Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Watch --- a little poem

Somewhere it says *better late than never*. That is what my blog is today; late. When the coin was flipped it came up heads and the topic/theme is watch. There are many times in life when all we can do is watch.

WATCH by Patsy

A tiny baby smiles

I don't need your help

Please watch
I will make you laugh

Don't watch
This is embarrassing

I'm going to get it right

I'll wear this white dress

I can't stop the pain

Life is much to short

It's all a mom can do

Monday, December 29, 2008

You'll Always Be My Baby

I've been catching up on blog reading and was over at Secret Agent Mama where she had posted a lovely letter to her youngest, her now 2 year old son. Today, one day later than her wee one's birthday, is my baby's birthday.

Amy was a huge surprise to me. I thought I was through having babies when I found out I was pregnant with her. I'm glad I wasn't. She has filled my life with so many happy, exciting and wonderful moments.

We love to tease her. She has always been so trusting and gullible that jokes were easy to pull on her. But though she might storm and rant for a few moments, she also smiled and joined in the fun quickly.

There are many Amy stories to tell. How the puppy English bulldog treed her when she was 5, or how she had her sister order her a Guadalajara (a chalupa made only with guacamole) but hold the guacamole. How when she was in kindergarten she got an F on a paper because she chose to not follow the directions (What's the big deal if the teacher says use red and blue and you use black and orange because that is the school colors?). And scary funny that I heard about -- asking Donna how to drive around a curve while actually driving down the highway approaching a rather dangerous curve at full speed. The list could go on, but each story always end with me loving you more, with me being blessed because you are in my life.
All your successes: hitting a home run in softball, being in the *Olympics of the Mind*, being a cheerleader, being the best welder in shop class, being 2nd runner up in the Miss something, something Fair, running cross country, playing basketball, being annual editor, raising that silly pig, finishing college in 3 1/2 years, getting your teaching degree, and giving birth to two wonderful children. I know I have left many things out, things that were important at the time, things that helped make you who you are today.

Now you are a grown woman, one I am so very proud of. Working as a pre-school teacher with 4 year olds, being Mom to A and B and wife to Dave, being active in your church and having a gift for scrap booking the most simple yet beautiful photo albums. (Don't scoff people, it isn't as easy as it sounds.)
Happy Birthday, Amy. I hope you have a wonderful day. And as you start living year 34 of your life (yes, you just turned 33 which means you are starting on year 34) I hope you can continue to reach the goals you have set for yourself.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

To Bow or Not to Bow

The other night with the group of women here one of the ladies commented on the stack of presents I had arranged under the window in the dining room. (They were just stacked there, because I don't have a tree up to put them under.) She said she liked the old fashion paper I had used and the fact that I did not have bows on the packages.

I explained that all the presents had to be packed in the car to carry with us to Amarillo for the holidays and bows always just got smashed or knocked off. So I had learned they were a waste of time when they had to travel.

She went on to explain that in her family they never put bows on presents, but that her husband's family always had the fancy paper and fancy bows on theirs. She said she wasn't used to all the paper and bow fuss even after 30 years, but she was getting better at it.

That go me to thinking about Christmases past. I've done packages many ways. Some years the bows were more important than the present in the package. I spent hours making fancy ribbon bows in colors to co ordinate with the paper. Other years I have just wrapped the present and stuck a tacky star bow on them. The past few years since we travel with presents *across the river and through the woods* to the grandchildrens' house I've gotten away from bows entirely.

How about you? Do you use bows? Do you make your own or buy them? Are your presents all color coordinated with ribbons and bows? Or is the pile under your tree a menagerie of paper, star bows, pretty shiny paper with pretty ribbons and the every popular Christmas bags with tissue poking out the top?

Post script about Rudy. Today Rudy visited the school. It was good to see him up and about, but it broke my heart to hear the report that was given after he left. He will be receiving radiation and chemo treatment. The cancer is advanced, the prognosis not good. Please continue to pray for him and his family. They are people of strong faith who know that God will answer their prayer how He knows it should be answered.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'll Get 'Round Tuit, Really I Will

Tuesday and time for a flip of the coin. Ahhh, heads and the topic is "anything round." Round like a ball? Round like a circle? What thoughts come to mind?

Does 'round toit? Pictured on the left is a 'round tuit' offered on line for a mere $25.11.

Boy could I have used this a few zillion times in my life. Like just about everyday. I'm a procrastinator -- the one who puts things off until crunch time. I have very good intentions. I plan to get things done but I find that many times I just don't get 'round tuit. If I only had one of these coins things could have/would be so different.

The round tuit seems to have played an important part in history also, as evidenced by the following copied articles.

Egyptian Round Tuit History
A long time ago, in ancient Egypt…
Procrastination is not a modern problem - even in the time of the Pharaohs in ancient Egypt, people found it hard to get things done.
Take Queen Neffatuit, for example. She would put off even the most trivial of tasks, but the great Pyramid of Neffatuit must be her most famous legacy.
Such was the concern at the time that the great pyramid would not be completed, a beautiful gold plaque was crafted and given to her for her 40th birthday. This round ‘Tuit’ was a sign from her people and her son, Tuitkharmen, that she needed to pull her finger out and finish the project. The completed pyramid stands as a reminder to all that procrastination can affect us all - but can be overcome with the right help.
Over 3,000 years later, the gold round ‘Tuit’ that had been presented to Queen Neffatuit was discovered in a hidden tomb at the Valley Of The Kings. Now you can own a beautiful miniature of the round ‘Tuit’ that helped a famous Egyptian overcome her procrastination.

Roman Round Tuit History
A long time ago, in Roman Britain...
Meet Procrastinatus. He was a Roman, who lived in Britain some two thousand years ago.
Although many things were different with life in those times, Procrastinatus had one thing in common with many of us today - he liked to put things off.
"Why do it today, when it can be done tomorrow?", he asked.
There was one particular task which Procrastinatus would not do for several years, much to the distress of his wife - fix the under-floor heating. In fact, after a couple of freezing winters, she was so fed up she was ready to pack her bags and return to Rome.
Finally, Procrastinatus saw sense and repaired the heating system.
His wife was so pleased she had a special, round, bronze plaque commissioned to thank him for finally getting around to it.
And so, nearly 2,000 years later the Round Tuit was discovered at an archeological dig in Somerset, England, alongside a rather splendid (but obviously lifted and repaired) mosaic floor.

King Arthur & the Knights Of the Round Tuit
In Medieval times, the legendary King Arthur had assembled twelve chivalrous knights of the realm to protect the kingdom from evil and harm. Unfortunately, there were two problems within the ranks: infighting over status, and chronic procrastination.
Thus, King Arthur asked the wizard Merlin to fashion a finely crafted, large round table (known as a Round Tuit) to be used for the assemblage of the twelve knights. The round table ensured that no single knight sat at the head of the table and, being a Round Tuit, it also stood as a symbolic reminder to go out and get the job done.
Later, as the knights ventured further from Camelot, King Arthur had twelve gold medallions minted, depicting the Round Tuit, and reminding each knight of his duty to never falter.
The medallions also showed King Arthur and the twelve knights of the Round Tuit. As time passed, the medallions themselves became known as ‘Round Tuits’ – to serve as a reminder to get around to it and complete the task in hand.

Yes, if I had only had a 'round tuit' earlier in my life I wonder where I would be today?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Successful Holiday Party

The house is quiet now. The candles have all been blown out, the dishes put in the dishwasher, the leftover food stored away to be eaten for the next couple of days.

We laughed about life. We told tales of our grandchildren. We listened and consoled about those we care about who aren't doing well. Then we laughed some more.

We ate. The variety of food was interesting. Seven women told to bring something; we would share a meal. Nothing more said. The menu ended up being pinwheel sandwiches, veggie pizza, a veggie tray, chips and dip, and an unusual dish made with artichoke, mayonnaise, and Parmesan cheese. (I wasn't sure about that last dish. I sampled it, and I'm still not sure.) We did have some homemade divinity and my brownie torte as sweets. Iced tea and water.

We exchanged gifts. In this exchange we passed the gifts to the left and back to the right as a story was read. Each time the word right or left is said you had to hand the package off. The fun part was that the gifts had to be something you had at your house that you either no longer used (but it was still in excellent condition) or something you were giving as a re-gift. NO buying was allowed, and the present had to be wrapped in newspaper --- no pretty packages. Of course all the gifts were great things. I ended up with a candle.

Then we had a review of the book we are working our way through --- this was a working party and I must say I think we actually got more done tonight than we usually do. The fellowship we share before seemed to help us focus when it was time to actually discuss how we can involve women in the church who aren't now active.

I was nice to have this small group of friends here to share some holiday fun in my home. I love hosting. I was well worth the wee bit of stress I put myself through getting ready.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Little Christmas Spirit

This wonderful award was given to my by my friend Anni over Hootin' Anni's. This gal has more Christmas spirit and spunk than most of us have in a couple of years. If you don't know Anni, then you are missing out on a treat.

Here are the rules for the Christmas award.
You must be a true Christmas lover to receive this award. The person to whom you give the award must also be in love with Christmas. You must link back to the person who gave you the award. You must list 5 things that you love about Christmas. If you can't limit it to 5 things, then keep going till you run out of space! Pass the award along to as many people as you like. That can be 1 or 50. It's up to you! But, you must pass it on to at least one person in order to keep the Christmas cheer going! Let your recipients know that you have tagged them by leaving them a comment.

Five things I love about Christmas:

1. Being with family. It's always a rush, but we manage to get around to everyone or as close to everyone as we can. Parents, children, and grandchildren.

2. Ringing handbells at the Legacy. A nursing home/assisted living facility here in BC. These ladies and gentlemen know what Christmas is about and sing with us as we play there favorite carols.

3. Children who know Santa exist. Last year I had the most touching experience when one of my third grades saw *Santa* in the hallway. The pure delight on his face still moves me to near tears. That's Christmas for children.

4. Food --- everyone makes that special dish. The *vision of sugar plums* that has danced in their head all year presented in that special dish handed down for generations or found new in a cookbook or on a cooking show.

5. Decorating. I didn't realize this until this week. I wasn't going to put out any decorations because we would be traveling starting on the 19th. But because I was asked to host a gathering I decided I needed to put out a few things. As I set up the nativity my heart began to catch something. Then came all the Santa's that usually hang on my tree but this year only a few are out -- the large ones sitting around spreading cheer and I really began to know what was missing in me. Finally I put some silver bells and ribbon on a small tree and I knew the spirit of Christmas was truly in me.

I'm passing the award on to the following because I've read their blogs and know they have the spirit in them also.

Losing Myself
Story Teller

Okay, my job is done. Now it is your turn to spread the spirit.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

100 Word Challenge -- Anger

Velvet Verbosity is back with the 100 Word Challenge. This time the word is Anger. Anger often results in things being said that are later regreted, but the damage done by words can never be undone.

“Just shut up! Shut up, shut up, shut up! You have no idea what you are talking about. You have to be the dumbest person that ever walked the face of the earth. Don't you ever use that tiny brain?”

“But ...”

“No you don’t get to talk. Keep your mouth shut and listen. Because all you are is a big screw up. Why I ever thought you would amount to anything is beyond me. You are worthless!”

“Please” Slap

“What do you mean please? What makes you think your sniffling will work. I hate you; you lazy piece of hopeless nothing.”

Photo Hunt -- Favorite

This week's is *favorite*. Below is one of my favorite cookies to make and take. They are Christmas Mice. Always a favorite with everyone from 3 to 83.

This has been a very busy week and next week is shaping up to be just as busy. I was grousing a little about how to get it all done and even complaining a bit when it hit me. I'm an idiot for feeling anything but gratitude. I'm in great health, sure I have a few aches and pain, but nothing serious. Instead of being a sour puss and focusing on what an imposition it is to get everything done I should be rejoicing as I scurry from activity to activity that I'm able to scurry at all. There are so many who would love to be out doing and can't.

To you group of special people who find your life isn't busy but would love for it to be. Those of you who wish you could bake cookies and cakes again, and sing in a choir or play music in a group. To those who would like to have 3 parties scheduled to attend on the same day and to those who would like to have a visit from friends. I say I'm sorry I ever complained, and I wish for you happiness and promise I will change my attitude and be grateful that I am going, going, going, busy, busy, busy.

And during it all I will be happy and I will remember the reason I am busy it to rejoice in the birth of a baby king whose life was lived so I might be freed from the burden of sin.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Haiku Friday --- 'Tis the Season

Shopping and wrapping
Programs, dinners, gatherings
Decorate the house

*To do* list is long
As each thing done a check
The list grows shorter

Stop. Do you hear it?
The soft rustling of wings
Angels sing on high

The season of joy
But only if we listen
Pause and be still

Then celebrate with
The gifts, the friends, your family
A Christ child was born.

This was made by Benjamin last year.

A footnote on Rudy. He is doing remarkedly well. He will possibly be dimissed from the hospital this week-end. He was moved into a room yesterday afternoon and got to visit on the phone with his classmate when his teacher called. He told them that he was ready to come back to school. That sounded good. We don't know for sure what the future holds so we continue to pray for the labs to come back with something that can be treated easily.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Little News on Rudy

Sorry I didn't get something posted earlier today. It was just a busy day until about 8:30 and I truthfully didn't feel like writing, but I've been asked by a couple how Rudy is doing so I feel now I must say something.

The update on Rudy has mixed reviews. He came through the surgery and was responsive in recovery and ICU -- knew family that sort of thing which is very good. The down side is that the surgeons weren't able to get all the tumor. I don't know what that mean exactly; what little I heard today had already been through several hands. Also the word is there won't be results from the lab work for about a week. Continue to pray for him and his family. This is a tough time of year to have to be around a hospital.

Also I have a blogger friend who found out that she lost her baby at 11.5 weeks. This is her second miscarriage and my heart hurts for her tonight also. Then Winnie had her first chemo on Monday and the email I got from her tugged on the heart also. I haven't heard anything from my other friend lately about whether her baby is growing inside her or exactly what the prognosis is there or what they plan to do.

So tonight I'm just not in the mood to type something light. Or to find a cute picture to post. I just have a heavy heart.

I guess not that I've said all that I will let you know that it isn't all bleak here. I have gotten some things of my To Do list. Presents are wrapped, I've finished my duty at the Church kitchen, some laundry has been done and some things have been cleaned. There is still more to do, but I feel sure it will happen.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

And So I Wait

This is normally my day to participate in Heads or Tails but today I just can't get my head around the topic so I'm going to leave it be this week.

Instead I'm waiting. I'm waiting along with all the teachers I work with to hear the results of the brain surgery that one of our fourth grade students has/is undergoing. We probably won't hear anything until in the morning.

This child went home from school early on Friday complaining of a headache. As the story goes on Sunday he told his mom he still had the headache and couldn't see out of his left eye (or it could have been the right eye I'm sure it matters to the doctors, but not to my tale). His mom took him in to their local doctor on Monday morning. Monday evening he was admitted to Texas Children's Hospital in Galveston and there the family received confirmation that he has a brain tumor.

He was taken to surgery at 12:00 noon. We were told by family members that the surgery would last from 3 to 8 hours depending on many variables. So I wait a minor player in this child's life but as a major player in the prayers that have been said for him, his surgeons, and his family.

Please, if you pray put Rudy and his family on your prayer list. This is one of those sweet, conscientious students who has a ready smile and a willing spirit to attempt whatever is assigned him.

Monday, December 8, 2008

To Do and Soon plus Unconscious Mutterings

I have a deadline for things that must be done in the next few days (before December 19). I know that sounds like lots of days, but for me it is just a couple of blinks. Especially since I've known about most of these things for several days, weeks, and for a couple even months.

1. Clean the house. Yep, it must be cleaned and soon. I'm having a small Christmas gathering here in my home on the 15th. I know people aren't going to give the place a *white glove* inspection, but still the crud needs to be wiped off the counters, the dirt (we are beyond dust) removed from all flat surfaces, and the floors really should be vacuumed.

2. Put out a few Christmas decorations. See #1. This place really looks bah humbug right now. No tree, no nativity, no poinsettia, no cute Santas sitting around --- very bah humbug. Who hosts a Christmas party with NO Christmas decorations?????

3. Wrap presents I've gotten for the kids (yes, you are getting token gifts) and grand kids. That alone would make the place more festive.

4. Do laundry --- probably more than once.

5. Bake some holiday goodies, which I won't be allowed to eat more than a nibble of. I'm thinking like a mouse. Why did I accept that *lose 7 pounds by Christmas* challenge? I must be an idiot. But I've lost 3 pounds already so I can't undo that just yet. I MUST WIN!!!!!

6. Buy four more Christmas presents. They are just little ones for people here in town, but must be bought and given before the 19th.

7. Play handbells at the retirement home with my group, attend the Coastalaires dinner show, and work in the kitchen Wednesday evening at the church. Hey, Robert volunteered us for that and now he is out of town. I'm thinking this isn't fair.

8. Decide what will be taken with us to the panhandle for a week long visit and do laundry so said items can be packed.

See this list has nothing on it that is hard to do and several will be quite enjoyable, but here I sit typing away not getting any of it done. I'm a procrastinator, I work better under pressure, I like the rush I get as a deadline rapidly approaches and that excitement of not knowing if it will all get done.

Yeah, right Lets face it ---- I'm lazy.

The I say :: You think meme. I never know why these thoughts jump into my head. They just appear so I write them down. I'm sure each could be anylized and something none of us really want to know about me could be revealed so let's just not go there.

  1. Love affair :: with chocolate

  2. Bubble :: wrap

  3. Pimple :: boil

  4. Knocks :: pounds

  5. Persistent :: continuous

  6. Infected :: overrun

  7. Yay! :: hooray

  8. Repaint :: restore

  9. Daily :: grind

  10. Quickly! :: Pronto

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Photo Hunt --- Breakfast

This week's theme is breakfast. Although I have taught children for years that this is the most important meal of the day I'm not a big fan of breakfast. I have, however, discovered that I do need a little something in the tummy to tide me over until my 11:30 lunch.
That little something is what you see pictured. I like the combination and think of it as my *Wheaties* -- the breakfast of dieters.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Haiku Friday -- Whispered to the Wind

brilliant, clear blue skies
contrast the barren beauty
of the grand boulders

secrets of the land
kept hidden through the ages
whispered to the wind

how the rock does stand
but lets the blue sky shine through
we can only guess

as the seasons pass
the rock strong, unyielding
guards the secrets well

This pictures was taken last May when Carrie and I visited Acoma Pueblo near Albuquerque, New Mexico. The mesas and rock formations are a sight to behold as they jut up from the desert floor with there flat tops and huge rocks that seem to do the impossible as they balance on each other. Geologist think they know how and why, but Indian folk lore is so much more appealing when visiting this part of our country.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #22 Thanksgiving Pictures

We had such a wonderful time at Carrie's for Thanksgiving I want to share thirteen of the pictures I took to let you in on the fun we had.

Carrie, Abby and Ben made the pumpkin pie on Wednesday evening.

6:30 AM on Thursday morning the turkey is prepped to go into the oven.

Ben modeled his new JOHN DEER sweat shirt Grandpa brought him. Lots of growing room.

Abby demonstrates her skills with the giant yard pick-up sticks while we wait for things to cook.

Thursday Amy and Dave checked the paper for all those sales that were going to be on Friday.

Carrie finishes things up as we got closer to meal time. Yummm

Donna and Roger, Paul's parents, joined us for the feast and Donna got caught on clean-up duty.

Abby and Ben got to play at the pool courtesy of Aunt Carrie on Friday and Saturday mornings.

Friday evening Roger and Donna Eaton had us over for a wonderful meal.

Saturday after swimming and shopping we went out for pizza. Here an exhausted Abby plays shy in front of the camera.

Back at Carrie's, Ben posed for the camera with our Lego creation.

Mom and Dad take Abby and Ben off to bed after a round of good nights and good-byes. Grandpa and Grammar had the 6:30 AM flight the next morning.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Time to Shine

... the topic this week is Shine and it's heads, freedom to be creative.

When I saw the word for this week's HOT I instantly thought of a song I learned in Sunday School many years ago, one that I try to live by now. The words are simple and repetative, but the message is strong:

This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine
This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine
This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Hide it under a bushel? No, I'm going to let it shine.
Hide it under a bushel? NO, I'm going to let it shine
Hide it under a bushel? No, I'm going to let it shine,
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

The song goes on with "Won't let satan blow it out" and ends with "Let it shine 'til Jesus comes."

What a wonderful thought. To be able to live so that others can see the light of Jesus in us shining through in all situations. To know that satan doesn't stand a chance against Him. I know I fall short many times, but the light is always there. I just have to trust Him to help me make ti brighter.

As we enter the Christmas season, I hope you can pause for just a moment when you feel your light is not shining and refocus on Christ and the light that he brought into the world at his birth;
the hope He gives us in troubled times.

Merry Christmas.