Friday, May 29, 2009

Where DOES she get it?????

I was the fourth and last child born into my family. I will admit I was a tad bit spoiled. I don't know if it was because I was the baby or if my parents were just too tired after having three other children, but they had a tendency to give into my every whim. Well maybe not my every whim, but it's safe to say I got away with a lot of stuff. I was young enough for this to cause me to develop a bit of a "princess mentality". While this is cute in a four year old it's not so cute when it follows you into your teenage years.

On more than one occasion my mother would tell me " I hope when you have children, you have one just like you". I'm sure she meant it. In fact I'm sure there were a few rosaries said and candles lit with just that one prayer in mind. When she would say that to me I would agree with her. I mean, I was always right, and knew everything about everything, so who wouldn't want a mini-me?

Fortunately for me God is merciful. So far my children are infinitely less impetuous in their behavior than I ever was. Each one is much more sensible and level-headed than I was and they don't attempt nearly the type of antics that I did.

But my mothers prayers didn't fall on deaf ears and God felt we needed a little bit of nobility in our family so he gave us Ciara.

Ciara will be the first one to tell you she is a princess. She delights in that title and just like me when I was younger, she has a tendency to believe she is right more times than she is wrong and she will argue that fact until you believe it as well. Also like me she has a bit of a dramatic flair, and at times she has been known to don quite an "attitude".

But underneath that proverbial tiara is a sweet, fun loving, joyful girl that is beautiful from the outside in. She is passionate about her beliefs and disciplined in her studies. We love every bit of her from the top of her royal head to the tips of her royal toes.

It won't be long before she goes out into this big bad world and realizes that not everyone recognizes her for the princess she is. So when I send up my prayers for her, I pray that she remembers that God will always see her as his princess- no matter what the world might tell her - oh and that when she has children she has one just like her.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Little Bit Of This

One minute she looked like THIS:

And then we blinked and THIS great guy:

Was giving her THIS:

So then we got to experience THIS:

And last week we got to see her do THIS:

Congratulations Savannah! We are so proud of you! You are going to be an awesome teacher!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Eating Your Words Doesn't Taste Good, But At Least They Don't Have Any Calories

A lot of people in my family like to gamble. I did not get that gene. I have been to many casinos from Canada, Vegas, Mississippi, to Louisiana and gambled in each one, but after losing about ten bucks, I get whiny and eventually the people that I came with ditch me and I spend the rest of my time wandering around watching other people lose their money.

Yeah I know - I'm a real high-roller.

I think the reason behind my aversion to gambling is two-fold: One, I'm very cheap frugal, and two I just really stink at it. I have the track record to prove it.

I once bet my husband that he would never get our then six-year old daughter to go on a helicopter ride. - He did

I also once bet that the Oilers would go to the Super Bowl - They didn't

And Last year I bet that Michigan would surprise everyone and beat Ohio State - Nuff said.

Those are just a few examples of a long list of bets that I should have never made through the years. You would think I would have learned my lesson. But apparently my blondness trumps all common sense and I find that I have lost yet another bet.

If you are one of the three people that read this blog, you may remember when I wrote on April 14th that I didn't think I would ever get a Facebook page. (I would link to that post, but I'm not that blogger savvy, so you will just have to go to my older posts and read it) Lucky for me I did end that post with a disclaimer of sorts, because I find myself eating my words and I now have a Facebook page.

Ironically I don't really even remember the bet. It was made during a casual conversation on the playground of the school where I teach. But since there were witnesses I am a woman of my word, I have fulfilled my end of the bargain and joined the "in" crowd. Much to the horror of my children I'm sure.

So if you are on Facebook and would like to learn my betting strategies or would like some stock advice, feel free to look me up. I'm always willing to share my knowledge.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Trivial Pursuit and Swatch Watches

So last night I had a weird dream that I was back in the 80's.

It could have been the glass of wine I had before retiring for the night.

Nonetheless, the fact that I would dream that I was back in the 80's is just plain strange to me. I mean here is a picture of me in the 80's:

Not exactly a fashion trend that my ample middle-aged body needs to revisit.

But in it's defense the decade of big hair and shoulder pads did hold some monumental milestones for me. During that time; I moved to the great state of Texas, graduated from high school, met and married my wonderful husband, forged lifelong friendships, had my first child, bought our first house, and experienced many other life shaping events.

My kids enjoy watching the show "I love the 80"s". Sometimes I sit down with them to watch it and revisit the days of my youth. They laugh when I reminisce about parachute pants, leg warmers, and of course all of the cool music of the eighties like Duran Duran, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, etc..

They seem to have a hard time understanding just how totally awesome I was in the eighties. Like Totally! I'm glad I have photographic proof such as the picture above.

I guess as I age I will enjoy strolling down memory lane more often. But, if I continue to dream about being back in the 80's I will seek professional help.... or lay off the wine before bedtime.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Powerful Video

This is probably one of the most powerful videos I have ever watched.

If you have a little bit of time, I highly encourage you to watch it. It's about 55 minutes long, but don't be daunted by the length. Make the time to watch it!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Different Season in Life

About a month ago my daughter had us over for the first time as a married woman. Greg ( my son-in-law) cooked up some yummy burgers on the grill and Savannah did a great job providing the rest of the goodies.

Here are a few pics:

Some wonderful lemonade. Isn't it picture perfect?

Really we didn't go to Martha Stewart's house. It was actually Savannah's house. I promise.

It was a new experience to be in her house and watching her act as hostess. Kind of like the "passing of the baton". I have had a lot of these types of new experiences since she became a wife. It's strange to be a mother and to not really be "mothering" anymore.

One day before she was married we were talking and I asked her what she would miss when she moved out. Curiously she said she would miss Monday Night Football. During football season, Monday nights have always been my night to actually watch television. Ever since she was little she and Paul would go into another room to watch something other than football while I would be yelling, jumping, and quite possibly swearing in the living room watching the game.

I told her what I would miss the most was our semi-impromptu weekend chats. For years, on Saturday mornings I would grab a cup of coffee and make my way upstairs to where the kids were still sleeping. I would open up the blinds in her room, make myself comfortable and just start talking. She would begrudgingly wake up and eventually Ciara, Trey and the dogs would find their way into the room, plop down on the bed, and we would do a lot of laughing, talking, making up songs etc. Those times were always the highlight of my week. Just enjoying my children.

Well, after dinner, the guys went to sit and watch a movie and we girls went in to check out Savannah's cute sewing room. Eventually, Trey made his way in there and then Greg followed. We ended up plopped all around the room laughing and talking. It was different but better because this time not only was I with my three biological children, I had the blessing of an extra by-marriage child to enjoy.

This being a mother of a married daughter and mother-in-law to a new son thing is going to be pretty fun. Now if only we could add some grand kids to the mix..................

Just Kidding Savannah. Take your time.......but not too long okay?

Monday, May 11, 2009

It's Berry Pickin Time!

The dewberries are starting to ripen!

If you don't know what a dewberry is, it is the country bumpkin cousin of the blackberry. While blackberries are fancy, and expensive, and come in cute little plastic containers at the grocery store, dewberries grow wild along railroad tracks and in fields. They aren't fancy or expensive, (free if you don't mind working for them) or come in cute plastic containers ( well ours was cute... it was a leftover Easter bucket), but they are just as yummy as their fancy-shmancy cousin.

So since it is dewberry season I had to gather the family and go get some! I was guaranteed lots of berries because I had convinced my children that berry picking was sooooooo much fun that they wouldn't want to miss it. Of course I failed to mention the heat, the stickers on the plants, or the occasional snake that likes to hang out in berry patches, so we set out with high hopes. I lost one half of my berry picking team when hubs and Trey decided that mowing and doing tractor stuff was much more manly imperative than filling our buckets with berries. Here are some pictures of them being manly productive.

Ciara and I struck out on our own. I have to say it was pretty slim pickins! There were a lot of red ones but not too many ripe ones. Here is what little we did find.

I may or may not have eaten half of these berries after the picture was taken. Suffice to say we came home with very few berries.

However, after celebrating Mothers Day at my moms house with all of my wonderful kids, my husband spotted some berry bushes in an undeveloped field on the way home. And since we had our rubber boots and coffee cans in the back of the car we decided to stop.

I know......"You might be a redneck keep rubber boots and coffee cans in the back of your car.... Anyhoo....

We hit the mother load! Look at all the yummy berries we brought home:

So today I made this:

Dewberry Jelly! Now before you go and get all impressed with my homemaking skills, this is supposed to be jelly, but it is more like dewberry syrup. It looks like I will have to re-do this batch to make it into jelly. I hate it when that happens! Oh well, there are still a few more weeks of dewberry season we will just have to go out and get some more.

Oh this last picture is specifically for my sister-in-law. Debbie I know you live in a parallel universe that doesn't get high speed Internet, but I hope you can get this picture. Remember those grape vines you guys planted all those years ago?

Look Grapes!!! The vines look pretty pitiful, and I don't think we will be having a grape stomp anytime soon, but I thought they were pretty cool!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Saddened Yet Inspired

Today we attended a funeral for an elderly gentleman in our church. Darrell was a gentle, unassuming man who befriended everyone he met. He was a greeter at our church and just this past Sunday he was there with his big smile and his friendly "Good Morning". He died later that evening in his sleep.

During the funeral they asked people to come up and speak about how this man had impacted their lives. The stories were as varied as the people that spoke, but the one thing that everyone remembered the most was Darrell's love. His love for his family, church, friends, and country. But most importantly was his obvious love for God. He lived his life each day with one purpose: to reflect God in all that he did, and he did an awesome job of it. How comforting for his family to hear how much he touched everyone he came in contact with. Even those who had only know him for a little while.

I suppose it is natural to reflect on your own life when you attend a funeral. After all death is an undeniable fact of life for all of us. But mixed in with the heavy sadness I felt today was a little bit of inspiration. Inspiration to be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and most importantly a better reflection of God's love. Not so someone will have something nice to say about me at my own funeral, but so that maybe something in the way I loved will have a positive impact on someone else's life. Just as Darrell's love did for so many.

I know he was not perfect, and I also know he would be the first person to point that out. In fact someone said that Darrell always felt like he could do more: Love more, give more, pray more, be God's hands and feet more. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we would all strive to do those things more?

Going into church this Sunday will be sad for everyone. Darrell won't be there with his big smile and his "Good Morning!" But because he spent his lifetime mirroring God's love, we can all rest in the knowledge that he will be up in Heaven ready to greet us when our time comes.

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning"
Psalm 30:5

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Wow my blog has been neglected this week! The end of the school year is always busy for me and I have been working on our yearbooks so I haven't had time to post. Well that, and this week was particularly uneventful so there wasn't too much to post.

We did have fun last week at a crawfish boil! Here are a few pics:

There is just something about a pile of boiled crawfish in the middle of a picnic table covered with newspapers that turns the average person into a pseudo-savage!

Studies have shown that early introduction to crawfish peeling/eating helps with brain development, speech skills and problem solving skills. .......Okay...... I made that up, but the kids seemed to enjoy it.

Jennifer auditioning for the Louisiana Office of Tourism..

This picture was taken just before PETA raided the place and shut it down.

One thing you will not see in these pictures is me partaking in the feast. Prior to meeting my husband, I had never heard of crawfish, let alone participated in a crawfish boil. Since my husband is Cajun and has been eating crawfish since he got his first baby tooth, we have been to quite a few crawfish boils through the years. Back when we were dating he used to peel them for me so I wouldn't have to get my hands dirty.

Awwwwwww isn't that sweet?

Now that we have been married for almost 24 years, it's every man for himself when we go to these things, and since I'm much too lazy to work that hard for my food, I was content to walk around sipping sangria and snapping pictures.

All in all it was a lot of fun. I left with clean hands and my husband left with a full belly.