Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Think Not

Last night, out of curiosity, I decided to sit down and watch the new animated series on ABC "The Goode Family". I mean you really just have to see for yourself anything that is named after your family, right?

Here is how the ABC website describes "The Goode Family":

Meet Gerald and Helen Goode, a couple who live by the motto WWAGD ("What Would Al Gore Do?"). Gerald, a college administrator, and Helen, a community activist, are determined to obliterate their carbon footprint on the planet: They're zealous vegans, they drive a hybrid, and they recycle everything possible. Even the family dog, Che, is vegan. In the words of Helen, all the Goodes want to do is buy organic apples and call minorities by their right names. But despite their best efforts, something always goes haywire with their politically correct plans.

I have to admit that I couldn't make it through the 30 minute series felt like a waste of my time.

The 'real' Goode family are far from being Vegans. We not only eat meat, we also hunt and fish to get it for ourselves. (Hello! I had to buy another freezer so that we would have room for the elk Jim got in Montana last October.) We don't drive hybrids. (With five children, we have driven a Suburban for the past thirteen years or so.) We do try to recycle aluminum cans...but at this point, they are all still waiting to be hauled away. (All 100,000 of them! I could be mistaken about the number...but there are a LOT of them.) Buying organic? Did I mention we have five children, three still at home. Organic is NOT in the budget!

So, to the question of whether or not the animated series is even remotely based on our family. I THINK NOT!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What's On My Nightstand: May

I can hardly believe that a month has passed since I last posted a picture of my nightstand. Since I have only cleared out one of the books mentioned last month and I have also already told you about the new books I purchased when I fell off the wagon...I won't bore you with the same ole, same ole.

Earlier this month I read 'A Wrinkle In Time'. And though I liked it, it just wasn't as enchanting as the Narnia series. My favorite part of 'Wrinkle' was when Meg finally found her father and assumed that he would be able to make everything "all better". She thought that if only her father were around, she would not have to be brave or to be responsible for her little brother's safety.

How many times have I thought that "if only ____ then I would ______"? If only we had more money, then we wouldn't have to worry anymore. If only we had a certain thing, we would have it made. If only an ideal circumstance would occur, we would all be happy.

Years ago I heard a preacher on the radio (I can't remember who) talking about Philippians 4:8. "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."

The thing that stuck with me (and that I have repeated several times to friends and family) is that "if only" is not true...therefore, I shouldn't be thinking on it. Yet, I do...time and time again.

Meg says to her father, "I wanted you to do it all for me. I wanted everything to be all easy and simple...So I tried to pretend that it was all your fault...because I was scared, and I didn't want to have to do anything myself"

Meg found out that she was still responsible to do what she had to do. She learned that as much as her father loved her and wanted to keep her from any danger, there were things that only she could accomplish. It didn't make her father any less strong, loving or was just her burden to bear.

Having been married for nearly 29 years now, I don't necessarily think of my dad each time I am afraid or overwhelmed...but I do often want Jim to rescue me. Yet there are some things that are just my burden to bear. It doesn't mean his love for me is not genuine or that he doesn't care about my is just that he has to watch me struggle at times until I get up the nerve to do what I know I need to do.

I know it is not easy, because it is not easy for me to watch him (or one of the kids) caught up in that struggle.

So, this is the truth that I want to remember and to take with me from "Wrinkle". No one can take my place in the journey that the Lord has planned for me...especially the hard parts. It will not always be easy or simple and there will be things that no one can do for me but that I will have to do myself. But, I can trust my heavenly Father to journey with me.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Congratulations, Jana

Uncle Jim and I will never forget the first time you visited us with your mom and Naiz. You were just a baby and you refused to go to sleep at Uncle Jim and your mom would load you up in the car and drive around Houston until you dropped off to sleep.

Well, you are not a baby any longer.

You have grown into a beautiful young woman, ready to spread her wings in this big old world.

Enjoy your summer and the college days ahead. You can do anything that you set your heart on. I have your mom's tenacity and your dad's ability to see the bigger picture.

Congratulations, Jana!
HHS Class of '09
Watch out world!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mom, Will You Put A Snack Pack In My Lunch?

Yesterday afternoon, after work, I was doing some last minute shopping before heading to Arkansas for my niece's high school graduation. I had bought a few new summer clothes and been on a treasure hunt for a pair of brown sandals (I ended up with bronze, but they will do).

After all that running, I stopped by Wal Mart to pick up a few easy meals for Jim and the kids while I am away. The store was being remodeled--so it was hard to find anything--but as always, it was packed.

After finally making it through the check out, I rushed to the car, threw most of the groceries in the trunk, and the sodas in the front seat along with my personal belongings. I then turned to walk my shopping cart to the cart corral across from my car.

Three teenagers were ahead of me as I returned to the car. One of the boys made a comment about my 'iPhone' (it was actually my iTouch) being in plain sight and that it was just asking to be 'jacked'.

I laughed and made a comment about it laying in plain sight because I was standing right there.

He kept walking but popped off for me to 'shut up'.

I couldn't believe it! But for the life of me, I couldn't keep my mouth I popped back, "you shut up, you little punk.'

I know that it wasn't the wisest thing to do, nor was it the most Christlike (actually not anything like Christ)...but really, I couldn't just let it go. I fumed about it as I started my drive home...and then I burst out laughing. "Shut up". "No, you shut up". What am I, in third grade?

My American Idol Pick

Go, Kris!

I know he is considered the underdog and that he hasn't been praised as a 'rock god' like Adam...but when he sings, I am drawn in.

I am off to Arkansas this afternoon, and I hope there will be great rejoicing in my home state after tonight's results show.

(My Rockets didn't pull it off...but just maybe Kris will.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Flashbacks Of VBS

Do you remember the song about the wise man and foolish man from Vacation Bible School?

It has a catchy little chorus:
"and the rains came down and the floods came up,
the rains came down and the floods came up,
the rains came down and the floods came up..."

I remember watching my children as they sang this song. Their pudgy little fingers would try to wiggle as they tried to make the hand gesture of the rain falling down from over their heads all the way down to their feet.

Their favorite part of course was singing the verse about the foolish man...because after all the rain falling down and floods coming up "the house on the sand went SPLAT'! There was much emotion to that indeed.

I have been unable to get this song out of my head since Daddy sent me these pictures on Sunday night.

This is our family fish camp located just off the Saline River at Washman Bay. Look at all that water! And just in case you have never been there before, let me explain that normally this camp is about 40-50 yards from the river bank.
The front porch that you see here is about head high from the ground on me. Notice that even though it is built up on stilts, there are barrels underneath to help it float when the water gets REALLY high.
Well, it is now REALLY, REALLY HIGH! This is a view of the back of the camp...away from the river bank.
We normally park our vehicles under that tree to the left. And believe it or not, there is a six and a half to seven foot tall covered fish cleaning station near that is just covered in water right now!
Unfortunately, it appears that a few barrels were missing from the back corner of the camp because as you can see, that area is not floating very well. There is nothing that can be done about it until the water recedes, so we just wait for the rain to stop.
Daddy says it has been raining every day. He is looking for it to continue to rise for at least a few more days. For the family who know about the pie plate...he says when he and Casy were there on Sunday, the water is only about three feet below the pie plate. (For those of you who don't know about the pie plate, I will try to remember to take a picture of it once the river is back in it's will not believe that the water could possibly get that high without flooding all of Arkansas and most of Louisiana!)
We know we will need at least a few minor repairs in the bathroom and the carpet will have to come out of the back bedroom. Jim (who never really believed the pie plate story before now) is shopping for boat house floatation materials. We are all hoping that nothing goes SPLAT after the floods have come up and gone back down!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Prom Night 2009

Saturday was Brian's Senior Prom, "Paradise Awaits". The prom was held at the Lone Star Convention Center in Conroe, but they went to dinner at Benihana's beforehand. Here are a few pictures that I took before they left.

Brian and Jessica

Doesn't he look dapper in that white tuxedo?

Jessica's dress suited the theme with its tropical colors and zebra print. She looked beautiful.

A group picture of the evening's double dates. And we snapped this one just for fun. They had a blast and all returned home safe and sound. Successful prom, in my book.

It will be a few more years before we 'do prom' again. Maybe I will be ready for all the preparations on the boy's side by then. I have experience with nail and hair appointments and finding just the right accessories to match the dress...but ordering flowers and tuxedos, dinner reservations, transportation issues, I felt like I was making it up as I went along. Thankfully everything fell into place.
In just three more weeks he will be graduating from high school.
{Deep Sigh}
They just grow up way too fast!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Oh, Ye of Little Faith

Okay, ya'll know I am not one to comment much on sporting events unless there is a jersey on the field/court that has a Goode in it...but I have to commend the Houston Rockets on their stunning upset of the LA Lakers last night.

Way to Go!!!!

No one thought you could do one gave you credit for the decisive win in Game 4...every one seemed to think that Sunday would be Game 1 for the Lakers and the Nuggets.

You guys have showed class and guts, all the while being discredited by commentators and sports writers alike. You have stepped up to the plate despite the loss of three top players (T-Mac, Yao and Dikembe) and tied the series against the 'superstars' of Kobe and Lamar Odom. You have been tough in the face of poor sportsmanship...and I will never tire of the sight that is Shane Battier's hand right in Kobe's face during his jump shot, yet without fouling. No matter how well you perform, the media focuses on the Laker's like they have just made a slight mental mistake on the court.

So, to all those who said 'maybe next year' after Tuesday night's about 'MAYBE THIS YEAR'?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Falling For Books

I tried...honestly, I did. I told myself that I was NOT going to buy any more novels until I finished the books on my nightstand. I am nearly halfway through 'Boundaries With Teens' and about that far into 'How to Solve Your People Problems'. I won't even try to imply that I have been reading the organizing or HR books. I just can't get into any of them.

I read 'A Wrinkle In Time' last weekend. It was an easy read, but not as engaging as the Chronicles of Narnia to me.

As I was visiting one of my favorite blogs today, I happened upon another blog through the comments. This blogger participates in a monthly book club and I thought to myself..."I think I would like to do that". And then reality brought me back to work. I passed the remainder of the day immersed in contract billings and filing, not giving it another thought.

Just before leaving work for the day, I stopped by the 5 Minutes for Books blog and noticed the announcement for next month's book club. I tried participating in their Classics Book club a few months back. I enjoyed reading 'Pride and Prejudice' but I never got around to writing a post about it...and I couldn't keep up with one classic book a, I had forgotten all about it. Since then, they have not only decided to alternate classics with contemporary books, but also to give two months between books. I figured this was my chance to try again.

Since Jim is leaving for a golf weekend tomorrow afternoon, I wanted to pick up the book today so that I would have something fun to read while he is out of town. I stopped by Barnes and Noble after work and wouldn't you know it...the book was sitting right there on the front display. And so was 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' , a book I have heard is another great read.

I figured while I was in there I would go ahead and pick up the next book club read, 'Rebecca', for August. Since I only had one more novel on my current 'to read' list, I went in search of it as well. Alas, I was unable to find 'Gardenias For Breakfast'...but 'The Trophy Wives Club' did catch my eye, so I threw it on the stack.

After picking up the latest editions of Today's Christian Woman and Girlfriend Getaways magazines, I finally made it to the cash register. I think I will should be set with reading materials for a week or two. After all, I only have one more week of American Idol to occupy my evenings.

How about you? Any guilty pleasures you have allowed yourself this week?

Macaroni and...


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Best Part Of Waking Up...

isn't Folgers in my cup.

It is a good dose of Dunkin Donuts coffee with plenty of Coffemate Vanilla Caramel creamer and this sweet face for company.
Who could possibly have a bad morning looking at this precious bed head?
Thanks, Kelli.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Hands In The Dirt

Several months ago (maybe last October?) I started a flower bed in the front yard. We have several dead trees in the front yard that provide shelter for the woodpeckers and I wanted to cover one of them in bougainvillea. I bought the bougainvillea last spring and planted them in the planters at the front entrance...but they died before the fall when I planted the mums. So, the bed has sat empty for months and months as I tried to figure out what I wanted to plant in it.
Well, today I finally took the plunge. Here are the 'before' pictures. We had a few tallow trees trying to grow there and some poison ivy...but that is about it.

I went to a local nursery and found some amazing hydrangeas. I bought the ones that hadn't fully bloomed yet...but when they do, they will be a deep pink color. I also picked up a couple of confederate jasmine to crawl up the tree. I wrapped the tree in wire to give the vine the advantage of something to hold on to while it grew.

And while we are talking flowers, remember these?

Look at how much they have grown since April!

See how the begonias have filled out in the planters? And the Carolina jasmine is growing so tall. I am sooooo proud of them!

Not only have I been lucky enough to keep this year's flowers alive, but I have had a few of last year's come back as well. Last spring I planted petunias in the Chinese water buckets and this year we had these sprout up by the back steps.

I replaced the dead petunias with mums last October. In April I had planned to plant some of the begonias in the water buckets for the deck...but when I went to remove the mums, I found some new green sprouts underneath the dead stems and leaves. I broke off the old stuff and uncovered the new growth. They are already blooming! I wonder if they will make it until fall?

Oh well, I will just enjoy them while I have them!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

It Is A "You Had To Be There" Collage

I was uploading the pictures from Easter onto the computer yesterday and found five that I wanted to share.

I will start with this.
This was the most delectable marble bundt cake...unfortunately, it didn't want to come out of the cake pan. After this fiasco, Aunt Camille forbid Carolyn from getting anywhere near the other two bundt cakes for Easter dinner. It was delicious though...and we didn't have to wait until Easter to eat it! I don't think Aunt Camille will leave us to do the baking again anytime soon.

Bri served as sous chef for the fish fry. I was proud of her for jumping in to help feed the Jenkins army. She had battering the fish down to an art form by the time they finished. Steve B. and Steve W. did the actual frying.

Jessica went with us for this trip. Here is a picture of her and Brian sitting around the campfire waiting for dinner to be called. Don't they look sweet?

And this is Miss Taylor. My how she has grown since they visited us last April! I love that precious smile of hers.
And finally, my favorite picture from the trip...

Casy 'cheezin' for the camera. After all that he has been through in the last 16 is good to see him smiling.
I will try to have pictures of the grand babies for you tomorrow.

Seeing Red

...or fuchsia, actually, after watching last night's American Idol results.

Debbie and Casy are in town for follow up appointments from his last surgery. This lends itself to exciting AI watching with five us gathered around the television giving our 'expert' opinions.

After Tuesday night's performances, I was sure that my guy Kris was on his way out the door. Not that he did poorly during 'Rock Night', but because he ranked second or third in the night's performances.

I am biased, I know, but I would have rated them:

Everyone from the blogs to the radio to the judges LOVED Adam...but to me, he was screeching and Broadway-esque in that I felt like his Led Zeppelin impersonation was just that, an impersonation like you would see in a rock opera. Didn't like it...none of us did (but especially the three of us that are over 40). Somehow he was given the title 'Rock God' by the judges and most of America though.

And I think this was the problem for Allison...who I felt nailed the Janis Joplin song 'Crybaby'. Oh my! Forgive me for saying so...but I thought she did better than the original. I plan on downloading that performance. The first time I have ever downloaded an AI song to my iPod. But, she followed Mr. Rock God and was sorely overlooked by the judges.

I will not even comment on the duets because I honestly feel that they were staged and biased.

Kris's performance of 'Come Together' I found to be surprising. I didn't think he would do as well as he maybe that is why I would place him at number two instead of three. Adam should have rocked me since this was his genre, but since it was more of a production than a performance, I would have ranked Kris as my number two because he delivered more than I was expecting.

Danny, Danny, Danny...what were you thinking? Aerosmith? Really? You want to take on Steven Tyler's 'Dream On' complete with the ending note? Really? Did you not have someone to consult with over this decision? I admire him for not playing it safe...but based on the performances of the night, I think Danny should have went home.

Since Danny had never been in the bottom three, I (and most of America) really thought it would be Kris going home...though he didn't deserve it.

We were elated when he was the first one sent to safety...and you could see it on his face too. But when Adam was sent to safety...I just knew that the ride was over for Danny. Instead it was Allison. The young girl with the fantastic voice. The one who was coming out of her shell and growing by leaps and bounds every week. (I think her and Kris both are just getting better as time passes.) I was frustrated! Allison did not deserve to be sent home...and this coming from a Danny fan. I will miss her fuchsia colored hair next week.

But boy, did she go out in style!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Houston...I Think We Have A Stalker

About six weeks ago, we were sitting on the deck enjoying a visit with Glen and Debbie when Glen noticed that our sweet friends had returned from their winter in Mexico.

I quickly went about preparing a cool and refreshing drink for them in hopes that they might possibly hang around until time to head south again. We hung the feeders on the porch of the little trailer so that the hummingbirds can enjoy relief from the sun and we can watch from the deck or the kitchen window.

This past Sunday, Jim called for me to come check out the view.

If you look real close, you will notice that the long "leaf looking thing" in front of the feeder is actually a ruby throated hummingbird enjoying his Sunday brunch. At least that is what I thought Jim called me out to see.

Then he directed my attention to the top of the scene and a little to the left. Do you see her?

That is Bri's cat, Zoe, very casually reclining on the roof of the porch. Or is she?

I think by the look on that face that she may have ulterior motives for hanging out above the hummingbird feeders!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Girls And The Great Outdoors

WARNING: Do NOT read this post if you are a member of PETA or are anti-NRA. I promise, you will be offended by the politically incorrect views held here.

Lest you think from yesterday's post that I have become all hoity toity or something since moving to Texas, let me reassure you that I am still a country girl, born and bred.

As a matter of fact, while in the 'Reading Room' the other day I came across an article in Jim's Texas Fish and Game magazine entitled 'No Daughter Left Behind'. Chester Moore, TF&G's editor, wrote about the adoption of their little girl and the reaction that some people had that he and his wife were not adopting a little boy instead. I guess most people assume that a man who lives and breathes the great outdoors must desire a son to carry on the legacy.

As I finished the article, I considered writing an email to Mr. Moore letting him know that I too grew up in a family where hunting and fishing were not considered a 'man's sport' but rather a family heritage to be passed on to future generations.

It is true that when I was a little girl, the men stayed at the deer camp and the womenfolk and children came out to visit on Sundays. Until the day they tore it down, the camp remained mainly the men's gathering place...but that doesn't mean that there weren't women in the woods with their shotguns or rifles most hunts.

I took my first deer when my second daughter was just days old. My dad had to help me out and it was years later before I harvested my second one...but I never considered that a woman shouldn't be in the deer woods. At least, not until we came to Texas.

All five of our children have spent time on a deer stand. Four of the five have harvested at least one in their lifetime. I was with two of them for their first trophy. Jim was with one and my dad was with the other. One prefers to use a camera to document her 'hunt'. One of our sons may never fire another shot at an animal...and that's okay, too.

As to fishing, I am not a huge fan unless there is something biting...but both of my grandmothers spent almost as much time with a baited hook in the water as my grandfathers did. Both boys enjoy it and two of our daughters. In the other one's defense, she was caught by her brother with a hook in the chin during her impressionable preteen years so she stays FAR away from fishing rods these days.

I really don't get the ''boys club" mentality surrounding hunting and fishing in Texas. I will never forget the first time I told a Ladies Sunday School class that I would be out the following week because I was going to the deer lease. You could see the shock on some of their faces...surely I wasn't going to get on a deer stand WITH A GUN, was I?

So, if you were reading yesterday's post and thinking that we have become too citified with our theater outings to be out with the rest of the family at the Pine Lodge Inn this fall...I will be grabbing my 270 and heading to the 'big timber' don't you dare beat me to my stand! Not only will Jim, the kids and I be there, but when they get a little bigger, so will the grandchildren. We are hoping to pass it along.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

An Afternoon With The Girls

All three of our girls were involved in fine arts while in junior high and high school. Choir, dance, theatre, chorale...each one had their niche. Jim and I have sat through multiple performances as they acted or sang or danced or worked behind the scenes.

Thankfully, they still have a love of the arts. Otherwise my whole life would consist of sports and the outdoors.

For the last three years the girls have received tickets to a musical as part of their Christmas. It all started four years ago when Meagan gifted me with a pair of tickets for her and I to see The Nutcracker Ballet here in Houston. We had a wonderful afternoon and talked about how much her sisters would have loved it...Kelli, the dancing and Bri, the sets.

I decided then and there that we would make it an annual event to attend a performance of one sort or the other. The first year we saw 'Wicked', preceded by dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe Houston. (Rosa and I saw it on Broadway last November and I have to say the Broadway Across America production was just as fabulous as the On Broadway one.) The next year, we traveled to San Antonio to see Bri's favorite musical, "Phantom of the Opera" and stayed on the Riverwalk. The San Antonio theatre is GORGEOUS! It was really like stepping back in time when you enter the Majestic.

Yesterday we attended

Last November, I was searching for the show we would see this year and couldn't find one that excited me. One day, I got online to do some other Christmas shopping and I had an email informing me that I could buy tickets for the TUTS (Theater Under The Stars) production of Rent: The Broadway Tour before they went on sale to the public. On a whim, I went to the website, chose a date and clicked 'Best Available' seats. Would you believe we got second row center orchestra seats?

The seats were absolutely wonderful! Row B turned out to actually be the fourth row in Hobby Center...but still, the view was amazing. We had the best time. Bri was the only one who had seen the movie. Meagan was familiar with some of the songs from her days in Chorale...but had no idea about the play. Plus, there was dancing for Kelli. We had a great time watching a top notch production which included the original cast members who play Roger and Mark.

We ended our day at the Downtown Aquarium where we enjoyed a wonderful seafood dinner complete with appetizers and dessert. (We shared.)

As I told Jim when we were leaving..."Thank you for giving me three girls!" It is so much fun to attend things like this with someone who enjoys it as much, if not more, than you.

Now, if I could just convince him to get us season tickets...or send all four of us to Broadway!