Saturday, September 28, 2013


 Suzette and I - 2007
Celebrating our December Birthdays
Me 70 - Suzette 53

Christmas 2008
This was my "silly gift" to the girls. 
Suzette - Oksana - Jessica - Jacque - Susan 

October 2008 - In Oklahoma City during Mickey's Heart Bi-Pass
We were so worried about him having this procedure at age 75

 Our last official family portraits - December 2008

 Christmas 2009
The shirts were Suzette's little gift for the girls.
Susan - Suzette - Jessica - Oksana - Jacque
(the girl on the end was a friend of Jessica's that joined us)

SEPTEMBER 28, 2010
The day this family would be changed FOREVER!

It wasn't really lung cancer - the cancer was between her rib-cage and lung but had wrapped itself around the aorta from the heart which made it in-operable.  
She had gone in a few days earlier for a routine office appointment for pain in her shoulder.

 October 4, 2010 
Dave and Suzette celebrate Mickey and my 52nd anniversary
 October 16
Dave and Suzette have just returned from Bethesda, Maryland.
Her Oncologist had sent her there hoping she might qualify for a new experimental drug they were testing.  
She did not.
This is the last picture of her with her own hair.
 December 2nd
Taken at her home as we were preparing to take her for a CT Scan
Didn't she do a great job in selecting a wig that looked so natural.  People were not even aware it was a wig.
 December 17th
Out for a bite to eat, with Marc, Mickey and I after her chemo treatment.  She became very ill, we left immediately and she rode laying down in the backseat as we took her home.

 Celebrating our 4 December birthdays -2010
Suzette's the 13th
Jacque's the 22nd
Jessica's the 23rd
Susan's the 25th
Suzette's last birthday - age 56

Christmas 2010 at our house
Suzette was very sick and almost didn't make it
She always put on a good face and never complained.
Note she has on a jacket, she was always cold.

 January 2011
Taken at her home just before we took her for another CT scan

February 3rd
 At her beloved nephew Aric's 12th Birthday
She was so sick this day they almost didn't come, but you can see when she did she was enjoying herself and laughing.

The last time Suzette was ever out of her home, except for the chemo and Dr. appointments was in March, 2011 for Benny's Birthday.  Again, she was very ill.  It was the last picture I have of her and her Jacque but I could not locate it for this post.

April 1st 
Suzette and I attended a Cancer seminar at Cassia Hall.
It was a wonderful time you can read about it by clicking on the link.
Unfortunately I did not take my camera.
This was truly a final gift from God for Suzette and I.  We enjoyed the morning sessions and activities and we choose to eat lunch out on the patio in the sunshine of this beautiful day.  We left right after lunch, and did not stay for the afternoon session, because Suzette was feeling badly, but we did stop for our final ice cream cone on the way home at McD's.  We went through the drive-in and sat in the car with the windows down talking and sharing.  

April 22nd, 2012
Suzette is put in the hospital

April 29th
Suzette is released from the hospital 7 days later

May 8th is Mother's Day.
All the children are going to attend church with me.
We are all here waiting for her and Dave to arrive.
Dave brings Suzette in her wheel-chair, wheels her in the front room and she says:  "Mom I wanted to go with you so bad today and I'm too sick and can't but I had to come here today to see you and tell you."

Mother's Day - May 8th

May 11th
3 days later Hospice is call in.  Suzette sits on the couch in her living room, with us, talking to the hospice representative.  At the end she says, "I'm tired and need to rest."  We help her to her bed.  She never again is out of her bed.  

May 19, 2011
11:30 p.m.
Suzette goes to Heaven 

She fought her battle for 7 months and 21 days, a total of 234 days.
She was brave to the fault.
She never complained and she never asked "why me" very much.

She lived 57 years, 5 months and 6 day.

All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Psalm 139:16

The cross, with a tear drop, I wear around my neck daily was given to me by son, Marc, the first Christmas without her, 2012.

The Reunion Heart
Since Heaven has become your home
I sometimes feel I'm so alone;
and though we now are far apart
You hold a big piece of my heart.

I never knew how much I'd grieve
When it was time for you to leave.
Or just how much my heart would ache
From that one fragment you would take.

God let's this tender hole remain
Reminding me we'll meet again,
And one day all the pain will cease
When He restores this missing piece.

He'll turn to joy my every tear,
And when I wear this necklace near
It will become my simple way
To treasure our Reunion Day.


No parents should ever have to bury their child. 

The one good thing I can say about our daughter's cancer, actually all who are stricken with cancer, it gives you time.  In the 7 months and  21 days from diagnosis to death there was not one thing unsaid that needed to be said, and all her wishes were carried out to a T by both Mickey & I.  We were with her most of those days and we savored each and every moment together, even in the pain and agony because we knew how short time was.
We are all GRATEFUL for those 7 months.
We are UNGRATEFUL for her not being here now and miss her terribly.
  We are GRATEFUL for the hope and truth that we will one day be together again.

You never know how much time you, or your loved ones have.
Use every day wisely and treasure them as the gifts they are.

Our latest family portrait.
Last Family Photo
Missing son, David & Granddaughter, Jessica
and our beloved Suzette

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Monday, September 23, 2013


Just finished our 30 minute walk this morning and what a blessing it was. 

 1st) it was a cool 59 degrees when we left the house - wonderful.

2nd) we decided to walk a different route this morning in order to pick-up more trash since the route we'd been walking is looking very good.  Unfortuately, there was a LOT of trash along the way and our bag was getting full.  We passed one house where the woman who lived there was standing by the curb talking to another woman in her vehicle.  We passed them and said, "Hello" and got a little way past and she hollered at us.  When we turned around she said, "Do you have quite a way to go?"  I said, "Yes, a little bit."  She said, "Here, let me take that stuff from you and throw it in my garbage since you are being so nice to pick up trash as you go."  We took her up on that offer!!  Her name was Myrtle.

 3rd) as we were coming up the opposite side of our own street, about a 1/2 block from home, a young man was out installing a boom box speaker in his trunk.  He saw us and said, "Do you need help picking up trash?  I'll help you."  We told him thanks but we were almost done and home.  He said his name was CJ and if we ever needed any help, loading something heavy, or whatever, just know on his door and he'd come help us!!!  When I commented about how nice that was he said, "I love to help the elderly."

So we not only had our cool walk, got our 30 minute walk, made our neighborhood look a little neater  AND made 2 new "friends" today.

My fb friend Joseph Watson had just posted these words this morning:
"our english word for church comes from the greek word 'ekklēsiā,' which means 'called out.' how ironic, then, that the greek thinking at the heart of western culture has given us the concept that church is about going IN to a building for a scheduled service and not about going out. wherever two or more are gathered in his name, there he is in the midst of them.

I thought about having just read this before starting this walk.  I believe little things we can do "outside our walls" and sometimes even "outside our comfort zone" applied to that being 'called out".

What do you think?
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Saturday, September 21, 2013


I don't know about you - but I am very glad that I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that God has, does, and always will provide according to His riches in glory, and not according to my ability. 

Let's be honest, there is NEVER a good time for some unforeseen, and unexpected, event to happen that we didn't have in the budget and were not expecting.  

Such was our experience last Thursday.  I walked out to the garage to get my ironing board to discover water running out of "somewhere" on the floor.  Because of the placement I came in and told Mickey, "Either the radiator on the car or the hot water heater is broken because water is coming from somewhere."  Issue #1 - Turns out it was the hot water heater.

My detailed, always on top of everything, husband checked to be sure what the size was, 40 gallons, before we headed to Low**e's to purchase a new one.  

We get our new 40 gallon hot water heater and head home.  We did have help putting it into the truck bed there but Mickey had to get it out by himself, with the littlest of help from me, when we got home.

He removes the old 40 gallon heater from it's spot and get's the new 40 gallon heater from the box.  Issue #2 - they may both be 40 gallon tanks, but the new one is shorter and wider, consequently none of the fittings, tubes, etc. are going to reach. Fortunately, we had some concrete blocks and a flat, square piece of lumber, and Mickey was able to raise the new tank to the correct height.  Yes, our God did supply.

Mickey got everything in place and ready to hook-up.  A friend of ours from church had called with the name of a young man who does side jobs, including plumbing, so Mickey gave him a call to come help us.  He was occupied on a job but said he'd be by after he finished.  Yes, our God supplied again because we had no idea who to call and Low***e's had wanted an extra $259 for installation. 

By 8 p.m. the new hot water tank is in place and ready to go and the final step of installation only cost us $65, a $194 savings since Mickey could and did do the bulk of all the work before calling for help.  

We had been saving for 4 new tires which are needed on our HHR so we had the $432 this little unexpected mishap ended up costing. I know somehow our God will provide the funds for those tires before we start having any flats or a blow-out. Yes, 

HE is our provider.  
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Friday, September 20, 2013


Strange how a major make-over can happen without any pre-planning. 

This make-over just sort of evolved.  It all began with deciding to let my hair grow out.  I have worn it very, very short for quite a few years now.   

2007 with my daughter Suzette

A recent picture with it longer.  Mickey asked me last night if I was going to let it keep growing.  I told him I really didn't know.  He said he'd like for me to get it long enough to put in a pony-tail.  We'll see!!
Can't remember how many months it's taken for it to grow out.  It was quite a chore because it was up over my ears on the sides.  It's a little longer than this now but I don't have a real recent picture. 

 The other area I REALLY need a make-over is on my weight.  I realized I was not going to have any success trying to lose the 24 lbs I need to lose without getting some type of exercise.
 I began walking daily (except Sundays) on August 23rd by walking around the block which took me 14 minutes. On September first I participated in a 7 Day Challenge that required I walk at least 30 minutes a day, so I began walking over to the neighborhood park and back. Mickey has been a real trooper and is walking with me.  The health benefits are as important for him as for me. 

These are the lovely, almost like new, because I have not been using them :o(: ,  tennis shoes that my daughter Jacque bought for me in September 2011 when I WAS being faithful about walking.  

This morning I went by myself, because Mickey was worn out from wrestling the 2 water heaters yesterday (another post about that later).  We had a very nice rain during the night, a slight breeze, and overcast sky this morning made it a very pleasant walk & I was able to increased my time to 36 minutes!!

Of course, along with this 7 Day Challenge was correction in eating with a list of 7 things not to eat or drink:  Soda (no issue to me), White Bread, Fast Food, Chips/Crackers, Sugary Desserts, Candy, Processed Meats, Alcohol (no worry about that one!).  I adhered to this and am still watching all these items.
Sorry to say I have not yet seen much of a decline in the pounds.  Only down 2.8 lbs. in the almost 3 weeks.  BUT I am not discouraged and I am determined.

The other area I badly need a make-over in is my sleeping.  I have never been a good sleeper, even as a kid, but it has gotten worse as I've gotten older.  The main problem I have is relying on the noise of the TV.  I am working hard to break this BAD habit.  I'll blog later about my success in that area as I achieve this sleep make-over.

I love the way God works things out in our lives.  We "just happen" to have started a new Wednesday night 9-week teaching by our Mrs. Pastor, Michele, on prayer.  Although I am a pray-er, and learned a lot about it about 13 years ago reading the book: Arthur Murray on PRAYER. the area I need work and change in is quieting my mind, and learning to sit before my LORD.  So this is another make-over in the works.

Wonder what other areas God will lead me into a major make-over of?
Lord, I'm willing. 

Are you in the midst of any major make-over?  Or are there any areas you know need a make-over and you just haven't taken that big step of commitment yet?

One thing we know for sure:  
JESUS is in the BUSINESS of make-overs.  
Making us into HIS image.   

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

SONG - Find Us Faithful

This blog post is a little different as it is simply the words to a song.  BUT these words so speak my heart - especially where my Children and Grandchildren are concerned.  I felt I MUST share them. 


We're pilgrims on this journey on a narrow road,
And those who've gone before us line the way.
Cheering on the faithful, encouraging the weary
Their lives a stirring testament to God's sustaining grace.

Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses
Let us run the race not only for the prize
But as those who've gone before us
Let us leave to those behind us
The heritage of faithfulness passed through Godly lives.

Oh, may all who come behind us Find us Faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave - Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey.

After all our hopes and dreams have come and gone
And our children sift through all we've left behind
May the clues that they discover and the memories they uncover
Become the light that leads them to the road we each must find.

Oh, may all who come behind us Find us Faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave - Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey. 


For our children and our grandchildren.
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013


There is a lot of discussion among people, and even in the media, about social media. 

I know it can be good and I know it can be bad, depending on the people who are participating in the segment you have decided to be involved in. 
 Like most things in life it is up to us to make good choices. 

This is MY take on what it has meant to me and my life.

My participation began over 6 years ago in January, 2007 with blogging.  With much
 trepidation I created this Penless Writer blog.  I I had just celebrated my 69th birthday, the month before, and I remember distinctly thinking;  "Who in the world cares what a 69 year old grandmother has to say or think?"

I am so thankful I jumped in and began.  I have built a wonderful network of fantastic people, mostly woman, but also some very important men, who have, and are, richly adding to my life with their thoughts, input and knowledge.  We "share" our lives in our blogs: both the good times and the sad times.  We pray for each other and hold each other up.  One of the benefits, which I never imagined or was aware of when I began, is that I have had the privilege of meeting 17 of these wonderful people in REAL flesh and blood life!!!  I have NEVER been disappointed and they are always as I have pictured them from how they have presented themselves in their blogs. 

As you can see, since you are currently reading this blog!!!  I am still blogging 6 years and 8 months later and my plans are to continue until The Lord tells me different. 

Actually, as the title indicated, this blog post is about what fb means to me.

fb is the only other type of social media I participate in.  I do not tweet, I do not text, and I do not even know the names of anything else that might be out there.

People seem to fall on one end of the spectrum or the other where fb is concerned:
I know some who totally have NO use for it whatsoever (some of my own immediate family).
I know some that think it is totally bad.
I know some who dabble in it just a bit.
I know some who think it is a good thing and are very active in it.
I fall in the last category..

I know a lot of people have some fears about fb exposing too much of their privacy.  I do not.  

I believe our lives should be an open book and a LIGHT.  We should be living in such a way as not to have to hide anything.  ALSO, we should be willing and want to share words of TRUTH and encouragement to others.   We should hold strong enough convictions, on what we believe and what we base our lives on, to want and be willing to share with others on a wide range of subjects and issues.  

On the flip-side:  it is important to always be kind.  We can state, even a negative opinion, about a subject in such a way that is not a personal attack.   If we happen to be having a down day or just feeling "out of sorts" it is important to know when to put "a zip on our lip".  I live by the motto: "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."  My personal opinion is also I do not have to defend myself in any way on any subject.  We are ALL entitled to personal opinions without fear of being attacked, or put down, for them. 

The above are all my personal views. 

I treasure the connections I have made, first in blogland and now on fb, that have, and are, enlarging and enriching my life.  It has helped me connect and share in their lives in a way I would have otherwise missed out on.  It gives me

insight into people and who they are. 
With Mickey's recent health issue it was a very real support of prayer, literally around the world.   I truly believe God has and is using this avenue in my life for good.
I am thankful for it and plan to continue .

Would love to hear YOUR opinion.

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Small Look At Me & My Life Through THE ALPHABET

Recent picture of me.

I decided to go through the Alphabet to tell a little bit about me.  Some you may already know, some you may not.  I hope you find it fun and interesting.  I've tried not to give this a lot of thought and go with my first instinct. 

A - AGE - is a fact of life.  We did not choose when to be born and it is totally a matter of living 24/7 365 days a year.  It amazes me how many people fret about what their age is, or is not.  Mine is currently 75.

B - BALLOONS - hot air ones that is.  Mickey & I have owned 2 hot air balloons in the past. The first one was called Suzy Blue, and the second one was called Pink-A-Boo.

C - CHRISTIAN - the basis of my faith and my life, since age 18.  

D - DADDY - I was definitely a Daddy's girl.  I adored him and I have always appreciated all the things he taught me, both by word and action.

E -  ETERNAL - goes with C - I believe I have eternal life, not "will have"  I already have.

F - FAMILY - next to God, family is, and always has been the most important thing to me.

G - GRATEFUL - I am basically a very grateful person for everything I have and have enjoyed during my lifetime.

H - HEALTH - I have been blessed with good health.  I do not take any medicines/prescriptions on a daily basis.

I - INDEPENDENCE - in many ways I have always been very independent.  This is one area I am seeing decrease as I'm aging and need some help doing some things and I rely very heavily on my husband.

J - JOYCE - of course.  I inherited this lovely Irish last name from my dear husband and claimed it proudly.

K - KINDNESS - I think kindness is one of the most important things we can give to all people, at all times, in all situations.

L - LOVE - because I have been blessed with such an abundance of it my entire life.  I believe unless things are done in a loving manner they are not of much value.  

M - MOTHER - my own lovely, very refined and proper one who raised me and set a good standard and my own most important role for some 59 years now.  As I always tell my kids, "Once a mother, always a mother." 

N - NOTHING - I never am thinking of "nothing" and I can't even begin to imagine people who can!

O - OPENNESS - is a quality and trait I value highly in people in every area of my life.  I, myself, am an open book.

P - POISE - is another trait I admire in people, especially when they can remain poised under fire.

Q - QUIET - I now only value my quiet time, but it is essential to my well being.

R - RELIABLE - I am very reliable and if I tell you I will do something you can be sure you can rely on me.

S - STRONG - I believe I am a strong person, not physically, but emotionally.

T - TENACIOUS - definitely one of my strengths and the one my husband admires the most.  

U - USEFUL - I believe in things being useful and using things to their maximum.

V -  VALUE - I place great value in my relationship with my family, friends. and co-workers and laborers. 

W - WORK - I believe in and have always had a good, strong work ethic. This is something I acquired from my parents and I began "working" in my father's real-estate office, answering the phone and running errands when I was about 14 years of age on Saturday and after school.  I got my first full-time job with an R.A (Registered Accountant) at age 18 and I retired from a CPA firm in 2002, at the age of 65.

X -  can't think of a thing except X-RAY - yes, I've had a few over my life.  At age 18 a routine one located a spot in my right side, between the rib-cage & lung.  It was surgically removed immediately.  It was a calcium deposit the size of a baseball.  I had been kicked by a young colt at about age 9 and they believe that is what cause it.  (See, more than you ever wanted or needed to know!)

Y - YELLING - I hate it and it has never be allowed or tolerated in our home.  

Z - ZEALOUS - yes, I am very zealous about everything that involved me or that I am involved in. 

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

2013 Book #16 - THE CRUCIFIED LIFE by A.W. Tozer

We just finished this wonderful book Sunday in our Real Christianity Small Group class.
If you are serious about having a closer walk with Jesus and truly making Him LORD, and not just Savior, of your life I highly recommend this book.

It was published in 2011 and while it was not "written by" A.W. Tozer (1897-1963), it is a selection of some of the many sermon's he preached. 

One quote Tozer makes, in speaking of other writers: "...the writer was able to express my deepest feelings for God in language far better than my ability to compose."
this is my feelings exactly of this entire book,

And this truth, "If our hearts are not prepared to receive, our time in these books will not be well spent."  

The final quote of the book:
"God's most delicate tools are reserved for His special children.  For the Christian on the path of the crucified life, God will bring into his pathway the fiery furnace, the Refiner's Fire, and show that Christian how much He really loves him."

I am thankful for this book.  I am thankful for this 19 week study, with MUCH discussion,  that our Small Group just  completed on September 1st.  I dare say, there is not one of those who attended faithfully who have not been changed to some degree and more committed to become 
ALL THAT JESUS intends for us to become as HIS blood, bought redeemed.  

This is the 7th A.W. Tozer book I have read this year.
I HIGHLY recommend this book of sermons if you truly are interested in 
LIVING The Crucified LIFE.

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Very Fun Time & Very Sobering Time celebrating LABOR DAY WEEKEND

Sharing and celebrating the Labor Day Weekend

We're ready and heading out......3 generations: father, son, grandson, and me, mother.

Marc had gotten us 4 tickets to attend the Oklahoma City Redhawks Baseball game against the Memphis Redbirds on Friday night. 

We traveled to OKC and checked into our motel.  The game started at 7:05. 
The entrance to the Bricktown Ball Park with downtown OKC in the background

Our great seats were right behind home plate

On the second tier of the 3 tier structure in what they call The Suites.
Not only were our seats perfect in the second row but all the food we wanted to eat was free.
We could either go into the area behind the glass doors to the buffet, order off the buffet and eat at tables in there....or order from the menu at our seats, as many times as we wanted, and the food was brought to us.  
The temps that day had been in the high 90's and low 100's so we were afraid it might really be
hot, but because of the height of the 3 tier structure on the west it was very pleasant.   We opted to remain in our seats and order, and ORDER and ORDER.  The problem....
we ALL overate!!

After the game there was a terrific Firework display that was fantastic.  Oh...forgot to say....the OKC Redhawks lost to the Memphis Redbirds 5 to 0.  That part was not to good :o)

After our 2 block walk back to where the car was parked, Marc decided we needed to stop for ice cream before heading back to the motel so we located a Braums, even with our full stomachs.

We had discussed whether to just go over for the game and drive home late afterwards or stay overnight in a motel and do something special on Saturday.  We all opted to make our outing and fun last longer.

The next morning, after eating breakfast at Grandy's (where Marc was determined to have their chicken fried steak breakfast) even though we could have a free breakfast at the motel, we headed to downtown again.

This time to visit the the Oklahoma City National Memorial 

A picture of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building after the bombing. 

Marc and Aric entering the memorial after climbing up several flights of stairs from the street level,  
Notice the 9:03 on the marble over the doorway - the exact timing of the bombing on April 19, 1995

The chairs that represent the 168 people who died.  Each chair represents one person, a big chair for an adult and a smaller chair for a child.  Each chair has the name of the person, and the bottom of each chair contains a lamp which is lite at night.  We have never seen it at night, but would love to and am sure that it is really impressive.

You can read below: about each of the 9 rows representing the people killed on the 9 floors of the building and 5 others at the West end of the chairs.  One of our dear church friends daughter was one of these 5 killed in another one of the buildings.  
There were a total of 324 building within a 16 block radius that suffered damage and 86 cars were destroyed or burned. 

The beautiful reflecting pool cover where NW 5th Street ran.

The friendly and informative Park Ranger talking to Mickey and answering questions. 

Susan with the park ranger, with Aric looking on, beside the reflecting pool. 

Susan, Marc and Aric  in a corner where a part of the wall remains.  The plaque to our left is engraved with the names of 600 people who survived the blast in the various 324 buildings within a 16 block radius.  

Susan and Mickey at the exact location where the U-Haul Truck was parked and where the bomb exploded.

Mickey and; I had brought Oksana here once 10 years ago when she was only 10 years old.  Marc had visited here about 4 years ago.  Aric had never seen it.  It was a VERY moving experience to sense such a tranquil setting and spot where 168 people were killed and 680 injured.  

We would highly recommend you visit this Memorial if you ever have an opportunity. 

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