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Tuesday, January 16, 2018


I came across this quote a few days ago:  Integrity is choosing your thoughts and actions based on values rather than personal gain.  It's a great life quote that we can all take to heart.

There are many things I hope my children have. One of those things is integrity.  They'll only have integrity if I have modeled it, trained them in it, and taught it.  My example is huge.  If I do the things I do to benefit ME, then they will do the same.  If I bend rules, make plans, and hide things on the basis of "for others", yet it's actually to benefit myself, they will see through my fakeness and I will have failed to teach them to have integrity.  It's easy to see when others don't have integrity. It's much harder to see it in myself.

Want to check to see if you have integrity?  From Carey Nieuwhof's website, check yourself!

Five signs that show your integrity is in question:

1.  It’s all about you.
2. Your self esteem rises and falls with the opinion of others.
3. You’re hiding things.
4.  You fail to do what you said you were going to do.
5.  You make too many compromises.

How did you do?  Could you make some improvements? Start today! Don't delay!

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out. Proverbs 10:9

The Lord judges the peoples;
    judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness
    and according to the integrity that is in me.
9 Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end,
    and may you establish the righteous—
you who test the minds and hearts,
    O righteous God!
Psalm 7:7-9

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Power of Prayer

This week I have been preparing to speak for a ladies day in Weatherford, Oklahoma.  In the midst of that preparation that has been going on for more than a month, there have been so many things that have been going on.  Things that have been distracting.  Things that have been serious and not so serious.

Prayer is something that comes easy for me when doing with my children, but has never come easy to me for myself.  I have always wanted my children to have a stronger and deeper prayer life at their ages than I had in mine at those times.

Prayer is still something that I struggle with, I think because of my independent personality.  I don't always think to pray like I should.  I do pray, but not as often as I should.  I pray prayers of thankfulness in all of my prayers and the most often.  I pray prayers of repentance, but not as often as I need to.  I certainly need forgiveness often!  And I'm not always good at praying for my needs or for God's guidance/strength, etc.  I rarely, if ever, pray for my wants.

So this week some things were troubling me. I decided to pray bold prayers.  I told God exactly what I wanted.  I prayed that God would either take care of the trouble or calm me.  Which taking care of the trouble WOULD calm me, I wanted peace if the trouble stayed.  Another thing going on is still ongoing, but I'm continuing to pray about it, as well.  The first trouble was taken care of by God.  Even before I knew that I was calmer.  I knew that everything was going to be taken care of by God, no matter what.  I had faith that He was going to take care of the problem in however it needed to be - whether it was what I would have wanted or not.  Either way, I knew God would help me to be calm.

I kept reciting the last sentence of this verse as I prayed fervently:
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16

When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, he quoted scripture back at Satan.  I try to do that. I just tell Satan he is not going to tempt me in that way....tempt me to worry, become stressed, get upset, etc.....well, on certain things. I need to do it with some of my food/Sonic drink things!!!  But I have found if I do that, it really works for me.  Of course, in doing that, I totally believe it's the Holy Spirit of God working and helping me in those ways as I pray about them.  But I do believe that's how we can resist the devil - by telling him to GO!

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

There's definitely power in prayer.  We may not always depend upon it as we should, but this week, once again, I can know that it does work.  And so when I'm upset about something that I can't control or shouldn't control....or really even when I can control it.....I need to pray, "God, if it is your will, calm this storm.  If it is not your will to calm it, then calm me."  Maybe you need to pray that prayer, too.

Depend on the power of prayer.  It will get you through whatever comes your way.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Power Washer

Last week I had the opportunity to use an extremely powerful power washer for a few days. I cleaned the gunk and grime off of a huge concrete slab, often times maneuvering over it an inch at a time to ensure that it was all as clean as possible. As I worked, I thought about the spiritual application of this massive tool.

First of all,  I thought about the incredible power of this washer. It was a super-duper power washer! It even took most of the painted basketball and volleyball marked lines off of the concrete!

In the same way, God is the ultimate power washer!  There is no higher power!  And just as the machine gives the "gift" of high-powered water, and the water does the cleaning, God gave the gift of His Son on the cross, and His blood shed did the cleansing for those who accept that gift and obey His Word.  

I also thought about the time and care I spent going over every spot, making sure no stains were left. I asked myself this question: Am I as careful to look for the "spots and blemishes" of my spiritual life, taking care to repent of the sins and name them one by one?  The blood of Jesus will continually clean off the spots in my life when I repent of those sins and strive to live a life in faithful obedience to His Will.  Just as no spot was too bad to withstand the power of that power washer, no sin is "too big" for the blood of Jesus.  His blood has the power to wash it all away, making me clean and pure.

And then the last thought from the power washer was the fact that, no matter how powerful the machine was, the water was, the pressure was, unless I held it in my hand....unless I pushed the handle, the machine couldn't do the work it was supposed to do. Now God can do work without me. In fact He works all of the time and everywhere without my help. He doesn't need my help and He doesn't need yours; however, for Him to work in my life...for His Spirit to work in my heart must be willing to allow Him to work.  He can do things that abruptly make my heart willing to obey, willing to listen, willing to change, but if I'm defiant, unwilling to change, unwilling to submit, unwilling to do anything at all, He can't change me the way He wants to.  I have to "allow" the power to work in my life.  And although I did NOTHING to clean the spots off of the concrete (I had no power!), I had to "allow" the power washer to do it's job by me doing my job.  God's Spirit can work in my life, molding me and helping me grow in the fruits, but only if I allow Him to work.  It is as simple as saying, "Here you go God. Do what needs to be done!".

It's interesting how simple things in life can have deep spiritual meaning if we will just look.  There are spiritual applications all around us if we will just open our eyes!  So whether you find yourself folding laundry, washing dishes, playing catch, walking, or using a power washer, look for the spiritual side of life.  God will teach when we take the time to learn.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Zachary's 21st Birthday & Time Capsule Opening

What a fun time we had Saturday!  My parents came to town Friday night, and my mom, Zachary, Lauren, and I spent all day Saturday cooking for Zachary's 21st birthday. The 21st birthday in our home is special because the kids get to open their time capsule that was made at their 1st birthday party.  So for 20 years that sack that was his time capsule has been safely stored away.  I've never even peeked to see what was put in any of them, so it's always exciting to me, too!  

Lauren bought Zachary a yummy cookie from a shop in Oklahoma City she had made with the Italian flag on it. She gave it to him on Friday.  We gave him a special book, which I'll tell about towards the end of this post.
Originally Zachary wanted to cook all of the food for his party, but in the end he decided it would be easier for him if we all helped! It worked out perfectly! He chose Italian food, which was great because he and Lauren spent three weeks there in May (which I haven't yet blogged about, but need to!).  I'm usually not one that likes the food I've cooked all day. I guess just being around it all day makes me not like it, BUT this time I have to agree with those who said - it was all delicious!  Everything just seemed to go right, and turned out like it was supposed to (yippee!).  
Most of the decorations I had for this theme, but was really excited to see the "Hunts" brand of large tomato sauce at Sam's. Mine were so old and had been in the garage and gotten too hot, I guess.  The red cans make it extra cute!
Walmart had these red and white plates in a "picnic" section, but worked great. I ordered the Italian flag napkins from Amazon. 
 The traditional "cousin" picture.  The little ones are second cousins. They make parties even more fun!
My mom made two chocolate pies (Zachary loves that one she makes) so we would be sure to have enough dessert. Zachary had requested that I get a church friend's banana pudding recipe for his main dessert. We put candles on it!
And then it was time for the time capsule opening. I remember using slick paint on that sack at the last minute before his 1st birthday party thinking I should have done something different - more special. But I didn't let myself change it, either. It was fine!
 There were lots of special things in the capsule.  A red wagon from Grandma (my mom) that had a message of how she pulled Zachary in that wagon a lot when she kept he and his siblings a few days in the summer when I worked part time.
 An extra special handwritten letter from his great-grandpa with his first wedding band in it.  Oh, I wish that grandpa was still alive to have seen this, but how neat that he has this memory and keepsake.
 A plate and napkin from his first birthday party. The candle was in their too. I should have used it for the "1" of "21"!! (But I had no idea it was there! Ha ha!).
 A letter and pictures from family members.  It was fun ready them and looking at the pictures.
When Zachary was born one of my friends gave me a scrapbook keepsake book. I kept it up well and it was something special that just he had.  It tells funny sayings that he would say. I enjoyed reading that again. 
 The book we give them when they turn 21 is the words of the book "Just in Case You Ever Wonder" by Max Lucado. The words are put to pictures of them growing up.
It was a LOT of work, but I'm proud of it and know Zachary will be, too.  I loved looking through pictures of him. It brought back so many memories and tears of joy, happiness, and a little sadness at how fast it's gone.
And I love the main point of the book - that we taught Zachary about God...about Jesus....about Heaven.
Another special thing was in the time capsule. This book. I wrote a letter to him in it - a really long letter. I'm not sure he's even read it, yet! Ha!  And I had letters that I wrote to him each year.  Some will be blog posts that I print out.  And two years were missing for some reason. I got a little overwhelmed a few years and had a hard time keeping up. It seemed like I was always writing and maybe I just didn't do them??  I don't know. Hopefully they'll show up. If not, it's okay.  

I'm not sharing a picture of it, but one thing we did last week was watch the commercial we made for Comanche County Memorial Hospital about Zachary being born and having Group B Strep.  The commercial was good at the time, but they made it waaaaayyyyy close up so our heads are HUGE! And I have on way too much makeup!  But Zachary and Lauren looked cute :).  It didn't show Jacob, although he would have been born at the time.

Then the party was over.....

On Sunday, Zachary's actual birthday, Mom and Dad were still in Tipton. We all went to Bible class and worship, then had a quick lunch before they headed back to Texas and we left for Texas....visited the DFW area for a few days for a quick vacation trip.  We worshiped at Roanoke, TX, then at in Carrolton at Babe's. A fun and delicious ending to Zachary's special day!

Dear Zachary,
When I think of you celebrating your 21st birthday, my heart is filled with pride.  God allowing me to be your mother has been one of my biggest joys of life.  After always wanting a big brother - or any brother - it was fun having a boy! I'd never been around boys other than my dad, grandpas and your dad, so actually being around a little baby boy and raising him brought all new experiences in my life!  And I have truly loved every minute of it.

I'm writing your letter a few days late, so it's a Wednesday. Just tonight at Bible class, you taught about two miracles of Jesus - Him healing the woman with the issue of blood and Jairus' daughter being brought back to life.  As you taught, I just kept thinking about your wisdom and knowledge for your age.  I know people think it's our doing (your dad and I), and I hope and pray that we have taught you a lot and you did learn a lot from us, in reality I know that a lot of what you know you have learned on your own - by digging into God's Word yourself.  That's what it should be and that's one thing I love about you.

As you attend college and learn in classes, I know that you are doing what you can to shine your light for Jesus in any way you can.  In a small way, but something that I have seen you do, is that you get to know people. You learn their names. When I've been with you on campus, you speak to them and say hello to them. You do what you can to make them feel like you care.  I can't remember what you said exactly, but I remember you saying you were specially trying to learn people's names and say their names.  You know....that is something people need to hear and you are doing that.  That one thing made a big impression on me. It's something I need to work on myself.  You teach me things all of the time.

You're so mature for your age.  I thank God for what He has done in your life and how He is molding you into what He wants you to be.

This summer has been special for you and for us.  We have had you here, which I never would have thought possible. You've worked at the children's home helping organize and plan events, camps, etc. You've directed QMCC camp session with your dad for the 3rd year, baptizing someone for the first time and influencing many others who are on their own spiritual journeys.  You've gained knowledge in your future career, but been an asset and helper to all who needed you here - especially to your dad.

I'm going to miss you when you go back to college, but am also excited about your junior year.  You've made it a goal to have lots and lots of people in your apartment.  Hospitality is important to me, and I think all of our family feels that it's important. It's so great to see you willing to open up your college home to reach out to others.  They will be thrilled! :)

Zachary, all that your dad and I wanted for your future was to know that we loved you and for you to be a faithful Christian and a worker for Him in the Kingdom.  You are doing just that.  There's nothing more to say.  All I can say is that I love you and am proud of you.  Most importantly, I believe you are doing God's Will.  You have Him at the center of your life.  I pray that He is always the center.  If He is, all else will be okay.

I'll love you forever. I'll like you for always. Now and forever my baby you'll be.  MOMMA (You call me Momma. Not all the time, but often. No one else does :) )

Thursday, May 4, 2017


Do you ever look back at something and think, "Whew, I made it!".  I'm sure you have.  I have too, just today, in fact!  Last Thursday morning I left home. I knew I wouldn't be back home again until today, a week later.  As I began to think about all that was going to happen in that week, I got all spastic. I don't worry, for the most part, but I get so excited about it all that spastic is the best way to describe it.  Crazy might be a better description, though. Ha ha!

Once I had my clothes out for the week, it helped. I wasn't quite as spastic! Packing for that long means making some decisions and not knowing the weather conditions made that difficult. To help, I just took probably a third (maybe more) of my clothes.

When I drove away from the house, I was completely relieved.  Everything I had thought about and planned for a month or so was on its way to happening. No more thinking about it. Now it was time to DO it!  However, many things that happened during the past week were not planned. And that made the week even more memorable!

This post is more for myself, just to remember this past week.  I'm putting details I want to remember.
It's a day by day glance...with details.

Made the meat, rice, beans and picked up cake....made floral decoration...gathered party supplies, etc.
Stayed up making Jacob's high school graduation announcements, paid extra to get some stamped and mailed from Shutterfly and also extra to have some shipped here quickly for he and Joe to take care of before they left Friday. (more about that at the end of this post).

And Tyler wanted a cell phone....
We were going to get him one - a non-smart phone -  in the summer to take to camps, but decided he should get one for the FFA Chorus time. We didn't tell him, though! Wednesday night after Bible class we staged a funny thing. I hid the phone in the love seat where Tyler sits.  I watched from the couch. Jacob was gonna video it but had run out of storage.  Joe rang Tyler's phone.  Nothing.  Not even a budge.  Joe rang again.  Tyler even moved his hand and foot to the phone's ringtone. He finally realized no one was answering the phone, looked around and all of us, and jumped up to start digging in the love seat!! It was GREAT!! He was excited then a little teasingly "upset" that we hadn't told him he was getting one and let him do all of this list of "why Tyler needs a phone" he did. It was funny!

Met Zachary at Oklahoma City for his doctor's appointment.
Joe got Jacob's graduation announcements that Jacob needed to take to school and mailed a few I had forgotten to put on the mailing list to Shutterfly.
Unloaded Lauren's college graduation cake and taco meat/chicken, beans, rice, other food stuff, and my luggage at brother and sister-in-law's.
Lauren came to switch cars with me while I was unloading so that she could pack some college apartment stuff in it.
Went out to Lauren's car to leave only to discover I had no purse (no money, no nothing).
Went to her apartment to get my purse, phone charger, etc.
Picked up prescription for Zachary. Waited in parking lot for prescription to be called in for another son (never happened). Shopped a few hours for food for Lauren's college graduation.
Took all the bought stuff to bro/sis-in-laws' and began getting food stuff together (Zachary helped.) Decorated grad party table.
Responded to texts (many overdue and way late due to phone being on silent).
Went to sleep about 2:30 a.m. listening to the thunderstorm and their house in Edmond.

Woke up at 6:00 a.m.  Got ready FIRST (other thank clothes) rather than waiting until everything was done (yay me. I NEVER do that!).
Finished preparing food things.  Stuck food in the oven.
Decorated patio tables outside.
Couldn't find the dish soap to wash the dishes (thankfully my brother-in-law came in and showed me it was in a pump RIGHT ON THE GRANITE surface by the sink. OH BOY! I had to put that detail in. It's part of the funny stories from the week!!)
Realized it was 9:10 and I was wanted to leave for Lauren's college graduation at 9:30. Hurried and washed the dishes and made it out the door at 9:30!!  Yay! I changed quickly!
Made it to graduation. Waiting on my husband, three sons, one son's girlfriend, and my parents who were there from Lubbock.
While I was at graduation, my brother-in-law ordered the "set ups" from Ted's Cafe (homemade tortillas, chips, salsa, queso) and went to get it...he lowered the temps on all of the food (I had forgotten to).  My sister-in-law got home from her mom's early morning minor surgery and had the other food out on the island when we got there.
Many family members and friends came to join in the celebration of dinner, cake, grad gifts, pictures, and fellowship. Took lots of pictures.
God blessed us with a beautiful day and perfect for an outside garden party!
Cleaned up the food.
We went to pack up Lauren's apartment stuff then Zachary's dorm stuff in the Expedition and Joe's pickup.
Jacob and his girlfriend left for OSU FFA Inter-scholastics competitions in Zachary's car.
The other five of us went to eat with my parents at Jason's Deli.
Tyler went to spend the night in the dorm with Zachary.
Went to bed by midnight or so.  Exhausted, but feeling accomplished and relieved!
WOW!  Joe and I alone for a night???!  That rarely happens! Weird!

The plan:
The five of us were going to meet for breakfast. It took me a while to remember that Jacob would still be in Stillwater. I had planned to find a really neat and fun place to go. Lauren and Zachary were leaving for Italy and Joe's birthday was the next day. We would all be favorite thing :).
Well, Zachary wanted to run and needed to work his R.A. job checking out college Freshmen from 9-10, so he wasn't sure he would be able to eat. Lauren needed to be out of her apartment for checkout at 7:30 a.m.  She would be able to eat after that.

The reality:
A storm came through Oklahoma City causing a lot of downed power poles. It was pouring rain in the morning.  We know Zachary couldn't run, so it was going to be all five for breakfast!
Joe and I left the hotel to go load up the rest of Lauren's stuff and she was going to check out.
Mom and Dad started going back to Lubbock. There was a problem on the road near the OK State Fairgrounds and they were having traffic go to Exit 10. They were there, barely moving at all, if any...for over an hour! Turns out it was the downed power lines caused by the storm.
Lauren's roommate missed her checkout time and Lauren wasn't sure why.
Joe was helping her carry things out quickly before the checkout guy got there at 7:30. He carried a sack to the car that had a lot of stuff in it...including Lauren's car keys. He put the trunk lid down just a little, but didn't shut it. The trunk lid slammed shut immediately because of the wind.  So immediately Joe know the keys were locked in the car.
Lauren couldn't take anything else out of the apartment after her checkout (this included her pots and pans) because of the roommate not checking out yet (or something....I'm not sure about this part).
We pay for AAA and it's been a lifesaver for us, but because of the OKC storm, they weren't answering. We knew it would take a long time for them to come unlock a car.
Joe called a locksmith and waited.  He came pretty quick.
In the meantime the rest of us went to breakfast, not at one of the places I had searched for on TripAdvisor and gotten advice from by friends, but at Jimmy's Egg, which was close.  And it was good! We ordered and ate.
Joe got the car unlocked, got the pots and pans from the roommate when she got there (the storm at their hotel had knocked the power out and caused she and her family to oversleep).
Joe arrived at Jimmy's Egg....Zachary had to leave.
After we ate we all went back to Zachary's dorm.
We helped unload his dorm and cleaned it.
The college stuff was packed in my Expedition, Joe's pickup, Zachary's car, and Lauren's car.
We had a family prayer together (minus Jacob).
Zachary and Lauren left for Dallas.
We let Tyler decide what to do since he had us all to himself.
Tyler decided we would go to Golf Galaxy (formerly Golfsmith) where he and Joe putted and had a putting contest for an hour or more, Von Maur at Quail Springs mall plus other shopping (mostly needs since he's grown so much!), and then ate at Zio's.  We also went to Cavendars for Joe some socks because his feet were soaked from the rain. It rain mostly all day long!
Lauren and Zachary left their car at a cousin's house and called a cab.  The cab never came so they called for an Uber driver.  They made it to the airport.
About 4:00 p.m., Lauren realized she didn't have her wallet.  She had left it in the Uber car!!They were past security and almost ready to board the plane.  She called Uber and the driver met her outside DFW. Thankfully...thankfully....she was able to get back through security and onto the plan just in time!!!!
About Zio's:  Because the Bricktown Zio's is so pretty and because it was just as close as the other one, I suggested it.  When we got there we found out that it was the OKC schools' prom night, plus many Oklahoma Bombing Memorial Marathon runners were there....all waiting to eat.  It was going to be an hour and a half to two hour wait!  We decided to go to the other one.
On the way to the other Zio's Joe called. There was no wait at all.  We got seated immediately. Within 15 minutes there were lots of people coming in. When we left there, the wait was at least 30 minutes, maybe more.
The evening ended with Cold Stone Creamery and a trip to Walmart for pencils that Tyler could use for FFA Chorus during the next few days.
Went to bed late because I was watching Lauren and Zachary's plane on the app. I set an alarm for 1:30 a.m. so I could message them when they got there. They were to have a 3 hour layover.  I never went to sleep (reflux).
Jacob drove back home from Stillwater in pouring rain the whole time. He was so tired.
I missed the exact landing time. I was looking at other stuff on my phone. When I went to the app, though, it didn't say "landed".  I went to the airlines' app. It showed a plane in the MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN and said "scheduled".  I went back and forth between the two apps trying to see when it landed. Neither ever said landed.  I'm not a worrier, but the plane in the middle of the ocean saying scheduled really worried me a LOT. After about 10 minutes, I called the airlines hotline. I realized while listening to the first part of their stuff, that it was after midnight our time.  I went back to the airlines' app and realized that what I was searching had switched to April 30th instead of the 29th!! Ha ha!! I searched the 29th and saw what I wanted to see: LANDED! WHEW!!  :)
Waited a little bit and talked to Lauren and Zachary a while.
Went to sleep late, but slept through getting to say anything to them before they flew to Italy.

Joe was supposed to run in the Half Memorial Marathon, but decided he couldn't.  Instead he spoke about the Home at Carbondale Church of Christ in Tulsa. He left the hotel in OKC pretty early.
Tyler and I got up early for worship at class at Memorial Church of Christ.
As we arrived I found out Lauren and Zachary made it to Italy!
Tyler and I went back to the hotel, packed up, and went to eat.
At 2:00 p.m., I took Tyler to check in to the hotel to begin practicing with the Oklahoma FFA Chorus.
I checked into my hotel.
Joe got back from Tulsa.
We worshipped at Southern Ridge Church of Christ and got to visit with some friends we used to worship with at Elm & Hudson in Altus.  Joe was part of the studying due that the man studied with before becoming a Christian!
Joe and I ate (ALONE!) at Ted's Cafe. I did the birthday song and sombrero for his birthday as a surprise! He shouldn't have left the table to visit the restroom. It gave me time to let the waiter know!
Went to sleep pretty early because it was going to be an early Monday morning.
Responded to lots of people that had been commenting on all of the graduation stuff.
Talked to the Italy kids late and then during the night when it was their morning.
WOW! Another night alone. So, so weird!!!

Jacob got up and left the house at 4:30 a.m. for Kingfisher for the Regional Golf Tournament.
Joe and I left the hotel in OKC at 6:30 tournament, but in separate cars.  My GPS is way messed up on my phone, so it took me an alternative way for a while. It said roads that were in ALTUS, not OKC.  Thankfully I could read the map on the phone.
Jacob played two games of golf, so 36 holes. We were finished about 4:30.
Joe went back home.
Jacob and I went back to OKC.
The FFA Chapter had gotten to OKC in the afternoon. They were going to Main Event to play games/bowl. I was to take Jacob to meet them.
When we got to Main Event the FFA group wasn't there. They didn't come for about an hour. Jacob and I waited, but then just decided to bowl. I paid for a wrist band for $15, which gave unlimited bowling.  When they "buzzed" us saying a lane was ready, we went to get our shoes. The lady at the shoe desk said we should have paid for the shoes at the first desk, but since we didn't, she said she would just let it slide and gave them to us instead of us having to go back to the line.  (Savings:  $5 per pair). She also put in the two other people that we were going to get to bowl with us and said to tell them just to come get their shoes when they got there. (Total savings for all of us together: $20!!)
We bowled for the two girls until the 7th set, then they got there and we kept bowling for two hours!
I didn't want to eat late like I had the two nights before, so asked them if they wanted some appetizers to share.
We ordered onion rings and loaded fries.  I didn't want much at all, but those sounded good and they agreed.  When the food came, instead of fries, it was loaded tots. The waitress said she'd get it changed.
After 20 minutes I asked about our fries. The guy said they had a LOT of school groups come in and order. I told them I understood, just wanted to check.
After 10-15 minutes, the waitress brought the fries and apologized for the delay. She said she wasn't going to charge me for any of the food.
In a little while the manager (I guess) came and apologized and said the same. I told them I totally understood!  But, food? I won't complain!  Total saved:  $25?? I left a tip, still.
Jacob wanted me to take him to the FFA hotel instead of unloading his luggage to the bus.  They were going to leave at 8:45 p.m., but ended up not leaving until 10.
Since we had a lot of time with nothing to do, we were just walking around or sitting. Jacob had someone come up and give him a card that had unlimited game tokens for 8 hours! We all played Skeeball several times, then they did other games. They gave the card to someone else when the FFA group decided to leave. (Quite a bit saved!)
I dropped Jacob off at his hotel and went to mine...checked the car in with the valet.
Stayed up late and talked to the kids in Italy some.

The FFA Convention began at 9:00 Tuesday morning, so I got there about 8:30. It was across the street from the convention center, so very nice to be close.
Tyler was so much fun to watch in the FFA Chorus. They did great! He was so excited about it and texted about it often. So fun reading his messages!
After the morning session I walked around the career fair of the convention and walked with Jacob and Camry to our favorite downtown place to eat during the convention....Mom's Kitchen. Ended up eating with a friend that moved several years ago and walking back to the convention with her.
Tyler was done with practice and going to eat, but said he could visit with me for just a little while before he had to practice again. I told him I'd wait on him at his hotel lobby.
He finally said he was just leaving from running into Jacob and Camry.
I waited, but he never showed up. Finally he called.
He was by the convention center, but couldn't figure out where he was to get back to his hotel.
I asked where he was...what he saw...where the sun was...trying to direct him to the right place.
I waited and waited and called...NOTHING. I was standing out on the corner of his hotel block so hopefully I could see him or he'd see me.
He finally called and said he didn't have time to see me then...he had to go.
I asked if I could just say hi really quick as he walked the skybridge to the practice room. He allowed that :). It was quick! Ha!
After a quick trip to my hotel it was time for the evening session.
Our school secretary was given an honorary FFA degree award at the evening session, so that was exciting.
After the session ended, Tyler said he was hungry and since he thought he could go eat with Jacob and others, but they were going to eat near their hotel further away, he couldn't.
I was Tyler's last resort for an eating buddy, and since he hadn't seen me much in several days, I think he was excited (or maybe it was just me and he played along!).
We ate at Sonic at Bricktown. Tyler said he was going back to his hotel room and sleeping. He was so, so tired. Many others of the chorus group had gone to a concert.
We walked back to my hotel to get my car so I could drive him to his. I didn't want to walk back alone since it was dark and the FFA people weren't out then.
The valet, Zach, went to get the Expedition and was gone a long time. I told Tyler it was taking too long for the car to come.  Zach soon showed up with bad news. The car wouldn't start.
I told Zach I'd walk through the convention center and take Tyler to where he knew to go from there without getting lost, then get back to my hotel to decide what to do. He thought it was a dead battery so jumped it and let it run for 20 minutes.  I waited in the lobby.
Zach said not to worry about it, that he would charge it more and then I could go on to my room.
After about 30 minutes, there was a knock on my hotel door. Zach had bad news. After jumping it, running it a long time, and even driving it around, the car wouldn't start up again after he turned off the key.
I called Joe and told him what was going on.  He made plans to call someone the next day and to come to OKC in a bigger vehicle in case we had to unload the college stuff in case the Expedition had to stay a while. that left a night with a little uncertainty about the next day. I needed a vehicle to go to the State Capitol to hear the chorus. I wasn't sure yet when that was scheduled or how I'd get there.
Oh....and Tyler texted me at 11:30 asking if I was awake! I guess he got his second wind. Ha ha!

I found out early that the chorus wasn't leaving for the Capitol until 1:15, but it was an early morning at the convention. I got there and saved seats at 7:45 for the FFA group.
Another mother and I plus some of the FFA members went to a workshop.
Joe got to my hotel and began waiting on the mobile car mechanic to come. By that time they thought the problem was probably the carburetor. He wasn't sure how long he would wait.
I didn't have time to eat lunch, but wanted something.
I decided to stop by the hotel Starbucks and get something. It must have been noon because she was closing and so I didn't get anything to eat there. When I went to pay her, she GAVE it to me FREE!!  She said just take it, I guess because she had counted her register already.  (Savings: $5)
I borrowed a car from another mom friend.  I left at 1:15.
On the way to the Capitol Tyler called. He needed me to go get him a cheap pair of black pants because he had a white stain on his.
After some questioning, I got it out of him. He had spilled Super Glue on his pants trying to glue down the zipper pull on his FFA jacket!
I told him I wasn't buying a new pair of pants, but I had a Sharpie and he could color it and cover it!
He said to meet him after they finished singing at the Capitol.
Turns out I went out the way I came in and they didn't....SO, I didn't ever see him afterwards.
I got back about 3:45, just in time to run up to the room and do a few things and get to the convention center to help save seats...but Tyler wanted his pants colored so I ended up meeting him to color his stain really quick.  TALK ABOUT a LOT of WALKING! I wonder how many miles I put on Tuesday and Wednesday?!
My phone died during the Capitol trip, so I left it in the room to charge. That made it difficult to communicate, obviously.
I noticed an "Okie" t-shirt on the coffee table in my hotel room, but didn't have time to change to it and decided to wear it another time. I was also wondering why Joe brought it with him to OKC, thinking I had ordered it not remembering exactly how the one I had ordered recently looked.
Joe wasn't around when I left my hotel, so I figured that he had gone to the parking garage - that the mobile mechanic had arrived.
About 6:00 Joe got to the convention center. The mobile mechanic did fix the Expedition! It was only a cable and only $60!!! (Savings from not being carburetor. About $200!)
And a very, very cool thing: The man said he knew someone with our last name years our town (not knowing that's where Joe was from). Turns out he was at the Children's Home for two years in the 70's. Joe remembered him because his parents were houseparents at that time, as well!
The FFA Chorus sang lots of songs, we got to go see Tyler right after they sang and he got to stay with us after that.
I got to hear part of the keynote speaker after that. Joe and Tyler took his luggage to the car. The speaker was great.
Then Jacob got his FFA State Degree later in the evening and we took lots of pictures after that.
Joe and Tyler left for home.  Jacob and the rest of the FFA left for home.
I stayed in OKC for one more night. I originally thought I'd get a doctor's appointment for Thursday, but never did.

Woohoo!!! It's going home day!  I set my alarm at the hotel for 8:00 a.m.  I was going to go looking around at a few places and get to Altus at 4:00 for another appointment.
*I kept looking at the Okie shirt that had appeared on my coffee table. I sent a message to a lady I had ordered the shirt from. I knew I'd sent her my email address, but didn't remember sending my mailing address. And Joe wouldn't have brought it to the City, surely.
She didn't know what it was - hadn't send the invoices out yet. She asked for a picture of the shirt then said she didn't sell that shirt!! Hmmmmm....
I had texted Joe about it and he finally responded saying my 18 year old, Jacob, and his girlfriend, Camry had bought it for me! They gave it to Joe at the hotel during the afternoon to put in my hotel room!
Then I texted Jacob and told him about the funny story and told he and Camry thank you for the mysterious shirt! I'm sure they wondered why I never mentioned it the night before!
Oh, well...guess what I wore all day?! That new Okie shirt! It had leopard print on it - my fav!
I checked out of the hotel at 10:30 a.m., but just decided to head back home.
When I got to Lawton, I thought of a few things that I had to do, so stopped at a few stores.
I ended up staying at Lawton longer than I expected to, but then was tired and not breathing too great.
I decided to cancel the thing at 4:00 p.m.
I got home at 4:45 p.m.
When I got home I told the boys hi.  I went to my room and started to go get stuff out of the vehicle.  As I came back through the living room, I noticed Tyler had fallen asleep!!  At least by 5:00 p.m.! It's 10:30 and he's STILL asleep on the couch. (Update:  Jacob woke him up at 6:45 a.m. Friday morning!)
I had brought home Panda Express for all of the family. I just put it up from the oven warming. He's not gonna wake up! Ha ha! That late night Tuesday did him in, plus all of the other stuff that went on with their practice schedule and hours of work.
Joe, Jacob, and I were all enjoying the evening.
Jacob is working on his sermon for Sunday morning. He's preaching!!
I was thinking and even said to Joe how I kept waiting for something to go wrong today, but it hadn't.  Or so I thought.....
I don't know what made me think about it, but I happened to think that I hadn't even seen Jacob's graduation announcements!  I went to look at them.
I noticed there were a LOT of announcements in the box.  I mailed out 52 to go to the people directly, then bought about 50 to be mailed here.
Something was wrong.
I texted my sister and she hadn't gotten hers.
I looked up my order.  Yes...I was right. 52 and 50...different things.
I called Shutterfly.  After waiting 15 minutes, the guy looked it up.  Apparently I didn't check the mail directly tab so it was all addressed, but not mailed from there.
After looking in the boxes at every set of the announcements, I found that there were some of the envelopes with addresses!!!  So, here I was thinking everyone had them and now they are just now going out tomorrow! Joe and Jacob stuffed the envelopes while I added to my crazy week post!
Today wasn't as smooth as I thought......

But I'm home. I survived possibly the craziest week I've ever had! Mostly fun...some not.  Memories made, for sure.  And best of all, I get to sleep in my own bed tonight. I think that's a sign I'm getting old.  Surely not!

I request a good day....a calm day....a day to get things done around here....and a day to not get ready or watch the clock too much.  :). Thanks in advance.

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