Friday, April 27, 2007

Congratulations Pops

Pops decided to go back to school in 1994 and get his Ph.D. He loved teaching and that was the only way for him to have a permanent contract at a university. He did this when our children were 7, 10, 13 and 15. At the same time, we started being foster parents to newborns. Our life was a little crazy to say the least. He graduated 10 years ago this month.

He has never slacked off on his research and publications and has worked really hard even as he was doing his administrative job and travelling all over the place consulting. He is a gifted teacher and has always gotten great evaluations from his students, along with several university awards. When he was hired at UD in 2000, he was hired in as an Assistant Professor. 3 years ago, he was tenured and moved to Associate Professor. This week, because of all of his hard work, he was promoted to Full Professor. That is the highest you can get. A lot of people never make it to this point and if they do, it is usually after many years.

Pops, we are so very proud of you and love you very much! Congratulations.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Stressful Travel Update - Updated

As you know, I am claustrophobic due to a flying incident. One of the worst things I can imagine is sitting on the tarmac with no air conditioner. Right now, I am at the Tampa airport and there are terrible storms in Dallas. The flight before ours was cancelled and right now, ours has been delayed for an hour.

I am not complaining, because I would rather sit in the airport than on the plane any day. I am hoping that once we get on, we will get to Dallas with no delays at DFW. I have already taken my Xanax in anticipation of already leaving, so I may need some more. If I take anymore, I may not be able to walk off the plane.

I case you can not tell, I am a little panicked at the moment. I will update in the morning, hopefully with good news.

Well, I did get good news. After we waited a while, they told us that there were backups at DFW and 60-70 planes were on the tarmac, so they were cancelling the flight. We had to rebook for the next flight that was not sold out (3:00 p.m.), get our luggage, rent a car, and check back into the hotel. It was a big hassle, but I would gladly do it again instead of the thought of getting stuck on the plane for hours.

Crazy Week and Much Need Vacation

Pops and I planned to go to Tampa for a meeting this past weekend. We come home today. It usually takes me a couple of days to get ready for a trip because I always feel like I need new clothes and a few other items. I planned to do this on Thursday because we had graduation and a dinner on Friday.

Thursday night, Jennifer went to the grocery store and when she got home, she left her purse in her car. Unfortunately, the garage door was left open for a couple of hours. During that time, a rotten little thief came into her garage, took her purse and had a heyday. Within minutes, he started using her cell phone to check balances on gift cards and credit cards. He had a $200 shopping spree at Albertson's and Quicktrip. Where he made his stupid mistake, he also called a friend.

On Friday morning, when Jennifer realized her purse was gone, she started her detective work and found out where her cards had been used and got her cell phone records. I got in detective mode and called the "friend." She was cooperative eventually and gave me her mother's address. I proceeded to make a little visit to mom. She gave me information that was turned over to the police.

Jennifer made the rounds to Albertson's and Quicktrip and talked to the people there who either remembered the transactions or had video tape. Jennifer's purse was found on the side of the road by the BPD. With all the information and work of the EPD, the suspect was arrested, wrote a confession and is in jail. Funny thing is that we know the officers of both PD's who are brothers and our friends. They worked very hard to solve the case using our information. Since the PD's are so busy, I don't think this would have gone to a detective until a couple of weeks later and it would have been too late.

All this detective work made my travel preparations delayed, but I got them done. Bottom line to thief's, don't mess with us because we will not stop until you are caught. It is very satisfying to take control. Since the thief came into the garage, it is being charged as a burglary of a habitation which is a 1st degree felony. Maybe this will stop him.

After this drama, my trip to Tampa has been wonderful. I am a little nervous about the flight home because there are severe weather alerts. I am hoping we don't have any delayed time on the runway. I might have a claustrophobic heart attack.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

La Joya Fine Mexican Dining

We found a new restaurant last week. Pops was driving down MacArthur Blvd. in Irving and spotted the sign. Since it said "Fine Mexican Dining", he wanted to check it out. His favorite restaurant is Javier's in Dallas.

We went right after the storm on Friday night and it was empty. I hope that it is only because everyone was scared to get out. It was great and we are hoping it will stay open so it can become one of our regulars.

The chips were very good and came with a red sauce and a green sauce. I have gotten into the habit of adding a little sugar to my hot sauce, but since we ordered Dr. Pepper and there was no sugar on the table, I decided not to ask for it. I didn't want the waiter to think I was weird.

We ordered the "Queso Fundido" for an appetizer. It was Oaxaca and Cotija cheese served in a hot (and I mean hot) lava rock Molcajete. The cheese was still bubbling after about 15 minutes. I had homemade chorizo in it and was served on homemade tortillas.

For my dinner, I ordered the "Pescado a la Mexicana." It was Red Snapper fried and served with chipotle-lime butter sauce and garnished with a tropical pico de gallo salsa and cilantro white rice. The sauce was hot and sweet and delicious.

Pops had the "Crepa de Pollo con Mole", aka Chicken Mole Enchiladas. Very rich and very good.

We were so full, but we couldn't walk out without trying the dessert. We had the "Crepas con Leche Quemada" which tasted just like the crepes that we get at Javier's. It was so good.

Pops is taking some students out next week and we are planning on taking them to La Joya. Can't wait.

My 100th Post

I can't believe I hit 100 today. A year ago, I didn't even know what a blog was.

Justin was looking for a Home Team for our church and he saw that one of them that he had been invited to had a website. He told me to look at it. I started wondering if other Home Teams had websites, so I googled "Fellowship Church" "Home Teams." Lots of hits came up and I started reading them. Several of them were blogs. That is when I got hooked.

I started reading blogs of people I knew, and then one let to another and another and another. . . and I was hooked, and I am still hooked. You feel like you know these people after reading their stories. Some are just everyday life, but others are blogging about their tough times with tragic events and illnesses. I find myself praying for these people, and although I have never met them or even corresponded with them, I feel like I know them.

I thought I would blog about restaurants because that is something that I know well, but it has turned into a family blog with a little bit about restaurants. I started my blog on July 30, 2006. I love looking back at the pictures of my little girls. If this is still going 20 years from now, I hope they will have a great time looking back at their lives.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Challenging Day - Update

I made sure that I took my blood pressure medicine this morning. Today may be a challenging day, but I am hoping it won't.

I have Karsyn all day today and will have Landrie after school. They are adorable, but they are 1 and 3 and they require much needed attention.

Justin (24) is having his tonsils and adenoids out this morning. As much as I love him to death, he is horrible to be around when he is sick. Pops is at the hospital with him now and will be bringing him back for me to take care of. He will be my biggest challenge. This morning, I have been making Jello and Chocolate Pie Filling. I hope he will do well and feel great, but the Dr. said he will be down for 2 weeks. Pops just called and said the Dr. said he did the easy part and now we have the hard part. Can't wait!!!

Jordan works for an emergency youth shelter. Every couple of weeks, I will either take pizza to them or cook something for them as a little treat. They are teens that have been removed from their homes by CPS and they need a little extra special something. I told her I would cook for them today, forgetting about my nursing obligations, so I am fixing Chicken Enchilada Casserole for 20.

I am hoping for the best today and am thankful that I have all these people in my life that I can help, even when it is a challenge! :)

Update - My patient did fantastic! He totally surprised me. He has been eating a little bit, talking, and he is up and around. He left at 11:00 a.m. this morning to head back to his apartment. I just hope he will stay off the streets as long as he is on his pain medicine.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Crazy Weather

We are so confused around here. We don't know if we need the air conditioner or the heater. Last Wednesday, it was 88 degrees. On Saturday, it was snowing. Snow is very unusual in Texas, but especially on April. There was snow on the bluebonnets. I don't think that has happened in years. But, that is what we expect in Texas. If you don't like the weather, just wait a day because it will change.

We have been hearing about a predicted storm for a couple of days. It was supposed to be bad. I was a little nervous.

I was nervous because both Pops and Justin had flight into DFW yesterday. I had already had a little scare with Justin earlier in the morning. He was in Puebla, Mexico working and when I first woke up, the news was on and there had been a 6.3 earthquake south of Mexico City and it was felt all the way to Mexico City, with power outages. Puebla is south, but he didn't know about it until he heard it on the news. He had told me the night before that he was in a hotel that was built in the 1500. I could just picture him under the rubble - that is what happens when you are a claustrophobic.

Anyway, Pops got in before the storm started and Justin got in afterwards. He landed a 9:00 p.m., but when I talked to him at 10:15, he was still on the tarmac. I would be dying!!!
About 6:00 p.m. the warning sirens started going off and on TV they were telling every one to take shelter in their bathtubs with mattress's over their head. We were pretty fascinated, so we we on the back porch watching the hail. By the time it finished, it looks liked we had had a snow storm. We had hail larger than the size of an egg, but others in the area reported softball size hail. About 8 miles from us, a tornado touched down.



I am supposed to fly out next week, and I am already worried about the weather.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sprinkles Cupcake Update

Since I have had more of my cupcakes, I decided I needed to give an update.

First, I need to make a correction. After looking at my list, I realized that Landrie probably had the "Dark Chocolate" cupcake. No wonder it tasted so strong. She loved it though.

I tried the regular chocolate with white icing this morning and it was good. Not my favorite, but good. I also tried the pumpkin with cinnamon cream cheese icing. It was probably my favorite. Very moist. I think I need to go back next week and check out the other flavors so I can give a complete report!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sprinkles Cupcakes

Oprah had a segment on her show awhile back about her favorite foods. Of course that quickly got my attention. She talked about a place in Beverly Hills called Sprinkles. Sprinkles sells only cupcakes.


Last week Sprinkles opened their third location in Dallas. There have been several articles in the paper and news stories about it, so I have been dying to try it. According to the reporters, the line is usually about 45 minutes long.

It is pretty small, so Jordan and I took turns going in. She went first. She was interviewed by a reporter from WBAP radio while she was standing in line. I don't know if her interview made it on the air, but I am hoping if it did, they didn't use her name. They asked her where she first heard about Sprinkles and she said, from "The Girls Next Door." For those of you that don't know, that is the reality TV show about Hugh Heffner's (aka Puffin) girlfriends. I have to admit that it is one of my regularly recorded programs on my DVR.

Anyway, back to the cupcakes. They come in these cute little boxes. They should be cute since they are $3.25 each. I was a little surprised because they are not decorated very fancy. Pretty plain actually. We were a little out of control, but we wanted to try all the flavors. They have different flavors each day. Landrie chose chocolate cake with chocolate icing. We also got strawberry, pumpkin, chocolate cake with white icing and red velvet.


As you can see, Landrie loved hers. It was way to chocolate for me. I was surprised that she ate it. It was almost pure cocoa powder.



I am a strawberry fanatic. I was really disappointed in the strawberry. If I had been blindfolded, I would not have been able to tell what flavor I was eating. The red velvet was very good. I haven't tried the rest yet.

I will give Sprinkles another try, but it will probably be on a Monday or Thursday. On those days, they have lemon, coconut, and banana.





Tuesday, April 10, 2007

America Idol - Top 8

This is going to be really random. I have not blogged about AI in detail in a while and I am just chomping at the bit.


First of all, I think this season has been pretty boring. The singers for the most part don't sing like they want to be the next American Idol. They just don't want it bad enough.


I do like Jennifer Lopez. She seems like a really nice person. While I was watching her, I was thinking about how everyone says she is heavier than most in Hollywood and they are always talking about her curves. I thought she looked great. I would trade bodies with her any day!


Very random, but I also like Ryan. When we were in New York for New Years Eve last year, he was on Good Morning America. He was very nice, friendly and personable. This is a picture that I took.




My last random thought, I hate hats. Between the practice session with Jennifer Lopez and tonight's performance, Phil, Blake, Lakisha and Melinda all had hats and I thought they looked awful. Enough random thoughts . . .

Melinda - I thought she was great. She moved around. I thought we saw a new side to her. I loved her dress.

Lakisha - I loved her too. I also liked her dress. She has an awesome voice and I think she is right on every week.

Chris - I thought he started kind of rough and was a little flat in parts. I like him, but don't think he is the best. He will go far because the judges are wanting someone "hip" and he fits the part.

Haley - Well, if you can't sing, you have to do something else to get the votes and since she has a great body, she just takes off more clothes. I used to feel sorry for her because she is just out of her league, but I have lost my sympathy. She is obviously undressing for the votes and that just doesn't work for me. This is a singing competition. P. S. - The red lips need to go.

Phil - I hate to say this, but he is creepy. I can't hardly stand to look at him, and he always wears those terrible hats. He always has the cocked to one side. He sang okay tonight, but he sounded like he was straining his voice to sing. It would serve him well to get some of Melinda's humbleness.

Jordin - Has a great voice and is always right on target with her performance. She is a little immature, but I think she will be in the top 3.

Blake - Did a great job tonight. I feel about him the way I do about Chris. The judges like him because he is "hip" and he will go far because of that. I did not like his outfit tonight.

Sanjaya - Was not as bad tonight as usual. He does need a new stylist. The hair just keeps getting worse. He did better when he was doing it himself. The facial hair looks like a 14 year old that has not started to shave. Yuk!


Thursday, April 5, 2007

Fickle Followers

This title is the same title of the Bible study that I read this morning. I try to read "Our Daily Bread" every morning, but I don't always do it. Today's study reminded me of this post.

The scripture was Matthew 27:15-23, where people in the crowd were supporting Jesus one day and then calling for his crucifixion the next. On Sunday they worshiped Him, but on Friday, they didn't want Him around anymore.

The study says, "Let's not waver in our relationship with the Lord. Sometimes we worship Jesus heartily on Sunday, but the very next day we live as if we find His presence intrusive. Or we tell Him on Sunday that we love Him, but the we fail to obey Him throughout the week. Don't be a fickle follower of Jesus. Worship Him every day - not just on Sunday."

Our lives are an act of worship. How we live our lives shows Him how much we really love Him.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Happy Birthday Precious Karsyn Alyssa


Karsyn is 1 today. I love her birthdate, 04-05-06. Before she was born, I could not imagine how I could love another little girl as much as her sister Landrie. The minute I held her, I knew it was possible.

She is so sweet. She is always smiling. She wants to be down on the ground moving. I have to keep her in the "cage" because the minute I turn my back, she is headed up the stairs, looking back at me and squealing with excitement.

Happy Birthday sweet girl!

TV Hog Heaven

I am loving this week in TV land. It has been kinda slow lately with reruns on Grey's and Desperate. I do love American Idol, although the Sanjaya thing is about to make me have a stroke. Dancing with the Stars has started, but it is kinda boring without Emmett.

My favorite show, The Bachelor, has started this week. I don't care how cheesy it is, I have watched every single episode and still love it. I now have a favorite blog I read that recaps every second. If you have time, check it out. It will crack you up if you are a Bachelor fan.

I will have great TV watching tonight. Last night I was not home, so I only watched a little bit of Idol. I started about 11 and just could not stay awake and give it my undivided attention. Pops has to take someone to dinner tonight, so I will be watching both the singing episode and the results. Can't wait.

PLEASE AMERICA, don't keep Sanjaya any longer. I don't know how much more I can take!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Who Are You 24/7????

Last night we got together with several couples that we have been friends with for many years. We all met when we went to another church 20 years ago. Several of us have moved on, but we are still friends and like to get together and catch up. One of our friends moved into an absolutely gorgeous home 7 months ago and we were all dying to see it. It is unreal to say the least. The decorator just finished her work and we were all asking if we could rent a room for a weekend vacation. The house is 6,500 + square feet with a huge lot, beautiful pool, cabana and lake. I could live on the patio with the grill, refrigerator, fireplace, outside heaters and 2 TV's. I am so happy for them.

As we were all catching up, we were discussing our trips that we have planned for the summer. I excitedly told them about my Home Team trip. I was a little taken back by some of the responses.

I try to be the same person 24/7. I don't have a different personality around my "church friends", my pastors or any other people I hang out with. My life is not segmented.

One of my friends (K) said she couldn't believe I was going with a church group to Vegas. She didn't have a problem with me going to Vegas at all, just not with a church group. I explained to her that I behave the same way in Vegas no matter who I am with and that I don't do anything I would be ashamed of. (FYI - when we decided to go on this trip, I emailed my Home Team Pastor the email about our trip). A asked K if she would go to Vegas, and she said, "Heck yea! But, I don't think it is right for a church group to go to Las Vegas because it is Sin City." HELLO, Dallas is Sin City. Everywhere we go is Sin City because we are all sinners. She also said that when she goes out with friends, there are some she will drink around and others she won't.

I personally choose not to drink for two reasons. #1 and the most important, is I think it tastes nasty!!! I don't even like food prepared with "white wine sauce" or "bourbon sauce". If an entree at a restaurant has that type sauce on it, I will pass it up.

The other reason I don't drink is because I have a family history of alcoholism. It has absolutely destroyed the lives of family members close to me. Why would I want to have alcohol as a part of my life when I have seen the destruction that it has caused my family?

I try to live my life according to God's word. I have not found anywhere in the Bible where it says we should not drink alcohol. We all have the freedom to choose. This is not an issue of drinking, but about being the same person all the time.

Who are you 24/7????

Home Team Trip to Las Vegas

Pops and I lead a Home Team Bible study group at our church. This group has been meeting for about a year and a half. We are really starting to bond. We meet for a Bible study every other week and then go to dinner, etc.

We have recently been talking about how fun it would be to go out of town for the weekend together. One of the best suggestions was to go to the Hyatt Hill Country Resort in San Antonio. It is very expensive and we realized that we could go to Las Vegas and stay in the Bellagio for less than San Antonio, so I planned the trip.

As believers and leaders in our church, we want to live a life that is pleasing to God. We respect the authorities at church and choose to follow their expectations. The following is the email I sent to our Home Team members about our trip:


We have been talking about how fun it would be to take a trip together as a group. I have been checking rates, and some good ones came out today through aavacations.com.

Unfortuntely, the best rates are in June and July when it is hot, but we went last year in July and it wasn't bad, even though it was over 100. One day we rented a cabana that had umbrellas and cool mist and it felt great.

***** is booked the month of June, so the best we can do is:

Depart - **** - AA Flight **** - Leaving ****
Return - **** - AA Flight **** - Leaving ****

3 nights at the Bellagio - www. bellagio.com

The total price for 2 is $1,091.26 including air, hotel and taxes.

Everyone can be on your own schedule and we can plan some things together. We like to lay out by the pool during the day and go out to eat and to the shows at night.

We would love for everyone to be able to go. As Home Team Leaders at Fellowship Church, we not only represent ourselves and Fellowship Church, but more importantly we represent Christ. Therefore, the choices we make in our private and public life matter. As a Christ-follower we have incredible freedom in Christ; however, with that freedom comes the responsibility to live a Christ-like lifestyle. Since this is a Home Team event, we would ask that everyone adhere to Fellowship Church Home Team policies.

Fellowship Home Team guidelines state that "Alcohol consumption at any Fellowship Church Small Group meeting or related social activity is strictly PROHIBITED."

As Home Team leaders, we do not want to do anything that would harm our witness, and as 1 Thessalonians 5:22 says, "Abstain from all appearance of evil."

Romans 14:19-21 says, "Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but is wrong for man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall."

We love beautiful hotels, great food and shows and there is no better city than Las Vegas. I think we could have a great time together. Since Las Vegas is known as "Sin City" and "What goes on in Vegas stays in Vegas", we want to make sure that we don't do anything that would compromise our leadership at Fellowship.


We are really looking forward to this trip.