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.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


That’s just three ways to describe this past weekend - which also lead to exhaustion.

It all started on Thursday, the day I turned 34.

On Thursday, Ashlyn had her once-a-year cheer performance. The at home preparations might have sounded like – if you get out there and act like you have never heard that cheer before in your life I am not going to spend the money on cheer clinic next year. And – you better not act shy because I know you can shake your groove thang. Okay, maybe not the second one. Thankfully, she did not let me or my $15 down. She cheered her heart out and tried her best to remember all the dance moves to Party in the U.S.A.

(insert cheer pictures here)

Friday night lights provided for some down home football competition as we faced our biggest rival, Kaufman. The game was not pretty – an abundance of penalties called against the Pirates resulted in a seven point loss to the Lions. I’m sure the players and the coaches took that loss hard but what I found the hardest was hearing Kaufman ISD dedicate the song “Happy Trails” to my first (and favorite) boss, Coach Rouse, as he will soon be leaving the area to become Superintendent for another school district. I was standing there next to him when the song started playing and it made me sad. We love him and he will be missed. His new school district is extremely lucky to gain such an honorable Christian man to serve at their highest ranking.

(insert fans in the stands picture here)

Saturday the house was cleaned, pictures of a gorgeous teen and her sweet little sister were taken and football took over the evening before it was time to get our party on in Terrell. Several of us were celebrating birthdays and brought our friends together for some fun and some dancing. We had a blast! There’s just something about going out on a cold Saturday night with your boots on. The birthday week ended in style.

(insert birthday party pictures here)

Sunday we enjoyed lunch with mom, dad, Jason and Megan, Megan’s sister, brother-in-law and their three kids at Campisis. Still no announcement from my brother and I am getting tired of waiting. He’s not getting any younger… just sayin'.

Last night was Halloween bunco and we wore some pumpkin attire. It’s the one time a year that I wear my pumpkin pajama pants, my shirt that says “You can’t scare me, I work at the school” and Halloween socks.

(insert Olan Mills posed Halloween photo here)

Since when did my blogs become a play-by-play of my weekend? I am not happy about it and will look into changing it up.

(blogger upload not working - stay tuned for pictures where they should be)

Monday, October 12, 2009

because they are worth celebrating

October is a big birthday month for our family.

Here's a glimpse of my calendar:
Oct. 1oth - Jason (the brother) and Papaw
Oct. 11th - Mamaw
Oct. 15th - me

Boom, boom, boom - we all age within five days. I have never thought of my birthday as a big deal, maybe it's because I have always had to share. But, there is no one I'd rather share it with than these three people.

For as long as I can remember we have always had a day to celebrate my Mamaw and Papaw's birthdays. And these two people are worth celebrating! They mean the world to me. More than they will ever know. Every minute spent with them creates memories that will never be forgotten. They kept me when I was a baby and took me to school when I got older (my Papaw even drove me to college the last month of my pregnancy). We lived with them while our house was being built in Crandall and then I packed my bags to run away to their house more than once. I realize now that I am quick with math because of all the card games that they taught me and because I was usually the scorekeeper. I can spell because we played a lot of Scrabble with my Granny. They took me in as a rebellious teenager and let me live there for a while to try to break my will (dating a boy that I was forbidden to see). I wish that I could say that I could cook because my Mamaw taught me. She did teach me how to sift flour, measure brown sugar and separate the yolk from the egg - all while sitting on top of the counter. I just don't apply those skills. I'd rather eat her goodies than make my own. Every year we spend the Saturday before Thanksgiving making Christmas candy to enjoy throughout the season. This year I will not just enjoy the "tasting" - I will be more active in the "making" part of it. (Hopefully, I can do both.) Not only have they been a HUGE part of my life but they have also been a BIG part of my kid's lives. They kept Clayson, Trey and Ashlyn for me while I was at different stages in my life: working at Countryside Homes and as I started and progressed through my teaching career. I cannot thank them enough for ALL that they have been to me and all the times that they have been there for me.
My Mamaw and Papaw are amazing people. They have been such wonderful Christian examples and bless everyone that they meet. For 33 (right at 34) years they have blessed me every single day. Not a day goes by that I don't think of them and their love for me. I am so glad that God chose me to be their granddaughter. I love you Mamaw and Papaw and hope that you had a happy birthday and many more to come.

... the greatest memories we have, aren't because of times or places but because of the love of those that we had by our side when we made them....

Here's our birthday time in '09
where: Gary and Judy's house in Martin's Mill
when: October 11th
who: family near and dear to my heart, special surprise guest: Aunt Linda (Mamaw's sister)
why: celebrate a mom and dad / Mamaw and Papaw

And, happy birthday to you my dear, sweet brother. You're the best brother I have ever had!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

happy Fall y'all

Awwww, a breath of fresh (cold) air. I love it. It puts a little pep in my step.

(Due to my blogs becoming weekly, please overlook the randomness and the lengthiness.)

The football game on Friday night required gloves, blankets, hot chocolate and not to mention - a Crandall Pirate hoody, oh yeah. I think what I love the most about hoodies is the big pocket on the front where I can stick both of my hands and my phone comfortably. It's very similar to a fanny pack.

If my life were a DVR event it would only be recorded on the weekends because most weekdays are a repeat - school, football, laundry, cleaning, packing a lunch, ironing, quick trip to Wal-Mart, meetings, grading and three kids that are fighting, showering and talking back. Nobody would want to see that show everyday. I am ready for things to change and a new season premiere to take place - football season over, kids getting along and kids not talking back. I have a feeling that would have to include many commercials because the show would not last very long.

I took pictures of a sweet baby girl on Wednesday and those pictures will be posted on my photo blog soon. I have photo shoots on the schedule for the next three weeks. This side business has been such a blessing.

Friday, the kids and I stayed home from school. I had a headache, Ashlyn a sore throat, Trey's legs hurt and Clayson was coughing. Together, as a family, we may have had the swine family flu. We each had a symptom. Speaking of swine flu - is it running rampant or what?! If the Texas Education Agency had not changed their stance on closing schools, I am pretty sure there would not be one school in Texas open the whole month of October. I have had students with confirmed cases for the past two weeks. I am knocking on wood and typing this - I have never had the flu. Trey and Jared are the only ones that tend to get sick around here. Ashlyn, Clayson and I are too mean to catch anything. Let's hope that stays true this season. Well, maybe not the mean part.

Saturday was a busy day for us with a couple of new outings on the agenda.

Ashlyn went to cheer clinic and learned some new cheers and a dance. How come she stands there looking clueless (and cute) when there is an audience but when she gets in the car she is loud and proud? Oh wait, she must be like her mom and dad. (But mama is coming out of her shell.)

I finally made it to the new Super Target in Mesquite and was immediately overwhelmed with its massiveness. Wow. It didn't even feel like I was in Mesquite - it was clean and I felt safe. I didn't end up buying anything but groceries - boring!

And then there was football.

That's our week in a nutshell. I will have a special birthday blog tomorrow - the two people that I admire the most are having birthdays and I can't wait to share the fun - straight from Martins Mill - tomorrow night. Stay tuned and stay warm.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

my "life cycle"

Once upon a time, I could start a task and finish it. Here in the present I start one task and it reminds me of something else I need to do and then that task reminds me of something else. The cycle never ends. It's a wonder that I ever get anything completely finished.

On Fridays I try to get my house all cleaned up for the weekend. Since last Friday was our fair day, I thought I would get a head start on the house cleaning Thursday. Cleaning the house made me want to start decorating for fall. I set out two orange things and then started laundry. The laundry reminded me that there were clothes in my car to throw into the washer so I decided to clean out my car. Cleaning out the car forced me to bring in dirty dishes so I put dishes in the dishwasher, which had to be unloaded first. And then, back to cleaning house and so on. Whew. (* Major accomplishments for the clean include: moving the ping-pong table from the entry way out to the back patio and removing the life jackets and wakeboard, also in the entry way, into the laundry room closet. I was not allowed to move the bobcat hanging on the wall to a closet - guess I'll have to work around that. There are empty frames on the entry table that need to be filled, which reminded me to take and print pictures of my own kids, not just everyone else's. )

At school this week I started a Christmas list and that reminded me that I needed to pay bills. Paying bills reminded me that I might ought to make some returns so that I can fulfill my need to spend money by spending money that had already been spent.

All these things reminded me that I needed to BLOG!

So, here's my week in a nutshell.

*I had school meetings on Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday afternoon, Thursday afternoon and for a half day on Friday. I was feeling "meeting-ed" out by Friday.
* Jared came down with flu-like symptoms on Thursday but did not test positive for the flu. He did get the flu vaccination which I am still debating on for the kids.
* Tuesday I had a photo shoot of a precious six month old monkey (not literally, Baby J was in costume).
* Friday we had a group of about 15 go to lunch at Wings and that was fun. Friday night I got to babysit Trey's teacher's precious little girl and Ashlyn took right over. I caught her trying to change the dirty diaper. (This babysitting event was motivation enough for us to clean her room again. It was as bad as the week before. See post below.)
* Saturday, Clayson and Trey played football in Kemp. The boys left their games highly discouraged, my heart breaks for them. Integrity is a life lesson that I need to teach them - after I can learn to get a grip on it myself. That's all I am going to say about that. The rain caused a family photo shoot to be postponed.
* Sunday, my plans are to do a little shopping (with the return money and my Kohls cash that I earned), a possible sibling and new baby photo shoot - weather/ground saturation permitting, I have many tests to grade and I'll be ready to watch the Cowboys game while laying on the couch smelling the taco soup cooking.

This blog is as random as my week has been. Now, I am reminded to go to bed because two out of three children are complaining of a sore throat and coughing which could lead to sleep interruptions...