Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spread the Word To End The Word

I have always despised hearing the word retarded used.  I can't stand the word.  I cringe every time I hear someone use it.  So.... thanks to a fellow blogger I was given the heads up on a campaign to end the use of the r-word.  Please visit this link to read more about it.  Join me and sign the pledge to not use the r-word too~

Monday, March 30, 2009

Our very own Princess Fiona......

I was downloading some pictures off of my camera.  I didn't even realize I had taken this shot. This was taken while we were at Sea World on Friday.  Lately, Bailee has been walking around with her finger in her nose.  It is driving us insane.  She is constantly doing it.  Any ideas on how to get her to stop?

My precious little girl loves her food.  She enjoys a big ol' slice of pizza!  Although, she has started eating only the toppings of her pizza.  Doesn't she look like a princess?  She is my little Fiona from Shrek......  

You did WHAT?

This evening after dinner, baths, etc.  Brayden asked if he could have some ice cream. Chocolate ice cream is his all time favorite.  He gets his love for it, from his daddy.  Well when daddy got the ice cream from the fridge, it was mush.  He brought it to me saying "ummmm.... I think our freezer went out."  All I could think of was all the food that thawed, and what a waste it was going to be to have to throw it all out.  

As I fixed dinner earlier, I remember thinking that the milk didn't seem as cold as it should be. I was busy doing other things and had forgotten to check into why.  Well as we go to investigate..... sure enough the items in the freezer are thawing quickly.  The refrigerator part was cool but not cold. I don't know why, but I glanced at the temperature controls.  Sure enough...... the freezer control was set on 0.  We immediately looked over at Brayden and sure enough, he fessed up.  Apparently he had changed the dial a few days ago, not realizing that it would turn off the freezer.

He came up to me later with a dollar in his hand from his piggy bank, to replace some of the food he ruined.  I kept it for a little while...... but yes, I gave it back.  Lesson learned here...... make sure your child knows that the fun little dials in the frig. can really mess things up when played with.  And yes, Brayden got to have his ice cream still.  He just had to drink it out of a cup.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

National Lampoon's Vacation

This past Friday, we loaded up for a trip to Six Flags Fiesta Texas.  Aunt Sue was treating us. My mother-in-law a.k.a Mimi, myself, Brayden, Bailee, and Aunt Sue headed began the drive at around 10:45. Brayden had never been and was so excited to finally be able to go.  

Well.....  as we get closer and closer to the park grounds... we notice that the parking lot was empty.  I wasn't aware of what time the park opened and was just thinking we were one of the first ones there.  Not so.  The park was closed.  Brayden immediately said "hey, who planned this trip?"  After we had a good laugh, we made some calls and found out that Sea World was open.  

So off to Sea World we headed.  It was great fun!  Of course the costs were outrageous.... (thanks Aunt Sue for treating us!) $15 for parking and $20 for premium parking.... that is just to get in the park!  You can imagine the cost of food.  (Thanks for feeding us Mimi!)

Towards the end of our time there we stopped to buy water and cotton candy.  Mimi handed Bailee a hand full of cotton candy.  Bailee took it, blew her nose, and handed it back to Mimi. The poor girl is so sheltered and had never had cotton candy before!  She thought it was a kleenex to wipe her nose with.  We laughed till our bellies ached.  Of course when we showed her and told her to eat it, she couldn't get enough.  

Then on our way to the exit, we noticed a whole group of Barbies walking in front of us.  It didn't take us long to realize that they were the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders.  I was feeling really old because they looked like high school girls.  Ugh!  Check back for pictures from our day!  What fun!

Back to Reality... and questions about faith....

Tomorrow, we begin again with our normal routine.  We have all enjoyed the break.  It has been long overdue and it has given us the rejuvenation that we have so desperately needed.  I am excited to get back into the classroom and utilize some of the great information I learned while in Chicago.  

This morning we headed to church.  Because we aren't the best on attendance, we didn't know that the service had started at 10:00 in stead of the usual 10:45.  It was a special service celebrating Grace Memorial's 9th anniversary.  We ended up going to Oakwood.  It was divine intervention.  The service was wonderful.  Every time I have been to a service at Oakwood I have cried.  The sermons always touch me so deeply.  Today was a sermon that I needed to hear. 

Lately I have been thinking about my faith.  The idea of a drive through Jesus came to mind. Throughout my life, that is how I have treated my faith.  As in a drive through, I go through, order what I need while hoping the order is right, and go about my merry way.  I can always have a sit down dinner but often times I am in a hurry and want something quick.  

I am not proud to say.... that is how my relationship with Jesus has become.  When I am in need of something.... because of worry or what have you.... I quickly have a talk with Jesus.  For example..... on the plane ride to and from Chicago.... I was doing some serious praying.... because I was fearful and anxious.  

I am so immature in my faith.  But, how does mature faith come?  What is mature faith and how do you know if you have it?  I have always envied those with steadfast faith.  I have witnessed others go through such tragic times.  Their faith is what kept them going.  It has always intrigued me.

Recently I was talking to a friend about faith and how I hated that I always question things.  I always wonder..... if it is this way then why.... or if God cared then why...... or how could God really do.....  you name it.  I have always been a questioner, whether I question my faith or authority.  This friend has a strong faith and like me, is a very spiritual person. She admitted that she too questions things.  This of course made me feel better.

My goal is to work on strengthening my faith and my relationship with the Lord.  I hope to develop a faith that will be an example for my children.  My husband has an amazing faith.  I love and admire that about him.  Maybe I need to start taking lessons from him.    

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Copyrighted Material?

I recently blogged about my starting photography on the side.  So far, it has been a great experience.  This is new to me and I am enjoying every minute.  

This evening I had ordered some photographs online so I could put together a portfolio.  This past weekend I had gone to South Texas to a cousin's wedding.  I was able to get some good shots.  Mind you.... I took almost 150, and ended up with a few good ones.  

My goal is to have this portfolio to show potential photography prospects my work. When I went up to the counter to pick up the photos, I gave the girl my name.  She stopped for a minute and asked if the photos I was picking up were copyrighted material.  She then went and grabbed them (there on the receipt was the word copyrighted?) She said again..... these are professional photos and we are concerned that they may be copyrighted materials (at this point she was giving me this look.... as if I was trying to cheat someone out of money by making illegal copies).  I immediately told her that no these photos are in fact mine.  She opened them and started going through them again....  by this time I am thinking..... lady, I better be leaving here with MY photos.... I start panicking and naming all the individuals in the shots.  She said because of the editing done and the positioning of the subjects, they appear to be professional photos.  I kindly told the lady that she had made by night but that I am in fact just starting out and I had printed these to put together a portfolio.  She handed me my photos and said that I may want to put a watermark on them so that they are protected.  Can you imagine the photos she sees a day?  This was a GOOD thing.... me being accused of printing off copyrighted material......  

Let me tell you.....  I walked out of there with the BIGGEST smile....  are my photos of professional quality?  No way.... I am not there yet....  but it is a pretty good start, I think.  

I am scheduled to shoot a wedding in May for a friend from way back.  I am so excited and nervous at the same time.  Wish me luck!  

Here are some of the shots from the wedding.  I can't wait to finish editing them and get them printed!  

There's NO Place Like Home!

I am back from Chicago and couldn't be happier!  I had a GREAT time and game back with my brain turned into mush.  I am overloaded with all the information I learned.  The top reading researchers were at the conference.  It was amazing to be in the presence of such influential individuals.  

I horribly missed my family though.  I am happy to say that daddy did a fantastic job holding down the fort on his own.  There was only one mishap.....  Bailee fell head first into a water trough.  I think it scared daddy more than it did Bailee.  Now we are battling an ear infection. Water and ear tubes do not mix well!  

Today I am just enjoying being home with the kiddos.  It is messy outside but we need the rain desperately!  Daddy is in Lubbock at a judging contest with 12 students.  They were suppose to head to Amarillo in the morning but with the expected blizzard conditions there, they are headed home in the morning!  We will have 2-3 days together as a family before we head back to school!  Life is SO good!

Friday, March 20, 2009

This is a doozy!

Justin has been in Austin most of the week.  He hasn't been home so as usual I am trying to hold down the fort.  

Today I get an email from another teacher who is going to Chicago also. Her email read something to this effect.......  I can't believe our trip is here!  Can you believe we will be heading to Chicago Sunday!  What time should we meet at the airport Sunday morning?

Being that I had it in my mind and on EVERY calendar you can think of, that we were flying out Monday morning, I giggled to myself that this teacher was so excited and in her excitement, she meant Monday.  I kindly replied, that I was excited also, but that she better not be there Sunday morning because the rest of us wouldn't be there until Monday morning.  

Well guess what...... she was not the one that had the days wrong....... yep you guessed it.....  I am freaking leaving SUNDAY morning and NOT MONDAY!  You could say panic began to sink in about that time..... if she hadn't have emailed me....  I would have missed the plane!  How would I explain that one?

I have a HUGE to do list and no time to do it in......  the second problem I have.....  Brayden has a baseball game at 9:00 Saturday morning, and right after the game, I am traveling to South Texas to be in a wedding at 5:30.  My mom and I, are taking the 2 1/2 hour drive plus another half hour with kids....  Sooooo, my laundry is piled to the ceiling, my house is a mess, and there isn't ANYTHING in our pantry.  I had planned on doing wash, straightening up the house, and going grocery shopping on Sunday. None of that is going to get done.  Except maybe washing things that absolutely have to be washed......  so I can have clothes for my trip.  

I am beside myself.   I am flustered.  I am waiting for the washing machine to HURRY UP!   I AM SO TIRED!  

I am NOT the most organized person, I know and admit it.  But dang, my life would be so much easier if I was.  So..... my question is this...... what things do you do, that helps keep you organized?  Please give me some tips.....  I am desperate and ready to try ANYTHING!  

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Legally Driving Now....

Today I was able to get two MAJOR, long overdue things accomplished. I renewed my driver's license at our local DPS office. I was amazed at how far technologically they have come. Driving tests are now computerized! At one time there were the traditional desks there and in their place, are computer screens. I found it amusing though..... they are only set up to take cash or check, no debit cards. Are you kidding me? How many people, still carry their checkbooks? I use my debit card, always. I leave the checkbook at home. I rarely use it. Oh, and to top it off, they said it would take 2-6 weeks for my new license to come in. Can't they speed that process up. As long as I have been driving it has been the same turn around time. My bloggy friend Anita said that Florida gives you your new one on the spot. Come on Texas!

Then after school, I ran over the the county offices to renew my vehicle registration. My tags have been expired since SEPTEMBER! The clerk couldn't believe I hadn't gotten a ticket.

So needless to say, I don't have to cringe, every time I see a police car anywhere near me. I was driving with an expired license AND tags. How do you explain that one. It feels great to feel legal again.

Now I just have eight more big things on my list to do before I leave for Chicago!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Taking a dive into who knows what...

I have this HUGE passion for photography.  I think it manifested itself fully, when I had children.  For me, pictures capture memories and stages of my kids.  The stages fly by and I try to catch as most of the moments as I can.  I love, love, love pictures.  Granted, I rarely take my kids to get their photos professionally done. 

But I am so excited about my new endeavor.  My favorite pictures are candid shots.  I find that the best are those that are unexpected. 

I am really excited about this....  Hopefully it will turn into something.....  Who knows?  

Here are some of my favorites I've taken.....  I still have a ways to go......  but who's better to practice on than my family.....    after all..... family is everything.....  the first one of Brayden of course is post processed quite a bit.... I enjoy the post editing too although I am new to the more advance editing options.  I see photography becoming my way to relax and take time to do what I enjoy.  

The No Fly Zone.....

Hopefully, if all goes as planned, I will be in Chicago this time next week.  I am looking forward to the Plain Talk About Reading Conference.  I am long overdue for a rejuvenation of teaching reading.  

BUT........  for a little while today, I was thinking that I would not be able to go.  You see......  I have pulled a doozy....  I was making a withdrawal today at my credit union...... the lady informed me that my license expired back in January.  I had totally forgotten to renew it!  With such tight security measures, I was certain I would not be able to board the plane.  So.....  I called Southwest Airlines and they will accept my expired license along with the temporary paper they give you.  But she said to get there extra early because I will be going through extra screening.  That should be fun....

Oh what a relief!  Talk about being sick to my stomach!  Guess where I will be headed tomorrow......  

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Leave of Absence

Gosh, it has been a long time since I have blogged.  No good reason, 
except that I just haven't taken the time to.  Daddy is home and we are enjoying that. Next week is the Star of Texas Stock Show and Rodeo in Austin.  This past week, Justin spent most of it in Houston.  He only took a couple of sheep and one placed 10th.  Not too shabby.  God knows how many shows I hauled sheep to and was 88 and out the gate in NO time.  Oh boy.....  those were good times though!

I do have to brag though....... Brayden and Bailee's Godparents....  Kyle and Julie Smithwick Smithwick raise sheep.  In a medium weight class in Houston, he had raised 1st-5th place..... craziness.  It just goes to show.... how good his sheep are.  I am so happy for both Kyle and Julie, they put so much into it and deserve it.  
In regards to our sheep, we now have three bottle babies.  I can promise that I will NOT have the urge for another baby.  This bottle feeding, reminds me of having a newborn!  The other day, I came very close to not feeding Sage anymore.  I went out to feed her and bent over to get something and she came up and rammed me head against head.  If you have ever watched a lamb nurse, they butt the udder with their heads as they suck to stimulate the release of milk.  I guess I was taking too long in feeding her.  Needless to say, I was not happy.  This week has been cold and wet.  I am so thankful for the rain.  We desperately need it.  I could do without the cold though.  It has been tough on the herd.  We have lost quite a few babies this week.  That is part of it though, but I don't have to like it.

Last weekend we were at a wedding.  I took some great shots of the kids dancing together. Also, on March 6th, Brayden had his Kindergarten rodeo.  Daddy and I both were able to make it for different parts.  

I am ready for a relaxing weekend!  One more week and then Spring Break!  I envy those that are on theirs right now!  I feel the beginnings of the same excitement as a student in school. remember that....  the few days before a holiday....  oh yes... those were the good ol' days!  You were so excited to have the time off from school, but you wondered what you were going to do during the break.  I knew I would have the DREADED list.  The list was written by mom. It consisted of chores that had to be done that day BEFORE she got home.  Even as I child I procrastinated.... the clock would strike 4:00 and I would scurry around the house completing the list in an hour without a minute to spare.  Some things never change!  Up until recently, I stopped making myself a list before starting to clean the house.  I had always thought that the list had to be your guide when you cleaned house.... I now know better.

Who Knew? Update Version..... Please pass it on.