Well, I missed my NaBloPoMo deadline by about 38 minutes.

Oh well, it was a busy day here.

We threw PKR a birthday open house, and so we were busy all day cleaning house, and preparing for the birthday open house.

PKR is in a barbershop quartet called "The Debonairs", and they started off the festivities with about half an hour of singing.

It was fun to have people drop in and visit with them.

When you turn 50, you sure do get some funny birthday cards.

The girls even joined with us to do our "special" version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas".

It was a very fun evening, so it was worth not making my deadline.

Then we watched "Angels and Demons" and cleaned up and headed for bed.


Dust Bowl

I just finished reading a book by Timothy Egan titled "The Worst Hard Time".

It is a story of people who lived through the Dust Bowl in the 1930's, in the states of Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, Colorado and New Mexico.

I remember reading "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck, about people leaving the Dust Bowl.

This is a factual account of people who stayed and lived through these years.

It is a story of how the plowing up of grassland to grow wheat caused the land to create dust storms.

As I read this book and read how these people lived year after year, with continual dust storms coming through for over 10 years, drought, the stripping of the land so things cannot be grown. Dust pneumonia was a new phenomenon that killed people because of all the dust they breathed in and collected in their lungs.

People went crazy.

But some survived. And they continued to live in "no man lands" as this area was referred to in the book.

And this book is their stories.

It was very well written and a very informative look at a piece of our country's history.


Z is for Z2 and her Sisters

I am thankful for my three daughters, Z2, Kiki Aru and The Princess.

They are each so very unique, but yet are definitely sisters.

Some people shudder when they hear I have three teenage daughters living at home.

I love this time of their lives. I understand teenagers. I understand girls. I love having three teenage daughters.

Oh, yes, there are the hormonal ups and downs, the sibling fighting, the times when I ask, "Do I know you?"...

but that is okay. Because most of the time, they are funny, intelligent, talented, creative,caring girls who make me laugh and smile, who love God with all their heart and soul, and I feel proud that they are my girls.

I am thankful for three teenage daughters.


Y is for Yummy Yeasty Goodness

I am thankful for the ability to use yeast to make yummy homemade breads this holiday season.

I will be making some dinner rolls for Thanksgiving tomorrow, and then some French bread and other breads as well.

And perhaps I'll make some Cinnamon or Orange rolls for breakfast tomorrow.

Nothing beats the smell of bread baking in the oven.



X is for Xerox

I am thankful for a company like Xerox who prints off postcards and sends them to our troops.

Take a few moments, and send a postcard, and let our troops know how much we appreciate them!!


W is for Grandma Woolum and Grandma West

I am very thankful for my two grandmas.

In a time when single motherhood was not very common, both of my grandmothers raised their families without the help of a husband.

Grandma Woolum's husband left her, and he eventually died when my dad was fairly young. My Grandma stayed in Wardner and Kellogg, and raised her family until health concerns had her moving to Spokane, where she continued to live until she passed away.

Grandma West's husband also left, and they eventually divorced. He relocated to Mexico, and remarried.

Grandma West raised her family in Orofino, Idaho.

Both were strong, loving women, and I am proud to be a product of these two wonderful women.


V is for Vision

I'm thankful for people with a vision.

We just started working on our next play, and we are fortunate to have a director with a vision.

I'll write more later.

Okay, now I can write a bit better after a good night's sleep.

Yesterday, I finished a run of "Here We Sit" at the Sixth Street Theater.

Now, PKR and I have started rehearsal for "I Do! I Do!", a musical about a couple's 50 years of marriage, and the ups and downs they experienced. We are the only two in the show, so it will be quite a workout!!

We are fortunate to have Carrie Stuart Parks directing the show. We sat down with her for a table read last week, and it is already evident she has a real vision for the show, our characters, and what she wants us to do. It is so exciting!!!

So, call now for reservations. It isn't too early! 1-877-SIXTHST!!

We run Jan. 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24.


U is for Unity

How good and pleasant it is
when brothers live together in unity!
Psalm 133:1

I am thankful to dwell in unity with Christian brothers and sisters around the world, knowing that each of us believes that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that God loved the world so much that He gave His son Jesus, and if we believe in Him, we will not perish but have everlasting life.

I have had wonderful encounters with people, and once we realized Christianity was our common thread, it was like we were old friends.

One of my more special Christian brothers in unity moment was two summer ago, when I visited the National Cathedral in Washington D.C., and attended a service in the basement of the Cathedral, in a small chapel. People from around the world opened up and shared how they had Hope because of Jesus Christ. I shared communion with these people, breaking the break and drinking the wine, just as Jesus commanded us to do.

Unity is pleasant. Unity brings peace. Unity brings love. Unity brings joy.

I am thankful for unity.


T is for Too Tired

I am thankful, when I am too tired, that I have a wonderful, warm, comfy bed to lie down in and sleep.

Today, I am too tired.

Tonight, I will have a wonderful night's sleep, in my warm, comfy bed.


S is for Siblings

I am so thankful for my two siblings.

This following passage from the essay "One Village" by Naomi Shihab Neye reminds me of the connection I share with my two siblings, and what it is like to be together in Kellogg.

Feelings crowd in on me; maybe this is what it means to be in your genetic home. That you will feel on fifty levels at once, the immediate as well as the level of blood, the level of uncles, of weeping in the pillow at night, weddings and graves, level of the secret and unseen. Maybe this is heritage, that deep well that gives us more than we deserve. Each time I write or walk or think, I drop a bucket in. Staring at my grandmother, my Sitti, as she sits on the low bed, rocking back and forth in time with conversation, tapping her fingertips on her knees, I think, this is the nectar off which I feed.


R is for Romance

I am thankful for the my husband, who has brought romance into my life for over 25 years.

Today PKR turned 50 years old, and, since this was a rather busy day with kids going every which way, we all gathered together for breakfast. We put some candles on a "birthday scone" and also had some fried potatoes. All five of us ate breakfast together for PKR's 50th birthday.

Last night Z2 and I "decorated" his classroom at Kellogg High School with balloons and Z2 brought some of his high school and college memorabilia, and put it up in his class. I photocopied some old high school yearbook photos, and made flyers that I posted throughout the school. It was hard to miss it was his birthday at school today.

PKR is a pie man, so I baked him an apple pie and also made him a huckleberry/rhubarb cobbler, and took it to school, and shared it with the KHS faculty.

Tonight, PKR and Z2 have the final night of KHS's production of "One Mad Night". As soon as I locate my card reader, I will download some pictures from the production. It was very funny.

Yes, I am married to someone who has been alive for half a century. Wow.


Q is for Quiet Time

I am thankful for times of quiet.

If I don't get that quiet time to myself each day to pray, reflect, talk to God, and sometimes just sit back and do nothing, I do not function my best.

I like praying, and letting God show me things. I like having people brought to mind that I can pray for, or perhaps send a card to, or pick up the phone and call.

In the midst of life, a quiet time is a must. We need time to sit and listen. To be refreshed. To be rejuvenated.

Afternoon Movie Watching With Dad

This week, I gave the sibling assignment to my brother and sister. IEG remembers watching Peter Pan here, and once RP comes back from the spiritual zone of ancient writers to focus on his blog posts, you will see his here.

The assignment is this: Think back to a movie you remember watching at our house in Kellogg, name the movie, what it was about, and what makes you remember watching it at the house.

I remember during a time growing up that one of the Spokane television stations, I am thinking it was KXLY, showed movies in the afternoon. One movie I remember watching more than once was "The Greatest Show on Earth".

This Academy Award winning movie is about the circus, and had a all star cast, including Betty Hutton, Dorothy Lamour, Charlton Heston and Jimmy Stewart. And more than once, I remember sitting there with my dad watching this movie. Me coming home after a day at Sunnyside School, and he from working all day at the Zinc Plant at the Bunker Hill Company.

And I always remembered the last line of the movie...

That's all, ladies and gentlemen, that's all. Come again to the greatest show on earth. Bring the children. Bring the old folks. You can shake the sawdust off your feet, but you can't shake it outta your heart. Come again, folks. The Greatest Show on Earth. Come again.

If you don't remember this movie, here is a trailer. It might jar your memory.


P is for Philanthropy

I'm feeling very thankful for the philanthropic people I work with on a daily basis.

There truly are angels among us in the Kellogg School District.

Today, I was overwhelmed with good will, because of some wonderful people.

Because of some kind-hearted souls, a coat drive has be started at KHS. It started when PE realized one of her students didn't have a winter coat to wear, and I realized someone had left a man's coat here about a year ago, and so I washed it up, and this student now has a winter coat. They are hoping to get warm coats to other students as well.

JD is one of the most giving people I know at KMS. Whenever a student or their family is in distress, she sends out the word, and before you know it her classroom is overflowing with items for families in need. Just this past week, three of our students lost their father. We were able to gather together many bags full of food to send to the family. What a blessing.

My day started of this morning with all the KHS freshmen and sophomores gathering together in the KHS gym to put the food they had brought in to put in laundry baskets to provide turkey dinners for 14 needy families in the Silver Valley. How wonderful to see some of the baskets overflowing with food. And our KHS staff was also generous, donating money to purchase turkeys for each of the baskets.

Today was one of those days when you realize there are some really wonderful people in this world who really care about kids, and other people.


O is for Oklahoma

When I lived in Meridian, I was part of the cast of "Oklahoma" during the 50th anniversary of Boise Music Week. We performed it in the Morrison Center on the Boise State University Campus.

I am thankful I got to be a part of that "Oklahoma" production. I have always loved musical theater, and am also thankful I get to continue to perform musicals in our local community theater.


N is for New Every Morning

I love the hope this passage gives to the reader, especially when things are going hard, and life isn't going that great. Our hope is always in God, who will always see us through.

I also like that this chapter is an Acrostic Poem, where each line of the poem begins with the first letter of the Hebrew Alphabet. Below is Lamentations 3, with the Hebrew translation next to each verse.

As I read through this chapter, it remind me of the book I am currently reading titled "The Worst Hard Time" by Timothy Egan. It is a book about the Dust Bowl in the early 1930's. As I read the words from Lamentations 3:29 that says "Let him put his mouth in the dust, if so be there may be hope."

It took strength from those people who continued to live in the harsh, barren, dusty land on the plains of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado during those drought-stricken early years of the 1930's. But many continued to hope, and believe that things would get better.

Often our lives can seem overwhelming. We find ourselves in a dark place. We become despondent, and it is hard to function.

But, if we turn to God's Word, we know our hope is in God.

"Surely the Lord's mercies are not consumed, surely His compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness." vs. 22 and 23.

Lamentations Chapter 3 אֵיכָה

א אֲנִי הַגֶּבֶר רָאָה עֳנִי, בְּשֵׁבֶט עֶבְרָתוֹ. 1 I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of His wrath.
ב אוֹתִי נָהַג וַיֹּלַךְ, חֹשֶׁךְ וְלֹא-אוֹר. 2 He hath led me and caused me to walk in darkness and not in light.
ג אַךְ בִּי יָשֻׁב יַהֲפֹךְ יָדוֹ, כָּל-הַיּוֹם. {ס} 3 Surely against me He turneth His hand again and again all the day. {S}
ד בִּלָּה בְשָׂרִי וְעוֹרִי, שִׁבַּר עַצְמוֹתָי. 4 My flesh and my skin hath He worn out; He hath broken my bones.
ה בָּנָה עָלַי וַיַּקַּף, רֹאשׁ וּתְלָאָה. 5 He hath builded against me, and compassed me with gall and travail.
ו בְּמַחֲשַׁכִּים הוֹשִׁיבַנִי, כְּמֵתֵי עוֹלָם. {ס} 6 He hath made me to dwell in dark places, as those that have been long dead. {S}
ז גָּדַר בַּעֲדִי וְלֹא אֵצֵא, הִכְבִּיד נְחָשְׁתִּי. 7 He hath hedged me about, that I cannot go forth; He hath made my chain heavy.
ח גַּם כִּי אֶזְעַק וַאֲשַׁוֵּעַ, שָׂתַם תְּפִלָּתִי. 8 Yea, when I cry and call for help, He shutteth out my prayer.
ט גָּדַר דְּרָכַי בְּגָזִית, נְתִיבֹתַי עִוָּה. {ס} 9 He hath enclosed my ways with hewn stone, He hath made my paths crooked. {S}
י דֹּב אֹרֵב הוּא לִי, אריה (אֲרִי) בְּמִסְתָּרִים. 10 He is unto me as a bear lying in wait, as a lion in secret places.
יא דְּרָכַי סוֹרֵר וַיְפַשְּׁחֵנִי, שָׂמַנִי שֹׁמֵם. 11 He hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces; He hath made me desolate.
יב דָּרַךְ קַשְׁתּוֹ וַיַּצִּיבֵנִי, כַּמַּטָּרָא לַחֵץ. {ס} 12 He hath bent His bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow. {S}
יג הֵבִיא, בְּכִלְיֹתָי, בְּנֵי, אַשְׁפָּתוֹ. 13 He hath caused the arrows of His quiver to enter into my reins.
יד הָיִיתִי שְּׂחֹק לְכָל-עַמִּי, נְגִינָתָם כָּל-הַיּוֹם. 14 I am become a derision to all my people, and their song all the day.
טו הִשְׂבִּיעַנִי בַמְּרוֹרִים, הִרְוַנִי לַעֲנָה. {ס} 15 He hath filled me with bitterness, He hath sated me with wormwood. {S}
טז וַיַּגְרֵס בֶּחָצָץ שִׁנָּי, הִכְפִּישַׁנִי בָּאֵפֶר. 16 He hath also broken my teeth with gravel stones, He hath made me to wallow in ashes.
יז וַתִּזְנַח מִשָּׁלוֹם נַפְשִׁי, נָשִׁיתִי טוֹבָה. 17 And my soul is removed far off from peace, I forgot prosperity.
יח וָאֹמַר אָבַד נִצְחִי, וְתוֹחַלְתִּי מֵיְהוָה. {ס} 18 And I said: 'My strength is perished, and mine expectation from the LORD.' {S}
יט זְכָר-עָנְיִי וּמְרוּדִי, לַעֲנָה וָרֹאשׁ. 19 Remember mine affliction and mine anguish, the wormwood and the gall.
כ זָכוֹר תִּזְכּוֹר, ותשיח (וְתָשׁוֹחַ) עָלַי נַפְשִׁי. 20 My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is bowed down within me.
כא זֹאת אָשִׁיב אֶל-לִבִּי, עַל-כֵּן אוֹחִיל. {ס} 21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. {S}
כב חַסְדֵי יְהוָה כִּי לֹא-תָמְנוּ, כִּי לֹא-כָלוּ רַחֲמָיו. 22 Surely the LORD'S mercies are not consumed, surely His compassions fail not.
כג חֲדָשִׁים, לַבְּקָרִים, רַבָּה, אֱמוּנָתֶךָ. 23 They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.
כד חֶלְקִי יְהוָה אָמְרָה נַפְשִׁי, עַל-כֵּן אוֹחִיל לוֹ. {ס} 24 'The LORD is my portion', saith my soul; 'Therefore will I hope in Him.' {S}
כה טוֹב יְהוָה לְקֹוָו, לְנֶפֶשׁ תִּדְרְשֶׁנּוּ. 25 The LORD is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him.
כו טוֹב וְיָחִיל וְדוּמָם, לִתְשׁוּעַת יְהוָה. 26 It is good that a man should quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.
כז טוֹב לַגֶּבֶר, כִּי-יִשָּׂא עֹל בִּנְעוּרָיו. {ס} 27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. {S}
כח יֵשֵׁב בָּדָד וְיִדֹּם, כִּי נָטַל עָלָיו. 28 Let him sit alone and keep silence, because He hath laid it upon him.
כט יִתֵּן בֶּעָפָר פִּיהוּ, אוּלַי יֵשׁ תִּקְוָה. 29 Let him put his mouth in the dust, if so be there may be hope.
ל יִתֵּן לְמַכֵּהוּ לֶחִי, יִשְׂבַּע בְּחֶרְפָּה. {ס} 30 Let him give his cheek to him that smiteth him, let him be filled full with reproach. {S}
לא כִּי לֹא יִזְנַח לְעוֹלָם, אֲדֹנָי. 31 For the Lord will not cast off for ever.
לב כִּי אִם-הוֹגָה, וְרִחַם כְּרֹב חֲסָדָיו. 32 For though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies.
לג כִּי לֹא עִנָּה מִלִּבּוֹ, וַיַּגֶּה בְּנֵי-אִישׁ. {ס} 33 For He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men. {S}
לד לְדַכֵּא תַּחַת רַגְלָיו, כֹּל אֲסִירֵי אָרֶץ. 34 To crush under foot all the prisoners of the earth,
לה לְהַטּוֹת, מִשְׁפַּט-גָּבֶר, נֶגֶד, פְּנֵי עֶלְיוֹן. 35 To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the Most High,
לו לְעַוֵּת אָדָם בְּרִיבוֹ, אֲדֹנָי לֹא רָאָה. {ס} 36 To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord approveth not. {S}
לז מִי זֶה אָמַר וַתֶּהִי, אֲדֹנָי לֹא צִוָּה. 37 Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?
לח מִפִּי עֶלְיוֹן לֹא תֵצֵא, הָרָעוֹת וְהַטּוֹב. 38 Out of the mouth of the Most High proceedeth not evil and good?
לט מַה-יִּתְאוֹנֵן אָדָם חָי, גֶּבֶר עַל-חֲטָאָו. {ס} 39 Wherefore doth a living man complain, a strong man because of his sins? {S}
מ נַחְפְּשָׂה דְרָכֵינוּ וְנַחְקֹרָה, וְנָשׁוּבָה עַד-יְהוָה. 40 Let us search and try our ways, and return to the LORD.
מא נִשָּׂא לְבָבֵנוּ אֶל-כַּפָּיִם, אֶל-אֵל בַּשָּׁמָיִם. 41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.
מב נַחְנוּ פָשַׁעְנוּ וּמָרִינוּ, אַתָּה לֹא סָלָחְתָּ. {ס} 42 We have transgressed and have rebelled; Thou hast not pardoned. {S}
מג סַכּוֹתָה בָאַף וַתִּרְדְּפֵנוּ, הָרַגְתָּ לֹא חָמָלְתָּ. 43 Thou hast covered with anger and pursued us; Thou hast slain unsparingly.
מד סַכּוֹתָה בֶעָנָן לָךְ, מֵעֲבוֹר תְּפִלָּה. 44 Thou hast covered Thyself with a cloud, so that no prayer can pass through.
מה סְחִי וּמָאוֹס תְּשִׂימֵנוּ, בְּקֶרֶב הָעַמִּים. {ס} 45 Thou hast made us as the offscouring and refuse in the midst of the peoples. {S}
מו פָּצוּ עָלֵינוּ פִּיהֶם, כָּל-אֹיְבֵינוּ. 46 All our enemies have opened their mouth wide against us.
מז פַּחַד וָפַחַת הָיָה לָנוּ, הַשֵּׁאת וְהַשָּׁבֶר. 47 Terror and the pit are come upon us, desolation and destruction.
מח פַּלְגֵי-מַיִם תֵּרַד עֵינִי, עַל-שֶׁבֶר בַּת-עַמִּי. {ס} 48 Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water, for the breach of the daughter of my people. {S}
מט עֵינִי נִגְּרָה וְלֹא תִדְמֶה, מֵאֵין הֲפֻגוֹת. 49 Mine eye is poured out, and ceaseth not, without any intermission,
נ עַד-יַשְׁקִיף וְיֵרֶא, יְהוָה מִשָּׁמָיִם. 50 Till the LORD look forth, and behold from heaven.
נא עֵינִי עוֹלְלָה לְנַפְשִׁי, מִכֹּל בְּנוֹת עִירִי. {ס} 51 Mine eye affected my soul, because of all the daughters of my city. {S}
נב צוֹד צָדוּנִי כַּצִּפּוֹר, אֹיְבַי חִנָּם. 52 They have chased me sore like a bird, that are mine enemies without cause.
נג צָמְתוּ בַבּוֹר חַיָּי, וַיַּדּוּ-אֶבֶן בִּי. 53 They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and have cast stones upon me.
נד צָפוּ-מַיִם עַל-רֹאשִׁי, אָמַרְתִּי נִגְזָרְתִּי. {ס} 54 Waters flowed over my head; I said: 'I am cut off.' {S}
נה קָרָאתִי שִׁמְךָ יְהוָה, מִבּוֹר תַּחְתִּיּוֹת. 55 I called upon Thy name, O LORD, Out of the lowest dungeon.
נו קוֹלִי, שָׁמָעְתָּ: אַל-תַּעְלֵם אָזְנְךָ לְרַוְחָתִי, לְשַׁוְעָתִי. 56 Thou heardest my voice; hide not Thine ear at my sighing, at my cry.
נז קָרַבְתָּ בְּיוֹם אֶקְרָאֶךָּ, אָמַרְתָּ אַל-תִּירָא. {ס} 57 Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon Thee; Thou saidst: 'Fear not.' {S}
נח רַבְתָּ אֲדֹנָי רִיבֵי נַפְשִׁי, גָּאַלְתָּ חַיָּי. 58 O Lord, Thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; Thou hast redeemed my life.
נט רָאִיתָה יְהוָה עַוָּתָתִי, שָׁפְטָה מִשְׁפָּטִי. 59 O LORD, Thou hast seen my wrong; judge Thou my cause.
ס רָאִיתָה, כָּל-נִקְמָתָם--כָּל-מַחְשְׁבֹתָם, לִי. {ס} 60 Thou hast seen all their vengeance and all their devices against me. {S}
סא שָׁמַעְתָּ חֶרְפָּתָם יְהוָה, כָּל-מַחְשְׁבֹתָם עָלָי. 61 Thou hast heard their taunt, O LORD, and all their devices against me;
סב שִׂפְתֵי קָמַי וְהֶגְיוֹנָם, עָלַי כָּל-הַיּוֹם. 62 The lips of those that rose up against me, and their muttering against me all the day.
סג שִׁבְתָּם וְקִימָתָם הַבִּיטָה, אֲנִי מַנְגִּינָתָם. {ס} 63 Behold Thou their sitting down, and their rising up; I am their song. {S}
סד תָּשִׁיב לָהֶם גְּמוּל יְהוָה, כְּמַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵיהֶם. 64 Thou wilt render unto them a recompense, O LORD, according to the work of their hands.
סה תִּתֵּן לָהֶם מְגִנַּת-לֵב, תַּאֲלָתְךָ לָהֶם. 65 Thou wilt give them hardness of heart, Thy curse unto them.
סו תִּרְדֹּף בְּאַף וְתַשְׁמִידֵם, מִתַּחַת שְׁמֵי יְהוָה. {פ} 66 Thou wilt pursue them in anger, and destroy them from under the heavens of the LORD. {P}


M is for Melodrama

I am thankful for being a part of the Sixth Street Melodrama and Theater here in the Silver Valley.

I first began my Sixth Street journey in the fall of 2004 in a Christmas show called "I'll Be Home for Christmas."

The following summer, I was in one of the summer melodrama productions.

Since then, I have been in musicals, comedies, and more melodramas. I have had the opportunity to act, sing, write a melodrama, direct two melodramas, and one musical revue.

It has helped nurture my creativity in ways I never thought possible.

I have gained confidence through my time on the stage.

My whole family loves performing on stage, and singing and acting. What a blessing that we all have this common love.


Who Knew Bing Crosby Was A University of Idaho Vandal Fan?

Here is a University of Idaho Fight Song from 1947 sung by Bing Crosby.

I-D-A-H-O!! Idaho, Idaho, Go, Go, Go!!

L is for Lovely Ladies

Today I am very thankful for the lovely ladies I meet with on a monthly basis who are in my book group.

We have been meeting together for five years now. We started the fall of 2004, and only have had one member move away, then got another to replace her.

We have read a variety of books over the years, from best selling novels, to non-fiction, and ones that really surprised me because of how good they were.

We often call it our monthly "therapy session". We solve the world's problems. Yeah, we may get around to talking about the book, especially if it was a really good one, but mostly we get together to enjoy each other's company.

And we have about a 20 year age span between all of us. I am the youngster of the group. I love sharing time with these beautiful women who have taught me so many things over the years, and we have created quite a bond.

Next month we are having our annual Christmas book club, where we have a cookie exchange, and usually share small gifts, and we are each bringing a Christmas story to share.

Most of the time, we all make it to book group. Sometimes one can't make it. But we have had a pretty good track record.

I am so thankful for these ladies...these lovely, lovely ladies.


K is for Kellogg Patriotism

I absolutely love Veteran's Day, and paying tribute to our Veterans.

We are fortunate in the Silver Valley to have many opportunities to honor the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country.

Today I attended the Veteran's Day assemblies at both Kellogg Middle School and Kellogg High School. Both were very well done, and made me proud to be on staff at both these schools, and have daughters who were a part of the both assemblies.

At KMS, Kiki Aru was part of the band that played a beautiful patriotic melody. The main speaker was a man named Bill White who served in the Vietnam War. He shared how proud he was to serve his country, but that coming home was very hard, because it wasn't a very welcoming homecoming.

At KHS, Z2 played in the band, and also sang in the Select Choir. Bob McKay spoke about the new Veteran's Memorial in Kellogg, and ways Veterans are involved in the community.

As part of the KHS assembly, four Boy Scouts performed the flag folding ceremony. This ceremony explains what each of the 13 folds of the flag means, when a flag is presented to a deceased servicemen's family, or a policeman or fireman.

Here is what the Boy Scouts shared today during the assembly:

  1. The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
  2. The second fold is a symbol of our belief in the eternal life.
  3. The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks who gave a portion of life for the defense of our country to attain a peace throughout the world.
  4. The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in times of war for His divine guidance.
  5. The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong."
  6. The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
  7. The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.
  8. The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered in to the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on mother's day.
  9. The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
  10. The tenth fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.
  11. The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  12. The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost.

When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, "In God we Trust."

(Wait for the Honor Guard or Flag Detail to inspect the flag--after the inspection, resume reading.)

After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington and the sailors and marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.

Also as part of the KHS assembly, each veteran was asked to come up to the podium, say their name, what branch of the service they served in, and how long they served. What a stirring moment to watch men I have seen my whole life get up and share how they served their country to preserve our freedoms. Men like John Yergler, Jack Etherton, Louis Groves, Mike Groves, Jim Lewis and Joe Peak.

Then PKR and I sang a Patriotic Medley at the Wallace Elks tonight, as part of a short program they did to honor the veterans. It was a wonderful tribute.

At each of the Veteran's Day ceremonies, I was also impressed with the KHS JrROTC students who presented the flag. They do such a nice job, and my heart wells with pride as I watch these young men and women take their job of presenting the colors so seriously.

Thank you, Veterans, for your sacrifice to this wonderful country in which we live.


J is for James Taylor

Yes, I am a big James Taylor fan, and I am very thankful for his music in my life.

There is something about his music that touches me, and I love listening to his songs.

I was very excited to hear about an upcoming tour with James Taylor and Carole King. I hope they get close, because that is a concert I would not want to miss!!

Here is one of the reasons why I am thankful for the music of James Taylor.


I is for "I Do! I Do!"

I am thankful that PKR and I get to perform in the two person musical "I Do! I Do!" in January at the Sixth Street Theater.

I am thankful that we get the opportunity to use our love of performing to help people in the Silver Valley.

We have chosen three different Silver Valley charities to donate some of the proceeds to from the performances.

Below is a letter from our board president, Vern Hanson, about how people can help become royalty sponsors for the show, so we have more money to donate to charities.

November 2009

Dear Sixth Street Fans—

In January, we will be presenting a two person musical titled “I Do! I Do!”. This show is special and unique because it will give our theater an opportunity to give back to the community by donating part of each weekend’s proceeds to three different Silver Valley Charities, The Shoshone Community Health Clinic, Meals on Wheels and The Women’s Resource Center.

Because we would like to donate a majority of our proceeds to the charities, we would like royalty sponsors to cover the cost of presenting the show each performance. It costs $140 in royalty fees to present “I Do! I Do!” each night. Would you be willing to help cover the cost of one night’s royalty payment, or a partial royalty payment, in order to help us give more back to our community?

“I Do! I Do!” is a musical about a marriage, and the many events happening as a married couple. The show features husband and wife team Paul and Carol Roberts. It will be directed by Carrie Stuart-Parks, and the music will be under the direction of Joy Persoon.

We hope you take this opportunity to help us with this endeavor by becoming a royalty sponsor for this production. Thank you.


Vern Hanson, Sixth Street Theater Board President


I would be willing to donate: _____$25 _____$50 _____$100

Full Royalty Sponsorship _____$140

Please make checks to Sixth Street Theater and drop your check at the ticket desk, or mail donation to:

Sixth Street Theater, Box 1243, Wallace, Idaho 83873


What a wonderful opportunity to give back to our precious Silver Valley community. I am thankful for this opportunity!!


H is for History

I am thankful for learning about History.

Various kinds of history.

Such as local Silver Valley history.

Since moving back here in 2000, I have become fascinated with the local history of this area. I think what really got me going on the history is realizing what a relatively "young" area this is when I think that Noah Kellogg discovered the Bunker Hill mine in 1885, and my Dad was born in Wardner in 1930, only 40 years after the Bunker Hill mine was discovered. I think I was blown away when I made this discovery.

I also like learning about the history of our country. Traveling to Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, and seeing some of the historical sites really helps you appreciate the sacrifice people made for our country.

Today in our Adult Sunday School class, we are starting a series on the history of the Christian Church, and how the church was influenced by culture throughout the ages. It begins with the Roman Age, then today we talked about The Middle Ages. We will then go into the following times:

The Renaissance, The Reformation, The Revolutionary Age, The Scientific Age, The Age of Non-Reason, The Age of Fragmentation, then the Age of Personal Peace and Affluence.

It will be interesting to see what we learn from these lessons.

Vandal Football Memories

Raymond Pert gave us this Sibling Assignment:

The surprising, shocking, soaring Idaho Vandals are off to a 7-2 start and, for me, it stirs memories of Vandal football in the late 60's through the early 80's.

How about you? Do you have a story to tell about a particular Vandal game and what happened that is memorable to you, either on or off the field?

Write it!

Soon IEG and Raymond Pert will have their posts here and here.

As I have written in the past, football has never really been my game. I never really understood, so have never grown to really appreciate and enjoy watching the sport.

But there are some moments during my college years at U of I that I do remember some things about the college football experience.

I was in the U of I Marching Band my freshman and sophomore years, which pretty much forced me to attend the U of I football games those two years.

Unfortunately, many of my memories involve a particular song we played during halftime (such as Ravel's Bolero), or reminders of the musty smelling Kibbie Dome when they were having roof problems, and you would get dripped on while practicing Marching Band in the Kibbie Dome.

As a sophomore in the U of I Marching Band, an exciting part was traveling to Seattle and getting to march at a Seattle Seahawks and Pittsburg Steelers football game. I still remember being only feet from Jim Zorn, and watching Mean Joe Green and Terry Bradshaw jog around the field before the game began. That was pretty exciting.

Another Vandal Football rememberance was sitting with PKR at one of the games, and having him try ( a big emphasis on TRY) to explain to me the nuances of the game. He would tell me what play was about the happen, tell me to watch certain players, and he could predict where they would be going (how could he do that?), but he might as well have been explaining some mathematical theory to me. I was totally clueless.

But the Vandals did have a successful year in 1982, and I remember because they played Eastern Kentucky, and their quarterback's name was Tuck Woolum. He must be some relation, because Woolum isn't the most common name on the planet. So I do remember that little piece of Vandal trivia.

I really haven't been that interested in Vandal football since college, until they started winning this year. I may even take some time to follow the BSU/Vandal game next weekend. What I wouldn't do to have the Vandals beat the Broncos.

Now that would be sweet!!

Finding God's Country Everywhere I've Lived

Time to get caught up on Sibling Assignments. A couple of weeks ago, IEG gave us this assignment:

"What do you consider 'God's Country' and why?"

Raymond Pert's is here and IEG's here.

I am glad I have lived a few different places in this great country of ours, and have managed to consider each place God's Country.

My first 18 years were spent living in the Silver Valley of northern Idaho. The Silver Valley from 1963-1981 was a lot different looking than the one of right now, but it was my home, and beautiful just the same.

Even though Kellogg's hillsides were bare of trees, living in Kellogg was a wonderful experience, and I'm glad I grew up here. You felt safe. People looked out for one another. You started kindergarten with about 25 kids, and most of them graduated from high school with you. You established traditions. And, I didn't know much else besides living in Kellogg. We didn't venture far from the valley while I was growing up. Sometimes to Spokane, and a once a summer trip to Orofino. Other than that, we stayed in Kellogg. Even traveling 15 miles to Wallace was a big deal to my folks.

But I longed for adventure. I liked going new places, and seeing new things.

My second home was in Moscow, Idaho, while I attended the University of Idaho. The beautiful rolling hills of the Palouse, and the U of I campus had a beauty all their own. The years at college were foundational as I grew closer in my relationship with God, and trying to figure out who I was, which really made it God's Country for me.

One summer, I lived in California. I worked at the International Headquarters for Campus Crusade for Christ, and lived at Arrowhead Springs, and worked in San Bernadino. This again was God's Country, because of the work I did, helping spread the "Good News" in all that I did that summer. I found beauty in the desert, in crowded Los Angeles, and Disneyland. I found God everywhere that summer, and again grew closer to Him. I also realized that summer that I loved PKR, and he was the man I wanted to marry and spend the rest of my life with. I attended the 1984 Summer Olympics that while in Los Angeles, and enjoyed watching the USA Basketball team play (Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, among others). I still keep in touch with some of the people I lived with that summer.

After college, my first job was in Glendive, Montana. My dad always said Glendive wasn't the end of the world, but you could see it from there. I lived in Glendive from 1985 to 1991. While we lived there, eastern Montana was experiencing a drought. This is a problem when the type of farming you did was dry land farming...no irrigation.

But you found a tough and genuine breed of people in Eastern Montana. Those farmers and ranchers taught us plenty about trusting and having faith in God and many of the things we learned in the Glendive's Evangelical Church of North America have been the foundation for our Christian faith throughout the years.

One area that really grew on us while living in Glendive, and we came to appreciate were the "Badlands", and Makoshika State Park, located in Glendive. It had a very particular beauty all its' own, and we absolutely loved it.
After Montana, we moved to Meridian, Idaho, outside of Boise. The Treasure Valley again brought us growth in our relationship with God. We grew a lot in our faith and trust and understanding of God, and learned alot while in Meridian. But then, it was time to return to my roots.

In 2000, we returned to Kellogg. And the Kellogg of 2000 looked much different from the Kellogg of 1981, when I had lived here permanently that last time. The hills were now filled with the trees that were planted on the hillsides while I was in high school. The wetlands were emerging. There was no more smelter smoke. But God was still here, and that is because the spirit of the people remained the same. I still had many connections to people in this valley, and this is where a part of my heart and soul had remained all these years. And now I continue to enjoy life here in God's Country, the Silver Valley, the place I have always considered home.


G is for Garden

I love having a yard where I can plant beautiful plants and flowers and enjoy them year round.

There is something so real about getting your hands plunged into the earth, and planting seeds or bulbs.

And the accomplishment when those seeds sprout and become plants, and provide food, or beautful flowers to enjoy.

I am so thankful for my garden.

Gardening for me is one of my creative outlets. It is fun to see how I can arrange plants and flowers to be appealing to the eyes.

It is also therapy. I love spending time alone in the garden, planting, weeding, harvesting, and letting my mind wander and thinking of all kinds of things.

Gardening allows me to pray. There is an old hymn titled "In the Garden". It was actually one of my Grandma West's favorite hymns. (I was fortunate to inheritate the "gardening gene" from both of my wonderful grandmothers).

The words of the hymn go like this:

In The Garden

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The son of God discloses

And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known

He speaks and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet that the birds hush their singing
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing

And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known

And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known

I found a video of Brad Paisley singing this song. It is a beautiful rendition. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.