Sunday, May 30, 2010

All gave some, some gave all...

When I first heard "Taps" being played I was a little girl and I didn't really know what it meant. I just knew that it made my heart hurt a little bit and there was a catch in my throat that made it hard to swallow. You see, back when I was little, children weren't excluded from the parts of life that were sad. If someone died that was a relative or friend, we were at the funeral. This was where I first heard "Taps" being played. I can't remember who it was that died, but I can vividly remember standing by the car at the cemetery and listening to that mournful sound.

I am proud to say that I come from a long line of people who were honored to serve their country. As I grow older I am more appreciative and in awe of the sacrifice they and others like them made. May we always have that ache in our heart and catch in the throat when we think about the price of freedom.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Looking Forward to the Memorial Day Weekend

I know it's only Wednesday, but Dan and I are really looking forward to having this long weekend to recover from all that has been going on around our house and in our lives this spring. We are still in the process of totally re-landscaping our yard to get rid of the sago palms that poisoned our puppies. (The puppies are still hanging in there, with lots of hard work and TLC.) This was in addition to the major projects we had undertaken of repainting the house and refencing the yard.

Last weekend Dan worked all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday painting at Amy's new house. I was at home keeping Katie and Hannah while their parents negotiated the move. The girls didn't act like they were feeling well on Saturday because Katie wanted to get in Grammy's bed for naps both in the morning and in the afternoon and Hannah was fussy. In the middle of the night Katie started vomiting all over Grammy's bed, so Grammy and Grandpa were stripping beds, giving Katie a bath, and trying to keep from waking Hannah all at the same time. Katie felt better the next morning... unfortunately, Grammy didn't. So Sunday I was sick and Sunday night Dan came in from painting at Amy's not feeling so hot either. He ended up having to take a sick day yesterday. We are feeling a little better today.

I have taken a very circuitous route to say we need some fun and R & R! Erin called us about a month ago and said that she had used her birthday money to buy an airline ticket to Houston for Memorial Day weekend. This was kind of a spur of the moment decision that was certainly unexpected, so I asked her why she decided to come right now. She said that she thought we could use some cheering up, so she was coming to cheer up her parents. Awwww!! We're looking forward to a shopping trip to the Heights antique shops and maybe brunch at Shade. (Those are just at the top of the list. Ha!)

While we're enjoying our time of rest and are busy making new memories, we don't want to become so busy that we forget what the holiday is all about. God bless our men and women who have served this country and paid the ultimate price so that we can live our lives in this land we love. Thank you...we appreciate the sacrifices you have made to protect the liberties, values, and beliefs that we hold dear. May we never forget. God bless America!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Ones that Got Away

Today was the Urban Market in Houston. I guess it's similar to the Round Top antique show, but on a much smaller scale. Vendors arrange their wares under tents in a field behind the Knights of Columbus Hall north of downtown. I wasn't going to go because we had a day and night of heavy rain here in Houston and I knew I would have to slog through mud and sawdust in order to see anything. But then I decided to brave it.

The first thing that I saw that I was interested in was an antique red watering can for $16. I thought I would come back and get it on the way out. It was gone. Oh well...

The next thing that I saw that I was really interested in was this antique metal glider for the backyard patio. It was in really good condition. It just needed paint or if shabby chic is your thing, it could be left as is. The seller wanted $135 for it. There was one in another booth for $495.

I told the seller that I didn't have a way to carry it home. She told me that there was a man near the entrance with a truck who would pack up your things and deliver them to your home for $80. I stood there and deliberated for a little while and then walked off to call Dan. I wasn't gone 5 minutes and the glider was sold to some mean old people who were stalking me. Ha! They tried to throw me off by buying all the old paint brushes (the ones that Dan used to paint our house when we were first married) so they could stick them in a silver coffee pot. I should have told them to follow me back to the house. They could have a field day.

Did you know that those fold up yard sticks are collector's items as well? We've got a lot of those. I think I'll go get them out of my garage and put them in an apothecary jar on my dining room table. Another thing that people are selling are the shells of turtles. I don't know what you'd do with those.

Someone had made a lot of Trumeau mirrors and chalkboards that were really nice. (Erin, you can do this!)

Since I didn't get anything I was really looking for, I treated myself to an orchid grown by Mr. Orchid Obsession in Spring as a consolation prize. We'll see how long it lasts. It looks beautiful now.

P.S. We went to Fish City Grill for dinner and I ordered oysters. (I always order oysters.) The waitress told us that there were no gulf oysters because of the oil spill. The oysters I got were the size of a dime. I don't know where they got them.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

There's nothing like...

  • crawling into clean, cool, slick, 600 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets at the end of a hard day (Can you tell I really like nice sheets? I've been know to stay in a hotel (Hilton) just for the quality of their sheets.)
  • having a good book to read in those 600 thread count sheets and someone to share the story with lying beside you (but far enough away so that when you have a hot flash, it doesn't make you hotter!)
  • the feel of the fan as it ruffles the blankets
  • listening to the rain on your windows and roof when showers have been overdue (unless you live in Nashville or Oklahoma)
  • not hearing the air conditioning running and running because the showers are keeping everything cool
  • looking at the alarm clock in panic thinking you are late for work, to realize it's Saturday and you can sleep in - ahhhh!!
  • waking up to the smell of Lola Savannah Fair Trade Columbian Organic Coffee
  • knowing that your house is already clean and the laundry done so you're free to do whatever strikes your fancy for the rest of the weekend
  • looking forward to seeing two precious little grandbabies and hearing "love ooo," Grammy
Happy Saturday!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Remember the Alamo

We’re about to re-fight the battle of the Alamo here in Texas. No, it’s not a reenactment of the actual battle. We’re fighting a battle that is being chronicled on national television and in the New York Times over the state social studies curriculum…the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Social Studies. Fox News calls it the textbook wars. The line in the sand is over the U.S. history and government portion of the curriculum (with a little world history thrown in for good measure). Our state curriculum is adopted for a term of ten years. You’re probably wondering why this merits national attention and you might be saying “who cares?”

The nation is tuning in because the Texas curriculum becomes the nation’s curriculum because it is the largest textbook market. Publishers don’t redo the textbooks for each state because it’s not economically feasible. So…everyone in the country is going to be studying Texas’ U.S. history curriculum. Again, so what? History is history..

Here is what’s at stake: our national identity. Whatever students (our future policy-makers and national leaders) study as an adolescent in their history class becomes part of their “worldview” of our country. The fight in Texas is over whether or not you are a believer in “exceptionalism” or “imperialism” – whether you are proud of our country’s rich history or are an apologist for it.

You see, our State Board and the curriculum writers believe that our nation is a Christian nation founded by diverse individuals who came to the “New World” for religious freedom. They believe that our founding fathers were a group of statesmen who, at great risk to their own lives and in spite of their differences, acted for the greater good. They believed in "government of the people, for the people, and by the people," in other words popular sovereignty.

The birth of the nation was a great experiment blessed by the hand of God. When Benjamin Franklin was asked by a woman at the close of the Continental Congress, “Well Dr. Franklin, what have we got, a monarchy or a republic?” He responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.” We have kept it by the grace of God. I believe that we are exceptional…that we do have unique values and beliefs from other nations in the world. Does that mean that we haven’t made mistakes? Of course not. But, because we have an exceptional system, we have the ability to rectify the mistakes we have made.

The people who have written our new curriculum also believe in Judeo-Christian values, upholding the mottos “E Pluribus Unum” and “In God We Trust.” They believe that the Ten Commandments should be studied alongside with Hammurabi’s Code, the Magna Carta, the English Bill of Rights, etc. as part of the history of the law.

The opposing camp believes that the curriculum writers are writing revisionist history because, for one thing (they say), many of our founding fathers were not Christians but Deists. They do not believe that there should be the thread of Christianity and the Judeo-Christian belief system that is woven into the curriculum. They also believe they we are ignoring the fact that America was imperialistic.

What is really happening is that we are moving the culture wars that are currently being fought in the nation into our classrooms.

I’m afraid we may have some “blood letting” next Friday when the State Board of Education votes on the new curriculum. I know that I don’t want to be present, although I have been in the past. I will be at home grieving for my nation, the republic I hope we can keep.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day, Part II

Last Mother's Day we were in the midst of the H1N1 scare here in Texas and I had a horrible cold/flu, so everyone went to eat Mexican food without me. (Dan brought me a taco.) This year was much better!

I have been wanting under-cabinet lighting for my kitchen, so my sweet husband bought LED strips and installed them yesterday. They are awesome! Now I can see the crumbs that I've left behind! We also went to Plants for All Seasons, my favorite nursery, this afternoon and bought day lillies, licorice plants, and impatiens for some flower beds we've been working on. I could have stayed there all afternoon just smelling the gardenia and the jasmine. Gardenia is probably my favorite flower - the scent brings back all kinds of springtime memories.

Later in the afternoon Erin called to tell me that she had begun blogging again and she did a very sweet Mother's Day post. Finally, we met Amy, Chris, Katie, and Hannah for dinner at the Texas Roadhouse.

Grammy, Hannah, and Katie...Aren't they the cutest little girls ever? Hannah has the most beautiful blue eyes and Katie has beautiful hazel ones.

Is it time to eat yet? You can tell that I don't miss many meals! Ha!

Having fun at dinner...

Amy and Chris

Thank you Lord for the privilege of being a mother.

Happy Mother's Day!

I recently found this picture of my mom and her grandchildren. I don't think it was taken on Mother's Day. It was probably taken in August, since it looks like someone was celebrating a birthday (that would be me). I know it was on a Sunday because dad has on his dress shirt and it looks like we had Sunday dinner. I'm sorry Judy isn't in the picture. We have missed many a Mother's Day with mama, but what a legacy of faith she left behind.

This old hymn is my prayer for my children on Mother's Day. I'm sure it could have been my mother's prayer, as well.

Be Thou [my child's] vision, O Lord of my heart,
Be all else but naught to him, save that Thou art;...

Be Thou his wisdom, be Thou his true word,
Be Thou ever with him, and he with Thee, Lord;
Be thou his great Father, and he Thy true son;
Be Thou in him dwelling, and he with Thee one.

Be Thou his breastplate, his sword for the fight;
Be Thou his whole armour, be Thou his true might;
Be Thou his soul's shelter, be Thou his strong tower;
O raise Thou him heavenward, great Power of my power.

May he not seek riches nor man's empty praise;
Be Thou his inheritance now and always;
Be Thou and Thou only the first in his heart;
O Sovereign of heaven, I pray his treasure Thou art.

Ancient Irish hymn

Thank you Lord for mother's who teach their little one's about You.

Her children rise up and bless her; "Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all." Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31: 28-30

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy Birthday, Erin!

Today our “baby” is 28 years old. How can that possibly be? I have a vivid memory of that day and it doesn’t seem that long ago.
Erin 1
I remember that mom and daddy were over at the house for lunch. Dan was helping dad with the new house that they were building in the same neighborhood where we lived. Anyway, the men were hungry and Amy wanted a Happy Meal so we went to McDonald’s to get a Big Mac. (The labor nurse said we’d be seeing that Big Mac again, but we never did.) I noticed that I was having some discomfort, but ignored it because we were also having a new sofa delivered that had been on order for six weeks and I was not missing out on that! Mind you, Erin was already 2 weeks late.

By the middle of the afternoon, I was beginning to think that this was indeed the day. I called the doctor and he said to begin making my way to the hospital. The hospital was in the Texas Medical Center and we lived in a suburb north of town. I told Dan that we needed to get on the road, but he was washing the car. He kept saying, “in just a minute” because we’d had this drill before. Finally, he was through with the car and we drove to mom’s to drop off Amy and got to the hospital in time to see “Wheel of Fortune.”

Once we got there, they wouldn’t admit us because they weren’t sure that we’d be staying. They said that we needed to '”walk.” I wanted to say “For Pete’s sake…I’m as big as a hippopotamus, the baby’s two weeks late, and I’m not leaving.” After “walking” for a while, I told the nurse that my water had broken. She said, “We’ll just see about that.” We saw alright!!

Erin was born at 10:30 that evening. She weighed 8 lbs. 15oz. (I told you she was late.) The whole family was there to welcome her to the world. It was a precious time.
erin mom dad
Aunt Judy and Uncle Tony looking in the nursery window.
judy & tony
Amy and Josh checking Erin out.
amy and josh
Erin looked like she was a month old already. I told that doctor that it was past time for that baby to be born!
 erin bassinet
erin bassinet 2
Wow! I can’t believe I’m really holding my baby sister!
amy holding erin
This takes a lot of concentration…
amy feeding erin
Proud grandparents…mimi and pawpaw
 erin mimi
Memaw and pepaw
erin memaw

Birthday cake…birthday cake
Going home…
erin going home

Sitting on the new sofa…
amy & erin
This baby that we so joyously welcomed to our family 28 years ago has grown into a Godly young woman who has blessed our lives and of whom we couldn’t be more proud.

Happy birthday, Erin! We love you.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127:3