Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Photos of Kendyl Grace

In the column to the right you will see a new photo of Kendyl and her mother Amber and also one of Kendyl alone. She is such a miracle!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Kendyl (Today)

Hi Everyone!

Today is a big day, Kendyl was taken off the vent and catheter today and she is looking good! Joey and Amber were able to hold her for the first time. I didn't have my camera with me when I went by the hospital so I will take some new photos tonight and send but she was swaddled up like a little baby!

Thank you for your prayers and support!


Joe and Lori

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Kendyl Grace

Husband Jim and I drove to Spokane on Saturday for a visit with baby Kendyl Grace and her family.

The waiting room outside the neonatal intensive care ward was crowded, with only two or three empty chairs in sight. We made our way through the somber faces to the chairs and waited until we saw Grandma Lori come to the swinging door and motioned for one of us, Jim or me, to come with her. Since Jim had never seen Kendyl, we felt he should go first. I waited.

Within ten minutes, Jim came back to the waiting room. Lori motioned for me. I washed my hands as I had been ask to do last week and proceeded down the seriously quiet hallway to Kendyl's darkened room. Amber sat beside her baby's bassinet while a kind-looking nurse attended a chart. I could tell by the nurse's smile that all was well.

Kendyl looks much better. The tube is gone from her tummy and only a small sterile gauze patch remains. Her color is good, and although she is still on a ventilator, she is for the most part, breathing on her own. The ventilator will come out on Wednesday. She didn't open her eyes while we were there, but I was told she opens them when her dad calls her name.

The nurse told me that Kendyl's a fighter and that she also has a bit of a temper. Good for her!!

We feel very blessed and know that Jesus is holding her in his arms as she gets better each day. Her life is a testimony to God's love!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Kendyl Grace (Good News)

A few minutes ago, I talked to Kendyl's grandmother. She said the doctors are taking Kendyl Grace off the paralyzing drug today and lowering her pain meds. The infection is disappearing and they expect her to open her eyes this afternoon. This is all such good news! Jim and I will get to see her tomorrow when we travel to Spokane. We're very excited about the progress she's making. Thank you for your prayers on her behalf.

Kendyl Grace

Kendyl Grace seems to be feeling better. Her infection is almost gone. We expect her mother will get to hold her in a few days. That's going to be an important step in her recovery--mother and child bonding.

Jim hasn't seen Kendyl, so we're going to Spokane for a visit this weekend. I can't wait to see his face when he looks at his first great-grandchild. No one can really appreciate how beautiful she is until they see her in person. It's going to be a sweet moment. I must remember to take my camera!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Kendyl Grace (Today's Update)

Today's surgery is over for Kendyl Grace. The doctors found a serious infection and have placed her on four antibiotics. They are not sure what is causing the infection. She is still heavily sedated and will remain in that state until the infection is gone.

Thank you so much for your prayers.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Kendyl (Update)

Yesterday, I drove to Spokane, WA for a visit with Kendyl Grace and her family. When I arrived at the hospital, Kendyl's father Joe Jr., motioned for me to come with him into the infant ward--through the swinging doors and down the hallway. We washed our hands and then entered a darkened room where she lay still and silent, in a raised hospital bassinet. Several tubes were attached to her. The monitor in the corner measured her breathing and heart rate.

Kendyl is a beautiful 17 inch baby girl. She reminded me of a perfect doll and we longed to pick her up and hold her in our arms.

An operation is planned for Wednesday. At that time her doctors will close the opening in her tummy. She seems to be improving each day and hopefully her mom and dad will soon be able to hold her.

We are taking one day at a time, but look forward to the day we bring her home to be spoiled by our big extended family.

Please continue to pray for Kendyl and her parents since she has many challenges ahead of her in the coming weeks. Her mother, Amber (photo right), told me how much she and Joe Jr. appreciate your concern for their baby. Your comments and prayers are of great comfort to them.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


My daughter-in-law, Christina, sent this beautiful piece to me yesterday. I know you're going to love it as much as I do.


The child asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth today, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?"
"Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you."

The child further inquired, "But tell me, here in Heaven I don't have to do anything but sing and smile and be happy."
God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel's love and be very happy."

Again the child asked, "And how am I going to be able to understand when
people talk to me if I don't know the language?"
God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak."

"And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?"
God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray."

"But who will protect me?"
God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its own life."

"But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore."
God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about me and will teach you the way to come back to me, even though I will always be next to you."

At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, "God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel's name."
"You will simply call her Mom."

-Author unknown

Saturday, September 20, 2008

County Fair Memories

Last evening, Becka, Jim, and I went to our county fair. We arrived around 6:00 and since we were all starving, we ate fair food before meandering around to look at the exhibits. As we walked through the livestock barns and main pavilion, we were reminded of all the years we had spent there as a young family. Back then the children always had something to enter--chickens, rabbits, geese, turkeys. And of course, I was always taking my baked goods and fresh eggs for competition in the "foods" category.

Before leaving the fair we walked through the Midway-- "just for fun." Jim and I always took the kids there when they were little, for rides on the merry-go-round and train, but that was years ago. This time I wanted to walk around for the memories--Jim, Becka, and I.

As we entered the Midway section I said to Becka, "Twenty years ago I won a teddy bear for you in the shooting arcade, so tonight I want you to win one for me." We searched until we found the exact booth. Becka walked up to the counter, handed the man her money, took the special pellet gun in hand and started firing. She did just what I expected--shot the red star out of the center of a small sheet of paper. There was no doubt in my mind she could do it. She impressed everyone who stood there watching-- two of which were friends from long ago. They said, "We stopped to watch that little girl shoot, and when we noticed the two of you with her, we understood how she could do it." The compliment was very kind and made us laugh.

What a great night! Is there anything better than a warm summer night, crunchy corn dogs, blue ribbons, loud music, caramel apples, old friends and a girl who can shoot?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I Found Myself In The Wish List

This morning I finished reading "The Wish List" by Barbara Ann Kipfer. I purchased the book a few weeks ago on an impulse-- thinking it would be a fun and relaxing read. With highlighter in hand, I started pouring over each idea--all 6,000 of them, one at a time. As I read, I checked the item I wished for and added a double check to the ones that were realistic--those I would attempt to accomplish. If I had already "been there, done that" I highlighted the complete entry.

Now as I look back over the entire book, with all of my checks and highlights, I begin to recognize a pattern of personality--aptitude, qualities, likes and dislikes, dreams and ambitions--the actual woman I am. I didn't intend to find this person throughout the pages of this simple book, but in the end I found a picture of myself.

Sometimes we find ourselves in the most unusual places.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


This morning at 1:05 am, our first great-grandchild came into the world on angels' wings. Little Kendyl Grace was born premature (7 months) and weighed 4 lb. 11 oz. She was immediately rushed into surgery by a team of specialists to repair a major intestinal defect. I am asking, all who will, to pray for this precious little girl and her parents, Amber and Joe Jr.

We do not know the infinite mind of God, but we do believe He has a special plan for Kendyl Grace.

Broken Spirits and Emotional Knots

I was never a Girl Scout, but I do know about knots. The knots I'm talking about, aren't the ones we can see, but the ones that are hidden from our physical eyes. They are the ones that restrict us emotionally and spiritually. They cause ulcers and even take years off our lives.

We allow "stuff" to mess us up and tie us down. We get our feelings hurt, we hold grudges, hang on to disappointments and fight ridiculous battles that have very little meaning in the "big picture" of our lives.

Occasionally, we need to pause and re-evaluate the condition of our spirit and begin to untie all those emotional knots that are complicating our lives and robbing us of our joy and health.

"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit drieth the bones." - Proverbs 17:22

Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Kirby Davis

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


The 13th chapter of Corinthians tells us that love is patient and kind, which indicates love and patience go hand in hand. If we truly love, we will display patience, and when we are patient, we are displaying love. The chapter goes on to tell us we should, especially, pray for love because it is the only thing that will last...love transcends everything, even life beyond what we now see.

A few months ago, I read "Love is the Link" by Pamela M. Kircher, M.D., which gives accounts of near-death experiences. The author leaves the reader with this thought, "....our purpose in life is to learn how to love one another in every circumstance and in every encounter."

When I am anxious and lack patience, I remind myself that God is in control of everything; my job is to have faith in Him, plant seeds of kindness and grow love.

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Davis

Monday, September 15, 2008

Summer's Last Party

Yesterday, we sat on the patio under the old walnut tree--twelve of us--for the last get-together of summer. Linda, Mike, Shiloh, and Coleman had driven two hours for the belated BBQ for Becka. Tony's mom and brother also stopped by, as well as cousin Jamie and her friend.

Before our guests arrived, Jim had taken the six foot folding table out of the garage and placed it next to the patio. Draped in a crisp white tablecloth for the luncheon, the table was eventually spread with a variety of our favorite foods: baked Alaskan King Salmon (the one Jim caught on his early summer vacation in Alaska); beef tenderloin steak, grilled to perfection by Mike; several salads and of course, my famous baked beans.

As I sat in the wrought-iron swing beside my granddaughter, Shiloh, I watched the others as they talked about their lives and world events, ate and drank..enjoying being together for a brief time... there in the shade of that ancient tree. Our lives have taken many unexpected turns in the last two years, so a visit like this is precious and "far between."

The "home place" is quiet this morning; the backyard is empty. The table, which yesterday had been draped in white cloth, has been put away for winter and only a squirrel or two can be seen playing in the tree. There remains only the ghosts of laughter and wine glasses chiming a toast. It's sad to see summer go so soon, but we are anticipating another beautiful summer to come, with all the delights and surprises it will bring to our lives.

Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Davis

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Becka

Today is our youngest daughter's birthday. She is 24 years old.

Becka was born in Idaho on September 11, 1984 when I was 40. She was our sixth child and the baby sister of two sisters and three brothers. We were all absolutely thrilled at the sweet little addition to our family.

Jim was not allowed to be in the delivery room for the birth of most of our children, but he could be with me through the entire labor and delivery of Rebekah (Becka). Times were changing then and fathers were being welcomed into the birthing rooms. Now, entire families can be present.

Not long after Becka was born, the nurse wheeled her down the hallway, in a little glass bassinet, into my hospital room and said, "Your baby is crying for you. No matter what we do, she won't stop." When I took her in my arms she immediately stopped and never cried again, as long as she was with me. If the nurse tried to take her to the nursery, where the other babies slept, she would start crying, so they would bring her back to me--she rarely left my side again, until she started attending kindergarten.

Becka has grown into a strong, capable young woman and loving wife, daughter, sister and aunt. We are thankful for Becka--God's gift to our entire family.

Happy birthday Rebekah!!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Totally Terrific Tuesday

This morning Jim and I ate a late breakfast, read the newspaper, and watched our morning talk shows. We went out to lunch around 1:00 and, afterward, ran a few errands. Tonight we attended a birthday party for Becka which was given at a local Italian restaurant by her husband, Tony. Several family members attended, but there were many who live out of town and couldn't be there; we missed them all. Jim and I had a wonderful day, enjoying our retirement.

Everyday Battles

We ladies are pretty good fighters when it comes to defending our homes and families--and ourselves. We are ready to defend our children, our husbands, our beliefs, and those we feel are being treated unfairly. I think fighting for justice is part of the female DNA, but sometimes we take on battles that are unnecessary and pointless.

I once knew a lady who was extremely competitive. Whether it was a simple game, a contest of talent, or a debate of any kind, Debby always had to win. She was driven to come out on top. I think, we all know people like that, and it may even apply to ourselves. Anyway, she didn't seem to realize that some battles were important and others were not worth the effort or the chance that winning might alienate someone she cared about.

"Relationships are more important than winning" is a motto that I've come up with and that I try to remember. I try to think about the consequences of my words and actions. Of course, I'm not perfect, but it does help to keep that important thought in mind. Do we always need to have the last word or win the game? In my opinion, the fun and pleasure is in the sharing of time and in building loving, trusting relationships.

Many things that seem important today may seem meaningless in a few weeks or next month. Will we remember it next year? Will this battle make an enemy or hurt the feelings of a friend? We may want to take a step backward and breathe deeply before we take on a "fight" or start getting worked up over something that may not be a "big deal."

Remember to "choose your battles wisely."

Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Kirby Davis

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff

My mother used to say, "Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill." I didn't understand, as a child, what that meant, because everything seemed big and important in my young, inexperienced life.

Even though my mother tried, I didn't learn most of life's lessons from her, but I do recall much of her wise advice. "Mountains and mole hills" is one adage I do remember, since I've climbed many of those "mountains" to get to where I am today.

I've learned that most of life's dilemmas are small and are soon dismissed and forgotten. Take it from this "young, old lady" that 99.9% of everything I've ever worried about did not happen; 99.9% of my disappointments were due to expectations that couldn't be met by myself or someone else. And 99.9% of my happiness depended solely upon my own choices.

Sure, life can and will throw us curve balls which are a normal part of the human experience, but we usually make life far more difficult than it should be. We can't control some things in our lives, but we can control our attitude and expectations.

When we feel that life or someone is disappointing us, it's best to examine whether we really want to climb a "mountain" or step graciously and easily over "a mole hill."

Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Kirby Davis

What Animals Teach Us

Dedicated to my little 3 1/2 year old schnauzer, Riley (photo at right). I call him "my little boy in a dog suit."


What have you shown me?


with your wide brown eyes

And puppy dog smile.



Joy in being alive




Living entirely in the moment


God sent you

At the right time--

When I needed you most.

Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Kirby Davis

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Finding Your Unique Talent....

My little electronic dictionary defines talent as the natural endowment of a person; a special, often creative or artistic aptitude; mental power; ability.

Have you often wondered why some people have been given "talent", and others, seemingly, none? I've discovered that ability (talent) is manifested in many ways. While I certainly admire those who display true genius, I also admire attributes that are more subtle and less celebrated. When we become familiar with family members and close friends, we see through their superficial outer-self and begin to appreciate their inherent prowess.

Let's exchange the word talent with the word gift for a few moments. We are all born with unique gifts. One person may have the gift of music or art, another the gift of words and phrases, another a special understanding and caring for animals or plants, someone else may have the gift of humor and the ability to make others laugh--bringing joy where there is sadness or worry, another may possess the gift of nurturing and empathy, yet another may have athletic ability. I could go on and list thousands of special talents, but the most important thing to remember is, we all have natural, God-given, endowments of personality. Talent is not some unattainable desire; it's the center of who we are. It's what makes us unique and it's up to each one of us to recognize, embrace, and use it for the benefit of the world around us.

Remember this Danish quote: "What you are is God's gift to you; what you do with yourself is your gift to God."

Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Kirby Davis

Friday, September 5, 2008

Aim For Success, Not Perfection

Over fifty years ago, my family decided that I should learn to play the piano. Great excitement filled the house as a gorgeous piano was delivered and sit in a corner of our living room. A teacher was selected and I took my first lessons. The dream of playing classical and popular music for family and friends was exciting at first, but within a few months I started to doubt my ability to become proficient and I started skipping my practice sessions. I was disappointed in myself--expected too much, too soon. I wanted to be perfect overnight.

With each recital, over the next year or so, my confidence dwindled more and more. Becoming an expert was not coming fast enough, so I stopped playing altogether. That was one of the worst mistakes of my life. I have wished many times over the years, that I would have made the sacrifices it took to learn how to play. So many people would have benefited from my hard work if I had only wished to succeed instead of expecting perfection.

There are infinite possibilities in life if we are patient with ourselves and understand that we don't arrive at success by magic, but through hard work, courage, and time. Our expectations must be realistic--taking one step at a time until we achieve our goals and realize we don't have to be perfect to be successful.

Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Kirby Davis

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I have a dear friend whom I've known since I was a young mother, over 30 years ago. We worked together way back then and we still see we each other from time to time. Today, she emailed this recipe to me and said that it is an absolutely wonderful snack. I wanted to share it here with you--since it sounds so yummy....


Mix in a buttered roaster 10 cups bugles,
1 cup whole walnuts
1 cup pecans
1 cup skinless peanuts (mixed or cashews)

in a medium pot, mix: 1 stick butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Bring to a boil and stir constantly for 3 minutes.

Lower heat and boil 5 more minutes (DO NOT STIR)

Remove from and heat and add...
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanillla
Stir till baking soda is dissolved.

Pour mixture over bugle mix and stir mix.

Bake in a 300 o oven for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven, stir well, folding from bottom of pan
Bake additional 15 minutes.

Remove from oven.
Stir and return to oven again for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and spread
mix on a brown paper bag.
Separate mix till no clusters remain

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Kitty Goes To Church

I read in the news today about a cat that survived a 70 mile trip while clinging to the underside of it's owner's car. The article brought back the memory of our own cat doing much the same about 30 years ago.

Every Sunday morning our family would get in the car and drive the freeway to church, which would take at least 25 minutes at 65 miles per hour. Getting a large family dressed and cared for, and my husband constantly preparing for a sermon, always caused us to be hurried and a little tense. The last thing in the world we would be thinking of was the family cat!

One sunny Sunday when we pulled up to our parking space in the church parking lot, our cat jumped out from under our car!!!! He had "hung on for dear life" all the way down the freeway. He was so scared when he finally got out, that he ran, terrified, into a hole in the ground. It took several minutes and alot of patience to coax him out and reassure him that he had not used up one of his nine lives.

How our precious little kitty survived the trip, we will never know!! But that morning we were especially thankful for his safety.

Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Kirby Davis

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Can I Skate?

Well, now I think I must be losing my mind-- I've been thinking of learning to roller skate!! I tried once when I was in grammar school, but fell down immediately and twisted my wrist. I can still feel how surprised I was at falling down...splat! I managed somehow to get up off my bottom and that was the last time I tried that sport. My protective mother placed my arm in a home-made sling for a few days and that was that. I should have been encouraged to try it again the moment my wrist healed. Perhaps, I would have been successful the second time around.

I loved taking my children skating on weekends when they were young, and I was so proud when they perfected that unbelievable skill...unbelievable to me, since I had such a dismal experience with my first attempt. I would smile from ear to ear as they sailed past me on that shiny, hardwood floor, beaming and waving, as they rounded the corners with lightning speed, making it seem so simple. How could I have been such a klutz years ago? I bet most of my readers know how to skate....but NOT ME!

I know I would enjoy the feeling of speed that skating offers, and the background music that would bring joy to my adventuresome soul. It would be like dancing and flying, combined with a sense of freedom...I think. Now... do I have the nerve to risk life and limb at this stage of my life? Or... even if I have the nerve, do I want to take the chance of being "laid up" for no telling how long if I should happen to break something really important? I'll have to give that A GREAT DEAL OF THOUGHT. What do you think?

The Phantom Revisited

A few years ago, I watched Phantom of the Opera on DVD and like most people, loved the beautiful songs. Since then I realized that my favorite actor, Gerard Butler, was the starring actor (I became a fan of his after seeing "P.S. I Love You"). So it's been my plan for the last month or so to watch the movie again and this time pay more attention to the actors and the plot, while still enjoying Andrew Lloyd Webber's classical opera hits.

I watched it alone Sunday evening in the Serenity Room and was mesmerized by Emmy Rossum's angelic singing and Butler's dark, yet romantic, portrayal of the Phantom. Together they created "magic" on the screen. I was not disappointed and will certainly watch it again in the future.

Note: I believe adults will enjoy the movie, although it may be a bit dark and complicated for pre-teens and young children.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Wishing and Working Hard

A few days ago, out of curiosity, I bought a simple, but very thick book called "The Wish List." It lists 6,000 ideas for things to do, see, taste, learn, and experience. The book's cover says this, "...it's a compulsively readable list that sounds a call to get out there and start living." That's my kind of book!! I've only read about a third of it so far, but it's reminded me of some of the special things that I have experienced in my life. I had to work very hard on many of them.

1. I was invited to a debutante ball when I was a teenager.
2. Helped a cat give birth to a litter of kittens.
3. Sold 20 of my hand-made, ornate, gingerbread houses at a Christmas Craft Fair.
4. Sailed on a cruise to Alaska and had High Tea every afternoon.
5. Received an impassioned love letter.
6. I have seen a baby's first steps.
7. I was an advocate for bike paths and public transportation in our city.
8. Taught a dog to play ball.
9. Ran for political office and won.
10. Attended the elegant State Governor's Inaugural Ball, twice.
11. I was State Committee Woman for my political party.
12. Played Black Jack in Las Vegas.
13. Lived four years in the Land of the Midnight Sun.
14. Made homemade ice cream and loved it.
15. Won Best of Show in baking at the County Fair.
16. Received the Commissioner's Cookie Jar Award for cookie baking at the County Fair.
17. Was "Head Majorette" in high school.
18. Owned and operated a baton twirling school. I have taught baton twirling to many little girls.
19. Researched my heritage and was invited to join The Daughters of the American Revolution.
20. Saw a grizzly bear in the wild.
21. Marched with the high school band at football games.
22. My husband and I raised turkeys, killed, and dressed them for our freezer.
23. Shot a .44 magnum handgun.
24. Taught an adult Sunday School class.
25. Head Start volunteer / local Vice President of Policy Board
26. I fished the remote Baker River in Alaska while carrying a baby on my back.
27. Made 150 jars of jam in one summer.
28. I learned to make a perfect piecrust from scratch.
29. I can raise my right eyebrow, without moving the left.
30. I cut down my own Christmas tree without help.

The list above is only a short list of the experiences that make up the person I am today. There are so many more things I wish to do in the future. I'm still reading, dreaming, and marking the things I want to accomplish.