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Welcome to my little corner of the world. I am so honored by your visit today. My name is Kristi and I am married to my college sweetheart(I refer to him here as "Mr. Incredible"), momma to my 2 beautiful girls who are growing much too quickly, a high school computer teacher, photographer, and a gardener (at times~right now I'm growing weeds). I love to laugh, drink strong Starbucks coffee, take pictures, and be anywhere my family is. Jesus is my Savior and I try so hard to be the wife and momma that He has called me to be. I often fail but He lovingly picks me up, dusts me off, and encourages me that with Him all things are possible. Feel free to join me on this journey of faith, stop in and say hello, look around, and leave a comment~I love comments. Why "Kiki's Corner?" My nephews call me Aunt Kiki and I love that too.

There's a SSSSSNAKE!!!!!!

TAKS week is nearly over and I am so thankful! It has been eventful to say the least.

Yesterday, after I administered the sophomore level Science test, it was time for lunch. Knowing that I didn't have to be back at school for an hour and a half, I ate lunch and then decided to take a little siesta. I stood at my bedroom window to close my plantation shutters when I saw IT!

A snake was slithering across our driveway and into the side yard. This snake was different from the bull snakes that we normally see. This snake was more "L" shaped. it's tail was stuck up in the air and it was waving back and forth.

Oh my goodness was a rattlesnake!!!!! Nooooooooooooo! I knew that I needed to do something about it but it was long and scary...and I was 20 feet away in the comfort and safety of my house. Mr. Incredible has taught me to always keep a hoe handy, but there was no way I was going to use a hoe on this scary thing.

I watched as a blackbird antagonized the snake. Finally, the snake headed for our road. I jumped into my suburban, sped down the driveway, lined up my tires with the snake, sped up, closed my eyes (oh, yes I did), and screamed at the top of my lungs when I felt my tires run over the top of the snake.

I turned my suburban around only to see the rattlesnake jump nearly 5 feet in the air. It was mad! I put the pedal to the medal and ran over it again...and again....and still that thing raised it's ugly head and flashed its fangs at me. I frantically called Mr. Incredible at work and told him what I was doing.

"How long is it?" he asked. I replied that I thought it was only a foot and a half long, but that I didn't have time to measure because the creature was still alive. He foolishly muttered something about it being a small rattlesnake (excuse me!) and then he told me to hit the gas, aim for its head and as soon as I hit him to slam on the breaks and to skid over it.

I was completely grossed out but I did what he said and it worked! He told me to take a picture and send it to him. He is such a guy! I'm freaking out and he wants a picture??? There was no way I was getting out of the safety of my car....the body was still moving!

I drove to the house, grabbed my camera and took this picture:

I know! Every time I look at it I want to hurl! The rattler is on his back so you can't see the diamonds, but it is a real rattlesnake. I was totally creeped out by the whole thing! Instantly, I broke out into hives and I think I broke into a cold sweat too. At that moment I decided that I no longer want to be Pioneer Woman when I grow up~I just want to cook like her!

And then I stopped by Happy hour at Sonic on my way back to school because if there was ever I time that I needed a Diet Cherry Coke, today was the day!

After pulling myself together, I returned to school and promptly thanked my principal and the athletic director for jinxing me just that morning (no I really don't believe in jinxing) with their rattlesnake tales that had already given me the hee-bee-gee-bees! I remember hearing myself proudly say, that I had never killed a rattlesnake and had never really seen one at our house and that we have lived there for nearly 10 years.

Wouldn't you know? They both had a good laugh at my rattlesnake story and then the principal announced to the entire high school over the loud speaker that congratulations were in order. Mrs._ had just killed her first rattlesnake. Great!

Students came from all over the school to hear my rattlesnake tale. Some of the macho cowboys were not as impressed when they learned that my weapon of choice was my good old suburban, but I don't care. I killed my first rattlesnake and I don't care to EVER do that again!

After school, nearly 2 hours after I ran the living daylights out of that snake, Hannah helped me roll it over. She is so brave!

We put it in the grass and measured it. It wasn't a foot and a was 3 feet long!

And now I am forever done with gardening and mowing and landscaping because it's a jungle out there...a scary jungle!

To help me cope with my day, my family and I had dinner at On the Border. It was there that I realized that I might just still be a wee bit traumatized when the waiter stood behind me and asked if I wanted some more tea. I nearly jumped out of my skin and my family rolled with laughter. I apologized and explained my day to him and he promised to not stand behind me anymore. Smart man!

Later that night, I cautioned Mr. Incredible as we climbed into bed for the night that if his foot so much as even brushed across my leg, I might hurt him. And then I said my prayers and asked the Lord to please let my mind rest.

Just as we both drifted off for the night, our miniature Australian Shepherd cried out in severe pain from the utility room. He howled and cried and whimpered and totally freaked me out! Mr. Incredible went to check on him and soon discovered that a scorpion was in the utility room and had stung our dog. I think it hurt him and hurt his feelings. It took him a while before he calmed down...and it took me a while to calm down too. Rattlesnakes and scorpions are two of my biggie fears...and it is TAKS week and I just wanted to get some sleep! Is that too much to ask?

I nearly cried. But, then Mr. Incredible offered to keep the light on and keep watch until I fell asleep. I love that man of mine.

Our house is now on the market. Oh, I'm kidding but I wonder if I can grow my vegetable garden in my jacuzzi bathtub in the safety of my bathroom? Hmmmm.

So here I sit on a Friday morning. I'm back in my classroom, the TAKS test have all been given, the students are exhausted and so are the teachers. It is now Wild kingdom at school....and at home! Oiy! Ya'll have a great weekend.

His Name is Austin

I really should be in bed....I need to be refreshed, ready, and at my best in order to give the TAKS science test tomorrow to my room of Sophomores...but my mind won't let me sleep. My daughters and I came face to face with something tonight that I never would have imagined.

Rachel received a text message from the new guy in school that she recently befriended. He asked her to please come to his house right away because his step-dad had just beat him up and the police were called and he needed a friend. I was on my way to the grocery store when Hannah called me from Rachel's phone. She said, "Momma, Rachel is driving and I know that she is not suppose to talk while she is driving but she really needs to talk to you so I'm going to put her on speaker phone." I knew something was terribly wrong at that instant and then I heard Rachel's voice break as she said, "Momma!" and then she sobbed.

I wasn't sure what was going on but, I pulled my car over into a parking lot and asked her to do the same thing so that she could tell me what was going on. I was so fearful that they had been in an accident. Rachel and Hannah were on their way to pick up their friend Skyler and the three of them were headed to Wednesday night youth. Through the sobs she told me about her text and that she wanted to go right over to his house because he needed a friend.

The hair on the back of my neck seemed to stand at attention and I cautioned her to wait until I got home but to NOT go over to his house alone! I was only 15 minutes from home and I would be there as quickly as I could. I encouraged her to take Hannah and Skyler to church and then meet me at home. In the meantime, I called my friend, the school counselor, and asked if she knew anything about what was going on or if someone would go with us to this young man's house as I had not met his parents.

She called his uncle and informed me that the young man's step-dad was in custody, that things were still tense at the house but the step-dad was not there. I called Mr. Incredible, who couldn't leave work for another hour, and told him what was going on. He let me take the girls over there under extreme caution and lots of prayer.

The girls and I arrived at this young man's house and another police officer was there taking statements. The young man threw his arms around Rachel and held on to her for several minutes. Bless his heart, his eye was cut and swollen, he had cuts on his arms, he was very pale, and yet calm at the same time. I asked him if he was okay and he responded, "Yes, things just happen." I was stunned. His mom said the exact same words and then in a frenzy she explained that the family was moving in the morning and that the judge was going to keep her husband overnight in jail which would allow them to get out of town as quickly as possible.

She told me that she was embarrassed. I told her that there was nothing to be embarrassed about we just wanted to check on her son and to make sure that they all were ok. She muttered something about it was okay if her husband hit her but it was never okay for him to hit her children. Of course, I encouraged her that it was never okay for her or her children to be hit...and then the Holy Spirit seemed to open my eyes that this was probably not the first time this had happened...maybe that is why he was so calm...I'm not sure.

I offered to help them pack, take care of dinner, or whatever they needed. She let me pick up dinner for her boys and a drink from Sonic for her. When we got back to the house, they were nearly if they had done this before.

The girls and I listened carefully as this young man who was standing in a mere shell of a very old and run down house explain that his real daddy use to beat him too but it was far worse and that his dad will never be allowed to see him again. And then he told us that he lived in foster care for an entire year, just last year, and that his new step dad had family in our city and that is why they moved here. And his mom's frantic packing continued all around us.

She exclaimed to us, on probably her 5th trip to the car, that she would sleep well tonight because she was exhausted...and her son quietly commented to us that he would probably not sleep at all. I'll never forget the hollow look in his eyes as he told us about his dad and his step dad. This is all the kind of love and attention from a father figure that he has ever known. I asked him if he had talked to a counselor and he assured me that he had. I encouraged him to see a counselor in their new city...3,000 miles away and he nodded his head.

I wanted to tell him that there is a Father who loves him far more than he could ever imagine or dream....but my words just wouldn't come. How could I when the only examples of fathers he has ever known beat him and take away a small part of himself every time? No, the timing wasn't right for him to hear it, but I'm praying it over and over again over his precious life! I pray that someday soon he will know the Father's love for him!

Rachel was so upset for her friend. She wept all the way home. I told her that I wanted her to read my devotion that I had read this very morning...and then she smiled and said through tears of joy, "In my quiet times with God this week, I have been asking God to help me be a better friend." And my heart rejoiced. Yes, He was preparing her precious, precious heart for something very special...something far outside of our comfort zone...and something we never could have imagined. Her heart was already prepared and she jumped into action the second the opportunity was provided.

Just this morning, I was re-reading a passage in Streams in the Desert. The devotion was about Othniel and how the "Spirit of the Lord came upon him" (Judges 3:9-10). The devotion begins, "God is continually preparing His heroes, and when the opportunity is right, He puts them into position in an instant. He works so fast, the world wonders where they came from." The devotion continues, "We must allow God to work amid our present trials and in the little victories, the future significance of which we can only imagine. Human strength and human greatness spring not from life's sunny side, heroes must be more than driftwood floating on a wave less tide." When I read that early this morning, I smiled to the Lord and thanked Him for all that He has done and continues to do in Rachel's life, and then I remember thinking, there are reasons why He worked to mightily on her behalf.

I'm getting goosebumps all over. Little did I know what He would ask us to come alongside and do for His honor and glory this evening. Please, hear my heart in this. I'm not sharing this to say look at us! I'm saying this to encourage you that He sees and He knows and He loves us far too much to leave us the way that we are because He sees the big picture and if we are willing, and if He so chooses, we somehow can become His physical hands and feet ministering to His children. Oh, if He can use us, I know He can use you!

And yet, here I sit in the safety of my beautiful home surrounded by the ones that I love most in this wold, while a scared 17 year old young man, his younger brother and sister, and his mother prepare to flee to safety. And my heart once again cries, "Come, Lord Jesus! Come!" Life is hard and unfair. But, I know that He sees it all, even the awful sides of life that we know happen all around us, but we don't often see. He has the final authority and He is the Righteous Judge and Jesus is just the hero that this young man needs in His life.

Please, join us in praying for this young man as they travel. We are asking God to put someone in his life that can continue teaching him about Jesus and that his heart would be tender towards the Heavenly Father who loves him so much.

TAKS'ed Out!

It is TAKS week around here. For those of you non-Texans, it means life is very stressful! My students need to pass this test in order to graduate...which means life is fun at the high school (I hope you heard the sarcasm in my voice).

I gave the first test this morning. One test down and only 2 more to go!

My baby girl took her 7th grade TAKS math test this morning and she has a TAKS reading test tomorrow. Rachel will take the 11th grade TAKS math test Wednesday, the TAKS Science test Thursday, and the TAKS Social Studies test on Friday. All juniors must pass these tests. Needless to say, my girls are stressed too...and they both make straight A's!

If you think about my girls this week, would you please say a little prayer? I am praying specifically that His perfect peace would cover them completely, that they would be focused and have quick recall of all that they have learned, and that God would enable them to do the best of their ability knowing He is with them every step of the way.

And please pray for this teacher too. One little delinquent painted men's body parts on Rachel's car and I wanted to strangle him...I mean hug him really, really tightly! It was intended as a joke...but this momma is not laughing one bit. What a week! Oiy! I'm thankful I don't have to do this week in my own power or ability. He somehow makes me way better than I could possibly be on my own...oh what a Saviour!

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries...yum!

Today is Secretary's Day. So, in honor of our wonderful high school secretary, we all brought breakfast foods to celebrate. I always seem to bring the same thing that someone else brought. Last time I baked Sister Shubert pigs in a blanket (if you haven't tried Sister Shubert rolls, they are out of this world good and you can find them at HEB or Walmart) and someone else did too. Another time I made a breakfast casserole....and someone else did too.

I racked my brain and decided to make a watermelon fruit basket but when I went to the grocery store, I saw the most beautiful ruby red strawberries and changed my mind. I made chocolate dipped strawberries and they were so good. I know because my family sampled about a dozen last night...but don't tell anyone. :-) And guess what? No one else made chocolate strawberries. Woo-hoo!

Hannah has gotten into photography just like me. She volunteered to climb on top of the kitchen island to take this picture. I set the white balance and exposure for her and this is what she shot:

Pretty cool view from on top of the island!

I use to think chocolate dipped strawberries were hard to make until I found this little secret:

Have you heard of Frutta? It makes chocolate dipped strawberries totally easy! All you do is take off the lid and the plastic, stick it in the microwave for about a minute and a half at 50% power, and then dip your strawberries. The chocolate is delicious....I could bathe in it....that good! Yum! I found mine at my local Albertsons but I've seen it at HEB and Walmart too. If you click on the Futta picture it takes you to their website.

So, I'm off to eat my weight in strawberries...just kidding, I'll be good and share with the rest of the faculty.

Ya'll have a blessed day!

It's a Random Monday

Happy Monday! I'm feeling a bit random today, so this post is a bit everywhere.

1. I realized this morning that I haven't posted pictures of the delicious Prom food that my mother-in-law, the caterer, created. She and her 2 sisters worked so hard to make everything absolutely perfect! Here are some pictures:



Our prom colors were black, silver, and purple. I love the purple stones and bubbles (Christmas bulbs) that she placed in the martini glasses. This was the dipping station flanked by Chick-filet nuggets and pizza rolls (requested by the students):
This was the sandwich station filled with ham, turkey, and pork tenderloin:

The beautiful fruit table. I love the ice bucket that holds the strawberry tree and the glass blocks:


The chocolate fountain....yum! Nonnie provided marshmellows, rice krispy treats, nutter-butters, and pirouette cookies:


This was a special gift for Rachel. It was a mashed potato bar complete with martini glasses to place your potoatoes in and all of the toppings you can imagine. Rachel was so surprised:

Here is Nonnie's Mexican cheesecake (in the middle), shrimp, salsa, and taquitos:

It was so beautiful and delicious. Thank you Nonnie, Robbie, & Bobbie!!!!

2. Today starts the last six weeks of school. YIPEE!!!!!!

3. I have my vegetables ready to plant in my garden.

4. But, I need to get the grass out of my garden before I plant. {sigh!}

5. Rachel and Hannah went on a double date Saturday night. {Double sigh!}

6. I cleaned out my closet this weekend and I found so many things I had forgotten about. Can anyone else relate?

7. I like Sunday morning church a lot better when my daddy is preaching.

Our Princess Goes to Prom

This past Saturday, our Princess went to still my heart! She and I had so much fun picking out her beautiful gown (it was the 2nd one that she tried on). It was a special moment...we both cried. Her dress is the same color as the "Praying for Rachel" bracelets that we wore only 5 months ago before her brain surgery. Isn't God amazing?! He cares about every detail.

I was quite emotional on Saturday. My heart was filled to overflowing with gratitude to the One who enabled our Princess to go to prom. This time last year we never would have imagined being able to plan for how to do her nails, or how to do her hair, or what kind of jewelry and shoes to wear with her prom gown. I didn't take one minute for granted. It was all pure delight!

Here is our walking miracle on the day of her junior/senior prom:



I know that she is my daughter, but isn't she absolutely gorgeous?



True to her generous heart, she chose to wear "Tom's Shoes" to prom. Have you heard about Tom's shoes? For every pair that you purchase, the company sends a pair of shoes to a child who needs them.


Her daddy was quite emotional on Saturday too. After I helped Rachel with her makeup and into her dress and jewelry she went to show Daddy. I encouraged him to take a deep breath as she rounded the corner to show him and then tears filled his eyes.


Rachel Ann, where has the time gone? Wasn't it just yesterday that I held you in my arms for the very first time? You have certainly grown into an amazing young are beautiful inside and out! Your daddy and I are so proud of you. Keep shining for the Lord...He shines so brightly through your precious life!

It wasn't long before the doorbell rang and Caleb arrived. All he could say when he saw you was, "Wow!" and then he was speachless for quite a while. He was so proud to have you on his arm at prom. I love this picture of you two because you were a bit worried about pinning his boutonniere. Little did we know that Mrs. T had already taken care of it; she used a magnet instead. Whew!


This is Rachel and Caleb's fave, so I had to post it too:


I liked it this way too:


Arriving at prom:


Memories to treasure!

Prom Centerpieces

Our high school prom was this past weekend and it was soooooooooo much fun! I had the privilege of being the Junior Class Sponsor who planned the event with help from the Junior class Prom committee made up of incredible students (my Rachel and her friends).

Rachel was so beautiful!!!!! She simply took our breath away with her beauty and grace. I'll post more pictures of her tomorrow...but would you like a sneak peek?

Since it is Kimba's DIY day, I wanted to post pictures of the Prom centerpieces. It is not easy making 16 centerpieces and only spending $150. Here is what I came up with.

I headed to Dollar Tree where I found 16 metal "like" containers for $1 each.

Our prom colors were black, silver, and purple so I chose to spray paint the containers black. I added a piece of floral foam (again from Dollar tree~3 squares for a dollar)

I found these beautiful purple daisies at my favorite place, Hobby Lobby, on sale for 50% off. Woo Hoo!! Hannah helped me pull off all of the leaves and then Rachel and I gathered 2 bunches together and wired them near the top of the stems:

We pushed the stems down into the floral foam and then grabbed some fabulous silver/glittery ribbon to tie a bow. I was perplexed as to how to weight the centerpieces without spending a fortune. I thought about crystals and marbles, but they were too expensive. Rachel and I headed to Lowes where we bought a huge bag of river rocks for $3~perfect!

Here are the finished centerpieces:

They were fun to make and they looked great on the tables. Thank you, Lord!

I am so pleased to link this Post to DIY day & Blue Cricket Design

Let's Climb a Tree and Take some Pics

Mr. Incredible comes from a huge family! So, every Easter we all get together for a massive Easter egg hunt and dinner. This year we got together the Saturday night before. Rachel, Hannah, and I made Bakerella's Cake Pops. While her cake pops are much more beautiful...ours are still fun. I thought it would be hilarious to make the cake pops out of red velvet cake, but then I remembered Steel Magnolias. Do you remember the armadillo groom's cake. Haaaaaaaa!

And since the cake pops were for the little Easter egg hunters, I changed my mind and went with strawberry instead:



After all the eggs were hunted and the dinner consumed, I headed outside with my father-in-law's camera (I left mine at home-shame on me!) and snapped a few pics. I love this one of the little girls gabbing and giggling in the tree:


Here is "S." I thought it would be fun to apply a 70's looking affect to the pictures:


and her big brother:


My oldest nephew with his special James Avery ring that his parents blessed him with after his announcement that he asked Jesus into his heart!


The littlest member of the extended family. Her eyes are so dreamy:


And this little sweetheart. She was so funny! She looked at the girls in the tree and said, "I want in the tree!" So I asked her what her mommy would say...and then she looked at me with those sweet, little eyes and said, "Mommy say yes!" So, I picked her up and put her in the tree. She carefully fixed her little tutu just right smiled sweetly and then exclaimed: "This is my first time in a tree!!!!" And then I stayed close to her the whole entire time she was in the tree. Oiy!


Supermodel pose time:


My youngest nephew kept posing for me. He would say, "Aunt kiki, how's this?"


Poppie's tree is the best place to hang out and take a few pics. Thanks for letting me borrow your camera.

Easter at Granny and Grandpa's

We spent Easter dinner with my parents. It was a long trip to their house....we had to door! :-) What a blessing to live next door to my parents.

We had breakfast with them too...well and with the rest of the church, after Easter sunrise services. After the sunrise service and breakfast, we had the added blessing of seeing our oldest nephew baptized (see the previous post), and then over to Granny and Grandpa's house for lunch.

I remembered my camera this time. Here are my girls with their Grandpa. Hannah is hoping to be taller than Grandpa (who is 6'2"). He was teasing her by standing on his tip-toes before the photo. She is getting close! My dad's middle name is Linn, and so is mine, and so is Hannah's. I love that!


Here are Rachel and Granny. My mom's middle name is Ann and my Granny's middle name was Rachel. Our oldest daughter, Rachel Ann, is named after 2 of my most favorite women in the world:

Hannah and Granny:

My mom set the most beautiful Easter table:

She made the arrangement:
And this vingette too:

I had to snap a few photos of my girls:



While we waited for the food to finish cooking, we all had fun visiting. My family is all wearing Baylor gold and green because the Lady Bears were playing UCONN that night (I still can't talk about it). I love this photo of my dad chillin' on the counter.

And Mom kept her eye on our dinner:

In the meantime, we played with this bunny parachute:
One more photo:

And then it was time to eat! Dinner was incredible. Imagine a beautiful honey baked spiral ham, fluffy white mashed potatoes, an asparagus casserole, pineapple pretzel salad, warm rolls, iced tea, and strawberries with whip cream. It was delicious! Trust me...I don't have the pictures to prove it...but it was!