Friday, March 31, 2006

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Bet you thought......

our grass was green from those photos yesterday. Psyche! All that green is weeds. Weeds of every size and shape. I am frequently amazed at the variety of weeds in our yard.

My favorites are the teeny-tiny blue flowers. I think there may be a shoot of grass here and there, but they are definitely outnumbered.

I know what you're thinking and don't even ask. I can't until next week. But I will. Believe me, I will.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Here's that photo of Ike mowing the lawn......maybe more than one. He is awfully cute, after all.

Train up a child.......

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A picture is worth.....

I had another photo of Ike mowing the lawn today to post but this one supercedes all others. Isaac just wrote his name all by himself for the first time!!!! I did not have to tell him any letters or coach him on how to write them. He really, truly did it all by himself. I am so pumped!

I do realize that the "a"s look like "q"s but I'm cool with that. I know what he meant and we've got until next August to perfect this. For now....

I am so proud!!! Posted by Picasa

A New Baby!

We have a new nephew and he is a doll! I always keep my camera in my purse, but I left my purse in my car when we went to visit. DUH! He was eventually taken C-section so he was gorgeous! The funnest part? He's red-headed! How cool is that?
My kids are all zombies this morning because we drove out to Plano and back to get a glimpse of him last night. The rest of our family drove well over an hour each way so they are in worse shape than us! It's our first cousin to be at the hospital for and we feel extra-cool!

Friday, March 24, 2006

When I Grow Up

When I grow up I want to be an artist. I want to be able to paint beautiful paintings (encaustic, preferably) and sell them to people who love them, not just to people who love me. I want to be able to make enough money to pay for all the really cool supplies that are available out there. I want to not be intimidated by other people's art and I want to know how to find artist communities and galleries and gatherings.

I want to be a "real" artist.

My cousin is a real artist. He is getting a master's degree in art and is paid to make ceramic art. He goes to the artist gatherings and shows and participates in all that artsy stuff. Maybe I should ask him. I really intend to, but we can't get him away from his art "work" long enough to have a good conversation about it all.


I want to be an artist. What we need to do and what we want to do sometimes overlap, but for now I'll teach 2 year olds for my monetary contribution to the family and be happy doing those other things I love, being "Mom" and "honey" and dabbling in a vast array of arts and crafts. And keeping my sink clean for the first time in my life!

But someday....when I grow up.....I want to be an artist.

When do you figure "grown up" happens? At 33 I don't feel it yet. When does that come? With grandkids?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Oh yeah...

Now I remember why I set this painting aside all those months ago. It's all those tulips and all those stems and all those leaves. It's hours of painting with almost no appreciable difference. I'm gonna have to do this one in baby steps. Maybe I can have it done by Christmas.

Last summer.

Today after several hours of work. (better camera too) Posted by Picasa

The Foulness of Hamsters

Hamsters are gross. Foul. Nasty. O.K., they are fuzzy and cute and cuddly, especially the dwarf ones, but they......ummmm.....excrete alot. Alot. Gerbils are not quite as cute but also not as gross. Bummer, eh? My wise and all-knowing-Geraldine told me this long, long ago. I believed her but did not quite understand. This morning I spent a long time out in the biting wind with the water hose trying to blow off hamster yuk from their cage. Mostly my fault for waiting so long, I will admit, but yukky nonetheless. It's what I get for succumbing to the cuteness of free hamsters.

Do not be deceived. They are poop machines in disguise.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I forgot to mention...

I was just reading back over my blogs and realized that I didn't tell you about Todd's Jr. High retreat for Heritage and Legacy CsofC. I mentioned that he would be camping in the rain and, indeed, it soaked them all weekend. The retreat was about "becoming nothing" and letting Christ live in you and Todd really enjoyed it.....of course. Two things have happened as a result of him speaking there. 1st, several people think he should re-apply at Legacy and send in some sermon CDs and 2nd, the youth minister there called him today to do another retreat. They have a Sr. High retreat planned for this weekend and their speaker backed out today. Bummer for them, good for us. They said he should bring his whole family and they'll put us up in a cabin on the lake. Yeah, buddy!

Todd usually shoots cowboy action on the last weekend of the month but he put it this way, "I could either spend a lot of money to go shoot, or go do what I really want to be doing all the time." Not a real dilemma.

Which reminds me...Todd deleted his Blog. Have you noticed? He decided that "You should be quick to listen and slow to speak." At first I thought he was just wimping out because he knows so many people read our blogs (especially those on search committees) and then I realized that he's right. Guys' blogs tend to be where they vent.....and sometimes it's better to just listen and think without speaking for a while. Us gals, I think, are more apt to just blather on about life, what we do, what our kids do, what our husbands do....all that nonsense. I guess it's not too boring or you wouldn't be reading it, would you? I, personally, never get tired of it. ;-)

Oh yeah, we also got another call from Ballinger CofC asking Todd to send in his resume and sermon CD's. We had decided not to apply at first but I think we're seriously considering it now. It's for a youth minister position and I think these retreats have lit Todd's fire again.

It's a mixed blessing. Getting to minister some makes sitting in a cubicle typing spreadsheets just that much harder every day. I hate it for him. It's like sending your child to school when you know he really hates it. bleh. It's way harder on him than me, but I don't like to watch the struggle. I'm a wimp like that.

Well, Todd's at an emergent cohort meeting tonight (if you don't know what it is, don't worry 'bout it) and it's fast approaching my bedtime. I don't turn into a pumpkin if I stay up past 9:45, but I sure feel like one in the morning. I may just paint a wee bit before I head that way. Think I can quit in time? We shall see....

Monday, March 20, 2006

Sense of Accomplishment

Aside from keeping my sink clean and my toilets scrubbed, I've been doing some things that make me feel like I've accomplished something here recently. I started painting again. I haven't painted in months and months and have missed it, but it really does take up a huge space on my table. I had that handy-dandy "art desk" set up in my garage but have run into light problems. So. We'll just eat at TV tables for a few days while I paint with my crayons. (I had to go buy a whole box today just to get a lame is that?) I've also lost the magazine clipping I was using to paint Dad's tulip field. I'm not sure what to do about that....except improvise....and maybe look up that photo I posted.....hmmmm, this blogging thing could come in handy after all.

Have I mentioned that I received an application in the mail for FLIMP in Alabama again this year? It's the art festival run by the state museum and I was in it last year but I think it may just be for Alabama residents. I got the application but it had been forwarded from our last Alabama address. I went ahead and sent it in.....who knows what they'll say? Maybe I'll have a good excuse to go back to Alabama for a weekend!

I've also managed to spin some silk. It's pretty tricky but I like it. I tried blending it with some wool and some cotton but am having best luck just spinning it straight. I may ply it with some soon as I get the hang of spinning cotton which is also tricky. Now all I have to do is start using all this yarn! I'm stymied by not having cable. Knitting is so much more enjoyable with mind-numbing TV running in front of you. I may have to knit at Mom's house. Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 17, 2006


I figure it's time to post a photo or two. It's Spring Break now and it's been glorious weather all week with good variation between cool and warm...not cold or hot. I think it's supposed to rain all weekend, which is par for the course since Todd is going on a Jr. High camp out as the guest speaker. I'm just not a "campin' in the rain" kind of gal, know what I mean?

Todd's sister and her whole gang came up Tuesday night and spent Wednesday with us. Her husband had Wednesday off so Todd took off too and we had a fun time. We attempted to go to the zoo but after more than 2 hours of traffic and being told that it was another 2 hour wait to get in, we decided to skip the zoo. We hit a couple of thrift stores on the way home and then went to Keller Pointe to swim....which was a blast.

Hunter went home with them and the other two and I will head down today to Todd's mom's to spend some time and pick him up. I'm liking Spring Break! We even got the cars detailed. How fun is that?

O.K., now for the pictures I promised.

This is the infamous Spinning Wheel. It's light enough to move into the sunshine! Next to it are 1 pound of silk and 1 pound of mixed wool bits (for teaching Hunter to spin).

The younger two have played together miraculously well without big bro'. Makes you wonder.....

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


There are people out there who think that my life is a small life, unimportant in the scheme of things, meaningless because I'm not doing something "important" for the world. I tell you what. If you can't find meaning in 3 kids and a mini-van, you don't know what you're looking for.

The sun is shining, the kids are out of school for the week and life is good.

I think God is smiling.

Friday, March 10, 2006

What I've learned

First, I learned last night that Rainforest Cafe + Josiah = complete disaster. Bless him, he was a total wreck. His main problem wasn't necessarily that the animitronic animals all moved periodically, it was that he didn't know when it was going to happen. He was poised for flight the entire hour and I had to feed him because he wouldn't take his hands off his ears. sigh. We just thought for sure that he was ready now to try it.

Second, I learned this morning that there are some things I just can not blog about when I know the world is reading. I tried and deleted two times but a booger gobbler on the interstate just does not blog with any finesse. I laughed so hard that I wanted to share but you really, truly had to be there. I'm just glad I wasn't driving or we would have wrecked.

I think today can be considered the first day of Spring Break since the kids get out early. I'm looking forward to it. I'll probably get to spend time with Todd's sister and her family again and you know how I love that. I also love sleeping in. Yay for holidays!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Do You Blog?

I was just wondering if anyone else who blogs thinks about it all the time like I do? When something funny happens do you try to think of funny ways to blog about it? I used to do this all the time when I lived in Africa. I sent out a big e-mail pretty regularly about the personal aspect of our work and things that were catastrophic seemed easier to deal with when I thought, "Wow. This will make a great story in my e-mail this week!" (Remember those nachos on fire? And that group of 21 that showed up at our house to spend the night?) Anyway I was just thinking of my laundry and trying to be witty about it so I think one can get carried away with this blogging thing. "Wash for him the shirt which he desireth." It goes with a small anecdote but I'll spare you this time.

I know you guys are tired of hearing about the Southlake church but it happened again. We went to a different class tonight to see what it's like. It's called "Everyday Missionaries" and it's a neat class but what caught my attention was a casual mention that the eldership has encouraged every member of this church to spend at least 10 days on some sort of mission effort over the next five years. In fact they strongly encourage it.
Are you kidding me? Is this place for real. I had to suppress the urge to stand up and dance a jig. (of course, when I spilled my coffee all over the carpet I got distracted and calmed down but I never did jig....I promise). Sometimes I feel like I'm on Candid Camera and someone somewhere (probably God) is laughing hysterically every time my jaw hits the floor as more and more of the character of this church is revealed. God may decide we are not the couple that needs to lead this church (in fact the thought becomes more and more intimidating) but I pray and pray that He finds the perfect couple for them. They are so neat.

Speaking of intimidating. Someone else told us tonight that he's been reading our blogs, someone we are only newly acquainted with. At one time I thought I would like to put a counter on my blog to see how many people check it daily but now I'm thinking I'd rather not know. Boy, that'll make you check your spelling won't it?

So why won't my mother read my blog? Hmmmm. I think she'd rather just hear it from me instead of read it. Whatever her reason for not reading, she saved me today. We had a small lunch debacle wherein I stopped to buy a lunchable for Ike on our way to work and realized Todd had my check card and I didn't have time to go anywhere else or do anything else. I never made it all the way to sheer panic. In fact it didn't take me long at all to realize...."I can call my Momma!!!" What a wonderful feeling. It's still new to be so near so I still revel in it. I called my Mom and she didn't just bring Ike a lunch, she brought enough lunchables to last us well into the weekend. You and I both know there's a sermon in there....all about God and His provision....but I trust you to be able to figure that out on your own. You know how I feel about God's tender mercies but I just wanna take a moment to say, "I LOVE MY MOMMA!" She rocks. (Daddy does too but he's in Houston on business and couldn't have possibly made it in time with lunch. :-D)

And in conclusion.....well, I don't really have anything to say in conclusion. I'm just trying to waste time while the laundry finishes up so I can put it in the dryer before I pass out for the night. Maybe I'll just go get my clothes out for tomorrow. (After I run that spell check.) Okay then. Bye.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I've been thinking (don't say it!)

I've been wanting to blog about Joy lately but I'm not really sure how to word what I want to say. Partly because the person whose conversation made me want to blog reads my blog (Hi Sandra!) and partly because joy is a hard thing to really capture into words.

I'm not talking about that sudden, overwhelming sense of elation you get when something great happens, I mean the long-term, every day, smilin' all the time joy. I bring up Sandra because when she asked me how I was she mentioned that I always try to be cheerful and hide how I'm really feeling and I realized that it probably does look like that sometimes. And sometimes I am just "being cheerful" because I should, but not very often. Usually when I'm upset or depressed I don't hide it, not from anyone who isn't a total stranger anyway. I just really am happy most of the time....or at least content.

I think I take it for granted, that joy. It really is a gift of the spirit. I think I underestimate it because it seems like such a passive "fruit". Kindness, gentleness, love, self-control and most of the others are so active, so direct. I love, I treat someone with kindness, I control myself. I don't joy. I have joy. It's passive. But it is so powerful. I think I assume that everyone else has that joy all the time so I don't appreciate the precious gift God has given that person who is so outgoing that they don't realize what a struggle things can be for a shy person. Joy colors everything.

I'm really not sure what I'm trying to say here except that I've been extra thankful to God this week for gifting me with joy. And in future, if you read my blog this is where it all hangs out. If I'm depressed, you'll be the first to know. If I'm worried, or angry, or embarrassed or whatever this is where I work it out. I only tone it down because I have an inkling of who's reading but I don't hide the feelings. I promise.

I love you Sandra! Thanks for helping me appreciate my spiritual gift this week!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

I'm cool

O.K. I didn't feel so cool last night when that other Dad yelled at Josiah. I wanted to tear his eyes out. It's a long story beginning with a 3 year old scaring Josiah by yelling and Josiah jumping at her like he was gonna hit her. I understand the dad's reaction but not the ensuing conversation/argument. I was grateful to God that I managed to reply in cool, even tones and kept Josiah in time out the rest of the time at Chick-Fil-A. The whole thing ended with the Dad coming over and apologizing to me but you know that adreneline rush you get? When you're keyed up for hours afterwards? I could'a thrown a car at someone for a long, long time after we left the restaurant. I'm still amazed that God kept my mouth shut at just the right time so the man could come and apologize and I could see Peacemakers at work. God is good.

Today I feel cool because I got to be a creative Mom. I got a spinning wheel and Hunter has been begging to try it. I take off the fiber and let them peddle but that wasn't enough. Since fiber for spinning ain't cheap I've been declining his request but I had a brain storm today. We cut some scrap fabric (of which I have tons) into long strips and I'm letting him spin that. It's not perfect, the lumps get caught and it doesn't always "take up" well, but he's getting the feel for spinning and having a blast....and not wasting my wool. Who knows, we may even make a rag rug out of the spun fabric.

and my sink is still clean! (which has nothing to do with spinning)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

How Cliche'

First off, how do I do accents on this thing? Hmmm.

O.K. Yesterday I saw a robin in my yard pull a worm out of the ground and eat it. It is such a cliche' that it took me by surprise. All my life I've seen cartoons of that exact scene but I never really expected to see it in real life. I've seen birds eat seeds and flying bugs and all sorts of stuff but never an actual worm...and a robin at that! My kids thought I was nuts when I went on and on about it.

And today the coolest thing happened. I got an e-mail from a good friend from Africa. She and her family were Burundian refugees in Tanzania. They have relocated to New Zealand and are doing well. And if that weren't exciting enough, her e-mail was also addressed to another friend of mine and I e-mailed her and she emailed back today! She and her family are Dutch missionaries in Dar es Salaam. She was one of my best friends in Mwanza and her son was Hunter's. I can't even describe to you how good it feels to be reconnected with these friends.

Even the smallest gifts from God can make your day so wonderful! Like a robin eating a worm or (even better) old friends appearing suddenly on your e-mail list. God is good. Life is good. God makes life good.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Is it hot....

or is it just me? No. It's actually hot. When I say hot, I mean that Weather has us at 93 degrees right now. That is not a typo. 93. Wish you were here? Probably not. Maybe tomorrow if it cools down a bit.

I had a nice day at work but Isaac fell at the end of the day and whacked his chin on a table. He's got a goose egg on his chin....that's a first for us....and his lip is a little swollen and his tongue hurts. If I've said it once I've said it a thousand times: that boy always falls on his face. He says he can't remember what he was doing when he fell which means one of two things, either he really, really jarred his brain or he was doing something he shouldn't have been (like running). I'm pretty sure it's the latter.

Did I tell you I got a spinning wheel? It's not your classic Sleeping Beauty type wheel, actually it's made of PVC, but it works like a charm and I am really loving it. I'll have to start selling my yarn to support my spinning habit. NO wait!!! I have a job for that! Yay!