Saturday, December 29, 2007

Prayer Request

A few months ago one of my dear friends, who was raised in my church, returned from a mission in Irag. He has made the military his life-long career. Shortly after his return, he had excruciating pain in his back and was taken immediately into surgery for a herniated disc that was putting pressure on the nerve that feeds the legs and spine. He seemed to be recuperating fine, returned to base, and was getting ready to board ship. Suddenly, he had a turn for the worse and it appears he will be facing another surgery. He is a man who loves God and believes in the healing power of God Almighty. On Christmas Sunday, he was home for service but moving very slow. Our entire congregation prayed for him and we want a miracle. He is one of the nicest, most friendly, people you could ever meet. Regardless of circumstance or situation, I have never seen him without a smile. His name is Alex. Would you add him to your prayer list?
P.S. The pic is Brian and I with Alex on Christmas Sunday.

Friday, December 28, 2007

I Am So Sorry...

How could I?!?!? How dare I?!?!? Please, please, please forgive my oversight! Christmas is never complete without Brian's specialty, made from scratch, red velvet cake. This year he made not one but TWO and I forgot to give him credit in my last post. Then, just last night, he made sure he had all the ingredients to make cake number three! I mean we have really scored this year! If you have never tasted Brian's red velvet cake, I can only assure you have missed out. It is a recipe handed down from my late Aunt Veneta. The cake is thick, delicious, but it is the icing that takes it over the top. He first cooks a mixture of ingredients, lets it cool and then blends it with the remaining items. It isn't heavy like buttercream nor as light as cool whip and doesn't have any cream cheese in it. The taste is so heavenly I can overdose without even considering how many pounds it is costing me.
Thank you, Brian.

I can't celebrate Christmas without you!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas 2007

Being the princess she is, Bryn had been asking for a chandelier. We found a small one at Lowe's within the budget allotted by Grandpa and Grandma Allard. Brian installed it in her room then told Bryn to look. When she got to the door of her room, she began to jump up and down and holler, "A chandelier, a chandelier, a chandelier.....I love grandma and grandpa!" The big party then began Monday night with food, food, and more food. Ham, barbecue chicken, couscous, smoked turkey, and all the extras. There was even some Mexican food - burritos, tamales, my specialty nachos, and more. Yes, we pigged out. Our good friends, Mark, Debbie, and Sheldon Pryor came and added more to the stash. Tuesday, we had a visit from Steve and Patty Watts and their girls. Can you believe they brought even more dessert?!!!! I can't leave out that my mom brought about six pies! By now, you should be convinced that we seriously over-ate. LOL Gifts were exchanged and then it was time for dessert and more dessert and more dessert. Tuesday morning, the kids rushed to their stockings to see what Santa left. Bryn had a note from Santa that said her gift was too big for the stocking and to check under the kitchen table. She hurried to the kitchen table to find another note that said it didn't fit there and to check under the grand piano. As fast as her feet could carry her, she ran to the piano to find yet another note. This one said to look in her bathroom. When she got to the bathroom door, she softly opened the door and saw a dry erase board with 10 colored markers and an eraser. She was so excited and now thinks she is a teacher. :) Blake got the Nintendo DS he has been wanting and Bryce got a new Cannondale bike. He loves to take long (30-50 mile) rides with his friends. I don't think I could handle that many miles on a bike. Of course the gifts were appreciated, but nothing took the place of the love and laughter we all shared. Before going to bed, Bryn gave me a hug and said, "Thank you, mommy, for all my presents." Her sweet gratitude made it all worthwhile.

Pictures: Bryce, Blake, Bryn, and cousin Sara with Grandma Wilson; the chandelier

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Sharing E-mail


1. Avoid carrot sticks.
Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can and quickly. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an "eggnog-aholic" or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas.

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand-alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.
4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello???

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, pumpkin and mincemeat -- have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all costs. I mean, have some standards

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips. Start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember this motto to live by:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO what a ride!"

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Greatest Gift

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.- Norman MacFinan

During this season of gift giving, let generosity flow from your spirit. Material gifts are nice, but nothing is greater than giving love, forgiveness, kind words, smiles, and this list could continue. My husband recently preached a sermon titled, "The Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Family." He spoke of many wonderful things we can give, but the greatest is forgiveness. It was a beautiful sermon. Sometimes our lives are so busy and involved with other people that our family takes the second shelf. Let your family know they are important - love them, laugh with them, and most of all, forgive them.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


As promised, here is the final report of our week in Nashville. After several long days in studio, we finally finished all vocals late Thursday night. Friday morning, the boys had a photo shoot. The photographer, Kim Lancaster, took them to a brick alley in downtown Nashville. She did several different poses and the pictures are quite nice. You see the boys in the alley, but the top of the pic shows the sky with some city skyscrapers in the background. After the alley shots, we went to Kim's studio and finished some other shots. When she was finished with the boys, she told Bryn to pose for her and then added Blake. I now have some darling pictures of Bryn and Blake and, of course, I can't resist sharing them with you. Consider this another brag moment. LOL When the photo session was done, we went to Daywind's offices and toured the distribution center. It is quite impressive. Finally, we were free. It was about six in the evening and we headed for downtown Nashville. We walked quickly to take in the sights of the symphony house, Country Music Hall of Fame, music row, etc. We stopped long enough to eat then headed over to Opryland Hotel. There, we rode the boats, saw all the amazing Christmas decorations, watched the dancing waters, and capped it off with dessert - pastries and Godiva Chocolates. Saturday was a rainy day and we drove through some other areas of downtown Nashville before heading to the airport. Now work begins on finalizing the CD. Today the project is headed to mixing and some other songs will be headed to orchestration. When it goes to mastering, we will get MP3 files via e-mail to decide if we like the mix. It won't be complete until we are happy with the sound. If all moves along smoothly without delay, the finished project should be available for purchase the end of February. I think I am ready to get this project off my mind until after Christmas. It is now time to enjoy my family. I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas season.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


We arrived home safe, sound, and exhausted. My final report of the recording will have to wait because my brain is tired but, I did want to let you know the boys decided on a name. It was worse than choosing a baby name! LOL We had a huge list of names that ranged from silly (God Quad) to great (I won't list any so we don't get any thing started on "I like..." or "Should of..."). Alas, they made a decision and we are accepting.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Still The No Name Quartet

Working hard on their vocals, they are still the no name quartet. Your feedback is appreciated and don't hesitate to give more if something sparks in your brain. A couple of songs have had some rough moments working out different parts but, considering all things, it is going well. I am very convinced it will be a first class project. Another WAY Choir member, Weston Cantrell, is with us in studio and having a great time working with the engineers. I have also a new blog link to my favorites. It is Marty Funderburk, the boys vocal producer.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

We Want Your Suggestions

It was a long day, but we now have four songs recorded with the guidance of Marty Funderburk, their vocal producer. This took place at Daywind's A studio where many gospel greats have recorded. Gold and platinum CD's line the walls and the boys got to take a pic on the famous red couch in the green room. Their music producer has spent 28 years in radio work and would like the boys to consider a different name. He thinks WAY Quartet is too "vanilla" and is hoping for something more catchy. The producer offered, "Alliance," "Blood Reliant," and the boys are stumped. They aren't convinced they would like the word "blood" in the title. Would you like to offer us suggestions? We need help!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Recording Begins

Quad Studio was the place where WAY Quartet music was born. Today the music tracks were created and it has been a long day. I am not even going to try and mention all the names of engineers, musicians, and the misuc producer. You will just have to buy the CD when it is released and read the credits. LOL The boys were awestruck when they realized they were recording in a studio where Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Garth Brooks, and so many other famous people have recorded. While tracks were being made, Bryn and Blake were being entertained or entertaining the studio interns. A highlight for them was meeting Berkley, a gorgeous brown Doberman. He was a gentle giant and we were stunned that Bryn actually wanted to pet him. She played with him the rest of the day and night. The rough mix of tracks sounds incredible and I am confident this will be a great project. We left the studio about 11 p.m. and headed to Waffle House. UGH! (It was the only thing open!) Tomorrow morning, we head to Daywind A studio to begin recording vocals. I will try to keep you posted.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Making Memories

It was about 11 years ago when we first met our friends Nathan and Charla while sharing a conference banquet table. We just clicked or, as some would say, we hit-it-off immediately. Brian and I are more than a decade older than our friends, but that hasn't made any difference to our relationship. Throughout the past years, we have laughed, cried, and survived together. Nathan is a cancer survivor, Charla nearly died when she had the baby, the baby was in NICU for a couple weeks, and they prayed when I had an angiogram/heart problem and, cheered Brian when he broke his arm/surgery. In spite of all the drama, our times spent together have been some of the best times of our lives. We laugh till we cry, love fine meals, and keep each others secrets. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas! LOL True partners in crime are we! They have watched our kids grow and been great influences in their lives. Blake loved Charla from the first moment he saw her. At two years old, he let everyone know Charla was his girlfriend. Now, as you can see in the above picture, Blake is nearly as tall as Charla and she is still his girlfriend. Blake is also smitten with the new baby. Suffice it to say, we had a wonderful weekend making more memories.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Prettiest Baby In Charlotte

After an hour delay, we finally departed LAX heading to Nashville. After a few minutes of looking out the window, Bryn fell sound asleep. We arrived in Nashville and quickly got our rental vehicle to drive to Charlotte. The hotel beds felt so good and we slept in to catch up on some much needed rest before meeting our friends for breakfast. I can't even begin to describe how wonderful it was to meet our dear friends newborn baby. He is just beautiful and such a good baby. We all had to have a turn holding him. Bryn played hard-to-get to Nathan's (baby's dad) endless flirting but did pose for a quick snapshot. Blake is ready to take this baby home with him. It was just a wonderful day hanging out with our friends!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Nashville, Here We Come

Late tonight or very early tomorrow (whichever you prefer), we will be heading to LAX and flying to Nashville. The weatherman says there is a storm coming tonight with snow on the grapevine and we are hoping the weatherman is wrong or, at least, spoke too soon. We must cross the grapvine (I-5 mountain pass) to get to the airport and snow will close the pass. Upon arrival in Nashville, we will pick up our rental and head to Charlotte, North Carolina to see our dear friends and their new baby boy. We will spend Saturday with them and Brian is preaching at their church Sunday morning. Bryce and I will also be singing. After Sunday lunch, we will head back to Nashville and start laying music tracks for WAY Quartet on Monday with vocals beginning on Tuesday. I'll do my best to keep you updated. Please say a prayer for the boys. We want all flights to arrive safely and on time, and all cough, cold, and flu bugs to stay at bay.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Christmas Girl

During the Christmas season, Bryn loves to dress as Santa's helper. We went out to one of our favorite restaurants the other night, and Bryn had to pose by the tree. I am not sure who loves Christmas more - her or me. Her enthusiasm is contagious and she brings so much joy to our house. Do you have any little ones with sparkling eyes waiting on Santa to arrive?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Christmas! That Magical Time of Year!

Another busy week-end, but it sure was fun. We had our annual Christmas dinner with our church family and this year we decided to have a table decorating contest. Above are some of the tables. I missed getting pics of some of the kids tables. "Christmas Dogs" was the theme of one group of little girls. Blake and one of his friends built a stable and set up a nativity scene. Friday night, several people arrived and the creations began. Bryce decided to make a chandelier above our table. He took a small Christmas tree, hung it upside down, covered it with lights, ornaments and finished with a large flashing star. It was actually quite cute. There were elegant tables, along with winter wonderland and a table that looked like a giant present topped with a variety of wooden houses. Saturday night was the dinner which, by the way, was delicious. Afterwards, there was singing by young and old interspersed with comedy. Of course, Brian and I sang our traditional song, "How I Wish Christmas Would Never End."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Enough Is Enough

An 87 year old auto worker who came to America 55 years ago, is fighting deportation. Supposedly, the information given on his initial applications in 1952 was not correct. He received citizenship in 1958 and it was revoked in 1981, restored in 1998 and revoked again in 2002. The government initially claimed he was the notoriously sadistic guard at the Treblinka camp known as "Ivan the Terrible." He was extradited to Israel in 1986 and was under a death sentence, until Israel's Supreme Court ruled in 1993 that he was not the same man as the guard known as Ivan. He then returned home to America and his citizenship was restored, again. You may click on the below link for the entire article.
My question is this - when is enough, enough? This average American does not have a criminal record, has a family he loves, and even after spending seven years in Israel and Israel clearing him, returned to America believing he was home. Now at 87 years of age, someone is again trying to accuse him, this time of being another guard. Who has it in for this man? We have thousands crossing our borders who make no attempt to apply for entrance to America. This is seemingly ignored while thousands of dollars and hours are being spent on a man who tried to do it right and has been tormented for over 30 years by a vacillating government. I say let the 87 year old finish his final years in peace.

Monday, November 26, 2007

May I Introduce Harry?

His name is Harry and, as you can see, is quite a character. He is a traveling evangelist traversing over land and sea with stories bigger than Dallas. He frequently is half of the duo, Harry and Larry. Their songs are popular, and very entertaining. Aiding his sermons, is Karry. Now when Harry and Karry get together, the stories become even bigger and often Harry gets emotional telling his tall tales. Thankfully, Karry jumps in and corrects all his misconceptions. The above pictures were snapped when Harry and Karry spoke at that same KIDZ rally you heard Blake speak in Visalia. The kids love Harry and his many ridiculous costumes. Sometimes it is hard to believe Harry has another life as Bryce, that good looking, bass singer in the WAY Quartet.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

What A Weekend!

What a weekend! WAY Quartet arrived Friday for their final practice before their recording. They rehearsed 12 hours Friday and 14 hours Saturday. These guys are really committed to their project! WAY Choir director, Ken Fitzpatrick, spent these long hours with the boys helping fine tune their parts. This morning, the quartet gave an hour long concert for our morning service and it was fabulous. They sang some of their original songs with only the grand piano for accompaniment and it was so beautiful. Simply put, it was so great that I now believe when the orchestrations are added, it will be an over-the-top project. About 10:30 Saturday night, they felt the presence of God strongly in their rehearsal. Right then and there, they all four stopped and wrote new verses for "Jesus Loves Me." Each one is heart-felt and it will become the bonus track on their CD.
P.S. The pictures were taken a few weeks ago. Even famous people relax and act silly sometimes. LOL Chloe Watts, WAY Quartet, and Karen Harding all sang for a service. The quartet sang back-up for Karen on her song "Graceland." It was a highlight moment for the boys.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Have A Nice Day With Jesus

Thanksgiving day began with an 8 a.m. church service. This is a very special service where we have communion and old-fashion footwashing. It is a tradition that many churches have eliminated. Personally it is not my favorite thing to do, but I feel God honors my willingness to be a servant to another saint and keeps me humble. The service began with a beautiful time of praise and worship lead by Bryce. This was followed by a special testimony and song by Sis. Myrtle. She is one of my favorite soul singers and has been a "pillar" of our church about 50 years. This past year, we prayed many prayers for God to protect her son while he was in Irag. He is a career navy man and made it home safe but not without injury. He had back surgery about three weeks ago and is still in need of healing. It was particularly special to have him with us today. I'm sure he enjoyed his mother singing, "All The Way." Her song was followed by offering, Bryce singing "Keeper," my husband giving a wonderful Thanksgiving message, communion, and, finally, footwashing. After everyone returned to the auditorium, we sang another song as everyone hugged and gave wishes of a happy Thanksgiving before leaving. The family of God is so wonderful. I want to share our traditional departure song which I believe was written by Lanny Wolfe.

Have a nice day with Jesus, Have a nice day,
Have a nice day with Jesus, Have a nice day,
You may wish the sun would shine a little bit brighter,
But when you have the Lord, He'll make your load a lot lighter,
Have a nice day with Jesus, Have a nice day.

After service, we went to my mom's where we ate too much, left to take a nap, returned about 8 p.m. for seconds, played a game of Scrabble (I won!) and now it is time to drift into dreamland.
I hope your day was as wonderful as mine.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

My friend Mark sent us a text message and
I hope he doesn't mind me sharing it with you.
Enter into the kitchen with Thanksgiving,
and the recliner with ease.
Have a great Thanksgiving Day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lttle Things - Big Things

Enjoy the little things in life,
for one day you'll look back and realize,
they were the big things.
Have a wonderful week of Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom

Today, she is 82 years old. In a little while, we will pick her up and take her to dinner to celebrate her birthday. Yes, she does look good for her age. The above picture of her and Bryce, was taken six months ago on Mother's Day. In a nutshell, she is a shopaholic, classy, loves style, fiercely independent, a critic (don't take that wrong - she was my critic that helped me sing my best), loves to laugh, defends the underdog, great cook, a closet junkie but thinks she never eats sweets (there are always candy bars hidden somewhere), ornery, whispers LOUD, loves God, the best altar worker I know, a mother to two girls (I am the much younger sister LOL), grandma to five, and great-grandma to three. She denies bragging about her age, but loves to repeat all the stories of people who tell her she looks soooooo good. She is my mother and I love her.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy

This has been a very busy weekend! WAY Quartet sang at MoMENtum, a men's conference for the western U.S. in Tulare, California, and gave an awesome performance for the grand finale Saturday morning. After a quick lunch, they rehearsed a couple hours and headed to Hanford, California to Jubilation, a youth concert. Bryce was a featured artist and also WAY Quartet. We just arrived back to Delano at midnight and dropped the boys at the Holiday Inn. They have about four hours to sleep and shower and then, Brian will pick them up to drive to San Diego, California where they have a performance Sunday morning. Lawrence and Tyler will catch a flight from San Diego to Sacramento so Tyler can get back to lead praise at his Sunday evening service in Citrus Heights. Lawrence will then drive to the tip of California to be at work Monday morning. Brian and Bryce will leave San Diego and drive to The Pentecostals of Orange County in Tustin, California where Brian will speak for their evening service. Do you feel tired just reading this?!?!? LOL Me? I chose to keep Bryn and Blake home for their Sunday School classes. I think I might just get a Sunday afternoon nap for the first time in a long time. :) There are some thoughts running through my tired brain, but they will have to wait til Monday. Have a blessed Sunday!

Saturday, November 17, 2007


They may see the good you do as self serving.
Continue to do good.

They may see your generosity as grandstanding.
Continue to be generous.

They may see your warm and caring nature as a weakness.
Continue to be warm and caring.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
It never was between you and them anyway.
- unknown

Friday, November 16, 2007


Last night my husband attended our district men's conference in Tulare and Bill Davis, who is from Georgia, was the evening speaker. He told the men that it started raining, hasn't stopped, and was raining when he boarded the plane to fly to California. Awesome, God!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


The rain fell. Thank you, Lord.
edit-11:11 a.m.
The Associated Press did, in fact, report rain and gave Governor Perdue's modest response. We know that God answered prayer and are continuing to pray for more rain in Georgia.

ATLANTA (AP) - A storm crashed through the Southeast and brought up to an inch of rain in parts of drought-stricken Georgia, but forecasters said the storm likely did little to ease the state's historic drought.The rain late Wednesday and early Thursday brought some precipitation to the parched hills of northern Georgia. The showers began a day after Gov. Sonny Perdue led a prayer service on the steps of the state Capitol to beg the heavens to end the drought."Certainly, we're not gloating about it," Perdue said from a trade mission in Canada. "We're thankful for the rain and hopefully it's the beginning of more. ... Frankly, it's great affirmation of what we asked for."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Power In Prayer

Yesterday, many people prayed for rain in Georgia and, since my faith is expecting rain to fall, I thought I would check the weather in Atlanta. Below is the report for tonight. Do you think God is answering prayer?

Low: 52 Showers and thunderstorms likely in the evening...then occasional showers after midnight. Lows in the lower 50s. West winds 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation 80 percent.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I'm Praying for Rain

Too often good news is left out of our daily feed from the media and I was actually surprised the article below made it to mainstream news without a negative twist. Regardless of your religious position, I believe Governor Perdue should have the right to pray. That is truly allowing "freedom of religion." If you do not believe in prayer, no one will force you to join this time of prayer. Your freedom to choose not to pray is the same freedom that allows me to pray. Personally, I feel prayer is powerful and should not be stifled. It would make me feel very happy to know the windows of heaven opened and poured rain onto Georgia today. Maybe I will even start singing, "Rain on us, Holy Spirit, rain on us..."


(AP) Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue speaks to reporters at the Interior Department in Washington.
ATLANTA (AP) The governor will host a prayer service next week to ask for relief from the drought gripping the Southeast. "The only solution is rain, and the only place we get that is from a higher power," Perdue spokesman Bert Brantley said on Wednesday. Perdue's office has sent out invitations to leaders from several faiths for the service, set for Tuesday. Perdue has several times mentioned the need for prayer - along with water conservation - as the state's drought crisis has worsened. Over the summer, he participated in day of prayer for agriculture at a gathering of the Georgia Farm Bureau in Macon, Ga. Perdue, a Baptist, has enjoyed strong support from Georgia's Christian conservatives. The Southeast has been suffering from an intense drought in recent months that has threatened supplies of drinking water. Georgia has been locked in a battle with Alabama and Florida over how much water should be sent downstream from the state's dwindling reservoirs. Governors from the three states reached a temporary agreement after meeting with Bush administration officials in Washington. The prayer service will be held outside the state Capitol on Tuesday. Unless, of course, it rains.
"Then we'll move it inside, thankfully," Brantley said.

Too Busy to Post

This past week-end was busy, hectic, and nerve-wracking. Friday, we took Bryce to Sacramento to be there for an early Saturday morning practice. The WAY Quartet spent the day rehearsing and sang that evening in Citrus Heights for their missions conference. We traveled back home Saturday night and arrived home close to 2 a.m. Following our Sunday morning service, we took our kids to Disney On Ice then returned home for our evening service. The service was one of those extra special times and our spirits were strengthened. Monday morning, Bryce was scheduled to return to Sacramento for another rehearsal. Although we were all exhausted, we got up at 4:30 a.m. and sleepily took off. Bryce spent several hours practicing and we then drove to San Francisco to see our very dear friends, the Bishops, and give them our love. Their 24 year old daughter, Bethani, had acute liver failure and had transplant surgery yesterday. We arrived back home shortly before 3 a.m. and we began this day at 7:30 a.m. Please join us in prayer as we continue to pray for Bethani and her recovery. A blog has been started to keep everyone informed of her progress. Drop by and leave an encouraging word. We have been privileged to travel with Bethani on Youth On Missions and Brian and I sang at Bethani's wedding a few years ago. She is a darling wife and now mother to seven month old Wyatt. We consider her family to be close friends and are praying for their strength.

Hopefully, I will get back on my posting track soon.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Finally, The Award

A few months ago I wrote about my childhood Sunday School teacher, Jane Johnson, and how she had received a letter stating she was chosen teacher of the year for the Western Region. Well, it took us a while, but we finally pulled off a great surprise service in which she was honored. Although the award was given for this year, she has been teaching at our church for 50 years. Hey, she is not only a great teacher, but she is a classy lady, too. The recently retired district education director, Stephen Allard, brought the award (a beautiful crystal apple on a pedestal that had her name engraved on it and "Teacher of the Year") and presented it to her. We also had a young man, Monte Albalos, who was one of her students during the 70's. He gave a beautiful speech in which he told his life story of being a foster child and how much Sis. Jane influenced his life. He now works with The Lollar Foundation and they have established a "Jane Johnson Birthday Day" that provides birthday parties to underprivileged children each month. These children are selected by school teachers. This young man was inspired to do this because Jane always remembered his birthday and baked him a cake when he was a child. He presented her with roses and also awarded her with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from congressman Jim Costa, certificate of recognition from Senator Dean Flores, and another from the California Legislature Assembly signed by assembly woman, Nicole Parra. The church added a beautiful scrapbook that contained numerous letters of appreciation and pictures from small children, teenagers, adults, and senior citizens. This was all topped off with a $200 gift card to her favorite specialty store, Olcotts. Jane has influenced thousands of people and is such an inspiration to many. Following the service, there was a reception and Jane insisted on serving the cake and greeting each person. What a woman! Words are not sufficient to describe how much she has impacted my life.