Friday, April 22, 2011

Fire, Family, & Friends...

My mom had this uncanny ability to predict when my dad was going to be home.  It did not matter what time he would arrive – she always had dinner ready at that time.  She also has that sixth sense about people – she has often told me that I would be on her mind – and she just knew she needed to say an extra prayer.  Many times the events in my life weren’t huge – but afterwards if mom and I talked about it – I was always so thankful that she listened to God when he put me on her heart. 
In my case – that cannot be genetic (see my first post) – but I definitely have somewhat that same ability.  Last Saturday – April 16th – Kerry went to work, Kevin was in continuing education in Wichita Falls, LynDee had to go to Fort Worth and I was in Graham at home.  The fires were burning on the Graham side of the lake (Westside) and on the eastside (ours).  At 1pm I started begging Son two to ride out to the lake with  me – he of course being the typical teenager did not want to go anywhere with mom – but I called Kerry.  I asked Kerry if he would take me to look at the fires (okay my nature is to “chase ambulances” – I am sorry not a great quality to have – but it’s me…) – Kerry said he would be glad to and so Son two and I loaded up.
We get to the lake – and the fire picture below greets us (1st picture).  The sheriff was on site telling us to evacuate….
The rest of that story is somewhat easy to follow:
Saturday - we evacuated, moved all our trucks, got the computers & important papers, timesheets, work orders, and watched the area of the shop until 9pm.
Sunday – Kerry & Kevin went to the shop (see the 2nd picture…Look for Kerry’s black truck in the middle of the photo - his truck is parked in front of our shop), stayed there and monitored the fire behind our shop, LynDee and I went to the lake but could not get to the guys – the roads were already blocked, talked to Butch (more on that in a minute), and all of us left the lake (along with everyone else on FM 2353).
This fire disaster has brought to our lives the incredible service that so many give.  The news reports give unbelievable numbers of people that are in our area helping to save homes, businesses and keep people safe.  For us – it was our chance once more to be around Butch.
Since the 1970s – Major Butch Shoop of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Game Warden Division has been coming to PK Lake and protecting our water and roadways – typically during holiday weekends.  My boys and our extended family would anxiously wait for when Uncle Butch would get to the lake – the visits were short but we looked forward to them just the same. As our boys got older he came to at least one football game each year – even though his schedule was always so busy.  And he was on the text recipient list when he was unable to be at the game.  He has been right there with us.
My husband’s family has known Butch since the early days of PK Lake when he was a game warden in Palo Pinto County.  He is one of my father in law’s dearest friends.   To know Butch is a joy and his stories are the best!  One favorite part of ours is when he would come to our house at the lake and turn the sirens and lights on – I know my boys loved it – but so did I!
The 3rd picture is of Butch’s truck at our home.  Like so many others – Butch left his family in Sanger and came to PK Lake to be a part of the most incredible emergency response team that we have ever witnessed.  We were able to offer Butch a place to sleep for a couple of nights and once again got to sit around our table and listen to stories.
If you know Butch you will understand that I will be in so much trouble.  He would never want any attention given to him.  What he does – is just that – what he does.  He doesn’t want recognition – he comes to PK Lake – or Lake Whitney – or Lake Texoma – or wherever he needs to be because of just that – it is where he is needed.
But for this Groves Family – having Butch at PK Lake just allowed us to rest a little easier – we are forever thankful for his service to our state.

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

....Not Another Picture

I love to take pictures and I am all about people - I love to have pictures of my friends and family.  Most of the time I hear "Not another picture - really Cheryl...."Typically I have a camera with me - wherever I am.  I also display lots of pictures in our home.  I have taken pictures all of my life.  The first picture reminds me of the 100s I have from growing up.  I even "made" a camera as a science fair project once - it took pretty neat pictures too!

My friend Debra with me in my kitchen - a favorite place for us.  I did edit the picture to look like a 1960s photo - if it would have been possible - she would have been my friend since 1960 -

The Groves' & The McCoys - I cannot even begin to list all the wonderful memories that we have!

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Washed by the Water ~ Start at the Cross

Several years ago our family changed churches and in a small town that always leaves a lot of speculation and wonder.  The church that we were attending is a wonderful church – wonderful people who love Jesus and I believe that the Word of God is shared inside those walls. 

I also know that it is okay for your desires and needs to change and it is okay to seek different avenues. However the church we now attend can definitely be misunderstood – and I was one of those people who really did not understand the beliefs of this new church.  I felt love and warmth when I entered the doors but I was very concerned about what I thought they believed….

So we started asking questions and one of the families that helped us simply said Start at the cross.  So that is what we have done – anytime a question comes up about what we believe or don’t believe – we go back to that answer Start at the cross

This week has had a myriad of events that could be potentially emotional…. The week began with us in College Station helping Son two find an apartment, then we got to see our nephew who just became a member of the Coast Guard (he leaves for training on May 17th), and the week will “end” with my dear friends moving.  Yes the same family that helped us on our spiritual journey just 4 years ago. 

One of the first things that we all did together was witness Son two’s baptism in the summer of 2007 – in the same place on PK Lake as his brother – and as their dad.  As for me – I was baptized in the FBC in Perrin.

Have you heard the song by NeedToBreathe – Washed by the Water?  I heard it this week and I just love that song!

I am so very thankful that I made that choice to be baptized – so thankful that when things aren’t the greatest – or people don’t like me – or whatever is in front of me that I am washed by the water.  It means so much to me – more than I can even begin to share here – and in some ways more than I can put into words.  Son two and I talked this week about baptism and why we think it is important – in the end the best answer we had was – Jesus did it – he found it to be important.  Just as we read in Matthew 3:

Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?” But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.”  So John agreed to baptize him.

After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him.  And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” ~ Matthew 3:13-17.

Start at the cross – start at what Jesus did for us – so thankful for Jesus and thankful that my dear friends took time to share it with us.  While we will miss their presence here in Graham – I know that our friendship will endure the distance – after all – we’ve all been washed by the water and our relationship is grounded in Jesus’ love for us. 

Washed by the Water by NeedToBreathe
Daddy was a preacher
She was his wife
Just tryin to make the world a little better
You know, shine a light
People started talking
Trying to hear their own voice
Those people tried to accuse my father
Said he made the wrong choice
Though it might be painful
You know that time will always tell
Those people have long since gone
My father never failed

Even when the rain falls
Even when the flood starts rising
Even when the storm comes
I am washed by the water

Even if the Earth crumbles under my feet
Even if the ones I love turn around and crucify me
I won't never ever let you down
won't fall, won't fall, won't fall as long as you're around me
Even when the rain falls
Even when the flood starts rising
Even when the storm comes
I am washed by the water


May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sonic - Sunday Paper - Gander Mountain

Aggie Land April 1 -3, 2011 – This weekend is the first of several that will be spent on Highway 6 just a few moments southeast of Graham, Texas.  I have to say the weekend has been absolutely enjoyable and we are a blessed family to have dear friends to spend this time with.  It reminds me of the scripture in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10.  Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.

“This is a fairly upscale neighborhood – after all there’s a …… Sonic.”  Yes – that quote was mine for the weekend. On Friday we were in the middle of our incredible effort to look at just about every apartment complex in Bryan – College Station.  Neighborhood is important – and as we are looking at one that we liked – I noticed that there was a Carinos restaurant – and a couple of others that were nice places to eat – and there was a Sonic.  But instead of one of the nice names coming out of my mouth – it was “Sonic”.  We have laughed and laughed about that one all weekend.  And of course it has become the measurement for upscale neighborhoods!

The next memorable moment was late Friday night when my friend wanted us to get a copy of the Sunday paper.  No joke – she wanted me to go look for the Sunday paper until she remembered that it was only Friday!  My friend had a few other things that we have laughed about – but I will use the Vegas theme and say “What happened while apartment hunting – stays with apartment hunting.”  But needless to say - making us laugh – is a dangerous thing to do!

But most of all if one drives by Gander Mountain – when it is late at night and Kerry has endured the upscale neighborhoods and all the apartment hunting – he might be inclined to yell “Gander Mountain – I Love You!”  If you really know Kerry – you know that just isn’t typical – but hearing him yell “I Love You” across Highway 6 to the store was absolutely hilarious.  We of course went to the store and all had a wonderful time.

My Son two is blessed – in junior high a new family moved to Possum Kingdom Lake.  They bought a camp at the lake and we quickly realized how much we enjoyed their son who is in the same grade as Son two.  Through the last several years – Son two's friend has been a part of our lives.  We are his “city family” and what an incredible friend he has been to Son two.  He is better off with the friend around – and I know they can help each other succeed. 

Son two and his friend plan to move to Bryan – College Station in August of 2011 and attend Blinn College.  While I know their journey will have many wonderful moments – it just makes me smile that they will laugh out loud while they are eating at Sonic with their Sunday paper waiting for Gander Mountain to open.


May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.