Family reunions celebrate families

Akin Family Reunion abt 1920. Elisha Levi Akin and Dora Alice Valentine and their nine children and families.

Family get-togethers began in our family ions ago. That’s what families do—get together—if they like each other. Or not.

I have a picture of an Akin family reunion dated in the early 1900s. My Grandpa Thomas Elisha Akin stands in the middle of the back row, as good looking as Clark Gable. He’s surrounded by his wife, my great aunts and uncles, and a row of corralled youngsters sitting in front. His parents, Elisha Levi and Dora Alice Valentine Akin, born in 1851 and 1856 respectively, perch on chairs. There are so many relatives I’ve never seen nor heard about except tidbits here and there. Their lives are a mystery.

It makes me wonder about them. What did they talk about? What was Great-grandma’s favorite pastime? Did she make homemade biscuits as delicious at my grandmother’s? Did she hate the drudgery of doing laundry by hand? Did she discuss deep life questions with her children? Was my great-grandpa Akin one of those staunch, tough-as-nails men who didn’t know how to communicate? Like my grandpa and my father? What genes and traits were passed down to me and my family? Stubbornness? An inquisitive mind?

Old family reunion picture found in Akin/Thomas album. No idea who they are.

I was born an Akin and proud of it. With research, I traced our family history back across the United States to Arkansas, Georgia, New York, Rhode Island, and then to Dartmouth, Massachusetts and a Quaker community. Tracing farther back, our Oklahoma Akin family originally came from Aberdeen, Scotland, traveling to the U.S. in the mid-1600s.

Most of all, I speculate about their beliefs. Living in Scotland, did some of the Akins leave their homes during the Bishop’s Wars or because of religious or political persecution? Just why did they travel by boat to the U.S.? Perhaps someone has researched this and has more knowledge.

That would be an awesome trip—to travel to Scotland to see where the Akin/Aikine’s lived!

Did the Akins have faith in God to help them through the hard times? Perhaps their faith still lives on. My family trusts in God and still tries to follow His ways.

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. Deuteronomy 7:9

Akin Family Reunion 2019

A thousand generations to those who love him. And keep his commandments. And it’s been less than ten generations back from me when my ancestors lived in a Quaker community. Maybe some of them were praying hard. Perhaps faith continues on just like our family reunions continue on, and that means I need to be praying for the next ten generations!

A Superhero Cousins Camp for my superhero grand kids

The grandchildren came to our house for our ninth cousins camp.

Superkid T-shirts
Superheroes by age

Success meant everyone got fed something, no one got hurt too bad, and parents weren’t called in a panic. Also, it means that Grandma survived the three days. This cousins’ camp surpassed my expectations. Thanks for praying for my sanity and the children’s responses. Seven of our twelve grandchildren came, the others off to college or jobs or couldn’t attend.

With more activities planned than we could possibly do, I was prepared. I printed out a flexible schedule and posted it on the fridge. Treas came by and helped me decorate. Sixteen dozen cookies were baked. The snack box filled. Beds made for each child, including blow up beds, and a book on each pillow.

Superhero Camp
Hanging out together at Cousins Cmp

I tried to keep the kids busy while also allowing free time. They decorated capes and masks, went swimming, watched Charlie Brown and Bibleman films, and had an awesome Tae Kwan Do lesson from their black belt cousin – one of the Super Cousins we have around here. There were a lot of bumps and bruises, cries and questions, along with laughter and giggles.

My goals were 1) to let the children spend time together 2) make memories with their grandparents and 3) teach them something about our values.

This cousins camp theme stressed me out. We’ve had some great cousins camps in the past, like a 50s theme, an art theme, a circus theme, cowboy theme, mystery, and we even made a short movie one year. This year, I had to come up with something fun, and the Superhero theme worked great. You can find more information about activities on my pinterest page.

I guess the sub-theme would be God’s Super Kids. We studied super kids in the Bible. The grand-kids loved acting out the skits I wrote and making puppet shows, and Bill preached a great, short Sunday morning sermon.

My favorite moment was when I told my nine-year old grandson goodnight. He asked me, “Do you really think I can grow up to be a great warrior of God?” My heart filled with warmth. “Absolutely,” I told him. “I am positive you can.”

Of course, one of our main Bible verses was, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13. But we also read, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened. Do not be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you.” Joshua 1:9

Superkids at POPS
Visiting POPS

I love my grand kids. They are Grandma’s superheros. And hopefully, they’ll store up some of these treasures in their hearts. Thank you for praying. Your prayers were answered.

I can’t say how superhero Captain America found out about our super kid cousins camp, but amazingly, he showed up too.  

Christian Poetry: Confessions

Have you read any Christian poetry lately?

: The Wounded One, Confessions of an Angry Girl
Here’s my new book of poetry!


The Wounded One, Confessions of an Angry Girl, was recently published. This small Christian book has been entered into the 2019 OWFI Writing Contest. usually write Christian historical fiction, but I’ve also written poetry for years and years.

This selection is taken from my poems and put into a story. As a counselor to incarcerated women for many years, my heart goes out to those in distressing circumstances. Beta readers have loved this book.

An abused woman ends up in prison. A “Sister” and a discarded Bible lead her to experience God’s love for the first time.

Looking at the cover and title, my husband said, “I didn’t know you wrote books so dark.” But this book has a message for anyone who has gone through difficult days because we have all been wounded at some time in our lives. God’s amazing grace can shine through.

If you are interested in an eBook, please let me know. 

Reviews would be very helpful. Please contact me. I’d love to hear what you have to say about this short inspirational book. 
Look here for The Wounded One 

The Five Thomas Sisters

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Five sisters faced difficulties in life. Each unique. Each stressful. And each life choice seriously tested their faith. These sisters had the same background with similar genes but were confronted with different issues in life.

They lived in Oklahoma during the 1930s Dust Bowl, and I’m really excited to share their stories with you.  Read a short story about each one.

Mary Bobbie

Mary Bobbie, the oldest and most jovial of the sisters, keeps a terrible secret for eight years. Will her husband be devastated if he finds out she had a part in their child’s death? Will he still respect her?

 Sally Matilda

Sally Matilda, once a high school football queen, marries the school’s handsome running back. Her perfect life shatters when he falls into abusiveness and addictions. How will she respond when a life-changing crisis arises?

Susie May

Susie May, the petite, shy middle sister, marries the most attractive band director in the country. After many moves and disappointments, what will she do when his tragic, double life becomes known in her hometown?

 Jennie Rue

Jennie Rue, stable and God-fearing, agrees to nurse the sickly wife of an older man with two children. When he becomes a widow and wants to marry her, is it for love or convenience?

 Annie Crump

Annie Crump still grieves the loss of her fiancé, but a tall, good-looking barber melts her heart. For some reason, he never tells her about his former life. How will she respond when an ex-wife appears and files a lawsuit to take everything they own/

Each Thomas Sister short story stands alone, and I hope you enjoy!

A New Book Release! Mary Bobbie

I’m excited to announce my new book!

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Mary Bobbie

The First Thomas Sister

The oldest and most jovial of the sisters keeps a terrible secret for eight years. Will her husband be devastated if he finds out she had a part in their child’s death? Will he still love her?

Each of the five sisters face extreme circumstances that tests their faith. Living in Hollis, Oklahoma, during the 1930s Dust Bowl makes these issues more challenging. Based on true stories, I hope you’ll love the tales of these sisters as I release them – one every few weeks.

Order Mary Bobbie, the first story, now at https://books2read.com/u/bppPxJ

 

 

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