Friday, January 31, 2014

Smart Art....

Yesterday I went to Dallas to see my dear daughter, Laura.  And it wasn't a normal meeting.  I got to see her in action..... at her job!!..... teaching art at two elementary schools in the Richardson school district. 

Here she is...
Yes, she's beautiful.
(inside and out)

The plan was to eat lunch with her during her lunch break.
Before lunch she teaches at her main school
(where she teaches all grades)
and after lunch she teaches at her second school
(where she just teaches first and second grade art).

She suggested I come early - to meet her students.
What fun!

I got to meet them (first graders) AND watch her teach!
And then we drove to Chick-fil-A which was on the way to her second school.

Then I got to go to the second school,
and meet her students there (also first graders)
and watch her teach a bit there, too!

She is a fantastic teacher!

(I'm being objective here.)


Here are some random pictures I took in both of her classrooms...

I really like those notes.

I used to wish I could be a fly on the wall, and watch her teach.  

Well, I didn't have to become a fly.... 
I could be myself... 
and watch her teach!!!

And she was absolutely super.

Yes, this proud mama keeps on braggin'!!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I'm going through a phase...

.... of being very happy.

It's wonderful.... and yes, it is what prompted my previous post - trying to get everyone to be happy.

As soon as I published it, though, and then drove off to the west - to play in the tea room in Haltom City, I started second guessing it (which is often what I do when I write a blog post and publish it immediately).

As I drove westward, I thought basically two things:

1. My Grandmother Ora would probably have compassion on that mean, hateful lady in the tea room that I wrote about in that post.   Grandmother Ora was known for her nonjudgmental spirit.   My mother would always talk about how Grandmother Ora would say something like, "You don't now what that person is going through.  And there is a reason he/she behaves the way he/she does."

Here's a picture of my wonderful Grandmother Ora....

 And here she is in her kitchen (on the left) with her pretty daughter, my mother....
What a wonderful thing: to have a wonderful mother... 
and a wonderful grandmother.
(And my dad's mother was wonderful, too.)

I've had some good role models, for sure.

2. The second thought I had about that 'Happy-thought' post was this:
Sometimes there are no happy thoughts that you can just drag up. 
Sometimes you just need to cry.
Or at the least, just BE.

I've known times of grief, and burnout, and well, depression.
And I've taken Paxil.
I've been to a grief counselor (after twin-Peggy died)...
... and then to Dr. Barris Ayres - in the mid '90's, when I was suffering from what - I didn't know.... just lots of insomnia, and well, anger, and disgust with life.  He helped me immensely. IMMENSELY.

 Here's Barris' Facebook profile pic....
Yeah. He looks like that now,
(cool, huh?).... 
and he is super talented, besides psychology-wise.

I say all that is to say that if you can't find the will to think happy thoughts.... get help. 

Oh, I was against professional help a long time ago.
(Surely God alone could heal any depression, I thought.) 

Ah, but I'm so glad I came to my senses, and GOT HELP.

I hope you're happy, like I am now.  

And thinking happy thoughts IS powerful.

But if you're in a deep 'funk' (for lack of a better word), where 'happy thoughts' just can't be found, GET HELP.

I wrote this post last night.
Now I'm hitting 'publish'.

And again I'll show you this giraffe I like....

I hope you have a great day.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tuesday Tuneup...

Sometimes the tea room can get crazy busy and customers can get crazy cranky.
(Yes, I do think they need to hire more wait staff, but that's not my point.)

Nobody needs to get nasty and hateful and mean, like one lady did a week ago Saturday. 

She's been the talk of the antique mall - and nobody wants to see her face again.... and I'm guessing we won't.

That made me think of how nice it is to see some people.
And of how thinking of those people makes me feel good.

And that makes me think of how important it is how we think. 

We need to think happy thoughts.... by thinking of happy people, happy memories, happy homes we've been in, etc., etc.

I know.  I'm getting a little syrupy sweet here... but it's my blog, and it's what I want to blog about today.

And here's a good quote from Norman Vincent Peale...

Dennis Prager has written a book called HAPPINESS IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM.
I think it's a very good book.

Oh, and you can click HERE for a five minute course on our moral obligation to be happy, by Dennis Prager.   I think it's worth the five minutes to watch.
('Course the people who need to watch it won't. - oh, sorry for the negativity.)

In closing here's a picture I really really like...
... and that makes me happy.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday Funday ...


“Have you got any kittens going cheap?” asked a customer in a pet shop.
“No sir,” replied the owner.  “All our kittens go, ‘Meow.’”

"My sister's expecting a baby, and I don't know
if I'm going to be an uncle or an aunt."
- Chuck Nevitt, North Carolina State basketball player,
explaining to Coach Jim Valvano why he appeared nervous at practice.

Q: 'Excuse me, are you a pole vaulter?'

A: 'No I'm German, but how did you know my name is Walter?'


I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. It's impossible to put down. 

Did you hear about the guy who got hit in the head with a can of soda?
He was lucky it was a soft drink.

The other day I held the door open for a clown.
I thought it was a nice jester.


And finally...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

I should have formed a committee.

 Yes, I should have formed a committee.

I usually like to do things myself, though...
and not seek too much advice,
because I might not like the advice,
and then I'd have to say, "I don't like your advice."


My big audacious goal was to see old Mission High School friends
while eating at my favorite eatery in Fort Worth.

So by myself I planned a 'reunion'!

I knew I had to reserve a banquet room early,
or I couldn't get a room at all. 
(This place is one of the most popular places in north Texas.)

Reserving for 100 people seemed like a stretch, 
but I figured I could buy and freeze the mammoth leftovers,
in case just 20 showed up.

Now I'm thinking way more than 100 might want to show up.

That's so exciting!!!.... 
but maybe I should have just stuck with the class of '70.

But I wanted to see some of the others from other classes!


Ah, but it's done.
I've invited the world...
well, the Mission world. 

So now I'm saying, "First come, first served!!"
Sign up NOW, Mission Eagles!!! 


(In case you have no idea what I'm talking about: 
This is a Saturday, July 26 dinner at Joe T. Garcia's, 7:00
- for Mission (TX) High School alumni,
who graduated before, after, during, or around 1970-ish.)

You can go HERE to sign up on the Facebook invite.

In closing, here's a cute cartoon I found when I Googled 'committee cartoon'...

And yes, next time (if there is one) I'll form a committee
and we'll make BIG PLANS.


Until then...
Sign up NOW,
Mission friends!

(More info to follow - on the FB invite page.)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Two Things This Thursday

1.  I opened my book, MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST by Oswald Chambers, to read the last two days' readings for my 'quiet time' this morning.  Here's what I saw....
That might look awful to you, but it looks wonderful to me.

I've had that book for decades.
Those loving scribbles were made back in January 1985 - or '86.

I remember being determined to have a 'quiet time' with God
even if my children were little and awake, 
and well, with me every minute.

I think I'd gotten up to heat my coffee...
and came back to these scribbles.

After I saw those scribbles I decided I needed to get some coloring books,
or just blank pages for them to draw on.

Anyway, those pages (the only ones scribbled on in the book) are precious to me.

I guess there's a lesson here:  
if you have small children don't NOT have a time with God.
Do it...
and don't let your devotional book,
or Bible even,
be too sacred that they can't draw on it.

2. On a totally different note,
I finally announced on Facebook that I want to host a Mission High School reunion
this summer up here in north Texas.

Mission, TX is way down south - in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Ah, but lots of former Missionites live in north Texas... 
or all around the country and world,
and well, they could fly in --- and GET TOGETHER!!!

And I'm not just talking about a 1970 class reunion.
I'm talking about a reunion that would span years and years of graduations.

That may sound too ambitious.

Well, I've been feeling ambitious,
 and excited.

And will tell you more about it, later.

(Maybe I should reserve the AT&T Cowboy Stadium?)


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Trivia Tuesday...

... sometimes I just like trivia.

Here's some ...

Beards are the fastest growing hairs on the human body. If the average man never trimmed his beard, it would grow to nearly 30 feet long in his lifetime.

Bats are the only mammal that can fly.
And bats have only one baby a year.

Nancy Cartwright who does the voice of Bart Simpson was offered the chance to do the female voices for South Park, but turned it down because she felt the show was too offensive. (I'm impressed.)

 The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.

 The most common surname in the world is “Chang.”

 Golden retrievers bite the least.

The first toy product ever advertised on television was Mr. Potato Head®. Introduced in 1952.
And real potatoes were used.

 Each time you laugh you burn up, on time average, 3.5 calories.

Well, clearly we (I) need to laugh more...

Oh, and there's this:
Only female mosquitoes will bite you.


 Oh, and finally: A cave man’s life span was only 18 years.

I'm feeling eternal.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

It was a big day today...

... on many levels . . .

Rob Carmack (our esteemed nephew) started a church!.... at Texas Motor Speedway (you read that right) the Marriott Hotel conference room!  There were over 100 folks there.  EXCITEMENT.  Sam (my hubby) attended.

It's called COLLECTIVE CHURCH... and it's exciting.
Officially it's starting weekly services in February.
Check it out by clicking HERE.

That's Rob.
I didn't attend COLLECTIVE CHURCH today because....
... ESL (English as a Second Language) started this morning at Bear Valley Community Church... with excitement.  And next Sunday I will be teaching a class!

I'm excited. 


I admit: this all sounds kind of impressive - or something - .... 
BUT.... life is exciting.

And yet.... 
I did some watching of videos this afternoon of sad things
(for various reasons):
Scleroderma and Huntington's Disease
and am reminded of HORROR in this world.

And yet am reminded

Thanks, Lee, for reminding us that the Bible
doesn't have to defend itself...
as a roaring lion doesn't have to defend itself. 

We need to be witnesses of God...

Well, there's more to say, of course...
like how I'm glad Martin Luther King, Jr. came along when he did.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday fRandom...

I am being my usual indecisive self... wanting to change my blog background - and fonts, but getting stuck in my indecision.
That tells you I have a wonderful life... if that's all I'm 'indeciding' about (well, besides what to wear, what to cook, etc., etc.)!

In other news... this Sunday we start ESL registration at Bear Valley.
I took some pictures of the brochure and the business card we handed out.

Front of brochure...


and front and back of business card....
I thought those turned out super.
(I didn't make them.)
Now it will be interesting to see who turns out for registration Sunday!

Oh, when Amanda and I went to observe the fantastic First Baptist Church of Grapevine's ESL program in November, lo and behold there was Will and Laura's elementary school principal teaching an advanced class.
I couldn't resist getting a picture...
She has always been an inspiration.

On a completely different note,
Wednesday night we had a fun pizza supper with loved ones.
Here are some pictures before and after the Papa John's pizza
that was super delicious....
I love how that is two poses for the price of one!

(It's a wonderful life.)


In closing, here's a quote that I don't know who wrote,
but I really like...

Me at my best does not define me.
Me at my worst does not define me.
Christ in me defines me.

These Are a Few of my Favorite Things

I really, REALLY like this... I got this for my birthday! It's a key chain and there is none other like it!! I ADORE IT!! Thank you!!   ...