Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy 2012!

Happy 2012 to Friends and
Family Near and Far!
The Lord bless you and keep you,
The Lord lift His countenance upon you,
And give you peace, and give you peace,
And be gracious unto you, be gracious,
The Lord make His face to shine upon you
The Lord be gracious, gracious unto you.

Lyrics: Peter Christian Lutkin

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Flash Mob by Journey of Faith at South Bay Galleria - official...

What is amazing about this Flash Mod is that you can't always tell who the "official singers" are because many shoppers join in. I love the looks on people's faces when "Mary and Joseph" arrive with Baby Jesus.

Book Review--The Case of the Case of the Mistaken Identity (Yes you read that correctly)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This children's book was hilarious and a must read for all my librarian friends.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Visit to Harding

Last weekend, David and I made a trip to
Searcy, Arkansas for my nephew, Ryan's,
wedding to Caitlin. It was a wonderful
weekend because we got to see so
many family members, but
it was also lots of fun to walk down
memory lane. David and I met at Harding
in our freshman year, 1970.
BEWARE: This post has LOTS of pictures.
David in front of the Administration Building.
The Ganus Student Center. This
was the meeting place when we were students.
David also helped build the Radio Station
in the basement of this building.
Patti Cobb Dorm where I lived as a freshman.
Kendall Hall--my sophomore home.
Cone Chapel is where the wedding took
place. As you can see out the wall of windows
the campus is beautifully lit for the holiday season.
Lights over the Harding University arch.
More lights.
The lily pond.
My mom also attended Harding.
Doesn't she look young enough to still
be a student?
The famous Harding swing.
Mom, me, Gail, Terry.
Sweetie in a swing.
We were missing some of the "girls"
who were busy getting ready for the wedding.
Jon, Terry and Gail's son, is also
a Harding alumnus.
As you can tell by the multitude of pictures,
Harding is one of my favorite places on the
planet. I once went to an education
convention in Little Rock and took
one of my colleagues to visit the
campus. As we were walking
around the campus, I took a big whiff,
and said to my friend, I just love this
place. It even smells great!
To which she replied, It smells
like french fries to me. (We were
strolling by the cafeteria.) I guess
beauty, and fond smells, are in the eyes,
(and noses) of the beholder.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011 Christmas "Letter"

It has become a tradition for me to recap

our year in the form of an "ABC" letter.

It must be the teacher in me!

I hope you enjoy a look back at 2011 at the

David and Karen Gibson home.

A is for Ann Hopkins, Mandy’s mom. Since we moved to Colorado, Ann and I have shared babysitting for the little Gibson boys on days when Mandy works. Ann kindly took over my duties while I was sick. Thank you Ann-Ma! I’m ready to share again.

B is for boys. Our three grandsons, Caleb, Aaron, and David, kept me upbeat during my recovery.

C is for Cancer. You don’t often see an ugly word like this in a Christmas letter. Cancer was one of my biggest fears. God has clearly demonstrated to me that He is Lord even over our fears.

D is for David. I knew almost 40 years ago when I married this man that he was very special. During this eventful year of 2011, he has stood by me and taken care of me in ways that I, and I’m sure he, never imagined he would need to. I am so thankful he is my husband.

E is for Eastside Church of Christ. The wonderful Christians at our church have fed us, prayed for us, and upheld us during this difficult year.

F is for family. David and I are blessed with family both near and far. We thank God for their love and kindness to us. This year would have been much more difficult without you.

G is for Gibsons—the Jeremy Gibsons. As many of you know, they moved to Colorado first and we moved to be close to them. They have been a constant joy to us but especially so during my sickness. What a help and distraction they have been.

H is for heroes. I had many precious people who walked or ran for me in Races for the Cure. You will never know how much you mean to me.

I is for I-Pad. This might be silly, but that little Apple device has helped me keep my sanity during recovery. I have used it for Bible Study, Games, e-mails, and Facebook. Thanks Sweetie for a special gift/toy/sanity keeper.

J is for July. My side of the family had a reunion here during that month. I had just started chemotherapy and their presence, hugs and love got me started on the right foot.

K is for kindness. We all get so busy that sometimes we forget to stop and be kind to those around us. As someone who has reaped the benefit of great kindness this year, I encourage you to find someone who needs your kindness. You, and they, will be better for it.

L is for letters and cards. I received so many wonderful pieces of correspondence this year during my recovery. It came in the form of snail mail cards, letters, packages and e-mail and FaceBook messages. I cannot begin to tell you how much they meant to me.

M is for medical professionals. We were blessed with some of the most caring and dedicated doctors and nurses imaginable. They cared for me physically but also emotionally. What a blessing!

N is for New Year! I can’t wait to start 2012.

O is for outdoors. When you spend many weeks indoors, you appreciate so much the great beauty that God has created for us. I was so lucky to have a big picture window across from my ever-present easy chair to view God’s handiwork.

P is for Poppy. My sweet daddy passed away last year in December. I have missed him this year, but have a sweet understanding that he is in a far better place.

Q is for quietness. I am looking out my window as I type this letter at a beautiful, silent snowy landscape. We haven’t experienced many white Christmases so each one is a new delight.

R is for Rollett’s. Kelly, Adrian and David moved to Colorado Springs just days before I received my diagnosis. They have been a joy and a help to both David and me.

S is for Southeast Church of Christ. Our Christian family for over 25 years proved that distance doesn’t equal forgetfulness. They covered our family with prayers, cards, and love this year.

T is for time. I am a go-er. I don’t often stop to spend the time to think, relax, and just be. I was forced to slow down this year and although it was hard, it was also good for me.

U is for united. Thank you to our wonderful preacher, Patrick Mead, for teaching us that there is so much more that unites us than divides us. May we be united in our love for God and each other.

V is for vacation. We are ready for a vacation. We’ll keep you posted on where we decide to go.

W is for walking. I learned that a study shows that walking reduces your chances of cancer coming back. I “want” to walk, but am not always good at follow-through. I am asking that some of you who are reading this hold me accountable for being a walker—for my health’s sake.

X is for X-tra. I am extra thankful to be alive!

Y is for YOU! If you are reading this blog, you are most likely a friend or family member. Thank you for your kind comments about my random musings.

Z is for ??????.

I’d like to end this blog post not with the letter Z, but with a hopeful look at 2012. In April my surgeon told me that 2011 would be pretty miserable, but that 2012 would be WONDERFUL! I look forward, with God’s help, to a wonderful 2012. David and I wish you the same!

Book Review--The Buddy Files--The Case of the Lost Boy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a well written book for early readers. It is written from the point of view of a dog and is quite humorous.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Health Update--Ring That Bell

It is the custom at Penrose Hospital
where I had my radiation treatments
to ring the golden bell 3 times
when your treatments are complete.

Today was the GREAT day!
The nurses and radiation techs
who guided me through the past
28 days of radiation were
there cheering me on as
I rang the bell.

I am so thankful to God that both
my chemotherapy and radiation
treatments are completed.

What a wonderful way to celebrate
a very Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I Had to Eat My Words

When you are a parent,
you learn not to say things like
"I'll NEVER do......"
"My child will NEVER ....."
because often you have to eat
your words.

I have recently learned that the same
holds true for grandparents.
No offense to those of you
who love inflatable Christmas decor,
but I had always said, I will NEVER
have an inflatable in my yard.
The main reason is that
I dislike seeing them deflated during
the day. Santa just looks so sad in
a heap in the front yard.

But then along came grandchildren and I
couldn't help but think how much they would
love seeing a Santa waving at them
when they came to Nana and Ducca's front door.
Caleb and David like Santa fine,
but Aaron is his biggest fan.
No, that is really an understatement.
As Mandy says, Aaron is obsessed with
So obsessed, in fact, that when Aaron
is at our house, we have to bring
Santa inside because it is just too
cold to hang out on the front porch with
Santa and his 2 reindeer.
Santa even gets frequent kisses from sweet little Aaron
And Aaron's little "Ho! Ho! Ho!" is enough
to warm anyone's heart.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Book Review--Wonder Struck by Brian Selznick


Book Cover Courtesy of

Like many people, I waited in anticipation

for Brian Selznick's newest "picture book".

His book The Invention of Hugo Cabret

won a prestigious Caldecott medal and was

ground breaking because it was considered

a picture book yet was the size of a novel.

Wonder Struck is just as great

as Hugo in my opinion.

Selznick created a 639 page

picture book that tells two

stories, one with illustrations

and one with words.

At the end, the two stories merge

in a surprising way.

Whether you are 10 or 100, you owe

it to yourself to find a copy of this

book and enjoy a really good read.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


A couple of weeks ago, my mom and sister came to visit.
In a show of solidarity, Kim purchased
a wig just like mine.
Aren't we cute twins?
(No I didn't break my hand--I
was having some swelling
and had to wear a
compression bandage for a

Sweetie, Kim and me
A back view of our look alike hair-do's
Kim and mom conferring
We kept each of the grandsons/great-nephews/great grandsons
by themselves on separate days.
This was Caleb's day and he had tired of playing
with puddy, but not mom and Kim
Caleb got to go on a date and have
Bananas Foster. He really enjoyed it!
David's Day and a picture with Sweetie
David and Aunt Kim

No, you didn't miss a picture.
We didn't get any photos with Aaron.
Poor little guy, on his day, we went
shopping and he went along.
He was a REAL trooper and
we enjoyed him so much but
we were so busy, we didn't get any pictures.

Friday, November 25, 2011

BOO! Happy Halloween (A Little Late)

Halloween was very special this year
because it was the first entertaining
we had done in a while.
We had 4 little goblins and their
parents over to our house.

For those of you who remember Taylor, Mandy's cousin
who lived with them in Houston, this is her
daughter, Caroline (the closest to a granddaughter
that I have right now.)
She's not sure what to think of her first cupcake.
Caroline with her proud daddy Josh
Taylor, Caroline, and Josh (with Aunt Kelly looking on)
All four of the little goblins
At the end of the evening, when the parents
were ready to take the kids out to
Trick-or-Treat, Aaron and David
decided they would instead go
downstairs to play. This
is them heading down
"the safe way."

I hope your Halloween was wonderful!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving and Health Update

David and I have so much to be thankful for this year!
From the beginning of April, when I was
diagnosed with breast cancer, our world was
turned upside down.
Even though, it has been a stressful 8 months, I
can truly say that God has blessed us
amazingly through it all.
The most wonderful blessing of all has been
the friendship and love that you have shown us
in so many special and practical ways.
From food, to cards, to money to help with
insurance deductibles, to faithful prayers,
our extended family and our friends both in Houston
and Colorado have been there for us and
for that, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

I apologize for not updating you on this blog earlier, but
as I told a friend the other day, when I started feeling
stronger, I started "going" again and that
has slowed down blogging a little.

I completed chemotherapy on October 5th,
and after about 5 weeks started feeling stronger
and more like myself. I began daily radiation treatments
on November 7th and am scheduled to
be finished on December 15th, just in
time to attend my nephew, Ryan's wedding
in Searcy, Arkansas.

As always, I continue to appreciate your prayers.
The specific things you can pray for are:
*continued quality radiation treatments
with minimal side effects
*an uncomplicated reconstruction
surgery in early January.

I also ask that you pray for my dear friends
Pervis and Barbara as they are going
through Cancer treatments.

Happy Thanksgiving Dear Friends.
God is so very good!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Book Review--Imogene's Last Stand

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Book cover courtesy of

This is a really good picture book about saving historical buildings. Imogene uses quotes from famous people as she strives to save her town historical museum.

Her first words as a baby were, :"Four Score and Seven Years Ago." (Lincoln)
She quoted John Paul Jones--"I have not yet begun to fight."
She even quoted Eleanor Roosevelt when she said "You must do the thing you think you cannot do."

This was a well thought out and crafted picture book.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

HAIR--Not the Musical but the Reality Show

As those of you know who have been following this blog,
I am the proud owner of two wigs
but not much hair--although
I am proud to announce that it
is beginning to grow back
very slowly but surely.
Two of my grandsons seem to be
especially interested in my "hair".
After getting his own red hair combed
after his bath, David decided it was time
to comb Nana's hair.
Good job, Buddy!
Caleb also has
very definite ideas about Nana's
hairstyles. He prefers the first wig
I bought, probably because it looks
the most like my real hairstyle.
The other night when he was visiting and I had on
my red wig, he came running out of my bedroom
giggling with the above "look".
Although he enjoyed wearing the wig for a few minutes,
what he really wanted to happen was for me to change
from the wig I had on to this wig!

Funny Boys!
So far, Aaron has not displayed a hair preference.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Book Recommendation--Press Here

If you are looking for a great picture book

for the preschooler in your life,

check this book out.

Press Here by Henre' Tullet

is fun, interactive, and imaginative.

PS. If you are related to me, don't

buy this book because it will

probably show up as a Christmas present.


book cover courtesy of

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chicka Chicka ABC

Are you familiar with the book
Chicka, Chicka ABC's?
It is one of my favorite alphabet books.
Aunt Kelly is sharing the book
one day with David and Aaron.
This cute idea came from Pinterest
and the blog Little Page Turners
I usually look at the ideas, but
Kelly actually implemented this one.
The little guys had a blast!