Pathways of Life...

Friday, August 30, 2013

School Starts....Mentoring Begins....Joy fills the Air

Wow, what a wonderful time of year!  School starting, kids all excited.  Some parents weep. 
 Some parents (and Grandparents).... celebrate.  Haha 
(Yes, we have about as many grandparents raising grandkids now as we do parents).  Sad...but sometimes better than the alternate.

    For's extremely exciting as I ''restart' my new school year of ''mentoring'' to poverty stricken little girls & boys.  This is a volunteer effort that is internationally known as Kids Hope USA which set up through our wonderful church...but also world wide, esp. in Africa.  We were recently honored to be named 3rd largest/most successful group of this organization....whee, we do try to love/help hurting kids.

One of my little ones is so precious and beautiful that she could easily be a model already and she is only 12 years old.  The last year we have been up hill .....and down hill...up hill....and back down that hill.  haha....and args... ;-)
She loves me dearly as her I do her.  She has brought me joy and obviously I bring her tons of giggles!!! haha
I have always 'loved' cutting up with kids....esp. those that seem to get into trouble in school and end up in the principals office where I worked for 15 years. 
The Principals was Always naturally, guess WHO got the pleasure of 'helping'....or ''maintaining'' a hotheaded kid that's just....spent the last 15 minutes ,,,,arguing with his or her teacher....and here they Venting me with Every emotions/sweat gland that are in OVER Abundant supply by the time they appear before my office window. haha
  So, yes, I have had many experiences and opportunities in my career.... to 'work with' the troubled kiddoes. 
Amusing, Amazing, & of Astonishing~!~~ 
(plus 10 more years working in Youth Prison Ministries of Texas)  Another another time~
My little angel, KeKe....her one that's so gorgeous...yet culturally bound to 'express herself willingly to her teachers/adults'.....but (thank the Lord) never to me as 'her friend'.  
Thus this year at the 4th grade making VERY Unwise beautiful little friend....ended up TWICE being sent to 'Alternative School' 11 yrs old..arg......where each time she does with me....she ''became'' the 'Sweetest Little Angel" in the alternative school and got early release from the counselors, as.... 'she was doing so well with her choices....and she is recognizing that her wrong choices are only going change ...when she 'chooses' to change her attitude''
----Well, well, do tell? ---
She actually ''ALREADY Knew all Dat before going to that place!!! ''
 (her own hilarious words To me upon return)  LOL....she can break me up in a NY second...with her awesome witty smartness/wisdom....far beyond her age and years!    She is a Born Manipulator.....When She Wants to manipulator for her own happiness. wow!  But, even that in itself shows the functioning of her brain is awesome....whew!   (forget about all the 8 special Ed codes)
 Yet, mentoring is so rewarding...& yes, often very trying!  Sometimes great, great progress is some....they are rock solid, a big fat 'zero'. 
Disappointments, yes.  But when you get to sit back in your own comfortable world and look at the Whole picture----the disappointments really are worth the effort!
Last year when I first met my little one....I was only given a extremely  brief background....'she was very troubled/poor...and had the world longest/most confusing name ever!!!  (why do people put horrific 'handle-bar names' on innocent little babies/children...why? why? why?
Our first day, she met me with a judgmental look, trying to size up the white lady in Baylor clothes. She knew I was there to try to help her....she just didn't know whether I was to be trusted.  Robotically, she bobbed her head occasionally or would sit as if in a daze or stupor...and not answer and doing anything!  Often turning her head opposite directions, with body language of 'leave me alone'....I know you don't really care for black kids''. 
I was just as determined as keep smiling, keep joking, keep offering fun ideas.  She didn't budge at first!!!
   Gradually, the outer shell was cracked during that first visit and then,  almost immediately this butterfly opened her heart, mind---- and smile to me....absolutely,  the widest most beautiful set of teeth that I ha Ever seen! LOL....that smile melted my heart!!! 
 We had a wonderful year, holidays, celebrations, her events of  stubbornness, her rebellion to authority of others....but games were great...(teaching games that she never realized that she was learning while working).
Zig Zags here, there and everywhere, picnics n the park, lunches together and all her classmates 'bugging' be 'their mentor'....this really thrilled her heart and pride beyond everything.  The others would rush to me, with big hugs/begs/compliments/ SHE stood very close by me.... holding my hand (her choice...we're taught to be cautious)....she was so tickled to virtually 'have something'....anything that the other kiddoes didn't have. 
 (and yes, your first thought well, 'what about the Other kids feelings.....and Yes, I felt every emotion that you are thinking....why can't every kid have a Mentor....I want them All to feel feel Special....why, why, why ?
No, she's not my child, she just my little friend, so naturally I don't feel comfortable putting up photos but wow, what a changed little a little lady, matures right before my eyes....and so neat that she now says 'thank you' and has manners----to me. 
 (have I given you a clue here.....that....her problems remain---they ARE improved oodles's only TO me--for which I am So grateful but....not her teachers/elders of school staff as she should be doing.
Again, it's so sad.  Lots of little sisters just as cute & like her as she sets the example as the oldest child,  along with, a wondering mom, gramma, but all are set to a sad culture of being 'defeated' due to rebellion/crime/self pity...... when they are So Able to make a difference for themselves and esp. the innocent kids. 
So, I will remain long as allowed because like the story of the old fisherman on the beach that kept throwing all the little star fish right back in the water'....and when he was asked
 'why do you waste your time doing will never make a difference?"
    His the same as mine about my little star fish, Kiki......''Well, it WILL make a Difference to the One little star fish that I just threw back into the water"
    God just help me make a 'difference' for this one little Star Fish, My precious little Kiki ~ ~ ~  <>< ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~~

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

You never get too old - - - Whee... Thee Gospel Wings

Wow, what fun! Welcome to my blog... ''Thee Gospel Wings" singers.   My friends and I have an awesomely wonderful time singing under God's grace with His gifts of spreading the gospel, sharing life together, mostly in cheering up & blessing Other people.  We are also, all members of the wonderful Baylor University Senior Adult 14th year & it's gets to be greater each and every year!  We are a 'family'...of  about 110 voices, travel anywhere, do concerts everywhere, TV, radio, DVD's ...we are brave & fun loving believers...who 'try' to make the best... even better as we age!

In our group "Thee Gospel Wings"....we have the wonderful talents of Mr. James Beesley, unbelievably talented Writer/singer/musician (and he is brave to perform with an all women  God has truly blest his talents in all areas...because of His heart 'to honor God' in all things.
  In the past, I have always loved working as leader of Senior Adult Ministry for many years with my beloved hubby....the folks all loved us we did them.  Now after many health issues... that indented my life, here I am... for this last year (almost).... being right back in the middle of senior adults ministry...singing in nursing homes, rehab centers, hospitals and retirement centers, etc....singing old, new, popular, secular & gospel music....and what a blast!
 It humbles Anyone who has a see and feel ....the emotions of these precious residence.....who are so very helpless...most often very hopeless.  Then when we start singing.... as Music reaches out....with Smiles....and hugs....all these precious, painfilled, sad little faces.... become Radiant sun rays shining thru the darkness of walls of bricks/stone/brokenness and pain. 
Music is God's healer! 
   Music carried me... as a little girl through many horrible situations.....and yet...equally so, the awesomely wonderful good events and memories through those treasured years as an innocent little girl out on the vast open prairies of Texas....singing my heart out to the winds of each day, as I rode my beautiful horse for my daily rounding up work of the livestock. Life and music held my heart.
Music was the basis of my Teenage Roc n Roll years!!!  Wow, what awesome memories and treasures hubby and I had... and..... still... enjoy to this day of our... now 55 years of marriage!!!!  wow..just to be alive, woohoo!

 Music was the glue to raising our wonderful two kiddoes...from nursery rhyms/songs.... to choirs/solos, church/concert events,  Jr. High band, ballgames, cheerleading, dances.... to beautiful musical weddings of each.

Music via singers, instruments, orchestra/bands... were my heritage and ancestry.....both of my parents family set the example...cut my pathway of love for melodies and dreams built on the musical notes; rainbows of heaven.  My granddaddy a music teacher ~ ~ ~

God's special Music brought me thru two horrific cancers....and unexplainable miraculous 'survival' <>< 

Music soothed my broken heart of saddest days of  death...losses...problems and horrible physical/emotional pain.

Music is today....My Laughter!  ;-)

Music is what I have in my heal me....and.... to lift the spirits of  others....those who are so broken and in much greater needs that I can ever, ever express.
Lord, how can I let you know how very much that Your creation of Music really means to me? sharing it with others.

Thank You, Lord, for our group:  Thee Gospel Wings. our pathways.

Ho Hum...reviewing the facts just for fun - - -


Sometimes, I am amazed at how I can simply 'think' myself into situations & decisions, even tho I know fully well, that God Has Already made a special Plan for my He is our guide/protector.
(I guess in my own way, I try to 'Rush' ...Him up at times when I am eager to try something new...haha, & 'Katy bar the door' on that effort! LOL) Altho 'games' are fun----and we know that God Himself prefers Not to use fortune-tellers, soothsayers, or hocus-pocus humans to foretell His secret plan for us... He LIKES being in charge!
Yet, sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking, ''Hum, guess this thought/decision is ...God... telling me to go ahead...jump 'OVER' that big'll be good exercise/good health/save you time....(when we Know we might Fall on our Face on the other side)
Yet... in reality, all God really wants us to do is ....simply walk 'Around' the rock the road...without stressing/worrying or a word,.... without wasting time 'thinking'. (His special PLAN for each of our lives is always there anyway....just encouraging us to '' walk on, walk Around and Away from the issue of the rocks of life!!! --- I'm there w/you.''
Well, as silly as the above may a way... it's that way for us everyday when we're around other suddenly drop right down in front of us in a split second...blocking our pathway/life. So, we move on,.... or stop/worry/wonder/ponder about our Bigger/smarter Thoughts/answers---when God's special plan is right in front of our face. Duh...
Today is one of those days for me. There's a big rock/temptation that I sort of want to 'jump on' or over ( I detest unfairness/stupidity)....yet I know...God whispers quietly in my ear....''----just walk around the rocks/bolders in the road....don't waste time even thinking about it "I'm Still in Charge...and "I" make the Final judgement!" "I have better plans for you...if YOU follow my way...."

  Wheeee....thanks Lord for walking me thru this little assignment!

  ( But doesn't anyone else sometimes want to 'rush up' our Lord's assignments...or maybe 'help it along' a just little wee bit.    hahaha?
  Humm, ''be still my child....and know that I am God'' .....  smile <><

Friday, December 7, 2012

Oh, My...Where Have I Been? LoL

Well, I been gone for so long....that I don't know 'Where I have Been?"  hahaha

Sorry, dropped off of blogging....because I got all involved w/facebook fun....  so, in case you drop by....Please have a Wonderful Christmas....celebrate to the 'max' and remember to say ''Merry Christ-mas'' (as worship to Christ's birth date honors) along with your Happy Holidays greetings.  Jesus really is the Reason for the fact....all the season. <><  Blessings and hugs....from our house to yours!  Wheee!

Happy Anniversary # wonderful !!!

Wow, cannot believe that we have had such a wonderful, awesome lifetime of 54 years of God's richest of blessings!  Where, oh where, did the time go?  It seems such a short time ago that we were High School sweethearts, giggling, running to and fro, racing virtually from one point to another for ....actually.... 56 years of this 'Merry-go-Around' or Life!!!  I was 16 when we met/started dating, married 2 years later - - -
   I have been so busy this past year.... that I didn't even realize that I had forgotten about 'blogging'.....when I used to 'blog' everyday it's Facebook funnies and such fun there. 
   So, when my favorite niece shared that she'd visited my first thought was...'' Omgosh...I totally forgot about that....I need to least 'something' and thus the brightest thought was about our most treasured anniversary celebration.
     Each year just gets better than the we finally learn to 'accept what we cannot change' and have tried changing things that couldn't be change. here we are, once again....still laughing just as we did as teenagers...giddy and happy to be alive and well. 
    Our wonderful friends......along with over 100 facebook chosen friends/family....have sent us the greatest and most rewarding/encouraging 'Best Wishes'....ever!  We are both sort of 'floating' on air in our little cloud of life...just to know the richness of friends/ our health is also best it can for this age.hahaha  (better to laugh about it than cry....)  ;-)  
    So, it IS.... with greatest Joy that I look forward....antiscipating this next year...will we live to share.... number 55 years of wedded bliss?  
     However, if God chooses to take either of us to our forever home in His heaven this year....we each KNOW.... AND HAVE KNOWN all these years that   the greatest of  God's words is....'L O V E'......for....''it is He, that lives in me....''  for He is love itself.
    Thank You, Dear God....for blessings us with the awesome years of blessings of.... being loved....and loving each other and so many, many others!
      Dedicated to my Gem of a Jim   -  -  -  Happy 54th Wedding Anniversary !  ;-)


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hi Lord, its me. We are getting older and things are getting bad here. Gas prices are too high, no jobs, food and heating costs too high. I know some have taken you out of our schools, government and even Christmas, but Lord I'm asking you to come back and re-bless America . We really need you! There are more of us who want you than those who don't! Thank You Lord, I Love you.  Only you and the Lord will know.

"Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point."
 God Bless America....and may American's Bless God ~ ~ ~ ~

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Aunt Scalped by Indians and lived; genealogy records...

Hi there, as many already know, I am totally fascinated by genealogy (my heritage'....some good...some hilarious....some very, very horrible).... And just like everybody else on earth, I have four grandparent's linages to trace down and with the help of two awesome experts (my nieces) in this field of genealogy being Mormon---(the top of world genealogical research) it is even more rewarding to have this hobby in my retirement years.

I am so blest to enjoy awesome true stories that are printed in archives of American and Texas History and I hope this will inspire YOU to try to research your own family well as Record your present day family events and stories. Your future grandchildren and relatives will LOVE reading YOUR personal writings/stories....just as I am humbled, honored and mystified by the bravery, wisdom, strength, courage and love by each and every relative that I come across through the awesome 'pages of time'.

I was recently asked to 'blog' the following true story about one of my Aunt's,
BARBARA CULP-McKinney, Scalped by Cherokees as a young Mother and lived.
Women of the United States Revolutionary War -- Records/book
To : "Gloria Helleson" From Neva’s research….
Subject : Your long ago Aunt with a legend

Barbara Culp/Kulp - McKinney, daughter of my Great Grandfather Casper Culp born Germany in 1716 immigrated to the USA Carolina’s. Barbara had 7 siblings, John b 1750 NC(our GF), Benjamin, Henry, Agustine, Mary, Margaret, Catherine, (Barbara was youngest in family)
Attachment : BarbaraCulpMcKinneyWEB.jpg (0.08 MB)

Life On The Frontier
The Story Of Barbara Culp McKinney
Indian Territory
Chester District, South Carolina-----1761
Barbara Culp McKinney's grave at Burnt Meeting House Church Cemetery, Chester Co., SC.

I became obsessed in learning more about our descendants before James Patrick, the private tutor of Mrs. Anna Morrison (Stonewall) Jackson. What I found was absolutely fascinating.
They came across the “big water” from Ireland, England, Scotland, and Germany. Their names were Kolb (Kolb’s Farm on the Kennesaw Mtn. Battlefield), Culp (Culp’s Hill at Gettysburg), Abendschon, Adams, Banks, Bell, Benton, Chileab, Hamilton, Ferguson, Ferris, Abendschon, Bailey, Hyatt, Ivey, Jordan, Lawrence, Leighton, Lewis, Mayer, Morton, McFadden, Mumforde, Nunnery, Patton, Partridge, Pollock, Price, Ringgold, Schumacker, Simpson, Smith, Stubbleson, Tribble, Vaughan, Waite, Waters, White, Williams, Winston, and Woodson. They also came from America. Yes, I said America, Cherokee Indian to be exact, from our McDaniel line.

In our family tree have three veterans of the French-Indian Wars, eleven in the Revolutionary War (one was a Tory), two in the War of 1812, two in the Mexican War, and one hundred seventy-four in the Civil War. They range from privates to Generals. Most survived their respective wars, but many did not. Life on the frontier was hard in those days.

But the one person, out of all those frontier men, that I found the most intriguing was not a man…but a woman named Barbara Culp McKinney, my 5th Great Aunt. This is her true story as written in the book “Women of the American Revolution.”

The little settlement of white settlers had spread over the rich lands on Fishing and Rocky Creeks, the dwellings being gathered into clusters, of which there were some three or four within a short distance of each other. Not a great way from Steel’s and Taylor’s Forts was another settlement consisting of a few families, among which were those of William McKenny and his brother James. These lived near Fishing Creek.

In the summer of 1761, sixteen Indians, with some squaws of the Cherokee tribe, took up their abode for several weeks near what is called Simpson’s Shoals, for the purpose of hunting and fishing during the hot months. In August, the two McKennys being absent on a journey to Camden, William’s wife, Barbara, was left alone with several young children.

One day she saw the Indian women running towards her house in great haste, followed by the men. She had no time to offer resistance; the squaws seized her and the children, pulled them into the house, and shoved them behind the door, where they immediately placed themselves on guard, pushing back the Indians as fast as they tried to force their way in, and uttering the most fearful outcries.

Mrs. McKenny concluded it was their intention to kill her, and expected her fate every moment. The assistance rendered by the squaws, whether given out of compassion for a lonely mother, or in return for kindness shown them, --proved effectual for her protection till the arrival of one of the chiefs, who drew his long knife and drove off the savages.

The mother, apprehending another attack, went to some of her neighbors and entreated them to come and stay with her. Robert Brown and Joanna his wife, Sarah Ferguson, her daughter Sarah and two sons, and a young man named Michael Melbury, came in compliance with her request, and took up their quarters in the house.

The next morning Mrs. McKenny ventured out alone to milk her cows. It had been her practice heretofore to take some of the children with her, and she could not explain why she went alone this time, though she was not free from apprehension, it seemed to be so by a special ordering of Providence.

While she was milking, the Indians crept towards her on their hands and knees; she heard not their approach, nor knew anything till they seized her. Sensible at once of all the horror of her situation, she made no effort to escape, but promised to go quietly with them. They then set off towards the house, holding her fast by the arm. She had the presence of mind to walk as far off as possible from the Indian who held her, expecting Melbury to fire as they approached her dwelling.

As they came up, he fired, wounding the one who held Mrs. McKenny; she broke from his hold and ran, and another Indian pursued and seized her. At this moment she was just at her own door, which John Ferguson imprudently opening that she might enter, the Indians shot him dead as he presented himself.

His mother ran to him and received another shot in her thigh, of which she died in a few days. Melbury, who saw that all their lives depended on prompt action, dragged them from the door, fastened it, and repairing to the loft, prepared for a vigorous defense.

There were in all, five guns. Sarah Ferguson loaded for him while he kept up a continual fire, aiming at the Indians wherever one could be seen.
Determined to effect their object of forcing an entance, some of the savages came very near the house, keeping under cover of an outhouse in which Brown and his wife had taken refuge, not being able on the alarm, to get into the house.

They had crept into a corner and were crouched there close to the boarding. One of the Indians, coming up, leaned against the outside, separated from them only by a few boards, the crevices between which probably enabled them to see him. Mrs. Brown proposed to take a sword that lie by them and run the savage through the body, but her husband refused; he expected death, he said, every moment, and did not wish to go out of the world having his hands crimsoned with the blood of any fellow creature. “Let me die in peace”, were his words, “with all the world”. Joanna, though in the same peril, could not respond to the charitable feeling. “If I am to die”, she said, “I should like first to send some of the redskins on their journey. But we are not so sure we have to die don’t you hear the crack of Melbury’s rifle? He holds the house. I warrant you, that redskin looked awfully scared as he leaned against the corner here. We could have done it in a moment.”
Mrs. McKenny, meanwhile, having failed to get into her house, had been again seized by the Indians, and desperately regardless of here own safety, was doing all in her power to help her besieged friends.

She would knock the priming out of the guns carried by the savages, and when they presented them to fire would throw them up, so that the discharge might prove harmless. She was often heard to say, afterwards, that all fear had left her, and she thought only of those within the building, for she expected for herself neither deliverance nor mercy. Melbury continued to fire whenever one of the enemy appeared; they kept themselves, however, concealed, for the most part, behind trees or the outhouse.

Several were wounded by his cool and well-directed shots, and at length, tired of the contest, the Indians retreated, carrying Mrs. McKenny with them. She now resisted with all her strength, preferring instant death to the more terrible fate of a captive in the hands of the fierce Cherokees.

Her refusal to go forward irritated her captors, and when they had dragged her about half a mile, near a rock upon the plantation now occupied by John Culp, she received a second blow with the tomahawk which stretched her insensible upon the ground. When after some time consciousness returned, she found herself lying upon the rock, to which she had been dragged from the spot where she fell. She was stripped naked, and her scalp had been taken off. By degrees the knowledge of her condition, and the desire of obtaining help came upon her. She lifted up her head, and looking around, saw the wretches who had so cruelly mangled her, pulling ears of corn from a field near, to roast for their meal.

She laid her head quickly down again, well knowing that if they saw her alive, they would not be slack in coming for finish the work of death. Thus she lay motionless till all was silent, and she found they were gone; then with great pain and difficulty she dragged herself back to the house.

It may be imagined with what feelings the unfortunate woman was received by her friends and children, and how she met the bereaved mother wounded unto death, who had suffered for her attempt to save others.

One of the blows received by Mrs. McKenny had made a deep wound in her back; the others were upon her head.

When her wounds had been dressed as well as was practicable, Melbury and the others assisted her to a bed. Brown and his brave wife having then joined the little garrison, preparations were made for defense in case of another attack’ the guns were all loaded and placed ready for use, and committing the house to the care of the Browns, Melbury sallied forth, rifle in hand, and took to the woods.

He made his way directly, and as quickly as possible, to Taylor’s Fort at Landsford. The men there, informed of what had happened, immediately set about preparations for pursuing the treacherous Indians who had thus violated the implied good faith of neighbors by assailing an unprotected woman.

The next morning a number of the, well armed, started for the Indian encampment at the shoals. The Cherokees were gone; but the indignant pursuers took up the trail, which they followed as far as Broad River. Here they saw the Indians on the other side, but did not judge it expedient to pursue them further, or provoke an encounter.
 In the meantime William McKenny had reason for uneasiness in his absence from home; for he knew that the Indians had been at the shoals some time, nor was the deceitful and cruel character of the tribe unknown to him. He was accustomed long afterwards to tell of the warning conveyed to him while on his road to Camden; two nights in succession he dreamed of losing his hat, and looking upon this as an omen of evil, became so uncomfortable that he could proceed no further. Taking one of the horses out of the wagon, he mounted and rode homeward at his utmost speed.

Reaching his own house a little after dark, he was admitted by the women as soon as he made himself known. The scene that greeted his eyes was one truly heart-rending; the slain man, John Ferguson, still lay there, and in the same apartment the dying mother and Mrs. McKenny, more like one dead than living, mangled almost past recognition- the blood still gushing from her wounds, and drenching the pillows on which she lay. No fictitious tragedy could surpass the horrors of this in real life.

Days later a group of men from the area trailed the Indians within miles of the Cherokee Nation. One of the men, Thomas Garett, killed the Indian that scalped Mrs. McKinney and actually found her scalp in the Indian’s shot bag hanging on his horse.
The wounds in Mrs. McKenny’s head never healed entirely; but continued to break out occasionally, so that the blood flowing from them stained the bed at night, and sometimes fragments of bone came off; nevertheless, she lived many years afterwards, to age 56, and bore several children. She was at the time with child, and in about three months gave birth to a daughter-Hannah, afterwards married to John Stedman, then living in Tenneesee in 1827. (after husband, Wm. McKenny killed as a Frontier leaders and soldier).

This child was plainly 'birth' marked with a tomahawk and drops of blood, as if running down the side of her face.

The families of McKenny and McFadden residing on Fishing Creek, are descended from this Barbara McKenny; but most of her descendants have emigrated to the West, many in Texas. The above-mentioned occurrence is narrated in a manuscript in the hand-writing of her grandson, Robert McFadden.

Several years later, Barbara would be faced with an equal threat in her life that would test her strength and devotion for her family. For in the near future, the clouds of war would open and pour out eight years of hell.

Once she committed to that war of independence, to retreat was unacceptable, no matter how imposing the task ahead. The mounting investment in her blood, sweat, and tears influenced a final, decisive resolution of the great question of the American independence. Thanks to Barbara Culp McKenny, and others like her, an independent nation was born…
The End
Edward Jordan Lanham
Credits: Ellet, Elizabeth F.; The Women of the American Revolution