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!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

the menfolk is out back killin' a varmint

A few days ago we noticed that a pair of C's yard tennis shoes, which are stored in the garage, had laces that had been "cut". Being a city girl, my natural inclination was to think that some psycho stalker had made his way into our garage and was leaving us little, "Are you in the house alone?" messages. But that paranoia didn't last long, when just two days later, several more garage shoelaces were ripped from their eye holes and taken. At that point, even a city girl can figure out....mouse. So I called the exterminator, because in all my days I have never had a confrontation with a mouse in the wild, or the garage as it were, and I don't want to now.

The exterminator is coming tomorrow, so we thought we should give the garage a good cleaning in preparation. C and B pulled everything out and swept really good. Then they started on the garage closet, which houses our water heater, lots of metal chairs for when teenagers are over, boxes of Christmas decorations, and other stuff. It's a pretty big closet. It didn't take long before the men discovered Templeton's collection of shoelaces and other assorted items. But they did not encounter the beast until they pulled everything out...and there he was. I had pictured in my mind a little field mouse. I was wrong. B was running in to alert me, but C wisely stopped him, knowing this is not a sight for city girl me. He described it to me later, however, as the size of a large guinea pig. Go ahead, you can pause for a moment to be disgusted, as I have already done. Actually, I still am.

C is not such a country boy himself, and so he began to spray Goliath with Round Up, right in the face. Yao Ming then skirted quickly toward the outdoors, with C on his tail swinging a large broom. He missed, but I feel certain that the Rodent Emperor is now running smack dab into fences and the sides of houses since his eyesight is surely lost. Don't do that...don't feel sorry for him because he had it coming the day he took up residence in this place.

After the blind mammoth left the garage, B came down off the top of the ice chest, where I'm told he was standing. He came in the house and got his air soft gun and a flashlight. Now he's out there being manly, searching for a ROUS (rodent of unusual size)and shooting any spider who stands in his way. It's times like these that turn a boy into a man, and a woman into a chicken.

Read Emily's Blog

Our friend Emily has cystic fibrosis. You might remember us talking about her before...she was C's secretary in Midland for awhile. If you visited us there, her husband Jason probably hooked you up w/ some tasty Chick fil A ice cream at the mall. :-)

Emily had a lung transplant on Sunday, after waiting on the transplant list for a loooong time and after having gotten the transplant call several times before only to be sent home. Anyway, she's doing great, and her story is amazing and miraculous. I thought you might like to read it for yourself. I promise she'll bless your life.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Field of Stinking Dreams

While I'm enjoying the fun of twitter, some stories are simply too long to tell in only 140 characters. Besides, I go back sometimes and read my own blogs from the last few years have to admit, that's some funny stuff. :-)

Last weekend C installed misters on the back porch and garage. It's a very cool (literally) idea, and not very expensive at all. But there is a problem and unless we figure it out the whole mister idea pretty much rots (again, i'm speaking literally). When the misters are on, it smells like manure on the back porch. It's disgusting. The garage misters do not smell this way, and so I am somewhat perplexed. Perhaps it is the pvc that came in the mister box that is causing the odorific problem. The garage pipe was purchased separately. I do not know, but he must figure this out because I don't care how hot it is. Cool mist on a hot day is even unpleasant when it smells like freshly laid cow patties.

Today, though, he's been on another project. He had a load of dirt delivered for his backyard chipping green. The Bermuda 419 will be delivered on Tuesday night, so he has until then to get it all spread out nice and even for his backyard play land. Even I have to admit it is going to be really neat. And the best part is that it is, as far as I can tell, the least expensive way to make all that yard look good and usable all at the same time. Maybe one day he'll get a reel mower so that he can putt after he chips. I'll post pics as it progresses.

Today, B worked out there w/ him for several hours, paying off his Zune debt. He's becoming quite the good little, you'd be proud. He's also getting in a few hours each week this summer at the church - setting up chairs and stuff like that. He's learning what you always taught do every job your best.

on another note, middle schoolers sure do party a lot these days. Both nights since school let out there have been big swim/cookout parties. And it makes me smile inside to watch him primp for such occasions. Who showers before they go swimming?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


So I've grown weary of blogging. It's time for something fresh and new. And Twitter is just what the doctor ordered. Time for you to explore a new website, too. So go to, join, and then follow me. i'm "becauseican" on that website, naturally.

The New York Times calls Twitter "one of the fastest-growing phenomena on the Internet." TIME Magazine says, "Twitter is on its way to becoming the next killer app," and Newsweek noted that "Suddenly, it seems as though all the world's a-twitter." What will you think?

i'll be looking for you...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Big League Dreams and the Great Wolf Lodge

We had quite the eventful 4-day weekend. B had a baseball tournament in Mansfield at Big League Dreams. It's a super-cool sports park, where each field is a replica of a major league ballpark, complete with fan-filled outfield bleacher facade, box seats, and big-league type dugouts.

The kids were out of school Monday and Tuesday(teacher workday and bad weather make-up day), so we took a little pre-summer family vaca to the Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine. And we had a blast. The indoor waterpark is really nice and the slides are pretty unique. Plus, the hotel has so much kid-friendly stuff that you can just sit and read a book while your kids are having fun. There's an interactive game called MagiQuest where they go all over the hotel with a wand searching for clues and objects, so that they can slay a dragon in the end. I think that B&A climbed up and down the 8 floors a total of 7 hours in their quest, taking breaks only to eat, sleep, and head to the waterpark. Fun was had by all.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

she's always been extraordinary

A was home from school last Wed-Fri with double pneumonia. i know. i wouldn't have even guessed single pneumonia, but the radiologist that read her chest x-ray said it was really an old person's pneumonia! i didn't even take her to the dr. til friday, and that was only bc the weekend was coming and her fever was still up high. she really wasn't coughing that badly. that is, until we got to the drs. office, then she sounded like she was hacking up a lung. anyway, they loaded her up on shots and other drugs and she's doing fine now. that's all i wanted to say.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Castro for President

I have some friends, who I will not publicly name, who don't like Jason Castro. I might just be trying to draw them out onto the comment portion of the blog by writing this, but really I'm just dumbfounded. Seriously. Let's name his lovable qualities:
*believer in our Lord, Jesus Christ
*Fightin' Texas Aggie
*Hometown: Rockwall, TX
*Gig 'em
*LakePointe Church (where Wes Hamilton is on staff) member and worship team participant
*pleasant voice
*excellent musical skills, especially for one with no formal training, unlike the rest of those other people
*has said and/or done no offensive thing on the show
*funny...did you see him mimic Ryan Seacrest last week by mouthing along with him after pregnant pause, "American Idol"
*did I mention he's an Aggie?

I don't want to give the wrong impression or's not like I want to marry the guy. I'd just like the haters to come out with something substantial, or jump on my wagon.

p.s. this is so sad, really. and i blame it all on the absence of Kiefer Sutherland from my life.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Complicated: American Airlines & The Emergent Church

i s'pose you've heard about all the american airlines flights that have been canceled this week? We were heading up to Chicago Tues. night with some students, a couple of student workers, and our brand new middle school minister (yay!) when we got word that our flight had been canceled. Our new ms guy had already checked his luggage (he was taking a different flight)when he got word that his flight had been canceled, too. long story short, it was a real pain in the posterior. Especially for ms guy (hereafter referred to as db) who had to stand in line for hours w/ many other disgruntled passengers waiting to talk to more disgruntled employees who even resorted to cursing..."you'll get your *^$&**@!! luggage when you get to Chicago."

So we got booked on a United flight Wed. early morning and spent the night in a hotel up by the aeropuerta. When we got there to check in that morning, we met more disgruntled employees, this time working for United. They were ticked off that AA wasn't handling the problem well at all and wasn't easy to work with. They had to call them to get some kind of number to find our boarding passes. idk, but i'm very thankful for the one woman who was patient and persistent enough to get us checked in.

We've had a nice time here at the conference, except none of us are quite sure how all this "Emergent Church" stuff has come to the forefront of seemingly every "talk." it's definitely a buzz word and sometimes i think that people (who all seem to wear square, black glasses and a goatee)are trying way too hard to seem intellectual and relevant. Jesus' ministry strategy sure seems more simple than any of these people want to believe.

BUT there have been a lot of good things we've heard, too. And, as always, Chicago is a fun place to go. I am ready, though, to sleep in my own bed tonight...539 more flights canceled so far today...hope we can get home!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

(Un)Pimp My Ride

The van was pretty much on its last legs, so we traded it in. We'd dealt for longer than we wanted with the dumb power door that has not worked correctly (even though "fixed") when I ran it into a covered-parking-pole in Midland. But that's another story altogether. These days, the green machine was needing a brand new engine. So we opted for a newer vehicle instead. After a long and hard Internet search (i heart the world wide web), we located a 2007 black Hyundai Santa Fe that we really liked. But the previous owner apparently had a bit more flare than we do. From the pictures, it looked like the wheels were spinners. When we went to drive it, we saw that, though not spinners, they were, indeed, post-manufacturer wheels that had been added. They were called "Spike", and looked very much like something Maxwell Smart would have on his car in order to slice the tires of bad guys in a car chase...while talking on his rotary-dial shoe phone. Needless to say, the wheels had to go. We got new ones, the regular variety, and hope to sell the 4 "Spike" wheels on ebay or craigs list or something. Also, we had them cover the cloth seats in leather. Did you know you could do that? It's almost like a brand new car, except for 18,000 miles, but much less expensive!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Love Shack

Remember that restaurant/hotel evaluator thing I did? Well I was surfing the net not too long ago and I decided to see what sort of treasures were waiting for some sucker who thought...hey, free hotel? free food? SIGN ME UP! Anyway, I noticed a new restaurant posting in Ft Worth for a place called The Love Shack by the Stockyards. Curiosity got me far enough to the restaurant's website, and I thought that it sounded like a very fun place. Not at all the usual evaluator spot...burgers, dogs, shakes, live music, movies, and all kinds of seemingly family-friendly type stuff. So I passed on the info to some friends with an open invitation to whoever wanted to go check it out. no evaluating this time; only fun.

And we did. Saturday night C and I went w/ some friends from church out to Ft. Worth and The Love Shack. The name should have been my first clue, and "Saturday night at the Stockyards" should have been my 2nd. But I'm all about makin' memories and having fun experiences, so I ignored reason. We got to the Stockyard area and I'm telling you, there were not many people there who would probably be in worship the next morning. Bikers and drunk cowboys everywhere. But we had come so far, so naturally, we forged ahead. Through the thick cloud of cigarette smoke we marched up to the counter at The Love Shack and ordered our burgers. C ordered the "Dirty Love Burger" and I had the "Love Meal," which included a drink and fries. We scored a table upstairs, which was a little bit of help, because down below (it was an open-air eating establishment) was the stage where some guy was singing country music and all sorts of raucous behavior was taking place. We could NOT have been more out of place. The guy singing was pretty good. I liked it when he sang that song, "You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille..." but most of his other lyrics were just plain embarrassing. And, it's never attractive for people to be drunk and dancing about with various partners, hoopin' and hollerin' (as they say in the wild west), but it is especially disturbing to see that sort of behavior from people who are in their 40's, 50's, and 60's. I hope I never have to see any of you acting that way.

All in all, though, I'd have to say it was a good time. Like I said, it's all about makin' memories. and exploring other cultures. :-) It did take me a little extra time to wash off all that culture, but hey...
"If you see a faded sign by the side of the road that says
15 miles to the... Love Shack! Love Shack yeah"

Monday, March 24, 2008


Not too long ago I read an article about bizarre sports injuries, like a baseball player who was inactive for several games bc he sprained his hand by playing too much guitar hero. This morning, I had my own bizarre injury incident when I was having my quiet time. I was on my left side and leaning up on my left elbow in bed when I had to sneeze violently. The sneeze in that position apparently put undue strain on my back. Since then, I have had an awful pain under my left shoulder blade. Hope I'll be able to write tomorrow...or do you think LifeWay has an inactive list of their own???

Sunday, March 23, 2008

from A

got this email from A today and thought you'd enjoy it too..happy Easter!

This is your Easter gift. Have a good time reading this.

Jesus is the reason we have Easter. He is the reason we celebrate. Without him where would we be? Try to think about how GOD died on the cross for our sins, and you'll know why we celebrate Easter. It is supposed to be fun, so have a good time, but while you hunt for eggs, think about GOD. Easter can make you more Happy. This is a great time to celebrate GOD and why he made our sins go away. He died on the cross, and rose again three days later. Just like Jonah and the whale. He got swallowed by a whale and got shot out three days later.I love thinking about it and you should too. It's fun to think about everything GOD does for us. He is the only thing you should put first in your life. So, if you like Easter than you should think about this FIRST. And you will have a great Easter. Happy Easter!

Love, A---

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

day 2

skiing today was WAY more fun than yesterday. maybe it was that whole first day thing and starting off so harried that made yesterday a pain in the backside. today we skied together as a family and had a blast. and let me just say that A HAULS down the mountain. I can't keep up w/ her and C, who is a really good skier, had to really go to keep up w/ her. she just points em straight and goes. she did crash and burn the end of the run at the base. she was going so fast that she ran straight into the net and pole. it drew a crowd, but she was alright. tomorrow we're going to work on control and skiing side to side with her! B did great, too, but he is far more cautious & never ever out of control. he stayed on the mountain all day long and doesn't want to leave on friday. he looks like a ski bum, too. that's all for now!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

money well spent?

so i'm in winter park, colorado right now. are you jealous? maybe not, if you're like me and feel that skiing is a most trying sport. seriously, yesterday we flew in and then drove a couple of hours to winter park. then we had to go get fitted for skis. this was aggravating bc b and a couldn't get their feet in the boots. we got that taken care of and went to eat dinner. but then this morning we had to eat and be all bundled up, lathered in sunscreen and chapstick, and ready to roll by 7:30 in the a.m. (that's mountain time.)we got our group situated with lift tickets, etc and then had to boogie the kids over to ski school. once again, couldn't get b's feet in the stinkin' boots bc they were pretty much frozen solid. after almost breaking his ankle, we did it though. got them properly enrolled and in place, and then got our own boots and skis on...o yeah wait...clay couldn't find his skis bc someone had apparently taken/moved them. found 'em 20 minutes later, and then we were standing in the terribly long lift line for at least 25 mins more. Now riding up the lift is, actually, wonderfully relaxing and beautiful, except for the part where i had to wonder if i would remember how to get off the thing w/out falling and getting clunked in the back of the head with the chair. i did remember, and had a nice time skiing down the mountain a couple of times before i was ready to call it a day. i'm a wimp. skiing is fun; i'm just saying it's way too much work. not sure the benefits outweigh the pain of the crowds and walking around in those dad-burned boots. the kids LOVED ski school and their trip down the mountain w/ dad after ski school, though. looking forward to more family fun tomorrow. :-/

one other fun thing...waiting forever for our luggage at baggage claim i tried a lil sociology experiment. there were people standing all around the oval conveyer belt thingy so i dropped a dollar on it and watched with interest. it made it half way around before some lady picked it up and handed it to a kid. many people looked at it pass and commented to their travel partners whether or not they should take it, but did not. next time i'm going to write "Thou shall not steal" on it or something clever like that. anyway, it was a dollar well spent. we all got a big kick out of the whole thing, and so did some other travelers who figured out that it was planted there by our group.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

frittering away valuable time...

i don't like falling into a predictable pattern, but list-writing sure is a nice and easy way to blog. so you might wanna just get used to it :-)

*My fantasy basketball team was called, "Yaoza!" but now I've changed it to "Stress Fracture." No worries, though. 16 wins in a row & most of them blowouts makes basketball watching and my daily reading of the houston chronicle online very very fun!

*last night we had a true love waits ceremony at church. there were about 150 ppl there and i loved, loved, loved it. it's a double blessing ministering to youth and parenting one at the same time.

*the TAKS day was as boring as i had imagined it. 5 A.D.D. kids spiced it up a little for me, though. i got to read a book while i also ACTIVELY MONITORED the room. this monitoring was especially needed for one poor girl who literally could not focus for more than 10 minutes at a time. (raises hand and whispers after I walk over to her desk) "What time is it?" (raises hand again)"Can I go to the bathroom?" (raises hand again) "Are we going to have recess?" (raises hand again) "What happens if we don't finish?" (rha)"Can I go to the bathroom?" (rha)"How long til lunch?" get the picture.

*it's supposed to snow tonight and tomorrow. brrrrr.

*a couple of nights ago the electricity went out and it was very cold and WAY dark. it was fun to watch b's man-side leap into action as he began to gather and light candles. we played a board game bc the kids didn't want to tell ghost stories. :-) go figure.

* Have you heard the song, "Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman? If not, you should go listen to it on i-tunes or something bc OH MY GOSH.

*i'm almost finished with a writing assignment. so why am i procrastinating here on this blog?

Saturday, March 01, 2008

10 is disconcerting when you look down and notice that the lady giving you your pedicure has a nasty toenail fungus.

2. family movie night last night...Karate Kid. Wax on, wax off!

3. B got 1st place in UIL spelling.

4. had to go to TAKS training last week bc i'm administering the test to 5 5th graders this Wednesday. I had no idea what SERIOUS business it is. I have a whole book full of rules I must promise to follow, twice. seriously, by the looks of these instructions, some teacher somewhere in Texas must have gone to great lengths to cheat.

5. i love warmth.

6. A has replaced her Sanjaya wallpaper (computer variety, that is) with David Archuleta. This, I think, is a much better choice. I had imagined, though, that the reason he didn't sing the first verse of "Imagine" was because he is a Christian. Sadly, I was wrong. Just read that sweet David is Mormon.

7. baseball season is upon us.

8. do you think our neighbors are getting tired of toilet paper blowing in their yards each weekend? tonight i'm going to station b outside in the shadows with the hose ready.

9. winter park, co in 2 weeks!

10. comment me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

catching up

1)I had a really good time at our annual ladies' retreat last weekend. My friend, whose identity I have sworn to protect from communists, taught me some important truths about grace. Another 3 friends led worship, and it was delightful. Also, I'm pretty sure our staff wives skit was fantastic. :-)

2)There has been much made about whether the show "24" or the show "Lost" is better. I am loyal, so I have not watched "Lost" in the past, scoffing at the notion that it could even come close. However, due to the writers' strike (yay, it's over!) C and I felt pressure to rent seasons 1-3 of "Lost," or go to bed tv-less. Anyway, I have grown to love "Lost" over the past couple of months, but it's Alias-weird. Which makes sense, since the same guy created both shows. So I must still cast my vote for "24," because I still think it's the best even though its long absence may cause my memory to deceive me.

3)A's basketball season is winding down, and we're thankful. She LOVES it, but it is difficult to sit in the stands. Her team's high point game is 7 and they are winless. A has been scoring, though, so at least we get to cheer a couple of times each game.

4)C and our personnel committee are getting ever-close to hiring a middle-school minister. this is exciting news.

5)I'm getting old. Have noticed gray hairs and am playing bunko once a month.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I think "Babe" is the operative word here

So did that last blog creep you out or are you just sitting there dumbfounded, feeling sorry for me? It's ok. If you ascribe to the literal account of creation (which I do), we're all related anyway.

Yesterday, it was hard to get B's head in the car to go to church. Our house had been toilet-papered, and not in the usual way. (Aside - Our house has been wrapped NUMEROUS times, but w/ increasing regularity since B got to middle school. The toilet paper is now more often a result of his social life than it is of C being a minister to youth.) Anyway, I noticed it out the window, and tried to open the front door to inspect the damage. But the door was tied shut with Valentine-hearted red string. I had to get scissors to cut my way out. There at the front door were gifts...a cute little Valentiney prickly mammal of some sort and a box of heart cookies. So we investigated further. The mailbox was similarly wrapped in red heart string. But the driveway was the most telling part. The entire thing was covered in chalk-writing...heart after heart and messages like, "I love you" and "Sexy Babe"??? WHAT??? It was signed, "Secret Admirer". Since C and I are married, and to each other, we figured the messages weren't for us. And A, well her friends go to bed before midnight, so we can cross them off the list. What we were left with is that someone went to great lengths to get the attention of our 12 year old son. And, in typical B fashion, he got in the car for church with a big grin and said, "I hate being this good-looking." :-0 Pray for me, people.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Inbred Mutant

i've been called a lot of things, but...,2933,327070,00.html

Friday, January 25, 2008

Can I have a different spice, please?

There was no repeat champion of the Frank Seale Spelling Bee this year. B was ready to go. This morning he woke up and said in Nacho Libre voice, "I want to weiin!" He had studied, but sometimes it just doesn't go your way. He made it easily down to the final 10 of 35, and was smelling certain victory, right up until the point when the caller said to him, "cinnamon." My immediate thought was, "He knows this," since I had called that word out to him before and he spelled it correctly. But then my very next thought was, "OOOOOHHHHHHHHHHH NNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" when he paused with uncertainty and then asked for...a definition? And then a sentence? With B, if the spelling isn't out there in 2.3 seconds, it's probably not coming out right. I think he froze. And as he was standing there frozen, in my head I was begging for there to be a great disturbance in which they would feel led to give him a new word. A new spice, even....oregano, cilantro, cumin. But there was no great disturbance, and out came an unsteady, "C-I-N-A-MMON." His dream of a rematch with Amy Cho and somebody named Patel will not come to fruition, until maybe next year!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


email me. i need your current email address!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I don't even have to embellish this story

This weekend we had our annual Hi Def event for our students (your church probably calls this same event Disciple Now). Anyway, we did things differently this year, taking the whole crew out to Mt. Lebanon for the whole thing. This might have been brilliant if 1) it weren't painfully cold and 2) the cabin's heater worked better in the wee hours of the night and 3) the juniper trees weren't doing whatever they do to cause massive swelling of the sinus cavities, sneezing, sniffling, itchy & watery eyes, and even swelling of the FACE in one unfortunate middle-schooler's case. I brought B home Sat. evening in hopes that he might be able to breathe. Sadly for him, and me since he slept with me Sat. night, it didn't work.

Actually, we did have a great weekend overall. We had about 90 students and another 15-20 adults. We had some really good worship leaders and C taught the large group sessions based on Bill Hybel's Living Beyond Myself, and of course, the B-I-B-L-E. We were all challenged to serve one another. I'm not sure it took w/ B, though. In our post Hi-Def lunchtime conversation, his focus on the whole experience seemed to be late-night cabin activities such as mattress surfing and wrestling (the boys had made their own wrestling ring with about 10-15 mattresses. He is just in the 7th grade, though, so I guess that's pretty normal. I heard that he shared in the large group time this morning that he learned that God will call him to serve in ways that he'll like..."but if He calls me to serve in a beauty salon or something, I won't do that. I'll just wait for Him to call me to serve somewhere else." he may be small in stature, but he is a spiritual GIANT. :-)

But back to coldness. I'm watching the NYG/GB football game where it is -4 degrees. and there are people there who don't even have to play in the game. I can't fathom that, because it was 20-something degrees at Mt. Lebanon this weekend and I thought my ears might break right off.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


It's funny how just 4 hours a week can seem so huge. I usually try to write a session of LifeWay curriculum each week, but I'm having trouble getting that done now that I'm tutoring 4-5th graders in math every Monday and Wednesday afternoon. I'm sure I'll get it down eventually...hopefully before the end of April, which is when my tutelage ends.

Every Monday and Wednesday I sail through the first 3 groups thinking, "I could do this again...I could go back to the classroom full time." Here's a for instance: my precious 4th graders somehow got on the topic of church as they entered the room yesterday. One boy asked another, "Have you been bath-tized?" And the next group follows them up each time with equal endearment. We're working on memorizing multiplication facts. I have discovered that none of them have bothered to do this in the past, causing much angst over math and certain failure on the TAKS. So we take timed tests. They're given a page of 25 problems covering one set of facts (they all started with the 3s) and 90 seconds (this is quite generous on my part) in which they must complete them all with 100% accuracy. When they pass that test, they get to move on to the 4s, and so on. I had given each of the kids their appropriate test and was about to start the stopwatch when one little girl said, "WAIT! I have one more important thing to do first, and it's called prayer." I smiled and said ok and the others and I watched as she bowed her head and spent a few moments asking God to help her pass the 6s. See what I mean? precious.

But then in walks my 4th and final group where I'm reminded loud and clear that this is not so much fun after all. It's a shame that this group must come last, leaving me greatly annoyed and even mean at the end of the day. Perhaps this is God's way of telling me that I'm doing exactly what He wants me to do right now. On the other hand, it could just be that there is no perfect job!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Gifting by the H's

We got ourselves some super cool Christmas gifts this year. Check out the awesomeness:

C got me a massage table and a hoodie (completely unrelated, in case you were wondering)
I got him a book called "Massage Basics" :-). That was mostly for grins, his real gift was a Home Depot gift card, with which he has since purchased -
one garage door keypad
one cooling system (like the misters at Six Flags) to go over the garage for more comfortable basketball playing and back porch for more comfortable summer sitting.

B got the Weider Total Body Works 5000, which is a neato resistance-based workout system thingy that the whole fam has already used

A got some good stuff, too, but hers are pretty much only to be enjoyed by herself. Unless you count the iPod she got, which has so far ended all car pestering and complaints.

now you comment me about your most favorite Christmas gift this year!