Monday, November 29, 2010

A Good Read

I am a voracious reader. In fact, one of my favorite things to do is go to Barnes and Noble and spend an evening browsing, topped off with a café latte. A dear friend and I like to go to see authors at area bookstores who read portions of their books and answer questions. We have seen Amy Tan, Isaac Stern, Edmund Morris, and too many others to name. My sister and I saw Condeleeza Rice and bought her most recent book earlier this month. I am not picky about genres, however I would probably say that historical fiction is my favorite and science fiction...not so much.


I am currently reading a book that is certainly not a light read, but one that is convicting to a Christian, a professed disciple of Christ. It is a biography titled Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a theologian during the rise of Hitler and Nazi Germany. The book chronicles his journey of faith.

After visiting America in the early 1930’s, Bonhoeffer commented “In New York (he was attending seminary there) they preach about virtually everything, only one thing is not addressed, or is addressed so rarely that I have as yet been unable to hear it, namely, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the cross, sin and forgiveness, death and life. So what stands in place of the Christian message? An ethical and social idealism borne by a faith in progress that – who knows how – claims the right to call itself “Christian.” …some churches are basically “charitable” churches, others have primarily a social identity. One cannot avoid the impression, however, that in both cases they have forgotten what the real point is.” He also said “I believe that the Bible alone is the answer to all our questions, and that we need only to ask repeatedly and a little humbly, in order to receive this answer. Only if we expect from it the ultimate answer, shall we receive it. That is because in the Bible God speaks to us.”

His utter submission to the will of God ultimately cost him his life as he stood against Hitler and the Nazis and with the Jews. As he was being taken to be executed (although he had not been told where he was going), he said “This is the end, for me the beginning of life.”

If you want to read a book about an amazing man who was mightily used by God, then read this book. If you want to be challenged to live a life in awe and wonder at the grace that was obtained at the foot of the cross, then read this book.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know, I know, I’ve been missing in action since it is now Thanksgiving and my last post was on Nov. 1. Life has been happening in between and I just haven’t had the gumption to write about it. Do you ever feel like there would just be too much explaining to do?

However, it is a beautiful blue sky morning and I can’t let the weekend pass without publicly giving thanks for the grace that has been extended to me as a daughter of the King. I couldn’t face the future without the assurance that God’s love never fails and His grace is sufficient to see me through, no matter what may come. God is good!

Now to catch up…I have been off the whole week, which has been a welcome respite from a very busy fall at work. My job entails training secondary social studies teachers for the new and much more rigorous end-of-course state exams we will be administering next year. I could write a whole post on this subject alone. Let me just say that this is probably why I’ve not posted in so long.

Monday Amy brought the girls over and we went shopping at the outlet mall. We didn’t buy much, but learned that Katie takes after her Grammy and loves to shop. However, she is either very opinionated for a two and a half year old, or her favorite word is no! She loves to try on ladies’ shoes and pretty much anything that is hanging on a rack. Ha! Hannah just enjoyed being along for the ride.

Tuesday and Wednesday morning I began my Christmas decorating. We left Wednesday afternoon for the Hill Country. Every other year (whenever the UT/A&M game is in Austin) we have Thanksgiving up in the Austin area so we can go to the game. This year Judy and family rented a house in Wimberley for the week. Dan and I stayed in the San Marcos Embassy Suites next to the outlet mall. The San Marcos Outlet Mall is probably one of the biggest attractions in Texas.

Everything was so nice and calm there when we arrived that we decided to stroll around on Wednesday night. I was even able to rack up bargains for next Thanksgiving at the Pottery Barn outlet. But, oh my goodness, what a difference a day made…more on that later.

We got to Wimberley about 11:00 in the morning and spent several hours rocking on the porch and enjoying the view. When I retire I want to move to a house with a front and back porch with a rocker and a swing.



Dan decided he’d just take a little nap before lunch. After all, there was a nice breeze…


Others of us decided the swing was perfect…


This was the view… The windmill in the distance was going strong. The cold front had not made it through yet.


Who said Texas doesn’t have mountains??




I’ll take that little ranch. I wonder how much they want for it?


The house had a pool and hot tub.


Sawyer was enjoying his time on the porch as well. We missed having the rest of our family there. Amy and Chris had Thanksgiving with his family. Erin and Lucas weren’t able to be here either. (They are coming in for Christmas!)


So did Mr. Darcy…


Lunch on the porch…


After lunch relaxation


Judy lovin’ on her daughter-in-laws… They cleaned up after lunch so us “mature” folks could stay out on the porch.




Sawyer was playing peek-a-boo with his great-uncle Dan.


So was Mr. Darcy… (That’s a pretty satisfied face he’s leaning against!)


Speaking of Bevo, it was time to head to the game.


By this time in the afternoon the cold front had arrived and the temperature had dropped significantly. The wind chill was between 26 and 29 degrees…a very cold night for the longhorns. Oh well…there’s always next year.



The best parts of the game…



We left about 10:30 with 2 minutes left in the game. There was a lot of traffic that we attributed to the football game. We were wrong. It was people going to the outlet mall. When we got back at the hotel it was full of people checking in and leaving for the mall that opened at midnight. Whole families were packed into cars heading out for the mall. It was amazing! When we went down to breakfast on Friday morning people were coming back from their “midnight madness” shopping. There must have been some great bargains!
We steered clear of the outlet mall but did take in a few of the shops in Wimberley.





I hope that you have a blessed Thanksgiving weekend and a wonderful Christmas season!

Monday, November 1, 2010


It’s been weeks since I’ve written a post, so I’m having trouble getting started again. Between conducting workshops on Saturdays, attending the annual social studies conference, and trying to sandwich in depressing football games that we’ve lost for no good reason, it has been a busy October. Add to that a horrible bout of bronchitis and sinusitis that kept me in bed for about 5 days…and you see why blogging hasn’t been at the top of my to do list. Hopefully, things will calm down this month (or not).

Last night we met Amy, Chris, and the girls at their church for a fall festival. Here’s Hannah, our little kitty.



And here’s our little Texas cheerleader… There were some people, ahem, whose school affiliation will go un-named, that told Katie that they shouldn’t give her any candy because she’s a longhorn! We didn’t want their old candy anyway.

There was a lot to see. Oh my, where do we start?


Grandpa was trying to get them to stand where we could get their picture together. Grandpas are nice to have around for a shoulder or a knee to lean on.



Katie is always happy to see her Grammy and Grandpa. She knows we love them just a little. Ha!


You can tell that Hannah takes after her Grammy because we can’t keep our eyes open when someone is going to take our picture.



The closed eyes definitely run in the family!


This is a kitty that’s relieved to get out of the cat suit in our 90 degree October heat.


Hope your weekend was filled with love!