Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Great Day

Today was the day I've been dreaming about since I submitted my resignation. I got up, showered, dressed and got both girls to school on time. Joel had some business in Arlington, so he left shortly after I returned. I had the whole day ahead of me to work on jewelry! Yesterday, my friend Kimberly and I had started experimenting making glass tile pendants and Scrabble tile pendants. So this morning, I continued trying to perfect the glass tile technique. I'm relatively pleased with the results and hope to offer these in my Etsy Shop soon after a little more tweaking.
After that, I moved on to a double-sided pendant. I used a pearlized-shell-like disk and
applied some pretty origami paper to one side while leaving to other side plain. Unfortunately, photographs don't do it justice.

Next, I worked on embellishing
some bamboo tiles that I got the last time I was in New York. That inspired me to break out the dominoes and create a couple of really cute pendants. (Especially fun because I got to use my drill press!)

Finally, I finished up the day by making a bracelet and earrings with red huayruru seeds from Peru.

Then it was time to pick up the girls from school, Joel returned home and we all sat down to eat pot roast that I'd made in the crock pot. All that was missing was my string of pearls, starched apron and high heels. I guess I'll have to make a pearl necklace on my next "great day".

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Weekly Pic--A Really Big Shoe

It's a shoe! It's a house! It's a shoe house! We saw the Haines Shoe House last year on our trip to Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, it was closed and we didn't get to tour inside. Come to think of it, that was probably a blessing.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Each year, on the first day of school, I make blueberry muffins. It is the only day of the year I do this, so that makes it extra special. We put a candle shaped like a crayon in the muffin and sing "Happy First Day of School" (which sounds a bit like "Happy Birthday to You"). Then we stand in the kitchen and Joel prays for the new school year. We've had years when he's been on the road. but he still phones in his First Day of School blessing. So today was the 9th annual observance of this ritual. I thought it would be fun to look back a bit. We won't go all the way back to HannahKate's first day of kindergarten (because that would involve having to scan pictures into the computer) but I will share pics from the previous 3 years (because that's how long I've had my digital camera).
This photo is from 2005. Hallie was going into kindergarten and Hannah going to intermediate school. It was a time of transition because both girls would be going to new campuses. We managed to have our children far enough apart in age that they will never be at the same school at the same time. Given their different personalities, this is most definitely a good thing. The funny thing here is, this was before our district instituted "standardized dress", yet the girls are dressed in matching outfits of their own choosing. I promise it was their idea! Hallie looks so innocent, doesn't she?

This picture is from 2006. The first year of standardized dress. Hallie was beginning first grade and HannahKate going into sixth.

This picture is from last year, 2007. Notice, HannahKate got contacts over the summer, no more glasses.

And that brings us to this year. Hannah is in eighth grade at the Middle School, so she's top dog, an old pro at changing classes and winning the battle of opening her locker during the 5 minutes between class periods. We have transferred Hallie from the school she's been attending to the elementary where Hannah went. Its smaller and has a real family atmosphere. I'm not sure if that's more important to me or Hallie, but she will be in class with her best friend from church so I think she's happy with the change. Hallie couldn't wait for school to begin and HannahKate couldn't believe it was beginning so soon. It will be interesting to see what this year has in store. Our prayer is that both girls will succeed academically and mature socially, but most importantly, that they will be "salt and light" to their classmates, teachers and everyone they meet.

Happy First Day of School!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Weekly Pic--More (not Less) Miserables

In preparation for our upcoming trip to New York in October, we've been trying to decide what musical we'd like to see. Elizabeth, always on the cutting edge of coolness, has made several suggestions, none of which I'm familiar with. I, on the other hand, am not above wanting to see a cliche, tourist-trap, run of the mill show such as Cats, Phantom, or Wicked even though I've already seen it in Dallas. I just think surely there's something about seeing it "on Broadway" that I missed by seeing it at the "State Fair". Anyway, for this trip to NYC, I decided I might try to persuade the others to accompany me to my all-time-favorite musical "Les Miserables". However, Elizabeth, in her infinite knowing-whats-chic-ness, informed me that Les Mis is no longer running on Broadway. I checked, and of course, she is correct. Oh, miserable day! So this Weekly Pic is dedicated to Eponine, my favorite misunderstood musical heroine. I can't remember when I took this in New York, but I think it might have been last year. If only I'd known then what I know now, I'd have gladly given up seeing The Color Purple to "Hear the People Sing" about the "Castle on a Cloud" for "One More Day". Alas, "I Dreamed a Dream".

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Weekly Pic--Baby Face

In honor of HannahKate's 13th birthday this last week, I've chosen one of my all time favorite photos of she and Joel. She was just a few months old. He came home from work, stretched out on the couch and perched her on his chest. The thing that's always struck me about this picture is the look on Joel's face. It's as if he's almost beaming--so full of pride and love. Of course, the look on HannahKate's face is priceless, too. I used to say, "I wonder what she's thinking? I'd give anything if she could tell us." Now that she's officially a teenager, I see her look at her daddy that same way as if to say, "Really, Dad, please..." It's the "You're- embarassing/annoying-me-but-I-can't-keep-from-laughing" grin. I now know that this expression is the precursor for the "rolling-of-the-eyes/deep-sigh" response that arrives with adolescence. In the past thirteen years, I've seen that face a thousand times, and I've learned that she doesn't need words to tell us exactly what she's thinking.

Monday, August 4, 2008

There's Only One of Me (thank goodness)

My dear husband, who spends as much time on the internet as I do, showed me this really cool site called HowManyOfMe. Its fun because you can input your first and last name to find out how many people in the US have your same name. Interestingly enough, there are 1,524 people with the first name Denyse (spelled with a "y", thank you Daddy for making me unique). There are also 2,530 people with the same last name as me. I would have thought there would be more, but apparently my husband's family is primarily concentrated here in Northeast Texas so we are already acquainted with the majority of the people who share our last name. Now here is the interesting (or disturbing) thing: when you combine my first and last name, the result says "There are 1 or fewer people with the name Denyse B****" At first I was thankful to know that there are no other Denyse's parading around, going on crime sprees and getting their (my) name in the local police blotter only to cause me untold embarrassment due to mistaken identity. Then the "or fewer" part dawned on me. What's that supposed to mean? I'm obviously here, so how could there be fewer than one of me? Am I not valuable enough to really be considered 1 full person? Am I a figment of my own imagination? Wouldn't that make me "1 plus 1 crazy alter ego"? But seriously, 1 or fewer? Now I'm having 1 major identity crisis!

Friday, August 1, 2008

13 Years Ago...

13 years ago tonight...I was in NRH hospital enjoying a delicious salisbury steak. (No sarcasm intended, really it was wonderful)
13 years ago tonight...I was attempting to calm my nerves and prepare for the life-changing drama that was about to occur to next day.
13 years ago tonight...I was beginning to realize that, one way or another, "this baby had to come out" and neither "way" seemed appealing.
13 years ago tonight...I was trying to sweet-talk the nurse into calling for an epidural.
13 years ago tonight...I missed my mother so much my heart ached.
13 years ago tonight...I was so thankful for Joel and his words of comfort.
13 years ago tonight...I was wondering, "What in the world were we thinking? We don't know anything about babies!"
13 years ago tonight...I fretted that the sonograms might have been wrong and our baby boy would have to wear pink for the first year of his life.
13 years ago tonight...I panicked because we hadn't decided on a boy's middle name in the event that the sonograms were wrong.
13 years ago tonight...I realized how much I loved my husband and how glad I was that we were in this thing together.
13 years ago tonight...I sensed that the world as we knew it was about to turn upside down.
13 years ago tonight...I tried to imagine what she would look like. Hair or no? Crooked fingers like mine? Brown eyes like her daddy's?
13 years ago tonight...I prayed like never before that God would give us wisdom and insight into how to care for not only her physical needs, but also her emotional and spiritual needs.
13 years ago tonight...I was scared out of my wits.
13 years ago tonight...I had absolutely no idea of what to expect the next day, much less the days, weeks, months and years ahead.

Its hard to believe that its been 13 years. And while I no longer have to worry about whether the sonograms were wrong, I still don't know what to expect tomorrow, or next month or next year. I still miss my mother and wish she was here to enjoy HannahKate. I'm still incredibly thankful that Joel and I are in this thing together. I'm still scared out of my wits and therefore pray each day that God will continue to give us wisdom to raise both our girls to be Godly young women.

Happy birthday, HannahKate! Here's to another 13...