Sunday, March 30, 2008

Two lessons learned....

1. Singing is a God-given, beautiful gift. A gift that is opened again & again with the same enthusiasm every time my friend and our pastor's wife, Jenna, sings into the microphone. It's a little disgusting, at times too, as it seems she doesn't even have to try! It's just a blessing to hear her. We're having a revival at our church over the next few nights, and Luke Garrett, another wonderful singer, has been stepping back and roaring his mighty voice into the crowd. I've never heard such a powerful singer. lesson learned? See if I can return the gift of "mediocre cook" that God gave me and get that singing gift thing. I'd really like that better.

2. Children can be shocked, too. It's a small battle every night to get Grace to sleep. Not really, but there is a definite progression of "Mommy, I have to go to the bathroom..." "I need a drink of water..." "Mommy, I need you....." before she finally is quiet in her room. On some nights, it comes to, "If I have to come in there one more time, you're getting a spanking." To which, she usually quits asking for things. So tonight, it was the usual. The water, the bathroom.....and the random requests. I, frustrated a bit, told her in no uncertain terms to "not say another word. It was time for bed." forward ten minutes. I had not seen her much of the day (church, I got a hair cut, revival, etc.) and my mommy-self realized that the "mean mommy" was not the last impression I wanted her to go to bed with. So cracking the door, I walked which even in the dark, I could see her little eyes big and bright, wondering, "Am I in trouble? What's mommy doing in here? She just told me to go to bed?" ......I went up to her, kissed her, and said "I love you very much." I got a sweet reply and a really great hug. She was pretty shocked. Shocked and awed. I liked that.

Hope you all have a wonderful week! Let's all try to get up early and spend time with the Lord before our day sounds so easy.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

My two new loves...

Aside from my old two loves (Boog & Grace), I've added these two on my list...

Let me explain.
My winter candle in my living room was beginning to make me nauseous....I needed a new, springy smell and this one fit the bill perfectly. I've tried several kinds of candles - the Yankee, the Tyler candle, the cheap ones, the expensive ones....and this one, I haven't tried but heard good things about, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I bought a sweet Ambrosia smell, which is making my house smell so good right now I really don't want to leave!

And the second new love is the....ZPAC! Oh yeah! Let's hear it for the antibiotic! I've been feeling pretty yucky all week long - body aches, low grade temp., cough...the crud. I kept on thinking it would pass because it wasn't bad enough to keep me in bed. But as day 5 went on, I knew I needed some stronger meds. On Friday, I couldn't get in to see my doctor. "Not until Monday," his secretary said. Then - my hero saved the day. Boog. He put a call in while I was at work and basically said something like, "Tell the doctor it's Florence Ferrell." Bam. I got in. (.....No, I'm not secretly famous or have some power in the MD world, but our family doctor happens to be married to a lifelong friend of mine from my hometown.) worked. I went in and said, "Doc., give me a ZPac." Done. Deal. These things are awesome. I'm feeling much better already! Saturday's looking pretty good so far. Got the house clean....grilling some chicken for a fajita salad later....time to go take a nap with Grace!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Happy Day!

I'm writing this blog smiling because I'm so happy - for someone else! I hope this can give some inspiration/hope to those out there who are trying for a baby (including myself!). A sweet, sweet friend who teaches with me in 4th grade has just found out she's pregnant. This, after 3+ years of trying, one round of unsuccessful invitro, ooodles and ooodles of hormone shots, drugs, medicine, time, money, time off work, etc. A few weeks ago, they decided to not do invitro again was just too much. And then? You got it. 3 straight positive pregnancy tests. God had the plan....they just didn't know it!

Her face was beaming when she came in with the sonogram picture, already framed with the phrase, "You were loved before you were even born" (Since I'm not a crier, that only thing that does show emotion on my body are my arm hairs....they were standing on end when she told me!)

This precious woman...she's been through a lot and is truly one of the most gifted teachers out there. Selfless...sweet....hardworking.....she deserves every ounce of her happiness!

Happy day!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Does anyone watch Top Chef on Bravo? It's one of the two shows I watch fact, the intro music is on right now, so I'm going to make this a quicky blog....

I love cooking & baking. Probably more baking than cooking. I love to hear the words "saute".....and "roux"......and "olive oil". However, But, Alas (fill in whatever intro word that will alude to that fact that something stops me from doing what I love....) I seem to be in a cooking rut. And I hate those. Those weeks/months whatever where you feel like you are cooking the same thing, all the time, boring, boring, boring! Chicken this, chicken that, green beans this, green beans that.....throw in some mixed salad for added excitement and if I actually shred my own cheese? Man....I'm doing good.

I see my Southern Living magazines and promise myself that the next trip I take to the grocery store I WILL have a premade list in hand with all the items needed to make those specialty recipes. But a working mom tends to overpromise herself.

Maybe I need a new set of dishware to get the muses going? Tyler Florence has some great white ( I love all white!) serving dishes....
Or maybe I could find a fresh little garden stand to buy all the great vegetables I'm craving lately. What? Ideas? Am I the only one that gets in a cooking rut? Surely not.

Grace,'s chicken, mac&cheese, and green beans tonight. Again.

Monday, March 24, 2008

"He Lives, He Lives, Christ Jesus Lives Today!...."

The Easter Hat, of course!

On Easter Sunday, I always feel my grandma, especially on songs like "He Lives!" which are strong memories of mine growing up from her church. I remember her giving me a quarter to put in those tiny envelopes to place in the plate as it passed by.....staring up at the one tiny crack in the sanctuary's giant dome stained glass ceiling.....and I remember her steady love for the Lord. Then, I think of Grace....she's the only real way I can relate and feel God's sacrifice that day.....I wouldn't sacrifice my only daughter for anyone. Not a soul. In fact, I'd be like a raging momma bear in order to not have her hurt.

Speaking of Grace, here are some pictures of her in action.

Go, Grace, Go!

School Easter Egg Hunt

On the beautiful last Saturday before I headed back to work, my family got "to work" in the yard together. Rather, I moseyed around weeding while Boog did most of the backbreaking labor. He is a rather good lawn guy...I probably should pay him more than I do.

The Yard's New "Do"

And now, it's back to school time. I'm just thinking, "Only 9 more weeks, only 9 more weeks!..."Unfortunately for me, these "9 more weeks" consist of teacher-frenzy things such as field day, dunk the teacher booths, classroom parties, end of school craziness....oh the fun!

I hope your Easter was memorable and reflective!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Girly stuff - advice anyone?

So my sister's family came to visit over Spring Break, and of course, she & I waxed poetic about everything from "what summer clothes are we needing?" (new khaki shorts and a pair of black Rainbow flip-flops were at the top of my list), to "what are my spiritual gifts? I have none....", to "motherhood trials, errors, and small but major achievements". She always provides honest dialogue.......and to her credit, I think that is one of her spiritual gifts. Honesty. Always. No matter what.

So our conversation turned to the aging it sometimes does now that we are both in our 30's. We were, I'll admit, a bit of sun-worshippers in our youth.....I baked, baked, and baked and I don't mean in the kitchen! Beaches, lakes, sports, wherever I could get a tan, I would. I never really did the tanning bed too much...but I did a few times. Anyhoo, all that "baking" has left me needed a good facial regimen to get my skin back in shape.

Can anyone recommend one? I have used in the past: Clinique, Arbonne (loved it, but it's pricey), Pro-activ (to help my minor breakouts), and various over-the-counter brands. But what works? What doesn't? Or should I even bother?

Arbonne's Re-9 line

Regardless of that last question, if anyone is willing to share their faves in the skincare department, I'd love to know. What do you use daily? What do you love? Do you get facials regularly? Dermatologist junkies?

My skin thanks you in advance.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Relaxin' style.

Boo, Grace and the metal donkey

While on my Spring Break, we are also house sitting for my in-laws, which proves to be more of a vacation for me than a favor for them. For some reason, everytime I drive out to their feels like I've entered a different world. There is absolute cars, traffic noise, no anything......the magnificent view from the top of their hill.....the fact that she always has tons of new magazines for me to read and comfy chairs to read them in.......and a great iron clawfoot tub with tons of "spa stuff" to's almost like going off to a retreat!

Grace, the jockey

.......I remember when we used to live in Dallas, I loved topping the hill on I-175 and seeing the skyline. But slowly, as we would come back from visiting Boog's folks, instead of seeing the skyline, I only saw the "orange air" as I call it....and the traffic....and the stress. That's when I knew it was time to get back to the country.

I'll leave you with this chocolate cake Grace & I made together while we were house sitting. A little flour and sugar (ok, a lot of sugar!) and the time to do it.....I need more weeks like this!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

On the road to Aggieland...and back.

What a beautiful thing!

The Fam (plus Bitty)

So Spring Break Road Trip 2008 "Family-Style" began.......and ended.......with a 'lil Aggie baseball. I really would say that,to me, that was all this trip was about. Not visiting old college hangouts, not eating at our favorite places (although that did happen), and really not even about quality conversation with my family....because for the most part, all we ever said was, "Do you need a drink?" or "I need some water" or "What do you want to eat?".

I mean, how much can you really talk about when there's so much to entertain you? The beauty of a glorious, warm, sunny day.......the hilarious "Aggie Raggies" that practically made every Texas Tech pitcher cry as they walked off the mound with their head hung low ( sorry, H. we whipped up on your boys pretty good!).....or better yet, just having the time to watch a game and not feel hurried or stressed about all there is to do. It was really great.

Here's some pics of a few things we did...and ate. Yeah, eating is always a big part of visiting Aggieland. The choice between Layne's Chicken, Wings'N'More, Freebirds, Mi Cocina.... Freebirds won out.

Grace's First Ordering Experience at Freebirds

The Green Monster

Grace, for the most part, enjoyed her time at the ballpark. Although, if she'd of had her druthers, she would have stayed in our hotel room 24/7 to jump on the beds, twirl in the chair, and eat their continental breakfast.

Grace, enjoying herself in the hotel
All in all, it was a quick trip but as I told Boog, "my shoulders already feel less tense." (I should have thrown in a massage while I was there!) It was a quiet trip really. Not alot of craziness......really low key......nice......simple......just right.

My little baseball buddy

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Yahooooo!! Spring Breaky!

(some of) My kids.....singing!
Yahooooo! Spring Break! I'm so excited! Can't you tell? No, really. So excited. Super. Elated! I'm so needing this break. I'm actually already mentally gone. I'm just thankful tomorrow is early release so that I don't damage the children too much!

I did have one more teacher duty to perform....Grace & I went to watch my current and former students perform in the "This is America" musical. It was really amazing watching one of my students from last year, who gave me early gray hairs, actually have a speaking part and shine like he did....good ol' Mikey. Love him!

My "to do" list for the break is already growing long....Spring Cleaning, Spring Yard Work, Spring Tanning, Spring work out! Please, help a pale girl out! But before all that, the fam & I are headed to Aggieland to catch a Friday & Saturday baseball game. It will be Grace's first Aggie baseball experience........sweet!

Hope you all have a great week next week, too!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Love this!

Gotta have a good laugh some days...enjoy!

Monday, March 10, 2008


In lieu of anything much to say tonight, I thought I'd share prayer time with Grace. It's so funny when kids learn to talk....they use words in the most interesting ways! So, as best I can, here's a pretty typical prayer - word for word - that Grace says at bedtime.

Thank you for the Beelers and the Taylors and the Peachs and Neil and Mimi and Papaw....
God....I just praise you. God.....I wish if everyone could not get sick. Daddy get home carefully. God.....I just never, ever, ever,ever want to get sick. God....just praise your name.
In Christ's name, Christ you - Amen.

I'm not quite sure where she got the "Christ you" part...I think it's a version of 'bless you' with a 3 year old twist. I love hearing her pray though. It's precious & sweet.....although sometimes I just do my best to hold in my laughter from something she said. Bad mommy!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Leftover Chinese food is SO good!

OK. So my hubby set up a double date with some college friends of ours, Josh and Allison. We drove into the big D to meet them....and man. Every now and then, it is so supremely nice to go back and relive our "childless" days......eating out whenever we wanted, the question of "so what'dya want to do tonight" not having any boundries or time constraints, and basically, having all of uptown Dallas at our fingertips.

So easing into Northpark's PF Chang's was like slipping on a favorite pair of jeans. I loved it! Boog picked his ever fava-flave Mongolian Beef (a must for beef lovers), and I was craving veggies and got some random dish that wasn't so hot.....but it was okay (I'm still gulping down the leftovers as I blog!). The lettuce wraps made up for all of it. I think next time I'll get the Lo Mein noodles that Allison had.....can you tell I had platter envy?

It was nice catching up with friends......we spent the last half of the night "solving the world's problems" over coffee at Starbucks. Good times.

No pics. Sorry....I'll leave you with these pics from what happened while we were gone....Mimi (aka babysitter supreme) curled Grace's hair in rollers. So Sunday morning, I had a curly-Q on my hands!
Grace in curls!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Snow for us...finally!

I was starting to get jealous....all the cutie-pie snow pictures of everyone up in Dallas and the north. But if God said, "all right, here you go, Flo...".....the skies opened up and snow poured down. But God has a sense of humor, too, and happened to do this on a morning I had to get up and go teach a bunch of rowdy kiddos! Thus, Boog & Grace got to make their snowman alone.....fortunately, I have a husband who knows not to miss a 'blogging' moment. He was thoughtful enough to take these pics while I was slaving away!

Regarding the snow, Grace said, "Did God push all the clouds together and roll them up in a tight ball and throw them down on the earth?" which we replied, mystified at her description, "Yea!...kind of!"
My two snow bunniesRollin, rollin, rollin......
The final product! Mr. Snowman 2008

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I survived!

I knooooowwww you've been wondering, "Did Flo survive the TAKS? How's she doin'?" Well, I thank you for your thoughts (even if you didn't think of me one iota, I thank you for the desire you have to read my blog right thank you!)

I did survive. I learned not to wear heeled boots on TAKS days, but I did survive! My kids actually used all the strategies I taught & took their time. In case you non-teachers are wondering, that seems to be the biggest challenge teachers face right now - effort. Except for the minor few, the "pride and effort in work" stock is down right now. Really down. But on occassion, they do surprise you. And it's what makes teachers continue on.....

On a more fun note, this weather has a really good sense of humor. 70 degrees & rainy & freezing! Love it! (sarcasm there!) Ugh.... I'm so ready for
S-P-R-I-N-G! Speaking of spring, can anyone believe that Easter is in two weeks? My one question is...who decides when Easter occurs? Is there a "Holiday Calendar Manager" in the East wing of the White House? If you know, please share.....

Here's a photo of all my beautiful nieces & my daughter from Easter last year....when it was in April. Like it should be.

Easter 2007 at Mimi & Papaw's house

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Teachers....don't stress! And other things...

TAKS test tomorrow. Prayers & stress relief to all the teachers out there! Can I get an "amen"? That word in itself is worth an extra scoop of ice cream tonight.

I voted today...I so wish they would make that process easier. At least easier for those who are voter-challenged, like myself. (I didn't even dare try to vote electronically....good old paper will do!) I had to visit 3 different precincts before finding the right one for my address - this is Athens, Texas....not Chicago!

The kids are going crazy in class...I think our uber-video game society has turned their little minds into one big reality show of "Who Can Talk the Most?".

And finally, my daughter seems to have taken a pill that makes her very hyper. The last few days, she's been acting uncannily like the children in my class....super wild & crazy. Is it a full moon?

At least I'm in my PJ's now....the day is over & the week is halfway done! I'm so looking forward to marking tomorrow (TAKS day) off and starting the countdown to SPRING BREAK! 8 workdays and counting!

Here's some pics of Grace "fixing" mommy's hair the other night. She doesn't know it, but I love this more than she does......if I could have someone play with my hair all day tomorrow, I just might survive!
Salon A La Grace

Elections & Breakfast

Got up this morning and hit the weights. (Yawn....I'm typing this eating my oatmeal and pondering my day.) At our gym, the tv is constantly on Fox News....not so bad, it could be worse. Anyhoo, it was all about the primary elections today. Of course. So as I was 'rep'ping away, I tried to think of a time when we've had a candidate that has really done something other than promise "change", "public school reform", "lower taxes", etc.,etc. all the usual hoohah. Not saying all the candidates are bad.....just when has a true revolution occurred in our political offices lately?

My hubby says when have the people truly started praying for a revolution. And that if we sincerely believed in the power of our God, that we'd be on our knees constantly.

I'm just eating oatmeal, here, but I think he's onto something......go vote.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Wacko..I mean, Waco Weekend!

Zoo day for the girls!

By Wacko, I mean, we had a crazy, wild children-filled weekend....which, having only one child, I'm not always used to the craziness! But it was all good fun.....

It started off by driving to Waco to visit my sister and three nieces. We hired a baby-sitter Friday night and went to Baylor's 2008 Sing production (fraternities & sororities song and dance competition), and that was about talent that needs to be on American Idol! It was only thought was how in the world did they practice AND study for classes? Time Management 101, I guess. Then, on a breezy, balmy Saturday we headed to the Waco Zoo......and being such good weather ALL the animals were out to play!

The gals dabbled in make-up and Kellie-Laine and her friend, Phoebe, gave Landrie and Grace a makeover that made them look 15 (I didn't like that very much.)

After the zoo, we had a quick dinner, got our baths and said goodbye Waco! It's always fun visiting my sis......Ang does her best to make sure everyone has a good time at the Beeler house....which according to Grace, it's 'way funner than our house'.

Heading home, I was glad to come back for a tiny bit of one-child land....but Sunday didn't offer too much of that!. I helped out in the church nursery and Grace had a cousin come over to I really sure I want another one?? : ) All in a weekend's work!

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