*NOW EDITED* Up Close and Personal: Textiles & Textures

So, last night I was kind of playing around with the slideshow thingy. . .but here are the photos just as photos–with explanations should you care to know.

Victoria's duvet cover.  Pottery Barn Kids.  We bought it for the colors and the flowers not knowing it had an Asian theme.  With Asian people holding bamboo umbrellas while happily inhabiting pagodas.

Victoria’s duvet cover. Pottery Barn Kids. We bought it for the colors and the flowers not knowing it had an Asian theme. With Asian people holding bamboo umbrellas while happily inhabiting pagodas.

Chair

Chair

Another chair.  And what a COMFY CHAIR it IS!!!  I HEART THIS CHAIR.

Another chair. And what a COMFY CHAIR it IS!!! I HEART THIS CHAIR.

We inherited Tony's maternal grandmother's bedroom suite, which came with this lovely end-of-bed stool.  Fabric is original circa 1934-ish.

We inherited Tony’s maternal grandmother’s bedroom suite, which came with this lovely end-of-bed stool. Fabric is original circa 1934-ish.

White cotton matelasse bedspread on our bed--Penneys

White cotton matelasse bedspread on our bed–Penneys

More from Tony's grandmother.  She loved to buy bed linens to save for later.  I think 40+ years counts resoundingly as later.  So I pull them from their disentegrating wrapping and use them.

More from Tony’s grandmother. She loved to buy bed linens to save for later. I think 40+ years counts resoundingly as later. So I pull them from their disentegrating wrapping and use them.

The top of Victoria's rocking chair--the one we bought before she was born.

The top of Victoria’s rocking chair–the one we bought before she was born.

A lamp shade.  Hobby Lobby.

A lamp shade. Hobby Lobby.

Mirror--kind of Morocannish for my normal taste, but I LOVE it.  It looks like tooled leather.  Again with the Hobby Lobby.

Mirror–kind of Morocannish for my normal taste, but I LOVE it. It looks like tooled leather. Again with the Hobby Lobby.

Wall texture--half orange peel.  Or so they told us.

Wall texture–half orange peel. Or so they told us.

Victoria's sheets.  Pillowcases and top sheet are ruffled.  Shabby Chic.  Target.  Victoria sleeps in MY maternal grandmother's bed.

Victoria’s sheets. Pillowcases and top sheet are ruffled. Shabby Chic. Target. Victoria sleeps in MY maternal grandmother’s bed.

MORE Tony's g-maw.  This is Thad's bed. The head and foot boards are actually metal and have this metal caning mesh pattern with a single oblong medallion.

MORE Tony’s g-maw. This is Thad’s bed. The head and foot boards are actually metal and have this metal caning mesh pattern with a single oblong medallion.

Thad's quilt--chambray--solid top--feather stitch.  Wal-Mart online of all places.

Thad’s quilt–chambray–solid top–feather stitch. Wal-Mart online of all places.

The metal caning mesh.  This was actually a three-quarter length bed meaning it was too short for a modern mattress.  We had to have the rails cut and lengthened to use it.

The metal caning mesh. This was actually a three-quarter length bed meaning it was too short for a modern mattress. We had to have the rails cut and lengthened to use it.

I like textures. And textiles. I love the smell of 100% cotton sheets straight out of my linen closet, and the PERFECT weight of the comforter I’ve had since my freshman year of college when I throw it over my bed in winter. I enjoy the cool side of the pillow case, and a fresh, fluffy towel.

The little things ya know.

First week of school: Friday Eve

Well, the first week of school has been great. . .except it appears that Tony has either the flu or some version of the creeping crud. Several teachers in his building are sick, so they probably caught it from inservice–or maybe someone infected the pizza from meet-the-teacher night with germs. Hmmm. I doubt it.

Anyway. It’s all good–kids love their teachers, teachers love their kids. . .but we’re all ready for Saturday. In the mean time–some photos:

Thad showing off his new Phineus and Ferb shirt from Doc Suze. This was the first day Momma got here.


More touches of Louisiana home: shirts from Doc Suze--Simmons Sporting Goods tent sale.


Victoria put on a show for us one night. She had created her own obstacle course to run while jumping on her pogo stick. Here she jumps one handed while holding an umbrella with the other as her volunteer makes it rain. Seriously.

Look. No hands. She kept this up for several minutes.

First day of school. . .they picked out their own clothes.

Victoria today with Poppy

Pretty kitty

First week projects: Scientific Summer for Victoria, Me Bag for Thad

The Fun Begins Tomorrow

Thursday I drove past two elementary schools RIFE with cars on my way to ANOTHER elementary school in the same condition to meet Thad’s teacher. I also passed Tony’s campus where the marquee proclaimed “The Fun Starts August 23.”

Ahh. . .back-to-school. Hence my absence for the past couple of weeks. Momma was here to help with the kids. . .and I had this workshop and that workshop and school supplies to purchase, then an entire WEEK of workshops chock full ‘o information (by Thursday, my co-worker declared that it was like trying to drink water from a fire hose such was the intensity, quantity, and break-neck speed of the information being given.)

Tomorrow the 6th graders (and also 7th and 8th graders in my dyslexia classes) arrive at my door–if not ready to receive the learning this year will hold, they will at least be tanned and rested. As was I before last week. Now I am fading in both the tanned and rested department, but I am ready to face the challenges this school year will bring. In fact, I would venture to say that this is the first time in a long time where I am like, “Bring it on already. . .time to get this show on the road. . .let’s go. Move it.”

Ah. . .the never-ending optimism of (most) teachers. It’s our drug of choice.

Wherever you are in the realm of education–whether it’s in the classroom or on the board or dropping your eldest/baby off for the first day of kinder or their first day of their last year of elementary or middle school or high school or college. . .or you just have to drive through a school zone to get somewhere, please pause to pray for those being educated and those doing the educating. I will tell you (from vast personal experience) that teachers fall under BOTH of those categories.

Then go buy some school supplies just for fun.

The Other Side

There are, in fact, two sides to our family. I feel as though they don’t often get equal billing ’round here. The fact is they live in the general vicinity of us, so we get to see them more often. Or, at least, we used to. We went and moved another hour away which ended all sorts of hijinx and merriment like going to church together. Alas–we still see them enough to make it count.

AND guess who *I* get to see tomorrow (Tony got to see her on July 3, so I get first dibs.

HEATHER!!!!! In all of her patriotic garb.

Though tomorrow I will see her at church first, and she will be all dolled up and lookin’ cute no matter what. The kids were with their Nana and PawPaw Thursday night.

Nana and Pawpaw with their OTHER favorite grandchild. (and Oh. My. Great. Heavenly. Days. DOES SHE EVER look like her daddy. It's a little unnerving. Seems as if those Langley boy genes win out every time.

They kept Heather on Friday, and she was so excited that Victoria and Thad were there, she didn’t take a nap. Which meant they got to entertain her on the car trip home once Aunt Christy came to retrieve them all. Evidently Heather is as demanding as her two cousins when she is beyond tired and “kronky” (as Victoria used to say.) But they even enjoy her when she’s kronky.

I don't know if she's kronky here or not as I was not present, however, by the look on her face and the dismantling of her pig tails, it appears that she is giving Thad the what for and the for what.

They are with the Uncle Jon, Aunt Christy, Heather branch of the family over the past two days. Tomorrow they will come home. . .and we will feast on ham and potatoes and purple hull peas. And possibly cornbread.

Victoria with Aunt Christy and Uncle Jon. She gets her maturity from him, though she looks an awful lot like her Aunt Alisa in this photo.

Independence Day done Langley Torres style.

The Boy and The Girl with their Aunt Lisa

It was reported to me that Victoria made the flag centerpieces!!!

And did I mention that I get to see Heather tomorrow??? Well. I do.

And also my Momma!!!! She will be with us for two weeks as we get ready to head back to school. Tomorrow is already a great day, and it hasn’t even gotten here yet!!!

He’s Up to Somethin’

I had two interviews in Magnolia this summer. One was the day after school was out in Cy-Fair. One was yesterday.

I didn’t get either job.

As you can imagine, that was and is quite a blow. I am totally convinced of the fact that I NEED to be in the same district with the rest of my family. I am STILL convinced of that.

The first interview was for a 2nd grade position at THAD’S SCHOOL. I have NO second grade experience. Zero. Zilch. Nada. I CAN teach 2nd grade. . .I CAN teach ANY grade. But it’s not my forte–nor is it where I have the most experience. I was, of course, willing to go in and teach second grade. . .I’d work hard, stay late, blah, blah, blah.

The one yesterday was for a fourth grade position–PERFECT. I had no qualms about walking into a fourth-grade classroom whatsoever. It was in a school where I already know two of the teachers. One I worked with for three years in Cy-Fair. She teaches 3rd, so I would have a lot of the kids she taught last year. The other teaches 4th grade (even sat in on the interview) and was the teacher Thad had for one week last year. She had to change campuses because of numbers. Thad is sad to this day about her having to leave.

Both interviews were great. I felt especially confident about the one yesterday–it couldn’t have gone any better. Seriously.

In the end, though the principal thought my personality, experience, and philosophy were perfect for the job and the team, she chose someone else due to changes that might come about next year. This 4th grade position will likely have to shift down to Kindergarten or 1st grade. I certainly see her logic, understand her choice, and appreciate her foresight.

That being said, after I choked back the inevitable tears and frustration, my first thought was, “I wish I’d not even KNOWN there was a position. . .that I hadn’t even INTERVIEWED for another job.” Part of that is the disappointment. Part of it is anger and frustration. Part of it is because after I got over the disappointment of not even getting called for an interview back in the spring, I really, truly came to grips with going back to my other school. I embraced the fact that I would be there–and that it would be okay. I’d be in the same room for a second year, teaching the same THING for a second year, and THAT hasn’t happened since I went back to work in 2004.

Then, two days before school was out, I got a call to go in for the interview at Thad’s school. And I was THRILLED. Surely this was “it.” How could it not be? But it wasn’t. I did my “what is wrong with me that they won’t hire me–oh maybe it’s because I have not second grade experience” thing. . .whatever, then lifted my head and my arms and RE-embraced my old position. Made a list of all of the “positives” in my mind. Relished my summer. . .rolled around in it. . .soaked it up. . .covered myself in summer. . .got a tan. . .ate icecream. . .went on road trips. . .got chiggers at camp.

And while I was minding my own business and getting ready for Victoria’s birthday party last Friday morning, this other school called and asked me to come in. After the other disappointments, even opening myself up to the possibility of this job was HUGE. It literally came out of nowhere. It was nothing I went in search of. It fell into my lap because of the wonderful reputation my husband already has in a district in which he’s worked for just one year. AND it was a grade I had actually TAUGHT and would be happy to teach again–andtherewasalistamilelongofreasonsformetogethejob!!!!!!!! Boo-yah!!!

*sound of balloon popping here*

A Christian artist named Brandon Heath has a song called, “Wait and See.” I love it for several reasons. I got to see him in concert last October, and he confirmed that it is an autobiographical song. So, while I didn’t struggle with the same things he mentions (though I WAS born “late July”–ACTUALLY early August–in humidity AND I talked too much in school), I love that he is open with the struggles he had–especially for kids who DO struggle with such. More than anything, I love the chorus and the bridge. No matter what the age, the struggles, the victories, the disappointments, God is up to SOMETHING for sure.

“There is hope, for me yet,
Because God won’t forget,
All the plans He’s made for me
I have to wait and see,
He’s not finished with me yet,
He’s not finished with me yet

Still wonderin’ why I’m here.
Still wrestling with my fear
But oh… He’s up to somethin’,
And the farther out I go,
I’ve seen enough to know
That I’m not here for nothin’…
He’s up to somethin’.”

What is God “up to?” I have absolutely NO idea. But I know it’s somethin’. And I know it’s for my good. I know that, because He has told me over and over and over and over that He loves me and wants the best for me, and He has shown me over and over in the 41 years I’ve been on the planet that He will take care of me. In all situations. All the time. Every day. AND that I don’t always have to understand the steps, I just have to follow His lead. I also believe that He wants for me what I want for Victoria and Thad. And that as much as I love my children (a whole stinkin’ lot) it PALES in comparison to how much He loves me.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

2 Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Proverbs 3:5 & 6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.

So. I am in the same spot I was last Friday at 9:00 before the phone rang at 9:01. And what is so awful about that? Not one bloomin’ thing. Not one.

Here is the video for “Wait and See” by Brandon Heath, and I’ll keep you posted. . .

Brandon Heath – Wait and See from Provident Label Group on Vimeo.

Details

My Granny had two children–both girls: Norma Jean and Glenda Sue.

Rubye Mae, Glenda Sue, Norma Jean


(By the way–I have never thought I looked like my mother until I saw this photo again today. Wish I had her figure too!)

Norma had four children (Lisa, Lynne, Warren, and Brian–which I thought was a WHOLE LOT of kids to have–my own mother only had THREE).

My mother was just barely pregnant with my brother when this was taken. I assume it was Christmas, and I was about 5 1/2 months old. Lynne is holding me.

They grew up WAY OUT in west Texas–in Fritch–so we got to see them once each year in the summer. My second oldest cousin, Lynne, was (to me) as pretty as Marcia Brady–who was as pretty as a Barbie Doll (Malibu Barbie was the standard at the time). That is some serious pretty.

Absolutely NO IDEA where Warren and Lisa are in this photo. You'll see that Hal had made an appearance though. Nice red jacket, brother. Lynne is holding me AGAIN.

I loved all of my cousins, but I loved Lynne extra special. She used to let me play with her hair–even when I ruined her perm one time and very nearly had to cut her hair out of the brush curling iron I was using. I had forgotten this, but Momma reminded me–then I had vague remembrances of this happening in Granny’s bedroom on the roll-away cot that always got set up when they were there. We also wrote letters to each other. She had scratch and sniff stationery. (And I did not notice until I went digging for these photos, that she held me a lot which may also have to do with the much-loved status.)

Lynne married Dean and had two children when I was entering Jr. high–Wesley and Amber. She let me play with and hold them too. The times she came to visit when they were babies, I would haul them around and change their diapers and give them bottles and try to put them down for their naps. They remember none of this.

A baby Amber at about 7 months, and a very nearly baby Roxanne at about 13 or 14. I guess I take after Lynne huh?

Saturday night was Amber’s wedding. Victoria and I were in attendance and got to see all of my cousins and their spouses and most of the children along with Aunt Norma and Uncle Frank. The wedding was in Galveston (hence the beachy decor). Here are some photos of the happy event.

Amber and the lucky guy who married her.

LOVED her dress. . .very bridal with the lace and sequins and teeny-weeny buttons, but just right for the beach-ish locale. AND the sun actually, for REAL shone on her. . .

Pretty

Lynne's dress

Groomsmen vests

Amber's hair

Hugging her PaPaw--my Uncle Frank.

Aunt Norma's anniversary ring. I think it was for their 25th. She one time (accidentally) painted her diamonds red. She was spray painting baskets for the rehearsal dinner for Warren's wedding. The story is very funny now. It was not so funny at the time.

Frank and Norma. Fifty-three years and counting.

Table decor. Simple, yet lovely.

Again--lovely.

We were, after all, on the island. Hello, seahorse sentinels.

Congratulations Amber and Michael!!!

I don’t get to see Amber or Lynne very much even though they don’t live far away. It’s really a shame–and we always say that when we get together. But this one thing is for sure. I love them. I love them way more than they probably even know–and a lot more than I can tell them. They are a part of me in the way only cousins can be. And Michael, I don’t know you very well. . .but you better take care of our girl. We Williamson/Bawcom/Cates/Watts women pack a punch.

Ha. Ha. Just kidding.

Sort of.