Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Making plans and following through with details are always necessary for any holiday celebration to occur.  Yet it is always the unexpected moments that are the most memorable!  This past Thanksgiving was such an occasion.

Thankfully a digital camera recorded the event!

Gabby is feeding two WILD deer right out of her hands.

Gabby's other grandpa,  Pops White,  lives in Branson, MO  and loves all things wild and woolly. The area is populated with many deer and sometimes baby fawns need a little extra help to survive.   When such an orphan is discovered Pops cares for it, feeds it,  and babies it as most folks do their first born  biological child.  He names these beautiful creatures, each one is called "Sugar." They are never caged, never restricted and free to come and go as they are able to walk and fiend for themselves.

As time passes every "Sugar" grows up and he happily watches them leave his protective eye and  they trot off in search of their kinfolk. Each one a success story!

BUT that is not the end of the tale.  The grown-up "Sugars" find their way "home" again and again.  At supper time Pops carries a small container of food into the woods nearby and gently calls.  Soon, Sugar  and her family and friends appear.  Let's call him the deer whisperer!

Slowly and very trustingly those beautiful creatures greet their benefactor and are soon eating out of his hand.

This year we watched from about twenty feet away as Pops coaxed Gabby to follow him. She tiptoed quietly behind him  and stood stone still.  Because they trusted him, they trusted her also.

Three precious little ones are trusting............ and thriving on love.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


This needs to go into the Guiness Book of World Records. Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I have ONE, only ONE Christmas gift left to purchase. (It's for Honeybuns and he has yet to give me any hints!)

 SO, I'm pitching the ten catalogs a day that arrive in my mailbox, trying to stay out of the stores and refuse to go surfing online! After the wrapping is all done I'll be ready to savor and calmly enjoy  the remaining days until Christmas! Anything that is purchased or made now is for the sheer recreation of the process!

I LOVE buying gifts for the kids and grandkids.  I spend a lot of time thinking of just the right thing, something that I'm just sure they would enjoy.  (It doesn't always work out that way, but I try!)

Today I'm thinking that I've been a little lax on the greatest gift I could give them.  During these days as they live through economic struggles, relationship challenges and our unkind, selfish culture I want to spend time in prayer.  I am SO thankful for the four big KIDS (Andy and Jamie, Philip and Nancy) and eight little KIDS (Hays, Maggie, Dax, Tiki, Gabby, Gracie, Mollie and Thompson) and  desperately want the best for them. Sounds "motherly" doesn't it???

My "how to pray for your children" list is mine alone and I may have already posted this in days gone by, but I'm whipping it out again for my own benefit.

Here's how it goes:  (usually about 4 a.m.  when I'm wide awake and have God to myself)

1. Protection - physically, emotionally and spiritually.
2. Holiness, rather than happiness.
3. Godly character rather than earthly comfort.
4. A desire for the smile of God rather than the approval of men.
5. A genuine desire to put others first above self.
6. An appreciation for every person they meet regardless of differences.
7. That their marriage would be an exhibition of divine blessing.
8. Business success that brings glory to God.
9. Relationships that challenge them to a godly lifestyle.
10. Wisdom, patience and sacrificial love for their children.
11.Participation in some type of ministry that forces them to pray and then experience God's answers.
12. Viewing their spouse as God's gift to them.
13. Dependence upon their spouse as #1 counselor rather than family or friends.
14. Honesty in everything said and done.
15. Generosity of forgiveness.
16. A determination to refuse to respond to criticism.
17. Kindness
18. Joyful abandonment and trust in the Sovereignty of God.

Now that I look at that, I may need to give this list to them to PRAY FOR ME.  I need every one of those characteristics developed in ME!  Yes, it's ME that's "standing in the need of prayer."

Well, what a revelation!!  I think I'll wrap myself in the gift of God's GRACE and today be very thankful for HIM, the GREATEST GIVER of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.   AMEN!

Monday, November 22, 2010


It seems like such a simple thing.  But it takes just the RIGHT amount of wind to get a kite UP and AWAY.

And this seems like such a normal picture of a pleasant Sunday afternoon.  But pictures rarely tell the whole story.

We see a grandpa and three grandchildren, right?  No big deal!  Scenes like this occur all over America every day!

Look closer.  Honeybuns is giving kite instruction to three little ones and the wind is doing the rest.

The little boy hugging his "Papa" is Tiki and while Tiki and his siblings were visiting this past weekend we celebrated his one year anniversary with us.  Just one year ago he arrived in the United States having boarded an  airplane for the first time in his little life.
That airplane ride took him from his native Rwanda and his known home (an orphanage of many children and a few nuns)  to his new environment of a mommy, a daddy, two sisters and two brothers.  He spoke French with just a few English words and a great big smile to get him through the challenges of communicating.

Adopting an older child presents a different set of adjustments than adopting a baby but I'm writing to declare that TIKI is doing just FINE! 

He speaks fluent English,  knows slang, fights with his siblings,  and plays hard like every six year old should play. He loves books, knows his ABC's, can count, cries when he falls,  prefers milk to juice and knows when his brothers are giving him the short end of the stick.  He is delightful and we love him!

He tells a few stories of life B.A. (before America) and remembers some special friends.  He's requested that his friends be adopted soon, too.  He misses them.  But I'm pretty sure he would  never trade his new life here with his old life there.

Every child needs a family, and every family that can possibly open their arms and hearts needs a Tiki.  Is it really so hard to make room for just one more?   Just one more little guy or girl that grows, smiles, dreams, hugs, and prays.

He's still learning, but then again so are the rest of us.  

At our Thanksgiving feast he raised the question, "What's stuffing?"  Answer, "this dish, right here, want some?"
His question, "Do you put it in a teddy bear?"

And he LOVES kites.  Kites  are free to be carried by the wind, just like little orphan boys that are freed from their circumstances and  carried by love.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010



It's been a week now since my good friend and I went to an all day seminar in downtown Tulsa on Human Trafficking!  Now, how did an innocent little granny like me get involved in such a thing, you ask?  Well, I'm not sure.  Perhaps it was a suggestion from an older  wiser friend who whispered,  "you need to know about Human Trafficking."

The attendees included ICE agents, FBI folks, policemen, DHS workers and a scattering of other officials.  My friend and I were probably the only Granny's there. When asked what agency we represented we wrote "interested citizen."   The purpose was to inform these highly trained public servants of a new national phenomena. Our purpose was simply to discover the meaning of the words!
It was information overload!  The statistics shot out through the room like bullets.

We learned that OK is #1 in child abuse, #2 in teen pregnancy, #3 in divorce and #4 in women murdered by their husbands or boyfriends. The Interstate system through the middle of the country has created a crossroad of illegal interstate people moving.

The geography of  OK, AR, and KN is now defined as the epicenter of the action.

There is foreign national labor trafficking, foreign national sex trafficking  (700K a year) and U.S. citizen sex trafficking.  In the US we have domestic servitude, commercial sex, and child sex all going on under the radar.  At truck stops in OK thousands of young women are exchanged and transported from state to state.  If there are 50 trucks in a lot, 46 will be involved in some way!

 We've taught our children "stranger danger" but not "relationship danger."  95% of violations will occur with people children already KNOW!

The red flags that officers are looking for are: single parent homes, education level, and FAITH-BASED families.  Evidently Christians do not do a good job preparing their children to be "street smart," putting more emphasis on being kind, turning the other cheek, loyalty, and giving people the benefit of the doubt when judging character.  The Bible Belt is a  prime recruitment area for unsuspecting teenage girls. Usually all it takes is a fuss with mom before daughter lands in the clutches of a predator.

When pictures are sold online it becomes a trafficking offense. 20% of Internet porn is child porn.  99% of viewers are men, 91% are white. 

What to look for?  Derogatory tattoos, gang tattoos, (pimps like to brand their new property) difficulties with school friends, runaways or throwaways,  girls living with  boyfriends, cutting, burning, depression, mood swings, failing grades at school, aggressive survival skills, masters of manipulation.

There is even an "underground railroad" in place to provide safe harbors in order for girls to escape.

Two young women told their horrific true stories of how they were seduced into a way of life they never knew even existed. Their escape took YEARS!

There is SO much more.  Our culture is "sexed" to death and being a child in the US is a dangerous place to be.

Sounds like a foreign country, doesn't it?  It  all adds up to modern slavery.  And history will one day ask the question again, "where was the church when this was happening right under her eyes."
We've come a long way baby! And our babies are the victims.    I had to come home, jump in the bed, cover up my head and wait for morning!

There are several opportunities to become involved in this tragedy. We're investigating.  Many social service and religious agencies around the state are jumping into the fray to help is some way. Once informed it's  impossible to return to ignorance.

This is just chapter one of a long book! There is more to come as we get involved. 

I'm wondering if we have the emotional strength.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


It was a cartoon moment!  An older woman had driven her small gray car off a curb trying to get out of a parking lot in downtown Houston.  Evidently she thought she was driving right out the exit ramp onto the busy street. 

She was stuck!  The front end of the car was in the street, the back end was in the parking lot and the middle end was hung on the curb,  looking very much like a teeter-totter on a playground.

Two muscular parking lot attendants were giving her directions. They had on their game faces, determined not to even grin. On the count of THREE she was to put it in reverse and "gun it." They would both lift the front end with all their might at the same time and hopefully push the thing back into the parking lot.

At about FIVE she let her rip.  The back tires squealed and smoked billowed.  The car went NOWHERE!  What were they thinking?
Did they truly believe they could LIFT the engine portion of a car?  Would that be about 1000 lbs.?  If the plan HAD worked she would have found herself in San Antonio by the TEN count!

My friend and I stood there in disbelief watching the whole scenario.  Another fellow stood with us, laughing out loud at the whole idea of his friends trying to LIFT that car up over the curb.

That poor woman was embarrassed beyond belief.   We walked away when we couldn't stand to watch it anymore.  They must've called a wrecker because when we returned a few hours later she was gone.   I can't imagine that poor woman trying to explain that bill to her husband!!!

I've never been so thankful I was NOT in the driver's seat!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


This past week I attended the Houston International Quilt Festival. Sounds about as exciting as watching grass grow, doesn't it?  Honeybuns would rather have his fingernails pulled out one at a time than have to attend such a gathering.  He's never been or does he plan to go! One friend suggested that a root canal would be more fun!

Given the title, it IS hard to imagine that a convention all about quilts and the industry behind such an "old lady" hobby could hold any one's attention.

Tens of thousands of women and a few good men converged on Houston this past week and made their way to the downtown convention center.  Hotels were filled and restaurant owners were thrilled at the revenue they brought to town. Airport lines were long and many languages were heard as quilt fans from around the globe
struggled through security checkpoints and taxi stands.

What IS the fascination behind this billion dollar industry?  The product certainly is NOT the utilitarian blanket that warmed the pioneers during THEIR trek across the country.  Now quilting is an art form like none other.

It always takes my sweet friend and I two days to see it all!  Half of the convention center is filled with vendors selling fabric, rulers, thread, books, patterns, needles, quilting machines that cost more than our first house, and all the paraphernalia that goes with sewing. 

Some people spend the entire week at the festival taking classes from famous author-quilters or TV-personality quilters.  Lectures are held and chairs are filled with spell bound quilting students.

One section of the convention center is reserved for "pain relief."  There are  special chairs, lights, shoes, and  lotions and potions for sale to help comfort the various strains and cramps that are evidently occupational  health hazards of hours spent cutting and piecing.  The awkward looking shoes help relieve the pain of hoofin' it to all those hundreds of quilt stores scattered across America.

In the other half of that huge building quilts from all over the world are displayed in a museum-like atmosphere.  They are hung against a curtained backdrop that enhances  color and texture.  A few are designated as "winners" with the thousands of dollars in prize money posted.  The blankets and wall hangings are categorized by how they were made, either by hand or machine,  by theme, embellishment or style.

Yes, these pictures I've posted are QUILTS.  Tiny pieces of different colors and shades of fabric were cut and arranged until these faces emerged.  These were NOT winners. Not one was judged "best of show."  There were hundreds like these that simply defied the imagination.  I wonder if the people that made these are still considered sane.

The Japanese quilts are made of even tinier pieces.  Perhaps those lovely small oriental hands were made for such tedious work.

Today's quilts are fascinating and they are ART.   The suppliers for these "artists" are smiling all the way to the bank!  Our quilting ancestors must be  rolling over in their graves at the insanity of buying a beautiful piece of cloth, tearing it into tiny pieces just for the thrill of sewing it all  back together again!  Quilting has come a long way, baby!

And next year I'll travel a long way to be amazed once again!


Monday, November 1, 2010


Halloween 2010 is now history! 

It was a parade of gigantic proportions up and down the front sidewalk.  Well, maybe not gigantic.  In fact the numbers were down about 50% this year, perhaps because the day fell on a Sunday night and most little goblins had to be in bed by 9 p.m. We were ready for about 200, the average number of masked visitors.

Our neighborhood is perfect for such shenanigans.  There is no entrance gate, houses are relatively close together, and safety isn't as issue.  So it's possible to walk the streets and  quickly load up with enough candy to cause a sugar high and a tummy ache simultaneously.

The first two little boys arrived at 5 p.m.  They simply couldn't wait until dark and where is that rule written down anyway.  I heard them giggling as they walked toward the front door before they rang the bell.

Following them were princesses, fairies, Minnie Mouse, cheerleaders, actions figures, happy witches, Spiderman, bumble bees, monsters and teen-agers that admitted they had no costume but still craved the sweet stuff.  One boy brought his dog along, complete with a tiny black cape.  So cute!

Golf carts, wagons, and strollers snaked through the streets and parents watched as tiny legs timidly passed jack-o-lanterns and skeletons to get to the doorbells.  Pillow cases, plastic pumpkins and fancy totes were filled to overflowing.

We oohed and ahhhed at every costume and  "thank-yous" filled the air.  Parents cameras flashed and the event was recorded for the ages. Fun memories were made.

 Evidently everybody around here was prepared with treats because  no tricks were delivered.

The evil pagan holiday has evolved into a children's parade!

It's reported that terrible things occur on Halloween  each year and I don't doubt that for a minute.  Terrible things occur all the time in this wicked world. The  detailed history of this devil's holiday is surely the cause of  much insomnia, worry and heart palpatations!

The most frightening  element of Halloween 2010  I face is the left-over candy, which will no doubt find it's way to my waistline!!  EGADS, how scary is that!!