Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Kristina Werner's stamping and cardmaking blog was probably one of the first that I began to follow back in the day.  I continue to love her style and her amazing card videos where I learn all kinds of things about stamping.  She was cleaning out her stamp room for an upcoming move and giving away lots of sweet goodies. I happened to win a box. Whaaat!  All I had to do was pay for postage and post a picture of all the fun stuff in the box.  So here it is:

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner! 
I'll be taking some of these goodies to Niger with me.  Yippee!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Nest Near Your Dwelling Place

This morning found me in Psalm 84 contemplating what it means to have God as my Dwelling Place. 
How lovely is your dwelling place,
    Lord Almighty!
 My soul yearns, even faints,
    for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
    for the living God.
 Even the sparrow has found a home,
    and the swallow a nest for herself,
    where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
    Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
  Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
    they are ever praising you.
It struck me that these verses were being illustrated right outside my brother's kitchen window where I have been watching a bird building a nest right up against the house in a little birdhouse my mother brought from West Virginia.
Here these birds have made their nest near our own dwelling place.  They have found a place of safety despite a very close danger from the dogs who have been busy this spring ridding the yard of possums and anything else that moves.
It was a good reminder that when God is my dwelling place I do not have to fear the danger around me.  I can find rest in the safety of His presence.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Embarassingly Funny!

Oh my!  I went to my friend's house and what did I find? Not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4 but 5 pictures of me posted on her magnetic door.
That's just embarrassingly funny!  At least two of them have legitimate reasons for being there since one is old.  But what did I do - just keep sending her pictures without realizing it?  Or were a couple of them double stacked?  I don't know but I'm feeling the love from J & her family even if I do want to go by and stealthily snatch one or two off the door.  If anyone needs a prayer card let me know, I've got a friend who can hook you up!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sights & Sounds of San Antonio

You might remember when I left you last I was being chased by a crazed longhorn.  You'll be happy to know I escaped to San Antonio!  And if I am forced to admit it, there never really was a crazed longhorn - just a moving car, a camera and an ambling cow.  But where's the excitement in that?
I was in San Antonio to attend the International Reading Association's Convention.  I thought it would be a great opportunity to catch up on the latest in the world of teaching Reading & Writing.  Having never been to a convention such as this one before, I had no idea what to expect.  My two main goals were to try to get a bit of a grip on the Common Core Curriculum that has been adopted in most U.S. states and to see what kind of Reading/Language Arts programs are available for schools.  Friday and Saturday I attended sessions and then Sunday I roamed the exhibit halls.  And let me tell you those exhibit halls were full of fun freebies. 
This is a small sampling of the "freebies" that came home with me.  The "Be A Super Hero. READ." bag in the top left hand corner was hot, Hot, HOT!  I think there were some teachers out there about to have heart attacks if they didn't get one!  The last day of the conference the prices of things drop dramatically because companies are trying to avoid shipping things back home so I bought graphic novels and beautiful non-fiction guided reading sets at great discounts.  All in all, the exhibit hall was a lot of FUN!
A bonus to this whole conference experience was that I was in downtown San Antonio where they were in the middle of Fiesta, a celebration honoring the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jancinto.  Knowing nothing about Fiesta, much of what I observed seemed quite strange to me - long processions and the crowning of Princesses, Kings, many wearing sashes adorned with a multitude of pins.  But it was all very interesting to observe.
Here the Texas Cavaliers were crowning a new king in front of the Alamo.
There was plenty of fanfare about this late evening event.
On Monday there was a silent procession including all the princesses and the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (pictured in yellow).  While they walked names were being read solemnly.  If I am not mistaken, they were the names of those who died in the Battle of the Alamo. Wreaths of flowers were laid on the lawn in front of the Alamo.
Later that evening there was a Parade of Riverboats which I quite enjoyed, having never seen a parade on water before!
Most of the boats like this one had it's own band with all the occupants rocking out to the music.
Taking in the Sights & Sounds of San Antonio during Fiesta was definitely an unanticipated bonus of attending the IRA conference. 
But I thoroughly enjoyed it!

In the Land of the Longhorns

On my way to San Antonio for a reading conference, I stopped to see my friend C, who has been finishing up a Masters program in Dallas.  Her family was there to help her celebrate her graduation too.  So C introduced us all to the Dallas area.  When asked what there was to do in the area, C listed shopping and eating as the main activities.  She was right, there are plenty of places to shop but even more places to eat that I have never seen anywhere else in the US.  When it comes to the food, the saying, "Everything is bigger in Texas!" definitely applies.  I wish I had taken a picture of it but alas, all I have are memories of the 6 inch tall burger I was served at Whiskey Cake, a favorite restaurant of M  & C.

 I love these two sisters!
Still standing after that 6 inch burger.

Partaking in the cupcake phenomenon with some tasty treats from Sprinkles.
C took us to a couple different spots around the city where they have longhorn statues.
  Even the cows are bigger in Texas!
Looks like it's time to go. 
There's a mad cow on the run.
I'll catch you in San Antonio!

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