Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas traditions

My family over the years has invented its own Christmas traditions. We bake Christmas cookies and decorate them together--well Phil mostly eats them. We open one gift at a time to savor each gift and show appreciation to the giver. We have our children open one gift per night the week prior to Christmas so they can enjoy each gift instead of being on overload with a mountain of gifts. Santa then brings the stockings on Christmas morning. I usually make chocolate chip pancakes or biscuits with chocolate gravy on Christmas morning for our traditional Christmas breakfast.

Last year my mom and dad, sister and her husband, Lindsey, my niece and my daughter Megan decided we had enough stuff and we needed to share with a family in need. When we received the list from the family (we don't know who they are and they don't know who we are) we divided the list and shopped for our people on the list. Then we got together and wrapped all the presents a couple of days later.

This year our tradition continues. However, this year we are shopping together today for a family. We thought it would be more fun to shop together. After our purchases have been made, we will come back to my house and wrap gifts. I plan to play Christmas music and I know we will have lots of laughs and giggles as we wrap the presents together. There is something about helping someone anonymously that brings joy to your heart.

I thought it would be fun to read about other families traditions or how your family blesses others during the Christmas season. If you have a neat holiday tradition, please share!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Am I seeing a Ghost?

Many of my close friends know that we had to put our beloved "Tiny" to sleep a couple of weeks ago. He was a red haired, miniature dauschand who had been in our family for over 12 years. It was sad, but Tiny had lost the feeling in his back two legs because of a back injury and it was the merciful thing to do.

We have another miniature dauschand "Lexie" who is small and black haired. She has been lonely and tends to howl when she is sad, so it has been rather pitiful watching her look for Tiny and cry for him.

Anyway, after church today, I was home by myself. I was sitting at the kitchen table and suddenly a glimpse of a small animal with red hair went by our back door. Okay, I am telling myself....that was probably Lexie and you just thought it was red hair. So, I went to the door to look out and ya'll, there was a miniature red haired dauschand that looked just like the presumed dead Tiny. This dog was in our backyard! Lexie was huddled behind her doghouse evidently terrified of the "ghost" dog. I immediately called my preacher husband and told him that we have had a miraculous resurrection of our Tiny. He was stumped as I was. You have to admit, this is a little weird.

Well, when Phil got home and I was brave enough with him there, we both went out to look at our resurrected dog. I am sad to say, it was not Tiny. Yes, he was a miniature dauschand and yes, he had red hair, but just as Lexie knew, he was not Tiny. He did not smell like Tiny, he did not have the swagger Tiny had and yet, here he was in our yard.

Many thoughts ran through our heads. How did this dog get in our yard? Who put him there? Did some sweet (out of their mind) church member, bring us a new dog to replace Tiny. We finally figured out it probably belonged to our neighbor on the next street over. Come to find out, yes, it was their dog and the next door neighbors saw it out and assumed it was our Tiny. They sweetly put it back in our yard thinking it was ours, where later it scared the wilies out of me and Lexie.

Our neighbors have their dog back. Lexie is back to howling. Everything is normal-or as normal as it gets around here. If some sweet church member or friend is thinking of replacing our Tiny, please DON"T! I have had enough trauma today as it is.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Days of Romance

Remember when you were first dating your beloved and he would write you poetry, bring flowers, and whisper sweet words to you. I have a wonderful marriage and my husband has done a great job of keeping up in the romance department. However, nothing could have prepared me for the beautiful picture he sent of himself this morning. I was swooning at the sight of my precious husband and the incredibly romantic scene he chose to send me. He is out of town and it will be evident when you view the picture, what he has been up to. I have to say-romance is not dead, the pig may be, but not the romance.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I believe traditions can be a good thing. Our family enjoys its traditions. One of my favorite is how we open presents at Christmas. Beginning when the kids were smaller we open 1 gift per night until Christmas Eve when Santa comes. So, if the kids had 5 presents under the tree, 5 days before Christmas we would begin opening one a night. I loved this because my children were able to focus and enjoy that one gift the whole evening and gifts didn't get lost in the madness of doing them all at once.

My family (mom and dad) had a tradition that only one person opens a gift at a time so everyone can enjoy the opening and then the gift giver gets a hug and kiss from the recipient of the gift. We have kept that tradition with my children. However, when we go to Phil's moms for Christmas, their tradition is everyone opens all at once and it is fun that way too. It is wild and crazy and everyone is laughing and having a great time. My children have had two different traditions given to them and I wonder which one they will use with their family. Will I be upset because they choose Phil's family's way and not my family's way. Not in the least. I will just be happy they love each other. The gift giving is just an outlet of their love for each other.

I have been thinking a lot about traditions lately. Mainly traditions in the church. Why we do things the way we do them and how sometimes those traditions become our religion instead of our relationship with Jesus. We have been moving away from some of our long kept traditions at one of our services at church lately and there has been quite a bit of controversy over the changes. Some love them, some hate them. The changes were made in an attempt to reach the lost of our community who may never have stepped foot in a church building and to reach the young in our community who see church as irrelevant in today's world.

I have my personal opinion on these changes and I know I have to be careful about my thoughts and actions. I don't want old or new traditions to become my religion. I only want Jesus. I only want a relationship with my Father. I only want to show others his grace and mercy. I believe there are many ways to accomplish this, but I need to be careful that I don't become so set in my traditions that I value my traditions more than my relationship with God.

Like I said earlier, just thinking.....

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Two weeks in and counting

I have finished my first two weeks back at school. Only 178 more school days to freedom--summer! I know that is sad wishing my life away, but boy, I miss my freedom!

Things went well at school except for "NO AIR CONDITIONING" in my little room and "THE COMPUTER FROM THE STONE AGE."

Yes, as I was putting loads of books onto my little cart, I was sweating through my shirt and capris--remember an earlier blog-I am something of an Olympian Gold medalist in the sweating category. There are a lot of physical elements to my job the first two weeks and my thermostat was set at 100 degrees and could not be moved. Finally, a maintenance man came out yesterday (Kevin--I read name tags now and try to be Jesus by calling all people by their name) "So, Kevin, what is going on with my air conditioner?" Kevin responds, "Well, it looks like your thermostat was set at central office to come on at night and not the day"
( if you are in the world of education, you know this makes perfect sense to the powers that be). "So, Kevin how are we going to fix this little problem." Kevin says "Well, I will check at central office and see if they will let me change it to come on in the day while you are here." "Well, thank you very much Kevin, that would be so awesome to have air conditioning when I am actually here!" I said that last part in a very Jesus like way. I pasted a smile on my sweaty face because it really is not Kevin's fault that I am melting at work. I think I kind of grossed him out because as you know, I was sweating profusely and he had not one bead of sweat on his face or uniform. I bet he gets day air conditioning in the maintenance department. Lucky Kevin.

Now I can only hope that central office will change their position on air conditioning. Maybe Kevin will help them see the value of having air conditioning during the day instead of at night. Stay tuned. You never know how these educational decisions will turn out.

Tomorrow I will write about my computer. This whole air conditioning blog has made me sweat. I need a shower. Til' tommorw..

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What a Weekend!

I have just awakened from a marathon nap--it is Sunday afternoon people! I don't awaken well after a deep sleep nap. My brain is not fully functional and I have learned that because of this, my mouth can sometimes say things that people (my family) sometimes misunderstand. I need to be awake so that my "be nice" filter is in place because I tend to be somewhat grumpy when I awake. So while I am in my "no filter on brain and mouth mode" I thought I should write about this weekend.

The reason for the marathon nap is because me and my "Peeps" went on a road trip to hear Beth Moore speak God's words to us in San Antonio. There were around 10,000 ladies from all over the world-even Japan in attendance. The worship was incredible. Hearing all of these ladies praise God was something I won't soon forget. Beth visited with us about our inheritance in God. It was powerful.

I loved seeing Beth-we all got our picture made with her. She had her two girls with her and we bloggers got a special chance after her last talk to sit in a question and answer period. Very fun! I have to tell you all that even though I loved seeing and hearing Beth, my favorite part was before and after the picture shoot with her. You see, I got to visit with "Boo Mama"

Boo Mama has always been one of my favorite blog sites. I love her writing style, precious stories about her comings and goings, and her incredible testimony on the internet. I also felt somewhat connected because she and my husband and about 10 others went to Africa together in February with Compassion International. (My husband, Phil, got to meet our little adopted girl there-Doreen which was so precious) Anyway, I and my Coffee Group friends just marched ourselves up to Boo Mama and before I knew it, I was in a big bear hug with her. I just love that woman even though it was the first time we had officially seen each other in person. Isn't it neat that those that love the Lord have such a common bond that we can't help but love each other.

So to recap the weekend:

Cost of hotel: $244, plus $38 to park; Drive to and from Abilene:12 hours (we had lots of potty breaks); loss of sleep: 4 hours; Friday night supper time: 10 pm on the river walk; Grossness: huge rat on said river walk; Hair: wet and dripping from rain in San Antonio; Walking to and from and all around the Alamodome: three hundred miles (I am exaggerating somewhat, but I didn't have my pedometer so I had to estimate), water for sale in Alamodome: warm and $3.75 a bottle.

Hearing Beth and meeting BooMama: priceless!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Number 2?

We are getting a bid for the repair to our ceiling today. You know the one that had the leg sticking out of it last week. That was number one house fix.

Last night as Phil was returning home, he pushed our trusty garage door opener and the door would only open 1/4 of the way up. He tried several times and nothing above that height. It is a little hard to get through that space, so he goes around to the front door, where I meet him saying "I think the garage door is broken." I need to remember to be quiet in those obvious times of husband frustration. He seemed to already know that the garage door was broken, so I quietly stepped out of the storm that surrounded him and kept my mouth from stating anymore obvious facts.

We were supposed to be on our way to a rehearsal dinner. Phil had just finished the rehearsal and had come by to pick me up. We had to call and cancel because we had to get this fixed. My car is being held hostage in the garage and Phil is leaving for Alaska Sunday.

Phil looks at the garage door and the spring has broken. This is the garage door opener and spring replacement that we put in two years ago. Hmmm...things sure don't last like they used to.

So another $225 to the garage door people this morning who came on a Saturday and replaced the spring on our door.

I figure this is number 2. You know when things begin to break around the house, they always come in threes. So, the air conditioner is 1, the garage door is number 2, ...I am waiting to see what number 3 is. Do you think that maybe the leg through the ceiling would count for number 2? That sure would be nice. I am really glad I have a job or I would have had to sell my wedding ring or something to pay for all this.

I'll let you know when and if number 3 lands.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

IC-Warning-this may be TMI-too much information

As many of my close friends know, my health has kind of been an issue for the last two years. After my hysterectomy in May of 2006 it seems my body decided it was time to give me a good dose of reality. You see, I have never really been sick. I have had the usual childhood diseases (measles, mumps etc) and I did have aseptic meningitis after Zach was born, but on the whole I have been very healthy. Kind of took it for granted. I had no fear of doctors or hospitals because I knew that if I ever came down with anything, they could fix it. Oh, the innocence of the unafflicted!

In October of 2006, I had a urinary tract infection. Never had one of those and I didn't like it one bit. I went to the doctor, they put me on antibiotics and I fully expected it to go away. It did get better, but kept coming back. After 3 rounds of antibiotics, it never truly went away. During this time my hormones were down in the dungeon. My body was in shock from the hysterectomy, having no hormones and then the UTI hit. I guess my bladder said, "I am not happy and I am going to tell you about it." I had pain, terrible pain, bladder spasms and everything seemed to hurt. I went to doctor after doctor. No one could help me. They couldn't understand why I was having this continued pain and no bacteria was showing up when they tested me for the UTI.

Being the resourceful person I am, I got on-line. I was desperate to find out what was happening to me. I spent many hours researching. Surprisingly, there are not many diseases of the bladder. However I did find one that fit my symptoms. So I found a doctor who specializes in this disease and went to Lubbock to see if this was truly what I had. After a bladder procedure entitled the "potassium sensitivity test" which is just as fun as it sounds. This involves putting potassium into your bladder. If it hurts, you have Interstitial Cystitis. Mine hurt-bad-I wanted to jump off the table. Evidently, my bladder lining is falling apart. The GAG layer (weird name) keeps the acidic urine from touching the nerve endings in your bladder. People with this disease begin to lose their GAG layer. Hence the pain. So I was diagnosed with IC-Interstitial Cystitis

Here is the kicker: No one knows what causes IC, there is no cure, and there are over 700,000 people in the US alone that have this disease. Many have it so much worse than I do. They are not able to work, they go to the bathroom up to 60 times a day, and their bladder gets smaller and smaller because it is scarring over trying to protect itself. If you have ever had a UTI, these people put up with that pain times 10 each day of their lives.

So far, my symptoms have been minimal. I do have pain, but most days I can handle the pain. I even have a few days that are pain free. I rejoice in those days. I keep praying that mine will not progress and so far this has held true. My doctor is wonderful and has me on the only treatment they have that works on 20% of the cases. I am praying that I am one of the 20 percent. I am careful about eating acidic foods. I take my meds. I rest when I need to. My friends have prayed with me and have been great about supporting me through this. My mom has heard me cry for hours on the phone. My husband is a saint and always really wants to know how I am doing each day.

I guess I needed to share this because I was a person that really didn't understand when people had pain or diseases. There are millions of people each day walking around this world trying to hold up and do what they need to do, but are doing it in pain. I believe the Lord gave me the blessing of having IC so that my eyes would be open to those who quietly suffer. I needed to grow in patience towards others "having a bad day." This "bad day" may be because they are doing the best they can to hold themselves up. I needed to see suffering from this side to truly know and understand.

I just found out that one of my friends from school has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Before, I would have told her I would pray for her and that is a good thing. I believe in the power of prayer. Now, however, I want to hug her and let her cry and tell me everything. I want her to know that I will be there to talk about it and she can tell me how she is feeling and I will never grow tired of hearing her story. I want to tell her it is okay to be angry with the disease and it is okay to have days to just rest and to not worry about what people will think if she misses another day of school or an important event.

So, I am learning my lesson. I pray that I will be more tolerant, kind, merciful and will react with the heart and mind of Jesus. I want to remember that every person on this earth is suffering from something-maybe not physical, but some kind of hurt. If you know someone who is going through a bad time today, give them a call, send a card, reach out in some way. It makes a difference-it really does.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Picture of Dad's Surprise Party

I have been promising pictures of my Dad's Surprise party. Here they are. The theme was "Cowboy" so that is why he is wearing a sheriff's vest, hat and badge.

Bad Karma

Last week we noticed that the air conditioner on the other side of the house didn't seem to be cooling well. We asked our friends who they used for these problems, since we are still fairly new to the area. They gave us a name and we called them the next day. They came right out which was nice, however, the guy they sent didn't seem to "with it" if you know what I mean. He checked both of our units and said that we were low on freon on the one that wasn't cooling, but the other unit was fine. He said he would put some freon in and it should cool just great--as long as there was not a leak. This is an important part to the story. So he filled up whatever you put freon in and lo and behold, he found a leak. But all we need, mind you, is a little part that will be easy to get and he should be back the next day to fix it.

So $300. later Phil and I are in bed on our side of the house and notice that the air conditioner is not cooling. Yes, you have that right. Not the one that the man had worked on, but the one that was working perfectly fine the day before until the air conditioning guy checked on it. So, we get up the next morning after a very sweaty night and call. The same guy comes out and lo and behold, something that he didn't notice the day before has miraculously burned out after he had checked on it yesterday. So, we need just one more little part and it will be all better. So, $87 later the air conditioner on our side of the house if fixed.

While he is fixing this air conditioner, his company calls and said they can not get the part for the first air conditioner because they only sell it if you buy the whole unit (motor-compressor--one of those things that cost lots of money) So we have the choice of spending $1000. more to fix the first air conditioner or we might want to buy a new one that has a 10 year warranty because this one is 12 years old. So, Phil and I debate. Do we want to throw another $1000 at an air conditioner that might break down again. No. So we decide to get a new one--$4500. Yep! you read that right. You would think we would be smart by now. So Phil went in to sign the papers and we were promised that Monday morning they would be there at 6:15 to begin.

Monday morning we are all up-some grumpier than others---all grumpy actually. We waited until 7:00 and they still have not come. So we call. Guess what! They didn't know they were supposed to come Monday even though we had called, gone in and signed papers and set the time. We were getting a little upset by this time. I kinda hung up on the guy--my excuse was it was really early and evidently I woke the guy up even though we were up and waiting on him to come and fix our problem. I was beginning to feel we were being taken advantage of. I don't know if Jesus would have hung up on the guy or not, but I was really nice to them the next day until they fell through our living room ceiling.

Yes, you have that right ladies and gentlemen. We now have a broken air conditioner, which may or may not get fixed. They are still working on it and have been since 6:45. We also have a beautiful hole in our living room ceiling. Luckily the man was not hurt. He is fine. I made sure he was fine, but Donna is not in a happy mood. We found out what happened when Megan walked out of her room and said, "Uh Dad you might want to come in here. There is a man's leg coming out of our ceiling." It is an attractive element in the room, but it is not really the theme I had in mind in redecorating

So we have called someone to come repair our ceiling which will entail taking off all the texture, retexturing and repainting the entire ceiling. He can come maybe in two weeks. I am having company this weekend and won't it be lovely to show them the new hole in our ceiling.

Yes, I am very happy. We now have spent $5000 and nothing is fixed.

I was telling a friend about this and she said, "I think you all have bad karma." I am not sure what "bad karma" is, but I would like to be rid of it if you please.

Going to take a valium now and take a nap. Phil is already resting with a headache. It has been a day!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

School letter

I received the yearly letter from my superintendent yesterday. This is the form letter that all employees of the district receive before the school year begins. The letters I have received over the years from various districts are always on a positive, slightly humorous and "we are going to conquer the world" note. These letters have never had their intended purpose on me. They descend me into a cloud of denial and depression. "The summer went too quickly", "I don't want to go back", "You can't make me go back!" Yes, I become whiney, emotional, depressed --kind of like that teenage mode where you don't want to do anything that you don't want to do.

But because I am an adult, let me just say, Yes, I know I have to go back. Yes, I am thankful I have this job. Yes, I love my principal who is also a good friend. I am blessed. I know this. But for now all I can think of is NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

That is my tantrum for the day. You can be assured there will be more to follow.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Horsefeathers and decorating tip

We had a wonderful trip to Salado. It is a really neat litte town, full of cute and eclectic shops. Phil and I went shopping at a store named "Horsefeathers." We always stop at this little shop because it is just full of neat furniture and accessories. While we were shopping, Phil was visiting with me about a piece of furniture and a young lady heard him talking. She had not seen him, but just heard his voice. She followed his voice to the room we were in and said, "Are you Phil Ware from Abilene?" It seems she is a student at ACU and her parents had recently moved to Salado and bought the shop "Horsefeathers." We thought it was so funny that she recognized Phil by his voice. We had a great visit with her and her dad. They go to the church in Salado where Phil was speaking, so we saw them again that night. You never know when you are going to meet fellow believers and friends. This is wonderful and also means you have to be good wherever you go!

We ended up buying two pieces of furniture and somehow squeezed them into my little Trailblazer. We were packed to the gills, but made it home fine. One of the pieces I bought was a little round table. In the store it was decorated with a lamp, plant, three candle holders with candles and a little plaque with the scripture Matthew 22.37 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, and your mind." I was showing the shop owner what I wanted and I pointed at the display and said, "I want to buy this." He asked me, "You want the table?" I said no, "I want this." He said, "You want the plant?" I said "No, I want the whole thing--the whole display." He said "Oh!" I think he was pleased. You see, if you find a table and like the way it is decorated--buy the whole thing. It is so much easier than trying to decorate the table yourself. That is my decorating tip for the day.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Pictures of The Inn on the Creek

A Trip to Salado

Phil and I are off tomorrow to one of our favorite places in Texas. Salado! We stay at the best bed and breakfast ever-The Inn on the Creek. We have been for the last three summers and have enjoyed our stay each time. The manager is a precious lady who makes an incredible breakfast, but also will just come up to you as you sit out on the porch rocking away the day and say "You look hot, I just made some raspberry sherbert. Let me bring you some." Well who am I to turn down homemade sherbet. Yummy and refreshing!

Last year we had friends come from Austin to hear Phil preach and they came over to the Inn after church. As we were visiting on the porch rocking away and remembering old times, here comes the sweet manager again and she says, "I am going to bring you all some homemade creme brulee." Well who are we to turn down creme brulee? Yummy again!

As you can see alot of our love of this place revolves around rocking chairs, porches and yummy food. The perfect combination for a two day getaway with your hubby.

I am still working on the pictures of my dad's birthday. Will post as soon as I figure out how to do that on this blog. I will also try to come up with some pictures of the Inn on the Creek, just in case you are ever in Salado and hankering for some homemade creme brulee.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dad's birthday and summer musings

Hello everyone,
Let me introduce myself. It has been since September since you last heard from me on my blog. I don't have any excuses except when you are teaching you are too exhausted to have a full coherent thought in your head. I had good intentions and maybe this year I will do better. (don't mention that it is almost August and I have not written until now)

We had dad's surprise 75th birthday bash last night at our house. We had a cowboy theme, complete with cowboy hat, sheriff vest, and badge for my dad to wear. You may be thinking, hmmm he is 75 years old. Would he want to wear a cowboy hat, vest and badge? Of course he would! He dressed in the get-up for the whole evening and was just precious. I believe this is the first birthday party he ever had, so since he missed out as a child, my sister and I thought it would be a good time to have a surprise themed party for him. We had about 23 of his friends and family here and everyone was so sweet. It was a fun night and I will try to post pictures later on. The crowd was mostly in their "older" years and I asked my daughter if she thought the party was a success. She said "Well, no one broke a hip, so I think it was successful." She has a wry sense of humor, that sweet child of mine.

Summer has been glorious!!! Phil, Megan and I went on a Alaskan cruise in June. So fun! If you want to see pictures from our trip, go to Megan's blog at By the way, the pk in her blog title stands for preacher's kid in case you didn't know. We had a great time together--all in one little room the size of a small closet, but it was a special time together.

I spent most of July cleaning out closets, cabinets etc. Phil said he thought I might be pregnant because I had that nesting fever. No pregnancy--just wanting to get things straight before the new school year rolls around.

Phil and I are preparing to travel to Salado where he is speaking next week. They ask him every summer and we love going there. They always put us up in a great Bed and Breakfast and we always buy one extra night because we love it there.

The Coffee Group had a wonderful year. We met so many wonderful women in our travels. We have updated our website and blog and hope you will visit. Our site is and our blog is We are beginning to hear from churches who may want us to come speak at their retreats and we are always excited to go meet new friends!

See you next time!