Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Dance Camp

My daughter's high school is hosting her team's dance camp this week. They work long days to prepare for next fall's football season and next year's competions as well. I take photos all year long of the team for their publicity as well as for their end of the year celebrations. Today I went a little early to pick her up so I could go in and snap some photos of all the girls. Here are a few of my daughter hard at work. I'm noticing she looks so serious in all of these...

Almost over. You can call it quits after one more time through the kick routine.

Finally, a break after working so hard. Doesn't she look exhausted?

"...we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."

Romans 5:3-5

Memorial Day

Did your Memorial Day plans go awry? Some friends were planning to spend the day at the beach and invited us along. My daughter is at a daytime dance camp this week, including Memorial Day so at first we said no. Then I decided she could spend the night with one of the other dancers and we wouldn't have to worry about getting home in time to pick her up, so our plans were in motion....until we watched the weather forecast. It was supposed to rain and thunderstorm at the beach. We got up early, checked the weather again and all decided not to go. Now what? The men decided to take our friends' kids and go watch Pirates of the Carribean 3. My friend and I went shopping...she for a new swimsuit, I for my remaining VBS supplies. Then we all met back at the friends' house for food. The guys spent the evening cutting down a tree that blew partway over in a storm while my friend and I just wondered around the yard and then decided to soak up some sun. While we were wondering around her yard, we found one lonely flower blooming:

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

John 15:13

Monday, May 28, 2007

Spider Web

VBS is next week! Yikes! I'm still not ready. I'm the lead crafts teacher and it's always a lot of work but so much fun. This year we're making bulletin boards out of ceiling tiles. The theme is "Game Day Central" and everything is sports oriented. What athlete doesn't need a bulletin board on which to post his/her sports memorabilia??? I bought the 2'x4' ceiling tiles at Home Depot and it's my husband's job to cut them all so each tile will make 3 bulletin boards. He cut a few with a cardboard cutter and decided to see if it would work to cut them with a saw. It worked and he had the project completed in no time! As he was wrapping it up he ran inside and said there was something outside I needed to see and to bring my camera. There was a big spider web near where he had been cutting, and now it was covered in the fine dust from the ceiling tiles. He was such a good sport, holding a flash behind it so it would show up nicely in a picture!

Such is the destiny of all who forget God;

so perishes the hope of the godless.

What he trusts in is fragile; what he relies on is a spider's web.

He leans on his web, but it gives way;

he clings to it, but it does not hold.

Job 8:13-15 (NIV)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

In Memory of Daddy

October 1, 1946 - March 18, 1999

Memorial Weekend 1998 changed my life forever. We lived in Missouri, next door to my parents at that time. My dad had been having back problems and had been to a few doctor appointments to try to figure out what was wrong. He'd also had pneumonia during the winter before and doctors wanted to examine his lungs more closely. He put off the appointment until Memorial Day weekend so he could wait until my mom and little sister were out of school for the summer. (Mom works at a school). They made the appointment and left for a St. Louis verterans hospital over Memorial weekend. I was pretty clueless as to the tests that were being run. My mom called us at the end of the tests and my husband answered the phone. After their conversation he came over to me, held me, and told me my daddy had inoperable lung cancer and would probably only live another year. I can still feel the shock, disbelief, and devastation I felt upon hearing the word "cancer." I remember screaming "no!" and crying for what seemed an eternity. Mom later apologized for calling us all and telling us over the phone but said she just couldn't say the words in person and see us as we heard the diagnosis. I never faulted her for that. She was coping with the news herself and had 5 kids to tell, as well as my grandparents and all my aunts and uncles. I can't imagine how hard those phone calls were to make. My daughter was 6 years old at the time and I can remember telling her that her Papa was very sick. That year brought a lot of changes to our family. My dad was unable to return to his job as a truck driver so was able to stay home. My daughter got off the school bus each day and spent the evenings with my dad until I'd get off work. She was able to bond with him during that time in a way that otherwise wouldn't have happened. They played checkers, colored in books, watched movies and spent a lot of time together. She saw a side of my dad that I rarely did. For that I'm thankful.
It was a year of trips to St. Louis (4 hours away) for chemotherapy treatments that made him so sick. He was so scared he'd lose his hair. His hair was his pride! I always said he had "Elvis hair" and rarely saw him without it fixed. He did lose some but for the most part his hair always looked normal and he didn't go bald.

Most of us grew closer to Daddy and each other in those last months. He definitely grew closer to God. He did not attend church with us when we were children. After his diagnosis he attended church regularly and one night accepted the Lord as his Savior. We all had a greater sense of peace after that, knowing that if the cancer took him, his eternal home would be Heaven and we'd see him again one day.

Dad died March 18, 1999. A few days after his death my mom had a dream about him and in the dream he was talking to her. She woke from the dream and wrote down what he said. She then formed a poem from those words:

Don't Cry Now
I know you cried for me when I was ill.
You cried then and you cry still.
You cried when we heard the word "cancer."
You cried, and there was no answer.
You cried for me through all the tests.
You cried when we could get no rest.
You cried for me in all my pain.
When I was scared you cried again.
You cried for me when I could not walk.
You cried for me when I could not talk.
You cried when I was going away.
You cried but did not beg me to stay.
You cried for Jesus to help me through.
You cried for me, but not for you.
You asked Jesus to "Come, Take my Hand"
To help me to the "Promised Land."
So now my darling, hear my plea:
Please don't you cry again for me.
For now I am cancer free
Where, before it was not to be
For I am well and strong
And to Jesus I belong.
So dry your eyes, and wipe your tears.
Let me soothe all your fears.
Jesus and I are waiting for you
And Jesus and I will see you through.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23:4

Friday, May 25, 2007

Texas sunset

Ok, so my husband may be right. We have a standing disagreement that is as old as our marriage. He likes wide open spaces, no trees, and to be able to see far distances. I on the other hand have always preferred lots of trees, the bigger the better. He's from the land of wide open spaces and blue, blue skies...Wyoming. I grew up in the middle of the woods in the Ozarks of Missouri.

South Texas is disappointing in both of these aspects. The trees aren't very tall or big unless you're in East Texas. And the skies, well here in South Texas they are pretty gray and hazy most of the time. However, there are occasions where color peaks through and we even see some colorful sunsets from time to time. I rarely see them when that does happen...because we live in the middle of the woods. As short as the trees are, they are tall enough to keep me from seeing out!!! Typically by the time I notice there's color in the sky, in the time it takes me to drive out to the highway where I can see better, it's usually gone. I've been watching the sky a lot today because we've had a lot of rain and intersting clouds. Tonight it paid off. I could see some sunlight peeking through some of the clouds as it was setting so I grabbed the camera and hit the highway. I think I drove half way to town before finding a place I could see more sky than trees but it was worth it!

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised.
Psalm 113:3

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I Hope You Dance

My daughter is a dancer. She hasn't danced in a studio in almost 3 years. Instead, now she dances on the high school dance team. I have always loved taking lots of dance pictures. These are some that I found on my computer or on discs close by. There are tons more in boxes and albums.

First dance recital. Ballet. Age 6.

First recital after moving to Texas. Backstage getting ready for tap number.

First ballet recital in Texas.

One of the many dance trips...this one to Houston for Dance Masters of America.

Her favorite dance is tap. This is one of her solos. I spent hours painting this costume for the teacher. She'd been watching "Cirque do Soleil" and wanted my daughter's costume to be similar to what she saw on "Cirque." My daughter can still remember what movie she sat and watched as I painted this costume (she had to wear it as it was being painted so the costume would still fit)

Just playing around with the camera at home after she got her first pointe shoes.

Her very first pointe class, first time at the barre.

Her last tap solo. This was an awesome piece and she's an awesome tapper!

Her last syrical solo. This was beautiful!!!

Backstage getting into pointe shoes for the first recital on pointe.

First pointe recital

She's won so many trophies over the years we don't know where to put them!

High School Drill Team.

"...a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,"

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Port Lavaca, TX

I've been going through some old picture cd's and came across these this morning. These were taken several years ago on a camping trip to Port Lavaca, TX. If I find anything else I'll post in the days ahead...

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Monday, May 21, 2007

Miniature Ponies

A neighbor just up the road has miniature ponies. Occasionally they are close enough to see when we drive by their property. Sunday after church they were very close and my husband stopped the car so I could hop out and snap their pictures. My daughter laughed at me trying to take their pictures in my dress and heels.

There's a new baby in the neighborhood and he's pretty shy.
He's finally curious enough about us to look up.
What a cutie!

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation
1 Peter 2:1-2

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Close Ups...part 3?

There's this really cool, unusual flower growing in my mother in law's yard. She wanted me to come take a picture of it, but she said it doesn't bloom long. I did manage to catch it in bloom today, but missed a great shot of a couple of turkeys because I couldn't switch lenses fast enough. The male turkey was all puffed out in all his glory, until I stopped the car and produced a camera. Catching the flowers in bloom made up for the turkey.

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
Isaiah 58:11

Thursday, May 17, 2007

More close ups

I'm still playing around with the camera to see how close up I can get without a macro lens. I like these results better than the last ones. Whatever these flowers are, I think I may be allergic to them. I didn't touch them but as soon as I got back in the car after snapping these my eyes began to tear and my head began to pound. Allegra here I come!!!

"the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace."

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Historic buildings in Seguin

Seguin native, Janice Woods Windle, is the author of "True Women," a book that began as a cookbook of family recipes and essays to give a son as a wedding gift. The recipes were collected from women in the family and essays were written about each of the women. The collection became a novel upon completion. There is a self-guided tour in Seguin that depicts some of the places mentioned in the novel.
My aunt visited me and we took the tour and I thought I'd share of few of the photos:
The Women's Club Rooms: built 1902-1903, it was the first structure in Texas built soley for Women's Clubs.

This is the barn on the property where "True Women" author Janice Woods Windle grew up, and it sits on the property where the novel was written.

I'd love to know the history of this house!

Seguin's First Church.

This is one of the homes along the "True Women" book tour.

Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you.
Deuteronomy 32:7


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