Favorite "Meditation of My Heart"

Call unto me,

and I will answer thee,

and shew thee great and mighty things,

which thou knowest not. --Jeremiah 33:3 KJV

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Summertime Fun/Work

I've been doing a lot off extra work this summer.  Partly because there has been lots of work available and mostly because I knew big bills would be rolling in this month and next.  So with all the extra travel, I have tried to incorporate in some fun for the kids.  (Those of you who are FB friends know I travel some exciting "sounding" places, but ultimately places like Paris, TX; Greenland, AR; Prague, OK; Cleveland, MO; and Havana, KS...well, they tend to lack the awesome activities of their namesakes, especially for the kids.)  Despite my working being in mostly incredibly boring locations, we have been able to hit a few fun stops together and I have a few more on the calendar "for them"/"for my work" yet this summer.
While Grace was at camp for two weeks, David & Corrine got to enjoy a few sites in Oklahoma including the Aquarium and the fountains in "Central Park".   Hannah, Corrine & David also got to do some swimming, and Matt arranged his escape to grandma's house for a week.  Matt got back just in time to go to VBS with David next week at our neighbors church.  This is the boys 3rd VBS of the Summer, but they are excited. 

Jon & Vanessa have been mostly stuck at home while they heal after surgery.  Jon's pressure sores are almost gone and he is to start therapy any day now.  Vanessa is only two weeks out so she still has to wear a brace for 2 to 4 more weeks.  Unfortunately, with her long legs, the brace makes her almost impossible to transfer into a car.  Plus her wheelchair for the brace is even huge-er!  She has a check-up next week so hopefully we will learn that she can be out of the brace soon.

The babies have been mainly kept near home this summer.  Between the heat and therapies 4 days a week, it doesn't seem very smart to have them out and about for too long.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What ifs....Camp & Food

Grace  (second from the left) shortly after
arriving at Camp Kivu this weekend.
Things have been really tight at our house this summer.  We still don't have our tax return due to our adoption tax credit being "reviewed" and the regular expenses of a family with 10 kids have been MORE regular than usual....I think everyone purposefully waited to outgrow their shoes, socks and undies simultaneously!   Talk about a serious investment!

However, all the tight living, car trouble and working as fast as I can to catch up has me thinking....well, actually worrying.  The "what ifs" are in full bloom!  What if we don't have put tax return in time to pay the attorney and for homeschool curriculum; what if the Durango needs more repairs; what if so many need our help if social security checks are help;  what if my contract work for Social Security has the payments tied up in the budget problems...BUT then right there in the middle of my worries....God starts dropping blessings.  Its just amazing.  Grace's summer fun had been postponed, but Grace just recently got a scholarship to go back to Camp Kivu this year and we had the funds to get her to camp.  Grace LOVES Camp Kivu so this is the highlight of her summer!  And then a fellow Freecycler offered us boxes of "extra" food including cereals, canned goods, pastas, and rice dinners...undoubtedly $100 plus worth of food.  Truly a blessing!

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. ~~I Peter 5:7 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

5 More MBA Graduates & Carrot Cookies

I know the people below look like they belong to a legal defense team, but they are actually the newest graduates from William Woods University's MBA program.  I had the honor of facilitating their final Capstone class and tonight they presented and defended their business plan for a local foods distributorship. 

L to R:  Mickey Plummer, Jeannette Gibbons, John Harris, Elizabeth
Robertson, & Eric McGuire 

They did an amazing job and can be proud to have ended the program with a solid "A" on this important final project required before being allowed to graduate.  Their presentation and marketing props including chocolate covered strawberries and carrot cookies were impressive and delicious!  However, having learned from their presentation that the produce at my local supermarket has traveled 1,500 miles on average has made me a bit queasy.  Makes me really wish one of them was turning their project into a real company!

Carrot Cookies that they made are a light cake-like cookie with delicate flavor and my kids even liked the ones I brought home to them.  The recipe is below.

Carrot Cookies

Hand Dipped Chocolate Strawberries & Carrot Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons grated orange rind
1 egg
1 1/4 cups grated carrots
2 2/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 dash salt

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.  Fold in the the egg (beaten) and orange rind.  Then fold in the carrots.  Combine flour, salt,baking powder and cinnamon and add these to butter mixture stirring as you add the dry ingredients.   Once it is well mixed drop teaspoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.   Bake at 375* for about 12 minutes or until very light brown around the edges. Let cool 1 minute, before removing from cookie sheet.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

William Woods Offers 10 Scholarships to Joplin

I've worked for William Woods University for 5 years as an instructor in their Joplin MBA program.  I have also taught at a number of their other outreach sites including Springfield, Branson, Houston and West Plains.  I'm so proud to see that they are offering this assistance.  They are a great school.   If you know someone who might benefit from these one year scholarships please pass this information along.

William Woods Provides Assistance to Joplin Students

7/5/2011 Mary Ann Beahon


Paying for college could prove difficult for those affected by the devastating and destructive tornado that ripped through Joplin May 22. Now William Woods University is offering a helping hand.

WWU will provide 10 one-year, tuition-free awards for residential students from the southwest Missouri community. The award will be available to students entering William Woods this fall or fall of 2012.

The recipients must meet the university’s entrance requirements and participate in LEAD (Leading, Educating, Achieving and Developing). LEAD is an innovative program developed by William Woods University. It is intended to encourage and reward campus and community involvement that contributes to a complete, well-rounded liberal arts background.

“During what will continue to be a challenging time for the Joplin residents in the months to come, we are thrilled to be able to take a away a financial burden for these 10 students during their first year at William Woods,” Sarah Munns, dean of admissions, said.

William Woods University is an independent, professions-oriented, liberal arts-based institution serving the educational needs of both men and women. William Woods has an enrollment of about 3,800 students, and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of disciplines in both campus and outreach settings.

The 200-acre main campus is located in the mid-Missouri community of Fulton. Since its founding in 1870, the mission of William Woods has been to provide a quality education while ensuring the development of the individual.

Interested students may contact Munns at admissions@williamwoods.edu, (573) 592-4221 or (800) 995-3159. More information about William Woods University is available at www.williamwoods.edu.

Monday, July 4, 2011

2 Years in the Planning...

For 43 years, the descendants of my great grandmother Julia and great grandfather Andrew Fleming have gathered every year around the time of the 4th of July and spent 3 days connecting and reconnecting to family.  In 1973, I was the youngest at the reunion and that was my first reunion.  Like most of those early reunions, it was at Camp Joy and there was no pool, only a creek; there was no air conditioning (except in the chapel), only screened cabins and lots of fans in the dining hall.  There was nothing to keep snakes and wasps out of the shower house, and we thought the camp was great because the toilets flushed.  However, we also thought the Camp Joy was great because it reflected our family values.  It had a chapel, a horseshoe pit and lots of great outdoors to explore with cousins...all the stuff you need to make great memories.

So 2 years ago, I was elected to be Secretary for this year's Family Reunion.  I was excited to get to help plan it because planning is what I do EVERYDAY at home and at work.  However, I was also nervous because I knew our family's reunion expectations had outgrown just "a chapel, a horseshoe pit and lots of great outdoors."  People now expected air conditioning, who am I kidding, I expect air conditioning!  As family members have aged, people now need sidewalks, ramps, wider doorways, grab bars and shorter walking distances too to name a few issues.  Once again these are all things that I can appreciate too, especially with my family.

2011 Invite Cover
The planning started with preparing an invite with large print (14 font or bigger) on most major sections.  Then continued to preparing a menu that could allow diets choices for diabetics, no glutin, low cards, low salt and low fat diets and that kids would eat too...that was as easy as it sounds.  Compromises had to be ultimately made but most meals met my goals through offering variety.  Then the planning unfortunately had to include finding a camp as our usual camp had double booked our weekend.  I looked at 8 camps.  I saw neat ideas and terrible set ups; high price$ AND  lots of hills, steps, walking, gravel and little air conditioning.  Finally we found a camp in Niangua, Missouri that had a chapel, place to put horseshoes (the official "sport" of the family), and lots of great outdoors; but it also had sidewalks, curbless showers, grab bars, and LOTS of GREAT air conditioning.  (When we rented they also had a pool, but it ended up being torn out before our visit.)

Judging the pie contest.
Attendance was down this year in part to all the flooding along the Missouri River that has I-29 underwater and in part to gas prices, but we had 104 family members attend the reunion with some even driving around all the closed flooded roads to join us.  I think everyone had a good time, and I know the 12.5%, of the crowd that are my immediate family, LOVED it!  However, David says he's only going next year if his cousin Evan is there.

The last month has incuded all the final preparations and my front foyer became completely filled with food, paper products, games, prizes, etc. Now the reunion is over and my foyer is empty and I've enjoyed a nice long post reunion nap and I'm taking comfort in knowing the family rules say there has to be 6 years between being asked to serve again.  So now I have video and photos to turn into a DVD for everyone who attended and the minutes to type up and then my reunion work will be done.
2011 Bumper Sticker