Saturday, December 29, 2007


Yep....I changed this blog again...and it won't be the last time. I have got to learn how to do more on this computer. I read so many blogs now and they are all so cute......from the header to the sidelines to the actual posts. I know I could do that if I only had a personal computer geek.....wait! I do have a personal computer geek! His name is Chuck.

But Chuck has way better things to do with his time than help me with this blog....not to mention he's not that into "cute." He did help me with the picture above...and while it will do, it is not exactly what I was going for.

I took the Christmas down today and did a little cleaning and dusting. Good times. I love the way the house looks at Christmas...but I also love the way it looks after it is all gone for the next 11 months. And those 11 months will fly by quickly and it will be time to get it all out again.

I am giving serious thought to my resolutions for 2008. I always come up with some, but never keep them. I think it is just a time to think of things that need to be changed.......and maybe sometime soon, those changes will happen. Even if not on Jan. 1.

Chuck and I bought each other a treadmill for Christmas. (Okay, Chuck's money, my idea) It will be delivered on Saturday, Jan. 5. My goal is to walk 30-45 minutes a day. Surely, I can do that. I just read a quote from some Hollywood babe (can't remember who) that said she would rather have 6 hours of sleep and a one hour workout than 7 hours of sleep. That makes sense. I am going to repeat that to myself until I believe it.

I had a great 2007. Lots of good things happened: Jordan graduated from A&M, Cameron got into the Engineering College at A&M, Will survived jumping out of a car with just a few stitches and a chipped elbow, Chuck's project went smoothly, my job was fun. Hopefully 2008 will bring good things, too.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

for Jordan.....

Dear Jordan,

Although we know you are happy, we still missed you around the house today....our first Christmas without you. It is now 11:00 p.m. and we are ALL still in our PJ's ...a very relaxing Christmas Day. We slept late, opened gifts, ate a big breakfast at noon, played with our new gifts, hung around, watched some new dvd's, ate some more, watch some more tv....and now it is almost time for bed. The good news is we all have on our pj's. Yipee! I love this lazy family. My kind of day.
You are a great gift giver and we all loved our gifts from you. Here are a few pictures of some of us opening them....I am behind the camera so I didn't make it in any of them. Thank goodness....bed head and all. It would have been a scary site.

It is hard to believe I have a daughter old enough to be away on Christmas day, but I can honestly say, that as long as you are happy, I am happy.

Will studying his gift from you....a season of Friends.

Cameron opening her Harry Potter coffee mug. Double score....Harry Potter and Coffee!

Daddy opening your present....the latest Clive Cussler.

Cameron's gift to Daddy... a replica of the "Lady's Leg Lamp" from the Christmas Story. Look at that laugh!

Christmas Eve at our house with the Ivy's.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Supercalifragilisticexpealadocious....or something like that.

The first weekend in December, my sister-in-law, Beth flew in to Houston to see us. No, not to see us. To see her hero, Julia. No, not Julia. Julie. She had called a few weeks earlier to see if I would go with her to see Julie Andrews who was coming to the Hobby Center. I said yes......and she purchased VIP tickets. With a VIP ticket, you got a signed book by Julie and a photo op. Although it may look like Julie and I are old reality it was a split second. But what a wonderful split second. She is beautiful, elegant, gracious, intelligent, funny and real. Very real.

The evening was "a conversation" with Julie. She told her life story and of 3 very lucky breaks in her early career that led to her success. She did not talk about her botched vocal chord surgery in the late 90's that rendered her unable to sing the octaves that made her so famous. She talked about her 38 year marriage, her charities of choice and how she knew she was blessed. It was a wonderful evening. One I may have missed had Beth not found the ad and called me to see if I would tag along.

Thankfully there was a photo op, as Beth told me all she wanted for Christmas was a photo of her with Julie. Checked that one off the list early! And I got one of me with her, too....something I never thought would happen in this lifetime.

Monday, December 17, 2007

His biggest fan...

Dan Fogelberg died on Sunday, December 16, 2007, at 6:00 a.m. He died at his home in Maine...after a long battle with prostate cancer.

I haven't cried but, oh, I am so sad. I woke up several times last night and thought about him. Probably I will cry one day over something as silly as a commercial and then the flood gates will open and I will wail for Dan. That's how it usually happens. Of course I didn't know Dan personally but he was a huge part of my growing up in my 20's......he mended my heart the first time it was broken, got me through many more bad relationships and sang to me and my babies in the middle of the night. When Will was a baby and would get fussy in the carseat, I could play a Fogelberg tape and he would immediately calm down.

I discovered Dan Fogelberg in the summer of 1978...his music was being played at a party and I asked someone who it was. By then he had 4 or 5 albums out and I bought them all and spent countless hours listening to them. I bought albums and played them on a record player....there was no fast forwarding or rewinding or skipping so I listened to every song on every album over and over and over.  I was his back up my living room or car.

I had had my heart broken in March of 1977 and I don't think I even began to feel again until I started listening to Dan's music. I continued to buy his new then 8 tracks, then tapes, then cd's...but his first 3 or 4 albums are still my favorite. My children allow me to listen to his cd's on long road trips. Chuck took me to his concerts. I even have him listed as a Happy on this site.

I loved him.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

CAUTION: Wearing this may cause you to bake.

I received a note on my door yesterday that an attempt was made to deliver a package to me.......and so today I went to pick it up at the post office. I knew it was from childhood friend from Bryan....and I was so anxious to see what it was that I ripped into it in the car. And I was not disappointed at fact, it could not have been a more perfect gift.

Stephanie is the reason I started blogging....and reading blogs. Once you start reading blogs, that leads you to other blogs, that leads you to even more blogs. And before you know it, you have wasted a good bit of time. But really only time you would have spent loading the dishes or doing a load of laundry, and I have found those things sit back and wait patiently for me.

Anyway, one day on one blog, I saw a very cute apron. Then they began appearing on
many of the blogs. You could order an apron or a pattern. These aprons were made of vintage fabrics and could not have been more adorable. I cannot tell you how many times I almost ordered one. But then I would think, maybe I should try to make one.....I just never got around to it.

Well, Stephanie sent me the cutest (better than any I have seen to date) apron for my birthday! So now I may start cooking again. So Stephanie George Hirschberg, I thank you for the apron....and Chuck and Will thank you for the hot meals in their future.

Saturday, December 1, 2007


We have almost always had a huge, artificial, but very real looking tree. Mostly because we have gone to Mississippi over the holidays and I hated coming home to a dead tree and carpet full of needles. So after the first 3 or 4 years of our marriage we went to the artificial tree. Several years ago we purchased the biggest pre-lit tree and although it made a great was incredibly hard to decorate. It took lots of ribbon, ornaments and ladders to make it look full.

So just a couple of years ago, I decided I wanted a much smaller, skinny tree when our gigantic tree starting losing sections of lights. Much to my family's chagrin, we went out shopping for one. We got in Garden Ridge and Chuck just couldn't do it. He could not buy a little tree. It just wouldn't be Christmas (whatever...) I gave in, and we bought a medium tree with lots more lights on it than the one we had. Not as hard to fill up but still larger than I wanted.

But what you see above is the new tree I just purchased on a whim.....a white, tinsel tree.....7 feet tall but still rather small. I love it. I put all cookie and candy ornaments on it. And it is twinkly and sugar plummy. We didn't even get the other tree out of the attic. And the Hackney men are grumbling and pouting. They really want an explosion of Christmas in the house.

But the one who puts the ornaments on and the one who takes them down RULES. And the one who rules just turned 50.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Santa Claus is coming to town.

Working with kindergarteners is so fun this time of year because you can pull the Santa card and it works every time. They just believe. The other day there were several jet streams(you know the streaks in the sky left from a jet?)in the sky and I pointed to them and said Santa must have just flown over. You have never seen a straighter, quieter line of kids. Powerful.

Quite possibly my most treasured inanimate object...

I was given this scrapbook for my 50th birthday from Jordan. She purchased it, sent out pages to a few of my most special friends and family members....then held Chuck and Will hostage until they did a page...and put it all back together. It is the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me. Really. For each of you that did a page, I want you to know how much it means to me. I am not sure how to really express my gratitude....because it is so deep and sentimental and overwhelming. We all lead such busy lives and just the thought that this was put "on your plate" and you completed it and sent it back means the world to me. Take a peak at some of the won't be able to see the detail, but you will get an idea of how wonderful it is.

The book.....

Me...from a baby to a bride to a mom.

Mama's page...
The one who gave me mama. She is a very talented person. Her craft of choice these days is paper so her pages were wonderful. She even made me a mini banner......for celebrating my first half-century. Thank you for always making me my very own pumpkin pie for my "birthday cake."

Sheila's page...
Sheila, my partner in crime in kindergarten at Birkes. We spent alot of time laughing on the job. When I transferred to a new school, Sheila and I made a promise to keep in touch. And I can honestly say, we have. We meet about every 6 weeks for dinner and non-stop conversation. I love finding new friends at this time in my life because it reminds me how life is still full of good surprises.

Karen's page...
Karen Lea, my craftiest friend. We have known each other since our oldest children were in elementary school...back when little girls wore big bows in their hair. Karen's little girl's bows were as big as Jordan and Cameron's bows. I knew I liked her when I saw that! She is a talented artist and has the most generous spirit. Karen and I pick up where we left off each time we see each other....even if it's been a year. Recently we took a girls' trip...after talking about it for 8 years. Hopefully we can make it an annual event.

Barbara's page...
My cousin, Barbara from McKinney....she and I really got to know one another as adults, when I spent time in Dallas with my cousin Paul. Paul died of pancreatic cancer in February of 2004. I was one of his caregivers in the last weeks of his life and Barbara and her husband, Jim, were my light in those dark days. Our fathers were brothers and although they were very different (in their career choices, political beliefs and personalities) they were both good men and wonderful fathers to us and husbands to our moms. Barbara and I feel very connected.

Catha's page...
My sweet, sweet sister, Catha. The wind beneath my wing....the one who TRIED to keep me out of trouble...always. She is in my earliest memory and in all of my fondest ones. She was the brains and I was the MOUTH. Still that way. Thank you for my pages and for my birthday celebration.

Chuck's page...
Chuck.....the husband. Writing under duress....never scrapbooked before. Probably won't scrapbook again any time soon. Thank you Jordan for making him do a page. Chuck and I just celebrated 24 years of marriage. If I told him to make me a scrapbook of our marriage, he probably would. Heehee

Will's page...
Will.....Baby Will as we like to call him. Also held against his will to do this page....but I am so glad he was. His sarcastic wit is all over it....and some sentiment, too. Thank you for drawing the stick figures of our family. I haven't had one of those pictures in years.

Cameron's page...
Cameron....this one is my mouth and Chuck's brain. Look out world, she will take you by storm. I have enjoyed listening to her talk since she was 10 months old. If you ever want to hear the real details about how something "went down"....Cameron's the one to ask. In fact, moms used to call me to get the real story from Cameron about something that happened at school. She has the bluest eyes in Texas and I love staring at them.

Jordan's page...
Jordan....the idea girl, the operations and production manager of the whole thing. You will never know how much this means to me. I love you. My first thought when I saw you in the delivery room, was "how did this incredibly cute, tan baby come out of me?" And now I think, "How did this incredibly cute girl grow up so fast?" You are a blessing from above....and I never forget that. I love your handwriting and your words. I have missed having you near while you are in Arizona....but I am so proud of your adventurous spirit.

Lice Check in 2 weeks.....

Well, here I am celebrating the big FIVE O....with a sombrero placed on my head by a bunch of singing waiters. Celebrating at a Pappasitos ....2 margaritas and I am "posing" in a sombrero. Hopefully that sombrero gets sprayed between customers or I am in big trouble in a couple of weeks.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Boys of Thanksgiving

I wanted to post the photos of the boys of Thanksgiving. Click on photo to get a better view as a couple of the photos were taken in very low lighting. They are:

Chuck, my husband and father of my children...a very sweet, low-key guy.

Kim, my brother-in-law, husband to my sister and father to my nephews...also a very kind, low-key guy.

Jack, my oldest nephew, Catha's son...a very talented photographer and eloquent speaker.

Mark, my youngest nephew, Catha's son...the actor, dancer, singer.

Will, my youngest child, only son, and an almost clone of Catha's boys....I have always considered Will a "direct hit from God."

Uno, the newest canine in the family, belongs to Mark. Sorry we called you a "she" all day long but all we have are girl dogs.

Thanksgiving Day in Cypress, TX

The day started with picking up Jordan at the airport. We haven't seen her since the middle of August and although we talk almost daily, it was so good to hug her and be in her presence.

Then we began the setting of the table and the last hours of food preparation for the meal we were sharing with my sister, Catha, and her family. We blessed the food, ate the food, then went around the table and talked about what we were most thankful for. Noone ever wants to go first.....but everyone ends up being glad they could say out loud the things that usually go unsaid. Everyone laughed....and some of us even got close to tearing up. We all left the table just miserable from being way too stuffed. Some football, a fire in the firepit on the deck, and some good conversation later, we had enough room for dessert.

Birth Week

Last Friday morning I arrived at work right on time.....meaning 1 minute until 8:00 am. I rushed to my workroom to put away my purse as I needed to get into the cafeteria for my early morning duty. While passing through a teacher's room, she called me over to look at an email....then SuRpRiSe!!!! The whole team was in the next room with a wonderful birthday breakfast and gifts and song! The Happy Birthday song, of course. They had even asked another staff member to take over my duty so I could stay and be the Guest of Honor at my party. What a great way to start out my Birth Week. Tomorrow is the big one. So today is the last day of my 40's.

I have really loved my 40's. I would have loved them more if I had been a bit smaller and exercised more. I would have loved them more if I had not experienced all those pesky female problems in the early 40's. I would have loved them more if I had not had to witness my sweet cousin die a horrible death from pancreatic cancer.

But I really did love them. We moved to the other side of town almost 9 years ago and I have loved making a new life and new friends and decorating a new (new to me) house. I have watched my daughters go from pre-teens into wonderful, beautiful young adults. I have watched my little boy grow to 6 feet tall with a much deeper voice than I could have ever imagined. I have also become very much okay with who I am...realizing that I could not be all things to all people at all times and that is okay. I have learned to turn to God and to give it up to him. I have almost learned to keep my mouth closed when my opinion is really not wanted. And I have witnessed the extreme speed of time.

So as I enter my 50's tomorrow, I will pray for continued health, continued blessings and for time to slow down just a bit.

One last picture of me in my 40's! This was taken and Cameron.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Not as young as I once was.....

I hosted a Happy Hour for the staff of my school this past Friday......well, actually the Social Committee, of which I am a member, hosted it. I just provided the location. The Social Committee provided the party food and it was BYOB. We had a great turn-out and a great time. As the HH was winding down, the younger teachers got a group to go out dancing. An older group decided to head over to a local sports bar and do some karoake. I was in the older group. In case you were wondering. Saturday morning I realized I should have been in the group that stayed home and went to bed. Too old to party like a rock star.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Brunettes score

I have been playing around with my blog....changing the template,etc. I'm not sure I like it, but it will have to do for now as it is way past my bedtime. While in here, The Bachelor was on and now I have to stay up a little bit longer to see who gets kicked off tonight. I am way better at watching tv than I am at changing my blog site., the blonde got kicked off. I'm shocked. This cowboy likes brunettes.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Give Thanks...

November has arrived and I have put away the Halloween stuff....the decorations were put away in a box, the candy was put away in my mouth. The doorbell only rang 4 times on Halloween night, so the extra large bowl of candy barely had a dent put in it.

Our neighborhood has certainly matured. The first Halloween we lived here, we ran out of candy in the middle of a large group that had arrived. We had been having only 2 or 3 trick or treaters at a time. With just a little candy left, we figured we could handle one more group, then turn out the light. But the next group had about 10 kids! Try handing out candy to the front row and reaching down to an empty bowl with a bunch of masked kids looking at you. Every year since then we have over bought. Now, we are stuck (yea!) with lots of candy.

Now it is the month of giving thanks. This is my favorite month because it is my birth month. But I also love the weather and the time change and pumpkin pie and turkey and dressing. And I like being reminded to stop and think of what I am most thankful for....although I think about this daily now, it is different to look back at the year and reflect about the blessings that stand out.

I found this quote in the paper a while back......

"If the only prayer you say is thank you....that would suffice."

That made me think about how I changed the way I prayed. When I say pray, I really mean talk to God. I am not one to kneel down at my bed or go to a quiet place to pray. I just talk to him in my head. There is a moment of silence each morning at school....and that is when I would say I officially pray. But mostly I just visit with Him off and on all day long.

I used to begin every prayer with "please, please, please......fill in the blank." Begging. Begging. Bartering. But slowly I learned to just give thanks. So now, even on the hardest day, I say thank you to my heavenly Father. Sometimes I thank him for something in particular and some days I just say thanks. He knows what I I don't really have to call it out.

The other quote I love is "Do not prayer for an easy life, pray for strength for the life you have been given."I love that. Our life is what it is. But he will give us the strength to deal with it. Wow. I have lots of days where I say "Give me the strength!"

And lastly, my favorite little prayer...

"Dear Lord, Put your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth." heehee

For my daughters out there.....start thinking about what you are thankful for because you know I am going to make you say it out loud on Thanksgiving Day!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Today was the 2nd annual Book Character Parade at Black Elementary. Basically, it is
a chance for the kids and staff to dress up, but instead of "Halloween costumes"....they must choose a character from a book. So, my kindergarten partner, Debbie, and I dressed as the "Meanies." Meanies are troll like animals that sleep in garbage cans, wash in mud puddles, drink their bath water and eat old bubblegum off the bottom of chairs. And they are very mean to others. The book ends with "Who wants to be a meanie?" "NOT ME!" Debbie wore the trash filled garbage can and I carried a chair with old bubblegum under the seat. We were a hit with the kids....and that's all that matters.

There were lots of Harry Potters, Cinderellas and Juney B. Jones in the halls today. Today, kids got to be kids.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Here's a list of questions that Jordan answered on her blog. So I thought I would do the same. However, I am so non-techno, I tried to copy and paste and then thought I could import the file over here. Well, it succeeded somewhat. But the print is so tiny that you must click on the image to enlarge it. If you are still reading on it now and read on.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Side of Him That His Friends See

New Valances.....

I am on a Mackenzie-Childs kick when I found this cute black & white houndstooth chenille fabric online, I ordered a couple of yards knowing I could come up with something to do with it. While in McKinney, I found the perfect fabric and trim to go with it to make new valances for my dining room curtains. Now they have alot more personality. Well, assuming curtains have personality.

The first picture is what my dining room curtains looked like.....before. I sewed them myself about a year ago. The fabric came from Hancock Fabric and although it wasn't my dream fabric, the price per yard was very low. Very low....and I needed several yards. Very low x several yards = affordable. Although I liked the way they turned out, they are very dark and didn't have alot of pizazz.

Click on the picture to enlarge and see the detail. So how do you like them now?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Old Town McKinney

These are pictures of Old Town McKinney and some of the fall decorations. If you are looking for a great weekend trip.....this is it. Antiques, boutiques and restaurants....and bed & breakfasts, too. Cuter than the pictures can capture.

The first weekend in October I went on a girl's trip with my great friend Karen. She and I had been talking about getting together and going somewhere for the last 8 years. After much emailing back and forth with dates that worked for her and dates that worked for me, we finally found a weekend and marked it in ink on the calendar. I picked Old Town McKinney for our location for 2 reasons. The first reason is that I got a quick peek at it this summer and just knew I had to go back and spend time there. The second reason is that my cousin Barbara lives in McKinney and we would have a cozy place to stay.

We had the best time........eating, talking, shopping and shopping. Barbara and her husband, Jim, are the best hosts. Jim was the minister of the Methodist church in McKinney for several years so they know everywhere to go and everything to do around the square. Barbara took Karen and I to some shops off the main square that Karen and I would probably have never seen. We ate at an Italian restaurant on Saturday evening......along with about 75 highschool homecoming dates....and only got seated right away because the owner knew Barbara and Jim. It really is about WHO you know.

My favorite place was a furniture store that also carried lots of decorative fabrics and trims. I could have spent hours in there. Not only did it have the greatest selection but everything was 40% off. I was in fabric shopping heaven. I couldn't think clear enough to really stock up on fabric for future projects. I guess I will have to go back. I did find some fabric to redo my dining room valances and will show those off in my next post.

We had breakfast on Sunday morning then left to head back to Houston. Two exits down the road is The Allen Premium Outlet Mall.........and 5 hours later we left to really head back to Houston. Whew! I think we ran out of steam about the same time we ran out of money.

Karen......thanks for your valuable time, your wonderful friendship, your generosity (all my little happies that you showered me with!) and the nonstop conversation that made the drive up there and back seem so quick.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

if the hat fits.....

Another picture of the witch's hat.....