Sunday, August 31, 2008

My Last Day in Oklahoma

When I woke up Sunday morning I was a little bummed. I knew it was my last day. As I went out to say Good Morning, I found Robin by herself on the couch. This wasn't normal. Usually Dirk is up and in his man cave but he was no where to be seen. At the time we had no clue what was wrong with him. Appearently this was the start of the Gall Bladder relapse. Even though he wasn't feeling well he still took Robin and me to POP's for lunch. It is called Pop's not for someone's dad but because they carry millions of different flavors and kinds of soda pop. I was also told that the wait for actually seating to eat is usually long but it was a great day and we sat outside. On their menu of great things they combined my 2 favorite sandwiches. I ordered a BLT/Egg Salad sandwich. (Boy was I glad not to be counting points that day) It was great!!

We had one last get together planned with all the girls. So Robin, Erin, Kaden, Will and I swung by and picked up Cindy and her gorgeous boys and headed to Deleise's house. I was so excited because there were two things at Deleise's that I wanted to do. Through email before I even got to Oklahoma she had promised that she would make me Chocolate Molton Rock Star. It was absolutely wonderful!! She had also made a great cake for the party at Cindy's Friday night. I can totally see why her and her friends call their chocolate creations Rock Star! The second thing that I really wanted to do at Deleise's had to do with a post that I had read on her blog. She posted about a swing, a porch swing. She calls this the Faith Swing. It is a wonderful story if you haven't read it please take the time too. It is another example of having faith in God. When I saw the picture of the swing and read the post I wanted to sit in the Faith swing. So before I left her house that afternoon I did sneak out back and sit for a few minutes and talked with God about continuing to bless these awesome women and their families. I do know that the next time I am there that Deleise and I will sit in it together. Her with her coffee and one of her fofo creamers and me with an ice tea.

So I know that the above picture looks like it is all fun and games. Let me tell you it wasn't. Once Natalie and Kim arrived and we all got to tour Deleise's house. (She is really artistic!) Then the work began. The afternoon was scheduled for a double learning experience. First Kim and Erin trained us about CVS's money saving program. I must admit that since I don't have a CVS I really didn't pay much attention. Natalie did crack me up through the whole thing though. She is hilarious. The second learning experience was offered to us from Deleise. She had made us all folders with paperwork about meal planning and so much more. It is such a great resource! Kim has actually stated that she got all the binders and recipe cards and labels and stuff to create hers and make it all pretty like. (I was secretly hoping that with my 40th birthday coming in just a couple weeks she would send me a completed one LOL)

Cindy started a love around and we all stated something about the people at the table that we admired. I don't accept compliments well but I did love to hear these women opinion of eachother. It was really kind of neat. They each have such great individual talents, characters and personalities. The all share one attribute. They are all commited women of God. They all are human but do their best to Love Like Jesus. And their best is Very Very Good!

This was pretty much my goodbye to everybody but Robin. It was hard to leave them behind. It was really hard not to cry. I actually started in the car but with four little boys and 3 other women talking I had time to pull myself together. I had to say goodbye to Cindy when we dropped her off. It was hard but I knew that we would talk.

It was a nice night at the Many Meadows with the Many Meadows. I know I am going back. I am just not sure when. I know that Cindy, Robin, Deleise, Kim and Natalie are going to have to tell me to go away otherwise they are stuck with me for life.

Thank You All Again for All The Fun and Memories! You Ladies Rock!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tea Anyone? /

Saturday Robin, Natalie, Kim, Deleise and I met for tea. We went to a place called Inspirations Tea Room. It was a very cute place. They had tons of different kinds of teas, which is good since they are a tea room. :) We had to wait a little bit but when we finally got seated the service was very nice. We ordered our tea and our lunch and started talking. When our food came the presentaion was very nice. I noticed a piece of paper on my plate. It was a Bible verse. We all had one. That to me was such a nice touch. If you tried to do that here in California you would probably get sued. I enjoyed my verse. I picked up Deleise's too. This is what they said.

I had such a nice relaxing time there. We laughed and talked and at one point even shed us some tears. Then we looked at our watches and realized we had been sitting there for 3 hours. That is a true sign of an awesome lunch with the girls.

The time flew by and now Robin and I needed too also. We had about a half an hour to get to the Edmond Campus (Big Cross) of Robin and Dirk serve as ushers during the service I was to attend.
When we got there I was introduced to some of the nicest people. While I was waiting for Cindy who I was going to sit by, I got to meet Nicole. She had a huge smile and her family was really sweet. I also got to meet and talk to Scott Rodgers. He seemed to really be having a good time. Cindy arrived and Natalie arrived and we went and sat. There I was between the Edmond Musical Geniuses. To much pressure for this lowly alto. :)

After this service Cindy and her boys and I went to dinner. Then I got to go and spend the rest of the evening with her. It was during those hours that I got to
pick her brain and learn. I got to see her mentoring skills live and in person. I got to feel like a friend not just a commenter on her blog. We talked and talked and talked. I had already respected her prior to my trip. All I can say is that I still do. She is one of those people who's opinion actually does matter to me but I can just BE with her too. Actually with all of these women I was able to just BE. No one made me feel inferior or like I didn't belong. They accepted me for me, flaws and all.

Only one more full day to go before my flight home. I was starting to get sad. I missed my husband and my kids but I really would have stayed another week or so. :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Now The Party Can Begin!!!

Now that everybody was there.

(Except for Amy and Susan, who were going to try and come from Austin, Texas. They had car trouble and didn't make it.)

The Party could really start!!

There were 14 kids that belonged to people in the house and I believe a few extra from around the neighborhood. Everywhere you looked there were kids playing. They were outside, upstairs in the bonus room and across into other people's backyards. They all got along well. Rogers son had a mishap later in the evening when he fell out of a tree. No broken bones just mighty painful. Luckily with that many kids, that was the only incident.

The kids out numbered us by 2. What was kind of sad was that we were all having such a good time that we really didn't get that many pictures. I took a couple and Natalie took some. In the picture above you find 3.5 husbands Dirk, Pastor JT, Chad and then David is the one that I cut in half. The baby in the grass is Kid 3 belonging to Kim and Chad. If you look closely through the window behind the guys you will see the TV is on. I believe that got turned on so that when Michael Phelps swam we could all cheer. Mr. Beall did some serious outdoor surround wiring. It was sweet! Also notice all of the red solo cups on the outdoor table. Mrs. Beall even had her sharpie out to write names on the cups. She is such a good hostess. One thing that I had forgotten to mention was that Cindy had already driven to Dallas and back that day. She was a little tired.

We all ate potluck style. Some inside, some outside. Cindy led us all in prayer. It was a great time of conversation and laughing. When I sat back and looked at everybody. The kids interacting, the adults all gabbing, it was hard to believe that some of these people were just as new in the house as I was. There was such a feeling of fellowship and fun.

At one point us girls must have had a pow wow. Not sure what it was about but we seem to be in deep conversation. I really felt like I had known these ladies forever. I know that I haven't mentioned Roger much but he was there and he was part of the evening. He is just as funny in person as he is in his blog. He was funny when he posed for the above picture, being the only male. His wife Shelly fit right in with all of us and Roger seemed to fit right in with the guys. It really was an amazing evening. I don't normally share what I write in my journal but I am going to for the second time this week. When I looked back at what I wrote I asked God,
Did you see us tonight? Did you see us all joined together through you?
It was through God that I found these wonderful people. It was little steps along the way that brought me to this place. I would never have thought what a profound affect watching my first message on the internet from would have on me. Where deciding to read my pastor's blog would lead me. What a crazy button on a side bar would do to my life.

Mandy wrote this in one of her comments and it basically sums it all up for me. the word gift - you keep using it - but it's the best word to describe it all!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Gathering at Cindy's

Friday evening had been slated for a party at Cindy Beall's. Originally it had been planned that Mr. Beall would be grilling meat and the other guests would bring a side dish. Unfortunatley Chris had to leave town to deal with church business. So we were on our own. I was dropped off before anybody else got there. Which was wonderful. I got to have a little alone time with Cindy and her boys. I had also brought her a couple things so this gave me the chance to give them to her. It also afforded me the extra time to show her my party fork. For those of you who may have missed the amazing BFF HOW TO Video by Kim and Natalie please follow the link and get ready to laugh! I wasn't taking any chances that Cindy might be using the same forks. I was scared of what the retaliation would be and at what cost to us innocent bystanders. In this picture you will see that my Party Fork is big compared to a regular fork. I really just wanted to make sure I didn't misplace it.

People started arriving and I got to answer the door. It was great! It wasn't just the women that came but their husbands and children. I would open the door and guess kids names...Boog, Goose, Monkey, Pastor JT, NATALIE!!! YAYYY and WAXY CHOCOLATE DONUTS. She also brought French Fries that Deleise's son Garrett said were the best ever in the whole world. Natalie is a fry genius with her seasonings. Roger and Shelly showed up with their boys. Roger's son informed us that his dad's salsa is the best. It was mighty yummy!! Deleise and David came with all four of their toe headed children. Deleise brought this outrageously great 4 layer chocolate cake (click link for recipe)

Then I was waiting and waiting...I went to Natalie and asked "Does Kim always run late?". For a few minutes there I thought that she had changed her mind. That she was like "Forget it I am not going, I don't want to meet the Stalker from CA." Then the doorbell rang, I raced to the door and there they were Kid One, Kid Two, Kim and Chad carrying Kid 3. (BTW I do know Kim and Natalie's children's real names)

Now the party can begin!!!

Bricktown/Bombing Memorial

Friday Morning I was a little slow moving. There is a 2 hour time difference. I will use it as an excuse but basically I was tired. I also wanted to be near my computer at 11 am OK time because Barlow Girl tickets were going on sale here in Redding then. So I got showered and moving. I wanted to go to the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial while I was there. Robin had decided that Friday was a good time to do that so after I bought my tickets online we left.

We decided to have lunch at a rib place. It is called Earl's Rib Palace. I had a wonderful sandwich. They have curly fries. Not the kind that have a coating of seasoning but just potatoes that are curly fries. They were wonderful. I ate every single one of them. I also decided at that moment that I was not going to worry about my WW points while I was there. I was going to try and be careful but I wasn't going to beat myself up about it either.

After lunch we walked around in Bricktown. They have made a cute little river that runs through that area. They also have some amazing sculpture there. There is appearently over 100 more pieces that will be installed as they are completed. The sculpture depicts a wagon train and it is life size. I enjoyed seeing this. It is beautiful. You can see that alot of work has been done to revitalize this area.

We headed to the Oklahoma City National Memorial. The outside memorial was peaceful. The three story museum was not. The museum is amazing for the artifacts that it shows. It is put together wonderfully, with great care and respect. It is very hard to deal with some of the stuff you see and the stories you hear. I don't believe that it is any less sad when adults are killed then children. It is just a little more chilling. I asked Robin What makes someone wake up and say "Today I am going to go blow up a building". I just can't grasp it in my mind.
This is the interior of the arch you walk through. It says 9:01. That is the time the bomb went off. There is a statue across the street that is Jesus weeping with his back to the memorial.

The exterior of this arch says;




The last line on the wall is "God Demands It!"

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Many Meadows/My First Day

Many Meadows is beautiful. It is green. It is family! It is lived in! There is tons of LOVE. I felt more welcome then you could imagine. Their property is wonderful. Chiggers and all. :) It was wonderful to see family just come over. I loved the daily visits from Mister Kaden and Mister Will. Seen here tag teaming me on my last night.
The Meadows Family including all of the children's spouses and children's children, which are known as the grands, are wonderful people. By the time I left I had only missed meeting two beautiful grand girls, one of the girl's husbands and an adopted daughter that I had heard alot about.

As I look back at my journal entry for the day, I found this statement. God you have led me here, cleared my path and created a peace in me. I am not suffering my normal anxiety at meeting new people. That is so important to me. I have huge issues with meeting new people. Sounds strange as I was the one that jumped on a plane and went half way across the country. I truly feel that God led me to go, He wanted me to meet these amazing people.

I was picked up at the Airport by Robin and Dirk. I arrived in OKC late in the afternoon. I got to talk to Natalie on the phone as we were driving. Dirk took us ladies to Sonic for something to drink. As stated earlier I have never heard of a double chocolate Dr. Pepper. I had a regular Ice Tea. We continued to their beautiful home. Where I was shown to my room which was beautiful. I had the nicest Welcome Basket from the Girls on the bed. It had cards, toiletries, magazines, mints and even a frame with a designer stick figure drawing by Cindy Beall! I bet y'all didn't realize what a great artist she is. I will treasure my original Beall for years and years.

That evening I went with Dirk and Robin to Switch Leadership training that was being given by Anna Meadows. I have been in leadership training before, this was amazing to watch from the sidelines. Anna has a great energy that is contagious. There were about 30 people present and a nice italian dinner was served buffet style. After we all ate they got started. It was refreshing to see the mold of training broken and some new things taking place. As important as it is that leaders learn all the rules. For a good part of this training it was evident that the importance was for the leaders to feel comfortable with eachother, to build relationships that fostered trust. I can see why Robin and Dirk are so proud of her. Anna carries herself well and covered the required boring information quickly and precisely.

As the training session was coming to an end the most amazing lightning storm started and the rain started to pour. As we drove home we could see lightning on both sides of the freeway touching the ground. It was bright and beautiful. What a way to end my first day.

Friday was going to be busy. I was going to get to meet all the rest of the people I came to see. I was a little nervous but more excited then anything. The Lord spoke to my heart telling me it was only going to get better.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Special Gift

Have you ever received a special gift? A gift that was unexpected? A gift that you may not have wanted to tell anybody about because you didn't want to share? Have you ever received a gift that you were grateful for but very protective of?

I received a special gift this last week. The gift of Friendship, Unconditional Love and the Gift of being Welcomed into a tight knit community. I have selfishly been keeping this experience to myself. I have been dwelling on the individual details of it daily with the Lord. I have been praying about it, praising the Lord for making it possible and in a way fighting the enemy for making my REAL life seem so hard upon my return.

It is amazing how much a 4 day trip can change your perspective. It is amazing how little time it takes to have "If Only" feelings. I am going to spend the weekend getting the details of my trip down in posts. From Deleise's amazing chocolate desserts, a 3 hour tea party, Natalie and Kim are they really as close as it seems, stray horses in the yard, 5 year old's wanting to know why I am still at Mimi's house and all the other wonderful things I experienced. I really just needed to be selfish with the beautiful peaceful memories for awhile. It truly was like going home.

If there are any questions that you want answered ask and I will respond. Thanks for your patience. I like totally way appreciate it. (my CA talk is coming back alla y'all) Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Last New Experience In OK

This picture was taken in the airport in Oklahoma City the day I was leaving. I really have never seen anything like it. Instead of using a normal paper toilet seat cover. You push the green button and it rotates the plastic cover to new plastic. I know WOW!!

I am still mentally processing alot of my trip. I am going to blog about it. How can I not. I met amazing people and saw amazing things. So bear with me and I promise it is coming soon. Of course most of my seven readers were there. But I know a lady in San Diego that is interested :) Love you all!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Packing and Heading Home

I am going home tomorrow. It has been an amazing trip for me. I have been so blessed to be in the presence of my wonderful Edmond friends. I still have to go in and pack. I would like to stay for at least another 10 or 20 years. I think my family would be sad but Sooner (get it OK SOONERS) or later they would find me here.

My one piece of advice for my fellow bloggers. If you have become close blogging friends and have an opportunity to meet them. Take it!

Guess Who's Eye Balls?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Welcome to Oklahoma

Today I flew to Oklahoma. I got up at 4:30 in the morning. Craig drove me to Saramento, about 2 1/2 hours.

I checked my bag at the curb and headed to the security checkpoint. I saw all the signs about how I can't travel with guns and knifes or fluids. I never saw the sign that said I had to take my laptop out of the case and have it scanned seperately. I am a novice laptop traveler. Thankfully the guys were really nice and we all laughed. I did enjoy the fact that for the hour I had to wait that I had free airport supplied WIFI. It made the time go by faster and I had fun chatting and twittering. I boarded the plane and was off.

We arrived in Phoenix where I had to change planes. I had an hour lay over and again free WIFI. I must admit that I thought Phoenix was not very attractive. I was excited to get out of there! It was an easy flight to OKC! We even landed a little early.

Robin and Dirk picked me up. YAY!! They were there. Robin is just as cute in person as she is on her blog!!. Dirk carried my super heavy suitcase for me! Then we were on our way to the Many Meadows. We did stop at Sonic and got something to drink. I have never heard of a chocolate Dr. Pepper.

Many Meadows is beautiful. It is green. It is family! It is lived in! There is tons of LOVE Here. I felt more welcome then you could imagine. My room is beautiful and I had the nicest Welcome Basket from the Girls!!

There was an amazing Thunder and Lightning Storm tonight!!!

I do feel very welcome in Oklahoma!! Can't wait to see more!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I am sooooo Excited!!

Well for months I have been waiting to take my journey! I have had my ticket to Oklahoma City Since April 29th. Yep Over 3 months! In less then 12 hours I will be walking through an Airport Security Check Point! In less then 24 hours I will be in the capable hands of Miss Robin who has volunteered herself as my Angel!

In advance to all the people that I am meeting;
Miss Robin
Roger and Shelly

Thank alla y'all for making me feel so welcome!

I can't wait to get there!

Monday, August 11, 2008

New Address Book

I had to get a new address book. My old one is falling apart. I usually need a new one every 5 years or so. I thought this would be a good time to get one. I am hoping to be adding a few Oklahoma people to it at the end of the week.

The worst and best part of a new address book is writing in all your contacts. You get to clean up the ones that have moved 5 times since your last new book. Even when you write in pencil, there will be a time when all you can find is a pen to make a quick change with. There is a scratched out number here and an erased number there.

I also usually find that some people don't get moved into the new book. I wonder why that is. How did I lose touch with that person? Where did that person go? Why don't I talk with that person anymore? Why did they chose that lifestyle? It bothers me so much that I keep every one of my old address books. Sometimes I even reference back to them if I really want to try and find someone.

Am I the only one that this happens too?
Do you find people in your address book that you may have forgotten about or can't find?
Do you keep your old Address Books?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lead or Follow?

When Moses led his people out of Egypt the Bible says that they followed a pillar of cloud by day and the Lord provided a light at night with a pillar of fire. At that time the people followed the Lord.


Do we still? Or do we expect Him to follow us cleaning up our messes or responding to our every call?

I pray in the mornings for the journeys that I am suppose to take during the day. I pray for safety, good traffic and an even temper. I pray that we all make it home at the end of our days Happy, Healthy and Safely. Some mornings the Lord talks to me and I make adjustments to my plans or remember things that I am suppose to do and forgot about. Those are the days where I really feel Lord Led.

Then there are the days where I hear the voice but do what I want anyway. I ignore the things that I should have done and forgot about. I dilly dally the day away. Then when I get home I am irritable, frustrated and behind in what needs to be done. I pray to the Lord to give me the energy that I need to complete the tasks that I need to get done. The tasks that would have been done had I listened to begin with.

So in your relationship with the Lord....Who Leads?

Do you try and Lead Him? Or Do you let Him lead You?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Does God Laugh?

Do we do things that make our Heavenly Father Laugh?

How often do our children say or do something that makes us giggle? How often do they do something that makes you laugh so hard that we cry? (I have read that one of two of you have a problem with laughing fluids out your nose.)

I have blogged about having a reverance fear of God. A respectful fear of God. A reminder of his power.

But I have to wonder at this other side.

I want to imagine the Lord delighting in me...
In my happiness...
In my goofyness...

I just wonder if He sits on his throne, slaps his knee and belly laughs. Does he ever say "That Theresa, She cracks me up!"?

If all of our characteristics come from him...wouldn't that cover our sense of humor too?

Do we sometimes go to the Lord only in quiet time or worship?
Do we ever get up and do the happy dance and holler YEEHAAAWWW?

Do we leave God out of the Fun?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Blogging Friends

I have made some Blogging Friends. I am excited to have the chance to meet some of them soon. I think that when we “meet” people by blogging we get to learn about them in different ways. We get to commisserate with each other about kids, jobs, our faith, marriage, etc. We can support each other, offer wisdom, or be the one that finds the help.

I believe that I have become blogging friends with women that I may not have approached in “real” life due to my self esteem. They may be in the “IN” crowd or Ministry Leaders spouses or have tight BFF relationships that appear not to have room for others. But by blogging I have found that they do accept me for me. They offer me support, they laugh with me, they pray for me, they offer me advice on teenagers. BUT NOW I need to meet some. I need to get hugs and finish forging the relationship. I really need to sit with them and laugh!!

I may only get to meet them once but I will still be a part of their lives and them mine if we chose to stay in touch. I love these people, my blogging friends.

They aren’t my imaginary friends….They are my God supplied far away friends! God made sure we met in a way that would tighten our bond prior to the stereotypes interferring with His work.
I have been really really blessed by Him in this aspect.