Tuesday, March 29, 2011

30 day picture challenge - Day 6

Picture of a person you'd like to trade places with for a day...

Ok - I'll admit that when I got to this day I really didn't have anyone in mind because I'm not interested in living anyone's life but my own.  I think this comes from the absolute certainty that the Lord has given me the life I have for a purpose...But then I thought - this is a picture challenge, not a deep and abiding matter that needs to be pondered.  So as often is the case, one thought led to another and I got to thinking about singers that I admire.  I've occasionally joked with people about how I'd like to have a couple of different voices to switch out with the one that I've got....just for fun, or for harmony or for stylistic license.  So I think I'll provide a couple of pictures of some vocal talents that I wouldn't mind borrowing for a little while.  Obviously, because these folks are singers it's way cooler to hear them.

My first person I'd like to trade voices with for just a day is Ella Fitzgerald.  There's no one better!

My very close second choice would be Bobby McFerrin.   I just think it would be super cool to have his range and who wouldn't want to sing a Bach prelude?

Monday, March 28, 2011

30 day picture challenge - Day 5

Picture of my favorite memory

This was tough.  Because there are so many great to choose from....  I think I'll include pictures from a few of my favorite memories.

Honorable mention goes to our September trip to Abilene State Park where we were joined by my mom's parents and brothers.  Based on the fact that I'm wearing that yellow shirt, I believe that I was in the 5th grade.  Maw (my great-grandmother) was there with us and we had a perfectly lovely time.

Any time we got to go to my grandmother Wilkinson we had a good time with the cousins making each other laugh and playing in the "kids room" the sun room and the back yard. My T-shirt says "You are Here!"  I got it at McDonald observatory which was a frequent spot that we visited when while on vacation in Ft. Davis.   In 1986 I even got to see Haley's Comet with my girl scout troupe 101.  We just about froze to death on top of the mountain and then scalded our tongues on the hot chocolate that my dad, Matthew and Bernie made for us.  Matthew and Bernie went on all of our girl scout treks with us since our always went along.

Prude Ranch was the Best vacation EVER!  By the time that we took this vacation, both Matthew and I were very busy and like most folks we were way too connected to technology such as it was in 1988.  We spent an entire week at Prude Ranch, which was hosting a summer camp that we weren't attending.  As a result, we had the pool all to ourselves, we got more time to ride the horses and we got to take advantage of the fact that "campers" rode the horses into Ft. Davis for the 4th of July parade. My dad and I rode the horses into town and then took the camp bus back in.  It was GREAT!  When we weren't riding horses and swimming, we were reading and just spending time together.  Loved it!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

30 day picture challenge - Day 4

Picture of something you do at night.

Well let's see, when I'm not sleeping or reading I like to crochet or practice piano.... none of those are particularly interesting pictures, but never the less, I'll post pictures anyway.

I like to crochet because it gives me a chance to pray.  I started crocheting at a time in my life when my mind was particularly full and I was under a great deal of stress at work.  I would come home and as my fingers were busy, I would pray.... since then it has become a nice way to relax to give things over to the Lord that I tend to hang onto.

Since my parents gave me a piano last June, I enjoy playing piano in the middle of the night just because I can.  Since I live in an apartment my piano is a very nice electric piano with headphones, so I really can play at 3:00 a.m. if I want to.   Playing piano is something that I've always enjoyed, but that I've never mastered.  Practicing makes me feel as if I might one day really be able to play rather than just "fake playing".  Currently in addition to becoming a better sight reader, I am trying to re learn a piece that I learned to play years ago and have since forgotten.  I especially like to play piano because I can do it even when my voice is tired from teaching.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

30 day picture challenge - Day 3

A picture of your favorite show cast - I'll admit it - I am a GLEEK.  There are absolutely episodes and story lines of this series that I can do without, and yet there are episodes and story lines that I think are brilliant!   Of course - my favorite parts are the songs - when they get the songs right they are REALLY right and when they are wrong they are VERY wrong......  so maybe I'll get the songs I like off of itunes instead of actually watching the show....... there's a thought :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

30 day picture challenge - Day 2

Someone you've been close to all your life - OK - so this is tough because I've been close to lots of people... but very few have been all of my life.  I have friends from when I was young, when I lived in McCamey, Katy and then in college - and although I've stayed loosely connected with most of them throughout the years - I think this post is asking sibling status - which sounds easy since I've only got my wonderful Matthew for a brother, but I also have a friend who is my "adopted sister" so I think I'll post both.  

Matthew hates getting his picture made, so half the fun of taking pictures is sneaking up on him and grabbing a picture when he isn't looking!
Here we are - going to Christmas at grandma's

I think I've been best friends with Pam for longer than anyone else because I've been friends with her for 17 years - since I'm almost 35 that is about as close to 1/2 my life as I can get.  This is a picture of the 2 of us at her rehearsal dinner a few years ago. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

30 day picture challenge

I saw this on facebook because my friend Bianca is participating and it seemed like fun.

So on Day 1 you are supposed to post a picture of yourself and 10 facts.

1.  I am blessed 
2.  I teach children 
3.  I have a wonderful family! - 
4.  I am single
5.  I LOVE writing music and don't get to do it nearly as much as I would like
6.  My life has become very quiet - I think that is probably because most of my closest friends are now married
7.  I love reading good books
8.  I have political opinions but I hate discussing politics because I don't agree with most people.
9. I am left handed, and did not learn how to crochet until just a couple of years ago.
10. I enjoy any activity that allows for conversation - except watching baseball....and playing board games..... what's the use of being with people, if you aren't going to talk??  

Reading the Mail

Where mail is concerned, I am a girl caught between two worlds.

In my daily habits I find myself loathing snail mail and seriously annoyed by the encumbrance of email when a simple text will get my answer faster.  I use the internet to pay my bills, and even my gradebook and lesson plans are all online.  I love the ability to get things done and turned in from anywhere.

Truthfully though, my use of technology is somewhat encouraged by the fact that I don't do a good job of reading my snail mail.... some of you are thinking, she doesn't read her email either.... to which you would be right as my email, even when I open it tends to go in one eye and out the other.... but I digress......

It's confession time..... when dealing with snail mail I literally open my mail box once a week, haul it up stairs, skim through the envelopes that look as if they need opening,
(anything that I can't do online)
 and then throw away EVERY advertisement.  Everything else goes into a box to await shredding....that may never come.....This causes problems because I've missed important stuff all because in my quick scan of envelopes, sometimes I miss things that I would otherwise attend to like parties and appointments and even one time a jury summons......  So

Today I read the mail.

It was sort of a novel experience for me.... I kind of enjoyed ripping into the envelop and reading the invitations and form letters.  Did you know that the smell of the glue they use on envelopes has changed? Did you know they put coupons in your mail?  And that you can take them with you to the store and get discounts?  And guess what?  I've been invited to a baby shower and I didn't even know my friend was expecting!!!!  

All the other stuff in my mail box could be described as adminis-trivia.... bills, insurance stuff and such.....I already know that for each piece of mail received there is a typical response, either an RSVP, or payment for services rendered, but a response is always necessary.  Since I actually READ the mail,  I know what my response should be.  Upon the occasion that I am the sender instead of the recipient of snail mail or otherwise, I know what response I expect and hope for.

As it turns out, just like we mail things with expectations of a response,  the Lord sends His word to us with an outcome already in mind.

10 "As the rain and the snow
   come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
   without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
   so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
   It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
   and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:10-11 

My prayer is that we wouldn't be so dismissive that we try to put the words from the Lord away to be dealt with later, especially when He offers such a compelling invitation... , an appointment, a holy summons!

1 “Come, all you who are thirsty,
   come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
   come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
   without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
   and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
   and you will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
   listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
   my faithful love promised to David.
4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
   a ruler and commander of the peoples.
5 Surely you will summon nations you know not,
   and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the LORD your God,
   the Holy One of Israel,
   for he has endowed you with splendor.” Isaiah 55:1-5

He offers an everlasting covenant and then He tells us how to  "RUN DON"T WALK! " toward receiving His gift of promised faithfulness.  

6 Seek the LORD while he may be found;
   call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake their ways
   and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them,
   and to our God, for he will freely pardon. Isaiah 55:6-7

One of the few types of bills I don't remind receiving at all are the type that say "you pay $0.00".  Sometimes I know they are coming, and sometimes they are surprise but they never cease to cause me to read and re-read the letter because I rarely believe that it's possible.... there must be some mistake.  When it all checks out and I find out that it is legitimate.... those small "happy dances" just about make my day. These experiences are nothing compared to the huge "happy dance" that is a life fully redeemed.  

12 You will go out in joy
   and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
   will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
   will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper,
   and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the LORD’s renown,
   for an everlasting sign,
   that will endure forever.” Isaiah 55:12-13

I pray that our lives would become more responsive to the Lord and that in our "every days" our lives would bear evidence of all that the Lord does and who He is.  

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Have I mentioned that I LOVE to drive? There is nothing better, (as long as you don't think about "travel laundry" or the cost of gas)......  My wandering ways are currently mostly curtailed by my 12 year old car with 96,000 miles on it.   However I fully intend to drive my car for as long as possible. I love to drive but take great pains to avoid commuting so there really is no point in getting a new car for as long as this one can get me back to my embarrassingly close place of work.

I really should walk to work,  especially now that it is nice and springy outside.  Being outside in Houston when the weather is like this reminds me of why I'm glad that I live here.  If only I could take this "I love Houston" feel with me into the deeply uncomfortable days of  late August and early September then I might have better walk-to-work habits...... But alas, all I think about in August is how much it would cost me to get one of those cars that folks start with an app on their Iphone...... I wonder if they can start the air conditioning with an iphone app. too?  When they can also cause the car to climb the stairs and pick me up at my front door, then I might have to get one.....

My spring break is running out of time!  Me and my old car got to DRIVE to Austin and see bluebonnets, even with the drought!  We saw  my sweet friends and their sweet 7 month old baby with the chocolate brown eyes, AND we made it back in one piece with a 1/2 tank of gas to spare.    It's times like these that I'm especially grateful for my little tin can car.....
Now it's Thursday and I'm looking around my apartment (which is cleaner than before I cleaned) and wondering where all my time went?  My biggest strength and weakness is that my idea of what can be done in any given amount of time and what is actually possible is usually  overly optimistic.  Unless you are asking me whether or not I can get my desk cleaned off before RUNNING out of school on the Friday we got out for spring break...... in that case, I seriously underestimated how quickly two people could get things done who were ready to start their free time last week.  I'm not making it up when I say that my desk clutter was mountainous and that I got the entire thing cleaned up (the right way) in less than an hour out of shear force of will and good help from a very kind co-worker who took pity on my miserable state and helped me....  

Be Still
This week I've been reminded to take notice of the things that the Lord is doing.  The Lord is taking care of the big things and the small things in our lives and when I get caught up in "doing" I quit noticing what the Lord is doing, which is a real tragedy since we were made to notice what the Lord does first of all.   The song is true when it says, "He's got the whole world in His hands.."
The Lord does so much more than we can recount, but this week in the midst of the extraordinary mundaneness of my spring break I needed to be reminded of how He takes care of both the huge and the tiny matters of my life.  So while driving through a very dry route to Austin, soothing a teething baby, running errands, doing laundry and visiting with friends the Lord brought these words to my attention.

"1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
   where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
   the Maker of heaven and earth.

 3 He will not let your foot slip—
   he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
   will neither slumber nor sleep.

 5 The LORD watches over you—
   the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
   nor the moon by night.

 7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
   he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going 

   both now and forevermore." Psalm 121

If this is true during ordinary times when we often fail to notice His work, then how much more so during times of joy or pain when we earnestly seek Him out of great need? 

"Consider how the lilies grow.  They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27

This week I've had beautiful weather, great friends, baby drool, an old and reliable car and bluebonnets.  I feel like a lily!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Cleaning

It's time to clean!

I've got my Flylady zones, I've got my tennis shoes on, I've got my cleaning supplies and gloves, I've even got a play list...... and here I am writing a blog!

OK - so the good news is that my dishes are done and my laundry is coming along nicely. When I get finished cleaning, then I'm going to have some spring break fun....... or maybe I'll just write another blog. It's hard to say.....