding on to Shan, but out of the danger zone.  Paul wasn't as quick on the uptake.  Shan did the expected, and it rained down on Paul's head!  Not realizing where the moisture was coming from, he looked up, as if to see if it was actually raining.  Then it hit him just what was happening!  He leaped back hollering, "Oh, Oh!"  Don couldn't help it!  He laughed!
Alexis, Paul's wife, told us he never wore that suit again!  Every so often, I tease Paul by singing the following song...http://youtu.be/OT1HCQcSHW0

Have a great day!!!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Freedom's Never Free


I lost several friends in Viet Nam, and some who did come back were never the same. They did their duty...fought a war they were not allowed to win and came home. They did not receive hero's welcomes for the most part, just as the guys fighting in Afghanistan and Irak come home unsung heroes. People forget that soldiers go where they are sent, do what they are told to do, and rarely do they get the honor or merit due their many sacrifices. No amount of pay can ever make up for what they give up to serve their country. They serve...do their duty...whether the commander-in-chief is to their liking or not.



WW1 and WW2 were horrendous battles.  America fought in WW1 for other people's freedom.  WW2 they fought in Europe, again, for other people's freedom and elsewhere for OUR freedom.  Omaha beach should be visited by every person of this new generation so they can see the terrible price so many paid for freedom's
sake.
Soldiers leave the comforts of home and country to make a difference...to make a better, safer world.  Wives and children have lost their mates and father's, and in these days, some  have lost their wives and mothers.  Often, they are ridiculed by their fellow citizens because of what they are doing.  Their sacrifices should NEVER be a thankless task!  I, for one, am thankful for each one of them, past present and future!
                
               http://youtu.be/S8GgzOQ-UHY
Even more so, is the price paid for us when Jesus died for us.   His was the ultimate sacrifice of all time.   Freedom is NEVER free...Freedom's price...sacrifice! Remember....

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memories...A Picture is worth 1,000 words

Shan age 1 year
 Cristofer age 13 mos.
Melynda age 2 1/2 years


Shan (22 mos.), Cris (3 1/2 yrs), Melynda (5 yrs)
Kelsey (3 yrs.)

They All Fall Down

I have been lazy about this lately, but my hubby got back from 5 weeks in the States and the young missionary family that works with us have moved into the church pending their departure for furlough...all true, but just excuses for my not feeling creative! 
As we go into Memorial weekend, I'm going to be remembering things.  The first is kind of a funny, but cool story.
Around 16 years ago, I managed to total our American car, and in the process dislocated my collarbone.  I was home when a man came up to the door and asked if he could see the pastor.  Don was at our Lieusaint work (3 1/2 hours away, in the Paris area) so I took the man's address and number and told him Don would give him a call.  When Don went to visit them, he noticed a For Sale sign at the place next door.  We had been looking for something to buy to start our church in, as our house wasn't big enough for a permanent worship place.
We ended up buying 5 garages that were back to back with a 3 room apartment and 2 parcels of land.  It was a God thing, because all of it cost under $50,000.  Through the years, we have knocked out the walls between the garages and put a door through from the apartment to the other side, built a house on the bluff over the river (just behind the church) and built another building that was initially our church, but we outgrew it so moved everything to the apt/converted garages.  Above is the final result.

Anyway, in front of us, is a house that was surrounded by all these big cedar type trees.  The trees blocked the view of our building.  PLUS...the wind would hit them and branches would drop down and they looked awful.

That house was eventually bought by the Imam's son.  He doesn't like us at all.  We are Americans and we are Christians.  The son tolerates us, but still shows his disdain on occasion.

So...back to the trees!  We wanted those trees to go!  We knew that our neighbor would never cut them down because we asked him to do it, so we started praying.  I know...some of you will probably think that is a petty thing to pray about, but God says nothing is too small for Him to attend to!  Well, God sent some really bad wind storms and those trees took the brunt and they looked awful!  They were also becoming dangerous!  One morning we got up to the sound of chain saws and sure enough!  They were cutting the worst tree down!
We were overjoyed!  You could see the church better from the street, and that was great, but it was still partially blocked from view!  We just kept on praying!  The other tree was a mess and we wanted it gone, too.  Finally, we looked out and saw the wind had made so many branches stick out the tree was a hazard!  Next thing we knew, that tree was gone as well.  God answered our prayers and now, people see the building clearly! 
Sometimes, we forget that God knows about every little thing!  I could go on forever about all the little things He has taken care of in our lives.  We often look for Him in the BIG things, but I tend to believe it is His attention to the supposedly little things that show His amazing awesomeness!
Remember all the wonderful things our soldiers have done for us this weekend, but remember most of all what God does for us every day!  Blessings to all!
                                                         
             Our house