Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I think I found it.

Keep your fingers crossed!  I think I have something worked out for housing.  When all the details are final, I'll share more info and pics.

Friday, May 27, 2011


I was honored to speak at the service for Mrs. Frances Partida today. I'm posting my comments here because I know that several people from Procter, who  now live far away, read this blog.  It was a lovely service and a great celebration of her life.  She was such a blessing in my life and I know I will see her again. 

Remembering Ms. P

When I think about Mrs. Partida, I think of her as the Matriarch of the Procter Family. She was certainly someone we all loved and respected for many years. One might consider her a legend amongst out church family. In the same way some celebrities are known by their initials or just a first name - You only needed to call her, Ms. P. There are several people in this church with the last initial P, but everyone knew Ms. P – was the one and only Mrs. Partida. When I was thinking about what I wanted to share today, the letter “P” stood out in my mind. I’d like to tell you a few things I’ll remember about her.

First, she was practical.

Ms. P didn’t wear designer clothes or care much about worldly wealth. Instead, she worked tirelessly, building up the kingdom of God. She served in many formal capacities at Procter through the years, but I think I’ll best remember her best for being a hard worker. You could always find her in the kitchen, cleaning up after a church dinner or helping with work around the church office. She and Mr. Conrad would visit those who were sick or offer a ride to the church for those who needed it. She saw value in the work of the Lord, not in material things, a good lesson for all of us.

Next, she was persistent.

I’ve been told that before we came to Procter in the late 80s, Mrs. Partida was best known for keeping the choir kids on Wednesday nights. She was notorious for her no nonsense attitude and stern discipline. However, in the Early 90s the Partidas began to travel to Alpine, Texas, for our church wide mission project and things changed. All though the mission trips were open to all church members, a large number of participants came from our youth group, many of which had previously been part of the choir kids who knew her so well. It was during those Alpine trips that I believe the reason for Ms. P’s notoriety changed forever. I like to think that it was my generation, our youth group that softened her a little. I do believe we were the ones to start calling her Ms. P, instead of Partida. I will never forget her and Mr. P walking around the outside of the dorms in the morning, serenading us as our wake up call. She was always the first one up and dressed. She would hurry all of us along and having a genuine smile on her face about the work we would be doing that day. During those trips, she really got to know us as young adults, not just children. She invested in us. She invested her time and energy and most of all her love. Even though the choir kids were growing up, she was still persistent about some things. Whether it was cleaning the church bus after a trip, or helping set up for a church fellowship, she wanted things done right and she would persist until the task was done correctly. She would check over our work personally and call us by name to correct anything not done to her satisfaction. We liked to give her a hard time about it, but she taught us the value of hard work and how it’s important to do things right the first time. Just as she could be persistent and sometimes hard on us, she was also persistent in her love and encouragement toward us.

Lastly, she was petite, yet powerful.

I almost said in my introduction, “we all looked up to her.” That would have been a figure of speech of course. She was a tiny little lady – but her prayer life was powerful. I loved to hear her pray, with such a humble and sensitive spirit. She prayed for my dad, her pastor, every day. She prayed for this church and its leadership. She was a prayer warrior and she truly understood the power of prayer. What a blessing in all of our lives to have someone lifting us up to the Father. Again, it’s a great lesson to all of us. Pray without ceasing.

I’ll close by saying that I know Ms. P was special to all of us, but I always considered her and honorary grandmother. She and I were always very close. She and Mr. P have been a tremendous influence on my life. They have been present for all the big events in my life over the last 20 years, even traveling to Waco to attend my graduation from Baylor. She always considered me her own and for that I am grateful.

Your loves has given me great joy, because you, sister, have refreshed the hearts of the saints. Philemon 1:7

I would also like to mention that 11 years ago today, My grandfather, Daddy Red, went home to be with the Lord.  He was the only grandfather I really remember, seeing as my paternal grandfather died when I was only 4.  I think about Daddy Red everyday.  I see things everywhere that remind me of him.  He was an amazing grandfather.  He was an electrician, a builder, a runner, a pancake maker, a camper, and eagle scout, a hiker, a swimmer and so much more.  Mostly he was a Godly man and a great Christian example in my life. 

Also, yesterday marked the one year anniversary of my dad's cancer surgery.  We have so much to be thankful for.  He has been cancer free for one year, and has survived a deadly infection numerous times now.  God's just not done with him yet. 

I'd like to post some pictures of Daddy Red and Mrs. P.  Maybe I'll find some later and add to this post.

I head back to Dallas tomorrow and will go through Tyler to look for housing once more.  I'm praying I find something soon.  God has worked out every other detail of this move and I  have faith this will work out too.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Looking Forward

I feel like it's too late to turn back now - So I'll look ahead and march on.
I told my boss today that I'm not coming back next school year.
I've signed the contract with my new school.
I called to give my current landlord notice. 

It's all seeming a little more real.  I still don't have a place to live yet, but I hope to get that settled soon.  I should start cleaning out closets so it will be easier to pack.  I guess for now I'm just trying to get through with school.

On a sad note: Mrs. Partida passed away this afternoon. 
We consider the Partidas family.  She will be missed.  Just this past weekend I was talking with the Rents about all the good times we had on mission trips to Alpine.  There really is no way to describe her, she was one of a kind.  We'll all be praying for Mr. P.  He'll be lost without her. We all will.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Crazy Weekend!

This weekend was kind of wild. I already feel like I need another one just to rest up.  On Friday, I met the Rents to look at some rentals and a couple of houses.  I think I've decided to rent for now, at least until I know the area better.  Now I just have to find a rental that will work for me.  It seemed that everything I saw had at least one deal breaker:  no washer/dryer hookups, no pets allowed, upstairs (this would not work with Zoe) or it was a nice place in a bad location.  Ugh!  I know something will work out.  I just wish I had it all settled. 

Then I had to work on Saturday - Make up Teacher work day because of the snow days.

Saturday night around 9pm, Steffi called and said they were taking Beau to ER with severe pain in his knee and hip.  They went to Children's Hospital in downtown Dallas, and were there all night.  Tad sent me updates via text through out the night.  They were admitted and put in a room By 6:30am So Beau could get some good pain meds and relief.  If you follow Steffi on Facebook, you saw the diagnosis.  He is home and better now, but will have to follow up with a specialist at Scottish Rite.  I got up early and went to Children's.  I stayed at Steffi and Tad's a little while after Beau got home so they could get some sleep. 

Here are some pics of Beau from this morning- Medicated and feeling better!

I just gave Zoe one of her travel pills, because I need her to chill so I can sleep.  Does that make me a bad person? 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

On the Move. . . .

I'd like to start this post by saying that I have never mentioned my current school district on this blog.  I've always felt this was a personal blog and chose not to include that information.  For the same reason I will continue to exclude such details from future posts.  Obviously the vast majority of people who read this blog know me personally, so they of course know all the scoop.  To my friends (people I know in person) who follow me here, but are not local and haven't heard yet - feel free to email (betsy76@sbcglobal.net) or call me - I'm happy to share details. I just don't want to post professional details on a public site.
There are going to be some pretty significant changes in my life in the next few months.  I have accepted a counseling position in another school district.  I will be leaving Dallas which has been home to me for 12 years.  It's a little overwhelming to think about having to move, start a new job and get settled in a new town - but I know it will all work out.   For now, I'll say that I'm moving to East Texas and will work at an elementary school.  More details on my new hometown may follow later in the summer. It's really not that far from Dallas so I can visit often and I hope to have lots of visitors. 

A couple of weeks ago I had two interviews.  One was in my current district.  My district is very big and has a "pool" system.  This means that your first interview is to be chosen for a pool of applicants who can be selected by principals for campus interviews. So, if you make the pool, it doesn't mean you have a job; it means a principal can consider you for a job. Why make things easy - right?

Anyway, the pool process is very competitive.  Around 50 people apply each year and only 5-10 people get in.   This year was my 3rd year to apply and interview for the pool. Once you are in, you stay in the pool for 3 years. There were two openings in my district for next school year - one high school and one elementary.  I was mainly interested in the elementary opening.  In fact, it was at the school where I have don't some counseling this year on my conference time. 

The other interview was in the district where I'll be going.  It's a smaller district and I interviewed with the principal and staff directly.  Last week on Wednesday, the principal called to offer me the job.  They gave me a few days to think about it, knowing I would want to scope out some housing options first.  I told them I would get back with them early this week.

Around the same time last week, I found out that I did make the pool in my district.  I felt torn - should I take the job that had been offered, or hold out for a chance to interview with a principal in my district?  I prayed for clarity. I was worried I would make the wrong choice and regret it later. I asked God to make it perfectly clear.  That same day I found out that my district had decided not to fill the elementary job after all, because of budget cuts. Now the only opening in my district was at a high school.  This made my decision easy.  I asked God to make it clear and He did.  I called the new district on Monday and accepted.  My new contract should  arrive in the mail any day now.  Of course I'm still kind of nervous about moving and I know there will be some hard days ahead - lonely days in a new place where I don't know anyone - but feel confident it's the right move.

I plan on moving sometime in late June or early July.  I've looked at a few rent properties and plan to see more this weekend. I'll also meet with a realtor and see a couple of houses.  I'm not really sure I'm ready to buy my first home right now with all of the other changes in my life??  We'll see what works out.  God has opened the doors for all of this to fall in place and I trust that housing will work out too. The Rents are meeting me to check out some housing options this weekend - Please pray for safe travel for all of us. 

Local friends:  I'll be having some packing parties soon.  I hope you'll join in the Fun - See how I just made packing sound fun :)

Side note: The movers asked me to estimate the number of boxes I would have - Seriously, how does one estimate how many boxes it will take to hold everything you own? 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Good Times - This is for you Sara!

One of my favorite baby sitters growing up was Sara Lewis.  We lived in Olney, Texas when I was a toddler.  I think we moved there before my 2nd birthday and moved to Arkansas the summer I turned 5. Sara went to our church and she often kept Steffi and me when the Rents were busy.  I have a few memories of Sara, and to be honest, I'm not sure they are accurate.  I was very young and I could be mixing things up in my mind????

I remember she would let me brush her hair.  I also remember eating raw spaghetti with her?   I was her flower girl when she married Freddie.  I loved the hat that came with my dress.  I think I kept it in my dress up box for years to come. I think she and Freddie had a pink bath tub in their first apartment??  She reads this blog, so maybe she can confirm some of these odd memories.

She posted this picture on Facebook today and it got me thinking about all of this. Thanks Sara.  I also got your note recently - your so sweet.

Another favorite sitter was Julie Johnson from Dumas, Arkansas. Unfortunately I don't have in groovy pictures of us from back in the day.

Dad and the group from Procter are still on their way back.  Thanks for your prayers.

I promise I will post more about the job situation later this week.

Say A Little Prayer!

Please say a little prayer this morning for the crew from my home church (Procter) who are on the road.  A group, including my dad left Port Arthur around 6 pm yesterday evening with 3 trailers full of food and supplies for Alabama tornado victims.  The plan was to drive through the night, unload sometime this morning and head back today.  They have enough drivers to rotate of course, but I'm sure they will all be tired today.  Please pray for their safe travel. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011


I hope you will check back in for some pretty big news. I have an exciting announcement to make; I'm just waiting for a few things to be finalized first.  Thank you to all of you who have been praying about my job situation.  I'll be posting more info later in the week. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What I'm loving Wednesday!

Today I'm loving all of the delicious strawberry treats featured over at the Pioneer Woman.  Her post seriously makes me want to do a little baking! Yum.

I'm loving that 9 to 5 the musical is coming to Dallas.  Dallas Friends -  Let me know if you want to go.  I'm gong to look into tickets this next week. I love the movie with Dolly, Jane and Lily.  I still think those characters would be great Halloween costumes for the Fly Girls at some point.  One of us would have to be Roz.

I'm loving that School is almost out for summer!

I'm loving all of the cool summer sents and flavors that are hitting the stores right now.  It's a great reminder that freedom is just around the corner.  I really love these Dreyer's Creamy Coconut bars.  I've also tried the pineapple adn they were good too.  Peach is a new flavor for this summer and I hope to try it soon.  All the flavors are a great summer treat for not many calories ,80-120 for most flavors.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Summer TV and other stuff. . . .

I'm pumped about my favorite summer show.  Food Network Star is back. It starts June 5th and 8pm Central time.  It's always just in time with all of the network shows going into re-runs.  I can't wait.

I'm still waiting to hear back about last weeks interviews.  I'm still applying in other places.  I've also decided to expand my search a bit.  I may consider some other venues other than school districts who hire counselors such as, universities, colleges, hospitals, churches etc.  I may feel differently after a restful summer, but for now I'm still really thinking I'm ready for a change.  I'll keep you posted. 

In other news - I met with the hematologist (Dr. H) yesterday about the blood clot. His office is in the new Sammons Center at Baylor downtown.  It's a really cool building, but they should have planned for more parking.  

After all of the test and even the discovery of the strange mutation, they think it was mainly a spontaneous clot. Spontaneous as in - caused by nothing, could have happened to anyone.  In someways that's great. On the other hand - who's to say I won't get another one?  Dr. H was at least more positive about the effects of the mutation. He had a lot more recent research on the topic and unlike the Dr. who diagnosed the mutation, Dr. H doesn't think it will ever cause my any major problems.  In fact I only have to stay on the blood thinners until July, just for precaution and then I can put the whole blood clot thing behind me.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

She's a Little Bit Country

Snaps for Marie Osmond!  She recently remarried her first husband, Steven Craig.  I’m happy for Marie; she’s had a rough couple of years.  I love that she wore the same wedding dress from their first wedding nearly 30 years ago.  She looked great.  Go Marie!  

I’ve been an Osmond fan for years.  I would love to go to Vegas and see Donny and Marie live.  Steffi and I loved the original Donny and Marie show.  We had the Donny and Marie Barbie dolls.  

Once, while on the long pilgrimage from Arkansas to my grandparent’s house in East Texas, Marie‘s stage dress was tragically lost forever.  We would make this long trip every summer, just us girls. Dad would have to stay behind and work.  My mother had a 1980 something Pontiac station wagon with great cargo space.  We often traveled with the Barbie dream house in the back.   On this particular trip, Steffi and I had been fighting over the Peaches and Cream Barbie for a while. Mom had told us several times to stop it. It’s not as if we didn’t have 15 more Babies to choose from.  For whatever reason, we just couldn’t let it go.  I guess Mom had reached her limit.  It seems an 8 hour road trip with two squabbling children and the family dog can really get to you.  I still remember it, she didn’t even slow down.  She reached her hand into the back seat and said, “Give it to me.”   We handed Peaches over to her.  She hit the button for the automatic window, and tossed Peaches into a passing field.  Steffi and I set in silence.  It was clear we had pushed her too far.  The real tragedy was that Peaches was wearing Marie’s stage dress.  From that day on, Donny and Marie’s shows would never again have the style and panache as when they matched.  Marie would wear an assortment of other gowns or sometimes perform in the buff, but she and Donny never again looked like the pulled together duo they once were.  

Saturday, May 7, 2011


In case you were wondering . . . . .

  Good Luck!

Weekend Recap!

Last night Amy and I decided to use a couple of our Living Social Deals.  A few months ago we both purchased the Rusty Taco daily deal.  For those not familiar with Living Social - you go to the website and sign up to receive daily emails offering a one-time great deal.  The Rusty Taco deal was $10 for $20 worth of food and drinks.  You purchase online and print the voucher.

This was my first visit to Rusty Taco and I loved it.  They serve authentic street tacos in a wide variety of meats and flavors. I got one fried chicken taco and one brisket taco. Both were great.  I also tasted the roasted pork and it was good too.  Of course dinner also included chips, salsa, queso and guacamole.  I have to say I think I have a new favorite place for the time being. 

After dinner we headed over to Mockingbird Station to the Angelika Film Center to see The Conspirator.  We were able to use one of Amy's Living Social deals for the movie tickets.  The movie was good.  It was of course a little bit of a downer, but  the plot was interesting.  I recognized  many of the places in Savannah.  I was pretty sure I recognized the boarding house in the film.  When I got home I looked it up.  The home used as the Surratt home in the movie, is just 4 doors down from where I stayed on Taylor Street in the summer of 2004.  I also recognized the Owen-Thomas House which I've toured several times.  It's known for it's great faux painting of the walls and ceilings, making the home appear larger than it really is.

Today I went to Palestine with Steffi, Tad and Beau to meet up with  The Rents for a little Mother's Day celebration.  We had lunch and then went to a local park so Beau could burn of some energy before the trip back.

Side note:  Apparently the Veggie Tales characters have a new praise and worship album where they sing contemporary Christian praise songs.  I have to say, It's kind of funny to hear Larry and Bob sing serious worship songs.  Steffi and I had a flashback moment when we heard "I Am a Promise", one of the first songs we ever sang together in church.  I'm not sure why it was on the contemporary album, but it was still fun to reminisce.

I'd like to give a special shout out to Mom - Thanks for all you've done and all you still do for me.  I am truly blessed.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Mirror Mirror On The Wall, I Am My Mother After All!

I got to the hotel last night before my mom.  She called me when she got into town which was just about dinner time. We decided she would pick my up and we would get something to eat right away.  When I walked up to the car, I saw that we were wearing the same outfit.  I don't just mean, we were both wearing the same color, we had the same outfit.  We both got our tops at Stein Mart - it's a very specific, printed top.  We both wore black pants.  I'm sure we looked a little strange to the wait staff at Cheddar's. 

After my interview this morning, we spent the afternoon checking out some apartments. 

Both interviews went well. We'll have to wait and see what happens. There are still a couple of other districts that have my information but haven't scheduled interviews yet. 

It was  nice to getaway for a night, even if it was for work stuff.  Back to school tomorrow.  Just a few more weeks until summer.  I can make it!  

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It's all a blur!

The Jeep is back.  Mom met up with me to exchange cars.  I had to head out of Dallas for a job interview today anyway, so Mom met me here to switch cars. 

I've been driving the Maxima around Dallas for almost three weeks now and it's been great fun. As I mentioned before, that car has power.

Something about her car really makes me want to drive fast.  I knew I would get into town before Mom, so I had some time to kill. I decided to take a little detour.  I pulled off on a country road to see what the Maxima could really do. I turned up the radio and floored it.  I won't say how fast I went, because the Rents read this blog.  Good times.  I figured I owed it to the car and the skilled workers who built it.  If I hadn't taken the opportunity, that car would have spent it's whole life being driven by a grandmother.  It's deserved to have a little fun, as did I. 

I have my interview tomorrow morning, then Mom and I are going to scope out some housing options, just in case I get the job.  I'll head back to Dallas Tomorrow evening.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Miniseries, Movies and Midnight Monsters

I've been watching the Kennedys miniseries, on demand.  It know it got bad reviews, or should I say Katie Holmes got bad reviews, but I've found it pretty interesting.  Of course I do love historical drama.  The costumes and sets are great.

I also watched the Lifetime movie William and Kate.  I'm not going to lie - it was pretty cheesy.

I also really want to see The Conspirator. I planned to see it the past couple of weekends, but it just hasn't worked out. Maybe soon. 

It was filmed in Savannah - One on my favorite places of all times.  If you review some of my other entries herehere and here you can see many of my favorite things about the beautiful Southern Gem.  Looking at these old posts made me want to go back this summer, but I don't think that will happen - boo:(

This week, I'm thinking about opportunity and new horizons.  I have two job interviews this week and possibility of a couple of more in the near future.  These verses have been on my heart this week.

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. Jeremiah 29:11

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do,  and he will show you which path to take.  Proverbs 3:5-6

This is most likely the last time I'll blog this week. Please say a little prayer for me during the next few days. One of the interviews is out of town so I'll be able to meet up with the Rents and switch cars again.  I'll miss the Maxima, but I'll be glad to see the Jeep.

I'm off to bed earlier then normal. I didn't get much sleep last night.  I was awakened at 1am by a noise coming from the living room. I lay perfectly still, imaging what on earth it could be.  I finally decided that if it was something really scary Zoe would have let me know - and I didn't hear her anywhere??  So I got up and crept into the living room to find Zoe - causing the commotion.  I had left  my half-eaten container yogurt on the coffee table.  She was sitting on the rug with cherry yogurt all over her- and the rug.  The main noise that woke me was the spoon hitting my hardwood floors as she knocked the yogurt off the table.  I was so relieved.  I don't spook easy - except in the middle of the night.  It took a while to clean everything up.  My heart was still pounding when I went back to bed so I turned on the TV  to help me relax, but instead ended up watching infomercials most of the night.

Here's hoping tonight is more restful.