Previous month:
June 2016
Next month:
August 2016



AYOP, America's Youth on Parade. A week long adventure held each year in South Bend, Indiana on the Notre Dame campus. Individual and team baton twirling come together for their big competition. There is a portion that you must qualify either from your regional competition or your state competition to compete in. They also host an open event during the week-long competition.

Our Miss A qualified to compete by winning the regional competition in her age & baton ability. So, off we went to our 14th visit to AYOP, including eleven visits with her mother competing and three with her.

Here are a few pictures from our week.


Each girl brings gifts to give to their competition group.



While sister practices, Miss D plays.


The judging begins, and the interview chair awaits her.

A fun break allowing time to visit the Notre Dame campus. Crazy picture time!


Two precious girls!



Weaving a tale!!!


A merry-go-round ride x 3 at the zoo.


One adorable lion and monkey.


Turtle back riders!


Another competition time.


Winning and awards.


The historic Monogram Room where winners get their pictures made.


A sister hug before award time.


Coach Vicki Ray and student, Miss A.


Just one group of the thousands of baton twirlers competing during the week. There are Novice, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced twirl groups. This is a portion of the intermediate group.


Miss A's reaction when they called her name.


Proud Daddy moment.


Proud Mommy moment.


Proud baton twirling moment.


Then, we began the journey home with a stopover in Chicago.


Dylan's Candy Bar...


Street mime...


American Girl doll store...


What a fun week we enjoyed with these girls. Blessed.




It is interesting how the mind flashes back in time. Today, it hit me that I remember the time when the only t-shirts worn were by men, white, and under a shirt. Now, in almost every picture we see, someone is advertising via their t-shirt for someone, somewhere, or something. 

Speaking of flashback in time. Growing up, I spent a lot of time on Nassau Street at my grandparent's (Hugh & Lucy May Etter) home. One vivid memory I have is of the Cicada.

Cicada adults live above ground for four to six weeks, and the only thing that interests them is mating and laying eggs. The female will lay fertilized eggs in slits cut with her ovipositor on small live twigs. She can lay about 400 eggs over 40 or so sites. It takes about six weeks for the eggs to hatch and the nymphs to emerge. Once the nymphs emerge they fall from the tree to the ground. They dig down sometimes up to 18 inches and feed for one to 13-17 years (varying by species) on root juices. When the time is right and the ground warms they come out. 

I remember the sound they make. It is a hum, rattle, whistle, shake of a bell-less tambourine. We would listen to see if we could find them. We would try and catch them by gently grabbing their wings. They would let us if we were quick enough. Then, we would let them go. I remember the hard and crunchy shell that they would leave from hatching.

Most summers the sound of the Cicadas was somewhat annoying because we had so many. One would make noise, then another, and on it would go from one to the other all day, from light to dark.

Then, it seemed that we no longer were seeing, or hearing, them here. I do not ever remember seeing a dried Cicada shell at our home and we have lived here over 20 years. Until today.




I think a Cicada will be nice addition.



Fresh Find: Fun perpetual tape.







025 copy



Be sure you learn:


About Jesus Christ; accept

All you can about morals and values

How to work for what you want and need

How to use tools; power and powerless

The love of reading

The Books of the Bible by memory (p.s. read the books)

How to drive a stick shift (just for fun)

To be honest

Be careful what basket you put your eggs in

How to sew

Education determines $

To take time for nature

To give first to your faith cause, then to charity, others and then self

To not put off until tomorrow what you should do today

Snakes bite

If it has a mouth, it talks

Look for the good in everyone

Don't spend everything you make

Create your own happiness

Make the decision each morning to be happy

Smile through the tears

Don't buy too much house

When you mow, edge

Drink lots of water; earthly and spiritually



(What others would you add?)




Fresh Find: I'm not one that enjoys the Halloween darkness side of fall time, but I think this pillow is pretty fun.

146919_WIT_main (1)












I decided to try a big birdhouse to see what happens. Birds do their own thing, but there are birds that will use a house after it sits a while. I knew the type of hanger I wanted, but when I asked for it, the sales people looked at me funny, like I was a crazy woman. After a couple of attempts, I went to a store in Plainview that promises to have everything and if they don't, then we don't need it. I'm sure they are correct. I did not find what I wanted there, but when I explained what I wanted, MB, knew what I was talking about and even shared how to find it. I got the hanger ordered and today I hung the birdhouse all by myself. I did have my little work bag with me that had my phone and tools since I was at the top of the ladder and needed the tools while up there and praying that I would not need the phone! It all worked perfectly.


It doesn't look like it is very high up, but I was at the top of the 16-foot ladder.







Fresh Find: After studying different birdhouses, I chose this one.




Carrying On


After the loss of my grandfather in 1991, my dad in 1995, my grandmother in 1996, my mother in 2013, and my brother in 2014, my life is all about carrying on. Carrying on what they taught me; faith and through my faith, my ministry song to help my fellow man. 

I hope when our children and grandchildren reflect back on my life that some of what I carry with me, they desire to carry on into their senior years.

My grandfather was in the electric business here in his early Plainview life. We have several of his business light fixtures and some fixtures made from parts & pieces that have been carried on from my grandparent's generation, through my parent's generation, our generation, and now our children's generation.

This week, our daughter finally got her old family fixture hung in their home. It has been waiting for some time to find its hanging place. It was actually the shop light for Etter Electric. It is a very large fixture with a vintage sized bulb base, big. When she sent me the picture of it hung and in its place, I cried. I felt it finally had its spot of prominence. It looks so it was where it should be. It makes me happy that our children have these pieces in their homes. Carrying on.


It looks perfect in their mid-century modern home.




Fresh Find: Cutest baby/infant shoes!





Butterfly Butterfly


Butterfly. Butterfly. The butterflies are here. I love sitting and watching the butterflies flit. There are butterflies of all shapes and colors. Even peek-a-boo ones and an ordinary fly without the butter, too!




A bunch of butterflies.



Double the fun.



Pretty single one.




Fresh Find: Beautiful hand painted butterfly wings scarf.





Sometimes I draw, paint, create and doodle...


Salvation Map by Phyllis


003 003 

003 003 003

003 003 003

003 003 003

003 003 003

003 003 003

003 003 003

003 003 003

003 003 003

003 003 003

003 003 003

003 003 003

003 003 003


These were made from using flower petals as paint.
003 Flora Paint 2 by Phyllise Flora Paint 2 by Phyllise

Wired Home by Phyllis  DSCN0067 and there are a few others.


Fresh Find: This is a serious contender for a communication device. Punkt!






This is my friend Woody. She calls me Hummy. She lives in Turkey. Please pray for her and her family. Their country is in turmoil, too. We stay in contact, and I pray for her often.






Fresh Find: What a cool model/puzzle combine! They have a tractor, too.





I often slip in a CD of the NIV Bible while I relax in the backyard. It is always a learning time. Today, these verses popped out to me.

Jude 1:9-11 In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams, these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them.

As Christians, we do not understand everything about God. Even the most educated humans still have much to be revealed to them. The awesome thing is that God does reveal himself to those who accept through faith to believe in his plan for Salvation laid out in his Word. If someone is not in a spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ, then they cannot understand. They can read the Bible and know it forward and backward, but the truth will not be revealed. When we don't understand something we tend to attack it; by learning and acceptance or by over hashing.

It is my joy to honor Him. It is His joy to enlighten me. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, sweetest name I know, help me to understand always.


Let's play Hangman. Five letters. Person. Rose Again. Can you see the name?




Fresh Find: Love this light!




The first bloom of our Luna Red Hardy Hibiscus. This is the third year we will have enjoyed the pretty blooms.



This week, I had the opportunity to sit at a computer at the library and scroll through months of newspapers. I was looking for something specific, so I tried very hard not to get stopped by any picture or story that would pull me into losing my focus. It was hard! One thing I did notice is the papers were full of scary things about wars and killings, deaths, accidents, and much sadness. God showed me this to let me know that what we are experiencing as a people is nothing different than what other generations in history experienced. Yes, we have immediate access to everything frightening, where in other times it took a bit of time to read all about it and even then, they might have never known about so much of what happened. Just because it is in the news does not mean our hearts can handle it all. They spent a lot of time in prayer. They worked long hours. They stayed busy. They had limited access. They survived. I believe we will, too. So, turn it off. Work hard and stay busy. Get on our knees in prayer. 



Fresh Find: Fun personalized ukulele.