Cousins Camp

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.  

Historical novel

A Promise Child – second novel to be released!

My second historical novel, A Promise Child, is ready! The book release date is August 15th, 2017.

Here’s the back cover of the book:

Sibyl Trimble Pope, from a wealthy banking family, marries a handsome hobo from the wrong side of the tracks.

As the Depression rips through Sibyl’s hometown of Shawnee, Oklahoma, it leaves dying stores, repossessed farms, and countless men and women out of work. Now living in poverty, Sibyl suffers the burdens of a changing world and troubled economy.

Based on a true story, Sibyl Pope wants to make the world a better place. Since her youth, she has followed her papa, a respected, clever-minded banker. Interested in socialist politics and asking the hard questions of life, she struggles to find her own purpose. She does her best to listen to God, even when her father refuses to help.

Blessings come. A new baby, a job with the PWA, and a promise of a brighter future. Concerned for her children, she still struggles to keep food on her table and love alive in her heart.

Many people head west to save their families. Will Sibyl and Fremont abandon Oklahoma and their hopes and dreams for the promises in California? Or will they find a way to survive in Shawnee?

Click here to order A Promise Child on Amazon.

Memory House Publishing

The Tempting Curves of a Classic Car

Saturday I took a walk with a friend through Hafer Park in Edmond, Oklahoma, and about a hundred smooth-looking, shined-to-perfection classical cars were lined up. My heart lurched. It was the Liberty Fest Car Show and I love, love, love old cars.

I took a picture with the owner who won “The Best Car of the Show” while another car owner, Jack Sweeden, gave me his book “How to Wire Your Street Rod.”

My love for these classics started back in the early 70’s when a Model T convertible sat in our driveway. I piled my three little daughters into back seat (no seat belts) and drove into town. Since it had no gas gauge, I’d always stop and get a dollars’ worth of gas. Those were the good ole days!

One of the main characters of my historical novel, A Promise to Break, was a mechanic back in the 30’s. Maybe I got my love of cars from Fremont Pope, my grandfather. I tried to describe some of the old classics in my novel. Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 4 in my book.

“The Chrysler’s body was long, smooth as silk and classy as a mink stole. A neighborhood mutt chased the wire wheel spokes, and a gardener turned to stare at the curved fenders and rear bumper guards passing by.
Through the speckled Saturday afternoon sun, I drove the sleek motorcar south under the tall oak trees past Wallace Street. Their limbs stretched high over the road like people standing on tiptoe, struggling to touch in the middle.”

I’m still gathering notes for the rest of the 1930’s novels based on a true story. See A Promise to Break: Love, Faith, and Politics in the 1930s.

Kathryn Spurgeon

My Thoughts

When bad things happen, look for the cross.

Good and bad things happen in life and here is a recent example. My husband’s goal is to have his own place in the country, so three years ago he purchased thirteen acres of tree-covered land with a dilapidated building. He was like a kid having his own project and it didn’t take long to clear off an area around the pond. He felt great about it.

The next year a wild fire swept through the area, threatening to reach houses nearby. We lost at least a hundred trees in the fire. Bad news.

Local firemen stopped the runaway fire at the pond that had recently been cleared, keeping it away from the housing addition. God’s protective plan? The old broken-down building on the property burned to the ground. Ah, good news.

Then we had an ice storm and the accumulated ice weight caused more trees to fall. A drought followed and we lost more. Bad news? It seemed like bad luck until we realized the trees were cedar, weakened by the ice and drought. Trees fell that needed to fall and he would not have to chop them down. Good.

An abandoned well was found by the former building. Good. It was filled with bricks. Bad. The bricks could be withdrawn. Good. After a pump was installed, the water was fresh and clear. Even better.

Do you see a pattern? Good. Bad. Good. Bad.

My hubby decided to build a barn on the property. Not hire it done but build it himself. I’m not sure about the good or bad of that, but he planned for months, discussed it with experienced builders and researched it on the internet. It would be two stories with a small apartment upstairs. A barndominium, he said.

Things went as normal. Good one day, bad the next. Good. Bad. Up. Down.

The week came for the barn raisin’. The concrete slab was poured long before. Wood delivered. Heavy pre-made trusses brought in. Family and friends to help. The first floor went in great. Strong and steady. Good. A crane came to lift the heavy trusses to the second floor where two men on top nailed them in. Hard, heavy work but still going great.

Putting up trusses for the second floor of the bardominium

The wind picked up in the mid afternoon. Not good. They were almost finished with the second floor. Four more trusses to go before completion. Good. A strong, Oklahoma gust of wind whipped through. I watched the last truss in place wobble. Then the truss beside it wobbled. Then twenty something trusses tumbled in slow motion like dominoes, one after the other, breaking as they fell. Now that was definitely not good.

I looked up from my vantage point and noted where the men stood. One was missing. Not good. I ran to the side and saw our son-in-law leaning over. As he fell, he had been hit on the head with a heavy truss and his arm caught in the crushing weight. He was nauseous. I rushed him to the emergency room. God what are you doing? This is definitely not good.

I forgot to mention that we prayed through all of this. Prayed for God to protect, guide and lead us. Of course, I was praying as my son-in-law’s arm and head were x-rayed. No concussion. His arm was not broken. That’s good. Thank you, God.

All I can say is that it’s possible his arm caught his fall. A roof caving in can do serious to fatal damage to a man. The crane attached to the last truss held. It hit the bucket and slightly changed the angle of the falling wood. Could he have been more damaged? Yes. Could they have done something different? Maybe. Could God have been there helping? Yes. Could it have been worse? Oh, yes.

Good and bad will happen to everyone in this world and some days are roller coaster rides. Up and down. The question is, “How will we respond?” We can’t let the bad times color our view of the future because we don’t know the future. Only God knows. Look for Him in every situation.

Cross as crane pulled out the broken, fallen trusses from the barndomium.

Ecclesiastes 7:14 RSV states, “When life is good, enjoy it. But when life is hard, remember that God gives us good times and hard times. And no one knows what will happen in the future.”

My Thoughts

Merry Christmas from the Spurgeons!

Another year has come and gone, leaving many memories to cherish. Our family is all one year older, which means our twelve grand kids have grown taller, more beautiful and handsome, and smarter.  They are now between the ages of four and twenty – hard to believe! We are proud of all of them and our amazing six children and awesome in-laws! At Thanksgiving, we got a picture of the whole family – the first time in many years we were all together.2016-thanksgiving6-18The international students have been a joy! We still meet every Wednesday night. We have had students from China, Korea, Nepal, Saudi, Japan, Cameroon, Taiwan Malaysia, and Sierre Leone. I’m sure I forgot a country or two.  I cook and Bill teaches. I am looking for new easy recipes if you have any. It has been an awesome semester. Here are some pictures of students.

We had a few cookouts on our “ranch” in Guthrie. Bill started building a barn on it and hopes to get it finished in 2017.

I published my first historical novel! Yeah for A Promise to Break  and have great reviews! Book signings were so fun!  I hope to have the second book ready to publish in the spring. I also published a book of poetry, Anna Lee. Also, I am four years without cancer and do not need more tests for another year!

God has blessed Bill and I so much that, as he would say, “We’re better than we deserve!” May the Lord bless you through this coming year! You are loved!