Sunday, November 29, 2009


I looked online for the origin of the tradition of the wreath. There are a lot of ancient stories of wreaths, but I think the tradition of the wreath came about from German Lutherans who created the advent wreath to symbolize eternity through God’s grace. I like that.

I needed a wreath for my front door to go along with the gingerbread/candy cane theme of the front yard. I wanted it to be bright enough to be seen from the street. Kristen’s Creations has the directions for a mesh ribbon wreath that I really liked but I couldn’t find the ribbon at Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. This is my interpretation.


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Our Christmas tree is up, but not completely decorated. I am waiting for instructions from Kristen’s Creation on how to do the bow at the top of the tree, but things are definitely looking festive here.




We spent yesterday working on the front yard. I still have to do the front door. I’m trying to decide how to do the garland without putting nails or screws in my brand-new front door. I also saw some lighted trees at Home Goods and Target that I’d like to put on either side of the door – plus I need a new wreath. Whew…I’m lucky to be married to an electrical engineer… (even so, I think that we might have blown the breaker once lol)


and to have other helpers!





Things are coming along… I ran across the following at Empty Nest Full Life. She suggested during this advent season that we reflect each day on who God is. What a great idea! I am going to join her.


In Genesis, He's the Breath of Life

In Exodus, He is the Passover Lamb

In Leviticus, He's our High Priest

In Numbers, the Fire by Night

Deuteronomy, He's Israel's Guide

Joshua, He's Salvation's Choice

Judges, He's Israel's Guard

In Ruth, the Kinsmen's Redeemer

1st and 2nd Samuel, our Trusted Prophet

In Kings and Chronicles, He is Sovereign

In Ezra, He's the True and Faithful Scribe

Nehemiah, the Re-builder of Broken Lives

In Esther, He's Mordecai's Courage

In Job, the Timeless Redeemer

In Psalms, He's Our Morning Song

In Proverbs, He is our Wisdom

Ecclesiastes, He's the Time and Season

Song of Solomon, He is the Lover's Dream

In Isaiah, He is the Prince of Peace

In Jeremiah, the Weeping Prophet

Lamentations, the Cry for Israel

Ezekiel, the Call from Sin

Daniel, the Stranger in the Fire

Hosea, the Forever Faithful

Joel, the Spirit's Power

Amos, the Strong Arms That Carry

Obadiah, the Lord Our Savior

Jonah, the Great Missionary

Micah, the Promise of Peace

Nahum, our Strength and Shield

In Habakkuk and Zephaniah, He brings revival

In Haggai, He restores that which was lost

In Zachariah, He's our fountain

And in Malachi, He's the Son of Righteousness, rising with Healing in His Wings

In Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, He is God and Messiah

In the Spirit-filled book of Acts, He is the Reigning Fire from Heaven

In Romans, He is the Grace of God

Corinthians, the Power of Love

Galatians, Freedom from the curse of sin

Ephesians, Our Glorious Treasure

Philippians, the Servant's Heart

Colossians, He's God and the Trinity

Thessalonians, Our Calling King

In Timothy, Titus and Philemon, He's our Mediator and our Faithful Pastor

In Hebrews, the Everlasting Courage

In James, the One Who Heals the Sick

In 1st and 2nd Peter, our Faithful Shepherd

In John and Jude, He's the Lover Coming for His Bride

And in the Revelation, in the very end, when it's over, said and done, when time is NO MORE, He is and will always be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Prince of Peace, Son of Man, Lamb of God, The Great I Am, Alpha and Omega, God and Savior.


From Priscilla Shirer's Discerning the Voice of God Bible study.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. It is a time for reflecting on the many blessings that the Lord has given us, being with family that we hold dear, sharing our favorite foods, and watching our favorite team – Texas - beat A&M.

One of the things we were thankful for this year is that we finally got a new refrigerator! It was delivered on Wednesday just in time to fight the crowds at the grocery store to buy some food to put in it. We have been without a refrigerator for almost a month so I didn’t even mind fighting the crowds for the food. It was actually exciting! Sometimes it takes the inconvenience of being without to make you appreciate what you’ve been taking for granted. I am grateful for God’s provision for our lives (and for my new refrigerator to store that provision!)

IMG_1002It has been a tradition in our family that my sister has Thanksgiving at her house and I have Christmas at mine…except for the years that Texas plays A&M at home. Then we have dinner at a restaurant in Austin. Yesterday we all gathered at my sister’s house for a lovely and delicious meal. However, it was a bittersweet time because their precious Yorkie, Beau, accidentally ran out their gate into the street and was hit by a car. We all loved Beau so everyone was teary-eyed and sad.

We weren’t thinking about taking pictures, so I don’t have any of the food or the table. Suffice it to say the table looked lovely and the food tasted yummy. I finally got my act together and started taking some pictures only to discover that the lens of the camera was smudged so some of the pictures look blurry. Oh well…

IMG_1004 MeMaw, PePaw, Judy, Tony, Megan, and me.



Jeremy and Dan were the photographers. I hope Jeremy got better pictures than I did!

IMG_1007 Amy, Chris and Katie arrived after we ate to spend the afternoon with us. Judy’s son and daughter-in-law, Josh and Jamie were spending Thanksgiving in Iowa with her parents. They rotate the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays between families.


Katie did find out that her new little sister is going to be named Hannah Joy.

IMG_1010 Katie was playing Bowling Penguins.

IMG_1012 Amy and Grandpa and Katie playing “tickle bee.”



IMG_1016 IMG_1015New moms-to-be. They both have that “glow.”

Can you tell by their expressions that they are watching Katie attempt to do a summersault?



Don’t you love Jeremy’s expression? I think he kinda likes his wife, don’t you? They haven’t picked a name yet for their little man.



Erin and Lucas weren’t able to be here…they usually stay in Denver for Thanksgiving. Sometimes Erin comes home for Christmas…(Occasionally Lucas tags along…ha!) This year his family wants to have Christmas in Colorado,so we won’t be seeing them. I think they have a Norman Rockwell Christmas planned in the snow, as opposed to the mild Houston winters we share!

It's one of our traditions to put up our Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving (I'm not into "Black Friday.") Better get cracking... I hope you had a happy day yesterday and are looking forward to a blessed Christmas season.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


One day last fall I came home from work, took a seat at the breakfast table to read the mail, and was blindsided when my husband announced that he had cancer. He had already had a biopsy and it had been confirmed...all this without my knowledge. The Friday before Thanksgiving he was told that he had some "rogue" cells, a high PSA, and it looked on the pet scan as if the cancer had spread to a lymph node. Therefore, they felt that they could not offer him the more aggressive and specialized treatment that he needed at their cancer center in the Woodlands. The doctor said that Dan needed to go to M.D. Anderson downtown where he would have a variety of doctors and treatment options.

The Thursday before Christmas we went to visit with a team of doctors at Anderson. Although there are a number of treatment options for prostate cancer, Dan's cancer was too advanced for most of them. He was hoping for some form of advanced radiation, but they bluntly told him that if he wanted to live to old age he needed to have surgery followed by aggressive chemo and/or radiation. Last year's holidays were not the most joyful for us, however we trusted God for the outcome. I stopped people on the street and asked them to pray for us - I wasn't proud, the more people praying, the better!

In January of this year Dan had a radical prostatectomy with removal of all of the associated lymph nodes. When I went in to visit with the doctor after the procedure, he was beaming. He said it was a perfect surgery. Although the cancer was a T3, which means it had progressed to the outside of the prostate, he had gotten all of the cancer and it had not "jumped over" to the lymph nodes. He expected Dan to be cancer-free. What precious words! I responded that God had answered our prayers and the doctor looked at me and said "exactly!" Dan has had some recurring problems with lymphodema in his leg and will have to see a physical therapist, but as of November 19th his PSA is at 0. Do I believe that M.D. Anderson is the best hospital in the world for cancer treatment? Absolutely! Do I believe that God is the Great Physician who performed a miracle on our behalf using the hospital and doctors? Completely!

As a side note, while we were in the hospital an Indian nurse that sometimes cared for us came to visit. She said to us "You are believers, aren't you." We replied that we were. She then said that she knew from the moment that we were brought to the floor from surgery that we were believers. The Christ in her could see the Christ in us. She then went on to say that "isn't it wonderful that by His wounds you were healed spiritually and now He has healed your body." What a blessing to have this Indian sister in Christ minister to us at such a time.

I am so grateful on this Thanksgiving Eve that I serve a God who specializes in miracles...who is in the business of "heart transplants." He can take a black, sinful heart and transform it into one that is spotlessly pure through His Son, Jesus.

He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 1Peter 2:24

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I'm Thankful for ...

I am thankful for my church and for ministers who are truly men of God and proclaim the Truth from God's inerrant Word, the Bible, without compromise or apology. I am thankful that I am taught that God is not only a loving and forgiving Father, but is holy and righteous. I am thankful that through the ministry of God's Word I learned that I am a sinner and that nothing I can ever do through my own will or good works will allow me to approach His holy throne. I am more than thankful that He, in His great love for me and you, provided Jesus who died on the cross for us so that we might be cleansed from our sin and have fellowship with God. I am thankful that I accepted the free gift of salvation by praying the "sinner's prayer" of repentance and asking Jesus to live in my heart. I am thankful for the resurrection because I know that this life is just a tiny moment in time compared to the hope of eternity with Him. I am thankful that my church, through God's Word, challenges me to be salt and light in a world of pain and darkness because He is not willing that one should perish. I am thankful that in this sinful world that is spiraling toward destruction, I know the Savior. Do you?

And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light , we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. I John 1:5-10

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Those Were the Good Old Days

Something I read today in Mimi's blog reminded me of my grandmother. Her post gave me a little nudge down memory lane and I started thinking about random things in my childhood and adolescence that I really miss and, some of which could be considered blessings - even though I might not have recognized them at the time. I know that I am looking at the past with some rose tint in my glasses, but humor me.

  1. Sitting down to dinner every night as a family-Dinner always included a meat, a starch, and a green vegetable and was served on pottery plates, not paper. Sometimes we had dessert. The table was set by one of us girls and we knew on which side to place each piece of silverware. We actually had conversation while we ate.
  2. Saying the Lord's Prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance every morning at school. Why did we allow this to be removed from the school day?
  3. Singing hymns from the hymnal-There is just something about sharing a hymnal (with which you can actually see the notes and read the words) with a person next to you that connects you in the worship experience. It is hard to be connected to a big screen at the front of the church. There are many choruses and pieces of contemporary music that I love, but could we please sing more of the old hymns that speak to our hearts? Have you ever noticed that when we do, the singing is much more enthusiastic?
  4. Dressing up to go to church-Does anyone remember the little white gloves with a pearl button that we used to wear? How about the starched petticoats and the lady's hats? (Sometimes I think that we have become way too laid back and casual about meeting with God. If the Bible says that people were supposed to offer Him the first fruits and the unblemished calf, wouldn't we want to look our best when we come before His throne in reverance and worship. Just a thought...)
  5. Waking up to the birds singing or the farm report on the radio-Every summer we always spent several weeks with my grandmother. She lived in a little town in central Texas in a two bedroom house with a big front porch. The house was not air conditioned so we slept with the windows open. Our alarm clock was the birds singing and the farm report or gospel music playing on the radio. The first words out of our mouths each morning were "Can we have biscuits for breakfast?" We were so disappointed when canned biscuits were invented!
  6. Sitting on the front porch at grandmother's playing dominoes, snapping peas from the garden, or eating watermelon while waving at all the people who drive by.
  7. Sleeping on pallets on the floor with all the cousins because there weren't enough beds.
  8. Manners and courteous treatment of others-'nough said
  9. Real heroes/movie stars like John Wayne, Elvis Presley, and Jimmy Stewart, and movies the whole family could see together like "Sound of Music," "Gone With the Wind," etc.
  10. Saturday afternoon matinees-Parents felt safe in dropping you off and picking you off at a neighborhood theater. I still remember seeing "Sleeping Beauty" and "Old Yeller" with cousins.
  11. Drive-in theaters
  12. Homecoming at the cemetery-(This is one of the ones that I didn't think was so special at the time!) My grandparents and almost all of my ancestors are buried at a little country cemetery in Dale, Texas. In order to maintain the cemetery, every June there would be a homecoming when all the relatives would come to the old school and bring every kind of comfort food imaginable. This would be laid out on planks set over sawhorses. We would eat and visit and eat some more. Each family would donate some money to help care for the gravesites and the cemetery grounds. It was an opportunity for you to see extended family and relatives you didn't know you had.
  13. Catching fireflies in a glass jar. This goes with playing outside till the streetlights came on-which goes with playing kickball in the cul-de-sac.
  14. Road trips with breakfast at a roadside park over a Coleman stove and vienna sausages and crackers for lunch.
  15. Shopping, as well as dining out were real occasions and we did both infrequently. We dressed up and rode the bus downtown to buy Easter shoes, Christmas dresses, and school clothes.
  16. Sewing your own clothes
  17. Belief in personal responsibility and that hard work paid
  18. Leaving the doors unlocked at night
  19. Buying watermelon at the watermelon stand and eating the slices at picnic tables over sawdust on the ground
  20. Saving our money to get one of the first Barbie dolls
  21. Coke was not a staple in the pantry, but a treat that you went to the drug store to get
  22. Sunday lunch was always roast beef, rice or mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans, fruit with cottage cheese, and dessert. This was followed by an afternoon nap. Ahhh...
  23. At grandmother's in the summer we always had our big meal of meat, fresh vegetables, and iced tea at lunch time, before the heat of the day. The meal was timed so that it would be complete by 12:30 because that was when "As the World Turns," grandmother's "story" came on. So we watched Bob and Lisa and the gang until it was over at 1:30. Then Judy and I had to take a nap. We laid on a pillow on the living room floor with the fan whirring over us. That's why I like sleeping under a fan today...because it reminds me of those sweet times at grandmother's.
  24. Duke & Ayres, the five and dime where you could get paper dolls for a dollar
  25. Singings-(this is another of the category of not recognizing the blessing and charm of the experience when you were going through it!) On Friday nights in the country with grandmother we would sometimes drive to little churches or community centers where they were having a singing. People from all denominations would meet to sing from a variety of hymnals or sheet music that they would bring. After the singing was over, we would have some of the homemade desserts the ladies brought.
  26. Gospel quartets
  27. Christmas was Christmas and not the Winter Holidays.
  28. Driving down the road to the cemetery in a funeral cortege and having everyone pull off the side of the road and park or stop their work in the fields to stand in silent respect for the loved one who had passed away.
  29. Writing and receiving letters on pretty stationary
  30. Thank you notes
  31. Nancy Drew mysteries and library cards
  32. The Pig Stand drive-in (onion rings and root beer floats!!)
  33. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Fury, My Friend Flicka, The Mouseketeers, Woody Woodpecker, etc.
  34. Queen for a Day, I Love Lucy, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Twilight Zone, Wierd, The Outer Linits, Alfred Hitchcock movies, etc.
  35. Sleeping with your sister in a full-sized bed daring each other to cross "the line." This also applied to riding in the back seat of the car.
  36. The smell of burning leaves from the pile that was just raked in the backyard
  37. Gingerbread, wassail, and caroling at the Bank of the Southwest in downtown Houston on Christmas Eve
  38. The ponies at Playland Park
  39. Birthdays at Peppermint Park
  40. Sleeping in the back window of the Chrysler DeSoto
  41. The rodeo at the Sam Houston Coliseum

Monday, November 9, 2009

My Tribute

When I look at this picture, I see the swagger of youth and the idealism of a just cause. I see individual pride and pride in their brotherhood. I see respect and love for the country that they have chosen to serve and the liberty it represents to the world, and yes, I see members of "The Greatest Generation." Perhaps, most of all, I see courage...the willingness to act on their beliefs, to lay everything on the line, in spite of the fear of the consequences. I also see the application of their belief in the scripture, "To whom much is given, much shall be required." My dad is the man in the middle and the other four are my uncles. Only the two on the left are still living.

These five brothers were following in the footsteps of their forebears who fought in World War I all the way back to the Revolution. They understood that this unique, "Great Experiment" of a democratic republic was and continues to be worth the fight. So they, along with many other courageous young men, were at Pearl Harbor, the Battle of the Bulge, Iwo Jima, D-Day... so that we could have the promise of a future in the "land of the free and the home of the brave."

I pray that we will not take these young men's sacrifices for the cause of freedom, and the sacrifices of those that have followed, lightly. I also pray that we, as a nation, proudly remember our identity and return to the Creator who has so richly blessed us.

God bless you ,Veterans and God bless America.

P.S. Paw Paw, Katie, Baby Girl G, and Baby Boy H all say thank you and we love you!

P.P.S. If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chron. 7:14

Sunday, November 8, 2009


After exactly one year the foreclosed house next door has finally sold. The new owner was over raking the yard. Ruby is an older woman who likes to win “Yard of the Month.” Praise the Lord!


Littlest Longhorn

I can’t believe the fall has passed so quickly. It seems like just yesterday that everyone was joining in on Kelly’s Korner posts about how happy we all were that college football was about to start. Is it a sign of getting older that time goes by so quickly? Fast forward to yesterday, our next to last home game. Our last game is against Kansas in two weeks.

Katie came with us to this game since she loved the last one so much (yes, she did bring her parents along for the ride). It was a superb fall day and she was again very happy to be there.




It’s a shame she wouldn’t look at the camera. Watching the field and the jumbotron takes a lot of concentration! She doesn’t want to be caught not clapping when the team leaves the field prior to the game!


Guess who’s Grandpa’s girl?

IMG_0998 Halftime was great! It was alumni band day and veteran recognition. They were playing the Stars and Stripes Forever.


IMG_1003 IMG_1002 It was a little breezy. We’re excited ‘cause Jordan set a record!


Mommy, these shoes just don’t cut it with this outfit!


The band marching out of the stadium




Only Baylor, Kansas, A&M, and the Big Twelve Championship to go until…the BCS Championship! Yippee!! California Dreamin’…




Fun and Fellowship

Our sweet office Sunshine Committee and their helpers (mostly paraprofessionals) decided that we needed some fun and fellowship, so they planned a Friday tailgate lunch. The professional development room was decorated in team colors (mostly maroon and white…yuck lol) and everyone brought a dish. We had wings, hot dogs, chips and dips, all kinds of salads, and absolutely delicious deserts. I brought drinks. (It’s hard to cook when your refrigerator is cold one minute and hot the next. We have to order the frig, so it will be about a week and a half before we’re back to normal…or until something else breaks!)

Kandy, my ex-secretary. I cropped out the gig ‘em sign!IMG_0984 Fanny, Julie, and Kandy


Julie, the boss’ secretary and Diana, my secretary (she was also one of the planners of the party).



IMG_0988Diana, Sandra, the big boss’ secretary, and the big boss, Susan B.


The spread…you’ll notice there is a strong aggie presence in Klein! We need a little more burnt orange!


Another shot of the aggie faithful…Hook ‘em horns!


Anyone for dessert?