A place to keep up with the Consford family of San Augustine, Texas.

Our Lord has been so good to us.

Proverbs 16:3 "Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established."

Dec 18, 2010

Lori & Eli

The wedding was wonderful.  I wanted to make Lori's dress.  I started with the dress form.  We padded and pushed until we got the form to be just like Lori.  Lori wanted her grandmother to crochet the trim for the dress.  I didn't have time to do anything else except this dress for weeks.  The dress has 200 covered buttons and 12 yards of crocheted trim.

My mother accepted the challenge to make the trim.  The next week she found out that she had breast cancer.  She wanted to continue the project and make this trim for the dress. 

We knew what we wanted the dress to look like.  So, I started designing the pattern and making the muslin mock-up.

Around the edge of everything is the trim my mom crocheted.  We also had a ladies' party at church to sew three pearl beads on each little part. 
You can just barely see the two rows of covered buttons coming down the dress from the waist to the hem of the train. 

Jul 26, 2010

A Wonderful Love Story

My youngest child, Lori, invited her new friend home to meet the family this week.  His name is Eli.  On Saturday the two of them went paddle boating in the lake by our house.  He asked her to marry him. The two have had an exciting time talking of their plans for the future.  They have so much in common:  both have been born again, both are 29, both want to serve the Lord with their lives. . .  As they dream, plan, talk, and pray we will all enjoy this week for years to come. 

"Commit thy way unto the LORD;
trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass."  Ps 37:5

May 27, 2010

You're wrong

Laura took the kids to Hot Springs to visit with her family.  Joe had to stay home and work.  It was a rare occasion that Buster was sick in bed.  Joe needed to cover the inspections for both of them. 

Danny and Laura were arguing the other day and Grandpa Van Mannen stopped them.  He said, "Danny, you need to tell your mom something. Tell her, 'I'm wrong and you're right!'" Danny looked at Laura and then pointed at her and said, "Mom, you're right..." Then he pointed at Grandpa and said, "... and he's wrong!" :-)

May 11, 2010

Decisions that make all the difference

Graduation from High School is a step into the world.  A major step in each of our lives.  I can remember that I did not know which way to go.  I didn't want to go to a state college, or go to work, or stay home.  What wonderful parents I have. 

They knew that I would need a little encouragement to make a step. They sent me to visit with my Grandmother in California.  It was truly a road less traveled and made all the difference. 

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

...Robert Frost

It is time to sigh -
It is ages and ages since I took the road less traveled.
It is time to put the story down for my children to remember for ages hence.

After graduating from Gen. William Mitchell High School, Colorado Springs, Colorado in May of 1969, I had no real plans for the future.  I had no idea what I would like to do.  College didn't seem the right option for me because I didn't know what I would like to do for a career.  I really didn't want to go find a job because I was such a scaredy-cat about meeting new people.  I did want to go to the big Southern Baptist Girl's camp for two weeks in Glorieta, New Mexico.  I used my graduation money for that trip.  After camp, I still didn't know what to do.  My parents thought that going to see my Grandmother, Orine Endean, in California would be a good place to start.  My Grandfather had died a few months before and she didn't know what she wanted to do either.  Gram cared for her daughter, Jeanette, that was mongoloid.  Jeanette was in her thirties, but Gram had always included her in all the family plans.  What should they be doing now?  It seemed we were two lost souls at a cross-road in our lives.

Mom and Dad purchased an airplane ticket to Los Angeles and gave me $10.00 for the trip.  It was so exciting to be off by myself.  The flight was very turbulent.  In fact, it was the roughest trip of all my flights since.  My Gram and her sister, Aunt Ruby, met me at the airport.  We went to San Diego, Los Angeles, on to Sacramento, and back to her house in San Simeon.  It was a beautiful trip.  I hadn't met this part of my family before. 

After a little while at Gram's house, she decided to plan a trip to drive across America.  She had a camp trailer and an International Harvester Suburban.  She knew how to hook up the trailer and all of that, but she didn't know how to back the thing up.  Her philosophy in life was, "Don't look back, go on."  Her philosophy seemed to fit the trip she planned.  Her friend, Fern, wanted to go with her. 

The rough plan was to leave San Simeon, go to Sacramento, then to Michigan, Niagara Falls, New York City, Washington D.C., Savannah, Florida Keys, on to Carlsbad Caverns, and back to Los Angeles.  What an ambitious trip.  Gram thought it would take us at least six weeks to do all of the plan.  Fern would help with the gas and we would eat in the camper most of the time.  As long as we would always go forward we would be fine!

The first part of the trip would be to go to Sacramento to leave Aunt Jeanette with Aunt JoAn.  Jeanette liked staying with her.  After getting Jeanette all settled we went on to Colorado Springs.  We stopped in Reno to see the sites.  Gram wanted to show me the slot machines and what all Reno looked like.  Fern and Gram played the slot machines, we ate in the casino, and drove down the strip.  It was an experience and a rest from the riding.  The bright lights and fancy city didn't impress me very much.  We all had a good laugh and went on our way. 

Utah was amazing to me.  The salt flats were unbelievable.  We drove through Salt Lake City, saw the Mormon Tabernacle, and enjoyed looking at the city.  What a wonderful and diverse country we live in!

The Rockies are my favorite part of the country.  We lived in Colorado Springs for the last two years.  Mom and Dad loved fishing, camping, and enjoying the scenery there.  When we arrived home I was shocked to learn that Mom had boxed up my room already and moved one of my brothers into my room.  Goodness, I had only been gone for a couple of weeks so far.  Mom got a good chuckle about it, but I still didn't have a room.  Fern thought that I would stay home and not go on to the rest of the trip from there.  Gram wasn't sure if I should go with them.  Mom and Gram talked about it and decided that I should go with them.  Hurrah!  I could go.

We headed toward Michigan.  Fern had family there and had not seen them in years.  It was beautiful.  We stayed all night at gas stations along the way.  Once in awhile we would park at road side rests, but usually we watched for all night gas stations. Gram figured that we would have guards if we needed them.  She would take to the people at the gas stations and ask if it would be fine with them.  No one ever told her NO!

When we were getting close to where Fern's family lived Fern took over giving directions.  She said she knew exactly where she was going.  She could picture it in her mind. We found the road she wanted to go down.  People were outside in the yard and watched us go by.  They did have funny looks on their faces, but we couldn't figure it out until the road was a dead end.  A freeway had been built across the road.  We needed to be on the other side.  What a dilemma! It was a very narrow road with no shoulders.  How to get out??  We couldn't back up.  I got so tickled that I couldn't quit laughing.  Gram finally jack-knifed the trailer.  We got out and unhooked the trailer.  Gram moved the car so that it would be headed in the right direction.  Then we turned the trailer around by hand and hooked up again.  I was still laughing uncontrollably when we all piled back into the vehicle.   Two old ladies, a kid, and a poodle.  I am sure we made quite the site.

Fern's family had a cabin in the upper peninsula of Michigan.  We went there for a day or two.  We loved the family and visit.  Our next stop to visit would be Niagara Falls.  We drove through Ontario to Niagara Falls. 

While we were traveling we stopped at a National Forest Camp ground in Michigan.  The park Rangers were so nice.  They helped us park in the spot that they had chosen for us.  They also took time to help Gram learn to back up the trailer.  Not many people were at the park at that time.  Gram practiced and practiced pulling forward and backing up until she was quite good at it.  The Rangers thought that Gram's philosophy about going forward was nice, but not very practical.

I'll continue adding more to this as I have time.

May 5, 2010

Snakes alive!

Last week my husband, Buster, moved the trash can to open the shed door.  (See the picture behind my right shoulder.)  He did not look down, but stepped into the shed to get the chicken feed for feeding time.  He went in and out the door two times before he noticed a coiled snake at the threshold just outside the shed.  He jumped, ran to get the shovel, and killed the snake before he had time to breath.  The snake was a Cotton-mouthed water moccasin.  We made sure the grandkids would be watching for snakes. 

Apr 29, 2010

Bonnie is not hyper

The principal at our school, Sandy Little, spoke to Bonnie in the hallway.  He said, "Bonnie, you are hyper!"  She said, "I am not hyper!"  Later we were teasing her about being hyper.  She said, "I'm not hyper, I'm busy!"

Apr 26, 2010

Honeysuckle in the Spring time

Gilbert is in 4-year-old Kindergarten this year.  His teacher brought in a piece of blooming honeysuckle vine for the children in her class to smell.  Gilbert said it smelled like ALLERGIES to him. 

He loves to run, fish, jump, run, swing, slide, hit the baseball, vacuum, run, talk, and be outdoors.  Did I mention that he loves to run?  He is very good at driving our "Mule" around the farm too.  (We don't let him go without an adult yet.)  He looks so much like his dad did at that age!

Are you going to please God?

Margaret, Mandy's youngest, is two.  Her dad says she is 10 years old caught in a two-year-old body.  She says the cutest things.

Last night, Mandy was moving all their sleeping supplies into the camp trailer that they will be staying in for the next two weeks.  Margaret wanted yogurt for bedtime snack.  She asked her mom not to forget.  Mandy got the girls bathed, dressed in night clothes, teeth brushed, blankies gathered, and ready to go to the trailer. Margaret stopped the progress by saying, "Mom, are you going to please God?" 

Mandy then remembered she had promised Margaret the yogurt for bed time snack.  Promises to children fall under the definition of pleasing God in a two year old's mind.  I am so glad that Mandy knows her children well.

Apr 21, 2010

Mandy and her family are moving

A few years ago, everyone was studying the "Prayer of Jabez."  The prayer is in I Chronicles 4:10.  I prayed about enlarging my coast too.  My coast is being enlarged again.  Mandy is moving farther away.  She is moving to Ft. McMurray in Northern Alberta.  Believe me, it is way up there.  As far as I can see on the map, it is the end of the road.

Mandy gave me a little word of cheer.  She said there is a nonstop to Ft. Mac from Las Vegas.  It might be easier to get there than to Kelowna.

They sold their house and will sign the contract for a house in Ft. Mac.  It hasn't been easy.  The inspection of the house before it could be sold showed that the attic was full of mold.  The builders only put in one vent in the eves.  There should have been at least six.  Mandy is fighting city hall about that.  It cost over $6,000 to have the mold cleaned up and to replace the insulation in the attic.  The mold wasn't the dangerous type (one good thing).  All of that is behind them now except trying to get the builder to put in more vents and pay for the clean up. 

Mandy and Dave just love the church in Ft. Mac.  They have visited with the pastor and his family several times now.  They said that the pastor reminds them of Uncle Larry.  

It is hard for us to conceive buying a house for 1/2 million dollars that is nearly 30 years old.  The house is a regular 3 bedroom 1 1/2 bath house with a full basement.  The cost of living is just that high there. 

Dave loves his job.  The girls are eager to move.  Mandy likes the adventure.  It was Dave's plan when he graduated from Oklahoma Baptist College to be able to move to different places in Canada to help small churches.  It will be interesting to see how our Lord uses this family in Ft. Mac.

Mandy will be without a house for two weeks.  She will stay with the girls in a camp trailer that belongs to their neighbor and friend in Kelowna.  Mandy will be able to continue homeschooling in the camper.  The girls are so excited!  Next Monday, April 26, 2010, is the official moving day, Tuesday is cleaning day, and on Wednesday they turn the house over to the new owners. 

Lori went up from Spokane to help Mandy during spring break.  They rode the train to Edmonton, and then took a bus to Ft. Mac.  It was an experience and very scenic. They did that so Mandy could drive their truck back home. Dave was using the truck in Ft. Mac. When they left Ft. Mac, it was snowing.  The pastor recommended that they not leave.  Dave told the pastor that Mandy and Lori would be just fine.  He told the pastor that Mandy and Lori were different than most girls. When Mandy called back, the pastor said there was four feet of snow drifts there.  The girls sure were glad they left when they did.

I am sure the trip was too long for little girls.  It took them two days riding the train and the bus.  They looked at houses for two days in Ft. Mac.  Now two more days to go back home.  It was an action-packed week.
Sammy Jo and Margaret were tracking their travel on the map.  Margaret was acting like she could read.  The funny thing was that she was on the right spot on the map. Those girls are so much fun.

On the trip home, they saw many animals.  The mountain sheep wouldn't move off the road.  They had to wait until the animals moved.  The Elk were grazing next to the road.

While they were in Ft. Mac, Mandy found a house.  It meets their needs, and they like it.  It even has a big yard so the girls can have a dog!

Last week, Dave flew back home, signed the contract papers, ordered a moving truck, cleaned out the garage, took the bunk beds apart, and loaded up their Mustang and 4 wheeler on a rented trailer to go back to Ft. Mac.  He had a busy week too.

When you pray Jabez's prayer next time, remember your children might be involved.  I am glad the Lord can use our children.  All of them are ready to go anytime He says, "Move."  Our son and family are missionaries to West Africa, our daughter and family are going to Northern Alberta, Canada, and our youngest daughter is teaching in a Christian school in Spokane, Washington.  I wonder what the future holds for these young people.

Apr 14, 2010

Joe and his family on deputation

Yesterday, Joe and his family were leaving to go to a missions conference in Aransas Pass (close to Corpus Christi).  I opened the van door to tell the kids that I would miss them.  The van was loaded down with "World's Finest Chocolate."  Our church school had a candy sell several weeks ago.  Because of Laura's radiation treatments, etc. they never had time to get it sold.  I asked Joe what he was going to do.  He said he was going to get that candy sold on the way so they would have gas money for the trip.  I asked him if he needed any money.  He told me he didn't need money when he had all that candy.  Off they went.  He sold $150 worth before he left San Augustine.  (They really did have money for the trip, but they needed to get the candy out of their house.)

Last night, he called to say they had stopped in Houston at an office building.  It was a very nice office.  Everyone was nicely dressed and was so pleasant.  It was Danny's turn to sell this time.  The people were buying candy just right and left when the big boss came in.  Joe said the man looked like he was wearing a $5,000 suit.  Danny asked him if he wanted to buy some candy.  The boss said he just came back from lunch and didn't have any cash left or he would buy some.  He didn't have a dime in his pocket.  Without hesitation, Danny reached into his pocket and pulled out a quarter.  He handed it to the boss saying with his Elmer Fudd lisp, "I am sorry, Sir, you don't have any money.  You can have my quarter." 

The boss looked up at Joe and said, "You bring him back in 15 years; he has a job."

Apr 2, 2010

Spring in Deep East Texas

I just love what it looks like here in the spring time.  The Dogwoods, Red buds, Azalias, Janquils, and the fruit trees all blooming.  I know it is a big allergy time, but it is oh so pretty.  The Blue Bonnets are special too. 

"Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD."  Ps. 105:3

Apr 1, 2010

Texas Bluebonnets

Danny (3) came by the other day to tell us that he learned at school that he shouldn't ever step on the American Flag.  He said he shouldn't step on Texas Bluebonnets either. 

Danny has a lisp.  It is like Elmer Fudd's. The other morning Joe, his dad, came into the kitchen while the kids were eating breakfast.  Joe was in a teasing mood.  He said, "One of these days, boys, POW! right in the kisser."  Danny said, "Ya, Dad, One of these days, boys, POW! right in the 'pisser.'"  Joe started waving his hands, "NO, NO, NO! Let's not say that again."  (he he he)  Isn't it grand to be the grandma?

Mar 23, 2010

One beautiful Culotte wearing Granddaughter

Meet Sammy Jo!  She is precious.  Let me tell you about her.  You will understand just how precious she is to our family.  Sammy Jo was born in Kelowna, British Columbia.  I was on my way, but Sammy Jo came a little early.  The ladies in the church took my place in being with Mandy, our daughter, during labor and delivery. Dave, our son-in-law, was out of town in school when this all happened.  I was on the airplane coming from Texas.  We both arrived at the hospital after all the action.  The pastor's wife and ladies from the church had been with Mandy for 24 hours.  Sammy Jo was a precious little dark haired baby with lots of hair.  I couldn't believe it - my first grandbaby!

Mandy nursed Sammy Jo, which is the reason she is alive today.  Sammy Jo had her first episode after getting a vitamin D shot.  The home nurses come to give each new born a shot a few days after going home.  Sammy Jo quit breathing.  We didn't have a car that day.  Mandy got a neighbor to take us to the clinic and then on to the ER.  After another shot, she was fine.  After a few months Mandy found out that Sammy Jo was allergic to the following: eggs, milk, soy, wheat, coconut, chocolate, goat's milk, nuts, animals, dust, mold, apples, cheese, and the list went on and on.  Sammy Jo grew up with a beautiful spirit.  She never one time fussed about foods she couldn't have.  She just said it would make her sick so she didn't want it.  She would just keep eating brocolli.

Every church activity that they attended, Sammy Jo had to leave in an ambulance.  She got around some one that had eaten things she was allergic to.   Kids would pick her up because she was so little.  Adults would kiss her on the face. . .

Sammy Jo's little sister Rachel took over with knowing just what the allergies were.  Before anyone had a chance to give Sammy Jo a cookie, a piece of candy, gum etc., Rachel would give the person the third degree.  Does this have eggs?  Does it have aspertame? Does it have nuts? . . .  Sammy Jo never was offended by any of this process.  She just didn't want to be sick.  All this was going on when Sammy Jo was 3 and Rachel 2.

At seven years of age, Sammy Jo is under the care of a Naturalpath.  They work diligently to  keep her allergies under  control.  Mandy is a special mom.  She does research, reads every label, keeps a very clean house, and whatever else it takes to help Sammy Jo live a rather normal life.  When they fly home to Texas, Mandy makes sure peanuts are not served on board their flight.  She carries an epi-pen at all times.  She takes their own snacks and drinks. It is their lifestyle.

"Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God."  Ps 92:13

Mar 11, 2010

Buster's Toy

Buster bought this truck a few years ago in Oklahoma City, OK, while the kids were going to Oklahoma Baptist College.  He drove it several times.  Then we got busy and didn't have time to fix it up.  When Joe and his family came home from Africa for furlough, Buster and Joe had it painted and they reworked the wood in the back.  It is beautiful!  They love to drive it to town.  A few times they have been in our little town's parade. 

Feb 23, 2010

Lori - our youngest child

    Lori is a precious kid.  She works hard, gives 100% in all she does, helps as much as possible, and is very sensitive to others' needs.  In other words, we are very proud of her. 
    Two years ago, Lori moved to Spokane, Washington, to teach 7th grade at Faith Baptist Church.  Spokane is only about five hours south of Kelowna, B.C.  She is close enough to visit often with Mandy and her family.  Lori felt she needed to try living on her own.  At 27 years old, we felt she needed her chance to shine. 
    The Christian school and church have taken her in and loved her like her own home church. Lori loves it there.  She loves teaching Jr. High; she loves the church, the people, and the opportunity to be on her own.  I did not get married until after I graduated from college and taught one year in our Christian School; so I could understand her feelings in the matter.
    Last year, Lori was an assistant coach for the J.V. volleyball team.  This year, she was the coach.  What fun she has had in training the girls in a sport she loves.  She had a great time in traveling around playing other teams.  The J.V. team had a wonderful season. 
    Last summer, she did not come home.  She volunteered to help a church about twenty hours north in British Columbia with their Vacation Bible.  Mandy and her girls wanted to help too.  So all five girls went to help with the VBS.  They did the decorations, the lessons, the games, and guided the church workers in the VBS.  They had a wonderful time. Faith Baptist kept her busy the rest of the summer.
    We are looking forward to spring break.  We don't know if she is planning to come home or help Mandy move.  Either way she goes, she will be a blessing.

Feb 22, 2010

Last Monday of February

I can't believe how fast February went.  We are starting the end of the month activities for the water systems.  We have to read meters, do the water samples, print the bills, and do the reports.  Buster is the on-site inspector for a new rural water system that is being put in all around the three water systems that he operates already.  He's not plumbing for another few months.  That is great because he doesn't have to lift and crawl under houses etc. while his back is getting a little much needed rest.

Mandy thinks she has sold her house in Kelowna.  Now, she needs to find another one in Ft McMurry.  Have you looked on a map to see how far north she is going?  It is way up there!!!

Laura is supposed to start her radiation treatments on her head some time this week.  The insurance is going to pay the 80%, but they haven't let the hospital know that yet.  Please pray that the radiation will take care of the cancer completely. 

Little Danny fell in Jr. Church yesterday while singing "Father Abraham."  He split his head open between the eyes.  At the Emergency Room, a doctor glued it back together.  Joe, Laura, and boys were at a Missions Conference in Arlington, TX all last week.  That boy!!  He fell in our church two weeks before and split his head open on one of the desks.  He had stitches that time.  Now, he has two places healing on his forehead.

"O give thanks unto the LORD; for He is good: for His mercy endureth for ever."  Ps 136:1

Feb 19, 2010

Our Big Snow was beautiful!

We had a beautiful snow this month. The last time I can remember a snow that was almost as big was in 1982. Since '82, we have only had a few flakes at a time. Not only was everything closed, but in some places the electricity was out. What fun we had with the three grandchildren that live next door. Our son and his family are here only for a few more months. Our son, Joe, is a missionary to Ivory Coast, West Africa.

Jan 29, 2010

Just getting started

Today is raining and cold. Around here, rain means possible leaks, water outages, and electrical problems. We operate rural water systems. Cold, rainy weather can be rough times around this house.

We have three beautiful granddaughters in BC, Canada. that are trying to sell their home and move to Ft. McMurry in Northern Alberta.

We have three beautiful grandchildren here in TX while they are on furlough from Ivory Coast, Africa.