Thursday, October 30, 2008

Our Cows...

Our house is on the last street of our subdivision and the road behind us is a little 2 lane one about the length of 15 houses. We have no houses behind us but we do have several acres with grazing, banded cows. Let's just say they're our cows.

Today, when I was coming home, the cows were very close to the fence by the road. Most of the time they are on the other side. I just happen to have my camera with me (as today was the annual "Book Character Parade" at school) so I stopped, rolled the window down and took these shots. The big mama cow, let's call her Bessie, just stood there and posed for me.

Then a little one, we'll call Elmer, came up to get in the next picture. Like..."hey, what about me?"

These cows are a "landmark" when I tell people how to get to my house. "You go past the field with the Oreo cows, then turn on Becker Cemetary Lane......." It's about as close to living on a farm as I guess I'll ever get. Is it only in Texas that there are cow pastures in between subdivisions and shopping centers?

On another thought..

I have been MIA on this blog because I have been trying to keep up with time flying by. Last week, Chuck and I celebrated our 25th anniversary...well, not really "celebrated" because it was on a weeknight but we did acknowledge it. Redoing our backyard after Ike was our gift to each we spend most of our together time out on the back porch. Look up "unromantic" in Webster''ll see Chuck and Julia. I did get Chuck a gift certificate for a massage as he has been doing alot of hard work in the yard. He is giving me this Silver Bella trip and it counts for all major holidays and celebrations for awhile.

I am almost finished with my Silver Bella head is spinning with how I am going to pack all of my art supplies and just general anxiousness about the whole trip coming up. My good, good friend, Karen Lea...who is going with me to SB, lost her mother last week to a very long battle with Ovarian Cancer. Karen is at peace knowing her mother is no longer in pain....and I hope that Karen is able to have a nice get-away at Silver Bella. I talked her into going with me and neither of us know what we're getting into.

Take time to breathe. Stop and look at the cows. Life is fast.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Busy Weekend....Beautiful Weather

This weekend was Will's highschool's Homecoming Game and Dance on Friday and Saturday and I co-hosted a baby shower on Sunday afternoon. So it was a full weekend. The weather was beautiful for outdoor pictures. Here are just a few of Will and his friends. The group met here for pictures and the limo ride to the restaurant. Some had dates, some didn't...

Will and his date Allison on the backporch.

Will and Allison in the front yard.

The group pose in front of the limo.....I am sure this ride was the funnest part of the night.

Today was the baby shower held for Amy Fink...the daughter of my good friend Sheila. Sheila and I worked together as kindergarten paras when I was at Birke's Elementary and have stayed true to our promise to each other to remain in touch. I left Birkes 3 years ago and we still get together as often as every 6 weeks or so. Her friend Blenda worked as an Instructional Specialist at Birke's so I also got to know her and she was my co-host. Really, we just wanted to get together and eat party food and Amy just seemed like a great excuse! Just kidding...we love Sheila and honoring Amy and her was pure joy.

Blenda, Sheila, and me.

It's raining pink booties!

A is for Amy, Andy and soon to be Abigail....due November 21, 2008.

There were lots of cameras going but the only one I got of Amy is this very candid shot in the kitchen .....side shot....sorry I missed her beautiful face.

And then the sweet mom-to-be gave Blenda and I a gift certificate to a spa and some fall flowers for hosting. She's a good egg.

I tweaked my table a little before the weekend and now I have Amy's mums added.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Boo! If that didn't scare you, this might....

Here I am in my Halloween Costume. Can you guess who? I am Michelle Duggar and these are 4 of my 18...soon to be 19 children.

Here's the real scary part....I do kind of look like her in that denim jumper. And God help us all if those glasses the size of windshields make a come-back.

This is Jordan (3) and Cameron (8 mths.) with Jack (2) and Mark (7 mths.), the boy cousins. They would come out every Halloween to trick-or-treat in our neighborhood.

You can't smell it but chili and cornbread were cooking in the kitchen...

P is for Pumpkin

Got the pumpkins out while ago, this is it. This is all I'm doing for Halloween. The baby is 18 and I'm up to my eyebrows in Silver Bella swaps. So I guess this is how the stopping starts. Makes me sad.

The Holy Spirit spoke...but I missed it.

I took the second day off of work to just rest and get well. I have no voice. NO VOICE. I got up in the middle of the night and was running a slight fever so I called in for a sub and went back to bed.

Around noon, I went up to my craft room and attempted to clean it up a little. I have been working like crazy on the weekends finishing the 8 swaps for the paper workshops/Mary Engelbreit/Vendor Faire/Silver Bella 2008! Oh...the money, I've spent, the glue I've poured, the glitter I've thrown.

Anyway...something caught my eye on the board that I work on. I am not even believing this.......look for yourself.

These dots were put here by me about 3 weeks ago. I was using a 6" border stamp on some cards I was working on and these are the excess dots. Is it just a little creepy that there are 3?

I wonder if the Holy Spirit had flown by me saying, "Look my child. This is what you will see everytime you see your son. Grow to love these. Nurture them because oh, they are a part of him. A very permanent part of him."

Only did you read the part about 3 WEEKS AGO? Of course, 3 weeks ago, they were just 3 dots from a stamp. You don't think that's where Will got the idea, do you? He does come in to visit me when I'm crafting as I'm just across the hall from his room. I better be careful what I stamp.

By the way, I just finished reading this book....

Without ruining it for you, a man is visited by God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. They came to visit him in the form of human beings...even a female or two. Not ruining it for you. While parts are a little unbelievable, it was well written and kept my interest. I would love to believe that the heaven they describe is the real deal. In fact, I am going to believe it. The part I love is the way God talks about loving his children...all of his mattter what they have done. Works for me in more ways than one. I hope God loves me no matter what I have done as I love my children with or without tatoos.

And the Holy Spirit really does speak to us. But we don't hear it with our human ears. Rather he speaks to us on craft boards and such.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Made me...

Made me at lunch, I was standing next to one of the kindergarten teachers when she lifted her arm. And there it was....those 3 dots. Then I saw it on another teacher and another. In support of my surprise, anger, dumbfoundedness of Will's latest action, my team wanted to show me support. Aren't they just the greatest....not very mature...but the greatest! Hopefully their dots will come off in the tub tonite, unlike Baby Will's.

Made me hurt.... sore throat attack. On Sunday, I worked in the yard and by the time I went to bed, I had the scratchy throat and stuffy nose. Today I lost my voice. It was this exact time last year that the same thing happened. So I'm thinking allergies. What do you say doc? And I'm also thinking I have a lot to say and I can't. Whew.

Made me smile....conversation that took place today while walking the kindergarten car riders out to the front of the school....

Me: (in a whispery, husky DemiMooreish voice) Okay, let's go.

Her: Why is your voice like that?

Me: Well, my throat hurts. (this is all I could get out as it hurt to say this much.)

Her: (After about a minute) Oh, I get it..... if someone's throat is sore their voice is different?

Me: Yep. Good thinking. (sounded more like sssssscccccccrrrrraaaattttccccchhhhhh)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Orion's Belt

As my header states....changing moods daily. So enough about politics and government...let's have a little science lesson...

This is Orion's Belt...3 bright stars in a row....a constellation.

But wait...shouldn't they be bright shiny white circles in a dark sky?

Good observation....let's pull back and take another look. Good scientist don't quit until they figure things out.

What? Is that an arm? A human arm? Pull back some more...we must figure this out.

Oh....I think I know that arm. It looks like Will's arm. But no...he doesn't have 3
black dots on his..........wait a minute. Is that a tattoo? A TATTOO? WWWWIIIIIILLLLL!!!!!!!!!

Me: " What? When? Where? Why? "(well, I said a little more than this and a little louder but this was the gist of it all.)

Him: "Orion's Belt. Friday night. Tattoo place on 1960. It's my lucky symbol." (well, he said a little more than this and very mumbled...but this was the gist of it all.)

Me: "Orion's Belt? Really?"

Him: "It makes me think of Brandy."

Me: "Brandy?"

Him: "The night she died, I went outside and saw Orion's Belt. Now when I see it, it reminds me of Brandy."

Me: not mad at him silence just a very low "oh".

Here's Brandy...we got her when Will was one year old. She lived for 14 years and we had to make a very hard decision to have her put to sleep after her body was full of cancer and she could no longer stand up.

This is the kid who loved her the most...and we all loved her more than I could ever express in words.

So the kid is 18 and doesn't need permission from his parents to get a tattoo. And after a short lecture about just because he's 18 doesn't mean he doesn't have to call me when he goes from one location to another and please don't tattoo any more or pierce anything because believe it or not you will get older and change...we dropped it.

What could I really do? My mother got a dragonfly tattoo for her 75th birthday in July. She started it. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Not a fun one to read....

Last night, the kindergarten team gathered for a little happy hour at one of the team member's home. It's always a much needed gathering. Noone drank much....mostly we ate. And talked. And just did some unwinding after a week with children. And enjoyed "adult" conversation. You know, the kind where you say something once and don't have to repeat it over and you sometimes have to do with 5 year olds.

And of course it was inevitable that at some point "politics" or rather the "ELECTION" was going to be brought up. I hate politics. Rather I hate the propaganda and mud-slinging. During the campaigning it seems the candidates can't really tell you what they stand for as much as what the other guy has done in the past. Ugh.....I honestly could not tell you what either of them really stand for. And it doesn't take a very tuned in American to realize that in the end, it's Congress that controls much of the power of our country. And the President who gets all the blame and none of the credit.

Just last week an email was going around about late-term abortion and how Obama voted for the bill that allowed this. But if you watched the video you would have thought Obama was in the delivery room handing off the body. Really? He probably voted for the bill but it probably had a trillion other issues attached to it. I would like to think he had to make a valued judgment of the lesser of all evils. I doubt anything is clear cut in Washington. It's like asking do you want to die in a plane crash or a car crash. Pick one. Pick it now. Now vote for it.

And this got me to thinking....what about the 18 year old boys we are sending over to Iraq? Is their life worth less than a late term pregnancy infant? Is it okay to send them over there to fight for ....?....what?....what are we fighting for? Because they are terrorists? Or some of their citizens are terrorists? Do you not think we have terrorists right here on our land? So would it be okay for some other country to come attack all of us so they could get to a few of us? I don't believe we should be over in some other country spending billions a month fighting a war and bombing their land and buildings while we have to ask private citizens here to donate their money to find a cure for cancer or rebuild the destruction from the latest hurricanes right here. And can you just see the smirk on Bin Laden's face as he sits in his cave and watches us spend our billions and kill off our young and mighty?

Can you imagine how we look to the world? Big, rich bully.....don't mess with us or we'll bomb you. But don't even think about bombing us. Or we'll bomb you. Now, I'm all for protection and protecting our borders. But hello? Has that happened over here? Can you just imagine the border protection we could have come up with for those billions and billions of dollars we have spent bombing Iraq?

Is it just me? Am I not getting it?

And I feel myself getting so angry....because it's all so out of control....out of my control. And then I remember. I remember that the only true leader I have is God. He is my leader. He is in control. And only he is in control of this world.

But He has given us free will and independence. And if we were to all take that and stay in our village and make our village a better, more peaceful place, wouldn't all the villages eventually run into each other and soon it would be this whole country? And then soon after that it would be this whole world?

Oh, us. Help us make our way through the propaganda and issues and mud-slinging and choose the man that will be the right one for the job. Not a Democrat, not a Republican. But a good who will do the right thing. Whether he's old, young, rich, poor, black, us to look into his being. And choose the lesser of two evils.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bathroom Duty Conversation

One of my duties during the day is to monitor the kindergarteners' bathrooms after lunch. I stand in the hall and provide crowd control....while one foot is in the boys' room and my neck is strained looking into the girls' restroom. It's not an easy task...I am raising tomorrow's I am teaching them how to stand in line, not talk, wash their hands, get the trash INTO the trashcan. I am talking 60+++ kids in a 10-15 minute time period.

Conversation today.... with a girl just loitering around the doorway.

me "Okay, you've washed your hands, now go back to class."

her "But wait...."

me "What?"

her "You've never told me your favorite color...."

me "Well, it's red. What's yours?"

her "Pink."

me "Wow....and you have on a pink shirt. Okay, now go back to class."

her "Okay."

Made me think of Buddy the Elf.........."Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?" I dare you to ask someone tomorrow what their favorite color is. It will send a shot of warmth to their soul.

The Baby Grew Up....In a Flash.

Today is Will's 18th birthday. He asked me last night what time he was born. I had to admit that I couldn't remember the exact time...I knew it was sometime around 8 in the morning....but I could look it up. So last night, after he went to bed, I found his baby book and looked it up. I left him a note in the kitchen....I told him he was born at 7:51 am and I was sorry I couldn't remember the exact time. You see I wasn't looking at the clock....I was looking for someone to show me the precious boy that had just been born. And although I didn't know the "minute"....I could never forget the "moment."

Will is my third child....and I was the third child. We may not have had our parents all to ourselves at the beginning of our life, but we certainly had their love as well as the love of siblings who aided in our raising. Our mothers may not remember the exact time we were born, but it's our infancy they tried to hold onto the hardest. And yet we were the ones who grew up the fastest as we had siblings to keep up with. But once the baby, always the baby....even at 18, even at 51.

The baby playing in his sisters' playhouse....

The 18 year old's loot from his friends.......he came home with dozens of cupcakes and cookies and balloons and cards. Hmmmm, no wonder his friends are way more important to him than his mama these days. We took him to eat at Pappadeaux and he chose Frog Legs for dinner. Frog Legs and Cupcakes for dessert. Yum.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

ATC....don't mean Akkkk Talk Chuck!!!!

For those of you who really know me,really KNOW know I say "Chuck doesn't talk" quite often in my conversations. And Chuck is not a mute, he just doesn't have much to say. And for some reason, I'm compelled to say that often. Maybe just to fill in the silence between sentences....because I talk often and alot. My uncle use to refer to it as "diarrhea of the mouth..." Sorry if you were snacking while reading this.

For those of you who don't know me, Chuck is my husband and he is just very quiet. And we have been married almost 25 years and I do all of the talking. Apparently he talks at work....but is all talked out when he gets home.

Well, Chuck has been gone for the best part of the last 2 weeks since Hurricane Ike...and tonite he is back home at a normal time. The City of Houston is down to under 5,000 without power so he is back to his old job. That may sound like a huge number to some of you and especially to those 5,000....but it was over 2,000,000 just 2 weeks ago. Thank you CenterPoint. Good to have him sound coming out of him, but his body is on the sofa.

Switching gears now....

ATC.....what the heck is an ATC? It's an Artist Trading Card. Like trading baseball cards.........but for artists. 2 1/2" x 3 1/2 " and full of all the creativity you can get into that space....given a theme by a hostess. When I get to Silver Bella 2008 in Omaha, NE, on November 13, 2008, apparently I will swap my ATC's with alot of other artists. So that's where I've been and what I've been working on while Chuck has been helping restore power to those without. He wins in the "important" department, but I win in the "glitter" one.

I can't really show you photos as they are supposed to be a surprise to the other artists receiving them, but I may sneak one little photo on here. I don't think there's a Silver Bella Police Force. And if you know me, you know I can't keep secrets very well. Unless you swear me to it. In fact, I was sworn to secrecy today. Don't even ask.

I am signed up for 8 swaps.....and I'm working on the ATC's and a page for a fat book's a peak at some of them laying out to dry.....I tend to overdose on the ModPodge. I'm not ready for help yet. Admitting it is the first step, though.

Okay, that doesn't really tell you much, but I just wanted you to know what I've been up to the last couple of weeks. Busy with glitter and glue and scissors and loving every minute of it. Even though it's a little stressful. Deadlines and all.

PS.....a conversation that took place today between me and a kindergarten girl after I had to fuss at her for singing "opera" in the girl's bathroom (a Quiet Zone) Yes, Opera.

me "I'm not mad at you, but you have to follow the bathroom rules."
her "I know, mad goes away, love stays."
me "What did you say?"
her "Mad goes away, love stays."
me "Where'd you hear that?"
"That's what my mom and dad always say."