Thursday, December 13, 2007

I Know, I Know, I Know...

It's been forever since my last post...and this is my 100th post according to my dashboard. I would have liked something profound *sigh* Who knew how busy I would be going back to work...This month is crazy, as December always is. We seem to have work related social engagements most evenings. I haven't graded a paper since Sunday. (Of course, I have the best of intentions, bringing home books and papers every night.) There is no lesson plan what-so-ever this week. We are pulling our hair out rehearsing for the Christmas program which will thankfully be over next Thursday.

Hip hip hurray for us, my beloved and I went to town at 4 am the day after Thanksgiving and did all of our shopping and we were home asleep again by 9:30. We traveled with our list and coupons and did an excellent job budget wise. (Nothing is wrapped yet, of course). I mailed the Christmas cards on Tuesday, as well as the packages that needed shipping. My tree finally has all the ornaments on it, and the boxes of decorations are pretty much empty.

My great son, Jacob, showed once again how like my dad he is. Our Ginny cat LOVES the Christmas tree...always has...she lays under it every minute she's in the house...and plays with the lights. Perhaps I posted about how we had to throw out our Christmas trees in the fall due to possums in the garage...we bought a very nice pre-lit one that was so, SO much quicker to set up. Ginny seemed to have chewed through a light wire - yes - an entire lower section with no lights. Jacob took one look, got his knife, scissors, and electrical tape and proceeded to strip the wires and reconnect them...and VOILA - lights! Daddy would have loved to see it.

Markus had his 17th birthday on Dec. 1. He wanted to go to the beach since in Germany it is always very cold on his birthday. We had a nice day, sunny and around 85. He swam in the ocean and had a very nice day.

My birthday soon followed on the 6th. Yikes, how did I ever get to be 45! I had a terrific day. Allan had a beautiful vase of roses waiting for me, with my birthday day books wrapped so beautifully, a chocolate birthday cake and "Princess" plates, napkins, and cups. We ate at a great local burger place (because I was really wanting the fried pickles) and came home for cake and ice cream and 'bubbly.'

I have been getting very, very, VERY cranky with this stupid hot weather. It should NOT be 85 degrees in the middle of December. God has blessed me today with a 50 degree day. Cloudy, overcast, drizzle (I can pretend it is snow). I wore a sweater today. Always a good thing.

I'm enjoying reading my James Patterson book that I got for my birthday. You can tell how busy we are that I have not already finished it! I have 3 more books to follow after this one!

I sure miss keeping up with all my friends in cyber space. I pop in sometimes so I'm not completely in the dark (deep in the shadows though). Hopefully after the first of the year, I will be back to at least once a week updates, leaving lots of comments on your blogs.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


The past three weeks have been a whirlwind of activities. So be prepared for a gi-normous post tonight, beginning with the most recent and working backwards. . .

Yesterday was Jacob's 17th birthday. I can barely believe that he is 17 - it was like yesterday that we brought him home from the hospital. He had a pretty nice day, I think. We grilled brats outside and had sour kraut and potato salad with it. He chose cheesecake for his cake.
We went to the farm for opening weekend of deer season this past weekend. We had no luck with the hunting, but loads of fun shooting! Our newest family member also went along for his first hunting experience. We have an exchange student from Berlin living with us until the end of the school year. Unfortunately his first host family didn't work out, and he was left with no where to stay. He and Jacob have a class together...and the rest is history. His name is Markus, and is a really nice, polite, and courteous young man. I think he will fit in terrifically with our family, and are looking forward to getting to know him better.Obviously, when they found the box of rubber gloves in Grandmothers kitchen, great minds must think alike:)

Text Messaging Woes
Our Jacob is not much of a phone talker...but he has become quite the texter. He has done wonderfully with the $10 texting plan that has 200 non-ATT texts and unlimited ATT. But...Apparently he has made some friends who are non-ATT. To the tune of 600+ texts over the 200 .10 each. Needless to say we have changed to the $20 texting plan with is unlimited.

Finally, I was tagged by The Lutheran Hen to tell you seven thing about myself that you wouldn't know. This isn't as easy as you'd think. I'm supposed to tag 7 more people, but my brain is too tired, so if you're reading, consider yourself tagged!

Seven things about me:
1) I am an only child (probably almost as spoiled then as I am now!)
2) I played trombone in high school. (Can you get any nerdy?)
3) I would love to be able to sing and dance.
4) My favorite cake was always my grandmother Bibby's marble cake with chocolate icing.
5) I absolutely hate, hate to clean the bathroom.
6) I hate to exercise - never feel the endorphine things
7) My favorite band growing up was The Who, but now am fond of Kevin Fowler.

That was not the least bit exciting. *sigh*

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Our Anniversary

Today is our anniversary. The first meal we ever ate as husband and wife was a steak finger basket from Dairy Queen. Every year (almost) we celebrate by going to Dairy Queen and having steak finger baskets. Tonight was no exception. Here we are in the parking lot! We've been married 23 years. It seems like yesterday I was walking down the aisle. God has showered me with blessings all these years. Allan being the best of them all. I treasure every minute spent with him. We pledged to love each other for richer or poorer, in sickness and health. We've certainly been through richer or poorer, and thankfully more health than sickness. Whatever path we've been on, it's been made easier being on it together. There's a Johnny Cash song called 'Rose of My Heart' that we both love to listen to.

Rose Of My Heart

We're the best partners this world's ever seen
Together as close as can be
But sometimes it's hard to find time in between
To tell you what you are to me

You are the rose of my heart
You are the love of my life
A flower not faded nor falling apart
If you're tired, rest your head on my arm
Rose of my Heart.

When sorrow holds you in her arms of clay
It's raindrops that fall from your eyes
Your smile is the sun come to earth for a day
You brighten my blackest of skies

You are the rose of my heart
You are the love of my life
A flower not faded nor falling apart
If you're cool let my love make you warm
Rose of my heart

So hard times are easy times, what do I care
There's nothing I'd change if I could
The tears and the laughter are things that we share
Your hand in mine makes all times good

Nice Matters Award

I received a very nice award last week from Toni at Special K Family. This is my first award, and I'm glad it's for being nice. This is something I try very hard to be, even when I'm not feeling very nice. So I'm going to pass this award to two other ladies who seem to be very nice themselves. Juloyes at the Accidental Pastor's Wife and Constance at Slim Pickens from My Brain, give yourselves a nice pat on the back. I think you are both kind and loving ladies. The people who know you in real life are blessed to have you! Check out all three blogs, they are great!

The Sixth Target

The Sixth Target by James Patterson. I finished reading this today. It has all the things you love in a James Patterson book. Short chapters, fun characters, and a good mystery. I enjoyed reading it, but somehow it didn't keep me riveted to the pages like his books usually do. Maybe I just have other things filling up my mind!

Did anyone catch the Women's Murder Club show on TV Friday? Any thoughts? I personally did not really like it. It seemed fake. Only the reporter seemed real. Now granted, I don't watch a lot of network TV. I've never watched any of the CSI shows (even if the Who does sing all their songs:), so maybe this is just how these shows are. I'll give it another week, but I'm not impressed so far.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Time Flies...

And here I am at 10:40 on Sunday night still waiting for towels to dry. My work for tomorrow is done, and the weekend has flown by with no blogging on my part. We DID have a productive weekend though. We repaired some boards that had fallen down on our back patio cover. Finally remembered to look for hummingbird nectar, and now our feeder is in business. It is hummingbird season, and they are SO cute. Already buzzing around - and did you know they chirp?? Who knew... My clothes line came on Saturday, and Allan has it all installed. Can't wait to hang out towels - they are going to smell soooooo good. The housekeeper comes tomorrow - I'm almost giddy:) And our cats finally are doing their job. Found mouse remains in Jacob's room after church this afternoon. I suspected we had some rodent friends again, but haven't set the traps yet. I guess tomorrow I'll set some out. Ginny must be the mighty hunter, because Bob certainly isn't. Once, we heard one of the traps in the cabinet snap, we looked inside and put both Bob and the rat terrier in front of the door and opened it. The mouse got out of the trap, ran around, and both cat and dog looked at each other and refused to budge. They are definitely NOT earning their keep!

Tomorrow we have our first PTL meeting/Open House/Meet the Teacher night. I hate this stuff - enough said. Then next week, Parent Teacher Conferences for the first report card *sigh*

Monday, September 24, 2007

I'm a Bit Embarrassed, But...

Today, we had our house cleaned by our new ... HOUSEKEEPER!! She did a wonderful job, but she did tell me that there was a lot she still needed to do, but she would chip away at it each week. I guess that implies that we are more tidy than clean??? And ALLAN cleaned last week, and he is an amazing cleaner. But the house smelled amazing...AND she washed the sheets from last week, and the few clothes in the hamper. WOW. She was so surprised that we had never had anyone clean for us before. It still seems like such a splurge, but will make life much easier for us with me working. Once again, don't I have the most amazing husband??? Thank you for being so good to me:)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Where Does the Time Go?

I am amazed that two weeks have passed since my last post. The days and hours are flying by so quickly. So many things have happened...where oh where to start. I guess in no particular order...just begin.

Last week, I kept hearing noises in the garage in the mornings...but never could see anything, although things were knocked to the ground most mornings. I guessed we had an opossum. Finally, one morning, I spotted it. That afternoon after Jacob got home, he and Allan went on the great opossum hunt. Finally spotted it behind the freezer, after which it ran and hit in the Christmas tree box. Needless to say, our garage has been further cleaned out as the Christmas tree box made its was immediately to the dumpster!

Three weeks of school has flown by...spend the weekend doing progress reports. Wish some of the students had better grades. I have two boys driving me insane. They seem more interested in laughing and walking around than in any punishment I've handed out. Also have a little girl who wore a shirt with a pink skull on it.

Mother: She was really concerned about wearing this shirt to school, but I told her it would be OK.

Me: It's OK for today, but probably better not wear it after today.

Hint: If your kid thinks something isn't allowed, listen to her!

I have lost TEN pounds :) I'm pretty pleased about this. Although last week one day, the school lunch was enchiladas, rice, and beans. They sent an extra...I had lunch duty...needless to say, I ate every morsel (It was SO good!) I'm starting to get used to feeling hungry :) NOT.

My dear husband spent his day off on Friday washing clothes, cleaning house, and basically doing all my weekend chores so I wouldn't have to. Could there be a greater guy anywhere??

Our computer finally ground to an almost halt. After backing everything important I could find up, last night we went out and bought a new one. It has Vista and everything. It's super nice, but will take some time to get used to. I HATE big purchases. But the computer is cool.

That's it for now - I'm running to the store (in the car of course) for snacks for teenagers. It's homework central here right now (nothing like waiting until the last possible moment, right??)

Monday, September 3, 2007

The First Week

As far as first weeks go, I had a great one. My class is terrific: 5 girls, 5 boys: 6 second-graders, 4 third-graders. I've got a third grade boy that totally looses it behavior-wise as soon as we start math (perhaps move math to the end of the day???). I'm still fiddling with my schedule, and haven't yet done everything planned in a day. I think I totally forgot how to teach 2 grades at once. But I felt much more confident by the end of the week.

My most beloved husband welcomed me home Monday with a lovely vase of flowers, the sweetest card you'll ever read, and my favorite cocktail. He is the sweetest man. We sat on the couch (with my feet propped on the table of course) sipping our drinks, discussing the happenings of the day. Surprisingly, he had a very productive day himself (I'm sure due to not having me popping in on him all day:)) All week we enjoyed our cocktail hour, and he spent his day off on Friday getting a start on the weekend chores so I wouldn't have so much to do. We're even trying to find someone to come in and clean so that it makes things easier for us both. What a gem of a husband I've got.

I'm sort of prepared to begin the second week. I've enjoyed our long weekend, and hate to think how long until the next day off (I'm not even going to LOOK at the calendar!)

Memorial Day

Finished "Memorial Day" by Vince Flynn on Saturday. Honestly, I've had this book by my bed for months. I've started it countless times. It doesn't start out with a bang. Only because I had nothing else to read did I stay with it. Once I got a few chapters into it, I was really good. Not as good as his other books, but good. Mitch Rapp discovers a terrorist plot to detonate a nuclear bomb in Washington, D.C. on Memorial Day. There are bad guys in the US, and overseas, and Mitch has to figure out the whole plan while the government is trying to stand in his way at every turn. Worth reading if you can get past the beginning.

Saturday, September 1, 2007


I have really, really enjoyed learning how to digital scrapbook. I still have loads and loads to learn, but what fun! My beloved said you would all like seeing my work thus far. If this works, you'll have a slide show of our year from January through April. Click here to begin. For May through July, click here.

Wow! I think I may actually have done it:0)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Final Product

First let me say that I started off the day today feeling really good. Our house has begun to return to its normal routine. Two nights in a row, we've eaten dinner together all three of us (at the table no less!). Jacob's been in bed before midnight and up before noon (thanks in great part to tennis practice:) But then the day went downhill.
1. I called for results of my bloodwork done Monday morning...normal, normal, normal... Cholesterol 225, Triglicerides 606 *gasp* yep - couldn't even figure my LDL they were so high. I guess it's diet and exercise time for me *moan and groan*
2. Got to school and worked diligently all morning to attach student's names to the desk with contact paper (not the first time I've done this) - only to discover after lunch that they had all come loose.
3. Found out one little boy I'd really looked forward to having in my class wasn't returning:(
4. Went to lunch with the other teachers, had to wait forever, felt like my time was wasted.
5. Came home feeling terribly behind and like I'd never be ready.

Then...My beloved husband suggested we go back after dinner so I could work some more. So now without further ado - my after pictures - I warn you there's a lot of them!
This is from one corner to the opposite corner - AR computers, Math/Science/SS/Art centers.
Main door to the classroom, calendar, desks, books.
Teachers desk (that's mine), filing cabinet, cupboards.
Library center, work table, and most importantly - my devoted helpers!The teacher at her desk - Allan has taken over the camera:)
Worship area: Bible, Catechism, devotion book
Armor of God - found this in a drawer and thought it was too cute not to put up!

Our Art book comes with art prints for each unit. I LOVE these!
My Center Assignment chart. Time will tell if I have any idea what I'm doing!

So now, at bedtime, I'm much more content and less stressed than I was before dinner. A big, big, BIG thank you and hug to my husband for being so understanding and thoughtful - Love you!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Workers Remorse

I have it -- big time -- workers remorse. I've not worked the past two school years, and have loved every minute of being the SAHM. And I'm excited about being back in the classroom, with a whole new group and age of kids. A little nervous, but excited. I've already enjoyed visiting and seeing my old friends from school -- all good. But this week - my last one -- I'm filled with lasts. Our last Monday breakfast out together, our last Tuesday lunch shared...soon, I'll be to our last Friday off. I miss my husband already, and school hasn't even begun. No more popping in at the office (I know he won't miss THAT). No more quick visits during the day. I know I'll be fine come Monday.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Classroom and Life Update

OK, here they are, the before pictures. Piles and piles of things that I don't know what they are, or where they should go. I took Jacob and his friend Zach on Tuesday to move all the heavy things around. (Zach had some good suggestions for where things should go) Zach hooked up the computers, and both boys cleaned the bottoms of the desks with bleach and set them up in groups of 2. I have worked all week (except for Thursday - we had a funeral which took up most of the day). I'm pleased with where I am, but not nearly ready. And of course, I've not even begun to look at the actual books and plan anything yet *yikes*. I have thrown away LOTS of - yes I'll say it - JUNK. It seems that every teacher who has used this room brought every bit of educational things they owned, and then felt the need to leave it for the next people. Do I need a filing cabinet full of memeograph materials?? (I don't even know how to spell that, much less use it!)

I came home yesterday afternoon to a house full of teenagers. Jacob and 5 friends were hanging out around the computer. We grilled some steaks, new potatoes w/rosemary, tomatoes, corn w/lime & cayenne with ice cream for desert. Also watched Disturbia with them. Really good movie...scary and funny and suspenseful, but nothing horribly gross. Jacob said it was too scary for me, but I liked it (It's no Rear Window, but pretty good for a teen version).

Today I've been busy catching up on the weeks chores...between working each day, and the added work of the funeral, all chores since Tuesday have been put on the back burner. Three more loads of laundry, and I'll be totally caught up, hopefully to stay on schedule next week.

I'll post my after pictures when the room is complete!

Monday, August 6, 2007

In Over My Head

I went today to check out my classroom for the upcoming school year. Boy-o-boy am I overwhelmed. I'm teaching 2nd-3rd grade for the first time. New classroom. Big mess! Everything is in a big heap in the center of the room since they move everything out to clean and wax the floors. I have no clue how to arrange all this stuff that I've never used. I really need to calm down. Plus, it's been so wet and humid this summer, that mold has grown on almost everything. So tomorrow, I'm taking my son the reluctant helper, a bucket of rags, pledge, Clorox, the shopvac, and my aching back and returning to the room to clean and put things in their places (if I can figure out where that would be!) I may take some before pictures to match up after all is clean and decorated. I've forgotten how stressful this time of the school year is. *BIG sigh*

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Bourne Ultimatum / HP & the Deathly Hallows

Wow, what a great entertainment day! We went this afternoon to see The Bourne Ultimatum. Fantastic! As my dad would've said - a real womp-stomper! The movie never slows down, it's one mad and terrific race to the finish. OK, 2 things might be a bit unrealistic *smirk*. #1 Why if the guy standing between the bomb and the man in the car isn't injured is the guy in the car dead? #2 How does anyone walk away from that car chase?? Great movie, A+

Now, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - don't look here for a spoiler. But what an amazing book. I can't begin to express how sad I am that this was the last installment in Harry's life. I have enjoyed these books so much. My son was 11 (Harry's age in book #1) when the first book was published. He has grown up with Harry, Ron and Hermoine. He is not a reader, but reads these books (all 700+ pages of them) from cover to cover. This last book does not disappoint. The characters are heroic, faithful, devoted (to each other and their cause.) If you've not read the books, now is the time to start. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

More Travels

Am I bad at blogging or what?? While my beloved was in Austin taking a class last week, Jacob and I traveled to Ft. Worth to visit family. We had a great time! It was so great to see everyone. We went with my mom to get her a new computer. She had been using one that had a 51/4" floppy drive :(), so she was way past due! Since she is really attached to her dial-up, it took some time getting things downloaded. She has figured out all the important bells and whistles, however, and seems pleased with her purchase. We changed some light bulbs, at breakfast at a great little place, and basically had a blast talking and catching up. I sure wish we could see each other more often.

There was a lot of excitement at Allan's parents - the first night there, lightening struck close to their house, and fried 3-4 computers, fax, phones, DVD, TV's, A/C, etc... FIL was still making a list for insurance at the end of the week when we left. What a pain! He's an accountant, and was frantic without his computers, and all stored on them. On top of this, my MIL was obviously not feeling well, and discovered on Thursday that she has SHINGLES! What a nightmare - I feel so bad for her. I've known several people who've suffered through that, and it is no fun, that is for sure.

Jacob and I went on Friday night to Billy Bob's Texas to see Kevin Fowler. Yes, that's right, the largest honky-tonk in the world. The concert was excellent, but I was definitely out of my comfort zone. Oddly enough, a friend from home was also visiting her grandmother that weekend, and was at the concert. He got to do some boot-scootin' and had a really good time. We were standing outside the concert area before it started, and a young man we'd seen in the gift shop walked up and asked if I was Jacob's mom. He said yes, and the young man asked if we'd like tickets to sit down. We said sure. Turns out he'd won them on a radio station. How sad, in thinking later, that he won probably 4 tickets, and had no one there with him. He must have been between 18-21, because he was alone, and he had no hand stamp and was consuming soda! He also scooted his chair at one point directly on top of my big toenail---OUCH. I almost cried it hurt so bad.

We had done some outlet mall shopping on the way up, and intended to go into Cabella's on the way back, but I must have been so sleep depraved that I completely missed it! We were both looking forward to seeing one of these stores in person. Arrived home safe Saturday night, thrilled to see Allan. We hate being apart. So good to be home again.

I am almost finished with Harry Potter - 6 (I wanted to reread it since I really couldn't remember it at all and Allan was busy reading -7-) Can't wait to get to #7. We actually have 2 copies - Jacob's got one and we shared the 2nd. We went to see The Simpsons movie Sunday afternoon - funny, funny, funny. Loved it.

Tried all day yesterday to catch up in the blogging world. Managed to get through almost all of your blogs, but the computer kept freezing up, hince the tardiness of my updated posting. Maybe I'll do better now...

Friday, July 20, 2007

63rd LCMS National Convention

I've been out of touch for a week now. My hubby and I were in Houston for the LCMS National Convention. My husband was a voting pastoral delegate, and I was a listener at the back of the convention arena. I always love going to these things, because I find the discussions and debates so interesting. I was pleased, that overall, most of the resolutions/votes were either passed or not passed by over 75%. There were very few issues that were close. The best part, though, was seeing our dear friends from Wyoming that we've not seen for 10 (yes - TEN) years. It was awesome spending time with them. Lisa and I had a ball visiting in the back, and spent a day at the Galleria Mall shopping (and talking of course). Their boys came along, and it was great seeing what amazing young men they've grown into.
We all went out for dinner the last night, and a big thanks to the boys for getting the group photo! Our second night was a fun one, we all gathered at the Concordia Theological Seminary's party after the convention closed for the evening. It was a great time for the men - seeing classmates for the first time in years. The ladies (some of the men brought wives with them) enjoyed catching up on families and churches. Ft. Wayne always throws a good party, and everyone was in good spirits (as you can see, the jokers were at it again, as usual!)
We got home last night - tired and ready to sleep in our own bed. We stopped by our friend from CA to say goodbye. She and the kids left this morning for their new home in New Orleans. We were sad to see them go. It is nice that they are closer to home, and Jacob and Paeton had a great time together this summer.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was awesome! We saw it last night (OK, not the first night, but almost.) Although it was impossible to include everything in the book, as usual they did an amazing job. The thing about all these movies that moves me is that they have completely captured - exactly - how I have imagined the scenes in my mind. The new characters were excellent, and the returning characters were brilliant as always. It was a bit darker than the last movie, and had some scary parts that might frighten little ones. 5+ stars!

Saturday, July 7, 2007


We took Grandmother to see what may have been the very first movie she's seen in a theater. Went to see "Ratatouille." It was a great movie! Very funny, and since I love to cook, neat to see the animation of the cooking. Grandmother laughed out loud on more than one occasion. Great fun for all ages - a must see.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Long Time No Post

It has been a whirlwind around here trying to make a nice visit with Grandmother. I shall start at the beginning:
Friday - we drove to Austin and picked her up at her granddaughter's house. We drove back home and brought all her bags in and gave her the grand tour. We were all tired after all the driving and took it easy that night.
Saturday - I took Grandmother to Wally World for some shopping. She doesn't move very fast, but boy can she shop. She picked out some things for her new great-great granddaughter, and found a pair of pants she'd been looking for in her size. We started the morning at church watching the Boy Scouts re-stripe the parking lot. She met lots of new people and sat out in the heat. She is a great sport and quite the trooper:)
Sunday - After church and lunch, we drove down to see Jessa. She is doing great, as is her mother. She is a beautiful baby, lots and lots of hair, blue eyes, and beautiful skin. She is already sleeping 4-5 hours at a time (God's blessings showering down on her parents!) We had terrible storms while we were there, and also at home. We arrived home to a powerless house, so we took Grandmother to Chili's for dinner. She'd only been there one other time. Because of the rain, Jacob was unable to work after Saturday. AND it appears watermelon season is about done, so he got to work 4 whole days! But he had a great time and got his check today - his FIRST paycheck. He has since been spending virtually every minute socializing with friends.
Wednesday - July 4th. I took Grandmother to our little 4th of July parade - I'm not sure if she's ever been to a parade before - and ours isn't much - lasted all of 20 minutes. She had fun, though.
Then, last night some of our friends had their annual 4th of July party, and we all went to that. Grandmother got to meet a lot of people like none she's ever met:) She was awesome, talked to everyone, and seemed to have a great time.

We still have more things in store for her, and I'm taking pictures to put together an album of her visit. She's a dream of a houseguest. She has picked tomatoes and weeded the bed, cut up and taken out the seeds of a watermelon, and has two pies she's wanting to fix. Not bad for 86 years young.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday Night Adventures

Whew - this has been a busy day. We drove to Austin this morning to pick up Allan's grandmother and bring her back for a visit. She's going to stay with us almost 2 weeks. It's her first visit here, and I think she's pretty excited. I KNOW she's excited about seeing her great-great-granddaughter! Hopefully we'll be able to do that early in the week. She's our first official guest (other than various teen-aged boys) in our guest room (aka Sarah's room).

Jacob finally started his job on Wednesday. He is working the conveyor belt. He picks out the seeded watermelons and packs them in boxes to be put on the trucks for shipping. His work days are from 8 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. with a 30 minute lunch break. My poor baby is sooooooooooo tired. Once he gets that first paycheck, it will all be worth it though.

Evan Almighty

Allan and I went to see "Evan Almighty" last night. It was really good - nothing objectionable - great for the whole family. I love his assistant - she always plays a great role. Lots of sight gags and funny lines. I think I liked "Bruce Almighty" better, but this one was worth the trip to the theater.

Lean Mean Thirteen

"Lean Mean Thirteen" by Janet Evanovich is the thirteenth installment of the Stephanie Plum adventures. It was as funny as ever. Grandma was in fine form, Morelli and Ranger were both looking for Stephanie's attention same as always, Lula is a scream. There are exploding rodents, stun gun accidents, and burning buildings. A great read, perfect for summer !

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mid-Week Activities

We drove down to Progresso, Mexico yesterday for lunch. We ate at our regular place, and picked up some Advantage for the dogs. It's nice being so close to the border, because it makes for a nice outing when things

in town are too boring to face. This is the mighty Rio Grande River, from the exact border between the nations (Mexico to the left, Texas to the right). This is the Progresso market. There were not many people this day, but more cars than usual. You can get any kind of dental work done on these blocks, hair braids, prescription-free medications, leather goods, pottery, and loads of junk as well.
This is the inside of one of the bigger stores. Thankfully the stores usually have a/c. It was blazing hot this day.

Sarah and the baby are doing great.
Jacob started his job (finally) at 9 a.m., and thinks he'll work until 11. I bet I didn't pack enough food for such a long day. Can't wait to find out what he's been doing. One thing for sure - he'll be tired!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Same Kind of Different as Me

Here's a shocker: "Same Kind of Different as Me" by Ron Hall & Denver Moore is a NON-fiction book - yes, I've read a non-fiction book:) A friend from church gave us this book to read, and it is an amazing story. It is the story of 2 men - a homeless black man from the cotton fields of Louisiana and a well-to-do art dealer - and the art dealers wife. This is the story of how these three people came together at a homeless shelter, and how God worked in their lives. It alternates between the two men's voices, telling how they grew up, and how they came to meet at the mission. It all happens in Fort Worth, TX, which happens to be where we are from. It was neat because we recognized all the places, and Ron Hall actually graduated from our high school. This was an inspiring story, and well worth the time spent reading it.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Jessa Update

We drove down south yesterday afternoon to visit Sarah and Jessa. Sarah is doing amazing - she's in a little pain, but doing really well. She had quite an ordeal having this precious girl.They wanted a completely natural birth with no doctors, only mid-wives. She labored hard and long trying to give birth, and transferred to the hospital after many hours. Finally, at 1:09 a.m. on Sunday, they had a c-section. All went very smoothly, and everyone at the hospital I encountered was wonderful.She should get to come home today (maybe) or tomorrow (more likely.) Jessa is just so good natured so far, eating OK, and just as sweet as can be.
It was awesome to hold her, and hear her sweet little sounds that she makes. He new uncle thinks that she is scared of him because she fussed while he was holding her. I told him it was him who was scared of her, and she could tell! He'll get over that.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Jessa's Big Day

Jessa finally made her arrival this morning between midnight and 1:30 a.m. Just a quick dash of the details before church. I've had 3 hours sleep since Thurday.
9 pounds 4.1 ounces; length at this point unknown; 30 hours labor; c-section; looks just like her momma did! Will see her again this afternoon and take some pics in person rather than behind the glass.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Step On A Crack

I finished "Step on a Crack" by James Patterson earlier in the week. This book introduces a new character, Mike Bennett, a NYC police detective. This story explored both sides of the character: his personal life, and his professional life. On the personal side, very touching...loving husband and dad to 10 adopted kids. On the professional side, he is called to negotiate with someone who has taken 34 famous people hostage in St. Patrick's Cathedral at the funeral of the former first lady. Also has 2 really interesting characters: his Grandfather, and a new au pair. Really a good read, I hope he writes more books with these characters.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

That Was Then . . .This Is Now

How the time flies. You are looking at the two best boys on the planet. Safely home from camp. They didn't fall off the mountain, and had a blast.

They plan on returning next summer as paid staff. There could have been some practical jokes played while they were gone. These two are like two peas in a pod.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday, and No Baby Yet

Here it is, Friday night, and we still have no granddaughter:( We're trying to be patient...trying to keep ahead of all our work/chores so that if we have to head south, we'll have no worries here at home.

We had our friend Katie and her family over last night for dinner. Served grilled steaks, brats, and mahi mahi; peel and eat shrimp; rosemary new potatoes; tomato-mozzarella-basil tomato salad; and my made-up strawberry cake. Everything was delicious (Allan is the grilling KING!). Katie's new baby, Seth, is an angel.

I had a question about Wednesday's post from Jennifer about fried pickles. These are easy to make at home, so I thought I'd share my recipe. It is from the only good cooking magazine (in my opinion) - Taste of Home. The August/September 2004 issue to be exact.

Fried Dill Pickle Coins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs
1 cup milk
3 cups thin dill pickle slices, drained
Oil for frying
Ranch salad dressing for dipping

In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, salt, and pepper.
In another bowl, beat eggs and milk.
Blot pickles with paper towel to remove moisture.
Coat pickles with flour mixture, then dip in egg mixture.
Coat again with flour mixture.
Fry pickles about 10 at a time for 3 minutes or until golden brown, turning once.
Drain on paper towels.
Serve with Ranch dressing.

Tomorrow we'll have our small scale garage sale to try to get rid of the last of our big things from the garage (especially that monster grill guard which didn't fit Jacob's truck - please someone want that!). I'm more concerned with people taking things away than with the $$$.

I looked at books at Wal-Mart yesterday, and boy are there some good ones out right now that I can't wait to get to take on vacation. New ones by Catherine Coulter, James Patterson, John Sandford, Lee Child and soon Janet Evanovich. I'll be totally worthless as far as chores are concerned!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Mid-Week Update

This has been a busy, but productive, week so far. Sunday was a great afternoon - nap and all. We enjoyed lazing around with nothing to do. Monday, we discovered that our friends from CA, Katie and her family, had arrived at 3 a.m. after dropping her son Paeton off at Scout camp with Jacob. We went to meet our new Godson, Seth. He is an angel. So cute. He smiled:) We went back to visit later that evening and took a dip in the pool. That day, I began my garage purge. Was very proud of my progress. Allan liked the idea, so yesterday afternoon, he decided to get involved, and now our garage is purged! We filled the dumpster, and have a pile in the middle for an impromptu garage sale on Saturday. I am listing items on ebay as I come to them (eliminates stuff AND boxes!) We had a small group Bible study last night. Folks were talking about a burger place in town (Big House Burgers) that we hadn't been to *gasp* and all were shocked by that. So we went there for dinner. They have fried pickles (our favorite) YUM says it all. Over at They Grew in My Heart, Jennifer posted a great list of Christian ways to ease stress. Check it out! Everything was really good. I have gotten no emergency call from camp, so I'm assuming that Jacob hasn't fallen off the mountain. Always a good thing. We still aren't's really hard waiting.

Act of Treason

"Act of Treason" by Vince Flynn is great. Awesome. 5 stars. Absolutely loved this book. Mitch Rapp is the character he writes about. He is a CIA agent. It is election time, and the presidential/vice-presidential candidates are on the campaign trail. A terrorist is hired to kill them with a car bomb. Mitch's assignment is to find the bomber, and who hired him. Flynn's books are always outstanding. Can't put them down. Mitch Rapp is a great character, as is the CIA director, Irene Kennedy. Only one of these books have been hard for me to get into...the pages keep flying on all the others. After two duds that I've had to quit reading in the last few weeks - this was a joy. Sorry that it's over.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Update - Already

For some crazy reason, I just looked at the web site for the Scout Camp Jacob is going to. I found this picture, with this caption - After a week of training, the Scouts’ Climbing Merit Badge experience will culminate at “Graduation Rock.” Wow - not too sure I like the idea of that being Jacob about to hop off the top of that rock. (However, I think he'll love it, but boy - I'm a little nervous now!)

Also forgot to mention that I'm reading a totally awesome book! I'm thrilled, because I've been very frustrated the last few weeks with my reading material. I started an Iris Johansen book that was a reprint of an early romance novel. Quit 1/3 of the way through - not a big romance novel fan. Then started an early Alex Cross/James Patterson book - big mistake - do not like his early Cross books at all - way too much awful violence - ick - made it 12 chapters (about 25 pages :) and quit. This one I'm reading now 'rocks.'

Where Did the Week Go?

What a week! We finished VBS on Thursday. Had an awesome time, though not as many kids as in previous years. I'm not sure what that's all about... Jacob didn't get to start his job after all - we had rain on Tuesday, and the fields have been too wet to harvest. Apparently, if you can't harvest, there are no melons to stack :) He is off for a week at scout camp in the Davis Mountains. He is meeting up with his best friend, Paeton, there. They are our friends who live in CA and are coming for the summer to visit Katie's folks. Can't wait to see them, and meet little Seth. Our daughter, Sarah, had a Dr.'s appointment today, and nothing much is happening with the baby - maybe another week :( It is so, so, SO, SO HOT here. Thursday, I think it was 105 or something. Just going back and forth to the garage to do laundry has about killed me. I hate, HATE, HATE hot weather. (Once Katie gets here, we can go have pool time at her parents', and that will be awesome!) Tomorrow will be our first Sunday with a free afternoon in 7 YEARS. I'm not sure exactly what we'll do?

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

It Seems Like It Was Only Yesterday

It seems like it was only yesterday that I was chasing this darling boy around the farm - trying to clean his face. When I close my eyes, and think of him, this is the face I see. But when I open my eyes, I see this very handsome young man standing before me. A young man who begins his very first job on Thursday. Where has the time gone? He is thrilled to have found a job for the summer, especially since he has weeks here and there where he is committed to other things and he will be out of town. He is going to be a watermelon stacker. So when you buy that melon, think of him. Because he's tall, he'll be stacking them on the top shelf. In the watermelon shed. Where it's hot and there are lots of skeeters. I might, just maybe, be a little proud of him. :)

Monday, June 4, 2007

Scrap Happy Week 7

For this weeks scrapbook page, I used my new digital scrapbooking program - Creative Keepsakes Scrapbook Design. I am trying out an idea to make scrapbook pages out of all my photos and put them together in a slide show. Then, I'll make a DVD and give it to our parents for Christmas so they can see our year. Time will tell how it plays out. This page is from my February pictures, and shows some Eagle Scout things that we went to. You can see other, more professional pages by going to So Much to Say, So Little Time.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Vacation Bible School

We had our first night of VBS tonight. You can look here for some pics. I'll be adding pictures as the week progresses, so check back for updates. We're doing "Avalanche Ranch" by Group. This is a great company, and always has a good VBS program. We had a small turnout tonight, but I'm hoping it will pick up tomorrow. I love the mountain decoration. Can you believe this was trash?? All the paper was taken off the walls at our local primary school the last day of school, and magically transformed into mountains and sky. (There's even sky stuffed into the burlap bags!) As usual, we had probably 2 volunteers for each kid. Everything went great, and I can't wait until tomorrow.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Shrek 3

We went to see Shrek 3 this afternoon. It was good, and I have a feeling that like the others, every time you see it you see something you missed the time before. It wasn't as good as I was expecting, because Jacob loved it - said he laughed all through it. I loved Mr. Merlin's shoes :) Absolutely worth the 2 $3 tickets.

Going Into the Weekend

Jacob is home from the river. We were expecting to pick him up in the morning, but they arrived around 6:00. I am always so glad to see him when he's been away. He had a blast, lots of tubing, hiking, and looking at girls dancing. He's now convinced he needs to learn to dance. I thought I'd post a few pictures of baby Jessa's room that I took on Tuesday. Sarah and Joey did a great job on it! If you look closely, you can see the fabric book I made her on the bookcase, and her afghan on the crib. I can't wait until she's here to enjoy her lovely room.
I did some more spring cleaning today - finished going through and cleaning the last of the kitchen cabinets. Threw out another trash bag of clutter! Also got 6 items listed on ebay (3 have bids already!).