Friday, April 27, 2007

Rhome if you want to.

We met up with the PowerZone kids for a cookout at JLR's awesome house in Rhome. Ryan and his buddies had a great time, and the Randolphs' place was perfect for...


Having a water balloon fight...

Playing kickball...

Roasting hot dogs and s'mores...

And just having a great time!

A big thanks to our hosts and the PZ leaders!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Big One.

ChaCha and KitKat are now 1 year old!

To celebrate our original chitties' birthday, Ryan made special plates of cat food and I baked a cake. After singing happy birthday and helping the cats blow out their candles, we cut the cake and let the birthday girls and the three littlest kittens enjoy a taste of cake. Watching all five cats in the kitchen at the same time, we came to the realization that we are officially crazy cat people.

Later, Mama KitKat fed her sleepy babies, proving that a mommy's work is never done, even on her birthday. Then C.J., Tiger and Casper found the coziest napping spot in the room: my purse!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Celebrating Volume 2!

Brett got the email today: His publishing company has given his latest book proposal the green light! This book will be a continuation of the volume he finished in January. (That one may--we hope!!!--be out as early as this summer.)

To celebrate Volume 2, we went out for Chinese food. YEEEEEEE-HAAAAAAAAAAAW!

T-shirt Tuesday.

T-shirt Tribute #6

Ahhhh--how sweet it was! Since I'm bummed about the Stars' game 7 loss last night and just a tad worried about the Mavs' first round series, I thought today might be a good time to remember the good ol' days. It's been SO LONG since we've had a Super Bowl caliber Cowboys team. Instead of basking in victories, we've had a botched snap to sulk about all off-season.

Well, here's to a good draft Saturday (Aaron Ross, maybe?). Thank goodness there's always next year!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Prayers for Brenda.

Please pray for Brenda to recover fully and quickly, and for her family to find comfort and peace in the meantime.

Has this been a brutal week or what? Each time we hear more bad news, I feel like God is tapping me on the shoulder: "Hey, you! Remember ME?" It had been a while since I'd prayed a desperate "Help me!!!" prayer--you know, the kind that is filled with more tears and begging than words. But this week has been full of these petitions, these responses to shocking news. Virginia Tech. The Midtown friend who died way too soon. The Austin friend who buried her stepfather Wednesday. Mary and Paul's mom's stroke and surgery.

How sad is it that it takes a crisis for me to reconnect with God and rev up my prayer life? How wonderful is it that my failings don't keep God from hearing my desperate prayers?

"O, Lord, you have been good! You have been faithful; you have been good."

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Remembering another tragedy.

Last summer Katie and I spent a few days in Oklahoma City while Ryan attended Camp Impact. Our visit to the national memorial there made quite an impression on us. On this, the anniversary of the bombing, I'm reflecting on the sights and sounds from that summer visit and on our memories of that awful day 12 years ago.

And I'm still Remembering Baylee.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

T-shirt Tuesday.

T-shirt Tribute #5

Another Tuesday, another T-shirt for the cyber closet. This is an appropriate one for this time of year. Didn't you know? It's JOURNALISM SEASON!

Late-March through mid-April is our busy time for newspaper and yearbook trips. On March 24 some of my students competed in the district UIL meet. On April 11 a few newspaper students and I were off to Dallas for the Morning News Journalism Day. Then since two of my students placed in the top three at district, we flew to Lubbock for UIL regionals last Saturday. The grand finale to all this travel? Our state convention in Austin is this weekend. We leave at 7 a.m. Saturday and won't be home until after 6 p.m. Sunday. Whew!

Even though these last few weeks have been amazingly hectic, I teach journalism because of all the occasions that let me get to know my students better. Spending time in workshops or at contests outside of school are real bonding activities, and I know how much those times meant to me when I was on the Southern Accent staff in high school. And looking at old T-shirts, even the ones I'm parting with, I can still remember the students that made those staffs so special.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Prayers for VT.

I'm stunned by the tragedy in Blacksburg today, and I'm praying fervently for the entire Virginia Tech family, especially those who lost sons, daughters, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, friends.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Hail, hail, the gang's all here.

And we're so thankful our house is still here! Like a bunch of folks in these parts, we were pelted with golfball-sized hail Friday night. After getting a weather alert phone call from the city and hearing the sirens go off, we took cover in our hallway. We kept a TV on for updates, and when we knew we were safe, we went outside to see monstrous hailstones.

A friend of our nephew's lives not far from our house, and he got an amazing shot of a funnel cloud. Check it out here. Scary stuff!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

That's our girl!

Bible Reading


Getting the Hardware

Displaying the Art

All the Heritage LTC kids were recognized for their honors Wednesday night, and Katie had the chance to shine! We're so proud of her for all her hard work. Many a Sunday afternoon was devoted to LTC practice, and she also spent time at home practicing or working on her art project.

And the neighbors got to come, too!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bunny buddies.

Hangin' with the bunny, through the years...





These days, we don't visit the Easter bunny anymore, but I still love to take pictures of my sweeties all dressed up!


A chilly Easter Sunday.

Our busy Sunday started with Easter baskets at the breakfast table:

Then it was off to church for two wonderful services:

After worship, I tortured my family by making them pose for pictures:

When we got home, it was time for the kitties to say CHEESE:

Then we headed to Nana and Papa's for a delicious Easter dinner:

FINALLY, it was time for the big egg hunt:
The kids found tons of eggs, but after a long search, the legendary prize egg was still out there...somewhere. Nana gave a few hints, and then Ryan found it, amid much celebration. Here's his recreation of how he happened to discover Nana's tricky hiding spot:

Everyone was so excited for Ryan, especially Katie, who found the egg and won the $5 last year. It was so cool to see her spontaneously hug her brother!

Even on this chilly Easter Sunday, we had plenty of reasons for our hearts to be warm.

T-shirt Tuesday.

T-shirt Tribute #4

In 16 years of teaching, I've amassed quite a collection of L.D. Bell T-shirts. Some I can't part with for sentimental reasons; others I still wear on pep rally days. But shirts like this one get a fond "sayonara" and off they go.

Camp Bell was a summer honors camp for seventh and eighth graders in Bell's feeder schools. We did a variety of enrichment activities with the kids, all intended to foster their interest in academics. When our grant money ran out, the camp was over. In its place the district now sponsors a district-wide summer scholars academy for junior high students. In fact, this summer I'll be a part of that academy. In addition to teaching an SAT prep course for high school students, I'll also be teaching a four-hour SAT prep overview for the younger kids. It'll be my first time teaching test prep with junior high kids since those Camp Bell days seven years ago!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Live and let dye.

Yippee for our annual eggstravaganza! Memaw came over today to help us decorate Easter egg cakes and dye eggs.

Brett remains the master egg dyer. His specialty: stripes.

Ryan made the most of his Star Wars egg kit. Our Grade A large eggs weren't quite large enough for the egg wrappers, but he still made them look cool:
(He also had to eat one of the hardboiled eggs before we were finished!)

Katie started off decorating an Easter egg cake:

Then she moved on to her fancy eggs:
She also made some hollowed-out eggs, and they turned out to be so pretty!

I stuck to my favorite things:
And then there's my (almost) favorite part of the whole process: the mix of colors left behind!

It's Saturday, but SUNDAY'S COMING! May you and yours have a joy-filled Easter Sunday!