slice of my life

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Friday's Feast, July 25th

Today's theme is Hanging. This is my daughter, B, hanging around the park by the swimming pool last summer.
I hope you'll go check out other Photo Hunters at TNChick's website. Please leave me a comment! I am out of town and I will visit you back.

Next week's theme is clouds. I love taking pictures of clouds. :-)

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday . . .

There isn't a Friday's Feast up yet, so I will just give an update.

We have finished the floor in our living room and dining room! Yay!! It was hard work, and Larry did it. I was merely his helper in this, cleaning as we went. I passed him tools as he needed them, like a nurse would pass to a doctor during surgery.

Here are some pictures---
This one is of one of the weirdest cuts Larry had to make. This is also where we started, so we're jumping in feet first with the difficult project!Here is Angel in her crate. We got this part done and brought her in. She was very curious about what we were doing by her crate.We got this strip of planks in, and Larry is relieved. This was only about 8 feet wide at the time, but it went from the back of the room to the front.Here's Larry by the front door. For now, the real wood by the front door stays, but I think I'll get something different in there eventually.This was the last piece to put together in our flooring puzzle. I know, I know . . . we didn't do this in exactly the right order, but it's done and fabulous. :-)


Monday, July 21, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Me and Larry!

Yesterday, July 20th, was my 17th anniversary.

We took our kids and 22 other kids from church to Camp Bandina. Larry drove a van with 11 boys and Bess and me. We had another van and another vehicle towing a trailer in our convoy across central Texas. It was a 4 hour trip with lunch in the middle one way.

I had never been there, but Larry's been a counselor and the kids have gone. This was the first year B is going without a parent there!! I am a little nervous for her. But she seemed completely fine in her cabin. Another little girl from our church who's a grade ahead of B is also in her cabin. I am glad, and I had even hoped it would turn out this way. I want them to bond and build a friendship they can carry into their teen years! ;-) (And for those who know, this is A, the girl with three little sisters and a baby brother.)

I wasn't going to show all these pictures, but here they are anyway. Enjoy!

J and Lar


Checking in

Larry and B go to her cabin---#2

B on the bunk she chose B with A and an new friend from her cabin, J

J---he's got those hot cheeks!! Much of camp is air-conditioned, but not this room we were in.

We left them, and on the way out, our fellow road warrior had me take her picture. This was where she was baptized one summer at camp. :-)

Bandera is the county seat, so I got one more courthouse picture.
The best (haha) thing about my anniversary? I got to eat out at McDonald's TWO TIMES. We were working on a strict cash-only budget yesterday! ;-)

But really, the best thing about dropping the kids at camp, is that Larry and I are having a quasi-vacation here at home. Larry is actually off the whole week. On Friday, we will go pick B up early (track meet in San Antonio), but the whole week is our own. I am working at Sonshine School on Tuesday. But other than that, it's just us. :-)

Our vacation is a working one, though, and we plan to put down a floor. FINALLY! Yay!!! :-) We spent about $1200 just this afternoon. Details on that are still to come!

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Sun'll Come Out . . . Tomorrow!

Actually, the sun has already come out and set on J's final production of Annie, jr. It was the conclusion to his TROUPE Summer Camp. This is the 5th week we were working on Annie. They had practices from 1:00 to 5:30 five days a week and then production times.

Everyone seemed sad to be letting go of Annie. The kids were very enthusiastic about their parts. In the green room, they couldn't help singing the songs at intermission and after the show. And we aren't just talking little girls here----We had high school kids and 7 year olds, and everything in between
Lots of people complimented me on J's performance of Rooster Hannigan---Miss Hannigan's brother, the one who tries to claim he is Annie's father and collect a $50,000 reward from Daddy Warbucks.

Here are my photos! remember---they have to be taken without a flash, and so far back, well, they're pretty blurry.
Our Annie, singing "Maybe."
Annie and Miss Hannigan
The girl who played Miss Hannigan was really impressive. :-)

Here are some Hoovervillians---the song: "We'd Like to Thank You Herbert Hoover"
J is in the background in his first appearance in the show.

Same song, different verse.

Miss Hannigan sings "Little Girls"
J was thinking of trying out for Miss Hannigan's role, but it was a no-go. ;-)
This song is really funny.

Someday, I'll land in the nuthouse, with all the nuts and the squirrels!

Annie gets to go to Mr. Warbucks's house. The staff welcomes her, and she thinks she's going to like it there.

This is the Star to Be---arrived in NYC with "3 bucks, 2 bags, and one me."

J sings "his song," Easy Street.
"Mother Dear, we know you're . . . down there listenin' "
Easy Street----where the rich folks are playin'
This is J and his sidekick, Lilly St.Regis.

The Boylyn Sisters
You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile

The orphans listen to the radio and sing.
Trying out their disguise on Miss Hannigan.
The fake Mudges, Mr. Warbucks, Annie, and Grace
I really enjoyed the guy playing Warbucks and the girl playing Grace. I hope they'll stick with TROUPE. When J first met the guy, he said, "Mom, I met someone who's just as weird as me."
What a compliment!
"Made to the order of . . . The Jig is Up????"
J is behind the girl in the green dress. :-)

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Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt, July 19th

Today's Photo Hunters' theme is "What IS that?" I am submitting the following for your consideration.

Mystery Photo #1
What Is that? Find the answer here on my other blog.

Mystery Photo #2

What is this? This one is taken by my son. It's a little more obvious, but interesting. Answer at the bottom.

Mystery Photo #3

What is that? This is one I took a long time ago for a Flikr color group. You were challenged to take a picture for the sake of a color---one continuous color field. But what is this a picture of? I'll out this answer at the bottom as well.

Check out more photo hunters' sites or join in the fun at TN Chick. Next week's Photo Hunt Theme will be hanging. *shudder* I had an Old West thought run through my brain for that one. Luckily, I can think if several less greusome ideas for that theme.

I plan on posting a bunch of pictures form J' s final production of Annie in my next post. It was great!

#2 shadows of drink cups at Panda Express last Sunday
#3 a purse-shaped pinata for B's birthday party 2006

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Friday, July 18, 2008


I finished East of Eden this morning. I'm ready with another book that's been on my list (The Pillars of the Earth), but I need to wait a little bit and read all the stuff on I think is interesting about East of Eden first. Pick up the things I missed. It's very satisfying to read a 601-page book.

I'm also rolling along with my online courses. I finished a module this week and am into the next one. I'm reading and doing assignments at a pretty good pace---but I need to get a lot done in these next few days. B and J will go off to camp on Sunday, and I can get a lot done then, I hope. I can finish this module (Planning Instruction and Assessment) no earlier then the 25th, so my goal is to finish by then, so I can get into the next module ASAP. Next topic: Best Practices of Teaching.

The Pillars of the Earth is also an Oprah book, and I thought the description sounded interesting, so I put it on my short list. The library had a waiting list for its many copies. I didn't ever get on the list because I could always find another title on my list. My Mom, however, mentioned the book to me. She had just finished it, and had her own copy. So I borrowed it from her the last time we were up there. This book has been in the "on deck circle" (my bedside table).

I love having all that extra info about the books, author and times the book was written. Thanks, Oprah!

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tomato Soup

I found a link to this blogfodder site on Write from Karen, who is herself a writer. The idea intrigued me, to post a creative writing piece from a prompt. I used to L-O-V-E my creative writing classes in college. Not much call for it in my "real" life. So, in an attempt to liven up the blog and keep my mind active and creating, at least until school starts again, I'm doing a prompt when I have a while to get it going.

Here is the prompt for today:
You hear this on your answering machine: "Some maniac at the Elementary School Cafeteria laced the tomato soup with poison this morning."
Whew! I thought, at least my kid is safe---she never buys the school lunch. Oh! That's a bit crass.
My mind wanders toward the worst options, visualizing our favorite teachers bleeding form the eyes or vomiting up red lunch all over the new carpet. I turn on the TV, I want to get into my news station's website. Can this be right? I'm waiting impatiently. Things always seem to load a lot slower when I'm in a hurry. Hmmm . . . nothing on the TV, just the regular talk shows for this hour. When will this page load?
Who can I call? The school, obviously. I know it'll be a busy signal . . . and yes, of course, I'm getting the answering service for the school. Isn't this how it all started, a message on a machine, to me? Also nothing on the computer yet about this incident. Is it real?
I guess I should go down there and demand they release my kid. It's, what, 1:00 pm? Okay, school would be getting out anyway in a couple of hours, I can go down there and get her. Or maybe I should hang back, not be hasty, since I know my kid would be safe? Not only does she not trust the cafeteria, but I know for a fact she wouldn't touch tomato soup. Or anything tomato-ey. She's fine. Right?
The phone rings, and it's Jackie, a fellow Mom. "Hey, did you hear? . . " We talk for a few minutes, and she's already driving up to the school. I get all the details of the scene through her eyes when she gets there----numerous emergency vehicles parked with lights flashing, one fire station ambulance speeding away, the principal by the front door, talking to the police. The narrow road is crowded by panicked parents vans and cars. A madhouse. I'm glad I'm not there.
I'm antsy, though. Jackie hangs up, promising to get the vital info and call me back.
My mind is again trying to visualize what I think happened, what I think the scene looks like. I have to stop myself from getting gory and thinking the worst. What kind of poison was that, I wonder? Did it taste bad, so each person got only a tiny sip before the spewed it out and started reacting to it? Or did it have no taste and simmer in the tummies of those poor little kids, so many of them on free or reduced lunch. I know they ate it because it's the best meal they get today. And how many groups of kids went through the line? When is her lunch again? She's eating later, I think. My mind is racing.
Jackie calls back just to say we can pick up our kids (use the regular pick up lane procedure, the staff is saying, only release the kids to people on the records to do so). She says that no one in our kids' class was injured in any way, that the Pre-K kids got it the worst since they eat lunch first (at 10:30, can you believe they eat so early?), and that school's out for tomorrow. I'm grabbing my keys and purse before she's even done talking to me. And I'm calling the next Mom on this informal phone tree before I can even back out of the driveway.

I am going to stop there, but I have an idea who did it. An estranged husband of a 2nd grade teacher slipped it in that morning, but it didn't even get to her before chaos erupted. 10 Pre-K kids and Kindergartners dead, 30 more children ill and in the hospital, 4 teachers affected, one died on the scene. It was horrible!


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt, July 12th

Today's theme is support. Check out more photo hunters at TNChick. This is a photo from December 2006. For those of you who know J, hasn't he changed?

Here's J supporting his sister. Although they fight a lot now and get on each others' nerves, I know they will support each other as the years go by. Many many years from now, after I'm gone and their daddy is gone, they will need to support each other as the oldest generation of this part of their family.

Someone else's post made me think of this picture, so I added it. This is from 1991, I think, in May right before we got married. We were visiting a children's home in Morrilton, Arkansas, with our college church group. We worked around the facility, doing odd jobs during the day, and when the kids came home from school, we played with them and talked with them. In this picture, Larry is saving me from a heavy rock by supporting it with his bare hands. Right? ;-) This is in a state park somewhere near there. Larry is always a support to me

Next week's theme is "What IS that?" I'll probably take a special picture for that one.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday's Feast, July 11th

This was the feast we had last Friday before the parade in Granbury. We got to eat a Mexican brunch on the patio--breads and breakfast tacos with potatoes, chorizo and egg. And this is my Mom enjoying it!

When was the last time you had your hair cut/trimmed?
I just had it cut on June 25th. This is pretty recent for me---I go so infrequently.

Name one thing you miss about being a child.
The lack of worry . . . oh, wait, I even worried then.
Hmmm . . . How about just the feeling that everything was going to be taken care of for me----dinner was always there, Santa always came, the electricity always came on, school clothes were always bought, dinner out with my grandparents after church would always happen. I know it was a collaborative effort to make all those financial things happen, but I didn't worry in the slightest about how that was going to work. Now I'm the one in charge of that!

Pick one: butter, margarine, olive oil.
butter (but olive oil if it's to be on salad!!)

Main Course
If you could learn another language, which one would you pick, and why?
Spanish. My kids are now fluent in it, so I should get that way, too. It would be very helpful here in Texas, but also it would open my mind to the romance languages. (I took German in high school and college.) I think an Asian language should be my kids' next language. Chinese or Japanese might turn out to be the most helpful languages to learn for business in the future.

Finish this sentence: In 5 years I expect to be…
getting ready to teach another year in elementary school, and working on my Master's Degree. My kids will be going into their senior and freshman years of high school. Can that be right? in only 5 years!??!?

B and Larry are right now on their way to Temple to run/jump/put a shot in the Regional Track Meet. Highs today and tomorrow? only 98 degrees. Good Luck B!!! I wish I was going.

But the reason I'm still home is that J is in a show this weekend. The summer TROUPE camp is putting on Annie, and J is the character Rooster. He's Ms. Hannigan's brother, a bad guy, and the one who pretends to be Annie's dad and take her away from Daddy Warbucks. He has 4 shows this weekend, and two more next weekend. I'll be his chauffeur and see the show myself at least 2 times.

(I sent this as an e-mail to some, but thought it appropriate for the blog, too.)
Hey Everyone! I'm so excited. I got an email this morning linking me to my "unofficial" scores for the BIG Content Area test I took in June. I passed, so now I am on the way to being certified to teach grades 4-8. I know, I have a job in Kindergarten for the fall, but I had signed up for the test before I got this job. I am so glad and relieved---I just wasn't sure how I did on that test, or even what I had to make to pass. My plan now is to take the test for Early Childhood-4th grade, Generalist certification, which would make me, in total, qualified to teach kids from Pre-K to 8th grade. Once I get through all the other training, too.
:-) Yea me!


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Deep Thoughts

Or not-so-deep, just trying to think of a title here.

I heard a good idea earlier this summer, and I've been consistently using it, so I thought I'd share. At GS Day Camp, one of the more seasoned ladies out there mentioned this. When packing a water bottle for the day, she would freeze half a bottle of water then add water in the morning right before she left. That way, it's cooled, but you still have some water to drink right away.

This has come in handy when B was going to Track Camp in the mornings. I was walking, too, and I really have enjoyed having cool water to drink! Plus, I am SO in favor of drinking tap water as opposed to buying water. Ug! It's almost free! And it has good ol' fluoride in it. I did buy water bottles at the beginning of the summer, but I've kept our freezer stocked with half-full water bottles. The bad thing is, I still have to wash those water bottles by hand----my newish dishwasher is melting the bottles into weird shapes. Maybe some kind of lighter cycle?

My favorite bottles? The nice, thick, tall, plastic bottles with the twist lid.

Second thought is about my latest books. I am now reading a second book in a row that uses a Bible book as a model. First was Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers (Hosea), and now I am on East of Eden by John Steinbeck (Genesis). Although with all the stuff I'm reading about how this "parallels" Genesis, I don't think it really does. There are definitely some references, but it's not the whole Genesis or anything. At least not yet. :-) I'm enjoying this one, and I don't really know where it's going to end up. I like that in a book.

Enjoy your week!

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

July 2

J is holding B in his hand---kinda.

I should have explained that peanut picture below---it was amazing because it had 4 peanuts in it. J said he was going to put it in a museum, but he ended up eating it. Good thing I got a photograph! Whew!!

I changed my Yahoo avatar (see sidebar). Here I am using my anthropology minor in a lost city.

I am progressing along in my online schooling. I am in the third course, Educational Pedagogy and Stages of Learning. I'm glad I've had first hand experience with these stages of learning---not my own !----watching my own kids grow through all this. So far, it's a bit heavier than what I've had to read so far, but it's still definitely within my mental capabilities! ;-) I am amazed it's been 14 years since I was out of college! In some ways, I am back in the swing of school, and in some ways, I'm thinking I've live a whole other life since then.

Tonight in Ladies' Bible Class we talked about thinking about thinking. This is something I read about today at home---Metacognition! God really wants me to learn this, I guess, He's putting it in front of me twice. So the thought at church was, we need to think before we act. As it says in Proverbs 14, verses 8 and 15, I'll paraphrase, "The prudent and wise give thought to their ways." So am I thinking before I speak in anger? Am I drifting along, or do I have a plan? (I'm really in a planning mode, it's not this right now.) Do I know my motives? Are my motives right? And how do I know if they're right? The answer isn't easy---it's through prayer and getting in the Word, so I can know what's right.
Right now, the only Bible Class I really attend is this Wednesday night class. I'm teaching little ones on Sunday morning. I hear a sermon on Sunday mornings, and I'm usually in the Tabitha Class on Sunday nights. It's made me think I really need to be reading my Bible more and more on my own. I always think summer is a great time to get with it, but I'm busy now, too.
I'm so excited to be checking in on my cousin and his bride in Ohio. They just started a blog. I need to update my sidebar with blogs I really read all the time, but check out Dan and Krista's blog if you want. My cousin is a preacher, just getting out of school.
This is a long post. I thought B and her Daddy would be home by now, and I know they're leaving me alone so I could get my assignment turned in. I did that first, so I can have some fun, can't I? It's summer, after all, and I know they're out having fun.
J is at a Troupe lock-in tonight, debuting his own version of Clue. Yes, he's so GT. In a matter of about 3 days, he made a version of the board game Clue, where each character is a person at Troupe, the game board is a map (generally) of the Troupespace layout, and the weapons are inspired by things they do at Troupe. I love the weapons---a microphone, a cord, lights (falling from the ceiling, I guess), a revolver (Maybe a prop without blanks?), and my favorite, *specialness*. He's up there tonight drinking too much Coke, eating a lot of pizza, playing Rock Band and Guitar Hero and SingStar on PS2, and being his *special* self. Good for him! See ya in the morning!!
Hope you all have a wonderful Independence Week. I am doing a red, white and blue theme for a week on the other blog. Leave me a comment!