Saturday, August 30, 2008

Birthdays, Board Games, Books, Buying, and Bulls

It's been a busy weekend, and I'm just tying up Saturday. I started the weekend celebrating a few pals birthdays-game night style. Is there anything better than board games? I also met for the first time with the 'Classics' book club. I'm actually not a huge fan of a lot of classics, generally they just depress me! We started off with Little Women, which I don't like, and didn't finish (whoops, not a good start)....I'll be better this next month. Candide-it may not be to my liking, but the rumor is it's short! This morning I headed down the road a little over an hour to the best shopping location on the planet-Canton (or First Monday). If you haven't been....you must go....half of it is crafts etc, the other half is flea market/garage sale type items. It's awesome. You could not even BEGIN to say you have seen it in a day, much less a morning. We got lost in the booths, and looked around at the cute crafts, and great bargains, and then headed out during the heat of the day. I plan to go back in the cooler months of the year and on the rare 'First Monday' weekend I'm free. This evening I hit the Mesquite Rodeo. This ain't my first rodeo (had to say that), but it's been YEARS since I've attended. I remember feeling really sad for the animals in the past. It's still makes me a little nervous for the live stock, but they are definitely practicing some more humane methods. I came away thinking that the animals in my house have a lot of character traits similiar to those buckin' broncos. Max bucks around playing with balls, and Lilly stubbornly refuses to go where she is supposed to on random whims. I guess that makes me the rodeo clown?
Mama's Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to Be Cowboys...at the Mesquite Rodeo


Buckin' Bronco

Bull Ridin'

Ropin'

Saturday Smile

Saw this today, and it made me smile:
"What if the Hokey Pokey IS what it's all about?"

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Speaking of Campaiging

http://www.inews3.com/play.php?first=Christy&last=Robbins
This is much more fun that watching the 'other' channels reporting on election news.

Campaigning

For those of you who don't live near me (and there are waaaay to many). This is another link in my "Move (back) to the Dallas area" campaign!!! I'm so over this long distance stuff, please move home!
Most Affluent City Might Surprise You
By Dennis Cauchon
USA Today
What's the most affluent city in the USA?
(a) San Jose
(b) San Francisco
(c) Honolulu
(d) Plano, Texas
The answer is Plano — and that surprises even the mayor of this 260,000-person Dallas suburb.
I'd never heard that before," Plano Mayor Pat Evans says. "But it's good to know."
The Census Bureau released its annual report on income and poverty Tuesday.
Plano was the report's star among cities with populations of 250,000 or more. It had the highest income and lowest poverty rate.
Plano's median household income in 2007 was $84,492, up 10% from 2006. Placing a distant second: San Jose, with a median income of $76,963.
Plano is the home to corporate headquarters for Frito-Lay, JCPenney and other companies. Billionaire Ross Perot founded computer giant EDS and Perot Systems, both still based in Plano.
The city is north of Dallas at the end of a light-rail line. Gymnast Nastia Liukin, Olympic gold medalist in Beijing, trains there.
Despite its affluence, the median home price is about $225,000, Evans says. By contrast, San Jose's median home price is $744,000.
"We've got the lowest taxes and highest level of services in North Texas," the mayor says.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

There is a Fungas Among Us


Yup...this is the most exciting thing that has happened so far this week. I discovered mushrooms on the side of my yard. I was worried....because surely something that ugly can't be good for your lawn! I googled it (as all professional scientist do), and the official status is my lawn is 'happy.' We had a TON of rain last week, and this area of my lawn is even MORE ignored than the rest of my lawn. It's the last to be raked, mowed, and it took me awhile to even spot them. I counted-there were 27. I took a picture, then I took a stick and knocked them all over b/c they were ugly. I have enough problems with an ugly lawn. Now I feel a little guilty....I didn't know they were happy mushrooms.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Importance of Punctuation

My friend just sent me an email, and she changed her signature at the end of the email this year, with a new quote as her year's motto. I knew the ending punctuation was not a period, but I wasn't really paying attention as I skimmed it.
It ACTUALLY read:
Every child...Everday!!!
In my MIND I saw:
Every child....Everyday?!?
When I realized what my eyes had 'seen'...I laughed. It kinda reminds me of the bookends of a school year. The beginning=hope, the end=hanging on. Truly, despite the human nature that kicks in.....it's a great job, and it's so amazing to see so many people there because their hearts are too big to do anything else.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Space Odyssey 2008-2009



Tomorrow is the 'official' school year kick off (teachers this week-students next week). My work schedule has been popcorn all summer with little work events, including a week's worth of 'things' this past week, but tomorrow is the day all my old buddies get to join myself and the few others who couldn't quite break away from the school for a 'full' summer vacation. Since I have a few control issues, they let me be a part of the school's leadership team a few years back, so I also get my hands completely dirty helping with the school's themes. My job is to steal ideas I like, the rest of the team spends their time trying to talk me out of some of the more insane ideas, and off an unrealistic creativity ledge. There are some really creative people on the team, so that's been a lot of fun for me as I learn from them. This year's theme is Space-or rather-Space Odyssey....it's all about looking at the futures etc (my principal always brings the idea). If it were up to me, we'd probably start out with a moon landing, but due to Robin Hood, we can't quite afford that, so there is a slew of things planned tomorrow with little team building activities around each corner....therefor, I have weaved in my new favorite book-Hello, Cupcake for an activity. Have a mentioned I LOVE this book? This is my second attempt at a cupcake, and it is just so much fun to work with all the fun ideas and candies. There are about 6 more steps you can take to make these little guys smoother, but the cupcake station only has 15 minutes, and it requires melting icing, 'firming' time in the freezer etc, so this was fun way of inserting the cupcake with out the professional polish. I had a lot of fun making the samples. It took me awhile to find the candies, including shoe string black licorice, that was almost impossible. I finally found some candy coated jelly belly 'things' at Target in a bin, and I seriously stood in the aisle for more than ten minutes with a candy shovel wading through the other 5 colors for only the black ones (100). I apologized to everyone that came down the aisle and tried to tell them I wasn't crazy-which is maybe the first sign that there is a problem. They didn't kick me out of Target, but I don't know if they will let me return. Usually, the other teachers groan when I bring in a new activity, but for the 3 out of 50 that like to craft....we will have a good time tomorrow!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday's Highlight

The short straw is the only way I can introduce today's adventure. I do NOT like computers very much. I appreciate the ability to be able to communicate with so many people at one time, but beyond the social aspect of a computer-I'm just not interested. When I'm at work-so many things are filtered through the server, I really don't have a lot of fun when working with my computer, so....I don't. I can't even begin to explain how in the world I've been put in charge of so many 'computer training' activities at work. People will come down to ask me to help them fix their computer related issues. Trying to be helpful, I tell them I have no idea, but I always am willing to go down and commiserate over having to deal with ANOTHER computer problem.....and usually my best piece of advice is-unplug it and start again....it's what I do, and I'd say 50% of the time my computer works (eeck, not a good presentage!). For the record, right now-my computer isn't working right at work! My principal emailed me a few weeks ago to ask if I could do a training with the new teacher on the gradebook system. I presented the training a few years back with a partner, but not well, AND I have not even touched a gradebook in a year (I love my new job). So, I sent her a list of people I knew she could ask that were really great, and politely declined the opportunity to confuse a new batch of teachers. She emailed back, twice-once with a-guess what, you are doing it anything email (I guess the 'asking' was just her way of being polite, I should figure out this trick by now), and the second time with all the 'attachments' for what I would be presenting. So, this morning, I went up, muddled through, messed up, most of my comments ended with, "Well, this is what you WOULD do if the system was working." Training 101-never apologize for a bad presentation-I broke that rule, and so many more. Just another day at the office for me. I gave it my best shot, but considering my relative computer illiteracy-well....I think IBM won't be knocking on my door anytime too soon.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday's Highlight


This afternoon I met my pals from the very first school I taught at for lunch. They laugh and calls us the Northlake Disciples as we go off into other schools. My experience there was priceless, AND one of the most difficult things I have done, thank goodness I was given the opportunity! Sitting at a table with these ladies, and listening to their experience at work, and in life is more of an education that most semester long college courses. They certainly kept me afloat the first few years....and counting!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wednesday's Highlight

"And we know all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose." -Romans 8:28
5th times a charge. Mom's last surgery in a long line was this morning. Mom was calm, from start to finish she puts her trust in God's plan, and His ways. I know God uses her because He knows what a living, breathing testimony she as she faithfully follows God, and trust in His plan for her life, even when human comprehension sometimes is harder to come by. In the midst of not wanting it to happen to my Mom (or anyone), I know God has shown me that He has chosen her because she is so deeply loved by Him, and this is part of her purpose, and God's will for her, and it is because she is so fabulous He trust her with so much when revealing His character to others, He could not choose a better person to demonstrate her faith and trust, and understanding of how much He loves us all. It would be so easy to be bitter about what 'life' dishes out, but I can clearly look back at even the events that have seemed so terrible, and be grateful for it all as I look around as to where I'm at, and where I'm going. When my Mom tells anyone about this cancer journey she tells it with a very minimum of scary words, terms, or 'what ifs' because I know she sees it in the midst of a bigger picture, and knows it is not as scary with God on her side. We left sometime well before 6 to get to the hospital (less time to 'think' and 'wait'). We usually find a few things to laugh about as we are waiting for the doctors and nurses to get her ready for surgery. It always takes them a good 45 minutes to find one of her 'thready' veins within a very freckled arm, but she has come to expect it, and she patiently waits as they create a living pin cushion (the nurses and doctors are great, we know-this is just the way of things with her body's make up). The surgery took a little under 3 hours, and her doctor came out to say all had gone well, and restate the directions he had already given to her. I have loved all of her doctors, and the nurses in the various hospitals have been fabulous-I can't tell you how much respect I have for them. So often, as I'm waiting with Mom, or even for Mom, I feel at peace knowing I'm surrounded by friends that pray for my family-it's truly amazing to be hugged by prayers whispered from miles away, or even hours before.
This afternoon I brought home the 'patient', and I slept for a few hours until SHE woke me up for one reason or another, when you outsleep the person that just had a three hour surgery, I guess you know the healing has already begun.

Tuesday's Highlights

Yesteray I got to spend the day with Heidi and Ella on the old 'circle' catching up, and getting to observe Ella's three little ones(growing bigger every day) Hudson, Henry, and Nate in 3-D. I loved watching them play, and learning about their personalities! I was just thinking-I was that age when this friendship journey began. There is nothing more exciting than getting to see the future growing (in some of the same soil I had the pleasure of playing in as a child). I just feel at peace knowing there are three Christian warriors (with a fourth one on the way, perhaps a warriorette?) thanks to the roots begun by the Fergason's, and carried on through Ella and Brian, Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts, Uncles, you name it! My favorite thing was getting to hear Hudson pray at lunch, so precious. Ella, I'm so impressed, and inspired by you and your family! I look forward to more frequent visits in the future!

Monday's Highlight

The "To Do List"...I had a big blinds projects (it's not big anywhere else but in my mind)....I, Christy Ann Robbins, after much procrastination, one google search, and a trip to Home Depot where I dug through and employer's mind for advice (which I didn't really understand, but appreciated) replaced 6 slats in my window blinds. On the other hand, I did it completely wrong. I even cut a line I wasn't supposed to so now my blinds won't raise and lower. Notice, I didn't say I did it well, I just 'fixed them' according to my standard of home repair (which is somewhere between-I don't want to fork out the money for new blinds b/c the dogs will probably just break them again, and the super glue and staplers just aren't cutting it). I wasn't made for this-granted, I don't always totally submerge myself in the things that God did make me for, but I'm just pretty certain-home repairs are not my thing, notice-no pictures, but plenty of words. I have one more window-stop me now if you know how to replace blinds when the 'stringy thing' is connected in a continuous loop and doesn't have a knot at the end, skip past this if you too hope to never have to do this project.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Greatest Show On Earth


Are you ever too old to enjoy the circus? I think not! This year's circus was fabulous, they continue to raise the bar. When I was little I used to play circus for WEEKS after going to a show. I was Leona, my brother would be Leo, and my Mom....the Lion Tamer. Jason said he doesn't remember, if that's just not the most tragic news, I don't know what is because we spent many hours jumping through hula hoops. Unfortunately, I have no hula hoops to practice with this time around, but I do have two dogs I think should definitely start earning their keep, so I'll see what sort of acts we can put together and report on the festivities later. I'm just one mobile home, and an act away from running away with the circus. In the meantime, some of my favorite circus memories from this afternoon's circus.




Friday, August 08, 2008

080808


I love the Oympics! I watched the ENTIRE opening ceremony tonight-all four hours of it, and that pretty much covers my plans over the next three weeks. My family came over for an opening ceremony watching party, and we did a mishmash of foods-every dish had to represent a different country. We didn't go too far off on a limb and make anything terribly strange (or even that authentic), but it was yummy. I'm still full, four hours after eating. Bonus: I think I have just enough left overs to get me through the entire Olympic games!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

....one is silver, but the other's gold.


I've been so excited to get to spend some time with my 'old' pal Ebonee this past week. We've been friends for several decades now....and always have fun. We started out in girl scouts together (and finished up our girl scouts career together as well as Seniors). We've been friends ever since. Her flute has taken her all over, literally, all over the world, and I've been holding things down here in Dallas. We get together a few times a year when she swings through town. It's so 'good' to have old friends because the friendships with deep roots never waver, and I love that! I took her down to Sprinkles, because everyone needs a red velvet cupcake from Sprinkles once in their life, and then we just happened to drive by our old girl scout meeting spot, so we had to stop. We planted this tree many moons ago! It's done well!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Someone Call PETA


I don't really know that outside of the occasional work meeting I would ever say I'm "bored"....I pretty much keep myself entertained...until I wear myself out, sleep, and then I wake myself up, and look for more ways to entertain myself (and successfully avoid working on housework, yard work, or anything I finally put on my to do list because it 'needs' to be done). I have to say, the following 'mean' idea I gathered from a magazine I was scanning. There was some sort of 'bucket' you could buy and freeze your dogs toys inside. I've got tupperware, I can manage without the additional fees, thanks. I took the ball Max is OBSESSED with, really, he'd die before he ever just decided he was 'done' playing with the ball for the day. I froze his ball inside of a block of ice, then I let him have it. First, he tried to carry it around by the little unfrozen, but he figured out it was pretty heavy, so he tried pulling it out,

and then....he started licking, and finally crunching the ice off. At first, I felt a little guilty, but then I think he really got into it b/c when he knocked a big chunk off, he'd stop and eat the ice before moving on to the next corner. Now, he's managed to pull off the outer layer, and wet my carpet (it was worth it), and he's walking around, dropping the ball, and it makes a 'clunk' as it drops to the floor b/c the inside is still slowly thawing. It was fun....for me.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Happy HollyDay


Today I helped celebrate the 23rd annual Hollyday.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Crashing a Reunion


I was invited to participate in my friend Kelly's family reunion this year at the Ozark Mountain Resort near Branson, MO. We headed down on Tuesday, and returned Saturday after spending the weekend with the B family. I got to meet uncles, and cousins, and Kelly's grandparents who I have heard about over the last 16 plus years of knowing Kelly. I've met a few relatives over those years of friendship, but it's neat to see how other family's interact. We spent a lot of time chatting, playing games (including Mah Jong-it was my first time to play, and I really enjoyed it), and reading. I caught up on a lot of sleep, and enjoyed the scenery at the resort which is nestled in the hilly Ozarks overlooking Table Rock Lake. Kelly's Mom provided the cabins at the resort via her time shares, so every group had their own cabin to relax in, the resort had a ton of activities.



Shopping In Branson


I defintely wanted to see what Branson was all about, having heard about it for a long time. I discovered it has a plethora of crafts shops, antique shops, flea markets, candy shops, quilt stores, and tourist stops-like the 5 and Dime where I do believe they had one of everything, including some really lovely hat selections you will see modeled below. I didn't get to spend nearly enough time in the town of Branson to really say I've 'experienced it' fully, there is plenty of ice cream to eat, race tracks to try out, and pools to splash in....not to mention all the ecclectic shows offered, but at least I can now picture the place in my head, and better plan a future journey down the VERY winding, and mountain packed road to Branson, MO.

Eureka!!!


On the way back to Dallas, Kelly's Mom suggested a stop in Eureka Springs, AK. I had never been, but they assured me it was a crafter's paradise. I had to be home early enough to get to a dinner party for a friend, so it was a quick stop, but we got to walk around for about two hours, and eat breakfast at a cute little basement cafe. I'd definitely love to head back and explore. They had tons of shopping, bath houses, and lots of natural springs. In fact, on one side of the street walkways were built over the springs from the shops to the side walks. I'm always excited when I get a glimpse of a place I'd like to someday head back to, and 'discover' further. It might be a place I have never heard much about, or in this case-I ignored the information when it was given. Arkansas is a lot of fun b/c of all the water, natural springs, and green scenery. I've spent some time at State Parks in the state when I was younger, but plan to add a few back to my list so I can explore the towns I skimmed this trip in greater depth!