Monday, August 24, 2009

A Year Ago

Wow...It was the end of July for our conference. I look at the faces and many have gone to serve in Israel for various amounts of time. Of those, I was the slower one to submit to the call; as we are still in the U.S. after Randy has returned from serving in Tel Aviv, I wonder if I'll ever get there. .... Here's last year's post that I never posted:
Last month the Apples held a conference at our church to teach about what servant hood in Israel entails. We studied the short side of the history of the Jewish people, a little of the language and what daily life might look like. While I was eager to attend I kind of felt that nagging in the pit of my I knew what was in front of me. Then, I gave in and the wheels of preparation began. I had finally said it, " Yes, I'll go and serve in Israel."

We brought Candace and Madison home for a visit.
What a blessing to sing alongside her once again. Madison thought it was
kind of fun and wanted to join in...LOL

Candace had just finished leading out the song "Hosanna", doing a wonderful job on a song that was completely new to her. Pastor walked in to make the morning announcements and unbeknownst to us began to announce that the Roams would be leaving and moving to Israel to serve as new missionaries and they were going to ordain Randy. I can't describe the wave of shock that rippled through us and our children. C. I are on stage trying to still smile and not look surprised...there are my boys in the back and I wondered what was going through their minds and then the surprise to Pastor Randy himself.
I was amazed that our entire family was together, in one place for this occasion. I would have broken hearted if Candace was in Ca. and had missed it. I just happened to have my camera so we snapped these photos from 2nd service.


It's tough saying good-bye to this. Last week wrapped up the end of Candace and Madison's 10 day visit in Texas. Of course I have tons of pictures and will post a few more.
This is her in the airport with her monkey backpack.

We also took Randy to the international terminal where he flew out to Israel for two weeks.
It was rough driving home.
Our last family photo. Boy! it beats the one we took last year where Madison was crying everyone was fussing then putting on one of those fake "smile for the camera" faces.
This is GENUINE! Nothing but love for my family.....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Create in Me....

The last few months I have had the need to be creative. I haven't played around doing crafty things for a few years now. One day I woke up and it was all gone. I wondered if it would ever return. Hallelujah! Praise The Lord! it has come back.
I saw something online and thought I could do a fair job with the same idea so I took my old paintings from the high school days and painted over them.
I sent these to Candace & Andrew for their 2nd anniversary.

Women's Retreat

We enjoyed our Women's Retreat in the country setting at Rock High Ranch.
It boasts, Rustic yet Refined. We had pool time, devotions at sunrise and crafts. We made new friends with the multitude of women who were joining us for the first year. Speakers, Pat and Christy brought lessons on Psalm 139 reminding us that God's thought toward us number more than the grains of sand. Do you know how much sand is in the Sahara? on the beach? It tells us that His thought are on us always, continually, endlessly and eternally. Nothing enters our life without being filtered through him, his right hand holds us. If I rise on the wings of morning, or plunge to the depths of the sea, he is with me.

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!

My post wouldn't post. So after two days of trying, I deleted the text...some of what I would've said....
Years ago we started a family tradition for just our family of five. We camped at Raymond Gary Lake for July 4th. We met a great family that first year and every year we met them at our spot for fun, food and fellowship of like-minded Believers. Mike and Cassie shared their pontoon boat and took us swimming in the hot of the day and for a toodle around the lake after supper. The annual fireworks show took place from the piers around the lake and from homeowners there. We would sit in the middle of the lake while fireworks burst overhead showering us with light. More than once we weathered lightning storms hoping not to get struck. It was so hard to freely enjoy the light show when you know you're in an aluminum boat on the lake. We loaded up on junk food 'cause Cassie is the ultimate fun camping mom.
It was always fun to arrive at the campgrounds and watch the kids run to climb on this one certain low hanging tree. With each passing year I noticed the tree seemed smaller than the year before. Hmmm. We each had an important job to perform to get camp set up. After the work the boys would hop on their bikes and fly down the winding hills. We always enjoyed Daddy cooking breakfast and Jansen's famous camp toast.
One year as we were on the lake waiting for fireworks we called Derek to let him know what he was missing by not coming. The next year we were calling Candace. As we heard her choke back the tears we knew we had succeeded in making those "family memories" that run deep. Regardless of how nice life is we think of those years camping.: The muddy water of the lake, the temperature changing with the depths, the year we had the johnny boat, waving at the passersby, meeting new folks, johnny coming by for coffee and a chat.
Thank goodness for a country where our lives are free because someone loved America enough to fight for her. Happy Fourth of July!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Daddy!

I went to see my parents for the Father's Day week end. Went to church with them and out to Rosa's for lunch. Oh my goodness! I stretched that meal into three, it was so much food. The eatery brought out slices of chocolate cake for all the dads. It's so nice to see someone go the extra mile.
Daddy was born in the Depression Era. He was one of eleven children born to Gid and Ola Crutchfield. He's also a twin and for many years the brothers lived just down the road from eachother. Lester and Vester once ran over a flock of guinnies just to see if they could be run over. The saying was that they were too fast for a car...well, these weren't of the "swift " breed and evidently the Crutchfield boys were faster in the Model-T. Vicie Lee ran out to see what the commotion was and found those two dead birds that belonged to Mr. Cutler down the road from their farm. She dressed them quick as she could and made Guinnie stew.
The family also used to pick blackberries and sell them to the colored folk in a neighboring community. If they got 25 cents a gallon, they were doing good. Daddy can't remember very well but I wonder if it was less, 'cause 25 cents was hard to come by.
Last year I took Daddy to the doctor and as we rouned the corner at 1510 he burst out with a story. Randomly he said, " That's the old Smiley place. One time Snowbie Jo called me and said, Lester, go to the house and look behind the door and find my shoes. He went and sure enough, they were right where she said." She was in town, he was in the country. He delivered those shoes. I pictured some little old lady dressed the way my Granny used to dress in her polka dot dress. No, this lady wasn't old...maybe she was his age. I'll never know. The story came and was gone just as quickly. I fell in love with her name though. What a great story.
Dad also once took a bus cross country with his future sister-in-law so she wouldn't travel by herself to see her fiance'. He served his country in the Merchant Marines and U.S. Army. He knew to keep neccessaties with him when he was abroad, like his coat. He kept the issued cigarettes (which he never smoked) and sold them to men who wanted them to make a little money. He sent most all of his money back home to his parents to support them and he lived off what the U.S. gave him. Onboard ship he loaned his coat to other sailors who hadn't the forthought to bring one. Everyone on watch would take turns in the night wearing Dad's coat. He was once on a ship that was one of near a hundred out in the ocean and all the ones around him were torpedoed. His was safe. He's had a life of many stories.
He laso served as County Judge my first 16 years. He went from a country boy who educated himself to the Judge. To my knowledge he's the only one who did that. The others were lawyers first. Quite a man to live up to. Happy Birthday PePaw!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

As a post script to the Spring on Margaret post...
The Mountain was levelled by the city who so kindly removed the tree that fell but it also removed the land of adventure for the children. How sad that it is really did mark a passing of time for their imaginations. Also gone is Sissy. As I went to work part-time we found it hard to leave her wandering about the house, alone. She went to a wonderful family who was about to lose their daucshund of many years. I am sure she will hold a special place in their heart and bring great joy.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Spring on Margaret

We sit outside now that the weather permits. In the evening if one family is outside the others will migrate over and visit for a while. The neighborhood rings with the laughter of children as they play with our new puppy, Sissy or as they run up the mountain. It's really a small pile of dirt waiting to be spread but "the mountain" is a wonderful land of adventure to the kids. We have watched as they play make believe and conquer new worlds that only their little minds can create. I hesitate to spread the dirt for it will mark a passing in their young life.

This family will soon move to a new house and we will miss them. I know they will miss life on Margaret; it's the way a neighborhood should be. We're kind of lost in the 40's or 50's. That time when people actually took time to get to know one another and nurture friendships. The ones you rely on when you need a friend, an egg or a cup of sugar. The ones you stop the day for to have a cup of tea.

This is Sissy cuddled up to Blue. He loves all small animals.....
Sissy is 9 weeks old. No, I'm not enjoying training her but Randy and the boys like her.

I found this old book as I dug through some boxes when we cleaned out our storage. Charles had a beautiful handwriting back in the day. I am sorry that we don't work as hard on our penmanship. It's another one of those things that make you pause and appreciate that someone worked so hard on something that today no one sees the value in. Back then, it would have been disgraceful to exhibit poor handwriting.

My flowers bloomed this year. I thought for sure they were dead from the harsh temps. last summer. What a surprise!

I miss my chickens terribly but my friend who now has them shares with me. I am ever so thankful for fresh eggs and marvel at the different colors.

Randy finished the flooring in the den. It's nice to have something that is similar to the original hardwoods instead of the 50's tiling. We painted over the robin-egg blue with a latte color and now we have the walls to decorate. I need to dig through my boxes and see what I have.

Wed. morning I woke to a tremendous storm. As I lay there I thought..."So this is what the tornado in the middle of the night sounds like..." The winds were ferocious and nearly sounded like a train. As the power went off and I lit candles, I peeked outside to find this in my front yard. As we live in an old neighborhood and all the homes are well over 100 years old, so are the trees quite old. This is just 1/4 of a tree. It missed all our houses and cars.

It became comical as we had 8 trucks out front and ten guys deciding how best to take care of the situation. They had their cell phones out taking pictures of the lines holding the branch. It was cable not electrical. PTL
Another spring event in Northeast Texas...Storms.
It just goes with the territory.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I haven't updated in ever so long....
February brought the long awaited trip to Ca. to see Candace, Andrew and Madison. I'll post those pics later.
March brought new challenges and a time to re-group. Mom, Dad, Leslie and Austin came for their Spring Break. It was wonderful having them in town again even if it was short lived. Our 22nd anniversary was celebrated quietly. My birthday followed just days later. Randy was at a men's retreat so I painted my kitchen and had pizza with my boys. It was a great day. Had a surprise visit from Becky and Teddy.
As time flew by, we found Easter upon us. It was my great pleasure to sing with the worship team on Palm Sunday. And the next couple of days I began to reflect on the week and try to take in what would have happened as Jesus completed his last week on this earth. I retraced some of the places via the internet and searched for pictures I have not found yet. I love looking up photos of Israel and new finding websites to tell of The Land.
Tues. found me at the Bible Bus and while I went to attend only, I found myself laying down the emotional junk I have carried around. I left it at the feet of Jesus hoping I leave it there and not pick it back up. "..Cast all your cares on him for He cares for you..." He lightens the burdens we for some reason insist on carrying.
I almost feel like an alcoholic walking away from the bottle...I have gone 7 full days without retrieving my "junk". That makes me feel pretty good!
Easter was celebrated at PHS this year. I estimate near 1,000 in attendance. Our worship was wonderful and next followed a sermon by Pastor who was wound up and on a roll. Several came forward for salvation and the day ended too quickly. For the first time in my life, no Easter bunny found our home. It was kind of sad.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Okay...I'm a thief. I was looking at blogs and somehow found one and loved this picture!

Tonight I was wondering what expressions to order from Uppercase Living and I think this phrase was meant for me. I need reminders all over to keep my heart where it should be.
As the writer brought to the attention of the reader, the key word isn't "JOY"  the key word is 
"CHOOSE". Wow, that kicked me.
So what brings joy? Do you wait for it or decide to find it where you are?
When I lived in the country I found joy everywhere! I loved the ground cover that wouldn't allow grass to grow. I loved the open night sky, the howl of coyotes, the smell of hay or skunks or cow manure; it didn't matter, it was the country and I loved it!
Moving to town has been such a challenge even after a year and it has only been lately that God has said to me, 
"What gifts do you see here?"  Well, I can tell you I have to think a bit, it doesn't flow from me so liberally or easily... I figure it's because I'm not choosing.
When was the last time you slowed down enough to think what brings you joy?
And what does? I think a lot of your character is shown in what makes you laugh and it kind of makes sense to say it shows in what brings you joy....
1. The last few days birds have been chirping outside my dining room window.I especially missed my little Cardinal in I have a few. 
Thank you Lord for little bits of red.
2. I had a sick child at home today. I found joy in serving him and fixing his plate. he's so old he rarely needs me...but today, he did! 
Thank you Lord that my boys are still home.
3. I found joy when I walked from room to room and it was warm inside; freezing out. 
Thank you Lord that I am provided for.
4. Today I have only done 3 loads of laundry...
Thank you Lord that my family is near.
The list can go on...maybe it needs to.
if like me, you need to plaster it all over your house...on your mirror, in your kitchen, on your computer (cause I know you're there ; )
I'll set you up with some Uppercase Living expressions. We'll be inspired together!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

As unto the Lord...

"As unto the Lord" has taken on a deeper meaning. Last night a friend and I dropped by the pastor's house to see if we could be of comfort or help during a difficult time. As Grammie was in the hospital and it was looking like she would not return to us, we began to do a few things to help prepare the house for family to arrive in the event that she would pass. 
When Grammie was still living in Ca. we stayed with her and I began to immediately notice how incredibly particular she was. She wasn't satisfied with had to be super duper clean and scrubbed. Sheets needed to be tucked and smoothed straight; the edges turned back to show the pretty edging. She lived the way we think we'd like to live if we had time for particulars.
When she moved here, I cleaned house for her for a few months. It was always a joy and I knew what she expected. I always felt a sense of accomplishment and she was so appreciative of the details.  Every week I cleaned all the window sills and baseboards and last night I was blessed to clean those baseboards one more time, one last time. It was out of love, out of thankfulness. I dusted one last time the dressers, the pictures, etc... I smelled the smell of Grammie in her little room. It was with saddness that I turned out the light and shut the door knowing this was the last time be among her things as she had left them...
the dishes in the sink, the CD where she'd left it, the cards on the table and her Bibles.
So, as I cleaned for her in her was as unto the Lord. It is deeply satisfying & comforting. I love and thank God for my every remembrance of her sweet life for now she is healed and walks on streets of gold, is united with Poppa and her beloved Jesus. 

Friday, January 9, 2009

Capernaum, The Town of Jesus

The ruins
Below is Peter's house. This is a church built on top and part of the floors allow you to see below. Many Biblical sites have Catholic style churches or shrines built on top of them or around them. While I prefer the natural state the structures have also protected the sites.

The synagogue

My clothes are still dry so this is before my baptism.
Carol was a great tour guide and anything we might not hear from her... 
we learned from Jeff.

Baptism in Capernaum

When we left the retreat center we travelled to the Mount of Beautitudes and then to Capernaum. It is a lovely place with the ruins of Peter's house and the synagogue that Jesus taught in. It overlooks the Sea of Galilee which was sparkling magnificently when we went to see the view. We were on a hill and there are large rocks going to the water's edge. I followed Randy around the corner and we all met for a few quiet moments to once again, contemplate where we actually were and discuss what must it have been like when Jesus walked these hills.

And this is where we were sitting when I knew I wanted to get baptized. No one was around, it was just our little group and I wanted Randy to baptize me in a place that was special to me and in the land he loves so much. My few witnesses are precious friends. So, I just got in the water hoping no one else would see me. The "no swimming" signs concerned me but Jeff just prayed the eyes of the guards would be blinded from the dripping wet woman and we walked right past them to an area I could access my luggage for a change.
 Thanks Carol who took several shots knowing how much I like pictures!