Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Today Sal and I celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary. My how time flies! I'll never forget that cool December day. It wasn't the PERFECT wedding but it was such a happy time time for us. In looking back over the 17 years, it is very clear how God has had His guiding hand upon us, had mercy on us, and has greatly blessed us. We joke about the times (that lovely first year) that we didn't even have money to buy a soda and now I look around to see that Sonic cups are part of the decor of our home! In 17 years, God has allowed me to see Sal accept Jesus Christ as his personal savior, get baptized, watch him graduate from college, allow me to complete a Master's degree, buy a home, buy a few cars, need a new car, go through some very difficult times in trying to have a child, and then blessing us beyond imagination with two wonderful children and then seeing both of them accept the Lord. I could go on and on about these last 17 years! However, through it all - good and bad - I am so thankful that I got to go through it with my very best friend. I can only hope that God allows us to spend another 17 years (and more) together making memories, good and bad. Happy anniversary honey!
Finally, in looking back over the past few days, I have a few pictures of this Christmas to share.
We made cookies for Santa that definately had the seal of approval!
Actually, we got a little carried away and made cookies for Santa AND the elves!
The kids watched Santa on the radar (one of us more intent that the other), but it was nice that he played along!
At 4:30 A.M. we opened presents and Clarissa was quite excited over her Jonas brothers posters.
This is my favorite picture of all! This was their first reaction when they opened the HUGE box that contained their Wii! They have saved their money for several months with the anticipation that if Santa did not bring a Wii (because they knew Mom and Dad wouldn't), they would buy one for themselves. They were SOOOOooooo excited!
I hope you had a great Christmas and I hope that as you look back over the past days, weeks, or even many years, that you too can see how blessed we all are!
Posted by Gayla at 12:25 PM
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
That is if you can find one! Oh well, come on over anyway! I've got Diet Dr. Pepper and Danish Butter Cookies, yum, yum!
It has been a crazy week but before I get there, let's talk about last Friday. We did end up at the movies and I let the kids vote. Amazingly enough, the movie was chosen and we still loved each other! Madagascar 2 got our vote. It was a pretty cute movie, even if I did get rather sleepy towards the end! The kids really enjoyed it.
Now, back to the crazy week! The last week of school for the semester. Praise the Lord!!! I was busy with school functions at my school, the kids were busy with functions at their schools, and Sal has been extremely busy with work. On top of all of that, we've been preparing to leave town this evening to go to my parent's house to have Christmas with my family tomorrow. As I sit here and blog, I'm not packed and I still have two gifts to buy and we're leaving in 4 hours! BUT, I am going to get my nails done in about 30 minutes! You know, sometimes you just have to take care of YOU.
So, our Friday family night will be spent on the road for about 3 - 3 1/2 hours. We'll spend the time napping and singing Christmas carols probably. What kinds of things do you do with your family to pass the time on the road?
I do have one request before I leave this nice time together. My Mom is a breast cancer survivor. During the chemotherapy, her kidneys were damaged and she is now facing dialysis. She has also had a suspicious spot come up on her arm and was told this week by her doctor that he suspects it is cancer. Please lift her up in your prayers this week. She is a 76 year old angel of a woman that I hold very dear to my heart.
I hope that you will all have a wonderful weekend and enjoy this last weekend before we celebrate our Savior's birth! Thanks for stopping by!
Posted by Gayla at 2:45 PM
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Well this day has certainly flown by! Somehow I actually thought I'd bake cookies....didn't happen! But what did happen was that we have had a great day!
This morning I was relaxing on the couch because I wasn't quite ready to hit the ground running, watching a Christmas cartoon that just "happened" to be on and found my two children (ages 11 & 7), both cuddling up to me so you know, I couldn't just GET UP! I had to wait until they were ready to get up because those moments are few and far between. Oh, how I enjoyed it! I couldn't tell you what I was watching on TV but I sure know that I was soaking up every second of my kids!
We finally got up and got ready and went to church for Clarissa's program. We couldn't have flash photography during the performance but I did manage to get a picture of my little "angel" beforehand.
She did such a good job! During her "semi-solo" performance as a Commandment Kid (Commandment 5 - Honor your father and mother)! After her time on the big stage was over and all the other children were returning to their spots, she turned around to the audience, gave a bow, a wave, and blew a kiss! It was quite adorable! I must report that she did have an angel emergency during the program - her halo fell off! But she quickly picked it up, put it back on only to find that it was broken! :( Oh well, we fixed it afterwards and she's good to go for tomorrow's performance! Can't wait to see what she'll do tomorrow...you know, show biz!!!
After the performance, Clarissa had a choir party at Mr. Gatti's (not my favorite place)! My favorite guys took me to the Rib Crib for a late lunch. We had a great time! It had been a while since we had spent some alone time with just Jonathon. I did have a surprise when I looked up and saw this.......
That's right! It's a racoon's bottom! Not exactly what I was expecting so see while I'm eating and did I mention, he (it) was hanging over the tea pitcher! We all got a good laugh over it but seriously....a racoon's bottom???
After the Rib Crib, we went to pick up Clarissa from her party and on the way home, we decided to make an unexpected stop at the Dollar Tree!! I LOVE THIS STORE! We acted like we hadn't been let out for months!!!! We were all finding goodies and the most exciting find for the kids were the battery operated tooth brushes! Well, while I'm blogging, we're trying to figure out how to get the toothbrush to shut off because it won't stop!!!!! My seven year old has decided that we have to take the batteries out each time when we're done! Hmmm...is that what they mean by "You get what you pay for"????
We ended up at home and everyone is tired now and not interested in baking! So we've all kind of just hung out and are getting ready for tomorrow! I spoke with my sister this morning and she had told me about an herbal remedy that I got confused and well....without embarrassing myself, let's just say, tonight when I asked her about it again, we had a very hard, deep, long laugh! (Something about marshmallows)
As fast as the day has gone, I sure have enjoyed it! I hope that MY angels are ALWAYS aware of how much I love hanging out with them! I hope your day was just as blessed! (minus the racoon's bottom!)
Posted by Gayla at 10:01 PM
Friday, December 12, 2008
I absolutely love this time of year and of course I LIVE for Christmas! The cool, crisp air seems to energize me and the excitiment that I see in my children rejuvenates me! With the economy this yer, we've tried to shop "responsibly" and shop early so that we're not stuck at the end, giving our arms, legs, and home for something that the kids wanted. I'm excited to start an interactive Nativity with my family this weekend. It is called What God wants for Christmas. You open up a new box to it every night for seven days. There are devotional questions that go along with it. Our Children's minister gave it to me last year for Christmas and I've been waiting almost a year to dive in. I think my kids are really going to love it, especially my 7 year old daughter!
I vowed that I was going to try not to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season this year and enjoy every moment that I could. So far, I think we're doing pretty good. Friday nights are usually our "family game night" but tonight we've decided to "go on the road" and see a movie. Of course, as of 30 minutes ago, we had at least 4 different opinions as to what we want to see (we only have 4 people in our family!) Yikes! We will somehow, diplomatically come up with a solution and be off to have a great, relaxing time as a family.
I hope that all of you will take time to relax, enjoy, worship the one for the season, and hug someone that you haven't in a while! It will make everyone feel a little better! Thanks for stopping by!
Posted by Gayla at 5:40 PM
Monday, December 8, 2008
1. Post rules on your blog.
2. Answer the six "4" items.
3. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving them a comment.
4 Things I Did Yesterday: Went to church, rested my foot, updated my blog, took a nap
4 Things I Look Forward to: Being out of school for two weeks, Christmas morning with my children, Celebrating 17 years of marriage on Dec. 28, going to the Transiberian Orchestra
4 Things On My Wish List: For my students to do well on their Reading benchmark, for my heel to heal, a new phone, to have my house completely cleaned and organized
4 Restaurnts I like: Yamagata, Garcia's, Lujan's, Olive Garden
4 Favorite TV Shows: American Idol, Law and Order SVU, Dancing with the Stars, Extreme Home Makeover
4 People I Tag (You're it): Penny, Sarah, Megan, Cheryl
Posted by Gayla at 8:14 PM
Sunday, December 7, 2008
I love the holidays because it is, unfortunately, one of the few times that all (or most of all) of my family gets together. This is a picture of Clarissa and my great-nephew (Chelsi's little boy) Joshua. He is precious! The kids had a great time playing with him!
Posted by Gayla at 5:19 PM
Sunday, November 9, 2008
A friend of mine has a little boy who is very sick with a brain tumor at St. Jude's hospital. He will be having his 2nd surgery tomorrow. Please, please, please keep this family in your prayers. I am attaching a link to their website so that you can learn more about this precious little boy's story. Those of you that are Mom's, I know that as Mom's, we don't EVER want our children to be sick. Let's all pull together as "momma bears" and pray for this family! http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/trevortredaway
Posted by Gayla at 5:06 PM
Saturday, November 8, 2008
I have collected Precious Moments figurines for over 25 years now. I have such a collection that I don't have room to display them all. However, I can look at every single one and recall (almost) the person who gave it to me and the place where I was when I received them. They represent so many fond memories for me.
Today was a day for another type of Precious Moments. We received our new furniture (finally) and the kids were so excited. But with the day, came moving out old stuff and rearranging. It was a pretty full day. After deciding to take a break for a late lunch, I glanced out the front door to see my two, very precious children poised in what was to me a very precious moment. Clarissa was sitting on the sidewalk with a flowerpot that she had painted, determined (as she is about everything) to dig enough dirt with her hand to fill the pot. It was moving rather slowly but she continued to work diligently. Jonathon, on the other hand, was sitting out by the mailbox with a rather long and large twig that he had gotten during a tree climb, and had a small saw, sawing away at this twig, Although the saw wasn't cooperating, he continued to work and be content with what he was doing.
It was a moment that I wanted to take in for a very long time. They were both so sweet, innocent, and childlike. Those moments are more precious to me than any figurine I have. I love my children so very much.
Posted by Gayla at 6:18 PM
Saturday, October 25, 2008
This week has been quite active! Sal was out of town for the first part and the daily activities did not slow down! But, to add to the excitement this week, the teachers were calling! Tuesday, after returning from my conference, I received a call from Clarissa's teacher. Clarissa had decided that she was mad at the teacher and so she wasn't going to do any work! Not the kind of call you want to get ESPECIALLY when you are a teacher yourself! So, I spoke with Clarissa through gritted teeth, reminding her of why she was at school and that I fully believed the whole "spare the rod, spoil the child" Proverb, hung up and prayed that I had made a believer out of her because I sure didn't want to have to leave my school to go to hers and PROVE myself! At the end of the day, I received an email from her teacher thanking me for my support and letting me know that Clarissa had been an angel the rest of the day. Tuesday evening wasn't too much fun around our house because there was still consequences to dish out! Wednesday on my conference I received ANOTHER call, this time from a teacher at Jonathon's school. It starts out like this...."Is this Jonathon's Mom?"; for a brief second I wanted to say no.....but I didn't! So, I owned up to who I was and prepared myself for what I THOUGHT was to come.....but I was wrong. One of his teachers was calling to tell me how much she enjoyed having him in her class, how he was such a model student for others to follow, and that she just wanted me to know. WOW! I was speechless. Just 24 hours before I was speaking through gritted teeth! I quickly knew that I needed to celebrate Jonathon and what he was doing and I felt bad for Clarissa and knew it would upset her because in her eyes, Jonathon NEVER gets in trouble!
INSERT NOTE - Don't ever leave God out of the equation....HE is SO good!
Right before I left school that day, I checked back over my email and had received an email from Clarissa's teacher. It said.."Just wanted you to know that Clarissa is back to her wonderful self today. She was her sweet, hardworking, great attitude self. Just wanted you to know!" It brought tears to my eyes! Now, we can all celebrate and we did! (Ice cream and gum....that's a whole other blog!)
The week ended with another call from the counselor and Jonathon's school, wanting to share with me some words that she had heard from teacher's about Jonathon.....all so pleasing to a mother's ear and then last night at Clarissa's fall festival, the coach telling me how sweet and cooperative Clarissa is.
So why blog about all of this? Well, for a couple of reasons. One, to let folks know that even teachers get those yucky phone calls from their kid's teachers. Two, never underestimate your kids! Three, remember at all times to celebrate the successes more than the failures. Finally, to thank God for using my children to make me a better parent AND a better teacher. I plan on making more POSITIVE calls this week than those yucky ones!
Posted by Gayla at 2:47 PM
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Sal and I have been looking at living room furniture for about a month now and finally found something that we both liked this weekend. How blessed we are that we were able to purchase new furniture. I took a picture of it with my phone but will have to wait until it arrives to take a picture with the camera so that I can post it! New LARGE purchases always make me a little nervous but I'm excited for it to get here!
We also treated ourselves to Trans-Siberian Orchestra tickets for December 30! After the furniture and the tickets we told each other Merry Christmas, Happy Anniversary, and Happy Birthday! YIKES!
So now the work begins. We're turning the playroom into a gameroom which is a little sad I must say. There is no longer really a need for one room devoted to the playroom rather now they've moved into the need for a "gameroom". We'll move our loveseat into there and give our couch and tables away. We want to have the carpet cleaned and I'd love to put a fresh coat of paint on before the furniture arrives. All of this on top of....we have already begun tearing off wallpaper in the kid's bathroom and have bought new flooring for it so that project needs to be finished. We need to paint both kid's rooms and Sal mentioned recarpeting them this weekend and then there's the "gameroom" that will need some paint and other work! I guess we won't be bored this winter, huh? I just pray we get it all done and still like each other at the end of it!
Have a great week all!
Posted by Gayla at 11:43 PM
Friday, October 3, 2008
My friend Melissa has tagged me and now I need to post six random things about me. This could be hard because I know there are many more than six but I'll try! Here goes!
1. When I was little we had a pet pig. We raised pigs and this was the runt of the litter. We raised him in the house and his name was Arnold.
2. I can't stand to drink something in a restaurant without a straw. I start thinking of all of the lips that have touched the glass and it grosses me out!
3. When I was little, I wanted to own my own full-service gas station just so I could use the squeegie thing to clean windows. I still love cleaning the windows!
4. I am a list person. I will add things I've already done to the list so that I dcan feel that sense of accomplishement when I cross them off. Weird, I know!
5. One of my favorite meals is scrambled eggs, bacon, and fresh tomatoes with toast! YUM!
6. If I think too deep about how God has blessed me with my children, I will cry. They are both such miracles and there was a point in my life that I never thought I'd be a Mom. God is so good!
OK - That's my beginning of randomness. Now I tag Penny and Megan.
Posted by Gayla at 3:57 PM
Monday, September 29, 2008
I've been intending to blog since last Wednesday. I guess good intentions mean nothing withoug actions, huh? Anways, last Wednesday was See You at The Pole, a time for middle school and high school students across the nation to gather at their school's flag pole to pray for the school, the teachers, students, etc. Jonathon wanted to go and so I took him bright and early since I had a meeting that morning at Central Office. What happened after we arrived will forever be grained into my soul. When we arrived, there was one other young man at the pole, alone. Mind you, well over 800 students attend this school. I made the comment that he was all alone and fully expected Jonathon to do the "cool" thing and wait in the car to see if more people showed. I was wrong. Jonathon asked me if he could leave his things in the car while he went to the pole, so I waited. He went to the pole, introduced himself to the other young man, and they talked for a little while and then they began to pray. I was so moved. They remained there for some time and I saw a young girl approach them. A short while later Jonathon returned to the car and I just looked at him as he said, I can't believe that we were the only ones! I asked him about the young girl and he said she asked what they were doing and he explained that they were praying for their school, etc.. She had no response then but I know that those words will impact her at some time. I expressed to Jonathon how proud I was of him as he stood at that pole praying while students and teachers walked past. I told him that he took a stand for Jesus and that even though there were only 2, that God would bless that time there. I told Sal later that day that even though Jonathon's at an age that it seems he does so much to drive us crazy, he also does so much to make us proud. He loves the Lord and I know that and my prayer has been that the Lord would lead him to a closer relationship with Him. Without nagging Jonathon or guilting him into it, he actually had a devotional on his own this morning. Something tells me he'll get so much more out of it because he CHOSE it rather than being guilted into it. He's growing up before our eyes and I am so glad that he's learning to take a stand for his Jesus at a very young age!
I will be gone for the next few days while my Dad has surgery. Sal will be "single-parenting" until Thursday. I can't wait to hear the stories of homework, hairstyles, taxi driving, and the brownie uniform! I know that if anyone can do it though, Sal can!
Clarissa is supposed to get her cast off on Friday! PRAISE THE LORD!!! She's so cute because the first thing she wants to do is to take a bath! I thought that was so funny!
Take time to laugh, ponder, and praise our Creator this week! God Bless!
Posted by Gayla at 11:04 PM
Sunday, September 21, 2008
It's been a while since I've blogged and to be quite honest, tonight I sit kind of blank. I have really spent time pondering some things as of late and I'm frankly, just blank. However, in my blankness, I am reminded of all the things and people in my life that I need to be grateful for, good and bad. So to them and those, I say thank you!
Thank you to Facebook (yeah, I know, that's a funny one to start with) for allowing me the opportunuity to connect with some friends from the past. Our lives have taken many different paths but through one social networking tool, they've been allowed to cross again. I'm thankful for that!
Thank you to my husband for simply loving me, laughing with me, making me laugh, parenting with me (even though sometimes we don't have a clue what we're doing), griping with me, and dreaming with me.
Thank you to those people, who have called themselves friends but have invested nothing into the relationship, it is from them that I gain the desire to be a better friend to those that do invest.
Thank you to my children for being cool kids, even though sometimes we don't see eye to eye!
Thank you to my church, for believing in and calling a Man of God to minister to our youth. I am so moved to see the unity and support of our students by people of all ages.
Thank you to my co-worker who tells me more often than I deserve that I am a great teacher. I do so appreciate those words and they drive me to become that!
And finally, thank you to my Lord for loving me, forgiving me, being patient with me, and leading me to the people that I need to surround myself with. It is when I am where I am now.....blank.....that I believe HE can speak so clearly to me.
Posted by Gayla at 10:59 PM
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Wow! I have been intending to blog about the first week of school and here we are already into the third week! So much for good intentions!
I do believe that we have all settled into our routines. Jonathon had a first week of adjustment but with a small change of schedule, he has now made the middle school adjustment look like a breeze! On top of his buddies from his elementary school, he is making new friends daily. He tells me every day that I pick him up that he loves it and that he had a great day. (don't get me wrong - given the chance to stay home over going to school.....he's choosing home!) Clarissa of course LOVES school and LOVES, LOVES, LOVES her teacher. I've really seen her mature some already this year. She's been a trooper, having to be at school in a wheelchair and missing out on some fun activities, but she maintains (usually) a pretty good attitude. I, once again, have been blessed with a pretty good group of students. I again have some kiddos with some pretty sad stories but I am convinced that God has me where I am because of kids like those! I love the kids I work with and they are making teaching fun and exciting. Man, they're so bright! I'm really looking forward to what the year will hold! On top of school, we're settling into the routine of gymnastics, church activities, youth activities, and somewhere in there, trying to find time to be a family. Sucha busy time of year!
Off the subject...yesterday I was on my way home from school and while stopped at a traffice light I noticed that I was sandwiched in between some bumper sticker believing folks! Some of the ones that caught my attention and really got me to thinking: You can't be BOTH....Catholic and Pro Choice - My thought was "You can't be BOTH.....CHRISTIAN and Pro-Choice! Jesus is Coming....Look Busy - This one really got me! Are you kidding me?? I found that one a little bothersome. Jesus knowss our hearts. I don't believe He called us to "pretend" he called us to be his workers. I don't think we need to look busy, I think we need to BE busy! And then there were those bumper stickers that have been torn and tattered over the years. You know, the ones that are half on and half off and you can't read the full message. I kind of chuckled when I saw those and thought they were in a category all of their own and what it said about the people driving those cars......I once had an opinion but I've been to busy to keep it up! Thank goodness the light turned because I was beginning to get too involved in the bumper stickers!
That's about all for now. Sal leaves this morning for 2 days in Dallas and the kids and I will try to survive our whirlwind without him! Happy Wednesday to all!
Posted by Gayla at 6:52 AM
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Tomorrow begins a new chapter in the life of our family. Jonathon begins middle school and Clarissa will begin 2nd grade. Jonathon is relatively excited but those nasty nerves did creep up some tonight. I know he's going to be fine. He has several friends going to the same middle school and has walked his schedule several times. I am excited about this phase in his life. As I've said before, it's been quite interesting watching it develop. Girlfriends (or should I say girlfriend), friends, activities - it's all a part of this phase. I remember praying for all of these people in his life right now the night he as born....I just had no idea it would come so soon. As much as I feel a bit nervous and teary eyed for him, I can't because I'm so excited to see how he's going to soar in Middle School. Below is his sling bag that he will be carrying from class to class. It looks so collegiate............
Clarissa will probably never forget the start of her 2nd grade school year. She is wearing a bright pink cast. We learned last week that she has bones fusing together in her foot and the orthopedic surgeon is trying to prevent surgery by using a cast for at least 6 weeks. She has gotten pretty good with her crutches and will be in a wheelchair while at school. Even though she gets tired and her armpits are sore....she is super extra excited about starting school! She has mentioned a few times about being scared because her brother won't be there but I kind of think she's just trying to make him feel good.
Posted by Gayla at 10:33 PM
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I received this email and thought it might turn into an interesting blog activity. I've been so busy that it has taken me a little while to complete as you can tell by the publish date (today is really 8/23)
So here goes....
1. Do you like blue cheese? On a good salad, absolutely!
2. Favorite T.V Series? Is American Idol a series??? Law and Order SVU
3. Do you own a gun? No, only nerf guns here!
4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic? lemons
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointment? yes
6. What do you think of hot dogs? They're ok every now and then - love 'em on the grill!
7. Favorite Christmas movie? The Polar Express
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Juice or Water
9. Can you do pushups? only if my life depended on it and even then......it's a good thing I have eternal life!
10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? my wedding ring
11. First boyfriends name? Dakota
12. Favorite hobby? my computer
13. Any Birthmarks? no
14. Do you have A.D.D.? no
15. What's one trait you hate about yourself? My stubborness
16. Middle name? Diann
17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment. I should be in bed - I'm thirsty- I'm tired.
18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday: shaved ice, PTA memberships, yearbook
19. Do you like your job? yes, 9 days out of 10!
20. What happened to #20????......beats me!
21. Current Dislikes? chapped lips
22. Favorite place to be? home w/ my family
23. How did you bring in the New Year? I think w/ friends but I really don't remember!
24. Where would you like to go? Alaska
25. Name three people who will complete this? who knows?
26. Do you own slippers? yes
27. What shirt are you wearing? a yellow one
28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? yes
29. Biggest Pet Peeve? chewing gum and sounding like a smacking cow
30. Favorite color? Red or Hot Pink
31. Would you be a pirate? No
32. What songs do you sing in the shower? I usually don't sing in the shower
33. Kids? 2
34. Favorite boy's name? Jonathon
35. What's in your pocket right now? I don't have pockets right now
36. Last thing that made you laugh? Jonathon tickled me
37. WHAT HAPPENED TO THIS QUESTION??? It's looking for #20.
38. Worst Injury you have ever had? tore my Achilles tendon
39. Do you love where you live? for the most part
40. How many TVs do you have in your house? 3
41. Who is your loudest friend? Pam
42. How many dogs do you have? 2
43. Does anyone have a crush on you? he better, he's been married to me for almost 17 years
!44. Favorite Candy? Whatchamacallit
45. What is your favorite book(s)? Besides the Bible? I guess it would be The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
46. What is your favorite store? hmmmm....I really don't know
47. Favorite Sports Team? Texas Tech football!
48. What song(s) do you want played at your funeral? It is Well
49. What were you doing 12 AM last night? sleeping
50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? I should stay in bed longer!
Feel free to copy and paste on your blog or an email! Now yo0u know a few unusual things about me!
Posted by Gayla at 12:37 AM
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
On Saturday afternoon, we noticed that our air conditioner was making a "funny noise". Sal didn't seem extremely concerned at first. He was scheduled to fly to Dallas on Sunday afternoon and I made the comment to him that I was going to be highly irritated if he left and the air conditioner went out while he was gone. So, not wanting me to be irritated, I guess, he called his maintenance man from the office and he advised Sal to spray WD-40 on the blades of the blower fan,. Well of course, we were out of WD-40 and so Sal went to buy some. He came home and sprayed away, turned the AC back on and the noise was WORSE! Yeah, that one didn't work! By early afternoon, the noise was gone because the blower fan had completely STOPPED! That's right! No AC for us! We went to bed Saturday night at midnight and at 1:15 were up because we so hot that finding a breath was difficult! We had all ceiling fans running full blast only to blow around the hot air! OH, I failed to mention that Clarissa had had the stomach bug all day and so I'm sure at this point that we're all going to be sick because the germs are cooking and multiplying!
Sunday morning found us breaking a sweat while getting ready for church! We broke out the telephone book to find a repairman. Sal called several people who offered 24 hour service! Yeah right! We went to the early service and kindly sat on the back row so no one would be offended if we smelled. During service I bluntly told the Lord that I was so glad I was assured a spot in heaven because I had gotten a very small glimpse of the heat in Hell and I in no way wanted a part of that! We had lunch and came home to finish getting Sal ready to leave. A few people called but wanted Sal's arm, leg and our first born to come look at the AC PLUS they told us that the part would be over $400! He called some more people and through some family members, he ended up finding a man that was such a blessing! This gentleman came out Sunday afternoon to assess the problem and tried to at least get the AC working so that we wouldn't cook overnight. He couldn't but at least he tried!
I took Sal to the airport and tried not to be too upset that we was about to stay in an air conditioned hotel room! The repairman wasn't going to return until Monday afternoon to fix the AC so the kids and I loaded up and was accommodated by some good friends who let us spend the night at their house. The AC was back on by 3:00 and we were so thankful! However, I was MORE than thankful when our total cost was under $200! Wow! Sal didn't have to sacrifice his limbs and Jonathon got to stay with us! Hallelujah! How thankful I am today to be blessed with the convenience of air conditioning. I know there are many people in the world without such convenience and how I feel for them!
Posted by Gayla at 3:15 PM
Friday, August 1, 2008
This week has been so busy. I've been at school trying to get my room ready for the year, the kids have been attending VBS at our "old" church, Clarissa has had doctor's appointments, and then there was just "life" to contend with. However, through it all, God found (as He always does) those moments to teach me something. Here are a few of the lessons I learned this week.
1. While working in my classroom I had a knock at the door, it was one of my former students. Wow! He now towers over me, his voice is MUCH deeper and he told me that he'd be going into the 8th grade this year. As we talked, I reminded him of how he got angry with me one day and told me he hated my class. He refused that he had ever said that and then proceeded to tell me that he would have never said that because my class was his favorite so far in his school career. Wow! That meant alot to me to hear. Lesson - Just when I was dreading the school year, God brought a kid that I haven't seen in at least a year and a half, to say some very powerful words. It made me realize that I do make a difference and that God does have a plan for me there!
2. The kids and I went to lunch one day this week at one of our favorite places, a local Japanese steakhouse. They wre getting close to closing for the afternoon and a young man was going around cleaning all of the grills. He came to ours to clean (while we were still eating) and it bothered me a bit but I didn't say anything. I was putting my food and Jonathon's in a "to go" box and Clarissa was still eating. THEN, I looked up to see him SPRAYING a cleaner onto the grill! That was too much for me so I said "Sir, could you please not do that while my daughter is eating" - There was silence........by him and by my kids............everyone just sat and waited for an answer........finally he said (with a roll of his eyes), OK. And went back to scrubbing the grill. GRRRRrrrrrr, I really wanted him to stop cleaning while we were there! Clarissa quickly said she was done and we were on our way. We got into the car and Jonathon said, "MOM, I can't believe you said that to him!" So, I spent the next five minutes trying to explain to Jonathon that when a Mother feels something is wrong and could harm one of her children, it is her JOB to speak up. I told him it was my job to protect my kids. He didn't care as much about me protecting him as he did that I had embarrassed him! Lesson - These preteen and teenage years are going to be fun.......I'll be protecting and he'll be humiliated! However, he did tell me he was glad that I was always looking out for them!
3. Last night Clarissa was praying before she went to bed and I heard her say, ".....and please help my Mom to stay around because I love her so much." She continued praying and I heard her say, "......that would be cool God". Lesson - It's nice to know that someone wants you around and that they actually PRAY for it and that God is the God of yesterday, tomorrow, and TODAY because I know that he understands what she means by "cool". There are too many people that try to use "proper prayer language" and it was so sweet to hear her just talking to God!
So, those were my lessons for the week, or at least the ones that stuck out the most! Look around, there's always someone or something to learn from!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Clarissa - "Mom, can we go out for Breakfast?"
Me - "No, not today."
Clarissa - "But why?"
Me - "I don't have any money"
Clarissa appears to have accepted that explanation and walks out of the room, only to return about 5 minutes later.
Clarissa (raising her voice somewhat) - "Gayla Bursiaga, you have LIED!"
Me (caught a little off guard) - "About what?"
Clarissa (visibly holding my wallet) - "You have money, you LIED!"
Jonathon (interjecting and always having an answer) - "Clarissa, Mom has to have that money for gas!"
Clarissa - "We don't need gas!"
Jonathon - "If we don't have gas, we don't get to go to the restaraunt!"
(Thanks Jonathon, I think) - What stinkers they both are but how I do love them!!!
Posted by Gayla at 2:09 AM
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Without going into alot of details.....Jonathon is home from camp. He had a horrible migraine last night and threw up at least 4 times. I am so glad to have him home even though his stay at camp was short and sweet.....well, not quite sweet.
Posted by Gayla at 10:59 PM
Here are some pictures of Jonathon's first day at camp. In the groujp picture, he is in the wagon w/ his cool shades on. The other one is a great shot of him socializing and NOT eating. Oh well, he seems to be having a blast! God is good!
Posted by Gayla at 11:31 AM
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Who said that summer days were lazy days? I have yet to find a really lazy day this summer! We have been so busy and time seems to be flying by! This month we have anjoyed a super 4th of July parade!
We also had a pretty interesting Fireworks display that began very late. This is Jonathon....waiting patiently.
Clarissa has been attempting to ride her bike without training wheels. As you can see, she decided to arm herself for the task at hand!
And yesterday, I sent Jonathon off to church camp at Fort Lone Tree. He has never been away from home for more than one night. This time he's gone for an entire week! I'm so proud of him! He was excited to go and was the first on the bus. I must say, he did better than his Mom. I miss him to death and can't wait until Friday because we get to go there for family day. As hard as it is for him to be away, I know that God has something special planned for him on this trip. I just hope God takes these days and speeds them up! This is Jonathon as he was getting ready to check-in and board the bus. And those are raindrops on the windows, not tears. Although I felt like adding my share at that time!
So I guess after Jonathon returns and we head into the final stretch of summer break, I will hope that we can find a few days to be lazy.....because so far...they've been crazy!
Posted by Gayla at 11:01 AM
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Tonight I was getting ready to prepare dinner and announced (like I have on previous occasions) "Is there anyone who would like to help me cook dinner?" and my 11 year old son took the bait!!!
So, went through the routine of emptying the dishwasher so that we could refill it. He has been emtying the dishwasher for some time now but I've never had him load it. So, we had Dishwasher Loading 101 and he passed with flying colors! From there we put on our potatos to boil and I found a biscuit mix for him to make. In the meantime he prepared his meat and got it to cooking. It was so fun watching him add seasoning to the meat because it didn't take long for him to find his own flare! Before we knew it, dinner was ready and he had prepared, with supervision, all of it by himself!
I was so glad to see his eagerness and enjoyment in what we were doing. We managed to have a great conversation, which I know for many 11 year olds is not their favorite thing to do, and had some good laughs. He's growing up so very fast but something tells me that the years ahead are only going to get better and better.
I must return to the kitchen because I think I have clean-up duty but I wanted to sneak away long enough to share with you that there's a new Chef in town and he has the makings of a mighty fine one at that! He leaves for his first Church camp on Monday so get ready, the blog next week may be a little "wet"! Gotta Run!
Posted by Gayla at 9:06 PM
Saturday, June 28, 2008
I can't believe it! June is almost gone! Summer seems to fly by so very fast. It gives a whole new meaning to "Time flies when we're having fun!". We've spent the last month enjoying vacation, having our water balloon wars, going to vacation bible school, and swimming with friends. Jonathon is trying his hardest to grow up and has found great interest in a particular young lady. It has been quite fun to watch this part of him develop and we have found ourselves as parents having to move to a new level as well. Listening, listening, listening and not talking, talking, talking. Clarissa is having to discover some new friends because Jonathon is moving on with a new phase in his life. This week during VBS, she boldly called and invited several children from her school. I was so proud of her. And even though only one showed, it has been so good to watch her reach out and develop new relationships and make friends of her own and not friends that are shared by she and her brother. I've heard the sweetest things come out of their mouths recently. Two of my favorite are "I love our family!" from Jonathon and "I'm so glad you're my Mom!" from Clarissa. Well kiddos, I love our family too and I'm so glad that I get to be your Mom!
What will July hold? We'll have to find time to delve into school clothes shopping (more fun for some than others), Jonathon will leave for church camp (his first time away), Clarissa will attend soccer camp, and I will continue to try and get my house in order so that when August arrives, we can start the year off organized. We all know that it won't stay that way!
Whatever the next month brings your way, I encourage you to find time to have fun. I have to say I believe that we have had more fun this summer than we have in a while because we've taken time to be silly with our kids. I am discovering that time flies too fast!
NEWFLASH.......A little birdie says that the water balloon war has expanded into new territories (as of last night). I believe two victims were dampened, others might have been hit by stray droplets. Could you be next?
Posted by Gayla at 12:29 PM
Sunday, June 15, 2008
We're back from our wonderful vacation to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon! We took lots of pictures and have lots of stories. I'll do my best to get those posted on Flickr soon! Here's a tease of what's to come!
Our Wonderful Hotel
My beautiful kids at the Grand Canyon
We found some interesting folks there!
AND....we celebrated Jonathon's 11th Birthday AND and an early Father's Day!
We are exhausted but can't stop talking about it! I'll get busy soon!
Posted by Gayla at 7:16 PM
Thursday, June 5, 2008
War.....not something that is looked upon with great anticipation. As a matter of fact, these days, war is such a curse word to many. When I hear the word, I automatically think about those wonderful men and women in Iraq that give so much of themselves so that I can write about the events of my life on this blog.
There has been a different kind of war brewing around my place. I guess I can thank my dear co-worker Sarah for getting me into the war-mindset.
The last day of school, two 4th grade teachers and their students along with some other enlisted soldiers ambushed me and my students with water balloons, shaving cream, and silly string. It was not a pretty sight! We looked like a war-torn region! I had students with big chunks of the groud stuck to their heads because they held them down and tortured them. I, at one point, (thanks Sarah) had water dripping from my eyelashes as a result of a point blank water gun attack after I opened the door to try and get my students to safety!
Since we weren't able to retaliate (yet) because school was out for the summer, the urge to battle did not leave me! So, I carried it over to home. Something came over me the other day and I enlisted my most willing soldier (Clarissa) and we filled water balloons, hid on the side of the house, and when Sal brought Jonathon home from gymnastics, we bombed the enemy!! We had to re-stock our amunition the following day and last night we had a friendly battle that turned bad. The four of us decided to play a game of catch with the water-balloons and somewhere along the way I forgot the cause and effect lesson that I teach every year! (nails + water balloons = SPLASH!) Not once, twice, but almost everytime! Not willing to go down easily, I enlisted the help of the waterhose! :)
Where will the next battle be? What and who will it entail? Hmmmm........watch your back because I believe this war could last a few, long, hot summer months and you never know when it will expand into other territories!
By the way.....Sarah, what is the address to your new home?
Posted by Gayla at 9:56 AM
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wow! Where did the school year go? It seems as only yesterday that we were buying school clothes, shoes, and picking out what to wear that first day. It has flown and with it went a great year. I was richly bless by my students (stories to come) and Jonathon has ended his elementary career! That is so hard to believe! So, as fast as the year went the summer will too so we've got to get busy having fun! More Later.......
Posted by Gayla at 11:01 PM
Monday, May 19, 2008
This weekend we traveled to Fort Worth to watch Jonathon compete in the Region 3 Tumbling & Trampoline Championships. Region 3 is comprised of 8 states. How very proud we are of him! He brought home 7th place overall in trampoline, 5th place overall in double-mini and 2nd place overall in tumbling!!! Not to mention, he qualified for Nationals in all three events. He will not be attending Nationals this year. That is something we're going to take on next year! His coaches were very proud of him and so were we! We did manage to get in some "fun" along the way! Saturday evening we ventured into the Fort Worth Stockyards.
She wasn't exactly sure about it but was willing to try it! It seemed like she wanted to laugh and cry the whole time!
As you can see, I got a big kick out of watching him! (He says I enjoyed it way too much!). Nonetheless, we had a great weekend and thoroughly enjoyed our time together. I am so proud of both of my children and thank God daily for the gifts that he has given them but also for the gift he gave me, through them. I am so blessed to be their Mom!
Posted by Gayla at 7:30 PM
Friday, May 9, 2008
I've been meaning to post this for some time and am just now getting around to it. So....where do you go for Happy Hour? Yes, Happy Hour???? I go to happy hour and not just on Fridays! Sometimes I go EVERYDAY!! Hello....my name is Gayla and I am addicted to Happy Hour........at SONIC!
Recently, I picked up my kids and was in a rush and a bad mood all together, I zipped into Sonic for my Happy Hour fix and was served by the most uplifting carhop in the business. I have been served by him during times before and he never changes. Here's a sampling of our brief conversation.
CARHOP: "Hello....how are you today???
SELF: "Good" (not really meaning it but not wanting to be rude) "How are you?"
CARHOP: "Blessed. Absolutely blessed!" You had a diet Dr. Pepper. Is there anything else I can do for you today?
SELF: "No thanks"
CARHOP: Alright ma'am. God bless you and enjoy the rest of your day!
SELF: (feeling a bit humbled by this young gentleman) Sir, I need to tell you that you are a blessing to run into.
CARHOP: Thank you so much ma'am. I pray everymorning that God would use me and shine through me in EVERYTHING I do and with EVERYONE I meet.
SELF: (feeling very humbled) Well, you have blessed me today a great deal and I've seen you here before and you are always the same. I just want you to know that you have been a blessing to me today.
CARHOP: Ma'am, thank you! You, too, have blessed me!
SELF: (what????, I'm the grumpy one?)
And off he went.
I pondered our brief conversation on the way back to work. Here he is, a young man, working as a carhop at Sonic, coming into contact with HUNDREDS of people everyday, and uses it for a time for God to use him. I, in my selfish world, work in an air conditioned room, come into contact with the same hundred people everyday, and I don't know that I bless any of them the way this young man blessed me.
I do know this. He has definately made me think about how I treat people on a daily basis and what (or who?) I'm letting them see. And another thing, I love going to Sonic, no matter the hour, to watch this young man in action.
So....if you're looking for a Happy Hour to attend, you'll find the one at 82nd and University to be uplifting, relaxing, and possibly, life-changing!
Posted by Gayla at 5:46 PM
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
As most know, Sal completed 12 years and 2 months of employment today with MHMR. Tomorrow, he moves on to a new chapter. The move to Community Access has been one of faith for us. God brought the opportunity to Sal without Sal having o look for it. There are still some aspects that we are simply trusting God with and I can't wait to see how God uses Sal in this position. Tonight as I look at him resting, I can't help but be nervous for him. In the morning he will step into an office that he is to direct, not knowing anyone and they knowing nothing about him. Sal is such a hard worker and loyal employee. He is highly intelligent and has amazing insight. Anyone is lucky to have him as an employee. My prayer for him tonight is that tomorrow morning when he walks in tto his new office, that those employees will see a man of God, will see someone who is going to be fair, and someone who is going to lead them to the next level. My prayer has been that God bless Sal in the workplace and allow him to have favor among men/women that he comes into contact with. Tomorrow is the beginning of what can be and what I believe will be, an amazing opportuniy for Sal. I am so glad that God has chosen me to be part of this journey with such a wonderful man.
Posted by Gayla at 12:30 AM
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Jonathon has been bugging me for about a month to "teach" him how to do laundry. So, this afternoon we embarked on Laundry101. He was a very good student and helped me sort and changed 3 loads all by himself. I do hope that when he gets married that two things will happen: 1) His wife will appreciate that he knows how to do laundry and that he'll be as willing then as he is now and 2) That he still isn't having to jump up on the washer and dangle inside to remove all of the clothes!!!
Posted by Gayla at 12:36 AM
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Friday I was blessed to have celebrated my 42nd Birthday. That morning, my children brought me birthday cards and my present. While I was opening the present, I asked Clarissa how old she thought I was. Her quick response of 60 or 62 was so matter of fact!!!! OUCH!!!! You would think by now I would have learned if you don't want someone's opinion, don't ask for it!!! SO, while my husband thought her response was quite funny, I decided to take it a little further and ask her how old she thought MY Mom was........her response???.....OH, She's about to die!!!!
Well, to say the least, we have all (including my Mom), gotten a great laugh out of that one! I can't wait to enjoy another year of laughs!!!!
Posted by Gayla at 3:45 PM
Sunday, February 24, 2008
This evening I was laying on Clarissa's bed with her "chatting". It was almost time to go to church. Our conversation went from silliness to seriousness quickly. Somehow or another the topic of heaven came up. (insert - As we got deeper in the conversation, I decided to keep going with it and miss church while Sal and Jonathon went on. I'm glad I did!) We talked for about 30 - 45 minutes. Throughout the course of our conversation, Clarissa kept asking me what heaven was like and what the "fire pit" was like. She told me about people in other countries and even our own that don't believe in Jesus. All of a sudden, she looked at me and said, Mommy, I want to accept Jesus because I know he died for our sins. What a beautiful moment! So, right there, on her hot pink bedspread, she and I prayed and she asked Jesus to come into her heart.
I realize that some are so skeptical of a child making such a decision. However, it isn't our job to judge and I firmly believe that God knows the tenderness of her little heart. Does she understand everything? I'm sure not but then again, neither do I. What she does understand is that God loves her so much that he sent Jesus to die for HER. She also understands that now, no matter what happens on earth, that we will be together, forever.
On a funny note, while we were talking, she asked me if I was going to be here when she got married and had children. I explained to her that I hoped I was but that God had a plan for my life and that He was the one that knew how long I'd be here. She looked at me real serious and said, so, do you know what day your leaving? I almost cracked up! No, I don't know but I am so glad that I was given today to be here on earth with her.
God has been so good to me. I'm ashamed to say but I don't recall hundreds of people that I've gotten to lead to the Lord. I pray that I've planted seeds in several but He has granted ME, the opportunity, to lead both of my children to Him. I am so thankful and blessed!
Posted by Gayla at 8:52 PM
Sunday, February 10, 2008
This week was filled with many proud mommy moments. On Wednesday evening at church, Clarissa was given a speaking part in an upcoming Valentine's program. She was so pumped!!! It was a very proud moment to see a child who struggles with speech to be trusted with a SPEAKING part! Thursday Jonathon "shadowed" at the middle school that he is applying to. I thought I was doing OK with all of this middle school stuff but had a small (OK, maybe larger than small) breakdown when I dropped him off. However, after taking the parent tour, I was so proud of him and his acccomplishments that he could be invited to such a wonderful school. Friday morning Jonathon called me at school to tell me that he had won 2nd in the Science Fair and would be advancing on to Regionals in March. Saturday he had his first gymnastics meet of the season and came away with 1st in tumbling, 2nd in Double-Mini, and 4th in trampoline. I sure did enjoy watching him compete and excel! I don't know what else could be better in life than being a Mom except being a Mom to two really cool kids!
Posted by Gayla at 2:28 PM
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Well, I looked back on my blog and it's been almost a year since I posted about our, I mean Jonathon's, Science Fair project. Nothing has changed. Here it is....Superbowl Sunday, I missed the game, the commercials, and halftime BUT on the bright side, it's only 10:45 and Jonathon's board is finally complete! Now....we did start working on it yesterday. He was testing the importance of washing your hands after using the restroom. He has been observing bacterial samples from five toilets. Yesterday while he went to a skating party........I stayed home and made potties for each Petri dish to go into. Fun! I said we were going for the kill this year. I don't know if I would describe it as that but I will say we are much better prepared than last year. I'll leave you with just one piece of advice....ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS wash your hands after using the potty!!!!! Have a great week!
Posted by Gayla at 11:41 PM
Thursday, January 24, 2008
It has been quite a while since I have blogged. I don't really know why. I guess I felt as though I really had nothing to say. Yeah, I know! That's a hard one to believe!
However, this week has been different. Over the past week, I have been faced with supporting a dear friend whose baby has been dianosed with a brain tumor, supporting my husband with yet another rejection at work, and learning of a coworker whose spouse has been told they only have a few months to live.
Believe it or not, I still have little to say. Really, the only thing I can say is this: I am so blessed. I hope never to take any of you for granted! Life is precious and so are you.
PS - Please keep my friend and co-worker in your prayers. God is still in the miracle business!
Posted by Gayla at 11:42 PM