Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas from Niger

How can one person make a difference in the poorest country in the world?  That's a question I began asking myself a few months ago.  And since I couldn't answer it, but still had a heavy burden in my heart, I began to ask God to give us answers.  A friend of mine (KS) was a missionary in Niger, West Africa (click to read more about this country).
And the stories she told broke my heart.  People she knew were dying from malnutrition, starvation, and disease.  Plus they had no visible means of support.  KS helped a lady buy a refrigerator so she could make a living selling ice.  They grow millet and pretty much exist on that.
Sifting millet
Not only is Niger the poorest country, but there's been one of the worst droughts in history in 2010.
So...I went to KS and asked, "What can they do?  Do they make any craft we could sell?"  -No.-  My brain was racing.  "Can we send them paper to make note cards so we can sell them?"  -Too much logistical work.-  I'm not sure how it happened, but apparently, KS talked to some women in Niger and they told her they could make beaded bracelets.  So these Christian ladies (that my friend led to the Lord) began making bracelets.  They call them "Patience Bracelets" because they're pretty small and you patiently squeeze your hand through them.  But once they're on, they won't roll off easily and are meant to be left on.

And YOU can buy them and support fellow Christians in the poorest country in the world!  There are 5 beaded bracelets tied together with a ribbon--for $5.   And there are many colors!!  I'm going to post some photos of some of the bracelets we have.  Each bracelet will come with a card explaining the purchase of this bracelet supports Christians in the poorest country in the world.
Black & Light Blue

Red & White  GONE!

Green & Yellow

Metallic Gold, Blue, Purple & Green  GONE!

Pink & Blue

Blue & Yellow--larger

Blue & White--larger

Red & Yellow--larger

Red, Black &  White--larger

All of the bracelets (set of 5 tied together) are $5 each.  Ribbons may vary.

With each bracelet, you'll receive a card explaining that the purchase of this bracelet is supporting Christians in Niger.  These would make GREAT stocking stuffers!  Give a gift that means something this year--a gift that will help the poor.  Let's make a difference!!

Bracelet:  $5
Shipping (up to 6 bracelets):  $2
Patience Br
Please leave me a message with your order and your mailing address and email address.  Some of the bracelets are limited.  If you live in Borger, you may pick them up from me!  Or you can email me at
One person may not be able to change the poorest country in the world.  But together...we can make a difference!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

We're skipping Thanksgiving next year...

The past 4 Thanksgivings have been less than idyllic, so we decided we're just going to skip Thanksgiving next year! 
Not really.

This is how our Thanksgiving ended this year.  Olivia was the 1st to go down with a stomach bug. 
Poor baby.

But there were highlights along the way.  I love this photo of Dax seeing our Christmas tree for the 1st time.  He loved it!

We were going to take a picture of David (left) and Jay (right) who came out dressed almost identically for Thanksgiving lunch.  But Zach wanted to sandwich his red shirt in between the 2.

We enjoyed lunch with Amy, David & Zach's families and Andy's mom and my mom.  We missed Lindsey this year while she was in Brownwood taking care of her grandmother who fell and broke her hip.  Matt's family went to Kansas to be with Lisa's brother.  We missed them, too. 
We had 15 family members present.

This is the kids' table.  Benjamin (my nephew in the red striped shirt) joined us!  He wanted to be with cousins his own age, so he came over with Gran.  These kids know how to have a good time together!  Out of the 15 eating here, 7  9  10 of them came down with the stomach bug.

We had quite a spread for Thanksgiving--it took up 3 counters and 1 island.

2 great-grandmothers enjoyed playing with Dax.

2 techies checking out new stuff.

3 boy cousins in their flannel pajamas and 1 crazy uncle behind.

As people began to drop with the stomach bug, 1 family left for the hills.

Addilyn is teaching 1 grandmother how to play Angry Birds.

This was the 1st princess to fall.  I love that she fell asleep holding her cracker (these became our best friends) and her drink---all while in her princess dress.

1 sick Mommy.
And a par-tri-dge in a pear tree.
I'm going to start praying now for our next Thanksgiving.  
It's just got to be better than the past 4.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Count

The Thanksgiving count is down from last year.  Last Thanksgiving, we had 2 of my siblings and 1 niece and 4 nephews and my mom....and Andy's brother and 4 of his children and their families and Andy's mom.  I think we had 16 kids under 9.  It was a BLAST!

This year will be smaller. 

We'll have both of our moms.

Matt & Lisa and girls will be in Kansas.

Jay & Amy and three kids will be here.  Hadassah will still be in Ethiopia this year.

Lindsey's grandmother fell and broke her hip and pelvis, so she's gone with her mom to tend to her grandmother.  But...David and kids will be here.

Zach, Shanna & Dax will be here, but maybe not as soon as they'd planned.  They spent the better part of last night and today enduring a stomach bug.  I'm so grateful to Lissa Anglin for helping out with Dax today!  I'm praying for a speedy recovery so they can get here as planned!

Turkey is purchased.  GAPS (diet) food is in the fridge for the D.Dietz fam.  And lots of goodies for the gang.  Andy wants to play Bingo. 

I'll keep you posted...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Treating Myself

Sometimes you just have to treat yourself.  There are weeks or months which are so busy that you just have to slow down and do something nice to yourself.  Today was one of those days.  My life has been crazy for about 3 months now...and we just finished our Thanksgiving Day at Living Water--the busiest day of the year for us.  And actually, last week was almost as big!  Whew!

I knew I could sleep in today, but my body no longer allows that to happen.  I was awake by 7 and just got up.  I walked into the living room and looked out the window and was overwhelmed by the gorgeous sunrise (above).  I thanked God for blessing me with such a beautiful gift!!   And then I just spent some time with the Lord.  Andy had gotten some cinnamon rolls for us last night, so I popped those in the oven and made some coffee.  My morning was off to a great start.  David began texting me and we enjoyed texting back and forth for about 1.5 hours.  I loved it!  I also began reading a new book by Robert Whitlow--one I've been saving to read--just for fun.

Andy came in and joined me for cinnamon rolls and told me he was going to his mom's to change some timers on her lamps and at noon, he was going with Stu to learn how to fly fish.  My day was suddenly feeling luxurious--I was going to have a day to myself to do whatever I wanted.  Before Andy left, he brought some Sammy's sandwiches for us to enjoy and then he was off for a day of fishing.

I treated myself to a pedicure at a new place.  It was great.  Afterwards, I wanted to go to Penney's to use a coupon for $10 off $10.  I found 4 tops for ME (!) and paid $2.00 total for all of them.  What a deal!  I also wanted to find some outfits for Miss Hadassah so Jay & Amy could take them to Ethiopia when they go in a couple of weeks.  I found lots of pink for that little beauty.  And I'm crossing my fingers and hoping they fit!

I enjoyed a Chinese dinner from my new favorite restaurant in town.  I came home and saw Robby in the yard and discussed adding electrical outlets on the outside of my house--which he told me was totally possible.  What a neighbor!

And then I came home and finished that Robert Whitlow book.  I totally enjoyed my day.  It was so nice to treat myself to some of my favorite things.  And it was great to slow down and just enjoy.  Andy just got home and said he really got the hang of fly fishing, caught a fish, and scored a new rod.  I think we both enjoyed our days.  Thanks, God!  You started it off just right.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Decision Points by George W. Bush

I was very anxious to begin reading this book after I received it in the mail to review for WaterBrook Multnomah.  I appreciated George W. Bush as a president--especially his leadership after 9/11.   So I wanted to see his presidency from his perspective in his own words.

How enlightening!  I'm sure it would be enlightening to read the words of any president of his own administration years.  But this president was the first since Abraham Lincoln to face an attack on U.S. soil.  Even though I had heard President Bush speak of various things concerning 9/11, it was interesting to see the timeline and what he or his family were doing at various points.  I didn't know that so many threats were made during that time and that he and Mrs. Bush ended up running for safety that first night after the attack...thinking another attack was coming.

I loved reading about his relationship with his father and the deep love and respect they have for one another.  I think it's hilarious to hear him joke about his mother and how much alike they are.  I really appreciate his sarcastic humor throughout the book--which he says comes from his mother.  You can tell they are a close family which he seems to have fostered with his daughters as well.

It's interesting to note President Bush's feelings of his staff, congressmen, senators and the critical issues they faced during his years of presidency.  I appreciated seeing the inside workings of some of those issues.  I also enjoyed getting a look aboard Air Force One and how things operate from that office at times.

George W. Bush doesn't sidestep any issue in this book.  He approaches it head on--whether you agree with him or not--love him or hate him.  He just wants everyone to understand the reason he made the decisions he made as president.  And I think you'll have a pretty good idea of those reasons after reading this book.  I honestly think you'd enjoy reading this book whether you appreciated George W. Bush as president or not.

I'd give this book 5 out of 5 stars!
Thank you to WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dax Dropped By

I think he's cutting some new teeth.  What do you think?

See the first two?

We played some patty cake...

And threw them in the pan.

He's looking at me with wide-eyed anticipation over what's coming next.

Ride a little horsey!

Don't you fall down!
I love this age.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Wright Kids

I found some photos on my camera I never posted!    Here we go...

Olivia was dancing so I found a scarf for her to dance with.

She was so energetic that Andy, the dog, began chasing her.

And she ended with a bow.

Meanwhile the Wright Brothers were enjoying a bubble bath.

A BIG bubble bath!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

1st God-Sized Answer!

Just Sunday, I posted a blog about asking God for some God-Sized answers to prayer.  The third thing I listed was "I have a friend who needs to see God move in her husband's heart and mind."  And I'm here to tell you that she has.  She has seen God move on her husband's heart and we've never seen before.

And I'm so proud of her.  It was amazing.  There was no control, no manipulation, no pressuring...just simply sitting back and waiting in confidence that if it was meant to be, God would work.  He would assure her husband of the direction to go. 

And He did.  It was totally unlike him, totally out of the ordinary, totally God.  And it was amazing!!

I can't wait to see what God does next!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

God-Sized Prayer

I've decided to pray God-Sized prayers. 
  • I have kids who need to sell a house in Florida and who need their adopted daughter to come home from Ethiopia.
  • I have a friend whose husband was killed in an accident and needs to see God move in her circumstances.
  • I have a friend who needs to see God move in her husband's heart and mind.
  • I know several marriages which need redemption and restoration.
  • I know a family who just lost their 4-year-old son to a disease.
  • I know a man who needs encouragement and help from God.
  • I have friends who have a lot of money at stake in a God-venture and need Him.
"For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong in behalf of those whose hearts are blameless toward Him..."  II Chronicles 16:9

I want to see God-Sized answers!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bank of America Office

Amy had asked me to keep my eyes open for a set of office phones for her kids.  She thought they'd love to have them to play office.  I was at Dub's (our local junk store) yesterday and found these.  Even though they're not office phones, I thought the grandkids would have fun playing with them at my house--and they were clean!  So I made a big $6 purchase.  Just so you know, they are now the Bank of America phones.

Ryan & Addie are visiting and the phones became an immediate hit.  Addie keeps wanting to put her name on her phone (possession is a difficult thing at Grandma's house!), but I told her we couldn't.  But it doesn't keep her from asking...again...and again.
This morning at breakfast, they were already at play.  Addie answers her phone as, "This is Selena at Bank of America."  She has a great office voice.  Ryan is Ryan, the bank president.  I am Ms. Margaret--the bank flunky.  I got off on the wrong foot on my first day of work by answering the phone as "Wells Fargo...this is Margaret.  May I help you?"  Mr. Ryan looked at Selena in shock!  I had to tell the people on the line that they had the wrong number and slammed the phone down.
So the day started off as a huge surprise call to Mr. Ryan.  He hung up his phone with huge eyes and a big smile---we were all getting 3000 pieces of money!!  What a windfall. 

So Ms. Margaret was instructed to take notes of what we would use this 3000 pieces of money for.  With Mr. Ryan, there was no philanthropy involved.  (If you click on the above photo, you may be able to read the list.  Mr. Ryan dictated the first 2 lines.) 
The next call to Mr. Ryan was from the President of the United States of America.  And Mr. Ryan HUNG UP on the President!  When I confronted him, he said that the president was mean--he'd lost all of our money. 
Ms. Margaret received a call that there had been a stock market crash.  (The looks from that call were priceless.  They had no idea.)  But as I explained it to them, Selena got on the phone to the robbers.  She wanted to know if they were responsible for the stock market crash.  (Apparently, I'm a bad explainer...or maybe not.)  They were responsible!!  And they showed up at the bank.  As they got near the window, Mr. Ryan pushed a button which sent the robbers through a trap door--straight to the police department.
Through the course of all of this, Selena had a heart attack and became an angel (with half of her hair over one eye).  She floated between heaven and earth and brought messages from God to Mr. Ryan & Ms. Margaret.  God even allowed her to sit on his throne at times.  She wanted Margaret to become an angel and go to heaven, but alas...Ms. Margaret hadn't finished her coffee.
The End.

It was all I could do not to die laughing at times.  These two are great pretenders and have such affected voices.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Solving World Problems in 5 Minutes or Less

If only the world leaders would solve their problems the way these two do...  After getting permission to watch a movie tonight, they opened the bottom drawer of the movie chest to find a movie to agree upon and their coversation went like this:

Ryan:  Addie, do you want to watch Pinocchio?
Addie:  No.
Ryan:  Davy Crockett?
Addie:  No.
Ryan:  Flubber?
Addie:  No.
Ryan:  Lady & the Tramp?
Addie:  No.
Ryan:  Aristocats?
Addie:  Yes.

This decision took less than a minute and they are now watching their movie.
The End.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Grief comes in many ways.  Obviously, we grieve over the death of someone close to us.  We might grieve when our children move out of our house.  We could grieve over moving to a new city, a prodigal child, losing a job, an illness, a divorce, or friends defriending us.  Grief usually involves loss or drastic change...or both. 

We expect and allow grief for the obvious--death; but we don't usually think about someone grieving over the other losses or drastic changes in their lives.  I'm not sure why we don't think about it.  Or at least I know I don't.  (Maybe because mercy is not my gift.)  I might think about someone grieving over these other things, but never think about them needing time to go through the grief process.   In fact, I didn't realize I was grieving until God revealed it to me today.  It was so enlightening--and I know it came through praying with a friend this afternoon.  There have been some big changes going on around me and it's like I've been facing a new reality of my life.  I knew I was feeling burned out or spiritually dry or something and was pulling away from people, but I never once attributed it to grief.

I want to start being more aware and myself and the people around me.  They may be grieving over things I might not have considered before.

And I'd appreciate the prayer.  I'm still there.