Wednesday, April 25, 2007


The PTA Scrapbook that is. All 78 pages of it. I turned it in today. Just 24 hours shy of the deadline.
YEAH!!! IT. IS. FINISHED. Did I mention the 78 pages? In 28 days?
SO now that that is done, I get to take care of all I have let slide while getting the scrapbook done. Laundry...endless loads of laundry. Vacuuming...I'm not sure what color our carpet is supposed to be. And I think there is a dining room underneath all that scrapbook stuff!
I'll be back in a few days after I dig out!

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

You are invited...

Though the world is a mean place, as we have all witnessed this week,
and Kolby is home with a stomach bug,
and Rhett and Ella Kate can't seem to stay away from her,
and the scrapbook deadline is breathing down my neck,
and the laundry pile resembles Everest,
and the list of things to do is a mile long,
and it is 11AM and I am still in my PJs...
It's a beautiful Spring day in Texas and I feel like having a tea party.

In blog world anyway.
Want to join me?

We will dine on a patio overlooking flower beds of blooming Iris, hydrangea and roses.
Three large hundred year oak trees form a triangular canopy over our patio and lazily stretch out towards the surrounding garden.
There is a mild breeze that keeps us pleasantly cool in the warm spring time sun.
I have set a large round table with a crisp white Belgium lace and linen cloth.
Folded matching napkins hold stems of my mothers sterling silver spoons and forks and are cinched with blade of long meadow grass and topped with the bright yellow head of a daffodil.
There is a beautifully vibrant arrangement of gorgeous spring flowers crowning a low round antique cut glass vase in the center of the table.
Two fat glass pitchers full of Springtime Lemonade and Sweet Iced Tea topped with circular slices of lemon and chucky ice cubes adorn the silver trey to the right of the flowers.
Beside the flower crested silverware, petite crystal cut out dinner plates sit at each place and beckon us to fill them full of the petite sandwiches and iced cookies that spill over the silver trays and crystal platters that dot the table.
We sip from crystal teacups that fit snugly on to their matching saucers.
We talk , laugh, and sigh as we enjoy the beauty of the day and joy of companionship.
It's the perfect Spring Tea Party.
In blog world, anyway.

I'm bringing my Nana's Cucumber Sandwiches. (recipe in comments later) What are you going to bring?
I think the world would be a better place if we had more tea parties. Don't you agree?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Tuesday

Today Kolby takes the Math TAKS. I'm not as anxious about this one as I was the Reading TAKS because Kolby has done fine in math with no problems. Still it was a red letter day for her. Now that this is over, third grade can hopefully get back to just being third grade, not "third grade preparing for the TAKS". Her class hasn't taken a field trip all year because they wait till the TAKS is over. The TAKS determines so much about the year for them. I pray everyone in her class passes!

Rhett was supposed to have a field trip today to visit a wild flower ranch, but since it is raining, I bet it was canceled. Rhett was sad that I couldn't go with his class but, Ella Kate had her nine month check-up this morning. We had rescheduled already so I wasn't going to back out again. Ella Kate is following in the steps of her siblings and staying true to the 75 percentile for height, weight and head circumference. Dr. K said all looked well and EK is progressing along fine. It was a sort of boring doctor visit.

As I drove home just now in the rain, I was mentally clicking down my list of things to do this week. It's a typical week. Baby shower on Saturday, soccer practice but no game, take a meal to a friend, take a salad to school, a dentist appointment, a field trip, a well check, dance, girls scouts, Rhett has a play date, gotta get that PTA scrapbook done, laundry, get shoes for the baby, take stuff back to Wal-mart... nothing to spectacular or out of the ordinary.... just typical Mom stuff.

Then it hit me how blessed I am to be having this week. This typical ole week. With my three healthy, and for the most part, happy kids, my hard working, loving husband, my messy, but comfortable house, my big family all healthy and near. I didn't do anything special or great to deserve these blessings. I know things can change in the blink of an eye, but right now I'm so thankful to be living this typical week in my life. It feels warm, secure and happy to have this type of week, though outwardly it probably appears boring, typical or mundane.

Perhaps I am feeling especially blessed because of the people at Virginia Tech whose lives are so far from ordinary this week. There was a time in my life when I would have felt a little guilty for being happy and secure in my life while tragedy has struck some one else so hard. If some horrible thing like what happened yesterday happened, I would have submerged myself in the tragedy and thought of little else. But over time God has taught me that for me there is a better way to handle such things. He has shown me time and again that everyone will have good and bad times. Every person on this planet will have splendidly good and terribly horrible times, times of great joy and great sorrow. It's not a matter of if, just a matter of when. The key for me is to appreciate the time I am in and really live it for all it is worth. I have to celebrate the good times and be so grateful for them because we are not assured of what lies ahead. I am only assured of who is in control. And HE commands my appreciation in all things.

And yes! I mourn for all those who were killed and hurt yesterday at Virgina Tech. How can anyone not? It is such an awful, awful tragedy. It hurts just to think about it! But I've come to think that I don't have to stay glued to the TV listening to every gory detail to honor those struck by this tragedy. Maybe the best thing I can do to honor those who hurt and grieve is to really and properly appreciate the blessing I have as I pray for them. Honoring the fallen should make me better, more loving and thankful.

So I haven't watched much about the shooting. I didn't even let my kids, especially Kolby, see that it happened last night. Today after her TAKS test, and after the authorities know a bit more about what happened and why, I will probably tell Kolby and Rhett what happened. They may already know about it. They may have questions.We may talk about it for a while. Then I'm hoping together we will pray for all those who are hurting because of this. And in that same prayer we will thank God for all our blessings and vow to do our best for HIM every day that we are blessed to be alive. Then, with a deeper appreciation in our hearts, I hope we talk about our day, get homework done, laugh,, eat dinner, do laundry, read and play with the baby. Just typical Tuesday night stuff.

I hope you to are in a place in life where you can celebrate all God has given you and thank him for the blessings of this wonderfully typical Tuesday, while praying earnestly for those going through such darkness.

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Beth Moore prayed like me...

Thanks so much to my blog buddy Tracy who sent me to Beth Moore's blog today. If you want to read all Beth Moore said hop over to see Tracy or go to the Living Proof Ministries blog. I'm not a Beth Moore groupie, but I totally admire her. After reading her thoughts this morning , I admire her even more. This is an excerpt from her post about being a young mother.

Last night at Bible study I taught on being a mom and my mind has been swimming with memories of my girls when they were little bitty. As God would have it, a few weeks ago I happened on an old prayer journal from 1982 when Amanda was barely three and Melissa was a newborn. Those of you in the throes will not be surprised to hear that it was filled with unsophisticated requests for things like more sleep, for Melissa to adjust better to the church nursery, for financial help as I got to stay home with the girls, for Amanda not to catch Melissa's cold, for Keith and I to get along better, for him to want to go to church, for him to stop cussing (I hope you're smiling because I am), for him to...and for him to...and for him to...and for him to...and for us to get to go to a marriage conference, for me to apply what I was learning in my first Dr. Dobson book, for me to have a better disposition (I must have used the word ten times that I could find), and for me to make minutes for my quiet time because "my day goes so much better when I do." Sound familiar?

Ok I have to stop here and say WOW! For the first time ever I think Beth Moore's prayers and mine sound a lot alike. Beth Moore. Spiritual Giant and author of a gazillion "deep thought" bible studies. Yeah, that Beth Moore.When her kids were little she prayed for financial help, more sleep, kids not to get sick, to get along better with her husband and FOR HIM TO.... If I kept a prayer journal I would think somehow Beth Moore got her hands on it. But I don't keep a prayer journal, so maybe my unsophisticated prayers aren't so unique to me! If Beth Moore's prayers once sounded like mine, there is hope for me yet! But there is more. She went on to say this...

Even before I found the journal, I'd begun reliving so many of those experiences as I watched Amanda with her young family. One of the things I enjoy so much as I relive those priceless and challenging days in my memory is Amanda telling me all about her fellow mom-friends and the babies they share. Second only to seeing pictures of Jackson in his Easter outfit, I died to see pictures of Ella and Ava, his best girl buddies who were born within days of him. The pictures did not disappoint. I hang on every word Amanda says as she tells me about this mom and this baby, that mom and that baby. I can't overemphasize how rich my fellow moms made my parenting experience. Particularly one: my best friend, Johnnie. She had two boys and I had two girls and we dragged those four kids to every McDonalds in Houston just so we could finish a sentence. We taught Mother's Day Out together because we were both broke. We home-made family Christmas gifts because we didn't have the money to buy them. (We spent what money we had on our babies.) I hate arts and crafts to this day and still have burns from glue guns. That's not all. I'd decide I'd had it with Keith and I'd leave him in the morning sometimes, go to her house with my unsuspecting girls, drink a cup of coffee, get in a better mood, and be back home by the time he got off work. He'd walk in the door, ask about my day, and I'd say under my breath, "I left you today. That's how my day was." Hee hee. Somehow I'd feel some satisfaction with that, repent, then fall in love with him all over again. It was his looks.

When we lived in Fort Worth and Kolby was a baby, I had several great mom friends like this. We did everything together. Then we had our second babies, and it got harder, and then most of us moved to other towns. I still miss them! I love my friends and family here, but I miss those first mommy days and mommy friends. I didn't realize at the time how much God had blessed me with those friends. Now, I am very aware at how rich I was to have so many good christian young mommy friends. They taught me so much about being a mom, a wife and a christian, and how to do all three simultaneously. When I see young first time Moms now I pray that they too are blessed with other first time Mom friends. But Beth's lesson to me today goes on...

My point is, Moms, you've got to have you a support group of other moms. Many who are peers. Others who are just ahead of you. They will be used of God to get you through everything from the mundane to the morose. As I told my class last night, our ancient female ancestors walked to wells and rivers together to get water. Our great grandmothers quilted and canned together. We, instead, are imprisoned in our minivans driving breakneck speed, thinking a few maniacal minutes on a cell phone can replace a regular play-date where believing moms can take some time to laugh and share. I don't think it's a luxury. It's a necessity for mental (and often spiritual!) health!

Because, you see,...*No day full of dirty diapers has overtaken you but such as is common to moms.*No tantrum has overtaken you but such as is common to moms.*No "but, Mom, everybody is going!"
has overtaken you but such as is common to moms.*No "You hate me!" has overtaken you but such as is common to moms.*No child's first love has overtaken you but such as is common to moms.*No child's first broken heart has overtaken you but such as is common to moms.*No broken curfew has overtaken you but such as is to moms.*No goodbye has overtaken you but such as is common to moms.

And in reading that I realized, how much I still need my friends. I'll be honest, I haven't been the best friend. In the last few years being a good friend hasn't even been on my radar. Survival. Taking care of the kids. Attempting to keep up with the kids and occasionally the house. Being involved in Kolby's school and doing what she needed for her reading issues. Stretching dollars to meet the kids ever changing and growing needs and most of their wants. making great memories with them and cherishing every little stage. That has been my focus. Rob has focused on trying to better our finances, so I could stay home and focus on the kids. Which is all good. But is not all that is good. I not only have not been a good friend to others, I have not been a very good friend to myself.

For the last few months I feel God has been working on me. He has been reminding me of who I am aside from my family. Through Sari working all the old auto shows I used to work, I have been forced down memory lane to visit my single self and remember the goals, drive and abilities I had back then. Now at that time in my life I just wanted to find "the one," get married and have a family. AND I AM SO HAPPY I DID! But looking back I really like that girl who could fly all over the country and talk gear shift ratios and torque with Porsche fanatics, the girl who roller bladed with girl friends several times a week, the girl who took a week off to help her aunt decorate for a big Christmas party, the girl who owned a paint ball gun and played in a league, and the girl who not only taught Kindergarten at church on Wednesday nights, but took the whole class out of town for a field trip one weekend. I am that girl, but I at times she seems like a total stranger.

While pondering these thoughts of reconciling my former and present self, as God would have it, a few weeks ago I was blessed to see an old friend who I haven't seen face to face in twelve years. Unbeknownst to my friend (except that I tell him from time to time) in the twenty plus years that we have known each other God has used him to teach me more than one life lesson. This time was no different.

While I was super happy and proud to introduce him to Rob and the kids, I felt like I have become such a Mom that I'm not sure he could even recognize me. And I'm not just talking looks. I sometimes find it hard to think of much to talk about outside my kids. In talking with him and remembering the good old days, I felt sorta flat. Like I wasn't the bubbly me I used to be. I doubt he noticed or thought much of it. We had a great visit. But that visit from the past caused me to take a long look in the mirror... and I'm not at all satisfied with what I see.

In the great inspirational movie The Lion King (I loved it way before I had a husband and kids) there is a scene where Simba faces the spirit of his father after fleeing the pride lands for the safer, more lazy, bug eating life of the rain forest. In the deep booming voice of James Earl Jones, Mufasa says to Simba "You are more than what you have allowed yourself to become." That statement has been booming in my head for the last few weeks. (Sometimes in the deep voice of James Earl Jones! Do you think God and James Earl Jones could sound alike? :)

And I am working on it. I can't wrap all this up and tell you the conclusion because I don't have one. It's a work in progress. There is a lesson here, but I am still learning it.

So why write this novel length post? Why tell you all this? Because Beth Moore used to pray unsophisticated prayers. Her sharing that gives me hope and makes me feel like maybe all these things I struggle with are not unique to me. Maybe most struggles in life are universal and by sharing them we help each other. Maybe this post will help someone in their journey. Or maybe in 20 years Kolby can look back on this and learn from her Mommy's experiences. I don't know. But it feels good to share and get things out.

I also share because in reading that last paragraph I quoted from Beth Moore, I realized that over the last few years my blog friends have filled a need I have for Christian friends. So it's not face to face sharing. Blog world is no substitute the real world nor are blog friends a substitute for face to face friends. But still, we share our thoughts, our struggles, our experiences, and our love for God. We share and inspire and question and sympathize and laugh and give "blugs". That is what friends do. In a time when I haven't been that great of a friend, God has blessed me with some great friends via blog world. And I am so happy to be sharing this journey with you. So thanks for that. God is just amazing in the way he fills needs before I know I have them.

WELL... Blog break over now. Back to it!
Hope you have a blessed and happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Still scrapbooking....

In case you missed me saying this last week... I am the Historian for PTA. All year I have thought it was a pretty cushy job. But then there is this little matter of a PTA Scrapbook that is due for Competition at the end of the month. I should have been working on it all year long. Anyone want to guess when I started on it? Yeah. So, I now remember why I love to scrapbook (creative, memory recording, artsy thing to do) and why I haven't scrap booked in five years ( kids, life, takes up the whole dining room {which is reserved for laundry folding most days} and darn it, you have to keep up with so much stuff!) I was hoping this would inspire me to get past Rhett being born in his baby book and to start Ella Kate's, but so's not happening.
Here are some EKG pictures. Seriously how did she get to be 9 months old already?????

The last one seems to grow the fastest! NO FAIR!!!

This is one of my favorite EK expressions, crinkled nose and all!

Toodle-ooo! If you need me in the next three weeks, I will be in the dining room scrap booking.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Not your typical Bluebonnet pictures...

Yes, it is snowing here today. So I had to take our first ever snow and blue bonnet pictures!

Blue eyes in the blue bonnets.

Ella Kate was a bit overwhelmed with her first snow and first blue bonnets the day before her first Easter.

Kolby and Rhett loved it!

Blue bonnets on ice!

Not your typical day before Easter in Texas pictures... Our house today.

Pond near by.

Hope it doesn't keep the Easter bunny away!

Ella Kate loved the snow...from indoors!

Happy Easter from snow covered Texas!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

9 Months Old

My baby is 9 months old! How is that possible? It's going so fast! I know I always say that, but it is! Somebody slow this ride down!!!!

God blesses me everyday through my little Ella Bella. She makes me laugh out loud. She makes me stop and rock, rock. She reminds me that it is good to hug and give wet kisses at least two or three times a day. She is a bit of a mama's girl right now, and I am honored. It's really the best feeling on earth to have someones face light up every time you walk in the room. Ella Kate makes me want to wrinkle my nose when I smile, and eat cheerios as a snack. She is quite a handful right now, but not in a bad way. She is our sweet baby girl and we all love her so much!

Ella Kate is almost well from her fever virus. This week two more little teeth made their way to the surface, so she has 6 teeth! She is a crawling queen! Just discovered doors and drawers (help!!!) and is pulling up on anything that will stay still long enough for her to get her feet anchored! We are having some fum times!

This week she discovered the trampoline and LOVES it! Though I think her favorite part was getting to hang with the big kids. She was so pleased to be up there in the center of it all. She loves her brother and sister so much and speed crawls to try to keep up with them!
She was quite tickled when I put her on the counter and slid her back up under the cabinets to keep her as far away from the edge as possible. She just laughed and laughed! I guess she thought her crazy Mommy had lost it putting the baby on the counter like she was groceries or something. It was so funny, like she knew she did not belong there.

Speaking of things that DO NOT BELONG... They are predicting SLEET and near freezing temperatures here in Central Texas for EASTER! Wish I had known that before I bought the girls matching islet sleeveless dresses!!! Oh well.

I am the Historian for PTA. All year I have thought it was a pretty cushy job. But then there is this little matter of a PTA Scrapbook that is due for Competition at the end of the month. I should have been working on it all year long. Anyone want to guess when I started on it? Yeah. So, I now remember why I love to scrapbook (creative, memory recording, artsy thing to do) and why I haven't scrap booked in five years ( kids, life, takes up the whole dining room {which is reserved for laundry folding most days} and darn it, you have to keep up with so much stuff!) I was hoping this would inspire me to get past Rhett being born in his baby book and to start Ella Kate's, but so's not happening. If you need me in the next three weeks, I will be in the dining room scrap booking.

So More to come soon!

Happy Easter Weekend!