Friday, April 29, 2011

San Antonio then Tucson

I'm heading for San Antonio tomorrow - going with Continental. My brother Lee is very sick. He has Stage 4 Melanoma that has metastasized in his brain and spinal column. Although he and my sister in law live in Navojoa, Sonora, MEXICO, they are now in Tucson. He is not in the hospital, but rather with friends. So, Monday morning very early my sister Elaine (who lives in Bandera, TX) and I will head for Tucson by car.

A bright spot in this trip is that we'll be staying overnight in El Paso, and you already know who lives there! Son Ken, daughter in law Esme and four little ones: Maria, Lluvia, Eden and Enoch! So, it'll be very nice - no, it'll be FANTASTIC to see them for a short time - yes, too short a time, but we take all we can get!

Tuesday we hope to arrive in Tucson to spend a couple days with Lee and Becky, before flying home from there. Would you pray with me for a good visit, for God's will to be done in Lee's life, for strength for him and Becky?


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Winner Take All

T. Davis Bunn has done it again. Publishers Weekly calls this a "cracking good thriller," which it definitely is. New York Post says, "Bunn's dialogue is racehorse fast. The take zips along without any lulls and has a nicely drawn good versus evil plot."

I highly recommend this book if you like suspense and drama. Check it out!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Yellow Squash for Poetry Wednesday

I thought this poem very appropriate for summer, although I realize it hasn't quite reached some of you! It certainly has reached San Juan del Rio! Hot, sunny, hot, windy, beautiful, cloudy yesterday but still hot, we love it!


Reprinted from Harvesting Fog, Copyright Luci Shaw 2010, Pinyon Publishing.

Used by permission of the author.

It seemed to grow with the light, the spring days

lengthening to summer, the single seed bursting

into beak and stalk, leaves like spread hands.

The forward thrusting end enlarged,

a curving length of neck growing to a bulbous

sphere, like a human head, it became

a personality, a member of the family.

All summer it swelled, a gold sun peering

through hairy green clouds until its immensity

made the sidewalk pedestrians gawk.

Detached, it waited in our kitchen. It felt

like homicide when we beheaded it for the potluck,

chopping the muscled neck into chunks to bake

with brown sugar, butter, and a mystery spice

we found in the drawer. (So succulent! Later

we made a generous soup with the leftovers.)

But the head, stranded for days on the counter,

wept large pale tears until the air

comforted it dry - the surface a patterned silk,

the ends of its fibers a circle of little stars.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Yesterday I "re-found" a bunch of disks that contain pictures of family. Wow! Did I have fun remembering some of the good times, some of the GREAT times. Some of these disks contained pictures of my own kiddos when they were little....

But that wasn't all! Some of the disks contain pictures of my siblings and me when we were little little guys, running around making mischief in Mexico City! So much fun!

Here are some of the pictures! You'll have to visit me if you want to see them all!

L to R
Beth, Elaine, Daddy, Lee

Can you guess who??

Our Mexican sisters are Carmen, Berta (I think!) and Tina

Our ONE winter spent in the COLD north (here in Indiana)

Headin' for school

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Great Divide

If you want to read a book that keeps you on the edge of your seat, wondering IF our hero is going to make it, not just physically but emotionally, if he's going to win big, or lose big, if the "bad guys" are going to get him, if the judge can be bought, if the jury can be convinced, if, if, if.....! Wow! It was a good page-turner mystery, full of suspense and lots of action. Check it out!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


By Stephen R. Sywulka

Used by permission

The sun rose up out the mountain

red like a fountain

of lava

igniting the sky into embers

and flame;

It was day.

But the women who passed

--faithful few—

were oblivious to beauty,

their grief-blinded eyes

could see only

a glowering sky

with a cross looming high

where a man hung to die,

nailed foot and hand

to the blood-spattered frame,

Who had healed blind and lame.

How could they endure

to lose Master and friend

in this bitter end

to all that they’d loved,

hoped, and planned?

So they came,

with the aloes and myrrh,

To the tomb—

Saw the stone rolled away,

heard the bright angel say,

“He’s not here,

He is ris’n.”

When at last

understanding dawned,

Something of sunrise

ignited their hearts

into embers

and flame.

My dear friend and colleague, Steve, wrote this poem several years ago and I saved it, because it's so beautiful and because it expresses what we are celebrating this week - Jesus' death, burial and resurrection - God giving His all for our salvation. And He continues giving us His all!

¡Resucitó! ¡Resucitó! ¡Resucitó! ¡Resucitó!

¡Aleluia! ¡Aleluia! ¡Aleluia! ¡Aleluia!

That´s what we´ll be singing on Sunday. Jesus rose again! Hallelujah!

Monday, April 18, 2011

MK Camp

What a bunch! Only one mishap, when Silas Hower tripped and landed on his nose, breaking it. Ouch! The doc said it was a straight break and would heal on its own. Thank the Lord it wasn't more serious! Silas is in the front row, blue striped shirt, red jacket.

The morning after his scary mishap, after seeing the doctor and spending a rough night, he showed up at camp, as if nothing unusual had happened to him! The way kiddos snap back is amazing, isn't it?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Two more

Two more books read in the last while. The first, Look What God is Doing, is the fascinating story of people around the world who have been changed by the Gospel. Sorry I couldn´t find a better image - the actual book has a beautiful cover with pictures of beautiful girls from Africa, somewhere in Asia and somewhere in South America. It is written by Dick Eastman, who is international president of Every Home for Christ. His emphasis in this book is that the written Word of God reaches people in places and ways that we often cannot. It was a wonderful read, hard to put down!

Crossfire, by Jeanette Windle, is fiction, but it feels so real, especially when thinking of all the problems Mexico - and other countries - are living right now. "The drug war in Bolivia is an ongoing drama of real people in a context of greed and addiction, unimaginable wealth and economic hardship, conflicting political ideologies, right and wrong motives - and of occasional simple heroism as well. Crossfire is the story of that drama.

I had finished about half of it when it was time to head for Homeschool Camp, where I was helping prepare yummy meals for the campers. In my spare minutes - and there weren´t many - I kept reading! I promise, I didn´t neglect my duties!! Last night I stayed up late to finsih it, but found that it wasn´t really THAT late - others were up much later - and not even reading - just "visiting, goofing around, playing games, sitting around the campfire" - you know, uninteresting things like that!

It was a fascinating read, from beginning to end - all 617 pages of it!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Unless the Lord Builds the House

It's been awhile since we visited with Keith Green. So, here's what he said - or rather, sang - last time I visited with him.

Unless the Lord Builds the House

By Keith Green

Unless the Lord builds the house,

They labor in vain who try at all,

Building anything not according to His call.

Unless the Lord wants it done,

You better not work another day,

Building anything that’ll stand in His way.

You love the Lord

And it seems like He’s been leading,

You’ve asked Him to bless all your plans

But are you so sure

You’re not just doing what you want to,

Building your house on the sand . . .

Working so hard at the things that you believe in,

No one can tear you away.

But don’t you lose sight

Of the very One who calls you,

You may be sorry some day . . .

Some day.

For wood, hay and stubble,

Will all burn up in the fire.

But to love the Lord with all your heart,

Should be your one desire.

Easy to say - sing - but sometimes hard to do!

Friday, April 8, 2011


Don Brown writes a very scary, impossible-to-put-down mystery. I did manage to put it down only because, well, there ARE other things to do around here! But it wasn't easy! The Navy has uncovered a group of radical Islamic clerics who have infiltrated the Navy Chaplain Corps, inciting sailors and marines to acts of terrorism. And Lieutenant Zack Brewer has been chosen to prosecute them for treason and murder. And it get interesting-er and interesting-er from there!

It's a Christian book (Zondervan), but makes the folks in the book very real, very human, not perfect by any means, and just makes for good reading! Check it out!

It HAS to have a sequel out there somewhere, because it leaves some unfinished business in the story line! Hopefully I'll find it sometime! Soon.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Some of Luci´s poems are really hard understand, but I think the message of this one is very, very clear! Be salt - be like Jesus! Wow! I loved it and hope I can live it out each day.


(Matthew 5:13, Mark 9:50)

Reprinted from Harvesting Fog, Copyright Luci Shaw 2010, Pinyon Publishing.

Used by permission of the author.

What Jesus said

what he did.

He said, be salt. Himself


a zest seasons

the world

wherever he shakes

his pungent crystal.

Salt-free signifies


yet absolute salt is

so sharp

if all you eat is salt

you die.

The words—

they sting on the tongue—

The savor of action


and deeds of salt


and purify.

Say it first, but then

do it—

the salt, and then

the savor.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Tradition

Doesn't every family have its traditions? Ours certainly does. And this particular tradition happens around end of March-beginning of April each year. This is the time when it's getting HOT here in San Juan - yes, by Easter, it's almost the hottest time of year. The following pictures illustrate this tradition. I doubt words are needed, except to say, you don't notice ME up there on the roof, do you?? After all, someone had to take the pictures!



This "window" or "skylight" looks down on the stairs going up to my apartment. You might be asking, "Why do this every year? Why not just leave the tarp up all year?" Well, for a very good reason: the wind, rain and hot sun destroy the tarp by about August/September and it begins to shred and fly all over the neighborhood.

So, the next tradition: Taking the tarp down. That's much easier.
But someone's still gotta get up on that roof!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Reading and Viewing Report

Sometimes we get too busy to report. If I were in school, I'd probably get a poor grade for being late. But, thankfully, I'm not in school!

I just finished one book, but finished another one a few days ago. It's been setting on my desk waiting to be reported on, 'cause it was a fabulous book, and I gotta tell you about it!

Cold Sassy Tree almost didn't get read - by me, that is. It's an old copy and has obviously be read many times by many others. But I'm glad I read it! Wow! I loved it!

It's "rich with emotion, humor and tenderness...a novel about an old man growing young, a young man growing up, and the modern age coming to a small southern town." It starts out with a huge bang:

"Three weeks after Granny Blakeslee died, Grandpa came to our house for his early morning snort of whiskey, as usual, and said to me, 'Will Tweedy? Go find yore mama, then run up to yore Aunt Loma's and tell her I said git on down here. I got something to say. And I ain't a-go'n say it but once't.' 'Yessir.' 'Make haste, son. I got to git on to the store.'

Mama made me wait till she pinned the black mourning band for Granny on my shirt sleeve. Then I was off. Any time Grandpa had something to say, it was something you couldn't wait to hear."

And it had me from there on! What a great story! Check it out! And if you're wondering where in the world the title "Cold Sassy Tree" might have come from, you'll have to wait til page 291 to find out!

Then there's Jacob's List, which was a tearjerker. Whew! "Jacob Nolan is a bright, talented college student with a bold list of things he hopes to accomplish before he 'settles down.' Although he is unaware of any family problems, he is possibly the only reason his parents are still together.

And then the Nolans face the most difficult challenge of their lives. They come to the realization that Jacob's list is about a lot more than youthful adventure. Will their son's list help them find each other again?"

The author claims it was one of the hardest books she ever wrote. I can understand that, and you will to, when you read it!

Oh, wait, there's a viewing to be reported on as well!

This is quite an old film (if you consider 1985 OLD!!). This is the tale of an elderly woman's journey home. The Trip to Bountiful stars Geraldine Page in "the performance of a lifetime" - and a role that won her an Academy Award.

But keep your Kleenex nearby, cause you'll definitely need them!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Getting together in Amealco

Last Saturday a bunch of us were invited to a TAQUIZA in Amealco (about 30 minutes from San Juan) at Oscar and Fernanda's little "home in the country." What a delightful afternoon and evening we spent with them! They told us NOT to bring anything, but I took ginger snaps and milk! They didn't need them for the feast, as they'd already bought some pound cakes, so they ate them the next morning for breakfast with their milk!

We decided we needed to do this more often!

Fernanda's mom manned the fires. She's so shy, she wouldn't come into the house to visit, even after the clean-up. We didn't realize she was sitting out in the tiny (no, teeny!) yard all by herself, or we would have insisted she come in to visit! Next time....

Buen provecho! That little space IS the backyard! Not much room,
but I didn't hear anyone complaining!

Oscar and Fer have an artist friend - we loved this wall! Couldn't quite decide what it was, but it was a great conversation piece!

Food was delicious! Thin steaks (carne asada), onions, chorizo, beans, potatoes, lots of tortillas, and the green salsa was to die for! It was gone almost instantly!

The kids found a fun game. The bedroom was very tiny. The bars you see are for an exercise machine.

Our hostess Fer(Pronounced "Fair", but be sure and roll that r!), Grace and Ivonne

Awful cute little girls: Laura, Vanessa and Danna

Tina and Linda. Linda's husband isn't a Christian, but he came along! He really enjoyed talking with the guys.

Check out that wall behind Mary and me!

Sisters Adriana and Adaia with friend Jazmin

Rosy - the life of the party - and Sarai

Brothers Miguel and Angel with friend Adela

The guys had a chat session out on the sidewalk.

The houses here are so tiny. There just isn't room for everyone inside! But that's no problem, just go outside - after all, it's beautiful weather. Lots of room outside!