Bible Verse of the Day

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Another Blog Header

I have to share another blog header that I created using Lisa Whitney Design papers and Photoshop Elements 2.0. Our church is trying to better our communications and we decided the pastor needed a blog. I was tasked with setting it up and this is what I came up with. The papers are from the Artsy Fartsy collection, volume 1, designs 5 and 9. The photo of the pastor is from a 50th anniversary that we celebrated at the church. He and the bishop were officiating. The flower cross in the center was created by our children's combined Sunday School on Easter Sunday. It was displayed in the sanctuary during the last service. I took both photos. The font is Georgia, special request from Pastor Ron.

He hasn't started posting, yet, but if you'd like to read it, head on over to Inspirations from CHUMC's Pastor.
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Monday, July 23, 2007

German-Texans Rock!

German-Texans rock. No, they POLKA! DH is a member of a German dance band (as of 30+ years) that played at Night in Old Fredericksburg this past weekend. Fredericksburg is a small town in Central Texas that was founded by Germans who immigrated with Prince Solms. They were true pioneers who fought with and eventually made peace with the Comanche Indians. They hold NIOF at Pioneer Park in downtown Fredericksburg each year. They have music, food, craft booths, etc. Typical festival.

They've done a wonderful job of creating a park dedicated to the pioneers who settled the area. There are statues and a replica water wheel and lots of places to sit and contemplate the beautiful flowers in the beds. Sadly, however, the beauty was interrupted by the blaring of music from two of the three stages in the area playing German music. Not that the music is sad, it's just that's the only time I was able to enjoy the view.

On to more fun things, though. There was a fairly sparse crowed because of the weather, but that didn't stop the party. Colorful flags hung from the rafters of the pavillions and all of the covered walkways. People danced and drank beer of all different flavors. The main reason I was there was that my husband was playing in one of the bands, the Seven Dutchmen Orchestra of New Braunfels, TX. He's been in the band for over 30 years and they've played this festival for 27 years. And since his father and step-mother live there, we took the opportunity to visit.

It was quite a lot of fun to listen to the band (although I've done a LOT of that over the years) and watch people dance. That's one of the realities of being a band wife, you don't get to dance much. But watching people have fun is fun in itself. Neither of the kids went with us, DS#2 was working and DS#1 was chauffering.

At least I got to take pictures of the flowers in the park. This bee and I showed up at the same flower at the same time and I happened to get him in flight. I love this camera!

I took pictures of the in-laws, too, beer in hand. The background of the photo was a picket fence and she commented that if they weren't there it would be a great picture. I told them that with photo editing I could put them anywhere they wanted to be, including the top of the Pioneer Hall. So before we left for the day, I did just that. When I showed it to them, my FIL laughed so much, I thought he was going to fall off the chair. MIL couldn't quite comprehend what she was seeing and just smiled indulgently. That's okay. I'm glad I was able to make FIL laugh.

Sadly, though, the idyllic visit turned into a nightmare when we got home. We picked up DS#2 at church and then met DS#1 at Bennigan's for lunch. He's a big guy, so when he needs clothes it's a chore to find them. He discovered online that his favorite jeans were at Sears, so he was going to go over there after we ate. Since I had been crammed into the space behind the seat of the Sonoma after picking up DS#2, I decided to go with him. They didn't have the jeans there, so we went to the other end of the mall to check out JCPenneys' big & tall section, but they had nothing there, either. He spent the whole rest of the journey back to his truck railing about how he's being discriminated against and he's never doing business with either store ever again. I pointed out to him that stores in the mall don't cater to people his size, to look around at all the short people around him. They were the primary customers of mall stores. That did nothing to help the situation, but just made him madder.

Ultimately, between his lack of sleep and my lack of happy pills, we didn't speak all the way home and he was an irritant in my side all afternoon. DH was concerned that I'm completely out of control. Taking a nap helped, but I think going to my scrap room was the best choice. Creating a page with some of the pictures I had set aside was just what I needed. And what pictures did I come to first? DS#1's second birthday. I think we've made peace, but neither of us had apologized. All I know for now is that I'm going to bed early tonight.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Get a Truck!

One lovely Saturday afternoon, the family went to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in Helotes, Texas for some yummy enchiladas and fajitas. You would not believe what I found in the parking lot:

I just about fell out of the Excursion laughing when I saw this. Not only did this "cowboy" have hay stacked in the trunk of his Honda Accord, but the back seat was full, too! HAHAHAHA!!

You know, in Texas, if you don't have a truck to haul your hay, you should borrow one from a friend. And barring that, you should NEVER stop until you have safely arrived at the "ranch."

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I Keep Spinnin'...

Have you ever had a spinning sensation, not unlike being tipsy or getting off a merry-go-round? It usually goes away pretty quickly, right? My head has been spinning for almost a week now! If I weren't trying to be functional, it could be pretty fun, but it hampers driving and anything that requires turning my head too fast. It's pretty cool that I've been able to narrow it down to only happening when my eyes are moving in a horizontal plane (left<->right). If I fix my focus on something and turn my head, it doesn't happen. If I look up and down, it doesn't happen. I can get around fairly well if I look at the floor while I'm turning corners. I know that it's not related to my ears and it's not vertigo. Weird, huh?

I believe that it has something to do with changing medications. My doctor changed out my med based on one symptom and I haven't been the same in about 3 weeks. I had to stop the first one for 10 days then start the new one. Starting the new one is what I think is causing the problems. I called to let her know and she said to stop the new one and give it a few days. I'm in the middle of the few days right now, so hopefully I'll be better by tomorrow.

Because of all this, I've not been working on getting the store painted because, although I'm not normally afraid of climbing ladders, I just feel that with a rickety ladder and a rickety head, something might fall over and break. I'd rather it not be me. I will share some pretty poor pictures of the progress, though.

This one is from July 12. I handpainted the sky and clouds. The brick color was rolled on and I'm now painting on "mortar" lines.
This one is from July 15. This is so tedious. What you can't see here is that I've got three more sections of wall just like this to do. I'm beginning to wonder why I thought I could do it.
Oh well, it's too late to stop now! It will look great once it's done.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Movie Time

I don't get to the movies very often, but when we heard Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was coming out, my co-worker and I decided we'd take an afternoon off and walk to the downtown mall theatre to see it. Today was the day. I told DS#2 last night what I was planning today and he wanted to go with us, but to see Transformers. But I told him he'd have to ride the bus to work with me. He's never ridden the city bus except for the Park and Ride to some event when he was quite small. It was eye-opening for him and fun for me to watch. LOL

Back to the was great! I've read all the books except the new one coming out and now I've seen all the movies. The movie is much darker than any of the previous ones, so I don't recommend it for young children. Especially since there was one of those sitting behind me asking questions every few minutes about what was going on and what was going to happen. Mom kept trying to shush him, but he kept forgetting. Then there was the couple sitting beside me and it was quite obvious that she had never seen the movies or read the books because her comments were so wrong for the scenes.

I have to tell you that the acting was so good that Imelda Staunton, who played Dolores Umbridge, was so convincing that I was getting irked at the character on the screen and wanted to slap her myself! Of course it's not quite the same now that the actors are more grown up, but I guess it just follows that would happen. Anyway, I highly recommend the movie if you're a Harry Potter fan.

As for Transformers, DS#2 kept telling everyone it was the best movie he'd ever seen, including all my co-workers who had already seen it. But, he said he'd never ride the bus again. Too creepy. I guess you get used to it.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

If You Are a Praying Person

My sister-in-law just called me to tell me that my 81-year old aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer today. She's not telling the family (her kids, my father, etc.) until she knows what the treatment plan is, but SIL wanted me to start praying for her. In the community of believers there's nothing more powerful than prayer and I am asking now that you please lift up Kathryn to the Great Physician, that although small, her cancer will be removed and will not have spread, yet. Fortunately, she has a mammogram every year and this is the first time they've found anything, however, she's already had the biopsy and it came back positive for cancer. In addition, she's professed to being an atheist, so prayers for her belief would be appreciated, too. She grew up going to church with her mother until she married and left home, so she has known Jesus in the past. I pray that she will know him again.

Bless you all and thank you.

Sorry I've Been MIA

I have felt like c*** for the last week. I started getting a sore throat on July 4th and have gotten steadily worse for the whole time since. I've had more sinus congestion in the last 3 months than in the last 3 years, I think. Not to be too gross, but since I thought my head was going to explode going to California, I am now feeling like an emphysema patient with all the gunk coming out of my nose and lungs. I was supposed to continue painting on DS#1's store this weekend, but didn't have time or feel well enough to do it.

I left work early last Friday because I was feeling so yucky. Even my manager said I sounded like I needed to go home. I was only in the office because two of the four people were out for vacation or bereavement (one of the guys' grandfather died last week) and the third had to go to the remote site for some work. That would have left the office uncovered for about half the day and I also had to give the on-call networking card to the third co-worker as he was going on-call that day. I also ended up setting up a server reboot for 10AM Saturday morning, when I was scheduled to be at a praise band rehearsal. As it turned out, I was too croaky to sing anyway. It took an hour longer than it was supposed to to get the server rebooted, but it got the problems they were having out of the way. However, that set Sunday up for a busted morning.

DH was supposed to play bass Sunday morning and I was supposed to sing. I called the music director and told him there was no way I could sing, should DH go to rehearsal? He said no, come early Sunday morning to rehearse since it was all music he'd done before or was very simple. So we get there at 7:45 for the 8:30 service so he can run through the music with the others and the music director said he wasn't playing since he didn't rehearse. He forgot what he told me just the day before.

Anyway, since our Financial Peace University class started at 9:00, halfway through the first service, we stayed for the sermon (which was quite good) and then went to class. Since I wasn't scheduled for any worship leading, I knew that I'd be able to take DS#2 to his job to be there by noon, which is also when the 2nd service ended. So, since neither of us were, we both left after our class and took DS#2 to work. We had to go back to the church to get DH's bass. I really had issues with having to be at church extra early and not being able to serve, so I didn't feel bad about not being at either service for the whole time, but I was still terribly bothered by DH taking home not only his bass, but also the amp that he usually kept there. It made me feel like he didn't plan on playing there anymore.

To make matters worse, my doctor wanted me to switch anti-depressants because of some issues I thought I was having and she had me stop the Lexapro for 10 days before starting Wellbutrin. She's not a psychiatrist, but has me on lowest doses of these things. It had been 11 days since my last Lexapro and I was an emotional wreck. Sunday morning just had me totally messed up. Then I had to go to a meeting at church Sunday evening. I think I finally calmed down by then because I was scrapping a little bit in the afternoon. Actually I wasn't scrapping as much as playing with paint and stamping things with foam stamps in acrylic paint on my walls. Kind of made me feel like a kid coloring on the walls. The only person that could get mad at me for doing it was me and I felt so naughty (BIG grin).

I was inspired to do that from an idea booklet I picked up at the Stampin' Up party I had gone to Saturday afternoon. I made three cards there and had so much fun learning little things and buying too much stuff. (Dave Ramsey would have been disappointed.)

Anyway, today I'm still horking up crud, but I've been at work the last two days. I think I have another meeting at church tonight, but if I don't hopefully I'll be able to hit the store to paint some more. I made a template to paint the "bricks" onto the wall and I've been anxious to try it for over a week now.

Y'all have a great day and stay healthy!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Potential Freebie Alert

I just added my name to a drawing for a book by Nic Howard called That's Life: Finding Scrapbook Inspiration in the Everyday. She's giving one away. Check it out on her blog to enter!

Well, we went up to Lake Travis yesterday and sure enough, the water was high. The place my parents bought 25 years ago was previously owned by a family who spent weekends up there. Every weekend for a year they added two steps from the top of the hill down to the water. (That's 104 steps for some of us arithmetically impaired people.) When the water is at a normal level you can step from the bottom step onto the dock ramp. When it's down, you have to do a little mountain goating across the rocks to the dock. When we were there at Thanksgiving last year, the water was about 40 feet down from normal. Yesterday, the water was about 1/3 of the way up the steps and you couldn't even see the dock on the other side of the trees. The water is at 701.39 feet above sea level. Normal is 681. Note, in the photo below, the tree tops at water level on the other side of the cove.

I don't believe I've ever seen so much water in the lake. Normally you can only see the water when you're right next to it or on top of a hill. As we drove to the dam to see the water coming out of the gates, we could see the lake much earlier than usual. When we got to the lower side of the dam, under the bridge, there was a line of cars and a huge number of spectators. Normally you wouldn't see but a bit of water running out of the dam as they release it to keep the waters flowing, but you can see from the picture below the three floodgates open as well as one of the regulator gates (the smaller stream). It was very loud and the water was really churning. Quite impressive, really.

We spent the afternoon with one of our former pastors and DS#1's best friend. Her husband and other son had gone to Alabama to visit his mother. It was a nice visit which would have been better if brother and SIL had not had to go somewhere else. And although it rained most of the day, we were able to grill hamburgers under the carport. It was almost like having an indoor picnic because I took all the food and the charcoal with us. We didn't stay to see any fireworks because the next day was a work day and we weren't sure if any were going to go off anyway because of the weather. All in all, it was a fairly good day.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Fourth of July!

Well, it's after midnight, so I can officially say Happy 4th, y'all! I know it's been a while since I posted, but I've been on vacation. Didn't go anywhere, but took some time off from work since Wednesday is a holiday. I spent Sunday afternoon working on painting DS#1's store. I had the blue sky up last week, but started painting on clouds Sunday. He had one of his baseball buddies/commissioned salesmen helping with the painting before I got there. M.R. and his girlfriend were both there. Gosh, those kids have no clue about cleaning up after painting!

They were rolling on the red for the "brick" wall part and M.R. was so worried that I would be upset because the first coat was so pink. LOL! I told him that I expected that because it's going on over a white wall and it would take at least two coats. They finished the red on Sunday and then on Monday, DS#2 and I went back over there to start taping out the "grout" lines for the brick wall. That is going so slow! We didn't go back today because we were both tired and DS#1 has been really cranky the last few days. I guess I'll be back at it evenings later this week.

I spent the afternoon today (Tuesday) making stencil/mask for the grout lines. I think this might help us go faster. It took me two tries and a trip to Hobby Lobby in between to get it right, but I'm anxious to try it out now.

Later today we're going up to Austin to see some friends and hang out at the lake. Lake Travis is closed to recreational boating and swimming because of flooding and debris and bacteria, but my brother said that it is higher than he's ever seen it. You can see some of the river operations going on at LCRA's website. In 1998, the lake the highest I had ever seen, so I really want to check it out. The highest the lake has ever been was 710 feet above sea level on Dec. 25, 1991. Today it's at 700 and expected to continue rising for the next week.

We'll be using my brother's grill and the house while they go visit some friends for the 4th, along with our aunt. Daddy and Mary are still somewhere on the Pacific coast of Oregon with my cousin and his SO on his boat. I'm sure they'll be watching fireworks from off shore tonight.

In closing, I'd like to leave you with a layout of one of our founding father's thoughts and photos from his memorial: Thomas Jefferson.

"The last hope of human liberty in this world rests on us."

Remember this as we celebrate the founding of this great country.