slice of my life

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

parent-teacher conference

Yesterday when I had time to post, something wasn't working right----my connection or the Blogger site, so I didn't write a post.

Anyway, as requested, the update on the parent-teacher conference. Everything is going well for the beginning of the year. I really hope things continue as well as they have. I wanted to put some things in place so that j is successful---like gettinghim somehow to remember to take home his luchbox, or more importantly, his homework. He needs to stay on top of putting things where they belong---in folders, for example----so that things make it home like they ought to. I discussed his eyesight with the teacher, and he was already sitting up front (hmmm . . . right near the teacher's desk . . .) so his strong eye was facing front. She was going to tell the P.E. coaches about it. Ball to the head? A real possibility if it is coming at him from the left. Also I talked with her about how he needs to read more in Spanish. We really fell down on Spanish learning this summer. I was a bad Dual Language parent this summer. I really wanted the summer to be filled with theire choices, not mine so much, and I let this not happen. Because J is so resistant to Spanish. B on the other hand may take off and really learn it better than her big brother! She might become the Spanish-speaking missionary. I think his teacher (who he had for a couple of hours each day in 3rd grade, English learning time) is pleased with his behavior for the most part, and willing to work with us. It left me with a good feeling.

One thing I forgot to tell J's teacher was that to avoid big escalating conflict, sometimes you have ot just remove him from the situation and get him to cool down. He will get himself in so much trouble if he feels like he is being not heard or treated unjustly. (Now sometimes, he is just trying to make everyone else the problem, and not own up to stuff!) He gets defensive. And his mouth takes off, trying to prove his point loudly or with very harsh words. But he is better and better every year. To help him deal with things successfully, you have to let him cool down. He has remorse, but not right in the middle of a conflict. And most importantly, he needs to feel like he is being heard.

I'll write more about a weird situation with J's music teacher yesterday. I am running off to my job today---no time to check my bad typing errors!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Angel Food Ministries

Warning: I know of at least two vegans/vegetarians who read this blog, so please don't take offense if you continue to read! :-) We are meat eaters!

I heard about this from my thrifty friend, who also is picky about the quality of her food, so I trusted her judgement! She heard about this from her neighbor. I was skeptical, but whenever I hear about something three times, I start thinking I am being led by God. (It doesn't have to be 3, but like I've said before I pay attention to threes!) I was thinking I would sign up in September, but when I visited my parents' house, my sister said she had heard of it in her town in Oklahoma. Hmm . . . then looking through the Hood County News (in Granbury), I noticed two more churches did this in Granbury. Hmm . . .

I investigated more. I couldn't find a catch, except that you get a evangelical tract when you pick up your food. I can handle that! There is no "qualifications" for getting the food----people who go to that church get them with a variety of household incomes. The food choices looked like what I buy anyway. It should feed our family of four a week or more(dinners, not really vegetables). It is $26 (here in my town), and you get a box of food worth about $50-$75. (These first two pictures are the "basic box.") They will take food stamps or cash or money orders when you order at the beginning of the month. This church will place their orders to the headquarters in Georgia, and they start preparing for distribution. The food comes at the end of the month. There is a 2 hour window to go pick up your food.

Larry went to pick it up with B. They took their big box, and went inside the church's fellowship center. He said they were so organized in there that they were out of there in 5 minutes. A teenaged boy even carried the box for them.

This last picture is our "special" box. They offered three special boxes for $18 a piece. This one I got was the bacon-wrapped special. I had 6 chicken filets, 6 beef filet steaks, and 6 pork filets. We ate the beef ones in our basic box for lunch today (with a little salad and baked potatoes). I think they were very good! I plan on using the chicken thighs in the crock pot for chicken tacos. I plan on using the ground turkey in something my sister will tell me to do. (I want her favorite ground turkey recipe!) I'll use those noodles and meatballs and canned spaghetti sauce for a yummy meal.

Here is a link for the website to
angel food ministries. Both Lar and I have been pleased with this. I know that this will help us out each month, just a bit. You can sponsor someone else to get a box of food. Our town could really use something like this. People are struggling who don't qualify for assistance. And once you get through the first month, paying up front, this month the money I don't have to spend on groceries can go toward the next box I order in a couple of weeks (by Sept 8th to be exact).

The website says that for every 40 basic boxes ordered, there should be one church worker. It made me wonder if our church could provide this ministry to the community around our church.

Pass on the info to others if you think this is of value!

Friday, August 25, 2006

"Stuff" for today

I have to first direct you to Chris Field's blog about t-shirts and then (oh so interesting) swimwear. I expect Larry to order it for his daughter for next year, and then several years after.

Today I am going to a parent/teacher conference with J's teacher. I wanted to get this in early to get the year started off right. What I really want to discuss is getting him organized and keeping him organized.

I will be going to a sleepover/work-a-thon at my workplace for getting our classrooms ready for the school year. I hope hope hope I get my class list today. I am always so excited to see the names of the kids I will teach on my 3 days a week. I teach Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 to 1:30, and on Wednesday it's 9:00 to noon. I can drop my kids at school, and still pick up my kids from school. I have said this recently to someone that this is the exact kind of job I thought I wanted when I was imagining my life. I still have my Mondays and Fridays to go up to my kids' schools, pick up the house, or run the errands. Perfect! Now what I did not imagine was that money would still be a struggle for me. I guess working part time only pays a part time wage as well! Huh? Did not count on that.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Eye Update

Yesterday J and I went ot the eye doctor. We have vision care covered by insurance this year for the first time. Well, I guess we had some preferred providers before, with discounts, but this is the first time I have felt like we have some good benefits.

I'll tell my story first. I got an exam for my $20 co-pay and then contacts for nothing. Woohoo! I was beginning to feel old in my glasses, and I hope this will renew me in some way. My prescription was actually less than what is in my glasses, for one eye. So I have my glasses as backup, and I'll start wearing contacts all the time. But now I need some regular sunglasses. I joked with Lar that I got silicone implants----not those kind of implants! The contacts are made of silicone.

J is a surprise. He was excitedly looking through the glasses displays while I filled out paperwork. He had his eye on some really bold ones with wide blue legs (is that right? the part on the sides?) and red frames around the lenses. He was having a good time, and we talked about getting the new glasses before the school pictures next Thursday. Then we went to the exam room, and J looked at all the letters on the wall and complained about the lights being shined in his eyes. (He has always been very sensitive to light, and I think it has to do with his amblyopia {spelling?}). It is this doctor's opinion that he doesn't need glasses. WhA? The idea is that since he has one eye that is so bad (about 20/60), his brain has turned it off. He pays no attention to the imput he gets from that eye. He has been functioning with one eye for a year without glasses. And one sign that there is a problem, and glasses are necessary, would be if he had headaches, especially over his right eye (the good one). He has no headaches. He claims he can see just fine (as long as his good eye is not covered up, haha). The idea is that even if you put a lense in front of that bad eye, he has gotten so used to not using that eye that he'll continue to not use it. This logic makes sense to me. I hate to think that he isn't using one eye, though. That he won't turn it on, ever, is the part that Lar was not in total agreement with. And I guess I want to mull it over a while. Do a little research. So I left yesterday thinking, "Okay, I don't have to spend money on that." But one persuasive factor is that this eye doctor has the same eye condition as J and maybe understands it pretty well. Admittedly, he told us that you could go to other doctors and they would give you some other opinions. He didn't refuse to give him glasses, but he really thought it wouldn't change his life to have them.

The other thing about this visit I had to write about was the actual physical location of this practice. I used the insurance website to find the local doctors. This one is in downtown, which is close to J's school and the closest doctor to our house. So that's a plus. And I am ALL FOR patronizing the businesses downtown. For those who don't know, out town's downtown was in bad repair for a while, and there is a movement to bring it back to life. I am very in favor of that. There are interesting buildings down there. And this office was one of them. Of course, in any eye doctor's office, you have those long exam rooms to get vision checked in. This building had to have been modified for that, and we could see the brick walls inside, old brick cloumns, high ceilings that are typical of these old Texas downtowns. I love it. Everything was painted nicely and just interesting. Reminded me a lot of the buildings in Granbury.

Anyway, that's yesterday. Maybe I'll add a post about my new look sometime soon!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Assorted threes

I stole this off of another blogger's page, Bountiful Blessings. Uh, I mean I was tagged, and now you're tagged if you have a blog. Or want to post some of this in my comment section!

3 Things That Scare Me
the prospect of being all alone when I'm old----being disconnected from other people
running out of money

3 People That Make Me Laugh
my pre-school class (something funny every day!)
Janet L.

3 Things I Love (not people!)
to scrapbook
my black leather jacket
new school supplies

3 Things I Hate
to be late
disorganized organizations
dirty public toilets

3 Things I Don’t Understand
people caring for animals more than children
the appeal of boxing or wrestling or cock fighting (they seem all the same to me)

3 Things On My Floor
puzzles to give to Patricia's day care
a hamster ball
shoes shoes and more shoes

3 Things I’m Doing Right Now
cooking dinner (in the Crock Pot)
watering the lawn
washing clothes
(not to mention the blogging I am doing with my hands!)

3 Things I Want to Do Someday
go to Europe
see all 50 states
write a book

3 Things I Can Do
teach children

3 Ways to Describe My Personality
Larry would not help me with this! For some reason this one is really hard.

3 Things I Cannot Do
pay full price for clothing
answer the phone without looking at caller ID

3 Things I Think You Should Listen To
your grandparents
the music of Sting and The Beatles

3 Things I Think You Should Never Listen To
the leaders of either political party
Maralyn Manson

3 Absolute Favorite Foods
breadsticks with garlic salt and butter
Ro-tel dip
chocolate cheesecake

3 Things I’d Like to Learn More About
getting paid to blog
parenting tweens (I'm getting into this first hand now)

3 Beverages I Drink Regularly
CranGrape juice

3 Shows I Watch
The Amazing Race
Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide (and I like it!)

There you have it! If you know me well, you might know that 3 is my lucky number, so I couldn't resist this challenge. I'd love to hear what YOU have to say!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Lovely Mrs. Davis Tells You What to Think: It's the End of Civilization

I just read an interesting blog called The Lovely Mrs. Davis Tells You What to Think: It's the End of Civilization. It's about marketing, kids, and recognizing name brand logos. I left a comment on that blog! Tere's a funny picture on that post, too, of a baby.

Love Languages

I just finished reading The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman. I had heard of this book ages ago. I had heard people talk about it, sermons mentioing it, seminars based on it. But I don't think I had ever read it before. And I had read part of this in the spring and the rest in the past few days---disjointed, not the best way.

First, here's the 5 Languages:
Words of Affirmation
Quality Time
Recieving Gifts
Acts of Service
Physical Touch

I couldn't decide which one I definitely was. I would read a chapter about one of the languages, and I would think, "Oh! I love to be loved that way." In case you don't know, this author's idea is that we all want love given to us, and because of our upbringing and personality, we "speak" that love in one of these main languages. One way means more to us than the others. Or maybe two of them speak to your heart, but the others are not as important. His theory is that if you know your spouse's language, and if you choose loving acts for them in the language they appreciate the most, you can improve your relationship with them.

One reason I bought this book was because I really didn't know if I was loving Larry in the way that suited him best. And on the flip side, I want to be understood, too.

So my test at the end of the book came out to me speaking the language of Acts of Service. If someone helps me do a job or does something for me without me asking them to, I feel loved. My second place language is Quality Time. And I thought I was a Gift person at one point!

I talked to the kids about their language. There is a book of course, about the Love Languages and kids. I am pretty sure B is a Quality Time girl. She is constantly asking me to pretend something with her and pay attention to her and be with her during her bath or sit with her while she falls asleep. J is a little more of a mystery. I just showed him the categories and he picked Physical Touch as his first choice, with Words of Affirmation second. It's funny, all of us in this one household, coming up with different ways we want to be loved.

Of course, kids need love in all the ares, and the author even says that it's hard to tell with kids, since they need to be loved so much. And events in childhood are developing a child into the adult they'll be.

It's all very interesting! Now I just need Larry to take the little survey to see where he fits in! I am still clueless.

Friday, August 18, 2006

. . . and not a drop to drink

I'll start with pictures. Here is one from the 2nd day of school---TV time. The kids were watching TV so they didn't see me coming with the camera. I let the kids have an hour or so down time before we start homework. Not that they had any this week. J says he will have homework starting next week.

This next picture is from our fashion shoot in the living room yesterday afternoon. B chose to play on the computer after school, and got out her Barbie Fashion Show game. Then she pulled out the dress up clothes to do her own fashion show. This dress was an actual prom dress, I think, and it got passed down to us from another family who had altered it for their daughter. All this after allowing the kids to watch Miss Teen USA. B just enjoyed herself in her pretty dresses and fun hairdo. This "two fake buns" hairdo, as we are calling it, was worn again today. I didn't want to make her look too much like Minnie Mouse, but she is happy in her hair. And since it makes her look so very young and cute, I'm going with it. Isn't there something in the school dress code about not having distracting hair? I guess she's not too distracting with unusual hairstyle (although I am bringing this rule up as J wanted to do a mohawk for his hairstyle).

This shot was before school.

Here is my panic-sick-to-my-stomach-red-in-the-face moment of the week. We came home Wednesday to having no water. Electricity, thank goodness, but no water. I would have died if there was no electricity---B had alternate dissmissal (kids indoors waiting instead of outside in the rain or whatever) on Wednesday because of the "extreme heat" she said. Same thing yesterday. The heat index was over 105 degrees, and the temps got up over 100 on Wednesday. Today only 99 degrees projected, so we shall see if they have to wait on the concrete outside!

Anyway, no water. I called the utilities company, thinking they were working on water lines. "It looks like you have an outstanding balance. Call billing." What? I don't have a dime to spare this week, and I didn't pay last month? What? I have to go without water for how long now? I'm sweaty like a pig and I can't get water for the dogs? What? I took a deep breath and just Knew I did pay the bill. I called the billing department. I could get online while I was talking to the lady, and I saw where the check had gone through. Whew! But I had to take my printout of the cancelled check to the office, a hassle. If only I knew how to use my fax machine? So then we have to wait another few hours to get the guy to come bak to our house and turn it all back on.

All this money worry is making my blood pressure go up. What if I had not paid the month before? People are living like me and much much worse. And it is too hot to not have water or electricity. I keep saying to myself, "God will provide." Abraham was taking Isaac to sacrifice him, his very own son, and said, "God will provide the lamb." I pray I can continue to have my needs met, thank you, God!

I talked to J's school "Family Involvement Specialist" yesterday about volunteering around school, and about his visions for the Parents' Room he is trying to develop. Resources, information, coffee, comfortable sitting place, workspace for parents, uniforms and clothing for everyone, emergency food supply, computers for parent access----it's all good! I hope I can help get some of it off the ground.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I used to waste time on the computer playing games on Now I am wasting my time (and yours, now) with all this blogging!


The kids are now off on their 2nd day of school. So far, so good! Their days seemed to go well yesterday. No huge news to report on that front.

It could be argued that I did my kids damage last night by letting them watch the Miss Teen USA pagent. I have those thoughts in my head. But I just couldn't resist it. I love to watch the opening when they introduce every state and we ooh and ahh over which ones are the prettiest, or we take pride in how cute the Texas girls are every time (and Me, I root for Tennessee, too). Once I saw the beginning, I had to see it out. We talked about why I thought they needed to be covered up more. And I pointed out the girls I thought were fake blondes. Even J watched part of it last night.

My sister and I used to watch pagents---I remember watching one at Grandmother J.'s house for some reason. I love to see those evening gowns. I like the talent and the interview. Maybe I like a format in which I can judge and not be bad for judging!

And maybe it's bad that these are only teen girls. Some of them were not even legal age, and I thought that maybe pedophiles were watching them. Of course they were! They looked as grown up as the regular Miss USAs did.

Here is a link to the official Miss Teen USA website , so peruse at your lesiure. Miss Texas did not even make the top 15---ug. We couldn't have been happier to see that THE Drake Bell was one of the judges, and I was impressed that Carl Lewis was a judge, too. What is this world coming to?

I really liked the dress the winner was wearing---Miss Montana. B liked different dresses than I did---fluffier and more colorful. I thought Miss Arizona was just the cutest (at 15 years old), but it was so perfectly "acted" that she looked a bit fakey. And we paid attention to Miss Congeniality, who was from Colorado. We all have seen and crack up about the movie, Miss Congeniality with Sandra Bullock. Love it!

Half way through the show, I asked B what reall y made someone attractive, or a good person. She could tell me right away that it wasn't looks that was important (good answer). But it was important to be nice to people and care about people. Awww! She also said "But being pretty is a privilege!" Was she talking about herself? Yeah, probably! She's maybe too prideful about her looks, her hair, her tan. Which brings me full circle-----maybe it was a bad thing we even watched that show last night!

What's done is done.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

First Day

These pictures are less than an hour and a half old. Heehee! Today is the first day of school. J will be in 5th grade, B in 2nd.

L drove J to school and was walking him in. J was walking fast and leaving L behind, and L asked him, "How long do you want me to stay?" J said, "Oh, you can go now." So long to those little boy days of hand-holding and kisses on the cheek. So long to him even caring that we are there?

B on the other hand was my responsibility this morning. She has a new teacher who's even new to this school, so she doesn't know what to expect. He seems nice enough. I sort of feel like I know what's going on more than he does, though!

She was nervous this morning, and I could tell by her expression. J is nervous, too, and couldn't control himself yesterday----he kept picking up B and the kids who came to our house yesterday. I got on to him at least 15 times for picking people up. I was about to pull my hair out. I am trying to give him some slack, knowing this is a stressful week for him.

I got B in her class, and she hugged her friends and sat down with her new school box and crayons and got going on the worksheet Mr. Yanez had them coloring. She sat by her friend from church, E, a boy. (Remember, I'm trying to only use initials, and it should include the friends, too, right?) I took a picture of her and her teacher, even thought she didn't want to. "I have to get a shot for your School Days album, " I told her. It's true. I am taking pictures thinking of the albums I'm making for them. I'm a Creative Memories Mom!

I got home and sat down here at the computer. I got a phone call at 7:55 (ten minutes after the first bell) . The caler ID said it was the school---J's school. I can't believe I am getting a call already! It was the nurse who said that J failed the eye exam. I am totally not surprised------I was against him not wearing the glasses, but I went with the flow (not just a persuasive J, but my own husband said he was fine without glasses). Now we have to go get an eye exam and glasses. School will go much better if he can see!

Now, what shall I do with the rest of my day? heeheehee!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Meet the Teacher Night

This is a before and after for J's hair. The first one was on Sunday (wearing his Star Trek shirt he made) and the other one was on Thursday (at one of the trains, where he liked Lincoln's arm coming out of the sculpture). He looks like two different people! Back-to-School haircut for Meet the Teacher Night.

And that is our topic for the evening. MtT night, which was Thursday. B has a male teacher this year named Mr. Yanez. B will still be switching back and forth a lot in Spanish and English between her homeroom teacher and the other 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Castillo, who is a long-term sub. She is subbing for a teacher who is coming from Mexico, who's papers got delayed (apparently with a lot of others who were coming on a work Visa to the US.) Mr. Yanez is also from Mexico, but has been here since he was in 7th grade. B has a new principal, the vice principal from last year.

J has a teacher he had for part of the day in 3rd grade: Mrs. Villareal. This year there is only one teacher for the 5th grade, 28 kids in a class. I think that will be fine. Big 'ol class, but two classes last year was sort of weird.

The kids' MtT times were overlapping, so the family split. I went with J over to his school, and then went to B's school with J. J will be in the oldest grade in his school, 5th grade. His classroom has a window looking out the front of the building where I'll be picking him up. He's very close to the office----I have many hopes and prayers about him not being in there this year. J has a new principal and a new associate principal (what happened to "Vice"?). I shook the hand of the principal and introduced myself, and she knew I went to the Biligual conference in Phoenix! Kinda scary, since I only heard her name a few days ago. My reputation precedes me? I talked to the VIPS (volunteers) coordinator and will call and get an appointment with him on Tuesday. I wanted to get my idea going about the writing club. It was a quick in and out over there. Mrs. Villareal said, "If you have any questions, we can set up a conference." Uh . . . okay . . . Bye!

We walked betweeen the two schools in about 8 minutes. In. the. heat. It gave me a headache from dehydration! L went with B to her class, and met Mr. Yanez, who's new to this school. We picked up the lunch calendar---oh joy! I use that thing religiously with the kids. I only let them mark about a week at a time, but they mark which days they will buy lunch and I know I have to pack lunches the other days. We got some free school supplies in B's class---all those donated supplies have to go somewhere, and it's to this school, for one. So now I need to go buy the rest of the list. Both kids cannot wait to do that shopping.

After the Meeting of Teachers, we had a supper at the park across the street. It was hot dogs (my favorite! not!) and watermelon (a redeeming feature). Larry left to go to a Boy Scout meeting, so I mingled and talked to teachers and families I knew. I learned that my little student D (from Sonshine School last year with me) will have the teacher J and B had in Kinder. I learned that the teachers will not have Block time at j's school, so maybe there will not be two and 3 classes of kids in one specials class at a time. I learned there are 600 kids at J's school, most are from 3rd-5th (next year they transition to K-5, as will B's school, so she'll stay where she is). I learned that B's computer teacher will not be doing that at all but will be a pre-K teacher's aid.

But then I heard a child crying, and it was my J. (he was quite upset and loud in his pain!) Someone was giving him ice for his ear. He got stung by some sort of wasp. I pulled the stinger out, and another parent suggested I talk to the school nurse. Duh! Why didn't I think of that! She was able to take us over to the school and put baking soda on it and put the ice in a little plastic bag. We made a quick exit and come on home. (But we had to walk in the heat back to my car at the other school, and it. was. so. hot.) I gave J some Benadryl, and it seemed to swell less. But even today it's red and swollen. I have a picture on the camera still and may add it later! I wondered if it need some other care, but it does not hurt him, he says.

All in all, it was a good night for the family, exceptfor the wasp thing.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Locomotives on Parade #9 #17 and #16

Our train conquest is still ongoing. We have less than 4 days now before the beginning of school. I had really hoped we would get to all of the trains, but now I am having doubts.

But here we are, looking at three trains in one day yesterday.

This first one is called Let's Roll. I assumed it would be a tribute to September 11th, but it wasn't. It has several of our more famous presidents on it, and Benjamin Franklin. It is sponsored by Copy Corner (and you can see the store name in the background), and the artist is Sharon Elmendorf. Isn't she associated with The Children's Museum? I probably should try to look that up.

This second one is sponsored by the 4444 Group (which I assume means the businesses that are in this little office complex with 4444 as part of their address. Not only is the train cool, but the big 4444 statue was worth a picture, too. The artist is Mary Burkhalter, and the name of the train is Brazos County. There are scenes of cotton fields, bluebonnets, birds, and other things seen in our county. The back had a painting of a hot air balloon rising up over the landscape. I thought it was beautiful.

This last train we saw in that shopping complex that used to be Winn Dixie on 29th Street. The Success Express was designed by Becky Luther and sponsored by the Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce. It has buildings painted on it that look like an Old West town.

We now have seen 24 of the 35 trains, if I am counting right. There are still 5 out-of-town trains (which I am thinking we won't get to), which leaves 6 more in town. I am sure that a few of them are in the roundhouse, so I am going to try to check on which ones we can still see to get our collections as complete as I can.

Notice J's new haircut? He got it on Wednesday afternoon with L. It's short again!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Summer is Ending

Seems like once I let go of the computer in the mornings, I can't get it back (from the other 3 people in the house that want an opportunity to play) without feeling bad. I could sit here all day. And my living room looks like I sit here all day instead of cleaning! This morning, once I get up from here and get going, I will be barking out orders---Clean up your toys!------Bring your dirty clothes to the washer!----Unload the Dishwasher!-------No Kool-aid for Breakfast!-----Pick up the Legos!-------Tote that Barge!-----Lift that Bale!

Tonight is the Meet the Teacher Night at both Jones and Milam. I am totaly excited. I love the beginning of school. (I love setting up my own pre-school classroom, too, but that will come a few weeks later.) I love all the new notebooks, the freshly decorated classrooms, the new school clothes, the hopeful and excited feeling I get. I have hope for this new year. I am prayerfully keeping a positive attitude. HeeHee! I am giddy with expectations. Great Expectations.

Larry and I will have to split up the parenting duties tonight as Milam and Jones' MtT nights are totally overlapping. I so so so so wish that the kids were on the same campus. But we're dealing with What Is. Anyway, I think I'll be at Milam with Bess. And this year is a mystery! I don't know who the teachers are! It's a first for us since we got into this Dual Language program. I heard at the beginning of the summer one thing, and since then heard another. So I have been just waiting for tonight to find out for sure.

Tonight's MtT night will be capped off by a Hamburger Bash at the park across the street. Free dinner for all who come. I don't know that you'll get a lot of time talking to the teachers and getting to assess them, BUT you can interact with parents and catch up a lot there.

I am excited about two other things tonight, too. We have been forming a Gifted and Talented Parents Group this summer, and I have flyers to pass out to anyone who wants to join. We plan to have a GT Social in Sept. (Wait---GT kids, not that the Parents have to be GT also, heehee!)

The other thing is our Moms in Touch Group----an hour of prayer for our kids and our kids' schools. Moms in Touch International is an official group (I didn't make it up!), and two other moms met with me last year to pray every Monday at 8:00 a.m. We already have recruited another Mom who will host the prayer time at her house, closer to Milam, and this will relieve me of that duty. The way it works is, one Mom opens her home, and someone prepares the blank forms with the theme scriptures of the week. Like one week might be "God is my Friend." There is a pattern we folllow and it's open to everyone from any denomination. First you pray praise for God---this week that He can be a friend. Only praise, give everyone who wants a chance a turn. Then it's thanksgiving for what's happened in the week, only thanks. Then we pray for our kids. One kid per family to keep it within the hour! One mom will pray for her child, then the other moms will pray for her child. And it goes around the circle. Then we pray for the school---focusing on one teacher or administrator, and then we pray for Moms in Touch. It's simple, and with three praying Moms, we got done in about 45 minutes. I am looking forward to getting back into this routine! I have missed it this summer. Ask me about it if you think you could start one for your kids' school.

Things I will miss about the summer:
* Later nights
* Later arising times
* freedom to make my own schedule
* colorful clothing on the kids (remember the uniforms?)
* swimming at the pool
* actually, it's the talking at the pool with Christine (most every time) and Penny, Connie, Kelly and Mindy
* our train project---it's been fun!
* my developing tan lines (pink as I am)
* flip flops and sandals
* being at home when the mail comes
* all the camps we had fun at
* the freedome to leave town in the middle of the week

Freedom! Freedom! You're running away from me! see ya next May!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Grand Opening! Everything from A to G

First of all, I have to tell you how I messed up yesterday's blog post, fixed it, and realized it will be messed up starting today.

The hyperlink thing I am just figuring out. At first, my hyperlink wasn't working at all. Then Larry alerted me to this (thanks for reading, Lar!), and we fixed it. The link I gave yesterday is just to the Webshots blog (a new picture every day---I added a link in the sidebar), which will change from being a picture of Elvis this morning! So my little hyperlink will take you to something new today---not my intention. I linked to the page because not only is it a picture, but it gave some information about how Memphis hosts and entertains all the Elvis fans.

I have added more blogs to the sidebar because they are interesting. Some friends, some strangers.

And now, the drumroll please . . . . .

Dad's Store had it's ribbon cutting on Thursday last week. Yea! Rachel and I came with our kids for the occasion, leaving our husbands at home.

It was really more exciting than I thought it might be. I helped set the food with Dad that afternoon. The Chamber people came---Ambassadors, and they were pretty encouraging, giving Dad congratulations and telling him it was a nice shop and organized. Mom and Dad's neighbors came, which was nice, too. We weren't sure just who might show up, or how many. Needless to say there was a lot of food left over, and we ate on it while we stayed at their house!

For those who don't know my dad, he got his degree in music education and taught band for 8 years in Mississippi. (We lived just over the line in Memphis.) His teaching science led him to learn about nuclear power, and he took classes in Memphis to train him to run nuclear reactors (not bombs, but making electricity). This has been what Dad has been doing for 24 years now, until he retired in May. During the past year or so, as he was thinking of retiring, he was getting his business started. He only recently got the store, which is needed in Granbury. There hasn't been a music store in Granbury, maybe ever. I used to go an hour's drive to get my oboe reeds in Fort Worth. So dad is well stocked in reeds and other things, but he wants to teach music again, and the store is set up really well with a cool practice room at the back. He will teach beginner anything, but his expertice is wind instruments-----not percussion. He didn't want to teach percussion since there is already someone else close by who is good at that. His instrument is tuba.

So this is a dream realized! Can you see how clever the name of the business is? A musical scale goes from A to G (not all the way to Z), and my dad's name is Agee (pronounced A-G). Everything from A to G! Go visit Dad's webpage and see what's up!

I googled Dad's name and found this. Kinda interesting! Let's see if I can get the hyperlinks to work today.

Thanks for reading my 50th Blog Post!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Elvis and Jane

I hear that today starts Elvis week in Memphis, in honor of his death-date. I'm a Memphis gal, so it's a little interesting to me. Since I moved from Memphis when I was only 10, though, I don't remember ever "celebrating" this week or even paying any attention to it. I remember hearing Elvis had died, though. ( I had a picture in my head of John Denver, though. My parents were more into The Beatles then Elvis, really, and that has rubbed off on me.) I was in my Granny's front yard when I heard the news, and Dad was picking us up or something. School wouldn't have started by this time, but I would have been starting first grade that fall. Check out this picture of Elvis. Cool! I just added a hyperlink to my blog.

Knowledge is Power!

And my big accomplishment for the summer----I finished Jane Eyre last night. yea!! I am glad. I did ruin it for myself by reading the synopsis at the beginning of the book, so I knew exactly how it would turn out. Not exactly ruin, but took off a bit of the charm. I am reading some more of the commentary in my Cliffs Notes. I thought life was just a little too rosy in the last chapter, though as she told about life after ten years of marriage. Surely she got sick of him a little, but she said it was all good. Maybe it wouldn't be proper to talk bad about a husband in public, so she wouldn't have told us about the stuff that got on her nerves. Or it wasn't important in the grand scheme of things, really. She loved him and would always want to take care of him, but it was still sort of like she was his servant and he the Master, like when he was her employer. Maybe this is how marriages were like in that time? I'm too much a "equal partner" kind of person, growing up as I did in the time I did, to think that this is a healthy kind of relationship for marriage.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

other stuff and Locomotives on parade #4

This afternoon the whole family saw this Aggie train. Engine No. 12 sits in front of the Clayton Williams Alumni Center and is sponsored by the Assoc. of Former Students and the City of College Station. It says the artist was The American Institute of Architechture. How many people is that? Are they local? Reville sits in the seat on this side of the train, and Old Sarge sits in the window on the other side. We had been waiting to do this one with Daddy---he's a die-hard Aggie, so we couldn't go without him. He sees so few, we had to save this one for him.

This next shot is our new dog----Angel. This is Zuzu's Mommy! Angel wasn't getting played with enough, so we adopted her. Angel is a full-blood yellow lab, and our dog is half her and half "black dog" apparently. It's so funny that Zuzu didn't get a lick of that blonde hair.

So far, they like each other, but they are a little jealous, both of them. A pretty bad thunderstorm came through, and we were out at church. So we rushed home and they were both under our deck. Mind you, this is where Zuzu hangs out during the hot times of day (very dirty, but shady and kinda cool), but I had no idea they could both fit under there. Both of them! It's only about one foot or so off the ground, and they both have to smoosh their bodies to get under there. Angel is a little bit bigger in the shoulders and her nose is wider. Zuzu's nose is more like a collie's. They both like to bite at water! At least they have that in common. The feeding time was a little hairy---jealousy!

I'm sure we will be having many more entries about the dogs. I just pray she is not much trouble, and she'll be a good companion for Zuzu.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Locomotives on Parade #28

These two pictures we also took on Tuesday. The park has a "Path of Presidents, adn the kids are beside the John Quincy Adams plaque. Jamie took my picture by the next train in downtown Bryan. This is the Beauty of Texas sponsored by Astin Partners (I don't know what they do!). The artist is L. Beatriz Arnillas. I thought my Dad might like the design with all the hummingbirds on it.

Posts coming up:
* Dad's store ribbon cutting
* visit with family
* A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline
*Back to School---Already!!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Locomotives on Parade #23 and #25

These are two more trains we saw on Tuesday.

The NPC Xpress is sponsored by Newman Printing Company. The artits are D. Meugge and L. Simmons.

love those flip flops, J.

The Texas Roadshow is sponsored by the City of Bryan, ans is at the west end of Sue Haswell Park. Albert Flores is the artist---very appropriate, ja? (Flores is flower, isn't it?)

The count: 35 trains total

Our count: 20

Trains left to see: 15!

Trains out of town: 5

I think some of these trains were taken to the Roundhouse for repairs, and I wonder if we'll be able to see them at all. Maybe they will be on display at the museum all together? I don't know. I may call there and see if we can go see them sometime before they are auctioned off. I haven't seen the ones designed by Benjamin Knox (famous Aggie artist), and they were supposedly in the Roundhouse for a while now.

Dad's store grand opening/ribbon cutting is this afternoon. I hope to take some pictures there, and I sure hope people will come and enjoy his snacks. I am a bit nervous and excited, and I hope the kids can all behave well!