Thursday, December 27, 2007

Santa's Helper

There were a few helpers I caught in action on Christmas day!

And it continues...

And the celebration continues...........
I miss the usual blogs that I keep up with but know all are having fun with families. They will return to us with their tales later.

In case you haven't noticed we are now on the count down for Pearson's arrival which is supposed to be January 20th but you know how well these babies listen to the scheduled dates.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you girls out there with these babies.
Jaci who is now late....Cryssy who is on bed rest....and of course, my Lisa who has 24 days to go.

And I can not neglect to mention Davis, the subject of several blogs who was born July 22nd at 30 wks to Brad and Tegan. I received a Christmas card with Davis and his sister, Delaney in front of their Christmas tree, precious children, precious family.

Love to all.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Gone Shopping

Went shopping last night.....

Went shopping this morning......

Not finished still.

I remember back when I loved shopping for Christmas presents. That is when it was easier and there was not so much stuff to buy. I want to have the generous spirit back but the pressing time and the pressing crowds are just overwhelming to me instead. I want to get something for each person that will make them smile and yell "Yipee" but only the kids do that now and they can do that over a nerf ball pop gun.

So I have taken inventory and these are the things I have learned about keeping my sanity and enjoying family during one of the most hectic times of the year:
  • Chinette instead of china
  • Plastic instead of sterling
  • Stack the dishwasher as you go
  • Bottled water with individual flavoring packets, and individual hot chocolate mix envelopes on the shelf in a kid friendly spot
  • A 1000 piece puzzle started in a convenient spot
  • Colors, pencils, markers and lots of lots of paper
  • Get down on the floor at the kid level as often as you can

But most importantly no one's happiness is dependent on my gift to them or the amount of money I throw at them and that the love you feel the whole year through is evident in how you speak to them and how you treat them every day of the year.

Enjoy your time with family or whoever is sharing the time with you, smile and laugh and get on the floor a little.

Much love to all.

Friday, December 21, 2007


I was playing around with my blog and did something I should not have done evidentially because things look different in my formatting areas.

I can see YouTube videos on my computer but when I post them on the blog they do not come up so they are blank screens.

Nor do I have the options I used to have for my fonts etc. I can not change the size, color, or font so I am stuck with whatever and the templates are more limited than they used to be.

When I go to look at my options for other templates a bunch of them that I used to see are gone and my selection is more limited. Is it just me or did blogger do something?

I know I changed something but now I need to figure out what I changed.

So bear with me until I have time to sit down and play with this silly blog.

And me with Christmas shopping to do still.......

Friday, December 7, 2007

Funny Thing

Funny thing....ever notice how angry looks so ugly on other people than it does on me?

Selfishness is when other people think so highly of themselves but never me!

And we always want life to be fair except when it means we get what we deserve!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Just checking in

I, like Amy, have nothing new to post but am just checking in.

I spent my weekend preparing a lesson that I give tonight. I can not tell you how stressed I have been over this. I have to asked myself why teaching a lesson would stress me but this time it is among my peers and the older women.

I teach kids daily. I have control of my classroom at school. They misbehave I discipline. If their performance is not up to my standards, I help them adjust to reflect a more demanding standard as was set out for them.

I can sit around the table and talk to anyone in this group but leading them a class is very intimidating.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

This Minister has Guts

This was sent to me in email.
I thought it was worth posting!

It seems prayer still upsets some people. Please read....
When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the
Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but
this is what they heard;

"Heavenly Father,
We come before you today

To ask your forgiveness and
To seek your direction and guidance.

We know Your Word says,
"Woe to those who call evil good"
But that is exactly what we have done.

We have lost our spiritual equilibrium
And reversed our values.

We have exploited the poor and
Called it the lottery.

We have rewarded laziness
And called it welfare.

We have killed our unborn
and called it choice.

We have shot abortionists
And called it justifiable.

We have neglected to discipline
Our children and called it
Building self esteem.

We have abused power
And called it politics.

We have coveted our neighbor's
Possessions and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air
With profanity and
Pornography and called it
Freedom of speech and expression.

We have ridiculed the time
Honored values of our
Forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, Oh, God,
And know our hearts today;
Cleanse us from every sin
And set us free.

The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked Out
during the prayer in protest.

In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is
pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 Of those
calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving
international requests for copies of this prayer from India , Africa and Korea

Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio Program, "The
Rest of the Story," and received a larger response to this program
than any other he has ever aired.

With the Lord's help, may this prayer sweep over our Nation and
wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called "one
nation under God."

If possible, please pass this prayer on to your friends "If you
don't stand for something, you will fall for anything."
Think about this: If you forward this prayer to everyone On your
email list, in less than 30 days it would be heard by The world.

How many people in your address book will not receive This you have the guts to pass it on?

I just did!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Watch for the Quiet One

The comment I made at the end of my last post on comparing children was aimed more at a child being in the shadow of one who is outstanding in some way.

In the classroom it is often seen that the quiet child sits back and does not get the attention because he is overshadowed by the outgoing student. In my classroom I have two outstanding girls painting a picture. One girl is sweet and speaks to me daily, compliments my attempts to be a good teacher and is enthusiastic about her work. I love her. Then the girl next to her is also a sweet girl but she is going through tremendous problems at home and she is very quiet, never speaks to anyone in the room, does not smile much, gets totally "into" her painting (which is good therapy) and does not ask for help. She to is doing a good job. I also, love this girl. When one on one I ask her about her personal life, I ask her how she is dealing with this problem or that problem and I try to be there for her. Sometimes, she opens up and talks and sometimes she only gives a little.

It is VERY important that I maintain a balance of attention to both the outgoing child and the quiet one. Having been the quiet child I understand my quiet student. She is content not to be the center of attention and she is working out her problems in her head. She will not demand attention until she gets totally cornered. As the adult I need to keep a finger on her pulse.

Finding the specialness in each child and helping them to fulfill their potential is the goal of parenting, the more children, the more difficult the task because everyone knows that when there is only one child it is hard to isolate their specialness because everything is special about him.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Amaryllis Bulbs

Okay, you amaryllis watchers.
Did anyone else buy one?
I bought two. Now a week and a half later the one that was 4.5 inches is now 12 inches and the one that was 3 inches is now 6 inches. Both have big buds developed that are shooting up.
I have to wonder why one is so slow and the other is shooting out the gate.

Or maybe, I should realize that neither is slow but one is faster than the other.
Do we compare our children like this?
One is good and the other is exceptional but we do not realize the good one because we are so focused on the exceptional one?

Oh, I think I could start a blog on that....but..... I don't have time.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

My Conscience is Clean

What a wonderful week we have been having in Verdi.

Family around.
Kids playing around the house, coming in for hugs and chocolate every now and then, going with Papa to feed the cows, beating Uncle Bobby at pool, finding puzzle pieces with the big people, misreading the answers on Loaded Questions "under no circumcisions"....laughing.

Parents playing games with the kids, putting jigsaw puzzles together, playing Loaded Questions with the kids, trying to keep them out of Nana's stash of chocolate.....eating .....eating....eating....ugh!

Few times have been more memorable or enjoyable. Just good clean fun.

I saw a new Tractor Supply commercial about dirty hands..."never opened a Swedish furniture catalog", and on and on....ending with "BUT my conscience is clean"!
What a good commercial!
What a good feeling.

I hope all who are reading this had wonderful time.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Amaryllis Bulbs

Hey, Moms, run out to Home Depot or Lowe's (maybe Walmart) and pick up an amaryllis bulb in boxes in the gardening section. Most are on clearance now but are perfect.

Let your kids watch the daily growth by measuring with a ruler and chart the growth. In four to six weeks they will be around 18 inches tall and will have a huge rewarding bulb. If you hurry it may bulb around Christmas.

It is amazing how quickly they grow. I have two in my kitchen window. One is 4.5 inches, the other 3 inches and I planted them Saturday.

On Your Knees

It seems I hit on a subject that we all have in common.

Either we have had kids,
we are working with kids,
we are working with people who act like kids
or we once were a kid.

An interesting conclusion of the previous blog is that we all identified that kids need both discipline and love or love and discipline or however you put it but both are necessary parts of child rearing and that defending your child to the end is only defending your child to the end and not truly a form of love because anyone who truly loves a child is going:
  • to teach the child to be independent instead of dependent so they can function on their own as an adult,
  • to teach them good work ethics so they will be good employees,
  • to teach them to respect their elders because a society that does not value the older generations is doomed to failure,
  • to show compassion and love because what goes around comes around and besides, those you step on as you climb the ladder of success are the very ones who have to be the support while you are at the top,
  • But the foundation of all the lessons must be to love God and his creation.

As Dave Ramsey would say of dealing with debt, take "baby steps". The lessons are not learned in one day. It takes time. But as all teachers know, know your objectives, move to the goal.

Child rearing is a massive, overwhelming job. There may be jobs that will pay you more monetarily but no job more important.

I am glad to have done it and am glad to have completed my first generation of child rearing, and look forward to supporting those in control of my second generation of child rearing.

I am so fortunate that the daily failures in my life as I brought up my children did not overshadow the spiritual training that the extended family and church family helped me with while my children grew.

Children learn from what they see,
let them see you on your knees.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Preaching On Dana

I seem to be stuck on the idea of bored children because this is a major concern of mine. I have begun to do a dog and pony show daily to get the attention of my students and I still hear the same ol' thing "this is boring".

My response today is different than it was years ago to my bored children.
Today I say, "you brought that with you. I can not make you love life. I am just here to make you learn about art."

Generally, they look blankly at me. I smile and move on. But they never repeat that to me again. Or if they do they get the same response as the one before, I smile then move on.

BUT I see their boredom.
They move their hands to shape a lump of clay,
Or sketch a crude drawing to satisfy the "cartoon" assignment but it lacks any humor or it is just crude humor,
Or they sleep through the ONE MINUTE video "today in history" because they can not connect it to themselves or even find any interest in knowing what has happened beyond today.
They draw but only on demand.
They follow the directions and see the development but get no satisfaction from a job well done nor interest in how to make it better.

What is the problem with this sort of child?

Often this is the child whose mother will call and scream at the teacher because we are bringing down her darlin's GPA.
"He received a 93! He should have a 100!"

"WHY? " we ask.

"Because he IS there!"
"But he comes in late, and does not work. He would rather talk and flirt! He takes up space I will agree. But he does not work to his ability. He is there, I will agree. He can do it I have seen but it takes too much time from his visiting."

Still Mom screams, "He deserves a 100! Not based on his work! He should get it just for showing up!"
The moral of my blog today:
Well meaning mothers do everything they can for their children but deprive their children of the ability to experience anything themselves. Let them fall on their face and pick themselves up. Otherwise they will always need a crutch. They drive them here, then to there. It is ballet, and baseball and art and soccer, too but the problem is that it is overloading the child and they have NO time to BE a child. They rush from one organized thing to another and give them classes galore. Every day is taken up and no time is left for family. And family is what they NEED.

You want them to be happy. Stop being there for their EVERY desire. Be there for their every NEED (food, clothing, shelter and love, love, love but not things, things, things!) Take care of them but give them time to enjoy the outdoors. You say they hate going outside? That is because it is uncharted territory to them. They are stuck in their chair in front of tv or the computer. Give them paper, and pencil and scissors and glue. Help them create and discover their imagination. Our children today are experiencing overload and they are young. Too much stuff, not enough of imaginative time.

I look at the toys offered to our children in the stores. They are commercially based, no imagination. Choose the old fashioned things that help them create. The ability to create is the beginning to problem solving. Children who can not create or imagine are the ones who struggle with problem solving. I worry that we have intelligent people who will never come up with that new invention because they simply don't want to put themselves out. They don't need for anything.

Read to them. Find fun things to read and show them. Poems by Shel Silverstein or Norman Rockwell's drawings.
Let them dig in the garden. Give them their space to grow anything they want.
Plant seeds in clear plastic containers so they can watch the roots growing daily and see life germinate.
Take them to visit family and friends and grandparents who love them. They need to bond with them, too. The extended family is a valuable asset and gives them a place to run when they need someone else besides you.

Just in case anyone thinks I am writing this due to something with my own grandchildren, that would not be the case. As I say the things to do I think of the plants on the window ledge at Ryan and Jenny's house, and the blackboard in the dining room and I think of the craft cart at Leann and Randy's house and the books on the shelf.

Thanks, Dana for giving me permission to vent. I hope someone sees this and recognizes themselves in what they do and can change early on before their child is bored with life.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bored or Boring

Strange new problems are being reported in the growing generations of children
whose mothers were always there,
driving them around,
helping them with their homework -

an inability to endure pain or discipline or pursue any self-sustained goal of any sort,
a devastating boredom with life.
Betty Friedan (1921 - 2006)

Oh, how true I find this to be. As an art teacher, not an academic teacher but rather a subject often thought of as a fun subject I find more and more students bored with art. Not the actual class but the process of creating. How sad!

I found this statement today and it just so happens to coincide with the one I was working on.

Of Legos and Gizmos

The question is: Once happy, can you get any happier?
If one gift makes a child happy will twenty more make him happier?

I could bombard them
with more and more things
but it's lost in a mountain
of stuff on the floor
of legos and gizmos
I don't even know,
it's just one more thing
piled in the floor,
or shove in the closet,
or under the bed,
for a quick little thrill....
then on to the next.

Here's Your Blog Jackie

Jackie tells me it is time for a new blog. I know I have been neglectful about blogging but I think my brain turned to mush! I think it is a combination of teaching and the remodeling dust.

Well, life is just tough! Some days are just tougher!

Things in this world are not fair. Bad things happen to good people, good things happen to bad people. That is why we need God.

Choices we make while we are young direct us in a path but that does not mean we can not take a detour.

Anger words are hard to digest.

Love overcomes all.

Yes, these are all random thoughts. But somehow at 5:30 in the morning that seems fitting. It must be those things that knock around in my brain overnight.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Saving Face or Saving Grace

When I was just a child I had a friend, a neighbor girl who seemed to pick arguments with me all the time. I loved to play with her but I hated to argue.

I can remember this one day while playing on her swing that she began to pick on everything I said. I can not remember what we were talking about but I remember as a six year old stopping my swing and looking at her and asking her,
"Do you like to argue?"
An affirmative response to my question, "Yes!"
My response as I stood to get off of the swing, "I don't."
And I walked back to my house.

Sometimes the only way not to get into an argument is to simply walk away before it gets heated. Once the argument escalates it is too late to get out gracefully, and difficult to walk away. It is often simply a matter of choice to keep your mouth shut, your feelings off of your sleeves and to take the higher road and choose not to get into an argument over some stupid little thing.

It is not about saving face, it is about saving grace.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Time Change

I have to admit that the time change messed me up this time. Usually, I change the clocks and am fine when I get up but this time I went to bed and thought my cell phone will show the correct time in the morning and all will be well. So being lazy-to-bed, I left the clocks alone .

So this morning I got up, looked at my cell phone and then I looked at the clocks downstairs, and put a load of clothes in the washer. Folded the ones that were in the dryer and turned on the TV. I looked at the clocks and wondered why my phone did not update the time and why did the TV channel guide not update the time. Everything still had the old time on it. I sat and watched a movie and drank coffee. Then I got Lee up because he needed to get some things going before church. His phone was off an hour from mine. I have Sprint, he has Cingular. He had 6:30, I had 5:30. Then Daniel got up. Now with everyone up but Caleb I am bold to wake Caleb to solve the mystery of the time.
Caleb confirmed my suspicions, he had changed the clocks before he went to bed and now the realization hits us all. I got up at 4:30, thinking it was 5:30.

I guess, I will be down early tonight. Now again, how did this happen?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Moving on

Yup! Finally got those pics posted.
I had to wipe the counters several times to get past the layers of dust that keep settling out onto everything. But when I got past the layers of dust I found a beautiful kitchen.

I dread things like removing the ceramic tiles or the popcorn ceilings because you would not believe the mess it can make but so far, I have not found many things in remodeling that are not messy. Yesterday this looked like a demolition zone with chards of broken tiles flying through the air covering everything within a 20 foot radius. Got the injuries to prove it. I am just happy that Caleb still has his eyesight! Need goggles next time.

It does make a person keep their shoes on their feet.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Phase Two

Phase One was to put a new kitchen in the old living room area. This started last July and is still in progress but now for the rest of the story....

Phase Two has begun today.

Sometime during this last week everything in the old kitchen was moved to a new location in the new kitchen. Most things went into a temporary storage location since the upper cabinets are still getting "polycryliced". (In case you don't know that word, it is not in the dictionary yet but means applying a finish of polycrylic which is a water-based polyurethane.)

Today the old cabinets were taken out and officially I am now cooking in the new kitchen. It is much like camping out, searching for things I know I have but can not remember where I put them and cooking on an unfamiliar cooking surface. It is fun and mysterious. Opening the refrigerator is most enjoyable. Everything is where it should be but the actual appliance is in a new location and filling the void of where it belonged before it actually got in it's new location.

I will be posting pictures soon so all can see. I am a happy girl.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Memorizing Scriptures

I am terrible...I mean TERRIBLE at memorizing verses.

I am such a right-brained person which is to say that I deal with the whole picture and with how things fit together, intuitions, etc which is why I deal in art.

My left-brained daugther on the other hand was like a walking tv guide when she was six! She had it all memorized. She could also, tell you all of the words to any song she listened to. I could remember the tune when I heard it and only the words in the chorus or in very repetitious patterns. I also could get the feeling of the song.

In education we are taught to respect these differences in learning. It is not to say that I can not memorize. It just does not come automatically with me. Also, in education we are taught to use as many of our senses in teaching as possible. If I can see, write it and hear and play a game with it I will learn it.

We are working on memorization in our Sunday morning Bible class and thought maybe, it would be good to begin to work on it. I have posted a memorization gadget. Unfortunately it is in the King James version and I like the New International. I could not find any other version but at least we all know it is really God's word.

Join me!
See the gadget in the right hand column. Each week will be a new verse and as the week progresses more words will be blanked out until all are covered. You can view the verse any time by clicking on the lower right hand corner where it prompts you to click to view.

Friday, October 19, 2007


A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal,
but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.
Proverbs 12:10

Sadly October is a dangerous month for cats. Lately the cruelty to cats has been in the news often. It is very disturbing to hear how cruel someone can be to an animal.

During a meeting with our art students this morning we all scampered together to help a baby lizard find his way out of danger. He had wandered in from outside and was in the hallway between our rooms and in danger of passers-by.
One held a piece of cardboard shielding the lizard and another was clearing the way while others just were helping clear the students out of the pathway to lead the lizard back outside. Everyone kept saying, "be careful!", "don't step on him."

See?! I have wonderful students this year!
How refreshing!

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I have been reading Proverbs and the verses I have been posting seem to jump out at me.
It has nothing to do with anyone in particular but are proverbs that make me think and rethink.
I know they are something that someone else will benefit from besides me.
I do find that teaching gives me ample opportunity to practice control.

People with understanding control their anger;
a hot temper shows great foolishness.
Proverbs 14:29

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


A fool is quick-tempered,
but a wise person stays calm when insulted.

Proverbs 12:16

It is easy for people to make cruel, mean remarks and their hope is to get you angry and make you hurt probably because they themselves are angry over something but it is the smart person who stays calm in their face and not respond to them.

The sad thing about this lesson is that you have to take so many insults before you learn how to respond to them.

Expert in the Room

I am the expert in my classroom and as long as I remain inside of those four walls I am still the expert in that room where 85 students will come and go and spend a few minutes every day.

But being the one in the room with all of the knowledge and expertise comes with a cost.

Each person individually is to learn something that comes from me before the end of the year and although I can impart that knowledge in a broad spectrum of information it takes my individual attention to touch each person and motivate them to learn. Which means I have to perform daily per class period per person, that is where the high cost comes in. Sometimes I feel I need to clone myself to get to each person but then I am not the expert in the room anymore. I am one of many like me and I have to give up that prestigious position of expert.

Trying to keep up with the demand for attention in the classroom can be exhausting and frustrating but I AM the EXPERT in the room.

But then on the other hand if I can delegate an assistant among my students, train them to do a part of what I do and place them in charge of helping others I empower another person, boost their confidence and their worth and relieve myself of the tiring task of being the only person who can do the job. Then empowering another student to do another task that I do, I begin to be the coach of a team. Working together the team gets the job done.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Fools think their own way is right,
but the wise listen to others.
Proverbs 12:15

Brings to mind the old poster we might find in a classroom: "My way or the highway!"

From a teacher perspective we all could empathize with the concept as far as discipline goes but what if we all were exactly alike and there was no variance, no new innovations, only the same old thing, only our ideas? Where would we be?

I once had an art student whom I had taught for two years and who was moving into the third year with me. When asked who influenced his style of art he answered, "No one. I am one of a kind. I taught myself."

When I suggested to him that he must have been hatched from an egg in a cave with no one to raise him he laughed at the ridiculous idea.

"Actually," he said, " I am the oldest of six children and my mother is a single parent. I don't know my father."

As he spoke about his life in answer to my questions, I could see the light going off in his head.

The questioning moved from his family to the music he listened to, all the CDs he owned, the artists who designed the covers of his favorite CDs, the websites he frequented and on and on. As we embarked in conversation I could see the light in his head flashing now. He was beginning to realize that he was influenced by everything around him like it or not. He could not reject their influences on him.

A few days later I overheard the same student questioning another student.

"Who influences your artwork?"

The other student answered, "No one."

"What? Were you hatched from an egg in a cave?"

How else but by combining ideas from others did we get a man on the moon or recognize sound waves traveling through the air to little receivers or all of those other amazing things that man has developed.

To think that our ideas are the only way to do things is only ignorant and is a denial of better developments even if it is only how to hoe a row in the garden. One of my fond memories of my father-in-law is how he laughed when he told about Grandma's crooked rows in the garden and how she defended her crooked rows by saying you got more seeds in a crooked row than a straight one.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Saturday's Walk

There were more people walking today than in the past four years that we have been doing Buddy Walk.

It took us a long time to get onto the track and once we had walked halfway and were circling back around we could look back at the other end of the track and could see it was a continuous circle of people with nothing to indicate the beginning of those who had started the walk and those just starting. I am not sure how many people were there but enough to fill up a mile long track and then some.

The kids (both the young kids and those older "kids") loved the moonwalks, trains, snacks and entertainment.

The adults mostly loved the misting spray of water coming out of the misting heads attached to the eaves of the pavilion to cool down from the heat of the exertion of the walk.

Although I enjoyed the walk I think my favorite was the train ride. Lee and I crammed into one seat with two of the grandchildren (because we only saw two of the kids at the time) and took a ride around the park. It was relaxing and the kids loved it.
Anytime I can get my hands on the grandchildren and show them a good time is a great time for me.

A big thank you to all of the members of Eric's Entourage and those supporting us.

Isn't he a cutie?!

We had 31 people registered with 29 in attendance. After the walk 27 of us went over to Tomatillos for some great Mexican food and lots of fun.

By the way, if you wanted to make a donation in the team's name and did not have an opportunity to do so donations made through Oct 31st on Eric's web page will be credited to the team. (The team does not receive anything other than the satisfaction.) Go to the link I have put in my link bar on the right and click on general team donation and follow the instructions or just plan on joining us next year and doing the walk with us.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Sign up for Buddy Walk

Buddy Walk October 6th at Fort Sam in SA.
Our team is Eric's Entourage (Eric Barnhill)
Team photo scheduled at 8:20
Walk begins at 9:00

Our team goal is 25 and so far, we have 23 signed in with about another ten who say they are joining us but have not actually registered.

We will meet our goal this year.

I thought it might be a good thing to post a location online to register.
You can register that morning but things run a little smoother if you do it ahead of time. Most of us have registered as families and then each member of the family gets a tee shirt. Do follow closely how to register for a family. The first person will be charged and then after that you continue to put in the FAM code and register the others at no additional charge. Just trust and try it. It works.

Most of us will not get our tee shirts until that morning and with no place to change into the shirt. But we girls know how to change a tee shirt discreetly in public and that is what we will do. Dress to be cool.

Look for the buddy walk registration on my links as it will not create a link in my post.
Looking forward to seeing everyone at the Buddy Walk this year.

Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Buddy Walk

This coming weekend is our Buddy Walk. This will be our fourth year. Eric was just a few months old the first year we did it. It is to benefit the San Antonio Down Syndrome Association and those families in the surrounding area. Of course, we have our own precious buddy and we love supporting him in our walk.

Anyone interested in getting out there and walking with us should join us. It is not a fast walk nor a long walk. It is a stroll in the park type of walk along with hundreds of other people walking with their family, friends and pets. It is a family day with moonwalks, family type entertainment (all free) and all sorts of free things to eat and drink donated by various companies. Kids love it.

After the walk we are planning on eating lunch together as a group.
Our goal is to have a team of 25 and we are almost there.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Have you listened to the language of our children lately.

I need a text message dictionary to decipher the code of my newest more hip students. (Do you say hip still or is the word preppy?)

In my classroom I hand out instructions...

Jose kindly says, "TY"

I say, "these are the instructions on the project we will begin as soon as possible."

Jose, "ASAP?"

"Yes," I answer.

Hands to his surprised face, "OMG."
This dialog continues but is interrupted by the bell ringing.

As class ended he walks out the door calling back to me, "TTYL. SPST."

Just a slight jump from the generation that started it all with DVDs, VCRs, Wii, PS, PCs, HD, IPods, ADHD, OC, AR, ....................................



(TTYL=Talk to you later
SPST=Same place, same time
SIG2R=Sorry, I got to run
SUL= See you later
YRYOCC=You're running your own cuckoo clock!
SICNR=Sorry, I could not resist!)

What a vocabulary!!!!
I hope they do well on their TAKS, SATs and ACTs!

Sunday, September 23, 2007


I have not been blogging much because my life suddenly was thrown into high gear when school started. Unfortunately this is not the life style that I really enjoy and I look forward to the evenings and weekends just to be able to relax .....but wait.......being gone all day long means that evenings and weekends are fair game for whatever can not be done during the day.

Fall is just around the corner. I can see it in the mornings as I rush off to work. The countryside is beginning to make the transition. The mornings are foggy again. The air is cool and moist. The leaves on the trees have just a hint of browning and my Autumn ferns that were suffering through the heat of the summer are giving it their last blast of growth before it gets too cold for them to maintain growth.

When I was a child I hated the fall. In fact, my least favorite month was September. Just writing it made me unhappy and finding a paper later in the year that I had written September at the top of the paper made me sick. It would bring back memories of the start of school.

Today it is one of my three most favorite seasons.......spring, summer and fall. Winter is another story. There are good things about winter but being cold and being indoors are not two of my favorite things to do. At least I winter in Texas where winters are mild and most of the time you can get away with a light sweater. An occasional snow is fun but we usually do not even have that.

So Dana and Erin there is my first random fact about myself: I hate writing the date when it is September.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September Update

Life is a series of compromises.

It has been a busy beginning to the school year both at home and at school.

School is going well although I am not doing the job I thought I would be doing. Small changes have taken place at school but big differences are evident. Students are for the most part better behaved and the classrooms calmer.

At home progress is being made. Counter tops have been ordered and will be in soon. Cabinets will be finished soon. It seems to be coming together. It gets more exciting to me with every change. It is going to be beautiful.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Drinking from the Toilet

My cat, Einstein is usually no dumb animal. Caleb gets put out with him because he acts temperamental and several people suggest that he is spoiled. He thinks he is human. In fact, in his mind I am his mother. So there could be some sibling rivalry there.

Recently I have been concerned that he was looking sickly. I decided that he has been drinking out of the toilet. Toilets harbor bacteria. Einstein was drinking water teeming with bad bacterias thus he is getting skinny and has some other problems I will not get into. I bought him one of those water dispensers so he will have fresh water all the time. I just fill it up and set it out for him. I decided that the problems I was witnessing had stopped.

This morning I found him standing up next to the toilet, with his head inside drinking from the toilet again.

That is exactly how we become with sin. We sin, we turn from it and then here we go again putting our heads back in the toilet and lap at the sin again. We have no problem identifying what sin is when we see other people doing it. But in our own minds we justify our sins. We look for reasons that God will turn His head from our sin.

Proverbs 26:11
As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.

It is my prayer that the ones whose choices are placing them in sin will recognize the disgusting nature of their sins and turn from them. For a short lived high they compromise their souls.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Open Doors

School is in full swing now.
Two days teaching and it feels like it ought to be Friday already.........but not in August but maybe...... say September?

I was a little embarrassed that I have been passing out my little "thought for the day" to each student as they came through my door. I thought maybe the kids would think it was a little lame but I did it anyway. Today I decided that they might think it is sort of fun. After reading the thought today, one of the girls waved hers around announcing that she had heard this one before and this big ol' boy who had pushed past me while the others were crowded around me getting their "thought for the day", turned around and said, "hey, I didn't get one" like I was passing out candy and walked back to the front of the class to get it. My heart sang!

It has entered my mind that is it the personal touch that matters to these kids more than the actual words on that little slip of paper. I think they like the individual attention of one person reaching out their hand to place something in theirs as they are greeted one by one. I went around the room this afternoon looking for the little thoughts expecting to find 85 of them on the floor. I found a total of four in the room.

My thought for the day, "Teachers open doors, Students must go through it."

Friday, August 24, 2007

Make a Difference

In preparation for the beginning of school the teachers have seen a number of motivational and inspirational presentations. One of the inspirational slide shows I watched today was about a young bagger named Johnny. Johnny was born with Down Syndrome. After listening to a motivational speaker who told all of the grocery store employees to make a difference in people's lives Johnny did just that. Before long his line at the grocery store was three times longer than the other checkers. Why? Because he put his heart into his job. He and his dad spent each evening finding and creating inspirational quotes to give out to all of his customers.

You can watch the slideshow online (It is not creating a link here but I will post it in my links on the side.):

It touched my heart when I watched this. Of course, I did relate to Johnny and I do have a soft spot in my heart for those with Down Syndrome but I was so unexpectedly inspired by him that I spent my day looking for ways to make a difference in my students' lives.

Whether or not I will truly make a difference in anyone's life I have found a renewed sense of pleasure that I thought was gone for good doing an old job. I have put more thought in the preparations for my students and have spent many hours finding just the right things to do and say to them. Taking Johnny's lead I have found inspirational quotes for every day of the first semester, printed off enough for the first week, wrote a two or three line welcome to my 85 students to hand them as they enter my door. If a young bagger with Down Syndrome can transform a grocery store into a caring environment I can at least, try to make my art class a good learning environment.

The inspiration Johnny gives others reaches beyond the grocery store. Today it inspired teachers.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Back to School

August has really been flying by. Teachers are all back at school, organizing the rooms, doing lessons plans, putting up posters and getting their attitudes adjusted to meet the new students who will be coming into our classes on Monday morning.

We have gone through motivational speakers, safety meetings, sexual harassment videos (we are against it) and lots of lots of special ed instructions and other stuff. Hopefully we will soon make the necessary adjustments to getting up early and leaving for work.

It was fun while it lasted but we knew our summer would come to an end.

Six more years!
187 days times 6 minus the 6 days already completed for this year!

(New pics posted on the remodeling)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Right there on the page!

To the ladies in my Bible class and for those whose hearts are open to the word of God.

Just like I said, "I saw it right here on the upper right hand side of the page. I highlighted it"......and it sure was.....but not Ephesians try Romans....yup!

Romans 8:18 (paraphrased) All this suffering we go through here on earth is just not even worth considering when compared to the glory of what will be revealed to us. And if that is not enough then try II Corinthians 4:17-18 which echoes the same sentiment but even minimizes our worries by calling them "light and momentary troubles" and reminds us that the things we see here on earth are only temporary but those things we can not see are the things that will last for eternity.

I could add a lot of my words to this but why should I when the scripture says it so plainly. We just get so caught up with the things we can see, the here and now, today's desires.....

And the next thing to consider is the "quiet life" of I Thessalonians 4:11-12. Define quiet life scripturally.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Goodbye July, Hello August

Here we are on the verge of our last summer month. It seems the summer months fly by so quickly and then it is time for school again. With the early start of school and teachers starting earlier than the kids we will be back into a school routine before you know it.

July has been so busy with the remodeling, visiting friends and flying out to North Carolina that I have not been posting. So this will be a catch up on all the goings-on.
  • Davis Duncan Winters, the baby you prayed over so long was born on July 22nd. Mom has preclamsia and high blood pressure and he was forced to come at 30-31 weeks and weighed in at 3 lbs 4 ozs. He is doing well but of course is still in the hospital until he is 4 or 5 lbs, I believe. Continue this family in your prayers because they continue to go through the stresses of a new baby, plus having a premature baby and Mom continues to have some health concerns. I am sure Linda will give us an update on their conditions as she sees fit.
  • My daugther-in-law had a little scare in the middle of July which has made her slow down a little and take better care of herself but she and the baby are doing well. Keep her in your prayers, please.
  • I flew for the first time in my life on the 17th of July flying out to Raleigh, North Carolina and then returned on the 24th. I got to sit between two of my grandsons who loved flying and have flown before. The take-off was thrilling, the snacks were fun and the landing was relieving. We had a layover in Orlando on the way there and in Nashville on the way back. It was more turbulent on the trip back and it made me a little nervous but I did not get sick!
  • We got to go to Topsail Island in North Carolina and spent three days playing on the coast, finding shark teeth, playing in the surf. We stayed in Linda and Doug's RV, all nine of us. Two or three slept outside in a small tent to give us a little more space. I loved it and the kids all did, too.
  • Enjoyed life in Raleigh, visiting with my sister, brother-in-law and their granddaughter in their nice clean home.
  • I returned home to the dust of remodeling but soon became accustomed to it again.
I am adding a link on the right for a few of our July pics for any interested. The remodeling is better in person than in pictures so keep that in mind.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sister Time

Just a quick blog before I run and go pack for my trip.
Dana commented on sister time in her response to my last blog and really sister time deserves more than I have time to blog right now but just wanted to blog one last time before leaving.

I am off soon to go to North Carolina. Quite an adventure for me. I have never been in that area but the real goal is to go on my annual summer trip to visit my sister. I can not tell you how often during the dismal school year I recall our times together and wish I could be there again. We do not have to do anything special at all and it is comforting. In fact, I often tell her I wish I were there at her house, curled up on her couch, drinking coffee and watching an old classic movie on TMC. I can imagine us as old, gray, widowed women living together like the two old aunts on Arsenic and Old Lace! (crazy ladies!)

This trip is not only a sister bonding time but also, a mother/Nana bonding time. And these are relationship that are truly wonderful relationships. I would have a hard time choosing where to go if I had to travel far to visit my children and grandchildren. I will be traveling with my daughter and her three sons. Her husband will join us on Wednesday. My sister will have her granddaughter. We will have a house-full. Pray for us.

I am expecting to have a wonderful time and I am sure I will have much to report when it is all over. We will spend the weekend on the coast in North Carolina, a new adventure for all of us travelers.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

July Update

I think July is passing faster than June. I guess August will seem like a blink.
I have added updated pics today to show you what sort of mess we are living in. Surprisingly no one is complaining. Dust is covering everything.

I leave on Monday for my trip to visit my sister and will return on the 24th. Hope all will remain well. Pray for us on our trip that all will go well.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Mark of Intelligence

While working in the kitchen with the television on in the family room I can hear but not see. The words are often taken out of context and are strange to my ears like things said in my art room by my students, "where do I put my head?".

It struck me as funny when the current commercial ended it's bit with "people are smart!" I can not tell you what the commercial was about or what accomplishment made the company so proud of the intelligence of man but in my mind I saw people from God's eyes telling ourselves how smart we are like a three year old so proud of themselves because they "ope'd de door" or some simple task to us.

Here is God, creator of the world, the universe, all those things we can not EVEN imagine and who does not mark time like man but rather is eternal and here is man, the product of His power proclaiming how intelligent we are.

It brings to mind a question a friend of mine asks when a student does something not quite so intelligent. "Do stupid people KNOW they are stupid."

As compared to an ape, I guess we are intelligent.......

Sunday, July 1, 2007


Please, tell me if the slideshow slows down your download of the page. I am playing again. When someone told me they did not realize that the pictures on the right were an album of pictures if you click on it I decided to try the slideshow. But if it causes problems I will omit it.

Also, it will be a good experiment for shop website because I want to put a slideshow of the shop.....a tour of the shop.

Hope you have a good Sunday.....the start of a good week......oh, and a good month.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Guilt Driven

I started to write the "I hate family reunuions" blog but after writing awhile I realized how ugly I must sound to eveyone about not wanting to be with family. And how inconsistent that must sound when I know I have talked lovingly about my family. Most of us don't like family renunions but....we love our families, we love our is just the mandatory gathering of the family who seem like distant relatives and people we don't know that we object to.

I could make a long list of things I hate about family reunions and I'll bet if I asked you to add to my list you could find something to add to it.
  • I hate meeting people who still call me Carla 36 years later.
  • I hate eating strange concoctions made by someone cleaning out the refrigerator before the reunion.
  • I hate getting stuck in the strange bathroom with latches that take a weight lifter to unlatch.
  • I hate eating with those plastic utensils that are seemingly safe but nearly cut the end of your finger off when you try to take them out of the plastic envelope.
But I have discovered that all that hate of the family reunion is a bonding experience with those family members who felt guilty enough to go just to please the oldest member of the family who called us all to get us to go.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Day One

Finally, the remodeling has actually begun in the house. Last weekend we pulled off the bricks around the window that has to be replaced but inside nothing had been done. Today, we pulled up the old carpet, removed the 1976 floor tiles along the perimeter of the old living room to make room for the new kitchen cabinets to go in and started studding out the small pantry closet.

While I am writing this post poor Einstein is looking very confused and rather put out. First there is no carpet on which to shorten his nails, his chair was moved, and what are these strange looking, funny smelling things sticking up all around. He has certainly noticed the differences and checked out every inch of the room, sniffing every board, every tool and walked in and out of new structure in the room before finally settling on the ledge of the window that by the way, will be replaced on Saturday.

I can picture it all in my head and it is going to be beautiful!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Doves Cooing

I love to hear the sound of doves cooing outside in the early morning.

It never fails to remind me of my childhood when I would wake up at the lake house. The place was covered in cedar, mountain laurels and now, I am assuming they were small oak trees that grow in the rocky soil up in the hill country. Birds were especially happy up there. The cooing of the doves was the wake up call of the lake like roosters crowing in the morning in the country.

They probably cooed all day long but in the silence of the morning the cooing was a welcome sound as much as the smell of bacon frying in the kitchen.

This morning the doves are happy and herald the start of a wonderful day, a summer day.

Saturday, June 23, 2007


Look quick! It is sunlight streaming in my window!

We have become the Texas tropics.

It has rained every week at least one day a week and often more. It has rained enough to keep the sprinklers off for the most part. It almost got too hot and dry one or two days last week but we have now had enough rain to make up for the hot day or two.

Everything is green!
I love it!

But have you ever seen so many webworms? I was grilling sausage the other day on our grill under one of our trees. Webworms kept dropping on me or they would drop to the patio below and begin crawling up my pants leg. A few got a free ride into the house via my clothing.

I did not know I needed my umbrella for the webworms.
Keep your umbrellas handy even when it is not raining.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The New Look

I apologize to anyone who might have been on my site while I was going through my "transitional" period. I have long wanted to create my own look with the site so have been playing. I had to find a template that would not interfere with "my look".

We, art people, have a hard time leaving things alone. So expect that I will continue to move things and upload more of my own pics. One day may be dramatic like today's and tomorrow it may be pink zinnias. It just all depends on what I feel like doing.

The only thing I can not figure out is how to drop the text in my header so that it will be in the dark area instead of the light area. I ended up having to make my photo narrower than I wanted in order that it be somewhat legible.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Challenge

I listened as my mother "challenged" my dad seemingly unintentionally about his capability to do some things so soon after hip replacement. Was she being a sly fox or just unintentionally challenging him?

Some years ago the school employed a carpenter to build cabinets for my art room. The carpenter placed a huge cabinet in my closet although actually it was for student use and belonged in the classroom. He claimed it was such a struggle to get it in the closet and was so proud of his accomplishment. I praised his handicraft but suggested to him that it would better serve my purpose in the room rather than the closet.

His response was "It's too late now. You can not get it out of the closet. It will not fit through the door".

As he left I meekly called my co-teacher who was within earshot but not in my room. I wondered if the man thought I was an idiot. He got it IN the closet why did he think I could not get it OUT of the closet.

What?! Did I hear a challenge? Hump!...

The teacher next door had been quiet but I knew she could hear the conversation. Now that he was gone we went to work. We knew exactly what our task was. It took just a few minutes and a few grunts and groans and we had the huge cabinet just where it should have been placed to begin with.

Now, I am not sure this is an endearing quality I have or not but it is mine.
I have seen it in others and can recognize a challenge when I hear one.

I believe if I can not do something it is only because I have not learned how YET!
Give me a minute!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Down Late Up Early

Have you ever been in a place where you are not supposed to fall asleep but can not seem to keep your eyes open?

I stayed up late last night. The Spurs were playing, the guys were watching and I was reading my Bad Girls book and peeking over the top of it occasionally. Once everyone else went to bed I finished up my chapter and went to bed also. But once I laid down I could not sleep. I did so much physical labor working in the yard during the day and lost of lot of fluids while out in the sun that once I got to bed I was in need of replenishing my fluids and could not sleep. So I got up, got a bottle of water and started working on my workbook expecting I would eventually get sleepy but it did not happen. Finally, at 3:00am I forced myself to go to bed. At a quarter to six this morning Lee was ready for me to get up so like a dutiful wife I found my way downstairs and to the kitchen.

So now, here I sit at the shop in the quiet and cool place with very little traffic in and out today, trying to keep my eyes open. I'm afraid I will fall asleep, start snoring and someone will walk in and I will not wake up.

Now that would be embarrassing.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bad Girls of the Bible

I enjoyed having some of the ladies over to kick off our Bible study of the Bad Girls of the Bible. There is nothing wrong with living here with three men but I must say it was very pleasant to have women around my table.

Today we received our books and I will begin to read it this evening when it is dark outside and I can settle down to a quiet evening.

I am intrigued by the title.
What are we going to learn from the bad girls?
Sounds fun.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

iGoogle page

Okay, maybe I am a little slow but I have JUST discovered the iGoogle page with all of the stuff to add to your Google page.
I spent hours yesterday playing with it and setting it up. Okay, maybe one hour.
I added all the blogs I read and put it on my Google page so it alerts me when there is something I have not read. I added a daily Bible verse, a quote of the day, a calendar, a baby ticker (like Jaci's), email notifier and google talk that I use to keep in touch with my friend Kandi. And there is so much more I could add.

I have had the gmail account for years now but never used it for all of this. Also, using an Apple computer I do have widgets on my dock that are like these things but this is better because I made Google my homepage (sorry Caleb, I had royalframeworks) so every time I go to the internet I have it at my fingertips.

Pretty cool.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Years go by

Remember how long summers were when you were a child? Now they seem to fly by? But when you were a child every day was yours. Now that you are a responsible adult it is a search to find time that you call your own.

If I could just buy back those wasted days of my youth I would use them differently. I guess that is one of the changes you go through as the years pass by. You sleep less, rise earlier and use every minute until you have to sit down and put your feet up.

I do find that my life is much more interesting (to me, not other people) than it was when I was young.

When I was a child, I thought "when I am a teenager then it will be cool and I will be happy" but when I was a teenager I thought, "when I get out of school, then life will be more fun and I will be happy".

Then when I got out of school I thought, "when I get married then I will be happy".

When I got married I thought, "when I have a child then my life will be complete and I will be happy".

When I had a houseful of children I thought, "when they get out of school then I can rest and I will be happy".

They grew up, left home and made homes of their own and then I was alone and a little sad because I wanted to be with them. But the lesson I learned is I am happy. I don't have the energy of my youth, or the body of my youth, but I have the knowledge of experience and the wisdom of how to apply it.

Not that I have "arrived" but the journey is the interesting part and I have learned to be happy today.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Sweet Sounds

I learned to fish long before I learned to swim but I was afraid of the water and fish were cute. They stink but they are cute.

On the weekends when we would go to the "cabin" at the lake. My grandmother would walk us down to go fishing . Going to the cabin was a family event. Usually my uncle and his family were there, also. What fun. But it is my grandmother whom I remember taking us fishing. The men would go in the boat and we girls would sit on the big rock clift overlooking the deep waters. I can not remember catching anything much but I remember how I loved to go. My grandmother's chuckling laughter is forever etched in my memory.

This summer she will be 99. She is still the same to me even after all these years. I can hear her laughter even now.

Sweet sound!

Sunday, June 3, 2007


I love to watch my Sunday morning gardening shows on HGTV.

This morning they were talking about Gravelia, this beautiful Australian tree that has huge red blossoms. But again, their seeds are so well protected by a huge woody covering sort of like a pine cone that it actually depends on forest fires and then heavy rains to wear down the woody protector to be able to get to the seed.

Another real life example of building character through trials. Without the fires and rain the seed would stay hidden away, never to become a tree.

Isn't it interesting how many parables are out there just waiting on us to recognize them?
How can anyone doubt God when they look at nature?

What sort of people would we be if everything went our way always?
I am thinking maybe shallow rooted like spring flowers in a extra wet spring. Once the heat comes they die because their roots are at the surface instead of deep where the moisture can be found.

The Misfortunate Adventures of June

June has started off to be as busy as May but much more fun.

I have had some degree of family around since Thursday. I went to babysit at Leann's and ended up coming home with two boys plus my nephew who went with me. We decided to go fish in the tank that evening and in the morning we got up early and went again. We did not catch anything but we got a lot of practice in casting and in patience. The moss is so bad that we have decided on a group project to work on later....a dock. If we could get ourselves out farther so we could get past the moss maybe then we could place our hooks where we can catch some fish. All in all it was a pleasurable time.

Leann came on Friday morning and Carl and Lisa on Friday evening.

Before suppertime Leann and I and all of the boys went to Walmart. The boys searched the fishing gear and we girls got food for supper. When we got back home I put some suasage links on the grill for an easy supper. I went inside and put some vegetables cooking. In the mean time the sausage was cooking outside. I checked once, flipped them over and returned to my vegetables. I guess time got away from me because by the time I returned to the sausage it was flaming. There was no saving this sausage. We had hamburgers.

Lisa loves to play on our huge inflatable waterslide. We aired it up, found leaks, patched the leaks, waited an appropriate length of time, then aired it up again and began playing. Even the big kids get involved in playing on it and I mean big kids....Caleb, Daniel, Carl, Lisa....
I guess the abuse it got last summer was just too much for it. After a little while the seams gave way, ripped open and the slide collapsed.

It seems that the devil was prowling in my backyard these past few days trying to work our patience. Fortunately his bait was recognized and we worked our way through it. In fact, I believe there were more happy sounds all weekend and very few moans and groans.

There is nothing better than having family around.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Flylady

I hope I will be more productive tomorrow than I have been today. I had fully intended to get this house clean. I have been going online to check to see what the Flylady says I should be doing. I am too far behind to feel that picking up the clutter in the living room is all I need to do. After being occupied teaching for 10 months it is time to get in there and do the whole 9 yards. Although I will admit doing small bits and pieces of cleaning does help.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Forever and Ever Hydrangea

It is Memorial Day. Although typically not a holiday for Lee, this year the rains have prevented him from getting in his fields and we decided to go into town to find a replacement window for the remodeling job we will be doing.

While shopping I always have to make a small pass through the plants to see if anything new is waiting there for me.

I found the beautiful Forever and Ever Hydrangea, a new Japanese variety that is a long bloomer like my Endless Summer variety but these blooms will be bigger. My Endless Summer is blooming it's heart out for me but it is at my house on North Trail.

This one will go outside in front of what will be my kitchen window after the remodeling job is complete. I will be able to see it while I clean the kitchen and enjoy it. Perfect! And the blooms are wonderful.

It reminds me of my summer visits in Georgia with Linda.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Hope Floats

I guess I need to write more on the subject of my last posting after having read Dana's blog that responds to my post. Usually my intention with my posts is to be uplifting, maybe entertaining but surely something that young mothers can use as an ah-ha! This one is not so uplifting and does express my frustration with the lack of training of our teens.

So with that in mind I will try to reword my post from yesterday to at least state the point I was trying to make. I often imply my point without actually stating it. And often there is more than one point to my thoughts. So read on. I will be very direct in stating my point this time.So here it is.

Train up a child in the way he should go and he will NOT depart from it.

I think that is a good beginning.
As a high school teacher most of you can only imagine what I see and hear. If you have not taught high school and are not around the worst of the worst of our high school students you are probably thinking only of the sweet child who has been trained by church going people and have not even identified the subjects of my blog.

It IS a generational thing. If my mother had not taught me to love nature I may never had discovered it. I may have resisted as a child and not wanted to do the work of loving nature but eventually I came to love it. Had she not taught me to respect the property of my sister I would have been into her stuff (worse than I was). Not only did she teach me to respect the property of the other members of my family she taught us to respect our neighbors property. She taught us to keep our hands in our pockets when we went in the five and dime stores. She taught us to clean our environment rather than to destroy it.

Why? Because we had a sense morality and a sense of pride in our surrroundings. We were taught that if she could not see us, God still sees us and is disappointed in us when we do wrong.

Now I do not mean for this to become "I had to walk five miles to the snow....uphill.....BOTH WAYS!"

The point is not in the change of times but rather in the lack of training.

Yes, train your children to be respectful.
Make your children be responsible for their actions. Do not make excuses for their misbehaviors. No matter what economic bracket you find yourself in......train up your children.....

When I watch my high school students what I am seeing is that they lack GOD in their lives!
At least they are acting un-Godly!

I realize that our children go through phases and often those trained are led astray by the untrained but the training remains as a backbone to support them and eventually they will get back to it.

Yes, Dana, these kids can be trained and should be trained and it may take some years of hard work. Unfortunately there are many who are not being trained or else the parents wait until they start school or are too far out of control before they realize that they need to begin training thus having lost the most formative years of the child's life, those preschool years. Many parents make excuses for their children's misbehaviors and say, I was like that and I grew out of it so they will, too. Boys will be boys! HA!
That attitude only gives them justification for bad behavior.

So here is my point:
  • Stop excusing bad behaviors.
  • Train our children to do good.
  • Hold them responsible when they are not!
If we do not, we are doing our children an injustice because even if we do not hold them responsible GOD WILL!

Friday, May 25, 2007

No Mail Today

I went by my house on North Trail and the place is nearly under water with the heavy rains we have been getting. I drop by often to pick up any mail that is delivered there, feed the cat, Mr. Belvedere, who took up residence there after I moved out and check for any sign of trespassing. When I went to open the mailbox out by the road there is nothing there but a square post with nothing on top. No evidence of any broken pieces, no tire tracks just no mailbox. I drove down to the next mailbox or I should say the location of where the mailbox should be. No Mailbox there either. I had noticed a week earlier that one of the other neighbors were missing their mailbox.

My question is: was this fun?

The vandalism is a bother. I am relatively unaffected by it other than having to replace a missing mailbox. But it makes me wonder about the people who consider this fun. At school I watch teens coming and going dropping trash on the ground in the newly landscaped patio area. They pull up the paving stones in the patio area and throw them aside. In the clean hallway they jump up and shove the ceiling tiles upward, breaking them in half over and over again, leaving a path of destruction. They write on the walls, the desks, the outside bricks. They break sinks off at the wall if they have enough time. Break the water fountains so that they can not be used to get a drink. I have even heard of some urinating in the hallway. I watch this vandalism with wonder. Not awe and wonder but rather with inquisitive wonder.

I wonder what kind of creature poops in their own den. Even a dog goes outside of their territory to do their business.

Well maybe they do not consider their school as being theirs?!

Okay, while house shopping with Daniel this year I went into a home occupied by two of my former students, girls, sweet girls. I could not believe my eyes when I saw the way they lived. Grafitti was plastered all over their walls. Not even pretty grafitti but rather ugly black markings like you find on public bathroom walls, messages, phone numbers, etc. I mean covering the walls, not just a little mark here and there but rather everywhere.

It was so ugly.

I wonder if these children, teens, soon to be adults will ever come to realize their destructiveness and change? Or will this cycle reoccur with the next generation?

Is it simply a case of living among so much proverty that they do not realize that better is attainable?

I worry. How sad for them.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hit by Happy This Morning.

I woke up really early this morning. The smile on my face must have been the reason. I got up went to the bathroom, climbed back into bed, smiled, wiggled around, smiled, wiggled around, smiled, snuggled up to Lee, smiled, wiggled, pet Einstein, wiggled, smiled.....I had been hit by happy this morning. Even Lee telling me that he was going to wake me up early tomorrow morning did not thwart my happy spirit.

Not only is this the last day of school but I also, taught the ladies class last night and it is now behind me.

I still have a few hoops to jump before the day is over and tomorrow I will have to turn in grades, and clean the room........but I have been hit by happy today!

Monday, May 21, 2007

When I Grow up.....

If you could change jobs to one that you would feel extreme satisfaction what job would you have?
Do you feel that what you chose as a young adult locked you into a career that now you feel you do not like?

My ideas changed as the decades changed.
  • When I was 25, had I gone to college then, it would have been landscape architecture or something in that field.
  • When I turned 35 I got a degree in art with a certification to teach art.
  • Later at about 45 I decided to add to my education and got my masters in technology.

They all sound so unrelated when I say that out loud to people but in my head they all fit together. They are all creative outlets.

Now, if I could change careers it would be to become a business owner, probably a nursery and sell exotic plants. Helping Caleb with his business really brings out the entrepreneur in me.
He he says... "not working for a living"!

It is just a little over a year now before I will be 55. I wonder what the future holds.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Auditory or Visual

I have always known I was a visual person. I can tell you tons of stories that prove my visual-ness sometims to my chagrin.

BUT I sit while Lee listens to his Meet the Press and although I hear what they say I am not taking it in and when I watch it I am asking myself.....

.........."do these white headed men put something on their hair to make it so white?

..........Oh, look they have a new table.....

..........Oh, it is a triangle.......

..........Yellow and blue Meet the press logos in the background look like posters.......

..........Our host's face has gotten fuller over the years........."

Well, what can I say? I guess that is one of the reasons I teach art. The visual world around me is so important.

Auditory or Visual?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

May 24, 1945

May 24, 1945 is the date in the concrete horse trough in our back yard. Back then a pier and beam house stood where my home is now. The old house belonged to Lee's aunt and her family. At some point Lee's dad came to own the land and at that time the old house was torn down and the land became farm land. A few large pecan trees, two grand old oaks, a windmill, a falling down chicken coop and a concrete horse trough were all that was left here when we decided to build our house here in 1975.

When the kids were little they used it for a swimming pool. It made a good swimming pool for them. I could watch the children from my kitchen window. At first I was concerned because it was concrete but soon felt fairly secure as no injuries ever occurred in the trough.

As all old things do, the trough needed mantainance and Ryan patched the major leak it developed while he was a college student. Then we added waterlilies and water hyacinths. Now it is full of plants and fish but it leaks terribly again. I guess it will be one of my first real projects for the summer to fix the leak. The choice is to take it out or fix it.

I just have a hard time giving up on things. Thankfully, Lee is with me on this. We will line the pond with a plastic pond liner and then do some landscaping around it and it will be a major attraction to add to the yard.

Now who else can claim to have a 1945 horse trough in their back yard?
There is too much history here to give up on it. When I look the rough concrete work on it I have a vision of the man making it.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Can't Please Everyone

Today I started my students on their end of the year drawing tests. I always set up my tests so that every minute of their time in my class is spent working on something productive. There are four days left and the drawing test will take four days. Then I do not have to deal with the discipline issue so much.

I always choose two types of drawings in order to give everyone a chance to shine. Some love to draw realistically and some imaginatively.
  • One drawing is a photograph of a flower and will be drawn by a grid method to calculate the skill they have developed. I am looking for acurate drawings with good toning.
  • The second drawing is a CD cover and is to calculate their creative, imaginative side.
This afternoon I started the test and everyone is drawing quietly really working hard on the drawing when one of my good students pops her head up and begins to complain about how she hates drawing by a grid and she will just fail this. Then another student not as well behaved popped up and said he hates it, too. I smiled sweetly and said, "well, I just can not please everyone at the same time. You may like the CD cover design test better."

No one else complained so I guess 2 out of 19 is not bad.
But we keep trying to please them all, don't we?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Prayers Answered

Thank you for all who have kept the baby, Davis in your prayers. God does answer our prayers and heals. The tests have come back saying this child is normal. The family has gone through agony after going from doctor to doctor trying to learn what the problem is.

He is expected in September. The pregnancy still has some risks so do continue to keep them in your prayers.

Then he said, church then baseball....

The conversation between the two parents continued about their precious children and baseball. Then he said it, ", church then baseball."

I wondered why?

Why bother putting God in there at all if he is not on the top?
What are the children learning when the parents teach them that their education is MORE important than God?

Monday, May 14, 2007


Looking forward to the freedom of summer.
Not that I can do anything I want but what I want I can do.

Funny, how my past times have changed over the years. It was not that long ago that I just wanted to go shopping. I loved to go to SA to shop and eat out. I liked to go to places that had roller coasters and fun rides and not just to look at the landscaping.

Now a little of that is alright but......I enjoy visiting family and friends. And I do enjoy getting out to fun places but now it is more to explore new landscaping ideas or photo opportunities. Roller coaster make me sick. I mean REALLY sick.

I look forward to fishing with the kids, spending mornings in my garden, watercoloring and drawing, flying to North Carolina, staying up late watching old movies, stepping up my exercise routine..........

Does that make me boring?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Super Saturday

What a fun Saturday!
The weather is perfect for being outdoors.
I got outside almost minutes from getting up this morning and started cleaning out dead leaves out of the flowerbeds. Yes, I should have done this long ago but I have too many chores and cleaning is a constant in the house and in the garden.

I planted elephant ears, replanted ferns, and planted my triple stemmed pygmy date palm (an early Mother's Day). Family is coming tomorrow and I want the yard to be pretty as well as the house to be clean.

This morning my yard was used for the location of a photo shoot for one of our high school graduates. It was a double-wammie inspiration. I want to work more in my yard and I want to take pictures. Photography is one of my passions and I have neglected it for a few years. I love to take pictures. I just need to get those sweet grandbabies here to be my subjects.

Have a great Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Pray for the Baby

My nephew and his wife need prayers. They are the sweetest little family, full of love and concern for each other much like Jaci and Jarred so far from us in Hawaii and Cryssy and Tony so far from home in South Carolina.

Pray for the health of the unborn baby boy my neice carries.
Pray for strength and love for this family.
Our hearts break when our loved have hardships.
Please keep them in your prayers

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Sometimes we refer to planting a seed of thought in someone's brain.
But if we consider bluebonnets seeds it is much more like training a child through the rebellious years of teens and into adulthood.

Every spring my children would be the first to discover the bluebonnets blooming in the fields near the house. While out playing, the children would run across a patch of fresh blooms. In the excitement of their new discovery, they would pick handfuls of bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes. One of my sweetest memories of the children would be of them standing in front of me with their upraised hands full of the colorful spring flowers. We loved the spring flowers and began to try to get the bluebonnets to bloom where we wanted them to.
My desire was to have masses of the colorful blooms in the front of my yard. We scattered seeds at random hoping that each and every seed would produce a healthy plant. But when spring came only a few plants would bloom, not the tremendous mass of display for which we had hoped.

Again we would gather seeds and sow them randomly and again the spring brought a disappointing display. Undaunted, we continued to scatter the seeds. Some years were hard and cruel and the rains came too late for the seeds to get the proper moisture and the spring would bring few blooms.

Still I was concerned over the lack of bluebonnets in my yard. I studied to learn what needed to be done to have the beautiful displays. I watched and waited and hoped. The sun was the most important requirement for growth. I selected locations that placed the plants in the sun. Plants growing in the sun would grow large and full, producing a crown of blooms and yield strong seeds. Plants deprived of the sun suffered and were spindly and weak and eventually the plant would wither and die.

The next summer a small grass fire burned the field where the wildflower seeds were thrown. I thought all was lost, the seeds were gone. The summer was hotter than usual and the winter cold and harsh.

The harsh treatments the dormant seed had gone through began to wear down the hard protective coating. Moisture crept into the inner areas of the seed where the tiny heart of the seed laid for years since it had been formed. The tiny heart began to grow and the new life began to emerge. Strong and colorful for all the hardships it had gone through, the plants finally had grown to withstand the harsh temperatures of the Texas summers. The plants were strong and mature ready to begin a productive life.

The field was a celebration of newly found life.

Proverbs 22:6
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

The Master Gardener

Last winter on an excursion I came across a palm tree loaded with dried fruit ready for picking. I gathered up 88 little palm seeds and took them home with me to grow.

Spurrred by curiousity more than the love of palm trees I began to soak them to break through the hard shell and begin the germination. Each stage of the germination process facinated me. I watched as a tiny dot of seed covering dropped off the side of the seed one day and the next day a root began to push its way out. I hovered over the seeds like a mother over her new baby.
After a couple of weeks all but one of the 88 seeds had sprouted. I rejoiced for the 87 sprouted seeds but mourned my lose of the one. I continued to watch my lone seed still hoping it would sprout but eventually it became evident it was dead and would never sprout.
The sprouted seeds were planted in the best potting soil I could find. Daily I watched to be sure that the roots did not push out the bottom of the pots and once they began to bulge the bottom of the pot they were placed in a larger pot and the overseeing of the young seeds continued.

Spring came and the roots of the palms were strong enough to begin to push a minature palm leaf upward to mature and begin a productive life. Rejoicing with each new plant I found emerging from the top of the soil, I counted each one that grew and watched for the ones that had not emerged yet a little like God watches over us wanting each of us to grow and become strong. Although some of the plants had not matured enough to produce a leaf I continued to watch after the plants, keeping them watered, placing them in the sun, making sure that the soil has the proper nutrients to grow and be productive. I am reminded of God's love for us. There are so many lessons I can learn from my experience growing these palms but most evident to me is that God watches over us and continues to give us the proper conditions to grow but the growing part is up to us.

No matter what, I can not make the choice for the seed to grow. If the seed is immature it will not grow. If the hard shell on the outside has not gone through something to wear down or soften the outer coating it will not allow the heart of the seed to get the moisture it needs and it will not grow. If the seed grows without the sun it will be spindly and weak and will eventually die.

How much more than I watch over my palms does God watch over us, rejoicing at our maturing and mourning those who are weak. God is the master gardener.

Friday, May 4, 2007

From God's Hand to My Heart

To comfort those whose lives are changing and to demonstrate how blessings come in expected ways.
May you place your lives in God's hand and let him lead you.

I watched the students from the Life Skills class parade down the hall. Parade is the most apt description for this procession. Swaggering happily each at his own pace, greeting everyone in their pathway. I could not help smile as they passed and I greeted each one individually thinking I was the one initiating the greeting but really they were the greeters. Mr. Lott shook each boy's hand as they passed him. The two women entering the hallway from getting their morning coffee were greeted. They zig-zagged side to side throughout the hallway to meet each person. If one did not greet them they did not even seem to notice they continued in their happy procession.

Abel commented to me in his slurred speech, "I like the rain. Do you like the rain? It's going to rain again today. Look at those clouds." We conversed briefly about the weather before we parted ways. I felt warmed by the brief conversation I had with him. How did this young disabled teen make me feel like I was important to him but he did in a brief moment.

A few years ago, I took little notice of the Life Skills classes. That was before Eric. Eric came into our world with Down Syndrome. Now I say that with so little concern, like commenting on the color of his eyes but then we were unprepared for his condition. I knew nothing of it and the thought was frightening and I knew our world was going to change.

Change it did. With the addition of this precious life came more blessings than I was prepared to understand at his birth. My tears that I cried at his birth for fear of the unknown only come now for love of a child I adore.

At the hospital, hours after his birth, this beautiful little boy melted into my arms as if to fill in all the spaces that separated us and bonded us together for all time. My heart melted. Now three and a half years later, I thank God for the gift of this child in our family and realize that his place in our family has softened some rough edges in each one of us individually. His place in our family has been one of the most precious blessings we have received.

I thank God for his life.
I know God holds him dear as he does other children like him.
Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” 15 And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left.
Before God sent him to us he must have placed His hand on Eric's head and blessed him.