Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Well, the cards are going out pretty late this year. I had just about decided not to send any out but when I started receiving a few, they were so great that I just had to send out ours. If you haven't received one from us, I probably don't have a current address for you so send it to me, please. I realized that my address book is hopelessly out of date since everyone's moved so much the past year or two. Our cards that went out in the mail feature our last new address (hopefully for good). We're not actually living in the trailer just yet but we are receiving mail there, and hope to be moved in by the first of the new year.

One good thing about the timing of our cards was that we got to include the newest member of our family, Ace. He's a 6-month-old half-Lab, half-pointer cross and he's just awesome. John is just loving finally having a dog. We've only had him for about a week but he's already learning sit & fetch pretty well. John's excited to train Ace in bird hunting.

This is just a quick update, since I'm literally sitting in the car using the campus's wireless internet access. A more detailed update to follow shortly after the break.

A very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all of you! God Bless!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Because its never too early (and because I love free stuff)!

The nice ladies over at Cool Mom Picks have assembled a Safer Toy Guide for 2008:

Safer Toy Guide 2008

I've actually looked at their guides several times for ideas - they do the internet legwork for you and find all the cool kiddo stuff. Disclaimer: No, looking at this stuff does not mean that I are pregnant. But I do have a sweet little 14-month-old nephew, and several new baby cousins. The prices on this stuff is higher than Wally World but to me, these are more heirloom pieces that can be played with now and displayed later. Here were some of my faves:


This is a bit of a random post but I've been having some weird dreams lately and wanted to document it. We don't get out much - due to lack of budget or time, but apparently my subconcious has decided that I need to. And that I need to meet new people. In the past couple of months, I've dreamed that I've visited The Pioneer Woman, Miss Zoot and Mrs. Flinger. These some of the bloggers that I read regularly. While I don't share their views 100%, I value and enjoy their writing, their stories and their sense of humor. And I guess reading about their families so much lends itself to feeling like I know them - their husbands & children were in the dreams too. Of the three, I actually came close to meeting Mrs. Flinger when I went to Seattle for a conference but we couldn't get our schedules straight. Last night, I dreamed that I was leaving her house in Seattle & driving home to Texas and that I'd decided to stop in L.A. to see Betsy from AFC. I also went to Kuala Lumpur last night and was trying to take better photos of the twin towers with my D70 but the camera wouldn't work. Anyone else visited people in their dreams? Anyone? Bueller?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

A Beautiful Life

This past Thursday, John's mother, Pam went home to Jesus. She fought against cancer for 3 yrs and she was a wonderful lady.

How do you sum up a life in mere words?

I was privileged to know her as John's mom since the 6th grade, and as a mother-in-law for almost 5 years. The two things that people say the most about her is that she loved her 'boys' and she loved people. And she did. They sacrificed so that she could stay home with her two sons and raise them, and she never regretted it. She was so involved in every aspect of their lives - every school function, every ball game. After they both were in school, she worked some as a teacher's aide & substitute but she was still there all the time. She was the one who sat with family members when they were ill in the hospital. Pam worked hard to create a home that was beautiful and comfortable for the men in her life. Nothing meant more to her than her family, except God. Pam had so much that she planned to do here - Christmas, decorating her new home, traveling with Johnny - but she was confident and at peace that she would be with God in Heaven. She fought cancer with a positive attitude and kept her smile constantly. Most of my photos are of her laughing. Pam led a full life and she was a lady with a lot of class and a little sass.

Please pray for Johnny, his days are so empty without her; for her mother, Sue, who has already lost a husband & a son; for John & Chad, they miss their mama; for Uncle David, he's lost a sister; for the aunts & uncles, they've lost a life-long friend; for the nieces and nephews, Aunt Pam was always there for them; for myself & Jamie, she had so much more to share with us.

The days ahead will be difficult but I think all of us are clinging to the hope with have in Christ and the surety that we will all be together someday in heaven. I'm no scholar, but I can't help but think that we were not created to be able to handle death. When God made man & woman, we were not meant to be separated from Him or from each other by sin & death. So when we lose someone, the agony which we experience is because we know in our souls that this is wrong, that we shouldn't have to say goodbye, that our minds & hearts are not equipped to deal with this. That is why I don't know how people who don't believe can deal with saying goodbye because all that keeps me together is God - His strength & comfort. I know that someday, I will get to be with the people I love and that I won't ever have to say goodbye again.

I'm sorry for the things that Pam & I spoke of that we didn't get the chance to do together - hosting a tea party, shopping, planning for Christmas etc. But I think we can all be proud of the last few years - we have tried our best to not put things off, to be together with family whenever possible and "making memories" as Pam called it. And I hope we continue to take this mindset into the future.

Friday, August 29, 2008


My scrapbooking desk that John made was featured on Unclutterer today!

Unclutterer is one of the home/organizational sites that I check out regularly so it was a great compliment to have them include my desk. It's a compliment to John's carpentry skills too - he did a wonderful job on my desk & I love it.

Still no photo updates because we're moving out of our rent house (have to be out by this weekend) but the trailer doesn't have electricity yet. So most of our furniture is going in the trailer, we're moving into John's folks' new house and some things are being stored at my mom's. Insane. And did I mention that the newlyweds' house isn't finished yet so they are also living with John's folks. Hopefully the electricity will be hooked up soon but if Gustav hits anywhere near Tx or Louisiana, it could be months. So we'll be in a limbo state for a while. But we won't have a rent payment next month and I'll be sending out my last permanent address in an email soon.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Joss Whedon & Dr. Horrible

OK, so most of you weren't the big Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans that I was. But the creator of the show, Joss Whedon, has come out with something new that's a lot of fun. Dr. Horrible's Sing A Long blog has come out with the first two acts of a three act show and it's awesome! Each act is approx. 13 minutes long and is in musical format. It's about an evil genius, Dr. Horrible, (played by Doogie Howser) his attempts to take over the world & win the heart of a girl, both of which are thwarted by his nemisis, Captain Hammer. But it's not as straight forward as it sounds. Anyway, I love it & I appreciate what Joss was trying to do in showing Hollywood that there are quality stories to be told without spending mega-millions. The videos will only be available through this Sunday.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

VBS and other happenings

I've been catching some flack about the need for a posting (some from people who don't even have blogs). I don't have any photos for you because 1) my external hard drive ran out of room so no more editting until my new one arrives and 2) I've been spending my evenings helping with & preparing for VBS at North St. The theme this summer is Jesus loves you SNOW much! John & I (with Mom filling in for John on Monday & Tuesday) have had the 8, 9, & 10 yr olds. We only have to come up with a lesson to fill 15 minutes, then accompany the class to crafts, drama, games & dinner. It's our first year actually teaching and after a rough start, we've really enjoyed it. There are some great kids in our class and I'm crossing my fingers that some of the lessons have actually stuck. In lieu of photos, I'm posting my memory verse take-home items that I made using my Klic-N-Kut & software becuase. My mom, who team-taught 1st grade Sunday school for a number of years, said "You have to have something with the memory verse on it!". So here's what I came up with:

This was printed out 4 to an letter-size cardstock, then we punched holes at the bottom & hung them around the kids neck. Holes at the bottom means that when the kids look down, they can read their cards. On the back their 'homework' was to bring a friend.

This one is a little tough to see but was a paper doll cutout that we attempted to fasten around the kids' arms with tape. Not one of my more successful ideas but this has been a real trial & error learning process for me. I designed the paper doll with my KNK also but didn't have time to use the machine to cut it out so we cut them out by hand.

This was a simple design I made with Publisher. Printed on cardstock 8 per page, then put a magnet strip on the back.

I don't have a photo of last night's take home but I welded the word PRAY in large letters with my KNK & cut it out of Bazzil cardstock in red & green using the machine. Then I wrote the verse from Matthew 6:6 on the PRAY. Kind of a bookmark, bulliten board thing. The kids seemed to like it.

This is my last one, designed last night using the KNK software. No time for a print & cut using the machine so it will just be printed on cardstock, then cut using a paper trimmer.

Another thing that worked well for me was borrowing a white board from the Sunshine school so my class can play Bible Pictionary or Hangman. These kids are fast & it's nice to have something to do in those last few minutes before we switch stations.

Tonight's the last night for VBS, then I'm twisting John's arm to go to the movies with me - either Wanted or WallE.

Soon to come - a recap of the May Savannah trip, more photos of Jansen, and Pops & Mom Woods new house. Move in for them is tentatively scheduled for next week, then John & I begin the process of getting our place ready. Whoop!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Spring Update

In keeping with the babies everywhere theme that's prevalent in the blog-world, I'm doing my part by showing photos of my sweet great-nephew, Jansen. Here he is at Christmas in a five generations photo with my grandmother, mother, sister & nephew. My grandmother turned 91 this past week so we're going to visit her this weekend to celebrate. Jansen was 3 1/2 months old in this photo.

Here are some more recent photos taken this past weekend. He is just the cutest thing with huge blue eyes and a really expressive face. The Aggie outfit was his Christmas gift from John & I - he's just now really fitting into it. I can't wait to teach him to Gig 'Em!

In other news, Johns parents are building a long awaited house. Here it is as of mid-February. It's looking really great now - bricks and everything. I'm so excited for them, espcially John's mom as she has dreamed of this for a long time. We're all looking forward to family gatherings over there, espcially for the annual 4th of July & New Years parties. John's extended family is large so it'll be great to have all that room. John & I are also excited becuase when they're moved in, we'll be moving their trailer house to our property and constructing a large shop. We're excited to finally be moving to the actual location of Graywood Farm and no longer be renters. We're meeting with the electric company next week and putting up stakes this weekend.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

More photoshop fun

A photo from last year's relay for life in a free photoshop template.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


I love photography, even though I'll never go beyond amateur status. I love the beautiful images and the idea of capturing a moment.

The Library of Congress just put a ton of images from their archives up on Flickr. It's amazing to see the photos from the 20th century - most are gorgeous, without the aid of tools such as photoshop. Here are a few of my favs from a search for "Texas":

I am excited about Photoshop personally though. I recently tried a couple of tutorials and here are the results:

Original photograph with slight edits from software that came with camera

Here it is with some tweaking

Another tweaked version with no color & more blur

I'm very excited to learn more about Photoshop and I'll get to attend two classes on this in Feburary.