Sunday, November 23, 2008


Friday night I went to see Twilight w/ 7 other adults and 33 high school girls. It was fun, but kind of odd since the theater was filled with teenage girls, many of whom where waaaaayyyyy too excited about the story. I mean, I read the books and enjoyed them, but I'm talking about a whole different level of involvement. A girl behind me, who wasn't with our group, began hyperventilating (i think, and hope, she was faking) when the movie started. Then, as each of the main characters made their first appearance, she hyperventilated again. wow. There were lots of squeals and screams throughout the movie, not at scary parts necessarily, but because these girls (again, I don't think it was many of ours) were so obsessed with Edward Cullen. It was, as I imagine, like how girls used to react over Elvis Presley back in the day. Let me just say that I hope that A never ever becomes so ridiculous over a boy, fictional or not.

After the movie, we headed to Chili's and that was lots of fun. Except probably not so much for the waiters who had to make change for 41 individual bills! Then, 11-12 grade girls headed to my house for an all-nighter, and 9-10 grade girls headed to another house in my neighborhood for the same. The boys were up at the church with Clay, playing hide and seek and capture the flag in the dark, eating wings, playing video games, playing basketball, and watching movies all through the night. They also went to Whataburger at 2:30 where, surprisingly, they were not the only customers. It was a fun night, and I think we're all now fully recovered.

Two weeks ago, I began tutoring 3-5 graders again at a school in our district. I'll do this Tuesday and Thursday mornings through April, to help struggling students get ready for the TAKS. It's a good gig...the pay is great and it keeps me involved in education in case I ever decide to go back to the classroom. But this week affirmed my previous feelings that 3rd grade and under is just too young for me. Did you know that 3rd graders know very little? (at least some of them, anyway.) I have discovered that I am more of a building builder than a foundation layer. You know what I mean? You've gotta give me some kind of prior knowledge from which we can start the tutoring process. We'll see how it goes...

THanksgiving this week in The Woodlands. YEA!!! THe kids have the whole week off, but B has basketball practice at the school at 7 a.m. Monday and Tuesday morning. BOO. Also, I have many writing assignments in front of me, so I must write these first two days of the week. We'll head out on Wednesday. Hope everyone has a great week w/ family and friends. I am thankful for you!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Girlfriends and Nuns

I can't believe that in less than a year, we're going to have a high school student. Is it as crazy to everyone else that little B is a teenager? Last week was Homecoming here in M-town. It seems that the whole mum thing has become more of a 7-9 grade thing these days, and the older high schoolers get a flower and stuffed animal or some other sort of more reasonable gift. But B, with insight that he'd have to pay for it himself, told his 8th grade *girlfriend that he didn't think he could get her "one of those nuns". You probably want me to stop right here.

*girlfriend - Though we've discouraged it til now, we have finally and sadly accepted the fact that we can't stop him from liking a girl and from a girl from liking him. You know there has never been a day in his life when he did not like girls! Anyway, it's really just in name only, since there's no getting together outside of school activities. But he now freely discusses these things with us and so we are in the loop about him sitting at the cheerleader table each day for lunch, "nuns", and things of that nature.

Anyway, a friend of ours who has a daughter A's age and another B's age among her brood, is the craftiest person I know. She has countless times saved me from having to figure out what to do for an outfit for a school program, projects, etc. She, naturally, was helping her girls and their friends make mums last week, since they are ridiculously expensive at the store. B called her up and asked her if she'd make one for him to give to the girl. So he took some money for supplies over to her and even helped out a bit with the mum-making. Then he took two of his buddies over with him to do the same for their girlfriends.

I have to say, even though I have trouble just saying the g-word, it was fun to watch the boys making the mums. And when B gave the girl her mum, she gave him a garter that she had made for him as well. He wore it proudly to school and to the game on Friday.

So here we are on the other side of my very first be-cool-about-the-girl-thing experience. And now homecoming is over and he has lasted a full 2 weeks at the cheerleader table, so there's a very good possibility this will come to an end soon. After all, 2 weeks is about as long as these things last in middle school. Just don't tell B I said so. Here are some pics. My sweet, crafty friend also made a mum for Abby, just because she can.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Eeyore-ish???? Not So!

Some have been asking me if my life has been eeyore-ish lately, simply too boring or blah to blog about. That question makes me laugh. But actually, there has been a plethora of blog-worthy topics in my life. For example, Hurricane Ike was eventful for my family down in Houston. Mom and dad's garage was effectively destroyed, along with mom's car, when a ginormous tree uprooted and fell on top of it. All the support beams and everything in the attic came crashing down on top of her car, totaling it. Dad's car got scratched up pretty good, and got a new paint job this week. The tree and garage (what was left of it) had to be removed and a new one (garage, that is...not tree) is being built in its place. So while the garage was torn up, the breezeway that connects house to garage had a gaping hole in it. A raccoon made his/her way in there one morning; I was there when we heard it above us, setting up shop. Mom called the critter catcher, who probably makes a pretty good living in a place like The Woodlands.
Meanwhile, dad had a little stroke in August and September was filled with drs. visits and diagnostic tests. Last week, he had a carotid endarterectomy. That's a fancy way of saying they cut open his neck on the left side and gave that artery the roto-rooter treatment. The mini stroke turned out to be an amazing blessing from God, since the surgeon found a big clot when he went in. Without that warning back in August, he would have been unaware and would have had a massive stroke, or worse. We are all very thankful! And thank you who prayed for him; he's recovering very well from the surgery.
Here in Midlo, things are clicking along. B is in the middle of cross country, and is doing well. I'm tired of the 7 am arrival-to-school time, though. A has been on safety patrol the last 2 weeks at her school, proudly standing at the cone and opening and closing car doors for arriving students. So C is off to work early in the mornings and I sit down to write at a strangely quiet time. Which is good, because I've been working my way through 10 writing assignments, most of which take weeks to complete. You'd think the Hopkins were morning folk, from all the activity. But you'd be wrong.
On top of that, I've been writing devotional material (along w/ my good friend TC) each week for our church. It follows the Sunday sermon, and is printed for adults to pick up and use 5 days of the week. I like doing this, since what I write for LifeWay is so....mysterious once it leaves my desktop. Sure, I get some feedback from editors, but I have no idea how God affects people with it. When writing for my church, there's a greater personal connection, which is nice.
I was asked yesterday to tutor again this year, and I'm going to do it. It's not that I don't already have enough on my's just that I'll rearrange the plate in order to have the opportunity to interact with people a bit more in a non-church setting.
This blog seems pretty boring; I guess that's the problem with waiting so long between posts. I have to spend all my time catching you up! Thanks for checking in on me despite my blog-laziness of late. I'll try to get back on a 1-per-week-minimum rotation. :-)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Chipping Green

I promised these pics awhile back, but it took awhile for it to look like we wanted it. I don't know if you can really see it from the pics (definitely click to enlarge the pics), but it looks really good now...probably should've waited til sunset to take a picture bc it's really pretty then. Anyway, Clay is enjoying it a's a nice evening wind-down for him and it's a fun thing to do when friends come over. We had srs. over for lunch 2 weeks ago and a lot of them brought their own clubs for a "closest to the pin" contest. It was fun!

Friday, August 22, 2008

They're right...middle school really IS hard

I like that you had to actually call me to get the whole story about falling down at 8th grade orientation and embarrassing B. Sure, it would have made an excellent blog, but think of all the personal connection we would have missed out on. It's been awhile since I've passed a story along by PHONE. But for those of you who missed it, and for an update for those who laughed hysterically at my expense...

Last Tuesday night was B's orientation night at school. I was walking down the steps of the bleachers in the brand new gym, talking to a friend behind me and looking around for B (multi-tasking...should've known better), when I completely missed the last step. Being the mostly-coordinated and somewhat athletic person that I am, I tried to catch myself, but my flip flop caught on the floor and I tumbled to my knees and hands. There were loud gasps all around because it was, actually, quite a hard and loud fall. Naturally embarrassed, I hopped up like an Olympic gymnast hoping that no one really noticed. But a fall like that would have cost China the gold medal, no matter how old they are.

Anyway, it wasn't as bad as it could have been, since most of the kids and parents had already left the gym to go tour the newly renovated school. B didn't see it happen, but was, of course, retroactively horrified when I told him about it later. My dear friend and pastor, BP, DID see it happen, though, and came up with his camera phone open and pointing at me. He announced that he had gotten the whole thing on video. I'm sure it would make an excellent sermon illustration.

I have a large bump & bruises on my knees, and somehow badly bruised the arch of my left foot. It wasn't too bad at first, but in walking several miles with a friend yesterday morning I made it much worse. Today I am limping around everywhere. All is not lost, though, because this got me out of an all-day youth excursion to Six Flags (see "What a Deal!" blog post from Aug. 5, 2005.) The only bad part is that I'll miss David Crowder who is there in concert tonight.

Friday, July 25, 2008

"Summer. Summer. Summer. It turns me upside down." - Ric Ocasek

This has been a weird summer. Since I posted last, Clay had a great week at camp, but then was stranded an extra week in Colorado waiting for a church vehicle to be repaired. As of this very moment one month later, the vehicle is still in Gunnison, CO and "should be ready" today. Apparently, in some small towns, if you leave the state in good faith that the people working on your vehicle will do what they said they would do, you get taken advantage of.

So Clay got back from CO a week late and we spent a couple of days together as a family before the kids and I headed down to The Woodlands w/ B's friend Tanner for Matt Bullard Basketball Camp. It was a nice, relaxing week w/ my family, and Clay came down and joined us for two days at the end of the week.

The next day, he left for Hardin Simmons in Abilene, Super Summer Session 4. Another great week of student ministry. This time, B got to join him. He was in "Red School", with all the other 8th graders. B had the "best week of camp ever" and is now a super summer junkie. He won a contest to be red school's "chosen one" for the whole week. This made him the main participant in each day's messy games, which was disgusting. However, it also made him quite popular. He says he doesn't want to be famous, because it was annoying all week to walk through the camp and hear kids whisper to each other, "'s the chosen one!" :-) When he got home on Friday, he had notes and numbers written up and down his arms and had 10 missed calls on his phone from fellow campers. I'm sure he also got something spiritual from the week as well, since that is what Super Summer is most known for...but when you're 12 and "the chosen one" the spiritual lessons are difficult to decipher right off the bat.

So, Super Summer ended and we've now had a full week home together. Though the week formerly known as VBS (Summer Blast) has kept the kids involved in the evenings, we've done a whole lot of nothing. Clay and I even went on a date one night while the kids spent the night at VBS and then with friends. We're enjoying new episodes of "The Closer" and season 3 of "Prison Break." Clay has been getting ready for next week's mission trip.

This was the trip that all of us were going to go on together. But Hurricane Dolly has Matamoras in 3 feet of water in some areas and telemundo reports that it is a "disaster zone". Our contact in Brownsville has asked our group to bring chainsaws to help clean up in their area. So the trip's VBS in the park in Matamoras is scrapped, and probably the construction in Matamoras as well. Instead, they'll work primarily in Brownsville, helping to clean up there. So I've decided not to take the kids. Numerous reasons all related to the effects of the hurricane, but mainly because I don't think it's a trip for a 9 year old anymore.

So in the morning, Clay will leave us again. Pray that God will give them an adventure to remember and opportunities to share Christ with the people the help in Brownsville. Churches probably pass the area hundreds of times each summer on their way into Mexico for mission trips. This time, the people in Brownsville won't be passed by.

When he gets home next Friday, he is immediately on VACATION...for 2 weeks. And I can't wait!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Can we land in your yard?

Yesterday C left for Colorado, and we thought that he was going to have all the adventures this week. But last night A shouted, "WHOA!" when she looked out the back windows and spied several hot air balloons right in our neighborhood. We went outside to get a better look, and one of 'em was literally in our backyard. It was so low that it didn't look like it could clear the roof. But they steered the thing beside the house and over our fence instead. We were standing in the driveway (along with several neighbors) and the balloon passed --at the most--about 20 feet above our heads. A woman inside asked, "Can we land in your yard?" But the man kept firing away to lift them a little further along. I don't know where he thinks he was going, but whatever. Another balloon landed in the front yard of a house behind us, so we went to check that out. It was very cool. Here are some pics.

B is off to camp tomorrow and I'm working on that "Best Aunt" award again by hosting two nieces for the week. Girls only week...A is so excited she can hardly stand it!