July 31, 2005
Locks of Love Part III: The Pictures

The BEFORE picture of Ginny and me

Our hair, front view, BEFORE

Ginny wearing a beautiful smile with hairstylist Deena, who is preparing a cute hair makeover  

My hairstylist, Rachel, carefully cutting away hair

It took Penny over a year to grow her hair long and pretty.  Autumn, her hairstylist quietly remakes Penny's hair in a nice shorter style. 

This was fun.  In about 6 more months we'll have a few more candidates from our huge family for a 10 inch hair trim!

The AFTER picture . . .Yep!  It got cut short.  But that's okay.  It was for a good cause and the talented Ulta ladies were kind and as we went through our big hair change.

The AFTER picture, front view.

Ulta is at 4915 East 41st Street in Tulsa. Their phone number is 918-664-5916. They obviously do really good work. If you go there make sure you leave them a big tip to reward them for their generousity in doing Locks of Love cuts for free.

Posted by Linda at 09:07 PM
Locks of Love Part II

Ginny and I arrived early at the Ulta Beauty Salon in Tulsa. Penny, Deena, Nancy, my niece Ellen and my mother arrived later. It was great to have them all there, especially Mom. I took about ten pictures on our digital camera.

As soon as we got there they asked us if we were "locks of love". I said yes. They mentioned that there was a small mistake and they usually don't do the free haircuts on Saturday but since there were several of us they let us keep our appointments.

Rachel cut my hair. I told her I was nervous about this. She understood and kept as much extra length on it as she possibly could. She also understood the big change in my appearance. She did nice work. She gave me a shampoo and I also had her give me a moisture treatment. She cut it just like I wanted it. After she blow dried it she double checked to see that there weren't any stray strands that managed to escape her scissors. After it all was done, I was satisfied how my hair fell into place. I like a comment she made. She said it's okay to take risks in life your hair will grow back. I made cutting my hair a big deal but it wasn't so bad after all.

Deena (the hairstylist) cut Ginny's hair. She put her hair in a pony tail and then cut it. She planned to make Ginny's hair into a bob. And she did. It was short and at the top of the neck and slightly rolled under. It was tapered around her little face with a few wispy bangs. Ginny looked cute with long hair but now she looks cute with short hair. They are totally different looks but still nice. Ginny was happy as she hung around with her cousin Ellen. Ellen also has long hair, not quite long enough to remove 10 inches yet but it will be a good length in 4 or 5 months. Ellen has pretty blonde hair with long curls.

Deena had intentions of cutting her hair but it wasn't quite long enough yet. If she's not too busy she might want to go with Ellen in a few months. In fact, by then there will probably be a few more females in our huge family who would want get their hair cut too.

Penny had grown her hair for more than a year to get it at a nice length. She also took vitamins and it was really healthy looking. I don't remember seeing her hair that long since she was a little girl. I'm glad Deena snapped a picture before her hairstylist, Autumn began to cut it. Penny's leaving for a 15 hour trip back to Russia to stay there for a year and she's leaving the airport early this coming Monday morning. She intentionally grew out her hair so she could teach her students about Locks of Love.

Everyone kept commenting on Ginny's cute hair while we were at Ulta. But when we got in the car suddenly Ginny started crying. I asked her what's wrong. She said they cut too much off of her hair but the ladies were so nice she just kept smiling. I explained to her that her hair was cute and what she did was for a good cause. After a bit of time she calmed down.

When we got home. Danny looked at my hair and said,"Well, its short." At least he liked it well enough. When he saw Ginny's hair he said he liked it and Ginny started crying. So Danny also explained to her that she did a good thing and it really did still look nice.

Later Saturday night we went a family swim party that my sister-in-law, Rachelle put together. My family was making comments about our hair. While Ginny was standing near and we were talking about her hair I noticed she had a few extremely short hairs cut in the front. I asked her about it and she said the lady cut it like that. A little later Danny asked her about it and she told him she cut it because some bangs were hanging down and bugging her. Danny and I had given Ginny permission to cut her dolls extra long hair after she had gotten hers done but she sure didn't have permission to cut her own. Oh well, I was able to part her hair on the side and hairspray it to where the small burred area doesn't show. It'll be okay now, more importantly I've got to help my daughter to understand you don't lie! Especially to your parents!

Posted by Linda at 05:53 PM
July 29, 2005
Locks of Love Part I

Tomorrow I'm going to do something neat with my two youngest sisters and my daughter. The four of us will meet in Tulsa, Oklahoma at a haircutting shop. We have all grown our hair long and we plan to cut off ten inches and donate it to Locks of Love. This is an organization that makes free wigs for people who need a wig because they have a medical condition, most commonly they have lost their hair because they are taking chemotherapy treatments.

It's exciting that we get to do this together. My youngest brother Daniel also grew his hair out. He's in college right now. I guess most guys like to grow their hair out at least once. He has already cut his hair and plans to send it to the organization. Penny has grown her hair the longest. Deena's hair is probably the shortest of everyone. My little girl Ginny says she nervous about getting her hair cut but she doesn't know why. We've only had her hair trimmed but my husband said she could cut her hair since it was for a real good cause. Ginny might have gotten her nervousness from me. At first I wasn't planning to grow it out but each time I went to the beauty shop they bearly cut it. When I get my hair cut it's gonna be shorter than I want. I like to wear it long. If it turns out I don't like it I'll just keep it up in a hair clip or ponytail until it grows out in about 6 months. If I'm ever going to do this it needs to be now because I'm going to start coloring my hair probably within the next year. Locks of Love doesn't use treated hair.

I plan to get my hair tapered around the face with a few bangs that go down to my cheek bones. I want to write another blog to tell you how things go. I hope my haircut looks nice. And everyone elses too. Surely there will be some book there that has the perfect hairdo just right for each of us and we can just show it to the hairstylist.

Posted by Linda at 09:08 PM
July 25, 2005
Boss Secret

I know a boss secret. If a person in authority over you has to give you some bad unwelcomed news they can avoid direct contact with your eyes. This happened to me twice, once when they downsized me from an office job and once when I was told I didn't get a job. The person looked right beneath my eyes. It's probably a little bit of a distraction for them too as they stare at your dark circles or bags. They can roll the bad news off their tongue without thinking too deeply as they may also be thinking, "Man, that girl needs some sleep or her allergies must be acting up, or she must have an iron poor diet!".

Posted by Linda at 08:55 PM
July 16, 2005
My Tie-Dyed Home

I'm gonna escape reality for a bit and I want to take you with me. I want to invite you to my home. I hope you like it. We can pretend your coming over for dinner and a movie. I'll give you a quick tour before we sit down to eat.

Retro is great. I like those old hippy days when my big brother Phillip would wear a rolled up red bandana around his forehead tied in the back as he let his wavy brown hair grow out. As a little girl I would watch him work on his old blue four door Chevy sedan that had previously been our family car. He didn't have a lot of money so his wife, Marsha would put patches on his flaired Levi's and when the patches got holes in them she'd sew another patch on top of that!

Anyway, I like retro because I lived it. So, back to my imaginary home. When you pull up it's gonna be easy to find. You'll see an old Volkswagon van parked in the front. But its not just one color. It's all kinds of the brightest colors mixed together. We spray painted it that way. And since, like a hippy, I go for the natural side of life. We have five large thriving tomato plants all in a row in our front yard. They've really been producing. When you drive up you'll see how loaded they are. I'll pick a few for you to take home. We always make Tabouli with ours.

As we walk up the sidewalk to my old remodeled house we'll walk past a big American flag that stands unusually tall for our average sized front yard. We've got it properly lit though. Everybody in our family respects it and understands it symbolizes freedom, pride in America and that it represents so many lives who sacrificed greatly to protect us and give us the freedom to display it. I'm not a rebellious hippy as you will see I'm redefining the definition of hippy.

As we approach the house you quickly notice it's different. It's an old two story home that was built in the 1930's. It's white with a big open porch on the front. That's where my husband Danny and I sit and watch the rain on cool Fall Saturdays. We've got a nice porch swing. Danny needs to oil it though. It has a small creak when we gently swing on it. The porch is so big, even when the rain really pours and is slanted it doesn't hit us. Besides we always snuggle up in Granny Gayle's homemade gold and white quilt to keep us warm from the elements. She made it for Danny and he mostly wore it out while in college but it'll still work just fine when we fold it in half.

I'm proud of my home. It had just plain white wooden shingles on the outside until our family got ahold of it. We tie-dyed it! Like the VW van we have bright tie-dyed colors all over it. Danny and I put the designs on it by using old sheets I got cheap at garage sales. Using regular house paint of many colors we put rubber bands on the sheets painted the color on, cut the rubber bands off, unraveled the sheet. Then we climbed ladders and carefully pressed the freshly painted sheets against the outside of our house, thus producing the circular design tie-dye affect!

As you approach our big thick planked wooden door you'll be sure to notice the two big windows on each side. I put pull-down white shades in them. My daughter Ginny and I painted giant peace signs on them. Except the peace signs don't have four lines in them because in times past I've heard people say that represented a broken cross. They have three lines in the shape of a "Y".

The living room is just to the side of the small entrance hall. It has a big wide doorless entrance. Oh, but you'll love the many different styled beads which hang from the entrances into the living room, dining room, and kitchen. Lots of times in the high traffic areas we end up pulling them back like curtains with decorative hooks on each side. Don't forget to take your shoes off at the door. Since we have beige shag carpet we're a little more careful because it seems to take longer to vaccuum!

We have two continuing themes throughout our home. There are Bible verses and an American flag in each room. See, this is how I redefine "hippy". Even though we burn incense from time to time we don't get into Eastern mysticisms. We are hippies who are truth seekers. And we've found the purest truth in Christ. Besides He did say He was the way, the truth and the life. No one can get to God and heaven except through Him.

Oh, you're gonna love our living room furniture. It's green camoflage, overstuffed with toss pillows made from old light green army jackets that have dangly puff balls around the edge. We have a couple of extra large bean bags laying around too. I've got my Dad's and father-in-law's army pictures from the 1950's hanging above the couch. I have an old chest as our coffee table. Our entertainment center is like those found in most modern homes. But we also have a retro stereo. I bought it for $25 from someone at work. Danny and I shop second hand stores to buy the best old albums to play on it. It even has an eight track player. It's made of fake wood and gold crushed velvet with a lattice of criss-crossed thin wood strips covering the speaker areas on each side of the long piece of furniture. It's fun to lift the shiny formika top when you're ready to play some tunes. I like it when the popular songs of today on the radio come blaring out of the speakers.

Our dining room table is homemade by my father-in-law. It's extra long with a shiny triple coat of varnish. Not a single chair matches except that they all have Nogahyde as the cushiony part you sit on. In the kitchen we have modern black shiny appliances. But my kitchen colors are a mixture of harvest gold and olive green. I managed to find material with both colors interwoven for the curtains. I also put little brown dangly puff balls as a trim around the bottom of the curtains. All the curtains and our two living room lamps have them as trim.

We have two bathrooms. One has the theme of bandanas and the main one has the bright yellow smiley face as its theme.

Everyone's bedroom has just any theme they choose so they're not really retro.

For dinner tonight we're having Chinese. If you don't know how to use the chopsticks I hope you'll try them out. They're fun.

We'll that's the tour of my "day-" dream home. I hope you enjoyed yourself :)

Posted by Linda at 07:03 PM
July 09, 2005
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

Just recently Danny and I were sent a magazine called The Old Schoolhouse. It's for homeschoolers. We were asked to critique it. It's a glossy thick magazine. It has a variety of writers from all over America who write the articles. It also is busy with many advertisements selling resources that homeschoolers can really use. The magazine is packed full from cover to cover with a wide variety of information. This magazine is a good one for the coffee table or where it is easily available because one read can't cover everything.

We were sent four magazine. So far I've only had the opportunity to go through one. It was the Summer 2004 edition. An important subject to me that I saw discussed throughout the magazine is morality. A major topic which is mostly left out in the public school setting. This magazine offers support, inspiration and encouragement to help parents do better in their teaching.

I enjoyed the article about Ronald Reagan. There was also a wide range of pictures from his life and good quotes. I also liked other articles about Judge Roy Moore, the interview with Josh McDowell and Laura Ingalls. Since my husband has read the series of "Little House" books to our family it was great to see a real picture of the Ingalls family.

When I went through the magazine Ginny, my seven year old, looked at it with me. We liked the drawing contest in the back. This magazine can also be used with your homeschoolers and you can teach them about history from looking at the articles with them.

This magazine is the type of magazine you don't want to get rid of even after you've read it because the articles give good information. If you have an interest in knowing more about this magazine they have a website: www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com

Cross posted at: JackLewis.net

Posted by Linda at 10:36 AM
July 07, 2005
His Greatest Hero

Standing in the middle of the familiar kitchen, the little boy tilted his head back and seriously looked up into his daddy's eyes. As he admired the man he thought of his big dream of growing up tall and being just like him someday. He even wanted hair like his daddy's. Hair that was short on the sides and very thin and sparse on top. He looked over the small hill of his daddy's belly into his daddy's face and knew he was his hero.

There were other men he knew of, like the main guy on the shoot 'em up movie he saw on TV as he sat in his daddy lap. Nope, that guy couldn't be his daddy. He thought of the computer generated cartoon cowboy. Nope, that could never be his daddy. He thought of the nice man teacher in Sunday school class who slowly drew him a cowboy. Nope, that picture was good but that's not his daddy. He even thought of Grandpa and how they would sit together and watch old Westerns. Grandpa was lots of fun but he couldn't really be his daddy like his daddy was. There was only one daddy and there he stood like a big strong tall tower in front of him.

Had his daddy figured out what his four year old was thinking? Did he understand the significance that he was the greatest hero of all times to his son right now? Did he realize he could impact his son's attitude toward him possibly for the rest of his life, even when he was a teenager? He could take advantage of this teachable moment and instill a good mindset and keep a good relationship if he realized the significance of this season of his life.

Time was tight right now and his schedule was hectic for the day. He knew his son would be there after work was done and when life calmed down at day's end. Bending his knees, the daddy stooped down to the eye level of his son, smiled a tender, sincere smile that he could only give to those he loved the most and said his name. "Jonathan, I think you're great and I love you. I'm so glad God made me your daddy and when you grow up someday I know he's got great plans for your life that he made just for you to do." Then the daddy pulled his small son close and gave him a hug for a bit of time. As he stood up to start the demands of the day, his small son again looked up and thought someday he's gonna be just like his daddy.

Posted by Linda at 06:51 PM
July 04, 2005
Living Not Existing

It makes me mad and I sure ain't gonna do it. I see it in the older age range everywhere. As you know forty is becoming near for me. I look around at people that are older than me and I see it alot. They retire to existing not living. The biggest image I have of older Americans is to take it easy in an overstuffed recliner while watching TV for a large percentage of the rest of their life.

Nope. That sounds boring. I listened to Chuck Swindoll, a famous author and Pastor tell about this last Tuesday in a sermon called "Be Bullish." (This was on his radio program called Insight For Living on the internet) He said most people have the attitude that older people need to take it easy. But he said that's not what the Bible says. He says we ought to always exert ourselves, be adventurous and take on challenges.

He told of a story taken from the book, "The Complete Book of Running" by James Fix. In it the author tells of a man named Norman Brite. Norman Brite ran in the Boston Marathon. He finished in 2 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds. He finished in 615th place which was among the top one-third of all who ran. He was about 65 years old. James Fix met the older man at a party after the marathon. While other runners were all lounging around tired from the run. Mr. Brite exitedly told the author of his future schedule to participate in other competitions abroad.

Chuck Swindoll took his sermon from Ecclesiastes 11:1-6. He gave three simple points to living a good life. He said, "Be bold. Be joyful. Be Godly." He said such a life is extremely contagious. I want that. I know two ladies from my church who are like this. They are DeLaine and Jan. I want to be like them. They're older but they love to stop and laugh. They'll take on a challenge with eagerness. They give of themselves to be kind to others. I can do those things.

I have a few goals to help me keep a good attitude in life. First, I want to go swimming more with my children. Second, a few years from now I want to go on FreeWheel. It's a bike ride that goes across the state of Oklahoma. And third, when I don't have a job that's so demanding on my energy I want to prepare for and then run a marathon.

Posted by Linda at 06:00 PM
My Favorite Art Gallery

His work begins early in the morning. It's still dark before the brand new day. He's an artist, the best of them all. He's a creator of beauty whether your eyes behold or whether you later realize the inner beauty of his creations. He's going to paint now. His canvas is the sky and He will paint until the day fully breaks and the powerful yellow sun will overwhelm his creation. On His work of art He'll start at the bottom. He'll use all His colors. As He paints His canvas will change. First there's the darkness of black, then He creates gray with a mixture of fluffy white which begins to overwhelm His creation. Then, he paints His prettiest colors, all colors, the colors of the rainbow. And He blends them. For a moment his colors interact with the light and there is pale orange everywhere. Then shadows cause other hues of blue and purple to join his canvas. Shades of red blending into yellow hover near the bottom edge. Reflections cause the appearance of turquoise and green to enhance the creator's creation. Such beauty can't go unnoticed. It's luring and you must comment. And He made it for me or for any other who would want to notice.

My friend Lindy and I ride our bikes on the gravel road around my hometown water resevior early on Friday mornings. It's fun and oh, I must mention God makes an awesome amazing sunrise to accompany the ride.

Posted by Linda at 04:54 PM
July 02, 2005
Pray for Our Soldiers

I'm so proud to be an American. We're looked up to by people around the world. I don't know why God chose for me to be born an American. But I'm glad He did and I have many riches because of it.

I have a special place in my heart for our soldiers who are fighting to preserve our freedom on the homefront. I always try to hear the news about the war in Iraq and Afganistan each day. It saddens me to hear that even one more of our soldiers has died. I think about them a lot and regularly pray for them, whether it's a morning prayer or it's said in my thoughts after the day has begun.

If you don't know how to pray for them let me tell you how I do it. I turn to Psalm 91 and Psalm 140 in the Bible. I once heard in a TV biography that when Jimmy Stewart was in World War II, he carried these two passages with him into battle. I pray these two Psalms for our soldiers but before that I say a prayer in my own words:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for our soldiers fighting to keep America free today. Please be with them and keep them safe. Bless them and their families for the many different sacrifices they have made. I pray that the war would come to an end very soon and Osama Bin Laden and other such terrorists would be captured and destroyed. Be with our wounded soldiers and heal them in every aspect. Help all of our soldiers to be encouraged. Please be with the President, his staff and the military leadership and give them wisdom as they make serious decisions. And please help us to pay off the huge debt from the war.

In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

On the Fourth of July our American soldiers will be participating in our nation's birthday in the biggest way. Their intentions are to give the gift of their life if necessary. On Independence Day, after we're full of potato salad and all the other goodies, and as we sit in our lawn chairs with our families very near, we'll get to enjoy the freedom their protecting while we watch the sky fill with brightly colored fireworks. Just don't forget our soldiers then and say a good prayer for them.

Posted by Linda at 01:34 PM
July 01, 2005
Mom's Banana Pudding

The fourth of July makes me think of banana pudding, a fun summer dessert. It makes me think of my mom. She makes the best. Banana Pudding has three main ingredients, vanilla pudding, vanilla wafers and bananas.

When I was young I would help Mom make this. She made it better than anyone else. She did this by simply making the pudding from scratch. It was my job to line the giant bowl with vanilla wafers. As best that I can remember we always used the same bowl. It was white but you could still see through it. It was made to not have a lid. The bowl had a scar on the side. It had gotten too close to something hot and there was a spot about an inch and a half in diameter that sunk in.

While Mom cooked the pudding I lined the bowl. Mom's pudding wasn't yellow. It was white. She made it from milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt and vanilla. I wonder if she would add extra vanilla. It sure smelled like it as its sweet gentle aroma would fill our kitchen. It didn't take a long time to cook. Mom would pour the pudding on top of the vanilla wafers. We would have the bananas already sliced and Mom would put a layer of them and then a layer of pudding until both were used up. Then I would place some more of the cookies on the top. When we had broken cookies sometimes I would place them on the bottom where they couldn't be seen or just eat them.

I liked eating the pudding while it was hot. The taste of the warm pudding would make my mouth water as the flavor mixed with the real bananas and semi-soggy wafers. I also liked it after it had been put in the refrigerator as "fresh" leftovers. The coldness and just setting would soften the vanilla wafers and they would melt in your mouth. Usually when Mom made this, since I had three big hungry teenage brothers and two or three younger siblings, we could quickly, if not held back, devour the double recipe treat. But Mom would always make sure there was a good amount left for my Dad.

Posted by Linda at 12:34 PM