We've been putting up our tree now since Friday. Yes, it tends to be a process. Last night as I was unwrapping the last box of ornaments, it was like Christamas Day had already arrived! I couldn't wait for to unwrap the next one to see what memory was going to return with it. I love to sit and look at the tree and the many ornaments that have been given to me. My favorite are those that my children have made!!! I could look at them forever! My tree, to some, may look a bit chaotic because it has no general theme. However, it really does have a theme. It has a theme of memories. I can't wait to make more! I love Christmas and everything it stands for. I hope and pray that you and yours will take time this year to create some very special memories!
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I've had several moments today that have allowed me to reflect. My students wrote letters to someone important in their life today. I had one young lady who's Mother is deceased, her Dad is in jail, write to HIS girlfriend, thanking her for taking her in. She went so far to say that even though the girlfriend won't be around for Thanksgiving and that she (the student) would have no Thanksgiving, she was still thankful to her for all she had done. I had another young man tell his Mom that he was proud of her for working hard in school and that he understood why they would have no Christmas this year. He went on to tell her that he knew she wanted to find a man so that he would have a role model but for her to remember that as long as they had God, they had enough. Then...tonight on the news, I hear stories of how children in my very own community who are living in foster care and group homes will not be receiving gifts for Christmas.
You know, I love this time of year. It isn't because everyone around me has all the love, peace, food, etc. that they need. It is because God uses these situations to remind me of all I have. I am so thankful for....
The fact that my children don't have to worry about a parent being in jail;
The fact that my children don't have to be the ADULT in my life;
The fact that, although small, my children will receive presents this year;
BUT, more importantly...
I'm thankful for.....
God giving me a job where I work with amazing children;
a God that I know is going to bless these children;
and for a God, that reminds me through some of the toughest situations, that I am so richly blessed and that I need to share those blessings with others.
I encourage you to look for your blessings and to be thankful. I also encourage you to SHARE those blessings with others who need them! God Bless!
Posted by Gayla at 7:17 PM
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tonight the kids enjoyed lots of fun at our church Fall Festival. They went trick-or-treating at one house (a co-worker friend of mine) and then they just HAD to get to the fesival. Jonathon was an old man and Clarissa.....at 3:30 today informed me that she was not going to be the old lady that she had planned but that she was going to be a Texas Tech cheerleader. You've gotta love the female mind.....so free to change at any minute! I hope everyone had a safe evening! Can you believe Thanksgiving is just right around the corner???????? Run turkeys!!!!!!!!
Posted by Gayla at 11:32 PM
Monday, October 29, 2007
My teacher friend, Sarah, "tagged" me. I guess I have to play along!
1)Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2) People who are tagged need to write a post on their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules.
3) At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4) Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
Here it goes:
1. When I was growing up, we had a pet pig that we raised in the house! He didn't know he was a pig and I didn't know we ate him until just a few years ago!
2. I failed my first driving test. (NO comments please about this one!)
3. I can not stand to drink out of restaurant glasses. I must have a straw! I get to thinking about all of the people's lips that have touched the glass and it grosses me out. I'm about to have to start carrying my own plastic ware because I start thinking the same things about the forks.
4. I gag often (especially after eating out).
5. I love to look at pictures of my chidren. I could do that all day long. I could also watch home videos of them forever!
6. I love to touch my Mother's arms. She has that old lady flab (I say that in a good way). It is so soft. I of course am in no hurry to get it but I could spend hours touching hers!
7. I was invited to go on a 21 day tour of Europe with an honors band when I was a Sophomore in High School and I turned it down because I was afraid to fly over the ocean. Not that I wouldn't be scared today because I would but I'd strongly consider it!
8. I love snow. It puts me in the best moods. I am most productive when it snows. I want to visit Alaska and Switzerland.
I now tag Elaine and Cheryl because my other blogger friends....oh wait....I have not other blogger friends!!!
Posted by Gayla at 12:13 AM
Monday, October 1, 2007
Today has been a very bad day for Jonathon. As his mother, my heart has broken for him. Sal's car was broken into last night and all that was taken was Jonathon's backpack and Sal's cologne. Now, some may be thinking....Why were those items there? Let's just say that the men and my life like convenience. It was convenient for Jonathon to leave his backpack in the car on Friday because he wouldn't need it until Monday and I guess it's convenient for Sal to spruce up on the smellums throughout the day.
Jonathon's binder was found in an alley nearby but his backpack, his Nintendo DS which had been INSIDE the backpack, and the cologne were not found. Jonathon was so upset that he could not talk to be on the telephone. I can't remember a time when he cried that hard. Actually, when I told him that his Papaw might have lung cancer was the only other time I remember him crying that hard. So, as I knew my son was hurting, I hurt too. Some have said "Well, he'll learn not to leave things in the car". Yes, maybe he will. Yes, maybe I had told him many times not to leave it in the car and much less, his Nintendo DS! However, that doesn't excuse someone getting into OUR property and taking OUR things! AND, to top things off, his lovely first year Social Studies teacher gave him a write up for not having his paper today in class! NO JOKE ---the kids had nothing!!!! So, I called the school today and tried to explain that it wasn't lost but stolen and the teacher proceeded to be very hateful with me and eventually hung up on me! OH NO HE DIDN'T!!!! Let's just say....I've removed the write up myself and this battle isn't over!
Unfortunately, Jonathon learned a big lesson about life today. He told his Dad that he had wondered what he had done, that God was punishing him for. Yeah, that one got me! We've spent the evening explaining to a once, very innocent 10 year old, that God doesn't work like that and how there are just some pretty sorry individuals in this world that need God desperately.
Jonathon also learned a big lesson about family. Tomorrow he will receive a special gift from someone who loves him very much and from someone whom I adore and admire more than they'll ever know. I had to tell him about the gift tonight and let's just say....it's good to see him smile.
So while my heart hurts, my blood pressure is still sky high from anger, my soul remains confident that God is STILL good and STILL in control and STILL moves people to do amazing acts of kindsness to small children and in my house....when you are kinds to my children, you are a blessing to me!
Posted by Gayla at 10:26 PM
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Well, we're down to the bitter end. I really do not like the weekend before the school year starts. I feel rushed the entire time, all the while trying to remain calm for my kids. It seems as though I feel I need to give them my undivided attention before we're whisked away into many different directions.
I have gotten so organized and prepared in my own classroom that I feel like I am forgetting something MAJOR. I guess we'll find out soon enough! Most people get so excited about the first day of school. I don't. It's the middle-end that I love. I just had that last group trained and now their off to middle school. Monday morning I'll be met with 17 little strangers that are just as uneasy as I am. Don't get me wrong. I love my job but I really love it once I know the kids and they know me. We have so much fun together. I think I am having some weird feelings at the beginning of this year because the end of my year ended so rotten. I guess I'm having "rollover feelings".
Jonathon is trying his hardest to act like he's "kinda" excited about school starting. Knowing that this is such a hard time for him, (crying every first day of every school year so far) I am praying that Monday will be a good day for him. I know how mean kids can be to each other. This will be his last year in elementary school so soon we'll be dealing with visiting and selecting a Middle school. He's already looking forward to that. Jonathon does so well in school and I pray that this year will be no different.
Clarissa is so ready for Monday morning that I doubt she sleeps tomorrow night! She got her first grade haircut (8 inches cut off) today and it is adorable! Sassy just like she is. We've labeled all of her supplies and organized her NOTEBOOK! (Yeah, I couldn't believe that first graders had notebooks!) Her backpack is ready and hanging by the front door. She even knows what she's wearing for the week. Her year didn't get off to a great start last year because some snotty nosed spoiled little girls called her names. There is only one little boy from her old class in her class this year so I'm praying she'll have a better year. Her teacher is a male and she's super excited about that. I love her spirit and her "ready to take on the world" attitude. I pray she never loses it!
So, school starts in about 33 hours! It will be a hectic 9 1/2 months. Days filled with school, gymnastics, church, soccer, and my class at Wayland. We'll try to fit in as much family time as possible and before we know it, Thanksgiving will be here! I can't wait for November! Actually, to be honest, I'm simply looking forward to Friday! Off we go......
Posted by Gayla at 11:20 PM
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Today I was having a conversation with Jonathon, discussing how God is not a God of disorder and how He wants us to have order in our lives. We even got more specific and talked about cleaning. He said, "You know, it may not be a good illustration but it's kinda like this: all of the trash and things out of order represent sin and then Jesus comes in and cleans you all up!." No Jonathon, it wasn't a good illustration.....it was a GREAT one. Leave it to a 10 year old to really get what takes many adults a lifetime to figure out!
Posted by Gayla at 12:23 AM
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
AAaauuuuggghhhhh!!!!! It is August already! 26 days until school starts!!!!!! 15 days until teachers return!!!!!! ENJOY!!!! ENJOY!!!!! ENJOY!!!!!!
Posted by Gayla at 6:32 PM
Saturday, July 28, 2007
The kids and I went to Pampa on Thursday and spent the day with my parents while Sal was working in Amarillo. We had a really nice time. I sometimes forget how much my children long to see their Nana & Papaw. They long for that unconditional "spoiling" that only grandparents can do.
I don't have alot of memories of time with my grandparents because they all passed away when I was young. However, I do remember sitting with my Grandpa on his front porch, playing on a rock (that I have by my front door now) and then walking across the street to get a treat. He would buy me this "thing" that was like chocolate covered graham crackers. I have no idea what the name was but they were THE BEST! I will forever remember them.
Mom and Dad's neighbors had told them to let the kids come down and pick tomatoes and to let Clarissa pick all of the fresh flowers she wanted. So, in the middle of the day (HOT), we went and picked tomatoes and flowers. My children had a ball! Earlier that day, Clarissa and I took Nana shopping at Bealls and Jonathon took Papaw to the Dollar store to look for some much needed gun caps. Afterwards, we went home for sandwiches and my kids ate like they weren't going to eat for days. They later told me that things taste better at Nana's. After lunch, I didn't hear them for a while and after I got suspicious, I found them in bed, tucked in for a good nap. THEY SLEPT FOR TWO HOURS!!! They don't do this at home!!!! BUT, I was told that Nana's house made for a good napping place.
Once we left and headed back to Amarillo, Jonathon told me that he loved going to the Post office and the Dollar store with Papaw because that was "their thing to do". He said he would always remember that. It took me back to that "chocolate graham cracker thing". Grandparents are good, very good. I'm glad that my children have theirs to make memories with.
Posted by Gayla at 10:55 AM
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
We returned last night from a quick 2 day/1 night stay in Odessa. I was quite impressed with the town itself and LOVED our hotel. It was very kid friendly and had the most comfortable bed EVER!!!! Penny and Eric have recently moved to Odessa and it was nice to get to see their new home. However, it was a little sad leaving them and I think Clarissa wanted to pack up Gabriella and bring her home with us.
Once we returned, we spent some time settling back in before we went to bed. When the kids were going to bed, Clarissa asked me to read them a story from the Bible Stories book. I read to them about creation. When I finished, Clarissa said Man, God did a wonderful job creating this "Earf" (not a typo). He gave us seeds that grow into beautiful trees and plants for us and he gave us LOTS OF FOOD. He really did a wonderful job. I thought this was so sweet and so true. He did give us a beautiful creation call "Earf" but He did an even better job creating my two beautiful children and I am so very thankful to Him for them.
Posted by Gayla at 5:32 PM
Friday, July 13, 2007
I saw this today and thought - "I need to be a dog this year!"
If A Dog Was The Teacher
By Author Unknown
If a dog was the teacher, you would learn stuff like:
- When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
- Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
- Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
- When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.
- Let others know when they've invaded your territory.
- Take naps. Stretch before rising.
- Run, romp, and play daily.
- Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
- Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
- On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
- On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
- When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
- No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout! Run right back and make friends.
- Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
- Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.
- Be loyal. Never pretend to be something you're not.
- If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
- When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
Posted by Gayla at 2:01 PM
Saturday, July 7, 2007
For the 2nd year, we spent the 4th of July in Canadian/Shamrock with my Sister and her family. This year, we actually stayed and watched the Fireworks in Shamrock. Although we thoroughly missed the Santos family, with whom we've spent the last 5 or 6 fireworks evenings with, nothing can compare to family. Hopefully, one of these days we can talk to the Santos family into joining us for some small town fun!
The kids entered turtles in the turtle race and Clarissa's turtle, Sally, won two heats! The competition was fierce and the excitment was unimaginable! We even witnessed two firsts: a turtle false start and a run-off in the finals! You haven't lived until you experience a tutle race!
Posted by Gayla at 1:10 PM
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
As most everyone knows, Clarissa was a flowergirl in a wedding this past weekend. The wedding was a teacher friend of mine. Clarissa's social calendar was full this weekend!
After a busy week of VBS that ended Thursday evening, we were up bright and early Friday for a morning rehearsal. That evening we had the rehearsal dinner. She was so good at both of these activities, ESPECIALLY the dinner. From the dinner we went home to tuck her in for a good night's rest because we knew she would need it.
The big day arrived and thank the Lord she slept in! We went to get her hair done and it took TWO people to do it because she has so much hair! But again, she was so very patient. We left there and went home for me to get ready. When she walked in the front door, the first person she looked for was her Daddy. She didn't say a word to him but wanted his acknowledgement. As soon as he told her how pretty she looked, she went to find Jonathon. He immediately told her how beautiul she was and that is when she smiled. It was so interesting to me how she really didn't care whether or not she had my approval but she certainly wanted her Dad's and brothers! They are so important in her little life!
Once we were at the location of the wedding, she dressed and was one of the girls. She was so excited!!! She did a great job during the ceremony even though I had to remind her to throw the petals as she began walking. So...she threw petals on her entrance AND exit! :)
Even though she had so much fun doing all of this, the reception/dance was her VERY FAVORITE! She didn't miss a dance. She danced with her brother, her Daddy, the groom, groomsmen, bridesmaids, family members of Luke's, and herself. She had a ball!! She hung with it as long as anyone was on the dance floor! We left at 12:15 and arrived home about 12:30. Needless to say...I don't think she remembered much about arriving home because she was fast asleep!
I can't express how beautiful she was and how much fun she had. All she can say now is that she wants to have a wedding just like Stephanie's. I can't even imagine that day right now but if her beauty and grace as a flower girl is any indication as to what kind of bride she'll be......LOOK OUT!
Posted by Gayla at 12:27 AM
Saturday, June 30, 2007
While having lunch with the kids at Sonic on Thursday: After a male carhop walks by and gives me a long and endearing look, my son (age 10) profoundly states "Mom, I think he thinks your single!" (I guess once you're married, NO ONE is to look at you like that!)
Jonathon, telling his Dad about the above incident: He tells his Dad and then says "Ooohhh La La!!! It's because she's beautiful! Even without makeup!!!"
Clarissa while attending the rehearsal dinner for Stephanie's wedding: After seeing a bridesmaid visit the bar, "Mom, can I please have a margarita?" Hey, at least she used good manners!
When trying on the dress I was considering wearing to Stephanie's wedding: I asked Clarissa's opinion and she said "It's beautiful but could you please wear some makeup?" I guess she didn't listen to her brother and it's obvious they share differing opinions!
Until next time.....
Posted by Gayla at 12:55 PM
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Clarissa had her first lesson tonight in Dating 101. Sal and I have always talked about him taking her out and/or Jonathon taking her out several times before she hits dating age so that she will know what to EXPECT from a date. We want her to settle for nothing less than 100% gentleman behavior. So, Sal had a banquet to attend tonight for MHMR and she was his date. She had a BALL getting dressed for it and was absolutely precious as they left. Her date patiently waited on her to finish getting ready (deciding on shoes) and opened the car door for her. I can't wait to hear how it ends up. AND, like any other proud Mom, I was out with the camera taking many pics. Visit my Flickr stream for more.
Posted by Gayla at 7:52 PM
Monday, June 11, 2007
This evening we had Jonathon's 10th birthday party at a local pool. As soon as we arrived, I was met by a young man that none of us knew but he had no problem with that! He quickly asked me if we were cooking hot dogs and after I said we sure were, he asked for one. I told him that if he was still there after the party was over and if we had any left, I'd be happy to give him a hot dog. Well....over the course of the next 2 hourse, this young man asked for a hot dog at least, what seemed like FIFTY TIMES! It got so bad that other people at our party was frustrated. Finally, as Jonathon was fixing his plate, the kid yells at us from the water, wanting a hot dog. Jonathon looked at me and said, PLEASE.....give that kid a hot dog!!! We were ALL ready for him to hush! He proceeded to help himself to the chips, a drink, and some cake.
His persistence paid off. He got what he wanted....he just drove everyone else crazy but in the end...he was happy. Hmmm....I might try this technique sometime in the near future. We'll see! But in the meantime, can I have a hot dog?
Posted by Gayla at 12:43 AM
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Lazy days? I don't think so, at least not yet. The kids started Kaleidoscope this week and have to be there at 8:15. So much for sleeping in! I have to say though, I've gotten more errands accomplished the past two days that I have recently in a month! Sal even appointed me to have the oil changed this morning ( a whole other blog topic! ). Yesterday after Kaleidoscope, we went swimming for FOUR hours. My kids were in heaven!!! It was nice to relax by the pool and watch them just be kids. No worries in the world! Today isn't a swimming day for us and after we finally got home this afternoon, my kids and I laid down and read books. AWwwwww, now that was nice and it did give me a little glimpse into those lazy days of summer.
Before I leave this little topic, I have to share something about someone who has just blessed me so much recently. I got to spend some time last night with a young man who just recently turned FIVE! I was at McDonald's watching him carefully eat his Happy Meal (sitting criss cross applesauce in the seat) and he so innocently looked over at me and said, Thank you for bringing me here. A while later, after we had left McDonald's, he was getting out of my car and said "Gayla, I love you. You're beautiful." You know, I couldn't stop thinking about his words on the way home. God tells us to have the faith of a child but I believe He also wants us to learn from them. You see, this baby was so very thankful, sincerely thankful for a trip to McDonalds. It isn't like he isn't well taken care of because he comes from an excellent family. He just is honestly thankful for people being in his life. I believe he also sees the heart of a person. I hope he always sees me as beautiful. Not on the outside (we've got a long ways to go there) but as a person with a beautiful heart. And even though I am very aware of my faults and don't always have the "beauty on the inside" - he saw something I don't even see. I want to be more like that. I really want to see people's hearts (good and bad). So.....if you need some insight and a blessing......hang out with a 5 year old!
Posted by Gayla at 5:07 PM
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Posted by Gayla at 11:29 AM
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
The other day I watched a segment of Oprah's where she was talking about girls and their self-esteem and how we as women should be building up our daughters daily. I haven't always had the best self-esteem and certainly do not want my daughter to experience those nasty, horrible days.
Today, I believe, I have built up my daughter, maybe just a little bit. I was going to the store and she so badly wanted to go. She dressed herself in what she thought looked great. She came out of the room and I immediately said "NO!". Her Dad of course told her that she was beautiful. I thought I could sneak out but there's no fooling her! She was on my heals. So, I said: "Mija, do you like the way you look today?" and she very sure of herself said, "Yes, I do!". So, I thought...you know, if you feel good, I feel good. So....off to the store we went. She pranced around like she was a million bucks! You know what baby....you're more than a million bucks! You are my psychedelic princess and you are my world! I hope you always feel good about you and who you are because I'd have you no other way!
Posted by Gayla at 12:06 PM
Saturday, May 19, 2007
The wait is over for almost everything I was "waiting" for a few days ago. Sal made it safely home from Austin, the Lord said that the job He has for me is right where I am so live with it and get happy. I'm living with it and will find happiness before school starts in the Fall. Praise God my Dad's test results have revealed that he is fine and well. AND....summer will officially begin at my house in FIVE DAYS.
We already have so many things planned. Our first task (interject Sal - "We're calling this task PREPERATION H - We're preparing the house for summer) is to have a very late Spring Cleaning event the week after next. Memorial Day could be just that - some things will only be a memory!
We had our last soccer game today and ended with a perfect season. Well...a perfect losing season but Clarissa doesn't care. However, if she would have played as hard the rest of the season as she did today it might not have been a perfect losing season! She has also had her gymnastics exhibition today and was absolutelyn adorable! We have Jonathon's in just a little while.
I had a thought today as I was leaving a message for my dear friend. Life is funny. There is a couple that Sal and I have been friends with for many years. Our children are like brothers/sister. In fact, she was Jonathon's first caregiver. We had attended the same church and usually sat by each other in church up until January of this year when the Lord called us away from Alliance. How funny it is that we have seen this family more since we've been gone than when we saw them weekly at church. Life is funny but I sure have enjoyed the laughs and good times we have together.
So...my thought for today is this.....Keep praying, laughing, and spending time with friends. It makes life and those nasty "waiting" games so much more bearable!
Posted by Gayla at 5:06 PM
Sunday, May 13, 2007
We have just experienced a wonderful relaxing weekend. We spent Saturday evening/early night with some of our dearest friends hanging out at the park having a picnic (yes, there were some chickens sacrificed for the picnic but they were good!) Our children are like brothers and sister and thoroughly enjoyed themselvces. We did have to scrub alot of sand out of their hair but hey, they had fun getting it there! Today, after church, we took Jonathon and Clarissa to their favorite pool for some presummer swimming. It made for a perfect Mother's Day....there's nothing better than the laughter of your children. We've already made plans for next weekend! It seems to make the thought of these next two weeks bearable! I can't wait! SUMMER IS COMING!!!
Posted by Gayla at 11:21 PM
Thursday, May 10, 2007
I don't think I'm very good at this! This you ask? This waiting stuff! I'm waiting for a "phone call" that could certainly put a lift in my career, I'm waiting for insurance to come through for me - somehow, someway. I'm waiting on my husband to return from Austin. I'm waiting for my Dad to find out some pretty important health results. I'm waiting for school to hurry up and dismiss for the summer! I'm very impatient and I certainly don't like this part of world right now. I wonder......did I pray for patience somewhere along the way?
Posted by Gayla at 12:23 AM
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
I'd like to introduce you to my new friend "Boot" however, I use the term friend very loosely. To date, I've called boot several names including heavy, hot, cumbersome, stupid, and annoying. Due to my recent strain and partial tearing of my Achilles tendon, Boot is going to be my constant companion for at least 6 weeks. "AT LEAST" - I'm a little worried about that arrangement because we all know what that means and for someone who has already worn out their welcome - that's to scary to even think about! So, until then, I am entertaining ideas for creative uses for Boot once we're not attached at the ankle "so to speak"!
Posted by Gayla at 9:33 AM
Saturday, April 21, 2007
After waiting and waiting.... the Lil' Raiders were finally able to take the field this morning! A little rusty, it took them a little bit to wake up! But, #2, a fiesty little player from the Bursiaga home, scored a goal and played the entire game without complaint! Ahh.....the Spring season is finally rolling! You gotta love it!
Posted by Gayla at 2:37 PM
Sunday, April 15, 2007
I do believe that I have had the most interesting and reflective days of my life over the past few days. Friday very well could go in the books as the worst day of my teaching career. As I have reflected upon it though, I have seen alot of what I've needed to see for sometime. I've learned alot about other people and myself, just since Friday. I've rearranged some priorities and those that were are no longer and some that should have been at the top have been moved there and cemented!
Saturday Jonathon competed in the Southwest Texas/New Mexico Tumbling & Trampoline State Championship. I am so proud to report that he came away with many awards, winning 1st overall in tumbling, 2nd in trampoline, and 3rd in Double-Mini. I am so proud of him. It was a great day and I found myself having so many different emotions watching him compete. I prayed through every pass and I know that God had favor on him Saturday. Clarissa did a great job WAITING all day for the attention to be back on her! It was really a nice family day.
Today Sal and I tried out a new Sunday School class. We had not been attending Sunday School since we left Alliance because we were trying to get the kids settled in to a new church. So, they'd go off to Sunday School and Sal & I went to Worship Service. Well, today, all 4 of us attended service and then went to Sunday School. As Clarissa drove me crazy because she kept moving (as most 6 years olds do) and Jonathon consistenly felt he needed to lean on me during the service, I had the following revelation: Just as my kids have to get used to being in "big church" (they always went to Kids Church at Alliance) again, I had to get used to having them there again. At one point today, I even thought: I liked it better when they were in class! BUT, when I looked over and saw Jonathon reading his Bible and following along with the Pastor, I knew that he needed to be there and that I just needed to get used to it again.
As I blog tonight, I must confess that I dread going to work tomorrow. I don't want to feel that way but I do. Please pray for me that this little time of refining will only be "a short time" and if it isn't, pray for strength to endure.
Posted by Gayla at 11:14 PM
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Posted by Gayla at 3:49 PM
Saturday, April 7, 2007
.........of a White Christmas! Not a white Easter!!!! Oh, those lines of communication sometimes get crossed. But, as I look out the window this morning, it is a beautiful wintry scene. The snow is falling quickly and softly, my children are begging to go outside, and we're talking of starting a fire......BUT, we are supposed to be dyeing EASTER EGGS, not roasting marshmallows! Crazy isn't it?
Posted by Gayla at 10:28 AM
Friday, April 6, 2007
It's hard to believe that it's almost Easter, especially when I look out to see drizzle, an occasional snow flake, and not to mention, it's freezing out there! BUT, it is West Texas and this isn't the first cold Easter I've experienced here.
Today, Good Friday, has been just that. It was nice to sleep in this morning and then I was joined by my two children. We layed in bed and watched TV for at least an hour. Of course, I don't remember much about what we watched because I was too busy thinking about each one of them, and thanking God for them and just enjoying the moment.
I also had lunch with an old friend today. Isn't it amazing that when your are truely friends with someone, it doesn't matter how many miles seperate you or how much time seperates your last coversation, when you meet up, you can pick up like there was never a seperation? That's how it was. She had not seen Clarissa since she was 10 months old! We had a wonderful time and I thoroughly enjoyed talking about her new "gift" that is due in August. Once Clarissa found out that Stefanie was expecting a girl, she was ready to see the baby.......right then and there.
It has been a good Friday on this Good Friday. I'm thankful for family and friends, but in the spirit of the season, I'm thankful for Jesus and for what happened many years ago on that cross! Happy Easter to all!
Posted by Gayla at 8:45 PM
Sunday, April 1, 2007
I just wanted to share a few of the very profound statements that have made there way into my world today.
As we were getting ready for church this morning, Clarissa asked her Dad if he was going to die. Sal said yes, sometime. She, in the saddest of voices, said :"No...I don't want you to die!!.....PAUSE.......Daddy, when you die, can Jonathon take me to Burger King?"
When I asked her to look under her bed for something this morning, Clarissa put both hands up to her chest and replied, "EXcccuuuusssseee Me. YOU want ME to get down there and look under the bed?" Uhhh, yeah! And so she did.
I never know what is coming out of her mouth next!
Posted by Gayla at 8:00 PM
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Today has surely been one of "those" days. I received news about some INSURANCE problem of mine that to be quite honest, felt like a death sentence when I received it. My students were rude, hurtful, and right out mean to my student teacher and because their mine, I feel responsible. A friend of ours found out she has stage 3 cancer. She's a single Mom with two children to raise. AND...the weatherman said it's going to be in the 50's tomorrow with wind and strong storms!!!! Are you kidding me????? Don't ruin my Friday too!
Posted by Gayla at 7:48 PM
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Yesterday I got to hang out with a very good "friend". We went shoe shopping and let me tell you, I love shoes but my "friend" was in heaven. After we picked up some new shoes, we went looking for "workout wear". While we were at Academy, my "friend", who by the way has the cutest little body, discovered 2 very adorable swimsuits. After a whole lot of shopping at Academy, she fell a little short at the cash register (she only had $1) but I was happy to pick up the rest of the tab. When we left Academy, I was going the wrong direction and decided to cut through Resthaven Cemetary. Boy...did I make the wrong move! My "friend" decided that the flowers were so beautiful there, she could pick one for a teacher friend of hers. I wouldn't let her but I also learned not to use the cemetary to turn around in.
All that shopping had made us hungry so we called another friend of ours to meet us at Zookini's. The three of us enjoyed a nice dinner and just had "girl talk". You know..the things you do amongst "friends". After we relaxed our feet for a little while at home, my "friend" and I ran to Target and would you believe, she found an outfit there too? As we were leaving Target, we were walking to our car and my "friend" looked UP at me and said...."I love hanging out with you"..little does she know, I can't think of anyone else I enjoy having a girls day with either! I want to share a picture of my friend with you because she is beautiful...inside and out. She is free spirited and loves life and makes me laugh on many occasions. She also keeps me humble and has improved my prayer life because sometimes, she can be a little stubborn. But, all in all, I thank God daily for blessing my life with someone who I know I'll be able to call my "friend" for a very long time.
Posted by Gayla at 9:34 AM
Friday, March 16, 2007
We have returned from our trip to Cloudcroft. It was absolutely wonderful. Very relaxing, many moments of laughter, and a moment or two of worry just to keep us on our toes.
Our cabin was way more than expected and if anyone ever travels to Cloudcroft I would highly recommend this place. We arrived Saturday evening and withing a few minutes, Clarissa was dancing around, jumping up and down, saying "THIS IS AWESOME" and "I'M SO EXCITED". We drove into town and grabbed a quick dinner and returned to the cabin. Sunday was interesting. The day started out with beautiful sunshine. We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast by Chef Sal and shortly before noon, we had a light mountain shower. The kids enjoyed sledding down the hill that morning before the rain. At noon, Sal went into Cloudcroft (6 miles from the cabin). By 12:15 it was snowing so hard that I couldn't see across the mountain. It was thundering and lightening also. At 1:30, Sal had not returned. Our Explorer is not a 4 wheel drive so I was a bit concerned. I put on my shoes and decided I would take the trecherous walk to the neighbor's house and call the local Sheriff's department to look for him. While I was preparing to leave, I heard Clarissa praying that if "Sal dies, I would be sad. Please don't let him die." Well...that was comforting. Within about 5 minutes, she runs through the cabin yelling "HE'S ALIVE! HE'S ALIVE!". Yes, her Daddy had returned. He couldn't pull the truck into the driveway because it was an incline but nonetheless...he was home! We ended up getting about 3 inches of snow and the kids built a snowman/woman/thing. Monday they predicted more snow and so we just hung out at the cabin and the kids loved playing in the snow.
Tueseday we ventured down the mountain to White Sands. I have always wanted to visit there and must say that I was awestruck from the moment I saw the place. We had so much fun! EVERYONE took part in sledding on Tuesday! We hated to leave to come home but once back, everyone agreed that it was nice to be home. Sal and I realized on the way back that our work places were not mentioned one time while on the trip. How nice to completely get away from it all. I have posted pictures on my Flickr stream and would invite you to share in our wonderful trip. We can't wait for the next opportunity and adventure! Family time is a wonderful time!
Posted by Gayla at 10:11 AM
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Well, not exactly but today is the day. We've had this trip scheduled for what seems like forever and Spring Break is finally here. We hope to be on the road within the next few hours and then we're off to Cloudcroft. Both kids were awake BEFORE 7:00 this morning. I think they may be a little excited! Well...I must finish packing before Clarissa does it for me! Happy Spring Break!
Posted by Gayla at 8:41 AM
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Happy Birthday to me! As I celebrated my 41st birthday today, I have taken a moment tonight to reflect a bit. I have been blessed with so many wonderful people in my life. This morning, right before I turned on my blow dryer, I heard my precious princess say "Happy Birthday Mommy" in a very sleepy voice. It was a wonderful thing to hear. Soon I was met by my son and husband with a present and card. I love them, all three of them, so very much. I went to school and was met with well wishes from my students. They're so cute! I work with such wonderful people. One of my dearest friends gave me the coolest bag with some "girlie goodies" in it! Those of you who know me know how much I LOVE bags and purses. My wonderful sister called me, text messaged me, emailed me, and blessed me with yet another cool present. She is persistent!
Well...during the day, my students CONTINUED to wish me a Happy Birthday, some at very inopportune times but nonetheless, it was sweet. As I was on my way home from work, I received a phone call from my principal and assistant principal, singing Happy Birthday to me. They're so cute! While on the phone with them, my Mom called to tell me that she just couldn't believe her BABY was 41!!! Yeah, well me either but that's how the math plays out!
My day ended with dinner with the family and a friend, who went way out of her comfort zone to join us at a Japanese steakhouse. It was topped off with a surprise cheesecake and singing by the wait staff.
All in all, through all the cards, call, and gifts from friends and family, I realize how very blessed I am. Even though there were those who claim to be so very close to me that I never heard from today, God revealed to me how many wonderful friends I have in my life and how adorable and loving my entire family is.
I can only pray that God will give me at least another 41 years to enjoy this grand 'ole life because I really do have a great one!
Happy Birthday to me!
Posted by Gayla at 10:51 PM
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Well, it has been a while since I last posted. So much has happened since then (I guess that's why it's been a while!). Let's see....Clarissa had her party on the 17th and it was absolutely wonderful. A princess party for a deserving princess. She loved it and so did we! The 20th was TAKS testing and that was quite a day! My last tester finished at 5:05 and considering that we couldn't sit down and had to actively monitor......my feet were KILLING me at that point! I came home and found my happy face because that day was also the day that Clarissa actually turned 6. We took her to O'hana Japanese Steak House for dinner and we all had a ball. Unfortunately, on that day, my parents lost someone very dear to them.....their dog Shorty. He had been a member of our family for 15 years and helped my parents through the death of my brother, my Mom's cancer diagnosis, my Dad's heart problems, not to mention, he helped them welcome the birth of my two children and three great-grandsons. It has been a very sad time for them and in turn for me. I didn't tell Jonathon and Clarissa until the 21st and Jonathon took it very hard. Clarissa has been asking a whole lot of questions about death and tells me that she doesn't want to die. I know it's a scary thing to understand at the ripe old age of 6. Jonathon had a gymnastics meet this past Saturday and I am proud to report that he brought home a silver and two bronze medals. I am so proud of him. I love watching him compete and my heart swells when I see him on the medals stand. We have now started a new week and tomorrow is already Wednesday! Wow.....where does the time go?
All I know is.....I have ELEVEN days until my family along with my Sister and nephew embark on a vacation together to the mountains. I can't wait. We plan on doing absolutely nothing that requires much thought! Her life is extremely busy as a successful business owner and I will have probably received our TAKS scores back right before we leave and God knows...I'm sure to need a vacation after that news! Not to mention....sometime in the next 11 days, this ole' gal will turn 41! I remember when that seemed so old! All I can say is.......time flies!
Posted by Gayla at 11:34 PM
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Wow! It is so hard to believe that it's been six years! Six years ago today my husband walked into my office and shared some news with me that changed my life forever. Now, please know that at the time, it was the busiest day at my office that we had had in five years. We were going through a NATIONAL audit and I was extremely stressed. He strolled in and said "Let's go to lunch". I thought he'd lost his mind! I snapped (as I'm sure you can imagine) that I was too busy to go to lunch. He soon got a very serious look on his face and said "THEY CALLED". They? I didn't have a clue who he was talking about. He said it again and stared deep into my eyes. "They???? You mean....the baby?" Yes, the baby. Jonathon had been praying for TWO years for a sister and now the adoption agency had called! Sal said the birthmom THOUGHT it was a girl and I said I KNOW it is. "So when is she due" I asked. Sal replied, the 27th. Still not all together, I asked the 27th of what? He said THIS 27th. My head felt like a tornado was in it. OH MY GOODNESS!!!! We were expecting a baby in TWO weeks! Well, those of you that know the rest of the story know that our little gift came ONE week later!
I'll never forget going online that very evening to purchase her bedding - even though we didn't have a nursery put together. I wanted the "girliest" thing possible and found it. White eyelet with BIG pink satin bows. We already had a name because her brother had told us what it would be....Clarissa Faith. There was so much to do to prepare for her that I really had no idea where to start. All I know is, I did good to function.
The week that followed included meeting her birthmom. We drove to Abilene and had lunch with Cristina at the Spaghetti warehouse. I felt so grateful to her but had such a sadness for her. She had lived such a hard life. I remember leaving Abilene and praying to God to protect my baby. MY baby.....wow! No one knows what it is like to adopt unless you've been there. My baby...I was driving away and leaving my baby in another woman's womb and trusting her, whom I didn't even know, to give her life. Truthfully, it is an emotional rollercoaster that is not for the weak of heart but it is worth the ride!
When we returned home, we finally told Jonathon (this was on a Friday). He couldn't wait! We finished out the week trying to take care of things at work and then with rocket speed, prepare our home for our new daughter. Well, the week went by quickly and sure enough she came early.
As I reflect back, since that time, I have always seen February 13 as a special day. It is the day that my life was changed forever. I think about where God has taken us during these last 6 years. Clarissa.....what a blessing it is being her Mom. She makes me laugh, cry, pray, and watch in awe as she develops into her own little person. Has it been an easy six years? Absolutely not! Would I trade it? Absolutely not! I often joke that my laundry hasn't been caught up since that day in February 2001 when they called us and my life went into a whirlwind. Well, tonight it is still in piles but she is growing up, right before my eyes, and one of these days.....I'll get to the laundry. Until then.....I'll continue to thank God for that call that came 6 years ago today and for Cristina, who saw in us, what she wanted for this little girl.
Posted by Gayla at 10:28 PM
Friday, February 9, 2007
Yes! That was the title of Jonathon's Science Fair project that WE worked on until 1:00 A.M. Sunday morning. Only.....one part of the WE went to bed at 9:00. Yesterday was the judging and unfortunately, WE lost the bacterial battle! Our, I mean Jonathon's project is not advancing on. :( A friend of mine called me from his school today to "prepare" me for the news of the loss. I wasn't surprised and thought she was being sarcastic....she wasn't! She was so down because Jonathon didn't place!! She said she had checked on him twice today at school to make sure he wasn't depressed over the loss.....he wasn't. However, she didn't feel any better. As much as I would have loved for him to go on...I kind of knew that it wasn't going to happen. I just wanted him to participate this year. My friend says we're going for the KILL next year. She already has planted an idea in his head dealing with TOILETS!!!! He loved the idea! So....WE have a year to prepare for this one. Hopefully next time, I'll get to bed a little earlier! Until then, if anyone wants to know whether antibacterial soap (Dial) or regular soap (Ivory) works to take off the bacteria that causes you to smell when you sweat.......use antibacterial! Smell you later!
Posted by Gayla at 8:25 PM
Thursday, February 1, 2007
Well, if I've ever come close to living my worst nightmare it was today. Actually, just about two hours ago! Sal picks up the kids after school and brings them to me at my school. Although I love teaching where I teach, it is not the safest neighborhood. As a matter of fact, it probably has one of the highest drug dealers/users/etc. rates as well as registered sex offenders in the neighborhood. The crime rate is certainly nothing to write home about and the apartments right in our back yard has been home to several murders.....YES MURDERS!!!!! My classroom is in a portable which is not connected to the building. However, you walk out my door and go straight down the sidewalk about 25 steps and you are in the building RIGHT by the restrooms. Clarissa asked today at 4:25 if she could go to the restroom. I said yes, she always goes and comes right back.....no big deal! Right after she left, I went into the building to make copies. I returned at 4:45 and Jonathon said she had never returned. A little panic set in but not too bad because she also goes over to visit the Math teacher in the portable next to me so Jonathon ran over there to see if she was in there. I felt certain she was. I WAS WRONG!!!!! Fear, panic, pain, you name, went through my body. I ran into the building, called into the bathroom...no Clarissa. By this time, the Math teacher and Jonathon had rounded up a few more teachers and we searched the building...inside and out.....one teacher got on the PA for an all call.....no Clarrisa. I opened the back door of the school and all I could see were those apartments and I SCREAMED her name......no Clarissa. At this point, Jonathon has said he would go back and stand by my room in case she showed up there. I ran to the other side of the building (meanwhile EVERY teacher remaining at school is searching) and the Math teacher came around the corner and said he had seen her at the corner of the building and she was running around to the front. One of the other teachers, upon her orders to grab her, ran out the side door to find the MAINTENANCE MAN and the CUSTODIAN standing in front of the building with her. THEY had intercepted her in front of the school! The teacher brought her to me and my knees were weak, I could barely see her because of the tears, and I wanted to hug her and beat her at the same time!!!! Once I reached her, the look on her face told me that she KNEW she was in trouble. I looked at the clock and it was 5:00. She had been OUTSIDE for at least 30 minutes!!! The thoughts raced through my head of what could have happened to her and I cried more. Jonathon met me in the hall, running, crying, so I cried some more. I seriously thought that someone had taken my baby. I can not think of another time in my life that I have been that scared. Needless to say, discipline has been handed out and I have attempted to explain to my almost 6 year old the dangers of that neighborhood but still in her innocence, she doesn't believe me. She told me that she was pretending to take a trip and told me everywhere she had wandered during her little excursion. I could have lived without knowing the details. All I know is that I ran through those halls, praying to God that she was OK. Praise HIM that she is OK.
Posted by Gayla at 7:55 PM
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Grrrrrrrr!!!!! AAAAuuuuugggghhhh!!!! Do you feel my frustration? Am I the only one that gets this frustrated over school projects??? I'm a teacher...I should love this.......I don't love this..........as a matter of fact, I loathe this!!!! THIS????? This that I refer to is the Science Fair Project. Jonathon has a project due Friday for the Science Fair. He had originally decided to test how high energy drinks effects blood sugar in different age people. Well, we had to have some "human subject" forms filled out that somehow didn't get into my hands until this morning! There goes that project because before the experiment can be done, some "board" had to approve the form. So....here it is Saturday before it is due and we have to start all over. I'll spare you the the details of starting all over and jump to the punch! We are now testing which soap works the best in removing bacteria and "smell" from the armpits! Sounds fun huh? We will get our petrie dishes going and set up for a 4 day observation tonight. Four days.....yes, that would then be Wednesday. Then we have to put together the presentation board. Do you notice how many times I've said WE???? I have completed 4th grade.........I know to use deodorant so I won't stink....I don't need to know this! To top off things, during the week, Jonathon will attend Scouts & gymnastics so who will be left to do the majority of the work????? Afterall, he does have a bedtime! This is only FOURTH GRADE!!! What will middle school and high school bring when he is attending gymnastics at Talent Plus in addition to gymnastics in school???? I guess I better brush up on my middle school and high school skills before he gets there!
Posted by Gayla at 10:59 PM
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
I do believe we are recovering. As a matter of fact, I believe miracles are occurring because for almost 4 hours tonight, I listened to Jonathon and his sister (yes, Miss I can't talk, drink, or take meds) argue and fight! She wanted to wrestle. He wouldn't because she can't and she got mad. She wanted to stand on her head but we wouldn't let her and she just couldn't understand. I told her brother to turn off the TV because it was bedtime, he tried, and she attempted to Karate kick him (she doesn't know karate but she THINKS she does). Are you seeing the picture? Oh, and this was all without her pain medication. I do believe she is feeling better. Praise God! (I think) I have one more day of work and then I'll be home with her for two days!! She's already making plans for me! OH, by the way....her Daddy did a BEAUTIFUL pedicure!
Posted by Gayla at 11:55 PM
Wow! What a change we have seen over the past two days and unfortunately, not for the better. On Sunday, Clarissa refused to drink, talk, and much less take her medicine. It was a VERY long day! Finally that evening, we had to call the doctor because we were seeing signs of dehydration. After he threatened to send her to the ER for an IV, she decided that she could get the medicine down AND drink, drink, drink! Yeah! Sunday was over!
However, Monday followed and was not a whole lot better except that she has taken a drink when we've asked and has taken her medicine (not without threats of THE NEEDLE). She still is saying very little which is most definitely not like her. It makes me a little sad.
Tomorrow I must return to work and although she will be in the hands of her very loving and ever capable Daddy, I'm going to be miserable away from her. She's already told me she'll have her Daddy polish her nails tomorrow. I would love to see that!
I know that God remains with His healing hand upon His wonderful little creation but in these difficult times it's hard. However, I do know that this too will pass. That will be my motto for my day tomorrow. THIS TOO WILL PASS.......and when it does, you can bet, I'll be hurrying home to my little princess.
Posted by Gayla at 12:18 AM
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Children are so interesting. Clarissa woke up, after 11 hours of the first peaceful sleep she has had in about 4 years, hurting very badly. She had gone 12 hours without pain medicine. Needless to say, she needed and received ALOT of TLC this morning. However, she has come alive this afternoon. In fact, my husband refers to us as "the Cinderellas" and her as "the Wicked Step Mother". She has gotten in her head that we have laid around too much today (could possibly be true) and not done our chores. She even turned off the TV (thankfully after Tech beat Kansas) and TOOK the remote! Have we lost control?
Actually, we looked at each other and said, yeah, we need to get busy. As I entered her room to put up the laundry, I was awarded with a "sticker" and a "thank you for doing your chores". Wow! The lessons a five year old can teach you. How many times do I just take them for granted and not thank them for doing their chores. It also made me think how frustrated God must get with me sometime because I get lazy and don't do His work.
I love my kids! Everyday is another lesson but every day is another blessing. Oh, as I type this, she is standing, bundled up, at the back door watching her Dad take out the trash. I guess she's making sure the job is done right. A friend and I have decided she is a teacher in the making. Shoot, after this afternoon, I think she may end up as my principal someday!
Uh oh, I've been caught and gently reminded that I have other chores to do! Until next time.......
Posted by Gayla at 7:28 PM
Friday, January 19, 2007
Today my 5 year old daughter had her tonsils removed and the "thing" under her tongue clipped. Let's just say....I have dreaded this day with a passion. Her last surgery was at 16 months old when she had her adenoids removed and needless to say the first 3 hours after surgery weren't pretty. Her doctor had told us that this surgery would be 10 times worse. (Love the positive outlook!)
So, there we were. I was dying inside and she was SO EXCITED about this surgery and the whole hospital experience. They finally came in and took she and her cabbage patch doll away and it wasn't her that shed the tears, it was me. I would have given my life at that moment to switch places with her. A very long 40 minutes passed and the doctor appeared in the waiting room and said she had done well. Soon we were called to her "post-op" room. We arrived before she did and finally I heard someone say "Clarissa is here!" It was so quiet. I heard no crying. Finally, she rolled into the room, eyes WIDE open, silent. Her Dad and I waited for the moment that she would belt it out but it never came! Instead we were met with "I want water" and "I'm hungry"! She laughed at the cartoons and ate a cup of Chicken Noodle Soup! We came home about 2 hours earlier than expected. She has done great! (Except for taking her meds. She hates them but, after 30 minutes and five stickers later, we got them down).
God is amazing. I spent so much time last night, basically begging Him for his guiding had upon her, for minimal pain, and a quick recovery. When He shows himself, BOY, does He ever show off! I love it! God is good.....all the time!
Posted by Gayla at 7:55 PM