Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 bites the dust

Another year, come and gone. I am glad to see 2009 ending. I started out the year feeling like I knew where it was headed but then there were many instances in which I was reminded that things change, people change and circumstances change. Although change may be good, it's not always easy to accept.

Thank goodness for my blogs that I just surfed back through to come up with lists for the good, the bad and the ugly of this past year.

I'll start out on a positive note with GOOD things that happened.
* Coaching Ashlyn's soccer team was a lot of fun and I'm glad that I got to share this job with one of my best friends ever - shout out to Jennifer.
* The kids enjoyed playing basketball, baseball, soccer, football and gymnastics.
* Clayson turned 12, Trey turned 10 and Ashlyn turned 6 and I am thankful that they are all healthy children.
* The Twilight series was enjoyable to read but I have yet to see either of the movies.
* One of my former students invited me to attend her National Honor Society induction, I was honored.
* I met Joe Montana and got his autograph.
* We bought a boat and shared quality family time on the lake all summer long.
* Jared and I took a trip to Cozumel with friends and had a great time.
* I started a photography business and have been so successful. It's a new passion.
* It snowed on Christmas Eve, finally a white Christmas.
* My brother got engaged to a great girl and I look forward to finally having a sister.
* Ashlyn was the flower girl in a cousin's wedding.
* Jared and I celebrated 13 years of marriage.
* I had an opportunity to witness to "Granny", my friend Sharon's mom, while she was in the hospital - she changed my life forever.
* I have the best friends ever! I have made many new friends and grown closer to many of the ones I've had longest. Some of my friends have been there to carry some of my burdens, talk me through situations and lend words of wisdom when I can't even think straight. (shout out to Rhonda, Amber, Sharon and Zan).

Unfortunately, there have been some BAD instances in 2009.
*I've lost a dear friend and would give anything to know why or what I could do to repair the relationship.
*Relationships that we hope will last forever, don't.
*Tension in family relationships.

And, the UGLY.
* Tears from teachers having to move to different campuses due to our change in elementary schools.
* Disappointing many, many people...

2009: I won't remember it as a great year because unfortunately, it didn't end up that way.

But, thank goodness, He offers hope for two thousand ten.

Jeremiah 29:11
New International Version (©1984)
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope.

As we enter the new year I plan to seek blessings in all that I do and to know that all things work for the good of those who love Him. We can't see the big picture but He does and thank goodness the will of God won't take us where the grace of God won't protect us.

Happy New Year!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmastime '09

I have to be Scroogeish and say that this is the first time that I have been happy for Christmas to come and go.
We survived six Christmases and are blessed beyond reason.

(Papa's 12*19*09)
Tradition would have it that we have lunch, play the metal pipes and sing Christmas carols. The kids love playing the pipes and singing and as much as the grownups complain, they end up getting all into it. (Not me, I take the pictures). There is also some ping pong and other outdoor games going on when the weather is nice, and this year it was perfect.

Christmas #2: The Robinson Family
(at my house 12*20*09)

The tradition here is to get together with my Papaw's sister and her four kids, spouses, children and children's children along with all of us - totaling close to 40 people. Another gorgeous day for the kids to be outside playing football and riding the bad boy buggy while the rest stay inside and eat until it's almost gone and play games and/or watch football on the TV.

Christmas #3: Christmas Eve Breakfast
(mom and dad's 12*24*09)
Some years this works out but it all depends on the fire department schedule. This year my dad had to work Christmas day so we went to breakfast and took gifts for mom, dad, Jason and Megan just in case we could not make it to the gathering at Jason's house. The breakfast was so delicious - my dad can cook, too bad that skill was not passed down to me. Breakfast was also enlightening - learning that Trey had already snooped and found the trampoline in the closet that was supposed to be from Santa and he had showed it to Ashlyn. It was a good thing that I found this out or Santa's secret could have been blown for all three of them.

Christmas #4: Davis Family Christmas
(our house 12*24*09)
Many years ago we started having Christmas with Jared's family on Christmas Eve so that we could spend the entire day with them and not have to be back and forth between families. It's almost always worked out with Jared's fire department schedule and we cherish the time that we have together. His Mamaw and Pawpaw did not come due to the snowy weather and we missed them. The kids loved the snow and as always their Nana and Pop "hooked them up" with some great gifts.

Christmas #5: Daugherty Family Christmas/ take II
(Jason's house 12*24*09)
Because no one was prepared to give the kids their gifts at breakfast, we went over to Jason's for a couple of hours to continue having Christmas with dad. Potato soup and banana pudding (good job on that, Megan) were on the menu and what a perfectly cold night to enjoy both. SMU was playing in Hawaii so we had to keep our voices and our excitement to a minimum so Jason could enjoy the game... try telling three kids and two dogs to contain themselves...

Our family Christmas
On Christmas Eve night the kids talked us into letting them open one present. On Christmas morning the kids got up around 7:15 and we had the big morning with lots of surprises. Ashlyn got the bitty baby that she wanted, Trey got a new cell phone and Clayson (and Trey) got the PS3 they were hoping for. All was right in their world. We opened presents, cleaned up the mess, got ready and went back to my mom's and then over to D'Uan and Ralph's for the few things that still needed to be opened.

Christmas #6 (actually at this point it may be Christmas #9)
(Mamaw & Papaw's 12*25*09)
Our final Christmas gathering took place on Christmas day at Mamaw and Papaw's. It's always a great time with the cousins and little kiddos and it's even better when everyone is in a good mood. And, it wouldn't be the same if the "big kids" (myself included) did not have wrapping paper wars against each other. The day ended with us game junkies playing Chicken Foot (dominoes) but I left out early because I was losing...
So, now I am entering the next phase: extreme home makeover edition - Christmas is outta here ... as soon as this laziness wears off.
Hope you and your family had a great Christmas, emphasized Jesus' birth and made memories to last a lifetime.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The closer Christmas gets

the further I fall behind. The tree is up and the house is decorated but that's about all I can say is done. There are presents locked up in the Christmas closet but none wrapped and placed under the tree. Christmas cards are in envelopes but none are ready to send. I've got a gift list a mile long with no ideas. Are you sensing a little "bah humbug" ?! I really need to shake this feeling of being too overwhelmed. Most times I work better under pressure but not at Christmas. I need to get my act together and put some merry in my Christmas.

On Sunday we enjoyed a three hour gathering with some family that we have not spent time with in years. Spring Creek BBQ probably did not sign up for "all the rolls you can eat" for a party that lasted that long. The men were happy that the Cowboy game was on the big screen and during commercials they compared cholesterol counts and blood pressure medications. The little kids ran around the party room taking advantage of the grownups deep in conversation. The "older" women sat at the back table and our guess was they were discussing hormones and menopause. Us cool moms got a little loud and laughed a lot at memories we had growing up at Lake Tawakoni and trying to make plans for a girl's weekend at The Villages. We'd just better hope that there are no neighbors on either side of us if and when we do get together. (see picture below for obvious reasons)

It's my favorite time of year because I have such a great family to share the Christmas season with. Here's hoping you are enjoying time with friends, family and those you love most.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

giving thanks

It's so hard to believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone. We got out of school early on Tuesday and it has been nonstop ever since.

There are a lot of things that I have to be thankful this year. I am blessed to have three healthy children, parents and inlaws that love me through it all, supportive friends who are always there to pick me up when I am down and the friends and family that I could not make it without. I am especially thankful for peace that passes all understanding.

We spent Thanksgiving lunch at my Mamaw and Papaw's and then headed to Plano to see Jared's family since he was working. For lunch, I was in charge of making a dessert - which was successful - but the green bean casserole - not so much. (Probably was not a good idea to double the recipe before making sure I had enough of the ingredients to do that, especially green beans.) Oh well. I've never claimed to be Paula Deen.

I made a 4 a.m. trip to the Wal-Mart on Friday morning for a laptop but returned home at 4:30 a.m. with detergent, chocolate donuts and a Dr. Pepper. There were no buggies and no parking places. There was not one bit of room to walk up the main aisles but the detergent row was empty. Tide obviously did not make it into the black Friday ad.

On Friday we got all of the Christmas stuff out and by Saturday night the tree was decorated and most things have been put in a place but my couch still holds things that I cannot figure out where to put. They may have to go back into the tote because I am overwhelmed. I'm sure there is no such thing as having too many Christmas decorations but I'm out of ideas.

I am hosting bunco here tomorrow night so it has forced me to clean and decorate and has not left any time for editing. I currently have seven shoots to edit and deliver. After tomorrow, they become priority. Busy is good.

Here are some pictures from Thanksgiving. Hope you all had a great one and remembered to give thanks to the One who makes it all possible.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

rockin' along

I have not blogged since November 9th because I have been ... hmm, let's see ... swamped, overwhelmed, busy, tired, beat down, shuffling boys back and forth to practice, taking pictures - all while enjoying life and everything in my little world. It's been a wild ride this month. Grab your seatbelts and let me give you a glimpse.

Football: Yesterday was the Superbowl, and final game, of our little league. Clayson and Trey's teams both made it after winning their playoff games during the week. Trey's team lost in the final seconds. Clayson's team got 1st place for the season, going in with an 8-1 record, and came out winners in this Superbowl game. Both teams were from Crandall so the announcer had them gather and pray together before the game and then he had all of the 6th grade players stand together and told them that they were playing against each other for this game but next year in 7th grade, they would be one team of Crandall Pirates. It was a great tribute to these amazing boys.

I'm glad that the season that started in July has finally come to an end. Now, I will have my Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays back. Things might actually get done around here.

The most important thing that has happened in the meantime is my first born turned 12. Clayson is growing up (literally) so fast. He is turning into an amazing preteen and makes me so proud. His coach deemed him the nicest guy on the football team. He does make us very proud. Here he is in all his twelve year old glory, starting to like pictures because he thinks he "looks good" ... and he does :) Now that football is over, it is time to plan his birthday bash.

Can't leave out miss Ashlyn. She is doing great - loves school and loves her baby doll, Aaron. (Aaron was recently diagnosed with swine flu but he stayed with Nana for a week so thankfully none of us were exposed. She has an imagination gone wild. )

And now, we will just rock along until Thanksgiving and into the Christmas season. It's my favorite time of the year!

Monday, November 9, 2009

seasons change

So, you want me to blog.
Not much has changed since the last post: football, photo shoots, work, repeat.

Despite the lack of changes in my life, seasonal changes are evident. What a mighty God we serve. He has made all things beautiful in His time and it's the most beautiful time of the year.

I have enjoyed photographing kids and families in the crisp air with leaves everywhere.

Amazing, huh? I don't remember Fall in Texas ever being so vibrant.

And, yeah, well, it's November. It's my month to have bunco and Clayson turns twelve. Plans have not been made for either event. I'm not trying to be a slacker but I haven't made any progress for taking care of either one. I haven't always been such a spontaneous kind of girl but it is how I roll these days.

Last weekend was little Pirate football homecoming and I bought both the boys a garter, neither were worn. How come the year I don't buy them everyone has them and the year I do, no one has one? I guess I will store them until they are old enough to play on the school team and I'll just change the numbers, if needed. Their names won't change but their numbers might. They hated having to walk with the cheerleaders, one day we won't be able to keep them away from them.

It's the start of a busy season. I look forward to some time off of work, lots of time with family, Christmas shopping and turkey & dressing - it's my favorite.

Notice God's grace all over the place...

Monday, November 2, 2009

not this year

Last week was so very frazzling. I had so much on my plate, along with the pressure that I put on myself and add to that 58 students excited about Halloween and a son having major school issues. All of this lead to a mini-meltdown and an inability to make decisions. I don't break down easily but Friday was definitely a breaking point.

I am so thankful for my friends who made me stick to the original plan that I had set into motion earlier in the week - dinner and movies. I tried desperately to get out of those and go to the football game but they were not having it. We went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner. Laughter truly is the best medicine. After dinner, they drug me to see Paranormal Activity. I hid inside my shirt once it started and was part of the reason that we were getting shushed before it began. We dropped by Target on the way home to enjoy the last ten minutes that they were open and then it was back to the theater to get my debit card that had fallen out of my purse. Story of my life.

Saturday, Clayson and Trey's football games were cancelled and I was happy as a clam. I got to sleep late, had two photo shoots and enough energy to go to Wal-Mart, where I had to pretty much start from scratch with the groceries. Our cupboards were bare. It'll be just a couple of days before the typical "there's nothing to eat" starts again. Don't make me go postal...

Halloween night: Ashlyn decided that she did not want to trick-or-treat this year, she just wanted to stay home and carve a pumpkin. That was music to my ears. For some reason, the whole part of walking around and getting candy is such a beating to me. We waited for Jared and Trey to get home from hunting and by the time they got home from this excursion (with the biggest dead hog I have ever seen), Ashlyn was fast asleep on the couch. Halloween just didn't work out for us this year and if it is the beginning of the end, I am more than happy with that. (I'm also glad that we only spent $5 for a witch hat and gloves.)

Sunday, we went to church and then I loaded up in the pick-up truck with my mother-in-law, aunt-in-law and a friend. We headed east to Canton's First Monday. We had so much fun. It is a laugh a minute with these girls. I bought a couple of small gifts, a corny dog, a coke and some Christmas decorations and was completely satisfied. It was a beautiful afternoon and we had such a good time. I'll leave out some of the details :)

And now, it's a new week with a new "to do" list, on which I am marking things off of faster than last week. I am up to 12 photo shoots and counting for the month of November. I have truly been blessed. I look forward to all there is to do with the sessions, the family gatherings and some shopping. Retail therapy is good for the soul.

So, frazzled or not, life goes on and thank goodness that it does.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Stressings is a mix between stress and blessings. Because, more often that not, our blessings cause stress. Can I get an "amen"?

Our kids, our job, our home ... though thankful to have, hard to remain stress-free with all of the pressure, needs, wants, time and energy that each require. We feel guilty for complaining in "today's society" so I am trying hard to be positive and more importantly, thankful.

I have been taking pictures like crazy and I love it like crazy. In just 4 days I had cheerleading team photos, a toddler, a wedding, three family shoots and a sister shoot. And, this next weekend looks to be pretty close to a repeat. I am so blessed to have found something that I love doing and that this past weekend truly brought me face to face with one of God's greatest creations - the fall season. Since all of my shoots are outdoors, I was surrounded by yellow leaves on the ground while others were blowing in the wind and yet some trees maintained their green beauty. I was surrounded by His perfection all weekend long. I am so incredibly thankful for every opportunity that I get to do what I enjoy doing; meeting new people and making people happy with memories to frame. It's on my massive to-do list to upload pictures from these shoots onto my photo blog and my goal is to have it done by Friday. So, check there soon.

It's still football season and last weekend, because I had committed to a wedding, I missed both football games. Clayson scored a touchdown in his and I was sad to have missed it. Maybe he'll do it again this weekend. Their last game is November 6th and I have to say I will be glad to see it ending. I love the games but the practice takes hold of three nights a week. We need some spare time (to fill with something else).

Clayson had the opportunity to go to a business conference to hear Terry Bradshaw, Colin Powell and George W. Bush speak on Monday. He enjoyed the experience. (I would have given to have been in the same room with George W. He is next on my list of people I'd like to meet.) Clayson is learning the meaning of taking school seriously and I am learning that the cell phone is a valuable tool in getting/ forcing him to learn that.

Trey's desk got cleaned out by his teacher and she found a bunch of notes between him and girls and a lot of "MASH" being played. (I don't know where he gets either of these habits - ha!) And, she said that he is more interested in the girls than what she is teaching. (A little like his dad in that area. Apparently, he is a good mix.) Not too long ago she referred to him as a "ladies man" and came to get me one day because he was sobbing over being broken up with. I am not quite ready for these emotions.

Ashlyn is having a great year. In my classroom, I have a closet. In the closet you will see a mini- classroom set up with baby dolls, worksheets and crayons awaiting Miss Davis each afternoon. The kids kind of freak out when they see the "Chucky" baby doll staring at them as they sharpen their pencil. Maybe I could use that baby doll as punishment - "go to the closet with Chucky until you can behave". I'm kidding... sort of. She is also having to sneak around to pick her nose because they have to wash their hands every time they do and she is tired of washing them all the time.

Monday night was fall festival at school and tonight was the fall festival at church. I am sad to say that the only pictures I got from either of these come from my cell phone.

This wonderful lady has been my teaching partners for 8 years. Love her!

This Pirate in pink is my assistant principal. She is so much fun. Love her, too.

Ashlyn and I are ready to go to the fall fest at church and play the cake walk until we win.

It's been a week full of many things to do and instead of the list getting shorter, it is getting longer. For this I am stressed and through this stress I am blessed.