A book is a friend for life. The words stay with you, even when you put the book down.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Yes, for the past almost-9 years I have enjoyed answering to the name of "Mommy". It wasn't until just this week that I had an epiphany. My kids now call me "Mom" almost all the time. Hmmm.

And yet, today it became 100% evident that my kids still need their mommy. At church this morning, both kids sat beside me. My son (age 8) held onto my hand the whole time before church started, and put his head in my lap during the sermon. Yes, the kids were quite clingy today. More so than usual, I thought.

After commenting on this to my pastor, he made the observation that they just need their mom. See, I hadn't noticed that they were really being affected by my absenses I go back for my master's degree. This weekend, I have been gone to class Thursday evening, Friday evening, all day Saturday, and this afternoon! And the kids have noticed.

Yes, they still need me. It does this mommy's heart good. :)

Recommended Reading:
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ice Storm 2010

We have officially lived through the ICE STORM.

It began on Thursday, January 28. We were out of school, expecting a little bad weather. It began with the freezing rain, early in the morning. The ice began to accumulate on our trees and electic poles. Suddenly, around 11 a.m., our power went out. "Ho-hum," we thought. "We'll just wait it out." The power is never out for very long.

All through the afternoon, we listened and watched as the branches began to drop from our tree in the front yard. About 1:00, we heard a huge CRASH, and watched as the power line to our house dropped into the street. At this point, my father-in-law was calling on the phone, "Are you sure you don't want to come out? I have gas heat!" We looked out our window. Our driveway was completely blocked by huge limbs that had fallen from the tree. YES, we wanted to come out to the country, but he'd have to come get us in his truck.

By the time he arrived, the weather had changed to sleet, which really stung as it hit our faces on the way across the yard. We brought with us the bare minimum of what we thought we'd need for a couple of days. (We didn't know it was going to be a WEEK without power!)

The first few days were actually kind of fun! The kids read their new "Magic Treehouse" books, and we played lots of board games. Sorry, Disney Monopoly, Mexican Train dominoes, and Blokus. PaPa played "High Card" and "Go Fish" with the kids with an old deck of cards. I even read "Dragonflight" by candlelight! :)

One afternoon when it was still cloudy but not raining, the kids took a ride on the Gator, just to see what the world looked like. It was CRAZY! It looked to me like a tornado had come through, but only hit the trees and powerlines. No wonder we were out of power. I also saw freezing fog for the first time I can remember. Now THAT is some crazy stuff!

The kiddos had fun sleeping in sleeping bags in PaPa's living room. And resting on his couches. Well, pretty much anywhere they wanted. :) Camping inside by the fire has its perks.

We were lucky to have the gas heater and gas stove. However, we didn't have running water, since PaPa's is well water. So, we brought in icicles to melt in a pot to wash dishes, etc. The kids really enjoyed their "icicle popsicles". :) And later, the guys drove into town to get water at brother-in-law's house. (Their family was smart -- they drove to Norman and stayed in a hotel until the power came back on. Although we were glad to have lots of space for the kids to spread out and run around in.)

Over the weekend, the kiddos both got sick. Both ran fevers of 100+ and son had a nasty cough. When they were able to get out and about, hubby & PaPa made a run to Walmart for medicine. (They feel fine now, thankfully.)

By Monday, the "togetherness" was too much. We honestly had no idea how long power would be out. Optimistically, they said by the end of the week. But in the country, it could be longer... So, we decided to head to Edmond to sister-in-law's house. Wow, how awesome is it to have a warm shower!! We also took hubby's grandmother to her sister's house in Midwest City.

Then, Wednesday, surprise surprise -- the power comes back on! Amazing! It's a miracle! So we made the trek home, and began the clean-up. Whew. Now things are back to normal...

Recommended Ice Storm Reading:
Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey

Monday, January 25, 2010

Church Camp

Had a great weekend with the kiddos. Nine of them went to mid-winter this weekend. That's nine 1st-4th graders. 6 boys, 3 girls. 5 3rd grade, 2 2nd grade, 1 1st & 1 4th.

It wasn't that cold, but it rained most of the day Saturday. Despite the rain, we had a fabulous time! They learned a lot, especially seeing what camp was like (most of them had never been to camp, let alone church camp). The girls got to meet a lot of new faces, and the boys -- well, everyone was just glad to see boys! There were lots of girls at camp. :)

The food was awesome, and we ate and ate and ate!! The best was the last breakfast -- homemade cinnamin rolls plus all the leftovers! So I had cinnamin roll + banana + turkey sandwich + carrot sticks + cake. :) Lots of snacks all the time, had "tea-time", and even had REAL hot chocolate! Mmmmmm!!

We had a safe trip in the church van, and all the worried moms (and DADS) were glad to see the kids. The kids weren't ready to come home.

And mine, especially, were NOT ready to go to school today. My son said, "I thought it was Sunday. What happened to church day?" Cute.

Recommended Reading:
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

Friday, January 22, 2010

Crazy? I was crazy once...

Yes, I believe I may be approaching crazy. After a very full week of school, church, kids, and lots more, we are heading into "crazy weekend".

Hubbie and I are taking a group of 9 kids (all grades 1-4) to a weekend camp. We will be spending Friday and Saturday night, and coming home on Sunday. Camp is a 3-hour drive from here. So, not only will we be spending 3 days with this group of kids, but a total of 6+ hours in a van with the kids.

Oh, I should also mention that most of these kids have never been to camp before. And most of them have never been away from family at night before, either. In fact, they probably would not be going at all, if we weren't taking them. So we may have some "homesick" nights ahead.

Having covered all the bases, I believe I may be crazy. But it will all work out. And by Sunday afternoon, I will need a NAP above all.

Recommended Reading:
In the Grip of Grace by Max Lucado

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Favorite Things

Wow! I've been chosen to post my 10 Favorite Things on the VERY popular blog, "my favorite things".

I can't believe it!! Now, if I could just decide what my 10 favorite things are.

Also, I have my first "real" class of my graduate degree. Hope I live through it. And tomorrow, we are taking NINE kids age 1st grade through 4th grade to camp for the weekend. Yes, we are nuts.

So, a big day for me today!

Hope I live through it!

Recommended Reading:
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dedicated to Mothers

I am dedicating this blog entry to my mom & mom-in-law. I miss both of them so much! It has officially been a year since we lost Cheryl, and nearly 10 now since we lost my mom. Even though time has passed, sometimes the wound still seems fresh. Sometimes, I think, "I wish I could tell mom..." or "Cheryl would be so proud..." Like the fact that I'm actually going back to get my master's degree. They would both be so proud of me, and Cheryl would be wondering why it has taken me so long!

I commented today on my facebook about it, but I just wanted to express how thankful I am to have "sisters". I have certainly been blessed with my four fabulous sisters-in-law! When God gave me sisters, he gave me friends!!

I am also so fortunate to have both of my grandmothers still; we also had both of Travis' grandmothers until just recently. That is a wound that is still sore.

It is so hard to lose those who are so precious! I know, I understand, that life goes on. But sometimes it is just hard to imagine life without them. And how my life is different because I don't have them anymore.

Comforting Reading:
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Friday, January 15, 2010

There's No Place Like Home

Special mommy moment: watching The Wizard of Oz with my daughter and experiencing it new with her. I'm so glad she loves it! :) "There's no place like home!"

Now, as much as I have read in my life, you'd think I wouldn't continue to be surprised. But books still continue to surprise and delight me.

One aspect of reading that always amazes me is the repetition of themes. And honestly, no matter how much I have read, the "ah-ha" moment of finding a recurring theme continues to strike a poignant chord.

On my quest to read the Newbery books, I just finished Secret of the Andes. "Ho-hum," right? Wrong! There was so much beauty and just good "story" in this little book!!

And you may wonder where I'm going with all of this... The theme of "coming home"!!

The beauty of Secret of the Andes and The Wizard of Oz is in finding the place we are supposed to be, the place we can truly label "home". The delight of discovering we ARE where we are supposed to be.

Yes, I am where I am supposed to be. Cyril is home.

(Following are poignant quotes from Secret of the Andes that I simply must share.)

"Chuto sighed. 'Is your heart going back over the trail your feet have traveled?' he asked tiredly. Cusi shook his head. 'That way,' he said pointing on the way toward home. Chuto laughed, and his laughter held the precious tones of gladness."

"They walked along in silence, a comfortable silence. They were companions. Companions have no need for constant talking."

"'We are a family. We belong to one another and everything we have can be shared together.' Cusi stood still and tense. There was the answer! he had alsmot gone away, leaving all that mattered behind him."

"Before him lay the meadow of ychu grass and beyond it the little river and then the fields of corn. He, Keeper of the Fields, was home again."

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


No, I did not make any New Year's Resolutions. And yet, after considering awhile, it seems I have actually made some. They just weren't "official".

Resolution 1: Get healthier. (I bought a wii fit, which I plan to use everyday, with help from the kiddos.)

Resolution 2: Increase my education to further my career. (Masters classes start tomorrow.)

Resolution 3: Spend more time with my girlfriends. (I am busily planning Praise & Coffee Night with Jennie.)

Resolution 4: Take time to do the things that really make me happy. (I actually scrapbooked yesterday, and set up a space where I can scrapbook at will.)

Resolution 5: Set a personal goal for the year. (I'm going to try to read the Newbery Honor books by the end of the year.)

Now, how amazing is that?!

Recommended Reading:
Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

An Inspired Idea

During my "recuperation" from my wasp sting, I got to finally watch the movie Julie & Julia. FABULOUS movie!

And inspired an idea. Since I blogged last week about Newbery Books, I think I will give myself a year to read all the Newbery Honor Books. Hmm. A year is a LONG time. Should be fun!

It seems there are 88 total Newberys, and I have already read 44 of them! What an awesome start! Sadly, there are a few that are not available in the school library. Guess I will have to "road trip" to find those.

Can't wait to pick up another one. I'll keep you posted.

Wasps and Weddings

Rachyl and I attended the wedding of our dear friend, Allie Reed, on Saturday. It was held at the Jesse James Visitor Center in Cement. The wedding was lovely, the building historic, the marriage epic.

The wasp that stung me, however -- not so great. I had just put my arm around Rachyl, and the wasp was sitting on the back of her chair. It got me good! We didn't stay for the reception, but we did stay for the wedding ceremony. Glad we got to stay that long.

The situation with the sting just got worse, as the swelling, redness, etc. continued to spread over my entire forearm. Yesterday, Travis took me to the doctor, where I got some medication and a shot (NOT my favorite thing in the whole world).

Next time, please do NOT invite wasps to the wedding.

Recommended Reading:
Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George (because there are NO wasps in the story)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Interesting Reading

There is not much really going on, so I have finished reading another book on the Newbery List. I am trying to work my way through the whole list, and I have found that most are very good. I must admit that the older ones are more difficult reading but just as interesting.

The one I just finished was Caddie Woodlawn. I can't believe I hadn't read it before! A bit like Little House on the Prairie, but with more adventure thrown in. I hope Rachyl will feel interested in reading it when she reaches "green" level in AR. Most interesting of all, it was based on a real person! The author based the story on the real adventures of her grandmother. Now, that sounds like what I did to write my book! :)

No decision as yet about publishing my book. So many things to consider.

Suggested Reading:
Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Brink

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Basketball and Ice

Despite the cold temperatures, I have officially served my time at Elementary Basketball. I worked the concession stand yesterday, with the welcome help of two 5th grade girls and my daughter. Elementary basketball games are interesting. It's like high school games, only smaller. The kids are smaller, the gym is smaller, the bleachers are smaller, the concession stand is MUCH smaller. :) Interesting how the parents and other spectators are just as involved, though. Anyway, I am glad my servitude time is over.

On another note, I believe we are the only school in the area to still be having school today. Everyone else is out because of the freezing temperatures. There was ice last night, making the roads treacherous last night, but everything seems to be okay today. Yes, it is cold, but since when do we cancel school because of COLD? Anyway, we are all warm and cozy here at school.

Suggested reading:
Travel Team by Mike Lupika

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Elk Viewing

The neatest thing about living so close to the Wildlife Refuge is the opportunity to glimpse animals "in the wild". On our way to Lawton yesterday, we saw a herd of 50+ elk grazing right near the City of Lawton sign. That's right off the interstate! Of course, we look every time we go to Lawton, knowing we might see them. Usually, we see deer in that area. But we were rewarded this time!

Just to emphasize the juxtaposition of wild Oklahoma and city Oklahoma: on the way home, we had to stop for about 20 minutes while traffic was rerouted around a massive car accident on Rogers Lane. No elk were involved in the wreck. :) And it looked like the people involved were okay.

Strange how life is like that.

And yes, it did remind me of hitting the deer a month ago. Thank you so much for allowing me NOT to forget that.

Suggested Reading:
The Yearling by Marjorie Rawlings