A Big Change

April 28, 2016


I’ve been thinking about change lately.  Lots of changes going on in our organization and we all often have changes in our personal lives.  This ties in with the Sunday School lesson I already told you about from Acts 10 and 11.  It is a story about a HUGE (or “yuge” as some people say) change for both the Jews and the Gentiles, at least the Jews and the Gentiles who become Christian believers.

  • This story represents a huge change that follows a life of other changes for the disciples.
  • It was such an important change that God had to approach it from both sides–he sent an angel to both the Jew and the Gentile so that they would both start to get ready for the change.
  • The conversation God had with Peter included Peter arguing with God and God having to repeat himself three times. The Gentile, on the other hand, was very receptive to God’s message.
  • The change took some time to happen–it was a process.
  • The change involved lots of people from both sides.
  • In the end, God had to send the Holy Spirit to finish up the job.
  • At first, the change was not accepted by the leadership that was in place at the time.
  • This story of a specific change that happened at a specific time in history has had, and continues to have, long-reaching implications for all believers to this day.

(image stolen from the internet)

It’s a Miracle

April 23, 2016

Last Sunday my Sunday School class (that is, three 5th and 6th grade boys) covered the story in Acts 10 about Peter and Cornelius. Quite an interesting story for us Gentiles, BTW.

The miracle happened during the next hour, during the sermon during the worship service. Unbeknownst to me, Pastor Ginger was preaching on the first part of Acts 11, which is a summary or retelling of Acts 10. I’m not going to call that coincidence a miracle. No, the miracle was this:  after church dismissed I found each boy and asked him if he noticed anything about the sermon, and each one told me he had heard the same story in Sunday School. That means they listened not only in my class, but during the sermon too! Amazing.:-)

Just Some Cute Grandbaby Photos

April 19, 2016

It always makes me happy when my kids and their spouses send me photos of the grandkids. Here are some recent ones.  A student in Andrew’s dorm made Bella some earrings, and she modeled them.





David is mastering the art of the 3-person selfie.


In other news, not much going on here.  We briefly considered a camping trip this weekend, but it looks like too much rain.  Houston has had terrible rain, but I haven’t heard if David and Sarah’s houses have suffered.

A Thank you/Farewell/Retirement Cake

April 17, 2016

As soon as we got home from Austin, Rachel helped me get 80 servings of cake and cupcakes ready for a party at the center. Actually we baked the cakes and put them in the freezer before the trip and then I put all the parts together on Wednesday, Georgetta, whom Gary’s parents may remember from PNG, is retiring after many years of service.  Karl and Joice Franklin showed up too, and it is always fun to see them, even if had already seen them two days’ previous when we stopped at their house in Waco.


Birds and Bats in Austin

April 15, 2016

We saw more than just wildflowers in Austin. I also had time to go birding and then Monday evening we all went to see Austin’s famous bat colony.

Monday morning Gary had to go back for one more day of work, so I looked on eBird to find any local birding hotspots. Turns out there are two city parks nearby and one of them was a really nice little place called Charro Ranch Park. It was amazingly well kept up, which I learned later from Helen, was due to the fact that there are many local folks interested in becoming a Master Gardener and that requires 50 hours of volunteer service. I wandered around the paths, but saw the most birds just sitting in the blind near the well-stocked birdfeeders.  I actually got a lifer–Black-crested Titmouse (bringing my total to 400), but my “best” bird was a striking male Summer Tanager, neither of which I was able to photograph.  I did get a shot of a male Lesser Goldfinch.   Monday afternoon I spent a shorter time at the second park and saw just a few more species.




You’ve heard of the famous urban colony of Mexican Free-tailed bats?  We went on a bat cruise Monday evening to get up fairly close and personal to them.


First we went down stream to see the sights–old bridges and the Austin skyline.




As dusk approached we went under the Congress Avenue bridge and looked up to see other tourists waiting for the bat exodus–750,000 tiny Mexican Free-tailed bats who sleep all day inside the bridge crevices and then depart at dusk to eat the mosquitoes of Austin.DSC00154

As the clock struck 8:20pm the bats started pouring out and the boat got right under the bridge.   The drips of bat guano smelled like “warm corn tortillas” and our pontoon captain claimed it was good luck to catch a drop.  The captain used a red light to view them, but my camera wasn’t good enough to work in the red light.  If you click on the last photo you might barely see the swirl of bats as the move out from the bridge.  Another thing to check off my bucket list.



Wildflowers in Austin

April 14, 2016

Gary and I had a nice little trip to Austin. He flew there last Thursday to attend a workshop that went through Sunday noon. I hopped in the car and drove down to join him, arriving just as his workshop ended.  If you have to take a road trip in Texas, this is the time to do it.  Wonderful wildflowers just everywhere.


We spent Sunday and Monday nights sleeping at the home of Tony and Helen in a little town southwest of Austin called Dripping Springs. Nice little town, but it is soon to be a big little town if the amount of construction I saw is any indication.

16-04-10 Trip to Austin

 This first collage is of wild wildflowers; that is, taken in the untended fields around town and at a great birding spot I found (more about that in a later post). (Be sure to click on the collages to see a larger view with more detail.)


We went to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, not far from Dripping Springs, on Tuesday morning before we drove home. The weather was perfect and the flowers were amazing. I can now check this off my bucket list.  We were greeted by an owl baby.



The second collages is of not-quite-so-wild wild flowers taken while we were at the Wildflower Center.


There also was a small art gallery of this very interesting 3-D paper sculpture.



We wandered around will all due care, and only saw one rattle snake, and it was one the staff had just caught.


More Spring Photos

April 7, 2016

Gary left for a workshop in Austin today. I plan to drive down to meet him on Sunday and we’ll return by car on Tuesday afternoon.

I went to River Legacy Park and enjoyed the shade since, yes, it was almost 90 degrees this afternoon!  First the Rough Green Snake series.  Expert camouflage.  Make sure my grandkids see these photos so they know their grandma likes to play with snakes!  (well, not really…)







The sewer ponds were closed, so I just wandered around the park.  Fun seeing a Hummingbird Moth again.






In other news, Andrew tells me they are expecting snow.  Again.  This photo from earlier this week:


And speaking of cute grandbabies, some of you reading this will be interested to know that Janet was made grandmother twice this past week–Michael and Susanna welcomed daughter #3 Helen, and Sarah (and Steven) delivered Jane on Tuesday evening.  As far as I know all are doing well.  Also, our watercolor artist had her baby a week ago–babies all over the place!!


Lazy Person’s Picnic

March 31, 2016

I still very congested and creaky sounding, but the weather is so nice I wanted to go on a picnic this evening. I was too lazy/tired/sick to put together real picnic food, so I ordered Mr. Jim’s Sticky Fingers and called Gary to come home on time so we could pick up the pizza on the way to the park. (So nice to be only 5 miles from the state park!)







Update on the Sick

March 30, 2016

Shortly after the photos shown in the previous post were taken I started to get sick. I’ve now had a fever for 3 days, but I think I’m starting to feel a bit better. Gary is snuffling and coughing, too. Also, he has angioedema pretty bad on his feet. I wish we knew for sure what causes that because then I’d know what not to feed him. Maybe Rachel won’t get our flu because she actually had a flu shot.

I sent a cake to work with Gary and Rachel today for Carol’s birthday–hers and another colleague, Melinda, who both have birthdays this week.  I assured them that I iced the cake while wearing a face mask and gloves so as to not contaminate it with the flu.

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In other news, Andrew is on his way to Washington DC for a conference.  This morning he sent me this photo of Bella getting a Student of the Month award recently.

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And speaking of grandkids, today I bought our tickets to go to Portland in June.  Turns out we didn’t have enough miles to buy free tickets, so we had to buy them.  Southwest from Love Field was the cheapest by quite a bit, so Rachel and I will be traveling to Portland on June 7, meeting Gary at the airport as he flies in from Australia, then we all go back to Dallas on June 14, at different times and to different airports, but hopefully we’ll find a way to make it work!  Gary’s folks may go to Portland too at that time, so we’ll have another mini reunion with some of the family.


Easter 2016

March 27, 2016

DSC09917It was a good weekend. I’ll be ready to sleep tonight since I’ve been up since the early sunrise service after a late night prayer vigil.

Gary has had a fever for 72 hours, not sure what’s up with that. He doesn’t really seem that sick, just has a fever. That didn’t stop him from participating in most of the weekend’s activities.

Today we went to Martins for Easter dinner and were happy to see Jon Roller there. David and Andrew will remember him and Towanna from our Kimball days. It was great getting caught up with him.

Click on this link to go to the Picasa web album I made and another tab should open up in your browser where you can go see the photos.  Watch them in slideshow mode or double click to make them larger.  Also, note that the very last photo is really a short video of Emma wishing us a Happy Easter.



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