Sunday, July 29, 2012


We are home from a week in Branson, Missouri.  And I am full to the brim.  Full.  To say it was incredible is an understatement.  And I am struggling to adequately put into words all that I have seen.  So, for now, I leave you with this ... 

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Selah) There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.  God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; He lifts His voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. (Selah) Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations He has brought on the earth.  He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; He breaks the bow and shatters the spear, He burns the shields with fire. 
Be still and know that I am God. 
 I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.  The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. (Selah)"  Psalm 46

Friday, July 13, 2012

iPhriday ... The Beginning of Summer Edition

Our tour of the iPhone pictures begins before summer actually began ... but, when it is 80 degrees at six in the morning, you can call it summer. Only in Texas. Without further adieu ...
 This sight will never get old.  Our drive to school is long.  Thank goodness for KSBJ and my love to sing along with the radio!  Every morning, we make a right hand turn on a bit of a back woods road on our way to the freeway and this is what I see.  Gorgeous!  For the record ... it is only this beautiful in the Spring and Fall ... which is why I totally love daylight savings time!
 Torrey came home from school one day with glitter hair extensions.  They were sparkly and fun ... and stayed in for quite awhile.
 I took my Kindergarten class to the beach for a field trip.  The bus driver slammed on the brakes at the moment I stood up and I went flying ... the moms who came along assured me I didn't make too big a fool of myself.  Somehow I get the feeling they were being nice.
 My friend Lana is expecting little Libby any day.  We had a shower for her at school near the end of the year.  I made these felt flowers for a centerpiece and for the little Liblet.  I will admit I was really hoping she would hate them (because I wanted to keep them).  She didn't.  And they look cute in Libby's nursery.  But it still makes me sad.  
 On the last day of school, four of my littles wore the same shirt.  Itwassuperexciting! When the fourth girl came in we all screamed!  I've said it a million times ... Kindergarten is the best!
 I loved my little class and they loved me.  This still makes me well up with tears.
 This is actually summer ... finally!  Torrey got her hair cut and highlighted.  It is super cute.  She was on her way to her friend Liz's birthday party ... I'm still not sure I love the fact that she is growing up!
 She is darlin'.  And headed to "base camp" to train for her mission trip to Canada.  They spent two days at church getting ready for the trip.
 This appeared on my phone at o'dark thirty on the morning she left for Canada.  For the record ... I was still asleep.  Torrey went to Canada with about 15 other kids from her youth group ... including her best buds Kiersten and Izzy.  Love all three of them! 
 The best pen ever comes in cool colors.  And I am so happy.  And, yes.  I am in love with office supplies.  I do not apologize.
 Loading these in my car made me super happy.  Organizing is so fun.  If I ever stop teaching I may become a professional organizer.  Or a planner of children's parties.  Or a coffee drinker.  I think we all know which of the three it will be.
 Torrey has to have a sports physical and a school physical every year.  It is always super exciting for her.  She passed.
 I'm not the only one who loves office supplies!  Shopping for back to school supplies is always a family affair.  And, yes ... that entire cart is full of Torrey's things.  I just realized we only have one more year of back to school shopping to go ... boo.
Torrey sent me a text late one night with a picture of a commercial announcing that today Starbucks was giving away a free drink ... they were promoting their new "Refreshers".  Torrey ditched me, but I gave it a whirl ... um, not as bad as the honey latte, but close.  Good thing it was free!

And, that kids is another iPhriday.  This next week will be a busy one ... hopefully that means a lot of pictures.  But, you and I both know you will probably not see them until two months from now.  Happy iPhriday the thirteenth!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Houston Project

This is our seventh summer in Houston.  And our first time to take part in Houston Project.  Definitely the high-light of our summer!

Houston Project is our church's mission project to the city of Houston.  For five days, at 16 sites across the city, with about 1500 volunteers, our church loved on Houston and shared Jesus.  We worked at a sports camp at a local high school ... Torrey helped with the volleyball players, Dean did security and I helped with food.
 Every night, we fed the kids dinner.  For some of these kids it was their only meal for the day.  They were so sweet and excited to see what was for dinner. I helped make about 200 snow cones each night.  I was "ice girl" ... tonight was our last night and I am sure I will be on snow cone withdrawal tomorrow!
 At the end of the first night, we had quite a few burgers leftover.  We had given many away and we really didn't know what to do with the extras.  Chase decided he would give them out to the homeless.  One of the sweetest blessings this week was watching our teens step up and serve ... we had quite a few serving with us and they loved the week too!  And the kids loved our teens ... every night when we got to the school, kids would run up and hug Torrey and tell her about their day.  She was smitten with several of them!
Last summer, Houston was crazy hot and in the middle of a terrible drought.  This summer has been the complete opposite.  It poured down rain every day ... I mean time to build an ark rain.  It would rain until 4:00. And then it stopped.  Completely.  Which meant our evenings were coolish (for Houston!) and dry and mosquito free.  We were so thankful for the perfect weather.

We started the week thinking we would change lives of kids ... several accepted Christ (and their parents too!).  Little did we know that our lives would be changed too.  We are already looking forward to Houston Project next year.  Can't wait!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Are you a Chiweeni?

Torrey and I were in the airport in Tampa headed home when we spotted a dog in a carrier.  Evidently I am now a dog person (go ahead and laugh) because I was attracted to that little dog like a fly to flypaper.  We asked the dog parents what kind of dog it was.  They were so proud to tell us he (or she) was a Chiweeni.

Insert crickets here.

I immediately thought, you mean a mutt.  And then I proceeded to sit in the airport and wait for our flight and I pondered that Chiweeni.  And on the two hour flight home I was still pondering the Chiweeni.  And weeks later I am still pondering that Chiweeni.

Because for real, that dog was a mutt.  But, to his dog parents, he was a Chiweeni (it must be said with a singing voice) and terribly loved.  And isn't that the way God sees us?  We are mutts ... plain and simple.  But He sees us as Chiweenis ... and oh so terribly loved.

I'm a Chiweeni ... are you?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

We Really Are Alive

It has been two and a half months since I last posted.  Ya'll.  I had no idea. Blogger cried when I signed in ... it must have thought I died. Let's see ... where have we been? Well ...

The school year ended.  A long time ago.  It is almost time to go back.  I was in love with my little class this year and GRIEVED letting them go.  It was pitiful.  Mostly because I pretty much grieved May 25th for most of the year.  My class was that good.  Torrey is no longer a sophomore.  It is painful for me to say she is a junior ... so I am not.  

I had big plans to blog every day when school got out.  But, there was an incident.  We went to Linda's for Memorial Day and I was going to take a picture of Torrey and her friend in the pool and I took a step and went down like a ton of bricks.  I hurt my arm and my leg.  Evidently I hurt my leg pretty good because it still hurts ... but only when I get a pedicure.  I'm sure you are all feeling sorry for me.  Anywho ... the camera was broken for a day.  And I was sad.  Dean came to my rescue (for about the billionth time) and somehow fixed it.  He cannot go in the camera repair business because he has no idea what he did, but suffice it to say it was fixed. For about a week.  And then it got wonky again ... but it went to the repair shop and seems to be fine. There is a lesson to be learned in all of this kids ... beware open filter traps.  They are not your friend.

Torrey and I went to Florida.  And had a blast.  As always.  

We repainted Torrey's room and bathroom.  Blue.  For those of you keeping score, that would make the fourth time the room has been painted.  And, ironically, we are back to where we started.  It will not be painted again.  I will probably eat those words.

Torrey went on a mission trip to Canada.  She did not come back the same girl we sent ... and Dean and I could not be more thrilled.

Dean and I went on a trip to Seattle.  For the love of the coffee.  And the farmers market.  The flowers were amazing and I ate the best peach I have ever eaten.  Dean ate an apple that was exquisite.  So said the seller ... and he was right.

And, here we are ... July.  And a smidgen of summer left that is packed FULL with fun stuff ... the 4th of July at Linda's, a visit from Bruce, Houston Project, and Rush Week.  Maybe if you are lucky I will blog about it.  But, you may not want to hold your breath!