Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Enjoying the Moment

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. ~Stacia Tauscher

So much of the time I am focused on my children's future. I often wonder how I am as their parent will directly affect the people they will become. But as I tucked my little angels into bed tonight, I took in the moment. They are little precious people right now, full of questions and requests. Daniel wants to take an empty backpack to school tomorrow because he "doesn't have to carry anything to school but you never know what I will have to bring home." Mann wanted to talk about who he knows that lives in heaven. Emma gave slobbery kisses.

I am so grateful tonight for my little blessings, just as they are today.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Why do you go?

Do you go to church on Sundays? Why do you go?

I think everyone has different reasons to go to church. We attend a small church in Murchison. Seth and I with our family are really the only young people who attend every Sunday. I started a Sunday School class for the children that meets during the service. Sometimes it is just me and my boys in there, but on most Sundays there are other children visiting with their grandparents. I tell a story and then we do a craft. And I am starting new curriculum next week that I am really excited about.

But I teach my children about Jesus at home. And I will admit, I feel closer to God during my morning quiet times with Him, then I do in the church we attend on Sundays.
So why go to church at all? I know people who do not go to church, but are better Christians than many of the people I see behind those church doors. But Hebrews 10:23-25 tells us that we should gather together as Christians, to worship and spur each other on to do good deeds.

I practiced Catholicism for a short period of time right after I got out of college. What I really liked about the Catholic church was the reverence. I really felt the presence of God in the Catholic church. But I have also felt God's presence in the Bible churches I have visited, with their powerful worship teams with amazing music.
God is everywhere. He is in my living room every morning at 5:15am, getting me ready to start the day.

So, why do I go to church? To be perfectly honest, I go to be with family. Why do you go?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Let's Hear it for the Coaches

Last night, Seth came home and said he didn't feel well. He was in bed by 9 o'clock. He thought he was sick, but I know what it was: exhaustion.

I feel like people really don't appreciate coaches. Everyone shows up for the game Friday night and watches the team, but do you ever watch the coaches? Of course, I do, because that is my cute husband there on the sidelines! Seth may complain about not making enough money and the time coaching takes, but I know he loves it. When I see him interact with those kids and get excited about a good play, I can tell he is having fun.

What is not fun is to hear the crowd boo the players and shout unsolicited "advice" at the coaches. It floors me that people come to a football game and sit there on their behinds, socializing and ignoring the game or are apparently only there to shout negative comments. Why do they even bother coming out? When the team is doing well, do they cheer for them? NOPE....they don't! But if something doesn't go their way, you can bet these people are on their feet looking for someone to blame - and it is usually the coach.

My prayer is that this season is better than the last. I hope that the fans will be on their feet for these kids and show them some support. I hope that when things don't go our way that people think before they yell at a coach or boo at a player. Everyone is doing their best out there. Let's try to treat each other with encouragement and respect.

"Let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet." 1 Thessalonians 5:8

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I Love Walmart

This title probably just set my mother not simply rolling but spinning in her grave!

When I was growing up, we shopped at Ralph's. Ralph's was the small local grocery store in Snider Plaza near our house. We did not go to Minyard's, which was the local chain store, even though my mom knew the family who owned the chain. Nope, we paid slightly more to support the local store.

While I agree with supporting local merchants, for my family it really does come down to what I can get for less. We are starting back to school tomorrow, and money will be extremely tight for the next ten months. We have three children in daycare, which runs about $1100 a month. I am essentially working for health insurance for me and the kids and my car payment this year.

Our financial plan includes Seth going to Sam's Club once a month and getting the bulk items and snacks and such for the kids. Then every week, I do the grocery shopping. I can only spend $50 a week.

There is not much you can get these days for $50. For example, I put $60 in my vehicle on my way to the store today. It is quite a challenge, but one I have tackled for the past few weeks and it has been working out well.

I plan my menu for the week's meals. I cook mostly from scratch, which is much cheaper. When I get to the store, if the cart is getting too pricey, I start eliminating what we can do without.

The reason I say that I love Walmart is this: I can buy $50 worth of groceries and make it last a week. Even cutting coupons, I can't get everything we need for $50 at Brookshires or another local grocer. (Not that Brookshires is very "local" anymore!)

Walmart has their own generic brands that are literally half the price in some cases for the same product. Plus, you cannot ignore the convenience. Last week, I went at 9pm on Saturday night to do the weekly shopping, after I got the kids in bed. And, in addition to the groceries, I also was able to pick up a couple cute t-shirts for Emma Jo, for $2 each. If I had needed a fishing pole or a cooler, I could have gotten that as well.

So I am sorry to mom that I just cannot make myself spend more to support local. The fact of the matter is that there just isn't very much local left to support anyway. But one thing I will always do is buy from our local produce stands. There are a ton out here where we live in the summer and if you buy up and freeze, you can be set all winter long! Yum!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Some thoughts for the day

*Anyone that can control your anger is in control of you.*
*Nothing creative ever came out of chaos.*
*Trust is built not during the easy, happy times, but during the trials in your life.*
*Take the time it takes.*

Thursday, August 19, 2010



Really? Are we dreaming?

If you work in education in Texas, you know exactly what I am talking about. The TAKS tests are all we hear about all year long and then the final scores come in over the summer. The state tells you how your students did and gives your school a ranking that will follow you around for a year: Academically Unacceptable, Academically Acceptable, Recognized or Exemplary.

2010 was a wonderful year for Brownsboro. We are a Recognized District this year, with 3 of our schools receiving the Recognized rating and 3 receiving Exemplary status....and for the first time...EVER....Brownsboro Junior High is EXEMPLARY. This means that 90% or more of our students passed TAKS!

This is just a huge accomplishment and I am so proud of all of the teachers at BJH, especially the teachers who teach the TAKS-tested subjects. I feel like I am just riding on the coattails of others' success in their classrooms because 7th grade Texas History (which is what I teach) is not a TAKS-tested subject. (But I am sure my students would have passed had there been one!)

Like I have said before, junior high is not an easy level of education to teach. Some days we feel successful if we have made it through the day without any fights or emotional meltdowns. To learn that we ARE being successful in the classroom is a great joy.

Tonight is Meet the Teachers and we will be meeting and welcoming our new students and parents to BJH. I am so excited to see my new 7th graders. They are always so cute when they are nervous in the beginning of the school year! Ready or not, here it comes!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Scary Saturday

This past weekend, I got the scare of a lifetime.

It was early on Saturday morning and I was sitting in our Lazy Boy chair, where I usually have my quiet times in the morning. The boys had awaken early that morning and were playing in Daniel's room, so I was trying to spend some "semi-quiet" time with my Bible and praying before Emma Jo woke up.

I opened my eyes to the sound of her crying in her crib and began to get out of the chair. As my eyes cast down at the floor briefly, I saw it: A snake, silently slithering along the baseboard, not 2 feet from me. It wasn't huge, but I knew right away that it was a Copperhead.

I quickly stepped away and raced to the fireplace and retrieved the small shovel. The snake hadn't appeared to notice me yet. I crept up to it and took careful aim. I said a prayer that I wouldn't miss, and then I went for the head with the shovel.

I didn't get as close to the head as I wanted and the snake was pinned against the carpet, which was making it hard to kill. It was striking at the shovel. I held on as tightly as I could and tried to move it against the baseboard. I kept pushing the shovel against the snake for what felt like eternity. Finally, I decided it was dead enough to let go and get it out of the house. I scooped it up with the shovel and headed out the front door.

When I got outside, I was brave enough to take a picture. You can see where I got it with the shovel, there's a little indention...not quite close enough to the head. Had it been a large snake, I would have been in trouble...but then again, had it been a large snake, the kids and I would have evacuated and called for back-up!

I am not certain how the snake got into the house, but I am so thankful that it was me, instead of one of the kids, especially Emma Jo, that found it. I hate to think what would have happened to my fearless little princess if she would have happened upon it first.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Joys of Pregnancy

I am one of those weird people who love being pregnant. I just love everything about it. I love the excitement of not-knowing before you find out the sex of the baby. The tiny flutters of movement are amazing and hearing the heartbeat at the doctor's visits is absolute heaven to me. Plus, you can gain some weight and that's okay because you're pregnant!

Before you freak out, no, I am not pregnant again. We are 99.9% sure we are finished having babies, which makes me pretty sad, especially as I watch Emma Jo not already walking, but running around the house.

I have two good friends who are pregnant to get me through this difficult time of accepting that I may never enjoy the fun of pregnancy again. One is due at the end of October, the other is due in February. Unfortunately for them, neither share a love of pregnancy with me.

But here's something to think about: I have had three beautifully perfect pregnancies and each pregnancy ended with a healthy, happy baby. It's easy when you are pregnant to get wrapped up in your own complaints and worries: Am I gaining too much weight? I don't have enough maternity clothes! My feet are so swollen and I am so tired!

My cousin, Kara, and I were both pregnant with little girls almost 16 months ago. Tessa Grace was born on April 17th and Emma Jo was born on April 25th. Tessa Grace went to heaven shortly after she was born. Kara knew her baby was probably not going to live, but she carried Tessa Grace, gave birth to her, and then gave her back to Jesus.

Imagine carrying a child, and going through a pregnancy and all that comes with it, but knowing that your child might not be with you but for a few moments. It is more than heart-breaking, and I cannot help but cry everytime I think about the loss my sweet cousin has endured. It could have been my child just as easily as it was hers. Kara is incredibly strong and has leaned on God for understanding. She is pregnant again, with another little girl, and at last report, all is looking good.

Today let us give thanks for all of the healthy pregnancies and healthy babies, and prayers for healing and understanding for the babies and parents that need it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Don't bother, if you don't love football

Football season has arrived. I just love football, and I guess I always have.

Growing up, we had season tickets to all of the high school games. And of course, Daddy always watched the Dallas Cowboys every Sunday. I remember my mom trying to keep me from watching the game with him when I was little, mostly because of all of the "colorful" words Daddy yelled at the TV. I was fascinated by how emotional he got over the game and reminded him often that the players could not hear him in the TV.

When I was in high school, I was a Highland Belle (Highland Park's drill team) and I remember that there were lots of Belles that chatted with each other and danced to the band in the stands, but had no idea what was going on in the game. Now, I am not going to say I didn't dance to the band in the stands, but you can bet, if something big happened in that game while I was dancing, my dance moves turned off abruptly and you would see me jumping up and down and yelling for the team. I remember my friend Debs and I were the ones watching...and I remember her boyfriend going down for the season in the very first game...devastating if you understand and love football like we do.

Yes, I'm a coach's wife, so it is convenient that I love the sport, since we will be living and breathing it until December. And I have two young boys, who already love football, too. But if you love the sport, you just can't explain why....you just do.

Kenny Chesney's new video for his song "The Boys of Fall" says it all. I put it here if you would like to see it and haven't yet. Don't bother watching if you don't love football....you just won't get it. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


It has been a crazy past couple days at our house, but the end result is AWESOME!!! The floor in our master bathroom has finally been completed!
I have learned that remodeling can be a never ending project, but you would think that we could at least finish the floors! We have been walking around on concrete in our new bathroom for almost 3 months because we wanted to wait until we could find the right person for the right price to put our tile in. FINALLY, it happened!

It took less than two days, and it wasn't the easiest thing in the world with three small children in the home, but the end result makes me so happy! And the great news is that our tile guy is pretty handy and did a beautiful job so we now have someone great to call for our future home projects!
Check out our before and after pictures
(& some disgruntled little ones, too!)

Monday, August 9, 2010

What will the light show?

Just something to think and pray about tonight:

"Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no
part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness;
instead, expose them. It is shameful even to talk about
the things that ungodly people do in secret. But their
evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on
them, for the light makes everything visible. That is
why it is said, 'Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.'" - Ephesians 5:10-14

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My Last Weekend of Freedom

I am glad to see the end of a very busy weekend, but at the same time I am trying to savor my last few days of summer. This is the last week of carefree days before I go back to work and my children go back to daycare. This time next week, I will be running around the house, making sure everything is organized and ready to go for our first day back.

But it's weekends like these ones that are fun and exhausting at the same time. My dad and Trish took our kids to spend the night at their house on Saturday night. There's is nothing like a quiet house. I actually got to take an uninterrupted shower in the middle of the afternoon!

Saturday night found us at Fajita Fest, the coaches' welcome back party and we also had a baby shower for one of my dear friends. While it was nice to be kidless, I did find myself missing them...until I came home to my quiet house and was able to go straight to bed without wrestling anyone else to stay in his bed for an hour first.

Then to church this morning, lunch with the family, naptime followed by....Chuck E Cheese! We had a birthday party to go to...on the same night of the Cowboys first preseason game. (If you know my husband, you know where this is going....) So, it's me, with a 4 year old, a 3 year old and a 15 month old...at Chuck E Cheese's...by myself. Now, let it be said, that I have wonderful friends who helped me out, but I ran all over that place for two hours straight.

It was definitely an eventful night, especially when Chucky himself appeared. We were all pretty sure Chucky was drunk...he even knocked over poor Emma Jo at one point as she was brave enough to get close to him. And poor birthday girl, Bradie, was terrified of Chucky! (In Amy's defense, she said Bradie really liked Chucky the last time or she wouldn't have had her party there!)

All in all, it was a great weekend, but I am definitely ready for a good night's sleep! Wishing everyone a wonderful last week of freedom!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Midnight Madness

After the events of last night, I have added something to my already full to-do list for today:

*purchase and install a child safety lock on the back door

(If you know my children, you already know which child this story involves.)
Last night, at about 12:30am, Seth and I were sound asleep in bed when I heard a noise. From our open bedroom door, you can see straight down the hallway to the back door, and as I opened my eyes to the sound, my heart stopped as I saw the back door standing open. I was about to wake up my oblivious snoring husband when I heard water running.

I sat up in bed and peered down the dark hallway. I couldn't see anything but the open door and the little light it was letting in. I got out of bed walked to our bedroom doorway. I looked down and saw Mann's blanket puppy on the floor. My stomach flipped. I raced to the open door. There he was, standing outside the door. And the running water that I had heard? Mann was peeing.

"What are you doing?!" He looked at me like that was the stupidest question he had ever heard. "I had to pee," he said calmly, as he pulled back up his pajama bottoms, took his puppy from my hands, and headed back inside.

Nevermind that he had to walk past two perfectly good bathrooms from his bedroom to the back door!

I tucked Mann back in his bed and locked the back door, but didn't sleep much the rest of the night. My eyes were fixed on that door, waiting for Mann to take his next restroom break.

This morning, I asked Mann if he remembered going out the back door to pee last night. He said he did and when I asked him why he felt he needed to go outside in the middle of the night to pee, he said, "To grow the plants." You have to love a 3 year old's reasoning!

Friday, August 6, 2010


Hey everyone. I have opened up my comments section to make it easier for people to leave comments. You no longer have to belong to Google or anything. Anyone can leave a comment. Sorry I am just now figuring out how to do this. I am still learning! :)

Mary versus the milkshake

It's always easy to say you are going to eat right when you stomach is full of food. I always thought that when I turned 30, an alarm would go off in my brain, automatically causing me to eat better. Well, my 30th birthday came and went in April and I heard no alarm. Therefore, I still stuff my face with the same food I always have.

The thing is, I know how to eat well, I just refuse to. I know what foods are good for me and what's bad for me. I'm sure you are like, "Well, who doesn't?" Ummmmm...Seth, for example, doesn't. His idea of eating healthy is a salad....with fried chicken strips, cheese, bacon bits and croutons, swimming in ranch dressing. Or he might eat a chicken fried steak, smothered in cream gravy, but have no mashed potatoes and skip the ice cream afterwards. Even more depressing is that when Seth goes on one of his "diets" he loses 10 to 15 pounds!

So, it looks like I am going to have to sound off my own alarm. I have 10 pounds to lose. I am vowing to eat less and eat better and exercise more. No fad diets, no speed diet pills. Just me, making wiser choices about what foods I put in my body. Which is easy to say because I am not hungry yet. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A so-called "Christian"

I saw a preview for a movie that looked really interesting. First, let it be said, that I am a fan of teen movies and TV shows. While the rest of my friends are watching more "grown-up" shows like Grey's Anatomy and Army Wives, I am watching The Secret Life of the American Teenager. I don't know why...I like to think it's because I am a teacher and can relate to teenagers and their way of thinking, but it's probably just because I am still a kid at heart!

Anyway, the movie is called Easy A. Cut to the chase, the part of the movie trailer that drew me in was Amanda Bynes character, who is supposed to be a "Christian." Here's the trailer, if you would like to see.

Now Amanda's character acts in the way I feel like many Christians are perceived by non-believers. Obviously, she goes about dealing with Olive the wrong way, but I think we all do this at some time or another. Talking badly about others, judging others, thinking you are better than someone else....we are all guilty of it and if you claim not to be, I think you are lying to yourself. I'm not too proud to say that I am a sinner. I ask for God's forgiveness during my quiet time in the morning, but know that, although I will try hard not to, I will sin again.

I don't want to be one of these types of Christians who are seen like the character in the movie. I read recently about a group of Christians in Waco who are ministering to strippers. Here's the story, if you care to read it:

How neat is that? (Seth also thought this a very exciting ministry as well, until I explained to him that he would not get to participate by going into the clubs:) My point is that we need to reach out to those who need us. We shouldn't just be cooped up in a room with other Christians talking about how bad the world is around us. Let's do something!

Don't speak evil against each other. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God's law. Your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. -James 4:11-12

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Boys of Fall

It's already that time of year again. Let's get ready to play some football!!!

I love everything about football. I don't go see those Bears play to socialize! I love watching the game. I love the school spirit, the banners and bumper stickers. I love the pep rallys and the excitement of game days. I love the half-time shows and I love it when our team wins.

The only thing that is not so fun about football season is missing my husband. As a varsity coach for the Brownsboro Bears, Seth started back to work yesterday and we can expect to see very little of him until December when the season ends. Brownsboro coaches work 7 days a week during football season. Seth even will have to miss lunch with the family after church on Sundays to go to work.

But I think it's worth it. I love seeing the positive influence he has on his players and watching him out their coaching on Friday nights. And his little boys love rooting for "Daddy's team, the Bears!" Someday too soon, they will be out on that field!

Welcome football season! Go Bears! (Go Aggies and Go Cowboys, too!)

Monday, August 2, 2010

I'm a Circle!

A couple years ago, my friends Holly, Amy and I saw Vicki Sanderson speak at one of our teacher trainings. Vicki asked us to think in our mind of four different shapes:

a circle

a square

a triangle

or a squiggly line

She told us to draw on our papers which one just felt right to us.

Holly and I both drew circles and we have since said to each other many times, "But you know me, I'm a circle!" Everyone else might look at us like we have lost our minds, but we know what being a circle means.
(If you want to see what your shape means go to: http://www.psychometricshapes.co.uk/circle.php and click on the left side tabs)

Circles love people and are very social. They get along well with others. They like to wear comfortable clothes and would be the ones to bring a cushion to sit on at their desk at work. Vicki said that circles would be on time to the faculty meeting, not because they like to be on time, but because there might be food involved!

Circles have a hard time saying no. My friend Amy is a squiggly line. She floors me how easily she just says no. Someone asked her to participate in something a while back and she just looked her in the eye and said, "No, and you don't need to ask me in the future, because I am never going to do that." WOW!!!! How did she have the guts to say that?! But she didn't even think twice. I wished I could have that courage.

Circles tend to care about what others think about them. They hate conflict and will usually back down in an argument. This means that if the boss wants someone to volunteer for a task and there are no volunteers, a circle is the one who is asked to do it.

This would explain why last year I was in charge of the Flower Fund at school and why this year I am assisting with Student Council and agreed to take over Student Council duties the next year.

But being a circle, one of the things that I have trouble with is not being able to stand up for myself, my opinions and my beliefs. Circles don't like to say "No, I disagree with that," or start any sort of conflict. And if someone knows that you will not stand up to them, they can use it against you.

Recently, I was upset when another person was doing just that. I prayed to God to take the person's tacky comments away, but I still was just letting them eat at me. Then I noticed that Seth doesn't seem to let anything get to him. When I asked him how he did it, he explained that my problem was that I was a "Yes" person. Huh?

A "Yes" person (and a Circle person) tends to just agree with whoever is talking. When someone says something, we nod along even if we don't really agree. He said that it's alright to just say "Okay." Saying "Okay" means, "I hear you, I do not fully agree with you, but I am not starting a fight with you either. I am just acknowledging your opinion."

I was pleased with his advice and thought it was funny that God had led me to talk to Seth. Who knew he could be so wise? ;)

So, now I am working on being an "Okay" person. I am going to work at standing up for myself and I might even learn to say "No, but thanks for asking me!" (Being a circle, I just have to put that thank you part in there!)

On a completely different note, please say prayers for my husband and all of the coaches and football players that started two-a-days this week. It is supposed to be above 100 degrees everyday this week! I pray that everyone stays healthy and hydrated! Go Bears!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Three Different Blessings

Each child is unique. It's funny to see this in your own children. We have three children and although Seth and I made all three together, they could not be more different from each other!

Daniel is sensitive. He doesn't like loud noises or music. Last night as we ate with my dad, Trish and Mackenzie at the Jalapeno Tree, the waitstaff did a VERY loud "Happy Birthday" song at the table next to us. Daniel crawled under our table until it was over. He is quiet and could watch television from morning until night if you let him. Daniel can also play by himself for hours, just talking to himself and making up stories.

Mann is on the far other end of the spectrum. One word to describe Mann....UnPrEdIcTaBlE! One minute he is cuddling in your lap, the next he is throwing a tantrum at your feet and you have no idea what happened! He cannot sit still long enough to watch a single television show, much less a movie. When Seth took him to see Toy Story 3, Seth said there was running commentary from Mann throughout the entire film. He is very articulate and to say he is talkative would be an understatement. Mann loves sports and playing ball with his daddy best of all. If you ask him his name, you would hear, "Daddy's Mann!"

And sweet little Emma Jo. Although she's only 15 months old, you can already see her cute personality coming out. She likes attention and can be LOUD to get it. She loves to cuddle. Stuffed animals are her favorite toys, especially the ones that make noise! She has a little bit of sensitivity like Daniel, but can be bold and stubborn like Mann. She loves being outside and trying to keep up with her big brothers.

We are so blessed to have these three very different blessings!

Children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. - Psalm 127:3