Saturday, April 28, 2007

Murphy Road Women's Retreat

I had the pleasure of singing with Amber Burger at a women's retreat this weekend. It has been around two years since I have been able to lead worship. (minus an occasional wedding vocal) I was a little timid getting up there at first, especially since it was not students, and the microphone seemed a little foreign. God is so good that I was able to get over my nerves and enjoy it. I have to brag on my friend Amber. She is such an incredible worship leader and so very gifted. "Anointed" is the most fitting word. She always has just the right thing to say that reaches hearts.

My friend Cari (who I have been freinds with since I was 14) put on this retreat and she did a remarkable job. I loved seeing her do her "thang" and loving on all those women! They love and admire her because she is genuine, thoughtful, very wise, and a good listener. You can just see all the respect they have for her. I love the women at her church and it made me really miss small churches. There were around 50 women and I enjoyed watching these beautiful ladies worship.

Being in Mansfield for the last two weeks and ending with this retreat has been good for my soul. God has sorted some things out with me spiritually and given me peace in a few areas. I rest in knowing that God always comes through loud and clear even if I missed it the first few times. Sometimes I wished He had a bullhorn.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Fifty and Fab!

My mother's 50th birthday is today! Please don't tell anyone it is a big secret! (well, with her it is!) Many people are shocked to hear her age because she does not look like it one bit! My mom has lived her 50 years to the fullest! She is a listener, a servant, and a joy to be around. She loves music, children, frogs, piano, laying out, musicals, board games, farkle, shopping, reading christian novels and biographies and of course her grandchildren. I have been blessed with such an amazing mother that has taught me so much, especially in this last year.

My parents have been updating their house and just recently remodeled the down stairs bathroom. She has been wanting to put pictures of Keegan and Jacey on the walls. For her birthday, we arranged a special photo shoot to capture just the right pictures. Amber Burger and Allison Stewart, two of my good friends from Houston who now live in Fort Worth, met us at Southwestern Seminary to have a photo op. Out of over 400 pictures, these were the ones that made it on the wall.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Mansfield History

Here is another thing to be proud of. Mansfield was the last town in Texas to desegregate. (For a short while I had this in my previous blog, but it has been under debate. It was finally confirmed this morning by my friend Cari, who heard the same thing in history class.)
If you are interested here is the history. Pretty interesting.

"Though the Mansfield school district, seventeen miles southeast of Fort Worth, numbered fewer than 700 whites and sixty blacks in 1956, it segregated black children to an inferior elementary school. Black teenagers were obliged to ride public buses, which dropped them twenty blocks from a school in Fort Worth. In response to a suit brought by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People on behalf of three black high school students, the Mansfield school district was the first in the state ordered by a federal court to desegregate. The school board acquiesced, but white citizens resisted, aided by the complicity of the mayor and chief of police. While some 100 other, mostly West Texas, school districts desegregated quietly that fall, angry mobs of 300 to 400 whites ringed Mansfield High School on August 30 and 31, preventing the enrollment of the three students. During demonstrations whites hanged three blacks in effigy, roughed up several outside observers, and threatened the sheriff. Downtown stores closed in a show of support. Vigilantes met all cars entering town, barring suspected sympathizers with integration. Governor Allan Shivers, calling the Mansfield demonstration an orderly protest, defied the federal court order by dispatching Texas Rangers to uphold segregation and authorizing the Mansfield school board to transfer black students to Fort Worth. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in the midst of a reelection campaign, did not intervene.

The demonstrations ended as the status quo was restored. The Mansfield uprising was the nation's first clear example of failure to enforce a federal court order for the desegregation of a public school. The Eisenhower administration took no action until the next year, when a similar, more visible situation arose in Little Rock, Arkansas, where Governor Orville Faubus's resistance to integration was possibly inspired by Governor Shivers's success in Mansfield. The Mansfield uprising was an apparent factor in the passage of the state's 1957 segregation laws, which delayed integration for several years. In 1965, faced with the loss of federal funds, the Mansfield school district quietly desegregated." (Handbook of Texas)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A whole lot of random

Mansfield's Booming:
So I have been in Mansfield for a week and a half now and there are many things to comment on. First of all, did you know that Mansfield is getting a water park? Okay...really...what is going on here?? Mansfield evidently is one the top three fastest growing towns in Texas. When I was little the hot spot was Dairy Queen and the snow cone hut. Do I need to say more? We were nothing special. The only thing remotely interesting about us was the rodeo, high school football games (go tigers!). Something to be proud of.

Keegan has learned two new tricks:
He learned how to stand up in his bed, but he is scared of sitting down. Look at this sad face!

Jonathan so pleasantly has taught him how to climb the stairs. Mom thinks he is going to be a "climber". I'm scared.

Keegan went to the zoo for the first time:
He was just interested in us!

Lastly, I really debated to put this in, but it made me laugh. I watched this tired old mama Orangutan bask in the sun taking a break from her crazy offspring when all of a sudden she was pounced for a snack. Just look close. I was totally invading her privacy, but some things you can't help but watch.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Left Behind

There were a few things that I left behind at Live Oak. Two of them were the Barbie and Ken that my brother Matt tossed up on the roof that were melted to the shingles. The other were all the ghosts that resided in two houses on the block. Now my parents think that I made all these things up, and yes my imagination soared in those years, but some things you just never forget.

It all started when I became friends with Shelly Pruitt. She invited me to watch Back to the Future, when it came out on video, at her place and we hit it off. (Man, I love those movies!) She was 3 years older than me and she is still a good friend of mine. Her father was one of the funniest guys that you will ever meet and he would tell stories of the ghosts in his house. It always freaked me out to this day and Shelley will confirm that the house was haunted. Eggs would roll off the table (always), cabinets would be open when you walked in the kitchen and then there was a mirror in the hallway that the family said they could always see shadows passing by. When I would spend the night I could never sleep because the mirror was right in front of Shelley's door and I would stare at it terrified. I never experienced it personally, but I believe them, and the reason why I do is that her older brother never wants to go back. (he is in his 30's)

My only "personal" run-in with something strange was at my friend Penny's house. She lived across the street and I would walk her home everyday from Erma Nash Elementary school. A common friend of ours from church, Diana, came with us on this particular day. We were there for a few minutes and some erie things started happening. The phone would ring and a voice on the other end would ask, "Are you home alone?" Then scratching on the window screens followed and we were frightened. I waited for a while and ran across the street to get my mom. (I guess I was a brave child, because if this happened today, I would have locked down my house.) My mother said, "Go get the girls and come back here.", which translated, "You are dreaming this up but this will make you feel better." So I ran back over to the house, (even braver) and Diana and Penny were in the living room holding each other screaming. They pointed to the kitchen and the blender was going off by itself and it was not plugged into the wall. I told this story numerous times in the next few years and everyone thought I was crazy. Shortly after graduation, I ran into Diana and she said, "Hey Michelle, do you remember the blender?" I looked at her in disbelief because I had myself thinking I made it up. It still gives me the willies thinking about it.

So now I said it and you all think I am probably crazy! But if any of you would like to write and and tell me some ghost stories, I will try to not get freaked out too much, but something in all of us likes to be spooked.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Fall of Adam

When I was a child I lived on a street named Live Oak. My granddad still lives one street over, so when we go to his house I always take the route by my old house. It lacks the charm that it used to have and really it had so little. Someone needs to tell the current owners that the orangey exterior paint they picked totally does not go with the brick, but what do they care with all their junk laying in the driveway. So anyway... it may not have looked like much but it held so many memories. The things I remember most were my neighbors.

Our back fence was my favorite place to hang out because on the other side was a boy named Adam. He was this chubby little guy that always wanted to kiss me and when you are in Kindergarten that is just plain icky. ( I guess he had his "cooties" shot.) When we got a little older he would come over and we would climb trees. I was a bit of a tomboy so it was right up my alley. One day he decided to climb up this slippery tree that we had. I have never seen a tree like it since, but its bark was very wax like. It's trunk was really stumpy and two main branches made a V about two feet up. Adam got up the tree, lost his grip and slid down enough to get his foot stuck. I can remember so vividly the concern in his eyes as he tried to pull his foot out and it would not budge. I was a wee bit concerned at first but then laughed hysterically at the situation. The poor guy tried to suck back the tears and if you have ever seen Goonies, picture Chunk when he was scared and you have the best mental image of Adam. He wiggled and wiggled and my mother called 911. I think the embarrassment of a fireman and his big truck on the way to save Adam gave him enough will power to free his foot... not to mention the predicament he got himself into in front of a girl who would tell her whole class the next morning. The fireman arrived seconds later and was glad that he did not have to chop off Adam's foot. I was a little disappointed, but Adam was relieved.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech Massacre

As I am driving to Mansfield to spend two weeks with my family and friends, I had no idea what was happening in the world. All seemed peaceful until I walked into my parents house to see the news. I sat there in horror as they went through the timeline of the morning's events. I am grieving over the families that never got the phone calls from their son or daughter to say that they were fine. I am grieving for the gunman who found life so intolerable to take his life and so many others. Lord, help the family of the gunman as they are tagged with this devastating event. Bring peace to the many students at this college and the families who lost a loved one. Jesus, bring salvation and victory!
"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living." Psalm 27:13

Friday, April 13, 2007

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck?

Keegan has for sure hit some milestones this week. I can remember when he used to play on his playmat and be entertained by the toys that dangled up above while I relaxed and sipped my sonic coke. Not anymore. He has learned the art of crawling. No more army crawling...quick crawling. Everything is entertaining to him. Electronic cords, cabinet doors, and tables are his new favorite things. I walked into the room the other day to find him sucking on the end of our table. I was exhausted, so I figured..what the heck...let him. Then I heard this noise that only his four little teeth can make. I heard him start gagging and looked at the table to notice a little sliver of wood missing and brown specs all on his face. I started fishing in his mouth for it but it went down the back exit before I could catch it. I guess it is the first of several things that Keegan will endulge in that is foreign to his digestive system.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Bayou Wood Oddities

Part of what I like most about Bayou Woods are the occasional oddities that pop of nowhere. One of my favorite moments is laying out by the pool and watching this old german man prance around the outskirt of the pool with this horse costume on playing his guitar. I kept blinking, pinching myself, wondering if I was dreaming because really it was that odd. Christine and I have had several other weird run-ins with him and now I walk really fast when he comes near.

The other day was another one of those rare days. Keegan and I decided to go for a walk and passed this overcrowded planted balcony. For some reason I never noticed it before so I looked at it closely. Then "it" startled me. I looked closer and yes...this is what I saw. A armless beach bum mannequin with sunglasses on. It was one of those times that I really wished someone was with me because I was dying laughing. I later got to relive the moment wtih Christine as she busted out her zoom lens to take this picture.

What will I ever do when I move from this place?

Monday, April 9, 2007

A Chilly Easter

Easter did not bring snow this year like other places, but it still was quite chilly! I think many people, including myself, have deemed next weekend to wear their Easter outfit. However, we still tried to dress for the occasion even if we had to wear sweaters and coats! I had to search for another outfit for Keegan so that he did not freeze on our walk over to church. I found this adorable suit in a stack of borrowed clothes from our friends, The Langs. Their son Bennett is always looking sharp, so we were so excited to get his hand-me downs.

I think he felt rather "studly".

Aunt Laura and Keegan matched with their sear-sucker suits.

He comes from a long line of "ticklers"! Sorry Keegs!

Keegan got to hang with his friend Joshua Murrell and luckily I had my camera!

It seems that Keegan is always fascinated with touching him.

The family Easter picture just before a much needed nap. (Not sure it works too well!)

Still reflecting on this past weekend, I came across this verse this morning.
"I will praise you, my God and King, and bless Your name each day and forever. Great is Jehovah! Greatly Praise Him! His greatness is beyond discovery! Let each generation tell its children what glorious things He does. I will meditate about your glory, splendor, majesty and miracles." Psalms 145:1-5
May we never get too wrapped up in bunnies and outfits to the point that we forget to tell our children about the glorious miracle of His Resurrection!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Cirque de Soleil

Sign me up for acrobat school...I am fired up and ready to go. Jonathan and I went to go see Cirque de Soleil's "Corteo", for our anniversary. This is the third show that I have seen and every time it is spectacular. It it is worth every penny those seats cost. I am bewildered how any human can do the things that they do. They make it looks so easy....flying in the air across the stage to catch the arms of another person or hanging off things up..real high...with a singular foot. On one of those stunts I am pretty sure everyone was holding their breath. The creativity that goes into these shows blows my mind. If they come to your town...go see them!

Monday, April 2, 2007

My Lonely Apples

I never thought it would be the first thing that Keegan would break. I just knew he would reach for a plate in my console, so I have diligently been waiting for him to army crawl over there and then I would put them up. Even if he did break one it would not break my heart. But the one thing that came crashing to the floor today was my absolute favorite wedding gift that I received. It was the beautiful Pottery Barn vase that sat on top of the console that held the almost real Pottery Barn apples.

Timing is everything and Keegan wanted his first break to be memorable. We are trying to sell our place at Bayou Woods (tear, tear) to move closer to Jonathan's work. We had our first condo showing today to two sisters and one of their daughters. As I am showing them through the house I stop right beside the vase to show them the hallway closet. As I am talking to them, Keegan took hold of it and drug it off. It came crashing down and glass went everywhere. As glass does, it shot down the hall, across my rug, all under my table...everywhere. Shards of glass cut my foot and it was bleeding the whole time they were there. Gross. Poor Keegan was just looking at the floor at all the glass and scattered apples holding tightly to me because I think the loud noise startled him.

Luckily, they were two wonderful ladies that helped me clean it all up and the daughter played with Keegan. (As I am writing this I am still finding glass in my skin.) A good thing is that I have one more of those vases in my bathroom and I am guarding it with my life.

Life with baby just got a little more interesting.

My Lonely Apples

My Vase's Lonely Twin

Sunday, April 1, 2007

A Pool of Tulle

The Galleria yesterday was buzzing with excitement. Easter outfit shopping. Prom dress shopping. Slow Walkers. Fast, on a mission, walkers. Boyfriend, Girlfriend...hand in the back pocket walkers. In style fashion experts and people wearing five different styles at once. And of course, the pool of tulle. We counted five quinceaneras yesterday in all different colors. Yellow, Pink, Green, White and Red. I thought I kept seeing the same girl but then realized it was another party all together. Each girl had her own posse of BFF's in satin dresses and short, not quite through puberty, boys in tuxes. Of course, everyone in the posse had the same color on as the queen bee. Inevitably, we would venture down one side of the mall and be slowed down to a snails pace behind the posse strutting their stuff. They knew they were taking up the whole walkway and still rolled as if they had it going on. You know what I mean...they thought they were attending the hottest event on the planet. (If you have ever seen Sweet Sixteen on MTV, they almost faint to get a ticket in to these type of parties.) We decided to go down to the food court area and then that is when we realized that it was The Day of the Quinceanera. (We created this holiday.) It was very colorful and each posse was sizing each other up. I kept wondering where the event was. Did they all get dressed up to go hang out at the mall? When we left, we saw a limo/13 passenger van/dually, strange type of vehicle, with a big magnet on the back stating "My Quinceanera" taking the posse to who knows where next. I guess for those girls it was the ultimate day that defined their state of existence, but for us, it was rather an amusing affair.