Monday, November 29, 2010

Something Unexpected

I had fully intended to write about Jason's Granny and Papa, yesterday was his Papa's birthday! Happy birthday!! But I had no idea I would end up in the delivery room while my best friend's daughter gave birth. I was amazed. Briana did it all with no drugs of any kind, and gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Rylan James, was 8.4 lbs and I think they said 20 inches long. I told her she is my hero, and I meant it, the pain, the down right agony she was in, but she handled it like a champ. Didn't even start making noise till the last half hour of contractions.
I am thankful that I was there for that, thankful to have been one of the witnesses.
Now begins what promises to be the craziest week of this semester, so I think this will be the last post in the month of Gratitude, I missed a few days, and have a list of people I had planned to mention, but there will be other years, and who says I can only be grateful for the people in my life one month of the year?? **GRINS**

Saturday, November 27, 2010


My dad's sister Twyla married Tim Bright and they had six kids. I have many memories of adventures and good time with this family. Recently I've been excited to reconnect with them on facebook. Tim and Twyla spent nearly twenty years in Ghana teaching and ministering. I always enjoyed the stories they told while on furlough in the states, and wish I'd had a chance to visit them while they still lived there. I'm glad they are in the states now though, they have a lot of grandchildren to spoil! I am thankful for these fun people, and the memories I have of them!

Friday, November 26, 2010


I've waited for this day to write briefly of my gratitude for my mother's family because 68 years ago today Don DeWelt married Elsie Printz. The role those two played in my childhood was not only large, but also important to me. Many of the things I like best about myself, or think of as important to this world can be traced to conversations with either of them when I was still a child and the time I lived with Grammy while I was a teenager. My mom's parents had a big impact on many lives around the world, both directly and by way of their descendants. I don't remember when we started going to Joplin every month, I just remember that being an important part of life and one I never wanted to miss! Spending time with Grammy as well as my cousins and Aunts and Uncles was often the highlight of each month. Not because my life at was droll or bad in anyway, just because there was so little need to explain. We all knew each other so well that it seemed like everything picked up where it left off at each visit. Imagination and curiosity were encouraged at almost every turn, and we took full advantage! Uncle Dan wrote short stories that featured us as characters at one point! The five cousins made up all kinds of games to play in Uncle Chris and Aunt Carol's living room, the rules of which I no longer remember exactly. I think I could easily fill a good sized book with memories of time spent with this group of people. They are very dear to me --both the memories and the people. My gratitude for them knows no depth.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Today is the reason this month is a month of gratitude. Thanksgiving. It is a beautiful word, and beautiful idea.
Today I am simply grateful for this life.
I am far from perfect.
But my life is so full, so whole, I am overflowing with love and thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Kevin and Melody

These two beautiful people have been my closest friends for some years now. They are the kind of people who are there for you when you need them, no matter what. We've shared some great times and some less than great times, hit some bumps and sped around some nasty curves, but through it all we are still friends. Mel and I hit it off almost from the first moment we met. Her friendship got me through some hellish times. Her capacity to give of herself is exemplary. I've had the privilege of watching her come into her own in the world of dance, and continue to be amazed at her increasing skill, and the depth of feeling she brings to each and every performance. I know I am blessed to have them in my life. They are two of the dearest souls I know, thank you both for accepting me and hanging in there with me, even when I was crazy. You are the best!

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Dad's Family

Yes, this is a LARGE group. There are some I know better than others, but I am grateful for all of them. My dad's family is huge. As a child trying to keep track of the Dorris clan and the Whitehead clan and keep them separate was challenging, frustrating, and there were times I honestly wasn't sure which grandparent's siblings we were visiting. But over the years I listened and learned, I payed attention and made connections and things began to stick. Were it not for his grandmothers I don't know where I would be today, because without them I don't know where my dad would be. They were shining examples of love for my father, and even though I never knew them well in person, I have become acquainted with my father's memories of them. Now, I'm not proud of the fact that it has taken me the better part of three decades to do this, but for some time now I have been fully aware of not just which grandparents siblings are which, but also who their children and grand-children are (for the most part, and in some cases in face more than in name). But that's not small feat!
I have enjoyed the many reunions and holidays and life celebrations I've been able to attend in my life. We always have a good time, and it doesn't take long for all the faces, most of the names, and all the voices to become familiar and create a sense of home. I've learned the value of family from my family, and from my father's family. Even when the reunions are years apart, and through the changes in the cast of people present, we are united, we lift each other up, hold each other together, and led what ever help we can. I'm very thankful to not only be descendant from the Dorris and Whitehead lines, but also abundantly proud.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

John and Meredith

Admittedly this will mostly be about Meredith, which only reflects that I'm closer to her, and that today is her Birthday! But I am thankful for both of these people, and they are dearer to me than they know.
I've known Meredith for over a decade, but it wasn't until she had Garrison that we began to be good friends. Her mom, Pam, was my piano teacher -- see previous post. I always looked up to Meredith and even thought she was perfect. Of course kids have a funny way of judging what is perfect and was is not, I still think she's perfect, but not in a porcelain, pristine, untouchable way. Her brand of perfection stems from her constant creativity, her ability to recognize and appreciate the gorgeous and the simple for what they are, and her earnest desire to live a full, fun, and passionate life. John and Meredith are partners in a journey which I'm confident will only continue to get better and better. I love them both and am so proud to say they are my friends.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Writers I knew

Emily Theroff led a creative writing group for several years at Access Arts in Columbia, MO. Mom would drive Jo and I to Columbia once a week, Jo for pottery, me for writing. Helen started coming with me after a while, and when I was old enough we would drive up together. It was the best. I always looked forward to that class. The encouragement and creativity of that group of people was awesome. We supported each others love for the written word and for writing of all sorts. I have tried to recreate that environment at different times in my life and it's never worked out the same. I love to write. I don't think I'm very good at it, but I know I get better the more I learn and try. I'm so glad, thankful that Emily spent some time in MA and came back to MO and started that group!!
Eve Tolan took up the post of leading that group after Emily left. She made us work. Which was good. She told me I should write poetry, almost to the point of not messing with any of that other stuff. I didn't spend a lot of time with her, but what time I did spend had a huge impact. I am thankful to her for that, but not just that, also for her friendship with Helen. Eve was there for Helen after I left, and I am so glad she was!
I wrote about two people because I was too exhausted to blog yesterday. Good night.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Way

Today I am thankful for Julia Cameron. Google her and the Artist's Way. Her books have been very helpful to me over the years and I don't know where I would be without morning pages!!
Thank you for sharing Julia, a million times, thank you!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Two for One

Yes, I'm bad, I completely forgot to blog yesterday!
So, yesterday's post would have been Heath and Emily.
I am thankful for Heath and Emily firstly because they are the reason I met Jason. Had they not decided to open a goth club, Kevin wouldn't have had a birthday party there and we wouldn't have met. I am also grateful for their friendship. Jason has a lot of good memories of good times with those two and the rest of the gang. I've enjoyed getting to know Em over the years. She took the Artist's Way journey with me and some other friends, and her perspective was always helpful, and rarely anything I would have thought of. She is also one of my belly dance friends, her blog is on the list to the right of this blog, and her encouragement and passion for the dance is contagious. I am very grateful this couple is in my life!
Today I am grateful for Heidi. I'm grateful for her more than just today, but today I'm going to write a little bit about it. I met Heidi in my first semester of college, I needed an extra source of income and went to work for an office cleaning company. She was the manager. We became friends over the next few weeks and started getting together outside of work. She is a steadfast and true friend. Her sense of right and wrong run deep and have been a good example to me. She was always there when I needed her, and still is. I don't know where I'd be if we hadn't become friends. Heidi also took the Artist's Way journey! It is interesting to think about all the people who have helped guide me and encouraged me over the years. I don't want to think about where I would be without Heidi, I don't think it would be a very nice place, certainly not when compared with where I am now.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Above is a link to a church where my family and I attended for several years in the 90's. It is also the church where my sister got married! There are a great many good hearted beautiful people within this church body. I have so many fun memories, mostly at the old church building, with all the electric outlets! The fellowship and friendship I enjoyed while attending this church cannot be measured. Everyone was so encouraging and uplifting of each other, it was truly a wonderful place to be and I cherish my memories from those days. Keep up the good work! Thank you for being the loving and supportive group that you were/are!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Ash and Vic

Ashely and Vicky Wiggs are two of my best friends. When I was needed a place to live and fast they cleared out a room in their house and said stay as long as you like. Vicky witnessed on our official wedding papers, and as you can see was in the wedding. Ashely has always supported my music habit, feeding my interest in various artists and appreciating the ones who play the piano! I am so glad they are my friends! Tomorrow is Ashely's birthday, tonight was his party, it is likely still going, Jason and I stopped by for a while and had a great time. He chose a 20's theme and we got all dressed up, it was fun. Thank you, both of you, for all the laughs and hugs and general good times, and for being there when I've needed you.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Faire Folk

This will be quick, because it's late and I'm worn out! But, I am not going to let the month pass without expressing my gratitude for the Rennies of this world. I have loved going to Renn Faires for as long as I've known what they are. I have some good friends who have a long history with the one in KC and have come to know many folks traveling from far away to bring some laughter and entertainment to our mundane lives.
This said, I want to especially thank a good friend who recently helped me out. I was freaking out about my recital last month. I was mostly second guessing myself silly. In response to a post about that he surprised me with his CD, "Shine Like A Star." It's a guided meditation and hypnosis CD which helped in two ways. First, I listened to it every evening for about two weeks and just forcing myself to relax and do the breathing and visualizing did wonders for my stress levels. Second, on the CD James gives several techniques and I used them to affirm what I already knew. Whatever the reason for it working, it did. I'm not saying that had I not practiced for several hours most days for the past five years I would have been able to perform a recital, but I was able to focus on what was important and stop worrying about whether or not I would freak out and forget everything. Long and the short is there's absolutely nothing hoaky about it and I recommend giving it a try. Here is his website:
Thank you!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

In Deepest Gratitude on this Veterans Day

Milton Dorris
Bob Carlisle
Dan DeWelt
Dick Meyers
Doug Crousore
Robert Meyers
Steve Bare
I likely know more than I've listed without knowing that I do, but I want to be sure to mention these men. I've known them all at some point in my life and am grateful for their sacrifice. I firmly believe that whatever a persons politics or opinions about war, we should all be thankful for the millions of men and women who willingly put their lives, families, futures, health, and sanity at risk so we have the privilege to try to make the world better. America is not perfect, not by any means, but I think it is fair to state that its failings are as much the fault of its citizens as its politicians. But that is for another post on someone else's blog.
Thank you, you deserve so much more gratitude than you get!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dancin' Ladies

Pictured above are a few of the lovely ladies who take their passions beyond the level of hobby. I am fortunate to have so many belly dance friends! I am thankful for their friendship and encouragement. They shine, on the stage, in the studio, and in their lives. Thank you!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I've probably posted this picture before. The gal in the middle is my cousin Abby. Her birthday is today and I think that makes this the perfect day to write about my gratitude that she is a part of my life. She's been like a sister to me most of our lives. There is not much that we haven't talked about over the years. And the three of us girl cousins are a force to be reckoned with, let me tell you! We all had Grammy to guide us in our childhood trysts.
Abby has grown into such a beautiful young woman. Her strength of character is unshakable, her convections and love are deep and true. If she is on your side you cannot loose, it's not possible. She has a heart for God and for healing the broken in this world and this is clearly visible in her life. I know I am not the only one who bursts with pride over her! I'm so proud to call her my cousin, to know her as family, think of her as a sister and confidently love her as a friend. We share so many memories, I look forward to all that we will have to share in the future. I love you Abby, thank you for being such a great woman and friend.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Yes, I am grateful for teachers. I am grateful for their dedication, patience, and their rules. Without teachers where would any of us be? What would the world be like? I don't think it would be possible to not have teachers, even where there are no schools, people would still be teaching. Teachers wear so many hats. They are often also wives/husbands, mothers/fathers, performers, researchers, volunteers, choir leaders, writers, and on and on.
When I thought about listing my teachers I realized that in spite of homeschooling the list would be quite long. I think it's a good thing that I've been blessed with such good teachers. I can count on one hand the number of truly frustrating or even "bad" teachers I've encountered and I'd have a couple fingers left over. So, if you're reading this, and I was ever in your classroom or studio, Thank you!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


The people at Capitol City Christian Church are a bunch of dear, loving, generous, souls and their impact on my life was great. I would like to name a few, but I know I will forget some and mix others up with the Capitol West congregation, and the sister church across the river to the north. Just a few of the many special people include Joan and Gary Baker, Richard and Shelly DeBose, BillyJean, all the Raders, the Logstons, the Pims, the Shakelfords, the Lanes, the Engelbrechts, the Sawyers, the Runyons, I could do this for a while! Anyway, I am so grateful to have been brought up in that church, with those people. Keep up the good work!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Boys

Tonight I would like to say a few words about two of the best "little men" I know. Garrison and Torsten are the boys I babysit most weekdays of the year. I've been there since Garrison was born, five years ago now. They are so well behaved and smart! They've got personality times infinity and I don't know what my life today would be without them. Had Meredith and John not needed a babysitter for G, I likely wouldn't be about to graduate from college or be happily married. These are reasons enough to be grateful for them, but I'm also grateful because being around those guys has helped me keep things in perspective. Having a chance to see the world through the eyes of a youngster can make bad days much more bearable. Their eagerness to learn and to please are always inspiring, and even on the more challenging days they are a blessing--yes, that is in part because I know I get to leave. The fact is, I love those guys and know that I will miss them, and be proud of them always.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mrs. "A"

Today I want to put to words how grateful I am that Pam Allman is in my life and I find that there aren't enough words, or that any I can think of are inadequate. She was my piano teacher from the age of 12 to I think 18ish is when I had my last piano lesson with her. The many things I learned while in those lessons expand well beyond the keyboard. She always made me work hard, but made it fun and kept everything interesting. It didn't matter how zany an idea I'd come up with she'd listen and help me work it out. Her excitement about music and her encouragement to keep trying and give my best were endless qualities that seemed as natural to her as breathing.
We became friends through those years. Her friendship has been a true blessing in my life. I always felt welcome in her home and with her family. There are others in her family whom I will mention in later posts this month, but I think I can state with no fear of contradiction that if ever I had need of anything and she could help me she would, and if she couldn't she'd stay with me until I found someone who could. That is a rare and beautiful thing, and I suspect that I am not the only of her students for whom she has done, or would do these things.
Thank you Pam, with all my heart, thank you.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I am so grateful for my in-laws! They are wonderful people. I have been very blessed and fortunate to fall in love with a man whose family is so loving and kind. They have welcomed me with open arms from the first day I met them. I always feel loved and included in their family. I know, this all sounds too good to be true, but it is 100% fact. Part of the reason Jason grew into the man I love so much is due to the people who raised him. I will always be thankful for this family!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Obviously my sister is my first sibling. She knows me in ways no one else does. We used to say if we weren't sisters we probably wouldn't even be friends because we have so little in common outside of being family. I'm glad, grateful, that we are sisters, because I wouldn't want to miss out on being her friend for the world! I'm so proud of her, she is a fantastic mom and talented artist to boot! I can't imagine not being an aunt at this point. I LOVE being not just any aunt, but Aiden, Serenity, and Iris's aunt especially. Those are the best three kids anyone could ever ask for. I have so enjoyed watching them grow and can't wait to know them as teenagers and adults. I've also got a brother out of the deal :) He's a good man with a good heart and good intentions.
But I've been blessed with other siblings. Today I'll focus on the ones from my younger years. Helen and Lindsey. Helen came to live with us a couple times while her mom was in the hospital. She is my younger sister's age, but we had so much in common, loved to read and learn, liked a lot of the same music and movies, it was a natural fit. I always thought of her as part of our family, and still do. Lindsey and I met when we were pretty young at church, in fact if I remember right we started being friends at a church get together at a swimming pool. We did some zanny things and while we were teenagers we were able to make each other laugh when things got hard.
There were times all four of us sisters would be, that could get CRAZY! But it was all so much fun! I am so glad we are all still friends. They all have children, which is great, because I love kids as long as I can give them back! :P
It's hard not to write about my cousin in this post because she was often a part of these revelries and is very much a sister to me, but I will abstain, that post is coming.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 2, Two people

I am so very grateful for my parents. They have always believed in me. And I'm learning more and more as I live that it is rare that I never once in my life doubted that my parents loved me, and would love me no matter what I did. I knew I could do things they wouldn't like, but they would still love me. Which taught me a pretty big lesson early on, we are not our actions or our choices. We can let them define us, and they will be what most of the world has to go on to get to know us, but when we let our actions, good or bad, or let the labels others put on us, define who we are we can loose sight of the bigger picture, loose sight of who we want to be. This has been a valuable lesson in my life and one that I have used to pull myself out of some terrible places.
I love my mom and dad and hope they too never have reason to doubt it!

Monday, November 1, 2010

November Gratitude

This month I have decided to post everyday. Each day's post will be about one person or group of persons for whom I am grateful. This is the month of Thanksgiving, and I've been feeling especially grateful lately, so doing my blog this way makes good sense to me.
I am grateful for way more than 30 individuals, so most days I will likely mention a group and perhaps name individuals within it. Today however, being the first day I will name the person I'm the most grateful for...
Jason Sinco. The love of my life. The man who makes my life richer and more enjoyable in so many ways. He provides for me every single day. We live in a nice house in a good part of town, he built a garden and helps keep it up, he built furniture for the patio. He knows when I need a hug, even when I don't want it. Jason keeps things together and moving forward in our life; this past weekend when I was so nervous and anxious about my recital, he kept me calm and focused. I never had to worry about what was being done for whom because he had it all under control. We had family in town from my side and his and it was a wonderful experience all the way around and I know that is due to his hard work. He loves me so completely, I'm constantly amazed by him, I don't deserve him, but I'm so very happy he's in my life! Knowing that I will have him by my side for the rest of my days is the best motivation I've ever had to do what I can to make those days good for both of us.
Thank you baby, I love you!