Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Sister is a Smart Aleck

So, I posted a comment on Jen's blog. I may have said something about coming back to my blog in the evening to see how my kid rocks. I should have known she would come back to see my fantabulous post. She was rewarded with nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Not because my girl isn't amazing. Not so. She is pretty stellar. She got all A's ... not bad for an almost high schooler (crossing fingers for a college scholarship). She is funny (I asked her who was funnier, me or Dean ... I will admit to being a bit miffed she said Dean). She is kind. She is thoughtful. She is amazing ... and, she is mine. And, I am blessed.

But, I didn't post to say any of that. I really posted to say my sister is a smart aleck for asking about the post. Which wasn't there. I told her I needed to work a 4 day week. Don't think it will happen any time soon. Brother.

Monday, October 19, 2009

So I Asked Carly What She Wanted for Her Birthday

And, I should have known better. Really.

Here's how it went down. First of all Jen was on the cell phone on the way home from swim lessons. Carly was giving her list through the speaker phone. Um, a few of her "must haves" were vetoed by the "powers that be". Mainly Jen and me.

Here is her list ... in the exact order she gave it to me.

1. phone
2. $100
3. a cousin

So, I hope you enjoy the $100, Carly. Uncle Dean will be so happy to send it to you!

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

I had great plans for all I hoped to accomplish this weekend. I was well on my way there ... and then I started to feel crummy. And, all that I had planned to do fell by the wayside.

It must be said that we have had several cases of H1N1 at the school where I teach. Several. And, one of the sweet things was diagnosed on Tuesday afternoon ... a mere 3 hours after I was hugging and rubbing all over her face because she told me she didn't feel well. And, she's not even in my class this year. Lesson learned. Hug no one. Which is impossible ... I teach Kindergarten people!

And, now it must now be said. I do not fear Swine Flu. Not a bit. I am sort of resigned to the fact that I will probably get it. There is not enough hand sanitizer in the state of Texas to prevent it.

And, so, on Saturday afternoon when I started to feel crummy I figured it was on it's way. But, still no sign of Pig Flu. My low-grade fever is gone. I am still flu-free ... for now.

Which leads me back to the point of this post. I did have great plans this weekend to document the fun of our weekend. And then the low-grade fever ended the fun of the weekend. So, instead of fun, you got this rambling mess.

Who knows what I will post when I actually GET Swine Flu?!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Check and Double Check

Conferences finished. Check. Do a dance because conferences are finished. Check. Do ANOTHER dance because conferences are finished because you are so happy. Double Check.

Can you guess what I finished today? CONFERENCES. Joy. Joy. Joy.

(I guess I should give a disclaimer here. First, all (ALL!) of my conferences were easy. The sixteen children I have been given to love are precious with a capital P. And, guess where they get it from? Their parents. We are in week 9 ... and I am already grieving week 36. Oh, how I love them!)

Now, what's on the agenda? Football game tomorrow night (we all know how much Dean and I love those!), early (EARLY) play practice on Saturday, making of some kind of yummy snacks for Torrey's Sunday School group (I am thinking of these ... and, I want to try to make my own pumpkin puree just to see if I can tell a difference ... I am sure right now I am suffering from conference completion overload!), Church, and somewhere in the middle of all that I have got to complete the lesson plans that have gotten pushed to the side because of conferences.

And, this moment? I am off to carve a pumpkin to share with my sweet friends in school tomorrow ... until tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Beautiful Backyard ... Finally!

So, our backyard has been in a sad shape for quite awhile. It is big, but bare. Every time we would look out, we would cringe ... oh yes. It was that sad. This is where we began. Dean took this picture in June of 2006 while Torrey and I were still in Florida and we were waiting for the house to be finished. We did not cringe about our backyard then. Know why? We actually had trees in it. Trees with leaves on them. And, then winter came ... and our beautiful trees gave up and died.

And, we lived in denial for almost a year. I would see what I thought was a leaf and believe they were making a comeback. No. They did not. Right before Ike came to town, we had 3 trees cut down from our backyard.

And, the cringing began.
But, look what came yesterday! FOUR beautiful, lovely, gorgeous Live Oak trees. They aren't nearly as tall as the ones we had taken out ... but, in a few years they will be amazing!
Our first landscaper talked us into putting this funky bush in our front yard our first year in the house. Oh, he saw us coming. It soon took over the front area. Dean has hacked it back on more than one occasion ... only to have it come back more lush than ever.

We decided that it would be a good idea to move it to the back. And, we really decided to move it to the back corner when Comcast (who is not "comtastic" by the way!) decided to use the easement that runs on the back 5 feet of our property to put an ugly box in that corner. So, now all you see is lovely bush and not ugly box. And, as a bonus, it will be hard for them to come and work on the box. (Townsend's 1 Comcast 0)
And, finally the view from the porch today. Maybe someday there will be a pool in the front part of the yard ... who knows?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

One of Those Weeks

It is one of THOSE weeks. You know the kind ... where you have play practice until 6:00 three nights out of five. Where you have to have 16 parent teacher conferences. Where you have to go to a football game you really don't want to go to. And, where you haven't been to the grocery store in quite awhile. And, where your family doesn't think you slapping string cheese on the table amounts to a meal.

Yup, one of those weeks.

And, in the midst of it, I am struggling a bit. Struggling with letting go of something that is bothering me. Struggling to let go of something that is causing me to lose sight of what is important. Struggling to let go of something that really has it's hold on me. Just plain struggling.

And, the truth of it ... I know I need to let it go. And, I am really trying to be the bigger person. But, man, is it hard.

That is where your flesh wants to take over when you should let Christ have the reins.

And, I want Him to have the reins. I want Him to be in control. I want to know that He is present even in my disappointments.

And that is where I am ... trying to turn one of those weeks into one of His weeks.

Friday, October 9, 2009

It Brought Me Great Joy

We are big fans of "The Office" in our house. It must be said that we have watched the show since it first premiered. When no one else was watching. We are cutting edge like that. And, a bit obsessed with office products.

In the beginning we took great pleasure locating Staples products and giggled and giggled when those products became "taples" products. Oh, and Dwight's job at Staples ... the best episode ever. However, when Dwight quit and Staples sent out an inter-office memo saying that he would not be hired again ... EVER!? Priceless.

I often tease Dean that he IS the Michael Scott of Staples. Not so. But, it does make me giggle.

Finally, after years of waiting, Jim and Pam got married last night. They actually got married. And, even better ... something similar to this was in their wedding. Against their will. But, not against Michael's!

I laughed until I cried ... and, then I realized I was really crying because Jim and Pam got married. Crazy? Not to me!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Butterflies ... Oh My!

So, as I have said, today was Bug Day in Kindergarten. All of my friends had to bring in a bug collection. Of DEAD bugs.

Except all the bugs weren't dead. There were two alive. And, they were in two different bug collections. At first I thought that the AC was just moving the antennae ... but, then the roach moved his entire wing in a desperate attempt to free himself from the straight pin attaching him to the foam core board.

Oh yes. It took every ounce of self control I have ever had to not scream.

And it must be said, the other bug was not attached to the Styrofoam board with a straight pin. Nope. He was glued down with some kind of epoxy glue.


But, it was a good day all around. We looked at bugs (alive and dead), ate gummy bugs, and wrote about our bugs.

And, at lunch one of my friends asked (loudly) if I had a boyfriend. Which made me giggle because when was the last time you were asked if you had a boyfriend. Exactly. When I told him that I have better than a boyfriend, I have a husband, he screamed "Noooooooooo!" Because he thought having a boyfriend was gross.


And, while my class was out of the room, my favorite Pre-K teacher brought her friends in to see the collections. And, I, being the great teacher I am (not really) wanted to show them our butterflies (because they had almost all come out of their chrysalis). And, then it happened.

At the bottom of the butterfly house was a FULL cup of water with a flower in it. I spilled the entire cup of water in the butterfly house. The butterfly house filled with 16 hatched butterflies.

Panic set in for about 1 minute. And, then I remembered the live bugs attached to the foam core/Styrofoam boards and I told myself "You are a professional".

I had to release the butterflies before they drowned in the lake that had taken over the bottom of their butterfly house and I had to rescue the 7 or 8 that were swimming the back stroke. And, I was alone. In a room with 16 butterflies in desperate need of saving and 16 Kindergartners who had loved these little guys from tiny larvae.

So I did the only thing I could do. And at that moment it seemed like the stupidest thing I had ever done in my life.

I asked my friends who wanted to help me carry butterflies outside.

Pandemonium ensued. Fantastic. Rule number 1 ... you must be in your seat to get a butterfly. Rule number 2 ... you must not squish your butterfly.

Amazingly there were 16 butterflies for my 16 friends. It became a scene out of "What Not to do in Your Classroom", however. Butterflies were climbing up arms, dropping to the floor, going down shirts. When one butterfly took off around the room I knew we only had a few minutes to get them outside before I would have a BIG problem on my hands.

So down the hall we went. Right past the front desk. The front desk where the Principal was sitting because our Secretary is at Jury Duty.

Do I really need to describe the scene behind me as I lead my class down the hall? 16 Kindergarten friends cupping butterflies in their hands, walking slowly, squealing, butterflies on shirts or crawling up arms, giggling Kinder friends ... all past the Principal.

Fantastic. No, really it was a fun, fun, fun moment. One I will treasure forever. Because what I thought was a disaster, turned into one fun teaching moment. Because when was the last time you let a butterfly tickle your hand?

All of the butterflies made it outside. I would love to tell you that all of the wings were attached as they were let go ... but, hey! I teach Kindergarten.

And the best part of the day? Having one of my sweet friends come in to from the great butterfly release of 2009 and announce, "This has been the best day of my life!"

Mine too, sweet friend. Mine too.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Dean just texted with exciting news. Mary Poppins tickets for the end of October. I guess I should have said SUPER exciting news. Well, it thrilled me ... and, Torrey.

And, at my school, the parents take turns spoiling me for a week. My little friend whose week this was encouraged me with a limo ride. So, guess how we are getting to Mary Poppins?


It really is the most perfect word to say!

My Heart's Desire

I long to be a "master teacher". I want to be so good at what I do that I inspire others to give it a whirl. I, personally, do not feel that I am there yet. And, quite frankly, I am not sure I will ever feel that I have arrived at the status of "master teacher".

Oh, I have known many in my time. Amazingly, many of them were Torrey's teachers. Oh, we have been blessed indeed. I could go on and on and on about how Mrs. Cline and Mrs. Burch and Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Bamford and Mrs. Stokes changed our lives. And, do I really need to say that one of Torrey's treasured possessions from Second Grade is her Presidential Fitness patch from Coach Sagraves? These sweet ones have left their fingerprints all over my child ... and, she is better for it!

And, I long to join their ranks. Maybe one day. Maybe.

I am thinking that tomorrow may not be the day I suddenly become a master teacher, however. It is "Bug Day" in Kindergarten and my sweet friends will be bringing in bugs ... that I have reminded them at least 10 times a day MUST be dead. It doesn't need to be said that I will be glad, glad, glad when tomorrow is over. I have thanked God many a time that spiders are not insects. Because a collection full of giant Texas spiders would have sent me over the edge!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I'm Just Saying

This morning on my drive to school (some days it feels loooong ... oh, wait! That's because it is a long drive to school. Bother.) I was thinking. Which isn't against the law yet ... driving and thinking. Texting and driving ... against the law. And, it should be.

Anyways, it hit me. We want men and women of integrity to run businesses and our country, but, yet we say we don't want God to have any part in the upbringing of these future men and women. Seems like an oxymoron to me ... you just can't get to THERE without HIM. That thought has mulled over and over and over in my head.

Maybe I was thinking about it to keep myself from throwing up this morning. Not because my sickness was back. But because it was "College Day" at school today and Torrey was dressed up to talk to college representatives. Please tell me that sentence just made someone else sick too.

My 8th grader is thinking WHERE she wants to go to college. She even asked the different representatives questions about what she should do in high school to get into their college. High School. Next year. Gulp.

Just so you know, her front runner is and has been Texas A&M. She dreams of being a vet and they have a good vet program. Bring on the Aggie jokes ... we can take 'em and give a "Whoop!" in return. She, however, will not be able to give a "Whoop!" until she is a Junior ... it is not allowed. Not even in a whisper.

As for Dean and I and the college decision ... we are going to trust her decision while giving our parental advice (with a gentle reminder that we do get a vote since we are the ones paying for it!) We are rooting for A&M ... it is close, it looks like Mikey will be practicing there (good to have a doctor in the family in the same town your child goes to college!), and they have an amazing college ministry there called Breakaway (founded by our Pastor.) But, five years is a long time to have to make a decision ... although right now it feels like minutes. (Must swallow lump in throat.)

Finally, tonight, I complete my rambling to say that I really love being an auntie. And, I am so good at it, I have been made a great-auntie multiple times over ... and, if my math is correct, number 29 is on the way. So, congratulations to me!

And, that is all I got. Good night. Or, as an Aggie would say ... Gig 'em!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Weeks Later ... Bathroom Remodel Pictures

I realize the bathroom was completed weeks ago. I was searching for the PERFECT shower curtain ... which evidently only exists in my mind. We did settle on one from Target (oh, I love Target!) ... but, it still needs to be ironed and I haven't taken a picture of it yet. You can expect to see it around this time next year!Here is the new cabinet ... smaller than the last one, but yet it offers more storage. Go figure!
The view from the tub. We kept the same light and faucet from the old bathroom.
Still in love with the subway tile. And, I really love this color green ... it is the same green from Torrey's bedroom (we actually used leftover paint from when we painted her room this summer!)
This kind of gives you a view of the whole room ... it is tiny, but just right for our girl.
And, a better view of the bathroom from the door. I am so happy with the way the whole room turned out. It is MUCH brighter than it was ... and it has been staying clean. A miracle!

Now, what to remodel next?!

Friday, October 2, 2009

From My Sick Bed

Oh yes ... I have been in bed with a fever for the past 3 days. Which meant missing 3 days of school. All my teacher friends out there will give testimony that it is a big pain to miss a day of school ... we still have to send in plans and make sure everything is set for the day. I thought I was going to go in this morning ... but there was no way. Looking forward to Monday!

Which reminds me. This morning. I woke up at 4:36 to a terrible thunder and lightning storm and no power. I slept in the guest room ... which meant I wasn't awakened by the dogs. Who do not like thunder and lightning. At. All. And, they bark to let us know. Anyways, I get up at 5:00 am and I knew I HAD to take a shower this morning. So, I started to pray that the storm would head out so I could take a shower by 5:00. When 5:00 rolled in the storm had rolled out. Still no power. We learned during the hurricane that even if we have no power we still have hot water, so I took a shower and prayed that by the time I was finished the power would come on. I kid you not ... when I turned off the water, the power came back on. And, now I am praying a bit more fervently for God to do something a bit bigger for my family ... will post on that if He brings it to pass!

As I type this I am fever free and rested and caught up on my HGTV and Food Network skills. For my mom and sisters, I giggled through a few episodes of Paula Deen ... mostly because I know where she does her shopping. The magic is gone! But, don't you think they should have added a trip to the butter store? She uses a ton of it ... and I do mean a ton.

Tomorrow ... out of bed! Happy Friday!