Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I can't remember if I have shared this before or not. My sister Kellie is super fabulous and talented. Not only does she run her own photography business, but she plays around with video making.

One of her friends from high school went potluck to find a roommate at college, and they ended up being very similar people. They started a band - The City Sounds - and wanted a video made for one of their songs. Kellie rose to the challenge and came up with the video you see below. It's made from over 800 still images, put together like a movie. And if you miss it the first time, make sure you watch the tree, starting at 0:59. Amazing.

****Note: For some reason, it looks like my blog is cutting off half of the video screen... I think you may have to click on the video to go to the youtube site to view it. Sorry. This is the first time this has ever happened and I can't figure it out!****

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday Yum

Last week, Sarah gave me the recipe to her amazing chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.
I went out and bought the ingredients (does anyone know what turbinado sugar is?) and then today, I had some fun.
My girls' Bible study group is going to eat these tonight. I think there's enough for three each. :)

And yes, I am aware that the picture quality is not great. They were taken on my phone since I have no idea where my camera cord is. That's what happens when you move - you lose things.
Thank you, Sarah, for the recipe!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Little Nasties in the Garage


I am terrified of my garage.

Before we moved in, the A/C was turned off, so everything was hot and humid outside and inside our home. Every time we would visit the house to bring a load of boxes over, I would see dead cockroaches in various corners. Thank goodness they were dead. I always made Austin pick them up with the fly swatter and dump them in the trash. Who cares if they're dead? I want them out of sight!

I went out and bought some roach killer (you know, those horrid-looking round black things that you place strategically throughout your house). I placed them all around our house - most of them are not in dark corners, as the package suggests, but near doors and windows. Wherever I have seen those gross things.

Now that the air is working again and we have moved in, I have seen a few more cockroaches in our house. One appeared (dead) in the living room, and the others have been in the garage. There is no A/C in the garage, so of course the cockroaches love it.

I am petrified.

Every time I have to go out to my car, I scan the floor for roaches before stepping out of the laundry room. And I never, ever try to get in my car unless the garage door is open. Heck no.

As we speak, there is a roach lying on his back by the passenger door of my car, squirming and trying to turn himself over. I'm not sure if he ate the roach poison or not. But for good measure, I grabbed the can of Raid (it's not even roach killer Raid, it's the kind for flies and wasps) and sprayed him good.

He squirmed some more.

Can't roaches hold their breath for a long time? I'm probably spraying in vain. Someone told me the only way that roaches die is when their heads get cut off, and then they only die due to starvation.

In Wall-E, the roach lived when everyone else died. He was cute, though. Not like the roaches here.

They are really gross looking.

Well, I am trying to eat now, and all this talking about roaches doesn't help.

See ya.

Now I Have to Shave my Legs Every Day

Yayyyy summer.

It's hot. It's humid. It's Houston.

Back to the days of getting branded by the seat belt buckle, getting bitten by mosquitoes and having to shave my legs every day if I want to look normal.

Now that I have a year of school under my belt, I think this summer is going to go by very slowly. That's a good thing. I don't have a lot to plan for, since I know what's coming. I get to spend my days reading, relaxing, and setting up house.

Oh yeah, Austin and I bought a house. Our first house!!! We will be here for a while, we hope. It is big enough to grow into and in a great location. Our kids can go to elementary school right down the street, and possibly even to middle school and high school, although we might want to move before that time comes. It's not a giant house.

I really love living here. It's quiet and our neighbors are great.

We have an HPD cop who lives next door and a sheriff's deputy down the street. I feel very safe!

If you want to come visit me, we have a guest bedroom. Shoot me an email. :)

It's going to be a good summer.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Creative Outlet


I type that word, half expecting to hear an echo back, repetititve yet strikingly quiet, as if uttered from a mountain top where I am standing alone.

It has been a long absence. Probably the longest I've had since I started blogging back in 2003. I was a high school junior when I discovered the blogging world. Since then, it has been my creative outlet.

When I was younger, I carried around a bright pink art case-slash-drawing board. It was filled with sketchbooks, how-to books, my prized colored pencils (what the "real artists" used) and my collection of drawings. My work. I liked to draw people. Just heads. I had no idea how to draw arms, legs and bodies, but I could draw heads, as long as they were looking straight ahead. Each person had a name. Whenever I got a break in my day - one that allowed me to sit for more than five minutes - I would open up the art case and pull out my people. I loved getting compliments on my drawings. They really weren't anything amazing, but to me, they were special.

As I grew older and started going to real school (read: private school in England), I discovered other artistic abilities that I had. I could mold clay. Not well, but I was darn proud of my "nature pot" that I made in seventh (?) grade. The art studio in my school felt like home. There were so many tools and machines in the room that I didn't know the purpose of. But I wanted to use them one day. I always earned 1+ in art class. That was the highest grade you could get. I was so proud.

My other favorite class was design. Later, they changed the name to "Design: Resistant Materials" to make it sound more classy, I think. Or perhaps more rugged. Since I went to an all girls' school, we were always looking for ways to be better than boys. In design, I made an acrylic clock, a wooden jewelry box, a metal CD shelf, a bowl using the vacuum former, and a very large wooden chest. The design room felt even more like my home than the art room did. I made the highest grades in the class, despite the fact that my teacher really didn't like me and made me cry on several occasions.

When I was a sophomore in high school, we had to drop every fun class that we took to focus on our GCSE exams. Don't ask me what GCSEs are - just know they were very important and took two years to study for. We had to take a small selection of "core" subjects, and then got to pick three additional classes. I chose to take ICT (computers), design and art.

My choices were rejected.

Apparently, three project-type classes was a lot of work. I could only pick two, and then I needed an academic subject.

So I took design, ICT (computers were important, I thought), and German.

I loved design. That's when I started crying all the time because my teacher was mean.

I spent the next two years of ICT learning how to use Microsoft Access and creating a ginormous database. What a waste of time.

And German... well, let's just say that I don't sprechen Deutch anymore. No one in Texas really uses it. (Who knew?)

That's when art died for me. I did take one art class in college, though. My work got best in class. :-)

Ever since my sophomore year of high school, I really have been missing a part of myself. That's probably why I started up a xanga during my junior year of high school. That, and the fact that all the cool kids in America did it.

Speaking of xanga... I just check out my old account. I still exists.

Writing was a way that I could express myself and let out feelings. I'm not good at it - at all - but I do enjoy it. In my head, I am a much better writer. But when I sit down to publish my thoughts, my extensive vocabulary and lengthy sentences seem to fly right out of my brain. I think I checked once, and my blog is at an 8th grade reading level, which is appropriate, considering that I teach 8th grade. Not to read and write, thank goodness. I teach them about the world that our beautiful Father has created. That goes down much better than reading and writing could.

Since I started teaching, I have had barely any time to myself. Even on the weekends, I spend 8 hours or so grading student work. Blogging never comes to my mind as something to do when I have an ounce of spare time. My life is teaching, and I am not sure it was ever meant to be that way. Actually, I can say with confidence that I was not made to spend all of my time teaching. My life was not meant to be about work.

My heart has been yearning for that creative outlet again. It's like fresh air for me. Since the summer is close, I have been planning creative things to do. One of those is to blog regularly. Wait for it - it will happen. Another is do re-vamp a piece of furniture that Nana is kindly giving to me and Austin. It was made in the 50s and bought by my great-grandmother when she came to live with Nana. I will finally have a project! I have some more things on my list, but I will save those for later.

Right now, I am focusing on completing my first year of teaching. It has been one of the hardest years of my life. I'll probably write more about that once I finish.

I can't wait to tell you more about what God has been doing in our lives for the past few months. It really is blog-worthy.

You might just have to wait until June, though, because this "blogging time" is very unusual for me to have. It just so happens that I have been sick recently and left school early today. My second day off this year.

I got home, ate lunch and then fell asleep for several hours. I'm not sure what's wrong with me. It feels like mono all over again, minus the constant vomiting.

Anyways, since I had some time off, I decided to blog. Just a little reminder that I am still here, and I still check my blog several times a day to read the blogs that I follow.

I'll be back.

Until then, I'm counting down the days until June 4th.



Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Field Trip Day

45 kids on a bus.

Three buses.

1/3 of the 8th grade.

21 miles of laughter and excitement.

Houston Museum of Fine Arts.

Houston Holocaust Museum.

One hour "early" arriving at the Museum of Fine Arts. Actually, we arrived on time. Field Trip planner booked the wrong time.

62 teenagers sitting on the steps, trying to keep quiet.

Six teachers desperately trying to sort the situation out.

45 minutes of "self-guided tour" at the Museum of Fine Arts.

10 students to follow me around.

One docent to give us the real tour.

60 minutes of art-explanation.

10 amazingly well-behaved students incredibly interested in the art.

45 students back on the bus.

15 minutes for lunch.

One stolen bag of Goldfish.

One unhappy 14-year-old.

One trash bag.

45 students' trash in the trash bag.

One smelly bus.

45 students off the bus at the Holocaust Museum.

21 students in my group for the tour.

2 teachers monitoring.

23 stones placed in the garden in memory of loved ones.

90 minutes of Holocaust tour.

One docent trying to keep students involved.

One boxcar used to transport Jews.

42-degree weather.

21 cold students.

23 aching backs.

46 aching feet.

45 students back on the bus.

Three buses.

21 miles of laughter and yawns.

7 "we should have gone to..." suggestions.

19 suggestions for next year's field trip.

Thousands of droplets of water hitting the windshield.

135 8th graders back at school.

49 minutes of 7th period.

One exhausting day.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Carolyn!!!

Today is my beautiful sister's 22nd birthday!

Carolyn and I have been best friends since she was born. When we were younger, people thought we were twins. My mom would always have to correct strangers.

"Nope, they're about two years apart!"

Before I could say her name, I would call her "Cornyn", only I would draw out each syllable. Corrr-NYNNNN!

Throughout our childhood, we developed a love for frogs. In our family photo album, there are several pictures of us together where one of us is squeezing some poor amphibian to death.

Oh yeah, and we used to catch lizards and walk them. By "walk", I mean tie thread around their necks and jerk them from place to place. It was the same thing as a noose, basically.

No, I don't have any pictures of that.

Carolyn's love for animals has never died. She can't stand listening to stories about poor innocent animals being killed or hurt. She thinks that she is Tawny's (our family dog) best friend.

Carolyn has a beautiful heart. She loves the Lord and desires to do His will. She is passionate about prayer, ministry, discipleship and relationships. I am so confident that God will use her in amazing ways. I am so blessed to be her sister!

Carolyn, you are beautiul! I hope that you had a wonderul day. I'm sorry I didn't get to talk to you on the phone... Hopefully I'll be able to get a hold of you tomorrow. I love you!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Estrogen Party

I am writing on here to avoid documenting my SpEd accommodations for school. I might put a movie on later while I do those.

It's a chill day here. Relaxing, drinking tea and eating Terry's chocolate orange while we work on our laptops and watch movies. Austin was sweet to let me stay in Dallas with my family for a few extra days. He left to go back to Houston to work and so I've been able to spend some more quality time with my parents and sisters here. Carolyn and I are going to go to College Station tomorrow morning and then Austin is going to come pick me up.

Since I've been husband-less for the past few days, we decided to take advantage of the testosterone-free environment and have a sleepover. My oldest and dearest friends came over to the house and we had so much fun making homemade pizzas, wassail, pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin maple syrup. My friend Sarah is a real-life chef in Dallas... so... she knows how to cook things that taste amazing. We watched Little Women, our favorite movie when we were young, and tried to catch up on months of separation.

Anna and I have known each other since we were 2. We apparently met in the church nursery... but we have no way of confirming that story. All I know is that I don't remember not knowing her. We grew up going to different schools and living in different cities, but we got to me roommates in college for a few years.

Sarah was my babysitter when I was little (and also Anna's) and is now a wonderful friend of mine. She would inspire us to put on plays and musicals for my parents whenever they would return home. She allowed our imaginations to run wild and free.

When I moved to England, I would come back to Texas twice a year to visit Anna and Sarah. We had sleepovers and did wild and crazy things when we were together. :)

We liked ballet.

Roomies in college

At my wedding last January

At our sleepover