Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Triple Doll

Sister Johnie and the triple doll
Tuesday was an outstanding day.  We had a good ladies Bible study in the morning.  We had two new comers to the study and I hope they will be able to continue.  The church services at Lorena were really good.  The lady who serves as the hostess of our Lorena meeting made my daughter, Sarah, a double doll.  It is actually a triple doll.  On one side it is Red Riding Hood and on the other it is Red's grandmother.  When you invert the grandmother's bonnet it reveals the wolf's face.  She made this from material she got from dresses which belonged to my mother and Janie's mother.  It is very special.  She also gave us a loaf of homemade bread and a jar of homemade jelly.  She showed us a chair that she restored and her workmanship is amazing.  This is one very talented lady. 
Teaching the grandkids Petanque
We went for a hair cut first thing this morning.  I ran some errands while Janie took a nap.  I had to go by the bank to take care of some business there.  Business supply was next to get some envelopes for mailing out some nearly 300 letters to the churches of the Missionary Baptist Association of Texas.  I hope to have those in the mail next week.  I also went by the church and by Wal-Mart.  I bought some seat cushions for the chairs which we will be using on Wednesday nights in my adult class.  The chairs are hard plastic and not comfortable to most.  The cushions should help.  I am excited about the new Wednesday night adult class format.  It is going to be a very relaxed atmosphere and I think a very effective Bible learning one.
Janie and I at the Airport in France on our way home
Janie and I went to visit one of the ladies of our church this afternoon.  We had a good long visit there and returned home in time to get ready for our evening services.   Our attendance was up tonight and I am hopeful that will continue to be the trend. 
Tomorrow we head back to Henderson to check on my mother and Janie's.  We are going to stop by Canton on the way and look around a bit at the trades day there.  God bless you.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Return to Normalcy

My Girls at the baby shower at TBI on Saturday
Warren Harding was a bit before my time but his political slogan "A return to normalcy" seems to best describe this day.  We had a good weekend with a baby shower at TBI on Saturday and I got to play with my US grandchildren.  I taught them the game of Petanque.  We all went to the baby shower Saturday afternoon and it was a good time.  Janie and I stopped in to visit with my mother before heading back to Hillsboro.  She is doing well and I appreciate my brothers so much for taking good care of her. 
Friday evening Janie and I went fishing
Our services on Sunday were really good and well attended.  We had another baby shower for Sarah and Justin at our church Sunday afternoon.  It also was a lot of fun and they got a lot of nice things.  They stayed for our evening services and spent the night at our house.  We really enjoyed their company.
Today Janie and I went to the nursing home for the services there and it was good to see all our friends again.  We met a young lady at the church this afternoon and had a real good visit with her.  She is wanting to join our church and wants to have a closer walk with God.  We gave her some counsel and look forward to helping her on her journey as she grows spiritually. 
Baby shower at WSBC Sunday afternoon
Tomorrow we have our ladies Bible study in the morning and services down at Lorena tomorrow night.  It sure is good to be back to our normal routine.  God bless you.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Catch Up

Hannah learning from her grand and great grandmother
This picture is one of my favorites of this year.  It was cold the day we laid Jim Taylor to rest. The camera caught Hannah watching very closely as Janie comforted her mother.  There are not many moments in life like this one for not many are as profound.  How we deal with death is something we learn from those who have done so before us.  Janie likes hot weather better than cold but I prefer the cold and long for its return.
Me helping my mother make her bed
I have not blogged since I have needed to catch up on my work.  I am the clerk for our local Baptist association.  As such, I have to mail out letters to the churches of our association which includes a form for them to fill out and a letter telling them when and where the messenger meeting will be held and what they are to remember to do before coming to the meeting.  I got that done and the letters are in the mail.  My next major project is to mail out 300 letters to the churches of our State Baptist Association for I am the clerk of the State Association as well.  This is a much bigger task.  These letters must contain the current information we have on each individual church so that they can review the information and make changes if needed.  This requires a computer program and the one I have been using does not work on my  new Mac laptop.  I am writing a new database program for the Mac which will allow me to print these form letters out.  This program will also allow my two helpers at the meeting to log into the database by way of the internet and input the returned letters into the database.  All this is complicated but I am making good progress getting it done.  While Janie is gone with her mother this morning I am going to try to make some serious progress on this program cause I need to get those 300 letters mailed in the next few weeks. 
Our grandsons playing their instruments and singing at camp
Yesterday I spent the entire morning working on the sermon for Sunday.  I have mixed emotions about such texts as the one I will be preaching Sunday.  Its one of those texts that I have taken for granted that it means one thing and have believed it to mean that all of my days.  Upon close examination of the text and careful deliberate study I discover that I was wrong about the text.  It is a joy to know the truth but it is depressing to think I was wrong and taught it wrongly for so many years.  On this text many people have been mistaken and I will help at least some of them to see the light of truth.  Sometimes technical details are boring and in the sermon I will lose some as their minds drift away but rightly dividing God's word is important.
I need to go and check on my mother.  She needs to have round the clock assistance because her mind is just not right.  She does not realize that she is not taking care of herself and is making bad choices.  If we put her in a nursing home and that looks like the best choice at this point, I plan to visit her there as often and as lengthy as possible.  My mother was a good mother to me.  It is because of her and my father that I know Jesus Christ as my savior today.  God bless you.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Donald Duck Ring

My Mother on the left and her siblings, back in April 2011
Our services Sunday were good and I sure was glad to be back.  We had a good business meeting Sunday night.  Sunday afternoon Janie and I drove to Palestine for our daughter's baby shower.  We could not stay long since it took almost 2 hours to get there.  We made it back in time for our evening services.  Sunday night after church we packed our bags and headed for Henderson.  We got to bed about 1:00 Monday morning.  I had to get up and meet my brother and mother at the bank at 8:30.  We took care of the banking business and then I spent the day with my mother.  It was good to see her again after not having seen her for the past 2 months.  She is doing well.  When the visiting nurse came by she was very happy to see mother smiling.  All of mother's vital signs were good and she is still maintaining her weight at 110 pounds.  Ralph had fixed her biscuits for breakfast and I took her out to eat for lunch.  She is still not drinking enough water and I don't know what to do about that.  She says drinking water makes her have to go to the bathroom to much.  She did not eat much and she drank even less.  After lunch I took her to my mother-in-law's house to visit with her and Janie.  We stayed for an hour or so and then I took her to see dad's grave.  On the way back home she began to cry a little.  I engaged here in conversation recalling events from my childhood.  I asked her if she remembered giving me a Donald Duck ring?  She did not.  I told her the story and that seemed to perk her up a bit.
Mother seems very accepting of the possibility of her going to a nursing home.  It seemed to be a great relief to her when I told her that if that should happen I wanted her things to remain her things and for them to stay in her little house as long as she lives.
Tomorrow Janie and I plan to visit the number one choice of a nursing home for mother to ask questions.  We then plan to visit with mother and take her out to eat for lunch.  God bless you. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Good to be home

In front of the church building in Carcassonne, France
Our journey home went very well.  Our flight from France to England was only 1 1/2 hours long.  There was a lady sitting with us that had been hiking in Spain.  She is a school teacher in New York City.  She was only a block or so from ground zero when the towers came down.  She shared with us the pictures of her hike.  She also gave me some recommendations for a couple of books to read that would help me with my thesis.  We enjoyed her company. 
Me preaching in France
The layover in London was only 2 hours and that went by very fast.  On our flight to DFW we sat with a young man who was a youth minister returning from a mission trip to Africa.  He was from Tyler, Texas.  He was a really friendly and nice young man.  He gave me a book that he had been reading and I read the first chapter while on the plane.  It looks like it is going to be a good book and I am looking forward to finishing it.  I slept very little on the flight back to Texas.  The line for customs was very very long.  It was good to see Justin and Sarah at the airport.  Justin drove us home and we got to relax while he fought the traffic.  When we arrived in Hillsboro we went strait to our favorite restaurant to eat.  We went to bed very soon after getting home leaving Justin and Sarah up watching our TV.  They were gone when we got up the next morning.  Some very good friends of ours took us out to eat for supper on Friday.  We enjoyed visiting with them and catching up on all that had gone on while we were away.  Our fellowship hall flooded on Sunday and a handful of people helped clean up the mess Sunday afternoon.  The water line out in front of our church broke and there was a crew working on it while our services were going on Sunday morning.  I am so thankful to every one of our church members who take care of such things and keep things running smoothly while we are gone.
Part of the congregation during my sermon in France
Today I got up early and worked on the sermons for Sunday and the Sunday School lesson.  After I finished my work I took a mile and a half long walk and read the Song of Solomon.  Janie needed to do some shopping for a baby shower so I took her down to Waco today.  She got what she needed and we returned home.  The temperature was 109 today.  Tonight we have a choir fellowship at our music director's home.  He calls it Christmas in August.  After we eat supper together we will listen to the Christmas music we will be presenting.  It is going to be a good night.
Janie and Jason helping the kids slip and slide
We will be traveling many miles this week.  Sunday afternoon we will drive to Palestine for a baby shower and then back to Hillsboro for our evening services.  Right after the evening services we will drive to Henderson.  After our business is over there we will return to Hillsboro for our mid week services and then it is back to Henderson for another baby shower on Saturday.  We return to Hillsboro for our Sunday services.  That adds up to 16 hours of driving we will do this week. 
One of my favorite verses in the Song of Solomon is found in Chapter 5.  "...This is my beloved and my friend..."  Janie is my beloved and my very dear and closest friend.  I love her so.  God bless you.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Last day in France

Me and Janie with Sophie and Thierry
It has been a great trip.  We said goodbye to the kids when we put them to bed this evening.  We will be leaving at 5:00 in the morning so the kids will still be asleep except for Lilia and maybe Caleb who will be going with us to the airport.  It will be 2 years before we return to France again and we will miss it.
Lilia will be in "College" next year
I drove Janie and Lilia into town today to see where Lilia will be attending school.  We went by the store and picked up a few things.  It was the hottest since we have been here reaching the upper 90's.  This will prepare us for the 107 degrees that they are predicting for tomorrow in Hillsboro, Texas.  It will be good to be back home.  We have Friday to get over jet lag and then Saturday we have a choir fellowship and getting ready for Sunday.  Monday we will have to be in Henderson to help my brother and my mother with some business.  Its back to Hillsboro for our midweek services and then a return to Henderson on the following Saturday for a baby shower.  I have to get the associational letters mailed out for our Local Baptist association and the right after that I have to mail out about 300 letters for our State Association meeting.  I will be busy busy.  I will try to blog when I can.  God bless you.

Monday, August 15, 2011


A cave we toured in Southern France
Saturday Jason took us to tour two caves.  The first cave was very nice and the guide was funny or Jason was funny as he translated what the man said.  We drove to another cave site and this one was much larger.  They say that the Eiffel Tower would fit inside its main room and I believe it.  It was an amazing sight.  Pictures just can not capture the beauty of a cave.  It was very cool inside the caves.  These caves were less than an hours ride from Jason's house. 
Janie on Facebook and Jason on his new computer
I watched TV on this beautiful Monday morning with the grandkids while waiting for everyone to awake and start the day.  We now have 2 1/2 days left of our vacation in France.  We returned the rental car today.  They are planning a joint birthday party for me and Arianna.  While we were in town returning the car we went by a sporting goods store and looked around.  I tried some hiking shoes on but they did not have my size.  We got home and had lunch outside and the weather is really nice.
I checked my email and saw where my siblings are wanting another conference call to discuss my mother's condition.  I will not be able to participate due to the time difference between here and there.  Well I must get back to vacationing.  God bless you.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Second Sunday in France

The Wells family, Janie and me at the church in Carcassonne
We heard an outstanding sermon this morning at the church in Carcassonne, France.   Jason translated it for us.  I knew 2 of the songs that they sang and I sang in English as the rest of the congregation sang in French.  We got to see the Wells family again.  They are from Wales and are spending their "Holiday" in southern France.  I just loved talking with their 2 children.  They told me about "meat pies" and "Cornish Pasties."  I had a blast talking with them. They were so BRITISH it was delightful.   I invited them to come and visit with us in Texas and I hope they will one day.
Our view of the services at Walnut Street
We stopped and picked up some pizza on the way home after the services.  Janie and I were tired so we took a 2 hour nap this afternoon.  We got up in time to watch the services at Walnut Street via Skype.  It made me miss home.  I thought of one of the boys at church camp who was very home sick.  I enjoy being here with Jason, Angie, and the kids and we are having a great time but a part of me longs for home.  God bless you.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Playing Petanque in Jason's front yard
We had a relaxing day yesterday.  Jason made us an outstanding supper featuring Tomatoes Farcies.  It was basically tomatoes stuffed with meatloaf.  We eat outside on the back porch and the view is wonderful and the weather perfect. We played a game called Petanque.  It is a very popular game here in France.  We each have 2 steel balls about the size of a baseball.  You through a little wooden ball called the "Cochonnee" then you take turns throwing the steel balls at it and who ever gets the closest to the "Cochonnee" gets a point.  The first player to reach 10 points wins.  Jason is undefeated at this game. 
Today we are going to see a cave north of here.  They say that this cave is tall enough to hold the Eiffel Tower.  That should be quite a sight. God bless you.  

Friday, August 12, 2011


Arianna trying to walk
Yesterday and today we are taking time to relax.  The girls have gone to the market to shop and the boys are having what Jason calls "boy time."  They are playing video games while Arianna plays in her walker and I blog.  Our vacation to France has gone really well.  We are having a really good time. Yesterday Janie and I walked with Jason to a neighbor's house to water their garden and to pick tomatoes and squash.  There were a lot of ripe tomatoes and they taste really good.  We had supper out on the back porch and the weather was perfect.  It has been about 80 degrees each day and in the 60's each night.  
Jason and family in a bomb crater Pointe du Hoc Normandy
My siblings, via email and Facebook, have been keeping me posted as to my mother's condition.  I called and talked with her and she did not sound like herself at all.  I am look forward to our return and to being able to see her the week after next.  God bless you.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Normandy, France and D-day makes me proud to be an American.
Janie in a field of graves at the American Cemetery in Normandy, France
Army Rangers scaled the cliffs to capture Pointe du Hoc. Bomb craters everywhere!
Pointe du Hoc, Normandy France: Bomb craters everywhere.
Janie and Paul on Utah Beach Normandy, France
Janie at the Utah Beach war museum
Para trooper St. Mere Eglise Normandy, France near the 101st Airborne museum
Jason and family at the Utah Beach museum
Me and the boys at the Utah Beach war museum
The Boys at Utah Beach
On Omaha Beach, Normandy France
The Boys on Utah Beach
Janie and me on the causeway leading to Mont Saint-Michel

It was a long drive across France to get to Normandy.  The journey took 12 hours and we saw some really nice scenery.  I drove Jason's car and he drove the rental.  When we arrived at the hotel I went to bed right off and got a good night sleep.  The hotel room was a bit strange.  The shower stall and sink were in the same room as the bed, only the "WC" was in a separate room.  I thought this to be a bit strange.  Otherwise the room was very nice.  We got up early the next morning and went to Utah beach.  I had a friend that had landed on this beach and survived the war.  He was a boiler fireman at St. John's Hospital in Lowell, Mass. and had told me stories of the war.  It was quite a feeling to be standing on that beach where so many had been killed.  We toured the museum there and then went to St. Mere Eglise where there is a replica of a para trooper hanging from the steeple of the church.  The 101st Airborne museum was there and we stayed just for a short time.  Next we went to Pointe du Hoc. This also was an amazing place.  The Army Rangers had to scale the cliffs to take this strategic point.  225 Rangers landed and only 90 survived the attack.  The spot was bombarded before the attack and the craters are everywhere.  We walked into the bunkers that were built by the Germans.  I would not have wanted to be on that point on D-day.  We made our way next, to Omaha beach.  This was, to my understanding, the worst place to be on D-day.  The most moving place was the American Cemetery. I was amazed at the huge crowd of visitors that were there.  We had to park far away.  Over 9000 American soldiers are buried there.  They died in the liberation of Normandy.  We watched 2 videos at the museum there. They were both very good.  I think they should be shown to everyone.
While walking through the cemetery my grandson, Caleb, kept asking me questions.  He wanted to know why these men had joined the military.  I had a hard time explaining the selective service and draft to him.  He wanted to know what would happen if you did not go when you were drafted.  I told him you would go to jail.  He asked wouldn't that have been better than dieing?  I said no it would not.  He could not understand it.  It was difficult to explain to an 8 year old that duty and honor come before self.  It was a precious moment that I will not soon forget.  This 8 year old hit the nail on the head!  This place was all about duty and honor. 
The Normandy visit is a once in a lifetime event.  I as so glad we went.  The next day we headed back to southern France by way of Mont St. Michel.  This is an island with a cathedral/abbey atop its peak.  There was a lot of buildings on this little island.  The streets were very narrow and crowded.  I was amazed at the number of people that were there.  We parked about a 1/2 a mile from the Island.  On our way out we saw miles and miles of bumper to bumper traffic headed toward Mont St. Michel.  We got back to Magrie about 11:00 pm.  It was a really good trip.  God bless you.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday in France

Janie and Arianna trying to stay warm by the sea
We went to the beach on Saturday and the traffic was really heavy.  It normally takes 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach the Mediterranean Sea from Limoux but it took over 2 hours.  The beach was not crowded and it was not hot.   Janie sat on the beach with Arianna and they both had chill bumps.  Chill bumps are not possible back home for it has been over 100 degrees each day we have been gone from there.  I drove one of the cars back to Limoux and it took just over an hour.  Driving here in France is not bad at all for it is much like the States.
Playing in the Sand on the Mediterranean Sea
Today we got up and went to church in Carcassonne.  Jason brought the morning Bible reading and children's devotional.  He also led the singing.  I preached the sermon and the pastor translated my words into French.  The church house was full with over 40 people in attendance.  I preached from Zephaniah chapter 3 verses 1-2 on the subject of "The Journey from Wonderful to Woe."  I really enjoyed preaching! Afterward they set up tables for a covered dish meal.  There were at least 2 families in attendance who were from England.  They were on vacation staying in the area.  One family stayed for lunch and they have 2 children a boy 11 and a girl about 13 years old.  Their names were Joel and Lois.  I loved visiting with them as we ate together at the same table.  They laughed and laughed as they tried to explain to me the game of Cricket.  It was a lot of fun!!!!  They gave me a riddle and I could not get it.  They said I would feel foolish when I found out the answer and sure enough I did.  It is a play on words so telling the riddle here would give it away.  Their parents were real sweet people.  Jason, Lilia, Micah and I remained after the meal to help set up the building for a 3 week long Bible exposition.  We also helped the pastor load a small refrigerator into his car and then followed him home to help unload it.
That is me preaching this morning with Bro. Tony translating
Before supper we watched the church services of Walnut Street Baptist Church.  We sang along and enjoyed Bro. Slocomb's sermon.  I missed being there.  Jason fried some chicken strips for supper.  The meal at the church and the supper tonight were both outstanding.  We sure are eating good!
Well it is off to bed and an early start in the morning.  We are going to try to leave by 7:00 in the morning for the 12 hour drive to Normandy.  It is the trip of a lifetime.  I have longed to see the D-day invasion sites and the American Cemetery there.  We will spend 2 days and 2 nights there before heading back to Limoux.  I plan to take my laptop along so I can blog. God bless you.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Got up early and went with Jason to the Limoux Marché.  It is basically a market day in the town square.  Jason set up his booth and I stayed with him while Angie went back to the house to get the others.  We will not all fit in the same car at the same time so we had to make 2 trips.  When they arrived we left Jason to man his booth while we shopped.  We bought Janie a basket/purse thing that was nice.  She will be able to take it as a carry on bag on the plane.  It was a fun time and the weather was perfect.  I don't think it got out of the 70's here today.  It rained while we were trying to fix bicycle tires for the kids.  It is raining even now.  We returned home for lunch and after the home schooling lessons were over we repaired bicycles.  Jason took me to a home improvement store in Limoux to just look around.  We stopped at another store that is similar to Wal-Mart.  I bought 2 baguettes and some chocolate covered waffles.  These are some of my favorite French foods.  If they let me loose in town I will always come back with baguettes.  We have been eating fresh veggies from one of their neighbor's garden.  The tomatoes are really good.  After supper we went to the theater to see a puppet show.  The theater was in the boys room where they had set up a stage and seats for the audience.  It was a cute show and we gave them a standing ovation.  After a snack and some short videos the kids headed for bed.  It was another outstanding day in France.  God bless you.
Home school lesson time
Janie and the kids at the Marché in Limoux
Arianna playing with her b-day present from Nana and Papa
Supper on the "Terrace" at Jason's house in Magrie
Caleb, Jason and me at the Marché in Limoux, France
Boys will be boys and had to climb a tree while hiking
Janie and Lilia headed out for a hike

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Out standing Hike

Me helping Caleb with his homework
It has been another great day here in France.  We helped the kids with their home schooling.  They have to be taught to read and write English since the public school is all in French.  After lunch we watched the kids play in the pool then we went for a hike.  The boys went one way and the girls another.  Our hike was much farther and steeper than the one the girls took.  It was a beautiful view from on top of the mountain ridge.  The boys had far more energy than I though near the end Micah asked me for a piggy back ride.  I declined his request since my soon to be 58 year old body was doing all it could to carry its own weight. It was a real good trail and the weather was perfect.
We are about to eat supper and tonight is the night they have their weekly Bible Study in their home.  We are hopeful that some will attend though this is vacation time and their regulars are gone out of town.  I will post some pictures below of our day.  God bless you.
The boys standing on a round boulder that caught their eyes.
Angie took this picture of us on the trail from her back porch.
The boys playing on a pile of rocks at the top of the mountain
Jason and the boys on the trail at the top