Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christy and Cary Ann

I think the wind chill on Saturday morning was below 0 when we went all over downtown Lubbock to find places to take pictures of Christy and Cary Ann. Christy is my sister and Cary Ann is her beautiful daughter. I have to say, though, that every time I looked through that camera, I saw Cary Ann at one year old with her hair in dog-ears, wearing denim shorts tied up with a rope and freckles painted on her face at Kyle's hobo birthday party. Cary gets a lot of grief from us for her spelling abilities and her excitement over things she has learned at Tech this semester, like how we lost at the Alamo. We give her grief, but she is the one of all the grandkids that calls on birthdays, and keeps everyone connected. She learned that from her mama. Christy keeps the office going at UMC for the Vice Presidents of Nursing Services. She is so good at what she does, and cares so much that patients are happy with their stay at her hospital. She also is in charge of our "girls' trips" we take with my other sister Cathy. Our next trip is in February and all of us "Dorman" girls are going to San Antonio. Christy got all the organizational skills in our family. The rest went to Cathy, and I got left with a very few. Enjoy these pictures of Mom and Daughter. Oh yeah, and get a load of our daddy's blue eyes.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Supermom to the Rescue!

When my big kids were little, the word "supermom" became a new word in the world's vocabulary. It was my quest in life to one day own that crown and scepter! Kayla was born on a Friday. On Saturday morning we left the hospital, went to the mall for a couple of hours, then to another store and finally rolled into Snyder right in time for Kyle's soccer game. When she was 10 days old, Adam fell and broke his leg. He was almost three years old and, with that body cast, weighed about 100 pounds. My daddy brought me a refrigerator dolly and let me borrow their car with a hatchback. I would prop him up on the dolly, roll him to the car, lift the hatchback and lay him in the back. We didn't miss church, a soccer game, or one of Kayla's feedings. As the boys grew, they both loved baseball and I was their pitcher. I noticed when Kyle was in the 2nd grade he didn't ask me to pitch as much. I asked him to go out one day to play and he told me I couldn't throw hard enough. I was a little sad and a little relieved, because they were beginning to throw pretty hard. They all got bigger, had more games, events, and eventually three little sisters. They had their own little cheerleading squad. We took the girls to everything, knowing how important family is.
Now with just the three younger ones in the house, I hadn't thought of the "supermom" thing in awhile. Until the other day when Leah ran into the house to tell me there was a snake outside. A bolt of fear quickly ran through my short body as I realized I was the adult in the house. It was the day before Thanksgiving and I knew all the kids would be in that night. Kyle hates snakes and Adam hates spiders. Kayla hates both. When I know they are coming, I make a concerted effort to rid the premises of anything that could possibly resemble either of the two. The fear in me turned into adrenaline, and I ran out and grabbed the shovel. I raised that thing high above my head and came flat down on that snake. That booger turned back and looked right at me. Scared me to death. The shovel came down again. And again. And again. I honestly don't know how many times I hit that serpent. I was in a frenzy. I had to save my home.
When I was positive it had gone to be with the Lord, if that is where snakes go, I picked it up with the shovel and was going to throw it in the pasture. With all my might, I twisted back with the shovel to sling it as far as I could. It hit the tree right in front of me. Reminded me of my cheerleading days when we threw the little footballs up in the stands. My daddy asked me to never stand in front of their section because he knew if I did he would never get a ball. I would hit the fence in front of me, I believe now it was because of the "follow-through". Sometimes I could get it up to the second or third row. Anyway, back to the snake. I threw it so hard it wrapped around a vine and just hung there dripping blood. Not looking at me any longer. That evening after the kids were here I went outside and called the boys over to the tree. They both (approximately 480 pounds) drove up in the girls little go-cart. Envision the Incredibles, if you would. I showed them my trophy snake, much like David probably did with that melon trophy head of Goliath that he took back and placed at the Jerusalem city limit sign. I, like David, had defeated the enemy. The boys thought it was quite funny, I was quite proud. The enemy had gone down. That snake is now a symbol for all other snakes to know this is protected property. Tremble snakes, tremble! They can't pass through our place any time they please. Not this place. No enemies allowed here.
I haven't always done the MOM thing right. I've made many mistakes. There have been times, though, that I fought off the enemy successfully with the Word of God. I know the importance of that now more than ever before. If I take that job seriously, protecting my family, through prayer, from the evil one, there could one day be a crown and scepter set aside for "Supermom - Snake Killer".

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A few more pictures!

Here are the "four generations". Great-nanny, Lolli, Daddy, and Eli. Also, notice how he is holding on to my finger! He loves me so much already! Thank you Jesus! As you can tell with all the aunts and uncles, the holidays are going to be wonderful. We are already getting our house ready for Eli's first visit.

He is here!

Have you ever seen a baby more beautiful? Elijah Ryan was born to Kyle and Jade on Friday, October 19th about 2:30 p.m. He is so sweet. On Thursday the little fella wasn't moving at all, even with "encouragement" from the doctor. He gave us a pretty good scare, but all is well, and he is absolutely amazing. He loves to eat, just like his daddy! Uncle Adam drove up from Lubbock, Aunt Kayla and Uncle Kevin were there, and Lolli (me) and Aunt Hannah, Aunt Leah, and Aunt Rachel left at 4 a.m. to be there for Eli's arrival. Poppa (Michael) didn't get to come until Sunday after a funeral. Great-nanny and Great-aunt Christy surprised us all and showed up on Saturday morning. The little guy got the majority of the family in the first 24 hours of living! Oh my, there are really no words to describe the emotion of holding such a precious one. The sweetness of seeing your first-born hold his first-born and look at him with eyes full of joy and undeniable love, is something I reflect on often. The heaviness of wondering if I showed him well-enough how to be a loving, supportive, patient parent is something on which I also often reflect. My prayer is that Kyle will be so sensitive to the Father, and listen to His teaching, nudging, and guidance, so that all the places I fell short, he can still do it right.

Welcome to the family, little Eli. You are beautiful. Father, set this child apart to be a warrior for You. Teach him through his sweet daddy and mommy how to love You and fear You. I'm thankful that Kyle and Jade will train him up in the way he should go. Give them strength and rest and prepare them for the many years of training ahead. Hedge them up with Your protection, Lord. Thank You, Jesus for this precious one. We love him alot. Oh yeah, and I would like to put my order in for a lot more just like him. Just to give You a "heads up"! I love you, Lord. Thanks again.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

If you are ever driving down I-45 on a Sunday morning and decide you want to go to Cowboy Church, this man will meet you at the door. Don and Lucy, along with their daughter and son-in-law, grandkids, and a couple of great grandkids, were members here when we came. They all are so sweet and have the lightest, prettiest blue eyes you've ever seen. When we first came, anytime Michael would tell me about one of them, he would say, "They are part of the "blue-eyed family". That's how I knew who he was talking about.
Lucy has a precious heart, and the best way for me to describe Don is that he is a gentle man with a servant's heart. They have walked through many storms as a family and just keep getting stronger and loving the Lord more every day. It wasn't until the death of their one month old great grandson that Lucy told me she hadn't been a Christian but a couple of years. I was very surprised because she seemed so strong. We stood in that hospital corridor and she shared with me that Don had prayed for her for years, wanting her to go to church with him. Finally, she went with him to Cowboy Church and she accepted Jesus. God has grown her fast and she is a comfort to so many others with her faith.
One day I noticed a hand mirror wired up on the pole right outside the front door of the church. I went to see what it was and it didn't take long for me to know exactly what it was being used for. After the service starts, Don stands right inside the door. He can see when someone comes from the south but wasn't able to see if someone was walking up from the north. He wired the mirror up so he could make sure EVERYONE would have an open door when they came up. I was driving the other day and the song "Softly and Tenderly" came on. It reminded me of Don. You see, every Sunday morning Don gives us a picture of God. We know that God is our "El Roi" - our "God Who sees". If He wasn't, I believe He would have mirrors wired to poles all over the place because He wants to miss no-one. In the song it says, "See on the portals He's waiting and watching, Watching for you and for me. Come home, Come home. Ye who are weary, come home. Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling. Calling, Oh Sinner, come home."
Don, this gentle man, will meet you at our door. This gentle man who prayed his wife and family through the door. He wants you to meet Jesus too.
Thank you Father for having them in this place. Thank you for their precious hearts and willing hands.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Keith and Sherri Baldridge are ministering to the university students at West Texas A&M at Canyon. These two are very dear to our family. Their little baby girl is due in November. We got to spend a little time with them last week at Colter's Bar-B-Q in Arlington.. There wasn't much of a place to get a picture of that pretty tummy without an audience, so we went back to the bathrooms! So it isn't much of a backdrop, but we just wanted tummy pictures.

When Keith was a little boy he decorated his room with Oklahoma State orange. He finally made it to school there and one day went by the church to talk to Michael to see if he could help out with the youth. This was the beginning of a great friendship. They would go to IHOP every Sunday night and play chess, eat, and study the Word. When he introduced us to Sherri, we knew he had found his soul mate. We love these two like they are our own. If all goes as planned, their little girl will marry Kyle and Jade's little boy and we can "officially" say we are family.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

This little fella is Robby. Back in January '05, we get a call in the middle of the afternoon that they were bringing a little two year old boy to our house. Jade, Hannah, Leah, and Rachel were all at the house and couldn't wait for him to get there. When the worker got him out of the car and started walking to the house, the girls said, "Look at his curls! He's so cute!" He had wide-set green eyes, dimples, and curly reddish-brown hair. He was a cutie. It didn't take us long to fall hard for this little guy. He didn't know who Jesus was, or what it meant to pray, but it didn't take him long to catch on. Every night Michael would sing "Hush little baby, don't you cry" and "Jesus Loves Me", pray for his mama and daddy and all our kids, and he would go to sleep.

We found out in June that we would be moving to Texas and we wouldn't be able to bring him across the state line. We knew there could be a chance we could adopt him so Kyle and Jade went through the classes to take him into their home. They didn't want him to be with someone outside the family. It was a difficult night when Jade drove away with him crying in the back seat. We had already said our tough goodbyes to Kayla and Kyle. Now to see Jade and Robby driving away was almost too much. We crawled up into the Uhaul and pulled out Robby's things he had loaded earlier and left them at the house for Kyle to come back and get later.

He lived with Kyle and Jade until the next summer when his mom completed her requirements for getting him back. We knew his dad wouldn't be back for awhile and honestly, were a little fearful about him going home. He did get to go home and eventually told Jade that he really didn't want them or us in Robby's life anymore because they needed to be a family. I believed his intentions were honorable, but cried out to God that I knew Robby would be better off with us.

He was supposed to be Kayla's ring bearer in her March wedding, but we knew that probably wouldn't happen. The week of the wedding we were in Stillwater and on Thursday Michael called Richard and they talked for about 30 minutes. He said Robby could be in the wedding and Michael invited his family to the rehearsal and dinner. He was so cute in the wedding and was a little gentleman! That Sunday Michael and Richard spent several hours together talking. Come to find out, while Richard was away, a man shared Jesus with him. Richard accepted Jesus and after he got home, the first phone call he answered was from this same man, calling to ask Ruby if she knew when Richard would get home. He told him of a good church to take his family to.

When Richard went away he was an arrogant, messed up kid. He didn't come back that way. Jesus made this kid into a humble man who loves the Lord and desires to be a good dad. This new man crawled up on a church bus every Sunday and Wednesday with his family and all the other little kids because he wanted to do it right. The arrogance was gone. Thank you Jesus. Richard called a few weeks ago and asked if they could come down for a little vacation. It was his birthday and he got a day off. We enjoyed them so much. We saddled up the horses and let them all ride. Before we went to the arena, we were at the house and Robby was upset because he didn't want to leave the house. He was sitting by the back door putting on his shoes and said "I don't want to go." I told him it would be fun. He said "But I don't want to go!" and then in the next breath he said "Thank you for the dinner" and then the next breath "I missed you". I was standing at my kitchen sink, closed my eyes a minute, gathered myself and said "I missed you too Sweetie". I walked over to him and kissed him on the head. He said "that's not what you used to call me". I asked what I used to call him and he said "Sweetie Pie!" He was right. He wasn't with our family very long, but he remembered so many little things. He knew where to put things, where he slept, and not to bang on the piano. Hopefully, he will always remember the words to "Jesus Loves Me".

Thank you Jesus for blessing our family with a rambunctious two year old who surprised us all in how much we would fall in love. Thank you for saving his daddy and mommy and for the relationship we have with them now. Bless their sweet family. Oh, how I hope they fall more in love with you.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Whenever I get a little weary and lose some enthusiasm for ministry, I pull out this picture of Frank. Frank has now gone on to be with Jesus, but six months before his homegoing, he was going to die without hope. One Sunday, he walked into our triple wide trailer we use for church and saw someone being baptized. The Lord drew his heart and he told Michael he wanted to be baptized the next Sunday. Michael talked to him about Jesus and Frank began a new life. The Lord softened his heart, and he began repair work on relationships that had been destroyed for many years. He called his kids, his sisters, his brother in Hawaii, and even called his neighbor that he hadn't spoken to for awhile. As the baptism day drew near, Frank called crying, broken over the fact that he couldn't be baptized because he hadn't been able to quit smoking. Michael explained to him that he didn't have to clean up to come to Jesus, but that Jesus would clean him up because he had come to Him. Frank had to be helped into the horse trough "baptistry" that Sunday because his 72 year old legs couldn't do the job. He wept as Michael told his sweet story.

Frank's life encourages me to continue serving our sweet Lord as He changes lives, no matter the age. To hang in there when things seem a bit overwhelming. Thank You, Jesus, that even though Frank is with You now, his life still "spurs me on to good works".

Michael and I have been married 14 1/2 years. We sure enjoy spending time together. He is the pastor of the Cowboy Church of Ennis, a great dad, a wise counselor, an amazing teacher, and a wonderful husband. He loves me as Christ loves the church and, let me tell you, it is the greatest. In his spare time, which isn't much, he enjoys his horses. It is a great stress relief for him to get out and mess with the horses. Honestly, I think he makes a pretty cute cowboy!

This is Rachel, our youngest 12 year old. She just turned 12 and is an aspiring photographer. She has a pretty good eye when it comes to taking pictures. I take her with me to do photo sessions and she is a great help.

Kayla and Kevin have been married since March. They had a sweet courtship and Kevin was so careful to guard her heart. They live in Tulsa and own a Marble Slab Creamery. We are grateful to God that our kids have found godly mates. Kayla's bridal pictures were done by Lauren Clark of Lubbock.

This is Leah. She is twelve (almost thirteen) just like Hannah. They were born at the same time and until that birth known as "Baby A" and "Baby B". Leah loves electronic devices and is a Photoshop whiz. She teaches her mom things she has figured out. She also is our "soundman" at church.

Hannah is our family clown. Well, maybe she and Adam could share that title. She is twelve (almost thirteen) and loves dogs and is a very good little artist. She also has a good ear on the guitar.

Adam is a police officer in Lubbock, Texas. He loves his job. He's wanted to be a police officer since he was a little boy and now is living out that dream. He is about to buy his first house so the girls and I will make a trip soon to help him paint and get settled in.

This is Kyle and Jade. Kyle sells insurance for Farmers in Sapulpa, Oklahoma and Jade teaches kindergarten. They met at Oklahoma State University where Kyle played football for the Cowboys and Jade played softball for the Cowgirls. I met her through Bible study and loved her heart and desire for learning the Word. In October they will be having our first grandchild. We are so excited!

Here are our precious kids. They love the Lord and that brings us great joy!