Friday, June 29, 2012

My gift...

Sam gave me a very unique anniversary gift.

After he'd handed out the letters and CDs to the Joe.T. Garcia's group, (Click HERE if you haven't (and you'd like to) read about that) he told the group that he had one last gift, because it was our anniversary.  He then began telling about our first date.

We went to a Baylor football game. (We're both Baylor grads.) His family was (is) really into Baylor, and at the first home game of the season would often have a big family reunion in the game room of the apartment complex they owned in Waco.  And that was the game we went to... so after the game I got to meet the whole family.... and extended family.  They were all very friendly and I was impressed.
Anyway, during the course of the family reunion meal at the apartment after the game, I ran into some old friends who lived in that apartment complex and whose wedding I played the piano at and sang a song I'd written.  Long story short, they invited us to their apartment and asked that I play and sing that song.   So I did, having no idea what my date might think of that.
WELL, turns out my date really liked it!!!

Fast forward: We're sitting at Joe T. Garcia's June 17, 2012 and Sam is telling them about this... and how impressed he was with me on that first date(!!!!), and well, he said he remembered that my playing that song touched him so much... and since he wanted to give me a gift, and he'd given everybody a CD that day (June 17), he wanted to give me a special CD.
He chose "Killing Me Softly" by Roberta Flack.
He told of how the lyricist of that song heard Don McLean play a song at lounge, or bar, and it just touched her so much she wrote a poem about how it touched her...  and it resulted in the beautiful "Killing Me Softly".
Now my song was NOT AT ALL  about what that song is about... but Sam said it (my song) touched him so much... that well, the story behind "Killing Me Softly" came to mind... so he gave me the CD of "Killing Me Softly". 

Wow.  And Sam got teary when he was telling me (and the group) about all this.

How sweet is that????!!!!!!

Here's the song.... 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Dad's Gift...

It's been over a week since Father's Day and our 34th anniversary (June 17).
Memory is a wonderful thing. I can relive June 17th over and over.

We met our kids and their spouses and Ryan's parents, brother and sister, and grandparents at Joe T. Garcia's. It was a fun group, to be sure.
After we'd settled down and ordered, Sam said he had a presentation to make. (I knew what was coming.)
He said he wanted to give something to his kids as his father's day gift to THEM. He handed out envelopes and CDs to everyone (he made copies for everyone).
First he said, 'Let's read the letter in the envelope. I'll read it aloud and you can follow along.
Here's the picture I took of that....

Here's what the letter said... (I'm copying and pasting)...

I happened to read a thought for parents last week, which made me realize the best gift for Father’s Day.
It’s a letter from a Dad to a Son, on the occasion of his son entering the monastery.

Dear Son, your mother and I are overjoyed to hear how you are adjusting to your vocation and your new life inside the walls of the monastery, and please know that we will pray for you now as we always have prayed for you. There is only one thing I ask you to keep in mind, my son, as you grow in the knowledge of your vocation and that is this: many a night, ‘when all the world was hushed,’ your mother and I rose from our beds to change your dirty diapers. And in doing this we found our vocation.

As often said, it’s hard to remember what life was like before kids. My children, and now my new extended family, more than anything else, gives me “definition.”
I found some old music (pre-children days). I was searching for a song whose lyrics often pop up in my mind. I discovered I had credited it to the wrong author. Instead it is Don Francisco’s “Steeple Song.” That’s what the CD is for. Here’s the hook. After singing about what churches like to call success he sings the chorus:

Do you love your wife?
For her and for your children
Are you layin' down your life?
What about the others?
Are you livin' as a servant to
Your sisters and your brothers?
Do you make the poor man beg you for a bone?
Do the widow and the orphan cry alone?

I don't care if you pray for miracles
I don't care if you speak with tongues
I don't care if you said you love Me
In every song you've sung
It doesn't matter that your sacrifice of praise
Is loud enough to raise the dead
The thing I need to ask you is
Have you done the things I said?

Repeat Chorus

Lord, when were You a prisoner
That we did not come to You?
When was it that we saw You sick
That we didn't follow through
Every time you turned your head
And pretended not to see
When you did it not to the least of these
You did it not to Me

A note to my children... Here’s the best gift for Father’s Day: be kind to others, help where needed, contribute to society. I don’t really care if you are the best or brightest, just be a good person.
My Father’s Day gift is the best... because I have children, in-laws and parent-in-laws that are truly good people. Thank you!

A Happy Dad,

Samuel W. Carmack, V
 Then he said the CD was of Don Francisco's songs, which had that song on it.

It was all wonderful.

Then he gave ME something VERY special. And that was a surprise! 
This blog post is getting long so I'll wait to write about that later.  (It would take quite a few words.)

Please take my latest poll!!  (upper right)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Read this!

“The supreme happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved.”
- Victor Hugo

I so believe that.

And I believe this:

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

You may say, 'Yeah, right.'

And I say, "YES. RIGHT." 

There is so much history to that's truth.
So much evidence.
(Look at the Chinese underground church.... and the African believers... and the South Korean believers.... Australian..... etc., etc., etc.)

I was lying in bed tonight thinking about Christianity.... (not denominations, or weirdo TV evangelists) ...but its truth... and I had to get up and blog about it. ... and how God loves us TRULY, COMPLETELY AND FOREVER.

Oh yes, there is awfulness in this world.  Death. Tragedy. Complete unfairness, for sure.

But He sent a Savior. 

Don't discount it.

Don't just say, 'Yeah, right.'

Look into it.

That is my blog post tonight.

Sleep tight.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Three precious people...

... gave me some smiles the other day...

Caroline made this necklace and made one almost like it for me!
(I love the shirt she's wearing!)

Andrew showed me his muscle...
 He is really, really strong.

Anna was being adorable...
... which is her usual way of being.

Here is Caroline reading to us...
She said this book was the first book she learned to read.
(She's brilliant.)

Here she is with her little brother...
and her little sister in the background.

You don't get any more precious than this. 
 A couple of weeks ago Andrew and I were watching a program on TV and the word 'splendid' was used.   He asked, "What does 'splendid' mean?"  
I told him it meant good, wonderful, marvelous (something like that).

He then said, "Okay.  Well, Mimi and Pops are splendid."  (Those are his dad's (John's) parents.)  
Isn't that wonderful?!?!  

Here he is with Mimi...
I think that picture was taken in Oct.
(And Mimi (Susan) is much prettier than that.)

And here are his sisters with Mimi and Pops...
 That was in November at Anna's first birthday party.

Yes, I would say Mimi and Pops are SPLENDID!!
And what a tribute Andrew gave them by calling them that!!!

A new poll is up, by the way.
Thanks for voting.
I love votes!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday fun...

You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen, it said 'Parking Fine.'
Tommy Cooper

Did you know babies are nauseated by the smell of a clean shirt?
Jeff Foxworthy

A man is hit by a car while crossing a Beverly Hills street. A woman rushes to him and cradles his head in her lap, asking, "Are you comfortable?" The man answers, "I make a nice living."
Milton Berle

This restaurant was advertising breakfast any time. So I ordered french toast in the renaissance. 
Steven Wright

When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they're finished, I climb out.
- Erma Bombeck

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Outside ...

... the box.

Have you seen a bird in church?

I don't mean pretty white birds that fly out of something during a wedding. (I've heard that happens.)
I mean a pet bird in church.

Well, there is Claude, and his daughter's bird.
He was taking care of the bird... and well, Claude wanted to come to church (Bear Valley) and he knew that Bear Valley was an 'outside-the-box' church, so why not take the bird to church?  So he did.
And said bird was good!!!


On a different 'outside the box' note, here's what I saw at HOBBY LOBBY Monday....

Yes. Christmas bows....(and Christmas stuff) and 'Christmas' misspelled (at the Hobby Lobby at Glade and 121).  
Maybe I should report the misspelling?

Ah, but I'm not ready for Christmas, no matter how it is spelled!....

Summer started today. ..technically.
Well, I'm not ready for summer... or Christmas.

Sometimes I'm just ready for NOW.
And maybe even not NOW.

Lately I've been reading about happiness.... and how it's okay.

Indecision can paralyze us.
As can criticism - inside and out.
And self-doubt.


But it's okay.

We can relax.

We can trust God.

We can lean hard on Him.

We can.

And we don't have to worry how to.

We can pray, "All I know of me I give to all I know of You, that's all I know to do."

We can live in that 'relief prayer'.

We don't need 'shoulds' and 'oughts'.
We don't.

We so don't.

What a relief.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Just the word 'refreshment' can get me excited.
Like, 'Are they going to have refreshments?'   (Before I go to any gathering I want to know!!!)

But not only food and drink can refresh us.  People can.

Last week, Mother had some special visitors from east Texas come see her.

That's Janet, Mother, and Cindy.  They all used to teach school together in Van.  Their classrooms were all next to each other... so they have lots of memories to share.   Plus, they'd hang out a lot together when they weren't in school.
(After we'd all eaten at the Fire Pit Grill in Bedford (yum) I took that picture.)  

Speaking of refreshment, a good laugh is that.

In today's PSYCHOLOGY TODAY there are several articles
about the value of laughter.
Here's The Laughing Cure, with quotes on laughter.  And here's the Benefits of Laughter article.
And here are 2 cartoons and a picture I like....


And take my poll (upper right), if you haven't. Thanks!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

34 years ago today...

34 years ago today I married the love of my life!!

We used to go to Joe T. Garcia's on dates... so it's appropriate that we went there today. Mmm.

It would seem that Father's Day and our anniversary would fall on the same day a lot, but for the life of us we can't remember celebrating them together before. 

I so miss my dad on Father's Day.

What a wonderful man he was....
That last picture is of me on Granddaddy Andy's back, and Peggy on Daddy's.

Growing up our house was filled with laughter and music. What wonderful memories.
And wonderful memories have been created by my children's father....

Talk about a wonderful dad.... 

 It's a wonderful life.

(I just put up a new poll (upper right).  Please vote. Thanks!)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Feeling good.

I've had some pictures I haven't shared, so today I'm going to post them.
They just make me feel good to look at them.
They're from Memorial Day...

That precious dog is Akon, my granddog. He is such a good boy.
Here are some pictures from inside, after we ate.... 
I'd already posted about this, but I hadn't shown you all the pictures.

 Here are some more...

That last face was the one Will drew. 
 Should that be disturbing?

Or fantastic? 

On a different note, Sam and I have been faithful to go to the gym at least 3 times a week (since January). And we're eating better. All of that means that we are feeling better!!! Oh, and we've both lost some weight!!
I'm going to give myself an ATTA-GIRL for that!!!

Oh, but on Sunday we're celebrating Father's Day AND our 34th wedding anniversary at Joe T. Garcia's. And I will NOT be on a diet then. (We always waddle out of Joe T's.)

(In case you don't know about Joe T. Garcia's, well, you must click HERE and find out about it.)

I will close with this wonderful picture...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

People are different.

One of the most important things I've learned in life is that people are different.
Everybody is different.
Every. Single. Person.
Even identical twins.


Sam and I went through a phase where we were devouring all kinds of personality tests.

One of the most interesting we found is the little known LIFO (Life Orientations) program.
One good site on it is THIS.  And another good site is THIS.
Sam and I even became trainers in it.

It helped us so much in getting along with each other, and with a lot of other folks we've gotten to know.
It is about communication styles, and how everyone has his/her own style, and even a different one when he/she is under stress.
Talk about interesting.

Well, life is so interesting when you think of the variety of people, and pets, and plants, and mornings and evenings, and everything. 

Just noticing the different votes I get on polls is revealing (that we're all different.)
Btw, I have a new poll up (upper right).  Thanks for voting!

(If you have a particular personality inventory that you particularly like, I'd love to know about it.)
And if you've taken the Myers Briggs inventory, tell me what you are!  (I'm an INFJ. (though I'm not a strong I.) Sam is an INTP, - and he's a strong I.)
Click HERE for a short test on that.

In closing, I'll show you some folks... who are ALL different from each other.
(Click each picture to make larger.)

Bye now.

Don't forget to take my poll!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Today's post... about chairs.

 I got eight (8) of these the other day from a friend of Mother's....

Here they are in our booth...
They're Ethan Allen maple chairs. 
I think they should go soon, except my friend "Dealer Delta" says maple isn't selling well these days.

Ah, but these next chairs will sell.
I just know.

 They're ladder-back chairs. 

I got them from my cousin Audrey yesterday.
She and I loaded them in the back of our pick-up and secured them with a rope, so I could bring them home from McKinney. 
Audrey tied the knots very well!
(And yes, we have a pick-up now.)

Here is Audrey with her handsome son, Brandon....
 (I told you he was handsome.)

As soon as I have room in my booth, I'm going to put those ladder-back chairs in it.
(I can make you a good deal on those maple chairs.)

Here's another picture from mother's and my booth, so you'll see we have more than chairs in it...

This post may not be extremely interesting to you....
... so I'll include a joke about chairs.
(You can find most anything on the internet these days.)

A philosophy professor walks in to give his class their final. Placing his chair on his desk the professor instructs the class, "Using every applicable thing you've learned in this course, prove to me that this chair DOES NOT EXIST."

So, pencils are writing and erasers are erasing, students are preparing to embark on novels proving that this chair doesn't exist, except for one student. He spends thirty seconds writing his answer, then turns his final in to the astonishment of his peers.

Time goes by, and the day comes when all the students get their final grades ... and to the amazement of the class, the student who wrote for thirty seconds gets the highest grade in the class.

His answer to the question: "What chair?" 
I laughed a bit at that....
If you haven't voted on my recent poll (upper right), please do! It has about 22 more hours on it, as I type this.
The person from the past who is winning in this poll is surprising me.
(Check it out! Upper right.)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Who is best?

Look closely at this picture...  (You can click it to make it larger.)

Notice the third little girl from the left. 
She's the best, right?! 
That's Caroline!! 

Sadly, I didn't get any other pictures of her Friday night that were any good.
(My camera was not in focus.)
Here are some pictures I just got from Facebook ....
Isn't she beautiful? (Inside and out) ... and clearly the best in her class.
Well, in my opinion.
But that first picture says a lot.


On a different note, Sam has finished his part of our book! That means proofreading for me... which is tedious, but hopefully Bailey Jo, our English teacher daughter-in-law, can proofread also.
I'd ask some others of you to proofread, but I'm skittish.
Gee, I think I'm skittish about your reading it at all.   (Maybe we don't have to publish it?)  (I'm not serious. ... Just use the 'umbrella of grace', please.)

Speaking of our English teacher daughter-in-law, she has a blog!  She uses a pen name for it, though, so you might not have known it was hers.  It's called OLIVIA MAXIMUM BENNET.  (Click that to go there.)   It's very interesting.  Lately she's been telling about books she's having to read for her University of Glasgow Victorian literature class (which she will attend in the fall). 

On a different note, daughter Laura has an art education teacher job interview tomorrow!  I'm praying it will go wonderfully and she will be hired on the spot..... but only if it's right for her, of course.

On a different note, this cartoon says what I've been doing on this hot Sunday afternoon....

If you haven't voted on my current poll (upper right), please do.  THANKS!

Trivia Tuesday

He was nominated on five occasions but Mahatma Gandhi NEVER won the Nobel Peace Prize. Where will you find an annual hair-freezing contest? ...