Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sittin' in a winery in Grapevine...

listening to Texas music and watching people sample Texas products. I've already had some Italian that made me melt. I've got my eye on some chili and BBQ. It smells heavenly.

T. Gozney Thornton is singing and playing. Apparently he is or was a Grammy nominee. Good, old style cowboy country.

Donna was a little nervous about performing before such a busy crowd. I told her to find peaceful spots on the wall to focus on. I turned to talk to Phil and turned back around to find her staring at the wall 2 feet away. I almost fell over laughing. She said she was picking out her peaceful spot. She's performing now and dancing has broke out. That is always a good sign.

Phil's glasses broke a few minutes ago. He is blind as a bat without them. Well, he can see up close. I asked if I needed to drive home. He said "If you know what is good for you." So, I'm not tasting any wine tonight. I think he did it on purpose.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Trying to lose weight

I'm heavier now than I was at nine months with any of my babies. Fifty pounds heavier than I was in high school. I feel like a stuffed toad. If I could only put about six more inches in height I would be in great shape. I've been working out and have decided that my muscles are so out of shape that they do not even realize they exist. It's horrifying! Walk, run, ride bikes for 7 miles a day and not a twinge. Does this mean I'm not trying hard enough? The puddle of sweat that I create begs to differ.


Last night's episode proved to me that the writers are not completely making this up as they go along - minute by minute, second by second. There were times I was sure that was what was going on.

Ben had the funniest lines of the night. "Time traveling bunnies." He made me laugh several times. And he finally met his match in the "nasty with no soul" category.

Didn't see Locke being in the casket. That was a surprise.

I'm not the kind of LOST fan that searches the internet for information and hidden clues. I don't buy the official LOST magazine to see if I can figure out the mystery. Didn't know there was an official LOST magazine? I didn't either until a LOST obsessed former co-worker brought it in one night. I enjoy watching the show with my family and leaving it there in the black box I watch it on. We do have interesting conversations sometimes because we all have our little theories. But, mainly to me, it is a nice little getaway once a week.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Special Kids with Special Needs with Special Opportunities

I didn't realize my Jason was considered a special needs child by Compassion, but he is. His father is deceased. He is one of the 132 million children that live without one or both parents (UNICEF, 2008). To sponsor a child who has lost one or both parents go to There are 700 special orphans waiting for sponsors to give them special opportunities.

Can you imagine living in a country that is devastated by AIDS? Everyone around you is sick. People are dying. And you are a child watching this happen everywhere you look. Nearly 14,000 children in AIDS-affected areas are waiting for a sponsor. Go to to see how you can provide that special opportunity for a special needs child.

Do you feel called to minister to an older child? This is the place for you to go - These special kids have lost their sponsor or have been waiting a long time for one. About 1,200 continue waiting.

Mix a disability with poverty and you have a recipe for disaster. Resources for families are not readily available as they are here. Some cultures shun those with disabilities. Compassion has almost 180 disabled children waiting for a sponsor. To make a special change in the life of a child with a disability go to

Pick your special kid with a special need and give them special opportunities.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New Orleans Five

The following is a letter written by our fearless team leader:

Hey Parents,

Have you heard enough about New Orleans? I can't stop thinking about our trip. I especially can't stop thinking about our awesome students! Not one of them gave me any trouble. We had change after change during our stay and each one of them rolled with the punches. They were ready to serve. God stretched each and every one of us and we met HIS challenge.

Please give me a moment to share my memories:
  • We were deeply impacted by the "tent city" of homeless under the freeway as we turned ourselves around after a wrong exit from the interstate.
  • Amanda begging me to take our leftover pizza back to the homeless who lived in the tent city.
  • Gary rushing out the door to help with the VBS battle.
  • Our student's solemn faces returning from that first VBS then their determined looks to go back and love them in Jesus' name.
  • Olivia's strong words of disappointment in the kid's behavior and then her determined look to go back and love anyway. All because she wanted to be obedient to Christ.
  • Rachel's encouraging words to love the unlovely. She wisely compared our past experiences in Juarez and challenged to students to take that same love to the children in the projects.
  • Our boy's valiant faces when we told them we need them as "bouncers" for the rest of the VBS's.
  • Lizzy's look of love as she befriended one to the toughest girls in the group.
  • Corinn's sweet dirty face as she worked with the boys everyday at Canal Baptist Church. This is a downtown church that was destroyed by the flood and is finally rebuilding. It's a deaf church and now Brent Robertson knows sign language!
  • The hungry eyes of the intercessory team while Gary and Nancy served yummy homemade meals. Ask your students about the homemade biscuits, enchiladas, sloppy joes, eggs, bacon...
  • Katie Morrical's laughter as I got lost several times delivering lunch to the teams. We crossed the bridge twice and had to pay twice!! No mercy from the toll lady.
  • Daniel Feller's midnight birthday party.
  • The smell of homemade cookies thanks to you and Nancy Purdy.
  • The sounds of worship thanks to the worship team. NOTE: Worship and devotionals were led by our students!
  • Will Menzies bravely standing by my husband as he kicked out some misbehaving boys during the block party.
  • Paige enduring the fact a little boy just threw up on her!!!
  • Emily taking care of Cornelius, yet she left him behind. (an ear of corn she picked at the downtown mission.)
  • Kelsey staying behind one day to help me clean the facility.
  • All of our faces of amazement as we viewed the areas where the levee broke and how high the water rose.
  • The empty blocks where houses once stood in the Ninth Ward... only street signs and fire hydrants remain...
  • The sounds of car horn beeping in appreciation as we stood and prayed at the Ninth Ward memorial. One day your child will hear the voice of our Father saying "well done good and faithful servant."
Thank you for raising great warriors and allowing us to take them to serve our neighbors in New Orleans.

Have a great summer and God bless your families.

Living in the River of HIS GLORY,

Monday, May 26, 2008

New Orleans Four

Heart breaking
Complete neighborhoods gone
Empty lots
Years and years of rebuilding
Middle Class
Katrina did not discriminate.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Home from New Orleans

I never got New Orleans before. I had never been to New Orleans before, so that had a lot to do with it. I never knew that the city is small. Now, even smaller in population. But, there is a spirit in New Orleans that I haven't seen or felt in other cities.

We visited three levy breaks last night. I wrote my thoughts down and will share them later. I'm too tired now. I slept 5 hours this afternoon, but I'm headed back to bed.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

New Orleans Three

It has rained all day. Buckets and buckets. Torrents upon torrents. Is New Orleans really where you want to be when the rain won't stop?

Yesterday the center director kicked the VBS team out and said they could come back today. The team arrived to find the building locked up tight. They called to find out the reason. The director was getting on a plane and had forgotten to give someone the key to open the doors. Playing in the park really wasn't an option - due to the torrent upon torrents.

Riddle burned his hand with boiling water as he helped in the kitchen. They've taken him to the "Doc in the Box". It looked nasty.

Downstairs they are celebrating Feller's 18th birthday. The frosting Corinn made for his cookie cake has enough sugar in it to keep the whole group up all night. The guys already celebrated by taking his clothes while he was in the shower. With friends like that...

I am emotionally drained. The news about the Chapman family has weighed on my heart all day. My prayer is that God will give them a peace that passes understanding.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New Orleans Two

Today went much better for the VBS crew today. They rebuilt their schedule and group plans, but then got kicked out of the community center. Even though they were written on the director's calendar she insisted they weren't suppose to be there and threw everyone out. They moved to the park across the street and continued there.

I really dislike Wal-Mart, but I find it fascinating that here in New Orleans you can grab a bottle of your favorite whiskey, vodka, rum, the checkout line! Right there next to the gum and tic-tacs sits gallon bottles of hard liquor.

Tonight a delightful couple came and spoke about their hurricane nightmare. One group is working on their home. It is freaky to hear them talk about all the miracles that took place all around them. They were are lifted from the SuperDome in a Black Hawk with 11 others just two days after arriving and after being told that it would be weeks before they got out.

The water rushed into their home to their waists in a matter of seconds. Their home sat three feet off the groud. Outside the water was 8 feet and they spent the night in the attic. The next day they were ferried to the interstate to trucks that drove them to another interstate and they began the trek to the Dome.

I still can't imagine an entire city that is in complete and total panic and has no idea what is happening where or how to get help!

Our headquarters for the week is Berean Church which is located next to the deserted New Orleans School District Administration Building. The NO School District has one school they are operating. All other schools that were once NO schools are now charter schools or part of the Recovery School District that is run by the state.

Once again I am exhausted.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

New Orleans

First full day in New Orleans was bad. It did not go well. My color coded, finely detailed grocery list for Sam's crashed and burned when they wouldn't let us use the school credit card for the purchase of a week's worth of food for 50 people. We never could get them to understand that the people listed in the computer could not come and vouch for us in person because they were all in Texas. They kept telling us to just call them and have them come to the store to say we could use the card.

Everyone else has been wonderful. Well, the group who went to do VBS in the projects will violently disagree with me. They came in looking shell shocked. Our kids thought the Juarez kids were needy and out of control. Today was a HUGE eye opener for them. They are still reeling.

The groups working in a church and in homes had wonderful experiences. It is so hard to comprehend that 80% of this city was under water. I still can't wrap my head around it.

I am exhausted. I really dislike Wal-Mart and I had to make two trips there today and have to go back tomorrow. BLECK! I've been on my feet all day and now the mosquitoes are trying to carry me away. The kids have been so helpful with everything in the kitchen. I greatly appreciate it.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

So Many Books -- So Little Time

Books being read at our house by at least four of the seven that live here:

Justice in the Burbs by Will and Lisa Samson
Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore
Why We're Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be) by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne
The Importance of Being Foolish - How to Think Like Jesus by Brennan Manning
Simplfy Your Space by Marcia Ramsland
Revolution in World Missions by K.P. Yohonnan
Robin Hood
Dateable: are you? are they?
by Justin Lookadoo and Hayley Morgan

What's being read at your house?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

This 13 Might Do Me In

Anyone who has had teenagers knows how fun having a thirteen year old can be. I've done it five times now. This last one might do me in.

Me on Saturday MORNING (meaning I had already had my fill of thirteen year old for the day!): Let's make a deal. I won't speak to you and you won't speak to me until you turn 14, okay?

Clay: And what if I haven't changed by the time I'm 14?

I can't bear the thought!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

So, you're still looking for that perfect gift for your mother. Maybe you have a mother that has everything. Maybe you have a mother that has enough stuff and doesn't want anymore stuff. Maybe your mother would like one of the following or all of the following.

Love 146 is dedicated to ending child sex slavery and exploitation. Donate in your mother's name.

Gospel for Asia develops native missionaries to reach the lost in their countries. Sponsor a missionary in your mother's name.

Compassion International brings hope to poverty stricken children. They work with local churches to change lives. "Adopt" a child in your mother's name. Or give to the Malaria Intervention Fund in your mother's name.

Brody Harper is partnering with blood:water mission to build wells in Africa. Help with the drilling in your mother's name.

25 Cloth has great t-shirts with great purpose. This quarter, when you buy a shirt for your mother, you will also supply the cast materials for one club-footed child in a developing country. With your purchase, a child will have the opportunity to heal properly and enjoy one of life's basic functions--to walk.

Operation Care - Dallas ministers to the homeless of the DFW metroplex. They are expanding to work with homeless children in the Philippines. Give to the homeless in your mother's name.

This Mother's Day give your mother a gift that keeps on giving.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sleeping Beauty...

except is was more like Sleeping Stupid.

My alarm went off at 9 a.m.

My alarm is on my phone.

I placed my phone on the vanity in the bathroom so that I would have to get up to turn it off.

I got up, walked to the bathroom and turned off my alarm on my phone.

I carried my phone back to the bed and collapsed on the bed while still clutching the phone.

I woke up at 1:15 p.m.