Sunday, December 28, 2008

a merry little Christmas

Here's part of my Christmas stash. These are the BEST smelling candles! Do you see my iPod shuffle? It's a gift from Bethany and Daniel and they said, "Welcome to the family!" when I opened it. Donald set it all up for me on our itunes account and named it Ruby Red Delight. The lettering above the apple says "We love you mom." Rebekah got me an iTunes card so now I can buy some of my own music. You can bet there will be some "oldies" once I make a purchase. I also got old navy gift cards, shoes (which are pictured below) and lottery tickets! Ben bought each of us two tickets and I won $2.00. This was my first experience with them and I must say it was kinda exciting looking for a win. I also got a picture frame from Hannah that says "I (heart) my dog" and it has a picture of Bright and me in it. I forgot to set it with the other stuff when I took the picture.

Bright opened the first present cause he's always so excited on Christmas morning. Bethany decorated him with bows once he finally took a breather.

Christmas punch!

This isn't a gift, but a picture of my favorite salad dressing...Briannas Blush Wine Vinaigrette. It does look rather Christmasy though.

I enlisted the boys and Donald's help yesterday and took down the Christmas tree. It's always rather sad to take it down, but I was ready to get the book shelf out of our hall. As you can see it's rather crowded with the shelf, and Christmas boxes, and Ben who left the table after our Christmas meal moaning and falling in the floor. Either the meal was very good and he ate too much or else it wasn't and it made him sick. I'll leave that up to your imagination. Anyway it's nice to have the hall cleared once again. Ben recovered by the way and was ready for the next meal.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

a gift for me

I'm still around; catching myself coming as I'm going. Hannah had her wisdom teeth out last week, we had unexpected company this weekend, and now I'm trying to get Christmas stuff together. I'm hoping I don't have to go to the store three times for our Christmas meal like I did for our Thanksgiving one.

I just got back from purchasing our last Christmas present and I actually bought myself a gift. I really don't buy myself that many things so I always get cheers from my family when I do. Today I bought two pairs of earrings! Together they cost $45.00 plus tax. They were on sale 60% off and I had a $10.00 off coupon so I paid $8.66 for both pairs. I toyed with wrapping them up for myself for tomorrow morning (To:Sarah - From:Sarah), but of course I showed them to Bethany as soon as I saw her. I wonder if she'll act surprised if I put them under the tree for me??

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

do not pass go, do not collect $200

I'm not sure if I have writer's block or just not enough time to post. I definitely have things I could say, but I kinda said I wouldn't rant unless some unforeseen problem arose. Well, it arose this past Saturday. Hannah's phone wouldn't all. After a quick call to Sprint they said we had requested the line be cancelled~! I was really annoyed and told them the whole story...the same one I told you, and asked why I would cancel it after going to all that trouble. Their next question was, "Did your husband cancel it?" After assuring them he didn't and going through all the steps to get it reactivated it worked. The more I thought about it the angrier I got. I emailed them and actually got a reply that it was a technical error and they gave me a $50.00 credit on account of the inconvenience. Let's see: 15 hours of my time, not counting the trip to and from the Sprint store in Sherman. It equals about $3.33 an hour for my time spent. I truly believe my time is more valuable than that. If they would give me free service for the next ten years, well, maybe that would cover it.

Hannah had her wisdom teeth out Tuesday. The pain medication is making her dizzy so she isn't able to move around a lot. She did really well though and we are really proud of her. She actually had six wisdom teeth. Four on the top and two on the bottom. The x-rays didn't show them because they were behind the ones in front. They actually gave them to me and when Hannah wants to see what has caused her all this pain I'll be ready to show her. I guess the extra teeth justified the extra charges and they felt I needed to see exactly what I was paying for.

I had a couple of cysts removed from my scalp this afternoon. It was rather a jolly time in the "procedure room" as the new nurse was eagerly anticipating the doctor being able to pop the boogers out. The doctor even got in on the fun and proudly announced it was a boy! They are called pilar cysts and are rather common, and I'm assuming, a lot of fun for the doctors and nurses. I've actually had several removed before and could tell them with all honesty that this time was the most fun I've ever had having it done. He even showed it to me and cut it into so I could see what was inside. Now I'll go take some Tylenol and be good as new.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Can you believe this weather?? Yesterday I considered turning the air conditioner on. Today when I came out from putting up my cards at Kroger my van was iced over. I mean really iced! Iced so well that my ice scrapper didn't do any good. I think I needed an ice pick instead. I finally got the windows defrosted enough I could get some ice off to see to drive to Brookshires. After I left there I had to repeat the procedure. Fast forward a few hours and I repeated these actions again after leaving Walmart. My wipers, doors, and windows all froze. Tonight I am staying inside. I am anticipating a hot bath and crawling under our electric blanket to watch the Mavs.

Today while working for Hallmark I had a gentleman ask me if I could help him find a card. He needed a particular card for a particular person and a particular age. It was really neat that I could take him right to it. A few months ago I cringed when someone asked me for help as I hadn't learned the locations of the cards yet. Now I am much more familiar with what I have and where it is. I was thinking about this and how I can help those I encounter in my little part of the world.

You see we really can have an effect on people. I had someone lift my spirits and encourage me right before Thanksgiving. I was entering the store for the third day in a row just to prepare our Thanksgiving meal. I really was dreading it because the day before people were frowning, hurrying, and blocking the aisles at every turn. I really didn't want to be there again. As I entered the store a lady smiled at me. Not your ordinary smile but an encouraging beautiful smile that said she really was enjoying life. I stopped and thanked her for her smile. She seemed to really appreciate my thanks. I know she certainly changed my attitude and affected my life with that simple gesture.

All this to say that we can make a difference in some one's day no matter how small a role we have. Just a smile can make a huge difference to someone. I know it did to me.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

high and dry

Hannah's friend, Sara, got her a hermit crab for her birthday. I keep asking her if it's dead cause it just doesn't do much. It will just bury itself in the rocks and stay there. I honestly didn't know they weren't attached to their shell and that as they grow you buy bigger shells for them. That's the neat thing about life...we can learn something new every day!

The other day they were holding him (her?) over a bowl of warm water trying to get him to come out of his shell. I think the motive was to give him a bath. They never got him to come out. He would almost be out and then pull back into the shell. I assume he's still needing a bath.

Anyway as I was unloading the dishwasher this morning I was thinking about it. They only wanted to help and he was so into what he wanted (I do NOT want to come out and play, er, take a bath) that he kept pulling back. Now he would venture out and almost be there, but then he'd draw back into his shell.

How many times do we do God that way? He has something so wonderful for us and we are just too afraid to trust Him. We are so focused on ourselves and what we want, or in this case, don't want, that we miss the blessing He has for us. I'm afraid I've done the exact thing far too many times. Probably because I was focused on me: I don't want to do that, I don't have time to do that, I can't do that, it's probably just "me," and the list goes on.

On a lighter note, our friend Eddie, made the front page of our newspaper. Check it out at Eddie, will you sign my book again if I bring it to your book signing?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

uh oh

We are going through the book "Who Can You Trust?" by Howard E. Butt in our Sunday School class. When we first started it I wasn't sure I was really going to like it that much. I can honestly say that I do. It has been the foundation for much discussion among our class.

Some of the statements he made and we discussed from our last lesson are...

Living is forgiving.

Jesus teaches us to make forgiveness a central part of our character.

and my favorite...

To function without forgiving others is to settle for something less than life.

How many of us strive to live a Christ-filled life with bitterness in our hearts??

Matthew 6:14-15 (God's Word translation)
"If you forgive the failures of others, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don't forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failures."

Matthew 7:2 (NIV)
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
These verses aren't usually we ones we hang on our refrigerator, but are truth none the less. Think about them.

Friday, December 5, 2008

in my Father's lap

I've really felt stressed out and unsettled the last few days. (If you've read my blog you know why.) I think I have used so much emotional energy I'm left feeling drained and depleted. I've found myself getting frustrated and irritated at things that usually don't ruffle my feathers so to speak. I can remember living like this MOST of the time years back and I'm certain I don't want to go back there. So I'm taking a time out for myself. We used to give our kids time-outs and they just had to sit somewhere and be still and quiet and settle down. I think that's on my "necessary for my sanity" list today.

You really wouldn't like to be around me when I enter this unhappy spot. I'm irritable, angry, frustrated, and want to scream at something or someone. In fact, I think I already have this morning because I had to repeat my request FOUR times before it was heeded. I think I screamed something like, "Do it, make me happy." Even our dog, Bright, looked startled. You have to remember he didn't live with me in my former life.

So I needed a word from God. My friend Nancy and I were talking about crawling up in God's lap and staying long enough for Him to hold us and love on us just yesterday. I need to do that today.

I already have a word to dwell on while He holds me. I John 3:18-21....

My dear children, let's not just talk about love; let's practice real love.
This is the only way we'll know we're living truly, living in God's reality.
It's also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. And friends, once that's taken care of and we're no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we're bold and free before God!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

can you hear me now???

I hate it when I let my emotions control me like I have the past week. I have been CONSUMED with getting Hannah's phone fixed. It's bad enough it didn't work, but because it was her birthday present it made it worse.

I could go on and on about the hours we spent, the time we spent, the frustration we experienced... I should just be glad it is fixed. And I am. But I am also angry that I had to spend that much time and effort on something that should have been discovered and fixed early on. Of course I want to say they should never have given her someones number that is still in use. Imagination my confusion when the person helping me on the phone yesterday had me call Hannah's number to see if it was fixed and someone else answered~! I finally got my wits together and asked her if such and such number was hers because it had been given to us on our new line. She said yes, it was, and had been for several years. Not only that but they had given her number to someone before!

The person at the cell phone company waiting for me to call to see if it was working didn't believe me. I asked if she had another phone available and she said she did so I asked her to call the number they had given Hannah, and by the way, the lady's name is Mrs. Foreman. In a few minutes she got back on line with me and promptly issued Hannah another number. And guess what??? It works~! I'm still not sure how or why she was able to call out and send and receive text messages on another person's line, but it happened. And I was told that never happened. I told her, yes, actually the lady said they had done it before!

Now I understand mistakes happen and that's okay. What's not okay is that it took 7 days, over 15 hours, and a 3 1/2 hour wait in one of their stores in which we left with the same problem. If they had only canceled the line and given her another like they were supposed to (that was finally the suggestion they offered while we waited at the store) it would have been taken care of. But someone DELETED the order and it was never done.

I am going to write a letter to the company and tell them how disappointed I am in their "service" to be sure. And unless some unforeseen problem arises with the situation I promise not to rant about Hannah's Rant any more. You have my word.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

never EVER give up

Finally Hannah's cell phone is working~!

They had given her someone else's number~! Go figure. I still don't understand why she could make calls and send and receive text messages on someone else's number. For the record I have spent 15 hours on the phone, in the store, or on on-line chat with them. Also made a trip out of town and got a new phone. They kept saying it was her phone and I needed to send it in for repair or exchange. Maybe this headache will go away now.

finding magic

I went to bed early last night. It seems all the dealings with the phone company and sinus pressure caught up with me. My head hurt! I lay on our bed and finished watching a show and started channel surfing. It seems my husband's habit has rubbed off on me. Except for watching part of the shows I just go the main menu and find a couple of things I like and go back and forth between the two. At 8:00 I returned to the menu and found that the Dallas Mavericks were already playing. I didn't know they were on (honestly Connie and Eddie, I didn't know).

The LA Clippers have acquired Baron Davis and Zach Randolph and have a pretty darn good team which their record doesn't reflect. They led the whole game until the last minutes. One of my favorites, J.J. Barea, made a three pointer to give them the surge they needed. They won 100-98~!

Even though I love basketball I'm really more of a people fan. If I like a player or coach I get upset when they get traded. Take Avery Johnson for example. I loved Avery as their coach. He took them to the playoffs a couple of times and because they didn't win the title they axed him. I got mad! I haven't even given Rick Carlisle, their new coach, much thought (other than I'd rather have Avery than him). I know that's pretty childish as it wasn't his fault Avery left, but back to my story. Last night after the game I was watching the post game show and they interviewed him. He made this remark, "For a four-minute stretch we caught lightning in a bottle and found some magic.''

I'm afraid I may have been wrong not to give him the benefit of the doubt. Anyone who can talk like that is pretty great. Welcome aboard, Rick.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

on a rant

Someone had the bright idea to get Hannah her very own cell phone for her birthday. Was that really my idea? Bethany helped me and we picked her out a red Samsung Rant. Well, I must say I have been ranting every since. You see, her cell phone won't ring...she can call you, and you can text her and she can text you, but you can't CALL her. It goes straight to voicemail.

Hannah and I have spent about 10 hours on the phone or online chat with the company. We have taken out the battery, refreshed it, powered it off and on, gone into the menu settings to no avail. Finally they tell me it must be the phone because everything is perfect on their end. So tonight we run over to Sherman to the corporate phone store. She gives us a new phone and it still won't ring. So she spends a few hours on line with the same people we have talked to the past 5 days. They go through their list of things to try and it still won't work. She gives up and is about to send us home when my wonderful husband pulls a "Sarah" on me. He tells her we will only be going backwards if we take the cell phone back home not working and will she please do whatever it takes to get it fixed, NOW BEFORE WE LEAVE. It is five minutes before their closing time, but by this time we have been there 3 hours and we just want it FIXED PLEASE. Finally she gets someone on the phone that tells her he has NEVER heard of that happening and it must be the line. Okay, now it's not the service on their end, it's not the phone, so it must be the line. So we cancel the line and wait for it to come through on the computer showing it has been cancelled so we can add a new line and try the phone on it. The lady told her it usually is taken care of in a few minutes but could take up to 12 hours. We wait twenty minutes or so and it still shows we have the line on our family plan. We have to wait for the phone service to go off before we can try again with another line. By now it's almost 10:00 and an hour past their closing time. We decide to head for the house and deal with it later. Well, it's 12:30 in the morning and it's still on. aaarrrghhhh!

So now tomorrow, er..I mean today, I have to call them again and waste more of my valuable time trying to get phone service that will actually let someone CALL you~! What is the world coming to when phones won't ring???

Hannah, I'm so very sorry for this negative post. We WILL get it worked out SOMEDAY~!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

make the right choice

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. (Psalms 91:1-4)

Synonyms) alarm, anxiety, apprehension, consternation, dread, fearfulness, fright, horror, panic, terror, trepidation

Related Words) phobia; creeps, jitters, nervousness, willies; pang, qualm, twinge; agitation, discomposure, disquiet

Our pastor has spoken about fear, or rather why we don't have to fear, for several weeks now. It reminds me how grateful I am that God freed me from that strangle-hold years back. I can still remember how AMAZING it was to be free from it. Honestly, it still is!

I was afraid of most things. Not my parents, or later my husband, but just "things." From driving, to the dark, of being alone to all the "what ifs" I could imagine. Believe me, I could imagine lots of what ifs. I lived in a state of nervousness and fear. I realize there are many things we can fear in the natural. But we have a God who is in control of our lives. Are we going to trust Him and His faithfulness or are we going to dwell on our imaginations? Most of our what ifs don't even happen so we've wasted all that time and energy and worry over nothing. What if we take those times and dwell on God and His promises??

I love the way The Message says...

Isaiah 41:10 "Don't panic. I'm with you. There's no need to fear for I'm your God. I'll give you strength. I'll help you. I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you. "

Isaiah 41:13 "That's right. Because I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I'm not letting go. I'm telling you, 'Don't panic. I'm right here to help you.'

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

no news is not always good news

I just saw a headline of a news story on msn. It was asking why we never ran out of turkeys. Now while I didn't read the article to find out, I have a hunch I know the answer. We don't eat the traditional turkey for Thanksgiving. Maybe one Thanksgiving I have baked one, but it was left for chicken, er, turkey salad. I'm pretty sure it was a free deal also, you a ham and get a free turkey. We had much rather have brisket or spiral sliced ham. In fact I am going shopping this afternoon to purchase the items needed for our Thanksgiving meal. Bring on the brisket for our family. I have a really good recipe for brisket. You marinate it overnight and everyone who has ever eaten it likes it. Back to the turkey, maybe there is a good use for one. I also read another story that tells how someone tried stopping a man who was trying to steal a lady's car by clubbing him with a frozen turkey. Hurrah for her attempted rescuer.

Thursday Hannah will be 16. Sweet sixteen. We went to Frisco Saturday (Hannah, Danielle, Bethany, Rebekah, and myself) to eat at The Cheesecake Factory. It was fun watching Danielle and Hannah take pictures of everything. Each entree, each appetizer, each piece of cheesecake. I mentioned we were celebrating a birthday so they decorated a piece of cheesecake and several of them sang Happy Birthday to Hannah. I figured I was really in for it, but she took it all good naturedly. I really didn't know they did that there.

We spent tons of time at Barnes and Noble and Old Navy and Sam's Club. We looked at books and movies and Cd's there. Danielle made a purchase and Hannah got a bag of Skittles. I just settled for my usual cinnamon and sugar pretzel and was quite content. If you haven't had one at Sam's you are missing a treat!

I also need to finish getting ready for Hannah's birthday. It seems I am always running around like crazy at the last minute for birthdays. I used to be much more organized. Now I have most of her present, just a few last minute details to attend to. I was whispering to Bethany the other day and Hannah wanted to know what was being said. I told her there were lots of secrets in the air this time of year and not to worry herself about it.

I also have to rant a bit about customer service. Now I can't tell you the "whole story" until after secrets are exposed, but I do have a rant about Dell. Bethany ordered a laptop in August. They kept putting her off and rescheduling the shipment of it for over THREE months. Everyone she talked to had a different spill on why it wasn't shipped. She was told it was the color, no, it wasn't the color it was something else, and so on for three months. She has spent hours on the phone talking to people. The supervisor she spoke with last was rude. She cancelled her order and ordered a Mac last Thursday. This morning it is sitting in her bedroom waiting to be opened. Lets see...over three months and no computer from Dell versus five days and it being signed, sealed, and delivered from Apple. Kudos for Apple and Down with Dell. Actually we have a better logo that rhymes with Dell, but I'll leave that to your imagination.

Friday, November 21, 2008

the time is now

This week we are "catching up" all the things that should already have been caught up in school. We haven't had a knock down drag out yet, but there's still a while to go before this week is over. I know Hannah and Daniel just adore me when I get in this mood. I want to take some time off for Thanksgiving so I'm in the "get it ALL done" mode. All our kids can tell you that they'd much rather me NOT be in that mood. :o)

I even stayed home on Tuesday night and missed Celebrate Recovery because I was so much in that mode. We are accomplishing lots though, so that is a good thing. Every time I fall behind I say I won't let it happen again. Then life happens and we're behind. This week my typical "oh well" attitude hasn't shown up. It's more like a "get 'er done type attitude.....or else you will be working through your Thanksgiving holiday." Now I've not always had that relaxed attitude; just ask my older children.

Not only do we have Thanksgiving next week but Hannah's 16th birthday is the same day. So we will be celebrating Hannah, Thanksgiving, and the beginning of the Christmas season. We always put our tree up on Thanksgiving night. There is always the talk over every body's special ornaments and who/when they got them. There's always the traditional Christmas music playing in the background and Bright getting excited because he always senses the mood of our family. All together it is a very good time.

As Jane Howard says in "Families"..."Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one."

I think our daughter, Bethany, said it better in her blog entry, "What do people do without big families? I’d be lost without mine."

Amen and Amen.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

food for thought from facebook

I found this piece of flair on Facebook this morning. It caught my attention and made me desire for my life to be different. Not different as in my family, friends, home, church, circumstances, where I live...but different as in my walk with the Lord. It would be so incredible to be so focused on God that it shows so much that people take notice. Really take notice.

Now if I could only remember it's called "Facebook" and not "myface." Rebekah set me up an account and I am totally having fun with it. Okay, all my friends who don't have Facebook; get it! And all my friends who do I'll see you there.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

80 years

Mickey Mouse first appeared in 1928. Happy Birthday, Mickey~!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

describing words

Adjectives that described me today...


Thursday, November 13, 2008

did i just do that?

I went with Bethany to Sherman today. It was a lot of fun. Well, at least for a while it was. We went to Chick-fil-A for lunch. I had several ideas on where to eat and Bethany didn't like those: she had several ideas that I didn't like so we ended up there. It's a good place to eat and wasn't fast fast food so in we went. We ordered our meals and I went to get straws, napkins, and ketchup while Bethany got us a booth. I came back, sat down, and pushed the table which almost went flying across the floor. Well, maybe I'm being a little dramatic, but the tray slid across the table at breakneck speed and Bethany's lemonade fell over, the lid came off, and like a great wave splashed all over the table, seat, floor, and on her. She made a valiant effort to retrieve it before it fell, but I was just too fast for her.

Jeez, this reminds me of having little kids and here I am the one making the mess. A very nice lady came and cleaned up the floor and Bethany got another lemonade. She wouldn't let me touch the table after that. I promise you...that table had a problem. If you touched it, it rocked. So I ate the rest of my meal trying not to touch the table. I was even very careful when I dipped my waffle fries in the ketchup. You just can't be too cautious after an accident like that.

Our feet even stuck to the floor when we got up to leave. Anyone care to go to lunch with me tomorrow?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

not an advertisement...well, maybe

I have this product that I have only used once. I just got it day before yesterday. Why I waited until today to use it I'll never know. It's a facial scrub from Arbonne and I believe it's part of their anti-aging line. It is wonderful after ONE use. This is what they say about it..."Regular use of this scrub will leave your skin cleansed, rejuvenated and youthful-looking." If it feels any better than this I don't know if I can stand it!

Rebekah had gotten me the REnewing Gelee Creme Hydrating Wash and and the Day Creme for a gift. They are wonderful also and made a great difference in the way my face felt by themselves. But add the scrub and it's magnificent.

I'm pretty sure I'll need some toner, deep pore cleansing masque, day and night facial serum, some night creme, and quite possibly the REactivating Body Serum. I wonder if they sell it by the vat so I could just immerse my body in it and be done with it?

It really is that good!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

blank slate

I'm sitting here trying to come up with something to write; not just anything of course, but whatever it is that I need to write. My mind is a blank and my thoughts aren't connected. I want to say so much, but nothing comes.

The only thing that comes to mind is the song "How Great is Our God" by Chris Tomlin. To these words I can echo a resounding AMEN.

The splendor of the King, clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice
All the earth rejoice

He wraps himself in Light, and darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God,
and all will see How great, how great is our God

Age to age He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the end
Beginning and the end

The Godhead Three in One
Father Spirit Son
The Lion and the Lamb
The Lion and the Lamb

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Name above all names
Worthy of all praise
My heart will sing
How great is our God

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God (x2)

Friday, November 7, 2008

bittersweet memories

I had my day all planned out yesterday. School work, school work, and more school work. I am a bit behind on my administrative duties. The next thing I know I'm calling my Mom and asking her if she'll come spend a couple of days if I pick her up. She said yes so Hannah and I picked her up after Hannah's hair appointment.

Now I had forgotten that today is the fifth anniversary of my dad's death. My mom reminded me after we got here. How timely of God to put her on my heart and to have her with us today. I'm sure everyday is hard, but today would be harder.

My dad and I weren't terribly close, but I knew he loved me and would do anything for me if he could. Sometimes things will immediately bring him to my mind and it is bittersweet. Some things I miss about him are some of his sayings like "dry as a bone" and "grazin' material" for the kids. When the kids were smaller he would always pull out his wallet and give us money to get grazin' material for them. That meant candy and they loved it! When I was younger I always knew if I was getting what I wanted for Christmas because he would tease me about it. I guess he had a hard time keeping Christmas secrets.

My dad was drafted into World War II when he was eighteen. He fought in and survived the Battle of the Bulge. After he came home he married my mom, started farming, and never went far from home again. I guess he had traveled all over Europe and didn't have a hankering to go elsewhere. The furthest I've ever traveled with him was to Dallas after he got sick. My brother Teddy, Mom, and I took him to see a specialist there and he ended up having surgery and being there a couple of times while he was sick. Oh, how he wanted to come home.

He actually made a record and sent home to his parents. I can remember listening to it growing up and thinking how young he sounded. It was because he was young. About the age of my sons. I can't imagine how his mother's heart must of broken when he left.

He loved us, worked hard, and was a honest and kind man. I miss him. So Daddy, if you can hear me from heaven, I love you and miss you. So does Mom.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

colors of my fall

A bit of spring lingers into my fall.

More glorious colors of fall

I couldn't interest Hannah in taking my pictures this morning so I did it. This isn't very good, but the colors are awesome.

A beautiful red heart just leaps when I see these.
God creates such beautiful things for us to enjoy.

This makes me think of the picture Ben drew when he was little. He called it "bird in a storm." I still haven't found it, but I'm sure I put it in a place for safe keeping and just haven't ran across it yet. Even though it's just a lot of pencil marks it is priceless to me.

I was experimenting with my stones for my bench. I did this and decided it looked terrible. I just left it though because I didn't have any better ideas that I could do at the time. That night I couldn't sleep and I got up and googled "stone benches." I found out that you can make them any way you want and I found one similiar to this one. My friend Pam was over and suggested moving my little bird under the shelter of the bench and moving my big pot over also. Now I absolutely love it.

This is the stuff that God provided this morning...mulch, sand, rocks, compost, top soil, and potting soil. I'm going to let Donald think I bought it all and then tell him that we were blessed. Thanks, Pastor Paul, for the heads up. And thanks to Daniel for his muscle work. Some of these bags are HEAVY. I still have bricks left that I picked up this summer. I am already pondering on a project for the back yard. I just love the word "ponder." It is full of so many possibilities!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

After the Fire

"There isn’t much better in this life than finding a way to spend a few hours in conversation with people you respect and love. You have to carve this time out of your life because you aren’t really living without it."

Real Live Preacher, Weblog, August 27, 2003

This is so true. Friends are one of God's greatest blessings. We are fortunate to have many good friends. They are always here for us. If I could only be a speck of the blessing to them that they are to us, then I would have achieved something real and good.

It seems that we have friends who made the news recently. Eddie's book is published and on sale now. You find it at You can search for "After the Fire" and buy a copy of it for yourself. I am ordering one today and am planning on asking Eddie to sign it for me!

Connie and Eddie's son, Billy, made the newspaper on Sunday. There was a whole page article with pictures and it was even continued on another page. The person described Billy as having "an easy smile and warm eyes." Either he knows Billy well or he is very perceptive. Donald and I both agree this describes Billy well. If you don't get the newspaper you can find the article here at
Sadly though, I couldn't find the pictures that are in the paper itself. They were great. Now I'm not going to tell you what the article is about since you can read it for yourself.

Connie and Eddie are always here for us. Always. When I need a friend I always have one in Connie. She is real and genuine with me. She won't tell me something just to make me feel good; she's always honest. Everyone needs a friend like her. She has came through for me on so many occasions. In addition, we have borrowed their back yard, borrowed their truck, and borrowed their HD TV to watch the Mavs. Well, sorta kinda, they invite us over to watch some of the games we can't get. They have taken me to Dallas to the airport when I needed to get to Donald in Brownsville when he tore a muscle in his leg. Eddie has rescued our daughter out of a predicament where she couldn't get loose from something. (You'll have to ask Hannah about this one.) I can call them any time at all and they are always here for me. The only kitchen fire I ever had was the first time we invited them over for dinner. How appropriate to have a fireman in your kitchen when you have a fire.

Be sure to check out Eddie's book. I'm sure you'll love it.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Mavs Talk

The kids got Donald tickets for the Mavs season opener against Houston. What a great birthday present! What was really great about it was that they bought me one also! We went over early and ate at El Fenix. It is such a neat restaurant. It is close to the American Airlines arena. We just stumbled across it when we went last time. It was the first one to open and smack dab in the middle of Dallas. There are cobblestone streets and the atmosphere is great. The food isn't so bad either, especially the chips!
We got to the arena early and went down to the section where the Mavs give autographs before the game. We were so close to Jerry Stackhouse and I so wanted to get his autograph for Connie but he didn't linger long enough. :o( He had a huge diamond stud in his ear and I thought of how much debt we could pay off if it was mine! I don't really get into diamonds unless it's the one on my engagement/wedding ring. But that has nothing to do with this.
I have been to a couple of games but it was against teams that were easy to beat. This was a really exciting game even if they did lose. My only disappointment was that Dirk had cut his hair short again. I like it long and it is so easy to recognize him on the floor when it is longer. We had great seats even if they were in the higher section. We could see the game and tell who was who without looking at the big screen in the top of the arena. I actually watched the game and if I did look at the screen I missed the "real" thing so I didn't watch it very much.
It was a great time, kids, and thank you so very much for including me!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I'm not sure I'll like it at all when everyone leaves home. Today was awesome! At lunch I made hamburgers for Daniel, Hannah, Ben, and Sam (one of my other "kids"). Bethany had jasmine rice and I fried okra for her. I made a salad for Donald and myself. By the time we were almost finished Rebekah came home. I hadn't cooked for her, but she was okay with it. (She doesn't usually come home at lunch.) She had came home for pie anyway. I had made pies yesterday: apple, coconut, and lemon. She knows our family pretty well and wanted to make sure she got some more before it was all eaten.

Anyway back to my story. The kids were all eating and talking and laughing. I looked at Donald and said, "This is a good life." He readily agreed with me. I love our kids and their friends so much! We are blessed with really special friends for our children.

It will be another season of life when they all have their own homes. It will be good and right, but it sure will take some getting used to for me.

Just so you know, I don't usually cook lunch. I totally surprised them today. I think moms need to do that occasionally; surprise them I mean, not necessarily cook lunch. It will be worth the hugs and smiles anyway!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

hidden treasure

I received one of those get to know you emails from my cousin. One of the questions asked if I have a special talent. The answer came quite easily. My reply? Yes, being me!

On first blush it seems that is not a talent. It's just something you are. Maybe so for some. For me it has been a process. I definitely am not who I once was. God has changed me. I hope He continues to change me the rest of my life.

I was very shy and insecure growing up. I was first born and have been called teacher's pet, miss goody two shoes, and other names along the same lines. I didn't buck authority, did my homework, and was loved by my teachers. My parents loved me also; in this case it just falls into the category of "of course they did, you are their daughter." I realize not all children were/are so fortunate.

I never really liked myself very much until I discovered I am who God made me to be and He thinks I'm great. Okay, maybe I'm slow in that area, but I think lots of people struggle with this.

I was always the first one to criticize myself and could give you many reasons why I wasn't any good in a particular area. I was really down on myself.

When asked what the greatest commandment was Jesus replied, " Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

I'm here to tell you it's hard to succeed at that one if you don't love yourself. I don't mean an arrogant "it's all about me" attitude. I'm talking about finding out who you are in Christ and what He thinks about you.

It will totally change your life when it drops into your heart. By the grace of God I am not what I once was! I like me...I am a child of the King and I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God delights in me!!

My thanks goes to God and our wonderful pastor for the teaching on grace that we received week after week. I believe we all have a treasure hidden within. It just needs to be revealed to us by our heavenly Father!

Friday, October 24, 2008

redneck raisin'

Hannah and I got home from enrichment classes about an hour ago. Donald, who was home for lunch, proudly proclaimed that, "you know you've done something right when you come home and your daughter is frying baloney."

Three cheers for parenting!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

pieces of flair

These are some pieces of flair I have received from friends and family on facebook. I hadn't been on in weeks and look what I found!

shall we?

I received emails from friends this morning. I thought these are well worth sharing and thinking about. Sometimes in the busyness of life we forget what's really important. I know I do, far too often. In fact, these past few weeks have been like that for me. It's time for me to slow down and experience God's presence. There is no true life without Him.

The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

If you lack the courage to start, you have already finished.

The pursuit of happiness is the chase of a lifetime! It isn't ever too late to become what you might have been.

The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

And my personal favorite....

Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.