Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Tonight I was supposed to have dinner with these sweet friends of mine - Loretta, Glenda, andJane - and was not able to make it. Glenda sent me a picture. When I saw the picture it tugged at my heart because I seldom see them and they hold such a special place in my heart. We have supported each other through life's happiest and saddest moments: weddings, births, illnesses, deaths, financial ups and downs, new jobs, retirements, etc. We've prayed together, laughed together, and loved each other, no matter what. I have been richly blessed with such wonderful friends.
A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17
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Monday, September 28, 2009

We’ve been adopted…

Meet Frankie.


Several months ago someone graciously decided to gift us with a young male cat. (What is wrong with people? Don't they know there are shelters and vets that will take in unwanted animals? That's better than having the animals have to fend for themselves.) They dropped him off in our neighborhood and, because we already have a cat and leave food out for him on the patio, Frankie started coming here to eat. We tried to shoo him off thinking that he belonged to a neighbor somewhere, but he’s taken up residence much to the chagrin of our (actually our daughter’s) cat, Tinker. He knows which side his bread is buttered on! We have had many cat fights so far.

The thing is, he was dropped off when he was so young that he has not developed any social skills (sounds like some of the students I might have had). He was not nurtured and does not know how to interact with humans (or cats and dogs for that matter!) For Frankie, it’s just been about survival.

Teddy, our dog, has to run an obstacle course to go outside to take care of his business. Frankie chases him and swats at his rump all the way to the grass and back. Sometimes Dan and I have to run interference for the dog! Oh, the joys of pet ownership!


We’ve been working with him a lot and he now lets us pet him, but only on the back and tail. He won’t let you pet him on the side or on the stomach. I’ve tried to pick him up and that scares him to death.

He loves it when we come home from work. He rubs our legs, purrs and and meows up a storm. He wants us to stay outside with him and tries to swat us when we go in the back door. We are trying to get him to go into a kennel so that we can take him to the vet. He needs his shots and we need to have a little surgery because we don’t want any other Frankies roaming around the neighborhood. Why did we name him Frankie? When we first looked at his eyes they looked blue, so he was named after Frank Sinatra, of course.


This is Teddy thinking “What did I do to deserve this?”

Sunday, September 27, 2009

On the Road Again

Another September weekend, another football game. Hence, Highway 290 from Houston to Austin is packed with cars either going to the A&M game, to the Texas game, or antiquing to Chappel Hill, Brenham, Round Top, Carmine, Ledbetter, and points in-between. This weekend and next weekend is the Round Top antique fair. People come from all over the United States to shop in the fall and in the spring at Round Top. There are also numerous fall craft fairs, etc. As you can see in the picture, they are setting up for the Scarecrow festival in Chappel Hill which begins next week. We have had a lot of rain this past week (our rain gauge says 3"!) so the countryside was much more green and lush. It has also been unseasonably cool for the past week, which made us think that fall had arrived. That's what we get for thinking! Ha!

We stopped in Chappel Hill for breakfast. The Chappel Hill Cafe offers a country breakfast for $3.99. You get two eggs, choice of meats, biscuits, and grits or hash browns. We joined a lot of other people dressed in burnt orange for breakfast. Dan doesn't look too thrilled about going. He must have had a premonition about how hot it was going to be!
I love little town cafes.

We got to the game about 1:00 and sat in the Red Zone where it is airconditioned until about 45 min. before the game was to begin.

I was happy to see that Colt is looking well...

Bevo was calm this week, as opposed to last week when he almost skewered Jordan Shipley. Also, he was trying to take advantage of as much shade as possible.

Does this look hot or what? The temperature at game time was 94 degrees. I don't know what the "feels like" temperature was, but it was miserably hot. The best thing I had all day was a snow cone. When we left after a couple of minutes into the third quarter, the Red Zone was full of people trying to get out of the heat. There were not a lot of fans left in the stands by the end of the game. By the way, HEB was giving out the grocery bags again. I love those bags.

The ladies around where I sit were all excited because George Strait was an honorary captain for the game. I took a picture of the coin toss, but I think that all you can see of him is a black spot which was his hat.

Halftime - a script Texas and Tejas in honor of UTEP.

We had planned to have a nice dinner in Austin, since the game was over earlier than usual, but changed our minds since every stitch of clothing we were wearing was wringing wet with perspiration. We decided to hit the road and stop in Elgin for some sausage instead. We got home in time to see U of H beat Texas Tech in the coolness of our airconditioned living room.
I hope the weather is cooler for the Colorado game. Those boys from Boulder are not used to this kind of heat. Ralphie better get shaved before coming to Austin. Maybe Bevo will share his little corner of shade.

We got it done, even in the sweltering heat. UT-64 UTEP-7

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Blessings in the Wilderness

Tonight I was reading Psalm 63, one that David wrote when he was in the wilderness. It was the Psalm that went with a devotional I was reading in "Worship the King." The Psalm begins "O God, Thou art my God; I shall seek Thee earnestly; My soul thirsts for Thee, my flesh yearns for Thee, In a dry and weary land where there is no water." I know how David feels. During the summer we have literally lived in a dry and weary land where there has been no water. It's interesting that I wrote the post on our rain yesterday and this should be my devotional tonight.

Figuratively and spiritually, we have also been living in a wilderness. The values that we have cherished for more than 200 years are no longer the values that we admire and aspire to. The precepts upon which our country was founded no longer meet the needs of the 21st century citizenry, or so our leaders would have us believe. Our founding documents are being shredded and cast aside. We pick and choose which words of the Bible we believe so that we won't offend anyone's sensibility. The doctrine of the day is one of tolerance. What was right is now wrong, and what was wrong is now right. We idolize dictators and despots and apologize for being the country that we were founded to be. Those of us who name the name of Jesus are thirsting and yearning for God. So...I see where David is coming from. But, praise God, that is not the end of the Psalm.

This is the rest:
Thus I have beheld Thee in the sanctuary, To see Thy power and Thy glory.
Because Thy lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise Thee.

So I will bless Thee as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Thy name.
My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.

When I remember Thee on my bed, I meditate on Thee in the night watches,
For Thou hast been my help, And in the shadow of Thy wings I sing for joy.
My soul clings to Thee; Thy right hand upholds me.

But those that seek my life, to destroy it, Will go into the depts of the earth.
They will be delivered over to the power of the sword; They will be a prey for foxes.
But the king will rejoice in God, Everyone who swears by Him will glory, For the mouths of those who speak lies will be stopped.

I especially like the picture this paints about how I am in the shadow of His wings and His right hand upholds me. You can't get any better than that! So, although I feel that we're living in a wilderness right now and we don't know what our future holds, we do know Who holds the future. How blessed we are!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


This morning as I groggily stumbled into the kitchen to get my coffee after the alarm went off, I heard a gurgling sound. My immediate thought was that Dan must have turned on my coffee before he left for work and it was running into the carafe, but that didn't make sense because he left about 45 minutes prior to my alarm going off. It then occurred to me that the sound I was hearing was actually rain running down the breakfast room window. Now, if you're not from Texas this might sound a little strange, but we have been in the midst of a drought. The last time we've awakened to rain like this at my house was probably in March. If you travel to central Texas, they are in a severe drought unlike anything that has been recorded since the 1950's. The land is parched.

So when I saw that it was indeed raining (and, in fact, it has rained all day) I whispered a prayer of thanksgiving for the water falling on my thirsty yard and the mercy that God displays toward those of us with thirsty, parched souls who look to Him for refreshment. Jesus said "Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life."

Thank you Lord for being merciful to our parched land, but more importantly thank you for the mercy that you display to thirsty souls who drink the Living Water.

Seek the Lord while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth, and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. For you will go out with joy; and be led forth with peace...
Psalm 55:6-7;10-12

Monday, September 21, 2009

Post-Football Game Observations

I know that I am getting old and if you don't want to hear a little preaching from someone who is older and (I hope) wiser, you better click on over to another blog. First of all, let me preface my little "sermonette" with a reminder that I am an educator and I'm proud of my profession. Although I am no longer a teacher in the classroom, the classroom is never far from my heart. God called me to be a teacher. With that calling came a higher degree of accountability as a role model for my students and their families in and out of the classroom. And, of course, as a believer I certainly want my walk to match my talk.

That said, on Saturday night at the football game the 32 year old attorney and season ticket holder that sits in front of us brought three 23 year old single teachers to the game. They had been having a very good time tailgating and were bringing the party on to the stadium. I didn't know that they make vodka pocket shots, but I learned that a man's cargo pants can hold a lot of shots. The three teachers were beautiful girls. However, they didn't look so beautiful Saturday night to those of us sitting around them. This was evidenced by the rolling of the eyes and head shaking. Let's see, not only were their hands all over the attorney, his hands were all over them. They must have struck every suggestive pose possible so that they could take at least a thousand pictures (that's not too gross of an exaggeration!) They went to get corn dogs to use as props! I'm hoping that you're getting the drift.

These girls weren't even aware that a game was being played on the field. We heard them talking about being teachers during the game. What they were doing was wrong on so many different levels and displays such a lack of self-respect. However, I kept thinking what if one of us was a parent of one of their students. How can a teacher demand certain behavior from a student that he/she is not willing to display herself/himself?

As a final note, girls, I am really not a prude, but I'm tired of looking at bare hineys as I climb the stairs behind you. I dread when my granddaughters reach their teens.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pre Game - Eating and Meeting Up with Our Longhorn Family at DKR

Yippee, I did make it to the weekend! It was a very close call...this respiratory thing that is going around is fierce and hard to shake, but we hung in there and picked up Erin at the airport on Friday night. She is the daughter who absolutely loves football, especially that of her alma mater, The University of Texas. While she was a student there, she was a member of the Texas Angels and helped to recruit athletes to the UT football program. So when she has a chance to come to a game she pounces on it.

We left Saturday morning for Austin at around 9:30 so that we could visit two of Erin's favorite Austin places - the Co-op and Hyde Park Grill - prior to the game. Of course, there was a mob of people at the Co-op. We tried to guess what their revenue would be for the day and decided that we would like a piece of that action. After contributing to the day's revenue (and getting our picture made with Bevo), we headed on over to Hyde Park Grill for a late lunch.

I noticed that the food was coming. Ha!

They have the best french fries and we knew that it was ok to eat them since we were going to be expending so many calories yelling!

Good meal and good company.

This is in front of the restaurant.

After eating, we headed on over to DKR Memorial Stadium.

And who should we meet up with but Judy and Tony. We got coffee at the Starbucks and watched Utah and Boise State, while also checking the USC score. Go Huskies! One of us (whose name shall remain unmentioned, but it starts with a D) needs to learn to get his horns up. Ha!!

Here we are waiting for the team to come in. See I Love to Tell the Story for the video!

Colt walked in on the opposite side of where we were standing. It was probably a good thing since he's had the flu.

Listening to the pregame music and watching the team warm up.

Our friends, Joyce and Sam.

I had too many pictures to put in one post. The game pictures are in the next post. Hook 'em!

Game Time!

Oh, the tradition and pageantry of Texas football. There is nothing like it!

Getting the flag ready to roll out.

We're about to sing the "Eyes of Texas" and the football team is about to take the field.

Amen to that!

Final Score: Texas 34 Tech 24

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Weekend's Coming

Thank goodness it's almost Friday. I have really been under the weather this week... I started out just being really tired. Then came the sore throat, followed by sneezing, coughing, etc. I have missed two days of work trying to get well. When I went in to work on Tuesday, everyone was wishing I was home (and I don't blame them!) I need to get well because the weekend is almost here!

Erin is flying in tomorrow night to go to the UT and Texas Tech football game on Saturday night. This is probably our biggest conference game of the year, besides Oklahoma. Last year we lost in the last seconds of the game and many (alright, Texas fans) think that it cost us the national championship. So...we're ready to make up for lost opportunities. Hook 'em!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Love At First Sight!

Today daughter Amy had an ultrasound and discovered that she is having another precious little girl. She forwarded the ultrasound film to her family. Grammy and Grandpa were IMMEDIATELY in love! It is amazing how that happens. Isn't God good?
(Erin, we're counting on you for a boy! Ha!)

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P.S. I also got to see my new great neice/nephew today. (It's coming with the Easter bunny!) Our family has so many reasons to be thankful.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14

Monday, September 7, 2009

I Surrender All

Yesterday I was looking at some new postings on blogs I like to read and one of them had an entry entitled "Sunday Song." Every Sunday "Bless Our Nest" has the story of a great old hymn. This Sunday's entry was I Surrender All. That hymn has a special meaning to me because that was the invitation song that the choir was singing when I decided to walk down the aisle and make a profession of faith. At that time we were attending Freeway Baptist Church, an independent Baptist Church, located on Telephone Rd. in the east end of Houston. The picture is of the church in its new location right off the Beltway.

At that time, the pastor was Jack Bridges and we called him Bro. Jack. On this particular Sunday evening he wasn't preaching because we were having a revival. Mom and dad were very active in the church. We were there pretty much every time the church doors were opened. Their best friends and domino partners, George and Faye Lechinger, were also church members. I can remember that during Hurricane Carla we even had a missionary family who stayed with us to weather the storm.

On this night mom was at home with the flu and dad was singing in the choir, so I was farmed out to sit with a couple named the Berry's. (I was only 8.) Judy was at home with mom. I don't remember much about the sermon, but when we started singing the invitation tears started rolling down my cheeks and I was compelled to rush down the aisle to the altar. I was a very shy child who didn't like to be the center of attention, so this was totally out of character. At that moment, the desire to know Christ as my Savior far outweighed any shyness I had. When I got to the front Bro. Jack was there to meet me. I told him that I wanted Jesus to live in my heart and we knelt at the altar to pray. The next thing you know, my dad was kneeling behind me with his hand on my back and he was crying and I know that someone was kneeling to my right (maybe my Sunday school teacher). Mom was upset that she wasn't there.

I know that as conversion stories go, this isn't glamorous, but it was profound to me. I am so blessed to have been raised in a Christian home where the seeds of faith were planted and nurtured at a young age. Certainly life wasn't perfect, but we had a foundation of faith that provided stability and purpose.

I was baptised on Valentine's Day.

I Surrender All
Rev. J. W. Van de Vender

All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give.
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.
I surrender all, I surrender all.
All to Thee my Blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus, I surrender.
Humbly at His feet I bow.
Worldly pleasures all forsaken,
Take me Jesus, take me now.

I surrender all, I surrender all.
All to Thee my Blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus, I surrender.
Make me Savior wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

I surrender all, I surrender all.
All to Thee my Blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus, I surrender.
Lord, I give myself to Thee.
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessings fall on me.

I surrender all, I surrender all.
All to Thee my Blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these. Matthew 19:13-14

Sunday, September 6, 2009


This weekend my nephew and niece-in-law flew in from Arkansas to go to the UT game. We all met to have lunch at Los Cucos. (I love their green sauce and the stuffed avocado looked yummy.) It is wonderful when (almost) everyone is together - we missed you Erin!
Josh and Jamie are such a sweet couple. By the way, congrats on your promotion, Josh! We are proud of you and glad that you will be able to take care of us in our old age!

We got out the crystal ball and predicted whether Katie will have a baby brother or sister. I think we were about half and half on that. Amy sure looks like pregnancy agrees with her. She's a sweet mommy.

We got to see Megan and Jeremy for the first time since they made their big announcement. Doesn't Megan have that certain "glow?" They look really well since they didn't get home from the game until 3:30 a.m. I learned that Matt's El Rancho stops serving at 11:00 p.m., but if you get there at 10:55, they can have your food on the table by 11:00! That's news you can use!

Thunder and Lightening, aka Judy and Tony, also look really well considering they got in at 1:00 a.m. and were teaching Sunday School this morning assisted by Josh and Jamie. I also learned that the Whataburger in Giddings starts serving taquitos at 11:00 p.m. More good info. And to think...we just got a Hershey's bar from Buckees. (As a side note, when I was in Buckees a lady came up to me and asked if this town was named Giddings. I told her that she was indeed in Giddings and she said that her sister-in-law told her that these were the cleanest restrooms in the state. I don't know if I would go that far...)
We were happy that MeMaw and PePaw were able to see everyone, too.

Of course, we were all charmed by Katie, especially the way she drinks tea from a straw (you had to have been there!) and the way she points and waves. She really is a princess! She is such a happy baby. How our lives have been blessed by our children and are continuing to be blessed by granchildren.

Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They shall not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.
Psalms 127:3-5
Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow. James 1:17