Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Fever

I love spring!
March is one of my very favorite months of the year. The grass and trees turn green. Some of my favorite flowers are blooming - the daffodils, especially!
And my husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary. It's not a coincidence that we got married on the first day of Spring - I picked that date exactly on purpose. This year, we celebrated year number 28. My how time flies. Our celebration was simple and sweet. We enjoyed a late lunch after a good work out at the gym. We lingered, talked. Then we came home to spend time with our son, who had just returned from a mission trip, and his girlfriend. We played scrabble and watched a movie in our family room. I dozed on the couch. Yep, 28 years. Comfortable, like a worn pair of jeans. Loved.
The warm weather has lured me outdoors. Some of my work outs are jogs and bike rides in my neighborhood instead of the indoor gym. Training for the triathlon is motivating me to practice my running on real pavement in lieu of the impact protecting treadmill. And cycling outdoors requires not only a helmet, but that I keep my eyes open when I am pushing myself to the top of my aerobic threshold. Ha ha! It helps to see where I am going. The swimming...well, I am NOT practicing that outdoors. In fact, I am not practicing that at all. I have found that I do not like swimming. Dilemma, yes! But I press on.
The computer is still my friend, but does not woo me the same as when the air is chilly or hot as hornets. So, bear with me during this beautiful time of year. I have thoughts in my head, but the sun is shining! So, I will be back in a few more days...when it starts raining again!

Friday, March 19, 2010

My night with Jennifer Knapp

Last night I experienced such a treat!
I saw Jennifer Knapp in concert.
For some of you, that doesn't mean a whole lot, but for me (and many of her fans) it means a whole lot!
Jennifer is one of my favorite singer / songwriters - E.V.E.R.
When I first heard her in 1999, I fell in love with her voice and her folky style. Adding to that, her songwriting talent simply blew me away. Her lyrics: honest and raw, touched me (and many, many others) in places that I could not describe in words. She somehow managed to sing what was in my heart.
And then she disappeared.
For seven years.
I checked every now and then (on the internet, of course) to see if she might be around somewhere, and there was nothing. Silence. And I was sad.
Last fall, little signs that she was resurfacing were found. And then, she announced the news of her new record, Letting Go, which releases May 11.
And she started to tour.
Oh, but to contain my excitement was not possible.
I told everyone I know, whether they knew her or not. I contacted fellow Jennifer Knapp fans - even emailing an old friend although she and I are no longer in touch.
Jennifer played at the House of Blues in Dallas last night.
And I was there - front row - just like I was at the other concerts almost a decade ago.
The venue was small and intimate; and it was just Jennifer and her guitar. My friend and I were so close to Jennifer, that if we spoke, (during the breaks) she could hear us. In fact, at one point, she did hear and asked me a question about what I was speaking of. A short conversation took place about the amount of my daughter's first paycheck - between Jennifer and myself.
How funny!
For more about Jennifer's recent return to music, you can visit her website here.
And while you are checking her out, I am going to keep listening to the Pre-order CD that I got last night!
Oh, and here are some photos that I took last night! Yes, I was THAT close!
Jennifer with April Geesbrecht (a local musician who opened for Jennifer...she was really good!)

Yup! She is looking right at me!

I love you, Jennifer! I am so glad that you are back!

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Highway 60

Every few weeks
we loaded the car
two hours it took
never seeming too far
but taking too long
The sun was ahead
the mornings we left
my heart would fill up
expectant and eager
love was ahead
Half way was marked easy
by bridge made of glass
the sky became bigger
the closer we got
to Highway 60
Houses were spaced
I knew we were close
in the distance I spotted
my Grandparent's house
inviting body and soul
Tires crunch on the gravel
the car comes to a stop
the garden awaits
directly in front
He meets us as always
all wrinkled and tall
his eyes always sparkled
Inside to the kitchen
where lunch was prepared
fresh bread soft and squishy
bologna and chips
on Highway 60
The garden was bigger
than I'd ever seen
with tomatoes, potatoes,
peas and green beans
the birds sang more loudly
than they did at home
the porch was my playhouse
the couch was my throne
my own little world
feeling safe and warm
along Highway 60
I loved playing there
until it was time
to load back in the car
make the trip homeward bound
in the dark I would ride
my attention was captured
by flashing road signs
Lids fell heavy to sleep
Highway 60 behind
Until next time holding to
the memories I keep

Streetwise Poetry prompt by L.L.Barkat
Every now and then, a poem is born.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

MRI/Treatment Plan: Video Update from Matt Chandler

For those of you who are following (but not subscribing to The Village Church updates), my pastor, Matt Chandler had his follow up MRI today. Here is the link to his video with MRI results and treatment plan.
God is good.

MRI/Treatment Plan: Video Update from Matt Chandler

Monday, March 15, 2010

Free As A Bird!

Sunday, March 14
Fred and I were able to get away for an entire afternoon and play with "our new toy".
With the worship service over and
no children at home we felt free as birds.
So we headed to Krum, Texas.
This is where we hanger our Piper Cub airplane.
Many people (even in Texas) have not heard of Krum, so I included a photo.

We stopped for a bite of lunch at the local Mexican restaurant and watched the folks at the church across the street leave their services and walk right across the street for lunch.

After our delicious meal, we drove another few miles up the road to the hanger.
Yep, this is it.
And the runway?

There it is...
Yes, it is grass!
It is not necessary to have pavement to take of and land in a small airplane!

Here is my hubby, opening the doors to the hanger, revealing one beautiful yellow wing.
This is the traditional color of this particular aircraft.
If you want to read more about this wonderful little plane,
here is the Wikipedia link.
Piper J-3 Cub

There it is...just waiting for us to take it up!

First, we (well, clearly not we, but he!) has to get it out of the hanger.
The old fashioned way.

And "Pull!" some more.
(me, "Do you need any help, Honey?")

Okay, in position now! It really doesn't take that long!

A couple of photos before hopping in!
(the passenger)

The Pilot

I am checking her out!
I have ridden in several Piper Cubs, but I have never seen one with a prop like this!
Usually they are made of wood.
How shiny, how pretty.

This is her official name.
We are still thinking of a nickname.
We are looking for just the right one!

Now I am inside and this is my view!

We decide to take one of those "facebook photos"...
you know where you hold the camera out with your arm, and hope your faces are in the view
finder! Fred's arms are pretty long and he was successful!

Up in the air....this is what Texas looks like!
(somewhat b.o.r.i.n.g.)

There is our destination!
We are going to visit our friends, Geoff and Debbie.
They have a Piper Cub also...
and more importantly, a grass airstrip for us to land on!

A nice landing!

Thier lovely home.
We all four sit in the sunshine outside of their hanger and have a drink.
We look at one anther's airplanes.
Talk about their engine size,
the tires,
just like guys and their cars, or boats,
only this is airplanes.
We take a little walk to look at the bees.
(Geoff and Debbie are also bee keepers)
And pet the old farm dogs.
After a nice visit, it is time to head back to the airport...
until next time,
and there will certainly be a next time.

While we were gone, a fire has started somewhere.

A little closer, a Texas grass fire.
It is under control so on we go.

There is the airport!
(not what you normally imagine when you hear those words!)
We put her away, cover her up and visit with the two other recreational pilots that have come out for the afternoon.
Then we go back to the hustle and bustle of life.

But we will be planning for the next time we find ourselves free as a bird!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Project 365

So, another week and I remembered to take photos!
In fact, I have so many from today, that I will do a separate post for them. :)
But, here is what my week looked like - by photograph.

I try and buy flowers for my house at least twice a month.
This week, I purchased some green roses.
Yep, green.
I forgot what the florist called them, and in the past, I would have thought they were horribly ugly. Something about them struck me this week and I bought them.
Maybe because my kitchen is apple green (as you can see in the background), or maybe because I was not in the mood for contrast...I am not sure, but there they are.
They are still alive today and it has been an entire week!

Rebecca has been saving her money since January to purchase the new Final Fantasy game for Play Station 3.
Too bad she didn't own a PS3.
Now she does, thanks to several babysitting jobs, a new real job and a loan from her loving mother. This is her posture the day that she picked up the game...the release date.

One of the reasons that I have had a difficult time taking a picture a day is because I do the same old thing day in and day out, especially during the week. Since I commute into Dallas from where I live, I spend about an hour and a half in the car every day, plus the 8.5 hours inside of my office. Add working out, cooking dinner, and a little down time and there is not much variety to photograph.
However, this week, I watched spring come into the Dallas area!
Every day was a little different.
The photo below is when I first saw the little bit of green in the trees.
If you love spring like I do, you know what I am talking about.
If you look past the stop lights, the sun on the trees in the left of the picture shows the early buds of leaves on the trees! I was so excited!

Next, I noticed that the Bradford pear trees had popped into full bloom!
Even the grass is looking green here and there!

The following day, the pears were so gorgeous that I had to pull over and take a picture on my way home!
And that is a big deal!
Anything that extends my time in the car better be important!
This was great!

Another sign of spring...the neighborhood kids start to come out.
This is a photo of 3 neighbor boys and their dogs. They all came out with their dogs on leashes, intentionally meeting for a little dog/boy fun.
It was fun for me to watch as well!

One day this week, I beat Rebecca home! I was able to watch my newly turned 16 year old daughter drive up to the house from school.
What a treat!
Spring Break is here!
Rebecca is leaving to go with her boyfriends family to the beach!
I am so jealous!
My hubby and I went to a restaurant in rural Texas for lunch. We were in Krum, TX, on our way to the hanger where we keep our new airplane. He and I had been talking about the cowboy hats and boots that we were seeing in the area where we were and then I spotted this little darling cowgirl!
And these guys are the residents at the back of the hanger where we keep the plane.
I had to go back there and visit "the private area"
The cattle started walking toward me while I was taking care of business! Nosy things!

Here I am getting ready to go up in our airplane. It is mine and Fred's first ride since we bought it! I have an entire series of flying shots! I will post those tomorrow.

For now....good night!
It's late and it's been a long, fun day!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Just Shut Up & Friday Fill-In

I love this blog: TheResurgence
A couple of weeks ago, I saw this post on there and chuckled.

Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent.
Proverbs 11:12
After chuckling for a few minutes, I began to think about remaining silent and being a (wo)man of silence. I really like to talk and there used to be a time that I was not so aware of when I was"belittling my neighbor". God has gotten a hold of me in this area, but sometimes I am still tempted...expecially at work. There are days that drama and talking "bad" about others in the office seem to go on and on and on. During these seasons in my office, I do a lot of praying. We are in that season now so last week, I printed and displayed this post on the wall above my desk.

Boy, have I ever needed it.
It has
But I do wish I could post it on everyone else's desk!

Just sayin'...

For a little fun, how about a Friday Fill-in? we go!

1. I am so looking forward to having a long weekend this weekend that I can hardly stand it.

2. I have a hard time waiting until later.

3. When you get old, it is important to take care of yourself.

4. God is a big part of my life.

5. If you need anything you are probably going to have to ask.

6. I am so envious because my daughter is going to Destin, FL on a spring break trip (without me).

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to dinner and a movie tomorrow my plans include cycling, and spending some time working in the yard, and Sunday, I want to go to worship services, relax in the afternoon! If the weather is nice, I might take a ride in our new plane!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Daily Work

For many years now, I have been blessed by the little radio spots by Howard Butts Jr. of Laity Lodge entitled, The High Calling of Our Daily Work, especially since going back to work (outside of home) when my youngest daughter started school. I had been a stay at home mom for seventeen years raising two boys and one girl, though tough at times, my daily work and God were meshed together somewhat naturally. I instinctively knew I needed God to help me be a wife and a mother and I relied on Him to show me what to do.

When my daughter started school, I took a part time job with a local bank. After 17 years at home, this was culture shock! Even though I had worked in the bank environment before, learning to work with (and care about) people who did not rely on the Lord was eye-opening and challenging. I found that many people didn’t know Him nor did they even care to find out about Him. The way that conflict and even joy was handled, differed from person to person, and I wasn’t quite sure how to react at times. I did not choose to follow Christ until I was 26 years old, but having been raised “in church”, I tried the best I knew how to behave like I thought He wanted me to. Rebellion against Him was pretty new to me. I heard The High Calling of Our Daily Work during this time and loved how it encouraged me in the situations I found myself facing.

It has been well over 10 years since I have gone back into the work force (now in Health Care) and I have adjusted to the diversity of working outside the home. In fact, I like it. I have been in different situations – with coworkers who were also believers, with those of Jewish faith, and flat out atheists. And one thing I have learned is that I cannot separate my work from my faith. Not only has it become impossible (how else would I get through the day?), but I do not even want to try. Recently, someone shared with me how she didn’t care to work with people who were not believers in Christ. My response was, “It is so fun! And God gives you opportunity to share with others about His love! I wouldn’t want to miss that for anything now that I have experienced the joy of assisting Him here.”

So, I look for ways specific to combining work and faith. The High Calling of Our Daily Work is one of those things. Recently, I joined the High Calling Internet network or It is a website that exists to help Christians connect with God in every part of their daily life, including their work. Every week, they publish new content to help encourage people with a simple message: God cares about your work. I am so excited to be blessed enough to participate; I thought I would share the site with you!

Check them out!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Bright Spots

If you read my post entitled "I Have Not Perished",
you know that my purse was stolen and I have had a couple of weeks that included a good amount of stress!
there have been some absolutely wonderful things going on too!
I managed to get photos of some of them, which makes me happy!
Luckily, I have no photos of the broken window that was on my car,
no pictures of my new coach purse that was stolen along with all that was in it.
All that I have to look at is a file titled, "Theft February 15, 2010"
These photographs; however, will remind of the the real things that mattered during the last couple of weeks.

Our daughter started her first job this week!
She is hostessing at a local Mexican restaurant.
This is a picture of she and her co-worker (and long time friend).
My husband, my son, his girlfriend, and me dropped by for dinner on her first night at work.
She was the best hostess I have ever had seat me!

After eating a wonderful meal, the four of us went to hear our cousin's band,
3 Penny Acre.
They were in town from Fayetteville, Arkansas performing in Dallas.
We went to hear them play (GREAT SHOW!)
and then had a nice visit with them the next morning over coffee and Fred's famous pancakes!

3 Penny Acre performing

Our son, Aaron, and his lovely girlfriend, Sofi!
It was a joy to have them with us for our evening out!

This is our littlest cousin, Bergen. We had the pleasure of sitting with her and entertaining her while her parents (and Bayard) performed.

It is possible that she is the one who entertained us!

What a face!

In addition to Rebecca's new job, the visit from our family members and a great concert,
Fred and I added a new "member" to our family!
Meet our new airplane!

My hubby has wanted a Piper Cub airplane for almost 20 years...and we have been saving for one for almost 6 years.
The right one finally came along and we finally own her!
What an exciting time for all of us, but especially Fred!
It is one of his lifelong dreams come true!

Last, but not least, the family photo from Rebecca's family 16th Birthday party!
We are at Red, Hot, and Blue
one of the best bar-b-que restaurants around!
We stuffed ourselves with the best smoked ribs and totally enjoyed celebrating.
The pigs on the wall are so fun...
and since it is how we felt (like pigs)
it was only appropriate to document the occasion in this way!

So, things have not been all bad.
And God has given me the ability to smile through it all.

His blessings are amazing,
even during the rough spots!