Thursday, August 28, 2008

Chugging along

Life has a way of just chugging along. I am amazed at how quickly it passes and how perspective changes depending on what is going on in your life at a particular moment in time.

Soon it will be fall...I told you Fall starts for me on Sept. 1! I'm looking forward to it and that's kind of what this post is about today. Looking forward. Are we so busy looking forward that we forget to look at now? I can't count how many times I've thought or said, "I can't wait until" or "When we get through this stage." And, really, there are so many wonderful things to enjoy about the now. Last night, Stephen and I were attempting to cover one of his textbooks with those stretchy bookcovers you can buy now. The cover was too small for the book, but I was determined to make it fit. Stephen told there was no way it would fit. He had already tried, but I was determined. I got the cover on by opening the front and back flap so wide that they almost touched. Stephen looked at me with admiration, "You're awesome Mom!" I closed the book properly, and the front flap immediately flew back open as if on springs. It was so unexpected, it threw both Stephen and I into fits of laughter. Then Stephen said, in his best teacher voice, "Students, turn to page 28." and, letting the front flap fly open, replied, "Yes, Mam." in his student voice! More laughter...more living in the moment! Then we had to go show Dad!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back to School

Stephen started 5th grade today! FIFTH GRADE!! That's when I started to "blossom" and look at boys as something other vermin to be tolerated!
It is hard to believe that Virgil and I have a child who will turn 11 in a couple of months.
Last night I sat and listened to the soft whistling hum of Stephen in deep sleep. I've done that so many times in his life - sat and watched him sleep. Sometimes it was an anxious watch due to illness, and sometimes I was just awestruck at the reality of him, and always there was a hint of sadness because I knew the time was going fast. Last night I stood outside his door, and just listened to his peaceful, contented sleep. And I thought, "Look what we did! We made a family!" And I prayed for him and my future DIL. I prayed they would love God, and each other, and someday look at their sleeping babes and say, "Look what we did!"

Friday, August 22, 2008

zip zippin' along

I finished up another ZippyStrippyQuilt last night! This time for a baby girl shower I will be attending today. The photo doesn't show it very well, but the material is white background. There are 3 strips with delicate pink flowers, 2 strips with baby blue flowers, and 2 strips with very light lavender flowers. Very pretty and very girly! ZippyStrippyQuilts are SO fun to make! Very high on my recommendation list!
On another note, I love Fall! I've decided to start Fall on September 1st this year! I usually wait until my hubby's b-day on Sept. 16 or the "official" first day of Fall later in the month. But, I'm ready Sept. 1 is the day!! Who cares if it won't feel like Fall until late October or early November? NOT ME! :)
I wish I were in the habit of say "Autumn." But, honestly, when I say Autumn, I think of New England and apple cider and stuff I never experience. So, here in hot Texas, it will continue to be Fall and I will crank down the AC and bake some fall stuff and Virgil and I will drink coffee while we eat it. Stephen will have hot chocolate! I'll hope that apples go on sale and I'll make some apple butter and my house will smell terrific. Yep, Fall is just a little over a week away!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Secret Life of Bees movie

My friend, Tonya E, just emailed me to let me know they've made The Secret Life of Bees into a movie!! I'm stoked about this. I love the book and recommend to anyone! The movie releases on Oct. 17, so you have time to read the book before the movie comes out. Here's a trailer:

Today is Thursday. The rain has cleared out. I'm skipping Meet the Teacher at school tonight and sewing a baby ZippyStrippyQuilt for a baby shower I will attend tomorrow. I'm looking forward to the sewing. This weekend, I need to try and finish up some of the clothes I started for Meg.

I am so hooked on these Stephanie Plum books! I'm on book 9 now...I read book 8 in one day on breaks and lunch breaks and before bed. These are not great literary finds, but they are SO entertaining. Still bad language though and I don't like that. Yes, I'm having a battle of conscience here...I know I probably shouldn't be reading them! ARRRGGHHH!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Still raining and a recipe

I woke this morning around 4:30 am to an AWESOME thunderstorm. There was lightening,and thunder crashing, and I couldn't help but remember when my cousin told me that thunder happened when God was rearranging his furniture. There are still times during thunderstorms when I have this ethereal vision of the Lord telling an angel, "No, I want that chair in the corner - over by the light!"

Last night I made Easy Mexican Casserole for supper. This is a casserole my momma made when I was a girl. It is so easy and tasty and everyone likes it! It also doesn't put a big dent in the pocketbook. I have halved the recipe from how my Momma made it. Momma had six kids and a hubby...I only have one of each!!

Easy Mexican Casserole

1 lb lean ground beef (I use 93% lean, 7% fat)
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups crushed tortilla chips, halved
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I use 98% Fat Free)
1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies (you might call it Rotel!)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheddar cheese (I use 2%)

Cook ground beef, onion, garlic, salt and pepper together until done. Mix the soup and diced tomatoes and green chilies together. Layer 1 cup of crushed tortilla chips in in a 9"X11" baking dish, followed by the ground beef mixture, the pinto beans, and the soup mixture. Top with the remaining cup of crushed tortilla chips and the cheddar cheese. Cook in a 350 oven for 30 minutes. I usually serve this dish with a couple varieties of steamed veggies.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Blessed and thankful

It was raining when I left the house for work this morning. I love rain! I'm thankful for rain!

I've spent a lot of my adult life focusing on the negative in my life. Honestly, even as a kid, I had this problem. "God, Why do I have to be chunky AND have dry skin?" I remember laying in my bed, saying this outloud on many occasions. Or, "God, Why do I have to have brothers and sisters who get into trouble? Why can't my family BE NORMAL?" Little did I know, at that time, how normal we were!

As an adult the questions are, "God, Why can't I have.." or "God, Why does my son struggle with...", or (you'll love this one), "But, God, It's just not fair!"

Last Fall, I began living my life for God. And it is a daily struggle, because I'm not perfect. That's right, living my life for God has not made me perfect. It has made me aware of how far from perfect I am, and that God doesn't expect me to be. It also has made me aware of my blessings, and that my life doesn't have to be perfect to be blessed. I'm learning to be thankful for the good things in my life, as well as the bad. I'm learning that perservering through bad things brings me closer to the Lord, and perhaps gives a hint of a Godly reflection to those around me.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back in the saddle again

It's Monday and I'm at work...typing in my blog! But in a few minutes I have to get busy and all I can think about is what I'd rather be doing:

I'd rather be at home reading a book watching the rain slide down the window.

I'd rather be sewing the clothes I'm trying to make for Meg.

I'd rather be cleaning out my deep freeze.

I'd rather be working on the baby ZSQ I have in the works.

I'd rather be visiting my Mom and sister.

I'd rather be watching Nim's Island with Stephen.


Saturday, August 16, 2008


It's morning and the house is quiet. Stephen spent the night with his cousin, Cole and Virgil is still in bed. I've been up for awhile, reveling in the still and quiet. A hummingbird keeps coming to the feeder at my window...I swear he's looking at me and wondering, "What the heck is the hold up lady? Come fill this feeder!" Perhaps I will. I haven't because the honey bees keep getting into it.

I've been attempting to sew some clothes for my niece Megan. Considering I haven't cut out a pattern since Sophomore Home Ec class in 1988, this has been a trying experience. I'm using a Sewing for Dummies pattern. I keep telling myself I'm just not dumb enough and that's why I'm having a problem. I stopped in frustration last night after I somehow sewed the inner legs of the shorts to the butt seam!!

So, now I'm going to finish my coffee and go in search of a seam ripper and keep looking out the window in search of some rain!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Manic Craft Lady

I'm in a crafting craze! Every new thing I see I want to make. So not possible! BUT, I'm going to give it a danged hard try!
Here's what I've been up to the last few days:
ZippyStrippyQuilt #2 - for a baby boy

You know you want the book!

My 10 year old niece, Katrina, loves polka dots. I got a bee in my bonnet and made this for her:

What's not cute is the brown outlined K on my driveway! OY! I should have put down some cardboard.
Also, a friend - Mardell, shared this idea - making dessert platters from old glassware and plates. Here's one I've made:

My current favorite photograph is of my 10 year old son, Stephen. It was taken at the beach this summer in Florida. His lip is being pulled up by the suction on the goggles and he has seaweed on his cheek. Isn't 10 such a great age?!

I received an email this morning from our Director. An ice machine is being placed in our breakroom for our use. ICK! Gives me the heebie jeebies! I've been in the bathroom too often and heard people walk out without washing their hands. Scoop or not, I'll be refraining from using the ice machine!
Be blessed ~ @my

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The beginning...

The purpose of this blog is to allow me a place to keep track of my "doings." A place to unload the goings on in my head and talk about the things I enjoy.

Why an oak tree? I lost my Daddy on January 2, 2008. He was an awesome man, a good man. I miss him immensely. I've always thought of my Daddy as an oak tree. Strong and sheltering in a storm, serene and majestic in the calm. What made him "good" was that he knew who he was, what he wanted out of life, what he enjoyed, and what was right. The best way I know to be like him is to learn how to be me, and to find those things in life that make my soul soar.

Current craft craze:


Here's a picture of one I made:

I love this! It is so easy, so fun and you are able to create something that will be cherished! Buy the book! It's awesome and it is written by my good friend Jenny Matlock. :)

Current addiction:
Caramel shakes from Sonic!

What I'm reading:
I'm a little late on the bandwagon, but I'm reading the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich. A little raunchy at times, and bad language. But funny and a very fast read!